Before Barbara met Milo, her life had been properly charted after the fashion of a young Bostonian in the early 1950s. His proposal for a life together included a move to Alaska to prospect for uranium. “Where would we live?” she asked with more logical concern than was called for. “In a tent!” blurted Milo, brows raised on explaining the obvious. “Meeting Milo was very inconvenient for my plans,” says Barbara Backus as a matter of fact, “but he was and is unique, possessed with a wonderful sense of humor, and I just couldn't turn him down.”

After forfeiting an...

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