At the wise age of 79, Dolores Westfall knows food shopping on an empty stomach is a fool’s errand. On her way to the grocery store last May, she pulled into the Town & Country Family Restaurant to take the edge off her appetite.
After much consideration, she ordered the prime rib special and an iced tea — expensive at $21.36, but the leftovers, wrapped carefully to go, would provide two more lunches.
The problem, she later realized, was that a big insurance bill was coming due. How was she going to pay it? Was she going to tip into insolvency over a plate of prime rib?
“I thought I could handle eating and shopping,” she said, “but lunch put me over the top.”
Westfall — 5 feet 1 tall, with a graceful dancer’s body she honed as a tap-dancing teenager — is as stubborn as she is high-spirited. But she finds herself these days in a precarious place: Her savings long gone, and having never done much long-term financial planning, Westfall left her home in California to live in an aging RV she calls Big Foot, driving from one temporary job to the next.
– Los Angeles Times