"This is a man who knows how to ride a horse," laughs Beattie of Gardner's upbringing.
"We didn't have anything in those hard Wyoming years, but my parents would always share what we had," says Gardner. "I remember when I was in the second grade, I got a book and a little Timex watch for Christmas.
The family moved into Utah to work at his uncle's--Big Vern, Gardner calls him--service station.
Gardner was a radio operator in the New Guinea chapter of the "Jolly Rogers" of the 90th Bombardment Group's B-24 Liberator units.
In letters he wrote to his family, Gardner mentioned he was participating in flying missions over the Japanese-controlled islands that surrounded Australia.
Decade after decade passed, and the family had given up hope of ever getting Gardner's remains back.
The couple had single glazed windows but Mrs Gardner was anxious to get their home properly insulated.
A few days later Mr Gardner paid pounds 60 for a surveyor to check out the windows.
Though she could be a dogged stalker of objects, Gardner did not especially exploit the Silk Road connecting Beacon Hill and points East.
Leaving no atom unturned in its conscientious micro-scholarship, Journeys East provides the last word on Gardner's Asianism.