But in the eyes of this grizzled, embittered old observer, the all-time masterpiece is a short story written by Gene Hill. Entitled "Old Tom," it appears in a book called Tears & Laughter, and is only six very short paragraphs long. It is unspeakably sad and, from a writer's standpoint, is a jewel. For this reason, I once read it aloud to a class of prospective writers, and when it was over most of them were crying. Gene would have been pleased. That is why writers do what they do. It ain't the money.