Former dentist documents his own dementia

TALLAHASSEE, FL Sandy Halperin closes his eyes. His expression is pensive, his mouth slightly upturned. Memories, like glints of light, dance inside his mind a kind of neural film strip.

It is 1962. He is in a small neighborhood pharmacy in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father, the pharmacist, hands a customer a wooden nickel, good for a free cup of coffee while she waits. He sees his 12-year-old self standing over a towering hot fudge sundae at the soda counter. The smell of warming cashews and peanuts curls out of a corner machine.

Then, as the mind is wont to do, Sandys memory leaps to a different time. He is 8 years old, standing next to his father behind the counter. H