Noted Western novelist A.B. Guthrie has said that few ways of life lasted in the Old West.
Half-wild Mountain Men gave way to restless gold hunters trailed by fortune-seeking cattlemen, yet the vast land endured as did the people. Migration Patterns follows the lives of a group of people with mournful pasts and uncertain futures, each person touched by the modern West’s unnoticed migrations. Clayton, a young crab fisherman, flees the Ocean’s unceasing possessiveness to head west, only to return. Nash, a bare-knuckle roustabout, deserts an underhanded repair firm and travels toward Colorado to become the man he was meant to be. When 103-year-old Vera is asked what has kept her going, she’s reminded of her 10-hour-a-day job at her parent’s mercantile, where hopeful sodbusters bought planting seeds on credit as the dry land winds swept up their top-soil. Almost unhesitatingly she replies, “Grace! The Grace of the good Lord!” The reader may find these 13 spare tales contain a certain grace of their own.