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"We get the archetypes we deserve."


Christopher Shaw met Jon Cody in 1972 when he moved to Stony Creek, New York, a remote hamlet in the southern Adirondacks. Their close and sometimes rocky friendship lasted until Cody's death in 2015.


In this sprawling, at times piercingly honest and direct memoir, Shaw recounts how Cody, the older one-armed dope dealer and fine leather craftsman, exasperated, supported, and goaded him, and how he found only late in their time together how Cody held the key to one of Shaw's greatest childhood mysteries.


What starts reading like a quaint regional narrative soon takes a number of surprising turns. It all takes place in the Adirondack backcountry and tourist meccas, enlivened by scenes from its wilds and its barrooms, and by the often confused expressions of love between men.


"Well, I don't know how much there is to say about Fran Germaine and how me and him met Jack Diamond and got into the bootlegging racket. It was a day I'll never forget, though, I'll tell you that."
Lonnie Monroe twisted his face up into a weird mask, the kind he made to emphasize a point. He sat across from me in a booth at the Trap Dyke taproom in Lake Aurora, New York, in the Adirondacks. His blue eyes were watery, and he hadn't shaved that morning, so his white beard prongs stuck out in all directions from his leathery face. He was otherwise well turned out in his retired-old-timer garb of pressed, tan Dickies, a felt Moose River hat, and Russell moccasins with white wool socks, rolled down. I'm doing this to make you happy, he seemed to be saying. Now let's just get it over with."

- Christopher Shaw, The Power Line

has been a writer, editor, and teacher for forty years. 

Christopher Shaw

Shaw is the former editor of Adirondack Life Magazine and his fiction, memoir, journalism, essays, and book length non-fiction have focused largely but not exclusively on aspects of place and its influence on character and ideas, most often having to do with the Adirondack region of northern New York. 

Also Available from Shaw:
The Power Line