Perry plays the role of student, wanting to learn all he can from the elder statesman of the fields before it’s too late. Whether he wants to admit it or not, he is a Tom Hartwig in-training. And the readers share some of his hard-learned lessons.
As a side trip, Perry, a recreational pig farmer, humorist and singer-songwriter, also invites the reader into his family life, his precarious perch on the middle ground between the “old ways” and modern life.
He writes poignantly about his family, his relationship with his wife, his parents, brothers, and his children. And the land and the people who populate “fly over country.” Like Hartwig, Perry has many lessons to share with us.
It’s not incidental that the subtitle of this story is “A man, a highway and the road to roughneck grace.”
That’s exactly what this book and Tom Hartwig’s story represent — the journey to roughneck grace.