On a balmy June night in 1981, sixteen-year-old Clark Holmgrun guides his truck off Hartford Drive onto an obscure gravel road. Thinking perhaps he has discovered a secluded place for kids to hang out, he’s surprised to find a tidy house in the woods where a middle-aged guy named Ernie lives alone. Clark forms a bond with the older man and discovers a connection with him, unlike anything he’s ever known. When Ernie takes the teenager under his wing and shows him how to repair electronics, hit a baseball, and throw a curve, the unlikely pair becomes even closer. And the mentoring doesn’t stop there. Ernie’s tutelage continues when he teaches the young man how to shoot a gun, spin donuts in a vintage El Camino, and even how to handle his liquor. Nighttime discussions by the fire pit become philosophical, and Ernie is there to assist Clark in navigating the uncertainty of the feelings he develops for a beautiful young woman whom he meets at school. A story of unselfishness, compassion, and the power of unconditional love, Patrick Brown’s The Gravel Road takes us on a journey through time as a young man endures and overcomes heartache, loss, tragedy, and ultimately a startling discovery that shatters his world.