leave a legacy
Christopher LaGrone, a former Denver State Championship baseball player whose baseball career was cut short by an arm injury, lived in Tucson from 2007 to 2014. A few years after parting ways with Border Patrol, he wrote “Fleeing the Past”, a fictional novel book based on Border Patrol agent Layne Sheppard.
LaGrone wrote, often in graphic detail, about the life of a federal law enforcement officer, from the ruthless training program to the dangers of patrolling the desert near Bisbee and Douglas.
Working as a Border Patrol agent in Douglas, the character falls in love with “a beautiful woman of Mexican descent who was brought illegally across the border as a young child”.
In the second book, “Felina’s Spell”, the character deals with “Border Patrol’s Douglas Station politics” as Sheppard progresses from trainee to agent and gets an indelicate baptism of what his new job entails. He also learns that his girlfriend’s brother is being deported.
The third book, “Moments Of Truth”, follows the character as he realizes “the inevitable loneliness and fear of patrolling the border without a partner, and the pressure from management mounts”.
Luanne Pendorf, editor of Ancient Tracks, the Arizona Museum of Natural History’s newsletter, wrote that “Fleeing the Past” provides “excruciating, realistic detail about US Border Patrol training requirements that failed crushing Layne Sheppard. But these physical and intellectual challenges are nothing compared to Layne’s inner tormentors – self-doubt, self-control, self-deception, alcoholism. An uncomfortable read, but absolutely engrossing.”