A small icon, painted in the traditional Russian style and purchased in a desert town in Texas, was the reason I found myself in the ghost town of Shafter, Texas, on a Saturday morning.
I’m not usually a purchaser of religious-themed art, but that little painting called to me. I circled it three or four or five times before I gave in and bought it. The man at the store told me it was painted by Brother Paschal, a monk who lives as a hermit in Shafter. “There’s only about nine people in Shafter,” he said, “so if you go down there, it ought to be easy to find him.”