Everyone in the world is connected.
If it’s true that everyone in the world is connected, then the task Alva set for McSweeney should have been easy. He started with the old newspaper. And the birth date of Alva’s son, Moses.
Lonnie used the library’s computer to figure out exactly what the date was the day before Thanksgiving forty years back. Lonnie didn’t own his own computer. In his kind of work, he figured it could make trouble for him one day so he kept the paper files he needed and destroyed the rest. No sense leaving trails of breadcrumbs, he figured. He threw out lots of compromising photos every year. Even after all this time, he was astonished at how many husbands and wives cheated on each other. And how stupid they were about it. He’d concluded that most people want to get caught. They just don’t realize it.
Once he had the date, he plugged in the town and state and searched back for hospitals. At the time Moses was born there was a clinic but no hospital. So he went back to birth records from the town. There he struck paydirt. Even the small towns had gone digital, allowing him to search the records online.
This was a boon to Lonnie and he still marveled at the speed of access nowadays. In the old days, he used to have to travel and dig for whatever he needed. Sometimes that had involved getting intimate with some pretty seedy types, and sometimes he’d had to make friends with certain kinds of women just to get to the people in a town who knew parts of the stories the papers left out. But he had always managed, somehow. Now it was a snap.
He found the name of Moses Patterson. So they had given the baby Alva’s last name. That made it even easier. Even if the kid had changed it or been adopted, he could find out where he was today. He’d get Alva to sign some papers giving him search rights on her behalf and he’d have the boy’s records unsealed and then he’d simply follow his trail.