You’re Fired

The one on the left smoked corn cob pipes from Washington, Missouri. The one on the right would be 135 years old tomorrow. Give ’em Hell, Harry.

Retirement Reversal

He said, John, in your life, there won’t be 10 people who you can really count on. That may be true for most of us. But he was a teacher. And one of his most important lessons wasn’t something from … Read More

Ride with the Devil

In new Pattonsburg’s Old Memories Café I found the best blue plate special this side of the senior center. In that café I found something else: murals commemorating Ride with the Devil, painted by Elanor McMahall. The murals are vivid … Read More

Deep Alone

Forecast promised rain. In fact, first wave of storms had just passed. Radar said next band of rain wouldn’t hit for an hour. So I headed for the trail. 10 am. Nobody. I had the trail to myself. The trees … Read More

Shaken, Not Stirred

The Undercliff Grill & Bar is cool and inviting, in its campy cave chic. The locals keep coming back for the food. I know why. The French onion soup comes protected by a helmet of Gruyère cheese that could stand … Read More

Bionic, When She Starts

Sometimes you get lucky. Erifnus broke down right in front of the house. Bad starter. But since she’s a 5-speed manual transmission, and we live on a slope, I rolled her downhill and popped the clutch. Engine started like she … Read More

Kudzu 66

Get your kicks on Route 66. But at least at this stop, a lube job is out of the question.

Many Springs. One Pole.

Been through hundreds of small towns, none smaller than Many Springs, on Highway 160, so small that the city limit signs are on the same pole, back-to-back.

Ignored the Signs. Went In.

Johnnie’s Bar has been serving whiskey in downtown St. James since the Irish laborers built the railroad through here. Even from the outside, Johnnie’s looks foreboding, with its big neon Stag Beer sign over a doorway into cold, smoky darkness. … Read More