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Fear and Loafing in St. Jo


The arrow smashed into his jaw, knocking out five teeth. He kept riding. It was his second wound, delivered from his pursuers. He had jerked the first arrow out of his shoulder, and kept riding. Now Pony Bob’s mouth had an extra opening, and his shoulder was in pain. But he was young—a teenager—and his horse was fast. He rode …

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To learn the value of a culture, check their barbecue.


The credit card machine kept disconnecting. I didn’t have cash, or my checkbook. “No problem,” said Perry Foster, “mail me a check.” Perry Foster’s Bar-B-Que embodied all that is good about humankind: Trust and harmony and world peace. Oh, and taste. My lunch was a combo sandwich, generously endowed with smoked ham, brisket, chicken and burnt ends slathered with sauce, …

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Out, out, brief candle


Within one lunar cycle they were gone. Over a 28 day period, Columbia endured a tragedy in three acts, and lost a major chunk of its soul when three of the city’s most visible luminaries died. City officials? No. Big men on campus? Not really.  They were familiar to city residents for sure, unless you don’t eat, read or drive. …

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When the Big Wave Washes Us Away


It was a windy day, like today. As I sit in my sun room and watch gale force winds sweep dead leaves from the trees, I think back to another wind that took a close friend. The grand roster of tempests lists a thousand other storms that have taken much more from all of us. Joplin. Tuscaloosa. Moore. Today’s wind—a …

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The Seven Wonders of Shannon County


Judge Pegleg Shannon would have a blast in this neck of the woods, assuming he wasn’t sick of rivers and caves and general exploring. As a pup, this youngest member of Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery had a propensity for getting lost. On one sojourn to round up the company’s stray pack horses, he returned to the wrong part …

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