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Requiem for an Old Broadway Star

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The demolition ran into a snag. A piece of equipment broke, and the wrecking of the old hotel stopped for a few days, leaving a solitary four-story turret rising above the rubble. Maybe it was an elevator shaft, I couldn’t tell. Its walls, exposed to the sun for the first time, were painted industrial colors. Drab green. Dull pink. Babyshit …

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Man of Many Miles

St. Louis: Birthplace of Fast Food

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More than any other spot on earth, St. Louis is the birthplace of fast food. In terms of speed and convenience, St. Louis has made the single biggest impact on your gastrointestinal tract since cave people first burned meat, more than White Castle or pizza jockeys or Cap’n Crunch or Dairy Queen, even more than McDonald’s. Oh, argue if you …

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Crossroads

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  It was 10:00 p.m. My car, thirsty for petrol, urged me to exit the interstate and find fuel. Just ahead, Kingdom City waited with the tools to fill my tank. And my stomach. Kingdom City isn’t really a city. Heck, the town’s population barely reaches into three digits. But it shares a common trait with more famous small towns …

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Cheryl John London

My Favorite Road

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“What’s your favorite road?” I get that question a lot. It’s natural, since folks know I’ve driven every mile on the map. They’re curious. What’s my favorite restaurant? Favorite bed and breakfast? Favorite state park? At a chamber banquet in Trenton, the questions came up. I told the audience I adore Highway 6, seasoned by a pair of great Mexican …

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Wings Over Columbia

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It was the largest crowd ever to invade Memorial Stadium. One autumn Saturday a dozen years ago, thousands of football fans packed together, and their colorful clothing attracted a million Monarch butterflies who rode the breeze across the stadium. From a distance, the butterflies had seen this big bowl, and they thought it was a rest stop with enough flower …

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