Blog

Locked Out Again

Locked Out Again

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Connie stays across the river from downtown Kansas City at the old municipal airport. She’s known more formally as a Lockheed Constellation, the airline workhorse of the 1950s. If you saw her, you’d instantly recognize the plane, with her curvy porpoise fuselage, three tailfins and four propellers. She’s the poster plane for the last great American airline company, Howard Hughes’ …

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Daniel ODwyer

O Danny Boy…

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Daniel O’Dwyer would approve of new Pope Francis, I suspect. I have no way of knowing for sure, since Daniel O’Dwyer, my great grandfather, died eleven popes ago, shortly after the long reign of Pope Pius IX. Pius excommunicated Daniel over an act of love. He had been a Franciscan friar. But Danny complicated his own future by falling in …

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Yule Tied Hideout

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The trout got plenty of attention. They always do on the first day of March. It happened suddenly. In the predawn, an armada of hip waders invaded their winter waterland. Pretty gifts dropped from the sky, tasty looking flies that fought against the rushing current. In a split second, a two-year-old trout bought the fake, ignoring the simple logic that …

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Winter Campfire Coffee

Winter Water

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The air was cold, a few degrees above freezing. A north wind tried to aggravate us, but Cora blocked its best gusts. Cora is the island on our port side. We’d survived the toughest part of the trip: launching a 20-foot canoe into a swift current. “The Missouri River moves fast when the channel comes close to the bank,” Mike …

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Downed Power Lines

Ice

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Long before The Weather Channel started naming continental storms, this one will be remembered as The Ice Storm of ’09. Its widespread devastation covered Missouri’s Bootheel like a glacier. In the two counties that form the heel of the boot, the ice brought down 12,000 telephone poles. For three days I drove the back roads of the Bootheel, and recorded …

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