Category Archive for: ‘Essays’

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Yule Tied Hideout


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


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



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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The Graduate


It took all I had to get him to graduation day. Many families feel the same. You work. You worry. You save. You coach and encourage. You pray. And when they graduate, a very big part of you walks across that stage. They’re your children. Been there, done that. But three years ago I saw my last graduate a little …

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Cat Road

Run the Cat Roads


Before there was a lottery, and people had to grab cash the old-fashioned way, Bonnie & Clyde knew about Dearborn, Missouri. Dearborn is popular now because of America’s latest Powerball winner. But until recently, when the equivalent of one half ton of gold fell out of the sky on Dearborn, the little town was quiet, out of the way, along …

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