Scariest Cave Names Ever

Caves are fissures where evil seeps. They’re named by people who are scared shitless. In Texas, don’t stumble into Toad Frog Falling Floor Fissure, Left In a Lurch Cave, Coon Crap Cave, Putrid Pit, and Big Mutha Caverns. Georgians tiptoe … Read More

Pits of Hell

On our late-night journey home, the refrigerator moon had set. A heavy curtain of clouds rolled overhead. No rain. No wind. Just darkness on a desolate road. I could see only what Erifnus’s headlights allowed. A dozen miles ahead we’d … Read More

Nobody Believed I Was Santa

I was a beanpole, skinny as a chair leg. Fresh out of school, my first job was selling ads for the Rolla Daily News. The boss told me to find a Santa Claus for Hillcrest Shopping Center. Nobody wanted to … Read More

Wings Over Columbia

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 … Read More

But the greatest of these…

Painted olive green, Hartville’s water tower earns style points as it sticks out from the old red brick buildings like a garnish on the swizzle stick in a giant bloody Mary. I know that image isn’t the town’s intent. But, … Read More

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 … Read More

Grundy County Horsepower. Chicken Power, Too

Turds dot the roads like a giant linear checkers game. Up the road, a hundred buggies parked outside the local produce market. A giant four-horse draft team passed me, its wagoneer headed to plow a field. We waved at one … Read More

Welcome Home

Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been gone. Maybe you circled the globe.  Or you just stepped out the door to grab the newspaper. The committee assembles. With laser focus, they position themselves according to their own rules. You can return … Read More

My Favorite Road

“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 … Read More

Spokes

Alone, none of them can turn the wheel. A village of spokes. Equal. Indistinguishable. Steady as a watch on a schooner. In turn, each spoke hangs from the rim and holds the wheel for a millisecond until the next spoke … Read More