Dancing on the Edge of the Storm

First night, Tropical Storm Gordon formed over our heads. Next day, Gordon’s outer bands lashed us as we danced on the edge of the storm. This passage reminded me of a race against time ten years ago: We awoke at … Read More

A Dickens of a Heist

Boarding a railroad car at Gads Hill, Missouri, Frank James quoted Shakespeare, announcing to startled passengers his gang’s intent to rob them. Just the rich, mind you. Not the working poor, with calloused hands. No women. No children. The Bard … Read More

Where the Carny Sleeps

They were hiding back among some barns and sheds. I’d uncovered a spot where a traveling carnival sleeps in the off-season. Only partially visible from the road, the unique shapes and garish colors jump out from the octopus, with light … Read More

Cave Food

The Undercliff Grill & Bar is cool and inviting, in its campy cave chic. The locals keep coming back for the food. I know why. The French onion soup comes protected by a helmet of Gruyère cheese that could stand … Read More

New Book in 2018!

She handles through turns like a dancer with the spirit of a sports car and the mileage of a miser. Her flanks show dings from parking lot encounters, and her roof is a quilt of dents from hail and scratches … Read More

All in a Name

Last time I bought a Powerball ticket, the Rams hadn’t left LA yet. This time I bought one, like almost everybody. I knew my chances were infantesimal, but if you don’t buy a ticket… Turns out I was the victim … Read More

Rock On

Sunday evening. Pedaling my Schwinn Continental through downtown Columbia, I noticed something unusual, so I stopped to watch. Hundreds of tuxedos and gowns bedecking a bizarre bunch of freakers, wild daglo hairdos and stunning face jewelry. Twentysomethings and thirtysomethings, most … Read More

Kingdom Come

It was 10 p.m. when I reached Kingdom City. Fresh water filled a labyrinth of potholes in the parking lot of the Iron Skillet Truck Stop. The depositor, a monstrous thunderstorm, fled the scene, churning east down the highway, framing … Read More

Highways Tell Stories.

A highway’s back may be black, brown or tan, red, white or blue. We name them after saints and music and Mother. A highway’s makeup may be heavily applied and easy to see, or it may be worn thin. Her … Read More

Erifnus Caitnop

So I set out to feel every crack in Missouri’s pavement. As with all stories – and symphonies and carnal acts – it was an uneven ride. Although a dozen friends and a handful of reporters rode with me on … Read More