Ode to the Independent Bookstore

I was among friends. Some of them were worn and tired. Some showed classic lines. All had something to say. They were books. Many were well seasoned, having felt the hands of at least one previous owner. Some were brand … Read More

Baby Chicks & Cheerios, Chia Books & Buds

It felt good to be back in the baby chick capital of the world. But nowadays, Clinton doesn’t trade much in the little peeps. No matter. The town is still a dynamic trade center, especially when it comes to trading … Read More

Locked Out Again

Locked Out Again

[image_frame style=”framed” height=”400″ width=”560″]http://johndrakerobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IMG_6289.jpg[/image_frame] 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 … Read More

O Danny Boy…

Daniel ODwyer

[image_frame style=”framed” height=”600″ width=”560″]http://johndrakerobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Daniel-ODwyer.jpg[/image_frame] 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 … Read More

Winter Water

Winter Campfire Coffee

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 … Read More

Ice

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, … Read More

The Graduate

Dad

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 … Read More

Hillbillies, Hay Bellies and Hostess Twinkies

Shuckin' Hostess

It was a dream. A nightmare. When I was a kid, I don’t remember seeing any over-sized hillbillies. Hill folk worked hard to squeeze a living from rocky soil. They were rugged, independent, self-sustaining people. Skinny, mostly, but healthy. They … Read More

My Favorite Road

Water Tower, Radio Tower, Tower of Power

One of the most legendary highways on Earth unfolds over 300 Missouri miles, and bears a name that’s the highest tribute ever bestowed a route: the Mother Road. But it’s a mother with multiple personalities. Before it bore children west, … Read More

Missouri Life and Death

King of the Road

The King of the Road series went dormant after a nice five-year run, and Erifnus and I rode into the sunset. But lately, I happily agreed to start writing features for the magazine from time to time…just took an assignment … Read More