The deer and turkey awaken and the fish begin their day at Truman Lake.

Deep Blue

After squeezing through Coot Chute and rounding Owl’s Bend, the Current River joins the Ozark Trail for about five miles. Along that stretch, many floaters miss the stunning blue water of Blue Spring, even though it’s only a quarter mile … Read More

Rite of Passage

The train was late. That didn’t matter to seven men awaiting its arrival. “I’ve learned to be patient,” said Mason, sitting next to me in his prison issue gray trousers and white T-shirt. Earlier that morning, seven inmates had been … Read More

Gustav Spills His Guts

Just outside Windsor, Gustav’s guts started spilling. Gustav had slammed into Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, and plowed north through Arkansas into southern Missouri. By the time it reached Sedalia, the storm had devolved into an extratropical depression, which … Read More

The Road By Gads Hill

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

Finding Grubville

We—my car and I—drove through Frumet, over Flucom Creek, past Tanglefoot and Melzo, Horine and Old Ditch. We crossed Skullbone Creek, and passed the ghosts of Moontown School, Mothershead School and the old Saint Joseph Hill Infirmary for Aged and … Read More

Have a seat.

I wasn’t going to make it home in time, so I walked into a bar on Main Street, St. Charles, to watch the game on TV. Of the thousands of restaurants, clubs and bars I’ve visited, this one had the … Read More


She watched over a hundred harvests. Now at rest, she offers her shoulders to red-tailed hawks on the lookout for a meal.

Looney Creek

It’s a peaceful spot to rest in eternity.  Surrounded by forest between Bethel and Emden, Looney Creek Cemetery may have a longer future than the crumbling Old Brick Church, the ambassador for these bones. Frank Drake is buried here. A … Read More