A Tale of Two Stacked Ladies

Jack Dawson, I’m calling you out. 1961. The first photo I ever took, long before the selfie craze. My photo op was dramatic only to me. Steaming across the Atlantic,  the Queen Mary’s three smokestacks poured a layer of smoke … Read More

Silver Wings

I left Route 66 and motored north from Rolla. At Vichy, a tiny fork in the road, I passed three familiar friends, three old birds that stood in the darkness a mile away. Even though I couldn’t see them, I … Read More

English Teacher Hell.

Graveyard for Naughty English Teachers

Imagine any English teacher buried there, eternally damned to lie under a misspelled word. Then again, maybe the sign was painted by one of her students, in which case she shares some of the blame.

Gravy

There’s a sad phenomenon in so many of these precious old towns. Generally, more people lie under the ground than on top of it. I thought back to an experience I had in London. The date was November 11, and … Read More

On Seeds

There are seeds in every abandoned house, in the dry rotted floorboards and the mildewy walls, in the moss on the roof where sunlight doesn’t reach. The seeds are in the windowsills, in the clawfoot tub with as many rings … Read More

The Source

Hidden Waters Nature Park, the headwaters of the Niangua River. Headwaters are sacred, and townspeople have preserved this spot where the Niangua breaks into daylight. The water rushes from its spring and splits the park in half, cascading downhill at … Read More

Stars and Stripes born in the Bootheel

Tucked in gentle rolling hills on the brink of the Bootheel, the Bloomfield Cemetery tells a story. The chapters unfold one-by-one on the white tombstones of Confederate soldiers from around Bloomfield who died during the Civil War. Many are now … Read More

Joining Lewis and Clark

“Hands!” the sergeant barked at me. “Let me see your hands!” I stuck out my palms, and the sergeant inspected them for calluses. Seeing none, he dismissed me with a grunt. “Yer too green to make the crew. You’d never … Read More

My First Tropical Storm

And now, no wiser, I found myself in another bad situation. I had no idea that the winds outside were approaching 200 miles an hour, a nascar made of wind. With debris smacking the outside of the cabin, I slunk … Read More