best laid schemes gang aft agley…

On my birthday, I jumped on my bicycle and rode a long way, at turns laughing or lamenting my first 67 years…came home with a bucket list for my next 67, if nothing goes awry.

Dolly Smacked Me

Ancient Social Media

The remnants of Hurricane Dolly hit us as the blacktops of Bollinger County rolled under our wheels. Fat raindrops distorted my view. I avoided turning on my wipers for as long as I could, because the driver’s side wiper blade … Read More

When The Circus Left Town

In 1933, the circus came to town.  It stayed for a dozen years, or at least it rested in Rolla, where the Russell Brothers Circus plopped and hunkered for the winter. And each spring, the major three-ring extravaganza rehearsed in … Read More

Chicken with a Freight Train

Beyond the vanishing point over the horizon, the wind blew a faint train whistle up the tracks. The train was saying hello to the Houston House–the best place for fried chicken when I was a kid. As the engine rolled … Read More

Crossroads

  It was 10:00 p.m. My car, thirsty for petrol, urged me to exit the interstate and find fuel. Just ahead, Kingdom City waited with the tools to fill my tank. And my stomach. Kingdom City isn’t really a city. … Read More

Devil’s Real Estate

Devil’s Well is a big stomach, says one of America’s preeminent geologist-explorers. It’s Mother Nature’s idea of an indoor pool, except that it’s cold and dark and underground and scary as hell, hence the name. It is the world’s most … Read More

Mass Grave in Jefferson City

This monument stands atop a mass grave in the Jefferson City National Cemetery. Beneath are buried the 147 Civil War Union soldiers killed responding to the Centralia Massacre. “On September 27, 1864, Bloody Bill Anderson’s guerilla gang—including a young recruit … Read More