Greed, Pride, and the Lake of the Ozarks

Much of the development at the Lake of the Ozarks can be traced back to one event. Flash back to the late 1960s. In a move that forever changed the face and fortune of the lake, then-Governor Warren Hearnes entered … Read More

Hope and Change

Canton lured me back for an overnight, where I went to a free show at the college. A young comedian mesmerized the crowd with juggling and jokes, then the juggler asked the young lady sitting next to me to assist … Read More

My favorite backyard fireworks

They don’t seek loud noises, but then again, they don’t seem to mind. They produce a show as good as any riverfront fireworks extravaganza, with the colors of a garden rainbow. Long past fireworks season, they point their colorful fingers … Read More

Centralia Cemetery

On July 4, the Centralia Cemetery honors each of its 479 veterans with an American flag. According to the city, the sight has been known to stop passing traffic along nearby Highway 22. Curious whether the cemetery holds the remains … Read More

Requiem for an Old Broadway Star

The demolition ran into a snag. A piece of equipment broke, and the wrecking of the old hotel stopped for a few days, leaving a solitary four-story turret rising above the rubble. Maybe it was an elevator shaft, I couldn’t … Read More

Pony Bob

The arrow smashed into his jaw, knocking out five teeth. He kept riding. It was his second wound, delivered from his pursuers. He had jerked the first arrow out of his shoulder, and kept riding. Now Pony Bob’s mouth had … Read More

Barbecue Epiphany Leads to World Peace

The credit card machine kept disconnecting. I didn’t have cash, or my checkbook. “No problem,” said Perry Foster, “mail me a check.” Perry Foster’s Bar-B-Que embodied all that is good about humankind: Trust and harmony and world peace. Oh, and … Read More

Rays of Sunshine

  It’s hard to overlook Ray’s Diner. On Broadway in downtown Excelsior Springs, Ray’s low-slung exterior shouts the words “Ray’s Famous HamburgerS” stretched across the diner’s face in mismatched hand lettered fonts over an awning that screams in candy cane … Read More

The Ghost of a Roadside Inn

Took a nap beneath this sign, sharing space with the ghosts of travelers who stopped here long ago to add a sticky chapter to their Route 66 journey. It was a time when cars had crank-down window air-conditioning and tube … Read More

Erifnus Likes My Bike

Hopped on my ’67 Schwinn Continental–taxicab yellow from the factory–and rode to the grocery store. We’ve made this trip for years now, almost daily, bringing back cargo in cloth bags hanging from the handlebars. Erifnus sits at the curb with … Read More