The Sad, Strange Case of the Missouri Waltz

You’ve heard it a thousand times. At Mizzou games. On TV. Radio. The Mizzou band begins the familiar strains of the Missouri Waltz. Then the song morphs into a march that brings the crowd to its feet, inspired, hands clapping. … Read More

A ride they won’t forget

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

Five minutes in an old veteran’s life…

Water Tower, Radio Tower, Tower of Power

He was going the wrong way down Broadway. As I approached him head-on, I could see he was holding a can of Budweiser. But that wasn’t the issue. It appeared he didn’t care if this trip ended in suicide. He … Read More

Souls on sale.

Road trip friends: Amazon is selling Souls Along The Road for lower than it costs the publisher to print it. Order your copy and take an armchair road trip for the price of a bag of peanuts.

Where will America’s new population center be?

Only a few months remain for the little Missouri town with a big name to reign as America’s mean population center. The way a census official described it: if you balanced America’s total population on the head of a pin, … Read More

Smokin’

Coasting into Greentop, I would have bypassed the world’s greatest purveyor of smoked meats, without much more than visual contact with the big red building. But Sam Western had stuck his big barbecue smoker in the parking lot of Western’s … Read More

One of the last little hardware stores in America

Under the only neon sign in downtown Weston, Missouri, is the venerable Sebus Hardware. Your parents remember hardware stores, before the advent of corporate chains. The Sebus claim that “if we don’t have it, you don’t need it” may not … Read More

Raising Money for Highways

Breakfast of Champions

State highway departments are running out of money. One potential source of funding borrows from a local government trick that’s been paying big dividends for decades: Naming rights for sports stadiums and bowl games. You know, the Edward D. Jones … Read More

Harry’s Walks

After he left the White House, locals saw Harry almost every day during his morning walks from his house. What a house. The fourteen-room Victorian home sits in an old neighborhood not far from the town square. Today it’s preserved … Read More