Nobody Believed I Was Santa

I was a beanpole, skinny as a chair leg. Fresh out of school, my first job was selling ads for the Rolla Daily News. The boss told me to find a Santa Claus for Hillcrest Shopping Center. Nobody wanted to … Read More

Wings Over Columbia

It was the largest crowd ever to invade Memorial Stadium. One autumn Saturday a dozen years ago, thousands of football fans packed together, and their colorful clothing attracted a million Monarch butterflies who rode the breeze across the stadium. From … Read More

But the greatest of these…

Painted olive green, Hartville’s water tower earns style points as it sticks out from the old red brick buildings like a garnish on the swizzle stick in a giant bloody Mary. I know that image isn’t the town’s intent. But, … Read More

Clearing Left Lane Road Hogs

I-70 sucks. Oh, the road is okay. The pain and suffering comes from uncooperative drivers. It reminds me of something my grandpappy told me once. He said, “Son, get outta my way!” Those words hang with me, especially as Erifnus … Read More

Fear and Loafing in St. Jo

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

Ava is a palindrome

It looks the same coming from any direction. The water tower sits atop a hill off the center of town, shouting “Ava Bears” from its steel sides. This garden spot in the middle of the Mark Twain Forest missed a … Read More

Grundy County Horsepower. Chicken Power, Too

Turds dot the roads like a giant linear checkers game. Up the road, a hundred buggies parked outside the local produce market. A giant four-horse draft team passed me, its wagoneer headed to plow a field. We waved at one … Read More

Welcome Home

Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been gone. Maybe you circled the globe.  Or you just stepped out the door to grab the newspaper. The committee assembles. With laser focus, they position themselves according to their own rules. You can return … Read More

207 years ago today, the Earth shook New Madrid.

In the History of Southeast Missouri, eyewitness Godfrey LeSieur gives this account of the New Madrid Earthquake: “The first shock was about 2 o’clock a. m., on the night of December 16, 1811, and was very hard, shaking down log … Read More