Class Act

            You can hide the gray hair. You can cover age spots, and employ a thousand different miracles to take a cosmetic sip from the fountain of youth. But you can’t stop class reunions.              Long before AARP starts welcoming … Read More

Tulsa. Music. Truth.

He’s the new kid on the block. His museum stands next to the monument to legendary truthsinger Woody Guthrie. And down the block another monument against fascism at Greenwood. Bob Dylan’s star shines among Tulsa music royalty. Leon Russell. The … Read More

Gustav Meets Kehde

Just outside Windsor, Gustav’s guts started spilling. Gustav had slammed into Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, and plowed north through Arkansas into southern Missouri. By the time it reached Sedalia, the storm had devolved into an extratropical depression, which … Read More

The Last Man to Beat Bill Hickok

Bellefontaine Cemetery holds stories that forged America. Good. Bad. Wild, like the story of Captain Bill Massie, the world’s greatest riverboat gambler. His unmarked grave belies his prowess. In the parlors of his riverboats, Captain Bill Massie could read the … Read More

When the Circus Came to Town

In 1933, the circus came to town.  And stayed.  For a dozen years, the Russell Brothers Circus made its winter home in Rolla. And each spring, the major three-ring extravaganza rehearsed in the fields around the old Civil War Fort … Read More


It was the ’80s. Ag Secretary Earl Butz told family farmers to get big or get out. In the painful transition from family farms to factory farms, Willie Nelson started Farm Aid with John Mellencamp. Thank you, Willie, for growing. … Read More

From the rubble

Joplin is history. Brothels and Bonnie and Clyde. Critical race theory through the eyes of Langston Hughes. The stubborn nonconformity of Thomas Hart Benton. Dennis Weaver’s gait and Bob Cummings’ airplane car. Oh, and The Mick, before there was a … Read More