Smash Rock on the Jacks Fork

 Every year in early spring, Smash Rock stands between me and inner peace. As my rendezvous with Smash Rock approaches, I concentrate on little else. My sole mission hardens into a successful negotiation past this looming Lorelei. Smash Rock could … Read More

The Day The Capitol Burned

Sunday evening, February 5, 1911. Unusually warm. A thunderstorm approached the state capitol from the west and lightning struck the dome around suppertime. Monsignor Joseph Selinger remembers, “I was standing on the front steps of the hospital [Saint Mary’s] about … Read More

Winter Water

The air was cold, a few degrees above freezing. Three of us pushed one long canoe away from shore and paddled out of a swirling eddy into the main stream, thus surviving the most dangerous phase of the trip: the … Read More

19 minutes at Burger King changed my life

  I was running behind. Miles of untraveled road awaited to unfold north of Springfield, and it was already nearing lunch time. I wanted to stop at the legendary Anton’s Coffee Shop, looming ahead in my windshield. The experience at … Read More

The Sad, Strange Case of the Missouri Waltz

You’ve heard it a thousand times. At Mizzou games. On TV. Radio. Most recently at Mizzou’s Cotton Bowl victory over Ohio State. The Mizzou band begins the familiar strains of the Missouri Waltz. Then the song morphs into a march … Read More

Spokes

Alone, none of them can turn the wheel. A village of spokes. Equal. Indistinguishable. Steady as a watch on a schooner. In turn, each spoke hangs from the rim and holds the wheel for a millisecond until the next spoke … Read More

Winter Camping Alone

If you wanted to hide from hit men or creditors, Lake Wappapello would do nicely. Isolated in rugged hills, wholly surrounded by the thick woods of Mark Twain National Forest, the lake stands apart from the crowd. Literally. The nearest … Read More

First Band on Party Cove

Millstone Lodge, as I remember it, is gone.  Too bad.  In its day, the lodge provided one of the hotspots that kept the Lake of the Ozarks steaming.  Of course, that’s a bygone era, before you could scarab from the … Read More

Fighting, healing and music.

We passed Cedar Springs and stopped in El Dorado Springs, where the Osage Tribe used to bring their sick to heal in the mineral springs. When Europeans settled the area, the Osage left for their own safety, and the springs … Read More

Return to the scene of the crime

This is a peek at a Missouri Life Magazine cover coming together. I’m at the helm of the second boat. The day before, that boat was damn near sideways in a thirty-knot wind. The story was fun, sanitized a bit … Read More