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

My Favorite Road

“What’s your favorite road?” That question comes up a lot from people who find out I’ve driven every mile on the map.They’re curious. What’s my favorite restaurant? Favorite bed and breakfast? Favorite state park? The question came up in Trenton. … Read More

Evading the Body Snatchers, Part 3

While most Missourians didn’t steal bodies, some Missourians owned them. Along the Missouri River, several old plantation houses still stand in the fields. Some of these plantations apparently engaged in the export of human flesh. They were slaves, raised and … Read More

Evading the Body Snatchers, Part 2

Moses Austin Grave

When Europeans came to Missouri, it didn’t take long for Moses to play a pivotal role. Like the man for whom he was named, this Moses was a leader, and the grandfather of a modern day version of the promised … Read More

Evading the Body Snatchers, Part 1

            Thomas Jefferson’s original grave marker can’t sit still. More than a century ago, it migrated from Monticello to Mizzou. Since then it has moved a couple of times on the campus quadrangle.  I suspect Tom wouldn’t mind this movement, … Read More

The Good Badass Samaritan

It was Friday, already scorching hot, and the sun’s heat shimmered on the highway ahead. My car, Erifnus Caitnop, pointed her nose toward Columbia, and we both looked forward to some rest after a grueling week on the road. By … Read More

The Bridge to Nowhere

I was running late. Hannibal was still an hour away. So I took a short cut. My Pontiac was making good time on the backroads, slicing down straightaways that squeeze between flat soybean fields, fallow before spring planting. Oncoming cars … Read More

When Harry Met Elvis, Sorta

“Give me the Elvis.” I hadn’t expected to encounter food fit for the king. Not here, within a wedge shot of so much history. But that’s what makes the journey so rewarding. I finished my Elvis, a peanut butter sandwich … Read More