The Ghost of a Roadside Inn

Took a nap beneath this sign, sharing space with the ghosts of travelers who stopped here long ago to add a sticky chapter to their Route 66 journey. It was a time when cars had crank-down window air-conditioning and tube … Read More

Mass Grave in Jefferson City

This monument stands atop a mass grave in the Jefferson City National Cemetery. Beneath are buried the 147 Civil War Union soldiers killed responding to the Centralia Massacre. “On September 27, 1864, Bloody Bill Anderson’s guerilla gang—including a young recruit … Read More

Highways Have Souls

Erifnus carried me without radar, sonar, Pixar, Pulsar, Dagmar, Bolivar, Telstar, Avatar, NASCAR or a minibar. We relied on maps. Compared to GPS, maps are lazy and they won’t work on their own, preferring to doze, folded tight as a … Read More

Missouri’s Unknown Superstar

Next time you sit down with the kids to watch Disney’s Pinocchio, listen to the cricket. He was born here. At least, his voice was born here. When that loveable bug sings “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the voice … Read More

A Tale of Two Stacked Ladies

Jack Dawson, I’m calling you out. 1961. The first photo I ever took, long before the selfie craze. My photo op was dramatic only to me. Steaming across the Atlantic,  the Queen Mary’s three smokestacks poured a layer of smoke … Read More

Silver Wings

I left Route 66 and motored north from Rolla. At Vichy, a tiny fork in the road, I passed three familiar friends, three old birds that stood in the darkness a mile away. Even though I couldn’t see them, I … Read More

On Seeds

There are seeds in every abandoned house, in the dry rotted floorboards and the mildewy walls, in the moss on the roof where sunlight doesn’t reach. The seeds are in the windowsills, in the clawfoot tub with as many rings … Read More