Snakes? Shamrocks? Patrick’s Real Story Is Better

Researching for a novel about my Irish priest great grandfather, I’ve come face-to-face with the real St. Patrick. Two tales make him less caricature, more saintly. Every Irish child knows the first story: Patrick ascended Clough Patrick (the Irish Mount … Read More

Turquoise, Green Chiles and the U.S. Treasury

Gallup, New Mexico. Stopped at Jerry’s Cafe for the chiles, specifically New Mexico hatch chiles rellenos. We slid into a cozy two-top booth across the aisle from a spittin’ image for Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin. No shit. Doppelganger. I didn’t … Read More

121 Years Ago Today

Sunday evening, February 5, 1911. Unusually warm. A thunderstorm approached the state capitol from the west and lightning struck the dome around suppertime. Among the dozens of eyewitness reports and photographs is this one, courtesy Cole County Historical Society. The … 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

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

Signs of global warming

Quaint. Nostalgic. These painted ladies sat like Loreleis beckoning heroic Pontiacs and Mustang stallions to gorge on their drug of choice, their deadly tailpipes weaving a sweater around Mother Earth.

“Don’t go in there,” she said.

But he didn’t listen. And now he hangs forever behind the door. And on nights when the moon is full his fingers twitch in a vain effort to flip the bird while all his friends frolic without him on the … Read More