The Genius of Clemson

Samuel Longhorn Clemson said it: “Our long national championship is over.” Well, it was a football fan, mistaking the ghost of Mark Twain, and replacing his real name with a footballized name, lamenting mighty Clemson’s defeat, and misquoting our most … Read More

A Tsunami with Joplin Winds

Scary spectre: “Stronger than Wilma, Katrina, Rita, Andrew. And it could become the strongest hurricane ever on the planet to make landfall when it hits tonight somewhere south of Puerto Vallarta.” Near its path, half a million people live or … Read More

Born in the Shadow

The Earth cast a shadow across its moon the night my daughter’s boy was born. The shadow moon glowed red like a fox bathed in dusk. Children know the moon has a face, the face of a man who, during … Read More

63

Went ashore. Jumped on a ’63 Schwinn Continental and rode toward the sunset, at turns laughing or lamenting my first 63 years…came back with a bucket list for my next 63, if nothing goes awry…

It Was a Good Weekend

After speaking to the Missouri Press Association Convention last month, I let my hair down at Columbia’s Roots & Blues festival, before hopping in Erifnus, my car, for a whirlwind trip to Kansas City. There, our film crew won an … Read More

O Danny Boy…

Daniel ODwyer

Daniel O’Dwyer would approve of new Pope Francis, I suspect. I have no way of knowing for sure, since Daniel O’Dwyer, my great grandfather, died eleven popes ago, shortly after the long reign of Pope Pius IX. Pius excommunicated Daniel … Read More

I Can’t Get These Names to Stick

Graveyard for Naughty English Teachers

Some roads evoke emotion, like the Trail of Tears through Belleview, Boss and Bixby. And some roads evoke wonder, like the Scenic Byway along Crowley’s Ridge. Traveling every Missouri road, I gave some personal nicknames to a few pathways. Winding … Read More

My Favorite Road

Water Tower, Radio Tower, Tower of Power

One of the most legendary highways on Earth unfolds over 300 Missouri miles, and bears a name that’s the highest tribute ever bestowed a route: the Mother Road. But it’s a mother with multiple personalities. Before it bore children west, … Read More

Missouri Life and Death

King of the Road

The King of the Road series went dormant after a nice five-year run, and Erifnus and I rode into the sunset. But lately, I happily agreed to start writing features for the magazine from time to time…just took an assignment … Read More

Along This Endless Road

Man of Many Miles

Along this endless road, a few reporters traveled with me. It was an honor to have Jim McCarty of Rural Missouri Magazine riding shotgun for an afternoon. And Erifnus — that’s my car — tolerated him even though he wrote … Read More