From the rubble

Joplin is history. Brothels and Bonnie and Clyde. Critical race theory through the eyes of Langston Hughes. The stubborn nonconformity of Thomas Hart Benton. Dennis Weaver’s gait and Bob Cummings’ airplane car. Oh, and The Mick, before there was a … Read More

Mystery Among Trash

Pumping water out of the ground at 26 gallons a minute, Palm Springs, California, is an oasis in the American desert. And the desert surrounds this oasis like an ocean surrounds a life raft. I hiked out into the desert, … Read More

Murder Mystery

Pumping water out of the ground at 26 gallons a minute, Palm Springs, California, is an oasis in the American desert. And the desert surrounds this oasis like an ocean surrounds a life raft. I hiked out into the desert, … Read More

Canyons of the mind

The sign startled me, on this bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge. The river cuts a deep canyon through the high plain, and attracts many visitors, mostly sightseers, a few on a mission. We watched a family release balloons to … Read More

Surprise, Missouri

As I paddled down the Eleven Point River, I knew that within the better part of a county in every direction, I was a population of one. This is the Irish Wilderness. Along the river there used to be a … 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

English Teacher Hell.

Graveyard for Naughty English Teachers

Imagine any English teacher buried there, eternally damned to lie under a misspelled word. Then again, maybe the sign was painted by one of her students, in which case she shares some of the blame.

The Source

Hidden Waters Nature Park, the headwaters of the Niangua River. Headwaters are sacred, and townspeople have preserved this spot where the Niangua breaks into daylight. The water rushes from its spring and splits the park in half, cascading downhill at … Read More

Joining Lewis and Clark

“Hands!” the sergeant barked at me. “Let me see your hands!” I stuck out my palms, and the sergeant inspected them for calluses. Seeing none, he dismissed me with a grunt. “Yer too green to make the crew. You’d never … Read More