Stars and Stripes born in the Bootheel

Tucked in gentle rolling hills on the brink of the Bootheel, the Bloomfield Cemetery tells a story. The chapters unfold one-by-one on the white tombstones of Confederate soldiers from around Bloomfield who died during the Civil War. Many are now … Read More

Smokin’

Coasting into Greentop, I would have bypassed the world’s greatest purveyor of smoked meats, without much more than visual contact with the big red building. But Sam Western had stuck his big barbecue smoker in the parking lot of Western’s … Read More

Raising Money for Highways

Breakfast of Champions

State highway departments are running out of money. One potential source of funding borrows from a local government trick that’s been paying big dividends for decades: Naming rights for sports stadiums and bowl games. You know, the Edward D. Jones … Read More

Outlaws need pants.

Just south of Lawson, in the pastoral countryside, a huge factory, built more than 150 years ago, made pants and sweaters. The factory may have sold pants and sweaters to Harry Truman, who sold pants and sweaters when he was … Read More

Downhill

Fort Leonard Wood demonstrates the discipline you’d expect from a school that cranks out military police officers and crime scene investigators – and engineers, adept at road building. It’s fitting, then, that St. Robert sits on the edge of rugged … Read More

Propeller Adoration

Even from a distance, Conception Abbey peeks above the horizon. The giant 120-year-old brick basilica rises from the pastoral landscape. It’s home to 65 Benedictine monks, who comprise nearly a third of the population of Conception, Missouri. Back in 1893, … Read More

Worth the Trip

It’s an oxymoron for sure, that Worth County has the lowest per capita income in the whole state. The lack of economic development assures miles of green rolling farmland, and not much congestion. Where I found them, the people are … Read More

And the first shall be last…

Every day Missourians roll across America’s first stimulus project from the recession recovery act, the new Osage River bridge on Highway 17 near Tuscumbia. Projects like this create a unique problem for me. The dang highway department keeps making new … Read More