Hillbillies, Hay Bellies and Hostess Twinkies

Shuckin' Hostess

It was a dream. A nightmare. When I was a kid, I don’t remember seeing any over-sized hillbillies. Hill folk worked hard to squeeze a living from rocky soil. They were rugged, independent, self-sustaining people. Skinny, mostly, but healthy. They … Read More

A Drive Thru Jeff City’s Past

We had a busy day. Missouri Transit delivered my grandkids in time for us to scamper across the bridge to eat breakfast at Tremain’s.  We watched passengers arrive on an Ozark Airlines DC-3, then retraced our route, past the Bridge … Read More

Pony Bob

The arrow smashed into his jaw, knocking out five teeth. He kept riding. It was his second wound, delivered from his pursuers. He had jerked the first arrow out of his shoulder, and kept riding. Now Pony Bob’s mouth had … Read More

Run the Cat Roads

Cat Road

Before there was a lottery, and people had to grab cash the old-fashioned way, Bonnie & Clyde knew about Dearborn, Missouri. Dearborn is popular now because of America’s latest Powerball winner. But until recently, when the equivalent of one half … 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

The Seven Wonders of Shannon County

Judge Pegleg Shannon would have a blast in this neck of the woods, assuming he wasn’t sick of rivers and caves and general exploring. As a pup, this youngest member of Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery had a propensity … Read More

12,000 Poles Down: Bootheel Disaster

Downed Power Lines

Long before The Weather Channel began naming continental storms, this one will be remembered as The Ice Storm of ’09. Its widespread devastation covered Missouri’s Bootheel like a glacier. In the two counties that form the heel of the boot, … Read More

Winter Water

Winter Campfire Coffee

The air was cold, a few degrees above freezing. A north wind tried to aggravate us, but Cora blocked its best gusts. Cora is the island on our port side. We’d survived the toughest part of the trip: launching a … Read More

Foggy Memory

It was a giant, to a kid. The old hotel towered over Route 66 at Highway 63. Atop a glass penthouse that crowned the roof, a green neon pennant glowed through the fog, framed perfectly by my bedroom window as … Read More

Book Club Gives Valentine to Governor’s Mansion

  On this day, next to the ancient fireplace where generations of Missourians warmed their feet, the Tuesday Club’s gift to the old mansion drew every admiring eye. Over many decades, the needlepoint art that stretched across the old wooden … Read More