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

Head Games

We launched a johnboat from the conservation access point and motored upstream along Big Muddy, upwind, toward a sprawling sand bar a mile away. Our most experienced hand assured us that the river, though deserving of respect and awe, is … Read More

Murder and Rebirth on the Prairie

Highway 13 cuts through a rogue’s gallery of America’s most brazen killers. The most ruthless killer in this area was a government employee: General Philip Sheridan. A Union General during the Civil War, Sheridan led a mostly unsuccessful raid on … Read More

The Sad, Strange Case of the Missouri Waltz

You’ve heard it a thousand times. At Mizzou games. On TV. Radio. The Mizzou band begins the familiar strains of the Missouri Waltz. Then the song morphs into a march that brings the crowd to its feet, inspired, hands clapping. … Read More

A ride they won’t forget

The train was late. That didn’t matter to seven men awaiting its arrival. “I’ve learned to be patient,” said Mason, sitting next to me in his prison issue gray trousers and white T-shirt. Earlier that morning, seven inmates had been … Read More

Souls on sale.

Road trip friends: Amazon is selling Souls Along The Road for lower than it costs the publisher to print it. Order your copy and take an armchair road trip for the price of a bag of peanuts.

Where will America’s new population center be?

Only a few months remain for the little Missouri town with a big name to reign as America’s mean population center. The way a census official described it: if you balanced America’s total population on the head of a pin, … 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

One of the last little hardware stores in America

Under the only neon sign in downtown Weston, Missouri, is the venerable Sebus Hardware. Your parents remember hardware stores, before the advent of corporate chains. The Sebus claim that “if we don’t have it, you don’t need it” may not … Read More