A Toast to the World’s Hottest Museum

A witling would say it’s a description of Hell: 4,000 toasters, no bread. But hey, if Richard Larrison ever used all his toasters at once, it might create Hell, or havoc, or at least a lot of heat, pulling enough … Read More

I broke in…

Lewis Café doesn’t look like much from the outside. It sits on Main Street in downtown St. Clair under an old 1930s-looking awning in an old 1930s-looking beige brick building. But in the restaurant world, the homely facade means there’s … Read More

Bothwellian

Detouring to the top of a high cliff, I stopped to see an old friend. On a clear day, she’s hard to miss, built on the edge of this bluff and sticking out of a forest canopy like a Bavarian … Read More

The fountains of Sundance Square

On a recent trip through Texas, we stopped in Ft. Worth to eat at Joe T. Garcia’s, world’s greatest Mexican restaurant. We greeted the cowboys in the paintings by Remington and Russell. And we played in the fountains in a … Read More

Rite of Passage

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

Gustav Spills His Guts

Just outside Windsor, Gustav’s guts started spilling. Gustav had slammed into Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, and plowed north through Arkansas into southern Missouri. By the time it reached Sedalia, the storm had devolved into an extratropical depression, which … Read More

The Road By Gads Hill

Boarding a railroad car at Gads Hill, Missouri, Frank James quoted Shakespeare, announcing to startled passengers his gang’s intent to rob them. Just the rich, mind you. Not the working poor, with calloused hands. No women. No children. The Bard … Read More

Finding Grubville

We—my car and I—drove through Frumet, over Flucom Creek, past Tanglefoot and Melzo, Horine and Old Ditch. We crossed Skullbone Creek, and passed the ghosts of Moontown School, Mothershead School and the old Saint Joseph Hill Infirmary for Aged and … Read More