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

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

The Candy Bomber

A cold corridor in the Truman Library recreates Berlin’s postwar reality: refugees who didn’t freeze to death had nothing to eat. Enter the Berlin Airlift. A photo captures the spirit of that humanitarian armada: an American plane flies one hundred … 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

The Chicken or the Egg?

At Boynton, Erifnus swerved to miss the town water pump. There’s not enough traffic through Boynton to justify removing the water pump standing smack-dab in the middle of Route N, protected by heavy gauge railings and reflecting signs. It raises … 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

Crossroads

  It was 10:00 p.m. My car, thirsty for petrol, urged me to exit the interstate and find fuel. Just ahead, Kingdom City waited with the tools to fill my tank. And my stomach. Kingdom City isn’t really a city. … 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