Crewless from Seattle

You don’t see this every day, not on a Midwest neighborhood side street. Riding my bicycle home from the MKT Trail, I cut through one of Columbia’s stately old neighborhoods, a sweet spot tucked behind Garth and Rollins streets, populated…

The Bridge

I was running late. Hannibal was still an hour away. So I took a short cut. My car was making good time on the back roads, slicing down straightaways that squeezed between flat soybean fields, where traffic is sparse. The phone lines…

Cutting Edge

They do it at Disneyworld. They do it in Colorado. And now you can do it in Columbia. While world-class talent entertains you from two stages at this year’s Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival, you’ll be wearing the latest digital fashion.…

In Defense of Clouds

The entire planet is coming to your backyard this month. If you believe the hype, our highways will be jammed, restaurants overflowing. Latecomers to Columbia’s total eclipse will find no room in the inn. Better stock up on snacks. Sun…

Lawrence Burning

Missourians can’t help it. They keep tearing Lawrence down. Apologies to the good people of Lawrence, Kansas — both of them — but there’s bad blood between them and us. You know most of the story: The Civil War really began along the border…

Up a Creek

She had no idea she was in over her head. It started fun, a weekend float trip on a spring-fed Ozark stream. Her classmates didn’t have to persuade her. She was ready for the adventure with her friends. Mom worried. But Lindsay reassured…

CoMo’s Monument to Pets

Queenie was pissed. She’d just overheard that the American Dog Museum is leaving Missouri, moving from St. Louis back to Manhattan. It was a blow to Queenie’s psyche. That’s what I believe she thinks. But who knows? We’d just given her a…

Columbia’s Best Man

Columbia loves a winner. Our pride soars when we watch our hometown heroes. NASCAR backflippers. Hollywood Hamms. Gridiron greats. This town has cranked out bold thinkers and bestsellers, cool actors, business titans, and science…

Big Bucks for Columbia

Photo by L.G. Patterson “I don’t believe you.” The legislator glared over his bifocals as I testified. “I can prove it,” I answered, unfazed. “For every dollar you put in our budget, we’ll generate $60 for Missouri’s economy.” The…

‘Tis the Silly Season

She’s an absolute knockout, the goddess perched atop the Missouri State Capitol dome. She’s been there for a hundred years. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, has watched over us through droughts and pestilence, fires and floods. But…

It Reads Like a Script

photo courtesy of Andree Martis Think “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” But this story is real. “We were planning our first real vacation in several years,” Gina Overshiner recounts. Her family considered a cruise or Disney World. Her…

Of Poppies & Pantries

Driving toward Columbia, I passed a unique food truck: Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry, the truck’s logo said, operated by the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri. I gave a thumbs up to the driver — my show of support for an…

Ukulele Ike

Next time you sit down with the kids to watch Disney’s “Pinocchio,” listen to the cricket. He was born in your backyard. When that loveable bug sings, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the voice of Jiminy Cricket is that of a Missourian named…

Right Under Your Nose

"I’ve never been to that museum on campus.” “Which one?” “That one with the famous paintings.” I knew the one my daughter meant, and I offered an excuse: “The man who lives at the base of the mountain is the last to climb it.” It’s…

Damsel In Distress

My neighbor Erin was concerned. The morning sun was barely peeking over the trees when she knocked on my sunroom door to enlist my help. I put down my book — the ancient tale of Don Quixote tilting at windmills and saving damsels in…

Roots N Blues

Mark Twain would love Jimmy Carter, I suspect. Not long ago, under a canopy of stars in downtown Columbia, Carter left the safety of the stage and snaked through the crowd, dancing and clapping and shouting a gospel riff so infectious that…

Pathways To Power

Remember when Columbia’s trails were exclusively for exercise? Not any more. Today’s trails are hi-speed conduits to commerce and social networking. The routes remain the same — albeit a few more than a decade ago — and the surroundings are…

Right On Cue

The late, great Sutton's. L.G. PATTERSON You gotta be kidding! You might get away with boldly declaring your favorite pizza parlor or Tex-Mex Margaritaville. But barbecue is religion. And when people try to crown the king of…

The Man Behind The News

You know what they say about opinions. Imagine riding herd with 280 businesses who publish their opinions every week. These publishers — and their editors, reporters and photographers — form the Missouri Press Association. For nearly 150…

The Bel Airs Have Fans Everywhere!

Fair winds ushered Cheryl and me into Cruz Bay, our favorite port. We stepped off our sloop onto St. John, the diamond in the American cluster of jewels called the Virgin Islands. It was our last port of call before we returned to Columbia,…