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Robinson’s Ramblings

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…

‘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…

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,…

‘Til We Meet Again

“I met an old buddy of yours,” I told my Uncle Dan. He received the news as I expected he would, since he lies 6 feet beneath the granite marker that bears the name Daniel W. Drake. There was a smile in the air over this corner of Looney…

Six Great Daytrips

Summer break is ticking away. Your big plans got compromised: work deadlines, honey-do projects, ball games. You’re mired in commitments you made six months ago. And back-to-school bells are ringing. If your getaway got away without you,…

Hitchiking In A Hearse

It was lonely on the road. I missed Columbia. When I get home, I promised, I’ll treat myself to a platter of fried oysters at Murry’s, or a gyro at G&D, maybe some chili cheese fries at Mugs Up. I’ll hit a hometown brewery, a…

The Myth Buster

You’ve been the target of a rumor. At some point in your life, you’ve had to dispel a falsehood. Wanton romance … crooked business … nasty habits. It’s happened to us all. And one thing you know for sure: If you let a rumor fester, it…

OPINION: Just Say No

Did you ever have to say "no"? Persistent children … unwanted advances … unsolicited sales calls. Just like you, our lawmakers must say "no" all the time. Look no further than our local champion of the budget. Kudos to Sen. Kurt…

America’s Youngest Diplomats

“We had an amazing trip to the Winter Olympics in Sochi!” Liz Hughes gushed. “Ben wished big and the trip was everything we wanted and more!” There’s more to this travel story — much more. While the world scene played out its politics…

Booning Up On History

I shook my head. How can this happen? Our crew had spent a delightful morning at Powder Valley Nature Conservation Area, filming displays of fauna and flora, all tucked into steep hills and valleys within a chip shot of the crossroads of…