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Run a high altitude 100-mile race

Haley Schwarz says the hardest part of running a 100-mile ultra-marathon race is the mental challenge. “I can push my body to the max for a 4-hour marathon, but for long-distance running it’s more about the stamina,” she said. “I’m…

Survive a Plane Crash

A lot went wrong for John Abbott on June 19, 2016. But a lot went right, too. He and his father-in-law were sightseeing in a 1942 Texan T-6 airplane, flying above a farm on the Osage River near Henley, Missouri, when the plane’s engines…

Drive a Bigfoot Truck

Gene Patterson of Jefferson City knows what it’s like to roll with the big ones. When he gets behind the wheel of a 12,000-pound, 10-foot tall, 1,000-horsepower truck, “It’s all about freedom,” he said. Bigfoot trucks sit on tires that are…

Drive in a demolition derby

Leslie Bradshaw-Dingell comes from a family of racers, so it’s no wonder she drove in her first powder puff derby at the age of 15 and went on to build her first car soon afterward. It was a Ford Torino and she won first place. “I never…

Music Makers

Mike Dulak has been building mandolins for 22 years. Having spent decades playing in honky-tonks and clubs, he is a seasoned and grizzled musician with the chops to hang with any band you could put him with. Folks in Columbia might…

Philanthropic Spirit

The true wealth of Columbia is found in its philanthropic spirit. It seems that in every moment, someone in Columbia is in fact working to make the world a better place. From escorting our veterans to see war memorials in Washington, D.C.,…

Words and Silence

Columbia’s William (Bill) Claassen encapsulates a unique paradox of silence and volume. He speaks gently of yoga, meditation, monastic retreats and the therapeutic benefits of movement and dance. “I prefer silence,” says Claassen. Yet,…

The Art of Truth

When studying the rich tapestry of Columbia’s writing community, Steve Weinberg is a repeating pattern. His threads are integral, colorful and diverse. With over four decades of journalism experience, Weinberg has created a solid foundation…

The Science of Exploring

“Only about 30 percent of our students go to state parks with their family even though Rock Bridge State Park is right here in town,” declared Columbia Public Schools’ (CPS) K-12 Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski. “We don’t want outside…

“The Call of Chaos”

Columbia is filled with many residents who have an idea for a book. What makes Columbia unique is the percentage of people who invest in their idea all the way through to publication. Sean Frazier is a new addition to that ever-growing…

Two Years of the Wild Skies

Photos by Paul Jackson My first introduction to drone technology was in a park in China. I watched a four-bladed helicopter sitting completely still in the air as its operator placed the remote on the ground. Having flown a number of RC…

Renaissance Man

Photos by L.G. Patterson Do you live to work or work to live? I asked Drew Lemberger of Rocheport what motivates him to own and operate a handful of small businesses while shouldering the challenges of growing one of the state’s largest…

Growing Pains

Alex George is a busy man. Author, attorney, husband and father, George is also the director and founder of Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival. As the festival approaches, it promises to be a stellar second-year event…

This Is My Story

Dr. Peter Stiepleman has been the Columbia Public Schools superintendent since 2014. Peter is the second generation Stiepleman in the United States. He says that sharing the story of his family often helps him connect with others.…

Time Traveler

photo courtesy of L.G. Patterson Debbie Furnell gets hired to dig — not into dirt but into the past. Her clients might ask her to squint through the glow of a microfilm reader, scanning records for a great-grandfather’s name. Or,…
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