The best little bar-b-que in Texas

  Before leaving Oklahoma, I spotted a group of Texans circled like a wagon train in the campground. I identified them by their big, white diesels and monster rigs. (And also by their license plates.) One frosty morning, I joined them at their campfire, map in hand. Texas is a big state, and I wanted […]

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Bike race or suicide? You decide.

There’s racing, and then there’s suicide. I began to suspect that the mountain bike race at Tyler State Park just southeast of Dallas was in the suicide category when I returned to my campsite one afternoon to find a young man lying in the road, his bike beside him. Shit, I thought, envisioning blood and broken bones. […]

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Blessed are the poor in spirit…

  I am heading south along the eastern edge of Oklahoma. I have just left my sister’s house after 10 days of basking in the warm pool of family relations. Leaving people I love after extended visits always makes me feel sad and orphaned. My destination for the night is the Ouachita National Forest in […]

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Grandma Gail and the pinto beans

  Beaver’s Bend is a pretty Okalahoma state park in the southeastern corner of the state. In its inimitable way, the Army Corps of Engineers has left its mark on the Mountain Fork River, damming it up and creating the huge Broken Bow Reservoir that submerged the original Hochatown. I am at Beaver’s Bend State […]

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The Bricklayer of Atchison, KS

  William Boular was one unlucky kid. Those very misfortunes, however, as well as his acceptance of them are the reasons every resident in Atchison, Kansas, knows about him. Little Will was born on September 9, 1869. When he was four years old, he contracted meningitis, which left him deaf. Because of this affliction, he […]

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