Dumped On: The Messy Truth About Love Canal, NY

October 19, 2012

Dumped On: The Messy Truth About Love Canal, NY

The United States today is a country of two different people, liberals and conservatives. The partisan divide is stark and dramatic.  But at bottom what exactly is it that divides us?  The best definition I’ve heard comes from libertarian essayist P.J. O’Rourke who said, “Conservatives fear the government more than they do the corporations.  Liberals […]

The Creepiest Town in America: Danvers, MA

October 5, 2012

The Creepiest Town in America: Danvers, MA

Sometime around 10:30am on the morning of Saturday, November 12th, 2011, a 24-year-old Danvers, Massachusetts man knocked on his neighbor’s door.  When the neighbor opened the door, the man took the cat he was carrying under his arm and tossed it into the neighbor’s house. Startled, the neighbor asked him why he was doing that.  […]

Greeting the Storm Spirit: Ascending Mt. Washington, NH

September 21, 2012

Greeting the Storm Spirit: Ascending Mt. Washington, NH

Here’s a tip for any would-be hikers out there.  Don’t trust the Internet. The trouble is anyone can post anything they want to on the Internet, and if it meets the criteria of Google’s algorithm it can be driven to the top of the search engine rankings, laying in wait there like a coiled snake, […]

Naked Curiosity: Visiting a Nudist Colony in the Poconos

September 7, 2012

Naked Curiosity: Visiting a Nudist Colony in the Poconos

When I was a boy of about eight I had a sexual awakening.  A friend and I were wandering along a rural road, as little boys were permitted to do in those days, kicking cans, throwing stones and inspecting the debris along the shoulder, when we came upon a pile of discarded magazines.  It was […]

Manhunt: Tracing the Escape Route of John Wilkes Booth

August 24, 2012

Manhunt: Tracing the Escape Route of John Wilkes Booth

Just after 4:00 in the morning of April 15th, 1865 two men appeared on horseback at the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd near present day Waldorf, Maryland.  One man was suffering a broken leg and needed help.  Dr. Mudd helped the injured man into his home, cut away his boot and set the leg.  The […]

First in Flight: Hang Gliding in Kitty Hawk, NC

August 10, 2012

First in Flight: Hang Gliding in Kitty Hawk, NC

Death from spinal fracture was the final verdict for Otto Lilienthal.  Displaying a heady mixture of audacity and ingenuity, Lilienthal, a German engineer, had developed a heavier than air glider, flown it several times, tweaked its design and was working on a way to power it when the accident occurred.  He fell from 49 feet […]

Duke of Hazards: Risking Life and Limb in Pigeon Forge, TN

July 27, 2012

Duke of Hazards: Risking Life and Limb in Pigeon Forge, TN

Sometimes travel can be a bitch.  On my way to Pigeon Forge I got a flat tire, went the wrong way on a one way highway, watched a 16-wheeler overturn in front of me, and witnessed some haz-mat guys spraying down a field that had been ignited by chemicals.  Oh, by the way, I was […]

Went Down to the Crossroads: A Blues Tour of the Delta

July 13, 2012

Went Down to the Crossroads: A Blues Tour of the Delta

Few places in America are as interesting as the Mississippi delta.  Stretching 250 miles from Memphis in the north to Vicksburg in the south, and about 80 miles wide, the delta is a pancake flat alluvial plain bordered by the Mississippi River on the west and the Mississippi hill country on the east.  The majority […]

Facing up to White Nose: Exploring a Cave in Stanton, MO

June 29, 2012

Facing up to White Nose: Exploring a Cave in Stanton, MO

Caves are cool.  Slipping out of a hot, muggy day into the cool environs of a cave is the pre-modern equivalent of air conditioning.  What’s more, caves are a world unto themselves, unique ecosystems akin to tropical reefs or desert floors.  So it’s no wonder human beings have always been fascinated by caves.  But cave […]

Two Presidents, One Day, Sixteen Years: Kansas & Missouri

June 15, 2012

Two Presidents, One Day, Sixteen Years: Kansas & Missouri

The years 1944-1960 saw the greatest expansion of the American economy we may ever know.  They saw the end of Second World War, the dawn of the nuclear age, and the beginning of the Cold War.  They were among the most challenging and rewarding years in US history, and they were navigated adroitly by two […]