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Month: September 2017

What my students must do

Think about these questions a minute. They all have to do with American History. What most Americans know about history is built on myth, rumor, and hearsay. Most Americans don’t know much about their history. This is not just a failure of American education but also of national will. Granted,…

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Ten years and a grown man

The bed is overbuilt, a structure of dimension lumber and carriage bolts. It has a sturdy set of steps up to the top bunk. Two standard twin-sized mattresses are about eight inches shorter than the plywood they sit on. It’s painted yellow, with pictures of cacti and horses. Words, stickers,…

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What makes me a Missourian?

Unless you’re in love with Midwestern landscapes, as I am, once you’ve taken the interstate from Kansas City to St. Louis, you never need drive it again. After the first time, the familiar rolling hills and deep river valleys come at predictable points. The little creeks flow under the highway…

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Vonnegut and Wallace: Reading obsessions

Let me tell you about going through phases. Just a couple of weeks ago, I spoke in some detail about obsessions that descended on me over the years. Hobbies, some might call them, intrigue me, consume me, and, finally, leave me, often just as quickly as they ramped up. I…

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Innocence and frivolity

All the fun and games started at 43rd and Warwick. The two-bedroom apartment housed three of us—me, a college friend of mine, and former submariner and hopeful radio personality who was into vitamin supplements and Scientology. My roommates took the bedrooms and I made a room of the solarium—a windowed…

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