How may I help you?

A favorite image of our magnolia tree: Glorious for three days a year, a pain in the ass the other 362. We treasure those three.

More than 30 years as a journalist. More than 20 as an adjunct professor at Washington University.  A second career in communications.

My toolbox is ample.

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Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Inconveniently located in neither Wilson’s Creek, Mo., nor Battlefield, Mo., this national park is still more than worthy of a visit. About 15 miles southwest of Springfield, the park is a natural and historical breath of fresh air on a visit to one of the stalest, ugliest cities in the nation, perhaps the world.

Fought on August 10, 1861, Wilson’s Creek was the second major skirmish of the Civil War and the first major battle fought west of the Mississippi River. A bloody mess, the battle was considered a Southern victory, in large part because of the death on the field of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in action.

You can easily spend a morning or afternoon here, strolling through the museum with more than 5,000 artifacts and a nice visual recreation, then driving the eight-stop self-guided auto tour.

Other than the Gateway Arch, Wilson’s Creek is the closest destination for St. Louisans who want to celebrate the centennial of the National Park System.


Raising an Outdoor Enthusiast in “Terrain”

Brad Kovach, editor of Terrain magazine, gave me another plumb assignment: 1,500 words on raising an outdoor enthusiast, which you can read here. Met some great people from the Ozark Trail Association, Camp Ondessonk, Girls on the Run and Upper Limits.  Thanks for your time and patience.

The common thread in their advice: Share your love of endurance sports and the outdoors with your little ones, and have the good sense to know when to follow their lead. Their message calls to mind the lyrics of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

In case you’re unfamiliar, take a listen.

Ten years of Musials in the books

Best night on the St. Louis sports calendar. Too many highlights: Arnold Palmer honoring Stan Musial, Stuart Scott’s daughters honoring Ernie Johnson, Brett Hull honoring the selfless gesture of a young Winnipeg Jets fan to a girl fighting cancer.

This stuff’s been celebrated for a decade here, and I covered the event annually for the Post-Dispatch. The event’s organizers, the St. Louis Sports Commission, asked me to write a reflection. It’s reprinted below. 

My fondest wish: The event gains the national and international audience it deserves.

The Musial Awards havi6XFq6lLe done a lot of growing up over the last 10 years or so, to the point that the trappings of this evening are hardly recognizable to those of the first edition in St. Louis, back in 2005.

The venue has changed: from the hotel previously known as the Renaissance Grand, to the Khorassan Room of the Chase, to the headquarters of Edward Jones, to the Peabody Opera House.

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