Take a Hike

    I showed up in sneakers and sweats, car keys in a jacket pocket. My friend Linda Payne, who has hiked canyons and mountain trails out West, had on hiking boots and water-repellent pants. In her backpack were granola bars, Kleenex, bug spray, an empty plastic bag for her phone in case of rain, […]

David Brooks Wants Us to Take Our Conversations Deeper

    “You know how emotional and warm Jewish families can be?” David Brooks asked the crowd that packed Washington University’s Graham Chapel. “I came from the other sort of Jewish family.” The sort whose private motto is “Think Jewish, act British.” Parental conditioning took hold early on: a grade-school teacher wrote, “David doesn’t really […]

Where’s Waldo Now?

    Three friends walked into a bar and … saw the fourth dressed in red and white stripes, her red and white striped hat topped with a giant pompom. Waldo! We had all reverted to age twelve and dressed up for Halloween, but Jodi’s costume was the merriest. Except—what was the deal with the […]

Disappointment and Horror

        A friend was expressing frustration with things not being what they pretend to be. He had gone to one of the big comics/cosplay/fandom conventions, where the first floor of the center was supposed to be multiple vendors selling artwork and other high-end collectibles. Instead, it was dominated by a company that […]

Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness

        A recent visitor to a United Methodist Church in a St. Louis suburb came in from the parking lot with confidence but hesitated at the door, as if he did not know how to proceed. (“At Kirkwood UMC, we say ‘all are welcome, all are forgiven, and all are invited to […]

St. Louis’s Native Past Comes Alive

    The St. Louis Anthology opens with a quote: “St. Louis is on indigenous land. This land is the traditional, unceded homelands of the Illini Confederacy: the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Moingwena, Peoria, and Tamaroa tribes; and also the Osage and Miami. Through this land also passed the Cherokee, Delaware, Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, and […]