Election Judging

Probably it was her daughter helping this elder with a metal walker. Slowly they rounded the barricades toward we 16 election judges squirming on hard seats. She didnt want any …

Of Gravel and the River

Stringing ropes across a river on a March day sounded like pleasant work, especially on the Jacks Fork, which may be the most dazzling place in the world. A few …

World’s Greatest Dog Man

They told me I should go to Joplin and talk with O.L. Beckham, a legendary dog trader who wrote extensively about hounds. “He’s the best storyteller in the Ozarks. The best anywhere,” they said.

It took more than a decade for me to act on that tip. Luckily O.L., then in his early 80s, hadn’t slowed down much. He particularly loved reminiscing about his father, the youngest of ten, an Ozark walking preacher and himself father of nine.

While moving the family back north from working a spell in Texas, his family’s wagon got caught behind slow-moving cattle herds. That’s when O.L. was born, on April 12, 1907, in brush alongside the Chisolm Trail in Oklahoma.