Opinion

Mr. Naughton’s Opus

My senior year of high school began thirty years ago this month. A lifetime ago really. Back in 1989, I thought I would become a music teacher like my band director/role model Mr. Craig Buck. However, as John Lennon sang in “Beautiful Boy” (a song featured years later in “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, a film about

[ Read More ]

Did I do Enough?

Over the next few weeks, millions of young adults like my son Alex will leave their parents’ homes and head off to college. Perhaps you have a son or daughter who will be leaving the nest soon, too. If so, please know that you are not alone. I understand all-too-well what you’re feeling right now.

[ Read More ]

I Mustache You a Question

When I was a seventh grader at Hannibal Junior High School, no one would have confused me with one of the “cool” kids. I didn’t have a girlfriend, I wasn’t a jock, and I was one of the last teenagers in the entire building to reach a height of five feet tall. Far from the

[ Read More ]

Love is a swift kick in the groin

As my mother valiantly battled stage-four lung cancer, she half-jokingly told her doctors that she was the healthiest sick person they’d ever met. She wasn’t wrong. Other than the aggressive cancer that had spread from her lung to her brain, Mom had rarely, if ever, been ill. With the exception of a broken nose sustained

[ Read More ]

The Bell Jar/Glass Ceiling

The events described in Sylvia Plath’s literary masterpiece “The Bell Jar” take place in the early 1950s, a period contemporary Americans often refer to as “The Good Ol’ Days.” This era is undoubtedly what folks are referring to when they say they want to “Make America Great Again.” In the 1950s, segregation was the law

[ Read More ]

Too Good to Pass Up

If your friends try to convince you that driving twelve hours from mid-Missouri to Colorado to attend a concert is a bad idea, then you need new friends. Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, is a one-of-a-kind, open-air music venue framed by a pair of three hundred-foot tall sandstone formations called Ship Rock and Creation

[ Read More ]

Summer Welcome at Ol’ Mizzou

Last weekend, Bethany and I accompanied our oldest child Alex to Mizzou’s “Summer Welcome” program, an orientation for incoming freshmen and their families. At various times throughout the two-day event, I was transported back in time to the early 1990s, when I was an undergrad at the University of Missouri. After strolling down memory lane

[ Read More ]

Things Could Always Be Worse

Water and I have always had something of a love-hate relationship. For example, I love floating on crystal-clear Missouri streams and fishing in muddy farm ponds. I love watching and listening to ocean waves as they crash on the beach. I am also quite fond of taking long, hot showers and soaking in a jacuzzi

[ Read More ]

Mis Amigos al Sur

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is situated at the southernmost point of the Baja peninsula at a place where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet. It is a breathtakingly beautiful, oceanside oasis on the edge of a vast and unforgiving desert. It is, in many ways, the polar opposite of mid-Missouri, but thanks

[ Read More ]

What are you waiting for?

When I was a 20-year-old college student, my dad invited me to join him and my grandmother for a Cardinals-Cubs day game. Grandma has always been a Cards fan, but ever since Superstation WGN was added to her cable lineup, she has been a fan of the Chicago Cubs, too. I didn’t think that was

[ Read More ]