Opinion

Serendipity in September

I have always suspected that my wife Bethany and her sister Charla are identical, rather than fraternal twins. Until last weekend, I had no scientific basis on which to make this determination, but a fair amount of anecdotal evidence did support my hypothesis. For starters, the girls look very similar to one another. Even their

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It’s Really Not About Me

If you are a regular reader of my weekly missives, you have probably come to the conclusion that Travis Naughton likes writing about Travis Naughton. I won’t deny it. It’s completely true of course.  As a writer and a philosopher, I am guided by two edicts: “Write what you know,” (attributed to the world-famous author

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Life is a Blur

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur for yours truly, (and not just because I’ve been taking prescription painkillers). You may recall reading in last week’s column that I was recently named the interim music teacher at Southern Boone County Primary School. Someone else had been hired to replace the

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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