Teachers with Guns — I learned how to fire a 9mm Glock on this assignment. I might have fired a machine gun, too. In my first foray into long-form journalism, I fused literary techniques with in-depth reporting to look at the issue of educators protecting their schools with concealed weapons. Teachers like “Daisy” undergo an intense week-long training session with ex-military instructors in the Ozarks. They are criticized for wanting guns in schools, but they just want to be understood. And they’re quick to remind you about the tragedy at Sandy Hook. (Here’s the web version.)
At Home with the Earth — The story of a most extraordinary life, death and burial at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a commune in rural northern Missouri.
Behind the Music — Let’s go dig for some records (and a bunch of weird stuff) with Ryan Graveface, founder of Savannah’s Graveface Records and a host of other ventures he dreams up to keep himself busy.
Go, Speed Racer — Hop inside a stripped-down Mazda Miata and zip around the track at 100 m.p.h. with Savannah’s own Michael Carter, who beats up on drivers twice his age, and who’s just old enough to have his driver’s license.
Warbird Wrangler — In Holden, Missouri, Robert Baslee builds full-scale, flyable replicas of World War I fighter planes. He’s dominated a niche market with his airplanes, and his Fokkers and Nieuports have been featured in Hollywood films like Flyboys. I got the chance to profile Baslee, who built his first airplane as a teenager and who earned his pilot’s license before his driver’s license.
Salt Creek Cemetery’s Double Grave — Two Confederate guerrillas share a grave in an old church cemetery near New Franklin, Missouri. Union troops thought one of them was Bloody Bill Anderson. It was a dangerous time to be boy in Mid-Missouri.