Jaybird On Schools

When you put your thoughts and words out there on a regular basis, folks come to expect an opinion on everything that comes up. While I generally have strong ideas on a lot of subjects, sometimes I’m torn. The hard issues are hard for everybody and I’m no exception.

And since I’ve been pretty vocal about schools on multiple occasions, I’m repeatedly asked about the latest controversy.

Continue Reading →

100 Beaches in a Bowl

Someday, in I hope the far distant future, somebody will throw out the glass bowl that currently sits on a shelf in our bathroom. While it means the world to me, both literally and figuratively, it will sadly be near worthless to anybody else after we’re gone. Though I won’t be surprised if they dump it and keep the bowl.

It’s filled with sand and seashells mostly, with a few tiny coral pieces mixed in, and a generous sprinkling of colorful sea glass. They’re the treasures of maybe a hundred perfect days with my family, on some beach or another.

Continue Reading →

Our Updated Tenderloin Map

One of the things (the many things) I failed to consider when I registered our “St. Joseph, Missouri – Tenderloin Capital of the World®” trademark, was having to create and maintain the map of locations. If you’re going to make such an audacious claim, you better help people find the darn things, when they come check it out.

Continue Reading →


I’m the dummy that spent good money trademarking the phrase, “St. Joseph, Missouri – Tenderloin Capital of the World!” Admittedly, a blatant, tourism come-on, I mainly did it because nobody else was.

Like so many of my brainstorms, I didn’t know what I was getting into.

Continue Reading →

Playing With Dolls

Somewhere around ten or twelve, it became my job to put up my grandmother’s Christmas trees. She had three. One in each of her second story picture windows, and a third, downstairs in her beauty salon on St. Joe Avenue.
There was a big, fake one, a smaller fake one, and the fakiest of all, the aluminum with the colored light wheel. She rotated them around from year to year.
But one constant was her Character Dolls. One of her customers made them. Fairy tale icons mostly. Robin Hood’s in there. So is Bo Peep. And the Jolly Green Giant for some reason.

Continue Reading →

Talking S*** About Sewers

I value my sewer connection. Let me be clear on that!
I think sanitation is what separates us from the lesser beasts. (Though some are certainly separated further than others.)
But modern sanitation ain’t a walk in the park.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back to those halcyon days, when you could just dump your waste in the river? Arrogantly thumbing our noses at anybody downstream, and blessedly ignorant of anybody above.
But these days, we handle our s*** differently.

Continue Reading →

Let’s Dance!

We used to dance. Most people did.
Dancing cut across all divisions and divides. Young, old. North, south. Regardless of color or station. Rich folks danced in palaces, built for the purpose. Po’ folks danced when they had nothing else.
But, one of the things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime, is the slow demise of dancing.

Continue Reading →