Back to School

It is August and the countdown has begun. All across Illinois, students are participating in the traditional back-to-school preparations: new clothes, shopping for supplies and returning to the habit of getting up early. In just a few weeks, they will be attending elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and for some, colleges and universities. While […]

Off the Beaten Path

The first thing I noticed when I walked in the door was the table of older folks, one who wore bibbed overalls perusing a newspaper, but not missing a beat in the conversation happening over cups of coffee. They were “regulars” – you could tell by the comfort they had with each other, and with […]

Selling classic cars country style

There’s nothing quite like a classic car; the pungent smell of aged leather or vinyl, the roar of the engine, its solid construction and the way the sun reflects off its mirror-polished chrome, something not seen on cars today. Whether your muse is a sporty and powerful 1970 Corvette LT-1, a collector’s dream 1956 Bentley […]

iPhone Old State Capital

The Smartphone Road Trip

I love road trips. In fact, I travel for a living. For the past two decades, I’ve made a living as a professional writer and photographer, traveling back roads in search of great stories to tell. Planning each trip demands time and effort, so I’m always searching for the latest technology that will make me […]

Making the Past Present

Among the smoke and din of the cannon fire, the rattle of musketry, men in Union blue advance, leaning into the gunfire from the gray-clad men behind the stonewall as if they were walking into a strong wind. As some pitch forward or slump, struck by enemy fire, their comrades step over them, closing ranks. […]

Keeping your family healthy

The foods you eat can make you sick or heal you. They can keep you young or age you. Of the top causes of death and disability in the United States, the majority can be escalated or discouraged by different foods, from cancer to heart disease to diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease. In the United States, […]

Getting down to business

One day I had an idea. “Where did it come from, why is it here?” I wondered. “What do you do with an idea?” The opening sentences of “What Do You Do With An Idea,” a children’s book by Kobi Yamada. Pryor Jordan had an idea. While working at a Jackson County computer repair shop, […]

Storm Soldiers

Linemen are often the first on the scene of a disaster or called out in the middle of the night in the worst of weather. It could be a major outage after a tornado, hurricane or ice storm, or possibly a house fire and electricity needs to be turned off, or a car wreck on […]

Sweet tradition

There is the warm glow of a crackling fire, the smell of evergreen wafting in the air, sparkling lights in a rainbow of colors, along with holiday music and laughter as family reconnects. These are all sights and sounds of the Christmas season. But wait, one thing is missing – the mouth-watering aromas associated with […]

Neapolitan Cookies

I’ve been making these for more than 20 years. They are my son Nick’s favorite cookies and also a family favorite. There are several cookie recipes that I usually make every Christmas but I also try some I haven’t made before. I bake at least a dozen or more different kinds, depending on how much […]