Betsy grew up on the corner of Grand Street and Pickwick Avenue, in the Rountree Neighborhood: an eclectic, century-old, sidewalked, tree-canopied, university area in Springfield, Missouri. She lived there through college, until we were married in 1986. After a few years away, we ended up settling back in Rountree about 20 years ago. We befriended … Continue reading ROUNTREE HOME



I was at the gym early one morning, before heading to teach classes at the evangelical university where I was a tenured professor. There were some young guys grouped around the weight machines fretting aloud about meeting their “witnessing quotas” for the week. Apparently they attended some local bible school or seminary that was even … Continue reading THE WEIGHT


Sixty-two years ago yesterday, ten-year-old Johnny Wilkinson rode his bike from 951 S. Weller Avenue, in Springfield, Missouri’s Rountree Neighborhood, to the Shrine Mosque auditorium downtown, where Elvis Presley was set to perform that night. Elvis was only 21 and had just started to top the charts and make television appearances, but his popularity hadn’t … Continue reading GRACE LAND