In this issue of conflict and travel, Derek Dyson sends us a letter from Ferguson, Missouri; John Alley and Steve Gerkin celebrate war heroes; and Richard Higgs explains how a military academy became a school for country music.
LETTER FROM FERGUSON: Derek Dyson went to Ferguson, forged a press pass, and planted himself within the riots that followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown.
HONKY-TONK UNIVERSITY: Following the anti-war protests of the 1960s, the Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore found itself combating dwindling enrollment rates. Richard Higgs explains how the school for soldiers became the Hank Thompson School of Country Music.
PUSHING THE SKY: Steve Gerkin traces the upward trajectory of Robbie Risner from ornery Ozarks schoolboy to US Air Force brigadier general.
OKLAHOMANS IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR: In an archival account riddled with curiosities and contradictions, John Alley reflects on war, politics, and his Okie comrades.
BEAN THERE, DONE THAT: What happens when Mark Brown gets so obsessed with vanilla that he tries to smuggle a bottle of the good stuff into Oklahoma?
THE FRENCH HORN AND THE FIRE ESCAPE: A poem written while listening to the Andrew Hill Quintet by Bill Turley.
ORIGINAL OKIE: Irena Kendrick, owner of Joey’s Pizzeria in OKC, broke her only rule just one time.