AS RAIL PROFITS SOAR, BLOCKED CROSSINGS FORCE KIDS TO CRAWL UNDER TRAINS TO GET TO SCHOOL
ProPublica, April 2023
Jeremiah Johnson couldn’t convince his mother to let him wear a suit, so he insisted on wearing his striped tie and matching pocket square. It was picture day and the third grader wanted to get to school on time. But as he and his mom walked from their Hammond, Indiana, home on a cold, rainy fall morning, they confronted an obstacle they’d come to dread:
A sprawling train, parked in their path.
THE TRUE DANGERS OF LONG TRAINS
ProPublica, April 2023
Just before 5 a.m., Harry Shaffer’s wife called to him from across the living room, where he’d fallen asleep on the couch, exhausted from installing an above-ground pool. Did he hear that sound, that metallic screeching from up the valley? She opened the door of their double-wide trailer and walked outside as Shaffer closed his eyes.
THE ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE AMERICANS ACTUALLY TRUST ON CLIMATE SCIENCE
The Atlantic, February 2022
The weatherman’s striped tie is still snug on his neck as he starts an evening bath for his three kids, one of whom bolts naked from the bathroom and does a lap around the kitchen before running back, feet slapping on the hardwood floor. “Okay,” Shel Winkley says, walking into the kitchen where his wife is loading the dishwasher. “I love you,” he tells her, and then he walks outside to his gray Prius, gets in, and drives to the TV station. Dinner’s over. Back to work.
WHY DRONES ARE THE FUTURE OF OUTDOOR SEARCH AND RESCUE
Outside Magazine, September 2021
Hi,” Barbara Garrett said, phone to her ear. “I’m with a partner, and we’re up in the mountains and have no way down.”
“OK,” the 911 operator said.
“I don’t know. We thought we were on a trail, but we’re way up high and—I don’t know. We’ve been climbing and climbing and climbing, and I can’t even find a trail to go down.”
INTO THE MYSTICAL AND INEXPLICABLE WORLD OF DOWSING
Outside Magazine, April 2021
Leroy Bull was a boy who felt things other children did not. He sensed that there was something right on the edge of his reality, in rural Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where he grew up in the 1940s and ’50s. Sometimes it sent him messages, although at the time he did not know them as such. What he knew was that in school his eye was drawn out the window and into the woods, where his world hushed.
AS THE PANDEMIC SURGED, MY DAD SOUGHT BUCKSHOT TO ABATE HIS FEARS
For Virginia Quarterly Review but was killed, May 2020
A story I grew up with: When my dad was a boy, he shot a bird with a BB gun. Blew its head right off; blood all over the snow. He broke the Daisy over his leg and today reviles guns. My dad loves animals and is known to cry when hitting them in a car, and on most issues he is as liberal as the summer sun is long, often aggressively so. Once he told a devout man the Bible is the comic book of life. But in mid March, just as this thing was becoming real in the U.S.A., I got a text from him: “Is your shotgun a 12 gauge?”
Virginia Quarterly Review, March 2020
These events, you should know, were foretold. Yes, the world burned before. There is no record written of it, just a story, older likely than Christ and passed through time from mouth to ear as a warning. Before the Spanish, before the Inca, before even the Wari there lived in the Andes the Aya. The Aya disrespected their mother earth. Wisemen warned them. But as the Earth warmed, they marched from vast grassy plains to cool mountain caves and stone homes along shady rivers, and they continued to disregard nature, law, community. They continued as a second sun rose alongside the one then a third alongside those two, their fate now bright and hot and horrible.
CARTOONISH, IMPRACTICAL, DUMB: THE CONTROVERSIAL ASCENT OF SNOWBLADING
VICE Magazine, March 2020
“It’s not as sexy. I mean, look at the people on snowblades. They look like dorks. There wasn’t anything to emulate there,” said Mark Puleio, a 48-year-old international mountain guide and a friend of mine. He grew up skiing in the 70s and 80s at Blue Hill in Massachusetts on skis thinner than his wrists and taller than his head. When snowblading surged at ski resorts in the 90s, he thought it was a joke. “They were perceived as fucking stupid. How could you be caught dead on those? They were just so anti-skiing,” he explained. “But we were elitist back then. It was just a much dirtier world, too. That was at the same time that people would make off comments all the time about Rollerbladers. I think [snowblades] have always been perceived as something to be made fun of… Here in the Alps,” where Puleio lives with his family, “the smaller your backpack is, the larger your penis is. But back in the day, the bigger your skis, the bigger your penis.”
CATS AND CHAOS: HOW A TOWN CLERK ALLEGEDLY STOLE $1M PLUS FROM COVENTRY
Vermont Digger, July 2017
Scott Morley climbed a set of fire escape steps to the second story of the Coventry Community Center, slid through a window and dropped to the floor.
The scene was worse than he expected. Cat feces caked the carpeting. Cat hair hung in clumps on bookshelves and swivel chairs. Ammonia burned Morley’s eyes as two feral cats burst across the hall and raced into another room.