‘Jules, This is Brian’

Feature: A Visit to New York City’s 9/11 Museum
A view of the National September 11 Memorial Museum with the north reflecting pool in foreground

The 9/11 Museum’s main exhibit is a by-the-minute walkthrough of the events of the day in question, housed in what was once a sub-basement of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Shortly after beginning it, one encounters the following artifact: the final recorded words of Brian Sweeney. The visitor listens to them by using a telephone mounted on the exhibit’s wall.

One of the ‘Important People’

FEATURE: This is what happens when a reporter tries to make an OBGYN appointment with Eric Holder’s wife
Marilyn Jerome, Sharon Malone

I was told the OBGYN practice where the wives of two prominent Democrats are partners reserves its morning appointments for “important people.” It was an intriguing claim, especially given the fact that Foxhall OB/GYN Associates does not accept Medicaid even as the office is being used as a prop in a Democrat’s congressional campaign.

I decided to investigate. Could I get a morning appointment? Was I one of the “important people”?

Guns, Weed, and Bitcoin: Among the Free Staters at Porcfest

FEATURE: What I saw at the Porcupine Freedom Festival
White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire

LANCASTER, N.H.—There is a specter haunting New Hampshire—the specter of libertarianism—and every year it holds a huge party in the middle of the woods where people carry guns, smoke weed, prepare for the collapse of society, and trade Bitcoin for beer.

Troops to the Tracks

Feature: A day at the speedway with 22 airmen and the drivers who love them
Photo credit: Ellison Barber

At the Dover International Speedway, 22 members of the U.S. Air Force stood in front of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch’s red and black Stewart-Haas Chevy. They were not there to lead the national anthem or carry the flag, but as guests of “Troops to the Track,” a program founded by Patricia Driscoll, of the Armed Forces Foundation, nearly five years ago.

‘The Rise of the West’

Feature: Nevada standoff signifies movement against federal control of public lands
Bundy family supporters / AP

BUNKERVILLE, NEV.—For some, the story of Cliven Bundy and his 20-year fight against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is about one man’s refusal to pay grazing fees on public land he doesn’t own.

For the family, and scores of supporters that have come to his aid in the face of aggressive force used by the federal government, what happened in Bunkerville, Nev. is about the “rise of the West.”

Mallets and Midshipmen

Feature: St. John’s squares off against the Naval Academy in a croquet match for the ages
Navy Midshipmen playing the St. John's Johnnies at the 32nd annual croquet match between the two colleges / CJ Ciaramella

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—On the first hot spring weekend this year, 4,000 people in suits and sundresses watched the croquet teams of St. John’s College and the Naval Academy duel for the “Annapolis Cup” in what is, without a doubt, the greatest collegiate rivalry in the American history of English lawn sports.

Healing the ‘Invisible Wound’

Feature: Veterans Honor Military Suicide Victims on National Mall
Source: Elizabeth Harrington

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dar Place was two feet away when his friend and fellow soldier took his own life during the Gulf War. Two decades later, like so many other veterans, Place is still haunted by the plague of suicide in the military.

The Lawless South

Feature: What happens when governments go broke? Look at Josephine County
Highway Oregon

GRANTS PASS, Ore.—On the evening of Oct. 30, 2013, a car traveling down a highway south of Cave Junction struck and killed Jarred Houston, 21, and Robert Calvin, 41. Four months later, their case remains unsolved.

Freedom Ride

FEATURE: What I Saw at the Chris Kyle Memorial Rodeo
Chris Kyle / AP

Hamilton is a small town many Texans know by heart. It’s an hour west of Waco, two south of Dallas, two east of Abilene, and two and a half north of San Antonio. You can only enter the town center from four points, each bearing six-foot tall signs, shaped like tombstones, that read: “Welcome to Hamilton Pop. 3,095 What a Hometown Should Be.”

I went there to attend the First Annual Chris Kyle Memorial Roping at the Circle T Ranch.

Even in death Kyle continues to save lives.

America’s Greatest Newspaper Crime Blotter

Feature: ‘Creeps,’ ‘lunatics,’ and ‘pit bulls’ comprise Cave Junction’s criminal class
Cave Junction, Ore.

Sitting in the Junction Inn restaurant and lounge, this reporter picked up a copy of the Illinois Valley News to go with his cheeseburger and discovered what is quite possibly the best crime blotter in American journalism.