My Life as a Mississippi River Rat

A Half Century Spent On, In, and Around Our Most All-American Body of Water

Schneider on the Mississippi

The first time I saw the Mississippi River was almost certainly from a bridge, when I was a child, looking through the backseat window of a Volkswagen bus. It was the 1960s, and we were on one of our semi-regular trips across America from New England to visit cousins, monuments, and roadside rest areas. The bridge would have begun in Wisconsin, where my father was born, or ended in Missouri, where my mother’s people are from. My father, most likely, was behind the wheel, and my mother, most likely, was …

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