Which Leads Us to the Terrible Beauty of Midwestern Road Rage

“You feel like your life is in the hands of strangers.”

The Terrible Beauty of Road Rage
BY MICHAELLA A. THORNTON | THE NEW TERRITORY ISSUE 02

April 28, 2013: Like many great stories, this tale began in a Wal-Mart parking lot and continued onto Business Highway 67, where James A. Dorris’ pick-up truck swerved in front of Kole Bond’s vehicle. The men were driving in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, the “Gateway to the Ozarks” and the hometown of Designing Women TV series creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.

The town is also referenced in Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner’s snappy duet entitled, “Forty Miles from Poplar Bluff” – Forty miles back in Missouri there’s a different way of life / Where a man thinks of his neighbor and not his neighbor’s wife / Life is far from fancy sometimes mighty rough / But contentment makes it worth it forty miles from Poplar Bluff.

On that late April day in 2013, when Bond was forced to stop his vehicle, Dorris was probably not thinking of his neighborly duties when he pulled a handgun and fired two shots in Bond’s tailgate. Then again, Dorris, his wife, Heather, and their young daughter, were just passing through from South Carolina to Bunker, Missouri, a logging and lead-mine town of 407 souls. Two of those 407 souls now include Heather and the Dorris couple’s ten-year-old daughter, who wait for their husband and father as he serves his time.


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