Carlson

John Carlson: The Good, The Bad And The…

By John Carlson— Some people have infestations of cockroaches, stink bugs or termites. Nancy and I? We have an infestation of slides. You know the kind … those stiff flat picture slides your father shot incessantly when you were a kid, as if he were a paparazzi and you were the subject of his latest photo essay, “Our Boy Blubberpuss.” Can’t say I ever cared for them. I spent way too many Sunday nights fidgeting in our darkened Baptist church,…

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John Carlson: Experiencing Bob Ross

By John Carlson— It seems an unlikely room to have spawned a cultural icon. Partially bordered by heavy curtains, inside there are a couple old television cameras, big hulking ones bearing headsets and lengths of looped electrical cables. There is what can best be described as an industrial-sized easel, a tall ungainly looking thing, steadied below by a large brick. And there are some stacked paintings rendered in a style as comfortingly familiar as fresh apple pie. Oh, and one…


John Carlson: A Bird in the Hand…

By John Carlson— In response to yucky feelings brought about by the coronavirus, earlier this year Nancy and I pondered adopting a back-to-the-land lifestyle promising a tasty Thanksgiving Day payoff. Our plan: Raise our own turkeys. We were very excited about this, which isn’t surprising. After all, while we were never exactly back-to-the-land, mushroom-munching hippies, in 1982 we did subscribe to Mother Earth News for six whole issues. Our plans came to naught, though. With the failure to approve raising…


John Carlson: In the Market For a Stone

By John Carlson— You know how on Sundays many Hoosiers visit car lots, comparison shopping when there aren’t any sales people around to interrupt their looking? Nancy and I recently joined them. We weren’t kicking tires, though. We were kicking headstones. Not that we were actually kicking headstones. Walk around kicking headstones and you’ll need a pair of crutches to hobble back to your car. But we were kicking headstones in a figurative manner, just gathering ideas of what’s available…


John Carlson: Virtual Lesson = Real Food

By John Carlson— Ball State University’s Emens Auditorium has always been great at providing entertainment. But burritos? Not so much. That changed recently, though. Perhaps to remind folks it’s riding out the pandemic’s deleterious effects along with the rest of us, Emens brought “Food Network Star” personality Jyll Everman to Muncie, virtually, for a free on-line cooking class. Nancy and I being a study in contrasts, we were buzzed about this, it being one of the few interests we share….


John Carlson: 2020 Has Been No Treat

By John Carlson— There’s a new boogeyman haunting the streets of Muncie this Halloween, and his name is COVID-19. For kids, this sucks. Looking back on my past Halloweens, I remember them as an unrestrained joy, special days that lasted well into my forties. Not that in my forties I pretended to be a kid. I wasn’t going door-to-door all scrunched down while holding a paper sack and hollering “Trick or treat!” in a pre-pubescent falsetto. Much as I loved…


John Carlson: Flagpole a Memorable Gift

By John Carlson— For our birthdays, my wife and I gave each other a flagpole. A flagpole is one of those gifts a couple gives one another when they have everything they need, plus way too much of what they don’t need. Oh, sure, there are those fantasy gifts you’d love but know you’ll never receive. I suppose for Nancy that’d be a magical time/travel machine that put her in a first-class booking on Viking River Cruises whenever she clicked…


John Carlson: ‘It Was Fun While It Lasted’

By John Carlson— About two years ago, I bought an airplane. About two weeks ago, I sold my airplane. In the intervening years, I did a lot of thinking, mostly about the fact that some people probably shouldn’t own airplanes. On the other hand, if I hadn’t owned my Quicksilver GT400 ultralight, I’d never have understood this important truth. What I have also learned is that, while an owner needn’t be some hotshot certified airframe and powerplant technician to successfully…


John Carlson: Drive-in Takes Some Drivin’

By John Carlson— As a kid I never went to drive-in movies. This was because we were conservative Baptists who believed Hollywood movies were the breeding ground of perverts and sexpots. Our chief fear, though, was that you’d chance going to the drive-in and, just your luck, Jesus would pick right then to return to Earth, leaving you caught in some steamy sin-wagon while drooling over a lusty scene from, say, ”Old Yeller.” Then where would you be, huh? Nevertheless,…


John Carlson: The Workers Get ‘Er Done!

By John Carlson— Watching hard-working men or women go about their jobs never gets old for me. This is a reaction to my own newspaper career, I suppose. In thirty-nine years of journalism, my greatest level of physical exertion came from hitting the “shift” key on my word processor a couple hundred times a day. Well, unless you count my frequent trips to the vending machines for Cheez-Its and Hershey bars. But recently we hired Steve Massie and his guys…