Carlson

John Carlson: Rollin’ Down The River

By: John Carlson— There’s something special about rivers. Anybody who’s ever stood on a bank of the mighty Mississippi, or even driven across it on a bridge, knows this. The same magic, albeit on a smaller scale, holds true for lesser rivers, our very own White River among them. That people hereabouts take a proprietary interest in our stretch of the river is proven by the number of folks who volunteer whenever a clean-up day is scheduled. Then there are…

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John Carlson: Deep In A Fair-Food Funk

By: John Carlson— This summer’s unprecedented cancellation of the Delaware County Fair and the Indiana State Fair has come as a blow to many, including those of us who, not having grown up within sniffing distance of a farm, know little of the rural life’s magic. Oh sure, we have an inkling of what we’re missing. Herds of chickens, serenely ambling in from the fields at dusk. The joyous mooing of cows, frolicking in the mud after being sheared. The plaintive…


John Carlson: To Cluck or Not to Cluck

By: John Carlson— My wife wants chickens. I want chickens, too. It’s just that I want the kind of chickens named Original Recipe that Colonel Sanders packs into those red-and-white tubs with the initials “KFC” printed on the side of them. Nancy wants hers in a coop out back. Anyway, I have long been staunchly supportive of her desire to raise chickens within Muncie’s city limits. But that was only because I never dreamed we’d ever actually be allowed to…


John Carlson: The Stuff of Nature…

By: John Carlson— Gazing out a window into our side yard the other day, Nancy said something I’d never heard her say in thirty-eight years of marriage. “I just saw a duck walk by.” Having been rousted from my easy chair by this startling announcement, I looked, too. Sure enough, there among the chunks of stale wheat bread Nancy had pitched out on our lawn, Mrs. Mallard was casually waddling around like she owned the place. It just further reinforced…


John Carlson: Got The World On a String…

By: John Carlson— These days, I keep thinking I could use a kite. That’s because kites are such happy creations, a fact which has been reinforced in my life on repeated occasions, starting with Mr. Heffernan. Back in the 1950s, he was the neighbor across our backyard fence, the father of my friend Donny, and had a magical way with kites. He’d scribble a question on a slip of paper, like “Who is the greatest TV cowboy? Roy Rogers, Hopalong…


John Carlson: Wishin’ and Hopin’…

By: John Carlson— This being spring, it is a time of renewal and hope for almost everyone but Nancy and me. For us, it brings only bitterness and shame. This is because we are losing the neighborhood bird races. For example, word got around our neighborhood that some folks were attracting Baltimore orioles using oranges and jelly. Never having seen a Baltimore oriole except on Major League Baseball telecasts, Nancy and I got excited and tried to attract one, too….


John Carlson: An Indy May For The Books

By: John Carlson— As you are undoubtedly aware, the Indianapolis 500 is not being run this May. Meanwhile, I also have it on good authority that eternity’s sinners are freezing their butts off because Hell just froze over, A.J. Foyt is opening a chain of ballet studios, and the FDA has determined ordering double-cheese on your pizzas is the key to permanent weight loss. Still, it’s the fact there’s no race this month that truly flummoxes me. Ever since having…


John Carlson: Memorial Day Thoughts

By: John Carlson— It might sound absurd, but as Memorial Day approaches, I find myself thinking about my late father’s T-shirt drawer. Beats me how I ever discovered this, but that simple drawer slid from its simple chest was a source of fascination for me as a kid, so every now and then I’d sneak a look inside. What did it hold? T-shirts, mostly, all laundered and neatly folded by my Mom. My Dad wore them five, six and sometime…


John Carlson: Hell’s Own Hornets On Way

By: John Carlson— Recently I was heartened to learn of the arrival in the U.S.A. of gigantic murder hornets, because God knows, we don’t have enough crap to worry about already. Just kidding, of course. We’ve got plenty. Everybody knows we’re facing the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented joblessness, increasing hunger and growing unrest in our streets. So now we get murderous hornets the size of buzzards threatening to tear people limb-from-limb, too? Great! That was my first reaction to the hype…


John Carlson: What’s In a Name?

By: John Carlson— One thing which, in a roundabout way, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded me of is this: When it comes to names, Native Americans have been infinitely more creative than we paler latecomers. How so? The other night while hiding from the coronavirus I was watching one of my favorite movies, “Dances With Wolves.” Besides the name of the movie, Dances With Wolves is also the name of the main character, one bestowed in the 1860s upon a…