Carlson

John Carlson: Young Chefs Learn Cooking and More

By: John Carlson— MUNCIE, IN – Cracking eggs and laughing nervously, three girls crowded around a stainless steel bowl in the tight confines of Inside Out’s Community Kitchen, using the cup-like halves of broken shells to separate the yellow yolks from the syrupy whites. Nearby, other youngsters hacked aromatic strips of crisply fried bacon into bits. Just across the gleaming food-prep table, meanwhile, other kids expertly scooped bright green chunks of fresh avocado into a bowl, and chopped luscious ripe…


John Carlson: Need a Cane? Then Get On The Stick

By: John Carlson— For reasons too boring to enumerate here, I recently reached that point in my life where – temporarily, at least – I need a cane. In doing so, it struck me there were preparations to make. The first was actually learning to walk with one, so I started practicing, clumping up and down our pathetic little shuffleboard court out back. Granted, early on I was flailing about like a spastic person, occasionally caning myself in the unmentionables….


John Carlson: Artist Back Home From Life In The Caribbean

By: John Carlson— MUNCIE, IN— If you ever engage Allan LaBerteaux in a conversation about the course of his career, don’t expect a lot of bragging. “I’ve never had a job I was qualified for,” the former architectural millworker, boat-builder and current jewelry-maker and artist joked, but only half facetiously. “I may design a car next week. You never know.” His has been an interesting life, if not a conventional one. A 59-year-old Muncie native and 1974 Northside High School…


John Carlson: Dirt Strip Becoming a Blooming Miracle

By: John Carlson— The dirt strip bordering the fence in our small back yard is now heartily sprouting plants. You ask, what kind of plants? Well, you know. Plants. Green ones. We had a few out there before, some with stalks and some, like, without stalks. But then one day, during an overcast afternoon when the storm clouds were roiling and lightning flashes visible in the distance, our personal professional gardener, Mary Beth Lambert, swung into action. As an un-fit,…


John Carlson: Body-building Champ Helps Lift Up Others

By: John Carlson– In the photos from his most recent competition, a glowing Brad Warner smiles confidently in body-building poses, displaying muscles most of us never knew existed. To all appearances, even his muscles have muscles. “When I step on stage,” Warner explained, “I have to have every muscle showing.” As he spoke, he was momentarily resting on a couch at his fitness center, Studio 22. Inside its mirrored confines were rack after rack of black barbells, exercise machines, colorful…


Taking a Wok on the Culinary Wild Side

By: John Carlson— A beautiful new day of health and self-confidence has dawned for me, all without even buying a bunch of Richard Simmons’ workout videos, let alone actually watching one. What I bought, instead, is a wok. Well, my wife bought a wok, but I am taking credit for it. You see, we recently took part in a huge, four-family garage sale. What Nan did for this event was gather our sale items, clean them, price them, load them…


Look Out Chubby Folks! Here Comes Active Wear!

By: John Carlson— If you are a chubby person like me, you are probably alarmed by the latest fashion trend. The big new thing is “active wear.” Active wear is that sort of sleek, colorful, sporty apparel that clings to your body like an extra epidermal layer. It shows off every bulge you’ve got, whether you’re running in a marathon, or just running to the grocery store to restock your training table with some nutritious Hostess Ding Dongs. Not that…


A Day to Memorialize Those Who Gave All

By: John Carlson— It was an accidental find, of sorts. In the process of moving my 90-year-old father into a nursing home recently, my sister Patty came upon a Purple Heart – the medal that honors those Americans injured in combat – pristinely packaged and shining splendidly, tucked away in his chest-of-drawers. I don’t know that I had ever seen this particular medal, which appeared to be a government reissue, but the fact is that now, with it cradled in…


Wheelchair Doesn’t Stop This Kid’s Coach

By: John Carlson— MUNCIE – Standing before you with a worn ball glove on his left hand, a baseball in his right and a flop of brown hair falling across his forehead from under a ball cap, Kade Oliver looks like the 14-year-old kid that he is. But when he’s winding up on a pitcher’s mound, his arching right knee seemingly chin high, he looks every bit the athlete he’ll likely be five, ten, even 15 years from now. In…


John Carlson: Reflections on “A Father’s Love for His Child”

By: John Carlson— It’s amazing how sometimes, when you least expect it, you have an encounter that makes you think about the truly important things in life, or in my case, just flat out humbles you. It happened to me Friday night when Nan and I went to see Mary Poppins at Muncie Civic Theatre. It was a wonderful show, a smash by all who worked so hard to put it on, and a tribute to the play’s director, Laura Williamson, who happens to…