Carlson

John Carlson: Making Most of An Incision

By: John Carlson— For a fresh look that’s sure to draw admiring glances from people of the fairer sex, there’s nothing like having your throat cut. I know. Mine was cut a month or so ago. My cut is fully eight inches long. Well, OK. It would be eight inches long if it were five inches longer. It’s really only three inches long. Still, with the lumpy little keloid that has developed on the wound, it looks pretty impressive.  It’s…

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John Carlson: A Flight to Remember

By: John Carlson— There’s nothing like recent spinal surgery to make crawling in and out of small airplanes a big challenge. But I digress. It was a glorious spring afternoon two weeks ago when I received a phone call from my friend Bill Finney, offering me a ride in his beautiful warbird – a classic Cessna L-19 Bird Dog, such as was used for the risky job of artillery and air-strike spotting during the Vietnam War. Bill had been offering…


John Carlson: Snakes? I Don’t Need ‘Em

By: John Carlson— Snakes scare the bejesus out of me. Not long ago on Facebook I ran into a short video posted by an old newspaper buddy, photographer Kurt Hostetler, that documented him and his boy Owen’s encounter with a harmless garden-variety snake. What a nice father-son nature moment, I thought. Inside, though, I was screaming “Mommy!” My reaction is likely rooted in a traumatic childhood snake encounter. Just eight or nine years old at the time, I was nearly…


John Carlson: Remembering The Fallen

By: John Carlson— For more than a year-and-a-half, back in the waning days of my newspaper career at The Star Press, I wrote a weekly feature story about World War II veterans. This fed a natural hunger on my part, one that began with hearing the stories I begged my own father to tell about his combat service as a Navy gunner in that war. But it was also an attempt, as those veterans’ numbers were quickly dwindling, to engage…


John Carlson: A Case Of Lost And Found

By: John Carlson— Having started a diet a month ago, what I ended up with is skinny fingers. I can’t say skinny fingers is what I was shooting for, though I suppose one reaches a point in any diet where one figures skinny fingers are better than skinny nothing. But then, thanks to my skinny fingers, I lost my wedding ring. Beats me exactly where or when it slipped off. For some reason I began staring at my left hand…


John Carlson: An Honorable Occupation

By: John Carlson— A couple times recently I’ve seen a meme on Facebook, the crux of which is that a person of integrity will treat a janitor the same way he or she treats a successful company’s CEO. As a former janitor, I completely agree. My year piloting a broom for pay came in 1966, when I needed money for flying around the sky in rented airplanes, an expensive addiction I had just acquired. Receiving word that my high school…


John Carlson: Welcome Bees and More

By: John Carlson— Until I’m doing handstands and cartwheels while rebounding from a couple inconvenient back and spinal issues, my world seems a pretty small place. It’s not a bad place, though. There’s my house, which is airy and open and easy to get around in, plus there’s a pretty nice summer sausage in the fridge. Then there’s the garage where my Harley pines away its days, awaiting my return to the saddle. After 40 years of riding, I can’t…


John Carlson: Wash Brings River to Mind

By: John Carlson— You know your life lacks excitement when the wildest thing you do all day is drive through the carwash. We did this yesterday. With Nan behind the wheel, I coached her into Clancy’s tire tracker gizmo, offering helpful hints like “Left,” and “Right,” and then “A little righter,” and finally “Geez, woman, not that far right! Open your eyes, why don’tcha?” I know she appreciated my help, because she began flipping me the coveted “You’re the World’s…


John Carlson: Time to Shed Some Flab

By: John Carlson— Spring is here and summer is on the way, along with the promise of sunny days spent wearing Speedos and bikinis at poolside parties and beaches. Regrettably, it is also time for some of us to shed those pesky 60 to 70 pounds of rippling, gurgling blubber that somehow snuck up on us over the winter. Afterward, we can once again seductively waddle, er, walk the sand like the Girl, or even the Guy, from Ipanema, without…


John Carlson: Recalling the Amish Cook

By: John Carlson— One cool thing about working in the newspaper business is it affords you experiences you might not otherwise enjoy, like meeting Elizabeth Coblentz. Name ring a bell? If so, it’s because she was the original Amish Cook who first authored the newspaper column that has run for years in Muncie’s Star Press and other newspapers scattered around the country. While her column was well traveled, Elizabeth herself mostly lived and worked just up the road near Geneva,…