Carlson

John Carlson: Who’s Afraid Of Halloween?

By: John Carlson— A good scare always gives me perverse pleasure. That explains my love for Halloween, with its flying witches, flickering jack o’ lanterns, and moon floating behind ominously scudding clouds. This is even though, at heart, I am a true chicken. My younger sister, Patty? Not so much. Remember back when the movie “The Exorcist” came out? She was in high school then. As long as that movie was in the theaters, her social calendar was booked. She…


John Carlson: It’s Not Gory, But It’s Gorey

By: John Carlson— It was a dark and stormy night… No. Wait. On second thought, make that “afternoon.” It was a dark and stormy afternoon. Following a marvelously tasty Italian dinner enjoyed at Osteria 32, Phil and Susie Bremen, plus Nancy and I, walked into the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University. We were in search of the exhibit (cue the spooky organ music) “Gorey’s Worlds.” From somewhere nearby, a woman was faintly yet plaintively moaning. Following…


John Carlson: Had Thumb, Would Travel

By: John Carlson— The other day I saw a dude hitchhiking, and it kind of took me by surprise. You don’t see that many people hitchhiking these days. This is a good thing, I think, since America is half-crazy anymore, and most of the nut cases seem to own cars. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, hitchhiking was far more common. Young people in search of peace, understanding and the answers to life’s deepest, most confounding questions, stuck…


Carlson: Being Afloat On A Boat

By: John Carlson— There’s something wondrous about hanging out on boats… This truth doesn’t come to mind all the time, probably because I don’t get to hang out on boats all the time. But when the rare opportunity presents itself, it quickly reminds me how wonderful hours spent afloat can be. We are obviously blessed to have a very nifty body of water called Prairie Creek Reservoir located south of Selma. It’s small enough not to be intimidating, but large…


John Carlson: A Good Ol’ PB And…Meat?

By: John Carlson— Throughout this lifetime, my key to culinary happiness has been hamburgers. Beats me why, it just has. Maybe I watched too many Popeye cartoons as a kid. My buddies  cheered as the musclebound sailor would “eats me spinach” so he’d be “strong to the finish,” then beat the living crap out of Bluto or whoever else was putting the moves on his woman, Olive Oyl. But me? I’d hang on every word that my main man Wimpy…


John Carlson: Spare The Rod and Spoil…

By: John Carlson— The other day I saw a national news story about a school system down South that is initiating an innovative method of controlling unruly students’ classroom behavior. It’s called “swatting them on the butt with a paddle.” That’s right, it’s good old corporal punishment, something that used to be fairly common in schools back in my day. I know this from personal experience, having been swatted a couple times during my own stellar public-school career. Maybe it’s…


John Carlson: The Non-Checkered Flag

By: John Carlson— A few weeks ago I was watching the Indycar race at Pocono Raceway on television, when driver Robert Wickens spun up into the catch-fence in what was a very ugly crash. No doubt about it, he could have been killed. Witnessing that accident reaffirmed a nagging belief: Maybe it was good I hadn’t become a famous  Indycar racer after all. That’s not to say I didn’t want to become a famous Indycar racer. I did want to….


John Carlson: Feeling Put Upon?

By: John Carlson— How lucky are we to live in the United States of America? Very lucky, as I am sure most of us would agree. That’s not to say it’s perfect here. But as my wife reminds me when I am bitching and moaning about the state of things or some perceived injustice, my problems invariably amount to what are best described, and dismissed, as “first-world.”  Take the other morning. Having hopped out of bed at the crack of 9:30,…


John Carlson: Out With ‘Tasteless’ Fence

By: John Carlson— After moving into a smaller place going on four years ago, Nancy and I put up an eight-foot fence out back, which is great. For one thing, we can just let the dogs out, instead of walking them around the yard until they finally get the urge to … well, you know. Our fence also serves as a nice backdrop to our beloved little birds, bees and butterflies garden. Plus, when the weather is nice and depending…


John Carlson: Keeping a Memory Alive

By: John Carlson— This time of year, the sleepy burg of Dana rests like a hundred other Indiana towns, a tiny island afloat on endless fields of ripening corn and soybeans. One important distinction sets it apart from all others, though. This is where Ernie Pyle was born, back in 1900. Most folks say the blessed event occurred in the house located on a quiet corner. Some say it didn’t. Either way, at the time, this sturdy dwelling was located…