Carlson

John Carlson: To Dream The Impossible…

By: John Carlson— The recent announcement that the Miss America contest was scrapping its swimsuit competition came as a welcome victory to us non-sexist pageant people. We’re not just pieces of meat, ya know? By now, some of you may be saying, “Pageant people? Did I miss something? Is somebody starting a new pageant to pick, like, Mister American Chunk-Butt USA?” Ha-ha. No. It’s just that, for the last five weeks or so, I have felt giddy as a pageant…


John Carlson: Hummingbird! Duck!

By: John Carlson—  With only one hummingbird regularly flocking to our feeder these days, I nevertheless relish evenings spent on our back deck, watching it cavort. It’s an activity that follows a familiar pattern. Pour some bourbon into a glass. Carry the glass out to the deck overlooking our hummingbird feeder. Pull down my goggles. Sip the whiskey and watch nature’s show, all while giving thanks for this place where a hummingbird lives in perfect harmony with wild turkeys. I…


John Carlson: Off Into The Wild Blue…

By: John Carlson— Why, yes! As a matter of fact, I do own an airplane! Sixty-seven years. My whole life. That’s how long I’ve waited to say that. Well, OK. Technically, it would be 67 years had I wanted an airplane the moment I popped from Mom’s womb and some doctor flipped me over to smack me on the butt. But I have waited a solid 52 years, since the day I took my first flying lesson as a kid….


John Carlson: What’s That Doing There?

By: John Carlson— The distinctive monoliths rise from barren soil. Primitive yet precisely planned, they are the labors of a people long since lost to time, gigantic rocks raised in praise of ancient gods and goddesses before whose cosmic countenances men worshipped in awe. Stonehenge? Nah, my backyard. The sandstone blocks began showing up out there when we started planting our butterflies, birds and bees garden. Our long-suffering gardener, Mary Beth Lambert, would pierce the soil with a spade, then…


John Carlson: Gifts As Cute As A Bug

By: John Carlson— To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I almost gave my wife Nancy 36,000 presents. But I digress … To begin at the beginning, a lawn-care supply catalogue showed up in our mailbox. Flipping through it, I was amazed to see it offered Tree Diapers. Yes, Tree Diapers. The ad copy assured readers that Tree Diapers helped baby trees get through those rough years of potty-training and on their way to toilet-flushing tree adulthood with a minimum of…


John Carlson: Honoring Our Heroes

By: John Carlson— It’s a wood-framed shadow box, measuring about 8-by-12 inches, that once hung on a wall just outside my late father’s living room and now rests on a bookshelf in my home office. Mounted inside the box on black velvet is a triangular piece of metal. Maybe 6-inches long and jagged on one end, it’s painted forest green and deep red, with six rivets dotting its length. It doesn’t look like much, but for our family, it is…


John Carlson: In Praise of ‘Gut Bombs’

By: John Carlson— There aren’t many things I wholeheartedly believe in these days, but one is the intrinsic goodness of White Castle sliders. Of course, some folks despise them. “Ewwww,” they sneer, wrinkling up their snouts while venting their disgust at the mere mention of the little hamburgers, also known by the fetching nickname “gut bombs.”  Given the unreasonable culinary vagaries of these days, when even a wholesome condiment like lard is under attack, I suppose one can understand why….


John Carlson: That’s Brocco-What?

By: John Carlson— These are exciting days for vegetables. For example, when Nancy and I recently enjoyed dinner at an out-of-county restaurant, our waitress lowered the plates before us, then began apologizing. “I’m so sorry, but that green thing isn’t a broccoli stalk like I told you,” she admitted, sheepishly. “It’s broccolini.” Now, had she failed to mention that, I’d have figured it was simply broccoli that had grown up malnourished in a poor neighborhood, then scooted it to the…


John Carlson: Um, This Dude Said What?

By: John Carlson— Because Nancy and her sisters are planning a trip to Europe, retracing their late father’s path during World War II from Normandy across the Rhine into Germany, she first intends to brush up on her French and German. Having taken two years of German in high school and two years of French in college, I am helping her study. Sure, it’s been years since I’ve spoken either language, but I can still count to five in French,…


John Carlson: Skirting The Issue

By: John Carlson— Down in Indy recently, I saw a big guy wearing a kilt. I only mention he was a big guy, maybe 6-feet-4 and 250 pounds, because my first thought was to holler, “Nice skirt, sissy!” But one look at him and I knew he’d have pounded me headfirst into the dirt, like I was some newfangled type of mole exterminator. So anyway, this big guy’s skirt – pardon me, kilt – being metal studded and possibly even…