Carlson

Al Holdren is pictured in his office standing beside hundreds of photos of thousands of volunteers who participate in "Secret Families." Photo by: Mike Rhodes

John Carlson: Muncie Has Christmas Angels

By: John Carlson— With Christmas rapidly approaching, I feel compelled to offer a belated but heartfelt “thank you” to Al Holdren and the scores of Secret Families volunteers, folks who selflessly give of their time and money to make this holiday a great one for others. The breadth of their…


An Australian racing barstool rests, nearly obscured, in Lear Unlimited. Photo by: John Carlson

John Carlson: Little Racer Packed a Punch

By: John Carlson— If you are under the misguided notion that playing football is the optimum way to suffer a brain-rattling concussion, you’ve probably never driven an Australian racing barstool. I, on the other hand, have. This was due to the largesse of the folks at Lear Unlimited over in…


Properly employed, ugly sweat pants work like a calorie counter. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: A New Cool Food Tool

By: John Carlson— If you’re like me, engaged in that never-ending fight against flab, you know how handy it can be to keep track of caloric intake by simply jotting down notes recording your food consumption. Feeling a little bloated, but can’t imagine why? Consulting your notes may remind you…


If you could read my screech, love, what a tale the notes would tell...Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Too Late To Be A Troubadour

By: John Carlson— The other day I heard a terrible screeching, kind of like a cat in heat, that made my proverbial skin crawl. Then I realized it was me, singing. This amazed me, because there was a time when my voice was pretty good. Back in high school, for…


Swedish meatballs on rice with some lingonberry jam. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Having A (Meat) Ball

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, my wife met my daughter down at Indy’s new IKEA store for some female bonding while shopping. Unfortunately, I was unable to join them there amongst the frantic bustling of the excited shopping hordes, mostly because I’d have rather been dead. I must say,…


Pie Face! Racks up yet another innocent victim. Photos by: Jimmy Hayes

John Carlson: Kids Games Not The Same

By: John Carlson— When I was a kid, I spent a fair number of rainy day hours playing jacks and pick-up sticks. Remember them? My Mom’s old pick-up sticks were stored in a cylindrical cardboard container at my grandfolks’ house, the skinny sticks being about a foot long and pointed…


A veteran's grave at Beech Grove cemetery. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

John Carlson: A Day to Thank Veterans

By: John Carlson— Do you believe in ghosts? I do, to a point. Maybe not the malevolent kind who supposedly haunt your house or your life, though I believe the occasional good scare is beneficial to one’s constitution. But there’s another kind of ghost, a far more positive kind ……


These two frogs remind us to “eat them first.” Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Froggy Life Lessons

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, my wife gave me a gold frog. Well, a gold-colored frog. It’s actually made of rubber, so when you press down on its back and its body gives way, it feels disturbingly like a real frog would, I guess. This frog is mounted on…


(L-R) Steve Reese, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd prepare for flight. Photo by: John Carlson

Mother, Son Novelists Take to Sky

By: John Carlson— Without stretching one’s imagination, it was possible to believe the yellow and blue biplane crossing the runway threshold at Reese Airport was a Sopwith Camel or Bristol Fighter, with British roundels marking its olive drab fuselage. That’s why, on this blustery autumn day, Caroline and Charles Todd…


New swim trunks make you look on the bright side. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: A Truncated Tale

By: John Carlson— Nancy and I were vacationing recently at a favorite place on the Gulf Coast of Florida when a sobering realization hit. I could probably wear my ancient swimming trunks into the water, but there was a 99 percent chance they wouldn’t be walking back out of the…


Oh, Lordy, it’s pastures of plenty! Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Black Licorice Addicting

By: John Carlson— It’s not easy being a black-licorice addict. See, you might love that stuff, but you never get enough. The reason you never get enough is, the photo above notwithstanding, you don’t always find it on store shelves. Sometimes when you think you have, you must examine it…


There’s nothing like gazing into a gazing ball. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: It’s Worth Looking Into

By: John Carlson— For my recent birthday, number 67, my wife bought me a garden gazing ball. Technically, my first choice of gift was, as always, an airplane. Not a big, expensive airplane. Just a little, old, cheap, used airplane somewhere in the $20,000 range would do, making me giddily…


Cargo pants are only good for hauling cargo. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: These Pants Gotta Go

By: John Carlson— Ever have something you’ve anxiously waited years for, and then when you finally get it, it breaks your heart? Welcome to my cargo pants. Walking through Walmart two years ago, I spotted these neatly folded khaki Wranglers. On the tag, some rugged individualist like Brett Favre was…


It’s out with the old and in with the new. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Cooler Days Are Ahead

By: John Carlson— It’s never easy when a beloved family companion dies. The wheezing. The weird, disturbing sounds emanating from somewhere deep down below. The lukewarm yogurt. Uh, lukewarm yogurt? Oh, sorry. Did I fail to mention I’m writing about our old refrigerator? It had done a yeoman’s job of…


A newspaperman’s holster, chock full of Bic pens. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Stick With Cops for Calendars

By: John Carlson— Recently I saw some pictures from those Muncie police calendars featuring racy shots of male and female cops, and they looked pretty good. As a man, I must say I wouldn’t mind being taken into custody by those ladies with their “Come hither, lawbreaker” looks, fancy Tasers…