Scott Quirk, owner of The Barn Lot, relaxes on the porch swing of a tiny house. Photo by: John Carlson

John Carlson: Tiny Houses Spur Some Large Notions

By: John Carlson— MUNCIE, Ind. – If tiny houses are small, the interest surrounding them is not. “It’s big,” said Scott Quirk. As he spoke, the owner of The Barn Lot was sitting in his business’s cavernous south-side storage building. Nearby, an industrial-sized fan blew heat out the door, his…

Years ago, Gramps used that rifle to put food on the table. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Gramps’ Rifle Brings a Fine Old Guy to Mind

By: John Carlson— My wife recently helped my sister clean out my father’s house up near Cleveland. In doing so, at my request, she also brought me my Grandpa Smith’s old rifle, which had been stored in Dad’s gun cabinet for years. In asking Nan to do this, I was…

Members of Team Guac show off their sandwiches. Photo by: John 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…

A cane lends any man a dapper air of sophistication. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

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…

Artist Allan LaBerteaux works on the portrait of a lady named Destry. Photo by: John Carlson

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….

The wide world of plants includes more than any guy can be expected to remember. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

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,…

On and off the floor, Studio 22 client Lyla Spath works out under the watchful eyes of fitness coach Brad Warner. Photo by: John Carlson

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.”…

Culinary science proves that food cooked in woks automatically turns into moo goo gai pan. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

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…

Unlike “active wear,” baggy blue jeans and sports jerseys give a guy, or gal, the relaxed fit needed to down that next bag of tortilla chips. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

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…

Gordon Carlson is pictured as a 17-year-old Navy recruit in 1943. Injured two years later in the battle for Okinawa, he earned a Purple Heart.

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…

Bob Gillum and his grandson, Kade Oliver, share a love of baseball. Photo by: John Carlson

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…