Carlson

John Carlson: It’s a Day to Honor Veterans

By: John Carlson— They lie row after row under grave markers in cemeteries like Beech Grove. Others are scattered among countless small burial grounds across the country, are laid to rest in solemn American cemeteries abroad, or lie by untold thousands at a sacred place called Arlington. America’s military veterans. But far less obvious are the living ones, folks we see on our streets, in bars and church pews, at ballgames, grocery stores, schools, factories and in numberless homes. They…

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John Carlson: Nothing’s Finer Than ‘Feeding the Robins’

By: John Carlson— It’s my morning ritual, one Nan calls “feeding the robins.” These are hairy, foul-breathed, four-legged robins, however, with glide ratios any competent aeronautical engineer would measure at about 1:1, meaning they would soar through the sky like anvils. They are, in fact, dogs. Our dogs. In feeding these “robins,” I first grab a handful of cookies and a cup of coffee and, depending on the weather, carry them out to the back deck or to my recliner….


John Carlson: Uh-Oh, Winter’s On The Way Again

By: John Carlson— One thing you don’t consider when you plant a “birds, bees and butterflies” garden as a joyful harbinger of spring and summer is, you’re also planting a sobering harbinger of fall and winter. Yeah, winter. This depressing thought struck me the other evening while sitting on my back deck. I was already in a dour mood, having spotted a fat house fly desperately dog-paddling to stay afloat in my wine glass, tainting what I’d just poured from…


John Carlson: Cool Shoes the Key to Stylish Geezers

By: John Carlson— Nan and I are often told we have adorable feet. Well, OK, maybe not “adorable,” per se. As a couple having reached senior-citizen status, after 65-plus years of hoofing it, our feet are more likely merely “normal” for our age, meaning bunged-up and weird looking. And while I used the word “often,” we were actually told that “once,” and not at some prestigious “adorable feet-judging contest.” It was at Nan’s family reunion, a gathering of genuinely nice…


John Carlson: The Meat of the Matter

By: John Carlson— I don’t mean to go all intellectual on you, but regular readers of this column know I sometimes probe the bigger, more thought-provoking questions of our time. For example, have you ever noticed how much an elephant ear looks like a breaded tenderloin? No? Just think about it. Now, I should probably note that by “elephant ear,” I mean the deep-fried, sugary, concessionaire’s confection and not some poor pachyderm’s actual ear, which would likely taste pretty icky…


John Carlson: Using a Fitbit, Without Being a Bit Fit

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, in celebration of our 67th and 66th birthdays, which fall just two days apart, my wife, Nan, dragged me screaming and kicking into the Age of Fitbits, presenting us both with Zips. For the record, Zips aren’t the cool kind of Fitbits you strap to your wrist. They are the dorky kind of Fitbits you pin to your pants. Anyhow, in no time, Nan was doing whatever was necessary to “sync” her Fitbit, recording…


John Carlson: Saying Good-Bye to a Best Friend

By: John Carlson— One recent weekend, Nan and I traveled down to Nashville, Tenn., visiting our son and daughter-in-law. Normally these visits follow a standard script, involving some great dining and plenty of laughs. This visit was far more subdued, however, as the day before Johnny and Stephanie had been forced to put down their beautiful dog, Maggie, she of the angelic white coat and the splotchy brown ears. The whole way down I thought about fatherly things to say…


John Carlson: Snazzy Haircut Spurs “Oohs”

By: John Carlson— As a fashionable person who hates being stuck in a proverbial “rut,” I try to change up my hair style every 50 years or so. The last time was Wednesday. So I walk into this shop called Shaggy and Sheek and explain what I want to my sexy little barber, Alex (Vital note: That’s Alex as in Alexandra Gluschenko). Soon she is clipping hairs and rubbing nice stuff on my head, while I sit there purring like…


John Carlson: Husband is Crumby, But Cake is Great

By: John Carlson— So the other morning I’m trying to grab a few more winks of sleep when, from our kitchen, I hear my wife’s ear-piercing scream. “What?!?!” I holler. “My cake sank!!!” Nan hollers back. For a moment I am confused. Then I vaguely recall how she was getting up early to bake a cake to be auctioned off in a church fundraiser for Project Stepping Stone, which provides temporary housing for people in need. For an earlier auction,…


John Carlson: “Trying” is Key to Making Ukulele Sing

By: John Carlson— Let’s face it, if there’s one thing all Americans agree on, it’s that nothing sounds better than ukulele music. That is total baloney, of course. If I am representative of Americans everywhere except, maybe, Hawaii – and I think I am – I spent decades avoiding the inept strumming of those insipid little stringed instruments. But then the day came when my wife bought a ukulele for herself, and carried it into the house. Greeting her with…