Carlson

John Carlson: Bye-Bye Food Writing

By: John Carlson— As the chunky person formerly known as the Chowhound, I am often asked, “Hey, Mister Flabiola, have you ever written about something you didn’t eat?” Well, yeah, I have. In fact, it just so happens that a couple weeks ago I was honored to attend the wedding of my friends Chris Flook, local historian, expert wordsmith and dashing man about town, and his super-cool, charming and beautiful executive-type fiancée, Kourtney McCauliff. Furthermore, today I am writing about…

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John Carlson: Praise for Prairie Creek

By: John Carlson— After working hard all our lives, Nancy and I are committed to spending our retired years in luxury, regardless of the costs. Take our fancy summer place out at Prairie Creek Lake … As you can see in the photo above, it has a great view of the water, plus a couple nice trees, and our furniture is first-class. Our bathroom? Obviously, we’ve gone with a rustic decor, fully incorporating all sorts of handy bushes nearby. Kitchen…


John Carlson: ‘All Aboooooard!!!!!’

By: John Carlson— For Father’s Day, my wife bought me a train ticket. Consequently, shortly after nine o’clock in the morning last Saturday, Nancy and I arrived in the tiny town of Atlanta, Ind., where men in bright green safety vests were preparing the Nickel Plate Express for another run down Cicero way. Now, I must tell you this about the Nickel Plate Express. It doesn’t exactly rival The Orient Express for  luxurious rail travel. On the other hand, the…


John Carlson: You Will Believe A Dog Can Talk

By: John Carlson— It struck me recently that, if I am ever secretly recorded in my own home during the course of a regular day, the fellas in white coats may haul me off to the proverbial funny farm. Why? Dogtalk. Now, Nancy engages in dogtalk, too. But she being our household’s resident adult, her dogtalk   amounts at most to about five percent of her daily speech. I, on the other hand, being our household’s resident nutcase, figure I devote…


John Carlson: A Band And A Bond

By: John Carlson— Nancy and I had our first joyful taste of being band parents back when our son Johnny, wearing a Santa hat, was chosen to play Yorktown Middle School’s drum kit for the Christmas assembly as a sixth-grader. We continued our parentally supportive roles when he played in the drum line and jazz band at Yorktown High School. Our support continued those same years when, age fifteen in his first professional bar gig, he provided the lewd, pounding…


John Carlson: Snakes? No, Thank You!

By: John Carlson— The other day, Nancy was looking at our church friend James Thompson’s Facebook page when I heard her coo, “Awww. Look at that. How cute!” OK, that’s not entirely accurate. What she actually cooed was “AAACCCKKK!!! Look at THAT!!! We’re all gonna DIE!!!” This is because she was staring, transfixed, at a picture of James’ smiling daughter Rachel holding a stick, and hanging from the tip of that stick was a big snake. Specifically, this was a…


John Carlson: A Day For Remembrance

By: John Carlson— As a lifelong civilian, I have been getting ready for my typical Memorial Day, 2019. Taking advantage of Nancy’s week-long absence on a church mission trip down South, I selflessly – some might even suggest, heroically – tried out brand new grocery items at great personal risk to my fragile taste buds. This was all to discover which were best suited to making Memorial Day a culinary   triumph. First to be confronted was the vexing issue of…


John Carlson: Let’s Give Burt A Big Hand

By: John Carlson— Burt Bacharach did not write “Satisfaction.” After all, you may have noticed the Rolling Stones’ mega-hit repeatedly includes the refrain, “I can’t get no…” Bacharach would never have employed – some might say, stooped to – such poor grammar in his lyrics. It’s also a safe bet he didn’t write stuff like The Mothers of Invention’s “Hungry Freaks, Daddy” or Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” or thousands upon thousands of other memorable songs the young folks of my generation…


John Carlson: Assorted Beauties, Plus Bees

By: John Carlson– An amazing amount of beauty can be packed into a tiny backyard garden, but the same goes for drama, confusion and opportunities for education. Drama? Our dog Toby was about to eat a wasp in ours the other day, before I shooed it away at the last second. Confusion? An apparent slow learner, Toby did  eat a wasp last year. Not one to back down from a fight just because he was being devoured, that wasp registered…


John Carlson: A Lesson In Carrot Cake

By: John Carlson— One quick glance at our kitchen counter and it became obvious: I was in deep doo-doo. See, I was on a diet. It seems I am always on a diet. But sitting there under a clear plastic cover was two-thirds of a Concannon’s Bakery carrot cake. Nancy had bought the cake that morning to feed the literarily-fertile ladies of her female book club, Women Of Mystery Books, aka WOMB. The point is, suddenly my diet seemed doomed,…