All posts by Larry Chapman

A retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd.

Greenfield Crime vs Your Town

If you’ve been around Greenfield for very long you’re sure to have heard that Greenfield is known as “Little Chicago”, a small town with a questionable reputation. All the years I grew up here I’d occasionally hear that claim. However, I must not have taken it seriously because I never felt insecure or scared while running the streets and allies as a young boy, which I did lots of.

As an adult, I’ve come to realize that there is nothing unique about Greenfield and its people. Like every other community, we have our problems and our problems are pretty much related, to the population size, educational level, and economic opportunity and income. Large cities with bad schools, high levels of ignorance, low incomes, and poor chances for advancement have the same difficulties as small rural communities. The difference is mainly the number of people. The more people the more problems. Even places that have none of these problems have problems.

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A Blake’s Coffee Shop Laptop Steel Guitar

I don’t know if I ever shared this but several years ago I got interested in making primitive stringed instruments from mostly found objects like cigar boxes and tin cans.
When Blake’s Coffee Shop was demolished I scavenged through the debris looking for pieces I could incorporate into primitive stringed instruments. I ended up making three instruments from what I found, a one-string diddley bow, three-string lap steel, and six-string lap steel. I kept the six-stringed lap steel but gave the others away. One may have gone to the Greenfield Historical Society.

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Trump, making it even worse for Puerto Rico

The population of the US Territory of Puerto Rico is 3.195 million US citizens. In 2017 the island was struck by two major hurricanes that inflicted horrible and long-lasting damage. Congress authorized $20 billion in relief aid but so far only $1.5 billion has been released; the balance being held back by Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development headed up by the always insensitive and incompetent, Ben Carson.

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Greenfield’s New Cell Tower & Is It Safe?

There is a new cell phone tower being built near the corner of 5th and Pine Streets. The rumor has it that it will be an AT&T tower and some are suggesting it may be a 5G tower. 5G, if you don’t know is the newest cell phone technology and promises to revolutionize Internet speeds.

Amongst those who asked questions on a Facebook post were those who wondered about the safety of 5G. I was in communications electronics in the Navy and a ham radio operator for decades. I can speak with some knowledge about frequency spectrum and one truth is that the higher you go in frequency the closer you get to microwaves. And, you all know what happens in the microwave spectrum.

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Those Damned Do Nothing Democrats

We all know how Republicans love to charge the Democrats in Congress with never doing anything. It’s the easiest and most convenient means of throwing or diverting the heat off their backs. After all, it takes two to tango and while the House is one of the necessary partners in the dance, the GOP and Moscow Mitch controlled Senate is the other.

Actually, American lawmaking is not a dance for two. Instead, it is, as the French would say, a “danser pour trois.” Before anyone

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“I Work In Retail”

Some years ago I had a ham radio acquaintance who lived in West Virginia and worked in a Radio Shack. Anytime someone asked him what he did he very proudly said, “I work in retail.”

I never really understood how someone who sold capacitors and 7-transistor portable radios could swell up with such pride as he displayed. Maybe jobs that didn’t require working underground and breathing bad air were just that rare in the Mountain State.

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Slides of Sunday at the Bird Feeder

We’ve fed the birds in our woods for decades. But, this winder we decided to put out some corn in hopes of drawing the squirrels in. We have a large heard this season and they are great fun to watch.

So, I stopped at Tractor #and brought home a corn feeder, a 50# bag of shelled corn, and a bag of eared corn. Long story short, so far the squirrels have totally ignored it. I see them run down the tree and a few minutes run back up; showing no interest in the goodies offered. My only theory is that the corn feeder is hanging on a hickory tree and there’s got to be lots of hickory nuts on the ground that the squirrels prefer over corn.

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Some Random Photos Of The 1999 All-Class Reunion

I’m really not sure but I think these photos are from the first McClain All-Class Reunion that was held during the summer of 1999. The Clyburns permitted the temporary conversion of their restaurant into a make-shift Penny’s and it quickly became a major gathering place during the weekend. The Penn family loaned the

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It’s Still The Economy and You May Still Be Stupid!

Over the holidays I watched the Netflix documentary, The American Factory. It’s about the closure of a GM factory in Dayton and its subsequent purchase by a Chines billionaire. His company invested lots of money, got lots of tax abatements, and created hundreds of jobs. They brought in an army of Chinese managers and tried to convince American workers they should succumb to Chinese work ethics and blind loyalty to the company.

It wasn’t long before an attempt to organize arose and not much longer before that attempt was crushed and those responsible were shown the door. When it was a GM plant the wage was $29 an hour plus benefits. After a couple of years, the starting wage under the Chinese was still only $14 an hour with far fewer benefits. The workers are mostly overworked, under-paid, underrepresented, and safety-wise, under-protected.

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The Things Presidents Say

Here’s a quiz. Which president said the following:

  • “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
  • “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
  • “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
  • “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.”
  • “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

POSSIBLE ANSWERS: Nixon, Kennedy, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt,  Johnson, Ford

The above is, more or less, very famous quotes from some of our most popular presidents. Those who are favorably mentioned in the history books. They are things that made such an impact or had such an import, that they have found a permanents place in the common lexicon of Americans.

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A Needed Vocabulary Lesson

With the very volatile situation that now exists between the United States and Iran, it’s necessary that we all have some mastery over certain words. Here’s a basic list that will help you understand the things that may become realities for us:

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Demolition of Charlie’s Market

Jerry Falconer had told me of the plans to begin demolishing the old building that for decades sat on the corner of routes 753 and 138. Over the years the building was home to many things but for most people, it is remembered as being the original home of Charlie Beechler’s Market.

I went to town yesterday to video some of the project and parked in the lot at Smitty’s Auto Sales. The video is about an hour long and I realize that is too much for most people. However, I was going to watch as much as time permitted so it mattered not that my camera was running.

So, watch some or watch all but, I’m betting most of you will have some emotional moment while watching it. Lots of Greenfield’s memories are tied to that building.

FEEDING OUR FURRY & FEATHERED FRIENDS

The corn and peanut butter station.

We’ve fed the birds for years and have loved every penny we’ve spent on suet and black oil sunflower seeds. Close at hand is a Roger Tory Peterson Field Guide and every species that shows up gets noted with the day and year it first appeared at our feeders. I’m pretty sure that if it weren’t for bar hopping, I could have gotten into bird watching as a hobby when I was younger.

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