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.

Just a Note About Search Engines

Like all bloggers we have software that monitors the number of visitors a site receives and which articles are the most read. One bit of information my software tells me is what search engine words or phrases brought a visitor to the site. Some time ago Sue Raypole wrote a piece about her love of sliced cucumber salad. Since then I’ve been amazed how much traffic the words “sliced cucumber” have drawn. Who knew?

Mr. Wert Ash’s Legacy, Let’s Make it Right!

Mr. Wert Ash, June, 1960

If you live in a city of 18 million souls the legacy you’re remembered by may not count as heavily as it would in a small town of less than 5000. Mr. Wert Ash lived and died in a small town and for decades his legacy has been stained by what small town’s are good at; accepting rumor and half-truths as fact.

During much of his life, this descendant of a grandfather who had experienced slavery first hand, was known as “Hammerhead” or “Hammer.” Few knew his real name but most in town knew him by those nicknames, didn’t know why he was called them, but knew that shouting those words at Mr. Wert Ash would drive him to a fit of anger, evoking oaths, threats, and at times hot pursuit.

I’ve recently been privy to a discussion about Mr. Wert Ash and no one present knew what his real name was but most knew who he was and what his nicknames were. Just as they didn’t know his real name, they didn’t know how he Continue reading Mr. Wert Ash’s Legacy, Let’s Make it Right!

The Panic is On

Hezekiah Jenkins, circa 1930s

You’re probably aware that I’m a great fan of blues music and when I’m in the car I’m usually listening to BB King’s Bluesville on XM Satellite Radio. Recently a song being performed by Maria Muldaur, a contemporary performer, titled The Panic is On began playing. It had a sound from the 20s or 30s and the subject was economic hard-times. The lyrics were so familiar I couldn’t tell if the song was addressing hard-times today or hard-times during the Great Depression. Muldaur had added a last verse containing the name of our current president, further confusing my thoughts.

So, later in the day I did some Googling and discovered the song was written by and first performed in 1931 by Hezekaih Jenkins and Muldaur had resurrected it for Continue reading The Panic is On

What’s New at North Coast Muse?

Sally Turner Kennedy has a couple of new items on her blog, North Coast Muse. Sally is a bird lover, bird watcher, and bird follower. One of her new post focuses on what’s going on in the world of trying to restore Ohio’s peregrine falcon population. She’s posted a photo of two of the current Columbus peregrines chillin’ out high up in the Rhodes Tower in downtown Columbus.

Sally is a doer and loves to take in a festival, concert, art display, farm market, etc. Her most recent post is of a recent craft show she attended. As usual, she has some nice photos.

It’s Not the Wealth, It’s the Influence It Buys

David Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times and regarding fiscal matters I often am in agreement with him. In his latest column he is arguing that the 1% at the top of the food chain is not the real problem. He contends that if the government took away all their wealth the national debt could only be reduced by 2%. He believes the current Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement is not focusing on the true causes of our economic woes by focusing on the top 1%.

I can agree with much of what Brooks argues. And, to an extent, I agree that the causes go far beyond the 1%. But, the one thing that OWS is helping bring to attention is the enormous political and economic power wielded by what that 1% represents. It represents the major share holders in the largest corporations in both this nation and the world. They have the means, and have used it, to corrupt or bend our Continue reading It’s Not the Wealth, It’s the Influence It Buys

Those Talented Beattys

There’s always been a lot of talent in Greenfield and often it runs in Families. Marty and Judy Beatty’s family is one of them. There oldest son Chris is an art director for Walt Disney and involved in the design and development of a several new attractions at Disney’s original Disneyland in California. Daughter Valaria was heavily involved in McClain’s music and performing arts program and remains involved in music. The Beatty’s youngest son, Lynn is simply, multi-talented. I can’t count how many instruments I’ve witnessed Lynn working out on but there probably isn’t anything that has strings or you beat on that he hasn’t mastered. Here’s a YouTube video of Lynn playing stand-up bass with a group of professional musicians in Nashville. By the way, dad and mom aren’t without musical talents themselves. Enjoy!

Gossett’s, The BOO(k) Store of My Youth

L-R: Thad Gossett, Wilma Gossett Everhart, & Cheryl Stuckey. Click photo to enlarge.

Recently I wrote a piece about the demise of the old-fashioned hardware store. Well, another retail business genre that’s dipping below the horizon is the local book and office supply store. Shot from the saddle by the young bloods in town, Staples and Office Max.

In my hometown, Greenfield, OH, we had Gossett’s Bookstore. Gossett’s began selling paper, pins, thumb tacks, gifts, books, accounting supplies, typewriters, adding machines, ditto machines, postage scales, staples, paperclips, pencils, pens, crayons, tempera paint and artist supplies, all-occasion cards, Sunday School supplies, school supplies and workbooks, and much more since before Saint Peter strolled in one day and ordered some very large blank journals.

Seriously, every person who ever walked the streets of Greenfield, beginning in 1841, could relate some pleasant memory of doing business at Gossett’s. If a chemist were to enter his lab and synthesize the aromas of all the items I’ve listed above and then Continue reading Gossett’s, The BOO(k) Store of My Youth

Like a Puff of Smoke

A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Buffalo, NY. He was commenting on the paying $150 for a scalped “cheap seat” ticket to a Buffalo Bills game and what he had to shell out for a small bottle of liquor, $40. The stunner was the statement that a carton of cigarettes, with state, local and federal taxes, was $207.06.

If you travel you may have known for years that vice is not cheap in New York state and even more expensive in New York City. In the early 80s, when I still smoked, a pack of cigarettes in a NY machine was $2. Well above what the same would run in most other states.

When I began smoking in the 50s I can remember buying cigarettes from machines for Continue reading Like a Puff of Smoke