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.

Finally, Oktoberfest & a Biergarten

Fifteen years ago I was drawn into a discussion between members of the local historical association. The topics were how to attract more members and get more community people to attend their programs and activities.

I wasn’t a member at the time but was asked for comments anyway. Maybe without thinking I answered the first question saying they needed to shake their publicly perceived image of being an elitist group trying to hold on to their claim of having descended from the town’s founders. I didn’t say this was a fair or exact image but lots of people believed it, nevertheless.

The second idea I offered was they should make their events mo’ better fun! A food event needed to be more than cheap boiled hot dogs and brownies from a mix. Continue reading Finally, Oktoberfest & a Biergarten

The Camera, Never Leave Home Without One

Sally Turner Kennedy is one of those I wish I could model myself after. She possesses an eye for the unusual, almost always has a camera near by, and remembers to use the damned thing when something catches her eye.

My daughter Jennifer is like that, as is Linda Fugate. Both are known to grab a camera and head into the world just to see what’s worth spending some pixels on. I saw Linda and her husband recently and their purpose for being away from home was to take pictures and check out yard sales. Both worthy of time.

Jennifer will grab her camera and go searching for fields of grain, wild flowers, cloud formations, sun rises, Continue reading The Camera, Never Leave Home Without One

North MS Blues is Alive

Most people you run into at a blues festival are only familiar with the big names in the genre. They’re all familiar with Muddy, B.B., and Buddy but they get a perplexed twist on their faces when the names R.L., Junior, or Mississippi Fred are mentioned.

R.L. is R.L. Burnside, Junior is Junior Kimbrough, Continue reading North MS Blues is Alive

Life South of the Haimish Line

A few days ago I read an editorial column in the New York Times by a favorite columnists, David Brooks. Brooks is a moderate conservative and I sometimes find myself in agreements with his social and fiscal thoughts.

On this occasion he was not writing about politics or economics, just some meaningful thoughts about quality of life. He discussed taking his family on a trip to Africa and how much more comfortable he found Continue reading Life South of the Haimish Line

Columbus Taco Trucks & More

Earlier this summer I had my first taco from a taco wagon in Cincinnati. Since then I’ve become aware of the mobile restaurant industry that’s exploding in America’s cities.

The Cooking Channel has a program called Eat Street that each week visits various food trucks around the country. Seems if you can think it, someone is selling it out the side of an old bread truck or converted Airstream travel trailer. On just one-day and in just one downtown Cincinnati parking lot, I observed a mobile taco van, mobile wood-fired pizza trailer, mobile bbq pit, mobile pretzel truck, mobile espresso wagon, and mobile Cajun food truck. Cincinnati is a big place so who knows what was taking place elsewhere in the city.  Continue reading Columbus Taco Trucks & More

Next Best Thing to Ice Cream

I’ve said many times that ice cream is God’s own perfect food. If I’m ever told I have three months to live I’m not eating anything but ice cream and Lance’s cream-filled oatmeal cakes. Maybe the occasional Hostess Sno-Ball or Dolly Madison Razzie.

Other than actually eating ice cream, the next best thing is talking, reading about, or looking at pictures of ice cream. And, that’s what I like about Sally Turner Kennedy’s latest blog on North Coast Muse. It’s all about recent adventures making ice cream in her kitchen and it comes with photos.

There’s Not a Republican in America Who Shouldn’t Read This

The following column by David Brooks appeared in the September 2, 2011 edition of the New York Times. While I as a Democrat don’t agree with all Brooks has to say, he really isn’t speaking to me so much as he is speaking to his own political party. As a moderate Republican, Brooks is having the discussion all Republicans need to be having but is being avoided by the party’s elected politicians and leaders.

There’s a specter haunting American politics: national decline. Is America on the way down, and, if so, what can be done about it?

The Republicans, and Rick Perry in particular, have a reasonably strong story to tell about decline. America became great, they explain, because its citizens possessed certain vigorous virtues: self-reliance, personal responsibility, industriousness and a passion for freedom. Continue reading There’s Not a Republican in America Who Shouldn’t Read This

As You Drink a Cold One on Monday

America has been taking the first Monday in September off since the late 1800s. The holiday rose from the labor violence of that era as a reaction to the growth of the unionism and collective bargaining. It is a day whose purpose is to honor the efforts of those who fought so hard to attain better conditions for the nation’s working classes.

In the decades that followed, the day has come more to mark the end of summer rather than a day to acknowledge the reason for the holiday itself. Labor Day is a day Continue reading As You Drink a Cold One on Monday

Barnum Had it Right…Everyday There’s One Born!

Lucas Perie recently offered for sale on eBay a very simple ink drawing of a Hewlett-Packard TouchPad on plain white copier paper. He clearly and honestly stated in the ad and description exactly what people would be bidding on and the ad included two photos of the drawing, one of the front and one of the rear of the HP TouchPad. As you may know, the bidding on the original auction reached close to $100,000.

Well, just when you think people aren’t that crazy, along comes living proof that P.T. Barnum was more than correct when he famously said, “There’s a sucker born everyday.” I was browsing the headlines Continue reading Barnum Had it Right…Everyday There’s One Born!

McClain Alumni Caribbean Cruise

I received word from our travel agent, Bob Sims, that the deadline for booking the January McClain Alumni Cruise at the “early discount” rate has come and gone. There are still rooms available but it will require the full deposit and at whatever the prevailing rate is at the time of booking.

The cruise is scheduled for January 22, 2012 out of New Orleans, LA aboard the Continue reading McClain Alumni Caribbean Cruise

The Blind Clerk at Cabela’s

Couple of weeks ago I was in the Wheeling, WV Cabela’s store, took a few photos and ragged on them a little. That may have prompted one of our readers to forward this joke to me. Hope you get a chuckle or a smile.

The Blind Cashier:

A woman goes into Cabela’s to buy a rod and reel for her grandson’s birthday. She doesn’t know which one to get, so she just grabs one and goes over to the counter.  Continue reading The Blind Clerk at Cabela’s

Parker J. Pfister, Master Photographer

I’ve written about Parker J. Pfister before. Many of you around our area may remember him as Jason Pfister who graduated from McClain High School in the late 1980s. Jason was always a creative and talented person and in the years since leaving Greenfield he has carved out quite a name for himself in the world of photography, especially wedding photography.

Jason has garnered many honors, is a sponsored representative for Continue reading Parker J. Pfister, Master Photographer