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.

America’s Two Wars, the One in Afghanistan and the War on Christmas

Rick Perry is absolutely disgusting. Last week he released a campaign ad in which he claims that President Obama is waging a war against Christmas and that gays can serve in the military but children cannot celebrate Christmas in their schools.

Well, I just went to a Christmas (not Holiday) program at my granddaughter’s public elementary school and the program was based on the Dr. Seuss classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, not The Grinch Who Stole the Holidays. I also remember well the lighting of the White House Christmas Tree this year and each year Mr. Obama and his family has lived in the nation’s home.

For the first time I ventured into the marketplace this past “Black Friday.” The stores were Continue reading America’s Two Wars, the One in Afghanistan and the War on Christmas

Scampi in Rainsboro?

On a recent Friday my wife and I ate at the Three Spoons Diner at the corner of US 50 and SR 753 (next to the Rocky Fork Truck Stop). They have been advertising seafood specials for Friday evenings and we were attracted to the shrimp scampi. It was served on a bed of pasta and smothered with a rich clear sauce of butter and garlic. The flavor was very good and the price well within reason. My only complaint, a minor one, is that the shrimp were just a little tough. I’ve learned that when cooking shrimp they are the last thing into the pot and you remove the dish from heat just as they begin to turn pink. Otherwise, they can get tough. This may have been the reason or possibly it comes from using frozen shrimp. I doubt the latter since almost all restaurants that don’t have a shrimp boat parked out back serve the frozen product.

We’ve since eaten at the Three Spoons on several occasions, mainly Saturday evenings, and the results have been consistently good. Italian seems to be the focus of Saturday evenings and probably the best Italian we’ve had there was the spaghetti and meatballs. The pasta and meat were very good with the only complaint being with the garlic bread. Way too salty for my taste.

It nice living around this area at the moment. A few new restaurants have popped up and The Three Spoons, which has been open for a couple of years now, is hard at improving their menu. Check out their advertised daily specials on Facebook and give them a try. It’s worth the drive.




Outlet Malls are Lacking

Every time I exit the Interstate and drive through an outlet mall I’m disappointed. I mean, there are shops for sports enthusiasts, stores for women’s clothing, kitchen ware, shoes, candy, gifts, furniture, and more and more. But, I keep hoping one day I’ll pull into the parking lot and there before me, on a large black sign with white lettering and a gold Irish harp, will be a Guinness Stout Brewery Outlet Store. I’m sure the angels will strum the melody of Danny Boy on their heavenly harps that day.

Physical Education Classes, circa 1918 McClain HS

Nate Cockerill tipped me off to these photos taken in the gymnasium at McClain High School, Greenfield, OH, in 1918. The physical education instructor in the boys photo was L.C. Bundgaard. If you attended McClain into the 1970s you’ll recall the various pieces of equipment seen in these photos. They were taken in what is now called the “old” gym and none of the exercise equipment seen here remains. Look closely and notice the absence of any obese students.



Parker J. Shines

As many of you know, Parker J. Pfister is a world renowned wedding photographer and a graduate of McClain High School. He also just did one heck of a good job demonstrating what goes into fashion photography to a group of troubled teenage girls on a cable network show titled Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back. Episode 16, which aired on November 30, 2011 featured Parker (Jason) doing a photo shoot of the girls and then demonstrating the computer magic used to turn their photos into blemish free, magazine ready, examples.

The point was to show that the perfection we all witness in countless fashion and fan magazines is not Continue reading Parker J. Shines

Dr. Steve Iseman

Dr. Steve Iseman taught communications at Ohio Northern University for many years. Over the years I’ve read many a news release concerning his being recognized for his accomplishments in his field of expertise. Earlier this year Steve retired from teaching but the atta’ boys have stopped coming his way. Last evening I came across this story from the  Ada Herald about his being recognized as outstanding faculty advisor. Click HERE for the story.  Iseman is a former resident of Greenfield and a graduate of McClain High School.

Stereotypes and Old Pirates

Everybody stereotypes and there are stereotypes about everybody. We all know that fat people are jolly, egg heads don’t have a social life, ugly women make better wives than pretty women, black people love water melon, all Jewish people are doctors or lawyers and wealthy, white men can’t jump, and blonds can’t spell jump.

Of course, not everything about stereotypes has to be false. Remember the old saying, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out to get you?” Well, for every thing we believe to be true about a given type or group of people, there probably is some fundamental reason it is considered universally true. For example, Saint Nicholas is fat and he is Continue reading Stereotypes and Old Pirates

Sue’s Bright Idea Could Get You Through the Dark Ages

Here’s an idea so you’re not in the dark. It’s such a cheap and
simple idea. It would be good for camping too. It’s a good thing to keep on hand in case of an emergency.

Solar lights can be bought for very few dollars.

Last week, a thunderstorm rolled through our neighborhood and a huge oak tree came down on some power lines, creating a power outage for a large area around us. We lost power for about five hours.

We were scrambling around in the darkness, looking for matches, candles, flashlights, etc.

We looked outside, and noticed our solar lights shining brightly all around our patio, stairs, dock, etc. They were beautiful. We walked outside, and brought several of the solar lights inside.

We stuck the solar light pipes into plastic drink bottles and they made the nicest, brightest, safest, lighting you could ever imagine.

We put one each in the bathroom, kitchen, and living room. There was plenty of light. Continue reading Sue’s Bright Idea Could Get You Through the Dark Ages

Chili Whatever, with Carne X Tres

Cooler weather is with us and it’s soup season. Time to break out the enameled cast iron soup pot and get to inventin’.

That’s the fun part of making soups, you can just make it up as you go along. Today I decided to make a batch of chili with meat. In the cupboard I found a small can each of corn and tomato sauce, a regular size can each of black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. We also had some last of the season fresh tomatoes and some a couple kinds of fresh peppers. For the carne (meat) part I found a couple of frozen hamburger patties, about a third of a pound of mild pork sausage, and a stick of Mexican chorizo.

The carne got thawed and broken up (the chorizo removed from the casing) and Continue reading Chili Whatever, with Carne X Tres

CeDell Davis, Blues From a Butter Knife

Davis plays guitar upside down and using the handle of a butter knife as a slide to fret his guitar.

CeDell Davis is not the best blues guitar player there is. He is not the best blues singer there is. Matter of fact, Cedell Davis my be just slightly better than me at playing the guitar but he has a much better excuse. He has almost no use of his fingers and hands. CeDell Davis has two things I don’t have, natural musical talent and an amazing desire to play the blues.

Davis was born in Arkansas in 1927 and began playing the harmonica and guitar at an early age. At age 10 was stricken with polio leaving him with little use of either hand but determined to find a means to keep playing music. He turned his guitar upside down and developed a very unique tuning pattern permitting him to adapt one of his mother’s butter knives as slide for changing chords. Continue reading CeDell Davis, Blues From a Butter Knife

A Small Town Telephone Book isn’t Much of a High Chair Booster

This is mostly an exercise in seeing if I can make a story out of something another said couldn’t be done. A friend recounted how an urban relative remarked about how small the Greenfield telephone directory was back in the 1950s. I don’t recall the exact words of the big-city visitor but they could have been taken as belittling. Urban people often think we in rural America are somehow lacking.

I recall attending a party in Poughkeepsie, NY in the early 60s. There were several people present who lived in New York City and had never been exposed to a young sailor with a Southern Ohio accent. One woman ask where I was from and when I said Southern Ohio she wanted to know if we had television. That experience may account for my long-time dislike of many things New York.

When I was aboard ship in the US Navy my provided me Continue reading A Small Town Telephone Book isn’t Much of a High Chair Booster

A Man’s Home is His Castle, Especially in Ohio

When I was teaching American Government we would annually have several inmates from Chillicothe Correctional Institute, along with prison councilors and staff, visit our classes to discuss several topics including punishment versus rehabilitation.

On one occasion an inmate told his story of being found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for having shot and killed a home intruder. According to his version, while living with his parents in their home, he had been awaken during the night by a noise coming from the living room. He grabbed a firearm and proceeded to investigate the situation. Once entering the living room he saw an intruder, felt he was in danger and fired in self-defense. His story was compelling and in the minds of both myself and most students convincing that an injustice had been committed. After all, doesn’t a man have the right to protect his castle?

The following day with the inmate not present, a prison councilor Continue reading A Man’s Home is His Castle, Especially in Ohio