Picture This

 

If I asked you to guess the most prolific Hollywood director, who has made the largest number of films that have turned a profit, who would you pick?

Ron Howard? James Cameron? Francis Ford Coppola? Martin Scorsese?

If any of these men were your choice, you’d be incorrect. But, each of these men once worked for the man who is the correct answer: Roger Corman.

Who?

Yes, Roger Corman.

Roger has produced, directed, written, acted in (or all of the above) many films you’ve likely ...

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Birds Of A Feather

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

When I was very young, around 6 or 7, my dad would take my sister and me to Mr. Stephens’ farm. Mr. Stephens was a successful real estate man who loved the country and animals.

His property was located outside of my hometown in the rural part of the county. It was a ...

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Cowboy Lessons

 

There are only seven films in which John Wayne dies on screen. One of those movies is an especially great resource for living life.

There’s a scene in ”The Cowboys” where one of the eleven boys (a stutterer) hired for a cattle drive, curses out The Duke.

Another character in the film was drowning, and the boy who stuttered couldn’t get the words out to tell what was happening. Wayne provokes the boy until he curses him out, and in the process, ...

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Meat and Greet

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Anthony Bourdain

Barbecue is a versatile word. It can refer to an outdoor place to cook meat; to cooking meat; and can also reference a gathering of people for the purpose of serving meat cooked outdoors.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines barbecue as:

barbecue (bärˈbĭ-kyo͞oˌ)►

n. A grill, pit, or outdoor fireplace for roasting meat.
n. A whole animal carcass or section thereof roasted ...
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Fighting for Civility

 

This space is normally relegated to discussing Green Stamps, cashing in pop bottles found on the side of the road, or other memories from my youth.

All of the topics addressed here are presented for a couple of reasons. One, in my opinion, Americans are the most nostalgic bunch on the planet. Two, talking about shared experiences brings a respite from today’s stressors.

A common thread in the stories I tell (and I didn’t think about it until I sat down to ...

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Pots Unknown

You’ve seen them. You may even own one. But, if you do, odds are you’re not using it for its intended purpose. I’m talking about cast iron wash pots. Also referred to as gypsy pots.

Many people call all of the large cast iron pots “gypsy pots,” but that’s like calling all soda pops a “Coke.” There is such a thing as a gypsy pot, but it’s different from a wash pot. Although, either can be used for just about anything.

If ...

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The Beet Goes On

When I was a kid, I wasn’t a huge fan of most vegetables, but one that I absolutely loved was beets. My dad’s mom used to grow and can them.

Not that canning vegetables was unusual. Most of my family had a garden, and what couldn’t be eaten was canned. This included corn, okra, tomatoes, and lots of other veggies.

But, my grandmother was the only one in the family that I recall who grew and canned beets. Or, as some of ...

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Father Time

My earliest memories of him are his smiling face and his laugh.

And his singing. As he would hold me tightly and pat my back, the resonance of his baritone voice in my ears and against my chest gave me what every child needs – attention and the assurance of unquestionable love.

I believe that he sang to me, and later to my younger sister, for many reasons. He enjoyed singing, but I also believe that singing was how he connected with ...

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Taking Turns

 

The night was hot and humid.

We were the first class, in as far back as anyone could remember, to have to graduate in the gym. 

I say, “have to,” because in those days, the gym was not air-conditioned.

It was raining. Hard. So, the gym it would be.

We stood in our purple caps and gowns, and we sweated. And sweated.

The guest who was invited to give our class commencement address was oblivious to everything but the sound of his own voice.

So, ...

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Chicken, Preachers, and Presidential Candidates

Few restaurants can make a Southern staple better than homemade, but Kentucky Fried Chicken does.

If I’ve eaten fried chicken at your house, please don’t take this wrong. I’m sure your chicken is excellent. But one man was able to take a chicken, 11 herbs and spices, and a pressure cooker and hit it out of the park. That man was Harland Sanders.

We all know him as Colonel Sanders — a title bestowed on him by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, not ...

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