All posts by Larry Chapman

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. north of SCPower's sub-station.

Why 160 Acres?

My wife, after reading Mike Newman’s piece about his great-grandfather homesteading in New Mexico, asked me, “Why 160 acres?” The only answer I could give her was that it had something to do with one of the several Homestead Acts passed by the US Congress and possibly with the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. I also recalled it had something to do with the old saying, “forty acres and a mule.” Forty acres being about what one family with a mule could work in a years time and Continue reading Why 160 Acres?

Black Jackrabbits?

Back in the early 1960s I was moving to California and like millions before me the chosen path West was US Route 66. In American folklore Route 66 is known as the Mother Road and in those days it was the major route to Southern California and all that lay between Ohio and the Pacific Ocean.
Continue reading Black Jackrabbits?

Orzo and More

All the recent comments about favorite Italian restaurants got me in the mood to cook Italian. So, I taking a quick inventory of the larder I came up with a box of orzo pasta, a link of Spanish chorizo, a little bit of pepperoni, a chunk of provolone, some day-old sour dough bread slices, a variety of typical Italian herbs and spices and a ton of fresh vegetable that were going to Continue reading Orzo and More

Don’t Forward Before You Check!

For several years now I’ve encouraged people to check out what they receive in their email boxes. Everyday there is a new letter making the rounds that if frequently based on false or misleading information. is one of several sites where the truth may be discovered.

Another very good site to test the accuracy of all that is claimed is the PolitiFact site of the St. Petersburg Times. The thing I like best about this site is their use of a “truth meter.” Each topic is  Continue reading Don’t Forward Before You Check!

Okay Sam, UNCLE!

For several years I’ve waged an internal war between the forces of buying American made goods and trying to support mom and pop businesses versus buying whatever is most affordable, even if it means buying the import and/or going to Wal-Mart. Well, last week Sam Walton may have brought me to my knees Continue reading Okay Sam, UNCLE!

I’m Eatin’ Dog Food!

For several years I’ve been buying meat that has been marked down because the “use by” date was fast approaching. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this meat and the only reason it is marked down and labeled “Manager’s Special” is to cover Continue reading I’m Eatin’ Dog Food!

“Fast food Italian”

Years ago one of my Italian-American friends commented that he considered the grub at Olive Garden to be, “fast food Italian.” Not having much experience I was kind of taken back since I thought it was pretty good.

It’s been a number of years since we’ve eaten at an OG and until today, never at the one in Chillicothe. Looking for something different we decided to give it a try this afternoon. Well, the setting was fine, nothing wrong with the service, but (there’s always a but), Continue reading “Fast food Italian”

Isn’t it ironic?

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the irony of Standard and Poor’s downgrading of the US credit rating? Wasn’t it S&P who, as a major player in the approval of toxic assets, helped tank the housing market along with many of the world’s major economies? Wasn’t it S&P who gave an AAA rating to all those infamous Wall Street derivatives that really weren’t worth a bottle of  pirate piss? Is this the same S&P who some now say made a two trillion-dollar arithmetic error in their decision to downgrade America? I’m beginning to think that the S and P in S&P may be just common four-letter words.

What the heck is Wall Drug?

My wife and I were recently in a local steak house and on the wall was a sign that read, “Visit Wall Drug.” There are probably many people today who have no idea what that sign is all about or what Wall Drug is. Back in the 1960s it didn’t seem to matter where one traveled, you ran into “Visit Wall Drug” signs. I even remember seeing one on the side of a double-deck city bus in Continue reading What the heck is Wall Drug?