Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Airborne From the Skies of Blue

Robin writes: Screenwriter Steve Latshaw has written guest posts for us before, and he always shares his interesting perspective as a man from America's heartland working in the crazy world of Hollywood. Recently, he lost his beloved father, and since he knew I had been through this too, we talked about it on the phone. This is a significant signpost in a person's life. The result was this piece from Steve: the title is from the official song of the 82nd Airborne, in which is father served.

Don Latshaw in the countryside he loved.

Airborne From the Skies of Blue
a Guest Post
by Steve Latshaw

My father, Don Latshaw, was a great and good man. Rock solid, firm but understanding, even when he didn’t always understand me, which could be tough.  I remember, when I was a kid, about eight years old, one night, just before bed, I tried to impress him with all the stuff I knew. He pretended not to know the answers to the historical questions my single digit mind posed, just so I could show off my expertise. I asked him questions.  And he laughed as he deliberately gave the wrong answer and I called him on it.  This was after watching an old Army picture on TV.  Probably The Longest Day, one of his favorites, which he used as an opportunity to teach me about regular Americans who crossed the ocean to save the world.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fowl Myths About the Life of a Turkey

Vintage postcard celebrating America, the Pilgrims, and Mr. Turkey.

The people who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and celebrated their first harvest in 1621, were feeling lucky to have survived that first year. They invited some of the Indians to join with them in celebration and the Indians all brought their families, as was their custom. The Pilgrims looked around and were a little worried they might not have enough food for the (now) large assembly.

The Indians could see the problem and went out hunting so there would be food for all. Thus began the tradition of sending out someone at the last minute on Thanksgiving Day to pick up more food.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Little Treasure With a Surprise Inside

I spotted the pretty little evening bag at the Cancer Society's Discovery Shop. I stop in there from time to time when I'm on a boring errand and feel the need for a treasure hunt. It is just the place to spend twenty minutes dreaming on a rainy day.

I try not to buy things I don't need. But I couldn't resist this little objet d'art.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Business of Growing Apricots

My father, Ashley Chapman, standing in the apricot lot where he built our first house.

It has turned out to be a big challenge to write a book about the apricot business in the Santa Clara Valley, while at the same time trying to maintain another writing project, i.e. my regular Robin Chapman News blog. The good news: I'm on the home stretch of the book.

An interesting thing has happened during the course of the work: I started the book as an exercise in nostalgia. I have come to realize I am writing about a business. People didn't have apricot orchards because they thought fruit trees were fun for kids like me! What a revelation. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012: A Mystery as Always!

The pundits don't know it all, as Truman famously learned.

You can take all the polls you like: but you can never actually predict the outcome of an election. President Truman learned this when he went to bed the night of November 2, 1948 knowing he had lost, and waking the next day to learn that the pundits were wrong and he had won. 

The photo of Truman holding the Chicago Tribune headline has gone down in history. President Truman was a veteran, and a good man indeed.