Ben Franklin Coffee House in Clinton, Missouri

In late July of last year I set off on a long drive from Alabama to Colorado and back. Whenever I take trips, I like to spend as much time as possible on the backroads. On my way home, I stopped off in Clinton, Missouri, to have lunch in the historic downtown area and was thrilled to discover the Ben Franklin Coffee House. How cool is that?!? I ordered the Ben Franklin, of course. Forgot to … [Read more...]

Julie Klausner Name-Drops Benjamin Franklin (and gets more than a RT)

Anyone in my Twitter stream who name-drops Benjamin Franklin to get a retweet deserves more than a RT. Julie Klausner gets a blog post. Think of it as a birthday present. Happy Birthday, Julie. If you aren't listening to Julie Klausner's How Was Your Week podcasts, you're definitely missing out. She delivers up cutting-edge humor and pop culture commentary and she riffs on the (mostly) inane … [Read more...]


I love rain. Not every day, of course, but regular rainfall is a necessity--and it's quite nice. Soothing. I especially love a long, slow, steady rain. One of my fondest childhood memories is playing in one of those rains with my brother.  It was more of a light rain,  but it rained and drizzled for hours. I was probably 11 or 12, Chip would've been 7 or 8. I think it was Fall because it was cool … [Read more...]

Martha Washington, Emma Peel and ideas

In 1998, I published an essay titled "Martha Washington, Emma Peel and ideas." At the time, Martha Washington was a popular subject for biographers and historians and my childhood TV hero, Mrs. Emma Peel, ever-popular among cult-TV types, was back in the spotlight. Given the theme of my most recent post ("Celebrate the Power of an Idea"), I thought it might be interesting to revisit the … [Read more...]

Ignite Birmingham 1: Connecting-the-dots

I am honored to have had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Ignite Birmingham event held Thursday, April 29, 2010. As I listened to the other talks throughout the evening I began to realize that most of them featured themes or ideas that were compatible with points I planned to touch on in my own talk, also named The Ben Franklin Follies. I thought it might be fun to commemorate the … [Read more...]

My memories of Lynn Redgrave

I’m not much inclined to follow the daily doings of celebrities but there are a few who, for varying reasons, hold a special place in my life. Lynn Redgrave was one such person. The announcement of Lynn Redgrave’s death on May 2, 2010 took me by surprise and left me with a melancholy that lingered for several days. I had intended to write this post immediately after I learned of her death but … [Read more...]