Thursday, August 30, 2012


Only a few days ago, after so many years of living in the Northeast, I learned the difference between a striped bass and a blue fish.

As a kid, fishing with Dad, they were both real fighters, as compared with flounders. And on those rare evening family fish feasts, I had to clean them and they were both delicious to me.

But now I have a potential son in law who is a real fisherman and I am his student.

The meat of a blue fish is mostly dark and fishy. The striper is a bass and light and by American tastes – better.

Live and learn.


P.S. The fish Adam caught and brought to dinner was a striper. The fish I see jumping in the harbor off the porch is free.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On the Porch - again

It seems like a long time since I’ve been on this porch, content. I can think of dozens of emotions or states of being in the many months but certainly not content. Right now I’d be content with a long time of content. Enough excitement, creativity, growth, and yes anxiety. I’ll swap them all for contentness.

I know most of you are more expert at content than I and I sometimes envy you. My father taught me that each moment was precious. Good, bad, indifferent - no not indifferent – each moment of life was more important than money or success. Each moment could not be replaced, it was especial. Each moment was to be felt, dwelled in, and savored.

Life was a time (I’d say a long time) to gather all the experiences of time that you could. Pretty Faustian, don’t you think?

From the porch,


P.S. I’m so content I may take a nap.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kansas City

I got to Kansas City on a Monday. By Friday I learned a thing or two…
What a nice city Kansas City is. We’re setting up shop in their Crossroads neighborhood, their arts district. And I don’t mean to offend my new friends, but I don’t taste the difference between Kansas City barbeque and the version I ate in the Memphis, TN airport. But I’m from Maine.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The children are downstairs playing. I can hear their music coming up through the floor and it’s nice and familiar. It’s the same music of my youth.
I hold the handrails now, and they notice. Many of the children are in their 30s, 40s, and John is more than 50. They bring me dinner and even modest amounts of sake while I sit, talk, and listen.
The children are Artist & Craftsman people and we are at our every 6 month retreat (party).
So I sit as the patriarch or Dad. And each of my 17 managers sit, and I (or we, with Steve, 19 years with A&C) listen to their concerns and hopes. We say a few words but if required we’re together for a half hour one on one. There are now 17 and this one on one tradition started when were about 4.
I’m upstairs. I have a cold – you might too - trying to slow down so I can sleep. After this retreat I fly to Kansas City to help organize our new store, along with Tom, who will paint, and Trevor (from Charleston), who will spend a month plus setting up and training. So I really should sleep.
I haven’t yet figured out how I should sleep. No one has. Instead I’m writing to you and I’m told that some of you actually read what I write. Thanks. Thanks for your compliment.
Ok. The music is getting hard. I’m going to lie down for a while but I might have to go downstairs for another glass of sake.
I do love the young goings on. They are talking and flirting and becoming friends. That’s good for them, you, and of course, business.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another Spring in Freeport

It’s getting quieter here in South Freeport, Maine – that is, everything except the interstate, which I can’t hear in winter. Even the new leaves can’t muffle you all coming north to Maine to escape.
My personal life is quieter. Children don’t need money or advice so often. Mary Ellen and I are on or off. We know the drill.
The squirrels now know their place for now.
But the birds are more active and demand more of my attention and even though I consider myself a South Freeport porch addict/expert, I’m still a virgin to their spring antics.
The seagulls are fighting for rights to drop shellfish on the “beach.” I live at the end of sandy beach road and I’m sure there is sand somewhere. The seagulls have found the hardest of the clay and like dive bombers, from an altitude of 20 feet they drop their prey, then swoop down.

It’s like a war movie.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seattle, In a Café in the Pike Place Market

It’s like I’m starting over.  Fifteen years ago, I came to what is now my favorite city to try to build Artist & Craftsman Supply.   

Now I’m back to start all over, again.

You know, it’s nice to come home, again. Even though my effort to open a store in Seattle was my virgin trip to Washington State, this always has been a HOME to me. It’s almost unfair that God endowed this territory so unfairly to the rest of us strugglers.

The greatest gift the American Northwest has been given is a strong and healthy love of all kinds of life.  Simple optimism, simply. Throw in an abundance of flowers, blackberries, lakes and mountains, and then the gift of soothing rain….this is Larry’s earth home.

And now, I get to start, again.

Through a gift of our landlord, David Hsaio, our store in Seattle has grown to 15,000 square feet. Now, that’s small for a big box, but we’ve always been a cigar box…o.k. …maybe a shoebox.

So, I’m going to try to learn the game of the big boys.  Here at home in Seattle, again.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shafiq is Coming Back

Some of you remember the soap opera that began 10 months ago. Mohammad Shafiq Rahman was arrested by the FBI and Homeland Security for possible connection to the Pakistani terrorist who attempted to explode a bomb in Times Square, New York. Also, the South Portland Police piled on.

Now after serving many months in jail and losing employment here at Artist & Craftsman Supply, all charges have been dropped and Shafiq is allowed to volunteer (no compensation allowed of any kind) to program here once again.

Who knows, maybe someday we can pay this innocent, quiet man for his work. He begins 9:30 on Tuesday.

Welcome home.

-Larry Adlerstein