The host with the most

The other older gentleman besides Jacques Pépin that is keeping me cool and calm during this global case of the sniffles that has wiped out over three-quarters of a million people on the planet (so far) is someone Benny found while looking for some YouTube crafting videos. Like Monsieur Pépin, this fellow has a smooth voice, he’s very open to letting you experiment with the techniques he demonstrates, and he seems to like young children. Folks, if you haven’t met him already, I’d like to introduce you to The CrafsMan.

He may have other things in common with our friendly chef from Lyon, but it’s hard to tell for sure because The CrafsMan is a man of mystery. I believe he lives somewhere in Louisiana, and he is married to a lovely woman, and he may or may not still have a regular day job of some sort. Other than that, he’s an enigma. A smooth, yet fuzzy, enigma.

There also seems to be no end to his interests and expertise. Do you want to learn how to:

? The CrafsMan has got you covered. If for some reason watching someone make cool crafts makes you feel pressured and inadequate, you can just listen to The CrafsMan talk about some of his favorite things. If all you really need is some ASMR to calm down and The CrafsMan’s normal videos make you laugh too much, heck, he’ll read you some Frog And Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. Eventually, you’re probably going to find yourself imitating The CrafsMan. It’s okay. Lots of other people do it too, and he doesn’t seem to mind.

I don’t know how we’d ever get to meet him in real life, but that would be such a neat thing. I imagine him coming over to Benny’s workshop and examining all of the boxes and drawers and things, and they could talk about different kinds of tape and rubber hams and maybe the baby skunks would come out to meet him, and … oh mercy. I need to calm down. CrafsMan, if you ever read this, know that you have a place to stay in LA when things get safe again. In the meantime, keep on steady craftin’.

Post-trip script

As usual, there were a few photos from our trip that didn’t fit neatly into other posts. I’m starting to feel like the person who shares way too many vacation slides after inviting friends over to dinner; I’ll understand if you slip away before dessert.

Three blues brothers in Rock Island, Illinois waiting

bluesbros
for a breakfast place to open. They will be waiting for a long time.

alarming
Jack.

jack
An excellent D & D-themed park in Carbondale, Illinois. More photos starting here.

d-n-dpark
A future water tower from the past when they had better aesthetics for the future. We stayed in a cabin close by and I got menaced by a gang of raccoons when I tried to take a photo of them raiding the dumpster.

retrofutureh2o
An elephant’s grave in Oquawka. A rather sad tale.

normajeanwide
An otherwise rather boring mall in Hazelwood, Missouri. I was expecting more from the area labeled “Circus Of Fire.” More photos starting here.

circusoffire
One of many lies in Hannibal, Missouri. A place that seems to be rebranding itself as the Steampunk Capital of the US. I’m not sure what that is about unless it has something to do with that Rush song.

tomsawyer
One of my favorite misspellings outside a bar in Keokuk.

cheif
A mysterious kingdom in Tennessee.

hencethename
A sign in Memphis that I would have liked to have seen at night.

radiator
Lisa Marie’s toy, which I hope has good memories attached to it.

lisamarietoy
Miss Ann’s, which shared a parking lot with

missanns
these braggarts.

hotdogs
I saw this after I bought some nose spray someplace.

mysteryman
The Frog Farm was an excellent place; we bought a small wooden alligator from the artist Louise Cadney Coleman. I wanted to buy an enormous driftwood peacock but couldn’t figure out how I was going to get that back home. More photos starting here.

frogfarmcafe
The Britney Spears Museum in Kentwood, Louisiana seems to be closed but there is a pretty neat ghostly mural on the wall of the video bingo place.

mrstains
ghost

satchmomural
I kept wanting to get my hair cut and maybe fashioned into a fancy ‘do at various places on the road, but I kept chickening out. I would have gone here but it was closed.

glamourcoif
Abita Mystery House, which really must be seen to be appreciated fully. More photos starting here.

abitamystery
And then some random New Orleans things.

achoo

pigshaker

walkoffame

margeThere was a lot more. Cats and canoes, tiaras and MG conventions, miserable food at a diner where they kept trying to get us to go to the place next door instead, a delicious bag of apples. Maybe you should do this trip yourself some time.

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