Moving the home office.

I am moving parts of this blog to a new domain HERE. 


This blog will continue to be my personal and local cork board. The new site will be reviews, features, point of views on a myriad of topics and will feature other contributors. So if you feel the want, please click on over there and sign up.

I thank you for your follow-ship, both here and there.



Why a Scottie?

scottA few months ago we welcomed a new Scottish Terrier puppy into the Greene clan, his name is Watson. He is kin to our first Scott, Mac, and to our two Scotties, Scamp and Mitty, who we lost in a spell of one year. My daughter also shares a home with a Scottie named Boomer.

So the question.. why a Scottie? I cannot speak for my wife Tammy (who loves them, too) or my daughter, I can only tell you why from my GREENE point of view.

Note: I grew up with a Scottie. The original Mitty was gregarious, loyal, feisty, and lots of fun. We had many dogs but Mitty has always been my favorite, I guess because we had her when I was in grade school (geezer alarm) and those years are when your collective memory really begins to congeal.

1. They have beards. All Greene men have beards or should have beards. Greene gals want men who have beards or they should.

2. Scotties, they like to eat. Greenes, ditto.

3. They like to stick to their own closed groups;  family and close friends. They only tolerate others because they were told to at an early age. Again, ditto.

4. They don’t bark much but when they do, they mean business. Greenes have a card that says that.

5. They much rather be home on the couch listening to music, reading a book or watching TV than out at a party or a bar. Greenes, ditto, though I added the music, book and TV thing, Scotties can do fine with home and couch, oh and food, I can’t forget food.

6. When a Scottie befriends you, they are friends forever. I hope that is true for us, too.

7. Sometimes they prefer to be alone and under a chair. Half of that is true for a Greene.

8. They do not suffer fools gladly. I got nothin’.

9. They have long and sturdy memories. Greenes remember every laugh and tear.

10. They do not go gently into that good night, but they go with dignity. So far, so good.


I’m just wondering…

3262784_150568_42226e75eb_lWe spend millions on economic development yet dismantle and cut our best economic development tool: our public school system. Believe me, not one prospective new business employer thinking about coming to Loudoun will ask: Hey, how was that big food festival or what kind of season are the Hounds having?  They are going to ask: How are the schools?

Nationally we spend trillions on war and aid to foreign countries (most of which despise our way of life), yet begrudge our fellow Americans insurance coverage for themselves and their family?

I believe in the right to bear arms, but anyone who cannot wait a few days to get their hands on an AK-47, well they aint squirrel hunting? What reason can there be to have an assault rifle before lunch? A few days for a cursory background check is reasonable, prudent even.

Why is there even a discussion about equal marriage or gay rights? Who we love is who we love. Imagine the government telling you that you cannot marry the person you love the most in the world; that that union is unrecognized. People, even Wal-Mart recognizes that love and provides spousal and partner benefits. Yea fucking Wal-Mart, ’bout time. The sad thing there is that they still call it partner. Dan is my business partner, Tammy is my wife.

And lastly, how come you only see one shoe on the side of the road? Do people ever lose both? Do they only lose them one at a time? Is there a twilight zone for “the other shoe”?

I’m just wondering……

The Beatles, hey I can take criticism and dislike but dismissal…nope.


Here is a link to an opinion found in The Washington Post outlook section on Sunday, June 21, 2013, written by Justin Moyer.


Here is my reply:

Dear Editor,

As a subscriber for over 40 years of the Post I’ve read many asinine opinions, but not many as asinine as Mr. Moyer’s The Beatles:Let Them Be.

Mr. Moyer must be too young to remember the great music critic Lester Bangs or has never read any of Greil Marcus’ work to have the connection as popular music as art. Mr. Moyer seems to be caught in the celebrity aspect of music or the next thing, nothing wrong with that, nothing unless you dismiss the past. Imagine an art critic dismissing Leonardo or Raphael as old hat and unworthy of attention or a film critic writing about Citizen Kane as unworthy and not worth a view, not with Iron Man 3 in the theatre.

The Beatles are as important to popular music as Beethoven is to classical, imagine the guffaws a critic would bear if they dismissed that master’s work. If we prattle on about dismissing the great works of the past, the seminal pieces that the foundation of that art is built upon, we lose the context of what art is and become purveyors of marketing. By dismissing the past Mr. Moyer makes the future inconsequential.

That or he believes pop music and rock and roll are not art forms but merely commodities, if that is the case, he should start working AR for a record label.

The Beatles are as relevant today as they ever have been, that is if you consider music art and the makers of it artists. Forty five years from now The Fab Four will still be treasured and honored and their art only enriched by new ears, groups such as fun. and The Lumineers will be but trivia answers.

Stilson Greene

The King Street I knew soon to be gone.

Historic_Leesburg,_VA copyThe Town Council of Leesburg, Virginia recently voted to remove the parking spaces on King Street in the Historic Downtown District. It’s a vote I have a hard time coming to grips with. They say that widening the sidewalks on the West side will make it it more pedestrian friendly and safer. Well, when I walk downtown having a parking space or a parked car between me and several multi-ton vehicles moving at 15 – 30 miles an hour makes me feel safer. They say that the 4 restaurants on the West side of the street can now use the sidewalks as an outdoor cafe. Well, what about the 3 restaurants on the East side? Shouldn’t they get some taxpayer money thrown at them to increase their earning capacity? After all they pay the same town taxes and meal taxes as their neighbors just steps across the street. Personally I can’t see having a nice meal while traffic moves around you and you inhale sweet exhaust fumes, I do get that the restaurants affected now have new smoking areas for their customers though.

Granted, I grew up in Leesburg, my family has been here since 1791. I have owned a successful business in Downtown Leesburg for the past 33 years and I do a myriad of community and charity work for my town and its citizens. I was recently told that all that doesn’t matter, that my opinion was bias due to my clinging on to memories and ghosts of the past. I was furious when I was told that, but have relented to feel that they were right, and I am richer for it and they are poorer for it.

That said, I still say taking parking spaces away is a mistake, every survey I’ve ever read concludes that more parking is needed in Downtown. So I asked a friend of mine who has been a champion retailer in Downtown on King Street for the past 25 years. A retailer who has been named Business of The Year numerous times and has won awards for best store of its kind in the Commonwealth. He also has opened a new business in Downtown that looks to be another successful venture. He is adamantly opposed to the removal of parking spaces and believes it will drastically hurt his business and others. Fairly, many business owners spoke in favor of the plan, (one being a restaurant owner and he’d be crazy not to, new free seating and all) but my friend’s success, business acuity and investment weighed heavier on my decision.

So now when I walk up my beloved King Street, I savor in the visual of customers and cars on the streets. I love the kinetic energy that the vehicles give off even while stationary and I think it’s sad to lose it.

Many people much smarter than me think that it’s the future of Leesburg and maybe they are right. I hope so. I hope that it works out, if it does I will revel in its success and be happy to be proved wrong.

As far as me being a biased sentimental dinosaur, well I revel in that, too.

At my age… that’s not a good idea.


When you reach a certain age, say 55, there are some things that you just shouldn’t do. I am that age and over, so I know of what I speak.

Here’s the list of “don’t do’s” over 55.

1. Karaoke – trust me

2. Tequila shots

3. Tequila shots AND karaoke together.

4. Twister

5. White Belt  Personal aside, my wife  knows that if we are ever walking through a department store and I stop to admire white belts in the Men’s section, she has permission to kick me in the shin just as hard as she can.

6. Play air guitar in public   You just don’t.

7. Knee high socks with shorts

8. Plaid

9. Buy a bright yellow car

10. Send Christmas cards out in October, just to be sure they arrive on time

11. Neck tattoo

12. Collect garden gnomes and stone frogs    One each is enough

13. Eat gummy worms alone in public

14. Fall asleep on a public bench

15. Planking

So, there’s some of mine. There are some others, like never give up and never forget.

Your Life’s Playlist, So Far.


Imagine you have to choose twenty songs that represent who you are, not just your favorite songs but songs that are you. Twenty songs that make up your life’s playlist as you stand right now. Twenty songs that friends would reflect upon you, but more importantly, twenty songs that a stranger would hear and form a glimpse of the person you are. Well, here’s mine.

1. When You Wish Upon A Star – Jiminy Cricket

2. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis

3. Old Wooden Cross – Johnny Cash

4. I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

5. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

6. Country Comfort – Elton John

7. Every Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart

8. Willie The Wandering Gypsy and Me – Waylon Jennings

9. Kentucky Avenue  – Tom Waits

10. Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones

11. Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight – Bob Dylan

12. Daniel And The Sacred Harp- The Band

13. Real Love – John Lennon

14. Wonderful Remark – Van Morrison

15. When Johnny Strikes Up The Band – Warren Zevon

16. Buffalo River Home – John Hiatt

17. Alien Love Song – Todd Wright

18. Here (A Song For Tammy) – Stilson Greene

19. The Weight – The Band

20. In My Life – The Beatles

So as of today, there’s mine, it could change tomorrow. I’d love to hear yours, so post on……

All Nabbed Up – My Favorite Food


ToastNot steak, not fried chicken, not lasagna, not hamburger, not pizza, nabs. Nabs are my favorite food. What’s a Nab? Well, depending on your age or your geographical place of birth, a Nab is a sandwich cracker. The term was coined in 1924 when the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) introduced a new 5-cent snack called “Peanut Sandwich Packet”. But here in Leesburg, Virginia and the South it pertains to a specific sandwich cracker, the Toastchee brand of Lance crackers, peanut butter filling between two cheese crackers. Not Keebler, not Ritz, LANCE! Not Nekots, not NipChee, not Toasty, not Captain’s Wafers, not Whole Grain, TOASTCHEE dammit!

lanceIt all goes back, just like everything thing does, to my childhood. After attending Sunday School and Church, I would go with my Mom or Grandmother to Leesburg’s Edward’s Drugstore and sit at the counter. Knowing that a Sunday Supper was only a few hours ahead, we would have a snack before going home. For me it was a pack of Nabs and a small fountain Coca-Cola. It made Sunday School and Church Service worth it. Sounds silly, huh? Well, in those days (geezer alarm) we did not have Coke at home, it was not part of our pantry, nor did we have cheese crackers, only the ubiquitous Saltines. We had peanut butter but it was something different than today’s, you had to stir it up to let the oil fold back into the mixture. I was not a big Skippy fan then. But Nabs, well, heaven. At Edward’s they were on the counter in a small four-pack cellophane wrapper (I always crushed one sandwich opening the damn thing) upon a wire dispenser. They were this mysterious store-bought gift from heaven’s kitchen. Store-bought? Then. Big Deal.

LanceJarAAnother memory of my Nab obsession is that they were my “get better” food. If I was sick, my Mom, Aunt Ann or Grandmother would always fill the prescription at Edward’s and unfailingly bring me home a pack of Nabs and a Coke. No matter how ill I felt, food I couldn’t keep down, feverish dreams whirling, I would enjoy that sweet taste. Chicken soup? Hell no. Nabs. Eventually Nabs were carried at IGA and The A&P (not A&P, The A&P). Mom bought a Lance jar and kept a supply at home, but only she or another grown-up could dispense. Remember they were medicine, too.

Today I still love Nabs. Tammy always has some on hand for me, unfortunately we don’t have a Lance jar, just a Nabs shelf. If we are ever on “Old Married Couple Game Show” and she was asked “What’s your husband’s favorite food?’, she would send America in a Google frenzy searching for what the hell is a Nabs? Nabs to me are Sundays at an old soda fountain, old time religion, a Mother’s and Grandmother’s love, a hard truth of how rich we were with as little as we had, a wife’s love, commitment and understanding and my link to childhood, full of salty tears and laughter.


Title art and copy @2013 Stilson Greene

Uncle Stilson’s 2012 Christmas Gift Suggestions

It’s that time of year and we sometimes lose the spirit of Giving by worrying about what to give. So here are a few items that are Stilson-tested. I have supplied a link to each item, not to endorse any purveyor, but to give you a glance of the product and maybe read about it.

1. CD – Tempest – Bob Dylan. At over 70 years young, Bob delivers a dark and brooding masterpiece. His voice may not appeal to ears accustomed to auto-tuned smoothed vocal but the pleasures found in his rock and gravel are many. The songs are deep and black, sad and mournful, but what great art makes you laugh? Admittedly the title track is a little too long at 14 minutes, but its story of the sinking of the Titantic is pure Dylan: twisted and fabled. The closing cut Roll On John is the best musical tribute to John Lennon ever written. The perspective of the years gone by and the weight of being a musical icon makes this song moving and poignant. Look here.

2. Book – The John Lennon Letters – Hunter Davies. A beautifully designed book reproducing hundreds of John Lennon’s handwritten note and letters sent throughout his short life. His correspondence is funny, bitter, cruel, loving, cryptic and heartbreaking with many accompanied by his wonderful drawings. This has quickly become one of my favorite Fab related books and, from my own designer aspect, has left me marveled at its design. It is a white and cream toned design with wonderful heavy tactile stock and typography made to look like letterpress. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for any Beatle or Lennon fan. Look here.

3. Apparel – Ever wonder where people get those cool t-shirts? Ever ask yourself where Sheldon shops? Well, now you know. NerdKungFu has the greatest collection of pop culture tees I’ve ever encountered and its owner Dave is a wonderful small business owner that believes in customer service. Check out his huge inventory and find a perfect shirt for that cool geeky nerd on your list…like yourself. Look here.

4. Music – Drive All Night – West Goes East. Mark Williams and Justin Sheehy knock this one of of the park. The CD is a little hard to get but it’s available on iTunes and Amazon download, so give a gift certificate with implicit instructions to buy this album, that’s what I did. This is the best pop/rock album I heard all year. The title cut and Crooked Path are brilliant, hell there isn’t one song here that’s not great. If there’s a better group of songs released this year I haven’t heard them and I hear a lot. Look here.

5. Book – My Life and Hard Times – James Thurber. A small book big on heart and humor. Thurber is one of America’s greatest humorist and life observers. This autobiographical collection of stories and illustrations has entertained me since I was very young, and the older I get the better each one becomes. I still laugh out loud reading these gems and become wistful for an America and a small town life that is rapidly vanishing. By giving this to someone I hope they will discover more of Thurber’s works. His words have sustained me through some sad and low times and his simple drawings always make me smile with envy. I give this book to someone every Christmas, you should, too. Look here.

6. CD – Young Lions – Stilson Greene. Shameless plug but every penny of your $15 goes to fight Cancer, ALS, MS, Heart Disease and Diabetes. My debut solo album has garnered good reviews ( “A highly personal effort that addresses family, friends and relationships. There’s an appealing sincerity and simplicity throughout” American Music News) and some solid internet radio airplay. Look at it as making a donation for your recipient with a gift of free music. Look here and click BUY at the top.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Peace On Earth.

Photo © Stilson Greene 2012

10 Tastes I Miss From Yesterday

When friends that grew up together get together the course of discussion can wind from old times to new aches and pains. Some of the time it runs to the food we miss from our childhood and teen years. Through the remembrance of those items, memories of places and people flood us with bittersweet pangs of loss.

So here are my top ten food and drinks that I miss from growing up in the then small town Leesburg and Loudoun County, Virginia. If you’re not from here, I bet you miss some taste of where you came from, too.

10. A tiny. This was a small grape soda sold at the old Whitmore and Atwell Stores. It was really a Grapette but we only called it a tiny. Nothing else ever tasted like it and still doesn’t.

9. Bonomo Turkish Taffy. I bought mine at Drug Fair, you could crack it or pull it. A few years ago an entrepreneur brought this product back on the old candy market; believe me, it’s not the same.

8. Slim Jim Sandwich. You had to go “down country’ for this bad boy to the big metropolitan giant known as 7 Corners in Fairfax. It was sold at Topps Drive In, BIG TIME.

7. Vanilla Sprite at the Drug Fair dining counter. You could get a Vanilla Coke or Cherry Coke, a Lemon Coke or a Lemon Phosphate, but that combination of Sprite syrup, soda and hand pushed vanilla extract was a wonder to me.

6. Mighty Midget Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich. Not the fake Mighty Midget across from Market Station today, but the real Midget which stood as the gatekeeper to old Leesburg.

5. High’s Butter Brickle Ice Cream. Lawrence Muse would drive us over in his boat on hot Summer days. You cannot find Butter Brickle today, much less a High’s.

4. Ham and Cheese Sandwich at Edwards Drug Store. It was nothing fancy, ham and swiss with ice cold crisp lettuce, a ripe tomato slice and mayo served between lightly toasted white bread and drug store cut: simple perfection.

3. Tastee-Freez Big Tee Burger. I know there are a few TF franchises still around, but to me the Tastee Freez will always be on east Market Street. The Big Tee was the first double hamburger with special sauce I ever had, and remains the best of the breed.

2. Hamburger from the Mighty Midget. The BBQ with slaw pushes a little here, but that handpressed burger so hot on that soft bun with onion, relish, ketchup and mustard, lettuce and tomato, served in wax paper, steaming with goodness… it was the Michelangelo of hamburgers.

Drum Roll.

1. The Village Lanes Bowling Alley Steak Sub. Philadelphia can have their steak sub, it doesn’t hold a pickle to this sandwich. It is by a wide margin the taste I miss the most. I’m not confusing my love of the old “challey” with its din and clatter of noise, friends and good times with a romantic memory of the food; that steak sub was fantastic. Thin sliced beef flat grilled to where the edges were crisp, then piled with simple American cheese. It then was placed on a soft sub roll where mayo, mustard, ketchup and relish waited for its arrival; but wait there’s more. It was then placed in a hand cranked steamer for two pushes to bring everything together and to make that bun as soft as velvet. It remains the best sandwich, hell the best food I ever had.

So that’s my epicurean trip down memory lane. I’d love to read yours.