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My recently published book, Apple Pressings, is available now on Amazon in Kindle, soft and hardcover versions, as well as on Barnes & Noble.com, and other major book websites.

Below is a new review of my book by Chris Schultz, a talented journalist in southeastern Wisconsin.

Good luck, and good reading, as we all strive to survive and find some distraction from the virus scare.

Charles Ebeling squeezes hard truths from the fruit of knowledge in book of essays.

 

WALWORTH — When it comes to the history of french fries, Chuck Ebeling is the go-to guy.

Ebeling spent 15 years as chief spokesman for McDonald’s, a major purveyor of the sliced spuds, retiring as vice president of corporate communications and chief spokesperson.

Ebeling writes that what makes the french fry so American is that it was brought to our shores by none other than Thomas Jefferson. Our second President served the fried potato treats during Presidential dinner parties. And the “f” in french fry should not be capitalized. The french describes how the potato is cut lengthwise, called frenching.

Ebeling has collected those and other facts and observations into a book, “Apple Pressings: Squeezing Potent Truths from Sweet Bits of Knowledge.”

The book’s title comes from the name Chuck and wife Vicki Ebeling gave to their rural Walworth home, Applewood Lodge.

The property has 200 apple trees. Ebeling said that he bought a hand-operated apple press with the aim of making his own apple cider. However, he confesses, apple pressing process is so hard (“sweat busting” is how he describes it) that the press has collected more dust than apple juice over the past few years.

But Ebeling’s word processor remains active.

“I came to think of these writings as the apple pressings of my mind,” Ebeling says in his introduction.

“Apple Pressings”  is the collection of 15 essays that Ebeling did as a member and later president of the Chicago Literary Club from 2005 to 2019. Members write essays which are then read during weekly literary club meetings from October through May.

The club doesn’t require members to write an essay a year, but Ebeling said he set that goal for himself. Ebeling is still a member, but he said he’s going to slow down on the essay writing.

Ebeling’s first essay for the literary club was “French Fried – From Monticello to the Moon,” his reflections on America’s favorite side order.

It is also the first selection in “Apple Pressings.”

According to Ebeling, the french fry originated in the Meuse Valley of Belgium.

But that’s a subject for another chapter.

This is not a book that one has to read from cover to cover. A reader can just casually dip in and sip from “Apple Pressings.”

Just be prepared to be amazed and moved by Ebeling’s experiences and observations.

Ebeling’s life and studies has given him plenty of topics and material to choose from.

Here are reflections on our Electoral College system of selecting a president, what it’s like to have dinner with one of the original McDonalds and an unusual encounter with a cheetah who perched on the hood of  Ebeling’s safari vehicle and posed for pictures during a visit to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

And he’s not afraid to turn the light on his own life, particularly his service as a U.S. Army  information officer during the Vietnam War.

The broad variety of topics covered in “Apple Pressings” reflects the broad experience of its author.

Ebeling earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois. After serving in the U.S. Army’s information office, where he attained the rank of major,

Ebeling took a public relations jobs Allstate Insurance, Toyota USA Corp., and the pharmaceutical giant, Baxter International.

But he’s best known for his public relations and marketing work for McDonald’s.

“Apple Pressings” is available on Amazon.

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Cider, who like all our cats past and present has an apple-linked name (except for Banner who came to us pre-named), is our senior feline at Applewood Lodge. Also, like his female friend Gala, he started out as a barn cat, and did well in life, so is now happily enjoying middle class retirement.

As we speak, Cider is lying down in front of the computer screen, hanging his head over the desk to watch me type. He is right out of “Central Catting.”

Vicki at Naples, 2014

Of course, the deep freeze continues here in Wisconsin, through today, March 4th. Saturday night, I won the prize for first indoor ice fall. Venturing onto the back deck to grill some steaks, I came in across the carpet and then stepped onto the varnished wooden hall floor. Because there was snow on the soles of my slippers, I went down hard, crunching my right knee and twisting my left leg. How stupid — falling on the ice, indoors! Three days later, I’m hobbling around, still with sore muscles and an aching knee, but otherwise, nothing broken but my self respect. I herar the docks on Lake Geneva may not get put in fully until July this year.

It’s what you see just above, though my desk in our little library is a little to the left of what the photo shows, and right behind our giant old apple tree, the base of which is now strewn with newly fallen fruit. The morning sun is bright on the left of the tree trunk, and the grass is deep green again, and long, after such a dry summer. The day is bright and promising here at Applewood, and I’m feeling good again after several days of some unknown illness. The Geek Squad is on the way over to hopefully install a much-needed wi-fi range extender, and I may get the lawn tractor out later if it warms up enough. Feeling hungry, so I’ll go get a bite, and watch a little more of Morning Joe to see what political blunders today holds. Both indoor cats have been needy this morning, and they are always a delight.

The Great Apple Oak

 For more information on chainsaw carving, contact Michael Bihlmaier at 815-404-6375, or Google him.

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