Chuck A. Stetson

Chuck A. Stetson
October 13
she who knows knows and loves me — i am a happy man.


Chuck A. Stetson's Links
AUGUST 17, 2009 5:05PM

Open Salon Has Changed Me.... As Mr. Mustard Fades Away...

Rate: 117 Flag

Sometimes words aren’t easy to come by. I power up my brain, thinking of what I want to write of, but I get all trance like as if in a sleepwalk. Today is no exception. Reflection is not just a mirror image; it’s reconsideration—careful thought of previous actions, events or decisions. But the words do come.

Many of you who read me know I incorporate the song that’s currently playing on iTunes as I put thoughts to word. Is it a universal presence singing to me? Ask Lucinda Williams as she laments [Everything Has Changed] via broadband and speakers.

Faces look familiar,

but they don’t have names

towns I used to live in

have been rearranged

Highways I once traveled down

don’t look the same

Everything has changed

Open Salon is that highway. Change? Yes! Is it good? For me, it’s inevitable. I read two posts over the weekend that tapped my emotions—hurt my soul deeply. Tears cleansed my eyes. A woman I very much respect is in pain; her husband is not well. Two writers I’ve been blessed to read introduced me to their grandmother’s wisdom—finality: not only in word, but also in pictures and video. Again… tears do cleanse.

My own tragedy resurfaces, but I continue to share it only with the emptiness of my loneliness. A woman who is slowly creeping into my heart listens to my craziness; I think she knows…. A magnificent artist captures my unconscious emotions on canvas; I know she doesn’t know, as does an Illinois philosopher whose kinetic sculpture soothes me in my darkest of moments. Oh dark moments… a teacher reminds me of a life I once lived; her social conscience prods me to think deeper than I’m used to. And there are many others… I can’t mention them all, but my thoughts honor you.

imagesYes, honor is something I learned to do: my mentor was Edmund Kealoha Parker (March 19, 1931–December 15, 1990), an American martial artist, promoter, teacher, and author. I was his student. Through his art of Kenpo, I taught others. When teaching I wore the black gi [uniform] of an instructor; when in the presence of Mr. Parker I wore the white gi of a student, knowing all I knew was nothing. Now my gi is in my closet; my martial art is writing.

Free is sing Fire and Water:

Every single day I got a heartache coming my way

but look at the tears in my eyes

I don't wanna say goodbye mama

but look at the way you made me cry

every way that's nice you show

you've got a heart that's made of ice...

Relevance? Perhaps the heart of ice is mine? Sometimes I am jaded—furious over nothing. Ratings… comments… views… it is isn’t important. Life is short; death more than a sweet black angel. Perhaps I should retreat to where the water tastes like wine, or to a distant constellation that's dying in a corner of the sky. No… here I’ll stay. And if you want to be alone or be with someone to share a laugh, do whatever you want to do within this community—Open Salon.

Now I release Mr. Mustard to your memory. I'm coming out from my avatar’s mask. Chuck A. Stetson will still create conscious craziness as he [I] use Open Salon to experiment… to grow artistically. I need to do this because I’m a writer—an author, a thinker who also peddles his thoughts for .01¢ to .05¢ a word—hopefully more.

But I am a dreamer…. I live down to the line, so….


"I can't go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then."

 Lewis Carroll




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my... my ... hey ... hey.
Absolutely lovely. :)
Metamorphasis on OS is welcome, indeed!
Welcome...and farewell.
Welcome, Chuck! I was worried, there for a minute, that Mr. Mustard leaving meant a flounce - so glad to see that's not the case. 'Cuz, you see, I've grown accustomed to your presence here at OS, and, well, I love your work. Also, I think you're pretty outstanding yourself, avatar or no avatar.
Pleased to meet you, again.
Oh, you had me worried. I'm glad that you are still here.
If the heart is the same, the man is the same.
The avatar can be what you want it to be.
I'm still here to read the heart of that man.
I feel like you just reached the next plateau of the mountain you are climbing. I will never forget the first kind comment I got from Mean Mr. Mustard or the day the word Mean disappeared. Now, today, I am so happy that Chuck is here.
Chuck, I did a double take when I saw the headline. It's not often that we see a member make a transition from one name that has been used for months to the real name. "Chuck A. Stetson will still create conscious craziness as he [I] use Open Salon to experiment… to grow artistically."--you can count on me being around here to comment on your posts under your new name and avatar.
It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance!
i'm sorry but you'll always be mr. m. to me. okay, i guess i could move on up the alphabet to mr. s.
But I loved that picture of Dickens so much (not that I dislike your photo.)

Not mean anymore?

it's good to see people who are willing to track their own growth. i can't wait to see the next incarnation.
I will picture your face but always, you will be known to me as Mr. Mustard, because, well, I FEAR CHANGE!!!


Just kidding, welcome from behind the mask. I'll keep mine on, you'd be ashamed how people change when they find out I'm really a 21 year old model from L.A. God!! :)
I'm glad you're transitioning from Mr. Mustard to Chuck! Welcome!
Hey, I knew that cat when he was Mustard, now he's the Chili and Onions too!

Bye Mr. Mustard.

Welcome Chuck!
"I don't feel tardy."
-D.L. Roth
You have blossomed here and cast light upon us all. I'm happy that you feel safe and comfortable enough to shed the cloak and share the real you..... xoxo
Congratulations. I'm happy for you. I'm also happy for us as you'll continue to write here.
Chuck! so nice to see you again, and I am happy you´ve come out to the sunny light of OS from behind Charles Dickens at last.
Good for you!
Fond farewell to Mr Mustard and Charles Dickens.........

Fond welcome to Chuck A Stetson.
Ahhhh you'll be a pleausre regardless of the level you are on and I am delighted to be able to see it.
Oh My! But I've known Chuck for a while too. Let the change be what you need (want). As long as the words continue I'll take ya anyway I can get it! I'm a big Poe fan so I'll kinda miss the avatar but your words will ALWAYS be enough. And aren't you a cutie? Once again, you have expressed so eloquently, what I feel. OS does indeed stir the emotions and make ya think. I love OS because of folks like you! It's a privilege to call you my friend!
Welcome Chuck, to the high-wire world of name and photo out there as you spill your guts. It's scintillating, actually. Look forward.
BTW, my favorite uncle's name is Chuck. When I was a precocious 10-year-old, I used to call him Uncle Upchuck. But I won't call you that.
well, Dickens is a fabulous chrysalis. Feed your head...and ours.
Nice to meet you Mr. Stetson.
I just knew you were up to something. I thought it was me (walks away sniffling).
How wonderful. Looking forward to reading more from you.
Rust never sleeps!
Rated with awe., my friend. Your talent sparkles and sings and never ceases to amaze.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to rustle up some old Shirley Bassey and do a little name game. . . . .
I haven't been here long enough to really know Mr Mustard. You've kinda always been Chuck to me. I'm glad, too. You are an astonishing writer, and I value you incredibly.

Follow your true heart. It is incapable of deception, and it is always right. yourself.
He said goodbye, I say hello! xox
I guess Chuckie Baby is a bit much. Thank Mr. Mustard for me for all the memories. He was one hell of a guy!!
It is not us passing through the night that makes a new day
but night passing through us. It leads us to dream.
Forever the ribbon. Forever the stream.
It is not that the old us passes away.
But that a new us visits
and decides to stay.
It is not us passing
through life
but life
but life
if life
were to pass
but once and it may
would you let it pass
or have it stay?

Welcome Chuck A. Stetson
Glad to have you here.
Chuck, it is great to put a face to the mask... so welcome to the wacky world of fun filled OS. As you know, we debate the current day's news, we poke fun at the half-baked loonies and we enjoy a good creative post. Somehow, you will always be Mr. M, only now with a face and a name.

I look forward to some of your wacky mind burst, Chuck!
I get $50.00 per article 6/8 times a month...Front page treatment in other publications and platforms and an occasional e-mail from top political advisors and strategisits... lots of gratification..looking for more... Congrats to a fellow Nutmegger...........
Can't wait to read more from the man behind the mustard mask.
Chuck, you know how much I respect you...and this only deepens it. I too have been changing, and am feeling like I want to embrace myself. The support of you and others is very affirming to me about our life...and at times I have wondered. You give me strength at a time I need it for me, and Lance. oxo
I haven't thought of you as Mean Mr. Mustard for a very long time. Always Chuck. Glad it's official.


Needless to say, It's good to finally see the face behind the mustard. And this piece like so many is very touching and heartfelt.

Like yourself and many others here, you have been my teacher and I only look to improve as I continue to read.
Well, hello in there. Hello.
Welcome, Mr. Stetson! Or shall I call you Chuck?
Chuck, I am sitting here smiling and so happy to see you.
Loved this. Mustard, ketchup, mayo or Chuck, your wonderful thoughts and words are always very, very welcome.
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
Nelson Mandela, 'A Long Walk to Freedom'
Change those stripes mon frere,livre d'artiste is the same, your still the favorite, thought provoking Cat on OS
I know who they are except the sculpture one... Which makes ultra cool in that I totally get what you're saying.

If you're tired of the same old story, oh turn some pages, we will be here when you are ready to roll with the changes....
Hey, Danni, isn't that REO speedwagon? Think I need to google that for a listen!
You know people will think you're crazy if you keep talking to yourself... ;-)
I always try to answer everyone's comments, but I'm overwhelmed. Please know how much you all mean to me. Thank you....!
This was such a fine and beautiful post on so many levels. It’s a pleasure to meet “you.”

Rated and appreciated
Chuck: you are even more welcome in your new guise as in your old.

But you'll still be as sharply satirical as ever, won't you - that is, when you're not being achingly lyrical?
Very pleased to make your acquaintence, Chuck A.Stetson!
Lovely sentiment you created here to communicate your coming out of an old avatar, like an old friend who has moved away, but forever in our hearts and memories. Can't wait to get to know you better, Chuck! Hearty handshake, a hug and a smile!
welcome Mr. Stetson!
Fare Thee Well Mr Mustard
And Welcome Mr Stetson
You were the chrysalis, oh fuck!
Now you're the butterfly named Chuck!

Fly home to here
And we will see you
And hear your lovely voice
Amongst the trees.
I think we're reading the same posts. Welcome to the light!
Love this - thanks for sharing.
welcome again, Chuck, in your new/old identity

we're all puttin' candles in the window for each other
I am so very pleased to be making your acquaintance, Chuck. If you ever decide to retreat to where the water tastes like wine, you might find me there - I visit there, sometimes. I leave a trail of unshed tears so I can always find my way back.

I say high, you say low
You say why, and I say I don't know
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello

Mr. Mustard said goodbye. I say hello, Mr. Stetson. Glad to meet you once more!

*waves a shy hello*
i will miss mr. mustard, but i look forward to knowing mr. stetson better.
Awe..... You have grown here on OS and I have been a proud witness! This song gives me goosebumps. Love it! Mr. Stetson, you have help us all see the light!! More power to you! The new avatar is perfect! The real you!
Wow, what a testament to the power of this community. I've seen a couple of writers make amazing transformations here. Such a wonderful process to witness, we thank you. But, will Chuck still write Mr. Mustard's play Suicide's Audition?
This place has changed me too; it's changed other people I know as well. So long Mr. Mustard; pleased to meet you Chuck:)
Nice to meet you, again, Chuck. :)
When I first joined I was surprised how many here did not identify themselves. I quickly came to realize that each one had a good reason for that.

I, of an earlier generation than most, used my own name and wondered if that was good or bad. But if I were to write I wanted both the credit and the blame. And, besides, I usually forget to lock the doors at night and lots of other things not considered sensible in today's world.

For what ever reasons you have, I am glad to see the emergence of the person behind the pen. And I shall continue to read, comment and admire with respect both the man and the message.

Hey, no probs here, man. A metamorphosis is good for ya. Just don't turn into a dung beetle, for Cthulhu's sakes!
glad you feel safe, and nice to meet you Mr. Stetson :)
Wait...does that mean you don't really look like Poe?

Head: spinning.
Hi Chuck! But why does this feel so familiar, like I always knew your name? The nature of life is change and I get the feeling (probably because you are so excellent at expressing them) you're on the verge of yet another shift. And we will be the benefits of it as well. Thank you.
You're a brave and honest man. Mr. Mustard was a comforting presence, and I'll miss him, but I look forward to knowing you Chuck better. I once told Mr. Mustard that he had the biggest heart on OS, but I suspect it was Chuck's heart after all.
You've captured change and forward motion really well Chuck. Mr. Mustard will always have a place in my heart though. x
cool. Sometimes the masks outlive their purpose. Welcome.
Rust never sleeps
Hi Chuck-Is it a prerequisite that everything you write, bring about deep reflective responses? You're doin' it to me everytime, dammit! I won't be havin' it, do you hear me?Rated...see what I mean?
...and a lefty, too...I might add
and a cutie-patootie, on top of everything else...all of these thought provoking criteria
welcome to the world of village know. ;)

you're real. but you always were.

giving you a big noogey.. ENJOY
Still here, still welcome.
Change and transition, frightening but necessary. Welcome to this cold cruel OS world my friend.
Hi Chuck, nice to meet you.
good-bye mean mr. mustard and welcome, Chuck Stetson! butterflies are a sheer delight. love love love and gratitude
Love your writing! Glad you came out ;)
This is a brilliant piece Chuck. Whether as Mustard, Chuck, or whatever else you want to call yourself, the words will still resonate in this fan.
Look forward to your new offerings. Gotta say, though, Mr. Mustard was something special.
to everyone:
again... thank you for your kindness and readership. Mr. Mustard lives on in a Beatles song, where he's earned the right to be. You OS people are a tremendous gift to me.
Aww Chuck--Mr. Mustard--I've loved your comments! You've been good to me. A Rose by any other name....etc. I love both of you--however you wanna post I wanna listen and read. Namaste.
I'm so happy that everyone else is getting to meet you, Chuck. Thanks for continuing to be my friend!
This was beautiful, nice to see you.
how exciting! maybe you'll be a trendsetter and everyone will start to step out from behind their masks. i love how you revealed yourself in this post; soft and elegant, a slow unraveling. (and there's no one quite like lucinda williams. i've recently been introduced to her work, and i'm so taken with her depth.)
Put a candle in the window....indeed!!!!

long as I can see the light

pack my bag


as I add this comment I see this post has 87 fuckin ratings! not sure I can add much but i can say...thanks Chuck :)
Hello, Chuck!

Tender, moving post, well written. Great song. And writing as a martial art and practice? Well, yes.

I love OS.
I like your new heading!!
How exciting that i signed on to open salon again in such a timely fashion as to catch this poetic manifesto to all the best that change denotes. welcome as a whole new level of yourself! i understand the safety of an avatar; my cult blog has invited awkward, unwelcome, unexpected recognition from the actual members but i figure why not take it head-on?! Clearly, you agree.
Anyway, absolutely awesome post. as always.
goodbye Mr. Mustard, hello Chuck
You can use what ever name suits you-just let me know how to find your writing!
I am happy for you and look forward to more of your wonderful, sometimes whacky writing Chuck.
Very beautifully worded. Open has touched my heart and my soul, changed me in so many ways, for the good that is. A community that is like no other. Thank you for this wonderful post. Lovely songs you have chosen.
I was a little worried that you were flouncing too.

Nice to meet you Chuck!
Many blessings and a warm, warm welcome to Chuck.
Even though you write with such clarity, your thoughts are so full of meaning that I can not even begin to decipher at times. All I know for sure is that you have a huge presence here on OS and I'm happy that you are remaining here even though under a new name....your real name. Perhaps that's a sign that you are at ease and trusting of us, your friends.
Welcome, Chuck. Any friend of Lewis Carroll is a friend of mine.
It's been so hard to carve out OS time these past few weeks. So glad I happened to log on in time for this one. I would say welcome but your warmth has always been felt and appreciated. ("Don't know why you say goodbye; I say hello.")
just checking in for a few minutes tonight & saw this post -- This cheers me so much! Taking off the mask is a brave act & I just want to add my welcome. Plus I can go to bed now with Creedence in my head & that is always a good thing.
Well howdy-do, Mr. S.
Life outside the cocoon, huh? What courage!
Welcome, Chuck! Welcome.
What a fantastic piece. I can't wait to hear of the trials and tribulations, and the victories of Chuck Stetson. You are a wonderful writer.
we all welcome your real self.:)
I miss Mr. Mustard already.
Thanks Chuck. I really like to see the real person, not the avatar. I like it.
I have been absent for a while, so I missed this post when it first went up. Sadly, that makes something like 126th in comments (but happily, I look at that number and think, "Wow! Chuck really got a tremendous turnout!"). Still, I had to stop and say how glad I am that you came here even though it was as Mean Mister Mustard, and how marvelous it has been to watch your metamorphosis into Chuck Stetson. I am pleased and proud to have been associated with you in any way, Chuck. Mighty glad you stayed.

Just curious: Have you seen Redbelt? Something about Mamet and Carroll that jibes....

Good luck, Chuck.
Hello Chuck, farewell Mr. Mustard, I'm glad I got to meet you. Keeping my eye out for the light!

Great post and don't stop being a dreamer!
I’ve been saving this to read all week (despite having rated it immediately, I confess I wasn’t able to truly read it until this evening), and I am moved almost beyond words. You are a beautiful human being, Chuck, from your gentle avatar to your tender soul. A nickel a word? I’d say “priceless” if it hadn’t been co-opted by a commercial. Your wise, hearfelt words and their impact on the hundreds here who have been honored enough to meet both Mr. Mustard and Chuck are profound.

Always enjoyed playing 'Clue', so Mr. Mustard was a great avatar...but I like Chuck Stetson better. Nice writing today, too. Rated
"... wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger
Nice job, Mr. Stetson! I look forward to seeing what Chuck has to say :-)
Chuck. I would be scared if I was you. Chuck. You are not me. I like that. I like that you are growing in this way. Chuck. I wish you an abundance of what you desire. We are us.