Son of Thurman

In 1937 a teenage boy from Macedonian named Kosta arrived here in the United States with his family.  Five years later in 1942, his family did what they had always done which was to open a restaurant.  That restaurant, Thurman’s Cafe in Columbus, Ohio, has been  featured on Food Networks Man vs. Food where they did a feature spot about what they are famous for – The Thurmanator!  A burger consisting of two 12 oz. beef burgers with lettuce, pickle, tomato, banana peppers, sauteed onions and mushrooms, ham, mozzarella, cheddar and American cheese on a bun served with a pickle spear and fries.

Yes! You read that right!

Our visit was not to the original restaurant but to it’s offspring, Son of Thurman.  Son of Thurman was opened on February 13, 2014 in Delaware, Ohio by the grandson of Kosta, Christopher.  It is a family friendly casual restaurant that serves a large and varied selection of burgers along with subs, wings, pizza, sandwiches, beer and so much more.  You just have to see the menu to believe it!  The two most popular burgers are the Thurman (not the same as the Thurmanator) and the Son of Bacon.

We went in for lunch and chose a booth to sit in.  The decor is not fancy with wooden floors and exposed brick walls, televisions, booths, tables and chairs and a bar.  Nearly every available surface is covered in dollar bills signed by its many visitors.  There are also family photos,  newspaper articles, bumper stickers and more decorating the restaurant.  Souvenir tee shirts are available for purchase as well.

Deciding to not hurt ourselves by going too big we chose the dry rubbed wings, a large chef dinner salad and the beefy garden burger.  That burger is not a veggie burger although they do offer one that is; it is a beef burger with lots of sauteed veggies on it.

The burger was thick, juicy,  loaded with cheese and veggies and came with a nice side of crunchy chips.  We shared the salad (which really is a meal all by itself) and finished everything but two wings.  By that time we just had no more room.  We will never win any food eating contests!

The food is tasty and very filling, the atmosphere is comfortable and the service friendly.   Son of Thurman fills up quickly and often there is a wait to get in so either get there early or be prepared to wait.  There’s no parking lot here so you have to find a spot on the street or at one of the surrounding public parking lots.

If burgers are your thing then give Son of Thurman a visit.  For more information about Son of Thurman please visit their website.

Note:  This article was photographed and written before the governor, in an effort to flatten the viral curve, ordered all restaurants to go to carry out only.  Currently Son of Thurman is doing carryout so you can still get a great giant burger but to enjoy at home.




Arnold Sports Festival 2020: Two Women of Fitness

Because the festival was closed to the general public, I was only able to see participants in passing as they were heading to or from their events so I was pleasantly surprised to meet these two competitors in women’s figure competitions pro and amateur who stopped by to speak to the body painters.  Meet Lola Montez and Sasha Vitalis.

Let me first give you the definition of what figure competitions are and what they are looking for when judging…

Figure competitions are a blend of bodybuilding and fitness. During comparison judging in height classes, woman will line up and do a series of quarter turns to the right (front, left side, back, right side) being judged on symmetry, presentation, and other aesthetic qualities such as skin tone. The “X” factor is important. Shoulders, back, quads and glutes are very important muscle groups to give the “x” type of shape (well formed shoulders and upper back, small waist and shapely glutes and quads). Visible muscle separation but no visible striations is desired. Figure woman are generally in the 8-12% body fat range.  Definition from

And in order to meet these goals, these women train a lot!  They are in the gym for hours 5 to 6 days per week mixing weights with cardio and stretching.   Whereas most of us would probably say our diets lean more towards the “cheating” side of eating, these women rarely cheat sticking to clean diets.

Lola Montez

Lola Montez hails from Toronto, Canada and has been competing now for a bit over two years.  She initially got into fitness to get back into shape after having her two sons which sparked her love for it which in turn led her to become a full time competitor.  She has won the  World Beauty Fitness and Fashion World Championship Toronto, 1st place and in 2018 she was the 1st place winner of the Arnold Fitness amateur women’s figure competition.  This year she placed 6th in the Arnold Women’s Pro Figure International.

Sasha Vitalis

Sasha Vitalis is from Memphis, Tennessee and like Lola, has been competing for two years.  Sasha said it was seeing Lola compete and win that inspired her to get in there and compete.   Her training diet consists of  high protein, low carbs, low fats and six full meals a day.  Wow!  Her hard work paid off with her winning twice at the Arnold’s Sport Festival this year; 1st in Amateur Masters Figure and 2nd in Open Figure.  Way to go, Sasha!

Arnold Sports Festival

There’s a difference I noticed between the way women and men pose for these competitions, well besides the obvious.  Men walk out barefoot and proceed to pose showcasing the body parts the judges want to see.  Women do the same but they walk out in very high heels with a cat like elegance in the way they move and switch between poses which they did for us photographers.  I tried to mimic one of their poses – it hurt!

Arnold Sports Festival

I joked about how I felt so soft and fluffy compared to them but they both encouraged me to find my goals and to work towards them.  Both ladies are scheduled to meet again the first week of June in Canada for the Toronto ProAm and will even train together a few weeks before the event.

These two amazing athletes are wonderful examples of what dedication and training can accomplish and have inspired me to get back into working out; at my fitness level of course.

Arnold Sports Festival 2020

Lola Montez, Dyon Holmes, Sasha Vitalis

To see more about what Lola and Sasha are doing follow them on Instagram at: @i_am_sashav  and @fit_lolamontez

(Update:  As of the posting of this article in light of the Covid-19 virus, all shows have been cancelled with the one they were both scheduled to compete in, the Toronto ProAm, being up in the air still.    Stay safe out there everyone.)




Arnold Sports Festival 2020: Body Painting International Competition Completed Works

The completed works at the Jan Tana Bodypainting Competition were just amazing and that it was all done under a ticking clock made it even more so!  The “wow” factor increased as these pieces of art were meant to move around and perform not just to stand still and look awesome.

Here are a few of those pieces.

This dragon with wings that expanded took first place prize for the competition.

Arnold Sports Festival - Body Painting revolution

Model Harmoni Marii – Artist Jonathen Kinney

Second place winner – Warrior


Model Sharon Kelly – Artist Aryn Fox

Jan Tana Bodypainting revolution

Model Dyon Holmes – Artist Madelyn Greco

Jan Tana bodypainting revolution

Model Sam Martingano – Artists Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco

Jan Tana bodypainting revolution

Model Charles Lyons

Jan Tana bodypainting revolution

Model Lindsey Kirkland – Artist Lars Peterson

Sometimes warriors just want to have fun.

Jan Tana Bodypainting revolution

And last but not least, Jan Tana herself with the models from this year’s competition.

Jan Tana bodypainting revolution

After watching this body painting competition I have a deeper understanding and respect for both artists and models.  What they do takes a lot of skill, patience and holding still for long periods of time.  I hope to see them return next year for the Arnold Sports Festival to see what they will once again amaze us all with.

For more information about Jan Tan’s tanning and body painting revolution please visit her website.


Arnold Sports Festival 2020: Body Painting International Competition

Many of you have probably watched a program on television be it a competition or just an entertaining show that showcased the amazing skills of body painters who, with certain paints and materials, transform a human into just about anything.   When I read that such creatives would be at the Arnold Sports Festival competing in the Jan Tana’s international body painting revolution, I knew that was something I had to see.   And I was not disappointed!

This was the second year for Jan Tana’s body painting revolution – a worldwide body painting contest – where artists take upwards of six hours to turn their human canvases into fantastic works of living art that when complete perform on stage.   When I arrived,  they were very focused in getting every last detail right as the clock was counting down towards the moment when the judges would determine who the top three winners would be; splitting a $5000 prize between them.  Jan Tana’s company for 35 years now has been the premier international tanning specialist for those in competitions like the Arnold as well.

Paint brushes were busy at work, EVA foam (a cosplayers best friend) was being molded and fitted, and feathers were flying as the clock was counting down to when their work would be judged.  I slipped quietly around the artists and models to photograph them as they worked their magic for this year’s theme of “Arnold Classic Cinema.”  Their interpretations were brilliant.

Sharon Kelly makeup and Arynfoxart

Model Sharon Kelly and Artist Aryn Fox (Skin Wars finalist)

Jan Tana Bodypainting revolution

Jan Tana bodypainting revolution

Paying attention to every detail

Jan Tana Body paint revolution

Model Charles Lyons

Wouldn’t you agree that these are some incredible works of living art?




The Arnold Sports Festival 2020 – Preview

This was to be my first  Arnold Sports Festival but because of concerns due to the corona virus, the festival was partially cancelled  by the  Ohio Department of Health director’s order so that there would be no health risk of the spread of the virus with over 250,000 people in attendance.  The expo trade show was cancelled but the athletes who were there to compete did so albeit without the throngs of fans that had planned on attending cheering them on.  They were cheered on by their families, coaches and the media though.  The Arnold Classic and Strongman finals were open to spectators who purchased a ticket to those events.

Many were disappointed but these are new and unknown waters we are wading in with this virus.  Arnold Schwarzenegger himself stated that while he was very saddened  that the Expo needed to be cancelled,  as this is the prime health, sports and fitness event the health of the people was most important.

So many did as I did, they went to the convention center and just walked the hallways to see the competitors as they were coming and going to their events, to watch the Art at the Arnold artists creating and observe the body painting artists and models.  Those last two events were held outside of the competition halls and open to everyone.  I bumped into Eddie “The Beast” Hall – world’s strongest man 2017 and world record dead lift holder, lifting 1102 lbs in 2016 – as he entered one of the event halls and yes!  I had a fan girl moment there but he was gone before I could get a photo.  I really wanted to see Hafthor Bjornsson (aka the Mountain from Game of Thrones) but that didn’t happen.  Perhaps next year if he doesn’t retire.

Here are just a few images from the festival with more coming soon!

Patrick Moore USA Pro Body Builder

Patrick Moore USA Pro Body Builder

Power lifting competition

Power lifting competition

Kangoo Boots

Kangoo Boots


Art Makes Columbus – The Journey Mural

Art in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colors and mediums abounds in Columbus, Ohio.  In this case it comes super-sized!  Adorning the Graduate Columbus Hotel at 750 N. High Street  in the Short North Art District of Columbus, Ohio is an absolutely gorgeous wall mural named “The Journey.”

The murals were painted by two artists from California, Ryan Sarfarti and Eric Skotnes who go by the names of  “Yanoe” and “Zoueh.”  Both are internationally recognized muralists who were chosen for this art project from a group of 50 who applied.   The murals are a three piece homage to Columbus being an open and welcoming city to immigrants.  This side features the image of  Somali immigrant and local Somali community organization leader,  Hodan Mohammed, in a traditional garment.  Columbus is home to the second largest population of Somali immigrants in the country.

On the other side of the building are the Roman deities Atlas and Abundantia, gods of endurance, prosperity, abundance and success.  These are the dreams of all immigrants who come to the United States;  to bloom, thrive and succeed and that is what the artists wished to convey through their art here.

It is a monumental artistic feat that they have accomplished here which took loads of planning and executing and hours each day for weeks painting these fantastic murals.

This last part of the mural features hummingbirds and flowers but how does this fit into the journey theme?  According to the artist Safarti, some hummingbirds came to visit him when he was sitting on his front porch whereupon he felt that had to mean something.  His following research led him to discover that the little birds are sometimes believed to be messengers between humans and deities and are also known for their endurance so they too were included in the mural design.

These murals are now even better as there is an app for them.  Yes, I know there’s an app for just about everything but in this case when viewing the murals through the app these two dimensional works of art become 3D with hummingbirds that fly, blooming flowers and moving people.  At over 107 feet tall and 11,000 square feet, this is the largest augmented reality mural to date.  The next time I am in the area I will most definitely try it!

To read more about the journey to The Journey visit  Want to see a clip of how the murals look in augmented reality (although nothing beats being there to view it) then click here.  Visit the artist’s Instagram feeds at  @oh_yanoe and @zoueh_skotnes



Black History Month – Black Artists in Columbus

Columbus, Ohio loves art and those who make it.  Murals are on the sides of buildings  along High Street downtown, the first Saturday of each month they have the gallery hop where the art galleries and surrounding shops and restaurants stay open longer, and in parks and other public areas there are beautiful and interesting statues and sculptures.

As this is Black History Month, I want to share with you four of the wonderful and so very talented black artists from Columbus that I have had the good fortune to meet and see their amazing art.

April Sunami

April is a mixed media painter and was one of the artists featured in the  I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 art show at the Sherrie Art Gallery in Columbus.  Her art has you not only admiring it but also wanting to touch it as her works are three dimensional and multi-textured.  I did ask before I touched… very very gently.

April Sunami Mixed Media Artist

April’s next show – She Knows Who She Is: April Sunami and David Butler –  will open at the King arts complex in Columbus on March 12th running until May 16th.  Visit the Experience Columbus page for more details about the She Knows Who She Is show.  Visit her website at April Sunami.

Terry Norman

Terry is a fantastic artist that works predominately in charcoal and pastels.  His portrait of Richard Pryor, which was turned into a wall mural on High Street in the Short North area of Columbus, has been a popular spot for selfies.  It definitely stopped me in my tracks when I first saw it.  Pryor’s son even made an appearance with the artist in front of the mural.  As of this article it was still on display near 685 North High Street but it may or may not still be there.

Terry with his drawing of Barack Obama.

Terry Norman charcoal artist

Terry will be the featured artist at the Department of Natural Resources in Columbus in May and will also be a featured artist at the 12th annual Sole Celebration; an event that combines shoe fashion and fundraising to help women rise above their circumstances (like homelessness, unemployment, etc.) to achieve greatness.  Visit their website for more about In Christy’s Shoes – Sole Celebration.   See more of his work on his Instagram page @TNorm10 .  He also does commissioned drawings.  Contact him at

Debbie Jackson

Debbie works in polymer clay making beautiful wearable art.  Some of her jewelry is for sale at the National Museum of African American History and culture in Washington, DC.  She retired from the Columbus Cultural Art Center where she taught art classes for 20 years and has since been making her jewelry full time.  For more of her wearable art visit her webpage at Debbies Adornments. 

Debbie Jackson polymer clay artist

Orisha Don Nnani

Don is a Nigerian born Ohio based artist who creates such beautiful paintings.  His artistry started as a hobby when he was a child where he painted friends, family and girls he was crushing on.  It has since grown into much more compelling and thought provoking works.  He calls his genre of art Afrofuturisim.

For more of his work visit his website  Orisha Nnani. 

Orisha Don Durant painter artist Ohio

Art definitely makes Columbus!