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Monday, July 24, 2017

  • At age 93, he’s not crying about his life, he’s had a good one
    Thursday, July 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    This fella’ is so versatile that I’m not sure where to begin. The year of 1924 brought our young man into the world. Since 1939, he has belonged to the Whitesville Christian Church. He graduated from CHS in 1941 with exercises in the large gym. “It was like walking into the coliseum at the state fair.” 
    He has been a Mason for over five decades, along with many years in Shriners, the Legion and he served as the County Chair of the Democratic Party. “My biggest moment was seeing a little boy for whom the Shriners had funded prosthesis run across the stage at a Shriner’s meeting.” Two of his sons were active Shriners and also Masons.
    Let’s continue the longevity story. For 36 years, he had his office in the Ben Hur Building. “Doctors, Dentists, Insurance Agents,” were mainly ones with offices there and he fits that category. Actually, he had three or four major businesses throughout his nine plus decades, along with being a farmer by birth. He cash-rented the land most of the time, but today, his grandson lives in the family home. 
    His father, Oscar, was described as tall and slender on his WWI draft card. My guest fits that bill even yet. Really, he has had fairly good health. Once he had a gallstone, though and when they gave him medicine, he hallucinated, “seeing martians and my granddaughter.” Then, last year he had a heart attack. Yet, he keeps busy, especially watching episodes of his favorite show, American Pickers. “But, I can’t go to my office anymore on a daily basis.” As he noted, “My God, I’m 93!” He feels “pretty darn good,” though, overall!
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  •   Six kids and around the world in 180 days
    Thursday, July 06, 2017 4:00 AM
    Lots of kids. Lots of love. Lots of energy and lots of faith, not particularly in that order, describes this couple. They met in third grade and because of band were always in the same home room. On her senior cords, a clarinet and trombone holding hands are decked-out in a heart. They just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary and still absolutely in love as you can see in the picture (but don’t look yet or you’ll ruin my mystery).
    After CHS, the two ventured to Indiana Central College. She graduated with an Associates in Arts and he did his student teaching (BA in History) at inner city Wood HS. The students only did a few bad things, such as rock throwing, because, “They liked me.” When he took them to the library for research, he heard, “No one brings these kids in here.” He did and of all things, they appreciated it – “You’re the only one who ever expected anything from us!” I love it!
    While at Christian Theological Seminary, he served as Youth Minister at Third Christian. It was this youth group they took to Mexico for the World Convention of Christian Churches. The two years previous, they were youth leaders at Crestview Christian Church and took that group to Jamaica. She giggled, “They had weird bananas, rice for breakfast and I had my sheet stolen.” 
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  •    He said it best: She's the real deal
    Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:47 PM
    We’ve had some interesting “how we met” stories in the ATC articles, but I do believe this is a first in my interviews. My couple this week were introduced in England and fell in love in Greece. Both Ball State students, they were on a work-study overseas with a professor, his wife and 19 others. He said it best. “After being together day and night for weeks on end, the candy coating wears off, and you find who you like and who you don’t.” For sure, she was “the real deal,” and the lasting friendship turned love story is still going strong after more than 30 years of marriage. 
    Actually, it was rather a fluke they both ended-up on that trip. He happened to see a flier stating, “Last meeting for trip . . . ” and literally got stuck listening to the spiel and filling-out papers. However, he had wanted to go to Turkey to meet friends with whom he’d become acquainted. She on the other hand, had really wanted to go on the trip before but wasn’t chosen. Fate, I’m tellin’ you, fate!
    When I assumed she was a C’ville native that wasn’t particularly the case. She did graduate from CHS but spent her first six years on their long-time family farm in Parke County which they were forced to sell to add acreage to TR State Park. At CHS she was a diver, gymnast, track member, did a few plays, but mostly behind the scenes. She loved chemistry so was in the Science Club, Honor Society and more! Even though it was quite some time ago she graduated, she will constantly say,” We are still young and beautiful and don’t you forget it!” Love that philosophy!
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  •  Prom started four decades for this duo
    Thursday, June 22, 2017 4:00 AM
    My taste buds were a bit fishy this week as hubs and I ventured to Long John Silvers. There, we encountered a couple I’ve been wanting to interview for quite some time. Luckily, they graciously accepted my request for an interview. Said they had fun and he even commented, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought!” I try to make it painless!
    Often, my first question is, “How’d you meet?” However, it was a stumper for this duo. Finally, he blurted-out, “I needed a date for prom!” Well, it’s a tad more complicated, as she was already committed for prom. However, their mutual cousin (don’t panic - different sides of the family), Sally Hester, kept after him to ask her out. Finally, since she really liked his Ford Grand Torino, complete with the white vinyl roof and knew he was raised a good Christian, that she said they’d go out. Also, his family had gone to the Browns Valley Christian Church for generations and hers had started going there, but the paths just didn’t cross. Oddly, they lived five miles apart on the same rural route but they really didn’t know each other. She went to New Market grade school; he to Waveland; he was in FFA and choir. She worked in the student store, in the library and was in business classes. In fact, at South, he was a noted librarian rebel-rouser (well, okay, he liked to talk) and she had to turn him in once so she did know his name. Obviously, things work out as God intended them, as these two celebrated their 40th anniversary last November. Congratulations, kids!
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  •  These two truly feel it's not about the "I" but the "WE"
    Thursday, June 15, 2017 4:00 AM
    Buddies then, buddies now, and I’m predicting buddies for eternity for my guests this week. Friends long before they started dating at the end of their Sophomore year at Southmont, they are the bestest of pals yet. Love how they get up early to walk together or the way they work-out their date night plans. Speaking of love, it’s such a joy to know this couple and watch the way their love blossoms in so many directions, yet keeping the focus on not only them, but their large and interesting family, and especially the Good Lord! Their amazing philosophy in regards to their marriage and family life is that it’s never about the “I” but the “we”. Not what I should do, but what “we” should and what’s best for all of us! Always since they were fairly young, I’ve thought they were great kids as individuals but as a duo, they are truly amazing!
    They graduated with my daughter, Suzie, and several in that class married. That class was pretty special, some awesome kids and these two were right on top. He had a sister and she had two brothers and all are South graduates. Their children will be, as well. The whole family has (he a great baseball player) and I’m thinkin’ will always be involved in sports. More on that later! 
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  •  This mom and daughter are crafty folks
    Thursday, June 08, 2017 4:00 AM
    One of my most fun interviews was with a mother and daughter, and I was lucky enough to meet up with just that combo this week. The daughter is in my Dewey’s book club and she’s a winner. Always such bright ideas and thoughts on what we’ve read. Her mom used to be in Dewey’s as well but before my time. If you’ve always wanted to join a book club, love to have ya’ the 2nd Monday night of each month. Just sign-up at the main desk at CDPL, get your book, read it and come and enjoy the fun. Hope to see you there!
    So, I’ve known the younger of these two but this was the first peak at Momma. She is adorable. Raised on the outskirts of Danville until she was eleven, her family moved to Glenwood near Chicago. From the farming community to the city life, she was thrown into great ethnicity and poordom. During the Depression years, everyone was poor so no one really felt any different. “Only one or two of the kids in my class ever got anything nice.” Entertainment was not expensive, just fun with the neighbors, or running out to watch a plane go over. They were lucky to have an inside bathroom and most of the time food on the table. However, you learned to eat whatever was put in front of you and never complain as the people next door may be starving that evening.
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  • Neither of these two ever dated anyone else
    Thursday, June 01, 2017 4:00 AM
    Well, I reckon I’ve known this fellow his whole life as I’m more than a wee bit older than he is. His birth mother’s parents were my parents’ best friends. Even called them Aunt and Uncle. Sadly, his mother was killed in an automobile accident and his adoptive mother has been one of my best friends since first grade. Plus, I’ve known his father for 50 years or more. I’ve likely known my fella’s wife a few years less, but believe she used to come in the restaurant with her parents when she was young. They are both sweet, involved with family, friends and church, and I think he can outtalk me. Well, maybe it’s a toss-up!
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  •  This week’s fellow says he has eight lives down . . . at least
    Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    Bits of this week’s interview reflected one not so long ago as I had the privilege to interview another sharp WWII vet, this one having his adorable wife along! I think they even enjoyed their pizza (and his salad) at what has jokingly become, “my office,” the Pizza Hut (fondly referred to as PH). Needing no prompting whatsoever, he launched right into his WWII days, as an Army tankman. At one point, a German bazooka hit his tank and while rescuing the tank commander, he received severe burns, bad ears, a medal and 45 days in the hospital, not particularly in that order.
    Back in his tank again, they followed the Germans across the Rhine River with Armor and Infantry parading with them. Forging through behind the river, they wiped-out 51 German tanks (vs 39 US). Their unit went to stay and rest in large German homes, the majority of the villagers gladly giving their home up for a brief while to their liberators. Most often, the family would go to the basement, relatives or friends. 
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  •  This fella' loves to create in many ways
    Thursday, May 18, 2017 4:00 AM
    This fellow graduated from WHS in 1960, but Wallace, not Waveland as you would guess coming from me. As with all the Wallace boys, he was involved in sports, but we laughed that there weren’t many basketball games, because no one wanted to be in their tiny gym.
    During a high school play, a fairly new student from neighboring Richland Township school, had invited one of her old friends to see the production. He met that friend, and well, let’s say it was pretty much love at first site and one that is still going strong!
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  • He just naturally did what one should
    Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    Their son asked my gal where she was born. “In Terre Haute, in the hospital.” When their son in turn asked his dad the same, “In Kingman.” The son then quizzically answered, “I didn’t know there was a hospital in Kingman!” Of course, he then explained that it was at home where his birth occurred. Not many around today were born at home, but a few exist. 
    An only child, our fellow guest this week was a junior at Kingman High School, involved in so many activities when his parents divorced. He moved to Clinton with his mother, graduating then from CHS. Far jump from the little Kingman where he’d known his whole class for a life-time to the big-city. Luckily, he went to band practices all summer and blended right in when fall classes began. In fact, members from both schools consider him with them and he attends CHS and KHS reunions. He grinned that he inadvertently took off with $10 of the Kingman class money – he was treasurer and it got packed. Returned, of course.
    When he went to sign-up for classes at CHS, the principal asked him what he liked. “Math and agriculture.” The man kind of giggled saying the math they could handle but the other: “We don’t have any!” 
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  •   His outfit in WWII was a go-go one; he is, too
    Thursday, May 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    On a recent Sunday afternoon, I was blessed to be able to interview a rare commodity in America today, a WWII veteran. An additional blessing came in his niece, Janet, who drove me to his home and enjoyed the day along with me. As she sat in her grandfather’s favorite rocker and listened to her uncle tell us wonderful stories, she noted that she became so comfortable and enjoyed such a calming peace, that it was “like the feeling of security and youth.” Oddly, I got that same feeling from my guest even though he’s past his 90 mark.
    A bit hard of hearing, his nephew had suggested I give him a written list of questions. Good idea, B.J.! Went right through that list like a trooper. He did a fantastic job and as much as I love history and know the subject, I seriously felt like I learned more from a one-on-one experience with him than if I’d just taken History 101 in college. 
    Besides knowledge, he has a peppy, informative way of making the topics live. So here, I will try in my ineptness to honor this nifty man.
    Farming has always been his family’s main occupation. In high school, he took one of the first-Agriculture Courses. Reason one, loved farming, but also if he took it, he’d not be required to take senior English. With that option in mind, my fellow joined-up! “Pappy (Paul) Wilson had previously had about 10 in his class, but progressed to over-flowing.” Pappy did drive my fella’ a bit crazy as he’d, “ask a question right back at ya’, so that ya’ never knew whether you answered or not. Certainly, he kept ya’ on your toes and a false move meant deep trouble!”
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  •  These travelers have just one more state to go
    Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Oh, yeah, I’m loving how my two guests got together, way back when. It was at the Zach’s B-K where she worked. In fact, one of the first carhops we had. A friend of his had said that she was so doggone cute that he ought to ask her to the New Market Fish Fry, but was too timid. My male guest said, “Well, if you’re not going to, I am.” That he did. A few short years later, they wed, and wait until you hear the reason. Simply, love it!!
    At New Market, our man was one of 18 in his graduating class. His senior year he wasn’t only president, but the same for Student Council. He was super active in other exciting New Market happenings, too, including earning 10 letters in sports. He grew-up with two brothers and two sisters, all NMHS graduates. It will be his 60th class reunion this year with 15 of his class living.
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  • A world-traveler, Karen thinks he likes C'ville the best
    Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    My guest this week was the first of three sons to be born in a hospital (Evansville) near their country home. A sister arrived later. His father was a general manager over eight counties for a feed company. In high school (Booneville), a teacher influenced him to get involved in reading current events, an activity important to his life yet today. Even considers himself a “social studies nut!” Certainly, we have that in common!
    Also during high school, he was heavily involved in music, playing an alto sax during concert band and drums in dance band. After high school, he headed to ISU. His educational time frame produced an oddity. Staying in the exact place, he attended Indiana State Teachers’ College, Indiana State College and Indiana State University, due to name changes. 
    Then, going to college was reasonably inexpensive at $5/credit hour plus he had a part time job in a Sub way, but not the places called that today: “It was more of a greasy spoon!” Completing his education, it was to Crawfordsville to teach. Glad he chose Montgomery County.
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  • Play together, pray together and stay together
    Thursday, April 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    I’ve had some rollicking good times writing the Around The County articles, but do believe I laughed the hardest at this one. Non-stop laughing. We even laughed in the middle of a deep discussion or two. 
    Received the name of these two for an interview from three different people. All said because of their unique family, how it is blended so beautifully. That certainly was what the big topic was and there were some hilarious stories.
    This, I believe, is the third time I’ve had a younger son join in. All fun, but this one was a hoot. In fact, let’s begin with him. I knew his grandfather well and thought that he was one of the best men I’ve ever known. Never a time he wouldn’t help anyone with whatever was needed. A lot of time was spent with this young man and his grandpa, and they did something I’d never heard of before and probably won’t again, but I simply loved it. Grandpa’ was big on going to do something, get out and play a sport, or work outside. When our boy’s grandfather would pick him up at school or various places, the young one was always asked what he’d like to do. Typical answer, “Watch t.v.” However, this grandparent had quite a different view of how that was done. They’d sit and watch, “Black t.v.;” in other words, nothing was on. Plan well instigated as soon, it was time to go out and do something. When I asked the fellow what he’d like to be (dad had already hinted at such), he immediately piped up he wanted to be a policeman and was going to shadow one for the day yet this week. Also, he is thinking of flying as on a recent vacation, he saw the Blue Angels in exhibition. Something in sports or who knows? After all, he’s a football, basketball, baseball playing Freshman at North so he has plenty of time.
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  • Meet Mom and Daughter with rhyming names
    Thursday, April 06, 2017 4:00 AM
    This week, up is a mom and daughter. Just missed them for an interview for the March Montgomery Memories, so I decided to feature them in my ATC article. Luckily, they were good with that!
    Although Mom worked at the A&W, first as a carhop, then inside waitress, it was when Jim and I were in Lafayette, so I didn’t get to really know her much. I had known who they both were ‘cause they went to New Market, and I of course was at WHS. Yet, it was in later years when our sons, their Jeff and my Jay, went to South together and were in various activities, that we were together more.
    In even later years, Jeff coached our grandson, Dane, in tennis at Tuttle. So, our paths have crossed several times, yet, we’d not sat down to really visit much, so enjoyed our time together for this article.
    Beauty was the topic for the MM, which is your number one hint. My interview was with a beautician, and her daughter, who will add pedicures and manicures to the shop. More on that later.
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