February 18, 2014

Issue 137
Whitewater Valley Guide
 Serving the Whitewater Valley of southeast Indiana 
and southwest Ohio.


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Local Events Calendar

April 8-15, 2014


Tuesday, April 8


Sean Lamb

Free, 6 pm

Firehouse BBQ and Blues

400 N. 8th Street

Richmond, In

765 488-0312


Book signing

Lori Rose: The Road Less Traveled

Free, 10 am – 2 pm

27 E. High Street

Lawrenceburg, In

812 539-2665


Wednesday, April 9


Miami U Steel Band

Free, 7:30 pm

Hall Auditorium

Oxford, Oh

513 529-3200


Harris Face

Wolf Cryer

Free, 7:30-10 pm


123 East Main

Eaton, Oh

937 456-1381


Thursday, April 10


Albert Herring, opera

 by Benjamin Britten

$15, $13, $12, 7:30 pm

Abegglen Theatre

MU Center for Performing Arts

Oxford, Oh

513 529-3200


Doug Hart

Free, 7 pm

Firehouse BBQ and Blues

400 N. 8th Street

Richmond, In

765 488-0312


Open Mike

Free, 7-10 pm


123 East Main

Eaton, Oh

937 456-1381


Acoustic entertainment

Cover, 9 pm

Indian Creek Tavern

6206 Main Street

Reily, Oh

513 756-9400


Radio Suspense Theatre

Rivertown Players

Tickets, 7 pm

City of Spires Museum

111 Fifth Street

Aurora, In

812 532-3078


Friday, April 11


Albert Herring, opera

 by Benjamin Britten

$15, $13, $12, 7:30 pm

Abegglen Theatre

MU Center for Performing Arts

Oxford, Oh

513 529-3200



Bud Summers

Free, 8-11 pm


123 East Main

Eaton, Oh

937 456-1381



$15 & $12, 7:30 pm

Richmond Civic Theatre

1003 East Main

Richmond, In

765 962-1816


Jane Austen Movie Series

Free, 2-4 pm

Centerville Public Library

126 E. Main

Centerville, In

765 855-5223


Second Friday

Free, 7 pm

Oxford Community Arts Center

10 S. College Avenue

Oxford, Oh

513 524-8506


Missy Werner Band

$6, 6 pm

Connersville Bluegrass Music Association

2600 Western Avenue

Connersville, In

812 346-5215


Interaction Singles Dance

$6, 6-11 pm

Silver Mountain Band

Upstairs-Eagles Lodge

75 South 12th Street

Richmond, In

765 977-8242


Brian Keith Wallen

Free, 8 pm

Firehouse BBQ and Blues

400 N. 8th Street

Richmond, In

765 488-0312


Radio Suspense Theatre

Rivertown Players

Tickets, 7 pm

City of Spires Museum

111 Fifth Street

Aurora, In

812 532-3078


Saturday, April 12


Albert Herring, opera

 by Benjamin Britten

$15, $13, $12, 7:30 pm

Abegglen Theatre

MU Center for Performing Arts

Oxford, Oh

513 529-3200


Stuart Little

$8 & $6, 2 pm

Richmond Civic Theatre

1003 East Main

Richmond, In

765 962-1816



$15 & $12, 7:30 pm

Richmond Civic Theatre

1003 East Main

Richmond, In

765 962-1816


Asanas & Ales

$30, 5-8:30 pm

Beatree Yoga

424 N. 10th Street

Richmond, In

765 267-1341


Jayne Sachs

Quiet Hollers

Free, 8-11 pm


123 East Main

Eaton, Oh

937 456-1381


Jazz & Percussion Concert

Free, 7:30 pm

Goddard Auditorium

Earlham College

801 National Road West

Richmond, In

765 983-1373


Richmond Symphony Concert

Tickets, 7:30-9:30 pm

Civic Hall

380 Hub Etchison Parkway

Richmond, In

 765 973-3350


Bach and Boombox


Free, 1:30 pm

College Avenue

Oxford Community Arts Center

513 524-8506


The Barber of Seville

Free, 3 pm

College Avenue

Oxford Community Arts Center

513 524-8506


Keb’ Mo’ SOLD OUT!

$35, 7:30 pm

MU Dave Finkelman Auditorium

4200 E. University Blvd

Middletown, Oh

513 529-3200


Female Singer-Songwriter Showcase

Free, 7 pm

Cat & the Fiddle

Clayborn Street

Metamora, In

513 403-0672


Antique Cameras 1800s-1950

Free, 10 am

Morgan Township Historical Society

3141 Chapel Road

Okeana, Oh

513 738-0910



Free, 9 pm

Randy’s Roadhouse

151 Batesville Shopping Village

Batesville, In

812 934-4900


Sean Lamb Band

Free, 9 pm

Firehouse BBQ and Blues

400 N. 8th Street

Richmond, In

765 488-0312


Radio Suspense Theatre

Rivertown Players

Tickets, 7 pm

City of Spires Museum

111 Fifth Street

Aurora, In

812 532-3078


Sunday, April 13


The Short Tree And

  The Bird That Could Not Sing

Free, 2 pm

Oxford Community Arts Center

College Avenue

Oxford, Oh

513 524-8506


Stuart Little

$8 & $6, 2 pm

Richmond Civic Theatre

1003 East Main

Richmond, In

765 962-1816



$15 & $12, 2 pm

Richmond Civic Theatre

1003 East Main

Richmond, In

765 962-1816


Rhonda Vincent with

  Feller & Hill

$20, $15, $10, 7 pm

Lawrenceburg High Auditorium

100 Tiger Blvd

Lawrenceburg, In

812 539-4251


Radio Suspense Theatre

Rivertown Players

Tickets, 2 pm

City of Spires Museum

111 Fifth Street

Aurora, In

812 532-3078


Monday, April 14


Buffalo Soldier

Free, 7 pm

Aurora City Park Pavilion

Park Street

Aurora, In

812 926-0646


Johnny Azari

Free, 7:30-10 pm


123 East Main

Eaton, Oh

937 456-1381




Preble’s Creative Kids

An Exhibit of Budding Artists


Visual Arts Center

601 Hillcrest Drive

Eaton, Oh

937 456-3999


Senior Capstone Show

Free, 9 am – 8 pm

Leeds Gallery

Earlham College

801 National Road West

Richmond, In

765 983-1474


On display!

Pastels by Jenelle Burris

Pottery by Marcia Pendley

Free, 10 am- 7:30 pm

Centerville Public Library

126 E. Main Street

Centerville, In

765 855-5223

Throughout April


Abstract Nature of H.A. Sigg

Free, 9-5 pm

Farmer Gallery

MU Art Museum

801 South Patterson Avenue

Oxford, OH 45056


Through May 17


African Art

Free, 9-5 pm

McKie Gallery

MU Art Museum

801 South Patterson Avenue

Oxford, OH 45056


Through May 17


Reality is Broken

Free, 9-5 pm

Douglass Gallery

MU Art Museum

801 South Patterson Avenue

Oxford, OH 45056




















Snow fog
Pie in the Sky

Whitewater Valley 
Cemetery Trail

Whitewater Valley Archeological Trail

Creation of the Whitewater Valley Culinary Arts College with campuses throughout the Valley.

Valley educators teaching about covered bridges engineering and history.

A group with a Valley-wide scope and mission that actually practices collaboration.

A hiking trail system along the entire length of the Whitewater Valley on the Indiana side.

Whitewater Valley Hostel Association

Pocket Park system along creeks on property now publicly owned by townships or municipalities.

Little Detroit Museum in Connersville

Whitewater Valley Covered Bridge Trail

Cedar Grove Bridge Park

A designated bike trail with lots of loops throughout the Whitewater Valley.
For this week's 
Whitewater Valley 
Calendar of Events

Professional level golf fun

   Our local professional golf hero is Bo Van Pelt who got his name on the second page of the leader board at the Masters this year before fading to par. Bo was born in Richmond and was trained, maybe is still being trained, by a pro from Oxford.

   What that means to you is there are enough golf courses in and around the Whitewater Valley to train like a pro. But if you just want to knock some around, you can also be comfortable with our local courses.

   At the Sagamore Resort on Brookville Lake is the 18-hole Buck Point Course. This Pete Dye-designed beauty is over 7000 acres of par 72 golf.

   Brookville has Brook Hill Golf Club on either side or Reservoir Road, north of SR1 as you head towards Blooming Grove. It is an 18-hole public par 71 course covering over 6,000 acres.

   Liberty Country Club is on US 27 about 16 miles north of Brookville. It is a par 70, 18-hole public course.

   Also 16 miles from Brookville but along Brookville Pike to Oxford, Ohio, then up Brown Road is Hueston Woods State Park Golf Course. It is listed as a municipal golf course. It is 18 holes with a par of 72 and since it is a state park there will be a gate admission.

   Willowbrook Country Club is open to the public in Connersville, a mere 18 miles from Brookville Lake. It features 18 holes and par for the course is 72.

   Cricket Hollow is public nine-hole facility on Pocket Road between Oldenburg and Batesville with a course par of 35.

Old channel bed
Whitewater River
West Fork

    Valley Pride

    According to a hydrography map, the watersheds of the Great Miami River include Preble, Butler Hamilton counties in Ohio and Wayne, Fayette, Union, Franklin and parts of Ripley and Dearborn counties in Indiana. 

    This means our Whitewater River is seen as merely a tributary of the Miami River, but we know it is what makes the Miami Great.

(Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MiamiRivers_watershed.png if you don’t believe me.)

Wilbur Wright,
One famous Whitewater Valley man

Second call for hostels

Free Images
   We had a few esponses to our Facebook question which wasn't posed as a question but a request. The request was to read thoughtfully and perhaps for the second time Hustling for Hostels. It's in Issue 66 which you can access by scrolling down a bit in the column to the right.

    The point is, creating a Whitewater Valley Hostel Association is a good idea. It should be done through an organization with a scope large enough to encompass all counties in the Valley.

    Wonder who that could be?

Early September 
Photo Essay:

Glidewell Mound 
and beach path


    Traveling through the gate of Mounds SRA and past the turnoff to the camping area, Mounds Beach Road slithers down to the beach beside large shoulders of mown grass on either side.  

    The lawn sometimes sports picnic tables in cozy spots like under the green eaves of a small blue spruce grove. 

    An estuary formed by one of the fingers of the lake is the temporary home of a flock of migrating or formerly migrating Canada Geese. 

    They converge on the strip of sand that begins to grow into the ample beach at the Mounds SRA. We assume the beach sand has been augmented by several hundred truckloads of store-bought sand. 

    Sunbathers have the beach almost to themselves on a Friday afternoon in early September. The air still has all the force of summer though in a week’s time nightly temperatures would drop into the 40s and the air become tinged with the clarity of imminent change—the coming of winter. 

    The only active boats in the vicinity are two jet skies patrolling close to shore near the beach before taking off around Glidewell Point. The Glidewell Mound overlooks this ancient river bed now filled with surplus water. 

    A thin path between the waving grasses heads to a strip of natural beach which itself winds around a corner and heads around a lagoon still spiked by the trees that were drowned when the lake was created. 

    If you follow the gravel shore around the lagoon you could reach the Fairfield trail connecting by foot the Fairfield Causeway to Mounds Beach Road just at the point where the Glidewell Trail begins. 


    The Glidewell Trail is not part of the Adena Trace Hiking Trail system. Both Fairfield Trail and Templeton Trail are. They meet just before Fairfield Trail hits the road. Templeton then carries on another two miles before again connecting, this time with the happily named .7 mile Wildlife Wander. 

    Glidewell Trail begins as a two lane wooded path before it offers a short loop of only two miles. Its possible maybe even logical to assume, even with what we know about assumptions, the longer four mile route was created for Dr. George W. Hosmer’s wagon to carry his team to the mound.

     “This is the most renowned mound in the county,” according to Frank M. Setzler who reported in ‘The Archaeology of the Whitewater Valley’ that when Dr. George W. Hosmer partially excavated the Glidewell Mound it was 15 feet high and 60 feet in diameter. The slump of soil that is today’s mound is the merest shadow of this mound in its glory.

    While he first visited the mound in 1871, in June of 1879 Dr. Hosmer began the excavations; he published his “Remains on White Water River” beginning on page 732 of the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1882. 

Guide to the possible 
Scroll down for Local Calendar                        Weekly Email Guide Free Click Here

Pilates and palates

    Sometimes you have to blink twice before you can begin to believe your eyes. Read this quick: ‘Asanas & Ales.’ Don’t seem to go together, do they? But they will Saturday in Richmond.

    Asanas are the various postures of Hatha Yoga. The seat you use when you meditate, butt on a hard cushion, backbone straight, legs crossed in front of you and folded one over the other at the knee, is an asana. Asanas are designed to lead to unity, make that Unity which is another word for Yoga.

    Ales probably don’t need as much explanation. Beer is omnipresent and far, far older than Yoga, the study of utilizing asanas and/or meditation to reach Unity. Ales and beer have long been recognized for their spiritually therapeutic properties. ‘Malt does more than Milton can/to justify God’s ways to man,’ wrote Housman in A Shropshire Lad. And for their service as a physical pain reliever— ‘Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink/for fellows whom it hurts to think.’

    Putting them together is an experience you may take on yourself if you are over 21, have $30, are flexible in your outer being and are ready to be guided through a brewery. It seems Beatree Yoga resides at 424 North 10th Street in Richmond while New Boswell Brewing Company is at 410 North 10th, a hop, skip and a jump away.

    If you decide to take on ‘Asanas & Ales’ which we highly (in so many ways) recommend, we assume you will be bending your whole body at Beatree before you begin to concentrate on those specific elbow exercises at New Boswell Brewing.

   We only add: “Hail to the Ale, and here’s to good neighbors!”


Matinees and theatre idylls

    Throughout the Whitewater Valley this week theatre performances are springing up like spring crocuses or croci.

    Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s is bringing its Off the Hill family series production of ‘The Short Tree And the Bird That Could Not Sing’ to the Oxford Community Arts Center on Sunday at 2 pm. The show is free, open to the public and recommended for ages five and up. The play by Dennis Foon is a wacky fable of an unlikely friendship between a tree that resents its roots and a spunky, unflappable bird with a horrible singing voice.

    At the same time on Saturday but repeated again on Sunday at 2 pm, Richmond Civic Theatre presents E. B. White’s wonderful mouse ‘Stuart Little’ in a two-day, story-theatre matinee. Stuart is an ordinary mouse born in New York who interacts with humans and other animals in charming and delightful ways.

    For something a little more adult and slightly more demanding, try the Benjamin Britten opera in English ‘Albert Herring’. It is a comedy set in an English countryside circa 1946 or so and will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at MU’s Abegglen Theatre in the Center for Performing Arts, Oxford.

    Spamalot continues for one more week as the Richmond Civic Theatre’s offering this Friday and Saturday evening with a matinee on Sunday at the popular 2 pm. Spamalot is a live performance version of the movie ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’

    Aurora’s Rivertown Players present The Radio Suspense Theatre this weekend in the City of Spires Museum. The mystery (or is it mysteries?) ‘A Deadly Wager – The Parakeets Vanish’ will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with a matinee on Sunday.

    (Btw, the Rivertown Players will be holding auditions on April 26 & 27 for Lerner & Loewe’s ‘Brigadoon.’)


Local Music Scene

    We’ve heard tell of what some might call the ‘BMI Bad Guys’ contacting music venues in Franklin County to let them know that supporting live music has its consequences. Supporting in this case is when a local public establishment be it bar, restaurant, café or whatever, hires a band.

    You’d think putting musicians to work would be a good thing, and BMI is not saying it isn’t, it’s just not as simple as that. If a typical band plays three one-hour sets which are usually about 45 minutes long, it will play, say, 25% originals leaving 75% of the music they play written and published by someone else. Those writers and publishers have their rights and BMI has taken on the responsibility of policing them thar rights.

    From www.bmi.com/advocacy, “BMI’s primary goal is to ensure that our writers, composers and publishers are properly compensated for the public use of their music. This objective requires a multifaceted approach that involves educating about public policy and partnerships.”

    Let’s say the songwriter in that band which plays 25% originals has become a member of BMI, which as a songwriter is free, then BMI is ensuring he or she is “properly compensated for the public use of their music.” See? That’s how it gets complicated.

    By the way, you may consider this very article part of BMI’s “multifaceted approach” in that by calling local clubs to “educate them about public policy” BMI has caused a dynamic to change in our local entertainment options.

    At present writing we have fewer places where local bands can play while owners of these places, which had been hiring bands regularly before the BMI phone call, decide what they are going to do.

    They could hire musicians who play only original or public domain songs. Or hire bands that only play non-BMI songs. (One out of every two songs played on the radio are BMI-licensed music, according to the not-for-profit company’s website.)

    They could also get permission from the writers of the songs to use them in public performances, though this could be a tedious and rejection-filled occupation. They might try another form of entertainment like a comedy club. They could give up on live music or they could join BMI.

    Ideally after the clubs are educated, they will see the advantage of partnering with BMI. The goals are worthy, the costs are reasonable and the alternate is not acceptable.

    Rock on!

    (Let’s just hope ASCAP, who probably licenses the other fifty percent of music we want to hear, isn’t in the public education mode.)








Thoughts Through the Week

In writing about BMI, I got to thinking, ‘Hmm, Writers rights! Or in the case of Fox News, Righters write!’







Issue 142
March 25-31, 2014


Experience EcoMind at Earlham

    The best selling author and über foodie Francis Moore Lappé will be discussing her new book ‘Eco Mind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want’ in Earlham College’s Carpenter Hall this Friday. In it she takes on some notions that put up walls between us.

    One segment is called ‘Beyond Growth Versus No Growth’. She reiterates her goal for us, that is, to think like an eco-system, and, regarding the topic, reminds us “ever-evolving relationships define life forms and experience.”

    My problem with the book is that the ideas, albeit very, very important, tend to be nebulous. Consequently, she is responding to that nebulae in the only way she can with words forming concepts that are healing in their intention and arrangement but themselves vague and intellectually hazy like ‘ever-evolving relationships’ as an antidote to ‘Growth Versus No Growth’.

    I tend to agree, but when I go back in my mind to dig up the stuff and think about it, it, too, drifts away on a cloud of luminous gas.

    Her best selling book ‘Diet for a Small Planet’ was more concrete and therefore more immediately influential. I believe ‘EcoMind’ may be an influential book somewhere down the line and I believe that Ms Lappé believes that, too. She knows it is important. She knows it is nebulous and she knows it will take lots of small gatherings like the one at Earlham this Friday to not only sell the book, but bring EcoMind to life. It’s a daunting task and you can help her out considerably by simply being there.

    (In case Ms Lappé ever reads this, I suggest one concept regarding ‘Growth Versus No-Growth’, an economic state of Dynamic Equilibrium.)


Tuba or not Tuba’s

    Springtime is when a young man’s fancy turns to Sibelius or perhaps Mendelssohn or maybe even a brass fanfare by Paul Dukas. You know Spring, windy and warm one day, Nordic frost the next.

   Sunday afternoon at Earlham’s Carpenter Hall the Richmond Community Orchestra will show us what the last three months of rehearsals has wrought. We’re looking forward to hearing the tuba showcased in Bruce Broughton’s ‘Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra’. Curt Borntrager, a teacher at College Corner Middle School, will be playing the featured tuba.

    And speaking of Tuba’s. Did you know there’s a bar and restaurant in Batesville called Tuba’s Place. It’s on Park Avenue catty-corner from Batesville’s beautiful Liberty Park where they have an equally beautiful pavilion where live music is sometimes performed.     

    We say this because of our compulsive need to bring things together. So with no hope of ever seeing it come off, we recommend the folks at Batesville Parks and Recreation contact RCO’s principal trombonist Don Shrader (drshrader@earthlink.net) about having the orchestra visit. As Don said recently, RCO is a traveling orchestra and it takes just about as much to set up in Richmond, as it would in Batesville or anywhere else in the Whitewater Valley.


Gear heads get in free

    Lawrenceburg Speedway, conveniently located at the Dearborn County Fair Grounds on US 50, is opening the 2014 racing season with a gift to all its fans, free grandstand seating. Of course, if you want or need the pits you’ll have to pay for it: fifteen dollars, in this case.

    For the fanatic racing fan get there at 9 am when the pits open and watch as in time lapse as the racing season blooms anew. The first practice runs start at 10 am and racing begins at 2 pm or so.

    Lawrenceburg’s track is a small, 3/8 mile clay oval featuring sprint, modified, hornet and pure stock racing. The great thing about a small track is you can see it all from the grandstands. And there’s lots of action, not to mention sounds and the smells that only come from a small racetrack.


Grant awarded to study Whitewater River

    The meetings that were held recently in Harrison and Brookville regarding the state (and maybe even the fate) of the Whitewater River were paid for in part by a $158,469 grant recently received by the Dearborn County Soil and Water Conservation District. And you can expect to be hearing more from this group during this public outreach segment.

    The section of the Whitewater covered under this grant is roughly from Brookville to the Ohio River and public input is the key to this segment of river management.

    On-going sampling of river water quality by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, which started in November and will continue for about a year, will be used as base information for this effort at understanding and improving the river.

    Some local landowners who attended these meetings were concerned that this might be the thin edge of a government effort to take something from them, but we are assured this is not the case. As we understand it, this is a long-range plan to clean our river which is already pretty clean.

    The total grant was for $264,115, of which $105,646 will be provided by DC SWCD either as cash or in-kind labor. If you are interested in taking part, steering committees will be formed along the way and more public meetings are expected.





West Fork of the Whitewater

March 2014

Issue 141

March 18-24, 2014


Dancing with Stars and wild, wild women

   There’s a couple of ways to take in some high-end entertainment this Saturday in Richmond. At two o’clock be at the Wayne County Historical Museum to hear Steve Martin expound on Wayne County Women & Whiskey.

    Then at 5:30 trip the light fantastic over to the Lamplight Inn at the Leland to either catch or be part of the local ballroom competition, Dancing with the Stars (probably sans ‘stars’—present company excepted).


Bacchus and Aphrodite

    We like the concept of a BYOB party as part and parcel of a creative workshop. The Visual Arts Center of Preble County is holding an ‘Unwind & Create Workshop’ this Friday evening at the Visual Arts Center where you bring your favorite adult libation and create to your art’s content.

    If you’re looking for a nice armchair murder on a pseudo cruise with real-life dinner, the Preble County Art Association is offering ‘Murder on the Aphrodite’ on March 29th. Tickets are $40 and include a valuable surprise.

    The evening's events begin at 6 pm when guests will have the opportunity to purchase a balloon containing a prize worth at least $20, generously donated to the Arts Center by local businesses and individuals. Reserve by March 19 by calling 937 456-3999.


Exuberant, indomitable Spring

    In a few winks it will be Spring and we will no longer need to look for signs of. Those warm days we’ve had have awakened in us the first faint glimpses of growing anxiety. Growing anxiety is the feeling that you seriously need to be growing something.

    On one such day Neighbor Al dropped off a gardening catalogue, a sure symptom of growing anxiety. And who hasn’t paused for a moment to leaf through the packets of garden seeds which themselves have sprouted up full-grown on sometimes circular metal racks which you spin around to get the full effect of what you’re missing.

    We will soon be overcome by the exuberant, omnipresent rite of Spring when all of a sudden everything is everywhere sprouting rapidly, indomitably and you have to do your best to hack it back, cut it down and trim it off.

    To that end, the Dearborn County Home Builders Association is holding their fifth annual Home and Garden Show on March 21st, 22nd and 23rd at Agner Hall inside the Lawrenceburg fairgrounds. 

    According to inside sources, the DCHBA Home and Garden show has been a huge success in the past and showcases many of our local businesses displaying their products and offering their services.  The show includes free workshops, giveaways, a basket raffle, and a food court whose proceeds support a local charity.


Oxford Farmers Artistry

    We have to adjust our thinking about when we cash in on the rewards of our Spring gardening efforts. For those of us just seeding now, it will be months before we can lavish ourselves on our home grown healthy, fresh and delicious rewards. But there are others, we could call them season-breakers, who are using man’s (and woman’s) ingenuity to keep the market (that’s us as consumers) in produce.

    Last week Larry Slocum, the manager of Oxford Farmers Market (downtown), listed a surprisingly long list of available items including “apples, hydroponic lettuce, potatoes, squash, green onions, small pumpkins, kale, collards, radishes, turnips, cilantro and parsley, dried beans (cannellini, black turtle, kidney, Vermont cranberry, tiger eye), and other root crops.”

    In prompting us to attend last week’s market, he hinted, “ArtistryFarm will be there with free range eggs, some goat cheese, goat milk soaps made from Grandmother's recipe, baked goods made from whole-grains ground in the kitchen.”

    And while we’re on the subject, ArtistryFarm is celebrating April (27th) in the Country by offering two classes on Goat Milk Magic. One CHEESEmaking 101 is first at 1 pm on that last Sunday of the pre-merry month of April. In a limited size class you will make and take home a ready-to-eat fresh cheese.

    In the second at 3 pm turn goat milk into lye soap with Grandmother’s recipe. Says Debra Bowles, the art farmer of ArtistryFarm, “Age it a bit then use it. (It’s) simple purity for your skin.”

    The classes are $45 each and registering early is the thing to do in a small class.


Box Office and Spring duties

    We heard from Craig at Miami University Box Office about two things, one was a clarification on the role of the MU Box Office, the other was his personal plans for tending to the season.

    “If the university event requires a ticket (free or paid), the Box Office is very likely associated with providing the necessary ticketing services,” he wrote.

    The Guide published the incorrect number for the box office last week so forget that one. This is the number to use if you have any questions about a performance at Miami University, Box Office 513 529-3200.

    Regarding the great outdoors, he wrote, “My upcoming days include boiling maple sap from our 50 taps whenever the weather allows for a good sap run.”

    Craig is also starting over 2500 tomato plants which he grows for retail sales each spring. He plants 25+ varieties, including many heirlooms; all are organically grown, and will eventually end up in 16 oz cups to produce “very premium plants”.





Jawbone & Beaver Stump

March 2014

Issue 140 

March 11-17, 2014


South of Superior

    Anyone who’s driven over the Mighty Mac Bridge has tasted UPer culture. It’s just south of Superior and B. Jamerson will present a program on it. ‘Up in the U.P’ contains original stories about ski jumping, songs about iron mining and conversation about Cornish pasties and Finnish saunas. It’s about the culture and history of Michigan’s Upper Penninsula, it’s free and it takes place on Wednesday at the Hagerstown Public Library.


OK Okeana on Saturday

    You could do a twofer or even more in Okeana this Saturday. You might join Morgan Township in paying tribute to Congressional Medal of Honor winner PFC William B. Baugh. He was a Korean War veteran and was awarded the Medal posthumously.

The Morgan Township Historical Society will pay tribute 10 am in the Administration Building in Okeana. 

    After the program, the 1858 Morgan Township Museum, 6464 Okeana Drewersburg Road, will be open for tours until 2 pm.  Guests are welcome. Then if it’s a beautiful day you might drive over to Governor Bebb Park and visit the pioneer village, maybe take a walk on some of the trails there.


Theatrical Moon Over Buffalo

    The new digital events calendar at Miami U. is not as good as the one it abandoned. Case in point, ‘Moon Over Buffalo.’ This is a play to be played this Thursday through Saturday at the Wilkes Theatre in the Armstrong Center on the Oxford campus but try to find it listed in any of the calendars on the university’s website. We couldn’t. Anyway, despite MU’s best efforts at repressing the free expression of their theatre students (just kiddin’), the word is out. Oxford Visitors Bureau tells us there will be a ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ this week.

    While wandering lost in the new MU digi-mall we discovered ‘Peter Pan’ is coming to Studio 88 in the Center for Performing Arts on Miami’s Oxford campus in late April for six performances. It is presented by Zimmerman Experimental Theatre and promises to be edgy with flying humans on the latest techno-fibers.

    I wonder if it was MU’s intention all along to make finding things more difficult so we’d have to wander?


Local Music Scene

Up Close and Personal: It’s not like the Hearthstone is trying to keep their open mike night a secret; they just don’t have a mike and until I got there on Thursday evening not even a musician. So don’t expect a stage unless you look at it philosophically and consider this stage one of another effort to bring live music to the Whitewater Valley.

    It all started last week and, as music does sometime, kinda magically. Tom S. had talked to some people about the new open mike night. He didn’t say what time though and, for the record, it’s still anybody’s guess. The Hearthstone starts getting ready for dinner at 4 pm and if somebody like you is ready to play then (as we said in our days of youth and anarchy), Do it!

    The story goes, the bar had been empty on opening night for a couple of hours. Some players showed up, and when they began to play, the bar filled up with people. That was the magical part. Of course it might have been electronics.

    We can’t make any promises, but we heard the two guys who showed up on that first Thursday were so good they got hired and will do their first gig as Frank & Mitch this Saturday at the Hearthstone. They were staff favorites with their harmonies on Simon and Garfunkel like stuff.

    The take away here is not so much that Frank & Mitch will be performing, but they were slung-shot up from open mike night. Maybe it could happen to you. So that’ll be 4 to 10 pm Thursday night. BYO electronics.


Update on Cedar Grove Bridge

    It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you on the progress of turning the now abandoned and muzzled Cedar Grove Bridge into an observation park and hike/bike trail.    

    What’s come to light lately is the need for a unified vision of what exactly that park/trail is going to look like once INDOT transfers ownership of this historically significant cultural artifact to us, dba the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge. So we’re looking for someone to make an artist’s rendering of the bridge in all its future frippery, benches, pathways, lighting, the whole works.

    The Friends met last week and covered lots of ground, including a little visioning process where we cast ourselves forward some months and assume we were just given the ownership of the bridge. What would we need to do immediately? What next and so on?   

    We decided on insurance immediately and Ross Brown next. Ross Brown is the fellow we hope will restore the bridge for us. He works by hand and often as not by himself, taking a bridge apart piece by piece and either storing or restoring it.

   With the help of Indiana Landmarks, an application is being made to list Cedar Grove Bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge, which is 100 years old this year, is a double camelback with some unique attributes. This will answer a lot of outstanding questions and give everyone a steady platform of shared information about the bridge.

    When we realized we needed a graphic picture to help public presentations we also saw the need for creating bike trails on existing roads. We discussed a fund raising bike rally and outlined a route starting and ending at the bridge.

    Speaking of fundraising, you should send us a check. Ten bucks or so won’t hurt and it will go a long way to show the breadth of support we have for this project. All the money goes directly to the project. No one can touch it without the knowledge and okay of the Whitewater Canal Trail Board and the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge.

    No one is getting paid to do this work, this keeping up the fight. It’s all volunteer. One point though, you could lose your money. It’s a bit of a gamble. That’s part of the fun of it. But then, while your money wouldn’t be returned to you (things don’t work that way), it would still be part of the general fund of the Whitewater Canal Trail and be applied to their continuing effort to complete the Trail from Metamora to Brookville.

    Anyway, to support the purchase and restoration of the Cedar Grove Bridge, please send a check to Cedar Grove Bridge, Whitewater Canal Trail, Inc., PO Box 126, Brookville, In 47012. Make the check out to Whitewater Canal Trail and in the Memo line write Cedar Grove Bridge.

    And thanks.


One Sparrow


Rolling Thunder awoke the morning sky

above the graying clouds rumbled

not yet vanquished by his all night vigil

Spattering raindrops tumbled as they fell

trembling between the weight of gravity

and the calling of the thunder being above.


Anon somewhere east of here

a Sun content to simply light overcast

arose to the calling of a single sparrow

Intrepid, indomitable, feathers soaked through

yet dreading not the rumbling above

to the rising in the east the slathered sparrow sung.


Lonely was his song for his fellows remained silent

on this morning when the voice of the west was nigh

When the all night rain dampened the zeal

of even the bravest heart

one who knew not what his betters decreed by their silence

One solo sparrow, one foolish fellow

raised his voice in a glee club of one

to the morning ritual of the rising sun.


One Sparrow’s mission –

To gather the clan,

to unite the tribe,

to re-grow the forest.




Gary Schlueter


May 14, 2009



Ice Forms in Gold

Issue 139   See Whitewater Valley Weekly Calendar below and left

March 4-10, 2014

RSO exposes the Glories of Rococo

    Remind me again, what is Rococo?

    Think music that is flowery, ornate, graceful and witty.

    This Saturday at Civic Hall, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra dips into the rococo style with samples the music of the late 18th century. Pianist Soojin Ahn will play  concertos of Mozart, Haydn and more.


Storyteller of many cultures

    Oxford Community Arts Center is at it again. This Friday their Family Performance Series presents Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park traveling storyteller Diane Macklin. The event is free, starts at seven and looks like fun.

    Ms Macklin will be sharing tales from America, Africa, and other cultures.  A variety of characters will be introduced during her performance, and she will be utilizing many methods of storytelling, including chants, songs, music, and movement.


Make a sap of your trees

    It’s time to tap the maple trees. It comes once a year when the sap starts to rise. The season is probably late this year because of the brutally cold weather, but the brutality is abating and, like us, trees are eager to get their vernal juices flowing again.

    By our reading you have two options to get close-up and hands-on sticky with your fellow maple slurpers. The first is today.

    It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans and maple syrup in Centerville, specifically at the Cope Environmental Center. It looks like the object today is to move you from station to interactive station where you’ll learn to tap trees, taste test the sap and be reinforced through demonstrations by pioneers and native peoples.

    It starts at four, so better hurry.

    If you can’t Cope, you might Hueston. That would be an annual all-day event called the Maple Syrup Festival centered in the beautiful Hueston Woods Lodge in the Ohio State Park of the same name in or near enough to College Corner, Ohio. This is the 48th annual and four family-friendly events are scheduled.


Fish Fry Friday

    Mentioning Fat Tuesday, we must mention the fish fry effect of Ash Wednesday. Fish fries will be everywhere this Friday. Yes it is the very catholic Fish Fry Friday, hard after Ash Wednesday. There will be two in Lawrenceburg, two in Harrison, one each in Crosby Township, and St. Teresa’s in Bright. And that’s just scratching the surface, barely scrapping the scales, so to speak.


Indiana regional arts and artisans

    Batesville Regional Fine Arts Fair happens this weekend at the RomWeber Marketplace. This 4th annual Rural Alliance for the Arts fair features work by southeastern Indiana artists and artisans.

    Friday is the special preview night with finger food and drinks for ten bucks starting at seven. Saturday and Sunday the show is open and free. Artists may still have time to register. Contact Ripley County Tourism Bureau  (888)747-5394, rctb@ripleycountytourism.com.


The logic of Trails

    Trails take us into Spring, not to the slush of the city but to the majesty of the natural Spring. Trails keep us alive to nature. They keep us in touch with our mechanical selves. They were here before we were and have gone everywhere with us as we’ve grown into whatever it is we’ve become.

    It’s odd that we have to think especially about trails, but in this day of motorcar madness someone has to speak up for pedestrians. You certainly know there are places cars can go where we can’t, that is we in our primary walking mode. We are all pedestrians but we are not all drivers of cars and trucks. Yet there are highways and roadways so designed that we, walkers all, are prohibited by law or by good sense to step upon them.

    That ain’t right!

    I remember my first trip through Indiana when I was searching for a home. It was a Saturday when I slashed into this rural hilly country from Camden, on Ohio SR 725 which changed to Indiana SR 44 before heading into Liberty then Connersville. I drove south, video taped the Whitewater Railroad on a morning run to Metamora and ended the travel day in a fine motel in Seymour at the corner of I-65 and US 50.

    Walking from my motel room at half-time for some food I realized there was no walkway, not a sidewalk, a curb or even a consideration about how a pedestrian might pass under the freeway on a major, historic United States highway and walk to the stores and strip malls on the Seymour side of I-65. There are countless other examples large and small where pedestrians have been excluded intentionally or otherwise. They simply prove this imbalance we’ve created by putting the car first.

    Pedestrians must come first in all our terrestrial plans but that they haven’t has created an imbalance. Trails make up for that imbalance because they can go places where cars and trucks can’t. Take yourself upon the Wolf Creek Trail on the west side of lower Brookville Lake and you will see this is true.

    Pedestrians need places where the automotive world can’t get to them. And since we are pedestrians first, we need those places. Those places are trails. Therefore we need trails and the more the better.


A shout out for new trails

    We applaud the news State Rep. Jud McMillin relayed on Sunday. Apparently like minds are looking at creating trails in Franklin County that will fit into the Whitewater Valley’s growing trail network.

    He specifically mentioned a grant which if granted would create a trail linking Brookville Town Park along the tailwater to the extensive Brookville Lake system. On St. Patrick’s Day, or thereabouts, they expect to hear word about the grant.

    The plan is to connect through the Army Corps of Engineers lakeside property with the Whitewater Valley Land Trust system through Union and Wayne Counties. He also  mentioned potentially creating trails running west towards Connersville and east towards Liberty.

    Rep. McMillin didn’t mention the Land Trust by name but we feel that would be the next logical step since its system of land preserves reaches south to Brownsville on the East Fork two miles from the west finger of the upper lake.

    If and when completed this tailwater trail will point Franklin County trail attention northwards towards Union County: Egypt Hollow, Stillhouse Hollow, Quakerstown, Dunlapsville and eventually North Treaty Line Road where the river begins again and the link with the Brownsville Land Trust property is within shouting distance (if you have a loud voice).



Issue 138

Feb. 25-Mar. 4

Robert of Maplehurst

    The Works of Robert Coveney are the works of a winner. He won last year’s Preble County Art Association juried show and these paintings in watercolors and oils will explain in graphic detail why.

    Mr. Coveney works out of Maplehurst Studios in Eaton, Ohio where he lives. He studied art at Miami and Indiana Universities, is now retired from Miami and thus is probably coming into his flowering as an artist.


Soul searching children’s theatre

    Main Stage Theatre is presenting ‘The Giver’ this weekend at Earlham College which seems a fine place to question the truths on which our society is based. Or perhaps we’d rather just question the value of the power of choice. Either way, The Giver is the avenue. It is based on a play by Eric Coble from the book by Lois Lowry.

    Since it was commissioned by Oregon Children’s Theatre we will assume that Jonas, the primary character, is someone a child can relate to. Jonas' world is nearly perfect, no war, fear, pain or hunger, but joy, love, and choice are also missing.

    At the Ceremony of the Twelves, Jonas is assigned a role that puts him on a path very different from his friends and family. As he receives special training from the Giver, Jonas begins to realize the potential of human experience and question the Truths on which his society is based.

    ‘The Giver’ will be at Earlham’s Wilkinson Theatre this Friday and Saturday evening.


Good Goddard Guildenstern!

    The boards of Goddard Auditorium will thunder this Spring, first with a rare appearance by the elegant queen of legumes, Frances Moore Lappé of ‘Diet for a Small Planet’ fame who will speak her new ‘Eco-Mind’ on March 28th.

    The best work of the Bard is said to be ‘Hamlet’ which happens to be highlighting a mini-Shakespeare festival on the season opening Spring weekend of April 4th & 5th. Hamlet appears on Friday night at Goddard followed on Saturday night with a modern play about two characters from Hamlet, Tom Stoppards’ ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’.

    Ah the good olde days. They’re coming up in March and April.


There will be jugglers

    And speaking of Shakespeare and projecting ourselves into the future, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will be performed in the round and in repertory from June 6-15. The setting will be Richmond’s Starr-Gennett piano factory which will be converted into a 150-seat theatre.

    According to Nancy Sartain, “The park-like area surrounding the amphitheater will be converted into a festival plaza with performers, art displays, activities such as jugglers, and food.”

    If this rattles your chain mail, check out www.richmondshakespearefestival.org for more details.


Walking on the World Wide Web

    Last summer Phil Anderson was doing research on walking tours for the Whitewater Canal Byway Association. Centerville was one of the communities he electronically visited and as usual in this kind of research the library was the mother lode of information. (By the way, I saw somewhere last week that there more libraries in the United States than McDonald’s outlets. Yay us!)

    The walking tours take visitors on a self-guided tour of the historic main streets of several select communities, like Centerville. (Who could ever leave Centerville out of anything Whitewater Valleyish?) WCBA President Candy Yucak said they have two more to complete for the first round and expects the task to be complete within a month.

    Afterwards they will be mounted on the organization’s newly designed website and be available to the public touring the Whitewater Valley, both actually and digitally.

    Candy said the tours are “very interesting. I’m always learning more and more about this incredible valley we live in.”


Gary August Schlueter





Feb 18-24


‘Hey Big Spenda’

    This is Big Splurge week in the Whitewater Valley and thereabouts. First off it’s black tie optional from Oxford town to Connersville to Metamora and that’s just Thursday night.   

    Upscale Saturday includes Tea at Three at Annie’s Classics Café at the Lawrenceburg Library. At five pm the Big Splurge continues with an Artzzy Party in the Harmony Crown Room three stories above Main Street in beautiful downtown Brookville.

    An hour later you are required at the Oldenburg Academy for the Silver Anniversary of their Reverse Raffling. For those still up for the black tie action Millett Hall back in old Oxford would suit you to that tie with a Wine Tasting Gala & Auction. The ante’s steep but what the heck, it’s Big Splurge week.

    It wouldn’t be expected but it might happen that someone wears a red dress to one or two of these events, all the while intending to appear at the Red Dress Ball in the Kuhlman Center on North Salisbury Road in Richmond sometime from evening to night.

    Or you could go tubing for a good cause down Perfect Slopes.

    And on top of that there’s a frivolous pillow on display at Leeds Gallery, Earlham.

    What more can a citizenry want?


Big Name of the Week


Suits by Armani

    Posed in dark Italian the light behind them throws their shadows across a steel-colored floor, a pic-face spot for each catches The Tenors in the best light. Click! There’s your cover. Cool shoes, too.

    The Tenors croon in Oxford on Thursday in Hall Auditorium. Judging by the schedule, this is something of an honor. This falls into the ‘Good Catch, Miami U. Performing Arts Series’ category.

    It looks like the place names The Tenors are about to inhabit with their music covers most of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which formed the original English Heptarchy. From the north folk in Northhamptonshire down to the south folk in Suffolk and even to the mid-folk of Middlesex they’ll be singing. And here they are on Thursday within easy driving distance.

    Definitely a cool shoes night.


Local Music Scene

    Gathering from Yahoo!, at Rockies Bar & Grill can be had casual fun in an ambiance featuring dancing in a bar late at night. Jay Jesse Johnson and his band plan to uphold the Rockie tradition by playing this Saturday until 1:30 in the a of m when words are drawn out and sound different than say 10 o’clock.

    By the map on Industrial Access Road, Rockies is engulfed by the Rising Star Casino whose industry includes another kind of industrial access which sometimes leads to egress of industrial excess in what might otherwise be called per capita.

    Rockies Bar & Grill is ‘larger and in better shape than the other bars in Rising Sun,’ one ‘rain maker’ Yahoose to us. So if there’s any of the ‘Hey, big spenda’ in ya, and you love hot, home cooked blues you have got your Saturday covered.

    Music, tables, side-shows, faces to see, lavish bathrooms with lighting and mirrors that make you look good, views of the Mighty Ohio at night, plush carpets, mingled cologne, perfumes, sweat from him, mist from her, the alluring despair lurking, the high rise hopes at your fingertips, the Casino.


Spring forward

    Yesterday ‘A Frivolous Nature’ officially began. We like to see it as the first sign of Spring, though we think it frivolous to hope for spring before March 7th. We do hope for it before then but we do it frivolously and under that caution continue to search for those signs saying this nasty winter has broken its back.  Not that it’s over; it will never be over; it is Winter; it just rolls under.

    Megan Abajian’s ‘A Frivolous Nature’ is at Earlham College’s Leeds Gallery until March 21, roughly the official rolling over of Spring.

    Anyway holding up this artificial flower, a slightly psychedelic papier-mache daisy, it’s time to say, ‘Heeeere’s Megan!’

    Leeds Gallery reports, “Megan makes decorative, feminine paintings that thrive in the exciting realm between craft and art. She engages in creating the pictorial illusions of space found in traditional landscapes and still life paintings, playing flat forms against organic color fields. The work is formal, taking pleasure in color and pattern while using nature as a source of abstraction.”

    And she calls it ‘Frivolous’.


Extricate the ghost images

    One subscriber has been receiving a duplicate picture of a little girl in pink with a goat above the lead picture of the week. I contacted iContact where Jack diagnosed a Cache full of Cookies and recommended dieting and deleting regularly.

    But seriously, Browser Cache is like the ghost of hundreds of thousands of data files, useful when visiting the same sites by utilizing that ghostly Cache to speed up your visit. But otherwise it hangs around like cob webs clouding the free flow of information. In the case of iContact and the girl in pink with the goat, it seems the cache build up of electronic cobwebs is perhaps bringing back that picture.

    It’s electronically eerie and disturbing. It is certainly unintended and where does that fit on the scientific scale of one to whatever? Definitely on the ‘whatever’ side of WYSIWYG, GIGO, Fortran and Kabal.

    According to iContact Jack, ‘Clearing the Cache and Cookies in a browser helps fix these issues. Here's a link for your reference that will walk you through how to clear cache and cookies for known browsers: http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser%27s-Cache.

    The Whitewater Valley Guide makes no recommendation that you utilize the above website, except to say we’ll probably give it a try one of these days.



Zinky Smith's dock, Water Bay, St. Thomas.

(See 'Shameless Self-Promotion' below)

Feb 11-17, 2014


The not-muchness of Valentine’s Day

    Last Saturday we saw a couple of early Valentine’s Day celebrations. We think that might have been because Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year and folks feel this most romantic of made-up holidays can only be celebrated properly on a Saturday which, if you remember, is followed by Sunday, a day of rest (and sometimes recuperation).

    By our reckoning (and our calendar) there is no special interest in announcing Valentine’s Day happenings on Friday though Taffy’s of Eaton has a heart-shaped event called Sweet Art Auction this Saturday evening. Now Sweet Art is not Sweet Heart but it’s close. All you have to do is drop the ‘He’ which we do not recommend in a case of true romance, at least not in Indiana where our elected representatives in Indianapolis are doing their best to abolish such Californicated notions.

    So for those who want traditional romance on Valentine’s Day we recommend a night in Richmond, highlighted by a visit to the Richmond Civic Theatre for a performance of Pride and Prejudice, where in the book after about 600 pages the heroine and hero do finally come together to live happily ever after. Ah sweet fiction!

    Another romantic, make that bro-mantic, event on Friday night is a screening of Casablanca at the Gibson Theater where as we all remember the hero does not get the girl in the end but does walk off onto the darkening tarmac (of Van Nuys Airport, btw) with the Vichy chief of police.


Blues for the night after

    For those droop-eared dogs who didn’t or wouldn’t find a date for Valentine’s Day Saturday might be a time to sing the blues. If so we recommend CC Tavern in West College Corners, almost straddling the Ohio/Indiana border. There the Jay Jesse Johnson Band makes a rare home-town (kinda) appearance.

    The first time we heard the music of Jay Jesse Johnson was a few years ago in Metamora at Meeting House Antiques. Dave, the owner, had a CD of Jay Jesse and was raving about it. We both loved it and decided on the spot that he and his band would be the centerpiece in a Metamora Blues Festival which we couldn’t quite pull off due to reasons too complicated for anything less than another short story which would have to be fiction to protect the people and the obstacles we encountered.

    (But it wouldn’t be Metamora without obstacles, after all a canal runs through it and if that doesn’t create sides I don’t know what does.)

    CC Tavern has been the scene of some great music over the years and this promises to be one of those nights.


Local Music Scene

   What could be more local than a band named the Local Legends? On the other hand, if and when they go national what good is a name like Local Legends? (You needn’t answer either one of those questions, btw.)

    But you might want to hear them perform in order to make up your own mind whether they are either of the L words. The Metamora-based (at least for now) outlaw country blues rockers are working more original stuff into their repertoire and are working two gigs back to back this week.

    The first is Thursday night at Borderline Bar & Grill, another of those places almost straddling the state line, this time the Indiana/Ohio line. It’s on Old US 52 near the stoplight in downtown West Harrison and the Legends play from eight to midnight.

    Then on Friday night, the Local Legends will be the second band to play for the new owner at the Hearthstone on that same US 52 but this time not the ‘old’ one, and this time not in Harrison but in Metamora. Again the hours are eight to midnight. 

New art and live music

    Probably the biggest Valentine’s Day gala in the entire Whitewater Valley is happening at the Oxford Community Arts Center on College Avenue in the college town of Oxford, Ohio and has nothing specifically to do with Valentine, Jimmy, the saint or the card. They call it Second Friday because, well, you can probably figure that out for yourself and as usual with Second Fridays, is filled with things to do.

    There’s music by the Back Porch Hounds. We understand their sound is best described as old obscure music with a slightly modern edge. 

    Two new art exhibits will also premier on Second Friday, STAY by Kate Carlier Currie and Alysia Fischer, and HONOR: The works of Crossan Curry. A poem serves as the conduit between the two artists. In Jane Hirshfield’s poem ‘The Promise’ everything leaves or changes except for love. 

    Fischer’s objects for the head attempt to capture the imagery of the poem, particularly as it relates to aging and the passage of time.  Currie’s stop motion animation explores the idea that though we may long to get back those we have lost, in fact we carry with us the love and insights we have gained from those relationships and carry that with us forever.

    HONOR: The works of Crossan Curry is a intimate gathering crossing four decades of the local artist's work. These works on print, acrylics, glass, bronze, and carved gourd are on generous loan from various collectors including Stuart Sugg and our friend Debra Bowles.


Byway Association’s annual dinner

    The Whitewater Canal Byway Association is holding its annual dinner on Thursday, February 20, at 6 pm in the old depot at the Whitewater Valley Gateway Park on US 52 in Metamora.

    Highlights of the evening will include a tour of our new Whitewater Visitors Pavilion and the announcement of this year’s winner of the ‘Spirit of the Byway Award’.

    There will be a catered dinner complete with desserts created by our lady members. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Cost of the dinner is $14.95 per person.

Call 765-647-2541 or by email at copperron@aol.com to reserve.


Shameless self-promotion

    In yet another attempt to smash the great piñata of literary success, to take another grasp at the elusive brass ring as the Valley turns, I offer you my latest short story entitled ‘What the Sea Creatures Know’. It is set on St. Thomas in the glorious 80s and is based on a true story of a Frenchee fisherman who actually predicted an earthquake.

    So if the winter weather is wearing on you yet you simply can’t find the time to fly to the Caribbean, here, at least, is a mental break. Click on Thoughts Through The Week on the left for ‘What the Sea Creatures Know.’ 



Gary August Schlueter

February 4-10, 2014


Pride and Prejudice, the play

    Three weeks ago we noted a literary uprising of sorts in Wayne County. The works of Jane Austen is being featured at the Centerville Public Library in a regular film and discussion series. It’s free and the latest edition happens this Saturday at 2 pm if you want to join in.

    That week (January 14-20, to be exact) the Gennett Mansion offered ‘A Jane Austen Evening” which promised an appearance by Ms Austen herself.

    Now, as the plot unfolds, we begin to see why all this Austenization has been going down. We believe there’s been a conspiracy among the community cultural folks to prepare us for this week’s performance of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ at the Richmond Civic Theatre. The play is adapted from the novel by James Maxwell and directed by David Cobine and takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    In their press release RCT tells us, “The play is the story of the duel between Elizabeth and her pride and Darcy and his prejudice. Will pride and prejudice meet halfway?”

    I would suggest that the group at Centerville Library on Saturday discuss that statement. To me, the pride and prejudice of the title is housed completely within the female lead Elizabeth. Let me know how that comes out, will ya?


Alphatron’s at it again

    And speaking of novels which are just not content to stay within their hard copy covers, the Arts and Lecture Series at Earlham College is presenting ‘The Intergalactic Nemesis, Live-Action Graphic Novel, Book Two: Robot Planet Rising’ this Saturday in Goddard Auditorium.

    Here’s what we know about it: “The year is 1933. When the robot emissary Elbee-Dee-Oh disappears in deep space, it's up to Molly Sloan to rescue him. If only it were that simple. Because at that same time, and unbeknownst to her, her former fiancé Dr. Lawrence Webster has miraculously arrived on Robonovia, the Cerebretron is malfunctioning, Timmy has only just begun to master his telekinetic powers, a sinister robot named Alphatron is up to something terribly nefarious, and the duplicitous Soviet spy Natasha Zorokov has followed Dr. Webster through the Galactascope.”

    The evening is dedicated to ‘the kid in everyone’ and no previous Intergalactic experience is necessary. Helpful, but not necessary.


Calling all cold fingered artists

    “If Jack Frost has inspired you with the wintry weather or if you have a piece from winters gone by we want to see it!” says the Preble County Art Association. Drop off your work this Thursday from 1 to 7 pm at the Preble County Art Center. It’s five bucks per piece for non-PCCA members and a max of two pieces can be entered in this juried show.

    “All media and subject matter is eligible for entry, and though it seems like this year’s snow flurries will go on forever we ask that your entries do not, so please keep them from exceeding 24”x24”x24” in any direction.”

    The show will run from February 11 through March 28. Winners will be announced at the reception on March 6. For more details call 937 456-3999.


Square Dance and Potluck

    On the first Friday of every month you have a chance to shake your booty, stomp, spin, dozy doe and swing yer partner round ‘n’ round at the Oxford Community Square Dance and Potluck. But, of course, you might want to limit that partner swinging business to the square dance part. Potluck food lines are no place for that kind of frivolity.

    According to Judy Waldron, who is the dance caller and founding member of Jerico Old Time Band (the providers of le musique), “The gathering starts with a potluck at 6:30 pm followed by dance instruction for beginners at 7:30 and a general square dance at 8 pm.”

    The cost is only $7 and if you can pass for someone under sweet 16, you get in free and Yippee! 


The over 50 business crowd in Harrison

    The Harrison Press recently published a story by historian Terry Viel entitled ‘Shop local was the clarion call in 1949.’ It reported 71 Harrison businesses supported the call to shop local and of those, only nine still survive today.

    According to Terry, “The two banks are still serving Harrison very well, the Harrison Home Bakery, still emitting those irresistible aromas of the donuts, the two funeral homes, the Harrison Press, Valley Welding, and Huisman Poultry.” The ninth is Perrine Lumber of which Terry wrote, “I believe Perrine Lumber is Harrison’s oldest surviving business.”

    We agree with Terry, “All of the businesses in downtown still need your support just as in 1949.”


Don’t believe everything you read

    Metamora is not likely to be renamed Vera City any time in the near future. First of all it’s not a city, secondly there’s very little veracity in Metamora, at least in Metamora’s historic signage. This little known fact came to light in an email from Franklin County historian Don Dunaway.

    He said someone asked him for information about Gilbert Van Camp “who founded a canning company in Indianapolis.” Don wrote, “I see there is a plaque on the one time Van Camp store saying the explosion that killed Gilbert’s mother occurred in 1851. Her tombstone in the Duck Creek Cemetery gives a date of death of August 9, 1870.”

    While the plaque doesn’t mention Gilbert, founder of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans, the general street knowledge around Metamora is that Gilbert lived here and moved to Indy after the explosion. A Metamora Merchants publication from 1979-80 confirmed that less than factoid. Don directed us to a Wikipedia report stating that Gilbert Van Camp was born in Brookville, Indiana, started his business career there, moved to Greensburg, lived and worked there from 1845 to 1860 and then to Indianapolis in 1861.

    The Merchant handout said Van Camp’s Pork and Beans “fed the armed forces during the Cival (sic) and Spanish American Wars.” But two other sources say that Gilbert’s son Frank was credited with the development of Van Camp’s canned pork and beans recipe in 1894” which would have been 30 years after the (sic) Cival War.

    Another sign behind the mill in Metamora tells gullible tourists and others that the water wheel beside the mill is powered by the canal, but that’s not true either. It could be powered by the water falling about five feet at Lock 52 but instead the wheel is powered by electricity.

    Metamora might not be called Vera City, but it could be called Electri City if we harnessed the potential of the canal to generate power as was done until the 1930s when rural electrification made the business unprofitable. Now with the cost of that rural electricity at sixteen cents per kilowatt hour, it might be profitable again.

    So what is the common theme here? Don’t believe everything you read (including this).












Rich Mullins (RIP)

Issue 134 

Jan 28-Feb 3, 2014


Ground Hog Day

   Sunday is Ground Hog Day though why any self-respecting Whistle Pig would venture out of its comparatively warm underground burrow in February is beyond me, unless it was to give us all lessons in effective hibernation for which, if I was its agent, it would be paid handsomely in fresh produce from the greenhouses still pushing up such truck.


Oxford classical Sunday

   Like the groundhog that has been sleeping the winter away, Oxford culture has suddenly come to life this week. As an antidote to Super Bowl madness on television, there’s a guest recital at 7:30 Sunday evening by highly acclaimed violist Kevin Nordstrom and globe trotting pianist Edward Neeman, currently working to an advanced degree at Julliard.

   This will be 7:30 in Souers Recital Hall in the beautiful Center for Performing Arts on Miami’s Oxford campus.

   Barely two and a half hours earlier, in the same place, pianist Siok Lian Tan highlights the MU Faculty Recital. Both events are free and if taken together, allow plenty of time for a campus crawl, pub bump and slow early dinner.


Richmond’s Rich Mullins

   There are stars in genre of music that fly across our skies unseen by those who do not partake of that sound. If you, like me, have never heard the name Rich Mullins, maybe you, like me, are not a fan of Christian Rock. Living and dying in the span of 41 years, , Rich Mullins made what are considered modern classics of Christian music.

   He was born in Richmond and to Richmond he returns in the form of a movie.

To get caught up with the Rich Mullins epoch, we recommend you attend the screening of ‘Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins’ this Sunday afternoon at the Richmond Art Museum.


Arises a true steward of place

   Downtown Richmond has scored a coup of no insignificant measure with the opening of Room 912 on Main Street and it comes off with a bang this Friday with the commencement of Richmond’s Meltown Winter Ice Festival.

   IU East has moved its art program to the 900 block of Main Street and with it offers students an art gallery, classroom and studio space. The public is intentionally part of the IU East art experience via Room 912.

   This Friday you are invited to wonder through the gallery, check out the standing show “Regional Impact: Faculty Work from the IU Regional Campuses,” listen to some live music and watch art in the happening.

   The art happening is a live block of ice being sculpted into an ice-wolf or maybe an ice-coywolf depending on the snout, the ears and the length of the hind legs. The ribbon cutting is at 6 pm and the ice sculpting begins at 6:30 or thereabouts.    

   Probably not coincidentally, the Wayne County Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony also kicks off that three-day celebration of this hard winter, The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. The entire 900 block of Main Street will be Ice Festival central. Several other ice sculptings will be created on the spot for the inevitable Meltdown. “Impressive ice fights” and lively winter activities for all ages are on the agenda throughout the weekend from Friday through Sunday.

   With this opening IU East brings art education to downtown Richmond and, doing business as Room 912, will participate in daily life and the continuous rejuvenation of Main Street. Like I said, no small coup. Downtown Richmond is already haunted (or blessed) by Earlham College students. Now something the color of art will be mixed in the current milieu through students, artists and patrons of IU East’s Room 912.

   Speaking for her fellow IU East art students Kayla Flora recognized, “In our downtime, we have the opportunity to explore local shops and meet local business owners. Thus, we are provided with a sense of local history that will influence and will be translated in our artwork.”

   The fine arts major at IU East continued, “The studio offers a space dedicated solely to the creation of artwork while teaching us the importance of working in a studio environment both now and after graduation.”

   That hundred plus year stalwart of Whitewater Valley culture, the Richmond Art Museum, also sets foot on Main Street through this opening. RAM classes began on January 23 with an Adult Art Education class taught by Tom Butters.

   “Room 912 was created in order to provide additional space for gallery exhibitions and our growing fine arts program,” said Katherine Frank, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at IU East. “We chose downtown Richmond due to its rich history, expanding business community, and future potential.”

     “As a regional institution with a mission focused on contributing to the cultural and economic development of the communities we serve, this was the perfect opportunity to position IU East as a true steward of place and to promote the partnerships so important to strengthening our community.”

   Dean Frank added, “We urge businesses and organizations to think about interesting possibilities for collaboration involving Room 912. . . .

   “We welcome new ideas and new partnerships and look forward to the ways that we can all work together in the downtown area and throughout our community to feature and leverage the positive points of potential throughout Richmond and Wayne County.”

   We would only add, ‘and the Whitewater Valley.’


Teenage confessions in song and diary

   Nicole Johndrow was a teenage optimist.

   How optimistic was she? you might well ask.

   So optimistic she is willing to show you her diary in a program she has devised entitled: ‘Mixtape Confessions-The Diary of a Teenage Optimist.’

   It appears that Ms Johndrow has created a hybrid entertainment form designed to show her off to best advantage in writing, singing and performance media.

   It is a multi-media show years in the making. Nicole when she was but a wee Nicolette kept an audio-tape diary from which she created this show. With multi-media the trick is not how much you use, but how you use it. The show is said to be “gracefully staged and moved like clockwork.”

   Besides the sheer entertainment value of a live performer in a polished two-act show, these Mixtape Confessions reach into the realm of hybridization. So to inoculate yourself, make it to Oxford Community Arts Center this Friday and/or Saturday at 7 pm.


10,000 Yecks

   Friday is another twofer day in Oxford. For the culturally energetic, we recommend you attend the 2014 Miami University Young Painters Competition. The prize is the $10,000 William and Dorothy Yeck Award.

   Juror Timothy McDowell, artist and curator at Connecticut College, will be lecturing at 4 pm in the MU Art Building, followed at 5:15 by a reception and half hour later by the award ceremony itself. This year’s competition focuses on non-representational works.


Now for something completely different

   String players are in demand for the March 30th Spring Concert performance of the Richmond Community Orchestra. Monday was the RCO strings-only rehearsal. Next Monday the full orchestra begins rehearsing from 6:30 to 8:30 in Goddard Auditorium at Earlham. The orchestra meets every Monday and the Spring Concert will be in Goddard as well on that happy spring Sunday.

   For more information, email RCO VP Don Shrader drshrader@earthlink.net.

























2013 William and Dorothy Yeck Award winner, Robert Anderson Kitchen, 2011









Issue 133 

January 21-27, 2014


The beat goes on

   This being Tuesday which I’m writing on Sunday, yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, “and”, as Sonny and Cher once sang, “the beat goes on.”

   Barbara Cross survived the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Ms Cross is the Martin Luther King Jr. speaker at a special program hosted by Indiana University East in peace loving Richmond. (Peace loving if we don’t consider the battle for the county seat in the 1870s.)

   The event is free and open to the public. Cross is the daughter of the late Rev. John Cross, the pastor of the church when the bombing occurred, killing four girls.

   Cross and her father were in the Spike Lee documentary ‘4 Little Girls,’ which was nominated for an Oscar. The film will screen at IU East’s Graf Center on campus at noon and 5:30 pm today in IU East’s Graf Center in the Whitewater Valley Community Room.

   In other words, you missed the first showing already. So this is more a tribute to the event, than a call to come. But still, the beat goes on.


Local Music Scene

   It’s like high society in Batesville is communicating with itself so that no weekend goes by without some kind of a special local activity. Last week it was Nashville singer Kinsey Rose at the Gibson Theatre. This week it’s The Red Hot Whiskey Slippers at the Batesville Library.

   The Slippers kick off the 2014 ‘After Hours’ concert series, which is also start of the 15th concert season. Fifteen years of high quality music and all for free. Makes you wonder how they do it. But don’t wonder too loud. You remember the old adage about not looking a gift horse in the mouth? Well this isn’t quite that but it’s similar.

   The Red Hot Whiskey Slippers play a jazz, funk version of New Orleans music, and yes, I have no idea what that might be, but I know where I can give it a hearing—Saturday night on Walnut Street in Batesville at an after hours show.

   (‘After Hours’ at 7 pm, hmmm?)


Hail to Morrisson-Reeves!

   A tribute to going on and on and on (with each ‘on’ having a value of 50 years) is the 150th anniversary celebration this Saturday of Morrisson-Reeves Library. This event kicks off an entire year of various programs designed to signify this landmark.

   Starting around noon, they will have guitarists vocalists, keybordists, a trio, a Rond, and a dulcimer group promising to make sweet sounds on the Upper Level of old, accomplished Morrisson-Reeves standing as a beacon, a monument, an island of and to human intelligence on North Street in Richmond.

   Come early on Saturday and besides hearing the first performers of the day you are more likely to receive a goody bag. 150 are available, one for each MRL year.

   Morrisson-Reeves is a Richmond treasure and well worth a visit. Mark your mental calendar and make room some time this year to explore it. You’ll be the richer for it.


‘For the benefit of its inhabitants forever’

   In researching a little history of Morrisson-Reeves I came upon a treasure trove (if the ‘treasure’ is a little history of M-R). Naturally, the library itself is the place to begin, and when you live in a digital world, you visit the digital library and find:

     “Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana is one of the oldest public libraries in the state. It opened in 1864, long before similar sized communities acquired such facilities through the help of Andrew Carnegie. Richmond's benefactor was one of its earliest prominent citizens, Robert Morrisson.”

   “Morrisson spent $12,000 for the lot at the corner of what is now North A and 6th Streets and the brick building which was erected on that lot. He gave an additional $5,000 to a library committee with which to buy books. The new library was duly named the Morrisson Library, and it opened on July 30, 1864 with approximately 6,000 books.… He gave the donation to "Wayne Township, Wayne County, Indiana, in trust for the benefit of its inhabitants forever."


The two-artist portrait

   “In appreciation of his generous gift, a committee of citizens commissioned John C. Wolfe to paint a life-sized portrait of Morrisson, which was hung in the reading room of the new library. Apparently these citizens felt that the likeness to the original was not what it should be, and they subsequently commissioned Marcus Mote, a local Quaker artist, to repaint Morrisson's head, making this a painting created by two artists. If one looks closely, one can see a difference in the style of painting between the head and the rest of the painting.

   The first sustaining librarian was Sarah Wrigley, daughter of John Finley, Palladium editor and poet whose work Hoosiers Nest is “widely recognized as the first literary use of the word Hoosier.” As the excerpts below show it also describes Hoosiers’ pioneer lifestyle and character to a T while giving us another linguistic plum — “Hoosieroons’ described thusly—

   ‘With mush-and-milk, tin-cups, and spoons,

     White heads, bare feet, and dirty faces . . .’

The Hoosiers Nest (in part)

By John Finley


Blest Indiana! in thy soil

Are found the sure rewards of toil,

Where honest poverty and worth

May make a Paradise on earth.


He is (and not the little-great)

The bone and sinew of the State.

With six-horse team to one-horse cart,

We hail here from every part;


The emigrant is soon located-

In Hoosier life initiated:

Erects a cabin in the woods,

Wherein he stows his household goods.

At first, round logs and clapboard roof,

With puncheon floor, quite carpet proof,

And paper windows, oiled and neat,

His edifice is then complete.

When four clay balls, in form of plummet,

Adorn his wooden chimney's summit.

Ensconced in this, let those who can

Find out a truly happier man.

The little youngsters rise around him,

So numerous they quite astound him;

Each with an ax or wheel in hand,

And instinct to subdue the land.


A stranger found a Hoosier's Nest -

In other words, a buckeye cabin,


The stranger stooped to enter in -

The entranced closing with a pin -

And manifested strong desire

To seat him by the log-heap fire,

Where half-a-dozen Hoosieroons,

With mush-and-milk, tin-cups, and spoons,

White heads, bare feet, and dirty faces,

Seemed much inclined to keep their places.


No matter how the story ended;

The application I intended

Is from the famous Scottish poet,

Who seemed to feel as well as know it,

That "buirdley chiels and clever hizzies

Are bred in sic' a way as this is."




Issue 132

January 14-20,2014


Ancient author re-appears

   Jane Austen is making a comeback in and around Richmond. (I wonder if it has anything to do with Downton Abbey?) In the calendar last week the Guide listed the Jane Austen Movie Series at Centerville Library. This Saturday the Gennett Mansion will be the site of ‘A Jane Austen Evening.’

   Not only will there be visits from characters out of her books but Jane Austen herself will make an appearance, we are told. Expect music, dancing, tea, cakes and parlor games with your glimpse into the English countryside around East Main in Richmond. Bring your imagination.


Local Music Scene

   Kinsey Rose is a singer/songwriter originally from Louisville, now living in Nashville. She’ll be playing the Gibson Theatre in Batesville this Saturday, according to the Gibson’s website.

   We are told, “Tourists and locals alike are occasionally lucky enough to catch Kinsey singing in the cramped quarters of one of Nashville’s honky-tonk bars but she is better known for her many appearances singing for Nashville’s NHL hockey team, the Predators.

     “Kinsey keeps a busy schedule as one of Nashville’s most in-demand female demo singers and has also found a home among Music City’s elite background vocalists.”


Hearthstone breaks out in music

   The sign outside the Hearthstone Restaurant usually touts the hours its open, but a few weeks ago it announced Clint Lewis and his band was scheduled. This is big news on two fronts. First the Hearthstone has a new owner and he is planning a music schedule which means the burgeoning music scene in Metamora, just got burgeoned some more.

   The second is (in no particular order) Clint Lewis and Hidden Drive. For the past ten years we’ve heard of Clint Lewis’ prowess as a guitar player and songwriter. His sister once told me that when King’s Island was opening they held an audition for a house band and her brother won. She said he didn’t take it for reasons that escape me now.

   Certainly whenever Clint Lewis’s newest CD hits the counter at Pavey’s in Metamora they’re gone. In other words, he has a local following. We heard they drew around 250 revelers to their New Year’s Eve gig at the Long Branch in Laurel.

   The point is Clint Lewis is a local phenom and this Hearthstone show will be a great place to hear his music. It will also be interesting to see where they put the band. The Hearthstone is a big, sprawling place from the 1930s.

   The Hearthstone is or has the possibility of being a first class roadhouse. What do I mean by ‘roadhouse,’ I ask myself. Not a place where there’s a cage around the band so they don’t get hit by the odd flying projectile, but a place people will travel to for a good meal and to catch some entertainment. A regional attraction, not just a local restaurant.

   Remember (or learn if you haven’t heard) a scene in Rain Man was filmed there. Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise acted upon the steps on one of those cottages out back. Why? Because the Hearthstone has honest to goodness Midwestern character.

   Having live music at the Hearthstone will add a lot to the Metamora music scene.

   Catrina Campbell as The Cat and the Fiddle is doing her best to keep Metamora in live music. Last week she hosted Brian Keith Wallen to an overflowing and very appreciative audience. This week it’s ‘An Evening with Kriss and Greg Zeisemer.’

   The Cat and the Fiddle is located on Clayborn Street in downtown Metamora whereas the Hearthstone is on US 52 about a mile east of town. Since both happen this Friday, adventurous music loving souls might find it a treat to catch both the Zeisemer evening entertainment then the late sets of Clint Lewis and Hidden Drive.


Resurrection of another kind

   The Olde North Chapel in Richmond is an example of what to do with a church when the congregation permanently vacates (or the doctrine leaders administering the purse strings decide to close its doors for reasons beyond the catholic ken).

   The church has been resurrected as a ‘vintage wedding chapel’ complete with the original stain glass windows, high arching ceilings, red carpets, pews lit by lantern light, a bridal dressing suite and banquet hall.

   The definite omnipresent ecclesiastical ambiance of the chapel itself belies or maybe enhances the secular nature of the supposition that the Olde North Chapel is or seems to be non-denominational.

   The fact that its name is spelled ‘Olde’ with an ‘e’ from a time before America was overrun by Europeans, alerts you to something not exactly historically accurate. The church was built around 1868 when spelling old o-l-d-e in grammar school would have gotten you a whack over the knuckles.

     For those in the Whitewater Valley with a church on their hands which may also need resurrection, this might be lesson. It may also need a new name.

   When you take possession from the original owner they may, for whatever reason, take the original name with them. For a hamlet like St. Mary’s, taking the name from their church, takes the name from their town. In addition, take out ‘St. Mary’s’ from ‘St. Mary’s of the Rock’ and what have you got? A hard place.

   St. Mary’s of the Rock is one of those churches recently abandoned by the Catholic Church. Could it continue to serve the community as a place for weddings? It seems logical, but logic doesn’t always play a part in decision making on a catholic scale.


Proactive library services

   What do we need to do? Pay our taxes. When do we need to do it? Like now. And who you gonna turn to for help? How about AARP Tax-Aide volunteers at Morrison-Reeves Library? The library and the volunteers are offering free tax filing service on a first come, first served basis. The best time to get there is on Wednesdays and Thursdays in February from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

   And if that’s not enough freebies from Morrisson-Reeves, they are also offering free attorney service on Martin Luther King Day. A group of attorneys called the Whitewater Valley Pro Bono Commission will be giving free 15-20 minute consultations in the Bard Room at Morrisson-Reeves from 4 to 6 pm this coming Monday.

   This service is open to residents of Wayne, Union, Rush, Fayette and Franklin Counties in Indiana. 

Missy Werner Band

6 pm, Friday

Connersville Bluegrass MA

Issue 131

January 7-13, 2014


Who needs more holidays?

   There are two choices for holiday excitement in the near future. One is Martin Luther King Day on January 20th, the other is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. St. Valentine’s Day is much older, but Martin Luther King Day is more important since our banks will be closed that day. Not so on Valentine’s Day.

   But economically speaking, and strictly in my opinion, more money is spent on Valentine’s Day than MLK Day. I mean have you ever seen an MLK card on the long racks at your local neighborhood corporate giant? I haven’t and I probably wouldn’t buy one if I did. Not because I don’t love the peace and non-violence which Reverend King lived for. More because I haven’t been trained to need to buy one.

   What used to be called Madison Avenue (read ‘Big Advertising’) needs to first announce the existence of such cards, then convince me I need them to keep up with all the pretty people I see in the TV commercials exchanging cards in meaningful ways.

   Come to think of it, a card that promoted ‘Big Peace’ once a year would be something worth sending around. Sort of ‘Celebrate What He Stood For’ Day. That’d be worth buying into. I know that the good folks at Earlham College would support it.


Local Music Scene

   Brian Keith Wallen is one of those guitar player/singing people who jump across genre. He and his band cut some pretty hot bluegrass at Connersville Bluegrass Music Association a few years back. He has won at least one prestigious award for his blues renditions and he’s been seen playing Richmond and other places in the company of a chantreuse of some more than local reknown. But this Saturday at the Cat and Fiddle in Metamora he will performing original material. Well, 75% worth anyway.

   Via Facebook he wrote, “Now, of course, I'll still be doing some favorite covers as well, but instead of being the usual 75% covers and 25% originals, it will be the other way around.

   If you like my original music, and want to support that, it would mean a lot if you could be there.”

   ‘There’ is The Cat & the Fiddle at the Thorpe House in Metamora, a name with more letters than seats in the Cat & Fiddle dining/entertainment room. It’s table seating with a capacity of around 36, if I remember correctly. BKW suggests in large letters, ‘YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS. It’s a small venue.’

   It is this Saturday at 5:30 pm and is intentionally designed as a pre-game show so those of us who live in The Gore and may be still licking the wounds on our Bengal claws can prepare properly for the winning team from our western side, the Indianapolis Colts.

   In her invitation Catrina added something both thoughtful and practical during winter, the weather report, 50-36 degrees, chance of rain. She also said dinner and music are designed to be over before the game begins at 8:15 pm. Btw, the Colts face the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in New England somewhere.

   (Can you imagine, -10 on Monday, +50 on Saturday?)

— We need to direct your attention to Connersville for the Bluegrass show this Friday. It’s Missy Werner’s Band which is called Missy Werner Band on their website of the same name. If you visit it you learn their new single “I Always Do” debuted on the Bluegrass Today chart back in November at Number 3. Missy says, “Thanks to all of the DJs who are playing our music and to our fans for requesting it!” That would be you if you make it to the Connersville Bluegrass Music Association on Western Avenue this week.

   Their single ‘I Always Do’ is part of a new album project which will be released early this year, which when you think of it is like now. On their website Missy said the band was going into the studio at the end of November to record the last four songs. “The songwriters have really outdone themselves on these cuts,” she wrote.

   Whether the new album will be available at the CBMA gig Friday evening, we don’t know. But we would expect the music from the album, including “I Always Do’, to be played the best way possible, live and in living Connersville color.

— We’ve heard of early plans being made for a Valentine’s Day dance at the American Legion in Brookville, the place near the town park along the tailwater of the West Fork. From the horse’s mouth we’ve heard they’ve booked the Local Legends Band for the gig.

   Local Legends Band, the horse in question, is made up a former basketball star at Brookville High, a former winning quarterback at Batesville High, a drummer who’s partied with Willie and Waylon and the boys, and their newest, a harmonica playing, lead vocalist who is said to have rounded out the group.


Food for wolves in winter

   Our friends at Scenic Road Tours are doing their first good deed for the new year by holding a road tour fundraiser for Wolf Creek Habitat not this Saturday, but next Saturday, January 18. Mark your calendars and rev up your engines. It’s your turn to take a ride on the Canis Lupus Express.

   The Feed the Wolves Fundraiser Road Tour begins at South Decatur High School near Greensburg, Indiana and ends on Wolf Creek Road at the Habitat. “If you like wolves and would like the chance to help a great cause, this event was made for you,” wrote tour guide Satolli Glassmeyer.

   Besides helping to supply wolf food, this is also going to be a covered bridge viewing tour and that might be one reason it begins in covered bridge laden Decatur County.

   Think of the world at zero degrees, think of the hungry wolves. Think of a warm ride with a group of friends and giddyupgo! Call Satolli to register at 812 623-5727.


Winter hillsliding

   The place to be this week would be Perfect North Slopes. Who else has winter outdoor entertainment in weather like this? The crazies who slide down hills in various ways and fashions, that’s who. And Perfect North Slopes caters to those crazies who aren’t really crazy at all unless it is about wintertime and the beauty therein and without.

   While some of us would rather be without winter all together, there are those amongst us, probably in our very own families, who love winter best. People who hate a blistering heat of July or August fall into that category. We hope Monday was the seasonal peak of their winter bliss. For the editorial ‘we’, when it comes to winter, warmer is better.





Issue 130 

Dec. 31-Jan. 6, 2014


Local Music Scene

   We’re voting Genna & Jesse’s performance this Friday at Taffy’s of Eaton as the hottest ticket of the week. And to our best knowledge it’s free.

   Genna & Jesse are reportedly angelic in their pacing, vocals and overall esprit de music or musique, if you like. Taffy’s, the self-proclaimed ‘music mecca of the Universe’ (and who’s to say they’re wrong?), has been raving about Genna & Jesse since they’ve known them.

   Of Genna & Jesse, Taffy’s says, “the outstanding duo from Richmond, California” “captured our hearts.” Taffy’s named them Best New Artist of the Year 2012.

   By the way, it looks like the Knollwood Boys are at the top of the running for Best New Artist of the Year 2013. Considering Taffy’s can host as many as 200 performances in any given year, being the ‘best of’ at Taffy’s ain’t exactly easy as candy, the eating of, not so much the making of.

   Besides their return to Taffy’s on Friday, Genna & Jesse are available at a living room near you. According to their website which you may find by Googling their names, they are part of a network of performers who put on House Concerts.

   The idea is a host puts on the party while the band picks up door, probably with some kind of guarantee. They are definitely private and by invitation only and are a great way to bring a little culture to your particular friends in your neck of the woods.


The storefront shuffle in Metamora

   You’d expect Metamora to go into a kind of economic hibernation after Christmas Walk, but you’d be wrong (again). If last Saturday was any example the old canal town is abuzz with changes.

   First of all a box truck was backed up to the door delivering boxes to Annie’s. Annie’s is located in the middle building of the signature three as you drive over the canal on Bridge Street. We learned a second Annie’s store located elsewhere was closing and so it wouldn’t be too much to say Annie’s store in Metamora is receiving an inventory injection.

   Next to Annie’s on your right (stage right) is the building the local Masons own. The plaque on the front of the building calls your attention to the original cobalt blue windows on the second floor where the Masons hold their meetings. You’ll notice, those are not see-through windows, at least not from the outside. It might be different from the inside. The Masons may see Metamora as cobalt blue.

   Anyway, Kaliedosaurus, the children’s book and toy store, is taking over the store front on the corner. That location has to be among the primest of the prime traffic areas in the historic district. Kaliedosaurus Books and Toys was most recently located in a coop shop in Duck Creek Crossing. According to Kaliedosaurus proprietor Janice Hunsche, the relocation will be slow going but somewhat continuous throughout January and February.

   As far as those Metamora merchants who stay open all winter are concerned, any signs of life in winter are welcome signs of life.

   Another move will be going on in the third building of that signature three. For as long as we’ve been in Metamora, George and Gail Ginther’s Words and Images/The Train Place has/have occupied the storefront there next to the old Martindale Hotel. Now, they, too/two, are moving.

   The Old Fashioned Candy Store, the building famous for being slightly tilted from construction, will now be Words and Images and the adjacent add-on which is part of the same building will be The Train Place. Both will have their own entrances but are open to each other in the back so the traffic can flow from one to the next indoors.

   There is no word yet on who might be taking over the present/former location of Words and Images/The Train Place. Perhaps no one knows it will soon be available … well, present company excepted.


Our days of holiday exhaust

   To say there’s not much going on once New Year’s Eve has come and gone will come as no surprise to anyone over 21. It seems we are entering the great annual holiday vacuum where all the wonderful things we’ve had the opportunity to participate in since Thanksgiving (or was it Halloween?) have socially exhausted us and we want nothing more than to lull about under our comforters and try not to think about much of anything.

   But here at the Whitewater Valley Guide we fight against such notions. We go looking for things to do and judging by the short calendar this week, there just ain’t much going on from Hagerstown to North Bend, Aurora to New Paris, in other words, in our neck of the woods.

   Nightlife continues in the nightclubs, taverns, bars and restaurants, but not so much in the usual social circles neither daily nor nightly. Morrison-Reeves, Richmond’s usually active library, is closed for the holidays until January 4th when the Yarn Lovers Club will meet at 10 am to darn and yarn.

   It’s understandable. No one would dare to plan a theatre opening or symphony between now and say Three Kings Day when the Christmas season is officially over, at least according to the good people of the Virgin Islands who like to follow old English tradition in the matter of celebrating Christmas.

   In the islands you may call on any home you suspect of having a demijohn of guavaberry and simply sing, “Good mawnin’, Good mawnin’. I come for me guavaberry!” and you will be welcome up to and including Three Kings Day. After that, the jug disappears for another year and guests will have to be satisfied with other refreshments.

   January 6th, Three Kings Day, has many names. On the Catholic calendar, it is Epiphany or Theophany. The original epiphany was that this boy child Jesus Christ was the Son of God. This message was revealed through the Three Kings to the Gentiles, according to dated sources.

   The Church of England calls it the Twelfth Night since January 6th is twelve days from Christmas. And to those same followers the following Monday is something called Plough Monday.

   This year since Three Kings Day falls on a Monday it is necessary to shift it over one day to Plough Tuesday. Otherwise if we waited for the next Monday to be Plough Monday, we’d have another week of extended holidaying to do. Judging by our social calendar this week, we’re just not ready for that.

   We interpret Plough Monday and/or Tuesday to mean — time again to strap on the plough. We highly encourage the world at large and the Whitewater Valley in particular to celebrate Plough Monday/Tuesday by doing just that, heeding of course whatever was learned during the Epiphany or Theophany on Three Kings Day.

   Just to remind you, Epiphany is a ‘striking appearance’ or ‘manifestation’ while Theophany means ‘vision of God’. We encourage you to put them together on January 6th under whatever name and give 2014 a chance to begin with a real blessing.

   Personally, we are hoping for a sighting of our favorite Theophany, Tecumseh.

Happy New Year!

Gary August Schlueter







The cross atop 'Mt. Metamora' mysteriously illuminates when the slanting winter sun

 is in the western sky. 

Here an equally lighted cloud to the left seems to point it out to passersby on US 52.



Issue 129 


Local Music Scene – New Year’s Eve Parties and Dances

   The Dallas Moore Band, a musical stalwart of the Whitewater Valley, comes off playing Firehouse BBQ and Blues in Richmond last Saturday to headline the New Year’s Eve festivities at the Knights of Columbus hall in Brookville on, you guessed it, New Year’s Eve.

   Four blocks up Main Street the Local Legends perform from 10 until 2, their usual hours, in the Eagles Club Room, an unusual place for them. The Local Legends have been playing their way down (or up) Main Street.

   They were regulars in an irregular sort of way at the Midtown Café, established in 1948 btw which makes it like Mousie’s in Connersville (where they don’t have live music) a Baby Boomer. The Local Legends were also the first band to play at Cougar’s, the newest night-spot in Brookville and, like the Midtown and the Eagles Club Room, also on Main.

   The Batesville Eagles, not to be confused with the Brookville Eagles, is featuring Matrix Band on New Year’s Eve. The Matrix Band occasionally plays Randy’s Roadhouse.

   Randy’s Roadhouse, tucked in the northeast corner of the newly refurbished Batesville parking lot/community center, wins the award for the best-named New Year’s Eve band. And the winner is, considering it is a new year and all, The Next Episode!

   Firehouse BBQ is firing off a double barrel shotgun this new year’s eve, which we will establish later is not new year at all (and considering it happens at midnight, wouldn’t by any state of normality be considered—in any way, shape or form—an evening, of which an eve should and must be derived.)

   Other than that scatter shot, Firehouse has two of Richmond’s favorites (if number of gigs per year is any criterion) Doug Hart (and Band) and Sean Lamb (and equally Band).

   Homebrew Hollars headlines Taffy’s of Eaton ($45-champagne toast included). With that rather rich door charge, Taffy’s offers a free drive home in like a ten-mile circle.

   90 Proof Twang holds forth in Reily at that old hog hostelry, Indian Creek Tavern. Hogs are still welcome there, btw.


Welcome to the real New Year

   We’re adding one day to the Whitewater Valley Guide calendar this week. Yes, it’s like magic. You get eight days for the price of seven. And that extra day is none other than New Year’s Eve! Hip, hip, hurray and listen to the sigh of relief of all those people who’ve somehow lived through the last year with triskaidekaphobia, an abnormal fear of the number 13.

   Actually for those stricken the worst amongst us, heed not the impending gloom of the shortening number of days between this sweet Christmas Eve and the end of this dismal year ending in 13. I say ‘heed not’ because the end is already over. It happened on December 21 with the rising waters and swiftly changing temperatures.

   The year changed on December 21 and though newly born is now in this prenatal stage where we are actually living in the new year 2014 but before it is born, at least by our Julian Calendar.

   The real new year began with the days growing longer after the Winter Solstice which no one seems to celebrate much anymore. There was a time though, a time lasting a lot longer than the 200 years or so of our mechanical/industrial/electrical/nuclear age when we, the Great We who make up all that humans down say 10,000 years, did revere that day when the Light began its ascendance again.

   While you triskaidekaphobiens may have an ingrained feeling that some terrible thing must happen before the end of the year because it hasn’t really happened yet (at least not to you) and it is 2013, for goodness sake, I declare 2013 officially over!

   Welcome to the real New Year.


Odd Lots

   If you really want to submerge yourself in college basketball, both men’s and women’s, take an outing to Millet Hall on Miami’s Oxford campus this Sunday. The female of the Redhawk species play hoops with Cleveland State while the male Redhawkers take on Southern Illinois. The approximate two-hour games start at 1 pm, so bring a picnic basket if you intend to make a day of it.

   We noticed a poster in the window of Twice Blessed (highly recommended, btw) in Batesville which was gathering folks to protest the possible advance of the Walmart culture into the not exactly unsuspecting Batesville business community.

   On Friday the WRBI website poll was running 51/49 in favor of Walmart coming to Batesville. There were about 250 votes. If you want your voice heard, try http://www.wrbiradio.com.

   The Taft Museum of Art is not in the Whitewater Valley. It is located in downtown Cincinnati. It is a jewel by any standard. There are works there worth visiting over and over again. Some are even compelling which is what an art museum collection should be, something so beautiful, mysterious, crafty or artificial it makes you come back.

   The Harrison Press reports a Crosby man, Doug Lohman, the owner of Minges Greenhouse in Harrison, has his collection of Christmas decorations dating back 130 years or so, on display at the Taft. Lohman, himself, has been collecting Christmas ornaments for 30 years and was “pleased” to be chosen.


Issue 128 

December 17-23, 2013


New TV program puts the redo on Veach’s

    There are plenty of Christmas attractions vying for our attention from north to south in the Whitewater Valley this last week before the namesake of the season is upon us, but if you have kids Veach’s Toy Station in Richmond would be worth a pilgrimage this Saturday. Santa Claus is coming to a newly made over Veach’s, a makeover compliments of the Today Show television crew which buzzed through a few weeks ago.

    To see what the TV crew captured on tape, you will have to wait until February when The Marketing Makeover segment debuts on NBC’s Today Show, but to witness the makeover, come to the store this Saturday afternoon.

    We are told Marketing Makeover honcho Martin Linstrom is an author, adviser and branding guru, and, perhaps, self-branding guru. The holy he (he and his team combined) will “guide changes to both the physical appearance and the business strategies of Veach’s Toy Station.”

    “To be connected with him is just the chance of a lifetime,” store co-owner Shari Veach said.

    While the show will air in February, the changes guided by The Marketing Makeover will be part of our cumulative community experience for years to come. Let’s hope the experience lights a fire under other retailers in need of their own makeover.


Local Music Scene

    We like to study our weekly calendar for trends in the Valley entertainment. One thing we can say by comparing the past two years with the fall season of 2013, we haven’t had the big names we usually get at either Earlham College or Miami University. This could be a fluke or it could be the sign of something bigger. But we look forward to the spring quarter when we expect the fluke to unfluke itself.

    I wouldn’t call doing pop standards a trend, but for the three years we’ve been watching the entertainment scene in the Whitewater Valley we have only seen one crooner who performs pop standards. That’s Bob LeRoy, whose name if he lived in New Orleans would be Bobby LeRoy.

    Pop standards are one term for the music that came from Tin Pan Alley and places like that, song factories where teams of creators pumped out tunes like ‘A Sunday Kind of Love,’ ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill,’ ‘I Remember April,’ ‘Moonlight in Vermont,’ and much more. These are jazz chord based songs and use something other than 4/4 time to keep the beat.

    That Bob LeRoy is keeping them alive is reason to give him and the Harrison VFW a shout out, since Crooner Bob will be performing ‘Pop Standards’ there this Friday night.


Winding down the season

    Christmas in Metamora is winding down with only one more weekend for Christmas Walk. And when the winding-down is done the season ends for both the Metamora Grist Mill and the Whitewater Railroad, at least for their weekly trips to Metamora.

    It’s been a hard season weatherwise for Christmas Walk. The storm a few Fridays ago knocked out most travel for that weekend and last weekend we again had winter warning threats which tend to keep people close to home.

    The forecast for this coming weekend is more like spring than winter with temps reaching into the 50s and 60s and lots of rain and haze. It may not be great weather for Christmas shopping but it is fine weather for riding a train over the river and through the woods.


Farm fresh

    The weekend warm-up may not put you in the Christmas spirit but the hint of spring might make you think of the growing season, and that should remind you that Oxford Farmers Market is operating under its winter hours for one more weekend. It will be open from 10 am to noon this Saturday and besides handmade wreaths there will be hydroponic lettuce, hearty squash, kale, potatoes and root crops, plus organic chicken, eggs, pork and sausage.


Remember When?

    If you lived in the southern part of the Valley through most of the 20th Century you’d be very old right now. You would also remember the Studebaker and the Studebaker dealership on Oberding Road (US 50) near Greendale. You’d have to remember it, because not only is the Studebaker gone now, so is the old dealership and the building that housed it.

    Satolli Glassmeyer of Scenic Road Rallies out of Sunman has made it his mission to document with photographs as many threatened historic structures as he can, and starting this week he will be sharing them with us. Here’s his report:

     “Built in the early 1900's, after the dealership closed in the 1950s, it was transformed into the Oberding Garage for general automobile repair.  The shop stayed in business until the 1970s when it was finally closed.

     It was then used for storage up until 2010.  After a hard winter with heavy snowfall it was discovered in March of 2010 that the back wall had bowed out to the extent that the building was in danger of collapsing. 

    The owner of the structure decided at that point to demolish the building rather than repair the structure. In April 2010 the building was leveled and another piece of Dearborn County history faded away forever.

    This picture was taken just two months before the demolition." 


Keeping our history alive

    We can’t keep letting the historic character of our Valley fall away hither, thither and yon. That character is made up of every barn, every house, every building, every work of our ancestors which stands today as a reminder of who we were and what we stood for.   And they are falling away. I don’t know if it’s an alarming rate but it is steady, irrefutable and irresistible, that is unless we do resist. And how do we do that, you might ask?

    The honest answer is, Who knows?

    In an ideal world, there would be some kind of incentive to keep a building alive and part of our historic character, but this is not an ideal world. As Yeats wrote, “Things fall apart/the center will not hold/mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” and old buildings fall down. (This last part might have been edited out of most anthology editions.)

    I’m reminded of an old pioneer barn on Whistle Creek Road in Franklin County. The wood is hand-hewn from virgin timber dating back to the days before the canal was built. The roof beam has collapsed and every year the structure sighs, slowly sinking down, gradually taking the entire barn with it to the ground.

    In spring we drove past while the owner was sitting on the porch of his house which was built around the same time but restored to be both functional and beautiful.

    We asked him about the barn and he said it was too expensive to restore and there was nothing he could do but watch it gradually fall which, with the help of a beverage, was exactly what he was doing when we met that April morning.

    So there’s the essence of the problem. Here’s an owner who knows about restoration, has taken an active role in it, and would like to keep his barn up, but can’t because of money, that old bug-a-boo, money.

    So maybe that’s what Who knows. We did agree earlier that Who knows, didn’t we? It takes money to save old buildings and where is that money to come from, oh all-knowing Who?

    Who does not answer, but I will. It comes from us and from those we can lure here to see this historic fabric we so lovingly sustain. Every year we keep our historic character more or less intact is another year we put ourselves more or less ahead of the crowd of other regions in the Old Northwest.

    It’s like that old joke: Two men are hiking in the jungle when a hungry lion begins to chase them. One stops to put on his running shoes. The other shouts back, “You can’t outrun a lion.” The other, all laced up and moving forward, says, “I don’t have to. I only have to outrun you.” 


Christmas energy release

   Last Christmas we received a very generous donation from a Whitewater Valley Guide subscriber. It was a wonderful surprise at the time but since then we see this check as symbolic. It stands for the untapped need you have to show your support for the Guide.  

   Never one to hold things back or to dam things in general, we remind you, you may release all that pent up energy by sending us a donation of your own.

   Send checks in any amount made out to Gary Schlueter/PO Box 25/Metamora, In/47030. If you’d like to donate via credit card, Click Here, hit the Pay Pal button and follow the prompts. One thing about PayPal though it only takes donations in $20 increments.

   Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Reily Historical Society Museum

Photo thanks to Sandy Campbell

Issue 127 

December 10-16, 2013


Centerville Christmas offerings

   If you are either a Jane Austen or a Christmas fan, Centerville could keep you occupied this Saturday. Your Jane Austen op comes with the periodic Jane Austen Movie Series which screens at two this Saturday afternoon in the Centerville Public Library.

   Unlike watching a Jane Austen movie alone or with unenlightened family members, here you actually have the opportunity to interact with your fellow Austen-lovers.

   The film screens from two until four, then at 5 pm the Centerville Library will be hosting its Christmas party which will include a number of local authors signing their books. Like we said last week, a local book signed by the author would make a great stocking stuffer, unless the book is a coffee table edition then the stocking may be a little small.


A quartet of Christmas Carol performances

   As we should all know by now ‘A Christmas Carol’ unscrews the ultra-conservative Scrooge and turns him into a liberal, human-loving philanthropist, which, of course, saves his soul. In an effort to duplicate that holiday miracle, the Dickens favorite will be performed four times this weekend near the north pole, that is the north pole of the Whitewater Valley, aka Centerville.

   On that happy and auspicious day Friday the 13th, ‘A Christmas Carol’ will be performed back-to-back, if you can believe that, at Centerville Christian Church at 5 pm and again at 7:30 pm. We are told this is a family-friendly version, slightly abridged from the original which could (and should) scare the bejeebies out of little kids.

   Then on Sunday at the Central United Methodist Church in Richmond you will have a chance to see ‘A Christmas Carol’ at 2 pm and again at 4:30 pm. If you’ve been counting, that makes four.

   Now here comes the miraculous part, the cost of putting on the performances has been covered by an unnamed conglomeration best known at this time of the year as Santa Claus. And that means, all the funds raised by the $10 admission charge will go directly to Hope House and the good work they do helping men recover from alcohol and drug abuse as well as homelessness.

   So, by going to see any of these performances you will be donating to a cause even the newly re-minted Ebenezer Scrooge would praise.


Local Music Scene

   The only listing of a Nutcracker performance so far this season in the Whitewater Valley is coming up this Saturday at Lew Wallace Auditorium, Franklin County High School, Brookville. The Nutcracker will be performed by the Anna Von Oettingen Ballet Corps and is one night only at bargain rates. Would you believe eight bucks for adults and $4 for the rest of us.

   Tony Holt and the Wildwood Boys got weathered out of their gig last Friday at the Connersville Bluegrass Music Association, but there is another chance to hear this great Whitewater Valley group this Saturday at the Milan VFW Hall. The program is called Bluegrass Christmas which makes for an interesting song list. How many Bluegrass Christmas songs can you name?


Historical Societies sprouting museums

   Last Saturday the Harrison Village Historical Society Museum officially opened with a ribbon cutting and the whole works. It is located at 115 North Walnut one block off Harrison Avenue aka Old US 52. The holiday theme during their first go-round is Toys from Grandma’s Attic.

   (If you can help with contact info, hours, etc. email me garyaschlueter@gmail.com.)

   Speaking of museum openings, Reily Historical Society Museum held its holiday open house on the first Sunday of December. That’s the key to remember when it comes to visiting Reily for its history, Reily Historical Society Museum is open the first Sunday of each month from 1 to 4 pm.

   A local patron brought over a sled which was set up on the front lawn of the museum and Santa Claus made his appearance.

   Sandy Campbell runs the website for the Museum as well as Indian Creek Tavern which is across the road. Find one, you find the other, and if you find Reily, you find Indian Creek Tavern and the Museum.

   But if you are determined to do it digitally, there are some interesting facts and factoids at www.reilyhistory.net. Sandy reports “We have some very old and interesting things and are constantly getting in more everyday from the members and the community.”

   On the site we read, “The last bear seen in Reily Township was in the northeast corner of section six in 1809. In 1815 Brumfield Boone killed one of the largest panthers ever seen in Butler County on a farm then owner by John Boone, his father. The animal measured seven feet from tip to tip. People came from all directions to see it and its skin was kept a good while in the neighborhood.”

   To complete our Ohio Historical Society trifecta, Gustave Tafel’s The Cincinnati Germans in the Civil War is the basis of a PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann. Dr. Don is president of the German-American Citizens League, Curator of the German Heritage Museum and Historian of the Roebling Suspension Bridge Committee in Cincinnati. He will speak to the Morgan Township Historical Society this Saturday, 10 am in the Administration Building, 3141 Chapel Road, Okeana, Ohio.


RAMp up to the Plastic Phantastic Phantoscope Film Festival

   A Richmond Art Museum film festival is movin’ on up to the big time, if Indianapolis is the big time. RAM’s eighth annual Phantoscope High School Film Festival will be held at Indiana State Museum next year, May second to be exact. (Consult your calendar for the proper year if necessary.)

     Richmond bred and educated, C. Francis Jenkins “created the first projection device which he called a Phantoscope,” according to a release we received Dec. 3 from Lance M. Crow, education direction of RAM.

   Phantoscope Film Festival will be “highlighting the talents of our young filmmakers, and giving them a chance to screen films in front of a live audience on the big screen is a unique and important aspect of Phantoscope,” Lance wrote.

   Another aspect of some import is the $1,000 cash prize for best film. Prizes will also be awarded for a list of bests: cinematography, screenplay, editing, and documentary.

   Final deadline for submission is March 1, 2014. So if you’re thinking of taking RAM up on this phantastic Phantoscope Film Festival. Click here for the entry form.



Jenkins was a great man

   C. Francis Jenkins was born in Dayton and grew up in Richmond. His alma mater is Earlham College which later awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree. It was his projector, the Phantoscope, which Thomas Edison used in the first public showings of motion pictures for admission. It’s not too much to say, the Phantoscpope was a cornerstone of the film industry as we know it today.

   He was also a television engineering pioneer. His company Jenkins Television Corporation opened the first broadcast television station in the United States in 1928. It went belly-up four long Depression years later.

   He is recognized by his peers during the Emmy Awards when The Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a special engineer who made significant contributions to television technology and engineering over his or her career.

   He also founded the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. From which we conclude, he was a great man, and he was shaped by Richmond and Earlham College.






Gaya's ethereal breast


Issue 126 

December 3-9, 2013


Holiday is the highlight

   You’d expect Christmas and the Holiday Season to top the charts when it comes to stuff on the calendar this week. So don’t be surprised.

   A couple of the holiday highlights from Saturday tie together nicely in Richmond with the Holiday Dreams Parade carousing down East Main across the main north-south corridors through town at 4 o’clock and the Celebration of Lights beginning at Glen Miller Park 12 blocks (or so) east two hours later.

   The Celebration lights up at 6 pm, so you might practice the slow stroll down part of Richmond’s part of the National Road from the parade, but I’d recommend a slow, early supper at one of Richmond’s many fine restaurants and cafes.


Local book holiday gifts

 A fine gift is one that gives joy when it is given. An even finer gift is one that not only gives joy when given, but increase in value. We can’t be sure that a new book signed by the author will do either but if it’s worth a try to you, get to Metamora this Sunday between 2 and 4 pm.

   Local author Valerie Woebkenberg will be at Keleidosaurus Books in Duck Creek Crossing signing both hard copy and soft cover copies of her book The Story the Little Christmas Tree Told. As the name implies, it is the adventure of a little pine tree and was adapted from a short story written in 1923 by Alice Manley, a lifelong resident of Laurel, Indiana.

   And speaking of local books, we got an email from Donna Cronk, newsgirl/editor at the Courier-Times in New Castle. She reports she is a Union County native and “have just written a fictional novel inspired by Liberty.” She expects it out in “late winter 2014” which we read as March. So look for another local book signing/investment op by the Ides of March.


Doll Tea in a museum

   This Saturday you can get all dolled up at the Wayne County Historical Museum where you are encouraged to bring your favorite doll to tea. While this sounds like a very civilized date, the doll you’d be bringing is the collectible kind. The conversation will center on dolls and doll collecting and there will be a silent auction of several ‘original’ mini-American Girl Dolls.

   Guests will arrive at noon and the museum will be decorated throughout with table top trees, wreaths, and gift baskets, all available in silent auction format. We are told, “Bidders are encouraged to return several times to bid on their favorites. Return trips are free admission with bidder card.”


Living the season

   Live Nativity for Christmas is a fine thing to behold. Smyra Missionary Baptist Church in New Trenton holds their’s this Friday at 6 pm. A half hour later the Live Nativity is displayed at the Brookville Library.



Local Music Scene

   Feel in the mood for some real good Bluegrass? Check out www.wildwoodvalleyboys.net.

   Once the site comes up the music begins but instead of playing an entire song, you get a good taste of four or five by Tony Holt and the Wildwood Valley Boys. One thing all the songs have in common is, you want to hear more, and you can this Friday at the Connersville Bluegrass Music Association on Western Avenue.

   The group’s first four gigs next year are in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Then in June they play Bean Blossom at the Bill Monroe Music Park. In other words, they are sought after and, this week only, easy to find.

— Free music is always a treat and free jazz is even better. This Saturday’s Jazz and Percussion Jam in Goddard Auditorium, Earlham College, National Road West, Richmond, is a great way to step out of the holiday tape loop.


Road Rally in Dearborn County

   Saturday looks to be bright and cold. Great weather to explore. This week we can line you up with two opportunities to explore our beautiful and flexible Whitewater Valley, one by car and one by armchair or whatever chair we’re assuming is under you when you read this.

   First Satolli Glassmeyer is hosting a road rally through northern Dearborn County this Saturday. He writes, “The northern part of Dearborn County is filled with one room school houses, former black smith shops, historic churches, ghost roads, phantom bridges and the one and only Pepsi-Cola barn!”

   The tour begins and ends in St. Leon. Pre-register at 812 623-5727.

   The second opportunity begins:


Driving Tour of Ripley County-1

   You know how we like to get a long running start on our holidays these days? Well, here it is December and the Whitewater Valley Guide is already starting its Black History Month program. February will be on us before we know it and when it gets here we want to be ready to hold up our end of the conservation.

   Our focus is on the Underground Railroad in southern parts of the Whitewater Valley. Specifically, we want to feature five driving tours, themselves already featured in the Ripley County Tourism Booklet aptly titled, ‘5 Driving Tours.’

   All five tours start at the Ripley County Historical Society Archives Building on Courthouse Square in Versailles. This is also where you can pick up the booklet which contains a fold out map. You may also purchase a DVD of the driving tours for $10 at the same location. Call them for arrangements 812 689-7431.

   Travel US 421 south to where SR 129 cuts off left, not far up. Six miles south is the site of the old Olean German settlement where immigrant Charles F. Steyer “took an active part in the Underground Railroad activities in Olean and Benham.” The historic farmsted was torn down in 2001.

   About a mile south of that on SR 129 you come to Raccoon Creek where you’ll find Tour Stops #3 & #4, the (Weakman) Pleasant Hill Cemetery and the Free Church which was part of the Raccoon Creek Free Black Community. This church was purchased by the Methodists after the Civil War. They moved it to its present location at CR 450S and US 421. It was renamed Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church and is Tour Stop #10 on Trial 1.

   The booklet tells us “the most famous local conductor was Dunk McDowell who lived in the deep woods near Bethel Hole.” Imagine, the stereotype loner living in the woods, antisocial, unkempt, angry and outlawish. But here’s Duncan McDowell somehow in touch with the outside world and caring enough, passionate enough to come out of the woods and conduct soon to be free blacks along a specific link in the Underground Railroad.

   Travel a mile south to Cross Plains and make a right on CR 900. There are no trail stops in Cross Plains but maybe there should be. The booklet tells the story of a white teenager from Cross Plains who blackened his face and let the local pro-slavery people on a wild goose chase. (Talk about an event to hang a local pageant on . . . .)

   The oldest fugitive slave trail which came through Cross Plains from Canaan was maintained by the Separate Baptists of Rev. Alexander Sebestian. Tour Stop #5 on SR 900 marks the site of Squire Paugh’s old mill which was a safe house for this Separate Baptist section of the Underground Railroad.

   Tour Stop #6 tells the story of Edward McGuiness who brought his slaves up from Kentucky in 1817 and freed them. It is this side of Haney Corner a few miles up 900.

   From the booklet we learn that the diabolical Indiana Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 “required federal marshals and local authorities to help slave owners regain their runaway slaves.” (It also made it mandatory for free blacks to register every year at the county seat and would not allow people of color into Indiana. It was responsible for entire agricultural communities of blacks moving away, many times leaving only their cemeteries behind.)

   Tour Stop #7 takes you to Sylvan Grove which was engulfed by the former Jefferson Proving Grounds, now Big Oaks Wildlife Refuge. Sylvan Grove was the estate of the Honorable James Cravens, an anti-slavery lawyer in Indiana. We are warned visiting the property could be dangerous because of all the unexploded ordinance left behind by the US military in their haste. To get where we do not know.

   Rexville is Tour Stop #8 on CR 800W and was the home of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a group who targeted free blacks and abolitionists for harassment and probably worse.

   Continuing left or north on US 421 about 2 ½ miles, turn right on CR 450S to Samm’s Schoolhouse where arms and ammunition were found hidden after the Civil War. Local speculation is that the arms were put there by the Knights of the Golden Circle in preparation for the Confederate victory which never came, at least not to date.

   Go back across US 421 to Tour Stop #10, the aforementioned Pleasant View Church, then back north on 421 to Versailles where the tour ends and the world begins anew.

   Like a good driving tour, history allows us to contemplate in layers, and you can quote me on that.


Also noted in Green

   Green Umbrella is holding six first round meetings at different locations throughout our region. Two of them are within the Whitewater Valley itself. Next one is tomorrow, Wednesday, 6 pm at East Central High in St. Leon.

   The Butler County Green Umbrella first round session is December 10 from 6 to 8 pm at Hamilton City Hall.

   The object of this Regional Sustainability Alliance’s effort is to focus a lot of otherwise unconnected groups involved in trials, the creation, care and maintenance thereof, on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is a comprehensive vision for trails in the area under the Green Umbrella.

   We expect since this is the first round, the ideas and directions gathered from these sessions will get amalgamated into fodder for the second round. And so on until perfection is reached. Perfection in this effort would be bicycling to Cincinnati and beyond from Metamora without riding on a public road.

   The area map provided looks like the coverage area of any of your garden variety Cincinnati television stations. Counties in the Valley include Franklin and Dearborn in Indiana and Butler and Hamilton in Ohio. There are two counties in Kentucky, two in Indiana and four in Ohio under the Green Umbrella.




Salter's Sunset

reflection of Mt. Metamora off the hood 

2013©John Salter

Issue 125 


Deck the Halls

   Parents with creative kids and who are fast on their feet could start a holiday tradition this afternoon at Brookville and Laurel Libraries. The annual Deck the Halls program happens simultaneously at both libraries from 3 to 7 pm today, like right now.

   Your kids will leave with an ornament they have made. And since the program runs for the next three Tuesdays (same time, same stations) Deck the Halls will provide one kid with enough ornaments to cover a quarter section of the family Christmas tree. Where that quarter faces depends on forces out of our control.

Local Music Scene

   We want to thank Randy’s Roadhouse in Batesville for keeping alive the relatively new concept Thanksgiving Eve. It’s a holiday celebration waiting to happen. A few years back in the Whitewater Valley we hit a lively streak where you could have moved from Brookville all the way to Lawrenceburg stopping off at Thanksgiving Eve events at several spots along the way.

   Last year, Thanksgiving Eve slipped past us with nary a mention. This year it appears again but only in one place Randy’s Roadhouse. Consequently we recommend a pile on at Randy’s where we may dance to The Next Episode until we’re sure we’ve made enough room for the feast on the morrow.

   Besides Wednesday night at Randy’s, there’ll be good music on Black Friday at the Cat and the Fiddle. Dean Phelps and Brian Keith Wallen are getting together again which is always something to see and even more to hear. They form the core of a floating group of musicians who’ve appeared under various names at venues around the Valley.

   This Friday evening they’ll be mixing and matching with Rick and Holly Garrett who first appeared in Metamora as Patchwork on the big stage at the Music Festival. Rick and Holly love Metamora so much they were married here, on the trail actually with the permission of Whitewater Canal Trail, Inc.

   Since Rick is also a stand-up comic, you can expect some laughs with your good music and Catrina’s good cooking.


Joint holiday concert

   On the first day of Christmas the RCO gave to me, a free concert in a pear tree, if and only if Goddard Auditorium is also a pear tree. And another thing, can we call December 1st the first day of Christmas? Well, if an auditorium can be a pear tree, why the heck not?

   This free concert at 3:30 features the Eaton Area Community Chorus under the direction of Jay Conard. It is the annual joint holiday concert of these two groups who reach across state lines to embrace in music through songs of joy and peace on Earth.

Carpenter Hall where you’ll find Goddard Auditorium is on the Richmond campus of Earlham College.


Gaar House holiday twists

    Maybe it’s much too early in the game. Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same: What’re ya doin’ next Fourth of July?

    It looks like Gaar House and Richmond Symphony Orchestra plus friends and relatives are gearing up for another sensational, if the first one was evidence, way and place to spend the Fourth.

    Imagine yourself blanket sprawled on a posh lawn sipping something that tingles, listening to Beethoven, looking down on the backs of birds flying and up at the red glare of rockets launched from Glenn Miller Park below.

    Tickets went crazy last year, so you might think about reserving now. For those on your list with patience, a pair of tickets would make a good Christmas present.

    And speaking of Christmas present, oh how we love the odd twists of the young holidays. Gaar House is bringing noted ‘after-life archaeologist’ to the mansion on the hill. Through the years visitors have asked is the Gaar House haunted. Until now the answer had been, Who knows? For the stout of heart and those braced with holiday cheer, you could be the first to find out definitively.

    Anthony Truitt, the famed investigator of the paranormal, will be testing the house on three different tours at 6, 7 and 8 pm, Saturday, December 14th. Each 45-minute tour will, of course, contain different people and therefore each tour will have its own energy as it travels through the holiday decorated, three-story, tower-topped Victorian home. Because of this, Anthony stresses he can not know what may occur.

    As in year’s past, the Gaar House & Farm Museum will be highly dressed for the holidays and with yet another holiday twist, many of the decorations may be purchased with the proceeds going to the Gaar Foundation for the upkeep of the house. The decorations are by Cathy Brunner of Jack Daggy Floral.

    Tours of the holiday Gaar House (19 and older $5, 18 and younger $2) will also include a pass by some of Rebecca’s Creative Designs. Rebecca is Becky Cranor. She can help you with updated touches to your family heirlooms which will answer the question, what to do with Grannie’s doilies and things. She will also have her own unique heirloom creations like beautiful one-of-a-kind purses.

    The Gaar House & Farm Museum will be open on four Sundays in December, the 1st, 8th, 15th and the 22nd with guided tours at 1, 2, 3, & 4 pm. The tours take about 45 minutes. It is located at 2593 Pleasant View Road in Richmond. 

    To reserve for the Fourth or for the Christmas house-haunting investigation call 765-966-1262. Visit www.thegaarhouse.com


Counting sparrows

 Here’s a heads-up for birders from Joe Robb. Big Oaks NWR Annual Bird Count is happening Saturday, Dec 14, 2013 at where else but the Big Oaks National Wildlife Reserve north of Madison, Indiana. Big Oaks is designated as a Globally Important Bird Area.

   The message continues, ‘Volunteers are needed for all-day or half-day counts at the Big Oaks National Wildlife Reserve. Dress warm and be ready to count birds by 8am!’ Notice the exclamation mark.

   Browse www.bigoaks.org for a digital overview. It is a product of Big Oaks Conservation Society, but digital-smidgital. Hands on, feet on the ground, nose in the air has got to be the best way to get to know Big Oaks and Big Oaks is worth getting to know for outdoor folk in the Whitewater Valley.

   It’s a 50,000 acre nature preserve. There are large grasslands where the male Henslow sparrow gather at times to sing together and sometimes in competition. Big Oaks hosts school groups from elementary to graduate school.

   Email Joe Robb at joe_robb@fws.gov to register. Contact the Refuge office at (812) 273-0783.



   You will notice as you read the calendar this week there appears a classified ad, specifically a goat for sale. We’ve never done this before and only have the one so we decided to drop it into the calendar where you’d be sure to read it. You do read the calendar every week, don’t you? As I’ve said before, over time patterns begin to appear and you are made wiser simply for exercising your discipline by reading week after week.

   If as I very well doubt there is suddenly a trickle of people who want to list their items for sale in the Whitewater Valley Guide, who am I to stop them? For a consideration yet to be determined, I will tuck your hand-written classified away in the calendar of the week. Should the trickle become a flood, we will create a Classified section and become rich beyond our wildest dreams, which obviously aren’t very wild.

   Cost of a classified? How about $5 per week for five lines (lines not to exceed 45 characters each) with a minimum of a four week run because PayPal takes payments in $20 increments.

   Let this be the last experiment with Trickle Down Theory in the United States of Indiana and Ohio.

   Email classifieds or classified inquiries to whitewater.valley.guide@gmail.com.

In this is my freedom


We have been bitten by a snake as we slept

The bite has awakened us to the fact it was a dream

There is no snake.

There is no bite.

It awoke us — but to what?

Everywhere there is turbulence

as it always has been on Earth.

The truth is, everywhere we go Earth tumbles on.

Yet amidst this tumble and turbulence

there is the wisdom of a goldfish in a pond:


It is our world.

It is our pond.

It is our point of view —

Quality not quantity is the basis of reality.

How well, not how much, is what matters.


Radiating light up from the pond

like the bellow of a bullfrog

I ascribe infinite importance to

my hand upon the plow

my heart to my neighbor

my will to the Impulse of my being.


In this is my freedom, my reality, my infinity.


Gary August Schlueter

Cave Mountain in a cave


Local Music Scene

   The mandolin player in Cave Mountain commented on Saturday night at the Bluegrass show in Metamora’s old blacksmith shop that while the band’s name is Cave Mountain, he didn’t expect to be playing in one. The old creek rock walls from floor to ceiling kind of give it that appearance.

> Searching through the small print we found a world premier happening in the Whitewater Valley this week, Friday to be exact at Hall Auditorium in collegiate Oxford. Although the obscure marks on this modern archeological find have not been completely decyphered yet, it appears as ‘Rhapsody on Gabriel???s Theme’.

   Also on the musical docket are works by Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Glinka performed by Miami University Symphony Orchestra for simply the price of going there, sitting down and listening.

>   It wouldn’t be fair not to mention the weekend performances of ‘Yes Virginia, the Musical’ at the Performing Arts Center in Harrison High.

   We all know the poem and those of us who have visited any of the past several Metamora Christmas tree lighting ceremonies have heard Steve Collier read it, but who knew there was a musical? And why isn’t it more popular.

   These things and more you will discover this Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday at the high school in Harrison, Ohio.

>   Ever since Limelight Monday went viral back in our analog days on St. Thomas, we have looked on Monday’s as a sleeping giant when it comes to music entertainment possibilities. The conventional thinking is usually that nobody wants to do anything on Monday, but Limelight Monday proved that’s not always true.

   An experiment in that direction happens next Monday at the Lawrenceburg Public Library over the noon hour, or make that two hours. What appears to be a series is called Music on Mondays and some part of the library will probably be converted into Annie’s Classics Café.

   You’ve heard of thinking outside of the box? Well this is putting a box inside a box, a café du jour inside a library.

   And what are Classics anyway? we wonder.


Running of the mice

   The cornfield behind my new house in Metamora was harvested starting Thursday evening. They worked late into the night. The result of that eerie view of small beady headlights illuminating the dark work of giant cultivating machines growling down the rows was to release the field mice.

   This, of course, upset the balance of nature resulting in a distinct diminishing of the number of street cats prowling for handouts in Metamora. As Connie Cookie Jar reported the field mice migrate towards town at harvest time.

   It started in my little household with Alice, the inside cat, catching a mouse in the kitchen on Thursday and devouring it in the small, entirely enclosed music room. Not a trace was found, but unlike other locked room mysteries, we know who done it.

   Next evening the field was down and on Saturday morning there were cat smiles all around as Madam New, the outdoor cat, showed Alice what was going on.

   Now it’s Sunday morning and with the warm temperatures all night, both cats are nowhere to be seen, not even showing up for their morning feed. But I understand. Last night was cat heaven. They had a full moon to hunt by and a sea of mice coming toward them through the corn rubble wave after wave. Like I said, cat heaven.

   And Connie says it happens every year. Therefore, with all the authority we can muster, we declare November moon in Metamora, Mice Running Moon.

   Metamora is always looking for something to celebrate. I wonder if an annual Running of the Mice ordeal would be something worth considering. If so, I suggest we discuss it at Mousies, one of the best restaurants in Connersville.


Twice is not enough at Mousie’s.

   If I were a Connersvillian, I would hang out at Mousie’s Cafe. Mousie’s cooks good! Ask anybody who’s eaten there, probably since it opened in 1953. It has the air of an institution but is disguised as a bar. That’s what you see when you walk in the side door from the parking lot which has to be ample enough to hold between 150 and 200 people, about the same number who could be seated in Mousie’s.

   On first glance you wouldn’t think it would be that many, but Mousie’s is deceptive. The first time in I thought all there was to it was the bar and the booths along the wall. I saw people occasionally disappearing into the small, dark hallway but that’s what you’d expect with the bathrooms that way.

   On my second visit I was led through that small dark chamber to the full, bright expanse of dining room where large parties might gather and mingle with other large parties. Plenty of room for more than one large party at Mousie’s and that’s just the first thing you see.

   The dining room winds to the right and finishes in an upper chamber with two eight top round tables and a mirrored cabinet along one wall making the room seem larger than it is.

   But that’s just the where of Mousie’s Cafe, the what is the cooking. The kitchen is the thing that allows Mousie’s to fill 150 seats. The kitchen is good and it’s going to get better.

   According to one of the owners who was kind enough to show a photographer (which I obviously was at the time) around, they are struggling to find the right place to fit a grill into the kitchen-scape.

   You’d imagine a place that has been around since before pizza and rock and roll, would have had a grill before now. Maybe they felt constricted somehow by the name. According to the menu cover, it is Mousie’s Café, not Mousie’s Grill.

   I have been to Mousie’s Café twice which as I said somewhere before, is not enough. The first time I had the chicken quesadilla from the appetizer list and would recommend it as a solo meal or a dish to share as it was probably intended. On the second trip I tried the fish, a large breaded, deep-fried Walleye. It came on an almost fitting bun with nothing else on the plate which made it seem lonely or sparse.

   The sandwich was ala carte, meaning I had to pay extra for the cole slaw, and I’d do it again. The cole slaw was excellent which is not usually the case here in the Whitewater Valley. Having to pay for each item is an idea that might cost the patron a little more, but gives them only what they want. It also allows for patron creativity. It follows the Spanish tapas idea where you have this spread of options and arrange your plate to suit your taste. But it makes Mousie’s a few dollars more than your average community café/ grill/restaurant where your Walleye sander comes with a side or two at or less than the same price.

   I wouldn’t say Mousie’s food is cheap. It is reasonable and taking advantage of the special of the day will keep you away from single-iteming your bill up into the double digits, if that’s a concern.

   On-line reviews claim the burgers are the best in Connersville. They also complain about the gravelly voiced waitresses and the smokey bar. My experience was younger, smiling waitresses and clean air due to the new Indiana non-smoking law.

   (Thank you California wherever you are.)







Last patch of first snow, 1 pm, Nov. 12, 2013

Guide Posts

Issue 123

Local Music Scene

   It seems just as they begin, they are doing their last show of the season. They are the Bluegrass plank of the newly building Metamora Performing Arts ship. They are also GI and Jo Ball who put on the Bluegrass shows across US 52 in the Gateway Park’s facility a few years ago.

   GI Ball is bound and determined to bring Bluegrass music to Metamora on a regular basis. So he and his wife Jo put on the GI Jo Show (though they don’t call it that) bringing in music and providing home-cooked food and light refreshments.

   Where their first iteration was in collaboration with the Whitewater Canal Byway Association, the owner of Gateway Park and its restaurant facility (where GI built the present still-standing stage, thank you very much) this time the GI Jo Show is a production of Metamora Performing Arts, itself a most active off-shoot of Historic Metamora, a proper 501c3.

   Instead of playing at the Gateway Park, their show this Saturday at 6 pm is at one of the town’s original blacksmith shops on the corner of Clayborn and Columbia in downtown Metamora, which since it’s hardly a town might be a stretch to call it downtown. Say rather in the heart of Metamora.

   (I say ‘one of the’ because my house is founded on another old blacksmith shop. It, too, on Clayborn Street but up Gravel Hill.)

   For six bucks, the same price as Connersville Bluegrass MA on Friday nights, you can hear Cave Mountain, a Bluegrass band from Northern Kentucky this Saturday. GI said the house band will start the show. GI plays the mandolin with Metamora’s Baggy Bottom Boys and you can bet he’ll be a key part of the house band.

   The old blacksmith shop is an experience in and of itself, wooden floors, rock walls and open rafters. They (meaning GI) built a little stage and there’s a small wooden dance floor for when things get out of hand. The main room is big and square, not gigantic but big enough.

   It will be interesting to see where Jo will put her food and if that stage holds when things get to stompin’ on Saturday night.


Richmond Pre-Holiday Give-a-Thon

   On Friday a musical fundraiser in Richmond bears the Whitewater Valley’s biggest city’s name, Heart Strings of Richmond. For a $25 donation, which will also get you a place at the table with plate, Heart Strings of Richmond will ‘discover the remarkable history of our city through the legacy of music.’

   And here’s a most intriguing note from the producers, Gateway Vineyard Fellowship, ‘Music from Richmond created a unique sound that impacted the entire world.’ So, for your donation you get an interesting, educational musical program, good fellowship, a meal and the long, warm afterglow of knowing you supported a good cause, Gateway Vineyard Fellowship’s Food Ministry.

* We wonder if Youth Spotlight Night is another name for an Idol competition? You be the judge. Talented teenagers from Wayne County and surrounds, which we loosely interpret as the rest of the Whitewater Valley, are asked to perform at Spotlight Night at Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond Saturday evening at 5. Performers get in free while the audience, dba ‘the screaming fans’, pay $5 each.

   There is no mention of a panel of judges, but since the top three performers will receive cash prizes, judgments must be made somehow. Money raised after the prizes are paid will go to Youth As Resources which “empowers youth to find their potential and positively affect their community.”

   There will refreshments available and items for raffle.

* On Sunday afternoon Circle U Help Center will sponsor a fundraising concert featuring performers from Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the Ball State University Singers at Civic Hall thus completing a three-day weekend where philanthropic Valley citizens can get all of their holiday giving done before they start their holiday shopping.


Hoops and the hungry

   Hoops houses extend the growing season. Oxford Farmers Market is extending its market season in part because one of their farmers is proving the truth of that statement. In other words, hoop houses, under whatever name, are extending not only the growing season, but the Farmers Market season in Oxford. Pretty cool.

   Tunnels or hoop houses are temporary agricultural structures with arched or hoop frames covered with clear plastic. They can easily be covered, uncovered, assembled and disassembled in order to adjust to the weather and move to a different field site.

   If that’s something that peaks your interest you should hie yourself to Michaela Farm in Oldenburg this Wednesday afternoon for an important program called Extending the Growing Season.

   Here’s what Anna Morrow wrote: “The afternoon will begin with a tour of the low tunnels and vegetable gardens at Michaela Farm. After the tour, we will go indoors to the classroom and connect with the field day at Pinney Purdue Ag Center via the web.

   “Matt Kleinhenz will discuss using mid-size and low tunnels for cool season crops in fall and winter. Valerie and Doug will share their knowledge about growing winter vegetables in high tunnels. The afternoon will end with time for discussion by all participants.”

     Michaela Farm calls them low tunnels, Valerie and Doug use high tunnels, but a hoop house by any name would smell as sweet, especially growing greens in low sun February.

* Acclaimed as one of the most powerful and innovative female leaders in the world, Ellen Gustafson is co-founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, a new organization highlighting innovative ideas in agriculture and food systems that help alleviate hunger, obesity and poverty. She probably already knows about hoop houses, but you might ask her, if you get a chance.

   Ms Gustafson will be delivering the convocation, well if not ‘the’, ‘a’ convocation at Earlham College also on Wednesday afternoon. For those interested in applying her food-thinking thoughts immediately, it would be possible to hustle from the completion of Ms Gustafson’s undoubtedly inspiring words to Michaela Farm still in time for the garden tour and low tunnel experience.


A Guide to the possible

   Mia culpa if you ever go to one of the events listed in the calendar and it’s not happening when or where we said. It’s my fault because I don’t call up each of these events to verify they are in fact going to happen with the where’s and when’s all coordinated as per our calendar.

   Nope, the Whitewater Valley Guide is a labor of love and that we would not love. If you could dial the number and get an answer, that would be one thing, but there would be call backs, wrong persons, unanswered phones, etc.

   The answer, come to think of it, is email. It really is. If every listing had an email address I could see a way to almost universal (which is another way of saying not universal at all) validity, of attaining that lofty end so seldom achieved, pure credibility. Then there would be almost (that word again) absolute assurance that when you see it in the Guide, it’s so.

   But short of email verification demanded before a listing may appear in the Guide you gotta take some of the responsibility yourself. I mean now that you know we, editorial ‘we’ meaning ‘me’) are flawed, you’ll think twice and verify it yourself.

   In the past, I have tried to make sure every listing had a phone number so you would be able to call, verify and maybe get some insight. But once in awhile for reasons of special interest I have listed an event without a phone number.

   In an effort to tighten up the holes in the process of providing you with a more reasonably accurate calendar of events for the entire Whitewater Valley, more or less and give or take, I, meaning editorial ‘we’, will no longer publish listings in the Whitewater Valley Calendar of Events without either a phone number or an email address.

   That way if you take me and us seriously, drive 40 miles and find out I, you and we were wrong, I alone can blame you in that same state of singularity.

   After all, this is a Guide to the possibilities not a guarantee of those possibilities.



Gary August Schlueter

Issue 122

Two anniversaries feted

   This appears to be the week of the anniversary. In Metamora on Saturday folks will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the platting of the town with a kind of show and tell. Metamorans alive and passed are invited but of the former branch things are asked, like if you have items of interest to Metamora’s history, bring ‘em.

   Some items from Historic Metamora’s collection will be on display along with a slide show of old Metamora photos. There will be a scanner on hand to digitize any old photos of Metamora you might have in your collection. A copy of any digi-pix gathered will be shuffled off to Julie at Brookville Library for the permanent local history files. And remember, those photos don’t have to be from the 19th Century.

   While you may have been looking the other way 1975 has suddenly slipped into history. So if you grew up in Metamora in the golden luster days before Duck Creek Crossing was built and tourism crowded out the old townies and the old town, bring your memories to share. It goes on from 4 to 6 pm and light refreshments will be served.

   Next, it’s the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Sixth Ohio Living History Association along with the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War are bringing Lincoln back to life to celebrate at the pioneer village at Governor Bebb Park in Okeana. The program fits the setting and vice versa.

   If you haven’t been to Governor Bebb Park this Saturday or Sunday might be a good time to do a little local touring. The activities are designed to keep you moving through the village, from the military drill on the village green to meeting the 16th President in the schoolhouse to seeing him again in Bebb Cabin as he would have been when he left Springfield.

   There will be stories from the battlefield, music by Cincinnati Dulcimer Society, a procession to the cemetery stage where Edward Everett will give his opening speech, followed by the address itself. And that’s just Saturday.

   Similar things happen on Sunday with the addition of a divine service at the schoolhouse at 10:15 and a ladies fashion show on the main stage at noon.


Local Music Scene

   We could do a Friday, Saturday, Sunday music thing in Richmond this weekend and spend absolutely nada.

   Earlham Rhythm Project is jumping off-campus to play Common Grounds Coffeehouse on not-far-away West Main in Richmond. The music is free as are the grounds. Coffee, on the other hand, might cost you something.

   (Quick musical reminder: All the Earth around is our common ground.)

   The African Children’s Choir at Civic Hall in Richmond this Saturday evening would be a great way to spoon feed the kids some global culture. The bad news is you’ll need a ticket; the good news is tickets are free.

   The Chamber Music Concert on Sunday afternoon at Earlham College’s Stout Meetinghouse would make a great lure to folks out of town for a slow Sunday exploration of some of the things Richmond has to offer. Like food, food and more food. (Must be near lunchtime.)


Beware the spirit of Pontiac

   You’d think it’s a little late in the year for a PowWow, but that’s only if you thought PowWows needed to be held outdoors in the slowly chilling November winds. The Native PowWow this Saturday and Sunday will be held indoors at Richmond’s National Guard Armory in the hopefully warm and glowing confines of this military stronghold.

An armory is a place where arms are kept, right? Therefore, ‘stronghold’ is not to strong a word.

   So here’s where fantasy kicks in. Sort of the curse of the fictitious mind.

   I have been struck by how much deference is paid to the U. S. military in every PowWow or Native Gathering I’ve been to. There are always dances honoring veterans and sometimes flag ceremonies. The American flag is always prominent at a PowWow, but what if that were all a smokescreen.

   What if this week at the Richmond National Guard Armory the spirit of Pontiac is invoked and once inside the armory, they lock the doors, take the janitor captive, break out the arms and go on the war path again? I mean wouldn’t you want to be there to see that?


Foodie alerts!

   We’ve got a lot of food news to share this week, sort of sustenance for the brain rather than the belly. In order to accommodate a local farmer who is using hoop houses to extend the growing season, Oxford Farmers Market Council has decided to offer mini-markets from 10 to noon most Saturdays during winter. OFM will continue their main market winter schedule every third Saturday.

   These hoop houses and other growing season extension systems are the topic of a special program coming up on Wednesday, November 13 at Michaela Farms in Oldenburg. More about that next week.


‘Robust’ as opposed to ‘Go bust’

   Sister Claire Whalen in Oldenburg wants to remind users of food (that’s us) that our opinions about locally food could help shape federal rules and regulations. The USDA Food and Drug Administration is requesting comments about its rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) before November 15, 2013.

   FDA’s public affairs for Indiana is Carol Gallagher. Here’s how to reach her:

Carol Gallagher, Public Affairs Technician

(317) 226-6500 x 109

FAX (317) 226-6506


FDA – Indianapolis Resident Post

101 W. Ohio St, Suite 1300

Indianapolis, IN 46204

   She doesn’t seem to have a counterpart in Ohio, so if I was a Buckeye I’d send my comments to Ms Gallagher. It’s a federal law so it shouldn’t matter who funnels your comments to D.C.

   The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition represents many groups advocating for organically and naturally grown food on small to mid-sized farms. A feed posted Friday, November 1, on the National Sustainable Agriculture website reported, 29 organizations sent a letter to House and Senate members of the Farm Bill conference which met for the first time, last Thursday.

   They asked those representatives to “provide a robust Rural Development title that promotes economic growth and stability in rural areas.”

   The easiest single thing for you to say to FDA is Congress should provide the same $400 million it has provided in the last three farm bills (1996, 2002, 2008) for rural development programs. The Senate bill presently has a $228 million mandatory funding level. The House bill is worse.

   This is not a case where less is more. Four hundred million should be the floor, the least weasel, so to speak.

   Some of the potentially unfunded rural ag programs in the new Farm Bill include Value-Added Producer Grant program, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, Rural Water/Wastewater projects.


Heartland security discount

   There’s something to be said about rural diversification and homeland security. We, the rurally diversified, provide our own homeland security. In our neck of the woods we might call it heartland security and it comes about by our not being clustered together like 10 million New Yorkers.

   Fly a plane into them and thousands of people are killed, fly a plane into us and it lands in a field we have to use 4x4’s to get to.

   We ruralites spend a lot of money on homeland security for those at-risk metropolites. We should get some kind of a discount because we are properly diversified across the land and are not the target for terrorist attacks. These rural assistance programs in the Farm Bill are just a small step towards fulfilling that discount.


Zen mind and empty bowls

   One of the coolest, most integrated programs for helping the poor (other than Halloween) is Oxford Empty Bowls. At a $10 fixed price luncheon, guests choose from amongst a collection of beautiful bowls created, decorated and donated by Miami University students and Oxford area potters.

   Zen you are asked to look into your empty bowl contemplating the many other empty bowls in the world. Then and only then, you may have it filled with your choice of soups made by local cooks. When you leave you take your again empty bowl home to serve as a reminder of that brief contemplation and what it means to ‘them that’s got’ and ‘them that’s not.’

   Oxford Empty Bowls happens this Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm in the fellowship hall of Oxford United Methodist Church. It raises ‘much-needed’ funds for Oxford Community Choice Food Pantry programs.


Wolverine’s little brother

   We received a great story from Frank Page which we’ve been sitting on for a few months while we tried to figure out what to do with it. We can honestly report, in all this time, nothing came to mind. So without fanfare here’s Frank’s story about how the Miami U.’s Natural History Museum acquired a once living replica of the Wolverine’s smallest relative, the Least Weasel.


The Least Weasel Story

By Frank Page

   4G and me are huge animal lovers and outdoorsy people, and before we hunted geocaches, we hunted animals...in a purely nonviolent way.  Our first animal we wanted to see in the wild was the bald eagle.  We live in SE Indiana and they were slowly coming back in to this area.  After seven long years we finally saw one in the wild in Toledo and Kentucky. 

   Our next animal became the least weasel.  We learned of this, the smallest and most ferocious carnivore on Earth, from a sign at the Miami Valley Whitewater forest.  We thought he was very cute because he is no bigger than a Bic pen and because his name was funny.  We imagined with big smiles a most weasel and a middling weasel, and made finding him our next goal. 

   He is native to our area, and most of the US, and for the next seven years we searched for any evidence at all of this reclusive creature.  While they are not uncommon, they are rarely seen, photographed or filmed because they are so fast and live underground. 

   About once every three years someone posts a good video or pic of a least weasel on the internet.  Exasperated, we then decided to plan our family vacation around visiting the only known least weasel in captivity, Lester, who was hit by a car and lives in a nature center in Asheville, NC.  

     As plans were developed for our trip, an important date in my career as a chef arrived...my certification practical exam.  This three-hour cooking practical went horribly for me.  From the moment I entered the building wearing my Miami University baseball hat that was standard garb at work, things went badly.  

   The American Culinary Federation president Chef Kinsella loudly berated me at the door shouting, "Show some pride in yourself and get that damn hat off your head" and I never recovered.  I bumbled through my exam and after making me wait two hours they informed me that I had failed.  This was the first failure on any kind of exam in my life.  As I was leaving, they told me I could try again in six months. 

   At first, this felt good in a cowardly way as I knew that that much time would pass before I had to stress out about or think about this again, but soon thereafter I began to explore if it was indeed true that I could not try again for such a long time.  Three days later, on a fateful Friday, I discovered that the test was being offered in two weeks time at the same place.  I called to see if I could participate, since I had just failed and been told I had to wait six months and they told me I could.  Over the next several hours at work I made the loathsome decision to not do it and wait the six months.  I went home feeling ashamed but resolute to stand by my cowardly decison, as the whole experience had been so awful.

     That night it happened.  Around 10 pm, 4G and me laying in bed heard a sound that immediately made us stiffen with primal fear.  It was a rolling, somewhat high-pitched growl coming from our computer room.  We cautiously walked to the room and immediately determined that our big black and white rescue cat Poptiar had a critter and was in a serious fight.  This in itself was not so unusual as we have a cat door and he frequently drags in prey, but the noises and ferocity of the fight were new. 

   We resolved to let it continue as the week prior I had separated him from his prey and that bloody mouse escaped and ended up dead in a pair of pajamas I slipped on a week later....nasty!  The noise and fight continued on and off over the course of the night with the creature finding temporary havens before emerging for more action. 

   I woke up several times during the night and finally, around 5 am, 4G walked out to discover the corpse of Poptiar's prey.  Typically the prey is consumed entirely except for the liver, but this one was whole with just a small disturbance on the skin around its neck.  It immediately came to her that she was looking at a least weasel!  It was long and thin and had a stubby tail and white underbelly. 

   The least weasel that we had sought for over seven years had been brought in to our own house from our own yard by our own cat!  We have tons of mole holes on our one acre rural property and that is exactly where they like to live.  In shock and slightly unable to process what had just occurred that night, 4G woke me and showed me the find.  Not exactly sure why, I scooped up the least weasel and bagged him and put him in the freezer, where he would remain for the next five months. 

     4G and I marveled at the fact that this creature we had sought for so many years, and around whom we had planned a whole summer vacation, had been living in our yard the whole time!  We were sad that he was dead, but happy Poptiar was unhurt.  We came to find out that the least weasel is extremely ferocious and capable of killing a bunny six or seven times its size. 

   The next day, I signed up for the practical exam, realizing that to me....the least weasel's appearance was a sign from a higher power telling me to reverse my poor and uncharacteristically cowardly decision.  I passed with flying colors and was informed of my success by the same Chef Kinsella who had handled me so roughly before.  We went on our vacation and arrived at the nature center where Lester resided fifteen minutes before the facility closed and fifteen minutes after they quit letting people in. 

   A dour Scandinavian woman told me there was nothing she could do and after the utterance of this line"  Ma'am, we have been planning to see this creature for the last five months, and in a way, the last seven years, and have driven all the way from Indiana, and are willing to pay full price for fifteen minutes with Lester...is there any thing in your power that you can do for us?"  She caved and in we went, for free.  Lester was asleep in a small ball and we were beginning to feel disappointed when he sprang up and put on a show that delighted us all!  Awesome!!

    When we returned home we began to ponder what we would do with our frozen least weasel.  One day I saw a video on a facility in Missouri where pets are being freeze-dried, as a more realistic-looking alternative to taxidermy.  It would be $185 and take three months but we decided to go for it.  I went to the package store and got him weighed and paid for and off he went....in to the teeth of the worst blizzard in the south central US in decades. 

   I had failed to be aware of this and when we found out, we imagined the least weasel sitting in some warehouse getting hot and stinky and were certain we ruined him.  Anticipation mounted, and finally he was returned to us.  

   When it arrived, we were blown away by its beauty.  Mounted on a water softened piece of black locust wood, and posed in an aggressive and fearful stance, jaws agape and teeth snarling, we all fell in love.  It had always been my plan to donate the weasel to a museum, but 4G, Dr. Takamatsu and Pinecone did not want to let it go. 

   As we argued over the weeks, Poptiar nailed the least weasel again, who had been carelessly left on a table he could reach.  His skin was ripped and his hair was all mussed up like he had had a long night of weasel passion.  We had him repaired and our battle over what would become of him continued.  Before it was over, the family was ready to let him go and I started having misgivings.  Finally the donation was made to the Natural History Museum in Upham Hall on the campus of Miami University of Ohio, where he proudly resides to this day.  That is the story of the least weasel and how it changed our lives.

Issue 118

What’s culture anyway?

   There’s a lot of good cultural stuff happening this week in the Whitewater Valley. If you hurry you could catch violinist Ray Chen at Hall Auditorium in Oxford on Tuesday.  

   Rent, the musical play, is having two performances on Tuesday and Wednesday also in Oxford this time at the Center for Performing Arts. Miami University Symphony Orchestra performs for free on Wednesday at Hall Auditorium.

   Finally leaving Oxford and bending culture to another extreme the Navy Bean Fall Festival is happening this Friday and Saturday in Rising Sun.

   Ertel Cellars Wine Festival features music on Saturday and Sunday along with samples of the latest vintage.

   Wolf Creek Habitat holds two Native American Gatherings each year and this is the weekend for the fall celebration. It’s located on Wolf Creek Road just inside the Greenville Treaty Line.

   I mention this because 11 years ago I met a neighbor of the habitat and he described where his land was by saying it was near the Greenville Treaty Line. I had never lived in a place where an Indian treaty line from 1795 was still part of everyday conversation.

   If that’s not culture, I don’t know what is.


Halloween season kick-off?

   If you think we’re in the first flirting steps of Halloween and if Halloween is your favorite holiday, you might be interested in extending the season to include what could be called a Halloween kick-off party but is billed as ‘A Fairy Exciting Event.’

   Where Brookville has its chickens and is the source of the Chicken Trail with participating fried chicken joints proudly claiming their presence on the Chicken Trail by displaying a large usually concrete chicken painted to fit (or not) some whimsy of the owners, Wayne County has its fairies.

   The Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau has persuaded about 20 local places to challenge their imaginations and create small, enchanted dwellings which then compose the Wayne County Enchanted Fairy Trail.

   The Enchanted Fairy Trail has a map of 20 spots with around 50 fairy or fairly-like dwellings all toll. The object of the Fairy Trail is children but those who see through the eyes of a child are also welcome.

   We are told, “Each location will have free fairy themed activities for children to participate in including; face painting, fairy dust tattoos, fairy themed crafts, snacks, coloring contests, games, fairy necklaces and much more”

   The Enchanted Fairy Trail begins at the Old National Road Welcome Center in Richmond and is manned this Saturday, from 9 am through 3 pm.

   We’ve also created a special section in the calendar with listings and as much info as we could gather without trying too hard about the many Halloween Holiday Happenings. The weirdest one is the new zip line service in Brookville which is holding a Zombie Trail along with the already scary idea of riding a zip line to your ultimate doom or destination whichever comes first.


The story of Jericho

   We first heard the sound of Jericho when they played very enthusiastically for next to nobody, at least not much more than crowds of ten but mostly less, sometimes just the historic re-creators with Jericho up there on the gazebo in Tow Path Park wailing away and having fun as though the music itself was enough. Imagine that.

   Then a duo from the sextet, Warren and Judy Waldron showed up Canal Days Saturday in the yard on Clayborn Street that has prominently displayed a full sized, once floatable replica canal boat called Native Son. How that canal boat came to be sitting there is a story itself, maybe even history, but not thistory.

   Judy and Warren are old friends of Artistry Farms aka Debra Bowles who is a Canal Days institution selling her handmade soap in that very yard where also is the dark performance barn challenging the Native Son for local character.

   Warren plays fiddle and Judy plays guitar. They located near the open gate facing Clayborn where most of the traffic was. The duo, especially the fiddle, reminded me of music by the Red Clay Ramblers and in an email afterwards Judy said, “We ‘borrowed’ Tell It to Me and The Telephone Girl from them.”

   If your musical taste rambles to the Red Clay Ramblers you might see if Warren’s fiddle doesn’t remind you of Bill Hicks on one or two Jericho songs. They’ll be performing this Second Friday as the featured band at this Oxford Community Arts Center monthly.

   Second Friday is from 6-9 pm. Jericho will perform in the North Parlor at 8 pm. As always on Second Friday the art studios on the third floor of the old college will be open along with the Art Shop.

   The featured artists this month are Billy Simms who “works in print making, sculpture, collage, and photography. He lives in Hamilton with his wife and two cats.”

   Jack Williams’ ‘A Journey in Sketches’ represents his travels to cities throughout the world. Both will be there to add a spark to their work that only the maker can bring, the makers mark, so to speak.


Missed opportunity with alpacas

   We inadvertently put a notice we wanted to feature last week in this week’s file, Issue 118 to be exact and anyone who sees this notice would notice it is obviously right for Issue 117, the week before. The dates are the big give-away. Here’s an example of what you missed:

   “Mel-O Alpacas in Batesville, Indiana will hold their annual Farm Days/Open House on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 11:00 – 4:00 each day.

   “This is an opportunity to learn about raising alpacas. On Saturday, there will be an opportunity to see how a sheared fleece is made ready for processing, participate in weaving a community cloth and view products made from alpacas. On Sunday, a hand spinner and a weaver will be demonstrating their craft using alpaca fiber.

   “Admission is free. Come and meet the alpacas, enjoy the family farm and relax by the pond.

   “The farm is located at 23164 Vote Road, Batesville, In (near Oldenburg)

For additional information, email or call Mel and Deb at debandmelo@yahoo.com or 812-934-3344.”

   We pass this along to you so you may contact Mel and Deb on your own especially if you have a group which needs something different to do. I’ll bet the Mel-O people would be up for arranging something.


Farmers Markets

   While searching through the various digital sources to create the Whitewater Valley Guide Calendar we found three farmers markets still operating and since supporting them is important we shall list them and any others we hear about as part of the weekly calendar.

   For the record we found Oxford, Richmond and Batesville (maybe) still holding forth. There are probably others. If you know of any still open, email me garyaschlueter@gmail.com.


Happy trails.

By the way, to receive a free copy of the Whitewater Valley Calendar of entertainment activities for the week, email whitewater.valley.guide@gmail.com. Subject: Calendar




Issue 117 



   See what I told ya about September, like a scone, it’s gone. Still, don’t tell the weather it’s October and maybe we’ll be okay for a while longer.    

   Beautiful days and beautiful nights have a feeling of eternity to them or at least how it should be weather-wise in eternity. Heaven would be like this with the river just warm enough and the air just cool enough.


Hot times in the Valley

   A couple of big events attract us to the northern and southern extremes of our Whitewater Valley this weekend, Aurora Farmers Fair in the south and the Fall Gathering near Eaton in the north.

   Preble County Historical Society’s Fall Gathering promises ‘something for everyone this year’ and closes with an exclamation mark ‘!’ so who knows? It is 11 am to 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday, which makes scheduling easy to remember.

   Some of the highlights are, an auction and collections of living history tableau, ham & bean soup and homemade ice cream (not necessarily one on top of the other). There will be music in The Amphitheatre from 2 pm with John Kogge, Cecilia’s Rant and Hibberd Connection Bluegrass playing one hour shows until closing.

   Sunday appears to be flute day at The Amphitheater starting at 12:30 when Mystic Flutes & Tribal Drums perform. Flute artist and storyteller John DeBoer follows at 1:30 then the Celtic Knots flute followed finally and effectively by Higher Vision Bluegrass.    

   Other storytellers and historical impersonators will spice the human stew. Then there’s that auction on Saturday.

   Along the Ohio from Wednesday through Saturday, Aurora Farmers Fair turns a good section of the old river town into a carnival, but Hoosier style. There will be music, food and plenty of old friends catching up and new friends to be made.

   Then in the center of the Valley it’s the 43rd Canal Days in Metamora on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Canal Days: Tubesocks to treasures in a vendors extravaganza amidst a background of unique historical authenticity.

   Hot times in the Valley — up, down and middle.


Picture The Aqueduct with a name

   The Preble County Historical Society built an amphitheater and apparently have named it The Amphitheater. I suggest we, our society in general, name the aqueduct carrying the Whitewater Canal over Duck Creek in Metamora The Aqueduct for the same reason, eminent practicality.


Michael Martone reads

   Today (Tuesday, for those who may have advanced past it) one of the most prominent and celebrated authors writing about Indiana today, will read from his work at Earlham College, 7 pm.

   Michael Martone grew up in Fort Wayne and is now a professor and director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama

   He continues to focus in his writing on Indiana and the Midwest. His books include Alive and Dead in Indiana, The Blue Guide to Indiana, The Flatness, Racing in Place, Double-Wide, and, most recently, Four for a Quarter. 


Local Music Scene


    On Saturday, Ben Crawford will release his second solo CD, "Love & War" in a street concert in front of Roscoe's Coffee Bar & Tap Room. Fort Wayne Avenue will be blocked off for this outdoor event probably before the starting time of 7:30 pm.


   You are invited to relax in beautiful Versailles State Park this Saturday and Sunday (camping of course is one of the highlights of the park), while you enjoy the Versailles Bluegrass Festival. Twelve regional bluegrass bands are scheduled. It’s five dollars per day plus park entrance fee.


Walking, talking cemetery

   This Saturday’s experience in Earlham Cemetery ‘Tales from the Departed’ is a great example of how to capitalize on what is unique about the Whitewater Valley, the people who came before and built this Valley.

   It’s billed as a ‘wonderful fall walking tour of Earlham Cemetery. Several departed people will be re-enacted by actors at their gravesides. Learn local history as these stories come to life.’

   The cost is $10 per carload which is a family-friendly way of creating the magic of marketplace economics locally.


 Soap Box: Vision 2020

   Dave White of White’s Farm and head of the CIC in Franklin County posed an interesting question which John Estridge quoted in last week’s Brookville Democrat. Mr. White was speaking specifically about Franklin County but his words could be applied to the rest of us who do not live along an interstate corridor.

   He said if he was going to build a new factory, it would be along the interstate. His point was about the relative wisdom of communities in the hinterlands (the backcountry where the freeways are not) chasing smokestack industry.

   We know it’s true that industry these days follows transportation corridors. It’s certainly not new. Older towns like Penntown, Indiana which was established on an old trail which became SR 46 lost ground to towns like Sunman a couple of miles south along SR 101 when the railroad came through in the late 1800s. But unlike many other towns where this happened, with an I-74 interchange as its doorstep Penntown will have its revenge.

   Mr. White said it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing not having a whiz-bang, roll-fast commercial dynamo in your backyard. But, he said, “What we need to do is figure out what our position is given the surrounding territory and the people that live here.”

   When I moved to Carpinteria, California in 1998, the small, seaside town in southern Santa Barbara County had just finished publishing a document called Vision 2020. It was created by the townspeople under the leadership of their town council and was truly a successful example of community consensus. It told everyone what everyone had decided they wanted the town to look like in 2020.

   By publishing it as a booklet which every citizen, even new ones, could read it effectively gave marching orders to those council-people. It actually made governance easier because it told them exactly what the community wanted on a number of specific fronts. It also attracted the kinds of industry the towns people wanted and served those industries by letting them know they were welcome.

   Vision 2020 also held the various council-toes to the fire, for if they didn’t perform or began to deviate they’d feel the consequences. In the two election cycles I reported on for the Carpinteria Coastal View people were voted in or out of office based in large part on Vision 2020.

   This seems to be along the lines of what Mr. White meant when he said, “Knowing what we have, then have a vision of what we can become.” Getting it in writing like the Vision 2020 document is one way of keeping it all up front. 2020 is a little over six years away, still it’s never too late to begin looking forward together.


Building the Cedar Grove bridge in 1914.

Photo courtesy Don Fohl

Issue 116

Show, Show, Fest

   The three biggies in the Whitewater Valley this weekend are, in no particular order, Franklin County Antique Machinery Show, Versailles Pumpkin Show and Lawrenceburg’s Fall Fest.

   We like three things about the Versailles Pumpkin Show, the first is that it’s a show, the second is that it’s in Versailles and the third is, at 111 it’s been going on longer than any of us reading this have, if like me you consider your life a goings on.

   The Pumpkin Show from Wednesday through Sunday is made up of lots of music. “Rain or shine, the stage shows go on, so bring your lawn chairs and umbrellas or ponchos to ward off any precipitation!’ says their website where you find the Show’s schedule. www.ripleycountytourism.com/pumpkin/

   There will be vendors, food, games, craft booth, talent show, art show and to keep with the theme, a pumpkin baking contest on Thursday morning from 8 to 10 am.

   Lawrenceburg Fall Fest is always one of those over-the-top experiences, armchair judging by what we’ve reported for the past three years. We’ve never actually been but this year the music calls in the form of Dave Mason, whom we interviewed when he moved to St. Thomas many, short years ago.

   Other stars from Rock’s classic period due at Fall Fest this year include Richie Furay, Burton Cummings and Dickey Betts. The names of the bands these gentlemen once belonged to is pretty scary, The Allman Brothers, the Guess Who, Poco/Buffalo Springfield and Traffic. Far out, man!

   A BBQ cook-off and a chili cook-off will join a variety of food booths and rides to create a carnival atmosphere. The entertainment starts on Thursday at 5 pm. Music continues through Saturday with the aforementioned performing Saturday afternoon at 3:30.

   Every year the Franklin County Antique Machinery Show features a particular maker and this year it’s Massey Harris and Ferguson Tractors and such. Old fashioned ways are on display in more than just machinery of another age. Wander through the village of bygone crafts-makers creating brooms or soap or ice cream. Talking with the costumed folk artists is the closest you can come to speaking to the people of the past. Give it a try.

   On Friday evening there’s an antique tractor pull and on Saturday a horse pull.


Canal Trail & the Great Outdoors

   The Whitewater Canal Trail people are going to be busy this weekend and you’re invited to jump in to any and all of their doings. First off it’s ‘Grilling for Dollars’ at the Brookville IGA at lunchtime (11-2) on Friday and Saturday.

   The Franklin County Antique Machinery Show is also happening at the same time on those same days and since the IGA is located at US 52 and Blue Creek Road, there will be plenty of traffic and reasons for you to do more than one thing.

   Besides Grilling for Dollars, WCT is holding its annual garage sale at Hoosier Pete’s gas station on Saturday morning from 0700 ‘til noon. Look for the biggest chicken on Main Street in Brookville and you’ll have found Hoosier Pete’s. There is a replica fuel pump out front and the roofed drive-in bay holds scads and scads of brochures and hand-outs from various attractions and businesses around the area.

   Behind Hoosier Pete’s, which is at the bottom of Oregon Hill if that helps, is the short trail to WCT’s Tecumseh Landing. There is a WCT replica Indian long house there and, of course, the beautiful West Fork. The trail down has traditionally been a fishing path and donkey years ago Brookville used to hang people there.

   The Whitewater Valley Walkers, an off-shoot of WCT, is holding its second sanctioned hike on Saturday. The Brookville 10K Hike will pass Hoosier Pete’s (Checkpoint #1) on one of its circuits. American Volkssport Association sanctioning calls for 10k walks and it took a bit of twisting and turning, especially since the path also needed to pass as many Brookville historic sites as possible.

   WCT is also part of greater Cincinnati’s The Great Outdoors Weekend which offers more than 150 free events this weekend. On Sunday WCT invites you to a walking tour to Whitewater Canal Lock 21. Meet WCT volunteers at the Trail parking lot at Moster’s Turf on US 52 near Yellow Bank Road at 1 pm for an easy stroll to the lock.


Hike, Hike, Bike

   While we’re on the subject of being greatly outdoors, Hike-A-Thon Plus is giving out “Take A Hike” tee shirts, while they last on Saturday from 8 to 5. It starts at a parking lot near downtown Oxford. Since among the many activities being planned is geocaching, we suggest you use this to locate the parking lot. The directions say ‘at the intersection of Rt. 27 and Rt. 73 go east .07 miles.’ So if you haven’t got your geocatcher we hope you at least have a compass to point you east.

   Once you find the place you will also find live music, natural roods, live raptors, hikes and bird walks. So if you’ve been practicing your chicken walk this is the place to roll it out.

   The Oxbow Nature Conservancy on US 50 in Greendale, Indiana is observing the Great Outdoor Weekend this Saturday with a ‘chance to explore our region’s natural resources.’ You want to be there at 6 pm for the 1.5 mile hike called Evening Settles on the Floodplain.

   On the Cardinal Greenway they are holding BikeTOURberbest which if you look closely and close one eye you might see as almost an Oktoberfest thing, but not quite. This starts at 9 am in Richmond on Saturday and costs either $25 or $15. See the calendar for more details.


Local Music Scene

   Both Firehouse BBQ and Little Shebas, two Richmond hot spots for musical entertainment, are holding Octoberfest celebrations this Saturday. Jay Jesse Johnson and his band are playing outside at Little Shebas and Sean Lamb and his band are playing Firehouse BBQ. But Firehouse is also having The Doug Hart Band and the Funkyard Dogs on their Octoberfest menu.

   If you’ve been listening while watching television commercials lately you may have noticed an up-surge of poly-rhythmic Indian music. If you like what you hear, stop at Oxford’s Hall Auditorium this Saturday for Global Rhythms: Headlamps of Many Eyes. It features over 200 performers from around the world. The project aims to go deeper in uncovering the beauty of several cultures.

   ‘Tis the season for Common Grounds. The coffee house acoustic music venue at the West Richmond Friends Meeting on West Main in Richmond is celebrating its 10th season of being a “friendly space to feed the body and sole through food, fellowship and artistic expression.” To which we add, Amen.

   Joshua Brown is the featured artist this Friday from 7 to 10 pm. The folksinger plays dulcimer, banjo and guitar and covers everything from gospel to sea chanties.

   Music in Metamora this weekend includes the monthly open mike Acoustic Final Friday from seven onwards and on Saturday Bomar & Ritter are featured at Country Cooking’s Blues & BBQ series.



It's all how you look at it, says the curious alpaca on Pipe Creek Road.

Issue 115 

September 17-23, 2013

Weekend connection between Pork and Coffin

   Preble County Pork Festival and Levi Coffin Days combine (in vicinity alone) to form a good reason for a northern Whitewater Valley tour this weekend.

   The Preble County Pork Festival happening on Saturday and Sunday at the county fairgrounds in Eaton is “always the third full weekend in September.” Both admission and parking are free and it carries on from 6:30 in the morning until 9 pm on Saturday and 5 on Sunday.

   In other words, just about any time you find yourself at the Preble County Fairgrounds this weekend you’re bound to find something going on. Here’s the festival schedule for the devout planners amongst us http://porkfestival.org/schedule/.

   Levi Coffin Days is a huge flea market like Canal Days in Metamora, but unlike Canal Days, it features more than just dealers selling everything from treasures to tube socks, there’s a parade and kids games, and a queen to be crowned and dancing in the evening. In other words its more festival than floating market.

   It happens on Main Street in Fountain City on US 27 about seven miles north of Richmond near the very source of the Whitewater River. The drive between Eaton and Fountain City could be as dull as an Interstate or could be fancied up to pass through New Paris, ‘the Village for All Seasons,’ and to ride upon roads named Primrose, Love, Abba and East Fountain City Pike.

   We recommend you use your imagination first and only after all else fails, your GPS.

Art opportunities in the Ohio Southwest

   You might open the conservation with any or all of the eight artists you could visit on their home turf during the Art All Over tour this Sunday with a burning question. We suggest, ‘What artwork best illustrates the connection or disconnection of body and soul to you?’

   That is the question inspiring Preble County Art Association’s 2013 Theme Show entitled Body & Soul which local artists are encouraged to enter. It was suggested by Louise Bennett before she passed away according to the association’s call for entrants. Deadline for entry is September 27th at 5 pm and woe be the artist who shows up at a fashionable 5:20. More details are available at the association’s website www.takepartinart.net.

   Art All Over is an invitation to drive through Oxford and the surrounding countryside on Sunday stopping off occasionally to visit any of the following, doing any of the following things:

Artisty Farm-goatmilk soap, barn tour; Marjorie Bowers, watercolor; HighFire Studio, pottery, glass jewelry; Sondra Karipides, pottery, watercolor batik; Michele Lea, quilts/fibers, beads & buttons; Silvia Rothschild, jewelry; Jean Vance, painting, copper emamel; Marcia Waller, watercolor. For a map and more, visit www.artallovertour.weebly.com


Be Victorian at Carnegie Hall

   There are a lot of things happening in places we don’t usually get the opportunity to list on our weekly calendar, places like Bright, Moores Hill and to a lesser extent Friendship all have happenings happening which you could take-in in one or two fell swoops.

   To make it brighter, friendlier and more hillish you could consider doing this loop on Saturday in costume. You’d be more than welcome at the Moores Hill Heritage Festival at Carnegie Hall in Victorian costume and in muleskinners garb you’d be considered a friend in Friendship during the Muzzle Loading National Championships. We don’t know how bright or beneficial you might look in your muleskinners getup at Bright’s St. Teresa Benedicta Festival, though.


Local Music Scene

* Rural Alliance for the Arts occasionally loads up its gun and makes a big bang. This Saturday is one example. At RomWeber Marketplace in Batesville RRA brings us the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra at 7 pm. And to make things more interesting, at 6 pm you can brush up on your fox trot with free big band and swing dance lessons. For those moments when your feet aren’t flying a cash bar will avail to slack your thirst.

* A few miles east of Batesville at a new flash venue, the St. Leon BBQ Festival and Chili Cook-off, on Saturday night Scott Siefferman will provide undescribed acoustic music to be followed by the presumably louder band The Renegades. On Friday night it will be Christopher Bischoof, acoustic, and the Jamison Road Band.

   Food, music and all will be in St. Leon Community Park for only $2. St. Leon is small enough so once you find the town, you can easily find the community park.

*   Also recommended on Friday evening starting around 5:30 at the Uptown Parks in Oxford is the Latin American & Caribbean UniDiversity Festival with both kinds of salsa, the music and the sauce. Music in the crisp open air includes the Eastern Kentucky University Percussion Ensemble, Oxford Gourd and Drum Ensemble also known as OGADE, Latin jazz vocalist Stacie Sandoval and the Salsa band Grupo Tumbao.

Poetry of the Borderlands

   Did you know that Indiana has a poet laureate? It does and her name is Karen Kovacik. If that’s not exciting enough for you how about this: Karen is coming to visit us this Thursday at Earlham’s Stout Meetinghouse. And she’s bringing some friends for a poetry reading.

   It is part of The Borderlands Project and Ms Kovacik is the host. In the one-hour program, sixteen Indiana and Ohio poets will read poems about home, borders, migration, and immigration.

   The project is called Borderlands not just for the subject matter but also for the performance venues. This enriched hour in Richmond is the third of four scheduled and is free as all good poetry should be.


BBQ on the big stage

   St. Leon BBQ Festival and Chili Cook-off this Friday and Saturday will have Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) competition teams firing up their smokers and grills for cash and prizes. Backyarder teams will compete to determine who has the best tasting BBQ ribs and BBQ chicken in Southeast Indiana. Local chili teams will be doing the same for bragging rights for the best tasting chili.

   This is the first year for St. Leon’s Cook-off and since it carries the names of two major sponsors, Hoosier Lottery and Art’s Rental, it probably won’t be the last. Other commercial hooks include the Kroger Stage, Coors Light Beer Garden, St. Leon BP Car Show and Enhanced Telecommunications Kids Zone. Maybe this is why the entrance fee is a mere two bucks.

   Brilliant producing! St. Leonites, we presume, and thank you for the fine boilerplate. We’re sure the barbecue will be good, too.


Fairy Trails do come true!

   Moving people around is an essential part of the tourism product of the Whitewater Valley. The recently opened Visitors Pavilion in Gateway Park is dedicated to informing visitors of what we have to offer in the Whitewater Valley and sending them out to enjoy it.

   Richmond/Wayne County Tourism Bureau has refined that notion and has also made it clear by their new Enchanted Fairy Trail that the Whitewater Valley Cemetery Trail we suggested last week is not as crazy as it might sound to the otherwise living.

   “The Enchanted Fairy Trail takes visitors on a fun and unique adventure through Wayne County stopping at 37 locations offering 42 fairy homes and gardens with more being built and added to the trail.”

   “All across Wayne County, fairy doors, houses, and gardens have magically appeared in various locations. These whimsical settlements include working lights, windows you can peek through to see tiny furniture, décor and even a mystical farm.” (Obviously, this is a conspiracy of the little people.)

   “The Visitors Bureau invites you to search for the tiny houses, doors and gardens that are located both indoors and outdoors of local shops, cafes, museums, gardens and businesses in Wayne County.”

   Moving people around is one thing, moving them to a specific café, museum, shop or business makes the enchanted practical, two words which could be seen as mutually neutralizing until we consider the enchanted practicality of poetry.

   “Visitors will be amazed by the colorful array of materials used and the ability to leave letters or small gifts for the fairies at some locations. Those who choose to take off on the trail will enjoy discovering the enchanted world that has come to reside in Wayne County.

   “Enchanted Fairy Trail brochures are available at the Old National Road Welcome Center, 5701 National Road East. If you are a local business and would like to participate by building a fairy door, house or garden of your own, please contact Nancy Sartain at (765) 935-8687.”


Spotlight: Farmers Markets

   The theme for the Food and Growers Association of Laughery Valley and Environs (FGA) annual meeting this Thursday in Batesville is ‘Food as Medicine,’ a concept which can make the old feel young and the young feel super. Learn about super suppers from dietician Kathy Cooley and two people who will testify how eating healthy has changed their lives, Randy and Debbie Mullins.

   Big Four Café Chef Adam Israel will bring locally grown ‘medicine’ to the buffet table. See this week’s calendar for details.

   FGA is an initiative to build a sustainable local market for foods produced in and around Laughery Valley. Join them for only $20 or support at any level you wish. www.foodandgrowers.org


*   Spotlight: Farmers Market is sponsored by Oxford Farmers Market. Oxford Farmers Market is open from 8 am until noon every Saturday. Find it in Uptown Oxford behind Memorial Park. Visit their website at Oxford Farmers Market.

* Visit Whitewater Valley Guide Farmers Market List for information on times and places of all (we hope) farmers markets in our Valley.





Lawrenceburg has time on its side of the Ohio River.


Issue 114

September 10-16, 2013


Guide Posts

First sighting of October

   Each year Lawrenceburg gives the Whitewater Valley our first shot at Oktoberfestivies. This Friday evening the Walnut Street party, which we are all invited to, features the traditional German harvest fete materials like beer and brats and lots of OmmPahPahs.

   While in the vicinity you could also take in the monthly Art on the Corner in nearby Aurora. The Art Guild Studio gathering starts at 6 pm and the Lawrenceburg street party starts at 7.

   To do both you might think it environmentally cool to ride your bike between them on the rail trail along the beautiful Ohio River, but we’d suggest you start in Aurora because after an Oktoberfest outing, biking might, just might, get wobbly.


Totally tubular, dude

   Other fall cultural events in the Whitewater Valley this week include Coco Fusco’s Visual Lecture at Earlham College on Friday. Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist combining electronic media and performing arts and whatever else strikes her, we assume, fancy.

   Several things about this take it over the top when it comes to your usual, more passive art appreciation experience. From the information we’ve received, “Participants relinquish their worldly possessions before entering a darkened theater. Traditional seating is replaced by inner tubes.”

   The inner tubes are important because this is a simulation of a voyage from Cuba by sea which if heading north would mean about 90 miles of open, not always friendly, ocean. Perhaps that’s why the event is entitled ‘And the Sea Will Talk to You.’ Our advice is to read Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ before relinquishing your worldly possessions and embarking in the tube. That’s in case the sea speaks Spanish and you don’t.


Local Music Scene

   Ken and Polly Brown have been doing good things for the Brookville Community since they arrived from Virginia. One of their continuing events is free concerts at their Upper Room Event Center, and the one they have planned for this Saturday looks to be a goody.

   It’s a concert by current and former homeschool students. The evening begins around seven with “beautiful singing and music by local artist Emily Edwards.” It is followed by Adam Brown with Carissa and S. R. Brandon playing guitar, piano, and singing contemporary and original tunes.  As always, see the Guide’s Calendar for more details.


Novel set in Richmond

   Richmond is the setting for a recent novel by Dr. Gary R. Shiplett who will be reading from it and signing copies at the Morrisson-Reeves Library next Monday.

   The author, who now lives in Michigan, was born in Richmond and received most of his public education there. His recent novel The Crystal Bell is set in Richmond where the principle character Caleb Grant is a reporter working at the Palladium-Item Newspaper.    

   Dr. Shiplett is a retired United Methodist pastor. The book, his first novel, came to him pretty much whole cloth in a dream. “This has never happened to me before,” he said.

   In a future book about growing up in Richmond, Glen Miller Park plays an important role. He said, “I had a great childhood here and a fine education with some outstanding teachers and wonderful cultural advantages. I come through Richmond several times a year and enjoy visiting familiar places and dear friends. Of course, my favorite place is always the Glen Miller Park.”


Cemetery tour starts with the oldest

   If someone were going to put the Whitewater Valley Cemetery Tour together one place to start might be the Old Baptist Cemetery on New Haven Road less than a mile west of New Haven, Ohio. Or maybe not.

   A recent story in the Harrison Press called this particular cemetery “the oldest landmark for religious history in the Whitewater Valley,” but a little virtual research showed at least one more potential contender for that lofty title.

     The story by Andre Zeiser explained how Harrison Township Trustee Fred Dole spearheaded a $12,000 restoration. Most of the money was spent updating records yet Mr. Dole said it still remains unclear just how many people are buried there. In an email he wrote, “Our main goal was to try to get some records of the cemetery.”

   One positive outcome of the effort, Harrison Township now has grave information available on their website at www.harrisontownshipohio.com.

   The newspaper story helped.

   Mr. Dole wrote, “Since the article in the Harrison Press I have had people more than willing to help provide additional information.” One woman who had done earlier work on the cemetery records shared a report from the Ohio Genealogical Society.

   Prior to that they only had a short piece by a local historian now deceased, Stanley McClure, which dated the Baptist church to 1803. Mr. McClure reported it as the only church in the Whitewater Valley until 1811. He may have been wrong about that, though.

   Indian Creek Pioneer Church and Burial Ground on Indian Creek Road in Reily Township a few miles north of Harrison was occupied as a church from 1810 through 1879, according to a report I wrote in 2010 in the Whitewater Valley Getaway, a predecessor to the Guide. The Baptist church still standing there was built in 1829.

   Daniel Boone’s cousin Thomas Boone (1759-1831) is buried there along with Pliny Barnum and his wife Rachel who were related to P.T. Barnum. Check out the entire story by clicking ‘Thoughts Through the Week’ in the masthead above.

   The oldest church still standing in Indiana is the Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church on US 52 and Little Cedar Road. The brick church, complete with rifle openings in the walls to fight off the Indiana Indians, was built in 1812, but Wikipedia reports Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church was organized in 1797 by some of the early settlers of Franklin County. They were Primitive Baptists who came with Elder William Tyner from Virginia that same year. It calls Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church “the first church in the Whitewater Valley.”

   An article published by the Indiana Baptist Historical Society also calls Little Cedar Grove Church “the first church organized in the Whitewater Valley,” but says it was organized in 1806. It recounts the voyage of Elder Tyner from Virginia to South Carolina to Kentucky to Ohio then Indiana, saying Mr. Tyner left South Carolina in 1802 and arrived in the Brookville area in 1805. (Brookville was founded in 1808, btw.)

   The Baptist Society article says the New Madrid Earthquakes in 1811 were so devastating to the local area around Brookville and “the entire mid-west” that “church members took it as a sign of judgment from God for their failure to build a proper church.” They vowed to build that “proper church” and the result is the building we can visit today.

   Obviously this leaves us with plenty of room for speculation about which is the oldest cemetery and church (not necessarily in that order) in the Whitewater Valley. Your thoughts and/or information on this issue would be gratefully received and studiously disseminated.


Spotlight: Farmers Markets

   We found this in a recent email we received from the Food & Growers Association: Referring to the diabetes and obesity crisis we find ourselves in, Dr. Mark Hyman said, “We’ve eaten our way into this problem, and now we have to eat our way out.”

   Farmers markets and local foods are the place to begin, of course.

   Here’s a suggestion of how that can be done from Larry Slocum:

   Oxford Farmers Marketeer “Bryan Wolford has prepared his farm by adding hoop houses and other ways to extend the growing season.  He anticipates that he will have fresh produce all winter long.  So our market council has voted to keep the market open every Saturday during the winter months. 

   “We will still have our 3rd Saturday of the month larger market but for the other Saturdays we will be able to enjoy a mini-market.  Hooray for Bryan and thank you for growing great food for us.”

   There are a few important points here.

   The first is that extending the local food season to last the entire year is a mind-blowing concept, and a powerful, at least in potential, tool in the ever-expanding battle of obesity.

   The second thing is what it says about another potentiality, whole-life farming (again). If local food can be grown and marketed 12 months a year, which is pretty much the whole thing, local farmers could turn from Corporate Corn to Locavore Sustainably. Heck, this is a revolutionary idea when you think of it.

   The third is the picture of a farmers market that is flexible and tremendously supportive. One with a contagious enthusiasm for providing and thus being provided for on a community level, an open community, the other half of the farmers market equation, customers like you and me.


Bubbles the Clown made a colorful appearance Sunday at the Metamora Music Festival.

Issue 113 draft

September 3, 2013


American Blues Day

   In early September our social calendar suffers a fall off based on school starting. Trouble is school doesn’t start in September anymore. It starts in August and I’m sure we’re all the better for it, but there’s still this problem with holiday hangover.

   The holiday is Labor Day which we believe was created or at least placed where it is to mark the end of summer vacation. Now it just appears like a bump in the road. Suddenly the government’s closed and most working people have the day off.

   Trouble is the day doesn’t have the pizzazz it had when Labor Day was the deadline of summer. Still this gives those of us who believe in more not less holidays a chance to create another last-day-of-summer-vacation celebration.

   I suggest we give it the name American Blues Day, because if I remember correctly that was what most returning students felt back in the good old days when Labor Day meant school starts tomorrow.

   American Blues Day should be celebrated across the breadth and heighth of this golden land (slightly tarnished) with blues music of all varieties and not once on this special day would be heard a tuba of Sousa or an errant Aaron fanfare.


Local Music Scene

   We were wrong last week when we said the summer free festivals were over. Music on the River in Lawrenceburg continues this Thursday with Blue Stone Ivory. The music begins at 7 pm in and around High and Short Streets in more or less downtown Lawrenceburg; ‘downtown’ being another of those flexible terms.

* This is absolutely your last call when it comes to Sweet Honey in the Rocks tickets. Their Saturday matinee performance at Earlham College’s Goddard Auditorium starts at 4 pm and as of noon on Labor Day, a day on which some of us labor, there were still tickets at a mere $15 each.

* This being First Friday week enjoy Vevay’s monthly street party with live music by Greg Ziesemer & Kriss Luckett (Roots/Folk/Rock), Patchwork (Traditional Americana), David Dwyer (Folk Rock), and Mark Louden (Alternative/Experimental).

*   90 Proof Twang and 650 North are the featured bands at the 2013 Sunman Wine and Fireworks Festival this Saturday at Sunman Community Park.


You don’t know Jack (Reno)?

    Jack Reno is known in these parts as a country DJ in Cincinnati and for the catchy tune “14 Miles to Vevay”. In the spirit of celebrating the 2013 Vevay-Switzerland County’s Bicentennial, Vevay Main Street has selected “14 Miles to Vevay” as its First Friday theme. Written by long time resident, Tim Shackleford, the song was recorded by Jack Reno.

   A country music singer and radio personality, Reno played with legends such as Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton. He recorded seven albums and scored 12 hits on the American country music charts, including “Hitchin’ a Ride”, “Repeat After Me” and “I Want One”.

   Reno was a long-time country music DJ, with stints in Cincinnati, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska. Music Mirror magazine named him America's greatest disc jockey in 1967. In 1978, the Country Music Association named him top country disc jockey for markets larger than 500,000. He received the honor on CBS-TV's awards show in Nashville.

   Reno died in 2008 in Florence, Kentucky.


Moontree, a Greensburg High Point

   Two things we immediately like about the Moontree Music Fest in Greensburg coming up this Saturday: One is they have Laura Simmonds and Michael Nahmias doing comedy between musical sets. The second is the location, High Point Orchard, a working country estate.

   A few years ago Kermit Weeks of the Fantasy of Flight Museum in Polk City, Florida, (highly recommended btw) held annual concerts where he’d put a small solo stage off to the side of the main stage to entertain the audience while they changed bands. It added a certain variety to the experience.

   That’s why we like this Moontree Music Fest twist of using comedians between bands to add even more variety in the form of the spoken word. It adds more depth to the entertainment experience; music moves you, laughter cleanses.

   Not that Moontree isn’t already filled with plenty of entertaining depths to explore including a wine tasting with offerings from High Point Orchard, Buck Creek Winery, Easley Winery and Ertel Winery. Artists will display their latest work and crafts vendors will be making the most of their time and talents. Food from the High Point Festival Menu will be abundant as will commercial beers and lots of fun.

   The setting is the elegant house and grounds of High Point Orchard. High Point Orchard is a destination for food and country fun on an 18-acre orchard of apples, peaches and pears two miles north of I-74 near Greensburg on US 421.

   Moontree Music Fest begins at 4 pm and featured bands The Slinkys, the Warrior Kings, the Jester Kings and Kink Ador will keep the music going until 11:30. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Visit www.artsingreensburg.org for more details and to purchase tickets.


Valley Visitors Pavilion opening set

   Candy Yurcak is back from her month cooking in early Americana costume at the Indiana State Fair where she regularly rubs elbows with highly placed government officials. The first thing she did upon returning was to send out invitations to the opening of the new Whitewater Valley Visitors Pavilion at Gateway Park in Metamora on Thursday, September 12th.

   The governor was invited by word of mouth and by the same he begged off, but promised to visit Gateway Park and Metamora before a month has passed, but not necessarily in September. Details are sketchy but include a motorcycle gang the governor either belongs to or closely supports.

   The ‘gang’ are veterans who ride around the countryside doing good, or at least their version of it. Good, too, is a malleable word, as in able to adjust to changing circumstances.

   She and Paul Baudendistel, both of the Whitewater Canal Byway Association, are working daily if not longer to put the pavilion in order. Paul’s amazing scale models of a canal boat and lock and the Metamora aqueduct enclosed in a plexiglass-like case will be a continuing highlight of the two main pavilion rooms.

   More about this next week, but mark your calendar, all ye citizens of the Whitewater Valley.


Of motto and bridges

   The new motto of the Whitewater Valley Guide is Accuracy First Then Flavor.

   Not particularly to that end we’ve added an Historic Bridges page to the Whitewater Valley Guide Website. We have a copy of the report you will read below and pictures of historic bridges we have known and loved. So far we have pictures of about a half a dozen bridges.

   If you also are a bridge lover we ask you to send us your favorite photos with any stories or information you might have. We’ll post all or some of it on a page of its own. The goal being, to have an accurate catalog or almanac of all the historic bridges in the Whitewater Valley.


Much adieu about Historic Bridges

   There are bridges over rivers as pretty as you please,

   But the bow that bridges heaven

   And over the tops of trees

   And builds a road from Earth to sky

   Is prettier far than these, or so the poem about rainbows goes. Still, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to bridges.

   We learned recently the Whitewater Valley has four bridges in INDOT’s Historic Bridges Marketing Program which is derived from the state’s Historic Bridge Inventory. (That word ‘historic’ is an organic term in that the dates when things become ‘historic’ flow westward with the passage of time.)

   The Mineral Springs Road bridge, Wayne County Bridge #173 over Greens Fork on Mineral Springs Road, is listed on the HBM Program. It was originally intended to be rehabbed in order to mitigate the traffic flow when another bridge was taken out. But Mineral Springs Road bridge was deemed not suited for vehicle or pedestrian use so it was listed on the Program as available “for re-use by interested parties,” according to an official posting.

   An engineer working on the project emailed that “Bridge 173 will be demolished and replaced with a modern structure in the existing location” sometime in 2014 or 2015 should it not, in fact, be re-used.

   Dearborn County has two bridges in the HBM Program. The bridge over Tanners Creek on US 50 was built in 1938. The other Dearborn County bridge in the program is Dearborn County Bridge #24 Cold Spring Road built in 1910.

   Cedar Grove Bridge is also on the HBM Program but it’s not officially called Cedar Grove Bridge, apparently. It is listed as SR 1 Bridge over the Whitewater River in Franklin County.

   It appears bridges in INDOT’s HBM Program are taken from the Historic Bridge Inventory and while they are in the Program, do not appear there. Apparently, so they are listed twice.

   Dearborn County has 10 bridges on INDOT’s Historic Bridge Inventory. Among them George Street Bridge in Dearborn County is listed in the National Register as is Dearborn County Bridge #0095 over a branch of Laughery Creek.

   Ripley County has 13 on the Inventory which seems to have been created by INDOT to determine eligibility to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and as a place to announce historic bridges as available (or not) for re-use.

   Wayne County has eight. Fayette County has one and there are none listed in Union County, which may win it the nickname New Bridge County.

   Franklin County has 15, two of which (Snowhill Road Covered Bridge and Enochsburg Covered Bridge) are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

   So all toll by our count on August 22, 2013, there were 47 bridges in the Whitewater Valley in Indiana’s Historic Bridge Inventory. When we add the four historic bridges in INDOT’s Marketing Program . . . well, you do the math.

   Also it looks like we have four bridges in the Valley recognized in the National Register. Cedar Grove Bridge is presently under consideration to be NR listed. It would make the third bridge NR listed in Franklin County and bring number on the Indiana side of the Whitewater Valley to five.


Gary August Schlueter



Issue 112

August 27, 2013


‘Slow down, September’

   Our chant this time of year is ‘Slow down, September!’ This issue stepping into the first week of actual September it wouldn’t be right not to acknowledge this beautiful August we are rapidly stepping out of. Never mind the hot days, that’s August. Remember the cool nights, that’s September, the best part of September.

   Specifically remember last Saturday, August 24th, late in the morning when the temperature was 70 degrees and the sky the blue that only comes after a thunderstorm, mountain air cool and mountain sky clear. It was September and still August. That’s one way to ‘Slow down, September.’


‘Voyage Through Time’

   One of the best months to visit Metamora is September, one of the best reasons to visit Metamora is when it’s dressed up with historic demonstrations. And the only time those two good reasons come together is on Saturday, September 14th when ‘Voyage Through Time: Life Along the Whitewater Canal’ comes to life.

   From noon to 3 pm the canal town will reflect its original roots with performances by storytellers, music by Jericho and demonstrations of old village crafts like blacksmithing, coppersmithing, chair caning, fiber, rope and stained glass making.

   “There is something special about reconnecting people to the process used to make everyday items they own,” said Bev Wiwi, who with her husband Paul will share their skills in chair caning and basket weaving.

   The point is this free event is more than entertainment. It is education designed to reconnect you with our common past. “Voyage Through Time” is a great program for families or anyone interested in learning more about historical crafts and trades,” said Anne Fairchild, Indiana State Historic Sites Program Manager.

   The first ‘Voyage Through Time’ several years ago took the locals by surprise with its sincerity and the surprisingly large number of costumed artisans plying their crafts. The back-drop of the Metamora Grist Mill with its canal lock water fall is perfect for an afternoon adventure.


Early season quality theatre

   Act quickly and you have time to catch a free performance of Shakespeare in the park. Today, Tuesday, August 27th, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be doing ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ in Oxford’s nebulous ‘Uptown’ park at 7 pm. If you live in Oxford you know right where I’m talking about, if you don’t just wander High Street until you come to Main.

   And if you really want to get into the spirit of the age, don your renaissance faire duds because several art organizations have joined together to create a pre-performance art festival. When you find it you know the Shakespeare must be near.

   Pack a picnic, bring your lawn chair and come Uptown for a great evening of theatre and Shakespeare fun.

   A word to the wise, this could be your last chance this year to explore Oxford before the insufficiently aged arrive to again rightfully claim the town as their own. Opps, too late. The fall semester began yesterday.

   Fresh from the experience of its first two weeks at Richmond Civic Theatre, ‘Les Miserables’ is poised to wallop your emotions and uplift your spirit. Directed by Ruth Brown this ‘sung-through pop opera overflows with melodies that are already standards.’

   The last two shows are this Friday and Saturday at the beautiful Murray Theatre on East Main in Richmond.


Local Music Scene

   Last week it was Whispering Beard folk festival creating a Woodstock scene in Friendship; this week it’s the Prophet Fest doings on Woods (tock) Road three miles south of Richmond.

   The object is camping out, getting away from the boxes and baggage we inhabit and exhibit in the normal world. Whispering Beard and Prophet Fest create abnormal worlds where everything is meant to be goovy and you can let your hair down, the longer the better.

   Prophet Fest music showcases reggae, funk, rock and electronic music. The Irie Heights should be attained by midnight when Saturday melds for an instant with Sunday.

* Thursday will be the last day for the summer music festivals in Lawrenceburg and Oxford. Oxford is saying goodbye to summer with a pig roast and music by After Midnight. Lawrenceburg is going all long-hair with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra.

*   Acoustic Open Mike night on Jim and Connie Wendle’s Lovers Lane stage on the evening before Metamora Old Time Music Festival is probably the best time to stop in. The tent will be up, benches will be in place and there will be that pre-festival electricity in the air. On top of that the music will be the best because a lot of the pickers and grinners come early to play on the big stage.

* The Whipstitch Sallies, a contemporary, ‘Folkgrass’  music group of four “lovely, lively and talented young women,” will appear at Lew Wallace Auditorium at Brookville High this Friday at 7 pm. Tickets are $3 at FCN Bank and at the door.

   This Indianapolis group were nominated for Best New Group and Best CD in the 2013 Brown County Music Awards. Their style is ‘Folkgrass’ but they have been called ‘Bluegrass rockers’ as well. I’m imagining folk-rock meets bluegrass in a beautiful quartet.

*   If you act quickly you might, just might, score a few tickets to Sweet Honey in the Rock’s 40th anniversary tour coming to Goddard Auditorium for two concerts. The shows are Friday and Saturday, September 6&7, but Friday’s show is already sold out.

   Lynn Knight of Earlham College said the second show still has general admission tickets available. Nowhere could we find the price, but with this one-time event, cost should be no object, he said coughing dryly into his almost empty hand.

   The event kicks off this year’s Gennett Records Walk of Fame Music Festival and Sweet Honey inspired the choice of the Walk’s 2013 signature artist the Pace Jubilee Singers, an early gospel group which recorded at Gennett in the Richmond Gorge.

   “Gennett certainly made some of the earliest recordings and, I believe, was the first to record black gospel music,” said Dave Fulton of the Starr-Gennett Foundation board. According to Lynn Knight, “Some of the songs Sweet Honey does were recorded in the gorge.”

   To sample in person the Sweet Honey in the Rock, call Earlham’s ticket office 765 983-1474.


40 groups for free @ Metamora Old Time Music Festival

   Here’s what Gail Ginther sent us regarding this year’s festivities: “There will be three performance areas, plus a couple of events scheduled at the Grist Mill. The Back Porch of Lane's End Barn, the Mid-Town Stage at the Banes House and the Wagon Stage in Duck Creek Crossing.  Bringing your own chair is always a good idea. 

   “The Making Music lot will have the ongoing jam of the Shawnee Valley Dulcimer Society, several instrument builders from around the region, and will be the location for the workshops. There will be a hammered dulcimer workshop at noon each day in the Making Music area. 

    “We're going to have over 40 music groups again this year.  Many favorite repeats such as Magnolia Mountain headlining on Saturday and Shiny and the Spoon on Sunday.   

   “Ted Yoder, the 2010 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, will be returning this year with a solo performance on the Mid-Town Stage. He will also make an appearance with Brian Wallen as the Champions on the Back Porch.

   “Some other returning bands are Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers, Hickory Robot, Old Truck Revival, Blue Caboose, Diamond Hill Station, and Patchwork String Band.

   “Some of the groups new to the Festival this year will be The Whipstitch Sallies from Indianapolis, CPR Revival from Indiananpolis, The Repeating Arms from western Ohio, Year of the Buffalo from Columbus, Ohio, The Tadcasters from Cincy, Will Kimble String Band from Cincy, James Funk of Red Beard's Revenge from Cincy.

   Click here for http://metamoramusic.pbworks.com/w/page/20798739/Schedule

   Besides BYO chairs, we recommend BYO money. Consider this a free live music sampler by these groups and support your favorites by buying their CDs and stuff. As the old song and the portly banker sang, ‘Money makes the world go around.’


Spotlight: Farmers Markets

   It’s time we get serious about our farmers market shopping. We’re in the sweet spot and it won’t last forever. Three things caught our eye from Larry Slocum’s Market Minute last week, ‘fabulous white peaches and delicious European blue plums.

   “Both are seasonal delights,” Larry reminds us.

   The third thing has been in the air since the apples started falling from the trees last week and got crunched under by foot or better yet by car. That is the aroma of apple juice better known as cider.

   We have been cider-starved for almost two years now. The drought pinched the crop dead last year in many orchards. Now it’s time to take our revenge on that too long a dry spell.

   Buy a gallon of cider and slosh it all over yourself on your front lawn. If we coordinate events with our neighbors we could make it a seasonal rite of passage. I can hear the drum circle now, see the dances that would be done beneath the flow of cool amber cider. Imagine the taste with your head thrown back and your cider cheeks overflowing.


   We could call it the Whitewater Valley One Gallon Rite. One caveat though, be sure to be properly attired when participating. We wouldn’t want things to seem too wild in case the media show up and labels are applied.

*   Spotlight: Farmers Market is sponsored by Oxford Farmers Market. Oxford Farmers Market is open from 8 am until noon every Saturday. Find it in Uptown Oxford behind Memorial Park. Visit their website at Oxford Farmers Market.

* Visit Whitewater Valley Guide Farmers Market List for information on times and places of all (we hope) farmers markets in our Valley.



Issue 111 

August 20, 2013


Archway Days in festive Centerville

   Artists on the Green sounds like a fun and informal way to stretch your legs after driving to Archway Days. Local artists will be painting in the courtyard or otherwise demonstrating what they do to make art. It happens this Saturday in the courtyard next to the Mansion House at 214 E. Main in Centerville. Main in Centerville is, of course, the National Road.

   This is part of Archway Days Festival happening this weekend all over Centerville. The group Historic Centerville will be having its annual Quilt and Needlework Show this Friday and Saturday from 10-5 pm each day at the Mansion House.

   There are five existing archways from Centerville’s Pikeville architectural period. From 1820 through 1836 buildings with common walls were built shoulder to shoulder along the sidewalk. Behind these buildings were the original buildings. The archways were needed to get from the street to the original buildings behind the newer façade.  

   Archway Days Festival has been celebrating this Whitewater Valley architecture every year since 1988 when it was called Hoosier Celebration.


Local Music Scene

   Metamora Performing Arts is excited to introduce the Bloomington-area blues duo Jason & Ginger to all of their new friends in this area. Jason & Ginger have performed at Folk Alliance conferences and were semi-finalists in the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

   The stage is at Country Cooking, the former Cabana, which is outdoorsy feeling dining room next to the canal in the old section of Metamora. Eight-dollar tickets include a meal of pork BBQ sandwich plate or chicken salad.

   Fresh from hosting guitarist Johnny A, Preble County’s The Amphitheater is featuring Grammy Award winning singer-songer Carrie Newcomer. She is said to perform with genuine depth, wisdom and whimsy. Her trio you might say.

   Carrie Newcomer's music has always explored the intersection of the spiritual and the daily, the sacred and the ordinary. Over the course of her career she has become a prominent voice for progressive spirituality, social justice and interfaith dialogue.

   The most active Preble County Historical Society continues to populate the new outdoor amphitheater with top quality talent like Sunday evening’s performance by Carrie Newcomer. John Kogge will be opening for her at 5:30.


Whispering Beard verbatim

   The following was taken from the Whispering Beard website: “Whispering Beard Folk Festival was a dream, a vision, the kind of once in a lifetime opportunity to do something greater than ourselves.

   “Founded in 2008 by Matthew Wabnitz and Katfish Williams with the idea that many of our friends had these amazing bands, so why not put on an outdoor show for all them to play and all of our friends to show up. They maybe didn't realize the community they were building back then. How it would grow to be as big as y'all have gotten.

   “Over the past five years WBFF has done things their own way, without the help of big corporate sponsorship, with just word of mouth and a lot of pounding the pavement. We've passed out flyers and sent online posts. We've gone to some of the finest theaters and some of the dumpiest watering holes just to show our support for all the great local, regional, and national talent we find to be of the utmost caliber.??

   “We've picked with you and sang with you. Danced, dream and laughed with you. Because WBFF isn't about any one person, or one group, it’s about the community. It's about the need to preserve traditional folk music as well as encourage a new wave of younger folk-inspired musicians. It's about the soil in bluegrass, the dirt behind the fingernails. It’s about banjos and brothers, and fiddles and sisters. And soul possessed country singers. Its about you and about me and everywhere any of us have ever been.??

   “WBFF isn't just a festival, its something greater than that. It's something you just feel in the pit of your stomach like a first kiss or spring. It's about you and me and us...for three days it's just about us.”

   To get the spirit, bring yourself to Friendship, Indiana this weekend for the weaving of whispering beards into fine folk music.


Cedar Grove Bridge update

   INDOT has muzzled the Cedar Grove Bridge, literally. Both ends of the bridge have been sealed off with fencing stopping any passage across the Whitewater River on the old SR 1 route. We assume the reason is liability. People were using the bridge daily until both entrances were blocked a few months back.

   The Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge stand ready to accept the bridge from INDOT in order to refurbish it and turn it into a park and bike trail route. But INDOT will not release the bridge to a non-profit organization. It was willing to hand the bridge over to Franklin County when negotiations were underway between the two over building another bridge over Duck Creek and transferring ownership of old SR 1 between the bridge and new SR 1 from INDOT to the county. They couldn’t come to an agreement and negotiations were suspended.

   The Friends would still like to move forward with its plans but needs a sympathetic government agency recognized by INDOT to serve as a momentary change agent. Ideally for the Friends the government agency would accept the bridge from INDOT and then transfer it to the Friends, all at the same table, all at the same time.

   All this is predicated on the notion that INDOT would be willing to transfer to the Friends the estimated $200,000 it would take to demolish the bridge and cart it away. In the past INDOT has agreed to use the funds earmarked for demolition for restoration. So it is a notion with precedent.

   The Friends continue to meet regularly and have a detailed plan in place for how the restoration money would be spent including a set-aside to cover insurance and long-term maintenance. The group is made up of high-level experts in bridges and restoration as well as local historical bridge enthusiasts and active Cedar Grove residents.


Sunman Area Farmers Market

   Proving there is always room for improvement, we’ve improved our Whitewater Valley Farmers Market list by including Sunman Area Farmers Market.

   Through their vendors Sunman Area Farmers Market decided to hold its market on Friday afternoons from 3 to 6 pm and Saturday mornings from 8 to 11 am ‘to enable everyone to enjoy local produce, homemade edible goods, and locally produced arts and crafts.’

   Sunman Area Farmers Market opened in May and will remain open through the middle of October. The location is once again at the Old Nedderman Feed Mill, now owned by Wiedeman Heating and Electric, Inc.

   “Many thanks to the Wiedeman Family for the use of their lot!” says SAFM.

   At Oxford Farmers Market the apples are in and better than they have been for a couple of years. Make sure you pick up several varieties for baking and eating.

   Spotlight: Farmers Market is sponsored by Oxford Farmers Market. Oxford Farmers Market is open from 8 am until noon every Saturday. Find it in Uptown Oxford behind Memorial Park. Visit their website at Oxford Farmers Market.

   Visit Whitewater Valley Guide Farmers Market List for information on times and places of all (we hope) farmers markets in our Valley.









Issue 110 

Aug 13-19, 2013


Festival weekend in Hagerstown

   Nettle Creek Lions Club Jublilee Festival which is happening this Friday and Saturday might be better known as Hagerstown Jubilee Festival since it happens on the streets of Hagerstown. But Nettle Creek is nearby so when you hear something Nettle Creek or, conversely, Nettle Creek anything, you can bet Hagerstown won’t be far off.

   Things begin at 4 pm on Friday with the opening of the Festival Market and a half hour later with the Lions Club Fish Fry, both on Plum Street. The Classic Car Show takes up the rest of the evening with DJ music and a trophy presentation followed by live music at 7:30 on the Plum Street Stage. We hear there will be music all over Hagerstown with plenty of it unscheduled at least officially unscheduled.

   Saturday things seem to begin to happen simultaneously. There’s practice for the Grand Prix starting on South Washington Street at 8 am, then at nine the parade begins on Main Street. Over on the Plum Street stage at 11 is a magic show by Wayne Hinkle followed at noon by the Pinewood Derby. To see the entire schedule click here.


Local Music Scene

   Ten bands are scheduled to play Bacon, Blues & Brew Walhill Farm’s music and arts festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The flyer promises “incredible blues music, gourmet food, international fine artists and craft beer.” No mention is made of the pig.

   Music starts at 5:30 on Friday with the Dex Romweber Duo, followed by the New Orleans rock group The Iguanas and then Noah Hunt and the 420 Allstars. Saturday six bands are scheduled from 11 am until 11 pm. Then on Sunday Michael Kelsey plays from noon to 2 pm but for VIP ticket holders only.

   David Allan Coe is headlining again this year at Indian Creek Tavern. This Saturday the Akron-born outlaw music star, himself a mere 73 years young, will be performing in Reily for the first time since his accident in March when Wikipedia says he ran a red light in Florida where he now has a home and a bar called the Iron Horse Saloon.

   The opening bands are Jim Burns Band and Kelly Crank. A few years ago Indian Creek Tavern created an outdoor performance area and David Allan Coe might have been their debut performer. Don’t hold me to that though.


Dinosaur Train teaches with fun

   When you’re a T. Rex adopted by a Pterandon family you have a greater curiosity about things than maybe your siblings who themselves are simply Pterdandon’s raised by normal Pterdandon parents. That’s the story line for PBS’ popular kids television series Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train which will make a stop in Connersville for the next two weekends.

   The T. Rex is Buddy, his siblings are Tiny, Shiny and Don, and they travel the Mesozoic era aboard the Dinosaur Train where learning about the differences between dinosaurs is what the journey is all about.

   This same Dinosaur Train with Buddy and his pals has jumped the Mesozoic track and is making an appearance in Connersville here in the Whitewater Valley and very much in this present epoch which we believe is called the Plasticscene Era. In fact, Dinosaur Train is here for a two-week run and when we say here we mean like not in Indy, Cincy or Dayton.

   If that’s not a 40-year anniversary present we don’t know what is. The Whitewater Valley Railroad has been chosen for this honor in no small part because of the integrity it takes to keep a crew of trained volunteers together and chugging forward for forty years.

   Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train departs Connersville from the always interesting Grand Central Station at 9 am, 10:30 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday, August 17 & 18 and again the following week August 24 & 25 for a two-hour adventure. The cost is $26 per person over one year old. The trains are expected to sell out so reserving in advance is recommended. Call 765 825-2054 or visit http://tickets.whitewatervalleyrr.org.

   What happens with the Dinosaur Train is families will board a real train bound for the Nature Trackers Adventure Area. There they will find fossil dig sites, dinosaur tracking and other outdoor challenges to teach natural science, natural history and, of course, paleontology to even the youngest researchers.

   Travel Through Time is the Whitewater Valley Railroad’s motto and with the Dinosaur Train they have stretched Time and Travel beyond history.

Roaring in Rising Sun

   A Roar of Thunder Regatta has found a new home and is looking for more sponsors and volunteers to continue this annual powerboat racing event. From the Web we learn, “The race has been held for the past 14 years in Aurora but is being moved for this year due to logistical issues at the original site.”

   So Rising Sun is now the place to see, feel, smell and experience A Roar of Thunder. The regatta will be held this Saturday and Sunday as part of a nationally sanctioned circuit of the Powerboat Superleague, we are told. Call 812 438-4933 to volunteer or to discuss sponsorship.

   Presently the sponsors are the City of Rising Sun, Ohio County Convention, Tourism and Visitor Commission, and the Ohio County Economic Development Corporation so you’ll be in good company.


Beatles music, a T-rex and the first glimpse of Brookville Lodge

   Brookville has taken to blocking off Seventh Street and using the Brookville Tire Company’s large triangular parking lot on Main as headquarters for Brookville Third (or 3rd) Friday which is coming up this week believe it or not. It is the second Tuesday but the third Friday, which means we just slipped towards Fall or will have by Friday.

And remember, unlike what the proverb says, it is not pride that goeth before a fall, it’s a slip.

   The Sweet Beats who recently played Lawrenceburg’s Music on the River which happens every Thursday evening for free, will be featured on the stage at Seventh and Main this Friday. We are told you will not believe your eyes or ears when you hear and see them.

   And you are asked to ‘dig out those 60’s clothes for a costume contest to see who can bring the 60’s back.’ Have we ever left? That’s news to me. I thought this last 50 years was all adjunct, so to speak, to the 60’s.

   It seems rock and roll is here to stay. Who’d a thunk it? Maybe rock and roll will fade away like other popular music forms over the past 200 years when someone comes up with a band better than the Beatles.

   Generation Baby Boom hung on every album and for a few years there, every Beatles album moved pop music in subtle new directions. They were on the apex of a new technology which has grown beyond human capacity. The Beatles were recording when the technological capacity for experimentation was only mildly over their heads so they were able to still embrace it. Now for the recording musician, technology engulfs us like an oversized Marshall McLuhan overcoat.

   Besides the groovy and far-out, this Third Friday in Brookville also features dinosaurs.

The Mini Museum of Dinosaurs from the Connersville Education Coalition features hundreds of real fossils in a hands-on display. Kids will want to have their picture taken with Roary, a three-foot high T-Rex skeleton. 

    A couple of other things make this August Third Friday special and one of a kind. Special is the annual United Way A-Main-zing Race which is a team performance, crazy course race where you might be asked to put a little down on the team or teams of your choice, not as a bet, but as a donation to help reduce their time.

    The newly named Brookville Lodge is holding a one of a kind event, their first open house from 5 to 7 pm. A lot of time and effort has gone into transforming the building on the corner of Eighth and Main into a must-see. Brookville Lodge was originally described as being designed for outdoor lovers with amenities like a fish cleaning station in back.

   The weather looks to be perfect with a high of 80 and a low of 63 so if you had ever thought of taking in a Brookville Third Friday this would be the one.


Murality comes to Wayne County

   The invitation comes on fine letterhead with a scrolling script spelling out ‘Festival of The Arts,’ beneath it in a stand-up sans-serif half tone ‘Wayne County, Indiana’ with an artistic graphic next to it. (Wouldn’t it add an element of pride of place if under Wayne County, Indiana was written Whitewater Valley?)

   Special artists from everywhere and anywhere are invited to make a scene in Wayne County. Murals and sculptures are the main product but the byproduct is communicating arts or the art of communication if they are not the same thing. With murals and sculptures space is needed preferably public space. This adds the element of negotiation or at least collaboration ergo the art of communication. The artist Christo’s whole-process Art comes to mind.

   The murals must be on interior walls somewhere in Wayne County and have public access. Sculptors/3D may be located in exterior or interior locations and must also be available to the public. Cash prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded for one mural and one sculpture/3D.

   Artists and property owners will collaborate to submit an intent to enter and create a work of art. Deadline to express intent to enter is September 15th. Artists looking for location and property owners looking for an artist are encouraged to submit their names for information exchange. Projects must be completed by December 1st.

   To request entry information or submit a name or location, email pbliss@richmondindiana.gov or call 317.696.7349 or pick up hard-copy information at the Richmond City Building in Mayor Hutton's office at 50 N. 5th St., Richmond, In.


Spotlight: Farmers Markets

Go Locavore!

   The concept of buying and eating local has its own name, Locavores, and Locavores have their own website www.locavores.com. According to Oxford Farmers Market Master Larry Slocum, “At the grocery store the produce is picked early to survive the average 1,000 mile journey to the store. Vote with your dollars to keep our local market strong.”

   So there’s more than just good health to this Locavore thing. There’s an economic component and where there’s an economic component there’s a social component. In other words, this Locavore thing is a holistic movement which you may jump into and out of on a whim or fancy. But you may also take much more seriously. We recommend the latter, especially at this time of year. Go Locavore!

   Visit Whitewater Valley Guide Farmers Market List for information on times and places of all (we hope) farmers markets in our Valley.

   Spotlight: Farmers Market is sponsored by Oxford Farmers Market. Oxford Farmers Market is open from 8 am until noon every Saturday. Find it in Uptown Oxford behind Memorial Park. Visit their website at Oxford Farmers Market.




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