and Archway Days
Archway Days has reached
its 26th anniversary, but the archways for whom the days were named
have been a part of Centerville just about as long as Centerville has been part
of Wayne County. The archways are picturesque and practical and bring to
Centerville a distinctive architecture.
Saturday is the big Archway
Day beginning at 11 am in Maplewood Park. Tyler Stroh will entertain. There
will be craft vendors, food for all and games for the kids. The event also
happens throughout downtown Centerville which means on both sides of the wide,
wide National Road.
The treat at the end of the
day is the annual parade and since this is mid-August these summer glimpses of
pure Americana are growing rarer. Bring your video camera and relive Archway
Days on a gloomy February evening when the TV re-runs start.
Not-Archway Days quilt
While it might not be part
of the official Archway Days ceremony, Historic Centerville’s Quilt and
Needlework Show will be this Friday and Saturday overlapping Archway Days and
giving you another reason to come to Centerville to celebrate this weekend. The
Q&N show goes from 10 – 5 each day at the Mansion House at 214 E Main
Street in Centerville. Admission is $3.
All proceeds from the show
and flea market go towards the restoration and maintenance of the Mansion House
property which includes the Salisbury Court House.
Baldwin reports, “Historic Centerville thanks the community for its support of
our many fund raising projects. We now have nearly half of the $40,000 needed
for the repair of the Court House.”
My Brothers Keeper
The Opry Barn, Metamora’s
newest performing arts center, has lined up its Bluegrass schedule for the next
three months. G.I. Ball, mandolin player and vocalist for the Baggy Bottom
Boys, is the producer of the Opry Barn’s Bluegrass nights. On September 27, he
has My Brothers Keeper scheduled. The Facebook page for this
Cincinnati-homebased group says they play ‘genre bluegrass/folk/acoustic.
On October 25 Speedwagon
will be playing western swing. While G.I. is a bluegrass guy through and
through, he doesn’t mind bending the rules a little for western swing.
Then on November 15 the
Coffey Brothers play. Google their name and you’ll find YouTube videos of them
doing ‘Blessed’ and ‘Center of My Joy.’
We’ll be sure to give you a
reminder and all the pertinent information on the week of the events.
to live by
The Richmond Community
Orchestra (RCO) will soon celebrate the beginning of its seventh year of
operation and is currently composed of musicians ranging in age from teenagers
to octogenarians. It is a symphonic orchestra featuring strings, woodwinds,
brass, and percussion.
The primary thrust of the
RCO is to allow musicians of varying skill levels to meet together on a regular
basis and have the joy of playing a variety of orchestral music together as
well as hone their instrumental skills. This is an opportunity that many
have not had the occasion to do since high school or college (sometimes 30 or
40 years ago). While a certain
skill level is required, there are no “tryouts” to become a member of the RCO
although there are some restrictions on the number of players that can be
accommodated in certain sections in order to maintain a musical balance across
There is always a need for
specialty woodwinds (bassoon, oboe, etc.), as well as some brass players,
especially horn players, and there is a constant shortage of string players –
violin, viola, cello, bass.
The RCO will begin
rehearsals for this next year beginning September 8 (the second Monday in
September). Rehearsals will be held each Monday thereafter from 6:30 to
8:30 in the evening at the Goddard Auditorium in Carpenter Hall on the Earlham
Virginia Claypool Meredith
into ‘herstory’ in Cambridge City
Cambridge City is preparing
for Canal Days which is the weekend of September 6 and 7. This is a street
party with lots of live music and it’s a great opportunity to re-visit
Cambridge City and loop back into their version of Antique Alley again.
We are informed by a
reliable source that on Sunday, September 14th between 2 and 4 pm
there will be the dedication of an Indiana Historical Marker to Virginia
Raised on a farm near
Connersville, at 33 she was widowed and took on the management of her husband’s
family farm near Cambridge City. Her pioneering work in agriculture led her to
be the first speaker at Purdue’s Farmers’ Institute in 1889. For her lifelong
advocacy of this new role of women in agriculture she was named “Queen of
American Agriculture” by the State of Mississippi.
This 1940 Packard-Darrin
convertible was made in Connersville
Packard-Darrin vies for
finest looking Connersville car
We thought the Cord
was the finest looking car every made in Connersville, but now that we’ve seen
pictures of the Packard-Darrin, we’re not so sure. They’re sleek, they’re
stylish (still), they’re built on the Packard chassis, they’re semi-custom and
today they are rare.
Here’s what we’ve gathered about the car’s short history in
Connersville: ‘Dutch’ Darrin knew his semi-custom Packard Darrins were going to
sell more than he could produce in his small shop on Sunset Strip in Hollywood,
so he made an arrangement with Roy Faulkner to use the almost defunct Auburn
Motor Car Company to produce 1940 Packard Darrins at the Auburn plant in
But Auburn was closing its automotive division by the end of 1940 and
Darrin couldn’t find production facilities in Detroit, so he turned to Sayers
and Scoville in Cincinnati who built hearse and flower cars.
Dutch said, "Their directors were all on hand to watch the first
1941 Packard Darrin come off the line—followed closely by a hearse! It was
quite a sight."
Other cars made in Connersville according to
Motor Car Co. Connersville 1921,1926
Automobile Co. Connersville 1929-36
Corp. Connersville 1936-37
Motor Car Co. Connersville 1912-15
Co. Connersville 1913-14
Motor Co. Connersville 1910-27
Motor Car Co. Connersville 1910-28
Packard Motor Car Co. Connersville 1940-41
Automobile Co. Connersville 1938-41
Van Auken Electric Connersville
Buggy Co. Connersville 1913
Franklin County Tourism’s
first innkeepers conference a ‘success’
By Gary A. Schlueter
In a pioneering effort to grow the county’s
tourism industry, Franklin County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission
(aka Tourism) held an Innkeepers Conference last Monday. FCCRVC has 14 registered
innkeepers and four of them were represented in this initial effort at
networking and generally learning to work together.
In addition several local attractions were
represented including Metamora, the Franciscan Center and Haspin Acres.
Haspin Acres has been using Tourism’s website to
promote their periodic public activities. Mikel Beck, coordinator of the event,
said they talked about how to improve that presence in order to make it more
user friendly, specifically by including information the general public needs
to know to decide if they want to attend something otherwise labeled ‘Mud
The event was held at the Ivy Tech campus in
Batesville and the lucky four innkeepers who attended learned from Nancy Belvli
of Ivy Tech how to capitalize on social media like Facebook, Trip Advisor and
The second session provided the local
attractions in Franklin County to network with the innkeepers. Each
attraction was allowed 10 minutes to present a brief statement about their
businesses. In the third session the innkeepers and vendors mixed and mingled
Jo Ball from Metamora Inn said she wished more
county innkeepers would have attended. She was impressed with the information
about social media and was looking forward to applying it to her business. She
said she came away knowing more about the Franciscan Center in Oldenburg and
brought some brochures from the Center for her guests.
She and Mikel Back talked afterwards about
making this an annual event. One potential item they discussed for the next
agenda was how to improve the county’s Tourism website so it may better serve
According to Mikel Beck, the conference was a
success. “Everyone went away learning something and that is all you can
ask for,” she said.
August 12-18, 2014
Opry Barn Bluegrass
Cave Mountain Bluegrass Band will be back in Metamora on Saturday, but
this time instead of playing in a cave (the old blacksmith shop on Columbia and
Clayborn Streets), they will play in the aptly named Opry Barn on not so aptly
named Pennington Road. West Main Street might be a better name since the road
exists to be Main Street, Metamora.
Since the July opening of the Opry Barn, which might also carry other
names, the stage has been moved to a much better location. We saw it at the
Gold Mine Pickers concert a few Mondays back. We also expect other signs of
growing as Metamora Performing Arts spreads its wings and begins to really take
off. Their first play is getting close to staging.
Mountain are from Northern Kentucky and producer G.I. Ball calls them as close
to a touring professional band as you can get. Their love for what they do
shines through in their performance if the old blacksmith shop show was any
Art, music, beer and bacon festival
Walhill Farm is willing to try new stuff. A few years ago they created a
farmers market which operated for one season, then was gone. This weekend
(Friday through Sunday) Walhill Farm is hosting Bacon, Blues & Brew, Music
and Arts Festival.
promises some fairly big name talent like Michael Kelsey, Anders Osborne and
Parker Milsap, who individually (and in order) cover folk, rock and country.
Other names - Honey Honey, The Main Squeeze, Leftover Cuties and Rev. Peton’s
Big Damn Band - will be providing, the website says, jazz, blues, bluegrass,
funk, and soul, not necessarily in that order.
We’d like to tell you who was playing when but there was no schedule on
the website and two telephone calls failed to find out. Neither do we know when
the Festival will open each day, but that just tests our extra sensory
perception and that’s never bad. You’ll have to go when the spirit hits you and
hope for the best.
The Festival includes an art booth market which is free for the
wandering through, but the music is pay as you go, apparently. Craft beer made
locally, which probably means in the Whitewater Valley, will be on hand or in
hand if you’re so inclined.
the name of the festival, the food will probably be heavily inspired by bacon,
which by itself is good reason for one of those beers. Bacon and beer and
spotless fine art in an upscale attitude is what you’ll find at Walhill Farm
this weekend. And then there’s all that music.
"Touching the Earth"
art show opening next Monday at Earlham College’s Leeds Gallery sounds
interesting. The sculpting team of Roger Asay and Rebecca Davis present natural
materials in a raw form as the subject as well as the substance of work. Each
installation piece is a sculpture in its own right, but they arrange them in
the space so that viewers feel that they are walking within a whole art
experience, somewhat like moving through a Zen garden.
A lesson from South Bend
Under the headline,‘Studebaker driving tour,’ Indiana Landmarks August
newsletter describes a trip through the old Studebaker plant in Southbend. We
couldn’t help noticing how much was being made from the Studebaker brand.
day includes visits to not-open-to the-public sites, including the Administration
building (left) and assembly plant -- soon to be repurposed as a data hub
and lofts -- as well as the Studebaker Museum and Tippecanoe Place, a
restaurant in the Romanesque Revival-style mansion built for Clem Studebaker.”
also couldn’t help thinking of Connersville and the many brands it contains in
its automotive history. Where’s their museum? Where is their driving tour?
Where are their repurposed remains?
The Studebaker tour is Saturday, September 27. Contact Indiana Landmarks
for more information.
Richmond rich in auto history
Car lovers in
the Whitewater Valley would be wise to plan an outing to the Wayne County
Historical Museum before the bucket list runs dry. According to Jim Harlan the
museum has examples of nine of the 14 cars once made in Richmond. “This
represents working for 50 years, buying up any car made in Richmond.”
Car lovers, especially Indiana car lovers, might want to keep this
research tool handy - http://www.cruise-in.com/resource/cisbuilt.htm.
It is Cruise-in.com’s list of “198 Indiana-built automobiles produced in 42
cities and towns.” It lists 10 cars built in Connersville and 10 cars built in
Richmond. Here are the Richmond cars:
Motors Inc. 1939-42
W. Davis Motor Car Co. 1908-29
Motor Car Co. 1916-17
Car Co. 1920-21
New York Six Automotive
Corp. of America 1927-28
Motor Car Co. 1909-24
Buggy Co. 1908-09
Motor Car Co. 1909-16
Forest Service grants
What’s that about the second shoe dropping? In the world of Indiana open
space, the enhancement thereof, the first shoe was Governor Pence’s dropping
$30 million on creating conservation land in Indiana and now the US Forest
Service drops the next one.
Usually, Federal droppings are much larger than their state equivalents,
but in this case it’s the opposite. Where Governor Pence invested $30 million
in wildlife and nature preservation, U.S. Forest Service is making $1.6 million
available and since it is for programs across the 50 states and umpteen
territories to all “local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations and
Indian tribes” if everyone got a fair share, we’d be measuring each piece of
new conservation land in square feet.
the Federal Register of August 6, 2014 it is called Community Forest and Open
Space Conservation Program (CFP) probably because the acronym for the whole
name sounds a little like a controlled sneeze.
Per the Register: “The purpose of the program is to establish community
forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and
provide community benefits. Some of these benefits include sustainable forest
management; clean air, water, wildlife habitat, and other environmental
benefits: forest-based educational programs; service as models of effective
forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access.”
public access is built in as is the concept of forest as classroom. This is a a
50/50 grant which means they’ll pay for half of a winning application. It is a
competitive grant program and the deadline for application is January 16, 2015.
In our region we would get it to Neal Bungard in Durham, New Hampshire.
you don’t fancy a visit you might call him at 603 868-7604 or email email@example.com. For questions about
the application and process contact Maya Solomon 202 205-1376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grants cannot exceed $400,000 and the land must be at least five acres
and be 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to
non-forest use and must be offered for sale by a willing seller. The amount of
threat a parcel of land is facing will probably be a key factor determining who
wins a grant.
While it is a very small amount considering the threat, say rather the
experience we have of forest being devoured by our ever-spreading civilization,
those in the trenches fighting for the wild might see it as a step in the right
direction by the U.S. Forest Service, if only a baby step.
Spotlight Farmers Market
Sometimes tomatoes can get the best of you, or nearly get the best of
you. It that time is now it’s time to freeze or can that excess. But another
great wintertime tomato treat is sun-dried tomatoes. It takes 10 to 20 hours,
according to one website, in a conventional over at 150 degrees. This source
also recommends putting the sliced tomatoes in a flat pan on the dashboard of
your car from sunup to sunset. Repeat as necessary.
course a dehydrator made just for this kind of thing gives you the best
control, especially the ones with controls like timers and thermostats. But 10
to 20 hours of baking costs money and heats up the house. There must be some
Mother Earth solution.
we searched Mother Earth News and found the first one: Making Sun-Dried Tomatoes
in a Solar Food Dehydrator. The writer bought a kit and assembled it in five
hours. Since she began in October there was not enough sun to complete her
first attempt. After two days of sunshine and two days of rain her tomatoes
began to mildew.
anyone has any insight they’d like to share on solar food dehydration email me email@example.com.
you are in need of tomatoes to experiment with, stop at the Oxford Farmers
Market on Saturday from 8 am until noon at their Uptown Parks location in
Best of Show-Photo
by Kimberly Toros
Issue 161 draft
August 5-11, 2014
Preble County Fair Visual Arts Best of Show Winners
Well over 200 entries were made in the Visual Arts Department at the Preble County Fair which included Fine Art and Photography. Entries came from every age and multiple communities.
In the Artwork category, the Best of Show award went to Patty Emerson, First Runner Up to Phillip Erbaugh and Second Runner Up went to Madison Perry. In the Photography category, Best of Show was awarded to Kimberly Toros, First Runner Up to Mariah Squire and Second Runner Up went to Kimberly Vonder Mueullen.
Vicky Fanberg, executive director of the Preble County Art Association said, “The fair is such a great opportunity for the community to share their talents. This year was exceptional with the quality and creativity of every entry. I would like to encourage more people to enter next year and stay involved in the arts throughout the year.”
Amos Collins sent us Connersville Bluegrass Music Association’s music
schedule for the next two months and while there are plenty of old favorites
like New Out Look Bluegrass playing again September fifth and Vernon McIntyre’s
Applachian Grass on September 26, there are new names like Mark Poe Bluegrass
Band and Berachah Valley, an all female bluegrass band out of Dayton.
We’ve also fine tuned the location of CBMA this year from the James R.
Roberts Building in Roberts Park to 30th Street and Park Road which
might be good for a digital map search, but it only gets you to the corner
where Roberts Park is. The rest of the finding, as before, is up to you. But
then Roberts Park is a fine place to explore. Plenty of Connersville culture
thereabouts, a Kennedy brothers covered bridge and great rock work curbs.
And while we’re sharing news about CBMA, the admission price has been
raised by two bucks, from $6 to $8. It used to be one of those easy memory things,
six bucks at six o’clock, but now it’s eight bucks at six o’clock. Wonder how
many people will miss the first two sets now?
Eaton oinkers paint the pig contest
Where Brookville has its chickens painted, costumed and decorated in a
people’s choice kind of way, Eaton is going to have pigs, ten of them to be
exact. The Visual Arts Center of Preble County is teaming up with The Preble
County Pork Festival to decorate the town with ten painted concrete pigs.
But whereas Brookville’s chickens are as permanent as a concrete statue
can be, after they’re painted by teams of no more than five, the Eaton oinkers
will be raced to the Preble County Pork Festival.
The press release from PCAA&VAC says, “Once your chosen piggy is
painted and displayed for all to see around the town, then it is off to the
races as they will be moved to the Preble County Pork Festival in front of the
Rotary Junction for judging.” It sounds almost as though those teams of five
will not only paint the pig but race them to Rotary Junction. Probably only my
over active imagination.
Design teams have to submit their designs for consideration and submit
an entry form by August 8th. The winning pig will earn its painter
$100, with 2nd place earning $75, and 3rd earning $50. Entry forms are
available at www.takepartinart.net
or call 937 456-3999.
Welcome new teachers with the Guide
New teachers are in, old teachers are out and the Guide just keeps
rolling along. The Guide has many, many teachers who are subscribers, but each
year some move on and we have no way of knowing who the new ones are.
So, if you are a teacher and you get and enjoy the Guide each week,
here’s what I’d like you to do: Saunter up to one of the new teachers in your
school and tell them about the Guide. Tell them how many wonderful new
opportunities it has uncovered for you and suggest that this newbie subscribe.
it for them, if necessary. It’s free and they will be forever in your debt
which is not a bad thing for new comers for whom ‘forever’ may not be as long
as it is for folks like you and me.
Trails and money
Everything we do these days seems
to need to be justified by some economic benefit, not least of these things are
trails. People who have no experience with them wonder how such a passive thing
can generate revenue. It has to do with the active people who use the trail.
Money comes out of their pocket.
ten year old study of a 45-mile long trail in Virginia counted 1.6 million
users of the trail who pumped $5.3 million into the local economy directly
related to the use of the trail.
Nearer to home, in 2009 the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission
found, trails in the Miami Valley of Ohio attract 1 million visitors every year
who spend up to $16 million on goods and services related to use of the trail.
Those numbers have probably risen in the past five years.
The relative cost of creating trails is low. “Making walking and biking
safer and more accessible is relatively inexpensive,” said US Secretary of
Transportation Ray LaHood in 2010. “We could upgrade the entire 2,250 mile East
Coast Greenway for only one-fifth of a single I-95 bridge over the Potomac.”
Studies also found in most cases the closer you are to a trail the more
your property value increases. Bill Ruthhart of the Indianapolis Star reported,
“It may not have sand and crashing waves, but the Monon Trail is the equivalent
of beachfront property in the Indianapolis area.”
Along the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, otherwise identical houses are
worth 11% more for every half mile closer to the trail, according to the report
by Rory Robinson, Outdoor Recreation Partner for the National Park Service from
which these stats were lifted. He reported, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, for every
400 meters closer a median-priced home is to an off-street bicycle facility,
its value increases by $510.
The reason housing values rise the nearer you are to a trail is because
of what the trail means to the homeowner. A 2001 Indiana Trails study found
over 70% of trail neighbors reported using the trail during the prior 12
months. In that same study 85.5% of the trail users interviewed saw the trail
But economics can only go so far in measuring the value of trails in
communities. They improve the health of folks who use them and while this has
an economic component in lower overall health care costs, its greatest result
is in the joy of being healthy itself.
And in the mysterious realm of place, trails play a big part in
attracting and keeping people. A Gallup and Knight Foundation study in 2008
found three main qualities attach people to place: social offerings like
entertainment and places to meet, a welcoming openness and the area’s
aesthetics like physical beauty, green space and trails.
Trails take us to those green spaces and show as that physical beauty,
and when it begins at your front door, all the better. More trails mean more
benefits, economic and otherwise.
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
Did you know Oxford Farmers Market usually has a local chef stop by and
prepare something from the stuff he finds at the market that day? Last week it
was Kona Bistro chef Patrick Nipper. Market manager Larry Slocum said Chef
Nipper’s “wonderful surprise” would be ready around 10 o’clock which may give
you a hint as to when the sweet spot is at the Oxford Farmers Market any given
July 29-August 4, 2014
MPA offers special Monday night concert
Last week, we mentioned Harrison’s Summer Concert series being held on Tuesdays and said ‘Why not music on Tuesday evening, or Monday afternoon for that matter?’ (Although it seems we forgot the question mark in the original.)
This week we have news to fit the bill:
Goldmine Pickers will be stopping by Metamora on Monday on their way home from their current Southeastern US tour. Since their website lists the quartet’s various homes as St. Louis, Rockford, Michigan, Goshen and Fort Wayne, Indiana, Metamora is a natural jumping off spot if they are traveling by horseback which they probably aren’t.
Our friend Cary Allen Fields of The Fields of Bluegrass Radio Hour said they are ‘pure and unpretentious, anything but over-produced, and technically brilliant.’
The Goldmine Pickers will playing at the new Opry Barn on Pennington Road in Metamora. They begin at seven for $6 per which, as you see, makes up the ‘Per’ part of Metamora Performing Arts.
Block party for library’s 150th birthday
Morrisson-Reeves Library is celebrating its 150th birthday
this Wednesday with a block party, music, magic and more. North 6th
Street in Richmond will be the site of this five or six hour party which starts
at 3 pm with lots of kids stuff like an inflatable obstacle course, 17-foot
tall slide, face painting and goodie bags.
The next segment runs from 4 to 6 pm with the official kick-off and
dedication of the Reading Garden. The magic will be provided by Tony Truitt and
the music by Dave Snow and Eric Loy. There will also be a vintage car
cruise-in. At 7 pm the popular duo Garcia and Scott will perform.
Connersville’s history getting noticed
found this report from Indiana Landmarks Eastern Regional Office:
“Established just four years ago, Connersville’s Historic Preservation
Commission has made great strides toward advancing historic preservation in the
community. Building on the recent restoration of the James R. Roberts Memorial
Building and the listing of Roberts Park in the National Register of Historic
Places, the commission has set its sights on nominating the city’s historic
commercial district to the National Register.
“Assisted by a matching grant from Indiana Landmarks’ Partners in
Preservation Program (PIP), the commission will hire a professional to complete
the nomination. Listing in the National Register qualifies properties in the
district for federal preservation tax credits, a restoration incentive for
building owners and developers.”
Music in (the real) Miami
Miami Township’s Summer Concert Series starts this Saturday with Ooh
LaLa & and The Greasers playing good old rock & roll. It looks like a
two-concert series with the second one being August 15 when the Sullman Janszen
Band will play.
Both concerts are free and start at 7:30 pm and both will be at the
Miami Township Community Center, 3780 Shady Lane in North Bend, Ohio. The
concerts are planned for outdoors but if it rains they will move inside the beautiful
According to Terry Simpson, director the Harrison-Symmes Museum, the
museum will be running split-the-pot at both concerts. “This is a major
fund-raiser for the museum,” he wrote.
Connersville Bluegrass moves to Roberts Park
Good Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise, Connersville Bluegrass
Music Association could be up and running in their new location by this Friday,
according to CBMA President Amos Collins. On short notice, they had to move out
of their former location at 2600 Western Avenue and the stress and strain of
doing so landed him in the hospital for a few days.
“They took two gallons of water out of me,” he said.
CBMA has been without a home since around June 1st. The last
band to play at the old location was Tony Holt and The Wildwood Valley Boys on
Friday, May 30th, according to the Whitewater Valley Guide
entertainment calendar. The first band at the new home of bluegrass music in
Connersville will be New Outlook Bluegrass Band. Amos said they usually play on
the first Friday of the month.
The new location at the James R. Roberts Memorial Building at Roberts
Park took some negotiations with Connersville City Council, Amos said. They
want him to carry liability insurance which is going to be an extra burden for
CBMA, but not an insurmountable one.
Cedar Grove Bridge nominated for National Listing
their meeting in Indianapolis last Wednesday, the Indiana Historic Preservation
Review Board agreed to nominate the one-hundred year old Cedar Grove Bridge for
the National List of Historic Places. Two years ago that same board gave the
Indiana Department of Transportation permission to demolish the bridge. The
possibility of demolition is still hanging over the heads of the group that
would like to save the bridge, the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge.
J.P. Hall, eastern regional manager for Indiana Landmarks, is a member
of the Friends and attended the Review Board meeting on Wednesday on their
behalf. In an email afterwards he wrote, “The Review Board approved
recommending nominating the Bridge to the National List. There was one
dissenting vote. . . Regardless, the recommendation will be set to the National
Park Service and the Bridge will be listed.”
Inclusion in the National List of Historic Places does not protect the
Cedar Grove Bridge from demolition, but it does raise the profile of the
Big Four Café a Batesville must
really can’t say enough good things about the new Big Four Café in Batesville.
The original Big Four Café was a rough and tumble place where bikers and
railroaders rubbed elbows with locals. People who remember the original say it
was a drinking place not so much and eating place.
The new Big Four Café is just the opposite. It may be the premiere
eating place in Batesville, but it doesn’t have a license to sell even beer and
wine. That’s because it is too close to a church, according to Chef Adam
Israel. And in Batesville where people have been known to judge distances by
how many six packs it takes to get there, that can be problematic.
Big Four Café is located in the RomWeber Flats building on Depot Street
and is highly recommended for its fresh, original food. According to its
website, the Big Four has been voted best place for breakfast and lunch in both
Ripley and Franklin Counties.
went in one day while doing laundry and feeling kind of blue, tried the soft
shell shrimp tacos and left, amazingly and surprisingly happy. Yes, at the Big
Four Café food brings happiness. Just reading the chalkboard burger menu lifts
you up and reminds you, life is full of so many possibilities.
initially tried the New England style bacon and corn chowder which brought us
back for more. It is excellent. And because you can order half-sandwiches and
cups of soup, you can keep your lunch well under ten bucks.
The Big Four Café is sponsoring the Depot Street Party this Sunday from
5 to 10 pm. The group Hawthorne Heights will be performing but we can’t imagine
they can top the food coming out of Chef Adam’s kitchen.
Big Four Café and Izzy’s Catering
121 S. Depot Street
Floating down the Whitewater
Green Acres Canoe Rental got a nice bump from the Harrison Press. A
story by Bob Hyle calls the Whitewater River “one of the great hidden assets of
Harrison.” He said the Lutz family and Green Acres Canoe and Kayak has helped
the river “become a major destination point for thousands of Greater
Cincinnatians looking for summer recreation.”
Green Acres allows you to explore the lower part of the Whitewater from
their place on Suspension Bridge Road. Sharon Lutz said the company rep who
sells them their equipment “says we are the fastest growing canoe rental
operation in the country.” Big words with big meanings for our hidden gem of a
our last count you could rent canoes and kayaks at River Rats Canoe and Kayak
at Robinson’s Whitewater River Campground in Connersville, at Whitewater Canoe
Rental in Brookville and Cedar Grove and Morgan Canoe Center in Brookville. For
phone numbers and more info click
New WCT trail under discussion
When he was a young fellow, Dave Henninger earned a Boy Scout Merit
Badge hiking the towpath trail approximately 16 miles from Laurel to
Brookville. He said the Boy Scouts, who met in the old Laurel Academy, also
used to do a half-hike, half-canoe trail along the same route. “In those days
they were holding boat races on the Whitewater Canal from Laurel to Metamora,”
little over half-century later a large portion of that same trail will be open
again, though at this time it is being planned from Metamora to Laurel Feeder
Dam. The feeder dam is about a mile from the town of Laurel along Dam Road and
about six miles from Metamora.
“There really isn't much detail on the new trail at this point, though
it will go to the feeder dam, not to Laurel,” Terry Duffy wrote. He is vice
president of Whitewater Canal Trail, Inc., the group which from its start
envisioned opening the trail from Laurel to Brookville again.
WCT opened the first segment of the Metamora to Brookville trail on
April 10, 2004. In the intervening decade it opened and maintains another section
of the trial near Yellow Bank Creek. Property issues have slowed the effort in
that direction, but after ten years of trying, in April the Whitewater Valley
Railroad agreed to meet regarding the “possibility of a trail to the feeder dam
along the canal/railroad corridor,” Mr. Duffy said.
committee of railroad and Canal Trail representatives addressed a couple of
questions over the following weeks,” he said. “At this point, all have agreed
in principle that a trail is possible and desirable but no decision has been
made about the location of the final trail route.”
One concept is to have the trail follow the old canal towpath, but this
gets a little dicey at a place called the old ice pond where the canal verges
away from the railroad. It would mean getting permission from private property
owners who were not part of these initial meetings.
Having the railroad and the State Historic Site along with DNR’s Outdoor
Recreation Division in on the plan means the stakeholders who own the easements
between the canal and the railroad track are in agreement and between them
there is plenty of room for a trail.
Mr. Duffy said the first step is a rough-in trail. “This will be a rough
path that will enable us to get into the likely trail area so we can figure out
where the trail could be located and how it might be built. That work will
start this fall.”
July 22-28, 2014
Hagerstown Flying Circus
Ready for your annual short notice flight of fantasy? Well, today it’s
Hagerstown Flying Circus and you don’t even need to hurray. Say you live in
Liberty and work until five. That gives you one hour to drive to Hagerstown
Regional Airport and take in the Flying Circus. It is a gathering of vintage
airplanes and if you’re lucky, Model T automobiles. Then there’s the
interaction of those two with the crowd of folks more normal in their
collecting habits. It’s a recipe for fun and it works every time.
Premier class manufacturing
talked to a collector of automobiles, Studebakers to be exact, and said I
gathered from here, there, and everywhere that Packards and MacFarlans were on
the same level. He straightened me out pdq. MacFarlans were the superior in
quality and price, he said.
other words, the MacFarlan was the premiere class American automobile at the
time, and the time was in many ways the classic period of American car
The MacFarlan were a posh coach harkening back to the horse and buggy
days when McFarlan custom built carriages. They took few precautions for and
paid little heed to the laminar flow. The coach was just that, an elegant box
on wheels upright and upstanding like the citizens who owned them and rode
inside, folks like Al Capone and Fatty Arbuckle.
The point of this is, the MacFarlan was made in Connersville. It’s a
Whitewater Valley product and mark that, it’s a superior automobile that was
not simply of world class standards, it set world class standards. Yeah, one of
ours here in the Valley.
See for yourself sometime. Don your highest crowned hat because the
ceiling of the MacFarlan will still hover over it and check out a prime example
of a MacFarlan at Fayette County Historical Museum, 103 Vine Street in East
Connersville though they don’t call it ‘East’ anymore officially. The number of
MacFarlans existing in the world today might be around a dozen so seeing one in
the town in was built is no insignificant thing.
is a good idea to call first because they have limited public hours. They will
probably be gracious enough to arrange something with you. Call 765 825-1523.
Built by McFarlan is a book written by Connersville resident automobile
historian Richard A. Stanley. Walmart carries it for $56.93 but we recommend
you buy it at the Fayette County Historical Museum. It’s somehow more authentic
Sharing musical styles
The creative minds in Richmond keep coming up with new ways to showcase
music. The latest is Local Musician’s Showcase. It’s ‘like nothing we’ve done
before,’ say the producers. It starts with ‘the local symphony orchestra by the
Glen Miller Park pond.’ The producers don’t say which local symphony orchestra,
so in turn we won’t name the producers on the principal that one good slight
the end of their performance, concertgoers will be able to stroll through the
park to listen to local musicians who will be placed in street-performer style.
It all leads up to the main act. Lynn, Indiana native Jay Jesse Johnson playing
in the Bandshell.
The idea of having various local performers at spots around the park
gives concertgoers a chance to stroll around and sample that talent. Starting
off with a symphonic program and eliding into blues is the exciting part,
breaking away from one style of music for an entire concert.
happens this Saturday from 7 to 10 pm in Glen Miller Park on Main Street in
Richmond and it’s free.
Local Music Scene
Community Festival has a big dollop of musical entertainment this year. They
are featuring Pure Grain on Friday night and two bands on Saturday, Gen X and
- It looks like
someone’s started a free summer music series in Harrison, at the Harrison
Community Center, to be exact where today, the ever-elusive Tuesday, Zack
Attack plays at 7 pm.
The rest of the Summer Concert schedule is The Tuna Project on August 5
and The Menus on August 19, all Tuesdays, which we kind of like for breaking
the weekend mold. And why not music on Tuesday evening, or Monday afternoon for
that matter. Live music that is, not canned. Speaking of cans, you are asked to
bring one when you attend.
you’re into twofers and you like fast paced baseball, the Richmond River Rats
are playing a double header against the Butler Bluesox this Saturday at McBride
Stadium. Butler is the only
team in the Prospect League from Pennyslvania. For what it’s worth, Richmond
and the Terre Haute Rex are the two Indiana teams in the league.
First game starts at 5:05 and will last about two hours. So you’re
looking at four hours of semi-pro ball for the price of two. That’s better than
a twofer, that’s a twofer four.
July 4th Celebration at the Gaar House was a rousing success, we are
told by Sarah Bradley. “We sold over 300 tickets,” she wrote. After expenses
for the event there are funds going towards maintenance of the Gaar House. She
thanked the Guide for our coverage which was extensive because it’s such a cool
thing. Symphony music then fireworks and all on a hilltop on a Summer’s
evening. Seems too good to limit to one day per year.
Sarah also said, Richmond Community Orchestra “RCO, Eaton Area Choir, Ryan
and Donna and Jeff Templeton did a fantastic job!”
Last week Sandra from Augusta, Georgia asked for information about the
Valley. “My husband and I travel all the country. He is a trucker, and we
go on a lot of vacations just from the places we have driven through,” she
wrote. She’s now a subscriber and maybe the next time they are trucking through
they just might stop at one of our roadside attractions she read about in the
Whitewater Valley Guide.
Vision for the Valley
The visioning process is a proven success, but only when the key players
buy into it. In the late ‘90s there was a flare of gatherings with names like
Vision 20/20 Carpinteria, California. I was there after the visioning process
This vision was large enough and far out enough to catch the imagination
of almost every sector in the town. Education, transportation, sewage disposal,
policing, streetscapes, parks and recreation, the farmers market were all
topics in the ultimate booklet that was published with everyone’s consensus and
distributed to all and sundry.
This booklet led to immediate positive results and the positive momentum
led to an increase in the delight of life and made Carpinteria a very desirable
town to call home.
Flash forward to 2014 and inland a few thousand miles to the Whitewater
Valley and here we have the electronic opportunity to do the same thing. Will
it work when things aren’t face to face?
We’ll never know ‘til we try.
The Whitewater Canal Byway Association is developing a plan to protect
and enhance the byway and its features. You have a chance to participate in the
process by checking out the Association’s MindMixer page. You can log in
quickly—even through Facebook—and help set goals for the byway’s future. You
can also upload pictures and help identify great sites in the region.
If you love the valley, appreciate its history, and want to be part of
this visioning process, go to Vision for
the Valley and share your ideas.
Spotlight: Farmers Market
How much of the county fair is the farmers market? And vice versa?
Probably not much on the ‘county’ side of the equation, but
an awful lot on the ‘fair’ side. The best farmers markets are town fairs.
They have music and food for sampling and bright colored handmade
things, and still warm bread, and tomatoes whenever possible and corn as of
last week and all the rest. At it’s best it feels like a fair. Check out Oxford Farmers Market this
Saturday and see if they don’t fit the bill.
if you want to work it the other way around, from the ‘fair’ side, check out
the Fayette County Free Fair starting Saturday at noon and see how much of that
is like the farmers market. There will certainly be ribbons hanging on things
newly culled from the garden, but not a bushel below you might buy a sample
from, which seems a missed opportunity to bring the market side to the fair.
There is a string of county fairs rippling through the summer and each
of them would be enhanced if produce could be sold. After all, that’s the real
completion of the process of growing anything beyond what you intend to consume
yourself (meaning you and extended you).
Gary August Schlueter
July 15, 21, 2014
Centerville Bicentennial happenings
Centerville is featuring three concerts this week to celebrate its
bicentennial. They are all in Maplewood Park at North Morton and East Water
streets, all at 7 pm and all free. The first is Tuesday, the second is Thursday
and the third, this one featuring The Bulldogs, is on Saturday.
This is climax week for Centerville’s Bicentennial celebration and
featured are the Historic Home Tour on Friday and Saturday, and a Civil War
Reenactment on Saturday at the high school soccer field.
Jazz with frills
And for something unusual on a Wednesday afternoon, try a new
experience, jazz in the library. The Phil DeGreg Trio, and with a name like the
Phil DeGreg Trio you know they’re playin’ jazz, is playing from two to three in
the Oxford Lane Library. This could be one of those cornerstone events if a lot
of ifs fall into place. First of all, if you have Wednesday afternoon free,
then if you’ve been planning to experience Oxford again, and finally if the
creeks don’t rise.
What to do in Oxford? Something indoor would be the many museums or is
it musea? Something outdoors would be the extensive Miami University trail
system. Something indoors/outdoors would be shopping on Main Street, probably
the only place you can buy Berkenstock sandals in the Whitewater Valley, btw.
we’ve said before, Oxford is not technically in the Whitewater Valley, but for
that matter neither is one or both of the Baths. Sometimes more than watershed
defines a valley. In this case a rectangle does, and part of Preble, Butler and
Hamilton counties are in that imaginatively square boundary.
But I digress (a time or two), the point is jazz in the afternoon on
Wednesday comes with some frills.
Summer Sun and Surf
The Sunburners are playing Live in the
Glen this Saturday. They bring their beach party music and highlight it with a
steel pan band, we are told. Glen Miller Bandstand is on East Main in Richmond
in Glen Miller Park.
Then on the other side of the Whitewater Valley in Lawrenceburg on the
Mighty Ohio, a band we love to remember the name of, Phil Dirt and the Dozers,
are doing a tribute to the Beach Boys in a show called “Surf’s Up”. Phil and
the boys are playing Music on the River Thursday at 7 for our favorite price,
Folks who are planning to be in or around Metamora Wednesday evening,
and if those folks are music lovers, would be wise to stop in at the
Hearthstone. Slaven and Webb are auditioning for a gig at the Hearthstone. And
yes, Virginia, auditioning for a gig is very much like playing a gig only for
one you get paid and for the other you get applause.
Without the applause you probably wouldn’t pass the audition so . . .
Anyway, both are very slick guitar players with Rick Webb being the best
guitar player in Metamora and Robin Slavens being better than him. Rick said
the reason for the audition is that no one knows them here in Franklin County,
but back in Muncie no audition is necessary. They expect to start at seven in
the Tiki Bar.
Freudenfest is the best
seven am, Freudenfest starts Saturday with exercise and plenty of it. Somewhere
along the day the outdoor party part starts and continues until midnight.
Freudenfest always lives up to its name, Friends Festival.
you wander the party grounds off Perlen Strasse you will find smiling faces
only broken up by laughing faces, feeding faces and finally drinking faces.
Then it’s back to smiling again. It’s a friendly place and lots of fun. Mike
Wilhelm suggests, ‘Don’t miss Lauf Run.’ Sounds like a smile to me.
The opening ceremony is at 5 pm on Friday and the party goes to
One for your bike bucket list
Franklin County Vatican Ride is a little known bike route that encompasses
nine Catholic churches or did when the colorful, two-sided Franklin County
Tourism brochure was printed several years back. Now the churches are there but
the Catholic part is gone.
Still you probably won’t take on the Vatican Ride to see the Catholic
spirit though it is still alive in the monuments those ardent early Catholics
created brick by brick and row by row.
The Vatican Ride starts in Oldenburg with #1 Holy Family Parish and #2
Sisters of St. Francis. It then heads directly west to Enochsburg, then up to
Hamburg and back to Oldenburg. This short loop is around 14 miles and takes in
St. John the Evangelist in E’Burg and St. Ann’s Church in H’burg.
Six miles from Oldenburg is St. Mary-of-the-Rock Parish Church and
another three and a half miles in Oak Forest you’ll see St. Cecilia of Roma
Parish Church. Both St. Mary and
St. Cecilia were christened in 1844. A year later St. Michael Parish in
Brookville was established. It is around five miles from Oak Forest.
The six-mile section from St. Michael to Holy Guardian Angel in Cedar
Grove is probably the prettiest from beginning to end. It follows River Road on
the west bank of the Whitewater River and crosses the Cedar Grove Bridge into
Cedar Grove itself, then back again.
The nine-mile trek to St. Peters starts with a hill most folks will have
to walk up. Gobblers Knob is a riot to bike down, but I’ve never been able to
bike up it on my 12-speed. Once at the top it’s smooth riding to St. Peters
Finally, there’s a ten-mile ride from St. Peters back to Oldenburg. The
section from St. Peters to Oldenburg follows St. Peters Road which becomes Pine
Road and goes positively wild when it crosses Blue Creek. There’s a low water
ford and great natural slabs of limestone creating a series of small waterfalls
or big cataracts. On the other side of the ford lanes have been cut through the
bush where it looks like people camp out.
Significant to bridge lovers is first of all the Stockheughter Covered
Bridge over Salt Creek near Enochsburg. The Vatican Ride has you going through
the bridge twice. Then of course there is twice over Cedar Grove Bridge, which
we hope will join the Stockheughter and the Snow Hill Covered Bridge as
Franklin County representatives on the National List of Historic Places.
This long loop is around 40 miles; so all toll, the Vatican Ride is
roughly 54 miles.
You have my permission to look upon it as your duty to take this ride,
because taking the Vatican Ride will breathe live into those churches and give
hope to those communities now deprived of their spiritual core.
at the Whitewater Valley Guide believe the folks who printed this brochure
would serve its purpose better if the Vatican Ride was an officially designated
bike route. This would not take much except permission from the Franklin County
Commission and signage. The route is there and the brochure is already
Spotlight: Farmers Market
The reason we’re not hearing so much about local foods and growing our
own or buying our neighbors is that it’s already tomatoes. In other words, it’s
not so much a time to grow it, but a time to eat it, and we all know you
shouldn’t talk with your mouth full.
other words, this is Farmers Market High Season. Larry Slocum said he expects
sweet corn to start showing up this Saturday at Oxford Farmers Market.
And furthermore, there’s feedback needed
The seed for the Whitewater Valley Guide was sown by the Whitewater
Canal Byway Association through their mission and the scope of their vision.
The Whitewater Valley is our home region, not any particular county. Our
county is part of the region but the region is the greater thing. It is
important for us to take possession of the entire region in the sense of
realizing this greater unity. We
are citizens of the Whitewater Valley. We have that in common. Let’s exploit
it, mutually. Mutual exploitation is one of the laws of karma.
that end, the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway Association is creating a plan to
help promote and preserve the valley’s unique historic resources. We’re looking
to engage you, the residents, business owners, and other stakeholders of the
communities along the Byway and ask for opinions about the Byway.
Tell us what you think. Visit: http://visionforthevalley.mindmixer.com/login
Issue 157 draft
July 8-14, 2014
Calling artists and photographers
The Preble County Fair is calling for area artists to enter their work in a juried exhibit which will net $100 to the Best of Show. Details of how and when and where are at www.preblecountyfair.org. The show is being sponsored by the Preble County Art Association.
Centerville party’s like it’s 1814
Centerville takes center stage in the Whitewater Valley Guide this week.
That’s because Centerville is celebrating its 200th birthday over
the next two weeks. Go to Centerville at random and you’ll probably find
something going on. This will be a prime time to shoot some pictures of this
Certainly the Centerville Library will be open for random guests. In
fact, a new book about the 200-year history of Centerville is on sale there for
This Saturday and Sunday Historic Centerville is hosting the fifth
annual Garden and Home Tour. There will be a city garden and four country
gardens, all in the Centerville area. One of the gardens features a man cave in
a barn, we are told. If you want to wax philosophical, a barn has always been a
sort of man cave, at least with bachelor farmers.
The Petal and Stem Garden Club is hosting a boutique at one of the
properties. An historic farmhouse has been renovated on Willow Grove Road and
will be open for garden-tourers.
Tickets are $10 each and available at the Mansion House at 214 E Main
Street in Centerville on the days of the event.
What a cornhole tournament reveals
The cannons won’t thunder, but the ‘war’ to claim the title Wayne County
Seat will be fought this Sunday. Instead of bullets there will be a cornhole
tournament and presumably the winners and losers will celebrate with an ice
cream social at the Wayne County Courthouse in Richmond.
Since this ‘March on Richmond’ is hosted by the Centerville Bicentennial
Committee it tells us who won the original ‘war’ back in 1873, and it says the
good people of Centerville are forgiving, unless, like Pontiac and his siege of
Fort Mackinaw using the ruse of an Indian ball game to get inside, those same
people are planning something really historic for their town’s 200th
Belle of the Blues in Oxford
few weeks ago we wrote about Lisa Biales and her performance on Woodsongs Old
Time Radio Hour and said we’d let you know when the ‘Belle of the Blues’ will
be playing in the Whitewater Valley again. Well, Thursday evening is you next
chance to catch this late rising star. Lisa Biales and the Belle of the Blues
Band are the featured group this week at the Oxford Summer Music Festival.
Judging by her performance on national television, we think this program will
be something worth hearing.
Bye Bye Birdie debuts at the Murray
You’d think in a theater town like Richmond ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ would have
been produced at least once, but according to the folks at Richmond Civic
Theatre, this Friday will be RCT’s ‘first-ever’ production of the Tony
Award-winning Broadway musical.
The play is set in the 1950s in a world driven mad by rock and roll in
general but Elvis Presley in particular. When Elvis was drafted it caused such
a stir, that playwright Michael Stewart based an entire production on it.
Instead of Elvis, Conrad Birdie is the rock star about to be shorn of his locks
and dressed in olive-drab. The musical is based on his farewell trip to a small
The RCT production at the Murray Theatre will run for the next two
weekends with Sunday matinees at 2 pm.
Tom Butters one man show
Tom Butters has been emerging as a painter since moving from a world of
advertising work in 2007. “I painted perhaps 10 pictures over a 40-year career,
because I thought every painting had to be ‘important,’ had to depict a scene
of deep meaning wrenched from my inner self.”
2007 he attended a Hoosier Salon painting workshop in New Harmony, taught by
California impressionist Ken Auster. “After twenty minutes of watching
Ken work, I realized I was overthinking the process and making it much harder
than it had to be,” he said.
You have until July 18th to see Tom Butters’ one man show at
IU East’s Whitewater Hall Community Room. Butters is a cornerstone of the art
community in Wayne County having founded Hagerstown Arts Place in 2009 as an
adjunct of the Hagerstown Museum of which he is manager.
was also one of the first painters to teach at Room 912 in Richmond which
opened recently. He won Richmond Art Museum’s prestigious Best of Show in 2007
and among other places has had a one man show there.
WCET program features Whitewater Valley
Metamora got a jolt of television publicity on Monday evening when WCET
aired ‘Have Steam Engine Will Travel.’ The half-hour segment of this on-going
reality-on-rails program features the Gramlings, a father and son team, who own
Flagg Coal Company. They have four steam engines and transport them wherever
they can find a receptive short-line.
the Whitewater Valley that was the Whitewater Valley Railroad which along with
Connersville, was featured prominently in Monday’s program. Also featured was
Joanne Williams who explained the history of Metamora while she ground meal in
the grist mill. She explained how the railroad bought the canal property in the
1860s and used the towpath for their rail bed.
Engineer Francis Parker was the spokesman for the Whitewater Valley
Railroad. He said using the former towpath of the railroad had one little
problem. “Every time the canal has one of these locks to lift the boat, there
had to be a steep little grade,” he said. “Nowadays as you go down the track,
passengers and certainly the engineers feel that little change in grade.”
Catrina and the Baggy Bottom Boys got their moment of fame, too, singing
‘This Train’ and getting all their names listed in the credits.
For someone who lives in Metamora, seeing our town on the small screen
was very interesting. In fact, it looks a lot better on TV than it does in real
life, not unlike many TV stars, I’m told.
Along with Metamora being featured in this mini-travelogue, Grand
Central Station in Connersville gets a mention and some screen time, along with
the Laurel Fire Department which had to help out with 650 gallons of water.
Later they take the train to Laurel Hotel for dinner and along the way the
cowboys have a shoot out or two.
Barney Gramling said, “Metamora’s a really unique little town.
Everything here’s very historic. Sadie’s probably the newest thing in town.”
Sadie is Flagg Coal Company’s engine #126 which came into town two years
ago when this episode was filmed to celebrate National Train Day. This happens
on the Saturday before Mother’s Day and is an opportunity Metamora doesn’t
really take enough advantage of.
The Whitewater Valley Railroad has been trying to get Metamora to use
this early May weekend as the start of their high tourist season, but so far,
no takers. Maybe this public television program will awaken the merchants to the
national publicity that is their’s for the taking.
Update: Cedar Grove Bridge
lot of water has flowed under Cedar Grove Bridge in the past week. In the
process of finishing up requirements related to obtaining their certificate of
approval to demolish the bridge, INDOT sent around the photo documentation that
was required and their email distribution was wide. It included Mark Dollase of
Indiana Landmarks who replied asking for someone at INDOT to clarify the status
of this project.
This was followed a few hours later by an email from JP Hall also of
Indiana Landmarks and who has been with this project from the first meeting on
the bridge in August 2001. He wrote, “The local group, Friends of Cedar Grove
Bridge, has been trying to communicate with INDOT for some time and with much
also brought up the question of Federal permits, specifically Army Corps of
Engineers Section 106 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
Afterwards he provided them with questions like how can you tear down a bridge
you say may be owned by Franklin County?
This specific question brought a short email from the commissioners of
Franklin County saying, “To Whom It May Concern: Franklin County does not own
Cedar Grove Bridge.” A newspaper report in the Brookville Democrat of October
9, 1930 documents the transfer from Franklin County to the State Highway System
of SR 1 from Cedar Grove to Lawrenceburg. This would have included all bridges
along SR 1, Cedar Grove Bridge being the first from a north/south perspective.
also brought the clarification requested. Patrick Carpenter, manager of INDOT’s
Cultural Resources Office, replied saying INDOT assumes ownership of the
bridge, that it has a certificate of approval to demolish the bridge, and has
begun coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers concerning Section 106
requirements. He also clarified a process for a non-government entity such as
the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge to take ownership.
wrote, “INDOT can only transfer ownership of the bridge to a local government
authority. If a government authority agreed to accept the bridge, INDOT would
provide an amount approximate to the cost of demolition.” The last demolition
estimate the Friends have seen was $200,000 but that was a few years ago and
costs may have risen.
The government authority serving as a pass-through agency would transfer
the bridge and funds to the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge who would then be the
owners and responsible for insuring the bridge, setting aside funds to demolish
it (should the worse happen), and budgeting and planning refurbishment and
conversion of the bridge into a public park.
The process of refurbishing Cedar Grove Bridge could begin next spring.
The deadline INDOT has set for the Friends to find a pass-through agency is
March 1, 2015. Indiana bridge restoration expert Ross Brown said recently he
could be ready shortly after that date to begin the work if the Friends become
Mr. Brown has visited the bridge with the Friends and Professor James
Cooper. He has also consulted with J.A. Barker, the engineer who inspected
Cedar Grove Bridge in August 2011 and outlined preservation strategies in a
report commissioned by the Friends and produced through the offices of Indiana
Landmarks. The Friends and Mr. Brown
have agreed in general on the amount of work that can be done to
refurbish the Bridge within the Friends initial budget.
Mr. Barker reported: “Most of
the structure is in acceptable condition. There is much that is enduring and
performing well. Most of the steel trusses are in good condition. The
floorbeams, though rusted around their upper flange, retain more than enough
strength to support pedestrian loading.
“The south abutment is in
good condition. The pier is in fair to good condition, with almost
imperceptible lean and a foundation protected by sheet piling driven deep below
the riverbed. The north abutment is in fair condition, with a solid centerwall
that supports the north truss, but with cracks and movement evident in both
Shoring up these weaknesses has
been discussed in detail and will be among the first things done, should the
Friends take ownership, as will removing any dangling steel.
Regarding Ross Brown’s
ability to do the work as stipulated, he is currently constructing
Freedom Bridge, a 300-foot single span over a four-lane highway in Dephi,
Indiana. At the same time he is hoping to save an 1871 iron truss bridge in
Pennsylvania from demolition. He said they are trying to use barges that he
will have to build to float the bridge out. The project may take him all
winter, but he will be ready to start on the Cedar Grove Bridge “soon after”
tell you this so you will know and be assured, the Friends of Cedar Grove
Bridge are ready to take ownership of the bridge in a responsible and
thoughtful way. Given the opportunity, we will create a pretty little bridge
park that will be looked on as another Whitewater Valley treasure for
generations to come.
June Moon Metamora
July 1-7, 2014
you can imagine, this is Big Bang Week. A quick look at the calendar reveals
there will be fireworks all over the Whitewater Valley on both July 4th
and 5th. The reason is a bit obscure but has something to do with
revolutionary tactics taken over 230 years ago.
(Who says we don’t have long memories here in the Valley?)
still think the best way to see fireworks is from above and the closest we can
get to that (at least in this physical form) is either in Richmond or Aurora.
Richmond’s big bang op is at the Gaar Farm pleasantly located above Glen Miller
Park where the city’s fireworks is held each year. Throw in the Richmond
Community Orchestra and friends, plus the opportunity to wander over Gaar House
and the Farm Museum and you’ve got a great deal for $10.
downtown Aurora the fireworks can be witnessed at ground level or, starting
this year, you can watch from the Veraestau Historic Home above the city of
spires. Besides being the home of history, Veraestau is also the residence of
Indiana Landmarks and those good folks are opening the house for something
called Hillforest’s Best of the Bayou.
The idea here is to feed you Cajun and Louisiana cuisine with some fine
wine and beer while you mingle in preparation for the fireworks. The cost is
$50 to non-Indiana Landmarks members,
$45 otherwise, and the money raised will go towards the costs of
maintaining Hillforest mansion.
For fireworks fanatics this is a great year because of this two-day 4th
celebration. Without traveling too far, you should be able to get two fireworks
in this year. Again, consult our calendar for the details.
this is 4th of July week, most music is going on at those many
fireworks celebrations. The popular group Stagger Lee will be playing from 8 to
10 at the Metamora Volunteer Fireman’s Festival and the Metamora group the
Local Legends will be playing along the canal earlier in the day.
other words, come to Metamora to hear music on the 4th of July which
is actually the 5th of July in Metamora just because it’s Metamora
and we do things differently here (or is that ‘hear’?).
also noticed the Sherman House has rekindled their open mike night. This
happens Wednesday from 6 to 10 pm at the Batesville establishment.
Thursday, Oxford Music Festival features Smokestack Lighting from 7 to 9:30 pm,
but it looks like Music By the River in Lawrenceburg, another summer Thursday
event, is taking a break this week. At least we couldn’t find any mention of it
in our usual digital haunts.
Wine not crow
Ridge Winery’s tasting room is featured in the latest issue of
Honest-To-Goodness Indiana. The winery is located on SR 56 four miles east of
Vevay in Switzerland County. The attraction there is sitting on the back deck
sipping either Black Jack or their Country White while you watch the Mighty
Ohio flowing below the hills of Kentucky.
the front page of the issue it says, “The commercial wine industry in the US
began in Switzerland County.” If that’s the truth, shouldn’t we crow about it?
I mean, we as Hoosiers. We need more things to brag about and that’s not a
little thing. That’s a big thing, or could be.
Update: Cedar Grove Bridge
We’re down to a wing a prayer to save the Cedar Grove Bridge. We need to
prove we have community support and that means we, like Uncle Sam in a long
white beard, need you! Here’s the plan: Write a check to the Friends of Cedar
Grove Bridge for $10 with a short note saying in your own words ‘I want to help
save Cedar Grove Bridge’ and send it to the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge, PO
Box 25, Metamora, In 47030. (This is also the address of the Whitewater Valley
Your check will be deposited in a new business account at FCN Bank. At
the same time we are creating a not-for-profit corporation in the State of
Indiana, but we are not going to go for Federal non-for-profit status at this
time. We will do this later should our efforts succeed.
can no longer offer you tax exemption with your donation. The new Board of
Directors of Whitewater Canal Trail, Inc. decided in April to sever their
relations with the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge. This happened a few days
after representatives of both groups met to discuss how they could continue to
you can imagine, we were blindsided. WCT, Inc. also decided to send back any
monies the Friends had raised and were keeping in a special fund in WCT’s
account. Per the Friends admonitions this action has been temporarily averted.
we lost our friends and supporters at WCT at the same time we read the news
that INDOT has all the Indiana permits it needs and plans to go ahead with
demolition early next year, like six to eight months from now.
Hope is dwindling, but is not expired. The people of Graf Road on the
other side of the river from the town of Cedar Grove who are also Friends of
Cedar Grove Bridge are hoping to make the bridge a vital part of the Franklin
County Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Support from you en masse would go a long way in swaying the authorities
in our direction. The monies raised will be used for bridge related support.
Should the project fail, remaining monies would be used to support another
bridge building or restoration project.
our meeting last Tuesday the Friends decided not to go gentle into that good
night. We will rage against the dying of the light and the way we’ll do that
raging is, first of all, to make our presence known at the Franklin County Fair
(July 14-20) with a table and lots of information about why having a bridge is
better than not having a bridge in Cedar Grove.
are planning to hold a kids paint-the-bridge contest where the best rendition
of the bridge will win a cash prize of $75, second place $50, third place $25.
The judging will be done by people
who attend our second ‘raging’ which is a 100th Birthday Party for
the Bridge. We are working on the details as you read this, but expect it to be
on a Saturday in September, probably the 13th or the 27th.
We’ll let you know as the time approaches.
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
why spend time on Saturday morning at the farmers market when you can buy
vegetables at any number of places?
Oxford Farmers Market shoppers like Fauzia say, “The value of the market
is that everything is at its highest possible quality! The truth is that
there's all sorts of laws dealing with the distribution of food but you cannot
legislate morality. Everyone here has their morals right!”
Spice up your summer wardrobe with the fabulously floral,
visit Lucy Locket’s Pockets at Oxford Farmers Market this Saturday.
June 24-30, 2014
Bluegrass Festival-Wounded Warrior at the Gateway Park
The Whitewater Canal Byway
Association is partnering with the Wounded Warrior Project this year to create
a Red, White and Bluegrass festival at the Gateway Park in Metamora, this
Wednesday through Saturday.
“Not only will we have four great days filled with music, fun, camping
and food but we will also honor those who have given so much to defend this
great country we live in and a portion of the proceeds will go to support the
Wounded Warrior Fund,” says WCBA President Candy Yucak of this fourth Gateway
The festival starts on Wednesday at five with a free pot-luck dinner and
ends on Saturday with fireworks. Included in the four days will be
workshops, food & vendors, a silent auction and many great regional bands.
Vital music acoustic and otherwise
Did you catch Lisa Biales on PBS’ Woodsongs, Old-Time Radio Hour a few
weeks back? MC Michael Johnathon said they were ‘celebrating the blues on this
show,’ and the first featured act was Lisa Biales (rimes with Vitalis). She
will be making a couple of appearances in the Whitewater Valley in the next
couple of weeks so pay attention.
One thing came pretty clear at the outcome of her first set on the
Woodsongs blues show was that she should put out a CD of American Jazz
Standards. She was weaned on it. Her mother used to listen to Ella Fitzgerald
and Edie Gorme and sang in that venue.
Her father was a bass player in a Dixieland band and she fronted the
band when she was 16. MC MJ asked her to sing the first song she did for her
dad. It was ‘All of Me’ and when she was done with her extemporaneous,
unrehearsed, a capella version the crowd went from polite applause to loud
cheers. The respect that came from them was reflected in the eyes and body
language of Michael Johnathon as well.
The thing is blues is easy to sing, those standards aren’t. They
separate the slammers from the shimmerers. You could say Lisa, besides being a
Biales, is a shimmerer. Folk singer Johnathon said her voice has “a magnificent
you want to experience just what that magnificent snap might actually sound
like in person, over a drink or so, get yourself and your select friends to
O’Pub in Oxford this Thursday. We’ve heard from a reliable source that Jay
Jesse Johnson will be doing an acoustic set with Lisa Biales at the
aforementioned establishment from 8 until 11.
Then on July 10th, Lisa will be playing Oxford’s Summer Music
Festival with her Belle of the Blues Band. We’ll remind you about that when the
Jay Jesse Johnson, himself, and with his band have a busy week in front
of them. Thursday it’s J3 and Lisa B at O’Pub, Friday and Saturday
nights the Jay Jesse Johnson Band will be on the prowl. Friday night they close
out the first night of Canoefest in Brookville and on Saturday they will be
playing a familiar gig for them, Firehouse BBQ and Blues in Richmond.
The best dang bang!
The deadline for tickets to the best July 4th fireworks seat
in the Whitewater Valley is this Friday, June 27th. July 4th
at the Gaar Farm features not only a great view of the fireworks from Glen
Miller Park but music and the chance to ramble through an elegant old mansion.
The music will be provided by the Richmond Community Orchestra, the
Eaton Area Community Chorus and special guests Donna Geddes and Ryan
Wotherspoon. The house, of course, is the Gaar mansion. See the calendar for
Connersville needs a highway to somewhere
Connersville needs a new lease on life or maybe that’s a lifeline. Lew
Johnson, one of the many volunteers who put on the five-day soapbox derby in
Connersville last week, believes that lifeline is a four lane highway north all
the way to I-70. We at the Whitewater Valley Guide unanimously agree.
Connersville is a job generator and for us in Franklin and Union
Counties it is our job generator. Let’s face it, we are mostly two-lane locked
and this is a superhighway world. (‘Two-lane locked in a superhighway world’ is
also the name of a new song I’m working on, but that’s beside the point.)
I-74 touches Franklin County for a short distance in Batesville. There’s
a stretch of four-lane suburbia from the freeway north about half a mile, but
beyond that I can’t think of another four-lane in the county. Union County
doesn’t even have that half a mile, if memory and 12 years of local exploring
Yet how many Union County and Franklin County Ford & Visteon
employees were there? Enough to cause both counties local economies to go into
a slump they have yet to recover from when the plant ultimately shut down.
course, the same is true of Fayette/Connersville, but Connersville has lost so
much more than simply the Ford plant. Connersville made the most beautiful and
luxurious automobiles in the world in the 1930s. That entire industry is gone.
One of the reasons must have to do with location, not the beauty of the
location for Connersville is in the Whitewater Valley, but location, location,
Consider the first location, locomotion. Connersville has and had that.
Consider the second, good highways. When in those same 1930s the
national highway system was devised Connersville was left off the map, so to
speak. Cambridge City has US 40, Brookville has US 52, but Connersville has no
US’s only SR’s and that made a big difference because Eisenhower’s superhighway
interstate system which we have today was formulated over the most useful of
those old US two-lane highways. Route 66 (US 66) was effectively obliterated by
Interstate 40 (and the song went out of many hearts).
Location three is air travel. As Mr. Johnson pointed out, Mettel Field
is something to be proud of. I’m pretty sure it can handle a greater capacity
of air cargo traffic than it sees in any given month or year. (Maybe an
economic development question for Connersville to ponder is, what is the role
of a good airport in a post-Post Office world?)
But whatever the answer, Connersville does seem to have two of the
locations, air and rail, and this go-fast four-lane from Connersville to the
nearest freeway would go a long way towards curing its weakest link as a
location desirable to industry again.
Instead of thinking only of bringing great roiling industry to their
respective counties where there is far less infrastructure, we suggest Franklin
and Union County economic development people support Connersville which has the
instrastructure, has the capacity, has the will, the need and the history.
Bring jobs to Connersville and you bring employment to Franklin and
Union County citizens as well. In this part of the Whitewater Valley,
Connersville is our job generator. With this four-lane fast-way to I-70, jobs
will come to Connersville and we’ll all rise with the tidings.
Gary August Schlueter
Blue Caboose playing Strawberry Days last Saturday
June 10-16, 2014
getting into the sweetheart part of the can-you-believe-it’s-not-summer
schedule, and there’s more great things to do than time to do them. Not only is
the Richmond Shakespeare Festival still going strong, this is the weekend of
the Hueston Woods Arts and Crafts Fair.
rained last year on Hueston Woods and what was good for the trees, was not so
good for potential patrons. So this year we suspect there will be a 24-month
build up of desire to mingle among the arts and craft crowd in that beautiful
Sunman Fireman’s Festival brings Sunman Community Park alive this
Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Where would the Whitewater Valley be without
firemen and their festivals? Each week it seems one or two dot the calendar
like quick blooming flowers only the locals know the real value of.
The Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds will be used for what they were meant to be
used for starting Monday, June 16th. That would be the Dearborn
County 4-H & Community Fair. This is the first state fair of the Whitewater
Valley state fair season. A quick look up the pike and we see coming Wayne
County 4-H Fair, June 21-28; Franklin County 4-H Fair, July 12-19; Union County
4-H Fair, July 19-24; Ripley County 4-H Fair, July 20-26; Butler County Fair,
July 20-26; Preble County Fair, July 26-August 2; Fayette County Free Fair,
July 27-August 3.
Second Friday fearless
Keeley Moloney reminds us that Oxford Community Arts Center is hosting
Second Friday this week from 6 to 9 pm. “We're
really excited about the variety of arts entertainment and history we'll be
showing on June 13th,” Keeley wrote.
Undaunted by superstition or fear (but not necessarily both) a
retrospective of the Oxford String Quartet will be featured, along with music
my Doug Hamilton’s Wingwalkers starting at eight.
Cache a falling Geo
Geocaching is not as old as Morrisson-Reeves Library—not by a long
shot—but it is featured in and around the venerable library this Saturday in a
high-tech treasure hunt.
Jenie Lahmann invites you to an introduction to the basics of
geocaching. All you have to bring is a smart phone and your otherwise unlimited
abilities. You will practice what you’ve learned on the library grounds where
caches are squirreled cleverly away beyond the reach of even the Dewey Decimal
you’re feeling frisky Saturday, you might consider Discovering Geocaching at
9:30 am. Then at noon you’d want to be in the Gorge to catch the special
performance of the Richmond Community Orchestra. At two pm ‘Romeo and Juliet’
begins in that Globe of the Whitewater Valley, the Starr-Gennett Piano Factory
Music in Situ Saturday
wrote about this last year and are happy to do it again. “For the fourth consecutive
summer, historic and interesting architectural sites will resonate across
Indiana with choral music during a project called ‘Musica in Situâ’” which the
organizers call ‘Music on Location’.
“The event is designed to open the doors to the community and celebrate
some hidden treasures,” the organizers tell us.
Led by Dr. Andrew Crow, an intergenerational choir from the Muncie area
will bring a program of music specifically chosen to highlight the acoustical
and visual properties of each concert venue. Those who attend the free
family-friendly performance can expect to hear a variety of choral music, learn
a bit about the history of the church, and even participate in communal
singing. The ‘situ’ in this case is Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church on North
A in Richmond. The time is 7 pm Saturday.
wonder if something like this wouldn’t work as a balm for those Catholic
worshipers in any of the 27 churches and communities in the Batesville Deanery
affected by the closings ordered by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis last year?
wonder if a choral of voices sung in intergenerational joy could resonate so
deep to sooth the sores. It would certainly be worth a try.
Music in different Situ
Last Thursday, Robin Lacy and DeZydeco played the opening of this year’s
Oxford Summer Music Festival and this Thursday they are the second act featured
at Music on the River in Lawrenceburg.
Since Robin has laced them together so closely, it’s only right to say
these are the kinds of festivals, these weekly free performances in Oxford and
Lawrenceburg, that make the summer great. They turn a mere destination into a
destination with a reward. They invite you to come to their towns and explore
them anew, and, they seem to say, ‘For this we will give you good music.’
Heads Up! Batesville
Batesville’s Music and Arts Festival is next weekend. It’s the 41st
version so you know they must be doing something right. Actually, they are
doing something better this year. They are rolling out a ton of stuff from the
16th annual Rural Alliance for the Arts Community Art Show, to
professional music by the Celtic group Mother Grove, to wanna be professionals
playing their best for recognition and reward in WRBI’s The Country Showdown.
WRBI general manager Ronald Green observes, “The Showdown is a great
place to get discovered in the country music business."
Even with this one-week-early alert you are still too late to
participate in either the Art Show or the Showdown. Entry deadlines for both
have passed. But you can participate by seeing and hearing the work of those
who beat you to the draw.
The 41st Batesville Music and Arts Festival is slated for June
June 3-9, 2014
Metamora Sunday: Comedy, songs and strawberries
The street musicians were in Metamora for no particular reason at all
last Sunday except maybe as preparation for the 28th annual
Strawberry Days this Sunday. There will be live music throughout the day and
strawberry deserts on the lawn of the Banes House.
The Banes is on Main, so if you’re poetic you’ll be able to find it
easy, just don’t go looking for it in the rains of Spain.
Besides music and strawberries, the Cat & the Fiddle will be
rounding out a Metamora Sunday with comedy. Dwight Simmons will be featured
along with Stephen Vincent Giles and Rick Garrett in two shows, one at 4 pm and
one at six. It’s a small room and reservations are your only guarantee of a
seat. As usual, see the Calendar listing for more details.
Two dance at Civic Hall
the next two weeks folks in Richmond can do a little comparing of their
favorite local dancers and dance companies. The Next Step Dance is having two
recitals this Friday, a matinee, so to speak, from 5 to 6 pm and another
performance at 7:30.
Dance Techniques Recital is next Friday, which also happens to be the 13th,
at 7 pm with a Saturday matinee at 2 pm. With actors before a show you wish
them, “Break a leg!” With dancers on Friday the 13th, not so much.
Both dance recitals will be performed on the big stage at Richmond’s
Civic Hall Performing Arts Center, thus living up to its full name.
Much ado about Shakespeare
Ka-thump! The second shoe falls. The first shoe was April 23 when
Shakespeare’s birthday party was held in the Starr-Gennett Building in
Whitewater Gorge Park.
was it the weekend of April 4th and 5th when ‘Hamlet’ and
‘Spamalot’ and ‘Rosencranz and Guilderstern Are Dead’ were performed sometimes
simultaneously causing near collisions among theatre lovers in Richmond running
between Murray Theatre and Goddard Auditorium. The fanatic Shakespeare lover
probably could have attended all of the performances on one weekend, but not easily.
Anyway, here’s the next star in that bracelet:
Indiana’s Richmond Shakespeare Festival is producing in repertory ‘Much
Ado About Nothing’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in Richmond’s Starr-Gennett piano
Celebrate the Bard’s birthday in April and his works in June, good plan.
June is a time for festivals and for this weekend I would suspect Whitewater
Valley Gorge Park will more resemble Camelot than Indiana.
“Professionally directed, designed, and managed, these performances are
intended to be fresh, accessible, and relevant,” so sayeth the producers, who
bow generously to Richmond Parks and Rec Department for their support.
The Starr-Gennett building becomes a 250-seat theatre and from June 6th
through the 15th the surrounding park is converted into a festival
area with performers, art displays, vendors and other events and activities.
Come and be one of the other events. Come in costume and be an activity. The
festival is free and theatre admission depends on where you sit (and how you
Wildlife viewing without moving (much)
you want to while away some time getting to know some of the wild creatures of
the Whitewater Valley and you want to remain where you are (presumably in front
of your computer), we suggest you do a Google search for ‘Paul Baudendistel
There you will find the most amazing night videos of local creatures
like fox, squirrel, deer, coyote and even mink. The mink is still a bit of a
mystery but is an educated guess based on the way the tail moves. You’ll also
see color still shots of the eagles nesting near Brookville Beach on Levee Road
and a Great Blue Heron trout fishing, catching and swallowing.
The site is worth seeing and it is worth studying. It justifies in
detail why the Gateway Park was named a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Of roses and blooming balloons
What we hope will be the first of many Bloom and Glows happens this
Wednesday at the Richmond Rose Garden in Glen Miller Park on East Main. Bloom
and Glow will be raising money for Richmond Rose Garden by raising hot air
is there the colorful ceremony of filling those big balloons—the high-output
burners flaming liquid propane into a hot gas that slowly brings the balloon to
life exposing its unique artwork and gentle temperament—it will happen as the
sunlight dwindles thus providing the glow.
While you’re in Glen Miller Park, imagine the other Glen Miller, the
bandleader, leading his orchestra through a slightly revised version of ‘Moon Glow’
It must have been moon glow
Way up in the blue
Or could it be Bloom and Glow
That led me straight to you
Muzzleloaders and Music
Did you know there’s a Southeastern Indiana Musicians Hall of Fame?
There is and it’s at 331 Walnut Street in Lawrenceburg. But what does that have
to do with muzzleloaders? you might legitimately ask.
musician being nominated for SIM Hall of Fameliness is John Race. His
nomination says when he was five 1948 he went with his family to hear music in
Friendship either at the “firehouse or Muzzleloaders building.” So there’s the
bridge between the two and the next question is: How long has Friendship been
Friendship, the same one we know right today with muzzleloaders and music?
you really need to know, next week (June 14-22) starting at 9 am, 500 vendors
will swarm into Friendship to create a googoo gala of “selling a wide variety
of new, used, antiques and collectibles. Trolley rides, country music and lots
of specialty foods.” One of them has the answer and it’s your job to find it. Let
us know how that works, btw.
During those same dates the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s
Spring National Shoot is featured in the tiny town that lives to grow
grotesquely large on special weeks like this one coming up. There will be
pre-1840s encampments along with period crafts and youth activities.
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
From her website: “To those who might be new to us, Mary's Plant Farm is
not a garden center, it is a small farm, where the plants are field grown. Our
perennial plant list is extensive including many shade and native varieties.
Also many varieties of flowering shrubs and understory trees, plus unusual and
hard to find flowering shade trees.
“For over 60 years, I have been growing the ordinary and unusual in
plants. Some of which were handed down from my parents’ garden and are not
readily available. If you do not see it listed or are having difficulty finding
a specific variety, let us know. It might be available but not in enough
quantity to list.”
you go to www.marysplantfarm.com and click on Newsletters 2013
Fall you’ll find some very useful information on planting plants that like the
—Next Monday, the Spring Edition of Eating Seasonally will
take place at Michaela Farm in Oldenburg. Come learn how to prepare garden
fresh recipes with spring vegetables and sample dishes with unique flavors.
Learn how to better utilize Indiana’s harvest as each season offers distinctive
tastes. We will tour Michaela Farm’s gardens, and learn a few gardening tips.
Possible recipes include: Radish, Kohlrabi, Pak Choy, and Swiss Chard.
—West College Corner Farmers Market opens this Saturday from
9 am to noon. The market is at 403 Liberty Avenue in West College Corner,
Gary August Schlueter
Farmers Markets in the Whitewater Valley
Richmond Farmers Market
7th Street across from M-R Library
Lawrenceburg Farmers Market
Thursdays 4-7 pm
29 E. High Street
Brookville Farmers Market
3:30-7 pm through October
First and Main Street
Bright Farmers Market
Fridays, 3-6 pm
Providence Presbyterian parking lot
23983 Salt Fork Road
Union County Farmers Market
Friday's 4pm to 8pm
26 West Union Street
(on the Courthouse Lawn)
Last Market October 3rd
Oxford Farmers Market Uptown
West College Corner Farmers market
Free, 9 am-Noon
403 Liberty Avenue
West College Corner, In
Until September 27th
Fayette County Farmers Market
Old Kmart parking lot
N. Park Avenue-SR 1
Batesville Farmers Market
Lawrenceburg Farmers Market
Saturdays 9 am–1 pm
29 E. High Street
Richmond Farmers Market
7 am- Noon
7th Street across from M-R Library
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
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.
Kinda wish it was
the real thing
not this 62
blue as it can be
with sunshine and
and barren trees
but flower blooming
tapped into some
where we all come
Yeah, I wish.
Gary August Schlueter
Taking in the view
Whistle Pig Willy sits on a brick
Gary Schlueter picture
May 13-19, 2014
To Create and Connect
Matt McKimmy reminds us Friday is Bike to Work Day in Richmond. A group
of volunteers known as Bike Richmond is the instigator of this healthy reminder
of how we can do something positive for ourselves and our environment all in
one fell swoop, so to speak. Though, come to think of it, bicycling is a many
And of course, bicycling to work or anywhere else is a fine thing to do
anytime the weather’s right. Also Bike to Work serves as a bugle call to those
of us who have yet to pump up the tires on our otherwise garaged bike. Let’s
that end, we need A Cyclist’s View. The name comes from a feature we saw in the
digital version of the Caribbean Journal which used it as the name of an
opinion column, sort of the thoughts of the writer as he rode his bike. But I’m
thinking A Cyclist’s View could become a regular part of the Whitewater Valley
could be a section on bicycling in the Valley. Its goal would be to create
regionally designated bike trails throughout the Valley and connect them to the
transnational trails already in place.
Anyone interested in digitally discussing this, email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject:
To Create and Connect: ‘A Cyclist’s View’
Making waves of nightlife
Metamora is having one of its up weekends. Up weekends are when
entertainment and nightlife come to the old canal town. Dayton
singer/songwriter Kevin Milner is featured at the Metamora Music Café, a new
venue happily enscounced in the Methodist Church basement on Wynn Street.
Then on Saturday, Divinity Rose from Louisville headlines an all female
comedy show at The Cat and the Fiddle. CoLee Davis and Janette Perez of
Indianapolis are also on the bill. All this high powered female funny business
is being packed into two shows one at 6:30, one at 8:30 and twelve bucks
includes your Catrina Campbell-cooked dinner.
Show & Tell, Swap & Sell
Show & Tell at the Model T Museum on North Street in Richmond might
be an interesting way to spend part of Saturday. It’s an all day event and this
is their second annual show otherwise we wouldn’t mention it.
Here’s their note to those in the know: “Remember the excitement we
shared at the Centennial. We are rekindling the spirit and fun we had in
Richmond during that week with a one day Homecoming.”
This second year the event has grown to include a Model T Swap &
Sell. This is one way the casually interested public can get slightly more
involved and that’s called progress.
were told 1,500 cars loaded with well-heeled younger folks parked elsewhere and
were bussed, one school bus every 15 minutes, to Haspin Acres for the Spartan
event a few weeks back. The ‘elsewhere’ parking was in Metamora and the people
who came spent money all over the county, lots of it, on B&B’s,
restaurants, gas and things.
This is a significant growth from last year’s Spartan race which stayed
pretty much within the confines of Laurel, but was still an enormous success.
The group which put it on, a national organization which apparently runs these
things like clockwork, has already reserved this Metamora parking site for next
year and that spells OPPORTUNITY.
As the Everly Brothers never sang,
“Wake up Little Suzie. Spartacus is a’comin’.”
It’s too bad Andrew Sawyer’s program is only an hour long. His subject
dates back 12,000 years and then only terminates “with the arrival of the first
European explorers in the late 1600s.” Mr. Sawyer is the site manager and
anthropoligist at SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park in Dayton.
His subject on Saturday for the public and the loyal members of the Morgan
Township Historical Society is ‘The Archaeology of Ohio.’
And if Ohio had human culture dating back 12,000 years or so, you can
bet it was the same thing here in the Whitewater Valley because Ohio wasn’t
Ohio then and Indiana certainly wasn’t Indiana. Rivers would have played a far
more important part in an area’s definition than the name of a political
help complete your education about ancient Valley residents, Jack Blosser from
Fort Ancient Museum and Memorial presents the History of Fort Ancient on Thursday
at 7:30 for the Crosby Township Historical Society at the community center on
Willey Road. The public is invited to come and learn.
New ethic, new symbol
While writing a story about Governor Mike Pence creating the
Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area in Wayne, Union and Franklin counties, we
finally noticed the Indiana state seal which needs revamping as soon as
case, like me, you’ve looked at it for years yet haven’t really seen it, here’s
the basic concept, chop down trees and chase away wildlife. There actually is a
guy chopping down a virgin tree while a buffalo, its head down, runs scared for
parts unknown, aka, Illinois (which we all know is positively unknowable).
Indiana DNR Director Cameron Clark said, this effort, the creation of a $30
million pool of money applied directly towards creating land conservation
areas, is “truly transforming the conservation ethic in Indiana.” We need a
state symbol that reflects that ethic.
The present Indiana State logo lacks imagination, is not timely and is
counterproductive to the governor’s best efforts. We at the Whitewater Valley
Guide say, ‘Scrap that sucker!’
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
Both Brookville Farmers Market and Bright Farmers Market open this
Friday, May 16th.
Brookville starts at 3:30 and is open until 7 pm. As of last season, it
is finally located where it always should have been, on 1st and
Open from 3-6 pm, Bright Farmers Market is located in the Providence
Presbyterian Church parking lot on Salt Creek Road. From the pictures, this is
a picturesque site and handy to town shopping as well.
also received a report from the manager of the Richmond Winter Farmers Market
this week. Matt McKimmy wrote, “I appreciate your promoting the Richmond Winter
Farmers Market this season! We had an excellent turn out all winter long, even
in the midst of some pretty snowy Saturdays. The Winter Market will resume on
November 8th, so mark your calendar now! :-)”
Richmond’s Summer Farmers Market has been on-going since May 3rd.
It’s located in the parking lot on 7th Street across from
Richmond Farmers Market
7th Street across from M-R Library
Lawrenceburg Farmers Market
Thursdays 4-7 pm
29 E. High Street
Brookville Farmers Market
3:30-7 pm through October
First and Main Street
Bright Farmers Market
Fridays, 3-6 pm
Providence Presbyterian parking lot
23983 Salt Fork Road
Oxford Farmers Market Uptown
Fayette County Farmers Market
Old Kmart parking lot
N. Park Avenue-SR 1
Batesville Farmers Market
Lawrenceburg Farmers Market
Saturdays 9 am–1 pm
29 E. High Street
Richmond Farmers Market
7 am- Noon
7th Street across from M-R Library
Spotlight: Farmers Markets 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.
Goat love and dependence
May 6-12, 2014
Lend Me a Tenor
Richmond Community Theatre is closing out its season, make that,
“incredible” season with hilarity in the form of Broadway and London sensation
‘Lend Me a Tenor.’
This “madcap, screwball comedy” starts off with a joke in its title.
Lend me a tenner being the other meaning that makes the first humorous, at
least for those who have a propensity for that sort of thing. Humor, that is,
not lending ten dollar bills.
Imagine it’s September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the
Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Morelli,
the greatest tenor of his generation, who is to appear for one night only as
The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is believed
to be dead. A frantic attempt to salvage the evening produces two Othellos
running around in costume and two women running around in lingerie.
‘Lend Me a Tenor’ directed by Ken Ludwig will run for two weekends.
Short deadline for art
call for art is coming out of Preble County. Artists have Thursday and Friday
between 1 and 7 pm to drop off up to five entries at the Preble County Art
Center on Schwartzel Road. It’s a juried show so there’s no guarantee yours
will be hung, but if it is and it sells, there is a 30 percent house
commission. Entry forms can be downloaded from their website or call 937
National Train Day: Book sales and Lincoln log-in
The Whitewater Valley is one of the few places in Indiana that actually
celebrates National Train Day. Each year more elements are added to the
Connersville to Metamora celebration. That should give you a clue that we’re
talking about the Whitewater Valley Railroad. And this year one of the added
elements is a book about our familiar excursion train.
The authors of the book Whitewater Valley Railroad, Francis
Parker and Judy Clem, will be sitting at a wide desk behind piles of new books
in Connersville’s Grand Central Station hopefully signing away from 10 am until
Noon when they along with all these new book owners will climb aboard the
Valley Flyer and fly down the valley in the presence of Dean Dorrell as Mr.
National Train Day falls on the Saturday before Mothers Day. This year
it is May 10th, a day made famous in 1869 when the ‘Golden Spike’
was driven into the final rail at Promotontory Summit, Utah, thus creating the
transcontinental railroad. What was good for commerce and nation building was
not so good for the original human beings and the buffalo.
expect The Train Place in Metamora to be ready to receive visitors by National
Train Day. The new sign is up at the new location and the interior is slowly
taking shape. Regarding The
Train Place’s new sign, it is probably level, but the building it is on is
probably not. Maybe levelness like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though
I doubt an engineer would agree.
SPUR saves natural places
Oftentimes, when it’s successful, the work of local heroes gets folded
into our life-scape and becomes invisible. We are better for their work but,
more often than not, don’t even know they did it. Such is probably the case
with SPUR, the Society for Preservation and Use of Resources and the natural
beautification of Richmond.
Founded in 1966, way before the word (and concept) environmentalism
became part of our collective responsibility (and guilt), SPUR was created in
response to the City of Richmond Master Plan of the day which did not include
much interest in preserving natural areas.
the early days SPUR concentrated on the Whitewater River Gorge in Richmond. The
result of that is the Whitewater Gorge Park and Trail System which preserves
the beauty of the Gorge for today and future generations.
SPUR has a long, proud history including hosting the Trail Summit two
years ago which brought together regional trail volunteers and professionals
who in some cases did not even know their counterparts existed until the Trail
Naturally, being pro-active our-very-own-self, we expect you might want
to become SPURred on so here’s how you can get involved with this worthy group.
Tuesday, May 20th SPUR will be holding its annual meeting in the
Richmond Municipal Building’s Community Room. A potluck dinner starts at 6 pm
with board business to follow. But the star of the evening is Trudy E. Bell, an
author, scientist and cyclist, who will be speaking on “Extreme Weather and
Today’s Engineered Infrastructure: Lessons from the Great Easter 1913 Flood.”
Because of limited space, we are asked to RSVP by Monday, May 19th
or 765 935-5096.
Local music scene
like it weird, sometimes. So here’s one for that bag. Amelia Robinson writes in
the Dayton Daily News that three groups are threatening each other over who has
the right to create a funk museum in Dayton. Apparently, Dayton has been dubbed
the “Land of Funk” because of groups like the Ohio Players who contributed to
the funk sound in the 70s and 80s.
“The founders of the Dayton Funk Dynasty Group, The Dayton Land of Funk
Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Funk Hall of Fame Museum — all registered with
the state — have threatened each other or been threatened with lawsuits since
late 2012,” Ms Robinson wrote.
And poor Wright State, which has been gathering funkadelia (like
forever), wants to work with whomsoever comes out on top. So it looks like
Dayton is going to get a museum of funk music, but who plays the lead is still
in the tuning-up stage.
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
This is the tenth year for Oxford Farmers Market Uptown and Market
Manager Larry Slocum believes the reason for its continued success is “the fact
our Market Council continues to live by our original Mission: To provide fresh
and local farm items, strengthen the relationship between farmers and
consumers, and support small farms by providing an outlet for farm products.”
The theme for this year’s market is: “Your economy starts with food…know
— Michaela Farm is hosting a volunteer work day on Saturday,
May 17. “You'd find these luscious grounds filled with the buzz of activity as
we harvest asparagus and spinach (in our farm store), put out even more
transplants for your garden (for sale right outside of the barn) and keep on
our planting frenzy,” head gardener Rebekah Miller wrote recently.
The Oldenburg offshoot of the Sisters of St. Francis is truly a growing
enterprise, pun definitely intended. They’ve added seasonal gardener Beth
Carlson to the grounds.
It is also a place for your seasonal gardening. Presently
they have summer transplants of tomato, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers,
okra, herbs and 12 different types of flowers available for purchase.
Farm also sells fresh food and they do it all year long. Having to travel to
Oldenburg to enjoy this founding establishment is an added treat.
— Flashback from the Whitewater Valley Guide July 30, 2013: Eating foods fresh from the ground, bush or tree is good for you. It’s a simple fact. Every summer when the salad days come we are healthier than any other time of the year and the reason is enzymes.
In organic or healthy-grown raw food the enzymes have not been compromised. Cook ‘em and you lose ‘em. And enzymes are catalysts for chemical reactions in our cells. So if you really want to catalyze your cell reactions, you need fresh picked, raw food.
Ergo Farmers Markets.
— Here’s a list of Farmers Markets open this early 2014.
Brookville Farmers Market
3:30-7 pm through October
First and Main Street
Oxford Farmers Market Uptown
Fayette County Farmers Market
Old Kmart parking lot
N. Park Avenue-SR 1
Batesville Farmers Market
Spotlight: Farmers Markets 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.
For those of you so inclined,
Death might be a
Death might be a masterpiece
You can’t pull it or tug it
You gotta be ready
With your eyes open
But it can’t be hard
It should be smooth as a decision
I could to this or that but not both
or the many permeations between
fanning out from there
where thisness or not exists.
Dana Lentini, Born to Sing, voice recital Sunday
April 29, 2014
Give a little, sell a little
We’ve spotted another little trendlet, if that’s not redundant. A couple
of weeks ago the Guide’s calendar was overrun with people using wine in
creative and resourceful ways with art and otherwise, now see the emergence of
Customer Appreciation days that deserve to be capitalized for their scope,
length and the generous amount of freebies.
Warm Glow is putting up a Customer Appreciation Tent for ten hours of
sensory appreciation this Saturday including wine sippings and gourmet food
samplings, and, sing it with me, ‘One quarter off on the ca-a-an-dles.’
Warm Glow is in Centerville on North Centerville Road not far from Olive
Hill where the Craft Show is being held at the same time as all the Warm
Glowing. So it would be possible to carry the warm glow from one to the other,
or adversely to carry the olive branch walking the mile between them, and
of George’s Pharmacy are in for a “customer appreciation extravaganza” this
June 20th in Brookville. George Gillman, the George of George’s, was
granted permission by the town council to block off 5th Street
between Main and Progress Street in front of the movie theater which will
continue to be closed for renovations at the time.
The Council was told chicken dinners and beer will be served for free
along with live music and other festivities.
The Chocolate Garden of Earthly delights
With no Yellow Brick Road in sight we suggest you follow the Chocolate
Trail through the Richmond Rose garden Saturday from 1 to 3 pm and enjoy a
performance by the Richmond Symphony Brass at 2. Local chocolatiers will gather
in one place, offering free samples of numerous items, including Killer
Brownies, cake pops, and chocolate wine.
This is yet another collaboration and another free wining and dining,
this time with a sharp culinary edge, chocolate. I mean wouldn’t you? Walk the
Chocolate Trail, if you dare, this Saturday afternoon in the seasonally
blooming Glen Miller Park on East Main.
Pray for fine weather and rain on Mondays.
History old and new
far as we know there is no such thing as Prehistoric Preservation Month, but if
there was, this week would be a good time to begin. There’s more than one way
to get hands on with prehistory this week. First there’s the Richmond Fossil
Fest, a collaboration between Richmond Parks & Recreation, the Wayne County
Tourism Bureau and Earlham College’s Joseph Moore Museum.
Begin at 10 am Saturday in Richmond’s Springwood Park where we are
promised activities for all ages, including guided fossil hunts, fossil
identification and a fossil ride on the Cardinal Greenway. Along with your
helmut bring your stone-age bike, ala Barry Rubble. (FYI, a stone-age bike would
be like a 10-speed.)
Sunday in New Trenton, Indiana, the Whitewater Valley Archaeological Society is
holding its annual Indian Artifact Show. This year’s theme is Mississippian
triangle arrowheads. The Society is made up of amateur artifact hunters and
some of the collections are truly eye-opening. Some of the best artifacts in
the Mid-West will be on display and if you have any questions about your own
collection, this is the place to find the answers.
history with buildings, sidewalks, and no small amount of antique urban design
is more to your liking, Oxford Park Pavilion is the place to be come Saturday
morning. Beginning the first Saturday in May and continuing at the same time
for the next four Saturdays of May you may celebrate Historic Preservation
Month by taking a guided tour of Oxford.
The theme this walk is Fraternity History and Museums. It begins like
the others at 10:30 am. This is yet another collaboration, this time between
Smith History Library, McGuffey Museum and Oxford’s Historic &
Architectural Preservation Commission who remind us most walks include an
interior tour, so bring your inside voice.
Batesville new festival: Sawdust Days
Batesville Library’s After Hours Concert Series 2014 is going to be the
fireworks in a new spring festival called ‘Sawdust Days.’ Ah choo! Village
Square, probably along George Street, will be the site of the Sawdust Days
Festival on Friday from 11 am to 5. But the fireworks we mentioned will be
provided at seven by Planet D Nonet, a
hot 9-piece jazz, blues and swing group from Detroit.
They played Library After Hours last year and blew the audience away. If
confined again to the small performance room at the library the entire building
would probably be in jeopardy, at least the ceiling. These guys are that hot,
ergo a movement of venue. There will be plenty of room in the open air by
George for them to blast off, and the crowd can be as big as it wants to be.
hour before Planet D performs, Ertel Cellars Winery will be offering a wine
tasting with the ability to purchase by the glass if you’ve passed the minimum
of 21 years and have enough cash.
Why ‘Sawdust Days’ you might ask. It is a celebration of Batesville’s
history and heritage of woodcraftsmanship. And to see how that translates in
today’s language, woodcrafting vendors will be both demonstrating their craft
and selling the results. Sort of a Show ‘n’ Sell.
Sawdust Days will culminate on Sunday at 1 pm with a free vintage
baseball game at Liberty Park if the weather allows. After all where would the
baseball bat be without sawdust falling off it at some time.
Our friend Wormwood
This Sunday at 11 am near Eaton, Ohio the Herb Faire begins. It is
hosted by the Herb Society of the Preble County Historical Society, sort of a
society within a society. It will be held on the Swartsel Road grounds of PCHS.
Artemisia is the 2014 featured herb.
The Society within writes, “Cooks and gardeners alike will be interested
in trying new unique flavors and aromas to add a little spice and adventure to
recipes and flower beds.” Sweet Bay Laurel, Betony and Wormwood will be
available for those who want to think outside the kitchen herb box.
Lots to learn, lots to see, lots to sniff and you get to take home herb
plants ready to drop in the ground. “Visitors can sample a variety of tasty
herb dips and teas.” Buckeye Jacks will be catering for a Sunday afternoon on
The Foodies that bloom in the Spring, tra la
The Big Four Café is not usually open in the evenings but it will be
today, Tuesday, April 29th. The program tonight at the Big Four will
be Help Rebuild Your Local Food System, Meeting for Consumers. That’s a
mouthful and consequently, something to chew on.
Consumers who are looking for “healthy, nutritious, locally grown food”
are encouraged by Purdue Extension Service to attend. The goal is to improve
the process of how that food gets from the farms of those willing growers to
the palate of those equally willing consumers. It’s an experiment, so to speak,
and you could be one of the well-fed Guinea pigs (in a nice way). Purdue
Extension is hosting this year-long pilot program.
Editorial: One pig squeaks
present farmers market system is great, but it’s still in its pioneer stage.
Farmers Markets in the Whitewater Valley are pretty much outposts serving a
community who can conveniently drive to it. There needs to be more linkage
between farmers markets in Aurora, Batesville, Brookville, Liberty, Oxford,
Richmond and so on. Wherever there is a farmers market in the Valley it should
be linked to the others.
Eighty miles from top to bottom is Whitewater Valley local. (By the way,
local has to be one of those words that moves with the protagonist, in each
case the roving I.)
It seems to me if we want to
improve the process of how locally grown food gets from farm to palate, we need
to create such a linkage. Not just for the sake of saying they are linked, but
to share information weekly about mutual concerns and obstacles to fulfilling
the stated goal of such a linkage, i.e., improving the process from field to
Farmers Markets opening
the Whitewater Valley we are lucky to have at least two farmers markets open
all year long, the Winter Farmers Markets on 19th Street in Richmond
and Uptown Oxford.
Farmers Market Uptown had planned a more active schedule over this past winter
but the severity of it nipped that one in the bud. Oxford did keep to its
winter traditional third Saturday market, we are told.
Oxford Farmers Market Uptown celebrates 10 years of successful
operations this increasingly optimistic 2014. It is Uptown because there was
another farmers market in Oxford. It was called the Talawanda Farmers Market
but it only accepted producers who lived in the Talawanda School District,
according to The Miami Student, the oldest university newspaper in the United
States, according to the Miami Student. When this rule changed Talawanda
farmers merged with Uptown Oxford or, more formally, Oxford Farmers Market
Uptown. From the merger Uptown Market gained four produce vendors, three
farmers, one baker and four local honey vendors, the Student reported.
The Uptown Farmers Market is digitally wired to email@example.com
and on the web at www.oxfordfarmersmarket.com.
Market Manager Larry Slocum sends out a timely and helpful Market Minute
every Friday to those who ask nicely. In the ‘Fresh From the Farm’ section he
lists the vegetables, fruit, meat and other farm products available the next
day at the market.
the last one we received he showed a way to cut through the confusion of what
‘organic’ is by “simply walking up to your friendly farmer at our market. We
will be starting our 10th season on May 3rd in Uptown
its heyday the Greene Line once owned 26 boats which plied the Ohio,
Mississippi, Cumberland and other American rivers. When Pam Beneker of the
Franklin County Historical Society learned that Tom Greene and his family made
their home in Cedar Grove, just south of Brookville, she asked him to make a
presentation about his life aboard the Delta Queen.
The big fireplace dining room in the Hearthstone was filled with people
which surprised Tom’s wife Shirley. Over the winter Tom had some health
problems and Shirley was at the lectern helping him with the presentation.
The Delta Queen was built in Scotland in 1926, Tom said. She was then
shipped to Stockton, California where she and a sister ship, the Delta King
(yes, here is an example where a king and a queen are both ‘she’) carried
passengers and cargo along the Sacramento River.
1948 the Delta Queen was purchased for $46,000 by Tom’s father, Captain Tom
Greene. It was then shipped to Pittsburgh via the Panama Canal where it took
another million dollars to fit her out. She was home-ported in Cincinnati until
the town fathers decided to dedicate the waterfront to major league sports
stadia. To this day Shirley still bemoans that decision. The company was sold
The Delta Queen now resides at a permanent dock in Chattanooga,
Tennessee where it serves as a floating hotel.
Still residing near water, the Greene family live near Big Cedar Creek.
Tom keeps an art studio where he paints and does freelance art work, he said.
Voices of Spring
This seems to be arising a particularly singing Spring. Judging by this
week’s Guide calendar we’ve got five opportunities to hear the human voice at
its best, that is when joined together in a joyous noise. And just to prove
that it’s not all too ethereal, there’s even one choral competition, the ISSMA
Choral Competition at Civic Hall in Richmond this Friday.
Also on Friday starting at precisely the same time, 7:30, one at Goddard
Auditorium of Earlham College, the other at Kumler Chapel on Miami’s Oxford
campus, the Spring Choral Concert and the MU Collegiate Chorale alight.
The MU Chorale performs again on Saturday while on Sunday at St. Mary’s
Church the free Spring Concert Choir begins at seven.
Other things of spring this week include a ballet to Beatrix Potter’s
creations in Brookville, Beauty and the Beast in Harrison, and a carriage
parade up High Street, a red brick Oxford lane.
Happy birthday Willie!
We have been and will be witnessing a
renaissance of things Shakespearean in the upper Whitewater Valley for one good
reason, 2014 makes the Bard’s 450th birthday! which deserves the exclamation
mark Jenie attached to it when she sent out the flyer for the William
Shakespeare Film Festival. It begins at 6 pm on May 6 at Morrison-Reeves
Library in Richmond and is a five-part program carrying on through May 22.
Because of contractual complications they
can’t tell the names of the films but don’t be surprised if there are two
‘Romeo & Juliet’s’ to every one ‘Shakespeare in Love’.
The Bard birthday celebration this Wednesday
is at the Starr-Gennett Building in Richmond's Whitewater Gorge Park at noon.
Springing from the Bard’s birthday cake will be representatives of Richmond
Shakespeare Festival which is being cast for a really big event in June.
Representatives from RSF's production and
festival teams will be on hand to share news about what the Festival has in
store for its inaugural season. If you become inspired to take a more active
role, the production and festival teams will gladly find a place for you and
your specific talents.
New production, new venue needs actors
The Metamora Performing Arts Association is holding auditions for the
melodrama, Granny Smythe Goes to Washington or...She Was the Apple of His
Pie by Sue Rae.
Auditions will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the fellowship hall of
the Metamora United Methodist Church located on Wynn Street in Metamora. The dates for production are August 22,
23 and 24th at the stage on Lovers Lane in Metamora.
There are parts for seven women and five men and one child (may be male
or female). The play takes place
in 1885, during a boom time in North Bend, Washington Territory, in and around
the d'Pye Pie Shop.
Joanne Williams will be directing the show and she promises lots of fun
and pie for both the actors and the audience. If you have questions, contact her at 765-309-3709 or at
Arcadia book on Whitewater Valley Railroad
The Whitewater Valley can certainly be proud that we have an excursion
train to hop on anytime the mood to ride the rails strikes us, but I wonder how
many of us who live here have actually ridden the Whitewater Valley Railroad.
Any oversight on your part can’t be caused by not having enough
opportunities. Starting next week the new Connersville to Metamora season opens
and trains are regularly scheduled Fridays through Sundays.
This is an especially exciting time for the railroad with the recent
publication of an Arcadia Publishing book exclusively about them. It is in the
Images of Rail series entitled, cleverly enough, Whitewater Valley Railroad.
It was written by local authors Francis Parker and Judy Clem and “takes
readers on a ride through history” with more than 200 historic images donated
from members and volunteers. It focuses primarily on the efforts of dedicated
volunteers who for 40 years have worked to preserve, maintain, and operate this
All profits from the sale of the book are being donated back to the
Whitewater Valley Railroad where authors Francis H. Parker and Judy Clem are
qualified locomotive engineers and conductors. Both authors hope that this book
will encourage other tourist railroads or operational railroad museums to
publish their histories so that all of their hard work will not be lost or
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
“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
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.
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.
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
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.
(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!’
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
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’.
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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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 18-24, 2014
Dancing with Stars and wild, wild women
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.”
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
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.
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
Box Office and Spring duties
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
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
Jawbone & Beaver Stump
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
starts at four, so better hurry.
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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).
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.
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
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’.
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.”
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
‘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
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.
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
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
What more can a citizenry want?
Big Name of the Week
Suits by Armani
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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).
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
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
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.)
Tavern has been the scene of some great music over the years and this promises
to be one of those nights.
Local Music Scene
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 email@example.com to reserve.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.”
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
optimistic she is willing to show you her diary in a program she has devised
entitled: ‘Mixtape Confessions-The Diary of a Teenage Optimist.’
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 William and Dorothy Yeck Award winner, Robert
Anderson Kitchen, 2011
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 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.
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
Hours’ at 7 pm, hmmm?)
Hail to Morrisson-Reeves!
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
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
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 . . .’
Nest (in part)
By John Finley
Blest Indiana! in thy soil
Are found the sure rewards of
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
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
At first, round logs and clapboard
With puncheon floor, quite carpet
And paper windows, oiled and neat,
His edifice is then complete.
When four clay balls, in form of
Adorn his wooden chimney's summit.
Ensconced in this, let those who
Find out a truly happier man.
The little youngsters rise around
So numerous they quite astound
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."
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.
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
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
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
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
Having live music at the Hearthstone will add a lot to the Metamora
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
— 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
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
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.
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.
Genna & Jesse, Taffy’s says, “the outstanding duo from Richmond,
California” “captured our hearts.” Taffy’s named them Best New Artist of the
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
December 10-16, 2013
Centerville Christmas offerings
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
Unlike watching a Jane Austen movie alone or with unenlightened family
members, here you actually have the opportunity to interact with your fellow
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
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.
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
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
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 email@example.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.
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.”
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
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
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,”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
reflection of Mt. Metamora off the hood
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
In this is my
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
Everywhere there is
as it always has been
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
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
I ascribe infinite
my hand upon the plow
my heart to my
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Twice is not enough at Mousie’s.
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
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.
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
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.
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
(Thank you California wherever you are.)
Last patch of first snow, 1 pm, Nov. 12, 2013
Local Music Scene
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.
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.
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.
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
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
* 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Gary August Schlueter
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.
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
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.
here’s where fantasy kicks in. Sort of the curse of the fictitious mind.
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?
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
FDA’s public affairs for Indiana is Carol Gallagher. Here’s how to reach
Public Affairs Technician
(317) 226-6500 x 109
FAX (317) 226-6506
FDA – Indianapolis
101 W. Ohio St, Suite
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
that’s not culture, I don’t know what is.
Halloween season kick-off?
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
By the way, to receive a free copy of the Whitewater Valley Calendar of entertainment activities for the week, email email@example.com. Subject: Calendar
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
recommend you use your imagination first and only after all else fails, your
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.
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
* 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
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.
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
“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
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.
September 10-16, 2013
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
Local Music Scene
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).
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
* 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.”
sample in person the Sweet Honey in the Rock, call Earlham’s ticket office 765
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.
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
“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
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
“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.
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.