Category: Local

X Marks the Spot Along the Ohio River

The story of the Ohio River has never been straight and clear. Like the waterway itself, the history of the river meanders and rolls, falls and loops about again. This is a river alive with the spirit of Native Americans; moving with the enterprise of frontier families, yet still learning to balance the demands of commerce with the fragility of nature.

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Be forewarned – there is a robbers’ lair tucked into the banks of the Ohio River. Named Cave-In-Rock by notorious pirate and murderer Samuel Mason, this once violent site is now a peaceful addition to the Illinois State Park system. Visitors often stay in  comfortable cabins while exploring the nearby iron furnace, or the Garden of the Gods.

Located in Clarksville, Indiana, the once impressive 26 foot drop in elevation along two and one half miles of the Ohio River is now an educational site where fossils more than 390 million years old are preserved. Due to the fluctuating water levels of the Ohio River, the Falls of the Ohio State Park is best visited in late summer and through early winter.

The public is invited to learn more about the Ohio River where it flows through Southeastern Indiana when independent filmmaker Dennis Neary presents his film, Take the River, at the Lawrenceburg Public Library on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:00PM.

T is for Train Depots

 

Shrill whistles, clattering tracks, rhythmic rolling cars … imagine the train depot as it used to be.

I have wonderful memories of feeling the approaching train before hearing the whistle or seeing the blinding light.

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I have seen the mail bag tossed and caught, have seen the stationmaster extend notes to the engineer, watched as a working man’s arm reached from the window, catching the note, but never the hook.

As a child, I tried to push the heavy baggage trolleys on their iron wheels across uneven planks. I’ve ridden in steam trains and diesel trains, looked from the uppermost windows of a caboose, and I have stood probably too near the track as freight trains thundered past, feeling a surge of terror and excitement and longing to travel as fast, as far into the unknown.

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Q is for Quilting

Handed down from one generation to the next, quilting is sometimes considered to be an aging art or a forgotten DSC_0082laborious task.

In actuality, quilting is fresh and alive and bursting into the future. Time-saving mini-quilt kits are available, and today’s projects can be made in whole, or in part, on technologically advanced machines.

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Modern designs, superior fabrics, and wide open opportunities for self expression have completely erased any lingering stereotypical images of hand sewing by candlelight.

 

Seek out quilt shows, like the annual Quiltfest in Rising Sun, Indiana, where these quilts were photographed earlier this month. Talk with creative and informative quilters, like members of the Sunshine Stitchers or Rivertown Quilters.

Visit your local fabric shop – not one of those mega-craft-warehouses. A real fabric shop where the employees actually make things, and can tell with one touch or a glance if that bolt of fabric is 100% cotton, or a blend.

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Discover the incredible world of color, texture and adventure!

 

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For more pictures of Quiltfest 2016, please visit;

Creatzart.com

Thank you.

L is for Learning About IN200

As you might have learned in an earlier post, 2016 marks Indiana’s Bicentennial. A huge part of the year long celebration depends upon the public’s enjoyment, attendance, and participation in all that is planned for the weeks and months to come.

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The only trouble is that a lot of folks I meet in towns, on farms, and during meetings don’t quite know where to learn about all of the great goings on, but very much want to get involved, nonetheless.

The state’s website is helpful, but so abundantly full of information, it might be simpler to seek out your local tourism office, connect with the county historian, or stop by the library. If those folks don’t know the answers, they are generally pretty wonderful about finding someone who does.

So – here are just a few of the celebrations and programs, complete with highlighted text linked to the primary source, that residents and visitors alike can enjoy throughout the state of Indiana. I will add to the list as time allows, but have begun with just those events taking place in the more eastern counties of the state.

Oh! And if you, Dear Reader, would like to share your own ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you so much in advance!

 

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society has paired digital convenience with real life experience through the 200@200 ongoing event. This innovative program offers a virtual tour of some of the museum’s collection of artifacts – a great way to prepare for an in-person visit.

For the gear-head in all of us, Kokomo is the place to be this autumn – from a classic car driving tour to an opportunity to see vintage automobiles that were actually built in Kokomo. So pile in the rumble seat, pull on the goggles and rev (or crank) those engines!

Noble County offers a wilderness experience to anyone adventurous enough to visit – with an entire herd of bison soon to be on display throughout the county! This is not only quirky – it is a great opportunity to learn about bison and why they are such an important part of Indiana’s history!

The place for chocolate, the home of one of the greatest toy stores ever, and now – the setting for a year long scavenger hunt – along with prizes! Wayne County offers music, amazing food, and is where I first learned about Lemonade Day!

If historic barns are a part of your heritage or simply something that you love to see when driving down the road, a stop in Wabash County is a must.  Fifty new paintings of heritage barns by artist Gwen Gutwein will be on display throughout the year.

That’s all for now – but I will certainly post more information about Indiana’s Bicentennial throughout the year.

Safe travels and stay in touch!

 

H is for Homerun – Vintage Baseball

There is something about baseball – real baseball. Not the mega-million-dollar, made-for-TV broadcasts.

This is baseball at its finest, where the cranks (also known as fans) can breathe in the fresh grass  while experiencing that satisfying thud of a fly ball hitting a outfielder’s bare hand for the final out.

These gentlemen players are just that – gentlemen who play the game without swearing, without brawls, without dirty tricks. The visiting team will cheer on the home town guys. When any player makes an impossible catch seem effortless, both dugouts applaud – as do the spectators.

It is worth seeking out these games, and taking all generations. Grandparents might remember stories about locally famous players; younger children will see true sportsmanship in action, and everyone will have a wonderful afternoon together.

For more pictures of the

Belle River Baseball Club and the Batesville Lumbermen

playing vintage baseball,

please visit Creatzart.com

Thank You.

A is for Athens

Well, the flavors of Athens -as in Athens, Greece. And what flavors they are!

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When planning your next visit to Harrison, Ohio, be sure to include a ravenous stop at The Big Greek Cafe. It’s a perfect choice for families, couples and even business meetings.

Dimitri Evangelou is that personable guy behind the counter. He also happens to be the owner, who describes his menu as ‘Greek comfort food’. Certainly there can be no doubt about that! Fragrant, delicious, and satisfying – it’s like hanging out in your mother’s kitchen just in time for dinner.

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As soon as you walk in the door, it’s obvious that you’ve come to a neighborhood place. Dimitri enjoys feeding people and has a knack for making them feel welcome. Whether picking up a carry-out lunch, or bringing family in for dinner, he knows many of his customers by name.

 

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For those folks new to the Big Greek Cafe, the menu is descriptive, but if that’s not enough information, the friendly people behind the counter are happy to answer questions about any entree, side dish or dessert.

 

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There’s always room for friends and family at The Big Greek Cafe – just come hungry!

 

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Good food made with love, heritage, and pride.

Sometimes it’s best just to admit it – no willpower can overpower the allure of that cake.

 

 

DH Athens GREEK Retail2And why not take a little bit of Athens home with you?

 

 

So come on in, have a seat, grab a fork, and close your eyes – your excursion to Athens is underway!

 

W is for Wagner’s

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Wagner’s Family Restaurant in Oldenburg, Indiana is a casual, comfortable local place where the piping hot fried chicken is served up with dish towels instead of napkins, and the sweet tea is fresh and cold.

Waitress and daytime bartender Betsy McCray grew up in Oldenburg. She knows most of the diners by name, and rarely has to offer a menu even to the newcomers since most folks come in for the Family Style Chicken Dinner.

The fragrance of the chicken frying in cast iron pans makes diners grow impatient with hunger, but when the generous portions arrive, it’s obviously worth the wait. Brian Larimore and his father Robert drive up from Lawrenceburg to enjoy the delicious food, and enthusiastically recommend the freshly fried chicken dinner.

Ray Jordan has been cooking that crispy, moist, amazing chicken, and all of the other menu choices, for a year. He deftly moves through the kitchen, loading plates with the sizzling delicacy. Betsy fills trays with bowls of tempting side items, soon making her way to eager tables.

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Creamy and just a little sweet, the coleslaw marries well with the peppery gravy made onsite from any extra fried chicken. The dinner rolls are the store-bought, in-a-plastic-bag kind – and are perfect with a generous spread of butter, or swished around a gravy-drenched plate.

The green beans come to the table with a dollop of butter and plenty of salt, while the mashed potatoes are a quiet backdrop to the flavorful chicken and bright gravy.

According to Betsy, there are desserts available, as well. Fruit cobblers, a variety of cheesecakes … it all sounds so good, but impossible to manage on this visit.

But Oldenburg is just a scenic drive away any day of the week …

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