Connersville has an extraordinary amount of things going on this week.
It’s like someone lit a fire under Little Detroit. Could that be the doings of
Duck Dynasty’s Willie, the CEO, Robertson?
A&E’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ is the highest rated reality show on cable and
Willie is el comandante of Duck Commander, the business foundation of the
dynasty. The family business is duck calls, in case you didn’t know and
apparently they’ve made millions.
The Saturday event at the Spartan Bowl will feature Willie Robertson
sharing stories about his family and the work ethic that has grown Duck
Commander. There will be a question-and-answer session with him following the
Fayette Regional Health System’s 100th anniversary coincides with
Connersville’s 200th anniversary which is going to kick into high gear at the
end of June, according to their billboards. Fayette Regional’s celebration
began in April, and this event is one of many planned to mark this milestone
with the entire Whitewater Valley.
What else is happening in Connersville this week? Well, while Willie is
pontificating for his second show at seven or so, the Hoosier State Tractor
Pull will be hauling it around at Roberts Park. Earlier Saturday morning the
SCCA Auto Cross will be held in Visteon’s former parking lot. At the same time
and also all day there’s a Father’s Day Fly-In at the municipal airport.
Considering the short distance between the former Ford plant and the
active airport one could think of taking in both events and still have time to
catch the four o’clock Willie Robertson show and even the seven o’clock Hoosier
Connersville River Trail, anyone?
We’re going to make one of those leaps into fantasy which the Guide has
been known to do from time to time. It has to do with the Whitewater River in
Connersville. Connersville can be a confusing place when you’re on its surface
streets, but if you plum to the river the goin’ makes more sense. Trouble is
the Whitewater River in Connersville is not featured and it could be. This is
where we step into fantasy.
We’re imagining a hiking trail from East Connersville, if that’s even a
place, to Roberts Park. I’m defining East Connersville as the community on the
east side of the river near the intersection of SR 1 and SR 44. Like most of
the Whitewater when it hits a municipality of any size, it becomes fringed with
trees and it is through those trees a trail could be made.
Connersville needs to reconnect with the wild and this would be a great
way to do it. Anyone who has any information on this area, why a trail can or
cannot be made there, please email me email@example.com.
Likewise anyone interested in this wild notion do the same. Maybe we can get
something going. We will take no for an answer, but not without a fight aka
Much more music
Music is still high on the agenda this June with Eaton locals the Worley
Boys at Oxford’s Summer Music Festival this Thursday. This family band plays
traditional bluegrass and always brings a crowd. Cook & Belle
are on stage at Music on the River in Lawrenceburg also on Thursday.
Randy Harrison is playing jazz guitar at the Cat and the Fiddle in
Metamora this Saturday. Randy plays jazz pop classics and we can expect Catrina
Campbell to come out of the
kitchen and belt out a few.
And speaking of Randy’s Randy’s Roadhouse in Batesville has live music
again. They are featuring Alias on Saturday. Bryan Keith Wallen and Vixon are
at Little Sheba’s in Richmond on Saturday.
also have what appears to be a significant debut which is not a word we use
every week. Wing Walkers is the brain child of Doug Hamilton. A
classically trained violinist, Hamilton is also drawn to the improvisatory
styles of folk, blues and jazz. He describes the new group’s music as “an
eclectic American vernacular.” Wing Walkers highlight this week’s Second
Friday at the Oxford Community Arts Center.
But the biggest bunch of music in one place this week is in Eaton, Ohio
at the ‘Bridges, Bikes and Blues’. ‘Bridges, Bikes and Blues’ kicks off on
Saturday putting Preble County Ohio's rural landscape and historic covered
bridges on display. The cruise then transitions into a great party and concert
complete with smoking hot-blues bands, great food, and an outdoor beer garden
in downtown Eaton, Ohio.
Rockin Blues music starts at 4 pm on the Courthouse Plaza. Michael Locke
& The Repeat Offenders open the show and promise to turn downtown
Eaton blue. The Doug Hart Band goes on after Michael. Doug Hart has been a
staple of the southwestern Ohio blues scene for well over a decade.
Ray Fuller and the Blues Rockers are the headliners. Ray’s talents as a
singer and slide guitarist has have allowed him to share the stage with many
blues giants. Local artist Scotty Bratcher and his band will finish the night.
Twilight Time in the Islands
Twilight Time is going Caribbean for ‘A Night
in the Islands’ on June 29th. Music at this fourth annual Metamora event will
be provided by the Bacchanal Steel Band. For those who need a refresher course
in carnival partying, bacchanal is an extreme state of partihood best arrived
at while dancing behind your favorite island band in a street tromp beginning
just before sunrise. Twilight Time’s bacchanal will be a slightly milder form
of the same and of course will happen around sundown not sunup, unless things
get really out of hand, bacchanal-wise.
Ertel Cellars will host a wine tasting or
as they say in de islan’ dem, ‘Good ting, mon!’ An island-themed buffet will
feature Caribbean concoctions to fit the occasion. Meself I’d prefer kalaloo,
bullfoot soup and one chicken roti please.
Twilight Time as always takes place in
Tow Path Park in sight of Metamora’s grist mill. The newly re-thatched gazebo,
all colorfully lit, is the center of the evening’s music. And one of the
highlight attractions of all Twilight Times is a sunset canal boat ride, this
time to the music of Hickory Wind.
Besides the Caribbean theme complete with
complimentary Hawaiian leis, this year the organizers, the Whitewater Canal
State Historic Site, is hoping to double attendance in order to help expand the
Metamora Historic Site’s restoration and education efforts. One way of reaching
this goal is through corporate sponsorship and support.
Sponsors will enjoy benefits that include
tickets to the event, and your company’s name on distribution materials and
signage at the event. Premium level sponsors will receive a reserved premium
table with your company’s logo on it and three bottles of wine delivered to
An Admiral sponsorship gets you a table
for six and three bottles of wine served at your table for $500. A Captain
sponsor for $300 gets you a corporate table for six. First Mate sponsorship at
$100 includes two tickets and for $50 you could be a Mid-Shipman sponsor and
receive one ticket. Regular tickets are $35 for Twilight Time and all the
Register by June 20th and you’ll receive and
the evening’s agenda in the mail. Make checks payable to Whitewater Canal State
Historic Site and mail to: Whitewater Canal State Historic Site; 19083 Clayborn
Street, PO Box 88, Metamora, Indiana 47030. For more information call Anne
Fairchild (for Joanne Williams) at 812 273-4531 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spotlight: Farmers Markets
Visit our Whitewater Valley Guide Farmers Market List of farmers
markets, sponsored by Oxford Farmers Market. We’ve updated as many as we can
from the 2012 list.
This week as every week at OFM you’ll find the fine cheese crafting of
Debra is the whirlwind of Artistry Farm. She grew up on a
farm in Indiana and keeps up the tradition now with her husband on the farm
near Indian Creek outside Oxford.
The motto of Artistry Farm is "Fine art growing."
In the picture she is sharing love with one of
her raw goat milk cheese rondos. After fermenting in the refrigerator for the
Ohio Department of Ag's six week cycle, she will cut it into eight almost equal
sections and sell them along with her many other offerings at Oxford Farmers
Her other products include natural
old-fashioned goatmilk soaps, beeswax candles, duck/chicken eggs, organic
ground-in-my-kitchen whole grain baked goods (focaccia, gluten-free grainola),
sourdough starter, wax/ink paintings, block prints, clay plaques, seasonal
flowers and garden produce.
Oxford Farmers Market is open from 8 am until
noon every Saturday. Find it in Uptown Oxford behind Memorial Park. Visit their
website at http://www.oxfordfarmersmarket.com.
Gary August Schlueter
Music season officially opens
not doubt that the summer music scene has started in the Whitewater Valley.
This week’s calendar tells the tale. Starting in the south where the Indians
say we are always facing, Lawrenceburg’s Music on the River series kicks off
with Classic ‘50s/‘60s rockers with the eekqually classic name Phil Dirt and
the Dozers on Thursday.
Also simultaneously, contemporaneously and at the same time (but not to
be redundant) Robin Lacy & De Zydeco open the Oxford Summer Music Festival.
Both are free and play in the sunset evening from 7 to 9 this and every
You should know these festivals run all summer long, so when we reach a
lull later in the doggier days when the beautiful season seems like it will go
on forever and you need a pick-me-up or put-me-down (depending on how much
you’re enjoying the whole thing) think Thursdays for a music topped road trip.
First class bluegrass
All year long the Connersville Bluegrass Music Association brings us
sometimes milestone performances by the Valley’s very best bluegrass bands.
Amos Collins and CBMA are rapidly becoming an institution on Western Avenue.
Bobby Maynard & Breakdown from West Virginia kick off June at
Connersville Bluegrass this Friday. Then in order come James White & Deer
Creek, The All American Bluegrass Band, The Hard Tyme Bluegrass Band, Carl
Bentley & Eagle Creek, and The Coffey Bros. & Mountain Sound.
For ease of memory it’s always at six on Friday. They also do special dinners
on or around certain holidays like the June 28th early Fourth of
Artful fun and food to fill
Here’s one big reason to head to Oxford this weekend, the 48th annual
Hueston Woods Arts & Crafts Fair. Art and high quality crafts are exhibited
and sold in this juried show representing artisans from the region. The
diversity and quality of works available contribute to the high standards
maintained at this show each year.
Tours of the 1836 Doty Homestead and the 1840s Pioneer Barn will be
available throughout the event and food service is offered on the grounds.
Saturday afternoon the Jericho Old Time Band will entertain with their
foot stomp’n eclectic mix of American roots music. Charlie’s Grilling Service
will again provide delicious barbecued everything.
Open from 10 am–5 pm, admission is $2.00 for adults. Proceeds go to the
preservation and educational outreach of the Oxford Museum Association. Held on
the grounds of the Pioneer Farm at Hueston Woods State Park four miles north of
Oxford, Ohio, this it is a unique event in an historic location.
Covered bridge add
While at Hueston Woods and in keeping with our Year of the Covered
Bridge theme, visit the park’s brand new covered bridge. Think about that for a
minute, please. A brand new covered bridge. . . . I wonder what it sounds like, what it smells like?
the way, if you have a motorcycle you might discover that smell along with your
fellow two-wheelers on Preble County Historical Society’s annual ride fund
raiser called Bridges, Bikes and Blues coming up Saturday, June 15th.
is one of the newest but possibly the best benefit tours in Ohio, offering
beautiful scenery, small town hospitality plus a rare chance to drive across
one of the oldest double-barrel covered bridges in the USA as well the
opportunity to drive across the brand new Hueston Woods covered bridge.
After the 78-mile ride the street party begins in Eaton where they
already showcase some of the best music around at Taffy’s. For more information
on Bridges, Bikes and Blues visit www.preblecountyhistoricalsociety.com.
Call 937.787.4256 or email email@example.com.
Chalk up another First Friday
Vevay’s First Friday features plenty of music along with a really neat
idea, a sidewalk art competition. Chalk the Walk, the theme for June’s
First Friday, is returning for a second year to showcase the community’s
artistic talent at ground level. The event begins at 6 pm, is free and open to
Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Original Art, Copy a Master,
and Bicentennial. You are welcome to chalk one up yourself. Join the fun and
express your creative self.
This month’s sidewalk entertainment includes Rhythm and Groove playing
acoustic blues on the north side
of Main Street, Jamonn Zeiler playing acoustic soft rock on Ferry Street
and Jimmy Davis doing delta blues/country further along on Ferry.
Complimentary carriage rides are part of the fun. Wander over to the
courthouse and climb aboard.
Other art on display
Besides the art on Vevay’s sidewalks more permanent markings may be
found at the Preble County Art Association’s Fine Arts Center on Hillcrest
Drive in Eaton, Ohio.
Earlier in the year the association called for works from
amateur and professional artists within a 50-mile radius and this Saturday a
public reception for the selected artists will be held from 2-4 pm with an
award presentation at three. The exhibition will run from June 4th through June
City of Spires Museum and
Historical Foundation in Aurora will be displaying artwork by students who live
in or attend school in the area served by South Dearborn Community
Schools. Art students from grade
five and up have been recruited by their art teachers to submit artwork to be
shown at the museum from June through September.
Admission to City of Spires
Museum is free, and in addition to the first and third Sunday hours, the museum
is available for tours by appointment.
Call (812) 926-0944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The art of the elegant hoop
You might remember from the Guide last June, the old State Bank of Milan
was in the process of being renovated to become the new Milan ’54 Hoosiers
Museum. Well, the work’s almost done, close enough at least for a grand opening
According to The Milan Miracle of 1954, “No discussion of basketball in
Indiana would be complete without mention of the Milan Miracle of 1954. On a
cold March night in Butler Fieldhouse, the Indians of tiny Milan High School
enrollment 162 defeated the mighty Muncie Central Bearcats enrollment 1,662 to
win the state championship and secure their place in Hoosier Folklore.”
Besides the ribbon cutting ceremony, they will be having a car show,
parade, 1950s games, a sock hock. But the hottest ticket in town has to be for
the special dinner with the 1954 players. We, the non-Milan public, are invited
by the dedicated organizers to join them for the day. Things will get underway
at 10 am.
The Milan '54 Hoosiers Museum features the largest known collection of
props and uniforms from the movie ‘Hoosiers’. It is currently open during
regular hours Wednesday-Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4.
Spotlight: Oxford Farmers Market
There are a lot of passionate people who make Oxford Farmers Market
Uptown pulse with creative health and growing more-so ideas.
Besides being well versed in the art and craft of producing fine
edibles, the Oxford Farmers Market council is also well up on technology and
how to make it work for the benefit of grower/maker and consumer. If you sign
up for their weekly digital newsletter at email@example.com
you’ll learn what you can expect at the market on that week.
Their May 31st Market Minute lists a surprising number of
fresh produce including lettuce, carrots, green onions, kale, spinach, leeks,
Swiss chard and fresh asparagus. Many types of potted herbs for and from the
kitchen garden are already in, including chives, mint, parsley, thyme, oregano,
dill and sage.
All kinds of cuts of grass fed beef and lamb was at the market last week
and can be expected again this week. You can also expect to find organic
chicken, eggs, pork and sausage.
Honey, apple cider vinegar, and goat milk lye soaps are some of the
other products you’ll find. Sampling is always part of the Oxford Farmers
Market experience and our tip is try the horseradish goat cheese spread. And
you don’t need to BYO crackers either because you’ll find fresh baked goods
from cupcakes to poppy seed brioche rolls to morning glory muffins and
personal inspections, the Oxford Farmers Market Council ensures that all its
vendors conform to the ‘make it, bake it or grow it’ rule. High standards make
for happy customers and that’s what you’ll be.
Oxford Farmers Market is open from 8 am until
noon every Saturday. Find it in Uptown Oxford behind Memorial Park. Visit their
website at www.oxfordfarmersmarket.com.
you have photos of an event you attended over the previous, oh, say seven days,
pick out a standout or two and send them to me. We’ll put them up on the web
Guide so we’ll all get a chance to enjoy an armchair whirl around the weekend
that was, so to speak. Hmmm, the weekend that was . . . where have I heard that
Anyway, no kidding, send me a pic or two of what you do, but none of
what you didn’t do. Well, that last part was kidding.
check out how it will look, we’ve created a prototype on our homepage at www.whitewatervalleyguide.com.
Check it out. This could be fun.
Part 3 of 3
In her confused state, Emma kept asking, “Where
are we?” which no on ever answered. It reminded Bucky of a new song and he
began to sing, “But I can’t remember where or when.”
“Shut that up back there,” Ham hissed in a loud
and angry whisper. “This is serious shit!” The next second he bumped into Andy
who’d stopped at the edge of the road. This caused a ripple effect with
everyone bumping into the one in front.
“Here we are,” Andy whispered, setting the stage
for the other’s to whisper solemnly as well.
“Bring up the initiate!” Ham croaked officially.
Kenny and Bucky led Emma to the mouth of the
bridge where Andy and Ham were standing. The dark and menacing cavern loomed
above them like a gigantic black mouth made uglier by the aroma of stale air
coming from inside the bridge.
“You know what you gotta do,” Ham said.
Emma nodded, “Walk through and light the candle
onest I git to the far side.” Her voice always high and stringy did not show
the fear she now felt full force coming at her from the shadows of that dark
mouth. With the torches held high she couldn’t see the boys’ faces, only sense
their eyes intensely fixed on her. The bridge was a goliath, the darkness
within pitch black.
“Torch bearer!” Ham called quietly. “Bring forth
Most of the time Ham’s penchant for the
theatrical sounded pretty phony but this time it struck home.
Kenny handed Emma the candle and matches without
saying a word to her. He wanted to squeeze her hand or say something
encouraging but he didn’t have a free hand and the words just wouldn’t come.
“Stations!” Andy called softly and the boys
formed a half circle with Emma in the middle. Maybe they thought she’d break
and run or maybe they thought they’d be like a slingshot and propel her forward
like some human projectile into the darkness.
Emma got the idea.
“Ready!” Andy said. “Torches out!”
In the blink of an eye all was darkness made
even blacker to eyes recently adjusted to blinding torchlight. Emma felt a
sense of vertigo as though she’d suddenly been covered by a thick blanket of
black, not only in front of her, not only behind and to all sides but above and
below her as well. For one terrifying moment she felt that if she took a step
she would fall into an abyss and never be heard from again.
“Go!” Andy commanded and Emma felt hands behind
her pushing her away from the safety of their midst.
In two stumbling steps the gravel beneath her
feet had turned to wood, silent and uneven. Immediately, the immensity of what
she was doing became centered on the soles of her feet. The focus of her entire
being seemed to have suddenly become inverted. The intelligence normally housed
above her neck was now centered on her feet. Her raggedy tennis shoes,
disgraceful by any standard of the time, had suddenly become sentient beings.
With them she found her way forward. She had been through the bridge enough
times to know that the tracks where the vehicle’s wheels would go were built up
and once her feet were on the track all she had to do was follow it forward.
She took short steps at first, occasionally slipping off, but after a bit her
feet told her where the straight line was and she was able to walk more freely.
By the time she had gotten her bearings on the
raised wheel track and was able to walk freely a strange new control came over
her. All around here was an inky nothingness and yet she felt somehow that she was
the one to fear and not the darkness. It reminded her of something her dad had
told Kenny, ‘It’s not the darkness you need be afraid of, boy. It’s what’s in
it.’ And here she was being it.
Feelin’ like she’d already won the prize, Emma
reached the other side. She sensed the fresher air first, heard the night
critters getting louder and finally stepped from the wood to the gravel on the
other side. She touched the looming bridge lovingly, savoring for one glorious
moment her triumph. The initiation rites called for her to light the candle and
show it first in the tunnel of the covered bridge, then on each side to prove
she was all the way through. This done the torch-bearer acknowledged her by
re-lighting his torch. This was the signal for her to come back and holding her
candle before her, she started back through.
The boys had prepared for the possibility of her
making it all the way to the other side. So while Kenny stood at the far end
holding his torch, the boys with black hoods over their heads slipped back into
the bridge and hid like lumps in the darkness waiting to scare the bejeebies
out of Emma.
If you’ve ever walked into the darkness with
only a candle to aid you, you know it ain’t much help. It casts a small circle
of light around you but the beyond is naught but dark. Consequently, Emma did
not see the dark lump in her tracks that was Hamilton Lenard, the third, not
even after she stumbled over him and screamed.
It was that scream that started everything to
happen at once. Birds sleeping in the rafters awoke to angry and frightened
confusion. And so did ol’ Hop. Remember, he’d been sleepin’ it off up on the
roof. When he heard that scream coming from straight below him his first
reaction was to jump to his feet. He’d been layin’ on his side and to jump up
he put his hand down on his coat, but since his coat was over that opening in
the roof, he only endeavored to push it through the hole which, as mischief
would have it, was directly over Emma when she screamed. So with the birds
whistling crazy-like and flutterin’ around to beat the devil and her own scream
still echoing in the dark shadows, a sound like none other came to their ears.
It was a dull muffled tinkling sound like maybe some giant would make slowly
chewing a wind chime. And it came at her fast on a widespread black wing
dropping rapidly from above. In Emma’s candlelight Andy and Bucky saw it
sweeping down like a giant bat dropping out of the sky on its prey. It landed
on top of Emma extinguishing her candle, her scream and her consciousness.
The boys did what you’d expect boys to do in a
situation like that, they ran, and the way they choose was away from the
terrible thunder now cascading down from the roof. That thunder was produced by
the hobnailed boots of Hop Hobson as he ran the other way. As you might
imagine, it was no way to wake up and Hop would be halfway home before it
dawned on him that he’d left his coat and mule behind. And even though that
coat meant his livelihood it never even occurred to him to go back and git it.
The boys didn’t run far. Kenny wouldn’t let ‘em.
After the commotion settled down and they got their bearings, he said, “We
gotta go back!” Andy agreed. How they all might have felt about themselves and
what they’d seen of each other in this crisis actually served to make them
braver, at least that’s what it did for Andy and he being the natural leader,
they all followed.
With torches held high and Andy in the lead they
headed back inside that covered bridge to confront the monster who they were
pretty sure was eating Emma. As cowardly as their running might have been it
was just that brave for them to head back. Halfway in they saw it, a dark mound
reeling about as though it was chewing or, worse yet, digesting something. One
of Emma tennis shoes was sticking out of its mouth like some discarded bone.
The sight of that foot was too much for Kenny.
He threw back his head, let out a Rebel yell and charged the black thing
devouring his kid sister. Just as he was about to incinerate it with his torch
it began to grow and from underneath the black shroud popped the sweet face of
his little sister and she was smilin’.
When Emma came to, alive and unharmed, it took
her a moment to get her bearings. Her heart was fluttering and her knees were
bleeding but she was alive and it felt real good. She wanted to kiss the sandy
floor boards of the bridge except she needed more air. She was being suffocated
by this thing covering her. When she went to push it away her hand landed on
the short stem of a pint bottle. Once she pulled it out of the pocket, she
started to put two and two together. She was pretty sure whose coat it was but
didn’t have the slightest idea how it got there. Just to be certain, she
unscrewed the top and took a little drink. That’s when Kenny saw the thing
wriggling. The happy face he saw a moment later was in no small part due to the
They walked back by the road, this time with
Emma up front and the boys behind sharing the half-pint that Emma allowed ‘em.
River Rats season starts
The Richmond River Rats are kicking off their season this week, so let’s
all (quietly) sing, ‘Take me out to the ballgame. . .’ The 2013 roster is yet
to be posted so it’s a little difficult to go into details, but the store at www.riverrats.com is open and a very neat
big R ball cap in bright yellow and dark blue is available at the reasonable
price of $20. This is not an advertisement, by the way, this is support. Go Rats!
The River Rats’ (that river being of course the Whitewater)
first home game is Thursday which to some could be tonight. To others, tomorrow
will do or the day after or even the day after that because The River Rats are
at the front end of a home stretch that runs through June 5th.
The River Rats are part of the Prospect League which began play on June
4, 2009. Teams were divided into two divisions and played a 56-game schedule.
There was a three-game playoff between the winners of the two divisions and the
Quincy Gems became the first Prospect League champions.
The River Rats are in the eastern division with two teams from Ohio, two
from Pennsylvania and one from West Virginia. Indiana is the only state to have
three teams in the Prospect League, but two of them are in the western
division. Two in Illinois and one in Iowa fill out western division of the
league’s 600-mile expanse.
Average attendance throughout the league in 2011 was 860 people per game
but the Butler Blue Sox brag of having played before hometown crowds as large
as 16,000. The Blue Sox challenge the River Rats on Saturday at 7:05 and Sunday
an hour earlier. Let’s see if we can’t beat that 16,000. Can you say SRO?
Rock, Hatchet and judgments
Robinson Whitewater Campground is drumming up interest for their Rock on
the River Concert by having local bands compete for the chance to be the
opening act for Molly Hatchet, the headliner at the event. We discovered that
Cripple Creek Southern Rock Band will be ‘competing’ June 22, 2013.
Doesn’t it sound better, hotter, maybe cooler that instead of just
playing, the band is competing. Sort of keeps the edge on a little. Sharpens
the focus knowing you’re being judged.
Rock on the River featuring Molly Hatchet will be July 27th.
For inquiring bands who might want to step into the heat of competition, give
the good folks at Robinson’s Campground a call at 765 698-0201.
not sure they’re taking applications, but tell ‘em you read about it in the
Whitewater Valley Guide. They’ll understand.
Of roses and glowing balloons
Ideally the sky will be blue, the afternoon warm as the day progresses
to evening in the Richmond Rose Garden next Tuesday. With that, the rest will
be as in a dream. What it is is Richmond’s premier Bloom and Glow, a Rose
Garden celebration. The Rose Garden is located at the former Glen Miller golf
course in the 2500 block of East Main Street, in Richmond of course.
The name Bloom and Glow celebrates the beginning of rose blooming season
by lighting up six hot air balloons at sunset. For $25 or $20 in advance you
will sample the gourmet (are there any other kind?) hors d’oeuvres at
refreshment stations around the rose garden as if anyone needs more incentive
than blooming roses to walk among them.
Pat O’Neal will be providing live music as you saunter from station to
station gourmetizing yourself. Food service begins at 6:30 pm.
Admission to witness the balloons aglow is free. Funds raised during
this elegant event through donation or food and drink tickets will go toward
keeping the Richmond Rose Garden going. It is open all year and wandering
through is welcomed.
Shortcake, strawberries and home-grown music
Strawberry Days has been going on in Metamora for 27 years and this
weekend’s version is alive with good music thanks, in no small part to the
attention, connections and good will brought about by the Metamora Music
But where the Music Festival is centered at the end of Lovers Lane,
Strawberry Days happens near the center of town, at the Bane’s House to be
exact. That’s where the music will be starting at noon on Saturday with
Farmland, Indiana’s own Sounds of Home at noon followed by Bomar & Ritter,
Old Truck Revival and Blue Caboose. Blue Caboose is out of Cincinnati and we
can recommend them for their eclectic covers and originals. Three-part
harmonies, accordion, banjo, guitar and who knows what else?
also recommend their song ‘I Wanna Know My Farmers Name’ cause he’s givin’ me
the good stuff, an ode to local farmers and farmers markets. And you can hear
it just by Googling or Binging ‘Blue Caboose.’
Sunday music at Strawberry Days also begins at 10 am with Sounds of
Home, followed by John Bultman, Patchwork String Band and Lawson Reunion. The
Banes House front lawn where strawberry shortcake will be served with this
music is on Main Street next to the tallest building in town.
Short Story: Metamora
Part 2 of 3
The boys I mentioned earlier was marching
through the fringe woods between Pennington’s cornfield and the river in more
or less single file. Andy Gordon was the natural leader of this little group of
five, soon to be six, if and only if their initiate passed her initiation which
the boys didn’t think was likely.
Second in line was Ham. He was the banker’s son
and felt leadership of the Frontier Outlaws, a name he did his best to make
stick, shoulda been his by rights, but the boys didn’t see it that way. For one
thing, the bank had failed. For the other Andy’s great-great-grandfather was
the first white settler in these parts back in the days before the crick he
built his cabin on even had a name. Leadin’ was in his blood. So whenever there
was a widening in the path Ham would hurry up and walk next to Andy and trouble
him like a gnat does a cart horse dutifully going about his business.
Behind Ham was the girl which made this
particular night so interestin’. They were marchin’ to the bridge in a dark and
solemn line in order to initiate this girl, Emma McQueen by name, into their
group. The strange thing was, nobody but Emma wanted her to be part of the
Emma’s brother Kenny followed behind her
carrying the second torch. The ragged way he handled it, Emma felt like she was
stumblin’ forward into or out of the light. This flickering like an old silent
movie was having its way with her. This resulted in her never quite knowin’
exactly where she was. Twice already she misjudged the distance to the bridge
and now just gave up tryin’.
Emma was 13 and acted like her family name.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that she felt she deserved some royal treatment,
but since she always knew best, she naturally thought things would run a lot
smoother if they went her way. It was this attitude — no attitude ain’t the
right word. What Emma had was more than an attitude. It was a genuine gift of
solid conviction. Trouble is she was a girl and at 13 was beginning to feel a
little different about things. Maybe she sensed her days as a Tomboy were
numbered. Who knows what might have brought that on, a bulge or two here, a
flare or two there? Maybe that’s why she wanted so desperately to join her
brother’s gang. And when Emma wanted something back in her Tomboy days she
usually got it. Case in point, being the first girl initiated.
there had been two other initiations since Andy and Ham had worked up their
cacamamie scheme. The first was
Kenny ‘Fireball’ McQueen. He earned his nickname with the boys being the
torchbearer and official fire-starter. That ‘official’ label was Ham’s idea, by
the way. Kenny became famous ten or fifteen years later on the quarter mile
dirt tracks as simply Fireball McQueen. You might remember him if you’re from
The last initiate had been Bucky Smith. He was
Christened Bucky and used to say, ‘With a name like Bucky, you don’t need a
nickname.’ Not everybody got the joke. Bucky didn’t care. He was a natural
entertainer and probably the only one in the gang that night who wasn’t scared,
at least not marching to the bridge. Maybe it was bringing up the rear he felt
safe. Maybe it was because he had pure faith in Andy or maybe it was that he
just wasn’t scared.
In fact, it was because he breezed through the
initiation so easily that the boys decided they needed to do something to spice
things up a little. Emma would be the first to sample that spice. So they had
some surprises in store for Emma and then of course being’s as how there was
that mischievous tinge in the air on this first no-moon night of October, fate
had some surprises in store for everybody.
So here’s what Ham and Andy came up with for
their first initiation and you can believe it was more Ham than Andy. It’d
happen on the darkest night of the month which Ham pointed out could be more
than one night so Andy came up with the ‘first no-moon night’, a concept that
Ham continually tried to expand on causing Andy, when it happened, to feel a
little like that draft horse mentioned earlier.
They’d been playin’ at a game of daredevil and
found themselves at the first covered bridge, the one over the river, not the
one over Salt Crick, and Ham dared Andy to walk through it in the total
darkness. As there was a slice of moon, you could see the other end not like it
would be on later initiation nights. They made sure it was pitch black when
they initiated Kenny.
After Andy made it through he dared Ham to
follow. So Ham had to, but he also had the advantage of first of all knowing no
creeps or gremlins were hiding out inside, then of having someone he trusted
waiting for him on the other side. Andy saw this right away and was going to
call it to Ham’s attention, but by the time he got there, Ham was chattering a
mile a minute about how they just initiated themselves and what that meant by
separating them from the rest of the world.
Ham hadn’t started into that dark tunnel with
this in mind. It came to him all of a sudden as a constructive way an otherwise
proud boy could divert the energy of the scream he couldn’t allow himself to
complete. You get the idea.
it to the middle and was just startin’ to feel the worse was behind him when
that little slice of moon came from behind a cloud and shined a very spirit
light high up over his head. It took on a fantastically menacing shape, in
truth the exact shape of that opening in the roof where a section was blown
away and, it being the Depression, didn’t get put right.
So that’s how it got started and this was what
it had sort of grown into, a procession of six trailin’ along through the
narrow woods by the river with a torch in front and a torch behind. Anyone who
might have looked out their window from town would have thought it was the
local Ku Klux Klan out on an evening’s mission of good-natured terror and
they’d know better than to say anything about it.