As president of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., Will Koch was dedicated to providing a fun, safe getaway for families. When he unexpectedly passed away last June at age 48, Southwest Indiana — and the amusement park industry — mourned.
City View 2011
We’ve digested brain sandwiches at the Fall Festival. We’ve touted the superior confections of the Donut Bank. We’ve gotten feisty in the great East/West Side debate. That makes us Evansvillians, right? Here, we offer stories about how Evansville — no matter where you are — can make you who you are.
In Southwest Indiana, we eat like Germans. (Join the weekend crowds at the Gerst Bavarian Haus, a popular West Side restaurant.) We name our streets like Germans — and we secretly love hearing newcomers bungle “Boeke” and “Schutte.” Every August, we party like Germans. Why August? Organizers swear it’s pure coincidence. Here’s a look at three of the region’s most beloved festivals and their polka-dancing, bratwurst-eating, beer-drinking patrons.
Greek goddesses and bare-bosomed muses adorn the Old Courthouse, a roughly 15,000-square-foot building with five majestic copper domes towering 216 feet in the air. “When you look at a courthouse like this, it says justice,” says Kelley Coures, the president of the Old Courthouse Foundation. With all its grandeur, the 1891-built courthouse was on the chopping block in the 1960s when a movement for newer facilities paved way for developments Downtown.
River City Revealed
We love the Greenway, the Fall Festival, and the zoo as much as the next Evansvillian, but there’s more to our city than meets the eye. From a rare book collection to a subtle war memorial, here are a few surprising local sights. Native American Tribes Volumes
The Old Testament book of Nehemiah recalls how families in Jerusalem were struggling to survive in the wake of a famine. As food costs soared, many took out mortgages on their homes and land, and government leaders continued charging interest on loans — even enslaving the children of those in debt. When Nehemiah heard a public outcry, he grew angry and called an assembly to confront officials for their unfair actions. In front of a crowd, leaders admitted their wrongdoings and agreed to cancel the debts.
In The Know
When fans head to Bosse Field this summer for Evansville Otters baseball games, they won’t see athletes in skirts, but they will see a painted message that urges the crowd to “Support the Racine Belles.” The slogan hearkens back to A League of Their Own, a $40 million movie starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna.
In the 1950s and 1960s, University of Evansville men’s basketball games, held in the new Roberts Stadium, were so popular that husbands and wives fought over season tickets in divorce settlements. For the next five decades, this stadium was the home court of a basketball legacy. It has hosted more than 800 men’s basketball games that showcased Aces talent bound for the NBA: Jerry Sloan, Don Buse, and Ed Smallwood.
When Vince Bertram was named the superintendent of the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation in 2007, he hit the speaking circuit and met civic groups, community organizations, and political leaders. Bertram wanted change for Indiana’s third largest school system: higher graduation rates, improved test scores, and children ready for college. His first major initiative needed $171 million, and those public visits aided support for his push to build new schools and revamp facilities.
Who We Are
The man is having trouble breathing in a St. Mary’s hospital room. He is choking on blood, and that blocked air passage means Pat Rauscher can’t perform an intubation. You remember intubation, right? George Clooney did one nearly every episode of ER by placing a tube in a patient’s mouth and down the trachea, thus saving another life. But now, Rauscher, St. Mary’s chief LifeFlight nurse, has to be the hero, and he has help: Keith Miller, lead flight paramedic.
After a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq in March 2003, dramatic images filled American television screens: explosions over the Baghdad skyline, the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein, and looting of museums and government buildings. Less publicized was the post-invasion collapse of Iraq’s higher education system, once hailed as one of the most modern in the Middle East. Since the war’s outbreak, hundreds of academics have been killed, and students have shied away from campuses in fear of violence.
What We Do
During the week, Angie Almond is an office jockey, but for the past three years, the 49-year-old mother has donned a helmet and padding to hit a dirt track with safety and style. Her adrenaline rush comes from her need for speed. “I just have such a wonderful time doing it,” she says. “It’s great exercise, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Just 10 years ago, the land near the intersection of Interstate 164 and the Lloyd Expressway brimmed with untapped potential. The location, convenient to patients in Newburgh, other outlying areas, and Evansville’s fast-growing East Side, became home to The Women’s Hospital in 2001. The healthcare facility’s quick success showed administrators of Deaconess Health System (which owns The Women’s Hospital) that the area — straddling the Vanderburgh and Warrick county lines — was a prime location.
What We Like
On the second floor of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science hangs an eye-popping work of art: a fuchsia-toned, 40-by-40-inch portrait of a woman in her thirties. The synthetic polymer paint and screenprint canvas is signed and dated by Andy Warhol, who earned fame for his pop-art depictions of wildly diverse subjects: Campbell’s soup cans, Mickey Mouse, Marilyn Monroe, and others.
Need some help identifying the Evansville icons we’ve placed on the cover of City View 2011? This key should do the trick.