January/February 2024

Evansville Living

Sports Headliners

Evansville has a long line of elite sports figures — coaches and athletes alike — who were born and/or raised in the River City. And after more than 30 years as a sportswriter, Gordon Engelhardt has covered many of them.

Natasha & Seth Nicholson

Natasha and Seth Nicholson are an online dating success story. The couple met on Tinder in 2014 and became friends. Three years later, Natasha was sick one night, and Seth brought her chili, medicine, and Sprite. They have been together

Carlie & Clayton Bruce

Carlie and Clayton Bruce’s love story starts in the Castle High School band. The Newburgh, Indiana, natives shared mutual friends in high school, but it wasn’t until a few years later that they reconnected through working at the same restaurant.

Susan & Scott Hyatt

Susan and Scott Hyatt met in 1991 at Savannah Mall in Georgia, when he worked for the mall’s commercial developer and Susan went in to apply to be a customer service booth representative. “Every Friday night, he would come by

Chasity & Derek Hopper

Chasity and Derek Hopper rang in 2023 with a glittering celebration of their love. The couple’s New Year’s Eve wedding had no shortage of sparkles, dancing, and kisses at midnight. The couple have an affinity for holidays, as they were

Taryn & Alison Petrash-Hall

Taryn and Alison Petrash-Hall’s love bloomed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They met through Tinder on New Year’s Eve 2020, when Alison relinquished control of her account to her best friend, Kristen. Little did they know that three years later, they

Nicole & Kendall Wentzel

Kendall Wentzel knew he wanted to marry his now-wife Nicole after their third date. The couple had box seats to a Saint Louis Cardinals baseball game, at which their bartender predicted they eventually would marry. The duo dated one year

Sports Town

Evansville has been and still is a sports town. The hype is not limited to each season: Evansville athletic programs have propelled talented athletes to state and national stages for decades, and those with River City ties have cheered them

Florida Meets Indiana

Doug and Anne Duell enjoy life in the fast lane. That hasn’t changed in retirement. Since selling their Evansville Kia dealership to Lou Fusz of Saint Louis, Missouri, and Evansville Hyundai dealership to Barnes Crossing in August 2022, the couple


They give us those nice bright colors They give us the greens of summers Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah I got a Nikon camera I love to take a photograph So Mama don’t take

Packs a Paczki

The 12 weeks between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day are stacked with food-laden holidays, but if you think people’s appetites for baked goods cool off after the holidays, think again. “People are already asking, making sure we’ll have them,” Donut Bank

Draw Your Own Conclusions

Thing you can't draw? Think again. The How to Not Suck at Drawing class at Bluestocking Social — taught by co-owner, artist, and Castle High School art teacher Matt Fitzpatrick — is for individuals of any artistic ability, or lack

Outside the Box

Editor's note: This is an extended version of the article in January/February Evansville Living. Housing made from metal shipping containers is not a new concept — the first patent is said to have been issued in the 1980s. Since then,

Cool Greens

Winter invites a special beauty outdoors. Rather than shiver in the cold, why not admire nature’s beauty by bringing it indoors? Whitney Muncy, owner of Emerald Design in Downtown Evansville, says seasonal floral arrangements aren’t limited to Christmas decorations. “I

Poised and Peachy

The design gurus at Pantone have selected a warm wash to welcome the new year. They describe Peach Fuzz as nurturing and embodying an “all-embracing spirit enrich(ing) mind, body, and soul.” Resting at the intersection of tan, pink, and orange,

Filling Up

Frankie’s Restaurant opened only four months ago on Evansville’s East Side, at 6840 Logan Drive, but already it has doubled its space. The reason? A steady stream of customers seeking owner Franky Gonzales’ home-cooked fare. Gonzales started in the restaurant

Reset and Refresh

As the city sprawled away from Main Street in the 1980s, prime property was vacated. City leaders and developers created a plan for the area around the Old Post Office Plaza, and Riverfront Condominiums was born. Opened in 1988, the

‘So Many Flavors’

With a big menu that includes hearty breakfast favorites and American and Mexican fare, The Diner by Mele’s at 550 N. Green River Road has something to satisfy any taste. Breakfast at Mele’s is offered all day, and a creative

Hoops and History

Editor's note: Read more about Evansville as a sports town in the full feature story. Basketball simply is played at another level in hoops-mad Indiana, including in Evansville. The University of Evansville men’s basketball program has won five NCAA Division

West Side Wizards

Editor's note: Read more about Evansville as a sports town in the full feature story. Just one grade apart at F.J. Reitz High School, Lilly King and Dru Smith didn’t really know each other. But they share a drive —

Play Station

Editor's note: Read more about Evansville as a sports town in the full feature story. Evansville's loaded sports calendar includes Otters professional baseball in the summer and Thunderbolts professional hockey in cooler months. In recent years, the city has hosted

We Are The Champions

Editor's note: Read more about Evansville as a sports town in the full feature story. IHSAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS Benjamin Bosse High School: 3 • Boys’ basketball: 1944, ‘45, ‘62 (3A) William Henry Harrison High School: 2 • Boys’ golf:

Ones to Watch

Editor's note: Read more about Evansville as a sports town in the full feature story. When the 2024 Summer Olympics kick off in Paris, France, NICK LEE wants to be there. As The Pennsylvania State University’s first five-time NCAA wrestling

Center of Attention

A New Skate of Mind

After years of making do with a dilapidated, small skateboarding facility, Evansville now sports one of the best and largest for miles. Sunset Skatepark on the city’s Downtown riverfront, near Mickey’s Kingdom playground, opened in mid-December. The original design covered

Editor's Letter

Title Town

Welcome to 2024! A few months ago, I began seeing social media posts from high school friends celebrating a particular birthday, an age, of seemingly notable importance. I was born in a year ending in 4 — 1964 — so


New Kings of the Court

It’s an understatement to say things have changed since Evansville Living’s November/December 2018 cover story, “Kings of the Court.” Three of the four coaches profiled are gone, one in a swift, highly publicized fall from grace. University of Evansville men’s

Encyclopedia Evansvillia

Big Dollar Dreams

There are big dreams to restore Veterans Memorial Coliseum (also known as Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum) as a modern venue for stage performances and other events. As yet, however, the dollars required to carry out such a vision aren't


The Living Record

With each passing year, we celebrate the lives of members of the community who made a difference in their schools, workplaces, civic organizations, and families. Here, we remember a few people whose lives have impacted the Tri-State in ways large


‘A Crown Jewel’

When a 1960s-era pipe burst in 2019 inside the University of Evansville’s Krannert Hall of Art and Music’s Wheeler Concert Hall, the space became unusable. “It virtually destroyed the hall,” says Dennis Malfatti, co-chair of UE’s Music Conservatory. That said,

The Hobbyist

You likely have seen or heard Larry Miller on guitar at John Lennon Night or on the baritone horn with the Rhein Valley Brass at Germania Maennerchor. Maybe you know him as the man who perches in Haynie’s Corner Arts

Magical Realism

Can an art exhibition transport us to other places? “Magical Realism” at the Museum of Fine Art in Owensboro, Kentucky, answers that question. It shares 40 large-scale paintings by artist Michael Aakhus, retired dean emeritus of the University of Southern

By The Numbers

Super Connections

Evansville tends to have unexpected links with people, places, and things around the world, and that rings true at professional football’s biggest game. Here’s how the Super Bowl has local ties. 1 Number of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks (Bob Griese) from

Around the World

Mission: Immerse and Explore

Growing up in Southwestern Indiana, Joe Ellsworth was intrigued by stories of people backpacking across foreign countries. It seemed the height of freedom and a life-changing entrée into adulthood. This fascination was filed away to build a life in Evansville,

Online Exclusives

Time for a Checkup

Even warships need a little TLC. USS LST-325, one of the most prominent examples of Evansville's World War II contributions, left its dock at 610 N.W. Riverside Drive on Jan. 14 for a one-week voyage to the Port of Port

This Weekend: Feb. 1-4

Adult Crafternoon: Victorian Valentine Greetings 4-5 p.m. Feb. 1, Willard Public Library, 21 First Ave. Get a head start on a Valentine’s Day card for someone special. Craft supplies are provided. Lunar New Year Origami Crafts Feb. 1-10, Evansville Vanderburgh

Celebrate Black History Month

Racial Justice Faith Week Jan. 29-Feb. 4 Organized by BRIDGE, faith leaders share messages of racial justice and equity during faith services. There also will be a Community Prayer Service at the University of Evansville’s Neu Chapel, at 2 p.m.

A Tempting Opportunity

Ryan Hunt was born with theatrical genes – in fact, he was only seven months old when he first performed the University of Evansville stage. His story came full circle when he earned a bachelor’s degree in theatrical performance from

Long-Awaited Recognition

Baptisttown, the neighborhood surrounding the Evansville African American Museum at South Garvin Street — Sondra Matthews Way — and Lincoln Avenue, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Those who worked for years to achieve the designation could
Sophie Kloppenburg stands next to memorial marker, which reads, "This marker serves as a memorial to brothers Daniel Harrison Jr. and John Harrison, their father Daniel Harrison Sr., along with Jim Good, William Chambers, Edward Warner, and Jeff Hopkins. All were African American men who had their lives unjustly taken in October of 1878. The later four men were hung here, on the courthouse's southeast corner. While theyw ere accused of various crimes, the acusations were questionable, they never received a trial, and no one responsible for their deaths faced proescution. It is importat to remember the trageides of the past, but also to recognize that posey county believes in fiar justice for all citizens. Civil rights in this country have come a long way since then. Let us never forget what happened here, including this community's work toward mending the bitter legacy those injustices left behind."

‘The Least We Could Do’

Editor's Note: This is an extended version of the story published in the January/February 2024 issue of Evansville Living. Sophie Kloppenburg first heard the story in 2021 during her junior year at Mount Vernon High School while a family friend,