Editor’s note: This is an extended version of the feature story about Philip Lawrence that ran in the July/August 2021 issue of Evansville Living. Philip Lawrence may be a big name in the recording industry, but there’s no place on Earth that loves him more than the River City.
July / August 2021
Center of Attention
Cancer is a far-reaching illness, affecting nearly every person in the Tri-State in some way. Cancer Pathways Midwest, recently recognized with the Health and Social Services award at Leadership Everyone’s Celebration of Leadership, delivers individualized support and resources to anyone impacted by the deadly disease.
Food and Drink
From Evansville Living’s Dining Directory, one would think there are plenty of food options in the River City. But, in some neighborhoods, food deserts are created when there isn’t a local grocery store and the majority of residents walk or bike instead of driving. The parishioners at All Saints Catholic Parish (St. Anthony campus, 704 N. First Ave.) are addressing these food deserts one vegetable at a time.
Arts and Events
One word comes to mind when shaking Janice King’s hand for the first time: strength. The 70-year-old is the family matriarch — the third oldest of five siblings (and the oldest surviving sibling), the mother of four sons, and a two-time lymphoma survivor. Born in Chicago to a single mother, King’s life always had an artistic influence. At 7 years old, she won first place in a citywide Chicago Public Schools art competition. Her abstract piece called “Time Square” was displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago.
Dragons, dinosaurs, and other creatures at Button Jar Monsters aren’t fictional beasts: They’re cuddly companions brought to life by owner Jessica Johnson. The Olney, Illinois, native created Button Jar Monsters in 2017 from her Newburgh, Indiana, home. After crafting two monsters for her oldest sons, the self-taught artist had a spark of inspiration.
Head down to the Friedman Park Amphitheater in Newburgh, Indiana, on July 31 from 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. for the inaugural River Basin Blues Festival, featuring music from five local and regional blues bands, food trucks, and a beer garden managed by the American Legion Newburgh Kapperman Post #44. This is the eighth year for the Blues Festival, which is put on by the River Basin Blues Society — a local organization dedicated to supporting blues musicians and venues. The family-friendly event’s presenting sponsor is Moore Music, and admission is free.
Home and Garden
A comfortable home with a touch of nostalgia, this preserved mid-century modern residence is a step ahead of its time. Built in 1949, the home was commissioned by the Ira Van Tuyls family and has been home to just two families. “The 4014-square-foot home has been lovingly maintained through the years,” says Shelley McGolden, a Realtor with eXp Realty. “The current owners have preserved the integrity of the mid-century home and diligently maintained the home’s character."
Photographer Audra Straw and I were being robbed. What started as a peaceful train ride was disrupted when a prisoner on the train and his undercover crew overthrew the sheriff and took the train hostage. We hadn’t traveled back in time to the wild West. We were passengers of the Outlaw Limited themed train on the Ohio River Scenic Railway. Founded in July 2019, the company launched its first train — a streamline-era locomotive with cars built from 1949 to the ‘80s — on June 20, 2020, due to delays from the pandemic.
When you become a pro boxer at 15 years old, win a World Boxing Association Championship at 26 years old, and end your career with a 44-7-4 record, where do you go from there? Clarence “Bones” Adams, the owner of the Bones Adams Boxing Gym, can finally answer that question.
Each morning, Vann Park on Evansville’s East Side welcomes a flurry of activity. Walkers trot their dogs across the lawn. Runners stretch their legs by tracing the park’s perimeter. Families converge on the playground, children ambling across the jungle gyms and slides. Pairs sit at picnic tables for a friendly game of chess.
Beset by woods and tucked away among the greenery of Southern Indiana’s rolling hills, a new home’s modern exterior belies the vintage and eclectic wonder within. Kristyn Blackard had loved her previous, more traditional home, but to meet the needs of her growing family, she and her husband opted for a change: a new build and, ultimately, their dream home.
Here’s what Lake Geneva and Elkhart Lake have in common: Both small resort towns have the word “Lake” in the name, and both are in Wisconsin. That’s where the similarities end, but each is popular with Midwesterners looking for a fun-filled lake retreat.
Summer concerts are back in the Tri-State, and at the Under the Radar concert series, it doesn’t matter the genre of music or how big the venue is. What matters is that a certain level of artistry is presented that will wow any intimate, music-loving audience. Hosting everything from country players to avant garde jazz, string quartets, and Mississippi Delta Blues, the Under the Radar Concert Series began four years ago through the partnership of four men and a church.
Summer has arrived in the Tri-State. With temperatures reaching the 90s by mid-June, we knew surviving the hot sun of the season would require a cold, refreshing treat. Check out the area’s shaved ice stands and kick back, relax, and take a break from the heat. St. Joe Shaved Ice 2640 N. St. Joseph Ave. facebook.com/StJoeIce
A staple of summer feasts is plentiful ears of freshly picked corn, and there is none sweeter than Silver Queen. Paul Mayse, owner of Mayse Farm Market at 6400 N. St. Joseph Ave., says this year’s crop of Silver Queen white sweet corn has been planted and will be ready for harvest around mid-July. Silver Queen is typically available through August or, if the weather permits, September.
Throughout the years, Eli Haddix proved to be one of Evansville Living’s favorite foodies. His passion for food extended from the restaurant kitchens where he worked to the homecooked meals he created for friends, and he graced many pages in Evansville Living sharing his favorite recipes with readers.
Behind the ornate bar at Mo’s House in Haynie’s Corner, senior bartender John Raleigh expertly shakes two cocktails. Pouring each into a chilled glass, he garnishes one with a meticulously cut lemon twist and the other with orange, all without missing a beat of conversation with guests.
Thyme in the Kitchen offers everything a person needs to become a home chef extraordinaire with countless kitchen accessories, gadgets, and cookware and, of course, its popular cooking classes. “We definitely wanted to create that experience and have our customers get more excited about cooking,” says General Manager Ruth Richmond, who has worked at Thyme in the Kitchen since it opened in December 2013 at 2308 W. Franklin St.
When Connie Wagner decided to move to a new home in 2019, she had her eye on a wood-framed cottage on Bellemeade Avenue near Ascension St. Vincent. The 1930s house was a design standard on Evansville’s East Side, minus one crucial detail: It was painted school house red. After quickly selling her previous home and moving in, Wagner embarked on a mission for color inspiration. The Accident, Maryland, native, who moved to Evansville in 1978, found the perfect color waiting for her at a home on Gum Street.
Natalie Wells is a thrifter. Buying quality pieces for cheap and giving them a brand new contemporary look is what gets her excited. Wells opened her furniture refinishing and home decor store — The Chalky Chic — in September 2020 inside a renovated early 20th century home in downtown Newburgh, Indiana, after garnering interest in the space from her friend Tammy Kollker, the owner of Honeysuckle Finds antiques and a former tenant in the more than 100-year-old home.
Putting together a flower arrangement is its own artform, and at Zeidler’s Flowers, being on the cutting edge is what it’s all about.
As much as the staff of Evansville Living hates to see summer go, the recent hot and humid weather has us longing for the fall. Fortunately, the autumn equinox occurs Sept. 22, and we’ve been thumbing through past autumn issues of Evansville Living while we impatiently wait. When we picked up the September/October 2004 issue, we were immediately reminded of the vibrant colors of autumn Chrysanthemums, the crispness of the air, and the electricity of high school football games.
Friday, Sept. 17, marks the last day longtime WFIE anchor Dan Katz will sign off from 14 News’ Sunrise show. After almost 40 years covering Evansville news — 27 of them on Sunrise — Katz is riding off into the sunset of retirement. The team at Evansville Living has long been a fan of Katz’s career — and even his hair! — and our sunrises won’t be the same without Katz catching us up on the news.
As we enter the fall season and summer festivals wind down, there’s still time to enjoy one more German heritage festival. New Harmony’s Kunstfest features artists from across the Tri-State region that will sell and showcase their creations. There will also be opportunities to have fun with entertainment, festival food, and New Harmony history. Check out more about Kunstfest and other local events this weekend with our Staff Pick Events.
Lunch is back at Entwined Wine & Cocktail Bar (303 Main St.). Hearty soups, crisp salads, and savory sandwiches are returning the Downtown lunch crowd to the restaurant’s shaded patio for the first time since the height of COVID-19 pandemic. On Sept. 2, 2021, Entwined announced its lunch service and hours would start again on Sept. 7 after social distancing restrictions, labor shortages, and lack of demand forced it to scale back business several months ago, managing partner Morgan Lemond says.
Shanah Tovah! Evansville Living wishes a happy new year to our Jewish readers across the Tri-State.
On a crisp, clear September morning 20 years ago, four planes descended the sky and introduced terrorism to the American mainland. Aside from Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that launched U.S. participation into World War II, terrorism was something many Americans considered a foreign problem; it only happened in other countries. That day, terror came home.
Starting with its November/December 2001 issue, Evansville Living shared Tri-State residents' stories in a series called “From This Day Forward.” Newscasters, families, a FEMA search-and-rescue member, reporters, military personnel, and everyday citizens shared how 9/11 immediately affected their lives.
Mikaela Jenkins’ hands made contact with the wall of the pool during the 100-meter butterfly S10 race on Aug. 31, 2021 at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. The Evansville native came up for air next to her opponent, Australian Jasmine Greenwood, and squinted at the tiny scoreboard across the room. “I did it?” she said, pointing and removing her goggles. “It says one, right?”
This year, the Reitz Bowl, arguably Evansville’s most famous football stadium, turns 100 years old. Though Reitz Bowl has a long, storied history on the city’s West Side, the stadium was actually formed by accident. Originally planned as a retaining wall for the newly built F.J. Reitz High School, a school member noticed that with a few changes, a football stadium could also be constructed.
Welcome to our second staff Q&A! We plan to periodically introduce you to members of the Tucker Publishing Group team via a quick Q&A about us. Who has worked at TPG the longest? What past issues of Evansville Living are our favorites? Who has the fiercest high school rivalry in the office? Keep an eye trained here to find out!
Hooray for a three-day weekend! Take the “labor” out of Labor Day and relax with live music shows, comedy sets, and even some festive fireworks. Still want to stay active? This weekend, we’ve got a race for that!
Main Street in Downtown Evansville is a bustling line of businesses that for many years has lacked a basic amenity for visitors and residents alike. Since opening in October 2020, Bargetown Market has filled that gap.
Coffee lovers, rejoice: There’s a new place in Downtown Evansville to get your fix. Joe Brewski, the popular, custom cold brew cart that frequents area farmers markets, has set up shop just off Main Street.
In the August/September issue of Evansville Business, we met Sal Lavallo, who in 2017 became one of the youngest people to visit all 193 established countries (now 195) in the world. The 30-year-old is an Evansville native and head of Foreign Direct Investment at the Abu Dhabi Investment Office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, but he isn’t the first Evansvillian to reach a travel milestone.
Though summer is winding down and school is starting back up, there’s still plenty to do across the Tri-State this weekend. Get out and enjoy these staff pick events before the summer sun sets!
At the newest exhibit at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, homeless does not mean hopeless. Depicted in colored pencil entries by Shania Curl, the tagline perfectly encapsulates “Artistry Unhoused: Enlightenment From the Streets,” which features art from 15 homeless and formerly homeless artists from the Tri-State. Running through Aug. 28 at the Art Council’s Bower-Suhreinrich Foundation Gallery at 212 Main St., more than 50 pieces were submitted commission free so that artists receive 100 percent of the profits when their work sells.
Under a July sun, boaters on the Ohio River began to circle near the Evansville riverfront waiting for the semi-annual, man-made sand bar to pop up. The small island is created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging the river to clear silt from the main channel to maintain its required 300-feet-wide-by-9-feet-deep measurements.
Last week, a plain cardboard box addressed to Evansville Living Editor and Publisher Kristen Tucker was delivered to our office. The branded contents — including two orange wristbands and a bright blue hat that I’m wearing as I type this — came from BREWSKI, a traditional shandy from the Double Cola Company subsidiary Cheers Beverages. The two 12-ounce, 3.5 percent ABV cans (along with matching koozies and stickers) in our package were first unveiled in 2019 but made their debut in southern Indiana on Aug. 10, 2021.
Swaying from side to side like the controlled motion of a pendulum, the Ohio River Scenic Railway train peeled away from the Depot in Tell City, Indiana, as photographer Audra Straw and I watched the small town outside start to blur into lush green foliage.
This summer, as more of us felt more comfortable traveling, several members of the Evansville Living staff took the opportunity to explore other parts of the country. Take a look at where we headed off to this summer! Creative Director Laura Mathis: My oldest daughter Natalie spent the summer stage managing at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. We went to visit her and enjoy the many waterfalls and wineries.
Bring out your lederhosen and dirndl, because Volksfest is back! Germania Maennerchor’s 59th annual German heritage festival returns Aug. 5-7 after being canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19. A popular annual event, organizers and attendees alike are ready for Volksfest to return. “It’s a huge event for us. We always have a good time,” says Germania Maennerchor club member Harold Griese.
Purchasing fresh, organic, locally grown produce comes with many benefits. The food is nourishing, tasty, cheap, and supporting local farmers is a great way to maintain a sustainable food source. Join your fellow agriculturalists and navigate the fresh food landscape in Evansville with these farmers markets!
Light pink boxes are popping up across Evansville, but it’s what’s inside that has River City residents lining up for a peek. The slender rectangular boxes hold soft, gooey, homemade cookies from Crumbl Cookies.
Breakfast food in Evansville just got an upgrade. The regional southern comfort chain Biscuit Belly had its grand opening event at 7:30 a.m. July 21. Entering the parking lot at 6:45 a.m., a line of hungry customers could be seen winding around the building at 945 N. Burkhardt Road. But Biscuit Belly — open 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday-Sunday — officially opened its doors July 17. So, why were patrons queuing down the block? “The gift card!” says Evansville native Pat Schroeder.
Welcome to our inaugural staff Q&A! We plan to periodically introduce you to members of the Tucker Publishing Group team via a quick Q&A about us. Who has worked at TPG the longest? What past issues of Evansville Living are our favorites? Who has the fiercest high school rivalry in the office? Keep an eye trained here to find out!
When we met senior bartender John Raleigh at Mo’s House (1114 Parrett St.) for the July/August issue of Evansville Living he told us about life behind the bar while preparing some of his favorite cocktails to serve. While we can’t bring everyone on our adventures around town, it’d be selfish to keep Raleigh’s four carefully crafted concoctions to ourselves, and he agreed! “That’s what I really enjoy about craft cocktails — teaching people,” he says.
Summer is in full swing, and there are plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy Evansville’s various events and festivals. Get to gorging on spicy chicken wings, blowing bubbles on the library lawn, and celebrating the Vanderburgh County Fair’s 100th anniversary. EVPL Oaklyn Bubblefest 10 a.m. July 24 EVPL Oaklyn, 3001 Oaklyn Dr.
Evansville Living had nearly completed its Insider series “ABCs of Evansville” when local collector Dennis Haire reached out to editor Kristen Tucker. Sharing how much he enjoyed reading about a different letter representing a word associated with Evansville each week, Dennis asked if we had seen an Evansville souvenir booklet from 1917. Filled with beautifully painted scenes from around the city, the booklet concludes with an alphabetical review of Evansville from over a century ago.
The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library is home to an endless book supply, but have you spotted the newest additions to the library’s offerings? The “Library of Things” at EVPL Central is a gold mine of ukuleles, roll-up piano keyboards, and soon-to-be-added lawn and sports equipment available for rent. The protocol for renting these items is the same as renting a book; just be sure you have an active library card. “A lot of libraries have been doing this for a while,” says Experience Supervisor Beth Heil.
Congratulations, you’ve survived another week of Southern Indiana’s summer humidity. While there isn’t an official award for this occasion, you can still treat yourself to an icy celebration this weekend. The wine slushies at Honey + Moon Coffee are a fun, tasty, and cool way to escape the season’s heat and enjoy the sunshine. Managing Editor Jodi Keen and I tried the two flavors, Honeymoon Mimosa and Getaway Frosé, available at the original location at 612 S. Weinbach Ave.