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March / April 2010

Evansville Living

A Decade of Design

Home is where the heart is, and area homes have been at the heart of Evansville Living since the magazine’s beginning. For 10 years, we’ve featured cozy cottages, ultra-modern lofts, historic mansions — all kinds of abodes — giving readers an intimate look into these places and the lives of the people who call them home. We’ve been inspired to create our own masterpieces: the four completed Evansville Living Idea Homes and one currently underway.

Showroom Space

Though the hundreds of bathroom and kitchen fixtures and appliances available in the Ferguson Enterprises home store are online, nothing replaces the experience of shopping in person, says Andy Cook, branch manager of the local Ferguson. In the Internet Age, the concept is increasingly rare, but the 7,000-square-foot showroom is one exception. The first Evansville Ferguson showroom opened on Morgan Avenue and moved near Burkhardt Road a year ago. Today, the Morgan location acts as a warehouse and distribution hub.

About Face

The Colonial Revival home at 620 Washington Ave. once was part of a majestic corridor filled with beautiful, stately residences near Downtown. Built in 1906, the home’s majestic days have long since passed, and its neighborhood, the Washington Avenue Historic District, slowly lost its grandeur after World War II. With decades of attempted resurrections from preservationists, a new façade for the 620 Washington Ave. home is beginning to form.

Eat Cheap

You don't have to stick with the dollar menu to eat cheaply. Here's our guide to eating on a budget:

Brian Williams

Growing up in Evansville, some of Brian Williams’ fondest moments came from his days as a Boy Scout — attending the World Jamboree in Japan and canoeing the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.

Recycling Revealed

Every issue of Evansville Living contains more than 100 pages, each of which goes through several rounds of revisions and red pen marks. By the time the magazine goes to press, our staff has amassed a hefty recycling load that we cart off to Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. We’re not alone. Every time we arrive at the urban forest’s recycling facility, the bins are heaped with discarded paper products: cardboard, office paper, packaging, etc. The sheer volume of materials made us wonder how often they’re collected — and where they go.

“B” Cubed

Could anything be better than a day filled with beer, bourbon, and barbecue? Wait. How about those ingredients all in one cocktail? When BourbonBlog.com was invited to film the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival in New York City in February, mixologist Stephen Dennison and I invented such a concoction.


Check out photos submitted by our readers, featuring them with a copy of Evansville Living in an interesting place.

Veggie Lovers

Recently, when my husband and I invited another couple over for dinner, I confidently chose a tried-and-true recipe. But when I pulled the eggplant Parmesan out of the oven, I wondered if I’d committed a hostess faux pas by serving a vegetarian dish to a meat and potatoes-loving duo.

Ah, Nuts

When Christa Kramer isn’t whipping Evansvillians into shape at one of the YMCA’s aerobics classes, she’s offering them nutritional advice. The registered dietitian knows a healthy diet can be a little nutty. Once considered a fattening snack, nuts have resurged as a healthy choice — with a few caveats. Here’s Kramer’s advice.

Forward Thinking

The Progression Matrix:   Our simplification of Evansville from 2000-2010

Food for Thought

Pad Thai with tofu, rice paper-wrapped salad rolls, and a grilled Provençal vegetable sandwich. While these entrees may sound like the daily specials at a pricey fusion restaurant, they actually showed up on a recent week’s menu at the University of Evansville.

Three Wines Under $15

Today, inexpensive (and good) wine isn’t hard to find. The Historic Newburgh and Evansville Living Wine, Art & Jazz Festival (May 14-15) offers a range of wines — from expensive to cheap — but the Hoosier-made wines have a universal theme: They’re good. We looked at three vintners displaying their bottles at the spring festival and found three bottles worth a sip — each under $15. 

Bitter Sweet

Every few years, Americans find a new nutritional evil. First, fat (the saturated kind found in meat and dairy products) was bad. Then, the Atkins diet finally found popularity and claimed carbohydrates (the ones in pasta and breads) packed on the pounds. Now, the culprit is sugar — filled with calories and no nutrients.

Center of Attention

Bodybuilding Beauty

At age 22, Iryna McCraw came to the United States from Eastern Europe to pursue bodybuilding. Why would a young, beautiful Russian woman — now 31 — choose to bulk up? Simply put: “It’s what I like to do,” she says. Her late father, Vladimir Degtyarov, was an Olympic gymnast for the Soviet Union in the 1960s, and he passed on his athletic ability and determination to his daughter. It showed last November, when the Madisonville, Ky., resident won the Kentucky Muscle figure championship, a well-known bodybuilding competition in Louisville.

Editor's Letter

It’s Our Party

Thank you! I can begin my 61st letter in this magazine in no other way. I would be well served if those two words also were the last words of this letter; that’s all I really need to say as I introduce the 10th anniversary issue of Evansville Living.

Chew On This

Chew On This

The longtime pizza institution, Turoni’s Pizzery (408 N. Main St., 4 N. Weinbach Ave.), now has a third location in Newburgh (8011 Bell Oaks Drive). The famous thin crust with a crunch remains the menu’s highlight. … The owners of upscale casual restaurant Ma. T. 888 China Bistro (5636 Vogel Road) have opened a fast food restaurant, Wok ’N Roll (311 S. Green River Road). The quick, takeout joint also offers a dine-in atmosphere with a wait staff and a menu of Asian-inspired dishes.

Check It Out

Can Do Attitude

Last April, employees, students, and church members of four businesses, two universities, and one church gathered at Washington Square Mall to create sculptures from thousands of food cans stacked to resemble a soup bowl, pyramid, wind turbine, clown fish, hydroplane boat, and Star Wars’ robotic character, R2-D2. Some displays climbed nearly eight feet high.

First Steps

Runner’s World magazine recently called the half-marathon “the fastest growing distance in our sport.” But what about those runners who like to go all the way? On April 11, the Southern Indiana Classic Marathon and Half Marathon will give people a choice. The inaugural race is a qualifier for the 2011 Boston Marathon — an event more than a century old. The Heartbreak Hill, a grueling obstacle at the 20th mile of the 26.2-mile race, is one of the defining characteristics of the Boston Marathon.

Multiple Motives

Between the ages of 20 and 40 is when the disorder most commonly begins — though it can be seen at any age — and that’s Brittiney Norman’s growing fear: Multiple sclerosis is affecting people at younger and younger ages. As the community development manager at the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, she “wants to make sure children can lead happy, healthy lives,” Norman says.

Rock and Robin

The designers at Landscapes by Dallas Foster, Inc. are no strangers to home shows, but their exhibits typically don’t feature Old World-inspired flower markets, antique stone walls and furniture, and hundreds of flowering plants and trees. Then again, the Indiana Flower & Patio Show isn’t a typical home show, says Brian Wildeman, a designer with the Vincennes, Ind.-based company and [Evansville Living’s] “Digging In” columnist.

Foot Fetish

The longest recorded shoe chain in human history is 18,992 feet. To break that record, Jim Bush needs 10,000 pairs. In October, he asked the community for support, and a shoe collection drive began. Currently, Bush and his group of volunteers have gathered 4,000. The deadline coincides with the St. Patrick’s Day Run of Luck on March 13. The record, though fun, is ancillary compared to Bush’s main mission: The shoes collected are donated to those without footwear.

Encyclopedia Evansvillia

A Walk Downtown

Evansville’s Main Street has changed considerably in the past decade. We opened it to traffic, developed a loft program, and excavated a block to make room for a new arena. Like Main Streets across the nation, the character of our Main Street changed over the course of a century as these postcards archived at Willard Library illustrate.

Evansville Centric

Women Warriors

Before Rosie the Riveter flexed her muscles to inspire millions of American women during World War II, the women of the Junior League of Evansville already had been hard at work for decades. This year, the JLE celebrates 84 years of community outreach — from fundraising to volunteerism. The JLE recently donated $2,500 to the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville, and the women are a regular volunteering presence at Evansville Living Idea Homes. “Wherever the help is needed,” says Stephanie Morris, the JLE president, “we go there.”

Comfort Zone

Child Support

Eight years ago, LaMeshia Mitchell found herself in what she calls a crisis housing situation. She needed time away from her children to seek assistance with rent and utility payments, so she pulled out a brochure she’d received from a friend and dialed Ark Crisis Child Care Center.


The Flags of Amelia

I love Florida, and I’m not alone — our subscription records tell this story. Outside of the immediate Tri-State, more readers of this magazine live in the Sunshine State than any other state.

Follow Us

At one time or another, everyone has wished they could take back something they either said or wrote. Imagine, if you will, that you are a major network reporter and your regrettable words were published to more than a million people and these words were of an off-the-record comment said by the president (you know, of the United States of America) in which he called a major hip hop musician a “jackass,” no less. Twitter has made this scenario an all too easy occurrence for journalists.

Ice Queen

Bundled in a down jacket, warm-ups, and mittens, George Ann Griffin Atkinson stands on the sidelines of the rink at Swonder Ice Arena preparing her students for an upcoming regional figure skating competition. In the 12 hours a week she spends on the ice coaching with additional hours of practice, she says cold limbs come with the territory: “It’s the occupational hazard of being a figure skater.”


Art Attack

Last year, Cirque du Soleil played in 271 cities in 32 countries, and in February 2010, the Canada-based circus celebrated 25 years as a dominating entertainment empire. With that kind of history, Kyle Arnett booked the Cirque Mechanics Birdhouse Factory as the last show of the current Henderson Area Arts Alliance season at the Henderson Fine Arts Center April 10.

Soirées: Spring Fever

Partygoers to celebrations this winter season didn’t let a succession of storms stand between them and the events that raise important funds for our area’s causes. People who braved sudden snows and icy temperatures were rewarded for their generosity with red-hot fun. Check out some of the fun folks had at the winter soirées, and mark your calendars for some springtime fun. Check Out this Issue's Soirées Photo Gallery!

Tom Wintczak

Sixteen years ago, Tom Wintczak was the furthest thing from a trained artist: The Whiting, Ind., native earned a business degree from Indiana State University and managed the Evansville Regional Airport’s Hertz car rental facility for 23 years. But on a whim, he enrolled in a six-night pottery class through the University of Southern Indiana’s continuing education program. The first time Wintczak sat down at a potter’s wheel, “it just kind of stirred something in me,” he recalls. “It felt really right.”

Behind the Shot

Dinosaur Destruction

Long ago, Millie the Tyrannosaurus rex was just a boy dinosaur named Rex in Indianapolis. When the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville opened in 2006, the Tyrannosaurus rex moved south, and he became she. No matter the gender, this prehistoric puppy has plenty of rage — and a keen eye for city development. In December 2009, with help from the demolition masters at Klenck Company and a 6,000-pound wrecking ball, she took to the Executive Inn Downtown, leaving space for a new arena.

Online Exclusives

New UE President Arrives

The 23rd president of the University of Evansville, Dr. Thomas A. Kazee, and his wife Sharon come to Evansville prepared to build on the University of Evansville’s tradition of excellence with wardrobes befitting the job: closets full of purple. Kazee comes to UE from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., home of the purple and white Paladins, where he currently serves as the provost and executive vice president. A paladin is a “heroic warrior.”

Another Reason We Love This Town

The Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, a planned 42-mile pedestrian/bicycle path encircling the city, is years from completion, but that’s no reason we can’t celebrate its progress.

Our Call: Unacceptable

Spring weather means it’s time to step outside for a walk, but would drivers please yield to pedestrians — or at least consider it — especially for crosswalks with pedestrian yield signs posted? We pity the pedestrian who enters a crosswalk without looking. This April, let’s remember it’s the law to stop for walkers.