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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

March / April 2011

Features

Join the Fun

A root beer saloon. Roller skates. Dancing shoes. From places for playing to fascinating people to cool skills, couch potatoes aren’t welcomed here. Grab the bull by the horns — literally — and have some fun this spring.

Rising from the Ashes

Around 1:20 a.m. on a chilly Saturday, Jeff Butts headed home from a late-night game of bowling. As he drove down Denzer Road, a narrow, tree-lined country road northwest of Evansville, he spotted something in the darkness: flames shooting from his neighbor Ben Lang’s log home.

Good Living

The Fast Track

Every spring offers an opportunity to dress like a sophisticated Southerner — and pull it off — thanks to the opening of the Keeneland racetrack (April 8) in Lexington, Ky., and the Kentucky Derby (May 7) at Churchill Downs in Louisville. To dress properly, think bright colors, light fabrics (like linen), and big hats.

Damon Murray

Frozen grape juice concentrate, yeast, sugar, a glass jug, and a balloon were all Damon Murray needed to make his first batch of wine, inspired by a basic how-to on the Internet.  “Within minutes, the balloon (stretched over the bottle opening as an airlock) started inflating, so I knew it was working,” he says. “The next day, I checked on it only to find that the balloon had popped, spraying the room with a nice purple pattern.”

Saved from the Wrecking Ball

Made from Indiana limestone, 14 allegorical figures top the Old Courthouse. Craftsman Franz Englesmann began sculpting for the impressive courthouse in 1888. 

Smell the Roses

The smell of freshly cut grass and budding yellow tulips can be a refreshing reminder that spring finally is here. Another reminder: 55 percent of people in the United States will suffer from itchy eyes, runny noses, constant sneezing, or other allergy-related symptoms. Dr. Clovis Manley, medical director of Plaza Park Family Practice and Dèjá Vu Skin & Vein Center, offers insight into allergy truths and myths.

Tamara Gieselman

To Tamara Gieselman, the United Methodist Church’s slogan, “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors,” represents more than a catchy branding effort. Since landing a job in 2009 as the University of Evansville chaplain, Gieselman has founded a series of public forums called “Who Is My Neighbor,” aimed at offering insight into world religions. 

Rebuilt to Last

Thomas Garvin arrived in Evansville in the mid-19th century with $7 in his pocket. He soon became a prominent lawyer. The white-collar worker bought land on the North Side for a picnic grove. After his death, Garvin’s heirs sold the land in 1915 to the city, and the 80-acre Garvin Park became a reality.

Inside

Fun, Fun, Fun!

My lexicon is filled with “fun.” More than a magazine editor should, I tend to speak colloquially, use idioms and clichés liberally (especially old-fashioned terms), and introduce plenty of phrases that my family calls Kristen-isms. I’m a big fan of the word “fun.” “Let’s do something fun this weekend.” “Oh, how fun!” “What fun things have you done lately?” “That is so cool and fun.”

Departments

Tanar Vagyok

Before we left Evansville to spend the fall 2010 semester in Pécs, Hungary, most of our friends were pretty clear about what my wife, Margaret McMullan, was going to do. She would be the Fulbright fellow, teaching at the University of Pécs and doing research for a book about a forgotten branch of her family tree. Our son, James, would likely be attending a Hungarian school, doing schoolwork for his teachers back in the States, and maybe playing tennis and drums if there were opportunities. My role in this adventure was a little more vague.

Set for Growth

In the early 1990s, Mark Pettinga was a financial advisor in Indianapolis when his wife, Gayle Gerling Pettinga, received a call from her father, Gary Gerling. He offered her the chance to lead his Evansville law firm, an organization Gerling founded in 1963. Gerling Pettinga worked long hours as an attorney for Eli Lilly & Co., a large pharmaceutical company. The lure of her hometown with the added opportunity of someday owning her father’s law firm convinced the couple to accept the offer.

Twenty-three

Numbers tell a story in baseball. Casual fans might know the value of a 20-game winner or the importance of a .300 hitter. Mention figures like 56 or 511 to hardcore aficionados, and you’ll probably get an earful about Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak and Cy Young’s career victory total. Sometimes, a subtler tale lies behind a number, a story that gets as much notice as a single leaf among bright autumn foliage. 

The Least Amount of Damage

 In Ann Arbor, Mich., Zingerman’s is a food institution. It rocks the culinary world with divine treats from an assortment of gourmet food businesses: paesano bread (great for dipping in olive oil) from Zingerman’s Bakehouse, a bacon chocolate pig (a hog-shaped milk chocolate studded with applewood-smoked bacon) from Zingerman’s Deli, or a Detroit street brick (made from goat milk) from Zingerman’s Creamery.

Home Style

Grand Greenhouses

Spring’s warmer temperatures mean quality time in the garden. If you want to add pizzazz to your tried-and-true annuals and perennials, check out these greenhouses.

Small Talk

Earlier this year in this column, I stressed the importance of diversifying your garden. (Remember? If you don’t have variety, you’re increasing the risk of pest infestation or disease.) But that doesn’t give free range to pick whatever you wish. Plants don’t always play nicely, and the diversity I so highly recommend becomes a bigger problem than creepy crawlies if you pick plants willy-nilly.  

New Blooms

Old wooden wagon wheels and stacks of hay stand sentry at the Newburgh Country Store. A rustic wooden sign proclaims, “This here building was bilt in 1863.” [sic] Inside, lamps cast a warm glow on vintage posters and dried flowers hanging from the eaves. Wind chimes compose a melody. A wall lined with jars of sweets such as lemon puffs and butter mints hearkens back to confectionery shops. The store’s brass-toned cash register is around 100 years old.

Hoosier Shandy

In March, 65 college basketball teams will compete in one tournament, and Hoosier pride in basketball runs deep. Indiana University’s men’s basketball team is no lock to compete during March Madness, but I’m not a fair-weather fan. This cocktail — which plays off the traditional shandy, a beer mixed with a citrus-flavored soda — beams white and crimson red, IU’s team colors.

City Life

Made by Hand

When Tom Wintczak first sat down at a potter’s wheel, “it just kind of stirred something in me,” the Posey County resident once told Evansville Living. That moment eventually would propel Wintczak, the former manager of a car rental facility, into a fulltime career as a potter. He specializes in redware, an intricate style dating back to colonial America, and his work recently earned him the title of Indiana Artisan.

Songs of Survival

Dressed as a black cat, Ela Stein Weissberger sang proudly from a European stage. In the audience were esteemed poets, artists, and musicians, and on stage with Weissberger were dozens of other young singers. The cast performed the fanciful story of a brother and sister who, with help from their friends and three enchanted animals, overcome a tyrannical organ grinder who bans them from singing in the town square to raise money for their sick mother. Good triumphs over evil, and the opera concludes with a victory tune.

Jama Williamson

On NBC’s hit comedy Parks and Recreation, Jama Williamson plays a beautiful, smart doctor married to Aziz Ansari, who portrays a cocky Hoosier bureaucrat. The show’s characters suspect the arrangement is a green-card marriage considering Ansari is of Indian descent. They’re right — sort of. Williamson’s character is a Canadian who may be deported. The show is smart and clever, playing off stereotypes and preconceived notions. 

Paint for a Cause

Joanne Massey is a realist painter fond of using acrylics, watercolors, and oils to create lush florals and landscapes. A fellow disciple of realism, Diane Ubelhor-Wunderlich creates watercolors that feature fauna rather than flora. Though they favor different mediums and subjects, both artists share a love of art and charity.

Fire Fight

When Evansville Police Department Detective Patrick Phernetton’s daughter Mickey was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome in 1996, he knew he needed help. The rare genetic disorder causes compulsive eating, developmental delays, and learning disabilities, and it requires specialized care.

Dining

Chew On This

Sweet CeCe’s (8680 High Pointe Drive, Newburgh) opened in February in the Newburgh Walmart complex off Bell Road. The concept, which originated in the Nashville, Tenn., area, allows customers to create their own frozen yogurt desserts by choosing from eight flavors of frozen yogurt and adding toppings: candy, cookies, fruit, and more. … A second Zoup! (4660 N. First Ave.) has opened on the North Side. The restaurant with the emphasis on soups comes from the same Evansville franchise owner, Nooshin Mehrnia.

Flavors

Restaurants We’re Trying

Windmill Donuts & Pizza: The menu is not the healthiest, the pizza toppings are limited, but we are so enamored with the concept: donuts and pizza in the same restaurant. Right inside this Northeast Side joint is a display case of confectionery creations ready to entice with sugary splendor, and the clientele tends to mosey in. Windmill, lodged in the former Huddle House, is a place to linger, and why not? The menu is a guilty pleasure, and the ample donut size isn’t for scarfing down (the chocolate-topped honey bun takes at least 20 minutes to eat).

Pizza Re-Imagined

Americans have transformed the Italian pizza for decades: Chicagoans with a love of deep dish, New Yorkers with an affection for giant slices, Californians with a penchant for Asian and Hispanic toppings, and Evansvillians with an obsession with supermodel skinny thin crust thanks to longtime pizza staple, Turoni’s. But imagine pizza dipped in mustard or topped with peanut butter. Now, try it. Here, we offer three pies from chefs thinking outside the pizza box. 

Beer for Thought

Blame prohibition for the decline of American beers in the 20th century. Plenty of beer connoisseurs and historians do. Imports were available after Prohibition was repealed. They weren’t cheap, so the realm of beer used to fall into two categories, either Bud or Miller. It didn’t really matter which keg you tapped. These beers tasted about the same.

Brew Hub

Kanpai – The only bar inside this East Side restaurant is for sushi, but as a self-described beer snob, owner Jayson Munoz offers a beer menu that shines with a rotating stock dependent on the seasons. This spring, more wheat and pilsner beers arrive to a menu of around 40 beers (bottles only, no draft). He also is a man dedicated to local — or nearly local — brews such as St. Louis-based Schlafly and Upland, made in Bloomington, Ind. “If Schlafly is going to carry a beer,” Munoz says, “I’m going to pick it up.

Just Brew It

The Casual Brewer: Larry Epplin Mariah Hill, Ind. Brewing since 1993 Makes four batches (20 gallons) a year. Why Brew: “I’ve always been a beer lover. There’s no doubt about that,” says Epplin, “but my cousin got me into it. If I could do it as easily as he could, I thought it could be an interesting adventure, and by golly, it was.”

110 Bottles of Beer

As a veteran of Old Chicago’s World Beer Tour, Michael Cannon has tasted the world from a glass. His journey through 110 beers began with a Bud Light, a domestic beer from St. Louis, purchased soon after the restaurant’s opening in 2005, but Old Chicago’s beer menu — more than 130 brews deep — is diverse. Inspired, Cannon, whose experience with beer had been limited to domestic brews, ventured to finish the World Beer Tour.

Tools of the Trade

In every issue of Evansville Living, columnist Eli Haddix entices readers with a new recipe. For this edition of Flavors, he reveals the top five tools he uses to create a culinary masterpiece. “My list is based on my belief that, given these five things, I can make a meal with 10 times more efficiency and precision than I would be able to without them,” Haddix says. “I also subscribe to the Alton Brown school of thought that if a gadget only can do one thing, I don’t need it. I need things that are usable for multiple functions.”

Surf for Your Supper

First, the obligatory disclaimer: Read the fine print before you buy a discounted restaurant certificate. (Limits may apply to dates and times, alcohol purchases, and more.) If you have questions, call the restaurant. Better safe than starving.

Online Exclusives

Kuric’s Corner

Kyle Kuric has been on a marvelous ride during his four years playing basketball at the University of Louisville. And he will finish that career in the place where every major college basketball player wants to be. The Final Four. U of L faces in-state rival and No. 1 seed Kentucky late this afternoon, with a berth in the NCAA championship game Monday as the prize.

Photos You Didn’t See

In our March/April 2011 issue we feature Ben Lang's custom log cabin ("Rising from the Ashes"). Five years ago, a fire destroyed the cabin and nearly claimed Ben's life. A love of rural living — and a little convincing from his family — encouraged him to rebuild the luxurious country haven. Here, we present additional photos of the home not seen the magazine.

Link Up

We strive to cover local restaurants in our magazine, but in this issue of Flavors, our annual dining issue, we sent readers on a progressive chain date (“Chain Action”). We aren’t the first city magazine to admit that chains are a vital part of the community. Check out Indianapolis Monthly’s “Chain Reaction.”