Another summer. Another vacation. Pack your stylish clothes in stylish suitcases. Here, a few suggestions on the latter.
May / June 2011
HIT THE ROAD Glass Half Full By Louis La Plante – I always mixed my bourbon with soda. Then I wandered along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and was shamed.
A certain wildness — or lack of order — rules Tim Black’s garden. “There’s never been a vision or a map,” he says. Black’s grand plan for the garden at his home near the University of Evansville is a wavering spectacle of whatever looks good to him.
The Reitz Home Museum has long been a jewel among historians. The admired grandeur of this three-story, 19th century home — once the residence of one the city’s most prominent and philanthropic families — stems from round-the-clock fundraising and upkeep from a dedicated, small staff. But the real magnitude of the museum falls on Matt Rowe, the museum’s new executive director. He replaced longtime Reitz head Tess Grimm after she retired in January. As the new face of the Reitz Home, Rowe, a former librarian and soirée regular, thinks big.
Last April, Beth Martin opened the Barefoot Cottage above Busy Beedz, a successful jewelry boutique with a passionate following. Her shop showcased her down-to-earth, yet chic, home décor: custom-built wooden hutches and benches, “feathered” bowls, wicker chairs, glass candy jars, and bird chandeliers. “I would definitely say the store offers all things casual,” Martin says.
I always feel like I am walking back in time when I walk up the steps into the Miller House in Owensboro, Ky. It is a place with many stories to tell, and its tale of the moment is not cautionary but wonderfully culinary thanks to the namesake restaurant opened in 2009 by Jeanne and Larry Kirk, two natives who love the lore of the home.
The eggs I like have a particularly vibrant golden aesthetic. These round, heaven-sent globes are velvety and rich. The eggs complement anything they touch. When scrambled, they’re fluffy. Want eggs over easy? With thick yolks, these eggs are perfect. In Mount Vernon, Ind., the aptly named Oasis Farm is the sanctuary where free-range, cage-free chickens provide these full-flavored eggs. (Also found at Oasis: select produce such as asparagus and blackberries).
White tablecloths and napkins festoon the Edgewater Grille, a 13-year staple on the banks of the Ohio River in Newburgh where the interior design creates a formal atmosphere, but the very nature of the family-owned business fosters a casual impression. With such a blended ambiance, Edgewater is a locale boasting a varied menu as well. Owner Jacqueline Schen hopes the menu appeals to the masses because she believes it’s a menu with dishes “for anyone with taste buds.”
Inside Sweet CeCe’s in Newburgh, cheerful shades of hot pink, lime green, and orange brighten the strip-plaza space. Corrugated metal lines the cash register counter, lending an industrial, modern contrast to the sugary-sweet wall colors. With frozen yogurt machines, candy dispensers, and a bar of fresh toppings around the perimeter, the restaurant feels open and uncluttered.
Unless you are in a book club, reading typically is a solitary activity, and composing a novel, much like a magazine article, is equally as lonely — unless you are writing this column. My mixologist Stephen Dennison and I work closely together when crafting cocktails, but when we envisioned the perfect cocktail for drinking alone, we pictured Gore Vidal.
Center of Attention
Anne Slaughter Andrew was a 16-year-old student at Reitz Memorial High School when she boarded a plane to Central America with her uncle, John Slaughter. She spent three weeks delivering medicine and food supplies for a nonprofit organization. She returned and told her parents, Marge and the late Owen Slaughter, her new life plan: to attend Georgetown University, join foreign service, and someday return to Central America.
I carry a small notebook with me, jotting down words and ideas that, for whatever reason, inspire me. I’m often writing in two notebooks, stashed in different purses or my briefcase, and I fill them up and refer back to them. What I find I’ve annotated most often are words — just words.
Check It Out
Torrential rain, sticky humidity, and blustery wind — all are possible foes to contend with when planning a fun spring evening in Southern Indiana. One fail-proof option: Join vintners, restaurateurs, jazz musicians, and wine lovers under two large tents for Grapes on the Grass, a May 20 wine-tasting gala that thumbs its nose at Mother Nature’s mischief.
A family-friendly atmosphere exists at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Proof? Boo at the Zoo, a Halloween event; the Or-Kid Escape, an annual youth-centric tour of the orchid exhibit; or Breakfast with Santa. But two years ago, Charlotte Roesner, the zoo’s marketing director, wondered how to attract young professionals. Why should there be an age limit on who could enjoy the zoo? Thus, 2010 marked the birth of Zoo Brew, an adults-only event showcasing a product growing in popularity: craft brew.
Three white-haired widows were enjoying lunch at the River Oaks Health Campus, a nursing home in Princeton, Ind., when Betty Reynolds, 87, mentioned that she had been a “Rosie the riveter” during World War II. “So was I,” answered one of her tablemates, Woanetta Osborne, 85. Another, Margaret Evans, 89, chimed in, “So was I.” Thus began an impromptu reunion of three women who helped build P-47 Thunderbolts, the fighter-bomber workhorse for the Army Air Corps, in Evansville defense plants.
In 2005, the editors of Time magazine named Bono a “Person of the Year.” The singer of U2 fame wasn’t honored for his music. The one-name celebrity, best known for tunes such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” and “With or Without You,” had transformed into a one-man crusader of a cause: to lessen the immense strain of poverty, hunger, and disease in Africa.
As warmer weather settles over the Tri-State after a chilly spring, homeowners are eager to head outside and tend to their gardens. Here are a few tips to help get you started. Start with a plan. This may sound simple, but a lot goes into laying out a landscape. I recommend working with a professional to guide you through the process. First, consider how you intend to use the space, factoring in kids, dogs, site issues, and any special features you want in your garden.
Every weekday, when Jeffrey Justice wakes up in his home along Petersburg Road, he readies for work. Sometimes, he wears a tie; other days, he chooses to go open collar. Then, the president of Hafer Associates, an architecture firm in Downtown Evansville, hops in his car and heads south along winding Petersburg, a road ending at Highway 57.
For 11 years, my husband Brad and I had been in a committed one-dog family. We knew the cost and time of raising pets more than doubles with a new puppy. Still, during the summer of 2010, Brad and I felt the urge to add to our family. After all, I knew time was limited for our 14-year-old miniature poodle, Hershey.
Growing up in Miami Beach, Fla., Elliot Wasserman cherished family outings to the Coconut Grove Playhouse, where he saw the likes of Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, and Ann Miller perform. While Wasserman enjoyed live theater and dabbled in acting, his first passion was writing. After earning degrees in English and creative writing, he headed to the University of Georgia to enroll in a playwriting program. After he took a directing class, he was hooked. “There was a kind of natural eye,” he says.
In 2002, Bonnaroo was a music fest on a farm in Manchester, Tenn., attended by people who loved music. They didn’t bathe while camping under the hot Southern sun for four days, and they listened to bands with large followings but without much mainstream appeal such as Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the John Butler Trio, and the String Cheese Incident.
CREATES: Illustrations, mostly children’s books. Doesn’t work with self-publishers. HER STORY: The graduate of Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio has illustrated five hardcover picture books for children since 2009. The Evansville transplant’s latest, The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Indianapolis author Janna Matthies, arrived this spring. GOOD COPY: Valiant likes children’s books with a sense of humor, short text, and a personal story.
Behind the Shot
By the time you receive this magazine in your mailbox or off the newsstand or perhaps in a waiting room, the Ohio River slowly will be receding from a crest around 46 feet in Evansville. The National Weather Service considers that a “moderate flood stage.” The problem with that description is that it overlooked Evansville’s other water issue. Pigeon, Bluegrass, and Licking creeks caused massive flooding, which prompted city officials to declare a state of emergency.
When Evansville Living readers last saw Mike Shore (“New Hope,” September/October 2009), he was recovering from a long-awaited lung transplant, the only effective treatment for the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis he had been diagnosed with more than three years earlier. IPF, a progressive disease that scars the lungs, has no known cause. The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis estimates there are 128,000 IPF patients in America, and each year, 40,000 people die from the disease — the same as breast cancer.
On a recent May morning, Evansvillian Kathryn Martin was in a Walmart outside of Huntsville, Ala., when she received a call from a volunteer on C.J.’s Bus, a customized vehicle designed to bring relief to children in disaster-stricken areas. The bus had been charging through the South days after tornadoes killed more than 300. But the volunteer told Martin the bus now was stalled on the side of the highway with a busted radiator.
To show how these local stories fit into the broader context of world events, this edition of Link Up brings the Internet to you. No Google search required.
Nearly four decades ago, Jeffrey Sparks met Matt Williams and David McFadzean, fellow theater majors, at the University of Evansville. The three roommates kept in touch after graduation. In the 1980s, Sparks learned Williams created TV sitcom Roseanne, and in the 1990s, Williams and McFadzean followed up with TV sitcom Home Improvement.