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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

May / June 2012

Evansville Living

The Famous Kitchen

Like his father, George, Ben Skiadas can work the front room. He is the perfect restaurateur for the kind of place that is the Famous Bistro on Second Street in Owensboro, Ky. The 28-year-old Ben, who now manages the bistro opened by his father in 1993, becomes especially animated when he talks about the Mediterranean restaurant with a “worldly” flare.

Perfect Harmony

I visited Café Arazu in downtown Newburgh, Ind., on a recent Saturday evening on a mission to try the coconut shrimp in sweet curry sauce over white basmati rice. I quickly learned this is not a regular menu selection. It’s an occasional special, offered at $15.95, and had been the featured dish just the night before my visit. Fortunately, the kitchen had just enough left to accommodate my order.

Get Festive

During the summer months in cities and towns along the Ohio River and throughout the area, not a week goes by without scores of amazing festivals taking place. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the weekends are filled with arts, entertainment, history, food, and more. If you feel like having fun at lively, quirky, and even wacky summer festivals, here are our picks to include on your calendar.

Smooth Sailing

Logan Hass admits to a slight fear of heights. When the 23-year-old flight instructor began taking flying lessons at 16, the fear dissipated. “It’s like a drug,” he says. “Once you do it, you’re either hooked or you’re not.” With nearly eight years of experience in the air and more than 2,000 successful landings with Tri-State Aero, Hass wouldn’t trade his job for anything.

A Club of Their Own

In 1922, when their husbands joined the Kiwanis Club of Evansville, 23 women found a way to meet independently for fellowship and to engage in their own local civic projects. They created the Sinawik Club of Evansville (Kiwanis spelled backward), and this year the organization celebrates 90 years of community service.

Just Relax

One of our most basic needs, from infancy on, is to be touched. A newborn is touched, swaddled, and held not only for the practical purpose of comfort or holding body heat in, but more importantly for the tactile stimulation of the skin, nervous system, and brain. Touch establishes powerful physical and emotional connections between infants and their caregivers, and plays an essential role in development.

Home At Last

More than three years have passed since Marine Corps veteran Erik Goodge’s squad was hit by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan, leaving three dead and him with a shattered eye socket and cheek bone, a fractured jaw, skull fractures, brain hemorrhaging, and the loss of his right eye. Spending 16 months in and out of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the Evansville native eventually returned to duty at his home base of Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., finishing out his four-year contract and then some.

Sunday Drivers

Since we started dating a year ago, my new wife (as of February), Kat, and I have made the Sunday drive an integral part of our weekly “us” regimen. We both brought children into our relationship — two daughters, ages 12 and 13, and a son, 6 — so each drive serves as an oasis from our hectic world, as well as a way of pushing the reset button and staying connected with each other.

Double Vision

Terry Friedman dreamed of bringing a professional golf event to his beloved Victoria National Golf Club when he hired famed designer Tom Fazio to transform the former Warrick County strip mine into a diamond for golfers.

A Better Picnic

This year’s early spring has me excited about picnic outings. Evansville has great parks and other sites worthy of hosting a lovely outdoor meal. I want to upgrade the picnic concept without adding to the workload. Keep it simple: flavors, preparation, and execution. Fresh vegetables and fruits are paramount to a successful picnic, and you need not fixate on the traditional “fruit and veggie tray.”

7 Minutes to Heaven

Thanks to the stylish and effective Zoku Quick Pop Maker, the wait for the neighborhood ice-cream truck is over. Zoku’s patented design uses no electricity, and freezes ice pops (including the cream variety) in as little as seven minutes.

What We’re Trying Now

Firehouse Subs Firehouse Hero Premium roast beef, smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and melted provolone. Served “fully involved” loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a dill spear on the side. First Impression The bread was warm, soft, and lightly toasted on the inside, and the sub was loaded with meat. I ordered mine fully involved for the ultimate experience, and it was delicious — the sandwich had the perfect balance of mayo and mustard.

Early to Rise

Spring arrived early in a meteorological sense across the United States, as well as in an astronomical sense, making its earliest appearance since 1896. The vernal equinox — the first day of spring — occurred March 20, a day or two earlier than what most of us recall as the official start of spring. In Southwestern Indiana, flowers and foliage heralded the arrival of the growing season — up to four weeks earlier than in most years ­— inspiring us to present this photo essay of spring images that bloomed for our deadline.

Happy Glaze

At the end of a winding, paved driveway in a picturesque McCutchanville, Ind., neighborhood sits the enchanting home pottery studio of North Carolina native Denise Peyronnin, who moved to Evansville in 1994 to become the executive director of YMCA Camp Carson — a position she held for eight years. The studio is surrounded by a lush landscape, including trees and potted plants, and a nearby black iron bench and large hammock offer ideal spots for gathering inspiration.

Ottoman Pouf Floor Pillows

The new ottoman pouf pillows at The Red Poppy embrace style, comfort, and sophistication while adding a burst of color to every room. Making a slow comeback over the past four years, the ottoman is no longer just an accessory to the easy chair. This versatile piece of furniture serves as a footstool, end table, or even an extra seat in a pinch. 24” Chevron Ottoman $220 18” Wool Ottoman $225

Home for Home Decor

It began with silk flowers, 35 years ago, as a business venture on West Virginia Street by Charles and Anna Mae Haury, a couple passionate about home decoration. Gehlhausen Floral, once an arts and crafts supplies store, now commands a strong presence in Evansville’s retail world of home decor.

Corner Cupboard

Barefoot Cottage owner Beth Martin purchased her favorite item of furniture, a relic storage cabinet, painted light green with a half dozen shelves, two years ago at a flea market during one of two annual festivals in Maeystown, Ill. The door is an antique, and the cabinet, which stands 8 feet tall, was built around it. The pea-green hue was mixed to complement the door, and the worn style gives the appearance that it was all painted at the same time.

Vertical Succulent Garden

Materials: • Planter box • Wire hardware cloth (1/2-inch mesh) • Light mixture of soil • Wire cutter • Staple gun with staples • Garden gloves • Variety of succulent plants to fill the plante Vertical Garden: Vertical succulent gardens provide the opportunity to use all available space in a small area. They can be any size, lean against a rock, or hang on a wall.

Traveling On

For many people, it’s a driver’s license. Or a cap and gown. A first apartment. It is a rite of passage into another stage of life. For my wife, Jane, and me, it’s a teardrop trailer. I tell people it is a small trailer that we will use to go camping and traveling. It isn’t a pop-up tent trailer. It is smaller than that. It is a small, lightweight trailer with somewhat of a streamlined teardrop shape. It is not air-conditioned. It has no TV. Just think of it as a bed on wheels — with doors and a roof.

Editor's Letter

Everything in Bloom

Spring came early this year. The leafy canopy that shades Evansville’s city streets from the summer heat already is mid-June dense – in early May. Astronomically speaking, the vernal equinox arrived earlier this year than it has in more than a century.

Chew On This

Chew On This

Jake’s Wayback Burgers (115 Cross Pointe Blvd.) opened just off of the Lloyd Expressway near the Drury Inn & Suites East. A success so far, owners Phil Dzienciol and Dave Johnson say they’ve heard nothing but compliments on their customer service, as well as on some of their most popular menu items such as the double patty Jake Cheeseburger and their hand-dipped milkshakes.

Check It Out

A Walk in the Park

When more than 1,000 guests arrive at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari on May 19, they won’t be there just to ride The Voyage, 2011’s No. 1 Wooden Roller Coaster on the Planet, or to partake in the free unlimited soft drinks and sunscreen. Registered participants, who must raise at least $100, join the hundreds of community volunteers in the seventh annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes.


They’re blue — and they’re back. Next month, Blue Man Group returns to Evansville at The Centre’s Aiken Theatre for a Broadway series performance that showcases the Group’s unique musical talent. Evansvillians may recall this bald trio’s 2007 performance at Roberts Stadium; each member adorned in basic black utilitarian clothing and covered from head to toe in bright blue paint, and producing pulsating percussive vibes, voiceless comedy, and stunning visual effects.

It’s Feeding Time at the Zoo

Once a year, when night falls on Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, the family-friendly venue that’s known for its youth centric events — Boo at the Zoo, Stroller and Wagon Parade, and Or-Kid Escape, to name a few — opens its gates for an adults-only evening of beer, wine, and local-cuisine sampling, coupled with live music entertainment.

Encyclopedia Evansvillia

Captive Journey

In the earliest days of white settlement in the Evansville region, one of the most harrowing stories unfolded in the life of a child named Isaac Knight, for whom Knight Township was named years later. The story reads like a fictional tale or western movie, but it is entirely true and seldom remembered today.

Evansville Centric

Sowing Seeds

For 85 years, the Evansville Rescue Mission’s Camp Reveal has built upon the faith, commitment, and love for youth of its founder, Ernest “Pappy” Reveal. Staples of the summer camp, from horseback riding to zip lining, have long captured the hearts of Evansville’s children. For just as long, the Rescue Mission has relied on hardworking volunteers who, in turn, are fortunate enough to witness and be part of something bigger than themselves.

Digging In

Flower Power

The Hydrangea is a wonderful shrub to fill space and add a pop of color. This gardeners’ favorite is a dependable choice for almost any garden, and new selections are being introduced that offer a broad range of color and size. Overall, a hydrangea requires a shaded, moist soil location. Different varieties tolerate more sunlight, but constant moisture is necessary to ensure survival of a hydrangea in more sun.


Safe and Sound

During a Thursday morning gathering in early April, Gerald Summers faced an audience with some tough questions. That same afternoon, he received word that he had received a national award for dealing with those tough questions — and finding solutions — in regard to school safety. His morning meeting was requested by a handful of students in the New Tech Institute, concerning building safety in the facility on Lynch Road in Evansville.

The Happiest Place in the World

Pura vida — that’s Costa Rica. Translated, it means “pure life,” but it is more — it’s like our “cool,” or the Jamaican “don’t worry, be happy.” It means “life is good,” and in Costa Rica, that’s usually the case. You’ll hear the words regularly, as a greeting, farewell, or just a friendly gesture.


Carving a Niche

In trademarked style, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville destinations offer guests a vibrant, relaxing getaway adorned in all things tropical. The festive theme is carried through each of Buffett’s 14 establishments, from Las Vegas to Cancun, Mexico. Although far from these warm beaches and vacation hot spots, pieces of the Tri-State can be found among the tropical decor.


For the Record

Ever since he was a child, Aaron Tanner loved the arts. “I never had any interest in sports, but I was always creating or drawing something,” says the freelance designer. As a former business owner of graphic design firm Semisans, the bassist for local band Stationary Odyssey, and a designer for band websites, branding, and album packaging, the 35-year-old father has had plenty of opportunities to be creative. With a visual communications degree from Ivy Tech Community College, Tanner is able to combine his love for music with his passion for design.


Felt Crowns

The history of Arabic fez hats is quite extensive, and serious, too, despite how comical a red, cylindrical felt hat with a long black tassel looks atop the neatly parted hair and distinctly Caucasian face of Matt Rowe, the director of the Reitz Home Museum. But the history and culture behind the hats is part of what fascinates Rowe, who hopes to expand his collection of 12 and explore opportunities to showcase them to the public.

Online Exclusives

Stories from the Green

We were out at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., for the United Leasing Championship to provide daily coverage of the tournament as well as exclusive interviews. Round Four: July 1, 2012

Link Up

To show how stories in our May/June 2012 issue fit into the broader context of world events, this edition of Link Up brings the Internet to you. No Google search required.