The idea behind this issue’s feature on patriotism was largely organic. After all, patriotism is as much in our blood as it is in yours. In this issue, we honor local patriots who have had a regional and national impact. Not everyone we profile has served in the military; yet their hard work in other areas matters.
May / June 2013
It took months of planning and lots of hard work. Yet in the end, Megan Wade raised more than $4,000 for the Special Olympics by bringing an award-winning blind country and gospel pianist to North High School. Gordon Mote is a two-time Academy of Country Music Awards Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year who performed at Wade’s Special Olympics charity concert on Jan. 19. The concert was part of a senior project, but Wade worked many more hours than the required 20 to make her project a success. She says she couldn’t have done that without Mote’s support.
Charlotte Austin’s time was consumed by two things from January to March 1980: stars and stripes. An employee of Anchor Industries Inc. in Evansville, Austin was one of the workers tasked with sewing together the Great American Flag — a mammoth U.S. flag measuring 411 feet by 210 feet. The massive endeavor, initiated by Len Silverfine, owner of marketing and sales company The Big Idea Co., resulted in the creation of a national wonder.
Posey County jeweler Laine Benthall, 29, adjusts the flame on her jeweler’s torch, which is so hot it burns blue, enough to melt metal. Behind safety goggles, her eyes focus on the tiny piece of precious metal she grasps with tongs. She’s soldering together two pieces of sterling silver that she will then hammer into a custom ring for a client who’s just placed an order through her Etsy store.
Some people have one “Who” moment. Evansville resident Todd Hubbard has been lucky enough to have three. Hubbard owns Hubbard Guitars, 813 E. Franklin St., where he builds and sells handmade acoustic and electric guitars. A 1992 graduate of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, Ariz., he founded his business in Evansville in February 2012. The 45-year-old has long had an interest in music. His first guitar was a Sears acoustic that his father gave him when he was 10, and he’s been playing ever since.
During the last week of June and the first week of July in downtown Evansville, the community puts on its red, white, and blue and becomes a bastion of patriotism. Case in point: the Freedom Festival, an annual Independence Day celebration.
When you’re a civilian, you’re aware of the discipline involved in being a soldier. But you don’t usually get to be part of the pomp and circumstance — every step, every march, every lifting of the flag, and every precise movement, in perfect order. I had that chance.
Some people are intimidated by art, or I should say by creating art. Although I took art classes in high school, the last time my brush was loaded with paint, it was to transform my bathroom with metallic horizontal stripes — a job almost as tedious as stripping off the 40-year-old wallpaper. I was thinking then, the next time I get the urge to be creative with a palette and brush, I should pick a smaller canvas. So I registered for a night of Canvas and Cocktails at Studio Slant in Owensboro, Ky.
When Karen Wilhite Williams battled a recurrence of breast cancer in 2010, her sister was there for her every step of the way. Jill Kincaid sat with Williams during her hours-long chemotherapy treatments, entertaining her with movies and humor and giving her an ever-present helping hand.
I have long viewed Evansville as a very patriotic city. My vision is shaped by experiences growing up here as the Vietnam War came to a close, in the early days of the Freedom Festival (begun in 1970), and through the United States’ bicentennial celebration. Perhaps I view the city through red, white, and blue lenses. With my mother’s encouragement — she was an extremely patriotic grade school teacher — I produced the neighborhood bicentennial parade on July 4, 1976, which ultimately served to inspire the cover for this issue.
Lilly King is living the typical life of a high-level competitive swimmer. Make that a typical 16-year-old, high-level swimmer. “I make time for student council, make time for projects, I try to make German-club meetings,” King says. “It’s pretty much go to school, go to practice.”
Nearly 125,000 American servicemen and servicewomen are interred in 24 American military cemeteries in eight overseas nations. Yet probably the most famous of all the cemeteries on foreign soil is the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. In 2010, Evansville residents Greg Grabner and his wife, Victoria, visited Colleville-sur-Mer, where 9,387 American soldiers remain interred long after the end of World War II.
Home and Style
A loosely-clustered arrangement of complementary flowers gives the look of a freshly-cut garden bouquet perfect for any room in the house. Low ceramic, metal, or terra cotta pots are a great way to use short-stemmed flowers in a trendy, fun way.
It’s easy to be intimidated by tile. After all, it’s long been an art form. Glazed bricks were used on the Tower of Babel in Mesopotamia. According to “Tile Art: A History of Decorative Ceramic Tiles” by Noel Riley, various Medieval-era remote English abbeys are filled with complicated geometric floor tiles that still stand even today. And toward the end of the 19th century, tile was used to create portraits of Abraham Lincoln.
She was there to support and cheer for her oldest son, a swimmer. Yet while he was in the water competing in various meets, Vicki Hart was on the bleachers — and her hands were free. That’s one reason the Evansville resident was able to start and complete so many needlepoint projects. It turns out that Hart, a longtime needlepoint enthusiast, is quite patriotic, too.
Planting summer annuals is a great way to bring a burst of color into your landscape. Annuals are plants that are originally from warmer climates and won’t survive in Southern Indiana during our winters. These plants are often from tropical locations and have vibrantly-colored leaves or textured leaves that stand out due to their uniqueness. Here are a few of my favorites:
It’s all for the babies. That’s what Andrea Halbig says about her three children, her SnickerDoodle Kids Art business, and her most recent endeavor — a March of Dimes celebrity paint party auction that brought in around $1,000.
It’s not every day you walk in the footprints of your ancestors — unless you’re Houston and Lowry Igleheart-Keach. When the Henderson couple moved into their sprawling historic farm named “The Elms,” the home already had weathered four generations of Keaches — not to mention the Civil War, World War I, and Prohibition. It was because of this rich history that the Keaches took such care during their two-year renovation of the home and other structures on the property.
Originally from Oxford, Ohio (a small town near Cincinnati), Steve Gifford, 42, planted roots in Haubstadt, Ind., after several years of moving around with his wife, Sarah, and their children, Josh and Maddie. His passion for cars led him to a 16-year career in various manufacturing, technical, and leadership roles within the automotive industry. Gifford retired, however, in 2009, several years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This degenerative disorder of the nervous system slows down movement as well as speech and thought.
Since Willard Library opened in 1885, it has provided quality programs and unique resources for the community. Last year the library sponsored 800 programs and served close to 17,000 patrons — all packed into 15,000 square feet of space. Last December, library director Greg Hager announced that for the first time in nearly 130 years, Willard will expand, adding an 8,000-square-foot facility to the historic building. “Everything about this project is patron-driven,” says Hager. “It opens up a number of possibilities.”
The second annual Evansville Streets Alive! festival will take place on Fulton Avenue this year. On Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 4 p.m., Fulton Avenue will be closed off to vehicle traffic between Maryland Street and Diamond Avenue. Healthier Evansville and Evansville-area Trails Coalition are teaming up to host this free, “open streets” event promoting physical activity and healthy foods. This 1.2-mile stretch on Fulton Avenue also connects to the Pigeon Creek Greenway.
Spend the day on the golf course knowing you’re benefiting a good cause with the Evansville Catholic High Schools Tradition Classic on Monday, June 24, at the Evansville Country Club. The profits from this event help fund important areas such as technology, building and classroom maintenance, faculty retention and professional development, and special projects that benefit Mater Dei and Reitz Memorial high school students.
Now in its fifth year, the Evansville Benefit Horse Show raises funds for a cause that hits close to home. Its mission is to provide funding and raise awareness for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation after one of its young riders, Lexis Schue, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. The 2013 horse show will take place June 29 at the Vanderburgh County 4-H Center. Events will begin at 3 p.m. with academy classes, followed by performance classes starting at 6 p.m. Attendees can bid on silent auction items, while family fun continues with a petting zoo.
Readers familiar with my recipes know that I always try to take something delicious and seemingly complex and add a twist to make it more approachable.
Take everything you know about dining out in the Tri-State and throw it out the window. Approaching Henderson’s newest gastropub, Commonwealth Kitchen + Bar, with a clean slate is the best way to soak in all the new experiences in this Kentucky restaurant. Your bourbon will be smoked. Your Manhattan will be sweetened with homemade apple butter jam. Your meal is not your own, it’s to share. Your food looks global but is sourced locally.
Just six months old, R’z Café and Catering in Fort Branch, Ind., is fast becoming a favorite of locals and travelers alike, and it’s easy to see why. From the eclectic atmosphere to the diverse menu, owners Candy and Dan Yancey pride themselves on bringing something unique to the area. In addition to on- and off-site catering and outdoor dining, R’z also offers daily specials and a popular Sunday brunch.
Grab plenty of napkins and settle down with a spoon, because the Bananas Foster sundae at Ben & Penny’s is set to demand your attention. This popular dessert has vanilla ice cream, large banana chunks, lightly toasted walnuts, homemade whipped cream, and homemade Bananas Foster sauce with a very light touch of rum. It’s also delicious and is guaranteed to make you focus entirely on the task at hand.
Bourbon: it’s more than a drink in a glass. By law, all of the ingredients to make this rich, amber whiskey must be made in the United States. Kentucky is uniquely positioned to produce 95 percent of it because of one key ingredient: limestone-rich water. Today, the Bluegrass State is the home of the world’s most notable distilleries, including Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey Bourbon, Woodford Reserve, and Town Branch Bourbon.
Al Dente (318 Main St., Suite 100), has opened in the former location of La Sombra Coffee Roasting Co. and Café. It offers a salad bar, sandwiches, and fresh homemade pasta. PG (1418 Franklin St.), is a new art, culture, café and performance space. ‘K’ Club is a membership based dinner club started by Scott Schymik at Kirby’s Private Dining (1119 Parrett St.).
President Harry Truman designated National Flag Day as June 14 of each year when he signed an Act of Congress on Aug. 3, 1949. Yet residents of the United States have long honored the American flag.
In our May/June issue of Evansville Living, we presented you with a list of war memorials in Evansville. Here is our expanded — yet still not fully comprehensive — list of other war memorials within easy driving distance of our fair city. Compiled information is from the Historical Marker Database, Evansville at Two Hundred: 1812-2012 and www.waymarking.com