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Monday, August 15, 2022

May / June 2015


Bikes & Hikes

A pair of boots and a pair of wheels — that’s all we need to connect with nature and ourselves. The natural landscape in Southwestern Indiana is a postmarked invitation to hit the trail. Thousands of years ago, when the Ice Age glaciers flattened the northern and central parts of the state, the southern region was left with hilly panoramas covered in beautiful forests of trees and wilderness. The melted glacier water created the narrow ridges, steep slopes, deep gullies, and natural landscapes that quicken the pulse of passionate hikers and bicyclists.

Good Living

Evansville’s Own

The Nightingale Guitar Company occupies a brief, but interesting chapter in the annals of music history, as the only guitar ever manufactured in Evansville. The company held a one-of-a-kind patent that never has been replicated. Unfortunately, because of a fire, the company was short-lived — just 11 years in existence from 1892 to 1903.

Game of Chance

One of the most colorful mayors in Evansville’s history was Republican Manson Reichert. Elected in 1942 as the Indiana municipal election law changed making city elections off a year, Reichert’s term lasted five years. His school board fired, then rehired a popular coach at Central High School (Glen Bretz), which triggered walkouts at all three city high schools. Reichert became the only sitting mayor to be arrested when in April 1947 he was booked on charges of voter fraud (charges were later dropped).

Family Matters

For two years Crystal and Sean Claspell have been coming to Little Lambs, bringing their three-year-old daughter Aliya and two-year-old son Elijah. Aliya’s due date was in March, but when she arrived on Christmas Day three months premature and only weighing one pound and 13 ounces, her parents turned to Little Lambs and their partners for assistance.

Level Up

For 24-year-old Patrick Cowe, magic is reality. The Bosse High School graduate is now among the very best in the world at a trading card game called Magic the Gathering, one in which players, or wizards, go head-to-head, trading cards and casting spells until one perishes and the other emerges the victor. It’s similar, Cowe explained, to Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh!, once popular trading card games that swept the nation around the same time Magic the Gathering was introduced in 1993.

Giving Thanks

It’s not all work for Amy Clark and Abby Wells when they visit Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center at 3701 Bellemeade Ave. The 2015 Easter Seals representatives sometimes struggle to stifle laughs as they work. Clark jokes with her physical therapist Patty Balbach and Wells has a bright smile and giggle for everyone.

Champion Shot

It’s taken 50 years to catch on, but the game with the funny name combining elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis is gaining momentum nationwide. Pickleball, started in Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1965 by three men as entertainment for their bored families, is not named for pickles. It’s still unclear how the game got its name.

Distiller’s Dream

“Bourbonism” — that’s the term Mayor Greg Fischer has coined for the recent surge of bourbon tourism in Louisville, Kentucky. Eager to capture the growing number of bourbon pilgrims, distilleries old and new are pouring dollars into production facilities, interactive displays, and visitor centers. Two projects have opened in the past two years, and at least five more are planned or under construction.

Up Front

Happy Trails

The first bicycle and pedestrian path attempted in Evansville was in 1927 when a St. Louis architect was hired to plan the city’s park system. It was to be called the “Pleasure Path” and would wind along next to Pigeon Creek.


Above the Clouds

Mountaintop views and under-the-sea experiences are among the many attractions of Eastern Tennessee. It’s an area of natural wonders and creature comforts, history and novelty, a place within reach and beyond expectations, and a place for a backpacker and a lover of luxury.

Where the Wild Things Are

One foot into the log cabin home of Max Soaper and his girlfriend Linda Williams, which sits on 500 acres in Henderson, Kentucky, and you realize it’s a cabin occupied by more than just two humans.

Home and Style

A Heart of Art

Curt Nance remembers when S. Green River Road, where his parents’ photography studio and farmhouse was located, was lined with farm fields. Nance Galleries still stands on the original foundation of the former business, begun in 1947, but today’s visitors are beckoned in to the gallery, now owned by Nance, from the busy intersection (Bellemeade and Lincoln avenues) by the artfully arranged windows featuring colorful stained glass and other objects of beauty.

Smell the Roses

Having an inquisitive 3-year-old daughter, my wife and I are asked a lot of questions. Recently, while we were outside, she asked, “Daddy, what’s that smell?” It didn’t take long to realize she was referring to the flowing cherry tree in full bloom in my neighbor’s yard. We discussed the fragrances of all the spring flowers and her questioning reminded me of all of the smells that change throughout the year. The smells that surround us and excite our emotions are more than just the smell of a few flowers. 

In Bloom

The daily routine of managing Timberview Flower Farm can be daunting for longtime owners Mary Ellen, 81, and Floyd Damm, 84. But it’s one the Damms look forward to every morning. “It gives you a reason to get up every day,” says Mary Ellen. “A lot of people don’t have a reason.”

Planting Vertically

For every plant and garden lover, a simple vertical garden hanger is a perfect way to bring the garden inside. The hanger allows you to display your favorite plants inside without sacrificing valuable space. To start your project, here are some supplies you will need: • (4) terra cotta pots • (1) terra cotta tray • A bowl • (4) pieces of wood • Rope • Metal ring • Drill • Jigsaw • Glue • Paint • Plants

Music Man

No amount of prior research about Dr. Ted’s Musical Marvels can prepare you for the moment your eyes — and ears — meet his collection of vintage musical instruments. Usually it’s a “wow!” that escapes the lips of visitors upon seeing the collection for the first time, says Dr. Ted’s Manager Millie Schum. The museum, located inconspicuously near the small town of Dale, Indiana, off of U.S. Highway 231 S., stores machines from the 1800s to the mid-1900s from all over the world.

Finding His Haven

Outside of the front entrance of Tom Wilson’s West Side home, a restored sign reading “Long Haven” greets visitors. When Wilson first discovered the sign in a crawl space of the cellar, it was bent and missing letters after being hit by a truck years ago. Many would have cast the sign aside and considered it trash left over from a previous owner, but Wilson was different. He reconstructed the sign, restored the 1934-built home on S. Red Bank Road, and kept its historic name. As a result, Wilson discovered his own haven.


Natural Artist

Pat Brentano’s passion for art and the environment is evident in her voice. The moment she begins speaking on the subject, it’s hard not to be entranced by the Evansville native as she describes her work. “What I’m trying to do with my work is to communicate how important that understory and trees are for the birds, who can’t really speak for themselves,” says Brentano.

Streamed Live

Water has long inspired art, and, in its fourth year, the New Harmony Music Festival and School has channeled that inspiration with the theme “Rivers, Waterways, and Streams of Life.” Various performers like Mazz Swift and Michael Brown will perform music inspired by waterways, including the Mississippi River basin.

Hanging At Haynie’s

Situated at the convergence of four unique neighborhoods (Culver, Blackford’s Grove, Goosetown, and Wheeler), Haynie’s Corner Art District, blends diverse businesses with cultural attractions. First Fridays is a new monthly event that highlights indoor and outdoor art exhibits and artists around Haynie’s Corner, named after the drug store that operated there for years.


Italian Inspiration

I have a soft spot in my heart for Italian cuisine. Afforded my first opportunity in management at an independent Italian restaurant, I learned to appreciate the family aspect of service and dining. Coming from a home that loved to indulge in different culinary arenas, I also developed an affinity for the techniques and flavors used in Italian dishes. Subtle, yet complex, they have a way with layering ingredients and flavors to create an incredibly diverse range of fare.

Ski Sensation

For those of us who like soft drinks in desserts (remember loving grandma’s Coca-Cola cake?), Evansville now has access to the ultimate pie — the SKI pie. Though it sounds like a culinary concoction from the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, you can eat it every day at Marx Barbecue & Catering.

Brunch on the Green

Breakfast foods with a Polish twist — that’s what Toast, a new brunch restaurant on Evansville’s West Side, promises and delivers. Owners Kassy and Marcin Lauer combine Kassy’s love for making breakfast foods with Marcin’s Polish heritage and serve brunch-style meals and drinks from dawn to late into the evening. Toast, 1550 Mesker Park Drive, is located across from Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in the Helfrich Hills Golf Course Clubhouse with a hilltop view of the course below.

Catch of the Day

Like so many chefs, Bill Hughes claims the love of food was instilled early in his life. The owner of Bill’s Restaurant in Owensboro, Kentucky, grew up in nearby Leitchfield, and dinner was an important time of the day. Those early years in his mother Martha’s kitchen also were learning times for Hughes. “My mom is a fantastic cook,” says Hughes. “We grew up having dinner as a family every single night. Food was important. I stated cooking when I was 5 or 6 years old. I learned to cook things I wanted to eat.”

Curry Crash Course

Stepping into the Hajari family restaurant, it’s clear the owners are proud of the country from which they are from. Orange, white, and green paint line the walls of Taste of India depicting the Flag of India. Posters of the restaurant owners’ favorite authentic dishes decorate the walls making customers’ mouths water anxiously as they await their food.

Chew on This

Now Open: Chava’s Mexican Grill (4202 N. First Ave.) is now open on Evansville’s North Side. Nibbles:

Final Detail

Fallen Heroes

More than 4 million people visit Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, annually. Rooted in history, it’s the resting place for 14,000 veterans. Few realize a cemetery with an impressive military history is in their own city. The Historic Oak Hill Cemetery, one of two cemeteries owned and maintained by the City of Evansville (Locust Hill is the second), was founded in 1853 and contains 175 acres. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Online Exclusives

Link Up

To show how stories in the May / June 2015 issue of Evansville Living fit into the broader world, this edition of Link Up brings the Internet to you.