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September / October 2011

Evansville Living

Best of Evansville 2012

Vote for the Best of Evansville – your opportunity to name the best of the best in Evansville! The 11th annual Best of Evansville competition is your chance to vote for your favorites. So, what people and places stand out to you?  Best of Evansville winners are decided by our readers’ votes and will be announced in the annual Best of Evansville issue – January/February 2012.

Colts Cool

For years, my parents — regular season ticket holders for the Indianapolis Colts — have found a theme from fans in the stands: “Evansvillians like the Colts?” Yes, Evansvillians like the Colts. When the NFL season debuts Sept. 11, tailgate and show your team pride.

Kenny Page Jr.

Who is he? Kenny Page Jr. Where is he? Alvord Boulevard Why is he there? To help others finish a half-marathon, even though he can’t.

When the Sun Goes Down

The classic drink at the Kentucky Derby? The mint julep. But the whiskey, water, sugar, and mint leaf cocktail isn’t the only attraction. The twin spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville, the garland of roses, and big hats and bold suits have drawn attendees such as Queen Elizabeth II, Michael Jordan, and Ronald Reagan to the 137-year-old horse race.

All in This Together

Inside the Memorial Baptist Church gym on a Monday night, the lights dimmed, and a glow from the projector heightened my anxiety. Someone pushed “Play” on the DVD player, and the Beachbody workout ChaLean Extreme — a nonstop, cardio-heavy, fat burner — appeared on a giant screen. I had a hard time keeping up. These exercises were not the basic squat and push-up variety. The moves had names such as “Heels to Heaven,” but there was nothing heavenly about them.

Green Cards

For more than 140 years, the monks of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Ferdinand, Ind., have operated an on-site printing facility. Originally designed for in-house needs, it wasn’t long before Abbey Press was rolling out custom orders in support of the monastery.

Ready to not Rock

Plenty of purists believe certain liquors should have no ice. The smoky peat of Scotch should be enjoyed, they argue, without ice melting into the liquor. But I’m not a drink dictator. Scotch for a cocktail? That’s divine, and a cocktail is one drink that can be made sans the rocks. The Rusty Nail is one such concoction. Early in the 1900s, the Rusty Nail debuted as a combination of Scotch and Drambuie, “the world’s most distinguished Scotch-based liqueur,” according to Esquire magazine’s resident cocktail historian David Wondrich.

The Music Issue

Nearly one year ago, the Evansville Living staff met to discuss the editorial calendar for the year when someone lofted the idea for a music issue. The objection: Isn’t the River City for cover bands? The answer sounded like music to our ears. From simple country to folk ‘n’ roll to inspiring raps to — yes — covers, the local music scene is about to make some noise.

Remembering 9/11

One year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in lower Manhattan and Washington, D.C., Evansville Living dedicated coverage to the loss and heartache felt hundreds of miles away. Among the pages, we honored the heroes at Ground Zero and in Afghanistan. Ten years later, we look back on those stories.

Close to Home

Aaron Dewees joined the U.S. Army in August 2001. He is from a long line of veterans. His paternal grandfather served in World War II, and his maternal grandfather fought in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Their influence was a major reason to enlist — as was the tuition reimbursement for medical school. The recruiter told Dewees that pediatricians never get deployed.

The Right Fit

Lambert D. Johnson placed his home inside a subdivision that would later take the name Johnson Place. He was the scion of Mead Johnson, an Evansville-based baby formula manufacturer, and his plot of land on the East Side later became the home to barons of industry who raised their families in the neighborhood.

Gambling on a New Menu

When I step into Casino Aztar’s new restaurant the Riverside Cookery, I feel like I am stepping into Memaw’s kitchen. Memaw is my fictional Southern grandmother who wears muumuus and always opens her house for hearty helpings of comfort food. At Riverside Cookery, it isn’t the kitchen décor throughout the restaurant that screamed Southern hospitality, nor the floor-to-ceiling windows that welcomed onlookers in the Hoosiers Lounge, but mostly, it was the treats awaiting me after ordering.

A Definitive Grilled Cheese

When cooking for children, keep in mind the ease of execution and taste. In kid terms: Is it done yet? Is it yummy? Now, is it done yet? To create a recipe geared toward the younger crop (now back in school), I considered what brought me comfort as a child.

Irish Comfort Food

Ri Ra Irish Pub is synonymous with live music, drink specials, and a night out with friends. But by day, this evening hot spot, going strong for five years on Riverside Drive across from Casino Aztar, transitions into a lunch bistro with an across-the-Atlantic vibe.

Editor's Letter

The Greatest Surprise

Of course you have considered the impending 9/11 anniversary before picking up this magazine. Through a decade of war and sweeping changes to the American life, Sept. 11, 2001, suddenly feels like yesterday. Our sense of place informs our experience of tragedies. After the terrorist attacks on the morning of Sept. 11, we closed our office and went home to grieve and mourn with the rest of the nation and the world.

Chew On This

Chew On This

Orange Leaf (701 N. Burkhardt Road) has opened on the East Side. The self-serve yogurt chain has 70 flavors (16 offered at a time) ranging from the standard vanilla or chocolate to fancier flavors of red velvet, snickerdoodle, or gingerbread. Entrepreneurs Allen and Brittany Wills own the yogurt shop and keep a staff of 15-20 employees. … Cleavers (5501 E. Indiana St.) has opened off the Lloyd Expressway across from Harrison High School. Co-owner and Chicago native Scott Flores opened the casual restaurant with his brother Richard and nephew Brant.

Check It Out

Fit for Fiddlers

There are two reasons to love Bill Monroe. One is more apparent than the other: Monroe is the father of bluegrass music. He invented the working-class-heralding, finger-plucking genre outside of Owensboro, Ky., where, decades later, an International Bluegrass Music Museum would be erected.

Rapped up in Art

Ten years ago, Dr. George Rapp founded a satellite gallery for Indianapolis’ long-running Hoosier Salon in nearby New Harmony. The site showcased local art and demonstrated the appeal of the artist-heavy haven of New Harmony.

Encyclopedia Evansvillia

Love, Evansville

So beloved is the 1939 Greyhound terminal, built in the Art Moderne style and clad in enameled steel panels, that it has been depicted on postcards.  Now, four years after it was left vacant, the terminal received new hope in the late summer when leaders from Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation in the Hoosier state, announced they were raising $1 million to save the property and convert it into their southwest regional office. The proof it can be done? This similar property in Jackson, Miss., now has new life.

Drunk Dying

Monday, Jan. 7, 1861, was a chilly evening in Evansville. A formally dressed crowd of prosperous citizens had gathered at the Mozart Hall, located on Lower First Street (roughly where the parking lot of Vectren’s Downtown headquarters is now), for a belated New Year’s Eve ball. Probably the prime topic of conversation was the recent secession of South Carolina from the Union over the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln two months earlier. The band played, and hoop skirts swished across the dance floor.

Comfort Zone

American Family

Inside the Jackson home, an imposing old structure in Evansville’s Riverside Historic District, is a constant babble. It’s soft and lighthearted, punctuated with bits of song and the patter of feet traveling up and down the three stories. The rooms are tidy, the beds are made, the countertops are clean, the toys are put away, and the books are stacked on desks, ready to be studied. In one corner of the kitchen is a large dry-erase board. It’s divided into a grid, and in each box of the grid, a name is written. Under each name is a list of activities.

Digging In

Keep Cool

I love fall. The cooler temperatures make relaxing outside tolerable, but it’s also Mother Nature’s reminder to prepare for the upcoming winter — and beyond — because groundwork in the fall months leads to an impressive garden next year. Here, ways to wind down outside now to prepare for the spring that follows.  


Drowning in Disappointment

Sometimes, it feels like there are more Band-Aids and bugs floating in Lloyd Pool than swimmers, and before the first practice of the current season, young swimmers had to wait for a dead bird to be fished out of the water. The floaties are just one of the problems of an aging facility that seemed to just barely survive its 36th summer. Sun regularly beats down on the faded blue, concrete structure with peeling and chipping paint. Inside, small sets of bleachers melt into pools of rust, and some balance on tired blue kickboards.

Fall Break

Last fall, I traveled on Wisconsin’s Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway. The passage meanders through 33 historic Mississippi River towns and provides 250 miles of scenery vibrant with rich fall colors. It borders wetlands and bluffs known as the Driftless Area, a section of the upper Midwest spared from the flattening effects of the ice age glaciers that covered half of North America. The geography isn’t the only beautiful aspect of this country. It boasts more than 260 species of birds and hundreds of species of fish.


Kate Kasenow

Kate Kasenow was finishing her master’s degree at Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010 when an editor of Archaia Entertainment called. Archaia is a graphic novel publisher, and for Kasenow, the editor’s offer — to finish a green-lighted book that an illustrator already had begun — was irresistible, although somewhat problematic.

And All That Calf

In the Lithograph displayed on the second floor of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science is Jane Avril’s bent leg. She has it thrust upward, ready for a kick, but in the still of this piece, her leg dangles with her big dress high enough to reveal a striking amount of calf. In the late 19th century, the result was scandalous and revealed the seedy Parisian nightlife.

Twin Spotting

Like a love letter, the lyrics tell of longing — the deep kind only properly expressed through the rhythmic poetry of a song. The Watson Twins, Chandra and Leigh, have been singing their first album’s title track “Southern Manners” across the globe. The words are metaphorical: “Hold me. Hold me. Hold me close./Caress my shoulders and my toes./Make me forget what I can’t./Be my lover and my man.”


With Flying Colors

A flimsy tower of baseball cards teeters next to a precarious stack of boxes (cigar and oatmeal crème pie) and various papers, the latter perched atop a small jewelry box and collectively lassoed by a small plastic cowboy figurine. This is how Jasper, Ind., artist Myra Schuetter tackles the tough times. The name of the large-scale painting so rich with detail has a hidden meaning: “I can handle this” (also the name of the piece).

Online Exclusives

Evansville Music

In our September/October 2011 issue, you read about talented musicians in the River City. Now hear them. Right here. Namaste makes rock music, and the members of this five-piece jam band know their instruments well. Below, listen to their song "Plateau."

Link Up

A Tragedy Remembered – Our feature “9/11 Remembered” shows how the terrorist attacks a decade ago affected our city, but the tragedy remains deeply rooted in Manhattan. New York magazine is as brilliant as it is innovative, and the publication rests in the heart of the Big Apple. This simple article shows the magnitude of the disastrous event.