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September / October 2012
For some people, just watching movies isn’t enough. Jakob Bilinski, an Evansville-grown and Central High School graduate (1999), had to be there, behind the camera, and directing the action.
Carrie Preston Television star Carrie Preston, a 1989 University of Evansville graduate, is most known for her role as Arlene Fowler in the hit series “True Blood.” Her husband, Michael Emerson, played anti-hero Ben Linus in “Lost.” Preston also appeared on the show with her husband in 2004, playing Linus’ mother (ha!), who died just after giving birth to him.
With the right script, a knowledgeable director, a creative cast and crew, and a dedicated pool of community support, a successful comedy, science fiction, or western movie can be filmed at an unconventional location. Meet three local filmmakers who recently put their movies in the can in Evansville.
Fall is my favorite time of the year for smells. From sweet, apple pie-esque aromas to the earthy essence of brightly colored leaves and their cool, dry fragrant dustiness. Fall also comes with some amazing seasonal flavor combinations. One I’ve recently been enjoying is the pairing of lentils and wild mushrooms.
Considered by many “experts” to be a team that could never seriously contend with the powerhouse schools from northern Indiana, the 1982 Castle High School Knights capped off an undefeated season with a championship that had been born six years before when a group of teenage strangers took the practice field for the first time as a team.
Hiding in plain sight, rarely seen by most of Evansville, is one of the city’s most historically significant homes. “Once you get in tune with, and outside of, what would have been for me my West Side and suburban culture, you see beautiful homes in all sorts of urban settings, and you realize how you can live — that you can live in town, in a very urban setting,” says the home owner, designer Pete McCullough.
Five years ago, Oklahoma-born and California-raised Gigi Butler received a call from her brother in New York City who told her a cupcake craze was taking over the Big Apple. At the time, she owned a cleaning company, which she began at age 15. That entrepreneurial spirit — and confidence inspired from a long line of female family bakers — led her to light her ovens. Butler opened the initial Gigi’s Cupcakes in Nashville, Tenn., and four years later, her franchise has grown into more than 60 locations in 23 states.
Since beginning as a staff writer for Tucker Publishing Group last year, I’ve been added to the taskforce of finding local restaurants worthy of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for a comprehensive food story. Evansville is full of countless culinary gems, and Roca Bar North’s sleek, modern style and personal rapport stands among the city’s finest.
Five months before Evansville’s YWCA celebrated its 100th anniversary in March 2011, the organization turned over a new leaf of leadership to Chicago native Erika Taylor. The YWCA is a shelter for domestic violence victims and a transitional home for women who are homeless and recovering from substance abuse. As the current CEO, the idea of paying it forward and helping others isn’t new to Taylor — she’s been actively serving the community since she moved here with her husband Matt, a Newburgh, Ind., native, nearly 12 years ago.
In the southwestern corner of Evansville’s Downtown YMCA parking lot sit two rows of 4-by-4-foot metal boxes. Much like safes, the 30 cubical containers are thick and locked tightly shut, each holding a tool for a better life. After meeting with marketing director Crystal Paroyan at the YMCA’s front desk, I was given a key and directed to rental locker 12, where I opened the door to find my choice of a men’s Suede 7-speed, one of several types of bicycles stored in the metal boxes.
From hieroglyphics to today’s modern sculpture, the most interesting and beautiful art is the art that tells a story. In Daviess County, Ky., a leisurely drive through the country can rival a trip to The Guggenheim with stories told by each pattern, block, and color of the Daviess County Barn Quilt Trail.
Bridge, the mysterious, complex card game you remember your grandmother and her friends playing on folding tables in your living room, is for everyone today. With books on how to play the game and monthly magazines dedicated to the art of playing it well, it’s safe to say that this four-person card game is more than just a pastime.
Michelle Buse first became interested in antiques as a child growing up in the farming community of Huntingburg, Ind. As she learned more about antiques, she discovered that many were quite expensive. Her dream for a future business was a little shop that would feature desirable and interesting collectibles, but in a price range that would work for customers on a budget.
Rivet, one of several beer choices at Franklin Street’s new Tin Man Brewing Co., promises to whet your senses with caramel malts and Willamette hops to produce a more colorful and flavorful version of its English relatives — the bitter clan. Its toffee sweetness and mild bitterness makes Rivet the perfect complement to backyard barbecues and burgers.
Kelsee Newman does not play volleyball. She is not a pole-vaulter, gymnast, hurdler, sprinter, or curler. In fact, she is not an athlete of any kind. However, the 21-year-old Evansville native has the unique pleasure of calling herself an Olympian. A culinary Olympian, that is.
Jeanne Amsler, professor of art history and humanities at Ivy Tech Community College, snapped a black and white photograph of the Ross Theatre right before its demolition in 1993. “The Ross was a big deal for young people in the area,” Amsler says. “It was the first East Side shopping center and theater, a place that still has value to people who grew up in the 50s and 60s.”
The 2012 Castle High School football season promises to be a special one for Castle quarterback Mitch Gilles. If he repeats his performance from last year’s 11-1 campaign, the senior stands to own the Castle Knights passing record by the time his high school career is over. The thoughtful, well-spoken teenager allowed himself a moment during summer workouts to consider the possibility of all those records within his grasp, but almost immediately put it into perspective.
I hope you all had a good summer. “Where did it go?” everyone seems to be saying as we head into September, though hot weather came so early this year and at times we were quite sure it would never leave.
Chew On This
Ginmiya Asian Diner (4827 Davis Lant Drive, Suite F) has opened on Evansville’s East Side. The eatery serves a complete menu of Asian specialties, including sushi, hibachi dinners, and chicken teriyaki. The restaurant seats up to 40 customers and is open every day of the week. Nibbles:
Check It Out
The Art Explosion Tour raises funds for Alhambra Theatre’s renovations. Built in 1913, the theater is transforming into the premiere entertainment space in Evansville’s Arts District. The exterior facade recently was completed, and now the interior restoration must be completed. On Sept. 21-23, the tour will offer music, food, art, and fun on Haynie’s Corner at four different venues.
Learn from expert green thumbs at the Ohio Valley Garden Conference on Oct. 20, featuring Paul James, host of HGTV’s “Gardening by the Yard.” The Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association is a nonprofit organization with more than 400 local gardening enthusiasts. Their conference is a way to support 22 gardens and education programs throughout the Evansville area, and to inform the public about modern gardening trends and techniques.
As the summer heat abandons the River City, Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve becomes ideal for outdoor events among fall’s scenic backdrop. Next month, two annual events, the Wandering Owl Wine & Beer Trail and the Harvest Festival & Hayrides, showcase the 200-acre woods in its peak and offer visitors a glimpse of nature after hours.
The first Annual Evansville Fine Arts Show, presented by HotWorks, a fine art and craft show production company, will feature more than 75 of the nation’s most promising artists. From Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, this original event will showcase sculptures, paintings, glass, clay, wood, jewelry, and photography at the The Centre, and will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.
On Jan. 9, 1962, the Evansville Museum Guild, then known as the Evansville Museum Women’s Association, held its first meeting, electing Ona Dieckman as the president. The association’s membership included 60 women in the first year. The founding officers of the Guild Board were Dieckman, Lula Welborn, Marjorie Donovan, Martha Combs deJong, Martha Ingle, and Buelah Schoonmaker.
One mile east of downtown Boonville, Ind., sits the cozy and casual dining staple, Logsdon’s Restaurant. Its furnishings and decor channel a western lodge — a deer antler chandelier, buffalo and deer mountings, rustic and antique tools — and the restaurant also includes a full-service bar and ample space for hosting live entertainment.
If you were an adult living in Evansville from 1947 until 1950, you likely began your morning with a cup of percolated Folgers coffee and the floor model radio in your living room tuned to WGBF, broadcasting from its studios Downtown. A charming woman named Pat Roper hosted the morning show, called “Toast and Coffee,” which featured the smooth piano and singing voice of Belford Hendricks, an African-American whose friends called Sinky.
Recently, a friend asked me what the proper way to compost was. I chuckled, because composting can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be — a pile of kitchen scraps or truckloads of leaves and organic matter. The principles of composting are basic, but with a little effort on your part, you can quickly reap the benefits — which include improvement in soil fertility and healthy root development in plants — of your compost.
If you think it is tough cutting through the rhetoric of the presidential campaign, try grasping the referendum on the ballot in Vanderburgh County this year. Voters will decide on Election Day whether to consolidate Evansville and Vanderburgh County governments, or keep them separate. It is easy for Vanderburgh County voters to hear opinions from both sides. It is much more difficult to decide who is right, especially when the issues focus on a proposed form of government that most residents have never experienced. Plus, the issue is not divided down party lines.
Springtime in the south is an easy lure for me. I enjoy spring anywhere it is, and if it’s a few weeks earlier than ours, all the better. I was invited to spend a long weekend in Mobile, Ala., last April. I had been to Mobile just once before — for the reopening of the magnificent Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa in 2007.
Dominating the foyer of Evansville artist Billy Hedel’s Downtown home is a mosaic tile table. Hedel created it recently, and when asked about it he’ll demonstrate that the mosaic top is not attached to the legs that support it — it’s just being used as a table until he can decide which wall to hang it on. His home is the only Downtown building in Evansville that is zoned as both a residence and a gallery, offering a unique-to-Evansville artist live-work space.
Since 1885, Willard Library has been a historic staple in Evansville. Throughout the decades, stories beyond the books began circulating the library, which stands stark and heavy off First Avenue. And as crude-faced Jack-o’-lanterns glow on porches and costumes are stitched, Halloween becomes a time when monsters, ninjas, turtles, and vanguards roam the streets. October creates an aura of mystery and intrigue, the perfect opportunity to look back at history.
During the day, John Helfrich is a local butcher, but after sunset, he trades in his knife for a paintbrush. “It’s when I’m most relaxed,” says Helfrich, who has been drawing as long as he can remember. “The first thing I recall sketching was a picture of Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s monster when I was little, on the back of my dad’s Air Force picture, which landed me in hot water.”
On June 9, 2008, while Heath Eric was working as the director of marketing at the Executive Inn Rivermont in Owensboro, Ky., life as he knew it came to a sudden end. He learned that the hotel was closing, taking away his job of more than four years. “I was scared. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” says Heath, who spent the following weeks seeking a job.
In our September/October 2012 issue of Evansville Living, we present three local filmmakers who used Evansville for their movie’s backdrop. Limiting the feature story to three creatives proved more difficult than imagined, as several other films have come out of the Tri-State. Here, check out those movies and read some “Off the Reel” tidbits about Evansville’s presence in the film industry.
To show how stories in our Sept/Oct 2012 issue fit into the broader context of world events, this edition of Link Up brings the Internet to you. No Google search required.