Standing in the backyard of Dr. Otto and Jayne Susec’s home, one easily could forget they are in southern Indiana. Surrounded by hibiscus, oleander, elephant ears, banana trees, various palm trees, and other tropical plants, the Susecs’ property is more like a lush paradise than a typical Midwestern backyard.
September / October 2018
The tradition of enjoying handmade products and buying locally crafted items thrives in southern indiana. From leather goods and woodwork to jewelry and goat’s milk soap, there are many ways to indulge in the hard work of local people. Delve in, get your hands dirty, and discover the makers and artisans behind these unique goods and creations.
The 6 acres of land with Lake Talahi frontage is just the beginning of the amenities offered by this stately home in McCutchanville. Recently renovated with 8,705 square feet, the home is perfect for families who love to entertain, not to mention the 1,500-square-foot guesthouse also on the property.
It seemed to be the perfect spot for just about anything, says Stephanie Peckenpaugh. The former location of Jeff Dikes Farm Market along Highway 57 would be the ideal space for Stephanie and her husband Aaron to do just about anything. “I’m kind of a dreamer when it comes to all the things I want to do, and this seemed like the place where I could do a lot of things to keep me busy for a while,” she says.
North of Downtown Evansville, in what was once known as the area of Lamasco, Locust Hill Cemetery sits high along rolling hills next to Kratzville Road. The property was the former homestead of the Robert Smith family in the mid 1800s, but once it changed hands to the Kirkpatrick family, a plot was sectioned off to create a small cemetery for friends and neighbors. The land was deeded to the City of Evansville in the late 1800s.
A common assumption about the Tri-State is most of our ancestors were of German and Irish descent. But before the Germans and the Irish settled here, our land belonged to a third party — the French.
We were tucked in the comfy confines of the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, having already visited the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum (in Ballpark Village) and enjoyed an hour-long dinner at the hotel’s Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar when the ballgame finally ended. After the first long rain delay, we decided to cut our losses and headed to Ballpark Village to check out the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. (The Cards should have tried the same. They lost to the Cincinnati Reds 8-2. Manager Mike Matheny was fired that very evening.)
There’s never a stranger who walks through the door of New Boston Tavern. Owner Rick Fortwendel knows all his patrons — if not by name, then he does remember the face. “People love that we’re a smaller place, love our atmosphere, and the fellowship,” he says.
“I remember one Christmas, I got an easy-bake oven, and I wanted to bake everything all at the same time,” says Patricia Jackson. “I think it all started there.” Beginning with an easy-bake oven and pre-made cake mixes, the Evansville native and communications specialist at Vectren has come a long way since she first discovered her joy for cooking. Now, Jackson makes her own renditions of classic recipes.
Blessed with the “gift of gab” as she calls it, the passion and energy radiating off Chastity Berry-Everett is contagious. An Evansville native, she has built her career in the YMCA program. The senior community outreach director of after school programs has worked with the organization since 2011, holding numerous positions during her tenure.
In Newburgh, Indiana, the “Hot Fiddlers!” neon sign along Indiana 662 is a beacon, drawing in diners into the establishment tucked into the hillside. After all, it is well known throughout the town and Evansville that if you want hot catfish fiddlers, the place to get them is Knob Hill Tavern. “I think that’s always been the hook for this place,” says co-owner Dan Kollker.
Along with the interlude to summer that came in late August — when temperatures normally soar, we were treated to several days of mid 70s and low humidity — my aunt Maddie (Madeline), uncle Doug (Nelson Douglas), and cousin Dennis from Des Moines, Iowa, visited. They made the 525-mile trip like our families did many summers in the 47 years since we moved from Iowa to my father’s hometown of Evansville.
Chew On This
Charlie’s Mongolian Barbeque, which recently closed, is getting a second life in the newly opened Charlie’s Café, 315 E. Diamond Ave., serving up breakfast and sandwiches. Diners in Henderson, Kentucky, now can get a taste of southern comfort food with the opening of Hometown Roots, 136 Second St., Henderson, KY. Gatrick’s Bar-B-Que and Fine Dishes, 535 Lincoln Ave., now is open and offering barbecue and soul food.
With the dropping temperatures and changing leaves over the next few months, something wicked this way comes — the second annual Haunted Historic Evansville tour. We shared some of the stories from last year’s tour in the September/October 2017 cover feature “Haunted History,” but we weren’t the only ones who had spooky tales to share. Cole Claybourn commented on a post on our Instagram (@evansvilleliving) of the Sherwood Home saying, “This is my new house! We just moved into the ‘abandoned third floor!’”
It seems Evansville can’t shake its craving for street tacos. With authentic, Mexican-style taquerias popping up all over the city, there is a lot to taco-bout in the area’s food scene. El Paisano Grocery and Taqueria
In October 1928, Evansville was preparing to take to the air. The city already had agreed to purchase more than 200 acres around the Heerdink farm along the Dixie Bee Highway and Petersburg Road for a municipal airport. The sale of $190,000 in city bonds had been authorized to pay for construction and B. Russell Shaw of St. Louis had been hired to design the new airport. The impending opening of both airmail and passenger services to Evansville rushed construction work so that at least temporary facilities would be completed in time.
While Connie Bell and her two daughters Jan Rhea Unfried and Nikki Pritchett all are painters and artists, the Evansville natives never considered doing an exhibit together — though they had collaborated a lot early on — until others began requesting it. “None of us actually decided we were going to show our art together, because none of our pieces are anything alike,” says Bell. “People who have asked us have asked because we are related.”
Running is more than putting one foot in front of the other; it is about the mental strength to get to the finish line. Completing a half-marathon means having that mental strength and endurance for 13.1 miles. This seems like a daunting feat, but not for seasoned runners of the YMCA Evansville Half-Marathon. For Jim Isaacs and Mary Roby, this race will be just another to add in the books. Isaacs and Roby have run in the half marathon for all 14 previous years and intend to run it this year as well.
It is hard to pinpoint the moment Kevin Titzer’s latest art project truly began. The Evansville native’s series of sculptural houses made of gathered recycled materials technically started in Guadalajara, Mexico.
It is not every day a sitting president of the United States visits Evansville — but it is not the first time we’ve welcomed the Commander in Chief. Evansville’s Downtown businesses and the city itself scurried to prepare for President Donald Trump’s rally at the Ford Center in August 2018 — many establishments were set for the increase of traffic and the crowds, while a few adjusted hours in anticipation of the event.