A question often posed to me regarding our business is twofold. The first generally is “Do you really do anything down there?” and the second is “How do you come up with story ideas?”
Generally story ideas are compiled into our idea files and are then discussed at editorial meetings. Often the very scientific litmus test is whether my wife as the publisher of Evansville Living or I as publisher of Evansville Business find an idea interesting to us. If so, we tend to think readers will find it interesting as well. We often are “pitched” story ideas by friends, staff, and advertisers. This issue contains two stories given to us by long-time clients.
Local automobile dealer and diver Doug Duell first suggested to us the story featured on our cover, “Into the Deep.” In a meeting about his dealership, he told me about Aquatech Scuba and Travel Center owner Larry Babcock (page 28). It made our story files, but in a subsequent meeting with Duell, he asked me about his story idea again. Then he “sold” me the idea months later with stories of how Larry was beloved by everyone who knew him and how interesting he was. After the interview, Managing Editor Emily Patton came back into the office and announced “what a great guy” and “how interesting he was” in the interview. Genius on our part.
For the story “Hometown Heroes,” on page 18, local real estate agent Janice Miller mentioned in a casual conversation that her father, World War II veteran Wayne Geurin, was preparing to go on an Honor Flight. The resulting story is about those who served having this tremendous experience afforded to them as a way of thanking them for their service. It wasn’t even a story pitch, just a daughter proud of her father.
So, thanks to those who call, write, email, or catch me in a meeting or in the grocery store. It is always appreciated.
One of the many things I love about this community is that there are not many degrees of separation among friends and family. In this issue, we were fortunate enough to profile two of the finest gentlemen I know. (That was painful.)
In “Community Partners,” page 14, we talk to Robbie Kent Sr. Robbie’s father was well-known auto dealer and great civic booster Kenny Kent, who knew my grandfather well. Robbie has that special gift of making you feel that no matter where you see him, you are the person he is most pleased to see. He is occasionally even glad to see me. With a huge heart, he gives back to this community with time and resources. Need a dose of optimism? Robbie’s your man.
We also talk to Bob Zimmermann Sr. in “A Century of History” on page 16. As genuine as it gets, our editorial staff mentioned more than once what fine men and how enjoyable Bob Sr. and Robbie Sr. were to interact with.
Always (fairly) quick with a mediocre quip, Bob Sr. is a go-to man for family, friendship, church, and a tremendous sense of community spirit. He and his wife Becky sponsored Kristen and me into the church. We are friends with his son Bob Jr. and daughter-in-law Cathy. My boys are very close friends of their sons. Not many degrees of separation at all. It is a pleasure and privilege to write about and know these two fine gentlemen.*Note to Robbie and Bob: I am concerned having both of you in the same issue will make it a real “dog” on the newsstand.
Speaking of dogs (yes, I am proud of that segue), I am so pleased to look out of our office windows and see the exterior renovation of the Greyhound terminal nearly complete. Through a tremendous effort of Indiana Landmarks, the building is visually stunning. The original sign with the Greyhound running across the top will be dedicated and lit later this month. If you have not seen the transformation, do yourself a favor and drive Downtown and take a look.
Those of you who made it happen, well done.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker