Occasionally I want the opportunity to make some observations; this is one of those times.
The Nabisco Building and The Post House in Downtown really add a nice aesthetic punch along the Second Street corridor. These buildings, while at opposite ends of architectural stylings, are very attractive. Combine that with the pleasing look of the new Deaconess Clinic Downtown, the soon-to-be-completed Hyatt Place a few blocks away, and the LST 325 and welcome center, and we continue to make our Downtown a more vibrant place. If you have not explored Downtown in a while, come on down.
The new lighting project the Downtown Evansville-Economic Improvement District spearheaded, working with Wilde Horticulture and the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau, is a really cool, innovative project. Lighting more than 100 trees and the opportunity to easily change colors up and down Main Street, from Second Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., is a sight to see. We preview it on page 13. Well done, EID!
For about eight weeks now, there has been a robin flying into the glass window of my office from a nearby tree branch every day, sometimes four to five times in a minute. The bird really wants in. Be careful what you ask for, birdie. Everyone here is enjoying seeing the bird drive me crazy. It is indeed making me nutty.
The construction of the Deaconess Aquatic Center is well underway and is nicely taking shape — a great example of a public-private partnership. Several local companies and individuals really stepped up to help make this happen. The projected opening is set for July 2021, and while I am not prone to using “game changer” in regards to development, this will be one.
I often run past the old Wesselman Par 3 Golf Course, which with lights and golf course elements recently removed, provides 5 acres of beautiful green space adjacent Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. Across a narrow expanse of the back of the old Roberts Stadium parking lot sits the yet undeveloped and unfunded 30-acre Roberts Park. That gives an additional 35 acres of unused green space in the middle of town.
Did I mention this is unused? If we presently are unable to fund capital improvements at either site, might I suggest a dirt path, mulch, or cinder set of trails? Dirt cheap and easy to put in, we could have a centralized off-the-street trail system and potentially a cross-country course for practice or meets. There is no reason for this area not to be utilized. If no one else will, give me some wood stakes and spray paint.
A friend of mine and a friend to all who knew him, Doug Annakin, passed away last month. I recently was part of a very large contingent of friends and relatives who attended a beautiful and poignant celebration of life service honoring Doug. Several speakers gave emotional remembrances and testaments to Doug’s character.
Doug was remembered as a peacemaker who never said a bad word about anyone and a caring and patient father and husband — all right on the mark. I remember him as nothing but Douglas to me, and I was Tuck to him. The guy you were always glad to see anywhere, and the same guy in a professional business setting as in an informal setting having a beverage. Truly funny, witty, and really laid back. I enjoyed the friendship.
After listening to all of the speakers at Doug’s service, it really reinforced how, at age 54, he still should be at his office at Shepherd Insurance today and going home to Peggy and the kids tonight. After attending his service, it really made you want to be a better person — like our friend Doug. I am confident he would like that analogy.
The words used to describe Doug? Honest, ethical, and moral. Kind, funny, and caring. You, my friend, lived your life well, and you will be missed by many.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker