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Fall Festivities

22 Oct

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As Hoosiers, and even more so as residents of the central Indiana region, we have the amazing opportunity to experience so much local culture. Now October has arrived, the leaves explode into a variety of bright vibrant colors, the air is permeated with that cool, crisp pleasant feeling, and that aforementioned culture sizzles to life with multitudes of fall festivals. Hauntings will be constructed, cider will be crafted, and pumpkins will be carved. There will be music and celebrations, scares and libations. October is here.

And we have barely begun the month. In late September, before the life of a full-time student began to engulf me, I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite locations for a day trip, Brown County. Brown County has a rich and diverse history, spanning over 100 years. It started as an artist colony, home to T.C. Steele and his impressionist artwork, but has now evolved into the rustic and beloved tourist destination that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Nashville General Store & Bakery
After parking by the public restrooms and crossing the tiny creek on a simple bridge, we encounter a screen door as the only guardian to the inner depths of the store, while the exterior is rustic and charming, with various bric-a-brac carefully strewn about the porch area. It is immediately warm and inviting, the smell of cinnamon and freshly baked bread rolling out as we enter. The tightly packed shelves, the narrow walking space, and the country Christian music, when takenindividually, would just drive me to the brink. However, when wrapped together this way, it makes you feel welcome. It is as if the cool veneer of urban life gets scrubbed away to a nice healthy glow.

We came here with a singular purpose; to taste the enormous cinnamon buns we’ve heard so much about. A friend of the family had raved about them, so we were determined to give them a shot. We selected one behind the glass and the matron promptly nuked it for a few seconds to warm it up. The faint overtone of cream cheese in the frosting wafted across to us as she carried the warm dessert to the register. She was dressed in business casual attire, which struck a distinct chord with me because it so jarred with the at-home feeling of the surroundings. She was friendly and warm like the establishment and asked if we were sitting inside or out. She instructed us that paper towels were available in the eating area. And so they were, the décor and merchandise spilled into another room with several large tables covered finely printed cloths and, as promised, a roll of paper towels. We sat down and savored our conquest, while around us others we settling into their repast as well. We made idle chit-chat with the others in the room, then cleaned up and headed out to experience a wonderful day in this amazing Hoosier gem.



Chicago — A Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre Musical

24 Sep


The six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail perform the “Cell Block Tango, in which they relate the stories of their incarceration in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of the Broadway smash hit Chicago, now on stage through Oct. 7. Tickets range from $37 to $60 and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, coffee, tea and lemonade. Full bar service and gourmet desserts are available. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including complete show schedule, visit

The fantastic musical many have seen on DVD, Chicago, has recently opened at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. This musical is famous for its songs, Cell Block Tango, All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle. Roxie Hart (Deb Wims), Velma Kelly (Marisa Rivera), Billy Flynn (Curt Dale Clark), and Matron “Mama” Morton (Alene Robertson) all were acted by incredible actors and actresses. By default, I went in expecting a remarkable dancing and singing musical. That is what Chicago is known for. Nonetheless, I was amazed by their acting job, as well. The acting in this musical was phenomenal and made for an amazing show. The dancing was on point and choreographed to perfection. The vocals were appreciated, especially some hard to reach vocals displayed by some of the actresses. The lighting, sound and everything technical was well done and not forgotten by this reviewer. My favorite performance, The Cell Block Tango, was perfection. The red colors accentuated the scenes and made the overall mood (of many of the scenes) intensely dark. The song and dance number that accompanied the scene was fantastic. I especially liked the choreography for the number “Cell Block Tango”. The vocal range that Billy Flynn displayed (Curt Dale Clark) was phenomenal. I was immensely surprised and amazed. There are not many critiques I have for this performance, which is surprising because I am particularly critical. For the amount of staging they had, I was amazed at the choreography. Overall, I give them 5 stars, and I hope everyone goes to see Chicago!


Brown County, Indiana

12 Sep

Brown County, Indiana

Fall is rapidly approaching. One of my favorite spots to visit during this time is Nashville, Indiana. When the leaves explode into color, this idyllic artist colony becomes a tourist haven. Have you visited Nashville in Brown County? Any tips for a new visitor? What is the best spot for a meal or a deal?

Indy 500 2011

11 Jul

By: Mary Lacy


The thrills and chills of the Indianapolis 500 began hours before the race even started.  In fact, this year there were many events and family days at the track the week leading up to the race. There was a pace car reunion day when several decades of the famous pace cars and their proud owners shined on the motor track through the infield.  Any car lover could appreciate the differences from 100 years ago until today’s Special edition Chevrolet Camero Convertible that lead the laps beginning on May 29 at noon.

This year the Indy 500 started early, but I was glad because it had been a long day for us all. Several hours before the race even begins, there is anticipation and excitement in the stands, the infield and in the garages.  Though I was unable to find out what specific traditions the drivers have before the race begins, I was able to share traditions before the race with my friends and many others on the infield this year.  From the Stealth Bomber fly-over that drowned out the whooping and hollering of the crowd, to the newest tradition of jumping the hot wheels car all of the pre-race activities got the crowd revved up and ready for the race to start.  The hot wheels car jumped a track 235 feet after being winched up with a stunt driver in it.  It was an event that many came early to see, and hopefully this event will become a new tradition for years to come.

For this 100th year of racing, the Marmon “Wasp” took a lap: this was the first car that won the 500 race back in 1911.  Past racers such as Mario Andretti took laps along with school marching bands, Miss Indiana, and Miss Teen Indiana.  The closer the start of the race got, the more people showed up and the track felt alive.  Jim Neighbors sang “Back Home Again in Indiana,” the late Tom Carnegie, “Voice of the Speedway” was honored, Kelly Clarkson and Seal sang the National Anthem, and then Mari Hulman George said her famous, “Ladies and Gentlemen start your engines.”  That’s when the real thunder began to roll, on the track and in our hearts.

In an interview after the race, with Channel 13 news, both Tony Kanaan, and the winner this year Dan Wheldon, agree that the INDY 500 is full of traditions and history. Although I was cheering for Tony Kanaan, who snuck by many during the hot 200 laps, it was Dan Wheldon who flew past rookie DJ Hildebran when he made a “rookie mistake” that landed him against the wall and in second place sliding across the finish line.

The race was a clean one; the caution flag was only out twice and despite the small track, this race has the biggest pay out.  The 2010 winner of the Indy 500, Dario Franchitti, drove out with $2.75 million.  According to Fox 59 Sports, this year Dan Wheldon won $13,509,485 overall with $2.5 million for the win.  The race was loud and I suggest anyone who goes to take plenty of water and ear plugs, but besides the hot sun, everyone was friendly and seemed to be there for the same reason, to have a fun day watching the race and making memories.