July 30, 2017

At the Fountain Square...

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... you can talk about whatever you want.

Photos are from The Fountain Square Theater Building in Indianapolis. It's on the National Register of Historic Places. You can read about its history here.

We're back from a short trip to Perrysville, Indianapolis (which I'm told real locals pronounce "Indanapolis"), and West Lafayette. Now, it's time to enjoy some Madison on this lovely Sunday, so keep the conversation going. I appreciate all the conversation you kept going in yesterday's mystery photographs post... especially to Paul Zrimsek who subtly claimed victory in the identify-the-place contest by asking "So, what brought you to Perrysville?" And to madAsHell who gave us a Google Street View link to the mural in one of the photographs. I'd said in the post I felt like "I was doing my Google Street View screen-grab photography, but in person," and with that link you can feel like you're doing my in-person photowalk.

And please consider using The Althouse Amazon Portal when you've got on-line shopping to do.

37 comments:

EDH said...

I wonder if they ever had a "jerks wanted" sign in the window?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That sounds like a fun drive. I would really like to spend some time exploring the Midwest. I feel like I might want to live there as our next stop. I want four seasons, trees, established communities (100+ years old), reasonable cost of living (compared to the coasts), the possibility of rolling topography and the opportunity to have a nice house on some acreage that I can put a couple of horses on.

Off to church. See you n00bs later!

CWJ said...

More Richard Estes in that first photo.

Bob Ellison said...

Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one, except February, which is just a bitch--
Wait, I used "hath" in the first line, trying to sound all old-timey,
So mustn't I use "hath" again in the second line?
Is "mustn't" even a word?

Ann Althouse said...

"That sounds like a fun drive."

It's especially fun if you like farmland, which Meade does (and I enjoy now through him (as he comments on the quality of various "stands" of corn)).

We bypassed Chicago, taking more of an L shaped route than a diagonal. Saw places like Kentland and Watseka and the famous Peoria (which had me reading the Wikipedia entry titled "Will it play in Peoria?").

The ride home yesterday was accompanied by the broadcast of the Brewer game, and we arrived home just as the Cubs broke the tie in the top 11th inning. We turned on the TV to see the Brewers lose.

Bob Ellison said...

There's a Peoria in Arizona, too, so "will it play in Peoria" confused me when I grew up in Phoenix. Why, I wondered, would they be asking such a question about such a back-water suburb? It turns out to work rather well, though. I didn't understand the rhetoric.

One, two, many Peorias!

Tom White said...

Ann, I live in Indianapolis. I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I lived less than a mile from Fountain Square when I was a kid.

I don't know anyone who calls it "Indanapolis." The locals call it Indy. Outsiders still call it India-noplace or Naptown.

David said...

Hey I said Indiana but get no credit. Boo hoo. I could not have figured out what town it was with a year to try. Do they really have duckpins or is it just a sign? Duckpins are impossible.

Paco Wové said...

"It's especially fun if you like farmland...the quality of various "stands" of corn"

Reminding me of the unofficial state song of Iowa (youth edition) Iowa from the Interstate:

Corn, corn, corn, corn,
Ewww, what's that smell?
Corn, corn, corn, corn,
Ewww, what's that smell?

(Repeat.)

David Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

Google, Wikipedia, the New York Times, the Economist, and the Guardian team up to heighten the tone of the Internet.

Writing Experiment

What if you could see the potential impact of your writing?

We created an experiment using Perspective to illustrate when comments might be perceived as “toxic" by others.


What could possibly go wrong?

David Baker said...

From my trucking days, it was one of my more memorable trips. Normally when I arrived in Chicago, I would turn right around and return to New York. But this time was different. They needed to get a shipment of clothes (that's all we carried) to St. Louis.

By sunset I found myself in the middle of the cornfields, miles and miles of 'em as far as the eye could see. And the stalks were high, almost above my cab-over. And there, right in the middle of the cornfields, sat a small family restaurant. It seemed the most unlikely place to put a restaurant, on a little two-lane road in the middle of nowhere – but low-and-behold, they were busy. And inside everyone seemed to be eating corn, talking about corn, even arguing about corn. This was definitely corn country, with some really good meat loaf and mashed potatoes thrown in.

But what I remember most was simply stepping down from the cab and setting foot in a place I never knew existed. And sadly, would never see again.

Paco Wové said...

Got a bag full of fresh ears of corn from my next-door corn-farming neighbor yesterday. Roasted them in the Weber cooker for dinner. Mmmmmm..... Some days, living here does have its advantages.

Rt1 Rebel said...

Duckpin Bowling! I had no idea that was a thing in the midwest, it certainly used to be here in MD. Growing up, my family owned a few alleys and I spent my teen summers working them.

Michael K said...

My grandparents' farm in Illinois had been homesteaded by my grandmother's parents.

The pasture was the primordial sod and had never been plowed. One year my grandfather had the tenant farmer plow it up and plant corn. That summer, the corn was 12 feet high. It gave an idea of how fertile that land was in 1860 when they homesteaded and first farmed it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I miss the frogs.

Usually the river below our house is a lazy river in the summer and there are multitudes of frogs. You can hear them singing in the evening. High pitched back and forth singing across the valley and low booming from the bull frogs. It is amazing. I think that frogs are like the canary in the coal mine in that when there are frogs the ecology is working well and the world is just right.

Last winter we had so much snow and rain that when spring came the waters below us turned from a lazy river to a raging torrent that escaped the banks and turned the whole valley into a rushing river. It must have swept all the frogs and their spawn away. I know it drowned a lot of ground squirrels in their burrows (good!)

Now we have barely any frogs singing in the evening and if I see a frog in one of my planter boxes, huddling in the shady wet soil, I am so excited and happy. I hope next spring we will have them back. I miss them.

Michael K said...

"I know it drowned a lot of ground squirrels in their burrows (good!)"

Monsoon season here has driven a bunch of tarantulas out of their burrows. There are a couple around our front stoop every day.

Roughcoat said...

It's especially fun if you like farmland, which Meade does (and I enjoy now through him (as he comments on the quality of various "stands" of corn.

I'm with you. I love Midwestern farmland. Driving through it has a calming, redemptive effect. I feel at peace. I feel a transcendent serenity. I feel eternity.

I get out into Midwestern farmland about once a week to herd sheep with my border collies. Sometimes I got to farms to train with them, sometimes I go to farms and such to take part in sheepherding competitions. A couple of weeks ago I was down in Vandalia to take part in the Land of Lincoln Border Collie Society's annual stockdog trial. It was held on a Menonnite farm. There's a large Mennonite community in the area. Mennonite families came every day in their horse-drawn carriages to watch and chat with us. Bringing their beautiful well-behaved children with them, who were fascinated by our border collies. They provided all the food, all-home grown and organic, no pesticides or additives. Meals finished off with apple and blueberry pies and huge bowls of home-made vanilla ice cream.

Today I'm going to a farm in Indiana to train with my dogs. In a few weeks I'm going to farms in Wisconsin to take part in sheepherding trials as a member of the Wisconsin Working Stockdog Society.

The best movie ever made about rural Midwestern America (and one of the best movies ever made, period) is "Friendly Persuasion," 1953, starring Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire. About a Quaker family in southern Indiana during the Civil War. Winner of the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival, nominated for several Academy Awards. Reagan gave it as a gift to Gorbachev.

I'm a Midwesterner through and through. To me, the Midwest embodies what is affectionately known as "the old, weird America." Which is, in my opinion, the best of America. It's still out there and it will endure.

Roughcoat said...

When I was a kid we would drive from our home in Evanston IL to visit my German and Irish grandparents in Aurora IL. A trip that now takes about 45 minutes back then took over 2 hours on two-lane highways. This was before Eisenhower built the interstates. Endless fields of wheat literally with amber waves of grain, this was when they still grew wheat in northern Illinois. Corn fields with stalks six-feet tall and taller. Huge herds of black Holstein cattle, which according to my German grandfather was the best kind for eating. Dairy farms with Guernsey milk cows. Vast pig farms.

Most of the farmhouses had German hex signs on them because most of the farmers were German families who had settled the land in the 1800s. My German great-grandfather in Aurora worked in the locomotive roundhouse and the Irish immigrants in Aurora worked out on the tracks. Another German great-grandfather was a logger in Baraboo Wisconsin and according to family lore got killed by falling on his ax in a logging accident but now it is believed he abandoned our family returned to St. Gall Canton in Switzerland. Probably I have kin in St. Gall. The Irish side of my family (mother) lived in a huge old house next to the Fox River in Illinois. My German family lived in part of Aurora called "Dutchtown" because it was German and Lithuanian. My dad grew up speaking German and attended a German-speaking Lutheran school K-8 and a German speaking Lutheran church. My mother's mother was lace-curtain Irish, what a mix our two families were.

On the drive through the farmlands we would pass truck after loaded with Holsteins and pigs being taken to the stockyards in Chicago for slaughter. I learned how farm animals smelled from those passing truck and I love that smell to this day. Once we were literally caught in a tornado, we were in a roadhouse eating hamburgers and we watched through the plate glass window as a tornado funnel straight out of the Wizard of Oz came charging across the neighboring pasture and hit our building square on. We all dove to the floor and the plate glass window shattered but the vacuum inside the funnel cloud suck the glass out so no one was heart. And the building rocked but stood firm, it was a solidly built structure, pure Midwestern in that regard. When the tornado had passed we saw that it had hit an exploded a pigsty in the pasture and now all the pigs were running across the road screaming in terror. I felt so sorry for them. A huge dump truck in the roadhouse parking lot had been turned upside down exactly in place and school bus had been knocked on its side.

What an adventure! I love the Midwest.

Roughcoat said...

Above: typing so fast, lots of typos. Apologies.

Roughcoat said...

My childhood as a Midwestern kid was blessed. I was blessed. Still am, I'm thinking.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

I know you can't judge a town by how it looks from it's freeway exits and probably not from fooling around with Street View for a few minutes either, but Perrysville has that worn meth-y look that seems so common in rural small towns now. Too few decent jobs, too many run-down rentals, an aging population that can no longer properly take care of their houses, not much will to wield a hammer or a paintbrush. Maybe it was always so and I've just started noticing.

Roughcoat said...

The Cracker Emcee Activist @ 12:20:

This does not match up with my experience. I notice and see things differently. I notice and see good things. Very many good things.

Feste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom White said...

Hey I said Indiana but get no credit. Boo hoo. I could not have figured out what town it was with a year to try. Do they really have duckpins or is it just a sign? Duckpins are impossible.

Yes, David, they do have duck pin bowling there. It's been a few years since I've been in there, but it's still going strong.

Feste said...

“ .. maybe it was always so and I've just started noticing ..”

Bless you Cracker. Some drives through thereabouts, things I don’t wanna see. Twice. Pain.

Looking again, beauty can come back. Hope springs.

Tip: avoid freeway exits in Gary, Indiana.

Feste is an Aspiration. Colombo, a totem. Love taught me trust. Pain, wisdom. Recon, silence.

Fernandinande said...

I wonder if they ever had a "jerks wanted" sign in the window?

Speaking of jerks, this is what atheists believe.

Feste said...

~
Fernandinande said...

You know better. We covered this yesterday. Never focus on the pussy. Always check the pecs.

Not so fast atheist memes. Putin might be reading the Bible that Reagan sent over.

Best Catholic-atheist love ever. “Keys to The Kingdom.” Keys indeed. Kingdom on earth. Must see. And obey.

It's in your heart. I know you've got one. Open the Keys!

Feste is an Aspiration. Colombo, a totem. Love taught me trust. Pain, wisdom. Recon, silence.

Feste said...

~ NB.

Ain’t Catholic. Ain’t Protestant. Ain’t Nothing. Justa court fool.

Differential atheism is what true-believers believe. Always hating other-gods.

Peace.

Feste is an Aspiration. Colombo, a totem. Love taught me trust. Pain, wisdom. Recon, silence.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Not talking specifically about the Midwest by any means. I've seen some decent small towns in SW Washington molder into a near-ghetto state in recent years. Hell, Hillary Clinton called Centralia a "beautiful village". My God.

David Baker said...

Hey! Some great reading here today - about frogs and flooding, border collies and tornadoes, even Gary Cooper and the Civil War. And me, kind of wandering through Indiana and Illinois - especially Illinois which I once thought was just a big smokestack surrounded by stockyards and slaughter houses. But then you hit the cornfields and your eyes open up.

So it be great if everyone here would tell their stories, of cities and towns, farms and factories... before we're all history. (And before Kim Jong-un bombs us into oblivion)

Meanwhile, thanks to DBQ and Roughcoat for the reading...

David Baker said...

...Forgive me Michel K, also fine reading.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, I live in Indianapolis. I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I lived less than a mile from Fountain Square when I was a kid. I don't know anyone who calls it "Indanapolis." The locals call it Indy."

My term "real locals" may refer to less well-educated people and/or to people who live in Indiana in more rural parts and not the city itself. Might refer to a generation older than you.

Tom White said...

I work in a smaller town outside of Indy. I have heard a few people in southern counties say "Indanapolis," but never someone in the city itself.

And thanks for the education compliment. I write a lot smarter than the high school diploma I earned, or so I am told. 😃

Ann Althouse said...

I'm flashing back to my days living near Philadelphia. Lots of people said "Phildelphia.".

Gahrie said...

I live in San Bernardino. many of us call it San Berdoo.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.