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Friday, May 26, 2017

  •  This week’s fellow says he has eight lives down . . . at least
    Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    Bits of this week’s interview reflected one not so long ago as I had the privilege to interview another sharp WWII vet, this one having his adorable wife along! I think they even enjoyed their pizza (and his salad) at what has jokingly become, “my office,” the Pizza Hut (fondly referred to as PH). Needing no prompting whatsoever, he launched right into his WWII days, as an Army tankman. At one point, a German bazooka hit his tank and while rescuing the tank commander, he received severe burns, bad ears, a medal and 45 days in the hospital, not particularly in that order.
    Back in his tank again, they followed the Germans across the Rhine River with Armor and Infantry parading with them. Forging through behind the river, they wiped-out 51 German tanks (vs 39 US). Their unit went to stay and rest in large German homes, the majority of the villagers gladly giving their home up for a brief while to their liberators. Most often, the family would go to the basement, relatives or friends. 
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  •  This fella' loves to create in many ways
    Thursday, May 18, 2017 4:00 AM
    This fellow graduated from WHS in 1960, but Wallace, not Waveland as you would guess coming from me. As with all the Wallace boys, he was involved in sports, but we laughed that there weren’t many basketball games, because no one wanted to be in their tiny gym.
    During a high school play, a fairly new student from neighboring Richland Township school, had invited one of her old friends to see the production. He met that friend, and well, let’s say it was pretty much love at first site and one that is still going strong!
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  • He just naturally did what one should
    Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    Their son asked my gal where she was born. “In Terre Haute, in the hospital.” When their son in turn asked his dad the same, “In Kingman.” The son then quizzically answered, “I didn’t know there was a hospital in Kingman!” Of course, he then explained that it was at home where his birth occurred. Not many around today were born at home, but a few exist. 
    An only child, our fellow guest this week was a junior at Kingman High School, involved in so many activities when his parents divorced. He moved to Clinton with his mother, graduating then from CHS. Far jump from the little Kingman where he’d known his whole class for a life-time to the big-city. Luckily, he went to band practices all summer and blended right in when fall classes began. In fact, members from both schools consider him with them and he attends CHS and KHS reunions. He grinned that he inadvertently took off with $10 of the Kingman class money – he was treasurer and it got packed. Returned, of course.
    When he went to sign-up for classes at CHS, the principal asked him what he liked. “Math and agriculture.” The man kind of giggled saying the math they could handle but the other: “We don’t have any!” 
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  •   His outfit in WWII was a go-go one; he is, too
    Thursday, May 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    On a recent Sunday afternoon, I was blessed to be able to interview a rare commodity in America today, a WWII veteran. An additional blessing came in his niece, Janet, who drove me to his home and enjoyed the day along with me. As she sat in her grandfather’s favorite rocker and listened to her uncle tell us wonderful stories, she noted that she became so comfortable and enjoyed such a calming peace, that it was “like the feeling of security and youth.” Oddly, I got that same feeling from my guest even though he’s past his 90 mark.
    A bit hard of hearing, his nephew had suggested I give him a written list of questions. Good idea, B.J.! Went right through that list like a trooper. He did a fantastic job and as much as I love history and know the subject, I seriously felt like I learned more from a one-on-one experience with him than if I’d just taken History 101 in college. 
    Besides knowledge, he has a peppy, informative way of making the topics live. So here, I will try in my ineptness to honor this nifty man.
    Farming has always been his family’s main occupation. In high school, he took one of the first-Agriculture Courses. Reason one, loved farming, but also if he took it, he’d not be required to take senior English. With that option in mind, my fellow joined-up! “Pappy (Paul) Wilson had previously had about 10 in his class, but progressed to over-flowing.” Pappy did drive my fella’ a bit crazy as he’d, “ask a question right back at ya’, so that ya’ never knew whether you answered or not. Certainly, he kept ya’ on your toes and a false move meant deep trouble!”
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  •  These travelers have just one more state to go
    Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Oh, yeah, I’m loving how my two guests got together, way back when. It was at the Zach’s B-K where she worked. In fact, one of the first carhops we had. A friend of his had said that she was so doggone cute that he ought to ask her to the New Market Fish Fry, but was too timid. My male guest said, “Well, if you’re not going to, I am.” That he did. A few short years later, they wed, and wait until you hear the reason. Simply, love it!!
    At New Market, our man was one of 18 in his graduating class. His senior year he wasn’t only president, but the same for Student Council. He was super active in other exciting New Market happenings, too, including earning 10 letters in sports. He grew-up with two brothers and two sisters, all NMHS graduates. It will be his 60th class reunion this year with 15 of his class living.
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  • A world-traveler, Karen thinks he likes C'ville the best
    Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    My guest this week was the first of three sons to be born in a hospital (Evansville) near their country home. A sister arrived later. His father was a general manager over eight counties for a feed company. In high school (Booneville), a teacher influenced him to get involved in reading current events, an activity important to his life yet today. Even considers himself a “social studies nut!” Certainly, we have that in common!
    Also during high school, he was heavily involved in music, playing an alto sax during concert band and drums in dance band. After high school, he headed to ISU. His educational time frame produced an oddity. Staying in the exact place, he attended Indiana State Teachers’ College, Indiana State College and Indiana State University, due to name changes. 
    Then, going to college was reasonably inexpensive at $5/credit hour plus he had a part time job in a Sub way, but not the places called that today: “It was more of a greasy spoon!” Completing his education, it was to Crawfordsville to teach. Glad he chose Montgomery County.
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  • Play together, pray together and stay together
    Thursday, April 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    I’ve had some rollicking good times writing the Around The County articles, but do believe I laughed the hardest at this one. Non-stop laughing. We even laughed in the middle of a deep discussion or two. 
    Received the name of these two for an interview from three different people. All said because of their unique family, how it is blended so beautifully. That certainly was what the big topic was and there were some hilarious stories.
    This, I believe, is the third time I’ve had a younger son join in. All fun, but this one was a hoot. In fact, let’s begin with him. I knew his grandfather well and thought that he was one of the best men I’ve ever known. Never a time he wouldn’t help anyone with whatever was needed. A lot of time was spent with this young man and his grandpa, and they did something I’d never heard of before and probably won’t again, but I simply loved it. Grandpa’ was big on going to do something, get out and play a sport, or work outside. When our boy’s grandfather would pick him up at school or various places, the young one was always asked what he’d like to do. Typical answer, “Watch t.v.” However, this grandparent had quite a different view of how that was done. They’d sit and watch, “Black t.v.;” in other words, nothing was on. Plan well instigated as soon, it was time to go out and do something. When I asked the fellow what he’d like to be (dad had already hinted at such), he immediately piped up he wanted to be a policeman and was going to shadow one for the day yet this week. Also, he is thinking of flying as on a recent vacation, he saw the Blue Angels in exhibition. Something in sports or who knows? After all, he’s a football, basketball, baseball playing Freshman at North so he has plenty of time.
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  • Meet Mom and Daughter with rhyming names
    Thursday, April 06, 2017 4:00 AM
    This week, up is a mom and daughter. Just missed them for an interview for the March Montgomery Memories, so I decided to feature them in my ATC article. Luckily, they were good with that!
    Although Mom worked at the A&W, first as a carhop, then inside waitress, it was when Jim and I were in Lafayette, so I didn’t get to really know her much. I had known who they both were ‘cause they went to New Market, and I of course was at WHS. Yet, it was in later years when our sons, their Jeff and my Jay, went to South together and were in various activities, that we were together more.
    In even later years, Jeff coached our grandson, Dane, in tennis at Tuttle. So, our paths have crossed several times, yet, we’d not sat down to really visit much, so enjoyed our time together for this article.
    Beauty was the topic for the MM, which is your number one hint. My interview was with a beautician, and her daughter, who will add pedicures and manicures to the shop. More on that later.
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  •  South grads having North grads . . . what a hoot
    Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    Have you ever known someone for several years and then, all of a sudden, you realize something about ‘em? Maybe that they are exceedingly funny, or down-right smart, or in this case, it hit me how pretty my female half this week really is. What was interesting, was that her husband was saying it as I was thinking it. He, I’ve known for many more years and I’ve always thought, and will probably never change my mind, that he is a Dennis-the-Menace kind of guy. Goofy, and a bit of a stinker but everyone loves him. Definitely, these two have talents!
    For this week’s get-together, hubs and I ventured to a new place for us, The Joshua Cup, and enjoyed it very much. I had a strawberry-banana smoothie; Jim, tea and the best cinnamon roll ever. I had just a bit of the corner and it was fab!
    New Market baseball was where I first met this young man. He and the Taylor twins, Dave and Dan, coached our son and a bunch of great kids in Pony League at South. The kids loved ‘em and wonders of wonders, the parents did, too. Great year! Also got to know his brother via genealogy; but I didn’t get to know this week’s young lady until my fella’ began dating her several years later.
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  •   Mama's Angel boy wouldn't shoot pool, would he?
    Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:00 AM
    Met this fellow fairly recently on Facebook when I asked a diabetes question. He helped me a great deal and we discuss history, too. Also, I used to know his older brother fairly well and absolutely adore his sister.
    A New Market graduate, he said, “I was never good at sports. Played Little League once, and that was enough for me!”
    He won golf clubs though and took to that. At age 26, he bought his little brother (more than 3 x 5 years younger) some basic bargain basement clubs and they played. He said, “I taught little bro all about the game,” ending with, “Joking!” Really, the Williamsons did. Both still enjoy golfing, though.
    Another sport our fella’ enjoyed was shooting pool. “Mom made my dad choose between her and pool. He loved playing at Bank Cigar Store, sometimes leaving her sitting in the car.” Choice must have worked. They were married 64 years. 
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  • He loves to brag that he married an older woman
    Thursday, March 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    These two 1987 Southmont graduates certainly did not date in high school. Different crowds, wouldn’t have been done, but a few months afterwards, he called her up and they went out. It certainly has worked since they will be married 25 years Sept. 5. As they said, “It was destiny!” 
    Quite a tease, he also said, that she hit him in the head and when he woke up, he was married. She added, “No, I kept after him, wore him down and he finally asked me on his birthday with family there.” Also, he wanted to make sure I knew that he married an older woman (six months so). Plus, I wondered about their lengthy four year dating process – why so long? His answer was, “Why be in a hurry?” We laughed and she said, “That’s his philosophy of life and our daughter is just like him!” My gal guest is a let’s get it done and their son is like her. More on the younguns later!
    Anyway, in high school, he mainly played golf, as it didn’t hit hunting season like football. She managed tennis and baseball. His family had a golf scramble every year, so he kept that sport up until he broke his wrist.
    He had owned 34 acres with a trailer on Highway 41. He sold it then they purchased a home in Browns Valley where they still live. First day in it, he had it about ½ gutted before she even got there. They lived upstairs while working down. It’s an awesome place!
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  •  This week’s guests are certainly in tune
    Thursday, March 09, 2017 4:00 AM
    Grand time with this week’s couple, at the PH; however, it was a bit tense at the start. I asked questions back and forth, but at one point, he got a bit long-winded and we heard, “Shut up already, or I’m not going to be in this article, at all.” I’m sure my mouth dropped open, but then he giggled. We all giggled a lot! 
    So, I best start with her, then we can both stay out of trouble. Kidding, it was all in fun (I think). A CHS graduate, she was involved in music, being number one chair in clarinet and the student director of both band and the girls’ chorus. 
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  •  They first met at Pool's and  later fell in love at Walmart labs
    Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:00 AM
    Newlyweds! My guests this week just celebrated their first anniversary. Married on Valentine’s Day, this pair wed in her church, Grace Avenue, where she noted that as a kid, “I went every Sunday, Sunday evening and Wednesday night.” Although they don’t go quite that often, they do enjoy going to church and visiting various ones, including New Hope and New Life, along with Grace Avenue.
    I’ve known my fella’ today since before he was born. His mom and I have been friends since we were tots, our parents in turn being good buddies. We discussed a lot of fun times we had when he was a youngster. I was going to ask him if he remembered the time there were nine of us stuffed in my Chevette, but I forgot. Another fun time was going on the Janie show. We spent many wonderful times swimming at our house, grilling out at another couple’s and eating at his folks. Many laughs and giggles.
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  • Guest's top game was 279; Karen bests him at 285, sorta
    Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:00 AM
    Alamo is where my fella today hails. Born at home in Ladoga, he began school in Alamo, attending 4th-9th at New Market, then graduating from AHS with the class of 1955. On Facebook not long ago, I saw the neatest picture of him working at Midstates in the 60s, and just had to track him down. Really enjoyed getting to know not only him, but his daughter and sister, as well as some of the AHS group of ’55. Fun time visiting with all of them at the Waveland restaurant on Saturday morning.
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  •  This week features quite the traveling family
    Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    Recent Around the County guests told me about this couple, and sure am glad they did. He’s a nephew of one of my good friends and she, is just a gem! Besides that, she fed us German cookies, and they were so yum. Now, there is a very good reason why she gave us German treats. That’s because she was born and raised in Guntersblum, Germany. 
    Our male guest grew-up next door in Parke County, but has spent the majority of his life in Crawfordsville where he has worked 29 years at R.R. Donnelley’s. A 1979 Turkey Run graduate, we had the same English teacher, Ralph Williams, who spent many years teaching at TR. Our guest was also a band member, playing alto sax. I admire him greatly for beginning college at the age of 50. He will soon have a two-year degree with Ivy Tech in Industrial Maintenance, and would love to go on to get his bachelor’s.
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