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home : columnists : karen zach February 26, 2015


This week's subject caught Karen's attention
Although I had heard of this gal, and even talked to her briefly now and again, I didn't get to know her until I taught last semester at CHS. A super interesting, fun person, I knew right away I wanted to interview her. Thank goodness, she consented.

Tami Kay Rohn was born in Lebanon, grew-up in Raccoon, and graduated from CHS. Her family consisted of parents, Bob and Roxie Rohn and four sisters. Bob was a farmer and before you say it's sad he had no sons, don't, because Tami worked as hard as any man could. Literally, she loved the farm. After her father passed away when she was 15, and on her mother's birthday in a farm accident, she in fact, was even hired as a farm hand on her then boyfriend's parents' farm. For sure, Tami could drive a truck with the best of 'em!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015
CHS principal has roots further south
It's extremely easy to tell you when I first became acquainted with the subject of this week's article, because I was his baby sitter. What an energetic, well-behaved, knowledge-hungry young one. He's not changed one iota. His energy abounds! A courteous, reliable intelligent man, he still desires learning. In other words, Greg Hunt, principal at Crawfordsville High School, is one fab fellow I admire immensely.

Greg grew-up in Waveland with parents, Cecil and Juanita, plus brothers, Doug and Phil. During junior high, he swam and played basketball. By high school, "band consumed all my time." Regular band activities, along with solo and ensembles, state fair and other competitions, left little time for other activities. Greg was drum major during marching band and played timpani in concert. Of course, his high school years weren't all study and music his last two years were also involved in admiring his next door locker buddy, Brenda Hulse. One item about Greg is that he's persistent. It paid off in the girl department. After asking Brenda out several times (he was always a day late), she finally said yes on Oct.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Since birth, this week's guest has been unique
Was this week's guest really born? Obviously, she thought so, yet when she needed her birth certificate, it didn't exist! Never recorded! Luckily, her mother had kept the Thorntown News with the little bleep about her birth. Thus, she's the proud owner of a birth affidavit, and I'm here to attest that Bette Rice Vaught is alive, well and sweet as can be!

Bette was named after four grandmothers and is the daughter of George and Ethel Fisher Rice. She grew-up in Thorntown with several cousins and many friends, but at age 12, her family moved to the east side of Indianapolis where she walked by herself at night in places not safe to go in the daytime now. Bus, trolley, and the street car were other forms of transportation Bette used. The bus I could handle, but me, being one who has rarely gone to a big city needed a lesson on transferring and Bette

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Local couple says 'We'll do it!'
Shhhh! Don't think you should tell the Pizza Hut folks I met this week's guests there or PH may start charging me office space. Although I've known this couple in a casual way for many years, I've not sat down to blab much with them, so Jim and I greatly enjoyed doing just that.

David Keith Smith grew-up in the Whitesville area on a dairy farm. When he was starting junior high, Whitesville School was closed and the family moved to a large chicken farm with around 2,500 fowl and he went to Crawfordsville schools. From a class of 13 in a four-room school to one of over 150 per grade and a place with many rooms, he said he had a cultural shock. I asked David if people called him Dave as I've always known him as David. He told me he answers to about anything: Dave, David, David Keith and even Keithie to a few folks. I'm stickin' with David.

Now, when I do think of David, along with that name, it's just a natural to have Georgetta with it. She was named for her father, George Baker. She went her first six years to Judson's one-room school, then Marshall and owns the pleasure of being in Turkey Run's first graduating class. While in school, she was involved in basketball, softball, majorettes and cheerleading. Fifty-four graduated with Georgetta, sadly with 15 already gone.

The Smiths met at her brother's wedding and when I asked if it was one of those "Love at first sight things," she grinned, saying, "Oh, probably!" After TR, Georgetta went to Terre Haute Commercial College where her instructor was the same as her father had had. At the time she met David, she was working at R.R. Donnelley's from where David eventually retired after 40 years. Dave began as a material handler, later building maintenance and finally ended-up as By-Products Manager in charge of about 20 people. He took care of anything from left-over ink to used equipment and noted, "I really enjoyed it!" Georgetta retired from working in the book rental area at Southmont.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Rich and Mona Clouse make quite the duo
This week's couple met at a youth group's minstrel show during high school. He attended Wallace Christian and she went to Alamo. Their youth minister was the same fellow, Morris Fench, a Wabash college student. This fun show with both groups participating convinced her that she liked him, but her original view as he went into the meat locker with a quarter beef on his shoulder (at his family's slaughter house in Wallace) made her tummy go crazy. Rich and Mona Clouse will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year in August and Mona says, "When I see him come around a corner, my tummy still goes crazy!"

During Rich's years at Wallace High School, he was in choir, but stated that he was a really bad singer. "So bad that they gave me a slide whistle to play." Because he had rheumatic fever, his parents wouldn't let him play basketball but he was involved in baseball and the guy's volleyball team. Also, he enjoyed being involved in the high school plays. He graduated from WHS in 1962.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Paper publisher has community at heart
This week's guest is one of the funniest people I know, not only in his writings but his everyday personality, as well. Every time I'm around him, I laugh. Usually, a lot! In his column names alone, his humor prevails: Bubbling Caldron; Bubba Castiron; Honest Hoosier; Two Cents and although Hammer isn't an actual column, he's my favorite of all of Tim Timmons' fun folks.

Really, I don't know exactly when I met Tim. Likely it was at the Journal-Review when he worked there (and I wrote for the Montgomery Magazine) under Gaildene Hamilton's tutelage. "Barring none, Gaildene was the best boss I ever had," Timmons said. Certainly, we have a shared agreement on the love and care Gaildene used to nurture her employees. Tim's a lot like that!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Karen highlights two admirable folks
Adjectives are the best part of the English language and an ! the best mark. So, to begin this week's article, think admirable! Read on to find out just why I chose admirable in concern to Bud and Tresha Cox Meadows. I dearly love these two, and bet many of you reading this article whole-heartedly agree. I've known Tresh since I was a little and Bud since our teen years. When the large Meadows family moved across the street from the Coxes, I suspicion those teenagers had a connection early on. My memories of Tresha began with her stopping by to walk to school with me. Her hike was ¾ of a mile carrying her band instrument, and I never heard a complaint whereas my trek was a mere two blocks with me whining all the way. I so admired her. We also sold the Veteran's Poppies every year and she was in 4-H and Rainbow.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Crawfordsville student caught Karen's attention
Never thought I'd be writing about a high school student for this article, but while teaching last semester, I met many young folks who impressed me and this young lady tops the list. She owns high expectations for herself that I'm completely sure she will achieve. Abigail Spencer is a native Montgomery Countian and shares one of my true loves, writing.

On one of the first days of class, Abigail asked me about writing for The Paper. We talked a couple of times about it and she mentioned she would like a part time job working at a newspaper as she felt that's her future. I mentioned her name to my boss, Tim Timmons and when he came to talk to my Creative Writing students, she introduced herself, got an interview and the rest is history. Hopefully, you've read some of her articles. She noted, "It is a blessing to have this opportunity with The Paper. I'm getting the experience of a lifetime that is making my future career opportunities limitless." Her interest in the paper world was likely prompted from her reporter's job on the CHS newspaper. Love that paper, and the articles with the "Abigail Spencer" byline are always exceptionally well-written and extremely interesting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Amie Cox has lots of local connections
This week's guest works at Crawfordsville High School and I met her when I asked if the school library had my book, Crawfordsville: Athens of Indiana. I needed it to show and discuss with my Creative Writing class. Just entering the CHS Media Center is exciting as there are always new and interesting changes. I particularly loved the American Indian display that luckily completed a unit in one of my literature classes. Impressed that Media Specialist, Amie Cox knew she had my book and found it for me quickly, I liked her right away and have appreciated her more as the semester has progressed. Certainly, she has a great attitude and is full of ideas and energy.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Ken Dieruf is new to me, not C'ville
I've thoroughly enjoyed teaching next door to this man since I began my educational renewal at CHS at the beginning of this school year. I hadn't even heard of Ken Dieruf until then, but I appreciate his help with anything I've needed, even my overall school request for a much-needed diet Mountain Dew.

Both Ken and his wife, Barb are at CHS, Barb as Tech Director and Ken as the JAG instructor. JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) is a state-funded program, and I always enjoy going in to Ken's room with the college banners, bright posters, class projects, business charts and nifty round tables that prompt discussions.

Ken grew-up in Minnetonka, MN and moved with his parents, three brothers and two sisters to Louisville, Kentucky when Ken was in his late teens. Ken's father was in sales with Pillsbury. Waggenor High School wasn't a super satisfying experience for Ken since he arrived there when his school was almost over; thus Ken decided to work and it was Mario's Pizza that helped win him over to the business world.

The clincher was when he became a sales associate for J.C. Penny's. It was at Penny's that he met Barb. They were good friends before dating. Along with being buddies, her beauty, charm and personality helped lead Ken to the altar in her hometown of Louisville.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


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