Thursday, September 4, 2014


“’Relax,’ said the night man,
‘We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!’”
   “Hotel California,” Eagles

Dick Hagelberg has started going to Cheryl and Toni’s Friday yoga class and wants me to join them.  He’ll be on a European trip this week, and then I’ll be in California, so maybe he’ll drop the suggestion.  That’s not my idea of relaxing.

Fingerstyle acoustic jazz guitarist Peter Aglinskas’ latest CD, “South Shore Soul,” features such funky soul classics as the Chi-Lites’ “Ooh Child” and Grover Washington, Jr.’s “Soulful Strut.”  The finale, “I Only Have Eyes for You,” was a Fifties classic by the Flamingos.  Peter dedicated the CD to sister Vicky Burke, “who took me to my first guitar lesson and whose stacks of 45s kindled my love for this music,” and Audi Ambrozaitis, “who has been my soul and inspiration through every twist and turn of this endeavor.”  Peter’s playing Friday in Michigan City at Lubeznik Center for the Arts.  I plan on being there.  I’ve seen him perform on campus, and he creates a very mellow, relaxing atmosphere.
photo by TerryAnn Defenser

In the library courtyard for Thrill of the Grill was Chad Clifford and Aaron Hedges from the Crawpuppies, who’ll be opening for Spin Doctors at Popcorn Fest Saturday (I’ll be there).  Peter Anglnskas recorded “South Shore Soul” at Clifford’s Valparaiso studio.  I introduced him to Omar, who booked Chad and Aaron. The duo did Spin Doctor’s “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and shined on such favorites of mine as “Wide World,” “Hotel California,” “Island in the Sun,” and (with Chad playing harmonica) the Neil Young classic “Heart of Gold.”  After a request for Kings of Leon, Chad belted out “Sex on Fire.”  He always does “The Logical Song” by Supertramp when he returns to IUN, where he spent two semesters.  He recalled liking that I discussed musical trends in the History course he had with me.  Chad Clifford is a big Beatles fan and always does at least one of their numbers.  I meant to ask him if he knew that September 3 was the fiftieth anniversary of the “Fab Four” performing two shows at the Indiana State Fair.
Beatles with 1964 Miss Indiana State Fair
Chad finished with Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome,” which starts off:
“When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all.”

Ann Fritz hosted a Savannah Gallery reception for Katherine L. Ross, whose porcelain balls covered most of the room.  Two clever videos showed horses reacting to balls in a field and a teacup in a stall.  One of her past installations employs 1,500 porcelain bars of soap along with a video of people washing hands and waves coming ashore.

For Back to School Week Moraine student groups were giving away candy and wooing potential new members. Not represented: the History Club, moribund since adviser Jerry Pierce left, nor Connections, evidence of how much the LGBT group’s adviser, Anne Balay, is missed.  Student Services was giving away free watermelon slices and holding a watermelon-eating contest.

I didn’t do justice to the refreshments (mainly meat) at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs held its Fall Reception since I had eaten plenty at previous events.  Delivering the keynote speech was James Wimbush, IU VPODEMA (Vice President of Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs).  Antoinette, wife of IUN’s ODEMA director, James Wallace, chatted with me, as did David Parnell, Natasha Brown, and Micah Pollak; the three started at IUN the same year and have stayed close.  James outlined an impressive schedule of upcoming events, including a prestigious Latino conference and a Black Film Festival that hopefully will Frederick Cousseau and Blandine Huk’s “I Am Gary.”

James Madison starts out the chapter “Hoosiers Traditions and Winds of Change” asserting that: “Elwood Haynes did not intend to start a revolution when he drove his horseless carriage along with Pumpkinvine Pike near Kokomo on July 4, 1894.”  Like the Wright brothers and Henry Ford, Haynes was a tinkerer for relaxation and entrepreneur for profit.  With mechanics Edgar and Elmer Apperson Haynes devised one of the first automobiles.  In 1899 he and Edgar drove a “horseless carriage” from Kokomo to Brooklyn, the first long distance trip of its kind.  That same year Studebaker Company in South Bend transitioned from farm wagons to electric-powered and then gasoline propelled automobiles.  Madison questioned whether Indiana could sustain “enough of the entrepreneurial qualities and understanding of the world that in 1894 had led Elwood Haynes and his horseless carriage out to the Pumpkinvine Pike.”  We’ll see.

I love the name Pumpkinville.  The pike itself is no longer a thoroughfare, but there is a Pumpkinville Nature Trail in Goshen and a Pumpkinville Bike Ride.

Elwood is what my maternal grandfather, Charles Elwood Metzger, preferred folks to call him.  Dan Aykroyd gave the name a certain éclat playing Elwood Blues in “The Blues Brothers.”  Of Old English origin and meaning “from the forest,” Elwood has more towns with that name (including Elwood, Indiana) than famous people.  Other than Haynes, the best [WIKI] could dredge up was Elwood Engel, designer of the 1961 Lincoln, 1964 Plymouth Barracuda, and 1966 Dodge Charger.  A hundred years ago, a horse named Elwood won the Kentucky Derby.  In 1907 a Chihuahua by that name was crowned “World’s Ugliest Dog.”  In the 1950 movie “Harvey” James Stewart played Elwood P. Dowd whose best friend was a six-foot rabbit.

I bowled a 472 series, much better than last week, and the Engineers took 5 of 7 points.  All three games were close, and we needed a double in the tenth by anchor John Uylocki, to win the first.  Melvin Nelson turned 75 and blushed upon receiving an extended hug from Shannon McCann. 

The Cubs, playing six rookies, swept a three-game series from Milwaukee, which has lost eight in a row.  I’m rooting for Pittsburgh to edge them out for the remaining wild card slot.

At the Archives Jerry Davich and Karen Walker talked with Ron Cohen, Steve McShane and me about a“Lost Gary” book project.  I emphasized that despite Gary’s problems, there’s plenty still going on.  I told him about city directories and the Post-Trib collection of negatives and urged him to contact local historian Tom Higgins (an expert on the history of Memorial Auditorium).  Ron suggested he speak with former city planner Chris Meyer and Indiana Landmarks field officer Tiffany Tolbert.

Rain moved the Business Division free lunch indoors but cut down on the lines. Not as healthy as the Wellness meal (but I’m not complaining), it featured burgers, hot dogs, chips, pop, and a cookie.  I chatted with William Nelson and Bala Arshanapalli, who had just finished their shifts as servers.  Arshanapalli recalled when my son Dave from brought the E.C. Central tennis team to Gary Health and Fitness Center back before the school had decent courts.
Darcey’s brother-in-law Daniel Wade was named FCIL (Foreign, Comparative, and International Law) Librarian of the Month.  Asked where he grew up, he replied, “In Merrillville, in a humble house, but which backed into a natural area.  It was an ornithological paradise.  We had scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles, great blue heron, red-headed woodpeckers, etc.  It was fabulous.”  Calling himself a child of the Sixties, he took part in anti-war protests and loved Peter, Paul, and Mary and other folk singers.

Kirsten Bayer Petras announced that Jonathan’s Restaurant on Route 20 in Miller closed, a real landmark that served a great omelet.  Cullen Ben-Daniel wrote: “They didn’t close because of lack of business.  That place was usually busy.  Word on the street is that the owner wanted to retire and move back to Greece.”  He hoped to get several hundred thousands dollars for the business but evidently got no takers.

From Wisconsin Anne Balay posted: “Wow, my arms and legs hurt from trucker apprentice.  This shit is scary, and fun, and hard.”  Claudia Shrop replied: “You are a hero.  Really.”  I concur, as does Jerry Davich, who has championed her cause and was pleased that the AP picked up the recent piece in The Times.

Peg Schoon’s 102 year-old father-in-law passed away.  “He enjoyed 99 good years,” she said.  Hope I do, too.

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