A lifetime of Sacred memories

July 3, 2014 in Articles, Authors, Community, Featured Article, Front Page News, Nicole Davis, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Sacred Heart Catholic Church recognizes 17 members attending the parish for more than 75 years


Pictured in no order, Ann Brown, Mary Butler, Emma Jean Duncan, Bill Fisher, Alberta Heinzelman, Tom Metzler, Rosemary Miller, Julia O’Farrell, John Reimer, Betty VanBlaricum, Gene Weimer, Yvonna Ancelet. Not pictured, Hilda Cralley, Dorothy Irish, Alice (Wehlage) Kilgore, Lillian Langer and Richard Wehlage.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church is home for so many, filled with family, friends and memories that last a lifetime. Seventeen of those parishioners were recognized on June 28 for their near-lifetime membership with the church. The Feast of the Sacred Heart honored those who have reached 75 years or more in continuous attendance.

“I was born right there on a street next to the church,” said John Reimer, 95. “I went to the greatest school in history – to the kindergarten and grade school there… The church was built in 1875. I don’t think a lot of people realize that. The beautiful altar, it’s all hand carved. Friends and neighbors come from all over to see the beauty of the church.”

The Feast of Sacred Heart was June 27. The parish celebrated on June 28 with a 5 p.m. mass and a reception dinner following. Those included in this year’s 75-year recognition is Ann Brown, Mary Butler, Emma Jean Duncan, Bill Fisher, Alberta Heinzelman, Tom Metzler, Rosemary Miller, Julia O’Farrell, John Reimer, Betty VanBlaricum, Gene Weimer, Yvonna Ancelet, Hilda Cralley, Dorothy Irish, Alice (Wehlage) Kilgore, Lillian Langer and Richard Wehlage. Many of those members were going to the church since before they were born – such as Betty VanBlaricum, 81. Her mother and father went there, her grandmother went there and three of her six children still attend.

“At the beginning, (I attended because) I was raised there,” VanBlaricum said. “It was just a part of my life that my life revolved around the church. That, I think, is a great thing for people. The greatest thing is that your family can be involved in your life at the church. One time, we moved out on the Eastside. I was closer to another church; it just wasn’t home to me. Sacred Heart was home to me. There was nothing I could think of that would make me change.”

In its prime, everything in the neighborhood revolved around the church, said William Fisher, 78. He said there was a room with pool tables and a jukebox for the Christian Youth Organization. Children chose to congregate there instead of elsewhere. The parish held numerous large events and festivities throughout the year. There was also a grade school and a high school, which has long since been torn down.

“When you had the school and the parish you had more dynamism,” Fisher said. “They are more interested in things that happened in the area. When the schools closed down, people moved out of the area so now half or more live outside of the area and come here so there has been movement in the parishioners and the congregations.”

What has kept these members attending Sacred Heart is everything from its history to the friendships formed throughout those years.

“One of the main attractions for me at the church is the people. I know the people pretty well and they know me,” Fisher said. “To give up that friendship and go to some other parish would be pretty hard for me. I’m just grateful to the Lord that he gave us a parish that is close and that I am so fond of. I am hopeful for the future.”

The memories of the prominent church don’t fade – from a baptism, first communion to a wedding day. Reimer said he served in WWII and once he came home, he was at church the next day.

“I remember I came back in December, 1945,” Reimer said. “The next morning they rang those bells. Those beautiful bells, when they started ringing I sat straight up.”

With time, the neighborhood has declined in its upkeep, many past residents have moved away although some have stayed or continue to attend their childhood church.

“I hope that it will always be there for the people,” VanBlaricum said. “I think Sacred Heart has done a lot for the people in the neighborhood. Although the neighborhood there has gone down, the church has been relatively a mainstay. I hope it continues to be that.”


Volunteering from the Heart

Angels from the Heart volunteers work to repair and beautify its Southside Indianapolis neighborhood

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John Sauter with other volunteers.

What used to be a one-day event for volunteers of Angels from the Heart will soon transition into an ongoing activity – painting houses, repairing fences and concrete, doing yard work and cleaning gutters. The organization from Sacred Heart Catholic Church has worked with other churches, businesses and community groups since 2000 to repair and upkeep its Southside Indianapolis neighborhood.

“When you think back to the times that area was settled, it was a very strong, German area,” said John Sauter, volunteer. “When you look at it now, it’s probably 40 percent rentals. It’s an area of the city that hasn’t caught on from a development standpoint. That area around Sacred Heart Church has been slow to be developed – and it’s right on the Meridian Street Corridor. You can see Lucas Oil Stadium from it. I wanted to see what we could do to prompt some activity.”

Sauter began volunteering for the organization more than four years ago. He said even though he lives on the Northside, he has such strong ties to the church and the neighborhood that he wanted to see what he could do to help increase the amount of volunteers present and the amount of work that can get completed. They held the Angels from the Heart event earlier this spring. He said it wasn’t the best time of year for the event, so for 2015, it is moved to the fall.

“We were disappointed with the turnout this year,” Sauter said. “It was a lot lower than we’ve gotten in the past. We had a general feedback session prior to this year and we were told it wasn’t an efficient use of my time. I’m hoping we have a better turnout this year because we have worked out those things.”

Sauter is working with groups such as Marion University to gain more volunteers, since students must meet a certain amount of hours doing community work. He said that he is also working to find skilled volunteers such as brick masons and carpenters and with economic development groups to identify the areas which have a greater need. Once those projects and appropriate people have been identified, he said they will be able to work more than just the one day.

“You can’t paint a house in a day,” Sauter said. “You can’t fix concrete steps in a day. This year we had three requests for concrete work. This winter was hard on concrete. I couldn’t find a concrete mason to do those projects. You want the results to be long-lasting and that’s a real challenge.”

Sauter said that the people who come to volunteer always leave feeling good about what they have accomplished, especially when the homeowners can come out and show their gratitude.

“We’re just trying to help the neighborhood,” Sauter said. “You have a lot of people that have lived there their whole life. Helping the aged population that is there; that’s important. It becomes a challenge because they really are unable to help themselves and help others do these activities.”

For more information, visit sacredheartindy.org/angels.php.

Faces of Freedom

July 3, 2014 in Articles, Authors, Community, Featured Article, Front Page News, Lifestyle, Nicole Davis, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Southside Veterans share stories of their military service and what they are doing now in their communities

The Fourth of July, as we all well know, is a celebration of this great nation’s birth—238 years ago Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Since then, millions of citizens have donned the military uniform in service to protect the liberties and freedom of the United States. Countless souls have been lost, untold acts of heroism committed, all in the name of our country ‘tis of thee.

“A lot of young people don’t realize, if we hadn’t done the things we did, you wouldn’t be free,” said Tedvan Pierson, Perry Township resident and long-time Beech Grove resident who served in the Navy during WWII. “Freedom is very precious to me. You can go out, go to the store, go to California tomorrow without needing a passport. You’re free to go wherever you want.”

The Southside has more than its share of U.S. veterans who risked their lives for those freedoms. Here, learn the stories of four of those Southsiders.

WWII veteran Paul Totten serves on committee fundraising for a memorial in Greenwood’s Freedom Park

IMG_9631In a pamphlet for the proposed Veterans Memorial at the entrance of Greenwood’s Freedom park, it states, “As veterans of past wars reach their twilight years, it is especially fitting and proper that they be recognized and honored for their service by our grateful communities. This is not a memorial to named wars but to warriors…” One such veteran and lifelong Greenwood resident, Paul Totten, serves on the eight-member Veteran’s Memorial Steering Committee working to make this project a reality; they just need more donations coming in to get memorial built.

“I feel strongly we should honor our veterans and the ones who serve for us, but also the police, firemen who lay their lives on the line every day,” Totten said. “There’s a lot of veteran’s my age who were in WWII that are not able to go to Washington even though they can go for free… We hope to make this into a big thing everyone can be proud of.”

Paul Totten served in the Army from 1942-46 in the South Pacific, entering a month after graduating from Greenwood High School. On the front lines the entire time, except for the four months when he was in a Japanese prison camp, Totten said he had many unusual experiences during his service.

“I had some horrible experiences which stay with you the rest of your life,” Totten said. “When I first got out, I had nightmares that would wake up my family. I’d jump every time a car backfired. In later years I got past all that, tried to.”

Totten’s experiences are shared in a book written by Southside writer, Michael Alexander, titled For God, Country and Community: The Life and Times of Paul R. Totten. The book is kept at Warrior’s Hope, a Greenwood-based nonprofit which helps veterans in need of assistance, and can be obtained in exchange for a donation.

During the height of WWII in the South Pacific’s Philippine Islands, Totten was part of 18 Americans sent on submarine set for a beach in the Linguayen Gulf. Once inland, they were surrounded by 200 Japanese soldiers, captured, stripped of their belongings and taken to Cabanatuan Prison Camp. Paul spent four months in horrendous conditions at the camp before the 6th Ranger Battalion of 121 men were assigned to rescue the prisoners from 200 Japanese guards. This rescue was the topic of a 2006 movie, The Great Raid, and it is said to be the most successful recue in military history.

Paul took a few days to recuperate and was off to battle again. His old company, AT (anti-tank), 145th regiment of the 37th Division, was less than 40 miles away and about ready to attack Manila and liberate the city. American soldiers, TTottenotten included, entered the Filipino capital on Feb. 5, 1945. Totten was in the first company to go in. The city was engulfed in flames and frequent explosions. Totten was involved in hand-to-hand combat in the streets and houses. Once the battle was over, he made friends with a prominent family there, getting to return to Manila in 1967 and 82.

Totten received his honorable discharge Jan. 1, 1946. He married his wife, Carla, in 1953. They have one daughter. When Totten returned to his life-long hometown of Greenwood, he has continued his engagement in community service, such as serving on the Board of Zoning Appeals, a member of the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and was a charter member of Friends of the Library – to name just a few. He was on the board of the Greenwood amphitheater committee, raising $300,000 for that project. He said it’s been harder to obtain donations for the veteran’s memorial. The group has paid for an eagle statue for the top of the monument, which is on display at the Greenwood Community Center. He said they hope to obtain a large enough donation by next spring to get the monument up.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” Totten said. “I want this to be a great community and I think it is. It’s a safe place to live and a friendly place. Greenwood as a whole, has been my life.”

For more information on the Veterans Memorial, contact Greenwood Veteran’s Memorial, Inc., 704 State Rd. 135, Suite D #307, Greenwood IN 46143 or call (317) 416-7766.


Beech Grove’s Tedvan Pierson shares of his experiences during WWII and of his community

IMG_9498Beech Grove has always been home to Tedvan Pierson. His parents bought a home there in 1926. He graduated from the high school in 1941 with a class of 46. Through that time he played all the sports they offered: baseball, basketball, football and track. In September of 1942, Pierson went into the Navy, traveling from his Beech Grove home to San Diego, Calif. for initial training.

“I really liked the navy,” Pierson said. “I couldn’t swim. I didn’t worry about that. I just liked being out sea. I’d always been around people. I always liked to be around people, to help them and do things for them. On a destroyer DE we had about 300 people on it.”

Pierson was assigned to the U.S.S. Rixey, which was commissioned and sent to the Pacific. The ship would pick up 1,000 marines as a time, transporting them to the Guadalcanal, where they would pick up 1,000 more marines going to R&R or the hospital.

“You just never know who you might see,” Pierson said. “I ran across five or six guys from Beech Grove while overseas. I ran across my cousin Ernie on a supply ship in New Zealand. I would exchange newspapers and stuff with them.”

Pierson said they transported marines for 13 months, traveling more than 100,000 sea miles and hauling more than 90,000 troops and casualties.

Tedvan and Deloris Pierson

Tedvan and Deloris Pierson

“You see people that just lost everything,” Pierson said. “But all the time we had all the casualties and troops on there, we never lost a patient. We never had any burials at sea.”

The U.S.S. Rixey was sent back to the states, where Pierson had a 30-day leave and went through small craft training. He was stationed on the U.S.S. Kenneth M. Willet (DE-354) and sent to the Atlantic, to Bermuda for a shakedown.

“After that we all went through Panama, through the canal which was a wonderful thing,” Pierson said. “After that we went to the Pacific again, that whole trip escorting landing crafts. Doing that, we got up to Okinawa, Japan. (Not long after it being bombed.) I only stayed off the ship for a couple of hours. It was too devastating.”

Pierson arrived home in January, 1946, retiring as a Boatswain’s Mate Second Class and was discharged out of Chicago. He got a job at Eli Lilly Co. where he retired after 38 years of service. He married wife, Delores, on May 17, 1947. She passed away in 2007. They had three children, one of which is deceased.  Upon his arrival back home in Beech Grove, he said he co-founded the Veterans of Foreign Wars on 6th Avenue but his participation halted when he went to work nights at Eli Lilly. Pierson, 91, currently resides in Perry Township and is a member of the Beech Grove Senior Citizens and said he enjoys spending time playing cards, going out to eat and taking trips with the other members there.


Roger Harris to Grand Marshall this year’s Southport 4th of July Parade & Festival

RogerHarrisLife-long Southport resident, Roger Harris, will be the Grand Marshal in this year’s 4th of July parade for the city. An owner of Re/Max Select in Greenwood, who also serves as secretary on the Southport Redevelopment Commission, Harris is retired military, having served in Vietnam.

“It was quite a surprise when mayor called me and asked, would I do this?” Harris said, “It should be quite interesting…  We do like the parade since it comes right by our house.”

Harris was drafted in February of 1970. He had his initial training at Fort Knox and then at Fort Polk in Louisiana. By the 4th of July, 1970 he was in Vietnam.

“It was just part of where I was going,” Harris said. “I knew where I was headed – right to Vietnam. You just roll with the punches, make it happen.”

Spending most of that his time in the field, on Sept. 1 of that year he stepped on a landmine, resulting in the amputation of his leg, below the knee. He spent some time recovering in Japan before being transferred to Valley Forge in Pennsylvania.

“The time in the hospital was like living in a college dorm,” Harris said. “Nobody was really sick; you were just missing some body parts. We had a good time.”Mug_before

He had his final surgery in Feb. 1971 and was officially retired from the military that July. Harris says he’s not had any real trouble with his leg since that final surgery, and it’s just become a part of his life. Once he returned home, he graduated from Indiana Central College, now the University of Indianapolis. He married his wife, Helen, in 1974 and they have a daughter, Audra Collie and son, Zack, and three grandchildren.  He and Helen will ride in the parade together this July 4.

“It’s very nice they would think about for that,” Harris said. “I was in the military a short time, 18 months total, but it’s always nice to be recognized.”

The July 4th Parade & Festival in Southport will take place from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. The parade will start at Southport Elementary with festival events taking place at Southport Park, 6901 Derbyshire Rd. For more information, visit southportevents.org.


Greenwood’s Michael Williamson began writing full-time while still serving in the U.S. Air Force

IMG_9616Michael Williamson has made writing his full-time career – from military science fiction novels to articles on disaster preparedness and reviews related to camping, survival and more.

“I pretty much write every day,” Williamson said. “I’m either writing or developing something… I especially like it when I get feedback from deployed troops. I tried to write while I was deployed. It’s not the most conducive environment.”

Williamson was born in England, becoming a U.S. Citizen at 18. He joined the Air Force in 1985, retiring after 25 years in 2010. He was active duty for six years all together, serving in Kuwait in 1999 and Iraq in 2008. He served as a mechanical equipment section chief for an engineer unit.

Williamson is married with two children. He’s been a full-time writer since 2002. He moved to Greenwood in 2003, choosing the city for its school system.

His first published book, Freehold, sold through its first edition in three weeks. He said the publisher, Baen, creates fantastic covers which pop out at readers in book stores.

“My first one will always hold a warm spot,” Williamson said. “But I’m a much better writer now. What I’m currently writing is always what I am most excited about.”

Williamson said it’s through research and consistency that his writings have gained success. He will research environmental issues, such as potential stars, and how it could impact life forms. Many of the novels involve future military people, though not necessarily during combat. He said it’s important that the characters stay true to themselves.Kuwait2

“Science fiction, it’s something I started getting into around seventh grade,” Williamson said. “It allows us to see how society reacts to something new.”

Williamson is wrapping up a time-traveling story, called A Long Time Until Now, which will be released the Spring of 2015. His books are sold at Barnes and Noble and on amazon.com. He said he gets quite a few fan e-mails and travels a lot for book signings and sci-fi conventions. The rest of this year, he will attend things locally such as Gen Con Indy 2014 in Indianapolis on Aug. 14-17 as a guest presenter to traveling to Germany in November. Some of his books have received German and Russian translations. He said that the southern-most English speaking country where his books are sold is New Zealand.

In addition to his novels, he writes nonfiction for survival blogs and gets to test and evaluate items related to camping, survival and disaster preparedness. He’s been on Best Defense for the Outdoor Channel and done some consulting for the Discovery Channel. For more information, visit michaelzwilliamson.com.




Building a Better Block

June 27, 2014 in Articles, At Play, Authors, Business Announcements, Community, Featured Article, Nicole Davis, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis


Garfield Park-area event to provide entertainment and demonstrate the potential in revitalization

The intersection of S. Shelby Street and E. Southern Avenue will be redesigned for a day during the 2014 Garfield Park Better Block on June 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The free event, put on by the Garfield Park South Neighborhood Association and the Garfield Park Neighbors Association in partnership with Big Car, is a demonstration which shows the potential to create a vibrant neighborhood with “pop-up” businesses and entertainment throughout the day.

“The community on the Shelby Street Corridor is concerned about showing the empty buildings,” said Donna Lund Jacobsen, head of the Better Block committee. “We have several. But we want to show investors the potential in existing buildings.”

In its second year, the event has proven to work. Dan Sassano said he and his partner David Sanchez decided to invest in the community which they reside in after seeing the potential during Better Block last year. He said the day started out rainy and he was wondering if people would even attend. The weather cleared up and there were 30-40 pop-up businesses.

“What I experienced with Better Block is the community saying enough is enough,” Sassano said. “We can’t wait for big business to invest. We have to do something about it. Having experienced that event, it was nice to know we live close to good people… If you explore the neighborhoods, they are beautiful and well-kept. There are so many neighborhoods more in the limelight, but we’re so close to downtown, to Fountain Square or University of Indianapolis.”

He and Sanchez will open The Garfield Eatery & Coffee shop in July. They had looked at other locations, and Sassano said he had been in the building when it was a bar – which closed in March 2013 – and he could see the potential in it. He said he has worked well with the landlord, Bob Peale, and other local businesses to renovate the space. The shop will have four to five full-time employees with a couple more part-timers. He said they just hired his lead barista, who has 12 years’ experience.

Sassano and Jacobsen both say they are looking forward to the 2014 Better Block event, and showing more people the potential in the neighborhood. Along with businesses, live music and performances will take place throughout the day, including a beer garden with Hank Hazard, the Garfield Shakespeare Company at 2:30 p.m. and more.

“The thing I look forward to the most is the moment the first band starts” Jacobsen said. “The first note of music begins at 11 a.m. Then it’s no longer music. It’s real.”

Garfield Park Better Block is part of a larger effort with Better Block projects performed throughout the country. The goal is to allow cities to rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes that spur community revitalization. For more information, visit betterblock.org.

Beech Grove hosts Southeast Indy Relay

June 27, 2014 in Articles, At Play, Community, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis


Cancer never sleeps and neither did a hardy group of Indianapolis area residents during the 24 hour Relay For Life event Saturday and Sunday at the Beech Grove Middle School track and football field.

The Relay for Life of Southeast Indy raised $59,540 for the American Cancer Society during the 2014 campaign, just shy of their goal of $63,000. They have until Aug. 30 to complete the campaign.

“Our goal last year was $43,000 and we made so much last year that we increased our goal to $63,000. To get so close makes us very proud of the amount that we raised,” said Andrea Brooks, co-chair for the event with Angie Ogen.

The Relay for Life of Southeast Indy includes teams from Beech Grove, Perry Township and Franklin Township.


Greenwood Freedom Festival

June 27, 2014 in Articles, At Play, Community, Featured Article, Front Page News, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Greenwood celebrates its 30th and largest-to-date Freedom Festival on June 28

By Nicole Davis

The Greenwood Freedom Festival will reach its 30th year on June 28, kicking off its largest celebration yet during a year when Greenwood has reached its 150th year as a city.

“I think it’s shaping up to be a great event,” said Molly Laut, marketing coordinator for the city of Greenwood. “Everyone seems excited. It’s hard not to be excited.”

With a completely volunteer-based committee to organize the festival, Laut said they are reenergized this year, using the talents of many members that have been involved before. They predict that this is the first year the festival will break even, becoming self-sustaining, community-run event for the city.

For the first time this year, the street fair which runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. will take place in Craig Park. In previous years it was held in Old City Park but fair-goers had a hard time getting there during the parade at 10 a.m. and a difficult time getting out after it rained on the event last year.

“What we hope it does is put more people in Craig Park, keeps them safe because we don’t have people cutting across Meridian dodging cars,” Laut said. “It’s important that this is a fun time.”

The festival is also partnering with Korn Country 100.3. The radio station will broadcast from Craig Park all day long, giving traffic reports and weather announcements periodically.

At 3 p.m., the Freedom Festival gears more towards the adult crowd with beer, wine and live music by The Woomblies, The Kegulators, Alan Kaye and the Toons. Laut said last year was the first year they had live music, and in turn increased the amount of food vendors.

“What we saw happen last year, is we thought people would leave after the music but they stopped, pulled out a chair and stayed for the fireworks,” Laut said. “They sat and enjoyed themselves and it was very exciting. People are coming to this fair now just to see the bands. The population of Greenwood plus the crowd size tells me there have to be people coming from outside the city.”

Also included in the fair will be a magic show by Travis Easterling, local dancers, nearly 135 vendors and more.

Laut said parking will be different this year, and there are a lot of parking lots, city lots included, that will be open during the fair. For more information, visit greenwood.in.gov.

Greenwood Freedom Festival Schedule

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Street Fair

10 a.m. Parade: Greenwood Celebrating 150 Years

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Family Entertainment Stage

3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Beer, wine and live music

6 p.m. Join for a surprise

9:45 p.m. Flag Ceremony and Patriotic Music

10:15 p.m. Fireworks


Additional Southside patriotic celebrations

-Beech Grove Promoters Club Fireworks; Thursday, July 3 at Sarah T. Bolton Park. For more information visit beechgrove.com.

-3rd Annual Southport 4th of July Parade & Celebration; Friday, July 4, 10:30 – 2 p.m. Join for a full day of activities with a parade starting at 10:30 a.m. from Southport Elementary to Southport Park, 6901 Derbyshire Rd. For more information, visit southportevents.org


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The Suds drive-in in Greenwood to host The Ryells and its 50s-era music on June 28

By Nicole Davis

Lifelong friends will get together again to play at The Suds drive-in restaurant for the second year on Saturday, June 28, 6 p.m. until fireworks start at the Greenwood Freedom Festival. The Ryells is a band that played in high school together in Chicago. Bass player, Jack Fazio, resides in Greenwood and said this one of the couple times a year the band reunites to perform. It’s the perfect venue, he said, with classic cars on display along with their 50s-style music.

“These types of events are the best,” Fazio said. “It’s a big crowd, an enthusiastic crowd. People that are there are about our age. We’re playing to a crowd that really enjoys the kinds of music that we play.”

The Ryells played all through high school, producing a record called Only as Good as You Want It, which Fazio said “got some pretty good air play” in Chicago. The band split up after high school, but reunited five years ago to play at their 25th high school reunion. For the last five years, members Bill Schultz, Bill Flosi, Steve Phiaum, Charlie Streff and Fazio have met to perform shows such as at the upcoming event at The Suds, playing British Invasion music, some Beach Boys and music from other bands from the 50s.

“It’s amazing how little everyone’ personalities have changed and it’s like being in high school,” Fazio said. “Nothing is a better time machine than music. That’s really what it’s about. You play a good song for people that takes them back – brings the good memories.”

For more information, visit facebook.com/thesudsdrivein.

Diamond in the Ruff

June 19, 2014 in Articles, Authors, Community, Featured Article, Front Page News, Nicole Davis, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Main Photo - I think is best shot of her

Greenwood’s Tails and Trails rescue continues to grow in its ninth year with more than 100 animals already adopted

Moe Tibbetts started adopting out dogs when a neighbor found a box of puppies in an alley and brought them over to her. Tibbetts gave the puppies a bath and got them all placed in homes. Seeing the amount of stray dogs that need homes, in 2005, she started Tails and Trails Rescue and Tails and Trails Resort, at 1641 W. County Line Rd., Greenwood. The rescue has grown ever since, adopting out nearly 100 animals last year and has already reached more than 100 this year.

“Not only do we save lives of the dogs, but we also make people very happy,” Tibbetts said. “These dogs that were once cast away bring so much joy to their adopters. Many of the past adopters will keep in contact and will become volunteers.”

The recue pulls mainly from high-kill shelters in Indiana and surrounding states. An all-volunteer organization, Tails and Trails Rescue is working on its 501c3 status. Tibbetts works outside of the shelter, selling real estate. A few months ago, the first board of directors was created consisting of 11 members.

Gary and Linda Magee, owners of Deck the Walls in Greenwood, serve on the board and have volunteered since December. Gary says they had been looking for a dog after losing one earlier that year. He and Linda were at the Tractor Supply in Greenwood where Tails and Trails was showing some of the dogs available. One in particular caught their attention and they later went to the rescue to learn more about it. After adopting the Border collie, which is completely deaf, he said and Linda knew they wanted to get involved more with the organization.

“Moe has a way with dogs,” Magee said. “She knows them. They love her. When she’s working with potential people looking to adopt, she has something that encourages them to do it. She has done well over 100 adoptions so far this year. For a small operation, it’s a pretty incredible number. She works hard. She’s very personable about the people that come in. She prepares the dogs well in such a way that makes you want to take them home.”

Tibbetts said along with the creation of the board, she is hoping to have a greater ability to host more fundraisers and get a better program going to get the dogs into and out of the rescue quickly, into good homes. The next event is on June 26, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. at the Noodles & Company at 7853 U.S. 31 S., Indianapolis, which will donate a percentage of its proceeds.

Gary said he hopes to contribute to the fundraising efforts through getting donations and grants that will eventually help move the current facility to something better suited for keeping the dogs and tending to their medical needs. Currently, many of the rescue dogs are placed in foster homes.

“Her number one priority has always been adopting dogs out, rescuing them from high kill shelters and getting them adopted,” Gary said. “She doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with strategic thinking and I think that’s where the board can help her, since we don’t have to deal with the daily maintenance that she does.”

Tibbetts said she ensures that all of the dogs are all vetted and if they are not spayed before leaving, they are scheduled for the procedure.

“Our idea is to get the dogs into a home where they are going to be loved and cared for,” Tibbetts said. “People have been very gratuitous. They donate food, towels, other things we need. We have a couple dozen volunteers, a handful that is constant. We would certainly like to increase that amount.”

For more information, visit facebook.com/tailsandtrailsrescue, TailsandTrailsResort.com or call (317) 445-3544.

Second option - a good dog photo

Proper and patriotic

June 19, 2014 in Articles, Community, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Bryce and James

Southport Flag Retirement Ceremony reaches its largest amount of worn and tattered flags

By Aimee Shatto

Taps rang out and echoed off of the trees as the crowd stood in salute and respect to the approximately 360 American flags that were set ablaze in front of them on June 14.

“When an American Flag becomes too soiled, worn, or faded it is important to retire it,” said Duan Langreck of Boy Scouts of America Troop 120. “All American Flags should be retired with both dignity and honor. Tonight we are retiring around 360 flags.”

This is the third year and the most flags that the Southport Flag Retirement Ceremony has retired to honor Flag Day.

United States Air Force Colonel Gregory Clapper stood and paid honor to fallen Brigadier General William Gommel who attended the ceremony up until he passed on.  Gommel retired in 1965.

After the dedications and the history of the American Flag were read, the crowd stood in salute to listen to the Star Spangled Banner. The microphone cut out so that the music could only be heard to those closest to the speaker. It did not matter though, because, the crowd joined together in a loud voice and sang out.

Slowly the crowd formed a line and one by one dropped the soiled and retired American Flags into the fire pit. Being careful to make sure they stayed folded. Patriotic smoke filled the air as more and more people got in line to retire a flag.

The Boy Scouts of America helped to put on the ceremony and troop leader Langreck instructed the color guard to retire the final flag. Together four of the scouts lifted the flag off of her stand, careful not to drag any part of her on the ground, and laid her over the flame as taps began to ring out.

Burning Flags

18 years later… an Eagle Scout

May 29, 2014 in Articles, Authors, Community, Nicole Davis, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Southside’s Boy Scout Troop 92 surprises Greenwood’s Chris Padgett with his Eagle Scout

Chris Padgett and his family attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor at St. Mark Catholic Church on May 27.

Chris Padgett and his family attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor at St. Mark Catholic Church on May 27.

Greenwood resident Christopher Padgett earned his Eagle Scout award from Boy Scout Troop 92 just before his 18th birthday – but he never received it. He went to college, had a family. With such good memories of his time with the troop, he said he wanted to pass that down to his son, Jeret, and enrolled him in the same troop. Little did Christopher know, 18 years later, he would be awarded his Eagle Scout and finally participate in a Court of Honor ceremony on May 27 at St. Mark Catholic Church.

“This year marks the 50th year that St. Mark has chartered this troop,” said John Hibner, troop volunteer. “I can’t tell you how long (the award has) been down in this basement room underneath the elementary school… In the leader’s area we were cleaning up about a year ago, going through some of the stuff we’ve kept in file cabinets. We ran across the book and award. We thought we should do something for this Chris Padgett who never received his Eagle award. It was by pure coincidence he contacted us about his son being part of this troop.”

That evening, Troop 92 held a ceremony to recognize Kameron Dehner, Spencer Jewula and Joshua Herkert for their Eagle Scout achievement. Near the end, it was said there was a special announcement and Christopher was called to the front after piece of his Eagle Scout submission was read to the audience. He had been sitting in the audience with his family, there that night for Jeret’s advancement to Second Class rank.

“I was just surprised. I even talked to my mom while we were out here and said I’ve never got to do that.” Christopher said about when they read his essay, “I thought some of that sounds familiar but it didn’t really click…It means a lot to me,” Christopher said. “Being an Eagle Scout means a lot to me. They laid the foundation for everything I’ve become in my life.”

Jeret says he was surprised, too, when he heard his dad’s name called up, as he didn’t realize he’d never had a ceremony. Christopher will soon become a Boy Scout leader for his Jeret’s troop.

“Boy Scouts has to be one of my favorite things,” Jeret said. “It’s awesome to be a part of the same troop. My dad has told me he’s all about his scouting experience. He’s told me I should be involved. I think that’ll help me. He’s able to help me and teach everything.”

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History by Henricks

May 29, 2014 in Articles, Authors, Community, Featured Article, For the Record, Front Page News, Nicole Davis, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis

Franklin Township’s Sylvia Henricks to share about the area’s past at upcoming historical society Authors Fair

Sylvia Henricks holds a few of the many books she has published and contributed to throughout the years.

Sylvia Henricks holds a few of the many books she has published and contributed to throughout the years.

Although the Franklin Township Historical Society (FTHS) has evolved with the passing of time and changing of its members, one thing remains the same; its purpose is to preserve the past. Sylvia Henricks, a member since 1976 when the historical society was first formed, has collected many items of her own throughout her residence in the township and has written numerous articles and books about people, buildings and other local historical items.

“(It’s about) the value of appreciating the history of the community where you live, trying to preserve it and to interest the younger generation in the past,” said Sylvia, who is 92. “Lots of people don’t care of saving anything. I have too much stuff I’ve saved.”

Sylvia will be on hand to greet visitors and sign copies of her books at the FTHS’ Authors Fair on June 7, 1-4 p.m. at Franklin Road Library, 5550 S. Franklin Rd., Indianapolis. Joining her will be speaker Skip Hess, outdoor columnist for The Indianapolis Star; animal trainer Laura VanArendonk Baugh; and authors David Ostheimer, Theresa Hatfield, Charles Purtlebaugh and Charles Lynn.

Sylvia was born in Dayton, Ohio and attended the University of Dayton. She then met her husband, Marvin, who was a student at the seminary in Dayton United Methodist Church. They married in 1943 and moved to a small church in Minnesota, Marvin’s home state. He also ministered in churches in California and Connecticut before being asked to move to the Indianapolis area and teach sociology at Indiana Central, now the University of Indianapolis.

“I liked being a minister’s wife and I liked being a faculty wife,” Sylvia said. “I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. I worked part-time at the library. We lived on campus in some war-time housing.”

Once the couple saved enough money, they purchased the eight-acre property in Franklin Township where Marvin added onto the existing structure and created the family home for their four children, who all attended Franklin Township schools. Sylvia participated in a book club in Acton, when a member asked if she’d known of a church camp in the area. That was the first interview she did, talking about the Acton campground. She went to the library to research more and write her first submitted article for the Indiana Magazine of History.

“The first writing was rejected,” Sylvia said. “It was not well enough expressed and well enough written. I took it as an opportunity to try again and it did get published. That was the beginning of my writing.”

After the article was published, Sylvia decided to venture out. She wrote some articles for the artists at Greenwood’s Southside Art League. The nation celebrated its centennial in 1976 and the FTHS formed with approximately 20 members, including Sylvia and Marvin. The Franklin Township Informer organized and Sylvia soon began writing for it, a column she titled From the Ash Grove because of the Ash trees at her home. The column title later changed to Remembrance. Sylvia said she enjoyed taking photographs for her columns and developing them in her darkroom. When Marvin passed away, Sylvia said she took the time to write more.

“Once you start writing, you can write about anything,” Sylvia said. “The subjects I write about are very down to earth; teachers who have completed their careers, the cemetery, our beautiful old building. I like to write about history and people. There are always people doing interesting things.”

Sylvia said she’s looking forward to the upcoming Authors Fair and is always happy to share information about the township and the books she’s written over it, such as Humble but Historic, a unique book published in 2012 picturing and providing history on the 12 original outhouses in Franklin Township. The FTHS has since acquired one of those outhouses, which will become the project of a local boy pursuing his Eagle Scout.

“I like people,” Sylvia said. “You have to feel a kinship with people. We’re all in this together.”

Autographed books will be sold, along with complementary refreshments and door prizes at the June 7 event. For more information, visit fths.org.

At play calendar 5/29/14

May 28, 2014 in At Play, Community, Southside Articles by Nicole Davis


Special Roller’s Car Wash • The Beech Grove Bowl’s Special Roller’s League will host a car wash to raise funds for the league. | When: May 31, 1-3 p.m. | Where: Kmart parking lot, 5101 E. Thompson Rd., Indianapolis. | Info: Visit bgbowl.com.


5K Family Fun Walk • Beautify Beech Grove will host its 2nd annual 5K Family Fun Walk. This 5K Walk will begin at the Main Shelters in Sarah T. Bolton Park, wind throughout Beech Grove, and finish back at the shelters. | When: May 31, 9 a.m. | Where: Sarah T. Bolton Park, 1300 Churchman Ave., Beech Grove. | Info: Visit beechgrove.com.

Earth-Friendly Festival at Garfield Park • Ongoing activities include a vendor fair of local earth-friendly products and companies, along with stories and crafts. At 10:30 a.m., Ross Harding from the Central Indiana Beekeepers Association will present, “Understanding and Caring for Honeybees.” At 11:30 a.m., families can enjoy a concert by Rockasaurus Rex to kick off the Library’s 2014 Summer Reading Program. At 12:30 p.m., Dr. Amanda Miller from the University of Indianapolis Environmental Sustainability Program will present, “The Green Family: Environmentalism for All Ages.” At 2 p.m., Amy Matthews from South Circle Farms will present, “Urban Farming for Beginners.” From 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., attendees may bring their old electronics for the electronics recycling drive with Recycleforce, which requests monetary donations. | When: May 31, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Where: | Info: Call (317) 275-4490.

Movies on the Lawn: Back to the Future • The Art Center at Garfield Park presents movies for free, all summer long. The last Saturday of the month, May through September, Indy Parks will show family films on the lawn behind the Art Center. | When: May 31, 9 p.m. | Where: 2432 Conservatory Dr., Indianapolis. | Info: Call (317) 327-7135 or visit gpacarts.org.


Summer Camp • Four Willows Farm will host its summer camp. Children can ride, learn about horse care and history.| When: June 2 through July 30; Mondays, Ages 11 and older, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Tuesdays, 7-10 years, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 4-6 years, 1-4 p.m. | Where: Four Willows Farm, 1213 N. Franklin Rd., Greenwood. |Cost: $85 ages 7 and up, $55 ages 4-6. Discounts given if signed up before June.| Info: Visit fourwillowsfarm.com.

Growing Tomatoes using Rutgers University’s Trellis System • This system can increase the usable harvest from your tomato plants by three-fold. This free seminar is held by Cate’s Cottage. | When: June 4, 6 p.m. and June 5, 10 a.m. | Where: 5189 W. Smith Valley Rd., Greenwood. | Info: Call Cate at (317) 985-7230.

First Fridays Decades Parties • Garfield Park Conservatory will host monthly events that highlight a different decade and include trivia, prizes, music, dancing and more. | When: June 6, 60’s Flower Power; Aug. 1, 70’s Disco; Sept. 5, 80’s Dance Party. | Where: Garfield Park Conservatory, 2505 Conservatory Drive. | Info: contact Fritz Nerding, Conservatory Manager at (317) 327-7337 or fnerding@indy.gov.

Authors Fair • This event will feature books by Franklin Township authors and including an opportunity to meet the authors in person—there will also be prizes, refreshments and more. | When: June 7, 1 – 4 p.m. | Where: Franklin Road Library’s community room. | Info: visit FTHS.org.


Marion County Well & Septic Workshop • Speakers include Mark Basch of Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Gretchen Quirk of Marion County Public Health Department, Jason Ravenscroft of Marion County Public Health Department and Bill Grout of Citizens Energy Group. | When: June 9, 6-8 p.m. | Where: Southport Branch, 2630 E. Stop 11 Rd., Indianapolis. | Info: Call (317) 786-1776.


Capture Greenwood • Capture what Greenwood means to you with this Community Art Project. Participants are encouraged to take photographs capturing their favorite parts of the Greenwood community. Photographs will then be included in the 150th Greenwood Anniversary exhibit this summer. Printed photographs can be dropped off at the 2nd floor reference desk. | When: Now-June 30. | Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St. | Info: E-mail vmoore@greenwoodlibrary.us.

Contemporary Collage • As part of the Library’s “Celebrate Brazil” series, children ages 5 and up with an adult are invited to learn about Brazilian culture and create collages using colorful translucent vellum, pattern paper, doilies/lace, compasses and stencils. Works are inspired by contemporary Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. | When: May 31, 3:30 p.m. | Where: Southport Branch, 2630 East Stop 11 Rd. | Info: Call (317) 275-4510 to register.

Read in Any Language • The Beech Grove Public Library will have an early sign-up for its Summer Reading Program, in partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library, which will run from June 2 – July 26. | When: May 31, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Where: BGPL, 1102 Main St., Beech Grove. | Info: Visit bgpl.lib.in.us.

Backyard Gardener • Grades 5-K can plant a taco garden and make a terrarium. | When: June 2, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; June 3, 2 p.m. | Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St. | Info: Call (317) 881-1953.

Reading Challenge and Ice Cream Social • Children in grades K-8 can sign up for Summer Reading, then start earning minutes right away. Check out a book, find a comfy spot and read quietly for a half hour in the Community Room. When you’re done, you’ll be rewarded with a science lab themed ice cream sundae bar.| When: June 2, 4:30 p.m.  Reading timer begins promptly at 4:45 p.m.| Where: White River library branch, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood. | Info: Visit pageafterpage.org or call (317) 885-1330.

Summer Reading Basket Weaving • Join resident basket maker, Janet, to make a round 12”x5” basket perfect for books, magazines or DVDs. | When: June 2 & 4, 4 p.m. | Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian. | Cost: $10 | Info: call (317) 881-1953; register at the 2nd floor reference desk.

English for Life and Work • Adults can learn the English skills needed for everyday living and to communicate in the workplace. Topics include daily greetings, emergency situations and more. This series is designed for beginning English as a Second Language learners. | When: June 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Where: Southport Branch, 2630 E. Stop 11 Rd., Indianapolis. | Info: Call (317) 275-4510.

Teen Advisory Board • This club is your chance to plan programs, make crazy videos after hours and help out at Library events. TAB memberships also look good on college applications. | When: June 2, 5:30 p.m. | Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian. | Info: call 881-1953 or visit greenwoodlibrary.us.

Summer Reading Kick-Off Party • Come kick-off the 2014 Summer Reading program with Wonderlab’s “Amazing Science Show | When: June 4, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.| Where: White River library branch, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood. | Info: Visit pageafterpage.org or call (317) 885-1330.

Summertime Showtime: Frozen • Children and families can watch the film Frozen. | When: June 4, 1 – 6 p.m. | Where: Southport Branch, 2630 E. Stop 11 Rd., Indianapolis. | Info: Call (317) 275-4510.

Beginning Computer Classes • Adults are invited to a series of beginner-friendly computer classes that provide instruction and of time to practice. During this class participants will learn about Microsoft Word. They’ll type something short and look at printing and spell check. | When: June 5, 1:30-3:30 p.m. | Where: Garfield Park Branch, 2502 Shelby St., Indianapolis. | Info: Call (317) 275-4490.

Spark a Reaction T-Shirts • Spark a reaction by creating unique tie-dyed or bleached t-shirts. Bring a new white (for tie-dye) or black/dark colored cotton t-shirt (for bleached) and dress for mess. Attendees must be between grades of 5 and 12.| When: June 5, 3-4 p.m. | Where: White River library branch, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood. | Info: Visit pageafterpage.org or call (317) 885-1330.

Summer Scrapbooking • Create one summer-themed scrapbook page along with a miscellaneous card. Presenter Gina Eriksson will provide all the scrapbooking materials, but please bring a pair of scissors with you. Attendees must be between grades of 7 and adult.| When: June 5, 7-8 p.m. | Where: White River library branch, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood. | Info: Visit pageafterpage.org or call (317) 885-1330.

Teen “Nerd Out” Over Doctor Who • Join us every Thursday this summer as we “Nerd Out” over Doctor Who. We’ll have crafts, games, and trivia, Doctor Who style. | When: June 5, 12, 19, 26 from 1 – 4 p.m. | Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian. | Info: call (317) 881-1953 or visit greenwoodlibrary.us.

Harry Potter Club • Enjoy lively book discussions, trivia contests, crafts, games, and snacks. The Sorting Hat will place you in a house, and there will be opportunities for you to earn house points for your team! | When: June 6, 4:30 p.m. | Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian. | Info: call 881-1953 or visit greenwoodlibrary.us.


Auditions for Garfield Shakespeare Company’s production of Camelot • The Garfield Shakespeare Company announces auditions for their 2014 fall production, Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot”. | When: June 3 & 4, 6-8:45 p.m. Callbacks are June 5. | Where: Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Dr., Indianapolis. | Info: Visit gpacarts.org or call (317) 327-7135.


Music in the Gardens • Garfield Park Sunken Gardens presents The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra.| When: June 5, 7 p.m. | Where: 2505 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis. | Info: Call (317) 327-7135 or visit indy.gov/concerts.

The Woomblies Rock Orchestra • Indy Parks Concerts & Movies presents the 2014 Garfield Park MacAllister Amphitheater Signature Series, a pair of ticketed events featuring regional entertainment. | When: June 7, 7 p.m. | Where: 2405 Conservatory Dr., Indianapolis. | Cost: $5. Children 2 and under are free. | Info: Call (317) 327-7135.


Park Proposal • The city of Indianapolis is hosting a public meeting to discuss ideas for a new park to be located at 9900 Thompson Rd. | When: May 29, 6:30-8 p.m. | Where: Indianapolis Fire Department Station #55, Community Meeting Room, 10515 E. Thompson Rd., Indianapolis. | Info: Call Andre Denman, (317) 327-5727.

Quilt Connection Guild • This regular meeting will host Bonnie from Tree City Stitchers in Greensburg, who will share new techniques and her ideas on quilting. | When: June 5, 7 p.m. | Where: Greenwood United Methodist Church, 525 N. Madison Ave., Greenwood. | Info:  Visit quiltconnectionguild.webs.com.


Smoking Cessation Classes • learn to overcome your tobacco addiction through the interactive class created by the American Lung Association. | When: Tuesdays in June and July, 6-7 p.m. | Where: White River Branch, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood.. | Info: Call Bob Smith at (317) 346-4372.