When the sound of a mower is relished

Our local NBC station showed a video on their noon news of the city of Indianapolis. The video was in black and white and showed scene after scene of the city with no people, cars, buses or any sign of life. Totally empty streets and parking lots made the shots look like they came right out of the last scene of the movie “On the Beach”, an apocalyptic movie from 1959.

Carry out only

Sher and I and our son were commenting on the video which led to the discussion of the quiet nature that has become our neighborhood. It seems as though most of the neighbors are paying attention to the Indiana declaration of “stay at home and work from home”. Very little traffic, even the guy with the extra loud Harley is not to be heard recently.

Then we heard someone starting up their lawn mower. Wow who would ever think that the usually obnoxious noise from a Briggs and Stratton engine would provide a twisted sense of normalcy to this COVID -19 pandemic abnormal situation. Thus the title of this post.

Coronavirus has turned Caesar’s Indiana Grand Casino silent and empty

The Indiana Grand Casino, located between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, has been closed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Thirteen Indiana casinos were ordered closed on March 16th for a minimum of two weeks. The Grand is our favorite casino when we are in Indiana. The other day we took a drive to “get out of the house” for awhile. Our son drove us by the casino. What a difference from the norm!

Main entrance canopy

The main entrance of the casino is without the usual swarm of valet using vehicles. The huge square under the “GRAND” sign is normally lit up with signage. The pond in the foreground of the picture normally has three big fountains going.

 

 

 

The parking garage, five levels of it, is now completely empty of vehicles. A casino pickup truck blocks the entrance. The west side of the facility, home of the second entrance and the main valet parking lot is also empty. A pair of the casino’s many shuttle buses are blocking that entrance.

The huge parking lots are obviously closed. The normally busy multi-lane road in front of the casino and parking lot is nearly deserted. Only an occasional local resident drives by now. The whole site looks like a scene out of an apocalyptic movie. As more and more states (and countries, for that matter) are ordering lock downs and stay at home rules we’ll see more and more views of empty businesses, streets, subway stations and highways.

President Trump said yesterday that he “sees light at the end of the tunnel” and that he wants “everything raring to go for Easter”.  What do you think?

Indiana State Police Superintendent issues warning

During a coronavirus press conference held at the Indiana State Capital building, Indiana Governor Holcomb asked State Police Superintendent Doug Carter to take the microphone. He quoted a Facebook social media post that erroneously claimed that Indiana hospitals would not have respirators for any patient over the age of sixty. Carter said he was “disgusted” by this posting that would cause fear and panic.

Superintendent Carter stated that you need to make sure that your sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic can be trusted. Don’t rely on, pass on or talk about information that is incorrect. How do you determine what is real and what is not true? That, my friends, is the sixty four dollar question. Where do you get your coronavirus pandemic information? How many different sources do you rely on?

Click here for the Indiana State Police website.

Click here for the Indiana Department of Health COVID-19 website.

Indiana will be shut down thanks to COVID-19

Indiana’s Governor Holcomb went on the air at noon today to announce that even more measures are needed to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Indiana has seen a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed cases, and, tragically, an increase in the number of Hoosiers that have perished due to COVID-19.

Today Sher and I decided to take a drive to get us out of the house for a while. Our son (who does our shopping for us) drove. It was nice to get out. We saw a definite decrease in traffic at the grocery stores and big box stores. The eateries had their  quickly made signs up offering take out food service only.

Nearly empty lot at Cracker Barrel: carry out only

Like many other regions in the country there have been recommendations to restrict the gathering of people in order to keep the spread of the virus down. Here the number went from 250 to 50 rather quickly. Within days restaurants, bowling alleys, arcades and theaters were closed. Soon after Indiana’s casinos also were closed. Now with the new Executive order from the Governor, Indiana will lock down this Wednesday at midnight. Folks are to stay home, work from home if possible. Stores are closing, well, you know how it works.

` Indiana Grand Casino closed. Even the pond fountains are turned off.

Where is this pandemic going? How bad is it going to get? Looking at New York, California and Washington State it is already pretty grim. Gov. Holcomb said more is needed to be done here to stop the spread. Trump says one thing, Dr. Fauci says something else. FEMA says they are getting the masks out. ER doctors across the nation say they don’t have enough masks. Testing? Who has a clue as to what is really going on there.

Wishing all our friends the best as we get through this trying time. Stay in, stay safe and remember to wash those hands. We are really looking forward to when we can get back on the road again.

Coronavirus is causing us to change our April

April is usually the month we start getting ready for spring festivals to sell our glass pendants.  The pendants all need to be shined and all tablecloths washed.  Usually we are getting ready for antique shows, where we sell antiques that we collect all year.  In fact our first show of the year is usually in April. This year we’re not even sure if there will be any festivals or shows for us to go to.

Selling our pendants at an Austin show

We have gotten everything for the spring, but doesn’t look like we will able to do any.  Not even sure that we can do any at all this summer. We are hoping that by fall things will back to normal, but we can’t count on it.

We’ve been in Texas for most of the winter and came back at the end of Feb. because of Coronavirus.  Then when it was suggested that older people and people with other diseases were high risk, it caused us to “shelter in place” at our home.  We still have family, kids and grand-kids that live in Indiana and Ohio and we’ve postponed seeing them for the time being.

We use facetime a lot and it has helped keep our sanity.  Very thankful for all we do have.  We have a warm home, food, and don’t have the virus.  We have books to read, movies to watch and facetime with family.  We have time to get caught up reading blogs we haven’t had a chance to read.  And, we are so grateful for all our online friends that keep us on our toes.

Keep safe!!!

 

Coronavirus has us isolated

It’s been a couple of days since we last posted anything about our situation as it is affected by the whole COVID-19 issues facing the world. What have we been doing?

Self imposed isolation

You have heard about officials and even celebrities that  have put themselves in “isolation” when they find out they are positive for the corona virus. Well, we have on our own gone into isolation, and have been since we got back to our home from Texas. With my underlying health issues as well as age (69) I am very aware of how vulnerable I am if I become infected with this killer virus. The pandemic situation is very, very scary.

What we are doing to pass the time

Keeping up on the news is a constant thing we do. CNN.com has good live updates that cover news from around the world. Now keep in mind that the reports are frightening as they describe how the virus is effecting the world. We also catch the press conferences coming from the White House, even though Trump’s policies seem to be too little too late, and you have to take a lot of what he says with a grain of salt. (Remember his claims about Google working with the government for that web site?) We also watch the local and Network news daily.

We stay in touch with our kids and their families with messages, texts and video calls. Our kids have spread out all over the country. All but one is working from home now, and they are doing as good as can be expected. The communication is a god send: at least we can know that everybody is doing ok, and those conversations are one of the highlights of our days.

A lot of our time is spent on computers. It is our main source of ongoing updates about the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Of course we also catch up on the blogs we follow, and do social media as well. Sher and I also have some online revenue sources we are continuing to utilize.

Streaming movies and shows

Another source of entertainment is of course streaming movies and tv shows. We are fortunate to have a Roku with which we get Netflix and Amazon Prime. We have found some good movies to watch, including some of the old classics. “Outbreak” with Dustin Hoffman (1996?) was pretty interesting given today’s news. Another classic is “Andromeda Strain” (1971). And then there is the TV series “Containment” that came out in 2016. This shows a serious and fatal virus hitting Atlanta, culminating in a partial lock down of the city. Worth a  binge viewing. A different genre, but still binge worthy is the two seasons of “Chosen One”. There is a religious cult hidden in the jungle, WHO workers are sent in to vaccinate, and thus begins the complex and contorted plot lines.

Took a drive today

Sher and I decided to get out of the house today for a little drive. We were curious to see if our town was feeling the effects of the pandemic. Indiana has 12 confirmed cases mostly in central and northern parts of the state. Our county has none, but we adjoin two counties with confirmed cases.  Anyway,  we drove around our small town and we observed that everything looked normal.  Walmart, Kroger and all the restaurants had full to semi full parking lots. Traffic was normal for a Sunday afternoon. Guess most do not have underlying health issues and are going on as usual…

We are still planning on staying in and safe. To all our dear fellow bloggers and readers: Please stay safe. If you are still on the road or in an RV resort or campground you still need to pay attention to “social distancing” and hygiene. Remember to wash those hands!

What are you all doing to get through the pandemic?

 

 

 

 

Rose Hill Cemetery in Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington is a vibrant college town in south central Indiana. Originally platted in 1818, the city father’s realized that a cemetery was a need, thus in 1819 a small piece of ground west of the village was laid out. To identify the grave yard the initials “G” and “Y” were carved into a large oak tree at the entrance.

Entrance marker to Rose Hill

A unique brick and stone monument. Note the entrance gate in the background

 

 

 

 

 

Note the Hand pointing up: symbol for deceased going to heaven

Monument to Civil War Vets

There were no burial records until 1897 after the eight woman Ladies Cemetery Association took over the running of the property in 1892. This civic minded group renamed the cemetery Rose Hill after the wild rose bushes scattered around the property.

 

Infantryman on CW monument. Note that vandals have knocked off the musket

Ornate multi-level family monument, has Greek and Latin lettering for Jesus

Other improvements and additions have taken place through the years. A nice fountain was moved to another park in Bloomington in 1991 after vandalism in the cemetery. A storm destroyed some planted trees in 2000. But the main reason we find this and other cemeteries interesting is the headstones. There are marvelous examples of symbolism on many of the stones in Rose Hill. Also named iconography, there are a host of symbols carved into many stones, mostly older limestone ones.

Sentimental inscription on a mother’s stone

Bloomington is about an hour south of Indianapolis. The cemetery is east of the I-69 interstate, take the 3rd Street exit. This is a 28 acre historic cemetery with origins in the early 1800’s. History buffs, take notice. This is a great old grave yard.

Little Shop of Horrors is at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Prepare yourself, Indianapolis, for the off-beat, dark musical comedy that is Little Shop  of Horrors! The show’s premier was in May of 1982. The Off-Broadway run was a great success, and during that run a star studded film was also produced.

Picture a skid row flower shop struggling to stay in business. Assistant Seymour Krelborn comes into possession of a strange plant. Named Audrey II after the girl of his dreams, Seymour discovers that the strange plant talks, sings R&B, promises fame and fortune, and needs human blood to survive and grow. Starting  in a flower pot, the blood thirsty creature soon is a monstrous size.

Seymour Krelborn (Joey Boos), center, introduces Mr. Mushnik (Douglas E. Stark) and Audrey (Jenny Reber) to his strange and unidentified plant

Mayhem breaks out as Seymour tries his best to keep feeding Audrey II the human blood that the creature demands. “Feed Me!” becomes the mantra for the monster, and the terror for Seymour! Side story lines keep the show rolling along as Seymour keeps loving Audrey, who is stuck in a violent relationship with dentist Orin Scrivello. How does Seymour keep Audrey II alive and well? Let’s say that people start to disappear. Laced throughout the show are some wonderful songs and dance routines.

The B&B production is filled with stage favorites. Joey Boos returns to the Beef & Boards stage in the role of Seymour. Also returning are Jenny Reber as Audrey,  and Logan Moore  as Orin Scrivello, DDS. Douglas E. Stark plays the role of Mr. Mushnik, the hapless owner of the skid row flower shop where Audrey II lives. It is interesting to note that the voice of Audrey II comes from Josiah R McCruiston and Josh Maldonado is the talented puppeteer of the creature. You never see either on stage!

Seymour (Joey Boos) is horrified by the demands of Audrey II

 

It is easy to see why Little Shop of Horrors has a nearly cult status.  The sci-fi hit about a carnivorous plant with world domination on its mind is just too much fun. Rated PG-13, the production does present some violence and graphic references and a touch of sexual innuendo.

Little Shop of Horrors is rated PG-13 and is on stage through Nov. 17. Tickets  include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea, and lemonade. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website here.

Award winning Hairspray on stage at Beef & Boards

The turbulent 60’s come to life on stage at Indy’s beloved Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre with the presentation of the Broadway musical Hairspray. This Tony Award winning show lights up the B&B stage with a large and very talented cast telling the story of a Baltimore teen who gets a spot on the local TV dance show.

Tracy Turnblad (Adee David) falls for teen idol Link Larkin (Nate Willey) and wants to racially integrate the Corny Collins Show. Standing in her way is the spiteful and prejudiced Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) who is using Link as her way to fame. The plot thickens and results in jail time after a protest against the segregation policy of the TV show.

The drama aside, the highlight of the production of course is the toe-tapping songs including “Good Morning Baltimore,” “Big, Blonde and Beautiful,” “You Can’t Stop The Beat” and “Welcome to the ‘60s.” Motormouth Maybelle (Tarra Conner Jones) brings down the house with her powerful and poignant version of “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) directs a humorous “Cooties”  at rival Tracy.

A highlight for me was the dance and song duet by Wilbur Turnblad (Eddie Curry) and Edna Turnblad (Daniel Klingler). Their rendition of “You’re Timeless To Me” was one of the funniest and most cleverly choreographed numbers I have seen in a long time. Eddie Curry, by the way, is also the Director of the show.

Every song will have you smiling. The characters will have you rooting for them or loving to hate! The B&B orchestra once again will amaze you with the quality and depth of music it produces. The sets and lighting seamlessly support the production. The costumes are fabulous. Have you figured it out yet? Do not miss Hairspray.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Hairspray is now on stage through Oct. 6. Tickets include the dinner buffet and are available by calling the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.

 

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story rocks Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Everyone received a pair of Holly’s signature glasses in their program. Group photos followed

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story received a standing ovation after last night’s show. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre audiences rarely give a standing ovation.  I could stop my review right now. However the show is so great that I want to share more details. This musical is filled with over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits as well as other numbers from Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The show tells the true story of Holly’s phenomenal rise to fame after his first hit “That’ll Be The Day” hit radio in 1957.

Holly is played by Kyle Jurassic, making his debut at Indy’s immensely popular dinner theater venue. Jurassic is no stranger to this role as he has held the title role prior to this production. He has devoted much time to learning about what kind of man Holly was, and this ads a flavor of authenticity to his portrayal of the man with the glasses.

Among  Holly’s greatest hits featured were  “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” “Not Fade Away,” “Rave On,” and “Raining In My Heart”.  In addition  Ritchie Valens’ signature song “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s trademark song “Chantilly Lace” are also included in the show.

Chuck Caruso plays the Big Bopper and Edward LaCardo is Richie Valens. Both do a great job portraying the characteristics of these iconic performers. Josh McLemore is outstanding as drummer Joe Maudlin. James Daley shows you things you never thought were possible when playing the bass as Jerry Allison. Beef and Boards favorite Sarah Hund shows off not only her voice but her fiddle playing as well. All supporting actors and musicians add to the incredible talent offered to the audience in the show.

Kyle Jurassic plays the iconic title role in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story Photo courtesy B&B Media

Of special note is the immensely powerful voice of Tara Conner Jones as Mama Pearl, lead signer at the Apollo Theater in New York. Her electrifying version of “Shout” brings the house down.

There is of course a touch of grief as you know what happens. Holly, the Big Bopper, Richie Valens and pilot Roger Peterson were killed  in a tragic plane crash shortly after the Iowa concert. The news is given on stage with gravity and sadness. However, more music follows leading to a grand grand finale.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is on stage at B&B through August 18th. For tickets, which include the dinner buffet, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For show details, including performance schedule, visit Beef & Boards website here.