The Lincoln Memorial Bridge over the Wabash River

One of two pylons on Indiana side of the bridge.

This bridge carries U.S. 50 Business across the Wabash River from Vincennes, Indiana to Lawrence County, Illinois. The east end of the bridge is in the George Rogers Clark National Historic Park. At this entrance to the bridge you will find two large pylons made of granite, each with a raised sculpture depicting  a Native American Chief.

The bridge is what is called a deck arch design, and has two traffic lanes and wide pedestrian walks on each side of the roadway.  It was opened to traffic in September, 1933, the same year that the George Rogers Clark Memorial was completed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the monument in 1936.

View from the George Rogers Clark Monument

Wabash River walk, Illinois is on the other side of the river

Parked after crossing the bridge

This was one of the attractions we enjoyed on our trip to Vincennes, Indiana in August of 2020, during the height of the pandemic. We had a spot at a nearby RV Park, and were able to maintain the then acceptable “social distance” and had masks available.

Some squirrel scenes

Here’s some squirrel action we observed on the tree in our backyard.

This nut tastes pretty good, glad I found it.

There must be something to eat around here

The squirrels were out in force this afternoon enjoying the sunlight, even though it was chilly and windy with a definite feel of fall in the air.

Bivouac Of The Dead by Theodore O’Hara

O’Hara’s quatrain posted at one of two National Cemeteries in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis

Theodore O’Hara (1820 – 1867) was a poet, lawyer, soldier and adventurer from Kentucky. He penned a haunting poem honoring the dead from Kentucky killed in the Mexican War of 1847. At the end of the Civil War it became a memorial to Confederate dead, however the second quatrain of the first stanza has become an honor to any soldier killed in battle. That quatrain can be found in cemeteries across the nation and even the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery bears an inscription from O’Hara’s most noted poem.

Following is the complete poem, 12 stanzas with two quatrains per stanza. It is worth a complete read.

 

“BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD”

The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo;
No more on life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame’s eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.

No rumor of the foe’s advance
Now swells upon the wind;
Nor troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved ones left behind;
No vision of the morrow’s strife
The warrior’s dream alarms;
No braying horn nor screaming fife
At dawn shall call to arms.

Their shriveled swords are red with rust,
Their plumed heads are bowed,
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow,
And the proud forms, by battle gashed
Are free from anguish now.

The neighing troop, the flashing blade,
The bugle’s stirring blast,
The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
The din and shout, are past;
Nor war’s wild note nor glory’s peal
Shall thrill with fierce delight
Those breasts that nevermore may feel
The rapture of the fight.

Like the fierce northern hurricane
That sweeps the great plateau,
Flushed with the triumph yet to gain,
Came down the serried foe,
Who heard the thunder of the fray
Break o’er the field beneath,
Knew well the watchword of that day
Was “Victory or death!”

Long had the doubtful conflict raged
O’er all that stricken plain,
For never fiercer fight had waged
The vengeful blood of Spain;
And still the storm of battle blew,
Still swelled the gory tide;
Not long, our stout old chieftain knew,
Such odds his strength could bide.

Twas in that hour his stern command
Called to a martyr’s grave
The flower of his beloved land,
The nation’s flag to save.
By rivers of their father’s gore
His first-born laurels grew,
And well he deemed the sons would pour
Their lives for glory too.

For many a mother’s breath has swept
O’er Angostura’s plain —
And long the pitying sky has wept
Above its moldered slain.
The raven’s scream, or eagle’s flight,
Or shepherd’s pensive lay,
Alone awakes each sullen height
That frowned o’er that dread fray.

Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground
Ye must not slumber there,
Where stranger steps and tongues resound
Along the heedless air.
Your own proud land’s heroic soil
Shall be your fitter grave;
She claims from war his richest spoil —
The ashes of her brave.

Thus ‘neath their parent turf they rest,
Far from the gory field,
Borne to a Spartan mother’s breast
On many a bloody shield;
The sunshine of their native sky
Smiles sadly on them here,
And kindred eyes and hearts watch by
The heroes sepulcher.

Rest on embalmed and sainted dead!
Dear as the blood ye gave;
No impious footstep shall here tread
The herbage of your grave;
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her records keeps,
Or Honor points the hallowed spot
Where Valor proudly sleeps.

Yon marble minstrel’s voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished ago has flown,
The story how ye fell;
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter’s blight,
Nor Time’s remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory’s light
That gilds your deathless tomb.

 

“The Ruins” from a New York City building to Indianapolis

Holliday Park is a city park located in the near north-side of Indianapolis in one of the more higher end neighborhoods. The park is a beautiful setting with hundreds of trees, flowers and wildlife. In addition to the natural features of this inner city recreation site you will find an eclectic display affectionately tagged “The Ruins”.

The centerpiece of this ‘artwork’ is a structure that is the home of three massive sculptures atop a brick and mortar conglomeration of various architectural details. The three statues are called “The Races of Man”, are carved from (fittingly) Indiana limestone and represent Caucasian, Asian and African ethnic groups. Karl Bitter was the sculptor.

View of the whole display

Entrance of structure in 1898 showing the 3 statutes and columns

The original home of the three statues was the St. Paul building in downtown New York. The building was the work of famed architect George B. Post (1837-1913) who was the architect of many of the most important landmarks in New York City, including the New York Stock Exchange.  At the time of the completion of the St. Paul building in 1898 it was 315 feet tall and the tallest in New York City.

The original St. Paul building was torn down in 1958 to make way for a new skyscraper. The building’s owner, Western Electric, held a contest among US cities for the rights to have the sculptures. Long story short, Indianapolis won the competition. It took two decades and tons of money to bring “The Ruins” to a condition suitable for public use. For a while Western Electric considered retrieving the statues. Then Mayor of Indianapolis Richard Lugar pushed the completion of the project, which included the three  original entrance columns, in the mid 1970’s.

Detail of one of the statues

When we visited the park we frankly were amazed. What a beautiful setting! The Ruins were fascinating to see. It was fun walking the grounds and touring the extensive nature center as well. Note that there was adequate parking for RV’s and buses, making access very easy.

 

Indiana fall colors

Indiana has beautiful displays of changing fall colors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fully changed trees are just stunning to see.


Fall is a most beautiful time of year in Indiana. My grandfather loved to travel and took trips several times a year. Granddaddy would never travel in October, thus would never miss the seasonal colors he loved so much.

The Addams Family at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Indy’s Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre has published a general invitation to “meet The Addams Family” during October and most of November this year. We took them up on that invitation, and thoroughly enjoyed the performance Saturday night.

(snap snap) When you’re an Addams theme song

A B&B press release sets the stage: “Few things frighten the eerie Addams clan. But Gomez Addams faces a nightmare when his daughter, Wednesday, falls in love. What’s worse, she loves a boy Gomez has never met – who is from a respectable family. To complicate matters even more, Wednesday pleads with him not to tell her mother, Morticia, and Gomez must do something he’s never dared – keep a secret from his wife. Everything changes forever for the famously frightening family when they are put to the test hosting a dinner for the “normal” boyfriend Lucas and his parents.”

The (family) Ancestors and Uncle Fester (Kurt Perry)

That said, it should be noted that all of the cast were on point with the quality of their performances. Eddie Curry and Jill Kelly Howe portray Gomez and Morticia Addams with skills that successfully define their characters. The show begins with Uncle Fester “dancing on the graves” of ghostly Ancestors, who provide dancing choreography throughout the performance.

Jeff Stockberger as Lurch

Amanda Butterbaugh as Grandma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelbi Berry plays Wednesday Addams,  while Ray Gleaves plays her “normal” boyfriend Lucas. John Vessels and Sarah Hund play Mal and Alice Beineke, the ridiculously normal parents of Lucas. Mal and Alice have a hard time adjusting to the Addams macabre way of like, their house in a Park in New York, and just about anything Addams!

The Beinekes and Lurch

Wednesday challenges Lucas with a crossbow and apple on head

Wednesday sings while torturing Pugsley (Eli Neal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conflicts that arise between the Addams family members, Beineke family members, and each others set the tone for the hilarious interactions seen in Act to Act to Act. Gomez and Morticia clash over his lying about the engagement of Wednesday and Lucas. Mal and Alice had tough time with their marriage. Pugsley was worried about Wednesday leaving him so no more torture.

Gomez reacts to the news of the engagement ring

The humor in this production is constant and hilarious. Some scenes border on slapstick, others are filled with subtle references to current political issues. Uncle Fester is in love with the Moon. Yes, the moon that orbits Earth. His featured Act “The Moon and Me” will have you rolling in the aisle. Lurch greets the Beineke family with the classic “You rang?” line. He later gives a mime explaining his death (yes, Lurch is neither dead or alive) involving a motorcycle and a bunny.

Portrait of Gomez and Morticia Addams

The set, lighting and special effects for The Addams Family are very impressive and set the tone of the production. Costumes reach a level of creepiness that is , frankly, creepy. Eddie Curry’s artistic direction is spot on, and coupled with the music rounds out a delightful production. You will be perfectly and hilariously creeped out when you meet The Addams Family. Reserve your seats early! The theater was sold out when we attended. This is a great Halloween season show.

To purchase tickets online, visit beefandboards.com. Tickets are also available by calling the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre 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. Wednesdays. A discount of $6 off per ticket is available to children ages 3-15. The Addams Family is rated PG-13 for some language, innuendo, and dark references.

Stockberger and Curry together in Beef and Boards “The Addams Family”

This is our Review of The Addams Family posted after we enjoyed the show!

Sher and I have been enjoying Beef & Boards shows for years now. Among our favorite performers are Jeff Stockberger and Eddie Curry. These two talented actors and directors always bring a spark to whatever production they are part of. And they really shine when they are on stage together. (Remember The Odd Couple performance a while back?) Their timing is perfect and they put you in mind of classic comedy duos like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis or Abbott and Costello.

The Addams Family cast

Jeff Stockberger as Lurch

This October we’re excited to see that Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre is presenting the spooky-ooky macabre musical comedy The Addams Family  starring Stockberger and Curry, among other B&B veterans of the stage. The show opens tonight, October 6th. We’re going to the show Saturday night.

To purchase tickets online, visit beefandboards.com.  A discount of $6 off per ticket is available to children ages 3-15. Also check out VIP memberships for next year’s 50th Anniversary Season. There are some great ticket deals available for some awesome shows.

Polygonal barn built in 1910 in central Indiana

In 1910 a Mr. George Rudicel constructed a rather unusual barn. It has twelve sides, thus the name polygonal. The cone shaped roof is capped with a polygonal cupola and it topped by a square smaller cupola. There is also a large dormer facing the road. This barn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. It is on CR 700S in Noble Township, Shelby County.

As seen from County Road 700S.

Note the face of the dormer matches the polygonal angled panels

Christmas Star on top

Round barns were designed for dairy farming, and were not useful for general farming use. By the late 1920’s round barns had fallen out of favor: there was an ag depression after WWI, and easy  to construct prefabricated barn packages were now available. There were 226 round barns in Indiana but 100 of these have vanished from the Hoosier countryside. Many round barns have been restored and are well maintained. The Rudicel barn, aka locally as the Montgomery round barn, is in need of maintenance and a good coat of paint.