Mother’s Day Gift
Employee Blaine Stoval assistants Marley Mulroney with potting a petunia for her mother. The pots and plants were given away free at Rural King yesterday. | Anna Tungate
A VIEW FROM MY SCHWINN: Art Appreciation
Well-known local bohemian Steve Fansler stands on Public Square during the First Friday event.
by KRIS MELTZER
Good news. If you are reading this week’s column, the Chinese rocket must have missed you.
Let’s start with the mailbag this week. One loyal reader wondered if my cousin Tom’s wife, the Baroness von Krueger, had been approached by Oprah for an interview. The reader figured that the Prince Harry interview was probably just the beginning of a series of interviews with expatriate royals living in America.
I don’t know about Oprah, but I will put interviewing the Baroness on my “to do” list.
One longtime reader has been pondering why it seems like the news is full of stories about the Kardashians instead of Elvis sightings.
I think we can blame Dr. Fauci. As soon as he tells us it is safe to stop wearing masks, I’m sure someone will spot Elvis in his pajamas shopping at a Walmart somewhere in Florida.
When Friday rolled around this week, I noticed it was May 7th. I realized that I had missed Cinco de Mayo. As my hippie friends would say, “bummer.” I think I missed it because I don’t speak Spanish. When the words Cinco de Mayo fall on my ear, they don’t sound like a date on the calendar. I never miss the 4th of July.
Since it was the first Friday of the month, I decided to go downtown for “First Fridays.” I thought it would cheer me up.
Soon after my arrival, it started to rain. The public square was deserted. Standing there alone in the rain, I heard a familiar voice from the past. It was long time reader and well-known local good guy, Steve Fansler.
Steve was in the doorway of the Shelby Art Guild’s Gallery. The Guild was having a pizza party. Steve invited me in out of the rain. Lucky for me the artsy crowd tend to be bohemians. None of the members of the guild seemed to mind that I had crashed their party.
I already knew several of the members. Before the pandemic, I used to see Kathy Neeb and her granddaughter, Abbey, at the lunch counter at Three Sisters regularly. On one occasion, Abbey volunteered to take a photo for my column. Grandma said that Abbey will be graduating from college soon.
I hadn’t talked to Dan Robbins since he had his art gallery in the old train depot. I told Dan I thought the sheltering in place had probably been easier for artists. At least artists have something to do when they are stuck at home. Dan agreed, but said that he also watched the Clint Eastwood movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales” several times.
Hanging out with the members of the art guild certainly cheered me up. I think I’ll sign up for art lessons. You should plan to stop by the gallery and look at the art on display: May 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a $5 donation is “Junk Journaling and More.” Call 317-401-0616 to register. On May 20 at 5:30p.m., Kenton Jones will be giving a free demonstration on “Airbrush.” It is free but please RSVP by phone or text to 317-364-1884.
Along the Banks of Little Blue
A family, including quintuplets, enjoy a picnic and a walk along the banks of Little Blue River in Kennedy Park on Friday. | Anna Tungate
A Message from The Arc of Shelby County: Happy Mother's Day to all the moms of children with special needs.
The 67th annual SCUFFY drive concluded this week, with the organization surpassing its drive goal. The organization raised $878,711.79, exceeding the 2021 goal of $860,000, to support its 12 member agencies.
As of yesterday, the state reported 4,906 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 4 from the previous day, out of 19,664 tests, an increase of 18 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 96. The State lists 15,085 fully vaccinated people for Shelby County as of yesterday.
HOOSIER NEWS: Gov. Eric Holcomb plans to issue an executive order early next week to reinstate the work-search requirement for claimants of unemployment insurance benefits. The rule, which was waived early during the coronavirus pandemic, requires people to actively search for work each week to remain eligible for benefits. In a statement issued Friday evening, Holcomb said he asked the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to complete a demographic analysis of unemployed Hoosiers over the past 16 months. That information would be used to help determine whether Indiana would continue to participate in federal unemployment programs. The analysis also would include a comparison of the state’s current workforce versus its prepandemic workforce. “Our unemployment rate stands at 3.9%, which is near pre-pandemic levels, and our labor force mirrors prepandemic levels, when we also had worker shortages,” the governor said in the statement. “We must concentrate on building the right pathways to match people with the skill sets employers need and to attract more people to join our workforce.” (The Indianapolis Star)
“This Week in Shelby County" works by George L. Stubbs Sr. are owned by the Shelby County Historical Society (Grover Center) and used with permission.
THIS DAY IN SHELBY COUNTY HISTORY
News around Shelbyville and the surrounding area as reported on or about this date in history. Selections are curated from the Shelby County Public Library Genealogy Department.
20 YEARS AGO: 2001
Opponents and supporters of the horse racing track planned for Shelby County made their cases before the Indiana Horse Racing Commission at a public hearing in Indianapolis. Beverly Oliver spoke against the track. She worried about a possible necessary increase in police force. Former County Commissioner John F. Lewis spoke in favor. The proposed Indianapolis Downs could bring up to $450,000 per year in tax revenue, proponents said. In the off-season, the 3,000 seat track would be used for other events, such as band contests and conventions. Lewis said his goal was to have the Rev. Billy Graham come and speak there.
30 YEARS AGO: 1991
The Shelbyville Sting, off to its best start since 1988, won in its own rain-shortened Early Bird tournament. Shelbyville was the only team to go undefeated and was awarded the title when the round-robin tournament was halted. Darrell Bender pitched the win for the Sting.
SCUFFY surpassed its goal for the 37th straight year, financial drive chairman Leroy Whitcher announced.
40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Although New Palestine High School Principal Robert Kelso was confined to his Morristown home because of three fractured ribs, he spoke at his school’s commencement ceremony thanks to modern technology. Indiana Bell and General Telephone Co. hooked up a special speakerphone so that Kelso could deliver the commencement address as promised.
Mayor Dan Theobald, one of the Indiana mayors who attended the 500 Mayors Breakfast, received a key to the capital city from Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut. Mayor Hudnut said that because of the budget pinch, Indianapolis wouldn’t present keys to the city in 1982.
50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Deputy Sheriff Thomas DeBaun discovered an attempted burglary of the Waldron school gymnasium while making routine patrols. A concrete block had been hurled into a door window. DeBaun reported the window was reinforced by a wire mesh and the gym door was chained shut from the inside. Entry to the building was not gained.
60 YEARS AGO: 1961
Shelby County health officials urged all persons under 40, and especially children, to get polio booster shots or start the prescribed series of vaccines if they had not done so before. Dr. Wilson Dalton of the Shelby County Health Department also noted that Shelby County had an abnormally high infection rate of hepatitis.
70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Philip Banawitz defeated Mayor Harold Pickett in the Republican primary. Russell Ballard won the Democratic mayoral primary.
80 YEARS AGO: 1941
Shelbyville man John Buchert, who lived in the Prescott neighborhood, had a realistic dream that sent him headlong through a window and over a fence. “I was dreaming that I was about to be run over by a tractor. And boy, was I getting away from there!” Buchert told The Republican. The newspaper said, “The strange thing about the whole thing was that Buchert, not taking time to raise the window, had gone through the glass without getting a scratch.”
90 YEARS AGO: 1931
Morrison-DePrez Drug Company officials reported an enthusiastic response to its one-cent sale, in which two articles could be bought at a price that was one cent more than the price of one.
The sheriff’s sale of a Buick coupe that had been used by rum-runners, sold for $400 (about $7,000 in today’s money).
100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Two women long suspected of stealing from local department stores were stopped by police and searched. “It was found that they had taken a number of articles they did not intend to pay for,” The Republican said. “The women were allowed to keep all the goods they paid for, but the others were taken away from them, and nothing more was said about it.”
Good weather meant that Michigan Road was “literally lined with machines (cars) all day,” The Republican said. The road had recently been paved from Indianapolis to New Bethel. “From the Shelby county line to Shelbyville this road is said to be ‘like a floor,’” the paper said.
Kent T. Conway, 60, of Waldron, passed away Friday, May 7, 2021 at his residence. He was born November 24, 1960 in Shelbyville to Jackie E. Conway and Patricia I. (Luther) Spurling. Kent was a U.S. Army veteran. He was a member of the American Legion Post 70. He enjoyed fishing and the times he was able to sit back and relax. His greatest pleasure was spending time with his family.
Kent is survived by his sister, Jackie Piercy (Terry) of Shelbyville; his brothers, Mark Conway (Diana) of GA; Jeff Conway and Jim Conway, both of Shelbyville; his sister, Angela Winkler (Tony) of Shelbyville; his brother, Gary Conway (Penny) of Flat Rock; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Terri Tague.
Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at Murphy-Parks Funeral Services, 703 S. Harrison Street, Shelbyville, IN 46176. A Celebration of Life will follow at 2 p.m. at the funeral home with Travis Conway officiating. Military rites will be conducted by local veteran organizations. Funeral directors Greg Parks, Sheila Parks and Stuart Parks are honored to serve Kent's family. Online condolences may be shared at www.murphyparks.com.