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Saturday, November 26, 2022
Live Christmas Tree Tradition Strong in Shelby County
Lisa Robinson handles cashier duties last night at Occasions Premium Christmas Trees on East Hendricks Street while Tami Zinser, off camera, works behind the scenes. | photo by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS
by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS
Odds are, you were either picking a live Christmas tree yesterday or watching your Facebook friends do so. And those picture-perfect smiles weren’t just for social media, the local owners of Occasions Premium Christmas Trees say.
“Pretty much everybody’s in a good mood,” co-owner Rick Robinson said as an extended family hauled their selection off the East Hendricks Street lot last night. “I mean, we sometimes get in the middle of a wife and husband trying to decide (which tree to get).”
“But a lot of them let their kids decide,” Martin Zinser, one of the business partners, said.
Keagan and Kamden Turner, sons of Greg and Courtney Turner, head up their family’s selection process at Bohman Christmas Tree Farm in Greensburg.
“My brother and I cut down the tree after spending roughly an hour searching for the best tree that would make the Griswolds proud,” Kamden said.
But both boys say their favorite part might be what happens next: a fried chicken dinner at nearby Fireside Inn.
The Weber family does the same day-after-Thanksgiving routine.
“We pick it out as a family, cut it down and take it to be shaken out,” Callie Weber, 12, daughter of Nic and Katie Weber, said. “My sister (Natalie) and I normally pick out a wreath, also.”
The Webers go from Bohman’s to Fireside Inn and then return to their Shelbyville home to decorate the tree together.
“This has been a tradition we have had since I was born,” Callie said. “It’s a great day spent with family.”
Danielle Current is also a long-time participant in her family’s tree hunt. A favorite memory for her is riding in the tractor-pulled wagon.
“Sometimes all of the seats are full and people have to stand, and I always volunteer to be the one standing,” she said. “I love the bumpy ride down to where the trees are.”
In line with Zinzer’s observation, Danielle typically gets to select the tree. She said she goes for the “shortest and fattest” options. “After we’ve picked the tree and are ready to go home, we always buy hot chocolate or hot apple cider and we drink it together,” she said.
The Johnson family - all seven of them - also spent time together at a tree farm yesterday.
“We have always gotten a live tree on Black Friday every year,” Ella Johnson, a junior at Shelbyville High School, said. “I think the entire process seems more authentic than just setting up a plastic tree.”
She and her twin sister, Lilly, are on the undefeated girls basketball team that plays on the road today, but they made time for the annual tradition.
“We always go out in the cold that morning before I have to go to basketball practice and attempt to find a tree that we all like, which is sometimes a difficult task,” Ella said.
Her brother Jack, a senior at SHS, said the search is the best part of the experience.
“Each tree has its own character, and you want to find the one that best suits your own image of the perfect Christmas tree,” he said.
The youngest sibling, Sam, 10, agrees.
“The trip to the tree farm is always fun. Once we get there, I enjoy messing around with my siblings, and I get to use a saw to help cut down the tree! When we get home, it’s always a struggle to get the tree to stand up straight.”
That struggle is worth it in the end.
“I also just like the smell of the tree in the house,” Ella said. “It makes everything seem more Christmasy.”
Rachael (Passwater) Ackley, who said she is “50-something” years old, is carrying on the tradition she experienced as a child. She remembers “the aroma of fresh pine and the fine art of juggling a tree on top of a car and into the house.”
Her parents, Don and Judy, made sure all four Passwater children were part of the process. They even named the tree honoree. Ackley continues that tradition along with others, such as stringing popcorn and cranberries and making a new ornament each year.
This year, the Ackleys found “Niles” - the name given to their stately 11-foot-tall Fraser fir - at Occasions.
“We ensured our youngest daughter, Samantha, was home from Earlham College to help us pick the perfect tree,” she said. “Our oldest daughter and her husband will be celebrating their first Christmas in their first house this year, and plan a visit to Occasions to pick out their own tree…so the tradition continues!”
BELOW: (Top right corner, moving clockwise) Natalie and Callie Weber and their dog, Maya; Niles, the name of this year’s tree selected by the Ackleys; Keagan and Kamden Turner handle tree-cutting duties; Molly, Lilly, Ella, Curt, Jack and Sam Johnson pose for a photo taken by Amy Johnson; Dyan Current takes a selfie with her family cutting the tree in the background; Sam Johnson scopes out this year’s tree selection. | submitted
Peggy Jacobs and her 8.43-pound turnip took the prize at the annual St. Paul Tavern turnip contest yesterday. Dennis Jacobs, whose turnip came in at 7.04 pounds, and last year’s winner Stacy Duckworth, with her 6.3-pound turnip, finished second and third, respectively. Although Duckworth’s turnip was larger than last year’s winning entry grown at her home in the Smiley’s Mill area by Sugar Creek, Jacobs’ root vegetable proved impossible to beat. The event has been a tavern mainstay for approximately 25 years. Dean Everhart might have been the first winner and Phillip Stieneker probably holds the record for the largest turnip in the contest’s history, resident Greg Lux said last year. “We didn’t keep real good records, though,” he confessed.
The Shelbyville Police Department is looking for help identifying a vehicle that drove onto the local Babe Ruth Ballpark fields on Wednesday night. Pictures and videos of the vehicle are posted here.
A service marking the 156th anniversary of Second Baptist Church, 34 West Hendricks St., Shelbyville, will be held Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. Guest speaker Pastor Douglas Wayne Gray will be accompanied by the congregation he pastors in Franklin. A fellowship dinner will be held after the service. Second Baptist Church is also looking forward to 2023, when it will again host the annual Dr. King program in January. All are welcome. Contact James Garrett Jr., 317-403-4752, or call Second Baptist Church, 317-398-8925, for more information.
HOOSIER NEWS: Declining college enrollment. More people sitting out of the labor force. Fewer Hoosiers with high school diplomas and more students graduating with few practical skills. Those are just some of the issues that could leave Indiana in the “digital dust” if left unsolved. That’s according to a new study released Friday by the Governor's Workforce Cabinet detailing how to tackle those challenges and support Indiana employers, many of which now require workers with strong digital skills. The report comes as the state faced significant workforce issues even before the COVID-19 pandemic, including lagging wages, a tight labor market, declining education rates and an aging population. (Anderson Herald Bulletin)
MORE HOOSIER NEWS: Indianapolis will host the 2029 NCAA Men’s Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium, the NCAA announced Tuesday. The event will be March 31 and April 2, and will be the city’s 10th time hosting. On Monday, the NCAA announced Indianapolis will host the Women’s Final Four in 2028 and it will also host the Men’s Final Four in 2026. (IndyStar)
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: 2002
Bible Holiness Church, 906 S. Tompkins St., received preliminary plat approval at the plan commission meeting to separate a nine-acre piece from a 980-acre tract at 2819 E. Michigan Road. A new church would be built on the land, which had been owned by W. Taylor and Marna Sumerford. Eris Conover was consulting with the church on the project. Until the finances were raised to build the church, the ground would be farmed, and the house on the property, which the church intended to use as a parsonage, would be rented out.
30 YEARS AGO: 1992
Eight workers from Shelbyville’s Ryobi Die Casting returned from Japan, where they observed a quality improvement contest. More than 250 companies in the Ryobi organization in Japan participated in the contest. Local attendees included Kent McNeely, Dave Scott, Pat Witt, Kathy Kelso, Andrea Hansen, Norm Carmony, Toby Scott and Rick Linville.
Although Rax Restaurants had filed for bankruptcy, it wouldn’t affect the Shelbyville franchise, corporate officials said. “They told us not to worry about it,” Naomi Vinson, manager of the local Rax, told The Shelbyville News.
40 YEARS AGO: 1982
Real estate officials told The Shelbyville News that buyers should get used to double digit mortgage rates. The rates could be a “permanent condition,” one said. Another said it would take a least eight years for interest rates to come down.
50 YEARS AGO: 1972
A Chess Club was organized at the Civic Center. Marsha Fink and Randy Hildebrand were in charge of the organization.
A large addition to the Village Square Apartments complex on Progress Road was underway. Four new buildings were under construction. The complex was being developed by Bernard Coers.
60 YEARS AGO: 1962
Rumors sweeping through town reporting that Shelby County Prosecutor Robert Sheaffer had died in an accident en route to a Purdue-Indiana football game were found to be untrue. The Shelbyville News investigated the matter after receiving word of Sheaffer’s reported death from several sources. The News called the railroad company, which said no accidents had occurred. They called the State Police, who reported the same. One of the reported originators of the rumor was tracked down at home, but he said he had learned the information from someone else. Sheaffer returned home that night to a ringing telephone. He later told The News that his phone “practically rang off the wall” for two days as friends called. Sheaffer said he and his wife had driven to the game and “encountered no difficulty of any kind.”
Doug Lackey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Lackey of Shelbyville, was one of the defensive backfield standouts for underdog Indiana in its thrilling football victory over Purdue. Scores of Shelbyville and Shelby County fans had gone to the game by car and train.
70 YEARS AGO: 1952
Cold, damaging winds of up to 80 miles per hour swept across the state, leading to 12 deaths as people’s vehicles were stranded. Shelby County, though, escaped with only minor damage. Two Bell telephone poles were downed and about 100 were without electricity.
Alice Wilson, of Edinburgh, died on her 100th birthday at the Odd Fellows Home in Greensburg, where she lived.
80 YEARS AGO: 1942
Whipped cream would not be served on Thanksgiving pies due to rationing, War Production Board members announced. The decision would save about a billion quarts of milk, officials said. The Price Administrator also said that gift wrap and special deliveries would be banned for Christmas. The Shelbyville Republican said Christmas gifts this year would “be like hot dogs without mustard.”
90 YEARS AGO: 1932
Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Culbertson’s nephew and niece arrived after a 16 hour drive from Nebraska, averaging 42 miles per hour. They stayed a day and a half and returned home.
Shelby County Health Nurse Grace Ewing organized a free dental clinic at the school administration building for children whose parents could not afford services. Drs. Barnard, McDonald, White, Randolf, Abel and Dale volunteered their services.
100 YEARS AGO: 1922
One of the gates at the East Franklin St. crossing was badly damaged when a wagon belonging to Jake Zimmerman, loaded with coal, collided with railroad property. The horses had been unhitched from the wagon and Mr. Zimmerman was holding to the tongue when he lost control of the heavily loaded vehicle.
Final efforts were made to revive the Burney State Bank, which had been closed several months prior by the state bank examiner’s department. A meeting would be held at the Burney schoolhouse regarding the matter. “It is stated in an announcement of the meeting that the bank will either be reorganized at this time, or permitted to ‘go down in absolute ruin, with a large number of borrowers and probably every dollar on deposit, as securities owned by the Burney bank have been placed as collateral,’” The Republican reported.
Clara L. Dwigans, 99, of Columbus, IN passed away at her home on November 24, 2022. She was born November 22, 1923 in Shelby County the daughter of the late Thomas C. Worland and Anna (Roberts)Worland.
She was a 1941 graduate of Shelbyville High School and a lifetime member of the VFW Ladies Auxillary Post 70. She worked as a clerk at Ft. Harrison Finance Center for 19.5 years retiring in 1989.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter, Deborah A. Durbin and two grandchildren and six siblings. Her survivors include her children, Clara A. McIntosh of Scipio, IN; Harold S. Dellinger of Shelbyville, IN; and Janet L. Gooch of Columbus, IN also surviving is her sister, Sarah Davis of Bartlett, TN; her grandchildren, Jay Dellinger, Christopher Sandefur, Jimmie Dellinger, Brian Dellinger, Thomas Dellinger, Jennifer Pemberton, Angela Koelling, Scott Durbin, April Pendergraft and Edward Gooch; 18 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Visitation for Clara will be on Monday, December 5, 2022 from 10am until 12 Noon in Glenn E. George and Son Funeral Home, 437 Amos Rd., Shelbyville, IN. Funeral services will be at 12 Noon on Monday, December 5, 2022 in the funeral home where Kenny Lee will officiate. Burial will be in Brandywine Center Cemetery, Shelby County.
Kathy A. Kennard, 71, of Shelbyville, passed away November 24, 2022, at MHP Medical Center. Services are pending at Glenn E. George & Son Funeral Home.
Yvonne MacDonald, 71, of Fountaintown, passed away November 24, 2022, at her residence. Services will be announced by Glenn E. George & Son Funeral Home.
Frank Joseph “Joe” Marass, Jr., 73, of Fairland, passed away, Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born October 17, 1949, in Indianapolis, the son of Frank J. Marass, Sr. and Blanche M. Daugherty. On September 8, 2007, he married Lisa Diane Dixon, and she preceded him in death on March 24, 2019. Joe is survived by his son, William Thomas Eugene Marass and wife, Amanda, of Shelbyville; step-daughter, Kelly Galloway of Arcadia; brother, James Quinn and wife, Giddy, of Indianapolis; sisters, Terry Underwood of Florida, and Nona Hurst of Indianapolis; grandchildren, Caleb Galloway, Matthew Barker and Jennifer Galloway; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Lora and LeRoy Anderson of Fairland; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to Lisa, Joe was preceded in death by his parents; and step-father, Ralph Daugherty.
Joe graduated from High School in 1967. He was a veteran of the US Marine Corp. Joe enjoyed fishing and spending time with family.
Visitation will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Funeral services will follow at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, at the funeral home. Interment will be at Fairland Cemetery in Fairland. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cancer Association of Shelby County, PO Box 844, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176. Online condolences may be shared with Joe’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
Mary E. Cangany, 62, of Flat Rock, passed away Thursday, November 24, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. She was born June 27, 1960, in Shelbyville, the daughter of Floyd “Bud” and Cleota Ann (Coy) Drake. On October 6, 1979, she married her husband of 43 years, Kevin Cangany, and he survives. In addition to Kevin, Mary is survived by her daughters, Morgan Gretencord and husband, Bryan, of Wolcott, Lynsey Stewart and husband, Matt, of New Palestine, and Stacey Smith and husband, Chris, of Shelbyville; sisters, Karen Hammond of Ohio, Janie Burns of Flat Rock, Terri Runnebohm and husband, Mike, of Shelbyville, and Jennie Chrisman and husband, Jeff, of Edinburgh; brothers, Jerry Drake and wife, Rita, of Edinburgh, Tom Drake of Shelbyville and Larry Drake and wife, Cindy, of Shelbyville; sister-in-law, Mildred Drake of Shelbyville; grandchildren, Evelyn Gretencord, Whitley Gretencord, Emerson Stewart, Brynn Stewart, Wyatt Smith and Brady Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers, Marvin Drake and James D. “Jim” Drake.
She graduated in 1978 from Southwestern High School. Mary worked at Drake’s Flower Patch, for over 30 years. She enjoyed going to estate sales and auctions. Where she would find items to repurpose into her craft projects. Mary was very active and spent time with her friends, playing pickleball, bicycling, kayaking or going for walks.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Inurnment will be at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, December 1, 2022, at Patterson Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared with Mary’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
Kathy A. Kennard, 71, of Shelbyville, IN passed away November 24, 2022 at MHP Major Hospital, Shelbyville. She was born March 16, 1951 in Shelbyville the daughter of the late Esta Emerick Jr. and Betty (Phares) Schnick. Kathy was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Wayne Kennard on Feb. 4, 2008.
She worked as a factory worker with Freudenberg of Shelbyville. She also was a graduate of Triton Senior High School.
She was also preceded in death by her sister, Karen Owen, and Ben, a brother, Rick Graves, and a brother, Jeff Miller. Kathy is survived by her daughter, Misty (Anthony) Smothers of Shelbyville, IN; her siblings Michael (Trisha) Emerick of Noblesville, IN; Brenda (Tim) King of Indianapolis, IN; a half-sister, Teresa (Jeff) Leisure of Rushville, IN; a sister-in-law, Janet Graves of Orlando, FL; Her grandchildren, Branden (Payton) Wise, Alyssa Elliott and Kenny Velez, Madison Smothers, Alexis Smothers and Rory Paul and her great-grandchildren, Rennie Wise and Gatlin Wise. She loved her two dogs, Toby and Mandy, also several nieces and nephews.
No services are planned. Arrangements entrusted to Glenn E. George and Son Funeral Home, 437 Amos Rd., Shelbyville, IN. Online condolences may be offered at http://www.glennegeorgeandsonfuneralhome.com.