Sunday, April 11, 2021

Shelby County Sunset

Sunset over Shelby County, taken by Jack Boyce at 8 p.m. last night.

Spring Cleaning

Alan Nash and his granddaughter, Chloe Hart, were among the volunteers sprucing up the Shelby County Fairgrounds yesterday. The Shelby County Master Gardeners were on-site and art students from Shelbyville High School painted a mural on the restroom alongside the trail. Dozens of other volunteers pulled weeds, power-washed buildings and improved the grounds.

The Friends of the Fair initiative is part of Leadership Shelby County. Organizing members were Molly Hart, Cheryl Baltzell, Michelle Bova, Rene Day, Shannon Hackworth, Mauri Kuhn, Daniel McGregor and Omy Torres.

A VIEW FROM MY SCHWINN: Thank You, Jack Hewitt


ABOVE: Columnist Kris Meltzer types his column with a prototype of "The Helbing" balloon nearby. Meltzer plans to hand out the souvenir balloons to tourists visiting the sculpture this summer.

Dear readers,

Now that both shots of my vaccine have had time to fully kick in, I decided to bring my column to you live from Three Sisters Coffee Shop this week. Or, at least as “live” as is possible for this dying print media. 

(Note: read this sitting in your kitchen while a family member rattles some dishes and silverware to complete the effect.)

I parked in the new parking garage for the first time. The pedestrian exit from the garage on the public square makes visiting the coffee shop convenient even with the ongoing downtown construction.

Three Sisters has been the unofficial headquarters of Team Schwinn for many years. We have discussed making it the “Official” headquarters, but Skeeter was afraid that Carolyn and Barb might charge us rent. We may revisit the idea depending on Skeeter’s success in hustling up a few more subscribers. 

My favorite barista, Marie Fisher, made me a café latte with my cartoon in the milk foam. Barb said that I had some mail. It isn’t unusual for readers to drop things off for me at the coffee shop. 

The year Earl’s cat, Sassafras, accurately predicted the trifecta in the Kentucky Derby, a one-armed man dropped off a bottle of bonded bourbon in appreciation. He didn’t leave his name, and Barb didn’t ask. His identity remains a mystery.

This week, it wasn’t a bottle of bourbon, but several photographs of my dad left by Jack Hewitt. My dad, Philip Meltzer, died last August. For several years my dad and Jack were members of the local American Legion Honor Guard. They provided funeral honors for a great number of fellow veterans; many, like themselves, from the greatest generation. Thank you, Jack Hewitt. I hope Marie put your coffee on Skeeter’s tab.

Speaking of the greatest generation, Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died last Friday at the age of 99. Or, as he is known in California, Meghan’s husband’s grandpa.

I poked fun at Oprah’s interview of Meghan and Harry a couple of weeks ago. It was reported in the Wall Street Journal that CBS paid $7 million for the right to televise Meghan complaining about Harry’s family. During the interview, Meghan said that she didn’t know much about the royal family when she married Harry. 

I didn’t think she seemed to know much about Harry’s family at the time of the interview. Maybe if Meghan watches the news coverage of grandpa’s funeral, she will understand why many in Great Britain took offense to the interview. Nah, I doubt it.


  • The Shelbyville High School softball team honored long-time athletic booster Jodi Bowman yesterday. Bowman retired from her position as the SHS athletic-front office secretary last year. The Bears moved to 6-1 on the season with 18-3 and 12-5 wins over New Castle.

  • Gavin Bulmer and Bri Tucker were named King and Queen of the Southwestern High School prom last night.

  • Waldron High School softball was up 18-0 on Blue River Valley in the third inning yesterday when the game was called due to weather.

  • As of yesterday, the state reported 4,740 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 2 from the previous day, out of 19,128 tests, an increase of 23 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 95. The State lists 10,480 fully vaccinated people for Shelby County as of yesterday.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: Last year, the Indiana Department of Child Services Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline handled more than 216,000 reports of child abuse or neglect, taking on average about 600 calls each business day, according to DCS. That represents a drop of over 26,000 compared to both 2018 and 2019, when intake specialists were taking about 700 calls every weekday. (The Indianapolis Star)

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    “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.


    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
    The SHS Alumni Association, headed by Bill McNeeley, planned an all-class reunion on Aug. 11 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. They hoped to attract 3,000 to 5,000 people. Mojo Band and Exit 113 were tentatively slated to perform. Notable SHS alumni who were musicians had also been contacted, such as Jan Browne and Jes Richmond.

    30 YEARS AGO: 1991
    The Shelbyville News’ All-Area team was selected. The first team included Brady Adkins (Morristown), David Hamilton (Southwestern), Travis Kuhn (Southwestern), Jared Lux (Waldron), Doug Theobald (Triton Central) and Brent Willoughby (Shelbyville). The second team consisted of Brandon Ballard (Triton Central), Kevin Bostic (North Decatur), Chris Dovidas (Shelbyville), Pete Hayes (North Decatur) and Deuce Rowe (Triton Central).

    40 YEARS AGO: 1981
    Triton student journalists exposed the illegal sale of whiskey and beer to minors. They had learned much from their classmates and other sources about how to acquire illegal booze and phony IDs. Once their findings made The Shelbyville News, the young investigative reporters found - when they began work on follow-up stories - that their sources had dried up. “Journalism students at Triton Central High School have learned one of the basic lessons of journalism - ‘sources’ will tell you most anything until they find out you want to print what they say,” The Shelbyville News said.

    50 YEARS AGO: 1971
    Three walls had been constructed for the new Ames Department Store, located beside E. State Road 44 in Shelbyville.

    Work began on the expansion of the parking lot just west of the Shelby County Courthouse. When completed, the lot would extend south to Taylor Street.

    60 YEARS AGO: 1961
    A long freight train blocked the main New York Central railroad tracks in Shelbyville for over two hours after a coupling broke between the cars. The passenger James Whitcomb Riley train had to be rerouted and local law enforcement detoured traffic.

    70 YEARS AGO: 1951
    Approximately 900 students of the Shelby County rural school system were to take part in the upcoming Music Festival, to be held at Paul Cross gym. The instructors who would direct the production included Raymond Albrecht, Boggstown; Whilden Amos, Addison/Flat Rock/Noble/Shelby/Union; Margean Doxey, Mt. Auburn; Elizabeth Good, Morristown; Frances Houston, Hendricks; Carl Hungerford, Fairland; Faybelle Linke, Flat Rock; B. Irene MacInnes, Marion; Helen Muterspaugh, Fountaintown; Edith Smith, Moral; Myrtle Tolley, Waldron; and Claudia Vance, Fairland.

    80 YEARS AGO: 1941
    Shelbyville High School principal J.W.O. Breck announced that Kenneth Chambers would be the Lord Mayor at the upcoming May Festival. He also announced the names of 19 seniors selected to the National Honor Society. They included Chambers, Marjorie Evans, Betsy Ross Fleming, Carmen Moody, Arlene Lieland, Emma Briggs, William Kennedy, Mary Lou Bennett, William Sandman, Maurice Beaven, Betty Morgan, Joanne Forsyth, Alberna Stroup, Virginia Cutter, Majorie Buxton, Betty Gibson, Doris Chambers, Margaret Smith and Margaret Emelie DePrez.

    90 YEARS AGO: 1931
    A hen killed by Stella Whitaker, to be served at the Pocahontas Lodge Easter dinner, was found to have seven perfectly formed eggs inside. Two eggs were as large as goose eggs, three were ordinary sized and three were yokes. On breaking open the two largest eggs, Whitaker found a smaller egg in each of them. “The egg channel was perfectly formed but the outlet had become obstructed,” The Republican said.

    One hundred students were slated to graduate from Shelbyville High School, one of the largest classes in its history. Boys outnumbered girls, 53-47. The commencement address would be given by the president of DePauw University.

    100 YEARS AGO: 1921
    A Greenwood man purchased the Diamond Veneer factory in Shelbyville. Homer Cutsinger would remain as manager. With the purchase, the new owner became the largest individual veneer maker in the country, the Franklin Star said. The business, however, was at a standstill due to the war.


    Roger Walts passed away in Parrish, Fla. on March 9, 2021 at the age of 78 in his sleep. Born in Shelbyville, Ind., he was an avid basketball player and even played for his ship’s team while aboard the USS Little Rock during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He would return to Indiana to attend college at Purdue. He went on to marry and moved to Saratoga Springs, where he would raise his two children, Andrew and Melissa.

    He was active in the local Jaycee’s, where he regularly helped with the building of the haunted houses put on by the Jaycee’s. He coached soccer and softball and was well-known around Saratoga as a general contractor who worked on many of the revitalization projects in the early 80s and 90s. He moved to Ocala, Fla. in the early 90s and golfed nearly every day. He recently moved to Parrish, Fla. to live out the remainder of his time near his son.

    Roger was predeceased by his sister, Julia; and brother, Richard; and is survived by his son, Andrew; daughter-in-law, Penny; and daughter, Melissa; son-in-law, Michael; and their son and his grandson, Anthony. Service will be held in April at the Sarasota National Cemetery, where he will be interned with full military honors in the Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ocala Sheriff‘s Youth Ranch