Sunday, August 29, 2021

Local Tradition Features Fun, Fierce Competition

Ivan Toliver, left, has to settle for second place after fellow Shelbyville High School alumnus Gwen Haehl wins a round of “Knock Out” on Spring Hill Road, the first activity in “Jimbo’s Amazing Race 3” yesterday.


Dr. James Rees said he was “shocked” to see 16 competitors crowding around his and Marcy Rees’ dining room table.

“I didn’t think there were that many people who think they’re up for the challenge. I look around the room, some of you are going to come up short,” he said to laughs and good-natured taunts among four teams clad in colored “Jimbo’s Amazing Race 3” t-shirts.

The laughter and friendships are real, and so is the rivalry.

“I had to nervous-pee,” one competitor admits, explaining her pre-race absence to the team.

The event, modeled after the “Amazing Race” reality show, started at the Rees’ Spring Hill Road home in 2013, the day before their daughter, Lauren, married Eric Glasco. The inaugural iteration included the wedding party performing several tasks within walkable range.

“I think we had to carry a six-pack down to Bruce Campbell’s (on S. Harrison St.),” Glasco, a local attorney, recalled. 

Several clues and puzzles later, the finale involved each team lugging a bag of water softener salt pellets back to the house, to which Dr. Rees confesses to have been a bit self-serving.

After a few years’ hiatus while the group of friends started families, “Jimbo’s Amazing Race” was revived, and expanded to allow the use of vehicles. Recent challenges have included shifting bales of hay within a Morristown barn, trying their luck at Indiana Grand and canoeing -and portaging - in Big Blue River.

The athletes never know what to expect.

“All we were told was we were going to get wet, so be prepared,” Glasco said upon arriving yesterday.

Rees assured contestants he was available by phone in case of an emergency. “But if it’s just because you’re not capable of figuring it out, go ahead and call me and I’ll give you a hint.” But some of the approximately 400 points available would be deducted, he warned. “It’s not the Marines, so if you become a liability to your team, I expect they’ll leave you behind.”

After a quick game of “Knock Out”, groups piled into vehicles with little more than initial instructions and a set of envelopes. 

They soon found themselves carrying groceries for Kroger shoppers, searching for items at a flea market and locating tombstones, which involved a math challenge. Deciphering Morse Code and Braille were just two of the featured wrinkles during the day. Groups also dug out a “treasure” at Shelby Materials that included a coupon for ice cream at the Cow Palace, location of the next clue.

Each team then landed at Lake Shelby with a mandate to swim out to Rev. Bill and Vickie Horner’s pontoon, where a balloon containing a puzzle piece was tied. 

Although participants included Lauren’s sorority sisters and the Glascos’ high school friends and Carmel-area neighbors, there was at least one Shelby County “kid” on each team, Rees said.

And for the first time, wooden “JAR” trophies, created by Rees, were on the line. The red team of Matt Fair, LeAnn Toliver, Lauren Glasco and Mark Winters claimed bragging rights, until the next episode.

ABOVE: “Jimbo’s Amazing Race” competitors are all smiles - before the competition, at least. Back row (left to right): Mark Winters, LeAnn Toliver, Lauren Glasco, Adam Bailey, Eric Glasco, Matt Pustay, Ivan Toliver, Katie Bailey and Mark Cline. Front: Matt Fair, Gwen Haehl, Laura Sahm, Jeremy Huser, Maggie Cline, Meghan Huser and Chelsy Winters.

BELOW: Matt Fair, LeAnn Toliver (front), Lauren Glasco and Mark Winters celebrate their team’s Amazing Race victory yesterday.

A VIEW FROM MY SCHWINN: If you can read this…….

Columnist Kris Meltzer and editor Kristiaan Rawlings test out Meltzer’s new tandem bicycle at yesterday’s Farmer’s Market. | photo by Amanda Hasecuster


Dear Readers,

Before you begin reading this week’s column, you should grab your notepad and sharpen your #2 Ticonderoga pencil. It is chock full of information, and you should take notes. Get ready for a “true confession”, some “good news” and an event next Saturday that you won’t want to miss. I had a lot of extra time to write this week’s column while waiting in line at the stoplight to turn left onto S. Harrison St. from W. Mechanic St. Let’s get started.

TRUE CONFESSION: The reason Team Schwinn missed the Waldron parade this year wasn’t that Jack Yeend and Jeff Linder were having trouble learning our “celebrate America” routine. It was all my fault. I was still mad at Skeeter for causing me to drop out of the bike ride to California.

It all started when Skeeter got a fancy bike with a lot of gears for the big bike ride out west. I stuck with my Schwinn Sting Ray and just couldn’t keep up with Skeeter. Of course, it wasn’t just the bike. Skeeter is a lot younger than me. He is in better shape. Finally, Skeeter’s hairstyle gives him an aerodynamic advantage.

I just couldn’t keep up with Skeeter. When he disappeared over the horizon, I turned around and headed home. Lucky for me I turned around before getting to the continental divide so I could just coast home.

GOOD NEWS: Team Schwinn is back. After a couple of months of sulking over the California bike trip fiasco, I realized that Skeeter was right. I took that bushel basket of lemons I had been carrying around and made lemonade. Like the idiom goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.” I bought myself a fancy new bike with a bunch of gears.

Now I know what you are thinking: so, what, Kris? A fancy new bike with gears won’t solve your problem of not being able to keep up with Skeeter. He is still younger, in better shape and more aerodynamic. And that is why I got a tandem. There is no way that I can fall behind when we are on the same bike.

NEXT SATURDAY: Join me and Skeeter on a bike ride to benefit the Shelby County Youth Assistance Program. The ride begins at the Shelby County Courthouse and ends at Girls Inc. with a feast prepared by Mel’s Catering. Most of the participants will probably be riding motorcycles. The route for motorcycles takes the long way to travel the six blocks from the Courthouse to Girls Inc. They will be motoring through Edinburgh, Taylorsville, Nashville and Trafalgar. Skeeter and I will take a more direct route never leaving Addison Township.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the ride beginning at 10 a.m. The cost is $20 per bike and $5 per passenger. Since I plan to steer while Skeeter does all the peddling, I’ve decided to pay the $20. I even bought a special T-shirt for the occasion. On the back, it says, “If you can read this, Skeeter fell off.”

Editor’s Note: While Meltzer’s account of his failed ride to California is technically correct when he states, “I turned around before getting to the continental divide,” it leaves the reader with the impression that Meltzer had traveled a great distance before turning around. I have it on good authority that he never left Addison Township.


  • Several Shelbyville High School cross country runners performed well at the Franklin Community Invitational yesterday. The boys finished 14th out of a large field, led by Michael Fox (18:56), Beau Kenkel (19:00), Eli Von Werder (19:07) and Tristin Maloney (19:59). The girls finished 16th, led by a 20th place podium performance by Stefanie Howard (21:32). Kaila Brattain (23:37) and Angel Kreider (24:51) also had strong showings.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: Jerry Harkness, 81, a former All-American forward who led Loyola University Chicago’s integrated basketball team to the 1963 N.C.A.A. championship, along the way defeating a Mississippi State team that had previously refused to play against Black athletes, died on Tuesday in Indianapolis. He had been drafted by the Knicks but played only one season before going to work as a salesman for Quaker Oats. In 1967, the inaugural year of the American Basketball Association, he joined the new league’s Indiana Pacers. He played two seasons there, averaging 7.3 points a game. He then spent about 25 years as the first Black fund-raiser for the United Way of Indianapolis. During that period he was also a television sportscaster in Indianapolis; he was said to be the first Black person in Indiana to have that job. He also opened an athletic-shoe store in 1993 and was executive director of 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, a youth mentoring organization. (New York Times)

  • Daily Addison Times stories this week included: Why there’s a new drainage project on the city’s southside; the Joseph Fountain returns and the opening of a Hispanic grocery store; updates on local housing developments; and a Public Square bar under new ownership. Get all the news daily for just $6 a month! Thank you for supporting local journalism!

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 Shelbyville Plan Commission turned down a request for smaller-than-normal cul-de-sacs from the developers of Twelve Oaks on McKay Road. “The fire chief estimated they need a 40-foot turning radius,” Plan Commission director Thomas D. DeBaun said. That was enough for commission chairman David Finkel. “If the fire department says it’s not doable, I’d lean toward the side of caution,” he said. Ray Wetnight, part owner of the developer of nearby Southern Trace subdivision, had also urged the commission to stay with the city standard. The commission also denied a request to pave the roads with three inches of asphalt instead of the required four. Twelve Oaks developers said they would modify their request.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
A private developer’s plans to make an 18-hole golf course and to sell adjacent lots for housing hit a snag after the matter failed to pass the Shelby County Plan Commission. Plans spearheaded by Shelbyville Mayor Dan Theobald in 1990 had also ran into delays after some area residents objected to tax dollars being spent for the course. “Building a public golf course in Shelby County seems to be about as easy as making a hole in one,” The Shelbyville News said.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
The Northwestern School Board decided to shop for a boiler rather than close Triton West Elementary. Long-term solutions for the building’s maintenance issues still needed to be addressed.

The Addison School building was sold to a group of local investors - Ralph Leppert, Marshall Shaw and Helen Tobin - for $82,311.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Dr. Jim Kent won his second straight championship at the Elks Blue River Country Club. Top finishers were Gene Lusk, John Alexander, Max DeJonge, Del Coryea, Ken Cortelyou, Bill Reimann, John Grigsby and Fred Gardner.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
North Thurston and Norm Thurston won the Elks Club father-son golf championship. Top finishers were Carl and Ted Walton, Ralph and Gerald Scofield, Carl and Tommy Kremer and Orville and Jerry Alexander. The highlight of the day, however, was a perfect hole-in-one shot by Bob Hayes, the Mary-Lou shop owner, who was playing with his dad, Earl Hayes.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Richard Jester was promoted to executive general merchandising manager for all of the Goodman-Jester stores. He had served as manager of the Shelbyville store since his return from military service in Nov. 1945. Donald L. Richmond was promoted to manager of the Shelbyville store. He had been assistant manager, and was married to Janice (Jester).

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
“Learning that they could obtain theatre tickets by presenting old automobile tires at a local service station, six Shelbyville boys became over-zealous in their efforts and took several tires from the Zovel Levinsky junk yard, it was learned,” The Republican said. “They were promptly apprehended by police, who turned them over to their parents.”

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
Ed Schacherer won the Morrison Park horseshoe tournament and would play the winner of the Kennedy Park contest. Finalists at Kennedy Park were Bertie Kanouse, H. Simpson, Jimmy DeHo and H. Ewick.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
A social association of Indiana Bell Telephone employees was started. The group was called the “Hello Girls”.


Carolyn Rose Gross, 79, of Shelbyville passed away Saturday, August 28, 2021, at IU Health Saxony Hospital in Fishers. She was born April 7, 1942, in Indianapolis, the daughter of Max and Esther (Talkington) Brandman.  She married Matt Gross Sr., and he preceded her in death on December 22, 2003.

Carolyn is survived by her children, Roderick H. “Rocky” Gross and wife, Paula, of Newport, Florida, Matt H. Gross Jr. and wife, Teresa, of Morristown, Cheryl R. Thompson of Indianapolis, and Nancy Ellen Gross of Ladoga; brother, Timothy Brandman and wife, Lois, of Jensen Beach, Florida: sisters, Nancy Nolting of New Palestine, Martha Addis and Evelyn O’Dell, both of Fort Myers, Florida, and Leah Shimer of Terre Haute; grandchildren, Ariel D. Whitfield and husband, Brandon, Chad Followell, Katie Pearson, Denon Fuchs, Timothy Followell, Jessie Thompson and Jordan Pearson and wife, Jill; great-grandchildren, Chris Pitzer, Zoey Pitzer, Jesse Thompson Jr., Jocelyn Thompson, Aurora Followell, Crimson Followell, Ximena Thompson, Baily Gellizeau, Marcus Shoufler, Marek Pearson, Mallorie Pearson and Tad Allen Michael Whitfield; and numerous nieces and nephews including Wailua Brandman of Hawaii. In addition to Matt, Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Jack Brandman, Max Brandman, Tom Brandman and David Brandman; and grandchild, Tadlee Gross

Carolyn was a 1960 graduate of Triton Central High School. She was a member of First Christian Church in Shelbyville, and had formerly been a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Carolyn had previously worked at Major Hospital and Shelbyville Central Schools. She enjoyed going to the beach and loved caring for her grandchildren. Carolyn was a wonderful vocalist and had sang for many church services.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, August 30, 2021, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at the funeral home, with Rev. Bill Horner officiating. Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cancer Association of Shelby County, PO Box 844, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176. Online condolences may be shared with Carolyn’s family at