Sunday, January 23, 2022
Renovations are underway in the children’s section of the Shelby County Public Library. | photos by JACK BOYCE
Your Luck is Bound to Change
It was last Thursday. For some reason unknown to me, my feng shui was all out of whack. The day started with all the contacts in my iPhone mysteriously vanishing. I was off to a bad start. As the day progressed, it was only getting worse. So, there I was, in the late afternoon, plunger in hand, trying to figure out why the toilet wouldn’t flush.
I refused to let my string of bad luck dampen my spirits. My mind began to wander. About 50 years ago, I learned something in room 309 at Shelbyville High School that always helps get me through a patch of bad luck. The teacher was Louie Kuhn. He taught literature. “There are no free rides in 309” was his maxim.
On the first day of class, when I received my literature book, I noticed that a prior student had printed something in very small letters on the book’s cover. Squinting, I saw this sentence, “Remember, this is not a book, it is an anthology!”
At that very moment, Mr. Kuhn hoisted a copy of the same book above his head and said, “Do any of you know what this is?” After giving my classmates an opportunity to give Mr. Kuhn several incorrect answers, I gave the correct one. For those of you who did not have Mr. Kuhn for literature, an anthology is a published collection of writings.
One of the short stories we read in that anthology was “The Outcasts of Poker Flat.” One of the outcasts was a gambler. His advice was to always remember that “Your luck is bound to change.” It is this advice that gets me through days like I was having last Thursday.
I was jolted out of my daydream when my phone rang. There was no caller identified on the screen. I had a decision to make. Should I stop the important work I was doing and answer, not knowing who was on the other end of the call?
Nowadays, some people never answer their phone if they don’t know the caller. Not me. I came of age in prehistoric times before the advent of caller ID. Answering the phone was always a surprise. Besides, it had been a few days since Rachel from card services had called. I was starting to wonder if something had happened to her. Talking to Rachel would be better than what I was doing.
The voice on the other end wasn’t Rachel. The voice was familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. It was the voice of an old guy, weathered and with an aura of wisdom.
He said, “Are you going to the big game tonight?” I explained that my feng shui was out of alignment. I didn’t know what big game he was talking about and, while his voice was very familiar, I couldn’t put a name to it. He said, “This is Cochran, and the big game is I.U. vs Purdue tonight at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. I have your tickets and a parking pass.”
Readers might remember it was Chuck Cochran who sent me to the I.U. - Cincinnati Bearcat football game last fall. My cheering didn’t do I.U. any good that day. Chuck said that he was giving me a second chance. He reminded me that I.U. hadn’t beat Purdue in basketball since February 20, 2016, so I should leave the bad feng shui at home. I promised to do a better job of cheering this time.
With a 7 p.m. tip off, I had no time to waste. I gassed up my foreign car, picked up the tickets, picked up my son, Trent, and headed to Bloomington. The rest is history.
The gambler from Poker Flat was right. I.U.’s luck changed, and they beat Purdue in the final seconds of the game. The fans rushed the floor and pandemonium ensued.
When I arrived home, I thought fellow Addison Times columnist Todd Leonard, a Purdue alumnus, would enjoy reading my firsthand account of I.U.’s glorious victory. I wrote him an email but then didn’t send it. I.U. plays Purdue again, this time at Purdue, on March 5th. You never know when, but sooner or later their luck is bound to change again.
The First Piano in Shelbyville
from the files of DAVID CRAIG
We are fortunate to live in an age of instant entertainment. There is the television, radio, and compact disc players to provide hours of entertainment. For those souls living in the 19th century, entertainment was not so easy to be had. A person who could sing or play a musical instrument was much in demand at social gatherings.
Max Leckner was an early musician in Shelbyville. In the Indianapolis Sun newspaper in March 1912, Mr. Leckner made unfavorable comments on 1850s Shelbyville society. This brought a quick response by the older citizens who remembered that era and Mr. Leckner.
The controversy was over the number of pianos in Shelbyville in the late 1850s and early 1860s. At the time, the instrument was still new and anyone owning one was considered "high society."
The piano was invented in Florence, Italy. Bartolomeo Cristofori was a keyboard designer for the prince, Ferdinand d' Medici, and was given a difficult task. Cristofori was told to design an instrument with the loudness of the harpsichord and the softness of the clavichord. Cristofori designed an instrument that struck the strings with a leather-covered hammer. This allowed the musician to control the volume of the instrument. The new creation was given the name pianoforte. Later, the name was shortened to piano.
Jonas Chickering is given credit for bringing the piano to American homes. Chickering began manufacturing pianos in 1823. Heinrich Steinway soon followed him. Together they made pianos available to middle class Americans.
In 1860, Mr. Max Leckner arrived in Shelbyville. He was very young and spoke broken English. While living in Germany, Max had received a formal musical education. Mr. Leckner’s relatives convinced him to move to Shelbyville. The arrival of such a well-educated musician caused quite a stir in the local social circles. According to Mr. Leckner, at least, only two women in the village could play a piano. They were Mrs. John Elliott and Mrs. Samuel Hamilton.
Several hostesses engaged the young Leckner prior to making invitations to social functions. Mr. Leckner commented how awestruck the locals were to see him in European evening clothes. Since there were supposedly only two pianos in town, several men would transport the instrument to the location of a party. In the article, Max Leckner made Shelbyville appear to be socially backwoods. In 1873, Leckner moved to Indianapolis and became director of the Maennerchor. He successfully managed the Verien until the 1880s. At the time of the article, Max owned a music studio on North Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis. The passing of Mr. Leckner occurred in August 1925.
But there was an instant response to the Leckner article in March 1912. Older citizens found mistakes in the story. Many remembered several pianos in town during the 1850s. They also recalled that more than two women in town could play the pianos. Most of the pianos were Chickerings.
George Kirk, an older resident by 1912, remembered pianos in Shelbyville before 1850. It was believed that the first piano was in the home of Thomas A. Hendricks. The Presbyterian minister, J. C. Caldwell, was remembered to have a piano about the same time as the Hendricks family. The pastor's wife not only played, but gave lessons on the piano. Other piano owners in the early 1850s were Prof. W. F. Hatch, Mrs. Sarah J. Irish and Miss Lizzie Conover.
When the Ray House was constructed, a grand piano was placed in the parlor. In 1858, many music lovers would spend evenings at the Ray House listening to Miss Mary Morely. Miss Morely was a schoolteacher and boarded at the Ray House. She was remembered as a great singer and musician.
Another fondly remembered talent was the daughter of Rev. J.J. Smyth. Rev. Smyth pastored the Presbyterian Church, and his young daughter would perform for the congregation. She also gave piano lessons.
It would appear that Max Leckner's memory was "foggy." The locals that could recall the 1850s had many fond memories of being entertained by piano music.
The Shelbyville High School girls basketball team (10-11) defeated Delta yesterday, 55-17.
Shelbyville High School alumnus Sidney Crowe reached the 1,000-point milestone for the University of Saint Francis women’s basketball team yesterday. She is the 25th player in school history to reach 1,000 points.
HOOSIER NEWS: Hoosiers might have the chance to shop sales-tax-free for a couple of weeks this summer, if a Senate bill succeeds in the Legislature. Senate Bill 325, authored by Republican Sen. Travis Holdman, chairman of the powerful Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, would create a “sales tax holiday” statewide on any retail item purchased July 15-31, making purchases exempt from Indiana’s 7% sales tax. Indiana would be following the lead of 16 other states that have some form of sales tax holiday, including nearby Ohio and Tennessee. Nearly all these states have a tax holiday targeted at families shopping for back-to-school items. Their sales tax holidays typically last two to three days over a weekend in July or August where specific items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies and computers can be purchased with no sales tax applied. The Indiana tax holiday proposed in SB 325 is much broader than any other state’s. It proposes a temporary tax reprieve on any retail purchase. The fate of the bill and where Senate GOP leadership might stand on it is unclear. (Indianapolis Business Journal)
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
The 17 missing Waldron High School televisions were found. A contractor had moved them. “I can’t say as to why they didn’t tell anyone,” Gary Strange, maintenance supervisor, told The Shelbyville News.
30 YEARS AGO: 1992
The Shelby County Health Department took steps to rid the John and North Pike streets areas of rats and trash. Shelby County Sanitarian Robert Lewis conducted a door-to-door survey of the area and put some people on notice that they should clean up their properties. The efforts came as a result of complaints about trash being dumped behind the former Preston-Safeway grocery store and about rats in and around homes. About half of the area residents reported seeing rats or mice in or near their homes.
40 YEARS AGO: 1982
As Shelbyville firemen responded to a fire on Little Marion Road, a woman in the house told Lt. Steve Mummert, “Don’t step on Beastie.” Beastie turned out to be a 6-foot boa constructor. Although two small snakes died from the fire caused by a short in a heat lamp’s wiring, Beastie was put in a plastic bag and saved.
50 YEARS AGO: 1972
Heath’s Shurway Food Center, 2842 East State Road 44, opened.
60 YEARS AGO: 1962
A Manilla area couple escaped injury when their car was struck by a New York Central freight train at the E. Hendricks Street crossing. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rush, in their late 20s, had been traveling west in their 1958 Chevrolet when it was struck by a slow-moving northbound train. The impact carried the car around 40 feet and it received extensive damage.
The first and second floors of the Shelbyville Jester Department Store, 30-32 Public Square, would be remodeled and 5,500 square feet of floor space would be added, company officials announced. The store would expand into 34 Public Square, formerly occupied on the ground floor by Paul’s Shoes.
70 YEARS AGO: 1952
A John St. man arrested for stealing a ton of coal from Hilligoss & Son was sentenced to two to five years by Judge Harold Barger. The man had a long police record, which included several previous burglary convictions.
Graduation exercises were held at Shelbyville Junior High School for the 63 students in the 8-A class. Linda Weicks said a prayer, the choir performed, Joy Berry offered “an appreciation to the class” followed by a response from Donna Gobel, and Dick Ivie sang a solo.
80 YEARS AGO: 1942
The following tire permits were issued by the rationing board: Ronald Myer, 1 obsolete tire; Emerson Lee, 1 truck tire and 1 tube; National Farm Machinery Co-op, 1 tractor tire and 1 tube; Marden Grubb, 2 milk truck tires; J. Omer Berauer, 1 mail car tire; Shelby Sales Corp., 1 truck tube; Harry Totten, 1 obsolete tire; and Frank Ruschhaupt, 2 truck tires.
90 YEARS AGO: 1932
The “Colored News” section of The Shelbyville Republican included the following items: Second Baptist Church was in the midst of a two-week revival. A pitch-in supper was given for Lavena Overby at the William Smith home on Center Street with the following attendees: Martha Stafford, Mildred Handy, Florence Robinson, Hester Long, Georgia Johnson, Elizabeth Holmes and Theoris Blackburn. Also, a group of young people presented a drama entitled “Valley Farm” at the Second Baptist Church.
100 YEARS AGO: 1922
An Army airplane landed in the middle of George Hildebrand’s cow pasture. The cows began a stampede that terminated in the wire fence at the opposite side of the field, resulting in nine concrete fence posts being knocked down. The two Army aviators had been in dense fog and were forced to land. “When the plane passed over Franklin, the pilot was flying so low in an effort to see the ground through the fog and find a landing place, the plane almost scraped the housetops,” The Republican said. (Hildebrand reported his cows had reduced milk flow for several days after “they were almost frightened out of their wits.”)
Portia Anne Powers, 74, of Greensburg, passed away Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg. She was born June 14, 1947, in Gridley, California, the daughter of J. R. and Mary J. (Longacre) Whitten. On June 30, 1997, she married Steven D. Powers, and he preceded her in death on April 19, 2015. Portia is survived by her twin sons, Thomas W. Tucker and Wayne Jerry Tucker and wife, Sharon, both of Greensburg; daughter, Mary Ann McCarty and husband, Mike, of Roseville, California; companion and soul mate, Richard Crosby of Shelbyville; step-daughter (who was like a daughter to her), Peggy Sue Garwood and husband, Jeff, of Circleville, Ohio; 14 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to Steven, Portia was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers and one sister.
Portia graduated from Rio Linda High School, and received her nursing degree from Long Beach City College. She was a nurse at Major Hospital in Shelbyville for 10 years, retiring in 1997. Portia loved working with patients. Portia was a member of Star Baptist Church.
A Celebration of Portia’s Life will be held at a later date. Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.
Online condolences may be shared with Portia’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
Russell "Russ" William Arbuckle, 71, passed away on January 20,2022 at his home near St. Paul, Indiana with his loving family alongside. Russ was born on February 28, 1950 in Bethesda, Maryland to Virginia DeVern (Bissett) Arbuckle and Charles William Arbuckle.
He graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1968 and went on to travel the world as a Mechanical Engineer in the automotive industry. He was known for saying that no matter where he went in the world, all anyone that he met ever wanted was for their kids to have a better life than they had. He succeeded in making that come true for his own family.
Russ is survived by his wife, Susan (Humpert) Arbuckle; his daughter Alexandria Arbuckle; his son Charles Neal Arbuckle; and several grand-pets. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother-in-law, Mark Humpert.
Russ's greatest joy came from spending time with his family. He enjoyed being outdoors and with his animals, working with his hands, figuring out how new machines worked, taking trips and watching movies with his family. He was quick with a smile and had a generous heart. He will be deeply missed by his loved ones.
Funeral services will be 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Glenn E. George Funeral Home, 106 E. Franklin St, St. Paul, with visitation there from 4 p.m. until the time of the service. Please join us as we toast to and celebrate his life. The family kindly requests that all guests wear appropriate facial coverings. Memorial contributions can be made to the Greensburg & Decatur County Animal Shelter, in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared at glennegeorgeandson.com.