Sunday, June 20, 2021

A View From the Ferris Wheel

As the sun sets on the 172nd annual 4-H Shelby County Fair, it seems as if Mother Nature brought down the checkered flag on the races in the grandstand Friday and Saturday night.  

But the winners were the hundreds and hundreds of 4-H youth that took pride in their workmanship and handling of stock, all the way to the auction.

Fair officials said Saturday evening the Friday and Saturday grandstand events were cancelled. According to Mike Schantz, fair board treasurer, there was some action Friday night for the Tractor Pull but it was stopped short with a heavy downpour.

The staff and management of the Addison Times again offers congratulations to all the 4-H members of Shelby County. / JACK BOYCE

A VIEW FROM MY SCHWINN: Alex, I’ll take State Capitals for $800

by Kris Meltzer

Columnist Kris Meltzer with his father Philip on a Father's Day sometime during the Eisenhower administration.

Dear reader,

This is my first Father’s Day without my father, Philip Meltzer. He died last August 8 at age 94. Near the end, he was very feeble but of sound mind.  

We always enjoyed watching the TV show Jeopardy together. We had been shouting out our answers in the form of a question since the TV had a picture tube and Art Fleming was the host.

My dad also always liked what I would call “stupid jokes.” Among his favorites were, “What do you call a rabbi, a priest and a Baptist minister on a bus?” Answer: passengers. Of course this joke, has a million variations such as, “What do you call a Russian, a Frenchman, and a German on a train?” The answer is always “passengers.” He liked jokes that are just misleading questions, such as, “If a plane crashed on the border of Canada and the U.S., where would they bury the survivors?” Of course, all answers are wrong because survivors wouldn’t be buried. 

During one of my dad’s last doctor appointments, both myself and my sister, Karen, were present. Before conducting his physical exam, the doctor told Philip that she was going to also give him a memory test. The doctor said listen closely to this story because I am going to ask you some questions later.

The story the doctor told was brief. It included the names of a couple who were living in Chicago along with their children. It involved several minor details about the family. After the doctor completed my dad’s physical exam, she proceeded to ask Philip several questions. Philip, without hesitation answered all the questions. He remembered the names of the people, their children, and occupations. The final question the doctor asked was, “In what state did the people live?” The name of the state hadn’t been mentioned in the story. Without missing a beat, Philip said, “They lived in Illinois, and I know that because I know that Chicago is in Illinois.”  Philip continued, “I’ve always been good at geography. When I was a boy, I could name all of the states and their capitals.”

At that moment, my sister Karen and I exchanged a knowing look. We both realized exactly where Dad was this was going. We had heard it a thousand times.  

Philip continued, “I’ve heard some folks pronounce the capital of Kentucky ‘Louis-ville’ and others pronounce it ‘Louie Ville.’ 

“Doc, how do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky?”

The doctor answered, “Louisville.” Those of you who were paying attention in geography class know that how doc pronounced Louisville doesn’t matter.

With a big smile, Philip said, “I myself always pronounce the capital of Kentucky, Frankfort!” 

I don’t know if the doctor really fell for the joke or just played along, but either way it made Dad’s day.

I wish you all a happy Father’s Day. Those of you who still have fathers among the living, do something to make their day.


  • As of yesterday, the state reported 5,014 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 2 from the previous day, out of 20,252 tests, an increase of 20 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 96. The State lists 19,000 fully vaccinated people for Shelby County as of yesterday.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: The Ball State University Board of Trustees on Friday approved a 1.45% tuition and mandatory fees increase for each of the next two academic years, and no rate increases for room, board or parking fees for the 2021-22 academic year.

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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
Shelbyville no longer had its own curfew law. On Aug. 7, 2000, the city had been the first in Indiana to pass a new curfew law. A federal court in July 2000 threw out the old state curfew law as unconstitutional. The Common Council then repealed the city law. City attorney Douglas W. Brown told the council it should repeal its law because the state had passed a new curfew law.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
Triton Central's Beth Walker and Bobbi Thompson were selected to be on the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches all-state tennis team. It was the second time Walker and Thompson were named to the all-state team. They were the first Triton Central tennis players to make the all-state team twice. Tobi Cox had made the all- state team as a singles player two years prior .

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Residents living near the newly installed Geneva bridge were glad the Shelby County Commissioners had the old bridge floor ripped up and a new wooden floor put down in its place. But some residents were shaking their heads after seeing at least one board of the wooden floor popped out of place when vehicles drove over the bridge,. The comissioners ordered County Bridge Inspector Howard Gaines out to the bridge this week to look over the situation and come up with a solution.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Contingent upon receiving final approval from the Comptroller of the Currency, the Fairland National Bank would relocate its main headquarters in Fairland by constructing a new facility nearly three times as large as its then-present office, bank President Robert W. Barger announced. Barger said the bank planned to erect a 5,000-square-foot building on a 5-acre site at a cost of $200,000.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
An Indianapolis man drowned in the Flat Rock River near St. Paul while rescuing his 12-year-old son from the same fate.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Two New York Central passenger trains serving Shelbyville were discontinued and in their places a NYC mail and express truck began operating daily except Sunday between here and Guilford, near Lawrenceburg.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
A list of twenty young men who would be called for induction into Uncle Sam's armed forces July 8, was released by the Shelby County selective service board, in what was the first actual call for men by the local group. The call was for 20 men, to be delivered at the Fort Benjamin Harrison induction center. According to plans, the men would be transported in a "special bus.”

90 YEARS AGO: 1931

A rumor that a charge for the use of the auditorium of the Second Mt. Pleasant church, on the Franklin road for funeral services, was emphatically denied by officials of the church, who stated that every effort was being made to find out who had started the rumor. The following statement was issued: "To correct a statement that has been circulated that the Second Mt. Pleasant Baptist church charges for the use of the building for funeral services to members outside the church, is wrong, and the board wishes it to be known that no charge is made to anyone and that anyone is welcome to use the building for funeral services except during times of regular services.”

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
A Kelleystone arch was constructed at the front entrance of the Shelby County fair grounds by the Shelby County Fair Association. The new entrance had two arches for machines and other vehicles and two arches for people. A new fence was also constructed from the arch to the office of the treasurer.


Charles R. ("Charlie") Olinger, age 84, passed away on June 19, 2021 in Avon, Indiana. He was born February 23, 1937 in Morristown to Sam and Agnes Olinger.

He graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1955 and attended Rose Hulman University.

Charlie married Mary Sue ("Susie") Smith in 1957 and she passed away in 1983. He married Shirley Schoonover Frame in 1984 and she survives.

Charlie and his family lived in Muncie for several years before returning to Shelbyville in 1976 to take over the Olinger Insurance Agency from his father. He retired from the business in 2002.

Charlie was an avid golfer, retiring to South Carolina where he was able to pursue his favorite pastime.

Charlie leaves behind his wife Shirley, his children Lisa (Rex) Brueggeman of Indianapolis, Mike "Pete" Olinger of Shelbyville, and Scott (Heather) Olinger of Plainfield, and his stepchildren Debby (Rick) Bommarito of Indianapolis and David (Joyce) Frame of Dallas Texas. He also leaves behind a brother, Dr. Oren (MaryAnn) Olinger of Muncie.

Charlie was preceded in death by a brother, Gerry Olinger, and great granddaughter Caroline Robison.

Charlie was a loving grandfather to Eric Brueggeman, Kirsten Brueggeman, Tera Jones Ramos, Shelly Olinger, Cole (Moonstar) Olinger, Paige (Jeremy) Robison, Brynn Olinger, Samantha Olinger, Cassi (Nathan) Fuqua, Matt (Lexi) Bommarito, Rachel Frame and Justin Frame and great grandfather to Sophie Olinger.

In addition to playing golf, Charlie was a fan of standardbred horse racing, owning a few horses during his lifetime. He was actively involved in the community, including serving as a member of the Shelbyville Plan Commission, the Shelby County Fair Board, and a member and past president of the Shelbyville High School Athletic Booster Club.

Charlie was much loved and will be greatly missed by his family.

Friends and family are invited to attend an open house to celebrate Charlie's life on Saturday, July 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Occasions Banquet Hall, 415 E. Hendricks Street, Shelbyville.

Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Memorial contributions may be made to the J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys & Girls Club, 710 S. Miller St., Shelbyville, Indiana 46176. Online condolences may be shared with Charlie’s family at