Sunday, November 7, 2021
OFF TO THE RACES
Shelbyville’s Blue River Cross Country Course played host to the 2021 National Intercollegiate Running Club Association (NIRCA) Cross Country National Championships yesterday. | photo by JACK BOYCE
Marilyn O'Tain, right center, provides instructions yesterday to local master gardeners and Boy Scouts before the group planted daffodils at Blue River Memorial Park. | photo by JACK BOYCE
Shelby County Native Returns to Local Stage
by ANNA TUNGATE
Bob Schneider returned to the county of his origin this weekend, but much has happened since he was cast as Puffy the Pink Angel in the Little Marion Elementary School performance of “Puffy the Pink Angel” decades ago.
“My teacher must have seen something in me,” Schneider said with a laugh before singing and playing a variety of music Friday night at Pudder’s, downtown Shelbyville.
The SHS Class of 1977 graduate played in several local bands, including his first paid gig in a group called Fox Tooth (Jim Branson was guitar player and Mike Metz was drummer) at Blue River Inn when Schneider was 16. He also participated in countless school choir and theater performances, and can easily name his most influential teacher.
“I don’t even hesitate: Jim (James) Carr,” he said. “He taught me how to put on a show. He got us to where we were singing okay, and then he spent the rest of the time on the show.”
Schneider continued putting on a show while studying at Indiana State University, starting with his first role, in “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which he performed a Russian solo.
“Here I was, the only Jew in the cast and I played one of the only non-Jewish parts in the production,” he said.
And he certainly recalls the conclusion of the piece. “All of a sudden, everything stops and everybody’s looking at me, and I thought, ‘I kind of like this.’”
But three years into his studies, his parents’ Elanjay dress factory (previously Shelby Manufacturers) closed. “Apparel manufacturing moved overseas, and we just couldn’t compete,” Schneider said. He dropped out of college and moved to California, although he later earned a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Schneider now lives in Broad Ripple and performs regularly.
“I do everything from the 1920s to the 2020s, but mostly the 70s,” he said. He started Friday’s show with a Billy Joel tune before moving to Elton John.
“I take requests, and the way it works is if I at least know the melody, even if I’ve never played the song before in my whole life, I will play it for you right now.” He passed that test repeatedly at Pudder’s.
A life of performance has resulted in several memorable moments. A decade ago, Schneider’s band The Snakehandlers was unexpectedly joined by Dan Akroyd of Blues Brothers’ fame during a show at The Slippery Noodle.
But the band’s harmonica player, a rough-and-tumble type, wasn’t in on the plan. With a bright light in his eye, all he could see was a large man heading straight for the band.
“He almost went for his gun to protect himself before he realized it was Dan Akroyd,” Schneider said. “He didn’t shoot him. That was a good thing. That would have made headlines: ‘The Blues Band that Shot Elwood Blues.’”
I graduated from the I.U. School of Law in Bloomington in May of 1980. Jimmy Carter was president. That November, Ronald Reagan won the election, putting Jimmy out of office. In the words of future poet laureate and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin.”
While I was waiting on the ink to dry on my new giant diploma, I went shopping downtown Shelbyville to pick up a few things I would need to begin the practice of law. My first stop was the Todd-Bennett Store for Men for some new lawyer clothes.
My next stop was Hub’s Shoes. Ben Michael expertly measured my feet with a portable metal foot measuring gizmo and laced me up in a new pair of wingtips. Ben said that they were the perfect lawyer shoes. Ben also explained that I would need a pair of rubbers to stretch over my new wingtips when it rained or snowed.
After purchasing a box of No. 2 Ticonderoga pencils and a package of yellow legal pads at Tippecanoe Press, I officially began the practice of law.
Ben Michael was right. Always wearing rubbers over my wingtips during times of inclement weather kept my feet dry and my lawyer shoes looking good. It’s a practice I have maintained all these years. I have noticed in recent years fewer and fewer men wearing rubbers over their shoes. In fact, I don’t remember seeing anyone else wearing them for probably the last 10 years.
I noticed recently that I needed a new pair of rubbers. With Hub’s Shoes being closed, I decided to shop “online.” Even though I was shopping through the ether with 21st-century technology, I found a friendly old name, Jos. A. Bank.
Jos. A. Bank is a famous men’s store with a history dating back to the 19th century. I was in luck. The Jos. A. Bank online store had a little button to click on to take me directly to the rubbers and spats page in the catalog. I couldn’t believe how easy shopping had become in the space age.
I clicked on the link. A picture of a leisure suit appeared along with this statement:
“Looks like this page went out of style back with the leisure suit.”
Jos. A. Bank might be an old company, but it looks like millennials have taken it over. I did laugh. I wondered if the camera on my computer was sending my image to a new reality show, “Boomers caught on candid camera.”
Southwestern High School girls basketball coach Jason West picked up his first win with his new team last night, 49-37, over South Decatur. The Spartans are 1-1 this season.
HOOSIER NEWS: Seventeen Indiana state park sites will be closing their gates to visitors for a pair of two-day deer hunts later this month. The hunts are scheduled for Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 29-30, with the parks closing the evening before and reopening the next day. The annual deer hunts began in 1993. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources directs wildlife biologists to evaluate the parks and determine where the hunts are needed to ensure healthy habitats for native plants and animals. Those parks closing for this year's hunts are Chain O'Lakes, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial state parks, along with Cave River Valley Natural Area and Trine State Recreation Area. Only hunters previously selected in DNR drawings can participate. (WFYI)
NATIONAL NEWS: A federal appeals panel on Saturday temporarily blocked a new vaccine mandate for large businesses, in a sign that the Biden administration may face an uphill battle in its biggest effort yet to combat the virus among the American work force. The stay, issued by a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana, doesn’t have an immediate impact. The first major deadline in the new rule is Dec. 5, when companies with at least 100 employees must require unvaccinated employees to wear masks indoors. Businesses have until Jan. 4 to mandate Covid vaccinations or start weekly testing of their workers. But Saturday’s move provided momentum for a wide coalition of opponents of the rule, who have argued that the new rule is unconstitutional. A group of businesses, religious groups, advocacy organizations and several states, including Louisiana and Texas, had filed a petition on Friday with the court, arguing that the administration had overstepped its authority. It was unclear whether the stay would be a procedural blip for the Biden administration or the first step in the unwinding of the mandate. (The New York Times)
The week, The Addison Times reported on the proposed merging of three voting precincts, creation of a TIF district, updates on each property on the county compliance board’s radar; all city building permits issued in October, details on a new park, and several news and feature pieces, including: New Federal Rules to Require about 30% of Local Workers to get COVID Vaccinations in Shelby County; Proposed Politicization of School Boards Not Welcomed Locally; ‘This is What My Life is Supposed To Be’: Local Woman, 51, Starts First Year of Teaching; and Local Teacher Assisting Educators Worldwide. Subscribe today to gain immediate access to the archives and receive the daily edition! Thank you for supporting locally-owned news.
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: 2001
About 30 members of Shelbyville High School’s Student Council collected $500 in their trademark red buckets trick-or-treating on Halloween in Shelbyville, SHS Principal Mike Johnson announced. Money raised went to Riley Hospital’s outpatient services.
30 YEARS AGO: 1991
Officials at Diversaweb, 521 E. Hendricks St., announced plans to close the local plant and displace 17 workers. The company had performed commercial printing work, including printing “The Trader” and “Wheels and Deals” classified advertising publications.
Ice patches on Shelby County roads, bridges and interstate overpasses were the cause of more than 10 traffic accidents.
40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Kenny and His Court won the Youth Mixed Softball League’s age 12-14 division regular season championship. Team members were Kristi Barnard, Gilly Wheeler, Terri Ledford, Nikki Ensminger, Shelley Caplinger, Valerie Pilk, Missy Collins, Wes Bowers, John Brown, Joe Pilk, Darren Shadley, Tim Barnard and Andy Medsker. Darren Pilk was the coach and Kenny Pilk was manager.
BG’s won the Youth Mixed Softball League’s tournament for 12-14 year-olds. Team members were Desiree Huber, Connie Bolling, Kelly Shaw, Pam Fields, Linda Gill, Gary Cox, Bill Kirschbaum, David Shaw, Jeff Kirschbaum, Sean Couse and Betty Means. Danny Shaw was manager.
50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Shelby County’s United Fund 1972 goal was set for $123,982. The announcement was made following a meeting at the Fuller Center of SCUFFY board of directors. Ray Rogers, general manager of the General Electric Company’s Industrial Heating Department plant in Shelbyville, as a director to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Walter Shambach. James Skinner, general drive chairman, said the county-wide effort was “on schedule.” Also in attendance were Ralph VanNatta, John Schoelch, Richard Wagner, Carl McNeely, Frank Rehme, Loren Dennis, John S. Anderson and Carlos Craven.
60 YEARS AGO: 1961
Shelbyville firemen installed 44 strings of Christmas lights on Harrison St. from Hendricks to Mechanic Streets including the Public Square; on E. Washington St. and on Broadway, both east and west of Harrison St. Also put up were $1,300 worth of holiday streamers and large bells which were purchased by the Chamber of Commerce. The annual Illumination Night was set for Saturday, Nov. 25.
70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Shelbyville voters elected Philip Banawitz, 37, as mayor, Eleanor Vatchett as clerk-treasurer and all but two of the Republican candidates for council. The only Democrats elected were Elmer McNay and Lester Smith, both running for council at-large. Republican council winners were William Reimann, Clyde Campbell, Richard Stith, J. Graham Lemmon and Everett Rhodes. It was the first Republican majority council in Shelbyville since 1906. Banawitz’s great-grandfather, George C. Morrison, had served two terms as Shelbyville mayor, from 1875 to 1877 and from 1891 to 1895. The youngest man ever elected mayor of the city (by 1951) was James Emmert, who was 30 when he was elected mayor in 1925 and was an Indiana Supreme Court Judge by 1951.
80 YEARS AGO: 1941
Brigadier-General D. Wray DePrez retired as commanding general of the 76th Infantry Brigade of the 38th Division at Camp Shelby. Born in Shelbyville in 1884, DePrez had attended local grade schools before entering Culver Military Academy. He later attended Butler and Chicago universities.
90 YEARS AGO: 1931
The American Legion announced plans to make its Armistice Day parade “the greatest and most colorful ever held in Shelbyville. The parade would begin at 10 a.m., starting from Colescott St. and proceeding north on Harrison to Broadway before turning east to Pike St., then north to Washington St., where the line of march would lead west to the Public Square. A speech would be given there. Judges James Emmert and Walter Myers were in charge of the parade organization. Harry McClain was general chairman for the event. Judges for a decorated display window contest would be Leo Moore, Ralph Edwards, Fred Whisman and Fred Cossairt.
100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Local funeral director Ralph Edwards’ ambulance caught fire due to a short circuit and was destroyed. The ambulance was being driven by Leo Moore at the time. There was no patient in the vehicle.
Joe Allen Stucker, Jr., 59, of Fairland, passed away Sunday, October 17, 2021. He was born April 29, 1962, in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Joe Allen Sr. and Charlene Ann (Fuchs) Stucker. On September 5, 1982, he married Janet Elaine Fisher, and she survives. In addition to Janet, Joe is survived by his mother of Shelbyville; sons, Daniel Stucker of Chicago, Illinois, and Bryan Stucker and wife, Krista, of Fairland; daughter, Jessica Jo Pile and husband, Chris, of Shelbyville; sister, Susan Foizey and husband, Richard “Terry,” of St. Peters, Missouri; grandchildren, Kenedie, Keagan, Madison, Grayson, Cora Jo, and Mia; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and an infant brother.
Joe graduated in 1980 from Triton Central High School. As a child, he attended the Fairland United Methodist Church. He retired as a welder, working at Service Engineering and D&V Precision. He was an active firefighter for Fairland Volunteer Fire Department since 1985, where he had served as chief, and held other offices.
Joe was a member of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association, for over 35 years.
He enjoyed attending truck pulls and boating and camping at the family’s summer home on the Ohio River. Joe loved the time he spent with his grandchildren.
A gathering of friends will be from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, November 13, 2021, at the New Life United Methodist Church, 6145 N 400 W, Fairland, Indiana. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will be at Fairland Cemetery with Firefighter Honors. Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Memorial contributions may be made to the Fairland Volunteer Fire Department.
Online condolences may be shared with Joe’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
Lonnie Maurcee Small, 75, of Morristown, passed away Saturday, November 6, 2021, at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born April 27, 1946, in Shelbyville, the son of Jack T. and Maverne (Smith) Small. On August 2, 1969, he married Joyce Unger, and she survives. In addition to Joyce, Lonnie is survived by his brother, Aaron Small and wife, Jan, of Canton, Georgia; nephew, Bart Small and wife, Nicole, of Atlanta, Georgia; great-nephew, Ford Small; and great-niece, Finley Small. He was also survived by his devoted furry friend, Izzy. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Lonnie graduated in 1964 from Shelbyville High School. He attended Indiana University from 1965 to 1966, and Purdue School of Veterinary Science from 1971 to 1972. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving during the Vietnam Era, as a medic. Lonnie was a member of the Morristown American Legion Post No. 102. In his youth, he attended the First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, with his grandmother. He had been a professional dog handler since 1969 and was a member of the Hoosier Kennel Club since 2008. Lonnie was also a member of Morristown Masonic Lodge No. 192 (now Sugar Creek Lodge No. 279) F&AM since 1978; and the National Sojourners Indiana Masonic Home, where he served as a past president. He had served as a past patron for Morristown Order of the Eastern Star No. 316; Ransford Indiana Masonic Home No. 605, and Franklin Order of the Eastern Star No. 439. His other memberships included Fairland Order of the Eastern Star No. 359; and Daylight Court No. 31 Order of the Amaranth.
A gathering of friends will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 14, 2021, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Frazier Chapel, 124 E. North St. in Morristown.
The Celebration of Lonnie’s life will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home, with Brother Cleon Wright officiating. Inurnment will be at Asbury Cemetery in Morristown at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Indiana Masonic Home Foundation, Inc., PO Box 44210, Indianapolis, Indiana 46244-0210.
Online condolences may be shared with Lonnie’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.