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Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Lights and a banner offer season’s greetings at Dana and Robin Mathies’ home on Executive Drive. | photo by JACK BOYCE
City to Consider Parking Restrictions on James Street
The reported narrowing of James Street on its east end creates challenges when cars are parked on both sides of the street. | photo by JACK BOYCE
Parking may soon be restricted on one side of James Street, and the neighbors disagree on who should make the sacrifice.
“We notified all of the homeowners that we were going to discuss it this week,” city engineer John Kuntz told Shelbyville Board of Public Works members yesterday. “I had homeowners on both sides of the street reach out to me saying they want the parking left on their side and eliminated on the other side.”
There have been complaints due to the width of the street, which apparently narrows as it heads west from Frank Street toward the turn connecting it to Morris Ave., near Forest Hill Cemetery. A resident said James Street is 23 feet, 9 inches at the west end and 20 feet, 3 inches at the turn.
That width creates a challenge for the school bus driver who needs to drop off a student at a particular house each day, residents say. There are also concerns about emergency vehicles safely navigating the thoroughfare with cars lining both sides of the road.
Kuntz pointed out that utility poles dot the south side of the street and the north side has fewer homes yet a few extra parking spaces. “If we’re going to eliminate some of the parking, I would like to eliminate less of the parking,” he said, advocating for restricting parking on the south side.
But Gary Doremus, who lives on the south side of the street, disagreed. “The problem is, (north side residents) all have access behind their houses,” he told the board. “They have a driveway and parking spots. They have two access points to their homes; we have one.”
Mayor Tom DeBaun suggested continuing the matter while the city gathers additional input from the fire department and the school bus driver. The board will review the issue again at next Tuesday’s meeting.
“I don’t think you’re going to get 100 percent agreement on anything that we do, but I think it’s necessary for public safety,” board of works member Bob Williams said early in the discussion.
Local Mechanic Restores Range of Antiques
A rusty, 40-year-old Rollfast tricycle and playground toys formerly installed at Morrison Park are just a few of Kenton Jones’s recent restoration projects. | submitted
by KELLEY WALKER PERRY
Nothing pleases Kenton Jones more than repairing and restoring vintage items to their former glory. He can take one look at a banged-up rust bucket of a car or a battered toy train and see what they used to be – and what they can be again, with a little help.
His knack for turning trash into treasure isn’t just a unique pastime. It’s also a way to keep the past alive.
Jones was raised by his grandparents, the late Carl and Mary Van Arsdall. Since they had more love than money, they taught Jones to work hard – and to be resourceful and creative.
“If we didn’t have it, we made it,” he said.
He painted his scratched-up bicycles when he was growing up, rather than buying new ones. Those memories made his first restoration project in adulthood a personal one.
“It was my 1980s-style BMX bicycle that I rode as a kid,” he said. “That one took me a couple of days.”
His grandfather and mentor was a former employee of Ed Martin Ford in Indianapolis. He was also voted the third-best mechanic in the nation – and first in Indiana by Honda Motor Company. It comes as no surprise that his grandson is inclined toward mechanical endeavors.
That inclination gained momentum when the Greenburg factory where Jones worked closed due to COVID.
“I bought an alignment rack, rented the last two bays at Phelps and decided to try to make it on my own,” he said.
Allen Phelps, the owner of Phelps Towing, is a longtime friend. At first, Jones thought he’d just rent space from him and do some minor auto repair.
“It took some major turns I wasn’t expecting,” he said.
Kenton’s Kustoms will have been in business for two years, this coming April. And 47-year-old Jones has broadened his skills to include not only alignments and minor auto repairs, but also classic car work, restoration of all types and airbrush artwork. It’s a fitting career for a guy who took both drafting and shop at Shelbyville High School.
If you’ve ever seen the television reality series, American Restoration, you’ll have some idea what life is like in those last two service bays at 43 McLane Street. So few people still have the knowledge and expertise to work on old cars that Jones is quickly becoming known statewide for his restoration prowess.
He is available every Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Mondays, he works at Ty Branson’s body shop.
“I’d like to expand. It’s just that the rental space for the business is so expensive,” he said. “I just work and try to make it, like everybody else.”
Jones probably repairs and restores classic cars most often, but no item is off-limits.
“I have a love for antiques and vintage things,” he said. “Size doesn’t really matter. I try and take my time.”
He may love all things historical, but his pride and joy is a 1929 Ford Model A.
“I put it all back the way it came from the factory,” he said.
His most difficult project to date has been a 1951 Ford pickup for Vail’s Classic Cars in Greenfield.
“They brought it to me in pieces,” he said – but they got it back in mint condition, and fully assembled.
He’s turned a rusty, 40-year-old Rollfast tricycle into a sweet ride – champagne metallic pink paint with pearl white accents – for a customer’s granddaughter. Another bicycle that “looked pretty rough” when he first got it is now finished and in a window display at The Gallery, 5 Public Square.
Jones has also restored an antique train set and other toys. In fact, some that he completed just days ago are rather unusual – 10 animal spring riders with their faded, goofy smiles frozen in time. The playground toys were formerly installed at Morrison Park; an individual bought them and plans to set them up for his grandkids.
“They might be more for him,” Jones speculated.
Jones’ dream project is the restoration and preservation of a steam engine – mechanical ingenuity from the early days of the American farmland at its finest.
“I’ve seen them at antique tractor shows. It just puts me in awe,” he said.
The most prolonged restoration project Jones has ever worked on has been his father’s 1947 Ford pickup truck.
“I’ve had it three years and I’m not done yet,” he said, laughing.
As first-rate as Jones is at restoring the impossible and adjusting the alignment on classic vehicles, he may be even better at artwork.
In the evenings before bed, Jones turns to artistry to unwind. He’s painted just about everything – from portraits of Jesus, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe to classic Hollywood horror monsters. He’s also painted surreal, thought-provoking subjects: eyes with clock faces or other unusual additions; and a mother trying to help her child through addiction.
Sometimes Jones works on unusual surfaces: for example, he airbrushed Sitting Bull on a tailgate for one customer; and rendered Ragnar Lothbrok from the historical television drama series, Vikings, on a piece of metal. He has begun experimenting with steelwork and recently made a knife worthy of even Crocodile Dundee.
Like most people with artistic temperaments, Jones is a bit of a perfectionist.
“I get aggravated when stuff doesn’t come out like I envision it,” he said.
His passion and attention to detail are sparking an interest in the aesthetic realm, as well as in the mechanical world. Two of his airbrush pieces – a dreamlike eyeball painting and a portrait of Shelbyville author, Charles Major – are exhibited in The Gallery, which is owned by the Shelby Art Guild Association.
“Lately I got vice president of education at the art guild,” he said.
Jones and his wife, Sandra, have a 22-year-old son, Daulton – and, yes, they’ve raised another mechanic with an interest in restoration. Currently, father and son are working together on a 1976 Chevrolet truck.
“He’s taken after me pretty well,” Jones said proudly.
There will be trash collection on Friday, Dec. 24, but no recycling will be collected on the usual Friday route in Shelbyville. It will instead be collected the following Friday, Dec. 31. There will be no trash or recycling pick-up on Monday, Dec. 27. The Monday route will be collected Tuesday, Dec. 28. The Monday recycling route will be delayed until Jan. 3. The Friday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, route will be recycling only, with trash delayed until Monday, Jan. 3. Trash should be out by 7 a.m. “The delayed recycling will cause many routes to have extra, and that’s understandable, especially due to Christmas,” a department social media post said. “If your recyclables don’t all fit in your blue bin, please place your extras in a box or container next to your recycling container, and we will definitely get it.”
Shelby County was designated as “red” in this week’s Indiana Health Department Covid-19 color code advisory map. The county had previously been classified as “orange”.
Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a Sagamore of the Wabash Award to local attorney J. Lee McNeely. The Sagamore, the highest civilian honor given by the state of Indiana, is McNeely’s ninth.
Yesterday, the state reported 67 new positive coronavirus cases from the previous day in Shelby County, and 76 new tests. The number of deaths for Shelby County increased by 3, to 140. The State lists the fully vaccinated number for Shelby County at 22,325, an increase of 30 from the prior day.
HOOSIER NEWS: While the vast majority of soldiers are already vaccinated against COVID-19, the situation is different for some of Indiana’s approximately 11,500 Army National Guard soldiers. Nearly one in three Indiana Army National Guard troops are unvaccinated, according to a statement from the guard. A federal mandate instructs Army national guardsmen and women to be vaccinated by June 30, 2022. Currently, 63 percent of those soldiers are fully vaccinated. (Indiana Public Media)
NATIONAL NEWS: Mounting evidence shows that people are cursing much more than they were prior to the pandemic, thanks to some combination of reduced work-life boundaries, stress and a rise in casualness. An analysis of tweets from Storyful has found that the use of expletives has increased 27 percent between 2019 and 2021, and has increased 41 percent on Facebook. Another profanity-filtering service run by Inversoft found that the volume of filtered words has tripled in the past 18 months on the forums and message board it monitors. (The Wall Street 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: 2001
Shelbyville High School, the Class 3A, No. 5-ranked girls basketball team with a 9-1 record, defeated Yorktown (0-11), 106-33. Gretchen Haehl and Katie Douglas scored all of the team’s 26 points in the first period, and coach John Fair emptied the bench early in the second half. The Bears had 98 points with 35 seconds left when Susan Kolls passed the ball to Haley Wise for a lay-in to reach the century mark. Haehl had 24 points, Douglas scored 21 on 10 of 10 shooting from the field, Gwen Haehl added 13, Kolls scored seven, Allison Berger had eight points and five rebounds and Jessica Horner contributed six points, four assists and four steals. The Golden Bears scored only three three-pointers.
30 YEARS AGO: 1991
Long Acres Addition resident Bert Heinrich once again set up his life-like reindeer display hitched to a sleigh (with Santa Claus, of course).
40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Farmers National Bank filed suit in Shelby Superior Court asking for the appointment of a receiver to ensure the bank received payments for vehicles leased through the defunct Country Ford dealership. Peter DePrez served as Farmers’ attorney. Bob Wood, former Country Ford owner, indicated he had no objections to the suit.
50 YEARS AGO: 1971
A national General Motors publication recognized local man Ernest Engle for his work as president of the Humane Society of Shelby County. The article was entitled, “If Dogs and Cats Could Vote, Ernie Might Well Be President.”
60 YEARS AGO: 1961
Rev. Ralph R. Cross, former local minister, received the Indiana Conference Cane, a recognition that he was the oldest Methodist minister in the conference. Cross, 91, accepted the cane after the passing of Rev. John Carnes, 98, of Richmond. Cross, who entered the ministry in 1907 and retired in 1943, had served at West Street Methodist Church in Shelbyville.
Major Hospital officials announced a new “selective menu” program, giving patients a choice of foods for the first time. For instance, on Christmas Day, a patient could have the “light diet” of oatmeal or corn flakes for breakfast, turkey or roast beef for lunch and chipped beef on toast or beef stew for dinner. Administrator Roland Kohr said the program would cut food waste by reducing the number of patients who refused their meals.
70 YEARS AGO: 1951
The post office was receiving an estimated 1,800 parcel post packages per day via train in the lead-up to Christmas. Postmaster Pleas Greenlee said mail would be delivered on Sunday and completed by Christmas Eve, Monday evening.
80 YEARS AGO: 1941
With new names constantly in the news since the spread of the war to the Pacific, the Republican presented an up-to-date Pacific war map showing distances, major bases and other information of interest to readers.
Almost 1,000 children attended the Elks’ Club annual Christmas party held at The Strand Theatre.
90 YEARS AGO: 1931
“Smiling Ed” McConnell, popular radio singer and pianist, was scheduled to sing at the National Guard Armory, sponsored by the Monte Merry Maids, a YWCA organization composed of Monte Glove Co. employees.
100 YEARS AGO: 1921
The local chapter of the Tri-Kappa sorority gave the 48 boys and girls at the Gordon’s Childrens Orphans Home a surprise Christmas party. Gifts were distributed to each child in addition to cake and ice cream. “When they appeared in the dining room to take their places at the tables, their eyes popped wide in wonder and joy when they saw at each plate a red balloon and a large red apple,” The Republican reported. Girls received dolls and cradles and boys received wagons, games and books.
Two thefts were reported at Walmart.
A vehicle backed into another vehicle that was attempting to enter the Burger King drive-thru.
Burglary was reported in the 9200 block of N. Frontage Road, Fairland.
JAIL BOOK-INS: Thomas R. Carpenter, 63, possession of meth, probation hold; Kasie N. Holman, 32, failure to appear; William H. Love, 62, theft (2 counts); Charles A. Morgan, 37, escape; Jean C. Ramirez-Perez, 26, battery, possession of marijuana, paraphernalia, controlled substance, probation hold; Danna L. Valentin, 26, possession of marijuana, paraphernalia, controlled substance; Selena M. Walden, 55, theft (2 counts); Keith E. Gross, 32, failure to appear.
Rex Bridgford of Shelby County, Indiana, passed away on December 15, 2021, at the age of 82. Born on January 24, 1939, he was the son of Wm. G. F. and Elizabeth (Wilkins) Bridgford. He married Dorothy Lancaster on August 18, 1957. He graduated from Franklin Township High School.
He was a Journeyman Millwright at Local U.A.W 1111, where he retired in 2005. He was a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. He was also a long-time member of The Pioneer Engineer's Club of Rushville, IN. He enjoyed restoring antique tractors, building Hot-Rods, and anything that had to do with Harley-Davidson.
Rex is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Lancaster), his children, Diana Lutes, of Shelbyville, Sheila (Ethan) McDowell, of Kill Devil Hills N.C., Andrew Bridgford, of Morristown, grandchildren, Jessie (Brandon) Everhart, Stephanie (Jonathan) Everhart, Gage Bridgford, Shade Bridgford, Cash Bridgford; great-grandchildren, Kendyll, Avery, Cora, Tessa, Valerie, Eliza, Coleman. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Max, grandsons, Tyler McCormick, Abe Everhart.
A memorial will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are being handled by Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory in Greenfield. Friends may share a memory or condolence at www.erleweinmortuary.com.
Shirley Ann Polston, 80, of Waldron passed away Monday, December 20, 2021 at her residence. She was born May 31, 1941 in Greensburg to Harold Pursley and Freida (Hermish) Pursley. Shirley married Theodore ‘Ted’ Polston on June 21, 1959, and he preceded her in death on March 15, 2007.
Shirley worked at Freudenburg for 50 years. Shopping was her enjoyment.
Shirley is survived by her son, Brian (Lisa) Polston of Muncie; her sister, Sharon Dick; her granddaughter, Kendra Polston; her grandson, Jayson Polston; five great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her son, Kenneth Allen Polston; and two brothers.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, December 23, 2021, at Murphy-Parks Funeral Services, 703 S. Harrison St., Shelbyville, IN. Funeral services will follow at 12 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Greg Albert officiating. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery. Funeral Directors Greg, Sheila, and Stuart Parks are honored to serve Shirley’s family. Online condolences may be shared at www.murphyparks.com.
Luther H. Noel, 88, of Shelbyville, passed away Thursday, December 16, 2021, at his residence. Born June 25, 1933 in Taylorsville, he was the son of Charles and Goldie Noel. He married Martha (Young) Noel on October 13, 1950, and she preceded him on November 5, 2018. Survivors include a son, Larry Noel of Shelbyville; two half sisters, Susie and Crystal; four grandchildren, Amy Baldwin, Amber Morace, Stephanie Hawley, and Ashley Houston; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his spouse; two sons, Gregory and Kevin Noel; four brothers; and two half-brothers.
Mr. Noel was a lifelong resident of this area and attended Shelbyville Schools. He was a self-employed upholsterer with Noel's Upholstery for 46 years, in the same location, retiring in 2009. He was a member of Shelby Senior Citizens. Luther enjoyed fishing, walking, and riding his bicycle. He loved his family and was very family-oriented. He was in the upholstery business for 46 years, and the last project that he finished was Mrs. Major's rocking chair, which is sitting in the lobby of MHP Medical Center.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. on Monday, December 27, 2021, at Glenn E. George and Son Funeral Home, 437 Amos Road. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery. Friends may call on Monday morning at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorial contributions can be made to Main Street Hospice, in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared at glennegeorgeandson.com.