Page 1

Annual meeting in review.

WIN Energy REMC’s




pages 20–24

MAY 2021

from the editor

Coffee Break Coffee has never been my beverage of choice. Although I’ve always adored how it smells, its characteristic bitterness assaults my taste buds. But since I’ve recently discovered caramel frappes — which I’ve decided are my personal “gateway” into the wonderful world of coffee — I’m starting to understand the appeal of an occasional cup of joe. Being a late-blooming newbie to coffee drinking, I decided to do some research into where my coffee journey should take me next. That’s when I discovered some coffee trends that have me seriously rethinking whether I should adopt this habit. Have you heard: the world’s most expensive coffee — called kopi luwak — is made from animal feces? A catlike animal called a civet will eat coffee beans and partially digest them. When those beans go through (and ultimately out) the civet’s digestive system, the enzymes alter the structure of the beans’ protein, reducing some of the acid and thus making a smoother drink. It may taste better, but it sure doesn’t sound appetizing! But that’s not all: there’s coffee made from the coffee beans that rhesus monkeys chew and then spit out. In this case, the saliva alters the enzymes. Meanwhile, a coffee made from beans that have been partially chewed by bats is favored by some coffee aficionados. Coffee-like beverages can also be made from acorns, peanuts, mushrooms, dandelions, figs, and grains like barley and rye. Considering the aforementioned coffee varieties which animals have helped produce, perhaps an acorn “coffee” might be worth a try. Or maybe I should just play it safe and stick with my flavored frappes!


On the menu: August issue: Peppers, deadline June 1.

September issue: Chicken, deadline June 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaway: Two prize packages are available to win this month. The Speedway Chamber of Commerce is providing gift cards ($60 total value) to two restaurants showcased on pages 18-19. Meanwhile, the Noble County Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering a gift package spotlighting area businesses and attractions ($100 value). For details and to enter, visit Entry deadline for giveaway: May 31.

Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters

and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website; email; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.

VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 11 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator Stacey Holton Director of Creative Services Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.

MAY 2021







03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Surge protectors: What you need to know to keep your gear protected.


14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Noble County. 15 INDIANA EATS


cover story 20 COVER STORY The wonder of wandering: Life off the highway.

Speedway’s ‘downtown’


offers plenty of good eats.

26 BACKYARD Bees, butterflies like turtlehead flowers.

18 FOOD Kabob recipes are all a’skewered.



Indiana Connection


27 OUTDOORS Turkey buzzard’s vicious cousin.


28 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 29 SAFETY Electrical hazards can exist in the office, too. 30 PROFILE History of electric co-ops traced through life of original member.

On the cover Phil Anderson spreads his well-worn Indiana county road atlas on the hood of his SUV. The atlas is the one he used for almost 40 years to chart and keep track of his quest to visit every named city, town and crossroad community — 2,230 in all — in the state. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION


MAY 2021

Doing Annual Meeting

Differently CONTACT US Toll Free:  800-882-5140 Local: 812-882-5140 Fax: 812-886-0306 AUTOMATED EXPRESS SERVICES For outages and payments, call:  888-456-9876 OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday VINCENNES OFFICE 3981 S. U.S. Highway 41 Vincennes, IN 47591 PRINCETON OFFICE 1314 W. 100 N. Princeton, IN 47670 SULLIVAN OFFICE 2044 W. State Road 154 Sullivan, IN 47882 UNDERGROUND LINE LOCATING Please call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig. 2021 OFFICE CLOSINGS New Year’s Day: Jan. 1; Good Friday: April 2; Memorial Day: May 31; Independence Day: July 5; Labor Day: Sept. 6; Veterans Day: Nov. 11; Thanksgiving: Nov. 25 and 26; Christmas: Dec. 24 and 25; METER READING DATES Cycle 1: May 2; Cycle 2: May 7; Cycle 3: May 16; Cycle 4: May 25; Cycle 5: June 1; Cycle 6: June 1. MAY TREE TRIMMING LOCATIONS Tree trimming crews will be in the following townships this month: SULLIVAN Fairbanks

VIGO Prairie Creek Prairieton

Specific locations can be found at      Like us on Facebook

In the past year,

of the cooperative from 2019 and

we have all made

2020 were distributed to attendees in

changes in the way

written annual reports. My message

we work, shop,

to members reflected how we have

attend events,

all been impacted by the challenges

eat out, and even

of the past year and how your

visit family. Doing

cooperative remained on the front line

things differently has become the

to continue providing the essential

“new normal,” especially in light of

electric service you rely on. Though

the pandemic. To keep our members

we faced challenges, adversity,

and employees safe and healthy, your

and uncertainty, we grew stronger

cooperative got creative and came up

together. No matter what challenges

with a way to conduct the WIN Energy

we face, you can rest assured we will

REMC Annual Meeting differently.

always be on the front line to serve

On March 27, the 2021 WIN Energy REMC Annual Meeting was conducted as a drive-thru style event. It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. Our employees were ready.

you. Our priorities remain the same – keeping the lights on, providing affordable electricity, offering top-notch member service, and giving back to our communities.

When member-consumers began

If you were able to attend the annual

arriving, they adjusted well to the

meeting this year, we want to hear

different meeting style. I am ecstatic

from you. Let us know what you liked

to report we had 660 registered

and what we could do better. Member-

member-consumers in attendance –

consumers who attended the drive-

the largest crowd we have ever had!

thru annual meeting will be receiving

As attendees entered the parking lot at

a short survey by mail. Please give

the school, they were directed through

us your feedback. It is important for

the registration route and asked to

us to know how we can better serve

tune into the WIN Energy REMC

you. Thank you again for all who

radio broadcast to hear reports and

participated in the meeting. We look

messages from our staff. Thank you to

forward to seeing you again next year!

all who attended the meeting for your continued participation in the business of your cooperative.


Since we were not able to meet all together in person, business reports

OFFICE CLOSED In honor of Memorial Day, the WIN Energy REMC offices will be closed on Monday, May 31.

MAY 2021


Annual Meeting in Review Thanks to our members who registered at our first WIN Energy REMC drive-thru annual meeting on March 27! There were 660 members who registered in the Vincennes Clark Middle School parking lot. Members who attended could listen to our annual meeting broadcast on a dedicated radio station during their drive. The door prizes that members received this year were a $5 electric bill credit, an LED lightbulb, an LED nightlight, chip clip, and an insulated cooler bag. Congratulations to the grand prize winner, Martin Warren of Terre Haute, who won the John Deere riding lawn mower. Registered members also had a chance to win one of 125 attendance prizes. The list of attendance prize winners is featured below.

Grand Prize Winner

Ollie Doublemont, Petersburg

Stephen Lawyer, Petersburg

Larry Shafer, Princeton

Martin Warren, Terre Haute

David Douglas, Patoka

David Lofton, Shelburn

James Sievers, Vincennes

$50 Electric Bill Credit Winners

Kenny Douglas, Princeton

James Loveless, Petersburg

Raymond Sievers, Vincennes

Howard Downey, Vincennes

Michael Loveless, Petersburg

Rick Sievers, Vincennes

Donald Abrams, Oaktown

Eric Drew, Winslow

Daniel Mackey, Bicknell

Jerry Smith, Francisco

Beverly Adams, Monroe City

Robert Ellermann, Vincennes

Robert Martin, Shelburn

Sandra Stewart, Monroe City

Linda Aldridge, Sullivan

Ed Elliott, Bicknell

James Mast, Oaktown

Penny Strader, Bruceville

Daniel Ashley, Bruceville

Robert Ellis, Terre Haute

James McCarty, Vincennes

Harry Stuckey, Patoka

Matthew Ault, Vincennes

James Evans, Bruceville

Kenneth McCulloch, Fairbanks

Carol Sutton, Petersburg

James Beaman, Wheatland

Joe Fears, Hazleton

Dale McKain, Carlisle

Robert Swank, Vincennes

Reba Benson, Owensville

Byron Fourman, Bicknell

Cynthia Meadors, Sullivan

Terry Talley, Sullivan

Joyce Berryman, Sandborn

Jamen Frederick, Petersburg

Marilyn Mengedoht, Oaktown

James Tepool, Poseyville

Sheldon Black, Wheatland

Michael Frey, Vincennes

William Meyer, Vincennes

Kyle Blubaum, Vincennes

David Gaines, New Harmony

Arnold Miller, Sullivan

Catherine Thompson, Vincennes

Linda Boyd, Bruceville

Edgar Gentry, Carlisle

Harry Molesworth, Vincennes

Nella Brashier, Sullivan

Mark Gray, Vincennes

Jonathan Montgomery, Otwell

William Breidenbaugh, Otwell

Michele Groves, Vincennes

James Nevins, Terre Haute

Mike Brocksmith, Vincennes

Daniel Gutzweiler, Evansville

Beverly Nowaskie, Vincennes

Nancy Brown, Decker

Mike Gwaltney, Bruceville

Sam Padgett, Winslow

Donna Burdette, Terre Haute

Linda Hagemeier, Bruceville

Leon Perry, Oakland City

Anthony Burkhart, Vincennes

Rita Hagerty, Monroe City

William Ping, Owensville

Michael Carter, Decker

Gregory Hamm, Petersburg

Nathan Rastl, Vincennes

Walter Catt, Monroe City

Jerry Harbin, Petersburg

Karen Reader, Owensville

David Chanley, Vincennes

Kevin Hauptli, Terre Haute

Garland Richter, Oaktown

Alma Chattin, Bicknell

Virginia Hess, Vincennes

Mark Ridgley, Bruceville

John Cockerham, Monroe City

Charles Hollinshead, Sullivan

Todd Risley, Vincennes

William Cockerham, Monroe City

Michael Holscher, Oaktown

Frank Roales, Vincennes

Joseph Hurst, Princeton

Dan Roehm, Farmersburg

William Cropper, Princeton

Keith Jennings, Owensville

Michael Rotramel, Carlisle

Michael Crowder, Terre Haute

Michael Johnson, Decker

Leroy Culp, Vincennes

Jacob Jones, Vincennes

Lindau Schluessler, Edwardsport

Betty Dailey, Vincennes

Charlotte Junkin, Vincennes

Marilyn Dickerson, Petersburg

David Knowles, Owensville


MAY 2021

Michael Sebella, Monroe City Steven Seibel, Decker

Linda Thompson, Otwell Norman Truccano, Sullivan Rick Twitty, Vincennes Don Vencel, Terre Haute Brian Vieck, Vincennes Maurice Vieck, Vincennes Ernest Vieke, Bruceville Mark Voyles, Patoka Josefa Wade, Oakland City Todd Waldroup, Carlisle Robert Wardell, Sullivan Jess Watjen, Wheatland Andrew Webb, Sullivan Robert Webber, Vincennes Karl Weber, Princeton Shirley Williams, Terre Haute Edward Woosley, Bruceville Charles Young, Vincennes

Directors Elected at 2021 Annual Meeting Two director seats were up for election at this year’s annual meeting. The members that registered at the annual meeting elected the following directors to represent the membership in their districts. • Harley Drake, District 6 • Phillip Carter, District 7 District 3 was vacant due to the passing of WIN Energy REMC Board Chairman Dan Schuckman. Being as no petitions were filed for District 3, the WIN Energy REMC board appointed Chad Thomas to fill the vacancy.





2021 National Survey on the 'Cooperative Difference' Launching Soon Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

The survey is optional; however,

TSE Services is a cooperatively

(TSE Services) will soon be

WIN Energy REMC encourages

owned research company that

offering member-consumers the

consumers to participate.

has annually gathered (data or

opportunity to share their thoughts on what makes the “cooperative difference.” Member-consumers may be contacted to share their opinions via online surveys or by a simple telephone conversation. When member-consumers participate in the survey, they will be sending WIN Energy REMC direct feedback about how they feel the co-op is doing in the areas of customer service, cooperative value, satisfaction, and reliability along with several other components. Consumer insight provides the very foundation WIN Energy REMC needs to make continuous improvement and ultimately provide better service. The survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete, and members may be contacted as early as May 3 through June 2, 2021. While survey questions will address customer satisfaction matters, reliability perceptions, and coop strengths and weaknesses, consumers may also be asked their opinions on renewable energies, electric vehicles, and emerging technologies.


MAY 2021

The research professionals performing the survey adhere to strict confidentiality criteria. You will never be asked for your name, address, account number, banking or credit card information or payment of any type. Anyone with questions or concerns about the survey should contact 800-882-5140 or via email at info@

information) from members since 2004. The National Survey on the Cooperative Difference helps WIN Energy REMC to improve its service to the consumer, using firsthand information provided by those who know it best. The information shared will help WIN Energy REMC see where it stands and will show where it stacks up nationally against other utilities and electric co-ops, similar in size and service.



What you need to know to keep your gear protected Those dusty black

TV, Blu-ray player,

it is a surge protector.

Fact: Spend what you

boxes stuffed behind

streaming device like a

This number indicates

find reasonable but be

entertainment centers

Roku or Apple TV, and a

how much energy the

sure you have a unit that

that connect all of

stereo receiver. The cost

device can absorb before

is UL 1449 rated. This is a

our devices can be

of this equipment could

failing. If still uncertain,

test standard conducted

misleading. While some

be a big number.

search the model

by Underwriters

number online to verify

Laboratories for this type

its capabilities.

of electric equipment. If

value of being aware of

Myth: My equipment is

you want to then review

the level of protection

protected because I turn

specific details, look for

you have.

it off.

devices with the most

energy the other is just a

Myth: These devices are

Fact: This is a good first

convenient way to plug

basically all the same

step, but it needs to be

in a lot of devices.

if they have an on/off

followed by unplugging


devices from the wall

Fact: Not true. One way

to be protected from

of these devices are surge protectors, others are simply power strips. While one can help protect your equipment during a surge in

Why is this important to know? Take a moment to calculate the cost of everything you have powered in your entertainment center:


MAY 2021

Add a spring storm and you can begin to see the

to determine if you have a surge protector is to


events such as a direct lightning strike.

see if a joules rating is

Myth: For the best

listed on the back of

protection you have

the device. If it has this,

to spend hundreds of dollars.

by Zach Motsinger Member Services Technician Orange County REMC



CLARIFICATIONS Our April cover story featured a sidebar “Can I Recycle That?” on page 23. A number of readers from around the state have pointed out information in the article about what can and cannot be recycled and how recycled items should be prepared is inconsistent with their local recycling centers. As with any general article in a statewide or national publication, please always check first with your local sources to learn more about their requirements and guidelines. Our March issue featured an article titled “What Happens When a Pole Goes Down” which did not fully address all the steps needed to replace a broken utility pole. When a new hole must be dug, lineworkers on the scene must make an emergency locate call to Indiana 811 to ensure there are no buried utility lines on the site. It can take several hours before someone from Indiana 811 arrives and inspects the area to ensure the hole for the new pole can safely be drilled.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Indiana Connection wants to hear your stories about this fateful day and see your photos. What were you doing when you heard about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? Do you have a personal connection to the events that happened that day? How did Sept. 11 change your life? We will publish some of your stories and photos in our September issue. If we publish your story or photo, we’ll send you a check for $50. We’ll also send $50 to a randomly selected reader who sends us their recollections. The deadline to share your stories and photos is July 6. Send them to us at or mail us at Indiana Connection, Sept. 11 Stories and Photos, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240.

Marketplace Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. A limited number of display ads (such as the one

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e s t. 1 9 2 2

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Technically, even if the old pole is being pulled out and a new pole is being placed in the same hole, the old hole needs to be augered out and, thus, an emergency locate is required. This call to Indiana 811 may add some time to the job but will help ensure the pole restoration is done safely and without potential damage to buried utility lines.


8 am – 4 pm; Rain or Shine Weekly Antique Auction

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Gene Stratton-Porter’s Cabin at Wildflower Woods

county feature

Noble County Noble County is situated in northeastern Indiana’s “lake country.” And two lakes — or rather, a series of nine connecting lakes and one other — are especially significant in the county’s culture and its attractions. The Chain O’Lakes State Park, in south central Noble County, is a series of serene kettle lakes — created by the melting glacier that covered much of Indiana some 13,00014,000 years ago. The park includes 212 surface acres of water. The lakes are interconnected by narrow wooded channels and can be enjoyed with boats powered by paddles or electric motors. Amenities at the park include overnight family cabins, a campground, beach, and picnic shelters, along with rentals for canoes, paddleboats, kayaks and rowboats. There are also 23 miles of forested trails to hike. In north central Noble County is Sylvan Lake. The untouched natural beauty of the area near Rome City lured famed Hoosier writer, naturalist and nature photographer Gene Stratton-Porter to the county in 1912. She made the move as the Limberlost wetland near her home downstate in Geneva was being destroyed for commercial purposes. With the wealth she had attained from her writing career inspired by Limberlost that had begun a decade earlier, Stratton-Porter purchased property overlooking Sylvan Lake and made plans for a new home. The vast, undeveloped forest provided a rich source of material for her nature studies, writings


MAY 2021

and photography. The yearround, two-story, 14-room cedar-log cabin she designed was completed in 1914. Her home became known Cabin in Wildflower Woods. In addition, she helped preserve endangered plants in the area by gathering seeds and sowing them in her gardens. In 1919, Stratton-Porter relocated to California where she continued to write and founded a movie studio. Eight of her novels were eventually produced as motion pictures. She died in Los Angeles in 1924, at the age of 61, from injuries she suffered in a traffic accident. In 1940, the Gene Stratton-Porter Association purchased Wildflower Woods from Stratton-Porter’s daughter who was the sole heir of her estate. In 1946, the association donated 13 acres of property to the State of Indiana, including the cabin, its formal gardens, orchard, and a pond. The present-day Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site of 148 acres of fields, woods and formal gardens, includes 20 acres that were part of her original estate. In May 1999, Stratton-Porter’s descendants returned her remains and those of her only daughter to Wildflower Woods for burial near the cabin.

y t n u o C acts F



NAMED FOR: Noah Noble, governor of Indiana at the time POPULATION: 47,532 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Albion INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 57 To learn more about the Gene StrattonPorter State Historic Site, call 260-8543790, or visit historic-sites/gene-stratton-porter. To learn more about the Chain O’Lakes State Park, call 260-636-2654 or visit

The cabin and grounds are open to the public from April through December. The grounds are open daily from dawn until dusk; guided tours of the first floor of the home are available for a small admission charge. Furnishings in the home are arranged and maintained to reflect Stratton-Porter’s lifestyle. Much of the furniture and personal collections, including her library, are preserved at the home.

Indiana eats

Down on

MAIN STREET Speedway’s ‘downtown’ offers plenty of good eats

Speedway, Indiana, may most famously be known as the home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But race fans shouldn’t overlook the town’s six-block long downtown area just walking distance from the south end of the track for a taste of small-town charm and a comparatively large selection of podium-caliber restaurants to satisfy a variety of tastes. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

MAY 2021





1182 Main St.


1002 N. Main St.

317-757-3250 speedway


Signature Pulled Pork atop a sandwich, pizza or nachos



Charcuterie Tour: a selection of locally cured meats; local cheeses, preserves and honey comb; bread and butter pickles; almonds; dried fruits, mustard, Kalamata olives and toasted baguette




Pulled Pork Nachos from Big Woods

Larry’s Haystack: a “knife and fork” sandwich with two sausage patties, two scrambled eggs, American cheese, hash browns, and grilled onions on sourdough toast covered in sausage gravy







Tavern-Style Pizzas


Garlic Knuckles from Brozinni Pizzeria

1067 Main St.


New York-Style Pizza Garlic Knuckles


MAY 2021

Tavern-Style Pizzas from Daredevil Brewing

Indiana eats

Reuben Sandwich from Dawson’s on Main



1464 Main St.

1552 Main St.







Reuben Sandwich Crab Cake Dinner




DON’T MISS: The tacos — especially the Al Pastor


Sample several of the smoked meats by ordering a platter. Be sure to try the Beef Brisket and the Wings.

Irish Meatloaf Fish and Chips

After “fueling up” at one of downtown Speedway’s eateries, check out the nearby Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

MAY 2021


food SHRIMP KABOBS Amy Stoll, Montgomery, Indiana

1 cup Italian dressing 2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 large onions 16 fresh mushrooms 2 green peppers 16 cherry tomatoes In a large resealable bag combine ½ cup Italian dressing and shrimp. Cut each onion into 8 wedges. In another bag combine veggies and remaining Italian dressing. Seal bags; turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and discard marinade. On 8 skewers, thread the shrimp and veggies. Grill the kabobs on medium heat, turning on each side until the shrimp turns pink.


1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into bite size pieces or use 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained

1 beaten egg ¼ cup breadcrumbs 2 T. cilantro or parsley Dash of red pepper 2 cloves garlic ¼ t. salt 1 lb. lean ground beef ¼ cup finely chopped peanuts

1¼ cups bottled sweet and sour sauce Toothpicks

Patricia Piekarski, Harvey, Illinois

In bowl, combine egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro or parsley, red pepper, garlic and salt. Add ground beef and peanuts; mix well. Shape into 36 meatballs. Place meatballs in shallow pan. Bake in a 350 F oven about 20 minutes. Drain.


MAY 2021

Thread a pineapple chunk and a meatball on each toothpick. Return to baking pan. Repeat with remaining meatballs and pineapple. Brush with some sweet and sour sauce. Bake 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining sauce. Brush over meatballs before serving. To make ahead: Prepare meatballs as above. Cook and cool. Cover and chill up to two days. Continue as above with fruit.




a’skewered BAR BELL KABOBS American Dairy Association Bananas Whole fresh strawberries, washed Green grapes, washed Bite-sized cubes of Colby cheese 1 (8 oz.) carton strawberry flavor low-fat yogurt

Peel banana; cut into thick slices. Cut green stem and leaves off of strawberry tops. For each kabob, put the following on a thin wooden skewer in this order: strawberry, banana slice, cheese, two grapes, cheese, banana slice, strawberry. Stir yogurt in carton. Dip kabob in yogurt as you eat it. (Make as many kabobs as you’d like.)


½ t. cinnamon ½ t. nutmeg

Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana

¼ t. ground cloves

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ inch chunks 1½ T. olive oil

½ t. red pepper flakes

1 lb. bacon ¾ cup brown sugar ¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ t. cayenne pepper Preheat oven to 375 F. Place cut sweet potatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside. Do not separate bacon. Cut bacon into fourths. In a small bowl, combine sugars and spices. Pour spice and sugar mixture onto

a large, rimmed baking sheet. On each metal skewer, slide a chunk of sweet potato, then one slice of bacon. Repeat until the skewer is full but don’t push too tight together. Roll each skewer in the spiced sugar mixture. (You may need to press it onto the potatoes and bacon.) Bake about 30 minutes until potatoes are tender and bacon is done. FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECTI O N STA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R M ARAN I O N

MAY 2021




wonder of


The McAllister Covered Bridge in Parke County was built in 1914. PHO TO S P RO V I DE D BY PH I L ANDE RS O N

By Richard G. Biever

“What’s the difference between wonder and wander?” pondered Phil Anderson rhetorically. It begins with a subtle — yet internally rapturous — “oooh” and “aaah.” “It’s just a letter,” he said. “Wonder and wander go hand-in-hand. Why do you wander? It’s because you wonder. Curiosity … wonder: It’s what makes you get off the highway.”

Off the highway, but on the back roads, is where Anderson has spent much of his life. At 61, the Carmel resident may be the only person to ever visit every Indiana city, town, hamlet, burg and wide spot in the road — all 2,230 of them. Over the past 40 years, he made it his goal … then a mission … to underline each visited “place” shown in his atlas of Indiana counties until every named place in all 92 counties was underlined. His traveling was completed in November 2016 — as he and his wife, Beth, who often accompanied him on his journeys,


MAY 2021

visited the last unmarked place, Friendship in Ripley County. Anderson now hopes to connect all the information, history, geography and culture he gleaned in his journeys into various media that others will find interesting and useful. He hopes to inspire others to pursue the wonder of wandering in their own ways. He’s already begun a website that brings his blog together with others’ travels. He’s also slowly been assembling a book, probably still a few years from publication. While he’s not sure what it will be, he knows what it won’t be. It’s not going to be merely a travelogue — notes and thoughts about starting at point 0 and traveling to point 2,230. That’s not how he traveled. Anderson’s wandering was done through hundreds, if not thousands, of visits and day trips first conducted as an FFA officer, then as a salesman into rural Indiana, and then as planned out weekend excursions with Beth. One thing it will be is a memoir of his travels with her. Beth Anderson indulged him in his wandering and served as navigator on many trips. An accomplished

Phil Anderson with his wife, Beth, on one of their wanderings; and with their kids, Rachel, right, and Jessamyn in a photo from New Harmony, their favorite place in Indiana, in 1998. Their daughters are now 31 and 28.

writer and corporate communicator, she helped plan and document the journeys. After first being diagnosed with skin cancer in early 2019, Beth died at age 59 in August 2019 from a rare complication from the medical treatment she was receiving. Her illness and passing detoured the project. But now Anderson is finding joy in revisiting the memories they shared of their journeys. “She always enjoyed getting out there,” he said. “She was a wonderful wandering partner. She would be the one who would say just as soon as we got out of town, ‘Surely we’re not gonna stay on the highway.’ And, so, the book and website, everything is called ‘Life Off the Highway.’”

BEGINNINGS Back in the 1980s, before states began offering a myriad of personal and specialty license plates, Indiana’s standard plate bore the word “WANDER” in red letters at the top and “INDIANA” in white across a spring green bar at the bottom. At the time, the state’s tourism campaign was “Wander Indiana.” The plate was ridiculed by many Hoosiers. The red letters stood out much more than the white, making people wonder if Hoosiers were from the state of Wander. Anderson said he always liked the plate. Being in a state of Wander, or wonder, is a good thing, he reasoned. Its arrival on bumpers came just as he began rolling his odometer with many wandering miles as an agricultural supplies salesman after graduating from Purdue University. Anderson grew up on a farm near Frankfort. His parents always encouraged his curiosity, giving him a book on Indiana place names that sparked his interest in Indiana

The state license plate from 1985-87 carried the state’s tourism slogan at the time, “Wander Indiana.” It was in this time frame when Anderson began his wandering (and wondering) all about Indiana.

geography. Sunday afternoons often included a long drive with his dad under the pretense of looking at crops. The drives meandered around, never backtracking. “He taught me to drive one way to a destination and then another route on the return trip.” Anderson’s first real taste of wandering the state came when he served as an Indiana FFA officer in 1979-80 while at Purdue. During the year, he and six fellow officers traveled over 100,000 miles visiting local school chapters, media outlets, agribusinesses, and program partners throughout Indiana. “The way we did that, I refer to now as ‘looping.’” He’d plan his routes to visit several chapters on each trip, creating a loop from start to finish, not retracing his path. Also in college, he had a job with a seed company covering several counties in western Indiana. “I’m driving all over putting up plots, field signs, delivering soybeans. And I mean, this is rural. I didn’t deliver that stuff in town.” After college, he took a job as a fertilizer salesman in southeastern Indiana and learned that roads are not always flat or straight as they were in Frankfort or in western Indiana. To help him make his sales visits, his boss suggested he purchase a county-by-

county road atlas to help him find the back-road connections between clients. This became his early “GPS” revealing every paved and unpaved road in every county. Some of the roads, he would discover, seemed to have existed only on the map; they weren’t there when he tried to drive them. As he traveled his territory, he would drive through small towns and hamlets. He also began collecting books and old maps that told of Indiana’s place names, history, and natural spaces. He started to visit many of the dots in the atlas wondering which spots might be interesting. “I’m looking at this map. And I’ve got customers that are here … and over here,” he noted with his finger. “So, I would make it a point: Take that road. Go there. See what’s out there.”

JOURNEYS With his tattered atlas as the official guide, he had started marking all the places where he had been. By the mid-1990s, he realized just how many places he’d been to and how many more were left. That’s when he decided he should just explore them all. “So that became a mission,” he said.



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 “We’d go through and mark and mark and mark and mark. I have spreadsheets. I knew what I’d been to, what I hadn’t been to,” Anderson explained. “In the beginning, it was just doing sales work and ‘I wonder what that town is? I don’t know. I’ll go through it.’ So, it was accidental for 15-18-20 years. And then all of a sudden, I decided to go crazy.” Despite changing careers over the decades, he never veered far from rural and small town Indiana. He would serve as chief staff officer for four non-profits in agriculture and rural community development and finally as a private consultant — helping organizations and communities “connect the dots” strategically in their thinking. All of these experiences continued taking him off the highways. Beth also began traveling with him on a number of weekend trips. They’d stay at bed and breakfasts, visit antique shops and crisscross the counties. “I’ve seen beautiful valleys, stark prairies, and rivers, hills, and streams,” he blogged about his journeys. “I

As Phil Anderson visited places shown in his Indiana county road atlas, he began underlining them. It then became a mission to visit and underline them all.


MAY 2021

have visited parks, antique stores, wineries, stayed at local inns, eaten at restaurants, seen historic buildings and markers, and so much more.” He became fascinated by the state’s varied topography and history and how county roads connected to them. In the flatlands, the roads generally run true eastwest, north-south. In the south-central Hoosier uplands where the glaciers stopped and along the Ohio River, roads seem to have no visual rhyme or reason, following the crazy contours of the land. Then in Knox and Clark counties, Indiana’s two oldest counties, the roads are gridded on a diagonal following French geographical survey methods. On one trip, he found an old map showing all the railroads. It answered his wondering why some towns in the middle of nowhere seemed aligned with others on a straight line or arc. It’s because they had been on a “line.” “Oh, that’s why those towns are there … that’s where the railroads went.” He also began learning not to trust his map when it came to some places. “I’ve learned that some of them just don’t exist. They’re on the map. They’re in the atlas, but they don’t exist. So I have pictures of Martin [in northwest Vanderburgh County]. You can see where the railroad went across the road, but there’s nothing there. And we went up to finish Porter County. We had eight places left. We found four.”

Traveling off the highways certainly made his journeys longer, often doubling and tripling the drive time. And coming up empty trying to find a destination no longer there might make some folks scratch their heads and scoff about the waste of time and gas. But here’s the thing, Anderson underscored: “The journey is more important than the destination.” That’s especially true when the destination turned out to no longer exist. In the journey to one spot, he would pass through a half dozen others. In a little town or crossroad, he’d get to wondering about an old substantial three-story structure, still standing but obviously long deserted. He’d figure out what it was by reading the cryptic placement of screws left behind that once held the letters on the building’s facade. Or he’ll wonder about the series of old ornamental concrete posts, standing like sentries, along county roads. Things he’d see, or couldn’t find, would spark more questions than he had when he had

left home. “I’m curious: What makes it a place; and then what makes it stop being a place?” When Beth was able to join him, the destination became even less significant. “In many cases, they’re just dots on the map, but my memories are so much more. It was about the journey. In that journey, we learned about us.” And, he said, sometimes, out in the rural places, they discovered much more than what was ever shown on any map. “We were very active in our church. But my mother, especially, had taught me that God is in everything around us. So, I could feel in touch with God sometimes better on a back road than in the church pew. “There are times when we were out there, we’d find a sunset. You come over a crest and go, ‘Wow! This is what God’s creation’s about … amazing feelings of being in God’s presence. And if I find it now, then I find that moment with Beth.”

FRIENDSHIP On Nov. 19, 2016, Phil and Beth reached the final destination: Friendship. The unincorporated town, famous for its national muzzle loading competitions, sits at the hub of a junction of five counties: Ripley, Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland and Jefferson. It’s in the area where he began his first job and bought the atlas, but he had never gone there. In mid-2015, he had 133 places to go spread over 31 counties. That’s when they decided to meticulously plan out the final road trips. They were intentional in choosing Friendship as the last stop. “Southeastern Indiana is where Indiana began,” he said. “What a good place to finish.”

Phil and Beth celebrate arriving at the last destination in his quest to visit all 2,230 cities, towns and crossroad communities in his Indiana county atlas on Nov. 19, 2016. Beth surprised him with the sign.


simple steps to become a


As they drove into Friendship that evening, Beth turned to Phil and asked, “How do you feel? This has been a long time — 37 years — and you’re done. How do you feel about that?” Thinking for a second and with a bit of relief, he said, “I don’t have to go back to any place I don’t want to go.” She then pulled out two signs he didn’t know she made and had with her. One said, “You made it!” with “#2,230” and the date. She took a picture of him holding the sign. “That’s not the one I like,” he said. The other sign said, “We did it!” That’s the one he loves. “Did she go to all those places with me? No, but if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have gotten to all. That was powerful. That was her attention to detail, pulling that out.”


Phil Anderson knows a thing or two about wandering. In 2016, he completed his goal of visiting all of Indiana’s 2,230 cities, towns, villages, and wide spots in the roads. It all began with curiosity as he’d travel around rural Indiana for his job. He’d wonder what was down “that” county road or over that next hill. That wondering led to wandering … which led to more wondering … and then more wandering … and so on. Here are his “Rules of Wandering”: • Head off in the general direction of your destination. If you wonder what’s down that other road … take it. • See something interesting? Try to find out what it is and its story. • Stop and read every historic marker. • Stay off interstates and highways. There’s a car wash for gravel roads. • Eat, shop, and stay locally. • Learn to use a real map or atlas (cell service is spotty).

While he’s connected dots of how topography, natural resources, history and culture all interconnect to those place names on the map, no “big picture” of Indiana emerged from his

• Get out of the car and take pictures.


For more, visit Anderson’s website:

• Experience sunrises and sunsets. • Enjoy the drive, ride, or walk.

MAY 2021


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 wanderings. The lines, he explained, kept getting smudged behind him. “When you think about connecting the dots, is it a complete picture? No, because it continues to evolve. “In the time that I traveled, that 37-year- now 40-year-window, there have been high schools that have disappeared and appeared. There have been railroads that have disappeared, and rails-to-trails have emerged. Towns have disappeared, and others have emerged. In 1980, Fishers had 2,000 people; today, it’s over 99,000. Meanwhile, Gary was 151,000, and now it’s 80,000. Manufacturing comes and goes. GM left places; Toyota showed up; Honda showed up. So, it’s never a complete picture.” But a fuller life for himself emerged from his wanderings. His insatiable curiosity about little things most people see and take for granted were stirred and answered, and he has beautiful memories of long hours spent alone with Beth. He recalled just the two of them navigating countless gravel and dirt roads and talking. He recalled specific picnic lunches: one at a park in Redkey; the other while sitting on their cooler inside the Medora covered bridge. A summer cloudburst had them seek shelter beneath its cover. They ate, talked and listened to the rainfall. “While I longed to do it, she loved that wandering spirit. She found it in her,” he said. “We were better because we traveled together. When you’re out there wandering around, it gives you a chance to talk. So, when we would do our bed and breakfasts, that was our chance away from the kids. We’d leave them with a relative. We’d go overnight wandering and picnicking. All those things that we got to do that was just us.


MAY 2021

Phil Anderson looks over Jackson County in his tattered county road atlas. Inset photo: The Monte Cassino Shrine is a small chapel on a hill above the Saint Meinrad Archabbey and is part of the renowned monastery in Spencer County. The shrine, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is surrounded by trees and panoramic views of the Anderson (coincidentally) Valley.

“That’s all I want is for people to find what they like and go enjoy it.” Anderson said his journeys haven’t stopped since Beth’s passing. He is now sometimes joined by their two adult daughters and their husbands or other relatives. They will meet him at various places because he’s still taking his time taking the back roads and avoids the interstates. “So, I still wander, but it’s different. I went to places just to see what it was like [without her]. I learned something since she’s been gone: It didn’t matter where I was as long as we were together — which now puts wandering in a different frame.”

As he connected the 2,230 dots on the map, Anderson drew a bigger picture of Indiana. But more than that he drew a stronger connection to his wife. “You learn things about each other. It was time invested in each other,” he said. “And that’s why we wandered.”

Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection.

Solar storage battery poses fire hazard

product recalls

LG Energy Solution Michigan has recalled its RESU 10H (Type-R) Lithium-Ion Residential Energy Storage System. The storage battery, installed as part of a home energy solar panel system, can overheat, posing a risk of fire and emission of harmful smoke. The recalled battery allows owners to capture and store energy from the solar panels. The battery is wall mounted and measures 29.30 by 35.70 by 8.10 inches. Each weighs roughly 220 pounds. The LG Chem logo is located on the top left side of the front panel. The serial number of the recalled product begins with R15563P3SSEG and is located behind the access door of the RESU 10H (Type-R) home battery. The systems were sold by various distributors of solar energy storage systems nationwide from January 2017 through March 2019 for about $8,000. Consumers with a recalled battery should immediately contact LG Energy Solution Michigan to schedule a free replacement. LG Energy Solution Michigan, its distributors and its installers also are attempting to contact all owners directly to arrange for modifications to the recalled batteries to reduce the risk of overheating until they can be replaced with new batteries. Call LG Energy Solution Michigan at 866-263-0301; or go online at and click on “Battery Recall: Free Replacement Campaign” for more information. As a service to our readers and to promote electrical safety, here is a recent recall notice provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Visit for full details of this recall and for notices of many more. MAY 2021



Ask Rosie

Tipmont REMC consumer B. Rosie Lerner is a longtime Indiana Connection contributer who recently retired as Purdue Extension’s consumer horticulturist. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606, or use the form at



I have a question about a perennial in our garden. Can you identify the plant in the attached photos, taken just a few weeks ago? R.S., Indianapolis


The plant in your photos is the native perennial called turtlehead, known botanically as Chelone. The name of the plant comes from the flowers thought to resemble a turtle’s head. Turtlehead prefers moist conditions, part shade, but it can adapt to sunnier locations if moisture is sufficient. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Some additional information on turtlehead is available at www. plants/pink_turtlehead.htm and profile?symbol=CHELO



About 18 months ago, my 30-year-old oak tree started weeping a liquid about 15 feet up on one side. A couple of branches way above it appeared to die off. The rest of the tree seemed OK. Later the backside seemed to crack in several places and a liquid flowed down the tree. However, the leaves way up remained green and fell in the fall as usual along with huge numbers of acorns. Now almost two years later several cracks have appeared where the liquid flowed, but leaf buds are appearing all over the tree. It is a huge tree about 14 inches in diameter. Could it have recovered? Is it still in danger? Last summer two small branches grew on this lower part of the tree! The tree is on the front of my residence and provides great shade. I would hate to see it go. Also, it probably would cost nearly $1,000 to remove. Joan Moran, Valparaiso, Ind.


MAY 2021


It sounds as if your tree may have a condition called slime flux, which is usually associated with wounds or other damage to the trunk. It is usually not fatal to the tree on its own, but it can be indicating other damage has occurred. The Purdue Landscape Report recently published an article on this subject: www.purduelandscapereport. org/article/slime-flux-of-trees/. The dead branches should be removed taking care to avoid injury to the trunk. If there is significant damage, you may want to contact a certified arborist to assess whether the tree might be a safety risk. Purdue Landscape Report recently covered this topic as well: www. how-to-identify-tree-defects-and-whatto-do-about-it/.


Turkey buzzard’s



hen traveling through Shelby

gang up — and prey on living animals.

black vultures because they are

County recently, I came across

This includes calves, piglets, lambs,

smart enough to know they will not be

two large birds dining on roadkill just off

and newborn goats. They sometimes

harmed by bright lights, noises, shining

of a county road. At first, I thought they

attack vulnerable, ill or birthing cows.

objects and so on. Displaying an effigy

were common turkey buzzards. But as

They can be a nightmare for livestock

or something appearing to be a dead

I got closer, I realized they weren’t and


vulture may be effective.

quickly identified them.

Livestock owners’ only recourse is to

If black vultures are presenting a threat

They were black and appeared to have

house their livestock where they are

to livestock or pets, I would suggest

less of a protruding tail than a buzzard

protected from the black vultures.

contacting your local DNR biologist or

According to the Cornell Lab, it’s

conservation officer for advice on the

and were more plump in stature; rather than being bald and having flesh colored heads, their heads were feathered and black.

not just farm livestock in danger.


Household pets may be at risk, too.

till next time,

Wayne Long, the Jefferson County

They were black vultures. In the past, I

extension agent for the University of

have encountered them along the Ohio

Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food

River, but it appears their range into

and Environment, said small pets like

central Indiana might be expanding.

cats and dogs may be at risk of attack

The black vulture, Coragyps atratus,

just by nature of being small animals.

also known as the American black vulture, is a bird in the New World vulture family whose range extends from the northeastern United States to Peru, central Chile and Uruguay in South America. They are native to the entire state of Indiana. Like their cousin the turkey buzzard, black vultures predominately feed on carrion. But this is where their common trait ends. Unlike their non-aggressive cousin, black vultures are known to

Harming the birds is out of the question since legally, black vultures are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It is illegal to harm, harass, or kill black vultures without a permit. Scaring off black vultures is not an easy job. Black vultures are highly sociable with humans and they are very intelligent. Many of the typical abatement techniques to scare off


JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or by e-mail to jackspaulding@ Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon. com as paperbacks or Kindle downloads.

unwanted birds do not work with MAY 2021


Hoosier Energy news


beetle battle Progress made to manage rights-of-way affected by Emerald Ash Borer

Twice every year, Jared Murphy

wood-boring beetle native to Asia


climbs into a helicopter to patrol miles

first surfaced in Michigan in 2002.

ways so

and miles of transmission rights-of-

Two years later, it had moved into

I looked

way that crisscross southern Indiana

Indiana and has continued a steady

into this

and southeastern Illinois.

destructive march throughout 30


states since, killing millions of ash


trees in its wake.


As vegetation management coordinator, Murphy is looking for

I had

Emerald Ash Borer

dead trees, overgrown brush or any

Hoosier Energy took swift action, and

other vegetation growth threatening

today, the light at the end of the tunnel

to interfere with power lines along

to mitigate damage from the tiny

Hoosier Energy’s nearly 1,700-mile

beetle can be seen. During the past

Carried by a helicopter,

transmission network.

five years, the ways to combat the

the four-foot saw is lowered into the

beetle have evolved and the process

tree canopy to cut affected trees. Up

in place today begins with technology.

to 200 trees can be cut in a day.

potentially cause an outage or worse,

With more than 147 million ash trees

What the saw leaves behind is a trunk

a fire, is a big part of the vegetation

in Indiana and about 25,000 or so in

that is short enough that if it did fall,

management program at Hoosier

or near utility rights-of-ways, Murphy

it would not affect utility equipment.


knew the speed of removing affected

When the trunk remains, there are

trees needed to increase.

habitat benefits as well.

trees were threatening power lines

“I called everyone I knew to find out

“The remaining tree trunks can be

on the grid. The largest majority were

what they were doing. Some had

used by wildlife that require dead or

ash. It was clear that the Emerald

success with large four-foot aerial

hollow trees for shelter,” Murphy said.

Ash Borer had hit the area. This

saws to cut vegetation away from

Targeting dangerous trees before the dead hulks topple into power lines and

In 2016, about 900 clusters of dead


MAY 2021

learned,” said Murphy.


Electrical hazards


Most office environments are considered low-risk in terms of electrical hazards. But that doesn’t mean you should take safety for granted. Just because you’re not working on a factory floor with highvoltage equipment or are operating large machinery outdoors near power lines, don’t assume electrical hazards can’t be present. “Just as at home, you need to keep your nose in the wind and eyes open,” said John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “A business setting should be up to code. But we all know mistakes happen, or shortcuts, unfortunately, get taken. No matter where you work, take account of your surroundings. Report things that make you go ‘hmmmm.’ Don’t assume maintenance or management must already know about an issue you see and that everything must be OK.”

Hazards and peculiar things office workers should keep watch for include:

so either plug equipment elsewhere

• Electrical cables that are frayed,

The office may need to have a

loose or have exposed wires. • Outlets that are worn and won’t hold plugs snugly. • Electrical equipment that gives off a strange odor. • Overheating equipment (those not heated by normal operation). Beware of discolored plastic casings on the equipment or discolored outlet covers. • Overloaded outlets or extension cords. • Equipment that is not working properly. Any faulty equipment, wiring, plugs, etc., should be removed from use immediately and reported to your supervisor or whomever is in charge. Outlets should not be overloaded,

or tell your supervisor, who should minimize the need for overloading them. licensed electrician install additional outlets and circuits to reduce overloading or the need to rely heavily on extension cords.

To minimize hazards: • Switch off and unplug appliances when they are not in use and before cleaning. • Turn off all appliances at the end of the day. • Do not force a plug into an outlet if it does not fit. • Do not run electrical cords through high-traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways. • Make sure the electrical load is not too much for any circuit, even when using a surge protector.

MAY 2021



Rural White County students benefited greatly when electricity came to their schoolhouse.

From coal oil to fiber


History of electric cooperatives traced through the life of an original member Leona Wright doesn’t remember the

consumer-owned cooperative organized.

exact day electricity came to her family’s

Wright, who was born in October 1925,

White County farm, but she remembers

attended the meeting with her dad,

the results: “It sure was nice to get

Frank McCall. She was just 13 at the

away from the coal oil lamps to do my

time. “It was just a calm meeting but


with a lot of chatter,” she recalled. “Everybody was excited. It was quite a

Now 95, Wright was just a teenager

momentous decision.”

when her local REMC turned the lights on in the waning days of the Great Depression. She recalls going with her dad to the store to purchase light

Leona Wright with Randy W. Price, CEO of Carroll White REMC

By the time White County REMC energized its first build of lines in spring of 1940, 38 REMCs were already

fixtures. “There was one in the bedroom

meeting season” working with COVID

energized across Indiana. By 1942,

that you had to pull. And then there

precautions. The annual meeting, the

the original 43 REMCs serving rural

was one in the living room that had four

staple gathering of the membership of

Indiana were in place. One of those

different lights. You turned it on at the

electric cooperatives since they first lit

original REMCs included White County’s

light itself. It was very, very limited, but it

upon the countryside 85 years ago, has

neighboring Carroll County REMC. The

was light.”

evolved, as well, to the new challenges.

two neighboring REMCs consolidated as

Fast forward to today, the waning days

Wright not only remembers what it was

(we hope) of the COVID pandemic. Just

like to finally get electricity from her

like Wright in the Great Depression,

REMC, she remembers that original

today’s teenagers are living through

organizational meeting that became the

Who knows what teenagers today will

some unprecedented times. Trying to

“annual” meeting. “I don't remember

recall from these days in 80 years, or

do homework today or e-learning at

where we gathered,” she said, “but the

what 80 years from now will even look

home without high-speed fiber is akin

whole community gathered to vote on

like. But in less than the lifetime of folks

to folks in those days working by coal

whether or not to have the cooperative.

like Leona Wright, electric co-ops played

oil lamp. And, as with every business

We were all excited about the idea of

a major role in taking homework from the

in direct contact with the public,

having lights.”

light of coal oil lamps to helping bring the

Indiana’s electric cooperatives have had some adjustment, too, especially as they go through their second “annual


MAY 2021

That meeting in White County may have been June 22, 1939, when the

Carroll White REMC in 2012. Today, with other consolidations, 38 electric co-ops now serve the state.

entire world to students’ fingertips with high-speed fiber.

Hitting a fiber optic or other utility line can result in:




Fiber optic lines, which may only be a few inches below the surface, connect many rural communities with internet and emergency services. Permanent utility markers roughly indicate where utility lines are located, but are never precise indicators of where buried lines are located in an area. Don’t assume you know where underground lines are located. Know what's below by submitting a FREE locate request at

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