Kankakee Valley REMC - May 2024 Indiana Connection

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Kankakee Valley REMC’s Create positive change, run for directorship


MAY 2024
Graham Rahal advances the legacy of his talented motorsports family

A tribute to the mamas

Mother’s Day is May 12. This will be my second Mother’s Day as a mother myself. Those of you who have children know that it’s a wild ride. My daughter, Gwen, is 19 months old, and she teaches me something new every day.

I have been fortunate to have many exceptional women in my life. I’m an only child, so my mom, Kim, and I are close. I admire her strength and her ability to keep a calm head through life’s challenges. She always built up my self-esteem over the years, and I doubt I would be where I am today without her in my corner. Watching her spend time with Gwen has been amazing. My grandmother, Sandy, is known as Nan and has been a surrogate grandma to all my friends. She is the quintessential grandmother. If you look up that word in the dictionary, you will see a picture of her with a plate of freshly baked cookies. She loves all her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren unconditionally.

My mother-in-law, Sonja, has always been welcoming and open to those of us who married into the family. When you marry a Davis, you become one of her children (even though she already has four of them). Her generosity knows no bounds, and I’m lucky to have her.

As a mom, I have many milestones ahead of me, but as anyone with small children knows, sometimes you’re just trying to make it through the day. If you’re a mother, I hope you take a moment on the 12th and appreciate where you are and how you got there. I’m sure you’re doing a great job.

Do you have a story you would like to share about your mom? Please send it to me.

MAY 2024 3 VOLUME 73 • 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 311,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. The average printed and mailed cost per issue is 54 cents. CONTACT US: 11805 Pennsylvania Street Carmel, IN 46032 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Steve McMichael President Dr. Richard Leeper Vice President Jamey Marcum Secretary/Treasurer John Cassady CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Britt Davis Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Manager Kiley Lipps Graphic Designer Ashley Curry Production and Design Coordinator Amber Knight Creative Manager Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net 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 safekeeping 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, Indiana, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 11805 Pennsylvania Street, Carmel, IN 46032. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.
ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, letters and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email info@indianaconnection.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 11805 Pennsylvania Street, Carmel, IN 46032. On the menu: August: Submit your favorite recipes featuring lemon, deadline June 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.
Enter to win a “spicy” prize pack. Visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests or send your contact information to the address below. The deadline to enter is May 31.
from the editor Three
Editor bdavis@indianaec.org

Graham Rahal showed an aptitude for racing starting at 11 years old driving go-karts. Almost 25 years later, he’s expanding the Rahal motorsport legacy while taking care of a growing family of his own.

cover story food 18 contents 4 MAY 2024
03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative 10 ENERGY Connecting with your home circuit breaker panel 12 COUNTY Ohio County 13 INSIGHTS 14 INDIANA EATS Unique coffee places around the state offer more than just hot beverages 16 SAFETY When widespread power outages occur, be patient as your co-op methodically works to restore service 18 FOOD These spicy recipes add a kick to some traditional Midwest fare 20 COVER STORY Graham Rahal advances the legacy of his talented motorsports family 26 PROFILE Josh Durbin, Steuben County REMC 28 HOOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 29 TRAVEL These extraordinary playgrounds inspire and excite kids of all ages (NOT IN ALL EDITIONS) 30 OUTDOORS Irises bring a burst of color to spring (NOT IN ALL EDITIONS) 30 county outdoors FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Indiana Connection 12



Toll Free: 800-552-2622

Local: 219-733-2511


7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. Central Time



8642 W. U.S. Highway 30 Wanatah, IN 46390


P.O. Box 157, Wanatah, IN 46390


Power outages can be reported by calling 800-552-2622 or through the SmartHub app.


Scott Sears, Chief Executive Officer

Alissa Tucker, Executive Assistant

Angie Swanson, Office Manager

Amanda Steeb, Communications and Marketing Director

Dave Howell, Facilities Manager

Scott Hanson, Director of Operations

Bri Travis, Director of Engineering

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Summer months bring some of the highest energy bills of the year. But why? Cooling your home accounts for a large portion of your summer monthly energy use, and the hotter it gets, the harder and longer your air conditioner works to keep you cool.

You don’t need a green thumb or an engineering degree to save money on your electric bill. Just like plants need water to thrive, your home needs a little TLC to keep those bills in check. Whether adjusting the thermostat or simply turning off unnecessary lights, small changes can add up to significant savings. If you’re a regular reader of Indiana Connection or follow us on Facebook, you’re probably already clued in on ways you can save energy and money.

One of the great things about being part of Kankakee Valley REMC is that we’re locally owned by you, our members. So, instead of making profits, we can focus on helping our members.

That’s why we’ve developed incentives and programs to help you keep your money in your wallet.


Kankakee Valley REMC offers several ways to give you money back for efficient equipment you purchase, like heat pumps and Wi-Fi thermostats. Find a list of all our rebates at kvremc.com and click on the savings tab.

Take control of your use

SmartHub is an app that puts energy management right at your fingertips. Track your usage, compare it against weather data, and even pay your bill or report outages — all from the convenience of your smartphone.

If you aren’t enrolled, it is easy to do. You can call our office for assistance.


Your co-op offers a time-ofuse rate that aims to provide members with a lower rate when they shift their energy

MAY 2024 5 co-op news


consumption away from peak times to off-peak times. This reduces strain on the electric grid during high peak demand times, allowing members to take advantage of lower rates and ultimately save money on their electricity bills. You can view the co-op rates by visiting kvremc.com and clicking on the “my account” tab.

Ways to pay

Summer bills can hit hard.

If you’re feeling the pinch, we have budget billing and pre-pay metering options that can help ease the strain. Contact our office to learn more.

So, whether you’re a seasoned energy-savings pro or just dipping your toes into the world of electricity, remember, we’re here to help. There are no investors making profits here. Just knowledgeable people with local jobs, working for our neighbors to ensure the lights are on when you need them. Reach out to us, and let’s work together to keep your energy bills in check.


Maintaining the right-of-way along which Kankakee Valley REMC’s power lines pass is critical during the spring and summer months to keep power safe and reliable. The Kankakee Valley REMC right-ofway spraying will begin in early June and run to late July. Contract crews will be working in the following areas (shown on the map in orange).

• Lake County: All areas served by KV REMC

• Porter County: Union, Center, Washington, Porter, Morgan, Boone, and Pleasant townships

• LaPorte: Western portion of Cass and Dewey townships

The Daltons, Inc. will perform upkeep as part of our right-of-way maintenance spraying program. They will focus on brush and small vegetation control in the areas described above and shown on the system map. This work has been certified by the Indiana

Right-of-way spraying will be in the area shown in orange on the map.

State Chemist, and all herbicides used will be EPA-approved.

During this spray operation, The Daltons will take care to avoid sensitive areas (such as front yards, tree plantations, ornamental plantings, crops, gardens, lakes, and streams) adjacent to the right-of-way.

If you would prefer to maintain the right-of-way on your land in another way, such as mowing, please do these things.

• Post a sign on the right-of-way at each end of your property that reads: “NO SPRAYING.” Make sure it is legible and visible from the roadway.

• Please ensure that all the brush is removed from that site by June 1 and that the site continues to be maintained.

• Call The Daltons at 574-267-7511 with questions or concerns about this right-ofway spraying operation.

6 MAY 2024 co-op news
MAY 2024 7 co-op news

OPERATION ROUND UP: Putting pennies to work

Kankakee Valley REMC proudly announces its latest Operation Round Up grant recipients, contributing $16,300 to our communities this quarter.

iCaleb & Company was granted $1,000 to purchase iPads for children undergoing cancer treatment in northern Indiana. These iPads will offer educational and entertaining support during extended hospital stays.

Call A Ride, based in Hebron, received a $2,500 grant to

ease van insurance expenses. Founded in 1995, Call A Ride provides transportation services for the elderly, handicapped, and indigent residents in Hebron and Boone Townships.

Junior Achievement (JA)

Starke County received $1,000 to deliver economic education to students in second and third grade at Knox Community Elementary, North Judson-San Pierre Elementary, and Oregon-Davis Elementary.

The Kouts Fire Department was awarded $1,800 to purchase new hand tools for one of its fire engines. The department serves the Towns of Kouts and Pleasant Township in Porter County.

As summer approaches and students are out of school, the demand at local food pantries tends to increase. Recognizing this need, Operation Round Up provided $1,000 grants to ten food pantries situated within the KV REMC service territory.


Transformers and electrical lines are critical in delivering power to homes and businesses. At KV REMC, we take the safety and reliability of these components seriously, which is why our dedicated crews perform yearround inspections.

These inspections aren't just routine; they're vital for preventing outages, identifying potential hazards, and maintaining the integrity of our system. From the towering poles to the hidden underground networks, our crews diligently inspect both overhead and underground electrical equipment. So don't be surprised if you spot them in your backyard or along the neighborhood right-of-way, ensuring everything is in top shape.

Let's not forget about those iconic green boxes in some yards — the pad-mount transformers. These essential structures house much of the same equipment found overhead, but they need proper ventilation to operate efficiently.

While homeowners may attempt to conceal these transformers with landscaping or structures, it's important to remember that they require adequate airflow. Restricted airflow can lead to overheating and service interruptions. For our crews to perform maintenance and repairs effectively, they need 10 feet of clearance at the front side of the pad-mounted transformer and 4 feet of open space at the rear and sides.

We understand the value of landscaping, but ensuring our crews' safety and our equipment's reliability is our top priority. So, next time you consider landscaping around transformers, remember it's all about keeping the power flowing reliably and safely to our members.

8 MAY 2024 co-op news
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An unexpected power outage likely makes you fly to a far-flung region in your home — your circuit breaker box.

Many home circuit breaker boxes can be found in areas such as garages and basements. They are the electrical nerve center of your home; they control the flow of electricity throughout your home to the various rooms and devices that power your day. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, homes with service panels installed before 1965 likely use fuses to protect each individual circuit. Newer homes feature circuit breakers that maintain the safe flow of electricity.

When circuits are overloaded or encounter a disturbance, they may “trip” or open to interrupt the flow of electricity. The Electrical Safety Foundation reports that blown fuses in older homes require replacement when an issue arises, while circuit breakers can be reset once the potential problem is resolved. The organization adds that a tripped breaker is typically the result of too many appliances overloading the circuit, which should be fixed immediately.

When a short circuit occurs, an electrified wire directly contacts a neutral wire or the ground, causing

a surge of electricity. Circuit breakers are designed to trip almost instantaneously in this situation to prevent significant damage or possibly even a fire.

Ground fault circuit interrupter breakers and outlets are used for circuits where there is water or high moisture, such as a bathroom, kitchen, or garage. Some homes have GFCI breakers in the breaker panel or GFCI outlets designed to shut off power within a fraction of a second for safety. The outlets have a push button to reset in case they ever trip.

There are steps you can take to investigate and resolve a tripped circuit breaker. Sometimes, the situation can be resolved quickly. However, if the issue cannot be found or the breaker continues to trip, contact a qualified electrician to investigate and fix the problem.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation


• Unplug or turn off appliances in the room.

• Find your main breaker panel and open the cover.

• Locate the tripped breaker or blown fuse. A tripped circuit breaker will be in the off position or in a middle position between on and off.

• To reset the breaker, switch it to the off position and then back to on. This may restore power to the room. If the problem continues, there may be more severe issues. Contact an electrician to diagnose the problem.

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county feature


Covering 80 square miles with less than 6,000 residents, Ohio County is Indiana’s smallest and least populous county. Rising Sun, Indiana — the sole incorporated municipality within Ohio County — is home to Ree’s Harps, one of the state’s only two harp manufacturers.


The Ohio County Historical Society Museum’s star attraction is the Hoosier Boy, a famous powerboat from the early 1900s. J.W. “Row” Whitlock — an inventor, furniture builder, and boating enthusiast from Rising Sun — owned and raced the 40-foot boat with a 62-mph top speed. In 1924, he set an unbroken distance record for a round trip between Cincinnati and Louisville. He covered 267 miles of the Ohio River in 267 minutes and 49 seconds, despite branches in the Ohio River breaking a hole in the Hoosier Boy’s wooden hull. The museum also houses the Hoosier Girl, a replica made in 2003 of the Hoosier Boy’s sister boat that sank in the 1940s.



NAMED FOR: the Ohio River




Rising Sun




In 1836, Samuel Barkshire and his family moved to Rising Sun from Boone County, Kentucky, after becoming freed slaves. Risking capture and resale back into slavery, the Barkshires became Underground Railroad activists, helping enslaved people of color along the Ohio River — the border of free and enslaved territories — find their way to freedom. Samuel even worked with the wife of his former slaveholder, Nancy Hawkins, who moved to Rising Sun after her husband’s death. She and the Barkshires hid slaves seeking freedom in their homes. The Indiana Historical Bureau and the Ohio County Historical Society designated the Barkshire’s home on North Poplar Street a historical marker in 2018.

Since 1979, Red Wolf Sanctuary in Rising Sun has preserved native North American animals through its educational tours and outreach programs about the wonders of nature and wildlife. The non-profit organization permanently homes various animals, from hawks to opossums, unfit for release into the wild because of lifealtering injuries or human interaction. The sanctuary also rehabilitates and releases hundreds of sick or orphaned wildlife animals annually. Visitors can book either a two-hour walking tour or an RTV-driven tour through the sanctuary’s habitats to view its residential wolves, foxes, bobcats, and more.

Nicole Thomas is a freelance writer from Indianapolis.

12 MAY 2024
Photo by Valerie Rice, courtesy of Red Wolf Sanctuary Photo by J.J. Prats Photo courtesy of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Experience

SHARE YOUR 4 TH OF JULY traditions

In the July issue of Indiana Connection, we want to celebrate America by highlighting our readers’ 4th of July traditions and memories. Does your family have a favorite firework spot or a special meal eaten every Independence Day? Tell us about it! Submit entries by mail to our office (11805 Pennsylvania Street, Carmel, IN 46032) or at indianaconnection.org/share-your-4th-of-july-traditions by May 24.


Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost.

Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847-749-4875 or cheryl@amp.coop, for other small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection.


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Unique coffee places around the state offer more than just hot beverages


Madison Atticmadison.com


New Castle


The Attic, housed in a building that dates back to 1860, is a unique family-owned business in the heart of Madison. The Coffee Mill Café opened in 1993 and features gourmet flavored coffees, breakfast paninis, pastries, and desserts available all day. Soups, salads, and sandwiches are served during lunch hours. Besides coffee, The Attic also features unique gifts, including clothing, jewelry, home décor, and more. This year, owners Chris and Lyndsey Hornbrook will open the newly renovated Historic Madison Bed and Breakfast so you can eat, drink, shop, and sleep in one location!




Blackbird Café sits just off the Valparaiso town square on Lincolnway and is currently the town’s longest-standing café. The owner is the third generation of the family who ran The Donut Hut, which began serving Valparaiso in 1974. Blackbird offers a relaxed, cozy atmosphere perfect for “working from home” or gathering with friends. The building has housed a café since the early 1990s when it was an “Internet Café.” Blackbird offers breakfast, lunch, and bakery items made from scratch daily.

Opened in 2009, Café Royal is a family-owned coffee shop with a community focus in New Castle. The restaurant offers all-day breakfast and lunch options and an assortment of specialized coffee drinks. They also have a soup and sandwich special of the day, and reviews claim they have amazing biscuits and gravy.




Our Place Coffee is a popular spot on 1st Street in Zionsville. Started by the Deinlein family, Our Place Coffee is inspired by their father’s love of coffee and their mother’s love of community. They want the café to be a place where people slow down and connect face-to-face. Our Place Coffee is open for breakfast and lunch and offers traditional coffee drinks and “fancy lattes” with flavors such as berries and cream, snickerdoodle, and red velvet.

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Steps to


Tornadoes or other weather-related disasters often bring widespread power outages. Most electric utilities follow a similar methodical plan that ensures power is restored to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time in the safest manner possible. To do that, your co-op utilizes this priority system when line crews are working on outages.

PRIORITY 1: Transmission lines

These high-voltage lines carry electricity from generating plants to substations (or between substations). They are supported by tall towers, usually of steel lattice framing or tall wooden poles in an “H” or “M” configuration. Since tens of thousands of people could be served by one transmission line, damage here needs to be taken care of first.

PRIORITY 2: Substations

These electrical facilities contain equipment that switch or regulate the voltage of electricity. They

lower the voltage from the transmission lines so the electricity can be transmitted through the distribution lines. If problems are taken care of at the substation, power to a large number of people can be restored.

PRIORITY 3: Main distribution lines

You see these along roadways. They carry electricity from the substations to groups of consumers, like towns or housing developments. They are usually T-shaped and support three or more wires. When power is restored here, all consumers from this supply line will see their lights come on unless there is a problem farther down the line.

PRIORITY 4: Tap lines

These are electric feeder lines running from the main distribution line to utility poles and underground transformers outside houses or buildings. They serve small numbers of consumers.

PRIORITY 5: Individual service

These lines run from the transformer on the nearest pole to the individual consumer’s electric meter. Repairs to individual homes come after all other larger fixes. Consumers may see lights on at neighboring homes and see line crews working in the area, but they may still not have power. When this happens, it generally means the service line between their home and the nearby transformer has been damaged.

If a family member relies on lifesustaining medical equipment, please notify your electric cooperative now so it can be aware of the situation. Do not wait for an outage. Have an emergency generator or backup power in place.

In addition, unless you are personally affected, stay away from stormdamaged areas. Utility and other emergency vehicles will need access to the roads. If you see utility workers along your road or in your yard, please do not approach them for updates. It slows the progress and is dangerous for you and the lineworkers who are focused on their job.

safety 16 MAY 2024
Photo courtesy of Orange County REMC

Popular CoQ10 Pills Leave Millions Suffering

Could this newly-discovered brain fuel solve America’s worsening memory crisis?


Americans take the supplement known as CoQ10. It’s the coenzyme that supercharges the “energy factories” in your cells known as mitochondria. But there’s a serious flaw that’s leaving millions unsatisfied.

As you age, your mitochondria break down and fail to produce energy. In a revealing study, a team of researchers showed that 95 percent of the mitochondria in a 90-year-old man were damaged, compared to almost no damage in the mitochondria of a 5-year-old.

Taking CoQ10 alone is not enough to solve this problem. Because as powerful as CoQ10 is, there’s one critical thing it fails to do: it can’t create new mitochondria to replace the ones you lost.

And that’s bad news for Americans all over the country. The loss of cellular energy is a problem for the memory concerns people face as they get older.

“We had no way of replacing lost mitochondria until a recent discovery changed everything,” says Dr. Al Sears, founder and medical director of the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine in Palm Beach, Florida. “Researchers discovered the only nutrient known to modern science that has the power to trigger the growth of new mitochondria.”

Why Taking CoQ10 is Not Enough

Dr. Sears explains, “This new discovery is so powerful, it can multiply your mitochondria by 55 percent in just a few weeks. That’s the equivalent of restoring decades of lost brain power.”

This exciting nutrient — called PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) — is the driving force behind a revolution in aging. When paired with CoQ10, this dynamic duo has the power to reverse the agerelated memory losses you may have thought were beyond your control.

Dr. Sears pioneered a new formula — called Ultra Accel II — that combines both CoQ10 and PQQ to support maximum cellular energy and the normal growth of new mitochondria. Ultra Accel II is the first of its kind to address both problems and is already creating huge demand.

Over 47 million doses have been shipped to men and women across the country and sales continue to climb for this much sought-after brain fuel. In fact, demand has been so overwhelming that inventories repeatedly sell out. But a closer look at Ultra Accel II reveals there are good reasons why sales are booming.

Science Confirms the Many Benefits of PQQ

The medical journal Biochemical Pharmacology reports that PQQ is up to 5,000 times more efficient in sustaining energy production than common antioxidants. With the ability to keep every cell in your body operating at full strength, Ultra Accel II delivers more than just added brain power and a faster memory.

People feel more energetic, more alert, and don’t need naps in the afternoon. The boost in cellular energy generates more power to your heart, lungs, muscles, and more.

“With the PQQ in Ultra Accel, I have energy I never thought possible at my age,” says Colleen R., one of Dr. Sears’s patients. “I’m in my 70s but feel 40 again. I think clearly, move with real energy and sleep like a baby.”

The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and Dr. Sears receives countless emails from his patients and readers. “My patients tell me they feel better than they have in years. This is ideal for people who are feeling old and run down, or for those who feel more forgetful. It surprises many that you can add healthy and productive years to your life simply by taking Ultra Accel II every day.”

You may have seen Dr. Sears on television or read one of his 12 best-selling books. Or you may have seen him speak at the 2016 WPBF 25 Health and Wellness Festival in South Florida, featuring Dr. Oz and special guest Suzanne Somers. Thousands of people attended Dr. Sears’s lecture on anti-aging breakthroughs and waited in line for hours during his book signing at the event.

Will Ultra Accel II Multiply Your Energy?

Ultra Accel II is turning everything we thought we knew about youthful energy on its head. Especially for people over age 50. In less than 30 seconds every morning, you can harness the power of this breakthrough discovery to restore peak energy and your “spark for life.”

So, if you’ve noticed less energy as you’ve gotten older, and you want an easy way to reclaim your youthful edge, this new opportunity will feel like blessed relief.

The secret is the “energy multiplying” molecule that activates a dormant gene in your body that declines with age, which then instructs your cells to pump out fresh

MEMORY-BUILDING SENSATION: Top doctors are now recommending new Ultra Accel II because it restores decades of lost brain power without a doctor’s visit.

energy from the inside-out. This growth of new “energy factories” in your cells is called mitochondrial biogenesis.

Instead of falling victim to that afternoon slump, you enjoy sharp-as-a-tack focus, memory, and concentration from sunup to sundown. And you get more done in a day than most do in a week. Regardless of how exhausting the world is now.

Dr. Sears reports, “The most rewarding aspect of practicing medicine is watching my patients get the joy back in their lives. Ultra Accel II sends a wake-up call to every cell in their bodies… And they actually feel young again.”

And his patients agree. “I noticed a difference within a few days,” says Jerry from Ft. Pierce, Florida. “My endurance has almost doubled, and I feel it mentally, too. There’s a clarity and sense of wellbeing in my life that I’ve never experienced before.”

How To Get Ultra Accel II

This is the official nationwide release of Ultra Accel II in the United States. And so, the company is offering a special discount supply to anyone who calls during the official launch.

An Order Hotline has been set up for local readers to call. This gives everyone an equal chance to try Ultra Accel II. And your order is backed up by a no-hassle, 90day money back guarantee. No questions asked.

Starting at 7:00 AM today, the discount offer will be available for a limited time only. All you have to do is call TOLL FREE 1-800-798-0074 right now and use promo code ICUA524 to secure your own supply.

Important: Due to Ultra Accel II recent media exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you call and do not immediately get through, please be patient and call back.



Looking to turn up the heat? These spicy recipes add a kick to some traditional Midwest fare.



Patricia Piekarski, Harvey, Illinois

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup water

½ cup crushed corn chips

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 lb of ground beef or pork

1 8 oz can tomato sauce


4 buns

1 large tomato, chopped ½ cup cheese, shredded

1 cup lettuce, shredded

Combine the egg and water. Stir in corn chips and half of the taco seasoning. Combine the mix with the meat. Shape into four ½-inch patties. Fry till brown and cooked all the way through. Combine tomato sauce and remaining taco seasoning. Serve burgers on buns. Top with tomato sauce mixture, cheese, tomato, and lettuce.


Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana

8 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded

8 oz cream cheese

4 oz can diced jalapenos, drained

½ tsp salt

Two 8 oz cans of crescent rolls

¼ cup melted butter

1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 F. Shred an 8 oz block of pepper jack cheese. Add it to a mixing bowl with softened cream cheese, jalapenos, and salt. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Roll out both cans of crescent rolls and press the perforations together. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough. Starting with the short end of the dough, roll up each sheet of the dough tightly over the cheese mixture. Use a knife to slice each roll into eight 1-inch rolls, making 16 total with both crescent roll sheets. Arrange the rolls in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Combine melted butter and garlic powder in a small bowl, then brush it evenly on top of the rolls. Place in the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes or until golden brown.


Jan Steenburg, Oaktown, Indiana

2 lbs chicken or pork tenderloin cut into small cubes

1 cup onion, medium chopped

14 oz chicken broth (any brand, lowsodium or regular)

10 oz green salsa (canned or bottled)

20 oz (canned or bottled) whole green chilies, seeded and chopped

1 can black beans (low-sodium is fine), drained

SPICE MIX (mix separately and set aside)

3 tsp garlic, minced or mashed

1 tsp celery salt

1 Tbsp flour

2 tsp oregano

1 Tbsp cumin

3 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, diced

1 Tbsp dried cilantro (or 3 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped)

1 Tbsp chili powder

In a large pot, brown meat and drain. Return the pot to the stove and add onion and broth to the browned meat. Simmer on low uncovered for one hour. (Give the pot a few stirs during cooking times to avoid sticking). Add spice mix and green salsa. Simmer another hour on low heat. Add green chilies and black beans. Simmer another hour on low heat, then it’s ready to serve. Garnish with shredded cheddar if desired. Serves well with a buttermilk biscuit.


Graham Rahal advances the legacy of his talented motorsports family

Of the six children of Bobby Rahal, only one bears the name of a famous race driver — son Graham, named after legendary British

Maybe Bobby sensed something no ultrasound could: That Graham would be the only child to follow in his tire tracks. This month, 35-yearold Graham Robert Rahal hopes to qualify for his 17th Indianapolis 500, a race his father won in 1986.

Bobby Rahal takes no credit for clairvoyance, but he’s happy to explain his admiration for Hill, who drove to victory lane in 1966. “He might not have had the natural talent of a Jimmy Clark” — another of Bobby’s heroes, who won Indy in 1965 — “but he just had that work ethic and got things done.”

Indeed, Graham Hill remains the only driver in history to capture the so-called Triple Crown of Motorsport, which in his day comprised the Indy 500, the Monaco Grand Prix, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

Graham Rahal, meanwhile, just wants a less soul-crushing Indy 500 than he experienced last year. Driving for his father’s team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, he overcame mechanical issues to qualify for the 33rd and final position in the starting grid. But in the closing moments of time trials, teammate Jack Harvey ousted him with a four-lap average that was just .007 mph faster.

20 MAY 2024 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Afterward, in an emotional scene witnessed on national television, Graham sat alone and dejected on the sidepod of his blue-and-white No. 15 car, head buried in his hands. Then, suddenly, he was surrounded by his consoling wife, Courtney Force, and two young daughters as he wiped away tears, mindful that he would sit out the 500 for the first time since 2008.

Or would he? The next day, a practice accident sent driver Stefan Wilson to the hospital and his team, Dreyer & Reinbolt Racing, searching for a replacement to drive the backup car in the race. “That evening, I got the call,” said Rahal. “I was in Dreyer’s at midnight.”

The two teams came to terms, allowing him to drive in the Indy 500.

Rahal called it an honor, adding, “My thoughts are with Stef Wilson. This isn’t the way we wanted to get into the race.”

But his good fortune took a sharp U-turn on Race Day. “Drivers, start your engines,” came the familiar command, but Rahal’s engine wouldn’t start. A faulty battery, which had to be replaced, put him two laps down before he ever got the car in motion. Rahal finished 22nd, still managing to overtake one-third of the field despite his disadvantage.

And so it went at the 107th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

When Courtney Force offers her husband a comforting hug after a tough day at the track, she

knows firsthand the demands of high-stakes competition and the pressures of living in the shadow of a famous father.

Like her husband, Force not only grew up in a famous motorsports family, but took up the same profession as her dad, right down to his choice of fast cars. The youngest daughter of drag racing superstar John Force, a 16-time National Hot Rod Association champion in the Funny Car class, she is the winningest female driver in the same class. Two of her three sisters also became drag racers, and now two nieces and a nephew are carrying on the family tradition — along with her still-unretired father, who turns 75 this month.

continued on page 22

MAY 2024 21
Rahal and his family at the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2023. (Photo courtesy of Penske Entertainment: James Black)

continued from page 21

“Obviously, the types of racing that we do are very different,” said Rahal, who exchanged vows with her in 2015. “But she’s tremendous. She understands what I have to go through.”

She also understands what devoted fans and followers want to know, posting timely social media dispatches about major family events. For instance, she took to Twitter to announce her retirement from drag racing in January 2019 and confided in May 2020 that “we’ve been keeping a little secret … baby Rahal coming November 2020!”

Three months later, she shared a baby bump photo and invited recommendations on “travel-friendly gear for this future race track kid.”

And when Harlan Ann Rahal entered the world on November 2, Force quipped, “Rahal party of 3.” Naturally, the arrival of little sis Tinley Leighton Rahal on Sept. 6, 2022, also merited an update.

Despite the girls’ DNA, it’s probably too soon to plan for another Rahal taking the green flag at Indy or another Force girl firing up a dragster. But if it means anything, Rahal notes that with 3-year-old Harlan, “I can tell you there’s no doubt that kid loves racing” and that Tinley, too, has shown an early affinity for cars.

Rahal was about Harlan’s age when he began displaying the aptitude of a future race driver, said Bobby Rahal. “For anybody who knew him at about 3 or 4 years old, it was a foregone conclusion that Graham would end

up where he is,” he said, recalling the times he attended racing industry dinners with his son in tow. “Most little kids would tug at your sleeve and say, ‘Let’s go,’” said Bobby, yet Rahal would sit quietly in his lap, often falling asleep from physical exhaustion but never seeming to tire of the racing scene.

Rahal recalls it similarly. “As a little kid, I always wanted to be at the race track with my dad,” he said. “At 4 or 5 years old, I wanted to be a race car driver. I started racing go-karts at 10, and 25 years later, here I am.”

Rahal was only 11 when he won nine of 16 Ohio Valley Karting Association races and received Rookie of the Year honors. At 15, he got his first taste of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Formula BMW series, turning laps on the road course at an age when most teens can’t legally drive solo around their own block.

Not that his dad pushed him into it. “To be honest, I wasn’t supportive of him racing,” said Bobby. “First, there was his education, and second, I didn’t want him to feel like he had to follow in somebody’s footsteps.”

Yet his determined son would not be deterred, and when Bobby finally allowed him to race go-karts, Rahal’s immediate success convinced him that the boy was a natural. “He was made for it, and it was made for him,” Bobby said.

Perhaps it’s in his bloodline and Bobby’s, since neither was the original racing Rahal. That title goes to Bobby’s father, Michael, an amateur race driver who piloted a Porsche, an Austin-Healey, and other high-end models in Sports Car Club of America events from 1957 through the 1970s. “Racing was his outlet, a place for him to have fun,” said Rahal.

His grandfather, who had immigrated with his family from what is now

22 MAY 2024
Rahal poses with Scott Dixon and Pato O’Ward after winning 2nd place during the 2023 Gallagher Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. (Photo courtesy of Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens)

Lebanon, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and started a successful wholesale food distributorship in Chicago. Still a family business, it exists today as Rahal Fruits & Flavors, with Bobby’s brother, Ian, as president and CEO.

The casual fan might imagine that when Rahal was deemed ready for prime time, Dad’s racing team supplied the wheels. But that’s not how his father raised him. “I thought it was important for him to drive for other people,” said Bobby, “and he drove for two of the greatest teams in history: Newman-Haas and Ganassi. He earned that — I didn’t buy him a ride.”

At times, Bobby probably wished he’d kept Rahal to himself, especially when his son notched his first Indy car victory — the rain-soaked Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2008 — and set a record (since broken) as the youngest driver to win an Indy car race at 19 years, 93 days old.

Rahal’s open-wheel racing career actually began a year earlier while still a student at New Albany High School in suburban Columbus, Ohio. His racing schedule forced him to miss out on the usual high school highlights, including his senior prom. But he tried to make it up to his would-be prom date by flying her to Texas to see him compete in the Grand Prix of Houston. She was

probably impressed — Rahal placed second.

Yet Bobby never demanded top finishes from his son. “Shockingly to a lot of people, his biggest piece of advice was to follow my heart,” said Rahal. “Do what you truly love.”

Bobby had a few other thoughts, too.

“I told him I don’t care about how many races you win. What I care about most is that you’re a gentleman — good to the fans and good to your crew. Everything else will take care of itself.”

To hear Mark Jaynes talk, Rahal has already achieved as much.

continued on page 24

MAY 2024 23
Graham Rahal starts his dive into the Carousel (Turns 8-8A) during the team test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in February 2019. (Photo courtesy of Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens)

continued from page 23

“He’s a tremendous ambassador for the sport,” said Jaynes, the current “Voice of the 500” for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Some of Rahal’s finest moments occurred during his news conference after he got bumped from the Indy 500 field, Jaynes said. “If you are raising a young child who’s a football player, a basketball player, a golfer, you owe it to them to sit them down and let them hear everything Graham had to say,” he said. “I don’t think anybody’s ever handled adversity with more class and grace.”

Graham and his wife also operate the Graham and Courtney Rahal Foundation, a charity that has raised

$1.5 million for cancer research and PTSD treatment for military veterans.

The race driver’s life is never dull but never certain, either. As Rahal likes to say, “You’ve got to plan for when the music stops.” He’s nowhere near ready to park his Indy car permanently, but “you don’t know. Racing can change at any point, your life can change at any point, and you’ve got to be prepared.”

To that end, he has embraced the Indianapolis suburb of Zionsville in a big way. An August groundbreaking in Creekside Corporate Park kicked off construction on a new 115,000-square-foot headquarters

for his GR Brands, whose upscale portfolio encompasses dealerships for specialty cars and Italian-made motorcycles and motor scooters under the Ducati and Piaggio labels. He’s also building a new home in exclusive Holliday Farms, a golf community with a Pete Dye course.

In racing, as with many professions, the father’s success opens doors for the son but also imposes often unfair expectations. As a teenager, Rahal was first hailed in the press as his sport’s much-needed “phenom to capture the imagination of the American public” — then questioned a year later about why he hadn’t won in the past 20 races.

24 MAY 2024
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Rahal with his father, Bobby Rahal, before the 2019 REV Group Grand Prix at Road America at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Photo courtesy of Penske Entertainment: John Cote)

And his respectable 17-year career record, which includes six victories and two third-place finishes in the Indianapolis 500, will forever be measured against his father’s 24 wins, notably at Indy in 1986.

But it’s not as if Rahal has forgotten how to drive at Indianapolis. Last August on the road course, he was runner-up to Scott Dixon in the Gallagher Grand Prix, foiled by a lengthy yellow light after dominating most of the race.

His father cautions against comparing eras. “When I drove, the differences between teams were greater than they are today,” said Bobby. “In ’82, there were two or three, maybe four teams at most that were very

competitive, and everybody else was out there for the scraps. And there were only five or six people who had new cars. Today, everybody has new cars.”

It’s also worth noting that Rahal is only two years older than his dad was when Bobby took the checkered flag at the Indy 500. Not that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has lost any of its magic. “It’s a very special place, just as special today as it was for race one,” he said.

And when the music finally stops for Rahal, hopefully many years from now, it’s a safe bet that he’ll walk away from the sport in the same way he carried himself during his career — as a gentleman.



January 4, 1989


New Albany, Ohio


Zionsville, Indiana



Streets of St. Petersburg, 2008


St. Petersburg, 2008

Fontana, 2015

Mid-Ohio, 2015

Texas Motor Speedway, 2016

Detriot Race 1, 2017

Detriot Race 2, 2017

MAY 2024 25

Professional progression: THE ROAD TAKEN

While attending Purdue University’s construction management program, Josh Durbin envisioned a dream job of building log homes in the Rocky Mountains, far from where he grew up in Steuben County.

After college in 2008, he was offered a job in the mountains. But that was right in the middle of the Great Recession. “I had fears of moving 2,000 miles away from home and being without a job with the downturn of the economy,” Durbin recalled. “So, I decided to stay home and look locally.” And that decision — to take the more familiar road home — has made all the difference.

Today, he’s the director of member services at Steuben County REMC. While growing up, Durbin said he knew of the REMC through a friend whose dad was a lineman and a family friend who is a director. When looking for an internship, one business stood out. “I saw ‘Tipmont REMC’ on the job board. I was like, ‘Hey, I know them.’ I knew enough to think it was going to be a hometown feel.”

As a student, Durbin worked three summers and partially through the year with Tipmont in drafting and engineering. It gave him a strong sense of the cooperative culture.

Though Tipmont offered him a job upon graduation, he and his wife wanted to go home.

He took a job near Fort Wayne as a project manager for a mechanical contractor that kept him either behind a computer or traveling around the country. While he liked it, the office was an hour from home, and his wife had just given birth to their first child. “I was looking for a change. I wanted to be home and present for my family life.”

In 2012, a friend at Steuben County REMC let him know they were looking for an energy advisor. “I knew these people live and breathe our community. And that’s ultimately what I wanted,” he recalled.

Durbin received more education and certification as an energy analyst once at the co-op. In 2018, he was promoted to his current position, which still has him advising on energy and puts him in charge of load management programs and large key accounts. It also puts him in more public contact as a co-op representative.

“The beauty of what I do now is I’m involved with Junior Achievement. I’m in the schools, which I really enjoy. I’m on the local economic development board. The ‘community’ in this job allows me to do that. I didn’t think that was really me or was a necessity. But the deeper I get into it, the more I feel like I fit,” he said.

And that’s what keeps him coming back to work each day. It’s also the people he works with. “We’re a family of sorts. Everybody says that. But, when you work for a local company, that’s ultimately true. Our kids go to school together; I may have gone to school with some of the employees. It’s a small world in the sense that everybody in the community is tied together one way or another.”

profile 26 MAY 2024
Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself. INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Josh Durbin Director of Member Services Steuben County REMC 2005-2007 Interned Drafting/Engineering Intern Tipmont 2012 Hired Special Service Coordinator Steuben County REMC 2018 Promoted Director of Member Services Steuben County REMC

Indoor/Outdoor Illuminated Atomic Clock

Now you can honor a time-tested American farming icon with a clock dedicated to technical precision. This limited edition is available only from The Bradford Exchange.

The classic Model H tractor stands proud against a black-bordered, Farmall red background, along with the IH logo and “time-proved” slogan. Because it is in sync via radio waves with the of cial source of U.S. time in Fort Collins, Colorado, it is completely self-setting* and accurate to the second. You never need to adjust it, even for Daylight Savings. As night falls, a built-in sensor cues hidden LED lights to

**Plus a total of
shipping and service; see bradfordexchange.com. Limited-edition presentation restricted to 295 crafting days. Please allow 4-8
after initial payment for shipment. Sales subject to product availability and order acceptance. YES.
RESERVATION APPLICATION SEND NO MONEY NOW Where Passion Becomes Art The Bradford Exchange 9345 Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL 60714-1393 Mrs. Mr. Ms. Name (Please Print Clearly) Address City State Zip Email (optional) 01-37117-001-E59111 ILLUMINATED Over a foot in diameter! Actual size is about 14" diameter. Requires 1 AA and 4 D batteries, not included. *Manual setting required in AK and HI. ATOMIC CLOCK Atomic clocks are completely self-setting* and accurate to the second
Please reserve the Farmall Illuminated Atomic Clock for me
described in this announcement.
Respond Promptly
©2024 BGE 01-37117-001-BIQR ORDER TODAY AT BRADFORDEXCHANGE.COM/FARMALLATOMIC ©2024 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. IH, International Harvester and Farmall are trademarks registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or af liates. Scan here Unlit
illuminate the glass-encased face and Roman numerals. The 14-inch diameter, sleek chromed housing is crafted of weatherresistant materials, ideal for indoors or outdoors. Peak demand for this ne clock is expected, so don’t miss out. Make it yours now in four payments of $36.25, the first due before shipment, totaling $145**, backed by our unconditional, 365-day money-back guarantee. Send no money now—order today!


Plan ahead to operate your home’s backup generator safely

Many Hoosier homeowners add a backup generator in case the power goes out during weather turbulence.

Yet before severe weather arrives, homeowners should be sure to read and follow instructions in the manual that comes with the generator to ensure safe operation. There are some additional considerations that homeowners should particularly keep in mind with a home backup generator.


Some whole home backup generators include an automatic transfer switch, which will automatically switch the house to receive power from the backup generator during a power outage. Other whole home generators include a manual switch. These generators require a lockout installed at the circuit panel that ensures that the house receives power from the grid or the backup generator. Consult with a qualified electrician to ensure proper generator installation.


Like gas-powered vehicles, gas-powered generators emit carbon monoxide that can build up quickly. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission highlights that carbon monoxide is considered the “invisible killer” because the gas cannot be seen or smelled. The commission also recommends that generators be used only outside, at least 20 feet from your home. Portable generators should also not be used in rainy or wet conditions, which could pose a risk of fire or electrocution.


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this can energize wiring systems for great distances and pose an electrocution risk for utility workers and others. Appliances should be plugged directly into a portable generator with the manufacturer’s supplied cords or a grounded (three-pronged) extension cord, according to OSHA. The organization also states to ensure that the cords are properly rated in watts or amps for their intended use.

Homeowners can contact their local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for any questions about a backup generator. Energy advisors can answer many questions about a home’s energy use. They may even provide a list of qualified electricians to help ensure a backup generat or is correctly prepared for when needed.

Wabash Valley Power news 28 MAY 2024

Play on!

These extraordinary playgrounds inspire and excite kids of all ages

Today’s playgrounds offer more than a venue for kids to expel excess energy. Indiana’s most cutting-edge play spaces are a blueprint for creativity, exploration, and connection for every age, ability, and interest.

Westermeier Commons at Central Park, Carmel

If a child’s drawing of what the most amazing playground was to be built in real life, it would look something like the playground in Carmel’s Central Park. With futuristic silver climbing walls, neon green loops, and a series of blue slides that keep going, kids of all ages can enjoy hours of play in Carmel’s biggest park.

1235 Central Park Dr E Carmel, IN 46032 carmelclayparks.com

Possibility Playground at Hayswood Nature Reserve, Corydon

The largest all-inclusive playground in the country and the largest playground in Indiana can be found at Hayswood Nature Reserve in Corydon. Opened in fall 2023, the boldly-colored playground features twisting tunnels, lookout towers, expansive climbing structures, 18 slides, and hundreds of spaces for every child to explore, no matter their ability.

755 Highway 135 NW

Corydon, IN 47112 harrisoncountyparks.com

The Overlook at Riverside Park, Rushville

The beauty of nature and the thrill of adventure come together at The Overlook, where a natural creek bed aquatic feature is your guide between natural play elements, an accessible playground, a climbing tower, a sculpture garden, and outdoor dining areas. This link between downtown Rushville and Riverside Park makes this playground a must-visit for the whole family.

303 South Main St Rushville, IN 46173 cityofrushville.in.gov

Blast Off Playground at Williams Park, Brownsburg

Every kid dreams of becoming an astronaut, and at Blast Off Playground in Brownsburg, a child’s imagination can go into orbit. The recently renovated rocket-themed wooden play structure features towers, tunnels, ramps, monkey bars, and slides and is enclosed for maximum adventure for the kids and confidence for the adults.

940 S Locust Ln

Brownsburg, IN 46112 brownsburg.org

Howard Park, South Bend

Once you get to Howard Park, whose campus sits adjacent to the St. Joseph River, you may as well not leave, especially once the kids spot the colorful 13,000-square-foot, state-ofthe-art, ADA-accessible playground. Kids ages 2-12 will find play spaces designed for them across various levels of terrain, meaning there’s more to explore with every visit.

219 S St Louis Blvd South Bend, IN 46617 visithowardpark.com

Natalie Derrickson is a freelancer from Indianapolis.

Westermeier Commons at Central Park (Photo courtesy of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation)

Blast Off Playground at Williams Park (Photo courtesy of the Town of Brownsburg)


spring The color of

ike most country people, we have a spot along our woods that serves us well. It is both a compost heap and leaf pile, a place where we toss rakings and trimmings and lifeless vegetables. It is regularly inspected by possums, birds, and earthworms, where nothing man-made spoils its organic richness.

Despite no planning, I often find irises sprouting there among the stems and wilt and rotting carcasses of the frost-bitten and seasonally worn, for as I clean old flower beds or thin the garden, I fill my wheelbarrow and empty it at that spot.

I planted irises when we moved to our property over 40 years ago. In those days, we had a threadbare and flowerless yard with little character, and since I was the son of a mother who couldn’t live without color around her house and who had plenty of starts to spare, I brought irises home from her garden and gave them prominence in mine.

Irises have a fascinating history. They have been cultivated for centuries, with the ancient Egyptians and Greeks writing their earliest botanical chapters. Their name is derived from the Greek word for “rainbow,” an apt appellation since irises come in a variety of colors. Today, it is said that there are about 250 kinds — some growing wild — and although most of what I have are various shades of purple and yellow, one can find them in pink and blue, burgundy and white, and even black.

Some irises bloom in both spring and fall. Many have double or triple the number of “beards” than others; some have tiny, nearly reed-like blades. One native variety — called “blue flag” —

grows wild in a ditch not a half-mile from my house.

It is said that purple irises, the most common color, were placed on the graves of Greek women to summon Iris, the Goddess of the Rainbow, so she could help the departed find their way to the afterlife. Irises do, indeed, have a sort of eternal quality, for their oils can be used for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory goodness, as well as in perfumes and cosmetics.

Irises have been found included in drawings discovered in the archeological digs of Egypt, and, centuries later, the Bourbon kings of France adopted its shape in the fleur-de-lis. I recently came across a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England, painted around 1559, in which she is wearing a dress adorned with irises.

Less than a month ago, I drove to my son’s place and, like his old man, he is a bit obsessed with a neat yard. With great effort, he built his own flower beds out of old railroad ties and stones. As I stepped out of my truck, I saw the pale green tips of irises poking their heads above the leaf litter he had left in place and was planning to soon rake away.

In just a few days, a stand of purple and white irises, a new generation, will be in bloom.

Mike Lunsford is a freelance columnist, feature writer, and photographer, primarily for the Terre Haute Tribune-Star and Terre Haute Living magazine. The author of seven books lives in Parke County with his wife, Joanie. Contact Lunsford at hickory913@gmail.com.

A dark purple iris, the most common color, shows off its "beard," the soft white and yellow "caterpillar" that provides a hold for pollinators to grab. A lone iris blooms in a hillside flower bed near the writer's Parke County cabin. The petals of the irises are called "falls." Raindrops drip from a bloomed iris in the writer's yard in early May.
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