Page 1

Capital credit allocations for 1989 to be refunded.

Jackson County REMC’s


Memories How readers capture the Halloween spirit

pages 19–24


from the editor

Spice girl

I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I WANT: NO MORE VINEGAR! For most of us, 2020 has been the year of getting organized. I know the quarantine certainly ramped my spring-cleaning tendencies into overdrive, and my closets, drawers, pantry and refrigerator were weeded out, reconfigured and tidied up as never before. The organizational adventure continues for me into the fall. I’m just now tackling my spice and condiment shelves, throwing out items that are expired or that I’ll just never use. I must admit, I’m somewhat obsessed with spices. Since I love cooking ethnic cuisine, my spice and sauce selection includes several curry sauces and spices, Korean bulgogi sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, saffron and Japanese dashi. And that’s in addition to more common flavor boosters like seasoned salt, garlic powder, and good old salt and pepper. As I discover hidden jars in the backs of my numerous spice shelves, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m a bona fide spice hoarder! My evidence: Five jars of mustard seed (the essential ingredient for my mustarddill grilled salmon topping) and four jars of mustard powder, four jars of oregano and two containers plus a jumbo-sized dispenser of sesame seeds. That doesn’t include my assortment of vinegars including three bottles of apple cider vinegar, two bottles of balsamic vinegar, and bottles of rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and flavored balsamics like chocolate, vanilla, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry and pear. Oh, and I’ve accumulated my fair share of oils — coconut, sesame, rape seed, pumpkin seed, chile, and various flavored olive oils. I recently read that when Martha Stewart organized her pantry, she found 47 types of salt and 27 varieties of olive oil in it. Though I am nowhere near being a Martha-level spice girl, I recognize some similar tendencies. So, I am hereby vowing to stay far away from aisle W9 at my local store until I deplete my current stockpile. Now I need to pull out my mustard dill sauce recipe and get cooking!


On the menu: February 2021 issue: Bananas, deadline Dec. 1. March 2021 issue: Recipes featuring coffee, deadline Dec. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaway: Enter to win a $50 gift certificate from The Sherman in Batesville. Visit Entry deadline for giveaway: Oct. 30.

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 4 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 280,000 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 Stacey Holton Creative Services Manager Mandy Barth Communication Manager 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.











05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative.


10 ENERGY Deciphering your home’s energy use — and what you can do about it.



cover story




Spotlighting Carroll County.

Sweet memories: How readers capture the Halloween spirit.




The Sherman: Tastes of Germany right here in Indiana. 17 FOOD Can’t stop the phyllo.


Indiana Connection

Electrical fire safety: Prepare and prevent. 26 PETS Prepare for your pet’s wintertime needs.

29 DIY Chip and seal: Simple first aid for your car’s paint job. 30 PROFILE Stockman Tyler Schoffner motivated to make a difference.

On the cover Halloween creates some of the sweetest childhood memories, but they’re not all about the “treats.” Readers shared memories of special family time creating costumes, decorating, and having fun. And some who enjoy Halloween most are big kids — whose inner youth is only slightly veiled by a thin mask of age. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION



Jackson County REMC news

ADDRESS: 274 E. Base Road P.O. Box K Brownstown, IN 47220-0311

CONTACT US: PHONE NUMBERS Local calls: 812-358-4458 Toll-Free: 800-288-4458



OFFICE HOURS: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

BILL PAYMENT: Online: By phone: 1-888-999-8816

REPORT OUTAGES OR EMERGENCIES: 812-358-4458 (local) 1-800-288-4458 (toll-free) day or night

YOUR ELECTRIC CO-OP PAYS YOU FOR BEING A member! Your REMC is more than an electric utility. It is YOUR electric utility. Because of that, REMC members like you enjoy some special perks including one that literally puts money back in your pocket.

Capital credit allocations for 1989 to be refunded The Jackson County REMC board

If you are an heir of a member who

of directors has declared that the

had service in 1989 and is now

capital credits that were allocated to

deceased, you can either go online

members for the year 1989 are eligible

at to check

for refund, with payments scheduled

if there is a refund available and

to begin the end of November.

download an estate claim packet, or

Members and heirs of members

you can call the office at 812-358-

who had service during this year are

4458 or 800-288-4458 to confirm there

eligible to file claims.

is a refund available and receive an

Notices were mailed out the end of September. If you were a member in 1989 and you


received a mailed notice, it is because

President John Trinkle, District 3 Vice President Walter Hunter, District 2 Secretary-Treasurer Jerry Kelley, District 5 John Hackman, District 1 Paul Elliott, District 4 Mark Trisler, District 6 Curtis Wischmeier, District 7 Dave Hall, District 8 John Miller, District 9

our records. Please fill out and return

we have a valid address for you in

estate claim packet by mail. If you need to update your name and address for a future capital credit refund, you may obtain a name and address change form by going online or by calling the office.

the claim form that accompanies the

As always, contact the REMC office at


812-358-4458 or 800-288-4458 if you

If you were a member in 1989 but

have any questions.

did not receive a mailed notice, go

Please note: If you received a

online at to

capital credit allocation refund for

confirm you have a refund available

the years 1949 to 1988, you do not

and download an inactive account

need to reapply for the new refund

claim form. You can also call the office

period. The refund for the new

at 812-358-4458 or 800-288-4458 to

period will automatically be sent to

check if a refund is available. We can

the address we have on file.

mail an inactive account claim form to you. OCTOBER 2020


Jackson County REMC news

FIBER INTERNET FAQ What package is best for me and my family?


Determining which package is

fiber either aerially or underground

best for your family can depend on

to your home and attach a NID

many factors. What do you plan on

(Network Interface Device) to the

using your internet for? How many

outside of your home. Please do not

devices would you have running at

call REMC once this is complete.

one time? How large is your home

We will contact you once step 4 is

or business? If you give us a call at


the office, 812-358-4458, our CSRs


would be happy to help you choose

The fiber will now be spliced at each

which internet package is right for

end and tested to confirm that the

you. However, if you commit to

proper signal levels are present at

one service, and decide you need

the home.

more, or less, you can change your package at no charge... at any time.

Crews will install, or “drop,” the

STEP 5: HOME INSTALLATION When we receive a positive test

How reliable is fiber internet?

result from the splicers, you will

Fiber can better withstand different

be contacted to call the office to

temperatures, weather, and water

schedule the in-home installation.

than other technologies can. Since

Once scheduled, our technicians

we build our fiber lines directly

will run the fiber from the NID into

to your home, you do not have to

your home and install the router.

worry about poor signals from a

What zones are open right now?

tower or satellite.

What is the process of installation?

Currently, we have five zones that


Installation Pre-Drop appointments:

When service is available in your

Salem East, South Boston, Pekin,

area, we will contact you to schedule

New Frankfort and a small portion of

a “pre-drop” survey to determine

Spurgeon’s Corner.

what work is needed to install the

We have six zones that have

fiber to your home.

available service, but free installation


has ended: Reddington, Pleasant

A technician will meet with you

Grove, Little York West, Kossuth,

on-site to discuss any unknown

Cortland and Brownstown.

underground lines, cables or pipes

Although these areas do not have

that could be an obstruction for the

free installation at this time, if you

construction crews and to locate

give us a call at the office at 812-

the best place for your router inside

358-4458, you can be placed on a

your home.

list to be contacted when we can

are open or partially open for Free

do a limited time offer for the free


installation. OCTOBER 2020



Jackson County REMC news

Power On:

October is National Co-op Month As an electric cooperative, our top priority is always to provide reliable, affordable energy to you, the consumer-members we serve. Because we are a co-op, our mission is to enrich the lives of our members and serve the long-term interests of our local community — and this mission has never been more critical than in recent months. One of the seven principles that guides all co-ops is “concern for community.” This principle is the essential DNA of Jackson County REMC, and it sets us apart from other electric utilities.



October is National Co-op Month, and electric cooperatives across the country are highlighting the many ways we “Power On.” Keeping this theme in mind, we recognize the essential role Jackson County REMC plays in serving a special community like ours. Who would have fathomed in March that the COVID-19 virus would amount to a test of our community and our nation? The changing circumstances due to the pandemic have created both challenges and

opportunities. Over the past several months, we’ve all been challenged to operate differently, and Jackson County REMC has stepped up to help our members and strengthen the safety net for our more vulnerable neighbors. Jackson County REMC cares about this community — because we live here too. We’ll continue to “Power On.”




KILOWHAT? Deciphering your home’s energy use – and what you can do about it

A glance at your monthly electric bill shows you the amount of energy powering your home. Yet all the information on the bill may also leave you in the dark about what exactly it all means. Fortunately, we can shed light on it!

energy consumed multiplied by your local electric cooperative’s kWh rate leads to the total of your monthly energy cost. Different appliances use varying amounts of energy, and their consumption is based on how frequently they are used:

Measuring Your Energy Your monthly energy bill includes a lot of information. For instance, your bill may include a facilities charge, which incorporates the cost of maintaining the poles and wires to safely and reliably deliver electricity to your home. And, yes, your bill also includes the amount of electricity your house used during the previous month.

• 1,000-watt coffeemaker: Used every day for a year would use about 365 kWh annually

Your home’s energy use is typically measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh, for short. This is the amount of electricity needed to do 1,000 watts of “work,” or 1 kilowatt, for 1 hour. The amount of kilowatt-hours of



• Clothes dryer: Used four hours each week would use about 580 kWh each year • 26-cubic-foot refrigerator: Uses on average about 725 kWh annually More electricity is used to heat and cool buildings than nearly any other activity; this is why your energy bills are the highest during the dog days of summer and winter’s coldest months. Your air conditioner and heating system are working the

hardest during these times to maintain the thermostat settings to keep you comfortable. Improve Your Energy Use Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your home’s energy use. LED light bulbs that are ENERGY STAR-certified are much brighter, have longer lifespans, and use significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs. ENERGY STAR-certified appliances also use less energy than other options on the market. You also can consider ENERGY STAR-certified heating and cooling equipment and water heaters. You can consider a blower door test, which will measure how airtight your home is, and identify potential air leaks. Air leaks lead to treated air escaping your home. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder than needed, wasting

energy and costing you money. For more tips and advice, you can visit the ENERGY STAR website at www.energystar. gov. You also can contact your electric cooperative’s energy advisor. Your energy advisor can analyze your home’s energy use and even recommend an energy audit, which will feature a list of recommended action items that you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency. This will help make your home more comfortable while lowering your home’s long-term energy costs.


Carly Nichols

Marketing and Communications Coordinator Jay County REMC


ELECTION DAY DRAWING NEAR The 2020 general election day is Nov. 3.



Who can vote? To vote in the 2020 general election here in Indiana, you must be both a U.S. citizen and a resident of Indiana; be at least 18 years of age on or before the general election; not currently be in prison after being convicted of a crime; have lived in the precinct where

Thanks from Hall of Fame

you vote for at least 30 days prior to the

Thank you so much from

How to vote. There are two ways to vote in

all of us at the Mascot Hall

the general election: by absentee ballot or in-

of Fame for all the time you

person on Election Day.

took with the interview and

To register for an absentee ballot, you must qualify under one of the 11

how well it came out (August

election; and are registered to vote.

reasons listed on the Indiana Secretary of State’s website. Visit https://www.

cover story). Nothing but Absentee ballots must be received by your

positive comments from so

county election board by Oct. 22.

many people. We are obviously very proud of the Mascot Hall of Fame and everything “connected” to it.

Al Spajer Director, Community Engagement Mascot Hall of Fame Whiting, Indiana

If you plan to vote in-person on Election Day but are not sure where to go, visit and click on “Find My Polling Location.” You can search by both voter registration (your name and birthday) as well as by county. By casting your vote on Nov. 3, you can be assured your voice is heard on the local and national levels. As you evaluate the candidates and determine who to support, remember that elected officials play a very important role in ensuring that your electric cooperative can continue providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.

I just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed your article in the August issue about embracing our five senses (“From the Editor,” August issue). I’m making copies to share with my granddaughter and with my friends. Thanks again,

Elda Myers



VOTE n ov. 2 O2 O

Sharing your article



Tips to keep you safe online

Use strong passwords and change them regularly. The best passwords are at least eight characters and include different types of characters — try using a memorable verse from your favorite song and adding a few numbers and special characters, ($ ! _ &) or even a space. Install software updates. Your apps and operating systems will periodically send updates. Install them — they often include protections against the latest security threats. But remember, those updates come from the apps and not from emails or social media notices. Use two-factor authentication for online accounts. A second factor will be something you have, like your phone to receive a passcode, or something you are, like a biometric fingerprint, in addition to something you know, like a password or security question. Think before you click. Be wary of any offer or link that comes through the internet, whether by email or social media, or even a phone call instructing you to get online. Don’t click on a link unless you know for certain what it is.

Marketplace Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. Don’t miss this opportunity to reach over a half million consumers at an affordable rate! Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847-749-4875 or, for small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection.



Buy Factory Direct & Save!

Visit Switzerland County, Indiana

22 Colors, Fast Delivery.

Great Outdoors, Small Town Feel

Two Convenient Locations:

History, Shopping, Cuisine

• Dayton, OH (937) 503-2457

Award-Winning Local Wines

• Decatur, IL (217) 864-5835

Campgrounds and Boat Launches

county feature

The historic canal boat, “The Delphi,” gives voyager visitors to the Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center a taste of traveling the historic manmade waterway of 175 years ago.

Carroll County In the very year Carroll County was founded — 1828 — the Indiana General Assembly accepted a federal grant for a massive project that would impact the county’s future, most notably its seat of Delphi, for the next 40 years. Its legacy remains a source of pride Delphi shares into present day. The project was the Wabash and Erie Canal, the longest canal ever built in North America. The ambitious 468-mile artificial waterway linked the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. Though the canal didn’t survive even a half century because of maintenance issues and the railroads, its memory and legacy are fondly featured in Delphi’s city logo and an interactive museum that tells the canal story. The Wabash and Erie Canal was actually four canal projects linked together: the Miami and Erie Canal from the Maumee River near Toledo, Ohio, to Junction, Ohio; the original Wabash and Erie Canal from Junction to Terre Haute, Indiana; the Cross Cut Canal from Terre Haute to Worthington, Indiana (Point Commerce); and the Central Canal from Worthington to Evansville, Indiana. From there, the Ohio River gave shippers access to the Gulf of Mexico. Construction began in Fort Wayne in 1832. Operation began in the summer of 1843.



y t n u o C acts F

Travel along the canal included both freight and passenger “packets.” FOUNDED: 1828 Packets were narrow shallow boats pulled NAMED FOR: by three horses, oxen, Charles Carroll, a signer or a mixture of oxen of the Declaration of and horses from a Independence and a towpath alongside the senator from Maryland. canal. Within the first He was the last surviving decade of operation, founding father, dying at however, the canal’s age 94 in 1832. economic viability was in doubt. Travel was POPULATION: slow and quarters were 20,127 (2018 estimate) tight for passengers. COUNTY SEAT: Delphi Maintenance was high as the canals constantly had to be dredged, and the banks and towpaths eroded. Canal Association, a community Those issues along with rapidly nonprofit organization dedicated expanding railroads soon made the to Indiana’s canal heritage. The canal obsolete. museum includes a 2.5-mile While use of the canal ceased in 1876, Delphi did not let the history of the engineering marvel fade. The Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center opened in 2004 as the only museum designed to tell the whole story of the Wabash and Erie Canal’s 44-year operational history. The interpretive center is operated by the Wabash & Erie

segment of the canal that has been rebuilt and reopened as a waterway and parallel towpath along with a miniature reservoir, aqueduct, lock, and gristmill, a pioneer village and more. The museum is usually open daily, and an admission fee is charged. (During the pandemic, please check its website,, for updates on reopening and operating hours.)



Indiana eats

Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to The Sherman.

Tastes of Germany right here in Indiana

Learn more on page 3.

Historic building home to German restaurant and 22-room hotel

Sauerbraten with Braised Red Cabbage

Gulf Shrimp Cocktail

Blackened Salmon with Mushroom Risotto



At a time when traveling beyond our borders is not an option, one of the best cures for wanderlust is to sample cuisines of other countries. And one of the best restaurants to enjoy authentic German cuisine right here in the Hoosier state is The Sherman, a combination bar/restaurant/ hotel in Batesville. Formerly known as The Sherman House, the German tudor-style building was constructed in 1852, making it the one of the state’s oldest buildings. Its name honors Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and the 83rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry who marched under him in the Civil War. The Sherman’s owners — husband and wife Georg Heringer of Bavaria and Peyton Hughes from Fort Worth, Texas — offer an eclectic menu blending German and American favorites at The Sherman’s recently renovated Circa 1852 Restaurant. Sauerbraten with braised red cabbage and whipped potatoes, and the appropriately named “Best Wurst Platter Ever” (featuring three different German sausages, a trio of

mustards and sauerkraut) are standouts for German cuisine lovers. The impressive Bavarian Giant Pretzel, served with bier cheese and mustard trio is a not-to-be missed appetizer.

a quick autumn getaway. Designated a Historic Hotel of America, The Sherman has 22 restored guest rooms, all with the ambience of European boutique hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, restaurant regular State Sen. Jean Leising also vouches for menu items like shrimp cocktail, ribeye steak and filet mignon. Homemade cheesecake and bread pudding, she said, are among the restaurant’s finest desserts. “(The Sherman) is the nicest restaurant with quality food in the Batesville area,” Leising said.

Visit the restaurant for lunch and dinner from Monday through Saturday. Though the restaurant is closed on Sundays, the Black Forest Bar is open for Sunday dinner from 3-9 p.m.

For those preferring the vibe of a German-style bar or biergarten while enjoying a variety of beers (including Hoosier craft beers), wines and cocktails, The Sherman offers three options: The Black Forest Bar, which features a 20th century antique bar and a fairy tale ambience; the Biergarten; and the Bier Hall. The Sherman also offers catering and box lunches. Its convenient location between Indianapolis and Cincinnati makes an overnight stay at The Sherman perfect for those wanting


Sen. Jean Leising (R) represents District 42 which covers Rush County and portions of Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Ripley and Shelby counties. She chairs the Senate’s Agriculture Committee and serves on the Utilities, Commerce, Natural Resources, Education, and Health and Provider Services committees. The Oldenburg resident is a farm owner and travel agent.

THE sherman 35 S. Main St., Batesville 812-934-1000 800-445-4939


Can’t Stop


APPLES IN PHYLLO CRUST Charlotte Rymph, Monterey, Indiana

6 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced 2 T. lemon juice 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 T. quick cooking tapioca ½ t. cinnamon 2 t. oil 6 sheets phyllo dough ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 4 squares) 2 t. cinnamon sugar

In a large saucepan, combine apples and lemon juice. Stir in brown sugar, tapioca and cinnamon. Let stand 15 minutes. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and apples are crisp-tender. Cool. Brush oil on both sides of phyllo sheet. Sprinkle lightly with cracker crumbs. Place one sheet of phyllo, crumb side up and evenly centered in a 10-inch pie plate. Do not trim. Place second sheet at a 45-degree angle to the sheet below it. Continue with remaining sheets placing each layer at a 45-degree angle to the bottom sheet. Pour the apple filling into phyllo pastry. Fold alternate points of phyllo over the filling. Brush top with oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Editor’s note: A sprinkle of powdered sugar atop this dessert made it “picture perfect.” OCTOBER 2020



BLACK BEAN TACO CUPS Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana 1 roll phyllo dough, thawed ¼ cup melted butter 1 t. taco seasoning, divided 1 can black beans ½ cup chopped tomatoes ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese ½ cup guacamole ½ cup sliced olives 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro Remove four sheets of phyllo dough from package. Cover with a clean towel. Mix melted butter and ½ t. taco seasoning together. Place one phyllo dough sheet on a cutting board. Brush with butter. Place another sheet of dough directly on top of the first sheet. Brush lightly with butter. Repeat with third sheet. Place fourth sheet on top. Do not butter. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into 3-inch squares. Grab each stack and place in mini muffin tins, pressing dough down in the corners. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for 8-10 minutes until golden. When slightly cooled, carefully remove from muffin tins. Pour beans in a colander and rinse. Shake to remove excess water. Pour beans in a bowl and mix in ½ t. taco seasoning. Add 1-2 teaspoons of beans to the bottom of each cup. Add a small amount of cheese, tomatoes and guacamole


Patricia Piekarski, Harvey, Illinois 2 leeks, sliced thin 1 clove garlic, minced 1 T. butter or margarine 3 beaten eggs 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2/3 cup milk 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese Dash pepper 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey 4 (18-by-14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed 3 T. butter or margarine, melted In a skillet, cook leeks and garlic in 1 T. butter or margarine until tender. In a large bowl, combine leek mixture, eggs, spinach, mozzarella cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Stir in turkey. Brush one sheet of phyllo with some melted butter. Fold in half crosswise. Press folded phyllo dough into a 9-inch pie plate; let ends hang over. Repeat with remaining phyllo dough and butter, staggering phyllo in pie plate so bottom and sides are evenly covered. Spoon turkey filling into crust. Fold ends of phyllo toward center. Bake uncovered at 375 F for 45-50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges.

so cups are full. Top with olives and cilantro. FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECT I O N S TA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R MA RA NI O N




Memories How readers capture the Halloween spirit


rare full moon — a blue one at that — will rise into the evening sky on Halloween this year. For the abnormal year that’s been 2020, why should we expect the annual celebration of the paranormal to be normal? Whether the pandemic and social distancing will affect traditional Halloween activities like door-todoor trick-or-treating, Haunted Houses, hayrides and parties remains to be seen. But not even COVID-19 will scare off folks from decorating their homes and finding ways to have small get-togethers. No matter what memories are made this Halloween, it won’t affect the memories and the costumes from the past. Earlier this year, Indiana Connection asked readers to share photos and stories of their favorite Halloween memories, costumes and decorations. Some 65 readers submitted over 100 photos and shared memories of Halloweens past. Some of our favorites are presented here. In addition, we drew five names randomly from all those submitted for $50 prizes for submitting their memories. Those five readers are listed on page 24.



Spirited Halloweens haunt Ghost Hollow Road Of course we love Halloween ... we live on Ghost Hollow Road! Is it haunted? That depends on who you ask, but it does make for the best hayrides, Halloween parties, and conversation starters! We started a tradition of making our own coordinating themed costumes when we built our home in Ghost Hollow. We have continued our tradition for well over 12 years and now includes our children. The best part — we keep our costumes a secret from our family and friends until Halloween! Our favorite costume of all time (and the one that took the longest to make) was our green plastic army men costume. When we decided to start a family, we didn’t let that hinder our costume tradition. As our kids are getting older, it’s getting a little more difficult to come up with coordinating costumes for not only the five of us, but something that also keeps our twins in outfits that match each other. Our son helped us come up with our first family-of-five costume theme. He had nicknamed our twins “Itsy and Bitsy” before they were born because he liked to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider to them. Once Halloween came, we decided to all be parts of the Itsy Bitsy Spider song: the sun, the rain, the spout, and the twins were “Itsy and Bitsy!” Our second costume as a family of five was also inspired by our children: their favorite food — a hot dog, French fries, Easy Mac, ketchup and mustard. We love our Halloween tradition for our family. Who knows what costume will come from Ghost Hollow this year?! Darin and Ashley Bowling Veedersburg, Indiana



Never too old for trick-or-treat As a rural homemaker, my mother joyfully engaged her children in all of the “fuss and frenzy” of holiday activities. When “trick-or-treating” became popular in the early 1950s, she sewed my older brother and me our first Halloween costumes — matching red polka dotted clown outfits. The costumes were classic clown outfits, not the scary kind of today’s horror movies. As we grew older, she encouraged us to create homemade costumes, like hoboes, fishermen and farm hands, from a grab bag of discarded old clothes. A store-bought mask usually completed the outfit. (On Halloween, my parents then drove us to family, friend and neighbor homes. We also tried to come home early so we wouldn’t miss the “trick-or-treaters” who came to our house for homemade popcorn balls! One Halloween in the early 1960s, she also sewed another clown costume for my brother’s last grade school Halloween costume party.

Farm at Prophetstown State Park. Just a few weeks before Halloween in 2017, the staff asked me to

This traditional orange and black clown costume

participate in

eventually found its way to a grab bag of Halloween

its Halloween

clothes. As my brothers and I grew older and no

celebration of

longer trick-or-treated, my mother took the grab bags


of Halloween clothes to nursing homes where she

with the Animals.”

volunteered. Dressing in the orange and black clown

Could I decorate

costume, she encouraged the residents to put on some

the Gibson House,

of the grab bag clothes and relive the fun of bygone

as if the family was

Halloween parties. After my mother passed in 2012, I

celebrating traditional

rediscovered the Halloween grab bags.

Halloween? Could

I just could not discard the vintage, but now a little

I wear an appropriate costume?

worn, orange and black clown costume. With no plans for its future use,

My mind almost immediately went to the classic orange and black clown costume. With the help of a

I washed it and

former teaching colleague, the costume was patched

put it away in the

and renewed. It fit! These last few Halloweens, I have

laundry room.

entertained and engaged visitors at the Farm in a

After my

truly traditional costume. This simple classic costume

retirement from

continues to bring enjoyment to youngsters who are

teaching in 2016, I

celebrating their first Halloweens, and it connects me

began volunteering

to fond memories of my family’s traditions.

at the 1920s

Mary E. Anthrop West Lafayette, Indiana



Costumes have magical transformational powers Did you know Halloween costumes have magical

coordinating gold belt. Courtesy of the internet again,

powers? Slip into one, and you miraculously slip into

Prince Charming’s gold epaulettes are the real deal ...

a new identity! And did you also know that youth is

no drapery fringe for a prince! Cinderella’s accessories

not required for this mystical transformation to take

were easy: earrings out of my jewelry box and ribbon

place? We know! It’s happened to us … and we’re senior

for a necklace and for my hair. Of course, Cinderella’s


costume had one other very important requirement:

Of all the “alter egos” we’ve had the chance to

Glass slippers!

experience, perhaps Cinderella and Prince Charming

Once again, the internet obliged and provided some

are our favorite. When we are in those costumes,

very lovely (if terribly uncomfortable!) glass slippers.

children respond so genuinely and in doing so, truly

But in the end, it’s worth it. To become “REAL,” to make

DO create magic. While dressed as the personas of

a child believe in fairy tales. That’s priceless.

Cinderella and Prince Charming, we met a small girl in her own Halloween costume. She literally threw herself, in tears, into the folds of my skirt because she was so overjoyed to see Cinderella!

Oh, and as a side note: I’m not so sure that Cinderella and Prince Charming really ARE our alter egos. My dear husband truly IS even more charming than Prince Charming...and he certainly makes ME feel like

Through the magic of a homemade costume I

a princess ... even when my shoes AREN’T made of

became, in her eyes, Cinderella — alive and in person!


That same magic transformed me. I temporarily ceased to be a “senior-citizen-office-worker-fromLafayette-Indiana” and was suddenly a PRINCESS, making a little girl’s dreams come true. You’ll never be able to convince me that that’s not magic. Our costumes are both homemade. I sewed Cinderella’s dress and the Prince’s jacket from patterns bought at the local fabric store. But the real fun was in creating the rest of the costumes’ components. My favorite saying is, “The difference is in the details.” And I applied that to these costumes. For the Prince, I added gold trim to pre-purchased red pants and shopped the internet for a



Rosalind Rupp Mulberry, Indiana

The ‘leaf’ of the party When my children were growing up,

When she walked into our church

we avoided scary or gory costumes.

to attend the children’s Halloween

In 1976 I made my 5-year-old

party, someone said, “Oh, look! A

daughter a costume so she could

tree!” She immediately set them

dress as a pile of autumn leaves. I

straight, saying, “I’m not a tree!!

draped an old sheet around her like

I’m a pile of LEAVES!!”

a hooded cape, pinning it under her chin and down the front, and cutting the bottom to ankle-length. I picked up a couple of maple leaves

The ribbon she is holding in the picture is the prize for “Most Original Costume.”

out of our yard, traced them on

P.S.: I told my husband that if I

construction paper until I had about

ever again came up with such

70-80 copies, cut them all out by

a time-consuming, labor-

hand with scissors, and sewed them

intensive idea, he should do an

onto the sheet by hand with a few


stitches through the middle of each

Mary C. Blair

leaf. She wore a red half-mask to

Corydon, Indiana

complete the costume.

Halloween costume with a ‘twist’ My daughter, Holly, always had the best ideas for Halloween costumes, and this is the one that truly became our family favorite. In 2011 she requested a tornado costume. I am a seamstress, but at the time was eight months pregnant and miserable. It took roughly a couple hours to create it by sewing black fabric into a cone shape and (I still am unsure how I managed this part) sewed a hula hoop into the top of the cone. To keep it on her shoulders I sewed ribbon in a cross for her head to go through and the ribbon would not slip off her shoulders. The fun part came when we used a glue gun to adhere shades of white, gray and purple tulle to the outside of the cone. We completed the look by adding little plastic animals, vehicles and people to the tornado. I swirled her hair into a funky mess to duplicate the twisting of a volcano. On Halloween, she was the only warm kid on the block as she was able to wear a winter coat underneath the tornado costume. She would spin from house to house while trick or treating. Beth O’Donald Georgetown, Indiana OCTOBER 2020


Halloween grab bags Some of my favorite Halloween memories are from my aunt’s Halloween parties over the years. The whole family would get together, and everyone (young and old) would go all out with their costumes. One of my favorites was the year my now-husband and I went as Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat. And one of the best parts of the evening? A family hayride put together by my uncle! Laura Messmer Jasper, Indiana

This big guy’s name is Harry, and he shows up every Halloween. He keeps getting bigger every year! Tony Lilly Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Homemade costumes are the best. This was one of my favorites. It was pretty easy to put together. Kids wear long sleeve black shirts, leggings and black gloves. I made the sheep costumes from material bought at a fabric store. The ears were black felt, and they also had little black tails! The staff was made from a pole and aluminum foil, duct taped, and spray painted white. I made the bonnet out of cardboard wrapped in material. The skirt I owned, and just added an apron over the top, with a white shirt. My kids have many fond memories, and trophies from my creative ideas! Kim Handy Oxford, Indiana

First you get your craziest camping friends together. Then you cast a “spell” that makes them get Addams Family costumes ready. Poof! These are some of the best Halloween memories of our lifetimes. Karen Rayman Washington, Indiana

Saw this idea from a Martha Stewart article. I used white bulletin board paper and free handed the ghosts from black paper and glued them to the white paper, then taped them to the windows from inside the house. They are on all three sides of the house facing a highway, and I pray every year that it won’t cause a wreck when drivers glance over and see it. Kim Renneker New Salisbury, Indiana

$50 random drawing winners 24


Heather Murphy, Butlerville, Indiana

Judy McMillin, Columbus, Indiana

Kim Renneker, New Salisbury, Indiana

Mary Hayes, Knightstown, Indiana

Nancy Moore, Kendallville, Indiana


electrical fire safety prepare and prevent

Home fires started by malfunctioning electric appliances and faulty wiring kill nearly 500 Americans each year and cause $1.3 billion in property damage. But many electrical fires can be prevented simply by following basic safe practices and being aware. “The statistics are staggering and disturbing,” said John Gasstrom, CEO at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “But behind the statistics are our families, friends and neighbors. Hearing about anyone injured in an electrical fire is what’s most upsetting. Oftentimes, injuries or the fire itself could have been avoided.” Electrical wiring consists of metal wires that “conduct” or move electricity from place to place and materials like rubber that “insulate” the conductors and keep electricity from escaping its intended path. Electrical fires can start when its protective insulator or connections are compromised and electricity escapes. Among them: • Improperly installed or outdated wiring • Faulty outlets • Exposed wires on cords, including extension cords and device cords • Problems with light fixtures, lamps and outdated appliances • Misuse of electrical cords, such as overloading circuits and outlets An “arcing fault” results when a conductor’s insulation is

compromised. This creates a discharge of electricity between two or more conductors and results in heat, which can further break down a wire’s insulation and trigger an electrical fire. Arc faults can occur when older wires become frayed or cracked, when a nail or screw damages wiring in a wall, or when outlets or circuits are overloaded. If you experience dimming or flickering lights, unusual burning odors, unusual buzzing or sizzling sounds, or circuit breakers that trip repeatedly, contact a qualified electrician immediately. “While it’s important to do all we can to prevent electrical fires, we must also prepare for the worst beforehand,” Gasstrom said. Installing smoke detectors is the number one way to proactively keep the home and family safe. Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of a home. They should be tested monthly and have their batteries replaced annually, or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. A fire escape plan should also be in place and practiced regularly. Make sure any fire extinguishers you have are labeled for Class C, or electrical fires. Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B-C.

TIPS TO AVOID ELECTRICAL FIRES AT HOME • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. They should be tested monthly, and batteries should be replaced each year. Replace alarms every 10 years, or according to manufacturer suggestions on the alarm. • Have your home inspected by a qualified electrician to ensure all electrical work is up to code, especially if it’s older than 20 years. • Do not overload outlets. Power strips do not provide more power to a location, only more access to the same limited capacity of the circuit into which it is connected. • Keep heat-producing appliances unplugged when not in use. • Install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) to safeguard against arc faults, which could cause a fire.




WINTERTIME IS COMING Are your pet’s needs on your list of preparations? It may be only October, but

failure. Another way to

if you look around, nature

protect the paws is to put

is beginning its prepa-

booties on your dog when

ration for winter. You’re

it goes outside.

probably thinking about winter, too: Planning to get the gutters cleaned, the furnaced checked, and the snowblower unburied from the shed and tuned up.


Pets can easily get frostbite on their extremities, such

as their ears, legs and tail. Try to control the amount of time your pet stays


Cats seek places where it is warm. Make sure out-


Pets should not be left alone in vehicles due to

door cats are not sleeping

the potential for carbon

in warm car engines. If

monoxide poisoning or

you park outside, be sure to


pound on the hood of your car prior to starting it.


Decrease fre-


If your pet must stay outdoors, be sure to provide

quency of baths

a warm shelter. A good

You should also think

outside and use booties

so you don’t dry

“house” will have three en-

about your pet’s needs

to prevent frostbite to

out your pet’s skin. Also,

closed sides, will be elevat-

before winter arrives.

the feet. Although some

use a moisturizing sham-

ed off the ground, and will

Winter can be hard on your

pets are conditioned to

poo to combat dryness.

contain generous amounts

animal, too, whether it is

cold weather, veterinary

Your veterinarian can rec-

of bedding such as straw or

an inside pet or outside.

experts agree that you

ommend shampoos to use

hay. Do not use old carpet

The veterinary experts at

should bring outdoor pets

during winter months. For

or blankets on the floor that

Purdue’s College of Veter-

indoors if the temperature

pets with long hair, proper

can retain moisture — and

inary Medicine have eight

drops below 20 F. Puppies,

grooming is essential to

freeze — unless you check

tips to keeping your furry

kittens and short-haired

help them maintain a layer

them daily and replace

friend happy and healthy

pets should come inside

of warming air within their

them when wet. Make sure

this winter.

anytime the temperature


the roof doesn’t leak and


Be sure to wipe your dog’s paws to remove any

salt or deicer after it goes

goes below 40.


To encourage your dog to eliminate outdoors


Smaller dogs would benefit from using a

sweater or coat when go-

outdoors. Salt and ice can

when there is snow on the

ing outside to help retain

cause trauma to pads.

ground, clear a small path

body heat.

Also, deicer is toxic to the

on your lawn.

kidneys and causes renal



that the siding is as tight as possible to reduce drafts. If you build your pet’s shelter, adding an inner wall with even a thin layer of Styrofoam insulation between it and the outside siding will add to your pet’s comfort for little cost.

product recalls

Not up to safety standards The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers about two different types of bicycle helmets for adults and children that failed to meet federal safety standards and may not perform as expected in case of a fall or crash.

MORPHER FLAT-FOLDING HELMET: The CPSC is warning consumers of the Morpher flat-folding bicycle helmets to stop using them and to dispose of them. The helmets do not comply with the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets and may not offer protection in case of a fall or crash. Morpher is no longer in business and is unable to conduct the recall. Amazon and Morpher are contacting all known purchasers directly. Morpher flat-folding bicycle helmets were sold in one size, fitting head circumferences from 52 to 58 centimeters (20.5 to 22.8 inches). The helmets were sold with a storage bag and in a variety of solid and dotted colors. The Morpher name and logo appear on both sides of the helmet; the Morpher logo appears on the back of the helmet. The helmets were sold online at, and from April 2017 through November 2019 for about $150.

WOOM BIKES CHILDREN’S HELMETS: These helmets for children, sold in blue, green, purple, red and yellow, also do not meet the federal safety standards. “Woom” is printed on both sides of the helmets and the size “S” appears on the back of the helmet. Only the small-sized helmets are included in this recall. The helmets were sold online at and from December 2018 through July 2019 for about $70. Contact woom bikes USA at 855-966-6872; or online at and click on Safety and Recalls at the bottom of the page for more information.

SOAKER GUN HAS TOUCH OF LEAD Hasbro has recalled two models of Nerf Super Soaker water blasters due to violation of the federal lead content ban. The models, XP 20 and XP 30, were sold exclusively at Target from March to July 2020 for about $8 (XP 20) and $13 (XP 30). The decorative sticker on the water tank of the water blaster toys contain levels of lead in the ink that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. The Super Soaker XP20 (E6286) is a green and orange hand-held water blaster, and the XP 30 (E6289) is an orange and blue hand-held water blaster. “Nerf Super Soaker” and the model number are printed on the sticker on the side of the water blaster. Contact Hasbro Inc. at 888-664-3323; or online at and click on “MORE INFO” at the bottom of the page for more information. OCTOBER 2020


Hoosier Energy news

Did you know...

Facts about your co-op’s power provider About Hoosier Energy Hoosier Energy is a non-profit generation and transmission cooperative (G&T) founded in 1949 to provide wholesale power and services to member distribution cooperatives. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, we serve 18 locally owned member cooperatives in southern and central Indiana and southeastern Illinois. Our mission is to provide members with assured, reliable and competitively priced energy and services in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.









Chip & Seal


SIMPLE FIRST AID FOR YOUR CAR’S PAINT JOB Chips in the paint of our vehicles are

parts department should have the

a pen or tiny bottle of it to add on top

inevitable, especially if we drive rural

exact match, or take your VIN or the

of the touch-up paint after it thoroughly

“chip-and-seal” county roads before

vehicle’s paint code to an auto parts

dries. Use the same dotting layer

they’re fully “sealed.”

store to find the match.


More than just making our vehicle

Now, you’ll have to act like a surgeon


look bad, chips deep in the paint, like

— and not lose your patience.

filled in the chip so that it’s smooth

Shake the touch-up paint 15-20

with the rest of the surrounding paint

a tiny cut on our body, can lead to worse problems when left untreated. If the car’s three layers of protection

seconds to thoroughly mix.

— clear coat, paint and primer — are

Grab some toothpicks or invest in

damaged, rust can start forming,

something like a Loew-Cornell Fine

festering and eating at your vehicle’s

Line Painting Pen — which has a

metal. So, seal them up simply.

small reservoir on its end to hold

Just as a little cleaning, antibiotic and a band-aid will handle most small cuts, most small chips in the paint can be touched up with a little cleaning, touch up paint and polish. It just takes patience and proper techniques.


First, wash at least

the part of the car with the chips with soap and water. When dry, rub each chip thoroughly with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol, lacquer thinner or acetone to remove old wax, soap, and any remaining dirt. Let it air dry.


Make sure your touch-up

paint matches your car. Your dealer’s

paint (available at places that sell art supplies or online for around $10). Set aside any small nail-polish brush that might come with your bottle of touchup paint; you won’t use it. The key is to apply the paint in tiny dots — do not brush the paint into the chip. Little by little in layers, fill in the chip with touches of tiny drips off the toothpick or from the paint pen. Let each layer dry before applying the next. Keep building up the layers till you overfill the chip. The paint will shrink a bit as it dries. If your paint doesn’t come pre-mixed

Once you have

and it’s dried and cured, apply your favorite wax to the whole area to help protect your work. There are many videos on YouTube that show you how to perform simple fixes like this, or more involved chips. For instance, if rust has already begun and is visibly expanding underneath existing paint, additional steps are required such as scraping out the rust and sanding the chip before filling it in with paint. As with any DIY project, know your abilities and limitations. It’s always best to follow the medical profession’s oath: First, do no harm. If you realize fixing the chips is more than you care to tackle, turn to professionals at the local car shop to help you get your car looking show-room new again.

with clear coat, you might want to get



career profile

Serving you

for 30+ years Top 3

responsibilities in a day: •

Customer service. Establishing billing accounts for new members and closing out members’ billings. Monitoring the turn on/off for remote meters for accounts that have been established by other CSRs.

Answering the phone. Taking payments, answering billing questions, scheduling fiber appointments, setting up payment arrangements, trouble shooting high bill complaints, answering capital credit questions and directing calls to other departments.

Carol Johnson

Daily/weekly reports. Processing daily mail payments, verifying rates and other data for billing accounts, managing rental agreements, refunding good pay deposits along with refunding final bill credits.

Do you see opportunity for growth? There is so much growth with the co-op from the tuition assistance program, workshops for customer service training and leadership training skills.

Have you had to master new skills to be successful in your position? Being a 30+ year employee, many of my skill sets have changed over the years. The biggest for myself has been going from paper to all electronic service set-ups.



Customer Service Representative Jackson County REMC

What part of your job do you find most fulfilling? Being able to destress a member when they are overwhelmed with their situation. It may be a member just establishing service to offering an established member payment options.

How do you describe working for the co-op? The co-op has been a great workplace. We are like family; each person is wiling to step in when someone else may be struggling with issues. Management is willing to listen to concerns and make changes when it is for the better of members and employees. Working safely and healthy has been a big part of the co-op life as well.

INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.



Profile for IndianaConnection

Jackson County REMC — October 2020 Indiana Connection  

Jackson County REMC — October 2020 Indiana Connection  

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