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The Magazine of Fun and Fact Since 1995

Community Band A Pastor’’ss Life AM Miid winter Night’s Tale FIE IELD NO NOTES

Jan./Feb. 2020

Step into our warm, inviting space. Relax, take your time, and open your mind to a world of flavor.

Repast: rē-past (noun, 14th century) the act of taking food, a meal And meals are best when shared with those you love. That’s why we started six years ago with the simple idea of bringing folks together and offering them tools to make “repast” something special. Beginning with a collection of fine olive oils and aged balsamics, we have carefully curated complimentary offerings of olives/spreads, balsamic jams, dipping oils, salts, spice blends, gift sets and accessories. And then we put it all under one, beautiful “roof.” Stop by, warm up, and see/taste for yourself! Visit us on facebook or follow us on instagram for updates and recipes, specials, and share your own ideas with other Wild Ones just like you!

Located at 37 W Main next to Millerʼs Ice Cream. (812) 988-WILD (9453) • www.thewildolive.com

Village Green Building Celebrating over 100 years in nashville The Nashville you came to see and love…

Where you can see the work of local artists — whether it’s ice cream, candy and fruit preserves made the old fashioned way or the artwork of local artists and craftsmen. · first floor · Homemade Ice Cream Homemade Candies Homemade Fruit Preserves · second floor · Antiques · Art and Craft Galleries Working studios of local artists



The Candy Dish

Yes, we really do make it ourselves!

Fine Homemade Chocolate Candies and Fudge Gourmet Caramels Over 50 Flavors of Salt Water Taffy



Homemade Ice Cream

Harvest Preserve the

Homemade Fruit Butter Gourmet Food Cookbooks · Cookie Cutters Postcards · Greeting Cards Kitchen Gadgets Galore Giftware · Tea and Teaware


Functional and Fine Art Made in Indiana


61 West Main street · nashville, indiana


annual to-do list

From blues, bluegrass, & folk Americana music festivals to running through the hills & admiring local artwork, there’s so much to do here – enough to keep you coming back time & time again. DECEMBER 21-MARCH 28 – Mysterious Hills Winter Hike Series JANUARY 18 – Frosty Trails Festival MARCH 21 – Death March Ride MARCH 28 – “A Taste of Art” Wine Tasting & Art Auction APRIL 5 – Victorian Tea APRIL 24-26 – Wildflower Foray MAY 2 – Indiana Wine Fair MAY 2 – Spring Blossom Parade MAY 2 – Morel Mushroom Festival & Mash MAY 16 – Dances with Dirt MAY 16 – Run with the Foxes MAY 17 – Dawg Gone Walk & Fiesta MAY 22-24 – Shelby Spring Fling

MAY 27-30 – John Hartford Memorial Festival JUNE 5-6 – Brown County Historical Society & Pioneer Women’s Quilt Show JUNE 5-22 – Indiana Heritage Arts Exhibition & Sale JUNE 6 – DINO Series Trail Run JUNE 7 – DINO Series Mountain Bike Race JUNE 12-14 – Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic JUNE 13-20 – Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival JULY 24-25 – Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Festival AUGUST 13-15 – Brown County Humane Society Barn Sale AUGUST 27-29 – Bean Blossom Blues Festival

SEPTEMBER 6 – Brown County Survivor SEPTEMBER 8-13 – Bean Blossom BikerFest SEPTEMBER 19 – BucCornEar Fest SEPTEMBER 19 – Abe Martin County Picnic & Nashcar Outhouse Race SEPTEMBER 23-26 – Uncle Pen Fest OCTOBER 1-31 – Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour OCTOBER 9-11 – Big Woods Brown County Epic Mountain Bike Festival OCTOBER 12 – Knobstone Trail Run NOVEMBER 7 – Cabin Fever 5K NOVEMBER 14 – Chocolate Walk NOVEMBER 21 – Brown County YMCA Hilly Half Marathon NOVEMBER 28 – Gravel Grovel

Celebrate the 2020 holiday season in Brown County the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day! From a fun run in the State Park and a holiday light parade to craft shows and visits with Santa, nothing beats a Brown County Christmas! THE VISITORS CENTER IS LOCATED AT 211 SOUTH VAN BUREN STREET


Brown County N


Martinsville Candy Kitchen

Carmel Ridge Rd

Nineveh Edinburgh Morgantown 31 37 135 I-65 46 Bloomington Columbus 46 NASHVILLE

Monroe Music Park & Campground

Helmsburg Sawmill Pool Enterprises



Helmsburg General Store

Sweetwater Lake

Rosey Bolte’s Uncommon Gourd Studio Vaught Rd.

Cordry Lake

Sprunica Rd. Upper Bean Blossom

Doodles by Kara Barnard

Flower and Herb Barn Farmhouse Café


Lightspinner Studio


to BL O

Artist and/or Gallery

Al’s Paint & Body


Old SR 4


rove R d.

Amanda W. Mathis



at k Rd etre all Cree Tire Co. kside R tique M Salt n w e Bro

Cre Co. An wn Bro

eXplore Brown County Abe Martin Lodge

Mt . Li


ty R




MI Mike’s Music and Dance Barn

Lil Black Bear Inn

y iner Co. W BONE n w Bro NAW

G Co Overlook Brown Humane Dunham Lodge Society Heartland Gnaw Bone Tattoo Store & Bakery 19th Hole Bear Wallow Sports Bar Distillery



to BL OO

Yellowwood Rd



Annie Smith Rd.


lley Rd.

Salt Creek Golf Retreat

Kelp G

Green Va

Yellowwood State Forest

Cox Creek Mill


Country Club Rd

Oak Grove

Musical Entertainment

ran c


Lodging/ Camping

Mike Nickels Log Homes


Ow l Cr eek


Dr. Lisa Baker, DDS Fireplace Center






Val le


Trafalgar 252

The Apple Works

Antiques Co-op Art Beyond Crayons Grandpa Jeff’s Trail Rides House of Clocks




Clay Lick Rd

Lake Lemon






Brown County State Park

Monroe Reservoir


k Rd ton Cr





ove r Gr

ansbu rg Rd


la Pop

T.C. Steele State Historic Site


Homestead Weaving Studio Salem’s Good Nature Farm


Village Green

Hoosier Artist Gallery



Hobnob Corner

Brown Co. Art Guild

Moonshine/ K. Bellum Leather

The Wild Olive

ST SR 135 N

Miller’s Ice Cream The Candy Dish The Harvest Preserve B3 Gallery

Brown Co. Winery

Head Over Heels

Log JJail L il

Gold &Old

Redbud Terrace

Health For U


Brown Co Art Gallery

Masonic Lodge

To Brown Co Recycle Center

SR 46 To Hard Truth Hills




County Offices

Woodlands Touch of Silver Gallery

Main Street Shops


Foxfire Boutique

James R. Spear CPA

Nashville Spice Co. moved to Coachlight Square

Weed Patch Music Company

Pioneer Village Museum


Heritage Candy Store

Heritage Mall

Spears Pottery Juls Etc.


open M-F8-4

Copperhead Creek Gem Mine

Iris Garden Cottages & Suites

Brown Co. Rock & Fossil Shop

GOULD STREET Iris Garden Complex

Brown Co. History Center

Brown Co Public Library


TO Lory Winford HeresHome Studio

MOLLY’S LANE Big Woods Village


Common Grounds Coffee Bar

Men’s Toy Shop

Colonial Bldg.

Carmel Corn Cottage

Heavenly Biscuit

At Home in the Heartland


Hidden Valley Inn



The Emerald Pencil

Zieg LeDoux & Assoc. Inc.


Brozinni Pizzeria

Carpenter Hills O’Brown Realty

J.B. Goods/ Life is Good

Hotel Nashville




The Salvation Army


Thrift Shop Community Closet

Nashville BP



Calvin Place


Schwab’s Fudge

New Leaf Amy Greely

Life is Good JB Goods



McGinley Insurance

The Totem Post

Jack & Jill Nut Shop

Brown Co Playhouse

58 South Apparel



Franklin Sq

Ferguson House

Antique Alley

Clay Purl

Old McDurbin Gold & Gifts

Country Heritage Winery

Bone Appetit Bakery

Brown Co Inn Hotel, Restaurant and Bar

Brown County IGA

Brown Co Community YMCA

Bear Hardware


Casa Del Sol


Brown County Eye Care Brown Co Health & Living

Salt Creek Park Brown Co Music Center

Seasons Lodge & Conference Center

Doodles by Kara Barnard



Artist and/or Gallery Rest Room Dining

Musical Entertainment Parking


map not to scale

Nashville Indiana

Coachlight Square

Nashville Spice Co.



Brown Co Craft Gallery

Cornerstone Inn


Moondance Vacation Homes

Nashville Fudge Kitchen

Sweetwater Gallery

Possum Trot Sq

Wishful Simply 4 You Thinking

Back to Back

House of Jerky

Artists Colony Inn

Artists Colony

Cathy’s Corner

Cedar Creek Winery

Nashville Express

Rhonda Kay’s

Out of the Ordinary and Hickory Bar


8 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020



B3 Gallery............................................. 3

Brown Co Playhouse........................ 47

Antiques Co-op................................. 46

Bone Appetit Bakery........................ 12


Cathy’s Corner................................... 55

Brown Co Art Guild........................... 19

Abe Martin Lodge............................. 55

The Emerald Pencil........................... 19

Brown Co Craft Gallery.................... 20

Artists Colony Inn............................. 14


Cathy’s Corner................................... 55

Bear Wallow Distillery...................... 37


Clay Purl............................................. 15

Brown Co IGA.................................... 54

B3 Gallery............................................. 3

The Emerald Pencil........................... 19

Brown Co Inn..................................... 29

Antiques Co-op................................. 46

The Ferguson House........................ 41

Brown Co Winery.............................. 15

Art Beyond Crayons......................... 46

Foxfire................................................. 41

Brozinni Pizzeria............................... 36

Bear Hardware.............................42,56

Head Over Heels............................... 53

The Candy Dish................................... 3

Brown Co Art Gallery....................... 18

At Home in the Heartland............... 49

Carmel Corn Cottage....................... 52

Brown Co Art Guild........................... 19

Homestead Weaving Studio........... 18

Cedar Creek Winery.......................... 12

Brown Co Craft Gallery.................... 20

Hoosier Artist Gallery...................... 20

Common Grounds Coffee Bar........ 13

Cathy’s Corner................................... 55

House of Clocks................................. 46

Country Heritage Winery................ 42

The Emerald Pencil........................... 19

Ironweed............................................ 56

Darlene’s at Hotel Nashville............ 47

At Home in the Heartland............... 49

Moonshine Leather/

Farmhouse Cafe................................ 14

Hoosier Artist Gallery...................... 20

K. Bellum Leather............................. 22

The Harvest Preserve......................... 3

Amanda W. Mathis............................ 18

Lightspinner Studio-

Heavenly Biscuit............................... 55

Lightspinner Studio-

Martha Sechler.................................. 12

Helmsburg General Store............... 51

Martha Sechler.................................. 12

Madeline’s.......................................... 53

Heritage Candy Store....................... 23

Spears Pottery................................... 18

Men’s Toy Shop.................................. 23

Hobnob Corner Restaurant............ 43

Rosey Bolte-Uncommon Gourd..... 18

Mosaics by Cindy Steele.................. 51

Hoosier Buddy Liquors.................... 15

Lory Winford, pastelist..................... 19

New Leaf............................................. 19

Hotel Nashville.................................. 47


Rhonda Kay’s..................................... 36

House of Jerky................................... 23

58 South Apparel.............................. 36

Simply 4 You...................................... 13

Miller’s Ice Cream................................ 3

Bear Hardware.............................42,56

Spears Pottery................................... 18

Nashville BP....................................... 15

Community Closet Thrift Shop....... 53

Sweetwater Gallery.......................... 19

Nashville Fudge Kitchen.................. 60

Foxfire Boutique............................... 41

The Totem Post.................................. 12

Nashville Spice Co............................. 59

Head Over Heels............................... 53

Rosey Bolte-Uncommon Gourd..... 18

Out of the Ordinary & Hickory Bar.37...

J.B. Goods/ Life is Good................... 24

Wishful Thinking............................... 13

Schwab’s Fudge................................. 52

Men’s Toy Shop.................................. 23

Woodlands Gallery........................... 22

Seasons............................................... 21



The Wild Olive..................................... 2

Antiques Co-op................................. 46

Brown Co Music Center................... 14


Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 9


Hotel Nashville.................................. 47

Nashville BP....................................... 15

Antiques Co-op................................. 46

Lil Black Bear Inn B&B...................... 22

Rambling Dog Design - SIGNS....... 57

The Ferguson House........................ 41

Moondance Vacation Homes......... 42

James R. Spear, CPA.......................... 21

At Home in the Heartland............... 49

Seasons............................................... 21

Waltman Construction Co............... 56



Zieg LeDoux & Assocs. Inc.............. 56

Bear Hardware.............................42,56

Bone Appetit Bakery........................ 12




Head Over Heels............................... 53

Head Over Heels............................... 53

B3 Gallery............................................. 3

K. Bellum Leather............................. 20

Moonshine Leather/

Hoosier Artist Gallery...................... 20

The Totem Post.................................. 12

K. Bellum Leather............................. 22

Spears Pottery................................... 18




Bone Appetit Bakery........................ 45

B3 Gallery............................................. 3

Carpenter Hills o’ Brown Realty..... 53

Clay Purl............................................. 21

Brown Co Craft Gallery.................... 20

RE/MAX-Marg & Brenda.................. 57

Fireplace Center................................ 58

Cathy’s Corner................................... 55


Head Over Heels............................... 59

Ferguson House................................ 41

Grandpa Jeff’s Trail Rides................ 43

Health For U....................................... 65

Foxfire................................................. 41


House of Clocks................................. 50

Hoosier Artist Gallery...................... 20

Al’s Paint & Body............................... 56

House of Jerky................................... 14

Juls Etc................................................ 24

Dr. Lisa Baker, DDS........................... 36

Moonshine Leather/

LaSha’s................................................ 22

Bear Hardware’s Bagged Trash....... 56

K. Bellum Leather............................. 22

New Leaf............................................. 19

Brown Co Eye Care............................ 56

Men’s Toy Shop.................................. 23

Old McDurbin Gold & Gifts............. 13

Brown Co Health & Living............... 57

Nashville Spice Co............................. 59

Rhonda Kay’s..................................... 36

Brown Co Humane Society............. 43

Weed Patch Music Company.......... 52

Spears Pottery................................... 18

Brown Co Tire & Auto....................... 56

Wishful Thinking............................... 13

The Totem Post.................................. 12

Brown Co Visitors Center................... 4


Touch of Silver Gold & Old.............. 24

Brown Co Community YMCA.......... 57

Sweetwater Gallery.......................... 19


Dunham Plumbing........................... 57


Abe Martin Lodge............................. 55

Heartland Tattoo Co......................... 23

Artists Colony Inn............................. 14

Artists Colony Inn............................. 14

Helmsburg Sawmill Inc/

Hotel Nashville.................................. 47

Brown Co Health & Living............... 57

Pool Enterprises Inc.......................... 52


Brown Co Inn..................................... 29

Keyed IN Property Mgt.................... 57

Brown Co Humane Society............. 43

Cornerstone Inn................................ 12

McGinley Insurance (Farmers)........ 56

Health For U....................................... 57

Creekside Retreat............................. 43

Julia Mueller, hypnotherapist........ 21

Mike Nickels Log Homes................. 23

Hidden Valley Inn............................. 24

Flower and Herb Barn...................... 57

Contents 16 Heating with Wood ~by Bob Gustin 25 25 Years of OBC ~by Cindy Steele 26 Dr. Laura Hammack

32-33 Calendar of Events 34 Artist Bill Bateman

~by Ryan Stacy

37 Poems ~by Eric Rensberger 38 BC Community Band ~by Julia Pearson

44 A Pastor’s Life ~by Jeff Tryon 48 Winter Neighbors ~by Jim Eagleman 50 A Midwinter Night’s Tale ~by Mark Blackwell

54 BC Ukulele Festival 56-57 Brown County Info Pages

58 Good Intentions

Bob Gustin worked as a reporter, photographer, managing editor, and editor for daily newspapers in Colorado, Nebraska, and Indiana before retiring in 2011. He and his wife, Chris, operate Homestead Weaving Studio. She does the weaving while he gives studio tours, builds small looms, and expands his book and record collections.

Ryan Stacy is a content writer at Monroe County Public Library, and also enjoys writing about Brown County. He and his wife live in Bloomington, where they can often be found chasing movies, good food, and cultural events. His other interests include reading, photography, and music.

Joe Lee is an illustrator and writer. He is the author of The History of Clowns for Beginners and Dante for Beginners and illustrator of six other titles, including Dada and Surealism for Beginners, and Music Theory for Beginners. He is an editorial cartoonist for the Bloomington Herald Times, a graduate of Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and a veteran circus performer.

Julia Pearson wrote for a Franciscan magazine for ten years and served as its human interest editor. She and husband Bruce now reside in Lake Woebegone Country for life’s continuing adventures. Julia enjoys traveling and visiting museums of all types and sizes, with her children and grandchildren.

Jeff Tryon is a former news editor of The Brown County Democrat, a former region reporter for The Republic, and a former bureau chief for The Huntsville Times. Born and raised in Brown County, he currently lives with his wife, Sue, in a log cabin on the edge of Brown County State Park. He is a Baptist minister.

Mark Blackwell no longer makes his home in Brown County where “the roadway is rough and the slopes are seamed with ravines and present a meatless, barren, backbone effect.” He now resides within sight of the sixth green of an undisclosed golf course. He was born in the middle of the last century and still spends considerable time there.

Jim Eagleman, recently retired DNR naturalist, and his wife Kay, enjoy hiking the many natural areas, preserves, and land trust sites in Brown and neighboring counties. His FIELD NOTES have appeared in this publication for several years. Contact Jim with comments and inquiries at <jpeagleman@gmail.com>.

Chrissy Alspaugh is a freelance writer and owner of Christina Alspaugh Photography. She lives in Bartholomew County with her husband, Matt and three boys. She can be reached at <christina_alspaugh@ yahoo.com>. View her work at <ChristinaAlspaughPhotography.com>.

~by Chrissy Alspaugh

30-31 Photos ~by Jeff Danielson*


~by Gunther Flumm

Cover: Dr. Laura Hammack ~by Chrissy Alspaugh

*Jeff Danielson spent most of his childhood in Wales, Britain, and Scotland after his family moved there from Philadelphia. He attended IU in Bloomington then owned and operated the Runcible Spoon Café for 25 years until he sold it in 2001. He has since become immersed in nature photography. He and his wife D’Arcy live on the Brown County/Monroe County line.

Special thanks to Kara Barnard, Gunther Flumm, and Eric Rensberger for their contributions this issue. Thanks, Mom, for making it happen!

10 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Cindy Steele is the publisher and editor of this magazine. She sells and designs ads, sometimes writes, takes photos, and creates the layout. For fun, she likes to play the guitar or banjo and sing.

OUR BROWN COUNTY ourbrowncounty.com ourbrown@bluemarble.net

Also online at issuu.com/ourbrowncounty OR search in the mobile app ISSUU and on Facebook for OUR BROWN COUNTY

P.O. Box 157 Helmsburg, IN 47435 (812) 988-8807

Singing Pines Projects, Inc. copyright 2020

Coloring Contest Win $20

Publisher’s choice. Send to this address by February 20.

OUR BROWN COUNTY P.O. Box 157 Helmsburg, IN 47435

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 11

38 Franklin St. E. | Nashville, IN | drinkatthecreek.com | Open Every Day

The Totem Post ~Since 1952~

• Genuine Native American Jewelry • Zuni Fetishes • Sterling Silver Jewelry • Copper Jewelry 78 S. Van Buren St. • Minnetonka Moccasins Nashville , IN • Pendleton • Knives 812-988-2511 ~Open all year~ TheTotemPost.com


• Premium, all-natural treats since 1997 • Over 20 varieties from low-fat to grain-free • Gourmet and seasonal snacks, too

Get a FREE Sampler bag of natural dog treats with $10 purchase and this ad.

DOGS WELCOME! (812) 988-0305

Open 7 days 211 S. Van Buren St. (behind Visitor Center)


Lightspinner STUDIO

Martha Sechler Unique Watercolors Mixed Media Gourd Art

4460 Helmsburg Rd. Nashville, IN • 812-988-7379 Open whenever home. Call ahead.

12 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

PLY 4 YOU SIM Handmade & Unique Gifts • Hand-painted Signs • Homemade Body Scrubs • Giant Scrabble Letters • Solar-Changing Finger Nail Polish • Biker Bracelets • Painted Ball Jars And much more...

145 S. Van Buren St. Nashville, IN 812-350-8806

Guess Photo Win $20 WHERE IS IT? Call (812) 988-8807

Be the first person to call and win the money! Leave a message with the location of the photo, your name, and your phone number.

Simply 4 You Gift Shop Simply_4_you@aol.com

Established 2001

FREE in-store demos!

Old School Way and Pittman House Lane

(next to the Toy Chest, behind Yesteryear Old Time Photos) Visit our website for class schedules www.wishfulthinking-in.com • 812-988-7009

Old McDurbin Gold & Gifts 50%


• Anklets • Bracelets • Necklaces OFFLRY E Watches JEW Sterling Silver Rings 1000’s of Pendants

Blue building in Antique Alley S. Jefferson St. • Nashville, IN


Last issue’s photo was a mosaic scene in front of the Brown County Art Guild in Nashville. Janet Slaven was the first to guess.

Subscriptions make great gifts

SUBSCRIBE One Year’s Subscription for $15 —for postage and handling.



COFFEE BAR It’s like a coffee shop in a living room (with things to amuse you)

Hot, Cold & Frozen Drinks • Selection of Teas Froothies (our fruit smoothies) Famous for Cheesy Eggs & Toast • Pastries • Quiche 66 N. Van Buren, Nashville (Molly’s Lane behind the red door) Opens 8:00 am M-Sat; 9:00 am Sun (Closed Wed) 812-988-6449

Send with check or money order to:

Our Brown County P.O. Box 157 Helmsburg, IN 47435

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 13

Farmhouse the

Inn & Restaurant

A Charming 19th Century Style Inn and Restaurant

Farmhouse Cafe ...a country drive to an unexpected dining pleasure · LUNCH ·

Homemade Soups, Salads and Garden Sandwiches


• 20 Guest Rooms, 3 Suites with Whirlpool Baths • Banquet and Conference Rooms for Retreats or Parties • Gift Certificates Available Serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Breakfast Buffet 7:30 am–10:30 am Monthly Dinner Theatre Shows At the corner of Van Buren and Franklin Streets in Nashville, Indiana

812-988-0600 • 800-737-0255


14 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Steak · Salmon · Pork Chicken · Pasta R Garden and Fruit Salads Soups · Desserts Herbal Teas · Cool Drinks Beer & Wine

5171 Bean Blossom Road · Just 15 minutes from Nashville

A small, intimate restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating

. Reservations Suggested · 812-988-2004 LUNCH: DAILY · 11–4 PM DINNER: TUESDAY–SATURDAY · 5–8 PM

farmhousecafeandtearoom.com · Like us on

Fresh In-Store Donuts

Hoosier Buddy Liquors Cold Beer, Fine Wines & Select Spirits Cold Beer:

Hoosier Buddy offers more than 150 different beers, including more than 80 craft, micro, and imports. We proudly offer a wide variety of beers from Indiana’s finest brewers.

Fine Wines:

Broasted Chicken 812-988-1822

Nashville BP State Roads 46 & 135 270 S. Van Buren St. in Nashville

Brown County

Hoosier Buddy is a wine-lovers type of store. With more than 200 wines to choose from, we’ve got something for everyone. Check out our “Affordable Imports” and “90+ Point” selections.

Select Spirits:

Hoosier Buddy offers an ever expanding array of top-notch spirits. Our whiskey category alone includes more than 75 different choices. Whether you’re looking for a Single Barrel Bourbon or a Single Malt from Islay— we stock them.

284 S. Van Buren • Nashville, IN (next to Subway) 812-988-2267 M-Th 8am-10pm • Fri. & Sat. 8am-11pm NOW OPEN SUNDAYS Noon-6pm Follow us on Twitter @HoosierBuddy1

As always, Hoosier Buddy Liquors reminds you to celebrate safe—don’t drink and drive.

come see us in antique alley…



92 w franklin st ¥ nashville, in ¥ 812.988.0336 sunday 1- 4, tuesday 6:30-8:30, thursday - saturday 11-5

Complimentary Tastings · Two Tasting Rooms WINERY IN GNAWBONE

4520 State Road 46 East · Nashville 812.988.6144


East Main & Old School Way 812.988.8646


Monday-Thursday 10 – 5 · Friday & Saturday 10 – 5:30 · Sunday 11 – 5

Wine & Wine-related Gifts · Gourmet Foods Outdoor Seating · Gift Cards · Online Ordering

BrownCountyWinery.com Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 15

Heating with Wood

Dan Johnson uses wood as the main source of heat.

~story and photos by Bob Gustin


here’s something comforting about a nice blaze in a fireplace or wood stove on a cold winter’s day. There’s an aesthetic value, to be sure, and a mood-setter. But heating with wood is a renewable source of energy, and an economical one as well. Dan Johnson, a Van Buren Township resident who owns a construction company, uses wood as the main source of heat in his home and shop. He has an electric furnace, which is used only if he is away from home for extended periods during winter months.

16 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Instead, he burns 15 to 20 ricks of hardwood, mainly white oak, each year. “When that furnace comes on, I picture money going out the chimney,” he said. For Johnson, the best part of heating with wood is “being part of a community,” a sharing of his time, effort, and wood with others. He moved to Brown County from Indianapolis in 1994, and right away, Bob Melton and Jim Ogle “Brown Countied me,” he said. “They taught me the Brown County way.” The Brown County wood heating community works like this: If a tree goes down on the property

…if the wood is cut, split, and stacked by Easter, it should be ready to use for heating the next fall and winter. of someone who doesn’t want to mess with it, the owner calls somebody like Johnson. He comes and cleans it up free of charge, hauling away the wood to be used at his house or sold to others. Both sides benefit, and the community grows by word of mouth. Meanwhile, Johnson benefits from the physical exercise. Jerry Fleetwood of Fleetwood Excavating also uses Johnson to remove trees as part of his jobs. A rule of thumb, he said, is if the wood is cut, split, and stacked by Easter, it should be ready to use for heating the next fall and winter. Most of Johnson’s woodcutting is done in the winter, and scraps from his woodworking shop provide kindling for starting fires. He sells about 12 ricks of firewood to neighbors each year, and Johnson said the going rate for dried firewood is about $50 a rick. Johnson’s wood heating bible is Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way, by Lars Mytting, which emphasizes stacking techniques that promote air circulation and plenty of sunshine. The book outlines all facets of firewood preparation, and Johnson said the book outlines “a way of life” for using wood as a heat source. Johnson’s chainsaw of choice is a Stihl, mainly because Bear Hardware in Nashville is a dealer for the saws

and a reliable source of repair. And he’s careful to wear the proper safety equipment: Gloves, boots, eye and ear protection, and chainsaw-resistant chaps. The chaps became a necessity after Johnson had an accident and cut his leg with a chainsaw. Now he jokes about it: “I bought me a new pair of chaps. They were kind of expensive, but at least they didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration says about 2.5 million households use wood as the main fuel for home heating, and about 9 million more use it as a secondary heating fuel. That’s about 10 percent of the households nationally. But a higher percent use wood in rural areas than in cities and that percentage increases even more in heavily wooded areas, like Brown County. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, high-density wood burns longer and has a higher heating value, while low-density wood burns Continued on 20

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 17

HOMESTEAD WEAVING STUDIO Quality Handwovens by Chris Gustin

Brown County Art Gallery Brown County’s Original Art Gallery · established 1926 ·


Yarn • Looms • Supplies • Classes Southeastern Brown County 6285 Hamilton Creek Road Columbus, IN 47201

Open 11 to 5 most days CALL AHEAD Visit us on the Back Roads Tour

www.HomesteadWeaver.com • 812-988-8622


Abstract Art: Love It, Hate It, Learn About It

In conjunction with the Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University. Guided reception Sunday, March 8.


26th Annual Victorian Tea

Annual Gallery Fundraiser · Formal Tea · Door Prizes Special program, “The Exotic World of Spices,” by the Nashville Spice Company. Reservations required

APRIL 18 – MAY 24

C. Curry Bohm: Brown County and Beyond

Major exhibit of works by this iconic early Brown County artist. In conjunction with the release of Bohm biography by Dan Kraft and associates.

Locally Crafted Pottery • Jewelry • Photography • Wood • Fiber • More... Downtown Nashville (S. Van Buren St. near stoplight/courthouse) • Open Daily

www.spearspottery.com • 812.988.1286 • Spears Gallery on Facebook

Complete calendar of workshops and events online Open Daily 10 am – 5 pm · Sunday Noon – 5 pm Free Admission · Free Parking Corner of Main & Artist Drive · Nashville, IN

812.988.4609 · BrownCountyArtGallery.org

Amanda W. Mathis Originals, Prints, and Cards

photo by Michele Wedel

Open Daily • Call for Hours • 812-320-0747 220 Kelp Grove Rd. • Nashville, IN • amandamathisart.com Also represented by Spears Gallery and the Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville

18 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Lory Winford Fine Art

Sweetwater Gallery Stained Glass • Paperweights Mosaic Mirrors • Pottery Fabric Wallhangings New Location: 158 Old School Way Nashville, IN • 812-988-0449

Pastelist inspired by nature’s colors

HeresHome Studio Workshops and Private Lessons Studio visits by appointment only Commission work accepted 15 N. Johnson St. Nashville, IN

Work shown at Hoosier Artist Gallery in Nashville

916-804-2484 • hereshomestudio@gmail.com

Lory Winford Pastelist

NEW LEAF An eclectic mix of creative items by local, regional, and global artists

THE GUILD. FINE ART BY FINE ARTISTS. WELCOME TO THE HISTORIC ART GUILD • Artwork for Sale • Artisan Gift Shop • Permanent Art Collection • Special Exhibitions

© 2020 Brown County Art Guild, Inc.

Featuring handcrafted jewelry by owner Amy Greely

Calvin Place Franklin & Van Buren Streets Nashville, IN • (812) 988-1058 www.amygreely.com

48 S. Van Buren Street, Nashville, IN 47448 812 988-6185 BrownCountyArtGuild.org


Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 19

Proper operation of the stoves is important for both environmental and safety concerns. Safety rules, including protection of walls, floors, and ceilings; proper ventilation and chimneys; and regular cleanings to prevent fires caused by creosote buildup, are also crucial. Be careful about quantity when buying firewood. Some firewood is sold by the cord, which is a pile of wood four feet high, four feet wide, and eight feet long. Some is sold by the rick, or face cord, with is four feet tall and eight feet long, but can be of any width. So if the rick is only 16 inches wide, that equals one-third of a cord. Many experts recommend firewood be stacked to dry for several months before using, depending on its type and its freshness. Firewood should be seasoned until its moisture content is less than 20 percent. Moisture meters to measure this content are available. Wood should ideally be stacked so that air and sunlight can reach it, with a cover of some sort on the top, and positioned outside away from dwellings (which prevents termites from spreading to the house). ď Ž

HEATING WITH WOOD continued from 17 quickly. The heating value of trees commonly found in the state varies greatly. The DNR says Osage orange, dogwood, and hophornbeam trees are the most dense, with highest heating values, followed by hickory, oak, and black locust. Other efficient species include blue beech, birch, hard maple, and mulberry. Among the woods with the lowest heating values are white pine, cottonwood, aspen, basswood, and tulip poplar. The DNR recommends a combination of highand low-density woods for heating, which can make fires that are easy to start but burn a long time. Though heating with wood is a major cause of air pollution in some western cities, wood stoves are more environmentally friendly than they used to be. The DNR says stoves sold after July 1, 1988 must meet EPA standards to reduce pollution, accomplished in part by secondary burning chambers and catalytic combustors.

20 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020




“Take your life in a New Direction!” JULIA J. MUELLER Best Selling Author Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

Lodge Lodge & Conference Conference Center Center Located across from the NEW Brown County Music Center “My passion is coaching and facilitating incredible life changes at the deepest level.” * Stress Management * PTSD * Addictions * Improve Your Health * Weight Loss * Stop Smoking * Performance in ALL Areas of Your Life!

Julia J. Mueller C.Ht. • A Mind & Body Connection

• Balcony Balcony Rooms Rooms

Executive Park North 2620 N. Walnut St. Suite 700 • Bloomington, IN 47404

941-730-3965 • www.AMindandBodyConnection.com

JAMES R. SPEAR CPA Certified Public Accountant Chartered Global Management Accountant

• Restaurant Restaurant • Lounge Lounge

In practice since 1983 and accepting new clients Providing Professional: TAX PREPARATION and CONSULTING FINANCIAL STATEMENT PREPARATION BUSINESS VALUATION

• Enclosed Enclosed Pool Pool • Conference facility for up to 500 people 560 State Road 46 East, Nashville, IN

76 East Main Street Old State Bank Building Nashville, Indiana


812-988-2284 • SeasonsLodge.com Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 21

Moonshine Leather Co. Handcrafted Leather Goods Made in the USA

812.988.1326 · moonshineleather.com

A n y t hin g But Or d ina ry

SBJ/LMJ Designs Opals by Larry • Pendants • Earrings • Bracelets • Nec klaces

812-988-0522 A variety of natural stones and colors

New home of K Bellum Leather!

local artisans

Sterling Designs by Sharon & Larry


created by hand

87 East Main Street • Nashville, IN • (812) 988-6080


1 9 7 8


No rt h Va n B ur e n an d Mo lly’s Lan e • N ashville

Doing business for over 25 years

Lil Black Bear Inn B&B Breakfast Bre Br Bre rea ak akf kffa k ast as sstt Daily Daily Da illy ly

A unique cooperative gallery featuring fine arts and crafts by local and area artists

Open Year Round · 10 AM - 5 PM daily VISIT US IN OUR NEW LOCATION!

Your Home away from Home On three acres with a pond, grill, firepit, hot tub, and large patio

Close to Nashville and Columbus • Kid and Pet Friendly

8072 State Rd 46 East • Nashville, IN • 812-988-2233 lilblackbearinn.com • lilblackbearinn@gmail.com

22 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

62 E. Washington St. · Nashville, IN 47448 BrownCountyCraftGallery.com 812.988.7058 BCCraftGallery


Building Fine Log Homes for over 40 Years HONESTY • INTEGRITY • HANDCRAFTED QUALITY

3497 Clay Lick Road • Nashville, IN • (812) 988-2689

Fresh Homemade Fudge Old-Fashioned Candies Candy by the Pound Cream Filberts/Mothballs Rock Candy • Jelly Belly Chocolates/Turtles Pucker Powder Sugar Free We ship everywhere!

41 S. Van Buren St. Nashville, IN (in the Heritage Mall) 812.200.1077 HeritageCandyStore@gmail.com


11 flavors of BEEF 3 flavors of TURKEY 3 flavors of BEEF BRISKET 4 flavors of BEEF STICKS 2 flavors of PORK 2 flavors of BACON Also: Elk, Boar, Buffalo, Venison, Gator, Rabbit, Salmon, Kangaroo, Turtle, Ostrich, Trout, Camel, Python, Ahi

Jerky Seasonings & Dips • Peanuts

4413 State Road 46 East Nashville, Indiana (Gnaw Bone) Next to House of Thunder

(812) 988-4054

125 S. Van Buren St. Artists Colony Shops (Between Toy Chest and Carol’s Gifts)

More than 25 years experience

Nashville, IN • (812) 988-1592

Nashville’s Only Licensed Tattoo Studio

Luminox Watches (used by Navy Seals)

Variety of T-Shirts

Things you can live Thi li without... ih bbut who h wants to! Old Colonial Bldg. 60 N. Van Buren St. Nashville, Indiana•812.988.6590 menstoyshop@yahoo.com•Visit us on Facebook

Pipes, Tobaccos, and Premium Cigars

Knives by Benchmade, Kershaw, Microtech, Esee, Tops, Protech, Zero Tolerance and more

Guns and Ammo for Competition, Hunting, Sport, and Home Defense

Wooden Signs made in Southern Indiana

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 23

in Nashville, IN

172 N. Van Buren Street AND

102 S. Van Buren Street (Calvin Place)

www.JBGoods.com • 812-988-0900 All Suite Hotel in Downtown Nashville

Albert C. Drake r e

Goldsmith and Silv Silversmith lversmiith h 47 yyears rs off q quality service in n Bro r wn Co C unty Brown County

Private Bedroom with King Bed Dining Area and Fully Equipped Kitchenette Living Room with Queen Sofa Sleeper Private Porch/Balcony Fireplaces and Whirlpool Baths Available


www.hiddenvalleyinn.net 201 N. Van Buren St. • Nashville, IN

24 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Touch T uch h of Silve Silver, v r, r Gold G & Old 87 E. Main St. • Nashville, IN 47448 (812) 988-6990 • (800) 988-6994 Hours: 10am - 6pm • 7 days a week www.touchofsilvergoldandold.com

25 YEARS of Our Brown County


ome years in a person’s life are pivotal. You are heading down a clear, safe path with signs guiding you along the way—then BAM!—You go over the guardrails and deep into the dangerous woods without any directions or limits. 1995 was that kind of year for me. I had a corporate job with a lot of responsibility, a good salary, and lots of benefits. I had 15 years of computer support and analysis experience that was very much in demand at the time. My mother had inherited some money and she shared a piece of that with me, to be used in whatever way I desired. I wrestled with what I should do. I could travel, fix up the house a bit, or save it for emergencies. Or I could take a big risk and fund a dream. In January, my friend Bill Weaver and I sat at my kitchen table to brainstorm about creating a new publication about this area. Bill had some experience with writing and collaborating with other artists. I asked him who he thought might be interested in

contributing. He said he was, and our mutual friend Rachel Perry, might be. Another friend, Joe Lee, could create some illustrations. We considered some photographers for cover images. Darryl Jones came to mind because I had taken a photography class from him in Columbus. After tossing around a long list of ideas for a name we agreed on Our Brown County. We had a name and needed a format. The vision was modeled from several Bloomington publications that existed at the time: The Ryder, The Bloomington Voice (Independent), and Bloomington Monthly. The CBS television program Sunday Morning also offered some inspiration. We wanted it to be easy to read, to highlight the history of the Brown County Art Colony, and to profile some of the “come here” and “from here” characters we loved. My employer, a newspaper group, provided some tabloid commercial printing estimates to consider. I knew 70% of the newspaper’s revenue came from advertising because I worked with the company’s accounting software. It would be 100% for a free publication. But advertising wasn’t the first priority in this endeavor. I took the approach, “If you build it, they will come.” The first issue of Our Brown County came out April of 1995. It contained two ads, one for Ski World and one for the Pine Box Theater. My garage was filled with 5,000 copies. Amazingly, the copies found homes from that point on, and the magazine paid for itself in the first year. My determination served me well over the years, but my shy nature proved to be a stumbling block. It was tough. I slowly built up trust with customers and established a good reputation. There were times of big disappointment when businesses closed, burned down, moved away, and/or dropped out. I learned that selling is like a Ferris Wheel where you must stop to let some customers off, and you must also work very hard to fill those empty seats. This quarter of a century milestone was made possible by the readers, advertisers, writers, artists, photographers, profiled people/businesses, delivery contractors, Bill Weaver’s imagination, and my mother’s generosity. THANK YOU! ~Cindy Steele

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 25

Dr. Laura Hammack

Superintendent of Brown County Schools

26 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Looks Ahead R

~story and photos by Chrissy Alspaugh

ehearsing for her first high school commencement as Brown County Schools’ superintendent, Dr. Laura Hammack casually asked each soon-to-be graduate about their next step. She was met with shrugging shoulders. Blank stares. Uncertainty. Upon accepting the job in 2016, Hammack knew she would need to summon a great deal of creativity to provide students with world-class opportunities despite the small, rural district’s daunting poverty statistics, declining enrollment, and budget deficit. But what flew to the top of her priority list was ensuring that every graduate who walked across her stage had an actionable plan for their future. Hammack beamed, “Because we are small, things can happen pretty fast.” Walk through the halls of any Brown County school, and it’s evident that the students and staff are like her family. That was never more true than when Hammack, then a sixth-grade teacher at Nashville Elementary, lost her mother when she was fresh out of DePauw University. “I’m forever thankful, and a lot of what I’ve worked for since then has been my way of trying to give back,” she said. The district gave Hammack her first job as principal and later as assistant superintendent. After a short stint as assistant superintendent in the vast Beech Grove City Schools, Hammack said she “jumped at the chance to come back home” to Brown County as superintendent. Challenges awaited. Brown County Schools serves nearly 1,700 students. That’s down about 1,000 students from a decade ago, before the state allowed families to take their tuition dollars to the public, charter, or even online school of their choice. The county’s ability to draw or retain young families is plagued by the lack of affordable housing; shortage of high-quality, affordable child care; and barriers to infrastructure including Internet, water, and building permits, Hammack said. Regardless, that equation meant less funding but the same number of schools to run, she said. In her time with the district, BCS shaved $2.5 million from a $30 million budget without eliminating

teachers but rather by not filling retirees’ positions when possible. Further, the community approved a tax referendum that helped the district give its educators raises and avoid increases to their insurance premiums. A $500,000 Ready Schools grant from the Regional Opportunity Initiatives group in Bloomington allowed BCS to upgrade curriculum, transform classrooms into hightech innovation centers, visit other small school corporations in search of best practices, and expand high school pathways that allow students to earn educational and industry certifications and training in fields including technology, manufacturing, graphic design, and more. One such pathway that’s garnering BCS state and national attention is the high school’s recently expanded Eagle Manufacturing Lab, named after the school’s mascot. It’s a student-run business where sophomores through seniors are in charge of everything from sales and billing to producing precise parts on a CNC machine and printing Continued on 28

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 27

Eagle Manufacturing’s Chris Townsend (left) and Laura Hammack with student employees Joseph Denison (center) and Chris Grimes.

DR. LAURA HAMMACK continued from 27 laser-engraved marketing materials for clients that include Duke Energy, Faurecia, and Brown County Music Center. Hammack said the business hoped to return profits to its student employees within five years but fast-forwarded to that point within just two. Chris Townsend, instructor and adviser at Eagle Manufacturing, said the high school’s fouryear engineering pathway had enticed a mere 28 students when he arrived five years ago; today’s numbers are closer to 130. “Our students clock in, wear badges, work paid internships over the summer, and will just be ready when it’s time to be out in the real world,” Hammack said. Preparing Brown County students for life after high school also includes very intentional exposure to job opportunities available in the local region. And while pursuing a 4-year degree is a path an increasing number of local students are choosing, Hammack also is fostering a culture that celebrates post-secondary plans that include 2-year technical degrees, industry certifications, and acceptance into labor unions.

28 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

While the county continues to struggle to attract or retain young families, the increasing population of residents age 55 and up is one of the community’s greatest assets, Hammack said. That group is making itself readily available for volunteering within the schools, mentoring students, as well as tackling tough community problems that trickle down into school problems, she said. “Our county and town are working with us so beautifully. There’s a momentum like I’ve never seen. No one is shying away from our issues,” Hammack said. “We’re definitely all in this together.” Hammack’s excitement and optimism for the district and its students is palpable. Today, she proudly points to successes including the district’s balanced budget, an increasing number of students from surrounding counties who are transferring into Brown County schools, and the fact that graduates now have solid plans that begins the day after commencement. She describes every day that she gets to fight for her students’ future as a gift. “Of course there have been hard times, and of course there will be hard times ahead,” said Hammack. “But we’re a family. We stick together.” 

brown County Inn HOTEL, RESTAURANT & BAR

On the corner of 135 & 46 just 3 blocks of downtown with free parking

Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week

8am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday

8am to 10pm Friday & Saturday


(812) 988-2291

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 29

photos by Jeff Danielson

calendar Some dates not booked at time of publication.

Brown County Playhouse Jan. 18 Another Round Feb. 15 Sileo Quartet March 7 7th Annual Brown County Youth Music Showcase March 13 The McCartney Years March 27 Singing Hoosiers March 28 Back in the Day FIRST RUN MOVIES ON THE BIG SCREEN Check website for schedule 70 S. Van Buren St. 812-988-6555 www.BrownCountyPlayhouse.org

Brown County Music Center Jan. 9 Whiskey Myers Feb. 1 Aaron Lewis Feb. 5 JJ Grey & Mofro Feb. 8 Brett Young Feb. 9 Brett Young Feb. 12 Richard Marx Feb. 29 The Beach Boys (sold out) March 14 Warrant March 19 Carrot Top March 22 The Price is Right March 26 Gordon Lightfoot March 27 Melissa Etheridge March 28 Kenny G 812-988-5323 www.browncountymusiccenter. com

Country Heritage Winery Live Music Fridays & Saturdays 7-10 812-988-8500 www.CountryHeritageWinery.com

19th Hole at Salt Creek Golf Closed for kitchen renovation during part of January Jan. 25 Clearwater Band Feb. 1 Karaoke with John D. Feb. 8 Night Owl Country Band Feb. 15 Clearwater Band

The schedule can change. Please check before making a trip. Feb. 22 Homemade Jam Feb. 29 Ryan Harrison 812-988-7888 www.SaltCreekGolf.com

Brown County Inn Open Mic Night every Wednesday 7-10 Bluegrass Brunch every Saturday 11-2 Live Music Friday and Saturday Nights Jan. 1 Open Mic Jan. 2 Writer in the Round Jan. 3 Top Hat Blues Revue Jan. 4 Silver Sparrow (brunch) Top Hat Blues Revue Jan. 8 Open Mic Jan. 9 TBA Jan. 10 Home Jam Jan. 11 New Augusta Bluegrass (brunch) Jan. 11 Homemade Jam Jan. 15 Open Mic Jan. 16 Solos and Small Groups Jan. 17 Zion Crossroads Jan. 18 Barry Elkins & Friends (brunch) Zion Crossroads Jan. 22 Open Mic Jan. 23 Kade Puckett Jan. 24 BC Ukulele Festival Jan. 25 Hammer & Hatchett (brunch) BC Ukulele Festival Jan. 29 Open Mic Jan. 30 TBA Jan. 31 Dan Whitaker The Shinebenders Feb. 1 Silver Sparrow (brunch) Feb. 1 Dan Whitaker The Shinebenders Feb. 5 Open Mic Feb. 6 Writer in the Round Feb. 7 TBA Feb. 8 New Augusta Bluegrass (brunch) TBA Feb. 12 Open Mic Feb. 13 TBA Feb. 15 Barry Elkins & Friends (brunch) Homemade Jam Feb. 19 Open Mic Feb. 20 Solos and Small Groups Feb. 21 Top Hat Blues Revue Feb. 22 Hammer & Hatchet (brunch) TBA Feb. 26 Open Mic Feb. 27 Kade Puckett

32 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Feb. 28 TBA Feb. 29 TBA 800-772-5249 www.BrownCountyInn.com

The Seasons Sundays Fried Chicken Buffet 11-2 Mondays Dart Club in Bar at 6 Tuesdays Jam Session 7-9 Saturdays Live Music in Bar Jan. 1 New Year Breakfast 8-11 Feb. 14,15 Valentine Dinner w/ Live Entertainment 5-9 812-988-2284 www.SeasonsLodge.com

Hotel Nashville Feb. 14, 15 Valentine Dinner 5-9 812-988-8400 www.hotelnashville.com

Frosty Trails Festival Jan. 18, 9:00-2:00, at Hard Truth Hills Winter wellness experience 5K extreme trail run, heated yoga on the Back 40; Pirate Rum Run Fun Run; Sledding; Mindfulness & Mixology Apothecary’s Tent; Sports and Wellness Vendors; Food; Drinks. Two ticket options: Frost & Fortitude ($35, ages 16+) – includes 5K run registration, runner’s swag bag, festival grounds entry and access to included activities, festival door prize entry, meal voucher, and drink voucher for select warm mocktails and cocktails Frosty Fun ($15, all ages) – includes festival grounds entry and access to included activities, festival door prize entry *Children ages 12 and younger receive free festival entry. Pirate Rum Run: With either package, guests 21 and older can also register for the Pirate Rum Run Fun Run for an additional $10. The fun run is one mile – three laps around the Hard Truth Hills pond and includes four shots of warm Hard Truth Toasted Coconut Rum as you make the rounds! About the 5K: Runners tour through the

hilly terrain of Brown County. 418 Old State Road 46 Nashville 812-720-4840 www.hardtruthhills.com

Brown Co Ukulele Festival Jan. 24 & 25 Brown County Inn

Brown Co Art Guild Annual Young Artist and Patron Exhibits Jan. 18-Feb. 22 Reception Feb. 22, 2:00-4:00 812-988-6185 www,browncountyartguild.org

Brown County State Park Presents

Mysterious Hills

Brown Co History Center Open Tues., Wed., Fri., & Sat.11-4 Archives: Tues. and Fri. 1-4 www.browncountyhistorycenter.org

T.C. Steele Visitor Center 4220 T.C. Steele Rd. Nashville, IN (Belmont) 10-5 daily (closed Mondays) 812-988-2785 www.tcsteele.org

Brown County


Music Showcase



he Mysterious Hills hikes offer chances to learn some local legends and to discover some hidden away places. All hikes meet at 11 a.m. and all but one hike of the series meets at the Nature Center. The January 1 hike meets at the Abe Martin Lodge. Most hikes travel about two miles or so and last from about one to two hours. The Curious Quarry Hike is longer. You don’t need to register in advance and there is no limit on attendance. Some hikes will include a carpool to the trailhead so be prepared to provide your own transportation. Dogs can come along if they are on a 6 ft. leash and like other dogs and humans. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear the proper shoes for the hikes. Many of the hikes are rugged. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Cancellations might become necessary if there are extreme weather conditions. Check the website and Facebook <in.gov/dnr/parklake/2988.htm> <Facebook.com/browncountystatepark> Contact the Nature Center at (812) 988-5240 or email Patrick Haulter at <phaulter@dnr.in.gov>.

1/1 1/18 2/1 2/8 2/22 3/14 3/28

First Day/Vista Voyage To the Lake that Never Was Winter Dog Hike Boulder in the Tree Hike CCC Ruins/Deserters Cave The Curious Quarry Ten O’clock Line Nature Preserve


he seventh annual Brown County Youth Music Showcase will be held at the Brown County Playhouse on Saturday, March 7, 2020. The showcase is produced and emceed by local musician and instructor Kara Barnard and serves as a fundraiser for the BETA Teen Center. The show features a variety of ensembles, solos, and duets with youth from six to eighteen years old. Several family bands will be featured as well as many of Kara’s students performing duets with her. There is a silent auction of items before the show featuring handmade items from area artists and tickets to family activities. Tickets are $12. 12 and under free. For tickets contact the Brown County Playhouse box office or visit <www.browncountyplayhouse.org>.

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 33

Detail from a large oil painting.

Bill Bateman ~story and photos by Ryan Stacy


ome things found in Brown County—a waterfall in one of our many parks, lunch at your favorite local spot, the sturdy craftsmanship of our historic buildings—are uncomplicated, direct, and immediate in their appeal. There’s also a lot here that’s subtle and understated in its beauty, like snow seen falling silently onto the boughs of the trees, or the sense of history and tradition that persists here despite our ever-forward march further into the twenty-first century. And then there’s Nashville abstract artist Bill Bateman. Working out of a private studio downtown, Bateman is neither uncomplicated nor traditional in his approach to his art. Freed from the restrictions of representational painting, he’s driven purely by

34 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

imagination, and if that puts him out of step with some of his peers, he’s fine with that. Bateman’s paintings, many featuring interlocking shapes that sprawl across the canvas in vivid colors, are anything but simple and conventional. Where many painters, for example, eschew the use of too many colors in a piece, preferring instead to work within a more limited range of hues and values, for Bateman it’s the more the merrier. Bold colors across the spectrum butt up against each other in his work, with little regard for how they’re “supposed to” fit together (or, it appears, for the cost of paint: like his imagination, his canvases are extra-large). But there’s a certain subtlety to Bateman’s paintings too, if you take the time to notice what’s going on among the visual chaos of his compositions. A slight threedimensional quality, for example, is achieved in his rendering of the surfaces and edges of his otherwise

a photo, and then, using graphics software, tile the images as a pattern. The result is beautifully intricate prints that transform the original image into entirely new compositions. Behind work this lively and expressive, you might expect to find an eccentric, outgoing personality along the lines of Joan Miró or Pablo Picasso, but in person Bateman’s as reserved as his work is colorful and imaginative. His studio, like his outer demeanor, is orderly and quiet, a little island of private introspection among the bustling shops of downtown Nashville. And as for background information, Bateman prefers to keep the spotlight on his work, providing minimal detail about his personal life. Originally from New Jersey, he studied in Colorado and lived in New York City as a professional artist for many years. He followed a friend who moved to Brown County, and here he is. The rest is on canvas. To learn more about Bill Bateman and his artwork, visit <billbateman-artwork.com>. Gallery visits are by appointment at (929) 213-6300 or <bateman.bill@outlook.com>. 

Kaleidoscopic pattern.

flat shapes. Strong through lines, visually rhyming elements, and the careful placement of color unify and stabilize Bateman’s pieces, but also lend them a lively, humming quality. The final piece of the puzzle, for Bateman, is what his audience themselves bring to his work. In the tradition of the surrealists of the twentieth century, he relies on the viewer’s subconscious associations to “complete” his paintings. What we see in a piece, then, has as much to do with our own psychological reactions and individual experience as with Bateman’s intent and execution. A true artist, Bateman’s always branching out with his new ideas. In addition to his paintings, Bill creates kaleidoscopic works based on photographs he takes. He’ll isolate a small detail in

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 35


You will find traffic stopping items at 58 South! Our porch review has attracted many of you already. We enjoy offering today’s fashion. You’ll find affordable items that are wearable every day or for those special occasions. Our accessories, hats, and scarves complete the outfit or add new fresh looks to your existing wardrobe. Our Fitflops will bring comfort to your tired and weary feet—come hear the testimonies!

58 South Apparel 58 S. Van Buren St. • Nashville, IN

Located in downtown Nashville next to the Brown County Playhouse 812-988-8440 • fiftyeightsouth@gmail.com

A family-friendly pizza place PIZZA • SALADS • CALZONES

140 W. Main Street • (812) 988-8800 In the heart of Nashville by the Village Green area at the intersection of Main and Jefferson Streets.

Dine-In or Carry-Out

Sun.–Thurs. 11am–9:00pm; Fri. & Sat. 11am–10:00pm

We appreciate our loyal customers!

Our market fresh product selections are the result of your requests. This season we display: Flags & Gazing Balls, Dog & Cat themed items, Tervis Tumblers, Swan Creek, Woodstock Chimes, Melissa & Doug, Stony Creek Lighted Vases, Simply Southern T’s & Ivory Ella, Lizzie James and Katie Lofton, Our Favorite Handcrafted Jewelry

Located in the heart of downtown Nashville next to Out of The Ordinary and across from the Brown County Playhouse

Did we mention all the hats, scarves, and fashion jewelry?

Rhonda Kay’s 69 S. Van Buren St. • Nashville, IN 812-988-2050 • rhondakays@msn.com

36 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

WINTER CROWS HOUSE SILENCE winter gnawing on bones its breath a fog shaking its hard wet fists the ten thousand crows of the high ground speak all at once of their misery my house is surrounded with mirrors the trees are hung with frost when the sun can shine there is twice the shining if I stay in place long enough the new neighbors will say I am a stranger to them the crows will speak of me as of a familiar comfort but to those who can’t understand their speaking is as good as silence

Open Daily at 11 a.m.

Open Year-Round for Lunch & Dinner

Fresh made to order starters, salads, sandwiches and house specialties

Brown County’s only “Husband Day Care” Back Door Alley Entrance

Guinness on tap • Full bar • Specialty drinks • Bloody Mary • Islander • Margarita

Full menu available in Bar • Large TV Out of the Ordinary Restaurant & Hickory Sports Bar

61 South Van Buren St. • Nashville, IN Across the street from the Brown County Playhouse

(812) 778-9730 •



Hoosier Hooch Premium Flavored Moonshines

midnight your moonlight rising back from the snow on which it fell your stars and planets marching a narrow icy path that goes out and returns a record so stamped it can be trusted even in your lonesome hour-their faces are shining though weary accurate in their eager circuit their heads bowed to us their hunger their chill their fullness whites us all ~Eric Rensberger

BEAR WALLOW dist i ll e r y

Makers of distilled spirits using locally grown grains in an old-fashioned copper still

Tours and Tastings Gnaw Bone Bourbon Famous for our Moonshine Shake-Up Cocktails

4484 E. Old State Road 46 Gnaw Bone (Look for the signs) (812) 657-4923 • www.bearwallowdistillery.com Mon.–Thurs. 11–5, Fri.–Sat. 11–6, Sun. 12–5

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 37

Brown County

Community Band

Christmas Concert 2019. photos by Cindy Steele

~by Julia Pearson


n 1999 Brown County’s Chet Kylander felt the first stirrings to organize a community band. Mel Chance served as the first director, to be followed a year later by Ray Laffin. Ray continued in this role for around 15 years. A non-profit entity to provide board oversight and fundraising was formed under the name of Brown County Music, Incorporated, in 2005. Today the Brown County Community Band is directed by Shawn Bentz, who sees the band reaching for the sky as it develops its repertoire and musicality. Bentz’s talent and vision for the band springs from his own composition and arrangement of music. He has been a school band director, as well as performing with the Columbus City Band. His musical selections fit the abilities of the members—which vary from first-year high school band to retired professional musicians.

38 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

It’s a village unto itself of folks who love playing music together. They gather every Thursday evening from 7 to 8:30 at the Brown County High School for rehearsals in a “relaxing environment.” He sees its membership growing in numbers and recognizes increasing enthusiasm for the jazz styles of the 1940s and 50s. There is an interest in forming a smaller group made up of members of the larger concert band to focus on music for a jazz ensemble. Though Ray Laffin and his wife Judy have made their home in Arizona since the summer of 2015, Laffin is a tender vessel of institutional memory for the Brown County Community Band. He recalls that the band once had four trombone players that were all pastors. Private lessons on various instruments were provided by band members Mel Chance, Verne Sindlinger, Sue

Director Shawn Bentz.

John Drebus, Bill Burr, and Bill Schnackel.

Owens, Judy Laffin, Ginny Thompson, and Bob Zack, among others who are remembered and appreciated. Over the years, the Band has played at the 4th of July observance held on a Saturday night at the high school track. Laffin has special recollection of Sheriff Buck Stogsdill organizing a color guard for each of the armed services. As the individual flag for the service was brought forward, the band would play its official anthem. The ceremony would end with the Battle Hymn of the Republic. A mainstay of multiple Brown County celebrations, many of the current players have been active since its inception. They come with all levels of expertise and experiences. Phyllis Sindlinger recalls a visit with the Laffins and being recruited when after-dinner conversation revealed that she had been a clarinet player in her high school band 40+ years before. Laffin talked her into letting him get her instrument overhauled. Showing up for practice, she was delighted and amazed that her fingers didn’t forget. She especially loves the interaction Continued on 40 Musician Al Cobine with Ray Laffin during a rehearsal for the “Dinger of a Day” production in 2006. Photo by George Bredewater

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 39

One of the band’s founders, Mel Chance, with high school students Francsca Mata and Nicole Prosch.

instrument anywhere in their history to consider joining: “It’s a blast!” President-elect, Bill Schnackel, has been playing trumpet with the band for ten years or so. Though he had not touched his instrument since 1967 and said that facing at least two players in the trumpet section who played professionally intimidating, he soon felt welcomed and part of this musical community. The Band plays several concerts throughout the year. The anniversary concert is in the fall. The Christmas Concert is a gift to the community. A benefit concert for the local Habit for Humanity is held in May, with the Habitat group providing promotion. Every June a concert is performed for the Sweetwater residents at their beach pavilion. The Brown County Community Band now has about 35 active players. They play show tunes, marches, classical pieces, jazz, Dixieland and welcome new members who like to produce friendships and music all at the same time. For more information visit <browncountycommunityband.com> or contact Bill Schnackel at <Schnackelb@yahoo.com> or (765) 490-0789. 

COMMUNITY BAND continued from 39 and the agelessness of making music with professionals, amateurs, high school and college students, young teens, and retirees. Her friend and fellow clarinet player, Cheryl Owen, have sat next to each other in the band since 2006. With a twinkle and nod, Cheryl says there was one time when Ray separated them because they were “having too much fun.” Cheryl is also known for playing “a pretty mean kazoo.” French horn player, Steve Shroyer, also plays trumpet and is learning to play alto saxophone. Steve has been playing since he was 8 years old, being taught by his father, who was a high school band director. He played in bands in high school and college, dance bands, and orchestras in Arizona. A semi-pro at this point in his life, he has been playing since 2002 with the Brown County Community Band. Steve encourages anyone who has a musical Steve Shroyer on the french horn.

40 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020


Ferguson House • Holiday Decor • Swan Creek Candles • Home Accessories • Fashion Jewelry • Garden Accents • Iron Decor • Man Cave and more…

78 West Franklin Street • Nashville, IN • 812-988-7388

Fashion Apparel Jewelry and Purses 59 East Main Street, Suite B • Nashville, IN • 812-988-8707

Foxfire • Gifts and Home Decor • Kitchen Accessories • Personalized and • Baby Gifts Memoriam Gifts • Holiday Decor • Swan Creek Candles • Garden Decor 59 East Main Street, Suite A • Nashville, IN • 812-988-8707 Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 41

Escape for a romantic getaway or quality family time—with plenty to do in any weather. Explore the five acres around the cabin, play a few games of pool in the loft, bust out a board game, enjoy TV by the fireplace, or relax in the hot tub.

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Wine Tasting Daily Choose from multiple Award Winning Wines! Patio & Indoor Seating Gift Shop Live Music Every Friday & Saturday 7-10 pm S. Van Buren & Washington, Nashville IN 42 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020



All New Guest Rooms and Suites with Kitchenettes

Book Your Meeting, Banquet, or Reception at our Conference Center

2450 State Road 46 East, Nashville, IN Close to Salt Creek Golf Course, Brown County State Park www.creeksideretreat.net Toll free 844-4RETREAT (844-473-8732)


Trail Rides

Serving Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Wine-Down Wednesday

Every Wed. 6–8 pm

1/3 OFF select wines and music by Jeff Foster

• Soups • Salads • Sandwiches • After Five Menu • Fine Wines Breads, Pastries, and Danish Baked Here Daily

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Relax on a journey with Grandpa Jeff. ff. Take in the scenery and wildlife. No two rides will ever be the same —sunny summer days, fall colors, winter snowfalls, spring blossoms. Trail Rides, Pony Rides, Hay Rides Cattle Drives, and Custom Excursions

At least one hour notice. Trail Ride Reservations can be made by phone, e-mail, or through our website.

Grandpa Jeff personally trained our horses to take exceptional care of your family and friends of all ages.

call or text www.GrandpaJeffsTrailRides.com cell (812)272-0702 info@GrandpaJeffsTrailRides.com 5889 S. Skinner Rd. Morgantown, Indiana

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 43

A Pastor’s Life


~by Jeff Tryon

’ve always preferred the title of “Pastor,” and feel it is a higher honorific than “Reverend.” Once, I heard a man concisely explain the difference this way, “A pastor has his congregation on his heart.” The pastor of a small country church is a sort of a jack of all trades; they preach, they teach, they visit the sick, and sometimes, the jail. They preside at weddings and funerals. They visit the nursing home. But I think the most important thing they do is pray for their people. They have them in their hearts. That may not seem like a very important thing to some people, but I believe, as James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, that “the fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” In a crisis, I would rather have my church praying for me than have

the support of all the nefarious powers of all the lawyers, the financiers, and political fixers in the world. Maybe you have faith, and maybe you don’t. I consider it an important tool in my kit, and it has proved to be quite a useful one. But I believe in religious freedom. And freedom of religion incudes freedom from religion, if you so choose. That’s what America was founded on. I’m not angry with you if you don’t have religious faith. It’s good if you’re honest about that— especially with yourself. Sometimes people will ask for prayer in times of crisis: when a loved one is ill, when there is unexpected tragedy, when modern life comes crashing down around our ears. You’d be surprised how often people who essentially have no religious component in their

44 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

everyday lives will ask the preacher to say a prayer for them at these difficult times. Here’s something you may not have considered—the preacher doesn’t have some kind of “inside track” to God. His prayers aren’t any different than yours. God is an equal opportunity listener. As a Baptist, I believe in the “priesthood of the believer” and “soul competency.” You don’t need a go-between. Talk to God yourself, from your own heart. There are certain times when an officiant is wanted and needed— someone who knows what to say at a funeral or how a wedding should go. People are nervous. It’s unfamiliar territory. It’s nice to have someone there who’s “in charge” and knows the customs and procedures, what needs to be said and done. As a pastor, you often find yourself sharing life’s most intimate moments with families. You get a real good ground-level look at humanity in its raw state, the good and the bad, the uncouth and the noble, cowardice, and courage. It’s all mixed together there in that stew we call human society. Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I would say the good far outweighs

the bad among people. We’re not all saints or geniuses, and even the ones who are often make silly mistakes or suffer from other problems not amenable to intelligence or moral turpitude. I feel like there’s a lot more good than evil in the world—it’s just that evil tends to make a lot more noise, attract more attention, as it goes about its badness. People are at their best when they recognize themselves as just a small part of the great human herd, when they reach out to selflessly help someone else for no particular reason other than that we’re all human beings walking around on this one little planet at this particular brief moment in the vastness of time. Help a fella out. Thus endeth the sermon. Into every life, a little rain must fall. It is a privilege to be able to be with people in their time of need, in times of trial, and to be able to help them a little bit, to comfort them with words of faith. It is a rare opportunity to be of value to another human being, to do something good for them, even though you have no personal stake in the matter. That is a good feeling. You should try it! As to the preaching, standing up in front of a group of people and telling them what you think about stuff must be the oldest media in the world. In today’s hurry-hurry world, 20 minutes of their time and attention is just about the greatest gift anyone can give you.

I do think it is important to rightly divide the Word in a time when so many people misuse it and distort it to their own purposes. The Bible is the most-owned, least-read book in the world and is also one of the most misrepresented books in human history. When somebody tells you “the Bible says this, the Bible says that”—do yourself a favor, look it up for yourself. Like patriotism, the Old Testament is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It’s not a book in any modern sense. It’s a collection of ancient religious texts. It is a translation of a translation of a translation. There are no original copies. Most of the real information is couched in poetical

and metaphorical terms. When a preacher starts telling you what a Bible verse really means get a firm grip on your wallet. Decide for yourself what the Bible does and doesn’t say, what it is and what it isn’t. “Gospel” means “good news” and the good news is that as human beings, we are all called to act and speak in love, to treat other people the way we would want to be treated if the situation were reversed. “Act and Speak in Love.” Put that on my tombstone. Never mind about the name, the dates, “Reverend” or “Pastor”—just that. 

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 45


Morgantown 10 miles north of Nashville on scenic State Road 135 Sales . Repair . Watch Batteries

75 W. Washington St., Morgantown, IN 46160

www.TheClockConnection.com Like us on Facebook Open Tue-Fri 11-5pm & Sat 10-2pm Closed Sun & Mon 812-597-5414 . houseofclocks@att.net

ANTIQUES CO-OP 129 W. Washington St. • Morgantown, IN 46160 (In the old hardware store building)

Country Primitives Advertising Antique Garden Old Paint Early Smalls Open 6 Days (Closed Mon.)

Furniture, Art Architectural Elements Pottery The Odd and Unusual and A General Line Like us on Facebook

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Layaway Available

ART Beyond Crayons Creativity beyond the classroom Pick your • Art Lessons for All Ages Palette: • Group Painting Parties

• Birthday Paint Parties • Home Schooled Instruction

Judy D. Wells • owner, K–12 Licensed Educator • judydenisewells@gmail.com 59 S. Marion St. • Morgantown, IN • (317) 403-7147 Flexible hours including weekends and evenings

46 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

Colonel Vawter Day every September

Thurs. 5 to 8 pm, Fri. & Sat. 5 to 9 pm


DARLENE’S at at Hotel Hotel Nashville Nashville Upscale Dining in a Casual Atmosphere Serving Dinner with Full Bar Service Menu Features: Steaks, Seafood, Pasta, Chicken, Burgers, Appetizers, Soups and Salads

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245 N. Jefferson St., Nashville (812) 988-8400 • (800) 848-6274 www.hotelnashville.com

January 18

February 15

March 7

March 13

March 27

March 28

April 3

April 17

812.988.6555 · BrownCountyPlayhouse.org Showtimes, tickets & schedule online Box Office: Thursday–Sunday | 70 S. Van Buren · Nashville, IN

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 47

FIELD NOTES: Winter Neighbors

~by Jim Eagleman


n his 1886 poem, Winter Neighbors, John Burroughs wrote: “... the best-kept grounds relapse to a state of nature; under the pressure of the cold all the wild creatures become outlaws, and roam abroad beyond their usual haunts…” The author remarks of living close to a few animals that sought safety and warmth in his house. A rabbit takes up residency under his floorboards, and since it ventured out at night, he suspects he disturbed the rabbit’s sleep more than it disturbed his. It might be he is more tolerant of his wild neighbors than us; any nibbling, gnawing, or scampering of clawed feet in the house is usually met with a strategy to buy more mouse traps. Our wood pile in the shed, as evident by the nests of bark and grass I disturb, looks like a mouse court was called into session.

48 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

A professor once stated to us young wildlife students that winter is the most severe, lifethreatening time for animals. Many won’t make it, he said. In the same breath, he suggested we dress better for our next time afield, or we might experience a similar fate. The class was held during a winter term. We ventured out in drizzling rain, nearly unbearable cold—once in an absolute blizzard. What lessons we learned made a life-long impression. I can still recall my cold feet and the deep snow, and from my amateur perspective, how tough it must be for wild creatures. Crossing a field to the road, we came upon a roadkilled ‘possum that was quite flat. A grad student and class clown said it made a great frisbee as he picked it up and attempted to sail it past us. Normal jokes ensued. The professor wasn’t impressed and said to look closely at the possum’s ears. We found them as

short, wrinkled black stubs instead of normal, fleshy ears. “So, how did this happen, and more importantly, why?” he asked. We stammered and looked at each other to answer. He added another question. “What made the ‘possum leave a burrow, risk exposure and go out in the worst weather imaginable?” Someone mumbled, “food?” Back in class, a Leopold quote was written on the board. “January observations can be as simple and peaceful as snow and almost as continuous as cold. There is time not only to see who has done what, but to speculate why.” With Aldo Leopold’s Game Management text as a class reference, discussions and assigned reading always came back to the scientist’s perspective. We discussed the possum venturing out in search of a meal, only to be met with fate, and a truck! It had to be a determined effort in the cold, and the only discomfort it might face was frost-bit ears. That is, until it crossed the road. A Leopold term, “Limiting Factors,” was discussed. We listed all the things a wild animal experiences: disease, predation, accidents, severe weather, hunting, poor habitat, etc. If a possum, or any other animal, is subject to all these things and can still live ’till spring, we said, “It’s almost a miracle!”—and a testament to their resiliency. There are more hardships facing wildlife during each winter season than at any other time. Winter, the great equalizer, will test the strongest and most fit; it will determine if animals make it or not. It’s a cruel and harsh realization, but a natural one. During our winter nature hikes, we often look for tracks and signs animals are active. Droppings, dried grape and persimmon debris, leaf disturbance on a south-facing slope, a heart-shaped track, help us decide if it’s a deer, turkey, or songbird. The longer we are out, the more we see, and it is our own preparedness that allows more observations. Recalling my professor’s reminder to dress for conditions, I now wear appropriate clothes and enjoy every

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winter season. I’ve nearly learned as much from my own observations—taking time to look—as I have from reading and study. He said it’s a lifelong pursuit—24- 7, 365. I agree. Winter neighbors move in without much fuss and live near us undetected. Residency may have occurred months before we notice a burrow, food stash, or hidden nest. My guess is a few mice and maybe other critters have already made your home their winter home. Crows announce a daily visit with food scraps to the compost pile. I see a possum came by for a meal. A daily clean-up crew of squirrels and doves scours the ground under the bird feeders. For those of us who choose to live close to nature, there are a few concessions. We come to realize that animals, just like us, seek out comfort and warmth. Are we willing to accept a small bit of inconvenience and at least for a short time, maybe just for the cold winter, be a good neighbor? Burroughs contends he gets no benefit from his wild neighbor, the rabbit, as he offers a bit of apple. “I think I can feel her good-will through the floor, and I hope she can feel mine.” 

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 49

A Midwinter Night’s Tale ~by Mark Blackwell


ell, here we are in that time of the year when the sun sets early and the evenings are long. Now-a-days, folks come home, eat some supper and spend the long, dark evening by the cheery glow of their TV sets. But there was a time before TV. It was a time before streetlights or electric lights. It was a time with long, dark, dreary evenings that called for some sort of diversion. Folks then gathered in their parlors by the woodstove or the fireplace and told stories. And favorite subjects for stories were ghosts, goblins, haints, and the unexplained. I remember a tale that was told to me back in the

50 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

mid-part of the last century about a dead boy, a grieving mother, and a ghost that may still haunt the backroads and woods, not too far from here. Back in the time of the Civil War, there was a country doctor, his wife and their teenage son living just south of Brown County. The doctor was well- to-do and they lived in a two-story brick house set on a fair amount of acreage. At that time passions ran high and most men felt the call of duty to enlist in the army. The doctor’s son felt a great need to join but his father forbade it. He knew the horrors of war and could not bear for his son to take a path that would likely lead to his death. The many quarrels between the doctor and the boy, finally escalated to the point that the son ran away and joined the 22nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The 22nd fought many battles, including the one at Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8, 1862, where 65% of the regiment was wiped out, including the doctor’s son. The doctor sent out agents to find the boy but before they could report back, he was notified by the army that his son had been slain in battle. This news broke the doctor’s heart but his grief did not begin to match the wretched sorrow his wife felt. She screamed and wailed into the night. Neighbors more than a half mile distant heard her mournful laments. The doctor tried to console his wife but to no avail. Meanwhile, he sent word to a colleague in Kentucky to try to recover his son’s body. Luckily, the boy was found, embalmed sent back home by train. When the son’s body arrived at the railroad station, the doctor and a hired man drove a buckboard to get him. They loaded the son’s body on the wagon and drove back home. The coffin was placed in the parlor lit by candles.

The doctor had purchased a deluxe coffin with a small glass window in the lid so that the face of departed could be viewed. The neighbors were invited for a visitation and plans were made for burial the day after. Later that evening, when everyone had left, the doctor approached his wife to console her. But her grief had turned to rage and she blamed her husband for letting the boy go to war. The doctor hung his head in sorrow and disbelief. The next day the doctor was called out to handle a birth some miles away. In his absence his wife hired some neighbor men to carry the coffin up to a room upstairs. There, she arranged a table and rocking chair and sat down by the casket and wept. When her husband came home he found that the coffin had been moved. He went upstairs and knocked on the door but the only answer he got was that his wife had no intention of ever abandoning her vigil. She swore that nobody would ever separate her from her son. And there she stayed. Meals were sent up to her but rarely touched. She lost weight and hardly slept. She made no effort to keep herself clean and only indulged in a grief so severe that it was akin to madness. The doctor was beside himself with worry and finally hit upon a plan to save his wife. He thought that he would send for his wife’s sister, knowing that they were very close, to come for a visit. At some point during the visit the doctor would dose his

by Cindy Steele

Available at Spears Pottery in Nashville, IN (On South Van Buren Street near the stoplight/courthouse)

wife’s coffee with a drug to incapacitate her and then they would load her into a carriage and the sister would take her back to the sister’s home. It worked. While the wife was absent the doctor had the coffin taken out of the house and far into the woods and buried it in an unmarked grave. He then sent word to his sister in-law that it was time for his wife to come home. When the doctor’s wife arrived she leapt out of the carriage, ran through the front door and up the stairs to the room that she had shared with her son’s body. The doctor went to her and explained what he had done and that it was for her own good. At this news, what was left of the wife’s sanity fled her. She became a screaming wraith, all fists and claws, attacking her husband and demanding to know where her boy was. Realizing that his wife was beyond help, the doctor managed to restrain her and had the second floor of their home made into place of asylum for her. And there she lived out her life, escaping occasionally to search for her son’s grave. She would be found sometimes by hunters, sometimes neighbors and returned home. In time she died, smothered by her grief and she was buried in the family graveyard. To this day, in the right season, on the right nights, there are reports of a weeping woman, dressed in mourning and carrying a lantern wandering a stretch of woods somewhere just south of Brown County. 


New, Spacious Look Inside. New Owners: Sharon & Leonard Richey Pizza & Wings, Groceries, Ice Large Selection Domestic/Craft Beer & Wine LOTTERY, Tobacco Products Camping Supplies, Live Bait & Tackle Hunting & Fishing Licenses Check Station, Firewood State Road 45 and Helmsburg Road Intersection • (812) 929-7797

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 51

FOREST MANAGEMENT SERVICES Buyers of Standing Timber We take pride in our logging practices. Helmsburg Sawmill, Inc./Pool Enterprises, Inc. Family Famil ly owned and operated since 1973

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Locally built instruments and affordable student models meticulously displayed, making this little music store a destination point in Brown County Lovingly owned and operated by

Kara Barnard and Kristin Thompson

musicians, instructors and instrument adoption specialists

58 E. Main Nashville, IN—Look for BANJO by courthouse

812-200-3300 • www.weedpatchmusicshop.com

CARMEL CORN COTTAGE Assorted Ice Cream Bars New Popcorn Flavors

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812-988-6011 • CarmelCornCottage.com 52 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020


Complete line of: • Wood Stoves and Inserts • Gas Stoves and Inserts • Fireplaces Your first step to Energy INDEPENDENT LIVING 812-336-2053 1-800-344-3967

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Head over

Women’s boutique, kids and teen clothing, men’s clothing, and household items


Selling gently used items to benefit Brown County. Accepting clothing and household item donations.

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Look for the sign


Open ALWAYS on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 to 5:00 (weather permitting)


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49 S. Van Buren St. in Nashville • 812-988-6535 headoverheels@switched.com • fax: 812-988-6505

South Van Buren in Nashville (near stoplight, behind Subway) (812) 988-6003


158 N. Jefferson

Nashville, IN

Kathryn Richardson Branch Manager 812-327-7462

Debbie Fleetwood Broker 812-327-6862

Kathryn & Donna Team Brokers 812-327-7462 317-418-2320

Scroggins Team Brokers 812-327-3865

Bob Kirlin Broker 812-720-0222

Phil Shively Team Brokers 812-325-2290 812-322-0378

Tom Vornholt Broker 317-989-3323

Janet Gaskins Administrative Assistant 812-327-6862

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 53

Brown County Ukulele Festival T

January 24 and 25, 2020

he fourth annual Brown County Ukulele Festival will take place on January 24 and 25, 2020, at the Brown County Inn in Nashville, Indiana. More than 200 ukulele enthusiasts will gather here from across the nation to enjoy a bundle of activities including concerts, workshops, open mic performances, and jam sessions. Tickets are already sold out but you can still enjoy festivities in the hotel bar. Mike Hater of Mainland Ukes sponsors this event to attract business to Brown County during the slower, more boring time of year. This family friendly gathering is a great antidote for cabin fever and those after-holiday blues. You can’t help but smile when you pick up a ukulele.

Hater has described the ukulele crowd as, “nice, friendly weird, and everybody wants to jam.” The jam sessions are a big attraction for the players. Most folks come for the camaraderie. If you are not lucky enough to get a ticket, you can still enjoy the ukulele music that will be played in the Brown County Inn’s bar. That part is free and open to the public. Locals can get a taste of the uke music there. Some have been known to buy ukuleles and have transformed into serious uke enthusiasts after hearing the music there. Visit <browncountyukefest.com> for details. Mainland Ukes is located at 91 W. Washington St. in Nashville. Weedpatch Music Company also has a large selection of ukuleles and is located at 58 E. Main St. next to the courthouse. 


Hometown Proud Local Grocery Store Serving Beautiful Brown County Since 1975! • Certified Angus Beef • Large Beer and Wine Sections • Organic Grocery • Dairy • Picnic Supplies • Produce • Full Service Bakery/Deli • Frozen • Custom Cake Decorating • Wine • Custom Deli Trays, Veggie Trays Ever-Growing Selection of Gluten-Free Products


text NA SHV





30 Hawthorne Dr. • Nashville • East SR 46 at light • 812-988-4546 54 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020


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Find us on Facebook at Heavenly Biscuit Inc.

Abe Martin Lodge A Splashin’ Good Time! & the Little Gem Restaurant Our full service restaurant is open daily

New Cabin Suites

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• Slide • Water Channel • Fountains • Dump Buckets • Waterfall There is always something to do in Indiana’s largest State Park: Aquatic Center, Horse Back Riding, Mountain Bike Trails, Fishing, Tennis...

We have the perfect setting for any event: Corporate Retreats, Weddings, Getaways and Family Reunions, and more! Brown County State Park • P.O. Box 547 • Nashville, IN • 1-877-Lodges-1 • (812) 988-4418 • www.indianainns.com

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 55


& ASSOCIATES INC. Tax Preparation, Tax Planning, Bookkeeping, and Payroll

(812) 988-2865

bruce1040@sbcglobal.net 64 W. Gould St. • P.O. Box 565 • Nashville, IN

Brown County Tire TIRE &

AUTO Repair

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27 Salt Creek Rd (Intersection SR 46) Nashville






56 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020


Full Service Mechanical Garage 24 Hour Towing–Big or Small, We Do it All 1814 State Rd. 135 N. • Nashville, IN 47448 812-988-7518 • 812-325-9209 (after hours)

$2 Bag • Salt Creek Plaza • Nashville Mon.–Sat. 7:30 am–7:00 pm, Sun 10:00 am–4:00 pm

Owens-Corning Preferred Contractor

Licensed and Insured • 15 years total replacement warranty for roofs available Roof Coatings, Metal/Shingle Roofs, Remodels, Power Washing and Sealing, Barns, Garages, Decks, Siding, Windows and Doors, and all construction needs and services!




50 Willow Street • Nashville, IN

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188 S. Jefferson St. (corner of W. Washington St.) Nashville Free Customer Parking



waltmanconst@aol.com References Available

Bouquets, Plants, Gifts, Balloons, Cards & more

Checking eyes in Brown County for over 50 years!

Jan./Feb. 2020 • Our Brown County 57






• Mulching - Seeding NEED HELP? • Weeding - Pruning • Tree / Shrub Planting • Fences - Walkways • Retaining Walls • Mowing / Trimming (812) 988-7232 • Flower / Herb Beds

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Property management for rentals for a month or longer. Let us find a rental for you or manage your property.

Repair, Remodel, Pump Service, Water Conditioning, Drain Cleaning, Water Heaters

812-988-0248 • Nashville, IN The Marg and Brenda Team is Your Brown County Team

Keyed IN Property Management Let us find your next door.

Bonded • Insured #CO89000011



Complete Landscaping/ Design Services

Licensed Plumbing Contractor since 1981

Brenda Longtin CSSS, CDPR

Marg DeGlandon CSSS, CDPR

Associate Broker Cell: 812-360-3889 • shaht@mibor.net

Broker/Owner Cell: 812-360-4083 • margd@remax.net

Call for listings or free estimates.

812-988-4485 • www.MargAndBrendaTeam.com


10 Artist Drive, P.O. Box 1609 • Nashville, IN 47448





SIGNS THAT DELIVER: Digital Print & Vinyl to Hand Lettered, Carved & Gilded

812-822-2933 • RamblinDogDesign@gmail.com



Open at 5:30 a.m. Mon.–Fri.


BUY 1 GUEST PASS, GET 1 FREE 1 per person, expires 12/31/20

Swimming Pool Fitness Center Gymnasium Exercise Classes

Personal Training Swim Lessons Day Camp Climbing Wall

812-988-9622 • www.browncountyymca.org


Good Intensions

ow I admit I’m country-born and so big cities ain’t my norm so I had found I can make use of being dumb as my excuse in conversations with the law on what I think I thought I saw for in the country we got rules for folks like that that act like fools and them ain’t ones we made at all it’s up to Mother Nature’s call! Like take for instance inna park when someone robs you after dark why in the country where I’m from we all know that’s really dumb for every move that robber makes he’s followed everywhere by snakes and other creatures of the night that also wanna take a bite of any part that you expose from top of head to tip of toes! And I can see why under feet you walk in lanes of pure concrete for in the country we got bugs you never find in city rugs thus they avoid the stabs and stings that livin’ in the country brings but we get bugs before our eyes that you ain’t got called butterflies and dragonflies and other things with pretty colored kinds of wings that in the city can’t reside because of herb and pesticide!? And in the city I’d be cruel to put fish in your swimmin’ pool while in our country swimmin’ hole the critters there are in control for if you step upon a rock you might be in for quite a shock for it moves beneath your feet you could be something it would eat for city folks would not be fond of snapping turtles from our pond!

58 Our Brown County • Jan./Feb. 2020

And in the city on the street where the squares of asphalt meet the stoplights guide the ebb and flow of where the human’s traffic go but in the forest on a path you may incur the local wrath of any type of size of creature that just might have a special feature that city folk don’t wanna face at any time in any place! Like do not think you can debunk the power of the scented skunk to clear a park or any square in any city anywhere! And I admit I don’t recall that ever in a shopping mall have I ever heard the howl of wolves and coyotes on the prowl stalking up and down the aisle in any type of way or style while at a checkout they must wait for shoppers on their dinner plate!? So I admit I ain’t too bright on different laws the city might take for granted with concern that I leave town and not return for I admit I did resort to that excuse in city court that I’m as dumb as I could be since country critters all run free so what was I supposed to do I’d never seen a city zoo and I admit that in my rage I opened up each critter’s cage and set them loose with all my pity for I had learned that in the city they’ll have to hunt from yard to yard and need a phone and credit card! …somehow that didn’t seem to bother ’em none… —Gunther Flumm

Now open in our new location in Coachlight Square!

Over 400 Spices, Rubs & Blends Gourmet Jams, Sauces & Mixology Gift Baskets & Box Gift Sets

227 South Van Buren Street · Nashville, Indiana 812.200.3400 · Open Year Round · Order Online

NashvilleSpiceCompany.com Like and follow us for store updates

Coming Spring 2020!

Artisan Home Store 58 East Main Street, #4 · Nashville on Robert “Buck” Stogsdill Way across from the Courthouse

Creamy Fudge 路 Gourmet Popcorn All Natural Gelato 路 Seasonal Treats 175 South Van Buren Street 路 Nashville, IN 路 812.988.0709


NEW! Stay at Lucy's Loft vacation rental above the Nashville Fudge Kitchen!