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March/April 2012

www.poseymagazine.com


March/April 2012

A magazine for and about

Posey County, Indiana Copyright 2012

www.poseymagazine.com

No material can be reproduced without the written permission of Posey Magazine. Contact us at poseymagazine@aol.com

Posey Postcard — Slow time and quiet grace this bench in New Harmony. The winter months bring both to this historic town in Posey County.

Cover story

© Cover & above photographed by J. Bruce Baumann

Josh Hayden & the magic of light

The excitement of seeing life in a different light is what drives Josh Hayden, a 26 year old photographer in Posey County, as he disappears in dark clothes and moves in the dark in front of his camera. Old buildings come to life, glistening with color. A tree and a well trodden path create a mystical place that you’ve never seen before. Writer Alison Baumann explains the magic of light and Josh Hayden. Special thanks to the following for their help

I’m just sayin’ — “When I hear the word “Work” I always think of a work of art. A work of art help bring out hidden beauty,” said a North Posey student when given the prompt in this issue. The students of Posey County are a creative bunch, seeing the world in a multitude of ways. A fun read for all ages. Posey Then & Now — The Mt. Vernon Milling Co., overlooking the Ohio River and anchoring the foot of Main Street, produced a variety of products over the years. It is now being replaced by a park. .Feathers — Facts about the northern cardinal prove that Indiana’s state bird is anything but ordinary. Writer Sharon Sorenson provides details that will surprise you. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 — It was the most devasting disaster ever to hit Posey County. Packing winds of 266318 mph, it literally destroyed the small town of Griffin. Writer Linda Neal Reising tells the tale.

Judy Grebe, Jon Luikart, Carol Lupfer, Donnie Martin, Joseph Poccia, Kathy Riordan, Kevin Smith


STUFF I’m

awash in a sea of stuff. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. In fact one of my dearest friends thinks I’m devoid of sentiment because I occasionally purge my home of what I consider to be unnecessary and unwanted stuff. There are any number of categories of stuff that I have only the bare minimum of and have been known to run out of — for instance, toilet paper in the middle of the night. But if you need a coffee mug, I’ve got you covered. I didn’t set out to collect coffee mugs, but when you drink as much coffee as I do, you do tend to be drawn to them. And friends who know of your affinity for the brew think of mugs when gift-giving occasions come along. They do come in handy when my book club convenes in my home, but the cups have started to squeeze out the three sets of dishes in my cabinets. I could explain why I have three sets of dishes, but that seems reasonable when compared to the 30 or so pens I have acquired. Not throwaway pens, mind you (probably at

least a couple of hundred of those around). I’m talking about writing instruments that are works of art that I have purchased in places like St. David’s cathedral in Wales and a stationer’s shop down a cobbled street in Florence. The number of pens pales in comparison to the LPs and CDs I possess. It’s not my fault; I blame my parents for my eclectic taste which ranges from classical to classic country, from early rock to modern jazz. But the amount of music tucked here and there throughout my house is downright puny when we start talking about printed material. I have two newspapers each day coming into my home, and they compete for time with the 20 plus magazines to which I subscribe. And I have to admit to having somehow accumulated several thousand books, and yes, I said thousand. I have told myself and friends who raise the occasional eyebrow that I have reached the saturation point, that a book has to leave for each new one that crosses my threshold. And I mean it, truly I do, until I read a review of a

book I really need to own. And Lord help you if you get between me and the checkout counter in a bookstore. Besides, it’s only my ancient cat and I who have to pick our way around the teetering stacks. And I did nod in recognition when I heard comedian George Carlin point out that “a house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.” I recently read some advice from an investment counselor who said that buying more stuff just brings on a sense of futility. “We start to realize that when we buy something, not only do we acquire it, we have to learn it, we have to operate it, we have to store it, we have to maintain it, we gotta fix it, we gotta make payments on it, we feel guilty when we’re not using it, we need to upgrade it because it’s outdated, or maybe we need to sell it because we’re simply not using it.” I started to feel bad about it, but then I realized he was talking about his stuff, not my books.

—Charlene Tolbert Contributing Editor Posey Magazine She can be contacted at poseymagazine@aol.com


POSEY POSTCARD

“Gradually, you will return to yourself, having learned a new respect for your heart, and the joy that dwells far within slow time.” — John O’Donohue

© Photograph by J. Bruce Baumann


By Alison Baumann

It’s the middle of a long, cold night in Posey County, and 26-year-old Josh Hayden is at it again.

Dressed all in black, his car loaded down with almost 80 pounds of equipment, he drives the rural roads, usually alone. Sometimes, he navigates by the light of a full moon, or even the coppery glow from the A.B. Brown Power Plant, but mostly he likes pitch-black moonless skies. He may be seeking out a target he found by daylight earlier in the week, or he may just be driving, looking for the perfect spot to set up and get to work.

Eventually, he finds the place. It might be an old barn or outbuilding, a dead tree, a junkyard, or a path through the woods. Although he tries to stay on roadsides and other public property, Hayden admits that he sometimes finds himself trespassing on private land. “I got thrown out of New Harmonie State Park one night,” he says, “and I hadn’t even taken a picture yet.” He stops and lets his eyes adjust to the dark. As he sizes up his subject, he begins to see “a blank 3-D

© Photographs by Josh Hayden


“There was a tree out there that was calling my name,� Hayden says of this shot, which shows the lights of the Southwind port in the background. The path leads to an abandoned house.


Although he rarely uses Photoshop, Hayden stacked ten exposures to create this dramatic vision of The Roofless Church in New Harmony. The “shooting stars� are real stars, shot with a three-minute exposure.


Hayden made this picture by walking through a drainage tunnel under Ford Road, lighting his way with a 2 million watt spotlight. canvas in front of me that I can paint with light. This sounds kind of funny,” Hayden admits, “but the location tells me how it wants to be painted.” Once he has “pre-visualized” the painting he wants and knows what equipment he’ll need, Hayden unloads his car. He sets up a sturdy tripod and wraps a glow stick around one leg of it, so he won’t trip over it later in the dark. He chooses his light sources—highpowered flashlights with colored gels over their lenses, electroluminescent wire, cold cathode lights, sparklers, Roman candles, tiny LED lights fixed to the ends of extension poles, more glow sticks. He plans how he will move around his subject, then sets his camera on the tripod, opens the lens for a ten-minute exposure, and starts to move. Fast. He might outline a building with an electric-blue line, wash the foreground with a pale red glow, even make his own falling stars with an orb machine. Sometimes he asks a friend to twirl or play catch with glow sticks or toss firecrackers to paint a fleeting graffiti image on his subject.

Photographer Josh Hayden


“I was making my own falling stars” with an orb machine, Hayden says of this eerie picture of winter trees. A spotlight fitted with a blue and green gel illuminates this scene at Gleason’s junkyard along City Line Road.


This picture of a path through the woods behind a friend’s house will be featured in a story about Hayden to be published in the magazine Better Photography in India.


Hayden and a friend tossed glow sticks back and forth to create this shot. The A.B. Brown Power Plant lights the background.


Hayden used cold cathode lights, electroluminescent wire, and purple Christmas lights for a last picture of the Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Center before it was boarded up.

All the time, the camera is running, and Hayden is in the picture, unseen; that’s the reason for the cloak-and-dagger black trousers and hoodie. A 2004 graduate of Mt. Vernon High, Hayden spent a few years after graduation living “like a nomad” while he tried to decide what to do with his life. Years before, his grandfather had given him a small camera for vacation snapshots, and he had taken a photography class in high school, but his interest in photography lay dormant until the advent of digital cameras. In 2007, he enrolled at Ivy Tech to study photography. His teacher and counselor Tracy Robb encouraged him to try new techniques in the photo lab, to do things no one else was doing. When instructor Chris Berneking told him, “you don’t take pictures; you make pictures,” Hayden discovered that he could do his own creative work using the camera as one of his tools. Light painting wasn’t part of the regular curriculum at Ivy Tech. After all, making outdoor photographs at night is not something that appeals to everyone. Hayden, a self-described “loner,” learned most of his techniques by reading photography magazines and web pages and by trial and error. “I think it’s more fun to figure it out on my own,” he says. Hayden lives in St. Phillip, where he cares for his disabled aunt during the day. When he gets her ready for bed at night, he tells her he’ll be gone for a few hours but will be back soon if she needs anything. Once he sees that she is safely asleep, he hits the road to prowl for subjects. He isn’t sure where his photography will take him. At some point, he’ll have to start making some money. “I’m not independently wealthy,” he jokes, “I’m independently poor.” With his caretaking responsibilities at home, he sees his life as “basically on hold” right now. “Once it’s not on hold,” he says with uncharacteristic bravado, “get ready, world!” More of Josh Hayden’s work can be found at www. haydenimaging.com. Alison Baumann shares a small farm in Savah with an assortment of creatures, both wild and domestic. She has had poetry, essays and fiction published in numerous regional and national literary journals. She can be contacted at poseymagazine@aol.com


Poetry

OLD FOLKS All across America old men sit at windows in their undershirts, waving or scowling-patterned a lifetime ago on the floor of a factory mud of a field. I always wonder who puts them there, who fetches them at evening, feeds them and makes them take their medicine, washes where they’ve dribbled— not like old women, who lean on their elbows smoking cigarettes, spilling out the edges of their slips— they put themselves there, and smile and weep for a reason. — Alison Baumann ©2012

“Every word was once a poem.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)


Posey Portrait

Ben Nicholson, New Harmony, professor of architecture, artist

Š Photograph by J. Bruce Baumann

Posey Portrait will feature a random photograph of a friend or neighbor — in a place we call home


Feathers/By Sharon Sorenson

ORDINARY

ANYTHING BUT

Everyone knows northern cardinals as common yard

birds. Everyone here in Posey County, that is. Seven states, including Indiana, name northern cardinal as their state bird. And who knows how many sports teams, amateur or professional, call the cardinal their mascot? But if this vibrantly plumaged, cheerful songster were rare, serious birders would climb steep mountains, cross scorching deserts, hack through wild steaming jungles—travel anywhere—to see it. And then, thrilled at sighting this stunning, brilliantly colored bird, they would have bragging rights over envious friends who wish they, too, could have seen it. Generally, west of the Rocky Mountains, residents likely feel some of that envy. While cardinals have recently expanded their range well into Canada, they have not shown the same interest in wandering westward.


Female cardinals, gorgeously subtle and arguably prettier than males, wear tan with red highlights in their hair.

Š Photograph by Sharon Sorenson


Š Photograph by Sharon Sorenson


When male cardinals molt and gain spiffy new fall plumage, their wings show gray. But we’re fortunate in Posey County that these stunning birds are with us daily, in our yards, at our feeders, flitting through our meadows, nesting and roosting in dense evergreens and tangles of shrubs and fencerows. As common as they are, however, they’re anything but ordinary. For instance, commonly called “cardinals” or, colloquially, “red birds,” they’re properly named “northern cardinals.” In spite of the term “northern,” cardinals are really southern birds that are ranging northward. When they followed railroad construction north and winged into their Chicago debut 150 years ago, they made newspaper headlines. Three years ago, they garnered a similar headline splash when they reached certain Canadian backyards. In reality, the name “northern” comes from the fact that they’re found only in North, not South, America. South America hosts a different cardinal, the red-capped cardinal. The scarlet-red birds were anointed “cardinal” because their plumage reminded early ornithologists of the brilliant red robes worn by Roman Catholic Cardinals. Oddly, though, when male cardinals molt and gain spiffy new fall plumage, their wings show gray. Then, by springtime, the gray wears off, revealing the breeding all-red of well-dressed dudes. Seems odd that wear improves color rather than fading it, but we set out saying these birds are anything but ordinary. Female cardinals, gorgeously subtle

and arguably prettier than males, wear tan with red highlights in their hair. Humans would have to pay big money to a talented beautician to wear an equally lovely coiffure. Oh, and don’t overlook the bright red lipstick on their bills. Juveniles, whether male or female, look like females minus lipstick. Cardinal courtship is a rather tender, affectionate affair. At one point, to seal the pair bond, he feeds her, their bills touching in a “kiss.” Sounds anthropomorphic, but facts are facts, even if out of the ordinary. Once the pair bonds, male and female cardinals sing together, matching songs phrase for phrase, her rendition slightly quieter than his. Unlike cavity nesters, cardinals never use bird houses. So if you want more cardinals, provide dense evergreens and tangles of unkempt thickets, all free from pesticides. Fill feeders with blackoil sunflower seed (although cardinals prefer seed spills on the ground). And keep wintertime water ice-free and fresh. These habitat features will surely earn you bragging rights for seeing daily those common but extraordinary northern cardinals. Sharon and Charles Sorenson settled in St. Philip in 1966 and continue to improve their certified backyard wildlife habitat that to date has hosted 161 bird species and 53 butterfly species. Send your bird questions and comments to them or contact them for publicvenue programs, conferences, or seminars at forthebirdscolumn@yahoo.com.


I’m just sayin’

WORK Sixteen. The magic number for some people because they get to drive and own a car. Then after we get our cars, we realize that cars need gas to operate. Therefore, our parents tell us to get a J-O-B, if we want to go places. That’s when we learn the joy of working to get what we want. Shelby Riordan Mt. Vernon High Work is a small word that consumes and describes a large part of our lives. Work can vary from different difficulties, but achieve many things. Work teaches us to be strong and independent as individuals. It is a constant factor in life that makes our society what it is today. People spend years and years of their lives working to accomplish positive results in things they care dearly about. In the end, work describes who we are and what we will be in life. Maddie Koester North Posey High School In most people’s eyes, the word “work” means physical labor. However, from a physics perspective, work is equal to the amount

of force expressed in Newtons times the total displacement expressed in meters. The resultant, or “work,” is represented in Joules, or “Newton-meters.” Jake Riedford Mt. Vernon High “Work” is probably the most powerful fourletter word. All of your goals, hopes, and dreams require a lot of work. No matter what you decide to do in life, you will always need to make an effort to meet your goals. Don’t be lazy and expect to be a millionaire; they have what they have for a reason! Miranda Holbrook Mt. Vernon High What is work? School work, house work, community work, work is work. Physical labor or mental work. Homework, math, science, language arts. Work is work. Work is in everyday life. Hannah Keller Mt. Vernon Jr. High Every day millions of people wake, dreading another day of work. They work for the

money to provide a better life for their family. What if you are one of the unlucky people who are unable to work? Many of those who have been laid off would do anything to acquire a job that can provide for their family. Work is what millions of people center their lives around. Work is what builds what a family will become in the future. Todd Sheffer Mt. Vernon High When I hear the word “Work” I always think of a work of art. A work of art helps bring out hidden beauty. To find the hidden beauty you have to look past the surface in art. This relates to people because below their surface they might have hidden beauty, but they may not. That’s how you determine a person’s true worth. To me, that’s what matters. Taylor Franklin North Posey High We’ll pave the roads, Until there is nothing left. To rebuild a town More beautiful than the last. We’ll slave all night To get this work done.


Even at the cost of poor Mother Nature But alas. What if all the work you have done Kills the very earth beneath your feet? Gwendolyn Jolley Mt. Vernon High Work is doing things for the people you love. It is something people do to get stuff done. You can have fun working by working hard so you can go on vacation with your family. Working makes people have better ethics. Working is trying to do well in all aspects of life. Working is doing anything productive. Working is essential in a normal, everyday life. Aubrey Cummings North Posey High Work—it separates us from the lesser creatures of this world. We have thrived and through work we have evolved our very existence. Wondrous is that of the human intellect for we find work for even the lowest of our kind. It is only through our labors, our determination, and our conviction that we can ascend the evolutionary ladder. Ours is a marvelous existence built from the ground up

I’m Just Sayin’ is a sounding board for young people. All middle and high school students (including homeschoolers) in Posey County are invited to submit essays, stories or poems on the designated topics for each issue. Submissions must be no longer than six sentences. Topics and deadlines for the next two issues: May/June Bad Habits Deadline: March 20, 2012 July/August Death Deadline: May 20, 2012 through work and intelligence. Without work we shall descend into primal anarchy; we shall become animals once more. Jacob Driver Mt. Vernon High Work is the building block of essential life. Ever since the beginning of time people have worked to establish a living. Without work today our lives would probably not exist or if we did we would be useless. Work establishes the fundamentals of mind, helping everyone to think. Work enforces good habits, frequent paychecks, and good manners. Sara Neuffer North Posey High

Work -- you don’t love it, but you have to do it.   Whether it’s a full-time job or you’re helping your parents out, it isn’t much fun usually.  It could also be hard or as simple as answering the phone.  Though it may not be fun, it’s still worthwhile when you get paid.   So even though it isn’t fun or easy, it’s always worth it! Quinn Rowland Mt. Vernon High Work comes in many different styles and ways. Farmers start in the morning and work all day. They spend most of their days just trying to earn a buck. They keep on going when the going gets tough. Their crops will die, but they get out the next year, Whether it be on a Farmall or a good ol’ Deere! Chelsea Paddock Mt. Vernon High


Out of the frame/J. Bruce Baumann


Out of the frame will focus on moments found, without a story or context. We all pass something that catches our eye and tweaks our curiosity during the course of everday living. Sometimes it makes us smile or even chuckle. You might say it tickles the mind. Other times it makes us think about life in a serious way. Regardless of how we react, in that instant the image touches a part of our brain or heart and becomes part of who we are. For the moment it takes us out of the frame.


Posey Then & Now Circa 1958

Courtesy of the University of Southern Indiana

The Mt. Vernon Milling Company complex seen in this aerial picture was built in 1933 after a fire swept through the old mill on the site, causing $300,000 in damages. Located on the Ohio River at the end of Main Street, the new mill contained the most up-to-date equipment for the manufacture of hominy, cornmeal, grit, hominy feed, flakes, corn oil and brewer’s meal. In 1946, the J.R. Short Company from Chicago bought the mill and operated it until late 1984, when it ceased operations there, displacing 70 workers. The plant was sold to a St. Louis resident who planned to open an oat processing facility, but the mill and warehouse burned to the ground in 1988, leaving only the silos as a landmark.


Posey Then & Now Circa 2011

Š Photograph by J. Bruce Baumann

Mt. Vernon’s dream to build a waterfront park along the Ohio has been stymied for many years by a variety of roadblocks. Not the least of them was the old Mt. Vernon Milling silos. Aside from being an eyesore, the silos contained asbestos, making demolition dangerous and expensive. Finally, in the summer of 2011, at a cost of $338,000, the silos were razed, leaving clean open space that will be part of the long-awaited park.


By Linda Neal Reising

It was the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 18,

1925. In Posey County, fruit trees were bursting into bloom, and daffodils turned their yellow faces skyward, enjoying the first warm days of spring. But those balmy temperatures were actually an omen—a warning of what would become the deadliest storm in U.S. history, a storm that would alter Posey County forever. According to the Popular Mechanics website, in 1925 the word “tornado” wasn’t even in the vocabulary of the U.S. Weather Bureau. The word had been banned since 1887 because of the unpredictability of tornadoes. The weather forecasters did not want to spread unnecessary panic. That’s the reason, on that unusually warm morning, the forecast was merely for showers and cooling temperatures. The killer tornado was born in northwestern Arkansas. It then whirled its way east through Missouri and Illinois, leaving a swath of death and destruction behind it, estimated between onehalf mile and a mile in width. Traveling at an average speed of seventy-three miles per hour, it didn’t take the “Mother Cyclone” long to reach Posey County.


Griffin, Indiana, March 1925

Š Courtesy of the University of Southern Indiana


“It was so big; it was so nasty.”

Griffin, Indiana, March 1925 Even farmers, people who normally would have been tuned in to the weather, were caught off guard. According to Joseph Schaefer, director of the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, the storm was so large and so low to the ground, no one recognized it for what it was. “It was so big; it was so nasty. It just looked like a cloud eating the ground as it went along.” The tornado, packing wind speeds of 266-318 miles per hour, would today be rated at least an F5, if not an F6. It hit Griffin, Indiana, in late afternoon. A picture taken shortly after the disaster shows the ruins of the George Doll home. A little mantel clock points its hands to the exact moment the tornado struck—seven minutes before four. The timing couldn’t have been worse. School was just dismissing for the day. According to an article on rootsweb, the Griffin school owned only one bus. The

© Courtesy of the University of Southern Indiana

driver was required to complete one route and return to the school to pick up the rest of the students. During the first route, as the bus stopped near the Kell and Martha Vanway home to let out children, it was blown into a muddy field, killing the driver and an unspecified number of children. The students waiting at the school did not fare much better. The tornado smashed the Bethel Township School, ripping away the upper rear rooms. A group of students, waiting for the return of the bus, were trapped under the bricks and debris. According to the web site, “Screams of the injured and dying filled the air.” Another scene of horror could be found in the restaurant owned by Dr. Kokomoor and his wife. Several people had taken shelter there and were trapped in the debris. The building then caught fire, due to the coal stoves used for heating, and the

flames were spread rapidly by the high winds. About eight people perished inside the store. Two or three boys could only be identified by the marbles and pocket knives they carried. By the time the tornado was finished, one hundred fifty homes in Griffin had been destroyed—the town virtually annihilated. According to some accounts, only two buildings were left standing. Eighty-five area farms were ravaged. Due to problems in communications, news reports of that time wavered daily in the number of deaths reported in Griffin—6, 47, 58, 65, 100, 125. Even today, the death count varies by sources, but approximately sixty percent of the Griffin residents were killed or injured. Papers of the time also reported two deaths in Stewartsville and five in Poseyville, with twenty to thirty injured. Temporary morgues and hospitals were filled to capacity. The Ribeyre Gymnasium in New Harmony, new at the time, was used as a makeshift hospital/morgue for some of the tornado victims. Frantic men, women, and children searched these facilities for missing relatives. Because of the large number of people with mutilated and crushed limbs, doctors were forced to perform surgeries outdoors or in roofless buildings—many times without using anesthetics. Also, because many of the victims’ wounds were ground full of dirt, tetanus—and in turn lockjaw—became a serious problem. Airplanes carrying all available tetanus antitoxin rushed out of Indianapolis. As if the tornado, fires, and tetanus weren’t enough, the citizens of Griffin also had to battle looting and flooding. The looting was quickly squelched by moving in more troops to patrol the area, but the flooding could not be stopped. According to a United Press story on March 23, Griffin was “practically isolated by flood waters of the Wabash River and smaller streams.” From


© Photograph by J. Bruce Baumann

An Ohio newspaper wrote that Griffin, Indiana was so badly damaged that it would never be rebuilt. They were wrong. three different directions, entrance into town was impossible, and “a highway leading to the village from the fourth direction is covered with water.” Rescue workers collected supplies at Barrett’s Station, two miles east of Griffin, and brought the much-needed goods to town on a hand car belonging to the Illinois Central Railroad. Everyone except relief workers was barred by the military from entering the town. Even Governor Edward Jackson, who made a personal inspection of Griffin, had difficulty leaving, being forced to drive through a foot of water on the one open highway. To the residents of Posey County, the

“Tri-State Tornado” was a tragedy that will never be forgotten. In Griffin, an historical marker stands as a reminder of what happened on that unseasonably warm March day. But the storm, which killed approximately 800 people in several states, had a lasting impact on the entire country. “To weather historians, the storm is considered a defining moment in American meteorology—the day the nation awoke to the need for a tornado warning system,” said Joseph Schaefer, the National Weather Service’s director. One reporter, writing for the Lima News in Ohio, stated that since Griffin had been obliterated, the “present outlook is that

no effort will be made to rebuild.” Obviously, he did not understand the spirit of Posey County residents. He should have listened more carefully to an unidentified elderly man who stood amid the rubble, vowing to return and rebuild. “I don’t want to die anywhere else.” A Posey County resident since 1980, Linda Neal Reising lives in the historic “Cale House,” where she writes fiction and poetry, as well as fending off rowdy raccoons and voracious Virginia creeper. She can be contacted at poseymagazine@aol.com.


Out In The Back Of Beyond/Editor’s Notebook

O

ver my years of reading, I’ve collected a number of word or phrases that touched a place so deep in me that I didn’t even know I had such a place. I copy them down and promptly lose them, leaving them for the next lost soul to read and wonder. Occasionally, I find a few of them, as happened recently, and notice a general theme. I’ll let you decide what that might be. “Important vs. urgent.” I don’t remember where or when I found that one — or why I wrote it down. I think all of us confuse the two from time to time. Probably more so when we’re young. As we age we reach a point when we slow down and at least make an effort to try to decide. “Little prayers and other cries for mercy.” It seems life starts out with

a clean slate, but before we know it, stuff happens while we’re making other plans. Bad stuff. If we allow it to ferment in the mind, it becomes overwhelming and takes charge of our life. The only release valve comes when we acknowledge its power and cry out for help. Sometimes help comes. Sometimes our plea just dissipates into thin air. I can live with either one. “Afraid of being found out.” and “Well intentioned incompetence.” Not many of us are as good as we pretend to be. Whether we’re egomaniacs, arrogant or just plain scared there comes a time when we sit in the dark, cross our fingers and hope that we have not become illustrations of “The Peter Principle,” people who have been promoted beyond their competence or ability.

“The challenge of diminished capacity.” From time to time I find myself wondering if my ability to learn and grow is slipping away. Forgotten. No longer relevant. Would that be such a bad thing? “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” For me this one becomes more important with each passing day. It’s been a long time since I thought of myself as the font from which all wisdom flows. I’m less confident now about anything than I used to be about everything. Still, I think there’s a message in these three words that can benefit us all, regardless of age.

J. Bruce Baumann Editor Posey Magazine poseymagazine@aol.com


Bob — the Posey County bobcat

© Photograph by J. Bruce Baumann

Illegally transported out of the county by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources March 30, 2011. It’s been a year. He has yet to have his day in court. The system has failed him at every step of the way. It’s a disgrace.

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Posey Magazine March/April 2012