Southern Indiana Living - Nov / Dec 2019


November / December 2019

SPECIAL SECTION: Southern Indiana Holiday Happenings & Events



Nov/ Dec 2019





Create more





Event Facility

• Unique, historic, redwood structure • Accommodates 185 people • Hardwood floors • Exposed beams in ceiling

• Two large functional stone fireplaces • Peaceful wooded country setting

• Located in beautiful southern Indiana • Shelter house nestled in the woods • Kitchen area

Just 15 minutes west of Corydon • Call 812-267-3030




When you’re living life to its fullest, make sure there’s a satisfying end.

Make room for a few more smiles. Clear the way for more quality time with

your family. Enjoy more warm hugs from your loved ones. Get the comfort

and care you deserve by reaching out to us at 800.264.0521 or visit The earlier you contact us, the more we can help.

• 2 Cabins located on Blue River • 1 House with private lake

• 1 Cabin on the Ohio River w/boat ramp • 812-267-3031


• Ohio River Frontage Sites

• Full Hook-up on Every Site

• Boat Ramp • Laundromat

Leavenworth, IN

Missi Bush-Sawtelle, Owner • 812-267-3030

2 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 3

Featured Stories


Holiday Events & Happenings


Santa Claus, Indiana


Santa’s Candy Castle celebrates decade of memories



Spotlight on Corydon resident Carrie Cooke Ketterman


Rock Steady Boxing Classes offer hope for Parkinson’s

Southern Indiana Living


Southern Indiana in Pictures


Floyds Knobs, IN


August 15, 2019 at Huber’s Orchard & Winery



Home of the Innocents earns $106,000 grant

In Every Issue


Sweet Celebrations, 1930


A Tale of Two Chickens


Change comes for us all


Leadership Southern Indiana’s Alumni bash, the ninth

annual walking tour at Fairview Cemetary, and more!


Snacking Mindfully


Wrapping Up Christmas

4 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 5







NOV / DEC 2019

VOL. 12, ISSUE 6


Karen Hanger


Christy Byerly


Jennifer Cash


Sweet Celebrations

Santa Claus, Indiana



Sara Combs


Take advantage of prime

advertising space.

Call us at 812-989-8871 or



$25/year, Mail to: Southern

Indiana Living, P.O. Box 145,

Marengo, IN 47140

Contact SIL

P.O. Box 145

Marengo, IN 47140



Candy Castle // Photo

submitted by the Spencer

County Visitors Bureau

Holiday Events & Happenings

Section Cover: (pg 11)

Photo credit Maxim Larin/

Check out more

features and stories

on our EPUB Exclusive!

Southern Indiana Living is

published bimonthly by SIL

Publishing Co. LLC, P.O. Box

145, Marengo, Ind. 47140.

Any views expressed in any

advertisement, signed letter,

article, or photograph

are those of the author and

do not necessarily reflect

the position of Southern

Indiana Living or its parent

company. Copyright © 2018

SIL Publishing Co. LLC. No

part of this publication may

be reproduced in any form

without written permission

from SIL Publishing Co. LLC.

// Photo courtesy of the Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana

The Candy Castle was originally sponsored by the Curtiss Candy Company, which

at the time was one of the largest candy companies in the world. The castle was

originally built to be the first building in the “Candyland” section of “Santa Claus

Town”. The other planned buildings were never completed, but the Candy Castle

still operates in the original 1930s structure.



is a BBB



6 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 7

A Walk in the Garden with Bob Hill

In the end it came down to a pair of

ornamental tin chickens for our Hoosier

yard, both apparently created in

a distant and dangerous land soon to

be confronting more tariffs — or less. So it

goes in the modern yard-art department

where, at some political point, everything

seems fair game or fowl.

A Tale of Two Chickens

Here’s the deal: Even though Hidden

Hill is pretty much closed and not

selling plants, a guy can never pass up a

pair of tin chickens. Envy is no small part

of that, mostly because every botanical

garden and arboretum in the world is now

overrun with the very expensive multicolored

Chihuly glass and such. Closer to

home you just have to settle for tin.

There is some fabled history here.

I started collecting garden art with very

modest goals. Time and water provided

limestone fossils from the Devonian era;

anything that had been around more than

400 million years seemed like a worthwhile

investment in my time and tennis


Once the fossil-rock-as-yard-art

phase passed, driftwood became fair

game. It floated in from Pittsburgh and beyond,

its bark washed smooth, its stunted

limbs offering a polished ballet with previous

performances upriver in Madison,

Indiana, and Cincinnati.

Yeah, sure, blocky, limestone fossils

and well-worn dead trees lining a raisedbed

garden. That old stuff. It could make a

guy interested in tin chickens.

I then went through the usual rustic,

garden art phases. Church bells. Shovels

shaped like angry birds. Cut class bottles.

Wheelbarrows filled with rainbows of caladiums.

An ox yoke. Plow shares. Old

horse-drawn plows. Painted wooden

signs that read, “Beets me.” And, yes, God

help me, rubber tires painted pink and

planted in purple petunias and hung from

trees, but only to mock Chihuly and his



Gradually my tastes changed, some

might say even improved. My secret was

to befriend local artists who had taste, talent

and, as with many artists, preferred to

see their work in our meadow rather than

stuffed behind the lawnmower in their


I paid a lot more attention to genuine

uppercase Folk Art and artists; people

who can create stuff just because they can.

You can’t teach it. You can’t imitate it.

They just see something where others see

nothing and do it.

The results include our “Wizard of

Oz”-like “Watering Can Man” and our

“Federal Offense” mailbox.

Certainly, our tin chickens do not

roost in that territory. With them I envision

about 500 people sitting in unheated

tin buildings in foreign lands cutting up

pieces of salvaged metal and making

chickens for about $12 a day. The man or

woman painting them in their bright colors

might get $14 — subject to tariffs.

My specific reason for the tin chickens

was that we already had the empty

chicken coop. Our earlier attempt at raising

genuine, yellow-yoked farm-grown

eggs had gone south. Our coop needed

some low-maintenance presence.

It had been a $1,000 investment, not

counting another roughly $1.6 million

spent on treated lumber, chicken wire,

lights, heaters, feeders and bales of straw.

A good MIT accountant would have estimated

our costs per dozen useable eggs at

about $15,000 a carton.

But here’s the deal. If part of your

reason for living is to mock certain art,

pretentiousness and Chihuly, what better

way to do it then placing a couple of tin

chickens next to your chicken coop.

Even though Hidden Hill is pretty much

closed and not selling plants, a guy can

never pass up a pair of tin chickens.

The opportunity presented itself at

a mammoth, corporate-looking glassedin

Northern Illinois nursery that offered

at least one of every tree, shrub, flower,

fertilizer type, porcelain pot, shovel, hose,

watering can and green-lawn push mower

in horticultural history.

Its knowledgeable employees sort

of wandered the place in a rosy glow, surrounded

by all that was good and holy,

seemingly willing to die there in the back

room potting up perennials if it came to


And there, near that back room and

another quarter-acre of garden stuff, were

two tin chickens. What seemed to be a

rooster about 4 feet tall and a smaller guy

with tinny pretensions. On sale. And us

only about 400 miles from home and a

pickup truck already full of trees, shrubs

and flowers I couldn’t live without.

No problem. The chickens got safe

harbor in a relative’s garage until we got

back up to Northern Illinois. They got a

ride home in the back of our late, great

Honda Odyssey — our dearly departed

170,000-mile baby — along with more

much needed plants.

We cleaned out the chicken coop and

its run of extraneous chicken droppings,

placed the two tin chickens near the end

facing our nursery, and stood back in awe

and appreciation.

After a couple of months of that, we

moved them out in the yard in full view of

all who came to see us. They deserved the

sunshine. Chihuly has gotta be worried. •

Bob Hill owns Hidden Hill

Nursery and can be

reached at farmerbob@

For more information,

including nursery hours

and event information, go

to www.hiddenhillnursery.


8 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 9

About the Author

A Note to Baby Boomers

Change Comes for Us All

Southern Indiana

Holiday Events & Happenings

Imay be cremated.

So may many of you. Cremation

seems as hot, excuse me, as mango

milk or whatever else elbows pork

rinds from the grocery shelves.

Will I rest in peace in an Amazon-ordered

urn? Or might that be me, sprinkled

atop the hellacious crabgrass in the backyard?

Should I be OK not to lay for eternity

in an overpriced box, a good blue suit not

left instead to Goodwill?

I inherited cemetery plots in my

parents’ will. Mom and Dad assumed I

would wind up alongside them. I figured


Now I refigure.

I never figured to spend more time

refiguring — about stuff both profound

and mundane — than I do flossing. Not

that I ever will be on the same planet as

trendy. I dropped out of disco dance class.

Yoga ended up little better. Sneaky prisoners

probably place more cell phone calls. It

wouldn’t bother me if drive-through windows

had not been invented.

Change and I get along about as well

as change and many of you get along. I

would swap my new car’s camera for a

compact disc player in a second. I almost

bought a particular model simply because

it played CDs.

I had these thoughts about getting

older and retiring. I was way off. Decisions

just keep coming. Change does not

give seniors a discount. Being buried was

but one choice I had penciled in before I

knew better.

Or before I finally gave it thought.

None of us get to choose to be old,

suicide aside. All of us get to choose how

to be old. Some seniors do make it look

easy. For them, every question has an answer.

These aren’t the “why” types. They

are the “why not” types. Getting old never

seems to get old for them. Do they head

off to Australia or Africa or both? What

gets replaced first, the knees or the hips?

Do they eat dinner at 4:30 or go crazy and

wait ’til 5?

When do they downsize? Not if.

Meanwhile, I am in a my third year

of deciding if I should pull the plug on

my pricey life insurance. I put off visits to

the outlet mall, much less to the outback.

“Same” is not a four-letter word. “Different”


I try to take hope when I can get it.

A man recently came to the house and removed

the wobbly, worn-out basketball

goal from the driveway. Plucked it right

up and out like it was a baby tooth. My

kids and I had shot a whole lot of balls

at that hoop. Sam and Allison got better

and better at it. Their dad got worse and

worse. If I ever pretended to lose at h-o-rs-e,

those days were long gone.

Nonetheless, it was sad to say goodbye.

How do you, some of you, part with

all the stuff on memory lane? How do

you gear up to gear down?

I am not nearly trainable enough.

But, hey, I now follow the IU women’s

basketball team more closely than the

men’s. That’s change. I eat less red meat.

I make coffee by the cup. I enjoy the call

of doves more than I do most TV shows.

That’s change.

I confront aging by exercising up a

storm. I reconcile aging by at least glancing

at all those ads for hearing aids and

walk-in tubs. I confront aging by continuing

to write here and there. I reconcile aging

by making sure I have days with absolutely

nothing on the schedule — except

maybe lunch with friends.

I am a lunch all-American.

I do draw lines. I never expect to

own a gun. I believe my loved ones and I

are safer that way. Perhaps even safe. You

may believe otherwise, of course. You

have a gun. I do not. Who knows who is

Change and I get along about as well as change

and many of you get along. I would swap my

new car’s camera for a compact disc player in

a second. I almost bought a particular model

simply because it played CDs.


I also do draw silly lines. I often park

in a different ZIP code from the store or

ballpark or wherever. If not walking a bit

extra is that crucial, be my guest. And I

stockpile underwear and shampoo and

ballpoint pens and grape jelly, even those

doodads that stop bleeding when my razor

attacks. None of it are on an endangered

species list, I confess. All of it makes

me somehow feel better, though, ready for


Thank God Southern Indiana Living

does not insist that its columnists be sane.

Give me the occasional German

week at Aldi and I am happy. Give me the

early-season reruns of most any classic sitcom

and I am happy.

I am never all that happy to make

decisions I did not expect. That is central

to getting old, though, I have learned.

Travel, health care, downsizing, simplifying,

all of it and more awaits. It’s the same

ultimately with death itself. So burial?

Maybe. Cremation? Maybe.

I could flip a coin. Remember


After 25 years, Dale Moss

retired as Indiana columnist for

The Courier-Journal. He now

writes weekly for the News and

Tribune. Dale and his wife Jean

live in Jeffersonville in a house

that has been in his family

since the Civil War. Dale’s e-

mail is

10 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 11

Saturday, November 30

Historic Downtown Corydon

10 am – 8 pm

Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas with

carriage rides, holiday shopping, music,

festive lights and a parade.

Let Us Take the Stress Out of the Holidays

More Holiday Events in Harrison County

The Overlook is positioned uniquely on a bluff in

Leavenworth, Indiana the Overlook Restaurant offers

a 20 mile panoramic vista of the Ohio River. As you

enjoy your meal, watch barges churning up and down

the river or the sun setting behind the wooded hills

of Indiana.

Call 812-739-4264 today to make your Thanksgiving

reservations. No group is too large or small.

With the Holidays fast approaching, call us to reserve

your spot for your Company, Corporate and Family

Holiday Parties.

Hours: Sun. - Thursday 11 am-7 pm • Fri. & Sat. 11 am-8 pm

Call us today to reserve your next

Party, Corporate Gathering, or Holiday Celebration.

Corydon Christmas


November 30

Harrison County Fairgrounds

Holiday Wine Tasting

November 30

Red, White & Blush

A Merry Country


November 29 – December 14

Fridays and Saturdays

Hayswood Nature Reserve

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

December 5 – 15

Thursdays – Sundays

Hayswood Theatre

Santa in the Cave

December 7 and 14

Squire Boone Caverns

Caroling in the Cave

December 8

Marengo Cave

Winter Wine Walk

December 14

Downtown Corydon

812-739-4264 | www.theoverlook |

12 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 13

Holiday Road

A Christmas Devotional

From SIL columnist, Jason Byerly!

Holiday Road

A Christmas Devotional


** Excerpt for preview only **


in paperback and e-book

at Amazon!


This holiday season...




The Community Foundation of Southern

Indiana partners with individuals and

businesses to create charitable funds that

provide for our community’s current and

future needs. If you’re working on your yearend

planning, or want to make a gift that

helps your local community, call us. We can

establish your personalized fund so that it

supports the charitable causes important to

you. Or, you can support our Community

Impact Fund to maximize your impact on the

greatest needs of our community.

Because of a matching grant, you can start

a new endowment fund for your favorite

charitable causes and receive a $1 match

for every $2 contributed.

Or, you can support the Foundation’s local

grantmaking, helping us do more in SoIN,

and for every $1 donated to the Community

Impact Fund the matching grant will add

$2 more - TRIPLING your charitable gift.



(812) 948-4662 |


the Hustle...


the Season!

Free Holiday Event!


in the

● Local Musicians

● Visit with Santa

● Silent Auction

● Cookies & Punch



December 8

3pm @ Marengo Cave


Attractions Dining


* Snow added to put you in that holiday mood!

Campgrounds Hike



14 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 15

November 2

Visit French Lick

West Baden Upcoming Events

Dash for the Glass 5K

Patoka Lake Winery

November 16 West Baden Springs Hotel Tree Lighting

West Baden Springs Hotel

November 16- 50 Days of Lights

Jan 6 French Lick Resort

Select Dates

Nov. - Dec.

Christmas Treasures

Abbeydell Hall

November 22 French Lick Springs Hotel Tree Lighting

French Lick Springs Hotel

November 22 Bourbon and Bites

West Baden Springs Hotel Atrium

November 23 Gaither Vocal Band & Holiday Homecoming

French Lick Resort

November Holiday Market

23 -24 Orange County Community Center, Paoli

November 28 Thanksgiving Dinner

West Baden Springs Hotel

November 29- Historic Holidays

December 31 French Lick West Baden Museum

December 14

December 31

December 31

Christmas on the Square

Orleans Town Square

New Years Eve

French Lick Resort

New Years Eve

French Lick Winery

812-936-3418 • • #MyFrenchLick

16 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 17

Good things

come in threes.

Shop our trio

of stores.

We are looking forward to Christmas

and have something different

planned this year. . .

all we can say

for now is . . .



Shop Monday - Saturday.

(Businesses will be closed Nov. 11 until 6 p.m. while we

prepare for the Surprises for OPEN HOUSE at 6 p.m.)

Brick Street Sampler

18 • Nov/Dec 34 Public 2019 Square

Southern Indiana • 812-883-9757

Living 35 Public Square • 812-883-1776

36 Public Square • 812-883-1473

Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 19

Free Holiday Event!



in the


December 8

3pm @ Marengo Cave

● Local Musicians

● Visit with Santa

● Silent Auction

● Cookies & Punch

Please bring a canned

good to donate to local

food pantries! 812-365-2705

Discover the Past, Enjoy the Present historic Washington County


Change in Rural America”

Tuesday-Sunday Now through

December 6th

1:00PM-5:00PM •

Fridays 1:00PM-9:00PM

The Depot

206 S. College Avenue, Salem

A Museum on Mainstreet exhibition

by the Smithsonian Institution

Traveling Exhibition Service.

Cookie Walk around the

Courthouse Square

December 7th • 1:00PM-4:00PM

Courthouse Square, Salem

Purchase a bag for $5 then stroll the

shops on the Square and get your bag

filled with delicious cookies, and get

some Christmas shopping done too!

Stick around for the annual Christmas

Parade around the Square that

evening and visit with Santa to tell

him all your Christmas wishes!

Contact us at:

or call 812-883-4303 to plan your trip!

20 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 21

Holidays In SoIN

Christmas All Year Round

Christmas cheer abounds in Santa Claus, Indiana

Story by Jason Byerly

Photos by Spencer County Visitors Bureau

If you’re having trouble getting into

the Christmas spirit, there’s only one

place you need to go: Santa Claus, Indiana.

During the first three weekends

in December, the town hosts its annual

Christmas Celebration Weekends, proving

why it is indeed America’s Christmas


After spending a few days exploring

Spencer County’s winter wonderland,

my family was overflowing with yuletide

cheer. Who cares that it happened to be

70 degrees the weekend we visited? The

town of Santa Claus made it feel like we

were dashing through the snow.

We arrived just after dinner on a

Friday, checking into a Christmas cabin

at the Lake Rudolph Campground and

RV Resort. As we pulled up to the campground

office, we were greeted by cheerful

Christmas lights, depicting a nativity

scene, and we could see hints of the Santa

Claus Land of Lights display in the woods


The Christmas cabins were tucked

away in the back of the campground, sheltered

from the traffic and noise of those

visiting the Land of Lights. The cabins

looked magical in the glow of Christmas

trees that adorned the decks, and my kids

were thrilled that we had our very own

evergreen. Once we were inside the cabin,

they made a beeline for the loft that overlooks

the cozy living room below, while

my wife and I opted for downstairs bedroom,

hoping to get a good night’s sleep

for all the fun we had in store.

We started our Saturday with

Christmas crafts and a continental breakfast

at the golf cart building near the front

gate. Throughout warmer months, Lake

Rudolph rents golf carts to help campers

navigate their sprawling campground,

and they transform the empty golf car

garage into a staging ground for holiday

activities. We got to decorate stockings,

make felt Christmas ornaments and even

grab a picture with the big guy himself,

jolly old St. Nick.

From there, we moved on to the

Santa Claus Museum and Village, which

is a destination in and of itself. The village

consists of the original 1856 Santa Claus

post office, a historic church from 1880

and a 1935 concrete Santa Claus statue that

towers over the grounds at a whopping 22

feet tall. At the post office, we wrote a letter

to Santa, whose elves replied with their

own letter the very next week.

During the Christmas Celebration

Weekends, the church plays host to the

Story of Santa, which is a lively retelling of

the origins of St. Nicholas, Clement Clark

Moore’s classic poem “ ‘Twas the Night

Before Christmas” and the legend of how

the town of Santa Claus got its name. The

Lauren Ellis, bride,

with assistant Allison Hoffer

Historic 1935 statue at the Santa Claus Museum

During the Christmas Celebration Weekends, the

church plays host to the Story of Santa, which

is a lively retelling of the origins of St. Nicholas,

Clement Clark Moore’s classic poem “ ‘Twas the

Night Before Christmas” and the legend of how

the town of Santa Claus got its name.

22 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 23

storyteller was phenomenal. Using props,

costumes and plenty of humor, she involved

the entire crowd, bringing up kids

and adults to play the various parts.

Next, we explored the museum,

which is loaded with memorabilia from

the history of the town and the early days

of Santa Claus Land,

the park that became

Holiday World and

Splashin’ Safari. The

most impressive exhibit

was the Jim Yellig

display. Yellig served

as the theme park’s

Santa Claus for 38

years, and is the Santa that several generations

of us remember visiting as a child.

If you were one of the children who had

your picture taken with Yellig, this exhibit

is sure to bring back wonderful memories.

After our visit to the museum, we

made our way to the massive Santa Claus

Christmas Store, where you can browse

their collection of thousands of ornaments

and have another opportunity to get your

picture taken with Santa The store also offers

a selection of fudge and other holiday

treats and personalizes ornaments while

you wait.

While visiting the Christmas Store,

you’ll want to take a few minutes to grab a

couple of selfies with the Santa Claus statues

outside. The town boasts at least 22

statues of the jolly old elf, and you could

spend hours on a holiday scavenger hunt

tracking them all down.

After a fantastic afternoon discovering

all that Santa Claus had to offer, we

wrapped up our day

back at Lake Rudolph

for the Santa Claus

Land of Lights adventure.

This light show

tells the story of Rudolph

the Red-Nosed

Reindeer using more

than 1.2 miles of lights

and over 300 light display pieces, including

11 giantic Rudolph story scenes, some

30 feet tall and over 100 feet wide, and

three light tunnels. It was well worth the

drive and brought out the kid in all of us.

A weekend in Santa Claus is a great

way to kick off the holiday season and

make some memories you will treasure

for a lifetime. Whether you have an afternoon

or a couple of days, there is plenty in

this charming town to make your season

merry and bright. •

For more information, go to santaclausind.


Things to Do & See

• Visit the Santa Claus Land of

Lights Family Christmas Light

Adventure, –Thanksgiving

night and Fridays, Saturdays

and Sundays Nov. 29-Dec. 8,

and nightly Dec. 13-29 (closed

Christmas Eve and Christmas


• Get your Christmas cards postmarked

with the official Santa

Claus, IN postmark Dec 1-24.

• Experience the Story of Santa at

the Santa Claus Museum and

Village, 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec.

7, and 10:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 21

• Watch the Santa Claus Christmas

Parade, 1 p.m. Saturday,

Dec. 21

• Enjoy chestnuts roasting over

an open fire at Santa’s Candy

Castle, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 and


(All times are Central Standard Time)

The village consists

of the original 1856

Santa Claus post

office, a historic church

from 1880 and a 1935

concrete Santa Claus

statue that towers

over the grounds at a

whopping 22 feet tall. At

the post office, we wrote

a letter to Santa, whose

elves replied with their

own letter the very next


Pictured: (this page, top) a historic church from 1880; (this page, bottom) At the Santa Claus Museum, children

can visit the original Santa Claus Post Office. While there, they can write and mail a letter to Santa Claus. Santa’s

elves will write back in December, if you include your full address; (right hand page, from top) the hand-drawn

postmark used in the Post Office; Santa Claus waves to the crowd at the annual Christmas Parade.

24 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 25

Cover Story

flooded with over a million pieces of mail.

The town would never be the same again.

Once Upon a Time in a Place Called Santa Claus...

So begins the real-life fairy tale of

Santa’s Candy Castle, located in the

picturesque town of Santa Claus,

Indiana. It is the story of how this

magical place was created, became loved

by thousands, then closed and was all but

forgotten. It is a story whose heroes are

ordinary people making extraordinary efforts

to restore and preserve a special part

of American history. To tell this story –

the whole story – requires us to go back to

the time before the town was called Santa

Claus. And so our story begins, over 200

years ago...

Naming Santa Claus, Indiana

In the early 1800’s, pioneers settled

a small town in the gently rolling hills of

Southern Indiana, originally naming it

Santa Fee. In the 1850’s the town’s application

for a post office was denied, because

another town with the same name

already had a post office. Legend has it

that on Christmas Eve, as services concluded

in the small log church, the townspeople

decided to stay and hold their final

town meeting of the year. The only order

of business, selecting a new name for the

town, was not going very well. Suddenly

a gust of wind blew open the door to the

church, and sleigh bells were heard in the

distance. “Santa Claus!” exclaimed the

excited children, providing the inspiration

for the town’s new name. On May 21,

1856, the U.S. Post Office Department approved

a post office in the newly-renamed

town of Santa Claus, Indiana.

A Famous Post Office

Story and Photos submitted by Santa’s Candy Castle

The town’s unique name went largely

unnoticed until the early 1900’s. Upon

becoming Postmaster in 1914, James Martin

was disappointed to discover that a

growing number of children’s letters to

Santa Claus were ending up in the dead

letter office due to insufficient postage

or improper address. Martin organized a

group of volunteers who donated time,

materials and funds to make sure that every

single letter addressed to Santa would

receive a proper reply. A growing volume

of holiday mail began to flow through

the otherwise tiny post office each year,

ultimately becoming so substantial that

it caught the attention of Robert Ripley.

In 1930, Ripley featured the town’s post

office in his nationally-syndicated “Believe

It or Not” newspaper cartoon. The

feature thrust Santa Claus, Indiana into

the national spotlight and the following

Christmas season its little post office was

Creating Santa Claus Town

Ripley’s feature not only flooded the

town with more letters than ever before,

visitors began to flock to the tiny town

with the magical name. When they arrived,

they were disappointed to find little

more than the town’s post office. The town

was once again faced with the prospect of

disappointing children – this time face-toface.

Once again, Postmaster James Martin

rose to the occasion. Martin teamed

with Vincennes attorney Milton Harris to

create the vision for a themed attraction

called “Santa Claus Town”. No one was

exactly sure what these men had in mind

though, since places like Knott’s Berry

Farm’s Ghost Town (1940), Santa Claus

Land (1946), and Walt Disney’s Disneyland

(1955) were still many years away.

But their vision was clear: Santa Claus

Town would be a magical place where

Santa would live and work year-round,

and where guests could enjoy a magical

Christmas morning experience every day

of the year. There would be no admission

charged and nothing would be for sale.

Leases were secured on most of the land

in the town of Santa Claus, and sponsorships

were struck with major American

toy and candy manufacturers.

The Nation’s First Themed Attraction

The first building in Santa Claus

Town was Santa’s Candy Castle, a red

brick building with all the elements of a

real castle that looked as though it was

lifted from the pages of a fairytale. It

was sponsored by The Curtiss Candy

Company, the creators of the Baby Ruth

and Butterfinger candy bars, who were

famous for their larger-than-life advertising

campaigns. Santa’s Candy Castle

was dedicated amidst tremendous fanfare

on the cold, snowy day of December 22,

1935. With broadcast television still years

away, the formal dedication ceremony

was broadcast live by radio station WGBF

of Evansville. Thousands attended the

dedication including national business

leaders, politicians, and most importantly,

many very excited young children. The

grand affair marked the opening of Santa

Claus, Indiana’s first tourist attraction and

the first themed attraction in the United


Santa’s Workshop and Toy Village

Santa Claus Town expanded in 1936

with the addition of Santa’s Workshop

and the Toy Village. In Santa’s Workshop,

children could experience the magic

of watching Santa Claus make toys in a

fully functional wood shop. The Toy Village

featured miniature fairytale buildings

sponsored by America’s leading

toy manufacturers including Daisy (air

rifles), Lionel (electric trains), Buddy L

(steel trucks), Wyandotte (pop guns), and

Strombecker (doll furniture). No admission

was charged to enter these buildings

and nothing was for sale. Children could

simply play and have fun with all the popular

toys of the day. As America struggled

through the Great Depression and many

families did without, the Toy Village offered

thousands of children the Christmas

morning they otherwise wouldn’t have


All But Lost and Forgotten

But just before Christmas in 1941,

everything changed as the attack on Pearl

Harbor brought America into World War

II. Sponsors were lost as companies shifted

from production of toys to war goods.

Tourism stopped due to limited gasoline

supplies and the rationing of tires. Santa

Claus Town became a shadow of what it

once was. After the war, Santa Claus Town

creator Milton Harris began working to

try to return the attraction to its original

glory. Sadly however, Harris passed away

unexpectedly in 1950; his dream never fully

realized. Several new owners attempted

to carry on variations of Harris’ vision,

but the magic had been lost. In the 1970’s,

Santa Claus Town closed to the public and

the attraction became vacant and sat in

disrepair. The magical fantasyland that

had once been loved by thousands was

seemingly lost and forgotten.

Recapturing the Magic

As the years passed, it appeared un-

Chestnut Roasting Event

likely that the story of Santa Claus Town

would end “Happily Ever After”. But in

early 2005, newspapers reported that a

family had purchased the properties that

comprised the original attraction, and had

begun a restoration effort. The stories described

an average family, whose love for

history, tradition and the spirit of Christmas

was anything but average. Those

traveling down Candy Castle Road in

Santa Claus, Indiana began to see steady

progress being made on the property. A

Santa sighting at the castle in late 2005 led

many to believe that the magic was gradually

returning to this special place.

Happily Ever After

In July 2006, “Happily Ever After”

began to come true for Santa Claus Town.

Santa’s Candy Castle re-opened its doors

to the public for the first time in over three

decades. A re-dedication ceremony featured

speeches by those who were part

of the castle’s golden age, some of whom

were at the original dedication ceremony

in 1935. Long-time local residents delighted

in rekindled memories of a magical

place once thought to be lost forever,

and a whole new generation began to experience

the magic for the first time, themselves.

But the final chapter is far from

over. Restoration continues on Santa’s

Workshop and the Toy Village, offering

the promise of many exciting new experiences

when those properties re-open in

the future. •

Chestnut roasting is scheduled for Saturdays

between 6-8 CST from November 30 to December

21. For more information about Santa’s

Candy Castle, visit website www.Santas- or find us on facebook.

26 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 27

“Some people dream of being a

singer, an actor, an entrepreneur,

an artist or an author. They might

attain one or two of these goals,

but Corydon resident Carrie Cooke

Ketterman has been able to achieve all of

them, and much more. She’s definitely a

“Jill of all trades.”

Ketterman grew up in the St. Matthews

area of Louisville and attended

Bellarmine University, majoring in art

and minoring in theater. After college,

she worked for Actors Theatre and the

Kentucky Science Center in their development

departments, but she had bigger

goals. “I’ve always loved the arts and theater

and I realized I wanted to pursue performing,”

she said.

She met her husband, Jeff, while

they were acting together, and the couple’s

love for entertaining blossomed, inspiring

them to create two bands, a 1920s

group called The Tin Pan Alley Cats and

a 1950s-era band named Rosie and the

Rockabillies. Ketterman also began to

concentrate on expanding her Etsy shop,

offering paintings and murals and doing

freelance artwork for clients.

Five years ago, the couple took their

talents to another level, and on Mother’s

Day 2014, the Kettermans opened their

own business, the Old Capitol Tearoom, in

their 114-year-old Corydon house. “With

this, I could combine my love of entertaining

and hosting these vintage and themed

parties and events with our theater friends

and being able to decorate and use my artistic

eye to assemble the pieces together,”

Ketterman said. The couple moves their

furniture around so the teas can take place

in their dining and living rooms. “At first,

we thought we were going to be open every

Saturday and Sunday, but changed

our minds. We do themed teas a couple of

Artist Spotlight

Ketterman, hosting an “I Love Lucy” themed Tea

Get on the “nice’ list.

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Tea, Theatre, and a Good Book

Carrie Cooke Ketterman, local artist and author of book about long-lost local amusement

parks, puts artistic and theatrical talents to use in tearoom

123 Cherry St, New Albany

812.944.4444 |

Locally Owned & Operated Since 1975

Story by Julie Engelhardt

Photos provided by Carrie Cooke Ketterman

28 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 29

Ketterman’s book,

which took three

years of research and

editing, covers five

amusement parks that

were quite popular

in their day: Rose

Island, in Charlestown;

Glenwood Park,

between New Albany

and Jeffersonville;

and Fontaine Ferry

Park, White City and

Kiddieland on the

Louisville side of the


times a month, plus host private parties

like bridal showers, baby showers, and

book clubs and church groups.”

The Kettermans’ themed teas are

based upon their personal interests and

their love for book, TV and film characters.

“We do a Mary Poppins and Bert tea,

a ‘Hocus Pocus’ tea, a Jane Austen tea, an

‘Alice in Wonderland’ tea and an ‘I Love

Lucy’ themed tea,” Ketterman said. “I’m

a Lucy impersonator and Jeff’s a Desi impersonator.

We sing and do our vaudeville

skits for that tea.” She loves her adopted

city and though she thought she’d never

leave Louisville, she’s happy to be in

Corydon. “It’s such a cute town and we

would have never been able to do the tearoom

there like we can here.”

Ketterman’s love for all things vintage

and her interest in history made its

way onto the written page this year when

she became a published author. She wrote

the book “Lost Amusement Parks of Kentuckiana,”

which is part of the popular

“Images of America” series produced by

Arcadia Publishing.

The inspiration for writing the book

was sparked by Ketterman’s childhood

memories. “I’ve always been fascinated

with amusement parks. It started with Coney

Island,” she said. “Every summer, my

family and I would go to New York and

my dad and I would catch the subway to

Coney Island. My interest in Coney Island

made me think that I needed to research

the amusement parks that were once in

my own backyard.”

The first park to capture Ketterman’s

interest was Fontaine Ferry Park. “If you

talk to any old-timers and mention Fontaine

Ferry Park, chances are they will tell

you a couple of stories about going there

when they were kids,” she said. Another

park, Rose Island, first known as Fern

Grove, became another point of interest.

“Three years ago, my mom told us about

Rose Island,” Ketterman said. “It was an

amusement park in the 1920s but was

taken over by Charlestown State Park.

They’d reopened the grounds, allowing

you to go in to see what they’d done to

preserve the history of the park. She took

me and my brother and my aunt there and

we went hiking through Rose Island to see

what was left of this vintage amusement


Ketterman’s book, which took three

years of researching and editing, covers

five amusement parks that were quite

popular in their day: Rose Island, in

Charlestown; Glenwood Park, between

New Albany and Jeffersonville; and Fon-

“With this, I could combine my love of

entertaining and hosting these vintage

and themed parties and events with

our theater friends and being able to

decorate and use my artistic eye to

assemble the pieces together.”

- Carrie Cooke Ketterman,

Owner of Old Capital Tearoom

Pictured: (this page) A crowd gathers for “Storytime with The Grinch and Martha May.” Carrie reads “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” while Jeff aka The Grinch acts it

out, with help from tea room guests who play the rolls of Max the dog and Cindy Lou Who; (right hand page, from top) tea trays served during afternoon tea parties; Jeff

and Carrie as Lucy and Desi. They perform a vaudeville Lucy and Desi act locally at campgrounds when travelling in their “long, long trailer.”

taine Ferry Park, White City and Kiddieland

on the Louisville side of the river.

The 127-page book is divided into seven

chapters, one for each of the five parks

plus an opening chapter titled “Life Along

the Ohio” and a closing chapter called

“What Remains Today.” Each chapter

includes several dozen photographs, artwork

or vintage advertisements.

A good deal of Ketterman’s investigative

work involved visiting local libraries,

but she discovered other avenues that

helped along the way. “I went to the New

Albany library, the Charlestown library

and I visited the University of Louisville

archives,” she said. “I met a lot of wonderful

people through Facebook groups, like

‘Remember When in Louisville.’ People

were showing pictures from when they

were at Fontaine Ferry or Kiddieland. I

would message them to see if they had

any pictures they were willing to share for

the book.”

Ketterman also had a connection

to the parks through her father. “Bill

Matheis, my dad’s friend’s father, had

been one of the general managers at Fontaine

Ferry and the owner of Kiddieland,”

she said. “The family had three photo albums

of pictures and ads and other things

he’d clipped out of the newspaper. I really

lucked out there. It was such a treasure

trove of information. One of the albums

30 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 31

“I’ve always been fascinated with amusement parks. It

started with Coney Island.Every summer, my family and

I would go to New York and my dad and I would catch

the subway to Coney Island. My interest in Coney

Island made me think that I needed to research the

amusement parks that were once in my own backyard.”

As Easy As


- Carrie Cooke Ketterman,

Owner of Old Capital Tearoom

55 Years of Sound Care!

Call us to schedule your

FREE hearing consultation and

start enjoying conversation again!


was his personal family album that had

pictures of workers and staff from Fontaine


Another person who was beneficial

in providing information for the book was

Jeremy Beavin, who leads the walking

tours of Rose Island at Charlestown State

Park. “He was fantastic,” Ketterman said.

“I met with him several times, and he let

me use the park’s binder of photos and information.”

Others who were instrumental in

helping her write the book and providing

pictures were David Barksdale, who had

vintage postcards from Glenwood Park;

John Findling, author of the “Images of

America” book about St. Matthews, who

had vintage postcards of White City and

Fontaine Ferry; and Barbara Montgomery,

whose family had once owned the







the people

& places

of Southern


since 2008!

Idlewild, which is now the Belle of Louisville.

The Idlewild had been used to ferry

guests to the amusement parks along the

Ohio River. •

Ketterman’s book can be found in local

bookstores or

To learn more about the

Old Capitol Tearoom, visit

For Every

Dollar You Give,

Your Community Gets $3!

Right now, every dollar you give to a Builder’s

Fund at the Harrison County Community

Foundation will be matched by $2 from

the Lilly Endowment Inc. So your $100

gift equals $300. A $2,500 gift turns into

$7,500. A $10,000 gift becomes $30,000.

Why is this important to you?

Builder’s Funds provide money that is not

restricted to a particular use but rather

allows the foundation to direct it to the most

pressing community needs. Funds are used

to address needs that exist now, but equally

important, Builder’s Funds provide the means

to meet the needs of the future.

Triple Your

Impact Today!

• Donate online at

Your gift to a new or existing

Builder’s Fund will leverage outside

money into Harrison County. Once

here, that money can be put to work

for our community.

If you’ve ever wished you could honor a

loved one or denote a special occasion, now

you can by creating a new Named Builder’s

Fund. The minimum to establish a new

Builder’s Fund is $2,500.

From now until the end of 2020 you can

“seed” that permanent endowment and then

grow it to the minimum level. When you do,

the Lilly Endowment Inc. matching program

will turn that $2,500 into $7,500!

1516 Spring Street • Jeffersonville

• Mail your gift (payable to HCCF) to

Office Hours: M-F 9-5/Sat. 9:30-12:30

PO Box 279, Corydon, IN 47112

• Call 812-738-6668 for more


32 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 33

Southern Indiana in Pictures

Photos by Michelle Hockman

Floyds Knobs, Indiana / Photo by Michelle Hockman

34 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 35

Stories Behind the Stones


Your Community presented by

The ninth annual walking tour of notable sites in historic Fairview Cemetery in New

Albany drew 225 people plus a bevy of volunteers to “Stories Behind the Stones” this

fall. Assuming the character of notable figures in the area’s history and standing at

corresponding gravesites, guides told stories about families who had had an impact

on forming Floyd County. This year’s event, hosted by volunteers from the sponsoring

Friends of Fairview, commemorated Floyd County’s Bicentennial and featured the

unveiling of a large, wall-mounted granite map of the cemetery.

Pictured: (right) Friends of Fairview volunteers: (standing) Janice Sidebottom, Steve Marshall,

Mandy Dick, David Ruckman, Yvette Norsworthy, and Jenny Huff; (in front) Friends of Fairview

President Jim Munford.

Personal Counseling Service


The sellout crowd injected a contagious, vibrant spirit into the 11th annual Norman

Melhiser Samaritan Awards Dinner at Plantation Hall this year. PCS’s four major

awards were presented to: State Rep. Ed Clere, the Diane Fischer Award of Excellence;

The Honorable Maria Granger, the Alice and Richard Schleicher Individual

Award; First Harrison Bank, the Les and Virginia Albro Non-Profit Business Award;

and Camp Quality Kentuckiana, the Nancy and Dr. John Keck Non-Profit Award.

In a surprise announcement, PCS presented its first and only Lifetime Achievement

Award to Norman Melhiser for his years of service and support. He is the

benefactor after whom the event was named years ago. Based in Clarksville, the organization’s

mission is to create a healthier community throughout several counties

in Indiana and Kentucky and ensure that health services are available to residents

of all ages.

Pictured: (top, right) Standing: Ret. Col. Pamela Stevenson, board member; State Sen. Ron

Grooms, who read a proclamation; and State Rep. Ed Clere, who read a proclamation from

Gov. Eric Holcomb. Front: Steve Menimeier and his wife, the Honorable Maria Granger; and

Amy Clere, wife of Ed Clere. The PCS bear is sold throughout the year to provide one hour of

free counseling for a child.

(middle, left) Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

Norm Melhiser surrounded by his family--daughter

Vicki Williamson, son Michael Melhiser, and

daughter Angela Grant

Pictured: (Middle) Tom Bartle, Discover

class; Stacie Thompson, Elevate class; Brad

Kruer, Board of Directors member; Courtney

Howerton, Elevate class; Mike Sizemore,

Discover class.

Pictured (Far Right) Class of 2008 alumna

Rhonda Burch; Taylor Garrison, Bellarmine

intern with Leadership SI; and Class of

1986 alumnus Bob McInotsh.

6500 State Road 64 • Georgetown, IN 47122 • 812-399-1400

Leadership Southern Indiana


The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany hosted graduates from Leadership

SI’s several programs since its founding in 1982-83. The annual gathering highlighted

the non-profit’s accomplishments and launched 2019-20 classes open to area

residents. Hundreds of alumni uphold its mission to engage, develop, and mobilize

regional leaders who will serve and transform the community.

Pictured: (Left) Leadership SI’s Beth Reedy, events/encouragement coordinator; Mark Eddy,

president/CEO; Gretchen Mahaffey, Alumni Council chair; and Natalie Turner, Advisory

Board member.

(middle, right) Standing: Donna Uhl, event chair

for nine years; Sam Uhl, retired president/CEO of

First Harrison Bank; Greg Fitzloff, former PCS

board member; and guests Leatha and Darnell Jackson.

Seated: Guests Pam Bennett Martin and her

husband, David Martin.

(bottom, left) CEO Doug Drake; Karen Hanger,

owner/publisher of So. Ind. Living and an event

sponsor; emcee Dawne Gee of WAVE-TV, and PCS

board president Kelly Tindle.

(bottom right) Kimra Schleicher with award benefactors

Alice and Dick Schleicher and Diane Fischer.

Jeffersonville and New Albany Tri Kappa


Several Jeffersonville and New Albany officers of Tri Kappa philanthropic

organization joined 12 Southeastern Indiana chapters at a regional

convention in Madison. They left with carloads of donated toys

and books for Riley Hospital for Children/Indiana University and the

Ronald McDonald House in Indianapolis, along with pull tabs, a Riley

Cheer Guild fund-raiser. Tri Kappa statewide has supported Riley Hospital

since 1923 and is one of three civic organizations featured in its Way

of Honor

Pictured: (Left) New Albany Tri Kappas: Barbara Carnighan, associate president,

and Katie Warren, member of the active chapter and State Fine Arts Committee.

Jeffersonville Tri Kappas: Margaret Shea, associate member and past

regional officer; DeNell Hamm, active chapter president; and Chris Williams,

member of the active chapter and State Scholarship Committee.

36 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living These pages are sponsored by Idealogy

These pages are sponsored by Idealogy

Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 37




Local Business Spotlight





and celebrating

the people

& places of

Southern Indiana

since 2008!







Check out our

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mobile device!

Local Business Spotlight







Request a quote.

“Whether you need an oil change or

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1400 East 8th Street Monday - Friday

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to Build Endowment for

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to Build Endowment for

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• Donate to the

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Respite Care

Respite stays are an option for those who need

care on a short term basis. Many find respite

stays the perfect option for recovery from surgery

or hospitalization. Should a short stay require

extended care, we can

accommodate that, too.

38 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 39

Local Business Spotlight

Theresa J Lamb Ins Agency Inc

Theresa Lamb, Agent

1523 State Street

New Albany, IN 47150

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Fax: 812-347-2166

Personal Counseling Service

Celebrating 60 Years

Samaritan Awards Dinner

August 15, 2019 / Huber’s Orchard & Winery


*Discounts vary by states.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

State Farm Indemnity Company, Bloomington, IL

Career & Education Opportunities Await!

Harrison County Lifelong Learning, Inc.

101 Hwy 62 W. Suite 104 Corydon, Indiana 812.738.7736

First Row (left to right): Josh Staten, Economic Development Director presenting PCS with a Proclamation for New Albany Mayor, Jeff Gahan for PCS’s 60th Anniversary. Accepting are left to right:

Pamela Stevenson, Board Member, Kelly Tindle, Board Chair & Doug Drake, CEO; Senator Ron Grooms presenting a flag flown over the United States White House in honor of PCS’s 60th Anniversary

accompanied by an official letter signed by Congressman, Trey Hollingsworth. Accepting are left to right: Pamela Stevenson, Board Member, Kelly Tindle, Board Chair & Doug Drake, CEO; Doug Drake

accepting award for Dr. Nancy & John Keck. For their financial support and Nancy’s dedication as past PCS board chair.

Second Row (left to right): Donna & Sam Uhl accepting an award for their dedication of time, talent & treasure to PCS; Representative, Ed Clere presenting PCS with a congratulations letter from

Governor, Eric Holcomb on PCS’s 60th Anniversary. Accepting are left to right: Pamela Stevenson, Board Member, Kelly Tindle, Board Chair & Doug Drake; Mrs. Sarah Brown accepting award in

memory of her late husband, Rev. Jim Brown. Rev. Brown had been involved with PCS since its inception in 1959. From left to right: Doug Drake, CEO, Kelly Tindle, Board Chair & Mrs. Sarah Brown.

Third Row (left to right): Mr. Greg Fitzloff receiving an award for his dedication and support of PCS through time, talent & treasure. ; Doug Drake CEO of PCS gives Emcee Dawne Gee a check for

her non-profit: A Recipe to End Hunger; Norman Melhiser making his acceptance speech for a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Personal Counseling Service.

40 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 41

Real Life Nutrition

Making a Difference

Snacking Mindfully

The word “snack” can mean different

things to different people.

“Snack” could mean a type of

food, an eating event or eating

frequency, such as “I snack between every

meal.” Generally, snacks are food you

consume in addition to, and likely between,

meals. Snacks can be seen as unhealthy,

but it depends on what you eat,

how much and when.

Mindfully choosing snacks to satisfy

hunger can often provide nutrients that

we lack in our diets. Snacks offer a way

to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain

foods and low fat or fat-free dairy foods.

For children and teens, snacks can supplement

meals. Children and teens may need

to eat more often to get the calories their

bodies need to grow since their stomachs

are smaller. Adults, on the other hand, can

use snacks as an energy boost and to satisfy

midday hunger.

Snacking often gets a bad reputation.

Many times, people snack on energydense,

low-nutrient food and drinks while

overeating, such as chips, candy, cookies

or snack cakes. These poor choices can

lead to more added sugar, saturated fat

and sodium in your diet. Snacking too

close to meals can also lead to less intake

of nutrient-rich meals.

Did you know that watching television

tends to increase snacking? Or that

people eat or drink more when the snack

package or beverage cup is bigger? Overeating

is easy when you are mindlessly

snacking. Try to snack mindfully, not

mindlessly. Keep a variety of tasty, nutrient

rich, ready-to-eat snacks on hand. If

you do, you won’t be limited to what is

available from a vending machine, fast

food restaurant, convenience store or your

own kitchen. Portion out snacks before

eating. Put your snack on a plate or dish

instead of eating straight from the package.

Make your snacks count by choosing

fruits, vegetables, whole-grains or low fat

or fat-free dairy foods. Only snack when

you’re hungry. If you think you may just

be bored or stressed, try taking a walk and

see how you feel after.

Whether you are snacking on the go

or at home, you can make snacks a healthy

part of your day and diet! •

About the Author

Madisson Veatch, MA,

RDN, CD is a Registered

Dietitian with

Baptist Health Floyd.

She graduated from

Purdue University with

a Bachelor’s of Science

in Dietetics. She

completed her dietetic

internship through Ball

State University while

completing her Master’s

degree. She has been a Clinical Dietitian

with Baptist Health Floyd for three years. She

enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes with

friends and family.

Build Your Own Trail Mix

Before you and your family leave for a trip, have

a build your own trail mix bar. Provide everyone

with an individual bag that has their name on

the top. Everyone can build his or her perfect

road trip snack! Below are suggestions for possible



Chex mix

Unsalted pretzels

Dried cranberries



Banana chips

Mini chocolate chips

M&M candies

Dried cherries


Toasted soybeans

Yogurt covered raisins

Pumpkin seeds


Butterscotch chips

Yogurt covered pretzels

Toasted coconut

Dried apricots


Mix together and enjoy! Serving size = 1/4

cup of mix.

Toe-to-Toe for Life

Rock Steady Boxing classes help Parkinson’s patients fight back against the disease

Snacks to....


specialized group of boxing

enthusiasts get together a few

times a week in Southern Indiana

to improve skills for their respective

main events. They’re not seeking

accolades, trophies or riches — as other

pugilists might — but are on the ropes

and toe-to-toe with their bodies in a fight

for their very lives.

Members of Rock Steady Boxing in

Clarksville are in training to slow the progression

of their adversary — Parkinson’s

disease. Like Muhammad Ali, the threetime

heavyweight championship boxer

who fought the disease in the final years

of his life, and who was born across the

Ohio River from Clarksville in Louisville,

these boxers are in a fight against the ravages

of Parkinson’s.

“It’s a progressive disease,” said

Larry Raible, who was diagnosed with

Story and Photos by Tom McDonald

Keep on hand at home

Keep at work

Pack on the go

Choose from a vending


Include two food groups

Whole fruits, washed and cut vegetables, low fat or fat-free yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat string

cheese, lean deli meats, hummus or salsa, whole-grain crackers, dried fruits, nut butters, nuts, yogurt


Instant oatmeal, mini cans or pouches of water-packed tuna, dried fruit or single serve fruit cups,

whole-wheat crackers, snack-size cereal boxes, raisins, plain microwavable popcorn, whole-grain

granola bars

Sunflower seeds, trail mix, air-popped popcorn, whole fruits, dried fruit, whole-what crackers and lowfat


Small bag of peanuts, almonds, trail mix, whole-grain granola or cereal bars, whole-wheat crackers

with peanut butter or cheese, microwavable oatmeal

Fruit smoothie (100% fruit juice with low or fat-free milk or yogurt)

Apple or pear slices topped with cheese, Dried berry and nut mix

Whole-wheat tortilla stuffed with roasted veggies or lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and low-fat dressing

Raw veggies with hummus or Greek yogurt dip

Fruit and yogurt drink

the disease in 2010. The 71-year-old retiree-turned-fighter

has been attending Rock

Steady Boxing classes three times a week

for two years in an effort to maintain muscular

mobility. “The best you can hope for

is to remain where you are.”

For people who have Parkinson’s,

exercise is the key to survival, said Chuck

Dismang, owner of Full Moon Martial

Arts Academy in Clarksville, where Larry

and about 20 others attend Rock Steady

Boxing classes throughout the week. In

addition to his certification as a Rock

Steady Boxing instructor, Dismang holds

black belts in Kenpo and Chung Do Kwan

and has a doctorate in martial sciences

and philosophy. He opened his martial

arts academy more than 20 years ago, and

it has been in its current location on Cedar

Street in Clarksville for more than five


Dismang’s success in physical training

brought him to the attention of the

founders of Rock Steady Boxing, and he

was encouraged by them and by a group

of concerned local citizens to bring the

program to Southern Indiana.

Rock Steady Boxing, headquartered

in Indianapolis, was co-founded in 2006

by Scott Newman and Vince Perez. Newman,

who at that time was the prosecuting

attorney for Indiana’s Marion County,

learned he had contracted the disease and

was researching ways to slow its progression.

Refusing to see his friend decline

without putting up a good fight, Perez

“turned to his experience as a Golden

Gloves boxer to design a program that

attacks Parkinson’s (disease) at its vulnerable

neurological points,” according to

the Rock Steady Boxing website. The pro-

42 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 43

gram proved to be so beneficial that the

pair decided to form Rock Steady Boxing

as a nonprofit organization to help others

afflicted with Parkinson’s. There are now

Rock Steady Boxing locations in all 50

states and in more than 15 countries. Rock

Steady Boxing’s mission is “to empower

people with Parkinson’s Disease to fight


“Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative

movement disorder that causes deterioration

of motor skills, balance, speech

and sensory function,” Dismang explained.

“In our gym, exercises are largely

adapted from boxing drills. Boxers condition

for optimal agility, speed, muscular

endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination,

footwork and overall strength. And

that’s what we seek for our students.”

“It’s made all the difference for me,”

said April Farmer, a 42-year-old preschool

teacher. “My doctor said told me the only

thing that slows the progression of Parkinson’s

is exercise. When I miss a week

for work or vacation, I can feel the difference.

My muscles stiffen. I lose mobility.”

While striving to keep the classes

interesting and fun for the participants,

Dismang said the exercises “vary in purpose

and form,” with the sole intention of

extending the perceived capabilities of the

participant. “We are learning every day

that there are ways in which people with

Parkinson’s disease can enhance their

quality of life by building strength, flexibility

and speed.”

Parkinson’s varies from person to

person. Early signs may be mild and progress

undiagnosed. Usually, symptoms begin

on one side of the body and get worse

on that same side as the disease begins to

affect the other side as well.

Signs and symptoms of the disease

may include:

• Tremors; trembling of hands,

arms, legs, jaw and face

• Stiffness of the arms, legs and


• Slowness of movement

• Poor balance and coordination

• Speech difficulty

At Rock Steady Boxing, Parkinson’s

is the opponent,” Dismang said. “Noncontact,

boxing-inspired classes reverse,

reduce and even delay the symptoms of

the disease.”

Dismang’s desire to see others fight

against physical disabilities comes naturally.

The 58-year-old “warrior at heart”

had to overcome a debilitating injury from

a fire in his youth. His right leg was damaged

to the point that doctors considered


Multiple surgeries later, however,

his leg was saved but Dismang, who for

a time was forced to use a wheelchair and

was never expected to walk normally

again, was determined to fight and regain

his full mobility. He began a rigorous exercise

program that included martial arts

training. Within a few years, he not only

overcame his disabilities but emerged as

a champion competitor. He progressed to

the point that he won martial arts competitions

throughout the country and has

been inducted into six halls of fame in the

martial arts world.

“I’m just a warrior at heart,” Dismang

said. “Born a Taurus and in the

Year of the Ox, I guess for me fighting was

just in my stars. I think I was born in the

wrong time and place. I should have been

born in a place like feudal Japan.”

And while his fighting days are in

the past, his ambition for physical training

and competition is now channeled into

helping others achieve success in their

physical endeavors.

“I understand body mechanics well,

and that’s why I’m so good at what I do

now — teaching others to fight,” Dismang


In addition to the more than 20

Rock Steady classes per week, Dismang’s

Full Moon Martial Arts Academy holds

weekly classes for kickboxing, cage fighting,

Golden Gloves boxing, grappling and

several martial arts venues. His two-story,

9,100-square-foot facility contains weight

rooms, a dojo, boxing rings and exercise

rooms for his more than 100 students.

Full Moon Martial Arts Academy is

the site used by several local police and

fire departments for specialized training

— including defensive tactics training. It

is also the site where he and some of his

instructors work with troubled youth “in

“Every day I wake up and

realize there is a purpose

I haven’t yet fulfilled,and

while I don’t know exactly

what that purpose entails,

I sense a need to do more.

That’s what keeps me


- Chuck Dismang

Owner of Full Moon

Martial Arts Academy

an effort to keep them on, or when necessary,

to help them get them back on, the

right paths,” Dismang said.

To add to his many achievements,

Dismang has authored a book — “Forged

in Fire” — which outlines his philosophy

and provides insight into some of his

fighting techniques. It is still in print, and

efforts are underway to release an online

addition shortly.

“I don’t do any of this for the money.

I’m not looking to get rich. I do what I do

because I love people,” he said. “I won’t

trade my values for money.”

“I love this community,” Dismang

said. “I’ve always been a hometown boy.

At the end of the day, I’d rather say I did

something for my community than specialize

in making more money.

“Every day I wake up and realize

there is a purpose I haven’t yet fulfilled,”

he said. “And while I don’t know exactly

what that purpose entails, I sense a need to

do more. That’s what keeps me going.”•

For more information about Rock Steady Boxing

or Full Moon Martial Arts Academy, visit and

Pictured (this page): Chuck Dismang, director of the

Southern Indiana Rock Steady Boxing program, and owner

of Full Mood Martial Arts Academy.

Pictured (left hand page): (Front row, left to right) Marcie

Wesner, Terry Castile, Roger Barth, Kitty Brady, April

Farmer, Cindy George, Chuck Dismang; (top row, left to

right) Larry Wesner, Charlie Kaufman, Larry Raible, Don

Neuhauser, Craig George, Gary Pinkston, James Tyler, Julie

Zoeller, George Johnston

Impact 100 Southern Indiana

Home of the Innocents Earns $106,000 Grant

Services for Southern Indiana at-risk children and their families

got a mega-boost Sept. 26 when Home of the Innocents won

Impact 100 Southern Indiana’s $106,000 grant at a celebration

dinner at Caesars Indiana. Following presentations from three

finalist organizations and voting by Impact 100 members, the winner

was revealed as jugglers on stilts emerged from fog machines on both

sides of the stage to the tune of “High Hopes,” the evening’s theme.

Other finalists from several applicants last spring were Maker 13

and Hosparus of Southern Indiana. Their proposed projects were also

passionate and deserving, according to Impact 100 Board President Lori

Lewis, making the judging extremely difficult.

Indiana has the country’s second-highest incidence of child abuse

and neglect, according to Home of the Innocents representatives. A grant

of this size will enable them to build services at the New Albany office

(1218 East Oak St.) to improve lives of women and children.

“High Hopes” was also the theme of a special presentation by

Hope Southern Indiana, which received Impact 100’s grant of $100,000

last year. Several teens from its Self-Esteem Boot Camp presented an expressive,

inspirational dance, and Hope’s Executive Director Angie Graf

recounted moving success stories from the weekend experience, which

will continue for 150 more teen girls through next year. Impact 100’s

first grant--$50,000--was presented to St. Elizabeth’s Teaching Kitchen

in 2017.

Impact 100 Southern Indiana, a fund of the Community Foundation

of Southern Indiana, has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars

since the non-profit’s first grant two years ago. Renewing or beginning

memberships resulted in $70,000 in pledges toward the 2020 grant

before the event was over. Lewis hopes the amount will grow to $150,00

or more next year as women continue to unite to create transformational

change in Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties.

For more information about Impact 100 Southern Indiana, log onto

Pictured: (top) Home of the Innocents representatives Amanda Brookshire, Associate Director of Community-Based

Services; Melissa Hayden, Senior Vice President/Behavioral Health; Kelly Pullen, Executive

Vice President/Clinical Operations; Paul Robinson, President/CEO; Jenny Mullins, Director of Community-

Based Services; Phil McCauley, Jr., former board member; and Alea Goodwin, board member; (second

from top) Standing: Impact 100 member Beth Peterson, Dick Peterson, and Impact 100 Scholarship Chair

Teah Williams-Hampton. Seated: Angela Ford and Impact 100 members Jo Russell and Amy Wheatley;

(third from top) Finalist representatives (in front): Christy Riley, Director; Stephanie Alvey, Director of Programming;

and Dr. Melissa Hayden, Senior Vice President/Behavioral Health. Impact 100 board officers (in

back): Vice President Crystal Billingslea and President Lori Lewis; (bottom) Impact 100 Membership Chair

Marcia Bickers, Impact 100 members Colleen Endres and Donna Reinhardt, and David Reinhardt.

Southern Indiana in Pictures

44 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 45

Everyday Adventures

You can tell a lot about a person

by the way they wrap a gift. For

example, when my wife and I

first got married, I always tried

to wrap one of her Christmas presents in

the most beautiful package I could create.

I would try to find a gift box with an

unusual shape or festive print and decorate

it with elaborate ribbon, gift tags and

maybe an ornament tied to the lid. Once

I even hand-stamped the paper to make

one-of-a-kind gift wrap.

If you looked at my presents from

those days, you could tell I was crazy

about my wife and had way too much

time on my hands.

Then we had kids. Now she’s lucky

if I use tape. Sometimes I just roll her

present in wrapping paper, wad up the

ends and stuff it under the tree. I’m still

crazy about my wife. I just don’t have an

abundance of time, and you can sure tell

it by taking one look at the way my gifts

are wrapped.

On the other extreme, I’ve seen pictures

of Christmas mornings at houses

with hordes of children, and their gifts

look like they came straight out of an

HGTV Christmas special. Crisp folds,

precise edges, ribbon curled in an extravagant

flourish. What is up with that?

My theory about these families is

they either paid a professional gift-wrapper

or this is mom therapy. This may

be the one time each year some harried

mother can lock herself away in a room

where absolutely no children or husbands

are allowed to interrupt her. Several days

later she finally emerges with an assortment

of beautiful gifts and her sanity restored

for the next year.

Other people aren’t into the traditional

wrapping job but may prefer gift

bags. Gift bags tell you one of three things

about the person who uses them:

1. They’re in a hurry.

2. They have poor fine motor skills.

3. They like to recycle.

The recycling thing could be due to

the fact that they care about the environment

or just forgot your gift until the last

minute and had to grab the first thing they

found in their closet. At that point you’re

probably lucky your present didn’t come

in a plastic Kroger bag.

Speaking of recycling, there’s

a whole trend now called green gifting

that’s all about trying to reduce the

amount of paper and packaging we throw

away each year. If your friends are into

this, you will probably receive your gifts

wrapped in fabric, a reusable cloth bag or

perhaps some leaves or bark.

Wrapping Up Christmas

My favorite gifts, though, are the

ones wrapped by kids. You can spot these

a mile away: crumpled paper, way too

much tape and sometimes whole parts

of the gift exposed in plain sight. These

presents tell you the giver wrapped them

with lots of love and cuteness and a me-do

it attitude that refused the help of parents

and was proud of their work.

Yes, you can tell a lot about someone

by the way they wrap their gift. True today

and true of the first Christmas long


In Bethlehem God gave us the gift

of his Son, wrapped in simple cloth and

lying in a manger, a feeding trough for


Jesus could have come as a warrior

king girded in armor and arrayed in the

finest of royal robes. He could have come

as Psalm 104:2 says, “dressed in a robe of

light” (NLT). God could have wrapped

this gift in a package that would have

been tough to ignore.

But he didn’t. He wrapped him

in the trappings of the ordinary and the

humble, so that we could know him and

relate to him and walk with him in the circumstances

of everyday life. Jesus’ friend

John referred to him as the Word of God

and said it like this, “So the Word became

human and made his home among us”

(John 1:14 NLT).

What can you tell about God by the

way he wrapped this gift? He loves us.

He understands us and he wants to be

close to us, no matter who we are or what

we’ve done. Jesus came to give us access

to God through his life and his death and

his life again.

Then we had kids. Now she’s lucky if I use tape.

Sometimes I just roll her present in wrapping

paper, wad up the ends and stuff it under the tree.

No matter how you choose to wrap

your presents this year, remember there

is one gift that was wrapped just for you.

It’s the gift of friendship with God. You

won’t find it in a stocking or under any

tree, but it’s waiting to be unwrapped just

the same. •

Jason Byerly is a writer, pastor, husband and

dad who loves the quirky surprises God sends

his way every day. You can read more from

Jason in his books Tales from the Leaf Pile and

Holiday Road. You can catch up with Jason on

his blog at

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46 • Nov/Dec 2019Southern Indiana Living Southern Indiana LivingNov/Dec 2019 • 47




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