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in THIS issue
Top 10 Summer Outdoor
Destinations • 6
JULY | AUGUST 2012
VOL. 5, ISSUE 4
PUBLISHER | Karen Hanger
EDITOR | Sam C. Bowles
CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Abby Laub
SALES REPRESENTATIVE |
DISTRIBUTION | Jim Hamilton,
Chase Scott, Summer Whelan
Lee Cable, Michelle Hockman,
pictured: Hemlock Cliffs in
Hoosier National Forest
A little about us • 10
Meet the staff of SIL!
Bon Appétit • 14
Louis Le Français brings
France to Southern Indiana
Plants, art and whimsy • 18
Bob Hill’s hobby “run amuck”
Would you like some
monosaccharides with that? • 26
Local teen wows science community
ON THE COVER:
Speedy Old Geezer • 30
Roger Brown is not slowing down
A Step Back • 36
A labor of love
The John Hay Center • 40
Briefs • 8
Flashback Photo • 42
Everyday Adventures and Chicks in the Kitchen
will return in the fall issue of SIL!
P.O. Box 145
Marengo, IN 47140
$25/year, mail to: Southern Indiana Living
P.O. Box 145, Marengo, IN 47140
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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 © 2012 SIL
Publishing Co. LLC. No part of this publication
may be reproduced in any form without written
permission from SIL Publishing Co. LLC.
July/August 2012 • 4
Michelle actively teaches others to reach their personal fitness
goals. When a serious back injury threatened to keep her
from training, she turned to the world-renowned experts at
Norton Leatherman Spine Center. They helped her get back in
the gym – and back to what matters. If you suffer from a serious
neck or back injury, call the experts at Norton Leatherman
FOr MOrE INFOrMATION,
CALL (888) 4-U-NORTON Or
silivingmag.com • 5
Story // Abby Laub
1. Delaney Creek Park
The lake at Delaney Creek Park in Salem is your summer swimming
destination, with a deep end that includes two diving boards and a diving
platform. The lake is monitored by lifeguards and the park includes
a cafe and concessions close to the beach. The remote, tree-lined location
is a quaint way to cool off this summer, and the park has many other
2. O’Bannon Woods State Park
Indiana’s newest state park will please history and outdoor enthusiasts
alike. Consisting of 3,000 mostly-wooded acres surrounded by
Harrison-Crawford State Forest, O’Bannon Woods borders the Ohio and
Blue Rivers. Enjoy hiking, fishing, boating, hunting, naturalist services,
picnicking and more.
O’Bannon Woods was the location of one of the few African-American
Civilian Conservation Corps units. The O’Bannon Woods Nature Center
and Farmstead has a uniquely restored, working haypress barn, complete
with oxen for power and a mid-19th century pioneer farmstead.
Southern Indiana has plenty of places to
go for a swim this summer
3. Patoka Lake
Your ultimate summer cool-off destination, Patoka Lake will appease
the daredevils and loungers alike — offering everything from houseboating
to wakeboarding to fishing. You really don’t want to miss it this
May/June July/August 2012 2012 • 6• 6
top 10 Outdoor summer
Tired of the same old summer hangouts? Get off the
couch and enjoy Southern Indiana’s outdoor attractions
that will make this season one to remember!
4. Veteran’s Trail at Lake Salinda
The brand new Veteran’s Trail at Lake Salinda in Salem was
dedicated in May and includes two trails — a paved walkway
and a primitive trail. Hikers can enjoy the lake, bird watching,
hiking, picnic areas and a fielded area for frisbee or other activities
all while honoring the military with commemorative plaques
on picnic tables throughout. The excavated primitive trail is .65
miles behind the lake, and the paved road trail is .8 miles with
lake views. The trails also can be combined into one longer walk.
5. Hoosier National Forest
With 200,000 acres and truly something for everyone, the
Hoosier National Forest leaves plenty to explore for the entire
summer. Pack a cooler and head out for a weekend of camping,
hiking, biking, boating, swimming, sightseeing, wildlife spotting
and geology explorations.
Included in the forest is the Hemlock Cliffs Trail, a 1.2-mile
trail that leads you into the canyon under a lush canopy of large
trees, through rock shelters and past high seasonal waterfalls.
7. Buffalo Trace Park
Add some disc golf, sand volleyball and tennis to your summer
fun at Buffalo Trace Park near Palmyra. The park packs a lot
of punch into 147 acres, including a swimming area, canoe and
paddle boat rentals, fishing, a walking trail, petting zoo, picnic
pavilions, horseshoe pits and more. Call it a fun summer day!
8. Sycamore Springs Park
One day will not be enough time to explore all 250 acres of
this privately owned farm, so plan to spend the night in one of
the primitive or RV lots. The property includes abundant wildlife
spotting opportunities, playgrounds, fishing, ponds, cliffs,
bluffs, lazy river rafting and much more.
9. Letty Walter Park
Sports enthusiasts will not be disappointed with this park
along Little Indian Creek in Floyds Knobs. Contained in just 35
acres are basketball courts, football and soccer fields, horseshoe
pits, baseball field, tennis courts, sand volleyball court and a
6. Blue River Valley Farm
Need a getaway from modern life this summer? Visit Blue
River Valley Farm in Milltown for an agricultural weekend stay
at the 120-acre farm’s renovated farmhouse while exploring all
aspects of farm life with your family. Bordering Blue River, the
farm has all kinds of farm animals to interact with and observe,
you pick produce, nature trails, river swimming, and a 5,000
square foot garden. The farm is a close drive to Marengo Cave,
wineries and Cave Country Canoes.
10. Springs Valley Trail
With 12.7 miles of hiking, horseback riding and mountain
biking, the Springs Valley Trail circles and offers scenic views
of Springs Valley Lake. There also is a campground available.
Horse riders and mountain bikers must have a trail permit.
silivingmag.com • 7
History Comes Alive
Bicentennial style show/luncheon offers stories, fashions of the past
New Albany’s rich history came alive recently at the second Bicentennial Style Show and Luncheon this spring featuring several members of the
Bicentennial Commission’s Living History Committee in authentic costumes as they related their stories as first-person interpreters. This year, the
event’s focus was 1830 to 1890, while next year’s final Bicentennial Style Show and Luncheon on April 6, will cover fashions from all 200 years.
Lucas to speak at
Pearls of Wisdom
Charlotte Lucas (right) of
Lucas Oil Co., Inc., will be
the guest speaker at the
next Pearls of Wisdom, sponsored
by 1si, Wednesday,
Sept. 19, from 8-10 a.m. at
Kye’s I in Jeffersonville. Don’t
miss an opportunity to hear
Charlotte’s success story. For
information or to make a reservation
for Sept. 19, call 1si
at (812) 945-0266 or log on to
Judy Miller of Milltown vacationed with Erin Parker and
Theryn Parker in Okaloosa Island, Fla., in May. The trio
brought along some reading material for the trip!
Hot Business at Chillers
Troy Ward and his wife, New Albany native Susan Walters Ward,
posed at the counter of their new business with their children Sarah
and Ethan. Residents of Marysville, the Wards recently opened the
Chillers franchise at 1515 McClain Ave. in Scottsburg and offer a vast
array of sandwiches, beverages, and other items, with a specialty in
soft-serve and hand-dipped ice creams in dozens of flavors.
July/August 2012 • 8
It is an absolute joy bit
to tell you
about what is going on
in Southern Indiana!
So, we thought we’d turn the tables.
// karen hanger
// hometown: Marengo, Ind. (I’ve
lived within a 30-mile radius my
// what made you interested in SIL?
I was born with ink in my blood. My
great-grandparents owned a community
newspaper, my grandfather
was an editor, my mother was an
editor and my father was a printer. I
cut my teeth on a linotype (hot metal
type), so when I left my job of 30
years in newspapers I wanted to do
something in publishing ... I lived it,
I breathed it, I loved it. It would allow
me to have a flexible schedule to
spend more time with my family. It
would give me the freedom to attend
my grandchildren’s recitals, games
and school programs.
// the best part about living here?
The caring, loving people.
// then why do you drive to lexington,
ky., so much? Because that is
July/August 2012 • 10
// sam bowles
// hometown: Marengo, Ind.,
though I grew up in my grandparents’
general store/gas station, The
64 Market, a few miles down State
Road 64 in Taswell, Ind.
// school: Crawford County High
School, class of 2004. University
of Southern Indiana, class of 2008
with a degree in English.
// family: I’m the oldest of five boys
(the youngest will be a 4th-grader).
// favorite part of working with
SIL? I don’t really fancy myself
a “journalist,” as I have no training
and little experience, but I
thoroughly enjoy meeting people
and hearing their stories. In a
year, I have been to so many great
places and met so many wonderful
people that I might never have had
the privilege of meeting otherwise.
// so you ride a motorcycle? I bought
// abby laub
// hometown: Argyle, N.Y. Currently
live in Lexington, Ky. Don’t
ask me how many times I moved
// school: Argyle Central School,
class of 2001. Palm Beach Atlantic
University, class of 2005, Journalism
// family: World’s best husband,
Jeff. Dog, Murfie. I’m one of five
siblings, including an identical
twin sister. My family lives all over
the globe so we don’t see each other
nearly as often as we’d like.
// favorite part of working with
SIL? Working with Karen and Sam
is the best. We are a great team,
and I love watching the magazine
get better with every publication,
thanks to our readers, writers and
advertisers. I’ve enjoyed learning
more about Southern Indiana. My
husband is from Louisville, but I
had never ventured across the river.
where my granddaughters live. I want to be a part of
their lives. I want to be their “Nonny” who sees them in
preschool, school, dance recitals and church, who reads
to them, listens to them as they read and tell stories, who
laughs, dances, prays and talks with them, has sleepovers
and pizza and swim parties. I want to know their hopes
and dreams, and be a part of their fun memories.
my first bike, a 250cc Suzuki in 2008, but last year I upgraded
to a Harley-Davidson Dynaglide (or as my uncle
said, “A real motorcycle.”) After signing the papers and
being handed the keys to my bike, I turned to see my
dad point to a yellow bike and tell a salesman, “I think
I’ll take that one.” We’ve been riding together since then.
// why are you crossing the river this fall? It’s always
been my plan to continue my education, and I’m happy
to be doing that in the fall. I’ll be pursuing a master’s
degree at the University of Louisville and am privileged
to have an assistantship in the English Department. UofL
is close enough that I can stay involved at my church in
Marengo and still work with Southern Indiana Living.
// your life is about to change dramatically? My husband
and I are expecting our first little Laub child in July,
so I am bracing myself for a drastic change in sleeping,
working and social habits. We are thrilled! •
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Effective PowerPoint Presentations
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silivingmag.com • 11
silivingmag.com • 13
Story & Photos // Sam C Bowles
Louis Le Français
brings France to
Louis Retailleau has been fascinated with food
since he was a toddler in France swiping ingredients
from his mother.
Having worked in, owned, and operated restaurants in numerous cities in five
different countries on three different continents, Retailleau’s spectacular journey
has brought him to New Albany where in January he opened Louis Le Français.
Born in the 1930s in Miradoux, a small village in the southwest of France,
young Louis’ first cooking instructor was his mother, whom he says was a “very
fine cook.” He recalled that as soon as he was tall enough as a toddler, he would
steal her fresh capers from the table when she turned her back.
When he was nearly 15, he began working
on a farm processing pigs, gaining experience
that would serve him well, as he
soon after got an apprenticeship in a delicatessen
specializing in cuts of pork in a
When Retailleau was 18 he moved to
Paris, joining his older brother, a chef at a
renowned restaurant, who helped make
sure Retailleau got a job in the business.
“I came from the little town to the big
city and had to learn all kinds of things
that I didn’t know,” Retailleau said.
He worked in Parisian hotels and restaurants
until he was drafted into the
French Navy two years later. Recognizing
his talents, the Navy assigned him to food
service and preparation for the duration
of his two-year service in Morocco. Then,
after a brief stint in a London restaurant,
Chef Louis moved to Montreal, Canada,
where he worked until he got a call that
changed his life.
When he was living in Paris and only a
teenager, he and his friend were walking
in front of the American Embassy.
“My friend said to me then, ‘Lou, why
don’t we go to America?’ I said, ‘Why
They waltzed into the embassy on a
whim and asked the lady at the front desk
how to go to the United States. The woman
gave them some papers to fill out, and they
never thought anymore about it.
“We were 18 years old thinking, ‘Who
cares?’ because the world is in your
hands,” Retailleau said. “So we filled out
the applications and forgot about it.”
Six years later, while he was living in
Canada, the American Embassy called and
told him he had been approved.
“It was amazing because I had completely
forgotten about it,” Retailleau said.
Retailleau went to New York City in
March of 1960 on a Saturday, and by Monday
morning he was already working in
a restaurant. Five years later he became a
citizen of the United States.
While in New York, Retailleau worked
at numerous eateries and eventually even
started with another chef a firm through
which he did consultation work for numerous
Eventually, he moved to Chicago, working
briefly on the 95th floor of the John
Hancock building. But in 1970, at just 32
years old, Chef Louis opened his first sole
venture — a restaurant called Bon Appétit,
in Calumet City on the south side of Chicago.
With only 32 seats, it was small venue,
but Retailleau was very successful and
was a bright spot in a very rough town.
“I had a fantastic business, small but
beautiful.” Retailleau recalled.
After six years in south Chicago and
July/August 2012 • 14
“You can only open a
French restaurant if you
are French. Period.”
looking to build on his success, Retailleau
purchased a historic mansion in
Crowne Pointe, Ind., and transformed it
into a new restaurant, Louis’ Bon Appétit.
With more than 10,000 square feet and
seats for 120, it was quite an upgrade.
“It was really my dream come true,”
He operated the restaurant with great
success for 27 years before selling it and
enjoying a semi-retirement with his son
Sascha in San Francisco and daughter
Natalie in Crowne Pointe.
Looking to escape the harsh winters
of the north, Retailleau was traveling to
Florida but stopped in Louisville to visit
with a friend who encouraged him to
consider a move to the area. He began
looking around, found a storefront for
sale in downtown New Albany, and decided
After a massive renovation, the chef
opened Louis Le Français and has been
charming guests for almost six months.
So far Retailleau loves the area and the
The chef and his small staff, including
hostess Betty Weber, will make you
feel right at home from the moment you
walk through the front doors. Retailleau
Some of Loius Retailleau’s specialties
include French classics like escargot (top),
ratatouille (center), and the menu also
includes lighter fare like soup (bottom.)
regularly takes time to walk from table to
table interacting with guests. In fact, he
has plans to put a table in the kitchen so
some lucky patrons can be right in the
middle of the action.
Business has been good in the short
time the restaurant has been open, and Retailleau
is quick to emphasize that he does
not want people to be intimidated by the
perceived “fanciness” of French dining.
silivingmag.com • 15
While the food is excellent, he and his team have created an
atmosphere somewhere between “casual” and “fine dining”
that is perfectly comfortable anytime of the day.
On Wednesday nights, guests can even enjoy the smooth
stylings of jazz musician Dick Sisto who plays the vibraphone.
While the menu changes weekly — sometimes even day-today
depending on the availability of some ingredients — you
can almost always enjoy French classics like escargot, ratatouille,
French onion soup, and crème brûlée among other fine
dishes including steak and fish.
Retailleau is aided in the kitchen by Chef Mike Ems, a native
of the area who graduated from Ivy Tech’s culinary program
and also had an extended internship in France. Ems saw Retailleau
on the street one day, introduced himself, and asked if he
was looking for help.
“He said, ‘No, I’m not looking for help. I’m looking to give
someone an opportunity,’” Ems remembered. “I realized early
on that cooking was something I had a knack for, and I like it
because there is always something new to learn.”
Chef Louis loves the slower “country” pace and hospitality
of Southern Indiana. It reminds him a little bit of the rural area
of France in which he was born and raised.
“The people are very warm, very friendly, very nice,” Retailleau
said of the area. “It’s a great place for me.”
There were no culinary schools when he began his career, but
he has been to the “school of hard knocks,” as he says, taking
the recipes of his mother and his years of vast experience and
sharing it with all who walk into his restaurant.
“You can only open a French restaurant if you are French. Period,”
Retailleau said. “Because you’ve got to have your heart
After just a few minutes with Chef Louis you’ll have no questions
about his heart. He loves people and loves the great food
that is part of his proud heritage.
“It’s difficult to please everybody,” he said with a smile, “but
my mission is to make people happy with what I do — not just
the food but the service and atmosphere as well — and most of
the time I succeed.” •
Louis Le Français is located at 133 E. Market Street in New Albany
and is open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday from 11:30-1:30 and
for dinner Tuesday-Saturday from 5:30-9:30 with a Sunday brunch
served from 11-2. For more information, visit them online at www.
louislefrancais.com or call (812)944-1222. Reservations are accepted
but not required.
July/August 2012 • 16
Established in 1943
65 of years of Helpful Service
Marvin and Louise Alstott
200 South Capitol
Corydon, IN 47112
Rock & Roll Music
is now on FM
Harrison County’s Radio Station
in Scenic Leavenworth
Amish Crafts, Antiques,
Case Knives, Ice Cream, Deli,
Pizza, Ice, Groceries,
Hardware, Coin Laundry
618 W. Hwy. 62
Open Mon - Sat, 7AM - 8PM
silivingmag.com • 17
plants, art and whimsy:
Bob Hill’s “hobby run amuck”
July/August 2012 • 18
Story // Sam C Bowles
Photos // Michelle Hockman
Bob Hill was a popular columnist and feature
writer for the Louisville Times and the Courier
Journal for 33 years, retiring in 2008. But when
he and his wife, Janet, moved to the area in 1975
they also began another project — one that is still ongoing
— turning a six-acre property in Utica, Ind., into the
nursery and sculpture garden they now call home.
“When we bought this place, it was six acres of grass
and weeds and an old, leaky tin-roof farmhouse,” Hill
recalled. “I like to say we’re in the 37th year of our fiveyear
remodeling plan on the house.”
silivingmag.com • 19
Bob and Janet Hill (above) opened Hidden Hill Nursery in
Both Bob and Janet had spent plenty of time working on
farms during their childhood in northern Illinois, and Bob Hill
says his wife fell in love with the quaint home when she saw a
picture of the front porch at the realtor’s office.
They started with a simple vegetable garden, but Hill’s interest
in horticulture began to grow, and the garden began to
“I started making trips around the country and even the
world.” Hill said. “I just got hooked, and this place just evolved
from there. I never imagined it would be this big or complex
In 2001 the Hills turned their hobby into a business venture,
opening Hidden Hill Nursery, which is now in its 12th year of
“We didn’t know a thing about running a business or a nursery.
It was just on-the-job training, and we’ve probably got 10
times more stuff now then we did that first year,” Hill said.
It is certainly difficult for a small, independent nursery to
survive and compete in the world of mega-stores like Lowe’s
and Home Depot, but the differences between those places and
Hidden Hills are many.
First of all, horticulturalists will be impressed by the shear
variety of plants both on display throughout the property and
for sale in the nursery. Unique and hard-to-find plants are a
Hidden Hill specialty.
“I’ve got a lot of unusual plants, shrubs and trees that you’re
not going to find anywhere else around,” Hill noted. “We don’t
have a lot of any one thing, but we’ve got a little bit of everything.”
Another strength is the first-rate customer service provided
by Bob, Janet and their staff, all of whom are very knowledgeable.
“Everybody on our staff knows plants really well. We take
pride in knowing our different plants and where they are going
to work,” Hill said.
But undoubtedly the biggest strength of Hidden Hill is the
place itself. It is well worth a short trip to Utica just to walk the
paths, rest on the benches, and enjoy the multitude of plants of
all colors, shapes and sizes, not to mention the other unique and
whimsical features of the property.
“You’ve got to want to come here. It’s not exactly on the way
to anywhere, but the first thing people say is that it’s just so
peaceful. It’s a great place to come and visit,” Hills said.
An added bonus to the abundant plant life on display, are the
July/August 2012 • 20
silivingmag.com • 21
7240 Rothrock Mill Rd. NW
Depauw, IN 47115
$2 OFF per person*
Cave Tours or Canoe/Kayak Rental
*Limit 4 people/2 boats. Coupon valid through December 2012.
more than 40 sculptures scattered and
tucked throughout the property.
Hidden Hill features sculptures of all
sizes including carved stone, chainsaw
carvings, as well as pieces crafted from
steel and aluminum. Many of the large
pieces are on consignment and are available
for purchase, and almost all of the
works come from local artists.
The kids loved
the cave. It was
larger than I
“I was interested in sculptures and
working with local artists from day one,”
Hill said, adding that he’s determined to
become a venue for local art.
In addition to the sculptures and garden
art, guests also enjoy a 90-foot rose
and clematis armor, the goldfish pond,
and a double-decker outdoor electric
train that is particularly popular with
children. There is truly something
Bob and Janet’s years of work
have not gone unnoticed. Hidden
Hill was voted the region’s best
nursery-art venue by the Kentucky
Arts Council, has been praised by
the Indianapolis Star as “one of the
top ten attractions in the state within
two hours of Indianapolis,” and
was even featured on HGTV’s Secret
Gardens. Yet, it all started with
a simple vegetable garden many
“I like to call it a hobby run
amuck,” Hill said.
The Hills’ home is more than 150
years old, but the way Bob looks
at it, he and his wife have now
occupied the place for more than
a quarter of its history. And they
have transformed it into something
truly remarkable. Fortunately, they
are happy to share it with everyone
Hidden Hill is located at 1011 Utica-
Charlestown Rd. in Utica, Ind. and is
open Friday 10-6, Saturday 9-6, Sundays
12-5 and by appointment. Visit
them online at www.hiddenhillnursery.com
or call (812)280-0347.
July/August 2012 • 24
silivingmag.com • 25
Would you like some
Paoli teen is “third in the universe” at
Story & Photos // Sam C Bowles
Jordan Cadle grew up on a farm in Orange County, so when
he was tasked with creating a science fair project for a Science
Methods and Techniques class at Paoli High School
where he is a student, doing something that involved agriculture
was a natural choice.
Cadle, who will be a junior this year, decided to tackle the
very complicated problem of world hunger by attempting to
increase the yield of wheat, and he wanted to do so through
means that would be simple and accessible to all.
His idea was to apply simple sugars (different concentrations
of milk, honey, and corn syrup) directly to the wheat plant, to be
July/August 2012 • 26
absorbed through the leaves, that would aid the plant’s natural
process and therefore increase the yield, or as it is explained in
the project’s official title “Utilizing Assorted Monosaccharides
from Foliar Application for Glycoside Linkage to Enhance Triticum
“Basically, it uses the energy of the simple sugars to increase
the yields of the wheat,” Cadle explained. “The idea is that
you’re giving the wheat cell a simple compound, versus it having
to create that compound. So it’s just linking those simple
compounds together to form a starch chain.”
Most people, including his family and his advisor, Laurie Jo
Andry, a teacher in Paoli’s science department, were skeptical
of the idea at first, but they could not be more proud of his accomplishments.
“In the beginning I said, ‘I don’t know if that’s going to
work or not, Jordan…but even if it doesn’t work, we will have
learned it didn’t work’,” Andry said.
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July/August 2012 • 28
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Cadle’s data indicated a statistically
significant improvement when a honey
mixture was used, and milk showed favorable
improvement as well. On average,
his data indicated an increase of six
percent in the wheat’s yield.
He compiled his findings and first
presented the project at a regional science
fair competition at Ivy Tech in
Bloomington, Ind. He advanced from
there to the state science fair in Indianapolis,
before finally being advanced
to the INTEL International Science and
Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburg,
where he won second place in the plant
ISEF is the largest international precollege
science fair competition in the
world, with more than 1,500 students
from more than 65 countries participating.
There were more than 100 students
in the plant science division in which Cadle
competed, and with only the grand
prize and first place finishers ahead of
him in the category, Cadle’s second place
is quite an accomplishment.
“I keep telling him he is third in the
universe,” Andry said. “His project is
what I call ‘elegantly simple.’ It’s just
well done science.”
Cadle plans to take the input he received
from the competition’s judges
and build on his work, attempting to
track and prove the point at which the
simple sugars are absorbed and used by
“The next phase is to find economic
efficiency because this was only to see
if it would work,” Cadle said. “I’m also
isolating the lactose and doping it with
radioactive carbon to track the reaction
mechanism inside the cell.”
He is currently seeking a mentor
from the collegiate level who can help
him with the radioactive substances he
would need for the project.
After high school, Cadle plans to pursue
a degree in something related to
agriculture at Purdue University before
returning to work on his family farm.
“Basically I’m always trying things
on the farm to find something new,”
Cadle said. “The idea here was trying
to use organic products to help one of
the most underdeveloped field crops in
Admittedly, Cadle may still be several
stages away from wide-scale commercial
application, but his lofty idea to
put a dent in world hunger by improving
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very simple process is exactly the kind
of youthful ingenuity science fairs are
designed to encourage. He has already
made his family, school, and community
very proud. •
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silivingmag.com • 23 29
Roger Brown is not slowing down
Story // Lee Cable
Photos // Lee Cable and Abby Laub
Roger Brown inched the car forward until
the light beam was broken by his front tires,
making the top yellow staging light on the
pole come on. The light indicated he was
on the starting line. He pushed the transmission
lock button on the custom gearshift
down with his thumb and waited. The car’s oversized
souped-up engine idled roughly with a “urumpurump-urump”
sound. The crowd in the bleachers
at the U.S. 60 Raceway on Hardinsburg, Ky., dug into
buckets of popcorn and compared the two cars on the
track, evaluating which one was their favorite.
silivingmag.com • 31
I built this last one with extra
horsepower, and it scares
me some. But with these
cars, you’d better be a little
scared. They’ll hurt you.
Seconds later, everything changed.
The next yellow light on the pole came
on. Brown nudged the accelerator and
watched the tachometer climb to 4,000
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July/August 2012 • 32
RPMs. The engine smoothed out and the
“urump-urump-urump” changed to a
Another yellow light, and Brown
gripped the steering wheel firmly with
his left hand, his right hand still on the
gearshift, waiting for the green one, muscles
tensed. Too soon and the red light
would come on, disqualifying him. Too
late and the car in the other lane would
get off the line first. And every good drag
racer knows that races are won and lost
at the starting line.
When the green light flashed on,
Brown’s right foot was already slamming
the accelerator to the floor and at
the same time, his thumb released the
transmission lock button. The rear tires
screamed and smoked, the front wheels
lifted off the ground as the engine went
from a roar to a deafening noise that
shook the eardrums of nearby spectators
and caused the bleachers to vibrate.
The car shot down the dragway like a
bullet and passed the finish line, an eighth
of a mile away, before the smell of burning
rubber from the tires reached the audience.
Brown braked hard to slow down
before running out of pavement. His car
is equipped with a rear parachute that he
uses sometimes on quarter-mile tracks
where the car can reach high speeds, but
on the eighth-mile tracks, his disc brakes
serve him well. He exited the raceway
and eased along to the spot where his
trailer was parked. The car once again
idled with a “urump-urmp-urmp”.
Brown, of Elizabeth, is one of about 20
members of a group of drag racers called
“Geezer Gassers”, made up of mostly
retired men who have been drag racing
most of their adult lives. Brown, at 72, is
the oldest of the group.
As he got out of his car, the look on
Brown’s face was one of a kid getting off
a roller coaster after a first ride.
“It’s a rush,” he said. “Even after doing
it all these years, I still love the thrill you
get when you come off that starting line.
You have just a piece of thin sheet metal
between you and a 500 horse-power engine,
and when you build a fire under
it (accelerate) and come off the line, the
pressure pins you back in the seat, and
the whole interior of the car becomes violent.
“The noise, the shaking and actual
twisting of the car as the engine torques
up and the thrust is transferred to the
rear wheels and the tires are squealing
— I just love it,” he continued.
Brown, who was raised on a Harrison
County farm, was always fascinated by
fast cars. He graduated from high school
on a Thursday and entered the Navy the
following Monday, so it wasn’t until after
his military stint and landing a job that
he was able to build his first drag racing
car — an old British-made 1948 Anglia,
sometimes referred to as an English Ford.
“During the second World War, they
pretty much quit making cars in this
country,” Brown said. “Most of the factories
were put to use in the war effort.
So that’s how quite a few Anglia automobiles
ended up being shipped here.
silivingmag.com • 33
July/August 2012 • 34
They’re small cars, with a short wheel-base, they don’t weigh a
lot. And that’s why, back in the 60’s, a lot of them were converted
into drag racers. I’ve built twelve of them through the years
... I enjoy working on them as much as I enjoy racing them.”
And Brown always had a unique way of “running across”
old cars. He’d take a trip to South Dakota, drive through rural
areas and spot them sitting in fields.
“I got most of mine up there on the prairie,” he explained.
“There’s an Indian reservation there and for years, when they
got done with a car, they just left it sitting where it stopped.
There’s not much humidity there, so they don’t rust too badly.
But a lot of them are full of bullet holes. The Indians use them
for target practice as they drive by. But bullet holes can be repaired.
The Anglia I have now came from Wisconsin, and it’s a
1948 — identical to the first I restored.”
In the mid-1960’s there were no drag strips in the area, so
Brown and a friend, Vance Fink, decided to build one. Another
friend allowed them to use some empty land between Elizabeth
and Laconia, along State Road 11, and they built the Harrison
“We didn’t have much money,” Brown said. “But we’d pave
a little at a time until we had a pretty nice drag strip. We held
meets there into the 1970’s and eventually had to shut down.
The liability insurance became so expensive, we couldn’t keep
During the drag
strip days, Brown
kept his job at Ford
I’m a person who likes to do
things and stay busy. I
needed some action.
in Louisville. After
the dragway closed,
he began building
show cars in his
spare time. He preferred
restoring old Fords and one of his first was a 1934 fivewindow
“I had it looking good,” Brown said. “And I put a big engine
in it. It was a nice car and I even drove it to work some. One day
at work the plant manager, an older guy, came over to me and
asked if that ’34 coup in the parking lot was mine. I told him
it was, and he said that back when he first came to work for
Ford, it was his job to bolt on the running boards of 1934 Fords.
I asked him if he wanted me to take him for a ride — and he
did. We drove down the road a ways and he wanted to know
what was wrong with the engine, why was it running so rough
(“urump-urump-urump”). When I turned around and headed
back, I fired it up real good. Needless to say, it didn’t take long
to get back and when I looked over at him, he was as white as
Brown continued to build show cars for several years, winning
scores of trophies and awards at car shows all over the
“I really enjoyed taking an old car and turning it into a street
rod, or show car,” Brown said. “But once it’s finished, you just
take it to car shows and sit in a lawn chair while people walk by
and look at it. There was nothing to do, and I’m a person who
likes to do things and stay busy. I needed some action.”
So finally, Brown decided to build another drag racer. He
never raced anything but Anglia cars and wanted another one.
He bought the Wisconsin car, brought it home to Elizabeth, put
it in his garage, and went to work.
“It took me about a year to get it where I wanted it,” he said.
“The only thing I use is the body. Everything else, I build myself.
I took the body off the original frame, laid the frame out on my
garage floor for a pattern, and built a new one. The old frames
will twist too much when you race then and cause problems at
high speeds. So I use box steel and build
one I can trust. Then I built the engine,
piece by piece. I use 351 cubic inch Ford
engines in all my cars.”
According to Jeff Hanger, sales representative
for Ray’s Ford in Brandenburg,
Brown only trusts Ford products.
“He’s bought a lot of family cars from
us through the years,” Hanger said. “He
also buys his pickup trucks here. And
when he talks about the cars he builds,
his face lights up like a kid in a candy
store. He gets all excited. You can tell he
just loves it.”
Brown takes great pride in the way his
cars look. He does his own painting and
body work, and the engines themselves
are showpieces — immaculate, with
many parts chromed and shining, concealing
the raw power and torque that
Brown’s engines are known for.
“Hey, I remember you,” said a man
walking by Brown’s car at the racetrack.
“Didn’t you have a little Anglia back in
the 60s that had a big ol’ Hemi engine in
“Yeah, that was mine,” Brown answered
rather sheepishly, admitting that
he used a non-Ford engine. “That was a
pretty fast car.”
Brown and the “Gasser Geezers” make
the rounds of several drag strips during
the racing season. The National Hot Rod
Association pays them a fee to go to the
races and put on a show for the crowds.
They are old professionals, and their cars
are always top-notch crowd pleasers.
“We don’t really worry about competing
much anymore,” Brown said. “But
you still have to be careful. I’ve never
wrecked a car, but that doesn’t mean I
won’t. To me these Anglia cars are the
ultimate race cars — I love them! But
they’re lightning fast, and with that
short, 90-inch wheelbase, they’re a handful
to drag race. I built this last one with
extra horsepower, and it scares me some.
But with these cars, you’d better be a little
scared. They’ll hurt you.”
After the US 60 Raceway meet, the
Geezers are scheduled to race at Norwalk,
Ohio, then a three-day competition
in Bowling Green, Ky. From there they
will go to Muncie, Ind., and other race
“I worked at Ford for 30 years and retired,”
Brown said. “Now this is what I
do. And I enjoy every minute of my life.
I enjoy where I live. I’ve been to Australia,
Hong Kong, and many other places
while I was in the service, but there’s
no place like this. Southern Indiana is a
great place to live. I’ve got Mary, a great
wife and we’ve been together for over 50
years, I have a son and a daughter, Allen
and Janet. I have a good life. I’d like to
keep racing for another five or six years,
then maybe think about quitting.” •
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silivingmag.com • 35
A Step BAck
Marvin and Beverly Maxwell’s labor of love
Like many long-time residents of New Washington, Marvin
and Beverly Maxwell would regularly drive by the
historic “old lodge” building and wish someone would
step up to save it from razing. It wasn’t until the city had
requested bids for demolition and, Marvin jokingly said, “the bulldozers
were idling out front,” that they knew it was up to them.
The Maxwells believed the building was a community treasure
that could also be a successful business, so in 2000, they
bought the building and spent two years restoring it to its original
splendor. Today it is a restaurant, meeting facility, museum
and dinner theatre operating under the name A Step Back.
Life is what happens when you are making other plans
Marvin had lived in New Washington all his life; Beverly
since sixth grade. They had been married more than 45 years,
had three grown children, six grandchildren and one greatgrandchild.
They had turned a small shop called Mom’s Music
Story & Photos // Kathy Melvin
into a big business. They should have been thinking about retirement
instead of undertaking a massive renovation project
and starting a demanding new business enterprise.
It was both an exciting and bumpy road for the couple, but
they have no regrets. Many years later, their passion for A Step
Back is still clear.
In 1894, the building was constructed as a school house, with
grades first through eighth on the first floor and high school students
on the second floor. The Indiana Free Masons paid $400 to
finish the third floor and held their meetings there until December
of 2000. In 1926, the lodge became a movie theatre. When the
school closed the Masons moved to the second floor and when
the movie theatre closed, they used the first floor for fish fries.
A Step Back was closed for the winter, but opened again
April 1 for brunch. On Saturdays, Beverly and her good friend,
July/August 2012 • 36
Every photo, every piece
of furniture, every framed
print, every display case,
has a story.
Sylvia Jones, spend the better part of
the day cooking and baking for Sunday
Brunch. The Sunday buffet is served each
week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu
changes weekly, but usually includes
several breakfast items such as biscuits
and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, and
hash brown casserole. Dessert choices
vary weekly, but you may find coconut
cream pie, pecan pie, Sylvia’s apple cake
or chocolate sour cream cake with caramel
When A Step Back hosts special events
such as a murder mystery, a musical performance
or the Ladies of Liberty doing a
special patriotic tribute, Beverly says the
menu goes a little more “upscale”. Several
groups have made pilgrimages to the
building, including car clubs. The American
Legion Shawnee Post #193 brought
its antique steam engine, full of people,
for a special event.
With very little prompting, Marvin
and Beverly will give you a tour. Every
photo, every piece of furniture, every
framed print, every display case, has a
story. Many items were brought to the
Maxwells from New Washington residents
wanting to preserve a piece of the
community’s history. Many other things
were unearthed in the renovation.
Just off the dining room, which seats
about 80 and has an 18-foot screen and
projector for meetings and special events,
is a door that hides, what could best be
kindly described as a “rickety” staircase
leading to the old projection room. The
projectors are still there, as are the carbon
sticks that started the fire to power
the projectors. It burned so hot, that there
were stove pipes to exhaust the heat. Marvin’s
brother, Larry, who is a few years
older, remembers going with friends to
movies in the building and then getting
a hamburger across the street.
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silivingmag.com • 37
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for you, not what you can do for me!”
for old movies, original New Washington postcards and Eastern
Star memorabilia. Beverly said, early on in the renovation, they
found a signed, numbered print of Indiana University’s Maxwell
Hall, so they hung it in the lobby of their Maxwell Hall. “It just
proves that it was meant to be,” she said.
The second floor houses an eclectic museum of Washington
County history. The centerpiece is a Conestoga Prairie Schooner.
In 1815, Andrew and Margaret Bower came from North Carolina
to what was then Indiana territory, in the schooner with their 15
children. They were among the first settlers of New Washington,
and Chris Bower, a descendant, loaned the Maxwells the schooner
because he wanted to share it with the community. A saddle
belonging to Cole Younger is also on display. He allegedly rode
with the Jessie James gang and helped rob a bank in North Minnesota.
There are three bullet holes in it.
There’s an old log cabin out back that has been disassembled.
Marvin hopes to make it the centerpiece of an outdoor amphitheatre.
They would also like to put a regulation croquet court in
the yard. And Marvin can endlessly articulate new projects that
he’d like to add, however, Marvin and Beverly would like very
much to sell A Step Back, but not for the reasons you might think.
In 1981, Marvin was in a serious car accident. Doctors told him
he’d likely never walk again. He has a slight limp, but it doesn’t
seem to have slowed him down. Nor did the five bypass surgeries
he had in 2002, as they were restoring the building.
Their goal was to save the old Masonic Lodge and build it into
a thriving enterprise. They’ve done that. They want to sell the
business to the right person for far less that they’ve invested, in
order to see it continue as an important part of the community.
The third floor of the building had been closed for 70 years.
They painstakingly restored it and believe it would make a great
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July/August 2012 • 38
apartment for the future
So what are they going
to do after A Step Back?
Marvin continues to play
music with the same band,
“Soul Inc.” that joined
the Dick Clark Caravan
of Stars, back in the late
1950s. Beverly babysits
for the great grandchild a
couple of days a week, but
their next gig is the open
road, setting up franchises
for their latest venture,
“Jammin’ Johns,” beautifully,
seats in the shape of musical
Marvin is looking forward
to going on the road
again, but this time with
his true love, Beverly.
“She was the most beautiful
thing I’d ever seen in
6th grade and that hasn’t
changed. I’m still in love
with her.” •
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silivingmag.com • 39
DId you know?
John Milton Hay began his public career as a secretary
to Abraham Lincoln! Therefore, his writings during the
Civil War became historical sources. The Salem native
even served as an ambassador to Great Britain in 1897.
Looking for a way to beat the bored summer
blues and learn some new, fascinating
history about your own backyard?
The John Hay Center, operated by the
Washington County Historical Society, is rich
in history waiting to be explored. It includes
The Stevens Museum, John M. Hay Birthplace,
Depot Railroad Museum, Pioneer Village and a
The library alone is home to more than 6,000
articles, books, periodicals, magazines and pictures.
For more information on The John Hay Center
and how you can include it in your summer
plans, visit www.johnhaycenter.org.
July/August 2012 • 40
A celebration of hope,
survival, and life to
benefit Women’s Services/Health
Clark Memorial Hospital
Kye’s in Jeffersonville,
sponsored by Clark Memorial
silivingmag.com • 41
Georgetown-Lanesville Road, Jesse Burkhart saw and flour mill
Horses ready to haul a six-foot, four-inch chestnut log. Tobias Seacat, who blew the whistle, is in front (right side.) The rest of
the workers are unidentified. This photo was taken in 1894 or 1895 by Albert Burkhart.
// Photo reprinted with permission from the Indiana History Room of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library.
July/August 2012 • 42
Floyd Memorial Baby Fair
Saturday, August 25
10 am - noon
Floyd Memorial’s Paris
Health Education Center
There’s no such thing as too much information…
especially when you’re expecting a child.
So we’re making it easy, giving you the useful
information and resources you’ll need, all
in one place!
• Local pediatricians
• Physicians who deliver at Floyd Memorial
• Birth doulas
• Certified lactation consultants
• Certified pregnancy and infant
• Booths and displays featuring
4-D ultrasound, hospital and community
resources, baby specialty stores and
• Take guided tours of our birthing center
Plus, great giveaways and
fantastic door prizes!
GET BACK TO WHAT YOU LOVE.
JOINT REPLACEMENT WITHOUT FEAR.
If hip or knee pain is keeping you from doing what you love, Clark Memorial’s
Center for Orthopedics and Spine is here to help. Specializing in advanced joint
replacement and minimally invasive procedures, the Clark team provides you with
pre-operative education, advanced pain control and comprehensive after-care to
improve your recovery time and your outcome. Visit www.clarkmemorial.org to
find out more, and plan to attend one of our FREE Knee and Hip Pain Seminars.
FREE KNEE & HIP PAIN SEMINARS
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21 | NOON - 1 PM
Kathryn Raines Education Conference Center
Clark Memorial, 1220 Missouri Ave., Jeffersonville
(812) 283-2926 or www.clarkmemorial.org
a QR code reader
to scan the code
at right and
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 | 5 - 6 PM
Orthopedic Surgeons of Southern Indiana
2109 Green Valley Road, New Albany
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18 | NOON - 1 PM
Kathryn Raines Education Conference Center
(812) 282-6631 | www.clarkmemorial.org