Things I am tired of, in no particular order:
Kardashians. All of them (and there seems to be a limitless supply). I see no reason for these people to be so much of a blip in the American consciousness, but they seem to be everywhere. Good grief, you can’t turn on your computer or turn on TV or look at the magazine rack at the grocery store checkout line without some Kardashian looking back at you. This might be understandable if they were superheroes or a family of scientists finding the cure for cancer, but as far as I can tell, not a single one of them has done anything other than be a Kardashian.
Back in the olden days, people who were famous simply for being famous wound up on game shows. Now we get them in prime time. As far as I’m concerned, a bunch of Kardashians running wild over the media landscape is all the proof you need to show that the world is in danger of spinning out of control.
Goober TV. Also known as “Watching Semi-Toothless People Cackle With Delight When City Folks Try To Catch Fish Bare-handed” and other cultural delights. Back before television completely abandoned any notion of decency, these people would have been presented on the evening news as somebody Charles Kuralt bumped into when he took a wrong turn on his way to the Kansas City Mustard Festival. Now they have fan clubs.
But lest you think I am picking on the Semi-Toothless Cackler community, let me say that I take an expanded view of Gooberism where TV is concerned. You may also count as Goober TV any reality shows involving junk, storage lockers, tattoos, pawnshops, brides, fashion victims or housewives.
What’s that, you say? Not all of the people on those shows are Goobers? You’re right. The Goobers are the ones who watch.
Motor Scooters. Yeah, they’re cute. Yeah, they’re trendy. Yeah, they seem to be operated, in the main, by people who aren’t as smart as a sack of hammers. The other day, I saw a kid riding down a four-lane thoroughfare on one while talking on a cell phone. Why did I see him? He ran a red light in front of me. Did he see me? Not a chance. In fact, he never even turned his head to see why my brakes were squealing. And this isn’t the first time I’ve had to do that for one of those clowns.
Talent Shows. I probably should have included this with the Goober thing, but I just remembered it. Once when I was trapped inside on a rainy day at Grandma’s, a woman on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour played “Yankee Doodle” on her dentures. After an experience like that, you try to put talent shows out of your mind forever.
Facebook Complainers. Lately I’ve overheard all sorts of people complaining about changes to Facebook (that’s a free social media site to those of you with the sense to avoid it). To which I say: How much did you pay for it?
That’s it for now. I have more stuff on the list of things I’m tired of, and I might get around to sharing it someday, but for now I need to get off this subject. One of the things I’m really tired of is being tired of things.
You know those commercials in which one of a guy’s three credit scores is represented by a fat guy in a leotard and hockey mask? That’s my situation.
My wife and I started looking for our first house last week after I convinced her that storing beverages and cat food next to our water heater was a sign that we’re out of space. We filled up the 600 square feet in our apartment long ago, but we’ve managed to keep our home from looking like one from “Hoarders” by aggressively jettisoning old items and storing others at our parents’ houses.
Now, however, there’s no denying that we’re in need of a bigger place.
When it comes to the whole mortgage process, though, I don’t know how my wife feels, but I’m not nervous. According to TransUnion, I’ve already had a mortgage. It’s old hat for me.
See, while the Equifax and Experian accounts of my credit activity are identical, TransUnion’s version is—or at least was—very different. I actually learned a lot about myself when I first read it.
For example, I wasn’t aware that I had mortgaged a home in northern Indiana during my senior year of high school. I also don’t recall purchasing my first car in 1999 – when I was 12. That car, by the way, cost more than the one I drive today.
During the next few years, I supposedly was issued a number of credit cards, joined multiple gyms upstate and took out two more auto loans. Again, both of these loans were of a value greater than that of my current vehicle.
If not for my wife’s solid credit, these suspicious items on this one report would have kept us out of the apartment we’re in now. And though I was successful in all of my disputes, I have to hope that these numerous cases of mistaken identity don’t affect us when applying for mortgage.
I have some guesses, but I don’t know exactly how these conspicuous items—and a second name—got on my credit report. But I’m perhaps more interested in learning how one credit agency’s reports can be so wildly different from the others.
I expect my score to vary a bit between reports. After all, they do collect data differently. But if only one of the three lists me as going by a second name and living in two different cities simultaneously, that seems like a “them problem,” not a “me problem.”
Moreover, it was on me to dispute these items that common sense could have fixed or even prevented. Banks don’t typically make substantial loans to sixth graders, do they? And how many people have mortgages before they’re out of high school?
If these credit bureaus are going to distribute my personal information to seemingly anyone who requests it, do they not have at least some responsibility to make sure that their reports are accurate? I understand that the three agencies do not share information with each other, but even when I volunteered my other two reports as evidence that the one was flawed, the TransUnion rep refused to accept them.
Now that I’m an adult, I understand that, right or wrong, it’s entirely on my shoulders to ensure the accuracy of my credit reports. But one of them was problematic before I could even open a checking account on my own or pay online to see my reports.
What reason would I have had to check my credit at age 16? And yet my TransUnion score had already been deteriorating for years.
As far as I know, my disputes have been resolved and all three of my credit reports should now be A-OK. But has my credit score recovered from these errors? That I don’t know. After all, you only get one free check per year.
Hopefully this situation won’t affect our efforts to get a mortgage and buy our first house.
But if it does, at least I still have that house upstate in my name.
The other day, I thought, “It is perfect weather for a big batch of chili.”
I failed to clarify, however, that the big batch of chili would only be a success if someone other than me was in charge of preparing it.
I still haven’t figured out why, but occasionally I get a little bit delirious. I go to the grocery and pluck random ingredients from the shelves. Then I rush home and plop it all in a kettle. All along, I am thinking (wrongly, of course) that I am inventing something awesome. That very soon, I will participate in community chili cook-offs. People will beg for my recipe. I will step into the female world of “great cooks.”
All that fantasy drizzled yesterday, as it always does, the very moment I tasted my concoction.
“Dang it,” I sighed. “My chili tastes like I boiled a car fender in it.”
So I go to Facebook, where many of my I-love-to-cook kind of friends are on emergency call for my assorted domestic dramas.
“Add brown sugar,” one friend wrote.
“Plain white sugar is fine, too,” another friend said.
But neither friend told me how much sugar to add. And neither one of them remembered that my culinary skill set is limited to opening cans and pushing two microwave buttons.
“Did you add some sugar? Did the metallic taste go away?” another friend asked.
“Yep, the metallic taste is definitely gone,” I sighed. “I kinda poured sugar from the bag instead of dirtying a spoon and it maybe got a little bit out of hand.”
“Add more chili powder,” she suggested.
“Um yes, I did that,” I said. “And the end result is chili-flavored cotton candy.”
As I dumped the mess, that old wave of sadness crept across my domestically-disabled heart.
There will very likely never be a day that a single person in the world asks me for a favorite recipe. I will have nothing wonderful to pass down to my grandchildren, except my skills with remembering take-out menu specials and choosing bargains in the paper products section.
When I say, “I can’t make chili,” it really grates on my nerves when someone responds with, “Oh you’re kidding. Right? Anybody can do that.”
So just to make my point–that I am absolutely not kidding–I should serve them up a big spoonful of my two chili choices: the Car Fender Delight or the Spicy Cotton Candy. Would you like crackers with that?
For the first three years of her employment at Beech Grove Library, Becki Deweese, information clerk, didn’t relate to the stories staff and patrons reported about odd sounds and creepy feelings in certain areas of the building.
When members of Indiana Scientific Paranormal Investigators (SPI) came to Beech Grove to check out the ghostly allegations, DeWeese volunteered to accompany them during the process. That’s when she saw it—or him—or what SPI members refer to as a “shadow person.”
“It was so quick, peeking out at us,” DeWeese said. “It was somebody with a black cloak, maybe six feet tall.”
Members of the other team of investigators were upstairs at the time and the investigator working with DeWeese saw the same image at the same time.
“Well, that made a believer out of me,” DeWeese said. “I will never forget it.”
It was no surprise to Kimberly Jenkins, the library’s office manager, when DeWeese reported the experience.
All five years she has been at her job, Jenkins has believed that something more than story time goes on within the library building. She offers several examples to prove her point.
The copier, for example, randomly turns itself on and off and spits out copies. Several times, repairmen examined the machine. Electricians examined the outlets. The copier has been replaced.
Yet it still seems to operate like it has either a mind of its own or perhaps an invisible assistant punching buttons for entertainment.
Another example of unexplainable involves the phone hanging inside the caboose in the children’s section. Its only purpose is to play recorded story time for children who lift the receiver. There is no dial tone and no possibility to dial out on the phone.
“But that telephone somehow randomly calls other extensions and tells the story for the day,” Jenkins said with a smile.
Like they investigated the strange happenings with the copier, staff requested repairs by the telephone service.
Again, there was no explanation for why the phone rings into offices.
“We got a new phone system and it is still doing it,” Jenkins said.
She has heard doors suddenly slam shut when no staff members are in the area. And there’s also the issue of the scary basement, which most staff members refuse to visit alone.
“We had a janitor once who wouldn’t go down there anymore,” Jenkins said. “He just wouldn’t do it.”
DeWeese says she is not a big fan of venturing downstairs to the library basement either.
“The main thing about it is that I always smell a weird, dirty old man smell when I go down there,” she said. “It’s only for a few seconds, though.”
Earlier this month, SPI investigators appeared at the library doors after dark with an assortment of ghost hunting equipment in hand.
Todd Phelps, founder of the organization, reported findings last week to interested staff and patrons.
“We continue to experience a shadow in the bookroom that we cannot explain,” Phelps said. “The shadow appears to have the height and shape of a person and moves back and forth through the room, but does not seem to interact.”
Also during the investigation, SPI members used a piece of equipment called an electronic voice phenomenon, believed to detect communication efforts with spirits or ghosts.
“The one I played during the presentation at the library appears to be a direct response when Tobin (SPI member) states, ‘Do you not want me touching this?’ and the response is a long, drawn out ‘no,’” Phelps said.
It’s fun to work in the midst of some rather odd but friendly and playful phenomena, Jenkins said.
For many years, former staff also experienced odd moments at the library. But they were often too embarrassed to share those moments with others, Jenkins said.
Investigations from SPI, however, seem to give former staff the courage to step forward with their own spooky tales.
“Staff over the years are always excited to hear about the SPI findings,” Jenkins said with a grin. “They still ask themselves, ‘Was I crazy? Or was something really going on in the library?’”
It’s a dark and stormy night. Now imagine driving along a wooded stretch of Midwest interstate—lightning flashing behind a witch’s skirt of clouds. On the road up ahead is a motorcycle, its single taillight guiding you through the glittering rain like a small red eye. And then, with breath-taking abruptness, a lightning bolt slashes down, striking the motorcyclist. You stop the car and, along with several other witnesses, attempt to help the injured man. You check for a pulse. Nothing. And then someone points to the woods. A pale woman in a long black dress emerges from the rain-lashed gloom. She’s clutching a weathered book and she’s walking toward you.
This is the local legend of the lady in the black dress.
This story is safely preserved at the Franklin Township Historical Society, located at 6510 S. Franklin Rd., in the former Big Run Baptist Church, which was constructed in 1871. In 1977, church members vacated the structure, but deeded the spacious brick building to the FTHS. The one-time sanctuary has been transformed into a repository of historic artifacts: sepia-tinted photographs, ink-faded ledgers, scrapbooks. But one of the most curious is an article of clothing—a long, black dress.
The story continues…
The lady in the black dress approaches the injured motorcyclist and says, “Let me help him.” She kneels and places the book (perhaps a Bible) on his chest. She begins to recite strange words as if speaking in tongues. And then the injured man sucks in a deep breath and opens his eyes. As the small group of motorists helps the man to his feet, you watch the lady in the black dress retreating, disappearing as she blends into the darkness of the woods.
So who was this woman? Or more appropriately, where does her story come from?
We all know the more notable Hoosier legends and ghost stories—the reports of phantom encounters at the Hannah House; Gravity Hill out on State Road 42 in Avon; and of course there’s the infamous House of Blue Lights. “Indiana has long had many tales of the unnatural and unexplained floating about its many counties and cities,” writes K.T. MacRorie, author of Hoosier Hauntings. “Ghosts were such a problem back in 1903 that a front page article about the haunting of houses in Indianapolis and the distress they had caused rental agents was published.”
Like most urban myths and local lore, the story of the woman in the black dress has variations, and these spectral permutations emerge all over the state.
In his book, Ghost Stories of Indiana, Edrick Thay writes, “Every state has its legends. Like heirlooms, they are passed down from generation to generation, continuing an oral tradition that seems to lose currency with each passing day.”
The yarn of ghostly women in dresses is a popular trope, particularly in the Midwest. Many term this reemerging character a crisis apparition—one of the deceased who’s returned to intervene in a life-and-death situation. So while tales of black-clad women might be a common component in Hoosier stories, each tale, over time, begins to adopt the personality and values of a community. “Legends,” says Thay, “like photographs, connect us with our pasts and to times that might exist only in imagination or memory. Sometimes, these stories are all we have to bridge the gap between the past and present.”
During the final FTHS open house of the 2011 season, historical society member Dave Ostheimer retells the black-dress legend to an eager congregation ranging in age from 13 months to well over 80 years old. Gesturing to the black dress displayed behind him, Ostheimer reveals one of the tale’s variations: The black dress was found in an attic in Acton, in a house located not far from the scene of the motorcycle accident. A woman had been killed in that house. Perhaps the lady in the black dress was a ghost trying to prevent a senseless death. Perhaps she’s a composite of numerous Hoosier legends. Either way, don’t be too incredulous. “To the skeptical,” says MacRorie, “all I can say is keep an open mind. Who knows? One day you might need it to deal with the impossible.”
Patricia G. Conrad, 76, of Indianapolis, died Oct. 22, 2011. She was born May 19, 1935. A past president of the Hoosier Doll Collectors, she also was a member of Treasures of the Past Doll Club, a faithful volunteer at the Athenaeum Damenverein, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. She was an Athenaeum Foundation board member, a member of the Red Hat Society, and traveled to Europe with the John Knox Presbyterian Choir. Conrad was employed as a dental technician at the VA Hospital for 32 years, retiring in 1996. Survivors include her husband of 58 years, Joseph P. Conrad; sons, Charles P. (Ann) Conrad and Joseph P. Conrad. She was preceded in death by her father; and mother, Catherine Keenaugh. Services were Oct. 25 at G. H. Herrmann Madison Avenue Funeral Home, with burial in Lincoln Memory Gardens Cemetery.
Willis “Bill” Dunlop, 78, of Greenwood, died Oct. 20, 2011. He was born April 9, 1933, in Indianapolis to the late John and Irene Gallagher Dunlop.
He had retired from Conrail after 30 years of service and was a member of St. Barnabas Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Mary Lou Teipen Dunlop; daughters, Deborah Dunlop, Diane (Rick) Gibson; son, Gregory (Christy) Dunlop; four grandchildren, Justin and Alyssa Gibson, Zachary and Stephen Dunlop; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Harry Dunlop; and sister, Eleanor Yocum. A Mass of Christian Burial was Oct. 24 at St. Barnabas Catholic Church with the burial in Calvary Cemetery.
Alma Geraldine “Jerry” Herr, 82, of Indianapolis died Oct 22, 2011. Survivors include her two daughters, Diane (Charles) Poff and Dawn Allen; and two granddaughters, Melissa Poff and Sydney Allen. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dick; brothers, Ralph and Gene Prather; and sisters, Wilma McGuire and Doris Guyon. She retired after 30 years with Carpenter Realtors. She and Dick owned and operated Fairland Recreation Park in Shelbyville. She also was a charter member of Southport Christian Church. Friends may call from 4–8 p.m., Oct. 27 at G.H. Herrmann Madison Avenue Funeral Home, 5141 Madison Ave. Services will be 10 a.m., Oct. 28 at the funeral home, with burial in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.
Herbert P. “Herb” Maples, 72, of Indianapolis, died Oct. 16. He was born April 10, 1939 in Indianapolis to the late Herbert and Sue Maples. Maples graduated from Tech High School in 1957 and later served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1966. He retired from the Ford Motor Company on Oct. 1, 1998 after 32 years of service. Survivors include wife, Patty Jo (Brummett) Maples; daughter, Jeannine Giordano; son, Scott Maples; sister, Patricia Jerrell (Gary); grandchildren, Stacy Wemes (Micah) and Cody Giordano; and great-grandson, Orion Wemes. He was preceded in death by a son, Jimmy Maples, and brothers, Harold and Robert Maples. Funeral was Oct. 19 in Little & Sons Beech Grove Chapel, with burial in New Crown Cemetery.
Richard Dwight “Rick” Massy, 57, died Oct. 22, 2011. He was born Aug. 4, 1954 in Indianapolis. He was a resident of Greenwood. Survivors include wife, Ann (Cullar) Massy; children, Nathaniel and Nicole Massy; monther, Betty (Will) Massy Shannon; brother, Jon (Anita) Massy; sister, Glenda (Tim) Haskell. He was preceded in death by his father, Dwight Massy. Arrangements were entrusted to Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory, Greenwood Chapel. Burial was at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 6100 W. 96th St., Indianapolis.
Jonah Edmund Miller, 7 months, died Oct. 19. He was born Mar. 11 in Indianapolis. Survivors include parents, Justin and Ashley (Hood) Miller; siblings, Melody, Lila and Isaac; grandparents, Michael and Janice Hood and Mary Ann Miller; great-grandparents, Helen McClellan, Louella Hood and Margie Tillett; uncles Elliot Hood and Adam Miller. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Donna (Anderson) Hood and Ken Miller. Services were at Nativity Catholic Church, with burial at Acton Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be sent to the National Marfan Foundation, 22 Manhasset Ave., Port Washington, N.Y.
Bette Jean Tirmenstein
Osman, 74, of Indianapolis, died Oct. 17 after a short battle with lung cancer. She was born November 1, 1936. Survivors include son, Andrew Terminstein; nephew Michel (Kim) Putnam and their daughter, Sarah; grandson, Jason VanHorn; her sisters, Charlotte Osman Wynn (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Alice Osman Rosenfeld; many nieces and nephews; and her companion, Ed Rugenstein. She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Yvonne (Smith) Osman; daughter, Amy Tirmenstein; ex-husband, Capt. Robert Tirmenstein; sister, Delores Helen “DeDe” Harbor. Services were Oct. 21 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, with burial in Concordia Cemetery. Arrangements were entrusted to G.H. Herrmann Madison Avenue Funeral Home. Online condolences may be shared with the family at ghhermann.com.
Dennis Price, 88, of Indianapolis, died on Oct. 20. He was born Dec. 15, 1922, in Frankfort, Ind., to the late Edward and Alice (Pennington) Price. Survivors include children, Randall (Pam) Price, Janet Fiddler and Patricia Dammann; grandchildren, Kevin Price, Kimberly Witkemper, Alison Stanovich, Jason Lee, Sean Lee, Robin Keerns, Sarah Evans, Jessica Fiddler, Jeffrey Fiddler and Christina Dammann; nine great-grandchildren; and a brother, Virgil Price. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Mary (Coltharp) Price; a son, Stephen Price; four brothers, and three sisters. Dennis was a veteran of the US Navy, having served in WWII. He retired from Naval Avionics in 1978 after 34 years of service. He was an active member of New Bethel Baptist Church. A funeral was Oct. 24 at New Bethel Baptist Church, with burial at Orchard Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to New Bethel Baptist Church.
Mildred Sebastian, 92, of Indianapolis, died Oct. 22, 2011. She was born on Feb. 22, 1919, in Indianapolis to Sylvester Lowe and Mary (Herald) Whitlock. Survivors include daughter, Karen (William) Mitchner; son, Gerald (Sandy) Sebastian; 16 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; and 18 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Sidney Sebastian Sr.; sons, Sidney Sebastian Jr., and James A. Sebastian; three grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Services were Oct. 25 at G. H. Hermann Madison Avenue Funeral Home, with the burial in Lincoln Memory Gardens.
My name is Michael Jarvis and I am running as an Independent candidate for Beech Grove City Council, District 2. I grew up in Beech Grove, graduated from Beech Grove, enlisted in the military immediately after graduation, retired after 26 years of service and moved back to Beech Grove. Here is my plan and qualifications to make District 2 successful.
As your elected official on the Beech Grove City Council, I will be the best possible steward of public trust that I can be. I will base my decisions on good ethics, character and the public interest of District 2. I will focus on common sense fiscal planning and transparency to the City Council. I want our public safety and quality of life in Beech Grove to be preserved for all generations.
Our roads, alleys, sewers and Main Street are my top priorities. By completing long-past-due maintenance on the roads, alleys and sewers, we will be able to establish a service schedule that will enable us to correct issues as they arise. Our Main Street is in desperate need of revitalization. By fixing the roads and storm water drainage, our merchants will enjoy more business and not have to worry about rushing out to put sandbags in place to prevent flooding, which occurs now. This also will draw in new merchants for a more unique shopping area that is close to home and accessible.
I possess a commanding knowledge of administration, logistics and leadership. This knowledge will be used in all aspects as your councilman for District 2. Getting information out to the resident is vital and always has been important to me. We rely on information to make decisions, because without that information, the resident is left out of the loop, which is unacceptable, as a government official works for the resident. Only by walking and talking to the residents do you get a real feeling of what is going on in your district. Informing your residents in person builds a stronger bond and shows that you care about them as a person and that they are just not a number. I have Marines and soldiers from the squad, platoon and company levels with precision guidance, which produced superb results. By providing proper guidance and establishing working together, all involved will step up to the challenge to succeed and not allow outside influences to tamper with their decision-making process.
Michael E. Jarvis
Independent Candidate for Beech Grove City Council, District 2
I have lived in this city for 52 years. And as of now it is the pits. Vacant houses and slum rental lords have polluted this city. You and your assistant have been told of this many times. One of the vacant houses has not been on your books for over 15 years. Who does he know? The four houses on my street are used for storage and do not cut grasses and maintain structures. There are laws on the books and sanitation laws against this. Why are they not enforced? Kids running over the rooftops on Main Street and drugs being sold in plain view is not a way to run a city. Move over and let Dennis Buckley get it done.
My family will be voting Ed Bell for District 2. He has always stood up against bad spending and he led the fight to save our dispatchers. You remember the “Keep Our 911 Dispatch Center in Beech Grove” signs? That was Ed Bell. He didn’t get what we wanted, but he sure never backed down or gave up. People say they want a council that works for them and cares about what they want. That’s Ed.
I am writing to tell my fellow Greenwood neighbors/friends why I support David Payne for Greenwood mayor.
In my estimation, David is the most qualified candidate, has been the most engaged in city matters and issues these past years, is the most informed, and has the most managerial experience. His small-business ownership experience, and his experience on the Greenwood police force BOTH put him in charge of budgets, planning, personnel and even facilities.
I have known him approximately five years and find him to be a person of high integrity with the collaborative skill set to get things done. Being an independent, he is not beholding to party lines or to other office holders. He’s a true independent who will listen to the best ideas of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and independents to form the best solutions to solve the problems that face our city.
I ask you to support him, by voting for him on Nov. 8, and if you are otherwise committed on election day, you can vote early at the courthouse in Franklin, approximately one week ahead of time. You can find out more about David Payne at payneformayor.com—on his homepage and on his Payne Report link there—where new reports will be posted in as the election approaches.