For many years, Lorrimariah Hartell of Greenwood secretly hoped for an opportunity to add beautiful hats to her wardrobe. “But I didn’t take the step,” she said. “I never saw other women wearing hats and I never understood why.”
Her parents were English and many fond childhood memories include remembering how beautifully her mother was dressed, always wearing a beautiful hat.
While enjoying a 2005 trip by train to San Francisco, California, Hartell fell in love with a black, straw derby hat with a black veil. Smiling at Ron, her husband of 14 years, she happily purchased the hat and decided that it was now time in her life to do exactly what she wanted to do, which was to wear hats, even if other women didn’t follow suit.
Forty-six hat purchases later, Hartell continues to be thrilled with her choice to wear a hat every single day.
“I don’t go out the door without a hat,” she said.
She has many hats to choose from, too, from light colors for spring and summer adorned with flowers, or sweetly colored scarves to deep red with matching gloves or various styles of black hats, fur-lined hats and knit hats for cold weather.
“This is my Christmas hat,” Hartell said with a grin as she carefully placed the black dress hat on her gray curls. “The only time I wear it is Christmas. It’s my society hat.”
After owning a dry cleaner for 26 years, Hartell was widowed in 1983, which eventually led to her decision to retire. For the next 15 years, she frequently traveled out west, often returning to Colorado, where she was raised when her parents came to the United States.
And then one afternoon while walking at Washington Square Mall for exercise, she met her future husband. “I had no idea I would ever marry again,” Hartell said. “That was the farthest thing from my mind.”
But fate turned her story in a new direction and Ron Hartell proposed six months later while the couple washed and dried dishes after sharing a meal.
“After we were married, Ronald always told me a story about his family every night when we went to bed,” Hartell said with a soft smile. “He is so caring and interesting. We like to shop and go to euchre clubs, drink coffee and play Chinese checkers. We also like to have guests in.”
As a high school junior, Hartell’s determination and free-spirited personality began to bloom.
“I ditched school every Thursday; that’s when the movies changed,” she said with a laugh. “And even though I was sent to the principal, I told him I was still leaving school every Thursday to see the new movie. I said, ‘This is the way I am. And I’m not going to stop going.’”
Nearly 20 years ago- long before it was a fad- Hartell double pierced her ears and the left side of her nose. “I was always fancy free and independent,” she said with a grin.
That whimsical side of her personality was exactly what led Hartell to buy that first hat. And it is also why she continues to buy and happily place all kinds and colors of hats on her head.
“When I wear them, I feel happy and dressed up,” she said. “People call me the hat lady.”
Because nine-year-old Chloe Hensel of Beech Grove aspires to “be a business lady who carries around Starbucks coffee,” participating in Lemonade Day is a step in the right direction.
Scheduled for May 19, this nationally recognized, cost-free event encourages entrepreneurial skills and is available to all school-aged children. Registration, information packets and educational workbooks are available at all area libraries. Hansel signed up at Beech Grove Library, along with 50 other children in the community. She is taking this venture seriously, studying the workbook lessons about creating a business plan and launching a business. In fact, Hensel grasped the importance of naming her business something catchy- she is calling her lemonade stand Chloe’s Lemon Surprise. Hensel also made up her own slogan,’ A surprise for every taste bud.’
“My Nana is making me an apron with lemons on it and a yellow tutu,” Hensel said. “And me and my daddy are making my booth. It’s gonna be a rainbow curve top with the business name on it.”
Sponsored by the Think Forward Foundation, Lemonade Day offers thousands of children the opportunity to brush up on planning, math and social skills while also developing organizational abilities and an interest in philanthropy. Teaching children how to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit is the primary reason why Carmel resident and entrepreneur, Scott Jones, brought this non-profit program to Hoosier children.
When the program began in Indiana two years ago, 7400 Indianapolis area children participated, said Jami Marsh, director of Lemonade Day in Indianapolis. Last year, the number rose to 10,000 participants.
Fewer children mow yards, rake leaves or sell lemonade as summer moneymaking opportunities. But Jones remembered operating a lemonade stand as a child and believes the experience introduced entrepreneurship to him and others.
At participating library branches in nine area counties, when children register for the program, they receive bright yellow backpacks filled with educational materials.
“The kids work through 14 lessons in the workbooks,” Marsh said. “They can also participate in workshops and contests. By the time Lemonade Day arrives, they have done all the preparation and they are ready to go.”
Another aspect of Lemonade Day teaches children how to spend, save and share their profits, Marsh said. At the end of the day, all lemonade stand owners report their business totals.
“Last year, $1.3 million was generated,” Marsh said. “The kids averaged $133 per stand and $600,000 was donated to the charities of their choosing.”
Because Hensel, daughter of Jason and Amanda Hensel of Beech Grove, soon moves from Brownies to Girl Scouts, some of her earnings will be donated to her troop to help defray the cost of new vests for members. She plans to donate the rest of her earnings to a local animal adoption program.
Advertising her business with colorful posters and balloons will help draw customers, Hensel said. But another winning sales strategy is to offer four different lemonade flavors. She also plans to bring along a radio “and play some small music.”
But Hensel never forgets the main objective for her busy day in the world of employment. “I will be learning how to keep track of stuff and how to be a real business lady,” she said.
For more than 20 years, Tom Hannan has devoted all of his professional time plus lots of personal time to Beech Grove, the community where he was raised.
As a city employee, Hannan has worn many hats, serving as assistant street commissioner, building commissioner and compliance officer, just to name a few. For the last eight years, Hannan’s responsibility as street commissioner also included grounds keeping for the city’s park areas.
“I’ve been outside almost every day of the 23 years,” he said with a grin. “I really enjoy that. I enjoy working with the public. I love the work. And I really love the parks.”
When Mayor Dennis Buckley took office in January, Hannan’s title changed again. He now serves as Beech Grove’s Director of Parks. Since accepting the position, Hannan has been on the move. This job has many never-ending responsibilities, with 100 acres of upkeep for the four city parks along with the city’s entrance, located at Emerson Avenue and Main Street. Maintenance for picnic shelters, buildings, softball diamonds and mowing equipment adds to the long to-do list, especially since Hannan’s staff includes three part-time employees.
“They all do such a great job,” Hannan said of the parks groundskeepers. “They are really invested in the community.”
Parks employees can also depend on several helping hands in the community, including two Girl Scouts troops and members of a local sorority, who commit to planting flowers in specific areas. On Saturday, Hannan hopes families and individuals will roll up their sleeves to offer elbow grease during the Community Clean-Up Day. With limited budgets and fewer employees in many area parks, community assistance is greatly appreciated.
“It’s really a big help when people give a few hours to help spread mulch and things like that,” Hannan said. “When we all get out there together, it also gives employees a chance to talk to people from the community. It’s just a nice day.”
Goals for improvement in the city’s parks include replacing shelters at Sarah T. Bolton Park and South Grove Park, exploring options to make the parks more accessible for people with handicaps and providing more security to offset vandalism.
As summer approaches, Hannan estimates his schedule will stretch to at least 60 hours weekly. But he’s not complaining. He’s the kind of guy who takes such pride in his work that he doesn’t always remember when to go home.
“I really enjoy my job,” Hannan said. “When I have free time, a lot of the time I’m back over here. I like for the parks to look a certain way.”
As Cathy Summers, a retired grandmother, walked barefoot across the second yard she had mowed that day, Beth Walker Bell turned and said, “This is what I want Community Angels to be about.”
In addition to driving her daughter, Casey Paulin, to multiple doctor appointments for breast cancer treatment, Summers is cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, caring for her two young grandchildren and mowing her daughter’s yard after mowing her own.
Unfortunately, Summers is not the first person Bell has seen with tired eyes.
After a few experiences last year, all with families battling serious illness, Bell quickly realized a recurring theme. Caregivers are exhausted. Those with illness feel guilty about it. And the entire family is in need of at least an occasional pair of caring, extra hands.
“Maybe the dad always did the yard work in the family but the dad had a heart attack,” Bell said. “Or a single mother with cancer needs help with babysitting or haircut money for her kids. But her family doesn’t live in the area.”
With so many of these scenarios on her heart, Bell launched this non-profit program last June, with assistance from the Johnson County Community Foundation.
She hopes the community will reach out with either a few dollars or with volunteer efforts such as building wheelchair ramps or doing some grocery shopping, housecleaning or lawn care.
Other more creative gifts are highly appreciated, too.
Last year, for example, someone donated tickets for an Indians game. Bell gave the tickets to a young family “that had been cooped up for a long time” because of the mother’s illness.
On April 20, Bell is hosting the Black & White Ball to help raise funds. Proceeds will help the Community Angel fund take at least some of the burden off families, such as paying a lawn mowing business to mow one or both yards for people like Summers, whose hands are already full.
Spunk, a wicked sense of humor and a deep love for her family help Casey Paulin of Center Grove stay strong during the most trying time of her life.
She is a 37-year-old wife and mother of two young children. And she is battling breast cancer.
Before the August diagnosis of stage II breast cancer, Paulin had no insurance.
“The day before my mastectomy, I was still fighting for insurance. So I told them, ‘I will not have the surgery if it’s not covered. I will not put that burden, all those medical bills, on my family.’”
Because she was so preoccupied with insurance issues, Paulin didn’t allow herself time to emotionally prepare for the mastectomy.
“I really wish now that I had sat in front of the mirror and just stared at my boobs,” she said with a smile even though tears filled her eyes. “I really wish I had looked at them more. And now they’re gone.”
On the day her life changed forever, Paulin met her best friend from childhood at a local eatery.
Soon after hugging her friend, the doctor called.
Stunned by the news, Paulin glanced out the window and saw her mother, Cathy Summers, driving past. She called her mother’s cell phone and asked her to stop at the restaurant.
The women cried together that day – and many times after that.
Because Paulin also has a blood clotting disorder, recovery and safe treatment options have been a struggle.
Last January, she was hospitalized with blood clots in both of her lungs and her right calf. One morning after Cameron, 10, and Chloe, 5, were off to school, she called home from her hospital bed.
“(Husband) Kevin was bawling his eyes out,” Paulin said tearfully.
In the midst of breakfast and before-school chatter with the kids that morning, the house got very quiet. “And he said it hit him like a ton of bricks — the silence — and what it would feel like for all of them if I wasn’t there.”
While her husband tended to internalize his fears, their son also avoided verbalizing his feelings. Paulin noticed that Cameron frequently played outside, instead of coming in to let her know he was home from school. Finally he admitted he was afraid he might find his mom dead.
Everything normal has quickly disappeared.
Paulin’s mom and husband share a long list of responsibilities: driving Paulin to doctor appointments, doing laundry, cleaning, babysitting, shopping, cooking and completing lawn care.
“I’m so worried about my family,” Paulin said. “I know they are all so tired.”
Because of the blood clot disorder, she is not a candidate for Tamofixin, a frequently prescribed drug for breast cancer survivors. So Paulin will soon undergo a full hysterectomy to stop the production of hormones that feed her cancer. Chemotherapy may soon follow.
Paulin said so many people have rallied around her. One of those rekindled relationships is with Beth Walker Bell of Greenwood.
Last summer Bell launched Community Angels, a non-profit program to offer extra hands to families like Paulin’s.
Bell is raising funds and gathering caring hearts to either provide volunteers or money to help families with specific needs – from yard maintenance to gas cards for hospital visits, haircuts and babysitting.
“She has such a big heart,” Paulin said of Bell. “I really want to help her get Community Angels going. I want to be her second voice.”
He’s got petite, powerful shoes to fill, but Bob Goodrum, the Social of Greenwood’s new executive director, is up for the challenge.
Last month, Goodrum took on the role after Betty Davis, executive director for 33 years, decided to focus part-time on program events she created such as the Senior Expo, the annual craft fair, monthly breakfast meetings and monthly day trips.
“She’s built such a great history here,” Goodrum said of Davis. “I want to build on that foundation.”
At 6’5”, Goodrum makes a presence, that’s for sure. A quick sense of humor helps him get acquainted with members of this non-profit program which was formerly known as Greenwood Senior Center.
This is Goodrum’s first experience in a senior-centered environment but his entire career has been committed to people of all ages and all walks of life.
As a college student, he initially planned to study business and hospitality then open a restaurant.
“But during Christmas break, I suddenly thought, ‘This is not where you are supposed to be,’” Goodrum said with a smile.
So he changed gears, became a youth minister and later a teacher and coach with Indianapolis Baptist Schools. During summer break from teaching, Goodrum was asked to help Good News Mission in Indianapolis with a badly needed fundraiser.
“Then they offered me a job,” he said.
First with Good News Mission and later with Lighthouse Mission, Goodrum devoted his time and heart to homeless men who needed shelter and spiritual help.
“I loved being able to meet people where they were and get them to where they were created to be,” he said of the nine years he served as director of Lighthouse Mission.
Now he’s accepted a new challenge at Social of Greenwood. Goodrum is building the internal structure of the program by updating record-keeping, adding a Facebook page, Twitter account and an e-letter. He’s also working with Davis and two other employees, Jill Larson and Linda Honey, to build membership and to expand fundraising opportunities.
A longtime member of the Greenwood community, Goodrum lives nearby. His wife Jennifer and their young daughters, Kaitlyn, 11, and Bailey, 6, visit often. Occasionally Goodrum’s mother stops by with his daughters.
“My daughters love to come in here and play Wii bowling,” Goodrum said with a laugh.
The Social offers a daily lunch program for community members who are older than 65. Through a partnership with the Southside Art League, the café section of the building is also used as a venue for local art.
First on the list, however, Goodrum and volunteers are busy stuffing plastic Easter eggs with goodies, then hiding them in random places inside the building.
During the early weeks of spring, many Greenwood residents turn into gardeners on the go. Their vehicle trunks turn into mobile garden sheds, loaded with fertilizer, sand, gardening tools and seeds.
Their destination is the community garden, located on Fry Road. For more than five years, the Greenwood Parks department has provided the space, which includes 34 plots.
“By the beginning of March, the plots are (typically) all taken,” said Jeff Madsen, director of recreation. “Right now, we have 10 plots left.”
Most people would prefer to simply walk a few steps out their back door to weed and water a garden space. But many residents live in apartments or condominiums, and few neighborhoods provide enough backyard space for gardening. Making the community garden available definitely fills a need, Madsen said.
Her love for vegetable gardens began in childhood, said Laura Northrup Poland. “My Grandpa grew these wonderful tomatoes and you can’t buy anything like that.”
Because her backyard is too shady for a garden, Northrup Poland plants organic vegetables in two plots at the community garden. Most of the time, she works there early in the morning. Though her husband, Andrew Poland, doesn’t work with her there, he often arrives with a picnic lunch. And she also has made friends and learned valuable tips from other gardeners.
“I make jams and pickles,” Northrup Poland said. “And I dehydrate a lot of my herbs and I freeze some things, too.”
As a child, Barbara Yeager worked alongside her mother in the family garden. Now that she is a busy mom with teenagers and a home in a housing addition, renting space in the community garden provides her with vegetables and stress relief.
“I grow vegetables of all kinds and herbs,” Yeager said. “I like to have some flowers in there too to make it pretty.”
Like Northrup Poland, Thomas Bohn’s backyard was a challenge because of the shade.
“I can’t hardly grow grass back there,” he said with a laugh. “So I knew I couldn’t have a garden.”
Unlike most of the other community gardeners, Bohn’s interest isn’t vegetables.
Instead, he rents two plots — one for herbs and the other is filled with color. As a member of the Indiana Daylilies Society, Bohn’s harvest includes trading numerous varieties of daylilies with other members.
With hoes in hand, he and Northrup Poland have become friends while tending their gardens. They engage in some friendly competitions for who can grow the most beautiful sunflowers. “She always wins,” Bohn said.
Making new friends, trading experiences with other gardeners and watching deer graze a few yards away from heavy traffic — all of it is satisfying, Yeager said.
“Gardening is a stress reliever and it’s something of a religion,” she said. “When you get your hands in the dirt and create, it’s very satisfying. It’s very satisfying to grow your own food and know where it comes from.”
When I was a younger person with all of my necessary body parts working correctly, I wiggled my nose with confusion when I heard someone groan and say, “I can’t get around very well. My back is out.”
As soon as that statement was made, I always thought, “What does that mean? What a dumb way to say that your back hurts. Your back is out? Out where? Your back’s right there where it’s always been.”
Let me just say that I find absolutely nothing cute about that sentence anymore. These days, I also understand every word of that sentence. My back is out. Out for maybe what started to be a little lunch date. But then my lazy old back turned the relaxing time-out into a three-month hiatus.
Yep. My back is out. So are my neck and my left arm. In fact, I never really realized how much I used my left arm until I could no longer move it without peeing my pants from pain. I also took my neck for granted. I assumed that my neck’s only job was to hold my head on.
But that opinion changed the day I could not turn my head to the left, which meant I could no longer look both ways while driving, back out of parking places or cradle the phone between my ear and shoulder so I could take notes with my right hand. So I got a cortisone injection. Then I found myself waiting for an epidural. By the way, I assumed the epidural would be placed in my back. Nope, the plan was for that gigantic needle to stab right through the front of my neck.
Not only do I happen to be the chick who can’t turn my head to the left, use my left arm or get out of a chair without saying swear words I never heard before, I happen to also be the biggest baby about scary stuff being poked into my skin.
“Knock me out,” I said to the doctor.
“Can’t,” he said. “You need to be awake enough to tell me what hurts.”
“Everything hurts,” I said quickly. “So now that you have that information, let’s get busy with the big drugs.”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “We’ll give you something to help you calm down.”
“I can still see you,” I said as my teeth started to chatter. “Don’t take it personally, OK? But as long as I can see you, I am very sure I will not be calming down.”
This turned out to be a pretty darn stressful experience. However, my back has come home. My left arm and my neck have also decided to cooperate … at least some of the time. I’m hoping we can work together more peacefully now … my body, arthritis and me.
A stroll through Aunt Kate’s Consignment Shop in Greenwood can sometimes make a customer do a confused and curious double take.
“I have had several unusual items,” said Steve Miller, owner of the shop.
A few items brought in by consigners were so unusual that Miller had to conduct research to explain them to customers.
One of the more unusual pieces was an antique commode table.
“You lifted the table top and there was the pot under there,” Miller said with a laugh.
A beautifully ornate antique bird cage, a unique shoe storage wheel and a signal rescue box kite from World War II are some other items he enjoyed learning about and sharing with customers.
“Our inventory is constantly changing, so I see a wide variety of items,” said Miller. “Many of them are unique and one-of-a-kind.”
After working several years in retail and customer service, Miller was looking for a change. He also realized how frequently he remembered the amazing talents of a favorite aunt. She had a rather uncanny knack of finding something discarded by someone else, something that might initially look like trash, Miller said.
But with some elbow grease, imagination and paint, Aunt Kate created a different something that became useful and pretty. She definitely made thrift an art form.
When Miller decided in August 2010 to venture into self-employment, it seemed only fitting to get into a business his late aunt would have adored. To make the decision even more about her spirit, Miller printed his beloved Aunt Kate’s photograph on his business cards and flyers.
Self-employment has had its challenges, though.
“The up side is the pride of ownership and creative freedom to run the business as I see fit,” Miller said. “The down side is that you work no matter what. There are no sick days. And vacation days are limited, too. Overall, there are more positives to owning your own business then there are negatives.”
He also enjoys the location of the busy storefront on Main Street in Olde Towne Greenwood.
“I am glad I have the opportunity to own a shop in this friendly, picturesque town,” Miller said.
One area of the shop is run by another lover of creativity, local artist and Realtor Tammie Wituszynski. Soon after Miller opened the store, they became friends.
Renting space at Aunt Kate’s finally provides her with a place to display her longtime passion, Wituszynski said.
Like Miller’s aunt, Wituszynski has an eye for turning forgotten items into beautifully unique household pieces. Some of the items she sells include some recreated pieces of an antique door. With the well-loved wood, Wituszinski built a couple of Shabby chic-inspired end tables and wall hangings.
In other areas of the store, customers find artificial trees, dining tables and chairs, wicker and a couple of gently used Broyhill sofas, complete with coffee tables and accent pillows. There’s a nice harmony created by mixing gently used items with unusual antiques, books, dishes and jewelry. Merchandise is priced to sell, Miller said. And consignors are welcome too, as long as they understand that items must be in great condition or they will not be accepted.
“People love beautiful things for their homes and they love to get just the right item at a great price,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the thrill of the hunt. Other times, items bring back memories of days gone by.”
By Sherri Coner
Mushroom hunting is a passionate subject for a lot of people, said Bill Doig, Ag & Natural Resources Extension Educator. “Some people will even miss work and cross a property line as well, to find them.”
This early spring event is often a family activity as well.
“It’s an art or a tradition that is passed down from generation to generation,” said Doig, who resides in Shelby County. “I went mushroom hunting with my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We passed on tricks and tips for this time-honored tradition, looking for that elusive Morel mushroom.”
Doig is so committed to keeping the hunt alive that he will host a classroom workshop later this month. Subjects include the necessary combination for mushrooms to bloom, including soil temperatures in the low 50s, mixed with just the right amount of humidity and moisture. Novice hunters will be taught how to identify wildflowers, such as Dutchman’s Britches or Jack in the Pulpit, which often bloom in unison and in close proximity of mushrooms. The agenda also includes discussion about various tree species, such as Dogwood and Red Bud, which begin to bud when mushrooms are in view. He will also explain how to correctly pluck mushrooms from the earth so spores are left behind for next year’s hunt.
Doig also plans to follow up the classroom experience with a guided hunt through Morgan-Monroe State Forest. For this activity, also free, Doig asks seasoned hunters to bring mesh bags to share with novice hunters. But everyone who attends the hunt must first attend the workshop.