Indiana: Such a Beautiful State

Peace be to you!

One of the things I enjoy doing is exploring. Exploring caves, trails, side roads, dirt roads, museums, art exhibits…you name it, if I have not been there, I would like to go there. Well, my job has afforded me with some time in the late morning and mid afternoon and now that I am on spring break, I am having a little bit more explore time.

I recently had to visit a friend of mine in Crawfordsville, In. This town is what an optimistic person who looks for the MAYBERRY USA type of town that is romanced about in Turner Movie Classics or Chicago’s ME-TV.

It is a hamlet of mom and pop shops with very few corporate stores. There is no Starbucks nor Chik-fil-A. There are NO bars with the name of HOOTERS or TILTED KILT.. There is no tofu ANYTHING. THere is a however, a store that gives free popcorn to all who come in. There is a Tea Party Headquarters, There is a butcher block, there are stores like ALLEN’s COUNTRY KITCHEN….Which by the way, when I asked locals where is a good place to eat they ALL suggested this place. They were correct, they have a lunch special every day for $ 6.95 and it is awesome. There were many locals in there and most were over the age of 70. Other places with unfamiliar names like Johnny’s Provolone Pizza, The Barefoot Burger, Tacos El Jarocho, Blondie’s Diner, Blondie’s BBQ and others only tantalize and seductively tease you to come and visit and try out their wares.

Not only are the mom and pops, but there are 2 state camp grounds/parks that are close by. Shades State Park is rustic and rugged but it has some of the most beautiful, out of the way places, this state has to offer. Turkey Run State Park is not as rugged as it has a nice lodge that is rustic in its own way but still could be considered “glamping”.

The ride out to Montgomery County is just as gorgeous. There is something to be said that passing through smaller towns that are quite literally missed in a blinking eye demand that when I am coming home, I should stop for an RC cola.  I went through this one named Ladoga and was caught immediately by its….”difference”. This is a sad one as I wish I could write about all the great but this is an out of the way place that once was a thriving area. Most of the houses are just off the main drag and are overgrown. There is a bank (that was closed) a post office (that had been closed for a long time) and one “grocery” store that sold milk for almost 4 dollars a gallon. I asked why such a high price and was told, no one buys from us….and we still have to make payroll. The family had been there since 1956 (?) and were not going to move….

For me, this was the exploration of seeing the REAL. Seeing so many “snowflakes” and SJW openly complain about “hate speech, etc,”on the internet and I can not help but think that if these kids could just jump in a car and go for a ride in the country their perspective would change in so many ways.  There is beauty but there is also real despair.

And I only went to go help out another band director who is struggling. See you at Allen’s Country Kitchen for a cup of coffee.

Oh….and by the way, did you know a cup of coffee only costs 35 cents in Montgomery County Indiana?


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