Is Indiana on your mind? It should be. I found the state to be beautiful with it’s farmland fields, friendly rural and urban people and lots of good ‘ole American history around every corner.
In the year of our 2020-Covidity, I managed to take a well needed trip to Sullivan, Indiana to work with one of my Artists, Ken Tucker, on my Moodee Cactus Records label. As his Band Manager, we had scheduled him for a couple of performing gigs at some excellent places even while the masks were required. While there, I did my usual thing and found time to tour around the whimsicals of the small towns and got my eyes full of their nostalgic historical landscapes and sites.
I love taking pictures of murals and graffiti; especially when it tells a story. Here you can see a full shot of the Merom Welcome Center detailing a lot of how this town was born.
I am always on the lookout for old abandoned barns and their crookedness; especially close up. I saw this “Livery Barn” in Merom and had to stop, of course! Unbeknownst to me, I later discovered it’s now an attraction for those who love doing ghost tours. It is said that the previous owners would feel spirits grabbing hold of their legs as they wondered through the home and stable. Years ago it was a horse taxi service and has been vacant since the early 1920’s. But now you can pay $30.00 a person and experience the haunted tour yourself!
Here’s a shot of Ken Tucker while entering a very interesting barn-turned-into-something full of taxidermized deer hanging from the ceilings, covering the walls and displayed at the rear. Mr. Pirtle is part of a historical family known in these parts and he was happy to give us a tour. He showed me his bow and arrow home-factory rooms and mentioned how folks come from miles around to buy his goods.
Our main purpose to visit the quaint town of Merom was for Ken to show me the ever-famous Merom Conference Center. It was built in 1859 as Union Christian College and now known for their many sections which includes the United Church of Christ, lots of cabins for their summer campers and as Indiana-Kentucky Conference Center. The grounds were gorgeous and green. I most especially loved the long road style entrance.
Back in Sullivan, we made sure to visit Ken’s Dad who is also a mural painter dating back many years. I love how his wife decorated their porch. This is typical of what you see when you drive the country neighborhoods in Indiana; everyone takes pride in their special home décor and verandas.
Driving through the countryside making my way home from Sullivan, Indiana and just as I crossed over the Wabash River into the little quaint town of Hutsonville this very long rickety barn caught my eye! Someone had painted “No Fear” with their initials on its painted side.
Making your way from town to town you get to see a lot of farm-life, fields with different crops, barns, old tractors and a collection of their useful essentials. Some are new, some are old. For some reason, I love photographing silos. My Grand-Dad had the first modern Silo in Texas (the tall blue ones) where it still stands outside of Turkey, Texas.
We stayed busy during my trip and headed to Indianapolis on a Saturday night for one of Ken Tucker Blues performances at Danny Boy’s Brewery. The venue is situated within a gorgeous prominent neighborhood where they offer 8 specialized and impressively named in-house beer brews along with a quaint patio, tasty menu and lots of engaging customers who cheered Ken on!
I walked around outside the venue; enjoying its lights and the surround homes. From outside you can hear the music, the people laughing and from time to time a cheer!
Ken Tucker Blues playing acoustic for a crowd is a treat. He interacts with everyone, they request their favorite songs and everyone wants to know where he will be next!
This is a very often photographed park bench situated at the Wabash River in Hutsonville, Indiana. I took my photograph and created a painting of it for my fine arts photography website! I love doing that!
My trip was during the year of our 2020 Presidential elections and we found more patriotic signs in America’s yards than ever before. I can honestly say that during all my driving from Texas through Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Oklahoma I only once saw a Biden sign and that was at my friend’s Dad’s house.
Here is another interesting porch with a bit of Trump Love and lots of flowers blooming in Sullivan, Indiana. It’s a corner house so you can see the beautiful blooms all around it.
Ken and Marsha have become dear friends to me. I asked them to get dressed up to take a pic so they can send out for a Christmas Card. Here you see where she gets Ken ready for the photo shoot! Such a sweet and loving couple!
My trip took me from Texas to Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. I have folders and folders of photos from my day stops, visits and overnights. Remember, I was on the road for two weeks, so you have to bookmark my page for more exciting photos and tours I took. Come back to see Branson and Eureka Springs for sure.
This foggy bridge is a sample of the many I crossed while driving in rain, sunshine, fog, day and night. There’s always something special about crossing over a long bridge above a flowing river below. This one is the Maple Hollow Bridge in Ridgedale, Missouri.
Hitting the road for a long, long drive is always a challenge. Especially when you see a funny sign or a place of interest that you just have to stop to visit or take a picture. The exit was 20 miles up the road, but yep, I made that long u-turn and drove back 20 miles to get the photo! This stirred up quite the clammer when I posted it on Facebook! More pix to come!
And my last treat for you is Bella! She wonders around his neighborhood from time to time to provide everyone with a friendly oink or two. She stirs up quite the talk of the town when she does. With her taunting element as a huge pig indeed, Ken and I spent a recent phone call discussing how he should write a song about her life. We broke into laughter while we both spilled lyrics out and with Ken’s quick amazing wit, we created a song. There’s a twist though. Is it really about a pig? Or is it about…..well you will have to wait and see! After his “Naked” album is released, he’ll get into the studio to work on the new one. Then you will learn the rest of the story!
That’s it for now. Make sure you check back for my adventures in Branson, Eureka Springs and St. Louis!
Yours truly ~ Tanya Elise’ Howard
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