Bob referred to the game plan for days two and three as “the coast to coast tour of Indiana”, and in fact we covered most of the state from east to west along old Route 40. We saw Terre Haute and Richmond, Brazil and Shelbyville, Greensburg and Greenfield (but not Greencastle or Greentown). There’s more here than you might imagine, from covered bridges to cute farm boys to courthouse squares. It actually kept my interest despite the fact that I’m a diehard city boy.
Major stops included:
- Billie Creek Village and the covered bridges of Parke County.
- Shelbyville, hometown of my host.
- Greensburg, home of the courthouse with tree attached and a dang good piece of strawberry pie.
Meeting Bob’s family was a great aspect of the trip. I got much more a feel for what the people (and dogs) are like here than almost anywhere else I’ve been so far. I have to say that I liked everyone I met. It was almost as if I was visiting my own relatives, not only because I was treated like “one of the family”, but also because of the similar backgrounds. These are the kinds of people I grew up with.
Granted, there is a certain conservatism in Indiana, and I was a bit put off by the fact that there were people who offered no apologies about using terms like “nigger”, etc. But in general, this was not not nearly so oppressive as in the south (or even in large chunks of “progressive” California).
I guess (racism aside) it’s a more informed and independent sort of conservatism, I felt that people were more familiar with the issues as opposed to mouthing doctrine supplied by the local fundamentalist minister. Thus, I was able to respect it a bit more, despite my leftist leanings. Agree or not, one definitely gets the feeling that people think for themselves here, rather than blindly submitting to dogma like in North Carolina…or San Francisco…
My preference is to believe that Dan Quayle is merely an aberration (sort of like Jesse Helms in my home state). I have to believe this. It is a necessity…
A few post-mortems:
- Them Hoosier boys are cute! I was able to capture at least some photographic evidence of this.
- A pork tenderloin in Indiana is a far different thing in Indiana than in San Francisco. Vive le difference!
- NO, I did not visit Bloomington and take pictures of little pink houses. My apologies to those who were looking forward to this.