Archives for posts with tag: Indiana University

I’ve spent the afternoon reading Noah Adams’ memoir about achieving  his wish in his 50’s to play the piano. I had my favorite Hoagy Carmichael c.d. playing and I became nostalgic for those simpler days in Bloomington as a student, haunting the coffee shop across from the IU Law School where Hoagy was said to compose “Stardust.”

Hoagy Carmichael Statue

Hoagy Carmichael Statue (Photo credit: StevenW.)

IU pays tribute to Hoagy with a small museum, one that I visited and wrote about for The Beacher at least a dozen years ago [it seems] and bought the c.d. I listened to earlier.  And another Hoosier, Cole Porter, just shows how much class our state of Indiana has!

As I looked out my window, inky, blue-black, angry-looking clouds hover over the northern horizon, coming from Flagstaff. We are to get snow by Saturday, my neighbor said.

I miss Bloomington, and I miss the midwest. Maybe the snow will make me feel more like home. I don’t miss Chicago–I don’t miss their machine politics, their new mayor,  nor do I miss the jackhammer racket that I heard while waiting for our architectural tour boat to head upstream along the Chicago River.

I looked at a class B rv this morning. The price was certainly right, but the poor thing is 40 years old. I want something that I can use here in Arizona as well as a second home and transportation back to the midwest for visiting relatives and the beach I dearly love. When I was back in Indiana in September, my friend Miff let me know that she traded her old van camper for a newer Road Trek. Miff put plenty of miles on her former van, and I rode along on a trip or two and even helped drive it, easily. Miff has put plenty of miles on her life to date. She is twice as old and then some as the class B I looked at this morning. Wish I knew she was getting a new one–I might have bought the one she traded in. She stayed in it here at Dead Horse Ranch State Park several years ago. Her cat wandered off while there and heartbroken, she had to move on without him. I often wonder if I see his ghost when I drive around Cottonwood at night.

Main thing I did today was to get out the Eastern Orthodox cross my mother bought for me years ago. She was disappointed that I could not accept it from her since I had fallen away from the church. As it was, I already owned a smaller cross, safely tucked into my jewelry box. But this one, the big chunk of silver she had specially ordered from a silversmith in Jackson, Wyoming is absolutely stunning. It has more meaning to me now.  She had it blessed, and she left it in her dresser for me to find  after she died. I think maybe she has been nudging me from the other side to come back to the fold. And, after I received an extremely insensitive email from a former friend earlier this week, I decided it was time. I suppose I had an epiphany:

God bless the 8% of women who decided to go ahead with their pregnancy after learning that their prenatal testing showed they would have a child with Down Syndrome. Eight percent! And shame on those self-proclaimed strong women, the 92%, who chose to terminate their pregnancies. You tell me who is the stronger woman.

Could say more, but I’ll stop here.

Ernie Pyle home

Imagine my surprise when I found an Ernie Pyle book at the Clarkdale, AZ library. Oh wait. You can’t. I don’t often talk about my fondness of Ernie Pyle’s work, and unless you are an Indiana newspaperperson or read the newspapers during World War II, you might not have heard of him.

Years ago I visited this famous Hoosier’s home in Dana, Indiana, which as I remember was Northwest of Terre Haute. But his home in town was not his true boyhood home–he lived in the country during his earlier years. And years before ever visiting Dana, I planned my future destiny by imagining myself writing news copy at Ernie Pyle Hall at Indiana University’s campus. When in high school, I did spend a week at Ernie Pyle Hall during a journalism conference. When I was a freshman at IUB, I started as a journalism major but changed over to Slavic Studies. It was a dumb move on my part and I suffered four years of hard studying because of it. But then, I digress.

I own an original copy of Ernie Pyle’s War, when the journalist served behind the lines writing about the soldiers he met and lived with during those terrible years. Now I can read Ernie’s take of his stay in the southwest. His “nephew” Bob Bales penned the book’s illustrations. All this feels like discovering an old friend among the stacks of books in the little Clarkdale library.

I will leave you today with this quote from Ernie:

“Phoenix and Tucson do not seem to me to be part of the southwest. They are too Chamber-of-Commerce, too resort. You might as well go to Miami Beach as to Tucson.”