One thing many small towns do just right is celebrate holidays. Bedford kicked off its winter holiday celebration Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, with a variety of activities including a nighttime Christmas parade.
One of the great Bedford holiday attractions across from the Lawrence County Courthouse is the dazzling, multi-story 12 Months of Christmas store, which beginning next spring will be open year round. All photos by Ronald Hawkins.
In case you have wondered what happened to RDH Great Stories, we have been in the lengthy process of moving to Bedford, Indiana, in Lawrence County.
This is a beautiful city, far different from the Indianapolis suburban town of Mooresville, which has its own strengths. Bedford is rich in scenic beauty, history and tradition.
Bedford is the self-proclaimed limestone capital of the world. And if you drive down Ind. 37, south of Bloomington, you will quickly see why it has made that claim.
There’s even one mystery we are trying to unravel regarding the abandoned project to build small models in limestone of the Great Pyramid and the Great Wall of China. We’ve been told, since it involved federal funds, that it was abandoned after being declared the worst example of Congressional pork barrel spending. That’s understandable to some extent, but we would still like to see what remains of the abandoned project.
Still, there are lot more things to see and learn about. For example, Mitchell was the hometown of three astronauts including Virgil Gus Grissom, the second U.S. astronaut in space who died years later during the testing of an Apollo craft.
Grissom’s Mitchell connection is duly noted with signs and an impressive monument at Mitchell Town Hall.
If you drive north to Oolitic, you will find a statue of a nearly forgotten comic character. The statue is a part of a salute veterans.
The character is Joe Palooka, who was featured in an American comic strip about a heavyweight boxing champion, created by cartoonist Ham Fisher in 1921, according to Wikipedia. The strip debuted in 1930 and it was carried at its peak by 900 newspapers.
The strip was eventually adapted for a short-lived, 15-minute CBS radio series, 12 feature-length films, nine Vitaphone film shorts, a 1954 syndicated television series, comic books and merchandise, including a 1940s board game, a 1947 New Haven Clock & Watch Company wristwatch, a 1948 metal lunchbox, and a 1946 Wheaties cereal box cut-out mask. In 1980, a mountain in Pennsylvania was named for the character, according to Wikipedia.
After a 63-year run, it ended Nov. 24, 1984. The impressive statue, however, remains.
Least we forget, Bedford North Lawrence High School, led by star Damon Bailey, won the Indiana High School men’s basketball championship in 1990, when Indiana had only class in the state champship.
There’s lots more that we’ll be covering from our new base, but it seemed to be time to tell you a little bit about Bedford and Lawrence County.
The great All You Need is Love from Belleville, Canada, performs a Beatles song May 28, 2018, at Abbey Road on the River in Jeffersonville, Ind. The audio isn’t the best, but the video shows what dynamic performs these guys are. Video by Ronald Hawkins.
If you live in or near Morgan County, Ind., the event at 6:30 p.m. May 31 in the Monrovia Branch of the Morgan County Public Library, 145 S. Chestnut St., Monrovia, Indiana may be of interest to you and could assist you in preventing the youth around you from taking up smoking or helping them stop if they have already started.
The message below about the event described below iis from Jennifer Walker, executive director of Ready Set Quit Tobacco.
Have you ever wondered why youth start smoking, given all the scientific data we know about the harm from tobacco use? Surely, our youth are receiving messages about not using tobacco from their teachers and school administrators, little league teams, scouts and 4-H leaders, right? Indeed, they are!
While no doubt today’s youth are warned about the harm from tobacco use, including smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco and now electronic cigarettes, we have to wonder, “how do they get started using?”
With all the social issues we face today, why are we concerned about a seemingly insignificant thing like a youth smoking?
Here are a few little-known facts…
o Morgan Co. youth use electronic cigarettes at rates higher than state rates, with increases reported in 2016.
· o Electronic cigarette solutions can have very high concentrations of nicotine leading to impaired adolescent brain development, including susceptibility to addiction.
·o Tobacco use is a gateway drug, much like alcohol and marijuana. It works on the brain receptors of an adolescent’s brain that is not fully developed, leading that youth down the path to addiction, starting with nicotine addiction.
o Among current smokers in the U.S., 24.1% report illicit drug use compared with 5.4% of nonsmokers. www.in.gov/…/MH_and_Substance_Use_Disorders_October_2015.pdf
o If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.
Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides COMBINED.
You are encouraged to attend a Community Conversation about Tobacco Marketing to Youth
Keynote presenter: Kristinia Love, Executive Director, Morgan County Substance Abuse Council
Moderator: Ronald Hawkins, RDH Great Stories
Panel: Annabelle Hadley, 8th grade Student, Monrovia Middle School
Ted & Shelley Voelz, Co-Directors, St. Thomas More Free Clinic
Tina Jacob, C.H.E.S., Health Education and Volunteer Manager, Little Red Door Cancer Agency
Questions? Call Jennifer Walker at 317-306-1282 or email: Jennifer@readytoquit.org
Each year after the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture is announced, I immediately buy it, if I don’t already have it in my collection.
I didn’t see “The Shape of Water” in a theater, but my 4k copy arrived today. And tonight, March 21, I was treated to true cinema magic as this wonderful fantasy/science fiction/love story that even weaves a little sinister government “big brother” conspiracy into this amazing movie. And there’s a magical, musical segment that fits perfectly into this film.
Set in 1962 in Baltimore, we finally have a movie in which the creature has a happy ending. This film is almost an extension of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” but it is so much more.
I have a list (chiefly in my head) of movies that I call “Ronald” movies. They have a certain almost magical spirit that is so uplifting and inspiring.
The “Ronald movies” include Frank Capra’s “Lost Horizon,” “Field of Dreams” and “Cinema Paradiso.” There are others, but I am adding “The Shape of Water” to that list now.
Thank director/co-author Guillermo Del Toro, actors Sally Hawkins (no known relation), Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Doug Jones, an amazing artistic team and others for creating one of my all-time favorite Academy Award Best Winners.
Having finally seen and written about the most recent winner, we’ll be continuing our posts about the previous best picture winners soon.
The Library of Congress website is a source of vast information. One of the latest posts involves translating Mayan documents.
Here’s a portion of that story:
On March 13 and 14, an international team of linguists visited the Library of Congress to transcribe and translate, for the first time, the “Guatemalan Priests Handbook,” a rare and important manuscript in the Library’s Jay I. Kislak Collection.
Dating from the early 16th century, the manuscript is written in several indigenous Mayan languages. The visiting linguists, experts in the earliest Christian theologies written in the Americas, were Saqijix Candelaria Lopez Ixcoy of Guatemala’s Universidad Rafael Landivar, an authority on the manuscript’s ancient k’iche language; Sergio Romero of the University of Texas, Austin; Frauke Sachse of the University of Bonn; and Garry Sparks of George Mason University.