Even though Indiana borders Michigan, where I grew up and was educated (such as they could make stick) –I haven’t actually visited for any length of time. So today I offer my distinguished readerships some facts and two personal anecdotes.
Indiana is known in movies for basketball and football triumphs, cue “Hoosiers” and “Rudy.” Though only one President (Benjamin Harrison) called Indiana home, the state has produced six Vice Presidents. In Indiana, Lewis met Clark. Like Michigan, it has beautiful dunes. It also has a state poem, which I find to be a nice touch, especially as only four other states bothered to acquire one.
For military historians, Camp Atterbury housed 3,000 Italian POWs in WWII, who painted a beautiful chapel. Indiana limestone was used to construct the Pentagon. Twice in 60 years. Indianapolis is home to the headquarters of the American Legion. I joined the American Legion in 2013, across the nation at the Hollywood Post 43 –and had a small world moment. On the wall hung a picture of my Great-Grandfather Kelly from Michigan. He was a WWI and WWII vet and had been the national commander of the American Legion in 1939-40. His picture had hung there for seven decades, apparently just waiting for me to take a happy snap. (Of course I obliged.)
Back in Indiana, both great-grandpa and his son Grandpa Kelly were proud Notre Dame grads, so occasionally the family would drive to South Bend to watch football games. Touchdown Jesus gave the home team an advantage sometimes. But what struck me about this beautiful campus was the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
It was probably here where my fascination with sacred places began, places of peace and places of power. Grottoes are carved by water springing from limestone. Across cultures, water and the underground link us to other worlds; the Oracle at Delphi was connected to a spring, and the original grotto actually at Lourdes is believed to have healing powers. (Grottoes are also difficult to research using Google, as apparently one figures highly in a video game called “The Elder Scrolls.” It is unclear if either Apollo, or Our Lady figure in, although according to the Wiki, both Spriggan Sprites and Falestini Peepers play crucial roles.)
Final note… Indianapolis Opera. And you thought this post was going to be about agriculture and rusting industrial cities … admit it …