August 12, 2013 by Reader's Connection
I have visited only 20 of the sites that the late Earl L. Conn photographed and described for My Indiana : 101 Places to See (2006).
On the world’s kindest grading curve, I’m not passing.
And I’m counting my visit to the Culbertson Mansion in New Albany, though I parked in front and never walked in. It probably wasn’t opened to the public at the time of day I parked there.
Fixing this situation isn’t as easy as it may seem. I would like to visit the Marion National Cemetery, for example, but would my family want to make that trip?
Beginning with the burial of a Civil War veteran in 1890, this cemetery has been the resting place for the veterans of many wars.
[Director Brian G.] Moore says it’s expected the Marion burial ground of nearly forty acres will be filled by 2045 at the present rate of around five burials a week. “Then we will probably get more land expansion.”
Five burials a week. I find this moving, but do my sons want to spend time wandering there?
In 2009, Mr Conn released a follow-up book, My Indiana: 101 More Places to See, and I’m not doing any better in that one. (If I once bailed a friend out of the Boone County Jail in Lebanon, does that count as a visit to the Boone County Courthouse?)
To be honest, though, I enjoy just reading about these places.
“A lot of smart young people have come out of Indiana. The smarter they are, the faster they come out.” That’s a famous George Ade quote. Chicago journalist Mike Royko once used it in a grouchy column about what a stupid state Indiana was. But Ade himself, who worked in Chicago, and whose writings actually made him wealthy, returned to Indiana and built a house called Hazelden, near Brook, where he hosted literary figures and presidential candidates.
I may never visit Hazelden, but I’m glad that Earl Conn visited, glad he drove all over the state, taking notes.