Category Archives: Indiana

And it’s gone: 3490 Bluff Road

3490 tower

I’m startled that, after I¬†finally made a pilgrimage to 3490 Bluff Road, it’s now gone.

A few weeks back in this spot, I talked about visiting 3490 Bluff Road this fall. The address, on Indianapolis’ south side, was for decades the studio of WTTV 4, the independent TV station that was the home of Dick the Bruiser and other wrestlers, kids’ show hosts Cowboy Bob and Janie and late-night horror host Sammy Terry.

I just got around to going to see the station building, which hadn’t been used in a decade and had been for sale for several years … and now it’s gone.

3490 addy sign

The Indianapolis Star reported recently that 3490 Bluff Road was demolished.

It’s no more.

I’m glad I got a chance to check it out before it was gone.

iPhoneography: More on the Ski-Hi Drive-In

ski hi tower concession april 2013

About a year ago I wrote about and posted some pictures of the Ski-Hi Drive-In, my community’s shuttered but last remaining drive-in theater – remaining, at least, in the sense of the shell of the screen tower and dilapidated concession stand/projection booth remain in place, where two highways meet north of Muncie.

Since that time I’ve talked to the owner of the property for an upcoming story for publication in my real job. He encouraged me to go onto the property and take pictures, so I thought I would share some here.

ski hi screen tower april 2013

The back of the screen tower, which greeted patrons – and now looms over passersby – is in pretty rough shape. The owner told me there was an apartment at the base of the tower that someone once lived in.

ski hi screen april 2013

It’s not that hard to imagine – and, for me, remember – movies playing out on the big screen framed by the Hoosier night sky.

ski hi longshot screen april 2013

You can still make out the earthen ridges made to elevate the front ends of patron’s cars, trucks and vans.

ski hi concession side april 2013

The concession stand exterior, with the expected graffiti.

ski hi broken door april 2013

The door broken in the past few years by intruders.

ski hi concession april 2013

The concession stand is still recognizable, but has put up with a lot of abuse from vandals, the elements and years of neglect.

I’ll update you when I know something about the fate of this once-grand old drive-in movie theater.

iPhoneography: The cemetery in winter

beech grove military

Maybe it’s laziness. Maybe it’s the lack of good subjects. Maybe it’s my winter fatigue. But I haven’t taken all that many iPhone photos lately and haven’t shared any here.

beech grove rows

So I thought I would share a few that I took with my iPhone a couple of weeks ago.

beech grove branches

We’re only just now getting out of the grip of winter, but to have a snow like this in March was out of the ordinary. So I thought a trip to Beech Grove Cemetery here in Muncie, Indiana, would make for some nice photos.

beech grove solo

Regular readers know I love old cemeteries. They’re wonderful spots for photography.

Turns out they’re pretty good for wintertime pictures as well.

 

iPhoneography (and otherwise) Falls of the Ohio fossil beds

The Falls of the Ohio State Park, on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, is a beautiful place. The river runs between the park’s starkly modern interpretive center and downtown Louisville.

Along the river are 390 million year-old fossil beds dotted with millions of tiny animal and plant remains embedded into rock as well as tiny tidal pools full of water from the river.

There’s an otherworldly feel to the landscape, with driftwood piled high on the Indiana side and the locks of the river on the other.

I’ve been a couple of times now and here are a few pictures, iPhone photos and ordinary digital pics.

Above is a digital shot of sunset along the river.

I love the contrast of tidal pools and the city in the background.

 

iPhoneography: Winchester, Indiana

Here’s another of our periodic looks at communities as seen through my iPhone.

This time: Winchester, Indiana.

The county seat of Randolph County, Winchester has about 5,000 residents. It’s downtown has fared pretty well compared to many Midwestern towns. There’s a restored – and renovated – courthouse (above) and a fairly vital downtown core around the courthouse square.

The courthouse square is decorated, like many others, with memorials to veterans and past wars.

Some of Winchester’s memorials are beautiful.

And dramatic, like this doughboy statue.

There’s some slightly more modern weapons of war on display.

Inside the courthouse, a memorial to famous Randolph County residents. To me, the best known is probably director Robert Wise, who made “West Side Story” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

So it’s especially nice that downtown Winchester still has a working movie theater.

 

iPhoneography: Fall colors

I dread the onset of winter, but I really like a lot about fall: Halloween, crisp colors and the colors of turning leaves.

So here are a few fall pics I snapped with my iPhone while on a walk tonight.

 

Close up or at a distance, the colors are so warm they belie the cool weather.

 

Jet trails make a nice contrasting image.

 

Today in Halloween: Scaring trick-or-treaters

Because I lived in the country when I was growing up, I’d venture into the city and go trick-or-treating every Halloween with my cousins and some friends, who lived in a densely-populated part of town with what seemed like a bazillion trick-or-treaters.

Seriously, you almost couldn’t make your way down the sidewalk without tripping over some other pint-size goblin or superhero.

We did it every year, but one year in particular stands out in my memory.

My cousin, friends and I made our way from house-to-house, like we always did. I was at a disadvantage, as always, because of my mask. I’m pretty sure this year it was a cheap rubber monster mask of some kind, but the disadvantage came in because I had to wear it over my glasses.

As a kid who got glasses in the middle of first grade, I had grown accustomed to all the drawbacks of being a four eyes. But one of the worst was how anything that covered your nose and face – winter weather knit ski masks, for example, but especially Halloween masks – would make my glasses fog up.

So I was flying blind. Or walking blind.

My group walked up the sidewalk to a house much like every other house we had visited that night. But this one was different.

Inside lived someone who loved Halloween very much. That or a sadist who hated kids.

As we drew near the door, someone on the front porch pulled a rope and a dummy fell out of a tree in front of us. It was obviously a stuffed figure but freaked us out anyway. We turned to run.

But they weren’t done with us yet. The homeowner had stationed friends or, most likely, teenage offspring, behind bushes and trees in the front yard. As we beat a hasty retreat they popped out at us, yelling and growling.

We all ran like crazy. Some of us missed the sidewalk and burst out into the nearby street. Luckily cars were moving along at a crawl because of all the kids who were out.

I’ve never forgotten that night. I still think of it when I’m walking my son through our neighborhood and somebody has obviously replaced a stuffed figure in a porch chair with a living, breathing person, ready to jump at us.

It’s fun to be scared on Halloween. A little bit.