Wander project Basketball in Greenwood Indiana…


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Growing up in Indiana you learn very quickly about two things. The first is that everything is basketball. The second is why aren’t you playing basketball right now! Basketball is really important growing up in Indiana. It is less a sport and more a passion in the state. The boys played YMCA basketball when they were little (Jakki did as well). These pictures are from the practices back in the day. The YMCA, as I mentioned in an earlier post, was a frequent stop. It had great facilities in Greenwood. It probably still does have great facilities but we don’t live or go anymore so I cannot guarantee that. The YMCA had gyms as you can see in the picture with regular Rims (10 feet).

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The rims used for the games when kids were younger, were 6 and 8 foot. The rationale being let them experience the success first, learning to actually hit a shorter basket. Most kids in Indiana start heaving the ball at a 10 foot goal right away, some even before they can walk! (that is a joke). Team sports teaches children how to work with other people. It teaches you trust and how to cooperate with others. It teaches success and failure. The YMCA league was very friendly. I think my favorite thing was the rules they had for parents as well (no yelling at either children, coaches or referees).

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I know that my personal love of sports grew out of playing as a child. I realized at a very early age that I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete. I just didn’t have the coordination required. But I also learned to enjoy watching someone that could. Growing up in Bloomington Indiana in the q970’s I got to watch two years of basketball that shapes to this day how I watch a game. The regular season undefeated team of 1975 and the undefeated national championship team of 1976. Those teams played basketball at a very special level for an amazing coach.

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Family Historian

Wander project the dogs that journeyed with us!


Christmas 2007 (3)

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Part of our family history, part of the wandering of the family is the dogs that have lived with us, moved with us. The first dog we got as a family was not the best choice. His name was Blackie. I didn’t choose blockier. He wasn’t the best fit for our family and upon biting Jakki as a tiny toddler, Blackie literally went to live on a farm outside of Cincinnati Ohio. The next dog that joined us in Cincinnati Ohio was Gwen. Gwen actually moved with us twice. She moved from Shaffer Avenue to Willowcove in Cincinnati and then from Cincinnati to Indianapolis. Gwen was also a dog I didn’t choose, she was not a family dog, she was a bit eccentric and high strung at best. She was clearly a dog and very intelligent. But she was not a family type dog. The reason I bring up the first two dogs, is from then on I choose the dogs that live with us. It isn’t out of petty, or malice, just that I really wanted family dogs. You have to be careful when you are aiming for family dogs.

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The next dog to join our family was Fran. Fran was a yellow lab. I spent a lot of time researching dogs and based on what we wanted in a dog, the lab was the best fit. We wanted intelligence, kindness and a dog that would interact well with everyone in the family. Fran was born near Fort Wayne Indiana and joined us in the Summer of 2001. Fran actually moved with us from Greenwood to Maryland, and while in Maryland she moved from the house we leased to the house we bought. So she, like Gwen suffered through moving twice. Gwen lived with us until she was 15 years old. Fran passed away when she was 13. Fran was a dog that Jakki helped me pick. The breeder sent me a picture of the litter she had. There were three puppies that were not claimed. Jakki picked the lightest of the three as the dog she wanted. That dog, the lightest of the three in color, was the one that ran across the yard when we got there, and prompt bit Jakki. It was love and first nip!

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The next two dogs to join our family were from the Lab Rescue organization of Maryland and Virginia. First off,t hat organization is extremely careful both with the dogs they rescue and with the people they place those dogs with. Dylan joined us when we lived in the leased house in Maryland and he moved with us to our house in Germantown. Raven joined us in Germantown. Dylan was a dog we got to walk with me, a walking buddy and he has been that for the past 5 years. Raven was a dog we got for the boys. Jakki was recovering from Fran’s passing and didn’t get another dog until nearly 8 months after Fran passed. Raven however, has selected Barb and the boys as her people. By her people, Raven implies a level of ownership. She owns them, it is very clear.

Our journey to places has always been better because we had the dogs there, waiting for us when we returned. The best trips are the ones where the dogs can come with us! Virginia Beach Virginia and Oak Island North Carolina are the dogs two favorite places we have been!

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dog historian

Wander project above Greenwood Indiana, way above!


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I realized this morning that while I have shared the story and the pictures (some) of our small plane trip around Greenwood Indiana I had many more pictures to share than well, I had shared. Part of the goal of the family history project is to share the pictures in the many folders and get them out into the world. Even, and the even applies to many more pictures than I would ever care to admit, the pictures aren’t that good. These are ok, but there are many pictures to come of Greenwood from the air that aren’t of anything, other than from a plane to the ground. We spent about an hour or so in the air, and wandered all over the Greenwood Indiana area, by air. It would be a little harder to do that where we live now. More restricted airspace in the DC area. I think we could still fly over our house, but we wouldn’t be able to just fly.

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To clarify what I mean by or meant above by saying just fly, we had no flight plan before we arrived. We had a rough idea of where we wanted to be and what we wanted to see, but it was not filed with the FAA> Based on the various (and there are many) restricted air spaces with 40 miles of our house we would have to file a flight plan.Just like in boating, when you wander into the wrong place it is best to have a really good excuse for why you suddenly are where you aren’t supposed to be. It seems funny now to look back and look down upon Greenwood. That was home from 1999 to 2011. Just as Cincinnati was before that and Bloomington before that. Before Bloomington I lived in Chicago so the path south had begun!

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St Thomas from the air

I have in the course of my business travels accumulated over 1,000,000 miles flown. That seems like a huge number but it really isn’t. Looking down at the world from far above teaches you that the greatest works are tiny and that everything is beautiful you just have to find the angle to view it, to see the beauty. I miss the proximity of family we had in Indiana. We were down the street from my sisters, Barb’s folks lived just 25 miles away and my other sister and parents were just 45 miles away. It seems now a time lost. Indiana is the past now. Just like Lake Ripley and Vernon Hills (just outside Chicago) are the past. We move ever forward.

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Family Historian

Wander project Tallahassee Florida…


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In 2005 we wandered off to visit family in Tallassee Florida. Barb’s brother moved there a few years before that and Barb’s Parents had moved there a few years before as well. It was about a 14 hour drive from our hosue in Indiana to Tallassee Florida, give or take an hour or so. Luckily that was in the days of Mini-Van’s with entertainment systems. The kids were able to snuggle in and watch movies the entire trip. We would start from our house and head down I-65 and then begin drive south and east. I think we tried over the years to cut time from the trip but with little kids you just went until they weren’t able to sit any longer and then you had to stop!

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Barb’s brother, and sister-in-law were building a horse farm at that time. The horses they owned or horse they owned were still kept at a corral near their old house. They were building a farm on 15 acres outside of town.  Jakki was excited, she loves horses! We also got to see Jay’s daughter, our niece Reed. The first time we went we wandered around campus a little (Florida State University is in Tallahassee). We actually didn’t head down to the Ocean (it is a pretty good 2 hour drive or so) but we did wander the college town and see what can be seen!

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It is always fun to visit with family. The horse farm is now long completed, these pictures are from 12 years ago now (2005). Jay and Elizabeth named the farm Colored Hares, which is really creative. They created T-shirts and sent those one year, they were really cool! About two years after this or maybe a little less Barb’s parents moved back to Indiana. Their circuitous route out of and back into Indiana is a tale for another day!

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Family Historian

Wander project spring baseball in Greenwood.


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One place where spent a lot of time was the YMCA of Greenwood Indiana. First off, Barb worked at the Y part time for a year or so. In that time she was working at the front desk and we got a free Y membership. She needed something to get her out of the house. It is fun looking back (this is them playing baseball) at Jakki and the boys in various activities from long ago. As we move towards an empty nest there are less things that need us involved, engaged and riving. We are now more passengers in the lives they lead, you know the passengers that sometimes are forgotten and left at Gas Stations. Or worse, not invited, because they are no longer essential. But that is part of parenting. I think of all the stages, to let go. Children have to, in becoming adults, trip and fall. I cannot be there with packing bubbles to ease every landing.

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They boys played baseball and other sports. The YMCA had a wonderful facility nearly right in the heart of Greenwood. Greenwood Indiana is actually not part of Indianapolis Indiana. Many years ago (I think we were back from Thailand) former Indianapolis Mayor and long time Indiana Senator Richard Lugar annexed the entire Marion County area into the city of Indianapolis and started cleaning the city up. The largest project was redoing the downtown area and honestly it was a successful project. Downtown Indianapolis is actually very beautiful. But Greenwood sits outside of Marion County, actually it is in Johnson Country Indiana. So the annexation did not make it all the way to Greenwood. It is the second or third largest community near Indianapolis.

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Baseball is a tradition, it is not unlike any other tradition, that belongs to the Master’s Golf Tournament. Baseball as we learned in the movie Bull Durham is a game of inches. It is a game of angles and moments. We learned that the boys don’t like sports at all. We also learned that Luke can hit right handed or left handed and pretty much with equal power. But the boys don’t like baseball, football, basketball or soccer. Not in a box. Not with a fox. They do not like sports Sam I am. They do like RPG’s however. Role, playing, games, which are a form of sporting and interaction games of chance, just less movement and actual physical activity.

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Family Historian..

Wander project the Indianapolis Zoo (and the Baby elephant!)


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One of our many trips to the Indianapolis Zoo. It is a great zoo, nestled next to the White River (that flows through downtown Indianapolis). Over the years we had memberships (and we didn’t have memberships) in the Cincinnati and Indianapolis Zoos. It was a fun activity to go walk around the zoo. As a family we have also been to the Dusit Zoo (Bangkok Thailand) and the Rostock Zoo (Rostock Germany). We’ve been to other US Zoos as well, but the last two are the furthest from Indianapolis we’ve zooed! Is zooing a verb? When you go to a zoo did you zoo? Past tense of that word being we zooed yesterday? We are zooing right now? Do you zoo while zooing? Did you zoo or did your family zoo and leave you at home? It is an interesting word and the one in Indianapolis was a fun place to visit!

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One of the things however, about zoo’s that I do not like is the ones that don’t treat the animals well. Cincinnati’s zoo actually also has a nature park that is in Northern Kentucky where the animals can go and not be on display all the time. I suspect that is a better model than always being in the show. I do worry about the animals that are always being watched. I know when someone is always watching me, it makes me nervous. I guess that is how a human can be zooed. Stuck in a situation where you are watched constantly until you crack. The Indianapolis zoo is laid out so the animals do have places they can go for time away from people, which is really important.

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The area shown in the two baby elephant pictures are the behind the scenes are at the Indianapolis Zoo. We got to visit there one day as part of a work group. You can tell by the ages of the boys (they are 2 maybe 3) that this happened in late 2000 or early 2001. It is funny to reflect that they are now 19. What lay ahead then seemed long, difficult and unpredictable. Now, looking back is easy. What was in a stroller now walks on their own. What once was small and needed mom and dad, are huge and frankly at best tolerate mom and dad. Per the boys the other day “Dad Jokes” are not a genre of humor. “Dad Jokes” (you need to spit the words out not say them, there has to be an amount of disdain as the words come out) are an abomination. Dad Jokes are the reason the world has to go dark every single day. Dad jokes suck the life out of the universe. Too bad I am still going to use them!

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Family Historian

Wander project Lake Michigan and Monroe Reservoir


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On the shores (of course! given my current wanting to be on water all the time). Some pictures from a long time ago. These are from the shore of Lake Michigan, circa 1971. Pictures that were taken by my mother! Normally pictures from that time period were taken by my dad. But these are clearly taken by my mom. In part because mom isn’t in any of the pictures. This would be lake Michigan near Racine Wisconsin. We didn’t often go out to Lake Michigan when we went to Racine. But this time we did. It looks from the bundling to have a cool but not horribly cold day. I really wish I have more about this picture. In just 3-4 years this picture will be 50 years old. I can identify all the people and I can tell you where the picture was but I don’t have a good why other than we were visiting my father’s parents. Dad and his dad (I’ve been told) were really close. My grandfather Andersen was a soldier who served in the US during WWI. He was not shipped to Europe. But was still in the cavalry! During the first war to end all wars.

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Two things to note, first off not all the pictures are on the shore of Lake Michigan. Second a most of these pictures were scans not of slides but of physical pictures printed on Kodak paper! You can tell by the edges, the scanner due to the nature of the pictures cannot always tell which is scanner bed, which is picture edge and so you get the slight boxing on two or three sides of the image when you scan them. It is fun always though, to gather in the random nature of the images scanned. Over the years people take them out of the boxes and view them, they are never in the order captured. But the other thing to remember is in the days of film cameras a roll of 24 might cover two, three or even four family history events. Where now we take images from one event with a digital camera we didn’t do that with film as often.

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More images of the past. More water to, traveling away from the original pictures that were Lake Michigan, now we are looking at Lake Monroe as it was in roughly 1970 or so. The lake is vastly different now, than it was then. The Army Corps of engineers finished the earthen packed dam for the lake right around the time we moved to Bloomington. The lake began filling in 1966. It wouldn’t be at full capacity and full flood management capability until roughly 1973. But that was yet to be in the picture. Finally there are a bunch of B&W pictures to share. They are of my much younger sister and I, I would give the year. She is much younger than I am as you can tell from the pictures. The one I am sharing on both my blogs this morning is my all time favorite picture of my sister and I with our dog Anna.

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Family Historian