Visual & Performing Arts (VPA), a program that provides musical theater and visual arts opportunities for students in Wabash County year round, is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has experienced some changes this year.
One major change is that VPA is now a part of the Honeywell Foundation Educational Outreach Program. Judy Ward, coordinator of VPA, continues in her role of leading the program and now collaborates with Teresa Galley, Educational Outreach Manager at the Honeywell Foundation. VPA provides musical theater and visual arts opportunities for Wabash County students completing grades 3-12 each summer. For three weeks, June 2-20, VPA Summer Theatre will be held daily with performances on June 20-22. All theater rehearsals and performances will be at the Honeywell Center.
by Kalie Ammons
While some people may have heard of the underground water supply that supports Wabash County, many don’t realize where it comes from, how it got there, or how much longer Wabash can survive off of it.
To get these questions answered, The Paper contacted the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“It’s just a real large formation of sand and gravel and water travels through that,” said Joe Updike, NRCS District Conservationist.
The “it” Updike is referring to is the Teays Valley, a huge underground pit that, as Updike said, is mostly filled with gravel and sand, but water filters to the bottom.
Many locals are under the impression that the Teays Valley is an underground river flowing through Wabash, however Dr. Jack Wittman, principal hydrogeologist at Intera Inc., says that’s not the case.
“This is a funny situation, because it used to be a river,” Wittman said. “Now it’s buried. It was, in fact, the Teays River. It’s a valley that was carved out by the Teays River. It actually was in about the same location as the Wabash River is right now, until the Wabash turns to the south at Lafayette. It’s a little bit to the north of the current Wabash River.”
While the word “valley” may conjure up an image of an exaggerated puddle, don’t worry: the Teays is not running out anytime soon.
by Eric Stearley
Downtown Wabash continues to be a hot spot for the entrepreneurial spirit with the opening of Filament Tattoo Company on Market Street Friday, April 4. It’s clear from the moment you walk in the door that this is not your typical tattoo shop.
Owner Matthew Haynes has been a pastor for the past 15 years. When Calvary Baptist Church closed in January, Haynes was out of a job and decided to go in a different direction.
“I decided I wanted to do something to stay in the community, because we really like Wabash,” said Haynes. “I’ve run businesses before, but I thought, ‘I love tattooing, and I love people, and I love Wabash, so to tie it all together, this would be a good thing.’”
Haynes has been helping out at Studio B Tattoo in Marion for the past couple years, which is where he met tattoo artist and Wabash native Roger Price. Haynes knew he wanted to be downtown, “just because of the vibe,” and when he came across the old bingo hall adjacent to Rock City Café and found out it was for rent, he jumped on the opportunity. In just two weeks, Haynes, along with many helping hands, transformed the smoky old bingo hall into a beautiful creative space.
“It was just a cool looking, massive, giant room, with brick walls and tin ceilings,” Haynes said.
After a deep clean, several coats of paint, construction of booths, and placement of a few giant Filament Tattoo Company logos on the walls, another downtown storefront was transformed from a vacant space into a place for art and community. The shop has three booths for tattooing and a piercing room, as well as an inviting lobby for patrons to meet, decide upon new artwork, and wait in anticipation for their turn in the chair.
Haynes is licensed to tattoo, but mostly leaves the artwork up to the professionals. Price has been tattooing professionally for five years, but anyone who knows him also knows that he’s been tattooing as a hobby for many more – eight more to be exact. On opening day, he gave the shops first tattoo to his brother David. The two made a deal; David got to be first in the chair and get a free tattoo, but Roger got to decide what it would be. He chose the shop’s logo, an old-school filament light bulb.
by Eric Stearley
The main attraction at April’s First Friday Art Walk was the Wabash County Museum’s Grand Opening of the Charles R. Showalter Gallery. Along with Chamber of Commerce representatives and a large group of community members, Mr. Showalter’s son, John, and his family, were in attendance to cut the ribbon and officially open the gallery.
The gallery will be a permanent installation in the museum. It was designed to showcase the work of Wabash County artists, and will feature new artists each quarter.
The Showalter name has a long history in Wabash. Charles R. Showalter was the son of two-time Wabash County Mayor Homer T. Showalter. Described by his grandson, John, as a gregarious, glad-hand politician and “Mr. Wabash,” Homer Showalter was a great promoter of the city, county, and state.
Growing up in his family’s home on Sinclair Street, Charles Showalter was the “black sheep” of the family, according to John. He left Wabash as a young man, traveling to Chicago to pursue his passion for art. After returning from military service, Showalter began working with Haddon Sundblom, creator of the original “Coca-Cola Santa Claus.” Showalter gained recognition as Sundbloms’ protégé, continuing to work on future Coca-Cola Santas. In addition, he created advertisement illustrations for Sealy mattresses and Hush Puppies Shoes. He was also the man behind the poster for the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” film and the designer of the first Coppertone Baby.
by Eric Stearley
On Saturday, March 29, classic rock cover band The Prime Suspects played a four-hour show at Harry’s Old Kettle Saloon. At the stroke of midnight, co-owner Judy Kilmer and rhythm guitar player Richard Leach celebrated their birthdays together.
“I’ve never met someone with the same birthday as me,” said Leach. “I know Eric Clapton’s birthday is the 30th.”
Clapton was one of many artists covered by the band over the course of the evening. From Bob Dylan to ZZ Top, John Mellancamp to the Beatles, and R.E.M. to The Black Crowes, The Prime Suspects kept the audience guessing and dancing as they played into the late hours of the night.
Leach, a Wabash resident, played in different local bands in the 80s and 90s, including Late Night Arrival and Midnight Magic Band. He first met members of his current band in 1999 in Hartford City.
by Kalie Ammons
Those who say hospitality is dead have obviously never visited the Moose Family Center in North Manchester.
“Welcome! How are you? Can I get you something to drink?” are the first words a stranger hears from the generous group inside the Lodge.
Generous may in fact be an understatement. Since April 2, 1914, the members of the Lodge have donated to many local charities, all while helping to support the Mooseheart Child City and School located near Aurora, Ill.
Mooseheart was dedicated on July 27, 1913, after Vice President Thomas Marshall, a North Manchester native, spoke at a ceremony. Mooseheart supports children in need from infancy to graduation.
Adorned on the wall of the Lodge are pictures of two girls they currently support.
“We call them our Sunshine Children,” said Jerry Johnson, administrator of lodge #1518.
Between the laughing, poking fun, punch and cake, members viewed pictures of the families they have helped and are currently helping.
“We help support this house in Indiana,” Johnson said. “I believe there are nine girls all living there.”
The Moose Family Center 1518 is located at 207 East Main St., North Manchester, and is open from 12—10 p.m. The Moose is a nonsmoking facility.
Wabash Area Community Theater announces auditions for their next production, 1940’s Radio Hour, written by Walton Jones.
The time is 1942. Actors, drawn together as “wanna be’s,” prepare for their weekly variety show on a local New York City radio station. Several well-known songs from the era are included in the show, including “My Mamma Done Told Me”, “Blue Moon”, “I’ll Never Smile Again”, “How About You?”, “Old Black Magic”, “Ain’t She Sweet”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “I’ve Got a Gal from Kalamazoo”, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
The cast requires 10 men and four women. Try-outs will be Sunday April 13, from 2-4 p.m., Monday, April 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Tuesday, April 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Crystal Room at Honeywell Center.
The play will be performed at the Eagles Theatre during the Charley Creek ArtsFest the last week of June. The cast includes singing and non-singing roles. In addition to adult roles, WACT welcomes high school juniors and seniors who are interested in auditioning.
1940’s Radio Hour will be directed by Judy Ward and Charly Dye. Mandy Shull is the producer. Questions about auditions may be addressed to Judy Ward at 260-571-2279.
by Emily Armentrout
The Wabash County 4-H Horse and Pony Club will hold their inaugural ride-a-thon at Crazy Horse Arena on Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Amy Lybarger, member of the parent committee for the Horse and Pony Club, spoke with The Paper about what the ride-a-thon will hold and the idea behind this event.
The ride-a-thon “is a fundraiser for the Horse and Pony Club,” explained Lybarger. “We have to be pretty self-sufficient. Our club is one of the largest county clubs, with about 50 to 60 kids. We meet at the fairgrounds and we try to do as many improvements to our little spot of the grounds as we can. These improvements have to come out of our pocket.”
The Horse and Pony Club usually holds fundraisers throughout the year to fund their shows and the trophies and ribbons that the members receive as prizes, but they are hoping that the members can get enough sponsorships that the ride-a-thon alleviates some of that fundraising burden.
The ride-a-thon will be an eight-hour riding event, with different activities for the riders to participate in with their team members. Activities include musical cones, Simon says, an obstacle course and even riding blindfolded. Due to the event being held Easter weekend, Lybarger is even trying to figure out a way to do an Easter egg hunt on horseback.
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