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October 12, 2017 • Headline News
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Residents honored at Chamber event

Wanda English Burnett

The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner was an 80’s themed evening where Jane Rogers, Harley Robinson, Gloria Borgman and Bobby Plump, were all celebrated.

Ripley County Chamber Meeting and Awards DinnerWANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Pictured from left, Jane Rogers, was recognized as Educator of the Year; Bobby Plump as Hometown Hero; Gloria Borgman as Citizen of the Year and Dr. Harley Robinson as Business Person of the Year at the Ripley County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner. The event was held at the St. Florian, Osgood.

The St. Florian at Osgood was the setting with colorful decorations including some who came dressed in their 80’s best as the invitations suggested.

The evening flashed back to the 1980’s complete with a dueling piano show called ‘Fun Pianos!by 176 Keys’, which kept true to their advertisement of keeping the crowd literally on their toes. The evening was everything it promised with two special “Mystery Time Capsules” being opened. The winners were Lila Neal and Kelly Rea. They each took home prizes and gift cards worth at least $250.

Best Dressed Contest went to Dr. Harley Robinson and staff from his office who were dubbed the “Do-Whopp” girls, who had neon colored guitars.

Educator of the Year
One of the most important parts of the evening is recognizing the people who help make the community what it is. This year, Phillip Hart, president of the Chamber, began the awards presentations with Jane Rogers as Educator of the Year. Rogers, who is the superintendent of Milan Community Schools, has an extensive background in education. She comes from a long-line

Cathy’s Corner

Cathy May

It’s just my opinion but…

When I was growing up in New Albany in the 1950’s, my world was very small. It mainly consisted of about half of the 1800 block of Shelby Street. I did have various excursions to my grandparents, but most of my time was spent on Shelby Street. Our next door neighbor was Mr. Hendrichs. A garden filled his backyard and he often gave us rhubarb as a special treat. He also had flowers along the side of his garage: Holly Hocks, Bachelor Buttons, and Black-eyed Susans. I thought Mr. Hendrichs backyard was fascinating and would sit on our back steps and stare into it for hours. Sometimes I would get a real treat and see a bunny rabbit eating the goodies in his garden. Bunnies really liked Mr. Hendrichs garden. Mr. Hendrichs liked bunny rabbits too. We had gotten a bunny one year for Easter. We had him a long time and mother was tired of taking care of him. Mr. Hendrichs said he’d take him. Take him he did - and ate him!

Next to him lived Aunt Belle (Hand). She wasn’t really my aunt but was a dear friend of my grandmothers. On the first day of May each year (May Day) my mother and I would gather flowers in a basket and leave them on her front porch. Then we would knock on her door and hide. I got so excited waiting for her to open the door. Waiting seemed like forever. When she finally opened the door, she would act so excited and pleased. I think we should bring back the custom of leaving flowers at someone’s door on May Day.

Mrs. Lemon lived on the other side of our house. She had a son Bobby who was younger than I and a daughter Betty who was younger than Bobby, so I didn’t play with them much.

My best playmates were twins, Betty and Teddy Daniel. They were my age. We did a lot of things together, including some things we shouldn’t. My mother tells me about the time Betty and Teddy and I went into a neighbor’s garden and picked all his tomatoes while they were still green. I don’t doubt my mother’s word, but I’ve obviously blocked this traumatic event from my consciousness.

I’d much rather remember playing jump rope with them in the alley. We chanted:
“Cinderella, dressed in yellow
Went upstairs to kiss a fella
Made a mistake and kissed a snake
How many doctors did it take?”
1, 2, 3, 4 and you kept on counting until we missed or our arms got tired.

Whenever I went into the twin’s house, their mother was peeling potatoes. Mrs. Daniel must have peeled a ton of potatoes in her lifetime! Sometimes she would cut off a slice and eat it raw. I tired it once. Once was enough. I did have one childhood playmate who was a boy and that was Tracy Joy. Actually there was a time when I thought being a boy might be better than being a girl. One day, I announced to my parents that from now on they were supposed to call me Billy. I put on a pair of blue jeans and went outside to play. It was a hot day and I was miserable in those blue jeans. So after about a half-hour I went home and changed into some shorts and decided that being a girl wasn’t so bad after all.

There was one neighbor when I was a little girl that I was a little apprehensive about. That was Aunt Ida (King). She wasn’t my real aunt either. She was sort of like a conjure woman. Whenever one of the children in the neighborhood had a loose tooth, the child would be taken to Aunt Ida and she would pull it. She had a knack about it. Whenever I had a loose tooth, I wouldn’t let my mother touch it, she had to take me to Aunt Ida.

The gathering place for the neighborhood was Cotton Day’s grocery store. He was located about ten houses from where I lived. I did have to cross Thomas Street to get there, but it wasn’t very busy so my mother would let me go by myself. At least once a day there would be something that Cotton Day had in his store that we couldn’t live without. Sometimes we went several times a day.

Occasionally Mother would give me a nickel to get myself a treat. Mostly I bought baseball cards with bubble gum in them. I wonder where they are today. They would be worth a fortune. I know I had a Mickey Mantle rookie card.

When I think back to those days growing up on Shelby Street, I remember how safe I felt. Those twenty or so houses were like living in a protected cocoon where everybody knew who you were and cared about you. My parents didn’t have to worry about me when I was outside playing if I was out of their sight, because there would be someone else who could see me and look out for me. Yes, in the 1800 block of Shelby Street, it was always a “lovely day in the neighborhood.”

It’s something to think about...
A diet is a short period of starvation preceding a gain of five pounds.

You can contact Cathy May at or write to her at PO Box 158, Versailles, IN, 47042

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