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home : columnists : betsy reason July 23, 2017


Homemakers still cooking at the Fair
I remember years ago, when I worked at The Noblesville Ledger newspaper, and all of us reporters would meet for lunch at the Hamilton County Extension Homemakers Food Stand during the 4-H Fair.

It was in mid- to late 1980s, and the Food Stand was a little building at the Fairgrounds. The dining room was a big screened-in porch with picnic tables, and the kitchen was at the back and wasn't air conditioned. That original and first Food Stand was dedicated on April 25, 1971.

Saturday, July 22, 2017
What should I eat at the Fair?
When I was walking into the Hamilton County 4-H Fair on the first morning, Thursday, I listened as people in front of me were saying how much they enjoy the "smell of the Fair."

The fair really does smell good.

You can smell the horses, the pigs and the cows. It's like going to the farm.

Friday, July 21, 2017
Finding my 4-H Fair chair
It was the first year that I came to The Noblesville Times. And I was told that the newspaper would be renting a booth in the Commercial Tent at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

As a booth holder, we got an assigned space in the tent. We brought our own table, chairs, box fan, plus subscription sign-up sheets and daily copies of The Times. And a bowl of candy to entice fairgoers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Starting to look like a 4-H Fair
If you've driven by the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville this week, you've probably noticed that the big tents are set up, barns are open and the parking lot is bustling with 4-H'ers checking in their 4-H Fair projects.

We love the Fair and look forward to it every year. Maybe it's the smell of the horses and cows and pigs that fill the barns. Or the thousands of 4-H'ers projects that are judged and on display to the public

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Phyllis Davis is a tradition
Noblesville's Phyllis Davis won't ever divulge her age. But she will tell you that she's been playing the piano since she was 3 years old.

And that she has been playing for the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen Contest for at least 50 consecutive years.

The Times newspaper archives has her playing at the contest since 1968, a year that I believe she told me one time when I was interviewing her. In fact, she was honored in 2014 for 46 years at a celebration that included presentation of a wristwatch.

Monday, July 17, 2017
Family thankful for dad's legacy
For years, Bobby Mills would be out at his Field of Dreams, everyday, especially during the baseball season.

"It was his therapy," said Michey Mills of her late husband, who created a baseball complex of eight fully equipped diamonds that opened in 1999 next to Hazel Dell Elementary on school property on Indiana 32 in Noblesville.

Saturday, July 15, 2017
Fair Queen looks back
It's been an amazing year for Sheridan's Rachel Adams, who was crowned the 2016 Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen a year ago.

She joined the pageant competition, following in her sister, Courtney's footsteps, and to gain a "learning" experience.

"I had no idea I had what it took to be Miss Hamilton County, and I think that's why I appreciate it so much. It's a legacy....," said Rachel, whose photo joined pictures of past 4-H Fair queens that line the hallway of the Exhibition Center at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

Friday, July 14, 2017
String-Time series to debut on Square
You might know Janet Gilray as Miss Melody, a schoolmarm from Possum Holler who plays her old Martin heirloom guitar and sings "Antique Stories in Song" for kids on the second Saturday morning of the month at Old Picket Fence in downtown Noblesville.

Or maybe you've seen Miss Melody teaching school and singing songs in the little one-room schoolhouse in the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair.

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Learning skills at free rec camp
I want to begin by thanking Noblesville Schools and Noblesville Township for partnering to offer free recreational summer day camps again this year.

It's the first year that we've gotten to take advantage of the camps, and we loved them.

Usually, I don't find out about the camps until the offerings are already full, but this year when Facebook friend and fellow mom Tiff Whitaker in March gave us a heads-up that the camps were posted on an eventbrite.com link on the school district's website, I quickly maneuvered my way there.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Meeting tonight about the train
While I don't display a "Save the Train" sign in my front yard, my hope is that we can save the train, that is, our Nickel Plate Road railroad track.

I love to hear the whistle blow as it travels through downtown Noblesville. The train travels down the middle of Eighth Street, from Logan to Division streets. We're one of only five Indiana cities and towns where the train still travels right down the middle of the street, forcing drivers to share the road.
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Monday, July 10, 2017
Hey 4-H'ers, projects done?
It's already July 8, which means the Hamilton County 4-H Fair is right around the corner.

I know that because my 11-year-old daughter is scrambling today to finish up one of her projects, with the help of her Aunt Debbie.

This is our fifth year involved in the county's 4-H program. We spent two years in Mini 4-H, where we took Horse & Pony, Clogging, Collections and other projects. Then when my daughter was old enough, she joined the regular 4-H program.

Saturday, July 8, 2017
It's the zany Bryan Bishop
When Bryan Bishop gets on stage, he owns it.

But it wasn't always that way.

Three years ago before he played the Noblesville Street Dance, he confessed to me that he had always gotten really nervous when he about to perform in front of an audience.

"I did have stage fright when I first started playing guitar and singing in public," Bishop said.

Friday, July 7, 2017
Wafford is guy behind camera, movies in park
On July 4, Jim Wafford was the guy behind the camera filming the stage entertainment at Noblesville Fireworks Festival and driving his company vehicle in the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade.

He is the guy who plays the free Classic Movies on Friday nights at Forest Park. And the guy who annually live streams the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen contest and does live coverage throughout the 4-H Fair.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017
Connecting with our neighbors
Judy Poe from Old Town Noblesville wished a Happy 4th to her neighbors. Old Town resident Corinne Piazza invited neighbors to partake in hot dogs, popcorn and water while watching the Fourth of July parade from her house on Wayne Street.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Love the 4th in Noblesville
I always look forward to the Fourth of July holiday here in Noblesville.

I especially love the parade. I've sat alongside the parade route snapping photos probably only half as many times as I have been in the parade.

Years ago, we used to literally throw handfuls of candy to people along the parade route. Since then, the City banned parade entrants from throwing candy to parade viewers, due to safety concerns, but still allow entrants to hand out candy along the parade route.

Monday, July 3, 2017
A heart attack,but he's back Smiling as he returns to race
On July 4, 2015, Geoff Robinson left the starting line with runners in Carmel's 4.5-mile Freedom Run & Walk. But he didn't make it to the finish line.

He suffered a heart attack, "dropping, on (television) camera," at the 2-mile marker.

Robinson remembers that the race on the Monon Trail started as normal with no symptoms. His wife, Lisa, waved at him at the 1.5-mile marker and told him that he looked good.

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Getting head start on 4th
We are so lucky to have so many activities going on in our county celebrating Independence Day.

While many travelers have already hit the road to take advantage of a long holiday weekend, I will share what's going on here at home for those who plan to stay put.

On Saturday, Lights Over Morse Lake kicks off its four-day festival with food, petting zoo, kids carnival, live music and more at Community Park in Cicero.

Friday, June 30, 2017
Summer Fun Guide is here
While we have found so much to do already this summer, there are so many more things to experience.

During a recent visit to Koteewi Range in Noblesville, I met up during the Visit Indiana Rally for archery with 2004 Olympian Stephanie Amick of Fishers, a 1996 Hamilton Southeastern High School grad, who was offering archery pointers to Midwest Living editor Trevor Meers.

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Loads of fun at NPA picnic
It was Anita Landress' first time making cotton candy. She laughed at herself as she fought the wind making the sweet treat, which ended up more on her than on the cotton candy stick.

"You're the entertainment," I heard more than one parent say as families watched Landress make cotton candy on Sunday during Noblesville Preservation Alliance's annual Summer Picnic at Seminary Park.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Hit the Tenderloin Trail
After Vacation Bible School on Friday, I was getting ready to order lunch with my daughter and her friend, Chloe Zerr, at Noblesville Jim Dandy, when I saw the Wet Tenderloin on the menu. My former Noblesville Ledger editor Don Jellison loved the dish, so I thought I would give it a try while the girls took advantage of the lunch buffet.
Monday, June 26, 2017
VBS is still fun as a volunteer
I remember how much fun it was to attend Vacation Bible School when I was a kid.

When my daughter was old enough, I signed her up for VBS at the Noblesville First United Methodist Church. The kids praised God in song, did crafts and played hand bells. They wore a color of the day, devoured tasty snacks prepared by volunteers, and prayed alongside other kids.

Saturday, June 24, 2017
Why doesn't perfect attendance matter?
Noblesville Schools is nearly halfway through summer break, and I have a topic for debate that's still eating at me from the school year.

My daughter did not miss one day of class, nor was she ever tardy. She attended school every single day. She had perfect attendance her entire fifth-grade year.

Friday, June 23, 2017
Family keeps dream alive
Thanks to the late Bobby Mills, about 1,300 boys and girls, ages 3-12, annually play baseball on turf fields with scoreboards, lights, bleachers and dugouts. There are two towers, a concession stand, pavilion, restrooms, pitching practice area, batting cages and portable pitching mounds.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Picnic will help neighbors meet
We are so glad that the City of Noblesville decided to keep Seminary Park as green space for our Old Town neighborhood.

It is a place we love, and smile about every time we drive by or walk to the park.

We are happy to see events being scheduled there this summer. One of those events is Noblesville Preservation Alliance's annual Summer Picnic, which is this Sunday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
A plethora of food choices at market
Saturday was the first time I'd visited the Noblesville Farmers Market this season.

It wasn't that I haven't wanted to go. We've been busy.

This past Saturday, I decided it was time to go to the market. We left early enough to find a parking space in the park's Green Room lot at the former bank, which still conveniently has a automated teller machine.

Monday, June 19, 2017
Vietnam veteran sacrifice honored
A sailor from Noblesville, who died 35 years ago, is being honored today in Washington, D.C.

John Allen Brooks was a husband, a father and a Navy Corpsman serving with the U.S. Marines in the Vietnam War. He died as a result from exposure to Agent Orange.

His daughter, Emily Brooks, and her mother, Peggy Beaver, Brooks' widow, are attending the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund In Memory ceremony this morning.

Saturday, June 17, 2017
It was a 'Perfect Wedding' proposal
When Noblesville's Zach Buzan was trying to figure out the perfect way to propose to his girlfriend, Katie Gipson, the pieces slowly started falling into place.

What if Zach were cast as the bridegroom in The Belfry's "Perfect Wedding" comedy?

How perfect would that be?

What if he would propose to Katie right after the bows on opening night of the play?

How perfect would that be?

Friday, June 16, 2017
Bryan Clauson legacy will be honored today
Noblesville racecar driver Bryan Clauson would have turned 28 years old today.

But he tragically lost his life on Aug. 7, 2016, following a dirt-track racing accident in Belleville, Kan.

While the day is an emotional one for his family, fiancée and friends, his birthday will be celebrated in a big way both far and near.

Thursday, June 15, 2017
It all started with an old Chrysler
Nearly 30 years ago, Noblesville's Dave Shank bought a 1954 Chrysler, just for a hobby.

He drove the car in the Fourth of July Parade and the Noblesville Christmas Parade. Realizing that there were a lot more car enthusiasts out there besides him, he struck a deal with the festivals' organizer that if she would give him names and numbers of old-car owners, then he would organize all antique-car events.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Theater now our summer home
Today is the first day of rehearsals for The Belfry Theatre's summer kids production.

I know this because my daughter auditioned a week ago for Disney's "The Little Mermaid." The theater's Apprentice Players' production will present a total of eight performances the last weekend in July and the first weekend in August.

Monday, June 12, 2017
To celebrate or not to celebrate
I haven't really celebrated my birthday since I hit a certain milestone. But I will let you do the math.

When my birthday rolls around every June 10, it's always strawberry-picking time. This year, the strawberries, the first fruit of the picking season, arrived three weeks ago, due to an early spring.

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Osbornes honored in Museum opening
Steven Osborne pointed to a blue-striped cotton dress worn by his maternal grandmother, a dark print wedding dress worn by his paternal grandmother and a blue and white quilt that she started 70 years ago. He also showed a rocking chair and a top hat that belonged to this paternal grandfather. And vintage photos of his Osborne ancestors, a family Bible and an old shutter taken from the house of a family farm.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Memorial bench will honor Don Roberts
When we drive into the Noblesville Airport this Saturday for the annual June pancake breakfast fly-in, by habit, we'll automatically be looking for Don Roberts sitting on his favorite bench, acting as an official greeter.

He always flirted with all of the girls in his sweet harmless way. Especially the little girls, like my 11-year-old And sometimes, he would wear a red clown nose and make everybody laugh.

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Bed Race rolls out the creativity
This year's Darlington Bed Race brought out more creativity than I've ever seen before.

Noblesville Preservation Alliance, which had maids and butlers pushing a Victorian lady on a canopy bed, wasn't the fastest in the race. But the entry, which competed at a leisurely pace, was the most popular among the audience crowded along Ninth Street.

Monday, June 5, 2017
Last day of school bittersweet for us
Thursday was an emotional day. It was the last day of classes for the school year.

But this was more emotional than any other year. Because it was also the last day of classes for elementary school.

Yes, my 11-year-old graduated fifth grade at North Elementary School.

Saturday, June 3, 2017
Come out, support girls lacrosse tonight
I was so thrilled when Noblesville's Larry Palmer contacted me about Noblesville Girls Lacrosse.

He is volunteer board president of the Noblesville Lacrosse Club, which manages the boys and girls high school lacrosse programs. He is also the proud dad of a senior player.

Tonight and all day Saturday, Noblesville Lacrosse Club will play host to the Girls High School State Lacrosse Finals at White River Elementary Soccer Fields.
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Friday, June 2, 2017
Lions pork chop sign of summer
This week is one of my favorites.

While it's still another 20 days until summer officially arrives on the calendar, this weekend really feels like the beginning of summer here in Noblesville.

Besides today being the last day of school and the kickoff of the Summer Reading Program at Hamilton East Public Library, a big tent goes up today on the Courthouse Square as Noblesville Lions are setting up tables and chairs for the Club's annual Pork Chop Dinner on Friday.

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Saluting veterans on Memorial Day
Monday was a beautiful sunny day. Particularly for a Memorial Day celebration on the Hamilton County Courthouse Square.

It was the largest crowd that I recall. Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear voiced the same observation.

As I looked around at the crowd of people, there were families with kids, familiar faces from the community and a lot of veterans.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Bryan Clauson, we're thinking of you today
I know that I will find myself thinking of Noblesville's late Indy 500 racecar driver Bryan Clauson as I sit and watch today's 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis.

And again on Sunday, as we, in tradition, listen on the radio to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the 101st running of the Indy 500.

Saturday, May 27, 2017
Is it finally pool weather?
How many gallons of water does it take to fill a swimming pool at Forest Park Aquatic Center? Would you guess 250,000 gallons for each of the two main pools?

And how many hours do you think it takes to fill the two pools? More than a day? Actually 27 hours per pool, using firehoses hooked up to fire hydrants.

Friday, May 26, 2017
Seniors too busy to get into trouble
I love to hear about kids caught being good.

That's why I always try to attend the annual Hamilton County Commissioners' Youth Service Award ceremony when organizer George Kristo invites me.

The scholarship contest attracts some of the county's most impressive and praiseworthy seniors, each representing his or her school district, with the focus on recognizing outstanding service by drug-free youth.

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Bryan Clauson, we're thinking of you today
I know that I will find myself thinking of Noblesville's late Indy 500 racecar driver Bryan Clauson as I sit and watch today's 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis.

And again on Sunday, as we, in tradition, listen on the radio to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the 101st running of the Indy 500.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Never too tired when turning 11
Tuesday, we celebrated my daughter's 11th birthday.

We also celebrated her birthday on Sunday at Noblesville's Forest Park. And with her friends 11 days ago at the Hamilton County Sports Complex's A Plus Gymnastics Center in Noblesville.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Never too tired when turning 11
Tuesday, we celebrated my daughter's 11th birthday.

We also celebrated her birthday on Sunday at Noblesville's Forest Park. And with her friends 11 days ago at the Hamilton County Sports Complex's A Plus Gymnastics Center in Noblesville.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Kiwanians will decorate Square with 400 flags
I've said it before, but I always love to go downtown Noblesville on Memorial Day weekend to see all of the American flags flying around the Historic Courthouse Square.

This year, more than 400 flags will be flying. And our wonderful Noblesville Noon Kiwanis Club is to thank.

Monday, May 22, 2017
Easing the anxieties of middle school
I haven't cried yet. But my daughter has less than two weeks of elementary school left before she officially becomes a middle-schooler.

On Wednesday, she joined her fifth-grade class and took a tour of Noblesville East Middle School, where she'll be a sixth-grader this fall.

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Drew's new band to play fest tonight
I've known Noblesville's Drew Hawk since the days when he played guitar with the late Matt Wariner and would perform and hang out at the Noblesville Moose Lodge and The Sandpiper.

So when Drew told me that he put together a new band, I wanted to share it with our readers.

But first, I had to ask how he came up with band's name, Tone Lab Society?

Friday, May 19, 2017
Remembering Irving Heath this Saturday
Marilyn Heath is hoping that her father's friends and Noblesville "family" will come out this Saturday to celebrate the life of Irving Maxwell Heath.

Her father, a former longtime Noblesville resident, moved here in 1946 and joined the Noblesville First United Methodist Church. He was a founder of the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville and Cancer Services of Hamilton County and was a Sagamore of the Wabash recipient.

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Spring into Master Gardeners' plant sale
It's finally warm and feels like springtime. And that also means it's time for planting.

If you're as ready as I am to start planting garden and looking forward to eating fresh Indiana tomatoes right out of the garden, then you know it's time for the Hamilton County Master Gardeners' annual plant sale.

I can always count on Master Gardner Alice Overton to remind me about the plant sale, which is three days away, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Learning to appreciate motherhood even more
Growing up an only child, I could always count on spending Mother's Day with my mom.

And I did every year, until I went away to college. Then, being at home for Mother's Day seemed less important.

After college, when I was living on my own, sometimes I would go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch race qualifications with friends instead of heading home to see my mom on Mother's Day. I didn't give it a second thought because, apparently, there were a lot of other race fans doing the same thing.

Monday, May 15, 2017
Everybody plays, everybody smiles
Hinkle Creek Elementary first-grader Jackson Miller smiled as he watched American and checkered flags waved during this chilly Friday morning at Hare Chevrolet Field in Noblesville.

The 7-year-old competed in a 25-meter slalom, 50-meter run, long jump and softball throw with his peer and best friend, classmate Gabe Carney.

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Tour, market, park grand opening on
Let's try this all over again. I'm talking about Downtown Noblesville events that were on the calendar for last weekend but were postponed until this weekend, due to continuous rainfall, flash-flood warnings and safety of guests.

Noblesville Main Street's Upstairs Downtown and Noblesville Parks & Recreation's Salsa for Salsa event are happening tonight.

Thursday, May 11, 2017
The Pink Ladies are 'Making a Difference'
Noblesville's Linda Franck is all about making a difference. The North Harbour Garden Club member founded The Pink Ladies cancer support group after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
The Club was just for boys in old days
The Boys Club started in 1949 in Noblesville, a vision of the late Irving Heath.

Heath wanted "to have a place for youth in our community to go, to have a safe place and be surrounded by caring adults," said Becky Terry, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

The Club, back then, was just for boys. Sen. Luke Kenley remembers the early years very well.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
'Inclusion Revolution' celebrates all abilities
Noblesville's North Elementary staff members sing and dance through the school hallways and onto the playground. Teachers Dave Kimmel, Jamie Owens and Billy Fama, and school principal Robert Lugo, don their Beatles getups, including wigs and musical instruments.

A little crazy, maybe. But this staff-created "Inclusion Revolution" music video that will be played on the school's morning news program this week is a fun way to bring awareness to encourage "inclusion."

It's among dozens of activities planned during Noblesville Schools' annual Disability Awareness Week. This week is all about including everyone, not only this week but throughout the year, said Mark Booth, the district's director of special education.

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Scotland Art Exchange comes to City Hall
It doesn't seem so long ago that my fifth-grade daughter was in pre-kindergarten at Noblesville Methodist Preschool.

Cicero's Chris Holt has been a preschool teacher there for 25 years. But I've known her longer than that. She used to bring in theater news items to the Noblesville Daily Ledger when I was the lifestyle editor there, and she was directing plays at The Belfry Theatre in Noblesville.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Market to spring new park to life
Noblesville's new Federal Hill Commons is going to be an exciting place to be this year.

That is, whenever the rain clears.|

As I recall, it's always cold and rainy when the Burton Brothers Carnival comes to town and opens for business at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, next to Wal-Mart.

The carnival is in town through Sunday. Need I say more?

The grand opening of Federal Hill Commons, the city's fifth park, moved to May 13 due to rainy weather last Saturday.

Friday, May 5, 2017
Upstairs Downtown offers different view
If you're like me, you often wonder what's inside some of the buildings in downtown Noblesville.

On Friday, you can cure your curiosity by joining Noblesville Main Street's annual First Friday Upstairs Downtown Tour.

Main Street executive director Chris Owens said more than 350 visitors annually attend the tour which offers "different perspectives of downtown, maybe areas where they haven't been before."

Thursday, May 4, 2017
'Scoop of Thanks,' prayers and more
Today, I'm using my column to let readers know what's happening this week.

If you're attending Thursday's Noblesville Mayor's Prayer Breakfast at White River Christian Church, look for Noblesville Main Street's executive director, Chris Owens. The guitarist of more than 20 years will perform with the WRCC Worship team with Jay LeBlanc and his daughter, McKenna.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Janice Robinson is NHS Alumnus of Year
Janice Robinson couldn't have been more surprised Saturday night as she was named Noblesville High School 2017 Alumnus of the Year.

With tears in her eyes, she made her way to the stage, where she was presented the award by NHS Alumni Association president Tim Timmons.


Monday, May 1, 2017
NHS Millers come home
This weekend is penciled into my calendar every year. It's when Noblesville High School graduates from near and far come home to Noblesville for the annual NHS Alumni Banquet.

Those who were together for many years of school scattered after each graduation. Usually about 300 annually return for tonight's dinner and reminiscing at NHS.

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Dogs will strut in style, in bandanas
Noblesville's Jane Snyder sits at her sewing machine this week, finishing the last of more than 350 Bryan Clauson green souvenir bandanas for the third annual dog trot at Forest Park.

She made bandanas in four different sizes to fit the array of canines expected to participate with their owners in this Sunday's "Strut 2 Save Lives" fundraiser that brings awareness to organ and tissue donations.

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Courthouse gets its new Christmas tree
When my telephone rang at 7:27 a.m. Monday, I wondered who could be calling me so early. I wasn't surprised when I saw the caller was Hamilton County's building and grounds superintendent Steve Wood.

He wanted to tell me that the new Christmas tree on the Historic Courthouse lawn would be planted that afternoon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017



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