The Times photo by Betsy Reason
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (left) chats with State Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson (red scarf) and her Statehouse pages during her final Adult Page Day at the Statehouse.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (left) chats with State Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson (red scarf) and her Statehouse pages during her final Adult Page Day at the Statehouse.
It was an unseasonably warm, sunny day as we parked our car in a downtown Indianapolis parking garage and walked across the street to the Indiana Statehouse.
We snapped photos outside the Statehouse’s east entrance of the bronze statue of Indiana’s Civil War Gov. Oliver P. Morton and of this beautiful and most impressive state capitol building that we were about to enter for the first time.
We were among the 60,000 annual guests who walk through the doors and metal detectors to marvel at the majesty of this 19th-century Neoclassical structure, which opened 130 years ago and built for a cost of just less than $2 million.
But on this day, the tour would be more special than any other day.
It was the final Adult Page Day for State Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville). The representative for House District 29, who was first elected to the Chamber in 1992, announced in December that she would not seek re-election to the Indiana General Assembly but would seek the office of Hamilton County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
When she announced her Adult Page Day, I knew that I didn’t want to miss it. Richardson, who loves kids, also invited my 11-year-old daughter to join the Page Day, where there would be other attendees under age 21, including Jenna Schweikert of Noblesville and Matthew Baker of Westfield.
The day would begin by meeting Richardson in the beautiful Statehouse Rotunda, where I was among 19 Page Day participants, including the familiar faces of Noblesville Schools’ marketing director Marnie Cooke, Noblesville City Clerk Evelyn Lees, Hamilton County wellness community wellness coordinator Gloria Del Greco, Steve and Linda Shaw, Nyla Kester, Myrna Thompson, Carol Ann Johnson, Becky McNichols, Sandy Lynch, Kirk Kirkendall, Charlie McMillan, and seven-time Adult Page visitors Steve and Toni Dickover, along with Richardson’s husband, Perry Williams.
We each received packets that included our day’s schedule, House calendar of Senate bills to be read and an “Indiana’s State House” booklet of photos and history. We also each received a beautiful House of Representatives gold lapel pin.
It was Richardson’s 26th year to play host to Adult Page Day, which was meaningful to both her and her Adult Pages, being that it’s her final legislative session serving as a House member.
She introduced us to Statehouse guide, Mindy Conklin, who led the tour, teaching us about important moments in Indiana history and pointing out historic grandeur around the Statehouse, starting with the art glass interior dome of the Rotunda, where eight carved marble statues, with mostly classic Roman features, stood in heroic size, to the original chandeliers in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom, which still looks like it did in the 19th century.
We strolled through four floors of beautiful corridors, along with legislators, Statehouse workers and other guests.
We visited the House and Senate chambers. On this particular morning, the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and The Military, chaired by Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel), was meeting in the Senate chamber. And on this particular afternoon, Noblesville Police chaplain Dave Nicholson was Pastor of the Day and led the Indiana House of Representatives in prayer from the House floor.
We toured the offices of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who greeted and interacted with us, talked about their jobs and gladly posed for photos. Governor Holcomb even invited each of the three youth to sit at his desk for a photo opportunity with him.
Richardson, who joined us on the tour of the Governor and Secretary of State offices, invited her Adult Page Day attendees into her cozy office area, while serving up a catered lunch with camaraderie and seating in the corridor.
Richardson’s Statehouse pages also took turns posing for photos with Richardson, and also posed with her in a group photo on the House floor, where we also saw State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero).
Before departing, Richardson encouraged her guests to write on a piece of paper what they most enjoyed about the day. I’m sure the letters were filled with lots of thank you’s for the wonderful day at the Statehouse.
Thank you, Kathy Kreag Richardson. Not only did we gain a better understanding of the role of our three branches of government, we enjoyed a wonderful, rewarding and educational day. And it was most special because of you.
-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. See more photos by visiting The Times Facebook page.