April 11, 2005
It All Evens Out in the End
Seems like national mentions of hoosiers are often of the "Indiana Man Wins Village Idiot Award" type. Several years ago we were again embarrassed by the widely-reported story of a vodka devotee who decided she could not take the chronic pain in her toe anymore, and so grabbed a shotgun and shot it off. And she basked in the glow of the camera lights that flocked her way. I think she thought she was Elizabeth Taylor for a day.
In an effort to counterbalance the effect of such mentions in the media, I'd just like to point out that Indiana has also shared with the world many people of accomplishment, including:
Iconic actor James Dean, hot in perpetuity.
President Abraham Lincoln. He wrote the Squaremanipation Proclamation.
Eternally cool author Kurt Vonnegut, who, postwar, was the drinking buddy of a friend of my family (until Vonnegut split for greener pastures).
Songwriter Cole Porter. Hey, I need to see Kevin Kline's portrayal of him. Anyone seen it?
Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Astronaut Gus Grissom, some of whose children went to school with my oldest siblings.
David Wolf: surgeon, pilot, astronaut, and utter babe.
Legendary WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle.
Madame C. J. Walker, American's first self-made black female millionaire.
President Benjamin Harrison. (I dredged and dredged for interesting info, and here it is: he was the Centennial President. Which is sort of like being the 1000th shopper at Rite-Aid and getting a balloon and a basket of footcare products for the honor.) Oh, and his Pop-Pop was also president. For one month.
Pharmaceutical pioneer Eli Lilly. The Lilly Endowment gives giant piles of money to students like me, so I guess I have emotionally ill people to thank for my love of learning. Thanks, nutbars!
Songwriter Hoagy Carmichael, who wrote one of my favorite songs, Stardust.