From the EastWing, Counting Blessings, Without Electricity, Email & Carbide Lights, A Family Reunion & Drawing For The Prize, Snotty Noses Kleenex & COPD, The Little School House Up There On The Hill

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

We’ve all heard the old saying “Count your blessings”. Have ya ever counted yours? Too few have counted. Most have never even given it a thought. They’re a lot, you know, all your blessings, the ones you’ve received from God.

Now I don’t want any of my EastWing friends who say they don’t believe in God to get crazy on me here. ‘Cause even if you don’t believe in God, God will never give up on you. I truly believe that even after you’ve spent your whole life in denial of God, in the last smallest, smallest fraction of your life here on earth, you will still have an opportunity to meet God. As your life clock runs out of time, in that smallest fraction of that final second of your time here on Earth, and you  think “Uh Oh” and it means “forgive me father for I have sinned”. Then God will say “Welcome Home my child.”  Like I said, God doesn’t give up on you, even when you don’t believe in God.

With that being said, now don’t give me any carp here about you not receiving any of God’s blessings in your life. You may not be aware of it yet, but you will, someday soon Lord, someday soon. If you’re reading this, that’s one of ‘em.

Such thoughts about God’s blessings came to mind as the result of an email received a short while back from a part of the world that had gotten both electricity and internet service within the same year. Think about what I’ve said here, electricity and internet service, both becoming available into your life in the same year. Now are  you counting your blessings yet? If not, maybe it’s time to get started here. I’ll wait for ya right here.

Many people today  can’t comprehend life without the internet, much less electricity. The only place I ever knew in my life where electricity did not exist was at South Fork. All the time I spent at South Fork, electricity was not a part of life up there on South Fork, just outside Jackson KY high up there in the mountains. Looking back on such times, it didn’t seem to make much difference. Everything that needed to be done, was done. The day’s work always ended at dusk.   After the day was done at South Fork, it was family time for the evening. I loved the evenings at South Fork. We talked. We laughed. We told stories. We enjoyed the company of each other, we were family.

The South Fork Dining Room  was lit with two oil lamps on the table along with the carbide lights on the walls. For those who may not know about carbide lights. They’re gas lights. Much the same way today’s homes have hot and cold water plumbed into the walls, gas pipes were plumbed into the walls of South Fork.  Wall fixtures in each room could be lit to produce a rather bright light. Brighter than oil lamps, but not as bright as the 100 watt bulbs, the carbide lights lit up the night of South Fork. It was the light by which we told the stories of South Fork. It was by those lights that memories were made. South Fork memories, it was such a time.

It was a humbling experience to read an email from someone who’s encountered both electricity and the internet in the same year. We find ourselves so deep into technology that we never stop and count the blessings. In some respects, it came too fast, that technology. Never allowing us to adjust. Before we could adjust to the new, it became the old, and something new came along, then we went slip sliding away. Yet life went on, and we either kept up, or were passed by. Either way, we seldom ever stopped to count the blessings. Almost as if we didn’t have time to catch up or count the blessings. In reality, we had ample time to do  all three. Catch up, count the blessings, and oh yeah, smell the roses.

Do you ever go to family reunions? We do, every year. The King Family Reunion on the second Sunday of July at the community building in Star City IN. My mother’s maiden name was King. Yes, Mama was one of the Kings from Magoffin County Kentucky.   And so, to this day, we attend the annual King Family Reunion, come the second Sunday of the seventh month of every year.

Of all the original Kings who started this reunion, here in Indiana, only my Aunt Gladys is the sole survivor. Due to health and age, Aunt Gladys does not  attend the King Family Reunion. My Mama was the last surviving member of the original Kings to attend the reunion.  It sure feels different going to the King Family Reunion without my Mama. It just does. Precious memories, how they linger.

And so the second Sunday of July, 2013 found me and the She and all our babies in Star City IN along with nephew Kevin Trusty and his family as well as RJ’s friend Heather. We were a family of Howards at a reunion of Kings. We were glad we were there. We were in the midst of family. On that day, we all stood as Kings.

One of the ways the King Family Reunion supports itself is to have a raffle for several different prizes. Nice prizes, not just junk things that can be bought anywhere for $2.00, but nice prizes indeed. One could get  into the raffle  at $1.00  per ticket or 6 for $5.00.  Me and my boys, we bought in heavy.

We bought in heavy for two reason. One, being to assure the king Family Reunion had sufficient funds to continue to be the King Family Reunion and two, in remembrance of Mama, who always felt,  should her babies not win at least one major prize, then the drawing must be fixed. And so it was this 2013 reunion, we bought in heavy.

There were eight prizes for the drawings at the 2013 King Family Reunion.  Good stuff all. After the smoke of the drawings had cleared away, we took four of the eight. Mama would have been proud. The drawing were not fixed as Mama suspected every year whenever her babies didn’t win enough to suit her. I  sure missed Mama at the King Family Reunion that second Sunday in July, down there in Star City IN. Yet life goes on, and so does the King Family Reunion.

Have you had the snottiest nose in your life this year? I too fall into that same category. Don’t know why, just do.  Seems that me and the She have a contest to see who can blow their nose the most and use the most Kleenex . Most of the time it’s a tie. Must be something in the air. I’m so tired of buying Kleenex by the box, think I’ll go to Sam’s Club and see if they have ‘em by the case.

One of the realities of life in the EastWing is coping with part of my ongoing medical conditions called COPD, Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Without going into technical talk, I’ll just say “it’s a pain the  butt” I say that ‘cause breathing is so important in the everyday things ya do. COPD tends to obstruct that process. DUH!, hence the name. One of the down sides of certain parts of my education is knowing the detail workings of stuff like COPD. One of the up sides of certain parts of my education is knowing the detail workings of stuff like COPD.

Could that be where the saying  “ignorance is bliss” comes from? Oh well, given the two, I’d choose the education. Way too much time and money invested not to. Plus WOW! All the things I’ve learned about along the way. It’s been such a trip, and continues to be so to this very day. Just to think, it all started in a little Mountain School House in southeastern Kentucky  and ended up at the Ohio State University. Sweet!

Stay Safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Counting Blessings, Without Electricity, Email & Carbide Lights, A Family Reunion & Drawing For The Prize, Snotty Noses Kleenex & COPD, The Little School House Up There On The Hill

I Wish You Well,


Beverly Ann Troyer

Funeral services for 75-year-old Beverly Ann Troyer of Knox, Indiana are Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 at 10 a.m. CT at the M.C. Smith Funeral Home in Knox.  Visitation is Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Interstate 65 Reopened After Fatal Morning Crash


A Monon man was killed in a crash this morning that shut down both northbound lanes of I-65 near the Demotte-Roselawn exit just south of Lowell for several hours and sent two truck drivers to an area hospital. Jim A. Uildriks, 52, of Monon, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 6 a.m. wreck by the Lake County Coroner as a result of blunt force trauma. His 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck was behind a tractor-trailer driven by Richard W. Konrad, 59, of Indianapolis, which had stopped because of construction up ahead, according to the Indiana State Police. A second semi, driven by Paul J. Gottsacker, 51, of Lavelle, Wis., was behind Uildriks’ truck and did not slow down or stop. It hit and ran over the pickup before hitting the trailer of Konrad’s semi. Both truck drivers complained of pain and were taken to Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Crown Point.

Preliminary Autopsy Results Released in Starke County Plane Crash


The pilot whose single-engine plane crash landed at the Starke County Airport north of Knox Monday afternoon died of massive blunt-force trauma, according to the initial autopsy report. James A.W. Evans III, 68, of Stafford, Va. was en route from Virginia to Oshkosh, Wis. and was apparently stopping for fuel when his plane crashed at the south end of the runway around 3 p.m.. He suffered massive head, neck, chest and internal injuries, according to Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells, who says a final autopsy report will be made after histology and toxicology tests are complete.

U.S. 35 Bridge Project on Schedule

The old bridge just south of the U.S. 30 and U.S. 35 interchange just west of Hamlet has been removed and crews are now pile driving the area and getting it ready for a new bridge structure.

INDOT spokesperson Matt Deitchley stated that the project is extensive with the approximate completion date in November. The new bridge will be erected over existing railroad tracks which requires extra attention.

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Pools Tested Positive for West Nile Virus in Starke County

Three pools of mosquitoes recently tested positive for the West Nile virus in Starke County.

Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch told WKVI that the state was doing routine testing of water in April and May that may breed West Nile-type mosquitoes and three of those pools tested positive. He added that no human cases of the West Nile Virus have been reported in Starke County.

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Lt. Governor Visits Officials in Starke County

Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann was in Starke County yesterday to speak with elected officials and business and agriculture officials. She met with them at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox.

The Lt. Governor is on a “Listen and Learn” tour. She plans to stop in all 92 counties and speak to these groups of people to gather information on what is and isn’t successful in counties plus issues and priorities so a better partnership can be built between the individual counties and the state. She has already visited 27 counties, including Starke County, since she started this initiative in May.

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Local Schools React to ISTEP+ Review

No measurable negative impact occurred after computer glitches interrupted students taking the ISTEP+ test last spring. That’s according to an official review of the testing.

The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment was hired by the Indiana Department of Education to evaluate the validity of the tests.

Oregon-Davis Interim Superintendent Greg Briles argues the point that no measurable impact occurred at his school as 88 students were affected by the interruptions. He explained that O-D is a small school and those numbers are big when compared to larger schools – such as the Knox Community School Corporation. Briles says the impact is not comparing apples to apples.

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North Judson Town Wide Yard Sale on Saturday

The town of North Judson will hold a town-wide yard sale event on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a discounted yard sale permit fee from $10 to $5 for residents who register for the event. The town council recently passed a resolution decreasing the permit fee for the day and excepting the day from the total number of yard sale days allowed for residents.

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Pulaski County Food Pantry in Need of Items

Jackie Frain
Jackie Frain
Pulaski County Human Services has announced that the organization is need of a number of items in order to continue providing food to the community. Jackie Frain, director of PCHS, said the county-wide food pantry is part of its Helping Other People Everyday service, or HOPE, and is in need of canned fruit, jelly, peanut butter, bottled juice, powdered milk, break, canned vegetables, butter, margarine, eggs and cereal.

In addition, they are also looking for non-food items such as toothpaste, shampoo, laundry soap and diapers – items that are needed by the people they serve throughout the community.

To make a donation, bring your items to 115 W. Pearl St. in Winamac. Frain said she thanks donors and supporters on behalf of those who benefit from the donations.

Deadline for Miss Yellowstone Pageant is Tomorrow

The deadline to enter the Miss Yellowstone Pageant is tomorrow, so if you or someone you know would like to take a shot at the crown, now is the time to put your name in the competition. Tara Parker will once again be directing the Miss Yellowstone Pageant scheduled to take place during the Yellowstone Trail Festival. The pageant, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 at 11 a.m. CT, gives girls between the ages of 5 and 22 in Starke and surrounding counties the chance to participate and become Miss Yellowstone.

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Kiwanis Club to Ride for Rileys on Aug. 17

Riley Children's Hospital logoThe North Judson Kiwanis Club is once again undertaking a selfless endeavor as members will ride bikes for hours along the trails in North Judson, beginning at the old rest park off of State Road 10 at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17. Dave Altman, chairman of the event, told WKVI that the participants will be rallying up donations from members of the community, either a flat donation or donations per hour or per mile with all proceeds going toward Riley Children’s Hospital.

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O-D School Corporation to Hold Community Hog Roast

Greg Briles
Greg Briles

The Oregon-Davis School Corporation is holding a community hog roast on Monday, Aug. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the campus.

Interim Superintendent Greg Briles stated that this is free event for the community and several tents will be set up in the parking lot so parents or any resident can learn more about the school and activities. A DJ will feature entertainment.

The school buildings will be open for all students so they can leave their school supplies in the classrooms for the start of the school year on Aug. 14. Briles commented that this will lessen the load for students on the first day of school. Briles added that it will relieve a little stress on the school bus ride on the first day without the extra load of school supplies.

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Head Start Suffering From Federal Sequester

The federal sequester has caused nearly 5.3 percent in cuts to Indiana’s Head Start programs, and most of them are dealing with the reduction in funding by cutting enrollment. According to Cheryl Miller, executive director of the Indiana Head Start Association, that means hundreds of Hoosier children will miss out on preschool education and services come fall. A year down the road, kindergarten teachers will notice the impact.

“We’re going to have elementary schools that are going to be impacted by this too, because those children probably are going to come to kindergarten not having had any kind of high-quality preschool experience,” said Miller.

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Leon Jesse Sims

Funeral services for 63-year-old Leon Jesse Sims of Burr Oak, Indiana will be Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 at 1 p.m. ET at the Odom Funeral Home in Culver, Indiana.  Visitation is Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET and Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET at the funeral home.

Starke County Coroner Releases Plane Crash Victim’s Name


The pilot of the single-engine plane that crash landed at the Starke County Airport Monday afternoon has been identified. James A.W. Evans III, 68, of Stafford, Va. appeared to die instantly, according to Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells. An autopsy is scheduled later today to confirm his cause of death. Evans was en route from Virginia to Oshkosh, Wis., stopped in Knox for fuel and crashed at the south end of the runway around 3 p.m.. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


Kayakers Rescued on Tippecanoe River

Four stranded kayakers were rescued on the Tippecanoe River late Saturday night.

One kayaker called 911 after they could not continue down the river due to the lack of daylight. They were not injured.

Veteran Indiana Conservation Officer Jeff Richwine found the kayakers after following the description of their location. The four were located approximately a half-mile upstream from the state park canoe camp.

Ryan Helt of Rochester, Caleb Giddens of Indianapolis, Vance Feutz of Bloomington and Corey Wilson of Ellettsville were returned safely to shore.

Casting Call for “Little Savages” Turns Out Quite the Crowd

The casting call for the soon-to-be-filmed movie “Little Savages” turned out an overwhelming amount of aspiring actors to the town of Culver. James Simmons, producer for the film, said people came out from Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and all over the local area. On top of the local turnout, Simmons said they’ve already signed a number of actors of Disney fame to the film as well.

Simmons said they hadn’t been expected such an amazing turnout.

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Starke Council Approves Cumulative Capital Rates

The Starke County Council after a public hearing last night established the Cumulative Capital Development Fund and the Cumulative Capital Bridge Fund. New requirements from the Department of Local Government Finance requires that cities, towns and counties publicize and establish these funds on an annual basis. If these entities do not establish these funds, their share of the money gets split up among other counties in the state.

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Walking Trail at Winamac Park Closed Today

Entrance to the Winamac Town Park
Entrance to the Winamac Town Park
The walking trail at the Winamac Town Park will be closed today.

Park Superintendent Rick Dilts stated that crews will be resealing the asphalt for preventative maintenance measures.

He added that the sealant will take approximately 24 hours to adhere properly and foot traffic may resume activity on Wednesday. If that deadline changes, he will notify us to help spread the word.