Exhibition - December 31, 2011 - February 7, 2012 • Midland Arts and Antiques Market, Indianapolis

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mike - Blog IV

The subject matter of this work in progress has so far reflected on my life growing up in a small town.  I have tried to be somewhat brief in describing my background and family in various activities.  The main focus of these blogs and the images provided will be to communicate how I have felt on the times that I have returned to the town.

None of my family has lived there for quite some time as my mother passed away in the early 1990s.  There have not been any childhood or school friends that I have had any contact with, basically since I left at the age of 20 when I was going to college. 

There has been very little reason to visit the town other than sometimes passing through on the way to other cities in northern Indiana.  Several years ago, one of my two brothers had contacted me to tell me that our neighbor who was a very close friend to our family while we were growing up had passed away.  I went to his calling to visit with his family and share memories.  Our neighbor was "Mr. Middle America."  He was everything you could think of that represented the best of the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

On the way home, I stopped to see my best friend from Hartford City who lived in an even smaller town close by.  Later that year, he was killed in a car accident.

And I returned once again to my hometown to speak at my best friend's funeral.

These thoughts and reflections are primarily of a personal nature.  However, most of this blog will also deal with the changes in the city itself in the past thirty to forty years.  Like many small towns across our country, Hartford City enjoyed a boom and growth in the years after World War II.  New houses at the edge of town were built, industry and businesses on all four streets around the Courthouse flourished.  I recall that for many years, much of the county fair was held on these four streets, with all the games, concessions, and some rides lighting up the night sky. 

As we now know those times that we thought would last forever, did not.