Notes From 5 Days In Indiana, September 2008

Cornfields in central western Indiana. Miles and miles of the roads had fields like this, each with a different sign advertising the seed used, like Con Agra. BigBizFarming, as opposed to family farms.

Bits from my Indiana notebook (*Sept 8-12, 2008): about 20 miles south of Indianapolis, the smell of sweet summer grass. I go through small towns where nice houses sell for 100-150K. Kendalville, a town of 10,000 people in northeastern Indiana is where our printing plant is. It’s got large trees, a number of beautiful parks, shady streets, and a 1/2-mile-long clean lake with a grassy park and huge trees on its shores—right in the middle of the town. I went swimming there one hot afternoon. Nice houses with front porches, many for sale. Trouble is, the young people have seen Paree and don’t want to hang around small towns. It’s reflected in the shops and restaurants, nothing hip, nothing new, I never did find decent food…college (De Pauw University) town of Greencastle, with grand old Victorians, but for some reason cops all over the place…there’s tons to photograph out here in middle America…sign outside church:

There is no God but Jehovah

And Jesus Christ is his son.

Come to think of it, that’s a lot of what’s wrong with the world: this or that faction declaring their way the Only Way.

Went into a bar in Greencastle, no they didn’t have any beer on tap; their selection: Bud & Bud Lite; Coors and Coors Lite. No thanks. Sun was setting, light waning, and there were dozens of places I passed up shooting…lots of Harleys, very few guys wearing helmets…Bach concerto somehow came on radio, with viola da gamba and harpsichord — rich music…hard to find real food, America is polluted with MacDonalds/Pizza Hut/Burger King scumfood…you have to suss out the occasional good one, like The Texas Roadhouse in Terre Haute, Hank Williams on the jukebox, Sam Adams on tap, 6′ rattlesnake skin on wall, bartender told me she’s voting Republican because Palin is a woman, no she didn’t know anything about Obama…the expensive restaurants in the area pour on the fat — cream sauces, big deserts, substitutes for fine cooking…I read something about the “indignities of air travel” these days. So true.

The prayers go up,

And the blessings come down.

These are towns in Indiana: Raccoon, Mexico, Brazil, Chili (not Chile), Peru, Kokomo..I detoured to go through Kokomo, just for the name. It’s a big tough town with a lot of huge shuttered factories with broken windows, and stylish 100-or-more-old brick buildings on Main Street…west of Kokomo, the land gets rich, black soil, lush fields…the Adams water powered grist mill, built in 1845, near Burlington, nicely maintained large red building…stopped off at a farm to look at a barn, young farmer walked around to barn with me; his father and grandfather had farmed the land, and he seemed content and together; good vibes…there’s a brotherhood of barn lovers throughout the world,,,

Barn, field of soy beans. Indiana Sept. 11, 2008

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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