Last Call for Indiana Bicentennial Mementos

Indiana Obelisk!

The centerpiece of the Indiana State Museum lobby is the “Indiana Obelisk” –at just under fifty feet. the tallest sculpture to date by artist Robert Indiana.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: throughout 2016 my wife and I spotted and compiled a number of sights related to the 200th anniversary of our own Indiana earning statehood, nineteenth in a series of fifty, after Louisiana but before Mississippi, Illinois, and Alabama. Between this year’s State Fair and the one-time Hoosier Homecoming, we had ample opportunities to learn more about our heritage, celebrate the achievers who paved paths for generations ahead, reassert reasons for hometown pride, and transcend that one time Indiana Beach amusement park actually had as its official ad slogan, “There’s More Than Corn in Indiana!” Because once upon a time, that was a thing we had to insist.

Earlier in December we attended one last commemorative event: a temporary exhibit at the Indiana State Museum called “Indiana in 200 Objects” assembling artifacts and souvenirs from Hoosier celebrities, businesses, industries, and moments both famous and infamous. Presented here is just over one-tenth of the available displays — a selection of those that caught our eye, spoke to us on some level, and posed properly for our amateur cameras. Not every sight was a wellspring of unlimited positivity (one could argue for trigger warnings on two of these images for more sensitive souls), but even the darkest relics can illustrate how far we’ve come and help us gauge how much farther we have to go.

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The Indiana Bicentennial Bonus Bric-a-Brac Bonanza

Bicentennial jazz hands!

The nice lady at the Hoosier Homecoming photo booth used the green-screen tech and limited effects at her disposal to add little, economical Hoosier flourishes to yet another jazz-hands performance. This one’s for you, Hoosier State.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.

It all comes down to this: one last photo gallery from our Indiana Bicentennial extravaganza — not just additional sights seen around the Indiana State House lawn during the shindig, but a selection of other Bicentennial-related sights we’ve spotted around our fair state over the past five months. Happy Birthday, Indiana!

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The Art of the Indiana State House

Indiana State House Dome!

The State House is shaped like a cross. The center is a rotunda with this magnificent glass ceiling four stories overhead.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.

We’ve seen the capitol domes of several states on the road trips we’ve taken throughout the years. Longtime MCC readers so far have seen examples we’ve shared from Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Someday we’ll get around to representing our capitol dome photo from West Virginia, as well as the capitol in Washington DC, to say nothing of capitol domes we might catch on future travels. Last weekend we added to the photo collection and got a closer look at Indiana’s own.

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Notes from the Office of the Governor of Indiana

Governor's Boardroom table!

One of the Governor’s biggest office perks: a conference table with pizzazz.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.

Before the Indiana Bicentennial Torch arrived at the ceremonial stage, Anne and I availed ourselves of the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Indiana State House, our capitol building, where all our most intensive statewide management, decrees, and rulings happen. Some offices were locked and kept off limits; several were open and welcoming to us simple citizens, including but not limited to the Office of the Governor. American voters nationwide may be familiar with Mike Pence, its current occupant, but dozens of men have worked here since 1888, when the State House was completed.

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Hoosier Homecoming Photos #3: Bicentennial Cosplay!

Abraham Lincoln!

True history: li’l Abraham Lincoln grew up from age 7 to age 21 in southern Indiana, and our fair state will never let anyone forget it.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.

I mentioned in a previous chapter our mutual impression that the Homecoming was basically like our other conventions — one large building, famous guests, vendors selling wares, a main stage with events, musical performances by singers you don’t know, and so on. And it wouldn’t be a true convention without creative costumes. The State House grounds weren’t overflowing with them, nor were attendees actively encouraged to dress up in the brochures, but a handful of volunteers and Indiana history superfans added to the ambience and in a couple of cases went with super-obscure characters that stumped us until they educated us. Usually that’s the job of anime fans.

(Longtime MCC readers may be shocked and relieved to know we saw exactly zero Deadpool variants hanging around. That’s clearly where the convention similarities end.)

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Hoosier Homecoming Photos #2: The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay Finale

Sarah Fisher!

Speedy delivery from former Indy 500 driver Sarah Fisher!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.

Setting the Indiana government spaces we toured and the politicians we didn’t expect to meet in person, the main event was the culmination of the Torch Relay, the most ambitious and far-reaching commemoration of the Hoosier State’s big 2-0-0. It’s likely we’ll never host the U.S. Olympics in my lifetime, so this is as close as many of us will get to an ostentatious, meaningful torch.

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Hoosier Homecoming Photos #1: Adventures in Local Government

Lieutenant Governor's Office!

This desktop quote in the Indiana Lieutenant Governor’s office encapsulates the novel ideal of humility in public office.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, waaaay back in January 2016:

2016 will mark Indiana’s statehood bicentennial, and we discussed the idea of trying to find more Indiana activities as our own little way of celebrating where we’ve lived all our lives. Friends of ours can already guess which two geek conventions are most likely to make that list in the months ahead without even trying, but we’re curious to see what else is going on this year ’round these parts…

On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts to mark the occasion. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.

We were grateful for the turnout. We were appreciative of the chance to see where our local government conducts its business and works at improving our lives. And we were surprised by the politicians who cared enough to join the festivities.

Right this way for a few of our elected officials and a very special MCC video!

Indiana State Fair 2016 Photos, Part 4 of 4: The Best of the Rest

GOAT FACE!

I AM GOAT. I HAVE GOAT FACE. I MAKE POSE. YOU GIVE ME SNACKS NOW.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context.

In Part One we covered this year’s food, both the delicious and the deadly. In Part Two, the Parkour Show starring acrobatic dudes. In Part Three, selections from the great Indiana BISONcentennial herd. In this, the exciting probable conclusion, selections from the dozens of other photos we took during our visit. Other photos may surface when you least expect it, but these were among my favorites of the bunch.

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Indiana State Fair 2016 Photos #3: The Bicentennial Bison

Bison Welcome!

Introducing you to the concept is this Welcome to Indiana bison at the Indiana Arts Building (formerly the Home & Family Arts Building), which has a giant ear of corn on it because of course it does.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context.

In Part One we covered this year’s food, both the delicious and the deadly. In Part Two, the Parkour Show starring acrobatic dudes. This time we bring you highlights from Indiana’s Bison-tennial Public Art Project, a statewide collaboration between the United Way and any interested parties down with the intent to create one art-covered bison statue for each of the Hoosier State’s 92 counties in honor of our upcoming 200th statehood anniversary in December 2016.

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