“Before I die I want to … ”
These were the first few words of a sentence that many passersby completed on the square in Parke County on Sunday.
Six chalkboards printed with those words were installed in front of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Rockville as a space for people to share their hopes.
“Before I die I want to add more beauty to the world,” Rockville resident Allyson Melloh wrote in yellow chalk.
The 23-year-old hairstylist also drew a heart next to her completed sentence.
“I like to make people feel pretty from the inside out,” she said.
And the writing on the wall showed many other people’s hopes for the ones they love:
“Before I die I want to cure mom’s diabetes,” one statement said.
“Before I die I want to see my sister survive cancer,” another stated.
Other dreams are for themselves:
“Before I die I want to be married for 60 years,” one hopeful wrote.
“...travel to Europe.”
“...own my own business.”
Some went deeper:
“Before I die I want to serve His purpose,” one said.
Others are lighter:
“Before I die I want to be Batman,” one probably joked.
Profound or light, the activity is meant to promote communication.
“We just want to encourage community conversation in a way that’s non-threatening,” said Memorial Presbyterian Church pastor Wendy Olson.
Olson calls the activity “public art at a public square for conversation.”
She ran across the idea on the Internet.
Created by artist Candy Chang after she lost a loved one, “‘Before I die’ is a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space,” according to its website.
“Your life is meaningful,” Olson said. “What do you want to do with it? How will you impact the world?”
Chang started the project in New Orleans, and it spread to more than 40 countries, with walls created in more than 15 languages. In addition to Rockville, Lafayette and Fortville in Indiana also have walls.
Olson said the Covered Bridge Festival is the perfect opportunity for the activity. The boards will remain available throughout the festival, which started on Friday and ends on Oct. 20.
One attendee, Julie St. James of Indianapolis wrote a profound wish.
“Before I die I want to Become a family :-)”
It was not easy to complete the sentence.
“It makes me feel a little vulnerable to put down our desire” in a public setting, she said.
The desire she shares with her husband Eric Bryant, who accompanied her to the event, was to adopt children.
“It feels really positive,” St. James said of writing on the wall.
“It’s really a gratitude graffiti.”
Bryant, who met St. James in 2001 just after the Sept. 11 tragedy in New York, said the activity is a reminder that life is short.
“Live your dreams and make a positive impact,” he said.
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Before I die I want to … ”
You’re home now
To say that Michael Curry was stressed is an understatement.
‘Ups and downs’ in the Statehouse
As state legislators head into the final week of the state legislative session, five of them from the Wabash Valley met with citizens Saturday at the Vigo County Public Library in downtown Terre Haute and engaged in conversation about the “ups and downs” of the recent session.
Finding what the kids need
One Saturday morning event in Terre Haute aimed to raise awareness about the resources available to people with disabilities.
Spotting pot, gun in home nets 2 arrests.
Two adults were arrested and two children removed from a Vigo County home on Friday after drugs and a handgun with altered serial numbers were discovered in the home, authorities said.
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Focus on poverty, inequality
The issues of poverty and inequality will be at the forefront of the 13th annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day on March 18 at Indiana State University.
VIDEO: Tasting their way to a cure
People appeared to be in high spirits Friday inside the historic Indiana Theatre as they gathered for an evening of wine, food and conversation while supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
Same-sex marriage: 4 couples sue state over ban
Four gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Time to check smoke alarms
Three years after a house fire on South Nine Street in Terre Haute resulted in the death of three people, a Terre Haute grandmother still wonders if the outcome of that fire would have been different if smoke detectors in the home had been working.
Indiana State Board extends president’s contract
Indiana State University has signed up Dan Bradley, the school’s president, for an additional three years of service.
New animal shelter gets welcome boost
The aging Terre Haute Humane Society shelter is not a place for the faint of heart.
Vigo County high school team in FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional
Drivers of remote-controlled robots will match skills, similar to those used in basketball and soccer, to score in the FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Benefit planned for daycare fire victim
Veronica Gray never met 19-month-old Emma Lloyd, but when she learned about the child’s tragic death in a Sullivan day care fire, she had to do something.
Winter’s costs add up for Vigo
While still within county and city budgets, the snowstorms of January and February were more costly than a year ago.
Mayor Bennett threatens veto of consultant funding
Mayor Duke Bennett is threatening to veto a measure before the Terre Haute City Council that would transfer money into the council’s budget allowing the body to again hire a financial consultant.
Semitrailer fire slows eastbound traffic on Interstate 70
Traffic on Interstate 70 was slowed Thursday afternoon by a semitrailer fire just east of Terre Haute.
Tests show Skittles had no unusual chemicals
The Indiana State Health Department has given Skittles a clean bill of health.
No problems reported in early 10-digit phone dialing
Just be grateful you (probably) aren’t using a rotary telephone these days.
Cloverdale woman sentenced to 10 years in molestation/neglect case
A Cloverdale woman received a 10-year prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to child molesting and neglect of a defendant in Vigo Superior Court 3.
College students spend alternative spring break helping in Vigo County
Pruning in the orchard and preparing plants for the garden has been part of the experience for a group of Minnesota students who are spending this week as an alternative spring break at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
MARK BENNETT: How you approach the day will influence if you are a ‘morning person’
I can still see the stacks of coins, 40 cents in each, arranged on the dining room table.
Area Plan Department considering raising fees
The Vigo County Area Planning Department is exploring the possibility of raising the fees for its services.
Tuesday night crash leads to arrest on drug charges
A Terre Haute man was arrested on drug-related charges after a one-car accident Tuesday night in Clay County.
Clock ticking on downtown TIF district
The sun is setting on Terre Haute’s downtown tax increment finance district, which city economic development officials say has been crucial to downtown revitalization, following action this week from the Indiana General Assembly.
Lay pastor files guilty plea in child sex case
A Terre Haute man has pleaded guilty to seven felonies in connection with a child molestation that allegedly involved the man’s wife as well.
Man gets 1 year probation for child, animal neglect
A Vigo County man has been sentenced to one year on formal probation after pleading guilty to housing children and animals in a filthy house.
Three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 injures three
Three people received minor injuries and one motorist was cited following a three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 at Springhill Drive at 9:59 a.m. Wednesday.
Sullivan daycare fire victim ID’d
Sullivan County authorities have released the name of a 1 1⁄2-year-old girl who died Tuesday morning in a Sullivan County daycare fire.
Sullivan Daycare fire: Broken hearts
A 11⁄2-year-old girl tragically died early Tuesday morning as the result of a fire at Waterman’s Wonderland Daycare on Sullivan’s south side.
Sony DADC cutting 34 distribution jobs here
Sony DADC is halting product distribution operations from its Terre Haute plant at a cost of 34 jobs, a company official said Tuesday.
Bill ends automatic license suspensions for many crimes
Unpaid parking fines, falling behind on child support, drunken driving: So many offenses trigger a suspended driver’s license in Indiana that more than a half-million Hoosiers have lost their driving privileges. In fact, driving on a suspended license is the most common charged offense, prosecutors say.
- More News Headlines
- You’re home now