News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 24, 2013

RONN MOTT: Last day of the festival

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — I had just sat down in the WAXI booth when a lady came up to me and said that I had spelled “cruller” incorrectly in the article I wrote for the Tribune-Star. So, being of a very agile mind, I quipped that spelling it with a “K” was the German spelling of this treat. Of course, I had no idea if this cruller came from Germany, but it seemed the right thing to say at the time.  

To say that I’m not up-to-date on ladies’ fashions would be the understatement of the year. It’s amazing how much a man learns about fashion when he’s paying the bills for two growing daughters.

Fortunately, my daughter, Katie, has had two strapping boys and so Grandpa is a long way from knowing what is what and such. I did notice at the Covered Bridge Festival that about one out of every 10 women was wearing boots. There were a couple of those cute little boots that come up to the ankle, but in the main, the boots covered the calf and reached almost to the knee.

They were made in a variety of substances, but mostly all leather. Some wore western boots, but most did not. This doesn’t qualify me for knowing much about fashion, just a reminder that I know very little about women, what is on their minds and certainly not what is on their feet.

When you’re sitting for hours in a booth and the things you have for the people are maps and they can be stacked up for easy access, very little conversation takes place, and boredom does creep in. So, I’ve been reading maybe the best book ever on the Battle of the Bulge. The title is “Hitler’s Last Gamble,” by Trevor Dupuy, with some help from some other folks.

The Battle of the Bulge is misnamed because it was not just one battle, but a series of battles. In general, the Americans fought very well but were overwhelmed when their communications went flat and they were often out-gunned by the on-rushing Panzers. I’m always looking for something new regarding this time frame in World War II that just might give me a clue as to what happened to Major Glenn Miller, because either the government does not know or they are still keeping the details of his disappearance a secret.

Chris Szakaly and I were discussing this. He and his wife, Ruth, were selling alpaca gloves, coats, sweaters and scarves in a booth across from where I was sitting. (Of course, the radio was pumping out true oldies except when we had IU football and the Bears football on our airwaves. Chris, like myself, is a history nut. He also is an avid reader and he showed me many of the books he bought at the various sales for as little as a nickel. He always let me read the Indianapolis newspaper which has a section from USA Today. I surely enjoyed that. I think that’s possible for the Indianapolis paper because the USA Today and they are owned by the same company. By the way, everything made from alpaca fur makes wool and other fabrics feel like sandpaper. A big shout-out to Chris and Ruth for making my time there a lot easier than it would have been.

Tangier, Rockville, Bridgeton and Mansfield always have good crowds … along with Montezuma and other points along the way. There are so many things at the Covered Bridge Festival you cannot find in a retail store. It’s an absolutely classic shopping spree and taste delight. Don’t forget, it’s also a historic tour of the many covered bridges and places out of our history like the Wabash and Erie Canal. (It was a tour originating from downtown Montezuma.)

My mother’s folks came from Parke County. They moved there in 1835. My old maid aunts ran the store in Ferndale until they could not do it anymore. My grandfather was born there and my mother was born there, so I’m akin to all the good feelings about Parke County. If it wasn’t for Parke County, I would not be here. I thought about that as I sat there watching the world walk by my booth and feeling very good about it.



Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.