News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 23, 2012

AMEY TAKES AIM: Deciding not to ‘vacate’ during ‘vacation’ – & other ventures

Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

---- — Flaunting the law, setting a bad example for the kids in other ways, grooming and acquiring dogs … not a typical Amey family vacation, but an appreciated one just the same.

Not to mention the addition of a second great-grandchild, although it appears highly unlikely we’ll be able to maintain the new-GGC-per-vacation ratio again for a while.

Most atypical of this particular vacation was the fact that we didn’t go anywhere except Indianapolis and Reelsville, which for me hardly qualifies it as a vacation (isn’t “vacate” part of the word?). I thought about soliciting donations to send us somewhere — since you folks seem to enjoy vacation news every bit as much as sports news — like Carly and Sam did on “iCarly,” but I remember that got them in a lot of trouble, and I’m pretty sure their fictional webshow has a lot more fictional viewers than I have readers.

So the highlights, such as they are, come a little closer to home.

• July 4 — A not-too-respectable 2 for 5 at the Jung family reunion softball game, and my earned run average took a beating too. I was impressed by my cousin Bridget diving for balls at shortstop in 100-degree weather (she’s the only member of the family I’ve covered in a sports event, having played second base for Lake of the Four Seasons in an MSA tournament many years ago) and I hope her two sons, who played first and second base for our team, were too.

• July 5-8 — These days were reserved for watching grandson Garrett Drake and his Terre Haute North 10-year-olds in District 4 Little League tournament play. He was 3 for 5 with a triple, no errors, ran the bases well, and his team outscored three opponents 54-2. July 7 was a particularly good day; Garrett was 2 for 2 including the triple, and Stella Grace Wilson was born.

• July 10 — We tried to think of cool stuff we could do in a day’s drive, and this was about our only success: a noon matinee game for the Indiana Fever against the New York Liberty.

It would be our first WNBA game since Stephanie White was playing, and a chance to catch up with her — she’s an assistant coach now — and another old friend, PR guy Kevin Messenger.

Problem is, you never know how long it’s going to take to get to Indianapolis from here right now, and after already finding ourselves behind schedule we also discovered street work being done that blocked our access to Delaware Street and the parking garage.

Panic set in, exacerbated by a couple of missed turns, a couple of wrong turns — and the eventual realization that the parking garage wasn’t accepting Fever parking on a weekday anyway. So we (I) finally pulled into a lot about a block from Bankers Life Fieldhouse that was only about half full. The lot right across the alley from the police station.

Even though we arrived in the middle of the second quarter, the game was a dandy. Although our seats were in Row 4, that meant we were in the first row of the stands (the first three rows are courtside), the Fever kept themselves from making the game a rout by forgetting Tamika Catchings was on their team for a while, and Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty got sizzling hot in the second half. Tamika re-inserted herself in her teammates’ consciousness in the nick of time, however, and with a two-point deficit and 8.4 seconds to go, the Liberty used Pondexter as a decoy to avoid tying or winning the game (Cappie’s storm off the court after not getting the ball was almost worth the price of admission).

The rest of the day was designed to be spent at Circle City Mall, but I was getting worried about the car. Jenny reasoned that it would either have been towed or it wouldn’t have, so we headed to the mall — early dinner at P.F. Chang’s (mu shu pork was outstanding) and looking for baby clothes and video games with the kids (who are much better shoppers than their dad).

Finally we couldn’t put it off any longer and had to head back to where we’d left the car. To my absolute astonishment, it was still there — no ticket, nothing. I’m guessing the cops figured nobody would be dumb enough to park illegally right next to the station, so we got a free day of parking in Indy — but you’d better believe I was looking out of the corner of my eye for people chasing us as I waited for traffic to clear and we could get back on the road.

I am NOT recommending this parking idea, by the way.

Oh, and on the way home we stopped and picked up Krissy, dog No. 5.

The rest of the time is a blur of lethargy right now, although we did have one trip to Reelsville to meet Stella Grace. Great-grandfather is not prejudiced at all in seeing movie-star looks (Angelina Jolie?) in this little doll.

I do recall seeing Spiderman and also bowling with the kids (my old self-assessment of myself in recreational sports was that my golf scores and bowling scores were about the same, so apparently I’ve improved a lot at golf). The dog grooming is a bit of an exaggeration; I tried brushing the massive long-haired Gabby a couple of times, until she had enough and lumbered off, and I’m not sure trying to wrestle two 50-pound puppies into a bathtub counts as grooming.

The bad example? Well, I tend to keep work hours even on vacation (that’s 3 to midnight or so for a morning paper) and Darcy and JoJo are more than happy to join me in staying up late and sleeping even later.

They may not be as appreciative of those habits a couple of weeks from now.

Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321. Follow TribStarAndy on Twitter.