Down the Road

Roads and life and how roads are like life

Delphi boat rental

Wabash and Erie Canal boat rental
Yashica Lynx 14e, Kodak T-Max 400

Rockin’ heaven down


When the rock band Heart brings its tour through central Indiana, I’m going to be there. I’ve seen them six times now, more than any other band: in 1987, 1994, 2006, 2007, 2013, and now 2014, in venues large and small. I prefer to see them in smaller venues where they can connect better with the audience, but no matter where I see them I get pretty good seats because I’m a member of their fan club, which lets me buy tickets the day before they’re generally available. Yeah, I’m 47 and still in a rock band’s fan club.


I sat sixth row center this time, which gave me a decent vantage point to take a few photographs. I zoomed my Canon PowerShot S95 to the max and hoped for the best. None of these will enter the annals of all-time great rock photography, and frankly of the two dozen photos I took these are the only ones that turned out. But they surely satisfy me. I’m especially happy to have them because cameras were strictly verboten during most of my concert-going years. The ubiquity of mobile-phone cameras changed that — it’s probably impossible to police them, and so venues and promoters and bands have given up trying. Everybody around me took pictures that night. Somehow, the music business has not suffered. And just look at the memories I’ve captured!


If you’re not familiar with Heart, the band is fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, the band’s only remaining founding members. But to most fans, Ann and Nancy are Heart. The band’s first incarnation formed more than 40 years ago. Heart has taken a couple extended breaks where they neither recorded nor toured, but overall these persistent sisters have just kept making their music. Today, Ann is 64 and Nancy is 60.


Nancy (above) is my favorite sister. Her voice can’t touch Ann’s punch and range, but I love the melodies and lyrics she writes. Over the past ten years or so, she has sung lead more often and I surely enjoy it. I love to sing along regardless of who takes lead vocals. Most of Heart’s music falls in my range and is a joy to sing.


I got to meet Ann and Nancy in 2006. Their tour brought them to my hometown, South Bend, and the gorgeous Morris Performing Arts Center. The fan club used to arrange meet-and-greets for fans, and I and a handful of others were chosen this night. A handler came out and said that our meeting would be very brief, as recently some fans had done upsetting and frightening things at these meet-and-greets. So we would do this in receiving-line style so we wouldn’t overwhelm Ann and Nancy, and we had to quietly wait our turn or we would be escorted out, period.

When Ann and Nancy came out, flanked by crew, they stayed shoulder to shoulder with each other and looked to make sure they were surrounded by people they knew. When my turn came, there was some confusion as the opening act came to meet Ann and Nancy too. I was standing in front of Ann, but she didn’t know whether to look at me or the opening act. I was confused, too, and before I was sure whose turn it really was I told her how much pleasure her music had brought me. She kept bobbing her head trying to figure out where to look. Shortly it registered what I had said, and she said with surprise in a throaty voice, “Thank you. Thank you very much.”

Ann then looked to the person in line behind me, so I took the hint and moved over in front of Nancy. I wasn’t sure what to say now, given that things had been so confused with Ann, so I just tried to catch her eyes. She finally noticed and looked at me. Her eyes were as blue as a spring sky, startling and lovely — but her pupils were the size of sharp pencil points. Those tiny dots fairly roared that there would be no friendly chitchat. I mumbled that it was a pleasure to meet her, and then stepped toward the handler and waited until everybody had their turn.


Disappointing. But I’m sure the public can be scary sometimes when you’re well known. After the whole group got their opportunity, the handler arranged us around Ann and Nancy for a photo. They look a lot more relaxed here than I remember when standing right in front of them! Maybe one day the fan club will give me another chance to meet them, on a night when they’re more willing to interact.

I counted all the concerts I’ve been to a couple years ago. See the whole list.

Lanier Mansion

Lanier Mansion, Madison, Indiana
Canon PowerShot S80

Moths hanging out at my front door


I came home from work one day at the beginning of August to find this beautiful fellow hanging out at my front door. He’s a Waved Sphinx moth.

Brown moth

I get a lot of flying insects at my front door. They like my porch light. I would also not be surprised to find that my many mature trees, which shade my home most of the day, create a good habitat for them. I’ll bet that if I looked around, I’d find more interesting insects. I find them at my front door so frequently because I’m there a lot. And a creature this interesting and beautiful really stands out.

Brown moth

I wanted to touch him to see if his wings were as silky as they looked. When I looked at him from the side, I was surprised to see that his head was enormous.

Clinging tenaciously to my front door

That moth reminded me of this fellow, am Alianthus webworm moth, who clung tenaciously to my front door for several days a few years ago. When moths decide to rest near my front door, I just let them, and enjoy them for as long as they care to visit.

A few years ago I found a Luna moth, which live no more than seven days. See it.

Recommended reading


From the blogs I follow, these posts were my favorites this week:

Ben Dinger, writing for Curbside Classic, tells the story of his first car, a big old Ford. He purchased it as a teen and it transformed his relationship with his dad. Read Cars of a Lifetime: 1968 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback – The Legend Lives On

He used to make Saturday-morning television cartoons. And now Mark Evanier tells why the big networks don’t air them anymore. It has to do as much with merchandising as with YouTube. Read Saturday Morning Cartoons, R.I.P.

I’ve been following Mike Connealy’s experiments with processing color film at home. I think his most recent roll yielded the best color yet. Read Mixing Color

Rodney Bliss writes about the importance of stories and how they tie people together, tie us to the past, and tie us to the stars. Read The Stories of Our Lives

Saved? The 1861 Flanagan/Kincaid House


Old house, Hamilton County

I’ve been following the efforts to save the Flanagan/Kincaid House, built in 1861 in what is now Fishers, Indiana. I had been curious about this house for years, as I drove by it frequently after dropping my sons off at their mom’s in Fishers. But then the house made news when the land developer that came to own it wanted to demolish it for new development.


Preservationists swung into action, aiming to move the house to a new location. They secured a site a half-mile away on the grounds of Navient, a student-loan management firm. They secured seed funding and kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining funds.



It’ll cost at least $115,000 to move this house. Crowdfunding hasn’t been very successful, but The Indianapolis Star reports that the move is scheduled for tomorrow, so perhaps angel donors have quietly come to the rescue.

Navient occupies a large parcel that borders I-69 between 106th and 116th Streets. The house will border and face I-69, which will give it great visibility from the highway. But it will be off any of the paved roads in the Navient complex, which will make it hard to reach. So it appears to be saved, but not in a way that is obviously useful.

I’ll keep following this move and report as the story unfolds!


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