Hoosier History Live! banner, featuring Nelson caricature with Santa hat.

Listen to Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday on WICR 88.7 FM. The Saturday show airs again at 9:30 a.m. on Indianapolis Marion County Public LibraryWednesday. You also can listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast.


Also, you can join us at the Central Library on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. to listen to the live show.


Live from the Holiday Author Fair

Dec. 5, 2009 show - Steve McQueen, roots tracing, steel-town pix and politicos


For the second year, Hoosier History Live! will broadcast from a remote (non-studio) location: the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, which will bustle and abound with captivating interviewees, as nearly 90 authors with ties to Indiana gather for the 7th Annual Holiday Author Fair. Nelson will be doing round-robin chats with fellow authors who have a range of Hoosier expertise.


Our show will feature:


Steve McQueen: The Great Escape book cover.Film historian Wes Gehring of Ball State, whose new biography focuses on a native of Beech Grove who went on to become one of the top movie stars of the 1960s and '70s. Steve McQueen: The Great Escape (Indiana Historical Society Press) explores the troubled youth as well as the Hollywood stardom of Steve McQueen, who was born into a dysfunctional family in 1930 and died while undergoing unorthodox treatment for cancer in 1980. As Wes describes in his book, McQueen was the son of an alcoholic, teenage mother and a barnstorming pilot who abandoned the family soon after the boy's birth. McQueen spent his early childhood and adolescence shuttling between his mother in the Indianapolis area and extended family members in Missouri. As Wesputs it, McQueen "fell into a life of gangs and petty crime" in the Hoosier capital. Eventually, he ended up in a California school for neglected and troubled boys, which he credited with turning his life around. McQueen went on to star in movies, including The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963) and The Sand Pebbles (1966). In addition to his book on McQueen, Wes has written biographies of other screen legends with Hoosier roots such as Red Skelton, Irene Dunne and James Dean.


Steel Giants book cover.Stephen McShane, co-author of Steel Giants (Indiana University Press), a book of historic photos of steel mills, towns and residents of northwest Indiana from 1906 through the 1960s. In addition to extensive photos showing the construction of the mills in Gary and other cities, Steel Giants also features dozens of vintage photos of the region’s schoolchildren, crane operators, bathing beaches, homes and company recreational teams, including a women’s softball team in 1945. With co-author Gary Wilk, Steve also includes explanations of the "open hearth" process at the steel mills and a description of how and why five major steel companies built along Indiana’s northern coastline.


Finding Indiana Ancestors book cover.Teresa Baer, co-editor of Finding Indiana Ancestors: A Guide to Historical Research (IHS Press), which offers tips for first-time researchers as well as experienced genealogists. Teresa’s book is a guide that focuses on Indiana-specific sources for ancestor hunting. Indiana Political Heroes book cover.Nelson plans to ask her whether there are special challenges with roots-tracing in counties where early courthouses were destroyed by fire or damaged by floods.


And Fort Wayne civic leader Geoff Paddock, author of Indiana Political Heroes (IHS Press). Tune in to see if you agree with Geoff’s choices. He’s a former school board president in Fort Wayne and a self-described political junkie. Geoff says he attempted to salute Hoosier politicians who risked their popularity to do what they considered to be the right thing.


History Mystery question - Steve McQueen's co-star


We won’t be having call-ins into the show this week. If you want to win, you must come in person to the Holiday Author Fair and find Nelson (he’s the effervescent blond guy running around talking to authors) and give him your answer. The fair is free, and it takes place Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center at 450 W. Ohio St. There is a free parking lot directly north of the History Center. And it’s a great opportunity to meet and mingle with all of our wonderful Hoosier writers!


More than one of you can win this week; we have an assortment of prizes, including a pair of tickets to Handel's The Messiah on Dec. 12 and 13, courtesy of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Other prizes will include tickets to the Eiteljorg, tickets to the Indiana State Museum, tickets to the Children’s Museum and tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo, all courtesy of the ICVA. You can have your pick of prizes, but please don’t stampede Nelson until the end of the live show at noon. This is a gentleperson’s event, not a Black Friday store opening!


Steve McQueen, who was born in Beech Grove in 1930, often portrayed rebellious or misunderstood characters in films. So did movie icon James Dean, who was born in 1931 and grew up on a farm near Fairmount.


Question: Name the movie actress who co-starred with James Dean and, about eight years later, with Steve McQueen. Hint: She was NOT a Hoosier.


Your friends in Hoosierdom,

Nelson Price, host and creative director

Molly Armstrong Head, producer, (317) 927-9101

Garry Chilluffo, online editor

Dan Ripley's Antique HelperSkip Sauvain, Realtor

Lucas OilStory InnSlippery Noodle Inn logo.

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support:
Antique Helper, Skip Sauvain of Sycamore Group Realtors, Lucas Oil, Story Inn and Slippery Noodle Inn.


Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia Inc., Indiana Humanities Council, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Drew Pastorek, and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through sponsorships and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn more.


Upcoming show

Dec. 12 show - Victorian-era dining


Kim Galeaz, dietitian.Indianapolis-based dietitian Kim Galeaz has hunted up three Christmas Day menus from the 1890s in Indianapolis, and guess what? Oysters were prevalent then, even in the landlocked Hoosier state. How can this be? Tune in as Kim joins Nelson to explore the Victorian-era holiday menus that were, as she puts it in a cover story for the December issue of Urban Times, "strikingly similar to ours today” in some ways. In other ways, there are stark differences, including the Victorians' taste for venison and (gulp) opossum.


Kim, owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition, will share insights not just about what the Victorians ate, but also their approach to meals and how they dined, including their dining ware – such as an unusual serving platter for venison and a specially designed dish with a swiveling base for oranges. (She says the swiveling base allowed Victorians to drink the juice "and not waste one bit" of the precious orange during our cold months.) Nelson plans to ask Kim how the Victorians' menu choices compare to ours in terms of healthful eating.


For her article in Urban Times, the newspaper that covers downtown Indy’s historic neighborhoods, Kim explored the kitchens and dining rooms of three home museums: the Morris-Butler House, the President Benjamin Harrison Home, and the James Whitcomb Riley Home. A frequent guest on TV and radio shows with her tips about healthy eating, Kim writes "Dining with the Dietitian" features for Urban Times; they can be savored at www.urbantimesonline.com.


Visit our website!


Our newly revamped website is chock-full of Hoosier history, including details of past and upcoming Hoosier History Live! shows. Visit us at www.hoosierhistorylive.info to see what's up.


© 2009 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.


Hoosier History Live! • 2615 N. Delaware St. • Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 927-9101