Hoosier History Live! features host Nelson Price, Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on WICR 88.7 FM in Indianapolis.

Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on WICR 88.7 FM.

And always online at hoosierhistorylive.org!

You can listen to Hoosier History Live! live on the air each Saturday, or listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast on any computer with speakers, anywhere, or on a smartphone. We invite you to visit our website!


Dec. 3 show

Hoosiers behind the scenes, girls hoops stars, Indiana poets and dirt roads


For the fourth 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 about 70 authors with Indiana connections gather for the 9th Annual Holiday Author Fair.


Nelson will be doing round-robin chats with a range of fellow authors. Our show will feature several prominent Indiana authors.


The Making of Hoosiers book cover.Gayle Johnson is the author of The Making of Hoosiers, a book of behind-the-scenes stories about the film released in 1986 that's been heralded as the best sports movie ever made.


Gayle, an Indianapolis-based editor and writer, will share insights about how the Indiana towns that served as filming sites - including Knightstown, Nineveh and New Richmond - have been changed as a result. The 1920s-era gym in Knightstown served as the home court for the fictional Hickory Huskers. Fun facts:

  • In her book, Gayle notes that in the initial script, the team was called the Cornhuskers.
  • Gayle will be signing books Dec. 28 during high school basketball games at the Knightstown gym, which today is called the Hoosier Gym.
  • Nineveh Elementary School was chosen for interior scenes of the fictional high school in Hoosiers.
  • And the downtown of New Richmond (pop.: 400) in northern Montgomery County was the set for the fictional downtown.

During our show, Gayle will explain how Indiana became a national "test market" for Hoosiers, which was released here before anywhere else. If box office results were not impressive, national release would have been sharply curtailed.


Another fun fact: Film distributors disliked the movie's title, preferring The Last Shot.


During the Holiday Author Fair, Gayle will offer a presentation for the public about the making of Hoosiers as part of the 25th anniversary of its release. She will be speaking along with the movie's screenwriter, Angelo Pizzo, who was a studio guest on our show this past summer when he was named a Living Legend by the Historical Society. Angelo will be signing DVDs of the film.


We Live the Game book cover.Dick Denny is a former sportswriter for The Indianapolis News who has written a book that profiles 30 of the greatest stars of girls high school basketball in Indiana. His new book, We Live the Game: Legends of Indiana Women’s Basketball (Blue River Press/Cardinal Publishing Group), features interviews with former Perry Meridian High School great Katie Douglas, who currently plays with the Indiana Fever. Others include former Seeger High School star Stephanie White (now an assistant coach for the Fever), as well as Jennifer Jacoby, who used the movie Hoosiers as an inspirational tool when she was an outstanding player at Rossville High School.


In We Live the Game, Dick describes how Jennifer would re-watch the fictional Hickory Huskers' run for the state tournament title as motivation before her big games. After her success at Rossville High, Jennifer became a star at Purdue, where she helped the Lady Boilermakers reach the NCAA Final Four for the first time. Coincidentally, Jennifer currently is the athletic director at Knightstown High School.


Of the 30 women profiled in We Live the Game, 11 were named Miss Indiana Basketball, the honor given to the state's top high school player. They include two players who were on the Warsaw High School team in 1976 that won the state's first sanctioned girls' hoops tournament. We Live The Game also includes a profile of Lin Dunn, the Indiana Fever's current coach.


And Know This Place - Poetry of Indiana book cover.Jenny Kander is co-editor of And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society Press), an anthology featuring great poets who have had Hoosier connections. Jenny, who is based in Bloomington, has included poetry from such writers as James Whitcomb Riley, Jessamyn West and Etheridge Knight.


Jenny and her co-editor, C.E. Greer, write that they have chosen poems that cover the spectrum of the state "in settings from city streets to wilderness tracks (and) ... from Goshen in the north to Floyd's Knobs by the Ohio River."


Nelson plans to ask Jenny how she selected the poets to feature in And Know This Place, which is being touted as the first anthology in more than 100 years that spans vast eras of Indiana poetry.


In addition to poems by historic figures such as Riley (1840-1916) and West (1902-1984), And Know This Place features the work of contemporary figures such as Jared Carter and Norbert Krapf, Indiana's former poet laureate. (Fun fact: Norbert was a Hoosier History Live! guest for a show about our state's German heritage. Norbert, who also will be signing his books during the Holiday Author Fair, grew up in a German community in Jasper.)


In addition to serving as co-editor of And Know This Place, Jenny has been the host of several poetry programs on Bloomington-based radio stations. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Southern Indiana Review.


Nelson plans to ask her whether the styles of Hoosier poets have differed based on their eras or their regions of the state.


Just Fine the Way They Are book cover.Also up for an interview is Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, the author of a new illustrated book for children titled Just Fine the Way They Are: From Dirt Roads to Rail Roads to Interstates (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press).


Connie, who lives in Richmond, explains for her young readers how people have reacted with each change in our land transportation system's evolution, beginning with the dirt roads of the early 1800s.


Characters include the keeper of a tavern in the early 1800s who objects to the creation of the Old National Road, as well as owners of railroads who express concerns about the first Model-T in 1908. Other characters complain about the development of the interstate system that bypasses so many small towns.


Also explored in Just Fine the Way They Are: the introduction of stage coaches, bicycles and high-speed rail.


Written in a style that one reviewer called "folksy but panoramic," the book also includes profiles of historic landmarks and places for children to visit with their families. Fun facts:

  • A section of the Old National Road, which eventually became U.S. 40, runs near Connie's home in Richmond.
  • Connie, who became the mother of four children, once worked as a flight attendant for a major airline.

Note: Because of the remote broadcast of Saturday's show, we won't be taking phone calls from listeners or featuring a report from our Road Tripper correspondent. Those aspects of the show will be back Dec. 10 when Hoosier History Live! returns to the WICR-FM studio.


History Mystery


The town of Santa Claus in far-southwestern Indiana always gets a lot of attention this time of year. In addition to its seasonal claims to fame, though, the town has another reason to be proud. A quarterback currently playing for an NFL team was born in Santa Claus.


Nelson Price, host of Hoosier History Live!Question: Who is he?


The prizes this week include tickets to Conner Prairie, tickets to the Eiteljorg Museum, tickets to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, a one-night stay at the Marriott East, and a one-night stay at the James Inn. These prizes are all courtesy of the ICVA.


New rules this week because of the live on-location show. No, all the prizes will not go to one winner! There are no phone calls to the show this week. To win a prize, you must come down in person to the Holiday Author Fair, find Nelson Price and quietly tell Nelson the answer. Please don't try to win a prize if you have won anything on WICR within the last two months.


The Holiday Author Fair, again, is Saturday, Dec. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. We're also including a picture of Nelson so you can more easily identify him. Please don’t interrupt him while he is on the air between 11:30 a.m. and noon; he'll be concentrating on interviewing four authors.



Your Hoosier History Live! team,


Nelson Price, host and creative director
Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101
Chris Gahl, Roadtripper
Richard Sullivan, webmaster and tech director


Pam Fraizer, graphic designer
Garry Chilluffo, creative consultant

Michele Goodrich, Jed Duvall, grant consultants




Sexton Companies logo.Story InnAesop's Tables logo.

Lucas OilIndiana Historical Society logo.

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables, Indiana Historical Society, Lucas Oil, Sexton Companies and Story Inn.


Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo and Research Services, Derrick Lowhorn, Samantha Stratton and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorships, grants and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.


Year-end support!

Keep Nelson talking in 2012 and beyond!


Do you enjoy getting the Hoosier History Live! weekly enewsletter?  Do you enjoy listening to the show, or looking at the Hoosier History Live! website? Do you wish that our audio archiving were more fully developed on our website?


Do you know that Hoosier History Live! is put together by a group of dedicated individuals plying the best of their crafts together? Our creative team includes "the best and the brightest" of former newspaper reporters and editors who now turn their creative talents toward Hoosier History Live!


Holiday wreath of evergreen with red ribbon, circular.Yes, even though our show has an "old fashioned" flavor, we are indeed a new media production.


Consider joining our most recent contributor, Judy O'Bannon, by making an individual tax-deductible donation by the end of 2011.


To do so, write out a check to "Indiana Humanities" and mention "to benefit Hoosier History Live!" in the memo line of the check.


The check may be mailed to:


Indiana Humanities
Attn: Nancy Conner
1500 N. Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Be sure to include your name and return address so that you can receive a tax donation receipt from Indiana Humanities.


Remember, you also can memorialize a loved one with a donation; please include that information with your contribution.


We thank Louellen Test Hesse, Patricia Rooney, Loretta and Reid Duffy, Jennifer Q. Smith, Barb and Steve Tegarden, Theresa and David Berghoff, The Fadely Trust - a fund of the Indianapolis Foundation, Gretchen Wolfram, Richard Vonnegut, Don Gorney, Ellen Lee, Joe Young, Dana Waddell and Clay Collins, "In memory of Mary Jane Lincoln of Columbus, Ind." by Maureen Dunlap, Bob and Melissa Dora, Sally Cook, James and Elizabeth Worley, Ryan Zumbahlen, Kathy Andry, G. Marlyne Sexton, and several anonymous granting organizations and individuals who have wished us well.


We include all our donors in the same list. We do not distinguish by size of gift because we are grateful for all; they keep us going.


Dec. 10 show

Holiday seasons with Indiana's only First Family


Television viewers have been treated to peeks at the White House during the holiday seasons of modern presidential administrations. What went on, though, during yuletide when the White House was occupied by the family of the only U.S. president elected from Indiana?


In the late 1880s and early 1890s, Benjamin Harrison and his wife, Caroline Scott Harrison, were in residence, along with, periodically, their grown children and grandchildren.


Did you know the Harrisons were the first First Family to have a decorated Christmas tree in the White House? At the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in downtown Indianapolis, a holiday table shows decor for celebration.The Harrisons also were the first to enjoy the new invention of electricity in the White House.


To explore how the holidays were celebrated there - and also at the Harrisons' home in Indianapolis, which now is known as the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site - Nelson will be joined in studio by Jennifer Capps, the curator of the site at 1230 N. Delaware St. in downtown Indianapolis.


According to Jennifer, President Harrison (who, of course, had a natural beard) portrayed Santa Claus for his grandchildren at the White House in December 1891. During his administration, a reporter counted the plants displayed in the East Room - and came up with a total of 5,000, including 40 heads of poinsettias.


The Harrisons also were partial to feather trees, which according to Jennifer are made of dyed goose feathers and originated in Germany. A feather tree, adorned with hand-blown glass ornaments, currently is displayed at the Harrison Home, along with Victorian-era toys, many of them originally owned by the Harrison family.


Fun fact: During the Christmas season of 1888 - one month after Harrison won election, but before he took occupancy of the White House - the president-elect and his wife received a fake spider web at their Indianapolis home as a surprise gift from a friend in Oregon. The web, made of fine wire and featuring a spider and a fly, came with instructions for hanging in the parlor door with the note, "When you walk into my parlor, said the Spider to the Fly. ..."


On Dec. 10, the same day Jennifer will join Nelson in studio, the Harrison Home will offer special Christmas tours (with re-enactors of the 1888 season) designed for families.


And the Harrison Home will be among five historic mansions included in A Candlelight Evening on Delaware Street, a progressive walking tour on Dec. 28.


This and that ...

Feb. 16 anniversary party, listening club and 'liking' us on Facebook


Mark your calendar for the Hoosier History Live! 4th anniversary party on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Morris-Butler House. Again, courtesy of Indiana Landmarks.


The Irvington Library Hoosier History Live! Radio Club continues to be "a weekly thing." The listening group meets weekly in the Story Theater of the Irvington Library, 5625 E. Washington St., at 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays.


Remember that you can "like" the Hoosier History Live! Facebook page and make comments about topics and shows, as well, on the page.


© 2011 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.


Hoosier History Live!
c/o WICR at University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 927-9101