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. ET 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!

July 28 show

Dog days in Indiana with Patty Spitler

Patty Spitler rides horses with Indianapolis police mounted officer. Photo by Shirley Ann Dennis.Hoosiers, this show will be your chance to bone up on insights about our best friends. To explore the good (canine assistance programs), the bad (unwanted and neglected pets) and the ugly (the surging popularity of breeds so ugly they are adorable), Nelson will be joined in studio by a popular Indianapolis-area TV personality long known for her love of - and detailed reports about - dogs.

Patty Spitler not only is the host of Pet Pals TV, a syndicated program broadcast every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on WNDY-TV/Channel 23, she is the owner of Louie, a Bernese mountain dog. She plans to share details about the Indiana Canine Assistant Network, an innovative statewide program in which dogs spend 18 months to two years living with hosts who train them to be service dogs.

In addition, Patty and Nelson will explore the surging popularity (both nationally and in Indiana) of English bulldogs, a breed that, according to the American Kennel Club, hit the top 10 in 2008 for the first time in more than 70 years.

For the past two years, English bulldogs have ranked No. 6 among 157 breeds listed by the kennel club. In Indiana, much of the recent popularity has been attributed to the basketball triumphs of Butler University and its beloved bulldog mascot, Blue II. Patty plans to share concerns about health and maintenance issues associated with the breed, as well as other breed-specific advice.

Butler mascot Blue II, English bulldog.The American Kennel Club announced earlier this year that the most popular breeds in the country are, in order, the Labrador retriever, German shepherd, beagle and golden retriever. Larger breeds have been steadily moving up the list, according to the kennel club.

Also during our show, Patty will discuss her reports involving Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, where 17,000 unwanted pets or lost animals were taken last year. (In addition to dogs and cats, animals brought to the shelter have included horses, owls and even bears, according to Patty's reports.)

On a personal level, Patty will share details about how Louie, her cherished 6-year-old dog, helped pull her out of a depression. Her bout with depression occurred after she left WISH-TV/Channel 8 in Indianapolis in 2004; she had worked 23 years as an anchor and entertainment reporter at the CBS affiliate. Patty left because of health issues; she is a spokesperson for Hear Indiana, an advocacy group for the hearing impaired.

She also volunteers for various organizations concerned with animal welfare and is an advocate for spaying and neutering pets.

In addition to hosting Pet Pals TV, which also is broadcast on WIWU-TV in Marion, Ind., as well as in Dayton, Ohio, Patty continues to appear regular on WISH-TV's weekend morning shows and Indy Style, its weekday mid-morning program.

On Pet Pals TV, Patty has reported about the Indiana Canine Assistant  Network, known as ICAN, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Paul Poteet and Patty Spitler with their “Pet Pals.” Courtesy PPTV.The program brings together dogs training to be service dogs; children and adults with disabilities, and incarcerated offenders. After a screening process, men and women in Indiana correctional facilities become trainers for ICAN dogs. (The dogs-in-training live with their trainers, called "handlers", inside the prison.)

The Labrador retriever's use as a police and search-and-rescue dog - as well as its reputation for playfulness with families - account for the breed's continuing popularity, according to the kennel club. The club also reports that Bernese mountain dogs (like Patty's own Louie) are increasing in popularity, rising from 54th to 34th place among the breeds this past year.

English and French bulldogs, although increasing rapidly in popularity, are among breeds known for various health issues, including breathing difficulties. Also, according to Patty's research, more than 80 percent of all bulldogs now must be delivered by Caesarian; the percentage is even higher for French bulldogs and for Boston terriers. Yet the English bulldog, because of its gentle nature, distinctive appearance and association with sports teams like Butler's, is rising every year in popularity lists.

History Mystery

The History Mystery is a carry-over from last week because there wasn't a correct answer. Our guests  included Indianapolis civic leader Georgia Buchanan, whose parents were Greek immigrants, so the question focuses on an aspect of Greek heritage.

JW Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis.For nearly 50 years, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was located at 40th and Pennsylvania streets. In 2008, the congregation moved to a new building in Carmel with an eye-catching, Byzantine-style dome. Before either of those sites, however, the Greek Orthodox community in Indy worshipped downtown. Beginning in the 1920s, the parish church was located at a site near a current landmark building. A historic marker near the well-known building of today describes the original Greek Orthodox church on the site.

Question:  Name the spacious building that's on or near the original Greek church's site.

Hints: The current landmark building opened in 1999. And it is not Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse or Fire Station No. 13, which were incorrect guesses by callers last week.

To win the prize, you must call in with the correct answer during the live show and be willing to be placed on the air. Please do not call if you have won a prize from any WICR show during the last two months. The call-in number is (317) 788-3314, and please do not call until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air.

This week's prize is an overnight at the new JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, and two tickets to the Eiteljorg Museum, courtesy of  the ICVA.

Roadtrip: Freetown Village 'living museum' of African American history

Mixed Medicine is a Freetown Village performance that explores historical issues surrounding health care in the African American community. Image courtesy DePauw University.Roadtripper Chris Gahl of the ICVA tells us that Indianapolis living-history museum Freetown Village is a great opportunity for Hoosiers to learn more about African American lives and culture in Indiana through theatrical performances, storytelling, folk crafts, heritage workshops, music and day camp.

Founded by Ophelia Wellington of Indianapolis in 1982, Freetown Village was created to theatrically  present the predominantly African American settlements scattered throughout Indiana during the post-Civil War era.

Many Indiana settlements were created by former slaves who had moved north and who could now be paid for their work, purchase land, attend school and be legally married.

In Indianapolis, many African Americans settled in Indianapolis just west of downtown in the old Fourth Ward, now home to IUPUI and surrounding neighborhoods.

Contact Freetown Village via its website or at (317) 631-1870 to book one of their many performance options, including the Touring Troupe, Freetown Village Singers and Craft Workshops. Tell them the Roadtripper sent you!

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
Joan Hostetler, photo historian
Dana Waddell, volunteer-at-large


Noble of Indiana logo.Indiana Pioneers logo.Indiana Historical Society logo.

Author Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge's book, Just Fine the Way They Are From Dirt Roads to Railroads to Interstates.Story Inn

Aesop's Tables logo.Lucas Oil

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Just Fine the Way They Are, a children's book about the National Road | Indiana Historical Society | Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library | Lucas Oil | Noble of Indiana | The Society of Indiana Pioneers | Story Inn.

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo and Research Services, Conner Prairie, Derrick Lowhorn 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 Indiana Humanities. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.

Aug. 4 show

Pan Am Games of 1987, Part II

Weren't the details riveting that Mark Miles shared during our July 14 show about dealing with Fidel Castro?

Pan Am Games 1987 logo.Mark, chairman of the organizing committee for the Pan American Games of 1987 in Indianapolis, also shared a fascinating anecdote about a red "hotline" telephone that was placed at his seat during the closing ceremonies of the historic games. And our other guest on the show, sports columnist Bill Benner, shared insights about how Pan Am's basketball final (which was won unexpectedly by Brazil) dramatically changed international hoops competition.

The insights about Castro - who laid down conditions before agreeing to send a Cuban delegation to Indy - and other anecdotes were compelling. But the insights from our two "heavy hitter" guests meant that much turf was left uncovered about the Pan Am Games, the world's second-largest multi-sport event. Only the Olympics are larger.

We did not get a chance to explore stories involving the astounding 36,000 Hoosiers who served as volunteers in August 1987. So they will be the focus of our "Part II" show, along with other aspects of the historic games that served as Indy's "coming-out party" on an international stage.

Pan Am Games 1987 mascot "Amigo" entertains children.As we advance toward the 25th anniversary of Pan Am - the Indiana Sports Corp plans a celebration Aug. 23 in downtown Indy - Nelson's guests will be two Hoosiers who immersed themselves in the games as volunteers:

  • Margaret Drew of Indianapolis was among those who donned a lime-green costume to portray Amigo, the parrot that was the mascot for the games.
  • Suzy Henschen of Indianapolis headed up the massive aides-de-camp program. Of the more than 900 international  VIPs who attended the games, about 130 were assigned a local aide-de-camp, who became a sort of "personal assistant" on call 24/7.

"It changed my life," Suzy recalls.

Consider: Because of her experience with Pan Am, Suzy was hired in Honduras by organizers of the Central American Games. They asked her to train their aides-de-camp for those games in 1990 and even hailed her arrival in their country with a front-page newspaper article about the "expert" from Indianapolis.

Next up: Organizers in El Salvador hired Suzy to train aides-de-camp for the Pan Am Games of 1994, which were held in that Central American country.

You are invited to phone in at (317) 788-3314 and share your Pan Am anecdotes and insights. And Nelson, our host, plans to share details about his media duties covering the history-making diving and swimming competitions. We ran out of time for those in our first show.

Nor was their time then to explore the Athletes Village, which was housed at Fort Harrison, then still an active military facility.

More than 4,000 athletes from 38 countries competed in 30 sports, ranging from baseball, boxing and gymnastics to tae kwon do and volleyball.

© 2012 Hoosier History Live! All rights reserved.

Hoosier History Live!
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1400 E. Hanna Ave.
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(317) 927-9101