Hoosier History Live! features host Nelson Price, Saturdays noon to 1 p.m. on WICR 88.7 FM in Indianapolis.

Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m. ET on WICR 88.7 FM.
And always online at hoosierhistorylive.org!

Aug. 24 show

'Ask Nelson' and special-events-in-Indy insights

Chris Gahl and Nelson Price of Hoosier History Live and Gary BraVard of Too Many Cooks appear at an event at Indiana Humanities in 2008 in Indianapolis celebrating locally produced radio programs. Hoosier History Live photo.A couple of times every year at Hoosier History Live!, we like to take full advantage of the fact that we are a live, call-in show - indeed, the only radio show about history in the entire country that offers listener call-in. That means we're able, periodically, to turn the tables on our host, author/historian Nelson Price, open the phone lines and give our listeners an opportunity to question the interviewer who calls himself "a garbage can of useless Hoosier trivia."

Along with our invitation to listeners to call the WICR-FM studio - the number is (317) 788-3314 - and pose questions to Nelson, we will offer a bonus. In addition to questioning Nelson, who writes books about famous Hoosiers (both historic and contemporary notables) and Indianapolis city history, listeners will be able to ask questions of a special guest co-host.

Nelson will be joined in studio by special-events impresario Gary BraVard, who has planned scores of the most glittering soirees in Indy for more than 25 years. From private parties to weddings, bar mitzvahs and black-tie fund-raisers featuring visiting celebrities, Gary has been the planner of a staggering array of events in the Hoosier capital.

So listeners are invited to call in and ask questions to Gary, whose credits include events attended by Liza MinnelliCarol Channing and the late Ted Kennedy, as well as to Nelson, whose books include Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman (Hawthorne Publishing) and Indianapolis Then and Now (Thunder Bay Press), a visual history about his hometown.

Indiana Legends, by Nelson Price, book cover.In between phone calls from listeners, Nelson and Gary will ask each other questions.

By the way, Gary is no stranger to WICR - or to questions from Nelson. For several years, Gary was the co-host of our "sister" radio show on WICR-FM, Too Many Cooks!, which featured chefs, restaurant owners, dietitians, cookbook authors and foodies as studio guests.

Recently, Gary has been featured on-air as one of the rotating Roadtripper correspondents on Hoosier History Live! Did you catch his report last month about Crown Hill Cemetery, the third-largest private burial ground in the nation? Crown Hill also is one of about 70 sites depicted in Indianapolis Then and Now, which involved a collaboration among Nelson, photo historian Joan Hostetler of Heritage Photo & Research Services and photographer Garry Chilluffo.

Other sites in the book - which may provide fodder for listener questions - include Conseco Fieldhouse, now renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse (do you know what was on the site 100 years ago of today's arena for the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever?), Broad Ripple, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Union Station, Lockerbie, Garfield Park and Massachusetts Avenue.

Nelson Price with Indiana Living Legends winner Patricia Miller, co-founder of Vera Bradley, Inc. of Fort Wayne, at the 2008 Living Legends gala at the Indiana History Center. Hoosier History Live photo.For his books about famous Hoosiers, Nelson interviewed notables such as Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Reggie Miller, violinist Joshua Bell, artist Nancy Noel and former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, who just was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Nelson has researched the lives of Little Turtle, Madam Walker, Carole Lombard and popcorn king Orville Redenbacher, who was the focus of a recent Hoosier History Live! show.

Fun fact: When Nelson was a feature writer/columnist for The Indianapolis Star and its bygone sister newspaper, The Indianapolis News, he interviewed Gary BraVard. Twice, in fact.

Two years ago, Gary was shot on the Monon Trail during an attempted robbery. Gary BraVard appears with singer/actress Carol Channing at an event in the mid-1980s. Channing performed a one-woman show at the Civic Theatre, then at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The staging of the performance was "reverse," with Channing positioned on a platform in what was the audience area, and the audience seated on the stage itself. Image provided by Gary BraVard.During our show, he will share details about the crime, the trial of the 15-year-old who shot him, and Gary's ongoing recovery. He still has several bullets lodged in his body, including his spine.

On a much lighter note, Gary also will share behind-the-scenes details of a posh event - the retirement party of an Indianapolis business leader - that went awry. (A teaser: The disaster involved wet paint.)

Plus, Gary has a parade of anecdotes from Indy events that he planned with a guest list of visiting celebrities. In addition to the previously mentioned notables, including Carol Channing, attendees at his parties have included Lucie Arnaz, who was visiting the Hoosier capital for a theatrical performance.

So, with their trove of anecdotes about Hoosier places, notables and special events, Nelson and Gary look forward to your phone calls.

Roadtrip: Indiana Dunes, town of Beverly Shores and South Shore Line

A vintage poster for the South Shore Line trip to the Dunes beaches.Roadtripper Nikki Martin will call in with a taste of what to expect when traveling up to the Dunes area in northwestern Indiana on Lake Michigan. Did you know that the South Shore Railroad Line historically has brought happy sun worshippers from the Chicago area to the Dunes?

The town of Beverly Shores also has some interesting landmarks, including several "modern" homes that were relocated to the town after Chicago's 1933-34 Century of Progress World's Fair. Tune in Saturday for more!

History Mystery

Several of the famous Hoosiers featured in Indiana Legends, the book by host Nelson Price, also have been guests on Hoosier History Live! They include a jazz musician and educator who is credited with pioneering the use of cellos in jazz music. A native of Indianapolis, he talked on our radio show about his teenage years at Attucks High School when, although under-age, he was able to slip into nightspots on Indiana Avenue during the area's post-World War II heyday as a jazz mecca.

Later in life, the musician and educator primarily has been based in Bloomington. He has enjoyed the distinction of serving as the conductor of the first orchestra funded by the Smithsonian Institution.

Question: Who is he?

The call-in number is (317) 788-3314. Please do not call into the show until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air, and please do not try to win the prize if you have won any other prize on WICR during the last two months. The prize is admission for four to the Indiana Experience at the Indiana History Center, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, and two tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo, courtesy of Visit Indy.

Longtime sponsor

A fond farewell to marketing partner Aesop's Tables on Mass Ave.

For many Saturdays after the airing of Hoosier History Live, show participants have dined at Aesop’s Tables on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indy, a longtime show sponsor. Here, Darryl Jones and Donald Pitzer, collaborators on the book New Harmony Then & Now, appear with host Nelson Price and Connie Pitzer after a September 2012 show. Hoosier History Live photo.

Aesop's Tables will be open for its last day of business on Saturday, Aug. 24, after 20 years in business. It has sold the lease on its stellar location at 600 Massachusetts Ave. in downtown Indianapolis. The landmark independent restaurant will be offering specials on Saturday.

Hoosier History Live has enjoyed a sponsorship trade with Aesop's for many years, which has made it possible for us to treat our fascinating Saturday show guests to lunch after the show, and also to be able to do a little business entertaining. Many loud and lively conversations over great food and drinks have taken place over the years at Aesop's. Thank you!

Your Hoosier History Live! team,

Nelson Price, host and creative director
Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101
Richard Sullivan, webmaster and tech director
Gary BraVard, marketing director, (317) 902-7900
Pam Fraizer, graphic designer

Garry Chilluffo, creative consultant
Michele Goodrich, Jed Duvall, grant consultants
Joan Hostetler, photo historian
Dana Waddell, volunteer-at-large


Aesop's Tables.Second Presbyterian Church 175 years.

Lucas OilStory Inn

Indiana Historical Society logo.The Stutz.

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Indiana Historical Society | Lucas Oil | Second Presbyterian Church | Story Inn, The Stutz

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities, Visit Indy, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo & Research Services, 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. We do not receive any government funding. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.

Underwriting the project

Hoosier History Live welcomes new contributors Turner Woodard, Danny and Sofia Lopez, Gary BraVard in memory of Sunny Brewer, and James and Elizabeth Worley of Columbus, Ind.

Antique radio microphone.For questions about becoming a contributor, or underwriting sponsor (the underwriter level includes logos on our website and enewsletter and spoken credits in the live show), you also may now contact Gary BraVard, marketing director, at gary@hoosierhistorylive.org, or (317) 902-7900, as well as Producer Molly Head at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org, (317) 927-9101.

We certainly need financial support to continue our excellent work; you can help to defray the costs of maintaining our website, our email marketing software, our editing costs, etc. It's also easy just to click on the yellow "Donate" button on our website. Simply put, if you like us, support us!

If you wish your contribution to be tax-deductible, visit the "Support us" page on our website.

Also, the Irvington Library Listening Group continues to meet on a regular basis from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturdays to listen to and discuss the live show. If you think you would enjoy listening with fellow history lovers, just stop by the library at 5626 E. Washington St. in Indianapolis and ask for the listening group.

By the way, it's easy to form your own listening group; all you need is a relatively quiet room with comfortable chairs and either a radio or an online listening device to pick up the show from the live Web stream on Saturdays. We do have listeners all over the country. If you need any advice on how to get started, please contact molly@hoosierhistorylive.org. A weekly listening group is an easy way to get "regulars" into your organization or place of business, and it is a relatively low-cost programming idea.

Aug. 31 show

Winona Lake, Warsaw, orthopedics and Grace College

The massive Billy Sunday Tabernacle, seating more than 7,500, was the largest venue in northern Indiana for many years. Built in 1920, it was razed in 1992. The charismatic Billy Sunday is the man standing up on the right in the white coat. This photo is from circa the late 1920s. Image courtesy Reneker Museum of Winona History. Photo research by Heritage Photo and Research Services.A scenic county in far-northern Indiana includes a city known as the "orthopedics capital of the country," a lakeside community with a long heritage as a spiritual retreat (one of the country's best-known evangelists of the early 1990s had deep connections to the region) and an evangelical Christian college.

We will explore the rich history of Winona Lake, the orthopedics industry and its impact on Warsaw, the heritage of Grace College & Seminary and other aspects related to Kosciusko County, including links to the Potawatomi Indians, colorful evangelist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) and a Bible conference internationally known as the Second Wave.

Nelson will be joined in studio by three guests:

  • Winona at 100 book cover.Terry White, co-author of Winona Lake at 100: Third Wave Rising (BMH Books)a book published in connection with the centennial of the resort town of Winona Lake's incorporation in 1913.
  • Brad Bishop, executive director of OrthoWorx, a non-profit devoted to ensuring the Warsaw area remains the country's "orthopedics capital." In the 1890s, Warsaw-based DePuy Manufacturing became the world's first manufacturer of orthopedics appliances. Since then, major businesses such as Zimmer and Biomet have been founded in Warsaw, making the city a hub for devices associated with hip and knee replacements.
  • And Bill Katip, the president of Grace College & Seminary, which describes itself as "an evangelical Christian community of higher education."

According to Terry's book, the "first wave" of flourishing activity around Winona Lake began during the 1800s with the Potawatomi culture. This wave also included early white settlement and, from 1896 through the 1930s, a Chautauqua Days festival that included secular programs of lectures, recitals and plays often featuring famous Americans. (Booker T. Washington spoke at Winona Lake in 1897, as did Helen Keller in 1915.)

The Chautauqua concept - derived from an ongoing cultural festival every summer in western New York - has been revived at Winona Lake in recent years.

Although Billy Sunday grew up in Iowa and primarily was based in Chicago during most of his preaching years (he first achieved fame as a Chicago baseball player), he settled for part of each year in Winona Lake at a home he called Mount Hood. The restored home is known today as the Billy Sunday Home Museum.

© 2013 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