Examining the history of Beech Grove while highlighting businesses that are seemingly "Invisible" by others

Beech Grove, Indiana

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Civil War show comes to Beech Grove

Beech Grove, IN (March 16, 2019) IBG — The ninth annual Civil War Show at Beech Grove High School is unique in many ways. With scores of vendors from 10 states and more than 130 tables of displays, the show serves as a fundraiser for the high school’s Renaissance program that encourages and honors students, a museum of rare all-original artifacts, an educational experience for history buffs and patrons and original Civil War items can be purchased. The show begins Friday, March 22, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and continues Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 per person and is good for each day, a bargain compared to $15 or more for similar shows throughout the Midwest and East Coast.

Retired BGHS principal Harvey Warrner, a Civil War buff since childhood, emphasizes that the show is special to the Southside community because it raises funds for the BGHS Renaissance program that rewards students for improvement in the 3 A’s – attendance, attitude and academics. Students become eligible to take part in Renaissance activities. “The show is unique to Renaissance because students and adults are not going out into the community seeking funds, but the community comes to this,” Warrner said. “And this also attracts many people from the Midwest and vendors from states as far away as New Mexico and Maryland.”

All admissions, vendor fees and proceeds from concessions are donated to the high school’s student incentive fund (Renaissance) that rewards student improvement with special activities and items.

No state money or tax dollars support Renaissance. “Improved attitude is so important for today’s students,” the veteran educator said. “The kids are like flowers; they don’t all bloom at the same time.”

So, as Warrner contends, funding for Renaissance fosters student improvement. As for the show itself, the artifacts on display are treasured and can be purchased from vendors.

All original Civil War items range from from swords, Springfield muskets, cannonballs, documents, personal items like canteens, uniforms, medals, books and cards plus other collectibles.

Prices range from $2 for bullets, $200 for canteens, $900 for muskets and other items are $10,000 or more. “Everything is authentic,” said Warrner of he Beech Grove show. ‘The community and out-of-state visitors enjoy the show. You don’t necessarily have to be a Civil War enthusiast. This is a good place to spend a few hours. I’m sure they will see something they have not seen before.” Experts also will be available to provide free appraisals of Civil War items. The show is at the school at 5339 Hornet Ave., east off the 3900 block of South Emerson Avenue. Concessions, some home-cooked items, are available for purchase.

After Warrner retired as BGHS principal several years ago, he and his family traveled to numerous Civil War sites and battlefields and Civil War shows. ​They continually buy and sell items. Warrner expressed pride in the show because it raises funds to reward deserving high school students which makes the Beech Grove Civil War Show unique throughout the nation.

SOURCE: Southsider Voice
SOURCE: IndyStar
PHOTO CREDITS: Michelle Pemberton

Monday, March 11, 2019

Daniels’ Daily Dose: What a Weekend!

Beech Grove, IN (March 11, 2019) IBG — What a weekend for BGCS and the community of Beech Grove!  From BG Jubilaires winning Grand Champions at Brownsburg on Friday night to our boys’ basketball team playing in the Regional Finals (final 8 teams in 3a) at Greencastle.  Downtown, on a rainy and windy Saturday, our teachers joined other teachers across the state to fill up the statehouse for the ‘Red for Ed’ rally while at Lucas Oil Stadium our BGMS Robotics team competed in the state finals!

Construction helmet honoring Coach Matt English - Photo: BGHS The Hive

I would like to speak on the boys’ basketball team and the amazing heart and toughness they showed this weekend while also thanking a long list of people who helped make a great day possible!
The team won the first game of the day against the host school, Greencastle, which was BG’s first regional win since 1966.  While our fans were probably outnumbered 5-1 in the stands, you would’ve never known because our BG cheer section was so LOUD!  The night game brought even more of the BG community and we filled up the stands with black and orange to support our team.  We lost in the regional championship game to Crispus Attucks but our team never quit!  THANK YOU – Beech Grove staff and community for making the long drive to cheer on our basketball team.

1. Athletic/Coaching Staff – Thank you for all the planning and efforts that happened this week going into this weekend.  Also, for giving up your weekend to prepare for the games, and make sure our players were taken care of this weekend!  It’s been a very challenging season for many reasons but in the end, we couldn’t be more proud of the result and your dedication!

2. Bus Drivers – Often times overlooked, but thank you for safely transporting our students and coaches/teachers to and from their destinations.  Also, sacrificing most of your weekend to do so!

3. Coach Fangman and Cheerleaders – Thank you for organizing the student fan bus, sharing your bus space, and leading our BG fans in cheer after cheer, louder and louder each time!

4. BG Pep Band – Thank you, Cory and Jon, for competing in a competition Saturday morning and then getting your Pep Band together for Saturday night to bring, as always, the best pep band music around!
Only one more week until Spring Break!  Make it a great one!

STORY: Quinten Starks on Mar 11, 2019

Friday, March 8, 2019

Beech Grove's season of triumph and tears

Beech Grove, IN (March 8, 2019) IBG — In a quiet gym after practice Wednesday, Beech Grove assistant Jason Hess sat in the first row of bleachers with tears streaming down his face. Five seconds passed. Ten. Fifteen. “Sorry,” Hess said, breaking the silence. “It’s just hard.” It has been a season of tears around Beech Grove basketball. Not only tears of sadness, though there have been plenty of those since coach Matt English succumbed to brain cancer Dec. 10.

There have been tears of pride. Tears of happiness. Tears of togetherness. On March 2, the day of Beech Grove’s sectional championship game against Manual, English’s widow, Angela, texted Hess to ask if they could save her a piece of the sectional championship net.

After Beech Grove’s 48-45 comeback win over Manual that night at Danville, the coaches and players cleared a path so she could climb the ladder and be the first to clip a piece of the net. Matt English never won a sectional during his 10-plus seasons at Beech Grove. But this one will go on his record. Beech Grove, coached by English’s former assistant, Mike Renfro, will attempt to take the next step Saturday in the Class 3A Greencastle Regional. The Hornets (17-7) will play host Greencastle (21-4) at 10 a.m.

Related | Beech Grove wins sectional title
Related |Coach Matt English student news story awarded

The winner will face Crispus Attucks (18-8) or Owen Valley (14-12) for the regional title at 8 p.m. “I could feel coach English in the gym at the end of the game,” senior guard John Parker said. “There’s nothing like it. It’s a great feeling knowing it’s not just us out there by ourselves and we have great support from our community. I think that’s how we pulled that one out against Manual.” While there is business at hand on Saturday, the week between games has offered a chance for a bit of reflection on the accomplishments of the team – on and off the court. Hess’ son, 6-2 senior Gavin Hess, is the team’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder. If the balanced Hornets make it through the regional, Hess will likely play a key role.

But whenever the book is closed on this Beech Grove season, it will not necessarily be the game details that Jason Hess remembers most. His own father, David Hess, is fighting a battle. David was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in September 2017. David, who graduated from Beech Grove in 1974, has been receiving radiation and chemotherapy for the past 15 months and was honored in February at the school’s annual Coaches vs. Cancer event put on by Matt and Angela. “My father talks about Matt all the time as an inspiration for him,” Jason said. “He never thought the disease was crippling to Matt. My father is a tough guy. He doesn’t talk about it a lot. But throughout his journey, he took a lot from Matt.” Gavin took a lot from English, too.

That is the part that brings the tears to Jason’s eyes. Gavin was a quiet kid when he came in as a freshman – and still is. But there was a connection that English made with Gavin that Jason can still see come through in his son. “Matt is a like a dad to a lot of these kids,” Jason said. “And he always made it very obvious that he believed in my son, which meant the world to me. When you see your son crying for another person, that’s hard to watch. I always knew how much he cared for him, but Matt did so much for these kids.” Angela presented gifts to the senior players on senior night.

One of her presents to Gavin was a Pearl Jam T-shirt that Matt often wore. “Without him, we definitely wouldn’t be in this situation,” Gavin said. “It is about winning basketball games, but it’s also about playing for him and the whole community.” There has been an outpouring of support not only from the Beech Grove community, but all over the state and beyond. Renfro said that by the time he checked his phone after the game, he had 88 text messages offering congratulations. Villanova coach Jay Wright, who coached Renfro at Hofstra in the late 1990s, and Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, were among those to reach out. “In the end it’s about those kids,” Renfro said. “It’s a vision Matt and I had five years ago to change the culture of Beech Grove basketball and get it back to where it was being that team nobody wants to play every time we take the court.”

In a quiet moment alone in the locker room before the sectional championship game, Renfro looked up and told English he expected him to be there with him on the sideline. “I need all the help I can get,” Renfro said. All of the opposing coaches have signed the back of the chair where English’s hard hat and lunch pail sit for every game. “At the end of the season we’ll give that to Angela,” Renfro said. “Hopefully here in about three weeks.”

Story: Kyle Neddenriep
SOURCE: IndyStar

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Beech Grove wins sectional title

Beech Grove, IN (March 3, 2019) IBG — The Beech Grove Hornets have dedicated their season to their beloved coach Matt English who died in December after a 7-year battle with brain cancer. His team has won the last eight games and capped off this part of their season Saturday night by bringing home their first sectional championship since 2008 with a 48-45 win over Manual High School.

It was a celebration of its own, but the victory was even sweeter for the boys knowing it was in honor of their favorite coach.

Watch the story in the video player above. 

Earlier this year, Beech Grove honored Coach English by renaming the gymnasium "Matt English Court." English had been with Beech Grove schools for 10 years. Beech Grove will play Greencastle in regionals at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 9.


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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Beech Grove welcomes new centenarian club member

Beech Grove, IN (February 28, 2019) IBG — One hundred years ago, on February. 23, 1919, Viola Arnold was born. It was a different age. The president was Woodrow Wilson. Congress had just passed an act to establish the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Women could now vote. A gallon of gas was $0.25 a gallon and a dozen eggs were $0.55. Future baseball player, Jackie Robinson was born, as was Nat King Cole. A “dingbat” was a stupid person, the Adventures of Ruth played in the movie theaters and the names Mary, Helen and Dorothy were just a few of the popular baby names for the time.

Saturday, Feb. 23, saw the Altenheim Senior Living facility’s reception hall decked out in long tables, balloons, chocolates and cakes, celebrating longtime Franklin Township’s resident guest of honor, Viola Arnold. The birthday girl marveled at the attention as longtime friends, family and church members steadily made their entrance to congratulate her upon reaching this milestone. “To me, it just feels like another day,” she stated, with a smile upon her face. “It’s no big thing, but it is, I guess. So far, I’ve been able to remember things fairly well, but I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a little bit less sharp.”

Remembering a close-knit community Back in the day, Franklin Township and Wanamaker was a close-knit community. Family members remained close. Everyone knew everybody. There were no strangers. “My maiden name was Rode. My great-grandparents emigrated from Germany. They had a business downtown … a livery stable where they boarded horses,” Viola recollected. “They bought this piece of ground out in Franklin Township and built a log cabin (where the present-day Hanna Haunted Acres sits). This farm finally came down to my mother and father. That’s where we lived.” In time, her father passed and her mother had a stroke. Her four brothers and one sister took care of their mother at the farm until her last days.

Viola was no longer a child, having worked at a couple of insurance agencies until landing a job at a factory on the Southside that produced tubes for jet engines — Tube Processing Corp.

“I retired to care for my mom,” she said. “We sold the farm when my mother died. There were six of us … if there had only been one or two, we might have kept it.” 

Viola and her brothers moved into homes close, along Hanna Street. Her sister moved to Edgewood Avenue.

Time marched on. Viola has lived in Altenheim since January 2017. Prior to that, she resided at other assisted living facilities, finally deciding she needed more long-term help, resulting in the move to Altenheim. Her son, John Arnold, reflected upon his parent’s history. “My parents grew up in church together. They had a few dates before World War II and then dad went to war. After he came back, they got married around 1947.” John smiled as his eyes looked back on precious memories. “I was going through mom’s stuff and found old letters between them written back and forth during the war.” Those are certainly keepers!

John’s dad and Viola’s husband, Harold Arnold, died in 1988. As guests milled about the room, ate cake, and reflected upon numerous photos of another time and place, Viola was busy entertaining her guests. She was busy! Driven by faith “I think my faith drives me. I was born and baptized as a baby. I’ve belonged to the St. John’s Lutheran Church on Southeastern Avenue ever since.” It’s faith in our salvation and faith that Jesus will take us to our final home! Her son, John, stated, “She’s made me a better person. In the last few years even! More calmer.” He looked back. “It was sad when we had to sell her house. However, she has taught me a lot more patience in things.” Viola agreed. “He never had patience before, but he does now! He lives one day at a time, just like I do.”

And … the secret of reaching the age of 100? “I don’t really have a secret. God has been good to me. And I think there’s a reason He’s keeping me here on this earth,” she offered. “And … I eat a lot of chocolate. I’d like to have a glass of wine, but no one’s offered it to me.”

STORY: Rick Hinton
SOURCE: The Southside Times

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