Indiana: 50 States in 50 Days



a "beemer", no less

Havona and the Stony Cooks have been busy trawling the streets of Park Slope in search of rare plates like this one from Indiana. Indiana is the Hoosier state. I am glad we’ve reached this point because it affords and opportunity to answer the question on everyone’s lips. Just what is a Hoosier, exactly?
I put the question to Dan Janzen, local dad, writer for hire and Indiana native. Dan writes:
“No one knows! It's been used to refer to people from Indiana almost as long as the state has existed (statehood in 1816), but there's never been a commonly accepted explanation for why. The term was eventually synonymous with "hick," but it's not clear whether this came before or after the Indiana connotation. Most versions you hear deal in some way with country living, e.g. yelling "Who's here?" when you hear someone approaching your cabin in the woods, but none of these seem all that specific to Indiana as opposed to Illinois or Ohio. I think of it as something fated: it's our destiny to be Hoosiers, and our lot never to question it.”
In other words the meaning of Hoosier is one of those questions mankind has asked since the beginning of time. “What does it mean?" "Why me?" "Why not someone else?" "Surely it must mean something? It can’t just be a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing… can it? Can it!?"
Fortunately we do know the meaning of the name “Indiana”. Not surprisingly it means, land of the Indians. Indiana joined the union back in 1961 when it became the 19th state. It is the smallest state west of the Appalachians. It is bordered by Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It has its own little slice of Lake Michigan.
Indiana produces steel, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, automobiles, electrical equipment, transportation equipment, chemical products, rubber, petroleum and coal products, and factory machinery. It grows corn, soybeans, melons, grapes, tomatoes tobacco and mint. It fattens and processes hogs, and cattle and has dairy and chicken farms.
Hoosiers are fond of sports. The state has a long association with motor racing as in the Indianapolis 500. It boasts many college and professional sports teams with names like Hoosiers, Bulldogs, The Indians, Pacers and the Colts (known for their fanatical fans). They are also home to the famous Ft. Wayne “Mad Ants”.
Notable Indianans include: Dan Janzen, Johnny Appleseed, Dan Quayle, Justice Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts, James Dean, Anne Baxter, Carol Lombard, Irene Dunn, Brendan Fraizer, Shelly Long, Steve McQueen, Karl Malden, Red Skelton, Crystal Gayle, Adam Lambert, Michael Jackson, John Mellencamp, Cole porter, David Letterman, a bunch of heavy metal musicians, Orville Redenbacher, Halston, Jimmy Hoffa, Will Shortz and a truly staggering number of other people too numerous to mention here.
Thank you Hoosiers.
Nancy McDermott
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