Growing up halfway between Martinsville and Monrovia in the Wilbur area has caused Autumn Hodge to have a slightly different perspective on life today. Her backyard was several acres just down the road from her grandparent’s house. She spent a great deal of her time out of doors, engaged in sports like softball or basketball, or helping in Grandma Wilma Hodge’s garden. With little, if any, cell or internet service at home, she is less tethered to her cell phone or computer than most peo-ple, and she likes it that way. In fact, she says she often has to calm visiting friends telling them they will survive not having cell service for a while.
Her fondest memories of home and family are in the garden and kitchen with Grandma, making jelly, chicken pot pie, and baking up pies, cakes and other goodies. They would start in the garden picking produce that, depending on the season, could range from strawberries, blue- or blackberries, cucumbers, tomatoes or green beans to apples from the trees. She learned to sort, snap, chop, strain, mash, cook, and can the foods into good old Mason jars. They’d cool and be stored in the cellar ready to feed the family all year long. But before that happened, the “extras” would be fashioned into pies and other pastries to eat right away.
The February enrollment figures for Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation made a big impression on Superintendent Randy Taylor. That’s because enrollment increased over the number of students from the beginning of the school year. Taylor said, “We have more students moving into the community. The indication is that we are being noticed and people are moving into our community seeing the strengths in academics, athletics, and performing arts.”
At the conclusion of this school year, Taylor will be celebrating 45 years in education and he is excited and enthusiastic about what is happening in the schools today and the part he wants to play in it. After 13 years as an instructor and coach in Martinsville, Taylor made the decision to become an administrator. “I felt a need to get into the side of education where decisions were being made as to what was best for students and also for the community, because they run hand-in-hand. To have a good community, you have to have a strong school system.”
It is easy to take water for granted. We turnon the tap and there it is. We drink it, cook with it, and bathe in it. We even play in it. Everyone likes water. The water in Mooresville is delivered through Indiana American Water and it is Mooresville resident, Troy Bryant, who leads the team that makes sure that not only is water there when you turn the faucet on, but that it is safe and healthy, too.
Bryant didn’t grow up in Mooresville thinking he would ever shoulder that responsibility. In fact, after graduating from Mooresville High School he enlisted in the Navy. Jamie was his high school sweetheart. She followed him, they married, and had one child, Jordan, while they were serving our country. Troy and Jamie returned to Mooresville after the Navy and had two more children, Coleman and Abigail. He needed a job and General Waterworks was hiring. It took him about a year, but he got the job and starting out reading meters.
For the next 26 years, Bryant worked his way up through the ranks being promoted to supervisor and then to Superintendent in 2005. He stayed with the local organization through a purchase by United Water in 1994 and then in 2000 the company was purchased by American Water and became a part of Indiana American Water.
2018 is a very big milestone for United Way of Central Indiana, of which the Morgan County United Way Area South is a part. The organization will be celebrating 100 years of service in Central Indiana. It was 1918 when the movement came to Indianapolis in the form of a “War Chest” that was placed on the steps of Monument Circle. The War Chest campaign raised $3 million that was then donated to charities such as Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Catholic Charities Indianapolis, Children’s Bureau, Inc., Early Learning Indiana, Boy Scouts of America, Families First, Girl Scouts of America, The Salvation Army and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.
The United Way movement actually began 133 years ago in Denver, Colorado, when a woman, a priest, a rabbi, and two ministers combined efforts to address extreme poverty. They realized that the only way to make the most impact was to unite and seek donations to one organization that would then distribute funds to organizations directly touching those in need.
After more than thirty years at the helm of the Costin Funeral Chapel, Kenny and Debbie Costin agree that there’s always a greater plan and patience will bear it out. “We aren’t supposed to worry about it,” Kenny said, “we are to pray and have faith that God has a plan.”
The Morgan County natives weren’t always so sure. When he graduated from Eminence High School, Kenny went first to Purdue to study accounting, and then had designs on playing basketball for a small college in Florida. When that did not happen, he began testing with the Navy to go into the nuclear energy field. While in that process, his brother, David, who was a licensed director at Carlisle Funeral Services in Mooresville, asked him to fill in and help with services there. “I worked there for about a week and then,” Kenny said, “because I needed a job, I asked for one, and Mr. Carlisle took me on.”
It was about that time that Kenny went to the dentist and met Debbie. “He’s not shy,” Debbie said. “He called the dentist and asked if I was dating anyone.” When he was told Debbie had just had a bad break up, he took to heart the dentist’s wish for “good luck” and sent her flowers and they became a couple.
Jen Sadler noticed she was only one of a few women in the mass of 400 students in the lecture halls at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. But it did not intimidate her. Because, she said, “I was there on a mission to get my business degree.”
She began college in the late 1960s, pursuing a degree in psychology, although business was what she had on her heart. “I didn’t know it was OK or acceptable at that time,” Sadler said explaining why she was taking psychology classes instead of business classes at first. She switched majors and nothing else mattered. Women were stepping into new roles and she was right there on the front lines and credentials were important.
After graduating, Sadler went to work for Mayor Richard Lugar and then went on to work at the Indiana Department of Commerce. While she was there, she met Stan Sadler, who was working in commercial real estate sales downtown. He encouraged her to take classes to become a Realtor™. Again, credentials and a deep knowledge of the field were important to her, so she took all the classes and exams necessary to not only be a licensed real estate agent, but a licensed broker as well.