Details are still being ironed out, but this summer we will be honoring our Sagamore.
Incredibly tardy, but finally took a package to the post office I have been meaning to since returning from our trip.
I put this book that has meant so much to our community and written by Ross Lockridge, Jr., whose mother grew up in Henry “Raintree” County. The book was the topic of discussion when we visited Mr. Indiana. He wondered what we were doing to honor Mr. Lockridge, and we were pleased to tell him that we just dedicated a plaque on the lawn of the Courthouse in his honor and as a historical marker for the story.
Later on in the week during our trip, we had visited the splendid little Vinalhaven Public Library, complete with its LOVE print and bronze LOVE sculpture. Mr. Bouslog and I had noticed that they did not have a copy of Raintree County. So was born this idea.
My dad finally found a copy of the book, but it was in poor condition. Mrs. York, the mayor’s wife, had seen me with it, heard what I was doing with it, and offered to trade me copies. I appreciate this gesture, as her’s was much nicer.
The dedication of the book reads:
The letter that accompanied the book to the library, which was cc’d to Mr. Indiana at the Star of Hope reads:
Dear Mr. Candage,
Almost 9 months ago, I was on a trek to meet a man who took his first breath of life in my hometown of New Castle, Indiana. I grew up knowing little to nothing about this man and all he had contributed to the world, which troubled me. So I set out to build a bridge.
My friend (and former elementary school principal), Richard Bouslog, traveled with me to Vinalhaven last summer to meet Mr. Robert Indiana and to take him some affects of the “home” we all shared commonalities with. Some of these items were the front page of the local Courier Times newspaper from September 13, 1928 (when he was born), some books about New Castle, a proclamation naming our South 15th Street in his honor as Robert Indiana Parkway (a sign was sent later), and a ceramic Henry County Courthouse.
That courthouse led to discussion about one of Mr. Indiana’s interests in which our courthouse is depicted, the book Raintree County, written by another creative genius from our community, Ross Lockridge, Jr. We talked about how there is now a plaque honoring Mr. Lockridge, Jr.’s masterpiece and the connection it has to New Castle, Henry County.
We noticed your library did not have a copy of this book, and thought it would be a great way to connect our communities, and also honor both great men who left our little town to go on and do things that would change the world.
I hope you will accept this gift and make it a part of your collection. I look forward to visiting your beautiful library again in the near future!
*More to come soon on this journey, including news from the Statehouse, as well as developments to the Robert Indiana Arts & Culture District!