By Bob Burchfield, Editor
Life can be a routine of the mundane and ordinary if you let it, going along from day-to-day with nothing special to look forward to. Or as it has been said, “A rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out.” But then every once in a while, if you get lucky, you can break out of that rut and have a memorable and unforgettable experience that lasts a lifetime in your heart and soul.
So it was last weekend in White County, Indiana, on the occasion of my younger daughter’s wedding. But that’s not what I want to discuss herein (that’s the topic for another blog). I want to talk about the venue: The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast on Lake Shafer. With no disrespect to anyone or any other place, this is the nicest place I’ve ever visited anywhere in Indiana.
Before I go any further, let me make it clear that there is no conflict of interest here: I didn’t receive a room discount or any favoritism of any kind. I paid my bill like any other guest. My thoughts here are simply the way I feel after enjoying three days of some of the best Hoosier hospitality I’ve ever experienced.
When it comes to hidden Hoosier treasures, The Lighthouse B&B on Lake Shafer has to be right up there at the top of the list. Owners Mike and Bonnie Triplett have taken a dilapidated and distressed property that was near the point of demolition and over the course of 20 years turned it into a little piece of Heaven on the east shore of Lake Shafer. Who knew there was such a gem just 100 miles north of Indianapolis?
The Lighthouse B&B on Lake Shafer is the Triplett’s home, but it’s also a glorious setting — right on the waterfront — for a quiet and relaxing weekend getaway. In my opinion, it’s ideal for a family reunion, weddings, business meetings, retreats, or just about any kind of gathering up to 125 guests or so.
The main building has seven tastefully decorated contemporary suites. Across the yard are four cottages that can accommodate a couple or as many as nine, including handicapped-accessible facilities. The Honeymoon Suite with a balcony overlooking the property is breathtaking. There’s a boat dock with a pontoon, a large deck for outdoor parties and other special occasions, a fire pit, a sandy beach with playground equipment and toys for the kids, a pier, a big yard with a waterfall, and that distinctive lighthouse on the point (see photo below) that gives the property its name and defines its character.
And then there’s the Rec Room (see photo below): gathering place, breakfast nook, living room, kitchen, movie theater, darts, poker, bumper pool, and restaurant all rolled into one. I can’t compare it to any other place I’ve visited. I sat at the counter and watched Bonnie make breakfast for 35 visitors on both Saturday and Sunday. Cracked five dozen eggs each morning by hand — fresh eggs just delivered by an area farmer. Blueberry syrup for the banana pancakes — from scratch. Homemade biscuits from scratch. Nothing out of a can; everything made fresh.
I noted Bonnie’s attention to the needs of guests who required gluten-free menu items. And I admired her easy-going, almost casual pace. Not hurried or harried, not frenetic or frustrated, but quietly and confidently in control. Great stories and conversation. Great atmosphere and friendliness. For his part, Mike is quietly efficient and attentive to the needs of his guests. Together they make a great team!
It’s one of those rarest of places where you are welcome behind the counter to pour your own coffee or get a cup of milk out of the fridge. It has a comfortable homey feeling to it. The Tripletts are there to welcome you into their home, attend to your needs, and create an unforgettable experience.
I could go on, but the pictures speak for themselves. It’s not inexpensive, but hey, this isn’t a chain hotel with frozen waffles and OJ for breakfast. This is an experience. It’s worth a visit, and it’s open year-round.
The Lighthouse B&B on Lake Shafer is located at 4866 North Boxman Place, Monticello, Indiana, a few miles north of Indiana Beach on the east side of the lake, the non-commercial side of the lake. Quiet. Serene. Peaceful. Splendid.
For more information, visit http://www.thelighthouselodge.com/, or call 574-583-9142.
By Scott Hall
University of Indianapolis
National policy experts, respected U.S. statesmen and rising local officeholders will gather Oct. 8 and 9 at the University of Indianapolis for the inaugural Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership.
Two of Indiana’s most respected voices in Washington, Richard Lugar and Lee Hamilton, are among the speakers for the event, presented by UIndy’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives in partnership with Indiana Humanities and with support from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.
Activities will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 with The Great Debate: Is Action in Syria America’s Least Bad Option? Registration is requested, but admission is free to this foreign policy panel discussion moderated by veteran congressman Hamilton, director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University and co-chair of IU’s International Engagement Advisory Board. The nationally known panelists will be:
- Lugar, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and distinguished professor of political science and international relations at the University of Indianapolis;
- Doug Bandow, senior fellow, Cato Institute;
- Joshua Landis, director, Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University; president, Syrian Studies Association;
- Robert Zarate, policy director, Foreign Policy Initiative.
Oct. 9 will bring a series of discussions and presentations on issues facing local leaders and the seemingly lost art of civility in political discourse. Registration is $25 for the day, which culminates in a noon-1:30 p.m. lunch and keynote conversation between former Indianapolis Mayor Lugar and current South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Other second-day highlights will include:
- Young Guns Roundtable Discussion: Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson moderates a discussion with three recently elected Indiana mayors younger than 35: South Bend’s Buttigieg, LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo and Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes.
- Debunking the Civility Myth: Historians James Fuller of UIndy and Ray Boomhower of the Indiana Historical Society explore the long legacy of incivility in U.S. politics.
- Behind the Scenes of City Government: Melina Kennedy moderates a conversation on how things get done in Indianapolis, featuring fellow former deputy mayors Michael Huber, Mike O’Connor, Anne Shane and David Frick.
More information is available at www.uindy.edu/mayoral or fairbankssymposium.eventbrite.com.
By Scott Fulmer
Photographers, both professional and novice, are invited to submit their work for the upcoming Clark Gallery’s 2013 Photography Show at the Honeywell Center, a juried annual event that has been a popular tradition for decades. Borders and Beyond Gallery & Framing are sponsoring the Photography Show, with additional support from Wabash County Arts Council.
Photographers may enter up to three pieces in the categories of Altered Images, Color, and Black and White (including sepia tones). Entries, which may be in one or all categories, will be received between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, October 7, at the Honeywell Center Skating Rink (below the former gym).
Judging will take place after 2 p.m. October 7, with the selected photography on display from Wednesday, October 9, through Sunday, November 10. The Clark Gallery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A public reception and awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 10.
For a full list of guidelines, including submission details and list of prizes, call 260-563-1102 ext. 502, or visit http://www.honeywellcenter.org/clark-gallery/.
The Photography Show competition is just one way that the Clark Gallery supports the visual arts. The Clark Gallery hosts more than ten exhibits per year and features students, amateurs, and professionals. Exhibits include the Wabash County Schools, Themed Art Competition, and Wabash Art Guild. Because the Gallery encompasses the semi-circle of the Honeywell Center Porter Lobby, foot traffic exceeds 150,000 guests per year! Nearly every exhibit hosts a reception to introduce the public to the art.
The Honeywell Center is north central Indiana’s premier arts and entertainment facility with more than 3,000 events and 150,000 visitors annually. Concerts, conferences, charity galas, art exhibits, and educational outreach programs are among the diverse events at the Honeywell Center.
All programs and activities are supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, the Indiana Arts Commission (a state agency) and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). The Center is located at 275 W. Market Street in Wabash, Indiana. For a complete program listing, visit the Honeywell Center Web site at http://www.honeywellcenter.org/ or call 260-563-1102.
By Bruce Williams
Indiana State Museum
Daring designs and unparalleled artisanship best describe the fine art furniture presented in Fearless Furniture, the first juried exhibition of its kind opening to the public on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at the Indiana State Museum.
Thirty benches, tables, chairs, clocks and more will be featured in this remarkable range of spirited designs by 21 juried and three invited artists all with Indiana connections.
“The show illustrates not only the immensely diverse talent associated with our state, but also the artists’ fearless approaches to making a living from something they love doing,” said Indiana State Museum Decorative Arts and Furniture Curator David Buchanan.
Fearless Furniture will feature several designs that will excite your imagination, including a very modern red aluminum concept chair titled Star Chair, designed by Indianapolis-based furniture maker Glen Fuller and Fluxus, a poplar, glass and steel table inspired by the ebb and flow of the White River by Ball State University Assistant Professor Dustin Headley.
Buchanan tapped internationally-renowned furniture designer Wendy Maruyama to jury the exhibition. As part of the judging criteria, all of the artists needed to have an Indiana connection: either as a native or current resident of the state or trained at one of Indiana’s well-known design programs. Applications were submitted from across the country with the final selection including artists from as far away as Hawaii and Maine.
Maruyama will present a lecture at the museum on Friday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. followed by a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition. Both events are free and open to the public. Due to limited seating, please RSVP to the museum at 317.232.1637.