Kitty welcomes you to the Hoosier homestead. This is the house that just had its 53rd birthday. Yay, house, you’re still nice and warm and you can handle lots of family members. Yes, Kitty is my mom and I couldn’t be prouder of her. Nice of her to get it to snow after I arrived.
I spent my first night in Indiana with my sister, Pegerty, sitting in on her delightful writing group, and writing at her house the next morning. Good start!
After shopping and lunching at The Venice, Kitty and I went down to the lovely West Central Neighborhood. Here I am reverting to the age at which I lived in this cool house on the corner of College and W. Wayne…nineteen.
Here’s the house in profile, from the front walk of the place across College Street. Hydra and I shared a one bedroom apartment here. West Central was a terrific neighborhood, with the IPFW art school housed in another converted home nearby, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in the building we’re about to enter, and lots of students, craftsmen and artists of various stripes residing in the former parlors and bedrooms of the formerly well-to-do.
Yes, that’s a mastodon wearing a bow. A large percentage of the mastodons in U.S. museums come from Indiana, so they invited artists to decorate them like they decorate rabbits in Conejo Valley or cows in New York City. (I know, because when you think New York City, cows are the first thing that come to mind.)
Back when the house I’m about to enter was the art museum, I sneaked over after dark and climbed that tree. Several times. I was, as I mentioned before, nineteen, and I’d just moved in from the countryside. It felt really transgressive and, you know, fun.
The former museum, decked out for Christmas. It was turned into apartments in the early 1980s, then into condos. Now it’s an art gallery and if you live near there, you should really go have a look. Like The Louvre, the architecture is half the draw. You get to roam the whole house enjoying the artwork!
Whaaaaat is up with this unfriendly door knocker? Apparently it was intended to scare off evil spirits. Hopefully they brought the children in through the side door.
Okay, that’s nice. Ringo turned out to be an elegant elderly collie.
Stella turned out to be an engaging cat who followed us around and acted very friendly. Right up until she scratched Kitty and made her bleed, just seconds after this shot.
Some pottery I liked. Unusual and attractive colors!
There are beds in the former bedrooms, with art hung on the walls.
I could probably have been quite happy living in this loft, which spans the third floor of the house and has two bay windows facing Wayne Street. Wow.
A child-sized chair that Kitty pointed out on the ground floor. What a place.
While we were down there, we stopped by the second place Hydra and I shared. We had most of the upper floor of this house on Jackson Street, including the sun porch on the far right. The wreath hangs between the living room windows and our kitchen table was on the other side of the windows to the right. Our own private entrance. When a friend’s toddler came to visit right after we moved in he shook his head No and said, “Dana Sally ‘partment,” then nodded his head Yes and said, “Dana Sally house!” Smart kid! It was a nice size place with room to invite friends over.
This concludes your Magical History Tour. Thanks for playing.