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March 24th, 2012

Hoosier Celebrities Abound

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK

            A lot of great or famous people come from Indiana. (You can be famous without being great, of course – especially these days.) I recently read of the death of a man who isn’t well known, but probably should be – a man who hailed from Professor Harold Hill’s favorite place, Gary, Indiana.

            Gary is, of course, the former stomping grounds of the Jackson family, who have some small amount of talent in the singing and dancing field. People like that tend to migrate from The Middle to the Coasts, where the entertainment jobs are, so Michael and his kin are often thought of as Californians.

            Much as I love Indiana, I can see a certain advantage of being in California … especially around, say, January.

            The man I’m speaking of is Ralph McQuarrie, and if you haven’t heard of him you’ve definitely heard of the jobs he was involved with. McQuarrie, who sure enough moved to California, died this month at the age of 82.

           


Some celebrities came to Indiana, some stayed, and some moved on. (That’s why we can claim Abe Lincoln, who didn’t stick around.) John Chapman came from Massachusetts, but headed out looking for a state he could more easily spell. Looking to keep him busy and out of trouble, John’s father (a former Minuteman at Concord) apprenticed him as an orchardist, which is a real word. As a result, John’s purported burial place in Fort Wayne is now called Johnny Appleseed Park.Collapse )

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