Amy Wimmer Schwarb

Work

  • 'B' is for Basketball

    The little girl at center court had no game. She just stood there, stoic, watching as the boys raced past, dribbling and tripping and, on occasion, pushing. She looked as if she had been crossing the street when the light changed, and had decided that the safest place to be was right where she was, between the zooming lanes of traffic, holding her breath and waiting for the "Walk" sign.

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  • True Colors

    Vera Bradley Designs blossomed in a corner of the state better known for truck parts than for purses and paisleys. The company and its homey, wholesome style earned adulation from fans and tax breaks from politicians.

    But then some of the handbags started bearing "Made in China" tags, and longtime business relationships began to fray. Is Vera Bradley's carefully constructed image unraveling?

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  • Sell Your House Fast

    The economy has slowed everything down. But some houses move quickly — when the price is right, when a property is well-tended, when circumstances bring the right buyer to the right seller at just the right moment.

    Here are their stories — with lots of tips on how you can make it happen, too.

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  • Collision Course

    An engine failure. A frantic attempt to land. A fiery crash. Twenty years ago, an Air Force jet assigned to a mysterious military program fell from the sky and tore through a Ramada Inn near the airport, killing 10 people. Here, in the words of those who lived it, we revisit that cloudy October day.

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  • How to Get Rid of Stuff

    Is your attic erratic? Your garage barraged? Your basement in need of displacement? If your things are getting the better of you, you are not alone.

    Here, a resource guide to local groups that will reuse items you no longer love or need, places that will turn your clutter into cash and options for proper disposal of tricky trash. We know it's not easy: We even cleaned out a garage to show you how it's done, and rebutted the excuses that might keep you from getting started.

    So, get to work. But read this first.

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  • Frame of Mind

    The roof has betrayed the old schoolhouse. Its walls, too, are collapsing under the weight of time and gravity. But the roof went first, tugging bricks and mortar down with it and leaving a cavernous crater in the belly of the school.

    While the building has failed, its bell tower stands proud and tall, with only a few chinks in its brick and limestone, and its finial — an elegant point that once helped make the place a showpiece of Jay County — intact. All around, spent cornstalks from the fall harvest stretch for acres, and the whole scene — the building building, the fields, the gray Indiana sky, distant woods where the trees have shed their leaves — looks tired, but dignified.

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  • What I know:
    Frank Anderson

    Frank stepped down as Marion County Sheriff in December, capping a 54-year career in law enforcement.

    He was honored as the country's most outstanding U.S. Marshal in 2001 after bringing a peaceful end to a three-month standoff at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple.

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  • In Praise of Watermelon

    On an April day in southwest Indiana, when it's too wet to till, too early to plant and too cool to sweat, all there really is to do is anticipate.

    It's a go-outside-in-a-T-shirt 67 degrees at the Nowaskie watermelon farm in Vincennes, and everybody, it seems, is in a good mood: John T. Nowaskie, the granddaddy of the farm now that his dad and older brother are gone; his son John F. and nephew Charlie; his wife, Doris, and sister-in-law Jean; and his daughter-in-law Stephanie, who married into melon-farming relatively recently but has enough watermelon-shaped ceramic canisters and watermelon-emblazoned shirts to be the envy of any melon wife at the Illiana Watermelon Association conference.

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  • 50th Anniversary Waltz Was Their Last

    Ben Pierce always joked that he married his wife on Dec. 22 — the winter solstice — so their wedding night would be the longest night of the year.

    On Wednesday, the couple celebrated their 50th anniversary with a stuffed Cornish hen dinner at the local VFW. But as they drove home after their golden anniversary night out, the car stalled near their Floral City mobile home . . .

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  • One Last Promise

    For decades, carpenter Asa Groves said that someday he'd find a use for that cherry wood. Then it became his most meaningful work.

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  • The Hoosierization of Reggie Miller

    He got to start a game in high school only after another boy showed up with the wrong uniform. He got a basketball scholarship at UCLA only after three other recruits turned down offers. When he first turned on to basketball, he couldn't even beat his sister at backyard H-O-R-S-E.

    He compensated for his count-my-ribs physique with on-court garbagetalk, a spit at an opponent, a choke sign at a referee; in college, a rival band taunted back, waving big paper ears on the sides of their heads when he stepped onto the court. He reveled in being the crowd-spoiler, a real bad boy. He wore sunglasses indoors. He wanted people to call him "Hollywood."

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  • Pop Secrets

    In Indiana, the careful art of popcorn-breeding has a storied past and an iconic godfather. Hidden in plain sight, it thrives in a three-county pocket of west-central Indiana. But shhh don't tell anyone.

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  • Corporate Wellness

    When Katy Elertson started working at Standard Process-a dietary supplment company-her employer's health and wellness program was fairly new. Elertson took advantage of it right away, exercising at her office's small fitness center and turning in activity points to win prizes from the company.

    Eight years later, the program has grown exponentially, as has Elertson's devotion to it. Standard Process now houses a 2,200-square-foot fitness center and two exam rooms, plus a chiropractic adjustment room.

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