Hoagy Lights Up

I have driven through a number of small towns in the middle of the night, and wondered what they are like, who lives there, and what is important to the residents? Many towns now look so similar with their Downtowns jammed with national chain stores and simple stucco facades, that they could almost be interchangeable. This is the great distinction that Richmond, Indiana has: it is unique and has preserved its heritage and the historic building that line Main Street.

When I heard that the Ford Motor Company was coming to Richmond to celebrate the Centennial of the Ford Model T, it seemed natural to take one of the most prominent buildings and have a giant mural painted on it. Who better than Hoagy Carmichael, who wrote and recorded his music at the Gennett studio in Richmond’s Whitewater Gorge facility? It seemed to be fated when I found out that Hoagy would be facing the Leland Residence, where he stayed in 1927.

It has been two years since Pamela Bliss painted the mural, and knowing that 10,000 cars a day pass through the intersection of Main Street and US Highway 27, it means that we have had more than 7 million people pass beneath Hoagy’s eyes. Last week Richmond Power and Light connected a dusk to dawn light to the pole in front of the mural, and now, as we sleep, Hoagy will shine in the darkness, and quietly tell anyone who happens to look up, that this is a town that values its people, and celebrates its music and its heritage.

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One Response to “Hoagy Lights Up”

  1. […] Hair arranged to have one of Richmond’s more prominent murals lit for passers-through to see: This is the great distinction that Richmond, Indiana has: it is unique and has preserved its […]

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