Monthly Archives: December 2013

Louis Erwin, USS Indianapolis survivor, plans on being around for the new movie about the attack

LISTEN: Louis Erwin, a survivor of the attack on the USS Indianapolis:

When I first met Louis Erwin, it was almost like old home day.  Erwin, 88, is a native of East Ridge, Tennessee, right next door to the place of my birth, Chattanooga.  Erwin is also one of 38 remaining survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese torpedo in the closing months of World War II; he was one of only 15 or so attending the latest reunion of the survivors at the Indiana War Memorial earlier this year.

I called Mr. Erwin when I heard that a new movie is being made about the Indianapolis and the ordeal of the 317 men who survived the sinking – and the almost 1,200 who didn’t (300 who went down with the ship, 880 who died while stranded in the water).  I cherish every conversation with one of our World War II veterans.  Our accomplishments seem so small compared to what they did seven decades ago.



Rev. Charles Harrison wonders if anyone cares about black-on-black crime in Indy

LISTEN: Rev. Charles Harrison w/Ten Point Coalition of Indy:

This week, we found out that the murder rate in Indianapolis is now higher than that of Chicago.  Many of those murders are committed by young black men against other young black men.   Rev. Charles Harrison (pictured at the podium) with the Ten Point Coalition of Indy thinks that a lot of people in power don’t care, be they politicians from either party or other African-American leaders.

Rev. Harrison was, as always, candid when I spoke to him at length for the first time at Barnes United Methodist Church, where he is pastor.

From the Archives: Ryback, back in Indy with the WWE tonight!

LISTEN: Ray Steele with the Big Guy, Ryback, from March 11, 2013:

Looky what I found in the archive!  My short but kick booty visit from The Big Guy, Ryback, who is back in town tonight for the WWE live event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indy.  He was a good Big Guy back then; he’s not as nice on screen now.  But he was super to talk to the morning of March 11, 2013, when I was filling in as host of Indy’s Morning News on WIBC, and he was getting ready for Raw that evening.

It’s great to have Ryback back in town.  I’m really pulling for this guy to have a great career.

Progress in the fight against MS, but no cure yet

LISTEN: Amanda Shelley with the Indiana State Chapter of the National MS Society:

This one is personal.  My wife’s uncle has MS, and we’d like to see him get better or at least live a somewhat normal life.

As Amanda told me in the interview above, there are things being done, progress being made.  But I wonder about us having so many causes thrown at us every day, most of them worthy of our time and money, and whether someone gets crowded out of the fundraising game.  I hope it isn’t MS research – shoot, I hope it isn’t anyone.

Joey Stevenson: Master mower, baseline bada$$, one of the best groundskeepers in the country

LISTEN: Joey Stevenson, head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians, mowing master:

We’re in the midst of Colts and Pacers season in Indiana, not to mention Hoosiers, Bulldogs and Boilers season.  But it might as well be wabbit, duck, silly mongoose or fiddler crab season because in my world, pitchers and catchers start reporting for Spring Training in 52 days (as I write this).  So we talk baseball, or specifically, the science of the baseball field, with one of the best in the business.

Joey Stevenson is head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians.  He just won the first ever “Best Mowing Pattern” award from the Sports Turf Managers Association, mainly because he doesn’t mow a ridiculous bloody sock into the outfield like some teams do.  I can’t wait to see Joey’s handiwork again at Victory Field in a few months.

Mike Hicks, Ball State economist – Why is Indiana creating so many jobs?

LISTEN: Dr. Mike Hicks from the Center For Business & Economic Research at Ball St., on the falling unemployment rate:

My time is not spent exclusively with people for whom I mark out, i.e. pro wrestlers, entertainers, composers of “Convoy”, etc.  My regular job is as a news reporter and host of the Saturday morning interview show “Weekend Indiana” on Indy radio station WIBC-FM.  That means I have the privilege of talking to a lot of people about a plethora of subjects, a few of which will be sampled today.

Dr. Hicks, for the longest time, was considered a virtual Dr. No among some in our business.  Example: “The unemployment rate is down, but Ball State economist Mike Hicks says the economy is still stankier than a chicken house”, would be a typical lead sentence for a news story.  That’s an exaggeration, as Hicks simply does a fantastic job of delving into the minutiae of a jobs or any other economic report.  Yes, in case you didn’t know, an unemployment rate means almost nothing in the grand scheme of things, regardless of what politicians tell you.

In two years of talking to him, I don’t recall Hicks ever being so upbeat about a jobs report, though according to the initial numbers, he had good reason to be so.  If the numbers hold up, Indiana will have created 12.5% of all new jobs created in the entire country for the month of November.

Chip Davis; Convoy! Oh yeah, Manheim Steamroller, too

LISTEN: My chat with Chip Davis, creator of Manheim Steamroller. And Convoy:

This is the man who created this:

That’s still one of the greatest compositions in American history.  Dang straight.

Oh yeah, Chip did the whole Manheim Steamroller thing, too.  And Manheim is playing its annual Christmas show at the Murat at Old National Centre in Indy Friday night at 8:00pm, Christmas music, tradition, yeah yeah.

But c’mon, Convoy!  C.W. McCall!  Dang!  Gives me chills.  Chip tells a great C.W. McCall story at the end of this podcast.