Good idea: Get to the museum Sept. 9

Mind you now, I don’t go about telling anyone what they should do but today I would like to tell you that it would be a good idea if you would go right this minute and put on your calendar that you want to be at the Historical Society of Decatur County Museum on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 12:30 p.m.

It is true that I had to miss the 60 years at the Decatur County United Fund get together for all of the past officers. I was mighty proud of being president of that organization in the 1970s. And I also had to miss all of the meetings about the very welcome upcoming dog park. That did just hurt so much because I have been wanting a dog park here for years. But let me tell you that I will absolutely not miss the Sept. 9 dedication of the Carl Fisher Memorial even if I have to have three or four big burly men carry me there.

Naturally, I hope that won’t be the case because I sure don’t want to create a scene when there will be state and local dignitaries there that day as well as Carl’s great nephew and biographer, Jerry Fisher. They will be making a special trip for the unveiling of the historical marker that celebrates the legacy of Carl Fisher in his birthplace.

By the way, Carl Fisher’s 1914 Packard will be on display that day along with other cars from the Classic Era. Think of it! Fisher was born and raised right here in Decatur County.

Carol Pumphrey and Joe Westhafer have worked for this day. Carol said the idea came about as a result of a Classic Car event that they hosted July 2, 2013. “Our Indiana Region re-enacted the first part of the Hoosier Tour which was the promotional tour for the Lincoln Highway. In Jerry Fisher’s book, “The Pacesetter” he recounted in detail the location and time that the Trail-Blazers left Indianapolis and traveled west. It just seemed like a great event for the Classic Car Club to host. As a result, we were able to contact Jerry who, with his wife Josie graciously agreed to fly in from Oregon. Our friends Alan and Nancy Strong from Urbana, Illinois, brought Carl’s 1913 Packard for display and Jeff Keuhl did his great Carl Fisher impersonation. As I recall, Joe and I had several conversations about the fact that very few people in Greensburg knew anything about this man.”

Carol remembered that Melanie Maxwell was instrumental in getting the state to place the nice marker on the Courthouse Square. Joe Westhafer has given some excellent programs about some of Fisher’s life and work. Carol said, “Joe and I thought it would be important to have something that related a little more to Fisher’s early years here and spoke more to children and people visiting the museum. We tried for several years to reach out to the city of Miami Beach which has the only dimensional image (bust) of Fisher that exists but no luck.”

She said that Plan B is a more modest memorial which is probably where they should have started in the beginning. “A small group of donors including our Indiana region of the Classic Car Club quickly stepped up to provide the needed funds. I want to be sure that we recognize Oakley Monuments for their artistic help and also help in keeping costs down. They have done a wonderful job.”

There is an excellent story about this day in the Historical Society of Decatur County Bulletin. September will be very active beginning with the dedication of a new monument honoring Carl Fisher. Mr. Fisher was very instrumental in the development of the automotive industry and real estate development in this country, and he spent his childhood years here in Greensburg. We will be dedicating the monument in his honor on Sept. 9 at 12:30 p.m. at the Museum. Please make plans to attend.

I sure hope to see you there at 12:20 p.m. Sept. 9 at the museum.

Contact: Pat Smith, patjsmith@etczone.com.

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