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Inspirational Reads

Holy Cow!

April 28, 2008

If you watched Dirty Jobs tonight, you saw Mike Rowe doing all sorts of unspeakable things to cows. What you might not have noticed, however, was that this particular episode took place in my beloved home state of Indiana. Fair Oaks, to be specific.

The thing about Fair Oaks is that, as Mike referenced, it is literally in the middle of nowhere. I should know. I did my undergrad at a small college a few miles from Fair Oaks. If you need further illumination, I went to St. Joseph's College, in Rensselaer, IN. Oh, and here's a link to Fair Oaks Farms. Just think...the power to program that website was fueled off cow shit.

In case you really want to check the terrain out, here's some Google maps goodness. Crank the map down to the south a little bit to get the location of Rensselaer:

View Larger Map

Yeah. If you play around with that map(if you want to, that is), you'll see some of the local metropoles, such as Virgie, Asphaltum, Parr and Aix. I actually lived in the same dorm with a guy who lived near Fair Oaks. His family owned a farm there. It was very odd, because his house was on the back of the property, and his grandparents' was on the front of the property, and they shared a driveway, yet it was long distance to call from his house to his grandparents' house (one was listed in Fair Oaks, the other in Demotte, if I remember correctly).

To answer your other questions, yes, it was that flat out there. Glaciation is a bitch on the hills. Also, yes, -30 windchills were common. The wind never stopped blowing in that part of the state. It's kind of on the eastern edge of the Great Plains, sort of. I'm sure if Mike was up for it (pun!), he could have warmed up and found a whole other set of cows to inseminate if only he had gone down the road about 12 miles and laid himself up on Halas 2nd (pun again!). Because I love imparting useless trivia upon you, that part of Indiana used to be at the bottom of a sixth Great Lake, called Lake Chicago. And, according to Google Earth, there's an impact crater a few miles to the south in Kentland. I never knew that until about twenty minutes ago.

What did we do in the wilds of Northwest Indiana with such throbbing metropolitan areas thriving around us? Aside from drink and try to bone drunk townies, that is, we would go to this thing called "Moody's Light." The story goes that Old Man Moody was a farmer, and one day he was out working the fields when he came home to find his house had been ransacked and his family killed and hung from a tree. Moody went a little nuts and vowed to find the killers. The crime went unsolved, and Moody, unlike certain star running backs, went insane trying to find some closure for the acts committed against his family. So, even in death, he tries to find the murderers. If you drive down the road slowly and point your car lights at the tree stump where his family was hanged, then flicker them, a light appears at the end of the road and slowly, gradually moves down the road toward you and then it gradually goes away. Or, sometimes it just sits there and shines into the car. This is Old Man Moody's spirit coming to judge your soul and see if you are the one who killed his family. I have been to Moody's Light several times and seen the phenomenon almost every time. Some nights Moody gets shy; other nights a sheriff's deputy is lurking around to tell you to get the hell out of there. Those two pictures are someone's attempts at trying to show you what the ghost looks like.

This light is somewhat famous. It has appeared on Unsolved Mysteries and In Search Of, though neither Robert Stack nor Leonard Nimoy were ever rumored to have been hanging around Rensselaer. But if they were, chances are they would have been hanging around Darryl's Donuts downtown or even Rick's Pizza. Or maybe they went out to Trail Tree Inn to get bottomless cups of coffee, a Big-T sandwich, and hit on by a very hairy trucker named Bear. Not that any of that ever happened. Ever.


Chemgeek said...

Wow, what a journey that story took me on. From Mike Rowe to a Google map to drinking to a vengeful spirit. Very nice.

Frank said...

Hmmm, perhaps I should look into this "Indiana" you speak of. For most of my life, it has inspired deep hatred and loathing in me, mostly because the only part I've ever regularly been through is the small stretch between Michigan and Illinois...through Gary...where the highway is ALWAYS under construction and everything smells like rotten eggs.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Eric: Now you know what four years at St. Joe is like. Throw in some sophomoric shenanigans with an inflatable moose, and you've got yourself a near-carbon-copy of the Jenks years at SJC.

Frank: Funny you should say that about Gary. My six-year-old daughter came back from a recent trip to Indiana (where she went to Chicago for a day trip) and told me how badly Gary stinks. It's all the steel and the lingering funk of Michael Jackson, in case you were curious. You should try heading somewhere other than the 94 corridor. The state is lovely in the late spring, summer, and early autumn. Flat as hell, but pretty.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Oh, and Frank, that stretch of Indiana inspires much loathing in me, as well. People refer to it lovingly as "Da Region" and wish that it would fall into the lake...or simply become "East Illinois".

Lisa-tastrophies said...

Dude! IF Mike Rowe was there, I wouldn't acre if he was in bum-f*ck Egypt just west of East Jesus....I'd be there. The Mad Moody thing is cool. It's got to be better than the BS attempts at "cow-tipping" the kids tried when I was