When I returned home, my wife wanted to know how it went. I couldn’t possibly describe to her the gratitude I felt at the end of the day. We owe so much to past Carmel generations.
I started by describing the room. It was packed, a turnout larger than expected. Lunch was ready to be served, but people were too busy reconnecting with friends and trading physical greetings. The vibe of the room was wound up. It was obvious – everyone was excited and thrilled to be present.
The average age of the Carmel Clay Historical Society Spring Luncheon attendees had to be north of 60. For this event, gray hair meant something more than just a visual sign of age. Gray hair indicated participation – a contribution and connection to the past.
I was the guest of Judy Hagan, and joining us at her table were my new friends Jean Wischmeyer, Barb Rumer, Mildred Gaylor, Winnie Kincaid, Alice Hecker and Sue Johnson. Each one of them in her own right, a fitting example of the legacy gifted to people like me who now call Carmel home.
But the most important part, I told my wife, was the award ceremony and video. Nancy Hinshaw received the first annual CCHS Heritage Award. Cathie Reamer had the honor of describing the effort Nancy freely gave to Carmel during some 30 years. Nancy’s four daughters were in attendance to hear the accolades heaped upon their mother. Husband Phil, another pillar of the Carmel community, passed away not long ago and is truly missed. Nancy, during her acceptance speech said, “There are so many who have done everything I have done, but I accept this award humbly and with appreciation.”
Because this year marks the 175th anniversary of Carmel becoming a community, a special video was created. The movie saves for eternity, musings and recollections from longtime Carmel citizens. There is just something special about listening to citizens reminisce about all of the good they can remember growing up in Carmel. Words like love, friendly, family and wholesome are repeated over and over throughout the video. Of course there were a few laughs when an “Old Timer” described her love for Carmel round-a-bouts. But a real assessment of where we are and where we are going came from Vivian Garmin. She said, “Carmel is great. I think it always will be, because we are going to keep it that way.”