2018-06-20 / Front Page

A reminder why Cloverdale is special

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Sometimes we take for granted things, people, and places we have in our everyday life and don’t really appreciate them until they are gone. I want to remind us of why Cloverdale is so special.

Cloverdale has been my home for 34 years and my husband and his parents have lived here all their lives, 80 years plus. What makes a person choose one place to spend their whole lives, to raise their children and have no desire to live anywhere else?

For me it is several reasons: Location may not be the main reason, but for this purpose, those who may be reading this and take for granted the location is important.

Cloverdale sits off of Interstate 70 at exit 41 with an equal distance between Indianapolis (to the east) and Terre Haute (to the west) these are both major cities. Indianapolis is a 30 minute easy drive with an international airport 25 minutes from exit 41 and with an exit dedicated to the airport.

To the north, on U.S. 231 from our sweet town, within 15 minutes is our county seat, Greencastle. They are host to factories, shopping, entertainment, college and a hospital. Another 30 minutes north is Crawfordsville, that has the same amenity as Greencastle but also has access to Interstate 74. Another 15 minutes north you’re in Lafayette, home to the Purdue Boilermakers.

To the south, on U.S. 231 within 10 minutes, are two state parks. Lieber, that has a lake for fishing, camping, swimming, boating, hiking and skiing. Cataract falls, that sports fishing, hiking and a bit of history per civil war days that spotlight a covered bridge across Eel River and a general store right out of the history books.

Another 20 minutes south is another county seat, Spencer. They too share the same amenity as Greencastle. Factories, shopping, McCormick Creek State Park and entertainment. In Spencer you merge onto U.S. 46 that will find you in Bloomington. Home of Indiana University 45 minutes from Cloverdale. From Bloomington they have an easy access to Interstate 69.

This however is the main reason for me to live your whole life in one small sweet town. We live under the four leaf clover charm. Let me prove it to you.

The school from kindergarten to 12th grade sits in the heart of this quiet town. Cloverdale forefathers laid the ground work to the historic building that still stands today, although they are in need of serious attention, the proud structures stand true to witness the many parades held year after year to honor homecomings, Cloverween, Christmas and our little leagues.

The many different parades seen floats that address the theme of the day and carries our king, queen and football teams.

Marching bands that march in uniform steps to the musical notes that flow through the streets to the ears of the onlookers that come to support the kids, school and the businesses that have struggled over time to keep the doors open in this very hard economic time.

The Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department showing off the new shiny red fire truck (purchased from a grant from OCRA) and the police car that leads the parades. Sirens so loud not even the noise of the crowd could be heard. Children on the sidewalks watch as they dream of being a firefighter or a policeman someday, rushing to pick up the candy they are throwing their way.

This town offers a closeness that thirty years from now your classmate might be the president of your bank (Gary Neese), the tellers were the same people you shared a bleacher with to cheer your team to victory. Your teachers taught your parent, and your children (Mr. Kiley and Mr. Henson). I should have not mentioned a few names because there are literally scores of family names and individuals that have dedicated their lives to this community, but I want the reader to know these are not pretty words on paper. These are true facts of living under the clover.

What speaks the loudest to me is when one of our own passes from this world. We gather together at the family owned funeral home where we wait for hours talking quietly among our friends and neighbors to pay our respects to the family and share the pain of losing one of our own forever.

Could it be better? Oh yes, like our forefathers, this town council has a vision for our future town. We see our town hosting factories, shopping, and prosperity like our neighboring communities. We have the location, the undeveloped ground and the dream.

Let me share my vision with you. Right off the Interstate, west behind the truck stop, is a manufacturing company, they ship their goods by rail to the north and by truck in the other four directions. They hire our citizens, paying decent wages, to raise a family, go to college and come back to work and retire from the town they grew up in.

We have several different restaurants that hire our high school kids and give them the opportunity to earn money and responsibility. It gives purpose to the travelers, to get off the Interstate and rest before fighting the rush hour traffic that awaits them, or a place just to get out of the car for a bit. A place to sit down and share a meal around a table that offers appetizers instead of food from a sack or a tray, although we love our fast food too. For the locals it is a place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries or just to let someone else do the cooking for a change.

South of the undeveloped ground I see what once was a railroad track, now abandoned, gives way to a pathway for pedestrians, bikes, and equine that connects the northwest of town to the southeast, avoiding street traffic.

The historic downtown draws people to have their hair, nails, and maybe a quick tan. A used book store to pick out your favorite author or a book to share with your children. An ice cream parlor on a hot summer day. A shirt that proudly made in Cloverdale or a shiny new trinket from the jewelry store. And of course, for the adults a place to sit and watch the endless traffic sipping on wine or beer that was drafted right here in Indiana.

I see a destination to host the many visitors that will be unique to Cloverdale like the Indy 500 is to Speedway. Oh wait that dream has come true. This town was blessed to be chosen as the home to C-Bar-C expo that caters to equine events, but in the last four years it has hosted a national truck and tractor pull. January 20, 2018 was standing room only with a count of over 3,000 people from all over the surrounding states and in Indiana sharing the roar of the engines and the horse power that consumes fuel instead of clover.

The citizens of Cloverdale shared the bounty with the owners of the event. Here are a few examples. Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department (directed traffic), Police Reserves (security), three school bus drivers (transporting spectators) and the Lions Club (ticket takers) were all paid positions. We had citizens as food vendors and bartending. The hotels were full and the gas station along with the local fast food establishments were busier than usual.

The town realized the benefits of branding the community as equine friendly and has made it a priority to capitalize on the economic impact that it brings. We are addressing the road which the expo sits on. We are in the process of widening it by four feet. What was a 20-foot road will now be a 24-foot road with dedicated turn lanes, storm drains, curbs, sidewalks and lighting. The town has been actively marketing businesses that will complement the equine business like western wear, leather goods, boots and trailer parts and sales.

Well as you can see I have shared our history. Where we are and our vision on where we want to go.

Thank you for your time in reading about the special place we call home. A place where generations have come and died but live on with the loved ones living in their legacy. I would love to see our dreams of a better way of life for our citizens, like a good paying job that can support a family here in town. A nice sit down restaurant without getting on the interstate or traveling to another community. Activities for our children. The dreams are endless.

I have watched the struggles of losing jobs and hard times. It’s time for the change. It’s time to make Cloverdale prosper once more. What are your visions? And what are you doing to support your home? Call me and share with me how you see our town in five years, ten or even twenty years from now. 765-795-6033

Cheryl Galloway
Clerk Treasurer

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