Wednesday, August 27

As Seasons Pass

by Richard Kordesh

Each gardening season blossoms differently.  After this year’s extended winter, we faced a halting start with a few of our traditionally reliable vegetables.  Perhaps because the cold had lasted well into April, fewer bugs turned up as food for the birds in May and June.  To compensate, our winged friends ate seedlings that, in past years, they had left alone.  Beets sown in May barely saw the light before being nipped to the ground.

Consequently, we had to restart cucumbers and pole beans.  I adjusted to the birds’ heightened interest by spreading loose netting over the lost plants’ replacements.  This second time around, the cucumbers spread and the pole beans surged.   Today, the latter’s vines stand over six feet tall.  Beet and arugula seeds rest, waiting to spawn a fall crop.

The season unfolded uniquely in other ways as well. This is the first summer in which Maureen and I have experienced our habitat alone.  Our youngest, Greg, remained at the University of Iowa after the spring semester.  The four bedrooms that kids used to occupy now stand empty. 

Yet, even with the family more dispersed, the garden still draws us together for celebrations, reflections, and horticultural renewal.  In late spring, Tim dropped by to seed a row of black-eyed peas.  Home for a short break, Greg started two rows of sweet onions.  Kathy planted roses, astilbe, peonies, and hydrangea: their flowers will adorn benches and tables at her wedding next June.

Despite the challenges, our roots hold firm, even as our vines spread to new places.

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more

Tuesday, August 19

New JCC Fitness Specialist Is A Real Ironman

by Lisa DeHayes

“Swimming for me is like trying not to drown for an hour,” says JCC newcomer and Fitness Specialist, Chad VanDerwall. 

Still, Chad has been hitting the waves a lot lately, training for his first full Ironman competition in Louisville later this month. The event includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a full marathon, 26.2 miles…all in one day.

He’s also been hitting the bike trails lately. Chad and his wife, Becky, moved to Indianapolis a little more than a month ago when she got accepted for a yearlong pharmacy residency at I.U. Health. Chad’s been training by biking the Monon Trail…and beyond. One weekend, he continued past the trail to Kokomo (about 80 miles roundtrip in case you’re wondering).

But Chad most enjoys running. The new course he’s teaching, Athletic Performance Training, is designed for runners, particularly those who want to compete in the Monumental Marathon on November 1. 

“But it’s really for anyone who wants to increase his or her functional movement,” Chad says. 

Chad modeled the course after a run camp in Michigan for people training for a 5k through marathon. 

“There were about 1,000 people enrolled in the camp and we divided into groups of five to 10 runners,” he says. “It was designed to help anyone at any level, beginners to pros.”

Chad says Athletic Performance Training is structured so that it can be tailored to the individual. There will be a dynamic warmup, leg strengthening using a variety of Power Pack and Band Shuffler exercises, followed by core building. 

“For core work, it’ll be not just abs, but lower back and hips, too,” Chad says.

When he’s not working or training, Chad and his wife are most likely grabbing a bite to eat in Broad Ripple or making a different kind of pit stop with Charlie, their four-legged family member, at the dog park in Broad Ripple Park.

Chad Fast Facts
·       Favorite restaurant: The jury’s still out, but Boogie Burger is a frequent stop
·       Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
·       Sports: Played and coached high school hockey
·       Favorite team: Detroit Red Wings (but he’s a fan of Peyton Manning)

·       Favorite music: Anything by Eminem

Tuesday, August 12

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

by JCC Staff

It is the 1980s, and 19-year-old Jason Becker has it all. 

He is a flash guitarist, has a supportive, loving family and is about to begin one of the most sought after gigs in rock music – guitarist for the David Lee Roth World Tour. 

Becker is also likeable, creative and cute. 

Then he discovers that he has ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. But that is not the end of Jason Becker’s life – in some ways it is the beginning.

Becker's story is poignant and entertaining, full of inspiration and great music. 

Time and time again people have proven that with perseverance and dedication one can thrive with difficulties that seem unimaginable to most. Jason Becker is one of those people. Jason faces the life altering obstacle of ALS head on. He maintains his sense of humor, writes music and serves as a role model to those around him. 

The JCC is proud to partner with the ALS Association, Indiana Chapter, to bring
Becker's story to the community when we screen the film Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet. 

The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, at 7 p.m. and is presented in coordination with the Heartland Film Festival. Profits will be donated to the ALS Association, Indiana Chapter.

Tuesday, August 5

State's First Juried Mobile Photography Competition at JCC Indy

by Lev Rothenberg

When my friend, Asrar Burney, brought up the idea of a Mobile Photography exhibit at the JCC, I was surprised, because I knew that he was a serious photographer. I also did not believe that phone photography rose to a serious art form.

Was I ever wrong about mobile photography!

Our Mobile Photography Gallery Show and Competition is full of amazing and thoughtful work. The scope of textures, clarity and topics is truly impressive.  

Many of today’s phones have better cameras than some of the best cameras of years past.  And the fact that a great camera is so accessible opens up so many artistic possibilities.

Over 20 photographers from around the state shared their images with us – images of beauty, emotion, visual acuity and warmth. 

Our internationally recognized judges we very impressed by the quality of art we received, and you can view it at our gallery show from August 12-Setptember 5. 

Proudly, this is the first juried mobile photography competition in Indiana.

Join us for our free gallery reception, awards ceremony Thursday August 14 5:30-7:30 p.m. and stay for a free  one-hour introduction to iPhoneography by Rad Drew, one of our internationally recognized judges.

You can hear Rad and photographer Freddie Kelvin talk about the show on WFYI’s Art of the Matter.

More about Lev Rothenberg