Noelle Leiblic - Team Leader: Civil War Journey
What is a Hoosier? This question and many others blossomed with Spring when I first arrived in Indiana not quite one year ago. Having lived until then in always-sunny Southern California, I encountered unfamiliar Midwestern vocabulary words and cultural phenomena as abundant as the weeds popping up in every inch of my new Indiana garden: pitch-in, pop, sleet, sirens, interstate, frost-date, all-weather tires, warsh, rototillers, elephant ear, Peyton Manning, meemaw, peepaw, poison ivy, barnlots, tenderloin, sweet pepper (mango?!), supper, crick, and the impressive opulence of riding mowers.
I was pretty surprised at what showed up on the table the first time I ordered a “tenderloin” sandwich in Indiana, and I understand better now the delicacy with which one may or may not mention the Colts, but I still haven’t figured out exactly what a Hoosier is.
Conner Prairie has its own host of –isms, of names and places that are unique to our place and purpose: Prairietown, Balloon Voyage
, Civil War Journey
, Lenapehoking, Conner Barn, candle-dipping, Doctor Campbell, Civil War Days
. The names alone don’t come close to capturing the richness of these experiences or the multi-layered communities they inhabit—at Conner Prairie, and in the lives and memories of those who encounter them. They are, in many ways, indescribable, and you just have to experience their meaning for yourself. I’m pretty sure the same is true of Hoosiers. And poison ivy. I have yet to experience the latter, but I feel right at home in my ongoing discovery of Conner Prairie and the Hoosier state. I’m excited to share more with you about everything Conner Prairie has to offer in the coming season! I welcome your comments or questions at Leiblic@connerprairie.org