The Hoosierist: Fur The Win

Fur the Win

Illustration by Ryan Johnson

Q: How does The Mascot Hall of Fame in northern Indiana decide which furries get in?
A: Each year, this bizarre institution in Whiting receives around 20 nominations from organizations that want their mascot included in the lineup. Those nominees are examined by the Hall’s members and its board of directors, and also voted on by the general public—or the small subset of the general public that feels it has a (cartoonish-looking, bipedal) dog in the fight. This year’s list of nominees produced four inductees, who will officially join the Hall on June 12: the Indianapolis Colts’ Blue, the Indiana Pacers’ Boomer, the Baltimore Orioles’ Oriole Bird, and Youppi! from the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. However, if you happen to visit the Hall, don’t expect to see Purdue Pete, Ball State’s Charlie Cardinal, or whatever passes for a mascot at IU. Because so far, none of our state’s collegiate furries have made the cut.

Q: I haven’t read anything lately about the Kokomo Hum—a weird noise that some locals claim they hear. Has it gone away?
A: It’s hard to believe that, once upon a time, the Kokomo Hum was a nationally famous mystery. In retrospect, that fascination is as difficult to fathom as the popularity of Paris Hilton. For years, a cadre of Kokomo residents complained of hearing a grating, subsonic noise that went on 24/7. These days, however, the hum gets about as much media attention as, well, Paris Hilton. Kokomo mayor Tyler Moore says he can’t remember the last time anyone raised the issue. However, he does offer a theory about what happened. “An industrial operation in town made some adjustments in their manufacturing process, and that seemed to be when the hum stopped being discussed,” Moore says. And just like that, a major irritant faded from the collective consciousness. Again, like Paris Hilton.

Q: Indiana is full of limestone quarries, but I’m not aware of many working ones. Does the state still mine the stuff?
A: Watching Breaking Away gives one the impression that most of Indiana’s limestone pits are just quaint swimming holes where the townies hang out. But the truth is, Indiana’s limestone industry still rocks. According to Todd Schnatzmeyer, executive director of the Indiana Limestone Institute of America, the state hosts eight quarry companies that each year cut out 3 to 4 million cubic feet of stone—about 50 percent of the nation’s limestone. Don’t look for that trend to end anytime soon. Schnatzmeyer reckons our state still contains at least a 100-year supply of the stuff. “We’ve been producing stone since about 1827,” he says. “It’s a good bet this industry will continue.”

Have Indiana-related questions? Send them to