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Tony Rehagen

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On Duty: A Sailor's Story

James E. O’Donnell, a survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis tragedy and a retired Indianapolis firefighter, died on Jan. 9. He was 92. In tribute to his storied life, we offer this July 2005 feature about this remarkable man.

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Q: How Does Brad Stevens Compete with Big Schools for Star Recruits? A: He Doesn't.

Stevens never oversold his message, never pressured. Even when facing heavy-hitting competition, he never seemed anxious. He seemed honest.

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Rehagen on Wheldon: The Champ I Remember

Dan Wheldon was going to save IndyCar. That was the premise with which I set out to write an early-season profile of the Brit in the spring of 2005. He was 26, dapper, handsome, and quotable in a sneering, “like-it-or-lump-it” attitude that seemed about as sincere as his insistence that he only drank Red Bull and Jim Beam, his sponsor. He was coming off his first full season, having won three races and finished second in points, and sitting at a table in the back of his trailer for an interview the night before the first race in Homestead, hair spiked stiff, slacks immaculately pressed. He flashed a snaggle-toothed grin and agreed that, “Yeah, a good piece is exactly what the sport needs,” to get fans on board.

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Helio Castroneves: Leading Man

Editor’s Note: Brazilian IndyCar legend Helio Castroneves returns this month to the scene of his three Indianapolis 500 victories. Here, our cover feature on him from May 2008. (See photos of him at work and at play

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Dialogue: Steve Inskeep Talks Radio

Carmel, Indiana, turned 175 years old in 2012. Its native son Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” returned to speak at the Founders Dinner.

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Meet Dan Wheldon

Editor’s Note: Somehow, despite his hailing from England, the loss of Dan Wheldon has hit our community close to home. For years now, we have felt especially attached to him. There are the two 500 wins, certainly—including this past edition’s dramatic and improbable finish—but it was his warmth and humor that made him a favorite with fans and media alike. Once, in July 2007, he even invited us in to his home, letting us showcase his condo in our pages.
As a tribute to his all-too-short life, we offer our May 2005 profile, published in the same month he first won our race. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the IRL and to his family.

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The Amazing Tunnys

Five miles east of Monument Circle, on the far edge of Irvington, the railroad runs past factories and warehouses and a tiny asphalt racetrack. There is no infield, just a rubber-streaked oval two-tenths of a mile in circumference, little bigger than a hockey rink, surrounded by a wire fence and grandstands of bleachers and folding metal chairs. During the week, the Indianapolis Speedrome stands as empty as many of the abandoned buildings on the industrial east side. But every summer Saturday night, the place comes alive with beer-swilling fans who’ve paid $11 to watch four  hours of action, semi-pro drivers trading paint in everything from go-karts to jalopies, all of it just prelude to the mayhem that is the main event, a little-known battle royale of bent metal that may just be auto racing’s truest spectacle: the Figure 8.

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The Christian Cowboy's Last Song

I can’t remember the last time I saw him. He was a fixture, a perennial, as much a sign of summer on the Circle as the lunchtime picnickers on the Monument steps, his slightly-out-of-tune guitar and deep baritone harmonizing with the background din of traffic and construction and rushing water fountains. And then he was gone.

Rich Burd, A Lot To Lose article in Indianapolis Monthly
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A Lot To Lose

Here comes Rich Burd, emerging from the rows of gleaming automobiles, extending his hand in your direction as if he’s been expecting you. You’ve seen him before, in his cheesy TV commercials—“Haven’t you heard? Burd’s the word!”—and here he is in the flesh. He’s a bit shorter than you expected, but there’s that same round face with heavy eyelids, the same blond buzz-cut standing motionless in the breeze, the same knowing smile. He wants to welcome you to his kingdom of freshly washed and waxed coupes and sedans, half-tons, full-tons, SUVs and hybrids, if that’s your thing, each adorned with a bright-colored balloon and priced to sell. He grips your hand firmly, looks you in the eye, and asks if he can show you something, as if he already knows exactly what you want, what you need, and what you can afford.

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Illuminating the IPL Building Window Displays

It’s an American flag. It’s a horseshoe. It’s a … wait … is that a … a blue sunflower bending in the breeze?   Some of the designs in the window-light displays of the Indianapolis Power and Light headquarters may take a while to decipher—ahh, it’s a capital P for Pacers!—but for locals, downtown visitors, and millions of people watching blimps-eye cutaways of the Circle during nationally televised sporting

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50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do!

What makes this Columbus institution really sweet is the counter-side charm of Wilma Hare and her fellow soda jerks, who will pull you an ice cream soda the way it was in 1900 and serve it with a side of sass: “When that ice cream hits the carbonation, it will explode like a volcano. And I will laugh at the look of panic on your face.”

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More Than A Thousand Days

FOR YEARS, TOYIN AYANGADE HAS been careful. She works early mornings and late evenings so she won’t have to drive past bustling parks and playgrounds. She stays in on holidays so she won’t have to dodge trick-or-treaters or see the columns of smoke rising from backyard family barbecues. Even in Walmart, she hurries past the bulletin board of missing children and takes detours to avoid the racks of kids’ clothing and towering shelves of toys.

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Bible Belter

The midday sun has finally emerged from behind the top tier of the Circle Tower in downtown Indianapolis, and gradually, it starts to lift the building’s broad shadow. Sunshine slowly pours into Monument Circle. The old cowboy grins.

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