The Hoosierist: Pop Secret
Q: I was stunned when John Mellencamp divorced supermodel Elaine Irwin a couple of years ago. What ever happened to her?
The former is the actress perhaps best known for playing “Sally” to Billy Crystal’s “Harry,” and the latter is some local corn-fed guy who was born in a small town once upon a time and went on to warble about pink houses and two creatures named Jack and Diane.
Proving that he cannot forget where it is that he comes from, Bloomington rocker John Mellencamp treated his girlfriend, actress Meg Ryan, to a 50th birthday party at Dunaway’s Palazzo Ossigeno (351 S. East St., 317-638-7663) on Saturday. In town for a performance at Clowes Memorial Hall, Mellencamp also flew in Ryan’s pal Kathy Najimy (of Sister Act fame), who ordered an undressed salad and vegetable plate. The party of 11 sat at a long table in the fireplace room, under the chandelier. Bottles of wine were ordered for the guests, “but he had Sierra Mist, and she had water,” says the restaurant’s office and events manager, Connie McDonald.
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.”