Sunday, January 29, 2006

Life along the Wabash

Tonight PBS aired Life along the Wabash. I grew up nearby both the Wabash and the White Rivers. I spent quite a few nights sitting alongside the Wabash as a child with my parents and then later with friends at the haunted Purple head bridge, so it was interesting to watch. I even recognized a few of the people on the show.



It was bright white limestone, shining up through clear water, that inspired Native Americans to name their sacred river “Waa-paah-siki” or the “Bright White.” French fur traders shortened the name to “Ouabache,” and the early settlers changed it again, to the name we know today: “Wabash.”

The Wabash is Indiana’s river. Its story of beauty and inspiration, of exploration and discovery, is the story of how we became who we are, both as a state…and as a nation.

That spirit of exploration and discovery lives on in “The Wabash: Life on the Bright White River,” a 500 mile, 19 county adventure, from the Ohio border to the Ohio River, to examine the delicate balance that exists between the people who live on the banks of the Wabash, and the Wabash River itself.


WFYI

Lyrics to Johnny Cash's song "If it wasn't for the Wabash River"

4 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

I watched the first 30 minutes of this and will likely watch the rest of it later. (As a matter of fact, I'm looking at the Wabash right now, since my office window looks out over the river.) But, they rarely got north of Terre Haute so sleep got the better of me. It's regional selfishness on my part, I suppose, but I want to hear more from folks in the middle of Indiana and not so much about those on the Indiana/Illinois border.

January 30, 2006  
Blogger torporific said...

I understand that, Doug. Of course, the episode played well for my regional bias, but I would have been upset if that had been the case. I think you'll find they talked about Delphi and the canal in the second half hour.

I found it very interesting. I did not realize how much pearl came from Vincennes. It gives new meaning to a community on the river called "Pearl City". It was definitely one of the poorest and dangerous parts of town. It's still there today in the form of a few trailers and hovels.

January 30, 2006  
Blogger lemming said...

I know all of the words to On the Banks of the Wabash but not Back Home Again in Indiana. Alas, when Mandy Patinkin came to the ISO for a concert, the song he'd learned and wanted assistance from teh audience to sing, was the latter.

January 30, 2006  
Blogger Doug said...

I did watch at least as far as the Delphi canal. I was pretty excited because my 2 year old son and I played on that boat this past fall. (It was anchored to the dock while we were playing at Canal Park in Delphi.)

January 30, 2006  

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