Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My, how you've grown!!!

This is a picture of the Fishers Police Department in Fishers, Indiana, a building which we frequently drive by on our way to the Fishers Public Library. I teach my Shakespeare classes at the library, so maybe I should have taken a picture of it, but I like this picture of the police department much better. Because in spite of the fact that the city I live in is more than twice the size of Fishers, the police department building is about ten times the size of my city's, plus nicer.

Our police are housed in a cramped little building that is supposed to be "historical," which is the nice way of saying the structure is a total dump that probably ought to be condemned but can't be because of the historic preservation that runs my city's downtown area with an iron grip and I ought to know because I live there and would like to paint my back steps but can't without twenty pages of paperwork detailing why I need to paint the back steps when it ought to be perfectly apparent that they're just fine the way they are. (They're not.)


Fishers, Indiana has been around for a long time, since 1872. It was connected to other parts of Indiana by a series of Indian trails and then by a railroad, but in spite of those two means of ingress, hardly anyone wanted to go there. According to the census of 1960, Fishers was home to three hundred eighty-eight people and I believe the population of the town had increased only by a couple hundred when I first became aware of Fishers in the late 1970s.

On the way to Indianapolis, my dad would occasionally say, "Let's try the scenic route" and there we'd be, driving through Fishers, which at that time consisted of a decrepit service station, a bait shop and a corner grocery so old that looked as if it would still accept ration coupons from World War II in exchange for meat. There were some houses scattered around, all in various degrees of dereliction; Fishers was not the kind of place back then to make you clap your hands and say, "I know where we should go eat lunch today!"

Today, however, my childhood friend, Todd, lives there with his family, as do a bunch of other families we know. Plus our church is in Fishers. Todd referred to Fishers recently as "the suburban jungle," which I found very funny, not only because it's true -- Fishers is not just a suburb, but a Suburb, pugnaciously shoving against Carmel to the west and Noblesville to its north -- but because of what it used to be: bait shop, corner grocery, service station. As it turns out, there were also schools there (elementary, middle and high) but the town was so small, there were hardly any students in them.

Because of the construction of Interstate 69 and the development of Geist Reservoir, Fishers has grown tremendously in the past few decades. It has every sort of shop, any chain store you'd care to mention, a really good snow-cone emporium on 116th Street, plus that fancy police headquarters. I like Fishers a lot because I feel like we kind of came of age together.

(Oh, for heaven's sake. You know I'm old, but I was NOT born in 1872, so just shut up.)

Fishers, you are a fun and friendly city.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

When I moved here in 1975, 116th and Allisonville was a two lane road with grass and weeds growing up in the cracks and there was the old Eller house there and the rest was cornfields...yes, indeedy corn and bean fields at that intersection. Now the only corn and beans there are found at the restaurants at that location. It happens.