Gilland: Fall weather and brain sandwiches

Mike Gilland (R), and old friend Rick VanHoose, and a couple of pronto pups.
Mike Gilland (R), and old friend Rick VanHoose, and a couple of pronto pups.
Courtesy of Mike Gilland

Those of us in Florida know a thing or two about humidity—it can add a lot of discomfort to an already hot day. But many don’t realize that areas up north also deal with high counts of humidity. 

Southern Indiana is one of those places. I lived in “the Ohio Valley,” and air would tend to get trapped around the river, giving us days of ozone smog and stuffy conditions.

That’s why, growing up in Indiana, we always loved the fall. It was about this time of year when the weather began to change: Cool air from Canada would cascade down, and those humidity numbers would begin to drop faster than a lead balloon. 

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The sky would turn icy blue in the daytime, and it wouldn’t be long till the temps hit the 40s at night. Then, it was time to break out the jackets and get ready for cool days and colder nights.

All these Indiana memories of fall are all due to my seeing a picture yesterday morning. It was a snapshot of my Mom when we were together about nine years ago. Cindy and I, along with our oldest daughter and our granddaughter, traveled to Evansville to meet up with our son and his family. 

It was the first of October, and we planned the trip in order to be there for an annual event in Evansville called the Fall Festival. I have heard that it is the second largest street party in the nation, second only to Mardi Gras. 

Mike with his Mom and grandson Jude—and that brain sandwich.
Courtesy of Mike Gilland Mike with his Mom and grandson Jude—and that brain sandwich.

Churches, civic organizations and schools all come together to line up on a large westside street to sell corn dogs and brain sandwiches. That’s right…brain sandwiches! While I was never able to order one of those deep-fried wonders, my Mom loved them, and got one most every year.

During this trip, Mom was 85 years old, and though she had a walker for support, she was spry enough to make it hard for us to keep up with her. Up and down West Franklin Street we went. We rode the carnival rides, stopped and talked to old friends, and got a brain sandwich for Mom.

Once again, not a single other person in our party dared to try even a bite. Even my young grandson watched his great-grandmother take a bite of that enormous sandwich, eyes full of terror at the very thought of eating slices of a calf’s brain. 

A well-known verse is found in Ecclesiastes:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV). I guess one could argue that this applies to everything…even brain sandwiches.

What a time that was. We all laughed, ate, and made some serious memories that will last for the rest of my lifetime. All of it in the cool October air that is fall in Indiana.

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