Food, friends, fun help make Hancock County great place

Good morning, Hancock County. I am sitting here on a Sunday morning. The temperature is a balmy 86 degrees and the humidity is stifling. The past winter we went through was pretty bad, so I promised myself a long time ago that I would never, ever complain about hot weather.

I love the summer months, especially July. It is a month to show our national pride, a time to honor our veterans. Recently, the New Palestine American Legion finally found a home for its veteran’s memorial.

I am not a veteran; however, through the years, it has been my pleasure to know and love many veterans, both ladies and gentleman. Many thanks to all that had a part in allowing this to come to fruition.

July is also a time for picnics, food, fellowship, FOOD, and in general a fun month. Did I mention food?

Recently, Hancock County and the Midwest experienced some horrendous storms. The weather alert radio and our new Hancock County enhanced 911 alerts rang out constantly. But the weather should never dampen our spirits.

In previous columns, I have mentioned that my wife and I moved to Hancock County about four decades ago. Also in previous columns, I have written about some serious events in Hancock County. But today I want to focus on friends.

Recently my wife and I, along with others, went to a gathering of friends. We had a neighborhood pitch-in to say goodbye to a couple of neighbors who are moving from our neighborhood. They have decided to downsize and move to another neighborhood.

What made them so special? Simple things, such as the bond of knowing that we could pick up the phone day or night and they would be there for us. That is the true definition of a friend. We of course talked about the successes and shortcomings of our children and now grand-children. We discussed how we tried to instill the character qualities of integrity, self-reliance, dependence and wisdom in our kids.

The story is told of a newly married young couple. This young couple started to look for a place to live and raise a family. They went from pillar to post. The search was exhausting,but it was narrowed down to two neighborhoods with almost identical homes.

In desperation, they hit upon a plan. They went to both neighborhoods, and started knocking on doors. The young couple posed a simple set of questions.

The young couple wanted to know what their prospective immediate neighbors thought of the existing folks in the neighborhood.

In the first neighborhood, 90 percent of the people responded negatively. Most of the folks admitted that they did not really know the people in the neighborhood.

As a matter of fact, they rarely spoke to or saw their neighbors. They said the neighbor kids ran wild, and the dogs howled constantly. In the second neighborhood, 90 percent of the people that they talked to had positive things to say about their neighbors. Oh, yes, there were kids in the neighborhood, and yes, sometimes they did play ball and other games in the street. Yes, sometimes the neighbor’s dog barked. But, it really was no bother.

In general it was a friendly neighborhood. The young couple obviously purchased a home in the second neighborhood. Because, you see, this young couple wanted to raise a family, establish relationships and get involved in community affairs,

New Palestine is a great place for young couples to move to. Friends, whether they be old friends or new friends, are great.

Last week, I picked up my copy of the Daily Reporter. The column I read is called “Sound Off” — it was filled to the proverbial brim, with positive comments about Hancock County and our quality of life.

One comment really jumped out at me: “We recently moved to Greenfield this year. I am happy to say we picked the perfect place for our first home. I can’t wait to enjoy all of the summer fun Hancock County has to offer.”

As I sit here at my keyboard, I look out over cornfields and a lovely neighborhood, filled with good friends. Thank you, Hancock County. For, you see, in Hancock County, we have brought together an eclectic group of folks.

Years ago, a good friend of mine passed on to me a great quotation. Immortal words from John Wesley: “He who governs the world before I was born shall take care of it likewise when I am dead. My part is to improve the present moment.”

Thank you, Hancock County, for allowing me to be a part of this great community.

Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or