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Sidebars: Court House Grounds serves up 'comfort' food

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SidebarsQuaint is not usually my m.o. (“Modus operandi” for those of you not in the criminal arena). Thus, I hesitated when my colleague, Jim Voyles, suggested we dine at Court House Grounds one morning after a meeting in Danville. I thought it would be another cute little coffee shop with weird-flavored coffee accompanied by weird stuff-laden muffins. It just seemed “frou frou.” I then realized Voyles is not really the “frou frou” type, so I took the chance and I was glad I did.

It is a quaint spot/restaurant/coffee shop but more in the cozy, comfy way. It is directly east of the courthouse on the square, hence its name. As we have had all winter, the morning was snowy and cold. I had a hankerin’ for what Fred calls my “big girl breakfast.” I realize we usually review lunch jaunts, but if the breakfast reflects what they can do for lunch, I recommend the Court House Grounds. Plus, dieticians apparently declare breakfast the most important meal of the day (but probably not at the quantity I like.)

A variety of coffees await your self service in real coffee mugs. You may want to speak up if you desire table service for food. However, once waited on, the food came out promptly. Voyles hungrily (and, quite frankly, a little aggressively) dug into his plate of French toast that was thick cut, not soggy, and perfectly coated before cooking. His only complaint was the seemingly generic syrup and packaged butter. A neighboring table had a big ol’ slab of real butter for their entrees which would have complemented his breakfast better. I ate two eggs over medium (perfectly cooked to order), with bacon (too thin for my liking), toast (how can you screw that up), hash browns (just OK), and an order of biscuits and gravy (confirmed the “comfy” in the entire experience). We were pleased. Other breakfast offerings included pancakes in the 12-grain, blueberry, chocolate chip, banana, or potato (with onion and green peppers) variety. Omelets with a limited amount of ingredients are also available. You can indulge in oatmeal or grits as well as bagels with a good variety of spreads including a dill spread. I think they offer an assortment of muffins, but from my prior comments, you can probably guess I did not look too closely.

I wish we could have just camped out, rubbing our bellies, reading the paper, and playing checkers until lunch. No, they don’t really have checkers or anything remotely like a Cracker Barrel, so don’t read too much into the checkers comment. The lunch menu is not too aggressive and consists mostly of sandwiches. What caught my eye was the Hawaiian ham wrap which has lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and pineapple cream cheese. Similarly eye-catching was the brie cheese grilled sandwich with mushrooms and deli-sliced ham. I realize salads typically aren’t comfort food, but the spinach/bacon/tomato salad, which seemed pretty traditional with hard-boiled eggs and warm tomato bacon dressing, sounded pretty comforting. Who are we kidding though? Anything with bacon is comforting. The other offerings included chicken, tuna, and egg salad on a variety of breads or in a tomato. You get a choice of side dishes such as soup, cottage cheese, fruit cup, pasta, or potato salad. No fries or deep-fried anything on the menu, and that really is OK.

Now here is a crazy suggestion – how about stopping in Court House Grounds merely for a relaxing cup of coffee? The place seems perfectly suitable for that too. Spend some time with a cup of coffee that does not come in a cardboard or Styrofoam cup? Crazy, I know. Court House Grounds is located at 65 S. Washington St., Danville, Indiana. I give it three gavels because of the imperfections mentioned herein. However, the likable, quaint, and comforting atmosphere made it a perfect experience.•

– Jennifer Lukemeyer
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Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. The opinions expressed in this column are the authors’.

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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