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Sidebars: Lunch at Pioneer Village most fulfilling, leisurely

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Remember folks, the premise behind this article is not merely to make eatery suggestions, it is also to encourage a bit of leisure over the lunch hour with your colleague, mentor/mentee, opposing counsel, or a friend. To break from our billing, our motions, our conference calls, and most importantly, our PDAs for lunch will not cause the judicial system, in whatever capacity you work, to come to a screeching halt.

I was reminded of that when I ate the most of leisurely, entertaining, and fulfilling lunch at the dining table located in Pioneer Village at the State Fair about one week before the fair’s opening. Just hear me out. I promise I’m not writing about fried Hostess treats or candy bars.

I gained this prestigious invitation from a fellow female lawyer who I have always looked up to and respected. Around a humble table within Pioneer Village, about 15 of us gathered at a long table covered with a checkered tablecloth, a mix and match of flatware and dinner plates (not plastic utensils, not paper plates), and ice-cold lemonade. At the table were some of Indy’s “big hitters,” but the important people were the gentlemen, the agricultural professionals – from farmers to Purdue professors – who dedicated so much time to the preservation, presentation, and production of Pioneer Village.

Pioneer Village tremendously displays our state’s agricultural history and the extensive collection of artifacts is that of Purdue University Agricultural Alumni and is among the best in the nation.

The fair was about one week away and a lot of work was still to be done to prep Pioneer Village for this year’s fair. Yet, every day at noon, the dinner bell rings. They gather, often with guests like us, they bow their heads in prayer, and then enjoy the fellowship of the meal for about an hour. They regaled us with stories of particular pieces in the museum, of life on the farms across the state, and of their long history with each other (the ages of our hosts ranged but went up to 88!) Their sophistication was evident in the knowledge they imparted about the agricultural business, then and now. I listened, learned, and laughed. And, crazily enough, I didn’t catch a one of them pulling out their Blackberry from their overalls to check their e-mail!

Of course, when the family-style meal came out, I almost broke into tears given the menu. Cold cucumber and onion salad followed by fried potatoes, big ol’ biscuits and sausage links that were passed around family style. Then my heart skipped a beat as they brought out the biggest bowl of sausage gravy I’d seen in my life! The meal was clearly homemade in the kitchen behind this dining area right inside the Pioneer Village building. The hearty meal only added to the warmth I felt from the setting and my dining companions. The homemade cherry pie completed me. When you stop by the State Fair, check out Pioneer Village and you will see the dining area about which I write and at noon, you will see many of these folks gather around for such a lunch as I have described.

Now, why do I tell you about this experience? Well, it reminded me of why Fred and I write this article. Taking time out of our busy day to stop for lunch and focus on something other than a legal crisis is therapeutic and refreshing. Your e-mail can wait for an hour. The calls can be held for an hour. Believe it or not, that motion, pleading, answer, or whatever it is can wait for an hour. So, go grab a bite with that person, you know the one, you have been promising to hook up for lunch for the last six months. Remember that friend you keep telling yourself you need to call because you know they need someone to confide in, vent to, or share with.

To encourage you, I’m closing with some of Fred’s and my favorite places we have written about over the last couple of years to give you a nudge: Richard’s (Johnson County); Matteo’s (Hamilton County); Shipley’s (Madison County); Carnagie’s (Hancock County); Triple XXX (Tippecanoe County); Country Kitchen (Indy); Vera Mae’s (Delaware County); R Bistro (Indy); Lisa’s Pie Shop (Tipton County); Siam Square (Indy); Bu Dah (Indy); and The Downtown (Warsaw).•

__________

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994 and is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Inn of Courts, and the Teen Court Program. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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