Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2016

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/Aug 2016 • 12 Bob Hill owns Hidden Hill Nursery and can be reached at farmerbob@ hiddenhillnursery.com. For more information, including nursery hours and event information, go to www.hiddenhillnursery. com About the Author no sense of motion, we gently lifted of into the morning, the ground falling away behind us. Beazly fred the propane torch – a periodic roar punctuated with profound silence – as we rose high enough to see downtown Louisville above the trees, and beyond that a gray smudge of the New Albany Knobs. The men who go to the moon will often send back images that remind us that we all live on the same large piece of rounded rock; the ground, air and water are all connected. A balloon ride can ofer the same vision, albeit the view that stretches from Clark County, Indiana to Bullit County, Kentucky may not have quite the same sweep or urgency. Still, there was enough tree, plant and bird identifcation going on up there to realize the need to try. There was also the litle girl dressed in red, siting in a chair in her driveway about 500 feet below, shyly waving as we passed overhead. The more defned and competitive mission of the fight was for Beazly to drop a three-ounce packet of grass seed onto a white cross on the ground planted there by the "Hare Balloon" – the frst one up and the frst to land. Beazly steered our balloon with practiced hands. We drifted for a time at only about 200 feet – a height that came with the slightly guilty pleasure of being able to peer down into hundreds of back yards, all of them devoid of people who had gone to work, but leaving their vary- ing degrees of landscaping abilities be- hind. Then, watching the parade of bal- loons in the sky ahead of us to plot the best path to the white cross, Beazly took us up to 1,000, 1,200 and then 1,500 feet, but with almost no sense of movement. We were just up there, hitchhikers in the sky, constantly moving to catch the various wind currents. Turning the bal- loon more sharply east or west required opening a small overhead vent – and about 40 years of practice. We sailed over the Waterson Expressway, a tree nursery, the massive General Electric Plant and the busy Gene Snyder. Beazly, rotating his arm to warm up, hurled the seed packet and atached ribbon toward the white cross below, falling short and waxing disappointment. "I'm competitive," he said. "I like to win." None of us wanted to land. We drifted over an old gravel pit, where the balloon's colors were refected in blue wa- ter. We drifted over a herd of catle made nervous by our arrival. We joked about pushing on to Tennessee, then gently landed in an open feld somewhere near Cedar Creek Road – after frst brushing so close to tree tops I could grab a few bright green leaves. The ground crew in the van some- how quickly found us. The people who work the feld in which we landed – Jane Anne Franklin, a Louisville Zoo animal trainer, and her husband, Dave Camp- bell, who worked with the zoo elephants – found us. We who fell from the sky – and those who train zoo animals – celebrated our safe landing with the traditional toasts of post-fight champagne. I kept the botle as a souvenir. And the leaves. •

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