Journey Indiana

S2 E13 | FULL EPISODE

Episode 213

Coming to you from the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy in Vincennes...witness the annual sandhill crane migration in Pulaski County; travel to Atlanta, Indiana for a look at Mr. Muffin's trains; and take a wild ride down Pokagon State Park's historic toboggan run.

AIRED: January 07, 2020 | 0:26:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> PRODUCTION SUPPORT FOR

"JOURNEY INDIANA" IS PROVIDED

BY:

>>> COMING UP.

>> WITNESS THE ANNUAL SAND HILL

CRANE MIGRATION.

>> AND TRAVEL TO INDIANA FOR A

LOOK AT MR. MUFFIN'S TRAIN.

>> AND TAKE A WILD RIDE DOWN THE

POCAGAN HISTORIC TOBOGGAN RUN.

THAT'S ON THIS EPISODE OF

"JOURNEY INDIANA"!

>> WELCOME TO "JOURNEY INDIANA,"

I'M ASHERY DILLARD.

>> AND I'M BRANDON WENT.

THIS MUSEUM CELEBRATES THE LIFE

AND THE LEGACY OF ONE OF

AMERICA'S GREATEST COMEDIANS AND

VINCENNES NATIVE RED SKELTON.

INSIDE YOU WILL FIND PHOTOS,

MEMORABILIA AND MUCH MORE.

AND I HAVE TO SAY, ASHLEY, I'M

VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE.

IT'S NOT A SKILL SET I GET TO

USE A LOT ON "JOURNEY INDIANA,"

A LOT OF MY TRAINING IS IN

PHYSICAL COMEDY AND CLOWNING,

AND THAT'S BECAUSE MY DAD HAD

RED SKELTON ON ALL THE TIME

GROWING UP.

>> HOPEFULLY WE WILL LEARN MORE

ABOUT THAT AND THIS MUSEUM

COMING UP.

BUT FIRST WE GO TO THE JASPER

PULASKI AREA, THAT IS OVERRUN BY

THOUSANDS OF SAND HILL CRANES.

PRODUCER JOHN TIM HAS THE STORY.

>> THE SAND HILL CRANE IS ONE OF

1515 SPEECH15 SPECIES OF CRANES WORLDWIDE

AND THERE'S SEVERAL DIFFERENT

POPULATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED

STATES.

THERE'S LOTS OF CRANES THAT

WINTER RIGHT HERE IN INDIANA.

THEY WILL BE HERE ALL WINTER.

♪ THE CRANES THAT COME THROUGH

JASPER PULASKI, EVERYBODY WANTS

TO KNOW WHY THEY COME HERE.

IT JUST BASICALLY HAS TO DO WITH

THE RANGE THAT THE GREATER SAND

HILL CRANE OCCUPIES AND THE FACT

THAT WE WERE IN THE RIGHT PLACE

AT THE RIGHT TIME.

>> WE SHOULD GET UP TO 25 OF

THEM.

>> THIS PROPERTY STARTED IN

1929, AND THE FIELD OF WILDLIFE

MANAGEMENT WAS BEGINNING TO

UNDERSTAND MORE WHAT WILDLIFE

NEEDED IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.

AND ONE OF THE KEY ELEMENTS WAS

HABITAT.

THE 1800s, INTO THE -- WELL

INTO THE 1900s, AND CONTINUING

TODAY, WE'RE STILL LOSING

HABITAT, BUT WE WERE ABLE TO

PROTECT KEY HABITAT FEATURES IN

TERMS OF THE SAND HILL CRANES.

THOSE WERE WETLAND AREAS.

AS WE PROTECTED MORE HABITAT,

THAT SMALL NUMBER OF CRANES IN

THE CORE NESTING AREA IN

WISCONSIN BEGAN TO INCREASE, AND

THEN REPIONEERED NEW AREAS.

SO WE WENT FROM IN THE 1930s,

'40s, TO MAYBE JUST 300

NESTING PAIRS OF GRAINS TO -- OF

CRANES TO ALMOST 100,000 IN THIS

POPULATION NOW.

AS THE SAND HILL CRANE

POPULATION BEGAN TO REPOPULATE

AND INCREASE, THE CRANES THAT

USED THIS AREA CONTINUED TO USE

IT AND I MENTIONED THAT

WISCONSIN WAS THE CORE NESTING

AREA, AND IF YOU WERE TO PUT

YOUR FINGER IN CENTRAL

WISCONSIN, AND A FINGER ON YOUR

OTHER HAND IN CENTRAL FLORIDA,

WHICH IS WHERE THE MAJORITY

ROOSTED OR SPENT THE WINTER IN

THE '50s, '60s, '70s AND

EVEN INTO THE '80s, JASPER

PULASKI WOULD BE RIGHT

UNDERNEATH THAT LINE.

SO THE MAJORITY NESTED IN

WISCONSIN, MIGRATED TO FLORIDA.

SO THEY CAME THROUGH HERE TO THE

FALL AND A LESSER EXTENT THEY

ALSO CAME THROUGH HERE IN THE

SPRING.

THE PEAK HAS MOVED FROM

MID-OCTOBER TO LATE NOVEMBER,

EARLY DECEMBER.

BASED ON THE FACT THAT THEY

ROOST IN THE WETLAND AREAS AT

NIGHT, WE CAN USE SEVERAL

OBSERVERS AND COUNT THE CRANES

AS THEY FLY OUT IN THE MORNING.

THE COUNT WAS 19,908, JUST SHY

OF 20,000.

SO WE ARE RIGHT -- THAT COULD BE

A TYPICAL PEAK.

WE HAVE HAD PEAKS AT 35,000.

>> FEATURES THAT THEY JUST

DEVELOPED ON THEIR OWN IS THEIR

OWN BEHAVIOR, IS THEY WILL LAND

A -- A LARGE NUMBER WILL LAND IN

THIS FIELD, WHICH ACTUALLY WAS

ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED FOR CANADA

GEESE, BUT THE CRANES FAR OUT

NUMBER THE CANADA GEESE NOW.

ONE THE THINGS THAT MAKES IT SO

INTERESTING TO PEOPLE IS THEY

ARE A BIRD THAT FLOCKS TOGETHER.

THEY ARE EASILY SEEN.

THEY MAKE A LOT OF NOISE.

THEY HAVE A LOT OF INTERESTING

BEHAVIORS, PARTICULARLY THEIR

COURTSHIP RITUAL.

SO THEY ARE JUST ATTRACTIVE TO

PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE SUCH

GREAT NUMBERS.

>> ALTHOUGH THIS YEAR'S

MIGRATION IS COMPLETE, IF YOU

WOULD LIKE INFO FOR NEXT FALL,

JUST GO TO IN.GOV/DNR AND SEARCH

FOR SAND HILL MIGRATION.

>> AND NOW WE ARE JOINED BY ANN

PRATT, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

HERE AT THE RED SKELTON MUSEUM.

THANKS MUCH FOR HAVING US.

>> THANK YOU.

SO GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT.

>> SO RED WAS BORN HERE IN

VINCENNES.

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT

HIS EARLY LIFE?

>> ABSOLUTELY!

HE WAS ACTUALLY BORN RIGHT

ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE

MUSEUM.

HIS ORIGINAL BIRTH PLACE IS

STILL STANDING, AND ABOUT TWO

YEARS AGO, THEY GAVE AN INDIANA

HISTORICAL MARKER IN FRONT OF

HIS BIRTH PLACE.

AND HE WAS THE YOUNGEST OF FOUR

BOYS AND HIS DAD ACTUALLY DIED

ABOUT THREE MONTHS BEFORE HE WAS

BORN.

SO HE WAS RAISED UP BY A SINGLE

MOTHER AND REALLY HAD KIND OF A

CHALLENGING CHILDHOOD.

>> AND HE STARTED HIS CAREER

PRETTY YOUNG, CORRECT?

>> HE DID!

AND IF YOU TALK TO PEOPLE, OF

COURSE, EVERYBODY THAT COMES TO

THE MUSEUM, ESPECIALLY FROM

VINCENNES HAS A STORY, WELL, MY

GRANDMA WENT TO SCHOOL WITH RED

OR MY COUSIN.

AND THEY TALK ABOUT WHAT A CUT

UP HE WAS, YOU KNOW, IN SCHOOL.

AND MY GRANDMA WAS BORN IN THE

SAME ERA.

SHE WOULD WATCH HIM BEING SILLY

ON THE CORNER AND TRYING TO MAKE

PEOPLE LAUGH.

HE WOULD TRAVEL IN THE SUMMER

WITH VARIOUS SHOWS AND WORK.

WHEN HE WAS ABOUT 17, HE HEADED

OFF FOR GOOD, AND STARTED MAKING

HIS WAY IN THE WORLD.

>> AND THAT TRAJECTORY LED TO A

VERY INTERESTING AND VARIED

CAREER.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE

HIGHLIGHTS.

>> HE STARTED OUT IN VAUDEVILLE

WHEN EVERY DAY WAS A NEW TOWN,

NEW SHOW, AND DOING WALKATHONS

WHICH IS WHAT WE WOULD CALL

DANCE MARATHONS TODAY.

HE WOULD BE THE EMCEES WITH

THESE.

AND GOT HIS BREAK ON RADIO WITH

THE DUNKIN' DONUTS, WITH HIS

WIFE EDNA.

HE WAS 18, AND SHE WAS 17, WHEN

THEY FIRST MARRIED.

AND THEN THE RADIO LED TO

TELEVISION.

MOST OF THE CHARACTERS THAT

PEOPLE REMEMBER FROM TELEVISION

ACTUALLY STARTED ON HIS RADIO

SHOW.

AND ESPECIALLY ONE THAT MOST

PEOPLE REMEMBER AND LOVE IS

FREDDY THE FREE LOADER.

HE'S THE LOVABLE BUM AND

EVERYBODY CAN RELATE TO FREDDY

IN SOME WAY.

BUT THERE'S ALSO CLY LIM KAD

DIDDLE HOPPER.

>> AND THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER,

DID HE STAY CONNECTED TO HIS

HOME TOWN?

>> HE REALLY DID?

AND SOMETIMES HE WOULD DO SNEAK

VISITS WHERE HE DIDN'T TELL

ANYBODY HE WAS COMING.

HE WOULD POP IN TO SEE FATHER

DAHL, A PRIEST HE WAS VERY

CONNECTED TO.

WE HAVE STORIES WHERE WE WOULD

COME INTO K-MART AND SEE WHAT

EVERYBODY WAS DOING OR STOP BY A

STORE DOWNTOWN.

SO HE LOVED, LOVED TO COME VISIT

AND SURPRISE PEOPLE.

>> WELL THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

LETTING US SHARE IN SOME OF

THESE STORIES.

WE WILL BE BACK TO TALK WITH YOU

IN JUST A LITTLE BIT.

BUT UP NEXT, WE ARE HEADED TO

ATLANTA, INDIANA, JUST NORTH OF

NOBLESVILLE, TO CHECK OUT ONE OF

THE MOST INCREDIBLE MODEL TRAIN

DISPLAYS I HAVE EVER SEEN.

PRODUCER JACOB LYNNDAUER HAS

MORE OF MR. MUFFIN'S TRAIN.

>> I GOT INTO THE HOBBY,

ACTUALLY, WHEN I WAS A KID.

I SPENT A LOT OF TIME AT ED

SHOCK'S TOY AND HOBBY SHOT IN

GLENDALE.

I STARTED WORKING THERE WHEN I

WAS 14.

SO I HAVE BEEN AROUND THE HOBBY

A LONG TIME.

I REALLY LOVED HELPING CUSTOMERS

WITH THEIR HOBBIES.

I MEAN, YOU KNOW, THAT SERVICE

ATTRIBUTE.

SO I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN

MODEL RAILROADING AND I JUST

ENJOYED, YOU KNOW, COLLECTING

THEM AND WORKING ON A LAYOUT IN

MY HOME, PRETTY MUCH EVERY DAY.

GET AWAY FROM WORK AND GO DOWN

AND PAINT FIGURINES FOR 30

MINUTES OR BUILD A BUILDING OR

WHATEVER.

MY KIDS SET UP MY eBAY ACCOUNT

AND THEY MADE IT MR. MUFFINS

TRAINS BECAUSE I USED TO TELL

THEM STORY ABOUT THE MUFFINS

WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE.

THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD GET EVEN

WITH ME.

AND I HAD SHIRTS MADE AND GO TO

TRAIN SHOWS AND EVERYBODY KNEW

WHO MR. MUFFIN WAS.

I SAID TO MY WIFE, WOULDN'T IT

BE NICE IF WE COULD PUT MY TRAIN

LAYOUT IN A PUBLIC SPACE SO

OTHER PEOPLE COULD ENJOY IT.

SHE THOUGHT THAT WAS A GREAT

IDEA.

SO WE RENTED 1800 SQUARE FEET IN

CARAMEL AND WE BUILT A BIG

LAYOUT THERE.

AND WE OPENED IT UP TO THE

PUBLIC.

VERY POPULAR.

WE BECAME CONSTRAINED IN CARAMEL

IN THE SECOND LOCATION, AS WE

BOUGHT 7 ACRES WEST OF ATLANTA,

INDIANA.

ALREADY HAD A HOUSE ON IT.

MOVED UP HERE AND WE STARTED TO

BUILD A BUILDING.

AND MY WIFE WHO IS A LOT SMARTER

FOR ME.

THERE'S ALREADY BIG BUILDINGS

FOR SALE IN ATLANTA, WHY DON'T

WE BUY A BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN

ATLANTA.

THIS WAS ORIGINALLY A MILL.

SO THE LAYOUT HERE WE HAVE NOW

IS 60 FEET LONG AND 40 FEET

WIDE.

IT'S A LOT MORE TRACK THAN THE

LAYOUT WE HAD IN CARAMEL.

WE HAVE 13 INDEPENDENT LOOPS OF

TRACK.

I BELIEVE WE HAVE THE THIRD

LARGEST PUBLIC LAYOUT IN THE

UNITED STATES.

WE HAVE HOSTED SCENERY WORKSHOPS

HERE.

SOME OF THE SCENERY YOU SEE WAS

ACTUALLY MADE BY PEOPLE THAT

CAME, WHERE WE COULD TEACH THEM

HOW TO DO SCENERY TECHNIQUES AND

THEY COULD PRACTICE ON OUR

LAYOUT.

SO WE HAVE A LOT OF TRAINS HERE.

WE RUN 'EM ALL DIGITALLY, USING

IEYEiPADS.

THAT'S HOW WE CAN PUT MULTIPLE

TRAINS ON THE SAME TRACK AT THE

SAME TIME.

BASICALLY RUN OUR TRAINS ON

SATURDAYS.

AND I'M IN HERE ON SUNDAYS.

OCCASIONALLY WE GET PEOPLE TO

COME ON SUNDAYS.

DURING THE WINTER MONTHS, WE GET

300 OR 400 PEOPLE ON A SATURDAY

COME.

>> OH, ATLANTA.

THAT GOES BACK TO THE EARLY

1800s.

MICHAEL SHIELDS GOT A LAND GRANT

TO THE WEST OF TOWN HERE AND

THAT WAS GOING TO BECOME

SHIELDSVILLE.

AND IT DID BECOME SHIELDSVILLE.

AND THEN IN THE 1850s, THE

RAILROAD TRACK CAME THROUGH, BUT

IT CAME THROUGH OVER HERE, ABOUT

A HALF A MILE FROM WHERE HIS

TOWN WAS.

AND THIS IS WHERE THE TOWN GREW

FROM, BECAUSE OF THE RAILROAD.

THEN IT WAS CALLED BUENA VISTA.

AND WHEN THEY WENT TO APPLY FOR

A POST OFFICE, WELL, THERE'S

ALREADY A BUENA VISTA IN

INDIANA.

SO THEY HAD TO GET ANOTHER NAME,

AND THEN THEY VOTED AND THEY

SAID, LET'S CALL IT ATLANTA.

BACK IN THE EARLY '70s IT

BECAME RATHER BUSINESS-ORIENTED

AND THEN IT JUST SORT OF DROPPED

OFF WITH THE ARTS AND THE CRAFTS

SORT OF FADED AWAY AND ANTIQUES.

AND IT BECAME BASICALLY JUST A

FEW OF US HERE ON MAIN STREET

THAT WERE EVEN OPEN FOR

BUSINESS.

THE ATLANTIC MUSIC HALL STARTED

BACK IN 1987 AS A WHIM OF MY

HUSBAND.

HE PLAYED A TENOR JAZZ BAND JOE.

THE BUILDING WAS FOR RENT.

IT HAD BEEN AN ART GALLERY.

THEY CLOSED IT DOWN AND THE RENT

WAS PAID AND THEY SAID, HEY, IF

YOU WANT TO DO IT AND USE IT

FOR, THAT THAT'S FINE.

AFTER THREE MONTHS, THE GUY

SAID, I'M SELLING IT.

DO YOU WANT TO BUY IT?

WE BOUGHT IT AND HERE WE ARE.

IT WAS THE ONLY FUNCTIONING

PUBLIC BUILDING YOU MIGHT AS

WELL SAY WHERE PEOPLE COULD COME

IN AND GO AND COME IN AND GO.

>> BASICALLY THE ENTIRE MAIN

STREET WAS VACANT.

THE ONLY THING WE HAD GOING FOR

US IN ATLANTA WAS THE ATLANTA

MUSIC HALL AND THEY HAD

PERFORMANCES EVERY SATURDAY

NIGHT AT 7:00.

YOU KNOW, LIZ AND I WOULD COME

AND HAVE DINNER AND THEN COME UP

AND SEE ATLANTA MUSIC HALL.

THAT'S ALL THIS WAS HERE.

THIS BUILDING IS THE BIGGEST

BUILDING IN ATLANTA.

BRINGING IT BACK ONLINE, THE

PEOPLE OF ATLANTA HAVE BEEN

REALLY SUPPORTIVE.

I MEAN, WE HAVE NOW GOT FLOWERS

IN ALL THE FLOWER POTS.

A LOT OF THE SIDEWALKS HAVE BEEN

REPAIRED.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE DONE AN AWFUL

LOT TO DOWNTOWN ATLANTA.

YOU KNOW, IN MY VISION, SOME

POINT IN THE FUTURE, EVERYTHING

IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA IS GOING TO

BE PART OF A DESTINATION.

THE NICKEL PLATE EXPRESS IS AN

EXCURSION RAILROAD THAT RUNS

HERE IN NORTHERN HAMILTON

COUNTY.

IT RUNSFROM ATLANTA SOUTH TO

NOBLESVILLE.

THE TRACK THAT'S OUTSIDE OF OUR

DOORWAY HERE IS THE HISTORIC

NICKEL PLATE TRACK.

IT'S OUT OF THE NICKEL PLATE

RAILROAD GOT INTO INDIANAPOLIS.

AND THAT TRACK IS WITHIN THE

FIRST 75 MILES OF TRACK BEING

LAID IN INDIANA.

BASICALLY A COALITION CAME

TOGETHER AND WON THE RIGHTS TO

RUN A TRAIN ON THERE.

IT'S SOMETHING THAT LIZ AND I

ARE REAL PROUD OF BEING PART OF

STARTING.

WE CARE AN AWFUL LOT ABOUT

ATLANTA, SINCE WE HAVE COME UP

HERE AND WE LIVE UP HERE.

I'M REALLY PROUD THAT THESE

ACTIVITIES THAT STARTED AS A

HOBBY HAVE GROWN TO THE POINT

THAT WE'RE PROVIDING EMPLOYMENT

FOR PEOPLE.

AND THAT WE HAVE GOT PEOPLE THAT

HAVE GOT GOOD JOBS AND SOMETHING

TO DO.

WE ENJOY BEING A DESTINATION.

WE ENJOY ENTERTAINING PEOPLE.

IT JUST MEANS A LOT TO US.

>> ON THE WEEKENDS,

PARTICULARLY, MAIN STREET IS

MUCH BUSIER THAN WHAT IT USED TO

BE WHEN THE BUILDING WERE ALL

MORE OR LESS SHUT UP AND NOTHING

OPEN.

HE OPENED UP A CAFE, THE

CHOO-CHOO CAFE AND THAT GOT US

ANOTHER PLACE TO EAT.

OH, YEAH, YOU WILL SAY SOMETHING

TO THEM.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE TRAIN LAYOUT.

NO!

WELL, COME ON DOWN, AND THEY

WILL DO IT AND THEN THEY WILL

TALK ABOUT, IT YOU KNOW, HOW

MUCH THEY REALLY ENJOYED JUST

WATCHING IT.

AND BEING THERE ALL AFTERNOON,

PRACTICALLY SOME OF THEM.

>> I THINK WE HAVE A SHARED

VISION FOR WHAT WE LIKE TO DO IN

ATLANTA.

WE HAVE HELPED ORGANIZE A CIVIC

LEAGUE CALLED ATLANTA ON TRACK

WHERE A BUNCH OF ATLANTA PEOPLE

COME TOGETHER AND TALK ABOUT HOW

WE WOULD LIKE TO DEVELOP ATLANTA

AND WHAT ADDITIONAL THINGS WE

WOULD LIKE TO DO.

I THINK WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE

ON THE THEME OF MAKING ATLANTA A

DESTINATION FOR FAMILIES.

WE HAVE LOTS OF IDEAS AND LOTS

OF SUGGESTIONS.

I THINK IN THE LONG RUN, YOU

KNOW, WE'LL HAVE A LOT MORE TO

DO AND SEE IN ATLANTA THAN

MR. MUFFINS TRAINS AND THE

CHOO-CHOO CAFE.

>> THEY ARE OPEN YEAR ROUND.

JUST HEAD OVER TO M

RMUFFINSTRAINS.COM TO GET ALL

THE INFORMATION.

>> SO WE TALKED EARLIER, A

LITTLE BIT ABOUT RED'S CAREER.

I WOULD LOVE TO TALK ABOUT THIS

AWESOME MUSEUM.

HOW EXACTLY DID THIS COME TO BE?

>> IT REALLY WAS KIND OF A LONG

PROCESS, AND IT BEGAN BACK IN

1997, WHEN RED ACTUALLY PASSED

AWAY.

AND THE PRESIDENT UNIVERSITY AT

THAT TIME, DR. SOMERS WENT TO

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND SAID

COULD WE BUILD A MUSEUM AND A

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN RED'S

HONOR.

THEY SAID YES.

AND THEN IT WAS A MATTER OF

GETTING THE MONEY AND GETTING IT

GOING.

THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

OPENED UP IN 2006 AND IN 2008,

WE BUILT THE EXTERIOR OF THIS

BUILDING, AND THEN THE

FUND-RAISING REALLY BEGAN IN

EARNEST AND WE ACTUALLY WERE

ABLE TO OPEN ON JULY 18th,

2013, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN THE

100th ANNIVERSARY OF RED'S

BIRTH.

>> YOU HAVE A LOT OF PHOTOS AND

MEMORABILIA HERE.

WHAT ARE SOME OF WHY YOU ARE

FAVORITE PIECES?

>> I THINK ONE OF MY FAVORITE

LETTERS IS ONE WE DISCOVERED

LAST YEAR WHEN WE WERE DOING OUR

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE EXHIBIT.

WE WERE DOING THE 50th

50th ANNIVERSARY OF RED'S

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND WE

FOUND A LETTER HE HAD WRITTEN TO

HIS SECOND WIFE GEORGIA.

AND IN THE LETTER WROTE THE

WORDS THAT HE ULTIMATELY SAID,

I, ME, AN INDIVIDUAL, A

COMMITTEE OF ONE, PLEDGE AND IT

WENT ON THROUGH THE LETTER.

THERE'S SO MANY MORE THINGS HERE

LIKE THAT, THAT JUST REALLY TALK

ABOUT HIS PERSONALITY.

AND ALL THE ORIGINAL COSTUMES

THAT HE WORE ON THE RED SKELTON

SHOW.

IT'S SO COOL TO SEE SOME OF

THOSE AND IT'S GREAT TO GO

THROUGH AND LOOK AT IT ALL.

>> WHAT OTHER EYE HIGHLIGHTS CAN

PEOPLE SEE IF THEY MAKE THE TRIP

HERE.

>> IT'S A REALLY ENACTIVE

MUSEUM.

IT'S NOT JUST A WALK AROUND AND

READ AND LOOK AT PANELS OF

PICTURES BUT YOU CAN ACTUALLY

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN RED SKELTON

AND IT'S MULTIGENERATIONAL.

WE HAVE SO MANY GRANDPARENTS AND

GRANDKIDS AND PARENTS, AND WE

HAVE VIRTUAL CLOWN MAKEUP AND

PANTOMIMING ON A GREEN SCREEN

AND TRYING ON DIFFERENT HATS TO

SEE WHICH ONE CHANGES YOUR

PERSONALITY.

AND IT'S FUN TO BE HERE AND HEAR

PEOPLE LAUGHING ALL DAY AS THEY

GO THROUGH IS JUST SO REWARDING.

I WANT PEOPLE TO REALIZE THAT IF

THEY WANT TO HAVE A DAY OUT AND

LAUGH, THIS IS WHERE THEY NEED

TO BE.

>> AND IF OUR VIEWERS WANT TO

LEARN MORE WHERE DO THEY GO?

>> RED SKELTON.ORG.

IT TALKS ABOUT EVENTS, EXHIBITS

THAT ARE UPCOMING.

REDSKELTONMUSEUM.ORG IS THE

TICKET TO FUN.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING

US THIS AWESOME EXPERIENCE OF

RED SKELTON.

>> THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING.

>> AND FINALLY, WE ARE HEADED

DOWNHILL FAST, JASON PEAR TAKES

US DOWN THE TOBOGGAN HILL AT

POKAGON STATE PARK.

>> POKAGON STATE PARK IS LOCATED

IN NORTHEAST INDIANA, AND WE ARE

INDIANA'S FIFTH OLDEST STATE

PARK.

SO WE WERE ESTABLISHED IN 1925.

WE ARE ABOUT 1200 ACRES.

AND WE'RE KIND OF KNOWN AS

INDIANA'S WINTER PLAYGROUND

BECAUSE WE ARE SO FAR UP NORTH.

WE HAVE PROGRAMS ALL THROUGHOUT

THE WINTER AT THE NATURE CENTER.

SO WE LEAD GUIDED HIKES AND

THINGS LIKE.

THAT WHEN THE LAKE IS FROZEN,

PEOPLE ENJOY ICE FISHING AND ICE

SKATING.

THE TOBOGGAN RUN IS PROBABLY THE

MOST POPULAR WINTER FEATURE.

SO IN THE 1930s, THE CIVILIAN

CONSERVATION CORPS CAME TO

POKAGON TO BUILD A LOT OF OUR

STRUCTURES AND PUT IN ROADS AND

TRAILS AND THE YOUNG MEN WHO

WERE WORKING HERE, THEY WERE 18

TO 25 YEARS OLD AND IN THEIR

FIRST WINTER HERE, THEY WERE

BORED AND LOOKING FOR SOMETHING

TO DO.

THEY FOUND THIS AWESOME HILL

OUTSIDE OF THEIR CAMP AND THEY

ACTUALLY MADE THE FIRST TOE

BAGGAN RUN JUST FOR -- TOBOGGAN

RUN FOR THEIR OWN ENJOYMENT AND

THEN IN 1938, THE PARK MANAGER

OPENED THAT UP TO THE PUBLIC.

IN 1940, WE ADDED A SECOND

TRACK.

AT THAT TIME, IT WAS

REFRIGERATED BY MANUALLY PUTTING

ICE ON THE TRACK.

SO THEY WOULD HAVE TO CUT ICE

OUT OF THE LAKE, AND PACK IT

DOWN ON THE TRACK.

SO EVERY TIME IT WOULD THAW,

THEY WOULD REPEAT THAT PROCESS.

IN 1970s, THE TRACK WAS

REFRIGERATED.

NOW WE HAVE TECHNOLOGY WHERE WE

SPRAY THE TRACK WITH WATER AND

IT COOLS ITSELF FROM THE INSIDE

OUT.

SO YOU WALK YOUR SLED UP TO THE

TOP OF THE TOWER.

OUR STAFF UP THERE WILL HELP TO

SEAT YOU IN THE TOBOGGAN.

THEY WILL GO OVER THE RULES WITH

YOU.

>> ALL RIGHT, GUYS FORK LEANING,

NO REACHING, NO WAVING.

IF YOU LOSE A HAT, WE WILL GET

IT FOR YOU.

AND STAY SEATED UNTIL THE SLED

COMES TO A STOP.

GOT IT?

GOT IT?

>> AND THEN THEY SEND YOU DOWN.

YOU WILL GO DOWN A QUARTER MILE

TRACK FROM THE TOP OF THE TOWER

TO THE END OF THE TRACK, AND

THERE'S ABOUT A 90-FOOT VERTICAL

DROP.

SO YOU ARE ON THE TOBOGGAN FOR

20 OR 30 SECONDS.

USUALLY AVERAGE SPEED ABOUT

35 MILES PER HOUR.

I ALWAYS COMPARE IT TO A ROLLER

COASTER IN THE WINTER TIME.

YOU KIND OF HAVE THE BUTTERFLIES

IN YOUR STOMACH WHEN YOU ARE

RIGHT AT THE TOP AND YOU CAN SEE

THE FIRST BIG DROP.

IT FEELS SO MUCH FASTER THAN

IT'S REALLY GOING AND THAT COLD

WIND HITS YOUR FACE, AND KIND OF

TAKES YOUR BREATH AWAY A LITTLE

BIT BUT IT'S THRILLING.

IT'S A LOT OF FUN.

IT'S A TRADITION FOR A LOT OF

FAMILIES THAT COME HERE

CHRISTMASTIME, YOU KNOW, THEY

MIGHT HAVE A FAMILY GATHERING

AND THEY MAKE THIS PART OF THAT

TRADITION.

SO WE HEAR FROM PEOPLE THAT HAVE

BEEN COMING BACK YEAR AFTER

YEAR, NOW WITH THEIR CHILDREN

AND THEIR GRANDCHILDREN.

AND THEN WE HEAR FROM A LOT OF

FOLKS THAT IT'S THEIR FIRST TIME

GOING DOWN IT.

WE HAD A FAMILY LAST WEEK FROM

FLORIDA WHO HAD NEVER DONE SUCH

A THING AND IT WAS ABOUT

THRILLING FOR THEM TO GO DOWN

THE TOBOGGAN.

THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS,

I THINK THEY WOULD BE THRILLED.

THEY SPENT A LOT OF TIME

BUILDING OUR OTHER STRUCTURES

THAT ARE CERTAINLY IMPORTANT AND

WELL LOVED BUT THE ONE THING

THAT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE OPEN TO

THE PUBLIC IS THE ONE THING THAT

WE ARE KNOWN FOR.

I THINK THEY WOULD BE THRILLED

THAT NOW 100,000 PEOPLE RIDE IT

EVERY YEAR.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> OH, GOD, THAT WAS A TON OF

FUN!

>> ONE OF MY FAVORITE WINTER

ACTIVITIES IS SLEDDING.

I HAVE NOT BEEN UP THERE YET BUT

I HAVE TO FIND THE TIME TO MAKE

IT UP.

>> AND YOU ARE NOT AFRAID OF

HEIGHTS, RIGHT?

>> NO, NO, NOT AT ALL.

>> THE TOBOGGAN RUN OPERATES

WITH OR WITHOUT SNOW THROUGH

MARCH 1st AND YOU CAN GET ALL

THE INFO AT IN.GOV/DNR.

JUST SEARCH FOR TOBOGGAN RUN.

AND AS ALWAYS, WE ENCOURAGE YOU

TO STAY CONNECTED WITH US.

>> JUST HEAD OVER TO "JOURNEY

INDIANA.ORG," THERE YOU CAN SEE

FULL EPISODES AND CONNECT WITH

US ON FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE AND

SUGGEST STORIES FROM YOUR NECK

OF THE WOODS.

>> BEFORE WE SAY GOOD-BYE, LET'S

HEAD OUTSIDE AND TAKE A FEW MORE

RUNS DOWN THE TOBOGGAN RUN.

>> PRODUCTION SUPPORT FOR

"JOURNEY INDIANA" IS PROVIDED

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