Guy Loftman: Radical

BY MIKE LEONARD Guy Loftman smiles after reminiscing about his undergraduate years at Indiana University from 1963 to 1967, when he was a co-founder of the IU chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), an instigator of various protests, and the first student body president elected on a civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and women’s rights platform. “Did you consider yourself a radical?” he’s asked. “Absolutely,” he says. “Still do.” Loftman has been a prominent name in the IU and Bloomington communities virtually since he arrived from Newark, Delaware, as a freshman. He recalls how powerfully he was affected by the iconic, 1964 Norman Rockwell painting depicting Ruby Bridges, a 6-year-old African-American child, being escorted by four federal agents to […]

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Three Downtown Boutiques Just Off the Beaten Path

BY BARB BERGGOETZ Rebecca Carter designs her homey bungalow boutique, Rebecca & Me, so it’s like shopping at your girlfriend’s house. Linnell Schur draws customers to Daffodils with classic women’s fashions made of linen and other natural fabrics at reasonable prices. Lisa Orme faithfully posts merchandise from her downtown shop, LolaRue & Company, on social media. Owners of these three downtown shops — all just a little off the beaten path — face the challenge of attracting customers away from the downtown Square. All three women enjoy their distinctive buildings, appreciate the lower overhead costs, and delight in making their shops reflect their personalities and the desires of their customers. They just wish there was more foot traffic. “I fell in love with the building and the neighborhood, just one block south of downtown,” says Carter, of […]

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William R. Morris Jr., aka Brother William

BY MIKE LEONARD When William R. Morris Jr. taught English as a second language at Indiana University, he urged his students to get off campus and immerse themselves in the local culture, even if the first step was a baby step across South Indiana Avenue to Starbucks. “My theory was that the farther you get from campus, even if it’s from coffeehouse to coffeehouse, the more you’re going to learn how Americans speak — how Hoosiers speak,” he says. “It was all part of my grand scheme to get them out in the community, to further their education.” Following his own rules, Morris — a music aficionado — showed up at community radio station WFHB six years ago, started out […]

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New Initiative Seeks to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

BY CAIRRIL MILLS In many places throughout the world, going shopping means taking along a bag or basket to bring purchases home. If a Center for Sustainable Living campaign is successful, Bloomington will soon be one of those places. Bring Your Bag Bloomington (BYBB) is a center initiative that seeks to eliminate single-use plastic bags from the community. BYBB is working with the City of Bloomington to draft an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags in the course of three years. Bags for loose foods, bulk, prepackaged meats, and wet foods are exempt, as are plastic bags more than 2.25 mils thick. Shoppers who don’t bring their own bags or baskets will be charged 15 cents per paper bag, with the store pocketing any profit beyond the cost of the bag. “Sixteen million plastic bags are distributed in […]

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A Teacher Band Graduates To Play Gigs Around Town

BY JEREMY SHERE In May 2013, while driving to Bloomington High School South to chaperon the prom, Joel McKay shared a funny thought with two fellow BHSS staff members. What if, for the school’s 2014 Dance Marathon fundraiser, they formed a teacher band and played at the event? Never mind that they barely had any musical training. “We knew the students would think it was hilarious,” McKay says. And so the band Rough Draft was born, made up of McKay (42, drums) and colleagues Drew Frey (46, guitar) and Luke Sheehan (32, guitar), as well as Indiana University Health pharmacist Brad Spencer (52, bass), aviation engineer Bobbie Burke (35, guitar and vocals), and Jean Cannon (45, vocals), who works in […]

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