This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The final Little 500

The crowd for the final Little 500 race at SJC was expected to be large and it was. I have never seen as many cars parked at SJC as for this event. The entire field east of the Field House was full of cars and RVs.
 Below is the view from Arby's parking lot. The Bowling Alley was charging $10 for parking and they had almost filled their lot even though people could park free in the Walmart lot (and many had).
 There was a large police presence. A command post was set up west of Bennett Hall.
 A variety of police, sheriff, and medical vehicles were in the parking lot. One of the EMT units at the event was from Kosciusko County.
 There were several food tents set up. Two local trucks are shown below, Pink Walrus, the truck with the awning, and Doggers, in the background. The truck nearest I did not recognize.
 A couple more trucks or trailers were near the Power Plant. If you look very carefully you might see a bit of the food trailer of the Lion's Club Rotary. The two people on bikes are Rensselaer policemen.
 The SJC Alumni Association was also selling food but from a tent near the beer tent.

The mall had several inflatables and a climbing wall.
 Included was a bull riding challenge.
This girl made it to the top of the climbing tower and was ringing the bell.
 I arrived as the alumni race was ending. Below you can see the winner of that race doing a victory lap, holding the checkered flag.
A bit later carts were prepared for the student race. It began with the alumni carts leading them for the first lap.
 On the third lap the green flag came out and the final pace car diverted into the infield and the race was on. I did not stay very long, but rather quickly the last car in the field was being lapped.
There are many more pictures at St. Joe's Little 500!!!  One Last Time!! and other pages on Facebook. I have not heard of any ugly incidents from the weekend.

On Friday evening there was a very lightly attended event that was part of the weekend. An alumnus produced a movie that got limited national distribution earlier this year and is now available via the Internet. The movie is Bokeh, and you can read reviews here. It is a low budget movie and was the first feature length movie for many of the people on the project. Set in Iceland, it is beautifully shot. The premise of the movie is that a young couple are on vacation in Iceland when suddenly they find that they are alone the world.

After the showing, the audience was able to ask questions of the producer, Doug Daulton, class of 1989. I asked about filming in Iceland. A big incentive is that Iceland will refund 60% of the filming expenses. There are many movies that film parts in Iceland, though most of them do not connect their scenes with the country. Bokeh required many shots of empty streets and it turned out that most of them were shot at 1:00 in the morning. Because in June there are only about two hours of night in Reykjavik, it appeared that those shots were taken in the middle of the day.

The actual filming was done in a few weeks. The preparation for the filming took months (and Mr Daulton says that he wishes that they would have had more time) and the editing took over a year.

We were not told what the total cost of the movie was, but it has made enough to pay back its it investors, which will help if the group decides to make another film. "Bokeh", by the way, is a word from Japanese that refers to the blurry background when the focus is on an object near the lens.

"He is in the truck!" The weekend concluded on a happy note with a surprise farewell performance and celebration honoring John Rahe, who has directed plays since 1985. The problem was how to get John to the Theater without telling him about the event. The solution was to have SJC security call him and tell him that he had to come to campus because someone had broken into the stage props or costumes. He arrived on schedule to the delight of about a hundred former students.
There was a schedule of performances in which students present and past re-enacted roles or songs from plays. Some of them told stories of their time in the Columbian Players and favorite memories from the stage. Many thanked Mr Rahe for what they had learned from him and from acting.

There were a series of improv performances that were very entertaining. The students did a very good job. The skit below shows two astronauts landing on the moon.
 Another highlight was the presentation of a one-act play that John Rahe wrote. It was performed by Mark Brouer, a RCHS and SJC graduate, and Sarah Reasoner Solis, who both attended SJC and worked as a SJC admissions counselor.
This probably will be the final performance of the Columbian Players.


Anonymous said...

Bob - this is sheila - do you know if anyone got video of the event for John Rahe?

Unknown said...

The LIONS CLUB did not have any food booth at the race. I'm not sure what that truck in picture was doing. Overall it was a gesat day to be a PUMA!

Unknown said...


Corey Hecht said...

I last performed on that stage 10 years ago in Godspell. I had the honor and privilege to perform the same song again. John Rahe deserved that final performance from people pre-John Rahe and beyond. He taught us all something and I'll never forget my time on that stage because of him.