Since 1976, Dan Carpenter’s writing has appeared in the pages of the Indianapolis Star as a police reporter, book critic, and renowned op-ed columnist. In writing for the state’s largest newspaper, Carpenter has covered the life and times of some notable Hoosiers, as well as serving as a voice for the disadvantaged, sometimes exasperating the Star’s readership in central Indiana as the newspaper’s “house liberal.”
Indiana Out Loud, now available from the Indiana Historical Society Press, is a collection of the best of Carpenter’s work since 1993 and includes timely and engaging examinations of the lives of such intriguing people as wrestling announcer Sam Menacker, survivor of the James Jones People’s Temple massacre Catherine Hyacinth Thrash, Indianapolis African American leader Charles “Snookie” Hendricks, Atlas Grocery impresario Sid Maurer, and coaches James “Doc” Counsilman and Ray Crowe. The book also includes a healthy dose of literary figures, politicians, historians, knaves, crooks, and fools.
As Carpenter notes, the book “presumes to make itself heard as a distinct voice of this place in this time of economic struggle, political divisiveness, creative persistence, flammable faith, terror brought home and war, seemingly, without end or limit.
“The cumulative sound comprises the sweet and strident, the measured and manic, the deafening and the barely detectable. It is as sharp as the orchestrations of a legendary neighborhood grocer and as seductive as the baritone riffs of a celebrated junkie poet. It shrieks against arbitrary war and enforced poverty. It sings the pain of inevitable loss and the praises of improbable gift-bearers.”
Indiana Out Loud costs $16.95 and is available from the Indiana Historical Society's Basile History Market.