By Lorene McCormick Burkhart

Lorene Burkhart used to be born on a farm in southern Indiana. either mom and dad have been pioneers of a type. Her father had an adventurous spirit that saved him regularly trying to find new territories to beat. Her mom possessed the grit, decision, and perseverance to step up and tackle unexcepted demanding situations. Lorene Burkhart inherited those traits as is illustrated by way of the lifestyles she has led.

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She was the first person in Knox County to have a home sewing machine and women would come from miles around to use it. Grandma was a talented seamstress with a flair for designing and making patterns for clothes, as well as constructing them. Her creativity was evident, too, in the unusual gifts she made for her family, such as a little pillowcase with a silver dollar tucked inside as a surprise. Aunt Midah wanted to be a public school teacher, and after discussing it with her father, it was decided that she would attend Vincennes University.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients. When cake is done, and while still hot, sprinkle the topping mixture over it. Place cake under the broiler just until the topping becomes bubbly. Good times were had by all at the reunions. The adults passed the time visiting with each other and the children played on the swings and teeter-totters until it was time for naps (for both young and old). At the end of the day, the remains of the food and the dirty dishes were gathered up.

My family and I attended the dedication, and while I was much too young to recall any of it, my mother related that my baby brother, Eddie, fidgeting as infants will, lost one of his booties in the events of that momentous day. Vincennes has been described as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the nation because of the succession of flags flown there. First was the brown Indian banner with its feather, cross and turtle; next came the white French flag with three blue fleurs-de-lis, which in turn was replaced by the Madame Godare home-stitched, red-and-green-striped Northwest flag.

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An Accidental Pioneer: A Farm Girl's Drive to the Finish by Lorene McCormick Burkhart
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