Try the one at 3833 N. Illinois, St. in Indy

When I heard my youngest grandchild, Owen, got his fingers pinched on a desk that I had restored for his brother, Jack, I pondered about how to avoid that problem from reoccurring with either of the two boys. It didn't take long to figure a solution to the problem.

Therefore, I went out looking for a hardware store in Indy. Now, I do not know Indy well as far as where things are. I do know where the Illinois Food Emporium, the fire station, the Tibet Shop, the zoo, Jack's preschool, etc. are located. However, I did not know where any hardware store was located. Therefore, I drove up Illinois St. looking for the nearest one. I know that I should have just Googled a location, but I did it the old fashion way; I drove until I happened to find one, which did not take more than 10-minutes. This was the first one found. It is located at 3833 N. Illinois St.

Ace Hardware Store

I went into the store and started looking for some small pad or bumper that I could attach to the bottom of the wooden desktop. If I attached a couple, it would lessen the risk of serious injury occurring to either Jack or Owen. Instead of asking an employee where to look, I just wandered around in the store looking, which was my modes operandi in finding this store in the first place.

Up and down several aisles I went. I went down the next aisle and saw an employee sitting on a stool in front of a display. He was working on something with his back to me as he worked. I went past him and continued to look. Then it happened. I heard a voice behind me say, "Can I help you?" Startled by the voice, I turned, and it was the guy that I had just past. I was surprised than he even noticed me in the aisle.

Thus began a 15-minute discussion with this Ace Hardware employee. It was one of the best 15-minute discussions that I have ever had. I told him what I wanted, and he showed a display of several dozen different types of bumpers or cushions. I said that was what I was looking for and thanked him. I started looking, and he returned to what he was doing.

Then his voice came again, "What college is did you go to?" Again looked a bit startled. Realizing that I was confused, he merely pointed to my right-hand, on which I have worn my college ring for nearly a half century.

I said that I went to Muskingum College, and since few know Muskingum, I added that John Glenn went there. He responded that Glenn went to Purdue. I said, "No, Glenn went to Muskingum. In fact, Glenn's family lived in New Concord, OH and his father had a plumbing store on Main St. Then the employee said that he just realized that he had confused John Glenn and Neil Armstrong who had gone to Purdue.

We introduced ourselves to each other. His name is Phillip Allen and is the account manager at that Ace Hardware. I returned to the store to take Phillip's picture so that I could include it in this article.

Philip Allen

To be honest, I do not know where the conversion went in an exact sequence a couple weeks ago. I do know the Phillip mentioned that Kurt Vonnegut's parents once owned this store. That got us into a discussion about Slaughter House-5, which Vonnegut wrote in the late 60s. I remember reading it at the shore one hot and sunny day. Billy Pilgrim's concerns about being a POW in Dresden during the Allied bombing so immersed me that I forgot where I was.



Then we stood there trying to recall another one of Vonnegut's books that both of us had forgotten the title. Finally one of us said...Breakfast of Champions. However, I do not recall very much about that novel written several years after my favorite, Slaughterhouse-Five.

Somehow, we got unto Shakespeare, and I mentioned having just come back from Scotland and visiting Birnam Wood. An apparition had told Macbeth that he did not have to worry until Birnam Wood came to Dunsinane. The tree below would have been standing in Birnam Wood when Shakespeare was there as he got ready for writing his play, Macbeth.

Birnam Wood

That got me to think about Elton John's I'm Still Standing.

After some more often unrelated literary comments, I finally got the cushions for Jack's desk. Actually, the package contained enough for Owen's desk, which causes me a problem. I have not found a desk to redo for Owen yet.

While I am looking for Owen's desk, if you need any help with any hardware issues, go to Ace Hardware, 3833 N. Illinois St. in Indianapolis. Ask for Phillip, you will get what you need and enjoy the conversation. He is a gifted thinker and employee.

Last week, I told Jack where I was going so that I could take some photos to include them in this article. He wanted to go to see the hardware store. Here are a couple of pictures inside what once was the old Vonnegut hardware store many years ago.

Phillip showing a store display.

Phillip showing a store display

Jack showing Phillip what he used to fix his desk.

Jack showing Phillip what he used to fix his desk

Jack and his Ace Hardware friends

Jack and his Ace Hardware friends