F2F logo square2.png

As Way Opens

Do you Know the History of First Friends’ Neighborhood? (Part 4)


Our Glendale Neighborhood has been a draw to young families for many years. Even before Glendale Mall made its entrance to our neighborhood in 1958, across the street on the corner of 62nd and Keystone was an 18-acre wonderland for children and families known as Little America.


Harley H. Hornbeck opened Little America Amusement Park in 1930 as a “Tom Thumb” or what today we would call a miniature golf course.  In the beginning they offered golf, bowling, shuffleboard, badminton, ping-pong, horseshoes, archery, and tennis. In a time, when people were becoming aware of the need for healthy recreation, the park marketed itself as “Healthful Recreation for All of the Family.”  In 1941 the park had become so popular that Life Magazine selected it for a photo essay. 


In the early 50’s changes began to take place at Little America. It had to evolve to meet the demand of the many families beginning to move into the newly developed suburban area.  Little America changed owners several times during this time, while adding pony rides, a kiddie playground, a renovated restaurant, and the biggest draw a double header locomotive. Little America had become a family destination in Indianapolis. To continue to draw families, it was renamed “Kiddie Land Wonderland” and then later became known simply as “Kiddyland.”  The draw continued, and the amusement opportunities grew.  A merry-go-round, boat rides, sky fighter, auto ride, and the Little Dipper roller-coaster was added making this into family amusement park. 


Not everyone was happy about the growth of the amusement park.  Homeowners in the Glendale Neighborhood sued the owners of Little America and had been against another amusement part ever since White City Amusement Park in Broad Ripple had burned to the ground in 1908. This would all change when Frank Thomas would turn Little America into a nationwide success in 1957. Thomas opened the first Burger Chef restaurant within the park. Our own Dan Mitchell recalls Burger Chef’s .15 cent burgers and the .45 cent burger, fries, and delicious milk shake deal. Burger Chef went on to be sold to the Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. restaurant chains becoming a national success…and to think it all began in our neighborhood. 


Sadly, in the mid 1960’s, Little America and Kiddy Land began having several difficulties. Various causes were behind its demise and closing. So many good memories were made at Little America and Kiddy Land over the years and the nostalgia is not lost. 


To think that as the first Burger Chef and the first shopping mall in Indianapolis were about to open just a stone’s throw from our newly built meetinghouse, minister Errol Elliott was returning for a second time (1936-42 and 1957-1965) to serve First Friends in our newly developed and growing Glendale Neighborhood. What an exciting time it must have been.


Information from: Little America Amusement Park in Indianapolis by Julie G. Dojahn


Grace and peace,


Joys & Concerns

We will hold a memorial service for Marilyn Overman here at First Friends Meeting on Saturday, November 10th. Visitation will be held at 10am and the service will begin at 11am. After the service there will be a light luncheon in Fellowship Hall. Please hold the Overman family in your prayers as we celebrate Marilyn’s life.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Community Soup ~ Witness & Service will host the next Community Soup this Friday, November 2, from 5:30 pm – 7 pm.  Everyone is invited to this very informal dinner. As the weather is cooling down we will be serving soup. If you’d like you’re welcome to bring a soup but not necessary.  Our motto is: No cooking, no cleanup, no cost! We will also be hearing from Norma W who will be speaking about her FUM sponsored “Living Letters” trip to Israel and Palestine.  Holy Land sites will be included as well as impressions of life under military occupation. Hope to see you there.


Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am this Sunday, so don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed, or you may show up to church an hour early on Sunday!

Also this Sunday, Beth will be selling coffee, chocolate and olive oil to help raise money for youth Affirmation, currently under way!

College Care packages - It is time to send care packages to our college students as they prepare for their final exams at school.  We will have boxes out this Sunday for you to fill with goodies like candy, cookies, cards, and other treats. Please bring enough for all 8 of our students. Any money donated will be used to purchase additional items for the boxes. We will be mailing them November 26 so please bring everything in by Sunday, November 25. Thank you for your support!

Riley Children’s Hospital Fundraiser ~ A message from Heather D: I'm on a mission to save kids and I need your help. Riley Children's Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family's ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few. This is my third year participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds. Our team will play video games to board games and even tabletop RPG's to raise money and awareness for Riley Children's Hospital! 

Since 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $40 million to help children's hospitals provide critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, research and charitable care. It's my sincere hope that you'll find it in your heart to support my efforts with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to my hospital. Your donation is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids. I need your help to reach my goal "For The Kids".  Please make a safe, easy donation online today. You can click the following link to make a safe and easy online donation. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts! https://goo.gl/3dt8i4

Coburn Place Open House ~ Coburn Place is hosting their annual open house on Thursday, November 8th from 8am to 8pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about Coburn Place, see some of their fantastic apartments first hand, and find out more about how we're growing and expanding services. RSVP at http://coburnplace.org/pt-event/open-house-2018/. The address is 604 E. 38th St, Indianapolis. If you have any questions you can contact Sam Ryan at sam@coburnplace.org.


A Sing-Along around the campfire will take place on Friday, November 9 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  Connections is planning this weenie and marshmallow roast.  Jim K will provide music and Leslie K will assist as anyone who wants, chimes in.  The event will take place in the Meetinghouse courtyard and Fellowship Hall.  Bring your voice, an instrument if you can play, and wear warm clothes.  If you would like to come, please RSVP with the office at office@indyfriends.org or 317-255-2485 by Wednesday, November 7.  Please say then what food you will supply if you plan to contribute some.  Do not stay away because you aren’t bringing any food.  See you then!

Community Garden: A Year in Review ~ Thank you to our community gardeners, supporters and those who have inspired us, including those not pictured. See you in the springtime!


“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming
gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
-Marcel Proust

Garden Collage.jpg

Meditational Woods October Bird of the Month

Merlin – It was Magic


Last week I was prepared to draw the bird I had selected weeks ago for October, and, yes, the story was mostly complete in my head. However, I stopped mid-week to check on something with the stamp project, and decided to take a listen in the woods, just to find out what was around. As I was leaving the woods, I happened to glance down the power lines to the north, and saw a bird sitting motionless on one of the wires about halfway to the garage. It had not been there when I had arrived several minutes earlier. At first I could not judge its size; if it was small, it could be a bluebird. If it was large, it was likely to be an American Kestrel, a member of the falcon family. I decided to check it out. The day was overcast, and bird’s colors and patterns were difficult to discern against the white sky. Quickly I saw it was too large to be a bluebird, and it had a hawk-like bill. So it was a Kestrel, a species I have seen before on the property, especially around the power lines and towers. But wait!! Where was the strong double-lined facial pattern of a kestrel? Not on this bird!! Where was the kestrel’s reddish brown back and tail? Also not here. Oh my!! This was no kestrel. This was the much rarer Merlin, a falcon with an all-dark bluish-gray back, black blotches on the sides of the belly, a subtle cheek mark, and a bluish-gray tail with dark bands. This was by far the rarest bird I have seen here on the First Friends property.

In fact, in my 45 years of birding, I have never seen a Merlin well-enough on my own to identify it…until now. When people have shown them to me, they are usually far off in flight or seen in poor weather. This one, in the middle of migration, allowed me to approach it, pass it, and even get a look from behind. When I walked down the sidewalk back to the woods, I turned to give the bird one more look, but the Merlin was gone, just as it had appeared…like magic.

~Brad J


Threshing Together ~ If you are interested in gathering with other men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and all in a non-threatening atmosphere over a meal, then Threshing Together is for you! Join us for our next meeting on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00pm. See locations here: https://goo.gl/HosLVg


Sing-Along with Jim! ~ Mark your calendars for Friday, November 16 for an evening of music and fun. We will have copies of the songs but please do bring your books if you have them. We begin at 7:00, end at 8:30 or soon after. Third Friday of the month, as usual!

F2F Footer complete.PNG