As a mostly retired fellow, my mornings start with letting Simon (our dog) out to do his morning business and quickly open the door again for his return. I then fix him some breakfast and deliver it to his morning breakfast location.
I also prepare Harry’s (our cat) breakfast and began cooking a fresh pot of coffee. As soon as I can partially fill a coffee cup, I move to the sun room and turn on the television so I can watch the local morning news. Once in a while, as I am settling into my chair to watch the news, I have a slow wandering about the possibility of sad or terrible news.
A few mornings back, I had that exact feeling. As the television came on, the morning news announcer was explaining the loss of a local state senator. I looked up at the screen and saw a photo of Senator Jack Sandlin. I watched in silence.
Jack Sandlin was a very good friend. The very day before I was absorbing this information, I saw a posting from Jack on Facebook. It was a wonderful picture of him and his family standing beside a large diesel locomotive. They had just completed a special train ride through part of the state.
Jack Sandlin was also a member of The Perry Township / Southport Historical Society. He was a member of the board of directors. It was always nice to connect with him at a meeting or a presentation. Jack was a former police officer and Perry Township Trustee.
I haven’t known very many folks that have served as elected officers. I was honored to know Senator Jack Sandlin. Back in my younger days, I also knew a former senator that represented the Perry Township area.
Senator Harold Burnett lived on Madison Avenue. He and his family own the Burnett Hardware Store and The Burnett Insurance Agencies. Those two businesses were located on the east side of Madison Avenue at Dudley Avenue. The small building that is attached to the hardware store building was the insurance building. It was also the only location on the Southside to obtain a driver’s license and license plates.
My father’s Sunoco Service Station was just a couple of blocks north of the Burnett’s businesses.
I remember Harold passing away during the time he was a state senator. His wife, Martha Burnett took over his senate position. I remember driving their children to Edgewood Grade School during the years that my family had our school buses.
On occasion, I stop into the barbershop that is located directly across the street from the Burnett buildings. A couple of times I have pointed out to the barbers that I received my driver’s license in that small white building across the street. They all find that difficult to believe.
Lots of local people are very sorry about the death of our neighbor and friend Jack Sandlin. Thoughts and prayers are going out to his wife and family
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.