My initial experience was contracting a small fleet to Perry Township Schools when I was in my mid- to late 20s. Much later I operated a bus for Beech Grove Schools. I am still good friends with some of my former fellow workers and riders. It is so cool to reconnect with former riders and get caught up on their lives.
Today I’m thinking about Carly Brooke, 15, who just finished her freshman year at Roncalli. I met her several years ago when she sang at one of The Southsider Voice’s cruise-ins.
It has been a pleasure to get to know Carly and her family. Carly won first place in a musical/singing competition at the Marion County Fair in 2010. Can you imagine an 8-year-old singing country music and playing a guitar and winning the competition at the fair three years in a row?
She has also competed at the Indiana State Fair, and she sang the national anthem at a Colts home game in 2015, which received rave reviews and can be seen on Facebook. She has also sang at Pacers and Indians games and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carly has sang regularly for Teddy’s Burger Joint since she was 11 and as of last year started singing at the Stacked Pickle in Southport and Greenwood.
Carly’s career has blossomed through the support of her family, and they have traveled to Nashville, Tenn., over the past several years so she can take the stage there. She is especially thankful for all the support she has received from her hometown of Beech Grove. From performing in the Fall Festival to riding in the parade, she has always felt backed by her community, particularly Mayor Dennis Buckley.
A few months ago I saw on Facebook that they were moving to Nashville on July 28. The notice invited friends to stop by their house last Saturday. My wife, Lyn, had a busy day scheduled, but Stuart, our therapy dog, and I went to her farewell party.
I watched what was going on with mixed emotions. It was cool to see the family all working to get ready for the big move, but it was sad to see them leaving their family and friends. As I stood in their yard and thought about that, it occurred to me that this probably happens to families each time they make a major move. It happened to me a few times, and I know it’s difficult.
I talked with Carly and her mom, Stacey, about sending me occasional updates on what Carly will be doing in Nashville.
It always amazes me when I find connections between friends. I saw one of Stacey’s Facebook comments that they were trying to get to Mrs. Curls Ice Cream Shop. Our former neighbors Dave and Carlene Alexander owned Mrs. Curls for several years.
We hope Carly and her family have a safe trip and enjoy this next chapter in their lives.
And although Carly is looking forward to what Nashville will bring, she will always remember home.