WFYI's 'The Wabash' premieres this Sunday.
Gary Harrison once had limited knowledge about the Wabash River. "I'm just one of those guys who drove over it on the way up to Chicago," he says.
But since being assigned to produce The Wabash: Life on the Bright White River (9 p.m. Sunday, WFYI-20), he's come to learn lots about the body of water that forms Indiana's southwest border.
Like: The 500-mile river isn't as polluted as people think. And a number of interesting people live and work along the river. And the Wabash has been the subject of songs, including Johnny Cash's "If It Wasn't for the Wabash River."
The hour-long documentary, named for the reflections Native Americans saw from the river-bottom limestone, features all that and more.
Harrison says he started the project by spending a few weeks thinking about what might be fun for viewers to see. He made a list and circulated it to people he knew along the river. "You contact someone," he says, "and they'd say, 'I know a guy.' I heard that phrase over and over again. Sometimes it was, 'I know a guy. I don't know if he'll talk to you.' But I guess they all did sooner or later."
The people he profiles includes John Farmer of Grayville, Ill., who may be the last commercial fisherman along the Wabash. "He catches these fish, cleans them at his fish house and at Thursday noon and Friday evening, he has this concrete-block-and-screen structure called the Fish House, and people from throughout the region gather there to partake of these fish. They are not at all bothered by the fact that these fish came out of the Wabash. It's a neat buffet, $12 a pop, and the place is full all the time."
Harrison also meets up with Cheryl Munson, an IU-Bloomington archaeologist working on a dig along the mouth of the Wabash, where it flows into the Ohio River, to find relics from a vanished Indian tribe.
"She's had some challenges along the way, one of which is one of the sites was being eaten away while they were working on it by the Wabash itself," Harrison says. "We got some really neat footage of that. When the Indian tribe lived there 600 years ago, the Wabash wasn't there. It was a half-mile away because it's continually shifting. It eats away at its own shore and keeps moving around."
As it should. For as Johnny Cash wrote, "If it wasn't for the Wabash River and this willow tree and my pole and a line / I'd be goin' crazy as an Indiana cyclone / drownin' memories of her and cryin' cryin' cryin' / if it wasn't for the Wabash River I'd be goin' out off my mind."
Lisa can't get a date
What kind of a lunatic asylum world are we living in when Lisa Loeb can't get a date? She's a Brown-educated, talented, reasonably successful singer-songwriter, and, oh man, is she adorable. Sure, she decorates her house with gnomes and Hello Kitty stuff, but nobody's perfect. In fact, if I were single and a couple of years younger ... um, excuse me while I wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth.
OK. Now, then. Loeb's dating woes are chronicled in #1 Single, which premiered Sunday and will be rerun at 10:30 tonight, 9 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. Saturday on E! (New episodes air at 10 p.m. Sundays.) It's a pleasant little show that follows Loeb between Los Angeles and New York and bad date to bad date.
As explained in the first episode, she's coming off back-to-back six-year relationships and wants to find a husband. "I want babies, not maybes," she says. So she gets fixed up on a blind date by legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres - with a loser who sings a karaoke version of her hit "Stay" to her on their first and only date.
She gets useless clothing advice from her younger sister Debbie, who wants Lisa to stop looking so bookish. "You have to wear things guys can imagine taking off of you," says Debbie, who dresses like Courtney Love on a bender. She listens to worthless dating advice from her friend Adam Goldberg, the actor who specializes in playing slightly deranged and obsessive characters. She meets up with Juan, her ex-boyfriend record producer, who urges her to move back to New York to find her dream match. And she even registers for Airtroductions, an airline in-flight dating program.
I guess she didn't think of looking for Mr. Right in Flyoverland. Probably just as well. She wouldn't want to be known as a home-wrecker.