Origin Stories: Indiana Nights January 08 2014
The Indiana Nights print joined the M-26 print as our two latest letterpress prints to be released. The Indiana Nights print holds a special place in my heart as I am a native Hoosier and spent the first 24 years of my life living in the Crossroads of America before moving to Michigan. There isn't a day that goes by without me missing my Indiana home, even if I'm only two miles away.
The Indiana Nights print was born from some of my all-time favorite lyrics. "But she grew up tall and she grew up right, with them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights." It's a line any native Hoosier knows by heart. It's not often you hear lyrics about Indiana, or much of the Midwest for that matter. So when Tom Petty sang those words on "Mary Jane's Last Dance" I was instantly hooked.
On a side note, my exposure to "Mary Jane's Last Dance" was by complete opposite. When the Red Hot Chili Peppers released Stadium Arcadium back in 2006, I was hooked on "Dani California" (another song that mentions Indiana!). There was some minor controversy that the song had plagiarized "Mary Jane's Last Dance" so I had to investigate for myself. What I found was an amazing song that quickly became one of the most played songs on my iPod.
A key portion of those lyrics, "Indiana nights", ties in perfectly with an interpretation of the Indiana state flag. The nineteen stars from the flag were rearranged to mimic the night sky. The largest star, placed above the torch on the flag and representative of Indiana, was placed directly in the center. The blue background was darkened to a deep navy better reflecting the night sky.
"Indiana Nights" was done in a tall, thin font. This is important for two reasons. Indiana itself is a tall, thin state, more long than wide. And Indiana was also the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln, a tall man himself.
For me Indiana nights mean Fridays on a football field. They mean four friends cracking open their first beers together the summer after graduation. They mean late night drives home from a girlfriend's house who would later become a wife. They mean 2 AM Qdoba breakfast burrito runs in college. They have been a time to reflect, to be with only my thoughts and the beauty of a star-filled sky. They have been a time to build stronger relationships with friends. They have produced some of my fondest memories and maybe that's why I miss them so much.