Susan Grizzell Shares Hoosier History at Storytelling Arts of Indiana

Storytelling Arts of Indiana continues the Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories series Sunday, January 24 at the Indiana History Center with Susan Grizzell. Head to Indianapolis downtown Sunday to hear “Root Doctors, Midwives and Fried Mice Pie: Medicine in Early Indiana” as told by Susan Grizzell. Tickets to this Indianapolis event are $10.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door. The story starts at 4:00 pm and is not expected to go past 6:00 pm. Share a piece of Indianapolis history with your fellow Hoosiers of Storytelling Arts of Indiana this weekend at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center.

Susan Grizzell was commissioned by the Indiana Historical Society and Storytelling Arts of Indiana to create the story “Root Doctors, Midwives and Fried Mice Pie: Medicine in Early Indiana.” With full access to materials and collections at the Indiana Historical Society, Grizzell dove head first into medical practices happening in central Indiana during the state’s adolescence. As the sixteenth story in the Sharing Hoosier History Through Story series, “Root Doctors, Midwives, and Fried Mice Pie” offers a glimpse into life for early Hoosiers.

Injury and illness occasioned much different action in the Old Northwest Territory and early Indiana than in today’s modern Indianapolis society. Medical treatments ranged from bizarre to comical to common sense. Though these early treatments could work, more often than not they resulted in fatality. The famed Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying that doctors in his time, “let loose upon the world, destroy more human life in one year than all the… Cartouches [French bandits} and Macbeths do in a century.”

With only occasional access to professional medical care, early residents of Indiana were subjected to home remedies and uncertainty as they practiced self-sufficiency. Families would soak up information from doctors when they could, but often used folk remedies to do much of their own doctoring. Modern science has proven many of their early treatment practices effective, but many more “cures” have been labeled extremely dangerous in today’s world. Hoosier who survived such treatment had to be tough!

Susan Grizzell has a reputation for spinning an exhilarating tale. As a past recipient of the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship, she has collaborated with Indianapolis nonprofit organizations such as the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra for her 2002 story “Porch Swings and Prairie Wings.” This story, too, was part of the Sharing Hoosier History Through Story series. In addition, Suzan Grizzell is an actress, carpenter, and coordinator of the IndyFringe Theatre Festival’s FringeNEXT program.

Arrive early to this Indianapolis arts event. The first 100 Indianapolis people through the door will receive one fo the Indianapolis Art Center’s forty commemorative cards, which feature work from Broad Ripple Art Fair Indianapolis artists. The cards celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Broad Ripple Art Fair and will be distributed at various events throughout the Circle City from January to April 1, 2010. Any Indianapolis resident to collect all forty will win a FREE ticket to this year’s Broad Ripple Art Fair.

For more information about this Indianapolis entertainment event visit the Storytelling Arts of Indiana website, or the Indiana Historical Society website. Storytelling is more fun on a full stomach. See our Indianapolis restaurant listings for some good ideas about great places to eat in Indianapolis downtown. In the meantime, stay tuned to Fun City for info on fun things to do in Indianapolis. Finding fun in Indy is what we do!

Susan Grizzell’s “Root Doctors, Midwives and Fried Mice Pie”
Sunday, January 23 at 4:00 pm

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indian History Center
Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre
450 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202