Thanks to Dad For Bringing Us To Indianapolis

Central Canal and Indianapolis skyline

Central Canal and Indianapolis skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was the spring of 1988 and I was a junior, preparing for a great senior year at George Washington High School in Denver, CO.

I had hair, played on the basketball team, and was about to be a senior.  Life was good.

Then, one day my dad came home from work and informed the family that he was taking a new job and we would be moving to Indianapolis, IN.  Say what?

All I knew about Indy was that it hosted an event each May where people watched cars drive around in circles for 3 hours.

My friends were all very supportive announcing to the world that I was moving to Mayberry and would be soon driving a horse and buggy.

I was not happy.

And, to make things worse, during our first official visit to Indy in the summer of 1999, the region was experiencing one of the worst droughts in history.  We stepped off the plane into 95 degree heat, 99% humidity, and didn’t see a green blade of grass for 3 days.

I was even less happy.

25 years later, I look back at that move as one of the best decisions our family has ever made.

Indianapolis is not just our home.  It is not just the location where we raise our children and work.

Indianapolis is unique.  Our town is filled with the friendliest people on earth. We look out for our neighbors and root for the little guy to make it big.

But, Indianapolis isn’t just a sleepy town full of nice people. We have great museums, a booming downtown and one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial scenes in the country.

So, how do we do it? How do we maintain this friendly welcoming culture while at the same time attracting the best talent, art and business to a city built in the middle of a flat plain with no mountains, water or ocean?

I have absolutely no idea.  But it’s working, and I am so glad to be along for the ride.

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About CJ McClanahan

CJ McClanahan is a motivational business speaker and author. He and his family are long time Indianapolis residents and I.U. fans. CJ founded reachmore in 2003, which offers executive coaching and events serving Indianapolis business leaders. Follow CJ on Twitter or Google+.


  1. Driving down 56 street is like a video game. Your all over the place. It needs to be repaved so bad that I go out of my way to work just to keep from driving down it.