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Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Fort Wayne mourns the death of bookstore owner Sam Hyde

Michele DeVinney

Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 18, 2019

Fort Wayne hearts have been heavy with the passing of one of its favorite citizens, Sam Hyde. It’s hard to believe that Hyde Brothers hasn’t always been part of this city’s landscape, that Wells Street wasn’t somehow built around it.

It has been and will forever be one of the favorite spots for book lovers (and even casual readers) since it opened in 1992. For bibliophiles, it was a piece of heaven, a treasure trove of the beloved and the obscure.

For those looking for a particular title, it was a beacon of hope, because how could a building so stacked with books not have that title you covet?

But always there to greet was the lovable face of its owner, Sam Hyde. And a cat or two. To walk in and purchase a book was a chance to exchange pleasantries with him, and many developed strong friendships over the years.

Sam will be deeply missed, but his legacy is that he provided this city with its finest brick-and-mortar bookstore, one that will be treasured long after the sad news of his death.

Help get more public art in the ’07

One would have to be living under a rock — or staying inside their homes for an unhealthy length of time — to not notice the astonishing growth of public art throughout the city.

Of course the downtown entrance is a sight to behold with not only a mural but the accompanying sculpture. And a variety of downtown buildings as well as others (notably the work done on the Firefly building on North Anthony) have brought so much to our quality of life.

There’s another new project afoot, and it’s one which is gaining momentum thanks to a community fundraising campaign set up by Dan Swartz of Wunderkammer Company on Fairfield.

Those who have visited Wunderkammer, for everything from community events to workshops to theater experiences, know what a boon the facility has been for the area, and it represents so much more than just the activities hosted within its walls.

This fundraising campaign, which can be found on Facebook as Pax Fortlandia Fundraiser Campaign, seeks to bring a meaningful piece of art to represent peace in our community, to tell the story of the rich and diverse residents of this area, and to bridge the generational and cultural gaps that can sometimes divide us.

As described on the fundraiser page, Pax Fortlandia “will represent all people, through the 104 (*and counting) native languages spoken in our area, by incorporating their word(s) for peace into a comprehensive image. This concept simultaneously celebrates how communal our city is, and exposes many people to the diversity that can exist in a mid-sized Midwest city. We believe that this is a timely project as ‘walls’ — virtual and physical — are a prevalent concept in mainstream culture.”

The campaign seeks to raise $10,000, but in a community this size, every donation helps move the effort forward.

Revisit the roaring ’20s

It’s fun to think that we’re on the brink of a new Roaring Twenties, a new jazzy era where there may be new Hemingways and Fitzgeralds about to set the literary world ablaze.

Or maybe not.

But there are ways to celebrate those days even if we don’t repeat them.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum has several exciting events coming up in conjunction with the upcoming ACD Festival. One especially notable one is their upcoming annual gala, rebranded in recent years as the Gatsby Gala Ball.

The event begins with hors d’oeuvres served throughout the evening and a cash bar. Feel free to dress up in your finest flapper garb while enjoying the music of the New Millennium Jazz Orchestra.

The event is held at the museum on Saturday, August 31, from 7-11 p.m. Tickets are $50.

Get gassed up on Classic Cars

If your interest in the ACD Festival revolves more along the lines of cars, there’s good new there, too. This year is the celebration of the Model J, but there will be several opportunities that weekend to check out some fabulous vehicles.

The Friday night Cruise-In is Friday, August 30, and is free to spectators. If you have a car you want to include in the event, the cost of registration is only $10.

The Parade of Classics is on Saturday, August 31, at 1 p.m. and is also free to spectators. In addition to the usual array of Auburns, Cords, and Duesenbergs, you’ll also see Ferraris and Lamborghinis, McLarens, and more.

And of special interest to fans of the hit History Channel series American Pickers, Ron Wolfe will visit the festival and check out special items that folks who attend the festival might wish to share. That event takes place on Saturday, August 31, at 4 p.m. on James Plaza.

Anyone who wishes to see a list of possible items as well as register as a vendor, visit

News and Venues covers Northeast Indiana’s music and arts organizations, venues, and colleges, from large to small. Send your news items to


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