Faces of Southern Indiana

Q&A and photos by JD Dotson 

Editor’s Note: Some comments have been edited to include the question asked for clarity 

Our quest to meet a wide array of people in Southern Indiana took us shopping in New Albany, enjoying lunch in downtown Jeffersonville, hanging out in coffee shops in historic Madison and attending a car show and art show along the Ohio River. We talked to numerous folks to find what they care about most right now and how they define themselves.



What makes me happy and why? People is the short answer. Connecting with other people is the most important thing. It gets me through life, and I think making those connections and experiencing things with other people is what we are made to do. 

Ethan Jobe 


extolmag_27-1_page_048_image_0002What makes me happiest is my family and friends. 

Melanie Morrison Louisville, KY 


What’s most important to me right now is my family, my cat and my house. Is that superficial? I worked really hard for it. 

Laura Starnes 

Taylor Mill, KY 



The thing that makes me happy right now is learning some about the community I’ve grown up in all my life. Getting to know a new tidbit of history or meeting someone new, it’s like a familiar place but I get to discover these things every day. 

Morgan Paul Floyds Knobs 


What makes me happy? My customers, and I am getting ready to retire (from German American Bank), so it’s kind of bittersweet. Forty-three years of banking, and I’m getting ready to leave in December. It’s bittersweet, I will miss my people. 

Jeanine Little 



I’m a mother of two and I’m just trying to better myself for my family and hopefully make it into heaven one day. 

Diana Louise Finch 



We’re happy because life is good and once we lean on the Lord, we find out it gets better each day. 

Alvin and Annie White 



Who I am is a person that makes people feel that they are important and matter. 

Susan Strange 



What’s most important to me right now is getting my finances together, getting money saved back so I can eventually not have to rent an apartment (and) get everything paid off. 

Tori Wiggam 

New Washington 


Who am I? I am a muscle car enthusiast. 

Rick Roberts 



The most important thing is world peace right now. 

Samantha Perry and Bella 



The most important thing to me right now is continuing to grow my business, Sweets by Morgan, my relationships with friends and family, and trying to keep it all together. 

Morgan Coomer 



What makes me happy is spending quality time with people and getting to know their heart. 

Michelle Ralph 



What is most important to me right now is my son because he is autistic and he’s having some issues with another condition called misophonia, and it’s disrupting his daily life, so I am pretty much all consumed with that. 

Michelle Campbell 

New Albany 


What makes me happy is feeling fit, feeling good, making sure that the people I surround myself with are people that I admire. 

Emilio Vallecillo 



It makes me happy that I have an occupation and career that I enjoy, and I can help people in that career. I can be a positive influence on the people I come in contact with. I do have a small business in Southern Indiana, a shoe store (Pacers and Racers), but it’s more than that because I’m part of people’s daily lives. 

Derek Ingersoll 



I’m a lot of things: I’m a momma, I’m a nurse and I am just trying to be the best I can be today. 

Darci Richards Branham 



The most important thing to me right now is to help as many people in the community as I can whether by fitting shoes or coaching kids in track. I just like to do my part. 

Cat Patton 



The thing that makes me most happy is being around family and friends and people that love me and I love them. And also delicious foods and ice creams and pizzas and enjoying them on a beautiful day with my grandmother. 

Amber Applegate 

New Albany 


I am a 24-year-old college graduate who is really in love with her coffee shop job. 

Azia Watts 



What makes me happy? My dog and being close to achieving my goal, which I’ve set up for the past eight years. Just started my tattoo apprenticeship in January – just one step closer to having my dream job. 

Brandon Lejman 



Who am I? I’m a firefighter. 

Becky Oesterritter 

New Albany 


Who am I? I’m just an evolving human, day to day, hour to hour, and trying to learn. 

Ben Slein 

New Albany 

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