The new dawn of Hoosier Daylight Saving Time

Until early this morning, other states used to revolve around Indiana. The country changed its clocks twice a year; we didn’t because we were right on the time zone line geographically, and we’re a vertical state. After many years living without Daylight Saving Time, I grew fond of not having to change my clocks.

But no more.

The Bluebird Nightclub is in District VI. It’s perhaps Bloomington’s oldest operating nightclub, established in 1973. Just a couple of hours ago, a friend and I observed the ringing in of this new era in Hoosier history. We chatted in a booth near the front bar, amidst the oblivious revelry of college students out on a Saturday night as a band called “40% Steve” (no relation) played on the main stage in back.

Indiana law requires taverns to stop serving by 3 am. A brand new Indiana law taking effect in 2006 observes daylight saving time, compelling Hoosiers for the first time since the sixties to join most of the rest of the country in changing their clocks twice a year.

But the time change takes place nationwide at 2 am. And there are lots of people and media attention in state for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, who’ll want to party as late as possible. (Another friend of mine, heading to her grandfather’s funeral, couldn’t get a flight out of Indianapolis because of the Final Four this weekend. Go figure. That’s how busy the state’s capital is right now; certainly a lot of people wanting to party on “spring forward” day in “Naptown.”) The governor, correctly sensing a public-relations embarrassment, granted taverns a one-hour reprieve from enforcement of the law.

Ironic that Hoosier Daylight Time should begin in a year that the NCAA Men’s Final Four is in Indianapolis. Basketball almost made its way onto the back of the Indiana quarter. But that’s another tale.

On the wall over the front bar in the Bird is a large electric clock with a very old Pontiac silhouette logo on it. Patrick, the strapping thirty-something manager whom I’ve known for years, told us the clock has been hanging there since the day the Bird opened and has never been changed for daylight saving time. I asked if they were going to start changing it now. He thought about it and said: they hadn’t thought about it.

I think they should put a sign up by it saying, “This clock is on Eastern Standard Time.” Don’t change it, Pat. Put up another clock if you have to right next to it, as if it were a newsroom. Let the old one stay as it is, to remind us of, um, a better time.



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