Tucked away in the Southwestern part of Indiana, on the Wabash River, is an eclectic little town called New Harmony. With a rich history of various groups settling in the area in an attempt to create Utopian societies dating back to the early 1800s, the community still provides a glimpse of its past while also highlighting the artists and proprietors who presently call New Harmony home. While visiting the small town we took in interesting sights, great food, local art, and met an array of interesting locals. One of those locals being Ms. Lena Feiner.
Lena calls New Harmony home and she is the owner/operator of the local Women's Institute and Gallery. As you approach the institute there is no secret who Lena is supporting in the upcoming election. An image of Hillary welcomes you to the white painted house with a bright yellow entrance. On the walls inside she highlights the art of local female artists. In one room she sells books, stationary, and art. In another she has a library where visitors can sign they were there and take in her collection of literature on the built in bookshelves. And as you make your way to the back of the institute you find yourself in a kitchen and you realize the institute is also Lena's home. There on the counter is a coffee pot and mugs, a cake, and other sundries anyone may have. As families may do we settled in the kitchen to discuss various New Harmony facts, share information with one another, and take in Lena's opinions on women's rights and politics.
Personally, I often stay away from political conversations due to the heated tones that often shape them. Yet, it is refreshing to hear intelligent people discuss their thoughtful opinions no matter their political affiliation. Proudly wearing a button on her shirt in support of the one who could potentially be our first female president, Lena beams with a smile as she discusses Hillary. (She also has a Hillary doll hanging on the wall that can be seen in the picture of the library.) She herself is a proud woman who believes in the rights of women and does her part in supporting those rights. I believe it is exciting for her to see someone who she feel represents women in a way candidates in past elections have not and it was a pleasure listening to her.
Lena's passion and hospitality are a great representation of a community of interesting facts and personalities. She's a sweet person who thought me a little strange for wanting to take a picture of "this old woman" but followed with, "you're making me feel special Jason." She is special, and If you're ever nearby I'd highly recommend a visit to this community and stop in to the Women's Institute to speak with Lena. You may even get a treat and a drink.