- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS As Callie Sander reads her recipe for cabbage stew dice half an onion, add salt and pepper to taste she hears her son Chuckie's voice: "Mom, put some in the microwave, I'll be home by the time it's warm."

She recalls his words and his love of the dish. Charles "Chuckie" West was shot to death in 1998 at age 21.

Now Mrs. Sander and about 100 other people whose loved ones were slain are memorializing the victims with a cookbook.

"A Survivor's Cookbook: Food for Our Soul," a collection of the favorite recipes of people gunned down on the streets of Indianapolis, is a project started by the Marion County prosecutor's office.

"It's a way to remind people that these victims aren't just names on a newspaper page. They were people who enjoyed living," prosecutor Scott Newman said. "Instead of just carrying candles around in the dark, we're looking for ways to celebrate these people."

Though the idea may sound morbid, Victor Cicirelli, a professor of psychology at Purdue University, noted that food often plays a role in Irish wakes and other communal attempts to deal with death.

The cookbook is not finished yet, and the prosecutor's office hasn't decided what it will cost, but proceeds will go to a victims' assistance program.

Each page will feature a recipe, a short memorial written by the family, the date of birth and date of death and, in some cases, a photo.

Juanita See, who lost her 35-year-old son in 1997, plans to send in a recipe for stuffed peppers. "He loved it," Mrs. See said. "Every time he got a chance, he wanted me to make him some."

Regina Bufford submitted a recipe for margarita shrimp and vegetable kabobs, the favorite meal of her father, Samuel Bufford, who was slain in 1999.

Mrs. Sander said: "When I get that book, I can keep it on his page. It can go on down through generations, so nobody forgets."

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