INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A stretch of Interstate 65 in southern Indiana could soon be named for one of the state’s favorite sons: John Mellencamp.
A resolution approved Tuesday by an Indiana Senate transportation committee would rename a 16-mile portion of the interstate passing through the Hoosier rocker’s hometown of Seymour as “John Mellencamp Way.”
Rep. Terry Goodin, a Democrat from Austin, says he sponsored the measure because he wanted to honor Mellencamp, whose songs depict the virtues of growing up in in the rural heartland. He also cited Mellencamp’s charitable work with Willie Nelson and Neil Young on Farm Aid, a yearly concert that promotes and awards grants to family farms.
“Everybody in Southern Indiana - probably the entire state of Indiana - is a John Cougar fan,” said Goodin, who has seen Mellencamp in concert. “I thought it was only fitting that we try to do something to help recognize Indiana’s favorite son.”
The measure was already approved by the House and now goes to the full Senate for a vote. If ultimately approved, Goodin says signs would be placed along the interstate between Austin and Seymour to let motorists know they are driving through the area that helped inspire hit songs like “Jack & Diane” and “Small Town.”
A representative for Mellencamp did not respond to an email seeking comment. But Goodin says he has spoken with Mellencamp’s “folks,” whom he described as “surprised and elated” by the honor. Goodin says the measure has broad support from fellow lawmakers and he plans on sending a copy of the resolution to the singer and songwriter if it passes.
“You talk about John Mellencamp, the first thing that comes to mind is small town Indiana and good virtuous living,” Goodin said. “It brings good memories for those folks who don’t live in Indiana any more. And it also says ‘Hey, Indiana is a great place to live, work and raise a family.’”
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