Dear Efroymsons

The latest offering from the Neighborhood Ballad Project is a moving thank you letter to the Efroymson family for their many contributions to our city. Listen here!

Dearest Jacob and Minnie,

The year was 1872 when that all too familiar urban longing took root in your Evansville home. There was something about Indianapolis…some call that carried through the hills of Brown County, bounced through the bedrock of Boonville, and emerged in your life together.

Once uprooted, once removed

To replant and remain

Four generations later proved

Community’s life and gain

Your son Gustave takes his first breath, and with this breath the city becomes even more abundantly your home. And how he grew. It seems now that with each inch the Efroymson roots broke through more and more Indianapolis soil, and the leaves of your tree gave Hoosiers more and more air to breathe. Gustave worked for the disadvantaged. He reasoned with life till life’s benefits weren’t so skewed. Even though it left him with less, his heart was full.

“Move forward, oh world” called Gustave’s heart

So earnest, pure, and bold

Destroy all things that break apart

And community behold

Robert arrives innocent and impressionable. Watching his father’s every step, following along never far behind till the day of his father’s passing. He took his rightful place, becoming the face of our city’s foundation. Together, he and his loyal brother Clarence took up their father’s call till their passing in 1988. Such a dynamic team they were in life that, in their absence, the persecuted people of old was moved closer to the Promised Land.

Be still my brothers, your time has come

To leave this world behind

Till generations, four in sum

All to love inclined

Dan grows under his father Robert’s wing till in 1988 he took his place and brought our city into the future. Like his forefathers, it seemed that Dan’s blood flowed in such a way that it brought life, not just to his body, but also to the city around him. We see such life made manifest in the birth of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. We see such life in his son Jeremy.

Grow healthy streets raise buildings high

Your work a joy to tell

A son is born by and by

Now art will grow as well

Jeremy Efroymson sees the city his family has helped create, and today he helps it breathe with the vibrancy of artistic wellness. With the strength of economic history and the understanding that art is culture’s respirator, Jeremy works to let it speak. And speak it has, and speak it does. From the foundation he has laid, the Harrison Center, and iMOCA bring aesthetic health to our city. The work of his family continues through him, and it continues to give our city abundant life. Such generosity cannot go unnoticed, for we live in its pleasant wake.

Dear Efroymsons,

Thank you for your work, for making our home what it is, for giving us your vision.

Forever indebted and forever yours,