No last name necessary when talking about Fofie
When someone writes about Beyonc’ or Cher, you get a vision. There is no confusion. That one name says it all.
I have one for Corydon: Fofie. For a fairly good percentage of Harrison County residents, a comment like ‘Well, call Fofie. She might know!’ is all that is necessary for explanation. Problem solved.
‘Fofie’ was a name that came into being when Alice Josephine Pflanz couldn’t pronounce the Josephine and ended up with ‘Phofeen,’ which sorted itself out into Fofie.
Fofie has lived in Corydon ever since her family moved here in 1928 to run the Chevy Oldsmobile dealership located in what is now the Indiana Utilities building. She was the oldest of 11 and, after marrying Frank Fey Sr., had seven children of her own.
Fofie remembers as a child living in the large space above the dealership and peering out the window at the snow-covered streets and the 1937 flood. They were stuck in the apartment for more than a week with a battery-powered radio, lanterns and food brought in by rowboat during the worst of all Corydon floods.
‘Those two Indians can cause quite a ruckus,’ said Fofie, who was recalling a poem, ‘The Two Indians,’ meaning the creeks, that her mother wrote about the flood.
The Pflanz family was always Catholic. At least on this side of the Atlantic. The family ancestors in Germany were originally Presbyterian. Fofie doesn’t know when the big switch was made, but she takes her faith very seriously and loves the daily Mass and ritual of the old Catholic traditions.
‘I just want to understand our Lord Jesus a little more, so I keep plugging away at it,’ Fofie said.
And indeed she does. We had a good time discussing her beliefs and adherence to the strong Catholic core of her own faith. One of her favorite priests was Father Hillman.
‘Some thought he was a little strong-minded, but I got to know him a little better and underneath he was an old softie,’ she recalled.
Father Todd started the CYO at St. Joseph in Corydon and was a wonderful person, too, she said.
‘I loved raising my children and having the little ones, but I just couldn’t wait until they were in school so I could attend daily Mass. I just love it,’ Fofie admitted.
It isn’t easy in our day and age to adhere to the strict guidelines of church doctrine. There are so many ways to waver and wander, but Fofie Fey is determined to be as good a person as she can be. Now 77 years old, Fofie is a Corydon mainstay that we all have come to know and appreciate. When the ‘roll is called up yonder,’ as they say, I’m sure just announcing ‘Fofie’ will do the job.
Leah Porter is at the Harrison County Public Library in Corydon on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1 to 3 p.m.