Strands of the always-parted silver hair bounce off his high cheekbones as Mayor Mike Fincher grins and shakes another hand.
You’ll find him in county and city board rooms and at civic functions, patting the shoulders of Democrats and Republicans alike with his big paws and a “Howzitgoing?”
That grin and larger-than-life handshake has represented Logansport in many places — from Indianapolis to Japan. Love him or hate him, Fincher has a perspective on life that places great value on health, family and helping others, and a realization that being mayor or not is not the end of the world.
Maybe that perspective came after he lost his father at age 8 and was brought up by a mother who was tough, yet loving.
“She taught me how to respect people and how to treat them,” he said.
Fincher rattles off a few names of childhood friends who he’d hang out with in Rockfield in the 1950s, back in a time with no televisions and no video games and back when the crew was too young for jobs. They’d go rabbit hunting, and Fincher was the only one without a gun. He’d help his buddies rattle some brush to get the rabbits going, and once in a while, they’d take turns using the guns. But Fincher wanted his own.
Finally, he approached his mother about getting a gun to go hunting. His mother sat him down and told him a story of two cowboys faced with a choice to get up and do what they needed to do to survive and make things happen on their own. The story stuck with Fincher.
He started shoveling snow, raking leaves and doing what a younger-than-16-year-old boy could do to earn money until he saved enough to buy a Stevens single-barrel shotgun. Fincher still has that shotgun and sometimes takes it out to fire several rounds in an open field — something he does to remind himself of the determination his mother taught him and as a way to clear his mind when times get stressful.