Local student wins city essay contest

Braylon Busby is proud of his small town.

He can tell you all of the best places to eat and visit in Seymour. He’s familiar with local celebrities and happenings. He knows interesting historical facts and is happy to share them.

In January, Busby, a fifth-grader at Seymour-Jackson Elementary School, wrote an essay for a class assignment. His teacher, Melanie Klakamp, asked students to write on the topic of what they like about Seymour.

The essay was part of a citywide contest organized by Mayor Matt Nicholson and Allen Mitchell, founder and owner of Coloring My Town, a promotional resource for communities. All fifth-graders in Seymour were eligible to participate.

On Wednesday, via a Google meeting, Nicholson announced Busby as the winner of the contest.

“Braylon did a great job of telling us about Seymour,” Nicholson said.

He was presented with a commemorative framing of his essay and a caricature drawing, recognizing his knowledge and love of his hometown.

“Wow! That’s amazing,” Busby said as he ripped away the brown paper to reveal his gift.

Both the caricature of Busby, done by Mitchell, and the essay will be featured in the 2020 Coloring Seymour book, which will come out in the fall.

Nicholson said he is glad Seymour is able to partner with Mitchell to make the coloring books, which feature local businesses and fun information to promote the city. The books are distributed to all students in kindergarten through fifth grade in Seymour.

“This is their town for the future,” Nicholson said.

Also in attendance for Wednesday’s presentation were Klakamp, Seymour Community School Corp. Superintendent Brandon Harpe, Jackson Principal Justin Brown, Assistant Principal Brandon Roberts and several of Busby’s classmates.

“We are really proud of you, Braylon,” Harpe said. “You shared your personal thoughts, and you certainly have a lot to love about Seymour.”

In his essay, Busby wrote about famous Seymour celebrities, such as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Mellencamp, Miss America Katie Stam and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Zack Brown.

Being a baseball player himself, Busby hopes one day he is famous enough for someone to write about him, too.

He also provides details in his essay of the infamous Reno brothers — Frank, Simeon, William and John — who were the first train robbers in the United States.

“You can still visit the Reno jail today by the Jackson County Visitor Center in Seymour,” Busby wrote.

Some of Busby’s favorite eateries in town are Larrison’s Diner, Mi Casa and Kovener’s Korner.

“Seymour has some of the finest places for yummy and delicious food,” he said in his essay. “There are so many choices.”

He also enjoys the Oktoberfest, Fear Fair and Crossroads Acoustic Fest, which his dad and uncle organize annually.

One of his favorite fun places to go in Seymour is Racin’ Mason Pizza and Fun Zone, he said.

“It is an awesome place to go and play arcade games, go-karting, bungee jumping, bouncy houses and my favorite, laser tag,” he wrote.

Seymour also is a great place for sporting activities, he said.

“Seymour participates in all kinds of school sports and has many parks around for travel tournaments,” he said.

Not to mention a really big gym.

“Seymour has a record of one of the largest high school gymnasiums in the world with a seating capacity of over 8,000,” Busby said.

He encourages everyone to give Seymour a try.

“Seymour, Indiana, is a great town and a great place to learn about and to experience,” he said. “I hope you experience the places and things I talked about.”

Busby is the son of Shane and Christie Busby.