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Former Indiana governor Otis Bowen, who later served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, died last week at age 95.

Bowen crossed paths with Arthur Franklin Mapes in the 1970s, when he mistakenly introduced Mapes at a town festival as “Indiana’s poet laureate.” In a letter to the editor published by KPC News today, Mike Mapes recalls that his father told Bowen he wasn’t a poet laureate:

The governor answered, “Oh, I thought you were. When I get back to Indianapolis I’ll have to do something about that.”

The family of Arthur Franklin Mapes, Indiana poet laureate, remembers Bowen with gratitude.

Poet honored

Clip from Kendallville News Sun, March 31, 1977