Local man makes world his classroom with videos

Joey Tackett, of Huntington – also known as “Indiana Joe” – records an introduction to his video blog on Thursday, Aug. 11. Tackett has recorded a journal of his daily life for the past two years and posted the videos on YouTube.
Joey Tackett, of Huntington – also known as “Indiana Joe” – records an introduction to his video blog on Thursday, Aug. 11. Tackett has recorded a journal of his daily life for the past two years and posted the videos on YouTube. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 22, 2016.

Joey Tackett can often be seen around town, taking a walk or hanging out at Walmart. He’s known by the Canon video camera he carries, focused mainly on himself, as he tells his story, his way.

Tackett, a Huntington native, has logged more than 470 individual videos so far, just on his “INDIANAJOEVLOGS” You-Tube channel.

That’s not counting another, more music-themed channel he also posts videos to called “JOEDCTALK.”

He talks about anything – and everything – as he goes about his daily life, from needing to buy new earbuds to getting locked out of a Donald Trump rally.

“I like to document everything,” he says. “I know my life has been pretty bumpy. I had a girlfriend of 16 years and she broke up with me. And I thought, I’m still kind of undecided of what I want to do, totally – I’ve got so many options. And I was in grad school at Huntington University for a while, so when she dumped me that kind of put me flat on my face.”

That was more than two years ago. Tackett decided to start a daily video blog – a “vlog,” he calls it – on April 30, 2015, to document what is happening in his life and where he is going on his journey. He hasn’t missed a day, and he believes he is the only person in Huntington to produce such a journal.

“I want to inspire people. … Instead of having a classroom to inspire students, I want to make the world my classroom and inspire a mass amount of people and let them know that they’re not alone, if they have bouts of anxiety, depression. I mean, it’s for my benefit. I’ve talked about it in my vlogs.”

Tackett lays his life bare in his vlogs and wears his heart on his sleeve, talking about his speech impediment as well as his battles with anxiety and depression. Other encounters may ensue with the turbulent Indiana weather or a pushy store manager. Whatever happens to him that day is caught on his camera and shared with the world. The result has been therapeutic, he says.

He graduated from Huntington North High School in 1992, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 2013, studying physical and health education with a coaching endorsement. He has a photography business and can often be found on the sidelines at HNHS’ games, or flying his drone, getting some high-flying shots of the city. For the more down-to-earth shots, he uses a Canon Vixia Mini-X 1080 pixels high definition video camera.

Some of Tackett’s experiences on camera have been less than cathartic at the time. Take, for example, the day he was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. It happened April 7 (Day 342 of his vlog).

“I was vlogging when it happened,” he says. “I got that whole thing on video.”

Tackett also went to a Donald Trump rally, video camera in hand (Day 366). He was escorted out.

“I got locked out,” he recalls. “They have this little area where people smoke, and I went out there. No one was out there, and next thing you know, I go to get back in and I couldn’t get back in.”

He tried knocking on the door, but the band at the rally was too loud for him to be heard.

“I was trying to get the Secret Service’s attention and all that, and they couldn’t hear me. So then when I pushed off the fence an alarm went off,” he says. That got their attention.

There was also the day he was in a police chase (Day 79), the day he inhaled a bug (Day 111), the day he photographed a wedding in “The Bachelor” style (Day 434) and the day he woke up with a toothache (Day 439), among many others. In other vlogs Tackett pontificates about hot topics in his life such as family, his birthday, former IU basketball coach Bob Knight and having an attitude of gratitude. A few times he catches himself on camera in the midst of an anxiety attack. But mostly, he says he likes to feature what life is like around his hometown of Huntington.

The results of Tackett’s daily logs will serve as a documented way not just for him to review how he’s progressed over the years, but also to relive some of the good memories, too.

“You can go back and you can look back on your life,” he says. “I hope nobody passes away, but like, 10 or 20 years from now if my parents aren’t around or something like that, I can go back and look at these videos and say, ‘I remember this.’ And it’s all online.”

One of his inspirations has been a vlogger from Toronto, Canada named Lilly Singh, who goes by “SuperWomanVlogs” on You Tube.

“She went through anxiety,” he says. “She went to school and she felt lost in what she wanted to do,” Tackett explains. “She just decided to start video’ing them, and follow her passions. I watch her blogs almost every day and I’m a huge fan.”

Tackett says his own journeys will likely take him away from Huntington someday, perhaps to get his master’s degree in sports management or maybe move to California. But he still plans to continue his vlog, especially as a link with family and friends back home.

“I’d like to get to the place where I could get big enough on You Tube to where I could do this full time – make videos full time,” he says. “Or maybe coach basketball.”

His experiences the past 470-plus days have mostly been fun, he says, and have allowed him to capture some crazy stuff on video, which he can share with the world.

“You can see people coming in and out of your life, and you can film where you live, in Huntington … just the whole town. You can look at my blog and see the whole city of Huntington,” he adds.

Tackett can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook..com/Indianaajoe (with two a’s at the end of “Indiana”).