ain’t i a woman, lebron, & akron concrete
A few weeks ago while I waited for my mani/pedi to dry, I grabbed O Magazine (Oprah’s) off the top of the pile and flipped the pages. I stopped on an interview with Akronite Chrissie Hynde, who, at 59, is still rocking. She’s amazing. There was a photo of her in this excellent t-shirt, which I decided at first sight I had to have. So, nails dry and at home, a lengthy internet search ensued. Somehow I found her in this brilliant video she made of Akron, to “Break Up the Concrete.” That’s the t-shirt.
This is gorgeous. Chrissie hits the best of Akron, much of which has been there for decades. Among my faves are Luigi’s, which was (is?) the only place in Akron to get a bite in til 4am (a delicious bite, I might add), and the Sojourner Truth historical marker, which marks where she gave her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech at a Universalist Church in 1851. And, my God, Chrissie’s car. My maternal grandmother had similar wheels when I was little. A Grand Torino, in red (at right). Notice the made-in-Akron B.F. Goodrich tires. My paternal grandmother worked there (Goodrich) on an assembly line and they paid her retirement and prescriptions (she had a $1 co-pay. I deny all stories that I took advantage of our identical names and had birth control pills filled for $1. Flatly deny. They knew us both at the pharmacy anyway, because, before I left, we often went together to get her groceries and scripts) until she died at age 95 in 1999. Imagine that from a corporation of today?
Yes, though it’s been a long time, I’m originally from Akron. And why yes, I still love Lebron (Heat rah!). Most Akronites do. It’s the Clevelanders he has driven to pyromania. At least, the few I’ve surveyed. One of the many things I appreciate about LeBron is that when I answer, “Akron,” the first thing mentioned is no longer Alcoholics Anonymous or rubber. Regarding the Miami Heat, I would be the last person to blame a man for getting the hell out of dodge, especially to a town with better weather. It’s amazing he didn’t do it sooner.
It’s not just Chrissie and Lebron. Jim Jarmusch, a Columbia grad, is from Akron. His dad worked for Goodrich, too. Not on the line, though. And DEVO, of “Whip It” fame. They first played out at a Kent State Arts Festival when I was a few months old. Yes, Akronites are a bit quirky.
If I get any comments or emails about my mani/pedi and “Ain’t I a Woman” in the same post, I will crack you upside the head. Even if we don’t, I pretend we live in a society that allows us to define ourselves as women precisely as we like. You will not burst that bubble, so don’t try.