I cannot believe I am quoting a Fox article, but I am. Bill Reiter has confirmed my theory posited in ain’t i a woman, lebron, & akron concrete. Akronites still love LeBron. “The border [between Akron and Cleveland] matters.”
“LeBron is an Akronite—and there’s a huge difference between Akron and Cleveland,” Eric Vaughn says as he sips a beer in downtown Akron. “There’s a natural animosity between Cleveland and Akron, and I think everything that’s played out is an extension of that Cleveland-Akron axis.
“In the end, a dyed-in-the-wool Akronite would do exactly what LeBron did, every time.”
Like I said.
And this was written before LeBron rocked his game last night in Cleveland. It was beautiful. Žydrūnas wasn’t at his best, but he didn’t fuck up. And he’s been the most solid Heat player all season, so who cares if he didn’t score. An Akronite and a Lithuanian out in the world. Awwww.
Now, if the Heat can start playing like a team, well, that would be nice, too.
According to I (tire) Akron, from whom I stole this pic, LeBron James played his very first High School basketball game for St. V’s (where my mom taught) on this day, 11 years ago, December 3rd, 1999, against the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers (you know, as in Chryssie’s song My City Was Gone: “I went back to Ohio, but my pretty countryside, had been paved down the middle, by a government that had no pride, The farms of Ohio, had been replaced by shopping malls, and Muzak filled the air, from Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls, said A, O, oh way to go Ohio.”
Happy anniversary, Lebron. And nice work. Thanks for kicking Cleveland ass. And for giving Akronites something to be proud of again.
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.
I finished! I finished my degree. And I finished editing the Vancouver pics (if not yet Victoria). I’d hoped to rest this semester and get an idea of what I want next, which for me requires a bit of quiet and reflection.
But I took on more teaching, so am still too busy to reflect this semester. Still somewhat trapped in must-do-more-than-healthy mode required of grad school (&c.). Why so hard to quit playing by someone else’s rules? Oh, but I will. Slowly but surely.
Instead of getting straight to the old projects when I finished my thesis, I was sucked out of my media-free vacuum. I’ve spent blissfully little time in the past, oh, seven years (since leaving the photo world, really) with the news media. Given that my experience in the world has so little semblance to the way it’s portrayed in the papers (radio, online, etc), I stopped plugging in. It was delightful. But with the sudden lack of schoolwork, the financial crisis, and the election commotion, I was simply sucked in. I read all the hilarious, depressing news about Palin and corporate corruption, watched Tina Fey time and again, and shared links with friends ad nauseum. Finally I reigned myself in and limited myself, which wasn’t difficult because I became so sick of it all, over and over.
My mother has been campaigning door-to-door for Obama in Ohio. Not an easy task, to be sure. (I’m quite proud of her because, unlike her children, she’s not especially assertive or vocal.) Her Obama sign was stolen from her yard, along with all the others in the neighborhood. When she reported it, she was told it had happened all over Akron. Gross. I insisted she make the effort (and another, and another if necessary) to get another sign. Don’t let the culprits win! At the very least, keep them busy. Happily, she did.
Oh, good heavens. I pray that he wins.