The timing could not have been better as my childhood home of Cleveland became our most recent destination on this road trip. Just in time to watch the Cavaliers qualify for the NBA finals, take in some now popular Indians game and groove to my kind of music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You might interpret this present joy as a reflection of my refusal to accept my birthplace as a place that has endured its fair share of loser jokes/criticism.(ie. Why do ducks fly over Cleveland upside down? Because there is nothing worth crapping on).
Take the Lake Erie lakefront for example. With springtime in the air, Friday morning seemed the ideal time for us to head downtown and leisurely tour two, captivating sites along this shoreline. Positive energy filled the air to start our visit as high school jazz bands arrived to entertain in the front atrium of the Rock and Roll Museum. Immediately south I gazed in awe at the nostalgic orange and brown of Cleveland Browns Stadium. As vivid memories filled my mind of past Browns game highlights on frigid Sundays, I would gladly endure the Lake Erie wind and cold to sidetrack from our museum visit to walk around the entire perimeter of this historic site today.
It is generally recognized that American “Rock an Roll” became popularized on radio in greater Cleveland with the teeny-bopper programs of Alan Freed in the early 1950s. Likewise, keeping this musical genre alive in Cleveland seems equally important. On this particular visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/Museum, we found the featured exhibit displaying artifacts from the history of Rolling Stone Magazine to be of keen interest for us. In addition, a brief shopping stop at the extensive collection in the museum store would allow me to purchase a priceless box set of recent, Induction ceremony, musical performances.
The Cleveland Indians are on the upswing from its 2016 appearance in baseball’s World Series and thus I decided to spend Wednesday/Friday night at Progressive Field Ball Park. Unfortunately, I am still somewhat haunted by the dismal memories of my late 1960s youth where a perpetually losing team played in the cavernous silence of old Cleveland stadium. At the first game, soggy weather on a weeknight discouraged the crowd attendance,but on Friday, almost 30,000 fans enthusiastically packed the new stadium on $1.00 Dollar Dog Night to watch winning Indians baseball.
I will never forget Lebron James’ statement, “It’s Cleveland Against The World” at the 2016 ring ceremony of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship. While my boyhood city has been “under fire” for most of my lifetime, times have changed. This winning “feel” for resilient Cleveland brings inner strength for me in “trying situations as a person. Thank you for “having my back” when I need you.