Thoughts on Cleveland

In preparation for this weekend’s Author Alley at Loganberry Books, I’ve been rekindling my childhood love of Cleveland. Here’s an excerpt from  The Kid from Cambridge:

“Growing up, I spent many hours in my father’s van, driving north from Cambridge to Cleveland. I still remember anxiously staring out the window, waiting to catch a glimpse of the white marble dome of William McKinley’s tomb as it rises above Canton’s Westlawn Cemetery like a rugby ball in flight. I also remember how, as you past the gigantic pillars of the old Bank One National Headquarters, Cleveland’s skyline becomes visible on the horizon. From this distant vista, the city grew with every mile, until its sprawl finally swallowed our family’s van in one gigantic gas guzzling gulp. To the eyes of a small town child, Cleveland was a big, beguiling metropolis. Its streets were wide; its inhabitants wild. I loved being a de facto citizen of Cleveland and joyously swam through the city’s towering sightlines as if they were Lake Erie’s sweeping unswimmable shores. Like any big city, Cleveland was full of strange stories: the fall of Millionaire’s Row, the destruction of Municipal Stadium, the eerie emptiness of all those abandoned factories, which were like rusty footnotes in the story of Cleveland’s proud industrial past. My Cleveland ancestry even included a loose connection to the city’s greatest ghost and rustiest footnote: John D. Rockefeller. My great-grandfather, William Ellenberger, had once been a prized pupil of the future Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Laura Spelman. For a small town child who liked to listen, such stories were intoxicating.”

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