Yesterday was a big day for me, although I spent it quietly writing and watching a great movie I’d not seen before. It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of my moving to NE Ohio.
That’s a quarter of a century,and it’s a huge chunk of my life. Born and raised in Chicago, ten years in New York and twenty-four years in Los Angeles—and when I was first asked to come to Cleveland for a temporary job in 1987, I had no idea of where Cleveland even WAS. Sure, I was aware it was in Ohio—but really all I knew about Cleveland in 1987 was Jim Brown, Bob Feller, and the river burning!!! Besides, I was scheduled for a four-month stay and I didn’t even BOWL! What was I going to do?
Within two weeks I was totally in love with Cleveland and its surrounding towns, so much so that when I returned to Los Angeles, where I lived, I began writing about Cleveland. I kept returning to Cleveland to promote my books, to do more research—until three years later I decided to move here permanently.
Now, WHY would anyone in their right mind choose to leave sunny, tinselly Los Angeles and move to cold, snowy Cleveland IN DECEMBER? That tells you much about me, I suppose. But my twenty-five years here have been the BEST years of my life. I’ve made many great friends, learned much from all of them, have enjoyed great theater, music, and sports here, have fallen hard for the people, the architecture, the beautiful green countryside just ten minutes from Public Square—and the tremendous sense of love and pride common to ALL Clevelanders, even the ones who’ve moved away.
Most importantly, I have met my soulmate, the love of my life.
Many of my thoughts and feelings have changed from being a tough, stab-you-in-the-back-before-you-stab-me Los Angeleno. Cleveland has made me a better person, it inspires me to sit down and write every day, and each time I drive toward downtown, the city’s skyline makes my blood run a little faster.
My future plans? A FIFTIETH anniversary in Greater Cleveland. After that….well, we’ll see.