Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Detroit Shoreway
37 total

Sean Watterson interview, 10 August 2017

Sean Watterson, co-owner of the Happy Dog on Detroit Ave., expresses the importance of community spaces in bringing Cleveland together as a whole. Since he was raised on the east side, but owns a business on the west side, he has made it his mission to expose east siders to the west side and to encourage west siders to attend cultural and arts events on the east side. Watterson has traveled the world, but he always knew Cleveland was where he belonged.

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Jeff Moreau interview, 09 August 2017

Jeff Moreau, owner of Sweet Moses, discusses the merits of owning a business in the Detroit Shoreway Gordon Square Arts District. He provides, in rich detail, his creative process in constructing the atmosphere of his authentic 1920s-30s soda fountain and treat shop. He further shares his hopes for the Gordon Arts District, Detroit Shoreway as a whole, and the future of his successful business. Moreau has found community engagement gratifying. He took his dream of owning a small business and…

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Ruth Rubio-Pino interview, 11 August 2017

Ruth Rubio-Pino is a Mexican-American and long-time activist. She has worked closely with Club Azteca and provides a detailed history of the formation and evolution of this Cleveland Mexican-American landmark. She discusses the plight of Mexican migrant workers and urban dwelling Mexican immigrants. She remarks on how the heightened consciousness and enforcement of immigration has affected the Mexican-American community as a whole and in Cleveland. Throughout the oral history, she comments on…

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Terry Metter interview, 07 August 2017

Terry Metter is a lifelong Detroit Shoreway resident. He grew up and continues to live south of Madison Avenue in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Living in a section of the neighborhood that receives less attention has informed his views regarding community engagement, relationships with the local CDC, urban verses suburban living, and accessibility to community services.

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Dean Van Farowe interview, 02 August 2017

Rev. Dean Van Farowe currently serves as Pastor of the Calvary Reformed Church located in the Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood. He discusses the rewards and challenges of working with an urban congregation and provides a brief history of the church and how the neighborhood has changed over the past 17 years.

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Moneeke Davis interview, 21 July 2017

Moneeke Davis currently serves as a Board Member for the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, representing the Southwest Quadrant of the neighborhood. She describes variations among the sectors of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Davis was initially concerned about how her section of the neighborhood was being treated, but soon came to understand the complexity of community development organizations. She describes herself as a dedicated social servant and vocal advocate for her…

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Norm Plonski interview, 17 July 2017

Norm Plonski is the retired owner of the Parkview Nite Club (Detroit Shoreway) and Major Hoople's (West Bank of the Flats). He colorfully describes how he came across the two properties and how he has been able to maintain the popularity of each business, despite the ever changing surrounding neighborhoods. For Plonski, the neighborhood bar is a place for people to get to know one another, acting as a persistent landmark that helps to ensure the survival of always-redeveloping and changing…

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Demetrish Parham interview, 18 July 2017

Demetrish "Trish" Parham has lived in the Detroit Shoreway community for the past four years. Owing to both her outgoing personality and the influence of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Parham has thoroughly explored her surroundings. She describes shops, restaurants, events, celebrations, and other happenings that take place on Detroit Avenue. Her hope is that as the neighborhood welcomes new faces, and that the essence of Detroit Shoreway does not diminish.

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Gloria Aron interview, 14 July 2017

Gloria Aron is a long time Detroit Shoreway community resident. From her first taste of grassroots activism in the struggle to desegregate Cleveland Public Schools, Aron has continued to devote her life to giving back to her fellow man. Aron talks about how there are two sections of Detroit Shoreway and that adequate low-income housing is a major issue plaguing her community. She also discusses why she holds community development organizations in such low-esteem.

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Diana Cyganovich interview, 21 June 2017

Diana Cyganovich, the current Executive Director of Cogswell Hall and resident of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, provides a well-rounded portrait of one of Cleveland's west side communities. After moving to Cleveland in the late-1970s, Cyganovich expresses the challenges and improvements she has observed take place in the area over the past thirty plus years.

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Bernadette Rose interview, 22 June 2017

Bernadette "Bernie" Rose, a lifelong Detroit Shoreway resident, relates how her neighborhood was on unsteady ground in the 1960s-1980s. But from the efforts of three community members it was transformed into the vibrant place it is today. Since the 1990s the community feel, which closely resembles a big family, has gradually returned to the streets of Detroit Shoreway. The empty store fronts, commonly found lining Detroit Avenue in the 1980s, are now occupied. The only hope is that more…

Massie Home group interview, 2006

This group interview explores changes in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, including details about Battery Park, Union Carbide, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Edgewater Park, and Herman Avenue.

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Bennie Jean Johnson interview, 10 November 2006

In this 2006 interview, Bennie Jean Johnson, a life-long resident of Cleveland, recounts many of her living experiences as an African-American in Cleveland. She talks about her early childhood homes in E.55th and E.79th Street neighborhoods during the 1950 and 1960 decades. She describes her experiences during the Hough Riots. She talks about Leo's Casino and other well-known Cleveland east side institutions. She also talks about her experiences in moving to the west side of Cleveland--first…

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William Merriman interview, 19 November 2005

In this 2005 interview, William Merriman, a deacon at St. Patrick's Church on Bridge Avenue on the near west side of Cleveland, discusses his involvement with the Ohio City community since beginning to do volunteer work at St. Patrick's in 1969. Mr. Merriman exhibits a wealth of knowledge about the development of Ohio City as an independent city and later as an important neighborhood of Cleveland. He speaks at length about the importance of diversity to Ohio City and how he, through his Church…

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Nancilee McCormack interview, 08 December 2005

In this 2005 interview, Nancilee McCormack, a resident of the westside of Cleveland since 1966, talks about moving to Cleveland from southern Ohio as a young woman and working for 40 years as a waitress in a number of well-known and not so well known bars and restaurants of Downtown and the west side of Cleveland, including Tony's Diner and the "infamous" Egg Palace. She recounts stories of shopping in Downtown Cleveland with a friend and their children in the 1970s and 1980s before the last of…

Anthony Anzalone interview, 09 February 2006

In this 2006 interview, Anthony Anzalone, a long time resident of the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, talks about his life experiences in this west side neighborhood of Cleveland. Mr. Anzalone grew up in the neighborhood in the 1950s and recounts memories of his Italian grandfather, who played a trumpet in a local band, playing at the Lady of Mount Carmel annual festival and parade. Mr. Anzalone also talks about Our Lady of Mount Carmel as an anchor of the community, and about Father Marino who…

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Lou Donitis interview, 09 February 2006

In this 2006 interview, 78 year old Lou Donitis aka Lou Donuts, a long-time resident of the Detroit-Shoreway area, talks about his life experiences in Cleveland from the time he first arrived here in 1950. He talks in great detail about the factories, retail shops, restaurants, theaters and bars that lined Detroit Avenue and other nearby streets in the 1950s. Mr. Donitis also talks about a number of the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs he held in Cleveland, including his work at the Forum…

James Levin interview, 2006

In this 2006 interview, James Levin, a founder of Cleveland Public Theater, talks about his early life in Cleveland, especially his love of the Arts-- even while attending law school in Cleveland. In 1979, upon graduating from law school, he moved to New York to become an actor. His experiences in New York, including acting at Cafe La MaMa, inspired him to return to Cleveland in the early 1980s to create a theater for the Cleveland public. While working as a lawyer during the day, he and…

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Bruce Ferris interview, 18 April 2006

In this 2006 interview, Bruce Ferris, owner of Ferris Steak House at 8700 Detroit Avenue, talks about the history of the oldest steak house in Cleveland. The restaurant was started by his grandparents, immigrants from Lebanon, in the 1940s. He is the third generation Ferris to run the restaurant, and his family has now served 5 generations of customers in the Detroit Shoreway area. Ferris also talks about his life, growing up in Parma; working at the family restaurant and other restaurants,…

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Buck Harris interview, 20 April 2006

In this 2006 interview, 58 year old Cleveland native Buck Harris, a prominent member of Cleveland's gay community for decades, talks about his life in Cleveland as a gay man and his residency near West 52nd Street and Bridge Avenue in an area of the west side of Cleveland known as Ohio City Heights. Mr. Harris discusses his experience of "coming out" in the late 1970s; some of the prominent gay bars in Cleveland in the 1970s, including, Twiggy's; and his development and activities as an activist…

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Gloria Aron interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, Gloria Aron, a lifelong resident of the Detroit Shoreway area of Cleveland, talks about her experiences living on West 81st Street, and her involvement in a number of projects as a community activist. She talks about the problems of the poor, the homeless, and the working class in her neighborhood. She also discusses government programs that have worked to alleviate neighborhood problems; and others that have not. She comments on the Cleveland School system, and…

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James Craciun interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, James Craciun, an owner of Craciun funeral home, talks about his family's involvement in the Romanian and Italian communities of Detroit-Shoreway. Craciun's Romanian and Italian immigrant grandfathers settled in Detroit-Shoreway at the beginning of the twentieth century. His Italian grandfather owned an Italian Import store in the neighborhood at the corner of W. 65th and Herman. Craciun's father started the family funeral business on Detroit Avenue across the street…

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Chuck Hoven interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, 51 year old Chuck Hoven, a life long resident of the west side of Cleveland, and managing editor for the Cleveland Plain Press, talks about the neighborhoods of the west side of Cleveland in which his family (his father was of German descent; his mother of Lebanese) has lived since the 1860s. He also talks about the history of the Cleveland Plain Press, a west side community newspaper, and articles that it published about some controversial events in Cleveland since the…

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Mary Jo Mazzarella interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, Mary Jo Mazzarella, a resident of the Detroit Shoreway area of Cleveland and owner/manager of American Limousine Service, talks about her history with the Detroit Shoreway area of Cleveland. Mazzarella spent her early years in the 1960s living on West 112th Street, but remembers visiting her Italian grandparents who lived on West 69th and ran a delicatessen on the corner of 69th and Detroit. She also remembers many stories that her father told her about the Detroit…

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Beverly McClintok interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, 74-year old Beverly McClintok, who was born in Bedford, Ohio, talks about her experiences living in Cleveland. She recalls memories of Euclid Avenue and Municipal Stadium in the 1940s. She talks about her work at Peoples Hope Church at W.65th and Bridge, where she was married in 1952. She lived in Ohio City from 1953-1963, and remembers the tornado of 1953 which killed 5 people on W. 28th St. Since 1963, she has lived on Madison. She talks about changes in the…

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Peter C. Kole interview, 09 August 2008

Peter Kole discusses the history of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood focusing mainly on his childhood and the sense of community that formed in these neighborhood. Kole also discusses business and industry, his own experiences included, and how the neighborhood has changed. Finally, Kole discusses his altruism in Albania and how the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood has been revitalized.

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Juanita Ortiz interview, 2007

Juanita Ortiz shares stories of living on the west side of Cleveland after moving to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood from Puerto Rico in 1960.

Matt Zone Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Matt Zone, Councilman for Ward 17 of the City of Cleveland, discusses his family's history on the west side of Cleveland and his political career. Zone is a third generation Italian-American. His grandparents came to the Detroit-Shoreway area of Cleveland shortly after WWI ended. His father and mother grew up on West 65th Street and were both Councilpersons for the Ward--from 1960-1982. Matt has been Councilperson for the Ward since 2001. Zone talks about neighborhood…

Judge Ray Pianka Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Raymond Pianka, Judge of the City of Cleveland Housing Court, discusses the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. He first discusses the historical ethnicity of the neighborhood, including the immigration of Irish, and then later Italians and Romanians, into the area. He also discusses his own Polish heritage, and talks about his father and grandfather's industrial employment in Cleveland for a large part of the twentieth century. Judge Pianka also talks about the architecture…

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Donna J. Belles Interview, 21 March 2006

Donna Belles lives on West 64th Street in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. She lives in a house that her grandmother owned. Donna tells the story of her grandmother who moved into the neighborhood in 1950. She came to Cleveland from Pennsylvania for work. At one time her grandmother owned three houses on the street. She was able to buy them because her uncles sent her money during the war. Belles has lived in the neighborhood her whole life. She reminisces about growing up in the neighborhood…

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Jeff Ramsey Interview, 2005

In this very brief 2005 interview, Jeff Ramsey, Director of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, provides a short history of Gordon Square and its redevelopment, and refers the interviewer to several other persons with knowledge of the Square and its history.

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Jeff Ramsey Interview, 2006

Jeff tells about his family immigrating from Italy in 1890 and settling into an ethnic neighborhood. Later moved into what is now called the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Jeff talks about the different places he lived as a child including the Lakeview Terrace public housing. He moved to Detroit Shoreway after coming home from college. He likes the diversity of the neighborhood which has strong Italian, Irish, Gay and Lesbian communities. Through Judge Pianka Jeff joined the Detriot Shoreway…

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