Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Project Team
125 total

Charles V. Williams interview, 08 February 2020

Charles V. Williams is a longtime advocate for the Black Deaf community at both the local, state, and national levels. In this second of two interviews, he discusses his advocacy in the Black Deaf community from the 1970s to the present, including volunteering at the Cleveland Society for the Blind, his efforts for greater inclusivity in the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, getting closed captioning added for the 1980 Democratic National Convention, creating an interpreter training…

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Charles V. Williams interview, 01 February 2020

Charles V. Williams is a longtime advocate for the Black Deaf community at both the local, state, and national levels. In this first of two interviews, he discusses losing his hearing as a child, growing up on Cleveland's East Side, early efforts to help Black Deaf newcomers to the city, working at Thompson Products and in the Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office, and campaigning for Carl Stokes for mayor.

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Annette Fromm interview, 07 March 2018

Annette Fromm is a folklorist and museum professional in Miami Beach, Florida. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she earned a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and was the curator and oral history project director for the Greater Cleveland Ethnographic Museum in the late 1970s. She discusses her involvement in the museum and describes various grant-funded exhibits and initiatives that it undertook, including working with Icabod Flewellen's African American Museum.

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Sally Tatnall interview, 05 June 2019

Sally Tatnall (b.1937), a radical feminist and community activist, speaks about her childhood in Buffalo, New York, and what it was like coming of age in the 1940s and 1950s. She describes her marriage to her husband, her civil rights activism and feminist activism with him, and her eventual divorce and introduction to lesbianism. Sally describes life in the lesbian-feminist collective in her Cleveland Heights home, Hag House or Berkshire House, and describes the work of radical feminist…

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Cynthia Harris Allen interview, 29 September 2018

Cynthia Harris-Allen was born in 1946 and grew up in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood on Cleveland's East Side. She discusses her father's work as a bricklayer and how he was among the first African Americans in the Bricklayers & Masons Local 5 union; racial discrimination faced by Black builders and building tradesmen; her father's jazz band; the racial makeup and businesses of her neighborhood growing up in the mid-20th century; hanging out at Shaker Square and trick or treating at Halloween in…

Diane Kelley interview, 29 September 2018

In this brief interview conducted as part of a Literary Cleveland storytelling project, Diane Kelley discusses growing up in Cleveland Heights in the 1970s-80s, moving to Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in 1988. She discusses her poetry and other writing. She also discusses moving back to the northern part of Cleveland Heights in more recent years.

Charlotte Morgan interview, 29 September 2018

Charlotte Morgan discusses growing up in Cleveland, where she grew up in the Hough neighborhood in the 1950s and early '60s and then lived in Glenville starting in 1964. She remembers the large homes and fruit trees in the Glenville area in her youth. Morgan discusses her father's music career, including the musicians' union, his reputation as the Quincy Jones of the area, his band, and Leo's Casino. She details her journalism career, including meeting Ella Fitzgerald, working for Cleveland …

Veronica Robinson interview, 29 September 2018

In this interview conducted as part of a Literary Cleveland storytelling project, Veronica Robinson talks about her parents' move from Thomaston, Georgia, to Cleveland, where her father served in the military and her mother worked as a welder. Robinson was born in 1959 in Cleveland and grew up in the Cedar-Central neighborhood. She discusses St. James A.M.E. Church, the Hiram House camp, East Tech High School, and the Cleveland-based R&B group the O'Jays. Much of the interview focuses on her…

Kamilah Moore-El interview, 29 September 2018

Kamilah Moore-El describes growing up in the Woodland Hills neighborhood on Cleveland's East Side in the 1980s. She discusses Woodland Hills Park, attending John Adams High School, John Marshall High School, and MLK High School, the Sidaway Bridge, and living in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood since 1990. This interview was recorded as part of a Literary Cleveland storytelling project at the Mt. Pleasant branch library.

Stan Kain and Steve Traina interview, 15 June 2017

In this interview Stan Kain, former owner and proprietor of La Cave – a 1960s-era folk and rock venue in the Doan's Corners (Euclid Avenue and East 105) neighborhood – reminisces about the club's genesis, its many seminal performers, and the evolving life of the immediate neighborhood. Stan is accompanied by Steve Traina, a former associate, radio host, and music promoter and historian, who is writing a book about La Cave.

John Lonsak interview, 08 June 2017

John Lonsak, the former Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Library, discusses the evolution of the library profession. He goes into detailed accounts of how libraries were managed, when he first started in the field, in the 1970s. He then uses those examples to show how library systems have became more sophisticated. Lonsak also acknowledges how transformative the passing of bond issues, heightened community engagement, the digitization of materials and records, as well as the…

Bianca Butts interview, 18 May 2017

Bianca Butts is the Director of Marketing and Greater Outcomes at the East End Neighborhood House. As a long-time resident of the Greater Buckeye neighborhood, she compares and contrasts her impressions and views of the neighborhood, from a child to an adult. She strongly believes that the Buckeye neighborhood is on the rise. The beauty, culture, and neighbor camaraderie she remembers as a child still is evident in Buckeye.

James Jones interview, 18 May 2017

James Jones is the Community Ambassador at East End Neighborhood House. As a community leader, Jones expresses the importance of sustainability, beautification and youth empowerment to the development of the Greater Buckeye neighborhood. He believes that community development derives from resident-led initiates.

Annie Byers interview, 18 May 2017

Annie Byers is a Granny at East End Neighborhood House. By working in this capacity, she believes that the reluctance of parents to be involved in their children's lives and their disdain for constructive criticism has contributed to the decline of the neighborhood. She expresses this view by delineating some of her life experiences that led her to become sensitive to the plight of children.

Rachel Groce interview, 18 May 2017

Rachel Groce is a Rap Specialist at East End Neighborhood House. Groce's relationship to the surrounding neighborhood developed through her work at East End Neighborhood House. She mentions some of the more noticeable changes that have taken place in the immediate Buckeye neighborhood over the past few years.

Megan Gurley interview, 18 May 2017

Megan Gurley is an enrollment specialist for East End Neighborhood House's childcare program. Gurley has had a long and lasting relationship with the Buckeye neighborhood and East End Neighborhood House. From the various ties she has made in the community, she identifies some of the challenges present in the neighborhood and notes how East End Neighborhood House has tried to meet those challenges.

Gary Horvath interview, 10 December 2015

Gary Horvath, a Golden Gloves champion bantam weight boxer during the 1960, talks about his amateur career and about his long-time association with Jimmy Bivins, a Cleveland African-American heavy weight boxer, who was the "Duration" champion during World War II.

Lyn Cooper Tomaszewski interview, 13 April 2017

Lyn Cooper Tomaszewski, the founding Director of Interact of Great Cleveland, discusses the challenges and awe inspiring work of Cleveland's inter-religious non-profit. She describes her first day on the job at The Church of Transfiguration with only a folding table and a phone and then traces the growth of the non-profit until it closed its doors in 2012. Many of the service and collaborative programs that still exist day were once part of Interact of Greater Cleveland from the Hunger Center to…

Timothy Hudak interview, 22 March 2017

Tim Hudak, author and publisher of eight books about high school football, talks about his experience in the writing and publishing industry. As a graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, he began by documenting local games and researching school football histories. He specializes in writing school-specific stories but expanded his research to trace the history of Cleveland's high school football championship, The Charity Game. In the interview, Tim highlights the stories of local…

Catherine Poulsen interview, 20 February 2017

Catherine "Cookie" Poulsen, was born in Cleveland in 1950. She was encouraged to interview with Republic Steel through a class assignment. The day after she graduated from high school she started work at Republic Steel in the filing department. Poulsen worked her way up through the ranks at Republic and LTV Steel after the merger in 1984. She worked several departments, including payroll, insurance claims, human resources, and sales. She describes Republic Steel as a family company where all the…

Sabra Scott interview, 01 December 2016

This interview was proposed to gain further insight into the development of the African American Cultural Gardens in Cleveland, Ohio. Sabra Scott recounted how she became involved in the construction of the gardens as well as what the gardens symbolize.

Karen Ault interview, 13 October 2016

This interview was conducted for the purpose of gaining insight to the organization East Side Inter-faith Ministries (ESIM) of Cleveland, Ohio. Although information regarding this topic was discussed, the interview also encompassed other topics. The common thread in the interview was the Presbyterian mission of social justice and activism. Karen Ault's life story was told through this interview. She explained how the Presbyterian faith was a constant and important factor in the trajectory of her…

Donna Ciborowski interview, 06 October 2015

Donna Ciborowski was born to a Polish immigrant family. The family took up residence in the Warszawa neighborhood in South Broadway, where Ciborowski subsequently spent her childhood. She discusses the importance of the church in the community, specifically St. Stanislaus. She also discusses numerous Polish traditions that the community continues to observe. Ciborowski notes the change in the neighborhood as Poles started to move to the suburbs. Finally she discusses the origin of the term…

Rita Golubski interview, 04 November 2015

Rita Golubski grew up in a Polish immigrant family. After immigrating to the United States, the family lived in several Polish neighborhoods around the Cleveland area and eventually settled in Warszawa, a Polish enclave near South Broadway. Golubski describes the social environment of Warszawa and the Polish community that called it home. Golubski reflects on the centrality of St. Stanislaus church and the many changes in the neighborhood over time.

Frank Azman interview, 07 July 2015

Frank Azman, third generation owner of Azman & Sons market discusses the business his faimly has operated in Cleveland since 1924. Mr. Azman talks about how the business got started, his process of making Slovenian sausage, some of the original equipment since in use in the shop, and what the market was like in its heyday.

Jeff Gotschall interview, 15 July 2015

Jeff Gotschall President Emeritus of SIFCO Indsutry Inc. speaks about many aspects of the business. Mr. Gotschall spent his career working for SIFCO and worked his way through the company over 40 years until finally becoming President. Now retired, Mr. Gotschall reflects on his time at the company, the history of SIFCO, what they do best, and where the business might go in the future.

Barb Rogers interview, 12 August 2015

Barb Rogers currently co-owns Maple Lanes Bowling Alley Tavern with her sister, a bar and bowling alley they inherited from their mother and aunt. Mrs. Rogers discusses what makes the alley unique, such as the semi-automatic pin setters and the maple wood lanes. The bowling alley has been owned by Barb Rogers family since the 1960s and she reflects on her memories of the business, why she has kept the lanes operational and the significance of the building and business to her family.

Joe Isabella interview, 01 August 2015

Joe Isabella, 88 year old son of the founder of Isabella Bros. Bakery on West 69th Street in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood of Cleveland talks about growing up on West 69th Street in the 1930s and 1940s. At the time, the street had many neighborhood shops on it--groceries, candy stores, barber shops, etc. Joe talks about his father Anthony's immigration experience; how his parents met; and how they built a baker on West 69th which one Plain Dealer reader called the west side "Cathedral of…

Christopher Roy interview, 18 March 2015

Christopher Roy shares an extremely detailed account of his life growing up in Cleveland Heights. As Roy reflects on his childhood, he illuminates the changes that took place in the suburb during the 1960s and 1970s. Roy engages on a journey of Cleveland Heights' transformation from a place of ethnic enclaves to the rise of the counterculture. He provides such a well informed history of the neighborhood, while still emphasizing a child's most dearest memories of playgrounds, disengaged teachers…

Pat Kinnear interview, 2014

Pat Kinnear talks about her grandfather, Michael Girardi, who was instrumental in building St. Rocco's Church on Fulton road, and about growing up on Trent Avenue in the Fulton Road neighborhood of Cleveland. She describes her grandparents' involvement in the church.

Debra Martin interview, 29 April 2014

Debra Martin is the wife of Leo Martin, who was interviewed earlier. She grew up in Glenville, then moved out of Glenville to East Cleveland at the age of 13. She went to Sacred Heart Catholic High School.

Michael DeAloia interview, 28 April 2014

Michael DeAloia is the former "Tech Czar"/Senior Director of Technology Development in the city of Cleveland and the author of "Lost Cleveland." He shares in knowledge of Bond's Clothing Store, the department store that was known for its $15 two-piece men's suits. DeAloia also discusses "Short Vincent," a small stretch of road from E 6th to E 9th street known for the nightlife and entertainment. He also discusses the downfall of Bond's and of Short Vincent in general during the late 1960s-1970s.

Lilian Pyles interview, 14 April 2014

Lilian Pyles is the sister of Majorie Pyles-Hearst. Lilian was her older sister. They moved to Cleveland from Kentucky, and later on in her life she moved to NYC. She moved back to Cleveland in her later adult years.

Leo Martin interview, 13 March 2014

Leo Martin grew up in Glenville, living on Empire as well as e. 120th, until he moved after high school. He met his wife through friends at Glenville High School, and they have been married for 42 years.

Joan Southgate interview, 25 March 2014

Joan Southgate is best known for engaging in a walk from the southern United States to Canada to reenact the journey of the freedom seekers on the underground railroad. Southgate relates her inspiration for committing to the walk and what the walk symbolizes personally and broadly. She also emphasizes what resulted from her ambitious and meaningful walk. Her work precipitated a revived interest in Cleveland's involvement in the underground railroad.

Marjorie Pyles-Hearst interview, 13 March 2014

Marjorie Pyles-Hearst moved to Glenville from Kentucky as a child. She was actively involved in Glenville, especially Glenville High School, where she was crowned homecoming queen. Glenville High School inspired her to be a teacher. She was a teacher in NYC, and then moved back to Cleveland, where she lives in Cleveland Heights now.

Doug Patterson interview, 11 March 2014

Doug Patterson grew up near Columbia in Glenville. He moved to Glenville when he was 8. After school he became the head of an entertainment booking company.

Jerry Suhar interview, 11 March 2014

Jerry Suhar was invovled with the Euclid Tavern for fifteen years, from 1979-1990. First, he cooked for the establishment, serving what he coined as "Pittsburgers" since he was replicating a sandwhich from the Strip district of Pittsburgh. Then in 1980, he began to host open mic nights on Monday nights for the college crowds. When students failed to come onstage, Suhar began to perform stand-up and sing. He would even perform classical music because of his experience as a voice major at the…

Sandra Walker interview, 15 February 2014

Sandra Walker is a retired judge who lived in Glenville from her childhood up until her undergraduate college years. She worked at her parents' restaurants during her youth, and later became a nurse and judge in her adulthood. She lives in Shaker Hts. now.

Rosemarie Dadante interview, 28 January 2014

Rosemarie Dadante, through sharing stories of her past, explains how vital catholic churches were to ethnic enclaves in Cleveland. The church became the center for community building, entertainment and celebrations. Additionally, Dadante's experiences highlight the transformation of the Italian neighborhood on the west side of Cleveland.

Gladys Martinez interview, 16 January 2014

Gladys Martinez, originally from Guatemala, describes how she made a life for herself in Cleveland after arriving in the United States when she was only ten. Martinez took advantage of the educational opportunities that the United States offered. Her traditional cultural and family values kept her focused on the future and her personal betterment. Martinez's story highlights how education transforms lives regardless of ethnic backgrounds.

Ed Kovacic interview, 02 January 2000

Edward Kovacic, former Police Chief with the Cleveland Police Department, discusses his involvement investigating the assassination plot against Mayor Dennis Kucinich in 1978. He discusses how the CPD found out about the case, his investigation of the plot, his interactions with the assassin, "The Old Man," and why the investigation ended without an arrest. Other topics include his beginnings with the police department, the Maryland State Police, Dennis Kucinich's relationship with the CPD,…

Thomas Sherman interview, 12 June 2013

Tom Sherman wraps up his World War II Marine career and covers his civilian career of 50 plus years work in the electrical transmission industry during this followup interview.

Thomas Sherman interview, 10 June 2013

Tom Sherman relates his experiences as a Marine paratrooper during World War II. He fought in the battle of Iwo Jima and occupied Japan following the surrender.

Timothy Misny interview, 10 February 2012

Cleveland area personal injury attorney speaks about his maternal grandfather's involvement with Terminal Tower construction as a bricklayer who was killed in an accident on site, his maternal grandmother taking him to see the tower and telling him about his grandfather, and the law offices he eventually opened there. Also speaks to Rapid Transit Authority lawsuit.

Steve H Taylor interview, 13 October 2011

This interview with Cleveland Zoo Director, Steve Taylor, includes a brief history of CLE Zoo, focusing on future and continued conservation and public involvement.

Tim Daley interview, 12 August 2011

Timothy Daley, Executive Director at Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, describes his involvement with the monument, beginning with his time as a volunteer. He passionately describes the monument's architectural details and what they symbolize. He explains why the current location of the monument was chosen and describes its controversial history. In addition, he provides insight as to the future plans for the monument in terms of its maintenance and restoration.