Browse Interviews

1204 total

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,…

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Bill Jirousek Interview, 2002

Bill Jirousek, a representative of the Rusin Cultural Garden, discusses how an ethnic group establishes a new garden, the steps in the application process, and the stages of garden formation. He also discusses a new sense of professionalism and organization in the Cultural Garden Federation as it pertains to the Design and Preservation Committee.

Alfonso D'Emilia interview, 2002

Alfonso D'Emilia, a representative of the Italian Cultural Garden, discusses the history of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. He discusses the gardens that are in a formative state, the importance of heritage. There is also a discussion about the Italian Cultural Garden, from vandalism and future plans, to its inspiration, founders, and sculpture. The interview ends with a brief history about the ethnic enclave of Little Italy.
Poor sound quality.

George Parras interview, 2002

George Parras, President of Cultural Gardens Federation, describes the history and upkeep of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. As President, Mr. Parras believes the gardens exemplify an enduring message of peace. He discusses how he became President of the gardens, establishing a new garden, festivals within the gardens, and trying to recieve national landmark status from the federal government. Topics include safety, world peace, and preserving the Doan Brook.
Poor sound quality.

Lenone McCaslin interview, 2002

In this short interview, Lenone McCaslin discusses safety within Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. She recollects on her childhood memories at the Cultural Gardens, theft and violence in the gardens, and her thoughts on restoration.
Poor sound quality.

Ben S. Stefanski II interview, 2002

Ben S. Stefanski II, of the Polish Cultural Garden, recollects on his involvement in Cleveland's Cultural Garden. He discusses his earliest memories of the Cultural Gardens, the importance of the Polish Cultural Garden in particular, flowers and layout of the Cultural Gardens, and the creation of busts within the Polish Cultural Garden. Other topics include his family history, vandalism and theft in the gardens, and the uniqueness of the Cultural Gardens.
Poor sound quality.

Andrew Chakalis interview, 2002

Andrew Chakalis, project coordinator for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and Greek Cultural Garden delegate, discusses the restoration of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. He discusses how and why gardens are being restored, future plans for the gardens, and the city's involvement with the gardens as a whole. Other topics include how he got involved with the gardens, landscape within the Greek Cultural Garden, and community involvement in the gardens.
Poor sound quality.

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Lena Pogrebinski interview, 2002

Lena Pogrebinski, a Ukranian immigrant who came to the United States in 1991, discusses her involvement in the Ukranian Cultural Garden. Coming to the United States as a political refugee, Ms. Pogrebinki describes her family's journey from Ukraine to the United States. She discusses how she came to the United States, why her family left Ukraine, and why her family came to Cleveland. Ms. Pogrebinki goes on to describe how she became involved with the Ukrainian Cultural Garden, what she does at…

Anthony Yen interview, 2002

Anthony Yen discusses the history of the Chinese Cultural Garden, from its planning to its completion. Mr. Yen describes the trials and tribulations in obtaining the land and the drive to have the gardens become a national landmark designation. Other topics include the fiolage within the Chinese Cultural Garden, future plans of the garden, and vandalism.

Jeff Davis Interview, 2 October 2002

In this interview, Jeff Davis discusses his role as delegate to the African American Cultural Garden. Mr. Davis touches on how he became involved with the gardens, groups involved with the garden, and what the gardens represent as a whole. He then goes on to discuss the obstacles for the African American Cultural Garden, how those obstacles can be met, and why there are no busts within the garden. Other topics include the history, present state, and future plans for the garden.

Georgia Pappas Interview, 6 October 2002

In this short interview, Georgia Pappas, a first generation Greek immigrant, discusses her early memories of Cleveland. She recalls going to the West Side Market, visiting department stores, and shopping at boutiques on East 6th Street. She never knew of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens until 1996. Ms. Pappas discusses her first visit, why she was there, and who she was with. The interview ends with a discussion about her love for both Greece and the United States.

Cordell Edge Interview, 14 October 2002

Cordell Edge, a delegate of the African American Garden, discusses her involvement with the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Ms. Edge describes how she got her start in the African American Cultural Garden, what her role is within the Cultural Garden Federation, and how the garden was created. Other topics include her memories of the gardens and how the neighborhood surrounding the gardens has changed over time.

Perrin Carpenter Interview, 14 October 2002

The manager of the Rockefeller Greenhouse, a building located in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, Perrin Carpenter describes the duties of her position and the day to day activities at the greenhouse. Ms. Carpenter also discusses the different entities involved with the care and maintenance of the gardens, financial and horticultural responsibilities, the planning of future gardens, and special events within the garden boundaries.

John Grabowski interview, 14 October 2002

Dr. John Grabowski, history professor at Case Western Reserve University, discusses how the issues of World War II and the Cold War are emulated through Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. According to Dr. Grabowski, the gardens became a symbolic and physical manifestation of the pluralism within the United States during the 1940s and 1950s. Dr. Grabowski also discusses the creation of multiple gardens, the riots and vandalism that took place within the gardens in the 1960s, Cold War ideology, and…

Erika Puussaar and Rita Tubalkain, 24 October 2002

Erika Puussaar and Rita Tubalkain reflect on their time working in the Estonian Cultural Garden. Both coming to the United States in the early 1950s, Ms. Puussaar and Ms. Tubalkain discuss their memories of Estonia. They describe what it was like to be an immigrant coming to the United States, early jobs taken, and surviving an unfamiliar landscape. Ms. Puussaar and Ms. Tubalkain also discuss their involvement in Cleveland's Cultural Gardens, problems with funding, statuaries in the Estonian…

Jim Cull Interview, 30 October 2002

Jim Cull, delegate of the Finnish Cultural Garden, discusses his role in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Mr. Cull is chair of a development committee responsible for trying to find ways to increase funding and membership for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. As delegate to the Finnish Cultural Garden, Mr. Cull discusses statues within the garden, future plans for garden, and the need for local support from the community at large. There is also a discussion about vandalism, neglect, and development…

Bill Jirousek Interview, 2 December 2002

Bill Jirousek discusses the guidelines and perameters for establishing a garden within the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. He explains the difference between officially established gardens and the gardens in the process of establishing themselves. Mr. Jirousek mentions the importance of fundraising and safty within the gardens toward their future success. There is a discussion about the guidelines each garden must abide by when deliberating about new sculptures and the steps necessary for an ehtnic…

Edward Pershey interview, 2004

This 2004 interview with Ed Pershey of the Western Reserve Historical Society deals with the Dr. Pershey's education, including firsthand recollections of events at Case Western Reserve University, and goes into detail about programming at WRHS, in particular an exhibit about Carl Stokes and Louis Stokes.

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Robert Cavano interview, 03 August 2004

This 2004 interview with Robert Cavano touches on a number of topics, including the history and operations of the City Club of Cleveland, and local history and politics.

Len Calabrese Interview, 2004

In this 2004 interview, Len Calabrese discusses his involvement in the City Club of Cleveland, Ohio. According to Calabrese, it is a place for community outreach, fostering community and diversity. He says, “I appreciate having a place where different viewpoints can be expressed.” A portion of the interview focuses on corporate and philanthropic contributions, membership and programming. During the interview, Calabrese also talks about memorable events and speakers. At the end of the interview,…

Ione Briggs Interview, 2004

In this 2004 interview, Ione Briggs talks about racism and women’s issues in the City of Cleveland. Briggs discusses the role and impact of the Cleveland Chapter of the NAACP. She discusses the racism in city administration and the politics of working for the city. The later part of the interview includes discussion of the City Club. Brings discusses some of the memorable speakers at the City Club which included individuals such as Cesar Chavez, Robert Kennedy and Jane Fonda. She also talks…

Meros Rodis Interview, 2005

An interview with three members of the Hellenic Preservation Society, a society devoted to the restoration and preservation of Greek Culture in North East Ohio. Being delegates of the Greek Cultural Garden as well, they discuss who and what is represented inside the garden's boundaries. They wish for the gardens to become nationally recognized, and recollect on a time when the Greek Cultural Garden hosted a One World Day. Other topics include immigration to Cleveland, the start of the Cultural…

Frank Leonardi Interview, 2005

Frank Leonardi, a stone cutter and immigrant from Italy, recollects on his life in Cleveland Mr. Leonardi came to the United States when he was thirteen and his family settled on the east side of Cleveland in the ethnic enclave known as Little Italy. Mr. Leonardi became a stone cutter and graduated from the eighth grade at the age of fifteen. He discusses his family history, buying stones from the Cleveland Quarry, opening up his business, and working in downtown Cleveland. (interview cuts out)

Bud Weidenthal Interview, 2005

Bud Wiedenthal discusses his family and their role in Cleveland and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. His Great Uncle, Leo Wiedenthal, was influential in the creation of both the Hebrew Cultural Garden and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens as a whole. He discusses his family history, memories of Leo, and Leo's connection to Zionism.

Paul Burik and Mila Hyuner Interview, 2005

Paul Burik, the delegate of the Czech Cultural Garden, discusses his role in Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. He discusses statuaries within the Czech garden, the history of the Czech Republic, Czech neighborhoods in Cleveland, and his experiences growing up in Cleveland. Other topics include events within the gardens, promotion of the gardens, and how the gardens are advertized.

Bill Leshinetsky Interview, 2005

Bill Leshinetsky, a representative of the Ukrainian Cultural Garden, discusses the continued presence of Ukrainians throughout the Cleveland area. An immigrant from western Ukraine, Mr. Leshinetsky came to the United States in 1950. He discusses his life prior to coming to the United States, what would have happened if he had stayed in Ukraine, and the life he created for himself in a foreign country. Mr. Leshinetsky also discusses the creation, maintenance, and sculptures within the Ukrainian…

Jim Cull Interview, 2005

In this short interview, Jim Cull, the Chair of the Development Committee for the Cultural Garden Federation, discusses the topic of security within Cleveland's Cultural Garden. He touches on wrongful preconceptions, securing the surrounding neighborhood, and future security plans. Other topics include the importance of creating a cultural center of education, public access, and utilizing technology to create a safe place.

John Krewisky interview, 2005

John Krewisky, a representative of the Rusin Cultural Garden, discusses the history and culture of the Carpatho-Rusin community of Cleveland. He discusses the establishiment of the Rusin Cultural Garden, who took care of it over the years, and how it is currently maintained. Other topics include the Carpatho-Rusin communities in other cities, the importance of Byzantine Christianity for the community, and Carpatho-Rusin origins.
The first half of this interview was lost.

Anthony Yen interview, 2005

Anthony Yen discusses the history of the Chinese Cultural Garden, from its planning to its completion. Mr. Yen describes the trials and tribulations in obtaining the land and the drive to have the gardens become a national landmark designation. Other topics include the foliage within the Chinese Cultural Garden, future plans of the garden, and creating what became known as Teacher Day.

Klaus Roy interview, 2005

Klaus Roy spoke at the dedication of the Hungarian Cultural Garden at One World Day 1975. Mr. Roy recollects on the day, from who was there to the music that was played. There is also a discussion regarding the struggles of Hungary as a nation and its inhabitants. Other topics include garden restoration, Hungarians in Cleveland, and other Hungarian cultural outlets.

George Parras interview, 2005

George Parras, President of Cultural Gardens Federation, describes the history and upkeep of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. As President, Mr. Parras believes the gardens exemplify an enduring message of peace. Topics include safety, world peace, and preserving the Doan Brook.

Phyllis M. Glaeser, 11 March 2005

Phyllis M. Glaeser, President of the Federation of German American Society of Greater Cleveland, discusses Cleveland's Cultural Garden. She discusses her role as President of the Federation of German American Society of Greater Cleveland and as a delegate of the German Cultural Garden. Ms. Glaeser recollects on her family history, growing up in Cleveland and the different activities the German community of Cleveland is pursuing. Other topics include vandalism, the growth of the gardens as a…

Hedvika Sfiligoj Interview, 29 March 2005

Hedvika Sfiligoj, a Slovenian immigrant who came to Cleveland in 1952, discusses her life throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Ms. Sfiligoj discusses where she worked and shopped, who she befriended and met, and where she sent her children to school. Other topics include Euclid Avenue, how Cleveland has changed, coming to the United States, and living in Slovenia as a child. She describes her early memories of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, vandalism within the gardens,…

Elizabeth Szabolcs Interview, 31 March 2005

Elizabeth Szabolcs, a first generation immigrant from Hungary, discusses her life in Hungary and the United States. Ms. Szabolcs discusses her experience during World War I and World War II, her family history, coming the United States, and living in Cleveland.

George Dobriah Interview, 3 April 2005

In this interview, Dr. George Dobriah discusses the Romanian community of Cleveland and their relationship with the Romanian Cultural Garden. He reflects on how and why the garden started, the bust of George Enescu, and the participation of the local Romanian community in regards to the garden. Other topics include his church community, family history, Romanian culture, and the Romanian Art Museum.

Harry A. Davis Interview, 4 April 2005

Harry A. Davis, a delegate of the American Legion Peace Cultural Garden, discusses his role and memories of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens. Other topics include restoration, previous events within the gardens, One World Day, and community involvement.

John A. Krewisky Interview, 5 April 2005

John A. Krewisky, caretaker of the Rusin Cultural Garden, discusses the history of the garden. He discusses his family and what it was like for them to be immigrants, Rusin culture, and Rusin customs. Other topics include safety, neighborhood perception, and leaving as caretaker.

Charles Couch Interview, 7 April 2005

Charles Couch, professor at Cleveland State University, discusses his experiences while playing with the Cleveland Orchestra. He recalls his audition, how he chose the trumpet, and the influence different music conductors had on the orchestra. He discusses performing and practicing at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center, personal milestones, playing in Mexico.

Maria Minko Interview, 10 April 2005

Maria Minko, a first generation Ukrainian immigrant, recollects on her life in Ukraine and the United States. There is a detailed conversation regarding life in Ukraine during World War II. Other topics include World War II, family history, coming to the United States, and establishing a life in Cleveland.

Valerie Coates Interview, 18 April 2005

Valerie Coates, the delegate for the African American Cultural Garden, discusses the African American experience in Cleveland and abroad. She discusses the formation of African American Cultural Garden, how it came to be, and the garden's future plans. Other topics include influential African Americans throughout history, slavery, and African American life in the mid 1900s.

Florence Unetich interview, 19 April 2005

Florence Unetich describes her family's migration from Austria to the United States, the Slovenian community in Cleveland, her involvement with Slovenian Cultural Garden, and numerous issues in recent Cleveland history.