Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Cleveland Heights"
79 total

Brynna Fish Interview, 17 August 2023

Brynna Fish (b. 1957) grew up in Youngstown and studied social work at Yeshiva University before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1979. In this interview, she discusses her involvement at the intersection of Cleveland's Jewish and lesbian communities, as well as her work with coordinating the annual Womyn's Variety Show and music festivals with Oven Productions and her founding of Chevrei Tikvah, a gay and lesbian synagogue, in 1983. She reflects on various gay and lesbian bars in Cleveland, and…

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Debra Hirshberg Interview, 11 July 2023

Debra Hirshberg (b. 1954) grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Cleveland in 1972 to attend Case Western Reserve University. She discusses coming out as a lesbian in the 1970s and becoming an active member of the East Side lesbian feminist community in Cleveland Heights in the mid-1970s. Hirshberg describes her involvement in Cleveland Heights' vibrant lesbian feminist communities in the 1970s and 1980s, including her role as a founding member of lesbian feminist collectives Hag House…

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John Nosek and Leon Stevens Interview, 15 August 2023

John Nosek (b. 1949) and Leon Stevens (b. 1948) are native Clevelanders who grew up on the east side. They discuss the Cleveland gay community in the 1970s and '80s, including managing the Gay Educational and Awareness Resource (GEAR) Foundation's High Gear newspaper in its early years and their gay activism in the mid- to late 1970s. Nosek and Stevens detail the early history of GEAR, its Gay Hotline, and its long struggle to establish what eventually became the LGBT Community Center of Greater…

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Sally Tatnall Interview, 19 July 2023

Sally Tatnall (b. 1937) grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved to East Cleveland in the 1960s. She discusses developing her political consciousness through her involvement in civil rights activism in Cleveland. She discusses moving to Cleveland Heights, becoming an active feminist, and coming out as a radical lesbian feminist in the 1970s. Tatnall discusses becoming active in Cleveland Heights' East Side lesbian feminist communities and her role as as a founding member of the lesbian collective…

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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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Rob Pryor interview, 22 August 2018

Rob Pryor, co-owner of Record Revolution in Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights, provides a history of the legendary Coventry store and describes Coventry's youth culture in the 1980s and 1990s. Pryor grew up in Cleveland Heights in the 1970s and moved to the Coventry area in the mid-1980s. An avid skateboarder, Pryor started working at Record Revolution, which also sold skateboards. He discusses the diverse and often eccentric "characters" of Coventry's scene in the 1980s-90s. He provides an…

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George Fitzpatrick interview, 15 August 2018

George Fitzpatrick, artist and former manager of Heights Art Theater, describes some of the Coventry characters that he ran into over the years working on and patronizing the commercial strip in Cleveland Heights. He discusses Coventry's older era as a Jewish business district and its transformation into a countercultural hub for the region, police efforts to crack down on drug use in the area, the district's popularity with the Hell's Angels, his interactions with Harvey Pekar, and the various…

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Rebecca and Christina Attenson interview, 10 August 2018

Sisters Rebecca and Christina Attenson share their memories of growing up in the Coventry area of Cleveland Heights and owning the store Attenson's Antiques and Books on Coventry Road. Although the self-described hippies have grown up, their legacy lingers in Coventry's commercial district where the bizarre is never surprising.

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Alan Rapoport interview, 14 August 2018

Alan Rapoport, former Mayor of Cleveland Heights and active community member, discusses how Cleveland Heights and, more particularly, Coventry changed from the 1960s through to the present. From his tenure on City Council and heavy involvement in the local community organization Coventry Neighbors Inc., he describes key initiatives, events, and innovative improvements that helped ensure that the city remained a vibrant, tolerant part of Greater Cleveland.

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David Woldman interview, 03 July 2018

Dave Woldman recalls his experiences in the Heights during the 1960s through the 1970s. He grew up in a conservative Jewish home, but later embraced the counterculture movement and the alternative lifestyles particular to Coventry Village.

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Frank Gerlak interview, 17 August 2018

Frank Gerlak, architect and urban planner, discusses the history of Coventry and, more generally, Cleveland Heights. Throughout this discussion he touches on the topics of streetcars, planned suburbs, public transportation, and the nation's obsession with the automobile, which concludes with thoughts on Cleveland's development, growth, and missed chances.

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Bruce Hennes interview, 29 August 2018

Bruce Hennes first heard about Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights as a teenager living in Canton, Ohio. Soon after high school he moved to Coventry, planted his roots, and became heavily involved in the community. He shares his experiences with and perspectives on Coventry Neighbors Inc., Coventry Community Development Organization, Coventry Village Special Improvement District, and the Coventry Street Fair.

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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.

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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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.

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…

Richard Baznik interview, 18 June 2008

Richard Baznik, University Historian at Case Western Reserve University, provides a detailed history of the development of the university and describes how the school responded to various national and local events and movements. He notes CWRU's relationship with other cultural and educational institutions in the area.

Christopher Hubbert interview, 18 June 2008

Christopher Hubbert grew up in Cleveland Heights and describes the area. Throughout his adult life he has lived in Forest Hills and he discusses the development of this neighborhood. He discusses the community atmosphere inherent in the Forest Hills neighborhood, which he attributes to strong resident associations.

Karen Novak interview, 13 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, Karen Novak, a freelance photographer and life long east-side Clevelander, talks about Cleveland's underground rock club scene during the 1990s. One of the venues that she discusses in great detail is the Euclid Tavern which was located at East 116th and Euclid in Cleveland. Ms. Novak reveals an immense amount of her knowledge of rock, punk and other bands from Cleveland and other bands that came to Cleveland in the 1990s. She recounts a number of interesting stories…

Ruth Dancyger and Sue Koletsky Interview, 02 July 2008

Ruth Dancyger, historian of Temple-Tifereth Israel, and Sue Koletsky, director of the temple museum, discuss the history of Temple Tifereth Israel at E. 105th Street in Cleveland, OH. Among the topics covered in depth are the history of Jews in Cleveland, the history of Zionism, the career of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, including his role at the synagogue and the important part he played in the early Zionist movement, the art and architecture of Temple-Tifereth Israel, the Coventry neighborhood…

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Alice Palda interview, 27 October 2016

Alica Palda describes her conservative upbringing. Then she explains how she evolved into a liberal urbanite. Her calling was the theatre and storytelling. She was employed with the Cleveland Public Library System and the Cleveland Heights Public Library System. She colorfully describes her life experiences as a children's librarian, a theatre enthusiast and a neighborhood integration advocate. She documents her time at the Karamu Theatre and her encounter with the Hough Riots.

Allan Peskin interview, 25 October 2016

Allan Peskin describes his early childhood in Cumberland, Maryland, and his family's arrival in Cleveland and eventual settlement in Cleveland Heights. The interview offers a colorful insight into the life of a young Jewish man living in a suburb of Cleveland. Peskin vividly describes growing up in Cleveland Heights. The interview also highlights Peskin's relationship to Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.

Eugenia Vainberg interview, 25 October 2016

Eugenia Vainberg, originally from Kiev, Ukraine, arrived in Cleveland as a Russian Jewish refugee in 1977. She starts by explaining the persecution she and other Jews had to face while living in communist Russia. For Vainberg, mathematical and scientific achievements were the common threads that wove throughout her life. Once she arrived in Cleveland, Vainberg explains that the Jewish community was strong and supportive. She and her family found great success in Cleveland and elsewhere in the…

Robert Arnold interview, 25 October 2016

Originally from Massachusetts, Robert Arnold discusses growing up during the Depression. He moved to Cleveland to be closer to his wife's family, who were longtime Clevelanders. Arnold actively served in World War II and explains in detail his involvement in the war. After the war Arnold became involved in the real estate business. He speaks to the integration of Cleveland neighborhoods. He enjoyed being involved in the local government and was elected Mayor of Cleveland Heights.

Jenifer B. Garfield interview, 25 October 2016

Jenifer Garfield grew up in New Orleans during the 1930s and 1940s. She describes growing up in the South. She moved to Cleveland after marrying a well-connected husband. She was involved in real estate and describes the changes in the Cleveland and Shaker Heights neighborhoods over the years. She and her husband were very involved in community organizations. She spends a considerable amount of time pinpointing where restaurants and businesses were in the Cedar Fairmount, Coventry, Shaker and…

Ruth V. Thompson interview, 25 October 2016

Ruth Thompson, originally from Pennsylvania, is an avid baseball fan. She discusses how important the Cleveland Indians have been in her life. The evolution of gender roles in the healthcare field and in general are expressed throughout the interview. A proponent of racial diversity, Thompson describes the integration of baseball teams and her neighborhood of Shaker Heights. Thompson describes the advances in healthcare especially in the genital biology field and women's health.

Marjorie M. Lamport Interview, 21 March 2014

Oklahoma native, Marjorie M. Lamport recalls her move to Cleveland and the changes that have occurred in the last fifty years. She begins by talking about her time in Oklahoma during the Great depression. She continues by saying that her husband told her that they were moving to Cleveland because of work. Once in Cleveland, they settled in Maple Heights, until she divorced her first husband and moved to Cleveland Heights. There she lived behind what is now Severance Town Center, which she…

Dorothy Kuhn Interview, 25 March 2014

Dorothy Kuhn, while not born in Cleveland, has spent nearly fifty years in Cleveland. She was born in Pennsylvania and describes what it was like picking up cans for the war effort during World War 2. She came to Cleveland after stints in California and St. Louis to become a nurse. She got her degree from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and was immediately hired to be on the faculty of the school. She mentions her husband and how they were active members at Grace Lutheran Church until…

William H. Collins Interview, 18 March 2014

William H. Collins, successful architect, spends a lot of time discussing the various projects he worked on throughout Cleveland. He begins, however, talking about growing up in Cleveland Heights, a place where he spent 84 years of his life. He recalls going to the Euclid-105th area and spending time at the movie theaters there. He also talks about the streetcars and how he would take them downtown. He remembers how he became an architect, and he continues by talking about his favorite projects…

Zelda Segal Interview, 25 March 2014

Massachusetts native, Zelda Segal discusses what it was like teaching at Boulevard School in Cleveland Heights for over thirty years. Segal gives a background of her life growing up during the Great Depression and attending college during World War 2. She then gives the reasons why she came to Cleveland; along with teling the story about how she got a master's in education. She worked for the Cleveland Heights school district for thirty years and relates many of those experiences. Integration…

Donald Kuhn Interview, 25 March 2014

Donald Kuhn describes his life from growing up on a truck farm in Avon to retiring in Cleveland Heights. He provides detailed and vivid memories of how places have changed and transformed over the years. He begins with Avon. He says that the pivotal moment in Avon was when they got the sewers in place. After that people began moving in droves. A similar situation happened in Cleveland Heights, but instead of creating sewers it was the removal of a ban on for sale signs. According to Kuhn, the…

Elizabeth Breckenridge Interview, 21 March 2014

Elizabeth Breckenridge, Chicago native, describes her time living in Cleveland. For a time in her life, Breckenridge taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). During this time, she lived in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. She relates what that was like. She also mentions what it was like to work alongside Viktor Schreckengost. She believed that his work while great was dated, and as a result, time and the rest of the world had passed him and CIA by.

Anne J. Cook Interview, 21 March 2014

Anne J. Cook, New York City native, took residence in Cleveland Heights beginning in 1951. After moving around Cleveland Heights, she and her husband finally settled in the Oxford School district where she remained for fifty years. She was involved with the League of Women Voters as its treasurer and was the first woman trustee of Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights. Due to her husband's job as a geologist, she and her husband created the Mineralogical Society of Cleveland where she is still an…

Gretchen Larson Interview, 25 March 2014

Gretchen Larson, Cleveland Native, discusses living in the Eastside suburbs of Cleveland. Born in East Cleveland, it was not long before her father took advantage of the Great Depression and moved them to a bigger, better house in Shaker Heights. She relates many memories about her time growing up on Southington Boulevard. These include how groceries were delivered directly to the house, how she once saw a runaway horse running down the street, and how people would pick the dandelions to make…

Alan Dean Buchanan interview, 24 June 2013

Alan Dean Buchanan has been the Judge in Cleveland Heights since 2001. He took over for Lynn Toler who was elected in 1994. Judge Buchanan was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He lived with his mother and older brother and attended Northwestern High School in Darlington, Pennsylvania. After high school he went to Princeton University in New Jersey. He was one of about 13 blacks in a graduating class of about 700. While at Princeton he wrote his senior thesis on Carl Stokes campaign in…

Joanne Lewis interview, 26 June 2013

Joanne Lewis, a native Clevelander, describes what it was like growing up in Cleveland and later Cleveland Heights. She describes what her father did for a living, which provided her and her family a decent lifestyle. She recalls what she used to do for fun like going downtown, using the streetcars, and drinking milkshakes. She talks about the WPA and the various projects it worked on, including Cain Park. She describes her many travels around the world. She also discusses her involvement in the…

Diana Woodbridge interview, 15 July 2013

Diana Woodbridge grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and Shaker Heights, attended college at Miami University, and taught school for a short time in Painesville, Ohio. She discusses the struggle for fair housing in the Heights in the 1960s-70s and the formation of two key organizations: Forest Hill Housing Corporation and Heights Community Congress.

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Doris Allen Interview, 4 August 2013

Doris Allen was originally born in Shelby, Alabama, and moved to Cleveland when she was two years old. She had a very established great uncle living in Cleveland, Robert Hardy, who was the first African American to own property east of East 55th Street in Cleveland. Her father was drafted into the Army when she was 9, and their family moved back to the South for one year while he served. She returned to Cleveland, moved into the Glenville neighborhood. She enjoyed her education in Glenville,…

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Sura Sevastopoulos Interview, 30 May 2013

Sura Sevastopoulos was born in Cleveland in 1948. She grew up with her mother and grandmother in Cleveland Heights, originally attended Coventry School, and recalls the walk to school quite vividly. She went to college at the Cleveland Insitute of Art, and while in school she worked at a nightclub called "La Cave," which featured many popular artists such as the Velvet Underground. Sura participated in antiwar marches down Euclid Avenue, and once lived on Hessler Road in the late 1960s. She…

Russell Baron Interview, 28 June 2013

Russell Baron grew up in Glenville before moving to Cleveland Heights. His father owned a haberdashery, a men's clothing store, where Baron worked during high school and college. Baron became a lawyer and worked in his father-in-law's practice before starting his own law practice. He was a member of the Cleveland Heights Board of Education and later, the Planning Commission. While in city governent, Baron worked to integrate the Cleveland Heights schools despite the protests of some residents.…

Judith VanKleef Interview, 23 May 2013

Born and raised in the Bronx, Judith VanKleef attended college at the University of Wisconsin. She moved to Cleveland's West Side in 1950 and then to Cleveland Heights in 1964. She discusses the shifting color line on Cleveland's East Side in the 1950s-60s and the impact of blockbusting on neighborhoods including her own. She details a blockbusting campaign in the Grant Deming's Forest Hill neighborhood in about 1967 or 1968 that catalyzed the reconstitution of a long defunct block club to try…

Leslie A. Jones Interview, 06 June 2013

Les Jones relates how he obtained a home in the community he had always dreamed about. As a child growing up in the Glenville neighborhood, Jones liked to ride his bike to Cleveland Heights, describing it as "going on a vacation" because it was like a different world to him. He rode his bike past the Forest Hill area and thought the houses were enchanting. He drew a picture of the houses at school and received an "A" on the drawing. Once he settled down and his children grew up, he purchased a…

E. Christine Morris Interview, 02 June 2013

Christine Morris was born in Columbus, Ohio, and had one brother. She grew up on the east side, but went to a school in the northern part of the city because her parents utilized her grandparent's address in the northern part of the city. She has fond memories of school and the neighborhood. She went on to Ohio University, and met her husband there, who was originally from Alabama. She finished her internship at the Cleveland Clinic. They lived first in the Mt. Pleasant area, and then moved on…

Dorothy Silver Interview, 26 July 2013

Dorothy Silver, a Detroit native, describes what drew her to Cleveland. She says that Cleveland was calling her because it was "receptive to various changes that needed to be made." She and her husband began used the theater as a stage to talk about desegregation. She discusses interracial shows at the time of the Hough Riots in 1966. She also discusses fair housing and mixed neighborhoods. She found it surprising that in her experience the people of Cleveland Heights were generally accepting.

Donald Ramos Interview, 24 June 2013

Donald Ramos was born in 1942 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to a family of Portuguese descent. He attended the University of Massachusetts, served in the U.S. Army, and enrolled in the doctoral program in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. He accepted a position in the History Department at Cleveland State University in 1971 but soon moved to First College, a newly created unit in the university, where he stayed until 1997, when he returned to chair the History Department. He…

Susanna Niermann O'Neil Interview, 25 June 2013

Susanna Neirmann O'Neil, a Cleveland Heights resident, worked for the Heights Community Congress and later for the city of Cleveland Heights. She worked to maintain the racial integration of the city and to promote Cleveland Heights to new residents in general. Building partnerships between realtors and the community was instrumental in achieving this goal. O'Neil helped create the Nine Point Plan, which successfully promoted a vibrant, integrated city. O'Neil stresses that the actions of the…

Kermit J. Lind Interview, 10 June 2013

Lind grew up in Kansas and, after college, attended graduate school at the University of Chicago. He taught at Cleveland State University and lived first on Cleveland's near east side, then in Euclid before choosing Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights as an escape from the racial intolerance he felt characterized Cleveland's suburbs in the early 1970s. Lind became active in testing compliance with fair housing laws and returned to school to earn a degree in law. In 1977 he assumed the…

Juanita Storey Interview, 14 April 2013

Juanita Storey and her husband moved into Cleveland Heights during a time of strong racial segregation. Race was the primary factor in determining where people lived. Realtors played a role in maintainig the racial segregation of the city. She describes the process of racial integration in the city during the 1960s at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The 1960s was a particularly interesting time in Cleveland Heights because of the diversity of attitudes among the city's residents. People…

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Susan C. Kaeser Interview, 22 May 2013

Susan Kaeser lived in Wisconsin through graduate school. She earned a master of urban planning degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, during which time she met Cleveland City Planning Director Norman Krumholz. Krumholz brought her to Cleveland to serve as a city planner. When she arrived in Cleveland in 1976 she lived first in the Ludlow neighborhood near Shaker Square before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1979. In the interview she discusses how she became a community activist, the…

Sarah Taylor Interview, 3 July 2013

Sarah Louisa Taylor and her husband, Phillip, were orginally from England. Sarah works at Case Western Reserve University as a research assistant and helps new faculty members settle into the area. The Taylors were active in the Open Housing Task Force in the 1970s, which helped prevent efforts by realtors to prevent the racial integration of Cleveland Heights. The Taylors invited one such realtor to their home to discuss the issue, which led to a lawsuit against the Taylors by the realty…