Browse Interviews

  • Contributor contains "Nemeth, Sarah (interviewer)"
30 total

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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Bob Gardin interview, 07 August 2017

Bob Gardin, of Big Creek Connects, grew up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, and has also been affiliated with the Tremont area. Informed by his background in business, politics, and urban planning, Gardin envisions an urban landscape where people are connected to the natural environment while still enjoying the benefits of living in the city. He remarks on the Jones Home Historic District, where he currently resides, and the importance of Cleveland's watersheds.

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Joan Komic interview, 04 August 2017

Joan Komic is a lifelong resident of Cleveland. Her family moved from the east side to Clark-Fulton when she and her sister were very young. She recalls her father's decision to leave Clark-Fulton out of concern about rising crime and move to Old Brooklyn. There she remembers playing with friends in the woods until I-480 destroyed them. Komic describes her current neighborhood, the Jones Home section of Brooklyn Centre. She relates how she started a block club on Daisy Avenue following an…

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Maria Agosto interview, 31 July 2017

Maria Agosto, president of the Young Latino Network and an academic adviser at Lincoln West High School, grew up in the West Boulevard neighborhood on Cleveland's West Side. She explains how the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community on the Near West Side, specifically in the Metro West area (Stockyards, Clark-Fulton, and Brooklyn Centre) is affected by various social and economic issues, including impending gentrification, the lack of a strong Hispanic professional culture, and the inadequate…

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Gloria Ferris interview, 20 July 2017

Gloria Ferris is an active member of Brooklyn Centre. She relates the rewards and challenges of community activism in the twenty-first century. After coming back into the realm of community engagement, Ferris cultivated a group of individuals to form the Brooklyn Centre Naturalists. From the efforts of this group, Ferris and others were able to create an action-oriented backyard habitat community initiative. Ferris goes into great detail of how the community has benefited from active engagement…

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Kathy Oberst Ledger interview, 10 July 2017

Kathy Oberst Ledger was born in New York and moved as a child to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Ledger recalls when Detroit Shoreway. After getting married she moved to the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, which she recalls had a large Appalachian population mostly from West Virginia. She recalls that many Spanish-speaking residents moved to Clark-Fulton from Tremont. She discusses taking over Judy's White Oaks, a bar her parents ran, and turning it into a nightclub called Diamond Dill's Tropical…

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Rebecca Kempton interview, 07 July 2017

Rebecca Kempton discusses growing up in the Clark-Fulton and Ohio City neighborhoods in the 1970s, including memories of Puerto Rican and Appalachian neighbors, Aragon Ballroom, West Side Market, and Tremont. She discusses her memories of the controversial school desegregation order to implement busing. She also recalls her decision to return to live in Clark-Fulton in 1999. She shares her affinity for historic preservation, her campaign to recall a city councilman, and her involvement in what…

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Art Ledger interview, 04 June 2017

Art Ledger, the son of migrants who left Alabama to work at Republic Steel in Cleveland, became the first African American taxidermist in the United States as well as the first African American to own property in his Near West Side neighborhood. He explains how the Near West Side has changed demographically over time. He discusses his childhood on the East Side and move to the Near West Side during high school, his experience as a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War, and how after his return he…

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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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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…

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…

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.

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…

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…

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…