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, which, at the time was going through a "transition." Their neighbors were mostly Jewish. When she was married and had children, she and her husband sought out housing through an unspecified real estate agency that steered them towards buying a home in Shaker Heights, though they wanted to live in Cleveland Heights. When they found a home they wanted to buy in Cleveland Heights, the agent was not pleased and said the house would be $2,000 more expensive. The original homeowners, however, sold the house to the Allens for the original price. The Allens were the first black family on the street and one of the first in the community. Their children were repeatedly stopped and questioned by the police, and in one case men with swastikas bombarded the YWCA in retaliation to integration of the Heights. They began the Committee to Improve Community Relations (CICR) to raise awareness of the discriminatory instances, and how to properly assess them.

Participants: Allen, Doris (interviewee) / Hollowell, Bethany (interviewer)
Collection: Racial Integration in the Heights
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

Interview Transcript

Bethany Hollowell [00:00:03] Today is Sunday, August 4th. I am in the home of Miss Doris Allen in Cleveland Heights. My name is Bethany Hollowell. Would you mind stating your full name for the record?

Doris Allen [00:00:15] Yes, it's Doris Maxine Allen.

Bethany Hollowell [00:00:19] OK. Would you please begin by telling me where you were born and what year.

Doris Allen [00:00:26] I was born in Shelby, Alabama, 1935, March 11th, 1935.

Bethany Hollowell [00:00:33] And what was it like in Alabama at that time?

Doris Allen [00:00:35] I have no idea. My parents migrated to Cleveland when I was 2 years old. And all I know is that I went back every summer for a three week vacation with my paternal grandfather, that I was young and, you know, I helped gather the eggs and milk the cows and ride the horses and that kind of thing, slop the pigs in the summer. That was part of my vacation to go back to his farm.

Bethany Hollowell [00:01:08] What did your parents come to Cleveland for?

Doris Allen [00:01:11] Because my grandparents, my great uncle - my grandmother's brother - was the first one to migrate to Cleveland. And he was the first black man to own any property or business east of 55th. So it was the custom then for black people. Once they began to do well, they would bring the rest of the family. So he brought a sister who was my grandmother, her husband and her children who were still in school here. And they lived in an apartment in one of the buildings he owned. And then as he amassed property, he brought the rest of the family here. So, you know, his mother and his niece. And then my parents and that's how we got here.

Bethany Hollowell [00:02:04] What what was your great uncle's name?

Doris Allen [00:02:06] Robert Hardy.

Bethany Hollowell [00:02:07] And what was his business?

Doris Allen [00:02:10] Real estate. He built homes. He lived in Euclid, Ohio. He built three houses there and that's where he and his wife... They never had any children. So I used to go out there on weekends. He didn't... His chauffeur would come and pick me up because I don't remember my uncle ever driving. I don't even know if he knew how to drive. But he always had the really luxury cars and the chauffeur and I would go and spend the weekends. I had a pet goat and a pet chicken and he raised chickens out [there] because you could do that then. But it used to seem like forever when we were driving there... even [though it] was Euclid, Ohio. It wasn't... The streets weren't paved like they are now. It was a long time, as you know. Are we there yet? It's my one of my favorite questions.

Bethany Hollowell [00:03:09] What did your grandparents do?

Doris Allen [00:03:12] My grandfather my grandfather worked for the railroad. And my grandmother was a homemaker.

Bethany Hollowell [00:03:23] And then what did your parents do when they first came to Cleveland and then what were they doing when you lived in Shelby, Alabama?

Doris Allen [00:03:32] I have no idea. I was 2 when we came here, so I have no idea. And my father... All I know is I he eventually worked for the YMCA.

Bethany Hollowell [00:03:46] So when you first came to Cleveland from Shelby a year or two or three, do you remember where you guys lived?

Doris Allen [00:03:58] Yeah. We lived in an apartment building that my uncle owned on East 85th Street.

Bethany Hollowell [00:04:09] [inaudible].

Doris Allen [00:04:11] Cedar. It was 2155 Cedar or East 85th pardon, off Cedar.

Bethany Hollowell [00:04:20] Do you remember what the house looked like?

Doris Allen [00:04:22] It was a huge apartment building. It was about I think it was. It must have had about probably about twenty four suites in it.

Bethany Hollowell [00:04:34] And who were the other tenants? Did your other family members work there?

Doris Allen [00:04:38] No. Just just the only people who lived in that apartment building was my grandmother and her family, my mother and my father and then my. His mother and an aunt they lived in another apartment building. I guess you would be like the custodians, you know, so you save your money. The whole idea was that each of his family members would save their money and purchase their own piece of property. That was... Owning a piece of property was very important to my family.

Bethany Hollowell [00:05:14] So while you were living on East 85th street, your parents were saving and working?

Doris Allen [00:05:23] Well, yes. And then the only thing I can remember is my father worked for the YMCA. I don't know when he worked there or when my mother worked in private family. You know, when I was 9, my father went into service. He was drafted into the Navy and then we went back down south and we stayed there for a year.

Bethany Hollowell [00:05:53] He went back down south. Why did you go back down there?

Doris Allen [00:05:57] Well, I guess because my mother wanted us to have a closer relationship with his family because my father's family was all there because she could save more money, because we lived in a house that her father built when she was a child.

Bethany Hollowell [00:06:18] So how old were you when you went back down to Alabama?

Doris Allen [00:06:21] Nine.

Bethany Hollowell [00:06:22] Do you remember what it was like going back? The difference between up north and then down south.

Doris Allen [00:06:30] There wasn't much difference for me. I know that we were treated differently because we were those kids from up north. So we didn't respond to white people the way that black people... They were accustom to and they were always - white people - always making excuses for us and say, oh, those are those kids from up north. So, you know. But I know there were no significant... Nothing significant happened while we were there.

Bethany Hollowell [00:07:11] I had an interview with someone whose family lived down south and he lived up north and then when he visited, when he was younger and he would talk to the white people down south and his cousins were shocked he was actually making starting a conversation and approaching to say hi to a white person in the South at those times. So that's the way that they.

Doris Allen [00:07:35] Well, my grandfather my father's father was a very respected business man. So I guess that's part of the reason that we weren't... That we... Part of it was that we came from the north. And part of it was that they they respected him.

Bethany Hollowell [00:07:54] What did he do? What did you make?

Doris Allen [00:07:57] Farming.

Bethany Hollowell [00:08:01] So after one year, you moved back up to Cleveland did you go back to 85th Street.

Doris Allen [00:08:08] No. My parents bought their own house. And we lived in the Glenville area area. [crosstalk] on Earl. Earl Avenue. My sister still lives in the house.

Doris Allen [00:08:25] Really? And then what was the house like?

Doris Allen [00:08:29] It's a big ole house. Four big bedrooms. A reception room, a living room, a dining room, a huge kitchen. So it was it was a very... It was a big house.

Bethany Hollowell [00:08:44] Did they build the house?

Doris Allen [00:08:45] No, no, no. The community was in transition. Then there was basically a Jewish community, an orthodox Jewish community and I went to Glenville and there were very few blacks in the school at that time.

Bethany Hollowell [00:09:04] So you were ten or eleven...

Doris Allen [00:09:07] Ten. I was ten when I was in elementary. I was still in elementary school. I think I was fifth grade. Miles Standish. It's now. I think it's Michael White now.

Bethany Hollowell [00:09:21] Do you have any fond memories from that school?

Doris Allen [00:09:25] I loved it. I loved it. I do remember that the minute we came back and my mother enrolled us in the school, that because we came from it, we had been in a southern school which was considered inferior. They tested us right away to see if I should be in the fifth grade and we tested off the charts. So no problem there. But I do remember that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:09:54] You have siblings?

Doris Allen [00:09:55] Yes. I'm the oldest of five. I have three brothers and one sister.

Bethany Hollowell [00:10:02] And. Were any of them born in the south?

Doris Allen [00:10:08] Only my brother next to me was two years younger than me. He was the only one born in the south. The others were born here.

Bethany Hollowell [00:10:16] What hospital were they born at.

Doris Allen [00:10:20] I have no idea.

Bethany Hollowell [00:10:22] So. Eddie, Eddie Road you said you lived on.

Doris Allen [00:10:27] No. Earl.

Bethany Hollowell [00:10:27] I'm sorry, Earl. What were what were the kinds of things you guys did as kids in Glenville? Parks or anything?

Doris Allen [00:10:37] Yeah, we did. Rockefeller Park. That was it was a huge park, of course, it's the cultural park. It has lots of cultural statues in it. Oh, yeah. Picnics. He went on picnics on holidays. We rode the bus to Euclid Beach or... Then we we usually took the bus wherever we were going as children. We took the bus to our church. That was in... That was on 89th and Cedar. So but we just did the things [like] roller skating and at the roller skating rink. Stuff like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:11:19] You remember what rink.

Doris Allen [00:11:21] It was called the Pla-Mor then.

Bethany Hollowell [00:11:26] What was that like?

Doris Allen [00:11:28] Oh, it was fun, you know. Learn how to dance on skates, how to dance to music and that kind of stuff. When you met friends, their friends who weren't friends, but the same people every week, acquaintances. So you knew you had a relationship with because you saw them every week.

Bethany Hollowell [00:11:45] Where was Pla-Mor located?

Doris Allen [00:11:49] Don't ask me. I don't even remember where it was located, but somewhere in and in the Cedar area. Let's see. We went to the movies. Things like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:12:05] Pla-Mor has now moved to the Euclid area.

Doris Allen [00:12:07] I don't know where it is. I have no idea.

Bethany Hollowell [00:12:09] It's still around

Doris Allen [00:12:10] OK, I'm surprised. I'm surprised. Yeah. We grew up roller skating. Now, my children don't know anything about roller skating, but they all ice skate. So it's just what was available in the community.

Bethany Hollowell [00:12:27] Did you ever ice skate?

Bethany Hollowell [00:12:29] No. There were no rinks in the in the ghetto, in the black community, no skiing, no nothing like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:12:39] Half of the reason I ask is because. I want to say it was Kingsbury Run or what would have been Woodland Hills, which is [inaudible]. I believe that ice skating...

Doris Allen [00:12:54] Oh, maybe so. OK, OK. But [inaudible] Park, that park didn't even come about until I was an adult.

Bethany Hollowell [00:13:05] Well, then maybe it was just a part of it. So I'm very interested in your great uncle. Obviously an entrepreneur in real estate. Could you tell me a little bit about what he was like?

Doris Allen [00:13:24] Well, like, as I said, he was he was married. They never had any children. So they really doted on my sister and me. I think when I was 14, maybe I worked in his office, real estate office. I collected rents and rents were twelve fifty a week. And I would go on the bus. I would ride the bus from his office on 79th and Cedar to 85th to 86th to 83rd to all the apartment buildings and collect rents and the money would be in a brown paper bag. Everybody knew what I was doing. Nobody ever. I had safe passage. The word on the street was nobody better touch or... So I would collect rents. And if there was a vacant property, then I would assess the property and see if it needed to be painted, what it needed. And that kind of thing. Write it down. And when I got back to the office, I would write all that stuff down so that he would have access to where the people were going and do what they had to do to rent it to the next person. So I loved the job. I made a bundle of money. Made twenty five dollars a week. And that was after school. You could work a couple hours after school. But boy, I was rich,.

Bethany Hollowell [00:14:57] For a fourteen year old, especially when people are paying twleve...

Doris Allen [00:15:00] Twelve fifty for rent, Yeah. Right. Yes. Yes. So. And he lived in Euclid, Ohio. And he he raised chickens in one of his properties. There was a poultry store and he sold his chickens to that poultry store. Then when he decided he wasn't going to raise chickens anymore, he converted the chicken house into a little house for me with a living room, a bed room and a screened in porch, no kitchen, or anything. Because when I went out on the weekends, I could always take friends with me. My friends could go out with me. We called it... It was a country. So, um, that's. That was about it. We went out and play with the goat and the chicken and.

Bethany Hollowell [00:15:50] Is his home still standing?

Doris Allen [00:15:52] I don't know. I don't have any idea. He built three homes side by side. I don't know if they're still there or not. I've never even... I've never... I never... I guess I just didn't have any desire to see if we're still standing.

Bethany Hollowell [00:16:11] Well, he was a great uncle, so he was probably older than your parents obviously.

Doris Allen [00:16:16] Oh, yes. Yes. But he passed at a very... I think he passed when he was fifty two. And I I can't remember what paper... In some paper they wrote him up. It was in the summer. I think it was a summer of '50 that he passed and I remember. I remember reading the obituary saying that he was the first black man to own any property or businesses east of 55th. But I think he was he was very young when he died.

Bethany Hollowell [00:16:53] His office was on 79th and Cedar you said.

Doris Allen [00:16:54] Uh-huh

Bethany Hollowell [00:16:56] What was the name of the office or the company?

Doris Allen [00:17:00] I don't I don't remember I I just remember it was in a frame house and downstairs was one part and upstairs was like where we kept books where their receipts were written and that kind of thing. So but I don't know if there was a formal name. I'm sure there was. I just didn't know what it was.

Bethany Hollowell [00:17:22] And these tenants they were collecting from, were they mostly African-Americans?

Doris Allen [00:17:28] Yes. Yes, they were.

Bethany Hollowell [00:17:33] You said you took the bus to church. Which church did you...

Doris Allen [00:17:37] Antioch.That's where I was baptized and that's where I was married. Antioch on 89th and Cedar.

Bethany Hollowell [00:17:45] Are you still connected with the church?

Doris Allen [00:17:47] Not at Antioch. No. I go to church in Cleveland Heights.

Bethany Hollowell [00:17:55] So going back to your home in Glenville, so you had four younger siblings and you said that the area was going through a transition. Could you comment on how you could tell that this transition was going on?

Doris Allen [00:18:15] Yes. One of one of the ways I could tell is that the Jewish temples... Some of the Jewish temples were being purchased by black churches. So that's that's a good sign of transition. But that took some time before before that happened. When we moved in the neighborhood, we had Jewish neighbors and across the street and on each side of us and I remember going to school and we would walk in the street. The one thing that I remember that is going to school in the morning, in the spring, in the summer, the doors would be open and you could hear the Jewish prayers, the men chanting the prayers in Hebrew, which was... Something about that was very comforting. And the Jewish mothers would come out on the porch and say, don't walk in the street, get out of the street, and we'd get out of the street until we got out of their sight and then we'd get back in the street. I don't know why we walked on the street in the first place, but I remember being very respectful of, you know, every adult.

Bethany Hollowell [00:19:34] Did she tell you not to walk in the street just because you guys were like a bunch of children, or was it discriminatory?

Doris Allen [00:19:41] I don't think it was discriminatory at all. Because we were walking in [the street]. Our groups were mixed groups.

Bethany Hollowell [00:19:49] So you had Jewish friends.

Doris Allen [00:19:50] Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Yes. I dated Jewish boys until I went to college. That's all there is available. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:20:01] So could you... I know you commented that you really enjoyed your school and your elementary. Then you went on to middle school.

Doris Allen [00:20:11] Empire.

Bethany Hollowell [00:20:13] Could you comment on sharing stories from Empire.

Doris Allen [00:20:18] Oh, I thought that was the best school in the world. I loved it and I loved my teachers. I was always a good student. I love my teachers. And I know that at some point my friends and I wanted to have all a Y teen club that was affiliated with the Y, but we had a lot of Jewish teachers and nobody was interested in doing it. But I talked a teacher into being our sponsor, Eleanor Eckhaus [?], and it was it was great. We did all kinds of things. It was a wonderful experience. It was a wonderful experience because our teachers, our schools were very integrated, including the the staff.

Bethany Hollowell [00:21:01] So you had good teachers?

Doris Allen [00:21:04] Yeah, well, a couple, a couple, yeah. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:21:11] So what was the YMCA, where was the YMCA located?

Doris Allen [00:21:14] It was on St. Clair, near 105th and St. Clair. But on St. Clair at that time.

Bethany Hollowell [00:21:24] Was it did it have a pool and [inaudible]?

Doris Allen [00:21:28] No. No. It was. No, it was just like the upper floor of a of a building. It didn't have any of the amenities that you associate with the Y, just clubs and stuff like that. Stuff you could do after school.

Bethany Hollowell [00:21:45] So you enjoyed going to the YMCA?

Doris Allen [00:21:50] YW.

Bethany Hollowell [00:21:51] It was called YW?

Doris Allen [00:21:53] Yeah, that's where we... That's where the Y Teen Clubs were. Those were girl teen girls clubs.

Bethany Hollowell [00:22:00] What's the difference between YW and the YMCA?

Doris Allen [00:22:04] Well, at that time... It may not be much different. The YW was always much more liberal and it catered to women and girls, the YM to men and boys, Young Men's Christian Association and Young Women's Christian Association at that time. There was only... The YMCA only had male staff and the YW had female staff. It's very different today.

Bethany Hollowell [00:22:32] Now that you say that, I remember there is a YWCA on the near east side Um. I want to say it's like near 55th and Prospect, do you know?

Doris Allen [00:22:47] No, I'm not... Listen, I grew up and worked for the YWCA, but I worked in the Heights. So I don't... And downtown then... But I don't I'm not familiar with where the Ys are now because if so... They've changed so much.

Bethany Hollowell [00:23:09] Did you ever go downtown as a child?

Doris Allen [00:23:13] Oh, yes. Yes. Downtown. We went downtown for lunch. Downtown... The Higbees to Halles to plays. Yeah. Went to the playhouse. The playhouse wasn't where it is now or where it was. A few years ago, it was a different building, children's theater. They had children's theater... To the Playhouse Theater. And that was when... Yeah. Severence Hall.

Bethany Hollowell [00:23:45] What plays did you see downtown?

Doris Allen [00:23:48] Oh, stuff. Well, it wasn't [inaudible]. Things like Winnie the Pooh and just children's plays, stuff like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:23:58] Would your mother take you guys?

Doris Allen [00:24:00] My mother or my aunt. My mother's sister.

Bethany Hollowell [00:24:03] So she lived here, your mother's sister?

Doris Allen [00:24:06] My mother had two sisters. She lived on North Boulevard in the Glenville area. And she didn't have any children, so she was single. Well, I guess I was the first girl in the family, so I got a lot of perks that my sister didn't get. And we're very different. So different. My sister was always a tomboy. I was always a girly girl. So she wasn't interested. We were not interested in the same things.

Bethany Hollowell [00:24:42] From my understanding is that there were I guess you could maybe see alternative places where black families - African-American families - would go to because there were certain places where it was kind of... The way it was, they were discriminatory, segregated, they were segregated places. And so they were kind of like considered black alternative places, for example, Pla-Mor. It's kind of the alternative. Could you kind of comment or share with me any places where it was when you looked around, it was mostly blacks and in places where, you know, you guys maybe weren't permitted to go or that you didn't go to.

Doris Allen [00:25:26] Not outside of church I can't because we were... I guess we were in a certain class of blacks, and I think that we felt less discrimination because we had access to some of the same things that whites had access to. I was in the first black debutante cotillion in Cleveland because two of the black sororities in Cleveland decided that that's what they wanted to do was give young black women the same experience that white women had. It's coming out so things like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:26:25] What was it that you said? It was called...

Doris Allen [00:26:28] Debutantes cotillion.

Bethany Hollowell [00:26:30] What is that?

Doris Allen [00:26:31] That's a coming out party, one for the black culture when you're like 16 and you're old enough to to date. Then you have it. So maybe about 50 girls from all over Cleveland were involved and you wear white gowns and you're introduced to society.

Bethany Hollowell [00:26:58] I've never heard of this.

Doris Allen [00:26:59] Never. You never heard of cotillion?

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:01] No.

Doris Allen [00:27:02] Oh, well, they have them. They're... It's a coming out party... You see in the white culture, they do them after college graduation. OK, 21, 22, something like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:15] OK, I am familiar with the quincinera.

Doris Allen [00:27:19] Yeah. When you're in the in the Latino community. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:25] OK. So did you have one? Did you do that when you turned 16?

Doris Allen [00:27:32] The dubutantes cotillion, yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:35] And where was it?

Doris Allen [00:27:35] At the public auditorium downtown.

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:45] I'll have to research that a little bit.

Doris Allen [00:27:46] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:50] So where did you go high school?

Doris Allen [00:27:52] Glenville.

Bethany Hollowell [00:27:54] OK. Was it... Where there still a lot of Jewish students?

Doris Allen [00:27:59] Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:28:00] Do you have any fond memories from Glenville High?

Doris Allen [00:28:01] Yeah. We still get together. We still get together. It was a small class. Like 52 in the class. So those of us who are left, we still get together.

Bethany Hollowell [00:28:14] Wow a class of 52.

Doris Allen [00:28:16] That's not a big class at all. Nope. Nope. Our graduation was in the Glenville auditorium. We didn't have to rent a place or anything.

Bethany Hollowell [00:28:23] Yeah. Yeah. Would you say that... You said it was integrated. So would you say 50/50 or would you say, as far as Jewish... I understand there is an Italian population that was somewhat close over there.

Doris Allen [00:28:40] Yes, it might have been... There were the few Catholic kids. Well, let's see. I wouldn't say 50/50. Maybe 60/40 or something like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:28:58] But you guys had a good time...

Doris Allen [00:29:01] Uh-huh.

Bethany Hollowell [00:29:01] Who were your high school rivals. Did you have a rivalry school?

Doris Allen [00:29:07] John Adams. What else? Who else? Let's see. John Hay was almost an all girls school. That's the only other school I can think of.

Bethany Hollowell [00:29:30] Did you have friends that went to other schools nearby schools?

Doris Allen [00:29:32] Not many.

Bethany Hollowell [00:29:37] So after you graduated high school... What year did you graduate high school?

Doris Allen [00:29:41] Fifty four.

Bethany Hollowell [00:29:43] Did you go to college?

Doris Allen [00:29:45] Not right away. I got married.

Bethany Hollowell [00:29:47] How did you meet your husband?

Doris Allen [00:29:50] Kent State. He was... I used to go down to visit friends at Kent State, and he was a student at Kent State.

Bethany Hollowell [00:29:59] What was he studying.

Doris Allen [00:30:00] Dentistry, pre-dentistry.

Bethany Hollowell [00:30:04] What were you... Were you still working for your uncle in office?

Doris Allen [00:30:08] No.

Bethany Hollowell [00:30:10] Did you work when you graduated?

Doris Allen [00:30:12] Yes. Where did I work? Let me see. I worked in University Hospitals. Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:30:23] What did you do there?

Doris Allen [00:30:25] Oh. Worked in the kitchen. I don't remember the title.

Bethany Hollowell [00:30:31] Sure, this was in the University Hospital at a hundredth and...

Doris Allen [00:30:38] Yeah. It's still the same place.

Bethany Hollowell [00:30:43] Do you remember... Did you kind of get to watch a portion of that evolution of the Cleveland Clinic right next door?

Doris Allen [00:31:00] Let me see... When you talk about evolution... The Cleveland Clinic was not a popular place in the black community. It was one frame building, not even a brick building, a little frame building that had an emergency room. But they did not allow... They would say they did not have an emergency room for anybody black when... There it was very, very discriminatory. And that's the way most people in my era remember it. And like I said, it wasn't the Cleveland Clinic it is today.

Bethany Hollowell [00:31:35] Wow. I didn't know that. Do you remember anybody that you knew going there and being turned away?

Doris Allen [00:31:43] No.

Bethany Hollowell [00:31:46] It was just kind of unspoken?

Doris Allen [00:31:47] It was kind of an unspoken thing.

Bethany Hollowell [00:31:54] So did you move down to Kent to be with your husband?

Doris Allen [00:31:59] No, no, no, no, no, no. No. Oh, he moved here. Then we we were only married... We were only married for four years. And then I went back to school.

Bethany Hollowell [00:32:11] Where did you go to school?

Doris Allen [00:32:14] Kent.

Bethany Hollowell [00:32:14] What did you study?

Doris Allen [00:32:15] Social work.

Bethany Hollowell [00:32:18] Did you make a lot of good friends at Kent?

Doris Allen [00:32:20] Yes. Yes. I started out going into one: elementary ed, which was a special program for honor students. That was a three year program. But I had two babies by then and I decided that is not what I wanted to do. So I switched to social work.

Bethany Hollowell [00:32:46] What years did you have your kids?

Doris Allen [00:32:49] 56 and 57.

Bethany Hollowell [00:32:53] Boy and girl?

Doris Allen [00:32:55] Two girls.

Bethany Hollowell [00:32:58] And so what year did you graduate from Kent State with a degree?

Doris Allen [00:33:03] No, I didn't graduate. When I was in my third year, which was a three year program. The YW snagged me for a job. So what I did is... They paid for the rest of my education, but that was through Case Western Reserve. Special programs that they did for the YWCA.

Bethany Hollowell [00:33:34] So then you graduated from Case Western.

Doris Allen [00:33:38] No, that meant I didn't get credit for those classes, but I was able to take those classes. And then later on, I [was] one of 50 people in the state of Ohio [who] got a grant for Case Western Reserve for special studies... A grant there for communications. So that was for 16 hours. So things like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:34:06] And where are you living at this time that you were at the YW?

Doris Allen [00:34:07] Here.

Bethany Hollowell [00:34:07] In Cleveland Heights? When did you first get to Cleveland Heights.

Doris Allen [00:34:15] Sixty four. Yeah. Sixty four.

Bethany Hollowell [00:34:19] Where did you move to?

Doris Allen [00:34:20] Here.

Bethany Hollowell [00:34:21] This house. Who did you buy this house from? Or did you build it?

Doris Allen [00:34:25] No, no, no. We bought this house from a French couple; the Antenes [?].

Bethany Hollowell [00:34:32] Where were they moving to?

Doris Allen [00:34:33] They were moving and... They were staying in the community in a smaller house because they both had heart problems and they didn't need... They didn't want two floors. They wanted a one floor plan.

Bethany Hollowell [00:34:48] Did you go through a real estate agent?

Doris Allen [00:34:53] I don't remember which ones, but I remember that they didn't want us to buy this house. He told us to look in Shaker Heights ... but the Antenes said, no, we're keeping this house until you get it because we want you to have it with your family. By then, I was married the second time. So they kept it until we got it.

Bethany Hollowell [00:35:16] Why did they want you to have it over...

Doris Allen [00:35:18] Because they wanted... They said it was a house for children. And I had... By then my husband came into the marriage with one adopted child and then we had two children. So they just wanted... They they fell in love with the children, really.

Bethany Hollowell [00:35:38] When you said that they didn't want you to buy this house, was it that real estate agent was steering you...

Doris Allen [00:35:43] Yes. Yes. And the banks. Yes. So...

Bethany Hollowell [00:35:49] Where are they? The banks specifically...

Doris Allen [00:35:52] They would say, you know... Well, we can't give you loan, but if you look in Shaker Heights, find something in Shaker Heights.

Bethany Hollowell [00:36:01] The real estate agent, if they show you homes...

Doris Allen [00:36:04] Well, the real estate agent said, oh, we'll get this this home for you, but it'll cost you two hundred - twenty five hundred - dollars more than they're asking for. And we talked to the Antenes and they said, no, we're gonna... You're not gonna pay any more for it. And no real estate agent is gonna buy it. We'll just hold on to it until you can get it. And they did.

Bethany Hollowell [00:36:30] How did you meet the Antenes.

Doris Allen [00:36:32] Through a real estate agent

Bethany Hollowell [00:36:35] Where did you meet? Here?

Doris Allen [00:36:37] Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:36:38] And just fell in love with the place.

Doris Allen [00:36:39] Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:36:43] Did you stay in touch with the Antenes?

Doris Allen [00:36:45] Yes. Until they both passed away. Yes, we did. Yeah. Because they, want to come back and see what we were doing to the house and stuff like that.

Bethany Hollowell [00:36:56] They could see the purple.

Doris Allen [00:36:57] No, it wasn't purple then. But they could see what we were doing for the inside because they had black and pink tiles because she got... All over downstairs because she couldn't have... She was allergic to carpet or, you know. So it was kind of hideous. So she would come back and see what was going on.

Bethany Hollowell [00:37:23] Do you have any idea what they were doing here? From France?

Doris Allen [00:37:27] Well, I think they had been here. I don't think that, you know. They had been here for a long time. They were probably second or third generation here. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:37:41] So were you one of the first black families to live on the street.

Doris Allen [00:37:47] Yes, we were one of the first black families in Cleveland Heights, when we moved into Cleveland Heights, it was less than 1 percent minority population. That's all minority, including, you know, Asians and East Indians, there were less than 1 percent of us.

Bethany Hollowell [00:38:12] Did you know or have any friends that were in this area?

Doris Allen [00:38:17] Uh-huh

Bethany Hollowell [00:38:20] Why did you guys choose Cleveland Heights?

Doris Allen [00:38:23] The school system number one and for the housing stock. We love the housing stock. The older homes are much older than Shaker Heights. And we loved the potential that the houses had. No. We had friends on one street. They lived on a street, and honestly every time we go to visit them, we go to the wrong house because they all looked alike so we didn't want that. But we love the the the neighborhood, the the mixing of housing, all kinds of housing.

Bethany Hollowell [00:38:59] Where were you guys? Was Zagara's market still just right up here?

Doris Allen [00:39:05] It wasn't there. Zagara's wasn't there at all. That was. Oh, Zagara's, that was built... Oh, not that long ago. Let's see. I was in Boston.

Bethany Hollowell [00:39:19] Well, that one I know is new

Doris Allen [00:39:20] Yeah. But there there was one further up the street in a building where a furniture store is now.

Bethany Hollowell [00:39:28] Did you guys do any shopping down in Cleveland Heights when you first got here?

Doris Allen [00:39:32] Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:39:33] Sixty four you said.

Doris Allen [00:39:35] Uh-huh

Bethany Hollowell [00:39:36] Where were the local stores?

Doris Allen [00:39:39] Well one of the things that we learned, we came. When we came we were in Shaker. That's where we lived before we moved to Cleveland Heights and, of course, on Sundays, all the stores were closed then. The blue laws were in effect. And we moved to Cleveland Heights. And because there were a... Of basically a Jewish community again, on Sundays, stores were open. And my husband went to the store on Sunday evening. And he was just really dumbfounded because the guy said, oh, why don't you shop in your own neighborhood? And he said, This is my neighborhood. And he said, Oh, you must be the Allens who live over on Lee Road. They knew everything there was to know about us. That was very unsettling. And so my husband came on and told us. But... Told me. But it was... Yes. Everybody knew right away where we lived and who we were.

Bethany Hollowell [00:40:36] You said you lived in Shaker Heights before. Where did you work? In Shaker Heights?

Doris Allen [00:40:42] On Sutton Road. It's Sutton Place now. I think it's a cul de sac, I think now.

Bethany Hollowell [00:40:49] Were you just looking to leave because...

Doris Allen [00:40:51] Because we wanted to buy our own house. We rented.

Bethany Hollowell [00:40:56] And was Shaker Heights, would you say, a more concentrated black population at that time in the 60s?

Doris Allen [00:41:06] It was very much like Cleveland Heights

Bethany Hollowell [00:41:11] Did you guys? Were you one of the first families in Shaker Heights as well?

Doris Allen [00:41:17] Probably. Well, I don't know. On our street we were. But now... But it was a small street. But I don't know.

Bethany Hollowell [00:41:30] Did you ever run into any other instances like your husband had, where you were kind of unsettled and taken aback that people...

Doris Allen [00:41:41] Yes, well we were unsettled when we moved into this house. We were not greeted cordially. There were smoke bombs thrown on the porch, garbage in the front yard. The kids were terrorized when they went to the pool. Yes. Our children were stopped for any reason that the police thought they could stop them. What are you doing in the neighborhood? Our daughter was stopped at the corner of Mayfield and Lee by a park policeman. There is no park at the corner of Mayfield and Lee. That kind of thing. So as a result, we formed a black parents group so we could teach our children how to handle being stopped. And the information they should glean when they were stopped was they should tell that, you know, and that kind of thing.

Bethany Hollowell [00:42:48] And now was this committee on black parents is that the CICR Committee to Improve Community Relations. When did that form?

Doris Allen [00:42:58] 1970.

Bethany Hollowell [00:43:00] And how many other parents would you say about? Did you guys...

Doris Allen [00:43:05] It grew to like 300?

Bethany Hollowell [00:43:07] Oh, really? Where did you guys...

Doris Allen [00:43:11] At the Heights United Presbyterian Church.

Bethany Hollowell [00:43:16] Was that a... Did many of the black residents of Cleveland Heights go to that church?

Doris Allen [00:43:23] No. No. There were only maybe three families there. Black families there. But it was a church that always made itself accessible and open to the community. So we eventually started going there. But at that time, the person who... The minister was very active in the community. And somebody asked if we could meet there and he said yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:43:56] So there's about 300...

Doris Allen [00:43:59] Yeah. It was not in the beginning. Not in the beginning. But as people moved in and people had problems then it grew.

Bethany Hollowell [00:44:10] Did the children ever attend these meetings? Because I know you said that you were talking about what to tell your kids when they were stopped.

Doris Allen [00:44:19] No. The children did not attend the meetings, but we did it. Yes, we agreed on what do we... How we would deal with our children. And we set up a plan so that when anything was going on. At the school, we notified all the schools to get in touch with us, that we could have 10 black fathers at any given place in 10 minutes. That's that's what we did.

Bethany Hollowell [00:44:48] Sounds like it took a lot of...

Doris Allen [00:44:50] It did. But everybody was it was really... It was a community.

Bethany Hollowell [00:45:01] Did you guys ever have one instance, that kind of set it off that you said OK, this is it. Get a committee together. Did one certain thing happen or was it just a continuation of just everybody's kids are getting stopped?

Doris Allen [00:45:18] Well, it was it was that everybody. Everybody's kids were being stopped. That was a big discussion in the committee. And the kids were frightened, especially the boys, because they were they were being stopped much more often than the girls. So that was... And people... And that was the talk in the community among the black parents and with some of the white parents. We talked about, you know, that it's being stopped. And that was... It was really formed to protect our children, to teach them the information that they needed to get when they were stopped. And then the parents... The group would handle it from there.

Bethany Hollowell [00:46:02] Was the police - I don't want to say were the police aware of this - but you know, were they kind of taking note that they're catching on.

Doris Allen [00:46:16] They were very aware because we met with the police chief, the chief of police, and with some of the officers. Of course, when we had complaints against them, we had a badge number, a car number, a time of day, the date and everything. That's what the children were taught, to get that information, not to be confrontational at all. So if there was a specific complaint, then we had specific information to deal with that complaint.

Bethany Hollowell [00:46:52] That's really proactive. I just couldn't imagine telling a seven year old get the badge number.

Doris Allen [00:46:57] Yeah. But you do what you have to do.

Bethany Hollowell [00:47:03] Did your daughters ever take that? I'm sorry? You said you had two daughters and then your husband had an adopted son.

Doris Allen [00:47:11] Sons. We have three daughters and two sons.

Bethany Hollowell [00:47:17] Did they ever have to write down badge numbers?

Doris Allen [00:47:19] Oh, yes, of course. Of course.

Doris Allen [00:47:22] There were there incidents while I was working at the Y by then. And one of the incidents... Well the incident that started CICR was in 1970 when I was working at the Y and there were like... By that time, there were like maybe five black children [that] came to the Y and these white guys came in in camouflage with swastikas, with metal poles and baseball bats and said, you know, you're not taking over our Y. That kind of thing. So we had to call the police. Police came and calmed everybody down. And but what they did, they got everybody's story. They gave the guys back their bats and their metal poles. And when I objected to that, they said, for all you know, they were going to play baseball. So that was the beginning of CICR. Right then. We met at a person's house down the street on Lee Road and started it because we knew that if it had not been for volunteers that I had working at the Y with me at that time, we don't know how it would have escalated. Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:48:38] You were a social worker at the Heights YMCA.

Doris Allen [00:48:43] Youth program director for 10 years.

Bethany Hollowell [00:48:46] What year did you find? Was it seventy?

Doris Allen [00:48:50] No. No. From 65 to 75.

Bethany Hollowell [00:48:56] So the CICR was kind of like right in the middle of your career.

Doris Allen [00:49:01] Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:49:02] Did you develop any programs other than the Committee to Improve Community Relations, developing programs that were maybe focused on integrating kids...

Doris Allen [00:49:18] All of them. All the programs the ideas where youth-based, because I was a youth program director. So, yes. So I and all the groups that we had, about 15 teen groups and three groups for the children who were mentally and emotionally [and] physically challenged. But all the groups were integrated. They were all girls. I think at some point the girls wanted to have a coed group. And so we called in their parents and their parents say, fine, fine, let them have the coed group. And then when the parents got home, they called me and said, no. Don't let them. I said, no. You said in front of them they could have it. Unless you want to come back and retract it in front of them. They got their coed group. So that's. That's the way it was.

Bethany Hollowell [00:50:15] I know that you have kind of a not-so-fond memory of the YMCA with the swastikas... Do you have other stories you'd like to share.

Doris Allen [00:50:27] They don't... The YMCA didn't have anything to do with that. At that time the YMCA owned the building and it rented space to the YWCA and we had totally separate programs from the YMCA. So, you know, so they... No, I'm fine with them because they had no control over me and my programing because that was strictly with the YWCA.

Bethany Hollowell [00:51:00] So the men with the swastikas.

Doris Allen [00:51:03] They had nothing to do with the YMCA. These were just kids. Big kids. Right.

Bethany Hollowell [00:51:09] But did they enter into the YMCA or the YW?

Doris Allen [00:51:12] No, no, no. There was one entrance, one entrance, one building, just separate programs. So [crosstalk] yes, yes, that's OK. That's OK.

Bethany Hollowell [00:51:25] Do you know where these kids came from or how old they were?

Doris Allen [00:51:28] No. Because they gave them back everything and let them go. You know, I can... In 1972, they had a race riot at Heights high school... [They] said it was outside kids - outside white kids - who came in and my son got hit with tire chains. And the police arrested him. They took him and passed this house and took him to jail and said that they didn't want him to get in trouble because he was so angry. So they locked him up. And our question was: they knew where I live, why did they pass our house to take him instead of just bringing him home? And then let's see. I don't know what year it was that my daughter, our middle daughter, was held on the steps of Roosevelt with the guy with a screwdriver at her neck. And we prosecuted. And the judge dismissed it. So that was not only... But, you know, I can say that through all these things, there was always a white population who was always very supportive of us.

Bethany Hollowell [00:52:52] And I think that's it. I don't want to use the word unique to Cleveland Heights but that is something that they have. The Heights Community Congress...

Doris Allen [00:53:05] Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:53:06] Integrating the town, keeping a good balance.

Doris Allen [00:53:11] And when we had. When we first moved in, they had a group called Heights Citizens for Human Rights. Yes, they came to this house and stayed all night, and said move your kids in the back bedrooms and they set at the windows and watched for them to come up the hill and throw smoke bombs and whatever, stink bombs, whatever they were. That kind of thing. So there are always... There was, you know, a significant population who supported us.

Bethany Hollowell [00:53:50] Um, the people that were throwing stink bombs, are they kids or the adults? Or did you just never really find out?

Doris Allen [00:53:56] We never found out who it really was.

Bethany Hollowell [00:54:04] Was there ever a moment in time where you recognized that it was not like that anymore, that you guys were welcome in the community? Other than the Heights Citizens for Human Rights obviously being very supportive. But, you know, when did that kind of fizzle? When did that stop happening?

Doris Allen [00:54:27] Well, you know, it stop happening for us. But there was still some prevalent incidents within the community. There was a person who moved here who was... Hill was his name. I can't think of his first name. Moved here to run Karamu House. You know what Karamu House is? It's probably the oldest black theater house in the United States. It was founded by the Jelliffes – Rowena and her husband. I can't think of his name. Jelliffe. But it was to teach arts to the black community and bring black plays and black playwrights and things here. Well he moved into Cleveland Heights because they had hired him to run Karamu and his house was bombed and he said, you know, I'm not going anywhere. You know, I'm here to stay. Well they bombed his house a second time and the bomb was so intense that it blew the keys off of their baby grand. And that's when they left. And there were other people who experienced bombings. So we got off easy. As far as you know... So... But things like that happened periodically. Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:55:52] Could you spell Karamu.

Doris Allen [00:55:55] K-a-r-a-m-u. Karamu House. Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [00:56:05] And what did you say his name was?

Doris Allen [00:56:08] Hill. I don't remember his first name. They had they had brought him here from out of town. His last name was Hill. I just don't remember his first name because I don't think he really ever took the job because I think that he decided to leave before you know...

Bethany Hollowell [00:56:26] Do you remember like what year this was?

Doris Allen [00:56:28] No I don't. No, I don't.

Bethany Hollowell [00:56:34] Was it while you lived here.

Doris Allen [00:56:35] Yeah. And I was still working for the Y.

Bethany Hollowell [00:56:43] Yeah, I did know that there were a series of bombings in the Cleveland Heights area for families that [inaudible] to African American family homes.

Doris Allen [00:56:55] Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [00:56:56] I listened to another interview of a woman who in fact, was afraid to even be by her front window for the fear that somebody would do something [inaudible] which is obviously no way to live...

Doris Allen [00:57:12] Yes, that's right.

Bethany Hollowell [00:57:18] After you worked at the YMCA...

Doris Allen [00:57:22] YW!

Bethany Hollowell [00:57:23] I'm sorry. I'm not going to stop saying it, I don't know why. It's just I know YWCA is not as well known and I'm the woman, so I should know that. I'm sorry. After you worked for the YWCA in 75, is that when you work for Judge Sara Hunter?

Doris Allen [00:57:47] Yes. Yes, she was... I was the first black professional staff person to be hired by the YWCA in a suburb. I was the first black bailiff anywhere – black female bailiff anywhere. But Sarah was on the board of the YWCA, so she knew me from working for the YWCA and I had just quit when she was gonna run. So she asked me if I would work in her campaign.

Bethany Hollowell [00:58:26] Did you enjoy doing that? Was it a challenge?

Doris Allen [00:58:28] Yeah, yeah, it was. It was fun. She thought that I knew everybody. And she said, scheduler. So scheduled her to be speaking at different places and things. That's why... But after that I was a campaign manager for somebody. Campaign treasurer. I like politics a lot.

Bethany Hollowell [00:58:49] So you were definitely able to be involved in that. I did read her obituary on online material that did mention that Hunter hired a white woman as clerk and a black woman as bailiff. Which was so...

Doris Allen [00:59:06] Yeah. Well, the thing about it is that we had an all women's court, which was totally unheard of because usually the bailiff was always a male. So it was it was very... All our clerks and all our bailiff and and deputy. everybody was a woman. So that was was nice. Different.

Bethany Hollowell [00:59:29] Yeah. And I also read that she was married to a black man. She was very you know, she said, I want to say that she, how do I put this? If anybody was surprised by that, she was very defensive. So did you did you ever meet your husband?

Doris Allen [00:59:53] Oh, gosh. [crosstalk] No, no, no. He died before she died. No. Oh, yeah. We did. We did. We were kind of isolated. So we did a lot of things together. Yes. Yes. Yes, he was head of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for a number of years.

Bethany Hollowell [01:00:14] Were you ever involved in that?

Doris Allen [01:00:17] No. No. I was involved in lots of things, but not that.

Bethany Hollowell [01:00:24] Were you ever involved in a Heights Citizens for Human Rights?

Doris Allen [01:00:29] No. No. Just that. Yeah. Yeah. They had formed before my time. I can tell you my husband was. We were involved in everything. But we were never involved in the same thing together. He did one thing and I did the other. So he was he was treasurer for seven years.

Bethany Hollowell [01:00:50] Could you tell me a little bit about, I guess, what was happening in those seven years? From what you saw, that was...

Doris Allen [01:01:00] OK, I don't remember 40 years.

Bethany Hollowell [01:01:03] Was it while you were working for the YWCA?

Doris Allen [01:01:06] Yes. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [01:01:08] When did the... I don't know is the CICR still around?

Doris Allen [01:01:17] No, no, it's not still around. Oh, gosh. I'm not sure when it ended. You have it. Susie probably has that information because she got a lot of the documents and papers, the incorporation papers and all that. So she would know that.

Bethany Hollowell [01:01:39] Yes, very well-informed on these things. Well, we are at an hour, so I guess my last question for you... Well just share any stories that you have of Cleveland Heights that kind of stand out in your memory. Obviously, I mean, this front yard is very memorable. You said that your daughter was held up with a screwdriver. Could you maybe I'm just interested now. Could you elaborate?

Doris Allen [01:02:12] Yeah. This was a guy who's 21 years old who was upset with her parents because we were very vocal. So what he said to her was go home and tell your mom and your dad to shut up. That was it. But of course, she didn't know it was a screwdriver. She thought it was a knife. Well, within three or four hours, we knew exactly who he was, where he lived, and the cops could pick him up. That's how supportive the community was. You know what I think? My most memorable thing about Cleveland Heights, a thing I hold... is the friendships that came out of it. The community. The friendships that I still have the friendships that my children have. That's very... Those are very important to them.

Bethany Hollowell [01:03:14] Where did they go to school?

Doris Allen [01:03:15] Heights.

Bethany Hollowell [01:03:21] That race riot in seventy two. And I'm trying to think if your youngest...

Doris Allen [01:03:26] Oh, no, no. He was... I think he was a senior. He was a senior. It was in January or February when the riot happened. And I think he graduated that June.

Bethany Hollowell [01:03:45] On a brighter note, do you ever go to the Home Garden tours or anything like that around Cleveland Heights?

Doris Allen [01:03:49] I go to everything. I go to the to the art festival. I go to the country fair. I go to the Heights Community Congress Tour of Homes. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [01:04:03] You do.

Doris Allen [01:04:04] I try.

Bethany Hollowell [01:04:05] Do you get Cain Park a lot?

Doris Allen [01:04:07] Yes. I just went last week. I went to see Inlet the dance company. [crosstalk] Oh, yes. Yes. And I went to the art exhibit because I bought that piece of art online. And the artist was at Cain Park. He doesn't live here and it wasn't signed. So I took it so he could sign it. Yeah. [crosstalk] Yes. Yes. So. Yeah.

Bethany Hollowell [01:04:37] So I think there was at Cain Park something I wanted to see. It's like a jazz band. They always have something.

Doris Allen [01:04:47] Oh, yeah. Oh, they do.

Bethany Hollowell [01:04:52] Do you ever go back to Glenville?

Doris Allen [01:04:54] Of course. My sisters. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:00] And she still lives in the same house?

Doris Allen [01:05:02] She lives in the house we grew up in.

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:04] The neighborhood is very different.

Doris Allen [01:05:05] The neighborhood is very different, but it's quite stable. And the house looks good inside and out.

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:16] How old would the house be then?

Doris Allen [01:05:18] It's over 100 years old.

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:20] How old is this house?

Doris Allen [01:05:22] It's 1910?

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:29] So this house is over a hundred years as well. 104. I know Glenville has a community picnic and they're having Houdini there...

Doris Allen [01:05:41] Well, I'm not a picnic person, never have been. Bugs and stuff like...

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:47] Oh that's right you're the girly girl.

Doris Allen [01:05:48] That's right. Yeah, that's right. That's right. When it was time for her to be a debutante, she said, I'm not having it.

Bethany Hollowell [01:05:55] Really?

Doris Allen [01:05:57] I'm not putting on a gown. I don't want that. Yes. Yes. Right. [crosstalk] Yes. OK. OK. Oh, yes.

Bethany Hollowell [01:06:10] Well, anyways, thank you so much it was such a pleasure and to hear all your stories even though some were a little unfortunate.

Doris Allen [01:06:18] Yeah. Well, we we grow from those things.

Bethany Hollowell [01:06:24] And you're still very much active.

Doris Allen [01:06:26] Yes. I love it. I love it. I love the community. My daughter lives in Shaker, but she says it's not the same as Cleveland Heights. It doesn't have the culture. It doesn't have the restaurants. It doesn't have this. She said, you know, I like Shaker but it's not the same as Cleveland Heights.

Bethany Hollowell [01:06:47] Do you know what is your favorite restaurant, just out of curiosity?

Doris Allen [01:06:52] Nighttown. Nighttown. Because Nighttown was born the same year we moved... No in the year after... It was born in 1965. And we thought that was our... We thought that it really was our private club. When we saw strangers. And I have a friend. She lived in Cleveland for a long time. She lives in New England now, but she comes twice a year. And we always go to Nighttown because that's where we used to meet after work. And she says. The same people are sitting on the same bar stools only they're a hundred years older. Everybody claimed a barstool! It is funny. Yes, but I love Nighttown. I always see somebody there that I know. I know all the waiters. I know the owner. So that's my... And the food is consistently good. Never had a bad meal there.

Bethany Hollowell [01:07:50] And they play good music there too

Doris Allen [01:07:52] Yes, they do. Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sarah's son, the judge's son, plays there quite often. He's a musician.

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:03] Do you keep in touch with them?

Doris Allen [01:08:05] Oh, yes. Yes, I see them all the time.

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:09] They're Heights residents.

Doris Allen [01:08:10] Yes. It's a matter of fact. Amanda, her daughter and her husband. They live in Sarah's house. Her old house. And Joy. His wife. They just live up the street.

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:23] [inaudible]

Doris Allen [01:08:23] Oh. Hyde Park.

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:26] Very nice, very cool. Yeah, well, I'm very glad that you have grown... You have such a good thing going up here....

Doris Allen [01:08:38] Yeah, I love it. I do.

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:43] There's so much to do around here.

Doris Allen [01:08:43] Yeah, there is. Yes. There's so many good people. I really do. I love it.

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:55] I just saw there's an arts fest on the 11th. [inaudible] I may have to come check that out.

Doris Allen [01:08:58] Where?

Bethany Hollowell [01:08:58] I saw it advertised right on Cedar hill.

Doris Allen [01:09:01] Oh, okay. Oh, they usually they usually have a Cedar Fairmount Festival up in that little area. So that's probably...

Bethany Hollowell [01:09:12] And next weekend is the Feast of the Assumption.

Doris Allen [01:09:14] Yes, yes. Yes. Oh, gosh.

Bethany Hollowell [01:09:18] They're gonna have to take me in a wheelbarrow.

Doris Allen [01:09:20] I know. Yes. It's good food. Well, everything. It's wonderful. But I I love the culture and the different celebrations. That is so rich. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [01:09:35] And unique to Cleveland Heights. In fact, do you have... Did you ever go to the west side for anything?

Doris Allen [01:09:42] Yeah. Yeah. We go to the west side. They have a tour of homes every year. So we go over for that. And of course, then we'd gone over to restaurants and to some shops for shopping, [crosstalk] the banyan tree.

Bethany Hollowell [01:10:06] Yeah. Tremont.

Doris Allen [01:10:07] Yeah. Well, that's I've been in there to shop because somebody told me they had really cute things, so.

Bethany Hollowell [01:10:16] They've got a lot of very nice restaurants in Tremont.

Doris Allen [01:10:18] Yes, I know. I always see these chefs advertised. Yes.

Bethany Hollowell [01:10:28] The one Michael Symon owns.

Doris Allen [01:10:30] Yeah. Michael Symon. Yes. [crosstalk] Oh, right. Right. I haven't been to Lolita, but I've been to Lola's downtown.

Bethany Hollowell [01:10:42] Here we have such an array [inaudible].

Doris Allen [01:10:44] Yes, you're not kidding. You are so right. It's wonderful.

Bethany Hollowell [01:10:50] Well before I get hungry.

Doris Allen [01:10:52] Yeah, right.

Bethany Hollowell [01:10:53] Anyways, thank you again for inviting me to your home.

Doris Allen [01:10:54] Now you're more than welcome. Oh, certainly.

Racial Integration in the Heights

Interviews in this series were collected by undergraduate students at Cleveland State University under the supervision of Dr. Mark Souther, with funding from the Office of the Provost. The series contains interviews with pioneers of suburban residential integration and social activists who supported peaceful managed integration/desegregation and fair housing in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights in the 1950s to 1970s.