Page 1


18 The legendary Billy Collins talks poetry 22 Shooting hoops with E-Z at the Tinfoil Palace 36 Heavenly scents at St. Augustine and Suds 43 Lady Beer Drinker tastes Fall at the Ballpark


MONSTERS IN THESE STREETS What happens when a battle-rapping illustrator teams up with STEM students and DAP to solve a downtown problem? (pg. 13)

Intersections: Programs

Akron Art Museum | Intersections 41

October 6, 2016, 4:30 pm • FREE Teacher Tour: Intersections Slip away from your afternoon grading for a VIP tour of the museum’s newest exhibition: Intersections. You’ll experience the magic that happens when artists blur the lines between two and three dimensions. Then, try your hand at some of their innovative techniques. Register online at eventregistration or call 330.376.9186 October 6, 2016, 6:30 pm • FREE Gallery Tour: Isabel Farnsworth Join sculptor Isabel Farnsworth as she leads a tour exploring favored works of art in the Intersections exhibition and the museum collection. An associate professor of art at Kent State University, Farnsworth engages in an intuitive process of making and unmaking to arrive at the semi-figurative/semi-abstract elements that structure her compositions and allow for openended content. October 20, 2016, 6:30 pm • FREE Artists’ Dialogue: Anne Lindberg, Andrea Myers, John Newman and Kate Budd (moderator) Join Intersections artists Anne Lindberg and John Newman, Kent State University-Stark sculptor Andrea Myers and University of Akron professor Kate Budd for a panel discussion of ideas they are exploring, relationships between their work in two and three dimensions, and the materials and scale they choose to realize their objectives. November 3, 2016, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm Creative Playdate: Yarn Party For 0-5 year olds and their grown-ups. Little ones learn best through intuitive, open-ended play that feeds their senses. Follow your child’s natural instinct to wiggle, squeal and make a mess while exploring the creative process! Free for members, $15/ non-member child. Register online at eventregistration, or call 330.376.9186. November 3, 2016, 7:00 pm Tuesday Musical FUZE Concert: Weather Scores: Science, Data, Sculpture & Music Enjoy a special Tuesday Musical FUZE performance featuring music composed by Christian Gentry and Mischa Salkind-Pearl in collaboration with Intersections artist Nathalie Miebach. Parallel to Miebach’s woven sculptures, which function as threedimensional musical scores, the compositions are based entirely on weather data. Northeast Ohio musicians will perform three compositions, including a world premiere of a work by Gentry, commissioned by Tuesday Musical. Curator Janice Driesbach and Tuesday Musical artistic director Jarrod Hartzler will moderate a commentary by the artist and composers on how they work together and the evolution of their unique collaboration. Tickets $25 at or by phone at 330.761.3460. Limited seating. November 10, 2016, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm Art Tales: The Story of a Line For all ages and their grown-ups. Engage your tiny book lover in an interactive storytelling experience where art and story become one through song, rhyme and imagery. FREE for members. $10/non-member child. Register online at, or, call 330.376.9186. November 10, 2016, 6:00 pm • FREE Book Club: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud Join the museum’s book club for a discussion of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel, The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud. David Smith, a down-on-his-luck artist, makes a deal with Death. For 200 days, David will be able to sculpt any material he desires with only his bare hands. The catch? At the end of 200 days, David will die. Will he sculpt anything meaningful and cement his artistic legacy before his time is up? The discussion will conclude with a tour of Intersections. November 12, 2016, 7:00 pm Neos Dance Theatre Performance: Symbiosis Join Neos Dance Theatre for an evening of dance at the Akron Art Museum inspired by artwork in Intersections. Responding to the variety of media and approaches in the exhibition, Neos will present new choreography informed by processes the artists use, music that inspires them and their studio environments. Enjoy an opportunity to experience art and dance in new ways. Supported in part by an award from the Ohio Arts Council. Tickets: $15 Akron Art Museum members, students, seniors; $25 general admission. Purchase tickets online at tickets, or call 330-595-4650. Limited seating. December 1, 2016, 7:00 pm • FREE Film: Eva Hesse Artist Eva Hesse utilized latex, fiberglass and plastics to create pioneering sculptures in the 1960s and establish the postminimalist movement. The first feature-length appreciation of her life and work, Eva Hesse makes superb use of the artist’s voluminous journals, her correspondence with close friend and mentor Sol LeWitt, and contemporary and archival interviews with fellow artists such as Richard Serra, Robert Mangold and Dan Graham.

Artists Master Line and Space Through January 15, 2017 Intersections features work by six sculptors whose engagement with paper is also an essential part of their practice. The exhibition showcases art by Anne Lindberg, Nathalie Miebach, John Newman, Judy Pfaff, Mark Fox and Ursula von Rydingsvard, whose works in three dimensions range from modestly scaled sculptures that invite close study, to room-size installations that alter our perception of space. Compositions on paper include visual representations of data, studies, drawings for the exhibition alongside works in three dimensions, and independent explorations Intersections is an important part of the Akron Art Museum’s ongoing presentation of work by contemporary artists in ways that allow visitors a deeper understanding of their intentions and creative processes. Representing multiple generations and aesthetic perspectives, artists featured in Intersections create work that is hand-crafted and developed in the studio or gallery. Additionally, they all realize work in new ways, using processes that include making hand-corrugated “cardboard,” pulling cotton thread across gallery spaces, and pressing abaca paper into carved cedar. Their sculptures are constructed using additive processes and, like their works with paper, are at once abstract and metaphoric. All of the works in Intersections date from 2010 to the present, and many exemplify new directions the artists are pursuing. Works by each of the artists will be presented in dedicated gallery spaces, allowing for a fuller understanding of their processes and the diversity of ways they work across media. Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space is organized by the Akron Art Museum and generously supported in part by the Lehner Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Special thanks to Hilton Garden Inn – Akron. Pictured above: Nathalie Miebach, The Ride (Detail), 2015, reed, wood, rope, data. Photography courtesy of the artist.

AKRON ART MUSEUM • One South High • Akron, OH 44308 330-376-9186 •

table of contents

THE ARTS 13 Monsters on the streets of Akron! 15 John Sokol: Akron Soul Train’s first fellow 18 The legendary Billy Collins talks poetry



43 22

22 E-Z: The Most Interesting Person We Know

The Devil Strip 12 E. Exchange Street 2nd Floor Akron, Ohio 44308

26 When Akron was a Great American Kiln

Publisher: Chris “no carny-handed mango man” Horne

28 A teen’s road to heroin recovery

Email: Phone: 330-555-GHOSTBUSTERS



Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer


34 One way to show support for black-owned businesses


Managing Editor:

M. Sophie “Has Many Names, Wears Many Hats” Franchi Email: Visuals Editor: Svetla “The Balkan Comrade” Morrison Director of Sales & Distribution:


35 How three friends turn a warehouse into an indoor farm

TJ "is in fact a Newsie, hat and all" Masterson Email:

table of contents

36 Heavenly scents at St. Augustine and Suds


THE ARTS Lead Editor.......................................Bronlynn “Space Kitty” Thurman Asst. Editor............................Megan “Oxford comma slayer” Combs Literary Arts Editor.................Noor "Nervous Poodle Poet" Hindi COMMUNITY & CULTURE Lead Editor ...............Katie “Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty” Jackson Asst. Editor..........................................Jessica “Spreadsheets!” Cherok Asst. Editor...............Ilenia “Our Short, Tired Garbanzo Bean Eatin',

WTF Video Girl Writer” Pezzaniti

39 Nervous Dog celebrates 10 years

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Music ............................................ Brittany “Sass Master Flash” Nader Entertainment .............. Andrew “Has a Mighty Fine Beard” Leask


40 Akron Pizza Task Force: Mission Kenmore

Staff Writers, Columnists & The A/V Club:


Kristina “Urban Explorer” Aiad-Toss; Emily “Lady Beer Drinker” Anderson; Melanie “newbie for now” Anderson; Rick “Small Business Chronicler” Bohan; Holly “The Wanderer” Brown; Christina “no paddles, flow downstream” Dearing; Sam "Buzzkilling Feminist" DePaul; Michelle “The Camera Nerd” DeShon; Emily “Potty Perfectionist” Dressler and Marissa Marangoni, Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; Brian “Wemlo Twinge” Dunphy; Grace “Always Running Away” Ebner; Lois “Beautyscandal” Elswick; Kait "rice cake enthusiast" Erdman; Gabe “Softballin’” Gott; Dan “The Akron Knight” Gorman; Paul “I don’t write but I can draw” Hoffman; Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist; Hillary "Gets Lost in Her Own World but Reappears if There is Dancing Involved" Martter; TJ “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Masterson; Krissy "Someone make me a real fish taco before I go insane" O'Connor; Atticus “Wreckage” Pamer the absolutely real and totally non-fictional Georgio Pelogrande; Roger Riddle, Wears the Purple Pants; Amanda "That Crazy Cat Lady" Sedlak-Hevener; Lenny “Where’s Squiggy?” Spengler; Nicole “likes the way Akron sounds” Stempak; Steve “is not a zombie” Van Auken; Patrick “Pattycakes” Worden; and The Shane Wynn Supremacy; Scott "The Swiss Army Intern" Piepho; Ted "Super Muy Bueno" Lehr; "Awesome" Dawson Steeber



43 Lady Beer Drinker gets a taste of fall and baseball



47 What are they listening to? 48 On the Record: Heart Hunter explores struggles with addiction 49 Chuck Auerbach: lyrics from Northside to Nashville

About the Cover If you've been anywhere near the Summit Artspace recently (ahem, Akron Art Prize!), you've noticed the crosswalks are pretty amazing. We owe that to a cool collaboration between STEM middle school students, Downtown Akron Partnership and an artist named Random Cushing. You can read more about both Random and the crosswalk project in this issue, but we went with one of his cuddlier monsters for the cover. You can see several more on his Tumblr, The Adventures of a Kid with a Magic Marker at There, you'll also find other drawings, sketches, portraits, illustrations and the like. But we don't want to ruin the surprise so check out his story on PAGE 13.


The Editorial Team

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

CONTACT US: Office ....................................................................(330) 842-6606 General Info Advertising .......................................... Distribution .................................... Website ................................................. Facebook Twitter ......................................................... @akrondevilstrip Instagram ........................................................ @thedevilstrip ————————————————————

The Devil Strip is published bi-monthly by Random Family, LLC. Akron Distribution: The Devil Strip is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright: The entire contents of The Devil Strip are copyright 2016 by Random Family, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above.

pub notes

TWO YEARS SINCE MY TWO-WEEK NOTICE My advice for would-be entrepreneurs is the same as my advice for would-be married couples or would-be parents: Don’t. Especially if that’s all it would take to stop you.

that last Friday, Heather had to console me when I cracked. You don’t need details, but I’ll admit I was a mess. I didn’t have room for the one small thing that tried to cram into my

digging into the art of business, as Andy Warhol might put it. That changes with a new section on business and entrepreneurship. If it seems strange for an arts and culture magazine

As deadline neared, I quietly celebrated the two-year anniversary of turning in my two-

brainpan. Weeks and months of godawful pressure spilled over, gushing out while I fell apart with guests waiting downstairs.

to do this, remember that these businesses help give Akron its character just as surely as our artists do. Thanks to the support of The Fund

week notice at the last job that offered me

Pub Notes >> “

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. During the hippie era people put down the idea of business. They’d say ‘money is bad’ and ‘working is bad’. But making money is art, and working is art — and good business is the best art.

— Andy Warhol

stability and a steady paycheck. I have neither, still. Had you intercepted me with that headline on the way to hand in my resignation letter, I

for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. It was embarrassing in real time and admitting it now makes me feel whiney and self-serving, but I’m erring on the side of disclosure for

Morgan Foundation, we’ll soon have videos and podcasts to share too.

might have waited a little. Maybe another week two reasons: or a whole month. But I’d have quit eventually. By then, I wasn’t afraid of failing. I feared the A#1) To tell fellow business owners they aren’t

Our mission is two-fold. We’ll help you get to know people who’ve made Akron cooler, and we hope to coax a few more of you to do

regret of never trying.

the same, to explore entrepreneurship as an expression that can be as valid as film or dance.

I was also this way with Heather, the woman who would become my wife. The night we first

alone. I have an inkling of how swamped and overwhelmed you must feel sometimes. I bet you probably keep it bottled up too.

In the preface to “Leaves of Grass,” Walt

met, I was smitten. Drunk, reeking of cigarette B#2) To remind myself that, like being married, smoke, out-of-shape and way out of my league, this business of running a business isn’t a but smitten. She only wanted a friend which decision you make just once, but rather over

Whitman wrote, “ all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and

made sense. She’d made a tough move from Brooklyn to the Bible Belt. Besides, I did not deserve her. I told myself I could stay friends.

and over and over and over again. Despite what your very flesh shall be a great poem…” A you’ve heard, quitting is an option, a sometimes great (or at least passable) poem. That’s how I very appealing option. feel now, mini-freakout and all. Why? I rejected

Until I couldn’t picture my life without her in it everyday. If I spoke up, I risked ruining our friendship. If I said nothing, I would end up a bridesmaid at her wedding to someone else.

I’m one of the lucky ones. We have a rich, diverse community of friends because of this magazine. I don’t have six-figure loans hanging

The great response we’ve had to The Devil Strip is because we, like thousands upon thousands

So I confessed, very awkwardly, as I tried to maintain an air of cool that I’ve never actually possessed. Surprised, she said she was flattered

over my head either. My biggest obstacle is usually me, putting the business on the backburner because I forget I’m not just a writer. But I’m also lucky because I haven’t had

of you, believe in Akron. That’s why I see the magazine as a wide net. We’re trying to grab all the pro-Akron, pro-creative folks we can so we can connect people to each other and our

to also contend with anything major. This isn’t a historically bad recession. My kid isn’t going to college (yet). No car wrecks or totaled cars. No loved ones in the hospital. Essential business equipment, worth thousands, hasn’t been stolen.

city. The more folks connect, the more they’re led to new creative endeavors, which spawns more connection, more belief, more love. It’s a virtuous circle that starts with individuals taking themselves seriously enough to invest in what fulfills them.

It was as awkward as before but so off-script I later proposed again even though she

Yet, local business owners here have experienced these things and more. Somehow,

So whether you want to start a business, lead a nonprofit, head up a civic organization, or

already said yes. On October 10, we celebrate our seventh anniversary of wedded bliss, of better and worse, of sickness and health, of gainful employment and not-so-much while

they still make sure your meal is worth Instagramming, that live music is the perfect soundtrack to your girls’ night out, that this cup of coffee rivals the best you’ve ever had,

paint, rap, sculpt, write or rock out, that urge isn’t selfish or silly. It’s vital. We need you to do it. That’s how people like you make this place better.

I jeopardize our finances by antagonizing her

and that the stuff you just bought will give your

employers at UA.

home serious swagger.

As if it weren’t already apparent my wife deserves better, I will now awkwardly confess

We’ve told stories about what local businesses do and why the owners do it, but we aren’t

but we were going to stay friends only. Eventually, the idea of an “us” wiggled through Heather’s brain like an earworm of a song that she had only entertained unconsciously until it forced its way to the surface. A few months after our first official date, I proposed.

soul-killing work so I could pursue purpose.


// Photo courtesy of Bronlynn Thurman




White Foot is a pretty tortie girl in search of a home to call her own. White Foot arrived at the shelter with her name and a few of her feline friends. White Foot is an affectionate lady who enjoys gentle pets around her head, chin and cheek area. She likes to relax on comfy beds and even has lap cat potential. It may take White Foot a few moments to warm up to


new people, but once she is comfortable White Foot is all about soaking up the love! She has lived with other cats but will need time to adjust to a new feline family member or two. White Foot hopes you stop by PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron to meet her soon! Heywood is around 2 years old and weighs about 55 pounds. This is one happy-go-lucky, energetic boy, who is looking to join an active family. Heywood loves to play with squeaky toys and enjoys playing keep and way, he is also a very good self-entertainer. Heywood needs to be the only furry family member but this boy is all you will need, he will need to be adopted into a low traffic home with no small children. Stop in to say HEY to Heywood today at PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron.

PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron 7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087 | 1.888.588.8436 | 330.487.0333 | |


OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

THE Devil Strip |



“A Cycle of Love and Care” Theaster Gates on art and placemaking in Akron by M. Sophie Franchi Akron Roundtable welcomed Theaster Gates, Chicago-based artist and Founder & Artistic Director at Rebuild Foundation for its September event. Gates is also a Professor in the Department of Visual Art and Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago. For more information about Gates, his studio art and his development projects, visit M. Sophie Franchi: Do you see art as a part of placemaking? Or is placemaking a form of art? Theaster Gates: I see arts and culture as the

and propel work forward. I don’t see myself as a place-maker. A place only becomes a place because of people, and my work is about bringing people into a space with the hopes

not uncommon in cities across the country. Listening and talking to people doing work, I felt like there was a real opportunity for project leaders, creators, artists, developers to

who possess the vision and passion to get work done. From the conversations we have had, the sense is that leadership in Akron’s government is ready to try new things. With

foundation of the transformative, placebased work we do. Arts and culture creates platforms, which bring people, which in turn brings investment, which brings even more people and so on. This becomes a cycle of love and care that keeps the community

that the community, over time and with love, will flourish. Arts and culture can bring people together to meet one another, exchange ideas, and work together in new ways that build and transform communities.

collaborate with the city, with policy makers and planners, on finding ways to scale placebased work so that both small and larger developers can make an impact. Folks doing projects in Akron have demonstrated desire, a capacity to act—they just need room to get

initiatives like Reimagining the Civic Commons, you can see there’s interest and momentum, and that there is a moment happening in Akron with the potential for significant change to occur. It is not my or my team’s place to ‘do a project’ in Akron. Our role is to elevate

around a place thriving—and art is the spark, the catalyst. So I see art as part of platform

MSF: When you were in Akron, what opportunities did you see for placemaking?

things done.

the fantastic work Akron is doing for itself. The existing projects, people, and coalitions in

creation. These platforms are where new possibilities can be imagined and realized. They create new economic opportunities, places for people to gather and commune, increase

TG: We heard in our discussions that land-use regulations, zoning, and other municipal and professional codes were significant barriers for Akron, and prevented work from

MSF: What do you see in Akron's future? Could you see yourself working on a future project in Akron? TG: Akron is full of projects that come from

Akron that are moving work forward in their own city.

access, expand relationships, compound ideas,

moving forward. These types of barriers are

the countless creative people living there

Devil Strip editors kicking ass and taking names (and being featured in upcoming community events)

Community section editor Ilenia Pezzaniti’s short film premieres at The Nightlight

Managing editor M. Sophie Franchi to speak at PechaKucha Akron, Vol. 5

October 15 at The Nightlight Local filmmaker and photographer Ilenia

November 4 at The Bit Factory Writer, poet and TDS managing editor Sophie Franchi will present at the next installment of PechaKucha Akron by expanding on her brave

Pezzaniti’s #iwokeuplikethis photo series has gone a step further into the visual medium world. Join us for the premiere of her short

personal essay in the September issue about overcoming her heroin addiction. Going deeper than she could in print, Sophie will

film based on the #iwokeuplikethis project featuring the inspiring women in the photo series, which Ilenia created as a way to showcase “real women, honest faces.” After

discuss how undiagnosed PTSD led to years of self-medication and heroin addiction, and how she was able to push herself into

the short, the filmmaker will host a question and answer session with the audience so come ready to engage, eat some snacks and drink some fine beverages. Tickets are on sale for $6. Doors open at 5:30 pm, show starts at 6 pm. Check the Facebook page for ticketing information.

recovery with the support of friends and family. The event is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 when reserving a ticket. For more information, check the PechaKucha Akron website at pechakucha. org/cities/akron


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10






Director of Urban Planning, East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC)

Hometown: Home Now: Contact:

The middle of nowhere in western New York State The border between West Hill and Highland Square, (330) 773-6838

What's your big idea?

Falcione about the project, so hopefully the Arts opportunity to see art in their daily lives.

environment here is an important goal if we are

"Storefront Echoes" will fill in an empty space in the streetscape of East Akron and help to create a community-focused center of social activity. We are going to build simple covered parking spaces—essentially, just posts and a roof—along the sidewalk in a church parking lot on Arlington Street. When we hold our farmers market, however, they will convert to vendor stalls, spaces for people to buy and sell vegetables and stay out of the elements. The project is a finalist for the Knight Arts

Challenge will enable us to bring him on board.

to restore the housing market here and bring more opportunity.

Challenge, and if we receive the award, we are going to work with a metalwork artist to fill in the spaces between the posts on the side

just doesn't provide the neighborhood hubs it once did. This is an effort to fill the gaps in the Arlington streetscape, and in the social

we aren't starting completely from scratch here.

facing the street. Shapes resembling doors, windows and silhouettes of people will bring

experience of East Akron. And it will also integrate public art into the neighborhood.

Akron grow? Most importantly, I hope that Storefront Echoes

to mind the storefronts that once stood here. We've been talking with Akron artist Dominic

It's important that we give art a home in all of our neighborhoods, and that everyone has an

helps make Arlington Street a better place for people in East Akron. To restore the social

Why pursue it? Storefront Echoes is an important element of EANDC's neighborhood revitalization work in East Akron. In conversations with residents here, we learned that there is a need for the kind of space that promotes positive social gathering, particularly along Arlington Street. It's a neighborhood that has suffered from a lot of disinvestment, and Arlington Street

When did you know your big idea was a good idea? When other people got excited about the project and saw how it fit a neighborhood need. Neighbors we talked to liked the idea and saw the connection to neighborhood revitalization, as did Dominic Falcione. The trustees at Arlington Church of God were very open to hosting the project on their parking lot. Market stalls have been built in other cities, so

Beyond that, I think this project can prototype some different infill strategies for Akron, where demolition and depopulation and so many parking spaces have just left things too spread out. Landscaping and greenspace will only take us so far in filling in the gaps in our city, and hopefully this will get us thinking about other ways to rebuild Akron's urban environment. // Photo courtesy of Kyle Julien

How do you hope your big idea helps

Calling all ghosts and goblins! Join the fun at everyone’s favorite non-scary Halloween event. Dress your kids in costume to trick-or-treat through the zoo. Buy tickets at, the zoo box office or Acme Fresh Market stores.

Event Details: 11:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 & 30


Sponsored by:


OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

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New / Native: Photos by Jessica Morris

What is our favorite thing about autumn

title or position, would answer the call. I know

in Akron? Autumn in Akron is fantastic. Who could pass up things like Szalays, Hale Farm, the Towpath,

that when a young person has a dream or starts a business, there are people here who answer the call. It’s what Akron does. Who could leave

Scenic Railway, Peninsula, festivals, weekend football, cider, doughnuts, etc.? Its truly the

a place like that?

American experience here, and I think Akron embodies the best of the mid-west.

What’s the creepiest place in Akron? I had a face-to-face meeting with Chris Horne

When did you fall for Akron? This past year we had a chance to leave

once. No, it’s more of an event: when it’s 10 degrees outside and there’s a line out the door for Luigi’s. The place is great, but that’s crazy!

What do you wish was on more

to North Hill. I try to frame the experience for them so they understand what it used to be, is,

for another job in a different city, a great opportunity with great perks. We had a great decision to make, but for the first time in my life, I knew if I left here, I’d regret it, no matter

Where in Akron do you like to escape? Kelli and I go to Rubber Ducks games as much as possible. We love the atmosphere and the

Akronites’ radar? I think North Hill is a gem. There’s a lot of great people there, and so many interesting

and why it is a special place. Although I know it’s on Akronites’ radar, I think we need an attitude adjustment. I’ve lived there, the mayor

the offer. So, we committed to Akron, and it felt great. I think this city is special because there’s such a spirit of cooperation among the

fact that it’s truly Akron’s biggest bar with a great baseball team. We get general admission tickets sit near right field, and have a blast. All

places. I travel internationally quite a bit, and I truly believe you can find the same charm and experiences in parts of North Hill that you’d

lives there. It could be a thriving international district should we choose to invest our time, energies, and belief in it. And, Rancheros

people. There’s a scrappy pride and a hidden secret about living here that I appreciate. When I want to solve a problem or help a student, I

winter long, we can’t wait for this. In fact, for our wedding, on of our friends got us “Duck Bucks”.

pay to find somewhere else. In face, whenever I have friends or family in town, I take them

Taqueria makes the best enchiladas this side of the border.

could pick up the phone and know that four to five people in the community, no matter their

Kevin Smith




Director, Institute for Leadership Advancement, College of Business Administration, The University of Akron Norwalk, OH

Neighborhood: Cuyahoga Falls

Christin Amer Mayer Occupation: Hometown:

President of GAR Foundation Akron Neighborhood: Works downtown but sleeps in Solon, OH


What’s the creepiest place in Akron? The canal downtown by the steam plant. I almost flipped my kayak when that steam monster hissed at me. Very Industrial Age creepy!

When did you fall for Akron?

Where in Akron do you like to escape?

What do you wish was on Akronites’ radar more? Local art! I wish local art was on more people’s

I would say about 10 years ago. I’ve had work and personal commitments all over Northeast Ohio, so I’ve had many allegiances for years.

For sure the Metroparks trails. I am a birdwatching nerd to the core, si I am always happiest walking around listening for feathered

radar. Some of us realize how rich the offerings are, but there are so many others out there

At some point, I realized that my heart is unequivocally here in Akron, mainly because of

friends, and trying to spot them in the trees.

who need to tune in to the local art scene.

its incredible network of warm, quirky people.

Why Is It Called Manchester Road? by Amanda Sedlak-Hevsener

What is your favorite thing about autumn in Akron? The trees. I’m that crazy person who pulls over and gets out of her car to look at the extraordinary trees. Ask my kids!

Manchester Road, also known as Route 93, runs roughly from north to south through the southern third Summit County. The road runs past many of the lakes that Summit County is known for, as well as a

although you’ll be hard-pressed to find any signs stating that you’re in Manchester anymore.

number of shopping centers and other things. Although it might be easy to assume that the name comes from the town of Manchester in

Manchester Village was founded in 1815 with the intention of becoming a trading village that, according to the “History of Summit County,” was a pleasanter place than nearby Clinton. The layout of

England, that answer is only partially correct. As it turns out, the name “Manchester” is very popular in Ohio. There’s a small town by that name down by the Ohio River, and the city of Cuyahoga Falls was once given it as well. A third village called Manchester, according to the 1891 atlas, was located at the southern edge of Summit County, and is now a part of the town of New Franklin. There are still parts of that town that bear the name, from

the village was arranged by Mahlon and Aaron Stewart, who named it after their hometown of Manchester, Connecticut, which, in turn, was named after the Manchester in England. It was a booming village, filled with plenty of tradespeople and merchants, who moved in and opened up shops to take advantage of the new canal that passed through town. Over time, the village became a part of New Franklin, and now all that

(PHOTO: Amanda Sedlak-Hevener/The Devil Strip)

is left of it are historical maps and stories, as well as a few namesakes – one of which is Manchester Road.

the Manchester School District to the Manchester Cemetery, located at the intersection of West Nimisila Road and Manchester Road,

// Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local historian. She has an M.A. in History from the University of Akron, and is currently enrolled in the MLIS Museum Studies program at Kent State.

Pictured: The intersection of Manchester Road and West Waterloo Road.


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10



Akron Ex-Pat Akron Ever After by Rebekah Trachsel Shardy

When I left Akron, Ohio, I was 26 years old, four months pregnant and hastily married. Only months before, I aspired to be a Catholic nun, and worked for the Church. It was a job I loved. I organized an ecumenical hunger program between a suburban white Catholic parish and an urban black Baptist church, lobbied for social justice, and trained volunteers in the economic justice papal encyclicals that disapproved of American greed. But I was also disillusioned by priests who did not want a shelter in their empty convents for families escaping domestic violence …”those” kind of people might make their congregations uncomfortable.

Great parks maintained immaculately. A variety of bogs and fens I have begun to explore.

People who are down to earth, kinder than most, and hopefully not fooled by megalomaniac presidential candidates. Ohioans, for large healthcare companies. I gave it up to and Akronites in particular, value humility as write. I had one book published and three short much as honesty. fiction awards. My three produced plays poke people to think about social justice— especially “An Honest Woman” about blackballed,

The Bad:

Drivers who tailgate. Anybody that cozy with my behind better buy me dinner. Hey truck driver riding me! That sign posts your speed limit—not your IQ.

I converted to the Church at the University of Akron because I believed in a God that

Insufficient laws to protect animals and the environment. People here still think it’s just fine

comforted the disturbed, and disturbed the comfortable. With a degree in Social Work and to burn their trash in the backyard. You can Gerontology, I championed the rights of nursing trap coyotes; other wildlife are sadly met as roadkill that I swear your rural drivers aim to hit. home residents to the point of respectable ostracism. Now I was myself disenfranchised: an Waterways appear dirtied; litter is too common. unprepared, struggling new mother traveling to a strange place.

More good than bad and ugly, but love demands growth and improvement. How did I grow while away? After a stint on food stamps living marginally, I eventually worked my way from social worker to high paid consultant

The Ugly:

outspoken Dorothy Parker. I designed and led a free creative writing program for women survivors of domestic violence, addiction and incarceration, and published three collections of their work to educate the community about social reality. When I came out, I compiled the first LGBTQ book of life stories “Colors of Courage” and used it to facilitate peacemaking discussion groups within conservative Christian churches called “Dialogues of Courage.” The largest gathering we sponsored had 800 attendees. Most recently, I loved training the community and volunteers about death, dying and the value of hospice.

I’ve returned 34 years later—still an activist and now out as a lesbian—to find Akron

Racism. In the suburban/rural neighborhood where I care for an elder brother, I count

As I grow old, it seems to me the Dalai Lama is right. All rigid religious and political beliefs

oddly unchanged in the poor non-gentrified neighborhoods I haunted my first two and a half decades on earth. It’s not all I’ve found:

three homes displaying confederate flags. Reminds me of the days when two policemen

can be replaced by one simple, single urgently needed truth: kindness. I found it returning to

investigating a break-in at my childhood home bragged about belonging to the Klan.

Akron. I found it in the welcome I received from both the Shambhala Buddhist group and the Archangel St Michael Orthodox Christian church

Too many so-called ‘Gentlemen's Clubs.’ Mistakenly stopping at one hotel, I discovered it was a prostitution waystation. Raised

that welcomed me, as did many strangers and old friends.

memories of my childhood friend who was pimped at age 11. Akron, you may have a human trafficking problem.

The best in us, and Akron, survives.

The Good: Lots of small, independently owned businesses. Some have been around for 30-plus years, testaments to tenacity and loyalty you don’t find in cities redeveloped every three years. New restaurants and cultural businesses are vital and optimistic.


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| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


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The Art Bomb Brigade breathed new life into the alley around the corner from Chill Artisan Ice Cream using designs by Akron artist Jay Croft. A couple weeks after that mural was unveiled, Chill made a brand new ice cream with Red Hots and inspired by The Devil Strip.

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å ç





The palette: å Akron Art Prize 2016 Sept 3 - Oct 1 at Summit Artspace Christine Paringer’s Art & Life Now through October 12, Akrona Galleries Akrona Galleries will be showcasing Chris'


$20 for general admission. Visit realedgedance. org for more information.

‹ Main Event: Jamaal May November 2, 7 pm, Akron-Summit County Public Library Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Event series presents Jamaal May, poet, winner

remaining artworks in honor of her memory and birthday. Pieces will be for sale and proceeds will be donated in her name. Christine of the Beatrice Hawley Award and NAACP was a docent at the Akron Art Museum and active in the Akron Women's Art League as well Image Award Nominee and Author of Hum and The Big Book of Exit Strategies. The event as the Akron Ohio Collage Society. is free and open to the public. Visit the library’s Facebook page for more information. ç The Fantasticks October 13-22, Weathervane Playhouse Explore the trials of young love and parental è Right Place, Right Time Runs through October 15, interference in Weathervane’s newest Nine Muses Art Gallery production, The Fantasticks. Tickets are $35 for adults. Visit for more information.

é Prism October 14-16, Paul A. Daum Theatre Real Edge Dance Company presents its annual fall concert featuring modern dance works by RED Artistic Director Kelli Sanford, Guest Dance


humorist writer David Sedaris. He is the author of Barrel Fever, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day and more. Sedaris has been featured in The New Yorker countless times and his original radio pieces can be found on the public radio show, This American Life. Tickets begin at $25. Visit for more information.

arts News Brief by Bronlynn Thurman

ë Fall at the Art Museum

October 20, 6pm, The Rialto Theatre Join Wandering Aesthetics and the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance for a storytelling event focusing on the neighborhood of Kenmore.

The Akron Art Museum has a season full of family-friendly arts events. It has everything from the Art Tales to Tots Create to Creative Playdates for ages 0-5. Also, back again for another year, the Akron Art Museum will host its annual Trick or Treat on South High

The event is free to the public. Visit Kenmore

Street. Be sure to join them to help create

Neighborhood Alliance’s Facebook page for more information.

your child’s creative side alive. (Photo courtesy of Akron Art Museum)

Stunning photography from local artist Kathy

‹ Full Circle Storytelling Vol. 2

í “Denouement”

Cameron focuses on the beauty of nature. Cameron avoids extensive editing techniques in favor of showing scenes as they were viewed. Visit Nine Muses’ Facebook page for more

October 26, 6pm, Jilly’s Music Room

University of Akron’s Myers School of Art

Join Wandering Aesthetics for their Full Circle Storytelling focusing on the theme Ghosts of

Senior Jaclyn Hale will be showcasing her senior Art Exhibition at Zeber-Martell

the Past. This will be an intimate evening of storytelling with music provided by Amy Heisi of Light of the Loon and Church of Starry

Gallery until October 8. Her work focuses on translating traditional textile work like weaving into metal. You are not going to

Wisdom. This event is free, but registration is recommended if you wish to share a story.

want to miss this senior exhibition. (Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Hale)


ê An Evening with David Sedaris

Artist Damien Highfield and a community piece. October 16, 7pm, Akron Civic Theatre Spend an evening with the master of satire and Tickets are $15 for students and seniors and

‹ The Stories of Kenmore

OHIO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES BIG MOVE AND NEW OFFERINGS Ohio Shakespeare Festival recently signed the lease to become the newest tenants of Greystone Hall in downtown Akron.

Check out for more information.

Ohio Shakespeare Festival has been performing live, professional Shakespeare outdoors at Stan Hywet Hall for 15 years. While they will continue to perform at Stan Hywet for the warmer months, they will now perform year-round with indoor performances at

Monday Fight Night October 10, 7 - 8:30 pm

Join OSF at Greystone Hall on the second Monday of every month Greystone Hall. OSF has new offerings as well, such as Educational for a 90 minute focus class from Fight Director Ryan Zarecki. Zarecki will pick the theme for each month Will it be sword and Workshops, readings, and other “extras.” (continued on page 50)


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ull of hing eative n for will

by Scott Piepho The artist who led the APS/Akron Arts Prize creative crosswalks project could get an award for the most perfectly appropriate name. Random Cushing–his given name—describes

be spent developing my skills,” he said. He transferred to Ohio State where he received an

himself as a nomadic illustrator, battle rapper and burrito enthusiast.

art degree and has been working as an artist since graduating in 2012. After

With an artistic sensibility that he calls hip hop cartoon, the Akron-based artist offered a perfect fit for a project conceived in part by middle schoolers.

a brief stint in Montreal after graduating, he came back to Akron.

much of his business through his website, Randomswebsite. com. He also sells on his travels around the country. His many projects include the web comic Refill, which is currently on hiatus, but is scheduled to return this winter with a new issue.

When asked about his Cushing’s family moved to the Akron area for his senior year of high school. Although he had a strong interest in art and “never stopped drawing,” he began his college career studying Chinese and Economics at the University of Akron.









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influences, Cushing begins with his favorite artist, Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Waterson. He also cites Jamie Hewlett who visualized the fictitious alternative rock/hip hop group Gorillaz and French comic book artist Jean Giraud also known as Mobius.

In addition to his visual art, Cushing competes in the rap battles. He first developed his lyrical skills as a middle school student in Burdonsville, Maryland, becoming involved in freestyle tournaments over the past couple of years. He was listed in the recent

“lots of people here love it and want it to be great. And that’s getting moreso; there’s more of a sense of community since I moved back.” Cushing is able to support himself as a full-time artist by pursuing it as a business. “A lot of what I do is figuring out how people need art and how does my art fit into that.” Cushing notes that most artists are not natural business people, finding it difficult to make the connections they need to make to get paid. If he has a project with a budget (like the creative crosswalks project), he frequently brings in collaborators who he pays out of his stipend. Ultimately he would like to see institutional support for artists seeking connections to potential customers.

After two and a half years, he gave up the article “Battle Rap Rookies You

To see more of Cushing’s work, check him out

original plan of starting with a “real job.” Cushing works primarily as an illustrator on Putting off his real goal of becoming an artist small commissions, finding people who “will meant that “I would be wasting time that could pay for doing what I want to do.” He does

Should Know About.”

on the web at

He observes that in the Akron arts community


ell ses ke to


JULY2016 2016 •• VOL VOL22 •• ISSUE ISSUE#10 #7 / OCTOBER

THE Devil Strip |


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MUSTARD AND COFFEE: UNLIKELY MEDIUMS Knight Arts Challenge winner Akron Soul Train presents first fellow, John Sokol words and photos by M. Sophie Franchi


The Scene

Art Bomb Brigade strikes again Knight Arts Challenge winner Art Bomb Brigade recently completed a second mural at Chill, downtown Akron’s new gourmet ice cream shop. University of Akron’s art education faculty and alumni worked with Vans illustrator and skateboarder Jay Croft to complete the mural. The Brigade is currently dropping a third Art Bomb, this time on the Akron Sustainer. Lead artist and designer Daniel Coffield will work with his Firestone High School visual arts students through October 14 to create an eco-inspired mural that will complement the Sustainer’s eco-friendly building techniques and natural elements. The mural unveiling party for the Akron Sustainer mural will take place on Sunday, October 16, 4 - 6 pm at The Akron Sustainer, 21 W. North St, in the Northside District of downtown Akron. Check out Art Bomb Brigade’s facebook page for details: @artbombrigade. // Photos of Chill mural by M. Sophie Franchi


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t’s not every day one gets to drink the art supplies. But John Sokol, Akron Soul Train’s first fellow, doesn’t work with typical mediums. Today is no exception: the paintings he is

Sokol works from his home, surrounded by the tar-and-varnish paintings for which he is widely known. On his weathered dining room table rest several tools and an array of liquids. He doesn’t

creating for the Akron Soul Train exhibition are born of an eclectic mix of coffee, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, mustard and a squirt bottle full of a dark mystery concoction— his own secret recipe.

use paintbrushes. Instead, he uses putty knives of various sizes to move the dark mixture around on watercolor paper. “Okay, you want some mustard?” Sokol asks

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before the final step of hosing it down. Pictured left: Sokol pours coffee over one of his paintings.

before he leaves the dining room for a moment and returns with a yellow bottle. “Now I’m turning it into a circus act,” he says as he squirts this flavorful medium onto his paper from several feet above the table. Sokol makes an abstract piece and two botanically-themed pieces. After partially drying the paintings with a hairdryer, Sokol pours freshly brewed coffee over them, followed by laundry detergent. He hits them again with the hairdryer and then takes them down to his basement, where he uses a garden hose to wash off excess medium and “finish” the artworks. At the end of the artist demonstration, Sokol has created three paintings in under an hour. “Art doesn’t have to take a long time or be difficult,” he says. “One of my favorite pieces is Picasso’s… ‘Bull’s Head,’ where he took three minutes to weld bicycle handles to a bicycle seat.” As Akron Soul Train’s first fellow, Sokol will receive a $1,000 stipend and the opportunity to show his Pictured left: Amy

Train is working with GPD Designs to build an artist community, using refurbished shipping containers, rail cars and tiny houses to create a residential, working village. It will be open year round with workshops and programming on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Next year, they will offer three artist fellowships of different lengths, with residential and studio space. Fellows will include artists from various disciplines, including visual arts, theater, music, and literary arts. For more information, visit

tuesday musical Sponsored by The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation.

Cover Image: Sokol uses a hairdryer to dry his work

new work at the Spectrum Gallery (at the Global Business Accelerator on South Main Street) November 3 through 5. Akron Soul


Wednesday, October 12, 7 p.m. Guzzetta Recital Hall University of Akron STEVE REICH’S Drumming Sō PERCUSSION & the UA Percussion Ensemble Experience Reich’s breakthrough masterpiece for percussion and voice, inspired by the composer’s studies in West Africa. Drumming is exhilarating, intelligent and fun.

Thursday, November 3, 7 pm Akron Art Museum WEATHER SCORES: Science, Data, Sculpture & Music Inspired by Nathalie Miebach’s storm sculptures that embody the forces of nature and time, composers Christian Gentry and Mischa Salkind-Pearl are creating musical scores for our In collaboration with the Akron Art Museum. talented Fuze musicians. Tickets on-line, by phone, at the door.

Refreshments after each concert.


Mothersbaugh, founder of Akron Soul Train seated next to one of Sokol’s tar-andvarnish paintings.

QUILT SHOW Ohio’s Leading Quilt Show SAT. & SUN., OCTOBER 22 -23, 2016 John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill Street, Akron, OH

• Art Quilts from • Judged Show Quilt National ‘15 • Vendors • Free Parking • Lectures & Demonstrations Sponsored by Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio


Photos courtesy of C. Birch

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Akron Artist, illustrator compiles

creepy story collection by Chris Miller,

This originally appeared on on September 14, 2016. For more awesome Akron stories, check out ————————————————————


to leave an impression on his readers. Not to mention the fact that his current crowdfunding campaign has met its original $20,000 goal. So he’s set up a few stretch goals, like adding a spot varnish cover at the $30,000 mark to add some “extra creepiness,”

on’t let the name fool you. Akron artist Shawn Coss’ upcoming book

“KinderGarten” is most definitely not for children. While the illustrated collection has

and an expansion to include the “Lost Lucy Gallery.”

the look and feel of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” there is no humor within Coss’ pages. And the content is pretty dark.

Also, Cecil Baldwin of the darkly popular “Welcome to Nightvale” podcast has recently recorded one of the stories, which has been

“KinderGarten” which is still in production, features a creepy little girl named Lucy who’s led through 11 different tales (some in the form of diary entries and poems) that are manifestations of Coss’ own fears as a new parent, and how, when his first child was born he started “losing his mind” with worry. “No one really prepared me for when I became a dad a few years ago that you’re going to think of every scary f$#%ing thing that can

Pictured above: ‘KinderGarten,’ by Akron artist Shawn Coss, features a creepy little girl named Lucy who’s led through 11 different tales that are manifestations of Coss’ own fears as a new parent; Shawn Coss.

Like “Gentle Swing,” in which Lucy’s dad never took the time to play with her, until he ended his life, and now he swings with her every day. In “Breathe Easy,” Lucy observes her mom’s illness, and her mom’s movements become,

happen to your kid: good luck,” says Coss, whose day job is working as a cartoonist, writer, “like a marionette made of sticks, her toenails drag across the floor, I hear her outside voice actor and background designer for the the door.” popular “Cyanide and Happiness” Web comic “Family Tree” finds Lucy’s parents mentioning that the wood from her tree will one day be used for her coffin. Despite the subject matter, Coss’ illustrations are darkly beautiful, and his stories cover such topics as suicide, sickness and accidental death.


admits to being obsessed with. Gammel’s artwork and stories have scarred many a child for generations.

throughout this process: “I used to say I’m making a creepy children’s book; now I say I’m making a creepy book about children dying.” When asked about what inspires him, Coss says

Coss writes: “As artists, we tend to bleed out in front of our audiences, and reveal fears and vulnerabilities that no shrink could pull out of

he looks for it everywhere. “Movies, music, conversation, I try to be open to let anything inspire me. I really look up to (artist) Alex

from even the longest couch session. I find myself in an odd place where I’m putting what I typically keep hidden away into physical form,

Pardee. We’ve become close friends over the past couple of years, and he’s helping me to understand art as a career.”

and in front a potential large audience no less.”

and cartoon series. He’s also a part-time ER nurse, which helps provide insurance benefits for his young family.

added to the rewards. “Creepy Pasta” Reddit community and the aforementioned “Scary Stories” book series and As Coss discusses his motivation for writing this creator Stephen Gammel, whom Coss book, he clarifies how his pitch has changed

Existential fears aren’t the only ones plaguing

The intended audience are readers about 16

Coss. He also has a fear of how much people will like the book when it comes out. But that is a fear that is likely unfounded, as his dark yet

years of age and up, especially fans of the

elegant artwork and brisk storytelling are sure

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For info, visit Coss’ Facebook page, and to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, visit kindergarten-a-collection-of-creepy-stories-by-sha.


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Have you ever looked at a knot in a tree trunk or a curve of a branch and thought it looks just like a person? John Whitman, an Akron area artist living near Highland Square, does just that but goes a number of steps further. He works to bring out that natural movement of wood and show organic forms to those of us who may not see those imaginative characteristics. Using found wood such as black walnut and live oak, Whitman uses his studies of anatomy to form torsos reminiscent of the marble torsos we are used to seeing in museums. Whitman’s home studio is adjacent to a ravine, giving a natural, rural setting to an otherwise urban location. Deer and other animals explore this ravine and scramble up to his back yard filled with flowers and veggies. This natural setting is appropriate for an artist whose work and influences are oriented towards the observation and exploration of nature. “I am influenced by the organic more than the

the corner of a room with golden inlay filling the crevices of the wood. In his workshop, the organic, smooth curves of a lithe female torso are in process on a pedestal near by. She has turquoise stone beginning to fill a crack down her shoulder and chest. Whitman’s skill with his tools and materials is evident in each piece of wood that falls to his creative spirit.

Photos courtesy of C. Birch

idea of what an object … is expected to be,” he said. “Is this a table or just something to set

Whitman began creating as early as first grade, influenced by his father’s woodworking and his older brother’s

things on?” With this free mindset, he explores his found pieces of wood to see what they should become. Each piece has a story and a history that is connected to what he ends up creating.

Inside the Studio:

John Whitman

by C. Birch

Walking into the Whitman’s home, it is apparent that art is a living, breathing thing. There are handmade items on the walls, floors and surfaces. Whitman showed me smoothed wooden curvaceous stems with flat floral wooden tops, about 2.5 feet tall. They intertwine just so, holding each other upright, and serve as a perfect side table as well as a sculptural piece. A woman’s torso, chunky and gorgeous, sits in

creativity. He loves to demonstrate, often giving woodworking demonstrations at events and art shows. He gets to show process often since he works as an art teacher at a local Akron school. You may recognize some of Whitman’s work from the Akron Art Prize last year. While you will continue to see his incredible organic sculptures show up around Akron and beyond, you will likely find Whitman at the Diamond Deli downtown or caring for his new baby with his wife. You can find him and his contact information on

United Way of Summit County

VOLUNTEERS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN UNITED WAY’S WORK TO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY STRONGER. we are hosting a variety of community engagement events in 2016, uniting volunteers to make a difference for our neighbors. the projects can accept large groups, and offer teambuilding and networking opportunities.


GET INVOLVED @ UWSUMMIT.ORG/VOLUNTEER great things happen when we LIVE UNITED! United Way of Summit County UWSUMMIT.ORG


OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

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“POETRY WRITING AS A STUDY IN INTIMACY” An interview with Billy Collins by Lia Pietrolungo

interested in the things he trips upon of the course of the day.

away from the person. But anyway, he’s a solitary character. Kind of un-plugged from a lot of stuff that we all are plugged into like having jobs, paying bills, and taking out the garbage, stuff like that. He’s immune from all those obligations because he’s too busy daydreaming

In anticipation of his visit to the Akron Public

BC: Never…I just don’t work that way. I don’t

Now, the genesis of this persona. I’m an English major and got

Library for the Main Event Speaker Series, we spoke with Poet Billy Collins about personas, poetry writing, and his newest collection, “The Rain in Portugal: Poems.”

roll that way. I look at poems to be an organic experience for me. In other words, you start at the beginning and you continue until you get to the end, like they say in Alice in wonderland.

a PhD in English Literature. I taught college English most of my life, so I have lots of friends like Wordsworth and Coleridge and Harvey, the whole gang that I’ve taught for

to go to work, for example. So he’s a daydreamer, yeah. Sort of an idler. I’d say he’s less miserable than a lot of other personas that you find in contemporary poetry. He’s misery

LIA PIETROLUNGO: How and where do you like to write?

And so that’s why I do it in one sitting. And the other reason is I’m really curious about where the hell this thing is going…If anywhere.

decades. My persona basically comes out of English Romantic Poetry. …There’s a romantic figure who is kind of a solitary person. He’s

challenged. He doesn’t see poetry as conveyor belt of personal misery because assumes no one’s interested. Correctly, I think.

BILLY COLLINS: How… let’s see. Well, where is easier. I’m not fussy about where I write, I don’t have a special place or a special smoking jacket and a candle in a room—a temperature,

Many times the poem doesn’t want to go anywhere and it just ends up in the garbage. But if it wants to go somewhere I’m willing to go with it and so I couldn’t just get up and

often walking through a landscape or sitting observing a landscape and he kind of bounces off this landscape into his interior and confronts a series of memories or concepts or fantasies

climate controlled room or anything. I can write anywhere. On a plane, or in the car. I remember —I’ve been to Ireland quite a few times and I’ve rented cars and you’re driving—I’m righthanded—on the other side of the road. Usually in America I can use my right hand to write

go take a break because I’m sort of fully into the poem and I think that if the writing of the poem is a kind of organic experience where you don’t get the sense that the writer is breaking for lunch or something then it will be an organic reading experience for the reader.

and then returns to the landscape. But my persona is very disconnected in that way. He’s an extremely solitary figure. There are very few other people in my poems except him. One of my things that I’ve said before, maybe you’ve heard me say this in another interview, I tell

while I drive, but I can’t use my left hand to write while I’m driving in Ireland. So [laughs] I still don’t know why Ireland has so many famous poets because I don’t see how they can possible write while they’re driving, unless

So I always start at the beginning and follow it from there. If I started with something in the middle and worked around it to use the old terms from aesthetics or maybe Coleridge, it wouldn’t be an organic experience. It would be

my poetry students that the fewer people you have in your poems the more alone you are with the reader. I want to be

they’re left-handed.

a mechanical experience like moving box cars

alone with the reader. I

around to form a train. So it should be a flower instead of a train. LP: From this organic place, you have this

think of poetry writing as a study in intimacy. And I think that’s why poetry is different from

to anybody. I just go over to this chair that’s near a window and I always have some—a few

persona in your poems. He seems very much delighted with the world around him and with

public language. Like campaign speeches—

other books of poetry, a good anthology of Chinese poetry, for example—just to kick start me. And I’ll just read a few poems because they

himself. I’m curious about this persona and how closely he relates to you, and perhaps the genesis of this persona.

god help us—or advertising or rhetoric, whatever. All of that

Sometimes I try to have a little schedule if nothing else is happening...I get up in the morning before I hear any other voices or talk

tend to exhibit clarity and simplicity. And it gets BC: Well, let’s see. I do have a persona and I me a little in the groove and then I’ll try to write like that you used the word delighted because for about twenty minutes and if it’s not working at some point not too long ago I was thinking

stuff. Even novels. When I read a novel, I’m kind of aware that lots of

I’ll just go and do the dishes or something. I don’t labor it and I don’t sort of sit at a desk and try to sweat out an act of literature… Anyway, that’s a good time of the day and the

that I want to be a person and I am that person maybe some of the time who is, quote, ready to be delighted. I’m not walking around delighted all the time. That would be unrealistic, but I’m

people before me have read this novel and I’m just joining the people who’ve read it and at a

feeling that something is starting—like a little notion or first line—you know, there’s nothing

ready to be delighted…I kind of transfer that into my persona and you’re quite right, he is

dinner party I could say “yeah I read that too.”

like it. LP: In previous interviews you discuss starting at

quite taken with himself. I’m an only child, he’s probably an only child—I never asked him but if he’s not he shows no interest in his

When I’m reading good poetry I just think I’m being spoken to by this

the beginning of the poem and then using that to go forth. Do you ever find that you start with

brothers and sisters. Never writes about them. And he’s also quite interested, which saves him

individual and there’s no one else in the room.

a line that perhaps belongs in the middle to the end of the poem and build around that?

from being an unbearable egotist, is that he’s quite interested in the outside world. He’s quite

So, I’ve kind of drifted


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


Billy Collins is coming to ASCPL Main Branch October 15. The event is free and open to the public. // Photo of Billy Collins by Steven Kovich


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The Akron Anthology by Melanie Anderson


A Prelude to Confessions from the Throes of a Post-Grad Slump by Tessa Gaffney

The best stories of any given place are told by the people who have lived there. They’re the people who breathe its air, who know the best

a wide range of voices, ranging from budding writers show as Kyle Cochrun, a student in the NEOMFA program at the University of Akron,

best restaurants and the shadiest bars, who can retell stories of haunted places and who can relay the deepest emotions of a city in the face

to well-known voices such as Rita Dove, the former poet-laureate of the United States. The collection also includes a reflection by State

of change.

Representative Emilia Sykes about finding her way back to Akron.

That's what's so special about The Akron Anthology, the latest in a series of city-based

“There’s a kind of shared experience and

//Editor’s note: In the spirit of Belt’s Akron Anthology, we are including an essay from actor, artist and activist Tessa Gaffney, who has

going to Panama at the end of January to learn how to live sustainably and as I seem to have made a habit of long, revealing statements, I

anthologies published by Belt Publishing. Previous volumes in the series have focused on other Rust Belt cities, such as Cleveland,

landscape that’s gathered here, in tangible and surprising ways,” says Giffels. “Writing like this, having it collected in this way, is vitally

some wonderful words to share. ________________________________________

figured I’d keep with tradition.

Detroit, and Pittsburgh, and have attempted to reveal the true stories of these cities by the people who call them home. According to Belt Publishing, "the essays, photographs,

important for a sense of community.”

and poems that comprise the final product are impassioned, emotional, visceral tales

of The Akron Anthology and find stories and images of the places they know so well.

of individual lives lived in places that have been too often overlooked, stereotyped, and misrepresented elsewhere."

Martha Bayne says, "What sets this book apart is that it is truly a product of Akron, for Akronites and the people who love them."

My 18-year-old self would hate me; over a year out of college and I’m still working in food service and living in my hometown. But, whatever, that bitch doesn’t know anything. I mean, neither do I, but at least I know that. Here are some other things I know now that I didn’t then, from me to me: å Your mom is one of the most wonderful people on the planet; she deserves nothing but love and respect. In fact, your whole family is pretty great. You should get to know them.

Here are some things I’d like to leave behind:

å My addiction to social media, habit of comparison, and need for constant validation (at least the first part will be easy, as I won’t have any internet access, although even as I’m writing this, I really want everyone to like my post, and not just like it on here, but, like, actually like it).

ç My debilitating fear of failure, ridicule, and honest, open communication.

é Any lingering delusions of my own exceptionalism.

ç Your friends are the only reason you’ve gotten this far. Thank them and then return the favor.

Here are some things I’d like to bring back with me:

é Human connection is the only thing that

å Perspective.

Readers will definitely feel this sense of community as they turn through the pages

The Akron Anthology takes the same route. It brings together the many diverse voices of Akron to paint a colorful image of the city that many of us call home. "Like all our city-based anthologies, we aim with this book to offer a nuanced, multifaceted look at life in Akron— one that goes beyond popular narratives of industrial decay and, lately, LeBron James (though we do of course have a LeBron piece in the book)” says Martha Bayne, Senior Editor at Belt.

matters. Get better at it.

è Life is long. And short. Act accordingly. ê You have it so easy, it’s absurd. It’s not fair to anyone involved, but feeling guilty about your unearned privilege doesn’t help anybody. But you know what does? Helping somebody. You should try it sometime.

ë The manner in which you’re forced to pay your bills doesn’t define you unless you let it. Don’t.

í You’re the same person no matter where you are. Akron is filled with so many people waaaaaay cooler, smarter, more artistic, and

ç The ability to close the gap between who I am and who I want to be, and some insight

David Giffels, author of The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust

into my own motivations (or lack thereof) so I feel like less of a fraud all the time.

Belt and associate professor of English at the University of Akron, adds that while each of

é A skill, earned from real hard work. A personal first.

è A newfound belief in this “hope” I keep spouting about, a tiny glimmer of inspiration that we actually can make anything better, and ideas on how to do so in a less self-congratulatory way.

ê A vision for continued existence that

the stories help to piece together a shared experience, each one has its own personal center. This makes the book feel uniquely organic, say Giffels, who wrote the introduction to the anthology.

A book release party for The Akron Anthology will be held on Tuesday, October 18th, at the

“No collection of writers can tell a city’s story

Akron Public Library, 60 S High Street. The event begins at 6:00 PM and will

better than those at the ground level,” says Giffels. “Those stories need to be shared. The essays in this collection each reflect a writer’s unique niche of expertise or experience.”

doesn’t make me physically ill. Stories of Akron are told in moving

feature readings by the book's editor, Jason Segedy, as well as David Giffels, Joanna Wilson, and Chris Drabick, whose writings all appear in the anthology. The release party is FREE and open to the public.

harder working than you could ever hope to be; going to New York didn’t make you any more of these things and coming back didn’t make you any less, so shut up about

And, if that doesn’t work, I’ll return in three months to post pictures of the sights with lyric captions to showcase how worldly I am,

photographs of daily life, in introspective essays, and in humorous real-life stories which reflect a wide variety of experiences. There

it already and do something worthwhile, ya turkey!

splitting my remaining energy between (a) ignoring all responsibilities by binge-watching

are accounts of Akron’s booming immigrant community, of distinctly recognizable Akron

TV shows and (b) wishing I wasn’t at whatever part-time jobs I happen to be holding, in my usual fashion.

features such as the Goodyear Blimp and Archie ago and loves learning more about the city by writing about it. the Snowman and of colorful characters in a shady Akron bar. The reflections come from

On that note, I’m going somewhere else with the assumption that it will change me. I’m


// Melanie is an aspiring writer with a love for all things literary. Melanie came to Akron almost three years

OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

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the arts

Word Travels Wick Poetry Center has poetic plans for Akron by Melanie Anderson

There is magic in poetry. It allows a person to share deep feelings of love, of pain, of joy. It

inspiration and meaning behind the work as well. Many languages, cultures and

celebrates the intricacies and simplicities of language and connects communities through the sharing of common experiences and emotions.

backgrounds find a platform to speak through the Traveling Stanzas website.

"Poetry has a unique ability to offer a safe and welcoming space in which to engage in deeper conversations with oneself, with others, and the larger world," said David Hassler, director of Kent State University's Wick Poetry Center, which established Traveling Stanzas in 2009.

Wick received an arts grant from the Knight Foundation this past March and is continuing to expand. Future plans include poetry workshops, creating posters which combine poetry and graphic design to display in public places such as Akron METRO buses and outdoor kiosks in North Hill, and continued opportunities for

Through its interactive website, the Traveling Stanzas project provides this safe and welcoming space for poets of all ages and

people of all ages and languages to share their poetry through the interactive website. By January 2018, Wick plans to have established a digital traveling exhibit in order to share poetry with a wider range of people in a variety

backgrounds. Visitors can browse through videos of spoken poetry in five different

of settings, such as schools, hospitals and museums around Akron.

languages, sometimes with beautiful graphic design. Sometimes the poet explains the

the Annual Giving Voice event. (Photo courtesy

What's unique about Traveling Stanzas is the way it connects people through poetry by combining one of the oldest forms of communication with modern technology.

of Bob Christy)

Traveling Stanzas works with the International

Pictured below: Student reading a poem at

Institute of Akron and with Akron Public Schools to open doors of communication for Akron's large refugee and immigrant communities. Pictured above: Poetry Park at Kent State University (Photo courtesy of Gyorgyi Mihalyi-Jewell) Pictured right: Driving While Black, design by Zuzana Kubisova

"I think the most exciting part of our project is how we are using poetry to give voice to a refugee population that often does not have a voice in the larger community, while also using poetry as a means by which they learn English and make meaningful, emotional connections with their newly acquired language skills," Hassler said. Hassler has strong hopes for the project's impact in the community. "I hope that our project will encourage the Akron community to celebrate its rich, diverse voices and participate in the joy of reading and creating poetry," he said. "I also hope that the poems and videos will help people hear voices of ‘the other’ and give a human face and voice to the refugee population in the community as well as Akron Public School children." // Melanie is an aspiring writer and an English major for life. Having only lived in the Akron area for two

Check out Traveling Stanzas website at

years, she is excited to write for the Devil Strip and discover all that Akron has to offer.


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10





There are few people around Highland Square or Downtown who wouldn’t recognize E-Z immediately. A local legend, E-Z took The Devil Strip inside his private club, which some have nicknamed “The Tinfoil Palace.” (Photo by Tim Fitzwater)


OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

THE Devil Strip |


culture club



Summit peeks



A few months ago, our Akron-lovin’ friend Rachel Whinnery started Summit Peeks, a social media empire inspired to share the best of the area’s treasures. Each week, a different local takes control of the Summit Peeks account on Twitter (@SummitPeeks) to share their go-to spots with the 500+ faithful followers. Each issue, we’ll showcase a couple of our favorites.

Here’s what our some of our staff and contributors are currently digging .

“Summit Lake, as seen from Summit Lake Community Center & the new Reach Opportunity Center. #Akron2Akron #SouthAkron” — Rachel Krantz

Noor Hindi

Kaitlin Erdman

Bronlynn Thurman

I've been reading Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs. It's a collection of short stories. They're weird and wonderful, and especially

I recently picked up "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth. The book was published in May and has great reviews everywhere I look. I've only read the

I’ve been watching “Atlanta,” a television show created by Community’s Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, a.k.a. the man who should’ve been the next Spider-Man. The series

fun to read when you need a break from your busy schedule. So far, my favorite short story in the book is titled "Cocobolo." This book is also awesome to read to kids, and perfect for

first couple chapters so far, but I really enjoy Duckworth's writing style. The book is written along the premise that intelligence is not the reading out loud. I'm also excited about reading only determining factor in success, but rather Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children what Duckworth calls "grit," a measure of per(also written by Ransom Riggs) in preparation severance and passion for long term goals. The for the movie. book explores the idea that failure is not a per-

takes place in Atlanta where Donald Glover’s character “Earn” is trying to pull himself together and take care of his daughter after dropping out of Princeton University. The writing is engaging and unique. The story is well-developed and the characters are fleshed out with incredibly witty lines thrown in. I’m intrigued by

“Rain won't stop us from ing our @ AkronRubberDuck -@knittinlittle

manent state and that naturally talented people fail to meet expectations due to lack of grit. It

the nutella-eating, suit-wearing sage who has a dog companion.

#summitpeeks” — Andrea Sanchez

is a great read for anyone lacking motivation or needing to recenter themselves in their work.

Akron HERstory:

Ada Louise Sutton Saalfield By Ilenia Pezzaniti


Remember “Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter? Well, Ada (or Adah) Louise Sutton Saalfield

Quincy Adams on one side of her family, and of Sir John Sutton of Essex, England on the other

In 1897, Ada moved to Akron with her husband and five children. Here, Ada was a charter

continued the series where Beatrix left off, publishing here, in Akron. Ada was an author and poet. The Akron Times often published her poetry on the front page. In addition to

side. She graduated from Hunter College and in 1885 married Arthur J. Saalfield, who was the president of Saalfield Publishing, a large national publishing house based in Akron, formerly

member of the Akron Woman’s City Club. She was also affiliated with the Akron and Summit County Federations of Women’s Clubs and involved with the Akron Young Women’s

writing poetry and children’s books, she also wrote letters to newspaper editors, in which she advocated working women. She was also an

known as Werner Publishing. Ada was a leading pioneer in Arthur’s early business success with her children’s books. Ada wrote “Mr. Bunny,”

Christian Association. Ada was involved heavily with the Humane Society in Akron.

animal rights activist, opposing the exploitation of animals for research, education, and product testing. A real gem, this Ada.

“His Book,” “Sweeter Still Than This,” “Teddy Bear,” “Baby Dear,” “Little Maid in Toyland” and “Friendship Series,” all published under

Ada spent her later years withdrawn from society after becoming an invalid. On November 18, 1935, at age 75, Ada passed away at the

Saalfield Publishing, using her maiden name. Her poetry collections include “Seeds of April Sowing” and “I Have Called You Friends.”

Mayflower Hotel in Akron.

Ada was born in 1860 in Brooklyn, New York. Fun fact: Ada is a direct descendent of John

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


community Calling & culture all ghosts and gob




Join the fun at everyone’s favorite non Halloween event. Dress your kids in co to trick-or-treat through the zoo. Buy ti at, the zoo box office or Fresh Market stores.

Event Details: 11:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 & 30

å ë



community events

‹ Ohio Mart

the Summit County Historical Society.

Oct. 6-9 • Stan Hywet Hall, 10am – 5pm This year is the 50th annual Ohio Mart at Stan Hywet Hall. There will be number of local artisans selling handmade sculptures, pottery,

‹ All-Access Akron: A Community Conversation

pens, jewelry, and scarves, as well as vendors peddling vintage goods and books. You won’t want to miss the needlework and flower

Public Library Main Branch, 6pm The Young Black Professionals Coalition (YBPC) will host a Town Hall forum designed

designs exhibits, or the silent auction.

to address the issues plaguing the African American community, as well as race relations between citizens and police. YBPC believes that true change starts with us as individuals. This

å Akron and Summit County

True Crime Tour

Oct. 7 • Perkins Square Mansion, 7 – 9pm If you’ve ever been interested in some of the

Oct. 11 at Akron Summit County

city-wide conversation will include a panel of politicians, community leaders, clergy, members of the media, citizens and students to discuss

scandalous crimes that have taken place in the area, then this tour is for you. The walking tour issues as well as proposed solutions. The event starts Perkins Square Mansion and loops around will be moderated and have an opportunity for to Highland Square and back. Tour lead by members in the audience to ask questions or Laura Lyn, psychic medium and historian from voice their concerns to members on the panel.

Community News Brief An overview of community news in Akron by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener

Free and open to the public. Panel discussion need to have some good old fashioned family beginning promptly at 6:15 pm. For information fun at Boo at the Zoo. Your little trick or treaters contact Eric Fletcher or Tierra Holman at (614) can see all of the zoo animals, while picking up 668-2225 or via email at candy from the many stations set up around

ç Murder in the Mansion Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 Stan Hywet Hall, 6:45 – 9:15pm Step back into the 1920s and enjoy a fun murder-mystery evening at Stan Hywet Hall. After the performance – and you’ve figured out who you think the murderer is – there will be beverages and light refreshments served in the Manor House Auditorium.

the Akron Zoo’s grounds. Presale tickets are available at the Akron Zoo and at Acme Fresh Markets.

è Scarecrow Day Oct. 16, F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 12 – 4pm Scarecrow building, arts and crafts, and a crow calling contest are all part of the Scarecrow Day fun at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm. There

é Boo At the Zoo

will also be storytelling, raffles, marshmallow roasting, and much more. Each participant receives a paper bag and some basic scarecrow

Oct. 15-16, 22-23, 29-30 Akron Zoo, 11:30am – 7:30pm A candy passport and costumes are all that you

supplies – you need to bring your own clothing for your straw man – or woman! (continued on page 51)

We Get You ... Deuri (pictured above) has volunteered for Keep Akron Beautiful since 1981, when it was founded, while Zampelli has worked for the program since 2002. He served as Board Chair for the last two years, and has committed to staying on in that position through the end of 2017. Together they, as well as all of the other people working for and with Keep Akron Beautiful, work hard to ensure that Akron’s streets are not filled with litter and other debris. (Photos courtesy of Keep Akron Beautiful)

© Sigrid Olsson / Alamy

• Where you want to go with TripTik® Travel Planner maps and directions

Keep Ohio Beautiful Award Recipients

• What you want to know -

Two local citizens received awards from Keep

with hotel, discount and gas price information

Ohio Beautiful. Keep Akron Beautiful board member Captain Daniel Zampelli (pictured above) received the Board Member of the YearDan Weisenbach Spirit Award, and volunteer Tom Deuri received the Volunteer of the Year Award. These awards were initially given out at

“Getting Ahead” with Bridges Summit County The United Way of Summit County, together with Bridges Summit County, will be holding

a series of “Getting Ahead” courses that start on October 24. These courses are aimed at low Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, although both income residents of Summit County, and consist received additional recognition on August 31 at of teaching them about the issues in the (continued on page 51) the Akron Art Museum.

• Help along the way -

with easy road service request

the Keep Ohio Beautiful Annual Meeting and Awards Program on July 12 at the Franklin Park


Our apps keep you mobile. Download today. OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

THE Devil Strip |


Sponsored b

culture club

The Most Interesting Person We Know Shooting hoops with E-Z in the Tinfoil Palace by TJ Masterson; Photos by Tim Fitzwater


Are you easy like Sunday morning? "Yep, and every other morning."

"Man, by the time this look comes back, I'll be dead," E-Z snaps back, laughing.

If you frequent any club downtown or in

a couple of Screwdrivers. Before I could ask

Street bridge stopped and threatened to throw

Sometimes he’s mistaken for a celebrity and

Highland Square, you've probably seen him. You can't miss him. He dresses to be noticed.

a single question, E-Z proceeded to share his knowledge of local nightlife history and what

Mitchell off the side into the river below.

gets photo requests. He obliges, too. For $20 a shot.

I've crossed paths with him dozens of times and knew nothing about him, but every time I would see him, I would whisper to myself, "there's E-Z,” in the same way I've done it

it’s like running his own private clubs for 37 years. And what makes him tick? The ladies. Period. Most of what he discussed revolved around his love for women. They motivate him.

"Thank God I could run a 9.70 [in the 100-yard dash] and there was that divider on the bridge and they had to drive all the way around to get to me or I would have been dead," E-Z says.

when coming across Chrissie Hynde. But with

The way he dresses, talks and what he does —

E-Z, there’s more disbelief, like you’ve seen a unicorn strutting down the road. If that unicorn were decked out in a monochromatic color scheme trimmed with scarves, sunglasses and

it’s all aimed to please the ladies.

his hat tilted just right. E-Z’s strut is slow and deliberate, like his every movement anticipates a snapshot.

for what they do." Instead, he did gave the impression that he’s more comfortable singing, "Everywhere I go, people know the part I'm

which seems like it was influenced by Bootsy Collins or Prince.

Levert, Isaac Hayes) and performers he admires (“Mick Jagger's style, the way he moves.") — when we talk about do-overs. What would you

playing." Enough said.

do differently if you could? He says he’ have played basketball or football professionally. He says he played cornerback for the Cleveland

However, he is not, he insists, a pimp. The difference, he says, is that "pimps get paid

"When I go on a vacation, I'll walk in somewhere and people pull out their cameras,” he says. “They think I'm Michael Jackson or somebody." Not that he minds the attention.

That run-in shook him and he decided he needed more respect, which meant working harder so he could afford to dress sharp. That’s where it began. But where did he get his style,

Almost four hours after I first arrived, we’re talking about pop culture — Favorite movie (the first “Star Trek”), favorite bands (The O-Jays,

He told me to meet him at his private club — no friends and no photographer, "just you and

Born Mitchell Moss in Akron back on February

“No, man,” E-Z objects. “I've been dressing like this since 1972. I don't dress like Prince; he dressed like me.”

your cellphone, man." I have to admit I was nervous as I entered what other people have called "The Tinfoil Palace". The music was

9, 1952, he grew up poor with his four sisters on Balch St. His father, James Moss, was, E-Z says, "The best golfer in Akron, but couldn't

Instead, he credits Steven Tyler, Janis Joplin and even Al Capone. His thinking is to get

Lions (minor league football) for nine years and claims he had a 48-inch vertical and could dunk even though he’s only 5'7".

loud and I was struck by the glare of Mylar, mirrors and string lights that covered most of the interior, so I didn’t catch the welcome he

make a living at it back then, because he was black." So his dad turned to hustling card games like Spades and Pitty Pat to support his

noticed by the ladies — "like a peacock with his feathers," as he says. The reason he hasn’t updated to something more contemporary?

So I tell him, back in the day, I was a pretty good basketball too. Just like that, he went out

offered when I walked inside. E-Z sat in a high back, wicker chair in his full regalia. He looked

family. For his part, young Mitchell was forced to wear second-hand clothes from Goodwill

“This is the look that has always worked for

and grabbed his basketball and said, "Let's go! I have a hoop out front."

like a king on his throne. A throne near the stripper pole where he sometimes practices his exotic dances.

and one night, that almost cost him his life.

me," he says.

As he walked home from his job at the Brown Derby in Cuyahoga Falls, a group of white guys

That makes sense, and since history repeats itself, I say, "Well, all fashions come back into

That’s how the night ended, playing H-O-R-S-E with the legendary E-Z who was dressed to the nines in his full attire with him up by two

He walked me over to the bar and made us

in a convertible on the other side of the Main

to style anyway, right?"

buckets when I had to leave.


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


culture club

Highland Square


Out & About STAN HYWET HALL & GARDENS words and photos by Kait Erdman and is an annual Artisan Craft Fair held at the estate. One hundred and twenty

If you’re from Akron you’ve probably heard of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, or at least their ever-so-famous blimp. You probably also know that cofounder F.A. Seiberling is from Akron, but did you know his home is Akron’s Largest

artists will be featured and special pricing is available for the event. Ohio Mart will also host food vendors, activities for children, and a silent auction for a blimp ride. For another fall event, check out Murder in the Mansion, an interactive performance at the manor house held on various October dates. In love with the gardens? Don’t miss your chance to visit

Historic Landmark? If you’re interested in a historical attraction that roots in Akron’s rich history with the rubber industry, visit Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens this fall. The 70-acre estate has historic buildings and family estate and tours are offered Tuesday gardens that are open to the public. The through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. buildings include the Gate Lodge—birthplace of

before winter strikes! Stan Hywet also offers rentals for weddings, events, and photography shoots. For more information about tickets and

alcoholics anonymous-—the carriage house, the Stan Hywet also hosts special events, such as conservatory, and the manor home. The home the 50th Annual Ohio Mart October 6 - 9. furnishings are all original to the Seiberling Ohio Mart is a major fundraiser of Stan Hywet

events, visit

The Mingo Trail (pictured left). It doesn’t sound intimidating. In fact, it rather reminds me of mangos, which I love. But, the Mingo

“primitive” section, we realized that the last mile of the trail was closed. The sign posted stated it was due to erosion that left the trail

Trail is a little intimidating, and that is the

dangerous and impassable. Not wanting to

reason I love it so much! The Mingo Trail is three miles long, rated as a level 3 “difficult” hike and also has a portion of the trail that has a warning for

break any rules, we didn’t go on. Luckily, we were at the intersection of the Jogging Trail, which we returned back on to get to the parking lot.

“primitive” conditions. It’s been a few years since I’ve hiked it, and I’ve been wanting to do it again for a while now, so on a sunny afternoon my sister joined me and we drove out to Sand Run Metro Park.


An Afternoon in Sand Run Metro Park words and photos by Grace Ebner


// Just a writer posing as a STEM major. I enjoy short adventures and caffeine-induced panic attacks.

We started our hike at a brisk pace and before long we were deep in the forest, trekking up steep hills. The wooded, winding path led us right

After basking in my car’s AC, we drove to Nervous Dog Coffee Bar on West Market Street. I opted for a simple iced coffee, while my sister ordered a cappuccino and scone. We enjoyed our sweet treats inside, admiring the fancy interior before we headed home. We were worn out—but in a good way—and we hope the rest of Mingo Trail

past a family of deer which we loved watching. This workout sure beat running

will be open soon!

on a treadmill in front of the TV! Though unfortunately, after completing two-thirds of our hike, right as we were about to start the

// Grace Ebner completes the Summit Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree, Spree for All, Running Spree and Summer Biking Spree each year.

LINEUP Saturday, 10/1 • 9pm – Midnight DJ Roger Riddle – Funk – Soul – 70s – 80s Sunday, 10/2 • 12 – 3pm Turner & Williams – Eclectic Soft Rock Friday, 10/7 • 9pm – Midnight River Glen – Iowa-Grown Folk-Rock Saturday, 10/8 • 9 – Midnight Moustache Yourself – Gypsy Jazz Sunday, 10/9 • 12 – 3pm Bob Niederriter Trio – Harlem Jazz Friday, 10/14 • 9pm – Midnight Twanglers – Jangly & Twangy Rock Saturday, 10/15 • 9pm – Midnight DJ Naeno – Funky Grooves & Deep House Sunday, 10/16 • 12 – 3pm Jazz Shepherds – Jazz Friday, 10/21 • 9pm – Midnight Dan Wilson Trio – Eclectic Saturday, 10/22 • 9pm – Midnight Soulshine – Blues & Rock Sunday, 10/23 • 12 – 3pm Little Steve O Blues Duo – Blues Friday, 10/28 • 9pm – Midnight F5 – Rock & Roll HALLOWEEN PARTY Saturday, 10/29 • 9pm – 2am DJ Naeno & DJ Moonhawk – Funky Grooves, Electronic & Deep House Sunday, 10/30 • 12 – 3pm Gretchen Pleuss – Singer/Songwriter *NO COVER CHARGE HIGHLAND SQUARE: 867 West Market Street Akron, Ohio, 44303 • 330-434-7333

culture club

When Clay was King by Mark Schweitzer

Most young people in Akron can’t imagine what it must have been like to live here when Akron really was “The Rubber City”—when Goodyear, Firestone, B.F. Goodrich and

parking lots. Before Akron was The Rubber Capital, it was a Great American Kiln—a major center for clay products like sewer pipes, bricks, building tiles, pottery and more. Starting in

St.; there were large sewer pipe works where Dave’s Market is located; pottery factories in south Akron, east and west of Bellows Streets, and stoneware factories in University Park,

General Tire were rolling out tires 24/7, and an acrid soot settled daily on the lawns of many neighborhoods. No one really cared; that

Middlebury and slowly branching out into other on Fountain just south of Carroll St. Besides parts of the city, the clay products industry Robinson, the names included Buckeye Sewer dominated the town and set the stage for much Pipe Co., American Sewer Pipe Co., American

pungent smell was the smell of money. It filled

of its later growth.

Vitrified Products Co., Summit China Co., Akron Fire Brick Co., Ohio Stoneware Co., United States Stoneware Co., L.W. Camp Co. Brickworks and Windsor Brick Co. There were many, many others. Pictured left: Robinson's Clay Products Company in Akron

This, from Samuel Lane’s “Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County”: “It is safe to say that with its superior material, and in the long and ripe experience of those engaged in its manufacture here, the sewer pipe industry of Summit County both as to quality and quantity, leads the world, each establishment having its own the air and kept our local economy rolling.

There were vast deposits of high quality clay in and around Akron, and when William Robinson

For those of us in middle age who have lived here for most (or all) of our life, that is just a

came here from Staffordshire, England, in the 1850’s, he made good use of it, along with the

distant memory. We take some solace in the fact that Goodyear’s headquarters remain, some racing tires are still made in Akron, and

fellow Englishmen who joined him. By the time the Civil war started, they had established a sizable factory at East Market St. and Case Ave.,

the scattered parts and pieces of other rubber companies can be found here and there.

known as the Summit Pottery Works. Just as the rubber industry found its destiny

A book I recently read called Akron “the Rubber Industry’s Rome”— was a great analogy- if you think of an industry at the height of its centralized power, and our fast-growing city as

in the invention of the automobile, the clay sewer pipe industry found its future riding on the nationwide investment cities were making during the late 19th century, to build up their

the center of a robust economic empire. Today, the vestiges of that empire can still be seen, with what’s left of the hulking tire factories

infrastructure and eliminate disease caused by sanitary issues. Robinson’s company adopted his name, becoming Robinson Clay Products,

being re-purposed and rehabilitated for a new century. Rome may have its Coliseum, The

and other companies were formed to take advantage of Akron’s natural resource.

that‘s also been a large part of Akron’s legacy. Luckily, for self-styled urban archaeologists like me, the evidence is not buried too deep; in some cases, it’s not buried at all. A walk along many places in Akron would reveal broken clay tiles making up a long-forgotten retaining wall, or bits of pipe exposed along a railroad track. When you come across them, you almost feel like that sharp-eyed kid who finds an old Indian arrowhead along a wooded stream. Parking at Dave’s Market in Middlebury during a recent Build a Better Block event, I found evidence of the Buckeye Sewer Pipe Co. scattered on the ground right next to the parking lot. As I left, I couldn’t resist wiping it off and tossing it into the back seat of my car. Even the giant clay pits which fed these factories lay hidden in our midst. The hillsides of Middlebury and sections of south and central Akron provided millions of tons of high quality clay, as did large holes dug out in Mogadore, Springfield and Tallmadge. Today we can just

clay-bed in such close proximity that its daily

barely make them out in the landscape—low depressions or cut-outs in a hillside where no necessities are daily supplied by its own teams, thus obviating the expense of railroad geological reason for one exists. transportation, extensive storage facilities, or Mack Burleson Baseball Field in Tallmadge is an large money outlay for its raw material.” example; long referred to as “The Hole”, it was *** Sounds impressive. But what is left of this great industrial legacy today? Pictured right:American Sewer Pipe

Like the ancient city of Troy, most of it lies buried under layers of today’s

In addition to the Middlebury works, Robinson built two more huge factories, one on the east

Akron. It’s amazing to think that so many inestimable tons of large brick and stone buildings, massive round beehive kilns and giant chimneys were totally

But if these represent our Rome, Akron has its Troy as well.

end of North Forge Street and another giant facility on South Martha Avenue – not far

flattened to make way for the city we see today. land where Mason Park CLC now stands was What is also surprising is that many of the originally a clay pit owned by Akron industrialist

Another empire, almost as great, lies just beneath our grassy fields, muddy hill sides and

from where Goodyear’s headquarters are now. The shallow valley at Middlebury was filled with factories along Case Ave. and on Bank

later buildings for which these clay works were demolished have subsequently been bulldozed from the landscape as well. Unfortunately,

Forum and Pantheon. We have The Rubber Bowl, old tire factories and The Airdock.


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

a former clay pit owned by George P. Sperry, who had an interest in the Sperry, Ritchie & Co. works and American Sewer Pipe. Likewise, the

David Hill, who owned his own sewer pipe factory. Long seen as a hazard—due to the (continued on page 51)


culture club

Urban Explorer: Wallhaven words and photos by Kristina Aiad-Toss

Located along Market Street between Highland Square and the Summit Mall, Wallhaven does not seem to have much to offer other than monotonous chain stores and mainstream restaurants. But, if you look past the Starbucks and Pizza hut, you find many unique places that bring spontaneity and personality to this commercial area.

The Main Event Speaker Series Autumn 2016

Main Library Auditorium An author series featuring prominent voices from the worlds of literature, the arts, politics and journalism.

Saturday, October 15, 7 pm

An Evening with BILLY COLLINS

The former U.S. Poet Laureate comes to the Akron Main Library Auditorium for a fun and enlightening evening. “Billy Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal.” Featured for purchase will be his collection Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, and the brand new volume The Rain in Portugal. A Q&A and book signing will follow Mr. Collins’ reading.

Wednesday, November 2, 7 pm

Billy Collins

(credit Bill Hayes)

Jamaal May

An Evening with JAMAAL MAY

Poet, and winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award and NAACP Image Award Nominee. Author of the volumes Hum and The Big Book of Exit Strategies.

Akrona Galleries 1765 W Market St, Akron, OH 44313 • (330) 865-0909 • Hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 5:30pm, Sat 10am - 3pm A hub for the local artist community — Akrona galleries features a variety of international and local artwork, hosts art shows, events, and gallery openings, works with local schools and the University to display student’s work, and offers classes for children.With bold and brightly colored paintings and photographs consuming the walls, jewelry adorning tables, and blown glass and sculptures shaping themselves in the air, this venue will never disappoint any lover of art.

Presented by the Akron-Summit County Public Library and Friends of Main Library. (Friends members receive preferred seating). All programs are free of charge. Books will be available for purchase. Auditorium doors will open at 6:30 pm. Call 330-643-9015, or go to for more information.

M&C-8410--PRINT AD-Main Event-Devil Strip-updated.indd 1

Music Festival Checklist Bring Guitar Pack Camper Van Bring AAA Card

Bookseller Inc. 39 Westgate Circle, Akron, OH 44313 • (330) 865-5831 • Hours: Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun noon - 4pm With endless bookshelves full of classics and drawers brimming to the top with historical documents, this history museum of a store is one of the best used bookstores in Akron. Located behind a plaza, this hidden gem not only sells rare novels, but also has an intriguing collection of Northeast Ohio and U.S. history including books, maps, blueprints, artwork, newspapers, and other memorabilia. Any book aficionado or history buff could spend hours leafing through the seemingly endless collection in this store.

The Eye Opener 1688 West Market St., Akron, OH 44313 (330) 867-1114 • Hours: Mon - Sat 6:30am - 3pm, Sun 8am - 3pm Whether looking to start your busy day or grab a relaxing Sunday brunch, The Eye Opener is the perfect breakfast spot for any occasion. At this familystyle restaurant, guests can enjoy delicious classic selections, an endless pot of coffee, and even customized omelets. Forget the surrounding Starbucks, Einstein’s, and Dunkin Donuts, and venture off the beaten path to this local joint to enjoy a top quality breakfast.


Hit the Road & Rock on

9/21/2016 2:49:34 PM

Special Topic

It’s even harder than you think

when your kid is

addicted to heroin story by Noor Hindi; photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti


he walls are painted the color of sand. Seashells, plants and framed photographs of the beach line the room. There’s a beige recliner in the

her to realize she was addicted to heroin. “I literally thought I was dying,” she says.

corner next to a brown, square lampshade. It is calm in here. The lighting is just right. The hardwood floors are squeaky clean. Katie, wearing a black shirt and shoulder-length brown hair, smiles warmly. For a moment, this is pleasant. Then you see the wall-mounted blood pressure monitor and remember where you are. The adolescent detox room at Community

Tiffanie Ferguson, adolescent director at the Community Health Center, says that most teens don’t know what they’re walking into when they take their first hit.

Health Center, where hundreds of people in Summit County, this 17-year-old included, seek

an unintentional thing, and then after it’s happened, they are like ‘Oh my gosh, what just

help overcoming their opioid addiction.

happened?’,” she says.

Two years ago, she was “happy and innocent,”

For the next year, Katie’s life on heroin was

a young woman who enjoyed her small group of close friends and kept up with her

about getting high and finding money to get high. Everything she did, she did with her


boyfriend. He would set up who to rob, she would do the robbing. She shot him up everyday.

Katie started using heroin when a boyfriend shot her up for the first time. A month later, she experienced her first withdrawal. She couldn’t stop vomiting, she felt like her skin was ripping, and she couldn’t sit still. That’s what it took for

“You know, none of the teens I’ve worked with have said ‘Great, I’m going to get myself addicted to heroin.’ It’s all been a sort of

With six months of sobriety, her life now centers around Alcoholics Anonymous and Heroin Anonymous. She goes to meetings every single day. She volunteers her time in

“Not realizing, I thought it was more of a get[ting] high type of thing. I didn’t know she was addicted,” Dawn says.

local homeless shelters. She visits high schools around Ohio to talk about coming back from the other side of the heroin epidemic.

Ferguson says Dawn isn’t alone. Many parents don’t understand addiction and fail to get their kids into treatment because they don’t know how powerful it is. Living in a wealthier neighborhood, where parents can feel

protected from problems like addiction, often feeds into that misunderstanding. Even for It had been two years since Katie’s dad spoke to those who realize what’s happening, they may his ex-wife. But when he noticed that Katie was hesitate on treatment out of fear their child asking for more and more money, he texted her will be judged harshly for getting help with their addiction. mother for answers.

Putting two and two together

“He started to tell me about all of the times he had given her money. And I know all of the times I had given her money. And other people had given her money. And she had nothing to show for it in the last month,” says Dawn, Katie’s mother.

“There wasn’t like 10 minutes that went by that Katie and her parents live outside of Akron. After having a GPS installed on her daughter’s didn’t revolve around ‘How am I going to get phone to track where Katie was going, Dawn my next shot?’,” she says. started to notice suspicious behavior.

The Road to Recovery For Katie, kicking her addiction meant giving up her old lifestyle. She stayed at New Directions

Community Health Center.

“When we discovered the money, I looked at the GPS history and she would go from [her

in recovery, the more Katie leaned on reading, writing, listening to music and keeping up with meetings to cope with the difficult emotions

father’s house] straight into Akron,” Dawn says. When they took Katie to get drug tested, the results came back positive for morphine. They were devastated. They knew nothing about heroin. And their initial reaction was to yell.

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

going to know.”

in Chagrin Falls for 53 days and says she wouldn’t have made it without them. But that was only the beginning. The longer she was

Pictured left: Inside the adolescent detox room at


“And you know, I always say, it'd be better to get your child treatment even if they're angry, even if you're embarrassing them,” says Ferguson. “If they're deceased, then everyone is

that began to surface after she’d been numb to them so long.

“Adolescents recover all the time,” says Ferguson. WWW.THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

Special Topic Pictured left: Katie sits on the stoop outside her house.

Overcoming an addiction requires tapping into what motivates the person, what gives her purpose. With teens, Ferguson says it can be easier because they have hope that many of the things they want to accomplish in life are still possible. At the same time, teens face roadblocks that don’t challenge adults the

“If their high blood pressure flared up, or they sprinkled extra salt on their food, or they ate sugar when they weren’t supposed to, [you would never say] ‘Oh. I give up. It’s not working. It’s not treatable.’ You would get them help,’” says Ferguson. “So if addiction had the same education and awareness, I think people would be a lot more willing to get help, stick with it, and realize the ups and downs are part of the recovery.”

“You have your life back now…” Despite appearances, more people are overcoming heroin and opioid addiction by Chris Horne

same way. People who haven’t experienced addiction “Teenagers already think that they are invincible first-hand or through their support of a loved one don’t often realize the impact their [and] that nothing applies to them,” says understanding of addiction has. Katie says it’s Ferguson. “They think that if they stop using, frustrating that people “would rather focus on nothing will happen. Or ‘I’ll just get the flu, the bad stuff” — the number of overdoses, for I’m fine.’” Coupled with the way opioids alter brain chemistry, that bravado can be especially deadly. To counter that combination, teens in

instance — instead of what it takes to get into and stay in recovery.

Ferguson says patients also favor Vivitrol because they only have to have a shot once a month, instead of taking a pill every day. Even that isn’t enough to guarantee success. Like many people in recovery, Katie needed family support to get through medically-assisted treatment. In fact, while in rehab, Katie says her parents were oftentimes smothering her with love.

can leave the program. He even details where and when he can turn each night for a meeting when he needs support. That support system, including Interval Brotherhood Home (IBH), saved his life.

experienced on her way here. It’s not just that, but her husband recently lost his job and was pulled over twice around the same time, which

At his breaking point, he says he realized he had a choice of two paths, “I’m either going to

of — and often complicated by — addiction, but if you begin to think it isn’t worth it because that’s what everyone around you seems to think, how would you stay motivated to persevere?

only exacerbates the financial strain they were

be a screw-up or become a better person.”

“I think most people are compassionate, but not sure what to do,” Ferguson says. “So I think it’s easier for them to just not think about it than to actually seek out treatment, support

Because she’s sober.

everyday stresses of life, let alone those on top

somebody’s treatment, take them to meetings,

on Katie’s arm reads “Don’t forget me”

Her mother, Dawn, took on a measure of responsibility for her daughter’s recovery. “I make sure she goes to her meetings,” Dawn says.

about meetings, and I just listen.”

Strip would dedicate at least some space every issue to sharing stories about some of the dozens of people who are successfully overcoming their addiction.

That might be intended sarcastically by many people if they were sick and had a flat tire the same morning. But Patricia, the woman saying it, means it, even though that’s what she

Pictured right: The tattoo

“I still go through all her stuff. I listen. She loves to come home and talk

the ways several entities — from nonprofits and religious organizations to the local government and civic groups — are coming together to address the opioid epidemic. Along the way, we decided that if other news media were going to note every new rash of overdoses then The Devil

“I love life now.”

Dawn takes it a step further. “I think they view a second recovery as a waste of time.”

recovery can receive chemical assistance. Katie was first prescribed Subutex and then Suboxone The danger this mentality poses for people as alternatives to Methadone, but neither struggling with sobriety is that they may adapt worked. She found lasting help with Vivitrol, it as their own. It’s hard enough to handle the which she took without any side effects. She describes it as “insurance for relapse,” since it prevents the person taking it from getting high.

NOTE - Last month, we first wrote about the Akron Municipal Recovery Court as an example of

take them to counseling, all of the day-in and day-out things that need done.”

already under. At least once, as the bad news piled up, she thought, “I’d like to take about five of those Klonopin over there.” Yet, she means it; she loves life.

If there’s a common theme in Akron’s Recovery Court this morning, it’s that the people here, whose success ranges from about five weeks sober to more than a year, are enjoying their lives. Yes, it’s hard as hell to stay in recovery, but the challenges are being met with supportive family and friends, which have produced a lot

That’s how most of the clients here seem to define their success. Not by counting days or just by graduating, but by being “a better person” because the alternative is giving up. Christina’s addiction was so powerful, she says she used when she was pregnant. As difficult as it is to be the mother of infant, those challenges were magnified as she used. “One little screech (from her child) would upset me because it would ruin my buzz,” she admits.

of smiles in the courtroom.

In recovery, she’s able to be the kind of parent she wants to be and recently she got engaged

“You seem so happy to be here,” Judge Joy Oldfield greets a young woman named Tiffany who’s just had her second injection of Vivitrol,

to her boyfriend of nine years and the father of her child. He wasn’t happy she was using when she was pregnant but Christina says he stuck by

which blocks the euphoric effects of opioids.

her, helping her get sober.

“I am so proud of myself today,” Tiffany says, noting her progress and improving mental health, which has changed how she sees her

This summer, Jennifer got custody of her children back. That long journey back to being a parent to her kids started with a lot of help

future. “I have potential.”

from her own mother, who “did everything to keep” her daughter from relapsing. When Jennifer would visit home from IBH, if her

But it isn’t hard to find proof that getting

Her mood is noticeably different than just a few

Threat of Relapse

involved and being supportive works. It’s right there in the growing number of lives that have

The threat of relapse is so real that Ferguson tells people she’s helping through treatment to view it as a normal part of recovery. She doesn’t

been turned around through recovery. You can count Katie among them. A high school graduate with a full-time job, she’s now doing

weeks earlier when her grandfather choked up, unable to speak after the judge asked why he chose to join his granddaughter in court. This time, still stoic, he doesn’t speak but seems

kids got hurt or scared, they ran to their grandmother, who was their caregiver while Jennifer was in treatment.

for others what was done for her by sponsoring four girls at New Directions, where Katie first found her fresh start. Why? She knows first-

proud of Tiffany too, grinning slightly as she speaks.

“But now they’re turning to mom again.”

want them to give up on themselves, just as she wants to keep parents from giving up on their children. “A lot of times, by the time we start working with the kids, the parents feel really burned out, and they just want us to fix their kids.”

hand how important it is to the person she’s helping. “I’m thankful to wake up and not have to go get high to feel normal,” Katie says.

Ferguson says high blood pressure and diabetes have virtually the same relapse rate and the same recovery rate as addiction. These diseases are both behavioral and environmental.


// Through storytelling, Noor Hindi hopes to start a wider conversation about recovery.

A week from now, she’ll have been sober for a The day began with the graduation of a young man named Benjamin, who has surprised

year. She’s entering the job market again and working on her community plan so she can

himself by getting into a place where he can hold down a job, pay his bills and go back to college — things most folks take for granted

graduate too.

but are important benchmarks here. It isn’t enough that he’s been sober for 12 consecutive

sobriety like you used to chase your high.”

months or that he’s been attending Alcoholics Anonymous for two years. He, like other graduates, needs a community plan before he

Between clients, the judge calls back to a row of 20-somethings in the gallery and asks, (continued on page 30)

Oldfield reminds her, “You have to chase your

OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

THE Devil Strip |


community & culture (continued from page 29) “I don’t want to get high,” she says. “What’s so funny?” It’s about Nicole, who has “I don’t want to be one of those names in been sober for four months and had gone up to the newspaper.” give her update earlier. Tim, one of the friends who joined her in court, posted a joke on What’s most remarkable about Christy’s story Facebook about how he lost a $20 bet because is how relatively common it is in Recovery she’d done so well.

Court. Like the other successful people here, she’s motivated. Like most people in recovery,

This is the longest she’s been sober, she says. “Sometimes I still want to use,” Nicole

she’s relapsed before — five months into the program, in fact — but she didn’t give up. She

confesses, “But I really don’t want to get high either.”

even has her own place. “You don’t even know how happy I am to be where I am now,” she says.

That’s because of all it would cost her. The more someone claws their way back from an addiction like this, the higher the stakes are for their sobriety. For Christy, that fall would be a

Photos from an August rally against the opioid epidemic at Lock 3 >>

But even that move was hard because it meant acknowledging what she hadn’t fully embraced yet. That she’s worth all the work she’s put into

far cry from where she is now.

her recovery. That’s why it took her so long to unpack — she had a hard time believing she deserved better than living in a trap house.

Months ago, she was sober but still living in a house where drugs were being sold and offered to her, constantly surrounded by dealers and users. A couple of times, because she was the only one capable, she had to save people who

Christy is committed to doing more than surviving now. Recently, she was given

guardianship of her nephew. had overdosed. Her proximity to a quick high was challenging, but being so close to the after- “The biggest thing to me now is making a effects helped keep her urges in check. difference in someone else’s life.”

(Photos courtesy of Shane Wynn.)

This year’s Akron Farm & Flea was a huge success. The final market took place September 11, and the late summer NEO fluffy clouds were out in full effect. If you missed out this year, be sure to watch for next year’s market. (Photos courtesy of M. Sophie Franchi)


Love on Akron: A Village Building Experience Big Love Network’s project Akron City Repair facilitates creative placemaking by empowering local residents to design and implement projects in their neighborhoods. This September, they hosted Love on Akron, a four day, city-wide placemaking festival which consisted of people implementing their neighbor-led designs at four sites around Akron and then communing each night at The Well CDC for panel discussions, food, music, workshops, healing modalities, connection, & community celebration. (Photos courtesy of Big Love Network)

Feelin’ the ’Big Love’ on Saturday, March 12. Diverse, family-friendly lineup celebrates collaboration with music, food, yoga and more by Noor Hindi

Big Love Fest doesn’t get you Acid Cats, free food, yoga and workshops.

Bites, Three Sisters Momo, Coffee Pot Café, Wabi Sabi Food Truck, Earth Energy Sustainable Treats, and the Western Fruit Basket.

urs of music, full scale art ommunity building workshops, al performances, cooking demos, od, various healing opportunities, versations about how to heal our anizer Elizabeth Vild.

“Big Love Networks' goal for our city is to empower Akronites to steward their place. Through people-care, earth-care and fair share, we can reimagine our city to model more regenerative natural systems to create a thriving heart-centered, caring economy,” says Vild.

elebration is expected to kick off th an opening ceremony. After and musicians will be featured, ormances from Wandering ican Connection and local poet

// Noor Hindi is all about the love. Top: Big Love logo by Michael Marras Above: Big Love organizers from left to right: Beth Vild, Zach Freidhof, Caitlin Boyle, Megan Shane, David Swirsky, Jessica Myers, Kristie Leahy (PHOTO: Svetla Morrison/ The Devil Strip)

Visitors can look forward to listening to Gretchen Pleuss and Band, Rhode St. Rude Boys, Angie Haze Project, The Help and the mily friendly and welcome to kids Hands, Roger Riddle, Chris Hatton, Mary White Experience, A Minus, Light of the Look, Acid Cats, Zach and the Bright Lights and is the hearth fire of Akron, Shivering Timbers. can collaborate, congregate, and celebrate their ideas and Community workshops will be held on the while setting the stage to community stage by Jason Segedy, Elizabeth Akron we can build,” says Vild. Vild, PR Miller as the Grizzled Wizard of Waste engaged throughout all three Not Want Not, and a discussion panel about mit Art Space.” Akron’s Caring economy.


“Various art, craft, and nonprofit vendors [will be available] throughout the building,” says Vild. “The healing space [will also] feature the healing modalities of yoga, meditation, reiki, massage, interfaith, tea lounge, [and a] sacred space.”

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 While all of that is happening, community members will also be able to share a story with The Akronist, participate in a discussion about neighborhood identity with Torchbearers, and eat great local food which will be provided by Ms Julie’s Kitchen, Mustard Seed Market, Mo’

Be sure to join the community celebration on

Saturday, March 12 11:00am-10:00pm An after party will also be held at Musica.




This was at the packed-house watch party at Mustard Seed for Brent Wesley’s episode of “Cleveland Hustles,” the LeBron James-produced reality TV show about helping rebuild a struggling neighborhood in Cleveland. Akron Honey Co. had been picked as one of the handful to compete. He was pitted against a leathercraft couple who call the CLE home. But he wouldn’t have invited us to all come out if he hadn’t won, right? (Photo by Shane Wynn) [Read “Why Wesley Said No to Cleveland” at]



Wanna be Startin' Something Akron makes a play to host NEO’s biggest startup conference


ortheast Ohio taking place in Akron sound? That’s what Launch League,

which recently hosted the successful Hack n’ Akron civic hackathon, hopes to accomplish December 2 when they host Flight, a conference for scalable startups and tech enthusiasts. It’s all part of the nonprofit group’s master plan to help startups thrive in Akron by supporting their founders.

they serve a large national or global market. The conference is designed to help the people who build, fund and support scalable startups — particularly those based in the Midwest — showcase their work, connect with investors and cofounders, and offer seven educational speaker tracks with 21 sessions covering front end development, devops, design UX/UI, hardware design, marketing, fundraising and startup operations.

Flight targets scalable startups, which are companies, often in tech, that may require large investment capital and offer little initial

Several local tech professionals and startup founders will be speaking on a range of

return but have considerable upside because

topics from customer discovery and marketing analytics to website performance and term sheet negotiation. [Editor’s note: The Devil Strip’s Chris Horne has accepted a request to speak at Flight.] Prior to the event, Launch League is hosting a VIP cocktail hour to help attendees, investors, and speakers get to know one another. Afterwards, of course, they’ll also host an afterparty to cap the day’s serious business with some fun.

The conference is another way Launch League is proving itself to be, as Executive Director Courtney Gras says, "...the connecting piece for Akron startups and support organizations. We're just the founders of some local startups who come together to create something bigger than ourselves." In addition to Hack n’ Akron, which drew over 50 developers, database admins, marketers and designers to help open up the city’s data and to create a cohesive identity for two of Akron’s neighborhoods, Launch League powered NEXTOhio, a one night ministartup conference that took place in mid-April. That event saw almost 400 registrations and brought speakers from successful Akron and Columbus startups to share their experiences with the attendees.

October entrepreneurial

• Train and educate local startups on how to utilize co-ops and interns with an HR workshop. • Build a pipeline for retaining young talent in NE Ohio.

events “DREAM, GIRL” - FILM SCREENING Monday, October 24 at Akron-Summit County Public Library Main Branch, 5:30 - 8 pm We know the names of Bill Gates, Steve

CAFFEINATED IDEAS Tuesday, October 11 at the Microbusiness Center in the Akron-Summit County Public Library Main Branch, 10 - 11 am. Caffeinated Ideas is a new forum where entrepreneurs can test drive ideas in front of a group of professionals representing an array of industries. Entrepreneurs, agency representatives, and local business professionals are encouraged to attend. Register at (Photos from the

Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. But what about the female entrepreneurs? What’s their story? “Dream, Girl” is the documentary film showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs. Join Women’s Network as they debut the film in this area. Doors open at 5:30 pm with networking and heavy appetizers, and the program begins at 6:15 pm. You must register to reserve a seat. If you are interested in being a sponsor or for more information, please email wninfo@ (Photo still from “Dream, Girl.”)

first Hack n' Akron event, courtesy of Launch League)


Prior to this “Super Early Bird” tickets are available until 10/18 at where you can also learn more about Flight.

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


The event will include a workshop and lunch

Wednesday, October 26 at University of Akron Student Union Ballroom, 11am - 3pm The University of Akron Engineering & Career Services Center in partnership with Launch League, The Akron Global Business Accelerator,

where startups will receive HR training and education on resources offered through the University and the State of Ohio for co-ops and internships, followed by a “career fair showcase” open to students from STEM and

and Jumpstart present a great opportunity to connect NE Ohio startups to co-op and intern talent at the University of Akron. This half-day event is being offered free of charge to the NE Ohio startup community by the University of

Business majors.

Akron Engineering & Career Services Center.

revenue, and is not yet cashflow positive. If you have any questions on your eligibility for

The purpose of the startup career fair is to bridge the gap between the talent-needs of NE Ohio scalable startups and the desire for hands-

the startup career fair, please contact Courtney Gras at: or (216) 543-6066. Exceptions will be made on a case

on, challenging startup work-experiences that students desire. The career fair will serve four purposes:

by case basis.

• Raise awareness of the growing NE Ohio startup community and job opportunities therein.

for the event by contacting Erin Elosh at by Monday, October 17. There is a limit of 50 tables for the event.

A “startup” is defined as any company that is less than 5 years old, has less than 20 employees, earns less than $2M/year in

Registration: All startups must pre-register

• Provide engaging, paid, local co-ops and internships to students.



SUPER No Bueno Reviews...

by Zep the Bear

Connie Collins’ new documentary, “Honorable Capitalism?”, is a fascinating and thoughtprovoking primer on one the most dominant economic paradigm in the world. Through

poverty in the real world? How are they cared for and dealt with? It's important to recognize the imperfections of capitalism.

interviews with over 50 CEOs, entrepreneurs, educators, economists and authors, Collins

Collins then visits the political ramifications that occur in a capitalist environment. Instead

examines the positives and negatives of capitalism in relation to businesses, consumers and employees.

of flexing with society, corporations use their power and financial resources to lobby lawmakers to conform legislation to their

The goal of the film is to start conversations.

interests. This is profoundly beneficial to them and unquestionably dangerous to competition

Early on, it is pointed out that it is a flawed assumption to assign morality to the concept of capitalism. True, the model allows people

and consumers.

to, essentially, follow their dreams and have the potential to achieve. However, the sole

thought. People find that interacting with others who have opposing political views is

goal of pure capitalism is to always make a profit. The real quandary is what one does with that money – and the accompanying power – afterward. The economist and philosopher Adam Smith felt that capitalism needs a

uncomfortable. However, this reluctance to have honest, open conversations breaks down democracy. In recent years, mainstream political choices by the public have tended to oscillate from one extreme to the other. This tends to be

counterbalance in order for it to function optimally. Things work best when equilibrium is

divisive. Throw in the fact that, now more than ever, moral viewpoints are also being assigned

struck between self-interest and altruism. One concept that had never occurred to

to political ideology and the whole process grinds to a halt. This A or B attitude towards politics is immature and shortsighted.

me is that, as a system, capitalism produces inequality. There is only so much to go around. In order for someone to be fabulously wealthy,

Capitalism as a concept has blind spots. For example, it functions on the stipulation that

another must be profoundly poor. In fact, that inequality is proof that the system is functioning. The resulting disparity, however,

there will always be enough jobs to go around. But what if there aren't? What then? People, especially Americans, tend to define themselves

doesn't exist merely as theoretical conjecture. What about the people who are mired in

by what they do and their accomplishments. (continued on page 51)


Political ideology is often shorthand for actual

It’s Halloween time! October 21st - 27th





Akron BMe Community Launches


Campaign With an Innovative Twist by Ace Epps In response to the heart-wrenching and racially-charged shootings in July, black men

Organizers estimate that if Americans spent just 2 percent more of their income in the 2.6

economic power of the black-owned businesses Akron says participants are encouraged to that truly care about our community," says keep the visual fun going by taking pictures of

in the BMe Community have launched a coordinated #spendblack campaign that has three innovative twists – it's visually inspiring,

million black-owned businesses, it would create 1 million more jobs.

Jason Wilson, well-known for his inspiring videos teaching black boys lessons in manhood.

themselves spending black and posting them on Instagram and Twitter with "#spendblack."

easy to join and asks people of all races to #Spendblack began with Detroiters Jason #spendblack. The visual inspiration comes from Wilson, Shawn Blanchard and Teferi Brent a beautiful photo-wall of those who have joined who are all leaders in BMe Community, a

Unlike most hashtag campaigns, #spendblack aims to provide resources and ongoing motivation to help you actually spend black.

BMe Community, the network supporting the campaign, is known for its 2015 New York Times bestseller "REACH: 40 Black Men Speak

the campaign at

Once the campaign gains momentum, those who sign up at will be told where to download a mobile app that works like Yelp for black-owned food, clothing, and furniture stores, as well as entertainment and professional services that you may not have known where to find.

on Living, Leading and Succeeding", and for funding over 160 BMe Leaders who directly serve over 500,000 people annually by creating businesses, educating children and protect human rights in 6 cities.

You'll already find notable faces there, including Benjamin Jealous, former head of NAACP, "Greenleaf" co-star Lamman Rucker, and crowdfunding pioneer Charles Best of #Spendblack's central message is, "We can all show support for black lives by simply supporting black livelihood."

national network of inspired black men who have dedicated their lives to creating hope and opportunity. Through BMe, Jealous, Rucker, Best and two dozen BMe Leaders in Akron, Baltimore, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh joined them immediately. "In order for there to be true change in our communities we've got to increase the

Visit or contact for more information.

Ace Epps, BMe Community Manager for

WHAT I WISH I KNEW... with Kevin Royer of The Bomb Shelter

words by Jessica Kaisk; photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti and Kevin Royer owns The Bomb Shelter, Akron’s Retro Superstore. The Bomb Shelter is a radically cool vintage store that takes you back to your childhood. We asked Royer what he wishes he had known when he first opened The Bomb Shelter. Kevin: “I think the biggest thing I wish I knew I would need was space. Currently, we just expanded further into the building and have a show floor at 22,000 square feet. It is just not enough for our inventory. There are so many cool things out there, just not enough room.”


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


Photos courtesy of Scott Piepho


Growing Akron Vigeo Gardens brings year-round freshness to Northeast Ohio by Ernest Cornelius It’s almost overwhelming to walk into the lab, which occupies a 7,000-square-foot warehouse space on the manufacturing floor of The

a number of reasons,” Jacob says, “In any urban environment, especially those found in downtown Akron, Detroit, Pittsburgh or

Akron Global Business Accelerator, formerly the BF Goodrich plant. The grow

anywhere along the rustbelt, farmland is scarce, and the landscape is generally filled with old factories.”

racks, specifically manufactured for form and function, reach all the way to the ceiling and only allow enough room between them to walk through very carefully, so as to not brush up against whatever may be growing on that particular rack. The LED lights

factories that are otherwise hard to fill.

give off a glow rivaling that of the sun, and the hum of the water pumps, cooling fans and

“Through CEA, or controlled environment

window exhausts could lull you to sleep if you were left alone long enough. The south wall of the room is adorned with a large mural titled “Veggie Tales, The Savage Years,” hand-painted

agriculture, we are able to produce the exact same product in July as we are in December, all while using no chemicals, no pesticides, and remaining bug-free,” Jacob says. “Our farm is

by the very talented Steve Ehret.

extremely efficient, which aids in the cutting

Vigeo Gardens offers high-quality, hydroponically-grown produce, and it is all brought together by a most unusual group of friends in their mid-twenties. When Vigeo took off, Vincent Peterson was

In other words, growing produce vertically indoors means supplying fresh local food year-round while also maximizing their space and repurposing old

down of farm-to-fork wastage in America and [in providing] fresh local produce to urban areas.” That makes sense coming from a biologist, but Mark’s education suggests he should be working at NASA instead. How does an

pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Akron, and Jacob Crane was pursuing a degree in Biology on the same

astronautical engineer end up growing veggies in an old plant?

campus. Mark Preston holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. With each of them bringing

“I took to farming because of an interest in growing fresh produce that turned into a passion,” Mark says. “I wanted to find a way

an important skill set to the company, their mission is to change the way produce is grown, purchased and received in our cities around the country.

to pair that with my technical degree, and eventually the opportunity came and I was able to seize it. With my experience in 3D modeling software, I was able to create our grow systems as you see them today.”

That’s why they’re set up in an old tire factory, not a neighborhood garden or a rural farm. "We chose vertical hydroponic farming for


The master plan is also about resolving inefficiencies in the food supply chain, which (continued on page 51)




I wish I lived closer to this place; we were visiting from out of town when we got to visit Nuevo. We ate 3 styles of guacamole that were all amazing. I had a jalapeno cilantro margarita that was just out of this world. I ordered the Lengua Tacos and was VERY pleased with it. All 6 of us were so impressed with everything; food, service, atmosphere. I can't wait to visit the Akron area again and eat here again.

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 • (330) 762-8000 1000 E. 9th St. Cleveland 44114 • (216) 737-1000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11


Saint Augustine and Suds An Aromatic Experience


by Jessica Kaisk

Entering Saint Augustine and Suds, you first

developed some of the products for her son

shop’s named after. It’s all for him.” That is

ingredients and fans of Akron’s independent

notice waves of heavenly scents. With a cozy cabin feel that mimics the mountainous area owner Denise Debo grew up in, the shop is a delight to the senses.

after he was born. With a background working for wholistic companies, she took her existing knowledge and learned a bit more to open the shop. From the various essential oils to the herbs, everything is sourced and created

literally true of largest area in the store, a back room furnished for Augustine to learn and play in when he is out of preschool.

small businesses. The shop, located at 1947 West Market St. Suite 102, is tucked behind One of A Kind Pets on West Market St., just past the railroad tracks.

The new artisan soap shop will allow fans of quality soaps and soaks to stock up on favorite products without waiting for summertime festivals.

ethically and without animal testing.

with her neighbor at Niko’s Sandwich Shop to operate a pop-up market taking over the patio. The event on October 22 from 12 - 4 pm will feature a number of different vendors and pumpkins for last-minute Halloween shoppers.

In her shop, opened up on September 1,,Debo sells quality, handmade, ethically created soaps, bulk medicinal herbs, shave creams, beard sprays, body soaps, bath soaks, and facial bars. She also offers vegan options and c ustom orders. Saint Augustine began as Debo’s “mom project” for relatives during holidays. She also


Debo cited marketing as the store’s greatest challenge now that it is open. “I’ve just got a small sign in the yard out front, and we are off the road, so getting people to know I’m here is the hardest.” This business is really a labor of love, and it shows from the moment you step through the door, and even moreso when Debo explains the origin of the name. The shop is named after Debo’s son, who is just as friendly and sweet to talk to as his mom. “Augustine is who the

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

Coming up in October, Denise is teaming up

// Photos by Svetla Morrison

Saint Augustine and Suds offers products for fans of handcrafted soaps, consumers concerned about chemicals and unethically sourced



BARCRAWLER Every month, our very own Barcrawler takes readers into

some of the Rubber City’s best, hidden, strange or obscure neighborhood bars. This time, he visits Kenmore and sneaks a peek inside this gem, Mug Z’s. (Photo by Leslie S. Nielsen)


food & drink USAGE SA







the dish TS & GR

words by Hillary Martter I have yet to find the perfect plate of biscuits and sausage gravy (or, sausage, biscuits and gravy as I grew up referring to it). Nothing quite compares to the grandeur of a homemade batch. The Dish wants to know: Which restaurant makes your ideal plate of this breakfast dish? (though it really is amazing for any meal time)

Behind the Coffee Bar:

Name: Cati Castle Favorite place to get SB&G: I hate any kind

only from Bob Evans. I hate it everywhere else. [Expletive], that sounds so good right now.

of gravy, so... (*Author’s note: I do not believe I can be friends with this girl).

Name: Adam Bonezzi

Name: Steven Cole

Favorite place to get SB&G: I love it but only from Michael’s AM in Merriman Valley.

Favorite place to get SB&G: Farmer Boy has the best one...and Bob Evan’s.

Name: Marie Guillard Favorite place to get SB&G: I usually like to order it from Rise and Shine in Kent, but

DANIEL WEIHE Bar: Artisan Coffee Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls


WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE? I really enjoy making a pour over or any drink that allows me to do latte art.

occasionally work as a bar back in a hotel

Black and sometimes with a dash

lounge. Barista is Italian for bartender, and often I make myself available to people who may need to vent or complain about their day. In the same way

Name: Alyssa Morter Favorite place to get SB&G: Oh, I love it...

I recently met some friends in Akron/Ellet at Molly Brown’s and, I have to say, it was much better. Plus, they have it out to you in about two minutes. It’s unreal.

// Hillary is an Akron native who returned home after a wonderful few years in Manhattan. As much as she loves NYC, she takes great pride in the 330 and loves to write about her city. Besides writing and a 9-5 desk job, you can find her bartending in Merriman Valley on occasion.

Running the Pass by Hillary Martter

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE? of cinnamon. Pictured above: Daniel Weihe at Artisan Coffee Pictured left: Latte Art. (photos courtesy of Sam DePaul)

that a bartender takes pride in making a perfect drink, I enjoy getting to prepare and serve a carefully crafted, quality beverage. I don’t think I’d want to be a bartender because I really enjoy my sleep. HAVE YOU EVER RECEIVED AN EXCESSIVE TIP? We all split our tips, so I’ve never personally received an excessive tip. However, when we have a special fundraising day, people are particularly generous. "COFFEE ART"...HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT? Industry secret that we are sworn to never divulge. No, just kidding! It takes lots of practice to learn how to pull a proper espresso shot, smoothly steam the


Hook, Line and Drinkers Building Sold Good news! If anyone else experienced a twinge of sadness at the emptiness of the old Hook, Line and Drinkers building in Portage

Countryside Conservancy Announces Changes in Staff Countryside Conservancy announced staff restructuring as Executive Director Darwin

Lakes, fear no longer. The unique building with picturesque views has been sold to Akron

Kelsey transitions from the role of Executive Director to Director Emeritus, effective

amazing blackberry lime scones. They have fresh lime zest on top and they are probably one of the best things you’ll ever eat. One time, we had a new customer come

natives Bob, Herb and Tom Hutchison. The building (which dates back to the 1940s) overlooks the water on Portage Lakes Drive, next to On Tap at the Harbor. As recently reported

September 14, 2016. Aiding in the search for his successor, Kelsey will work with Countryside’s Board and Staff in an advisory role to provide guidance through the end of

in and as they were checking out the baked goods they asked us if that was real mold on

by the Akron Beacon Journal, the brothers said that they “want to make sure the right party

2016. Kelsey has served as Executive Director of Countryside Conservancy since its founding in

the scones. No one really knew what to say. Haha!

goes in there … We want to find the right niche for that area. It’s starving for something … It’s a great building. It has a great history.” Hopefully the Hutchisons will find that ideal tenant. The

1999. Tracy Emrick, Director of Operations and Partnerships at Countryside Conservancy will serve as Interim Director during this time.

FROM A CUSTOMER? Hmm…well, we have the most

// Sam DePaul leads a double life as a bartender and aspiring screenwriter. This one time Al Pacino was across the street from her in New York.

milk, and pour it to create different designs.

area is a great option, especially in the warmer months, for friends to get together and share a drink or meal with a change of setting from their usual neighborhood haunts. (Photo courtesy of


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

(Photo courtesy of Countryside Conservancy) // Hillary is an Akron native who returned home after a wonderful few years in Manhattan. As much as she loves NYC, she takes great pride in the 330 and loves to write about her city. Besides writing and a 9-5 desk job, you can find her bartending in Merriman Valley on occasion.


food & drink

Coffee and Community

ap arnie’s public house


CELEBRATES 10 YEARS by Scott Piepho

Michael Litt, founder and owner of Akron’s Nervous Dog Coffee Bar, summarizes his business philosophy

hours. Instead, he sees his regular campers as part of the ambiance.

as “We don’t just sell coffee; we sell community.” Thanks to his passion for both, Nervous Dog celebrated its tenth

While building community is at least half of the business, Litt never neglects the product. With a caffeine molecule tattooed on his left forearm, he is clearly a coffee man. He notes that

anniversary last month.

some chains have been accused of over roasting beans to cook out cropto-crop variations in flavor. He would rather celebrate those variations than cover them up.

Litt (pictured right) was a management consultant pursuing his MBA when he began questioning whether he was leading the life he wanted. Constantly on the road and with a child on the way, he wondered about the prospects for family life. At the same time, he noticed that Coco’s Coffee, the West Market coffeehouse that he passed on his regular commute, seemed to be foundering. He had already begun exploring the possibility of making an offer on the shop when he traveled to Ireland and England as part of his graduate program. He noted that each pub and coffee house he saw was more than a

community has sprung up around Nervous Dog that built the business figuratively and literally. For example, the pergola and patio at the Akron shop were built by customers.

In addition to new locations, Litt is working on a new, community-friendly venture offering bags of Nervous Dog coffee to student groups and small local charities which they can sell to raise funds.

Nervous Dog currently consists of the first shop on West Market in Akron and a location in Stow established four years after the first location opened. Like his initial foray into the coffee business, the expansion was precipitated

Part of Nervous Dog’s branding has been its Facebook and Twitter feeds which Litt runs. “My social media presence isn’t from a marketing class. It’s me. You recognize the

business—it was part of the community.

by a favorite haunt going out of business.

person you are talking to.”

“I sat down and ran the numbers. It is impossible to open a profitable coffee shop. I said ‘that’s interesting,’ and opened a coffee shop.” He bought Coco’s for the price of a

Like the Akron location, the Stow shop was redesigned to make it “warmer.” But the Stow and Akron locations differ, partly because each is accented with a different array of antiques, but also because everyone participates in

used car.

the redecoration. Each shop reflects the idiosyncrasies of the community that helped

He credits his success to surrounding himself with people who share his passion for coffee, community, and people. When hiring baristas,

build it.

he looks less at technical proficiency or experience in roasting and brewing coffee, and

Beachwood location is scheduled to open by the end of October, with further expansion

more at whether a candidate has a genuine interest in connecting with customers. As a result, a

likely. As part of the expansion effort, Litt secured the services of a marketing company. In their research they boiled the Nervous Dog difference down to one word: friendly.

Litt is now planning further expansion. A

Regarding the major coffeehouse chains, he observes that “the corporations are duking it out over profit margins—in and out.” In contrast, Litt is unconcerned about “campers”—the customers who buy one cup of coffee, then occupy a seat for three or four


Elegantly Casual Dining featuring Modern Twists on Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Classic Cocktails 1682 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-0154 Open 7 days a week 11:00am-2:30am


// Photos by Paul Hoffman @nervousdog West Akron: 1530 West Market Street, Akron 330.864.BEAN (2326) Stow: 4161 Steels Pointe, Stow 330.929.BEAN (2326)

Akron’s Home of the All Day Breakfast featuring a Bloody Mary Menu, Mimosas and much more... 1688 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-1114 Open 7 days a week 6:30am-3:00pm Sundays 8:00am-3:00pm

food & drink


Brittany O’Donnell & Tom Burch, The Merchant Tavern words and photos by Krissy O’Connor

AKRON PIZZA TASK FORCE Pierre's Brooklyn Pizza and Deli

by Stephanie Baker, Kevin Wirth and Justin Lyons (@akronpizzatf)

FOH: Brittany O’Donnell Age: 22

/ Hostess Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls & Akron

What is your biggest challenge as a Hostess? The biggest challenge as a hostess is trying to manage the flow of the restaurant at the same time as greeting customers and answering phones. There is a lot of multitasking that is necessary. We have to do menu counts every 15 minutes.That means that we have to let the kitchen know how many menus are out on tables so they are aware of how many tickets will be coming back with orders. What do you want to be when you ‘grow up’?

This month we headed to Kenmore to sample Pierre’s Brooklyn Pizza and Deli at 64 Kenmore Blvd. Pierre and his journey to Akron from Lebanon and New York City was documented in the first issue of The Devil Strip; the piece is hanging on the wall in the seating area, so you can read it when you pick up your pizza. The front of the shop has a small seating area where you can enjoy your pizza, but most of the business is carry out. This area also has the latest Pizza Today and PMQ Pizza Magazine, so you can be current on the latest pizza news. Pierre’s also sells cheese and pepperoni pizza by the slice during lunch and dinner hours. We ordered the cheese, four cheese, Pierre’s Specialty and, in honor of Deadpool, a black olive and pineapple. Unlike most take-out restaurants, Pierre’s doesn’t take your name when you order over the phone; they match

flavor is similar to the plain cheese pizza, both are good, but the extra cheeses don’t add much extra flavor. Pictured above: The

regular pan style pizza, but it's not a thin crust either. It could be the New York style, but it isn’t like other New York styles either. Pierre’s crust is chewy and bread-like, though not undercooked. It’s good all around even though the crust on ours were done well.

Pictured left: The excellent Pierre's Pizza.

The pineapple and olive pizza combination is surprisingly good and, as Deadpool says, the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Though we didn't pay complete homage by requesting they burn the crust, it was close. Nonetheless, the topping combination and same crust as the cheese pizzas made this one we’d order again. The star of the show is the Pierre’s pizza; it’s topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and garlic sauce with herbs. It is for garlic lovers, to say the least. It’s also for people who love delicious things. We recommend that everyone

are on the four cheese pizza; our best guess is mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, and cheddar based on other offerings on the menu. The


What do you do for fun in Akron when you’re not working? I am a student so when I have spare time I am studying. I do like to hang out with friends, watch movies, or go up to Cleveland. I enjoy reading novels despite all of my schoolwork. Currently I am reading The Girls by Emma Cline.

BOH: Tom Burch Age: 34

/ Line Chef

Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls

What is your inspiration when coming up with new recipes or specials? Our head chef, Vic, is really good about letting you explore. It is typically a group collaboration. For instance, if I really want a certain meat served we all make it happen. The Merchant has a motto here, “...where friends become family.” That goes into the kitchen as well. I have worked in kitchens for 17 years, and this kitchen is the most tight-knit staff I have been a part of.

try this delicious pizza at least once.

Do you have a favorite TV-Reality Cooking show that you watch? No, not really. I am the single-dad of a two-year old so I watch a lot of cartoons. So, lots of Paw

Pierre's one of the highlights of the Akron pizza

Patrol and Sofia the First on our television. In fact, I watch Paw Patrol even after she goes to sleep.

world. We hope you'll head on over to try it! We want to hear from you! Tweet us @akronpizzatf Where should the Akron Pizza Task Force go next?

What would I find in your personal refrigerator at home right now? Before I had custody of my daughter, nine months ago, nothing but condiments and Taco Bell hot sauce. Now that I have her at home it is stocked up with loads of fruit, vegetables and lots of food. I do enjoy cooking while I am at home thanks to being taught by my grandmother. I also cook some healthy food for my grandfather now that my grandmother has passed on.

// Akron Pizza Task Force - we dream in pizza.

———————————————————— The menu doesn’t tell us what four cheeses

If you could be any kitchen utensil, what would it be? Well, if anything I guess a fork. A fork can hold a lot of food unlike a spoon. You can’t eat a lot of spaghetti with a spoon. A fork is much more of a multi-tasker.

Deadpool speal pizza.

you to your pizza when you arrive. All four pizzas have the same style crust that is unique to Pierre’s. The crust is thinner than a

I am currently a senior at Kent State majoring in Business Management. I am interested in the Human Resources perspective of Management.

Thank you to Bradley Elliot,, for our excellent logo.

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

What do you do for fun in Akron when you're not working? Anything to get my daughter worn out! My girlfriend and I like to take her to the Towpath trail and end up at the Winking Lizard. We do a lot of hiking in the Metro Parks and we also love going to the Akron Zoo. // Krissy O’Connor loves to cook but loves going out to eat even more.


Food & Drink

Akron's friendly home for draft beer enthusiasts

Welcome back students Best draft beer selection in Akron Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Satday Sunday

$5 steak dinner/$5 pitchers on select drafts $2 mini corndogs/$2 margarita $5 flatbreads/$2 cherry bombs $1 jumbo pretzels/$2 Long Islands & Vegas Bombs Free bar snacks/super happy hour 1/2 price chips and dips/$2 mimosas $3 BYO burgers/$2 Smirnoff vodka (15 flavors)

Pool/darts (spots available for leagues) • Cornhole/giant Jenga/Foosball • Outside patio

The Wanderer Resurrection at Dontino's

Now hiring bartenders ... will train!

370 Paul Williams St. • OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR 4pm - 2:30am

words and photos by Holly Brown

I would be very willing to bet that Italian food

that long 8+ hour day at the mercy of the ele-

has the capacity to bring human beings back from the dead. Whether it’s the heartiness, the

ments and manual labor, all you want is a big meal and perhaps an even bigger glass of wine.

affinity for carbohydrates, or the never ending supply of cheese, it brings all that is warm, filling, and reassuring to food.

I wanted Italian food, as did my harvesting companions (Keelie and Joe) who got roped into an intense day of work while spending their hard

This is especially true of those old school

earned vacation time visiting Akron from New

Italian joints, the places that have been passed through generations, that house family secrets of deliciousness and appear to have remained unchanged throughout the massive changes

England. We dispatched Ryan to pick a place where we could eat, and eat hard. He came back with a perfect answer: Dontino’s

of the twentieth century. Finding the beauty in any city certainly entails locating and indulging in these old Italian gems, especially when one

Dontino’s is one hundred percent classic Italian staple. “Family owned and operated since 1930,” it’s the kind of place where, once inside,

needs to be brought back from the dead. In my other life, my summer life, the life in

it could either be 1956 or 2016. Its timelessness is only enhanced by the very welcome, soft aroma of cooking garlic. If I wasn’t already hungry,

which I am not a poet/teacher/student but when I am the tender of grape vines (legitimately, during the summer I am a vineyard

I would have been moments after entering the front door. It’s the kind of place that brings your appetite out regardless of how much you’ve

assistant) I am often in need of being brought back from the dead. Tending to grapes can be a demanding job, especially when the entire

eaten before you arrive.

growing season culminates into one fateful day.

merlot. That deep, bitter perfection that dries out your mouth and makes you go back for

In early September, it comes time to harvest the grapes. This summer was no different. One thing to know about harvest is that it takes it out of you. I mean, here’s the deal, anything in

another sip and another sip and another sip? Yeah, it was ideal, especially once the starter salads arrived.

the service of making wine, but at the end of


First and foremost, I was having a glass of

(continued on page 42)

Th eB

e r a u rewpub in Highland Sq



Monday House Margarita Madness Friday Ladies Night - House Martinis

"Live Comedy Saturday Nights" October: 1st, 15th and 29th

For details visit or 804 W. Market Street, Akron, OH 44303 • (234) 208-6797 (at the corner of Highland Ave and W. Market St.) NEW Winter Hours: M-W 3pm-midnight, TH 3pm-Close, Fri-Sat 11:30-Close, Sun Noon-Midnight

food & drink

Drinks of the Month

Raspberry Whiskey Sour & Valley Bluemonberry Words and Photos by Sam DePaul

<< Raspberry Cocktail of the Month Whiskey Sour As a bartender, I take pride in my recipes. Normally this recipe is made with blackberries—the flavor and purple-ish color surpass all else. I had to improvise this time, however, because late September. Blackberries or not, this drink goes down right with any type of berry. What you need: • Cocktail shaker, muddler, perhaps a rough day, your berry of choice, fresh squeezed lemon juice (a deliciously tart sub for sugary brand name •

sour mixes), simple syrup and ginger beer. Gosling ginger beer is terrific and non-alcoholic, which is good if you're a generous pourer like me.

How to make it: • •

Simple syrup can be made in under ten minutes: let equal parts sugar and water boil and dissolve, then stir until thick and let cool. Be careful not to let it caramelize. Drop 2-3 berries in your cocktail glass. Muddle them in 1/2 oz of the syrup and just about (Sam measurement) an oz of lemon juice. The

sweetness of the syrup will mellow the tart from the berries and juice. Fill with ice and pour your bourbon — using the glass you'll drink from is a good way to measure. Leave a little room at the top, dump it all into a shaker and do your thing. Strain over fresh ice, marvel lovingly, top with ginger beer, and pound.

Beer of the Month >> Valley Bluemonberry This gem can be found and downed at R. Shea Brewing in the Valley. While their kitchen is not open yet (they’re “B.Y.O.F” aka Bring Your Own Food), they make up for it with a vast and wildly creative beer selection. Never have I heard of pecan flavoring in a pale ale, or a Bluemonberry, which is simply a cross between a lemon and blueberry. I’m an IPA girl but a sucker for fruit beers and this one is balanced. It’s a Hefeweizen, which is an unfiltered, cloudy yeast-beer served in a traditional. The Bluemonberry is light with that citrus kick and almost shandy-like in its color. Cheers. // Sam DePaul is a walking cliché leading a double life as a bartender and aspiring screenwriter. This one time Al Pacino was across the street from her in New York.

You can visit R. Shea Brewing at 1662 Merriman Rd, Akron, OH 44313. Open Wednesday & Thursday from 4 - 11pm, Friday & Saturday from 1pm - 12am, and Sunday from 1 - 8pm.

(continued from page 41)

tongue, I could feel it. My salivary glands stung with it, augmented with the accompaniment of

White sauce? Red sauce? Was it even possible to make the wrong call? Spoiler alert: I don’t

make it on film. It was only once everything was gone and I was happily rubbing my full belly

A well made dressing is such a simple pleasure. While dressing is often the aspect of a meal that is, while good, certainly not overly noteworthy, when you taste a damn good salad dressing, you know. I had heard legends

the dry red wine.

think so.

Dontino’s is built on small courtesies and pleasures. The family charm invades every aspect

I settled on…salmon pomodoro. Something about tenderly grilled salmon with a side of

that I realized the error of my ways. Here is my empty plate to represent everything that was this stellar Italian feast.

of your dining experience from the décor to

just-sweet-enough tomatoes spoke to me, and

about the quality of Dontino’s Italian dressing, and those legends were pure truth. With such a high concentration of herbs and oils, as soon as that first bite of drenched lettuce hit my

the staff to the fact that you are able to decide whether your side of warm bread arrives with your salad or your main course. If you are lucky to have an eating partner eager to share food, you can even have one order of bread come with salad and one come with dinner! Ryan and I,

for good reason. The salmon flaked off delicately: slightly fishy, slightly fatty, ideal flavor. The tomatoes were warm and herbed and salted. They complimented the fish in their incredible tang. The salmon came with a side of fat rigato-

of course, did just this, as well as upgrade to cheesy garlic bread. Some advice: dip your bread in the dressing left on your plate.


ni and red sauce. What I love about Dontino’s red sauce is that they let the tomatoes do the work. Rather than rely on spices and garlic, they allow these accents to complement the already worthy flavor of the tomato.

Leave no dressing behind.

Special shout out to Ryan’s choice meal (which of course I sampled for research purposes):

Dontino’s Fine Italian Cuisine 555 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave, Akron

As is tradition when indulging in Akron staples, deciding on a main course is stressful at the very least. I knew I wanted pasta, but did I want meat? Fish?

linguini tossed with oil and garlic, topped with stuffed shrimp. Mmmmmm.

M-Th: 11am – 9:30pm, F: 11am – 11:30pm, Sat: noon – 11:30pm, Sun: 3 – 9pm

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

Time for a candid moment: this dinner was so good and so eagerly anticipated that it didn’t


food & drink

LADY BEER DRINKER Canal Park Festival of Beers words and photos by Emily Anderson It was a chilly, rainy day in late August when Canal Park hosted the third annual Ballpark Festival of Beers, sponsored by Goose Island Brewing Co. It was the kind of day that makes you want to stay inside and mourn the end of summer, but I put on my leggings and boots and went out to join a few hundred other Akronites to raise my glass to fall and celebrate the incredible

Pumpkin and Fat Head’s Spooky Tooth. Oktoberfest beers were also abundant— I tried as many as I could but I ended up liking my old favorite the best, Barktoberfest from Thirsty Dog. What made this beer festival stand out from others, besides being held in the Ballpark, was all the different things to do once you got there. The Tabloid Twangers were playing

summer we had here in Northeast Ohio.

classic rock and upbeat tunes at the far end of

The weather was perfect, considering the fact that many of the beers being offered from the 40+ breweries in attendance were fall

the park. They had a cornhole game set up in one corner and a dunking tank in another. The Indians game was playing on the big screen. The Rubber Ducks’ Eastern League trophy was

seasonals. Upon entry, each person was given a sampling glass and 25 drink tickets. 25 is a lot

on display for photos. There was a lot of food available—Wholly Frijoles food truck was there,

of samples to try—especially with the generous pours they were handing out. It didn't take long for the crowd to catch a buzz. All of our favorite Ohio breweries were there, showcasing

and the park had several of their concession stands open. Pretzel necklaces were on sale to support Akron Children’s Hospital.

their seasonals and year-round favorites. Some of my favorite pumpkin beers were Blue Point

My favorite about this day was the enormous amount of pride in the air. I saw countless people wearing Cavaliers World Champions shirts, cheering as they watched the playoffbound Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers on the Jumbotron, all in the home of Rubber Ducks, Eastern League Champions. People were making toasts and high-fiving each other like it was going out of style. I loved every minute of it.





food & drink


Halloween Bash Saturday, October 29th DJ & big-n-huge prizes!!

Tuesday, October 31st

Dress up for a special edition of Rob's Trivia

Mondays CuSTomer APPreciATion niGHT� Buy One Drink, Get One 10pm until midnight Compliments of TPH Productions $1.75 Pint Special $1 off sandwiches DJ Larry starts at 9pm with early trivia

Imagine, if you will, Akron in the future. I'm not talking about Luke Skywalker mobiles and super modern buildings. Not that far into the future. More like 25 years. Imagine it as a place that has completely

be the best in the city. Shouldn't there be a bunch of sweet dwellings lining that long cliff? With its rolling hills and turn-of-the-century charm, this vision should come easy. For Pete's sake, it borders on a nice size

embraced its heritage and thrived in the resulting uniqueness. We're already starting to do that now. The themes of the rubber industry, blimp and canal are proudly shown all over downtown and other areas of urban renewal. There are number of neighborhoods, though, that could

lake and it's only minutes from downtown! Granted, it's Summit Lake, but it's still a lake. Alligators and dead bodies are removable, so it still has potential. OK fine, it's a toxic waste dump right now, but like I said, 25 years from now. A lot can be done between now and then. I did say

use a bigger dose of that Akron pride and renewal. An area we call Kenmore is in major need of Blimp City Love.

"imagine.” Summit Lake Amusement Park used to be a big destination. Why not believe that it could be again? I'm not saying recreate the whole trolley system, but you still have that mile or so stretch down the

Sadly, Kenmore seems to have been forgotten by the decision-makers and politicians around here. I'm sure that the Great Cornelius Kenmore rolls over in his grave nightly as a result. Imagine if they could have kept the trolley running down the center of Kenmore Blvd. This is where we

middle of the boulevard waiting to be used again in its original way.

now see the grass median running the length of the road. Imagine if our local visionaries had found a way to keep Summit Lake Amusement Park in good working order. 80,000 people moving out of town due to the

that had a trolley dropping you at cafes, shops and pubs within a few minutes of an amusement park? It already has a few cornerstones with some of its unique shops, the reopening of the old Rialto Theater and

demise of our rubber industry would make that difficult, true, but where was the long term vision? Couldn't they have targeted more of the

of course the Old 97. This is just a start. It's gonna need more vision and TLC to get where I'm talking. I'm hoping this happens sooner than later,

things that still made this city appealing and found a way to save them? Apparently not.

so I can hop on a trolley and do my Bar Crawling like they did back in the day. Then after getting half sloshed, I can ride a roller coaster and

Well, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

eat carnival food. You guessed it folks! I wrote all of this for pure, selfish reasons. I feel terrible, I assure you, but wouldn't that be a blast?

So imagine, 25 years from now, Kenmore could become a tourist destination. Who wouldn't take a drive to a quaint, historical area

Cheers and enjoy responsibly,

The future is now. I'm hoping that the powers that be read this and understand what I'm throwing down here. Kenmore has tons of character. The view from Overlook Dr. looking over Summit Lake might


Taco Nights — $1.50 to $3.00 Drink Specials Available

The Old 97 Cafe 1503 Kenmore Blvd. 330-745-5493


Dive Bar Pick

Leslie Shirley Nielson "The Bar Crawler"

The Kenmore Eastern Sports Bar

The Friendly Tavern

Mug Z's

The Bank Lounge

973 Kenmore Blvd. 330-745-3930

1940 Manchester Rd. 330-730-5692

952 Kenmore Blvd. 234-678-5073

1078 Kenmore Blvd. 330-745-6246

Chef Todd’s Food Specials


$4 Burgers (dine-in only)

12oz Strip Steak $12.00 Cupcakes by Sweet Mary's Bakery. (234)706-6088


Check Out Our Live Music Schedule


Karaoke hosted by Natalie (Now 9pm to 1am) $0.60 Wings (dine-in only) Super Power Hour From Open - 8:00pm $3.50 Well Drinks $3.50 Bud Light Drafts

HAPPY Hour Monday - Friday Until 8pm Mon - Fri open at 2pm Sat & Sun open at 12:30

549 W Market St, Akron Phone: (330) 376-8307














It's always happy hour


Always Happy Hour


Every Hour


Craft Beers / Crafted Cocktails

Bud Lt. / Fireball Whisky

Bud. Lt. / Crown Royal

Bud / Ciroc

Bud Lt. / Crown Royal


Bands / Bocce Ball / Cornhole / Ping Pong

Pool / Darts


Pool / Darts / D.J.s

D.J.s / Pool / Darts


Small Menu

Bar Menu

Bar Menu

Beer – it's what’s for dinner

No food


Was the last stop for the old Akron trolley – Stop 97.

The Eastern

Has always been

Backdraft / The Ideal

Hansel Finn's / The Friendly Tavern / Pontiac Dealership


Cary Grant meets Louis Prima

Larry the Cable Guy meets Jim Thome

David Allan Coe meets Richard Petty

Jeff Foxworthy meets Snoop Dogg

Ned Beatty meets Eileen Brennan


Saying this is the nicest bar in Kenmore is an understatement. This place is simply gorgeous.

This place is more seasoned than a Jo-Jo.

They may have redefined the word friendly here..

Why does my GPS keep on redirecting me to the Oriana House?

Nice blue collar crowd



The Taj Mahal Location: Kenmore Address: Someone stole the numbers Comments: The Taj Mahal was originally downtown where Canal Park is now. They moved here and operated until a few years ago. I foresee a Kenmore resurgence in coming years. I suggest jumping on this before the prices start doing the same.


Music & Entertainment THE AKRON SCENE


There is a psychedelic sunshine cult in Akron. They’re called Me Time and The Raging Crush, the cosmic six-piece consisting of Eric Blankenhorn, Jeff Soper, Fred Johnson, Ian Cummins, Kevin Braun and Chrissy Spangler. Influenced by ‘60s psych, ‘70s punk, ‘80s drugs and a never-ending daisy chain of guitar effects, they’ve been committing musical mind control since recording their debut album on Akron’s Fone Records in 2014.

music & entertainment





Wolf Fest



The Devil’s Dozen by Kristina Aiad-Toss

the inaugural “Wolf Fest.” The classic-country band Duchess, a funny singer-songwriter who Saturday, Oct. 8 at Musica, 9 pm Keepers of the Art presents their 3rd installment sings about his own life experiences in My Buddy Josh’s Band and the country-rooted of the 2016 KOTA Music Showcase Concert Americana band called the Horse Traders, Series with a performance from Hip-Hop hailing from West Virginia, join together in this pioneer and turntable royalty Grandmaster eclectic show. The Barn is a part of Wolf Creek Flash. Also performing is the WuTang Clan’s Trading Co. in Copley, which is a community own The GZA and Diggin’ in the Crates’ own of local artists and craftsmen selling their O.C. Tickets are on sale now via TicketWeb. creations. Tickets are $15 for pre-sale, and $20 the night of the show. Doors open at 9pm. Also on Saturday October 8 from 1 - 3pm at Square Records located at 824 W. Market Street, and part of the International HipHop Preservation Project, KOTA presents our inaugural Respect da Architect Turntable Education Series, which is a live and interactive workshop series featuring some of the most influential and best Djays in order to share the history, theory, mechanics, technology and technics behind the Hip-Hop element of djaying.

‹ Daikaiju, The Beyonderers Saturday, Oct. 8 at Annabell’s, 10 pm Deep in the underground music Mecca of Annabell’s, Daikaiju and The Beyonderers performance will blast rock ‘n’ rollers out of this world. Outlandish Daikaiju will blow minds with psychedelic guitar reverberations and interstellar space beats. With a unique intergalacticrock sound, The Beyonderers “create sonic experiments based on the instructions from an

‹ Extra Spooky with Actual Form, The Dreemers

genres. This line-up showcases Secret Stuff, an emo-alternative band from Nashville; an indie-alternative group from New Jersey called Hodera, as well as Ghost Slime from Akron and Nic Adkins from Kent. Doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm.

lineup are garage soul rockers The Dreemers

“ZIPTRIPPER.” Who Hit Me, a four-piece metalpunk group from Cleveland, and Krelboyne, a group from Lorain known for covering Pearl Jam songs, will also be playing. For more events, visit

‹ Stevenson, Leaner, Posture

Bands will begin playing at 8 pm, and a donation is suggested at the entrance.

Sunday, Oct. 16 at It’s A Kling Thing!, 7 pm Be a part of Akron’s own underground music

è The Blackberry Bushes

scene growing near the University of Akron’s campus. A network of DIY concert venues, It’s a Kling Thing! House hosts a Mecca of punk,

ç Duchess, My Buddy Josh’s Band, The Horse Traders

known for their catchy melancholic ballads; alternative fuzz-rock band Leaner and Kent’s own mellow alt-pop duo, Posture. Doors open at 7 pm, with the show beginning at 8 pm. The cover is a $5 suggested donation.

hosting a country and acoustic music showcase,


Sunday, Oct. 16 at Fool Mansion, 7 pm Yet another alternative venue, Fool’s Mansion — part of the Akron DIY concert scene — hosts local and touring bands of various

Wednesday, Oct. 19 at is hosting a spooky fun evening full of haunted The Overlook Venue, 7pm dance punk and pirate rock tunes. Extra Spooky, A self-proclaimed “chill place,” The Overlook which specializes in creating interesting musical Venue is a house turned concert venue supporting local and touring artists. All the arrangements and high-energy performances, way from California, the hardcore-punk trio is playing in their hometown of Akron before Melted will be playing songs from their album taking off on their first U.S. tour. Joining the

alternative, indie, emo and metal bands both touring and from Northeast Ohio. This show will feature Canadian pop group Stevenson,

The Barn at Wolf Creek, 4pm Primarily a wedding and event venue, this refined-rustic Barn is switching it up and

Ghost Slime, Nic Adkins

‹ Melted, Who Hit Me, Krelboyne

ancient amulet.” Tickets are $5 and the show is 21 and over.

Saturday, Oct. 8 at

é Secret Stuff, Hodera,

Friday, Oct. 14 at Jilly’s Music Room, 8 pm Just in time for Halloween, Jilly’s Music Room

and Akron’s own Actual Form. There is no cover, and this event is 21 and over unless accompanied by an adult. Visit jillysmusicroom. com for more information.

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #9

When: 4 - 11pm, Saturday, October 8 Where: Wolf Creek Trading Co. (pictured above), a premier art gallery in Copley, at the corner of S. Cleveland Massillon and Summit Roads. Bands will play in The Barn, a minimally restored antique barn serving as a new rustic event venue.

Picks for music events in October

å Grandmaster Flash

Everyone’s invited to a Party in the Barn at Wolf Creek

Thursday, Oct. 20 at Mustard Seed Market & Cafe, 7 pm Feel healthy and enjoy some good tunes at the Mustard Seed in Highland Square, when The Blackberry Bushes, an acoustic duo with strong Americana roots, performs in Akron. The group is made up of Seattle singer-songwriter Jes

What: Wolf Fest, a.k.a. "Wolf Creek Fall Festival" is a free party in the country. Everyone is invited. Music, seating, and parking are provided, free of charge. Listen to the music, peruse the indoor gallery, and get to know some of your local artists, many of whom will be on the grounds at Wolf Creek making art live! Local artisans will sell their wares and demo their skills such as painting, sculpting, carving, and designing. Check out the live 3D pumpkin carving. Eat fresh roasted corn on the cob while you listen to your favorite bands. Indulge in hot noodles and cabbage by a mammoth campfire. Who: Music from: The Horse Traders: original American rock n roll from Huntington, West Virginia Duchess: local yokels playing Classic Country covers mixed in with originals by frontpersons Rebekah Jean and Anthony Papaleo. My Buddy Josh's Band: local singer-songwriter with a proclivity for soul and funk beats, accompanied by Brian Hayward on mandolin. Kara Jones: from the Collin Shoaff band, Kara is a cellist and singer from Cuyahoga Falls playing Irish traditionals mixed with some originals, featuring fingerstyle guitar, cello, and playful soothing melodies accompanied by John Fitzgibbons. Local artisans will include a watercolor painter, caricatures, henna body art by Nicki, live pumpkin carving artwork by Joe Ott (pictured below), and more. Why: Because the folks at Wolf Creek Trading Company want ​everyone to experience the beauty of the Wolf Creek property. They want to showcase the talent of local and regional bands, as well as fine artists. They want to connect good people to more good people, and they want everyone to have a good time!

Raymond and musical backer Jacob Breitbach, and they play songs that “connect the day-today wonder with the muses of wonder and myth.” Joining the duo for this special performance is Akron’s own Jason Willis on (continued on page 52)


music & entertainment

Music and


News Brief

o at

91.3 The Summit FM presents The Akron Music & Art Association Showcase

What I'm Listening To

On October 8, the AMAA Showcase will unite and celebrate the many great aspects of local music and art in the Akron area. The Akron Civic Theatre will feature a full art exhibition in the lobby, where people will be able to view

), a ner Roads.


al" is nvited. d, free he f your he Local heir g, and kin ob a

and purchase art from many great visual artists in the Akron area. The event will feature a "330 Stage," an acoustic side stage featuring selected musicians from the Akron area. Each acoustic performance will be recorded and presented on the Summit FM 330 online station for worldwide streaming. One qualified performer from the 330 Artist pool will be given a small opener slot on the Main stage. At 8 pm the event goes live to the Main Auditorium for the Showcase Acts including top performers such as Roger Hoover and the Western Reserve, Zach and the Bright Lights, Hey Monea, From Orion, and Mark Leach. The event will provide merchandise for all the acts involved as well as special promotions and giveaways specific to each of the bands. Doors open at 6 pm. Tickets are $30 and available at

g the y want onal to ople, d time!

the Vaccines?” by, of course, the Vaccines. I am and have always been a sucker for English bands. The Vaccines have such a strange, dynamic sound, but their lyrics are what first caught my attention. My favorite songs on the album include “Wetsuit” (which left me with chills), “Somebody Else’s Child” and “All in White.” Give them a listen, and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Julie Anderson I acquired this EP last week when Dead Leaves (from Cleveland) opened

ountry ersons

painter, e ctured

The Vaccines – What Did You Expect from the Vaccines? My current favorite album I have been listening to on repeat is “What Did You Expect from

Dead Leaves – Dead Leaves EP

rock n

ongk beats, ndolin. nd, ga h some llo, anied

Taylor Marshall

Burning River Film Fest Celebrates Trail Running and the Outdoors The Burning River Film Festival is an event to celebrate trail running, community, conservation, film, and the great outdoors. The First Annual Burning River Film Festival will take place Sunday, October 23 at the Akron Civic

with my friend’s band Small Woodhouse (also from Cleveland) for Tiger’s Jaw (from Scranton, PA), and I have been listening to it on repeat ever since. Dead Leaves has some of the most haunting yet relatable lyrics I have encountered this year. If you’re of the mantra “sad songs forever,” you will love this band. Their harmonies will crawl into your ears and spin webs in the deepest corners of your mind.

Theater. It will showcase the inspiring stories of athletes testing their limits in long distance endurance races, the overwhelming supportive spirit of the trail running community, and the beautiful scenery and places all captured by filmmakers in short and feature length films. But the event isn’t just about film. It will be a social gathering of the trail running community featuring local vendors such as Vertical Runner, artists from Akron Art Prize, Watershed Distillery, Whole Foods, Barrio, NOOMA, Saloman Running, and many more. This film fest will honor the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Conservancy. Tickets are on sale now. For details, information, or sponsorship opportunities please email


Dawson Steeber Psychic Ills – Inner Journey Out This week I’ve been stuck on the fifth album by New York’s Psychic Ills, a two piece consisting of frontman Tres Warren and bassist Elizabeth Hart. “Inner Journey Out” is a melding of honkytonk slides, dirty blues and ethereal keyboards provided by Brent Cordero. This album includes a variety of guest musicians, with Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval featuring on “I Don’t Mind,” along with a collection of drummers and percussionists including Chris Millstein, Harry Druzd of Endless Boogie and Derek James of The Entrance Band. Their sound on this album is a bit of a departure from their typical heady, introspective drone psych. Deliberately dirty and flawed, like a late-night drive down a lonely dirt road, it’s a cathartic ride.

music & entertainment

Standing Room


6 Akron Bands We Think You Should Know by Dawson Steeber

ç é

‹ Ghost Slime

å See Creatures

Selvey – all of whom disappeared after a toxic waste event on the set of Nickelodeon's “Slime Time Live” – make up ‘90s guitar rock outfit GHOST SLIME. Resurrected via ouija board by

See Creatures are the dynamic duo of Nate Bucher and Adam Murray. Drawing from the early psychedelic and folk influences of bands like Cream, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The

Grand Shredmaster Sensei Hamato Yoshi, they learned the ways of rock and of roll. Commonly considered "Akron's Spookiest Band," these

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, they voyage to the outer dimensions of fuzzedout reverb and endless loops inspired by old

ghouls created Slimerock: a mixture of ‘90s guitar rock, à la Built To Spill and Dinosaur Jr., with the emotional intensity of twinkle

sci-fi tropes and magnetic tape. Their debut LP, “Surface Tension,” was released this past summer. You can see them soon at Thursday’s Lounge on Oct. 7. If you’re feeling adventurous,

daddy bands like Algernon Cadwallader and Glocca Morra. Born and raised in Akron's DIY basement scene, they aim to bring good vibes and high energy to every show they play. They just finished recording their debut EP, "Human Stories," and plan to release it before their November tour with Akron's Backtalk. Come get slimed at one of their upcoming local shows


their debut album, “Noosifer,” this year. BDN’s sophomore album, “Hangover,” is set for release

Tyler Brown, Reid Silva, Josh Jones and Ben

before they go on tour: 10/16 @ Fool Mansion in Akron with Secret Stuff and Hodera; 10/20 @ It's A Kling Thing! in Akron with Sports and Close Kept. You can find them here: and here: (Photo by Andrew Wells with editing by Lexi Lynch)

they’ll also be playing Oct. 14 at Lakewood’s Happy Dog. They’ll get you movin’ and groovin’.

in 2017. The band’s music is free and always will be. They record the music themselves, design and make their own shirts, burn their own CDs and create their own videos with the help of various local artists. Check out everything Birthday Noose at birthdaynoose (Logo by Kevin Braun)

‹ Enhailer Conceived in 2014 by bassist Michael Gilpatrick and drummer Chadd Beverlin (Mockingbird, Rue), Enhailer had no real goals as far as a specific sound they were looking for. Later

ç Birthday Noose

that year, guitarist Jason Erb (Goosed) joined the band, and a four-song demo was released. In 2016, after a separation with Erb, Enhailer

Birthday Noose is Akron’s psychedelic, “fuzzed-

enlisted current guitarist Mike Lorenzen (Iron

out, reverb-soaked drone punk” white elephant – a three-piece garage/psych band comprised of Kevin Braun, Eric Blankenhorn and Chrissy Spangler. The band’s sound is for fans of loud, distorted garage rock à la The Cramps,

Jawed Guru). After a year gigging they buckled down in 2016 and entered Tangerine Dreams studio sporadically from June to August with engineer Ben Vehorn to record the new fulllength album, "Grisaille" (a French term for working in gray tones — usually with paints). The title was borrowed from a book written by (continued on page 50)

(Photo by Ryan Legg)

The Stooges, The Gories and Thee Oh Sees. Birthday Noose released their debut EP, “Hang ‘Em High,” in the spring of 2015, followed by

Hoseff’s follow-up album is beautiful, lively and unfortunately, timely ‘Heart Hunter’ is available Nov. 1 by Whit Mumbley

Going into my first listen, I was under the

can’t make you

impression that Hoseff was a gypsy, or at least that his chosen genre should be preceded with the word: gypsy punk, gypsy blues, gypsy dub step, or something like that. But, “Heart Hunter” is more eclectic than I expected,

smile from time to time. Otherwise, the heartbreaking turns wouldn’t hurt enough.

featuring a range wide enough for a whole bunch of flavors without ever losing its thread completely. Still, I don’t know what to call that often catchy, sometimes moving aural throughline, so I’m going to drop it because

He also takes chances that pay off. For example, “I Need You Tonight”

there’s real meat on these bones.

which, on paper, shouldn’t work

The follow-up to 2012’s “Modern Gypsies”, his sophomore effort is an 11-song jaunt that only runs 37 minutes. It feels especially quick

because it sounds like a croony 50s pop ballad that was accidentally inserted

because you’re cycling through the ups and downs of a relationship between friends that gets strained by one’s addiction. Timely though

halfway through the album. But it’s lovely.

it is, it would have been sooooooo easy for this to devolve into the maudlin. The minor miracle here isn’t how Hoseff handles the heavy stuff, but how he takes the topic seriously enough without taking himself so seriously that he


something. You don’t know what to do. Doing those things, I just don’t want to know.” The songs on “Heart Hunter” are sweetly human and full of grace, even when they’re rolled in confusion and pain, like on “Free”: “I went from trainee to retiree. Where

its upbeat, bouncy nature without tipping the balance to favor the emptiness of a Hollywood happy ending or the kind of fatalism that renders hope moot. With the narrator’s fate up for grabs, you cut the tension with a reasonable amount of faith as he sings “I can’t help but wonder how I made it this far. But every mistake I made somehow turned out right in the end. I cut my losses and I’m moving on.” I’ll be singing that for a few weeks. Mixed and co-produced by Grammynominated David Mayfield, “Heart Hunter” is available November 1 and features guest

does that leave me? Where does that leave me? Free.”

appearances by Anthony Papaleo (Mo' Mojo, Duchess), Jayson Benn (Shivering Timbers), Justin Tibbs (Acid Cats), Angie Haze

by Melissa Ferrato, plays like a dirge, mourning the moment you’ve given up on someone when it feels like the end. “I heard you were

“Helpless” and “Don’t Know About Love” are standouts that have, according to his press release, already been well-received by his fans.

and the aforementioned David Mayfield. More information is available at

doing those things, I just don’t want to know. Once in awhile, you get caught up in

However, my favorite is “New Day”. A whiff of deluded optimism in the lyrics maintains

// Album artwork by Adrianne Rae

The next track, “I Heard You Were,” written

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10


music & entertainment

The Auerbachs’ Collaborative Roots Chuck Auerbach to release new album by Stephanie Serna It’s deja vu in technicolor. I’m sitting in Chuck

home, one of Chuck’s favorite places to be.

Auerbach’s car parked in front of Angel Falls Coffeehouse, listening to not just one song but a whole album of Chuck’s songs, sung by him and backed by some of the best studio musicians in Nashville. His son, Dan Auerbach

This is the home where his sons Dan and Geoff grew up, and from where they proclaimed they would not move when there was talk of selling. Chuck is telling me the story about how he got started writing lyrics, sometime around 2002:

of The Black Keys, has recently finished producing the album, which was mixed and partially recorded at his Nashville based Easy Eye Studio, and which does not yet have a release date set.


“Dan was playing around Akron in bars doing covers, and Mary and I encouraged him to write original material, because we’d seen so many good musicians in Akron get stuck in bars because they didn’t play original material.”

It was almost 9 years ago that I heard Chuck’s music for the first time, and it too was played

“So Dan started writing original material,”

through his car stereo, but we were sitting parked in front of The Northside Bar & Grille (now Jilly’s Music). He was becoming a regular at an open mic I ran there. He was just the scruffy looking bearded guy who came in later in the evening and stood by the side door

he continues. “But it sounded too much like his influences who were of a different age, a different culture. So we talked about the lyrics and how to make them sound more like Dan rather than his influences. That’s when I got the bug from helping him.”


seemingly ready for a quick exit. He always seemed to be watching with intention, but what that intention was I hadn’t a clue. So when Chuck invited me to listen to one of

A few years after that, Chuck sought out musicians for songwriting collaborations. That’s when he showed up as the mysterious guy at The Northside.

his songs in his car, I felt a little hesitant. “The only reason I came to open mic was to get You want me to go to your car and “listen to music?” Why not just play it on stage? But Chuck didn’t play an instrument, nor did he

a musician to use my lyrics and turn them into original songs,” Chuck says. “I had no intention of ever singing in public—you were the one who got me up there.”

sing at that time. He was (and still is) a lyricist. He played a rough cut recording of “Whispered Words/Pretty Lies”—lyrics by Chuck, music and vocals by Dan, who to me at the time was just the son of the mysterious bearded dude.

I remind him there were many people who loved his lyrics and encouraged him to get on stage and perform them. His performances began as spoken word and then later morphed into a capella singing.

I offered him my critique of their song not knowing this version was going to be included

“I remember very well there were two middleaged women who used to come to open

in Dan’s solo album “Keep It Hid.” This song was one of the first released Auerbach

mic and would happily sit there while people performed, but when I got up there, they


would run out of the room!” Chuck laughs.

We’re now sitting on the porch of his Akron


(continued page 54)

TUESDAY TUESDAY NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 1 1 8PM 8PM Tickets Tickets Available Available At At


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877.4.FLY.TIX 877.4.FLY.TIX (877.435.9849) (877.435.9849)

music & entertainment


Time Cat rocks album release party at Musica

................................. Time Cat played yet another kickass show to celebrate the release of their self-titled EP. Jeff Klemm, Birthday Noose and Jul Big Green opened the show. Time Cat’s psychedelic sounds and Jeri Sapronetti’s crooning and banter made for a stellar performance which culminated in a dance-provoking cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” Pictured clockwise from top left: Jeri Sapronetti working magic on a beauty of a guitar; Jul Big Green getting the stage nice and toasty for Time Cat; Time Cat making sweet, sweet sounds (Photos courtesy of M. Sophie Franchi)

Hot Oct. Releases


(continued from page 48) a friend, Jack Garrett. Currently on Blackseed Records, these misanthropic dirt rockers will


be delivering their brand of power-packed, experimental sludge ranging from softer progressive parts to brutally heavy down-tuned riffs in places like Philadelphia and Brooklyn with eyes on touring the south over the winter

other end? Karate chop beats and brittle guitar play interwoven with hushed vocals and dark

é Daveferatu

lyrics. Get out and see these guys when they’re around! (Photo by James Kananaan, studio engineer

way to polish your stage combat skills (and make new friends, too).

Hollow Bone Records 2721 W. Market Street Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

(234) 334-7484 Mon Closed Tue-Sat 10am-8pm Sun 12pm-5pm

at Bad Racket Recording Studio)

commit. Upon his release, drummer Chuck Norris and Dave went straight into Bad Racket è Me Time and The Raging Crush studio in Cleveland. Dave said, “The mix had to There is a psychedelic sunshine cult in Akron. be blown out. Balls to the wall, drum-heavy and They’re called Me Time and The Raging Crush, the cosmic six-piece consisting of Eric slammin’.” Engineer James Kananaan (Seafair, (continued from page 12) buckler? Found object? Rapier? War hammer? Dagger? Whatever it is, it will be an awesome


post-production mastering, Jeff Soper (Me Time and the Raging Crush, Birthday Noose) crushed it hard. Daveferatu set out to do something never done before by recording a blend of progressive, jazz-fusion drums with finger-style acoustic guitar pushed through tube amps, distortion and reverb. What do we get on the

months. (Photo by Amanda Bukrim)

Daveferatu (Dave Andrews) wrote these songs in prison, locked up for a crime he did not


Ma Halos) delivered in a huge way. Then, in

October’s Fight night celebrates OSF’s premier Greystone show, “Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music.” Learn the flashier side of swordplay and explore classic fights (a la “The Princess Bride”) and perfect your hearty, swordfighter laugh.

October 21 - 30 at Greystone Hall This encore production of OSF’s hit Family

Akron’s Fone Records in 2014. The band has released 11 music videos to date, and their live shows come complete with projected films and ritualistic costumes. For all you wouldbe disciples, their sophomore release is due out this fall. Catch Me Time and The Raging Crush live at the Matinee with Cincinnati’s The Harlequins on Sunday, Nov. 13. Come Down. Drink the Kool-Aid. No, for real. They bring free Kool-Aid. (Photo by Jeff Soper)

Theatre show is wholesome entertainment from a bygone age meant to capture the imagination of the entire family in an entirely new, swashbuckling adventure...with music! OSF Family Theatre encourages and cultivates the skills of local artists from start to finish. The scripts are new, the music and lyrics are original, and the musicians, composers, choreographers, playwrights, actors, directors and producers all call Ohio 'home.'

Shakes-Beer: Twelfth Night Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music

Blankenhorn, Jeff Soper, Fred Johnson, Ian Cummins, Kevin Braun and Chrissy Spangler. Influenced by ‘60s psych, ‘70s punk, ‘80s drugs and a never-ending daisy chain of guitar effects, they’ve been committing musical mind control since recording their debut album on

November 5 at Greystone Hall, 8 pm This full-cast reading of Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night” will take place in Greystone’s beautiful bar, complete with bartender. Sit back and

enjoy a pint. The actors will be drinking right along with you! This reading has the potential to get sillier and sillier throughout the night. Help your favorite character along: add a buck to the "character jar," and he/she will take a sip! 21 and over. Tickets are $15 and seating is limited.


misc. (continued from page 26) many people who drowned in the makeshift “swimming hole” formed by the pit, it was

this once-dominant industry speak to us of the impermanence of success. It reminds us—like Shelley’s “Ozymandias”—that even the most

finally filled with trash, graded over and seeded with grass for a municipal park.

impressive achievements can pass away, almost without a trace.

Happily, two well-preserved buildings from this industrial age still remain nearby. At the end

Yet it also demonstrates that no matter how great this industry may have appeared at the

of Broad Street in old Middlebury, Sagerock Inc. has made a home in the former office

time, it would be far surpassed by The Rubber Boom. Little did these early industrialists know

building of the American Sewer Pipe Co., and a few blocks west on Market, at Buchtel Ave., we can still see the empty-but-still-impressive

that they were just setting the table for an even bigger, better Akron.

mansion of Byron Robinson, one of William’s descendants.

The smarts, hard work and big ideas that made that possible still exist here today. I look around now and I see lots of new faces with forks, dishes and napkins in hand. It’s time to set the


(continued from page 23)

‹ Let’s Talk Art October 19 at Summit Artspace, 7 pm Whether you’re a new artist or an experienced one, everyone runs into problems with the creative process. This is where this question and answer session with the Akron Society of Artists

comes in. An informal discussion will take place, where you can receive advice from your fellow Students who are currently in 8th grade or out artists about how to proceed or solve a simply of the Akron Public School district and who (or not so simple) issue.

ê Mutton Hill Quilt Show

table so we can sit down and eat again. It’s hard to deny that the faded remnants of

National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM High School Offers Shadowing Opportunities

Oct. 22-23 • John S. Knight Center, 10a – 6p Part competition, part quilt show, and plenty of fun, the Mutton Hill Quilt Show will feature vendors, lectures, and many other things for those interested in getting into quilting – or those who like to look at these works of art.

are interested in attending NIHF STEM High School are invited to experience APS’s NIHF STEM family by shadowing a learner at NIHF STEM High School. A member of the STEM Ambassadors' Team will host visiting students while they learn about NIHF STEM’s award winning academic programing, visit classrooms, participate in design challenges and meet innovative coaches.

ë Pumpkin Carving (continued from page 33) Without that frame of reference, what are the emotional and financial ramifications to the

employees. Now the concentration is on the satisfaction of stockholders. How does that impact the overall business snapshot?

October 26 at the Goodyear Heights Metro Park Lodge, 6:30 – 8pm It isn’t Halloween without some traditional

There is a suggestion that a hybrid of ideologies is, in fact, the proper note to strike

pumpkin carving. You’ll need to bring your own pumpkin and carving tools, as well as a way to carry home your pumpkin seeds (if you do

country? There is more. The film also addresses the environment. Respecting the planet is not only "right," it is key to the continuation of this whole machine

to have not only a healthy economy, but people as well. Is a marriage between capitalism and socialism the answer?

‹ Twilight Hike and Campfire

that mankind has constructed. The cost of this

Clocking in at just under an hour, “Honorable

care, however, may be to the detriment of earnings.

Capitalism?” comes out swinging. It poses hard questions and addresses big ideas while providing just enough of a starting point to launch important conversations. The film doesn't arrogantly offer pat answers to complicated issues, yet it is audacious enough to start a fire that might.

The notion of honor in business practices and how it can be both morally and fiscally profitable is visited throughout the film. For example, CEOs used to put a premium on their (continued from page 23) community that perpetuate poverty, while helping them come up with a plan to remain financially stable. The courses meet twice a week for 16 weeks, and at the end, each participant receives a $200 stipend to help them begin their financial solvency plan. Transportation is available to those who need it. This program is available due to a grant that the United Way of Summit County received in July. The program of courses has been run before, with some success, as the 750 people who have taken it in the past have, for the most part, been proven to have higher incomes and fewer periods of unemployment.

desire). Some recipes for pumpkin seeds and a few additional carving tools will be provided.

October 28 at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 6 – 7:30pm Spend some quiet time hiking around the park right at dusk, and then settle in for some s’mores by the campfire at this event. There’s nothing quite like the woods during this time of the year!

Parents of the 8th grade students who are shadowing are also invited (but not required) to attend a 30-minute informal session with Instructional Leader Dina Popa and Assistant Instructional Leader Antonio Preston from 8 - 8:30 am on the day of their shadow visit. This session will provide 8th grade parents with an opportunity to meet and talk with school leaders, learn NIHF STEM’s Mission and Core Values, and ask any additional questions. Parents who wish to attend this session are asked to RSVP when registering their child for their Shadow Day experience. Online registration is required and space is limited, so visit to reserve a spot.

off at the visitor’s center, or mailed to the administrative offices of the Metro Parks.

(continued from page 35) Chief Operating Officer Jim Pfander has been named its 2016 Eastern League Executive of the too often can mean that what’s sold as fresh produce in certain stores is actually coming Year. In 2016, Akron hosted the 2016 Eastern from California, Mexico and Hawaii. Vigeo League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby

All entries must have the photographer’s name and contact information on the back, as well as the location of where the picture

for the first time, saw an increase of more than 10,000 in attendance, and the team won its fifth Eastern League championship.

Gardens, on the other hand, wants to provide produce in Ohio that was grown in Ohio, 365 days of the year. “Vigeo Gardens' 5-year goal is to have a multi-

(Photo by Ted Keener of Akron, from 2014 - 2015

“It is truly a staff award,” said Pfander. “We, as a staff, accomplished some amazing things in 2016 and this award would not be possible without the hard working team we have in

Summit Metro Parks amateur photography exhibit.)

place in the Akron front office.”

be matted or framed. Entries can be dropped

was taken, and a title. The pictures will be on display at the Nature Realm visitor’s center from January through May, 2017. At the end of the exhibition, the photographs will be returned.

Under Pfander’s leadership, this season the RubberDucks were nominated by the Eastern League for the Minor League Baseball’s top award, the John H. Johnson President’s Award, which goes to the most “complete” baseball franchise that has demonstrated franchise stability while making significant contributions to its community, its league and to the baseball

acre, very diversified greenhouse pumping the best produce into the local economy,” Vincent says. ”After successfully implementing the first Vigeo Gardens' produce hub, the 10-year goal is to take the brand and system national and build multi-acre greenhouse hubs across the country.” Many in Akron think tech entrepreneurs have to build software or biomedical devices, but Jacob, Mark and Vincent are taking a different approach to create a lasting impression that could one day change the way millions of people eat. It’s only fitting that the Latin word “vigeo” means “to thrive” because that’s exactly what

Summit Metro Parks 17th Amateur Photography Exhibit


From now until November 23, the Summit Metro Parks are accepting entries for their

Pfander will be presented with the award at the they’re striving to do at Vigeo Gardens.

amateur photography exhibit. The photographs must have been taken in one of the Metro Parks. A maximum of two submissions per person is allowed, and the pictures must be in

RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander Named Eastern League Executive of the Year

printed form (no digital files allowed), and no larger than 15” by 20”. They do not need to

The Eastern League announced in September that Akron RubberDucks General Manager and


Baseball Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland, during the Opening Session on December 5.

526 S Main St. Suite 818 Akron, Ohio 44311 Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

THE Devil Strip |


back of book

The Trouble with Old People Now, Where Was I? You may have noticed that the older person in your life has become a bit forgetful. I have noticed this in some of my friends, which aroused some concern about my own mental processes. I knew my son-in-law to be an observant person so I approached him about it.

by Steven Van Auken

getting lost on the way home from the grocery store, we should take up playing the clavichord or learn to write in Sanskrit.

I can tell you from personal experience that this This kind of study forces the aging brain to create new neural pathways. But this doesn’t

happen overnight. It requires consistent “Bob,” I said, “I want you to be brutally honest. practice. In the meantime, there are strategies that can help. These strategies have been Have I lost a step in my memory?” “Dad,” he said, “You’ve got nothing to worry about. You’re still sharp as a tack. Everybody says so. And my name is Curtis but I guess I can answer to Bob, too.” Some of my peers have not been as lucky as I have. One friend of mine didn’t drive for three months. It started when he looked in the drawer where he keeps his car keys. They weren’t there. The next day they weren’t there again. Time passed. Then one day, he heard a jingling sort of sound when he opened his sock drawer. My friend is a quick study, so after he discovered his keys, it was the work of a moment to go and check his glove compartment. Not only were his socks there, but also a cell phone that had been missing since the second Bush administration.

more recollection of her name than she does the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

extensively field tested by older people and found to be useful. We pass them along to each other at secret gatherings in the coffee shop at Barnes and Noble, and in the waiting rooms of joint replacement clinics. One of the most useful is Strategic Hiding. To be old is to constantly meet people you sense you ought to know, but don't. This is why you so often see us seniors moving slowly, slowly through the grocery store, parking our cart in the middle of the aisle while we carefully study the label of a can of soup. In fact, this is a ruse. We have no more interest in monosodium glutamate than you do. We could move more briskly if we wanted to. But that senior citizen blocking your path has just glanced around the corner and spotted someone she should know. She is hiding, playing for time while she tries to summon up the person’s name from deep memory.

If you have noticed any such problems on the part of an aging relative, it is important not to

Is it a former friend? A co-worker? Her cousin, panic. Some memory loss, particularly of newly with a new hairdo? Someone from church? If so, was this woman present when she made a formed memories as opposed to ones formed years ago, is a normal part of the aging process. fool of herself over the cute widower who sings the baritone solo in the choir? No, now she I saw a study about it recently, and I’m sure it’s has it. This is Susan, her former neighbor. Time around here somewhere. But as I remember, to move out from her sheltered position. “Oh, it said that as we baby-boomers age, it’s very

two goats into your private chambers. What do you have to say to that?” The experienced candidate will respond, “My opponent’s so called jobs plan clearly violates the third clause

technique works. I once hid behind a display of Seasonal Beers of the World for 10 minutes until I could remember the name of my high

of the Taft-Hartley Act. What does he have to say about that?”

school guidance counselor, who was browsing the liquor shelves. He once told me that I wasn’t working up to my potential. I guess I showed him.

We seniors also use strategic substitution when we are trapped and at a loss. Recently, a friend of mine attended her high school reunion. A woman approached her, took both her hands,

Another useful strategy is Denial. There are times when it seems prudent to evade the

and said with great feeling, “I have always tried to follow the life lessons that our English teacher, Mrs. Hargrove, taught us. I treasure the memory

consequences of a lapse in memory. For example, if you have been married for twentyseven years, and at midnight of the day before your anniversary you suddenly become aware

of the discussions that you and I had afterward in the cafeteria. Wasn’t that just the best?”

of the looming catastrophe, you may feel that some denial is in order. You may report to your wife a deep need to rush to the drugstore

disadvantage. She had no recollection at all of this woman. She remembered nothing about any English class, except the one taught by that

to buy something for the rasping cough that started five minutes ago. You shouldn't let yourself feel too guilty over this dissembling. Remember, it is only because of aging men with

guy with the little moustache who looked at her in a creepy sort of way. But none of that really mattered. She had Strategic Substitution to fall back on. “Oh yes,” my friend enthused. “And

unreliable memories that drug stores sell candy and flowers, and why they stay open 24 hours in the first place. Our bad memories help to create jobs. That's our story, and we're sticking

I remember how you loved those pretzels they had in the snack machine. Any time today I eat a pretzel I think of our Mrs. Hargrove.”

to it. The technique of Strategic Substitution is

There are many ways to cope with the day to day pressures of fading memory. We are all in this together. It is important that we use our

taken directly from political discourse, where it has been a reliable way to obscure reality for generations. The point is to substitute something you do want to talk about for

fading memories to maximum advantage. As the philosopher George Santayana wisely said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to reheat it. . . or refinance it . . .

something you don’t. For example, a political candidate may find himself confronted by a

or something.”

My friend found herself at a bit of a

important that we exercise the part of the brain that manages new memories. So when we start

hello! Susan! So good to see you.” And try not reporter who tells him, “Sir, we have come into to look smug, when it is clear that Susan has no possession of a video that shows you escorting

It will come to me.

(continued from page 46)

lineup includes ekoostik hooka, an Ohio-based trio that blends improvisational elements with

performance by two head-banging bands. Heavily influenced by classic rock legends like

upright bass. For more information on the show, visit

ê Human Petting Zoo, Your Heart Breaks

— essentially all the original members of The Attractions, but with a different bass player —

psych rock, bluegrass, funk, blues and jazz. Also for the Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers on the bill is Jones for Revival, a psychedelic tour. The musicians will perform selections funk-rock band hailing from the old steel town from Costello’s hit sophomore album, “Imperial of Youngstown. Tickets are $15 dollars, and Bedroom,” along with “the songs that led in and those under 21 pay an extra $2 at the door. out of that velvet-trimmed playhouse.” Tickets

Thursday, Oct. 27 at Hive Mind, 8 pm One of the most active DIY venues in Akron’s underground music scene, Hive Mind is hosting

(Photo by Frank Lanza)

the film screening of stop-motion animated film “Torrey Pines,” along with live performances

í Elvis Costello and The Imposters

‹ Bad Dudes, The Bizarros

from two bands. Your Heart Breaks will be scoring this film, as it tells the “queer punk coming-of-age tale” of Peterson, who was raised by a schizophrenic single mother. Opening

Friday, Oct. 28 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm New Wave legend Elvis Costello hits the Civic

Friday, Oct. 28 at Jilly’s Music Room, 8 pm Head down to one of Akron’s best concert

Theatre stage with backing band The Imposters

venues and enjoy a true rock ‘n’ roll

the show before the screening, Human Petting Zoo will perform some of their ukulele punk selections. The cover is a suggested $7 donation.

ë Hookahween: ekoostik hooka, Jones for Revival Thursday, Oct. 27 at Musica, 7 pm Celebrate the scariest time of the year at Musica’s Hookahween event, featuring performances that will definitely be a treat. The


| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

range from $49.50 to $95. For more information visit (Photo by Brian Rasic)

AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, the headlining band, Bad Dudes, will remind listeners what classic rock should be with their selfproclaimed “whiskey-fueled” performance. From Akron, The Bizarros, a group that rebels against “mainstream rock ‘n’ roll,” will also be performing. There is no cover, and this event is 21 and over unless accompanied by an adult.

µ E.J. Thomas Hall’s Up Close and Personal Series presents: Theron Brown Trio plus Special Guests Friday, October 21 at 8 pm Akron-based jazz pianist and fan favorite Theron

Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, & Art Tatum, Brown has played with musicians such as Dan Wilson, Sean Jones, just to name a few. Brown’s style is all his own. Tickets are on sale now. All seats are general admission and are $20, $10 for UA students, faculty

Brown never fails to bring the jam. Usually performing and staff. Tickets for E.J. Thomas Hall events may be solo, this is the first time that Theron will be playing purchased by phone at (330) 253-2488 and in person with his trio. This night will make the music move at the E.J. Thomas Box Office. Box Office hours are you with the addition of some surprise special guests. Influenced at a young age by Thelonious Monk,

Monday through Friday, 10 am - 4 pm. Tickets may also be purchased online at



back of book

Political Fact Checking


Do-It-Yourself Guide by Georgio Pelogrande

Anyone who has been following my journalistic endeavors would know that I am always, if nothing else, accurate in my reporting. I

to examine political fact-checking on a broader scale and then simplify it for common use.

It's alarming that the presidential candidates don’t seem to understand how to accurately quote facts on the economy, foreign policy, im-

Would you like to look this one over? "There is nothing pertaining to national security in my deleted emails..." Googling Fact Checker?

guess you could say I'm a "fact checker." From incredibly in-depth scientific articles on space exploration and time travel to the occasional

First, the word "gobbledygook" is defined as "the overinvolved, pompous talk of officialdom." The word was invented by U.S.

migration, the right to bear arms, civil rights, or any other pressing issue facing our nation and presumably their presidency. What's worse is

You're up. "I don't use bobby pins in my hair..." Googling Fact Checker, run an image search.

sports, traffic and weather reports, I take great pride in producing work that is factually sound.

Representative Maury Maverick (D-Texas) and was first used in a memo dated March 30,

that they can't manage to accurately quote personal or professional facts about themselves. I

Problem solved. I suppose the rest of us will go on fact checking and Google searching

Indeed one of our greatest presidents Benjamin Franklin felt the same, as he famously said

1944, banning gobbledygook language and mean they could avoid a lot of embarrassment, mock-threatening, "anyone using the words ac- if they would just Google themselves occasion-

ourselves until such time that we can afford a staff to do those things for us in the event that

in one of his televised fireside chats with the nation, "The only thing we have to fear is what your country can do for you." Of course no one

tivation or implementation will be shot." Those are strong words from an elected government official but with a name like Maverick you can

ally to find out what they've said or done in the past and where they've stood on some of the issues addressed above. I Google myself all the

our brain stops functioning.

knows what that means, but the point is that it's been fact checked and seems to be true. So, if lil' Benny Franklin had the ability to get his stuff straight way back when, why can't our

pretty much talk as tough as you want. I think the toughest name ever would be Maverick "Ron" Danger Steelgroin III. Imagine picking a fight with that guy. Anyways, Maverick said he

time and I don't even have a staff of dozens to remind me to do it. Donald, Hillary, I am talking directly to you now.

about political fact checking. "For nary a soul hath e'er uttered a word known to be less untrue than that of a pundit who love-a-da facts." -Georgio Pelogrande.

political leaders do the same now?

made up the word in imitation of turkey noise. Another word for such talk coined about the same time, was "bafflegab." Now I know this

Walk into your national campaign headquarters this afternoon. Look around for that one guy or gal sitting around, daydreaming whilst picking

Until next time, be nice, cut back on your fatty foods, and above all, check your facts. Thank

may sound like a lot of bafflegab and this sort of rigmarole may have you flabbergasted, but believe me it's true. I checked.

his or her nose. Ask for silence in the room, point to that person, and shout, "Googling Fact Checker!" From now on that person is in charge of running a very basic internet search before you open your mouth. "I never supported the war in Iraq..." Googling Fact Checker?

It seems odd in an era of Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia and Tinder that those running for the highest office in the land should have to rely on the media to fact check their gobbledygook. As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are apparently building entire campaigns around goofy, inaccurate statements, I thought it would only be right

I forget what I was talking about. Oh yeah, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Trump.

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Home of the 0% Interest Buy Here Pay Here! 745 E. Market, Suite 3, Akron - 330-376-5183 OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10 /

THE Devil Strip |


back of the book


photos and words by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni

Pee Deal at Traffic Court The women’s restroom on the 7th floor of the Akron Municipal Court--Traffic Court floor-is a travesty of justice. A violation of my First Amendment Rights. I cannot have life, liberty,

and the pursuit of happiness here, behind this shower curtain stall door.

here in the 60s and said there was an old padded room that had been used for epileptics. I bet it’s still here. This courthouse should do

lame attempt at coziness. Maybe there’s some legal thing about not having doors where there are people in handcuffs because you know, if

Traffic Court is also a travesty of justice, and if you’re trying to fight a speeding ticket, it takes less time and hassle to just pay the damn thing even if you’re pretty sure the cop was wrong.

double duty as a haunted house.

you treat people like crap and deny things like stall doors they will surely respect you for it.

When you exit Traffic Court from the cashier’s room, the women’s restroom is practically right in front of you. I didn’t realize that so I walked around in circles until I was right back where I started. While walking in circles at Akron Municipal Court, join the chorus of folks walking in circles looking for wherever they need to be and waiting for slow elevators.

Contrary to popular belief, Mastador Strength and Conditioning of Akron does not feature

(continued from page 49)

When I visited, the restroom was at least stocked

I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was not it. I laughed out loud when I saw the cream colored shower curtain stall door, but it did not

with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels. It was clean but not sparkling. I guess you could just spray that shower curtain with Tilex Daily Shower

put me at ease or let me unwind. Though this restroom gets points for being a single-stall, it’s not enough. But it’s cool, you’ve got that shower curtain to shield you. It droops in the

Cleaner or some mildew preventer.

middle because there are hooks only at both ends holding it up. Budget cuts, maybe.

Court, Urine Luck finds you Guilty of piss-poor facilities. Your sentence is 1 out of 5 toilets and your fine is to improve this rating.

Maybe they could add a soap caddy type thing to use as a purse hanger? This seems like a place that would add fake plastic flowers in a

a mastodon on its logo. Maybe it should. I’d definitely check out the bathrooms at a dinosaur gym. However, MSC is dinosaur-less-unless you count all the T-rexes that walk around after too many leg days. Just kidding. The coaches at MSC work hard to make sure none of their members have trouble reaching their pizza.

you want, but you should probably do your big bathroom business in the back because you won’t feel as bad dirtying it up.

share it with anyone else! Some nice smelling soap cleans the burpee dirt from your hands effectively. And some nice smelling person cleans whatever else kind of “dirt” you may

If you’re showing around some business associates, you’ll send them to the cozy front bathroom for its charming metal decor and

make in either of the two bathrooms.

You know how people say business in the front, party in the back? Well, the good old mullet description also fits the MSC bathrooms--depending on the context of the word “business,” of course. You can do your bathroom business in the front bathroom if

stunning good looks. If you’re taking your friend who hasn’t worked out in four years for an intro workout, they’ll probably want to use the back bathroom to rowlf in because splashback in this room is less detrimental to the surroundings.

fitting for the space they occupy. Each feature a toilet, sink, and paper towel dispenser. The back bathroom features a nice-sized shower. It’s not the crap kind you find in most gyms, the kind with the moldy vinyl curtain you desperately try to avoid touching. This is a real, true shower--with shelves and space to shave your legs (if you do stuff like that at the gym) and everything. And you don’t even have to

that sparked the interest of many of the talented musicians in the room to write songs

two met. Chuck recalls, “I saw him perform, thought he did a really interesting job of

Chuck sing on his own album. Kenny told him his words were so singular that they needed his

from his lyrics. It became a weekly presentation of “Chuck songs” that culminated into an eight-artist CD called, “Points of View: A Tribute to Chuck Auerbach” recorded by Lemon

arranging the lyrics and asked him to come over to the house. I think he came over just as a favor, thinking I’d show him one or two songs. He left with 55 lyric sheets—and kept coming

voice to make them sound real. Kenny played on the album. Cory did not, but he sat there the whole time and encouraged Chuck on the vocals.

Records (Hoseff Garcia’s label).

back until the project was recorded.”

| THE Devil Strip / OCTOBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #10

Mastador Strength and Conditioning 1245 S Cleveland Massillon Rd, Ste 205. Akron, OH 44321 (330) 931-6360

annual Mile of Music Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin. “I am a big believer in collaboration… as is Dan,” notes Chuck. “We do our best work when we collaborate.” Anyone who has the pleasure of hearing the depth and tasty texture of Chuck’s new album would attest to the truth of that statement. For a more extended

Cory continues to encourage Chuck on his


I give the Mastador Strength and Conditioning bathrooms a solid 4.5/5 toilets. They’re clean. They’re nice. But maybe they could get a real toilet paper holder in the back business bathroom (though if you’re working out here, you should probably not complain about this and be able to hold your own toilet paper roll with just the strength of your gaze).

some of the best musicians there as songwriting than 50 percent of the people who sang and

Kenny, who has worked with most everyone in Nashville, told Chuck that his voice was “better

// Emily Dressler still has a port-a-pot on her road.

The MSC bathrooms are clean, functional, and

partners. Two of his closest collaborators on this more interesting than most.” But it was being on stage – the same stage album are Kenny Vaughan and Cory Chisel. where Dan first performed with his cover band, Despite Chuck’s barrage of negativity about his The Barn Burners – and Chuck’s presentations Cory quickly became a good friend after the own voice, both Kenny and Cory insisted that

Chuck’s playing in the Big Leagues now. Living part-time in Nashville, he started seeking out

Bottom line is this bathroom sucks and I’m pissed about Traffic Court. Akron Municipal

It’s no surprise that this single-”stall” restroom is in such awful shape. The entire Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center is dated. My dad clerked

Like the actual MSC mascot--a large mixedbreed dog--the bathroom situation at Mastador Strength and Conditioning is also a mixed breed. You’ve got one spa-like bathroom in the front of the building, while the bathroom in the back is a space more akin to a sterile hospital room. And, no worries, friends, your parts don’t matter, you can use any bathroom you desire here!

Hold Your Own at Mastador Strength and Conditioning

I thought I could walk into the restroom and unwind after an annoying visit to Traffic Court.

music. This last August, he booked Chuck to perform a debut of the new album at his

version of this article, check out Serna’s blog:


DavidSedaris_10x135ad_Layout 1 8/3/16 1:17 PM Page 1


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October 2016 - Monsters in these streets  
October 2016 - Monsters in these streets  

What happens when problems in downtown Akron are by solutions conceived by STEM students, organized by DAP and crafted by a battle-rapping i...