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10 Highland Square Porches (and yards) will be Rokn 17 Who was Mr. East Akron? 22 Why people are doing yoga outside the Akron Art Museum FREE



SPECIAL SECTION: PORCH ROKR 10 What’s happening and where at PorchRokr 2016 12 Six PorchRokr bands we think you should know 12 E. Exchange Street 2nd Floor Akron, Ohio 44308 Publisher:

Chris “no carny-handed mango man” Horne Email: Phone: 330-555-GHOSTBUSTERS Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer Managing Editor:

M. Sophie “Has Many Names, Wears Many Hats” Hamad Email: Visuals Editor:

15 Is Akron the poetry capital of the Midwest?



18 Intuition plus rusty junk equals Akron Tree Project 19 A look inside Kirk Olmstead’s studio 20 Art Bomb Brigade coming to a wall near you

28 35

Svetla “The Balkan Comrade” Morrison Director of Sales & Distribution:

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

CULTURE CLUB 26 91.3 The Summit: How does local radio compete?

The Editorial Team

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...............Ilenia “Our Short, Tired Garbanzo Bean Eatin',

WTF Video Girl Writer” Pezzaniti

FOOD & DRINK Editor ...........................................Lia “Just One More Slice” Pietrolungo

28 BMe leader uses $10,000 award to fund The W.O.M.B. 30 The Trouble with Old People

FOOD & DRINK 31 Did you even know that Angel Falls has a kitchen?

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Music ............................................ Brittany “Sass Master Flash” Nader Music .................... Clay “Needs a Whimsical Middle Name” Chabola Entertainment .............. Andrew “Has a Mighty Fine Beard” Leask


33 Butter Your Nuts moves to Akron


table of contents 18 42

35 A double dose of The Wanderer

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; Chris “the Film Freak” Kessinger; 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

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT 42 Beware WHAT? Bewarewolves. 43 Zep the Bear reviews the Liberal Redneck 44 Film Freak goes vintage with video

Meet Daffodil! She is a social gal who loves everyone she meets. Daffodil enjoys soaking up all of the pets she can get! She loves to roll around in catnip and bat around her toys. Daffodil should do well with children and has lived with other cats prior to arriving at Pawsibilities, Humane Society of

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.





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Greater Akron. Daffodil is hoping to bloom into a forever home soon! Alka is around 5 years old and weighs about 50 pounds. This pretty lady gets along well with most other dogs but needs a home with no cats, and she would do best in a home with older children. Alka already knows sit, down, stay and settle on command. She is eager to learn much, much, more, and she is doing just that, in our manners course (she is attending here at the PHSGA). In this class she is focusing on real life training that she can use in new her home, like kennel up on cue, and how to politely greet someone. Alka loves toys of all kinds but a good old fashion tennis ball is the way to this girls heart. She loves to swim in the summertime and roll around in snow during the winter. Alka would be an amazing running/hiking partner, she has been taken off site many times by staff and volunteers and has easily completed 5-6 miles. Sprint on down and meet Alka today! PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron 7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087 | 1.888.588.8436 | 330.487.0333 | |

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


pub notes

Pub Notes >>

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GIVE WHAT YOU WANT (But if you try, sometimes you’ll give what you need)


early every person I admire in and around Akron has been supported, inspired or befriended by Russ Pry at some point.

About the Cover That time a mysterious illustration scared the crap out of me

This makes the news of the Summit County Executive’s untimely death even more painful. Mr. Pry was, by all accounts, as good, devoted and passionate a public servant as

out of a place made by what he’d gifted me. I am a better parent, spouse and friend because of my father. But if I dig, if I try, I can share with others my dad’s best aspects so those things

he was a caring and generous human being. Indeed, I have no doubt he was such a good public servant because he was such a great

continue to live. It will seem like it’s me, but it’ll be him.

human being.

We only ever honor people like Russ Pry by

carry himself like he thought he was special.

We could fill every single page in this issue with tributes from people whose lives were made

becoming more like them and helping others do the same. We grieve, and then we rally. He did so much, he gave so much, the only way

Instead, he preferred, from what I can tell, to see what was special in others. What an excellent way to live. Let’s give that a shot for

better by the presence of Russ Pry — and we to keep this community going forward is to do would still have a waiting list long enough to fill more and give more ourselves. The more we every single page in every issue the rest of this give — as he gave to so many others — the

a while, eh? Start small, like with a friend, and work up to treating a stranger like they’re special, too. Bet you’ll be surprised where that

year. And then some, I bet. These testimonies have flooded social media, and as I read them, I wish for something better to say than, “I’m sorry for your loss.” The phrase just isn’t big

more people we can encourage to follow suit.

leads you.

I only crossed paths with him a couple times, but I liked him a lot. We first met because Beth

Thank you for your dedication, your generosity of spirit and your example, Mr. Pry. You will be

enough to fit. The loss isn’t confined to one person, not even at a time. These friends, weeping together, have become — or perhaps always been — a makeshift family whose shared bond is both the man they’re mourning and the principles that guided his life.

Boggins at United Way of Summit County arranged it so I could interview him, as she had earlier done with the late Judy Read, another local stalwart of compassion and kindness. The whole time we talked, I kept looking for the politician. I couldn’t find him. Nary a boast about what he had done. No claims about how great he was. Everything was

missed, but you won’t be far from our thoughts or deeds.

In the wake of my father’s death, I learned that the good ones are the hardest to honor when they’re gone. For a while, all I felt was the pain of what I’d lost. For the last five years, I haven’t

bi-monthly print magazine from scratch without a staff or a real budget, I lost out on the initial cache of boxes I’d found and substituted them with ones ill-suited for this idea. That said, the process itself connected me to some of the

the Braves or UGA, or politics. I won’t get to cringe through my laughter as he shares top secret embarrassing stories with my wife. He’ll

That includes Michael Ayers. You’ve seen his work if you’ve spent time at Lock 4 or hanging around Canal Park, where the RubberDucks

but enthusiasm, like he was genuinely excited that he could be part of helping so many children have some fun and load up on school supplies. He was happy.

Part of what made him special is that he didn’t

A year ago, I solicited local art to adorn the sides of newspaper racks we would first refurbish with the money we crowdsourced on Kickstarter. Though I am dedicated to following through with this project, it hasn’t happened yet. In addition to simultaneously starting a

most talented people in Akron.

never get to spoil my daughter, who wasn’t yet matter of fact. Humble. He did, however, get four months old when he passed. Eventually, animated as he talked about the Summit for though, I began to see how my pain was carved Kids at the Knight Center. Still, it was not pride


been able to call him up on August 13 and wish Right: Russ Pry at Bill him a happy birthday. We won’t bullshit about Clinton's stump speech in Akron before the primaries. Photo credit: Shane Wynn

It’s not all black & white By Lenny Spengler

The Altered Realm

by Brian Dunphy and Dan Gorman

play. His mural at The Game even inspired the relaunch of NORKA soda.

The GOP nom’s in my pocket I’m takin off just like a rocket My campaign is off the chain I‘m runnin’ dis thing like Usain Movin’ up like Weezy and George On all the power I gon’ gorge Everybody callin’ me a stooge But when I’m Prez, it’s gon’ be huge!

Well… One day, I found a manila envelope in my kitchen. It had been hand-delivered, not mailed. Addressed with just my name. Curious and a bit freaked-out, I opened it expecting to find surveillance photographs or a cut-out letter ransom note. Instead, it was an early version of the artwork on the cover of this issue. Concerns about how it found me faded as soon as I saw how badass the illustration is. As it turns

since gotten to know them both a little better. You’ll be hard-pressed to find two kinder, more generous Akronites. I’m excited to finally share this with our readers and the community that Mike’s art regularly celebrates, this time with a devilish flare. Thank you, Mike! — Chris Horne

© 2016 Lenny Spengler

out, Miss Pat, the beloved leader of St. Paul’s daycare, where my daughter was then, brought it over because the artist is her husband. I’ve

Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda, Panda

Listen to The Altered Realm Radio Show every Saturday from 8pm-Midnight on KRMA Karma Internet Radio.


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO ACT LIKE YOU KNOW by Chris Horne areas of Cleveland they typically enjoy, which coupled with the smaller than anticipated RNC crowds, meant slow days for otherwise popular places. Though the official, academically evaluated study won’t be available for months, a travel association pinned the direct economic impact at $180 million. That’s less than half what was promised. // Photo courtesyof

part of Mogadore, which is our favorite part

THE GOO GOO DOLLS DID A SONG of Mogadore. Here’s the kicker: This new downtown construction will replace the Morley CALLED “BROADWAY”

THE WRONG KIND OF COMIC CON Two years ago, when the Republican National Committee announced they’d selected leftleaning Cleveland over Dallas, the convention was good news. It was such a different time, the pre-Drumpf Era of the RNC, when the lawyer for the organizing committee was quoted by projecting a $400 million economic impact. In fairness, he also said it wasn’t about the money but rather reintroducing Cleveland. While it seems officials and law enforcement were at their best, the attention was focused inside The Q, which was

Just 38 years after a study concluded that “citizens and court personnel needed a more

Health Center Building, which is the kind of windowless box people in the past thought

customer service friendly building that is easily accessible, safe and secure,” it looks like Akron is going to get it. Judge Joy Malek Oldfield

the people of the future would just love. So there’s some addition by subtraction as well as by addition here. I’m not good at math. // Photo

and Mayor Dan Horrigan announced the plans for a $21 million courthouse paid for by the Courthouse Special Projects Fund. In addition

courtesy of

to hosting the Prosecutor’s Office, Clerk of Courts and other community agencies, the new courthouse will house the Municipal Court, which serves Akron, Fairlawn, Bath, Richfield, Springfield, Lakemore and the Summit County

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program (aka - TIGER; aka - would have been funnier if it’d be TIGGER), the US Dept. of Transportation came through for the city of Akron, coming up with $5 million to complete the Downtown Akron Promenade — think roadway and sidewalk repairs with dedicated bike lanes, a roundabout, wayfinding and “green infrastructure,” which I’ll assume means eco-friendly, not Kermit-y (pictured above). This will piece together with other ongoing projects, so the overall impact should be pretty significant.

Put a TIGER in your town The feds are ponying up a hot cash injection for downtown. In the last year of the


surprisingly empty much of the time, perhaps owed to all the in-party fighting and their candidate’s general ugliness towards anyone not wearing one of his stupid red hats. As if expecting swarms of angry bees, the people of Northeast Ohio generally stayed away from

Good Month

FOR PEOPLE NAMED LEBRON JAMES Not only did “King James” end Cleveland’s title-drought and put more butts in the seats at The Q than a

potential President, but he has a street named after him and a big one too — Main Street. Who says you can’t go home again?

bad Month



FOR WOMEN WHO'VE BEEN STALKED BY A DRUG-ADDICTED FORMER COP After Alexis DeKany says police were slow to protect her from her UA instructorturned-boyfriend, former APD officer Eric Paull — who prosecutors say used the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway to look-up more than 50 women, including former students and dancers at a strip club he frequented — she watched him take a plea deal for a four-year sentence then request an early release after one year.

Visit or call CG&FS Development at 330.384.2882 or Please note: This is an Adults Only Event. Guests at the event must be 21 years of age or older.

et Radio.


CGFS_GUA-DS-Ad.indd 1

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip 5/19/16 |2:045 PM


In Brief


After Dr. Scott Scarborough was forced out as president at The University of Akron (or, if you prefer, he stepped down to resume his first

Raised a Mormon, Wilson served as a missionary in Japan. Initially, he thought the assignment was awful — he hated rice and

love, classroom instruction), the trustees picked the law school dean, Matthew Wilson, to serve as interim president. Just four (long) days on the job, he agreed to an interview. The next day, he

didn’t speak the language — but he parlayed it into a career in international law, which led him to academia and then the administration.

was on a plane headed to Japan. From there, he’s been “commuting” so he can both get started as president and also keep his promise

by Chris Horne

He says, “I don’t do things traditionally.” This approach emerged early as he tried to land his first “real” job in Japan — doing technical translations of manuals — but was still trying

to the students he recruited for the study

to master the language, so he decided to ask abroad program. So here’s our way-too-earlymore questions than he was asked. When to-really-judge primer on UA’s new chief cheese. the conversation turned to baseball, Wilson’s Find more online at pitch was how he could help the company’s team with his “wicked WHO IS HE? curveball” which he used in He’s the kind of guy who high school to strikeout 15 wanted to be a fire hydrant batters. because he wants to help Why did the people. Granted, Matthew Short answer: Enrollment. He has seemingly been expert at boosting enrollment everywhere he’s been, starting with Temple University’s study abroad

lawyer thanks to a pep talk from Alice, a widow in his Utah neighborhood who suggested the talkative young man follow in his father’s footsteps. He’s also the kind of guy willing to share a detail like that, which is disarming after the secrecy that marked (and marred) the previous administration. Though he’s polite and engaging, Wilson is no Barney Fife. He’s clearly ambitious and driven. I’ve never before met someone who so comfortable describing his accomplishments and able to do so without coming across like a pompous jerk. There wasn’t an ounce of brag involved.

law program in Japan. It was on the brink of failure, but in a year he’d turned it around completely. In turn, he was rewarded with more opportunities and responsibilities. Without sharing the recipe to his secret sauce, Wilson says his approach focuses on understanding the strengths so they can shine, strengthening weaknesses and putting good people in a place to do good work. One example he offered was how you could find no evidence in the school of law that UA’s national

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| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

Akron Ex-Pat

was immediate. “We have so many good things here — great faculty who care about the students — but the messaging hasn’t been there,” he says. The key to his success goes beyond messaging. He practices the personal touch and builds a culture where that’s expected of others. As dean, he sought out, as he had his whole administrative career, opportunities to speak at schools and colleges. He shows up at recruiting events because, he says, “Talking to a dean and an experienced international lawyer is different.” That’s the kind of thing that gives him leverage over other programs, and it’s why he puts some of his best people on recruitment, too. As a result, UA’s School of Law grew, which bucked declining national trends.

trustees pick him?

Wilson was only three at the time and soon set his sights on becoming a

745 E. Market St., Suite 2 Akron 330-379-0430

champion mock trial teams existed. So, he had banners made and the impression on recruits

How this Portage Lakes native met Akron again for the first time —————— Kelly delivered this speech at the closing night of InternEdge and with her permission, we’re sharing it here because it’s the kind of thing we live to hear. - Chris H. ——————

So… any concerns? Taking him at his word, the only concern for now is how he’ll scale his labor-intensive approach. While that face-to-face effort may work as law school dean, the main campus could prove to be a whole other matter. This is where his leadership team, which isn’t currently illustrious, will be most vital. At the law school, he showed skill putting his best people where he needed them. As interim president, he’s working with a short deck stacked with B-team and C-team players because so many of the university’s talented administrators left during

Hello! I'm Kelly Daniels, an audit and tax intern at Meaden & Moore. I grew up in the Portage Lakes but never spent much time in Akron. My family and I would go to dinner in North Canton and my friends and I would hang out at Belden Village mall in high school. Akron was for special family dinners at Crave or random events at Lock 3. I heard so many kids in high school talk about how they couldn’t wait to leave the area and never look back.

the Scarborough era. “Everything is on the table,” Wilson says about assessing who will he’ll ask to help him lead and who will be asked to go. “It has to be.”

in Chicago and study accounting. I come home for the summers, but I have to admit, it’s hard leaving the Windy City. On the north side of Chicago, everyone loves where they are. There (continued on page 7)

Then I left. I go to school at Loyola University

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Brittany Nader // Buzzfeed’s Katie Jackson // Comfort

Grace Ebner // I'm really into

“Internet Explorer” Podcast If you’ve got a strange affinity for mysterious Internet memes and viral

At 8-months pregnant during a warm Ohio summer, there are three things I am really digging:

the Summit Metro Parks Summer Biking Spree and Running Spree. These two programs have

Amanda Hevener // I'm looking forward to the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom event at MAPS Air Museum in North

sensations, this is the podcast for you. Hosted by Katie Notopoulos and Ryan Roderick, each episode

1) Air conditioning (for obvious reasons). 2) Binge watching the Amazon

encouraged me to get out and exercise on our local trails. For the Biking Spree, participants bike five

Canton. I went last year with my dad and had a blast - it's a like a smaller version of the Cleveland

tackles a different weird web

TV series "Catastrophe,”

trails to earn a bicycle license plate

Air Show. For some reason, I really

phenomenon, such as the Dancing Pumpkin Guy, celebrity death hoaxes, troll farms, Japanese Pigeon

empathizing with the witty whirlwind realness of the character's lives a little too much

and sticker, and for the Running like historic aircraft. I think it might Spree, participants run six trails to be because my grandfather was a earn a medal and ribbon. My friends WWII bomber mechanic. (Airplanes

Dating Simulators, Twitter parody accounts, “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams,” stan wars and much more.

sometimes. 3) Simultaneously binge eating Ben and Jerry's new non-dairy ice

The topics may sound stupid, but the amount of depth and discovery unveiled in each episode is both fascinating and hilarious. I look

(continued from page 6)

and I are really looking forward to earning our rewards! We've also enjoyed attending Running

cream flavors. Vegan and lactose- Spree group runs led by the Akron intolerant people rejoice: we can Marathon staff. // Photo courtesy of now enjoy Chunky Monkey too! Summit County Metro Parks // Photo courtesy of Ben and Jerry’s

are in my blood, or something.) This year I'm dragging my husband along with me! August 12th ....................... 2 - 5pm August 13th & 14th ....... 9am - 5pm Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.

forward to tuning in every Friday. //

// Photo by David Watts, Jr., courtesy of

photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

the Collings Foundation

Sweet Mary’s and he wants to visit Nuevo. I’m excited to visit the flea market on August 14. This weekend we are looking at spending an afternoon at The Eye Opener. And before I go

sure whether I will stay in the Windy City or the Rubber City after graduation, but both hold special places in my heart.

believe. The volunteers at Leadership Akron and Torchbearers helped me to find that passion And then I come home. To Akron. And I in myself. If I’m going to live somewhere, it’s struggle to find one event to keep me busy. important for me to love it. Sometimes that Thankfully, this summer I participated in Intern takes a little bit of work but what I’ve found is Edge. I re-discovered a city that I had known my that you can always find something good. whole life. With the help of great people who

back to school, I know I need to stop at Rubber City Clothing. Next summer, when we are 21, we are sure to have even more fun exploring different places!

I would like to thank all the members of Leadership Akron and Torchbearers who donated their time and energy to help me fall in love with a city I’ve known for 20 years.

were passionate about where they lived, I found My boyfriend and I are excited to keep trying new restaurants and awesome things going on new restaurants. Last weekend we went

tax this summer with Meaden & Moore. In the fall I will see investigative accounting with

in Akron.

Meaden & Moore’s Chicago office. I’m also not

is so much pride in each neighborhood. In the country’s third largest city, there are always

I started to fall in love again with Akron’s small town feel in a busy Midwestern city. I also learned that there are people who deeply love Akron, which was kind of hard for me to

hundreds of things to do.

to the Lockview and loved it! I want to try

I’m not quite sure where I want to take my accounting degree yet. I saw some audit and

//Kelly is a 2014 graduate of Manchester High School. I now study accounting and management at Loyola University Chicago and plan to graduate May 2018. I am currently an audit and tax intern with Meaden & Moore in Akron. In my free time I love spending time on the family boat, reading, and catching up on the latest political news.

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


AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |




a.m. EVERY FRIDAY 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.


SPACE (Follow Up)

"A Brief History of Tang" by Georgio Pelogrande

CGFS_FTF-DS-Ad.indd 1

6/8/16 3:30 PM









AUG 14

again; only this time aloud and in the voice of the mayor from The Simpsons. Done? Good. I'm sure now you can feel the seriousness and sincerity in his words.

travelling in space. It seems that the astronauts had become tired of only drinking water or malt Where was I? Ah yes... Hence, a drink mix was liquor while in orbit or on the way to the moon. created that would be known as "T.A.N.G." which originally stood for Taste Always The first attempt to provide an additional option Now Greatness. Eventually, the apparently proved to be futile. Scientific pioneer Raymond nonsensical acronym was dropped and it just A. Croc attempted to install an entire working became known as Tang, which is a shortened



Upon doing some follow up research on an earlier article I wrote about outer space, I have discovered that the refreshing drink known as Tang was invented for astronauts who were

Located at Urban Eats / 51 E. Market St.


McDonalds on the space shuttle complete with a food preparation, service and cleaning staff.

version of the word used to describe its taste: "tangy."

Of course this made the shuttle too heavy. Also, during dietary testing in zero gravity several

Now you know. I'm sure President Kennedy

astronauts suffered mild heart attacks after eating a steady menu of cheeseburgers and the

would be proud to know that I am continuing to spread the word about his groundbreaking

fan-favorite McRib.

work in deep space refreshments.

So, rather than risk the health of America's bravest souls, President John F. Kennedy

I will now leave you with my favorite quote about space drinks: "If only LeBron James were

put out a challenge to scientists and drink manufacturers alike.

to star in a remake of the critically acclaimed classic film Space Jam would the work of so

In a quote from his 1967 press release he

many astronauts and drink manufacturers be fulfilled. For then would Sprite reign supreme."

stated, "There is no more important task than developing a powdered drink mix that will get our boys into space and back without ever knowing the hunger of being thirsty. For after all, space is like a vast desert, cold and dark; with no sand, water, cacti from which to get water, water fountains or gravity. Let the space shuttle be like a giant metal camel, and let a new innovative drink fill that camel's hump." -Pres JFK, 1967, Official Press Release.

- Georgio Pelogrande Well, until next time, try and be nice. That's my advice. That rhymed. See, Kanye, that wasn't so hard. On a related note, I think I just figured out what my topic will be for next month's article. Thank you and you're welcome. // Catch Georgio most Saturdays from 8 pm to midnight on the Altered Realm radio show on

By the way, if that quote doesn't sound completely legitimate, go back and read it


j u ly C omi c s • ju ly Co m i c s • j u ly C om i cs

The 411



WHAT TO BRING: • A water bottle: There will be Reverse Osmosis water stations (thanks to Donamarc Water Systems), so bring a reusable water bottle to fill up. Or you can purchase a collapsible water bottle at PorchRokr. • Cash to tip performers: Hear something you like? Tip the band!


• Camera/Phone: Take pictures/videos and be sure to


use hashtag #porchrokr • Portable phone charger in case you run out of


battery from filming all those videos, Snaps, etc.

GOOD TIME Poetry Festival Porch

cm Dr

Teen Stage






KinderCare Learning Center





Hereford Dr


Wye Dr



Fairlawn & Hudson School of Music

cq ford

Beer Garden

• Bug spray



New Belgium Brewing

• Sunscreen (No one likes to look or feel like a lobster.)

Hereford Park

cr 886


N. Port age

ct 225

ck bt

Portage Dr

Metz Ave







dp 215



N. Porta ge Path

Main Stage

N. Highland


Jilly’s Music Room



br 122





Beer Garden Stage


Electric Pressure Cooker Caberet

Beer den Garden

Dopler Dr

dm dt



bq 94


EarthQuaker Devices

dq 187

dr 171

ds 147


bo 159


Square Records Revival


Mustard Seed Market & Cafe



r ge on

e affl xt y W Ne o’s all gi th r W o Pa le Ge ket pot ns ar i ee M Ch gr

r ra



The M Merriman





e st



Nemer Bld Bldg.

t et rk


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8









al W

Pictured left (top to bottom): A band plays on a neighborhood porch; Look for compost and recycling bins at this year’s festival; 2015 crowd shot; Silent Disco at PorchRokr 2015. Photos by Shane Wynn.




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PorchRokr • A tote bag or backpack to haul your merch • Comfortable shoes to get you around to see all of the vendors and musicians.

on your lawn. So set up that yard sale you’ve been putting off all summer, or let the kids sell lemonade and cookies.

FIND PARKING: • A friend! Bonus points if they’ve never been to Akron or PorchRokr before.

KEEP IT CLEAN: Please look for the recycling, compost and garbage receptacles to dispose of your waste. Residents, please leave your recycling and garbage bins on the curb.

SELL YOUR WARES: If you live on the PorchRokr route and want to make some extra money, you can sell stuff

Coming to PorchRokr from outside of Highland Square? There will be street parking available as well as some parking in business lots. Look for signs telling you where to park and where to NOT park.

ID. Suggested donation is $5.

LEARN SOMETHING: Is sustainability your thing? PorchRokr will provide several opportunities for DIY education this year. Let’s Grow Akron will teach you

inexpensive rain barrel for your home 1pm


GET AROUND: Summit Cycle will have a bike share at this year’s PorchRokr festival near the N. Highland

11am Composting 101 A how-to on setting up, establishing and maintaining composting at home

Seed saving A how-to on saving seeds from your garden to plant next year

everything from composting to seed saving to upcycling plastic bags. Workshops will all take place in the triangle park at Highland and Edgerton. See the workshop times listed below.

Ave cul-de-sac. Adult sized bikes will be available for use at the festival. Bikes will need to be signed out with a driver license or state

12pm Rain barrel A how-to on creating a simple and

Plastic grocery bag upcycling A fun and creative way to reuse those dozens of plastic bags we all have at home (*bring your own bag of bags)


Home canning A how-to on preserving and canning your garden's bounty

Jamming Granny Growlers and Glasses PorchRokr 2016 Beer Garden to Feature Artwork by Kevin Smalley by Michelle DeShon

Kevin Smalley, 29-year-old artist from Cuyahoga Belgium Brewing Company. Falls, has designed the illustration that will be featured on approximately 300 growlers and glasses for the Beer Garden at PorchRokr’s festival on August 20th, 2016. When he was invited to create the design for the glassware, he said that upon hearing the name of the festival, the idea of an “eccentric Beverly Hillbillies type character” popped into his mind and he was unable to forget that image. Guests at the festival can fill up their jamming granny glass with beers from New

“This project is unique because it is an illustration that helps brand a music festival on a mass production level. I'm honored to have my artwork displayed on various growlers and glasses. It's always special to see your artwork in the hands of others. Another unique dimension of the illustration perhaps, is using a female character to represent the festival. I enjoy drawing female characters, and my first vision when asked to create an illustration for the event was an older woman sitting in her rocking chair enjoying some brews and good music with a cat in her

Pictured left: Kevin Smalley, the man behind the designs on the glasses and growlers at this year’s Beer Garden at the PorchRokr festival. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Smalley)


lap. The vision stuck and for me represents an homage to all the creative and young-atheart women I have met in my life,” said Smalley.

how I can blend them all together.” At the moment, one of his favorite kinds of artwork is illustration, like what he has brewed up for PorchRokr 2016. Pictured left: An illustration of Kevin Smalley’s design that will be appearing on the growlers and glasses

Smalley said, “I take pleasure at this year’s Beer Garden at the PorchRokr festival. (Image courtesy of Kevin Smalley) in creating visual art for the sheer enjoyment I receive from the art making process and final product. The Beer Garden, located at 941 Dopler Ave Exploring various ideas and techniques next to Champlin Cleaners and Blue Sky Art enrich my perception and understanding of Gallery, will be serving New Belguim Brewing life.” Smalley’s favorite responses to his work Company beer. Guests can purchase a $5 beer that he has received over the years are the ones token. Come early to sample micro brews that are “simple and kind.” from New Belgium Brewing Company. Diversity keeps Smalley on his toes. He said, “I typically bounce between design, illustration, fine art, digital art and natural art, such as sand sculpting and rock balancing. I love working in each one of these mediums and often explore

// Michelle DeShon is an aspiring journalist with an unhealthy obsession with antique cameras, french fries and vinyl records.

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |



Standing Room

Six PorchRokr Bands We Think You Should Know

Highland Square


LINEUP Friday, 8/5 • 9pm – Midnight Ozone – Funk & Roll, Rock & Soul Saturday, 8/6 • 9pm – Midnight Anna & The Consequences – Speakeasy Jazzy Blues Sunday, 8/7 • 12 – 3pm Jazz Shepherds – Jazz Friday, 8/12 • 9pm – Midnight Sausalito – R&B & Jazz

by Brittany Nader and Andrew Leask

å StepS2Change Since 2011, Mike Schartiger, Mike Ternosky, Justin Redlinger and Jon Kogut have delivered feel-good grooves to the Akron area, playing a blend of funk, jazz and reggae that perfectly complements any outdoor summer happening. The band’s mission is to make the world a better place, “one note at a time,” and while such a goal may seem broad and idealistic, hearing their smooth, melodic jams can at least put the listener in a much more positive, united headspace. These guys have a noticeable Sublime vibe with all the attributes and sensibilities local Deadheads will dig. Tunes like “Paradise,” “Someday,” “Live For Tomorrow” and “Cloud 9” communicate the group’s message of hope and peace, accented by staccato chords signature to the reggae style. As is tradition in reggae music, the group crafts songs with a somewhat political message, sharing their words of wisdom about a brighter future. StepS2Change recently performed with blues rockers Outdated View at Barley House downtown and will make their rounds across the Northeast Ohio region as their sound and catalog expand.

ç Umojah Nation Women have made an incredible impact in reggae music, but too often their contributions to the genre are overlooked or forgotten. As a response, Akron’s own Umojah Nation banded together to celebrate collaboration between men and women musicians, placing husband-and-wife powerhouse Tracey and Stefano Nguma at the forefront of the group. Its name comes from the Swahili word for “unity,” which is quite appropriate, as this eight-piece ensemble works seamlessly together, delivering both original tunes and covers of revered reggae artists like Bob Marley and Freddie McGregor. Umojah Nation has shared the stage with Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band, Mighty Diamond and Dub is a Weapon, just to name a few. As Akron’s most distinct and harmonious reggae group, it’s not hard to find the musicians performing around town at Mustard Seed, Hardesty Park, Musica and nearly any other venue that can contain their powerful, vivacious sound and energy. (Photo by Scott Evans Photography)

Sunday, 8/14 • 12 – 3pm Little Steve O Blues Duo – Blues

é Violet Blue Head north for an hour and change, and you’ll reach the city of Norwalk, home of spacey rockers Violet Blue. Though they may be rooted in Ohio, their music sends the listener straight through earth’s atmosphere and nestled high up into the stars and galaxies. With layered vocals and distorted guitars, the quartet delivers a lush, textured sound that’s both dreamy

PORCHROKR AFTER PARTY Saturday, 8/20 • 9pm – Midnight New Belgium Fat Tire & Friends Tap Takeover ALL DAY Sunday, 8/21 • 12 – 3pm Gretchen Pleuss – Acoustic Pop Friday, 8/26 • 9pm – Midnight Zach & The Bright Lights – Soul & Inspiring Indie Folk Rock Saturday, 8/27 • 9pm – Midnight DJ Mind-E – House Sunday, 8/28 • 12 – 3pm DJ Ben Fulkman – Spinning Funky Soul-filled Vinyl *NO COVER CHARGE

HIGHLAND SQUARE: 867 West Market Street Akron, Ohio, 44303 • 330-434-7333


(Photo courtesy of the band)

BALCONY PARTY Saturday, 8/13 • 8 – 11pm DJ Naeno – Funky Dance Party

Friday, 8/19 • 9pm – Midnight Acid Cats – Soul Funk Jazz Fusion


and disorienting. “Dazed” could be considered the perfect introduction to the group, serving as a compelling original tune packed with fervid vocals, animalistic drumming and the band’s signature dense and otherworldly guitars. The band released its first, self-titled EP this year, available at An inspired fusion of shoegaze, punk and alternative rock, Violet Blue is igniting venues across the state with their loud and vibrant live performances. (Photo by



Anderson Rush)

è The Village Bicycle Cleveland punk band The Village Bicycle released their second album back in February. “Fits and Starts,” which is available on the group’s Bandcamp page, balances classic punk posturing with something smarter and deeper. When she sings “Hot Mom,” vocalist Elizabeth Kelly has her tongue firmly planted in her cheek: “She’s a woman of the nineties, she knows what she’s about. / She watches Nancy Grace while she’s working out.” But these punks can be profound, too, as in “Interstellar,” the album’s first track: “The metal in our bodies comes from outer space / … / And when we die, someone will take our place / And we’ll become the minerals beneath their feet.” High and low can both find a home within the noise and the rhythm of The Village Bicycle. (Photo by Peter Larson)

ê Treespeak Fusion prog-rock band Treespeak is a newcomer to the Northeast Ohio music


scene. Composed of Andy Russo on drums, Doug Gallo on bass, Elias Bolick on guitar and David Boehm on the keyboard, the group finds its groove and sticks with it, trading funky improvised melodies. Since forming in late January, Treespeak has played shows throughout the region. On Aug. 7, they will perform at Cin Dee’s Place in Medina. Get a taste of their sound on their Bandcamp page: (Photo by Alex Hall)

ë Kiss Me Deadly Don’t bother trying to pin down Kiss Me Deadly. With their eclectic mix of classic rock instrumentation and offbeat touches – such as bouzouki electric mandolin – it’s easiest to just call them an indie rock band and call it a day. After eight years of performing throughout Cleveland (with the occasional visit to Akron), they’ve also earned the right to be called old pros. Their quirky style – and even quirkier sense of humor – is on full display in their music videos, which feature off-the-wall visuals like campy secret agent karate fights and a man in


a chicken suit. Their sound is infectious too, with influences from blues rock to folk to punk. Their debut album, “What You Do In the Dark,” released last year, is available on iTunes. (Photo courtesy of the band)




2nd Floor Jazz Trio ...................................... Jazz Jeff Klemm & the Letters ...............Alt. Rock Pop 722 Ensemble ............................................. Jazz JLB (Jared Lees) ....................................... Fusion Actual Form .....................................Prog / Punk John Patrick & The Outside Voices ....Rock & Roll Alexis Antes .............. Original Singer Songwriter Johnny G .........................Acoustic Blues & Funk Analog Bandits ........................ Progressive Rock Just Add Water! ....................... Alternative Rock Axon-Neuron ........................... Progressive Rock Kathy Johnson Trio .............. Folk and Americana Backroom Boys Bluegrass Band ...........Bluegrass Keeler/Mirth...........Instrumental Acoustic Guitar Bad Hounds .............................Blues / Folk Rock Kiss Me Deadly ........................... Indie pop rock KKARMA ....................Acoustic duo, folk, blues, Bad News Benny and cool versions of popular songs the Night Fevers .......................Folk, Blues, Rock Band Kamp Rejects ..................Rockish, Punkish Kofi Boakye (& Yours Truly) ....... R&B, Jazz, Funk Birthday Noose ...........................Garage / Psych Layer Cake .......... Americana / Alt Country Blues Bizarros, The .........................Original India Rock Madison Cummins ................Singer, Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar set Blackswamp Blues............. Swamp Boogie Blues Map the World ..........................................Rock Bobby Bubonic and the Plague ..................Punk / Rock / Alternative Massive Hotdog Recall ..... Rock (with trombone) Break Even ........................................Jazz / Rock Max Howard Adams ............................ Acoustic Bro Dylan ..........................................Rock-Blues Mick and Rick ..........60s and 70s Rock and Soul By Light We Loom...............................Indie-Pop Morning Star ...................Bluegrass / Americana Byke ...............................................Classic Rock Moxie Collect......................................Folk Rock Celtic Rush................................. Irish Traditional Natalie Grace Martin ................... Pop / Acoustic Clay Otter ...................................... Grunge / Alt National Security ...................... Alternative Rock Outdated View ...............................Blues / Rock Conway Brothers Band ...........................Blues / Funk / Soul / Rock Pizza Ghost ................... Lo-Fi Indie Garage Rock Copali ......................... Instrumental Indie / Funk Poshen............................ Pop Rock- Girl Grunge Copper Pennies........ Alternative / Country / Pop Punch Drunk Tagalongs..................... Indie Rock Cosmic Lemons.................... Funk / Fusion / Jazz QS Jazz ................................Jazz / Swing / Blues Cover Band, The ........ Dance Music (all decades) Rachel Roberts ....................................Indie Folk David Loy ........................Rockabilly / Americana Recipe for Life .................................... Folk / Pop Dead End Job.................................... Punk Rock RED ROSE PANIC..........................Hip Hop Band Deely Stan .................................................Rock Red Tape Revolution...........................Hard Rock Doerr & Drumm & COOP & Guitar... Classic Rock Reloaded ........................................Classic Rock Duchess .....................................Classic Country Rhodes Street Empire's Child............................................Rock Rude Boys .......... Reggae, Rock, Punk, Ska, Funk Eskimo Sisters .....................................Pop-Punk Ryann Anderson .......... Folk Jazz Instrumentalist Eye Wonder ....................Progressive Alternative Scarlet & The Harlots.........................Blues/Rock F-5 .............................................................Rock Sean Benjamin .... Urban Acoustic Pop / Alt Rock Fiendish Thingy ................................. Indie Rock SexyPigDivas ......................... Experimental Rock Filthy Kangaroos .......................Dirty Blues Rock Skychief .....................................................Rock

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Flowers In Flames .... Post Punk, Shoegaze, Psych Social Hostages ..........................................Punk Free World ................ Roots Reggae / Punk Rock Soleo ............... Middle Eastern Rock/Progressive Friendly Faux ...............Alt / Psych / Grunge Rock Sons of Midori ...........................................Rock Front Porch ................................................. Folk SoulShine........................................Blues / Rock GoldenBear................................................Indie Splitroot....................... New Orleans Gypsy Jazz Grompa ..........................................House band Standing Rock Blues Band ......................... Blues Hellespont ............................. Post Rock / Drone State Park ......................................... Indie Rock Hillbilly Savant.......Folk-infused Pop, Mixed with StepS2Change ...........................................Rock Bluegrass, Blues and Jazz Influence Stumpy Basin Volunteers .....................Bluegrass Hoodoo BBQ.....................................Americana Stunt Cycle .................... Rock Party Dance Band Hoseff..........................................Acoustic Rock (continued on page 15) Iris Isadora .................................................. Folk


HAPPY HOUR: 1/2 off appetizers and $3 house drafts LUNCH SPECIAL: M-F 11:30am-3:00pm Late night menu after 10pm For details visit or 804 W. Market Street, Akron, OH 44303 • (234) 208-6797 (at the corner of Highland Ave and W. Market St.) Hours: M-W 11:30-midnight, TH-Sat 11:30-Close, Sun 1pm-midnight

Porchrokr Pictured left: Punch Drunk Tagalongs perform at the Beachland Tavern, opening for And The Kids. Photo courtesy of Punch Drunk Tagalong / Facebook.

“We started off playing my original songs, and as the band has grown, we’ve kind of broken off from just me writing,” she explains. “Now the whole band writes as a unit, and our sound is actually starting to evolve… which is really

November and has since performed at venues all around the area, including Annabell’s, Musica and the Beachland Ballroom, to name a few. “People always seem surprised — ‘Oh, how long have you guys been playing together?’ and I’m always like, ‘We’re kind of an instant band still,’ and they’re always like, ‘What?!’ Sometimes, we come off as slightly

cool,” she says.

professional,” Stahnke laughs, “which is good and what we really, really strive for. You want Punch Drunk Tagalongs is comprised of Stahnke to make people think that you’ve been playing on vocals and guitar, Caleb Lemmo on guitar, together for a decade, so that’s what we try to

What a Diff erence a Year Makes Punch Drunk Tagalongs hit the main stage at PorchRokr 2016

Alex Wright on bass and Ryan Hunter on drums. The members were all friends prior to forming the band. Lemmo is Stahnke’s

do, and sometimes it comes off that way.”

boyfriend, Lemmo and Hunter are in another area band together called Broken Mugs, and according to Stahnke, they got to know Wright because he can be found at “any random bar

song demo in January, which is available on Bandcamp and iTunes, and is currently working on a second recording, which the band hopes

on any given night.”

by Gabe Gott “We had some growing Punch Drunk Tagalongs’ frontwoman, Alisha Stahnke, attended last year’s PorchRokr as a member of the audience. This year, she and her band will not only be performing, but doing so

explains how she is on the other side at the beginning of her adulthood and how she just wanted to be on the other side of it,” she says. “So I guess it’s very similar to that. I’ve always

on the main stage. “I love being part of the audience and seeing

felt like that. I enjoy going to shows, but I together,” Stahnke always have been drawn to play rather than just says. “I think it’s just watch.” like anything — any

great bands play, but it’s a whole other experience being on the other side of that and playing to a crowd. I really, really enjoy that,” says Stahnke. “It’s kind of similar to what I’ve been reading, ‘Hunger Makes Me a Modern

Stahnke started out as a singer/songwriter and spent about a year writing original songs and performing at area open mic nights. It was around this time last year that she decided she

Girl’ by Carrie Brownstein, and she actually

wanted to form a band.

The band played its first show this past

As the team prepares for the 2016 PorchRokr festival, I sat down with Anita Marron, who is responsible for the graphic design

Marron creates a new design to represent the festival each year. The first year, the logo was a simple black cricket on a blue background. This

art at the PorchRokr festivals. She is the

year’s design will be an image featuring white

mastermind behind the PorchRokr logo. She’s also responsible for creating the brochures, postcards and banners that we see the day of the event.

piano keys that double as a fence.




When asked why she enjoys the work she


creates for PorchRokr, she said, “This is what I want my neighborhood to be like… full of energy, art, music and neighbors that enjoy each other, and care about the place they live.


I can’t just wait around for someone to create what I want have happen, and complain when

by Michelle DeShon

pains in the beginning, but we learned how to communicate and how to work as a group,

relationship — you learn how to communicate within it and how the dynamics work, and now we’re like a nicely oiled machine.”

She enjoys the work that she creates for PorchRokr because she has total “creative freedom.” “I really do love the graphic art side of the festival, from the initial concepts to the final designs,” said Marron.

Punch Drunk Tagalongs released its first four-

to release in early September. Following that, the members hope to continue building a fanbase and playing more shows regionally. However, according to Stahnke, they have an even bigger goal for the not-too-distant future. “I know one of my goals in life before I’m 30 is to get into a car — SUV, van, whatever it is — and cross the country

and play music to different people every single night. I’m sure that’s a few other band members’ goal also. That’s a really big goal, though,” she laughs.

Pictured below: Anita Marron’s graphic art: an infographic showing the rotation of the PorchRokr location over the years. This year, it’s back to location #1. Marron says, “we rotate [the location] that way like the neighborhood doesn’t get fatigued... I think it draws people from different sections of the neighborhood to different parts of the neighborhood that they don’t normally travel through.” (Image courtesy of Anita Marron)

// Michelle DeShon is an aspiring journalist with an unhealthy obsession with antique cameras, french fries and vinyl records.

it doesn’t.” She began volunteering for Highland Square Neighborhood Association (HSNA) in 2009, and by late 2010, she was named President of HSNA. After a friend invited her to a meeting for Art in the Square, she got involved in the art committee. She then got involved with the first PorchRokr festival in spring of 2013. She tries to keep her designs simple yet interesting.

Pictured left: Anita Marron’s 2016 PorchRokr design. (Image courtesy of Anita Marron)


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8


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Mini Poetry Festival at Porch Rokr by Noor Hindi Did you know that Akron is the Poetry Capital

top it off, the weather was beautiful, and the

of the Midwest? If you didn't, don't feel too bad, because three months ago, neither did I. But that was before I met with Annal Vyas,

sunset at the end of the night was no less than magical.

Katie Reed, and Yoly Miller, three badass community members, poetry advocates, and all around great people.

So you may ask me, after reading all of this, oh Nervous Poodle Poet, what can poetry do for Akron and why the hell is it important? Simple. It brings people together; it provides

When we first met at Mustard Seed Market at the end of May, we talked poetry festivals, sidewalk poetry, literary conferences, giant

an avenue for self expression, it changes the way we see the world (and Akron), and, as one of my favorite poets (Rita Dove) puts it,

billboards with poems on them, and other ideas that we're thinking of bringing to Akron. Over the last two months, we've organized readings, as well an Akron mini

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”

poetry festival in collaboration with Porch Rokr on August 20. Throughout all of this planning, Akronites have cheered us on, and I've personally been shocked at the sheer volume of enthusiasm we've received from poetry fans in the city (there's more of them than you think). Our first reading took place at Bluff Blue Door

want to extend an invite to our Akron Mini Poetry Festival on August 20, in collaboration with Porch Rokr. This event will be Akron’s first poetry festival. Needless to say, it’ll be a special event. Aside from eight readers, including our amazing editor Sophie Hamad, we’re going to have sidewalk poetry featuring the work of University of Akron poetry professor Mary Biddinger. We’ll also be

Gallery on July 2 in collaboration with the Art Walk. We had nine extraordinary readers, including Katie Mertz, founder of The Big, Big Mess reading series, which takes place in

assembling an Akron Cento at the event (a poem composed of verses or passages taken from other authors). If you happen to be at Porch Rokr, be sure to drop by, say hi, tell us

Annabel's the first Saturday of every month. I could brag about the rest of the readers for

about your favorite poet/poem, and help us celebrate Akron as the Poetry Capital of

The brains behind the PorchRokr Festival

Anita Marron, Jonathan Morschl, and Karen Starr have been working to put together the PorchRokr festival since its first year in 2013. They reflect on what they wish they had known when they first got involved with Akron’s music and art festival.

If you missed our debut reading on July 2, I

Then go write some poems, you poet, you.

(continued from page 13)

The Stone Wheels ......................................Rock

Summer Daze ......................... 60/70s and More

The Village Bicycle......................................Rock

Taylor Carano.......................... Rock -Blues-Funk

The Waves ............................... Alternative Rock

The Beyonderers ......... Surf / Twang / Hard Rock

Third Saturday ................................... Jam Band

The Drawing Blanks ................... Alt / Indie Rock

This Epic Life ......................................Folk, Funk

The Dreemers ....... Garage Soul and Rock N Roll

Three Legged Chairs ........Indie/Alternative Rock

The Effangee Band...............Original Folk / Rock Thursdays with Red Wolf .........Folk, Rock, Blues / Americana Time Cat ..........................................Rock N Roll The Friends Club .......................... Rock and Roll Treespeak.. Progressive Rock / Fusion / Jam band The Jon Mosey Trio ... Original Akron Roots Rock Twin Atomic...............................................Rock The Mickeys ..................................... Celtic Rock Umojah Nation Reggae ..........................Reggae The New Rangers .......................................Rock Unwind Galvanize .............................. Indie / Alt The Painbirds .............................................Indie Valley Girls ...................Experimental / Krautrock The Permanents ...................... Alternative Rock Version: Mary.............................................Rock The Rainbow Emergency ......................Soul Pop Vicious Six, The ....................... 70's - Now Rock The Ravenna Arsenal..............Hard Rock / Metal Violent High Fives, The .......... Indie / Rock / Folk The Rhythm Syndicate......... Blues / Swing / R&B Xtra Crispy ........................................Blues-Rock The Shadow Division .............. Indie / Alternative


WHAT I WISH I KNEW... by Michelle DeShon

another 15 pages, but I'll save you the pain. the Midwest. That night, Yoly and Michael Owens (owner // For more poetic badassery, check out The Nervous of Bluff) provided light refreshments, and kept Poodle Poet’s blog at two bonfires going throughout the night. To



Nemer Bldg.

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Anita Marron

Karen Starr

Head of arts and graphics.

Responsible for environment rentals like

“I wish that I would have kind of trusted that

waste bins, portable toilets, and critical

the neighborhood would be as accepting as it is … like that the neighbors would all embrace it. The first meeting of PorchRokr, I’m kind of standing on a cliff and you just jump and you

elements like booths, tables and chairs. She dubbed herself “zero waste lady.”

hope that there’s something below you. And that’s kind of how it works out every year. Kind

every PorchRokr morning, by putting a bunch of tables in the back of my van and schlep-

“Well, because the very specific thing that I do

of trust that everyone’s gonna do their stuff ping them all over the neighborhood, I wish and the neighborhood’s going to love it and the I would have known that I should have put a bands will all show up…” little packing blanket on the back of my van” because her car has experienced some wear

Jonathan Morschl “Co Chair” “I think it’s just the amount of work that goes into it, as easy as it is now, there’s still all this work that needs to be done in terms of planning that it doesn’t seem like you can just replicate every time for whatever reason. It’s ever-evolving, we never thought that it would get as big as it is now, so learning how to scale

and tear, but she said they are “good scars for the neighborhood.” “I wish I would have known that more people would have helped out had we asked that first year. I think that we were all so busy putting it together and not really understanding what type of help we needed, I wish I would have asked more friends to just show up that day and we’ll figure something out for you to do.”

that and you know, over the years that’s been a challenge.”

Pictured above: Karen Starr, Jonathan Morschl and Anita Marron, some of the creative visionaries behind the PorchRokr festival. (Michelle DeShon / The Devil Strip) The PorchRokr logo designed by Anita Marron. (Image courtesy of Anita Marron / The Devil Strip)

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


the arts









LAST LOOK PARTY: WE ARE NOT MEN August 20 • 2 pm • Free concert DOWNTOWN@DUSK: 15 60 75 THE NUMBERS BAND August 18 • 6:30 • Free concert DOWNTOWN@DUSK: HALF CLEVELAND August 25 • 6:30 pm • Free concert *purchase tickets at

Through August 28, 2016 Akron Art Museum & MOCA Cleveland

One South High I Akron, OH 44308 I


è Akron Art Prize September 3 through October 1, Summit Art Space The Akron Art Prize is a month-long arts show that invites the community to see and enjoy works from local artists while also providing artists the opportunity to display their work.



The palette:

It provides an entryway into the downtown arts district and a look at a competition with winners decided by popular vote. Visitors can download the Akron Art Prize to their phone and vote for their favorite pieces of art. The winner will be announced on Oct. 1 at the Akron Art Museum.

Our picks for arts events happening in August by Bronlynn Thurman

å Exclusive Meet and Greet with Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale

é Shakespeare: Macbeth

August 13 at the

Every weekend in August at

Akron Art Museum, 6:30 pm DEVO co-founders Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh will screen and discuss DEVO music videos. Afterward, Casale and Mothersbaugh will mingle at a wine reception and autograph signing. The cost is $50 for

Crafty Your Creative Business Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 7:30 - 10pm Enjoy Shakespeare under the stars in the Lagoon August 24 at the Bit Factory, 6 - 9pm The creative geniuses behind Crafty Mart are area of Stan Hywet. Macbeth will play every hosting a series of entrepreneurial workshops Friday, Saturday and Sunday night throughout for local makers. Experts will share their August. Tickets are $15 to $33 and can be knowledge, resources and advice on various purchased at

museum members, $65 for non-members.Get tickets at

è Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka

ç The Wet Whistle and Canvas Experience: On Stage at the Akron Civic Theatre August 13 at the Akron Civic Theatre, 6pm If you enjoy wine, painting, spoken word, and music, then be sure to attend The Wet Whistle and Canvas Experience with Andre Williams. Wet your whistle with wine as you paint a sunset beachscape, listen to the sound of local musician Kofi Boakye, spoken word with local wordsmiths and live painting with Andre Evans. Tickets are $35.00 for the full experience or


$10 for spoken word and music only. Cash Bar. sculpture, postcard drawings, paintings and so much more.

Now through August 14 at Weathervane Playhouse, various times

ë The Maker Sessions:

topics for developing and promoting a small business. Tickets are $20 for one session and can be purchased at

The candy man can, and you can too. Check í artApalooza out this timeless sugary classic before time runs August 20 at Boettler Park in Green, 10am - 5pm out. Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for children under age 18. They can be purchased at

artApalooza is a juried fine art and craft show celebrating 12 years. Along with art, there will be food, entertainment and children’s art

ê Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia

activities. Admission is free.

Akron Art Museum This is the last month to catch DEVO co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh’s exhibit at the Akron Art Museum. His collection includes music,

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

PHOTO CREDIT: Willy wonka: credit Weathervane Playhouse; Craftymart: credit CraftyMart; Devo: credit Akron Art Museum; Macbeth: credit Stan Hywet; Artapalooza: credit Green Arts Council at Boettler Park

The Joy of Voting Voting is more than just a civic duty. Wandering Aesthetics is looking for submissions for its upcoming “Rest Stop Political Theatre Project” that showcases the joys of voting. The performance will take place in the back of a pickup truck in five Akron communities. Submissions should showcase a wide variety of voices and perspectives about voting, democracy and America’s political history, the present and the future. Keep in mind, all submissions will be considered as a performance piece. They should be short enough that actors can portray the message in two to 10 minutes. People of all ages can submit their writing to


the arts



Art Minson, a life of service. by Bronlynn Thurman When you’re driving south down Arlington, you may have noticed a large mural of a waving older man with the words “Mr. East Akron” over his head. You may have wondered who

man’s legacy. Minson was an advisor for the Millennium Fund for Children, a board member of Ohio Citizen Action, volunteered with the East Akron Community House and Akron

Mr. East Akron is and what he did to receive such an honor. Well, I did some digging.

Community Foundation and created a soup kitchen and food pantry for St. John’s CME Church. He was instrumental in the creation

Art Minson was a man who dedicated his life

of the East Akron Development Corporation

to helping the east Akron area thrive. For more than 50 years, Minson volunteered his time and gave as much as he could to Akron. Having worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for 40 years, he helped create a credit union for African Americans to help them get home loans after being turned away and became president of the United Rubber Workers. He would often take trips to D.C. to lobby for civil rights and was a life member of the NAACP.

and when he received the national JCPenney Golden Rule Award along with $10,000, he donated the money so that children in a lowincome building could have a playground.

But there’s so much more to this fantastic

As a young man, Minson was a trumpet player. He started his own band called the Art Minson Band and played with greats like Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He was also a part of the Goodyear Band that played across the country at schools and hospitals during World War II.

Minson passed away in 2005, and from 20102012, local artist, small business owner and art teacher Micah Kraus, along with some area middle and high school students, constructed the mural to honor this great man.

“Iʻve never made a fortune,

and Iʻll never make one now. But it really doesnʻt matter, because Iʻm happy anyhow. As I go along my journey,

Iʻm reaping better than Iʻve sowed. Iʻm drinking from the saucer,

LIVE MUSIC, CARD READERS, POETRY, MASSAGES AND MORE no goats no glory — Custom pieces include lighting, wood pieces and metal fabrication as well as custom jewelry, aprons, boho-style clothing, gypsy flags as well as monthly tarot and oracle reading and massage therapy, acoustic artists and more. — HOURS: Mon-Tues 12-6 * Wed closed Thurs-Fri Sat 10-6 * Sun 12-4

because my cup has overflowed.” // Bronlynn searches for the stories behind the art. Follower her on Twitter and Instagram @_bront_.//

NEIGHBORHOOD REBORN Local organizations team up to bring creative flair to abandoned buildings photos and words by Bronlynn Thurman

Over the last few months, many Akron neighborhoods have been getting a bit of a makeover. Local organization East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) started its preservation board-up project earlier this year in which they painted boarded up buildings and houses to protect the windows. One such building sits near the corner of Arlington and Lovers Lane with windows painted to look like the sky.

porch steps, solar powered security lights, creating gardens for neighbors and boarding up houses set for demolition. Many of the houses that will be torn down no longer look the part. Faux windows, shutters and fun images give the area’s abandoned houses a creative flair. Some could even pass for habitable. Many of the neighbors sat outside and watched the volunteers work or requested services. Many were grateful that someone had taken notice and were attempting to help.

Although that project has ended, Neighborhood Network University Park, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Summit County, Let’s Grow Akron, Keep Akron Beautiful, the City of Akron and several others have teamed up to give another East Akron neighborhood some love. Pictured (top to bottom): Group working on project; Let's Grow Akron working with community; Artist Board Up of a House set for Demolition.

Volunteers gathered in the Middlebury/ University Park area and spent the day installing

“The neighborhood needs it...This is just surreal. It’s great,” said resident Jason Bannister. This was a creative way to address a major problem. Keep an eye out for other volunteer opportunities and check out the website ( to nominate your neighborhood. // Bronlynn, the elfin artist, loves seeing Akronites volunteering.

Photo courtesy of Shane Wynn

the arts


Artist Michael Marras grows tree from intuition mixed with Rust Belt junk by M. Sophie Hamad; photos by Svetla Morrison


ince December, every time I’ve driven past Hazel Tree Interiors on my way to downtown, I’ve noticed what appeared

Marras was also drawn to Akron because of our abundance of junk. Marras works with recycled materials and says he appreciates that,

[with the tree] when I got halfway up the trunk, and I was walking by it, and I would kick it every morning, and it was just not quite stout

needing to pause the tree project to take on other projects, so that I could come out of my first public sculpture with business still intact.”

to be a metal tree trunk growing into the wall of Hazel Tree. I’d heard rumor of branches to come. And one day they did.

since we’re located in the rust belt, “there are junkyards that you can go to here, and all kinds of free materials.”

enough for me. So I ripped that all apart and ended up finding a big pipe, and then I actually went back to the junkyard and got some other

Marras originally intended to complete the project without any funding and just build it

The artist behind the Akron Tree Project, Michael Marras graduated from Full Sail University with a degree in Computer Animation, and then he worked in the computer animation program within the Fine Arts department at Full Sail for three years. Michael was working at a computer for 12 hours a day, and he thought, “Why can’t I just make the things I’m modeling—in real life?” So he got an apprenticeship with sculptor and artist Marcos Cruz and learned how to weld.

Marras says he doesn’t usually plan out what he’ll get from the junkyard. “I like to work intuitively, so I like to know the engineering aspects of it—weight, things like that—certain hardware I need to use—but after I figure that out, I like to just kind of let the materials build the sculpture themselves. I like to let the sculpture come to life on its own and not strangle it too much with the design.”

big plates of steel and started beefing it up a lot more. So I was a lot happier with it once I was able to really kick it as hard as I could, and it didn’t move, like a real tree.”

as he could. “But we decided against that and to go with doing the public funding to involve other people too, which I think is one of the best parts about it,” says Marras. So what’s next for Marras? He’ll be showing his work at Earthquaker Day on August 6 at EarthQuaker Devices.

According to Marras, the Akron Tree Project

Marras chose to purchase new steel for the branches, since thin gauge scrap steel is difficult to find in usable condition. Marras explains, “I had to purchase steel for the branches because I wanted it to be extremely lightweight for a lot of reasons—building integrity and safety and longevity of the sculpture in general.”

is made of approximately 75 percent recycled materials. The trunk is 100 percent recycled

work lately, and that’s really what I enjoy most, The gap in time between the trunk construction is doing gallery shows and stuff where people

Marras decided to move back to Akron in 2012

because he had a support system here that he materials aside from the nuts and bolts, which didn’t have in Florida and because he wanted to he bought brand new. pursue a career as a full time artist. Akron’s low cost of living and developing art scene made “I was actually able to use an old TV antenna

and the completion of the project was due to Marras’ need to work on other commissioned projects in order to keep his business afloat while finishing the public sculpture.

that a realistic endeavor.

tower for the inner structure,” Marras says.

Marras says, “It’s kind of like the Wild West as far as the arts scene goes, because you can do your thing, and there aren’t a lot of people doing that. So when I asked to do a public

“I got very lucky—a friend of mine had one in his backyard, and I was going to build that structure out of fresh steel, but it’s a really old TV tower from when steel was a lot better...So I was able to use that.”

“I put in the budget just enough to do this project. So there wasn’t that cushion of a normal public sculpture…there wasn’t that personal money put into the budget as much as it normally would be if I was to be hired or

When Marras had finished about half of the

commissioned by somebody or the city or an organization to do a public sculpture. So aside

sculpture, aside from people knowing who I was and having art connections in the city…I think they were more open to it. Like, ‘Yeah, go ahead and do your thing.’”


and children can come and experience what I love doing.” After that, Marras plans to work on the rewards for those who funded the Akron Tree Project

trunk, he decided to start over. “I like to work in from me wanting to take breaks—and working an intuitive style so that I can…let the sculpture on the same thing for two years can drive you grow on its own. And that really happened a little crazy—aside from that, it was mainly me

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

“I’m excited about that because I haven’t shown any work aside from the Art Prize last year,” says Marras. “I haven’t really shown any

through Kickstarter, and then he plans to begin a new body of work. For more information on Michael Marras and to see some of his work, check out his website, // Sophie Hamad appreciates artists who choose to tread lightly on the earth by way of using ecoconscious materials, such as junkyard treasures.


the arts


n a hot Saturday afternoon, Kirk Olmstead welcomed me into his home in the West

I could see these ideas beginning to emerge in a curiously happy figure hang-gliding from his

Akron neighborhood of Kenmore. His wife and their two young daughters greeted me inside and immediately wanted to show me their

ceiling fan. The wings of the character’s flying contraption are cloth and there is a kind of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow feeling

artwork on the walls of their playroom.

to this vintage flyer. It is supposed to be one of the Wright Brothers, Olmstead tells me, and he has plans to make the other brother on a bike pulling the glider with rotating scenery behind them with a mechanism to make these pieces move in tandem.

Nearby, Olmstead’s studio is clean, classy and well organized,

with mason jars of various brushes, pens and pencils placed in groupings around his desk. Even with well-organized materials, the space is anything but staid. There are Sculpy figures of quirky characters and hand sewn Muppets-esque puppets laying in a

Born in Ohio, Olmstead is proud to represent

wide-eyed pile in the corner.

some of the state’s history, like the Wright Brothers, in his artwork. He sees Ohioans as a very proud people with that “hard way on purpose” mentality, and knows that culture has

A large Creature from the Black Lagoon framed movie poster hangs on the wall and somehow fits well near Olmstead’s massive Munch-style painting sitting in the corner. The painting depicts a haunting female figure seemingly

influenced his life and work.

ignoring a man groveling at her skirts.

for refugees at the International Institute of Akron, but he would love one day to make his living via his habit of making. Around Akron,

There is a delightfully creepy and fantastical

INSIDE THE STUDIO: Kirk Olmstead Blurring the line between art and object by C. Birch



element to most of Olmstead’s work. His characters and figures stir up curiosity and story. Among his influences are Jim Henson (The Muppets), comic books, Munch and Picasso. He works on impulse, he says, using whatever materials are present or of interest to him, always trying to learn something new.

By day, Olmstead is an employment counselor

you may see Olmstead recharging his creativity in one of his two favorite Akron spots, the downtown Akron Library or the Towpath Trail.

Olmstead’s mediums include watercolor, oil,

Looking for his artwork? Perhaps you will see some pieces at the Akron Art Prize but

pen and ink, woodcarving, Sculpy, felt and

you can always

more. He is seeking engagement with his viewers, merging art with functionality, adding an educational or interactive component, maybe blurring the line between art and object.

find him on


LAST LOOK PARTY: WE ARE NOT MEN August 20 • 2 pm • Free concert DOWNTOWN@DUSK: 15 60 75 THE NUMBERS BAND August 18 • 6:30 • Free concert DOWNTOWN@DUSK: HALF CLEVELAND August 25 • 6:30 pm • Free concert *purchase tickets at

Through August 28, 2016 Akron Art Museum & MOCA Cleveland

One South High I Akron, OH 44308 I


AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


the arts

ART BOMB BRIGADE COMPLETES ITS FIRST MURAL “Clean & Bright” stops traffic at Downtown Laundromat by Michelle DeShon


rt Bomb Brigade completed its first project, a vivid mural that spans over

some rejuvenation. We literally bomb a place that was not expecting it, has not asked for

project revolves around her thesis which is about arts in the public sector and she hopes

3,000 square feet on the Downtown Laundromat on South Main Street. Elisa Gargarella, Art Bomb Brigade director and arts education professor at The University of Akron,

it, and we call them up and say, ‘How would you like to have your business overtaken with awesomeness?’”

that this mural brings a “glimmer of joy” to people’s day.

was awarded $45,000 as one of the winners of the Knight Arts Challenge.

The creative team consists of fine art students from The University of Akron, high school

to infuse some energy and culture into the local business, so it goes back into the city,”

students from Akron Public Schools, and an

Gargarella says. She hopes that residents can

artist that serves as a guide for the students. Art Bomb Brigade has joined forces with Arts LIFT, another public arts program created by Gargarella about 15 years ago that uses the

appreciate an original piece of artwork right in their city and that her students carry on the responsibility to engage their communities in creative ways and that “they understand how

work of high school students and a lead artist.

a little creative spark can create a massive change.”

Gargarella says the Art Bomb Brigade’s mission is to “implement murals in a very, very warpspeed fashion in neighborhoods that we identify as really in need of a facelift and

“I only work with local businesses so I do hope

Pictured left: The Art Bomb Brigade left their signatures on the mural as a final touch; A different view of the unveiling party from behind some of the booths with the “Clean & Bright” mural as a colorful backdrop. (Photo courtesy of Michelle DeShon / The Devil Strip)

The program is funded from the Lola Isroff Foundation through The University of Akron. Gargarella hopes the art Art Bomb Brigade creates will encourage other campaigns for more public art projects. When choosing an artist to lead the group, Gargarella looks for someone whose work will inspire the students and whose personality is positive, upbeat and energetic. For this project, she chose Matt Miller, local artist and alumni of The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art. After much discussion between Gargarella, Miller and the business owner, the chosen design stemmed from the concept laid out by the business owner, and then they worked Adele Roth, Deputy Planning Director for Economic Development, spoke at the unveiling party. (Michelle DeShon / The Devil Strip)

together to fine tune it. Miller says he put a lot of “Akron-centric imagery” into

Opening August 19th

the design, including local species of plants and animals and cogs and gears to represent the industrial days of Akron. The creative team also wanted a color palette that “stopped traffic,”

Mike Birbiglia teams up with KeeganMichael Key for a genuinely moving and laugh-out-loud funny look at life in a comedy troupe.


Miller says.

Directed by Mike Birbiglia

Their work has been stopping traffic, says Wilma Levengood, a student in The University of Akron’s Arts Administration Graduate Program.




“I see joy in their eyes whenever they are just looking at this and are just either amazed by just how massive it is or how much color it brings in the area,” Levengood says. This


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

Gargarella has almost met her match for her $45,000 grant. At the unveiling party, Art Bomb Brigade sold t-shirts, tote bags, handmade books and temporary tattoos of Matt’s artwork. All proceeds went back to Art Bomb Brigade. Each of Art Bomb Brigade’s projects will be uniquely different, Gargarella added. The projects will always be different because they will be based on the needs of the local business owner, the artist that they partner with, and the team of students that will “mural bomb” Akron. The biggest challenge that Gargarella has faced is not having a sustainable income to support what she is trying to accomplish with her non-profit program. She suggests future grant winners find partnerships within the community and use existing assets in the community, such as using buildings as canvases, to create a bigger impact. One of her favorite parts of creating public art is witnessing the “staying power” of the art. She loves when it blows up on social media and how they become a place of

gathering. She says people still come to Akron to take pictures in front of the Angel Falls mural and that was completed about four years ago by her Arts LIFT program. To donate to Art Bomb Brigade, text artbomb to 71777 and click the link to a secure website where you can choose how much to donate. Gargarella’s goal is to raise $2,016 in 2016. // Michelle DeShon is an aspiring journalist with an unhealthy obsession with antique cameras, french fries and vinyl records.


// Photo of Jordyn Sharp by Sarah M. Koester

the arts

The Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society Present:

Our Ancestors from Europe: How to Discover Their Individual Stories Featuring John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.

Saturday, August 27, 2016 9:30 am– 4 pm

Main Library Auditorium, 60 South High Street, Akron, OH 44326


Creative Devils

JORDYN SHARP by Sarah M. Koester

I met with Jordyn Sharp in her high school’s art room

where she was helping complete this year’s senior mural: a Leprechaun sliding down a rainbow to pots of gold. This was an obvious fit for her now alma mater, St. VincentSt. Mary High School. I’ve known Sharp for about a year and her parents for even longer, but she was still reserved and introverted; a girl after my own heart. We exchanged nervous “hellos” and she handed

cartoon characters from memory and make them look like tracings. I asked about her attraction to animation and she said, “I don’t like drawing realistic things. If I try to draw a real person and it doesn’t look like them, I wouldn’t want them to be offended.”

decided to put on a show of their own. After getting approval from the principal, the

Inspired by music, television and social media, Sharp recreates cultural icons with freehand pencil drawings. Having been making art since she was a child, Sharp never took a formal class

students had their show in the school library, and Sharp was able to put her work on display.

until her sophomore year. While showing me drawings of girls she created inspired by posts

interest in pursuing a career in art. It’s a hobby and an escape for her. She will be attending

on Tumblr, Sharp said, “I like drawing girls’ long hair because it’s fun. It’s easy. I don’t have to think. I just draw lines. I hate drawing eyes, so I either give them sunglasses, make their eyes

Stark State in the fall with hopes of earning a degree in Early Childhood Education.

As she continued to describe her work to me, it was clear that she didn’t realize the amount of talent she possessed. She repeated to me many times that she draws because it’s easy. As a person who can’t trace her hand without messing it up, I assured her that what she can

We Get You ...

Her high school usually has an art show every year, but this year it was cancelled. Sharp and a few of her classmates

me her portfolio. Her work spoke for itself.

closed, or cut off their heads.”

Despite her incredible talent, Jordyn has no

© Sigrid Olsson / Alamy

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do is not a task many would call easy. I was particularly taken by her ability to draw


For more

• Passenger Arrival Records, information or to register for this Colonial Times to Mid-20th free program, Century contact the • Naturalization Records, Colonial Special Collections Times to Mid-20th Century Division: • Re-discovering “La Famiglia:” 330-643-9030, Accessing and Using the Records speccollections@ of Italy • Discovering the Akron-Summit County REAL Stories of Your Public Library Immigrant Ancestors

(Photo courtesy of Svetla Morrison/The Devil Strip)

the arts


THE AKRON ART MUSEUM Or, Where To Go Picnicking on Your Next Lunch Break by M. Sophie Hamad

Next time I’m walking around downtown and get the urge to do somersaults across a large

Museum in 2007, the garden was part of that plan. But when it came time for construction,

sculpture garden,” said Caruso. “It would be a space for events, a space for people to just

Association and Akron Garden Club, and past president of the Western Reserve Academy/

grassy area, I know where I’ll be headed: the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. That is, the new civic commons next to the Akron Art Museum.

they decided they would have to delay it. The completion of the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, then, is the completion of that plan.

come and hang out and enjoy downtown, and hopefully it will enrich downtown Akron. We’ve seen a lot of activity in downtown—there’s been a sort of a renaissance, at least in the

Pioneer Women. She has also helped with financial campaigns for the Boys and Girls Clubs and United Way.

According to my son, one can do 18 somersaults from one end of the green to the other. He discovered this while I was grooving to sounds of Shivering Timbers at the Grand Opening Celebration on July 16.

Originally, the museum had a courtyard sculpture garden that went away with the creation of the new building. At first, the plan was to create a similar garden, but after a series of conversations with local community members and museum staff and the board, a

interest of downtown.”

In 2007, Bud and Susie received the H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award from the Red Cross, Summit County Chapter. In 2008, they received the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award. Both are past recipients of the United Way's Distinguished Service Award.

The week before the Grand Opening Celebration for the garden, I toured the new space with the museum’s Design, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Dominic Caruso. Over the clamoring and hammering

new plan emerged for a space that would be more engaging and more of a public space downtown.

and served as board president of the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, Sumner on Ridgewood and the United Way of Summit County.

sounds of final construction, Caruso explained how the space came to be.

Susie Rogers Garden, which would be a place where people could have art experiences,

Susie Rogers is an emeritus member of the board of governors for Akron Golf Charities,

When planning began for the new Akron Art

and there could be temporary art and maybe even permanent art, but it wouldn’t be just a

past board president of the Junior League of Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Bud and Susie Rogers are much beloved, long-time Akron philanthropists. The former president and chief executive of the B.W. Rogers Co., Bud Rogers has volunteered with

“They came up with this idea for the Bud and

Rick Rogers was president of the board of the Akron Art Museum when the museum broke ground in 2004 for the celebrated John S. and James L. Knight Building. Alita Rogers currently serves on the board of the Akron Art Museum and is Secretary of the Board. (continued on page 45)

Soak up a memorable experience with your fam ily! Come say “bon voyage” to our Journey to the Reef exhibit before it swims away.



| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8




community & culture CULTURE CLUB


THE GRAND EXCHANGE In the wake of startling fatal shootings both by and of police officers, community activists at The Grand Exchange organized an open conversation among some of Akron's concerned black and white residents. (Photo credit: Svetla Morrison)

Community & culture


community events August 12, 6 - 9pm Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.

An overview of community events happening in Akron this August

On Friday, August 12, Child Guidance & Family Solutions (CG&FS) will host its seventh annual “Growing Up Akron” fundraiser. If you have


attended the event in the past, you know this isn’t your typical fundraiser. So leave the tux at home. Pick up some Akron attire from Rubber

‹ Monday Yoga

City Clothing to wear to the event—mention Growing Up Akron and they will donate a

starts at Lock 3 and ends at the Main Street farmers market. at PNC Center. Tracie from Akron Yoga and Wellness will lead you through the many poses of Vinyasa yoga in this hour-long workout. é Hamburger Festival Don’t forget to dress accordingly and bring your August 13 - 14 at Lock 3 Park, Noon – 11pm and Noon – 7pm own yoga mat!

portion of the sale to CG&FS. Roxxymoron is back to take the stage again this year, and rock the brewery with their music. Food offerings include Swenson's


Drive In Restaurants, Mustard Seed Market & Cafe, Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, Retro Dog, Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Diamond Deli, Ivan's Catering, Difeo & Sons, Tangier Event & Entertainment Center, Gino's Pizza, Hilton Garden Inn Akron, Bake at 350 Bakery, LLC, A&W, Ken Stewart's Grille, Mayfield Road Creamery, Shearer's Potato Chips and Snacks, Mary Coyle Ice Cream and NORKA Beverage. Rubber City Rollergirls, Mystery Grab Bags, a Chinese auction and other special attractions will add to the fun.


by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener

Growing Up Akron is a destination for celebrating our community. Whether you “grew up Akron” or not, there is no better way to spend a summer evening. Visit cgfsevents. org or call (330) 384-2882 to puchase tickets and/or view other sponsorship opportunities if you would like to support CG&FS while promoting your business or organization. Tickets must be purchased by August 8. Event

August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 at PNC Center, 5:15 pm Enjoy a stress relieving after work yoga session

å Summer Read Aboard Program August 4, 11 at Akron Northside Station, 10:50 am Introduce your children to reading and trains at the same time. The Summer Read Aboard Program features a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for both children and their parents. Kids can enjoy story time, a snack, arts and crafts, and a scavenger hunt, while parents

& Family Solution





the whole family. There are activities for kids, live music, the National Hamburger Festival Queen Pageant, eating contests, craft beer tastings and much more. (Photo courtesy of National Hamburger Festiva)

‹ Herbal Spa Treatments

rhyming and songs. After story time has

‹ Farm to Table History Hike


The 11th annual Hamburger Festival has more than just a wide variety of hamburgers from local restaurants – it also has entertainment for

sit back and enjoy the scenery as the train travels August 14 at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 2 – 2:30pm through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. (Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad) Learn how to make everything from sugar scrubs to relaxing salves using all-natural ingredients and items from your backyard ç Summer Safari August 5 at Akron Zoo, 7 - 10pm garden and kitchen cabinets. Bid on art created by the zoo animals, enjoy live music, and raise funds for the Akron Zoo all ‹ Art Tales: Messages in the Mailbox at the same time. Summer Safari is the Akron August 18 at Akron Akron Art Museum, Zoo’s annual fundraiser, and tickets include 11:15am – 12:30pm admission to the event, a catered dinner, and This event for kids and their parents consists close up encounters with some of the zoo of an interactive story, complete with imagery, animals. (Photo courtesy of Akron Zoo)

is 21 and older. // Growing up Akron logo courtesy of Child Guidance

alongside the Ohio and Erie Canal in this joint effort by the Summit County Historical Society and the Summit Metro Parks. The hike

August 12 at Lock 3 Park, 9 – 11am Learn about 19th century trade while hiking





ended, there will be an arts and crafts session in the lobby of the Akron Arts Museum for participants. (continued on page 45)





| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8


community & culture


Your Favorite Tribute Bands Gates open at 6 p.m. Concerts start at 7 p.m.

JUL 29 Almost Queen The Ultimate Queen Experience with

Why Is It Called Indian Trail? by Amanda Sedlak-Hevsener The Kenmore neighborhood of Akron is located on the southwestern edge of the city,

Summit County with an Outline Sketch of Ohio described the movements of the Delaware and

bordered by Barberton. Many of the streets in this neighborhood have unusual names, including Indian Trail. This particular street runs

Iroquois tribes and how they used to portage (a term meaning “to pick up your boat and physically move it from one body of water to

from east to west, from East Avenue (ironically, on the western end) to 6th Street.

another”) around the bodies of water in what is now southern Akron. One of these portage paths was to the west of Summit Lake, not far

According to a 1915 plat map of the area,

from modern-day Indian Trail.

at that time, Indian Trail was named Portage Trail. When Kenmore became a part of Akron in 1928, many of the streets were renamed in

There are other streets and businesses in Akron named after this practice as well, including

order prevent confusion and avoid duplication. It’s likely that the name of Indian Trail changed at this time, most likely because of the other Portage Trail, which runs from Akron’s Merriman Valley up through Cuyahoga Falls. The original name – Portage Trail – relates back to the Native Americans that called this area home, long before the settlers moved in. William Henry Perrin’s 1881 book History of

Community News Brief

the aforementioned Portage Trail, plus Portage Path, Portage Country Club, and even Portage Path Behavioral Health. However, there is only one street in Akron named Indian Trail.

AUG 5 AUG 12 AUG 19 AUG 26 SEP 2


Chris Allen & The Guilty Hearts



A Tribute to Michael Jackson with Umoja Nation


AUG 14 Gaetano’s Underworld Blues Band and The Stingers

Wednesdays 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Admission $10

with Horns & Things

Paid Concerts: Gates open at 6 pm. No pre-sale. Tickets sold at gates, cash only. Concerts start at 7 p.m.

Discover blues and jazz beats on the banks of Ohio-Erie Canal in the heart of Akron.

AUG 3 AUG 10 AUG 17 AUG 24 AUG 31


Rooster Jones The Rhythm Syndicate Jan Marie and AZ #1 Ernie Krivada All Star Quartet Skip Gibson and Finesse

Wireless for All.

their rewards. First-time participants receive a bike-sized license plate and sticker after completing five of the designated trail sections between July 1st and August 31st of this year. Returning participants receive a completion

Metro Park)

August 5-6

Glendale Cemetery

Quit Smoking with Help From Akron General

August 12-13 Goodyear Metro Park

Starting on August 23rd, Akron General Hospital will host a series of smoking cessation classes, set up in conjunction with the Tobacco Treatment Specialists. There are seven classes in all, starting on Tuesday, the 23rd and running through Tuesday, September 27th, with one additional class on September 15th for those

involves passing slower bikers on the left only, obeying all traffic signals and signs, remaining who need extra reinforcement or can’t make it courteous to everyone on the trail, and pulling to one of the other Tuesday sessions. over to the right– or off the trail entirely – when stopping. Trail etiquette exists to keep everyone safe and to ensure that all participants have a

with Rachel Roberts & The Ryan Humbert Band

Tribute to Prince with The Twistoffs

County residents, and the fee only applies to out-of-county residents who want to receive

by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener

is underway, and they want to remind every participant to follow proper trail etiquette. This

Admission $5

AUG 13 Fleetwood Mix A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac

Pictured above: The intersection of Indian Trail and 16th Street. (Photo courtesy of Amanda SedlakHevener/The Devil Strip)

sticker. For more information, go to bikingspree. (Photo courtesy of Summit

The Summit Metro Parks’ Summer Biking Spree

AUG 13th – 14th 11th Annual National Hamburger Festival in Downtown Akron

A Tribute to Jimmy Buffet with The JiMiller Band

// Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local historian and a graduate student at the University of Akron.

An overview of community news in Akron

Remember to Pass On the Left

Daniel Horrigan, Mayor

Atomic Punks A Tribute to Early Van Halen with The Michael Weber Show Captain Fantastic The Elton John Legacy with Mo’ Mojo Space Oddity David Brighton’s Tribute to David Bowie with Angie Haze Project ZOSO The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience with Joe Vitale Jr. Band The Machine Performs Pink Floyd with G-Force

good time.

Akron General Hospital’s program is based on the the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program. Each class will meet in

The Summer Biking Spree is free to all Summit

Cardiac Classroom 1544 of the Akron General (continued on page 45)

Performances at 8:45 P.M. Interactive children’s programs by The University of Akron Dance Institute at 7:45 P.M. FREE ADMISSION Enjoy The Akron Symphony on Sunday August 7 at Glendale Cemetery and Sunday August 14 at Goodyear Metro Park. Concerts start at 7:30 P.M. FREE ADMISSION

AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE HP_4.876x6.5_DevilStrip.August.indd 1

6/20/16 12:04 PM

community & Culture






by Rick Bohan



New Sunday Market Vibes JOIN US ON THESE DATES!



AUG 14

Located at Urban Eats / 51 E. Market St.


TAKING HOLD DOWNTOWN words by Liz Tyran; photos by Kevin Richards


hen I grew up in the South, every small town had its own radio station that broadcast local news and events and a music playlist that was developed by someone who lived right there in town (other than Casey Kasem’s Weekly Top 40, of course). In 1983, 50 companies owned 90% of the nation’s

The Akron Farm & Flea Market has taken off

media outlets. In 2011, just six companies

this year! The first two markets received great attendance as well as great reviews from vendors and attendees alike. What’s new this

owned 90% of the media outlets and 80% of the radio stations in the country broadcast the same playlist. All to say, few industries have become more homogenized than commercial radio. Against that tidal wave of mediocrity stand many college stations of low to medium

year? LOTS. Not only did the market become a registered non-profit for its efforts to create wholesome community-oriented activity in an historic area of downtown Akron, but it

power and a few stations, like 91.3 FM, that depend only on the local community for funding and listeners.

“The Summit is all about regionalism. In a world where satellite and web media offer listeners

along with other neighborhood shops like Ely Road and Rubber City Clothing, not to mention the art museum and library across the street with ongoing programming and activities. The art museum’s new garden will be open to stroll through, and the Nightlight even has a 3:30 showing of Phantom Boy that guests can plan to take in if they stay downtown. That’s the point, after all: to see downtown during a new time with new eyes.

Tommy Bruno, Executive Director and General Manager of The Summit, tells us, “The surge of broadcasting, Internet radio, streaming media, not to mention the aging of the baby boomers, have all rapidly changed the future of radio.”

more options than ever before, localism can be a core competitive strength of radio. Here at The Summit, building strong connections to our local audiences has been a driving strategy for well over a decade, and has fueled particularly strong membership and listener growth over that period.”

Akron Farm & Flea Market Aug. 14th and Sept. 1st

“We target local listeners by taking risks in curating brand new music, supporting regional artists,

partnered with Countryside Conservancy and received support from the Knight Foundation. The upcoming August 14th market will be a vintage fashion themed market with live models donning trendy vintage wear from several local boutiques. Merchandise will be for sale along with all the antique, vintage, farm and flea items from the great stock of existing Farm & Flea vendors. Visitors can expect to hear a different sound wave of live local music at each market as well as a change up of special guests, themes, workshops, games and more. No two market days will be the same. Musica’s bar and the Urban Eats Cafe will be open each market day

51 E. Market St. outside of Musica Free parking in the library deck on High St. also follow on fb and instagram for updates.

Asked about the strategy The Summit uses to reach local listeners, Bruno replies,

Highlighting local and emerging artists is a central part of The Summit’s strategy. Bruno explains, “The station is a showcase for local, national, and international musicians, and

nonprofits organizations, and cultivating a more particularly for emerging artists who would vibrant community at large. In fact, we here at otherwise be less likely to include a market The Summit have been instrumental in creating a receptive audience for live music in Northeast Ohio. The Summit puts a strong emphasis on community based programming. Programs like KidJam! Radio and Rock and Recovery

like Akron, Canton or Youngstown on their national tours.”

are aimed at specific important listening communities. Both have won local, regional,

communities is at the heart of The Summit’s strategy. Bruno is clear on this

Identifying and meeting the needs of comparatively small but active and loyal local

(continued on page 44)

and statewide awards.”

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| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8


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community & culture

Akron HERstory:

Edith Terry Bremer By Ilenia Pezzaniti

Alright, HERstory followers, we’re gonna throw

New York in conjunction with the YMCA.

in a celebrity shot—which, if you haven't played beer pong before, means we’re bringing in a non-participating player to make a shot. In HERstory language, that means this month’s feature is on a woman who isn’t an Akronite,

This was the first institution that focused on the protection of rights for newly arrived and second generation immigrant girls and women. It offered recreational services, English

but she did make a huge impact on Akron and therefore deserves recognition. Because women. Because Akron.

classes, employment assistance, housing, and citizenship services. Most of the social workers involved were immigrants themselves. They taught, visited, counseled, and did casework for the women.

Historical Akron

Blimp City: The Goodyear Airdock by Katie Jackson

As the International Institute

of Akron celebrates it’s

Edith opened the

100th birthday this year, it is people like Edith Terry Bremer we should thank.

International Institute because she believed that immigrants should

Edith was a main player in the movement toward creating institutions for immigrant rights.

preserve and share their cultural background, the premise of the existence of the institution itself,

Edith was born in Hamilton, New York on October 9th, 1885. She

and the idea of cultural pluralism. The idea was that cultural pluralism, among other

studied the rights of women in industrial work places at the Chicago School of Civics and

benefits, would serve as a transitional tool as well as culturally diversify the area. Not only did

Philanthropy. After she graduated, Edith started to advocate for the rights of immigrant women. Edith thought immigrant women were ignored and poorly cared for by the immigrant agencies. She saw the concentration to be solely on men. She wanted to change that.

immigrants benefit, but so did those already living in the area. Something we see happening in real-time here, in Akron.

Throughout her career, Edith was a researcher

Over fifty International Institutes were created, including ours. In 1950, Edith visited the Institute in Akron. According to The Akron Beacon Journal at that time, she was happy

for the Chicago Women’s Trade Union League, Chicago Juvenile Court, and served as a special agent for The United States Immigration

with what she saw and praised the Institute for its “tremendous vitality.”


In 1927, she was awarded the White Lion by President Thomas G. Masaryk of Czechoslovakia for her immigrant welfare work. Edith continued to lobby for immigrant rights until she passed away of cancer in 1964.

In 1910, Edith, then the national field secretary for the National Board of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YMCA), opened the first International Institute in

*A special thank you to Chris Horne for suggesting dear Edith.

A giant black slug on the horizon of Route 224 1,175 feet long, 325 feet wide, 221 feet high, holds a mysterious history which is as essentially and is supported by 13 enormous steel arches. Akron as the hum that used to fill the sky from it’s former resident.

This equates to around 364,000 square feet, or an area larger than 8 football fields. At each end of the building there are two semi-spherical

The Goodyear Airdock was built in 1929 by Detroit architect Albert Kahn. Completed at a cost of $2.2 million, it was the largest building

doors which roll on wheels and specially designed railroad tracks, allowing the structure to open and close. Weighing in at 600 tons

in the world without an interior support

each, they require their own power system

structure. The Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation commissioned the building for development and construction of lighter-than-air dirigibles.

and are fastened closed with hollow pins that measure 17 inches in diameter. In 1980 the Goodyear Airdock was designated a Historical

The first two airships to be constructed at the site were the USS Akron in 1931, and its sister ship, USS Macon in 1933. When World War II broke out, the building was used for airship production and storage. After the Navy’s ZPG3W was constructed in 1960, marking the last airship to be built in the Airdock, the space was used as the photographic division of Goodyear Aerospace Corporation.

Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society for Civil Engineers. The Airdock is so vast and large that it literally is a building with it’s own weather system. Yes, you read that right. Rumor has it that with just the right humidity and temperature change, condensation occurs to mimic a rain storm within the building. And that’s not it’s only odd association.

In 1987 military contractor the Loral Corporation purchased Goodyear Aerospace,

If you buy into conspiracy theories, the

and by proxy, the Goodyear Airdock. When the Loral Corporation was purchased by Lockheed Martin in 1996, the Goodyear Airdock became a part of their campus. The building’s unique shape measures in at

Goodyear Airdock has plenty of it’s own, particularly due to its military contractor ownership. Several times over the course of the past two decades there have been fires (continued on page 45)



AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


community & culture

'You Can't Do it On Your Own"

BMe leader spotlight: DaMareo Cooper uses $10,000 award to fund projects at The W.O.M.B. words and photos by M. Sophie Hamad


aMareo Cooper is on a mission to improve the lives of regular, everyday Ohioans. But he can’t do it on his own. Luckily, he doesn’t have to.

who’ve been through trauma, violent trauma, violent crimes. Where do you go, even if

volunteers from AOC

Cooper is the Organizing Director of Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC), a collaboration

you’re an activist? I consider activists and organizers kind of like

Pictured left: The

wasn’t very good at it. I just wasn’t. I was too nice, you know? Like, I would take somebody’s TV out of their house and then, like, take it

of 17 organizations around the state. OOC works toward social justice for everyone, and their primary focus is on issues of economic justice and criminal justice reform. OOC organized and ran the statewide Ban the Box

gluttons for pain. We feel a lot. It’s hard to be an activist if you don’t feel a lot. So The W.O.M.B. kind of acts

W.O.M.B.’s community


initiative to get the Ohio Fair Hiring Act passed in 2015.

as that space.”

paycheck to keep the lights on, to keep the internet going to make sure there’s toilet paper,” says Cooper. The BMe

“We knew people weren’t able to get jobs— once you check that box you’re not getting that job. I don’t care who you might be or what you did or what the felony is, you check that box,

From The W.O.M.B., AOC does voter registration, holds community meetings and trainings and leadership trainings and

you’re not getting that job,” says Cooper.

teaches organizing strategies. Last year AOC

Cooper is also Executive Director of The Way of Mind and Body (The W.O.M.B.), which houses OOC’s Akron chapter, Akron Organizing

registered 8,000 people to vote in the city of Akron. This year they plan to register 12,000. Cooper is one of the founding members of

Collaborative (AOC).

The W.O.M.B.. When he received the $10,000 award from BMe, he decided to use the money

“We don’t have enough healing spaces for people in the city of Akron,” says Cooper. “We have not done a good job of creating social spaces and healing spaces, particularly for folks

toward projects they need funded. “We fund The W.O.M.B. with about 6 or 7 people giving their money, pieces of their own

Pictured above: DaMareo Cooper (fourth from the left) with and The W.O.M.B.

garden, located across E. Market St. from their office.

award is the first funding that’s come from an outside source. They don’t receive any funding from any foundations. “I actually won the award, but I’m not unilaterally making decisions about what happens with the money—that’s not how we operate,” says Cooper. “We want to use the money to do a chess program and build a street mentor program, but also to have a studio— I’ve got people who are donating studio equipment—so we can teach young people to make music.” “We want to teach young people about democracy…and teach them chess so we can start developing critical thinking skills,” says Cooper, “at the same time giving them something they want and enjoy like making beats and records and albums.” Cooper is from Elizabeth Park, and he is passionate about helping people in his community because of his own past. When Cooper was young, there was a time when all of his uncles were incarcerated. “I was in a single-parent household—my mom • 330.835.9945 28

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

about hard work. And what happened to me was, you know, I was like everybody else. I ended up thinking I was gonna be a drug dealer, or, like, trying to be a drug dealer—I

was an amazing woman. Like, she just pulled us out of the projects, and taught me so much

Cooper got into some trouble, and then spent three and a half years in the Marine Corps. When he returned to Akron, he started going to college at the University of Akron, and then transferred to Kent. “I started school as a psych major because I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my family. Why was everybody in prison? There must be something mentally wrong with my family,” Cooper says. But then he began to learn about the journey and history and struggle of African people in America. “The thirteenth amendment doesn’t necessarily abolish slavery,” says Cooper. “The thirteenth amendment basically says, when you’re convicted of a crime you can basically become a slave again.” Cooper changed his major to Pan-African studies, with a minor in Anthropology. Before long, he was President of the Black United Students Organization. “When I graduated from college, I was like, you know, I got this Pan-African Studies degree. I’m going to be poor, but I’m going to be a poor righteous teacher. I’m going to be a poor person for the community. I’m going to work on building my community,” Cooper says. After a brief stint in Tulsa, Oklahoma with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Cooper was offered the job as Organizing Director for OOC in Youngstown, where the first branch of OOC started as Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative. (continued on page 29)


community & culture (continued from page 28) Then, when Cooper’s mother died in 2009, he came back to Akron to finish raising his younger cousins whom his mother had been raising, and who were 12 and 13 years old. He had promised his mother he’d help them finish high school. While he was home grieving, he got a call from his friend from college asking him to help open up The W.O.M.B., which used to be a boxing gym. Cooper threw himself into building The W.O.M.B.. “Our vision is to have a city where folks who are directly impacted by the problems have say-so around the solutions to those problems,” says Cooper. “We want people to have power in the city of Akron. And not just folks who have money or folks who have a lot of relationships, but bringing together the folks who have not been invested in the last 35 years

An Evening in Munroe Falls Metro Park

to help find answers to the problems together. It’s about engaging people, building authentic relationships, and moving our community

words and photos by Grace Ebner For this month’s park excursion, I chose to hike

forward.” Feeling inspired yet? “We need help!” Cooper says. “We could use help in any way. If you have a skill, a trade, a checkbook, some time, whatever you’ve got, come down and give. And if it’s just time, give us an hour a month, at least just an hour a month. Because I know if you give an hour a month, and you see what you’re doing, you’re going to be like, ‘I like being here.’”

the Meadow Trail, located in the Tallmadge Meadows Area of Munroe Falls Metro Park. A flat loop of two miles, this trail takes hikers through shaded woods during the first half, while the latter half of the trail meanders through the sunny meadow. The wildflowers are just starting to bloom this time of year, making the course especially scenic. This trail also has an interesting feature: it leads to a small cemetery. Near the start of the trail, the path splits off to an open

The W.O.M.B. is located at 915 E. Market St. in Akron. Look for them on Facebook as

grass lot. In this lot is a headstone, marked “Rest in Peace / Unknown Skeletal Remains / Summit County, Ohio.” This headstone came as a surprise to me. Despite having hiked this trail many times, I had never wandered into this part of the park before. But all it took was a short

walk to return back to the trail bordered with wildflowers as tall as my shoulders. Immediately after my hike, I stopped by Cornerstone Market, which is located right across the trail on the other side of the street. Outside of the market were several large bins filled with giant watermelons, along with hanging flowerpots for sale. Inside, the quaint and colorful store boasted displays of fresh breads and produce, including tropical dragon fruit and liliko’i. Pictured above: The wildflowers that border the Meadow Trail near Monroe Park. Pictured left: A tombstone marks unknown skeletal remains. Pictured right: Fresh fruit at Cornerstone Market.

The W.O.M.B., or find them on the web at

Feeling hungry for a meal after my hike in

the sun, I then headed out to El Tren Grill for dinner. The Mexican restaurant is located along Tallmadge Circle, just a ten-minute drive from the metro park. I ordered their vegetarian fajitas. The service was fast, the staff friendly and the restaurant was clean and bright. It was a delicious end to my evening in the park. // Grace Ebner scored an astounding eight points total during her eighth grade basketball season.



$10 Adults | $5 Children (3-12 yrs.) | Members Free

2686 Oak Hill Rd. | Peninsula, OH



$5 admission to festival and Hale Farm & Village

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


community & culture

The Trouble with Old People Zombies in Orthopedic Shoes column by Steven Van Auken; illustration by Paul Hoffman

When did zombies enter the national consciousness? No one knows for sure. They didn't cross the frozen Delaware with General

There is a Silver Sneakers plan that pays the full cost of gym memberships for many of my friends. (These friends of mine are the reason

Washington. They weren't there to chase Teddy Roosevelt up San Juan Hill. They didn't lurch their way across Europe after D-Day, and no one so far has linked them to the attempted

that they have chairs in yoga studios.) Is there sense that they live under threat. a Wornout Sneakers program that grants a discount to a strapped young mom or dad who That threat is the financial might like to stay in shape? What do you think? demands of their parents

assassination of President Reagan. So why now? Why do they stretch their putrefying arms I think that here is where the zombie hoards toward us in the past couple of decades? lunge into the picture. Who is watching these We do know this. The rise of the zombie coincides almost exactly with the advent of the senior discount at multi-plex theaters.

people broadcasting the zombie shows know a cultural phenomenon when they see one. Young people

and grandparents. Zombies symbolize this. Do you suppose that it is a coincidence that

shows about young people besieged by gangs

the weird way of walking

of lifeless fiends who do not have the good manners to die and stay that way? Who feels compelled to watch them drain the lifeblood of

that zombies have looks exactly like the way we seniors walk two months after our joint replacement surgery? And those

Old people like myself are awash in offers of financial assistance. They come from perfect

the young, productive members of society?

perpetually outstretched zombie arms: what could look more like me and my peers after we It is young people themselves who are watching have (yet again) misplaced our glasses? What

strangers. I walk up to a movie ticket counter and I say, "I am old." The nice young lady thanks me for my service at Gettysburg (we oldsters love to complain about the fact that young people aren't taught history in the schools anymore), and gives me a discount. My meal is discounted in some restaurants. My medical bills are comped by Medicare. Nobody asks if I need the help, I just get it. Of course this means that others (and here I refer to you) have to pay more to make up the difference.

these shows and young people who keep writing them. It is because they have a vague, horrifying feeling of being under attack from decrepit old people. There used to be five workers, on average, to provide for every person on social security. Soon it is estimated there will be two. These over-worked young people will have to get up pretty early in the morning and stay at work until late, to take care of me and my cohort in the manner to which we have become accustomed. The

The Grand Exchange: A Place for the Common Good

A place to collaborate, create and (ex)change!

do the zombie hordes really seek as they try to sink their recessed-gum teeth into a random young person? My guess is, fiber. Shows about zombies are not likely to go away anytime soon. They speak too powerfully at a subconscious level to the fact that young people feel burdened by the politically powerful demands of oldsters. At some point it seems likely that younger people will rise up and gain political strength of their own.

Their representatives will question why it is that AARP has millions of members who have no hesitation in demanding more and more financial favors, even for those seniors who don't need them. Maybe someday there will be an equally powerful American Association of Young, Kind of Annoyed and FinanciallyStressed Persons. In the meantime, keep on the move. It's the best way to avoid us zombies.

Live @ Lock 4 Photo credit: Ilenia Pezzaniti


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8


Food & Drink




Brews Up Love In Every Cup by Lia Pietrolungo


rom perfectly brewed coffee to

In the Kitchen with

Chef Brian Meeker

waterfall in Venezuela. “It was a logical

dreamy gourmet hot chocolate, Angel Falls Coffee Company serves up a drink menu guaranteed to tickle

move to find inspiration from a country that produces coffees but has incredible natural wonders,” says Oletta, who was born in

even the most fickle of tastebuds. Owners Rafael Oletta and Jim King are passionately committed to providing the Akron community with high-quality

Caracas, Venezuela. Photo courtesy of Angel Falls Coffee Company (Facebook Page)

beverages, food, and a cozy, inviting environment of friendly faces.

Interview by Lia Pietrolungo Photos by Charles Von From the age of sixteen, Brian Meeker has spent countless hours in kitchens, learning and honing in on his talents as a chef. Recently we spoke about his approach to cooking, and his famous gluten free, vegan banana nut bread with chocolate chips. THE DEVIL STRIP: From what I witnessed in the kitchen, you seem to be a very lively and passionate chef. Tell me a little more about your experience while cooking: BRIAN MEEKER: The first [thing] that comes to mind that simply relates and conveys my experience is the book/film, "Like Water (continued on page 34)


Oletta and King are committed to keeping Akronites caffeinated with their shadegrown, fair trade, USDA organic and Rainforest Alliance coffees. They also offer 45 different loose leaf teas.

Upon walking into Angel Falls, one is greeted by homey furniture, warm, wood-paneled walls covered in LP’s and local artwork, and the enticing aroma of brewing coffee. The eclectic art lining the Angel Falls walls was collected over many years of art showings. Oletta and King create themes from Oletta’s collection of about 6,000 LP records and display them on rotation as well. This combination of sensory details creates a comforting home away

business and take advantage of the popularity that coffee had in the West Coast,” Oletta

from home feel.

says of their business venture. Twenty years

thrives in the heart of Highland Square. “We went the opposite way in the way Starbucks marketed their product,” says Oletta of their

later, Angel Falls has remained a successful neighborhood gem.

coffees, “Starbucks is renown[ed] for very dark, bitter coffees ( a trend in the West Coast). To

Angel Falls is named for the 3,212 ft tall

me it was undrinkable so I decided to Roast (continued on page 46)

Before opening up Angel Falls Coffee Co., King and Oletta worked in corporate in San Francisco. “We decided to be in the coffee

Taught by Oletta, manager Zak Waryas roasts all of their beans in-house -- a practice that sets them apart from most coffee shops in Akron. In the era of Starbucks, Angel Falls still

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


food & drink

Hey, Akron.  Yeah, you- hi there.

Running the Pass by Marilyn Icsman

FOOD FESTIVALS and Ohio Brewing Co., as well as Great Lakes, Market Garden, Lager Heads, Moerlein and

We are thrilled to announce the birth of our new baby! The name is Trifecta- a fully customizable, single cup air infusion brewing system; JUST BEAUTIFUL; came in at 41 pounds, 10oz and 24” long. Mom & baby are doing great. It’s a very nuanced single cup brewer; months of experimentation & we have tweaked (& re-tweaked) (& re-tweaked) EVERY ASPECT of each particular coffee’s brew cycle based on that specific bean’s unique characteristics. It’s a prodigy; brings out inherent subtleties, leaving behind the rest… while NEVER TOUCHING a paper filter.   Every origin, every roast level- is completely customized, and every cup is brewed to order. With a majority of alternative single cup methods all brews begin with the same baseline; but hey- it’s a CROP- each harvest is different. The ‘art’ was extensive testing, tasting, scrapping it & starting over until it was perfect.    The ‘science’: we stored each profile for the same, consistent, amazing cup… Every.  Single. Time.

Mt. Carmel. The event also includes meet-andgreets with several brewery representatives and a few select brews from around the country will also be served, like Big Eddy Royal Nektar, Wicked Ram IPA, Fireman’s Brew and Horny Goat. More info at events/1786095151602342

The National Hamburger Festival returns August 13-14 to celebrate Akron's (somewhat


dubious but still fun) claim as the birthplace of the hamburger. Enjoy some of the best burgers, fries and more from the best and brightest culinary minds around. There'll be plenty to do all weekend like burger-eating competitions, live music, family friendly fun and pop-up vendors like Dropkick Apparel. For more information, check out The longtime Buffalo Wild Wings on the University of Akron’s campus has officially closed and reopened as Gridiron after lawsuits between the owners and the Buffalo Wild Wings corporation. The owners of the former BW-3, the Bord family, have operated the

The most pure, honest cup of- yes, any origin we carry; YOUR selection, not ours.   We’re CRAZY enthusiastic about the quality of the cup, and quite certain you’ll understand why. So… Stop in during the second week of August and try one on for size- and enjoy it for the price of your usual Joe. We’re convinced YOU’LL be convinced, and then everyone will be convinced, and happy and excited. And convinced.    Thanks again, from the bottom of our cups.

This year's installment of the Nat'l Hamburger Festival brings with it the first ever Buckeye Brewfest at Lock 3 on Sunday, Aug. 14. It's free with admission to the burger fest, which gives you the chance to sample dozens of beers from more than 10 Ohio-based brewers including Akron's own Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.


Akron sports decorations. Though business has been slower than usual, the owners and manager hope that increased traffic once the school year begins will help Gridiron build popularity.

-C A N T O



-Your friendly, sassy, always well-meaning ND crew.

restaurant for 25 years. Now, with $100,000 worth of renovations under their belt, the Bords have opened Gridiron and introduced a new menu and appearance for the popular campus spot. The restaurant and bar, in addition to having a new food vendor, also includes new painting and seating, as well as University of

Name: Dan Flowers Favorite place to eat: I like to ride the Foodbank share bike down to the Diamond Deli to see my friends Chuck and Brett. Go-to dish: My favorite item on

Name: Michael Wilson




the menu is the Here's The Beef sandwich, a delightful full-bodied meat fest on rye dripping with homemade coleslaw, mayo, and melted swiss. For dessert, top it off with their


Favorite place to eat: Bricco (Dwntn Akron) Go-to dish: Southwest Salad Name: Jessica Robb

Favorite place to eat: Taqueria La Loma Go-to dish: Tacos al Pastor

made fresh chocolate brownie with mild custom Name: Katie Carver Reed creamy frosting. Oh my. Favorite place to eat: Nepali Kitchen Name: Shelly Hinton Favorite place to eat: Gasoline Alley


Go-to dish: It’s hard to pick just one favorite dish, but I’ll go with the Chat Pattey!

Go-to dish: I think it is a hidden gem with friendly staff and a broad variety of burgers, deli sandwiches, salads and pizza- but you can’t go

Name: Weston Lott Favorite place to eat: Crave Go-to dish: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with

wrong with the pizza!

rosemary fries


food & drink



he health and organic food markets are booming in Akron lately. A Whole Foods is set to take the place where

in larger cities. It is even more rewarding that innovators like Boling are bringing their visions to life so that consumers can feel confident in

West Side Market once stood. Drive a little farther down Market Street and you’ll pass Earthfare, Mustardseed, and Robeks. It’s clear

their food choices for their families.

that non-GMO products, sustainable foods, and healthfood items are in demand.

bodybuilding, Boling was constantly aware of the quality of his foods and what he ate to fuel

Enter Butter Your Nuts: a formerly Cleveland-

his body: “Nut butters were a staple in my diet as a source of healthy fats... trying to find ones

Having spent many years in powerlifting and

started in Cleveland, but recently was able to make the move to Akron with the help of Julie Costell of Ms. Julie’s Kitchen. Boling’s unique production process requires stone grinders rather than traditional metal processors, which were not available to him in the Akron area until now. Boling’s unique process ensures that vital nutrients are not lost

based nut butter company that has relocated to Akron. Butter Your Nuts strives “to promote health and wellness through high-quality and

while processing the nuts. Research led him to the slow, enriching process of stone grinding -that are high quality without a lot of added sugars, oils, and preservatives was very difficult,” a method utilized by olive oil and fine chocolate companies as well. he recalls. From that need for variety and

great-tasting 100% natural nut butters.”

healthy options, he created Butter Your Nuts.

Owner and operator Brad Boling explains his involvement in every step of their very unique process: “I designed all of our logos, labels, do all of the marketing, fill and seal jars by hand, apply labels by hand, [I build] and maintain the website/store...It has saved so much money [and] we were able to use that money in the more vital operations side of the business.” This has allowed for Butter Your Nuts to expand into

Pictured above: Cheeky nut butter knife. Pricture

the successful and still-growing business that it is today. As Akronites, many of us desire access to great products normally reserved for larger stores

Live @ Lock 4

Food Trucks

Your Nuts. All photos courtesy of Brad Boling.

Boling was born in Akron but moved away as a child. He returned to attend The University of Akron. Boling explains, “I always wanted to be an Akron-based company. I love the

own production facility.” Butter Your Nuts was

Butter Your Nuts peanut, espresso peanut and almond butters are available online at, at Ritzman pharmacies throughout Northeast Ohio, at

slogan, “feeding the rich

The Southern Thangs Grub Truck serves

The Fawaky Burst food truck provides

to feed the poor,” reflects the truck’s founding as a partnership with a workforce reentry

up “food with twang” and features Southern-

health, tasty juices and smoothies. Fawaky,

inspired favorites like Po Boys with selection of hand-battered side dishes, including gator bites

which means fruit in Arabic, was chosen as the truck’s name because of owner Muhammad

and deep fried deviled eggs. The truck also has a kid’s menu and an enticing dessert menu with items such as their fried bacon sundae and

Edwards’ commitment to using quality fruit in order to make the best juices possible. Fawaky Burst also offers customizable detox juices and

caramel apple taco. This truck is the perfect way for anyone to “get their grub on” with a homemade Southern meal. (Photo courtesy of

an array of healthy food options. Menu items include juices like Peach Mango and Raspberry Lemonade, alongside foods like the Fawaky

Southern Thangs Grub Truck)

Rice Bowl, which contains a salad served in a pineapple and loaded with fruits and veggies.



Live at Lock 4 event on August 18, you might be wondering what’s on the menu. Here’s who’ll be serving up some tasty treats:

offers a variety of foods for every taste, from Asian to Italian. Their

Bethel to feed the homeless throughout northeast Ohio.

1682 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron

If you’re planning to head down to Lock 4 for the Third Thursday

(Photo courtesy of Manna Food Truck)

provides culinary training and jobs to formerly incarcerated men and women in the area. A portion of the truck’s proceeds are used by

Elegantly Casual Dining featuring Modern Twists on Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Classic Cocktails

local farmers’ markets, and even in several local gyms.

The Manna Truck

program. Sponsored by the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry of Cleveland, the truck

arnie’s public house

330-867-0154 Open 7 days a week 11:00am-2:30am

right: The variety of nut butters available at Butter

city of Akron so much and it has a lot to offer in terms of arts, entertainment, culture and entrepreneurship. The only problem was trying to find a licensed facility to produce our product in since we did not have the money to build our


(Photo courtesy of Fawaky Burst)

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 (continued from page 31) From Chocolate"...meaning love can be and is communicated through food when love

-- a lot of trial and error. Especially through the transition from non-vegan to vegan and again when I switched from wheat flour to gluten-

is present.

free flour.

TDS: How does your background as a surrealist

TDS: What is your favorite dish to prepare?

artist spill over into your cooking & time spent in the kitchen?

BM: I've always been a fan of making soups, so I'd say [Angel Falls’] soups, which I change

BM: As in making a piece of visual art, I remain open and intuitive to my approach. I realize

up seasonally. We always have two soups, one of which I make vegan for the vegan folks. My

sometimes that whatever it is I'm working on has a voice of it's own and if I fail to listen to what it wants to be on its own terms then

favorite and I'd say from how much I make during the fall and winter is my flaming hot vegan chili. And, of course my vegan gluten-

generally the outcome won't be born as it ought be. Listening is key.

free banana nut bread w/choc chips.

Brian with his famous gluten free, vegan banana nut bread with chocolate chips. Photo

by Charles Von

TDS: What is the most challenging part of being in the kitchen, and how do you work with/around/overcome that challenge? BM: Biggest challenge is time shift is 6 hours, half of which is lunch...I end up multi-taking so much as once, I bounce and curse way way around the kitchen like someone who's possessed! Ha! TDS: Your banana bread is most divine! How long did it take for you to come up with the perfect recipe? What was your recipe formation process like? BM: The original recipe came from my aunt Kathy. I loved her nut bread as a kid, so I got her recipe. I can be incredibly nontraditional, especially when making food. [I’m] not sure how long it took to get from my aunt's recipe to me blowing it up to what it is now with the chocolate chips and spices -- maybe a 10 year plus experiment recipe-forming process

Lunch at Angel Falls Coffee Co. is served Mon.-Sat. 11am-2pm

// Recently, Lia has taken to making pies of all sorts. Her cat, Heathcliff, has taken to knocking them off of the counter while trying to sneak a nibble.

Behind the Bar JESSICA FUESTON Pub Bricco, from Cuyahoga Falls currently living in Akron What was your first night tending bar like? Bartending is very different form serving so I was nervous. Be confident and if you don’t know what something is go in the back and google it! Best tip you ever received? I don’t think I’ve ever received

Where do you go when you’re not at work? The Merchant Tavern, Moe’s or Mustard Seed. Do you have a signature or favorite drink you like to make? My favorite drinks happens to be my favorite to make too, and we offer it at Bricco.

an excessive tip.

It’s a delicious and potent little cocktail my coworkers having lovingly dubbed

Good or bad, what is the one thing you wouldn’t have known if you weren’t a bartender? I’m very lucky to have built strong

Jess’s lemonade. Muddle half a lemon in a pint glass, fill with ice, add Tito’s vodka with water, shake and strain onto fresh ice.

relationships through bartending. Without this job I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to know so many great people.

// words and photo by Sam DePaul, a born Akronite, leads a double life as a bartender and aspiring personal essayist/screenwriter. When not drinking craft beer or working, you can probably catch her joyously holding up a stranger’s day in public by petting their dog.


food & drink

The Wanderer New and in Fairlawn words and photos by Holly Brown

New! Shiny! Hype! Maybe it’s the exclamation points that have drawn you into yet another trip down food lane

with yours truly, but, I think we can all agree that the hype surrounding a new restaurant is hard to ignore, especially when the sparkling newness comes with an already sterling reputation. In the last month, two Cleveland originals have made their way to Fairlawn (because Akron is

well, it wasn’t greasy and didn’t fall apart as soon as I

the best but that’s besides the point…or is it

bit into it. The soft sweet of the mango with

the whole point?!): Bomba Tacos & Rum and Melt Bar & Grilled.

the jicama crunch was perfect, but beyond everything, the jalapeno remoulade stole that taco. It was creamy, spicy, so delicious- perfect with the fish.

Tacos. Rum. Grilled Cheese. Beer. There’s really not much more a girl like me can ask for.

Because I am constantly cultivating a charmed food life, I promptly ordered their July Drink of

Second (if you are a seasoned follower you may have already guessed): the pork al pastor. I go crazy for tacos al pastor. I get them every time I see them. At Bomba, the addition of pickled onions and pickled jalapenos gives a subtle vinegar tang to the pineapple slaw. Just as in the case of the crispy fish, the balsamic aioli

the Month -- a watermelon basil mojito -- and

sauce really brought everything home.

proceeded to work as hard as possible to nurse it for the rest of the evening. It was so welcome and refreshing after a relentlessly sunny day that I had the urge to finish it all in under a minute, but I was good at refraining for once.

Frankly, I don’t believe my cheese quota this issue has been met. Lucky for all of us, that’s exclusively all I’ll be talking about from here on out. Ready? Break.

Though I did not refrain from also indulging in Ryan’s Rum Punch, Bomba’s staple drink.

I hadn’t eaten for seven hours before I went to

Easily the highlight of the menu for me is the craft-your-own guacamole option, not only

Melt. That doesn’t sound like a long time, but it certainly was for me. Hot damn, I was craving those sandwiches. I wanted to go into this

because it is a stellar idea, but also because the add-on ingredients are just so damn

shindig ready for battle. If I was going down eating, I was certainly taking some melted

mouthwatering- even without the prospect of guac! After much strategizing and deliberation, we settled on chipotle honey, spicy peppers, and queso fresco. We certainly accomplished the hot jelly vibe we were aiming for. Shout out

cheese with me.

to the plantain chips included in the medley of

wrong to not get an appetizer, despite the

guacamole vehicles. They were my favorite.

impending monster grilled cheeses soon to be ours.

First on my list of destinations was Bomba, because what goes better with a 90 degree day in July than a mojito? I’ll tell you, not much.

When it came time for tacos, we each ordered three (pictured above) with the intent of trying

With a Corona in hand (it felt right for the heat, but Melt has a pretty extensive and impressive beer selection with many craft brews) it felt

Our little party asked our server, “What’s your

all of them. Of the six, I have carefully narrowed favorite appetizer on the menu?” With little down my favorite two: First, the crispy fish. The fish itself was fried


to no hesitation, she responded, “Mac and Cheese Bites.” It was a done deal. (continued on page 36)




My mom LOVES margaritas and it's all she wanted for her birthday, so I made a plan to fly in from New York and surprise her. While searching for a more upscale sort of venue (it was her 60th birthday), this came up. I asked around and most of my home-friends had not been here yet, so I rolled the dice. The venue was SO nice and accommodating to our large group and made the event go very well.  They set up the bar area for us, we ordered apps and drinks and eventually food.  They let us bring in a cake from outside and everything.  I was really, really impressed with the level of hospitality we received. The menu was GREAT for Akron, I really enjoyed the goat cheese guacamole and the queso dip.  I had ceviche for my meal, which was a HUGE helping for $10 and really fresh and made well.  I had MANY margaritas, all of which I loved, but the raspberry and fig one was the best.  Everyone had a great time and I'm sure many people will be back.  Also, they had a gluten free menu, which was great because several people in our group have food allergies, so everyone got what they wanted.

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 762-8000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11

food & drink


've lived in Akron for 25 years now. I have seen quite a bit of urban

One problem: I'm as nostalgic as they come. I love old buildings, cars,

renewal during this time. I've seen business after business close and even more pop up, which is a decent rate of progress if you're not from Bejing. The progress in downtown Akron, UA, Highland Square, and the zoo (to name a few) has been quite remarkable. Now the area

bars, people, music, movies… just about anything but old food and old news. A new car smell gives me a headache and drywall gives me the willies. I think I've made my point. I don't mind positive change, but when they tear down Lou and Hi's (awesome Jewish deli that used to be

by the Goodyear Headquarters is following suit, as I hope other areas will. Seeing the city I love come alive again makes me proud to be an Akronite.

across the street from Ken Stewart's) and put up a CVS??!! Well, you are gonna piss off a lot of the locals. I still hear people talk about that place and none of them are happy that it's gone.

Christy’s Bar and Grille

Eldorado’s Pizza and Sports Bar

Fire and Ice Bar and Grill

Jack's Happy Landing

561 S. Seiberling St. 330-733-6004

3071 Albrecht Ave. 330-628-6868

1941 Triplett Blvd. 234-678-6172

641 Massillon Rd. 330-733-9269

K.C.’s Dugout 1317 E. Archwood Ave. 330-724-4187




Southeast Akron

Southeast Akron. You can smell the blimp hangar from here.

Southeast Akron





Rebuilt in 2006 after a bad fire, but its original location dates back decades.







It’s always happy-hour. They sell liquor twenty-one hours a day. Wow!


Bud Lt. / Crown Royal

Craft Beers/ Cuervo 1800

Bud Lt./ Jack Daniels

Bud / Fireball

Bud. Lt. / Korski Vodka


Karaoke / Pool / Darts


Bands / D.J.s / Karaoke

Karaoke / Pool

Pool / Darts


Bar Menu

Full Menu

Full Menu

Full Menu from diner next door

Full Menu with Breakfast


Joe’s Endzone / The Sideline A dentist office / Lawson’s / / Tip Top Dairy Mart

Whitehouse Chicken

New Building

Treat’s Bar / Dee’s Place


Melissa McCarthy meets Chumlee

Alec Baldwin meets Paul Rodgers

David Allan Coe meets Sissy Billy Bob Thornton meets Spacek Lilly Tomlin


Driving a cab in the 90s, I picked up an inebriated older This place has been slinging woman there who wanted a You can see both the Rubber drinks under different names This a huge, huge upgrade to ride to Wendy's ...and more. Bowl and the blimp hangar for decades. If these walls what it was previously. Dodging her advances, she from here. could talk… was cool until I turned down the cheeseburger. Then she cried all the way home.

Dale Earnhardt meets The Boss (That’s Bruce Springsteen to you rookies out there.) K? K.

(continued from page 35) “Bites” may be the biggest understatement of the year. The glorious hunks of deep fried

to do: snuggle the mac and cheese into a solid formation while providing both richness

mac and cheese (pictured below) that were presented to us were anything but bite sized. Affectionately described as “cake slices” by a

and texture to the mac. It purely enhanced and all was right in the world.

friend who could not have been more right, these things were equal parts massive and massively delicious. I was pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the fried exterior. It didn’t weigh the “bites” down but rather did what it was supposed

Deciding on one grilled cheese was agonizing. I can’t tell you how many different scenarios of cheesy goodness played out in my head. I will tell you, it was a game time decision, and that decision was spot on: The Big Popper (pictured above).

This is one of the few places left that caters to the third shifters working in that neck of the woods. If New York is the city that never sleeps, Akron is the city that sleeps three hours a day.

fry that whole thing. Dust it in the tiniest amount of powdered sugar. Serve it with a berry preserves dipping sauce. This thing was massive. I’m talking both halves stacked on top of each other were easily half a foot tall, probably taller. Spoiler alert: I could only make it through half. Was I disappointed

in myself? A wee bit. But did I still feel human when I left? Yes. The tang of cheddar, the rich cream cheese,

Let me lay this out: thick slices of bread, herb cream cheese, cheddar, fresh jalapenos. Deep

and the crisp spice of the jalapenos was everything you love about jalapeno poppers



food & Drink When those poor decision makers decided to tear down Benito's jazz club in the Falls, people cried. Lots of them. It was the oldest bar in Summit County until it was razed. It was a wonderful place that should

In southeast Akron there are bars that still cater to third shift factory workers by serving breakfast at 6am. This olden day, commonplace practice used to be a way of life for thousands. Ever had a power lunch?

have been saved. Let's just say the price we pay for progress can sometimes be a little too steep.

How about trying a power breakfast, tough guy? "I'll have the #4 sunnyside up, wheat toast, Busch in a can with a short glass and in about 15 minutes, can you bring me a shot of Jack Daniels?" Now that's what I

Now the good news: East Akron. Luckily, the area has not yet been targeted by this city's visionaries and developers. It is old bar/dive bar

call Rust Belt living!

decades gone Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Arkansas a few years back? No? Well it was kinda big news. He must have a felt the same exact way that I did when I walked in to Randy's Moonbeam, K.C.'s Dugout or

Cheers and enjoy responsibly, Leslie Shirley Nielson "The Bar Crawler"

Shirley's Tavern.

Manny’s Ellet Sports Bar

Park Hall 3124 Forrest Park Blvd. 330-628-9007 * Dive Bar Pick

650 Canton Rd. 330-733-3242

Randy’s Moonbeam Cafe 979 Kelly Ave./234-334-4913 * Dive Bar Pick

Shirley's Tavern

Tiny Tavern

Zodiac Bar and Grille

3074 Albrecht Ave. They accept collect telegrams * Dive Bar Pick

2783 Albrecht Ave. No Phone

1955 Triplett Blvd. No Phone

Southeast Akron



Southeast Akron

1999 bar dates back to the early 30’s





2013, but has been a bar since the 50’s






Busch / Crown Royal

Bud Lt. / Jameson

Bud / 3-Olives

Busch / Windsor Black Cherry

Busch / Crown Royal

Bud Lt. / Crown Royal

Karaoke/ Pool

Pool / Darts / Karaoke

Pool/ Corn Hole/ Storytelling

Pool / Bowling Machine


Karaoke / Pool / Darts


No food

They have these little cans of Chef-Boyardee behind the bar for sale. True story!


Ellet Bar / Matado / Spud’s Lounge

Frida & Curly’s. Bar itself dates back to the 40’s

Gilda Radner meets Doug Dieken

Phil Anselmo meets Minnie Pearl

Drew Carey meets Roy Clark

As long as you don’t bring any attitude into this place, you should be just fine.

May be the oldest bar in Akron still under the same name. It's about the size of a chicken coop. Guess it could fit 500 chickens or about 40 humans — maybe 50 when it first opened. People were smaller back then.

our. They ne hours a

w places e third hat neck w York r sleeps, at sleeps


Stop in and meet Tara and Hannah the newest members of our team

Try our new menu items

Park Hall



heaven! Pubs have changed their generations, but not their decor. Go check these places out. They'll make you feel like that 'woodpecker Pardon my randomness, but do you remember when that guy found that guy'. It's a terrific feeling. Trust me.




Place has an old school feel for sure. Wish I could go back in time and watch a Tribe game here in black and white.

You’ll be drinking your dinner here

Bar Menu

Tiny's Tavern

The Bing / Viki’s Bar / Akron Rubber Bowl

Tommy Lee Jones meets June Carter-Cash

Jesco White meets Carrie Fisher

Vince Neil meets Joan Jett with a splash of Peter Fonda

I had no clue this place existed until locals pointed me there. Love it. Stuck in time for 80 years, it’s nothing fancy but time machines are rare and probably really expensive, so this is your next best bet.

This place is bigger than you would think.

Right across the street from the airport. The perfect place to get tanked before hopping in your plane and flying yourself home.

Bar Menu A chicken coop next to a truck Trees, grass, weeds and stop and bed & breakfast. No, I wildlife am not making this shit up.

sweet, this sandwich was exactly the right call. Special shout-outs go to: the Fried Green Tomato BLT and the Smokey Russian. Tried, will try again.

Sun-Thurs: 11am – 10pm Fri-Sat 11am – 11pm

Adopt-a-bar K.C.'s Pub

Location: Southeast • Address: 1305 E. Archwood Ave. 3921 Medina Road everyday 11am – 10pm


CuSTomer APPreciATion niGHT�

Buy One Drink, Get One 9:00 p.m. until midnight Compliments of TPH Productions $1.75 Pint Special $5.50 Burgers DJ Larry starts at 9 pm with early trivia Tuesdays Taco Nights $1.50 to $3.00 Drink Specials Available Wednesdays Chef Todd’s Food Specials Thursdays $4 Burgers (dine-in only) Fridays 12oz Strip Steak $12.00 Saturdays Check Out Our Live Music Schedule Sundays Karaoke hosted by Natalie (Now 9:00 to 1:00) $0.60 Wings (dine-in only) Super Power Hour From Open - 8:00 P.M. $3.50 Well Drinks $3.50 Bud Light Drafts

in sandwich form! Once again, the deep fry was remarkably light. I had my doubts about the berry dipping sauce, but damn, the good people of Melt know what they’re doing. Not too spicy and not too

3900 Medina Road


This place was never a Tiki Bar, but Akron needs one. So, would one of you please borrow some money from your parents and do this? Please? I’ll spend tons of dough there. I promise!

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

1 Mile Family 1 Mile Family Fun Walk Fun Walk Join Join us us for for Break Break the the Cycle, Cycle, a a celebration celebration of prevention and Join us for Break the Cycle, a celebration of recovery, recovery, prevention and awareness. awareness. of recovery, prevention and awareness. When: When: Friday, Friday, September September 30, 30, 2016 2016 kickoff, at When: 5:30 Friday, September 30, 2016 5:30 p.m. p.m. kickoff, walk walk at 6 6 p.m. p.m. 5:30 p.m. kickoff, walk at 6 p.m. Where: Lock 3 Park Where: Lock 3 Park Where: 200 Lock Park Street 200 S. S.3 Main Main Street Akron, Ohio 44308 200 S. Main Akron, Ohio Street 44308

Akron, Ohio 44308 Help Help conquer conquer addiction addiction one one step step at at a a time time Visit to register. Help conquer addiction one step a time Visit to at register. Visit to register.

A WhiteSpace Pro-Bono Creative Marathon 2016 Project A WhiteSpace Pro-Bono Creative Marathon 2016 Project A WhiteSpace Pro-Bono Creative Marathon 2016 Project

Music & entertainment THE MUSIC SCENE

Big Jul Green guitarist Rufus Jones IV on stage for Live at Lock 4 (Photo credit: Ilenia Pezzaniti)


music & Entertainment


Stems, Punch Drunk Tagalongs, MA HOLOS

one will be turned away from lack of funds.

Friday, Aug. 5 at Thursday’s Lounge, 9 pm

Akron Songwriters Festival Presents Joe Vitale Jr., Chris Allen, Bob Robb

Grab five bucks and get yourself over to Thursday’s on an “off night” to experience three of the most exciting bands that have emerged in the local scene. Punch Drunk Tagalongs — featured more in depth in this very issue — join moody rockers Stems and Cleveland’s psych/garage quartet Ma Holos for a night of loud, gritty tunes that embody the spirit of true rock ‘n’ roll.

The Devil’s

>>> Dozen


EarthQuaker Day

The band’s singer and guitarist, Ben Nichols, has made a name for himself in the last few years as a solo artist with honest, passionate tunes

Saturday, Aug. 6 at EarthQuaker Devices, 1 pm

in the local classic and modern rock scenes for the past decade, while Robb has worked

that showcase his signature gravelly vocals

Akron-based guitar pedal company, EarthQuaker Devices, has skyrocketed not only in our neck of the woods, but on a global scale

as an accomplished session musician and

as well. The company’s success comes from the innovative nature and high quality of its equipment, along with support of musicians local and beyond. Celebrate the company’s triumphs at its new location, 350 W. Bowery St., with a full day of shop tours, clinics, contests and, of course, live music. Bands

performer of original material. Allen is known as the frontman for Cleveland alt-rock band Rosavelt, whose four albums garnered much critical acclaim in the late ‘90s. Tickets for the performances cost $15 and are available at the Civic Theatre box office.

Akron Songwriters Festival Presents Steve Bogard, Danielle Howle, Jamie Floyd

performing from 3 pm into the evening are: Stems, Co_Conspirator, Emotional Support Pigs, Friday, Aug. 12 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm To further celebrate the skillful art of Doom Christ, Actual Form, Lisa Bella Donna and Relaxer. Local vendors will be on site, along songwriting, the Civic Theatre welcomes three esteemed national musicians to the cabaret for with the chance to win killer door prizes from an intimate evening of performances. Steve businesses like Jilly’s Music Room, Akron Art Bogard has crafted original tunes for country Museum, Mr. Zub’s Deli and many more.

å David J

(of Love and Rockets, Bauhaus) Saturday, Aug. 6 at Thursday’s Lounge, 8 pm In the midst of all the hair metal and generic pop that was pushed to the mainstream via

superstars like George Strait, Lee Greenwood and Reba McEntire. Jamie Floyd is a Grammynominated independent artist and Danielle Howle, creator of Swamp Sessions, has had original songs appear on television, including Lifetime network’s “Army Wives.” Attendees can see all three musicians perform live for $15 on the Civic Theatre stage.

and unabashedly forthright lyrics. Nichols’ solo debut, “The Last Pale Light in the West,” was released as a highly inspired concept album, with songs mirroring themes from Cormac McCarthy’s novel “Blood Meridian.” Hear songs from the album, and others, performed live on Aug. 19. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Urban Eats, Square Records or at TicketWeb for $15. Under 21 and day-of tickets pay extra.

è The Juke Hounds, Diana Chittester Saturday, Aug. 20 at Jilly’s Music Room, 5:30 pm One of Northeast Ohio’s most active blues rock acts, The Juke Hounds, will hit the stage with a Jilly’s crowd favorite, Diana Chittester. While the heavy, rockin’ sounds of the Hounds may seem like an odd pairing with Chittester’s more stripped-down folk originals, once you see the two on stage, you’ll realize they share similar sensibilities. Chittester’s arsenal of guitars and powerful energy make her a standout in the local scene, while The Juke Hounds carry a thread of soulful elements through each song, stringing together a rich sound with surprising nuances. No cover.

Never Coming Down! Showcase, Presented by Now What Press, A$RL and Lousy Weather Media

experimental nuances in their music. Bass player David J was an original member of this foursome, and later he went on to co-found Love and Rockets, arguably one of the best underground rock bands of the ‘80s. He’s spent the last several years establishing himself as

business, they’re hosting a special night at Musica (on the 13th, naturally). With a rather robust catalog of recorded music, Akron’s own Talons has perfected its sound, rich with

Friday, Aug. 26 at Hive Mind, 7 pm A major art, film and music collaborative event not to be missed — Never Coming Down!

sweet, slow and sad folk tunes. Mike Tolan’s songwriting transcends time and space. Jon

an accomplished film score composer and solo performer. David J will play a set at Thursday’s for just $15. Doors open at 6 pm

Sonnenberg’s Travelogue experiments with a blend of electronic, melodic music accented by inventive chord progressions and sometimes sullen vocals. Also on the bill is We Be Brakes

of Akron and Cleveland-area creatives. Now What Press, A$RL and Lousy Weather Media have curated the showcase, featuring artists Xing Bee, Trevor LePage and Bobert,

They Say the Wind Made Them Crazy, Actual Trains, solomonophonic, Douglas Fir

n' Sh!t, and by the name alone, we’re curious to see how the complement the other acts in

ordinary, Hive Mind is the alternative, DIY oasis of your dreams. Texas romantic noirgaze group They Say The Wind Made Them Crazy makes a stop at the space, joined by three of Cleveland’s most experimental and inventive musical acts. Audiences can expect synths and screaming, paired with trippy visuals, from Actual Trains, along with funk, jazz, soul and psychedelic


é Ben Nichols (of Lucero)

at a special evening event dubbed The Akron Songwriters Festival's Local Songwriters in the Round cabaret. Vitale Jr. has been a fixture

Sunday, Aug. 7 at Hive Mind, 7 pm If you’re looking for tunes that stray from the


without judgment or pressure. Admission is $5.

As part of the Akron Civic Theatre’s special four- Friday, Aug. 19 at Musica, 8 pm day songwriting workshop, the venue will host Spanish for “bright star,” Memphis-based Lucero made a splash in the early 2000s for local songwriters Joe Vitale Jr., Chris Allen and their unique blend of country and punk rock. Bob Robb as both instructors and performers

MTV the ‘80s, a few bands were broke the mold and ushered in a darker, more interesting Talons, Travelogue, and radical sound. Goth rockers Bauhaus We Be Brakes ‘n Sh!t brought in a new era we now refer to as postpunk, shifting away from the hurried aggression Saturday, Aug. 13 at Musica, 9 pm To celebrate Square Records’ 13th year in of traditional punk rock and introducing more



Thursday, Aug. 11 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm

through each song, with lyrics that sound like private journal pages and sweet guitar chords that evoke those moments alone in a room, experimenting and workshopping material

hip-hop fusion grooves from solomonophonic and haunting, acoustic ambient numbers from Douglas Fir. A $5 donation is suggested, but no

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

highlights some of the most exciting DIY efforts

(continued on page 41)

the night’s lineup. Tickets cost $5 at the door or ahead of time at Square Records.

ç For Everest, Be Still, Cody Monday, Aug. 15 at It’s a Kling Thing! House, 7 pm Based in NYC, quintet For Everest kind of sounds like Paramore if they had evolved into a grittier, harder rocking sound that withstands the test of time. It’s a Kling Thing! serves as the perfect venue for this type of band, as they mix indie sensibilities with loud, raw passion and energy sure to ignite a room. Be Still, Cody, hailing from Virginia, carry an earnest passion

Michael Black August 18 at Lock 4 Michael Black takes the stage for Live at Lock 4 on Thursday, August 18, joined by the Conway Brothers. (Photo courtesy of Sam Hileman Creative)


t Lock e

music & entertainment

What I'm Listening To

Pop-up museum’s contents will soon go global by Brittany Nader

Brian Parsons Harry Belafonte — “Calypso” The unrivaled king of Caribbean-American pop, Harry Belafonte is perhaps best known for his rendition of “The Banana Boat Song,” better recognized (especially among “Beetlejuice” fans) as “Day-O.” Not only a Grammy Award winner, Belafonte is also regarded as an influential Civil Rights activist, and he is still going strong as an adamant supporter of humanitarian efforts affecting the U.S. His breakthrough album, “Calypso,” was the first LP to sell more than 1 million copies, an impressive feat for an artist specializing in calypso and Jamaican folk songs. With exotic beats and simplistic, upbeat vocals, Belafonte has a rare widespread appeal that has bridged generations and withstood the test of time.

Jim Lightcap The Ground is Lava — “Bottle Rockets” Straight outta Brunswick, OH, Jon Rogers, Eric Sandt and Jordan Valentine actively played together from 2009 until their much-grieved departure in 2015. The Ground is Lava could be described as indie punk or emo, but neither broad genre quite gets to the heart of what TGIL sounds like. Valentine serves as a commanding presence throughout the band’s catalog, with prominently featured bass and signature pop-punk vocals. Rogers packs chords upon chords into each song, making the experience of listening a whirlwind — something that’s a bit tricky but mostly pleasant to wrap your head around. Few drummers could match the intricacy of both Rogers’ and Valentine’s skilled playing, but Sandt was certainly the well-chosen man for the job. Fast, loud beats perfectly accompany the maniacal guitars, coupled with melodic vocals that result in a colorful, creative and distinct sound.

Maggie Duff Brave Radar— “Lion Head” Considered rare gems of the indie-pop world, Montreal quartet Brave Radar have evolved from their trademark dissonant, lo-fi sound to a minimalist, psychedelic style all their own. With a retro flair and breathy, talky vocal inclinations, the foursome have an understated sound that’s utterly addictive. “Lion Head” is the band’s first vinyl

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

release, recorded in an all-analog home studio, further communicating the scaled-back sound the band has been fine-tuning since 2007. Inspired by aspects of ‘80s New Wave and film scores of composer Ennio Morricone, the common thread that ties the album’s sound together is the callback to dreamy, mind-altering ‘60s tunes.

(continued from page 40)

ê Def Leppard

accompanied by live performances from Kudzi,

Monday, Aug. 29 at Blossom Music Center, 7 pm Whether they’re a guilty pleasure or a nostalgic

B Leezy C, Bobby Comparda, Bad News Benny & The Night Devers, All Star Rubber Life, DJ sets by Meezy and more. Filmmakers Disaster Mind and The Slow Mutants will have their

favorite, you can’t deny the powerful impact Def Leppard has had on fans across the world. As bombastic as they may seem, “Pour Some

visual work on display as well. As always, a $5 donation is suggested to attend the event at

Sugar On Me,” “Hysteria,” “Photograph,” “Love Bites” and “Rock of Ages” are arguably

Hive Mind. BYOB.

some of the most memorable stadium anthems and power ballads to emerge from the ‘80s hair metal genre.


Hit the Road & Rock on

music & entertainment


Bewarewolves emerge from the bar basement

by Michelle DeShon Writer Michelle DeShon spoke with Ben Gfell and Aiden Matney from Bewarewolves, a local indie/alternative garage rock band, one of two

at Miller South. In fifth grade I was in class with Ben. He was the weird kid sitting across from me, drawing, who I’d never seen before. So I

MD: Describe a typical Bewarewolves show for me. AM: (Laughing) Probably at a dingy bar or a

groups scheduled to perform at Live @ Lock 4 on Aug. 18. This interview has been edited for length.

met Noah [Gfell] later, that’s Ben’s twin brother, and then I met Michael [Brown, Jr.] just a few years later in seventh grade. And we started

basement somewhere. House shows and stuff. I mean obviously we play Annabell’s, uh, Stone

Michelle DeShon: How did you and the band members meet? Aiden Matney: I met one of our members,

doing music pretty early. Ben Gfell: Yeah, I would say that’s one of the first things we definitely formed any kind of

Tavern just closed, that’s kind of where we set up most of the last year. I mean, we probably played there a few times a month. It’s really whatever. We have had some trouble finding

Andrew [Walsh], way back. We actually went to elementary school together, back at Case. And

friendship over. I mean, just because both of our families were just kind of very musical. So

exactly what, you know, genre and crowd we fit in with. So we kind of bounced around a

then in middle school I met the rest of the band

we started doing that pretty early on.

little bit. We’re playing a couple new things that

Pictured above: The Bewarewolves performing at The Hoe Garden. From left to right: Noah Gfell, Michael Brown Jr., and Andrew Walsh. (Photo courtesy of Chandler Mack from the Bewarewolves’ Facebook page / The Devil Strip)

we’ve never [done], AdamFest out in Peninsula, things like that. And it’s just crowds that we’ve never experienced because we’re trying to find exactly where we fit. BG: Recently, we’ve been playing with a few (continued on page 45)

Thursday September 1st is our One Year Anniversary!!! We will be celebrating Starting on September 1st thru the 4th. Details on our Facebook Page.


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8


music & entertainment




Our new favorite local blogger reviews wellRED Comedy’s stop in Akron by Ted Lehr, special to The Devil Strip Ed. note: Ted writes as Zep the Bear for ‘Super No Bueno’ where he applies his insight and humor to ‘The Other Side of Pop Culture,’ taking on horror flicks and cult classics, wrestling, comic books, Bigfoot, MMA and technology, among others. Follow him on Twitter at @supernobueno and read more at

SATURDAY, AUG. 6 AT 8PM SATURDAY, AUG. 6 AT 8PM Lacey Sturm - $15 feat. Cage 9 and Goodnight Tonight FRIDAY, AUG. 12 AT 9PM The Weeks - $10

The Setting

liberals. They are talented comedians who have taken to the road to open eyes about both stereotypes and politics.

Akron is a city in transition. From the down and out days of the 1970s to the current revitalization of the downtown district, the city is flexing and finally, FINALLY, coming to life.

The Show

Amazing bars and restaurants, as well as a major resurgence of the arts, have served to breathe life back into the long-slumbering beast.

The tour stopped at the sold-out Musica on July 16. Musica is a chic, yet unassuming, concert venue. Turns out it was the ideal setting for a chic, yet unassuming, comedy show.

Akron is a working class town. There are a number of connotations that can be attached to the phrase “working class.” Perhaps, “lacking sophistication” is one. “Resistant to change or progress” is another. Heck, even “not cool” might apply. Point being, it’s easy to put Akron away on a shelf in a labeled box. And that right there is the exact reason why Akron was a perfect fit to host a stop of the wellRED Comedy Tour. The wellRed tour is composed of comedians Trae Crowder, Corey Forrester, and Drew Morgan. All three are from the South. They speak with drawls. One is the son of a Baptist preacher. Another passionately loves college football. The third would be hard-pressed to be separated from his Pabst Blue Ribbon trucker cap. Think you got them figured out? You’re not even close. Much like Akron, they are more than they seem. All three are wicked smart Southern


SATURDAY, AUG. 13 AT 9PM Square Records Anniversary Party - $5 feat. Talons, Travelogue and We Be Breaks n' Shit FRIDAY, AUG. 19 AT 8PM Ben Nichols from Lucero - $15 "Birthday Show!"

Pictured above: wellRED comic Drew Morgan warmed up the sold-out crowd at Musica for Trae Crowder. Photo courtesy of Svetla Morrison.

SATURDAY, AUG. 20 AT 10PM The CrossRhodes - $15 feat. Raheem Devaughn & Wes Felton featuring Sa Roc

Pictured left: Ronny Chieng stopped in for a set on break from his duties covering the RNC for The Daily Show. Photos courtesy of Svetla Morrison.


Trae Crowder was the headliner. The Celina, TN native’s career has been white hot the last number of months due to the series of “Liberal Redneck” videos he has produced that have gone viral. By viral, I mean he has accumulated views to the tune of 15-20 MILLION. He has a lot of people’s attention. His standup is very similar to the videos. He walks the line between “aw, shucks” and New York sophistication with grace. He lures one in with his warm Southern delivery only to whack them over the head with a prescient observation about politics or family.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 2 AT 8PM Gildersleeve Reunion - $10 THURSDAY, SEPT. 8 AT 8PM Agent Orange - $15 feat. Counterpunch TUESDAY, OCT. 11 AT 8PM The Get Up Kids - $18 FRIDAY, OCT. 28 AT 9PM Watsky, X Infinity Tour $20-$55 feat. Witt Lowry, Daye Jack and Chukwudi Hodge

Early in his set he recalled that had to grow up and leave home before he realized what he was, which was white trash. This is the type of honesty that makes live comedy so intimate. It reminds me of the writing of heralded essayist (continued on page 44)



51 E. MARKET ST. AKRON, OH 44308


The Claudettes - $12


(DOORS AT 2PM) $20 / $25 / $30 “Bringing Gospel to BLU” feat. Minister Brandon Hollis, Kofi Boakye, Greg Skinner, Jordan Welch and Kari Rodgers Includes food served at 2:30pm.


M&M Throwback Tuesday Old School Comedy Night feat. Eddie Bryant - $20

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 10 AT 7PM - FREE Solo Piano Wednesday feat. Rock Wehrmann

THURSDAY, AUG. 11 & AUG. 25 AT 8PM - FREE BLU Jazz Jam hosted by Theron Brown


The Experience feat. Nathan-Paul Davis - $12

SATURDAY, AUG. 13 AT 8PM Hot Djang! - $12

SUN., AUG. 14 AT 2PM

$25/$30 (21+ only) “The Brunch Experience” feat. Acid Cats and DJ 88

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17 AT 7PM Solo Piano Wednesday Jackie Warren

THURSDAY, AUG. 18 AT 8PM Tommy Lehman Sextet- $12

FRIDAY, AUG. 19 AT 8PM $20 (advance), $25 (door) “Purple in BLU” Marcus Anderson

SATURDAY, AUG. 20 AT 8PM Ahi-Nama - $12

WED., AUG. 24 AT 7PM Solo Piano Wednesdays feat. Cliff Habian - FREE

FRIDAY, AUG. 26 SATURDAY, AUG. 27, 8 PM Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival - FREE




Music & entertainment

AKRON ADOLESCENCE The Rise and Fallof Roadrunner Video by Chris Kessinger (The Film Freak)

Long before you could skip chapters on a DVD or stream an entire movie on Netflix, VHS video was a rising

North Main Street felt like crossing into another dimension. Upon opening the door, the smell of fresh plastic would fill my nose, thanks to the hundreds of video cases that crowded a

of 10, I decided that enough was enough. All by myself, I rode my bike down to the store. I had no intention of checking out a movie – just to handle business. My heart was pounding at a million beats per second when I opened

technology among the masses for their dose of culture. Among the very places that you could find such

room as big as any I had ever seen at the age of seven. I still associate the smell of fresh plastic

a relic was the local video store. In Akron,

with that video store,

the door with authority, strode right up to Antie and said, "I can't be

plenty came and went, but Roadrunner Video was among the most memorable for any movie lover like myself. The once-prosperous local

even today, when the occasional whiff freezes me dead in my tracks.

afraid of you anymore." Not the bravest of speeches, sure, but it

chain boasted 12 locations that garnered a reputation for the increasing attention to video and VCR sales. Roadrunner did more than

It makes me long for an easier time. As a local-run business, Roadrunner

was my "Citizen Kane" moment.

kickstart the dawn of the video store, it embraced it with hard-to-find titles and a dependable selection of movie posters. It was a library of visual stimulation for the masses that

Video’s employee door was never a revolving one. Every week, I got to speak with Randy, a teenager whom I viewed as the single coolest entity in

Once my childhood was

craved the gore of horror, the destruction of action, the feel-good laughs of a comedy or the titillation of the behind-the-curtain section – more on that later. It was a place where dreams were rented out one, two or five days at a time, and its endless supply of stocked shelves provided countless opportunities for my personal love of film to escape its cage.

my pathetic Pee-Wee Herman filled life. Randy felt like family – something sorely lacking in today's businesses. Roadrunner Video was also the venue for my

film subject: women. They were everywhere, and their lack of clothing on the countless video cases that filled the room was quite a shock for a kid who still viewed them as "cootie holders." In a sense, Roadrunner Video took my innocence that day and never gave it back, which may explain why video stores aren't popular in today’s world of ever more protective parents. Throughout the years, of course, technology kept evolving, and competition mounted for Roadrunner Video. Invaders like Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video staked their claim on the Rubber City, and soon the days were numbered for the dwindling local chain. By 2005, all the Roadrunner Videos were out

over, and my young teenage years were fast approaching, Roadrunner of business, leaving me with a lifetime of memories as the pink neons went off for the became the source of the biggest mystery among me and my friends – what was behind last time. On the final day, I remember a nearly the silver curtain? Perhaps you've seen it; empty room and the feeling of defeated dread every store had a curtain that led to another that overtook the once beautiful spirit of the room with a different kind of film. I could only place. That day, I purchased a copy of "Bubble speculate what kind of treasures the store Boy" for $3. Not my proudest moment, but it hid back there. I mean, if the movies on the was the least I could do for a place that acted showroom floor were as good as I remembered as a third parent in my life. A place where I them being, surely those had to be even better, conquered my fears and was shocked out of right? innocence. A place where it was kind to rewind,

If I remember one thing from my frequent visits to Roadrunner, it was the visual delight of a place that took pride in embracing both the best styles of the ‘80s and the cultish feel of B-movie fandom. The neon decals throughout the store lit up its interiors with

weekly showdown with my arch-nemesis: Antie the Bug. An enormous prop ant from the movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," Antie sat to the right of the cash registers, looming nightmarishly over children like me. Every week, I ran past Antie, so as not to stand face-to-face with my greatest fear. The bug never came down throughout my childhood, and eventually it began to decay, due to neighborhood vandals

pink fluorescence, so that entering the store at

and aging papier-mâché. At around the age

the room, my eyes focused on a new kind of

// Photo Credit : Ed Haas

(continued from page 43) David Foster Wallace, who famously struggled with the complications of his roots.

the curtain too far and revealed too much. Musicians are no longer special. He closed with a bit about Jim Morrison of The Doors that was so tremendous.

night off hot with material highlighting his hometown. He posited that Chickamauga, GA has yet to figure out that the Civil War is history. He has some great jokes about early

(continued on page 26) point, “The Summit’s core business is producing and presenting high-quality music

balding. He isn’t afraid to get dirty, either.

Our programming appeals to a musically adventurous, sophisticated local audience.“

Drew Morgan preceded Crowder. His father is a preacher and his mother an alcoholic. His set

If the evening wasn’t already special enough,

consisted of him talking about his early days growing up and playing college ball.

unannounced sets from Ronny Chieng and Roy Woods Jr., both correspondents on The Daily Show, sealed the evening as a classic.

He revealed that he finds no solace in traditional religion and has replaced it with music. He misses the musicians of previous

Presumably in town for the upcoming RNC in Cleveland, the two performed short, concise sets. Both men destroyed. Originally from

eras because he feels current artist have no aura. Things like social media have pulled back

Malaysia, Chieng spoke about how he didn’t know there were Asian stereotypes until he arrived in America. Woods did a blistering set that focused heavily on the addictive nature of sugar. Pictured left: At the end of the night, Drew, Corey and Trae took questions from the audience and told some stories. (Photo courtesy of Svetla Morrison.)

Cory Ryan Forrester was the host of the evening. He started the


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

I was right – well, kind of. I remember being dared by one of my friends to run in there for 10 seconds – the typical mischief of bored teenagers. When I took the dare and entered

After introductions by Tony Troppe and Chris Horne, local comedian Sarah Jones performed a short set. Jones came out swinging. She had a particularly great line about former mayor

a philosophy that we could all use more of in our lives. // You Can read more of Chris's weekly film reviews at

programming that is ‘made in northeast Ohio’.

“In addition, we have an advantage that the national companies don’t have. We’re able to create face-to-face connections with and

Don Plusquelic. Since she is homegrown, I will certainly make the effort to see her again.

among our listeners and across the community as a whole. We do this through a variety of partnerships with other local non-profit art

The Point Being…

organizations and community groups.

It seems to me that comedy is about place and time. When and where count when it comes to humor. That’s why the performances not only worked but were great. Trae Crowder has assumed the mission of addressing expectations and perception and flipping them around. Expectations and perception are the very story of this city for the last three decades. As for flipping them around…we’re working on it.

How does The Summit hope to compete with the technology the large national corporations can invest in? “There is an ever changing array of audio streaming platforms at our disposal,” Bruno explains. “In fact, our use of live web streaming is attracting national and international audiences because of our unique local flavor that reinforces a positive image of the region.”

— Ted Lehr // Photo courtesy of 91.3 The Summit


misc. (continued from page 22) Rick and Alita Rogers gave a lead gift to the museum to fund the garden, so the garden has

“We would love to see dads and moms coming from the library. The trip to the library doesn’t have to end with them checking out books and

been named after Rick Rogers’ parents.

going home; maybe they could have story time on the lawn,” said Caruso. The museum hopes to have structured events with the library, such as story walks or story times.

The one-acre garden has two entrances—one on South High Street and one off of Broadway Street—and four basic parts: the plaza, the green, the criss-cross and the upper grove, or “art oasis.”

The green also has a feature wall, which the museum will use for art experiences such as

The plaza seats 50 people on the concrete walls, with plenty of room for additional chair

murals and installations. “We wanted a place that was a blank slate that we could propose to artists—both local artists and national and international artists—to invite them to come

seating. The plaza has a sub-portion called the canopy, which is a small grove of white birch trees growing out of crushed granite. It’s surreal to see trees growing out of what looks like

look at the space and create work especially for Akron and this space,” said Caruso. The criss-cross is an ADA-accessible, paved walkway that zig-zags up from the plaza and green to the upper grove. The walkway is bordered with flowerbeds containing native

The green is exactly what it sounds like: a large grassy area, perfect for an impromptu yoga

plants. In fact, all the plants in the garden, with the exception of one tree, are native to Ohio, and all the plants are hardy enough to make it

(continued from page 24)

è Summit for Kids Family Expo August 20 at John S. Knight Center, 10am - 4pm The seventh annual Summit for Kids Family Expo is designed for kids and teenagers in kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as for their parents. There will be a number of fun learning activities, plus live entertainment, guest speakers, and giveaways that include back-to-school items and other necessities. PNC Bank and Foundation, Akron Children’s Hospital, Summit County Children Services, Metro RTA, the Akron Area YMCA, and many other local organizations are sponsors for the Summit for Kids Family Expo. Admission is free. (Photo courtesy of Summit for Kids)

‹ John Brown House

Community Forum

The upper grove, or “art oasis” is another grove of trees growing out of crushed granite, from which you can survey the entire garden. The crushed granite is softer to the foot than pavement, but holds up as firm as concrete. Again: trees growing out of granite. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. But it looks cool, and it’s good for the environment. The garden will be open year-round. There is lighting all around the perimeter, so that

and there will be programmed museum events, but the rest of the time, the garden will be open to the public. Caruso said that the idea is two-fold: to have meaningful art experiences at the garden and available to a wider array of people, but also to have a space that’s like a civic commons where people can come spend time downtown. “That will be the real success of the place is when we just have people—families and kids just playing and coming to enjoy the space.”

even when the garden is closed, it will remain illuminated. “We want the place to look inviting at night. Even though it won’t be accessible, we want it to be secure and safe,” said Caruso.

cement. But the crushed granite provides more drainage and is better for water conservation than concrete. And trees can grow out of it.

class, a picnic lunch, or, you know…cartwheels.

through winter.

BUD AND SUSIE ROGERS GARDEN “The idea is,” said Caruso. “People want to be downtown. We see a lot of foot traffic just on Market and High, so we’re thinking this will energize the block even more.”

HOURS: Monday through Friday 9am – 6pm Thursday 9am – 9pm Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm FREE and Open to the Public every day during

The garden will be rentable for private events,

the posted hours.

(continued from page 25) Health and Vascular Center, located at One Akron General Avenue on the main hospital

looking for food and crafty vendors. More

month, the Riverfront Square area of Cuyahoga

information about volunteering or being a vendor can be found at copleybetterblock.

Falls hosts its own version of the event, thanks

campus. The classes are free, and each lasts an hour and a half, starting at 5:30pm and ending at 7pm.

to a grant from Torchbearers via the Knight Foundation, and a number of local sponsors, all put together by a committee co-chaired by Samantha Coldwell and Getta Cornici.

demonstrate how great the circle area could be with less vacancies and more entertainment. The board is currently looking for volunteers to help build and run the event. CCAB is also

The community revitalizing Better Block

Falls Better Block takes place on August 26th and 27th, and features a number of different pop-up shops, food carts and other activities, all with the goal of enhancing the foot traffic on the Front Street Pedestrian Mall. Some of the many things to do include kayak trips on the Cuyahoga River, workout boot camps, and a yoga class. There will also be a pop-up theatre, a stage with live entertainment, a playground, a night market, a beer garden and a number of

Movement spread to northeastern Ohio last year, taking over part of East Cuyahoga Falls

427 Design)

(continued from page 27)

(continued from page 42) bands, it seems like. Like Shag, we’re getting

BETTER AND BETTER BLOCKS Copley Circle to Host Better Block What would bring you to Copley Circle and make you want to hang out for part of the day? A coffee shop? A dog park? Restaurants? The Copley Circle Advisory Board (CCAB) is hosting a Better Block September 9 through 11 at the circle on Cleveland-Massillon Road to

Falls Better Block

pop-up shops. (Falls Better Block image courtesy of

Avenue in Akron’s North Hill for two days. This

August 25 at John Brown House, 4-6pm The John Brown House Community Forum is a platform to discuss both historic and modern events in the Akron area. Each forum features a discussion of Akron’s participation in the 19th century abolitionist movement, also known as the “crusade” against slavery, up through the modern civil rights movement. The scheduled speaker for the August 25th forum is Margo Sommerville, city council representative for ward three and owner of Sommerville Funeral Services. Her talk focuses on Akron’s Maple Valley neighborhood, in which she lives and works, and the challenges that this particular community in Akron faces on a daily basis.

‹ Woodland Mushrooms August 27 at Campfire Area of F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 10am - 12pm Knowing which mushrooms are edible and which are poisonous is important for survival. Even if you aren’t planning any multi-day hikes through a national forest while subsisting only off of the land, this informative hike led by a trained naturalist will teach you quite a bit about the mushrooms that grow wild in our area.


reported within the structure, mostly rumored to be the destruction of UFOs. And in 2011, Lockheed Martin conducted a test flight for a new airship model, High Altitude Long Endurance Demonstrator (or HALE-D, for short). The mysterious silver airship ran into “technical issues” however, and caught fire in a heavily wooded area outside of Pittsburgh. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, personnel from Lockheed Martin arrived on the scene prior to firefighters to extinguish the flames and clean up whatever remained. Regardless of whether the X-Files-esque rumors are true, one thing is for certain: the Goodyear Airdock is a one-of-a-kind structure that can only be found in Akron, and is a key piece in the history of our beloved Blimp mascot.

closer to them, and we’re playing another show with them. We used to play whatever shows we could get, basically. And it would range from like, I don’t know, like hardcore emo stuff to like folk stuff, and we we’re just like somewhere in the middle — or not in the middle. (Laughing) We’ve been trying to find our spot. But I feel like more and more, kind

events, but for the most part, we’re playing in bars late at night or in people’s basements at 1 in the morning, which is fun, but it’s just not the same. Going to a Lock 3 event — or in this case, a Lock 4 event — it’s just a different energy, and we’re excited to see what we can do with that. BG: I think it will be interesting just because it will be, not necessarily a different group of

of, we’re being placed with people who we actually fit with.

people, but there will certainly be people who, I don’t know, wouldn’t necessarily go to see us. So I think it will be some good exposure that’s

MD: What are your hopes or expectations for the upcoming show at Lock 4? AM: I’m pretty excited for it just because it’s

good for everybody.

just a much different experience than what we normally do. In the past, we played a farmers market, we

Annabell’s at 1 in the morning. And I think that’s good. I mean, we did PorchRokr last year, and that was one of the best shows we’ve done. It was a lot of fun, just ‘cause

played a couple outdoor

AM: People you wouldn’t normally find at

it’s a different vibe, lots of new people, especially talking to them afterward. It’s a really interesting experience. // Michelle DeShon is an aspiring journalist with an unhealthy obsession with antique cameras, french fries and vinyl records.

AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8 /

THE Devil Strip |


back of book

Urine Luck Hold me Closer, Tiny Dancer by Emily Dressler and Robert Ledyard

This month’s installment of Urine Luck features disrupt this idyllic scene, for sure, even if they a lineup change. Marissa had her beautiful baby are made of green plastic that is meant (I

that is made from recycled plastic will actually be made from this very Porta

boy on June 9, so she’s chillaxin at home during her me-ternity leave getting peed on every twenty minutes. My dear, talented husband,

guess?) to blend in with nature. My husband used the Porta Potty first and said

Potty. What luck. Who knows about the life of this particular plastic. This little guy might have started out as a hard hat or

Robbie Ledyard is helping out with this month’s column.

it earns 5 out of 5. I am not as generous. Hell is probably a little bit like standing in a hot Porta Potty on a summer night during this weather

as a swimming pool, and now here he/she is in Akron, Ohio just gathering up some poop and pee.

I know that Porta Potties have their uses: I

phenomenon called a Heat Dome. At least I’m

understand they are preferable to open-air pits and I also understand that in some places, they are the only barrier between disease and

not on my period. Or a ballerina. Are you really telling me that the ballerinas use these Porta Potties? Do they hold it all night, or are they

Sure wish I could tell you about the flushing powers on this toilet, but don’t worry-no flushing necessary. You just do your

widespread contamination. But still. They are not my favorite. I don’t know when I became such a wimp. In fact, I am actually queasy from checking out the wikipedia page on chemical

willing to make such great sacrifices for the sake of art?

business on top of all the other stuff in

When it was my turn, I stood in there and tried

Drawing by Robert Ledyard

toilets. We were at Firestone Park for the Heinz

to calm my anxiety. I just don’t feel comfortable in a big plastic box, okay? However, I will say that these things have made some decent

there. It’s chemically treated so that can’t smell all the waste. Instead

Summer Dance Festival, which really is a gorgeous endeavor: free ballet at the park, the sun setting behind the stage, art and nature intertwined as my toddler dances and looks back to make sure I’m watching,

advancements in recent years, at least as far as aesthetics go. I cannot speak to the efficiency of handling human excreta. This particular one is handicap accessible, so there is a bit of extra room and a small curved bench to the side of

you get that all-too familiar chemical smell that seems to have pervaded our modern society.

her curly hair glinting in the setting sun. The Porta Potties—located by the tennis courts—

the “toilet.” I seriously doubt there is room to easily maneuver a wheelchair, though.

feels the conflicting forces of not wanting to touch anything while also wanting to touch all of it. Dear reader, I don’t feel that confliction. I want to crawl into my own skin and through my bones so that I’m not actually there. I want to be a robot who does not have to pee at all, ever.

Pictured right: Art and Nature /

Inside the unisex Porta Potty, a layer of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic separates you from the outside. Luckily, HDPE is recyclable, so maybe your next Dr. Pepper bottle will be made from a Porta Potty! Or maybe that cute little purse at a craft show Pictured left: Hello, Hell / Picture by Emily Dressler// The Devil Strip


a wimp and it’s idiotic. Robbie says that when he’s in a Porta Potty he

I wish I could tell you that I used this toilet, but I did not. I could not summon the strength. I have to be in dire straits to use a prefab toilet. If I walk into a bathroom and an immediately

Even though I am usually against the hand sanitizer in public restrooms, I welcomed this one, but was at the same time only partially reassured by its presence. I feel that the cleanliness of everything in the Porta Potty has been compromised. If I pretend that this Porta Potty should be judged like all other bathrooms, it gets a low rating of .5 out of 5 toilets. If I judge it against other Porta Potties I’ve visited in the past, I reward it a very high score of 3 out of 5.

uncomfortable, I have a hard time. I know, I’m

(continued from page 31) lighter coffees.” Chain coffee shops are recently Oletta and King’s passion for their business and

and are continuously

catching up to Oletta and King’s successful

their customers shines through in their carefully

expanding their menu -- be

roasts: “time has proven us right,” Oletta states, “the big Starbucks is now offering lighter coffees.” Oletta attributes their success to having

curated food and drink menus. The drinks on sure to stop in to see what the Angel Falls menu are personal, homemade they'll create next! recipes, which, Oletta proudly states, “separates Pictured right: Rafael Oletta us from any other coffee business in town”.

a “great product, pride in what we do,

His favorite, he says, is the Volcan: “It took me

(left) and Jim King (right)/

involvement in the community, and [improving] the quality of life in the community.” Oletta and King support the Akron community by hosting art showings, sourcing sweet treats

close to a whole year to come up with the first one. Pure venezuelan chocolate, spices, and milk. Thick european style.”

Photo by Lia Pietrolungo

from numerous local bakeries, and stocking their fridge with Akron-based and brewed Bucha Bill’s kombucha, to name a few.

As with their drink menu, Oletta and King use cherished home recipes for their lunch menu, which features vegetarian and Venezuelan-

Outside, a public mural spans the side of their building. Keeping with Oletta and King’s passion for community involvement, they

inspired creations. In creating the recipes, Oletta outdoors. called on the Caribbean roots of Venezuelan cuisine: “I wanted to bring those flavors and seasonings to our menu,” he mentions.

reached out to local artists. The mural was created by University of Akron’s Arts Lift team, as well as local high school students and Jesse

The passion and dedication that Oletta and King pour into their business and community

Strother of Good Life Tattoo.


// Lia spends her spare time attempting to take her cat,

speaks for itself through their twenty years of success. Angel Falls serves seasonal favorites

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #8

Heathcliff, on walks. Much to her vexation, Heath continues to stubbornly resist the

792 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44303. Hours: Monday-Thursday 7am - 10pm, Friday-Saturday 7am - 12am, and Sunday 9am - 10pm



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Get the whole story. WKSU 89.7 is your source for in-depth election coverage in more of Northeast Ohio (22 counties to be precise).

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You may have heard a few things about Greater Akron. We’re here to tell you, you heard right. Take a bite out of Akron’s juiciest tradition at the National Hamburger Festival, August 13 and 14, 2016. For more information, visit

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The Devil Strip, Issue #24 - August 2016  
The Devil Strip, Issue #24 - August 2016  

The Porch Rokr Special with a whole lotta Akron on the inside. Cover art by Michael Ayers