Page 1


‘...SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN’T GET ANYWHERE ELSE.’ Going underground with the Blimp City’s DIY music scene — Page 40

10 An open letter to UA’s next Chief Diversity Officer 14 How Jennifer Sullivan took control of her story 26 Pizza, paint and relationships rebuild neighborhoods 32 You say hot sauce. She says salsa. 42 Jeffrey Lewis kicks off US tour in Akron


Learn more about their ideas to engage and enrich Akron through the arts at Akron Civic Theatre Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra Carla Davis Music City of Akron New World Performance Lab Danny Volk

David Morgan Downtown Akron Partnership Dylan Yellowlees East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) Inlet Dance Theatre

Karen Starr and Shane Wynn Keepers of the Art Laurie Caner Neos Dance Theatre Tuesday Musical Association The Devil Strip

The Summit WAPS-FM The University of Akron – Synapse

Brooke Wesner of Neos Dance Theatre. Photo: Neal Sapienza



table of contents

table of contents


An open letter to UA’s next CDO


The actual “other side” of addiction



Knight Arts winner encourages women to achieve goals


Community Theater embodies the voice of Akron


Calling all bibliophiles!



The Devil Strip


What’s the big idea with Rooted Akron?


Building relationships to rebuild neighborhoods


Bowman was Akron’s first woman banker


Local businesses gear up for winter season


How Not Yo’ Daddy’s got its name and its kick


What’s serial entrepreneur Blake Squire doing in Akron?

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

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

Email: Phone: 330-555-GHOSTBUSTERS

18 33

Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer


Managing Editor:

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

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


Akron Pizza Task Force hits Mr. G’s


The Wanderer: timeless comfort food at the Waterloo


Lady Beer Drinker brings the booze

The Editorial Team




What are they listening to at EarthQuaker Devices?


Akron’s DIY scene is bigger than you think


Jeffrey Lewis kicks off US tour in Akron explores struggles with addiction

THE ARTS Lead Editor.......................................Bronlynn “Space Kitty” Thurman Asst. Editor............................Megan “Oxford comma slayer” Combs Literary Arts Editor.................Noor "Nervous Poodle Poet" Hindi

42 37

FOOD & DRINK Lead Editor ....................................................................... Lia Pietrolungo COMMUNITY & CULTURE Lead Editor ...............Katie “Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty” Jackson Asst. Editor..........................................Jessica “Spreadsheets!” Cherok Asst. Editor...............Ilenia “Our Short, Tired Garbanzo Bean Eatin',

WTF Video Girl Writer” Pezzaniti


About the Cover - Pigeons Twice Removed Want a little behind-the-scenes peek at how The Devil Strip really works? Two days before putting the magazine to bed, I had no idea what we were going to put on the cover. With a few notable exceptions — usually commissioned work — it’s often the case that the cover art is a kind of a pleasant surprise. Most times we have some idea about it but this time, the original idea fell through and I seriously considered running a blank cover so my kid and yours (and we) could have something upon which to doodle. Then I remembered Lizzi Aronhalt. A few days earlier, I was killing time on Instagram and noticed @ lizzi_aronhalt_art was following our account, @thedevilstrip. (Note: If you have “art” in your handle, I’m probably going to check out your photos.) I loved what I found clicking through Lizzi’s work. Lively, vibrant takes on seemingly mundane moments, the kind of things the rest of us ignore every day. Immediately, I checked to see that she’s in Akron or from Akron, or at least had nice things to say about Akron because I really wanted to work with her in the near future. But at that point, I thought this issue’s cover was in the bag so I’d made a mental note to contact Lizzi sometime soon. That ended up being early the day after Halloween. A word to the wise creatives out there: Make sure people have a way to contact you. Lizzi did — see for yourself, — and she responded really quickly, making it really easy to put “Pigeons Twice Removed” on the cover. (Peep the uncropped version here or at her website.) For folks who like enjoying things in the real life, you can appreciate Lizzi’s work in person at Akron Coffee Roasters downtown. She also has pieces in juried shows at the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center in Cuyahoga Falls and the Valley Art Center in Chagrin Falls. About the artist: A native of Akron, Lizzi Aronhalt spent time in Southwest Ohio at Miami University where she obtained a B.S. in Art Education and a minor in 2-D media studies. She then lived for two years in Eastern Europe before returning home to Akron where she currently resides. You can (and should) find her online at — Chris H.


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Music ............................................ Brittany “Sass Master Flash” Nader Entertainment .............. Andrew “Has a Mighty Fine Beard” Leask Staff Writers, Columnists & The A/V Club:

Kristina “Urban Explorer” Aiad-Toss; Emily “Lady Beer Drinker” Anderson; Melanie “newbie for now” Anderson; Rick “Small Business Chronicler” Bohan; Holly “The Wanderer” Brown; Christina “no paddles, flow downstream” Dearing; Sam "Buzzkilling Feminist" DePaul; Michelle “The Camera Nerd” DeShon; Emily “Potty Perfectionist” Dressler and Marissa Marangoni, Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; Brian “Wemlo Twinge” Dunphy; Grace “Always Running Away” Ebner; Lois “Beautyscandal” Elswick; Kait "rice cake enthusiast" Erdman; Gabe “Softballin’” Gott; Dan “The Akron Knight” Gorman; Paul “I don’t write but I can draw” Hoffman; Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist; Hillary "Gets Lost in Her Own World but Reappears if There is Dancing Involved" Martter; TJ “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Masterson; Krissy "Someone make me a real fish taco before I go insane" O'Connor; Atticus “Wreckage” Pamer the absolutely real and totally non-fictional Georgio Pelogrande; Roger Riddle, Wears the Purple Pants; Amanda "That Crazy Cat Lady" Sedlak-Hevener; Lenny “Where’s Squiggy?” Spengler; Nicole “likes the way Akron sounds” Stempak; Steve “is not a zombie” Van Auken; Patrick “Pattycakes” Worden; and The Shane Wynn Supremacy; Scott "The Swiss Army Intern" Piepho; Ted "Super No Bueno" Lehr; "Awesome" Dawson Steeber ———————————————————— CONTACT US: Office ....................................................................(330) 842-6606 General Info Advertising .......................................... Distribution .................................... Website ................................................. Facebook Twitter ......................................................... @akrondevilstrip Instagram ........................................................ @thedevilstrip ————————————————————

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

pub notes

Pub Notes >>

but unchecked, it can lead us to wall ourselves off from others, casting blame without respect to the big picture. This election cycle has unmasked the bad side. We can complain about the ongoing polarization of American politics and the role the media plays and other legit concerns, but the antidote is empathy. It’s easy to knee-jerk assign spiteful, bad or evil intent to someone you think has wronged you, but empathy assumes life is just as hard for them as it is for you. That’s what allows us to use our “mindreading” abilities for good, which builds community and community is at the heart of our survival as a species. Community sharpens our empathy and our mind-reading ability. It’s a virtuous cycle. We can gain a lot by thinking about how we think about each other because, regardless of the outcome of the election, or the World Series, or the Halloween Charity Ball costume contest, we have to live together. The more together we are, the more we thrive.

Practicing what we preach to the choir Unless I’ve told you, or you’ve followed my personal Twitter during the debates, the chances are slim that you actually know who has my vote. Oh, I bet I can guess, Mr. Liberal Media! Don’t stop there. We like the arts so this must be a commie rag, which makes me a Hillary Clinton supporter, right? Except I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton when I had the chance in 1996. When I cast my Kids Vote ballot in 1992, I picked George H.W. Bush. Since I was raised Republican, clearly I’m a party loyalist pulling for Trump. Well guess what, sucka. I voted for

Which is why I want to tell you about the angry email I sent to Bruce Winges, the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal. It followed the public screed I published here about their opioid epidemic coverage. While I stand by the editorial, I regret not sharing my concerns with them directly first. As a result, I risked making enemies of people who want the same thing I do: For more people and families struggling with addiction to get help. That’s the big picture, but I was focused on being right instead. When I saw that the ABJ had republished, without blurring the faces, those infamous photos of East Liverpool parents overdosed with their child in the backseat, I took it to Bruce as I should have done before.




Nader in 2000, but I’m no third party apologist. I backed Barack Obama twice. As a parent, I was aghast initially by what I saw in those East Liverpool photos. I was disgusted My point is that assuming is something humans and outraged by what they’d done to that do often, despite warnings about what it does poor boy. I’d have been fine, in that moment, to u and me. It’s this thing called theory of with them spending the rest of their natural mind, which means we're all always guessing lives in jail. That’s what should happen when what someone else is thinking. It’s part of our someone victimizes another person, especially tendency to construct stories out of fragments a small child, which is the story that photo that we call facts, sometimes backwards told. Except, these parents in East Liverpool engineering a narrative to fit what we believe. were suffering from an addiction, a disease. That’s how we’re wired. Used for good, this Had police discovered them in that car having “mind-reading” helps us cooperate with others, heart attacks, there wouldn’t be photos. No



one would have taken to Facebook to blame the parents for years of eating fast food and avoiding exercise. If someone had, you wouldn’t have shared it. The daily wouldn’t have republished that. We should want these parents to get sober,

Barberton Herald. See, Jennifer was a school teacher and a mom of three. She used through her pregnancy. We are not conditioned to like people who do that. We are conditioned to read a headline and assign blame then move on, assuming their story had ended. Fortunately, hers did not. She’s sober. She has her kids now.

not punished for the sake of punishment. We should want them to be reunited with their child so he doesn’t spend his young life bouncing around foster care homes, or from one family member to another. That’s the big picture. When Bruce invited me to meet at the Beacon with him, managing editor Doug Oplinger and publisher Mark Cohen, I wanted to talk about that big picture and took Sophie Franchi, Noor Hindi and Ilenia Pezzaniti, who have been working on our opioid series for 10 months now. Bruce, Doug and Mark were open to that conversation. We might not be

This, I believe, is the actual other side of that horrible drug.

BFFs now, but it became clear we share some common ground, and that might lead to some collaboration down the road.

isn’t a pitch for political independence. I mean, who is my neighbor?

Still, the way East Liverpool justified sharing the photos gnawed at me: “We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug.” I can’t imagine the exasperation that police and officials must feel as they face this epidemic. Their jobs force them to absorb some gruesome images and unpleasant realities, so maybe they shared it because of that. But passed out or OD’d is the side of heroin we already picture. So, what is the actual “other side” of addiction? In this issue, you will meet Jennifer Sullivan whose story is one of the hardest I’ve ever read. Getting through it takes a commitment to empathy. This story is as much hers as it is her mother’s, and as such, it offers a glimpse at what it’s like to love someone through their addiction — the frustration, the disappointment, the rising and falling hope. How could I possibly handle helping my wife, daughter, siblings or a good friend get into recovery when my patience for the average aggravations that pop up in marriage and in parenthood is so thin?

There is another side of this election and it’s not just a matter of getting through it. There is another side of the sexism, racism and xenophobia that’s been unmasked during this election season. It looks like community, and the path there is empathy. The first step for us is to reframe how we see each other. It’ll be tempting to keep up the divisions laid bare over the last 18 months. What good do we really get out of being Republicans or Democrats? This

Once upon a time, I was a Southern Baptist youth minister in a low-income neighborhood that was among Nashville’s most ethnically diverse. Most of those kids came for the free dinner on Wednesday nights and several, when they first arrived, didn’t like each other. A couple had gang affiliations, or wanted to, and there was always cause for beef. While church leadership wanted to see how many we could get baptized, all I wanted was to create a safe place where the kids knew they were loved. Part of that was learning how to help them ask and answer, “Who is my neighbor?” That’s the question someone asked after Jesus said you have to love your neighbors as yourself. His answer was the parable of the Good Samaritan. In other words, you choose your neighbors. Without getting religious, that’s what I think our reaction to this election should be, making neighbors out of each other, especially our supposed enemies. —


// Photo courtesy of Bronlynn Thurman

Like many, Jennifer came to her illicit drug use through a legal prescription. It got worse. She sought help. She stumbled. Then spiraled. Alternating between extremes on repeat until she ended up on the front page of the

Toby was born in May of 2012 and currently weighs about 100 pounds. Toby would love to join an active family who will help him lose a few pounds. This big boy can be a little shy when first meeting new people and would do best in a home with older children. Toby gets along well with most other dogs, big or small. In his previous home, Toby lived with cats but he will need some time to adjust to a new feline buddy. Toby was house trained, but may need some time to get used to a new home and schedule after being at the shelter. If you have room in your heart, home, and lap for this large lovely boy, stop by the Humane Society of Summit County! Oreo and Butterfinger are a bonded go-together pair. They have both been spayed. Oreo is a black and white French lop and Butterfinger is a brown Lionhead. They enjoy spending their days snuggling, grooming each other and sharing snacks. Their adoption fee is 80$. Come meet these cuties at the Humane Society of Summit County.

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

NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |





ì ï

ë í




The Devil’s Dozen Picks for music events in November by Kristina Aiad-Toss

å PechaKucha Akron Volume 5 The Bit Factory, 526 S Main Street, 5th floor • Nov. 4, 7 - 10pm Akron creatives from diverse disciplines will present their work in a unique format -- 20 slides of 20 seconds each. Doors open at 7 pm, program begins at 8 pm. RSVP to ensure you have a seat at Suggested donation is $5, but a free ticket option is available. There will be complimentary snacks and a cash bar. For the afterparty, join us for the Beyonderers’ Album Release Show at Musica—PK Akron Volume 5 attendees get

è The Bomb Shelter’s 5th í Floco Torres, LuvAbstract Anniversary Holiday Extravaganza and SAV The Bomb Shelter, 923 Bank Street • Nov. 11, 3 - 8pm Akron’s retro superstore The Bomb Shelter is celebrating its 5th year in business and the

It’s a Kling Thing! House, 403 Kling Street • Nov. 14, doors @ 7pm, show at 8pm Floco Torres is an award winning Hip-Hop musician and journalist from Willingboro New

opening of their 2016 Christmas Holiday display. Admission is a donation to The Humane Society of Summit County: either dog or cat food or monetary donation of at least $1. Southern Thangs food truck will be parked out front. There will be live music, extended hours and special customer appreciation deals.

Jersey currently living in Macon, Georgia. LuvAbstract is a hip-hop musician local to Akron, and SAV is from Ohio. It’s a Kling Thing! House is a DIY house show venue in Akron. For more information on the DIY music scene in Akron, check out the story on page 40.

in free.

ç Akron Comicon John S. Knight Center, 77 E Mill Street • Nov. 5 - 6 Last year’s Akron Comicon was so big, show organizers had to move this year’s show to the John S. Knight Center. Tickets are $15 per day or $25 for the weekend. Guests include illustrators from DC Comics, Marvel, and several local comic creators and illustrators.

ê Patrick Sweany Band

with Angela Perley & the Howlin Moons

Musica, 51 E Market Street • Nov. 12, 9pm Rust Belt soul/rock/blues legend Patrick Sweany and his band will grace the Musica stage, along with dreamy-psychedelic rock band Angela Perley & the Howlin Moons. Tickets are $12. Guests under 21 pay an additional $2 at the door.

é BLU Jazz Jam with Theron Brown ë Art and Jewish Food Festival BLU Jazz+, 47 E Market Street • Nov. 10, 8 - 11pm Presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) and hosted by fan-favorite pianist, Theron Brown and his trio. Bring your horn and come be part of Akron's jazz history in the making. The BLU Jazz Jam is for musicians and music lovers alike. Come hang, have a drink, and experience this exciting forum for musical expression. Bring your “axe” and play through tunes, pick up licks, trade 4’s, and enjoy the camaraderie of having a gathering

Temple Israel Akron, 91 Springside Drive • Nov. 13, 10am - 4pm Shop locally made arts and crafts made by a variety of artisans, enjoy traditional Jewish foods such as stuffed cabbage and matzo ball soup, and go on tours of the Temple Israel sanctuary at this festival, designed and hosted by the Temple Israel Sisterhood. There will also be games and crafts for kids, making this festival fun for the whole family.

place for the area’s finest professional jazz musicians (as well as the up-and-comers). No cover charge.


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

ì The Violent High Fives, Kitschy, Scott Siskind, and Whisper Signal

Annabell’s Bar & Lounge, 784 W Market Street • Nov. 17, 9pm With a name like The Violent High Fives, how could you go wrong? Come expecting experimental folk rock, art-rock/down-tempo and lots of effects pedals.

å the stage at Weathervane Playhouse for their Straight On Til Morning Concert. They will release their second full-length album, which was recorded live at Kent State Stark on February 12 of this year. The 14-track album, entitled Kent State Stark Treasure Box Concert, will be available for purchase during intermission. Advance tickets are $10 via $15 tickets at the door.

µ Crafty Mart’s 8th Annual Holiday Show The Knight Foundation, Musica, Akron Art • Nov. 26, 11am - 6pm & Nov. 27, 12 - 5pm Museum and Norka Beverage Co. present this bi-annual show of handcrafted accoutrement

and attainable art made by local, independent artisans. Crafty Mart will be hosting vendors in Musica, Summit Artspace and at the Akron Art Museum. Basically, they'll be taking over downtown Akron for an amazing Small Business Saturday Weekend! What a way to kick off your holiday shopping experience. ‹ Downtown Harvest Festival Lock 4 and OH-59 Pedestrian Bridge • Crafty Mart is also offering workshops for those Nov. 18, 5 - 8pm & Nov. 19, 11am - 8pm feeling extra crafty. Food and beverages will be There’s been a lot of activity going on available for purchase, and the library parking downtown and it’s just getting started. The deck will offer free parking. This year, Crafty Reimagining the Civic Commons team has been Mart is offering early bird tickets—$10 gets you working diligently to improve our public space early entry at 10 am on Saturday. and will be showcasing some recent work in Lock 4 and the OH-59 Bridge. Come celebrate ï Byke with Morning in May Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main Street • with a two-day festival featuring local bands, Nov. 26, 8pm food trucks, and family friendly activities. Visit Byke is psych-garage rock, and Morning in for more information.

î Angie Haze Project’s

Straight on Til Morning Live CD Release Concert

May is pop-punk. Both bands are from Akron. Support local music at Jilly’s while enjoying food from their entirely gluten-free menu. No cover charge for guests 21 and over; $5 under 21.

Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane • Nov. 19, 7 - 10 pm The Angie Haze Project is excited to capture



There's Nothing to Do in Akron The Devil Strip’s comprehensive, monthly argument that there’s plenty of fun to be had in Akron

Friday, Nov. 4 Beyonderers’ CD Release Show • Musica, 51 E Market Street, 6:30 pm • Akron's surf/thrash weirdos celebrate the release of their second record, "ESTIMATE OF THE SITUATION". Also playing: The DREEMERS and We Be Brakes ‘n Sh!t. $5 at the door.

Summit Lake Pump House. pumphousecenter How We Roll Bicycle Tour: Ride the ArtWalk meets at Summit Artspace, 6-10 pm • A free, monthly roll around downtown Akron with stops for the ArtWalk in the Historic Arts District

Friday Nov. 25th is Black Friday

and Northside. Brian Parsons Solo Art Show • 22 High Street Gallery, 22 N High Street, 7 pm • New and old work on exhibit. BrianParsonsArt HAM: Rave & Concert • The Vortex, 1167 Brittain Road, 8 pm • The Fifth Element hosts 1st annual HAM: Rave & Concert, featuring Purple Monkey Sircus, Young Troubled Minds, ONEPPL and Easter Pink.

Shivering Timbers, Tinnarose, and White Buffalo Woman • Annabell’s Bar & Lounge, 9 pm • Folk rock. No cover. Akron favorite Shivering Timbers welcomes Tinnarose from Austin, TX and five dudes who go by White Buffalo Woman, a band born in the basement of a funeral home in Minerva, Ohio at the intersection of Carroll, Columbiana and Stark counties.

Monday, Nov. 7

“Christine” (through Nov. 10) • The Nightlight, 30 N High St. • A movie about Christine Chubbuck, a Hudson native, who became one of journalism’s most infamous cautionary tales following her “psychological collapse and the indignities weathered by any woman in a 1970s

An Eerie Evening • Perkins Stone Mansion • 550 Copley Road, 8 - 10 pm • Experience an opportunity to use equipment to record sounds and video inside the Perkins Stone Mansion. $10.

Benefit Show for Jimmy Kormanik • Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main Street, 4 pmFeaturing 15 60 75 Numbers Band, The Bizarros, Harvey Gold & Chris Butler, and Tracey Thomas.


ShakesBEER: Twelfth Night • Ohio Shakespeare Festival • 103 S High Street, 8 pm • This full-cast reading of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night will take place in our beautiful bar, complete with full bar and friendly bartender.

Letdown; Unwind, Galvanize; Far From Lonely; The Malemen; and Solomonophonic • Fool Mansion, doors at 6 pm, show at 7 pm • Bands from Akron, Canton and Canada grace the stage at this mysterious DIY venue. (continued on page 8)

Saturday, Nov. 5 Community Day • Pump House Center for Art + Culture, 411 Ira Avenue, 12 - 3 pm • Free pizza, music, and a peek inside the historic

Opening at 9am


Double feature treat for "Triple Dog Dare" Publisher’s Pick of the Month Thursday, Nov. 10 - Book Release at Golden Dragon (1634 State Rd, Cuy Falls) Sunday, Nov. 27 - “A Christmas Story” and trivia at The Nightlight (30 N High St.) This is the season when author Joanna Wilson really shines. Last year, she gave us “The Story of Archie, the Talking Snowman” and before that “The Christmas TV Companion” and then “The Encyclopedia of Christmas-Themed Episodes, Specials and Made-for-TV Movies”. Now, Akron’s very own nationallyrecognized Christmas TV expert has topped herself with the upcoming release for “The Triple Dog Dare.” If you know Joanna and wondered where she disappeared last Christmas Eve through Christmas Day, here’s your answer. She was watching (and surviving) the 12 straight showings of “A Christmas Story” that Turner Broadcasting hosts every year during its 24-hour marathon of the Bob Clark classic flick that was famously filmed in Cleveland. Get your copy of the book signed on November 10 at the Golden Dragon in Cuyahoga Falls at the launch party, which features a meet and greet with Joanna, who co-authored “A Is for Akron” with Karen Starr and co-founded the Akron Empire blog with Brit Charek. (Joanna has also written for The Devil Strip and anchored the defense at first base for our co-ed recreational softball team!) Then get in the holiday spirit with a screening of “A Christmas Story” at The Nightlight in downtown Akron on November 27. There are two showtimes and each is followed by trivia with cool prizes. Details about the book and the events by visiting


2721 W. Market Street • Fairlawn

(234) 334-7484 Mon Closed Tue-Sat 10am-8pm • Sun 12pm-5pm

agenda (continued from page 7)

Tuesday, Nov. 8

Triple Dog Dare Book Release Party • Golden Dragon, 6 pm • Details in the sidebar about Joanna Wilson.

VOTE RESPONSIBLY • Lots of places, 6:30 am-7:30 pm • Whether you consider it your civic duty or you do it because you want a sticker, please learn something about the people getting your vote before you give it away.

Wednesday, Nov. 9 Learning from Nature to Regenerate Our City • Musica, 5:30-7:30 pm • Monthly meeting of GAINS features speakers Petra Gruber (Myers School of Art, UA Dept. of Biology and author of “Biomimetics in Architecture”), Christine Hockman (Director of Resources, Marketing and Communication for GLBio) and Sabrena Schweyer (principle at Salsbury-Schweyer and co-founder of PermacultureAKRON). GAIN4Sustainability Paper Crafting • Sand Run Metro Park (Mingo Lodge), 1501 Sand Run Pkwy, 6:30-8 pm • Create detailed mosaics of the natural world with tiny, colorful and patterned pieces of paper.

Yoga in the Galleries • Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St., 6:30 pm • Enjoy the transformational power of yoga in the Akron Art Museum galleries. Bring your own mat but leave your water bottles because they aren’t allowed in the galleries. Free for members; $10 for non-members. Registration is required, do so online or by calling 330.376.9186.

to remedy the craving to draw. Bring your favorite dry art supplies, all of your artist friends and $10 bucks to play along. DrSketchyAkron

Thursday, Nov. 10

featuring Akron’s own Emotional Support Pigs and meteor moves from Cleveland.

Sunday, Nov. 13 Fall Family Book Walk • F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm Visitors Center, 1 - 3 pm // Enjoy a story with your family while walking along the Cherry Lane Trail and then stop by the campfire for some hot chocolate and a treat.

Friday, Nov. 11

Tuesday, Nov. 15

“The Handmaiden” (through Nov. 17) The Nightlight, 30 N High St. • A “love story, revenge thriller and puzzle film” by Park Chan-Wook (“Oldboy”, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”, “Thirst”) that Matt Zoller Seitz calls “voluptuously beautiful, frankly sexual, occasionally perverse and horrifically violent”.

Michale Graves (ex-Misfits), CJ Gunn, The Ruminators • Blindside Avenue • Annabell’s, 9 pm • Where else besides Annabell’s would you want to see Michale Graves perform some of his best known work from his days with the Misfits, Graves and Gotham Road? (Where else in Akron even make sense?) akronannabells/

Dynamo Love, Drunken Sunday, Psychic Relic & Meg & the Magnetosphere • Empire

The Avett Brothers • Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 7:30 pm • They have fewer beards

Concert Club, 1305 E. Tallmadge Ave., 7 pm • Dynamo Love plays to influences that range between Pink Floyd and Otis Redding while jam band Psychic Relic and the reggae/funk fusion rock of Drunken Sunday complete this stoner soundtrack.

than you’d expect. Sometimes. ($45-$50)

Saturday, Nov. 12

Shrimp Cocktail's Pastries n' Pasties • Jilly's Music Room, 7:30-10:30 pm • Dr. Sketchy’s welcomes back burlesque performer Shrimp Cocktail for three hours of amazing fun poses

on pg. 42) The rest of this line-up kills too,

Wednesday, Nov. 16 American Hobo History • F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm Visitors Center, 6:30 - 8:30 pm • Discover the history of the American Hobo and current status of the traveling rail riders. Bring your hobo stories to share. Hobo soup provided, if you bring a mug.

Thursday, Nov. 17 FUEL Akron • The Bit Factory, 526 S Main Street, 5 - 8 pm • A “Shark Tank”-like competition for entrepreneurs to present their startup idea and compete for up to $10,000 each in investment and a spot at The Bit Factory accelerator.

Synapse Lecture: Simon Schleicher • Akron Art Museum, 6:30 pm • German architectural designer Simon Schleicher joins the Synapse series, which explores collaborations between art and science, to share his research on bio-inspired compliant mechanisms — that is, cool-looking and bendy structures.

Friday, Nov. 18 Tall Tales of Akron album release show Akron Glass Works, 421 Spicer Street, 7 pm (doors) • Celebrate the release of Tall Tales of Akron’s sophomore album at Akron Glass Works’ new location. Glass-blowing demos will also be held in the basement.

Rhea Butcher w/ Ted Leo • Musica, 8 pm • This has been a good year for Rhea Butcher, the proud Akron native now living in Los Angeles. A stand-up by trade, she released her debut album on Kill Rock Stars, topping Akron Mini Maker Faire • ASCPL Main Branch, 60 S. High St, noon-4 pm • This is a free gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and more. For details, call 330-643-9075 or write RSVP online at

the comedy charts on iTunes, and starred with her wife, Cameron Esposito, on the show they co-created, “Take My Wife”, a fictionalized, TV version of their lives. She’s back home for a set at Musica with punk/indie/vegan musician Ted Leo.

Tedeschi Trucks Band • Akron Civic Theatre • A dozen musicians playing rootsy rock, blues, soul and gospel, led by guitar-wielding spouses Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. Tickets start at $29.50. Call 330-253-2488 for more details.

Return of the EP Cooker! Electric Pressure Cooker Cabaret Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8 pm

Con on the Cob (through Nov. 13) • Days Inn (4742 Brecksville Rd, Richfield), noon • But it’s not in Akron! So what? This four-day celebration of games, art, freaks and fun is more than enough reason to ride up the road a ways. Thanks to our friends at Oddmall, you can expect a wide and weird spate of experiences. It’s part gaming con, part panels and workshops, part art fair, part party and on top of all that, it’s “The Mother of All Marketplaces” too. Get all the details you need online.


Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts, Emotional Support Pigs, meteor moves • Hive Mind, 373 W Exchange St., doors at 8 pm; show at 9 pm • A leader in the anti-folk genre, a comic book artist and a renowned supporter of DIY, Jeffrey Lewis comes to Akron’s Hive Mind with Los Bolts touring their new album, "MANHATTAN". (Q&A with Jeffrey Lewis

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

None Too Fragile Theatre at Pub Bricco 1841 Merriman Rd., Akron The award-winning Wandering Aesthetics has just what you need to help blow off steam after the pressure cooker of Thanksgiving with the fam. The EP Cooker is a monthly open mic with an “anything goes” attitude featuring performances across the creative spectrum. Show up at 7:30 pm to sign up for a 10-minute slot. A house drum kit, keyboard and sound system (with operators) are provided. Musician Jeff Klemm, an Akron living legend who makes Charlie Hustle look lazy, is this month’s emcee. For more information, or to pre-register, visit Proceeds benefit WA’s Bigger than a Breadbox project, one of the 27 winners from the first Knight Arts Challenge for Akron, and they’re just $8,500 from hitting their $75,000 goal that let’s them keep the grant so do your part! Pub Bricco has a full bar and a wide selection of food. Food and alcohol are permitted in the theatre.



Wednesday, Nov. 23

wee ones, take them to meet Santa and explore Santa Land while having some up-close animal encounters or dining at the Zoo’s 4-star green certified restaurant. Or just marvel at the sights because this is the first time in 16 years they’ve hosted it. Remember, these are special events so check the website to make sure you know when to go. Pre-sale tickets start at $8 for children and $9 for adults — IF you have a membership. You should get a membership.

The Living Deads w/ Stoned Silent 8 pm • The Empire Concert Club, 1305 E. Tallmadge Ave. • This psychobilly two-piece hails from Denver but roams the world in their RV. Drummer Randy McKnight is an Akron native who met his match, bassist Symphony Tidwell, while touring with the Hillbilly Hellcats. The Living Deads’ sound falls somewhere between Screaming Jay Hawkins and The Ramones. Akron rock band Stoned Silent opens. Half Cleveland w/ Jeff Klemm, The Fifth Wheel • 8 pm • Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St. • It’s the night before Thanksgiving and guess who’s in the house. This five-star living timeline of some of Akron’s best music, from Tin Huey bandmates Chris Butler and Harvey Gold to 90s alt-rockers The Fifth Wheel to Maid Myriad’s Jeff Klemm, the hardest working dude currently on the scene.

Saturday, Nov. 26 The Nutcracker (through Dec. 4) • Akron Civic Theatre, 2 pm and 7 pm • C’mon. It’s “The Nutcracker” by the Ballet Theatre of Ohio. Act like you know. But check the website for tickets and more information. The Pretenders at E.J. Thomas Hall, 8 pm Chrissie Hynde was working in Dan Auerbach’s Nashville studio on the follow up to her 2014 album “Stockholm” when she was struck with the urge to reunite The Pretenders a full 36 years after their first album. If that wasn’t Akron enough for you, this show at EJ Thomas also features the locally beloved Time Cat who was picked by Chrissie herself. Tickets start at $37.50.

Sunday, Nov. 27

Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 Eat. Drink. Be merry. Nap. Repeat.

Friday, Nov. 25 "A Christmas Story" Movie & Trivia • 1:00- 3:30pm • See sidebar about Joanna Wilson’s new book.

Deck the Hall (through Dec. 30) • Stan Hywet, 5-8 pm • This has become a family tradition for Mr., Mrs. and Lil’ Lady Devil Strip. If you haven’t been, it’s hard to put into words what it’s like to stroll these magnificent grounds in the glow of 900,000 lights, many of which dance to music. Plus you can tour the historic Manor House, which is all dolled up, and check out Gingerbread Land, the on-campus Playgarden, which is an under-appreciated asset for parents. When your nose and ears turn a festive red from the chill, step into the Corbin Conservatory, which is practically tropical by comparison. The tree lighting starts at 5:30 pm every night and, of course, Santa will be waiting for the kiddos. Wild Lights (through Dec. 30) • Akron Zoo, 6-9 pm • Just wait until you see the Akron Zoo lit up this winter. Will it be cold? Probably, but that’s why they’ve got a S’mores station. If you have


Making Nature Jewelry • F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm Visitors Center, 3-4 pm • Psst, kids! Here’s a chance to make your moms or granny something special this holiday season. Make your dad take you so he gets points too.

Monday, Nov. 28 Project Ed Bear ‘Wizard of Oz’ Gala • Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway St., 5 pm This fundraiser, which benefits children battling cancer, is in its 22nd year and this years includes a “Wizard of Oz” theme for the food, fun and auction. The highlight of the evening is watching the kids take to the red carpet on their way to receive a Bravery Award. Tickets are only $30 for this great effort.

MOONLIGHT opens November 18th 99% on Rotten Tomatoes // A landmark film.




agenda Pictured left: Photo of Diamond Alexander, a Cleveland native attending the University of Akron, taken by Shane Wynn/The Devil Strip

currently enrolled this fall at the University of Akron will leave with debt but no degree to help them pay that off. About 60 percent of all UA students receive federal loans and the US Department of Education says students who leave early take with them a little more than $10,000 in federal loan debt. That’s a $12 million financial problem for just the students currently enrolled. This, however, stretches back to the Luis Proenza

An Open Letter to UA’s Next CDO words by Chris Horne; photos by Shane Wynn

The University of Akron is hosting three final candidates for Chief Diversity Officer, which has been open since Lee Gill accepted a similar position at Clemson University in February 2016. Each finalist gets to address the campus community at the Student Union Theatre. The first two will have done so by the time this issue goes to print. The candidates are: Dr. Bryan D. Samuel, director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, who spoke Oct. 31; Ame Lambert-Aikhionbare, chief diversity officer at Champlain College in Vermont, who spoke Nov. 2; and Jolene A. Lane, senior director in the Office for Diversity and Community Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University, who will speak Weds., Nov. 9 from 10-11 am.

Dear future Chief Diversity Officer, You may not know this but your job could be the most important one at The University of Akron. While plenty of folks on and off campus might disagree, I struggle to think of another position that has the potential to positively, directly and almost immediately impact the future and longterm health of both the university and our community as a whole. As I hope you are already aware, the graduation rate for UA’s black students

administration, so compound it by more than a decade. Yeah, that’s a lot of back-of-the-napkin math, but the point is that the impact of all this inaction has been enormous and is spread out all throughout the community at-large. This is why your job means so much. Had you been on campus last May, you might have witnessed a protest on the steps of Buchtel Hall. There, two dozen students, staff and faculty held signs and occasionally issued milquetoast demands in a call-and-response fashion: “What do we want? (A conversation!) When do we want it? (Now!)” But most of the time, they were silent unless you were up close enough to hear the chatter. They had put their trust in the university to help improve their futures, to help them have a better life. Their protest was an expression of that trust betrayed. Angel Poole, who helped organize the protest,

stepped up holding a sheet that rattled in her hands, either from the light breeze or is so abysmally low that two weeks ago a group of community leaders her nerves. Even if she wasn’t anxious, she’d called it “educational genocide” which may seem extreme but stick with have rather been somewhere else. Perhaps me here. reading the Brontë sisters. Or resting. Later that afternoon, the English major clocked in at As the former president and trustees repeatedly noted, most of the work and by the time classes started again on students who enroll at the University of Akron are from the area. While Monday, she’d put in 30 hours. Sometimes, she the current six-year graduation rate for all students is already troublingly works more, but she still had four term papers low at 40.6 percent, it’s much worse for Akron’s black students — an to write so there was only so much time left for appalling 12.3 percent. That means almost 2,070 of the black students the job.

United Way of Summit County


UNITED WAY IS TAKING ON ONE OF OUR COMMUNITY’S TOUGHEST PROBLEMS – GENERATIONAL POVERTY Through Bridges Summit County, we are building a more prosperous and sustainable community for all of us.




| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11


agenda When she gets her degree, Angel will be an outlier and she knows it. At UA, students like her are three times less likely to graduate within six years than the rest of the student body. That’s why these students — representing Black Students United, Black Excellence Commission, Student African American Brotherhood and others — were protesting. For reasons they

Why? Because there is no money, President Matthew Wilson wrote. That was the same response Wallace received to his other requests, including that OIE get a permanent home on campus to reflect “the importance of diversity as a core value to the university”.

base both in morality and scientific research, they don’t think their success should have to be so rare.

director of Multicultural Development be elevated to director and given a raise of $10,000, Wilson wrote, “I really struggle with this idea when we are looking at a 10 percent decrease in enrollment and corresponding drop in revenue.”

But since that day little, if anything, has changed, which is why more students protested during the homecoming football game. It’s why a community group, including local religious leaders and Akron NAACP chapter president Judi Hill, sent a letter to the Board of Trustees challenging them to finally act. The opportunity at the university is enormous. Even marginal gains would have a meaningful impact on hundreds of students. In reality, it affects thousands and thousands because, as Dr. John Queener, a licensed psychologist who teaches counseling psychology at UA, says, “Diversity is not just for the black students. Diversity affects the entire campus.”

When Wallace asked that the current assistant

Wallace responded to Wilson’s repeated concerns that the university can’t spare funds for diversity by writing, “Know that we are all acutely aware of our financial situation but I am also aware monies are being allocated. ...I see firsthand monies from the university paying for community luncheons and monies for temporary moves.”

The research suggests that’s true, that it improves learning outcomes as well as

These are all legitimate problems, and it isn’t Wilson’s fault that the trustees approved poorly conceived and executed programs that hastened the university’s poor financial situation and contributed to the significant drops in enrollment. It isn’t Wilson’s fault that Proenza, Scarborough and the trustees approved cuts

retention for all students. Former president

that weakened or eliminated programs being

Scott Scarborough told me he was familiar with those findings, but he had cut programs in the Office of Multicultural Development instead of investing in them the way he had by starting the faux-military Corps of Cadets, pumping another $700,000 into the athletics program for football stipends or the nearly $1 million spent on TrustNavigator’s student success coaches. Why?

run by Multicultural Development, which were not just proven effective but had an estimated return on investment of $1 million a year in tuition from retained students. Even the programs they’re boasting about aren’t being supported.

“Just thought we'd have a greater impact on all of our student populations, the numbers overall and within the various categories, through the success coaching,” Scarborough said.

Male Learning Community, describing it as “part of UA’s strategy to address racial disparities when it comes to student success.” Data gathered by the Office of Multicultural Development shows that AAMLC participants had a grade point average almost a full point higher than non-participating African-American males at UA. It had also contributed to much higher retention and persistence rates. Again, a major success. But what the ABJ failed to mention is that participation in the learning community had fallen off a cliff, dropping from 44 students in the 2014-15 academic year to just 14 students last year. That’s because the university “didn’t have the staff to provide the level of needed support,” according to an email from UA spokesman Wayne Hill. (continued on page 12)

His rationale is fundamentally no different than the “All Lives Matter” counter-argument to someone suggesting black people matter too. But that president is gone, so it may seem pointless to rehash that stuff. In reality, this falls on the Board of Trustees because they decide how money at UA is spent and they’ve decided it won’t be spent on helping black students stay in or graduate from the university. What I fear, what others on campus suspect will happen, is you’ll be hired, UA will get some good pub and you’ll go to work without much of a budget.

Why Is It Called Brittain Road? by Amanda Sedlak-Hevsener Brittain Road, spelled with two T’s in order to differentiate it from the country of Great Britain, runs from north to south between East Market Street and Howe Avenue, ending right near Chapel Hill Mall. As a result, it cuts through a good section of northeast

War necessities, was founded in 1832 by John T. Brittain and his family. The land that the town owned was on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River, making it a great place for a clay mill. As time progressed and modernization took hold, Akron began to take over many of the towns and villages in the area, including most of Brittain. Another part of Brittain was also lost during the 1950s when President Eisenhower founded the highway system that we

Akron. It’s easy to mistake Brittain Road’s name as a misspelled version of the aforementioned country, but this is not the case. Instead, the road is named after a former village. In the early 1800s, the area now known as Akron consisted of a number of smaller communities. One of these, called Brittain, after the family who founded it, was located on what is now the northeast side of the city. It was surrounded by towns that still exist today, including Mogadore and Tallmadge. The village of Brittain, which once consisted of a wagon shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a church, a blacksmith shop, and other pre-Civil

know of today, and the remainder became the Ellet neighborhood shortly thereafter. All that remains is the name of the street that was once known as Mogadore Brittain Road, and has now been shortened simply to Brittain Road. // Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local historian. She has an M.A. in History from the University of Akron, and is currently enrolled in the MLIS Museum Studies program at Kent State.

This past February, during Black History Month, the Akron Beacon Journal ran a front page story about the university’s African American

While the Board of Trustees office spent $300,000 in FY 2015-16 for its personnel alone, the trustees only gave Multicultural Development $244,000 total. When former interim CDO Rev. Carl Wallace requested three graduate assistants for the Office of Inclusive Excellence to offset the budget cuts and lost personnel, he was flatly turned down by the current administration.


NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |




What made Dan Van Auken so special by Ben Tausig Dan kept us honest. Since I met him in seventh grade, he had an earnestness, a steadiness, that never wavered throughout his way-too-short life. School is a time of profound self-doubt, and I'm sure Dan had that, like everyone. But unlike the rest of us, it never much affected how he carried himself. At times he scanned like a dad, if not a grandpa, for which we

suffering. And yet, Dan was a happy person, down deep, whether or not he always showed it, in ways that mattered. He took beautiful care of his body, after overcoming (long before I met him) whatever stigma might have come with having only one hand. He was a fine athlete, a runner mainly, but gifted in every sport I ever saw him play. He ran a 5K race during his

teased him, always aware and entirely correct that his friends were being jackasses. His stodgy demeanor led to such embarrassing tendencies as never taking advantage of anyone, diving with total dedication into an important, service-oriented career, loving and supporting his friends, keeping his word, trying his hardest, and being a great listener.

cancer, a great feat. Meanwhile he was also happy in his job which, although taxing, was a source of pride and an outlet for his love. The messages and other support he received from his students when he fell ill showed a depth that reflected the investment he had made in them. Teaching was an ideal field for the giving person that he was. And he was completed by the presence of his family and friends, all tsk-tsking aside. He followed people's lives closely, and cared about them, like few other people would do. He was proud of his parents

Dan was selfless to the point of suffering sometimes, and it is tragic in light of this that the hand life dealt him often compounded the (continued from page 11) So, while it may not be the current administration’s doing, this is the situation

inclusive university?’”

you’re stepping into now. These are the challenges you face. But it’s not all about money, really. It’s about will. The will to do the right thing. As difficult as UA has made it, the answers are not complex.

opportunity to move into a higher echelon of universities. In 2003, the gap between six-year graduation rates for whites and underrepresented minorities at the University of Akron was about 22 percent, which was virtually the same as it was at Ohio State back then.

Instead, the trustees have ignored the incredible

Queener, who is also president of the United Forum of Black Faculty, Staff and

Ten years later, the gap at Ohio State has been

Administrators, puts it this way: “We don’t have a radical agenda where we want to burn down the university. We’re just saying, ‘Why not use the best research we have and the best data we have to really make this a more

slashed in half but at UA, it grew to 28 percent, which The Education Trust reported was the 9th largest gap out of 450 four-year public institutions it measured. As of 2014, the gap at UA is 34.2 percent.

W h e r e c an you see

s, typ es of l emur da g rizzl y b e ars an


Van Auken Field officially opened Saturday, October 29 in Wadsworth behind Central Intermediate School where Dan used to teach. His former students, his family, friends and colleagues came from all over to be in attendance. However, I wanted, instead of publishing an account of the dedication or how his inner circle organized fundraisers to make it possible, to use this space to commemorate the man himself, so we asked his friend Ben Tausig to share some of his thoughts. It seems like a good time, also, to thank Steve Van Auken, Dan’s father. For the last several issues, Steve has been a columnist for The Devil Strip, penning “The Trouble with Old People” which never fails to make me laugh. Steve was gracious enough to speak to me about his son for a profile I wrote about Dan in June 2015. When we met at the “Danstravaganza” concert at Tangier, he seemed like family. If you’re interested, you can find that story, “Mr. Van Awesome”, at, and you can find Steve’s writing in next month’s issue, hopefully for a long time to come. - Chris H. and his sister, and with the people he'd chosen to surround himself with. I was often struck by the details he remembered about my life — everything I'd ever told him, I think, he'd listened to and retained. Which means that he must have consciously forgiven me for a lot.

ever again claim (or want to claim) to have a best friend. He graced us all with a steadiness, a selflessness, and a love that enrich us still. His loss will sting forever, but he was a wonderful human being who we were blessed to know. // Ben Tausig is assistant professor of music at Stony

You don't meet many Dans. I am sure that, in this life, Dan was my only Dan, and I won't

Brook University, and editor of the American Values Club crossword.

You know the bad news now. The good news is that, if you care deeply about this, you aren’t alone. The University of Akron is loaded with sincere, gracious and giving students, faculty and staff. While there are a few small-minded, petty jerks at UA — I can think of at least eight by name — the truth is that they are outnumbered by those who will help you make a meaningful difference. At the very least, working together, you should be able to make some noise.

// Chris Horne is the publisher of The Devil Strip and a straight, white male who was raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt at a conservative Christian church. Even he’s shocked by the galling indifference the trustees have shown to this aptly described “educational genocide”.

Create holiday memories at your Akron Zoo! Event Details: 6:00-9:00 p.m. Nov. 25-27 Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 22-23 & 26-30 Be mesmerized by a spectacular lighting event at Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo sponsored by Kay ® Jewelers. Advance tickets only. Get tickets now at the Akron Zoo or YOU’VE NEVER BEEN THIS CLOSE!


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11


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NOVEMBER JULY2016 2016 •• VOL VOL22 •• ISSUE ISSUE#11 #7 /

THE Devil Strip |



Recovery is

`what the other side´ of heroin

really looks like

How Jennifer Sullivan changed her life and took control of her story written by M. Sophie Franchi; photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti

“I remember the exact moment when we’re in the car, and we pull [up] to my apartment, and we walk inside, and he goes, ‘It’s okay.’ And he opens his hand and he goes, ‘Oxycontin or Morphine?’ And I was like, ‘Thank you, Jesus. This is my dream man.’ Because that’s how my addiction worked,” Jennifer says. Pictured left: Photo of Jennifer Sullivan, her

me: him or the heroin.” Jennifer’s addiction progressed after she suffered a head injury five years ago. She passed out at the bottom of the steps and woke up in the ICU. She recalls receiving Fentanyl patches for her pain. Instead of wearing them as one is supposed to, Jennifer was cutting them up and eating them.

daughters and Edith the dog by Ilenia Pezzaniti.


“If I don’t have sobriety, I don’t have anything.” Jennifer Sullivan waters down the juice and hands it to her 2-year-old daughter Gwynnie, who then asks for markers. Jennifer pulls a pencil box full of markers from the kitchen cupboard for Gwynnie, and another for one of her 3-year-olds, Kathryn, who has come into the kitchen to see what’s happening. Each box of markers is labeled with her daughters’ names so they don’t fight over them. It wasn’t always this way, but Jennifer now has a good relationship with her daughters: the twins Kathryn and Evelyn, and 2-year-old Gwynnie. Kathryn and Gwynnie sit quietly, coloring, listening to their mother tell her story.

get your wisdom teeth out and they give you some Percocet, you might take them and you get really tired and you sleep,” Jennifer says. “You give me a Percocet and I’ll have the house clean. Like I’m rearing to go. And so I was highly functional for many, many years.” After her surgery, Jennifer went to graduate school for creative writing in the NEOMFA at Kent State University. She graduated in 2008 and felt a void that needed to be filled. She needed a “next mission” for her “obsessiveness.”

Up to this point, Jennifer had never been dopesick. She would get leftover prescription painkillers from friends occasionally, but once they were gone, she’d go about her life as usual.

“If you don’t have a drug problem and you go


Jennifer’s drug use worsened when she was prescribed Adderall from the same doctor that was prescribing the Ambien. She found bath salts next, using them as well as methamphetamines. “That’s when a shift in my brain chemistry happened, and I became really wacky. I got down to a size 3. I thought I had parasites,” Jennifer recalls.

But as far as anyone could tell, Jennifer was still living a successful life. She wasn’t writing much, but she won Teacher of the Year. Then her relationship with Brandon turned tumultuous and he went back to Kansas. She’d stayed friends with Pete. He’d turned to the needle. Jennifer followed suit. Heroin, she thought, helped her come down from the meth. “I know this sounds insane, but the speed was so bad for me, that to shoot heroin brought me back to reality,” Jennifer says. Of course, heroin use brought its own problems. She stopped paying bills. The electricity was shut off. Then

Jennifer was not yet a At the time, she was teaching English at mother. She soon ended her Barberton High School and addicted to Ambien. relationship with Pete and met Brandon, the man who “I met a guy—that’s always how it goes—and I would father her children. remember I was on a date with him. It was like

In September, Jennifer graduated from Recovery our third date. And I [told] him, ‘Pete, I need to let you know something. I kind of Court. She has 13 months of sobriety today. have a problem with Ambien and I really like pain pills.’” v It began with a botched gallbladder surgery in 2001, for which Jennifer was in and out of the hospital for seven months. She was prescribed opiates for the pain.

She and Pete were together for two years. She explains how they were highly functioning addicts: “We never stole from our families; we always paid our bills. I ran a half-marathon sniffing heroin.”

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

Pictured right: Photo of Kathryn and Edith by Ilenia Pezzaniti

“I think for a lot of women, and maybe men, too, drugs and really unhealthy relationships go right together,” Jennifer says. “Their father — I don’t know what was worse for


recovery but one day, her dog went missing and was gone for seven days. That’s when Jennifer prayed to God, promising that if Edith came She sought help. Got into a program, was given back, she would quit doing heroin. Soon after, Subutex, which she’d stay on for a couple days. Edith was found alive on the side of I-77. In Edwin Shaw outpatient detox, she’d drop “That’s the first time I ever stopped doing urine for a drug test and then go down the drugs. That’s also when I realized you really hall and shoot heroin, which Jennifer would can’t just stop doing drugs. But I did because continue doing throughout her pregnancy. I promised,” says Jennifer. “So for eight days I

misdemeanor of child endangerment. She lost her job of 13 years and she lost custody of her children, who were given to their grandmother. Alive but spiraling, Jennifer went deeper into addiction.

“I thought it was a moral problem,” Jennifer says. “I thought, ‘I am just a shitty person. How could you possibly stick a needle in your arm when you’re carrying twins?’”

and Jennifer in the pumpkin

shortly after she started IV drug use, she became pregnant with the twins.

She understands now that it wasn’t about her morality. Addiction is chemical. “It overrides your midbrain, which tells you to reproduce and eat, so in your mind, you are either going to do this drug, or you are going to die.”

stayed locked in a room at my mom’s house.”

carriage by Kelly Cross

Jennifer would still get up and go to work every day, even while going through withdrawal. Still in withdrawal, she discovered she was pregnant with her third daughter, Gwynnie. If it ever would have made sense for her to stay off heroin — clean for eight days and finding out she was pregnant again — this was it. But she didn’t. “I went right back out and started using again because I freaked out about the pregnancy.”


If she’d had a program of recovery, Jennifer doesn’t think she would have struggled to stay sober, but it’s hard to commit to recovery when you don’t recognize what’s really happening.

She was in and out of the hospital throughout her second pregnancy. Subutex for a couple days. Heroin for a couple days. Even though she was in trouble for missing a lot of work, Jennifer continued until she ended up in the psychiatric ward at St. Thomas Hospital.

“I don’t think I realized I was a drug addict — which I know sounds ridiculous — because I was still going to work, because I had a house, and because I was always isolated in my disease.”

Once again, she was treated for her addiction. She went to IBH Addiction Recovery Center. Once again, she was treated with Subutex until she had Gwynnie. But something changed. This time, she stayed off heroin for a year. Brandon


got out of jail and went to rehab. When he got out of rehab, they reunited.

The twins were born early, which her doctor Almost immediately, Jennifer relapsed with one said wasn’t due to her drug use. Though neither Adderall. “I had a needle in my arm in two of her daughters experienced withdrawal, the days,” she says. newborns stayed in the NICU for two months. That whole time, Jennifer stayed sober. But the A week and two days after that one Adderall — night before they came home from the hospital, May 9, 2015 — Jennifer overdosed on heroin. she started shooting methamphetamines with her friend Pete. The twins were upstairs sleeping, and Gwynnie, not even a year old, was playing in the living For the next six months of her children’s lives, room. “I had this thought when I was walking Jennifer was shooting bath salts and meth, and in. I was like, ‘God, get me out of this.’ And then eventually heroin again. Her family took I sort of meant with their father, because he care of Kathryn and Evelyn during most of was already annoying me. He’d been out of this time. treatment for a week and a half, and I just knew I wasn’t going to stay sober with him.” There was a point when Jennifer couldn’t even touch her daughters. “I was shooting so many And yet, Jennifer left the room to shoot up with things into my body—it was the speed—that Brandon. I felt disgusting, and I would feel like I was poisonous to them.” Meanwhile, Brandon was in and out of jail and prison for domestic violence charges. When he got out of prison, Jennifer got back on Subutex to try once more to do right by her children, but her heroin addiction actually turned worse. “I was doing $150 worth a day,” Jennifer admits. It didn’t seem like that was going to change,


Pictured right: Photo of Evelyn

“That was the summer I started stealing from my family, selling all my furniture in the house, telling my mom I had to go drop [urine] for drug court and it cost $25, but I was doing that every day. She was giving me money every day.”

Jennifer had to go through drug screenings, meet with her caseworker and attend Recovery Court weekly. Instead of being fired, she was allowed to resign so she was eligible The child endangerment charges were dropped, for unemployment. She paid ahead on her bills with a tax return. That meant she could thanks to the attorney Jennifer’s family helped fully focus on recovery. She follows a 12her afford. Instead, she was charged with step recovery program, attending five to six property destruction and attended Recovery Court in lieu of conviction. She was still able to meetings per week. She also sees an individual counselor every week to get to the root of her see her daughters every day. addiction. She understands that she was using drugs to fix a problem, and she’s now trying to Jennifer went to detox five times that summer. figure out what that problem is. Fresh from IBH, She was trying to get on the Vivitrol shot, she did a lot of volunteer work with the REACH but she couldn’t stay sober long enough. She Project. continued failing drug screen and overdosed several more times, which she believes was a result of the Fentanyl that dealers had started mixing in with their heroin. “It got to the point in Drug Court where they were going to put me in jail to detox, and the only reason they didn’t is because of the notoriety of the Barberton Herald,” Jennifer says. “The Barberton Herald blasted me on the front page: Teacher on heroin — child endangerment.” Laura Ramsey, Jennifer’s caseworker, knew that her teaching career would be over if she had a mug shot. Jennifer surrendered to her mother. She would detox at her mother’s house once again. After a week, she went to IBH again and has been sober ever since. Laura cried when Jennifer graduated from Recovery Court in September. “We were just trying to keep you alive at that point,” Laura told Jennifer.

Jennifer died. Brandon found her on top of Gwynnie. When she woke up after being administered Naloxone, an emergency treatment used to treat opioid overdose, a police officer was charging her with a

Jennifer sponsors another woman who is in recovery and helps her through the 12 steps. She also speaks at rallies and awareness events for heroin addiction and recovery. This is how she works on being a better parent. “My mom gets annoyed with me and thinks I spend too much time doing that stuff, but that’s what keeps me sober, is to know that they only way that I can stay sober is to continue going to meetings, and sobriety has to come first,” Jennifer says. “Sometimes it might look like I’m putting sobriety ahead of [my kids], but if I don’t have sobriety, I don’t have anything. There’s no going back for me. It’s either death or jail, but I assume at this point, it would probably be death.”

v So why did it work this time? How was this detox, this stay at IBH different? The first time Jennifer went to IBH, she was pregnant with

“I can remember the sun coming in, and her Gwynnie, and when she got out, she took her little feet kicking, and I was like, ‘Man, why can’t I feel like this and be a mom. And that’s all kids back from her mother and went back to work with a newborn at home. I remember."


“The point of the REACH project is to have us out there in the community showing that alcoholics and drug addicts aren’t the scum of the planet and are doing good things,” she says.

This time, that wasn’t an option. She no longer had custody of her children. “I had to focus 100 percent on recovery, and I had to go through the court systems—both the juvenile courts to get them back, and also Drug Court. So, that held me accountable.”

Now Jennifer is trying to figure out how to live a normal life. She has a counselor who comes to her home to work with her and her daughters, to help them build a healthy relationship. “I could order a wine in France, but I didn’t know how to cook meals for my kids. I’d gone my whole life seeking these experiences—I think that’s the writer in me—and having these great moments, but not being able to pay bills on time,” Jennifer says. “Though I tell you I’m 39, I think emotionally I’m 24.”

NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 /

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break the cycle

Community Health Center Holds Its First Annual Recovery Mile

// Photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti


Community Health Center held its First Annual “Break The Cycle” Recovery Mile, a free event open to anyone who has been personally affected by addiction, and to people who just want to help support those who are. On September 30, Lock 3 was alive with hope and compassion and inspiration. With DJ’s, a photo area, entertainment and inspirational speakers, 200 people showed up to join Community Health Center in recognizing those lost to addiction and celebrating those still fighting it. CHC was able to raise roughly $16,625 to support the treatment and recovery services they provide to the community. CHC thanks the top three fundraising teams: 1st Place: 12 Steps 2nd Place: The Frontline Warriors 3rd Place: Illumetek Cares

For more information about Community Health Center, to learn about services or about how to help them continue to help the community, contact Development Director Dave Rich at or (330) 315-3770.

Community Health Center 725 E Market St, Akron, Ohio (330) 434-4141 •


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11


// Photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti

the arts




The second round of winners for Akron's Knight Arts Challenge were announced Oct. 26 at the Civic Theatre in an event featuring speeches by Knight Foundation big wigs as well as performances by the Carla Davis band, Wandering Aesthetics and Neos Dance Theatre. About a million dollars was awarded for a variety of arts-related projects, including The Devil Strip's partnership with the City of Akron for Live at Lock 4, a monthly summer event that showcases live local music, food trucks, craft beer and yard games in the city's coolest hidden treasure. (Photos courtesy of Shane Wynn.)






Proud to be a recipient of the Knights Arts Challenge. Watch for exciting announcements about next year’s event.






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THE Devil Strip |


// Photo courtesy of Willow Performing Arts Academy

the arts

beyond the vision board

DreamUP encourages women to create art that pushes them toward achieving a life goal by Megan Combs

Life goals are often bigger and more complex than any magazine clippings or drawings on a vision board could ever represent. That’s why Traci Buckner and Dreama Whitfield

“We plan to bring different women together who share some commonalities,” Buckner said. “Oftentimes we focus on our differences, but when you peel back the layers, you really have

“We want to uplift women who participate, but also uplift women artist entrepreneurs to share Pictured above: Traci and Dreama accept their Knight Arts Challenge Award. Submitted by Traci Buckner their talents with others,” Buckner said.

collaborated to create DreamUP, a series of art classes for women to help physically manifest the visions and goals they have in their lives.

more in common than you think.”

“We also want to stimulate conversation between these women,” Whitfield added. “Akron is very diverse, and we want the women to understand that, even though they are different, they share a lot of commonalities.”

Each class will be taught by an art teacher from the area, and Whitfield and Buckner hope the 2016 Knight Arts Challenge winner DreamUP finished product will be a reminder of the goal was awarded $20,000 to bring these programs each woman set and how they plan to achieve to life. However, in order to get the money from it, or how they’ve achieved it already. At the the Knight Foundation, Buckner and Whitfield end of a series of five classes, DreamUP will must raise funds to match the award. host an art show with all the women’s pieces to showcase their talent.

Whitfield, a Career Pathway Specialist and licensed therapist at Akron City Schools considers herself a cognitive artist. “I am good at visualizing for myself and helping others visualize,” Whitfield said. “I can spark

Both Buckner and Whitfield consider themselves creativity using my gift cognitively, and Traci can use her abilities to make that vision 3-D.” artists in different ways. Buckner, a Program Officer at the GAR Foundation, gets artsy with To help raise the remaining 30 percent of homemade jewelry and greeting cards. the funds, Whitfield and Buckner will host a fundraiser at 5:30 pm on November 18 at Gavin Scott Salon. Tickets will provide access to several salon services, as well as appetizers, drinks, art and music. For tickets, visit facebook. com/DreamTheVision. Whitfield and Buckner shared this advice for future Knight Arts Challenge applicants: “You have to have perseverance, and it has to be something you believe in. It takes a lot of work and passion that you have to stick with.”

To connect with DreamUP, check out their website at To donate, visit // Megan’s life goal masterpiece is forming in her belly as we speak. Lincoln Elliott will be here in February.


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11


// Photo courtesy of Willow Performing Arts Academy

the arts

Theresa Cruz is a dancer, but she can no longer dance. She can walk, but two years ago she couldn’t even do that. Theresa is from Akron. She left for a time but returned and brought her husband, Allen, back with her. The couple met in Chicago, fell in love, and decided to make Akron their home. Here, they found a supportive community and made it even stronger by their willing vulnerability: sharing their struggle with infertility in order to help and encourage others in the same circumstance. Fast forward to 2014. As a dancer, Theresa was increasingly passionate about teaching dance. Her dream was to start a dance school, and she was doing everything in her power to make that happen. She was teaching 30 dance classes

a week and looking into the process of starting a school in her home. In October of 2014, Theresa decided to attend a dance education conference in Chicago. On her way home, she was slowed by construction traffic on the highway. A semi truck driver behind

Two years after the accident, Theresa still suffers from vertigo, short-term memory loss, and seizures. She must rest more and still occasionally loses her speech. And yet her determination has given her the ability to push through therapies of all sorts. She now

Theresa to recover more thoroughly and quickly than anyone thought possible.

her was texting on his phone and missed the break lights, barreling into a line of cars. He took and changed lives in a single moment— Theresa’s included.

walks with the aide of a cane, speaks without hesitation, and is relearning the physical act of dance. She requested a physical therapist with a dance background, traveled to see her old dance instructor in North Carolina, and attends conferences and shows in order to spur

brain a chance to recall what it had lost. It was this support that inspired Theresa to create a dance school—a school that teaches dance and artistic movement of all kinds and gives students an idea of what community should look like. Students learn not only the grace of

memories of dance. All of these things have helped her regain herself and her art. And that is just the beginning.

movement, but also the grace of compassion, taking on a philanthropic venture each month.

Theresa doesn’t remember much from the accident since her airbag did not deploy and her head bounced back and forth between the steering wheel and the seat. Her best friend Shannon joined our interview to help recall the details. Theresa was life-flighted to the NeuroICU in Toledo. She couldn’t speak or walk. Any sort of sensory overload would make her brain shut down. She spent about 9 months signing before she learned to speak again.

This fall, Theresa rebuilt a studio in her house and opened Willow Performing Arts Academy, a dance school for all ages. Many of her old students came back and are attending Willow. That supportive community rallied around her and her artistic vision in a way that allowed

Her old students came by as she was learning to speak again and reintroduced themselves to her, spending time with her and giving her


Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space is organized by the Akron Art Museum and generously supported in part by the Lehner Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Special thanks to Hilton Garden Inn – Akron. Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation


One South High I Akron, OH 44308 I

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the arts

B // Photo courtesy of Weathervane Playhouse

The Voice of Akron

Weathervane Playhouse connects volunteers to the art of community theater by Melanie Anderson


Nestled in the Merriman Valley is the Weathervane Playhouse, a longstanding establishment for community theater and a strong member of the Akron artistic community. Now in its 82nd season, the playhouse is currently showing a production of “Red,” soon

In this way, the performances at the Weathervane take on a voice that no playhouse outside of Akron could do: the voice of Akron.

to be followed by the classic “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.” However, the theater is not only a place for entertainment; it is a place that develops skills and reveals potential as members of the Greater Akron community pool their abilities together to make a script come alive on stage.

to creating costumes and props to ushering and assisting in gift shop sales. With opportunities such as the Emerging Artist Series, actors as young as 10 have an opportunity to perform in complex and professional productions, and many volunteers go on to become established members of the Weathervane family.

The Weathervane is one of the largest and longest running community theaters in the Akron area, and finds a great deal of its success from the volunteers who make it what it is. The Weathervane is about community, and it provides opportunities for all who wish to dip their toes in the well of theater.

Dieringer explains that professional experience is not necessary to get involved.

"Community theater is tremendously important to a city and region," explained Todd Dieringer, the director of marketing and technology at Weathervane. "It creates a cultural outlet that is unique to its home. Although the theater may be producing a show that is set in a different geographic region or time period, the cultural influence of the artists will have its own flavor added to the presentation."


Akron lends its voice through its wide range of volunteers, working on everything from acting

"Since education is a key part of our mission, we accept volunteers with little to no experience in whatever task they are interested in trying, as we will provide training and mentoring," he said. The key is not years of theater under one's belt, rather it is the enthusiasm and interest of those who wish to get involved, and a deep, shared love for theater.

people who they come to know as family. While developing skills through mentoring or through the classes offered by the Weathervane, budding artists learn not only the ins and outs of theater, but also have the opportunity to gain confidence and discover their passions. In a recent discussion about the opportunities the Weathervane provides, Dieringer talked about the magic that happens with live performance. One volunteer actor recently wrote an essay in which she shared a beautiful and personal story about how acting helps her overcome anxiety. In another case, a third-grade acting student went from being apprehensive and uncertain in her classes to gaining the confidence to go on stage on the class's final performance day and later to go on to be cast in the summer production of Roald Dahl's “Willy Wonka." "She found her voice and her wings took flight," Dieringer said. "That is the magic of our theater." // Melanie is an aspiring writer and professional wanderer. She is excited for all the opportunities

Coming up at the Weathervane Playhouse:

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Will run from Nov. 22 through Dec. 18.

“The Santaland Diaries” a sarcastic one man show Will run the Christmas season from Dec. 1 through 17.

Akron has to offer for those interested in the arts and

For many volunteers, it’s not just something to do, it is a way to connect deeply with the arts and to make wonderful memories with

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11


For tickets, check out the Weathervane Playhouse’s website at WWW.THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

the arts

University Spotlight: • 330.835.9945

Jaclyn Hale

Weaving a connection between the past and present. words and photos by Bronlynn Thurman


Bridging the gap between the traditional and modern process has led University of Akron senior Jaclyn Hale to create a collection all her own. Inspired by textiles, Hale has re-woven the often overlooked craft using metals.

“The faculty are the reason why I've ‘survived’ art school and have been so successful in terms of scholarships and awards -- they made me believe in myself even when I didn't,” Hale said. “They genuinely care tremendously about their students’ success and well-being both

“I often find myself being drawn into layering

inside and outside of school. I've never heard of students in other departments/ colleges have relationships with their professors like we do at Myers.”

“I believe that I can have just as successful of a career, perhaps even more so, right here in Akron, and have this awesome community for that is prevalent in textiles: fascinated by the support,” Hale said. “I think that is important complexity of a particular braid, knot, or weave, for people to understand.” the fibers from which they come, and the // Bronlynn, the woman of many nicknames, loves objects that they then create,” said Hale in her hearing the voices of young artists. artist’s statement.

Create, Learn, Discover, and Play Saturday, November 12, Noon to 4 pm Main Library To keep up with all the Akron Mini Maker Faire news, visit akronminimakerfaire

But textiles were not her only source of inspiration. As a young girl, weaving was a common occurrence with her grandmother. “I felt very connected with her throughout this whole body of work and she’s now passed,” said Hale. And The University of Akron’s Myer’s School of Art nurtured, educated and helped shape her into the woman she is today.


For more information please call 330-643-9075

Lit Arts

Bookworms Rejoice A List of Local Bookstores to Satisfy the Bibliophile in You words and photos by Grace Ebner

Does your heart race when you spy a beautifully bound book? Do you swoon at the smell of paper, glue, and ink? Are you looking to indulge your love for romance novels without breaking the bank, or do you want to track down an illustrated collection of Charles Dickens’s novels? Then this list is for you! I’ve discovered that the greater Akron community is home to several charming bookstores that are Rory Gilmore-worthy. Read my notes below, and then grab your bookish friends and support these local bookstores.

Snowball Bookshop

564 West Tuscarawas Avenue, Barberton Cats. Need I say more? Snowball Bookshop is home to two literary felines, and they’re not snobs. These precious kitties will happily follow you around the shop as you peruse the adorable children’s section, scan the expansive sci-fi and romance novel shelves, or brush up on occult literature. Selling primarily used books, Snowball Bookshop is located right in the heart of the newly revamped Arts & Entertainment District of downtown Barberton. Kave Coffee Bar is conveniently located next door if you want to sip espresso while you read your newly purchased book, and Lake Anna is just a short walk away if you prefer to read somewhere outside with a view. Pictured above (left to right): The children’s corner at Snowball Bookshop; Impressive books at The Bookseller, Inc.; If your answer is no, then buy a book at Buckeye Bookshop!; An inside peek at Last Exit Books.; The Highland Square Little Free Library.

The Bookseller, Inc.

39 Westgate Circle, Akron If you want to impress your English major friends, or perhaps bribe a professor, this is the place to go. With a wow-worthy selection of old, rare, and first edition books, I felt like I was in a museum. In addition to single novels,

Book Review: Westgate Shopping Center 39 Westgate Cir. Akron, OH 44313

(330) 865-5831

PLASTIC VODKA BOTTLE SLEEPOVER Mila Jaroniec’s compelling coming of age story by Noor Hindi

this used bookstore also has many sets, such as Aldous Huxley’s works and Charles Dickens’s illustrated novels. After ogling at the exquisite books of the past, I checked out the rest of the store, which has a large selection of art books, an entire shelf devoted to rubber, and of course poetry, fiction, and children’s titles.

Buckeye Bookshop

795 Brittain Road, Akron Entering the doors of Buckeye Bookshop feels like entering a book cave. Covered floor to ceiling in bookshelves crammed with books, with even more books in boxes and tote bags along the floor, this would be a perfect space for a literary scavenger hunt. Buckeye Bookshop has a particularly large selection of pet books, and many shelves of your favorite mass-market paperbacks. And the good news about this expansive used book collection is that Buckeye Bookshop has been offering inventory clear-out sales. Want to do some early holiday shopping for the book lovers in your life? Check this place out!

Last Exit Books

124 East Main Street, Kent Located in downtown Kent, Last Exit Books is a meticulously organized used bookstore, complete with its own coffee shop and record section. It was at this bookstore that I finally Bursting with wild language and stunning images, Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover by Mila Jaroniec is must-read. The language is edgy, and oftentimes terrifying in its depiction of loss. Through short, staccato-like paragraphs, we meet our narrator, a young woman who often echoes the sentiments of millennials. A compelling coming of age story, Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover is a voice for the misfits and the lost.

caved and made a purchase. Snapshots of a Girl, a graphic novel by Beldan Sezen, caught my eye and had my heart after a few pages. Then, as I was browsing their impressive poetry section, I picked up Pinoy Poetics: A Collection of Autobiographical and Critical Essays on Filipino and Filipino-American Poetics edited by Nick Carbó for my friend Lyra. In addition to boasting lots of interesting books that are just begging to be read, the store also hosts Friday Open Poetry Readings once a month at 8:00 P.M. The next one is on November 18th, so plan to attend and experience the magic of hearing poetry out loud.

Highland Square Little Free Library

792 West Market Street, Akron And last but not least, be sure to stop by the Highland Square Little Free Library. Located right next to Angel Falls Coffee Company, this A-frame cottage is home to donated books. Leave a book, take a book, and share the love of reading with the Akron community. With the selection of donated books changing each week, this is a place you’ll want to visit often. And, as an added bonus, you might just meet some pretty cool people while you’re there, like this baby reading Virginia Woolf (pictured). // Grace Ebner thinks everyone should read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

release date is November 15. Jaroniec has been working on the book for about seven years, and said she has always wanted to be an author. She said the book started out as a collection of short stories, but it wasn't until Jaroniec was halfway into her MFA at The New School that they began to form a novel.

Published by Split Lip

"Writing anything is challenging, and people who say different are either lying or not very good at it," Jaroniec said. "I'm working on another novel now and the only easier thing about the second time around is that I know I've

Press, Plastic Bottle's

(continued on page 44)


Your news feed is full of parenting advice.

So are our pediatricians. To find a pediatrician near you, visit

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4/8/16 5:39 PM

culture club



ROOTED AKRON CAITLIN BOYLE Occupation: Hometown: Home Now: Contact:

Owner at Rooted Akron, Healing Arts Director at Big Love Network, Reiki Master Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada; grew up in Huron, OH North Hill



Occupation: Hometown: Home Now: Contact:

What's your Big Idea? To create a safe space for our community to heal, a space where complementary and alternative medicine and various healing

Why pursue it? No one should be denied a space to heal, especially due to their monetary income. So many of us have trauma. From the moment we

modalities, meditation, and adjunct therapies can be explored. In this space, you won’t be turned away from these beneficial modalities because of your income. Instead, this center will work to provide access to this care across socioeconomic barriers so we all have a chance to heal from physical, emotional and mental trauma. This will provide a place where folks can find adjunct methods to aid in their health, healing and well-being and not replace Western medicine.

are born, or sometimes even before birth, we encounter traumatic experiences, some large and some small, some emotional, some mental, and some physical, that we carry with us. When we grant ourselves the time and space to move through that trauma and explore alternative methods of healing, we can experience transformations of mind, body and spirit. There is true value these methods have made in our lives, as well as in others’. We want to be

Owner at Rooted Akron, Healing Arts Director at Big Love Network, Yoga Teacher Akron North Hill

a part of the movement to put these methods on the map as legitimate, real and important. We want to support the incredible individuals already working with these different methods

passion, and part of our purpose.

in our community by joining in a network to offer their gifts and passions on a communitywide scale. We want to provide these beneficial adjunct therapies to as many in Akron as we can, especially to folks who, because of a number of political, social, economic, racial, and ethnic reasons, do not have access to

How do you hope your big idea helps Akron grow? As we move down this journey of healing and explore ways in which we can simply just be, it’s like pieces of ourselves connect back together. We start to feel whole, we feel growth.

them. We want to create a space where yoga, yoga therapy, Reiki, doula care, garden therapy, music therapy, art therapy and massage, to name a few, are offered to our community without the weight of financial burdens.

Imagine if as many folks in our beloved community were given the opportunity to experience this. What would our community look like, feel like, act like? Through the exploration of complementary and alternative medicine, healing modalities, adjunct therapies and meditation, Akronites can feel supported as they take the time they truly need to heal, to explore, to be.

When did you know your big idea was a good idea? Our intuition tells us! This is our life’s work, our


intage ault

Collectibles Antiques Nostalgia 1900 W. Market St. Akron, Oh. 44313

216-513-0918 Open 7 days a week 10-5 Located in the Pat Catan's parking lot


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11


culture club

Community News Brief An overview of community news in Akron

yet been finalized. There will be an open house held at Valley View Golf Club on Sunday, October 16th from noon to 3 pm in order to celebrate the purchase of the property. Employees will be present to discuss the park services’ future plans. People will be allowed to walk around the property, and free wagon rides will be available as well.

by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener

iC.A.R.E in-school mentoring becomes United Way program Summit Metro Parks Purchases Valley View Golf Club and Plans Open House Celebration The Summit Metro Parks have finalized their purchase of the Valley View Golf Club, located at 1212 Cuyahoga Street in Akron, for $4 million dollars. This adds another 194 acres to their holdings, and completes a “missing pieces of the puzzle” according to Nathan Eppink. The property lies in between Cascade Valley, the Gorge parks, and Sand Run Metro Park, and its purchase fills in that gap. The park service plans to restore the former golf club to a natural state, although they will set aside some of the acreage for activities. A golf course had been open on the property since 1956, when the former farmland was purchased by Carl Springer. The space includes 2,000 feet of the Cuyahoga River and 65 acres of floodplain. It is believed that wetlands and streams will be restored as part of the naturalization process, although plans have not


Thank God It’s Friday and I Can Hike words and photos by Grace Ebner

The United Way of Summit County has recently acquired the iC.A.R.E. Mentoring program, strengthening its efforts to enhance the lives of Akron Public students. The iC.A.R.E. program started three years ago, and works with the Akron Public School System to match up students in need with an volunteer mentor. The mentors work with their mentees at least one hour per week, working on school work and providing a source of stability for students whose lives may be in flux. “It’s a great source of stability for students,” says Jonathan Greer, director of iC.A.R.E Mentoring for United Way. “More than a third of Akron public school students change schools each year, but mentors follow their mentees from school to school.” By taking on the iC.A.R.E. program, the United Way of Summit County hopes to provide more volunteer opportunities for its corporate partners, whose employees could join the program as mentors. This will allow them to have a larger impact on the kids and young

Go On A Healthy Stride Hike The Summit Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree continues this month, and you can earn hiking credit by attending a Healthy Stride event. The Healthy Stride Hikes include a casual walk (not a fast paced one) that starts off with a good health presentation given by an experienced caregiver or physician. The Healthy Strides hikes being offered in November are:

presented by Douglas Harley, DO, Akron General Canal Physician Group Cascade Valley Metro Park / Oxbow Trail 1061 Cuyahoga St., Akron Saturday, November 26, 10 – 11:30 a.m. Topic: Weight Loss/Maintenance Over the Holidays, presented by Samantha Almendras, MD, Akron General Summit Adult Medicine Center Liberty Park / Ledges Area 9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg In order to complete the Fall Hiking Spree, participants need to hike a total of 8 trails, during the allotted time period. There are fourteen designated trails to choose from, each at a different Summit Metro Park. You need to pick 7 of these trails, and then hike the trail of your choice. Signups for the Fall Hiking Spree can be done online or via the forms available at Summit Metro Parks and Acme Fresh Market stores. Participation is free for Summit County Residents.

Crossing shopping center, which is just about a five minute drive from the Schumacher Valley Area. With several restaurants to choose from, we settled on

the fact that my exercise routine has basically been reduced to walking around campus and turning pages in books, and you have a person in need of a Friday hike and pizza date (because what person doesn’t love nature and pizza?!).

PIZZAFIRE (yes, the company capitalizes its name like this!). I created my own pizza, opting for their Authentic Neapolitan Red Sauce and vegan cheese with tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil on top. It was delicious! My mom ended up creating her own pizza as well, choosing ranch bacon sauce and mozzarella cheese with banana peppers, green peppers, and red onions on top. This was my mom’s first time at PIZZAFIRE, and she was definitely impressed with her pizza.

But this time I looked like the punctual one! We set out on the Schumacher Trail, which is 1.2 miles and rated 3 for “difficult.” The trail took us into the woods, where some of the trees had just started to change to their fall colors. This trail is a great compromise for folks who don’t want a trail that will take too long to hike, but who still want to feel like they are fully immersed in nature. After our hike, we headed to the Portage

ap arnie’s public house

Wednesday, November 2, 12 – 1 p.m. Topic: Preventative Health and Vaccination,

It’s that point in the semester where I’m starting to realize that all of the projects I’ve been procrastinating on should have been started, like, yesterday. Add to that

So on a Friday afternoon, I met up with my mom at the Schumacher Valley Area of Cascade Valley Metro Park. I arrived first, which isn’t saying much because my mom is also a perpetually late person.


adults who need mentors, as more of them can be helped.

After our meal, we parted ways, and I returned back to campus to continue my well-developed skill of procrastination. // Grace Ebner collects vintage Breyer model horses. Pictured left: Heading out on Schumacher Trail.

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


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

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Pictured above: A neglected area, waiting to be rebuilt. Pictured left: The spiral heart sits at the center of the street mural. (Photos courtesy of Stephanie Leonardi)

care, it’s easy not to care,” Leonardi explains, pointing out an abandoned house. “If it’s clear people care, it’s harder to do something like throw trash on the ground.” She also organized the construction of a portable wood-fired pizza oven that is used at community events around the neighborhood. The actual construction of the oven, made with cement embellished with crockery fragments, was mostly completed by the neighborhood children. Because the work was done in the side yard of the house she shares with other recent transplants, everyone walking by had some connection to the project.

How to

repair a

If Leonardi worked in the framework a more traditional non-profit, the account of her projects would be described in terms of forging publicprivate partnerships or leveraging resources. But her story is different. In fact, she will insist that the story is not about her


Pictured left: Stephanie Leonardi works the pizza oven at the Summit Lake Community Center.

by Scott Piepho


(Photo courtesy of Scott Piepho)

tephanie Leonardi lives in a difficult neighborhood. A few blocks to the west lies Summit Lake, once the center of area recreation, before years of industrial pollution befouled it and Interstate 76 bisected the neighborhood in the late 1950s. Today, “Summit Lake” stands for poor and blighted in the Akron lexicon. The neighborhood east

But Leonardi moved to the neighborhood two and a half years ago, and is one of a number of people helping to grow a vital community in a mostly forgotten patch of the city. She explains that by living in the neighborhood, she and her housemates are able to form relationships

of the lake that Leonardi calls home, hemmed in by the freeway to the north and Main and Broadway to the east, is a place that much of Akron rushes by on their way home without giving it much thought.

Walking around the neighborhood, Leonardi points out some of the projects she has led. The neighborhood came together over the summer to paint a street mural at the intersection of Long and Edison, near a Let’s Grow Akron

but about the importance of creating real relationships.

which is the key to making things better.

Some of the groups working in Summit Lake. Stephanie Leonardi is not alone in working to improve the quality of life in the Summit Lake neighborhood. Here are a few of the many organizations who are active in the neighborhood. Akron City Repair. The Portland, Oregon City Repair Project is dedicated to “artistic and ecologically oriented placemaking. In addition to Summit Lake, Akron City Repair is active in West Hill, Cascade Valley, and Middlbury.

She oversaw the mural while working for the city’s Summer Art Experience. The public art projects cleaned up some of the evident neglect in the neighborhood. “When you walk by a where you see people don’t

Big Love Network. Big Love is an “evolving network” seeking to reinvigorate neighborhoods. Its projects include an arts festival and get-out-the-vote events. Big Love is also the sponsor of Akron City Repair.

by Scott Piepho


community garden. Down the street, an installed mural borders a vacant lot that was converted to green space with new benches.

Let’s Grow Akron. A non-profit that supports community gardens in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce, it seeks to “overcome urban blight and alleviate hunger.” In addition to education and financial aid to neighborhoods cultivating urban gardens, the organization teaches kids about marketing the produce and provides them paying jobs.

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

She first became acquainted with the neighborhood through Pastor Duane Crabbs’s South Street Ministries. Crabbs, a former firefighter and paramedic, started the ministry 19 years ago, moving his family into the neighborhood soon after. Leonardi volunteered in the neighborhood for a few years, finding it increasingly wrenching to leave. She also found (continued on page 27)

South Street Ministries. Duane Crabbs’s Ministry offers a number of programs, centered around the Front Porch Café, a rehabbed building on Grant Street. Front Porch is a working restaurant where ex-offenders and recovering addicts have found jobs. It also offers worship and meeting space. The ministry also offers reentry, recovery and youth programs. Summit Lake Community Center. The community center is operated by the city of Akron offering a variety of programs year-round for youth and adults.


culture club

By Ilenia Pezzaniti

In 1898, banking was a business run by men, until Jane Bates Bowman showed them that was horseshit. Jane’s grandfather, George D. Bates, Akron’s second mayor, founded Second National Bank, originally George D. Bates & Co., now First National Bank, in 1856. It was located on Howard St. near Market here in Akron. Forty years after its grand opening, Jane would become the first woman banker in Akron and Ohio. She was 19 years old.

into a new home. “I got three pairs of nylons for that poem,” she said, “Who says poetry doesn’t pay?” Jane was born on March 9, 1879 in Akron. She graduated from Akron High School and went on to Buchtel College, where she was studying Latin and became a sorority sister. Her college career was cut short when her father passed away. George T. Perkins was president of the bank in 1898, and he was progressive enough to

Jane earned $3 a week at the Second National bank until eventually she was making a whopping $25 dollars a month (actually good for those days). Jane wasn’t only a trailblazer, but a complete badass. A charter member of the Business Women’s Club, she smoked cigarettes in ivory holders and talked baseball—she was an avid fan of the Cleveland

want to hire a woman because he “didn’t know why they couldn’t have a girl working in the bank,” so he called her in. Women didn’t even go into banks back then, let alone work in them. Only two women had accounts at the bank when Jane worked there. Jane was the only woman who worked at Second National for 10 years. She retired from the banking biz at

Indians and even went to a World Series. She’d vacation in New York every year, watching two Broadway shows a day. She played poker; in fact, she played so much poker, it was known as her favorite “sport” among her friends, who gave her a butcher’s apron for the coins she earned. Jane was also drawn to reading and writing. She read one detective story a day, but

71 with 52 years of service.

her main love was writing poetry. She once wrote a poem for a man who had just moved

Akron General Hospital at the age of 83.

(continued from page 26) in her school teacher position, “I couldn’t love children; I couldn’t love families.” When a group home purchased by Terri Johnson opened in the neighborhood, she moved in and soon after she resigned her position with Akron Public Schools. At a Big

event at the nearby Summit Lake Community Center, she attracts a cloud of children. She has a smile and hug for every adult who comes by.

Love Network street festival she learned about City Repair, a Portland based organization dedicating to combining art and sustainability toward redeveloping distressed neighborhoods. She was able to attend a City Repair training session and came back full of ideas and energy.

intersection. A couple of punches connected. Leonardi waded into the crowd, persuading groups of boys to go separate ways. The incident demonstrated the virtue of Leonardi’s choice. By becoming part of the neighborhood and forging real relationships, she had the moral authority to diffuse what could have been an ugly situation.

Toward her mid-sixties, people would call Jane to ask her about Akron’s earlier days. “People keep calling me up to find out about early Akron. And I don’t feel at all like an old-timer,” she said to reporter Oscar Smith in 1946. With her spirit, I doubt she ever did. Jane died in

After a recent community meal, trouble started to escalate in a group of mostly teenage boys who had gathered near the street mural

She currently has an “actual job” as project manager for the Summit Lake Pump House, a Knight-funded effort to turn the long-neglected Not everyone can meet Stephanie Leonardi’s structure into a community and art space. She level of commitment, but the difference is working to get community input about what is apparent. the final result should look like. Pictured right: The street mural with the community garden beyond. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Leonardi)

Leonardi makes clear that the relationships she forms are more important than the tangible projects. Walking around the neighborhood or an




Jane Bates Bowman


Akron HERstory:

Digging Jessica Kaisk Lately I’ve been really into reading “The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and created Modern Crime” by Judith Flanders. I think it’s a great book for understanding how crime, the enjoyment, and the exploitation of it for entertainment began. The author did a fantastic job researching the topic and bringing to life how violence and death were perceived. Plus it’s a great read for the season!

Scott Piepho I am currently digging the Gimlet Media podcast Reply All (a show about the Internet) and especially that podcast’s occasional feature “Yes Yes No.” In it, Gimlet Media co-founder Alex Bloomberg brings a tweet he does not understand to the show’s hosts. Then they explain until everybody gets to “Yes Yes Yes.” The feature could have been fluffy, but they choose their topics well, offering primers on relatively important topics like how Pepe the frog became a racist meme and the deep history of #Gamergate.

Roger Riddle I have been reading a manga graphic novel series titled “Lone Wolf and Cub.” Originally published in 1970, the story follows Ogami Itto who was once the Shogun’s executioner. Ogami now lives as a ronin (a wandering samurai with no master) who travels as an assassin. The ronin takes assassination jobs that allow him to flush out a shadow organization that caused his fall from grace within the government. To make things more tense, through all of his travels he is accompanied by his toddler son. The series is known for its stark and gruesome depiction of the Edo period of Japan.

Authentic Akron Akron” Clothing, Gifts and More! 18 N. High St., Akron, OH

Culture Club

New / Native: Photos by Jessica Morris

Brant T. Lee

Occupation: Law Professor Hometown: San Francisco Neighborhood: Merriman Hills (Palisades)


What do you wish was more on Akronites' radar? Substantial economic development has not reached many Akron neighborhoods that are still struggling or even crumbling. All the exciting developments in the Arts and downtown—which I love!—shouldn't distract us from that.

Christel Silas Occupation:

Global Sourcing Specialist at Gojo Ind. The West Akron 5K program coordinator.


B-Town (if you don't know, ask somebody). Neighborhood: Works downtown but sleeps in Solon, OH


What do you wish was more on Akronites' radar? I wish more Akronites were aware of the local happenings that have been established as 'the thing to do.' My goal for 2017 is to get Akronites outside of the Highland Square and

What is your favorite local cultural asset? PorchRokr, hands down. It's hard to describe how happy I am just wandering the streets and listening and browsing and eating and peoplewatching. I want to die at PorchRokr. When did you fall for Akron? It's been a very slow, gradual process. For the first few years, we didn't think we were staying. Then we developed a grudging love/hate relationship. As our kids got older, our familiar sites shifted from the zoo and the library and the beaver dam to the farmer's markets, Lock 3, and the Nightlight. Warm summer nights at Canal Park have been a constant. Somewhere along the way we realized that we were

Downtown areas more involved in: Akron Bike Party, PechaKucha, the Akron Art Walk and Mighty Soul Night at Uncorked, just to name a few things.

recognizing familiar faces and fond memories almost everywhere, and how can you not love a place like that? After almost 20 years, It's A Wonderful Life. Where in Akron do you like to escape? On a lazy weekend afternoon: The Bookseller. Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant? I don't have just one! But the place I drift back to most often is Taste of Bangkok, because of the authentic cheesy decor, and because a good bowl of pho with all the trimmings is irresistible. You will need a nap afterwards. (Photo courtesy of Brant T. Lee)

met so many wonderful people through the program, with so much information about the neighborhoods they come from. The group projects exposed me to little gems in each neighborhood that I had never knew of before.

What is your favorite local cultural asset? Mustard Seed Market in Highland Square. That is one place where you can't go wrong. I can grocery shop or dine in, catch live music, hold an event, take a class and eat overlooking the city. The fact that it's a healthy establishment offering vegetarian options that I need is the cherry on top. When did you fall for Akron? In 2014, I took part in the Neighborhood Leadership Institute of Summit County. I have

Where in Akron do you like to escape? The Towpath. I have a trade-off: own a house with a backyard or live along or near the towpath and use that as my backyard. Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant? Please refer to #3. (Photo courtesy of The Wilder Lens Photography)

UA STUDENTS TACKLE QUAKER SQUARE WITH ‘REINVENTING PLACE’ CLASS Experiential ‘UN-Class’ sees the future in some of Akron’s past It’s an unusual approach to take with a place that a lot of folks think had its best days pass long ago. But “Reinventing Place” is an unusual class, an UN-Class in fact. They asked officials at the University of Akron to let them put a student-run pop-up exhibition space where the

cross-disciplinary class with faculty coming from various backgrounds — Peter Niewiarowski (Biology), Matthew Kolodziej (Art), Carolyn Behrman (Anthropology), Andy Davis (Social Science/Psychology/Education), Carol A. Murphy (Community/Arts Activist) and Petra

of Art, which would give them a chance to participate in the monthly Akron ArtWalk organized by Downtown Akron Partnership while also bringing the community back to Quaker Square. With the nearby Historic Arts District, this would help round out the sense

tavern was in Quaker Square.

Gruber (Architecture/Biomimicry) — to initiate conversations around a topic.

that downtown is Akron’s art corridor.

Instead, they were given the space once occupied by the old general store.

Don’t expect the usual from this group. Instead of a “traditional white wall gallery”, the space would accommodate pop-up shows that regularly reinvent the space.

Nathan Prebonick, an artist and student at the University of Akron, writes, “A visit to Quaker gives form to a conversation about Akron culture that started over 100 years ago. My plan Just as the university brought a disparate is to continue this conversation, by working bunch of faculty and students together, this with what exists in new ways.” pop-up proposal wants to collaborate with the Summit Artspace and Akron Art Museum This is the kind of proposal officials hoped multisite shows. This location could become would happen when they assembled the an outpost for students at the Myers School


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

To see if this is a viable idea, organizers plan to set up a “prototype exhibition" for the ArtWalk in December to test things out. If that works out, Nathan says he hopes it “will snowball into a series of rotating exhibitions.” At the very least, he says, “...the space will be left in cleaner condition than it sits now.” // Photos of Quaker Square courtesy of Nathan Prebonick


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Entrepreneurship News & Notes > > > > > > > AKRON BUSINESS



paycheck to the next. But then in 1971, he sold the business to his son Lee who moved it to 468 E. Exchange St. — between Don Drumm Studios and UA’s Infocision Stadium — and shifted the focus to fine jewelry. Now, 45 years later, Sam’s is celebrating its 70th anniversary but these old school Akronites aren’t sleeping on the future. They’re using CAD software and a 3-D printer to help make “one of a kind pieces of jewelry”. You can learn more at (Photo courtesy of Sam’s

Caffeinated Ideas

Staying warm when winter arrives

Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 10 am Microbusiness Center, 60 S. High St. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, mentors, lend us your ears! If you’re looking for a forum where you can test drive ideas with an array of professionals, well Linda Hale at the Microbusiness Center has you covered. Plus, there’s coffee. Lots of it! So sip on that while you help strengthen and grow the local business community. Regiser at

Another new downtown business, the Chameleon Cafe, has opened up and it’s filling the literal and figurative hole left when The Jewelry Emporium) Stew Pot closed down. In addition to wraps, salads and sandwiches, they’re serving hot soups made from scratch. You can skip the grub and go instead for a hot coffee instead. You can find them online at

‘Generation Startup’ The Nightlight Cinema Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6 pm Presented by, “Generation Startup” captures the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it’s an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Miller Houser, the film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering

or like them them on Facebook at facebook. com/ChameleoncafeAkron

a vital call-to-action—with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country’s economic future is at stake. BONUS: Get a free drink ticket with paid admission. Visit for tickets.

Office Hours with Rich Delisio Friday, Nov. 18 from noon to 4 pm Microbusiness Center Curious about how government procurement works? Meet Rich Delisio, PTAC’s Akron Procurement Specialist at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. For details, contact Microbusiness Specialist Linda Hale either by phone at 330-802-0839 or by email at

Tip Sheet We asked three local business owners how much the change

(continued on page 45)

Lauren Ward

Tim Bechtel

Owner NOTO North and South For us, it’s huge, because I feel like downtown shopping is totally a big deal when the seasons change. We’re such a destination, and especially this area. People come out to Christmas shop and holiday shop, and they feel good about it. They feel like they’re shopping local and they’re contributing. So this is by far our biggest time of the year. It’s cool for us because...a typical department store—

Owner Artisan Coffee Shop

patterns. We tend to gear up for our busy time right about now and coast all the way until spring…but then the patio opens up again.”

they probably were getting their fall and winter merchandise in July...they’re probably starting to sale some of that merchandise out and get warm weather things because they’re so ahead. But what’s cool for us is we’re so week-to-week and we can really cater to what people are looking for right now. We move with Akron and the weather and what people want from that. It’s definitely our biggest season, and we’ll be getting in tons of sweaters and ponchos and winter accessories...we double our inventory.

Pictured above (left to right): Abraham Nabors NOTO North. (PHOTO: M. Sophie Franchi/The Devil Strip); Tim Bechtel at Artisan Coffee Shop (PHOTO: M. Sophie Franchi/The Devil Strip)


You might not have known what that noise was, but I bet you probably heard Fred Karm’s gleeful shout when the state of Ohio lifted its restriction on the alcohol content of locally

Director of Education, Owner Mustard Seed Market & Café “The change of season does indeed bring great changes to Mustard Seed. As the leaves turn to their beautiful colors and the air chills we put our beloved patio in Highland Square into hibernation, gear up for Thanksgiving, holidays and the New Year’s. Oh, then there’s the New Year’s resolution season right after that. People tend to eat more food when it’s cold, so we see a spike in grocery and café

(Photo courtesy of Abraham Nabors); Lauren Ward at

Here’s what they had to say.

Founded in 1946 on Howard Street, Sam’s Jewelry Emporium was, for 25 years, Sam’s Loan where Ruben Manes helped down-andout rubber factory workers make it from one

Cheers to Hoppin’ Local on Black Friday

Abraham Nabors

in season affects their business and how they prepare for it.

Old School: It’s never too late to pivot

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

We’ve only been open for a year, so we just went through the whole year of seasons, figuring out what to do. So we’ve kind of... figured out that the school year is pretty consistent every week. If it gets super cold and snowy in the winter, we’ll slow down a little bit, but that’s usually a temporary change, so we don’t really do too much on our end for that. The summer does slow down quite a bit for us— people like to get ice cream instead of coffee. We learned that this year the hard way. It took us a while to adjust some things on our end, so next year we’ll know, moving forward, we’ll have to trim some hours for our staff and probably promote iced drinks and frozen drinks a lot harder than we did this last summer. As soon as it drops below 70 degrees, especially if it gets cloudy or rainy, we’ll get really busy...we order more quantities of things and we come up with holiday specials to help bring people in...everyone likes a good deal.






if wunderkind Courtney Gras had a do-over. by Chris Horne


Courtney Gras is a graduate of the University of Akron and was recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of their “30 Under 30” and a “Top 40 Under 40 in Cleantech” by Midwest Energy and by Crain’s Cleveland as one of their “Twenty in their 20s.” She’s also the president of Akron-based Launch League and the co-founder of Design Flux Technologies. In May 2017, she’ll take the stage at TEDx Budapest.


t may seem strange to ask someone so young who has already achieved so much what she’d do differently if she could do it over. But that’s what makes Courtney Gras the perfect person to ask. Of course, she’s crazy smart — not only did she work at NASA as a power systems engineer but she left that to launch a clean energy startup whose name, Design

a lack of experience, we should have trusted our gut and made our own decisions much earlier. Not doing this right originally led us into some dead ends and a lot of wasted time/headache.

and acquired so many unique experiences that I never would trade it for anything. Ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to know how much longer it’s going to take us either — the unknown is the fun in it all. This is an adventure!

We also wish we would have known about some of the law firms in the areas that

Chris: What is something you think you did the

Flux Technologies, sounds like something from “Back to the Future,” which is deep as my understanding of science goes. That’s all to point out that she’s the kind of person who

offer startup packages for entrepreneurs. Essentially, they’ll give you a deep discount and defer payment until you’re funded. Also wish we would have taken our operating

right way from the start? Courtney: We stayed in Akron. We didn’t jump ship and hightail it for the coast. Why? We quickly found out that all that great VC

learns quickly from her missteps, few as they may be. Now we get to reap the benefits of all that hard-won business knowledge with a little Q&A.

agreement more seriously. When issues with our management team came up, we’ve had more pain from dealing with a “boilerplate” agreement than if we’d put time into it originally.

money in the Valley dried up for cleantech about the same time we would have been chasing it — too many VCs got burned on cleantech companies originally, so they’re much more hesitant now. I’m glad that we put our faith in our team, our network and our technology rather than chasing the “startup” lifestyle. It’s affordable for us to be here. We have access to the talent we need, and we have a great network of people who know us and support us. Also, the world is more more virtual these days — we can get access to mentors and companies out-of-state quite easily while enjoying the low cost of living in Northeast Ohio.

Chris: What is something you wish you knew before you got started? Courtney: That we know more than we think we know. We put a lot of faith in other people — mentors, advisors, etc — and take people’s advice because we feel like we don’t know what we’re doing. In reality, for us [Design Flux], nobody understood our product and our market better than us, so even though we had

Chris: Looking back, what are you glad you didn't know? Courtney: How long it would take. If somebody would have told me originally that this was going to take six years, I might not I have done it. Even though this has been a long journey for us, we’ve learned so much along the way, made fantastic connections, traveled,

// The Devil Strip’s small business and entrepreneur section is possible thanks to the support of The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. You can learn more about being an Akron entrepreneur by visiting

The Akron Like yourconference favoritewhere cafe but with better wifi. you’ll learn to think like a startup Get inspired, Make connections, Get funded. Come to a free Thursday and find out why Akron works from OSC Tech Lab Use code DSTRIP30 for 30% off all ticket prices.


NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |




You say hot sauce. Cristina Gonzáles Alcalá says salsa. That’s what she calls her dad’s family recipe being bottled in Akron as Not Yo’ Daddy’s. It has been a staple at every Gonzáles family event, get-together and cookout in Cristina’s hometown of Durango, Mexico. But even the origin story for her company has an origin story. Cristina’s grandmother had a couple friends who made a sauce similar to this and brought it to parties. Her grandmother loved it so much that Cristina’s father tried to replicate it for her. Cristina’s mom’s grandmother had a similar recipe, with some of the same ingredients but a different method of preparation. Cristina’s father, Jorge Gonzáles Cano, took inspiration from the two recipes to create what is now a family tradition. Jorge had the idea to sell the hot sauce, but after perfecting the recipe, going through testing, coming up with a name and designing a logo, he ran into a problem in the trademarking process. The name was Kika Pica. Pica means spicy, and Kika was Cristina’s nickname in school. When he attempted to trademark it, the name was too close to several other product names, and he was asked to change it. Jorge, who was very set on the name, decided the trademarking process was too difficult and gave up.


Eventually, Cristina went to college on a golf scholarship in Louisville, Kentucky where nothing was spicy enough. After much convincing, Jorge finally gave Cristina the recipe, but she had to promise to never share the recipe. To this day, Cristina’s wife and business partner, Richelle Wardell is the only person without the Gonzales surname who knows the recipe.

“To which I said, ‘People can’t treat this like a salsa, you know, we’re going to have to call it a hot sauce,” says Richelle. “And she was like, ‘No, we’re going to call it a salsa.’” They compromised and called it “Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Salsa.” Unfortunately the “hot” was not enough of a disclaimer, and Richelle and Cristina laugh, recalling the reactions of the initial guinea pigs who got a spicy surprise.

When Cristina moved to Akron, she started to make the recipe more often, and she began to bring it to parties and events to share with

Encouraged, they took 85 containers to Better Block on a Friday and by Saturday, they were sold out. Riding on a wave of confidence and adrenaline, they prepped 50 more to sell at the farmers’ market the next day.

friends. “At one point, people started saying, ‘You should sell it. Let me pay you for this’,” Cristina says. At The Devil Strip release party in March of 2015, Cristina and Richelle were chatting with Kaley Foster of Urban Buzz, who encouraged them to start selling the hot sauce. With the help of the Akron community and Better Block, Cristina and Richelle began marketing the sauce as “salsa,” since in the Spanish word refers to both hot sauce and what we Americans know as salsa. Their first chance to showcase their product was at “Faces and Places of Akron” at the Akron Art Museum about a month later. They set up a booth to sample and give away the hot “salsa.”

Shortly after that, they made a big switch. They had been using plastic deli containers for the salsa but switched to bottles, which they sealed with wax, a clever idea Richelle had. This is when they finally started calling it hot sauce.

Cuyahoga Falls Better Block. They are now in the process of streamlining things so that they can sell their product on grocery store shelves. Not Yo’ Daddy’s is currently for sale at Urban Eats, Sweet Mary’s Bakery and Stray Dog. Not Yo’ Daddy’s uses Sweet Mary’s Bakery kitchen to make their product, and Sweet Mary’s uses Not Yo’ Daddy’s exclusively for all their hot and spicy needs. Cristina and Richelle credit the strong sense of community amongst their fellow entrepreneurs in Akron. “Everyone is really excited about everyone else’s product. It’s fun to get together and talk with them about how things are going and where their businesses are going and what they’ve been up to and sharing ideas,” says Richelle.

For more information on Not Yo’ Daddy’s hot sauce, visit their website at or email

“Because people were on fire,” says Cristina. “Because we were hurting people,” says Richelle.

// Sophie treats Not Yo’ Daddy’s like salsa, and all other “salsas” in her refrigerator have been demoted to backups. // The Devil Strip’s small business and entrepreneur section is

“I was adamant to call it a salsa. Because I’m like, ‘You Americans will learn that this is called a salsa still in Mexico, because it’s Mexican,” Cristina says.

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

Not Yo’ Daddy’s has been in business for a year and a half. This summer they sold their sauce at many local festivals including Akron Farm & Flea Market, Entrovation (Cleveland), PorchRokr and

possible thanks to the support of The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. You can learn more about being an Akron entrepreneur by visiting



WORKING AROUND THE WORLD FROM THE COMFORT OF HOME A Q&A with serial entrepreneur Blake Squires


When Blake Squires kicks off Flight, Launch League’s conference for startups in the Midwest, the serial entrepreneur will bring with him the lessons and insights he’s accumulated from founding and growing seven startups. As a founding member of Hatch, he’s helped entrepreneurs make connections and find capital. Now he’s working on two more companies: Doctors Orders, a medical supply ordering system, and Stubl, an non-electric razor based right here in Akron. With a

Flight. To hear him live, get your tickets for Flight at Support Stubl on Kickstarter at projects/stubl/stubl-the-worlds-first-nonelectric-razor-for-stub

month remaining, as of this writing, Stubl has already blown past its $12,000 goal. He hasn’t sacrificed his home life for this impressive career either. In fact, at times, the two worlds overlap — such as when Blake sold his second startup, Movable, a group fitness tracking company that was inspired by his wife Michelle.

entrepreneur, especially around products? Blake Squire: Artists are, of course, people but they also are brands and products. Managing bands taught me about clear, simple and concise messaging along with relentless targeted promotions. I also learned from some of the best marketers in entertainment (Polydor, Maverick, A&M, Universal) how to grow a musician and brand. I also got to see the creative process first hand — in this case music,

We asked Blake a few questions so we could get a sneak peek at the insights he’ll share at

Chris Horne: I understand you went out to the West Coast at the start of your career, which was in artist management. Can you tell me a little about how that experience influenced or lead you to life here as a serial

which I’d say is more complex than the most complicated software creation!

of view against business suggestions and guardrails is certainly interesting and fulfilling.

Chris: How much have you learned about entrepreneurship from coaching others? I'm thinking specifically about your work with Hatch. Blake: I’ve lead several organizations and coaching gives me an interesting perspective to experience and influence how others lead. Leaders must be authentic, and they must lead with passion and conviction. And coaching CEOs on harnessing and expressing their points

Chris: Why aren't you doing this somewhere else, somewhere bigger? What are the advantages of being an entrepreneur in Northeast Ohio? Blake: Northeast Ohio is first and foremost home. There are amazing people here, and since it’s easy to travel to and from here, it is easy to live here while doing business in the world. (continued on page 46)

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NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |


Food & Drink



Drinks of the Month

"Blackberry Lemon Margarita" and Scenic Brewing's "Cherry DIPA (double IPA)" Words and Photos by Sam DePaul

AKRON PIZZA TASK FORCE Mr. G's Pizzeria and Wings

by Stephanie Baker, Kevin Wirth and Justin Lyons (@akronpizzatf) This month we headed over to Mr. G’s, which is hidden away in the plaza behind Rite Aid on W. Market St, so you might never have realized you’ve driven by it before. Mr. G’s recipes are based on the ancestors of the G family, and two other restaurants in the US use these recipes, though neither are local. We ordered their traditional cheese pizza, the cheese New York style, and the White Pizza “Great.” We were surprised at the size of their pizza. Mr. G’s pizzas are big, starting at 16” for a medium. The large is 18,” and an x-large is 24”. Our party of 3 had a pizza and a half left over.

difference in flavor was incomprehensible to us. Each style seemed to have the same sauce and cheese, neither of which stood out. The White Pizza “Great” was more visually interesting. The visible garlic and tomatoes were very appealing and appetising. The pizza has fontinella and mozzarella cheeses. The pizza had a good flavor, and the olive oil did not overpower the texture of the crust, nor did it drip everywhere. Cheese and sauce were just right, not too much of either. All three pizzas were cooked golden brown.

It’s difficult to talk about the traditional and New York style separately, as they are almost identical. We are actually not sure which was which. When looking in the box there were no tipoffs. We made our best guess

The difference in the NY and tradition could have been better explained on the menu. Perhaps even slicing the pizza in larger or smaller slices could have denoted the difference.

when comparing the slices to the White Pizza “Great,” as that is on traditional crust.

Overall, Mr. G’s pizza is fine, but in a pizza-rich area like Akron, it does not stand out.

The traditional pizza having a thicker crust wasn’t enough to differentiate one pie from the other. There was a difference when biting into the crust, but not much. Any

We want to hear from you! Tweet us @akronpizzatf Where should the Akron Pizza Task Force go next?

Cocktail of the Month:

or measuring cup. Use a large spoon to smash the berries through the strainer to obtain as much juice as possible, and voila: blackberry simple syrup. Cleanup will be a pain in the ass, but that’s what the drink is for.

“Blackberry Lemon Margarita” What you need: Tequila of choice, cocktail shaker, kosher salt (if you enjoy salt rims on your margs), sugar, blackberries, lemon juice, orange juice,

Fill the cocktail shaker with 1oz of the syrup and equal parts

sour mix.

lemon juice. Lemon is always a good sub for lime juice when you feel like changing things up. I actually prefer

I was in the store seeking a six pack of beer and DiGiorno pizza, because single on a Tuesday, when I came across these freshly

it in my mules. Add conservative dashes of orange juice and sour mix, and 1 ½ oz (or 4 oz, whatever) tequila. If you like salted rims, rub the edge of your glass with a lemon or lime

stocked blackberries. I immediately knew I had to use them for this month’s drink. We can’t just throw them in a shaker and smash them up with a muddler, however. Let’s be rebels and cook while we conjure. So throw them in a boiling pot of equal parts sugar and water (add 5-6 berries) and marvel as they bleed, pop, and flip over. When it starts to boil, turn the heat to low and let simmer for ten minutes. Let it cool, then strain into a container

before pouring in the liquid. Pour a handful of salt on a plate, and run the edge of the glass around the pile. Shake and dump all of the ingredients into your glass and top it with a couple fresh ice cubes. I can’t think of anything more glorious than the sound of a margarita being shaken. Besides drinking it.

BEER of the Month: Scenic Brewing’s “Cherry DIPA (double IPA)” I was wildly impressed with Scenic Brewing Co. in North Canton. (continued on page 44)

Running the Pass >>

words by Liz Reinart

Diamond Deli and R. Shea Brewing 2955 W. Market Street Mon-Tues 4 - 10pm Wed-Th 11:30am - 10pm Fri-Sat 11:30am - 11pm Sun 12 - 10pm


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

The popular Diamond Deli located on South Main Street downtown is now opening up a second location within R. Shea Brewing in the Merriman Valley. Diamond Deli has been a favorite lunch and dinner spot in Greater Akron for well over a decade and now R. Shea Brewing, Previously a “B.Y.O.F.” (Bring Your Own Food) establishment, will serve the fresh, oversized sandwiches and side dishes of the deli.



Photo courtesy of


food & drink

FRONT OF THE HOUSE BACK OF THE HOUSE Becky & Tommy — The Diamond Grille words and photos by Krissy O’Connor


Becky Ramskogler

I live near the Goodyear Metro Park and spend a lot of time hiking and photographing nature. My specialty is photographing insects. I am also a Master Gardener Volunteer in Akron and spend a lot of time working with that program. They have classes and events that I help out with.

Waitress & Lunch Manager Hometown: Akron & Green How long have you been a waitress? What is the best part of your job? I have been a What should we order the next time we waitress here at The Diamond for 20 years. are at The Diamond? Ask for The Long Bone, Obviously, I love it here and I love to talk to Willy Fries, and a House Salad with our Italian people. The best part of working here are the Garlic Dressing. customers. The previous manager, Nick, always stressed that we get to know our customers by Thanksgiving Dinner: Home-cooked or name. It’s like that show, “Cheers”, their song Dine-out? Definitely home-cooked. I like the was “where everyone knows your name”. The traditions that my Mom had for us growing up Diamond is like that too. and I am continuing them for my children. Can you tell right away if you have a table of bad tippers? No. Not really. Everyone can come across as superb customers and there could still be no tip. The Diamond has a great clientele so that isn’t much of a problem here. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, they may not know that we don’t make much per hour. Hopefully my service is worthwhile and deserving of a great tip. Sometimes you might get a bad tip but the next table is overly generous. It balances out. What do you do for fun when you're not working? I love being outside in nature.


Tommy May Lunch Chef & Meat cutter Hometown: Portage Lakes In my experiences working in kitchens, there is always music playing. What is your favorite music to play in your kitchen while working? We have quite a diversified bunch of workers so when it is not busy there (continued on page 44)

Stray Dog Charly Murphy, owner of Stray Dog Carts, Cafe, & Condiments, opened another location in the former home of the Akron City Tavern in North Hill. The menu is small but contains all of the Stray Dog favorites, including their all beef hot dogs and toppings, BBQ chipped chopped ham sandwiches and a 12-ounce strip steak. Customers will also find the famed Akron Burger Stray Dog featured at the 2016 National Hamburger Festival in Akron at the new location. The menu embodies the flavor profile of the surrounding Italian/ Southeast Asian community while keeping a strong Akron-centric focus. // Liz Reinart is new to the world of column-writing and hopes to be the next Carrie Bradshaw.


We Have the Pie

food & drink

The Wanderer Night at the Waterloo

words by Holly Brown // photos by Ryan Whipple

The night was cool, autumnal. Just after 7, it was already dark and drizzling, fallen leaves whipping around in the sudden gusts of wind. It was October in everything. Pictured left: Enjoying the Herb Chicken Pasta

“Did you look at the menu at all?” I asked Ryan on our way to John Bahas’ Waterloo Restaurant. My mind already scanning the token comfort food items that I anticipated ordering. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from over a year of eating and writing, it’s to come prepared, lest I spend an hour or more trying to decide between dishes. “Alright, it’s coming up on your left,” Ryan said peering out into the rainy darkness in between glances at Google maps. “I think that’s it right there?” “Oh, the place with the giant ‘W,’ no way…”



Ryan trailed off sarcastically. The bright blue W of the Waterloo illuminated the parking lot, making it feel much later than it actually was. With the combination of the rain, the darkness coming on exponentially earlier each night, and the slight chill, it could have been 2 a.m. and I would have believed it. We walked through the entryway gift shop displaying greeting cards with cats and dogs for all occasions and glass cases of fashion jewelry. “Just the two of you?” the hostess asked from behind the counter, “Would you like a booth or a table?” “A booth would be great” I answered after exchanging agreeing eyebrow raises with Ryan. The hostess led us to a large booth in the back. Ryan and I each stretched out on the deep red (continued on page 45)

Behind the Bar>> Words and Photos by Sam DePaul Name: Bar:

Ted, Theo, Teddy, Pete Schmitt Moe’s Restaurant

Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls


We arrived just before 6:00 on a Saturday night - without a reservation. (I HIGHLY recommend a reservation). They sat us at the bar (only available tables), and although I don't usually like the noise of sitting at the bar, we had a great experience. The food was spectacular and spicy. We had the calamari appetizer and a margarita flight. Highly recommend both (try the cucumber margarita with chili lime salt). Our meals (tacos and burrito) were filling and priced to be competitive. You get 3 taco tortillas with your meal and the burrito was grilled. Make sure to save room for desserts. The flourless cake/mousse was pure chocolate decadence and we argued all night over whether it, or the creme brûlée were better. You can't miss with this restaurant. We will be back.

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

What was your first night like? How long have you been tending bar? My first night bartending was a relief. In my 4 years at Moe's, up to that point, I had seen multiple people get hired immediately into the bartending position, only to get let go (and sometimes prosecuted). Meanwhile I sat there with my hands tied, waiting tables. My first night I felt like I had finally "made it,” being able to converse with the guys and girls I had been with for years, only now from behind the bar. I've been at Moe's for 6 years, but I didn't start bartending until a year-and-a-half ago.

Pictured above: Ted Schmitt at Moe’s Restaurant (Photo by Sam DePaul)

Do you have a favorite drink to make? My recommendation is to get the Espresso Martini. Servers, bartenders, GM’s and owners alike come from restaurants and bars all over to have it. I guess that’s why it’s my favorite to make, because everyone loves it and I make it so often. And when you have a bar full (continued on page 45)


food & drink


Book your Holiday parties at 330-858-2848

huge selection of Christmas Ales

LADY BEER DRINKER Giving Thanks ... for Beer and Food by Emily Anderson It’s November now. Still technically fall, but winter is creeping up. The best part of this month (and arguably the best day of the year) is Thanksgiving. In my family, everyone is expected to bring a dish to the big dinner. Sadly I don’t possess the skills and patience to cook, and have given up trying to participate in the annual “who brings the best side dish” competition. Instead, I bring the alcohol. My family has trusted me for years now to be the one who shows up with beer on thanksgiving and bourbon eggnog on Christmas Eve. Getting grandpa to try new beer styles is always fun. Pairing beer with food is easier than most people think. Like anything else, the best way to get good at pairing is by experimenting and practicing with different beers, but there are a few simple rules that will help you pair beers with your favorite dishes successfully. First, the intensity of the beer should match intensity of the dish. Light, crisp beers go with light foods like fruit salad and sushi. Heavy, rich beers go well with heavy, rich foods like BBQ ribs and chocolate cake. A light beer will be drowned out by a heavy dish, and vice versa.

that can match flavors in foods. If you’re having trouble matching flavor notes, consider embracing contrasting elements that complement one another. High alcohol, carbonation, and bitterness in beer will balance out sweet or fatty dishes. Sweetness in beer can balance out spicy foods. Beer

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

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

Now hiring bartenders ... will train!

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

and food can work together as well as classic combinations like peanut butter and jelly or hot wings and bleu cheese—use your imagination! Thanksgiving food has a huge range of flavors and spices. For mild sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing, try pairing an American Pilsner or German Lager. The delicate hops won’t overpower the food and the carbonation will balance out the butter and gravy. Veggies like green beans go well with Belgian Saisons, which are light and spicy and often have peppery flavors. The turkey could go with a lot of different styles. Consider the spices used and the cooking method when deciding. Heavier dishes like rice pilaf, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato casserole go better with more flavorful beers like porters and browns. Save the stouts for dessert—they can finish off the meal alone or pair well with sweets.

After taking the intensities into consideration, think about common flavors. I don’t mean Remember, pairing food and beer is not an pairing a pumpkin beer with a pumpkin pie, but exact science and they are no wrong answers. beer can exhibit an incredible range of flavors When you find a combination you like, roll and aromas that also exist in food. Citrusy hops, with it! It’s all about trying new things and roasted malts, and fruity yeasts are a few flavors having fun.


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

Th eB

e r a u rewpub in Highland Sq

NOW ON TAP> Twice Bitten Imperial Red Ale & Jingle Bell Ale


Monday House Margarita Madness Friday Ladies Night - House Martinis

"Live Comedy Saturday Nights" November 5th and 19th

Tuesdays: Live Trivia and Thursdays Live Music For details visit or 804 W. Market Street, Akron, OH 44303 • (234) 208-6797 (at the corner of Highland Ave and W. Market St.) NEW Winter Hours: M-W 3pm-midnight, TH 3pm-Close, Fri-Sat 11:30-Close, Sun Noon-Midnight

Music & Entertainment THE AKRON SCENE


THE NIGHT HIP-HOP ROYALTY DESCENDED ON AKRON photos by Gary K. Dean Everybody who went to Music on Saturday, Oct. 8 owes everybody involved with Keepers of the Art big. Thanks to the KOTA Music Showcase Concert Series, the Blimp City got to play host to Grandmaster Flash and GZA the Genius, not to mention D.I.T.C.’s O.C. Judging from the packed house at Musica, Akron was grateful to see first-hand a man in Flash who is widely regarded as one of music’s great innovators — his real life inspired Netflix’s “The Get Down” set in 1970s New York where hip-hop was born. Real hip-hop heads turned out earlier in the day for the inaugural Respect da Architect Turntable Education Series at Square Records. This was all part of the International Hip-Hop Preservation Project. KOTA was recently announced as a Knight Arts Challenge Winner for Akron to help bring a week-long festival that uses hip-hop culture as community-based, authentic arts education for youth. Learn more about KOTA online at

AKRON'S OLDEST SHOP DEDICATED SOLELY TO TATTOOING. 1375 N.Portage Path • 330-864-7500 Under new ownership Try our new menu items


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 @Arkhamtattoo

Or just come visit us and see for yourself at: 1562 Akron Peninsula Rd. • Suite 102C • Akron Open 7 days a week, walk ins always available.



music and entertainment


Akron Bands We Think You Should Know by Dawson Steeber

Sorry Mom Formed in early 2013, the aggressive power pop/indie Sorry Mom consists of drummer Dion Norman, bassist Connor Mork, guitarist Adam Vertolli, guitarist Nathan Rogers, and vocalist Richard Dolbow. Since their conception, they have released three EPs, "Dad's Bad Habits", "Brighter Things", and their most recent "Gild". 2016 has been the year of their greatest musical


development thanks to myriad DIY shows. (Photo courtesy of the band)



FEDS was created out of a need for really aggressive hardcore punk in Akron. That's pretty much it. They don't like most things, especially anything having to do with cops, religion, and the “asshole generations” that came before them. The lyrics are reflective of everything they are about including how much they hate everything but not as much as they hate themselves. They don't believe anyone should buy their music. Instead they put it up for free download on bandcamp and reverbnation. Nevertheless, they


put on a great live show with top notch self-

deprecating banter and the energy of late ‘80’s early ‘90’s hardcore. Look for them to play some local venues later this fall and winter. (Photo by Charlie Johnson)

John Patrick & The Outside Voices John Patrick & The Outside Voices is a 5-piece rock and roll outfit fronted by singer-songwriter John Patrick Halling. Following the 2015 release of Halling's solo debut "Boy in the Water", the band (Jimmy Dykes, Johnny Miller, Kevin McManus, and Sam Langstaff ) has quickly established itself as one of Northeast Ohio's most entertaining live acts. Halling's writing is both evocative and hookfilled, winding through a sea of 70s inspired guitar riffs and delivered with a taste of vintage flare. John Patrick & The Outside Voices careen through a catalog of cleverly crafted songs and charismatic performances. Be sure to keep an eye on this revelrous crew as they move full speed ahead into the new year, with a new full-length record slated for release in January and subsequent tour dates across the Midwest. (Photo by Connor Elder) (continued on page 45)

What I'm Listening To

EarthQuaker Devices Edition We asked three employees at EarthQuaker Devices what they’re listening to. Dig it.

Aaron Rogers Jessica Morris-Anshutz Office Manager Beach Slang “A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings” I was introduced to Beach Slang earlier this year, when I went to Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta. Beach Slang played right before my friend’s band. I was immediately captivated by them, and as I do, came home and bought all of their albums. I love that they write loud, raucous anthemic punk music for people who are messed up, but still hopeful. When a band opens an album with a song that says “play me something that might save my life”, there’s really no way that I’m not going to like it. Make sure to check them out live if you get the chance. Favorite tracks: “Future Mixtape for the Art Kids” and “Warpaint”.


Circuit Builder, Blogger, Content Marketer, Copywriter, Social Media Contributor, and Trade

Ben Vaughan

Show Rep Lungfish - “Feral Hymns”

Circuit Builder Goat - “Requiem”

Fall is here, though you wouldn’t know it by this decidedly unOhioan October heatwave. But with the Indians in the World Series, superstition dictates that I bench my Summer jams in favor of my favorite somber Fall Classics – Yo La Tengo, Unwound, and Lungfish’s “Feral Hymns.” Like AC/DC or the Ramones, Lungfish have only one song, but what a song. Meditative, lopsided riffs collapse into themselves while frontman Daniel Higgs croons, shrieks, howls, and wails cryptic incantations like a drunken sailor. Imagine if CCR couldn’t care less about rock and roll and were fronted by a shamanistic pseudo-Christian mystic into sacred geometry and you’re on the right track.

I first discovered Goat back in 2012 when my friend and I were grabbing a post run beer at the Matinee. Jason Tarulli was djing. He was playing Disco Fever off of their first LP World Music and I was immediately hooked. I tried to score a copy of the album at Square records the next day only to find it had sold out almost instantly. I have preordered every releases since. If you are unfamiliar with the band, Goat are a mysterious swedish outfit known for their high energy blend of garage, psych and afrobeat. This record however is a bit of a departure. About half the album is performed on acoustic instruments with flutes and marimba carrying the melody. I found a new appreciation for it after a listening through headphones and would recommend anyone doing the same.

music & entertainment

Akron DIY Fans connect firsthand with musicians in the Rubber City underground music scene words and photos by Kristina Aiad-Toss

However, this underground music scene of houses turned concert venues thrives right here in our backyard in Akron. In fact, an entire network of house owners searching to create an alternative music scene, host and promote over 200 local and international touring acts — from concerts to poetry readings to film screenings and art exhibits — at their own homes.

Deep down in the light-strung, graffiti-painted basement of an ordinary house, a local crowd of music-lovers gather within feet of band

Within the underground , the audience's energy becomes in tune with the band, as the exploding beat of the bass breaks through the

The community operates through a Facebook page entitled “Akron DIY Shows,” which was created in 2013 by Eddie Gancos and

seconds away from beginning their set.

amplifier, reverberating through the floor and merging with the crowds’ heartbeats.

Tyler Brown. A rebellion against the for-profit music industry, the founding of the networked stemmed from a desire for more local music venues, as well as the belief that venues that charge for tickets and for the bands to play are damaging to the community.

As the roaring strum of an electric guitar cuts through the chatter and the iconic beat explodes from the drums, the singer’s graveling voice consumes the expanse of the crowded room.


This outlandish scenario, where fans connect firsthand with the musicians, may seem like a distant memory lost to the golden days of music industry.

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

Pictured above: Nic Adkins a solo singer-songwriter performs an original at Fool Mansion.

To solve this problem, Gancos and Brown, who live at house venues Fool Mansion It’s a Kling Thing!, book and host up-and-coming local bands and ask for suggested donations to the artists as entrance fees. While the donations benefit the band, the experience of playing at a house is fundamentally different than traditional venues. “It’s different from a normal venue because you're taking away the business aspect of it, and making it only about the fans and the band,” said Matthew Smith, the lead singer of the band Hodera. “The people that come [to the house shows] really care about the music. The face to face exchange is something that you can’t get anywhere else.”


music & entertainment

Highland Square


LINEUP Friday, 11/4 • 9PM – Midnight Morning Star – Bluegrass Saturday, 11/5 • 9PM – Midnight The Underworld – Blues Sunday, 11/6 • 11AM – 4PM 80’s Sunday Funday – Enjoy your brunch & chill out to the max with music & videos from a totally radical time

Pictured above: Lead singer of Hodera, Matthew Smith plays guitar and sings during a show at

Friday, 11/11 • 9PM – Midnight Jen Maurer Project – Roots

Fool Mansion. Pictured right: (left to right) Eddie Gancos, Tyler Brown, and

Saturday, 11/12 • 9 – Midnight DJ Ben Fulkman – Spinning Funky Soul-Filled Vinyl

Drew Rodgers

genre of music and has another Facebook page listing all its shows. Catering to a diverse, mostly younger audience with interest in Akron’s local music scene, the

“I love seeing new people come here. The experience is always great when I see people who have never seen anything like this before. It’s always a great feeling.”

page promotes Punk, Indie, Folk and Alternative bands, as well as the occasional Hip Hop or Jazz Drew Baker, a musician who also books bands Fusion show. for the houses, spearheaded the group's monthly “DIY Talks,” where they discuss ideas The hosts will not refuse any attendees for lack to progress the scene and expand the fan base. of funds and have a nondiscriminatory and all-inclusive policy. Homeowners also host a benefit show each month to raise money for a charity or community program.

Gancos and Brown, like many other concert venue house owners, are also in bands and perform at shows within the network. “We’re doing this because we want to help people and we love music,” said Brown. “We don’t want to make money ourselves.” Many generations of concert planners have lived in the houses and are replaced every time someone moves out. Hosting and promoting shows for the past eight years, the underground community consists of 13 venues run from homes around Akron and Kent. The locations include It’s a Kling Thing!, Fool Mansion, Crozberry House, Sure Man House, The Glank Bank, Hive Mind, The Hoe Garden, House, LICH, Oakdale, The Spacement, The Workshoppe, and Volga Way. With their own unique vibe, each house specializes in a


“We try to provide a sense of community.” said Gancos. “You get to experience something way more personal here than going to a bar or a regular venue. We want to bring everyone together because they love music.” A concert goer, band member of Bare Walls, and now one of the owners of Sure Man House, the newest to the scene, Brian Sloan talked about his experience attending shows. “I’ve discovered so many amazing talented musicians from going to these shows,” said Sloan. “It’s just an amazing thing to be a part of.” Open to the public, the Facebook group allows the bands, bookers, promoters and venue owners to communicate with the fan base about upcoming events. Gancos talked about the significance of hosting shows and introducing new people to scene.

“I think it’s important to have something like this everywhere,” said Baker. “I think people need an art scene that’s a distraction from going to work or school everyday. You need music to love and art to appreciate.” ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Friday, November 4 • 9pm Penny Arcade / Portage / The Sports / Long Shot / Cool Dads at U The University of Akron Student Union in Akron, Ohio Monday, November 7, 2016 • 8pm Gurley house reunion!! Arms aloft, worship this!, throw shade 1541 gurley ave akron ohio 44310 Thursday, November 17, 2016 • 7pm NoDAPL Benefit feat. The Scenic Route & Vanishing Apollo Standing Rock Cultural Arts Events in Kent, Ohio

Sunday, 11/13 • 12 – 3PM Little Steve O Blues Duo – Blues Friday, 11/18 • 9PM – Midnight Soulshine – Blues & Rock Saturday, 11/19 • 9PM – Midnight The Twanglers – Jangly & Twangy Rock Sunday, 11/20 • 12 – 3PM Jazz Shepherds – Jazz *PRE-THANKSGIVING SHOW* Wednesday, 11/23 • 9PM – Midnight Umojah Nation – Reggae Friday, 11/25 • 9PM – 1AM Purple Space Party featuring DJ Naeno & DJ Moonhawk – Funky Grooves, Electronic & Deep House Wear your finest purple attire! Saturday, 11/26 • 9PM – Midnight F5 – Rock Sunday, 11/27 • 12 – 3PM Corn Potato String Band – Old-Time


Learn more at

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

music & entertainment




Pigs and Meteor Moves in true DIY fashion at Hive Mind. BRITTANY NADER: You’re playing Hive Mind in Akron, which is one of our most active DIY venues. Can you talk a little about your experience in the DIY “scene"? How has playing in these types of spaces, and being part of that community as a whole, influenced

out of the house and be part of a community. The 21+ rule has created a “bootleg” concert underground in the USA, in a way, that could maybe be compared to the speakeasy scene of underground pubs during the Prohibition years. The laws of the land create an ecosystem in which the underground can thrive in a niche that the official legal culture isn’t catering

for me to get the word out to people. So I basically do every possible thing I can do to get the word out, rather than just sit back and hope that it happens on its own. Sometimes it does happen on its own, but it works out better when I’m doing my part from my end of things too, which means I mail out posters to the club, I mail out posters to fans who might

to. Plus there’s definitely a thrill to be part of something that exists off the grid, under the official radar. However, the “underground” or “DIY” scene does have limitations because the spaces tend not to have as much money as an “official” club where you might have, for example, a much fancier sound system, fancier microphones, speakers, lighting rigs, all of that stuff that comes with the “official” music economy.

want to help put some up around town, I keep constantly editing my email lists of fans in different territories and I talk to other bands to ask them how they do things. BN: Your song, “Support Tours,” explores the funny and less-than-glamorous realities of playing shows around the country for meager pay, often crashing on people’s couches for a night rather than paying to stay at a fancy hotel, jumping on the bill of a larger band so

So the underground scene favors bands who can exist without those frills; in some ways this creates a better proving-ground for performers — you have to be good enough to be able to make your art without all of the “icing-on-thecake” elements of fanciness that a “real” club can provide. There’s less gloss to hide behind. This suits me fine; I’ve always felt that the kind of music and art I wanted to make should be part of a culture of content, rather than a culture of slick surfaces — how you look and how you sound is less important to me than the raw creativity and raw heart of what you’re doing.

you aren’t stuck playing to an empty room. How much of this is still reflective of your current life as a touring musician? JL: It’s still pretty relevant. I’m still always hoping to get more of those support tours. On my last two USA tours, I was playing most of the gigs as the support act for Fat White Family in 2014 and as the support act for Andrew Jackson Jihad in 2015. On both of those tours I was also doing my own headlining gigs, but the bulk of the tour dates were as a support act, and it’s always a great way to do a tour, mostly because it eliminates the time that it would take me to book my own tour. Regardless of whether I’m doing a headline gig or a support BN: You’re recruiting folks before each show on gig, the lesson is usually that I’ve always had to this tour to help hang up fliers — I think that’s make things happen as best as I can given the

your music? JEFFREY LEWIS: It’s amazing to be out on the road in the USA and encounter so many local DIY spaces, sometimes in very odd areas where you wouldn’t think there were cool underground music, art [or] culture scenes happening. This doesn’t seem to happen nearly

an awesome way to get fans involved in what you’re doing and allow them to support you in a more personal way beyond just turning out for the performance. In what other ways can fans get involved with this tour or supporting you in general? JL: I hate feeling like I have to ask so many

circumstances, rather than waiting for things to be perfect. I think a lot of people in music feel like they need certain parameters in order to make anything happen, like they need to be guaranteed a certain amount of sound-check time in order to properly get their band’s gear all set up and checked, but I’ve always prided

Jihad. Lewis has opened for and toured with indie-music icons like Daniel Johnston, Devo, The Vaselines, Devendra Banhart, Thurston Moore and many others. His deadpan wit and intriguing blend of nihilism and hopefulness, in both his lyrics and original comics, has earned Lewis a dedicated fanbase and a record deal with Rough Trade in the early 2000s — a label touted for signing major bands like The Smiths and The Strokes. Lewis and his band debuted their latest album, “Manhattan,” last year, highly informed by his life growing up in New

as much outside of the USA, in all my touring in England, Europe and other parts of the world — it’s definitely a very American phenomenon, for the most part, although some other parts of the world have incredible squat scenes that you don’t see in the states.

favors from my fans, for help with promoting the gigs in addition to hoping to find free places for my band to sleep each night, in addition to just the standard necessity of asking fans to come to gigs in the first place. But I’m at a weird level in the music business, if you want to call it that —I’ve been making a living from this stuff for about 15 years, while still mostly existing in a very word-of-mouth way, without much advertising or promotion in the official music world.

myself on this sort of “show-must-go-on” attitude, doing my best to have great shows regardless of how good or bad all of the surrounding factors are.

York City after many of its major heroes passed on. Joined by Los Bolts, Lewis will hit Akron on Nov. 12, sharing a bill with Emotional Support

for the under-21 people in the states who still want to be able to have cool live music events in their lives, and places to hang out and get

If I play in a city, there’s probably not going to be a big front-page story about me in the local paper, so it takes more work in order

creativity has to apply to making the best of the circumstances. The challenge keeps things fun, (continued on page 45)

as much as that 1960s fuzz-tone raunch, and

drums hold down the backbeat with vicious

their latest album proves just how strong their special brew can be. Big, dark and rhythmic, these songs harken journeys along the coast highway at night and dark shorebreak images dimly lit from automobile lights. The group's sound is as beefy as ever ripping through amped-up rockers ("Mirage Men", "Lazar’s Brothel") with radical speed and energy. This album is pure, unadulterated supersonic surf rage (“Estimate of the Situation”, “Operation Trojan Horse” ). Throughout every burly instrumental guitars roar impressively, while the

drum thunder in a manner that honors their inspirations but drops a big-block engine into the frame at the same time. This album rocks hard without the taint of nostalgia, and it's good and greasy fun from front to back. It’s like listening to a dominatrix whip a gremmie out on Muscle Beach…it screams!

(interview was edited for length, and the full version is online at

Since the late 1990s, Jeffrey Lewis has been a staple of the underground, lo-fi, “anti-folk” scene, with contemporaries like The Moldy Peaches, Schwervon! and Andrew Jackson

I think in America a lot of these DIY spaces exist because so many of the music clubs and social hang-out spots are 21 and over only, because of the alcohol laws, and that 21+ rule creates a sort of “prohibition” atmosphere

On the Record THE BEYONDERERS “Estimate of the Situation” by Dawson Steeber The Beyonderers aren’t just another garagerevival band. Anyone who actually listens to them knows there’s a lot more to their sound than that – traditional surf, punk, blues, and straight-ahead hard rock informs their sound


| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

And even if I had various years of higher success and more money, there’s never a guarantee that any of that will last, and if you’re interested in being creative for as many years as possible you’ll probably have to face the fact that sometimes things are going your way, then they’re not, then they are again, and your

Check out the Beyonderers live, November 4 at their CD Release Party at Musica. WWW.THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

music & entertainment


Anyone that has lived in Highland Square for a decent length of time and frequents the bars there, surely has some stories. I am one of them. I have loved my time here for close to 20 years now. It is the land of misfits and I feel like I fit right in. It's as eclectic as can be, a magnet for anyone that feels out-of-place in a more traditional community. Step into any of the bars here and you'll run into someone from just about every walk of life. Lawyers, drifters, rock stars and politicians might all be sitting at the bar at the same time. For a storyteller like myself, this makes for great material. Some of it good, some of it bad and some of it ugly — and most of it downright hilarious. Here are a few examples... The good: The music and entertainment is normally on the cutting edge. Everyone from national acts that need to fill a date as they pass through town, to the young local musicians that cut their teeth at some of these venues with their courageous brand of music. Burlesque shows, Peeps-eating contests, stand-up comedy, you name it. There was even a boxing match one night between a bar owner's fiancé against his ex-fiancé.

812 W. Market St. 330-252-0272

The Ohio Brewing Company 804 W. Market St. 234-208-6797


Female patron, "Domestics? You mean like battery?" Creepy guy hides in the drop ceiling of the woman's room, so he could rob the place after it closes. A woman sitting at the bar, eating a steak and sobbing through the whole thing. Guy from Bosnia, who spoke like five words of English, would get blasted and try to have conversations with everyone at the bar. Cops chasing someone through the bar, literally in one door and out the other. (Multiple times.) The ugly: Bar patrons/golfers using Market St. as a driving range around closing time. Rugby players drinking beer out of one of their teammates prosthetic legs. Grown men running around bars in their tighty-whities. (Multiple times.) Patrons attempting to have some form of sex at the bar. No, she wasn’t just shuffling cards... So, dear reader, what's the craziest thing you've witnessed at one of your favorite watering holes? Share your stories with The Bar Crawler at and if it’s good, maybe we’ll even share them here in print next month.

Cheers and enjoy responsibly,

The bad: Overheard one night, a female patron asks, "What's on special?" The bartender says, "Domestics are one dollar."

The Matinee


Leslie Shirley Nielson "The Bar Crawler"

The Square Bar 820 W. Market St. 330-374-9661

Highland Tavern 808 W. Market St. 330-794-7364

Dive Bar Pick

Annabell's Lounge

Open Thanksgiving day at 5pm

 Book your Holiday Party Now

784 W.Market St. 330-535-1112

13th annual

West market Idol AREA IN AKRON

Highland Square

Highland Square

Highland Square

Highland Square

Highland Square














Craft Beers / Jameson

House-brewed beer / Tito's

Miller Lt. / Buckeye Vodka

Craft Beer / Tullamore Dew

PBR / Jameson



Trivia / Live Music / Live Comedy

D.J.'s / Pool / Karaoke / Trivia / Dancing

Open mic night

Bands / D.J.'s / Pool


Full menu from Zubs next door

Full Menu

No Food

Welcome to bring your own

Ocassionally, but you're welcome to bring your own.


The In Between / Vodka / Porky's

Two Amigo's Mexican Restaurant

Babylon / Bangkok Gourmet


One Eyed Jack's / Dry Cleaners


Cary Grant meets Louis Prima

David Crosby meets Mila Kunis

Merv Griffin meets Adele

David Beckham meets Tom Hanks

Chrissie Hynde meets GG Allin

The common denominators here are the love of draft beer, sports and good conversation.

The last of the old-school bars in Highland Square. A nationally-recognized music venue that houses about a dozen bands a week. Someone very close to me has been working here for 15 years.



Alt-rock blares through the speakers and the walls are covered with pictures of bar scenes from different movies. It’s where Akron's young and hip come to drink.

A brew house located in the heart of Highland Square. This one is a no-brainer for local brew lovers.

A local favorite of the LGBTQ community

The Holiday Lounge Location: Ellet Address: 370 Hilbish Ave. Comments: This little gem closed down a few years back. The few times I popped in here back in the day, it seemed to be housed by wayward divorcees incapable of smiling. It sits atop a hill surrounded by nothing but houses. Considering its location, you apply a little vision and this one could be a money maker.



Saturday Evenings Starting November 5th Practice is at 6:30pm Singing contest 7:30pm- 9pm Weekly winners will receive a large Guiseppe's pizza, a $10 DeViti's gift card and a $10 Fred's diner gift card!

Finals are on December 10th 1st Place male and female

win $500 cash Sponsors include: Pabst Magic City Motors Adolph Optical Honda Acura Specialists

HAPPY Hour Monday - Friday Until 8pm Mon - Fri open at 2pm Sat & Sun open at 12:30

549 W Market Street Akron

(330) 376-8307

Music & entertainment

SUICIDE IS PAINLESS Su per No Buen o revi ews

". A. . .M. .A.N. . .C.A. L. .L.E.D. . .O.V. .E ." by Zep the Bear,

“A Man Called Ove” shows at The Nightlight downtown through November 10. “A Man Called Ove” is the tale of an acerbic elderly gentleman who has lost his will to live. His beloved wife Sonja is deceased, he unexpectedly finds himself unemployed, and the daily grind of dealing with "idiots" has worn him down. Through a series of botched suicide attempts that lead into flashbacks from Ove's life, the viewer witnesses the joys and pains that have molded him into his present self. His backstory soars from comical to bittersweet in a heartbeat. Based on the 2012 novel by Swedish writer Fredrik Backman, the story is a familiar one. (continued from page 22) done it before and will eventually finish. But the process is always hard. It's lonely, it's obsessive, and your mind - whatever state it's in - is both creator and greatest saboteur." Taking place in tattered bars and overridden apartments, Plastic Bottle's humor is emotionally compelling. The narrator is cynical, and readers will enjoy her rants about online dating, bad sex, and her love of airports. The voice is fresh, and Jaroniec’s writing reveals the complex inner life of a friendship and the complicated pursuit of love. "How are you supposed to accurately represent yourself in an online profile?” the narrator asks.

Despite his gruff exterior, Ove is a good man with a giving heart. He inadvertently develops a relationship with the new family that has moved in next door to him. Throughout a series of incidents, he helps them and others who come within his sphere of contact. Written and directed by Hannes Holm, the film lives and dies by Rolf Lassgard's interpretation and execution of the titular character. He ideally embodies the

What was the last concert you went to? David Bowie at the Coliseum in Richfield. It isn’t there anymore. The concert was during his final tour and he played a lot of his old stuff and some new stuff too.

Equally important is the younger version of Ove, played by Filip Berg. He

The film doesn't exactly tread new ground. American viewers would likely equate it to the 1997 Jack Nicholson vehicle, As Good As It Gets. But there is something about the type of story it is that is universal and rings true. Sometimes in life, a person takes a shot on the chin and they are never the same again, nor should they be. Death. Illness. Divorce. Tragedy has a way of changing us; the way we project ourselves to others and the way we protect ourselves from future heartbreak. Films like this remind us that despite the staunchest armor, a delicate heart beats within.

portrays a young man who only wants to work hard and please his father. He later meets and Some of the biggest laughs of the film are pursues the love of his life, Sonja (Ida Engvoll). earned in scenes between Ove and his neighbor Berg's earnest depiction of the character sets have to keep making sure it’s Real You speaking and not Nerve-Wracked Self-Sabotaging You, let alone on a self-made advertisement where you’re free to paint as wild a picture as you please in an attempt to convince someone you’re not a total lunatic and they should consider falling in love with you" (page 58). On Friday, November 18 from 6 - 9 pm, Jilly’s Music Room will hold a book release party for Jaroniec. Akronites will get a chance to meet Jaroniec, who says she has always loved Akron. Before moving away from Akron for school, Jaroniec said she used to drive to Angel Falls Coffee to write or read. She currently lives in Highland Square with her husband Jeff Klemm and her newborn son.

meat you can buy. We also order our fish fresh every three days, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Most restaurants order fish on, say a Monday and they sell that all week.

Mila Jaroniec's ‘Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover’ gets its Akron debut Friday, November 18 Jilly’s Music Room, 6-8 pm 111 N. Main St., Akron At Jilly’s Music Room, event attendees will also get a chance hear nonfiction author Emma Shepard read from her book “I Am Trying To Fall In Love With Myself But Instead I Keep Falling In Love With Unemployed Noise Musicians Who Do Coke and Believe in the Power of Crystals.” The Devil Strip will host a Q&A after the reading.

// For more literary badassery, check out The Nervous Poodle Poet’s blog at Then

I have a five-year-old daughter so we like to go to Lock 3. We will go to the Marble Museum and the Akron Children’s Museum. During the holidays we love the Reindeer Run and the Holidays at Lock 3.

(continued from page 34) They offer delectable brews and some snacks in the most interesting brewpub setting I've seen yet. The bar is a tree stump and the tables overlook a huge industrial warehouse-looking brewery. My favorite beer of theirs is the cherry “dipa” or double IPA. They use the tart part of the cherry to make this beer, therefore the flavor doesn’t overpower the hops one would expect in a double. The aroma is fruitier than the taste, so when it hits your mouth you get all the body and not too

What would you say The Diamond is known for? I am pretty sure that The Diamond is the only local steakhouse that uses PrimeAged beef. Prime is the absolute best cut of

If you could have 8 hours off to do anything in Akron, what would it be?

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

To learn more about her novel or to order your copy, visit publisher Split Lip Press online at

What is your favorite dish to make? Being the “Lunch Guy”, we get to switch Thanksgiving Dinner: Home-cooked specials up daily. At dinner, the specials stay the or Dine-Out? Home-cooked. My wife and I same weekly. My favorites are the staples like share the cooking. the Mac and Cheese, Clam Chowder, and the Beef Stroganoff. The Diamond Grille is located at 77 West Market Street, Akron


the table for the later heartbreak Ove is to experience. The highs of Berg's performance allow for the lows of Lassgard's.

grouchy perfectionist in all his deadpan glory.

“It’s hard enough to do in real life, where you (continued from page 35) might be R&B or Rap on the radio. There is not any music on while the kitchen is busy though.

Parvaneh (Bahar Pars). Parvaneh is sweet and unpretentious. Ove is abrasive and suspicious. Much like pairing chocolate and peanut butter, this is a surefire formula for laughs. Additionally, Pars brings such a likable charisma to Parvaneh, that even the caustic Ove can't help but like her.

go write some poems, you poet, you.

much of the sweet- a solid citrus hop.


misc. (Behind the Bar; continued from page 36) of people hopped up on Espresso Martinis, things get weird. I like it. What is the strangest conversation you have perhaps overheard from behind the bar? (We as bartenders are elite listeners and eavesdroppers.) Professional bartender, but an even better eavesdropper. I don't eavesdrop to be intrusive, but you do hear some crazy stuff- it comes with the job. You see me washing glasses and smiling to myself with a bar-full of people because amid the chaos I can hear the ladies at one end of the bar gossiping, or the guys at the other end offering to take Heather (my co-worker) on vacation. It’s a gift and a curse, but I hear everything. I prefer to use my passive listening capabilities to find out when people are unhappy and do my best to fix it. Whether we made a mistake or you ordered the wrong (continued from page 42) as long as you keep a good perspective on it. Once you start feeling like you’re “entitled” to a certain level of treatment, it’s going to stop feeling like a fun adventure and more like a source of disappointment, or even insult. People get like, “I’m an artist, and I’m not going to put up with this nonsense anymore!” Which is a valid viewpoint, really. But I like taking pride in my ability to try to be an artist and put up with nonsense, all at the same time. (continued from page 39)

Pizza Ghost This lo-fi indie rock, noise pop act consisting of Zack Casey, Cameron Bickley, Zach Nagi-Schehl, and Andrew Sarvis are a band definitely worth catching. Easily one of my latest local guilty pleasures, Pizza Ghost moves me to a certain nostalgic sonic eclecticism and melancholic wonderment. They don’t bother to hide their shortcomings under generous helpings of fuzzy distortion like many of their peers, mostly because they don’t have any. There’s no need for obfuscating tricks. From straightforward mic attacks and borderline skittish lo-grade sonics, to a sort of outlier bedroom pop with grimy almost claustrophobic synth, these guys provide a drizzly dose of dourness for those in need.

thing, my goal is for people to leave happy so they tip well and come back. Have you ever received an excessive tip? This question brings a few people to mind, shout out to Craig (showing much love on New Years Eve), Fred (all the damn time), Jim (last week), Jessica and Pat (every week), Every Day Rich, The Monday Crew, and all of our Cornerof-the-Bar regulars frequently over-tip to show their appreciation. Thanks Everybody! What’s your drink of choice when on the other side of the bar? My Poison: Wild Turkey 101. Welcome to America. // Sam DePaul is an Akron bartender, avid potty mouth, new Highland Square resident and aspiring

(continued from page 36) vinyl, surveying the seemingly art deco inspired overhead lamp, the faux stone counter tops extended along the back wall between us and the window facing the parking lot. “I feel like I’m in an indie movie” Ryan remarked and I didn’t disagree. The atmosphere felt charged. As we each sipped from monstrous glasses of diet coke, I couldn’t help feeling like this was the kind of place for a “meeting,” the kind of place where important information is exchanged. It’s hard to put my finger on why, exactly.


Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts play at Hive Mind on Saturday, Nov. 12, accompanied by Akron’s own Emotional Support Pigs and Meteor Moves from Cleveland. Doors open at 8 pm with the all-ages show starting at 9 pm. Admission is $10. BYOB. Hive Mind is a safe space, so don’t

Perhaps it was the general diner style atmosphere, perhaps it was the night itself. Though, if I had to guess, it has to do with the fact that there is history here. Like so many Akron gems, The Waterloo has been around for over fifty years, and you can see that in its timelessness. “I feel like we can’t not get sauerkraut balls here,” I said. Making more of a demand than a statement. Lucky for me, Ryan is typically obliging of my appetizer choices. “Let’s do it.”

be a jerk. (continued from page 30) made craft beer. The Hoppin’ Frog founder wasted no time adding new brews to his lineup, but this one deserves special attention. While everyone else is out fighting the retail crowds on Black Friday, Nov. 25, Fred and his crew want you to swing by the Tasting Room (1680 E. Waterloo Rd.) as early as 10 am to try out the Gavel Slammer Monumental Dark Ale. This bad mammer jammer comes in with an ABV of 17.4% but no worries because Fred says this one is “more balanced & smoother than we ever imagined.”

“Sweet Jesus, did you see that waffle!? Maybe we should have gotten breakfast. That thing was Leslie Knope level, a mountain of whipped cream!” Ryan’s eyes widened as he described the waffle that had passed behind me.

Though I had come in that night almost certain I would be ordering breakfast for dinner (another perk of the Waterloo is that they serve breakfast all day) by the time we sat down, I was starting to change my mind. “Are you guys ready to order?” “…yeeeeah…” I slowed, almost certain in my

Pictured left: Sauerkraut balls (Photo by Ryan Whipple)

When the sauerkraut balls arrived, I knew I had made the right decision. Those tiny golden nuggets are always a welcome site. My first bite was sheer ecstasy. The fried coating just crispy enough, but easily giving way to collapse once I bit in. The inside was a complete amalgamation. I didn’t know where sauerkraut ended and meat began or what it was that held them together so damn well, but I didn’t even care. They were densely packet, so salty that they melted in your mouth. Served with a side of cocktail sauce, they are arguably some of the best sauerkraut balls I’ve had. (Full disclosure: while writing this, I went to the fridge and ate one of the cold leftover balls; they’re still amazing cold). I could smell my dinner the second it came within sight of our table. Herbed and breaded chicken atop a mass of angel hair pasta and drenched in a mushroom sauce, it took everything I had not to tear into that meal the second it was placed in front of me. Once I did, I realized it tasted just as good as it smelled. The fried chicken was exactly the kind of comfort food I wanted, familiar but with an edge thanks to the demi sauce. The mushrooms were earthy and hearty and the sauce itself was absolutely decadent. Rich, thick, warm and savory, the demi sauce absolutely made the dish.

dinner choice but still wondering if a game time decision would spring out of me, “We’re going The next time I visit the Waterloo, I’m going to get an order of sauerkraut balls, and then I’m to try my best to order breakfast, but no guarantees I’ll be able to pass up the Herb going to have...the…herb chicken pasta” Chicken Pasta. Ryan looked across the table approvingly. He had suggested I get the herb chicken over the chicken parmesan. He ordered the Italiano: Cincinnati chili topped with parmesan, mozzarella, and peperoni.

John Bahas’ Waterloo Restaurant and Catering 423 E Waterloo Rd Sun-Thurs 7am – 11pm, Fri-Sat 7am – 1am

(Photo by Charlie Johnson)


NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |


back of the book

Urine Luck

BOOKS, BURGERS, AND BEERS photos and words by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni did not smell like soap. They had no smell at all. Isn’t that strange? I used soap so don’t even go there.

outside the bathroom. I’m not sure what it’s for. It might be for your library materials. Maybe it’s just a place to cry. According to library policy, using the bathrooms for laundering or bathing will get you a warning (hand washing is allowable bathing). Doing it repeatedly will get you kicked out. Take note. I’m iffy about this bathroom, but I’m awarding a 3.5 out of 5 toilets.

This restroom is not as exciting as you would imagine a library bathroom to be. It consists of

I bet this restroom is super depressing on rainy days. Can I suggest some artwork? Some Emily Dickinson quotes or some book cover art? This is a library and every idea in the world can be discovered here. I should be inspired in this bathroom. The only decorative attempt is a colorful sign by the door asking if you have washed your hands today. It has a psychedelic/ horror film hand print. Wash your hands or the trippy monsters will come.

one handicap accessible stall and two nonhandicap stalls.The stall doors are stainless steel and the tiles are tiny white squares. The toilets seem pretty high up from the ground, but that feels like a weird thing to say. Two sinks, a soap dispenser, paper towels, and a hand dryer are also included. The wall opposite the paper towels has what looks like a throwback tampon and pad dispenser. Thanks, library! Now let’s make them free. After I washed my hands, they

The handicap stall might contain a changing table--I can’t say for sure because the stall was occupied. There was also someone standing in front of the sink calling for a cab. There aren’t many places in the library where it’s cool to use the phone, so once-taboo bathroom phone calls are becoming more normal. But anyway, diapers can probably be changed in the family restroom. You could also use the little counter

paper on which to dry my hands. I would feel at home in a butcher bathroom; my great uncle was a butcher and made the best sausage in all of Mingo Junction, Ohio. That’s fame, folks.

honest, but it does make me wonder how often paintings above toilets end up in toilets. And do toilet activities damage the integrity of such paintings? Inquiring minds want to know,

Unfortunately, (inherited) fame didn’t get me a free burger or fries (COME ON, RAIL, DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?), but it did grant me entrance into a single-stall relief station.

museum people.

I started out talking tile, didn’t I? Allow me to finish that. The tiles in the Rail bathroom are a pleasing mix of sizes. Nice large subway tiles on the wall, and smaller rectangular tiles in an interesting black and white pattern on the floor. Chip and Joanna Gaines, eat your hearts out. If Chip and Joanna ever visited the Rail bathroom, do you think they’d install some shiplap? Maybe that’s the kind of rustic butcher style this bathroom needs to tie it to the rest of the place.

the sea foam green walls and pretending you’re not changing your kid. Pretend you’re in an oceanfront beach house. This paint color was a novel idea in a place with a sectioned-off pig on the wall.

the women’s room at the Rail in Fairlawn, I expected the butcher theme to be carried over into the bathroom. A meat hook to hang my purse on, maybe some large white pieces of

There’s plenty to ponder here while you’re on the pot. There’s an intriguing above-the-toilet painting of kids and some cows in a dark, dirty landscape. The painting creeps me out, if I’m

establishment can enjoy a slice of relaxation with cool colors and clean tiles away from the moody red and black atmosphere outside the water closet doors. Perhaps not a vegetarian’s

because...YOU KNOW WHY. Need more UL? Follow

(continued from page 33)

it was a standard razor. Once I engaged my patent and design teams, it became clear there was a market fit for the product. So we’ve been busy creating the product. Kickstarter gave us a touch point to potential customers and help us understand “if people would buy it”, and how to best evolve the brand and product. Thankfully we reached our funding, but we are still looking to push further.

How have you balanced the demands of your work with being an attentive husband and father of four? Blake: Being totally dependent on yourself to earn a living through my companies, coaching and efforts allows me to make my own schedule. It does of course require extra work and attention, but with my family as priority number one I find plenty of time to be there and enjoy the time I devote. I am very fortunate that I can decide where, when and how to

be there — especially as my four young kids schedules are sporadic and evolving. I can be there.

The second-floor women’s room is located across from the steps in the Popular Culture section (there’s also a Girl’s room in the Children’s Library). There’s a sign by the door asking you not to take library items into the bathroom but I’m not sure what you should do with them instead. Library workers are sometimes so efficient that I worry my items would be immediately re-shelved if I set them down.

Bathroom Reading Material We’ve already reviewed an Akron Public Library branch bathroom (In fact, I think it was in our first ever UL!), but this review covers the second floor women’s room at Akron Main Library, aka Library Headquarters. Bathrooms are located on the first, second, and third floors (and also the Atrium floor, which is like an extra floor?), so you have your pick. The second floor women’s room is probably the most trafficked.

Rest(room) at the Rail in Fairlawn You know what I like to see in bathrooms? Some nice tile. When I opened the door to

Chris: One of your latest projects, Stubl, is based in Akron. How did that idea evolve and why are you launching this one through a Kickstarter? Blake: The idea came to be by a close friend who lives in Denmark and is involved in a beauty experience and products company ( He sent me a website in Danish and I thought it was the idea for Stubl. But in fact


Chris: You've done all this as a family man.

| THE Devil Strip / NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL 2 • ISSUE #11

You can crane your neck to try and look at the creepy kid cow painting while you change your kid’s diaper here, but I’d recommend gazing at

The Rail bathroom is your standard one toilet, one sink, paper towels, and changing station location. After consuming a larger-than-life Crouching Burger (Hidden Bacon) burger, some perfectly crispy skinny fries, and a seasonal pumpkin pie milkshake, patrons of this

Akron Main Library 60 South High Street • Akron // 330-643-9000 Monday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm Friday: 10am - 6pm Saturday: 10am - 5pm Sunday: 1pm - 5pm Pictured left: “Artwork” at the Library // Emily Dressler sometimes has pee anxiety! Follow Urin3Luck on Instagram for more juicy secrets.

paradise, though there are vegetarian options on the menu, the Rail offers all its customers the opportunity to leave the butcher block behind and savor a moment of peace and tranquility in the most important space a public place can have. Overall, I give the Rail restroom a 4 out of 5 toilets. I’d be interested (though maybe a little scared) to see a butcher bathroom I think, but this little oasis amidst all the beef and beers is a special treat.

The Rail 3265 W Market St. • Fairlawn // 330-864-RAIL Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am - 11pm Pictured left: Creepy Cow Kids at the Rail // Marissa Marangoni avoids eating asparagus us on Twitter @urin3luck for super fan access!Follow Urin3Luck on Instagram for more juicy secrets.

// The Devil Strip’s small business and entrepreneur section is possible thanks to the support of The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. You can learn more about being an Akron entrepreneur by visiting



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The Devil Strip, Nov. 2016 (Vol. 2, Issue 11)  
The Devil Strip, Nov. 2016 (Vol. 2, Issue 11)  

This is an incredible issue. Not only do we go underground with the folks who make Akron's DIY/House Show scene possible but we spend time w...