“The South Side, the Tremont area, is a hillcrest neighborhood five minutes south of downtown Cleveland. North, south and east of it is The Flats, the industrial valley of the city.
The South Side was home. It was immediate family. It was aunts, uncles and cousins. It was schoolmates whose parents were Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Slovak, German, Irish, Greek and Syrian. It proved to be a stage deep and wide enough for any dream.
The South Side was St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church, Pilgrim Congregational Church—and fourteen others. It was Tremont Elementary School and Lincoln High. It was the Merrick House, one of the oldest settlement houses in the city. It was the Dinky, a yellow trolley pretty in memory as a toy. It was Lincoln Park, a square block of grass, trees, playgrounds and benches. A man named Dominic used to sit on a bench, smoke his pipe and talk about the old country, dream about it, as he must have talked and dreamed about the new. It was Fairfield Hill with three and sometimes four layers of children on a sled whistling down the January dark. It was the Jennings Theatre with nickel movie matinees every Saturday and Sunday afternoon; with love and innocence conquering all in double features every night; with dishes on Wednesday; with Banko and cash prizes on Saturday.
6 comments March 27th, 2007