By Bert Stratton
I’m a coastal elite. That’s not easy, living in Cleveland. But I manage it.
Rust Belt chic-ness is a challenge. My dad was not a Cleveland cop who got killed in a car accident right after attending an Indians game. That, unfortunately, happened to Richey Piiparinen’s dad. Richey is the co-editor of the recently published Rust Belt Chic anthology. (My dad was a landlord who died in the Cleveland Clinic of leukemia.)
I told Richie I like his anthology because it is so lunch bucket — so blue-collar. I said, “It’s all about booze, Browns and broads.”
He said, “That’s good!”
1. Booze . . . I’ve had a couple Great Lakes Christmas Ales. No more than 10. But I’m 100-percent behind Great Lakes Brewing and heavy drinking!
2. Broads? In 1976 I met a girl at the Last Moving Picture Company downtown. She’s probably near-dead by now, or dead, from too much beer.
3. Browns? Bring back Jimmy Brown. And what happened to Blanton Collier?
I do like Cleveland’s monolithic gray skies. I want to be Rust Belt chic. I live here! Not there.
Footnote: Another good Rust Belt book is Mike Polk Jr.’s Damn Right I’m from Cleveland. Also about booze, Browns and broads.
[Illustration by Ralph Solonitz]