Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Xmas Tree of Hope

This charming holiday display was created by friends Aaron and Calvin (above), who wanted to provide hope and Christmas presents for children in the neighborhood of Wade Park Avenue in Cleveland. On Christmas Eve, there were small presents for the kids beneath the slender tree, which the friends have dubbed "Charlie Brown's tree."

The figure in red (image 2) previously wore a Santa hat, which someone took ("They probably needed it more than he did," says Calvin, at right). We encountered the display, and its creators, on a cold, dreary January afternoon, and they were as nice as can be. Calvin said the area's city councilman has instructed them to take the display down.

Museum Pieces

Cleveland Museum of Art.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Big Q

The Big Q, a long-closed furniture store at East 55th near Woodland Ave. in Cleveland. The store, which extended credit to "Golden Agers, Pensioners, Self Employed" and others who needed it, is located near a large housing project. It was owned by Jack Saul, a very nice man we knew who died several years ago. Saul, a classical music aficionado, had been president of the Thomas Beecham Society and amassed a gargantuan collection of recordings. The store is best remembered for its late-night TV commercials, which featured a man crooning (we won't call it singing) the jingle: "The Big Q, The Big Q, stands for quality home fur-ni-tuuuure!"

Ray's Sausage

Ray's Sausage shop, on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland. The longstanding family business was unjustly blamed for odors that in reality were emanating from the nearby house of serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women.

A sad Cleveland story.

Remnants of Randall Mall

The remnants of Randall Park Mall in North Randall, Ohio, which opened in 1976 with great hoopla. At the time it was one of the nation's largest malls. After years of decline, the mall closed in 2009.