Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 14 - Ode to Siegel and Shuster + Little Ralphie

Cleveland, Ohio:

Drove through Cincinnati, Columbus, then to my destination, Cleveland, OH. I suppose I've taken liberties and strayed from my 'Southern' route. Since I'd already planned to visit my sister (who leapfrogged to California for a week) in Maryland and my brothers in Boston, I thought I might as well visit the Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster sites. They're the creators of Superman and we can thank them for ratcheting up forgetable comic books into something out of this world. Jerry Siegel's house was intact, but unfortunalely Schuster’s home had been demolished. Man, if it were up to me, every single toilet stand and phone booth they ever used would be on the National Register of Historic Places.

I went down to a public clock tower dedicated to the pioneers of the Golden Age of Comic Books. The tower turned out to be a hangout for the down and out. A man asked me, “Do you want music CDs or movies?” I couldn’t hear so I asked him twice to repeat himself. “No thanks. I’m here for Superman,” I informed him.

He gave me a blank look, and I pointed at a bronze plaque commemorating the creative partners. “Superman was created here…in your city!” I said. He followed me while I snapped some pictures. An old man sitting on a bench and missing at least five teeth said, “Ain’t you never seen that thing there about Superman?” My friend shook his head, still amazed.

He turned to me and said, “You know, I’ve lived here all my life and I never knew that.” “You should be proud. We don’t have anything like this where I come from,” I said sadly.

Another worthy venture today was the A Christmas Story House Museum. The owner/curator bought the original house from eBay and restored it to all its glory. We toured the house, which accurately recreates the interior shots that had been filmed on a sound stage. And as a surprise, Ralphie’s little brother was on hand, looking like a man now.

Long drive ahead tomorrow, so I'm cutting this short...

Today's Hits...

+ Jerry Siegel’s house
+ Superman Clock Tower
+ Peter B. Lewis Building by Frank Gehry at the Case Western Reserve campus
+ Drove around downtown Cleveland – awesome
+ A Christmas Story House Museum
+ Terminal Tower

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