Via my friend Meghan, David Giffels sounds like a guy who is as crazy about Akron as I am about Youngstown. He bought a nearly condemned house a little over a decade ago and has been restoring it with his wife ever since, and even wrote a book about it. Can’t wait to read it. Here’s a bit from the NYT article about it:
He is deeply committed to his hometown, in a really sincere and responsible way and “I do feel that way, especially as a newspaper columnist,” Mr. Giffels says. “I love Akron, I love Akron. The Goodyear tire company is headquartered here; it’s a place where a man would get up in the morning in Goodyear Heights, get in his car with Goodyear tires, drive down Goodyear Boulevard past the Goodyear Middle School, with the Goodyear blimp overheard. There is something about that that is like it was written for an animated feature, which I love. It’s so quintessentially weird in the most endearing way possible.”
A broken-down, deserted house also figures in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” you might remember.
You can read the rest by clicking here.
And also, here’s a great interview with him:
What’s wrong with Northeast Ohio? Why can’t we seem to catch up to the changing world?
A lot of it is old-school mindset that even young people who grow up here have, including me. There are all these echoes that you pick up when you grow up here, and you begin to believe certain stereotypes about yourself; and I’ve said many times that we have an inferiority complex. I look at it and it’s basically an insult to myself. I’m sure I could have made a life somewhere else, so have I settled for second rate? And that’s not true. I have a 4-minute commute, I have a house I could never afford in other markets, and I have things that I would struggle to get in other places. Plus, our thrift stores here rule.