Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Monday’s Beacon reports that someone (let’s hope it’s just one lone individual) has been stealing plants out of various gardens supported by Keep Akron Beautiful. Just how low do you have to be to steal actual plants from a garden? Especially ones that are meant to enhance your neighborhood? As a first year gardener I could almost foresee deer munching on my vegetable plants or MAYBE some poor hungry soul stealing vegetables as they matured in the garden – but to steal FLOWER PLANTS? That’s really low.

Over the past couple of years I’ve admired the beauty of the gardens put out by KAB. They are artistic, well tended, beautiful and never fail to bring a smile to my face as I drive by on my daily grind. Each spring I anticipate the planting of the plot across from the new Metro Transit building. It’s a pop of vibrant color as I drive into the city from home each morning.

This weekend I stopped by the garden at the corner of E Market and North streets to admire the flowers and the fountain. I’ve driven by hundreds of times and never saw anyone around so was surprised to see a gentleman sitting by the fountain enjoying the cool, wet spray on a hot summer afternoon. As I snapped a few photos, the fountain reminded me of our trip last summer to Savannah Georgia where public squares are a common and prolific site, many complete with statues of prominent citizens or lovely fountains. To say that this display in Akron is more lovely is by no means a stretch of the imagination. The squares in Savannah were mostly untended and unimaginative. KAB is doing us proud here in Akron!

Since it was so darned hot this weekend I stayed close to home and pretty low key just trying to stay cool. Cleaning out the garage on Saturday morning turned out to be just as much fun as it sounds…which is not much. However, since I lost a couple of good sized tree limbs in the storm last week I had another chance to play with my new chain saw. I’ve used it enough that I had to learn to tighten the chain and speaking as someone with ZERO experience with that sort of thing it was an adventure that required a long study of the instruction guide and some experimentation with the screw driver and wrenches. After about 20 minutes of reading, trying, reading again and trying again I finally figured it out and am now happy to say that I got the saw ready to go again tonight on the second limb. YEAH!

I’m not a power tool expert by any means but I sure have a lot of them handed down by Dad or purchased in an emergency (like the chain saw). Learning to use these is something that I now firmly believe every kid should be taught by their Dad (or Mum). My Dad never showed me about any of these things so they’re all scary and I’m a bit timid around them. However I’ve gotten the hang of the chop saw and the chain saw, so look out trees, here I come!

This was the weekend of our neighborhoods traditional pre-July 4th celebration. Generally there is a festival, a band, a parade, a symphony concert performance, all followed by fireworks. This year there was no money for fireworks and the symphony was replace by a dance troupe. The festival was aimed at families with small kids – and there were a lot of them about! Inflatable rides for the youngest and greasy fair food for the rest of us. It was very hard not to succomb to the call of the funnel cakes. 
The most anticipation was for the parade that kicked off at 4 and lasted nearly 30 minutes with drum corps, baton twirlers, fancy cars and even a few floats. Got my hand shook by a few local politicos running for office and some candy tossed at me by folks riding in the fancy cars.

A band called Morning After played in the park at 5:30 and the performance by the Doug Varone & Dancers group kicked off at 8:45. The band - pretty good – the dance troupe, not so good. I remember seeing this same group last year when they were here for a performance at Glendale Cemetery and we left before intermission. What little I saw this year looked just like the last performance and it was no better.

Maybe it’s one of those “I’m too old to appreciate this” things, but these youngsters were not doing anything that resembled dance to me. Most of the performance was spent laying or rolling around on the stage. Even their web site main photo is a shot of a bunch of them laying on the stage. How is that ‘dance’? I’m not stodgy when it comes to this stuff - I like Dancing Wheels, ballet, hip hop – dancing of most kinds. This stuff I just don’t get and I don’t think I was alone. A survey of the crowd showed folks laying on their blankets staring up at the beautiful clear sky enjoying the cool evening.

In all it was a shame we didn't have firesworks this year.  I wonder if part of the reason was to ensure that we were all snug in our homes before too late.  Although I had totally forgotten the incident, it was on this date last summer that we had the big fight on the next street over with a hundred or so youth giving a beating to a local family.  When speaking to my journalism class last week about writing a piece on the community festival, the only thing any of them recalled about Firestone Park was the big fight.  Sad. 

I have to say that I really do appreciate the City of Akron bringing new things to us as part of the summer celebration series and I attend a lot of these shows all summer long. So far the only thing that I walk away scratching my head over is the dance show from Saturday. Everything else is huge kudos to the City for doing all of this and organizing so many fun things for us all to enjoy.

A coworker of mine co-manages this Hampton Inn property owned by our company.  Over the past few years, the going's on at the hotel have been a source of intrigue to those of us here who are not familiar with the inner workings of a small hotel.  Recently given a status of "Outstanding" by the Hilton Corporation we're all proud of the staff and it's accomplishements.  Huge congratulations to the staff and to my coworker for a job well done!

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