Lets back track a bit. My amazingly talented husband has started a project about his family.
Okay, now that you watched that, you are a little bit more caught up. But what does this have to do with Cleveland?
When John’s family immigrated here from Slovenia (or Russia or Poland or Czechoslovakia depending on which documents you are referencing…but probably Slovenia) they chose Cleveland Ohio as their resting place. At the time, Cleveland had a HUGE Slovenian population. We are told that you could get everything you ever needed within a few blocks of your home in “little Slovenia”. Today that neighborhood has taken quite a beating. Not much is left of little Slovenia and what remains stands among abandon store fronts, liquor stores and churches. (More about that later)
Many of John’s distant relatives still live in Cleveland or the surrounding areas. So we went back there, to learn more about his family story and try to put the pieces back together. Another reason I was excited to go was because being a California native, I haven’t experienced much of “Middle America”.
I was definitely intrigued by this other way of life. So foreign from mine. A lot of people would say “Cleveland? Uck..” But there was a beautiful decay and a rich history to the place. Huge yards, large families, neighborhood friends, muggy summer nights spent in backyards and porches, roadside stops for frozen custard at 10pm because its still hot as hell…there were a lot of things I really quite enjoyed about Cleveland. So I thought it was worth back tracking a bit and sharing some photos of a trip we took to Cleveland in May.
Remember the movie A Christmas Story? well it was filled in Cleveland and this is the restaurant they go to for dinner on Christmas.
I love puppies. All puppies. Even stone puppies.
Okay, now remember “Little Slovenia”? Here are a few shots from that neighborhood. Last time John was here (in December) he wandered by bit of an accident into the storefront of the Slovenian sausage maker Azman & Sons. He was taken by their story and asked if he could film them. He did a beautiful impromptu piece on them and this time when we visited and delivered the film. It was pretty cute to watch his face light up and say “wow, you made this little old place look really cool”. He’s gone un-noticed and un-appreciated too long.
Hopefully you have made it this far in this long winded post, because i really want you to watch this film as well!!!