Sunday, December 07, 2008
Fragments from the past week
Another senseless murder happened in Akron this week on a corner I pass at least four times a day as I go to and from work. The corner of Manchester and Thornton is a sad gang-infested nucleus in a cell filled with poverty and decay. A used appliance shop and a check cashing business are the only attractions. I've purchased washers and driers from Hairston's and I once went into the check cashing "store" to buy a bag of ice for a class party. Inside were a few shelves scattered with dusty cans and boxes. The main focus of the business was on supplying booze and cash loans to the locals.
There are some wonderful old homes along that stretch of Manchester, but many are boarded up and the rest have the air of rot about them. Who has the money to fix up a house when you are living on a paycheck that hasn't even arrived. Anything you could put aside for home repairs is going into the interest charged on your payday loan.
Lots of young men hang out on the corners of this intersection, no matter the season or weather. There seems to be no place else to go. Now on the chain link fence bordering Thornton, balloons and a teddy bear mark the spot of another life wasted in one of Akron's grimmest wastelands. The traffic light was recently replaced by four stop signs. I wondered why at first, but now I'm thinking it is probably safer to not be sitting at a red light for any length of time at this unhappy corner.
Speaking of the weather (and who doesn't in NE Ohio?), we've been enduring January-like temps and snow for weeks now. Saturday was one of those days I'd rather not be out driving, but since we had a show, there was nothing to do but bundle up and load the truck and head on out onto slick roads and incessant snow. Heading toward Montrose on 77, I was thrilled to see a red Smart forTwo car zooming past us all in the fast lane! March (my EDD - estimated delivery date) can't get here soon enough for me. This is not the car I saw on the highway -- it may have had winter tires, but not like these:
Obie, the ever faithful Huskador retriever, has found a new lease on life or at least -- he is enjoying the new living arrangements I made for him to help ease his day to day life as a most senior canine. According to this source, a 15 year old canine is equivalent to a 90 year old human. So in order to help Obie get around, I've put non-skid throw rugs everywhere and moved down to the ground floor so he doesn't feel obligated to go up and down the steep stairs. I also got him a very thick foam cushion for sleeping and he likes to sink his elderly joints into it at night and for long naps. He is also on pain medication for his arthritis and still enjoys his meals and short trips outside.
Obie in his element: