My latest piece is up at First of the Month. It begins:
I became aware of Cleveland when Lou Boudreau played shortstop and my Aunt Sylvia, who, to my six-year-old eyes, was really neat, perversely rooted for the Indians against her hometown Braves. I liked Marion Motley and Mac Speedie (good names!), when they came along a couple years later too, but I hadn’t thought much about Cleveland since. I certainly hadn’t registered it as a petri dish for disintegration and despair, capable of occasioning both vicious protest and futile resignation, from which would arise a musician capable of pinning lunch meat to his chest, blowing his nose in a slice, and eating it.
Then Aaron Lange’s “Ain’t It Fun: Peter Laughner & Proto-Punk in the Secret City” landed.