Never thought I would actually be able to sing the following Avett Brothers lyrics and have them actually hold true to my heart:
“Cleveland, I ain’t never felt nothing so strong
Been believing the words to my songs
Ohio I’m leaving, Ohio I’m gone”
For those of you who may not have heard yet, I have taken a job promotion within my company and will be relocating from Cleveland to Las Cruces, New Mexico, within the next 3 weeks. This decision was the most difficult thing I have ever made in my life and it just killed me to come to a decision with such little time.
I weighed all the pros and the cons over and over and realized that I needed this adventure even if it meant leaving everything I love behind. I feel terrible about moving on, but I do not want to not go on with life and one day wonder “what if”. I want to just take that huge risk and see what happens and say that I did it.
For 35 years, Cleveland and Akron have been my life. Raised in a suburb in the middle of both cities, I was privileged enough to meet a ton of people who I have the pleasure of calling friend. From the days of sitting curbside at a Dunkin Donuts to the warm nights in the Coventry courtyard, I really was lucky to be surrounded by such cool and remarkable people. I loved going to the Metros daily and will never forget the times I had at “The Office”. I could not have had a better childhood.
Throughout the years, we all grew up, some of us took our own journeys and risks, but I stayed put and called Cleveland and Akron home. To be honest, I was so ok with that. I am Cleveland blood, this is my town.
As I continued growing up, I met more people and became involved in the ever important Cleveland / Akron music scene, not as a band performer, but as someone who fully appreciated it. I loved my involvement with everything I did and cherished all of the memories that were created on a nightly basis. I am so lucky to say that I had that.
Without going into too much detail, I will just say this: The Cleveland/Akron music scene rules right now and is it better than ever was. I am so sad to leave it all behind, but you all know you I will be doing all I can to stick around, even if I need to do it via the Internet. No way in hell am I going to not keep updated, some of these local bands are too important to not continue to keep tabs on.
The people…my friends. Cleveland and Akron are full of the greatest people I will ever meet. I know you will all welcome me back with open arms if and when I make it back on Ohio soil. Trust me on this, I will be thinking about Ohio on a daily basis for the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone out there who I have met for being so damn cool.
Obviously I am going to miss the locally owned shops and restaurants. I just hit up Square Records last night and know nothing like that store will exist where I am moving to. Music Saves and Blue Arrow, I seriously am going to miss the shit out of as well as the greatest comfort food on Earth, Melt. Pizza will never even compare to Luigi’s. I drool at the thought of one of their salads right now… There are so many other places I can talk about, but I am getting sad just thinking about it. I just hope I can score some Great Lakes beers out in the desert.
Sure, there will be plenty of new places for me to experience in my move to a new city, but it will not be the same. Anyone from Cleveland and Akron who reads this knows exactly what I am talking about. Cleveland and Akron are not that bad and I question why so many people hate it and say they are stuck in it. I’m glad I was born and raised here.
Do I even dare get into Cleveland sports??? I will miss that so much and you can bet your ass I will remain a fan of Cleveland teams until the day I die. That is a promise. Browns for life.
I really should wrap this thing up. Before I finish though, I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you out there who has spoken to me one way or another, shared a beer or a smile, rocked out along with, or just stopped here on this blog to see what was on my mind. Without you all, I know I would not be the man I am today, and this site would not be going on 4 years. Being surrounded in so many amazing people just adds fuel to my amazing life.
Special love to my greatest friends ever who rock out in bands like The Facials, Worship This!, Signals Midwest, Beat Kids, Harvey Pekar, Annabel, All Dinosaurs, Sidekicks, and of course Narcoleptics X5 (RIP). These bands that I surrounded me around with are full of some of the most amazing people I will ever know in my life and I will miss the shit out of all of you.
Props to places like It’s A Kling Thing House, Dag House, Now That’s Class, Grog Shop, Agora (I hope you make a sweet come back), Odeon (you too), and all the other places I have seen a show at.
AddictedToVinyl.com, aka Matt, and his amazing new fiancé Annie (congrats!!!!), thank you for everything you have ever done for me. The same love goes to all the good people who used to slave away at 92.3 including Patt The Producer and Nard.
I plan on continuing my blog, that is for sure, but it will never be the same. I will be sure to try and visit and who knows, maybe one day I will plant my feet back in northeastern Ohio. Only time can tell.
I leave June 8th and hope I get to see many of you before I pack up and drive cross county. I know Las Cruces will be good to me, but nothing like the cities I grew up in.
I am scared as hell but excited to see what happens in the next chapter of my life. Thank you people of Cleveland for all you have done for me. I can not help but say “Cleveland Rocks” and mean it with all of my heart. Akron, you rule too.