I really enjoyed this essay by Lorain native Nicholas Kowalczyk.
It’s a “conversation” between the author and the city.
“Lorain, are you listening? Can you speak? Please don’t be too tired or defeated after the last century,” he starts out.
“I want you to tell me your story. Tell me about life before the factories closed, tell me about the days when you believed you were important. When you mattered to America, to the world. When you made cars, ships, shovels, stoves, phones, clothes, cranes, and steel. When you built an excavator that dug sections of the Panama Canal, or the crane that broke ground for the United Nations building in Manhattan. Tell me about your shipyards that once were the best and the biggest on the Great Lakes, about your naval minesweepers that saved Allied lives during World War II, about the 15,000 proud, patriotic locals who celebrated the launching of your namesake, the U.S.S. Lorain, or of the joy in seeing native son
Admiral Ernest J. King command the Navy’s U.S. Fleet against Nazi Germany and Japan. I bet you were proud, too, when Ford Motor Company build the enormous Lorain Assembly Plant in 1958. ”
It’s interesting to read what Kowalczyk thinks Lorain would “say” back to him.
I just thought the story was really beautiful. His feelings for his hometown are clearly very deep, as is his anguish at seeing its faded glory. I should also point out, Lorain also has a great literary tradition. It is the hometown of famed authors Toni Morrison and Michael Dirda.
I spent two years working in Lorain, and the city and people I met there will always have a place in my heart.
Thank you to Rust Wire reader Jaime Warburton for sending this story to me.