Fear in Images: A Halloween Special

In honor of Halloween, some images. Call it a pictorial poem of what Clevelanders saw at night when they closed their eyes and shivered.

1952 was the big fire on the Cuyahoga, not the 1969 blaze.  If a river is a city’s life blood then consider for a moment that the populous’ veins were burning.

In 1966 Cleveland’s ghettos were in flame. The Hough neighborhood is pictured below with shadowy silhouettes in fireman’s gear appearing small in comparison to what was before them.

Obviously by the 70’s Cleveland needed a leader. What they got instead was a mayor who literally got caught up in the burning that had preceded him. Mayor Perk, meet welding apparatus.

Holy shit. Really. What is with Cleveland circa 1970’s and fire. Here is one of the 30 some car bombs that raged Cleveland in 1976. Cleveland was the bomb capital of the world that year. Kill the Irishman was the fuel for the most part. The Irishman was Danny Greene. Here is the result of one unsuccessful attempts.

The Tribe at the time was mostly known for bloodshed. Their play not only made women cover the eyes of children but so did their unis. Below is “Boog” Powell with his boog belly.

And then the Cavs of the early 80’s didn’t help none. They actually renamed the Cavaliers after dead bodies. Notice, the sword limpy in the hand of doodled mascot on the paper bag.

Though this guy was smiling he saw the writing on the wall.  Lay-offs, mill closings, the inaction of the shift-change whistle all were creating fear in the visions of those uncertain of their future. LTV, the man’s employer, first filed for bankruptcy in 1986 before eventually shuttering its doors in 2001. They were one of many employers the Onion recently wrote about in an article entitled Remains of Ancient Race of Job Creators Found in the Rust Belt.

Then the city got stiller, emptier. Yeah, I guess our civilization as we knew it was dying.

To be replaced by something else. In Cleveland we got the new economy built on the site of an old steel plant. Not exactly tulips over a memorial–the aesthetic. Instead the sight of plastic hangers over and over again. Cheap shit. That is the only way to get away with cheap pay. A horror show it is. (The photo was from a PD article in which 300 people from 6000 applicants were hired back in 2007.)

And then there is these guys. Boy this town has got a thing with fire. Happy Halloween.

–By Richey Piiparinen

Post-script–Was debating putting Cuyahoga County’s own large benefactor of other’s corruption-tainted largesse, and decided against it. Well, eff that noise. Thanks Angie for steering the way. The indexed finger alone is enough to need a night light. (Courtesy of Plain Dealer [I guess]).

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