Things I LoveU.S. Travel

HOMETOWN ROOTS

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If it’s summer, then there’s likely a road trip happening — mostly baseball related — as was the case for a recent trip.  The significance of this particular trip was a personal milestone — visiting the two remaining current MLB parks on my list.  The list is now complete together with a slew of older ones and foreign ones.

This is the “third time is the charm” for me when it comes to seeing a game in Cleveland.  I was at the original (Municipal) stadium eons ago, but is the first time at Progressive Field (formerly “the Jake”).  Not to mention seeing the Indians before they become the Guardians.  (I keep wanting to add “of the Galaxy” onto that name).   Since the hubby grew up in nearby Shaker Heights before his mom moved the family to Southern California, it is likewise an opportunity to meet up with some remaining family and friends as well.

Homes along Shaker Lakes

Our first lunch was with an elementary school friend of the hubby’s, Stuart Muszynski.  After a successful career in the insurance business followed by a health scare in the early 90’s, Stuart recognized that having a sense of gratitude played a significant role in his recovery.  This led to he and his wife Susan founding a remarkable organization called Values in Action where the focus is on teaching kids and adults kindness, anti-bullying, gratitude and love.  Please click on the link to see the remarkable work being done.  viafdn.org

Lunch with Stuart

Two other significant get-together’s happened, the first strictly by chance.  While showing me the various places he lived, the hubby invoked “nothing ventured; nothing gained” and knocked on the door of a duplex his family (parents and two brothers) lived in for three years — more than 60 years ago.  A very nice woman graciously invited us in to take a look — she lives there with her two sons.  Her mother has owned the duplex for 30 years and occupies the lower level.  She commented what great schools there are in Shaker Heights, then and now.  The duplex will pass to her when the time comes, hopefully many years from now.  Below, as Bruce knocks on the door.

With hospitable Kareemah

The second gathering was at Geraci’s, a Cleveland landmark established in 1956.  We had lunch with Bialosky cousins and one relative who has traced the Bialosky/Shapiro family back to the late 1700’s.  Amazing conversation and a deep dive into how small the world is.  Below from left: Bob (family historian) and Sandy Barnes; Jack and Ronnie Bialosky; and us.  Jack is a second generation Cleveland architect whose firm has worked on innumerable structures.

Speaking of homes there, this So Cal native is always stunned at the enormous difference in cost of homes elsewhere (SO MUCH LESS) compared to my state.  Like the magnificent property below.  Most condos in Los Angeles and certainly San Francisco cost more.  I’m reminded each trip to Cleveland that the weather — mostly the humidity — would be a deal breaker.  But that won’t keep me from always wondering, “what if …?”

Next stop:  My first trip to Michigan — specifically the Motor City.  And baseball, of course.

Perfect baseball weather at Progressive Field