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Ohio in literature

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As ColDayMan was telling me the other day, good secondary sources on Dayton's history are hard to come by on the internet and it seems to some extent even in print.  And so I suffer by learning only little bits here and there.  I seem to be able to find tons more information on Madison, a city half the size of Dayton!  (I am working on becoming a Madison history geek.)

 

But thinking more broadly, I was wondering if we, the faithful of UrbanOhio, could compile a list of recommended reading/web surfing for learning about the history of Ohio's cities and towns, especially urban histories dealing with the issues we often discuss here- transportation, architecture, neighborhood development, etc.  Of course, one can do the kind of hardcore research that Jeff seems to do for his Dayton photo threads (BTW, Jeff, if you have the resources you could make an invaluable website with all the things you've shown us here), but I'm mainly talking about sources where that's already been done for us.

 

For Dayton, I can mention the following web sites:

Montgomery County Historical Society - some short articles on specific subjects

Preservation Dayton, especially for the info on the historic districts

Dayton History Books Online - uh, pretty much what the name suggests

 

Sadly there are none for Dayton, but there's always some good stuff in those Images of America books (everyone buy MayDay's book!).  There are a lot of those dealing with Cleveland and Cincinnati especially, but also many other cities and towns.

 

I know many of you are knowledgeable about your city's history, so please post your recommendations!

 

 

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I was just thinking that this would be a good idea for a separate section broken down into subsections for munincipalities.

Little Miami Publishing has all sorts of wild stuff.

Volumes & volumes of death records !

 

http://www.littlemiamibooks.com/

 

Primarily Cincinnati/Hamilton County.

They have a mailing list, too.

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2 good Cleveland books I recent read:

 

Cleveland: Then and Now, John J. Grabowski and Diane Ewart Grabowksi, 2002. 

Contains photos and descriptions of Cleveland area landmarks, neighborhoods, and developments showing a "then" photo and a "now" photo of the same area.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1571458794/qid=1138047239/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-5453121-6948819?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

 

Cleveland: A Concise History, 1796-1996, 2d edition, Carol Poh Miller and Robert A. Wheeler, 1997.

Follows the rise and fall of Cleveland and contains photos and other tables of interesting information.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0253211476/qid=1138047524/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-5453121-6948819?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

 

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Although not the type of history that pertains to the general purpose of this site, this book is nonetheless an interesting read!  It chronicles historical weather events throughout Ohio:

 

Thunder in the Heartland: A Chronicle of Outstanding Weather Events in Ohio

 

by Thomas W. Schmidlin and Jeanne Applehans Schmidlin

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^ I think I looked at that book when I was doing a paper on the Xenia tornado for a weather class a couple years ago.  Didn't read anything except the Xenia section, though.  Perhaps I should have!

 

Thanks to all for the recommendations and links so far!  I'll have to check some of them out sometime.

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i dk if there is a thread on this, if no maybe this can be it?

 

i thought we could post some literary suggestions for people to read about ohio experiences. here's a few to start it off:

 

 

i read a nice recent book on growing up in lorain by the now editor of the washington post. it even has a few pics, including a great cover shot of a scene looking north on broadway that i never knew existed as it was blocked off by mountainous slag piles for years, but thankfully and surprisingly was recently restored and now has a cool view of the lighthouse. whoops i'm getting visual already, but it was really a nice autobiography too:

0393057569.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1059779565_.jpg

 

of course there is ohio in any of nobel laureate toni morrison's books, esp her first, the bluest eye, which is an earlier & more harrowing look at growing up in lorain:

0452282195.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1130432347_.jpg

 

the most well known lorainite writer of all is poet helen steiner rice, so-called "the poet laureate of inspirational verse" who has cinci+dayton ties too. if you have ever gotten an 'old-lady' style greeting card you know her:

0800718534.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1091578290_.jpg

 

i'll stop w/ prob my very fav ohio book and & that is winesburg, ohio by sherwood anderson. it's really about clyde, ohio, where he lived. anderson was born in camden and also lived in cleveland and elyria:

0451525698.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1056444885_.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Two recommendations that come to mind right away are:

 

The Full Cleveland, Terry Reed. Coming-of-age novel set largely in Shaker Heights. Fascinating view of urban parenting - one parent that is very protective and sheltering, the other wanting children that have a social conscience and understand the dilemmas facing Cleveland's underclass.

 

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less, Terry Ryan. Great book on how a mother tackles borderline poverty by winning contests. Recently made into a movie (sadly, filmed in Ontario instead of Ohio).

 

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Isn't Morrison's <i>Beloved</i> also set in Ohio... the parts that aren't flashbacks anyway?

 

Yes.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Bob Greene, (former?) columnist for the Chicago Tribune, reprinted his HS diary (he grew up in Bexley) as a book.

I believe the setting was the mid 60s (it was published in the late 80s)

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ah yes, my spouse loved the prizewinner of defiance, ohio. not the movie tho. good one.

 

i wanted to add another great autobiography i read awhile back, finding fish, which inspired the movie antwone fisher.

 

0688176992.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1056466290_.jpg

 

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There was a similar thread here

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=7143.0

"Domestic Manners of the Americans" by Fraces Trollope is good.

A decidedly negative account of most of America & especially of Cincinnati in the early 1830s.

Waste disposal in Cincinnati ?

Leave your waste in the middle of the street & the pigs will come thru & eat it overnight.

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I almost forgot ... REQUIRED reading for all urban ohioans:

 

The Cleveland Metropolitan Reader. W. Dennis Keating, David C. Perry, eds. 1995.

 

Synopsis: Contemporary urban scholars examine the political economy, social development, and history of Cleveland from 1796 to the present in this interdisciplinary collection of essays. Also included are commentaries provided by the leaders of Cleveland, now actively working to transform the city. Though the contributors do not necessarily agree on the nature of Cleveland's problems or on appropriate solutions, together they offer a broad perspective on the reality of a great American city's growth, decline, and reinvention.

 

Also check out People and the Competitive Advantage of Place: Building a Workforce for the 21st Century. Shari Garmise. 2005. Great section on young professional training efforts in  Cleveland.

 

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^ yeah, time to solve the mystery!

 

 

***

 

ayn rand's beleaguered husband, frank o'connor, was from lorain. she remains probably every freshman college kid's favorite author. she seems to have written some of her most famous book, the fountainhead, on a visit there. i believe she mentioned it somewhere in her later writing as well.

 

she probably hated all the damn company town socialist/union leanings though.

 

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20121027/NEWS/310279973

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^ yeah, time to solve the mystery!

 

 

***

 

ayn rand's beleaguered husband, frank o'connor, was from lorain. she remains probably every freshman college kid's favorite author. she seems to have written some of her most famous book, the fountainhead, on a visit there. i believe she mentioned it somewhere in her later writing as well.

 

she probably hated all the damn company town socialist/union leanings though.

 

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20121027/NEWS/310279973

 

Remember that Patrick Henry University in Atlas Shrugged was in Cleveland.

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Anyone recognize this path?

 

C_Pf0UEXsAMnowA.jpg:large

okay, what's the answer? It's been 3 1/2 months!  :laugh:

 

I wanted to see if anyone spotted it.   

 

I cannot understand how Don Robertson's "The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread" is not considered a classic, while "The Catcher In The Rye" is.

 

Even Steven King said similar.

 

The path is Morris Bird III's trek to see his friend who moved away.  He made his trip on October 20, 1944.  He saw him.  Briefly.

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In Stepen King's book Needful Things, Satan is posing as the owner of a cursed curiosity shop. He tells everyone he's originally from Akron, Ohio.

 

I believe that's actually true.

 

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A great current Ohio author:

 

Donald Ray Pollock grew up in Knockemstiff, Ohio, and quit high school at seventeeen to work in a meatpacking plant. He then spent thirty-two years employed as a laborer at the Mead Paper Corporation in Chillicothe, Ohio, before enrolling in the MFA program at Ohio State University. His first book, a collection of stories called Knockemstiff, won the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship. This was followed by a novel, The Devil All The Time, which was listed as one of the top ten books of 2011 by Publisher's Weekly. His third book, a novel called The Heavenly Table, is forthcoming from Doubleday in July, 2016. Though pretty much a Luddite when it comes to computer stuff, he is now on Facebook (facebook.com/DonaldRayPollock) and also has a website at www.donaldraypollock.net

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for comedy, here is another author and infamous lorain guy, don novello.

 

he got famous on early saturday night live as father guido sarducci.

 

aside from that, he wrote this very silly book that was a bestseller:

 

 

51bVjAQ5-TL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

In letters to stars, dignitaries, and chairmen of the country's most powerful organizations, Don Novello's alter ego Lazlo Toth pestered his victims for photographs, offered outlandish advice, fired off strange inquiries, and more.

 

The strangest part? Practically everyone answered, leaving Toth with a hilarious collection of outlandish correspondence unmatched in the history of American letters.

 

The Lazlo Letters contains nearly 100 notes to public figures, including then-President Nixon, Vice President Ford ("I've been Vice President of a lot of organizations myself, so I know how you feel."), Bebe Rebozo, Lester Maddox, Earl Butz, and America's top business leaders. The replies, says the author, "are classic examples of American politeness."

 

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and for more comedy, this book is about one of the most infamous comedians of all, doug kenney, who grew up in euclid and chagrin falls.

 

he founded national lampoon and wrote lots of comedy, including animal house and caddyshack.

 

the biography is being turned into a movie starring will forte, which if it works out is absolutely perfect casting:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Futile_and_Stupid_Gesture

 

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