Born and Bred in Akron

Updated: Feb 3

Today we are talking about things that were born in Akron, things we took for granted as kids, and a different twist on how different people have viewed them. And the stories that make them memorable.

The Devil Strip

The Quaker Oats complex

The Goodyear Hangar

If you are from the Akron area, you probably took these things for granted so, relax, enjoy and please be patient while I try to educate everybody that wishes they too were from Akron.

The Devil Strip

The term devil strip refers to that narrow patch of grass between the curb and the sidewalk. You probably have them too in your cities, and you probably still talk about them incorrectly, but the correct name originated in Akron, Ohio. They were our own mini playgrounds,

the grass providing a backstop when we played marbles on the sidewalk, and we could rake giant piles of fallen leaves about 3 feet tall to jump in when the Oak and Sycamore’s giant leaves were perfectly crispy. I don’t know about you guys, but this was one of the chores I looked forward to. It was my job as the kid of the house to rake the leaves to the curb, where I could stand and dive into the piles on the devil strip, and later watch gleefully as we burned them. To this very day the smell of burning leaves “rakes” me back in time to that curb, ten years old again, all grown up with matches in my pocket, legally, Gee I could have puffed away on one of my ill-gotten little cigars that got me into so much trouble before.

Today we have powerful battery-operated leaf blowers, and even a lawn flame thrower. Wow big kids and their toys! More Power!

The trees on this patch had been there a long time in these old established neighborhoods, and the tree roots caused the opposite of potholes, that unforgivable root heave, which makes it even more difficult for snow shoveling.

God has a special place in heaven for those of us who lived on a corner and shoveled faithfully

This was my childhood house on a corner and as you can see I had twice as much devil strip to enjoy, and twice as much sidewalk for shoveling, but we always kept it clean, because that was what good neighbors do

Somehow, I always ended up playing in the snow only to come home just in time to find the snow shovel propped up in the drift by the side door.