Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cleveland shares values — and a CHAMPIONSHIP!


The RTA bus would pick me up on Turney Road, then go down Broadway though urban decline and eventually reach Public Square. I would get off, wait a bit and take another bus over the Detroit-Superior Bridge and be dropped off walking distance from St. Ignatius High School.

I didn't think much about it at the time, but going through downtown Cleveland to the near West Side for high school shaped a lot of who I am. I learned some street smarts, how to talk with people asking for spare change and how various types of workers go about their days.

Floods of memories and emotions continue to come my way as I bask in the Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA Championship.

I am not sure people outside of Cleveland understand our feelings. They may be baffled. A big reason for this is the unparalleled civic pride we have for our city. We Clevelanders have always been connected through our punishing winters, negative press from the outside world and a sense of community that continues to get stronger.

In all fairness, I have seen a lot of civic pride from New Yorkers and Chicagoans. It is legitimate, but it's not as close-knit as ours in Cleveland. Two major-league baseball teams in one city? Those cities are just huge.

Cleveland is smaller, but still a metropolis. We're all big fish there. If you're still in Cleveland, you've looked around the world and have realized that you'll take the lack of traffic, accessibility, low home prices and lifelong friendships over what you might find in other cities.

We have been brought up with Cleveland, and it is in our blood. We all have stories like this, and here's mine in a nutshell:

My grandparents were brought up in Slavic Village. My mom's parents lived there during their whole lives. My dad's parents soon moved to a bordering suburb — Garfield Heights.

My dad avoided the Vietnam draft by going to law school and supported himself and his young family by working at Kroger's. When he become an attorney, his law office was on Public Square for more than 30 years.
Two of my uncles were in advertising in Cleveland. My Uncle Bob climbed the ranks through another Cleveland landmark — Higbee's, which is now the Cleveland Jack Casino. As a youngster, I found myself downtown all of the time in the natural center of Northeast Ohio.

The city's economy bloomed when it was a steel and iron town, and because of that, the city always has had a blue-collar mentality and sensibility. Or as LeBron correctly put it when he returned to Cleveland, "In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have."

LeBron matured and grew and showed that Cleveland is worth returning to. He gets it.

Of course, the lead of what happened is that our championship-starved city stopped a ridiculously long drought without a title. So, of course, we are going bonkers because of that.
But we're also going bonkers because of our civic pride and how united we are as a city. I sense that outsiders look at Cleveland in one of three ways:

1) Bewilderment. They just don't get our excitement and never will.
2) Apathy. They don't care. They have lives where they don't truly have the passion and caring for anything, let alone their sports teams. These people will continue to sleepwalk through their lives.
3) Unspoken Envy. Yep. Outsiders probably won't admit it, but this championship strangely — and probably unjustly — validates our community. It validates Cleveland on a national scale. It validates our values. This is not a place that we leave and forget. This is us, and we are happy for that. Who would not want this?

I have lived outside of Cleveland for 21 years now — three years in New York City, and 18 in Los Angeles. A long time ago, I realized that Cleveland will always be my home.

With the exception of my daughters, fiancee and a couple stragglers here and there, I have not developed the depth of relationships that I did during my formative years in Cleveland. A team attitude, a common understanding, inherent trust —values that I used to take for granted aren't as readily available as they are in my hometown.

Our championship is bigger than basketball. It's also about our shared values. We get that. We are united. We are Cleveland.

15 comments:

  1. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are three main reasons to apply for a HELOC. The first is that it will only cost you the price of a credit report ($15.00 in my office) and once approved, you will have access to the cash that is now tied up in the real estate that you own. The lender pays for everything else – they even pay me, the Broker! The second reason is that you can use this cash for absolutely any purpose you can think of. Then the third reason is that you do not have to use this money if you don’t want to, but it is there just in case you need it. And with most lenders, this cash will remain available to you (in your HELOC account) for up to ten years.

    Let me explain the two factors that will determine the interest rate you will have. The main element is the amount of equity you have in your home. The best way to find this out is to call a real estate appraiser and ask them if you can get a “value check” on your home. This shouldn’t cost you anything. The appraiser will look up the sales data for your neighborhood and will ask you about your home. He will then compare your home to the others recently sold and will give you a range of value. He will not be able to give you an exact value unless you hire him to physically come out to your home and conduct a full appraisal (which I don’t recommend that you do since often times an appraisal is NOT required on a HELOC). Now take the balance due on your mortgage and subtract that amount from the amount given to you buy the appraiser. The answer you come up with is the amount of equity you have to work with.

    The next element that will determine your interest rate is your credit score. The higher your credit score, along with a higher percentage of equity in your home (equals less risk to the lender) means a lower interest rate to you,. This type of loan is mainly geared toward those individuals with good, not great, but good credit.

    Lets look at a couple of examples of a HELOC. Mr. Dogcop has some equity in his home. He doesn’t have any present needs for cash, but there are some things coming up in the near future where just writing out a check would make things much easier. He has more time to spend on the loan process now than he will later. Also, he will have a lot of comfort knowing that he has a little nest egg stashed away for that unexpected home emergency.

    Another example is Ms. Honorcop who has $25K in revolving credit card debt and is paying interest rates from 10% to 21%. She has kept current on her payments but will never see the balances go to zero if she keeps paying them in the regular manner. She can now roll those debts over to a HELCO and pay the going Prime Interest Rate for the life of payday loans online at MWtank.com (currently at 9.50% at the time of this writing – APR 9.50%). With the equity in her home, she could pull out $40,000 in equity, pay off the current debt of $25,000 and still have $15,000 in her account ready to tap into. But in the mean time she is only making payments on the $25,000 she used and her minimum payment is only about 1% of the balance due (used).

    A very great Loan Modification Expert, for any purpose you can imagine. Pay for your son or daughters college tuition up front for the year. At last you can get your kitchen remodel done before Christmas, consolidate your high interest bills, buy Christmas presents (and with a tax deduction), or just apply for the loan and keep it in the account. You will have the peace of mind knowing that the money is there if the need arises. It’s your money. Take control of it and make it work for you rather than someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here are our favorite and least favorite lawn mowers on the market right now

    ReplyDelete