I detest summer in Cincinnati. Whenever I hear sirens — and living on a boisterous corner of Woodburn Avenue for the past 13 years I hear plenty of sirens — I think: Cincinnati police must be taxed and overworked.
If Charles Bukowski had a cousin who was
slightly less self-destructive, not at all a womanizer and who lurked in
the deeper shadows of Bukowski, writing in the margins, it would have
been Larry Gross.
Rachel Dolezal’s adopted black brother said: “It all started with the hair.” If she weren’t in the news for being
black but really white, I would say that “starting with the hair” would
most definitely make the recently resigned president of the Spokane
chapter of the NAACP a black woman.
As Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey
Blackwell prepared to hand in his city manager-ordered 90-day plan to
curb this city’s outburst of violence, black folks from Avondale to
Westwood, Walnut Hills to Bond Hill to Winton Hills and even murderous
black parents under the jurisdiction of the local branch of Ohio Jobs
and Family Services behaved as though their black lives — and no others —
mattered worth a damn.
When Thom Shaw was alive, sometimes I
would do a drive-by to see if his little black truck with the ARTWERK
license plate was in the parking lot in Essex Studios. If it was and I
had some time — because Thom Shaw could talk me under the table — I’d
pull in and make my way back to his space.
Snapshot: In 1968, Baltimore, Maryland, erupted in violent looting, rioting and fires as police clashed with citizens in the city’s streets just as cops in Newark, N.J., and Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhoods were doing the same.