Sunday, December 04, 2022

Fun with Maps - The Underground Railroad

 In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at a very special map – a map that wasn’t recorded because it was dangerous to do so.  It’s the map of the Underground Railroad. 

 The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early 1800s to help slaves escape into free states and Canada.  It was run by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees.  Ohio had many stops on the Underground Railroad.  Canada was an ultimate destination since they had abolished slavery in 1793. The short distance across Lake Erie from Cleveland to Canada made the city a popular destination.  Cleveland was codenamed Hope on the Underground Railroad and the ultimate destination was Port Stanley in Ontario Canada which was codenamed Praise the Lord. 

 We recorded this episode at the Cozad-Bates House at the corner of Mayfield and East 115th Street in University Circle (just north of the Little Italy Neighborhood) in Cleveland. It is the only surviving pre-Civil War building in University Circle. The house has been restored by a non-profit called Restore Cleveland Hope and we spoke with board members and docents Kevin Cronin and Kathryn Puckett to examine the maps.  

We began with a map of Cleveland Ohio in 1957 and then widened to a map of the Western Reserve which shows how close (50 miles!) Canada is to Cleveland.  Then we looked at Underground Railroad maps in Ohio. Experts say there were more routes to Canada through Ohio than anywhere else.  This included the town near Cincinnati which was the setting for the book which influenced Abraham Lincoln, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  

We looked at St. John’s Church, still in existence at West 28th and Church in Cleveland.  This Church has been documented as a site that house slaves on the Underground Railroad.  We heard about John Brown the black barber who operated on Cleveland’s Public Square.  And Kathryn reminded us that where her family came from in Oklahoma was very different than in Ohio because Ohio was a free state and Oklahoma wasn’t a state until 1907.  

Finally we see how the geography played a role.  The slightly elevated terrain let people spot slave catchers and the location on Doan Brook which emptied into Lake Erie was ideal for escaping. 

 See more Fun with Maps episodes

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Fun with Maps - Greenalnd

 The story is that Erik the Red named the ice covered Greenland and the green covered Iceland that way to attract settlers to Greenland and dissuade them from coming to Iceland. 

 In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at that story about naming the largest island in the world, Greenland.  (Isn’t Australia bigger? Watch and find out). 

Many are surprised that Greenland is part of North America and part of the Kingdom of Denmark.  Greenland is 80% covered with ice and has historically, and currently, been affected by changes to the climate. 

After the US bought Alaska from Russia in the 1860’s, Secretary of State William Seward tried to buy Greenland and Iceland.  Congress voted it down.  Other attempts by the US to buy Greenland have also been rejected.  

See more Fun with Maps episodes

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) Open House

 For more than 30 years, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) has been providing Northeast Ohio manufacturers with the guidance they need to achieve long-term success. They service 18 counties in Northeast Ohio and consult on a wide range of manufacturing needs to create jobs and drive change by collaborating with manufacturing CEOs, governments, community leaders and educators to solve problems and build opportunities.

The grand opening was October 27, 2022 and the next day Great Lakes Geek Dan Hanson took a walk through the amazing new facility. As you will see, there are robots, arc welders, tools for forming metal, grinders, vacuum lifts, 3D printers, injection molding, die cutting and much more. Plus state of the art classrooms and information showing the well-paying job and career opportunities in manufacturing.

Watch the quick walk-through.

More pics and video of the new MAGNET

What happens when liquid nitrogen and boiling water are combined?

 A team from the Great Lakes Science Center was on hand at the MAGNET open house in Cleveland. MAGNET is a non-profit consulting group focused on growing Northeast Ohio's manufacturing industry and they have a great new facility at 63rd and Chester in Cleveland. 

 In this demo liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit was poured into a container and then boiling water at 212 degrees was poured in.  Watch the cool (or hot?) reaction. 

MAGNET Community Playground

For more than 30 years, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) has been providing Northeast Ohio manufacturers with the guidance they need to achieve long-term success. The grand opening of a new facility was October 27, 2022 and the next day Great Lakes Geek Dan Hanson took a walk through. This included the very cool playground for the community.

While the kids are having fun and getting exercise they are also learning. For example they can ride the seesaw but adjust the weights on either side and see what happens. Or they learn that a swing is really just a pendulum. They can try to lift the heavy container of bowling balls by pulling on ropes and can determine if the closer or farther ropes work better. There is a zip line and great things to climb on and more. Take a look in this video.

Pictures and video of the new Magnet playground

Monday, October 24, 2022

Direct flights between Cleveland and Dublin Ireland on Aer Lingus

 Paula Svadlena is Aer Lingus Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest USA and Canada. She sat down with Dan Hanson and told about Aer Lingus ( which took its first flight in 1937 and started transatlantic flights in the 1960’s.  

The big news for people in Cleveland and NEOhio and nearby is that Aer Lingus is launching 4 weekly non-stop flights from Cleveland to and from Dublin Ireland starting in May 2023. Paula told us the details and the great ease of making the trip (including clearing international customs) between the two cities.  

In addition, travelers can fly to Dublin and spend some time in Ireland before continuing on their final destination in Europe such as London or Paris without additional fees.  Plus travelers from Europe and Ireland now can visit Cleveland quickly and easily. 

Hopkins Airport Chief talks about the new flights

 John T. Hogan is Deputy Chief, Marketing and Air Service Development, for the Cleveland Airport System which includes Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport.  

He sat down with Dan Hanson and told about how both leisure and business travel are picking up since the pandemic with about 9 million passengers per year, almost back to the normal 10 million passengers. 

 For the 300+ people who travel from Cleveland to Europe each day they will be able to fly direct to Dublin, spend some time in Ireland if they choose, and/or continue on to Paris or Frankfort or Amsterdam or wherever.  Plus, with a US Customs Office in Dublin they can clear customs there and when they arrive in Cleveland they can leave right away.

 Chief Hogan said this direct flight is an opportunity for Europeans to visit Cleveland and the surrounding areas.  He credits several organizations for making this happen. 

Watch the video.

Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland's Ambassador to the US, in Cleveland

 What a weekend it was.  The new Ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America - Geraldine Byrne Nason came to Cleveland for the weekend.

The Ambassador just completed five years as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, most recently during Ireland’s term serving on the Security Council as an elected member, working for international peace and security.

Before the reception she joined former US Ambassador to Ireland Ed Crawford at the Irish Cultural Garden in Cleveland.

She was then the guest of honor at a reception in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall

Blaine Griffin, Brian Kazy, Chris Ronayne, Ambassador Byrne Nason,
Mayor Bibb, Kerry McCormack and Ambassador Crawford

On Saturday she gave a powerful keynote address at the Irish Network USA annual conference.  IN-USA is the national umbrella organization integrating the Irish Networks that exist in various cities across the United States. 

Of course she visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other sites.

See lots of photos and videos from the Ambassador's visit to Cleveland.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame Inaugural Induction Ceremony

 The Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame (CAS-HOF) is run by the Hall of Fame Sports Committee of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) who strongly believe that it is time to recognize those athletes and coaches of Croatian descent for their exemplary sports achievements. The first ten honorees to the CAS-HOF are Fred Couples, Helen Crlenkovich, John Havlicek, Mickey Lolich, Roger Maris, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Mark Pavelich, Joe Sakic, and Joe Stydahar.

Jerome Jurenovich served as MC for the evening. 8 time Emmy winner Jerome Jurenovich is a well-known sports reporter/journalist known for his work on CNN Headline Sports and as voice of the Atlanta Hawks and Braves among other positions. Jerome shared stories of his career and sports and Croatian heritage.

Doesn't Kevin Maris (below) look just like his dad Roger Maris?

Pictures and video from the Croatian Sports Hall of Fame event

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Columbus Day Parade in Cleveland

 The Columbus Day Parade, sponsored by Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA), took place in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood on Monday, Oct. 10 along Mayfield and Murray Hill roads. Hundreds of units marched - elaborate floats, marching bands, local artifacts, and city leaders - to celebrate Northeast Ohio's deeply rooted Italian American culture.

After Mass at Holy Rosary Church, 92.3's Anthony Lima served as MC of the Parade.

He introduced ISDA National President and Greater Cleveland Columbus Day chairman Basil M. Russo who gave a few brief remarks.

Basil has said, "On Columbus Day, Italian Americans pay tribute to our ancestors, and to all walks of life, who arrived in Northeast Ohio and built better lives for their families. Many aren't aware of this, but Columbus' parades and statues were used by early Italian Americans to fuel assimilation and fight discrimination during a decades-long period of oppression. In fact, the first national Columbus Day celebration honoring Italian Americans was held in 1892 as a way to ease tensions after 11 innocent Italian immigrants were murdered in New Orleans, in front of the largest lynch mob ever to assemble on U.S. soil."

Watch a video of the opening before the Parade stepped off. 

Watch a video of highlights of the Columbus Day Parade. (As usual we did not include any of the many politicians who marched.)


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Fun with Maps – Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)

 The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth led to some confusion, even in media reports, about the difference between England, the UK, Great Britain and so on. Was she Queen of England?  Why was she in Scotland? What about the Prince of Wales?

In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at the island of Great Britain which consists of England, Scotland and Wales.  It is not the same as England or the United Kingdom. Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world.

So what’s the United Kingdom?  The United Kingdom is a sovereign country in Europe that comprises England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and many smaller islands within the British Isles.

This episode also covers the English Channel, the Chunnel, the Mull of Kintyre, the character of Britannia, the Firth of Forth, Treaty of Union, the patron saints and flags of the 3 countries, the vast range of the British Empire and more.  See more Fun with Maps episodes.  

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Novak Djokovic bust unveiled in Serbian Cultural Garden in Cleveland


Serbian Novak Djokovic is arguably the greatest tennis player in the world (21 Grand Slam events including the 2022 Wimbledon, etc.) He was unable to compete in the 2022 US Open because of US laws about people unvaccinated from Covid. 

On September 11, 2022 a bust of Novak Djokovic was unveiled in the Serbian Cultural Garden in Cleveland. Over 100 people attended including many clergy people from Texas, PA and even Belgrade, Serbia!  

Lots of pics and videos of tthe Djokovic bust unveiling 

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Parade of Flags at 2022 One World Day in Cleveland

 Since 1946 the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) has hosted an annual One World Day where the dozens of diverse heritages represented in the community are shared.  A highlight of One World Day is the Parade of Flags where dozens of communities dress in their ethnic attire and carry flags of their heritage.  

Almost 60 units marched in the 2022 Parade of Flags many with dancing, drums and music but all with their flags and traditional costumes. 

 Magnificent Seven gold medal Olympic champion gymnast Dominique Moceanu was the Grand Marshal of the Parade. She compared the Parade of Flags to a mini-Olympics Opening Ceremony. Dominique she led off the Parade walking with Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and CCGF Board Chair Dr. Wael Khoury. The first unit to march was the Ukrainian to show the support of the broader community for the people of Ukraine.  

Watch the video of the Parade of Flags

More from One World Day 2022

Syrian Artist Diana Al-Hadid in the Syrian Cultural Garden

 The Syrian Cultural Garden hosted a special event to showcase the art of Diana Al-Hadid in the Garden. About 150 attended despite the rainy weather. They socialized, viewed the art, ate Syrian food and listened to Dr. Wael Khoury and the artist talk about the Garden and the art.

Diana Al-Hadid and Dr. Wael Khoury

Diana Al-Hadid and Dr. Wael Khoury

Diana Al-Hadid, who was raised in Ohio and is a Kent State University graduate, converted the fountain into a symbolic ancient water-clock whose design is based on several instructions left behind by the twelfth-century Islamic polymath Ismail Al-Jazari.

Greek Cultural Garden Signing Ceremony - The Gift of Greece to Civilization

 The mission of the Hellenic Preservation Society (HPS) is to present a unified voice of the Hellenes in Northeastern Ohio that will promote the Greek experience through programs, presentation and cultural collections.

HPS is commissioning an ambitious and exciting work for the Greek Cultural Garden, one of 35 (and growing) in a chain of Cultural Gardens in Cleveland Ohio. The Garden was dedicated in 1940 and has been sponsored by the Hellenic Preservation Society since 1992.

The Greek Garden is flanked by two Doric columns representative of the type of column one would see while viewing the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens Greece. The central court is a sunken garden and forms the lines of a Greek cross. Looking west from the main entrance is a pylon, the chief feature of the garden, symbolizing the wall of the Parthenon in Greece. Inscribed on the pylon are the names of 34 historic Greek figures representing the Greek spirit in philosophy, art, literature and science., e.g. Socrates, Homer, Plato, El Greco, Aristotle and Archimedes.

The Hellenic Preservation Society has commissioned Master Stone Carver Nicholas Fairplay to sculpt a 5 x 15' stone relief to be installed on the Parthenon Wall featuring dozens of Greek cultural figures.

Photos and video from the Greek Garden event

India Independence Day and Cultural Garden on One World Day

 The Cleveland Indian community demonstrated their proud heritage with a very large group of people at One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. One World Day has been the official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation since 1946. Over 40,000 people visited the gardens on One World Day 2022.

Since One World Day was held just a few weeks after India Independence Day, the India Cultural Garden and Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) combined their Independence Day celebration with One World Day. The Indian community celebrated the 76th India Independence Day at One World Day participating in the Parade of Flags and then having cultural performances and Indian delicacies in the Garden. Attendees were encouraged to wear their regional/state dress so it was a colorful affair.

Photos and videos from the Indian Garden

George Voinovich Memorial Dedication in the Serbian Cultural Garden

George Voinovich served as Mayor of Cleveland and then Governor of Ohio and then US Senator from Ohio. He was of Serbian (father) and Slovenian (mother) heritage. He was very proud of his ethnic heritage and was a tremendous supporter of the ethnic diversity in Cleveland, Ohio and the United States.

On August 31, 2022 a memorial to the Senator was dedicated in the Serbian Cultural Garden in Cleveland.

Stories and memories were shared.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Dancing to Harmonia at Ukraine Benefit in Cleveland Cultural Gardens

 The band Harmonia performed in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens as a benefit for Ukraine sponsored by the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America Ohio Chapter. 

 Harmonia presents the traditional folk music of Eastern Europe, ranging from the Danube to the Carpathians. Its repertoire reflects the cultures of this region: Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Romanian, Croatian and Gypsy. 

 The performers that evening were: Walt Mahovlich – accordion, Steven Greenman – violin, Alexander Fedoriouk – cimbalom, Branislav Brinarsky – bass and Beata Begeniova – vocals.  

In this finale number members of the audience came out and danced to a lively Ukrainian song.  

Feast of the Assumption Procession in Cleveland 2022

 While there are 4 days of music, food and partying each year the highlight of the annual Feast of the Assumption is the Mass on August 15th, the actual feast day, followed by a prayerful procession through the streets of Little Italy. 

 After the Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Cleveland’s Little Italy, parishioners and others march through the streets of the neighborhood saying the Rosary.  This year Cleveland Bishop Edward Malesic marched with them. Here is some of the Feast of the Assumption parade in Cleveland, 2022.

Croatian Cultural Garden in Cleveland – Immigrant Mother Statue

 The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a chain of over 35 gardens in Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park that focus on the heritage of the different groups. 

The Croatian Cultural Garden has an upper presence on East Blvd. and this lower level on MLK Blvd.  Dan Hanson walks through the lower level and talks about the inspiring statue of the Immigrant Mother created by Joseph Turkaly.  

The Immigrant Mother statue is dedicated to all those women, regardless of nationality, who came her, often with children in tow, to start a new life in America.  

He also shows the beautiful waterfall cascading from the upper level to the lower. 

The World should have listened

 I was going through some old videos and found this from 2016.

During the Parade of Flags at the 71st annual One World Day in the Centennial Year of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens on MLK Blvd. members of the Ukrainian Cultural Garden chanted “Putin, get out of Ukraine” as they marched.

Mead – the oldest alcohol known to man

 We stopped at the Feisty Mead booth at the 2022 Ohio Celtic Festival in Painesville just east of Cleveland. Mead is a drink more similar to beer and wine than hard liquors.  Variations can resemble cider or beer or, as in the case of Feisty Mead, more like wine.  

The alcohol content is a little over 13% and they have a variety of flavorings and spices.  Brian from Feisty Mead told us that mead is the oldest alcohol known to man primarily because it’s so easy to make. 

Mossy Moran plays Jake the Peg

Mossy Moran performed at the 2022 Ohio Celtic Festival in Painesville just east of Cleveland. 

He played this song about a man named Jake who had an extra leg.  Jake the Peg was written by Rolf Harris who also wrote the classic Australian song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport". 

Puerto Rican Parade and Festival

 The annual Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade was held Sunday August 7th. The Parade was put on by the Hispanic Police Officers' Association (HPOA) which has been proudly serving it's members and the greater Cleveland community since it was founded in 1986.

The 2022 Parade Honorees were:

  • Ramonita Vargas, Grand Marshal
  • Victor Ruiz, Padrino
  • Keisha Gonz├ílez, Madrina
  • Zaria Ivelisse Ortiz, Miss Teen Puerto Rico 2022

Click on the white arrow below to watch a video of some highlights of the Parade including former Cleveland Indians Carlos Baerga and Candy Maldonado. I did not include the cars and other vehicles in the parade - they will be in a separate video. I also did not include the many politicians in the parade.

Jain community packs 10,000 meals for Refugees

 I admit that I didn't know much about Jains and Jainism before this event.

Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live lives of harmlessness and renunciation. The essence of Jainism is concern for the welfare of every being in the universe and for the health of the universe itself.

In this video, Atul Shah from the Jain Society of Greater Cleveland told of the 3 main principles of Jainism: Strict non-violence, Many-sided Reality and Non-attachment to possessions. Jains go beyond being vegans - what he called Jain Vegan where even root vegetables are not eaten. He estimates there are 350 or so Jains in the Cleveland area.

On Saturday August 6 the Jain Society of Greater Cleveland held a working event at the Jain Temple in Richfield Ohio called Compassion in Action where the group packed 10,000 Meals for Refugees around the World. Joining them was Richfield Mayor Michael Wheeler and his wife.

Watch a video of the workers packing meals.