Friday, April 10, 2009

To Cleveland and back

It's been an awesome, eventful week as I traveled to Cleveland and back just in time for the Passover holiday. The reasons are numerous. My sister's family still lives in the frozen suburbs there and I had an opportunity to see them again. Then there were my friends who work at the Cleveland Jewish News; I needed to see several of them before their upcoming retirements, in particular editor Cynthia Dettelbach and CEO Rob Certner. I also wanted to see my other friends on staff there and knew this would be a good opportunity. However, before I could see them I needed to also do some volunteer work with Jewish Scouting there. The fact is that most of the training that is offered, nay, all of the training that is offered in that council takes place on Saturdays. That's usually not a problem, but in religious observant communities that do not do work on Saturdays, training is out of the question. So, leave it to me to offer my services. I trained four pack leaders and two different chartered organization representatives. With the training done, I was able to enjoy a bit of a breather. I managed to have a little down time with the family on Sunday night before steeling myself for the visit to the CJN. It was great to see my old friends and to see firsthand how the paper's staff has shrunk due to the economy and other factors affecting Jewish newspapers nationwide. The staff was busy, but they made me feel right at home. I was happy to have taken time out to visit with Rob and "Cindy" especially. I wish them all the best. Monday I spent reacquainting myself with the "lake effect" snow I had know while living there. The snow started light and later came in heavy with foreboding winds and gray skies. I headed to the Greater Cleveland Council of the Boy Scouts of America to meet with the Scout Executive, Barry Norris. I took him out to a Cleveland original, a place called Slyman's, the home of the biggest and best corned beef sandwich there. Before I left, I had time to chat with him about the training I did the day before and to offer my help as it relates to the Jewish units there. Then, it was off to pick up Jerry and Phyllis Lockshin, who were due in to Hopkins Airport en route to their home in Canton, Ohio. It was a short hour-plus drive to Canton, where I chilled for a few hours before having to drive back to Cleveland. I left very early in the morning with only one problem: I lost my moderately expensive Cross pen as I cleared TSA on my way to the flight. I was told that I couldn't make it back to security and back, so I left the pen in Cleveland. I guess someone else needed it more than me, because it was never turned in. Oh, well... Meanwhile Passover started on Wednesday night, just in time for what my mom called "The Last Seder."

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