March 26, 2007

March 26, 2007 

The Cleveland Icon Perseverance Awards  2007 

This event, the second annual, once again took place at the Agora and was hosted by the venerable “Host of the North Coast” - Peanuts (who still won’t reveal his real name).

The Cleveland Entertainment Coalition puts on a truly worthwhile event, but unfortunately, it’s still a well-kept secret. Their mission is to honor longtime veterans of the local music scene, including musicians, media, and behind-the-scenes movers and shakers. But more people are needed to shake things up and get their mission moving. President Londi Viccarone told me he needs more volunteers, particularly concerning this event. So if anyone is interested in being involved in this noteworthy organization, go to their website at

Although the crowd Sunday night was lean at times, the music and the distribution of awards was entertaining, and the many reunions among friends created a party-like atmosphere.

It also gave you hope for...


the future musical generation. The first band that played, Nostalgia Cleveland featured a young boy, Alex Raz, who was just nine years old. He started things off in true rock-and-roll style by playing guitar like Jimi Hendrix (he did a near-perfect rendition of  “Star Spangled Banner” - not an easy feat at any age) and then, out came 7-year-old Vincent Fondale, who did a medley of Journey songs and he was absolutely amazing. Not just his voice, but his whole demeanor - he worked the crowd (who couldn’t take their eyes off of him) like a true professional at the top of his game. Wow.

I’m going to do a Jane Scott right now (for those who recall this veteran Cleveland rock reporter proclaiming Bruce Springsteen as the next big thing, back when most had never heard of him). So Remember the Name – Vincent Fondale. He’s going to be a star… 

I was also thrilled to finally meet Michael Calhoun, of the great Dazz Band, and even more honored to present a Perseverance Award to Carlos Jones, indeed an icon of the reggae music scene, as one of the members of I-Tal and First Light (yes, reggae has been alive and very well in Cleveland, Ohio since 1979) and whose band, Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S Band, performs regularly throughout the North Coast. He’s not only an amazing percussionist/guitarist/vocalist, he’s a really nice guy (and regular readers of this blog know how I feel about nice).   

It was a fun night and I only hope that word spreads more widely for next year’s event, and more people show up to honor, as the Coalition says “Cleveland’s Own,” and our Rock City maintains its claim to fame. 

Thoughts on Discipline 

We Catholics are now nearly done with Lent, and if you’re like me, are counting down the days to Easter Sunday. But for the wrong reason. We just can’t wait to go back to indulging ourselves with whatever we gave up for the past long six weeks. I don’t have many vices left since I grew out of my youthful ways (read: became a parent), so I usually give up the same thing every year—but this time I added chocolate, which I slowly have acquired a great love for (this I blame on the media ever since they said how good dark chocolate is for you …  well, okay… like wine … I’ll do it for my health…. 

I mention this because I realized last Friday, as I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich (on rye, which is the only way to have one), that I had, that morning, packed my daughter (never mind the husband, he is one of those “non-practicing” Catholics) a honey ham sandwich, and the week before that, I’d packed her a salami sandwich, and the week before that, I believe it was turkey … 

I am a horrible Catholic mother. 

I used to be a great one. Fixing my little children tuna salad, or PB & J, or egg-salad sandwiches (the latter of which I still hear about. Apparently, even when they start out from the fridge, once they sit in a dark cubby hole in a dark paper bag, in a hot, sweaty, stifling room, the greenhouse effect begins, and the sandwich which the well-meaning mother made with love, starts to reek. Throughout the entire classroom. So I am still told.  

But least they didn’t eat meat on Fridays. Not a morsel. But nowadays, I’m slacking off a bit more because they’re getting older and on their own (well, one already is, and yes, I still pack lunch for the last one at home - upon request).

So it’s not really all my fault, because once they begin working up to 18 (and who decided that this is the big cut-off point for ultimate control, anyway?), they tend to make their own decisions and do their own thing, so when I asked my daughter when she came home, “Did you eat that ham sandwich?” she replied, “Yes.” And when I said, “But it’s Lent, why didn’t you remind me these past Fridays I made your lunch?”

She then suddenly and miraculously turns all the control, and blame, back to me and says, “That’s your job, Mom.” Oh, yeah now I’m supposed to go from “You’re too protective” to “It’s your job to keep me in line.”

She then adds, “Don’t worry, Mom, ham isn’t really meat, not like steak or roast beef.” What?? Oh, to live in a teenage land where the world is only as you see it...   

Anyway, I think everyone, Catholic or no, should give up something once in awhile. Just because it’s good to be disciplined. Because we really are awfully darn good to ourselves. And discipline is good for the soul. Really. It makes you feel you have more control over your life.

And what you give up is usually something you can do without. Like TV, or sweets, or cigarettes. Then when you do treat yourself to these luxuries, you actually appreciate them more. Though I’m not sure it’s a good thing to appreciate cigarettes... 

Anyway, if you really think about it, many of us are not very disciplined. It’s a constant human struggle. That’s why it’s so hard to lose weight, for one. And that’s why giving up some kind of delightful food is the number one Lenten sacrifice. Thing is, we may lose a few pounds, but it’s almost a guarantee we’ll gain it all back in a week.

So much for our holy deprivation. 

A Few Words on Elizabeth Edwards 

Leave it to cancer to make the wife more newsworthy than the husband running for president. In the case of this amazing woman (not because she has cancer – it is this: You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control how you deal with it), who chooses to make the best of a devastating diagnosis, C is not for Cancer. It is for Courage. It is for Class. 

Last Word on Anna Nicole 

Well, actually two: Real Friends. 

Maybe the rich and famous will learn something. But probably not. 

Till next time,

Do Good Deeds