Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for January, 2007

A Conversation with an Old Friend

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Just arrived home from our first Meet The Bloggers interview held at Gypsy Beans and Baking Company located at 6425 Detroit Avenue.  What a welcoming and warm place!  Although its been open just about three weeks, it has such a homey atmosphere you would think that its always been there just waiting for you to discover it.  I know better.  When I first moved to Cleveland, I lived just around the corner on Franklin Boulevard so I know that it was a Leader Drugstore in the 1970s and if memory serves me right I think it had always been a pharmacy.  Someone with a longer history in Cleveland than me can correct me if I am all wrong on that fact.

But then back to this conversation with an old friend.  We had a a great conversation with County Treasurer Jim Rokakis.  He is not old; he will always be younger than me, but he has been a friend since 1978.  So, he is in that sense “old”. Jim Rokakis was my councilman in 1983 when he introduced me to the “notorious” Tim Ferris who later became my husband. Jim’s wife, Laurie, had the most incredible baby shower for me before our daughter was born.  So yeah, there is a soft spot for this couple, but it does not alter the fact that we should be very thankful that Cleveland and the county has this man as an elected official.

Jim is articulate and passionate about the people who live in Cleveland.  Although he represents the county, he remembers his roots in Cleveland and works to make things better for the least of us while helping others attract wealth to our region as a whole.  He is a thoughtful, intelligent public servant that wants to see the city where he grew up prosper and survive tough times and benefit from new and innovative ideas.

It has been a long time since I sat at a table with him and discussed problems and solutions.  Jim is a doer, not just a talker, but what a conversationalist.  He loves conversation, and he has a great sense of humor, but he also takes action.  He works with others to make things better for us all.  Listen to our podcast with him on Meet The Bloggers as soon as George can get it posted, and judge for yourself.  Want another reason to be thankful here in Cleveland?  We have Jim Rokakis looking out and working for us.



Written by Gloria Ferris

January 24th, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Spending Time on a Hot Seat Brings Back Long Ago Memory

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Odd how sometimes events that have no connection bring back memories long forgotten. Last week, we sprung a gas leak to the furnace.  These things never happen at opportune times and this time was again very inconvenient.  Tim called Brian,  the “B” in B.McDermott Plumbing and asked for emergency service due to the fact that we were to have the coldest weather recorded this winter very shortly.  By the way, Brian has to be by far the most professional and efficient plumber I have ever met.  And. I have met many over the years.  You meet many electricians and plumbers over the years when you have a hundred year old house.  Brian said that he would be there as soon as he could.  Needless to say, we couldn’t wait because we needed to be somewhere else. A friend agreed to be there when Brian arrived, we left a check to be filled in when the job was done, and off we went trusting that Brian would perform his magic and not break the bank with the repairs that needed to be done.

We arrived home to a warm and toasty house, tired but happy that we had not cancelled our committment we had made prior to the gas leak.  What a surprise when another thing was warm and toasty as well–the toilet seat!!  And this is where the walk down memory lane begins.  When I first bought our home in 1983, I lived alone with my dog.  Every holiday we travelled home to see my family.  That Thanksgiving was no exception even though we had only been in our new house for a little over a month and half and we were still surrounded by boxes and paint cans.  I turned down the heat and off we went.   

 After surviving a blizzard and record low temperatures for November, my dog and I arrived home two days late, but safe and sound.  I turned up the heat, curled up in a blanket with a good book, and immediately fell asleep.  I awakened to a dog barking at the bathroom door where strange hissing sounds were erupting.  I opened the door and discovered that while we were gone the pipes had frozen and I was faced with water all over the bathroom and a huge plumbing bill.  After the plumbers left,  I sat down on a warm and toasty toilet seat for the first time. 

 Now, you might think that this is a good idea.  Let me tell you it is not.  There is a lot of maintenance that goes with “the warm and toasty toilet seat”.  The biggest probelm is the condensation associated with a steaming toilet bowl.  When I told my coworkers, they gave me a funny look and moved away from me.  None of them offered help.  I called the plumber and he told me “Look, lady, that isn’t possible. We didn’t do anything that would cause that.”  I tried to tell him I wasn’t blaming him, but I needed help with this problem.  He then quoted me his rates which were just as exhorbitant as the first time he recited them to me.  By this time, I was starting to believe that I had had a bump on the head and was hallucinating as so many people seemed to think.  

I immediately called my mother because as we all know mothers offer unconditional love and reassurance that you are not crazy–everyone’s mother except my mother.  Her response was”  Are you sure?”  I asked her what she thought I was unsure of Did she think that the warm sensation I felt every time I sat down on the toilet was a figment of my imagination?  Did she think that something else was causing my warm rear?  Just what was I to be sure of?  Needless to say, when she heard the distress in my voice she immediately switched gears, and said “Call your father, Dear.  He will help you.”

I did, and he did.  He never batted an eye.  After he quit laughing, he simply said, you need to go to the basement and check the shut off valves to the toilet.  There should be a red one that will be for the hot water that is going to the toilet tank.  Shut that off and your problem should be solved. Sounds easy, right?  Well, it wasn’t. There was no red shut off valve.  So my father had to walk me through following the pipes from the hot water tank to various parts of the house until I found the one to the toilet tank.  One time briefly, in the 1990’s Tim thought we should try it again, but it was again a miserable experience with the girls complaining more than me and we again shut down the spa in the bathroom.

And now here we are back to the present day, and Brian has turned the valve that heats the water that makes the toilet sweat like a construction worker on a humid, 90 degree day in Cleveland. Tim thinks that if we just keep the toilet seat up at all times, the problem will be solved. Doesn’t work because I can’t remember to put the toilet seat up when I am finished.  After four days of being constantly reminded that the toilet seat must be in the UP position I have had it.  I have lived with this man for twenty-three years and I have never insisted that the toilet seat be kept DOWN,  but suddenly I needed to remember that it must be kept UP.  Personally, I have always thought that this constant man-woman, up-down debate has been elevated to an importance that it just does not deserve.  I still  feel that way, and have convinced Tim that we need to kill the experiment. We are back to our cold, but less controversial toilet seat and peace reigns supreme in our electronic cottage.   


Written by Gloria Ferris

January 22nd, 2007 at 10:51 am

Why Should We Celebrate Living In Cleveland…

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Because just as one art show ends, another begins.


My first encounter with the art of Thomas Frontini was at Convivium33 in 2005. Alenca Banco opened the gallery with a show by this talented artist.  I just received a postcard announcing a new show of this wonderfully creative artist called Side by Side at  MOCA Cleveland.  The Public Opening is Friday, January 26th from 7-10 p.m. Tim and I have it on our calendar.  I can’t wait to experience it.  I am assuming that Tom’s talented wife Heather B. Moore, a jewelry designer and artist in her own right, still handles his marketing.  The postcard announcing the show is another keeper just like the first one we received, and the website (click on his name above) continues to evolve showcasing his work to great advantage.   


Christopher Pekoc’s show at Convivium33 closes this Sunday, January 21.  The usual hours are 10-12 but Alenca told us that at times the hours have been extended because of the popularity of Chris’s show.  He is an amazing talent who calls Cleveland his home.  Many of you are probably familiar with a piece of Chris’s work and may not even know it if you are anything like me.

When I arrived in Cleveland in 1975, I knew no one and so weekends loomed long and the hours stretched endlessly.  So, on Saturdays I usually hopped the rapid and spent my day in downtown Cleveland.  First, I would wander through Higbee’s shopping for the latest bargains. I would eye a must have item, and then, each week hope that it would become one of the great bargains that always seemed to appear at the downtown department stores.  Then, I would amble over to Alvie’s in the Williamson Building and have lunch. I would then spend my afternoon in the Public Reading Room at the library until closing time. 

 All of that reading could play havoc with the eyes so I would often gaze at a beautiful painting called the “Night Sky” and think of home.  As I have said before, one of the things I miss about the country is the beautiful night sky.  Stars in the city get lost in all the glare.  Imagine my surprise to see a photograph of one of my first fond memories of Cleveland featured at an art show by an artist that I have met, have had conversations with, and have  had no idea that I had loved his art since I arrived in Cleveland thirty years ago. 

And so, I have now told you one of the reasons why I love this place.  There is always something new to discover.     


Written by Gloria Ferris

January 19th, 2007 at 9:40 pm

Brewed Fresh Daily Down, But Not Out

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George Nemeth has asked for help in notifying people of why Brewed Fresh Daily is not available at the present time.  Go to our Meet The Bloggers site and read this post to get the details.  Please notify anyone you know that is a fan of Brewed Fresh Daily.

Personally, I just realized that BFD is like that first fresh cup of coffee in the morning.  I NEED IT EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 4th, 2007 at 7:21 pm