Road Trip USA: Cleveland, An American Classic
They call it the “Rock 'n' Roll Capital of the World,” but in Cleveland, we listened to big band.
Speeding northwest from Pittsburgh on I-76, our renovated 16-foot travel trailer behind us, my fiancée Mel and I finally hit the outskirts of Cleveland and scanned the radio for something palatable. Classic rock just isn’t our scene, especially whittled down to a looping radio format. But queue up Sinatra, a dash of Cab Calloway, some Count Basie and a little Jeri Southern, and we’ll smile until it stops. We landed on 91.5 WKHR, a local non-profit station paying tribute, it seemed to us, to our grandparents’ memory.
As that 18-piece swing played in our car, we remembered the way they smiled, the way they held their cards, the way they subtly grooved to the music, a foot tapping the floor beneath the linoleum dinner table. We landed at Punderson State Park, 45 minutes east of Cleveland, drenched in nostalgia and desperate for a porch swing.