Lamont Dozier wrote a song entitled “Back to my roots” He sings “Zipping up my boots, going back to my roots” Last week I was able to take my family back to Shaker Heights, Ohio. I wasn’t born there, but I grew up there and my formative years were spent in Cleveland/ Shaker Heights. We took a family trip to visit friends who have a farm in Ashtabula, in Amish Country. Since I was so close to home, we had to make the trip.
We took the 40 min drive to Cleveland and got off I 271 at Chagrin Blvd. I pointed out all the places that meant something to me along the way as we pulled into Shaker Heights. A family friend named Kenya Woods is renting the house I grew up in presently so we were able to go into the house, take a tour and reminisce. So much was still the same, and I was transported right back to being in Elementary, Middle and High School. It was truly Surreal. Projects I did in Sewing class at “Byron” were still there, my coin collection for “Audio equipment” still there, my mini pac man game that takes 4 D batteries, still there. Kenya and her family were so wonderful, we had really nice visit.
After the house we drove over the Shaker Heights High School. Football Two a days were in session, the Girls tennis team was out practicing. As we drove around the “Oval” I remembered parking there every day, Bone thugs, or Busta Rhymes, or Wu- Tang bumping loud. It was a great place to grow up and I was proud to be a Clevelander.
We left the High School and went to Yours Truly Restaurant, where we got Notso Fries, burgers, ice cream etc. As we were were eating Pilar noticed how many people were wearing Cleveland gear of some sort. She says to me “Wow, people from Cleveland really rep Cleveland” Yes, we do….. hard. WE REP THE LAND. It’s a great City that has shaped me into the man I am today. Having Aaliyah and Lola be in my old room, see where I went to school and be in the city where I grew up was special for me and them.
On the drive home Aaliyah un-promted says to me. “Dad, thanks for taking me to see where you grew up, I liked it.” You know what Aaliyah, I liked it too.
Going back to your roots and keeping in touch with those people that shaped you is important. My crew from High School are still my best friends, and I still love Cleveland. Looking forward to zipping up my boots and going back to my roots next year for my 20th High School reunion.
Oh yeah, check out this gem.