Charming. Small Town America. Chagrin Falls and Berea are the definition of friendly, charming small towns. We are here in Chagrin (as the locals call it) for the second time, attending their marvelous documentary film festival. The films we have seen have been powerful and interesting. We have learned a lot! You can see a lot of the town in the photos below. A lot of effort is put into their being so adorable! We have said that it is like stumbling into a charming tourist town like Carmel, California, and you enjoy every second.
The Opening Night film was “War on the Diamond,” about the long-standing rivalry between the local club, the Cleveland Indians, and the NY Yankees. In 1920, Yankees pitcher Carl Mays threw a pitch that hit Ray Chapman in the head. Spectators said it was such a loud crack, they thought the ball had hit the bat. Chapman died the following day, the only baseball player to die as a direct result of playing in a baseball game. It has created a century-old rivalry (but isn’t every team a rival of the Yankees?). So, the first two photos are from opening night, as the film was sponsored by the Cleveland Indians. Next up is a photo of the fabulous Morgan Crawford, never too busy to say hi and help out with questions and problems. She has been a marvelous asset to the festival.
We got to Berea thanks to Gerry Nemeth, who teaches a class on game shows. We attended a documentary on Tiny Tim (which was very good, but all positive, none of the darker chapters!), and got into a conversation with Gerry, who, out of the blue, asked if we ever watch the game show Jeopardy. Since we are missing it this week (and it is killing us!), at that moment we had up a website that gives that day’s scores and statistics. So we told him we were the biggest fans, had met Ken Jennings, and had attended tapings of the show four different times. We then showed him what was on the iPad, and he laughed incredulously. He TEACHES a class on Game Shows in Berea, Ohio, and the next day was doing a class on Jeopardy. So after the movie, he asked what we were doing the next day, and we told him, of course, watching documentaries. He said he wished we could come to his class to talk about our Jeopardy experience of viewing and attending the tapings. We asked what and where, and said we’d love to come!
So we went, and it was a nice class of about 30-40 senior citizens. They played a mock game of Jeopardy, and then he introduced us as nomads that he had met the night before, who sold all their personal belongings to travel the world, blah blah blah. So we got up and talked about Jeopardy tapings, then asked if there were questions. First one: How long have you been homeless, and do you have an RV, or what??? So we answered, and ALL the subsequent questions were concerning our travel and way of life. Jeopardy was left in the dust! Very funny, but they were very interested, excited, and responsive. It was so fun to share our lives and our story! Gerry didn’t mind at all.
Last week, our post was on the Big City, the Big Apple, New York. But all big cities are made up of small communities, areas, and individuals, who are all mostly friendly and down to earth. Chagrin Falls and Berea are likewise made up of very nice folks, so today we are celebrating Small Town America. A toast!