His continuing compulsion to wonder what's wrong with everybody else was both source of entertainment and the only position of conscience a man could take.If he's said or written similar things about other cities, maybe every other city, it wouldn't be a surprise. It would actually be more surprising if he didn't.
After all, Cleveland, the city he lived in and loved, had, he reminded us, lost half its population since the 1950s. A place whose great buildings and bridges and factories had once exemplified 20th century optimism needed its Harvey Pekar.
"What went wrong here?" is an unpopular question with the type of city fathers and civic boosters for whom convention centers and pedestrian malls are the answers to all society's ills but Harvey captured and chronicled every day what was—and will always be—beautiful about Cleveland: the still majestic gorgeousness of what once was—the uniquely quirky charm of what remains, the delightfully offbeat attitude of those who struggle to go on in a city they love and would never dream of leaving.
What a two minute overview might depict as a dying, post-industrial town, Harvey celebrated as a living, breathing, richly textured society.
A place so incongruously and uniquely...seductive that I often fantasize about making my home there. Though I've made television all over the world, often in faraway and "exotic" places, it's the Cleveland episode that is my favorite—and one about which I am most proud.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.