Friday, February 8, 2013

* Terminal Tower Indeed?

Cleveland's Terminal Tower

The late Jimmy Hoffa

The very late Richard III

Cementing History 

My friend and occasional contributor to The Anti-Yale, Ron Richo, is amused by recent news of a famous British monarch:  "Funny that they found the remains of a king who died 528 years ago but they can't find Jimmy Hoffa," he writes with a sly smile.

The brash labor leader disappeared  almost forty years ago in July, 1975,  and is rumored to have been dumped into the wet cement of the Renaissance Center (now the General Motors Building)  as it was being constructed in Detroit, Michigan.

This "cement shoes" mafia scenario reminds me of my own introduction to Cleveland, Ohio forty-two years ago when I, as an East Coaster, dared to go to grad school in a quiet mid-western Ohio town called Kent, soon to become famous for its own violent mysteries, associated with student protest.

My new Ohio friends introduced me to a bit of Cleveland folklore about the famous Cleveland Terminal Tower, built from 1920-1934.

It is said that during one of the cement "pours" which raised the Tower to its height of 52 stories, a workman fell into the cement.

The pour was so important and its interruption would be so expensive, that the foreman declared 
the worker dead and his retrieval impossible,so that the Terminal Tower suddenly  became his terminal destination as well as his permanent embalming.

I was never able to think of Cleveland after hearing that story without thinking of that poor workman and his poor family.

I suppose one could could say he had a tomb larger than a pharaoh's, a monument greater than any president's or king's.

History is full of such monumental rationalizations I'm afraid.

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