Friday, June 01, 2012

Obama, Opus and Ooops, I shouldn't have done that!

Yesterday was an exciting day here in Cleveburg. To begin with, we spent several hours at the White House African American Policy Forum held today on the main campus of the Cleveland Public Library. Several high-ranking officials of the Obama administration participated, and the keynote speaker was Cleveland’s own Don Graves Jr., executive director of the President’s Jobs Council.

We will be reporting more fully on this event but after it ended about 3 PM, we set about working to honor, however belatedly, our promise last week to report on the Cleveland NAACP.

We completed Part I of our two-part focus on the organization but we fear it to be perhaps a little over the top. So we will sleep on it, revise as necessary and publish it by 3PM today.

After completing our draft, we headed out to Opus, a place we noted last week. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there last Wednesday, taking in the strains of the Kevin Muhammad-Lafayette Carthon-Robert Hubbard Trio. We didn’t arrive until the final set but the way they cooked on "Green Onions", the evening’s final tune, had the bartenders ready to call the Shaker Heights Fire Department to report the roof on fire.

We were eager to return, this time with the wife, in anticipation of more live music. But of course we were crossed up by the holiday week, because yesterday was Thursday, not Wednesday. The recorded music was wonderful, however, with such fabulous musicians as Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes coming through the speakers. 

As we enjoyed the food, the music and the general ambience, hands-on owner Brian Gresham was busy laying down a dance floor in the front half of the restaurant. It turns out that Thursday is Opus Salsa Night! Kat  Baum and Maeghen Kandrin from La Danse Cleveland were treated Opus patrons to a basic salsa lesson. The missus and I became two of nine dance students following some excellent instructions. Quick Quick Slow! Quick Quick Slow!


One of the best parts of going out in impromptu fashion is running into old friends. There were just enough of them at Opus to add an extra special feel to the place. We also made some new acquaintances, including Anderson C. Hill II of Orlando, in town for several public appearances related to the 15th anniversary of his book, In Search of the Truth.

We haven’t read the book yet but our short conversation with its author revealed Hill as a forthright man with a first-person story to tell about the rise, fall and rebirth of a big-time lawyer who allowed himself to be seduced by the twin demons of greed and power. We understand there are at least a few Clevelanders mentioned in his tale of fall and redemption.

Hill will be in Beachwood tomorrow, June 2, from 11AM until 1PM at Fairfield Inn & Suites, 3750 Orange Place. From 3-5PM he will be at Lee Road Baptist Church, 3970 Lee Road, in Cleveland’s Lee Harvard community. Personally autographed copies of his book [[$14.95] will be available at each appearance.

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