By Michael Arrington Sr., as told to Cindy Washabaugh
I think of my wife as the story-teller in our family, but she says I have stories to tell, too. We started out living on Shaker Square, but moved to the Buckeye neighborhood 18 years ago. Two or three years ago, I was a substitute teacher at Buckeye-Woodland, one of our neighborhood schools. I knew some of the students were kids who lived nearby, but it never really hit me what this meant until one day, long after I’d taught there, when a young lady who lives on our street walked up to me and asked if I was ever going to come back and teach at her school.
I was shocked. She not only remembered me, but wanted me to come back! It was a great moment for me to know that I was making some kind of a difference—that she remembered and enjoyed the learning--and that I was impacting someone who lived right on my own street. Buckeye-Woodland School is closed now, but great things are happening here. That young lady is now a high school student, getting ready to graduate.
This is a good neighborhood, an underestimated neighborhood, I think. Some people see it as crime ridden, a place for vagabonds, but anything you can find in your suburbs you can find in our neighborhood. Tons of good people, tons of good shopping, and the people are actually just as helpful and supportive of each other, if not more. And on top of all that, we’re just 12 minutes from downtown without the freeway.
Michael Arrington Sr. and his wife, Dawn, are both active members of Neighbor Up and other community groups in the Buckeye neighborhood, where they are raising their two children. Along with teaching, Michael enjoys coaching basketball and working in a variety of ways to help others succeed.
Visit Literary Cleveland's Who We Are, Where We Live online anthology for more from the Buckeye/Shaker community.
Community Anthology Table of Contents
About the program
Who We Are, Where We Live is a free community writing program giving voice to people who live and work in the Buckeye/Shaker community. Participants write stories, learn about their neighborhood, and share with their neighbors. Annually, selected writings are published here in an online anthology and presented at a final reading and celebration.