Here’s another column about sex.
Can’t go wrong with that topic, eh?
Sex sells. Every time.
In fact, I’ll bet you a gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret that this column ends up on the “Most Read” list on Ohio.com.
Sex sex sex sex.
There. That ought to do it.
Last week, we had some fun with the infamous 1984 swingers convention in downtown Akron that brought the former Cascade Holiday Inn more than 200 reservations before the event was canceled at the last minute following a public outcry.
I saluted the county prosecutor at the time, Lynn Slaby, for uttering one of the funniest lines in Akron history: “I believe it is necessary to make every effort possible to ... keep our community from being known as the sex capital of the world.”
Oh, what might have been.
Anyway, those fond memories brought some fun responses from Readerville.
Fundraising maven Madeline Bozzelli has probably run more social events than any other person in the history of people.
Let’s put it this way: When you search for her name in our electronic database (which only goes back to 1985), she shows up in 821 stories.
No, Madeline was not among the organizers of the 1984 orgy. Heck, she didn’t even sign up as a participant. But the event did have an impact on her work.
She had arranged a big fundraiser for the International Institute, a dinner and dance for 200 people. She reserved the banquet room at the Holiday Inn far in advance.
But, she says, “when I went back later to tell them how many people were coming and whether we were going to have punch or not, etc., etc, they said, ‘Oh, we canceled you.’ ”
At that point, hotel management was still salivating over the prospect of renting all 292 of its rooms to swingers, and didn’t think the two groups could coexist.
“They were all excited about the sex,” she says. “They weren’t too excited about the International Institute people.”
Bozzelli says she “yelled at” the manager, to no avail.
“I couldn’t believe we were pushed out!” she says. “Thank God we had the new Akron City Club. They said they would take us.”
A woman who once owned a shop at Quaker Square says at least one group did manage to stage a major orgy at a downtown Akron hotel by flying under the radar.
Loretta Wilson and her husband owned the Heritage Art Gallery on the third floor of Quaker Square Mall before being tossed out by the owner in 2002 because he wanted to free up space for offices.
She doesn’t remember the name of the group, or even if it had one, but insists a wild weekend took place in either 2000 or 2001 at the hotel attached to the shopping area (it switched from a Hilton to a Crowne Plaza during that era).
Wilson says she didn’t see anything firsthand, but the shops were buzzing about the goings-on right next door.
“It was all hush, hush, but the staff told us about how they had to lock all the doors,” she says.
“So yeah, we’re still the sex capital,” she adds with a laugh. “Only they do it very covertly now.”
If anyone reading this has any additional information, I could always use another column about SEX.
When using the phrase “Rubber Capital of the World” in the same column as “Sex Capital of the World,” I made a conscious decision to steer clear of the obvious joke. I figured it was too easy and too crass.
But that’s only because I didn’t think of this line, which arrives compliments of Eddie Vidmar of Akron.
“If, on one hand, Akron could have been the Sex Capital of the World, and on the other hand the Rubber Capital of the World, why didn’t they combine the two and make it the Safe Sex Capital of the World?”
Stephanie King of Uniontown shared this observation.
“Many years ago, when I was young enough to be easily embarrassed, I found something interesting in a supermarket in Athens, Greece. It was a small box with the word ‘Akron’ embossed on it.
“I immediately went to see what it was all about. Upon reading more carefully, I also saw ‘The Rubber Capital of the World.’ Being even more interested now, I kept on reading only to find that it was a box of prophylactics!
“I only wish I had bought them to have a souvenir of what the world really thinks about Akron!”
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or email@example.com.