What’s the first thing you think of when you think fireworks?
The Amish. Of course.
OK, maybe not. But when somebody is trying to publicize a business, apparently no stretch is too far.
Phantom Fireworks, based in sunny Youngstown, has opened a 5,000-square-foot store in West Salem near the site of its previous store, just off Interstate 71.
The company modestly refers to its new Wayne County structure as “a masterpiece” in a news release that also notes the company’s civic benevolence.
“As part of Phantom’s continued efforts to support the communities it serves, the new West Salem showroom also features an area on the property for the numerous local Amish residents to vend wares and produce.”
Danial Peart, the company’s “director of showroom operations,” explains:
“The Amish sales could [range] from handcrafted goods to pies, homegrown fruits and vegetables. It’s a first for us and we’re very excited.”
Cherry bombs and cherry pies. Gotta love it.
Cleveland’s peak temperature on Monday — 92 degrees — set a Memorial Day record, which was great if you were celebrating the holiday at a swimming pool. It was not so great if you were playing an outdoor concert.
It’s a wonder Michael Stanley and the Resonators didn’t short out their monitors with sweat during a fine two-hour show at Jacobs Pavilion (formerly Nautica) on the west bank of the Flats.
When I asked Stanley afterward whether it was the hottest conditions he has ever played in, he cited two other shows that were worse.
The more memorable of the two came when Stanley’s band opened for the Doobie Brothers in San Andreas, Calif., a tiny town located a couple of hours east of San Francisco.
The Doobies lived in San Francisco at the time, and the band members drove their cars to the gig.
On that day, the thermometer crossed into triple digits. Stanley’s band survived its set, but one of the Doobies’ two drummers didn’t exhibit as much fortitude.
As a matter of fact, he lasted exactly one song. After that, Stanley says, he threw down his sticks, exclaimed, “[Bleep] this!” and drove home.
Too many doobies, perhaps.
Last week, your favorite newspaper ran a nice photo of Jim Tressel talking to five students at Stow-Munroe Falls High. All five of the students were girls, all five had long hair and all five were wearing dresses.
Our caption read, “Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel (facing camera). ... ”
People who have followed the career of Bonnie Raitt know she is not prone to false flattery. So it was high praise indeed when she gazed out from the stage of the Akron Civic Theatre last week and expressed her delight, declaring it the most attractive facility she has played during her current tour.
Akron was the 10th stop, with previous shows staged in such major-league cities as Chicago, St. Louis and Atlanta.
And now the flip side of Raitt’s sold-out show at the Civic: a significant chunk of the audience didn’t live up to the classiness of the setting.
At least 300 to 400 people with tickets on the main floor arrived 15, 20 and even 30 minutes late to the opening performance by Marc Cohn, creating a steady, noisy parade down the aisles and ruining the atmosphere for the other 1,200 to 1,300 people seated downstairs.
A native of Shaker Heights, Cohn is one of the best singer-songwriters to come out of Northeast Ohio, a Grammy winner who two months earlier had headlined Carnegie Hall. You latecomers treated him — and the folks who paid good money to hear his acoustic set — like gunk on the bottom of your shoes.
Because he was the opening act, his entire set lasted only 40 minutes, and you trampled on half of it.
Nobody says you have to love Marc Cohn or any other opening act. But if you care only about the headliner, wait until the first show is over before you come tromping down the aisle, jabbering away.
Maybe the Civic needs to take a hint from other venues, where during these types of shows, the doors remain closed once a performance has begun, admitting latecomers only when there’s a break in the action.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.