Yesterday, I bought some summer swimming supplies at a local business. In another line was a guy in his twenties. He was an anorexic looking white wannabe rapper with a baseball ball cap on sideways. He had a tattoo of Ohio poorly drawn on his neck. He was wearing baggy shorts to show off some tattoos on his calves. Those tats were so poor drawn that they looked like an abstract done by a five-year old. What struck me the most about him was his t-shirt, which just plain pissed me off. It showed a pin striped gangster holding a machine gun, leaning on the gangster was a gangster moll type girlfriend. The T-shirt said, “Youngstown, Ohio Mob Town and Proud of it.”
No one in our valley is proud of that past. This little punk thinks wearing such a shirt makes him tough. The fact is the mob’s presence in Youngstown ended many decades before this scrawny punk was even born. What we still seem to have is some politicians that take bribes from an always unnamed businessman (starts with a C ends with an O). That is something we have to deal with and end. Our area has moved on from the mob days but some local goofballs want to wallow in a past they weren’t even around for. Guys that wear such t-shirts only prove their fear, weakness and sense of inadequacy. They show they are unprepared to compete in the modern world. The modern world is here and now scrawny rapper wanna be boy so it is high time to face your demons. Time marches on so get in step.
This brings me to reposting a poem I wrote about looking ahead and not backwards for the Youngstown area.
Youngstown on the Today Show
My alarm clock noisily rings
like every work day at 6:45 am.
I sit up in bed and click on the TV.
I view the local news,
followed by the Today Show.
The local news features a story
about the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI).
Reserve Data relocated from the Silicon Valley
and has moved their office into the YBI.
There is no mention of this good news
on the Today Show that follows.
On the following Sunday I shopped at
the Four Seasons Flea Market in Youngstown.
A vendor was selling T-shirts
picturing an AK-47 assault rifle.
Below the gun was the word, Youngstown.
I ask the vendor if he had any T-shirts
picturing the Youngstown Business Incubator.
He replies, “Just these” pointing
to the AK-47 shirts.
On another morning the local news
happily reports Youngstown’s V+M Steel is expanding.
The owner is spending $650 million on the project.
There was no word of this event
on the Today Show that followed.
While getting fresh fruit and vegetables
on my weekly Four Seasons Flea Market trip,
I again see the Ak-47 Youngstown T-shirt vendor.
I ask him, “Do you have a shirt with a V+M Steel picture?”
He replies, “Just these AK-47 Youngstown T-shirts.”
Sometime later I awoke to more good news,
the local TV station was talking about an area business.
The Lordstown GM plant’s Cruze automobile
was being heralded, by automobile magazines,
as one of the best new cars
in its class and price range.
No mention of the Chevy Cruze
on the Today Show that followed.
My Sunday’s Four Seasons visit
did not turn up any Chevy Cruze T-shirts,
just the AK-47 Youngstown standby model.
This past Monday’s local morning TV news
started its broadcast on a very sad note.
One YSU student was shot and killed
and eleven others were wounded
at an off campus fraternity party.
The Today Show followed and this time
they had found a Youngstown event
that they didn’t want to ignore.
I suspect the Four Seasons Flea Market vendor
was watching the Today Show.
I’m sure he smiled widely
picked up his phone
and called his supplier
and ordered a big batch
of AK-47 Youngstown T-shirts.
Local Musicians: John Resse Project
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” ~ LBJ