What exactly is Slider?
The 7-foot-4 fuzzy purple and yellow mascot debuted July 29, 1990, born earlier that year from the suggestion of Cleveland Indians vice president Dennis Lehman, who was inspired by Philadelphia's Phillie Phanatic. Beyond the clear evolutionary connection between these distant cousins, Slider's place in the animal kingdom remains a mystery, as does the identity of the person who has donned his costume since 1990. For folklore's sake, we'll keep them safe. "We want our fans, especially our younger fans, to picture Slider however their imaginations can see him," says Joel Hammond, communications coordinator for the team.
What happened to the rides and attractions from Euclid Beach Park?
Euclid Beach Park closed in 1969, but attractions from the Collinwood amusement park live on around town. Three cars from the Rocket Ship ride, converted into motor vehicles, are available for rent — two by Ron Heitman (therocketcar.com), one by Joe Tomaro and John Frato (euclidbeachpark.com). Tomaro and Frato also own cars from the Thriller roller coaster and the Flying Turns and Turnpike rides, fun house mirrors from the Surprise House and Laughing Sal, the animatronic woman with the deeply creepy laugh. They aim to display them at the Euclid Beach Boys Event Center and Museum, projected to open at the former Euclid Square Mall in 2015. Euclid Beach's carousel has found its own home: a glass pavilion at the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Why do we have Balto?
In 1927, Northeast Ohioans teamed up to raise $2,000 to rescue the jet-black Siberian husky from an LA "dime museum," aka sideshow. Businessman George Kimble stumbled upon him two years after Balto saved the village of Nome, Alaska, leading a team of dogs that brought a lifesaving serum to cure the village's diphtheria epidemic. Balto's been part of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's collection for more than 70 years.
What does SOM Center Road's name mean?
SOM Center Road does not, as the popular myth suggests, stand for "South of Mayfield." As Western Reserve Historical Society and Case Western Reserve University historian John Grabowski points out in his upcoming book, Cleveland A-Z: Historical Essentials for Newcomers and Residents in Northeastern Ohio, the street is named for the original three square-shaped townships — Solon, Orange and Mayfield — along its route surveyed in the 1790s.
When was the last sighting of the Lake Erie Monster?
Onlookers spotted Bessie in 1969 and 1993, but she hasn't been spotted since, despite a $5,000 reward offered by Huron Lagoons Marina's Thomas Solberg for the safe capture of the creature. "We haven't seen the Lake Erie Monster from up here," says Don Beck, the Terminal Tower's lights operator. "But we look all the time. To me, Lake Erie Monster is either a hockey team or a beer from Great Lakes."