Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Wouldn't Stay Away

Weaving my way through the past, I am uncovering all these seemingly disparate connectors between memories. Flipping through The ZOOM Catalog and seeing the lyrics to “The Cat Came Back” jolted me from my toddler years and my sister to my late teens and my girlfriend Pam. You see, our first official date was to the Animation Festival at the Akron Civic Theatre in February 1989. For whatever reason, I kept the flyer from that event. And, while looking at the single images for each of the shorts on the back of the flyer stir flickers of recognition, it’s “The Cat Came Back” that has always stuck with me most vividly. I know the song to this day. It conjures a jumble of ZOOM, my parents listening to folk music on WKSU, The Muppet Show, and being at the Civic with Pam.

I’ve written about Pam before (particularly scattered throughout the End of the Eighties posts), she’s the one who really helped unlock my
creative side. “The Cat Came Back” evokes all those same emotions associated with a dramatic end-of-adolescence love. It’s a song that is as tied to my remembrances of that relationship and that era as any song by Depeche Mode or Peter Murphy.

Bonus Artifact:
Tucked in with the Animation Festival handbill was this mimeograph-type upcoming events flyer for March 1989. Man, what an incredible line-up of shows! I think we only saw Hairspray and Holy Grail, but I would love to have seen all of these offerings in the grand theatre.

One of Loew’s atmospheric movie houses, the Akron Civic was a lady in decay after years of neglect, like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Downtown Akron was struggling and hollow and empty too, and a convenient gathering place for the all the punks from Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Richfield, Bath, and farther afield (like my little town between Akron and Canton). I know this was a universal hangout because not only did I hang out in places like the old and deserted parking deck behind the Civic, but so did my future wife Tracy with her friends (although we didn’t know each other at the time).

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