In My Ohio

On A Summer's Outline

Darren C. Demaree
The key to execution is planning. Whether you’re a marine, a love-struck boyfriend getting ready to propose, a football coach, a gardening maven, a teacher on break, getting married in a month, or simply preparing to go to Chipotle anywhere near the noon hour, you must have a plan of attack.

For myself, a poet with travel plans, two children, a wife soon to have her whole summer off, and a sister that’s about to get married it can get really complicated really quickly. So, here’s the plan…

Tonight: Clipper’s Game

Cotton Candy, a puffy treat, so says my daughter.

Saturday: Sister’s Bachelorette Party

Anyone willing to loan me a black duster? I’ve been told the whole night is to be a black outfit affair. I’d like to make a Tombstone-like impression. I’ll rock the mustache if you provide the duster.

End of May: Missouri

I’ve never been to Missouri before, but I’ll be reading in Columbia and Kansas City next week. What’s their deal in Missouri? They compromise, right? I’m sure they will appreciate some poetry. If they buy enough books there will be no need to compromise, I’ll just do what they say.

Early June: Cleveland

Who wants to put together a large group of people to cheer on the surging Cleveland Indians? Who knew if I wrote a column comparing their efforts to the debacle that was the turn of the last century Russia, they would rally. The Russian people never really rallied, luckily our Cleveland Baseballers did. It’s a good thing, because the next logical column was a re-write of the original Red Dawn script where Jason Kipnis is forced to defend Lakewood with a small band of dedicated patriots that learn strength through a series of poorly devised military attacks. It would end with the blustery Detroit Tigers (as the Russians) cast out of Ohio. So glad I didn’t have to write that column.

Late June: Sister’s Wedding

Already fitted for the tux, so wardrobe will not be an issue. The only challenge will be limiting my speech to the five minutes allotted to me. I really wanted to incorporate fireworks, some sleight of hand magic, and the first two verses of the Van Morrison of my sister’s choosing. However, it appears as if I will have to pull back a bit and keep it light and sincere. I really thought my high school theater career was going to pay off on this one.

All of July: Everything

Go Tribe! Hey Steve, what happened to your beard? Finish the teaching term at school. Hey Sis, how’s the honeymoon? Go Tribe! The Cavs will never be able to hire Tom Izzo. Johnny Football becomes second string QB. Blade, Tom, Joe, why did I drive three hours just to eat leftover pork with you? Go Tribe! Happy 7th Anniversary Emily! Vacation. Beach. Eat. Beach. Eat. Go Tribe! Can you believe the Indians traded for Jeff Samardzija? Briefly detained but not arrested for going swimming after beach curfew. “I thought the mermaid was calling to me!” “Sir, how long were you in the sun today?” “I was in the sun for nine ice cream cones. Was that too long?” Ohio. Go Tribe!

August: End of August

The summer is supposed to be over by the time my wife goes back to her school, but not this summer. This summer I’m headed to Austin, Texas, to do a reading with the fine people from a great literary magazine called Smoking Glue Gun. The last time I was in Texas I saw thousands or millions of bats. I saw a coffee shop turn into a thrash metal bar. I saw an entire town taken over by writers, moviemakers, and artists. I’m told most of them never left, so I’m excited to see what they turned that town into while I was gone.

Summer Ends: September 17

Summer is officially over on my son’s birthday. Thomas will be two this year. Belle will have turned five in August. We will all be back at work for a while at this point, but one final celebration where a slightly confused young man shoves handfuls of cake into his face and the faces of two dogs is exactly the perfect marker for the season to begin to change. At the very least we will need a good strong rain to clean off the back porch.

Wish me luck. If things go terribly wrong (Indians lose, Missourians are no longer willing to compromise, wedding catastrophe, beach jail), you will find me in any number of places, trying to put it all back together for fall.