Native American for “crooked river,” the Cuyahoga spans 100 or so miles, twisting and bending through Ohio state shores, until it unloads into Lake Erie, the scariest of the Great Lakes. The river is famous for catching fire a reported 13 times since 1868, and is the subject of Randy Newman’s 1972 rolling, Baroque pop classic, Burn On.
Inspiration comes from many, varied mediums. Today’s post was influenced by last night’s movie of the week, the 1989 baseball classic Major League. Set in Cleveland, Ohio, the film’s opening features the serene, everyday life of the city’s residents set to the backdrop of Mr. Newman’s fiery piano rolls. Baseball, and therefore summer lingers in the air, as does the faint, distant smell of a glorious, polluted river engulfed in flames.