As time marches away, there are moments that hit me…damn, that was XX years ago. One of those moments came yesterday, ten years since the Great Blackout of 2003. Not that it’s an event that remains top of the mind like a September 11th. Still…a whole decade in the past.
Clevelanders being Clevelanders, we celebrate the odd and, sometimes, unfortunate. There is a sense of pride that a glitch in Northeast Ohio took out power to one of the most concentrated population areas in the country. As if we said, “Suck it, Times Square…you don’t need your lights.”
I have to confess…I wasn’t here for it. I was on vacation in Florida.
Was I fortunate to miss it? Maybe. Trying to sleep in the August night’s heat probably wasn’t fun without fans or AC.
But when I hear the stories, I get a tinge of regret. My favorite are the stories about impromptu block parties that sprang out of the dark. People going to their porches, sitting and talking along with the rest of the neighborhood. Kids playing out in the yards, no video games or TVs to focus on, as their parents watched on.
Simple and borderline quaint, but it would have been something to see. Turning lemons into lemonade. All of that ten years ago.