Dear Kid,

We’re off to see the wizard!

Well, we’re off to Cleveland, and the road is likely to be more white than yellow, but the song is in my heart anyway.

Dear Burglars: The Extremely Vicious Dog and Even More Vicious Dog Sitter are watching the house. Also there is nothing there to take except dirty laundry.

Since we’re off to an Exotic Locale, I decided to consult My Friend the Internet to see what interesting things I could learn about Cleveland.

You know the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is there, but did you know that the phrase “rock and roll” was invented in the early 1950s by a DJ in Cleveland?

Superman was born in Cleveland and potato chips were first mass produced in Cleveland. There is no proven connection between the two. The modern golf ball was invented in Cleveland. So were Life Savers candies. And Chef Boyardee. And the padded bicycle seat. Hard to see which is most important.

Cleveland was named after General Moses Cleaveland, but “Cleaveland” was too long for the masthead of the “Cleveland Advertiser” newspaper so they shortened it to Cleveland. Cleveland was the first city in the world to be fully lit by electricity. The better to read the newspaper and to power the first electric traffic signal. And the first crosswalk button to let pedestrians cross.

There is a statue of a rubber stamp in Willard Park. I must go.

Cleveland has difficulty with major league sports teams. It has lots of talented athletes who come together, done the same uniform, and fail miserably. The Cleveland Spiders hold the record for the worst season in the history of Major League Baseball (but to be fair, who names a team the Spiders?).

There are some weird laws in Cleveland. Like you need a hunting license to catch a mouse. And women can’t wear patent leather shoes in public (someone might be able to see up their dress).

There is a Wyland whale mural (one of the whaling walls) in Cleveland.

This is going to be an exceptional trip.

Love, Mom