Around Akron with Blue Green: February 2020

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

(upbeat techno music)– Hey, out there, Akronites.Welcome, once again, to
Around Akron with Blue Green.
Now this episodehas a whole lotta heart.We’re gonna meet up with Nirali,and talk all about her
love of henna artwork
and henna tattoos,and she teaches a class
in Bollywood dancing.
What a combination.I’m gonna head down to
the Akron Blind Center,
and hang out with my new family.We’re gonna head down to Canton,and visit a National
Historic site.
Now to kick this show off today,I’m gonna meet up with
the Akron Aviators.
That’s right.Akron has it’s very
own semi-professional
basketball team.
Let’s go see what this
team is all about.
– A lot of my background is
in the entertainment industry.
I run a company called
Royal Heir Entertainment,
and international media
marketing distribution,
mostly in music business.And I co-host an
entertainment conference call
every other Tuesdaywith my mentor, named
Kermit Henderson.
And Kermit has over 200
golden platinum records,
over 200 number
one Billboard hits.
He’s got a diamond
Billboard number one ring
from Janet Jackson that they
don’t even make anymore.
Like quadruple OG.This guy’s been in
the game a long time,
and he’s taken me
under his wing,
and that’s where a
lot of my accolades
from working with him…Just briefly, I’ve
been involved with
12 number one billboard hits,two digital radio
tracker plaques,
and a quadruple platinum plaquefrom that.And every other Tuesday night,we co-host a music
business conference call
to give back to artists.It’s a way to…I’ll do interviews.And we’ve had artists
like G-eazy, Tyrese,
Lalah Hathaway,and future independent
artists as well.
And it’s open for anyone
to call and ask questions.
And it’s interesting,because you never
know who’s listening.
(intense beat music)A man named Harold Whaley,
from the ABA, was listening,
who had music
industry experience.
And one of his points
was to the artists,
don’t forget aboutminor league baseball.They need National
Anthem singers,
arena football teams,
minor league basketball.
They’re performance
outside the traditional
realm of just
on stage at a concert.So that made me
reach out afterwards,
and, “Hey, I liked
the the interview.
Then in the notes that
you gave during this call,
and it was really cool.”And a little while later,I reached out to the ABA
and found a guy named
Antoine Washington,
who was the head
of their media
entertainment division.
He’s from Pittsburgh.We hd a lot of mutual friends
in common in the industry,
and, on the spot, kinda
formed a partnership
for entertainment for the ABA.So we would be doing
after game parties,
helping book talent
during the games.
And I did that for about a year,and, at the time, there
were no teams in Ohio.
Like at one point there was
one in Dayton recently, but
I don’t know if they
folded or taken time off,
but there was just
this opening here.
(upbeat electronic music)The league reached out and said,“If you’re interested in a team,we like the work
you guys were doing.
Let us know,we’re gonna open its back
up to the public tomorrow.”
If I’d let someone else
start a team in Akron,
it would’ve just destroyed me.Whether they’d
succeeded or failed.
‘Cause if it had failed,I wouldn’t have
done it that way.
Why?Ugh.But if it had worked out,
it would have been like,
“Dang, I knew that
would’ve worked.
Why didn’t I do it?”So I signed the paperwork inMay of 2017.The next week I left the country
for something with music,
and I made an announcement
in Paris online
that I’m starting this
team here in Akron,
and we held tryouts in July.Here we are.It was actually here, at Balch,we had our first tryouts.It was right here.(upbeat techno music)I wanted the team in Akron.When we originally
started the team,
they wanted to put
it somewhere else
where there was a vacancy.I don’t wanna be an
owner from a distance,
’cause if something
dumb happens,
I need to be there to
help out and fix it.
As far as the next level,there wasn’t anything here.And I’m a fan of alliteration.I had kinda went through
what is Akron known for.
It’s the birth
place of aviation.
The airport’s right there.So flight, flying,
Akron Aviators.
That justkinda came to mind.We’re just really appreciativeof the response that
we’ve been getting
from just the community,and it’s great to be able
to provide an opportunity
to the players.So many guys, before
we were here…
And we even see in
the gym training
to go to a tryout in Kentucky,or they wanna go play
on a team in Michigan
or somewhere else.And nothing against those teams,but because there
were no options here.
There was nothing in
Youngstown or Akron.
So they felt that
they needed to go.
And there’s so much talent here.I’m just proud of our guys.We’ve had seven players in our
two and a half season so far,
who were either draftedto other leagues
or international,
or invited to training camps.Not only is this a launch padfor that next level,
whatever you want it to be,
it’s also a great homefor players.Maybe you have a good
job, and you enjoy it,
but you’re still in great shapeand you want to compete still,like you still wanna play
the game on a high level,
that’s who you build
the franchise around.
Those are your faces.That’s the face
of your franchise.
Those are the hometown heroes.So you have to have that.That’s mandatory to succeed.You have to have some
recognizable face.
And in the last accolade,our point guard, who’s been
with us all three seasons,
Malik Billingsley,is the reigning ABA
Three Point Champion
and Skills Challenge Champion
during All Star Weekend.
A lot of opportunities here.Next up, we’re gonna meet
up with my friend Nirali.
Now she teaches a
Bollywood dancing class.
Now if that’s not fun enough,she also does henna
tattoos and henna artwork.
Let’s go see what her amazing
abilities are all about.
– Henna is a natural plant dye.I mix my own with Hassan SalahIt’s lemon water, sugar,
and all wonderful stuff.
It started easing…It’s a more than 5,000
years old technique.
Henna, it’s not just a new.It’s a medicine for
many many people.
So, for henna, when I was child,I still remember my mom…Whenever I get the fever,my mom puts tons of henna on me,like on my feet,because henna,I didn’t realize it is a naturalcooling agent for
it helps your body
to cool down.(eastern folk music)People do use the
chemical henna,
which is not safe for the skin.It has a chemical dye.The dye is more like
a gasoline product.
Canada already banned on
those kind of chemical cone.
The way that you’re
supposed to know
whether it’s the regular henna,that somebody made this paste,natural henna has only
two day shelf life.
So if I kept my henna coneout in a normal temperature,I can’t use it.I have to freeze my
henna every time.
And I can only use
couple of times.
It never give you instant color.It’s always from
orange to brown.
If it gives you instant color,no, it’s not safe.So you always ask
your henna artist,
“Do you make your henna paste?”And they say, “Yes,”you can always ask,“What do you put?”And they should tell youwhat exactly how they made it.So, I use tea tree oil,
eucalyptus oil, lavender oil.
That’s what I use.So I never afraid
to tell anybody.
Because if you are allergic
to any essential oils,
you shouldn’t have it.I use body
biodegradable glitter,
which is safer for the skin.So all I do,just sprinkle it
like fairy dust.
And then Itake my air blower.And tada! (laughs)That’s what it looks like!(upbeat eastern music)I really like that I’m
bringing my culture,
being like authentic dance.I’m not just somebodywho learned few years
ago and doing it.
I born in India.I know since dancing since
I was four years old.
So I’m bringing all
this kid’s authenticity,
which people here
really appreciate,
especially people
who come to the yoga
who really appreciate
that I’m bringing…
They probably, at one
point of their life,
they all watched
that Bollywood movie.
And they always wonder like,“Oh my God.”I get so many responseson my Facebook that,“Hey, that’s wonderful
that you are teaching
this world.Thank you for bringing…”Even my own people,
the Indian people,
they send me thank you notes.They said, “Thank you for
teaching this Bollywood dance,”
because who can
bring this culture?
In America, it’s such a wider,so many different
cultured people.
You have to…Every culture, does
a different thing.
I was thinking this.Why not I can bring
something to the people?
Like, there’s something new.It’s not that hard.(upbeat Indian music)Bollywood is a very specific
related to movie dance.
But remember, there’s
different classical music,
like a classical dance,
like a Bharatanatyam,
which I learned.There’s Kathak.There’s a belly dancing.There’s a different…There’s ton of dancing.So you have to make sure
which one you are doing.
So if I wanted two people say,“Hey, can we do the
classical dance?”
I could, but it has
to be a Bharatanatyam.
So there are different
kind of dancing.
When people said, “Oh,
what’s a Bollywood?”
Bollywood, it’s more
like a musical for you.
So, it’s a song they mean.And I always bring the dancingall the steps that
actually in actual movie.
So I try to imitate
the same exact steps.
So I learned the steps at home,do a lot of practice,and come here and show you guys.So I really wish people
would come join me
with this Bollywood dance class.(steady Indian music)I remember when I was a child,I’d go to the temples.And many time in temple,I seen the mandala art.And it’s very common having
a mandala art in a temple.
And as a child, whenever I seen,I always fascinated
by those art.
And I always said, “Why
that looks so good?”
The image was in my brain.So I think it’s very symbolism
for me whenever I do enough,
’cause whenever do this one,I always bring it’s a
good vibe energy from me.
I first learned the mandala art.Remember it’s one circle.It’s the circle that’s likeyou have to believe in a circle.Like our life is a circle.It’s everything goes
around, come back around.
So the energy’s
never going to rest.
It’s always recycled.So think like that.It’s a good energy.I put it actually in
my temple right now.
So I put the Buddhi
in front of it.
So my Buddhi’s
very plain and then
it feels like it’s going to
give a little vibes to that.
And it looks amazing that way.I put, literally, my whole
heart in this, my art.
So every time whenever I do it,it’s like I’m giving part
of my heart to somebody.
Next up,I’m gonna head down to
the Akron Blind Center,
and hang out with my new family.That’s right, my new family.It’s an amazing location.A lot of have sight,
take it for granted.
And we don’t realize how
difficult life can be
not being able to see.Let’s go see what the Akron
Blind Center is all about.
– I see the beauty in you.(gentle music)I don’t look at the
ugliness of the personality.
I look at the heartor what you can do.That’s what it means to meof being visual impaired,’cause I don’t say being blind,because there is
someone that can see.
It’s blindof the surroundingthat they have,and they blind to that.For those who do not know
about Akron Blind Center…
that need love,need to know how toaccept their blindness,be able to accept who they are,and be able to have
the independence
that they needto be visual impaired.This is not planned.There’s some of us
that was born with this
that never seen colors,never seen what a
person look like,
or even know about
their shapes and sizes.
(adventurous music)So our mission is to give
opportunities to people,
which otherwise
they might not have.
And again, give them an
opportunity to come here
and have a sense of
achievement and accomplishment
to be with others
of like challenges.
And that’s critical for them.You can imagine feeling
like you’re on a raft
in the middle of the ocean,and no one can understand what
you’re truly going through.
When you’re around other
people who really get it,
that puts everything
in perspective,
and helps you out.When you first lose your sight,one thing that happens is you
go through stages of loss,
shock, anger, denial,
depression, negotiation,
and then you come to
the acceptance phase.
Well we have people who’ve
been blind for 40, 50 years,
and still are not at that phase.But they can come here and
have a sense of belonging.
This is their community.And that’s what it
makes it so effective
and beneficial for them.– Akron Blind Center is a…I feel like I have a true
purpose helping other
visually challenged individuals.Every day that I
walk in these doors,
and if I’ve helped one
person in that day,
I’ve accomplished a day’s work.I feel likeI am an asset to this place.I feel like I’m a very
valued and meaningful person,
and we’re part of team here.Just as to say how muchI just like the
ability to serve,
and the ability to help others.That’s what serving
the Akron Blind Center
is all about to me.This is my home.This is my place.This is my place of work.This is my placeto enjoy,and to cherish.I plan to be here indefinitely.(gentle music)– We have a sign out in
our entry way that says,
“Welcome Home to the
Akron Blind Center.”
And this truly is,
for a lot of people…
This is truly their
reason for living,
and going about their life
is to be here with others,
who we truly care about.When one of our members
is in the hospital,
we’ll go visit them.You’re not a client here,you’re not just a member,you’re part of our family.And we truly embrace
you and bring you in,
and make you feel
comfortable and warm
in being here.You form a close blond in
being in this environment.
And we really do
care of each other.
We really love each other.We hug each other.And everything else
that we do together,
we’re a team facing everything
else out there together.
And we have a motto here,
at the Akron Blind Center,
which is we can and we will.It’s a very positive,
It shows what we can doas when you lose your sightthat you are not completely
out of commission,
that there are opportunities
for you, again,
to give back, and
to be with others,
and to go about your lives,and to figure out different
ways to do things.
We don’t consider
ourselves to be disabled.
We’re differently abled.We’re not handicapped.We’re handicapable.– I’m not the only
one that loves and…
would be lost
without this place.
This is our home.This is our world.I come here every
day, and I feel like
I’ve been blessed.There are days that
are harder than others,
and in anything.I go home,and I’m mentally spent, butwe make this happen every day.There’s a magic in this
place that doesn’t exist
anywhere else in
the entire world.
– [Man] We can and we will!
– [All] We can and we will!
– Next up, I’m gonna
head down to Canton.
That’s right.It’s called Around
Akron with Blue Green,
but Canton is around Akron.Now I’m gonna meet up
with the First Lady’s
National Historic Site.This place is full of history,full of just an amazing story.Let’s go see what this
place is all about.
– Ida was part of
the Saxton family
that was a super prominent
family here in Canton.
I mean, she was pretty
impressive for herself
at a young age.She was very well educated.She went to school
at a lot of time
where women her age
were just not educated.
She has equivalent of
like a Masters of Fine Art
in our terms.And she also was working
as a 20 year old,
which is not something that
20 something year old women
would do in the 1800s.So, even before
becoming First Lady,
she was impressive
in her own right.
(calm piano music)It was always her
family’s house.
So even though they lived here,William McKinley never owned it.And it was really a lot
tragedy in their life
that brought them back here.So they had two children,but both of their children
died in childhood.
So it was after the first
death of their second child
that they moved
back into this space
from another house
they lived at briefly.
And from what I understand,is that Ida just wanted to
be closer to her family.
So after the death of someone,she wanted to come home
where here sister was living
with all of her children.And so that’s when they
moved into the third floor,
and made it kind
of their apartment
with their own bedroom and
their own space up there.
And so this was always
their home base,
even when he was
living in Washington,
they would always
come back here.
And when they talked to each
other and they refer to home,
they’re referring to this
building we’re in now.
This building we’re in right nowwe call the Saxton home.So it is the ancestral home
of Ida Saxton McKinley.
So in here, you’re in
like the main experience
of our site.Coming here, if you’re
gonna do one thing,
you definitely wanna take
the tour of this house,
’cause you go through
history from like the 1840s
to the 1870s and even past thatas they’re adults and
living in this house.
So you get to see
where she grew up.
And then going upstairs,you get to see where
William McKinley
was in his office.And that close proximity
they had to each other,
that really tells the story
of their life together.
The office on the third floor,and that their (murmurs) space
total was the McKinley’s.
So Ida and William
and, for a brief time,
their daughter Katie
lived there as well.
So that is the only space left,because their other house,which they called The Campaign
House, was demolished.
His original birth home is
not there anymore in Niles.
So this space is the
only original space
you can walk into,
and be in the same space
that they actually lived
and was their private quarters.His presidency ends with
him being assassinated,
so he doesn’t get
to come back here.
She comes back to Canton,and she actually returns
to The Campaign House,
and lives there.I mean, as you can imagine,
coming back to this house
where her sister, all
her sister’s kids,
her sister’s husband,have all survived,would be pretty painfulfor her to come back and
have lost her husband
and her two children.The initial build on this
house was in the 1840s.
And those would have
been Ida’s grandparents.
So they built a structurethat’s probably half the
size of what you see now.
And then when her mother
inherits the house,
they almost doubled
the size of this house.
So that would’ve
been in the 1870s.
And they add on a
lot of additions
that are like more formalthan what was in the
original structure.
Like you have the formal parlor.They add on the ballroom
in the third floor.
So they’re really
expanding the house
to make it more reflective
of their status in society.
So when you walk in now,you see stuff like
the grand stair case
in that welcoming area.And that shows you how
prominent they were in Canton
at the time.(gentle music)So it went from her grandparentsthat had the initial 1840sto her parents who add on.And then the house goes
down to their children.
So Mary is really the
one controlling the house
at that point.And that’s what it kind
of is made to like now,
like Mary as an
adult living here.
And then the house goes
down to Mary’s children.
And at that point is
when they sell the house.
So the house is sold,because it’s a huge house,but it doesn’t
have the amenities
that are starting to come
into fashion at the time.
Like if you don’t have
running water and electricity
in your house,it’s probably not as
appealing as one that does.
And then it starts turning
into a lot of different things,
like that commercial spacethat causes the first floor
to be completely gutted.
And then, you saw that
terrible picture before
of the front thing they
put on it in the ’70s.
And that’s how we got to thereuntil it was saved
in recent years.
Since the house went
through all those phases,
including the spot where
it was commercial property,
we don’t have a lot
of original stuff
that was just left here.But what we do have
is a lot of evidence
on what the kinds of
things the family liked,
like what brands of
wallpaper they liked.
In some cases we have pictures,where we can see exactly
what kind of built ins
were built intolike this desk over
here into the wall.
And then we have things
that continually come down
through family memberswho are suddenly realizing
they had something
for a long timethat belonged to
their great Aunt Ida,
or they knew something that
belonged to William McKinley,
and slowly stuff starts to
come back into the house.
So over the years, I can imagine
that we’re just gonna get
more and more original
stuff in the house.
This is important,because it tells a story of
First Lady, Ida McKinley,
and those are not the storiesthat we get to
hear all the time,
but I think they’re the
most relatable ones.
So when you step through here,and you hear her story,you get to see a part of
history that’s often ignored.
And we can connect her
story to other First Ladies,
and what they’ve done.And in that way, we’re
bringing up things from history
that kind of get
tossed under the rug
or forgotten over time.And a lot of these womendid pretty significant
things for us.
– Thank you, once again,
for watching this episode
of Around Akron with Blue Green.Now, if you have any
questions, comments,
or you just wanna
drop me an email,
or you can find me on
Instagram, or on Facebook.
Thank you,and have an amazing day.(upbeat techno music)(record reverse)
That’s right.
It’s called Around
Akron with Blue Green,
and (stutters)Yeah.(Blue Green blubbers)Take two.(energetic music)(Blue Green laughs)(Blue Green blubbers)

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