See our big page of Superman House coverage here.
I spent this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio covering the dedication of the house Superman was created in. I got to talk to Brad Meltzer and some relatives of Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman. It was such a great event, and so many people did so much to restore this historic house in Glenville that it was hard not to be moved.
I especially enjoyed my chat with Rita Hubar, Siegel’s niece who recounted tales of her Uncle Jerry teaching her why a typewriter isn’t in alphabetical order. She admired her uncle a great deal, and is convinced that Superman’s morality and sense of right and wrong was informed by Siegel’s own good nature.
The ceremony was eventful. They christened the street the house is on as Jerry Siegel Lane, Amor Avenue where Joe Shuster grew up as Joe Shuster Lane, and the adjoining street was renamed Lois Lane in honor of Siegel’s wife Joanne, the inspiration for the classic character. Even when it poured down rain the enthusiastic crowd of 150 or so stood vigilant.
On Friday night (when I interviewed Brad) I started out at a rooftop nightclub and I was the only person there. Even with the bartender in the Superman shirt I was starting to wonder if the cake cutting for Joe Shuster and Superman’s birthdays I was supposed to meet Meltzer at had been canceled. Dick Pace, chairperson of the Siegel & Shuster Society called and said they were cutting the cake at the nearby Screaming TikiCon Comic Convention. He came and met me on the rooftop and we rushed down Prospect East downtown.
A shaggy man came up and shook Pace’s hand. He smiled cordially as the man recounts their intertwined history and long standing acquaintance. After shaking my hand the guy took off, and Pace waits about 10 seconds before saying “I have never seen that man in my life.” Seconds later he spotted a man in a Superman suit and chased him down to make sure he knew where the cake cutting was. The after party was taking place at the nightclub we had just left and this costumed fan of Superman was ready to have his first of presumably several night caps.
My interview with Brad Meltzer was really great (look for it this week). We talked about his organization Ordinary People Changed the World who had a huge role in saving the Superman House, and even got to meet the reporter Mike San Giacomo who brought the house to Meltzer’s attention about eighteen months ago.
In fact, that’s a sentiment I heard from everybody from the creator’s families to the caretakers and project managers of the house’s renovation: It’s hard to believe we accomplished this dream and this duty to preserve the history of one of the world’s greatest fictional characters in only eighteen months. A tremendous accomplishment for the caretakers of one of the world’s greatest characters.
Overall it was an amazing weekend, in some ways almost a spiritual experience for this content producer. Look for several pieces from the footage I got later this week.
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