James Schuerger describes how he and his wife came to live at Shaker Towers and relates stories of how the Towers and neighborhood have impacted their lives.
Schuerger, James (interviewee)
Gibans, Nina (interviewer)
Nina Gibans [00:00:02] You are?
James Schuerger [00:00:04] I'm Jim Schuerger. I've been living here... Actually, we bought the place about 20 years ago and we didn't move in right away. We were getting... Taking down our old place on Demington where we lived, we did.
Nina Gibans [00:00:28] And that's... Jim?
James Schuerger [00:00:36] Yeah. And we were getting rid of our place, they're making arrangements to sell it and so on. What stimulated us to buy here, we'd been looking around, because we knew for a while that the house was too much for her. You know, she has post-polio syndrome. We were just beginning to be aware of it. And one day you know, we had looked at this place and some others and we had some criteria for what we wanted, if possible. If possible, I wanted a place on the rapid. I wanted a real neighborhood. And we had to have a place which was as accessible as possible. We looked across the street and that was a nightmare. You mean you can't go 20 feet down the hall without walking up and stairs and down a little stairs and down.
Nina Gibans [00:01:40] You mean Moreland Courts?
James Schuerger [00:01:42] Yeah. And people over there, we asked about it, and said, well if you need to go, we'll get some guys out there, bring a little ramp, put it, lift it up and put it down. I thought ooh wee so we wrote that off. There's no way we could have lived in there.
Nina Gibans [00:01:58] Hi, Jim. This is Jim.
Jim Dubelko [00:02:04] Hello.
James Schuerger [00:02:04] Hi.
Nina Gibans [00:02:04] Jim is working with [Mark] Souther, and we did very well. Did you do well with Taffy [Epstein]?
Jim Dubelko [00:02:11] Sure. She's, she's great. It was a nice interview. Very nice woman.
James Schuerger [00:02:17] So we needed accessibility and this place suited us because of its location on the rapid. I was still at the university, so I knew I could take the train downtown and walk up, which suited me very well and...
Nina Gibans [00:02:40] I stopped it.
Jim Dubelko [00:02:43] OK. OK. We're at about the two-minute mark. Yeah.
James Schuerger [00:02:47] And the Shaker Square, it was a real neighborhood and it's not very far from Larchmere. All within walking distance for me and almost close enough for Kathleen. And at the time, Kathleen's walking was severely limited. Twenty feet was a lot more than ten feet. So if I was driving or Sutton Place and the other thing is I liked it because it was within walking distance of Our Lady of Peace Church, which I would go to should I keep going on. I could talk a little more about this whole thing. Yeah. So we moved in at the first of the year in whatever twenty years ago is, I started going to church down there.
Nina Gibans [00:03:46] 1981.
James Schuerger [00:03:48] That would be about right and pretty soon I told Kathleen, I said join me down there. If you'd like this place, you know, and we found that we liked the church very much. It's friendly. I like the pastor. If I was out of town or something and Kathleen showed up without me, the old ladies would gather around and make sure she was taken care of. And this... You know, people were... It was welcoming, you know, so that was a real plus, and shortly, another real plus was the market, when the farmer's market moved in. You know, I mean, we couldn't have believed our good luck. Now, a few years after we moved in here, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And in the fall... almost, well, 17 years ago, almost to the day. And I had treatment that spring. Radiation. And then the next summer we went to France. In the meantime, Kathleen had read that the post-polio people should be taking the big doses of the antioxidants, vitamins C and E. And so she started that, and at the same time, doing my radiation, I had learned that... you know what? Reiki is the hands-on treatment? Reiki. It's a laying on of the hands, which nurses will do sometimes. Anyhow, this is a Japanese version, and some friends of mine did Reiki on me while I was undergoing the radiation. And it was like, you know, I had radiation sickness. It was like getting rejuvenated once a week. So I thought Kathleen would like this. So I took the treatment. So two things with your post-polio. The vitamins and the Reiki treatments, which I started doing for her. That summer after the treatment, we went to France on a barge tour. We came back. I went to work. One day I came home and she said, I walked around Shaker Lake, the Lower Lake. It's like a miracle. So that in addition to the other things we like meant that we had the lake, and in a way that we hadn't expected to have. That's another real plus for us for this neighborhood. I mean, the lake down there, the Lower Lake is just great. No, I've rambled on for quite a while. What's your next question?
Nina Gibans [00:06:26] I see you walking. You're a famous figure in the neighborhood...
James Schuerger [00:06:33] Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:06:33] And I always wonder where you're going.
James Schuerger [00:06:37] Well, there's a bunch of places, but I don't go too far anymore. I do maybe 20-minute walks. But the judge, the woman, Sarah Harper, she sees me walking with my walking stick. I use a walking stick now because the blood pressure medicine makes me wobbly, you know? She says, I see you stepping out, she says, that's what my father used to do when he was getting older, you know, he would stepping out with this walking stick. So, yeah, I walk a lot. When we go to church in the morning, we go every morning, here's how we do it. Kathleen starts walking a few minutes before I get in the car. I get in the car and drive down Shaker Boulevard and pick her up just about where Van Aken comes in. And we drive the rest of the way to church. After church, she goes out and takes the car and I walk home. So we both get to walk. These are all things like they're relevant because they're possible here, this is a neighborhood. You know, one of the reasons I like it is that I have to be, with the prostate stuff, I have to be careful that I don't go too far because I have to use the bathroom. Well, you know, walk around the Square and there's at least two or three places with very nice bathrooms.
Nina Gibans [00:07:57] I'm sure you'll...
James Schuerger [00:07:58] Use as much of this as you think is appropriate, I suppose. But it's a neighborhood. People know me. I walk into Yours Truly, walk around the square. When the trolleys go by, I wave at them. Some of the guys know me. I walk my grandson--that's who you heard hollering on the phone, I was watching him--and they wave at us and toot the horns, you know? I love this place.
Nina Gibans [00:08:26] That's neat.
James Schuerger [00:08:28] Mm-hmm... There are only three steps in the whole building. You know what they are. Going up to the garden. Everything else we can get to on wheels. We don't need them yet. But Kathleen does steps with great difficulty. But she can walk in the flat a little bit of distance.
Nina Gibans [00:08:50] I talked to Chuck today about making ramps.
James Schuerger [00:08:54] Oh, that would be so expensive.
Nina Gibans [00:08:58] Well, he said so, but it's not impossible. He talked about doing it from the grate.
James Schuerger [00:09:03] Oh, yeah. Well, the other thing that nobody's talked about is putting in floating ramps, not concrete, bound to the floor, but starting them on the pad that's already there, putting a wooden floating ramp straight out into the garden. Jim [Gibans] would know about that.
Nina Gibans [00:09:19] Sure... yeah it's hard to get out there.
James Schuerger [00:09:24] It's not impossible. She can do the three steps, but people that are in a wheelchair or something, and for you, it would be terrible. Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:09:33] Tell me about the meaning of the gardens for you.
James Schuerger [00:09:37] Oh, the gardens. The gardens. When we first moved in here in about three weeks. I was wondering whether I'd be able to live on the ninth floor, to tell you the truth, you know, the height wasn't a problem. After about three weeks, I found I have all this time. I started digging out books I hadn't read in a long time. We didn't have to worry about maintaining the house. We just had to pay up, and the pay up looks big, you know, when you first look at it, but before I moved out of Demington, I took all the bills for the last five years that were relevant, external stuff, heat, water, sewer. And I averaged them over the five years. And then I looked at what we were supposed to pay here, it was a wash! It was even. We had a good-sized place on Demington, but, you know, these apartments are almost 2,000 square feet.
Nina Gibans [00:10:39] I know they are maintained quite well. I lived on Woodmere and Fairmount when I was growing up, on the corner.
James Schuerger [00:10:47] We were the third house up from Cedar on Demington on the east side.
Nina Gibans [00:10:53] Next to Brody?
James Schuerger [00:10:54] Across from Brody. Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:10:59] I love taking the Cleveland Heights book and going with my friend and going around to the houses.
James Schuerger [00:11:08] Well, that's the best neighborhood in the world. I mean except that you can't walk anywhere to buy anything, you know. You can't go to a bar. You can't go to a restaurant. You have to be a significant walk down to Cedar, yeah, but the gardens... After the first flush wore off, you know, of being here without having to do anything, my son was married, moved out of the house to a friend of his out in Chagrin and they had raised beds in the back, but they weren't using them. So we went out there and planted a bunch of stuff in those raised beds, Kathleen and I. And we'd looked at each other and we thought, you know, let's ask for our small garden plot. So we did, so after, must have been three, three years or so, we got a garden plot and we loved it because you get all the good parts of a garden. None of the tough stuff. You don't have to worry about it. You just throw it in the garbage over there and forget it. You know? And then pretty soon we had two plots. You know, we grew, we spread out and then we had three for a while, which one of which we gave up. The idea was I would grow vegetables in the back and Kathleen would grow flowers in the front. Except she also would have herbs in the front, you know. And I've been gardening for a long time. I'd been gardening since we were living in Newbury, which is 50 years now. But sort of a spasmodically, episodically, you know. But since it was so easy here and we could make the soil easily into what we want, you know, add organic materials and so on that the tomatoes just took over. You know, tomatoes became my thing. Tomatoes and green beans.
Nina Gibans [00:13:07] Oh really?
James Schuerger [00:13:07] Yeah. Heirloom tomatoes.
Nina Gibans [00:13:09] It depends on what year though, doesn't it? Jim's tomatoes have had problems some years.
James Schuerger [00:13:17] Well, everything is like that if you're a farmer. Some years are good and some aren't, you know, and different things are good one year than they are the next year. But the drainage is so good up here. As long as you watch the pH, the soil pH... I get an analysis every year, send it off to Massachusetts, you know. It tells me what the pH is and whether I need to add anything, you know. You don't put any potassium in, just nitrogen this year or something.
Nina Gibans [00:13:48] Where do you get that?
James Schuerger [00:13:50] The University of Massachusetts, $9. Take a sample, dry it out, mail it to them. They mail it back. I don't know. I did it first because Paula Morsiani, who has the garden next to me, was worried about leaf vegetables for her daughter, you know, lead and other toxic materials. And I didn't know. So I said, well, I know I can get a test. So I sampled hers, and sampled mine, ans we sent the tests over and they're fine. No toxic stuff in there. Mm-hmm.
Nina Gibans [00:14:26] Isn't that good?
James Schuerger [00:14:28] Mm-hmm.
Nina Gibans [00:14:29] You're the only one. I think we. At least report it.
James Schuerger [00:14:33] It's probably true over the whole garden. I was worried because, at the base, you know... the you know, the the thing there's a... over the concrete, you know, there's a membrane. And on top of the membrane, there's ballast, which is industrial slag. Who knew what was in the industrial slag? You know, what chemicals? And then 18 inches of soil. And I wondered if it was leaching up, you know, whatever chemicals were in this slag. But lead is the big one and what's the other one they look for? Mercury? I don't know, there's another one that they look for. And they were trivial levels of those two things. So it's... And it's cheap. Anybody wants to know. I know how to do that, where to send it, what papers to fill out.
Nina Gibans [00:15:25] So your professional life, though. Did you out and over or did you go down to the university still?
James Schuerger [00:15:36] Well in 1997 I became 65 and I retired the first time. It was great! Parties, you know, and stuff. Then within 30 days, I got hired back at a 40 percent level because it was a project that they wanted done. We were up for re-evaluation and there was a lot of stuff that had to be taken care of. So I get back on the train, you know, and worked for another three years, I think that way. And then my part of that was finished and the department wanted me to continue teaching in the graduate program one course a year, which I did for another three years at CSU. And then I sort of got fired in the sense that they hired some people and they had to have places for them to work. And one of my courses was one of them, you know, so that ended that. So essentially that would have been, I don't know, 2000 or something like that. My formal arrangements with the university were over. But two things happened. One, they gave me a nice office that I could go to whenever I wanted and I would take a graduate student once in a while. The other is two former students set up a... to create an endowed scholarship in my name, which they're still collecting money. But they got a lot of money in that thing. That's about eighty thousand dollars. The two guys have more money than others and they kind of did the bulk of it, I guess. So I'm still connected in those ways. And the thing is, I've had a private practice, you know, over the years. And for a while that was in the Terminal Tower, which was terrific, you know, get on the train, go to the tower. I really enjoyed that. Take it up to the 17th floor. And I like downtown and I like to walk. I would get to know people, you know, I'd get to know... I would put a few bucks in my pockets so that when the panhandlers approached me, you know, I'd have it there ready. Got all kinds of interesting events around that. One guy... I was in a nasty mood one morning and some guy was bothering me. But he wanted to buy some food, so I thought I'd take him up. And I said, okay, we're going to go in McDonald's. I'll buy whatever you want. So we go to McDonald's and he's in the line there. He says, is it OK to get the big burgers? I said, yeah, if you want it. He says, along with home fries? Yeah. And coffee? Yeah. I said, whatever you want. So we're in the line and he gives the order and she's walking away though. He says don't forget the home fries, honey. It just struck me, you know. And so, you know, out of my bad mood calling him on it, was he really wanting it for food? You know, I got a really neat experience. One of them died while I was walking, not while I was there, you know, but I knew the guy a little bit. He was actually from the Heights and there was another one on the corner of 9th and Euclid that used to call me Judge. Hey, Judge what you doing this morning?
Nina Gibans [00:19:11] Interesting at the City Club... Do you do the City Club?
James Schuerger [00:19:14] No. Well, once in a while. But not regularly.
Nina Gibans [00:19:17] They used to call Jim the Doctor.
James Schuerger [00:19:22] The Doctor, yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:19:24] I don't know why.
James Schuerger [00:19:24] I can see why they would call him that. I'm in Canada one time we were at a motel, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and they thought the some there were a bunch of salesmen there, you know, and they were drunk and they were trying to get my goat. Calling me Doctor and Proctologist. They said, must be a proctologist. So anyhow, that was provided... I mean, that opportunity was provided because the rapid enabled them to get downtown on that and...
Nina Gibans [00:19:56] And you really used and used it.
James Schuerger [00:19:58] I used it. Yeah. It was a red-letter day for me when I turned 65 and I get one of those senior citizen passes, you know? And pay 50 cents on the train.
Nina Gibans [00:20:08] To go down to University Circle?
James Schuerger [00:20:10] Oh well yeah, especially when they had the little jitney. You know there was two ways. I still take the 48 down there, if I'm going to the hospital or something, I take the 48 bus from the square. It's pretty convenient. It's a great neighborhood.
Nina Gibans [00:20:28] And I know that you have gone to Europe. Yes, no.
James Schuerger [00:20:34] There was a time before 9/11 we went. It might almost have averaged once a year. I don't know. I could go. I would sometimes go without Kathleen for a few days. I had a friend on the airline who'd get buddy passes. So we'd do like a weekend in Germany. So some of those years, I would be over in Europe twice, but most of the time with Kathleen. I lived in Rome in Italy for two years. Sessant'anni fa, 60 years ago. And I had pictures... I was in seminary, you know, so I had the big hat and all that stuff. And I had some pictures of myself around there. So Kathleen and I got a real bargain flight to Rome. It was a thousand dollars. It took care of the flight and hotel on a pretty good street. And so I got a cab. I got a cabbie to take us around to all those spots, you know. And he would take pictures of Kathleen and me in the same spots, you know. That was the first time I went back to Italy in 40 years. The first place we went was Ireland because she's from, I mean, her family's from Ireland, and then we went to London. And then Rome and Florence for a couple of weeks, and then we did go all Elderhostel in France. The barge tour that I mentioned and another Elderhostel in Verona, which was lovely, it was about opera Italian opera. And I've been... since I liked Italy I sort of made a hobby of Italian. So this was a good opportunity to keep that up. Yeah. So we did one trip that we took, I don't know which one it was. I can remember we went out early in the morning. And we're gonna catch the rapid to the airport. You know, snow on the ground and stuff, you know? Reason I remember it is because of the rapid was early. That's the worst that can happen is when the train is early, you know? So we had to walk to the square, dragging her suitcases and stuff, you know, to catch the next train to downtown and then change the airport train. So, Kathleen, despite her difficulties, did that with me at least once after that is it now we're going to get a car to drive or get somebody to drive Chris Pollard or somebody. So, yes, we went to Europe fair amount.
Nina Gibans [00:23:18] But I know you were active with the Dickens.
James Schuerger [00:23:21] Kathleen is active with the Dickens Fellowship. The International Dickens Fellowship has local branches and Cleveland has a local branch. Kathleen is the webmaster for that branch and is the co-publisher of the newsletters. So she put up a website. She didn't like... Computers were not her thing, you know, she wrestled it to the ground. And two years ago, the Cleveland branch hosted the international conference. And we had a nice place and we took some of the student quarters at Case Western Reserve in the back there. And the Cleveland [Public] Library was very cooperative. They have a huge Dickens collection, which they featured and they hosted us for lunch one day and the weather cooperated. I mean, the weather was for Cleveland weather it was an incredible week. You know, so. And the upshot of it was that we had a there was a guy from Canada that we knew from having seen him in a couple of other international fellowships two were in the states. And after he was getting ready to leave, he says this can't be. He says this is the West. I mean, we had so much stuff here. And that was kind of a common feeling among the Europeans that came over and people from other parts of the country go wait this is Cleveland what happened here. You know, one woman from New York, she was feisty. She got on the bus, the Healthline bus, one night, went down to the stadium and caught a Yankees game. Yankees and Indians game. This was the middle of the night, you know? And then took the bus back and walked over to her dorm. And then they went out and had a good time. And they had a ball out on the lake and watching the skyline. And, you know, L'Albatros, the restaurant down there? This one fastidious member from England was just so impressed by L'Albatros, the restaurant. It was great PR for Cleveland.
Nina Gibans [00:25:43] Thank you, you have captured it in so many ways.
James Schuerger [00:25:50] Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:25:52] Jim, what else would you like to tell us about Shaker Towers?
James Schuerger [00:25:57] Well, this is somebody would see this as a plus and one some would see it as a minus, but it's not like living in a house where you have the impression of living fee simple, you know, like you really own the place and you can do whatever you want. You can't here, you can't do whatever you want. We live together. We're a small community, like a tiny hamlet or a village, and we're dependent on one another. And, you know, some people really honor that and some don't get it. And some just don't get it at all. But in the main, it's a powerful influence, one on the other. The fact that we have to, like learn to tolerate the other people that we live with. That's good for us as we get older, you know, that is good for us that we have to do that. And the Board? The Board is usually full of bright, interested people. I mean, I feel really privileged to be a participant in this community.
Nina Gibans [00:27:06] It's a wonderful way to end. All right. Do you have any more that you want to say?
James Schuerger [00:27:12] I've already gabbed on a long time. I wouldn't be talking this much except when I knew I had to babysit this afternoon. I had a bunch of chocolate, so I would have the energy with my 4-year-old grandson. So you're seeing me at a high pitch here?
Nina Gibans [00:27:29] Well, Kathleen gave us some good material and I hope. When we get finished that we can use that. She wasn't... you weren't there.
James Schuerger [00:27:38] That's right.
Nina Gibans [00:27:39] It's very different.
James Schuerger [00:27:41] Is that right? How interesting. How interesting. Yeah, I'm not sure she would have wanted me to be talking about her.
Nina Gibans [00:27:50] Well, I did when they interviewed me. I said it was accessible.
James Schuerger [00:27:54] Mm-hmm.
Nina Gibans [00:27:55] One of the reasons.
James Schuerger [00:27:56] That was the big reason. I mean, actually, you know, we were thinking about should we move into a Condo of someplace a new one, you know, and go side by side or something like that. And everything had steps. People think that it's accessible. You know, you say, is it accessible? Tall. You call up a resident. Oh, yeah. It's accessible. You walk, you get to the restaurant and there's three steps up into the place. You know, this place was actually had a couple of steps still in the lobbies, but those were corrected. This place was actually accessible. You could go to the lunchroom, there were no steps weren't... the other thing I like about it is the cruciform construction, you know, where nobody is more than about eight feet from the elevator. Henry Ceruti, you know that was the architect--Jim [Gibans] would know about all this stuff--he was... this is, I think, a very good design. My mother in law, Kathleen's mom, who is 93 or 94 now, lives by herself in another Ceruti building on the lake in Lakewood. Now it's way different. It's got hallways and all that stuff. But you can tell you walk and it's got that same feel. It's got the same, I think Pyro block, you know, construction. Yeah, this is an exceptional building.
Nina Gibans [00:29:29] Yes, we know. And we saw the original drawings, which we now have found an original. And of course, the social aspect. Martin Jones, the architect.
James Schuerger [00:29:45] Yeah, the little bit of history I know about this was, I believe... there was a consortium of Jewish businessmen because they couldn't get in across the street. Isn't that true?
Nina Gibans [00:30:04] Consortium of...
James Schuerger [00:30:04] Jewish businessmen got together and decided to build this thing so that at one point they called it the Jewish Revenge, I'm told, because people across the street wouldn't let in Jews, Catholics, blacks...
Nina Gibans [00:30:20] Oh well, that is true.
James Schuerger [00:30:21] Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:30:22] And the terrible shame is the first owner Chuck knows the local all around. Even that family or I mean, all on the tape.
James Schuerger [00:30:36] Yeah. That's good. Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:30:40] Yeah. Well they wanted access as everyone else had to, you know, the large condominiums.
James Schuerger [00:30:52] Yeah. Oh, these, I mean, forty years ago, rich people lived here. I couldn't afford to live here.
Nina Gibans [00:31:02] You think 40 years ago rich people lived here?
James Schuerger [00:31:06] I believe so.
Nina Gibans [00:31:07] No, I think it's the same type of people.
James Schuerger [00:31:11] Do you?
Nina Gibans [00:31:12] I really do. I think we had, I mean, we have the list right here.
James Schuerger [00:31:17] Yeah. Well, you would know better than I.
Nina Gibans [00:31:19] I think they were very much the same type of people.
James Schuerger [00:31:22] Mixed.
Nina Gibans [00:31:22] They were professional. All the different professions.
James Schuerger [00:31:26] Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:31:26] They were...
James Schuerger [00:31:33] Didn't have the number of retirees.
Nina Gibans [00:31:34] Yes.
James Schuerger [00:31:36] Did you? In those days?
Nina Gibans [00:31:38] In the beginning?
James Schuerger [00:31:39] Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:31:40] Well, Carl Stokes came in and people after and they were busy... Think about it.
James Schuerger [00:31:50] Interesting.
Nina Gibans [00:31:51] And what was the name of the editor of the [Cleveland] Press?
James Schuerger [00:31:57] Lou[is] Seltzer. Seltzer.
Nina Gibans [00:31:59] Yeah, he lived here.
James Schuerger [00:32:02] See, that's what I mean. Most people had much more money than I do, for example.
Nina Gibans [00:32:07] Well, but they aren't wealthy in the sense that the people who were, who lived here, like the Millers.
James Schuerger [00:32:16] Yeah. Yeah.
Nina Gibans [00:32:18] And Maria. And that's wealthy.
James Schuerger [00:32:22] OK. OK. OK. All right.
Nina Gibans [00:32:26] I don't characterize them.
James Schuerger [00:32:29] One other thing. There was originally to be a third tower, I heard.
Nina Gibans [00:32:33] Oh, really? I've never heard that.
James Schuerger [00:32:35] On the other side, and Shaker wouldn't give the OK because they have a ruling you can't have more than five stories or something like that. So that piece was sold off and they built the Ohio House over there, but originally it was going to be three.
Nina Gibans [00:32:52] That very well might be...
James Schuerger [00:32:53] Three towers.
Nina Gibans [00:32:55] We have the original drawings, which we will look at.
James Schuerger [00:32:57] Take a look and see if there is three...
Nina Gibans [00:32:59] Someone has them. They have everything.
James Schuerger [00:33:00] Yeah. Yeah. And then they were modified and they sold off that property.
Nina Gibans [00:33:09] That could very well be, but I don't think... The people had to afford it, but I don't think you would call them the rich.
James Schuerger [00:33:21] Well, maybe you and I have different ideas of the rich.
Nina Gibans [00:33:23] We may have a different definition.
James Schuerger [00:33:25] I'm just not. I'm a former teacher. That's, you know.
Nina Gibans [00:33:28] Oh, I understand.
James Schuerger [00:33:28] Yeah. I'm much better off than I ever thought I would be, to tell you the truth. I'm not complaining about that. It just seemed like... I just don't think we could have afforded a building like this 30 or 40 years ago, Kathleen and I.
Nina Gibans [00:33:48] So what year did you come in?
James Schuerger [00:33:55] '82? Would it be '82? Let's see, it would be twenty years ago.
Nina Gibans [00:34:00] And it was a condominium?
James Schuerger [00:34:02] It was already condominiums. Yeah, condominia.
Nina Gibans [00:34:08] You need to check with Chuck. Yeah. And with Jim Adair. He probably sold to his partner?
James Schuerger [00:34:16] Well, at the time, for example, we bought the unit that we're in, which is a 10, you know, one of the front, that stack, on the ninth floor, in decent shape, for seventy thousand dollars. I mean, I couldn't believe it. That was nothing. The house that we left on Demington... I had a couple hundred thousand, something like that, maybe more than that. I don't remember exactly. So that's what I mean, it was, you know, I couldn't.
Nina Gibans [00:34:57] Where do you live?
Jim Dubelko [00:34:57] North Olmsted.
James Schuerger [00:35:00] That seems so far away.
Jim Dubelko [00:35:01] It is far away. I'm also pondering what I want to do with my retirement. In that same situation, kids moved out of the house. Larger house.
James Schuerger [00:35:13] Yeah. Yeah. Are you at CSU?
Jim Dubelko [00:35:17] Yes, I retired and went back to school. I'm in Master's of History program.
James Schuerger [00:35:22] Are you really? What was your what were you doing?
Jim Dubelko [00:35:26] I was a lawyer.
James Schuerger [00:35:27] Ah, you were in the law school?
Jim Dubelko [00:35:28] Uh. No, I was... I practiced law for 30 years on the West Side.
James Schuerger [00:35:34] Yeah.
James Schuerger [00:35:36] What's your name?
Jim Dubelko [00:35:39] Dubelko.
James Schuerger [00:35:39] Dubelko.
Jim Dubelko [00:35:39] I didn't catch your name.
James Schuerger [00:35:43] Jim Scherger. S-C-H-U-E-R-G-E-R.
Jim Dubelko [00:35:52] So we share a first name.
James Schuerger [00:35:54] Pardon?
Jim Dubelko [00:35:54] You said Jim?
James Schuerger [00:35:55] Jim, yeah, James.
Nina Gibans [00:35:56] Everybody was a Jim.
James Schuerger [00:35:58] A lot of Jim's, yeah. So, your career really was as a lawyer, huh? Practicing attorney?
Jim Dubelko [00:36:09] Yeah. I mean, I had a small practice and I worked for the North Olmsted law department. It's thirty years or twenty-eight years. Assistant Law Director, eight years.
James Schuerger [00:36:20] You're on PRSA like me? Yeah. Oh, that's great.
Jim Dubelko [00:36:24] Yeah. I like said I could identify with...
James Schuerger [00:36:27] Yeah.
Jim Dubelko [00:36:28] It's a wonderful retirement.
James Schuerger [00:36:29] Oh, jeez.
Jim Dubelko [00:36:31] I am just a year and a half into it.
James Schuerger [00:36:32] Yeah. We figured out once, a friend of mine who is real bright and I, to get the cash flow that we're getting, we'd have to have a couple million bucks put away. Well, that doesn't sound like much to you, but...
Nina Gibans [00:36:50] Oh, it does.
James Schuerger [00:36:50] I'm pulling your leg. I'm pulling your leg.
Nina Gibans [00:36:52] I know you are. I know you are. We're on fixed income...
James Schuerger [00:36:56] Yeah. Yeah. Well, interesting.
Jim Dubelko [00:37:03] You want to go off the record or...
James Schuerger [00:37:04] You've been recording all this casual talk here?
Jim Dubelko [00:37:08] It's good stuff.
James Schuerger [00:37:09] If any of this leaks out, I'll...[end]
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"James Schuerger interview, 25 September 2011" (2011). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 914003.