Ravenna Ohio

As a young boy, moving to Ravenna, Ohio where my dad had taken a teaching position was a blurry proposition. I was just starting to make friendships at 6 years of age with the neighbor kids when we moved to Ravenna, and for the next 12 years my family moved around this small town four times – always orbiting around the high school which was for many the nexus of activity, what with football and basketball games and the small town culture of sports nostalgia.
There was a sign outside of the city that said, Ravenna – a great place to live and work. Population – 12,000. Each year I’d see that sign when we drove down the highway and I’d check expectantly to see if little Ravenna had grown, but the population always remained 12,000 on the sign. It wasn’t until many years later, when I understood bureaucracy and expenses, that I realized that the sign had been abandoned and never updated after its initial installation!
Through parades and fires, bat infestations and small race wars, pregnant teens and striking teachers, I watched Ravenna go through some changes in my 20 years residing there. Now I have moved on to a larger city, and though several of my high school pals still live in Ravenna – my very occasional forays there never yield a sighting of anyone I have ever known.  Where have they all gone? I do not know, but my memories of growing up in a small town of the perpetual 12,000 people are mainly good memories. It was a healthy and safe place to test my wings as a kid and to have a lot of fun.

Daiv Whaley