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Eleni Papaleonardos

Eleni Papaleonardos

Upper Arlington had a lot of families that 30 years ago would not have been allowed to live there.
There’s Upper Arlington but there’s no Lower Arlington. There’s Upper Arlington and Old Arlington. And Old Arlington is like the old OLD families. The established families. And Upper Arlington had a lot of families that 30 years ago would not have been allowed to live there… not white enough. And so when the schools came together in like seventh grade there were the people who went to Jones from Old Arlington and the people from Hastings who are all from Upper Arlington and being Greek and having a crazy unpronounceable name that scared everybody and never being here in the summertime because we always went home to Greece… All of my friends were the people who were not white enough, so all of the people who had English as a second language or were different. We were all like the outsiders in many different ways, so nothing really kept us together as a group except that we weren’t in any other group.

My husband went on the job market when I was in Louisville and we sort of like on the precipice to go anywhere and that was super exciting and then he got his dream job, which is at Dennison and I remember him calling me and I was in the Louisville parking garage and him telling me and I remember thinking “This is awesome” and “Wait does this mean we’re always staying in Ohio?...Okay?! That’s... that’s great! …wait” 

I have kept this saying with me and it’s so cheesy but I remember my brother saying it when we were little. “You have to go away and slay your dragons before you can come home and be a hero” and I felt like I hadn’t slayed any dragons. And I just wouldn’t have done anything. But then it was a couple years later looking back and I’m like, “Holy shit I lived in a bunch of different places and done a bunch of different things.” Lots of dragons have been slayed it’s cool.

We love it here. We’ve talked about like on a sabbatical going somewhere for a few months like taking a workshop or a retreat that would take us away for a little while but to go completely away? No. Every winter I do think, “Well if winter really comes again this year maybe I’ll think of something else.” No. It’s home in so many different ways. 

Home: it’s family. Home: its memories. Home: its like ‘X’ different communities that are really important to me and its where even though growing up in Upper Arlington had been hellish, there are people I’ve known for a really, really long time. 
Susan

Susan

Kat Barnes

Kat Barnes