Stories of Akron

Fuck Bridgestone and the PGA

This year was the last time the men’s Professional Golf Association will stop in Akron, Ohio. Next year they are moving to Tennessee — fucking Memphis that is.

So fuck all y’all for screwing over the Rubber Capital of the World — again.

In the early 50’s, the Rubber Barons from Firestone built those courses in Akron for their “employees” — their top fucking employee (singular) that is.

You can put the corporate headquarters anywhere in the US or Europe or the better parts of Asia. They build the actual tires wherever they are allowed to slowly kill the workers and simultaneously ruin the environment for everyone.

For about 80 years, they did both in Akron. But in the 70’s and 80’s all the factories moved away for cheaper wages and new places to pollute. Only the suits remained. And they used all of our federal tax dollars to clean up real good to make a nice place for their kids to grow up.

Want to know where any major corporation will “move” it’s headquarters? Check out where the CEO and/or the chairman of the board like to play golf — it will be within 15 miles of the first tee for 3 or 4 of their favorite courses.

Firestone figured that out early. Goodyear built blimps and Firestone built great courses just east of the factory stink stacks. They have been playing professional golf there, since 1954 — that’s 64 fucking years for you non-math majors.

While the factories went away, the golf courses helped the company stay put. I read some bullshit somewhere, that the rubber companies thought about leaving in the 80’s. But then they looked at productivity versus pay. Staff in Akron were off the charts. Why? Salaries and housing is generally dirt cheap and there’s little else to do.

Akron’s unofficial and unsaid blue-collar theme:

  • Work hard
  • Play hard
  • And die young

All that is good for the company bottom line. High productivity and hardly any retirement costs…

“Play time” is only a few weeks in the summer. The rest of the year is clouds, or rain, or cold, or sleet, or snow or all of the above at the same fucking time. When it’s shit like that outside, you might as well stay at the office and kiss your bosses’ collective asses.

Onion rings at Akron PGA tour event

But Summer is when the golfers came to Akron. Half the fucking town volunteered.

The other half spent 2 or 4 days on the course going into debt paying off their cholesterol-soaked bill at the Swenson’s Food Truck.

Lots of local charities, the city and eventually the cardiologists thrived on golf and food money and its after effects.

But Bridgestone (the Japanese company that bought out Firestone in the 90’s) pulled out as a sponsor. Why? Who fucking knows. Everybody thinks corporations make rationale decisions and it’s all about the money, but that’s fucking bullshit.

Mitt Romney was wrong. Corporations are not people, my friend. But they make fucking decisions as rationally as a coke-addicted pimp.

No sponsor, no tourney, the PGA said.

Conciliation prize: The “senior” tour is coming to Akron in 2019.

Thanks for the booby price. Now we get to pay just as much to come out and see the worst porn genre ever. Let’s watch your old, your tired and your weak putt a single tiny white ball into an old gray hole 10 times its size.

Like all porn, it will be just sad enough to remind us of what we don’t have.

To be honest, I’m not even sure why I’m ranting about this — especially in the first-person-plural. I left Akron in 1981, and haven’t been back. I beat Bridgestone and the PGA on the train out of town by 37 years.

I don’t regret leaving Akron. But it left an indelible stain on my non-existant soul. When somebody screws with that town, I still want to punch them in the face…

And that’s why I say Fuck You — Bridgestone and Fuck You — PGA.

And Fuck You too — Memphis, you barbecue sucking, golf-tourney stealing, blues signing, sorry sons of bitches.

*** Image lifted from: