Now a Vermont resident, John Stark Bellamy II spent most of his first six decades in Cleveland, Ohio. His family was long associated with Cleveland journalism: his grandfather Paul began writing for the Plain Dealer in 1907 and later served two decades as editor-in-chief of the paper, while his father, Peter, toiled 48 years as a reporter, columnist and drama critic for the Cleveland News and Plain Dealer. Although his primary career was as a librarian for the Cuyahoga County Library. John also dabbled at journalism, chiefly as a Plain Dealer book reviewer during the 1980s and 1990s. During the latter decade he became best known as the perpetrator of books about Cleveland area murders and disasters. His other books include "They Died Crawling," "The Maniac in the Bushes," The Corpse in the Cellar," The Killer in the Attic," "Death Ride at Euclid Beach," "Women Behaving Badly," "Cleveland's Greatest Disasters," "Vintage Vermont Villainies" and "A Woman Scorned: The Murder of George Saxton -- An American Melodrama."
One Man's Mirror: S. J. Kelly's Wonderful Cleveland Wayback Machineby Samuel Jewett Kelly, John Stark Bellamy II
New York had A. J. Liebling and Joseph Mitchell. Chicago had Mike Royko and Ben Hecht. Baltimore had the incomparable H. L. Mencken. But none of them did for their cities what S. J. Kelly did for his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Between 1935 and 1948 he wrote 850,000 words in his "Cleveland Plain Dealer" column, which, taken together, comprise a virtual diary of the city as he remembered it between 1870 and the 1940s. "One Man's Mirror," a collection of Kelly's best work, provides a veritable time trip back to Cleveland's fabled past. He knew everybody, his range of interests was encyclopediac and he had an uncanny penchant for just being around when newsworthy events occurred. If you want to know that city looked like, smelled like, sounded like and felt like, say between 1870 and 1920, Kelly will take you there. You may think you know Cleveland, but you'll never look at the city with the same eyes after reading S. J. Kelly.
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