About the Author
Peter Jedick was born on August 29, 1949 in Los Angeles, California. His father was an outstanding art student at the University of Southern California, attending college on the GI Bill after serving in the 101st Airborne during World War II. Peter’s birth, like Pearl Harbor, changed everything. His mother wanted to return home to Cleveland, Ohio, to be near her relatives with the newborn. So mom ruled and the Jedick family moved back east while the rest of his generation was heading out west.
This would set a pattern that remained throughout Peter Jedick’s life. He would always be going against the flow. He attended a parochial grade school, St. Patrick’s West Park, but while all his friends went on to Catholic high schools he attended a public school, West Technical High School, and it wasn’t even in his school district. But it was one of the finest high schools in the nation and the largest in Ohio. While at Tech Jedick was bitten by the writing bug, reporting for the school newspaper, The West Tech Tatler, and writing professionally as a sports correspondent for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He would cover the West Tech football game and call in a story right after the game for the morning edition, ten bucks a crack, a lot of money back then.
Jedick graduated from West Tech in June 1967. On graduation day three significant events occurred in his life. As senior class president he gave a commence address to thousands of graduates and relatives crammed into the Cleveland Convention Center. He won a prestigious Ed Bang Journalism Scholarship to college. And he was thrown into the reflecting pool outside the Convention Center by Tech’s heavyweight wrestling champ. That was life at West Tech, you were given the opportunity to excel at your chosen profession but you also learned to laugh at your own predicament.
At Kent State Jedick did another about face. Although attending on a journalism scholarship and writing for the college newspaper, The Daily Kent Stater, he never took a journalism course. Instead he created his own liberal arts degree with concentrations in English and History. He pioneered the General Major program, graduating cum laude with General Honors in December, 1971. For his senior honors thesis he wrote and directed a one-act play that was staged on campus.
However, it was during his junior year that he witnessed an event that would change his life and alter the course of the Vietnam War. On May 4th, 1970, four fellow students were killed by the Ohio National Guard during an anti-war demonstration. Jedick knew two of them. The news shocked the world. And the experience provided the background for his novel, HIPPIES.
Upon graduation most of Jedick’s fellow graduates went into the work force. Not Jedick. He spent the next few years traveling throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, filling his bag of anecdotes. Eventually he returned home to Cleveland to embark on a career as a free lance writer.
To pay the bills while free lancing Jedick tried his hand at various professions too numerous to list. These included such occupations as taxi cab driver, landscaper, factory worker, newspaper reporter, substitute teacher, railroad track laborer, ship builder, census taker, etc., etc., etc. He finally hired on as a Cleveland Fire Fighter, a challenging profession that afforded him the opportunity to both raise a family and continue writing.
Jedick has written for all the major publications in Northeast Ohio. These include Cleveland Magazine, The Cleveland Press, The Plain Dealer, The Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, Avenues Magazine and Sun Newspapers. He has written nationally for Baseball America. He also had the dubious honor of being the next reporter the Cleveland Press was going to hire before it folded.
He has written two books on Cleveland history, LEAGUE PARK, and CLEVELAND: Where the East Coast Meets the Midwest. Both books sold out numerous printings.
Jedick’s latest work is the novel HIPPIES, a love story set on the Kent State campus during the crazy times leading up to the tragedy of May 4th, 1970. The first edition of HIPPIES earned numerous positive reviews and its original web site attracted encouraging comments from all over the world. It is in its second printing, this time by Creative Arts Book Company of Berkeley, California.
On a personal note Jedick recently received a couple of awards. On June 22, 2001 Jedick was awarded second prize in the Open Print Division of the Ohio Excellence in Journalism Competition. His essay, “An American in Paris,” was published in the Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine. It compared his collegiate trip to Paris with one his daughter Annie was about to take.
And on September 14, 2001 he was inducted into the West Tech Hall of Fame.
Even though the high school no longer exists, it has an alumni association most colleges would envy.
Peter Jedick lives in Rocky River, Ohio, is married and has five children who believe his stories about half the time
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