A collection of love letters written to the town.
The “Toledo Way”
I swam with a family of manatees once. It was in Florida. I was a kid. They probably could have crushed me against the cement wall next to where we swam if they wanted. I didn’t think of that at the time. That was a vacation. An experience away from here. If I swam with manatees frequently, or, even more than just that one time, the memory would lose its prominence.
Here’s a false statement in retrospect: I became an adult in Washington, D.C. I was there for college, and really felt I grew into the adult me by the end of it. I laugh at it now, ten years after graduation. In contrast, an accurate statement: at every stage of my life, upon its conclusion, I look back and wonder at how young and naive I was at its beginning and how far I have come. This is how we grow: a life stage comes along, we enter and go through that stage, often uncomfortably at first, and come out of the experience changed. Would I love Toledo as I do had I not left for those four years? A thought experiment without an answer.
Another true statement: I met my wife in Washington. She hails from Chicago. I dragged her to Toledo after we got married some years later. Despite her protestations at the time, she loves it here now too.
I’m a “lawyer here in town” (my wife gets sick of how often I describe people to whom I introduce her with that phrase). There’s this thing in the legal community here that we refer to as the “Toledo Way” of practicing law. Generally speaking, this means that Toledo lawyers are considerate toward one another and likely to extend professional courtesies that lawyers elsewhere may, in the foolish interest of appearing like a hard-ass to one’s client, decline to extend. Basically, we get along – a small, but representative, example of the quality of Toledo residents. It’s a culture. It is hard to imagine practicing law in a place that did not have this culture.
There are a lot of cement walls in Toledo. This is true of any city. Here though, you’re unlikely to be crushed against one. Who would want to do that?
Bob is a lawyer for RCO Law that has beautiful offices downtown overlooking the Maumee river – where we meet up for his photoshoot. But, rather than staying in the offices we ducked underground to the wonderful, mural-painted tunnels that interconnect a gaggle of buildings downtown. In addition to be a local lawyer, Bob invests a lot of his time and energy to furthering the Toledo community. He is on the board of the Toledo Bar Association and the Glass City Dog Park, and he is one of the co-hosts of the fantastic Toledo Matters Podcast.