In Cleveland Couples: 40 Inspiring Stories of Love & Commitment, Kathy Dawson reveals the secret of a successful relationship: "Valuable things are forgotten" over time, she says. "Share and talk about your experiences with each other." Her book, a series of marriage profiles, is a valentine to local couples who've been through good times and bad times together.
Celebrities -- such as Wilma Smith, Mike Hargrove, and Jane Campbell -- share their tales with Dawson, a "relationship coach," who finds much common (and uncommon) ground among them. "A lot of these people are opposites in temperament and personality," Dawson says. "But everyone accepts the differences. It's what creates the balance."
Not all of her subjects are TV anchors or city mayors. "It's a melting pot," she says. "I would interview a couple, and they would say, 'I know somebody who might be good for this.' I never knew where this was going." Dawson talks about her book from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Borders Books & Music (9565 Mentor Avenue in Mentor; call 440-350-8170) and from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Borders in Strongsville (17200 Royalton Road; 440-846-1144). Admission is free. -- Michael Gallucci
Party Like It's 1789
The Decadent Nouveau collective revels in art, music, and debauchery.
Every Friday the 13th, David K. and Decadent have a standing gig at the Phantasy's Night Gallery series. This week, the electronic rockers headline A Winter's Masquerade, the third installment of musical performances, art exhibits, and poetry readings by Decadent Nouveau. The artist-and-musician collective is a 21st-century throwback to the Decadent movement of the late 1800s. "They espoused that art should exist for its own sake, independent of moral and social concerns," David K. explains. Not only are those pesky morals out of the way; the party rocks too, with bands such as Vanity Crash and Maceface, as well as performances by cellists, flutists, and other classical-minded musicians. "[We aren't] about any single medium, style, genre, theme, or person," David K. says. It starts at 9 p.m. at the Phantasy Nite Club, 11802 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Tickets are $5 to $8; call 216-228-6300. -- Cris Glaser
Pour a drink, and take a ride on Cleveland's vintage railroad.
A special Valentine's Day version of the Wine Tasting Express boards Friday, complete with vino experts discussing each and every vintage poured. Additionally, appetizers -- ranging from cheese and crackers to kebabs and dessert -- will be served. "We give out a lot of food," says Nichole Difiore of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. "We don't want too many people walking around spilling and being drunk." Riders naturally prone to motion sickness or knocking over things shouldn't worry: The train travels at only 8 to 10 miles per hour. It departs at 7 p.m. from the Rockside Station of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (on Old Rockside Road in Independence). Tickets are $40. Reservations are required; call 800-468-4070. -- Allen Miller
It's been nearly 45 years since an ailing heart and a crippling drug addiction did in Billie Holiday. But the legacy of the greatest jazz singer ever lives on at this weekend's A Tribute to Billie Holiday, which features Danielle Chavonne Clark as Lady Day. The music starts at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Renaissance Center Hotel, 24 Public Square. Tickets are $35, available by calling 216-767-0575. -- Michael Gallucci