Cover Story: Strivers' Row 2004

Women in Kathy's vision

May 5, 2004 at 2:06 pm

Here are a few of my favorite strivers. Pull up a seat, ladies. Are station bosses punishing her or is she just intrepid as hell? Either way, Channel 5 news reporter Monica Abler's seemingly 24-hour on-camera work outside hospital emergency rooms, bracing against the elements and sucking down truck fumes from the shoulders of countless expressways or shouting above the din of protesters puts her in the company of all those overlooked urban war correspondences.

Makes you forget about all those big-haired/big-boobed map girls of relic news casts when that was the only way women got close to appearing on TV news.

Longtime downtown doyenne, thrift store diva, world traveler and the most elegant black woman I've ever seen up close, Bobbie Corbean just blesses me with the possibility of possibilities. When I admired her from afar, I made up stories about her life that weren't all that far afield.

She is a wildly independent entrepreneur. Remember Mrs. B's Boutique at Court and Vine streets? She does travel the world.

Once over drinks at Bella she told me about an African safari and her 80th (yes, 80!) birthday in Negril, Jamaica.

You'll spot her at Findlay Market or coming out of the Walnut Hills Salvation Army with a big piece of art for her Court Street flat. She'll be the bald-headed mind blower.

She's leaving this town, leaving a black hole. Cincinnati Magazine Editor Kitty Morgan made official the rumors she'll join husband Charles Demarais in New York, where the former Contemporary Arts Center director has been on sabbatical since opening Zaha Hadid's concrete Valentine.

Kitty reminds me of a Faberge egg, only one designed by Christian LaCroix. You're right if you think there's some kind of high-fallutin' air to this incredibly sharp, astute, pixied editor who dragged Cincinnati Magzine to the table of humanity with stories on black men in a magazine whose advertisers cater to zip codes where no black men live or work.

She walks a little differently than the rest of us. As far as I know she's got no gig in the Big Apple, but I'm confident she'll land squarely on her Manolos. Brava.

My girl wants to party all the time. Former CAC Teen Arts Council director-cum-urban social ringmaster and the perpetually stillettoed Robin Harrison has in the past year alone organized, produced, undertaken and overseen some of the flyest DJ-driven, trans-racial boogey downs this socially Siberian city has seen in a while.

Last year's Tha Blast at SSNOVA was off the heezie, and, judging by all the folks talking about checking out Robin's joint last weekend at a Main Street club, she probably had another blast on her hands.

And that thing hanging off Robin's ear is not a growth; it's her cellular appendage. She's making moves off the dance floor.

Finally, the front row seats in Strivers' Row are reserved for just about Every Woman. They're for any woman who's ever finished a race and the women who think about gettin' in the arena, for the woman who got the job she deserved or a promotion she didn't. They're for the women with degrees who don't answer to anybody and for the woman with a GED who answers all the questions during Double Jeopardy.

They're for every woman who's given birth, given a child away or practiced her right to abort one.

This row's for every woman chasing her sexuality up and down a pole and for those who've found theirs in the chastity of wedding-night virginity.

It goes to the women who love God and to the atheists who renounce Her, to the women who try and fail and the ones who fail by not trying.

Sit here, for every morning you get up and for every night you go down.

For the striver. Who and wherever she is.