After two run-ins with police for playing his accordion on the village’s streets, Jacob Kouwe has been cleared to polka.
The aptly-named town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio is a suburb of Cleveland (which, contrary to what Drew Carey will tell you, does not rock in the very least). The sixteen-year-old accordion player started busking in the downtown area of Chagrin Falls in December, playing polkas and hymns on his accordion. His playing drew two complaints to the police: one from a busybody nothing-better-to-do Starbucks employee who claimed that he was “soliciting” and another from a resident who complained that his playing was “tacky”. The police looked into the possibility that Jacob was disturbing the peace by breaking a 1935 law prohibiting the loud playing of musical instruments.
I respectfully suggest that the Starbucks employee get a life. As for the other complainant: anyone who lives in Cleveland is automatically disqualified from calling anything “tacky”; this goes triple for anyone who lives in a suburb of Cleveland.
It worked out in the end: the village council (I can’t help imagining a group of elders carrying torches and dropping black or white balls into the preserved skull of the town founder) ruled that his performances do not disturb the peace. Jacob said the following to the council:
I admit street performances are not the polished, perfected, album-quality fare served up by formal concert venues. However, my street performances are from the heart.
Truer words were never spoken. Well done, Jacob!