A lost conversation with an excellent human being

A lost conversation with an excellent human being

I was sifting through some interviews I had done and discovered one that needs to see the light of day. DeVon Miller is the E-commerce director at P. Graham Dunn in Dalton.

When asking folks about DeVon, there was an overwhelming trail of comments on what an amazing human he is. Living in Fairlawn presently, he grew up in Trail in Holmes County. Some of his interests and vices include shopping at Target, indulging in venti cinnamon dolce lattes at Starbucks and mini golf. He’s on an endless quest to pursue a more equal society, listens to the Reply All podcast and loves watching David Dobrik vlogs. Let’s get to know him.

What is your favorite thing about living in Ohio?

My favorite thing about living in Ohio is the proximity of everything. No matter where you live in Ohio, a major city (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus) is a short trip away. From Fairlawn I can drive 40 minutes south to see the fall leaves of Amish Country, 30 minutes north to catch a Guardians game in downtown Cleveland or make a short trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a hike.

Insider tip: my roommates and I became mini golf junkies over the summer as we looked for outdoor activities during COVID-19. Shockingly, I rarely win. (For those who know me and my athletic ability, you know that’s a joke.)

But there are so many great places to test your skills in Northeast Ohio. One of our favorites — Rolling Greens in Uniontown, a truly unique, challenging course.

Name something that shaped the views you hold today

I think my views are truly an average of so many people and life experiences. I know that sounds cliche, but from my Amish childhood to my current community in Fairlawn, every experience and person I’ve connected with has shaped and molded my views, beliefs and outlook on the world. I encourage everyone reading this to take time to seek out and connect with people who aren’t like you. Find the neighbor who doesn’t have the same political sign out in the yard as you, goes to a different church or came from a different background.

We live in a heated political climate because we have forgotten how to listen. Listen to the other side. Really try to understand why they see the world the way they do.

Will technology be our salvation, downfall or neither?

Technology alone, neither. Technology mixed with greed, our downfall. Technology will continue to evolve, and humanity will continue to find a way to take advantage of others by using it. But we also must not dismiss it. Technology has given us so many new ways of connecting, new ways to reach the unreachable and effective solutions to shrink the equality and economic gap. For example, the internet has made the world a smaller place and allowed us to increase our productivity tenfold.

But undeniably, it’s also divided us and given evil a place to congregate and connect. Yet I believe the positive effects the internet has given society far outweigh any negative effects. We must continue to use technology responsibly and learn, adapt and seek better solutions when we recognize a negative impact.

Batman or Superman?

I’d be lying if I said I was a superhero fan and could really give you a great answer for this. I did a quick Google search to see where everyone else landed when faced with this question. I considered reading several responses and giving an educated response to this question. But the first thing I read was Superman is a symbol of hope. So as an eternal optimist, that’s all it took to convince me.

Hope is one of the most powerful survival tools and an effective way to unify people. It’s why politicians build entire platforms around it. It’s what drives each of us to face tomorrow. So Superman or Batman? I choose hope.

What is your favorite genre of music and why?

I’m unbiased when it comes to music genres. I simply like good music that balances creativity with connect-ability. My playlists typically bounce from a good worship song to a trendy Top 50 hit and then to a movie soundtrack. However, my favorite artist right now, Card Club, features Hiland grad Charlie Schlabach. Check them out on Spotify.

Change one characteristic of your hometown — what would it be?

I grew up in Holmes County (the small town of Trail). I have since lived in Wooster and now Fairlawn. Looking back at what caused me to move away from my hometown, I think the answer is multi-faceted. Holmes County is filled with endless small businesses, which is wonderful for the local economy. However, the professional opportunities for a college graduate looking to grow in their marketing career soon hits a dead-end.

Instead, I found my home at P. Graham Dunn in Dalton, which offers the perfect blend of small-town family and a growing business with opportunities as large as your ambition.

If you were arrested with no explanation, what would your family and friends assume you had done?

If I was arrested with no explanation, my friends and family would obviously assume they had the wrong guy. But if I must provide a reason, I would say my friends and family would assume my arrest had something to do with my reckless, live life at 120 mph (literally and figuratively) mentality or my stubborn, “I hate change” personality. I’m typically a rule follower up until I crawl into the driver’s seat. Then, suddenly, I become an aggressive, pedal-to-the-metal driver who refuses to be outdriven.

Maybe I’m just looking to make up for lost time after the countless hours I spent clip-clopping along in the back of a buggy during my early days as an Amish child. Or, perhaps, I sat behind one too many tourists during October in Amish Country. Regardless, I’ll see you in traffic court.

Melissa Herrera is a columnist, published author and drinker of too many coffees based in Holmes County. You can find her book, “TOÑO LIVES,” at www.tinyurl.com/Tonolives or buy one from her in person (because all authors have boxes of their own novel). For inquiries or to purchase, email her at junkbabe68@gmail.com.