During the workday, Tim Krugman’s job had its more unpleasant moments.
“For me, that’s dealing with people on a daily basis; it’s not always on the best of terms,” Krugman said.
That’s because, until last week, Krugman was the manager of Avon zoning for the making sure buildings and construction were up to code.
“When you’re telling people ‘no’ it’s not always pleasant,” he said.
For 13 years, Krugman was responsible for maintaining the zoning code, which underwent a massive change in 2001, after the building boom began in Avon.
“That was a huge step,” Krugman said, acknowledging like that many small towns that have undergone rapid change, “old Avon” and “new Avon” did not always see eye to eye, with some residents resisting change. “The changes have been staggering.”
That’s all part of Krugman’s history now. After 50 years in the work force, Krugman, who said he did enjoy his job--and especially the people in Avon's administration--retired this week and will be moving back to Minnesota, where he was born and raised.
What those outside city hall may not realize is that their zoning administrator might know Avon’s building codes well, but he knows fiddling even better.
Krugman, who lives in Elyria and is the father of Avon police detective Kevin Krugman, has been fiddling for 35 years.
"It started as a hobby," Krugman said. “I played in numerous bands as a bass player in 60s and 70s. I wanted out of clubs. In 1976 a friend gave me a fiddle.”
He never looked back and has since become an expert at what he calls the “single most difficult instrument” to learn. Now he plays every day after work and competes and performs regionally.
“It’s ‘roll back the rug’ music,” he said. “We call it ‘barn music,’ like polkas. In the old days they would literally roll back the rugs and dance.”
He also specializes in Civil War music and has played at events attended by Avon Lake Councilman David Kos, a Civil War re-enactor.
“I’ve been at a number of events with Dave; we’re in the same unit,” Krugman said.
Every year he and Kos speak to students at Learwood Middle School.
“I join him every spring and we give a presentation at Learwood after their week-long study on the Civil War. We’re speaking as though the war just ended.”
He’s also adept at contest fiddling at local, county and state fairs, where he’s won several state championships. Contests require him to demonstrate three styles of fiddling including a hoe down, waltz and tune of his choice. He’s finished second twice at the Ohio State Fair and finished first at the Minnesota State Championships.
This past August, he took second in the senior division at the Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships. In mid-December, he was entertaining his peers at the Avon City Hall's holiday party. Now officially retired, Krugman said he will continue to play, even after moving back to Minnesota, where he once operated a business.
“I bought a place north of Duluth, near the Canadian border,” he said. “I’m an outdoors person; I love fishing and being in the woods.
“It took 50 years to get to this point.”