Friday, June 15, 2018

Father’s Day Ad Mystery – Solved?

Back in 2013, I posted the Father’s Day ad above for Hart’s Jewelry Company. The 1954 ad promoted the Shavex electric shaver, and featured an unidentified model who I referred to as a Marilyn Monroe look-alike.

It bugged me that I couldn’t identify the model, who I assumed was an actress. Since Der Bingle (Bing Crosby) was associated with Shavex, I speculated that perhaps one of his Hollywood pals did the ads as a favor. But I was unable to come up with anybody.

Fast forward to a few months ago.

I was watching a Kirk Douglas movie (Ace in the Hole) that I’d never seen before, when I noticed that the female lead looked strangely familiar. “THAT’S HER!” I exclaimed as I practically did a spit-take with my morning coffee.

Sure enough, the wife who gets caught up in a reporter’s unscrupulous scheme to exploit her husband (who is trapped in a mine) was the same woman in the Shavex ad: Jan Sterling. It had to be, with those sad eyes and distinctive, narrow nose.

Need more proof? Here are a few glamour shots for your enjoyment and/or perusal.

She could really change her looks with a simple tilt of her head or a different hairdo. If you Google her name, you’ll find that she looks like a different person in every photo.
Anyway, Jan Sterling was in my one of my favorite John Wayne non-Westerns, The High and the Mighty. You can see her a few times in the movie’s trailer.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Vintage Father’s Day Ads

Father’s Day is this Sunday, so here are a few vintage ads with that theme from the pages of the Lorain Journal. They’re all amusing in the way that they portray a typical Dad.

First up – appropriately enough in view of last week’s blog series – is one for The Hoop. The ad featuring a cigar-smoking “Pop” ran in the paper on June 14, 1958.

Ten years later, Harry’s Men’s Wear ran this ad in the Journal on June 6, 1968. The ad features a photo of Harry himself, as well as another smoking Papa (only this time he's puffing on a pipe).
Gee, were fathers always depicted as slaves to nicotine in these types of ads?
Not in this illustration (below) that ran at the top of an ad for Muir’s Self Serve Drug Store, which ran in the Journal on June 12, 1958. This Dad is king for a day and tobacco-free.

So what gifts did the Muir Scotsman help the little tykes pick out? 
Well, the ad included special prices for a variety of gift items, including leather wallets, Paper-Mate Capri Pens, Pocket Watches, Old Spice, Kodak Brownie Movie Cameras, and – you guessed it – cigarette lighters, cartons of popular cigarettes (Camel, Chesterfield, or Old Gold) and Famous Falcon Goo-les Pipes.
So here’s an early Happy Father’s Day greeting to all you Dads out there, including my two brothers (who I think would agree that they had a good role model).

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New Name for Giant Tiger – June 14, 1969

The Giant Tiger department store (later, Gaylord’s) in Lorain has been another one of those recurring topics on this blog over the last nine years.

I covered the store’s August 1967 Grand Opening here, as well as its destruction during an April 1974 wind storm here. I wrote about the store’s curious use of Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger mascot in their advertising here, and featured some readers’ reminiscing about the store here. Lastly, I posted a few Halloween ads, including this one from 1968.

So it’s appropriate to post this article (below), which captures the moment when Giant Tiger became part of the Gaylord’s family of stores. It appeared in the Lorain Journal on June 14, 1969.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Half-Days Coming to Masson – June 5, 1969

Masson as it looked when it opened in 1959.
Back in the late 1950s, Lorain’s west side was experiencing a boom as farmland gave way to new homes for young, middle-class families.

Since many of these families had young children, Masson Elementary was built – opening in time for the 1959-60 school year. Masson Junior High followed in the fall of 1966.

Unfortunately, there still was a problem of overcrowded classrooms. As a creative solution, the decision was made to schedule half-day sessions at Masson Elementary.

The plan was explained in the article below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on June 5, 1969.

I remember those half-day sessions well, as they took place when I was in fifth grade in Mrs. Grego’s class. The main thing I remember is that half of my classmates that I knew from first grade to fourth were suddenly M.I.A. I seem to recall that it was mainly the bunch that lived over in the Sherwood Allotment area.
By the time sixth grade rolled around, the new addition to Masson Elementary was open, with its newfangled movable classroom walls. While these walls provided some flexibility, it also made it easy to hear what was going on in adjacent classrooms.
Today of course, all traces of Masson Elementary (as well as the junior high) have been erased, and replaced by grass.

Monday, June 11, 2018

St. Mary High School Final Graduation Class – June 1969

A recent view
School’s out for summer, so it’s a good time to feature a few vintage school-related articles with that theme from the pages of the Lorain Journal.

Today’s story is from the June 4, 1969 edition of the paper. It’s about the final graduating class of St. Mary High School in Lorain. (The school’s replacement – Lorain Catholic High School - was to open that fall.

Here’s the article (below) as it appeared in the paper. Click on it for a readable version.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Hoop on West Erie – Then & Now

Photo courtesy of Richard C. Head
To close out my weeklong look back at the restaurants owned and managed by Richard W. Head, I thought I’d give the only former Hoop Drive-in still standing the “Then & Now” treatment. It’s located down at the southwest corner of West Erie Avenue and Leavitt Road.

Above you see it in its heyday. The distinctive angled roof really gave it a modern appearance.

I remember the restaurant from its Manners days. It's where we brought our straight-A report cards to receive a free Big Boy, when that promotion was running in the late 1960s.

As I noted back on this post, Manners abandoned this location in the early 1970s. A variety of restaurants then followed, including Tudy’s Coffee Shop; Bonnie’s Place; Antigoni’s; The Fish Shanty; Pete’s Family Restaurant.

Today the former Hoop Drive-in is still the home of the popular Beachcliff Diner. The parking lot is really jammed on Sunday mornings.

The restaurant should consider removing the faux mansard roof and window inserts. It would really create a nice retro vibe for the place.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Restaurants of Richard W. Head – Part 4

The Hoop Drive-in on West Erie
(Photo courtesy of Richard C. Head)
As I noted in a past series on the Hoop Drive-in, the popularity and success of Richard W. Head’s homegrown restaurant chain attracted the attention of the Manners organization in Cleveland.

(It probably didn’t hurt that the “Sooper Hooper” double-decker burger was similar to the classic Big Boy sandwich.)

By 1961, Manners had purchased the original Hoop Drive-in on Henderson Drive.

1962 Lorain phone book ad
Three out of the four remaining locations (including an Elyria outlet on Bridge Street) followed, leaving one Hoop restaurant on North Ridge near Clinton Avenue. Richard W. Head consequently joined the Manners organization as an associate.

But that’s not the end of the story. Even before the Manners chain eventually disappeared entirely in the late 1970s, Richard W. Head was back at work at the restaurants he built. The 1975 city directory listed him as the manager of Poor Richard’s Pub at the original Hoop Drive-in location. And the former West Erie Avenue Hoop that had become a Manners Big Boy briefly became a Hoop again in 1975.

In September 1975, Richard W. Head purchased Tudy’s Restaurant on 254. He also developed a small chain of Tudy’s Restaurants, using the former Hoop/Manners location on West Erie and the Manners at 2173 N. Ridge Road.

Looking back, Richard W. Head successfully owned and operated restaurants in the Lorain area over three decades. It’s an achievement that we’ll probably not see again soon, especially during a time in which consumers tend to favor national chains, making it a challenge for locally owned restaurants to survive.

In an email, Richard C. Head explained how his father’s restaurants played an important role in his life.

"All of my family worked in those restaurants in our teen years and they were the foundation of our family’s financial well being, as well as a training ground for all of us regarding how to work hard in this life."

As for his father, Richard noted, "He was a unique man who taught us all how to conduct our lives for the greater good. 

"Thanks for keeping his legacy alive!”