Monday, March 19, 2018

United Polish Club – Part 1

The view this past Saturday
1968 Journal ad
One of the St. Patrick’s Day ads I posted on Friday was for United Polish Club, which was located at 17th and Long in Lorain. For decades, the Club was symbolic of Lorain’s rich ethnic heritage, and was one of many such organizations that collectively defined this working-class city.

Today the defunct club’s headquarters (above) is a forlorn site. The landmark building was declared a nuisance to public health by the Lorain Demolition Board of Appeals back in October 2013 (as reported by the Morning Journal here).

Since then, the iconic structure has been the subject of many interesting photo studies, including a great but heartbreaking series on the website, which includes links for both inside and outside shots.

Here’s another shot from Saturday.

But rather than be depressed, let’s look back at some happy times at the Club.

Tomorrow’s post will feature some of the happy hoopla surrounding the selection of the queen to reign over the United Polish Club’s 50th Jubilee, which was celebrated way back in 1963.

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day Ads – 1964 & 1968

Well, St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow so that means it’s time for the annual bit o’ blarney here on the O’ Brady Blog where I post vintage ads with that theme.

I’d been a-diggin around in the Journal microfilm from 1964 (looking for Chicken Delight ads), so the first two ads are from mid-March that year.

First up is a portion of a large ad for The Reidy-Scanlan Company. It features a nice illustration of a leprechaun pulling wads of “green” out of a shamrock-covered piggy bank.

The ad also includes details on a neat round-trip for two contest that was a tie-in with the 1964 World’s Fair.
Next up is this wee ad for Heilman’s, who was serving up the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, as well as Mulligan Stew. That’s a pretty stylized leprechaun.
By 1968, St. Patrick’s Day restaurant ads in the Journal featuring leprechauns seemed to be much rarer. Perhaps it was the tempo of the war-torn times.
But good old Harvest House Cafeteria out at Midway Mall (a favorite topic on this blog) included a small leprechaun brandishing a shillelagh in their ad that ran on March 16, 1968. 
The menu included a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner and – in case you didn’t like Corned Beef – Roast Turkey with Hot Giblet Gravy, Baked Celery Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Creamy Whipped Potatoes, Choice of Vegetable and Warm Roll and Butter. (Like I said before, it was always Thanksgiving at Harvest House!)
Other perennial blog favorite Vian’s skipped the clip art altogether.
So did United Polish Club, which will be featured on a blog post next week.
Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Passing Scene – March 1968

Here’s something I haven’t done before: present a whole months’s worth of Gene Patrick’s "The Passing Scene” cartoons in one post. All of March 1968’s strips from the Journal are presented here for your nostalgic enjoyment.

Gene seemed to really be on a roll this month with some really great, funny commentary about what was going on at that time in Lorain and the surrounding area.

It seems that at that time, Lorain was unveiling proposal after proposal of various projects (including a new civic center and arena). Gene must have been getting pretty tired of it, since nothing ever seemed to get built. The March 2, 1968 strip (below) includes a rare bit of opinion in the first panel.
The strip from March 9, 1968 (below) contains a rare instance of Gene crediting someone with the suggestion of a gag used in the strip. In this case, his fellow Journal coworker – Staff Writer Dick Panania – apparently contributed the funny mannequin gag in the second panel.
The March 16, 1968 strip (below) is unusual in that a self caricature of Gene Patrick himself appears in the last panel, in which Gene good-naturedly pokes some fun at his pal Dale Scherfling. The strip also includes a reference to the article about the proposed Sheffield Lake rec center that I mentioned here on the blog a few days ago.
The March 23, 1968 strip (below) is really great. It includes not only a spot-on caricature of Robert F. Kennedy, but a cameo appearance of our old pal Reddy Kilowatt. 
Lastly, the March 30, 1968 strip (below) ends the month with some good, old-fashioned funny gags, as well as a reference to L’Auberge du Port, a French restaurant in Vermilion.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Elyria Landmark Falls – March 1964

Here’s something that might be interesting to longtime Elyria residents. It's a photo of the stately home of Elyria lawyer King E. Fauver on Washington Avenue, being demolished to make way for an apartment complex. Another home on Washington also came down around the same time for new apartments, radically changing the neighborhood forever.

The photo and accompanying caption appeared in the Lorain Journal on March 18, 1964.

The history of the house can be traced back to at least as early as the 1920s, when it was the home of Theodore T. Robinson, the Chairman of the Board of Elyria Savings and Trust. He and wife lived there right up until around the early 1940s, when King and Annie Fauver began living there. 
This page on the Fauver, Keyse-Walker & Donovan law firm's website provides a nice capsule history of the original Fauver law firm, with photos of family members including King Fauver.

Interestingly, there's also a fast food connection with the Fauver family. John King Fauver, son of Annie and King Earle Fauver, was president of the former White Tower restaurant chain.

Today the former King Fauver property is the home of Carriage House Apartments.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sheffield Lake’s West Shore Club

Yesterday I posted a photo of Vermilion-on-the-Lake’s Historic Community Center. Well, here’s an article about Sheffield Lake’s equivalent facility: the West Shore Club. Unfortunately, at the time of the article, the building’s days were numbered.

The article ran on the front page of the Journal on March 9, 1968 and reports about a generous “mystery donor” and the plan to replace the landmark building with a new recreation/community center.

The article included a rare photo of the West Shore Club.

Mystery Donor Planning to Build
Sheffield Lake Recreation Center

Staff Correspondent

SHEFFIELD LAKE – Supposedly there aren’t any fairy godparents in the world, but the citizens of Sheffield Lake won’t believe it!

Last night, city officials revealed that an anonymous donor has come forward to build a recreation center for the city on the site of the present West Shore Club property.

The gift proposal was made public after Lorain Attorney William E. Wickens, who represents the mysterious benefactor, met with Mayor Jack Miller, Councilmen William Serian, Thomas Jordan, Santino Cambria and Law Director Dale Barnard.

PAUL STOCKERT, vice president of the club trustees, said today he would hesitate to estimate the cost of the recreation center because "the property lends itself to so many possibilities.”

Ten days ago, council passed legislation to purchase the West Shore Club for $7,500 and authorized Mayor Miller to see that the club trustees immediately received [illegible] in “earnest money” as a binder for the purchase agreement.

The scene of clam bakes, political rallies and social events, the club, located at 4575 E. Lake Road, has been a city landmark for 35 years. Fronting some 400 feet along Lake Road, the property is also 400 feet in depth and stretches 500 feet along the Lake Erie Shoreline.

“I am very grateful to Attorney Wickens and whoever he represents,” commented Mayor Miller, as he joyfully made the announcement. “The city will do everything possible to expedite the signing of the final papers on the property.

MILLER HOPES to see a recreation area on the site which will have something for people of all ages.

City Attorney Barnard already had met with Elyria Attorney H. McConnell Sadler, who represents the West Shore Club Trustees, and reports that title clearance is under way. Barnard says it will probably take about three months to gain clear title of the property.

Council President Don Smith said, “We are grateful to this unnamed donor for his generosity in helping to fulfill the dreams of many people in Sheffield Lake. I feel sure that this project will get the enthusiastic backing of our council and the people.”

Equally pleased with this “dream-come-true” development are the West Shore Club trustees, the representatives of the 360 property owners of the West Shore Allotment, who hold joint ownership of the site. Only last week, Trustee Secretary David Alston urged council to see that the club continue as a recreation area for the city. He is glad to see somebody else follow through on the trustees’ action for a community center.

COMMENTING on the donors’ action Alston said, “My feelings are that it fits the bill exactly as I described it to council. This community needs a place for civic groups to hold meetings and for our youth to meet and have some activities. It fits the bill and I’m happy.”

Today the former West Shore Club property is home to the Joyce E. Hanks Sheffield Lake Community Center.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hole-in-the-Wall Revisited

Sunday afternoon was sunny and pleasant, and a good day for a drive. So I grabbed my camera and headed out as I often do towards Vermilion on Route 6.

As I was coming up towards Baumhart Road, I watched (as usual) for the two white marker poles by the railroad tracks that indicate the location of Henry Claus’ cattle pass under Lake Road.

(Several years ago, historian and archivist Dennis Lamont provided me with a history of this historic “hole-in-the-wall” which I posted here as part of my two-part series on the Claus farm.)

On Sunday, I noticed that the underbrush that normally hides the former “hole-in-the-wall” was all cleared away, providing a rare glimpse of where Quarry Creek flows under the highway. Consequently, I couldn’t resist jumping out of my car and grabbing a few photos.

Continuing on towards Vermilion, I usually stop and drive around Vermilion-on-the-Lake. I like this area a lot, probably because it reminds me of Sheffield Lake.
The Vermilion the Lake Historic Community Center (below) is looking great these days. I wrote about it back here in 2013.
(While linking to the Historic Community Center’s website, I noticed that its photo gallery included a pretty nice photo of the building. To my surprise, it turned out to be a photo that I shot and posted on my blog back in 2013!)
Lastly, while getting ready to go south on State Route 60, I noticed a good place to go in case I ever have to find somewhere to “duck and cover.” Save a spot for me, Mayor!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kenny King's Mystery "Chick"

Since the last few days have been all about chicken here on the Brady Blog, here are a few more Kenny King's ads that I've found since my post about Kentucky Fried Chicken a few weeks ago.

Both Kenny King's ads are from the pages of the May 1963 Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. They're interesting because they contain graphic elements that seem a little at odds with the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand.

The ad above is from May 1, 1963. It features an offbeat cartoon character that resembles what the Peanuts character Charlie Brown might look like as a grown-up, with his huge, oval-shaped head.

But it's the other ad (below), from May 6, 1963 that is even more unusual.

The ad makes reference to an upcoming visit to the Cleveland area from none other than Colonel Harland Sanders himself, which is pretty cool.

But who is the comely young lady in the ad?

Is it Colonel Sanders' niece? A waitress at Kenny King's? Maybe someone will Google "Kenny King's" someday, recognize her, and post her identity.

By the way, although the Elyria location in the ad is no longer part of the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain, it’s still home to a restaurant: Lowell Street Cafe. It's located on Lowell Street at Rockfern Street. Here's the link to its Facebook page (and here's its website).