Friday, September 30, 2016

That’s the Ticket! Cleveland Indians Tickets!

Illustration scanned from a Brilliant Electric Signs ad from a 1968 scorecard
The Cleveland Indians clinched the American League Central title this week. So naturally, I’m feeling kinda nostalgic about going to see the Indians play down at the old Municipal Stadium back in the 60s and 70s with Dad and my brothers.

I first wrote about going to those games back here.

Since that post, I discovered that I had a bunch of ticket stubs from those games.

As I explained before, the tickets were free as part of a Cleveland Press promotion that rewarded students who received straight A’s.

The seat locations of the free tickets were usually kinda crummy, but you could upgrade the tickets to better ones, which Dad always did.

It looks like we saw at least one game each year from 1968 to 1971, when we saw two.

The games were:
• August 29, 1968 – Indians vs Minnesota (a loss, 3-2)
• July 26, 1969 – Indians vs Minnesota again (a win, 6-3)
• August 29, 1970 – Indians vs California Angels (a win, 14-1)
• July 31, 1971 – Indians vs Oakland Athletics (a loss, 9-1)
• August 21, 1971 – Indians vs Chicago White Sox (a win, 9-4)

It turns out that the tickets from the August 29, 1968 game versus Minnesota correspond with the battered Indians scorecard that I saved all these years.
I scanned in a bunch of ads from the scorecard back here, here, herehere, and here.
But the best ad is still the one from radio station WERE that includes this illustration (below), in which Chief Wahoo apparently used a player from the opposing team for batting practice.
For more Chief Wahoo fun, you can revisit my post about the 1949 Cleveland Indians Sketch Book.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Tale of Two Miss Duskeys

Yesterday I mentioned how I instantly recognized my first grade teacher in the collection of photos of Lorain City School teachers and administrators. In the caption, she was identified as Miss Anita Duskey, but I knew her as Mrs. Pierce.

Mrs. Pierce’s family was well-known to many Lorainites. Her father was Walter Duskey, who with his brother Ed ran the Duskey Brothers service station at 19th & Broadway.

One of Ed’s daughters was an elementary school teacher too: Miss Delores Duskey.

Here’s a 1948 Lorain High School Scimitar yearbook photo of Anita and Delores when they were both juniors.

And here they are a year later as seniors.
Mrs. Pierce started her teaching career at Larkmoor in the mid-1950s, moving over to Jane Lindsay by 1960 and then Masson a few years later. Dolores Duskey ended up at Masson at the same time as well. It's nice that the two cousins could work together.

I ended up at Masson because my family moved from W. 30th Street to Skyline Drive in December 1965. It was right in the middle of first grade for me, so it was fairly traumatic to leave Charleston Elementary (and Miss Reiber) behind.

But Mrs. Pierce was very kind. She helped me adjust to my new school and classmates, and soon I felt right at home at Masson. So I have pleasant memories of her as my teacher.

Here’s my class picture.
Mrs. Pierce enjoyed a long career as a teacher in the Lorain City Schools system, retiring in 1998 after 42 years of service.

She passed away in May 2002 at the age of 70. You can read more about her and her family in her obituary here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lorain Gets Ready for School – September 1956

Here’s a photographic look at Lorain getting ready for the start of the school year 60 years ago this month.

It’s a full-page of photos with a back-to-school theme showing teachers, school officials and students that ran in the Lorain Journal back on September 1, 1956.

There are plenty of names that might ring a bell with my readers. Here’s a roll call of the people in the photos:

Students include: Janet and Joyce Vick of 3343 Reid Avenue; Bonnie Rae Leatherman of 3455 Reid Avenue; Janet and Tom Stafford of 2319 Cleveland Blvd.; Lorain High students Dennis Ferrence, Lenore Anthony, Barbara Beck and Walt Bandersky.

Larkmoor custodian Michael Gidich is featured.

Principals include: Larkmoor Principal P. W. Ryan and his secretary Kitty Sheen; Lorain High Principal Ralph Holder.

Larkmoor School Librarian Bertha Pekare and her friend Mrs. Pauline Rodgers appear in one photo.

There’s only one teacher shown in the photos, but I’m glad the photographer chose her. That's because a decade later, she was my first grade teacher at Masson Elementary. I immediately recognized her without even reading the caption.

She’s identified as Miss Anita Duskey in the photo, but she had a brand new name by the time I became a member of her class.

We’ll learn more about her – and her cousin – tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lorain Junior High Schools Benefit Football Game – Sept. 27, 1946

Ad from the Wednesday, September 25, 1946 Lorain Journal
It was 70 years ago today that a special football game was played in Lorain. Lorain’s four junior high schools at that time – Longfellow, Whittier, Irving and Hawthorne – competed in the Junior High School Medical Fund Benefit football game.

The ad above appeared a few days before the game in the Sept. 25, 1946 Lorain Journal.

It was an intriguing idea designed to encourage community involvement for a good cause. Longfellow took on Whittier in the first quarter, and Irving battled Hawthorne in the second quarter. The losers of these two match ups competed in the third quarter, and the winners met on the gridiron in the four quarter.

Lorain High School’s marching band entertained at halftime.

The ad that appeared the day of the game made me chuckle. Unlike the first ad that depicted a fresh-faced young player, this one featured a more mature player with a five o’clock shadow to rival Fred Flintstone’s.
Seventy years later, a lot has changed in the Lorain school system.
Lorain is back to one high school again. There are no longer junior high schools. The Whittier and Irving names are no more. Hawthorne is now an elementary school (K-5) and Longfellow is a middle school (6-8).

Monday, September 26, 2016

What was playing at the Palace on Sept. 26, 1946?

Seventy years ago today, Lorain’s Palace Theater offered none other than the Marx Brothers – Groucho, Chico and Harpo – starring in A Night in Casablanca

It was the comedy team's swan song, the last real Marx Brothers movie, and a pretty good one at that.

The above ad ran in the Lorain Journal on September 25, 1946.

The movie ads are kinda funny, with the middle-aged Brothers leering at Lois Collier, although it has nothing to do with the plot. It was just part of their "girl-hungry” shtick, which would probably be seen as politically incorrect today.

Here’s an amusing clip of the Brothers in action from the movie. Chico and Harpo are trying to “protect” hotel manager Groucho by making sure his dinner isn’t poisoned – by eating it for him, among other things.

I like the line in the movie ad about the film: “THE BIG LAUGH LORAIN NEEDS.” Lorain could use a few laughs now, too!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Brookside High School Gets a New Scoreboard – Sept. 15, 1966

Just in time for Friday high school football, here's an article and accompanying photo that ran in the Lorain Journal on September 15, 1966. Although the new Brookside High School would not be open for another year, the school had just purchased a new scoreboard for their new athletic field. Here's the story.

Brookside Students Start Drive for Scoreboard

SHEFFIELD – Brookside High School students will canvas the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake area this weekend to raise money for the new scoreboard in the athletic field.
They will sell a six-pack of Pepsi-Cola starting Friday in an effort to raise money to pay for the new scoreboard.
THE STUDENTS last year decided it was time for a new scoreboard. The old board could only be operated manually by students placing the score and quarter signals on the board.
Persons in the stand did not know how much time was left in a given quarter or what the down or yardage situation was.
Last spring the students formed a backers club to promote Brookside High.
JAMES SALISBURY, high school principal, purchased a Scoremaster scoreboard from the M.D. Brown Co. in Niles, Michigan.
Salisbury contacted several beverage firms in an effort to raise money to pay for the new board.
The scoreboard was installed by the Brookside Athletic Booster Club. Cost of the scoreboard was $1,649 plus $252 for cable.
IF THE STUDENTS sell all of the Pepsi on hand, they will raise some $1,500. Donations toward the purchase of the board will also be accepted and can be sent to Salisbury at the high school office.
Salisbury said the new football field was used for the first time last Saturday. The parking lot is almost complete and the fence surrounding the field has been installed except for a few feet.
The press box was built and paid for by the Brookside Athletic Boosters, Salisbury noted.
The next home game is on Sept. 24 against Buckeye. It is the first Inland Conference game and will start at 2 p.m., he added.

The 1967 Brookside High School yearbook included a photo and small blurb about the new scoreboard.
Pretty nice of Pepsi to donate the pop for the students to sell. I may have to toast the company with a Pepsi Made With Real Sugar (my one addiction) tonight!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Head on Dad’s Work Bench

Back in the days before the idea of luxurious man-caves was even hatched, the men of the Greatest Generation had no private oasis at home to which they could retreat in solitude. The only place where they could get a little peace and quiet away from their family was a corner of the garage or the cellar, where they could putter in peace at a workbench.

For years (at least until he and Mom became empty nesters), that’s all Dad had – his workbench in the basement. That was his private space. And that’s where many of the few personal items and knick-nacks that he accumulated during his life ended up.

Dad just didn’t have a lot of stuff. He didn’t collect anything, and never bought stuff just to have. The few items he saved were mostly things that had been given to him, or items he didn’t know what else to do with. Almost all of it would have fit in a shoebox.
One of the things he did save was this unmarked, grinning clay bust (above and at right). Dad told me that it belonged to Grandpa Esterle. It sat on or near his workbench for years.

For a long time, I had no idea what it was or what you were supposed to do with it. What was that hole in the top for, anyway? Eventually I figured out it was a predecessor of the popular Chia pet of the 1970s.

As he got older, Dad eventually starting giving away his stuff to us kids, and I ended up with the grinning head. From time to time, I display him on my bookshelf. Recently, I wondered: Where’d this thing come from originally? Who manufactured it?

Well, thanks to the internet, I now have a few ideas. Recently on a few different websites, I found the ad below for Paddy and his growing hair. There are other ads where he’s identified as Paddy O'Hair.

Dad’s bust isn’t identical to Paddy, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s his new name. They’re similar, but Dad’s has an indented ridge above his upper lip for a grass mustache. Dad thought that perhaps he’s supposed to look like Clark Gable.

Canadian illustrator Ian Phillips collects these “seed heads” and also has accumulated some cool vintage ads for them. (Click here to visit his blog.) This ad (below) from his blog shows some similar novelty items, which were manufactured right here in Ohio by the Robinson-Ramsbottom Pottery Company of Roseville, Ohio. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dad’s seed head was manufactured in Ohio as well.

Anyway, unlike Dad, I have way too much stuff and need to downsize, as a move is in my future. But somehow, I think I’ll always make room for Paddy.