Friday, April 21, 2017

Ontario Store Expands – April 1967

Ontario Store remains one of the all-time most popular topics on this blog, with many comments left on one 2011 post by former employees, as well as shoppers who remember it with nostalgia. I also wrote about the store’s 1954 merger with Cook United here.

Well, here’s an article about how the popular store had already had to expand to meet demand in its early days at its location between Lorain and Elyria. The article ran in the Journal on April 15, 1967.

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Ontario Store Expansion Completed

The Ontario Store, well-known Greater Lorain-Elyria shopping complex, has made more changes inside than meets the eye.

A recently completed $100,000 expansion project at Rt. 254 and Elyria Avenue completed the theme of a long common front with Pick ’n Pay Supermarket. Both firms are owned by the Cook Coffee Company, headed by the late Max Friedman.

ACCORDING to Manager John Dimacchia, an eight-year veteran of the Ontario firm, “We originally offered price-competitive products only. We have now elevated quality to give our customers a wider range and price selection of the same items.”

He said although no new departments were added, “every department got a boost in individual items.”

One of the nicest things you’ll like about The Ontario Store is that you can tell clerks, cashiers and service personnel from a distance. Each wears a distinctive blue smock.

THE ONCE small parking lot has been expanded to where 350 cars now have parking spaces. Twelve checkout counters are operating on the SR 254 side and two on the Elyira Avenue entrance-exit.

The older original store has been completely remodeled.

Dimacchia said adding another 10,000 square feet “now brings the total shopping area to more than 50,000 square feet – chock-full of items high on customer priority lists.”

One example (and you’re probably too late) was brand-name golf balls at three for 88 cents.

“They’re going like hotcakes,” said the clerk as she stacked the last of them. “My goodness."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It’s That Guy Again!

It’s been a while since I posted another one of my discoveries of Ed, the Ed Tomko Chrysler Jeep Dodge mascot appearing in the pages of vintage Lorain Journals. You remember him – he was the little “everyman" who was obviously part of some kind of clip art package that the Journal owned and used from the early 1950s right into the 1970s.

In the Tomko ads, he is shown in a perpetual, toothless holler, as seen at right. Usually these ads depict him in various humorous scenarios by plunking his head on another body for zany effect.

Here on my blog, I’ve already documented five or six of his appearances in vintage ads for just about everything, including TV repair, painting contractors, new houses, furniture, and of course, new cars.

Well, here are two more examples of him quietly working to promote something. Below is a 1967 ad for the Antlers Hotel cocktail lounge promoting “Gene,” who regularly played the organ and piano there. Ed gives his thumbs-up approval. The ad ran around St. Patrick’s Day that year.
And here’s another one from ten years earlier. This ad promotes the well-remembered "Family Weekly" magazine that was part of the Journal on Saturday for so many years and was apparently a new addition locally in early April 1957.

April 4, 1957 Lorain Journal ad
Could that be Ed’s wife in the ad?
Anyway, to learn more about the history of Family Weekly and other "Sunday magazines," click here.

July 1957 Family Weekly (courtesy Ebay)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Gene Patrick’s Other Comic Strip for the Journal

Anyone who has read this blog for a long time knows that I’m a fan of the late Gene Patrick and his Passing Scene comic strip that ran in the Journal for several years beginning in the mid-1960s and right into the 1970s. At times it must seem like I’m attempting to post the entire run of the strip.

The Passing Scene was great because it commented on the happenings of Lorain County. Politics seemed to provide an endless supply of material for Patrick and his strip included funny caricatures of local politicians such as Lorain Mayors Woody Mathna and Joe Zahorec.

But Patrick must have had an urge to do a classic style strip that would feature his own material and humor, independent of any local angle. He found that outlet in a strip he started a couple years after the Passing Scene was underway.

And that new strip was called Ollie Odd. It was odd all right, and done in a gag-a-day style format.

Here are a few samples of the strip that ran in April 1967 on the 5th, 6th and 14th. This first batch was focused on Ollie’s attempts to come up with a good mode of transportation.
Perhaps it’s fortunate that Patrick's Ollie Odd didn’t take off, as its success might have deprived Journal readers of his well-remembered Passing Scene.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Paul & Bill’s Sinclair – April 1957

Here’s an ad for a service station located at an intersection that I’ve written about before. The service station was Paul and Bill’s Sinclair, located at Ohio Routes 58 and 113.

Paul Cuenin and Bill Bodnar had taken over operation of the service station located on the southwest corner of the intersection and were holding an open house of sorts. The ad for the big event ran in the Lorain Journal on April 11, 1957.

The ‘get acquainted’ event featured all sorts of prizes, including a large boneless ham and free gas. The ubiquitous Anchor Hocking glasses were also given away at the event. (J. F. Medder was giving away the same glasses at his Sinclair station in Sheffield Lake in 1957, as was Bill Thomas at his Lorain Sinclair station.)

By 1962, the service station had become Bob & Bill’s Sinclair Service. Within a few years after that, it became just plain Bob’s Sinclair.

It appears that Bob ran the station for many years, switching to the Arco brand in the 1970s and Marathon in the 1980s. It remained open right into the 1990s, when its address was officially listed as 46005 Telegraph Road.

Today, the former service station at Routes 113 and 58 is shuttered.

Courtesy Google Maps

Monday, April 17, 2017

Edna’s Restaurant – April 13, 1957

Edna’s Restaurant on Route 6 west of Lorain is one of those topics that seem to pop up on my blog again and again. Above is a full-page ad for the Grand Opening of the business that ran in the Lorain Journal on April 13, 1957.

It’s a strange ad. No photo of “the newest most modern family restaurant” – just a bunch of clip art of hands with some space-age graphics thrown in.

As you can see, even in 1957 – decades after the Lake Shore Electric went out of existence – the only address in the ad is still Stop 111 West Lake Road. But after writing about Edna’s Restaurant several times (including this most recent post), I know that the new building in the ad is what we now know as the old Tiffany’s Steakhouse next to Skate World.

Here’s another ad (below) for Edna’s that I found recently. This one ran in the Lorain Journal in the big 125th Anniversary of Lorain edition in July 1959. The ad mentions that Edna had been serving truckers since 1953, but I have no idea where the business was located then; I was unable to find any listing of Ed or Edna Mitchell in any of the older directories.
As I’ve noted in a previous post, by the time of the 1960 city directory, Edna had moved her business to the south side of the highway to a smaller building and acquired a real address: 4875 West Erie.

Why did she move her business? I don’t know; maybe she lost her lease.  I hope to find out someday, or at least find an ad that acknowledges the move.

By the way, there’s been some activity at the former restaurant building on West Erie in the last month, with a dumpster stationed outside for a while. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

The scene down at Lakeview Park on Saturday afternoon
Here’s wishing all of my readers a Happy Easter!
Nothing says Easter like an Easter Bunny scanned from a 1957 Harry Volk Clip Book of Line Art!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Loading up the Lakeview Park Easter Basket – 1957

If there’s one photo that you can count on seeing almost every year in the Morning Journal and Chronicle-Telegram at Easter, it has to be the ceremonial placement of the large, concrete eggs in the iconic Lakeview Park Easter Basket.

It’s a tradition going back decades. I posted the 1958 edition back in 2011.

Here’s the photo (below) from 1957 as it appeared in the Lorain Journal on April 20th, the day before Easter. The caption reveals that David Shukait, the man who designed Lorain’s giant concrete easter baskets, had recently received a patent for the process he used to create them.

Joe Trifiletti and Charles Camera were the egg-bearers in the 1958 photo as well.

On the day after Easter 1957, the Journal published a photo of the crowd down at Lakeview Park.

MAIN ATTRACTION – The huge basket in Lakeview Park, as in other years,
was the main objective of Lorain’s Easter paraders yesterday. Traffic in the
vicinity of the park was slowed to a crawl as thousands gathered at the basket,
including many out of town and out of state visitors.
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A lot of people took advantage of the beautiful weather last weekend to get their Easter photos early by the basket in Lakeview Park. I noticed a small crowd every time I drove by there on Saturday and Sunday.

I would guess that the Lakeview Park Easter Basket is probably Lorain’s most-loved landmark, at least by locals.

More beloved than the Lighthouse? I think so. Many residents old and new have an emotional connection to the basket due to the tradition of taking family photos in front of it. It’s a lovely ritual that seems to be growing in popularity again, year after year.

It just wouldn’t be Lorain without its giant Easter Basket. And that’s something the Shukait family can always be proud of.

Happy Easter!