Here is a photo of what the Admiral King Marching Band looked like back in the fall of 1976, from another old football program that I saved. Unfortunately, I missed this photo shoot, but one of this blog's Followers is in there! (Click on the photo for a larger version!)
I still think the current version of the AK band has shrunk over the years. In this 1976 photo, there are more than 120 people carrying musical instruments; in the photo on the current band's website, I count only about 75.
I wonder if they still have enough band members to spell out Script King?
Here's what the 1974 version of the Admiral King Marching Band looked like, scanned from the small photo in the old football program. (Click on it to see a larger view so you can locate your old band pals.) This blogger and at least one Follower is in there somewhere!
For me, marching band was the best part of high school. Leading the band that fall was Drum Major John Venzel, who now has a very successful Pediatric Dentistry practice in Avon, Ohio. Click here to visit his website.
What does the Admiral King Marching Band look like these days? Click here to visit its website! I'm not sure... but it seems to have shrunk!
Fall is only a few days away - so that means it's time for high school football! Hard to believe but it's already Week 4. (Admiral King plays Sandusky tonight at George Daniel Field.)
Every couple of years I drag the wife over to George Daniel Field to take in a game on a Friday night. I mainly want to hear what the Admiral King Marching Band sounds like these days and if they are using the same drum cadences from thirty years ago.
I dug this old football program from 1974 out of storage, and next week will present some of the goodies inside this one and some of the other ones I saved! There's plenty of great ads, photos, etc. (Hmmm.... there might even be a photo of this blogger and a Follower.. or two!)
Summer is almost over, and soon Cedar Point will wrap up another season.
After all that blogging about Cedar Point back in June, I forgot to mention one of the best things about the place... delicious Berardi's French Fries! You could get them at Cedar Point from 1942 until 1978 at their stand.
After Cedar Point chased out all the mom-and-pop food vendors, the Berardi family opened up several restaurants in Erie County featuring their fries. My wife and I go to the one in Huron on US 6 right next to the bridge. To visit their website, click here.
Old timers will remember that before the restaurant became Berardi's, it was a root beer drive-in. To rekindle memories of that place, click here.
Made a trip out to the Aut-O-Rama Drive-in theater over the weekend. It's always a good time, even when the movies stink (as they did this time.) But even if the movies are lousy, there is always the great commercial for Pic insect repellent to look forward to (see screen grabs at right.)
The Aut-O-Rama has been out there by the turnpike exit in North Ridgeville since 1965. I've actually been to it more since I was an adult, since the drive-in of my youth was either the Lorain Drive-in on US 6 or the Tower Drive-in on Lake Avenue. But they're both long gone.
Actually, I always enjoy the timeless atmosphere of the drive-in more than anything else, including any movie that might be showing. Sitting under the stars in lawn chairs is pretty relaxing and very similar to camping. Don't miss your chance to pay a visit to the Aut-O-Rama as the season is winding down.
For a link to the website of the Aut-O-Rama Drive-in, click here. (The Overview page has some nifty information about the history of the place.)
Yesterday I mentioned how the advertising mascot Willing "Willie" Water had lapsed into the public domain because the American Water Works Association had let his copyright expire. As a result, any water utility in the country is free to use him in whatever manner they choose.
A quick search on Google shows that Willing Water is still out there, working behind the scenes in water departments all over the country. (Click on the above image to see a larger version.)
As the official advertising mascot of the American Water Works Association since the 1940s, Willing Water was once almost as visible as Reddy Kilowatt in his heyday.
One of the most popular uses of Willing Water was on the ubiquitous "Water At Your Service" logo. It was used all over the country by various water utilities. The logo is still used on Water Department trucks in my town, Sheffield Lake.
Willing Water was featured in his own comic book in 1966, as well as a cookbook that same year. So what happened to Willie since then?
In the 1980s, the American Water Works Association quietly discontinued his use and decided to let the copyright lapse as well. That means that even though Willing Water is now more or less an orphan, water utilities are free to use him as they see fit.
Here's a little something I picked up at the Rural Lorain County Water Authority booth at the Lorain County Fair a few weeks ago. It is a leak detection kit consisting of dye tablets used to find leaks in toilets – but that's not why I'm interested in it.
I'm interested in it because the cover of the kit features a classic advertising mascot, Willing Water or "Willie Water" for short. (Gee, the Lorain County Fair seems to be a good place to find ancient advertising mascots named Willie!)
Willing Water was created by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in the late 1940s to increase awareness of the behind-the-scenes service that water utilities provided. He had a water droplet for a head that overshadowed his stick-figure body. He also had an upturned collar, similar to a butler's uniform, that gave him a formal look appropriate for a servant to the public.
Member utilities of the AWWA were given clip art of Willling Water to use in their advertising or as they pleased. They were even allowed to redraw him in other poses as long as they preserved his basic features and included the letters AWWA. In the 1960s, the AWWA even made available a three-dimensional Willing Water "head" that could be worn for publicity photos.
Here is the rest of the story regarding Willie Wiredhand.
Originally the National Rural Electric Cooperative had wanted to use Reddy Kilowatt as their mascot, but were refused by Reddy's creator and owner, Ashton B. Collins(see my blog about Reddy's origin.)Collins felt that the government-sponsored cooperatives were "socialistic". Not only did Collins disallow the use of Reddy Kilowatt, but threatened to sue the NRECA if they created a mascot of their own.
The NRECA proceeded with their introduction of Willie Wiredhand anyway. So in 1953, Ashton Collins and a coalition of 109 investor-owned companies filed a lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement. The lawsuit dragged on for years before ending up in the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In January 1957, a three-judge panel issued a unanimous decision in favor of Willie.
After surviving his legal battle with the more-popular Reddy Kilowatt, Willie Wiredhand was given a trademark slogan: "He's small, but he's wirey."
Decades later, Willie still enjoys popularity as the official NRECA mascot throughout the country and all over the world.
Order your own Willie Wiredhand items through the NRECA website! Click here to enter the store.
Last week I posted a photo from the Lorain County Fair of Willie Wiredhand, the mascot for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Here is a little more information about good ol' Willie.
For more than 50 years, Willie Wiredhand has been the symbol of the NRECA. He is the creation of Andrew McLay, a freelance artist who was working at the NRECA at the time.
The NRECA had been looking for a symbol that portrayed electricity as a reliable "hired hand" and McLay began sketching ideas. He designed Willie with a light socket head, a push-button nose and an old-fashioned electrical plug for a body.
In 1951 the NRECA selected Willie as their symbol. His main purpose was to encourage members of cooperatives to use more electricity and to use it safely and efficiently. Willie consequently appeared in advertising and on leaflets, billboards, signage, letterheads, annual reports and a variety of promotional items (such as my Willie Wiredhand nodder above).
Next:Willie Wiredhand takes on the beloved Reddy Kilowatt!