Friday, November 25, 2016

Buckeye Time at Curley’s Market – 1948

Tomorrow’s the big game: the Ohio State Buckeyes (my Alma Mater) vs. Michigan. So it’s a good time for this post, which was initiated by an email that I received earlier this year from regular contributor Rick Kurish.

Rick wrote, "Since I believe you attended the Ohio State University, I'm sure that you have seen the humble Buckeye nut put to many different uses. Here is one that I ran across recently.

"In the Chronicle-Telegram of Oct 14, 1948 the attached ad from Curley's Market enlisted kids to collect Buckeyes and turn them in at the market for cash.”

Here is the ad Rick is talking about (below).
Rick noted, "Since the nuts are not edible, I was at a loss to explain why the market would buy them. A brief search of later papers failed to mention anything further. I assumed that the nuts had something to do with a sales promotion, or maybe Ohio State, and forgot about it.”

Fortunately, Rick solved this mystery with a little research.

"Some months later I ran across another "Buckeye Time" ad in the C-T of Sept 22, 1949 which explained  the reason for the first ad a year earlier,” Rick explained. "The Buckeyes were apparently to be made into keychains to be passed out at The Lions Club International convention in New York City as reminders of the "Buckeye State" of Ohio.”
Rick also found out a little about the man behind the buckeye contest.
“The owner of Curley's Market was predictably a high officer in the Lion's International. His name was Erwin C. Baum (aka Curley Baum) and he was Governor of District 13E of Lions International.
Rick did have one question. "I have a hard time visualizing how a Buckeye nut would be incorporated with the Lion's Club logo into a functional keychain. I wonder what they looked like?”
I looked around on the internet, but there were no surviving keychains to be found. But I’m guessing they were manufactured very inexpensively – possibly with no Lions Club logo – and perhaps just looked something like this. 
Maybe one of the actual Lions Club keychains still exist, and its owner will drop me a line.
By the way, the buckeye shown at the top of this post came from Lakeview Park. I filched it at the time of the General Gillmore marker dedication.
Actually, I swiped two that day. I didn’t know they were poisonous and (gulp) put one in with the peanuts in my squirrel feeder. It disappeared along with the other nuts.
I just hope my squirrel pals are more informed than me.

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