Monday, October 3, 2022

Ohio State vs N. Carolina – Sept. 30, 1972

I'm enjoying the college football season so far, watching Ohio State (my Alma Mater) cream their opponents – the latest being Rutgers on Saturday. It's not that I'm a big sports fan; it's just nice to have something else occupy for mind for a while and get some relief from the stresses and problems of everyday life.

(By the way, did you know that the famous cartoon character Mister Magoo is a Rutgers alumnus? It's part of the bio that United Productions of America created for their popular cartoon star.)

Anyway, fifty years ago, Ohio State had just beaten the N. Carolina Tar Heels 29-14 on September 30, 1972. It was just the second game of tailback Archie Griffin's freshman year, and he ran for a school record 239 yards. Below is the article that ran in the Journal on Sunday, October 1, 1972.

As Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes was quoted in the article, "Archie has power, speed and a definite sense of timing.
"He's a strong 185-pounder. He's a man and a great one to coach. Actually all you have to do with Archie is throw him the ball."
The article also notes that Junior Elmer Lippert from Sandusky had a good day at tailback, alternating with Archie Griffin. "Lippert totaled 116 yards in 10 carries, prompting Hayes to consider moving starting tailback Morris Bradshaw to split end."
But as the 247sports.com website observed, Elmer would pretty remain be the back-up runner to Archie Griffin during the rest of his OSU career. "Elmer Lippert had sterling credentials and just happened to be in the wrong place when Archie came along."


Friday, September 30, 2022

Reddy for a Flameless Electric Dryer – Sept. 1962


We'll close out the month with a visit from our old pal Reddy Kilowatt, who we haven't seen here on the blog since this past May.

Reddy's power was starting to flicker in the Journal by 1972. There just wasn't a need for Ohio Edison to use him to encourage more electric usage in daily ads any more. So we'll look at things from a sixty year perspective instead, and see what he was up to in 1962, when he was still at full wattage, marketing-wise.

Back on Sept. 18, 1962, Reddy was promoting one of them thar newfangled, flameless electric dryers in his Journal ad. (It looks like the ad utilizes a piece of Harry Volk clip art, the type I used at my job as a paste-up artist when I was just launching my art career.)

Since the headline mentions the 'flameless' angle of an electric dryer, I assumed that the ad copy would play up the danger of an explosion with a gas dryer. Instead, the text points out the negative aspect of line drying, including "rain, snow, soot or dirt."

I'm with Reddy on this one. I've mentioned before how I don't remember my mother ever drying our clothes on a line since we never had one. It was a common sight in the backyards of many of our neighbors, however, when I was growing up.

As for gas dryers, I had one in my first house on Nebraska Avenue. But it seemed to take forever to dry my meager laundry.

Nowadays, Reddy would be proud of me in my all-electric condo, complete with a washer dryer combo.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

A Tale of Two Houses – Sept. 1962 & 1972

The original Lorain High School went through several periods of expansion over the decades. 

Unfortunately, the high school's location in a dense neighborhood meant that each time a remodeling project was planned, properties would have to be acquired, and homes demolished.

Two very different stories, ten years apart, about houses that would meet the wrecking ball played out in the Journal

An article (below) that ran in the Sept. 14, 1962 Journal was about a house located at 651 Hamilton and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Butler. It was described in the article as "a landmark of the city," with an impressive pedigree – having been designed by the same architect who built the Lorain Public Library on 10th Street. The article details the house's attributes, including 12 rooms, 10 clothes closets, four rooms in the basement and a full-sized attic.

(Note the mention of now retired Lorain teacher/counselor
Roger Brownson in the article about student teachers)

The Butlers had lived in the home for 37 years.

However, their house on Hamilton would have to go so that a new high school gymnasium could be built. Consequently, the Butlers purchased another fine home at 1151 7th Street.

Meanwhile it was a much different – and sadder – story ten years later when it came to John Arlington Popp and his house at 711 Hamilton. Popp was a well-known Lorain character, described in the article below as a "4-foot-11, 75-pound former used car lot owner." 

In the article, which ran in the Journal on Sept. 13, 1972, it was noted that Popp had fought the Lorain school board to keep his home. "The battle had gone on for most of the summer, in and out of the courts. But it was over for Popp yesterday. He was about to lose his home at 711 Hamilton Ave. It held 14 cats, a lot of junk and memories. It was where he was born."

In the story, the eviction is carried out. The front door is broken down, and the school board's business manager and his team help empty the house and place some of Popp's belongings in storage until he could find a new home. Popp himself is forced to stuff his pickup truck and station wagon with miscellaneous possessions. He was planning on sleeping in his car that night.

During the emptying of the house, a few of the cats escape and disappear down Hamilton Avenue.

It's a tragic tale – made even worse by the fact that Lorain High School would eventually be razed itself, just like the homes that were sacrificed for its expansion.

Like a woman (who was watching the whole sad affair unfold at the Popp residence) said, "This is a sad day for America!"

"It's the most wicked thing in history."

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John Arlington Popp had 'popped' up on this blog before. Back here, the late historian Albert Doane reminisced about Popp and his Tucker car dealership.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

New Buses for Employee Transit Lines – Sept. 1962

Sixty years ago, Employee Transit Lines, Inc. was holding a special event to promote its purchase of eight new buses to serve the people of Lorain.

Above is the ad that appeared in the Journal on Sept. 19, 1962 announcing Transit Day, during which rides were free.

Mayor Woodrow "Woody" Mathna cut the ribbon opening one of the new buses. Below is the Journal front page from Sept. 20th with a photo of the Mayor doing just that.

The occasion gave the Journal the opportunity to publish a few articles looking back at the history of mass transportation within the city of Lorain. Below is an article about the Lorain Street Railway, predecessor to the bus line. It ran in the paper on Sept. 19, 1962.

According to the article, "The Lorain Street Railway connected Lorain and Elyria and provided frequent service northward and southward originating at the National Tube Co. for the low rate of three cents.
"The frequent service of the Railway was a run every 20 minutes except during the hours immediately preceding the night and morning shifts of workmen in the steel mill, when a three to five minute schedule was in operation.
The article also briefly mentions the Lake Shore Electric interurban line, as well as the Cleveland, Elyria and Western Electric.
Another article from the same edition of the Journal looks back at horse and buggy days and the streetcar era with vintage photos. Also included on the page was a pair of photos of Employee Transit buses.
Visit Drew Penfield's Lake Shore Rail Maps website for an accurate and comprehensive history of the Lorain Street Railway and the Lake Shore Electric Railway.
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It's hard to stomach the loss of the bus lines, although I don't remember the buses in Lorain at all. But even in the late 1970s and well into the 1980s, buses were a convenient way for me to travel. I used to take a Greyhound bus home from Ohio State a few times that took many backroads, as opposed to being on I-71 all the way. In the 1980s, I took an RTA bus that left Aqua Marine in Avon Lake and went all the way to Downtown Cleveland where I worked. A few times, I even took another bus out of Downtown Lorain to get to Cleveland that picked me up right outside the Overlook Apartments.
Nowadays, most people prefer to drive themselves rather than sit on a bus. Ironically, with traffic jams and highway accidents, time is not always saved by driving one's self.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New York Central Switch Tower Mothballed – 1962

My post about the Sept. 1962 New York Central derailment at the Cooper Foster Park Road crossing reminded me that I had this NYC news item, also from 1962. It's about the New York Central switch tower at N. Lake Street in Amherst, sitting forlorn and empty.

The article ran in the August 6, 1962 Lorain Journal. As the article notes, "The switches have been ripped from the floor and the electrical instruments pulled from the wall panels. The telephone and the wire key are both gone, signaling the end of messages and of operating life at that station.

"Crews have been busy during the past year ripping up the slow-speed, outside tracks of the four-track Big Four system and upgrading the two remaining high-speed tracks."

But rather than signaling that the railroad was doing poorly, the closing of the tower and removal of tracks was all part of the modernizing of railroad operations, according to the article.

"The two tracks are only part of the longest, most modern stretch of electronically controlled double track in the world," the article noted. "When Alfred E. Perlman, NYC president, pressed a button opening the first segment of electronic track back in 1957, it was only a matter of time until the entire New York Central line was put under the central traffic control system.

"Under the CTC system, both freights and passengers run on the same tracks at a higher rate of speed than before. Freight trains speed along at 60 miles an hour and crack passenger trains do 80.

"The trains are controlled by two dispatchers in Erie, Pa. One dispatcher is in charge of traffic from Buffalo to Erie. The other guards the train movements from Erie to Cleveland.

"The control panels show the dispatchers all of the tracks, switches, cross-overs and sidings under their jurisdiction. A system of lights indicates each train and its progress over the division.

"By operating selector buttons at his control panel, each dispatcher is able to move tracks from one track to another as the situation demands.

"The new system is said to give New York Central one of the safest railroad systems in the world."

It all sounds very modern. Nevertheless, for those who enjoy the romance of the heyday of rail travel, it's all rather sad – like the photo of the empty switch tower in Amherst.

Another photo of the long-gone tower, courtesy of eBay.

New York Central Derailment – Sept. 1962


Sixty years ago, a 37-car pileup of New York Central freight cars occurred at the Cooper Foster Park Road crossing in Amherst on Saturday, September 22, 1962. 

Above is the story that appeared in the Journal on Monday, September 24, 1962.

It notes, "What had been a 127-car westbound freight train gathering speed and doing 60 miles an hour or better erupted into a mass of tangle wreckage and twisted tracks at 6:30 p.m. when a broken wheel on the ninth car of the engine struck the switch leading to the Ford Motor Company's Lorain Assembly Plant.

"The nine cars ahead kept going, ripped free of the rest of the train, but one of them derailed about a quarter-mile west of the crossing.

"Behind, the pileup continued with boxcars sliding across derailed tank cars and coming to rest piggyback in a general scramble."

It must have been a sight to see. 

"The wreckage completely tied up rail traffic and extended on either side of the track with rubble scattered into the fields below the railroad tracks," the story noted.

"Behind the strewn wreckage 82 cars which made up the rest of the train came to a standstill upright on the tracks.

"An eyewitness, Ernest Emerich, Claus Rd., who was standing on his porch when the freight derailed, said he saw a huge puff of dust and watched the cars slide together into a pile.

"Other nearby residents said the wreck didn't make much noise.

"The dust cloud was later found to be from a car loaded with buckwheat pancake flour among the wrecked cars."

The story notes that in addition to the investigation that the railroad started to determine the cause of the wreck, the Cleveland office of the FBI was also on the scene.

I've been stuck at that crossing many times over the years. It seems like every time I decide to take the "scenic way home" from Target, I get stuck by a completely stopped train there, and end up having to turn around to go back to Oak Point.

Looking west at the crossing today

Monday, September 26, 2022

From Nickel Plate to Corinthian Grill – Sept. 1962

Sixty years ago this month, Anthony Kallis, owner of the Nickel Plate Restaurant at 1120 Broadway, was getting ready to move his restaurant business a few doors to the south to a brand new building. He had owned the Nickel Plate Restaurant for 45 years.

The article above, which appeared in the Journal on Sept. 22, 1962, tells the story of Kallis and the history of his business.

It notes, "A native of Corinth, Greece, Kallis came to Lorain in 1916 and opened a small restaurant next door to this present business in a building known as the Kelly Place. The building was torn down in 1930 when Kallis moved to 1120 Broadway, next to the Nickel Plate tracks, and has remained there ever since.

Although the article infers that the restaurant would have the same name at its new location, it would receive the name Corinthian Grill, honoring Kaliss' hometown in Greece.

Late 60s/early 70s view of both the Corinthian Grill
and Golden Dragon (former Nickel Plate Restaurant)

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I did a post on the Nickel Plate Restaurant back here in 2012, and devoted several posts to the Golden Dragon (which moved into the former Nickel Plate Restaurant building in 1963) as well.