Friday, July 31, 2009

Get your 1968 Cleveland Indians scorecard, here!

Okay, so the Cleveland Indians aren't so hot this year. Here's something to take your mind off their lackluster performance: a Cleveland Indians scorecard that I saved from a 1968 game against Minnesota.
Back then, my Dad would take my brothers and me to at least one Indians game each summer. That's because we used to get free tickets from the Cleveland Press for submitting school report cards with all A's. Then we would exchange the crummy freebie seats for some better ones. (We got a lot of mileage out of those report cards, because we also took them to Manners for a free Big Boy!)
It was pretty exciting for us to go to an Indians game back in the 1960s. First there was the novelty of the drive on US 6 to Cleveland. Then, once we got past Clifton Blvd., the excitement would build as we watched the old Municipal Stadium loom into view from the Shoreway.
The biggest thrill was inside the stadium as we ran up the ramp and caught a glimpse of the inside of the stadium. Wow!
We always brought our baseball gloves, hoping to catch a foul ball. But we never did.
After the game, we would loiter, hoping to see a ball player, any ballplayer, and get some autographs. We got a few that way: Vern Fuller, Tony Oliva. We would chase the players all the way up to Public Square. Thinking about it now, it seems kind of quaint.
Anyway, stop back at this blog next week as I rip the cover off this 1968 scorecard (not literally, of course) to show you some of the goodies inside!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Digging around the old box of photos Part 4

While looking at the rubble that used to be Lorain High School's gymnasium, I thought about the good old days when Lorain could support three high schools. I remember that when Admiral King played Lorain High, it was like Ohio State playing Michigan. The two schools truly hated each other. (Even their marching bands hated each other.)
   I've been out of high school more than 30 years, so I don't know if the same kind of rivalry currently exists between Admiral King and Southview. I kind of doubt it.
   Even though I'm not particularly upset right now with Lorain High School being demolished, I will get my turn someday when the wrecking ball swings towards Admiral King; it sounds like that is the tentative plan: to consolidate both current high schools at a brand new high school at the site of the old St. Joseph Hospital. Whether that ever happens or not remains to be seen.
   Anyway, I dug this old photo out from August 1995. It shows the outside of George Daniel Field the way it used to look, with the big, manly painted block letters that spell out ADMIRALS - SAINTS - STEELMEN. (Click on it for a larger view.) I like it better than the current signage (at right).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last Call for the Lorain High School Mascot

Late last week I stopped by to see how the demolition of Lorain High School was going and to snap a few pictures. (Sorry, I went to Admiral King, so the whole demolition scene wasn't particularly poignant to me, other than to seem like the waste of a good building.)
   One of the neat thing about demolitions is seeing if anything interesting is exposed when a wall is removed. Sure enough, a large graphic of the Lorain High School mascot was visible, glaring down and seemingly expressing his disapproval of the proceedings. (Click on it for a larger image.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lorain Creamery: Scoop 5

It seems that the Lorain Creamery hung on as long as it could. A 1983 ad (above) still advertised home delivery. But by then, having a milkman come to your home was an anachronism.
   Both the Creamery and the Parlour were still in the Lorain phone book in 1987. But sadly, the Creamery disappeared from the book in 1990 with the Old English Parlour  following in the mid-1990s.
   I'm sure many Lorainites remember going down to the Lorain Creamery for those great ice cream cones. Part of the entertainment was eating your cone right there and watching the trains go by. I even remember seeing a hobo once in a while in the 1960s, riding beneath some of the trains. (Maybe they were out-of work milkmen.)
  I have fond memories of the Old English Parlour too. It was the perfect place to bring a date, although now it sounds like something out of Archie comics.
   Be sure to post your Lorain Creamery and Old English Parlour memories!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lorain Creamery: Scoop 4

A 1972 ad for the Lorain Creamery (top ad, above) reminds its customers to 'visit our parlour'. The ad also depicts the great Jersey Lane logo with the little farmer boy and cute, stubborn cow. (Click on it for a closer look.)
   The parlour - which was the Old English Parlour - didn't show up in the Lorain phone book until the mid- 1970s. It had its own entrance independent of the Creamery and allowed customers to sit down and enjoy sundaes, milkshakes and other goodies instead of a just mere ice cream cone. (Apparently the Parlour had a complete menu, although I don't remember ever eating anything but ice cream there.)
   A 1975 Old English Parlour ad is shown above. There were two locations: one next to the Creamery, the other on Miller Road in Avon Lake. 
   Both locations lasted for decades. It appears the Miller Road location closed at either the end of the 1980s or early 1990s.
   But what about the Lorain Creamery and the Old English Parlor in Lorain? Stop back here for on Friday for a final scoop of this dairy diary!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lorain Creamery: Scoop 3

By 1947, Roy Deal was apparently out of the picture as only the two Gray brothers are listed in the city directory as being associated with the Lorain Creamery. A 1949 Lorain phone book ad depicted the distinctive building (see top ad).
   A 1956 ad (see lower ad) introduced a new, cleaner rendering of the building, as well as a curious swap of the phrases in their slogan. By that time there were 14 dairies in town, including Home Dairy and Cloverdale.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lorain Creamery: Scoop 2

Around 1924, the gentlemen who would turn the Lorain Creamery into something special came into the picture: Daniel Gray, Wellsley Gray and Roy S. Deal. Their names replaced that of Sumner Crooks in the directory that year.
   I have tried to determine if the Grays worked at the Creamery before they replaced Crooks (what a name!) but I was unsuccessful. All I could find out is that both Grays were students in 1919.
   Maybe someday a family member will find this website and the post the story for our readers.
   According to the city directory, the company remained at 212 Seventh Street until 1929. By the time the 1931 edition was published, the Lorain Creamery was at its well-known Oberlin Avenue location by the railroad tracks.
   A 1931 ad (with the cow) for the Lorain Creamery is shown above, along with a 1934 ad touting the benefits of buttermilk.
Next: into the 1940s and 50s

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lorain Creamery: Scoop 1

The Lorain Creamery had its roots in a company called the Sumner Creamery Company. I couldn't find the company in the Lorain Public Library's oldest city directory (1905) but I did find it in the second-oldest directory (1912). The 1912 ad is shown above.
   Sumner G. Crooks was listed as in charge of the company, which was located at 112 Seventh Street. By 1915, the company was listed as the Sumner Company and was located at 212 Seventh Street.
   The Lorain Creamery wouldn't show up in the city directory until 1919, as "Successors to Sumner Company".
Next: Into the 1920s and 30s

Monday, July 13, 2009

Remember the Lorain Creamery?

I recently had not one, but TWO suggestions that I do a few blogs about the old Lorain Creamery. How could I turn down a coincidence like that? I need all the interested readers I can get!
   Looking at the building on Oberlin Avenue today (above) brings back memories of some great ice cream, excellent milk shakes, and even some elementary school tours through the dairy operations.
   So stop back here on Wednesday for part one of my look back at the Lorain Creamery! I guarantee it'll be Grade A, wholesome and dee-licious.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't forget to stop by Oakie's Treehouse!

Who are these guys, and what is their connection with carpet cleaning in Lorain County back in the 1960s?
   For the answer to this question, be sure to stop by my other website, Oakie's Treehouse! There, you'll find a bunch of your old Lorain County advertising mascot buddies from great local companies dating back to the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
   So bring a bag of acorns for Oakie the Squirrel and climb up to the Treehouse for a visit!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

And the favorite classic Cedar Point Ride is...

The final tally is in and the favorite classic Cedar Point ride is... the Rotor! And here is a picture of it (courtesy of the excellent Images of America series book on Cedar Point). The book also mentions that the Rotor first appeared at Cedar Point in 1961. 
   For you young'uns that never experienced it, the Rotor used centrifugal force to hold riders against a rotating wall. The ride lasted at the park until 1984.
   I always liked this ride. It was fun but rather unnerving when the floor dropped and you were stuck on the wall, unable to move. Half the fun was watching everybody else anticipate and react to it.
   I wonder if NASA uses something like this to train the astronauts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

40th Anniversary of July 4 Storm Passes Peacefully

Over the past July 4 weekend, an anniversary occurred that received little, if any, notice. It was the 40th anniversary of one of the worst storms to hit the area – the infamous July 4, 1969 storm. Those of us that were alive when it occurred will never forget it.
   According to newspaper accounts at the time, it was a real "killer storm" that smashed Northern Ohio with a total of 11 tornadoes, as well as thunderstorms and winds of up to 100 miles per hour. When it was over, nine people were dead and many were missing.  
   Now that's a storm. Vermilion seemed to be one of the hardest cities hit, with the Lagoons flooded and house trailers floating downstream towards Lake Erie. (See above photo courtesy of the Journal.)  
    Lorain experienced probably its worst storm since the 1924 tornado. The east side was the hardest hit, with huge trees down.
   The front page of the Journal on Saturday, July 5 summarized the storm damage. In Avon Lake, the Saddle Inn's porch roof had been lifted and dropped (see above photo courtesy of the Journal.) Avon Lake Drug had smashed windows and actually experienced some minor looting. In Avon, power was still out in half the city and basements were flooded.
   According to Ohio Edison, Sheffield Lake was the hardest hit city in their service area, with Lake Road closed in spots due to tree limbs and downed telephone lines blocking the road.
   Elyria's Cascade Park was flooded, with much concern there for the bears, who managed to ride out the storm in their cages.
   The main thing I remember about the storm is my family heading down to the basement when it got bad, and that it was truly terrifying. (I don't think I've been down in a basement during a storm since then.) I also remember that we drove over to Vermilion a few days later to check out all the flooding in Mill Hollow and over by McGarvey's.
   In an age when local TV meteorologists make a big deal out of every cloudburst, it's funny to think back about a real storm that instilled real fear.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Don't forget to vote for your favorite Cedar Point ride!

If you live in Northeast Ohio, then you've undoubtedly been to Cedar Point, and probably have a favorite attraction that you remember or look forward to riding again.
   That's why I'm asking you to vote in my poll for your favorite classic Cedar Point Ride. Are you a fan of the Blue Streak, the first new roller coaster at the park in almost 20 years, when it opened in 1964? Did you enjoy getting dizzy in the gone-but-not-forgotten Rotor? Getting soaked on the original Mill Race?
   Perhaps you have fond memories of the giant German tavern dancer in the red dress that was featured on the Schwabinchen spinning ride. (Don't go to the park looking for her – she retired after the 2002 season!) Or maybe you're like me and you really enjoy the bird's eye view from the Space Spiral.
   Be sure to vote for your favorite classic Cedar Point ride in my poll (at right)! And thanks for participating!