Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Woolworth’s Halloween Ad – Oct. 1963

Well, it’s Halloween – so here’s one last post dealing with vintage trick-or-treat costumes.

Above is what Woolworth’s was offering Lorainites in an ad that ran in the Lorain Journal on October 24, 1963. The ad has a nice layout featuring a prominent Frankenstein’s monster. (Like most kids, we always thought the monster itself was called Frankenstein).

There aren’t too many TV-related costumes in this ad, surprisingly.

There’s a George Jetson costume; I wonder how many little boys thought, “Gee, I think I’ll go as that much-abused, hapless button-pusher from the future who seems to get fired by Mr. Spacely in every episode?”
If you look closely at the George Jetson outfit, it looks like something Evel Kneivel would wear.

Next to George is a Ben Cooper skeleton costume featuring a Magic-Glo mask that glowed in the dark.
And here’s the ever-popular Cleopatra with a costume that also glowed in the dark. It’s on Ebay right now if you’re interested.
There’s also a Dick Tracy costume with a “Moving Mouth Mask.” That’s one gimmick that I don’t remember.
It’s kind of amusing when you realize that his mouth didn’t move too much in the low budget Dick Tracy Show made-for-TV cartoons (which we watched like everyone else). His mouth was deliberately hidden when he was talking on his two-way wristwatch radio – to save money animating it!
Anyway, Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2017

City Bank Halloween Ad – Oct. 28, 1967

You can tell that the hit TV show Bewitched had popularized the idea of an sexy witch, because that's what you get in this ad for City Bank, which would be considered somewhat sexist today. Even the headline suggests a connection with the TV series.

The ad ran in the Lorain Journal on October 28, 1967 – forty years ago.

City Bank had an interesting history and an impressive group of founders. As noted in an article in the June 21, 1955 Lorain Journal, “When the City Bank Co. was organized in South Lorain on March 2, 1899, little did the citizens here realize that the names of the organizers would in later years read like a Blue Book roster and that many of the original founders would catapult into the national spotlight in various fields of endeavors.

“Among those responsible for organizing the City Bank were A. J. Moxham, president of the Johnson Steel Company which later became the National Tube Co., Lorain Division; Pierre S. DuPont, president of the Sheffield Land Co. and later head of the great E. I. DuPont De Nemours’ extensive interests; F. A. Smythe, who was associated with the Sheffield Land Co. and later was for many years head of the Thew Shovel Co.; Judge Elbert H. Gary, chairman of the board of U. S. Steel Corporation; H. C. Ryding, superintendent  of the rolling mills here who later became head of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railway Co.; Col. J. J. Sullivan, prominent banker and businessman in Cleveland; Tom L. Johnson, founder of the Johnson Steel Company, one of the nation’s leading steel railway men and famous mayor of Cleveland.

“The bank, first known as the South Lorain Savings Co., became the first financial institution in the steel plant area. It was not until Dec. 5, 1905 that the bank changed its name to the City Bank Co.

“The first banking office was opened in the Steel Plant Block across from the steel company general office on 10th Avenue, now East 28th. Every evening, after balancing, the cash would be carried across the street to the Johnson Co. cashier’s office for safekeeping overnight and then carried to the bank each morning.

“A branch bank was opened at the Homewood Shopping Center on March 25, 1954.”

City Bank lasted until April 1984, when its shareholders voted to accept a proposed merger with Central Trust Company of Northern Ohio.

Robert Pelander, president of City Bank for nearly 40 years, passed away in November 2011.

Hills and Kmart Halloween Ads – Oct. 19, 1967

It's a tradition here on the blog to see what kind of Halloween costumes the department stores were selling in Lorain in days gone past. This time we'll take a look at 1967 – 50 years ago.

Perennial movie and TV favorites Bugs Bunny and Popeye dominate the Hills ad above, which ran in the Lorain Journal on October 19, 1967. Unfortunately the Bugs mask is probably the worst likeness of the wascally wabbit I’ve ever seen. Here’s a look at the actual mask.

I suppose the vertical slit (provided for ventilation) came in handy if the trick-or-treater wanted to sample a Necco wafer.
Popeye’s likeness is a little better, although he is sporting an impressive five o’clock shadow that would look more at home on his nemesis Bluto (or Brutus, if you prefer).

Although Bugs Bunny and Popeye would appeal to little boys, what about little girls? For them, Hills offered a Samantha costume. Bewitched, starring Elizabeth Montgomery as the beautiful witch married to a mortal, had been on the air for three years and the character was a natural to be featured as a Halloween costume.

I don’t remember Samantha wearing an actual witch’s outfit too often, although her cartoon likeness wore one in the show’s opening sequence each week.

We watched Bewitched regularly in our house (at least until the “new” Darrin arrived). We even had a Bewitched jigsaw puzzle that we labored over on at least one New Year’s Eve.

Courtesy WorthPoint®
But getting back to the Hills ad.

At least this time (unlike other years), I didn’t have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the other costumes were. Most of them are represented in this page from a vintage Collegeville costume catalog. 

Thus we know that right behind Popeye in the Hills ad is the Bride, Demon Devil and an obviously public domain Cinderella. (Why pay royalties to Disney if you don’t have to?)

Some of the same costumes featured in the Hills ad – including Bugs Bunny and Samantha – are shown in this Kmart ad, which ran in the Journal the same day.

However, we get a few that are unique to Kmart, including Secret Squirrel (one of the lesser Hanna-Barbera creations despite his voice by Mel Blanc), Green Lantern and a generic kitten.
We also get another TV character designed specifically for the girls: Jeannie (which I assume is supposed to be from I Dream of Jeannie although the costume looks pretty generic).
Strangest of all is a creepy clown, identified in the ad copy as Bozo. However, instead of the well-known and popular Bozo, he’s actually one called Bubbles.
Bubbles was ahead of his time in the sinister clown department. Just take a look at the deranged, nightmare-worthy image of him on the clothing part of the costume.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Passing Scene – October 28, 1967

To finish up the week with a chuckle, here's an October edition of Gene Patrick's The Passing Scene from fifty years ago tomorrow. (I wonder how many of these I’ve posted since 2009?)

The strip ran in the Lorain Journal on October 28, 1967 and features Patrick's funny caricature of Lorain Mayor Woodrow Mathna debating an empty chair.

There’s also a clever Halloween gag, as well as a reference to Johnny Hart's "Midnight Skulker" recurring character in the popular B.C. comic strip (shown below).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lorain Nightclub Halloween Ads – October 1963

Halloween is getting closer, so I’d better keep posting some vintage ads to put everyone in the mood.

Here are a couple nightclub ads that ran in the Lorain Journal on October 25, 1963. The first one is for a dance at the Knights of St. John on Kansas Avenue. It features some great, stylized Halloween artwork.
Mike Vidovich’s Jolly Boys provided the music. At the time of his passing in June 1977, the Journal noted that Mr. Vidovich was a native of Lorain and that he formed the Jolly Boys Orchestra in the 1930s. The paper also stated that he served with the U.S. Army Band during World War II, and had retired from the pipe shop of U. S. Steel, Lorain Works after 35 years of service as a group leader.

I’ve mentioned the Jolly Boys on this blog before, posting an ad for a 1953 St. Patrick’s Day appearance here.

According to the Lorain County Auditor website, the Knights of St. John Commandery #281 sold the Kansas Avenue building back in 2013.

Meanwhile, Sherwood Inn at 3700 Oberlin Avenue held their own Halloween wingding on the same night as the Knights of St. John. Here’s the nightclub’s ad. The Harry Herman Trio provided the music.
It looks like the black cat from the other ad wandered into this one.
I’ve featured Sherwood Inn – and its many predecessors and successors – many times on this blog since 2009. In fact, Sherwood Inn was my very first topic.
I did a partial roll call of the later businesses that called 3700 Oberlin Avenue home here. But before them, there was also the 400 Bridge Club, the Country Gardens and the infamous Penny Morgan’s Place

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bud's Gulf Station Halloween Promotion – Oct. 1963

Here's a nice seasonal ad for Bud’s Gulf Service that ran in the October 18, 1963 edition of the Lorain Journal. The station was located at the intersection of North Ridge Road (State Route 254 back then) and Pearl Road.

The free Halloween pumpkin with fill-up was a clever marketing gimmick, especially for a service station located out in the country with easy access to farm-fresh produce.

Before the move out to North Ridge Road, Bud’s was located at 3671 Oberlin Avenue in Lorain

Bud’s did not last long at the new location, however. Within a couple of years, the service station became Al & Lu’s Gulf. By 1969, it was Nick’s Gulf Service, run by Nick Varough.

By 1980, the station was still in the Varough family but was now Mid-Cities Citgo. I believe it later became a Marathon station.

Today, a gas station is still at the location. However, the days of a recognizable brand of gasoline being sold there are apparently long gone.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Teachers at Admiral King – Oct. 25, 1963

Here's something you're not very likely to see in the Morning Journal in 2017: an article listing all of the newly hired high school teachers along with their backgrounds, teaching credentials and home addresses. It ran in the Journal on October 25, 1963.

This particular article highlights the new teachers at Admiral King High School that year. Perhaps you'll recognize a few teachers. (At least one was still at King when I was there, ten years after the article was written.)

It's sad that times have changed so much that the idea of profiling new teachers in a local newspaper is just a memory. Besides the obvious privacy issues that would make the practice impractical today, families simply have more choices than ever as to where to send their students – with the public schools not always the first choice.

Looking back at my high school years, I had a lot of good teachers at Admiral King – but one of the best was Dr. Cathy Dietlin. She inspired and motivated us to do our best, and did it in a way that was upbeat and fun, thanks to her great, energetic personality.

But she was tough as well, and held her students to high standards. I still have one of the compositions that I wrote in her class; she knocked my grade down a little bit because I didn’t use the correct format for a footnote or something.

As a testament to how effective she was as an educator, I still remember the structural concepts for writing a paper that she taught us.

I had a nice email exchange with Dr. Dietlin a few years ago. She remembered me, and even recalled where I sat in her classroom! She filled me in on her post-Admiral King years. 

"After leaving the classroom, she wrote, "the next nine years were spent as a Central Office administrator for the Lorain City Schools. She served as the Executive Director of Project 419: The Redesign of Teacher Education (Ohio Department of Education), which implemented the law for all Ohio’s colleges of education requiring 300 hours of field experiences prior to student teaching for teacher education students. She was also the Secondary Supervisor for the Lorain City School District. 

From 1986-2008, Dr. Dietlin was the Assistant Superintendent for the Rocky River City Schools. But she was back in Lorain County for her next position. 

"From 2008 to the present, I have been the Executive Director of REACHigher (Lorain County P-16 Council) and am housed at Lorain County Community College.” She retired in 2012, but remains on the Board of Directors of the Lorain County Community College Foundation as Vice Chairman.

In view of Dr. Dietlin’s lifelong commitment to education, it’s only fitting that her name adorns the Dr. Cathy Dietlin Scholarship for Secondary Education Majors at Lorain County Community College.

Monday, October 23, 2017

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 50th Anniversary – October 1946

Back in October 1946, Lorain’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Reid Avenue was celebrating its 50th Anniversary of its 1896 founding. The event was featured on the front page of the Lorain Journal (above) of October 26, 1946.

As the article mentions, the church was an offshoot of St. Mary’s. It notes, “St. Joseph’s was organized back in 1896 by Rev. Fr. Charles Reichlin. Many of the old, bowed, gray-haired men and women tomorrow at church will recall that when St. Mary’s church was destroyed by fire in 1895, a group of German-speaking members petitioned for a separate parish.”

My father’s Grandpa Esterle and his family became members of St. Joseph shortly after they came to this country from Austria-Hungary in 1905, which makes sense since German was spoken in his household. (He later left the church when his young wife died, and the church thought that his three young children – my father’s mother and two uncles – would be better off in the custody of the church.)

Anyway, the beautiful church survived all the way to 2010, when, sadly, it was closed as a result of the church closings and mergers ordered by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Peanuts "Great Pumpkin" Special on TV Page – October 26, 1967

I've mentioned several times how as a kid I used to look forward to the arrival of the Journal each day. Besides the two full pages of comics to enjoy, there was the TV section, which usually included promotional photos of upcoming programs.

Above is a page from the October 26, 1967 television pages from 50 years ago this month. Besides the photo of Bob Hope (another favorite of mine) and Lucille Ball, we have a photo of the Peanuts gang. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown had premiered the previous year, but was popular enough to warrant a photo in the Journal for its second showing.

I remember seeing the special for the first time, and being confused when Snoopy had his ‘dream sequence’ as a World War I flying ace. I still have drawings that I made after seeing the special, as I tried to draw the characters from memory.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown remains my favorite Charlie Brown special, although I haven’t sat down and watched it for decades. Unlike many of the other Peanuts specials, it has no sappily sentimental or maudlin message; it’s mostly just a nice reflection of how trick-or-treating used to be in the 1960s.

Sadly, though, when I’ve stumbled upon the special on TV these days, it is so chopped up that it’s unwatchable. (Coincidentally, it was on last night, and huge chunks of the original show were missing.)

By the way, I’m old and grizzled enough to remember seeing the advertisements for Coca-Cola and Dolly Madison snack cakes that used to be in the credits. Although these promos were edited out decades ago, someone has posted them to YouTube!

And here’s a clip of the beginning of the special, if you want to be a kid again for a few minutes.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Lorain Slums Article - October 12, 1963

Over the years, I’ve driven by the John F. Kennedy Plaza in Central Lorain countless times, and often wondered what was there before the low rent public housing was built. The story below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on October 12, 1963, tells the story.

It’s interesting how the area was designated as a slum, and thus had to go to make way for the new housing development. (I wonder how much of Lorain in 2017 is actually worse than what was unacceptable and “shocking" in 1963?)


Will Soon Disappear
Slums Given Last Look By Officials

A number of city, county and state officials got their first look at shocking slum conditions in the heart  of Lorain – which soon will be a thing of the past.

Fortunately, for many, it will be their last since the block, between 17th and 18th streets, will soon be razed and a new Golden Age Housing Center built.

The tour, conducted by Ronald W. Ashley, Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority director, took in the 28 parcels of property and revealed some deplorable conditions.

Attending the tour were Dr. I. C. Riggin, city health department director; Joseph Brunotts, president of the Central Lorain Businessman's Association; George Lanzendorfer, Central Bank Co. official; Robert Oleen, Red Cross representative; Maurice Brown, state representative; J. Norman Thompson, county commissioner; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Mitchell, American Legion representatives; Thomas J. Urban, Democratic mayoralty candidate; Mrs. Rose Coleman and Mrs. Ruth Brooks, Lorain Women's Civic League representatives; and Malcolm D. Hartley, editorial page editor of The Journal.

Construction of the Golden Age Housing units is expected to start by Dec. 1, Ashley said. Appropriation cases are expected to be cleaned up in the next two or three weeks, he said.

Thirty-two of the units will be located in single-story buildings, while 144 of the units are to be in a high-rise section. The building will be the highest structure in Lorain.

There will be 27 efficiency, 144 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom and one caretaker unit.

The LMHA complex will include a 10-story, 95-foot high-rise apartment and a series of low-level units. Total cost is $2.2 million.

Courtesy of Google Maps, here's an aerial view of the complex today.

UPDATE (October 21, 2017)
Many businesses were displaced when the buildings on the west side of Broadway between 17th and 18th Streets were razed. 
They included B&H Furniture Company (1704 Broadway), Aponte Food Market (1716 Broadway), Scutt Auto Parts (1722 Broadway), Johnny’s Cigar Store (1730 Broadway), Ralph’s Auto Service (1744 Broadway), Hageman Supply Company (1750 Broadway), Dom’s Barber Shop (1756 Broadway), Janet’s Barbecue Restaurant (1762 Broadway), Koorey the Tailor (1776 Broadway) and Bob’s Donut Shop (1790 Broadway).
Scutt Auto Parts moved further south down Broadway to a location a couple of doors north of First Federal Savings. And Bob’s Donut Shop moved south as well, to a new home at 1833 Broadway.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Bicycle Bill” Schetter Article – October 1975

Here's a great "Bill Scrivo's People" feature that ran in the Lorain Journal on October 5, 1975. It profiles "Bicycle Bill" Schetter, the well-remembered man behind the Schwinn store in the Oberlin Avenue shopping strip where Willow Hardware was located.

I've featured Mr. Schetter a few times on this blog, including this post spotlighting a 1971 article.

I’ve mentioned before on the blog that my high school pal Scott Welko liked to tinker with bikes (this was before we were old enough to drive). We would take them apart, paint them, etc., necessitating many trips to Bicycle Bill’s store. I remember Bill’s pretty sister Rachel (mentioned in the article) working there at the time, and she was a little intimidating to a couple of goofy high school kids like us.
Today, Rachel and her husband Ted own and manage Bicycle Bill’s in Vermilion. Here’s the link to their company website, as well as its Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Anchor Lodge: from Hotel to Senior Home – October 1963

In view of the sad fate of the other 1950s motels along Lorain's West Erie Avenue (U.S. Route 6), it's impressive as well as fortunate that Anchor Lodge was able to make a successful transition from hotel to a rehabilitation center/assisted living residence for seniors. (Here’s the link to its website.)

How did it make the transition? The process started back in October 1963, which is explained in the article below. It ran in the Lorain Journal on October 30, 1963.

First Senior Citizens' Unit
Completed At Anchor Lodge


Completion of the first unit of a projected $250,000 residence for senior citizens was announced today by Miss Kathy Nolan, director of Anchor Lodge On Lake Erie, 3756 W. Lake Road.

The senior citizens' home, accenting group living, has been developed from the Anchor Lodge Motel, which was bought and remodeled by James Simon, Cleveland business man and real estate subdivider.

Miss Nolan said $60,000 already has been spent to remodel the motel and incorporate kitchen and dining facilities.

An additional wing is planned which will increase the number of rooms from 26 to 65.

The lodge will continue for the present to be used as a motel, as well as a home for senior citizens.

According to Miss Nolan, Simon bought Anchor Lodge with the "aim of making it a place where I'd like to spend my own retirement years."

He lives here part time and plans to bring his family and reside at the lodge permanently.

Miss Nolan, a former teacher and once associated with the Lorain YMCA, has an educational degree and is completing work on a master's degree in sociology at Oberlin College.

Special "group living" accommodations include a lobby with fireplace and snack bar, dining facilities, a remodeled lounge with a lakefront view and color TV, and a special room which is being fitted out for library and reading room.

The lodge has a lake shore frontage lending itself to picnic and recreation facilities.

Planned for next year are terraces providing easy access to the beach and a dock.

Rental will be on a current basis, according to Miss Nolan. "We want people to stay here as long as they like and because they like it."

Prices, including meals, will range from $10 per day per person down to $%.75, with the average for couples $15 a day. Room furnishings are provided except where guests prefer to bring some of their own.

Anchor Lodge was featured as a “Then & Now” subject here on the blog back in 2010. In 2014, I posted the full-page ad for the Grand Opening of the hotel in 1948 here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Beautiful Downtown Kipton – Then & Now

I saw this vintage postcard dated 1910 of “North Main St. East Side, Kipton, Ohio” recently on Ebay and decided it would be a good candidate for the “Then & Now” treatment.

It had been a while since I drove through the small blink-and-you-might-miss-it village of a few hundred people anyway. (I wrote about its Civil War monument here.)

I got my shot (below) this past weekend.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when I left Lorain, but of course when I arrived, the sun disappeared for almost a half hour. So I loitered until it came out again, trying not to attract too much attention with my camera so as to avoid being thrown in the calaboose.
As you can see, the railroad right-of-way is now a popular bike path. 
Nearby is the site of the tragic train wreck that took place on April 18, 1891. Here’s a link to an article on the Smithsonian National Postal Museum website about the disaster.
Incidentally, the back of the vintage postcard – dated August 8, 1910 – was interesting. ‘Mattie’ was writing to her Uncle Frank in Honolulu, Hawaii and told him she was having a week’s vacation and that she was in Kipton. I wonder what she did all week?
I think she should have visited good old Uncle Frank instead.

Friday, October 13, 2017

1960s Ohio State Football Program Covers

To help take your mind off the Cleveland Indians (as well as the Cleveland Browns), remember – you can always root for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

And to close out this week on the blog, here's a nice selection of old Ohio State Football program covers from the 1960s, courtesy of the Ohio State University's Knowledge Bank. They're fun to look at with their vintage views of the campus and stadium. I love the classic simplicity of the designs.

After looking at them, though, I have a few questions. Why do several of the covers have little Brownie-like characters? And more importantly, why is the Ohio State player depicted as an unflattering galoot on the Sept. 27, 1969 cover?