Friday, March 29, 2019

Bedrock City: the Early Years

The Flintstones, America’s favorite Stone Age family (and a favorite topic on this blog), have been in the news a lot lately for a cartoon show that ended its prime-time run back in 1966.

First, it was announced in January 2019 (here) that Bedrock City in Arizona, the last remaining Flintstones theme park, was finally sold and that the property was going to be converted into an attraction called Raptor Ranch.

That’s one item on my bucket list (a cross-country Flintstone pilgrimage) that, alas, will remain unfulfilled.

And most recently (as regular reader Phil noted in a recent comment left on my blog), the “Flintstone House” in California has been in the news (here). Its neighbors don’t mind the fact that the house looks like something right out of Bedrock; they just don’t like the 15-ft tall dinosaur statues and large “Yabba Dabba Do” sign out front.

Anyway, this all reminded me that when my family made its second trip to South Dakota back in 1970, we missed the opportunity to see the first Bedrock City. It was located in Custer, South Dakota and was so successful that the owners opened the second one in Arizona.

Our copy of “This Week in South Dakota’s Black Hills and Badlands” guide for the week of July 5, 1970 even included an ad for the Bedrock City in Custer. (The Flintstone and Rubble likenesses looks a little crude, almost as if they were chiseled by the little bird inside Fred’s Polarock camera.)

A gift bag and decal included artwork similarly rendered in a rocky style. Looks like Betty just washed her hair (probably in the woolly mammoth shower) and couldn’t yabba-dabba-do a thing with it.
An early brochure for the park included much better artwork. (I do remember writing to the park as a kid and getting this brochure in the mail. After close examination of it, I wondered why Barney’s trademark Hanna-Barbera five o’clock shadow line didn’t extend to his nose.)
Anyway, the Custer location promoted the park through a variety of postcards. Although the characters looks a little off-model, it looks like the park was a lot of fun!
Bedrock City in Custer finally became extinct in 2015. You can read more about it here on its Wiki page.
Like so many draft dodgers in the 60s and 70s, the Flintstones and Rubbles fled to Canada for a while. The land of Mounties and Maple Leafs boasted several Bedrock City attractions. Unfortunately, only a few prehistoric relics survive today to tell the tale of the cartoon cave clan’s presence in the Great White North.

I suppose the closing of the various Bedrock City attractions was inevitable in this day and age, where kids are used to more high-tech, exciting entertainment. But it's nice to think back to a more innocent time when families could use their imagination and spend a few hours with the Flintstones, taking pictures and simply having a "gay old time" like they sing about in the closing credits of the TV show.

To see my 2017 post in which I gave Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp - Resort a similar vintage postcard treatment, click here.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

50th Anniversary of President Eisenhower’s Passing

Fifty years ago today, President Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower passed away on March 28, 1969. He was our president throughout most of the 1950s, serving from 1953 to 1961.
During World War II, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Force in North Africa, and later commander of all Allied forces. (You can read more about the five-star general’s many accomplishments in war and peace here.)

The death of the popular 34th President of the United States was well covered in the Journal.

I distinctly remember the great Vaughn Shoemaker editorial cartoon shown above that ran on the day after his passing. The Journal’s editorial was particularly eloquent and well-written.

On March 31, 1969 most of the Journal’s front page was devoted to coverage of Eisenhower’s funeral the day before.

On a family trip out west in 1971, we stopped in Eisenhower’s hometown of Abilene to visit the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home. As a twelve-year old, I probably did not appreciate just how great a man Eisenhower was.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Misleading S. R. 2 Markers – March 24, 1969

When the new, limited access State Route 2 was being built just south of Lorain in the 1960s, there was a lot of confusion.

I’ve done a few posts in which it was noted that the highway's numbering hadn’t been resolved yet. Would it be I-90? State Route 2? State Route 254? For a while it appeared that the highway was going to be named the Northwest Freeway.

Then there was the issue of the fact that the new highway – whatever it was going to be called – was being built in stages. (This post dealt with when the highway finally extended past Baumhart Road to State Route 61 in Berlin Heights in 1975.)

And then there was the question of signage. Today’s blog post deals with the observation that in the early days of the highway, signs were sometimes more optimistic than accurate.

The photo and caption below appeared in the Lorain Journal on March 24, 1969.

Speaking of signs, as I commute to work each day on Route 2 to Cleveland, I’m always a little amused when I see the large sign for “Lorain Ferry” when I approach the Route 611 exit. Besides the fact that you are well past Lorain when you reach that exit, what ferry is the sign referring to? 
I'm assuming that the sign is promoting the occasional special excursion Jet Express trips from Lorain to a Cleveland Browns game.  But if I was a tourist and saw that sign, I’d think it meant a ferry to the Islands, with regularly scheduled trips like those out of Port Clinton.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

South Lorain Article – March 23, 1969 – Part 2

Here’s the balance of the article by Journal Staff Writer Dennis D’Antonio about Lorain residents about to be displaced thanks to urban renewal.

It appeared on the front page of the Journal on March 23, 1969 and provides a fascinating history of how South Lorain neighborhoods changed with each wave of post-war immigration.

South Lorain
A Last Look at an
Old Neighborhood
Part 2

Mrs. Grace Geiger, 69, of 1509 East 30th Street, remembers South Lorain when it was still young and brash.

She spoke from the tiny, frame, three-room house she owns on a fenced-in half-lot across the street from the Kimbroughs.

“This whole block was all foreigners – mostly Hungarians and Slovaks – when I was little,” Mrs. Geiger recalls.

Her parents, George and Rose Hirka, were natives of Hungary.

“I was born in the house next door on April 20, 1899,” Mrs. Geiger said.


“...there were doctors in South Lorain but very few babies were delivered by them... babies were born at home then and the husband was assistant to the mid-wife, even if only to boil the water...”

Sitting in a torn vinyl chair two inches from a gas space heater in her small kitchen, Mrs. Geiger recalled some of her childhood on the block.

“I remember chasing after the one-horse police wagon when we were little,” she said. “We would hear it coming down the street everyday. Clang-clang! Clang-clang!

“A man would have an argument with his wife and shoot her, or there would be a stabbing.”


“...It was a pretty tough territory... I was shot at and everything you can think of... I went on all kinds of raids, knocking doors down and hauled people out...”

Most of the violence, Mrs. Geiger said, occurred across the street where several barracks-like, two-story, red brick buildings stand, stark reminders of the past.

“I remember those buildings were put up for the workers,” Mrs. Geiger said. “Men and their families were coming from all over to work in the mill.

“SOME PEOPLE in those buildings. They would put five or six beds in one room and rent it out to boarders. There was a lot of fighting over there.”

But violence was not the order of the day on the block, as Mrs. Geiger will stress.

“People were happy in those days,” she says. “There was a lot of dancing and singing.

“I remember my uncle. He used to sit on the porch here and play his accordion. We had grapes growing on arbors on the front of the house. Everybody had gardens.

“My mother. She had geese and ducks and we had two cows. We used to take them out to pasture where  Thew Shovel Company is now. It was all woods there then.”


“...the crow of the rooster, crackle of hens, the quack of ducks, the squack of geese, the coos of pigeons, an occasional moo of a cow and the clip-clop of horse hoofs... there were the everyday sounds.”

For Mrs. Geiger and many like her, those early days in the neighborhood were happy ones. But they are gone now. All that remains is the memory – wispy as the steel smoke hanging over the community.

Today, South Lorain is different.

WITH THE great demand for labor following World War I, a large number of Mexicans came to work in the steel mill.

“The people who lived here in the beginning. Almost all of them were European,” Mrs. Geiger said. “When they first came here they didn’t have nothing. But they saved. And finally they saved enough to move to better parts of the neighborhood.

“Every time a European family left this block, a Mexican family would move in.”

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Cornejo moved into the 1500 block of East 30th Street in 1936. There are natives of Mexico.

“The block was all Mexican then,” Mrs. Cornejo recalls. “I can remember only one Puerto Rican family.”

A son, Gerry, 34, remembers a happy childhood on the block. Like Mrs. Geiger before him.

“We used to build bonfires and roast potatoes on an empty lot where Neighborhood House is now,” he said.

“Those were the days when everybody knew everybody. At night, people would come outside and talk to each other.

“US KIDS would play kick the can in the street, or maybe we’d steal some corn from the neighbors and roast it.”

The Cornejos lived on the block until after World War II. Then another big change took place.

Hundreds of Puerto Ricans began arriving to work in the steel mill. Another war had created another huge demand for labor.

Like the Europeans before them, and for the same reasons, the Mexicans started moving to other parts of town.

Today, seven out of ten people living on the 1500 block of East 30th Street are Puerto Rican.

LIKE MANY of his people, Louis Garcia, 46, came to Lorain from Puerto Rico on contract to work in the steel mill.

“I remember signing a contract in Puerto Rico to come here and work,” Garcia says. “I arrived in this country June 8, 1948.”

A bricklayer’s helper, Garcia rooms at 1508 East 30th.

Like a human being, a neighborhood has a soul. It is made of the people who live there, and those who have lived there in the past.

It is this soul quality that makes people care for their neighborhood as though it were human.

“It’ll tear my heart out when urban renewal rips this neighborhood down,” says Mrs. Geiger. “Regardless of how poor I am or how run-down this house is, I can’t picture myself anywhere else. This neighborhood has been everything to me. My childhood. My growing up. And my growing old.”

Grace Geiger passed away on May 7, 1982. Her obituary noted that she was a long-time resident of Lorain and was formerly employed at the American Ship Building Co. and U. S. Steel, Lorain-Cuyahoga Works.

Courtesy of Dennis Thompson (and Dennis Lamont), here's a great 1924 aerial view of the area discussed in the article. (Click on it for a larger view.) 

E. 28th Street runs across the top of the photo. Grace Geiger's house is located approximately above the red "30th" label for E. 30th Street. You can see the row of barracks-style buildings where some steel workers lived directly across the street.

And here's the same view today.

Monday, March 25, 2019

South Lorain Article – March 23, 1969 – Part 1

Back in the 1960s – when the Journal was still focused on Lorain news – the newspaper was a showplace for detailed, well-written stories that explored the issues that the city was facing.

There was an incredible amount of change taking place at that time, as the city was shaping its future through urban renewal. Businesses and residents were affected.

Today as you drive around Lorain, you can see the results of decisions that were made fifty years ago. Was it worth it? That depends on your point of view (a line I cribbed from the end of The Great Escape).

Anyway, here’s another great article exploring how some Lorain residents felt as they were about to be displaced thanks to urban renewal. It was written by Staff Writer Dennis D’Antonio. It’s a little long, so I’m busting it into two parts.

It appeared on the front page of the paper on March 23, 1969.

South Lorain
A Last Look at an
Old Neighborhood
Part 1

Editor's Note: The following is a story of a city block in South Lorain that soon will change forever with urban renewal. This story is told in the words of those who live there now. There also are comments in bold face type by people who know the area or who were raised there and moved away –– people like Lois Bielfelt of Neighborhood House, Guy Wells who was a policeman on the beat there in the 1920s, Steve Streak who was raised there, now lives in Bay Village and wrote about life in South Lorain and Mrs. Mary Breznan, 68, who was born in Czechoslovakia, later lived 27 years in South Lorain and now resides at John F. Kennedy Center in Lorain.

Staff Writer

EIGHTY FAMILIES live in the 1500 block of East 30th Street in Lorain. They call it home.

The block is part of the heart of South Lorain – the second oldest neighborhood in town. It sprawls under the orange smoke of the grotesque steel mill which gave it birth at the turn of the century.

This is the neighborhood  story – one of change. And it is told by the people who know it most intimately – the ones who live there now and those who have lived there in the past.

Admitting a visitor through the kitchen door of her flat at 1543 East 30th Street, Mrs. Mary Patrick, 38, excuses herself briskly and rushed into the parlor.

"Come in and sit down," she says. "I'm on the phone."

It is almost supper time and a pot of potatoes boils on the kitchen stove, filling the air in the cramped apartment with a damp, sweet odor.

In the parlor Mrs. Patrick tells someone at the other end of the phone that she will call back.

"I had a welfare check stolen out of my mail box Saturday," she explains. "I was trying to get ahold of my case worker to see what they're going to do about it."

A petite black woman, Mrs. Patrick has six children and lives on public assistance. She is separated from her husband.

HER FLAT is one of several in a run-down, two-story frame building constructed around the turn of the century to house the laborers for the steel mill.

"I love South Lorain," Mrs. Patrick says. "But the living conditions are bad."

She waves a hand at the broken plaster walls in her parlor. "Here, we've got rats and roaches."

Mrs. Breznan:

"I lived at 1514 East 30th Street for 27 years... I moved there in 1926... the rent was $14 a month... but it was so bad there... there were no closets... the toilet was in the basement."

South Lorain is inhabited almost exclusively by several generations of steel workers.

When the mill first opened in 1895, people came from all over to work in it.

Residents of the neighborhood trace their origins to Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the southern United States.

"We came from Tennessee in 1949," Mrs. Patrick says.

"WE WERE living in Dyersburg and my dad was working in a gas station when a friend told him about the mill here."

Like many southern blacks barely making a living in the agricultural South in those days, Mrs. Patrick's father packed up his family and moved North to where the promise was.

For many, the promise was kept.

"We came to Lorain in 1950 from Mobile, Alabama," says Mrs. Frank Kimbrough, another black resident on the block. "We had children to raise."

Miss Biefelt:

"...this is a good block... there are 165 kids on this one block, and they're good kids..."

Frank Kimbrough, now 74, had been making 55 cents an hour working in a shipyard in Mobile.

From a friend he heard about the job opportunities in Lorain and he moved his wife and six children to South Lorain where he got a job with the B&O Railroad at $1.18 an hour.

"I don't know what we would have done if we didn't come here," Mrs. Kimbrough says.

LIKE OTHER residents on the block, the Kimbroughs are waiting for a neighborhood urban renewal project to be completed.

An entire section of South Lorain is marked for clearance – from East 28th Street to East 36th Street, and from Fulton Avenue to Globe Avenue. Housing conditions in this part of town are among the worst in the city, and homes and buildings which have stood three-quarters of a century and more are to be pulverized. They will be replaced by public housing and small shops. In a few years the entire face of the neighborhood will be changed totally – and forever.

All neighborhoods grow old someday and die, and then they are buried and built on again.

Next: Part 2

Here’s a look at the South Lorain area being discussed in the article, as it lays out today.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Passing Scene – March 1969

There were four installments of Gene Patrick’s The Passing Scene comic strip printed in the Journal back in March 1969. Let’s take a look and see what was on Gene's mind fifty years ago.

The March 1 edition poked fun at Oberlin College’s impending disciplinary action of the student protesters who had harassed the Marine Corps recruiters in February 1969.
The March 8, 1969 strip (below) features Patrick’s great caricature of Lorain Mayor Woody Mathna, and a reference to the poor condition of Lorain City Hall.
The March 15th edition (below) has a nice caricature of longtime Journal Sports Writer Hank Kosloski, as well as a reminder that the Indians used to hold their spring training in Tucson, Arizona.
The last comic from March 1969 ran on the 29th. One panel featured a jogging gag. Jogging was slowly gaining popularity in the 1960s, but was not yet a full-fledged fad.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ohio Edison Ad – March 21, 1964

The last time our old pal Reddy Kilowatt was featured on this blog was around Christmastime, so it’s about time he graced us with his electrifying presence.

Here’s an Ohio Edison ad from the Lorain Journal of March 21, 1964. It not only has Reddy in it (in a rare sideview shot) but also shines the spotlight on a home out in North Ridgeville that had recently converted to electric heat. (That’s what I have too.)

Although the 1964 ad only identified the owners (Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Draper), the internet made it easy to track down the home and ‘drive’ over there via Google Maps to see what the homestead looks like today.

And the house is still out there at 5373 Barton Road and looking great.

I hope the current owners were warm and comfortable there during this past endless winter, which featured temperatures that were much more frigid than usual. I’d hate to think Reddy steered the Drapers wrong.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

March 1969 – Everett Davidson Article - Part 2

Here’s the rest of Journal Staff Writer Bob Cotleur’s very candid interview with Lorain attorney Everett Davidson that ran in the paper on March 23, 1969.

Attorney Everett Davidson Takes the Stand – Part 2
Staff Writer

Q. I believe you said you were married. When and whom did you marry. How many children are there?

A. "I married Phyllis Neuman back in 1942. Her folks had the Neuman dairy farm at the corner of Meister and Oberlin Roads and they were comfortable, more than what I’d call wealthy. We have four children, Denise, 14, Brian, 13, Tracy, 12 and Deidre, 11. They’re all in California now.”

Q. Are the children in school out there exclusively?

A. “Oh no. They start here at Admiral King and Masson Elementary in the fall, then transfer to schools in California when my wife goes out in December. They’ve been doing it for 12 years and Denise is on the National Honor Society here and head of her class in California. I get out for two weeks every month or so. They like it. We have a swimming pool in the middle of the house which is about 1,000 square feet on a one-floor plan. I like it because two of the world’s finest golf courses are there. El Dorado and Thunderbird.”

Q. You’ve been quite successful making money. How did you do it?

A. “Oh, lots of good friends, working real hard. My accounting knowledge was helpful. I made investments, bought stocks, bonds, real estate. For example I got the original 35 acres where I live on Meister Road for something under $500 an acre. Recently sold 10 acres for $50,000. And 25 years ago I bought stock in Moto-Truck of Cleveland. I was an officer of the corporation, along with others. Gradually they died off and for 10 years I was president of that firm.

“We recently sold to Otis Elevator for $8 million. You can say I made a very substantial profit.”

Q. Have you been as successful in the practice of law?

A. “In law, you win some, you lose some. It’s hard work. Perhaps the most tedious and hard-working case was the Thomas case on income tax. When Joseph Thomas died on the SS Noronic after it caught fire near Toronto, a considerable amount of money was found in a safety deposit box. The federal government alleged he and his brothers, Anthony, who died not long ago, and George, who runs Broadway Lanes, owed $250,000 in income tax.

“They had to pay first and then we filed suit. It was ten years in the courts during which I lost most of the cases until the appeals court sent it back to the U. S. Tax Court the second time. Then I won all the way.

“That time the court wrote a very excellent opinion finding this Syrian family was hard-working, industrious, and they held there was no evidence whatsoever in the government’s contention they defrauded the government (tax bureau) one bit. The government paid back the $250,000 and considerable interest, about $70,000.”

Q. Did you ever establish law in winning?

A. “Yes. Many of the present anti-pollution laws on sanitation came from the local septic tank case. That’s where a local developer wanted to build a number of homes, run the sewage though a covered pipe, through a leach bed and into an open creek. The contention was made by a Lorain County public official the resulting effluent would be drinking water.

“During a deposition hearing I brought him a glass of it filled with a murky effluent in which things were swimming around and asked him to drink it, if he believed his contention.

“He refused, resigned and moved away shortly after.

“The opinion on that case by the court ultimately resulted in changing the law on pollution of open streams, creeks, rivers and even the lake.”

Q. How do you view yourself as an attorney and as a bank attorney?

A. “I’m just a country lawyer because I prefer to be that way. As for being a bank attorney, I think you mean how do you run a good bank. I think the secret is to be most helpful to people. I’ve studied banking, enjoy it very much. I’ve been with Central Security for about 35 years where we’re dealing with other people’s money and where we keep that fact in mind at all times.

“When a loan comes up at the bank I have a very simple rule which guides my vote. I ask myself, ‘Would I make the same loan with my own money?’”

Q. Do you think banks should lead urban redevelopment in downtown Lorain, for example?

A. “I don’t think our local banks can. Investments are governed by laws and our banks can’t invest in slum areas because they must be able to get a return for their investment. Large Cleveland banks can possibly locate a substantial building to aid an area but only within the confines of banking laws.

“What downtown needs is people, merchants primarily, but people of all kinds. I think this will happen, but whether or not downtown Lorain ever comes back is questionable. And I’m interested. I have two business properties in downtown which have depreciate in value.”

Q. What’s your greatest kick out of life? Law, business, profit, family?

A. “I’m getting the biggest kick out of my family and their interests. They raise show horses, you know, but that’s only part of it. The kids broadened our thinking. They ask a myriad of questions which neither my wife nor I am able to answer.

“We have to confer on the questions. They’re good kids, their associates are good kids and a lot of that is inherited. There is a definite responsibility on the part of parents to live with their children, not apart from them. So many parents think they know so much more than their children.

“They might in certain subjects, but kids today are smart. They see the same things on television that I do, they hear the same things on radio I hear.

“My children are all individuals. I don’t care if they become smarter than dad. Phyllis feels the same way. And being older I think I enjoy kids more. I deliberately take a few weeks off a month through winter to be with my children.

“The answer to youth and drugs today is not in the law. You can only do so much with laws. I think the answer is to maintain a good healthy home and let your children be part of that home."

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

March 1969 – Everett Davidson Article - Part 1

If you grew up on the west side of Lorain in the 1960s in the Meister Road/Skyline Drive area, then you might remember hearing the distinctive cry of peacocks in the early morning.

Those sounds would have been coming from the nearby Davidson estate on Meister Road. We only got an occasional glimpse of the beautiful mansion peeking through the trees, so the peacock screams made it even more mysterious.

I’ve mentioned the well-known Davidsons on this blog a couple of times, with this post noting the family’s connection with the Neuman dairy farm, and this one in which we got a rare view of the interior of the Davidson house.

Well, here’s another interesting article from the Journal archives about the Davidsons that ran in the March 23, 1969 edition of the paper. It’s a great interview with Everett Davidson himself written by Staff Writer Bob Cotleur (whose fine, creative writing has been featured on this blog many times).

It’s a great rags-to-riches story that also sheds light on life in Depression-era Lorain.

The amusing and informative interview is kind of long, so I’ll present it in two parts. This portion includes the story of how Davidson became a part-time motorman on the Lake Shore Electric.

Attorney Everett Davidson Takes the Stand – Part 1
Staff Writer

FOR 38 YEARS, Everett Hughes Davidson has been in and out of courtrooms. One more won’t hurt. He takes the stand today, and promises to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

Q. Your address, date of birth and occupation?

A. I live at 1541 Meister Rd., Lorain, was born quite a few years ago, and my principal occupation is as an attorney with my own law office and as legal counsel for Central Security National Bank.

Q. Have you had other occupations?

A. Oh yes. I’ve peddled papers, cut logs, fixed autos, driven electric streetcars, been a bank teller and janitor’s assistant on the same job, dealt in real estate, in investments, been president of a company making fork-lift trucks, served as an accountant...”

Q. Do you ever appear as anyone other than yourself?

A. “You might say so. Once a year when we pack the dogs, some of the kids, my wife Phyllis and myself into the Cadillac and head for our winter home in Palm Springs, California, I get to feeling like one of the Beverly Hillbillies.”

(During a short recess it was noted Davidson is about six feet tall, sparse, his hair is graying and he is more handsome with his horn-rimmed glasses off. We learned he is today one of Lorain County’s wealthiest citizens, and also learned he began to build his fortune from the ground up.)

Q. Where were you born and what was your early life like?

A. “We lived at 1218 Seventh St., Lorain. I was an only child although I had a sister who died before I was born. Dad suffered a stroke when he was 50 and never worked again. He died at 76 around the time Franklin Roosevelt died. Mother passed on at 84, about 7 or 8 years ago.

“From the time I was in high school, I had to help support the family. At first it was peddling papers and cutting wood, things like that. When I graduated from Lorain High I got a job with the old Peoples Savings Bank on Fourth and Broadway, as a teller and a bit of everything. I knew college was out of the question, financially.

Q. You are an attorney, you’ve stated. What college did you go to?

A. “None. I went to night school in Cleveland for 14 years, graduated after nearly 7 years in 1930 and continued on. Went to Fenn College, American Institute of banking, Cleveland College and Cleveland (Marshall) Law School. During those first seven years I worked at the Peoples Bank, I had three friends guiding me. They were Allen Cuthbert, Howard McMillan and Otto Brown.”

Q. How did you get back and forth from Cleveland to Lorain?

A. “Well, none of us owned autos. We used to take the Clydesdale bus of the Cleveland-Lorain Highway Coach company in to Cleveland for classes, but I’d wait until the midnight freight run of the old Interurban coming back. Knew all the motormen from cashing their checks at the bank. After we’d get out of the station a bit to where it was dark, they’d let me take over and drive. Saved my fare home that way.

Q. When did you start practicing law?

A. “Right as I graduated the depression was on. The Peoples Bank cut my salary $50 a month – I didn’t think much of that – so I quit and rented a room they had upstairs. Municipal Judge W. P. Duffy donated some law things, different attorneys helped out, so I finally opened my office for accounting and law.

“I started by making out tax returns for 50 cents each. During the depression even the established lawyers were having it tough, but after a year or two I got quite busy.

(During another short recess he stressed the added courses he had been taking in accounting, psychology and other subjects. His banking friends and his accounting background were very helpful. He was single and working hard. He was also making investments that would pay handsomely later.)

Next: the Neuman dairy farm connection

Monday, March 18, 2019

Rudy Moc's Passing - March 1969

Fifty years ago on March 15, 1969 the Journal reported the passing of well-known Lorain photographer Rudy Moc that day. The paper enlisted Staff Writer Jack LaVriha to produce an appropriate tribute that also reveals many other aspects of Moc's life.

The talented photographer not only provided countless families with cherished portraits through his studio work, but also documented life in Lorain over the years in photos that today are an invaluable resource to historians.


Photographer Rudy Moc Dies, 
He Recorded Life in Lorain
Staff Writer

Rudy Moc, 74, a prominent Lorain commercial and portrait photographer for many years until his retirement two years ago, died at 8:20 a.m. today in Elyria Memorial Hospital, Elyria.

Moc, who resided at Snug Harbor Farm on Darrow Road in Vermilion, was ill four weeks.

A prize-winning portrait photographer, he recorded Lorain life and personalities for half a century and was active in yachting and civic affairs for a number of years.

Moc was only 14 when he earned a small box camera which ended his most cherished ambition – that of becoming a great musician.

HE HAD TAKEN thousands of pictures in his long career and operated the Rudy Moc Studio at 1939 Broadway in Central Lorain until his retirement in 1967.

Before that he operated a studio at 2036 Broadway and in Vermilion.

At 7, he started taking violin lessons and was developing a reputation as a musician when he turned to photography.

He put the violin to use, however, playing in the Lorain Society Orchestra which years ago furnished music for many private dances. He was a soloist with the Lorain Concert Orchestra.

He was one of the photographers who "covered" the disastrous Lorain tornado in June 1924. Assisted by a Lorain newspaperman, he published an illustrated booklet containing the story of the tornado in words and pictures.

OVER THE YEARS, he entered portraits in many state and international photography exhibits and won many awards.

He was a past commodore of the Lorain Yacht Club and captured many first place awards with speed boats. He also operated a cruiser for a long time.

In 1963, he went on a 17-day European tour with selected photographers from across the nation to East Berlin and returned with interesting photographs. 

In recent years, he made a special hobby of raising flowers and had his own greenhouse.

Funeral arrangements are in charge of the Reichlin - Cooley Funeral Home, Lorain.

Friday, March 15, 2019

St. Patrick's Day Baby – 1969

Well, St. Patrick's Day is on Sunday, so if you've been reading this blog for years then you know what that means to me. I'll have a nice corned beef sandwich for dinner, watch my Quiet Man DVD and contemplate my Irish heritage a bit.

Back on St. Patrick's Day 1969, the Journal celebrated the holiday with a front page photo of a baby born that very day at St. Joe's: Timothy Patrick Higgins.

The photo caption reads, "BEGORRA, 'TWAS a foine day for Timothy Patrick Higgins to arrive at St. Joseph Hospital. What with his daddy born on St. Patrick's Day too and his granddaddy born in County Derry in the Old Sod, St. Paddy himself must have been smilin'. Even Mommy has a drop of Irish blood. The rest of her ancestry is traced to a country which shall be nameless on this day, it being associated with a color not generally mentioned among the sons of Erin. Timothy is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Higgins, 2779 Cleveland Boulevard, Lorain. It's their second son. The first is named Thomas, after John's late father, the gentleman from County Derry. (Journal Photo by Terry Thomas.)"
The Higgins family moved to Amherst in the early 1970s, where Timothy's father enjoyed a fine political career as a city councilman, council president and two-term Mayor.
Here's hoping Timothy has a Happy 50th Birthday and St. Patrick's Day as well.

And a Happy 21st Birthday to my nephew Matthew Brady, also born on St. Patrick’s Day. Matthew is one of the Texas Bradys!

Golden Crescent Guide to Dining: Saddle Inn

Here’s another one of those old “Golden Crescent Guide to Dining and Dancing” advertising features that used to run regularly in the Journal. This one, which ran on March 14, 1969, shines the spotlight on the Saddle Inn in Avon Lake. (I’ve already posted ones profiling Elberta Inn, Presti’s, Amber Oaks and L’Auberge du Port.)

The article calls out Mrs. Leona as the “woman of the hour” at the Saddle Inn when it came to wedding planning, as well as ‘charming hostess’ Ruth Smith and chef Eddie Reed. Art Brown, a “gentleman’s gentleman,” is said to hold court at the bar, and Bernice Heston, a 75-year-old Amherst resident, is mentioned as playing the piano every Friday and Saturday.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday, there’s an ad for McGarvey’s with that theme with the others shown above.

I’ve posted a few other ads for the Saddle Inn over the years, including these two (below).
I also did a “Then & Now” photo study of the former Saddle Inn here, and posted a Journal photo of the Inn, post-July 4, 1969 storm here.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

What was playing at the Tivoli in March 1969?

Now that’s an off-model Fred Flintstone
At the same time that Alaskan Safari was drawing them in at the Palace in Lorain, the Tivoli was advertising a special matinee for Hanna-Barbera fans on March 15 and 16th: a double feature of Hey There, it’s Yogi Bear (1964) and The Man Called Flintstone (1966).

I wrote about the original Lorain theater runs of Hey There, it’s Yogi Bear back here, and The Man Called Flintstone here. (I’ve actually written about Yogi Bear a lot on this blog, including this post about the Jellystone Park resorts, as well as this post when I told about my first material possession: a Yogi Bear/Huck Hound walker.)

Like I’ve mentioned before, these two full-length animated features of Hanna-Barbera’s most popular characters were pleasant, with slightly better animation than the original TV episodes. But kids were undoubtedly bored with the unnecessary songs and lack of violence. The movies eventually made it to TV, which is where my siblings and I first saw them – probably on one of those special Day-after-Thanksgiving cartoon marathons.

A typical scene from the TV series like this (below) – Ranger Smith chasing Yogi and repeatedly bashing him on the head with a baseball bat – would not have fit in with the family-friendly Hey There, it’s Yogi Bear. And more’s the pity.

The final chase in A Bear Pair (1961)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

What was playing at the Palace on March 13, 1969?

March 4, 1969 Lorain Journal movie ad
So what was playing at the Palace Theater in Lorain on March 13, 1969?

None other than a travelogue entitled Alaskan Safari (1968). It boasted scenes of “hunting and fishing amidst most magnificent scenery ever filmed,” including hunts for moose, Dahl sheep, grizzly bears, brown bears and polar bears. Other highlights included scenes of Bald Eagles, and Eskimos searching for food (presumably in the wild).

The movie was so popular with Lorain audiences that it was held over for a week or two. (The movie is well-remembered and positively reviewed on the TCM website.)

Why is this interesting to me? Because it brought back a pleasant memory of something I'd long forgotten: a sleepover at the house of a friend at that time. He only lived a block away from me, but it was a real novelty to stay overnight at a friend’s house back then. And part of the fun (besides trying some of the pickles that were curing in a huge crock in his garage) was that his father took us to see Alaskan Safari at the Palace.

Alaskan Safari was released on video back in the mid-1980s but doesn't seem to have made it onto DVD. Based on the favorable comments left on the TCM website by people who remember the movie from its original run, perhaps it should.

Hey, what happened to the hunter in this ad?