Friday, October 29, 2021

Gray Drug Halloween Ad – 1971

Fifty years ago this Halloween, Gray Drug was offering a few of the same costumes that were found in the store's 1970 ad. This included Mr. Fantastic (strangely wearing a mask) from the Fantastic Four of Marvel fame, and eye-patched Jonathan Kidd from Fantastic Voyage.

New in the 1971 ad (replacing Spider-Man and Bingo from the Banana Splits) were Heckle and Jeckle (well, at least one of the madcap magpies) and Bugaloo Boy.

The Heckle and Jeckle costume is pretty good, with a nice demented grin. Ideally, however, you would need two kids to be wearing the same costume to properly depict the pair of identical mischievous birds.

As for Bugaloo Boy with his antennae, I’m assuming he was a character on the Sid and Marty Krofft show called The Bugaloos (another show I don’t remember). Unfortunately, only a female version of the species appears to have survived the inevitable trash bin or garage sale.

Anyway, the pumpkin lamp shown in the Gray Drug ad is on eBay right now. Here are a few photos from its listing.
Here’s the version of the lamp with dancing skeletons that was mentioned in a comment.

Lou Kepler's History of Halloween – 1969

Do you know the history of Halloween, and how the holiday came to be?

If you’re not familiar with the story, fortunately longtime Journal reporter and Women’s Editor Lou Kepler can fill you in.

In this “Lou’s Hearthstone” feature from the Journal of October 26, 1969, she tells us the history of Halloween. It’s an interesting story that you might not be familiar with.


Halloween Began 2,500 Years Ago, But It Differed


IN ALL things traditional, there is more than meets the eye. Take, for example, Halloween.

Legend tells us that it began more than 2,500 years ago among the Celts of ancient France, Ireland and England. The voice of the Establishment in those dim and distant days were the powerful Druid priests, who for centuries, practiced their mysterious rites in the caves and forests of prehistoric Gaul and Britain.

Sacred to the Druids were the hours of midnight and noon, oak trees and mistletoe. They believed that on Halloween, ghosts, fairies, witches and elves came out to harm people. 

Cats were sacred. They were once human beings but were changed to feline form as a punishment for evil deeds.

Now for generations these beliefs persisted. The Druids instructed people, administered justice and forecast events by interpreting the flights of birds and the markings on the liver and other entrails of sacrificed animals.

There came a change. Protest groups demanded a change. I don’t know as the protestors strutted around with placards and picketed the Druids’ homes, but the groups proclaimed that the Druidic teachings were murky and downright stifling. So the priests and protestors had a fight that lasted for years and years. When the battle ended the cult’s long domination ceased.

Do you know who those victorious rebels were? The early Christians. They were faced with the problem as to what to do with Halloween.

The challenge confronting the early church was how to defang the dreaded day without discarding it. With their characteristic genius of supplanting pagan fears with superstition, Christian leaders in the year 700 redefined the day as All-hallows’ Eve, or eve of all the holy ones’ day since it fell before All Saints’ Day, an important date in both the present and medieval Christian calendar.

It was a masterful stroke. Cats and witches, ghosts and elves lived on, but only for amusement. Faith had replaced foreboding. 

So if you are at a loss for an original Halloween costume this Oct. 31, remember the fearful Druids whose hats were peaked and whose robes were long and flowing. 

And, if on Halloween night, you see a strange black cat outside, rejoice! If it were not for Christianity, you might identify the innocent creature as your long-deceased great Uncle Elmer coming back to spook the neighbors.

And, while we are talking about Halloween, how about giving the little kids a break this year? You older youngsters have all the candy and treats you can gorge yourself with anyway and I’m sure you prefer pizza to a candied apple. 

Let’s cater to the beggars from the lollipop set.


Apparently, Lou’s Kepler plea for the big kids not to muscle in on the little kids’ fun on Halloween left an impression on Journal readers. 

During the last time that I went trick-or-treating with my younger brother (no, I wasn’t in high school yet), a grumpy homeowner took a look at me in my hobo costume and sneered, “Aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating?”

I can’t remember if I made a snappy comeback, but I sure was embarrassed. I can still point out the house on Palm Springs Drive. 

And no, I didn’t egg it.

Woolworth Halloween Ad – October 23, 1969

Each Halloween, I post vintage newspaper ads showing what costumes the various chain stores were offering that year. It’s a nice snapshot of popular culture at that time.

The Woolworth ad above ran in the Lorain Journal back on October 23, 1969.

Here’s a color version of the ad.

It’s a real grab bag of TV-centric costumes, that’s for sure. The most dominant one in the ad is the genie called Shazzan, which I don’t remember watching at all. 

The Lite Up Shazzan Mask
(Courtesy Worthpoint)

(I’m not surprised I don’t recall that cartoon. By the late 1960s, my parents concocted all sorts of things for my siblings and me to do on Saturday mornings to keep us away from the TV set. This included bowling in a league at Shoreway Lanes in Sheffield Lake, as well as taking art lessons from Paul Henschke at St. Mary High School.)

Elsewhere in the ad, you can see a Flying Nun costume. Now that was a show that we watched, er, religiously.

Courtesy Etsy

I wonder if Sally Field got a kickback for the use of her image on the Sister Bertrille mask?

For wholesome youngsters, there was perennial favorite Archie. I like how Jughead is identified as merely, ‘Jug.’ And why is Archie’s slick-haired, arch-rival Reggie smiling?

For me, the oddest costume on the page is the one at the bottom identified as ‘Giant Man.’ Although he looked like a caveman, he has on what looks like a doctor’s surgical garb, with little people hanging from his pocket.

It turns out that he is designated as being a character tied in with the show Land of the Giants – a giant professor. He doesn’t seem to be a regular character on the series.

The Ben Cooper company must have changed its mind at the last minute as to the design of the costume. Perhaps the decision was made to promote the show more obviously, because the only costume I could find online was the one below, with the tie clasp inscribed with LAND OF THE GIANTS.

That tie looks very Hanna-Barbera-ish to me. By the way, it looks like the eye holes are deliberately low so that the mask makes the wearer taller and more like a giant.
Another version of the same mask (below) gives the giant a row of upper teeth and a more unkempt hairdo. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he’s really the Jack in the Beanstalk giant retrofitted for the Land of the Giants TV series.

Finally, the ad includes the usual off-model superhero costumes, including an unreasonable facsimile of Spider-Man and a strangely masked Superman.

I guess what I glean from this Woolworth ad it that the costume manufacturers were trying harder than ever to appeal to TV-watching kids. There are very few generic costumes. 

But in my family’s case, we hardly watched any of the shows or cartoons on which the costumes were based, and didn’t clamor to buy them. Thus we probably wore an old mask from our stash of them from previous Halloweens. We had all the classics: Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Casper, Bugs Bunny, etc.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Downtown Lorain Halloween Window Painting – 1968

Back in the 1960s, Downtown Lorain merchants used to let local school kids paint Halloween pictures on their storefront windows. I’m not sure how long this went on.

Other cities had the same kind of thing. Downtown Elyria had an actual Halloween Window Painting contest sponsored by the Chronicle-Telegram and radio station WEOL. Online newspaper accounts show it taking place from the mid-60s up to around 1969 at least. Norwalk had a similar contest sponsored by the Jaycees.

I participated in Lorain's event while I was a student at Masson Elementary. I remember my pal Jeff and I had the honors in our class of painting our pictures on some window. (It was a graveyard scene with a witch and a Frankenstein monster.) I don’t remember exactly what grade we were in when we did this. I think it was fourth or fifth grade, which would make it either 1968 or 1969.

And it was in the October 29, 1968 Journal that I found the photo below, which shows two fifth graders from Homewood Elementary painting a store window.

As you can see, there’s no mention of a sponsor or contest.

I like how the two kids are dressed like they are right out of the movie A Christmas Story.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Jack Kerouac Passes Away – October 21, 1969

My copy of On the Road

On the Road
by Jack Kerouac is one of my favorite books. I first read it back in the 1980s, when my passion was driving old highways and taking black and white photographs of the old motels, drive-in movie theaters and diners left over from the 1950s that I found along the way. 

One aspect of the book is of interest to Northern Ohioans. Early in the story, Sal Paradise, the main character, plans to hitchhike across the country and initially decides to do it all the way on U. S. Route 6. However, he's forced to abandon this notion when he realizes that although Route 6 did indeed stretch across the United States, not too many travelers (if any) used it for cross-country travel. 

Anyway, when I saw the article (below) about Jack Kerouac’s death on the front page of the October 21, 1969 Journal, I just had to post it here. It’s interesting to see the photo of him in his late forties, and the headline which refers to him as a ‘hippie writer.’  

The article states that his books “ushered in the current generation of hippies.” I’m not sure that I really agree with that, as his books were of a more personal nature, rather than promoting some sort of common anti-war philosophy of peace and love.

If you read most of his books and are aware of the history behind them, you eventually realize that you are reading Kerouac’s life story, broken down into many different volumes corresponding to different times and events of his life. Some of his books I really enjoy (The Dharma Bums, Big Sur) and at least one I really hated (Visions of Cody). I’m not a big fan of the ones that are written in a rambling, stream of consciouness style; I much prefer the ones that are more straightforward (such as Lonesome Traveler and Vanity of Duluoz).

Anyway, it was more than fifty years ago that Kerouac passed away, and I doubt if any other writer will ever capture the public’s imagination like him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Huron Demolition Bids – October 1969

Huron’s Urban Renewal program forever altered the look of the lakefront city’s Downtown area, erasing just about all of the historic buildings north of U. S. Route 6. 

Today, the area is quite nice, modern and attractive, but almost completely without historic character. It’s an interesting contrast to what Vermilion did when it created its Harbour Town 1837 district.

Anyway, the article below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on October 6, 1969, details Huron's demolition process and provides a list of the initial parcels to be torn down.

I’ve written about Huron’s Urban Renewal program before.

Back here, I posted an article about one woman’s unsuccessful effort in April 1969 to save Huron’s town hall; this post includes a December 1969 article about Huron’s vanishing history after the demolition process had begun; I did a two-part “Then and Now” series about Huron (here and here) showing what had been lost due to demolition; and this post highlighted Corky’s Restaurant & Motel, lost to Urban Renewal.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Mohican State Park Postcards

Mohican State Park is one of my favorite places in Ohio, especially in the fall. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make it down there yet to see how the autumn colors are playing out. They may have already peaked.

At least we can always pay an armchair visit and enjoy the sights by looking at some vintage postcards. There are a lot of them on eBay, and they often feature autumn scenes.

This one is identified on the back as “The Hills in Autumn – Mohican Forest, Ohio”

Here’s a pretty old one of the view from the well-known Gorge Lookout.

Here’s one of the park’s “25 completely furnished modern cabins."

This postcard of the Mohican State Park Commissary notes that it is located in the Class A camping area on Rt. 3 near Rt. 97.
A trip over the Covered Bridge over Clear Fork Creek is a highlight of any park visit. The bridge was completed in 1969.
The Memorial Shrine has been the topic on this blog a few times, including two “Then and Now” photo treatments.
Lastly, a weekend at the Mohican State Park Lodge just can’t be beat. The surroundings are beautiful, the accommodations are great and the food is good, too. There always seems to be nature programs to entertain the guests and a cozy fireplace in the lobby makes it the perfect place to hang out after a day of hiking at the park. I’ve spent many weekends there over the years.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Sheffield Village/Lorain Annexation – October 1971

Here’s another one of those “What might have been” scenarios that I post when I find them.

While looking at old newspaper microfilm at the library, I’ve seen a few instances over the years where the idea of Sheffield Lake becoming part of Lorain was floated – only to crash like a lead balloon time and time again. Sheffield Lake is a unique place (I lived there almost twenty years) and I can see why its residents like things just the way they are.

That’s why I was surprised to see the article below, in which some Sheffield Village residents were hoping to become Lorainites, against the wishes of their village government. The article appeared in the Journal on October 6, 1971.

As the article notes, “Sheffield Village is determined to keep 850 acres on its west side from being annexed to Lorain and the people in the village who asked for the annexation are equally determined to see it go through.

“In May of this year nine residents of the village signed a petition for the “detachment and annexation of land in Sheffield Village to the City of Lorain.” The area bounds the Norfolk and Western tracks almost to Harris Road and bypass Barr School and several residents at Colorado. It runs to the Lorain border on the west.

“The property is largely vacant with some farm land. The area includes the Club Carousel and the Breezewood, Romanoff Electric, Van Wagnen School Bus Service and the Cotton Club Bottling Company.

“In early September the Lorain County Commissioners voted 2-1 to permit the annexation. That allowed Sheffield Village 60 days to file a lawsuit in Common Pleas Court to oppose the annexation. After 60 days it will go to Lorain City Council where they will decide to accept or reject the petition.”

The residents that were in favor of the annexation were hoping to get better services, including garbage collection and storm sewers. Sheffield Village didn’t want to lose the tax revenue from the businesses located in the annexation area.

Although ultimately it didn’t happen, the proposal seemed to make sense in some ways. The land was largely undeveloped, so there weren’t a lot of residents involved. On the other hand, though, Lorain was probably too big already, and unprepared to handle even more streets that would need plowing, patrolling and sewers.

Today, fifty years after the article, the land in the annexation area doesn’t seem to have changed much, except for the addition of residents in some areas. It’s still a no-man’s land, an area to drive through on the way to somewhere else.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Style Center

Recently, a reader named Ann-Marie contacted me, as she was searching for information about the women’s clothing store on Broadway in Lorain called the Style Center.

Why was she interested in the Style Center? As she explained, "My dad worked there as a stock boy in the mid-late 1950s. 
"I recently took a stroll down Broadway and saw the beautiful terrazzo "Style Center" lettering still on the sidewalk at the entryway of the building where the store once was. I was surprised how well-preserved the sidewalk design still was! It was cool to see that little remnant of the past, but it made me wonder when the store actually shuttered for good. Do you happen to know?
stopped at the library to get the information I needed to answer her question. But before I get into when the Style Center closed, heres an article that appeared in the Lorain Journal on June 21, 1955 that talks about the store's beginnings.


Grandsons Run Business

Style Center Founded 1905

When Abraham Goldstein organized the Style Center on March 11, 1905, little did he realize that his ladies ready-to-wear store would still be growing 50 years later at the original location, 412-418 Broadway.

One of the oldest firms in Lorain, the Style Center occupied only 800 square feet of space when opened. Now the store occupies 8,000 square feet and additional space is being contemplated for the near future.

Four Sons

Abraham Goldstein sold his store in Zanesville to come here and start his four sons in business. Three of them, Max, Samuel and Joseph, helped found the original store. The other son, Louis, entered the business in 1914.

The Style Center immediately became popular as a center for styles and in 1907 the business was expanded. In 1909 another store of the same name was opened in Elyria with Max going there to assume charge.

Rebuilt in 1925

The entire store was rebuilt in 1925 and since that time periodic changes have taken place inside and out to keep up with the trend in merchandising and shopping convenience.

Death took two sons, Louis in 1940 and Joseph in 1949. Meanwhile three grandsons of the organizer of the store entered the business. Arthur Goldstein, son of Samuel; Robert, son of the late Joseph, and Norman, son of Max, are all vice presidents of Goldstein Sons, Inc.

Arthur and Robert are managing the Lorain store and Norman is in charge of Elyria.

Other Officers

Other officers of the corporation are two of the founders, Max and Samuel, who are president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, and Mrs. Stella Goldstein, widow of Joseph, a Vice President.

Max and Samuel are devoting most of their time in advisory capacities.

The Goldsteins have a policy that what is good for Lorain is good for the Style Center. Several trade magazines have referred to the Style Center as being one of the finest women’s specialty shops in the state.


The Style Center disappeared from the Lorain City Directories beginning in the 1973 directory, with its longtime Broadway address as part of the Allen Block listed as ‘vacant.’

Other tenants occupied the building over the years.

A July 2013 view

Happily, the building will soon see new life as the home of the new Lorain Arts Academy. Here’s the link to an article with the details from the April 1, 2021 Chronicle-Telegram.

If you look closely, you can see the name STYLE CENTER
above the windows

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sohio Ad With Toppie – October 1971

Do you buy your gas at the same place each week?

If so, perhaps it’s because you have a loyalty card and earn points toward a variety of rewards, including free stuff, rebates or discounts towards other purchases. I have two such rewards cards in my wallet – one for Speedway and one for Mickey Mart. 

Well, fifty years ago, there was no such thing as rewards cards at gas stations, just charge cards. Thus trading stamps (such as nationally known S&H Green Stamps) were used to build loyalty, as they could be redeemed for various premiums.

The Sohio ad below, which appeared in the Journal on October 29, 1971, used the offer of extra Top Value Stamps as an incentive for customers to buy a fill-up. 

As you can see, good old Top Value Stamps advertising mascot Toppie the Elephant was pressed into service as the gas jockey in the ad.

I’ve written about Toppie before (including this post), and mentioned that at one time we had this lunch box and themos (below). At one time, an online auction website valued a mint one for around $6,000. (Sob!)

Courtesy Hake's
Anyway, Toppie packed his trunk and disappeared along with Top Value Stamps many years ago, and of course the Sohio brand is long gone.

Which explains why in 2021, I buy my gas at a station with a big plexiglas moose statue in front of it, and I have a plastic card with his portrait on it in my wallet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Land O’Lakes Butter Ad – October 6, 1971

Advertising spending has changed a lot in the last fifty years – with the result that it’s just about killed off newspapers.

National companies used to allocate a certain amount of their marketing budget for advertising in local newspapers. The Lorain Journal was full of these ads every day – for automobiles, coffee, breakfast cereal, etc., as well as the ubiquitous liquor ads.

But the internet changed everything. Today you can flip through a Morning Journal and the only ads you see (and there aren’t many) are for local companies.

In 1971, however, there were still national ads in the Journal, and below is one of them, for Land O’Lakes Butter. It ran in the paper on October 6, 1971.

Of course, it’s interesting today because the Land O’Lakes Indian maiden mascot that had appeared on labels since 1928 was abandoned in 2020, due to the perception that it was a racist depiction of indigenous people.

The mascot’s exit took place slowly, first with a redesign of the box (below) that introduced a larger portrait of the Indian maiden. It was an attractive package that maintained a link to the past.
But this was followed by the Indian maiden's removal entirely. Here’s what the package looks like today.   
I think it's odd that the current package design has a gaping hole where the Indian maiden was, which only emphasizes her absence. I'm personally disappointed that she’s gone – but then again, I watch a lot of GRIT TV and am used to seeing 1950s Westerns with Native American women played by white actresses such as Debra Paget.
As a card-carrying graphic designer (well, it’s a Mickey Mart Rewards card), I would have filled the space on the Land O’Lakes package with a new, uncontroversial image, such as a sunrise, a loon, some fishermen in a boat or something else representing Minnesota or the North Woods (such as Paul Bunyan).

Monday, October 18, 2021

Fremont Turnpike Motel – Then & Now

My travels take me to Fremont once in a while, and I’ve noticed this motel, located just a little south of the Ohio Turnpike interchange just off State Route 53, for some time. Despite the modern sign (and unusual name that makes a proofreader cringe), I figured the motel had been there for decades.

Sure enough, there were several vintage postcards of the motel – originally known as Fremont Turnpike Motel – on eBay. I think I have the postcards in order, judging by the size of the trees and shrubs, as well as the information on the backs.

The final postcard has an updated sign, with the poles that support the current sign of the renamed motel.

And as a bonus, here’s a 1964 aerial view of the motel from Dennis Thompson’s favorite website,, as well as a modern Google Maps view showing two motel competitors right behind it.

So who were the fine people behind the Fremont Turnpike Motel? The earliest postcards reveal the owners as Gil and Betty Logsdon.
At the time of Betty’s passing in October 2004, her Fremont, Ohio obituary noted, “On May 25, 1946, she was married to Gilbert Logsdon at Immaculate Conception. Her husband died in 1983.
“She and her husband developed, owned and operated the Fremont Turnpike Motel.”
The Logsdons sure picked a good place for their motel business and obviously built it well. The motel is still going strong, providing an economical/no-frills lodging alternative to the more expensive Hampton Inn Suites and Holiday Inn Express located nearby.