Thursday, March 31, 2022

AKHS Band Uniforms Unveiled – March 1962

If you went to Admiral King High School, and especially if you were a member of the marching band (like me), then you might find this photo interesting. It ran in the Lorain Journal back on March 10, 1962 and reveals for the first time what the new marching band uniforms looked like. The school had been dedicated on October 29, 1961.

As the caption notes, “NEW AKHS UNIFORMS – Members of the Admiral King High School band display the new blue and gold band uniforms which will be shown for the first time to the public Friday, March 16 at a band concert. Left to right are Gail Breckenridge, Phil White, Carole Marks, Elsie Schneider and Virginia Vidra.”

It’s interesting to me because the band uniforms are the same ones we wore in the 1970s. I remember them well. They were of a heavy material and pretty durable, obviously, for us to still be wearing them sixteen years later. We had different hats (ours were white) but we still had the ‘corn dog’ mounted on them. 

Here’s my younger brother and I, getting ready to head off to the Memorial Day parade in 1977, my senior year. (Note the two Olds in the garage – one was Dad’s work car, the other was the family car.)

Decades later, some of my best memories from high school are of my four years in the AKHS marching band. Many of my best friends were in the band with me, as well as my two brothers. I still feel close to many of my bandmates because of all the camaraderie and fun we shared.

Also, there was nothing as fun as marching on a football field during a game or in a parade down Broadway.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Cedar Point Sky Ride Artist’s Conception – March 1962

Despite the snow this past weekend, it’s always nice to know that Cedar Point will soon be open, even if I don’t go there very often. Opening Day this year is Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Although almost every ride that I ever enjoyed has been replaced by something else or just removed entirely, it’s good to know that the Sky Ride will always be there. It’s one of the few iconic rides left from the 1960s.

And that’s the subject of today’s post. The artist’s rendering below of the new Sky Ride appeared in the Journal on March 21, 1962.

The caption notes, “An artist’s conception of the new Sky Ride that will open at Cedar Point on May 26. Passengers ride at a height of 90 feet for a distance of 1,300 feet. Cost of the ride, now being completed in Switzerland, is $300,000. Foundations for the steel work are now being prepared at a cost of $48,000. 

“Cedar Point will be one of the very few recreation areas in American with such a ride. There are similar rides in Disneyland and Freedomland.”


Click here to read the Wiki entry on Freedomland. The postcard below (Courtesy eBay) shows its version of the Sky Ride.

And follow this link to read my past posts on Cedar Point. There’s thirty of them!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Journal Want Ads Ad – March 1962

Here’s another example of the use of clip art, from the days when advertising layouts were clean and uncluttered. It’s a full-page ad that ran in the Lorain Journal back on March 10, 1962. 

The ad commemorates National Want Ad Week. (Hmmm, I don’t recall seeing that on my calendar.) Did other newspapers observe it too? Well, a quick check on the internet shows that the Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota celebrated it as well – and if you can’t trust the Argus-Leader, who can you trust?

Of course, many of you will notice the “CHerry 5-6901” phone number in the ad, and recall your own memorable word prefix. Ours in the 282 interchange was “AVenue.”

Today the Journal still sells want ads, but they took up less than a half-page of Saturday’s edition. There was only one garage sale, three ‘Help Wanted’ ads, and one ad for a house to rent. That’s it.

Monday, March 28, 2022

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb – 1962

Well, March is winding down.  That almost always seems to provoke at least one local TV meteorologist into mentioning the old adage about March weather, and how the month comes "in like a lion and out like a lamb.” 

The analogy doesn’t seem to be the case this year. It seems like we’ve been all over the place weather-wise this month, with lamb-like weather a few weeks ago. And as I look out the window while writing this, there are several inches of snow that fell overnight, after an unpleasant, windy and cold Saturday.

Anyway, here’s a great vintage ad with an unusual graphic treatment of the well-known weather folklore about lambs and lions. It’s for Sheffield Lake’s Shoreway Shopping Center and it ran in the Lorain Journal back on March 1, 1962 – sixty years ago this month.

I just love that old clip art. I’ll bet a lot of cartoonists made a good living supplying artwork to the Harry Volk company, who published themed books for paste-up artists (like I used to be) to create an ad.

There are several of those books on eBay right now, and they’re not cheap.
Shoreway Shopping Center (a reoccurring topic on this blog) is one of the few of its kind from the 1950s that is still doing fairly well. I bought many a Little Caesar pizza there while I was still living in Sheffield Lake.
Over in Lorain, Westgate is still in the process of being redeveloped. The overhang that used to protect shoppers from the weather was removed, and the whole parking lot received a new blacktop treatment last year. I wish the owner well in his efforts to revive it. Here’s a recent photo.

Friday, March 25, 2022

The Persistence of Old Cartoon Memories – Part 3

Back here, I did a couple of posts about bizarre cartoons that I had seen as a kid. When I thought about them decades later, I wondered if my memory was faulty and if I had imagined them. Fortunately, I found them both on the internet to prove I wasn’t nuts.

While the first examples were TV cartoons, this subject of today's post is a newspaper comic.

As I noted before on this blog, my parents used to pick up a Sunday Plain Dealer before the Journal began publishing an edition on that day. So I was exposed to all sorts of great comics that didn’t run in the Journal, such as Li’l Abner and The Wizard of Id (as well as the regular features Cappy Dick and Ask Andy).

I also remembered seeing a comic about two beans named H. J. and Heinz. The strips were little adventures. I recalled one where they were on a magic carpet.

And ever since then, for the past 50 years or so, every time I’ve seen a Heinz ketchup bottle I’ve thought of those two cartoon beans.

I’ve tried to find a copy of one of those H. J. & Heinz comic strips via Google for many years with no success. 

So did I ever find a copy of one of their adventures? Well, it’s not exactly spilling the beans to tell you I did, since I’ve devoted today’s post to this whole affair. One of those newspaper archive services came through.

To my surprise, the whole thing was an advertisement for Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce! Here are some samples, from the summer of 1965. I was six years old when I first saw these.

July 11. 1965
July 18, 1965
Sept. 5, 1965
It’s funny looking at these ads today. I wonder if Heinz was hoping that these two beans would take on a life of their own, like the two M&M candies? I like the fact that the cute tomato (slang for a woman) is actually a cute tomato.

So what does all this prove? 
The answer: that I’ve been a sucker for advertising since I was very young.
The product is still around, even if H. J. & Heinz,
the “almost human beans,” aren’t.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Ohio Edison Ad – March 17, 1952

Did your mother dry the laundry outside on a clothes line?

Many of our neighbors had clothes lines when I was growing up in the 1960s – even on Skyline Drive –but we never did. Years ago, I asked my mother why we didn’t have one. 

Her explanation had something to do with birds.

Anyway, many people dried their clothes on a line in the 1950s. That's the theme of this Ohio Edison ad from the March 17, 1952 Lorain Journal featuring our old pal Reddy Kilowatt. 

The ad message is that with a Westinghouse electric dryer, you didn’t have to worry about your laundry ever getting rained on.

Using one of those online inflation converters, the dryer's $235 price tag would be more than 2500 bucks today. Shocking, to say the least!

Anyway, I like the little drop down door shown in the ad that you can fold your clothes on. I seem to do my folding all over the place – on the sofa, the bed, the kitchen table, even the floor!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Clovervale Dairy Store Ad – 1962

Well, we had two days worth of posts devoted to cereal. How about a little milk to go with them?

Above is an ad for Clovervale Dairy Stores that I found in the pages of an old Vermilion Photojournal from Sept. 19, 1962. 

What was interesting (to me, at least) was the fact that the dairy had its own convenience stores, much like Lawsons. The stores were located in Avon Lake (140 Lear Road); Sheffield Lake (5384 E. Lake Road); North Ridgeville (Root Road and U. S. Route 20); and Vermilion (in the South Shore Shopping Center).

Clovervale Creamery had its roots in the old East Side Dairy on Connecticut Avenue in Lorain, going back to at least the early 1930s. It became Cawrse’s East Side Dairy in the early 1950s before establishing the Clovervale brand in the 1960s.

Early 1960s Lorain Phone Book ad

By the 1970s, the company had become Clovervale Foods. It was still on Connecticut Avenue up until the early 2000s, when it moved to Cooper Foster Park Road in Amherst. Today the facility is part of Tyson Foods.


And what about the old Clovervale Dairy Store buildings?

Here’s the one on Lake Road in Sheffield Lake.

And here is the one in Avon Lake on Lear. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Kellogg’s of Battle Creek Vintage Postcards

Remember watching TV shows in the 1960s that were sponsored by “Kellogg’s of Battle Creek?” Everyone in America knew the name of the city in Michigan where the cereal giant was located.

The Kellogg’s cereal plant was a major tourist destination for many years. Consequently, it ended up on postcards. Here’s an ample sample from through the years. (I’ve included some postmark dates.)

It’s interesting seeing how the plant evolved.


The visitor’s entrance became the focal point of the postcard beginning in the late 1950s. 


Being a cereal fanatic, I would have loved to have taken a tour of the Kellogg’s factory in Battle Creek, Michigan. But the public tours ended in the 1980s, out of concerns that trade secrets were being stolen.

I did visit Battle Creek with my younger brother in 1998, however, to visit the Kellogg’s Cereal City attraction located downtown. We made a side trip to drive around the huge Kellogg’s manufacturing plant, even though we couldn’t get inside. We also wanted to find and photograph the Tony the Tiger and son statue.

What we found was a little depressing. The former entrance to the plant – through which thousands of visitors streamed over the years, eager to see their favorite cereals being manufactured – was now an overgrown mess.

The statue of Tony the Tiger and Tony Jr. were still there on the grounds, but I had to photograph them through a chain link fence.

So what does the Kellogg’s plant and office complex look like today? Incredibly, most of the buildings shown in the vintage postcards are no more, except for some associated with production. The building where the visitor entrance was located was gone by the early 2000s.

The office building was the last to go. Here’s a vintage postcard of it.

And here’s a Google Maps view of it, off in the distance, circa 2012.

And finally, here’s a photo (courtesy of the Battle Creek Enquirer) of its demolition, along with neighboring Kellogg's buildings, in 2016.

Today, the Tony the Tiger and Tony Jr. statue are located near the new entrance to the factory. You can just barely see them near the base of the flagpole in these Google Maps drive-by photos.

Here’s a closer look.

Kellogg’s sponsored The Huckleberry Hound ShowThe Yogi Bear Show and Quick Draw McGraw. So it’s not surprising that the Hanna Barbara cartoon menagerie was featured on postcards along with the Kellogg’s advertising mascots.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes Ad – March 4, 1953

Tony the Tiger as I remember him,
with the football-shaped head
Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes was one of the sugary sweet cereals that my mother regularly bought for my siblings and me in the 1960s and 70s. With four kids pouring big bowlfuls of it at a time, the box never lasted very long. It was also the favorite cereal in the Snack Pak (or Variety Pak) multi-box package that my parents brought along on our camping trips.

But more than sixty years ago, Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes was still a new cereal. Below is an ad that ran in the Lorain Journal back on March 4, 1953.

Note that Tony Jr. was around since the beginning. Here’s a closer look at the box in the ad.

Whatever happened to Tony Jr. anyway? After he was a flop fronting his own cereal (Frosted Rice), he seems to have disappeared. 
Here’s how Tony looks these days.
And here’s a screen grab from the Frosted Flakes website, showing Tony has evolved. “New” Tony looks like he’s misplaced his dentures.
Anyway, here’s a vintage commercial for Sugar Frosted Flakes. Maybe it will bring back some happy memories and cause you to pick up a box.


Tony the Tiger has been featured on this blog before, mainly in his moonlighting role at Giant Tiger. And Tony’s elfin co-workers at Kellogg’s – Snap, Crackle and Pop – have popped up on the blog too.

Friday, March 18, 2022

American Crucible Revisited

It was kind of a shock to read that the former American Crucible building on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain burned down back on March 10. The fire is still under investigation to determine if it was arson.

Once again, Lorain loses a former landmark, and its landscape undergoes a dramatic change.

I did a post back here on American Crucible, which featured a 1947 article highlighting the firm’s products. As it noted, “Whether it’s a refrigerator, a yacht, an army combat plane or a battleship, if there’s a bronze part, it’s probably related to Lorain.”

Here’s one of its products, depicted in a 1931 ad on eBay. It’s for Master Traffic - Control Equipment.

And this postcard – also on eBay – features the American Crucible ‘Promet’ brand tin or lead bass.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

1972 St. Patrick’s Day Restaurant Ads

The restaurant ads in the Journal on St. Patrick’s Day 1972 weren’t exactly overflowing with corned beef and cabbage. Maybe Lorain just didn’t have a very big Irish population, except for those O’Brady’s on the west side.

Elberta Inn in Vermilion was promoting its upcoming clambake.

And Amber Oaks was thinking even further ahead to Easter. (BTW, I haven’t made it out to the ‘new’ Amber Oaks yet.)

Presti's of Oberlin did a superb job of ignoring St. Patrick’s Day too.

In North Ridgeville, the fabulous “Songsations” were performing at Harrish’s in the Ridgeview Shopping Center on U. S. Route 20.
And over in Avon Lake, the Tropicana was featuring The Vengeant Fox for everyone’s dining and dancing pleasure.
The Ponderosa Pines Park Ranch House out on Diagonal Road had Ernie Nichols (morning personality on WOBL) and the Nightbeats. Plenty of Lake Erie perch but no corned beef and cabbage. 
At least L-K Restaurants were thinking of beef. But not corned beef; it was their L-K Tender Steak, “1/2 pound of satisfying goodness.” Love that crooked logo in the ad!
But, Dan (you might be thinking) – where are all the St. Patrick’s Day ads? Well, me boyo, only good old Sherwood Inn was catering to the sons of Erin that day, with a corned beef and cabbage dinner for only $2.50.