Friday, April 29, 2022

Detroit Edison Docks at Lorain – April 1972

Back in the 60s and 70s, the Journal used to regularly feature wonderful photos of the Great Lakes freighters that used to dock at Lorain, especially the first ones to arrive in the spring. It was part of what made life in Lorain interesting and unique.

Above is one of those photos, with this one by Journal Photographer Jim Fiedler. The caption reads, "The Detroit Edison tied up to the coal dock in the port of Lorain Tuesday to become the third ship of the spring season to enter the port. Two others steamed in last weekend. The ship was loaded with 20,327 tons of coal and left at about midnight Tuesday. It is returning to Detroit."

As always, it's fun to learn about the ship in these photos. 

Two websites, and great provide a nice capsule history of the Detroit Edison. The Great Lakes bulk freighter was built by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in 1954 and was launched on September 9, 1954. Its maiden voyage was on April 15, 1955. Its owner was American Steamship Company.

The Detroit Edison was 589.58 feet in length, originally with coal-fired boilers. It was lengthened in 1966 at Superior, Wisconsin by Fraser Shipyards. 

On May, 1, 1970 it was grounded in Amherstburg Channel, Detroit River and sustained slight bottom damage. It ran aground at Fairport, Ohio on September 4, 1970, "when bow thrusters proved useless against strong winds." It ran aground again, on Grays Reef in Lake Michigan, on December 22, 1980.

Finally, in late 1986 it sold for scrap to Corostel Trading, was towed to Brownsville, Texas for breaking up.

According to a more detailed history found here on, "the Detroit Edison had her boilers automated and converted to oil-firing in 1971 by the American Shipbuilding Company at their Lorain, Ohio, yard."

Detroit Edison, 1973
(Photo by Roger LeLievre and courtesy of

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Collins Waits for its New Post Office – April 1972

Fifty years ago, back when the Journal had news bureaus in many cities in and around the so-called "Golden Crescent," the newspaper featured many articles about small town life. What's great about this is that there was a lot of change taking place in these little burgs, and the paper was there to document it.

Along those lines, here's a story about Collins, a small town community located just off U. S. 20 between Wakeman and Norwalk. The focus of the story from the April 6, 1972 Journal is the construction of Collins' new post office, and the mystery surrounding the interruption of its construction.

So did Collins ever get its new U. S. Post Office?

Well, it's on the map. 
Unfortunately, I'm unable to drag the little Google Maps 'Street View" guy kicking and screaming onto North Railroad Street so we can get a nice view of the building. I guess Google didn't want to photograph that street.
At least we can get a glimpse of the brick Post Office (with its flagpole in front of it) from County Highway 58.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Royal Canadian Mounties Article – April 1972

To Americans, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are often seen as stuffy, comical buffoons and something to laugh at, thanks to the Dudley Do-Right cartoons that were part of the old Bullwinkle TV show.

But although the Mounties seem like they belong in the pioneering days of the past, the RCMP still play a role in modern Canada, providing provincial policing in eight provinces, as well as local policing in some territories.

And here's a great article about the RCMP from the April 7, 1972 edition of the Lorain Journal, providing an interesting perspective on the eve of the organization's 100th birthday celebration in 1973. 

Of particular interest are the requirements to be eligible for the force, including being between the age of 19 and 29; being a native of a British Commonwealth country; a minimum height of five feet, eight inches; being single and agreeing not to marry for at least two years; requirements to become an expert in boxing and judo; and being able to handle a canoe (the only requirement that seems uniquely Canadian).


Royal Canadian Mounties – a traditional symbol of Canada, along with the beaver and the Maple Leaf – have long been a favorite subject of postcards. Here are a few, culled from eBay.

Canada has been a favorite topic on this blog, eh? There have been many posts on Niagara Falls (one of which featured Dudley Do-Right) and one on Canada's favorite honey: Billy Bee. And don't forget those Canadian bicyclists who visited Vermilion. Or the Toronto Maple Leafs
While preparing this post, I remembered something that I hadn't thought about in years.
In the bedroom that I shared with my two brothers when we were kids, we each had a 10" plastic statue of a Canadian Mountie that sat on the headboards of our beds. The statues were souvenirs of our trip to Expo 67 at Montreal.
They looked exactly like this one (below).

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Cowboy Globe Trotters – 1912 Postcard

You never know what you're going to find on eBay. Take this item for example, which was for sale a few weeks ago.

It's a great vintage "real photo" postcard depicting three gentlemen dressed as cowboys and posing for a photographer in a studio. But it wasn't taken Out West; the photo was shot right here in Lorain, Ohio.

The inscription on the front of the postcard reads, "Cow-boy globe trotter's," with the Lorain photographer identified as "Brittson," with whom I was not familiar. But the back of the postcard (postmarked December 31, 1912) revealed that it was manufactured by the Leiter Post Card Co., Lorain, Ohio.

So I turned to Paula Short, a Leiter expert and collector, as well as one of the authors of the book Lorain: The Real Postcards of Willis Leiter for help in finding out about the photographer. 

Of course, Paula had seen the postcard on eBay. "The Brittson card is a nice one and definitely caught the attention of the Leiter Group," she noted.

"I looked in the 1909 Lorain City Directory and found that Batie T. Brittson was a photographer at 424 Broadway. He and his wife, Orpha, resided at the same address. Leiter Studio was then located across the street at 523 Broadway. This was shortly before the street names and numbers changed later in the same year. He is not listed in the 1912 Lorain City Directory. 

So why was the postcard produced by a competitor?

"Maybe Brittson didn't have the technology to print a RPPC so he took it to Willis?" pondered Paula. "They could have been acquainted - same profession, only a block apart. 

"More research found that Beatty (Batie) was born in Indiana, had first married Grace Weers and later married Orpha Litzenberg. He died in an accident at Youngstown in 1915 and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay, Ohio."

It just goes to show you that when you need help with research, go right to an expert. Thanks, Paula!

But what about the three amigos dressed as cowboys? 

I'm afraid I can't find out anything online about these urban cowpokes. The fancy duds (and lack of guns) make me think that these dudes were entertainers, perhaps musicians. 

Or maybe it was just three buddies having fun and posing for a novelty photo – like the kind you can get at Cedar Point or some other tourist mecca.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Lorain Civil War Veterans Article – April 1922

Do you have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War?

I do. Peter Brady (my emigrant ancestor) was with the 3rd Regiment New Jersey Infantry. He wasn't in the army very long (just three months) so I have no box of medals or interesting papers other than a copy of his basic war record from the National Archives.

The official history of the regiment stated that the New Jersey Brigade (consisting of the First, Second, Third and Fourth Regiments) reported to the President at Washington, D.C. on May 5th, 1861 and was the first fully organized brigade to arrive for the defense of the National Capital.

The record also notes, “At the battle of Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861, the Brigade was held as a reserve but not engaged.” This was probably a good thing for me, since that first major land battle of the Civil War was a Union defeat.

Anyway, as a direct descendant of a Civil War Union veteran, I'm entitled to join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War fraternal organization. I did just that, and am a member of the James A. Garfield Camp #142.

Thus I have an interest in the Civil War, and have written here on the blog about the 103rd O.V.I., the G. A. R. Highway, monuments, various statues and even a few veterans including Pvt. Cornelius Quinn, as well as the "last" Civil War survivor.

And if all of this talk about Civil War veterans interests you, here's a good article from the April 10, 1922 Lorain Times-Herald – a mere 100 years ago this month. It provides a nice snapshot of the surviving Lorain Civil War veterans at that time, when the war had been over for 57 years.

As the article notes, there were nineteen of them, with just six belonging to the Lorain Grand Army of the Republic organization: August Baldwin; T. O. Cook; C. E. Doane; Dr. J. M. Van Tilburg; A. Sigfried; and John Litz.

Those not belonging to the post included: Thomas Armstrong; Dr. S. Bali; J. F. Cahoon; J. Schnitzler; Mathew Senx (not sure if that is spelled correctly); M. Reep; Andrew Severa; H. W. Adams; James Tabor; Nicholas Myers; J. A. Jewett; P. R. Penrod; and A. Kemery.

As the article notes, there were a few additional local veterans that did not participate "in the affairs of the veterans of the Civil conflict and consequently no record of them has been maintained."

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Dinner Restaurant Ads – 1971

Here’s wishing all of my readers a joyous Easter!

Are you planning a big Easter dinner? I’m eschewing the usual ham in favor of beef, which I’ll be chewing in the form of Western-style ribs. A real cowboy dinner.

But if you were hoping to avoid a culinary clean-up in the kitchen fifty-one years ago, you had a few restaurant options. But unlike my supper today, beef was not on the menu at Arby’s which was closed on Easter Sunday 1971.

Beef was on the menu at Chris Family Restaurant on West Erie, which was serving up a sirloin dinner, roast chicken, a Hungarian platter and its still-great today perch dinner.
Corinthian Family Restaurant at 1138 Broadway had a great varied menu for Easter, including Roast Tom Turkey, Shiskabob, Swiss Steak, Baked Hickory Smoked Ham and – what else? – Sirloin of Beef. (Maybe having beef today isn’t as offbeat as I thought.)
And lastly, Harvest House Cafeteria at Midway Mall surprisingly did not feature its endless year-round Thanksgiving turkey feast. Its ad described a great Baked Ham Dinner with Sweet Potatoes, Choice of Vegetable, Tossed Salad, Juice, Cheese Cake and Beverage, all for $2.50.

Now that I’ve gotten you hungry, hope you enjoy a nice Easter dinner, whatever is on the menu!
As noted a few days ago, I’ll be taking this week off as I transition all of my files (hopefully) from my ancient, barely working iMac to a brand new one. See you soon!

Friday, April 15, 2022

Ohio Edison Good Friday Ad – 1972

Well, it’s Good Friday – the day on which Christians commemorate the crucification of Jesus Christ. In the old days, that meant many businesses were closed (except the companies that I worked for).

In 1972, Ohio Edison was one of them, including its Appliance Store on Broadway in Lorain. Even though his appearances were getting pretty rare in the Journal by the early 1970s, our old pal Reddy Kilowatt was pressed into service to put a somewhat incongruously happy face on this most somber of days.

(Speaking of businesses closing, I remember at least one Good Friday in the 1970s in which our favorite pizzeria was closed, and we had to come up with some other dinner solution.)

Anyway, here’s hoping you have a good, meaningful and safe Good Friday. 

I plan on taking a ‘Spring Break’ on the blog next week, as I fix my technical problems with the help of my longtime Mac guru, and am offline for a few days beginning on Monday.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Hills Easter Egg Hunt Ad – April 1971

Easter is this Sunday, so here’s a vintage ad from Easter 1971. Hills Department Store was holding a huge Easter egg hunt, and advertised it with a nearly full-page advertisement in the April 2, 1971 Journal. I like the attention-getting layout, especially the chick with the egg fragment hat.

It looks like a lot of fun, with plenty of prizes, as well as gifts for the non-winners too. You don’t see Target or Walmart doing anything like this these days. 

And check out the 5-foot tall jumbo basket loaded with goodies, which I’m sure was good for a few stomach aches.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Candy Shop Easter Ads – 1972 & 1973

Easter is only a few days away. Have you bought your candy yet?

I’ve been buying Easter candy at Discount Drug Mart for weeks. “These will never make it to Easter,” I confide to the checkout cashier as she rings up my low-grade Palmer Bunny Crisps. Same thing with the Peeps Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks – they’re marshmallow history now.

Anyway, while everyone in Lorain remembers Faroh’s, over in Vermilion, The Candy Shop in the South Shore Shopping Center was the go-to candy store for many years. Here’s a vintage ad from fifty years ago. It ran in the Journal on March 28, 1972.

And here's the 1973 version announcing the store's move.

From the Journal of April 5, 1973
Click here to read my post from 2019 that tells the history of the well-remembered store.

As I write this on Wednesday night, my iMac (that is thirteen years old – a teenager) has gone black four times without warning or explanation. I’m not sure if I will be able to continue to post while I prepare to migrate everything to a new computer, so if this is the last post that is up for a few days or weeks, you’ll know why!

Sheffield Lake vs. Hotrodders – April 12, 1961

Sheffield Lake shows up on this blog too rarely. That’s why when I find a vintage article about the city that I lived in for almost 18 years, I move it up to the front of the line.

This article, from the Lorain Journal of April 12, 1961, tells about a problem that Sheffield Lake was having at that time with some pesky hot-rodders using part of an undeveloped boulevard for their auto antics.
It’s a little tough to understand what part of Lincoln Boulevard they were using. 
(BTW, I wrote about Knickerbocker Knolls – mentioned in the article – back here.
Today in 2022, Lincoln Boulevard is referenced on the official City of Sheffield Lake website as "an undeveloped paper street" that is part of the Lincoln Nature Trail. So I guess the hot-rodding days ended a long time ago.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Wild West Sarsaparilla Article – April 2, 1972

Wild West Sarsaparilla has ‘popped’ up on this blog many times over the years. The unique soft drink with the Western theme was marketed by a Lorain company and is well-remembered by older residents.

There was just something cool about a soft drink marketed nationally that was Lorain-based. And the Wild West cowboy theme made it fun. (I wonder if they served it at Heilman’s Ranch House?)

Anyway, here's a good article from the April 2, 1972 edition of the Journal that tells us a little bit about the history of the drink, a hint as to what was in it, and how the business was going at that time.


“Do You Shoot the Man Who Doesn’t Like It?

‘Wild West’ Sarsaparilla: A Big Hit from Lorain


WILD WEST Sarsaparilla, tough to find in Lorain and illegal in Oberlin, is finally making its way back to the land of its namesake.

The soft drink, first produced in 1969, is marketed by a Lorain firm. It is now being sold west of the Mississippi after it caught on fast in the east.

Wild West is patented by World Trade, Inc., at 1127 Reid Ave., Lorain.

That first year, about 30,000 cases were sold in Ohio and Michigan. Company officials estimate sales will push toward a million cases this year, and Wild West will be available in all but a handful of states.

Even though one of the canneries which produce it is located at Aurora, near Cleveland, the drink is hard to find in Lorain County because the area is currently without a distributorship, according to Al Gantose, general manager of World Trade’s beverage division.

“We’re looking for a good distributor,” he added. “After all these years I don’t feel like becoming a beverage truck driver again.”

And because Wild West is available only in red, white, and black cans, an Oberlin sarsaparilla drinker who brought some home would find himself in violation of a city ordinance banning non-returnable containers.

But elsewhere, Wild West seems to be a hot item. About a dozen canneries in the nation produce it, from the flavor concentrate sold to them by World Trade. The concentrate is combined with sugar to form a syrup, which is then combined with carbonated water and canned.

The president of World Trade, Inc., is Gerald Strohacker, who claims he has met only one man who didn’t like Wild West.

“Did you shoot him?” asked Gantose.

“No, he just didn’t like the real sugar in it,” Strohacker replied. 

He has a letter on file from an elderly man who wrote that he hadn’t tasted anything like Wild West since he was a youngster. “A woman told me she likes it because it tastes like bubble gum,” Strohacker added. And others say the flavor resembles root beer.

What is this brew with the “quick-draw top?”

The formula is a secret. The drink traditionally derives its flavor from birch oil and sassafras. Wild West looks like a cola drink. And a Journal reporter who uncapped a frosty one agreed that the flavor is distinctive, if undefinable.

Strohacker says the flavor seems to appeal to both young and old. He expects a higher per-capita consumption in western states because of the drink’s association with prairie history.

“The good guys drank sarsaparilla, instead of redeye,” Strohacker explained. Gantose added that sarsaparilla was mentioned more than 15 times in a recently televised western film.

THE PEOPLE at World Trade are proud of their product, and feel justified since several imitators have been marketed since Wild West was introduced.

Gantose opened a can of another brand.

“It doesn’t foam. I bet you’re going to burp,” commented a secretary.

Gantose squinted like Marshall Dillon. “It doesn’t have body,” he judged. No one said if that meant “yes” or “no.”

Lorain County has been soda pop central over the years, with all of the various local companies producing and bottling the stuff, including Whistle, Canada Dry and Pepsi. And don’t forget the other Western-themed soft drink from World Trade called Wild West Firewater.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Yala’s Pizza: A Pizza By Any Other Name...

Did you know Yala’s Pizza has changed its name, as well as its longtime phone number?

Last week, an alert reader emailed me to let me know. At first, I thought it was an April Fool’s Day prank. But it’s no joke. 

The explanation was on the restaurant’s Facebook page. It notes, "On July 10th, 2021, Eliseo DeSantis passed away. It has been a troubling time having to continue forward without him, but I feel that he would be proud of the path we are taking. 

"March was a memorable month for our family. His birthday on the 16th and the anniversary of my family taking over the pizza shop, the 5th. 
"In honor of my parents, Eliseo and Francesca, who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into make the business what it is today I am happy to announce that we are rebranding Yala's Pizza to Fran's Pizza. Same recipe, same ingredients, same taste. Just a new name and a new number to go along with it (4402827544).
"Thank you all for your support this last year without my father and your continued support moving forward.
As expected, the name change has resulted in a variety of responses, from approval and support (from friends of the DeSantis family) and disappointment and outrage (from everyone else).
What do I think? Well, I think it’s a mistake. 
Yala’s Pizza is a symbol of Lorain. It was the first real pizza parlor on the West side of Lorain during its growth spurt in the 1950s, and consequently Yala’s was the first pizza many of us ever had. Some of us even remember being able to sit down and eat there.
The Brady’s ordered three small pizzas every Friday for years – and ate the leftovers for lunch on Saturday. It was our ritual.
As the decades passed, Yala’s taste and quality never changed, and the pizza attracted national attention as being authentic and great. I know people who have been to Italy and confirmed that Yala’s is the real thing.
Thank goodness the DeSantis family kept the iconic restaurant going, and creatively partnered it with Eliseo’s Pizza under the same roof.
But if the only change is the name and phone number, then why is it a big deal?
Well, people are funny. They don’t like change, and they don’t want something they love to be tampered with. (Remember New Coke?)
The name 'Yala’s Pizza' honors the recipe and taste that was created by the original people behind it: Louis Fuervando, Jay Telloni and Yala Armelie. To change the name to Fran’s Pizza obscures the company’s heritage, not to mention creating the impression that something dear to many Lorainite’s hearts (and stomachs) is going to change. And some people will stay away, judging by the Facebook reaction.
In the end, if someone loves the taste of the pizza enough, they won’t care what the name is. Just like the old saying, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
It’s just that we lose a little bit of Old Lorain in the process. And in this day and age, there’s not a lot of it left.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Early “The Passing Scene” Cartoons – April 1965

To close out the week, here’s a few very early The Passing Scene comics from April 1965. It’s appropriate since the cartoonist himself, Gene Patrick, was featured here yesterday on the blog.

These are the earliest editions of the strip that I’ve ever seen. The first one ran in the Journal on April 10, 1965.

Gene sneaks in a few caricatures. I guess that’s one of the Beatles in the second panel. And that’s a great drawing of a miserable President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the third panel. 

The strip below ran on this blog before. But in the interest of grouping it with the strips that ran before and after it, here it is again. It’s from April 17, 1965.
The last strip is from April 24, 1965. I like that ‘Adventure Night’ at the Huron Library panel. It reminds me of the old Hanna Barbera cartoons which depicted Adventurer’s Clubs (usually in old Snagglepuss cartoons) in which the members wore pith helmets and recanted tales of their various safaris and other hunting expeditions.
As you’ve noticed, there haven’t been any Passing Scene cartoons on the blog for quite a while. Hopefully I will encounter them soon as I review old microfilm at the library month by month for my “50 years ago this month” themed posts.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Gene’s Hobby Hub Opens – April 1972

Cartoonist Gene Patrick has been featured many times on this blog over the years.

Regular readers know that I’m a huge fan of his Passing Scene comic that ran in the Journal in the 60s and 70s. In fact, the number of blog posts featuring his cartoons (43 at this point) even exceeds those with our pal Reddy Kilowatt!

During his time at the Journal, Gene stepped away from his cartoon creation beginning around July 1969. But since he was also a photographer, his great photos kept on appearing in the paper even though his cartoons didn’t.

So what was Gene doing with all that spare time? Well, fifty years ago this month, he opened his own store: Gene’s Hobby Hub, right next door to Yala’s Pizza. (Note that Gene incorporated his first name into the name of his business, as it was the trend back then that I wrote about in yesterday’s post.)

Here’s the article that tells the whole story, from the Journal of April 9, 1972.

According to the article, he was no longer a Journal employee at that time. It points out that he "was a photographer and cartoonist for the Journal for seven years," which sounds about right since the first Passing Scene cartoons I’ve ever seen were from 1965.

The article also notes, “He will sell all types of hobby equipment, including rockets, radio-controlled airplanes and accessories, model railroad trains and equipment, slot racing cars and the new rage, decoupage and iconage supplies.”

I remember going in there a few times with a friend who was into rockets. Gene was always friendly and kind. I recall that some of his Passing Scene cartoons were either taped to the register or hanging on the wall; that’s how I made the connection who he was.

May 12, 1972 ad from the Journal

Anyway, the business eventually closed and Gene returned to the Journal and The Passing Scene. It was probably a disappointment for him, but at least his fans got to once again enjoy his great cartoons for a few more years.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Harry’s Men's Wear Article – April 1972

When a new business opens these days – whether it’s a restaurant, boutique or whatever – the trend is for it to have an unusual name, requiring the owner to have to go to great pains to explain it on TV or the newspaper (assuming they even get some news coverage). I guess the strategy is for the name to be so unique that you remember it. 

Unfortunately, most new businesses fail anyway, despite what creativity or thought went into their names.
But in the old days, many of Lorain’s most popular and enduring businesses simply took the first name of whoever owned it. Think about it: Rosie’s Pizza; Steve’s Shoe Shop; Bob’s Donuts; Mary’s Sweet Shop; Dom & Luigi’s Barber Shop.
Walking into these businesses and seeing the owner working there instilled a sense of trust and loyalty. You recognized Bob making the donuts, Rosie in her kitchen overseeing her pizza operations, or Steve repairing the shoes.
Along those lines, here’s an article about one of those gutsy Lorain entrepreneurs who started a business that lasted for decades: Harry Levine, who owned and operated Harry’s Men's Wear. The article ran in the Journal back on April 2, 1972 and provides a nice biography of Harry.
Harry’s been featured on this blog before. You can find the ad for his 1950 Grand Opening here, a 1954 Back-to-School ad here, and a 1959 ad for his line of bowling attire here
Harry’s was located in the Thistle Building.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Journal Entertainment Page – April 1, 1972

Here’s a nice cultural snapshot from fifty years ago: the entertainment page from the Journal of April 1, 1972.

As usual there was something for everyone, movie-wise. The Godfather was playing at Midway Mall. The Palace had two movies directed by John Schlesinger, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Midnight Cowboy.

Clint Eastwood was starring in a great quadruple feature at Lorain Drive-in, where the lineup was A Fistful of Dollars; A Few Dollars More; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; and Hang’em High. Tower Drive-in was showing Who Slew Auntie Roo?, starring Shelley Winters and “Oliver” himself (Mark Lester), and The Return of Count Yorga. (It’s hard for me to accept Shelley Winters in a horror flick, after seeing her as the saloon girl in the classic Western Winchester ’73 with James Stewart.)

But what about family-friendly fare? Not everyone wanted to see gangsters and vampires.

Walt Disney Productions’ Lady and the Tramp and Bongo were showing at Liberty Theater in Vermilion; the Duke in Rio Lobo was the bottom of a triple feature at Carlisle Drive-in. Amherst Theatre had the rodeo Western J. W. Coop with Cliff Robertson.

Over at the Tivoli, Catch-22 was onscreen, along with Walter Mathau in Plaza Suite. Although I loved the book Catch-22 and reread it every few years, I disliked the movie, which I found unfunny and forced (which I blame on the script and the director). It has a great cast, however, especially Alan Arkin.

Strangely, the VL Cinema (later well-known for unsavory cinematic fare) was showing The Bible: In the Beginning.


There’s a few restaurant ads of interest on the Journal page as well. Americana Inn (previously mentioned on this blog on a New Year’s Eve post) had two ads: one for its Saturday night specials, and another plugging its Easter Sunday menu. Most surprising of all was the ad for Harvest House at the Mall, which had a baked ham dinner as well as a Swiss steak special on the menu, instead of the usual year-round Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

Lorain’s nationality and social clubs are well-represented on the page, with ads for Polish American Citizen’s Club, Lorain Eagles and United Polish Club.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Groundbreaking for Lorain’s New City Hall – 1972

Fifty years ago, the groundbreaking for Lorain’s new City Hall was just getting under way. 

It was a symbolic event, bridging the past – represented by the aging, decrepit mansion that had served the city for decades – and the future, with all the promise it held.

It was an exciting time in Lorain’s history. 

The actual ceremony was very well planned, with true inclusivity. The city’s youth figured prominently in the ceremony, since an Admiral King High School senior, Robert Goodman, was enlisted to deliver the keynote address. Here’s the story from the front page of the Friday, March 24, 1972 Journal.

On Monday, March 27, 1972 the newspaper's coverage of the event included the front page article below.
As noted in the article written by Staff Writer Glenn Waggoner, “The groundbreaking was a colorful ceremony under bright sunny skies. A chill wind off Lake Erie failed to take away the excitement.

“There were about 250 people on hand for the ceremony.
“The bands from Southview High School, Admiral King High School and Lorain High School performed for the crowd.
“Mayor Joseph Zahorec and Service Director Elio Jacobozzi presided over the ceremony. They introduced present and former councilmen and city officials. And Zahorec made reference to the fact that Lorain had been trying for 50 years to build a new City Hall.
“The ceremony began at 2 p.m. After introducing Republicans and Democrats who had worked on the project, the actual ground breaking took place at 3:54 p.m.
“Among those on hand was Woodrow Mathna, former mayor of Lorain who had worked toward a new City Hall during his administration. He served 10 years as mayor before he was defeated last fall by Zahorec.
“People of all walks of life – judges, lawyers, steelworkers, housewives, businessmen – were on hand for the ceremony.”
From the March 27, 1972 Journal.
(Note the long-gone West Erie Avenue streetscape behind the crowd.)

Friday, April 1, 2022

“Grand Canyon Suite” Composer Passes Away – April 1972

Yesterday’s post was about the Admiral King Marching Band and the uniforms its members wore while performing at football games and parades. 

When the football season was over, however, the band would shift gears and become a regular concert band (with the appropriate adjustments in instrumentation, especially in the percussion section). Many times, the director would hand out music for us to play, just to see what a particular arrangement sounded like, and to see if it was something that might be usable for a concert. Often these were just pieces that had been in the AKHS musical archives.

It was fun running through these pieces, although sometimes after we played them (if it sounded wretched enough), we were instructed to hand it back in again. If I remember correctly, one of these compositions that we rehearsed, but never played in a concert, was “On the Trail,” part of The Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé.

That was the first time I had ever heard it. As with all things Western, I immediately liked it, with its clip-clopping sound of a donkey or mule making its way along the trail down into the Canyon. 

Here’s “On the Trail” in its entirety, in a full orchestral arrangement with strings (in contrast to the concert band version we played). The well-known clip-clopping theme starts around one minute and twenty seconds into it.

The whole Grand Canyon Suite is great (check it out), but it’s “On the Trail” that was the most well-known part. Bits of it were even used in A Christmas Story.

Anyway, fifty years ago this month, Mr. Grofé passed away. Here is his obituary that appeared in the Journal on April 4, 1972.
If he had only composed The Grand Canyon Suite, that accomplishment alone would have been enough to cement Grofé's place in music history. But he contributed many more great compositions, and even arranged George Gershwins’s Rhapsody in Blue – originally written for two pianos – for a full orchestra. Grofé’s famous arrangement is the one that we all know and love today.