Friday, July 29, 2022

John Penton Article – July 4, 1971

I'll close out the week (and the month) here on the blog with a great article about well-known motorcycle racer and entrepreneur John Penton of Amherst. The full-page story written by Journal Staff Writer Bob Cotleur (whose work has been featured many times on this blog) appeared in the paper on July 4, 1971. It's a great profile of John Penton (who was 46 years old at that time) and provides an interesting look at how he developed an interest in motorcycles, his military career, the beginnings of his motorcycle business, as well as his many racing accomplishments.

Click here to read a great article about John Penton on the dirtbikemagazine website that explains how and when the Penton name was replaced by a KTM logo.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Grand Opening of Hall's Motor Sales Showroom – July 6, 1962

We'll linger in Amherst here on the blog for a few more days...

Above is a 3/4 page ad for the Grand Opening of Hall's Motor Sales' new used car showroom on Kolbe Road in Amherst. The ad ran in the Journal back on July 6, 1962.

Like so many other ads I've posted over the years (such as this one for Jay's IGA), the ad included a stock photo of a uniformed cutie to attract attention.

The vague 'Kolbe Road' address interested me, as there weren't too many commercially zoned properties back then – or now for that matter – on Kolbe Road near Amherst. So where was this place?

I had a hunch where it was, since the building looked somewhat familiar, and I was right. Its current address is 1255 N. Main Street, just a little north of Downtown Amherst. It most recently was the home of Rich's Auto Body Shop (now closed).

Car dealerships have long been a regular topic on this blog, with posts devoted to Bob Beck Chevrolet, Atkinson Williams Ford, Ed Mullnax and Kaminski Oldsmobile.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Amherst Frontier Week – July 7 - 14, 1962

Last week, I did a post about the July 1962 celebration of Steelmark Days, a sales promotion sponsored by Lorain Merchants to honor the city's steelworkers (and drum up some store business).

During that same month in 1962 over in Amherst, the Western-themed Frontier Week sponsored by Amherst merchants was taking place. Above is a page from the July 9, 1962 Journal with some photos of the parade.

As the article notes, "A gigantic parade, a parachute drop, fireworks spectacular and crowning of the Frontier Queen combined with other scheduled events to open Frontier Week – a week of fun sponsored by the Amherst merchants.

"A crowd of 8,000 lined the parade route to watch the hour-long procession of floats, bands and marching units. The parade was the longest ever held in Amherst and one of the most colorful.

"The climax of the opening day was the crowning of Miss Leslie Ann King as Frontier Week Queen of 1962.

"The first day of Frontier week concluded with a fireworks display."

The inaugural Frontier Week had taken place in the summer of 1957. By 1958 the celebration included a beard contest, and the fining or imprisonment of any Amherst residents not wearing western hats!

The 1962 edition of Frontier Week included a regular midway downtown with a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, coaster and rocket, as well as a penny arcade, a rifle gallery, a duck pond, dart games and a cigarette game. The Erica Melchior Marionettes entertained from the bandstand, and street dancing with prizes concluded each night.

The last Frontier Week was celebrated in 1966. In a letter that appeared in the February 9, 1967 Amherst News-Times, Wayne Garland, the Frontier Week Chairman, felt that Frontier Week had "run its course." He also wrote that "any future celebrations would have to be moved away from the downtown area and be shorter in duration."

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

On Area Movie Screens – July 26, 1962

What was playing on area movie screens sixty years ago today?

Looking at the movie page from the Journal of July 26, 1962, I'm amazed at just how many area screens there were, and what a wonderful variety of movies there was.

Here is some of what local movie-goers back then could look forward to.

Jerry Lewis fans – and what kids didn't love Jerry Lewis? – were enjoying a special double feature at the Palace consisting of The Sad Sack and The Delicate Delinquent.

Here's the trailer.

We used to have a few Sad Sack comic books around the house. I don't know, but it's hard for me to see wacky Jerry Lewis as the low-key loser Sad Sack.

Amherst Theatre was showing Zotz!, with Tom Poston as a professor who discovers that an ancient amulet bestows magic powers to whoever has it in their possession. (It's hard to imagine the actor who played Bob Newhart's dim-witted handy man on Newhart as the star of the movie.)

Over at the Tivoli (beginning the next day) was the comedy-mystery The Notorious Landlady, with Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon and Fred Astaire. 
The ad makes it look pretty racy for 1962. Happily, Kim Novak is still with us.
On the more wholesome side, baseball fans could enjoy seeing Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in Safe at Home! at Tower Drive-in. (Too bad fellow Yankee Jim Bouton wasn't in that movie too.)
Safe at Home! was the bottom half of a double feature with Ride the High Country (a favorite of mine that I discussed back here).
Other local drive-in fare included Splendor in the Grass and The Hustler at Lorain Drive-in, and the odd double feature of Sweet Bird of Youth and Walt Disney's Greyfriars Bobby at the Carlisle Drive-in.
Over at Ohio Theater was the Disney comedy Bon Voyage, with Fred MacMurray and Jane Wyman. (Fred MacMurray's My Three Sons housekeeper William "Bub" Frawley was in that Yankee baseball flick.)
Perhaps the most interesting thing on that 1962 movie page wasn't a movie at all; it was yet another of those special, live monster shows at the Palace starting the next day: Dr. Jekyl and His Weird Show.
The ad copy sounds like it was written by a beatnik. It reads, "Hey Man! Dig This Crazy Show! Do not judge by anything seen before! So scary makes Dracula - Frankenstein look like daises [sic]!
Ambulances and nurses were helpfully on call at all times for patrons that couldn't handle the show, with its 'hideous apparitions" roaming the theatre, and "Beauties at Mercy of Inhuman Monsters." The ad also warns, "Monsters Grab Girls From Audiences." 
Also on the movie page is a nice ad for Cedar Point promoting an appearance by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and an ad for Evans Grill and its Fish Fry.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Changes at Bacon Woods Reservation – July 1962

The Vermilion River Reservation – consisting of Mill Hollow and Bacon Woods – was the very first Lorain County Metro Park, having opened in 1960. 

Many of us remember how the park was in its early days. The article below, which appeared in the Journal on July 26, 1962, notes some of the changes taking place at that time that helped to make the park a favorite of many Lorain County residents.

As the article notes, "Quite a few changes have taken place at the Bacon Woods Reservation of the Lorain County Metropolitan Park District in the former Mill Hollow area during the last three months.

"The major change has been the addition of 12 camp sites at the southwest end of the park and a camp fire circle which makes an excellent family camping area. A camp site may be reserved for overnight, a week, several days or a weekend by making an application to the Elyria park's office.

"Two concrete block toilet buildings have been constructed; one next to the main picnic area and the other near the camping area.

"Other new additions to the park include a flag pole and large outdoor pen housing a peacock, a pea hen, a white pheasant, a duck, a sheep, and a female white-tailed deer.

"The barn and the old historic house have been cleaned out, with the barn to serve as a temporary shelter and the house to used in establishing a historical museum. 

"Plans to be completed in the near future include the erection of one or more large picnic shelters in the present park; building a new road into the undeveloped area north of the bridge (this has already been staked out); the maintenance buildings are being moved to the top of the hill off Vermilion Rd. and the building of a parking lot next to Vermilion Rd., which will serve a new picnic area and a museum building.

"The Nature Center at Bacon Woods has been in existence for some time and is still growing. It houses a collection of bird and animal mounts, mostly gifts from Jack Sparks and Bud Schue, and other natural history items.

"The most popular attraction in the park is the live animal collection."


The Vermilion River Reservation is my favorite park – it's a real gem. And it's the first place that the Bradys ever camped in the early 1960s.

I've done several posts about Mill Hollow and Bacon Woods, including this one about a 1931 motorcycle hill climb at the park; this one about some of the Hialeah Tourist Cabins ending up at the park in 1960; this one about a badger being added to the park's live animal collection in 1963; this one about a new bridge into the park in 1964;  and this post with a photo of campers set up near the duck pond in 1969;

Friday, July 22, 2022

Hugh Gallagher Movie Review: "Snoopy Come Home" – July 1972

It's Friday, so many of us are thinking about the various entertainment options for the weekend.

Fifty years ago this month, you had the option of seeing the latest Peanuts movie, Snoopy, Come Home, brought to you by the same production team that created the popular TV specials that ran on CBS for so many years.

The Journal's well-known movie reviewer, Hugh Gallagher, didn't think too much of the movie, however and pulls no punches in his review. When it comes to a movie featuring lovable Charlie Brown and Snoopy, it almost seems blasphemous for a movie critic to say in so many words: "It stinks."

In his review, Gallagher notes, "The movie is too long for the thin plot and most of the fill material is very boring. It would be hard for a child not to squirm around a lot during this film." He notes that the music, created by the same composing team that worked on Mary Poppins, is "banal and poorly performed." And Gallagher adds that "the action is sluggish and the "Peanuts" pearls of wisdom fall very flat sometimes."

Good grief! I wonder what the corporate suits in charge of the Peanuts moneymaking machine would have thought of those observations?

Anyway, we never saw any of the Peanuts movies in the theater. My siblings and I were out of the target audience range by then. (I was a year away from entering high school.) We weren't too interested in Walt Disney pictures either.

We were too busy watching John Wayne movies at Amherst Theatre.


Peanuts has been a regular topic on this blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Sherwood Inn Ad – July 28, 1962

Let's stay on Oberlin Avenue in 1962 for another day – shall we?

Just a few blocks north of the Putt-R Golf course on the same side of the road was Sherwood Inn. The quarter-page ad below ran in the Journal back on July 28, 1962.

The ad, highlighting the Sunday morning breakfast menu, makes a very convincing case to drop in. I especially like the description of the 'delicious buckwheat pancakes swimming in butter and hot syrup.' And the free cup of coffee, "whether you have breakfast with us or not," sounds pretty good too.

Sherwood Inn has long been a favorite topic on this blog. In fact, it was the subject of the very first regular post back on April 3, 2009.

Since then, I've written a lot about the various establishments that called that building home, including the 400 Bridge Club (early 1930s), the Country Gardens (mid-1930s), Penny Morgan's Place (late 1930s), Hilltop Tavern (1939), the Airport Tavern (1942-1962) and finally, Sherwood Inn (1962-1982). After that, it was the Trademark (1982-83), Scardi's (1984) and then Mutt & Jeff's (since 1984). You can find ads in chronological order for some of these businesses on this post, and read an excellent history of the building and its various occupants (including Penny Morgan) by well-known Journal Staff Writer Hank Kozloski here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Putt-R-Golf Grand Opening – June 1962

Summer is the perfect time for a fun, relaxing round of miniature golf. Why not consider a trip out to Romp's in Vermilion, which completely renovated its Putter Port Mini-Golf in 2021, making it an all-new course?

Regular readers know that miniature golf courses have been a regular topic on this blog over the years.

I've devoted many posts to them, from the Rainbow Golf Gardens next to Lakeview Park in the 1930s, to the Putt-Putt Golf Course located at the intersection of State Routes 57 and 254, to the Putt-Putt located on 57 near Midway Mall.

And then there was the miniature golf course on Oberlin Avenue in the 1960s, which was part of the Putt-R-Golf chain. I've written about it before (here), and a fair amount of Lorain west-siders remember it. I remember it vaguely, and seem to recall we went there at least once. (I can still see one of our golf balls rolling into the parking lot.)

Although Putt-R-Golf didn't show up in the city directory until 1966, I finally learned when it first opened. Above is the Grand Opening ad which ran in the Journal on June 22, 1962.

There are a few interesting things to be found in the ad. Golfers received a free Seven-Up (my least favorite pop) with each game. They also received an American flag for a hole-in-one on the 18th hole.

At the bottom of the ad is a mention of a Putt-R-Golf coming soon to the Saddle Inn in Avon Lake. Any Avon Lakers remember it?

Anyway, I tried to find out a little about the Putt-R-Golf chain. According to some franchise information to be found on the internet, the chain dates back to 1952 and was based out of Akron, Ohio at 3914 W. Market Street. Putt-Putt Golf Courses of America was listed as being around since 1954.

Back in 1980, you needed $29,500 in equity capital to have your own Putt-R-Golf. Although it pre-dated the Putt-Putt Golf Courses of America by two years, it was definitely the poor cousin to it. In 1980, there were more than 400 Putt-Putt franchisees in 40 states; Putt-R-Golf was just puttering around with 19 franchisees in 10 states – and Canada.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Cleveland Indians Players at Jay's Sparkle Market – July 1962

If you've ever read the baseball classic Ball Four by pitcher Jim Bouton, then you might remember how some of his teammates were annoyed at having to make appearances to sign autographs or show up at some event. The players weren't paid very much (sometimes as little as $25) and these types of events usually took place on their day off.

I was thinking about that when I saw the above ad for Jay's Sparkle Market in Lorain, which was promoting the special appearance of two Cleveland Indians at the store, as well as at the Little League Park on Washington Ave. that day. The full-page ad appeared in the Journal on July 2, 1962.
Ironically, one of the Indians was Gary "Ding Dong" Bell, who a few seasons later would be one of Jim Bouton's roommates when both were members of the Seattle Pilots. Gary Bell is quite prominent in Ball Four, and the subject of many hilarious anecdotes. It's also quite poignant in the book when Bell finds out he's been traded to the Chicago White Sox. Bouton wrote, "He sat on the edge of the bed and I could see the thoughts racing through his mind. How do I move? What do I do with my car? Who's on that club? Any friends? It's like, I suppose, when you're wounded. You don't know where you've been hit and you have to sit there a minute and feel around to find out just how seriously you've been hurt."
The other member of the Tribe who was scheduled to come to Lorain that day was Jerry Kindall, who was with the Indians from 1962 - 1964. His Wikipedia entry notes, "Kindall quickly felt at home in Cleveland, where he became the everyday second baseman, a position he held for all of 1962. Through May 11, he was batting .289. Sportswriter Joe Reichler called him "a defensive whiz" in May 1962, observing that he had "steadied the infield" for Cleveland. 
"The greatest offensive moment of his career came that June, when Kindall had eight hits in a four-game series against the New York Yankees. He had four hits on June 16, including a two-run walk-off home run against Jim Coates in the bottom of the ninth inning that turned a 9–8 deficit into a 10–9 victory. The next day, his two-run home run against Bill Stafford in the first game of a doubleheader put Cleveland up 2–0 in an eventual 6–1 victory. The series victory pushed Cleveland past New York into the American League (AL) lead, though they would eventually finish the season in sixth place."

Monday, July 18, 2022

Steelmark Days: A Salute to Men of Steel – July 1962

Sixty years ago this week, Lorain merchants were celebrating their second annual Steelmark Days – A Salute to Men of Steel sales promotion, July 19-20-21, 1962.

Steelmark Days was a way of honoring the men and women of the Lorain Works of U.S. Steel. The front page of the Wednesday, July 18, 1962 Journal (shown above) tells the story. It notes, "Merchants throughout the Lorain area were busy stocking shelves, marking down merchandise prices and doing the myriad things necessary before start of the second annual Steelmark Days.

"The merchants will unite in this sales promotion, which last year was one of the most successful ever held in the area, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"While no parade or other civic event is planned for this year, the businessmen will endeavor to make up for the fact by the quality and quantity of the merchandise they will make available to the public.

"Most of the merchants in the area, in addition to offering some of the more outstanding bargains of the year, also will be offering free gifts to prospective customers who come in to their stores to register."

The list of free gifts is pretty impressive. Some of the gifts even reinforce the 'steel' aspect of the promotion, including a stainless steel cooking set and stainless steel mixing bowls.

The 'steelmark' that is the focus of the promotion is this symbol (below). According to Wikipedia, it was originated by U. S. Steel and is now a trademark of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Anyway, it's always nice to see how Lorain merchants, especially those that were located Downtown, could team up to create a memorable shopping event back in the 1950s and 60s. The Journal was pleased as well, because Steelmark Days resulted in a lot of special newspaper ads, many of them full-page. Here are two of them.

Unfortunately, themed shopping events (such as Steelmark Days and Crazy Days) are largely a thing of the past, with the exception of those connected with holidays. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Condolences to Alan Hopewell

In case you missed it, our good friend and longtime blog contributor Alan Hopewell lost his beloved wife Tracy about a week ago. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alan during this difficult time.

Alan shared his reminisce about how he and Tracy first met on this 2019 post. "In 2006, a friend suggested that I get a Yahoo account to help with finding a job. Soon, I had the email addresses of several family members.

"One afternoon, I was at the Main Library in Cleveland, and I was going to send a still from a monster movie to my younger brother, who's also a horror fan. Well, I messed up, and wound up sending the email to everyone on my list. When I checked my emails the next day, there was a message from a cousin, telling me about a website that dealt in nostalgia, movies, comics, toys, like that.

"I signed up, and began getting into discussions with other members, including a lady who went by the name Beatles 4Ever. She intrigued me from the beginning, and I looked forward to talking to her online. She told me about herself: her real name (Tracy), where she was from (Whitney, Texas), and other things that became a lovely conversation. Posts becoming emails, emails becoming eCards, which turned into phone calls, which became long, long letters, etc.

"We both realized that we had to do something about this.

"Summer of '08, she spent a weekend with me in Cleveland, and after several months of missing each other, we decided I'd come to Texas, to be with her, and to escape the North Coast winters. I've never regretted it, and I don't see that I ever will."

Alan's strong faith will help see him through this sad time. We look forward to more of his great observations and reminisces here on the blog.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Smokey Bear PSA ad – July 13, 1972

Smokey Bear
has been a favorite advertising mascot of mine since childhood (probably because we were a camping family), as well as a recurring topic on this blog. So when I saw the above page from the July 13, 1972 Journal with a small Smokey ad used as a space filler, I knew I had to post it.

When I was a kid, you often saw Smokey Bear PSAs tossed in with the Saturday morning cartoons, or early on Sunday morning TV. I think stations were provided the commercials for free, and could air them wherever they wanted.

You don't see Smokey too often today (at least not on GRIT TV, which I watch all the time). When he does appear, he's advocating the prevention of wildfires, not forest fires. But fifty years ago, he was still on message, and a simple closeup of his face accompanied by his tagline was a powerful reminder to be careful in the woods with matches, cigarettes, etc.

Smokey is still a busy bruin in the 2000s. The current campaign (which you can see on his website), seems to be moving away from the idea of Smokey as a real, live bear that wears pants and carries a shovel. Instead, he is presented as a digital entity, literally a floating, disembodied head that speaks in (ugh) celebrity voices, thus destroying the image that was carefully built and reinforced over the last 75+ years.

Here's a screen grab.
I suppose the current ads are slightly better than the ones from ten years ago, which featured Smokey as a shaggy, menacing, CGI character that looked like something that needed to be shot with a tranquilizer dart and relocated to a remote wilderness.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Tivoli Theater Manager Article – July 2, 1972

Do you remember the days when you could see a movie on the big screen in Lorain?

I do, although as a kid I remember that we saw most of our movies at Amherst Theatre. We did spend a summer or two seeing the Summer Movies that were shown as a package, with the locations rotating from one Lorain theater to another each week.

(Yes, the Lorain Palace Theater still shows a movie now and then (such as those that part of its free Summer Movie series). But I'm referring to the days when there were several theaters Downtown, and in central Lorain.) 

Fifty years ago, there were still a few movie houses hanging on in Lorain. The Palace and the Tivoli were the last two showing first-run flicks; the VL Cinema and Ohio Theater had already gone the adults-only route.

Speaking of the Tivoli, here's a great profile of John Tender, the manager of the theater. It ran in the Journal back on July 2, 1972 and tells the story of how his father bought the Pantheon Theatre in 1924 and eventually changed its name to the Tivoli. I also didn't know that the family also owned the Carlisle Drive-in Theater.

It's a great article, and tells several interesting tales including how John Tender acted in some school plays with Kirk Douglas at St. Lawrence College in New York, and the time when entertainer Danny Thomas performed at the Tivoli under unusual circumstances.


The Tivoli has been the subject of several posts, including this Then & Now photo set, and this article about its 1985 demolition.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Avon Lake House Move – July 1971

Yesterday's post was about a house that used to be in Avon Lake, but is long gone. The Avon Lake house that's the subject of today's blog is still very much around – just not in its original location.

Longtime readers of this blog know that moving houses has been a recurring topic for some time. There's just something fascinating about jacking up a house and trucking it to a new location. The local newspapers must have thought so too, because there have been a lot of front page photographs of them over the years.

The article below, which appeared on the front page of the Journal on July 29. 1971 shows a house belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Schilling on its way to a new, er, home. 

The caption reads, "Heading east on Lake Road in Avon Lake with The Illuminating Co.'s smokestacks in the background, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Schilling this morning became the first house to be moved from Avondale Avenue. 

"CEI has begun construction of an oil tank farm on Avondale Avenue, which will store a low-sulfur oil to be used in the "B" plant when it converts from coal to oil, in an attempt to reduce air pollution. The company has bought about 35 homes on the street and will demolish those that are not moved."

Wow, that's one way to wipe a neighborhood off the map.

"At least one other home will be moved – that of Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Chandler," the article noted. "The Schillings will live in the house at its new location on Redwood Boulevard."

Anyway, using the resources available on the internet, it looks like the Schilling home ended up at 33165 Redwood Boulevard. (Yup, there are the two windows on the side of the house, just as in the 1971 photo.)

Monday, July 11, 2022

Alpine Avon Lake Home – 1951

Another photo of the house, courtesy of 
Avon Lake, Ohio – Images of America
Sometimes I find an article on microfilm just a little too late.

When I saw the photo of the house in Avon Lake accompanying the article above (which appeared in the Lorain Journal back on June 25, 1951), I immediately recognized it. Although the house was not easy to see from Lake Road, its barn-like garage (similarly styled to resemble an Alpine lodge), was close to Lake Road.

I thought, "Hey, this would make a great subject for a 'Then and Now' feature!"

What I had forgotten was that the house had been torn down years ago, about the same time as the historic house that sat next to it (which I wrote about here in 2014).

Here's an aerial view showing both long-gone houses. The one featured in the article is on the right near the top of the photo.

It's too bad the house had to go, as it had a lot of history. According to the article, the house had been built by J. A. Gehring, a wealthy Cleveland brewer, in 1898 at a cost of $92,000. He called the 14-room chalet, "Green Gables."

After Gehring passed away, his widow sold the home to Edwin S. Griffith, president of the Bishop - Babcock Co. of Cleveland in 1920. And Griffith's widow sold it to R. J. Hildebrandt, president of Cleveland's Hildebrandt Provision Company. Hildebrandt owned it at the time of the Journal article.
The article notes one especially interesting historical point about the house. David Lloyd George, the former British prime minister, stayed at the house during a visit to America. "A plaque bearing a likeness of the official rests in the beach house behind the chalet," according to the 1951 article.
I wonder where that plaque is today?
Anyway, the Alpine-style garage that went with the house apparently survived, although it has been modified by the new owners of the property.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Manners Big Boy Ad – July 1, 1972

Fifty years ago this month, Manners restaurants was advertising a tasty sandwich deal: two Big Boys for 99 cents. The chain also wanted to plug the fact that its carhop hostesses had new red, white and blue outfits.

Consequently, the company's advertising firm came up with the punny ad above, utilizing two different meanings of the word 'dish.'

Although the ad would be seen as sexist today, you've got to admit that it's still pretty innocuous – and mild by today's standards. The young waitress is cute and wholesome. (Fifty years later, some sports bar chains are built around the attire that their waitresses wear.)

What's interesting is that the Manners ad represents a different approach to promoting the Big Boy sandwich with no trace of the chubby mascot in sight. Robert Manners (co-founder of the restaurant chain) had sold his business to Consolidated Foods in 1968, so perhaps the new owner was still trying different approaches to see what worked.


Manners and Big Boy has been a favorite topic on this blog.


UPDATE (Sept. 5, 2022)

Two months after the Manners ad shown above appeared in the Journal, the second ad in the 99 cents campaign turned up in the paper on September 1, 1972. This time, the advertisement included the Manners Big Boy advertising mascot as a sign-off.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Cedar Point Ad – July 2, 1971

An annual trip to Cedar Point was often the high point of the summer for many of us that grew up in Lorain County. Consequently, the amusement park's various TV and radio advertising campaigns over the years only whetted our appetites for the visit.

One campaign that has been stuck in my head for decades dates from the years that the amusement park's ads designated every day of the week as Funday. The radio commercial backed up this concept with a chorus that went something like, "Monday, Funday.... Tuesday, Funday..." I don't remember if it did the whole week.

Well, here's a print ad for Cedar Point apparently from that same campaign. It ran in the Journal back on July 2, 1971.

The ad is rather quaint, with its use of cartoon illustrations rather than photos. Also, it mentions attractions such as the Blue Streak roller coaster and the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad, rather than stressing thrills and excitement. 

The Frontier Trail (which I wrote about here) had just opened that year, making it possible to walk to Frontier Town instead of taking the Frontier Lift (Sky Ride) or the train.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Gray Drug Ad – July 6, 1972

Gray Drug is largely forgotten today in Lorain County.

According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, the chain was founded in Cleveland in 1912. By the mid-1930s, there were 29 stores in the chain, which was known as Weinberger Drug Stores, Inc. By 1945, the stores acquired the Gray Drug name. The chain was greatly expanded in the late 1960s, swallowed up Cunningham Drug Stores in 1982, and at one point numbered more than 360 stores. 

Gray Drug was sold to Rite Aid Corp. in 1987.

Locally, there just weren't all that many Gray Drug stores. There was one out at the O'Neil - Sheffield Center when it opened in 1954. But at the time of the ad below, which appeared in the Journal back on July 6, 1972, there were only two: one at Midway Mall and one at Oakwood Shopping Center.

It's an odd ad, with its curious "Lucky Buck" theme highlighting an odd assortment of items for a dollar, including playing cards, pencils, cigars, Planters Peanuts, flea and tick spray, Whitman candies, and even a few health and beauty products. 

Hey, there's even some Bowman Ice Cream in there too!

I imagine there's not too many feelings of nostalgia for Gray Drug. Before Gray Drug and the other chains arrived, we all had our family pharmacies that we favored, such as Whalen Drug or National Pharmacy. Ironically, Rite Aid is probably my least favorite drug store.

Today, I prefer Discount Drug Mart – probably because there's one about two minutes from where I live. The staff is friendly and the prices are pretty good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Lakeview Park Beach Erosion – July 1972

The beach at Lakeview Park in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s was very different from what it is today. As you can see from the two vintage postcards above, there wasn't much beach there.

And there was even less in the photo accompanying the article below, which ran in the Journal fifty years ago this month on July 1, 1972.

As noted in the article, a particularly bad storm "has left Lorain's Lakeview Park without a beach and seriously undermined the 1,100 foot promenade that extends along the shoreline.

"Concrete slabs are about ready to fall into the lake."
According to the story, the lake level rose 40 inches during the storm "and just washed over the rock piers."
The rest of the article explains the effort to secure government funding to renovate the beach and construct piers.
A few weeks later, the article below appeared in the paper on July 13, 1972, illustrating the damage at Lakeview again, as well as the erosion down at Riverside Park on the east side of the river.
If I remember correctly, it would about ten years before Lakeview Park would be completely renovated with a huge, new beach. I remember coming home from college and being amazed at how big it was. Today, it's a little smaller but still pretty big compared to the old days.