Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Bob Berstling, "Rocket Man" – August 1972

"Passing Scene" cartoonist Gene Patrick has been the subject of many blog posts over the years, even after he left his position at the Journal to launch his own business, Gene's Hobby Hub. Consequently, any article about Gene's store is of interest to me. 

This article about a rocket building contest that the store sponsored is special because one of the winners is a childhood friend of mine, Bob Berstling

Those of you who knew Bob might remember his nickname – "Rocket" or "Rocket Man" – and now I see that he really earned it.

I wrote about Bob back here when he passed away too young back in 2013. (Here's the link to his Morning Journal Legacy page.)

And speaking of links, here's another one that will take you back to a post about the funny time in my life when I was in a polka band with Bob called The Four Links, and how the band was a headliner at Chicken Manor.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Manners Ad – August 25, 1962

Watermelon was always a favorite of my parents in the summertime. Me? I could take it or leave it. But my father particularly enjoyed it. We would sprinkle salt on each slice. (Now I wouldn't dream of putting salt on watermelon – or sweet corn for that matter.)

But watermelon is the focus of the Manners ad above, which ran in the Journal back on August 25, 1962. The deal: a free, whole watermelon with the purchase of Manners Country Cousin Chicken in the carry-out 'red barn' box. Besides the watermelon, dinner consisted of twelve pieces of chicken and dinner rolls.

Here's a closer look at the Country Cousin Chicken box, in color, courtesy of Worthpoint. It's pretty cute, with the Manners version of Big Boy all decked out like a farmhand.

I like the creativity that went into advertising in those days. The box actually made the whole experience fun. 

I remember saving an actual Red Barn restaurant box (similar to the Manners one) and using it to store my bottle cap collection. I'll bet the inside of that box was pretty greasy.

Monday, August 29, 2022

British College Students Visit Vermilion – August 1962

Remember my post about the two young Canadians who were bicycling around Lake Erie back in April 1961? They were passing through Vermilion when the Journal caught up with them. I did a two-part post about them back here.

Well, here's a similar scenario in which a pair of British college students were hitchhiking around the United States and passed through – where else? – Vermilion, where they were briefly staying with a couple with whom they were familiar through a relative back home. The article below ran in the Journal on August 21, 1962.

As usual, it's interesting seeing things from the perspectives of the young travellers, named Mika Hosier and Clive Seward. As the article notes, "The things that have seemed the most impressive and different to the boys are the temperature, the roads, the immediate friendliness of the American people and the great hurry everyone is in.

"The boys say that the roads in England are mostly small two-lane ones and that they have only one stretch of road comparable to our turnpikes. They say that here you can walk into a restaurant and most people will talk to you but to try it in England would be a quite different story. They have observed that we are always rushing around to go someplace and think that we have forgotten how to relax.

"Another thing that puzzles the boys is the speed limits on the freeways and turnpikes. "In England," they say, "the roads are not nearly so good yet we have speed limits only in towns and densely populated areas. The same amount of people are killed as without speed limits and on such beautiful highways we can't see the need of them. You can kill yourself at forty as easily as eighty."

"In hitchhiking from New York to Los Angeles, the boys met many wonderful people and have had many new experiences. One night they slept on the desert because they couldn't get a ride. One man who picked them up in Springfield was surprised that they spoke English so well and took them to meet his family. The boys stayed there overnight and the next morning the took them to a freeway to get a ride."

It sure was a different time back then. 

On the other hand, if Clive and Mika were passing through Lorain County today, they might be impressed with our roundabouts.


Thanks to the internet, I did find a photo of Clive Seward from his Dorchester grammar school days in the late 1950s. He's third from the right in the photo below.

Friday, August 26, 2022

1962 Lorain County Fair Wrap-up – August 25, 1962

The 1962 Lorain County Fair was a big success, according to this article, which ran on the front page of the Journal back on August 25, 1962. It just didn't hit the magic 100,000 mark.

"All roads seemed to lead to this Southern Lorain County village Friday evening as thousands paid a last visit to the 107th Lorain County Fair, but the estimated attendance of 24,200 was not enough to bring the five-day gate total to 100,000.

"According to daily attendance figures, the fair attracted 99,354 persons this year, the second largest attendance on record. In 1958 the total five-day attendance was 100,000. Last year, 95,000 visitors paid their way to the fair.

"Although fair officials Friday morning were reasonably confident that the final day's attendance would boost the grand total above the 100,000 mark, they began to feel somewhat apprehensive about it by mid-afternoon when the number of visitors on the grounds was decidedly less than Wednesday and Thursday.

"Last night's crowd, however, was one of the largest single gatherings in recent years.

"The International Tournament of Thrills, an auto daredevil show always a favorite of local fairgoers, presented two performances to capacity grandstand audiences and hundreds lined the fences to witness their thrilling feats.

"The midway was a teeming mass of humanity throughout the evening and many visitors remained on the grounds until midnight."

I like that 'teeming mass of humanity' description. Anyone who has visited the Fair on a beautiful weekend night knows it's the perfect way to describe trying to squeeze through the crowds by the midway.

Anyway, the photo at the top of the article is great, with some kids at the Fair enjoying a real life "Mr. Ed" speaking to them by name (via hidden microphone). It's heartwarming to see the glee and innocence in their faces.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Flintstones Visit Rock Vegas – August 17, 1962

The Flintstones are certainly a cultural phenomenon that will never quite be extinct.

Every few years, there is talk about reviving the Hanna-Barbara TV series, which endures in reruns thanks to the warmth and universal appeal of the characterizations. There have been many new comic books in recent years, featuring realistic renderings of the Bedrock bunch, that have introduced the characters to today's youth. And while the theme parks have closed in recent years (which I wrote about here), Flintstone Vitamins and Pebbles Cereal help keep the franchise alive.

Sixty years ago, the show was still on network TV in first-run prime time, and thus worthy of promotion in the newspaper. Below you see one of those little publicity drawings that used to appear on the Journal's TV page from time to time. As you can see, this one was promoting a repeat episode where Fred and Wilma vacation in Rock Vegas.

Note the drawing of the Dunes Rocks Hotel, with a statue of a caveman above the entrance. It mimics the actual Dunes entryway pretty well, judging by this vintage postcard.

A cute, live-action film of the Flintstones and Rubbles visiting Rock Vegas was released in 1994.
Anyway, it's fun to look at the rest of the August 17, 1962 TV page above. It all seems very strange now, with so few TV networks and choices that it was possible to publish an at-a-glance digest of an evening's programming.
Note that the 1950s black and white episodes of Dragnet (with Frank Smith as Sgt. Friday's partner) were being shown on Channel 8 at 6:30 p.m. My kind of programming!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Grand Opening of Kelly's Jet System Hamburgers – August 24, 1962

There were many hamburger chains that were launched in the 1950s and 60s to compete with McDonald's. Unfortunately, most of them (except for Burger King) ended up flattened like a burger under a heavy spatula by the staggering power of the mighty Golden Arches.

I've written about a few of the burger wanna-be's that tried their luck in Lorain County, including Sandy's Hamburgers and Casey's Drive-in. But there was one that came and went so fast that it is little-remembered today: Kelly's. That's why it's ironic that its building remains there on North Ridge Road, across from the old Sheffield Center.

And below is the full-page Grand Opening ad for Kelly's that appeared in the Journal back on August 24, 1962.

It seems like McDonald's was certainly the template for Kelly's. McDonald's had its 'Speedee Service System;' Kelly's was called 'Jet System.' Even Kelly's sign featured an arch of sorts.

This green, vintage paper hat makes me think that the name Kelly's might have originally signaled an Irish theme. 

But somehow the mascot resembling a butler doesn't jive with that theory, or the whole futuristic 'Jet System' gimmick either.

Like I said back on this post, Kelly's became a Casey's Drive-in by the time of the 1966 city directory. I guess people just didn't 'love that Kelly's' enough to keep it in business.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Lorain County Fair Week – August 22 - 27, 1972

Fifty years ago this week, the 1972 edition of the Lorain County Fair ran from Tuesday, August 22 through Sunday, August 27.

The Lorain County Fair apparently didn't rate a full page advertisement in the Lorain Journal that year; the above one-column ad was the first bit of promotion for it that I could find. It appeared in the August 22, 1972 edition of the paper on Opening Day.

Note the feature attraction at the Grandstand: the ever-popular Hurricane Hell Drivers, featuring stunt driver Dan Fleenor. He and his team had appeared at the Fair in 1969.

And here's the Journal ad that ran on the last day of the Fair, on August 27, 1972.

Like many editions of the Fair (including this year's), the traditional Demolition Derby finished out the week with a bang. Yup, we Lorain Countians love our demolition derbies.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Lorain County Fair Week – August 20 - 24, 1962

Well, it's Lorain County Fair Week – my favorite time of year. I hope to make it out there mid-week or so.( Gotta get my Rutana's Apple Dumpling fix!)

Sixty years ago, the full-page ad appeared in the Journal listing all of the attractions for the 1962 edition of the Fair, which ran from Monday, August 20 through Friday, August 24. (Only a five day run back then compared to our modern Fair's seven days.)

Interestingly, the big Grandstand headliner that year was Carmel Quinn. She was a hugely popular Irish entertainer, whose act included singing and storytelling. She first hit the big time, after coming to the United States, by winning the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts radio competition. She performed for several presidents and her sell-out St. Patrick's Day shows each March at Carnegie Hall led her to be known as the living embodiment of the holiday.

From August 20, 1962 Lorain Journal

She passed away in 2021.

The 1962 Lorain County Fair finished up the week with a Grandstand appearance on Friday by the International Tournament of Thrills auto daredevil show.


The Lorain County Fair has been a favorite topic on this blog.

Friday, August 19, 2022

New Lorain City Hall Construction Underway – August 1972

To bring the week to a close (belatedly), here's a another one of the little photo features that the Journal used to specialize in, which is not surprising with all of the great photographers that they had on staff whose only job was to take pictures.

Fifty years ago, the construction of Lorain's new City Hall was well underway. Photographer Michael Good captured this cute image of one of the high school students employed that summer in the Auditor's office, in front of the building's framework. It appeared in the paper on August 2, 1972.

Times have certainly changed. It was routine back then for any mention or photo of a Lorain resident in the Journal to include their address. It certainly made Lorain seem like a small town.

Nowadays, privacy and safety concerns would make this newspaper tradition rather unlikely.


The March 1972 groundbreaking for the new City Hall was the subject of this post.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Burger King Visits Lorain – August 7, 1972

Burger King seems to turn up on this blog regularly as a topic. 

Why? Because I have favorable feelings toward the burger chain. Unlike McDonald's, Burger King has never closed or moved its original Lorain outlets. Both were open by 1970, right where they are now – on Fairless Drive and Leavitt Road. And I still go to the one on Leavitt Road – especially since Vermilion lost its own Burger King.

To compete with the popular Ronald McDonald, Burger King created its own mascot – a cartoon king. Naturally, the company wanted a costumed version of him to be able to appear at the restaurants.

And that's what's going on the photo below, which appeared in the Journal back on August 7, 1972.

As the caption notes, "Children, such as 8-year-old Jeffery Konowal, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Konowal of 2825 Lexington Ave., Lorain, grow up in a world of giants. But this time Jeff met a new and unusual fellow, Mr. Burger King, the Disney Studios' newly designed trademark for the hamburger palace chain. Jeff, who shook hands with The King as District Manager Mike Reed looked on, was in on the second public appearance of the sunny, curly-haired fellow at Burger King's Leavitt Road stand. The King now goes on to visit each of the 900 Burger King restaurants coast to coast."

It's interesting the Disney Studios were involved in the creation of the Burger King mascot. Disney also created the Orange Bird mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission.

I can see where the Disney Studios would be pretty helpful in the design of a walk-around character. That's what the company does best when it comes to populating its theme parks with live-action versions of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc. And the Burger King in the photo looks not unlike one of the Seven Dwarves. 

But the cartoon King himself apparently wasn't endearing or lovable enough to take on the McDonald's juggernaut, and was eventually exiled.


Click here to visit my past posts on Burger King.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

USS Charles Berry Article – August 4, 1962

Did you know that the United States Navy had a destroyer escort named for Lorain native Corporal Charles J. Berry, well-remembered for his heroism at Iwo Jima in March 1945?

The article below, which appeared in the Journal on August 4, 1962 tells the tale of Sgt. Gayl E. Latto, U. S. Army and native of Lorain, who was stationed in the Canal Zone and became aware that the USS Charles Berry was arriving. 

As the article notes, "Sgt. Latto had grown up with a Charles Berry in Lorain, and he recalled having read sometime later that Berry, as a marine corporal, had been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration for the military, for heroism during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima.

"Considering the possibility that the USS Charles Berry had been named after his friend, Sgt. Latto made inquiries and found that this was indeed the case. He decided to visit the ship.

"Over a cup of coffee Latto tried to recall as much as he could about Charles Berry. During their school years Latto lived above the Hobby Shop, owned by his father, at 956 Broadway in Lorain.

"Berry lived about a block away. He remembers Berry as being a tall, blonde, quiet boy, and something of a "loner." Latto quit high school before graduating and didn't see much of Berry after that. He joined the Army in March, 1944 and has been going from place to place all over the world since then.

"Berry, the son of Carl and Caroline Berry, was born in Lorain July 10, 1923. He was graduated from Lorain High School in 1941 and a few months later, joined the Marine Corps on Oct. 1.

"Cpl. Berry landed on Iwo Jima on D-Day, Feb. 19, 1945. He was killed in action on March 3, 1945. At the time he was serving with a machine gun crew in the First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division.

"The USS Charles Berry, named after the Marine hero, is one of the Navy's newest ships. She was christened by Mrs. Carl Berry, mother of Cpl. Berry, on March 17, 1959 and was placed in commission Nov. 25, 1959.

"Since that time the Charles Berry has established a reputation as being one of the smartest ships in the fleet."


So what became of the USS Charles Berry?

According to this Wikipedia entry, it was sold to Indonesia in 1974 renamed KRI Martadinata in honor of Vice Admiral Raden Eddy Martadinata, a former Indonesian naval commander. It was decommissioned in September 2005.

Click here to visit the USS Charles Berry page on

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

"Old" Amherst Theater Comes Down – August 1972

Courtesy Google Maps

Amherst Theatre
was where my family went to see movies during the 1960s. It was located fairly close to those of us on the west side of Lorain, and it was a safe alternative to going to the movie houses in the declining Downtown Lorain. My parents knew that the Matteys (who owned and operated the theater) ran a tight ship and didn't put up with any horseplay from kids. They'd even stop the movie if kids didn't settle down.

Not being from Amherst, I had no idea that there had been an earlier version of Amherst Theater right across the street from the one we went to, and that it had been demolished as late as 1972. The article below, which appeared in the Journal on August 5, 1972 tells the story.

According to the article written by Journal Staff Writer Tom Oney, the theater originally opened as The Empire in 1909. Some time before 1920, the name was changed to The Mary Jane, taking its name from the wife of one of the owners. In the late 1930s, it finally received the name, Amherst Theater. 

Here is the link to the theater's website.


I wrote about the April 1959 Grand Opening of the "new" Amherst Theatre back here.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Fort Firelands

My family used to regularly visit the Marblehead/Lakeside area of Ohio back in the 1960s, whether we were going to East Harbor State Park or Cheesehaven. On the way, I remember seeing (but never stopping) at Fort Firelands at 5650 East Harbor Road in Lakeside, Ohio. Back then, Fort Firelands was a tourist attraction consisting of a pioneer fort, museums, a trading post and a restaurant. 

Above is a vintage postcard of the outside of Fort Firelands. The back of the postcard reads, "FORT FIRELANDS at the juncture of Routes 163 and 269 near East Harbor State Park is an authentic reproduction of 18th Century Forts. There are Military, Pioneer and Indian Museums, Burial Grounds and Relics. Antiques, military accouterments, souvenir Indian items, etc. are offered at the Trading Post."

Here's another postcard view of the outside from a slightly different angle.

And here's a view from the inside.

The back of the postcard reads, "Interior view of the Fort showing the main entrance. These Forts for the most part were built by the early settlers for defense against the savage tribes, and had the same basic design. Fort Firelands has a fine Military and Indian Museum, Trading Post, Country Store, "Westward Ho" Restaurant, Gun Smith and Armory with a gun collection dating back to the era of the Fort with many of the pieces for sale.
Anyway, by 1972 there were big changes taking place at Fort Firelands. The article below, which appeared in the Journal on August 6, 1972, explains how the new owners were in the process of converting the Fort into a summer resort. They added a swimming pool, campsites, a fish pond, a stage & outdoor theater, and efficiency apartments in house trailers. 
As the article notes, the original Fort Firelands tourist attraction itself was now "a free admission place with the historical displays plus gift and craft shops, a restaurant and an arcade."
Here's a souvenir pennant of the "new" Fort Firelands.
Today, Fort Firelands is an RV Park. Its website includes a page with some vintage postcards.
A 2018 View

Friday, August 12, 2022

The "Other" Sorrowful Mother Shrine

Have you ever driven out by Bellevue and seen signs for the Sorrowful Mother Shrine? I'd seen those signs for years, and finally stopped there a few years ago to check it out. 

Well, when I saw the above article in the August 1, 1962 Journal about the Sorrowful Mother Shrine, I thought, "Wow, it sure has changed since then." It turns out that this is a different Sorrowful Mother Shrine, one that is located in Norwalk. But it has a rich history, one that is related to a famous automobile industry.

Even the website of the Norwalk Sorrowful Mother Shrine acknowledges that there might be confusion with two same-named Shrines. The website notes, "The Shrine of the Sorrowful Mother is located at 274 West Main Street, in Norwalk. It is often called "the other Sorrowful Mother Shrine" because it is sometimes confused with the more famous Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, Ohio.
"Margaret (Theisen) Fisher, wife of Lawrence Fisher, made a generous gift to St. Paul Catholic Church to build a shrine in memory of her parents. The Shrine of the Sorrowful Mother was built in 1928 and still stands on the original site of St. Peter's Church, the first Catholic church in Norwalk. St. Peter's Cemetery is at the rear of the shrine.
"Lawrence and Margaret Fisher were the parents of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. The sons were notable for starting Fisher Body, an automobile body company, in Detroit in the early 1900s, which was very successful. The families moved from Norwalk to Detroit and became quite wealthy. However, they never forgot their Norwalk roots and, over the years, were generous to both St. Paul Catholic Church and the city of Norwalk."
Today, the Shrine of the Sorrowful Mother in Norwalk is available for small Catholic weddings.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Hairpin Curve Elimination – August 2, 1962

I've mentioned how old highways used to be my main focus of interest back in the 1980s and 90s, and I was often curious about when a road had been widened or a bypass constructed. As a hobby, I used to pour over old maps to try and figure it out – followed by driving out to photograph the 'now' view.

So when I saw this photograph that appeared in the Journal back on August 2, 1962, my 'old road' curiosity was rekindled. As the caption notes, "Crews are engaged in what is being called the largest road improvement project in the history of the Huron County Highway Department on S. Norwalk Rd., a mile south of Norwalk between Ridge Rd. and Rt. 250. 

"The task, elimination of a hairpin curve over a narrow bridge, entails the building of a new 900 - road and a new pipe culvert, necessitating the moving of 5,000 square yards of dirt."

Originally I thought that this project had something to do with the U.S. 20 bypass south of Norwalk, but it's actually a road located just south of it. 

These screen grabs (courtesy of tell the story. The 1959 view shows the South Norwalk Road in its original hairpin curve alignment, and the 1972 view shows its new, sweeping curve. That's the US Route 20 bypass at the top of the '72 and 2019 photos.

The charming city of Norwalk has been of interest to me for most of my life. 

My great-grandparents lived in Norwalk. Their unusual death – a day apart – and the double funeral was probably the reason my grandfather Brady left town and made his way to Lorain in his late teens.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

AAA Niagara Falls Tripette – August 1962

On my post on Monday about the untimely death of Marilyn Monroe, I mentioned that Niagara (1953) was my favorite movie that she starred in. While she was great in it (playing a cheating wife who plots to have her husband murdered), for me the real star of the movie was Niagara Falls itself. It was fascinating to see both the Canadian and American Falls, as well as the surrounding areas, in color circa 1953.

(There are a few websites that feature photographs of some of the movie's locations. This one shows an existing overlook structure on the Canadian side overlooking the Falls, and how it was integrated into the movie set as part of the motel. This one has some "then and nows.")

Anyway, back on August 3, 1962, Niagara Falls was the subject of a Lorain Automobile Club Tripette, a regular feature in the Journal offering travel suggestions for short, 'one-tank style' trips.

But as you can see by the small, handy map, there was no I-90 in the Lorain area yet for the Niagara Falls-bound traveller to take all the way to Buffalo. Instead, the motorist had to take State Route 2 to Mentor and then jog down to pick up I-90. 

Today, most people don't get their news from newspapers, and thus don't rely on them for travel tips. As for the AAA, the days of one of its employees assembling a TripTik from preprinted pages and highlighting it with a pen ended a long time ago as well.

In some ways, it's a pity that we've become so sophisticated when it comes to traveling, because much of the mystery, anticipation, and challenge have been eliminated.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Joi Lansing Passes Away – August 1972

From the August 9, 1972 Journal

Policeman Joe McDoakes (George O'Hanlon) attempts to
give Joi a ticket in So You Want to Be a Policeman
Almost exactly ten years after the August 4, 1962 death of Marilyn Monroe, another blonde sex symbol of the big screen sadly passed away on August 7, 1972: Joi Lansing. Unlike Marilyn, who died of a drug overdose after a troubled life, Joi succumbed to cancer at the age of 43.

Above is her obituary, which appeared in the Journal on August 9, 1972 – 50 years ago today.

Joi Lansing appeared in many major films but, unlike Marilyn Monroe, did not star in them. Joi did, however, carve out a long and successful career in B-movies, movie shorts and television series. According to her Wikipedia entry, she had appeared in nearly 200 television series episodes by 1956. That's quite an achievement and a testament to her talent, which was based on much more than her intimidating beauty.

I'm a fan of Joi Lansing because she appeared in the kind of movies that I like – comedies – and was pretty funny. She made appearances in about a half-dozen of the "Joe McDoakes" comedies, including So You Want to Be a Policeman (1955) and So You Think the Grass is Greener (1956). She also turned up in a "Bowery Boys" comedy, Hot Shots (1956). 

She'll always be remembered by her fans.

Satch (Huntz Hall) meets his new secretary (Joi), in the Bowery Boys comedy Hot Shots

Monday, August 8, 2022

Death of Marilyn Monroe Front Page – August 6, 1962

Sixty years ago this month, the world was reeling from the news of actress and screen sex symbol Marilyn Monroe's death on August 4, 1962 at the age of 36.

Above is the front page of the Journal of Monday, August 5, 1962 with the sad news of her passing on Saturday. It must have been surreal for many Lorainites to open their Journal and read what happened.

"A doctor smashed his way into a locked bedroom – and found Marilyn Monroe dead in a bed, nude, a telephone clutched in her hand, an empty pill body nearby," led the wire report story.

"It was her psychiatrist who found the body early Sunday.

"The mysterious death brought a tragic end, at 36, to the trouble-scarred life of Norma Jean Baker – the frightened waif who became the world's most famous blonde as Marilyn Monroe.

"Was it suicide? Had she called someone before she died?"

The circumstances surrounding Marilyn's death will probably always be debated. 

Many theories exist that point to her possible murder by the CIA, FBI or even the Mafia, due to her relationships with President John F. Kennedy as well as his brother Robert Kennedy.

We'll probably never know if it was really suicide or not.


I was never a big fan of Marilyn Monroe and have only seen a handful of her movies, believe it or not. But my favorite is Niagara, in which she does a pretty good job of playing a villain. Of course, the real reason I like the movie is because it captures on film the Canadian side of Niagara Falls circa 1953.


I'm not quite old enough to remember hearing that Marilyn Monroe had died.

It's strange how we can remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the death of someone famous or important.

Elvis, John Belushi, Jack Webb, Princess Diane, Daws Butler, Mel Blanc... my own list goes on and on.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Spring Lake Park Article – August 3, 1962

Spring Lake Park on Route 58 in Amherst Township is well-remembered by those who enjoyed swimming, fishing and picnicking there in the 1960s and 70s.

I did an extensive post on Spring Lake Park (back here) that mentioned how the park owed its existence to the Ohio Turnpike. Turnpike workers taking fill dirt from the Clarence Gerber property struck natural springs, which created the lake.

Well, here's a great article written by Charles Gray from the August 3, 1962 Journal that explains how Spring Lake Park was created in more detail. It also details how Gerber developed the park property, which opened in July 1961.

Anyway, be sure to visit the old post as it contains a well-written reminisce about Spring Lake Park by longtime Brady Blog contributor Dennis Thompson.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Lawson's Ad – August 6, 1962

It's been a fairly food-filled week here on the blog, with 1962 ads for a grocery store and a meat market. 

Along those lines, here's a full-page ad for Lawson's that ran in the Journal back on August 6, 1962. Lawson's had been open in Lorain since June 1959, and the convenience store had been advertising aggressively ever since.

Lawson's bright, clean, well-stocked stores had become a magnet for shoppers, who didn't mind spending a little more for the time saved by avoiding the long grocery store lines when they only needed a few items. Shopping at Lawson's was quite a different experience than wandering into one of today's independent (and often filthy) convenient stores, which exist mainly to sell liquor and lottery tickets, with groceries (at astronomical prices) merely an afterthought.

The Lawson's ad has an interesting angle, posing the question: Which bread do you prefer?

The choices were New Style ('smooth, silky bread with an extra-fine, cake-like texture') or Old Style (described as 'the more familiar, conventional texture of bread made from slow-rising dough'). I'm guessing the New Style was similar to Wonder Bread, and Old Style more like Hillbilly Bread.

So what kind of bread did my mother buy? I guess the answer would be Deluca Bakery, since it was right there on Oberlin Avenue. Of course, she also shopped at the Nickles Bakery outlet store on W. 21st Street, so she bought whatever they had (including Hillbilly Bread).

I do remember Mom buying Wonder Bread (or something similar) from time to time. We used it to make little dough balls when we were going fishing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Meyer Goldberg Ad – August 1, 1962

On Monday I posted a late July 1962 Polansky's Market ad featuring a whole lot of meat.

Well here's another full-page ad loaded with meat from that same time period, for another well-remembered local store that also wasn't part of a national chain: Meyer Goldberg. At that time the store on Oberlin Avenue wasn't open yet; Meyer Goldberg wouldn't take over the building that was briefly home to the new Jay's Sparkle Market until late 1965.

It's a funny ad, with its generic clown theme. Decades before Stephen King introduced a truly terrifying, demonic clown in his novel It, the clowns in the Meyer Goldberg ad are still rather creepy – especially the trio.

What interesting about the ad is that Meyer Goldberg was so confident about his prices for certain items that he invited shoppers to compare them with other stores and write down their findings in a checklist printed in the ad. (Hey, there's two items that I eat regularly on that list: Dinty Moore Beef Stew and good old Spam Luncheon Meat.)

There wasn't any sort of guarantee that Meyer Goldberg's price would be lower, or any promise to match competitor's prices, but it was still a good gimmick and ahead of its time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Railroad Retirees – August 1962

Do companies still acknowledge the retirement of longtime employees with a special ceremony or reception?

I'm not so sure these days. For one thing, people seem to move around a lot and don't rack up decades of service at one employer like they used to in the old days. 

U. S. Steel used to show how much it appreciated its workers by making their retirement a special occasion, with a big formal dinner, a group photograph and newspaper coverage.

The railroads were another special case. Workers often stayed a long time, and their retirement merited newspaper coverage. Two gentlemen both from Lorain County are great examples of this, both retiring around the beginning of August 1962.

James F. May of Lorain retired from the B. &. O. Railroad back on August 1, 1962 after 46 years of service. His photo (shown below), with many of the members of his yard crew behind him, appeared in the Journal on August 1, 1962. The caption notes, "He joined the railroad Dec. 8, 1915 and was promoted to engineer Aug. 20, 1920, serving as engineer both on the road and in the yard."

Meanwhile, in that same edition of the Journal, Charles "Red" Hoag of Wellington had just retired the day before from the New York Central Railroad after 50 years and two months of service. He was the subject of a nice article written by Eleanor Foster.

As the article notes, "Red started working for the railroad when he was 12 years old. He filled and cleaned 56 kerosene lamps daily for the signals."
He had a variety of roles during his railroad career, as clerk, ticket agent in Wellington, freight brakeman, and conductor.
Rail service was already winding down during the course of his long career, going from 36 passenger trains in 24 hours down to seven, and 11 passenger trains stopping in Wellington daily being reduced to two.
Sixty years after this article, Amtrak is the only long-distance passenger railroad in the United States. And you don't see anyone retiring from the railroad being profiled in the newspaper.
That is, if you even see a newspaper.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Grand Opening of Polansky's New Addition – July 25, 1962

Sixty years ago, the good folks at Polansky's Market were just settling into the new addition to their store on Dewey Road in Amherst. Above is the Grand Opening ad that ran in the Journal on July 25, 1962.

Grand Opening deals included prizes of – what else? – meat! As the ad noted, "The person checking out on the hour when the bell rings will receive free... a Polansky ham. The person checking out on the half hour when the bell rings will receive free... a fancy fresh frying chicken."

Other prizes included slices of choice tender sirloin steak (3 winners); 25 lbs of freshly ground beef (3 winners); a whole rolled rump roast of beef (6 winners); whole pork loins (6 winners); Polansky's slab bacon (6 winners); and a 5-lb. package of Polansky's skinless wieners (10 winners).

Grand Prize was a 16 cu. ft. freezer "filled with Polansky's delicious meats." 

The first thousand customers received a "lovely tan leather identification key case." I hope there was a picture of a steer (with dotted lines to indicate choice cuts) imprinted in the leather.

I'll bet there was a lot of traffic in the store that day.

Anyway, I've mentioned the new addition to the Polansky Market on the blog before. Back here I featured an article that ran in the Journal at that time that told us a little about Mr. and Mrs. Polansky and the history of their business.