Monday, October 31, 2022

1972 Kmart Halloween Ad

Here's another vintage Halloween ad, this one for Kmart from the October 19, 1972 Journal. Kmart must have decided not to spend a lot of money carrying a line of expensive, licensed TV characters. 

Instead, there's a generic owl, witch, kitten and – Gus the Ghost? Who he?

I don't know, but there are a few Gus the Ghost costumes for sale on eBay right now. (Note the box is just labeled 'GHOST.'

Although Gus the Ghost seems to be a Casper the Friendly Ghost ripoff, there was a book published in 1961 called Gus Was a Friendly Ghost. So was the costume actually based on the literary character?

We probably don't have a ghost of a chance of finding out for sure.

1962 & 1972 Gray Drug Halloween Ads

Well, it's Halloween – so here's yet another vintage store ad with that theme, so we can check out the costumes and candy that trick-or-treaters were interested in. The store is Gray Drug, and the ad ran in the Journal on October 25, 1962.

It looks like the only character from TV at that time appearing as a costume in the ad is none other than Bullwinkle the Moose. Here's what the costume looked like. (It's fresh from eBay right now.)

I like the rendition of Bullwinkle (as well as Boris and Natasha) on the costume, but where's his pal, Rocky? And I'm not too amoosed but the design or color of the mask. Oh well.

There's plenty of other things to gawk at in the Gray Drug ad, including weird candy such as Klein's Lunch Bar. 
And the special punch card promotion for Melmac dinnerware. (Wasn't that Alf's home planet?)
Fast forward ten years and we see another vintage Gray Drug ad, this time from the October 19, 1972 Journal
The lackadaisical Gray Drug buying team apparently just decided to go with the same Halloween costume lineup as 1971, with Heckle & Jeckle (one of them, anyway), Bugaloo Boy, etc. (I posted that ad for your enjoyment here, last year.) 

The rest of the ad actually resembles what you would expect of a drug store ad, with plenty o' pills and other products to make you feel better.

Friday, October 28, 2022

1962 Grants Halloween Ad

Yesterday's post about Ashland Oil featured an idealized illustration of kids trick or treating in 1962 wearing charming, homemade costumes. Today's post reveals what kids were really wearing for Halloween in 1962: costumes based on TV characters.

Below is an ad for Grants that ran in the Journal back on October 29, 1962. As you can see, Hanna-Barbera ruled the roost with Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone and even Fred's bitter half Wilma serving as costume designs.

As usual, I scoured eBay to try and find some photos of costumes shown in the ad that somehow eluded the dumpster in the last 60 years.

The Yogi Bear mask is better-than-the-average, although his hat color is a little offbeat, not being the usual green. The rest of the costume is a surprise to me; we had the Yogi mask in the Brady Halloween Costume Stash®, but I did not remember what the rest of the Yogi get-up looked like. It was long gone early in the game.

It's the same thing with Fred Flintstone. By the mid-1960s, all we had was the mask.

I was fairly surprised to see a Wilma Flintstone Halloween costume. What little girl would want to be a nagging prehistoric housewife on Halloween?
Little girls back then (and now) probably would prefer to be Cinderella. Alas, I could not locate an exact match of the Cinderella costume. Sorry!

As for which costume that the average all-American boy would prefer, I would guess: the astronaut. Here's a better look at one.
Lastly, here's a spread showing some of the costumes in color. It appears here courtesy of monstermasks.blogspot.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Ashland Oil Halloween Ad – October 1962

Halloween is only a few days away, so here's an ad from 1962 to put you in the spirit. It's for Ashland Oil & Refining Company, and it ran in the Journal back on October 23, 1962 – sixty years ago.

Although the ad depicts a "friendly man of Ashland Oil" handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, Lorain didn't have an actual service station that sold Ashland branded gasoline to customers. Instead, there was a bulk station at 3600 Broadway. (It was listed under "Oils and Lubricants" in the 1964 City Directory.)

Nevertheless, the 1962 ad has a pleasant, timeless nostalgic vibe, with its kids wearing elaborate homemade costumes (instead of a TV-inspired get-up like a Yogi Bear or Fred Flintstone mask, which we were wearing back then).

Of course, the cowboy outfit would be a no-no today, with the elaborate holster and guns. The witch might be a problem as well (might promote Satanism, you know). But the clown would be okay, as killer clowns are more popular than ever now.

Oddly enough, today's kids (at least the ones I saw at an early Halloween party setting) seem to be wearing customized outfits again, which is nice.

If you have kids, be sure to leave a comment as to what they'll be wearing when they go trick or treating this year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Aunt Jenny's Chicken at the Hoop – October 1962

Franchised chicken dinners have been around ever since the idea was hatched in the 1930s.

I've written about many of them on this blog, including Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chicken Delight, Henry Penny Chicken, Chicken in the Rough and Minnie Pearl's Chicken.

As you can see, some of them were standalone stores; others were simply a menu item for which a restaurant had exclusive rights in an established territory. Kentucky Fried Chicken started out locally as something offered by Kenny King's, before spreading its wings and opening its own outlets.

Well, here's another licensed chicken dinner franchise that was forced to roost on a menu alongside other non-poultry offerings. Aunt Jenny's Country Fried Chicken – "The World's Finest Eatin' Chicken" – was served up by Richard Head's Hoop Restaurant.

Below is the ad that ran in the Journal back on October 19, 1962.

It's funny how chicken dominates the ad, reflecting its growing popularity in the early 1960s. Even the Hoop's Superhooper double-decker hamburger is relegated to a spot in the lower right hand corner.

There's not a lot of information online about Aunt Jenny or her chicken. Besides the Hoop, it was also offered locally at the Town Crier Inn.

That makes sense. Back on this post entitled "The Restaurants of Richard W. Head," his son noted that his father founded both the Hoop Restaurants and the Town Crier Inn.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Klaking with the Klak-Stik – October 1962

Have you ever heard of a Klak-Stick?

Neither have I. But it was the subject of the interesting article below, which appeared in the Journal back on October 20, 1962. 

So what is a Klak-Stik? As noted in the story, it is a novelty "twist" item, "a noise-producing piece of plastic which could catch the fancy of the dancing populace."

Lew Fox was the Lorain man behind the Klak-Stick. 
As the article notes, he came up with a bold idea to promote his invention: enlist the help of the Great One – Jackie Gleason. "It was on Oct. 9 when Fox came up with the idea of asking Jackie Gleason to help promote his new brainchild. That is when he started calling Gleason, person to person in New York."
After several calls, Fox did get a hold of Gleason's secretary, who recommended that he try writing to her boss. Fox sent a letter via air mail, along with a dozen Klak-Stiks.
Amazingly, a few days later he was contacted by Gleason's secretary, who put Gleason on the line. Gleason asked Fox if he could get to New York the next day for the taping of the next show.
Fox did just that, and as the article notes, "The Klak-Stik Kick," a song featuring the unique sound of Fox's invention, was performed on the show by Gleason's orchestra. The song had already been released as a promotion record.
"The record will be given away with every Klak-Stik sold," according to the article.
Here's a copy of the picture sleeve of the record.
The article notes the Klak-Stik's other heavy Northeast Ohio connections. "The Klak-Stik Kick" was arranged by Chuck Curtiss and performed on the record by the Al Serafini orchestra, with vocals by Lee Rand. By the way, "Chippewa Klak" was the flip side.

I'm not sure whatever happened to the Klak-Stik. Novelty tunes and fads often have a short life span. 
But sixty years ago, the Klak-Stik "clicked" with Jackie Gleason, making for an exciting time for a Lorain man, as well as the realization of his dream.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Mill Hollow Autumn Shots

It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise. Although it's past-peak when it comes to leaves, there's still plenty of color to be seen and enjoyed.

I had only about an hour on Sunday to goof off, so I went down to Vermilion River Reservation to see what Mother Nature was doing at Mill Hollow. I walked around a little bit, and at the same time grabbed a couple shots of my favorite Lorain County Metro Park.

Mill Hollow and Bacon Woods in Autumn have been the subject of many posts on this blog over the years.

The rainy, windy days last week brought down a lot of leaves, and they're piled up on the grounds of my condo. The leaves are pretty deep on the sidewalk, but that's okay, because it's kinda fun to walk through them and kick them around. Makes you feel like a little kid.
Anyway, during my usual heavy reading right before I go to bed, I encountered the illustrated short story below, which is pretty appropriate right now. It's the inside front cover of Heckle and Jeckle No. 27 from August 1957.
I'm not sure who the nameless bulldog buddy is. It's not the mischievous magpies' usual menacing bulldog adversary. But the unseen Dimwit (whose lawn the birds are clearing of leaves) is the dopey dog who Heckle and Jeckle usually, er, heckle in the Terrytoon movie shorts.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Shoreway Shopping Center Ad – October 19, 1962

Many of the shopping centers in the area dating back to the 1950s and 60s have been having a rough time for decades. Lorain Plaza is still hanging on, with stores like Apples and Dollar Tree, and newer tenant Defender Self Storage. Roughly half of the old Westgate shopping center in Lorain has been leased by Auxilio, the company that handles bus transportation for Lorain City Schools. Vermilion is a little bit luckier, with both of its shopping centers (South Shore Shopping Center and Lakeside Shopping Center) on U. S. Route 6 doing pretty well, which isn't too surprising as it is a tourist town for much of the year.

Sheffield Lake's Shoreway Shopping Center, which was reconfigured a few years ago, also seems to be doing pretty well, with Apples as its anchor store. Sixty years ago, the well-promoted shopping center ran the ad below in the Journal on October 19, 1962.

"Come see the Shoreway Clown," the ad announces. "Everyone is eligible to try and give the clown a new name. Free suckers for the kiddies was also part of the promotion.

It's a quaint idea – from the vantage point of sixty years later – to think that all it took was a clown and some suckers to drum up some traffic for the shopping center. 
Today, an appearance by a clown at a shopping center would be more likely to send the kiddies fleeing in terror.
Hey, that clown is the same one that appeared in an 1962 ad for Meyer Goldberg (here). I guess the artist at the Journal that designed the shopping center ad had a limited supply of clip art.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Boston Discount Drug Moves – October 1972

Fifty years ago, Downtown Lorain was going through its major transition, courtesy of urban renewal. That meant that buildings were going to be torn down, and some businesses would have to find new homes.

One of them was Boston Discount Drug store, shown below in a photo that appeared in the Journal back on October 25, 1972. As the photo caption notes, "Boston Discount Drug store, now mostly installed in its new location at 129 Fourth St., Lorain, will celebrate a grand re-opening sometime in November.

"The move was triggered by urban renewal after 12 years in the same location at the corner of Fourth and Broadway.

"The Boston store is the first discount drug store in Lorain. It is owned by Cook-United who also owns Ontario stores in this area."

I've written about Boston Discount Drug before (here).

There are probably very few people that actually remember this store, which was located next to Ted Jacobs. The only reason I do is because you could see this store from the window of Alex Visci's music studio at 356 Broadway, where my brothers and I took our trumpet lessons on Saturday. mornings. While one brother was having his lesson in another room, I remember sitting on a stool in the front room of the studio (where Mr. Visci repaired instruments) and looking out the window, watching the action on Fourth Street. Eventually, Mr. Visci had to move his business to a location above Faroh's on Broadway, when his building was torn down.

Today the building at 129 Fourth Street is part of Spectrum Consulting Services.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Harvest Value Time at A&P – October 1962

Where do you like to buy your groceries these days?

With all of the options available today, many people wouldn't even answer with the name of a grocery store. According to, Walmart is the leader in grocery sales in the United States, followed by Amazon (with both online and physical stores), Costco, the Kroger Company, and Albertsons. Further down the top ten list is Meijer at No. 9 and Target at No. 10.

It's quite different from sixty years ago, when true grocery stores still ruled the roost. Back then, all of the supermarkets ran full-page ads (often double spreads) in the newspaper, crammed with listings of what was on sale. It was all in glorious black and white, with a few photos or illustrations included, but it was very informative. Surely a shopper (most likely a housewife) could find something in the ad that would draw her into the store to save some money.

And most ads had a theme, like the "Harvest Time" umbrella heading that A&P utilized in the spread below, which ran in the Journal back on October 4. 1962. 

It's always interesting seeing what sale items were deemed worthy of a prime locations in their ad. Here, we find the spotlight on potatoes, apples and (yum!!) steak. 

A&P also used its ads to plug its house brands: Ann Page, Eight O'Clock Coffee, and Jane Parker. (Believe it or not, Jane Parker is still around, but only selling its iconic fruitcake. Click here to visit its website.)
Today, A&P may be long gone, but shoppers in Lorain County have all sorts of grocery options. Besides a few of the top U. S. top ten members (Walmart, Costco, Meijer and Target), we also have Apples, Marc's, Aldi's, Fligner's and of course, Giant Eagle.
It would be nice to have one go-to place for all my groceries, but I tend to buy certain items at different stores. I do what I can to save a little money.
Now, who has potatoes on sale this week?

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Lorain Telephone Ad – October 20, 1962

Like Ohio Edison, the Lorain Telephone Company seemed to run ads in the Journal almost every day in the 1960s. Why? Because it was a time in which new services and products were being launched.

But unlike Ohio Edison – with its steady parade of Reddy Kilowatt ads – the telephone company had no regular mascot to tie all of its advertising together. (There was the nameless character at the right, but he was only featured intermittently.)

Thus the Lorain Telephone Company's newspaper advertising, with its liberal use of clip art and illustrations, often had a cobbled-together look to it.

It could also be somewhat amusing, viewed through the vantage point of sixty years later. The ad below, which ran in the Journal on October 20, 1962, depicts the benefit of a phone in the bedroom – namely, it provides a way for a woman in the middle of vacuuming a way to take a break.

It's not a whole lot different from this ad (below), which ran a year later in 1963. Yessir, put phones all over the house – as long as she keeps on working!
Sixty years later, good or bad, it's a whole different world than what's depicted in these ads.

Today, land lines are largely extinct. With the likelihood of both parents working to make ends meet, who's home to answer it anyway? (I still have a land line but I'm not sure why.)
Today, roughly 47% of the workforce in the United States is female. For quite some time now, in many households (and I'm not talking just the affluent ones), it's necessary to bring in a cleaning person once a week to help out. (It will be interesting to see how the current lack of participation in the work force affects this particular profession.)
Anyway, the lifestyle that we self-absorbed Baby Boomers enjoyed while growing up – with a stay-at-home mother who cooked and cleaned – is pretty much gone forever.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Lawson's Cider Ad – October 5, 1962

Fall is my favorite time of year. The fall foliage in Lorain County has been really nice lately (although I haven't had much time to go out and enjoy it, beyond what I see on the way home from work). 

I also love the whole autumn ritual of heading out in the country and buying bags of apples from the people who grew them, as well as half-gallons of their fresh cider. I've already had some terrific apples and cider from Miller Orchards, and I just picked up some Honeycrisp cider made by Burnham Orchards. It was pricey, but I'm looking forward to trying it.

Speaking of cider, that particular seasonal beverage is the focus of this ad for Lawson's that ran in the Journal back on October 5, 1962 – sixty years ago.

The ad copy notes that the cider was "rich with the juice of Baldwin, Winesap and Delicious apples from Ohio's orchards," and that Lawson's was picking it up "fresh at nearby cider mills, bottling it in our Dairy plant, and rushing it to our stores – keeping every jug constantly chilled to protect that country-fresh flavor."

At least it sounds like Lawson's was selling Ohio cider. I won't even consider buying Giant Eagle brand cider, even though it's probably regional product (since Giant Eagle is based in Pennsylvania). 
We have a lot of orchards selling cider around Lorain County, and last year I probably tried them all (Rex Gees, Hillcrest, Burnham, Miller, etc.). I won't say which was my favorite, but they were all good – and I counted 6 or 7 cider empty jugs under my sink by the time Christmas rolled around.
Apples, orchards, cider and even Johnny Appleseed have been regular topics on this blog.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Lorain County Moose Hunters in Canada – Oct. 11, 1962

Yesterday's post featured an October 1962 Pic-Way shoe ad with a hunting theme. Today's post looks back at the Lorain Journal's coverage of two moose hunts in the Great White North  – undertaken by Lorain County hunters – from that same period.

The article and photo below appeared in the Journal on October 11, 1962.

"There'll be moose on the table this winter in at least a half dozen Lorain County homes," the article begins.

"Frank Mate, 1026 Brownell Ave., and Kenneth Love, 4117 Talbot Lane, made their first hunting trip to the White River region in Ontario, Canada, two weeks ago and each bagged a moose on the first day.

"Each animal weighed about 1,200 pounds.

"Their game was flown out by White River Air Service which reportedly has been doing a booming business hauling animals."

"The other area group bringing back two moose included John Shullick, 1605 W. 30th St., Charles Endrizal, 2946 Park Dr., John Grasse, of Amherst, and Worth Mertz, of Elyria.

"Shullick made the "big" kill in the Algoma railroad and Oba River district in Canada. His 1,200-pounder had a rack measuring 60 inches.

"Endrizal bagged a moose cow weighing about 800 pounds.


This article was of interest to me for several reasons.

For one thing, I've spent a lot of time in Canada over the years, especially in the area around North Bay, Ontario (which is about a 3 1/2 hours drive north of Toronto). Although there are moose crossing signs along Highway 11 as ubiquitous as deer crossing signs in the States, I've seen a moose up close exactly once over the course of about 15 years. 

But the main reason I posted this article is because it features one of our neighbors when we lived at 1604 W. 30th Street in Lorain. 

The Shullicks lived right across the street from us, and were a nice family. The Shullicks' daughter Susan was our first babysitter, and I recall having a crush on her. I also remember that Mr. Shullick drove a jeep (which left a big impression on me as a kid) and picked us up from Charleston Elementary School one time when it was raining really hard and my parents only had one car.

Happy memories of being a kid on W. 30th St. in the early 1960s.