Monday, July 31, 2023

Cheryl Yourkvitch Wins Miss Ohio – Summer 1973

Front page of the June 24, 1973 Journal
Fifty years ago in the summer of 1973, Lorain was celebrating the selection of its own Cheryl Yourkvitch as Miss Ohio and looking forward to her competing in the Miss America pageant that fall. It was a nice time in the city, as her achievement was a unifying force. Everyone was rooting for her.

(Her selection as Miss Lorain County in May of that year was the subject of a post here.)

In the days following her winning the Miss Ohio crown, Cheryl's story played out in the Lorain Journal with regular coverage.

From the June 25, 1973 Journal

From the June 25, 1973 Journal
From the June 26, 1973 Journal
From the June 26, 1973 Journal
From the June 27, 1973 Journal
By the end of July, Cheryl was busy with preparations for the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. Journal photographer Tom Whittington did a nice job documenting a "Day in the Busy Life of Our Miss Ohio," with his photos accompanying an article by Marsha Vayhinger that appeared in the paper on July 29, 1973.

As this blog looks back on that special time in her life, here's hoping that she's currently doing well and enjoying good health and happiness.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Cedar Point Frontier Trail Article– July 29, 1973

It's been a while since I've been to Cedar Point.

Why? Besides the fact that I'm getting a little long in the tooth to be riding roller coasters, the last time I was there, I just felt that the park had changed too much for my taste. I missed the Cedar Point of my youth, when my family's annual visit there was often the highlight of summer during the 1960s and early 70s.

But my disappointment is to be expected. Cedar Point is constantly evolving, striving to provide the kind of modern thrills and excitement that the younger guests enjoy. So the park isn't going to maintain an older ride or attraction strictly out of nostalgia to make the over-60s crowd happy. It's out with the old and in with the new – both rides and guests.

And with the park admission price reaching astronomical highs, it's more economical for families to purchase a season pass and go several times during the summer. I know several people at work who do just that.

Anyway, fifty years ago, the Frontier Trail (connecting the main park and Frontier Town) was still relatively new, and the subject of the article below. It appeared in the Sunday Journal back on July 29, 1973 and pointed out the (ugh) educational aspects of the Trail.

I remember walking the trail to get to Frontier Town as sort of a breather from the rides, not very exciting but a chance to cool off in the shade. I'd probably enjoy it a lot more now, and I'm glad it's still part of the Cedar Point experience.

Vintage souvenir currently on eBay
To read a really well-written history and description of the Frontier Trail circa 2014, with excellent photos, follow this link to James Koehl's article on the Theme Park Insider website. And this link leads to some past and current photos of the Trail on
Cedar Point remains one of the most visited topics on this blog.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

American Ship Building Moves Offices to Lorain – July 1963

Sixty years ago this month, the full page ad 'welcoming aboard' American Shipbuilding Co. to Lorain appeared in the Lorain Journal on July 18, 1963. 

What was the occasion? 

As an article (above) in the July 16, 1963 edition explained, "The American Ship Building Company formally "moves" into its new Lorain offices Friday.

"The transition, which has been underway for some time, will be accomplished with a minimum of fanfare, according to William Trace, yard manager, although the observance is of considerable significance to Lorain.

"In moving its general offices from Cleveland to Lorain, the company indicated that it would be in a position to better coordinate, promote and expedite operations in the company's largest shipyard.

"Finishing touches are being made to the new $270,000 building which will accommodate the company's engineering, purchasing, estimating, accounting and management personnel. 

"No community-wide open house has been scheduled, but customers and special guests from the Lorain area have been invited to stop in for a visit on Friday.

"The modern, two-story office building is equipped with the latest in lighting, air conditioning and other features, and is located on the west side of Colorado Ave. just north of the ASB structure that houses the employment office."


It's still hard to believe that twenty years later in December 1983, it would all be over.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A Smarter-than-the-Average Investment – July 1973

For many years, the Journal published a page of business ads once a week under the banner, "Business & Industry Review" or something similar. It was some sort of package deal, with certain advertisers receiving a short, promotional article (often with a photo) masquerading as regular content of the newspaper. I've featured one or two of these pages over the years. They're fun to look at.

And here's another one (above) from the July 16, 1973 Journal. This one is of special interest to me because it includes a short article extolling the benefits of investing in a Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp - Resort franchise in Ohio. Of course, there's an ad (below) accompanying the article.
What's really interesting to me is that there was a Jellystone Park resort planned for my current town of Vermilion! As the article notes, "The first of the nationally developed camp-resorts will begin operation around April 1, 1974 along the Vermilion River.
"Heated swimming pools, a mini-golf course, large playground sites, markets, larger-than-life replicas of Yogi and his pals and outdoor sports are featured at the resorts.
"The Vermilion development of 50 acres will cost $500,000 to construct and will provide an abundance of return for investors who don't want to be left out in the woods.
"Vacationers can avoid boo-boos and phone ahead toll free to already rollicking camp resorts coast-to-coast at 800-558-2954."
I'm sure trying to convince investors to buy into this campground caper was no pic-a-nic. But today, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts are still thriving and growing. Hey-hey-hey! 
I've camped at Jellystone Parks all over Canada, as well as in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Interestingly, the 1319 West Erie Avenue address for Recreational Investment Co. is today the home of the Council of Lorain County Veterans, the little building next to "Big V" park. 
I did a whole post on the early days of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts back here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

"New Look" McDonald's Comes to Lorain – July 1973

Have you ever noticed how new fast food restaurants all seemed to have been designed by the same architect?

They all look very boxy, with strong horizontal and vertical lines dominated by pillar-like structures (pilasters, I guess) near the entrance. While the buildings are attractive – almost classy looking – they have no personality and aren't very distinctive. In fact, there's no way of knowing what restaurant chain it is until the logo is installed in the large open area reserved for it.
It's almost as if the design is insurance that in case the marketing gurus made a boo-boo and the restaurant fails, the building can easily repurposed by another business. 
It's quite a difference from when you could look at a Taco Bell under construction and know it's a Taco Bell.
Anyway, I think this trend might have its roots in the 1970s, when McDonald's did away with its iconic walk-up restaurant design, with the building supported by those Golden Arches, and went with the (ugh) mansard roof look. Ironically, that mansard roof became as standard and recognizable as the design it replaced; it just wasn't as fun to look at. 
And fifty years ago this month, that 'new look' came to Lorain at both the West Erie (US Route 6) store and the east side outlet on Colorado Avenue. The ad below, which ran in the Journal back on July 17, 1973, made the announcement.
Of course, the main reason for the change was the necessity of adding indoor seating. 
And to sugar-coat the transition, the chain gave away a bicycle at both stores, with no purchase necessary. 
Looking at the ad, one thing leaps out at me: the image of Ronald McDonald. You really don't see the jolly clown spokesperson any more, on TV commercials or at the store. And that's too bad, because having him in the commercials again would really liven up the proceedings a bit and remind us that fast food used to be 'fun.' But fun or not, McDonald's is still the number one restaurant chain in America.
And to think it was only ten years earlier, at the end of July 1963, that McDonald's opened its original design restaurant on the East side.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Steam Engine Stops in Norwalk – July 6, 1973

Steam locomotives were pretty much replaced by diesel engines by the 1960s. Thus the appearance of a steam engine in the years following – often making a promotional run – usually made the newspaper, accompanied by a great photograph. (I posted one back here from 1968.)

And here's another such event. As noted in the article above, which appeared in the Journal on July 6, 1973, "The Independence Limited" as No. 4501 is called, was on a special, nostalgic trip yesterday between Chicago and Washington suburbs. The trip was sponsored by the National Railway Historical Society.

"The stop in Norwalk was – "almost on time" – but loving railroad buffs could have cared less [sic] about punctuality."

The article goes on to profile some of the spectators. "A retired track foreman with the Penn Central, Irvin Howell, 820 State Road, Vermilion, stood smiling, camera in hand, by the little station on Pleasant Street.

"His brother-in-law, Albert Burley, RD 1, Collins, retired also from a track foremen job, recalled with him, the "old days.

"A female railroader, Mrs. Pauline McKinley, Willard, standing with her family before boarding the train, said, "During World War II, I helped clean the rods," she laughed. "I was supposed to be a boilermaker too, but I ended up just carrying the tools.

"The old steam engine brought back memories to 81-year-old Mrs. Lenna Klein, of Wakeman. She recalled her married life to the late W. C. Fields, "first a fireman, then an engineer on the old Nickel Plate Railroad."

Read more about Southern Railway 4501 here on its Wiki page.


Elsewhere on this page of the Journal, there's plenty of evidence that the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 70s was in progress. 

We have the account of a 'man nude from the waist down' sitting in his car at the K-mart in Lorain at Fairless and Grove Avenues; a story of a man who exposed himself to a nine-year-old girl on E. 33rd Street in Lorain; an article about sexual activities on college campuses; a report about a vasectomy hotline "to inform men and women about the simple procedure which permits the continued enjoyment of sex without the fear of unwanted pregnancies; and a story about a chastity belt shop that closed down in Milan, Italy.

At least there was no nudity involved in the story about some Lorain boys who started a fire in a storage container at the National Waste Paper Company.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Patio Diet Cola Ad – July 1963

Well, the weekend is here – and I'm thinking about pop. 

I pretty much avoid drinking it during the week so I can really enjoy it on the weekend. This whole ritual is probably a throwback to my youth, when the same rules applied.

Thus it's a good time for a post about pop – a favorite topic on this blog, as my regular readers know.

So here's an ad introducing a pop I'd never heard of: Patio Diet Cola. It ran in the Journal back on July 10, 1963. Patio Diet Cola was bottled by Pepsi-Cola. (The ad shows it being locally produced at 3209 Chester Avenue in Cleveland.)

The ad features Figure Expert Debbie Drake, once profiled in LIFE magazine as "America's First Female TV Fitness Guru."

It's a nice clean ad with a simple layout giving you a good look at the bottle (as well as Miss Drake). She also put out a fitness book in 1962.

But – you've never heard of Patio Diet Cola? That's because Patio Diet Cola was rebranded a year later as: Diet Pepsi
This article on tells the whole story, how Pepsi was initially worried the product would fail and thus avoided rolling it out as a Pepsi variation. (Apparently Patio Diet Cola also figured prominently in a few episodes of Mad Men in its third season.)
This Wiki entry also provides a nice history of Patio Diet Cola and a few other products in the 'Patio' line.
Do you refer to your favorite fizzy soft drink as pop – or soda pop? (I may have asked this before.) In our house when I was growing up, it was always 'pop' – as in, "Can we have pop tonight, Mom?"
I didn't know any other way of referring to it until I was living in the dorm at Ohio State and a fellow dorm-mate from New York said something like, "I could go for a soda." Immediately, I thought: "What kind? Chocolate? Vanilla?"
So what's at 3209 Chester Avenue in Cleveland today? It doesn't look like any bottling is going on there today at The Venue at Chester. But it's easy to imagine that it once did there.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Frontier Week & On Area Movie Screens – July 1963

Sixty years ago this month, the city of Amherst was enjoying the second year of its annual Frontier Week celebration. Above is the page from the July 29, 1963 Journal with the story.

As it notes, "An estimated crowd of 5,000 persons turned out Saturday for the first day's festivities of Frontier Week which featured a 1 1/2 hour parade.

"The evening's attractions were two free-fall parachute jumps held at Memorial Field.

The festivities planned for that day included a Western sports act with knives and cracking whips by the Oklahoma Kids, as well as a rock-and-roll street dance.

As I noted back on this post (which highlighted the inaugural celebration), the last Frontier Week was celebrated in 1966. It's too bad, because it looked like a fun concept. 

Elsewhere on that same Journal page: an ad for the Al G. Kelly and Miller Bros. Circus (whose appearance was spotlighted on this blog post); the Radio Program listings for W-WIZ 1380 KC (the same radio frequency for today's WDLW Kool Kat station); a small ad for A&W Root Beer on W. Erie in Lorain; and the usual movie ads.

The movie listings seem to be in the summer doldrums, with such ho-hum fare as Walt Disney's Moon Pilot. But at least there was the classic musical Bye Bye Birdie. (Did you know that the name of the Conrad Birdie character in that movie was based on music legend Conway Twitty, who at that time was a rock and roll artist?)

Here's the trailer. It's funny seeing Ann-Margaret so young and cute.

I had forgotten that the wonderful and very hummable tune, "Put on a Happy Face," came from that movie. Hey, I like Janet Leigh as a brunette!

It's so nice that the great Dick Van Dyke is still alive and doing well at 97 years old. Ann-Margaret is still around as well, so there are two good reasons to put on a happy face.
One interesting thing about the movie Bye Bye Birdie is that apparently there was a Hanna-Barbara connection somewhere in the making of it; I think it's because Columbia Pictures sponsored their cartoon studio in its early days. Anyway, in the scene where young Ann-Margaret is in her bedroom making her bed, you can see plastic figures of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble in the background! There's also a stuffed Cindy Bear (Yogi Bear's girlfriend).

We had those same Fred and Barney figures when I was a kid! (Remember, we were big Flintstones fans.) They were about a foot tall and hollow. I remember looking in the hole in the back of them and studying the inside of each of them. It was like looking inside a hollow tree.
We had Betty Rubble too, because I remember that she was leaning on a tree stump or something. But I'm not sure if I noticed at the age of 3 or 4 just how off-model they all were!
Speaking of Betty Rubble, she was probably the reason I've always favored brunettes.
There's also a neat little triple feature at the Lorain Drive-in. All three movies have a 'bride' theme: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Brides of Dracula and The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959). That last movie is an odd one, a solo effort by comedian Lou Costello without his longtime partner Bud Abbott. Sadly, Costello passed away shortly after finishing the movie.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

See America Best, By Car – July 1963

One of the greatest gifts that my parents gave my siblings and me was being able to see the country by car in the 1960s. During a period from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, we camped all over the U. S. A. – from Bar Harbor, Maine to Deadwood, South Dakota to Cheyenne, Wyoming and all the way to Sausalito, California. We saw many of the best National Parks: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Sequoia, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Badlands and Wind Cave. 

The memories of those vacations are priceless to me and I'm glad I saw America when we did, in a simpler, more innocent time. 

But my parents' appetite for travel wasn't limited to traveling to other states. They enjoyed our home state of Ohio too. Besides camping all over the state, we also did a lot of day trips just for sightseeing. I used to wonder how my parents knew about the many attractions in the Buckeye State, since they didn't watch much TV or subscribe to very many magazines.

Many years later, I discovered that Mom used to keep a file of newspaper clippings of travel ideas. Perhaps she saw a series of stylish ads sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute that appeared in the Journal during the summer of 1963, each highlighting a sort of one-tank trip around part of Ohio. Two ads from the series are shown below. The first is from July 16, 1963; the second, from July 30, 1963.

Although the ads were basically encouraging travelers to drive and use more gas, they contained many excellent suggestions. We saw many of them, including Thomas Edison's boyhood home in Milan, Findley State Park (a favorite for camping and picnicking), the Blue Hole, etc. Even Lorain and Vermilion are represented.

It's a pity that in today's hectic times, families have so many commitments, as well as entertainment choices (like Cedar Point passes), that it's easy to overlook the idea of seeing by car some of the wonderful sights that Ohio has to offer.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Mars "Krazy Daze" Ad – July 11, 1963

When did the whole "Christmas in July" sales gimmick start?

I don't remember anything like that when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s. "Christmas in July" seems to be something that became popular in the last twenty years or so. In fact, the first time I encountered it was during a day spent at Put-in-Bay.

Anyway, there was a certain sales promotion that was popular in Lorain during the summer over the years: Crazy Days – with prices so low they were 'crazy.' 

I've featured a few of these types of sales here on the blog, including 1962 and 1964 Downtown Lorain Crazy Days Sales  and a 1971 Ted Jacobs Crazy Daze Sale.

And here's another one, a full page ad for Mars Discount that ran in the Journal back on July 11, 1963.

Now that's an ad that would be hard to miss – or forget.

The ad employs several devices to emphasize the 'crazy' attitude, including beatnik-type lingo, like "Dig These Real Gone Values." There's also a cartoon of a zany type with an apparent Napoleonic complex, and another of either Nero or Caligula (your choice).


Mars had a long history in Lorain, starting around 1940 or so. In the early days, it was listed in the city directory as Outlet Furniture Company, with Harold and Jos Margolis as the proprietors (which I assume was shortened to 'Mars' when used as the company name.

The store remained at 1816 E. 28th Street until the early 1990s or so, when it moved out to 3009 Pearl. By the late 1990s, the Mars Furniture Showroom was at 2063 N. Ridge Road. It seemed to share the address with Harmon's, which became Erie TV and Appliance about the same time.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Lorainites and Their Shorts – July 1963

Do you wear shorts a lot in the summer, either for comfort or due to some longstanding tradition?

I know my family did. When I was a kid, it was sort of a ritual for my siblings and me to get them out of storage at the beginning of summer and then wear them for the next three months. I still do this as an adult, mainly for comfort (I wear an untucked polo shirt and sandals with them); in fact I usually end up wearing my shorts longer and longer, right into October. 

By the way, I don't remember my father wearing shorts too often, except maybe when I was a kid. He usually wore the Bermuda type. Mom wore shorts in the summer right into her nineties.

Anyway, the wearing of shorts was the focus of the article above which appeared in the Journal back on July 26, 1963. The writer was making the observation that Downtown Lorain shoppers seemed to be wearing shorts in violation of generally accepted dress code norms.

As the article notes, "Fall and winter fashions may be drawing attention of Florence, Paris and New York City...but..on Lorain's Broadway it's the shorts that are catching the eyes.

"Amy Vanderbilt, who tells everyone what to wear, would be horrified! She says that the properly dressed female shopper should appear on the streets in a neat costume complete with hose, shoes, hat and gloves.

"Here we do it differently. Perhaps it is because Lorain is sort of a vacationland city. At least that may be our excuse.

"When the sun beats down on the pavement, the city's feminine gender adopts its own rules for proper shopping attire. The shorts come out in full force."

The writer wraps up her article by pointing out that if you really wanted to stop traffic while shopping on Broadway in Downtown Lorain, dress like Amy Vanderbilt recommended.

I found it interesting that in the Lorain is described as 'sort of a vacationland city.' I've noted many times on this blog how Lorain was always trying to muscle its way in Vacationland, marketing-wise, in the 1950s. (The traditional eastern edge of the Lake Erie Vacationland has long been Vermilion.)


Elsewhere on the page above, we see ads reflecting the kind of dress code formality that Amy Vanderbilt championed. There's an ad for a Fall-Winter Pattern Catalog (illustrated with a smart "Casual Shift" outfit) that you could get from the Journal for fifty cents (in coins, please). 

We also see an ad promoting 'beautiful fur-trimmed coats' for Dunlap's at the O'Neil-Sheffield Shopping Center.

And let's not overlook the ad for McKee's Shoes, a Hopewell family favorite place to shop.

Friday, July 14, 2023

The Circus Comes to Town – July 1963

The arrival of the circus in Lorain used to be quite a big thing in the old days.

My parents used to tell me about how the circus would set up over where George Daniel Field is today, which back in the 1930s was the outskirts of town. There were other locations over the years, including the field at 14th and Washington, as well the former Kew Gardens property on Colorado Avenue.

Even in the 1960s, a circus would generate a lot of interest and some Journal coverage. Above is a page from the July 31, 1963 Journal that has two articles about the Al G. Kelly and Miller Bros. Circus, which was in Lorain for a one-night stand on Colorado Avenue.

Well-remembered staff writer Lou Kepler's article profiles several of the performers.

She felt Jembo the Clown was somewhat aristocratic, with his "gold-colored nose, gold shoes and sequin-studded forehead." Jembo had previously had a career as a male nurse, as well as playing character parts on stage and on TV.

Other circus performers included a handsome young man playing the calliope who had studied three years at Juilliard School of Music; Deyanina Campa, a young Mexican mother with a trampoline act; "Snooks" Swain, a drummer whose entire family (including her parents and all eleven of their children) were all performers; and Johnny Joanides, a Greek juggler.

Joel Sugarcane's Journal article focuses on the Joanides family: Johnny, his wife Vanda (who he met when they both worked in the Ringling Bros. Circus) and their four children.


The circus has been a regular topic on this blog over the years, with posts devoted to the Adam Forepaugh and Sells Brothers Circus (1901); the Hagenbeck Wallace Circus (1923); the Sam B. Dill Circus with Tom Mix (1934); the Paul A. Miller Circus (1960) here, (1962) hereand (1963) here and here; and the Cristiani-Wallace Brothers Circus (1965).

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Lorain National Demolishes Its Neighbors – July 23, 1972

Downtown Lorain's streetscape has changed so much over the last fifty years that sometimes it's good to be reminded of what it used to look like – even if you were living in the city most of that time.

Case in point: the photo and caption above, which ran in the Journal on July 23, 1972. As the caption notes, " The face of the city is ever changing. This time Lorain National Bank is demolishing two old buildings to provide off street parking for 30 to 40 cars for both its main and East Sixth Street offices. Access to the additional parking, which will be ready in a few weeks, will be through the alley behind Broadway. 

"The old buildings were the former Shane Furniture company, next to the bank, and the T. C. Metzger building, to the extreme right or south."

Today the streetscape looks like this (courtesy of Google Maps).

Of course, Lorain National Bank is no more, having become Northwest Bank – leaving First Federal of Lorain as the last of the local banks that still have 'Lorain' in its name.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

'Your New Home' Booklet – 1960s

While cleaning out my Mom's home in preparation to put it on the market, I found this little booklet in her files. Entitled Your New Home – Its Care and Maintenance, it was presented to Mom and Dad by their builder on completion of their new home on Skyline Drive in 1965.

It's interesting for me to see the name of the builder – D. W. Sprague & Son – as well as the various contractors, including Reliable Plumbing and Gene's Floors. 

And even though the publication is sort of a promotional piece for the Ohio Home Builders Association, there's a lot of handy information in it. Topics include: how to address the appearance of cracks in the basement floor; how to deal with condensation; and how to get the most effective use of your insulation.

So here is the booklet in its entirety; perhaps you'll find something of interest in it.

It's kind of nice to see Mom's notes, including such tidbits such as cleaning bath fixtures with Bon Ami or Lestoil, and using Murphy's Oil Soap or Jubilee on cabinets and woodwork. Mom was pretty organized throughout her life and it's not surprising that she kept this booklet.

And she was pretty consistent too. Bon Ami and Murphy's Oil Soap were still in her cleaning arsenal more than fifty years later.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Lorain Countians in Combat Training – July 13, 1963

When we're not actively at war with another country, it's easy to forget about about the men and women in uniform, and how they must train to be ready for battle. That's why it was nice to see this collection of great photos providing a glimpse of combat training that ran in the Journal back on July 13, 1963. 

As the caption notes, "Lorain Countians with the 83rd Infantry Division at Camp A. P. Hill, Va., this week participated in a 24-hour combat patrol through the hills and swamps of the area. Some of the photos taken by Journal Staffer Hardy Crist, a sergeant with the 83rd, show the men returning to the bivouac area from patrol duty. 

"A 308th Engineer Battalion of the unit also took part in an engineering class, where the troops built a 40-foot timber trestle bridge in the forest of the camp. The span was constructed in one day. The units will be returning to Northern Ohio this weekend after two weeks of intensive drills."


Elsewhere on the page we have a large ad for the Ohio Fuel Gas Company (sorry, Reddy); an ad for Shoreway Shopping Center in Sheffield Lake; and an ad for Weber's Nursing Home in Wellington (which is still around and doing business as Weber Health Care Center.

There's also an odd ad for Heilman's, the late great restaurant remembered by older Lorainites. The ad's headline – "Be a Trencherman – order a yard of beer. King James II did" – is curious to see the least. I had to look up the meaning of the word 'trencherman.' It means, "a hearty eater." But what does that have to do with King James II, the last Catholic monarch of England?

Only the ad's copywriter knows for sure.