Friday, April 18, 2014

David Shukait Article – April 1957

Here's a vintage article (above) about David Shukait, the man who created Lorain's iconic Easter Baskets that grace Lakeview and Oakwood Parks. (Click on it for a readable version.)

I'd posted a similar 1966 article that ran in the Journal back here; the article above is a little bit older. It's from April 17, 1957 and ran in the Chronicle-Telegram. It's a slightly different take – written by Dan J. Warner – on the same subject matter, namely how Mr. Shukait came to create his baskets.

In the article, Mr. Shukait has just received the patent for his basket design, right on the verge of his impending retirement.

As usual, there are incorrect dates, the kind that have plagued the story of Lorain's Easter Basket for many years. The basket was not installed in Lakeview Park until 1941 (as noted back here). Interestingly, the article makes reference to Lorain having five baskets in Lakeview and Oakwood Parks.

It's supposed to be a beautiful Easter Sunday, so I'm sure Lakeview Park will be packed with families making their annual pilgrimage for a photo opportunity. On one of these Easters, I'll have to swing by Oakwood Park and see what it's like over there, crowd-wise.

The best article about Lorain's Easter Basket is still the one written by Rona Proudfoot back in 2009 with extensive input from the Shukait family. Rona's byline has been unceremoniously scrubbed from the online version, but nevertheless you can still read it here on the Chronicle-Telegram website.

And in case you're wondering, Rona still has her flickr collection of Lorain Easter Basket photos (which you can visit here). Be sure to take a look – I'm sure you'll recognize a friend or neighbor.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trotter's Easter Ad – 1964

Here's a cute Easter-themed ad for Trotter's Office Supply, which was located at 515 Broadway in Lorain. The ad ran in the Journal on March 17, 1964 (and is the last of my 1964 Easter ads).

Roy Trotter was formerly a foreman at Thew Shovel before becoming a vice-president at Eldred's in the early 1950s. Eldred's was an outfitter of books, stationery and office supplies that was located at 375 Broadway.

Around 1957 or so the firm became Trotter's; by 1960 the firm had moved to the 515 Broadway location. It remained there until the mid-1960s, when the address became vacant.

Today the 515 Broadway address is part of the sprawling Lorain National Bank complex.

After the office supply company closed, Roy Trotter operated the Colonial and Blue Bird Bargain Store at 1644 E. 28th Street.

You don't hear too much about Gibson greeting cards these days. American Greetings acquired the firm in March 2000.

That's a good looking cartoon rabbit in the ad. It looks like the artist actually looked at a real one before trying to draw a cartoon one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lorain Creamery Easter Ad – 1964

Here's another top-hatted Easter bunny ad from 1964 – this time for the well-remembered Lorain Creamery (one of the favorite topics on this blog over the years). The ad ran in the Journal on March 17, 1964.

This bunny is a little less menacing than the giant that towered over the kids in the Pic-Way ad.

Courtesy Ebay
It's kind of a good deal in the ad: buy 2 dozen eggs (you're going to color a dozen of them anyway) and get an Easter bucket and a coloring kit for two dimes.

Although we weren't customers of Lorain Creamery's milk delivery service, we did have milk delivered by Home Dairy. Memories of the milk man coming to our house on Skyline Drive are still very clear.

We didn't have a little milk door at our house on Skyline (we did on W. 30th Street) so our milkman – Bill – used to open up the garage door and leave the milk carrier alongside the steps leading into the house.

Milk men are a funny memory, one that will surely die with the Baby Boomers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pic-Way Self-Serve Shoe Marts Easter Ad – 1964

Here's another Easter ad from 1964 – this time for Pic-Way Self-Serve Shoe Marts. The ad ran in the Journal on March 26, 1964.

I don't know about you, but this giant top-hatted bunny gives me the creeps. There's something oddly sinister about him. Maybe it's his razor-sharp incisors, and the way he seems to be hungrily eyeing the little boy. (The bunny is dressed for dinner, after all.) Or it could be his height, which would give the 6-foot tall Harvey a run for his money.

Anyway, Pic-Way Shoes first showed up in the Lorain City Directory at 3105 Grove in the 1959 edition. It continued to appear in the book all the way until the 1980 edition, when the address went vacant.

The address was later home to Frederick Heating and Air Conditioning in the late 1980s. Recent tenants include Ice Cream Heaven and Our Place Restaurant.

I'm sure most of the Lorainites who read this blog paid a visit to Pic-Way at some point of another. We did, although with all of the options available to us at O'Neil's and at Midway Mall (such as Nobil Shoes, Faflik Shoes, Thom McAn, etc., I'm not sure how often we went to Pic-Way as part of our regular shopping trips to South Lorain.

Here's what the 3105 Grove location looks like today (below).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Steve Polansky Easter Ad – 1964

Here's a nice, uncluttered Easter-themed ad for a place I shop at every Saturday – Polansky's Market on Dewey Road in Amherst. It ran in the Journal on March 23, 1964 – 50 years ago.

I like the design of that cartoon rabbit chef giving the OK sign about the easter ham, which is also a great illustration. I also like those 1964 prices.

I was at Polansky's on Saturday as usual, picking up a (if you'll pardon the expression) pork butt for a nice, easy Sunday dinner of pulled-pork sandwiches. It was excellent.

Don't know if you out-of-towners missed it, but Sophia Polansky passed away this past January. Sophia and her husband Steve founded the business in 1940 at 14th and Long Avenue in Lorain. The Dewey Road operation has been around since 1945 and is still operated by the family and owned by son John (one of the smiling faces hard at work in the back whenever I stop in).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Capt. Aaron Root House: the Guerrilla Archaelogy Visit

On Wednesday, I had an opportunity to see the Captain Aaron Root house up close one last time before it gets demolished.

I was a member of Director Dr. Charles Herdendorf's "guerrilla archeology" team that visited the house.  Dr. Herndendorf had permission from the owner of the house for us to go through it and "take whatever we wanted." So on Wednesday morning, we paid a visit to the house to see what – if anything – could be salvaged.

The house had a lot of stories to tell, if you looked closely, such as the various layers of material on the outside of the house leading down to the original wood siding, or the windows with their square nails.

Inside, we found a wall with some ancient wallpaper that had several layers of paint and plaster partially covering it.
Part of the adventure was just getting up enough nerve to climb those rickety stairs – especially because if the steps collapsed, you'd drop like a rock directly into the basement!
Once at the top of the stairs (below), you really couldn't go anywhere, since the second floor was lying on the first floor.
The basement was probably the most interesting part of the house, because of the huge beams. Some of the logs still had bark on them.
I did my best to look for stuff throughout the house that might be salvage-worthy and bring it outside to scrutinize in the sunlight. The pile soon grew to include pieces of trim, bricks from the fireplace, door frames, and other odds and ends.
My best find of the day? This rare 20th-Century artifact (below) created in the shape of a costumed waterfowl that apparently was some sort of pipe. It was down in the basement under a pile of rubbish.
So although I didn't find any dusty envelopes stuffed with wads of yellowed greenbacks hidden in the walls, I thoroughly enjoyed myself during my house visit. It was a fascinating way to spend a few hours.

Col. Matt Nahorn and his team from the New Indian Ridge Museum also participated in this salvage effort. Be sure to visit his interesting website (here) for some historical background about the house, as well as an informative documented account of what he observed, and what he was able to salvage.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Elyria House Move – February 1956

Here's yet another house moving news item. This one is from the Feb. 23, 1956 Chronicle-Telegram and shows a house being moved in Elyria along Cleveland Street to its new location on Eady Ct. It was moved to make room for – what else? – a gas station.

I've never seen a house being moved, but it'd be pretty interesting to see, especially if you were a little kid. I can understand why so many of these things made the papers.

In case you're wondering, that's the Hazel's Restaurant sign at the left hand sign of the house moving photo. (At left is a photo of the restaurant from an old Elyria city directory.)

Anyway, I had high hopes that I'd be able to find the house in its new location on Eady Court. Although I didn't drive to Elyria to try and get a positive I.D., I spent a lot of time looking at Bing maps aerials and Eady Court properties on the Lorain County Auditor website.

What did I come up with? Nuthin'!

Looking at overhead shots of the area on the Historic Aerials website, it looks like Eady Ct. had very few houses in 1952 and 1962. But by 1970, commercial businesses had begun to move in, and today, many of the houses shown in the '52 and '62 aerials are gone. I'm guessing that this house is one of them.

It would be a shame if it had been moved to Eady Ct. and then torn down anyway.

I could be wrong, and the house is still there. But if the house is indeed no longer on Eady Ct., here's hoping that it was packed up and trundled off to another location.