Monday, April 29, 2013

Electric City Trolley

The trolley excursions from the Electric City Trolley Museum have started for the season. They run Thursdays-Sundays at 10:30, Noon, !:30 and 3 PM through the end of October.
These are from the third run of the season, Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the south end of Laurel Line tunnel.

Colonel Duffy Statue

Colonel Duffy statue, at the little park, Crown and Harrison Avenues.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nay Aug Falls

Nay Aug Falls this morning.

Nay Aug Park: Poison Ivy

The poison ivy is coming along nicely this year!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Laurel Line : Dupont Station

The remains of the Laurel Line station in Dupont.
Remains of the Laurel Line station in Dupont.
Along the right-of-way looking north.
Stone wall below the right-of-way.
We followed the right-of-way for for 150 feet or so and came to this gap. This must have been one of the shortest bridges ever, 6-7 feet across. It doesn't look like there is any source of water below this, so it wasn't built for a creek, and it's too narrow for a road. We're not sure why this was built like this. This view is looking north.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Erie Railroad: Wyoming Division, Milepost 3

From an expedition with my friend Mike Guzzi last week. We stumbled across this milepost along the Erie's Wyoming Division.
Nearby there were a few other items of interest.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Step Falls

Step Falls as seen from the Harrison Avenue bridge yesterday morning.

Everhart Museum

Everhart Museum in Nay Aug Park yesterday morning.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nay Aug Falls

Nay Aug Falls this morning.

Nay Aug Park

It's starting to get Spring-like in the park!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Delaware & Hudson: Avoca

The Delaware & Hudson passenger station in Avoca. This is now a pool supply business.

Kerr-McGee Tie Plant: Avoca

Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks leading away from the former Kerr-McGee tie plant in Avoca.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

The cast (l-r) David O. Frazier, Providence Hollander, musical director David Gooding,Terry Piteo and Cliff Bemis. 

Remembering Brel...

Late winter of 1973 saw preparations of turning the grand lobby of the State Theatre into the Playhouse Square Cabaret. We worked day and night on that project. My friend Russ Richards and I spent several weeks stripping black paint off the marble baseboards in the outer lobby. The dark musty space had become a beehive of activity almost over night. Director Joseph Garry and Smitty planned the stage, Smitty making a model out of cardboard and drinking straws. I wonder what ever happened to that?  Over the course of about a week Smitty had put together a stage using all sorts of odds and ends salvaged from the theatres. The base of the stage was made from the framework of the Cinerama screen, the part against the wall was a platform that was used in Trans-Generation 70, a society party which was the last event held in the State, in January 1970.  Smitty and I spent a frigid Sunday nailing the rest of the stage together, the hammering echoing throught the cavernous lobby.  The stairs that lead up to it were strong enough to support a tank. Over the course of several nights Kevin and Poe had shined the big brass railings on the lobby’s grand stairs. I also remember stripping white paint and rewiring brass wall sconces that were in the outer lobby. I think I spent about a week in the old candy room under the right grand staircase doing that. There was quite the transformation of the lobby in those few weeks.  On a Sunday afternoon new chandeliers arrived. They’d been purchased from the Commodore Perry Hotel in Toledo.

Smitty and I spent several days atop scaffolding in the lobby, vacuuming out dirt and dust from the cove lighting trough just below the ceiling. We also figured out why a strip of lighting didn’t work. A mouse had chewed through the wires, shorting out about five feet of lights. To economize on light bulbs, we replaced every other bulb in the trough. My first television appearance was rolling the scaffold across the lobby behind a Ray Shepardson TV interview. An amusing side note was when famed TV commenter, Dorothy Fuldheim blurbed our show, but said it was at the Hippodrome.

Once the stage was ready rehearsals began, “Marathon”, “Marieke” , “Carousel” and the rest of the songs which would be forever tattooed on all our brains would ring out in the huge lobby as work went on. Passersby on the street would look in through the front doors, wondering what was going on in the long vacant State Theatre.

In retrospect, this all came together rather quickly, probably in about six weeks, but at the time it seemed to go on forever. Work intensified as the opening date drew near, Russell and I would be there every day after school, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays, until close to midnight. Soon opening day arrived, Wednesday, April 18th the doors opened as we hurriedly rushed about. We had skipped school that day, helping to hoist a chandelier into place at the back of the State auditorium. Patrons would park for free in the Playhouse Square garage, and enter through the back of the auditorium and linger for pre-show cocktails, before heading down to the lobby for a buffet, and the show. I vividly recall running a mop across the floor as some of the first patrons arrived. Among the first to arrive was our English teacher, Mr. Mellow, who asked “why weren’t you guys in class today?” Russell and I feebly responded “ uh, we were sick.” Soon the show went on.

The cast Terry Piteo, Cliff Bemis, David O. Frazier and Providence Hollander received a rousing ovation at the end of the show. The show was only supposed to run for about a month, but when the reviews hit the papers on Friday, April 20, it became a runaway hit. It seemed almost unbelievable when the 100th performance was held on September 15th 1973. On October 31st there was a big party when Brel became the longest running show in Cleveland history. By the summer of 1974 it seemed like Brel would go on forever, but all good things must end, and Brel finally closed in June 1975, after 522 performances. A Marathon indeed!

All photos by William Gesten/Foto Arts Inc. Brel ad from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 11, 1975. Parts of this post were adapted from an earlier post in October 2010.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Erie Railroad: Wyoming Division

The big cut, at mile 14.1, looking east from last Sunday. The ice that was still here two weeks ago is gone now. The frogs that populate the area next to the tracks have yet to make an appearance.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Scranton Skyline

View from the Erie Railroad bridge over Route 307 yesterday morning.

Roaring Brook

Looking upstream from the Ash Street bridge over Roaring Brook, towards the Erie Railroad bridge.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Nay Aug Falls

Nay Aug Park this morning.

Fishermen Along Roaring Brook

There were a lot of fishermen scattered along Roaring Brook this morning.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cleveland: River City Music

A couple of shows I worked on in the Spring of 1981. By far Elizabeth Cotten was one of the coolest people I've ever met.

Nay Aug Gorge

Looking down into Nay Aug Gorge, last Sunday morning.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Erie Railroad: Cleveland

Erie Railroad, timetable February 17, 1957. Cleveland Union Terminal on the front.

Myrtle Street Footbridge Remains

Remains of the Myrtle Street footbridge over the Lackawanna mainline, built in 1915. Unsure of when this was removed.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New York Central

A few pages from a system timetable, April 25, 1965.

Below a few pages from a  system timetable from January 26, 1968. I think this was the last one issued prior to the ill fated merger with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Sic transit gloria mundi

Nay Aug Park Greenhouse

There was a bit of activity in the greenhouse yesterday.