Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Lackawanna Avenue Clock

The clock in the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue is still 49 minutes fast. This is an ongoing problem, at least a year-and-a-half now. Nobody cares, Andy Mehalshick of WBRE-TVs I-Team couldn't handle a request to find out what the problem is, the creep blocked me on Twitter! (Clearly WBRE is not on our side, like they claim). A few years back WBRE wanted to use a couple photos of mine on a newscast, no problem. I guess it's a one-way street with them, too much to ask if anyone could see if the clock problem can be corrected. Some of these local news people are way to chummy with the public officials they cover. They turn a blind eye to public corruption, I guess they also turn a blind eye to the time. Not terribly surprising in a city where sick people are taunted, and told they can't wait til they die.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Renaissance Park

Steamtown has a new superintendent which means Renaissance Park is no longer open on Saturdays. It was actually opened most Saturdays so far this year, unlike last year when it was usually closed. Once again taxpayers are neglected by government workers who can't unlock a gate.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Erie-Lackawanna 2

Erie-Lackawanna business car 2 at Steamtown on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church at 380 West 4th Street in downtown Williamsport, from last spring.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Westbound Freight

A DL freight from the Harrison Avenue bridge a few weeks ago.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Squirrel on a bench, last spring on the UofS campus.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Delaware-Lackawanna 2423

DL 2423 at Steamtown a couple months ago.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Apollo 11: Splashdown

50 years ago today Apollo 11 returned from it's historic trip to the moon. I always thought the hard part was getting them off the Moon. I'm still split on whether the great technical achievement was worth it. It cost billions of dollars, and didn't solve any of the problems here on earth.  Gil Scott-Heron's take can be heard here.
All from the Plain Dealer, July 25, 1969.

I miss the optimism of that era, seemed like anything was possible, even going to Mars. The Cubs were even in first place! It was gonna be their year!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Electric City Trolley

Philadelphia Suburban 76 arriving at Steamtown a couple months ago. Excursions run through October 27, Thursdays through Sundays at 10:30 AM, 12:00 Noon, 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Moses Cleaveland and Cleveland

223 years ago today, Moses Cleaveland led his group of surveyors down the Cuyahoga River to the foot of what would become Superior Avenue and founded the city named after him, minus an "a".
Postcard postmarked April 27, 1912.
From The Plain Dealer, July 24, 1921.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

St. Mary's on the Flats

St. Mary's on the Flats was Cleveland's first Catholic Church. Built in 1840 on Columbus Road this church was also known as Our Lady of the Lake. The church closed in 1886 and was razed a couple years later.
From The Plain Dealer, July 24, 1921.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

1969 Palace Theatre Closing

50 years ago today, Sunday, July 20, 1969, the Palace Theatre closed it's doors "forever." Part of the story that has circulated for several decades now is that the air conditioning broke during a showing of Krakatoa East Of Java, which is untrue. The Palace wasn't running air conditioning that summer, either it really was broken, or they didn't want the added expense of cooling a giant auditorium for a couple hundred people, tops. The BO in those last years was abysmal, often less than fifty people weekday evenings, really surprised Blair Mooney and Stuart Wintner kept the place open as long as they did. A string of big budget - hard ticket flops: Agony and the Ecstasy, Is Paris Burning and of course Thoroughly Modern Millie were BO disasters at advanced prices. Millie was supposed to be the next Sound of Music, it wasn't. In between the big budget flops, the regular grind fare didn't do any better. So on the day of the moon landing, the Palace went dark, leaving the Hanna around the corner on 14th as the only operating theatre at Playhouse Square.
July 2, 1969, Tom Prusha/Cleveland Press photo, From the Cleveland Memory Project.
Rita Kertzman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association with Stuart Wintner and Blair Mooney in a publicity photo for the opening of Is Paris Burning, from the Plain Dealer, October 13, 1966. This picture was a hard ticket disaster, tons of deadwood after this run. Wintner was an ozoner, ran a chain of drive-ins, and a few kiddie parks (Memphis Kiddie Park on Cleveland's West Side is still run by his son). Mooney was the film booker for Co-Operative Theatres, a sub-run outfit. When it came to picking winners for a big downtown deluxer Mooney picked only losers.
From the Plain Dealer, July 4, 1969.
 From the Plain Dealer, July 17, 1969.
From the Plain Dealer, July 18, 1969.
Final notice, Plain Dealer, July 20, 1969.
From the Plain Dealer, July 19, 1969.

Not long after the Palace joined it's neighbors in darkness, the marquee was removed and the front covered in plywood, the fire escapes on the east (17th Street) side of the auditorium were also cut down. The following summer (1970) International Trade and Fair would move in and occupy the lobby for the next couple years. The stage was used for storage in the otherwise dark auditorium. The Trade Fair went bankrupt in the summer of 1972, and things started turning around then. The Palace would re-open in November 1973 with a production of Ben Bagley's Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter.

Worthy of mention is back in the early 70's, Blair Mooney told Ray Shepardson that "if they couldn't run the Palace, nobody could."

Friday, July 19, 2019

Southside Alley

An alley on Southside with an amusing sign, from a couple months back.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hanna Building

The Hanna Building at 14th & Euclid, Playhouse Square, last May.
 Below, ad from 1929 City Directory.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

226-228 Prescott Avenue

Looks like 226-228 Prescott Avenue is now abandoned, it's a shame, a nice little apartment building. Probably the owner didn't pay off the crooked housing inspector.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Delaware-Lackawanna 2452

DL 2452 along Ridge Row on Saturday Morning.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Scranton Skyline

View from the new Harrison Avenue bridge on Saturday morning.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Titusville Trust Company

The Titusville Trust Company at 127 W Spring Street in Downtown Titusville, built in 1919, currently occupied by Farmers National Bank, from last spring.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Boston & Maine Diner 84

Boston & Maine diner 84 rusting away at Steamtown. This car was built by Pullman in December 1930, B&M retired the car in 1959, it was subsequently purchased by Steamtown.

Wyoming Avenue

Wyoming Avenue looking north from Lackawanna, a couple weeks ago.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Coventry Street Fair

I worked on music for the Coventry Street Fair twice, 1981 and 1982. At some point during the summer of 1981, some loser appeared in my yard, at 7 AM on a Sunday morning, blasting some awful noise from a boom box, apparently thinking this was the way to get booked for the fair. I tossed the tape in the trash once I got rid of him. These were big events, drawing 50-60,000 people over two days.
 I ran the middle stage in 1981, in the Coventry Beverage parking lot. There is a cliff that overlooks the back of this lot, once it got dark that Saturday, kids were throwing beer bottles at the back of the stage. There was a bit of distance from there, the bottles were all smashing about twenty feet from the back of the stage, but it was a bit annoying. There was no way to contact anyone in those days. There was a runner that would come by every fifteen-twenty minutes to check up on what was going on. I was eventually able to pass word along to the Cleveland Heights Police, and they got rid of the kids, hope they had to sweep up all the broken glass. There were some good groups on the center stage that weekend, John Bassett and Kaya on Saturday, I-Tal and Mr. Stress on Sunday.
The back of the list has a bunch of handwritten notes, where the parties were going to be afterwards were of utmost importance then.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Murray's Scenic View

Murray's Scenic View at 709 Grandview Road, Oil City, from last spring.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019