Monday, January 10, 2005

East Cleveland 1966: Where did everyone go?

This is my third grade class photo from Prospect Elementary School in East Cleveland, OH. I often wonder what happened to all my classmates. I have not seen any of them, save one, since moving to Cleveland Heights in 1970. I have listed their names below as can best be recalled.


(click on picture to enlarge)

Top row: Christina Molish, Donna Brucken, Ann Pemerton, Yukiko Tani, Martha Swanhart, Dennis Hugebek, Donna Van Pelt, Jeff Dearden

Top middle row: Mrs. Beasley, Corine Marcovey, Jim Fisher (me), Mike Cigerella, Paul Gleason, Gary Grey, John Evans, (an unknown student teacher)

Bottom middle row: Grace Parrish, Chris Mates, Rick Hanson, Jerry ?, Sandra Conch, Raymond ?, Pam Marrett, Jeff Conaway

Front row: Ronald Ractko, John Nagy, Charles Seaman, Zack Williams.

East Cleveland was a wonderful little community at the time. We all walked to school and also walked back home for lunch! There was a great place to play called Forest Hills Park. It used to be the summer estate of John D. Rockefeller. He played golf there 100 years ago. We played everything from baseball to army-man to sledding to hide-and-seek to ice skating. We lived that park. Another great place was Shaw Pool off of Hayden Road. Everyone learned to swim there. It had ball fields, tennis courts and the greatest playground.

I lived on Rosemont Rd. which was between Kirk Junior High on Terrace Rd. and Euclid Ave. My mom told us that Rosemont Rd. was the drive to Rockefeller's estate and that his workers built their houses on that street in order to be close to the boss.

All the houses were close together and every street was packed full of families and friends. There were some families with over 10 kids in one house like the Hastings who lived at the corner of our street. Tom Brazitis, the Plain Dealer reporter and Washington correspondent, lived at the opposite corner. At the time he was editor of The East Cleveland Leader. He had a big circular backyard with a fence that edged the outskirts of the three streets along his property. It was always full of weeds and wild plants. We used to take people on tours of his "backyard jungle".

Everyone had friends there. My friends from class were Chris Mates, John Nagy and Ron Hansen. My class nemesis was Donna Van Pelt (she always topped me on tests and grades). My friends from my neighborhood were David and Jimmy Fielding, Mark Drefs, Steven Wild, David Chamberlain and Stanley Anthory.

Everyone knew everyone too. We used to go to the fire station and sit on the trucks or go into the police station and ask the officers to lock us up in the jail. A train track split through the city so that meant putting pennies on the track in order to have the trains flatten them. There was a YMCA on Lee Rd. We went there on Saturdays during the winter to swim and play pool. Many of us were in Indian Guides.

There was a Mr. Donuts on Euclid Ave. in East Cleveland. It had a big picture window so you could watch the baker make the donuts right in front of you. The baker loved it when we watched him especially when he was cutting the doughnuts from the sheet of dough. He would flip each cut-out onto his thumb and then, at just the right moment, he would toss one of the cutout holes at the window in order to startle us. My dad used to give us a dollar Sunday morning to buy a dozen "day-old" donuts. They were the best.

East Cleveland in the sixties was a time of great innocence for many. We knew nothing of Vietnam, hippies, or race riots. But we had to grow up quickly. Within a few years things changed dramatically and East Cleveland was never the same again.

So where did everyone go? If you are from East Cleveland in the 1960's please leave your recollections in the Comments section below.

Jim Fisher

P.S. It may take some time for this blog to be indexed by the search engines in order for people to find it. So even if this post has been up awhile you may be one of the first East Clevelanders to see it.

For pictures of Forest Hills Park click here and of East Cleveland click here.

Copyright © 2005 James D. Fisher
All rights reserved.

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222 Comments:

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Lia Spithas said...

Jim, what a nice article! I am going to forward it to my dad who also grew up in East Cleveland and went to Shaw High School. According to your wife, he is a few years older than you, but I am sure he remembers many of the same places. He grew up on Hastings Ave.

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

I had several friends who lived on Hastings Rd. It was on the other side of Prospect Elementary. Your father may be in the same grade as my sister, Ann.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim, this is Steve Spithas, Lia's dad. I share the same feelings that you do in you comments. Where did everyone go? Well I can tell you that my family didn't go anywhere. We didn't move to a poorly built slab house somewhere in Willowick or Eastlake or a house costing twice what it was worth in Mayfield Heights. We stayed in our four suite brick apartment building at 1838 Hastings and are there until this very day (my broher Jimmy - Shaw High 1969 - owns it now). My mother would say to me (in Greek) when I would come from Akron U. on breaks "Pooh pahne ahftee" or "Where are they going?". I would tell her that thay are going to live with the other white people; I didn't try to explain to her about white flight, real estate blockbusting and racial stereotyping that were prevalent in EC at the time.

I miss EC, I miss Jack's Donut Shop on the corner at Hastings and Euclid. Sitting there after a hot summer afternoon baseball game at Holly Park behind Rondini's Restaurant eating a couple of fancy donuts and drinking an ice cold Double Cola for twenty-six cents (I got the money from my Press route and cashing in pop and milk bottles for the deposit).

I miss Tobin's Rexall Drug where I worked part time since I was fourteen (1963), delivering prescriptions with a six pack of beer, taking stuff to Tobin Page avenue store and learning to speak a little bit of Yiddish.

I miss Royal Castle where I could get a 5 cent birch beer and a 16 cent hamburger. Later I worked there making 48 hamburgers on the grill and flipping eggs for breakfast at the same time.

I miss the EC YMCA where I played basketball in the Exchange Club leage on a team called the Browns with the famous "Dutch" Bridenbauh as our coach. Afterwards we would swim and play pool downstairs in the game room.

I miss the Prospect schoolyard where I spent many a recess and played center for the Mighty Prospectors flag football team with Pete Billington (Rosemont Ave, second house down from Terrace) at quarterback. We usually beat everybody but Chambers. The same schoolyard was the place I witness presidential candidate John Kennedy's motercade drive by with the rest of Mrs. White's sixth grade class.

I miss families with eight or ten kids. Hastings Ave. had the Petroziellos, the Bradleys, the Corbetts, the Mates, the Gleasons; it was the home edition of family fued.

I wrote a paper for a Demography class at Akron U. about the population change in EC and seem to remember one glaring fact: between the years of 1960 and 1970 the composition of EC's population went from 90 percent white to 90 percent black; a change that was so rapid and so drastic that it ripped apart the social fabric of a once great community. This fabric could not be restored despite the valiant efforts of East Cleveland's residents, both black and white.

EC City: A place that is tragically empty for the current residents but full of great memories for the residents of the past.

Thanks Jim

 
At 8:37 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Thanks for the comments. My father was raised in East Cleveland and my grandmother lived on Northfield Road by the railroad tracks and my uncle lived in an apartment on Elderwood. I used to have a Cleveland Press route there. The first house I lived in was on Mayfair Rd. right across from the elementary school.

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice posting! I found your site by searching on Prospect Elementary School, which I also attended. Do you remember Mr. Vinborg the Principal and the family sing-a-longs we used to have at Forest Hill Park, the "new building" and how special it was when it was built? Did you have Mrs. Harris or Mr. Chance - they were my favorite teachers. I remember walking to the ice skating rink for gym class, or getting to go to the gym class at Shaw High to use the ropes and the trampoline. I also remember when the TV show Batman was on we all used to put our jackets on without the sleaves to make them "capes" and played Batman at recess. Ah, what a time it was. . .

Karen Brooks Willey
hillhoney@snet.net

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Karen,

Thanks for the note. In the fifth grade my teacher was Mr. Chance who was the nicest man in the world! In the middle of the school year we moved from the old Prospect elementary to the new building. We had to double up our class too so we had about 50 people in the class. I can't find a picture of that class but I had many friends and good memories.

I do remember Mr. Vinborg and I'm sure he remembers me as one of his special projects. Also, Mr. Whalen is the principal at Chambers Elementary.

Playing Batman was fun. Do you remember on Halloween we all dressed up in costumes? My mom made me a into "mummy" which was long underwear wrapped in gauze (no Wal-mart costumes back then). By lunchtime the gauze was all falling off and I had to walk home at lunch time down Euclid Avenue in my long underwear! Lots of drivers honked at me.

It was a wonderful place.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger mark said...

Hey JD
It's me, Mark Drefs, heres a few other memories for you...Romas Plodzynskus, his brother Algae, sister Regina and father Vitus...Also Eddy and jimmy Rose up the street...I remember your father's red saab and laughing about it having a 3-piston engine... little did we know then...remember Shaw Lanes? and how many damn times did we play baseball in that park? I stuck it out all the way thru Shaw...it was very hard getting beat up all the time, but was worth it in the end as it drove me to pursue my education/career. I had Rosemont as my Press Route and of course tried my best to miss the Toohig house
Remember Chef Finamore's? and Tu Jacques, and the Crystal Grill (chicken roasting in the window)
and the Easttown Motel, Davis Bakery, The Jupiter Store downtown, Capt Franks on the ninth st pier?
Also Euclid Beach, my friend...Euclid Beach
Write Back, I'll do the same

 
At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Jim Fisher said...

Wow! Mark Drefs. How are you? (Where are you?) I can't believe you knew how to spell Romas' last name! I have lots of great memories of you. Remember that great water balloon fight we had from your porch? Wasn't it against the Toohig's? Your dad was quite a character. He was from Philly, sold industrial bags, crossed the Silver Springs bridge hours before it collasped, washed his money and hung it out to dry in the back yard.
Thanks for the memory of my dad's SAAB. We used to pour oil into the gas tank 'cause it was three cycle (I only drive SAAB's today...owned six of them so far). Forest Hills park was wonderful. I loved baseball. We played every day through the summer in that little field next to the parking lot. I drove past your house the other day and it's still standing. Colonel Brass lived in his house across the street from yours until he died last year.
I can't believe you made it all the way through Shaw. Do you remember the huge explosion at the Windermere Moving and Storage building?
I ran into David Fielding at Kent State about 25 years ago and then saw him working at a OfficeMax a while back. Stanley Anthory drives a truck and calls once in a blue moon. Where did you end up and what are you doing?

 
At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Donna said...

Hi Jim, This is Donna Brucken. I was just fooling around by doing a google search on my own name and came across this. Wow! How are you? All it took was a look at the class photo and I knew exactly who you were. By the way, I have the same photo somewhere. There is just so much that came flooding back to me as I have read the comments here about Prospect Elementary and especially about East Cleveland. I suppose one of the saddest things about it is that even if we could orchestrate a reunion, we would probably not be welcome in our home town. Any and probably all of us from that city and that time period wish that our children could experience such fond childhood memories. Those innocent and precious days in a safe community seem almost unobtainable in 2005.

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Donna,

Thank you so much for your response. You are the first member of the class to do so. I thought perhaps everyone moved to Siberia!

I recently drove through East Cleveland to photograph the two homes we lived in (Mayfair Rd. then Rosemont Rd.). What surprised me most is how small it is. As a child it was so big.

The houses were all unique. No cookie-cutter homes at all.

The first house I lived in (1957-1962). It was a two-family dwelling on Mayfair Rd. The house on Mayfair is still there but the street has many homes boarded up.

The second house I lived in East Cleveland (1962-1970)was on Rosemont Rd. It had a big front porch and many nice architectural touches. What would this house cost to build today? It's still in good shape. Unfortunately, several homes on Rosemont are boarded up.

I will try to post some pictures soon.

Thanks again for your post. It would be wonderful to have a reunion and there are a few places in East Cleveland where we would be welcome. But until more people check in, you and I would be it!

Jim

P.S. I cannot reply directly to anyone posting on this blog unless you leave me your e-mail address

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger mark said...

Yeah man, those toohigs were a piece of work...remember Vinny, the old alcoholic that used to sometimes live with the Toohigs until they found him dead in a railroad switching house with a bottle of (yikes) rubbing alcohol? Currently I'm working in Virginia as an In-House Art Director for a large east coast hair salon chain. I'm lucky to have a very hardworking studio of 5 artists of which we're responsible for around 1800 jobs a year, you'll be interested to know we use stock photography all the time. I moved back to Cleveland in 1990 thru '95
missed all the new structures (both stadiums the hall of fame and Frank Gehry bldg) but did make it back to East Cleveland tho lived off Shaker square.
Will have to come back for a visit soon. Weren't we the luckiest kids in the world? Flipping Baseball cards Dave Fielding ALWAYS won...wish i had them now. Thanks for your memories of my dad, he's still kicking after 2 open heart surgeries and a smoking habit he still hasn't quit. Boy he used to make life miserable for me on Saturdays, filling the day with chores until 4:00 or so. I don't know if you remember that Tom Brazaitis used to live at the end of the block (he edited the East Cleveland Leader) He recently passed down here in DC, wrote some good stuff over the years. I can't believe the colonel was still in that huge house of his. Glad to hear mine was still standing though, it should be...it was built like a white stucco fortress (how many scraped knuckles came from those walls? The explosion at Windemere, the riots, the war protests, it was truly a microcosm of america as a whole, man, i'll never forget when the first viet vets starting coming home...luckily my draft lottery number was like 225, otherwise i'd be in canada as we speak. I know this is completely scattered on my part, but memories just keep rushing in, like how romas' house smelled eternally of cabbage...playing on the railroad tracks behind shaw lanes (pennies on the rails) the best christmas i may have ever had when my folks got me the james bond attache case! Wish i still had that too. I'm not online at home, but here's my office e-mail, please feel free to write any time...mdrefs@ratnerco.com
If i remember correctly you had a sister who we, as young boys are want to do, tortured her unmercifully was her name Ann? Here's a few more for you...Grey saturday mornings at the YMCA woodshop watching those old flash gordon serials, the best Halloween's in the world...covering blocks and blocks of houses, sledding down the hill on Lee and Terrace by the old Quigby(?) mansion, and then graduating to the daunting Superior Rd hill...great winter snowfalls that didn't seem to melt till may...staying out till the last possible moment on summer evenings, testing all our parents patience and most of all just having the freedom to wander and explore...a commodity obviously rare for children in today's world. Anyway, I'll continue posting as the opportunity arises...Thanks for starting this wonderful blog

 
At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, This is Donna Brucken again. There is so much that I'd like to ask you. Is there anyway to leave you my e-mail address without posting it here? Let me know. Anyway, outside of just the third grade class, like my family, I know that alot of "East Clevelanders" moved out to Lake County. I continued to attend junior high and high school with a couple of them and heard of others at different schools. I'd be willing to help to track them down if you're interested. By the way, if you find yourself back in East Cleveland taking pictures, I would be real interested in seeing my old house. Unfortunately, I don't feel safe to travel there again. I used to live at 1855 Wymore Avenue. Our garage was on Lee Road. It was a duplex and we lived on the north side , right down the street from Mr. Donut!

 
At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Bennett said...

Hello Jim,

I am Bennett Parrish, elder brother of Grace and Greer (Grace's twin, mysteriously missing from your picture.) I was a classmate of Harry Rearden and Jim Swanhart who would have to be siblings of your classmates.
It was a simpler more innocent time! Although I recall doing civil defense drills to get to bomb shelters, my larger problems were how to allocate my 25 cent weekly allowance between the 10 cent comic books at the drugstore and the 7 cent Birch beer at the Royal Castle.
I remember the first day of 7th grade. Grouped together we went from roll call to roll call each teacher derailed by the mis-mimeo of MArk Milheim as "Murk", becoming a full fledged train wreck trying to say Gianni Gianguzzo's name and giving up when they arrived at my name even though it wasn't that difficult.
And after my family escaped to rural Ashley, Oh - my first car was a 3 cylinder Saab!

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Jim! Guess who I am. Yukiko Tani, your classmate from Japan. Do you remember me? I remember you!You were the funny tall boy with freckles. It still makes me laugh when I recall the mummy-look you wore on Halloween. The bandage you wore came off from the end and because it was the only thing you had on your body, you panicked(we panicked too).

I came back to Japan when I was in the forth-grade and still in Japan since then. Now I'm living in a city near Tokyo, teaching children math and English at a cram school.
And Donna! My best girlfriend throught my whole stay in the US!!
It'S like a miracle for me to communicate with you after all these years, it's been almost forty years. How I wish to see you both again!

p.s. I asked my son to search for my old classmates in the US, and
found out your page, I still have the same picture in my album!

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Yukiko,

Wow, the Internet has such power to reconnect people. I never thought I would hear from you. Wonderful! I remember always you were laughing at me (in a fun way). I was constantly getting in trouble or pulling some kind of prank. Yes, I remember the Mummy outfit. My mom dropped me off in the morning but I had to walk home, via Euclid Ave., at lunchtime with the whole costume falling off me. Cars honked their horns at me all the way home. It was terribly humiliating at the time but my kids love the story. Thank you so much for contacting me. I have wondered, how you ended up at our school? Didn't you have a twin sister named Noriko? Please feel free to comment as there are many people who have done so and many more from the class that will someday find the site.

Jim

 
At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Bill Brucken said...

Hi Jim,

My sister Donna told me about your site. I was two grades ahead of you, but had friends who were siblings of your classmates.

We grew up on Wymore Ave, one street west of Lee. As a young kid I worked at Shaw Lanes, Mr. Donut (the guy who flipped the donuts was named Willie, and he was a real showoff), at Luxembourg Motel and the Sinclair gas station. I also delivered the East Cleveland Leader and the Cleveland Press.

I remember sledding down McGregor Hill (south east corner of Lee and Terrace), and I remember breaking into the old deserted mansion at the top of the hill. I went to Superior and Prospect elementary and Kirk, but we moved after a riot on the last day of school at Kirk in 1968.

I hung out with Phil Tertulliano, Kim Skinner (his dad was the swim coach at Shaw), Jim Hamilton (they lived in a tudor mansion near Huron Road hospital - his dad was a surgeon there), Bob Lucas and Harry Deardon. I'd love to hear from any one of them, or from anyone who might know their whereabouts.

I've owned several businesses over the years, mostly in sales and marketing, but also music (drummer and singer) and photography (three studios and some magazine gigs). I also spent many years in the car business.

I've spent most of my adult life in Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties. I'm in Thompson now, and just started an electronics business.

We used to go to the Y on Lee Road for the weekly Canteen dances. I remember dancing my first time with Laurie Mitri. We had parties every week to coincide with the Canteen dance. I remember Barbie Fisher, Tina Segulin Mary Cala and the Mayes twins.

I also remember Brenda Richardson, Rosie Prindle, Rosie Danielson, Teresa Keeling, Mindy Dillaher and Jan Alvarez. Good memories.

I remember Yukiko Tani and her sister Kioko. They were my sister's best friends and I teased them unmercifully (sorry Yukiko and Kioko). Their dad was cool and taught me some neat card tricks.

Such a great neighborhood that went bad so quickly. Unfortunately, I also remember switchblades, brass knuckles and blackjacks.

My Mom would send me to Tobin Page drugstore for her cigarettes (with a note). Royal Castle, Birch Beer, Crystal Barbeque, Shaw-Hayden Theater, Euclid Beach Park, the hobby store at the corner of Stanwood and Euclid, Jaye & Jaye Bikes and hobby shop on Coit & Euclid, Ghoulardi, Shaw/Collinwood games, Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow, Windermere Storage, CTS, and what was the name of the Lincoln-Mercury dealer across from Prospect Elementary, and the Chevrolet Dealer on the west side of town?

Someone asked about Mrs. Harris, the 6th grade teacher at Prospect. Does anyone remember the wet tennis shoe? Instead of swats (like Mr. Vinborg used to give me), Mrs. Harris would smack us with a wet tennis shoe she kept in a bucket of water!

How about Kirk... there was a teacher there (I can't remember his name) who would give us a choice: swats; sing the Russian National Anthem (in Russian), or crawl around the classroom on our hands and knees and pick up all the trash with our teeth and spit it into the waste basket!

Definitely a different time!

If anyone is interested in putting together a site dedicated to these memories, contact me. I have some pix (mostly class pix, some others), it might be fun.

Bill Brucken
FordExec@aol.com

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Bill Brucken said...

Jim,

Okay, I remember the Chevrolet dealer, it was Jim Connell Chevrolet on Euclid Avenue. I still can't remember the Lincoln Mercury dealer, though.

How about Sinclair and Union 76 gasoline (and the orange styrofoam balls that Union 76 gave you for your car antenna), Manners (and the Manners Big Ghoulardi milkshake), Giant Tiger and Robert Hall clothes?

The teacher at Kirk who would give us swats unless we could sing the Russian National Anthem, etc... was Mr. Corlette.

You know how Prospect Elementary was all brick except for the old gymnasium, which was old and made of wood? Does anyone remember the fire (about 1965, I think)? I know that Phil, Jim Martin and I do (along with Mr. Vinborg, the EC Fire Dept, EC Police and the juvenile detectives)!!! Experimenting with our chemistry sets... what trouble we got into then!
Bill Brucken
FordExec@aol.com

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Bill,

Thanks for the comments. Wow! What a great memory.

From the list of places you worked it sounds like you were a natural entrepreneur at an early age.

So the baker at Mr. Donut was named Willie? We loved him.

Do you remember when the auto body shop next to Windermere Storage blew up and caught on fire? It shattered the glass on the apartment buildings across Euclid Ave. A few months later there was a fire at the shopping plaza at Euclid and Superior Avenues. William Gaskill was the new City Manager at the time and lived right across the street from me on Rosemont Rd.

My first paper route was on Marloes Rd. On my way home I would walk through the City Hall area to check out the fire trucks and the police motor pool. One day I walked through the motor pool garage to check out the police cars. When I got home there were police cars waiting at my house! The police were talking to my mom and when I arrived at the porch they started yelling at me about taking a clip board from one of the police cars in the garage. I had no idea what they were talking about but they were all threatening me. Apparently the clipboard had a bunch of arrest warrants just signed by the judge. Another squad car passed by and the officer inside the car saw the commotion on our porch. He stopped and walked up to the porch. When he heard what was going on it turned out he had the clipboard and was using it to write tickets. My life was saved! That got me a dinner at Royal Castle and lots of Birch Beers.

Your sister Donna was in almost every class with me except 6th grade. Is that when you moved to Lake County? We stayed until 8th grade for me which was 1970. I spent two years at Kirk Jr. High. I had plenty of black friends as well as white friends who stayed in East Cleveland. It got nasty at the end. After attending a Shaw High football game our family was attacked along Euclid Ave. by a gang. My parents decided it was time to move. I didn't want to of course being young and stupid. My mom told me it was because of "discipline problems" in the schools. I thought she meant me!

It was quite a switch moving from soul-tune East Cleveland to psychedelic rock Cleveland Heights. At Kirk we would bring 45s to school like Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Supremes and Jackson 5. At Heights they played Jefferson Airplane, Yes and Joni Mitchell. It was hard to fit in but I found Santana and Jimi Hendrix and that saved me socially (sic).

I didn't realize the poverty that was around us in East Cleveland until one day I went to the home of Nathaniel (nicknamed "Blue Boy" cause he always wore something blue) Folkes. I think he lived on Northfield Rd. We went into his house and there was hardly any furniture in it. His mom sat on a chair in an uncarpeted living room watching a small black and white T.V. that was sitting on the floor. Man, that was it. Nathaniel, if you're out there, I hope things got better for you.

So far I've only heard from two class members, Donna Brucken and Yukiko Tani. Where are the rest of you?

Jim

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

I have finally added some pictures of East Cleveland. More to come. Goto: http://wazopia.blogspot.com/2006/04/forest-hills-park-east-cleveland-oh.html

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Bill Brucken said...

Jim,

It was Wick Lincoln Mercury that was near Prospect Elementary and near Pick n Pay supermarket.

Remember The A&P near Shaw Lanes? how about Fisher Foods in the Forest Hills Shopping Center (Superior and Euclid).

I went to Kirk in '67/'68 and '68/'69. At the end of school in '69, there was a riot, and a lot of kids got hurt. Our parents decided they didn't want my sister to go to Kirk the next year, or me to go to Shaw. That's when we moved to Mentor.

Talk about culture shock! From race-riots and day-to-day survival to bell-bottoms and pot parties!

I was a Rack at Kirk (remember that?), but in Mentor they called me a greaser. All the tough kids had to challenge me in Mentor because I was a greaser from the city. I think i fought every kid in Mentor at least once!

I got busted with a switchblade on the school bus (sissy country kids couldn't walk to school).

Thanks for the pix. Our old house on Wymore really does look pretty good.

Keep it going! This has been fun.

Bill Brucken
FordExec@aol.com

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Wow. I grew up on Allandale between 1957-1973. In the early 70s I partied with Jeff Dearden, who unfortunately, passed away in November of 1975. He had gone to Alaska and was killed in an auto accident. I was also friends with Lenny Hill and Howie Wells. Howie passed away in the spring or early summer of 1976. Sorry for the sad news. They were both free spirits and touched my life in a very positive way. I went to Christ The King grade school all 8 years and then on to St. Joes 2 years and Cleveland Urban Learning Community of St. Ignatius High School. I grew up on the same street as Kent Collier and Billy Morton. Email me sometime PLEASE at strung5626@comcast.net I have been working at NELA Park for the last 28 years. My travels take me to the E.C. post office sometimes. I take Terrace Rd. to Stanwood and cross Euclid onto Strathmore. Lots of memories.

Mike

 
At 7:28 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Mike,
Thanks for your comment. That's too bad about Jeff Dearden. How did he end up in Alaska? We still drive past Nela Park to see the lights at Christmas time. I didn't know anyone from Christ the King. I lived over by St.Phils.

Jim

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Jim,

Jeff loved the outdoors-camping, rock climbing, and backpacking. I'm not sure, but I think he and some friends had planned to build a cabin. He came back once to visit the summer before he died.

On a happier note, thanks for responding.

 
At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, Thanks so much for starting this little blog on the "good old days" in East Cleveland. My name is Tim Ahern and I was, I think in Bill Brucken's class. I came to EC to go to Prospect Elementary in third grade because it was too dangerous living in Cleveland and going to Hazeldell Elementary. My 3rd grade teacher was Mrs. Inderlied, who was very young and pretty. My 4th Grade teacher was Mrs. Peitzmeyer (sp?), 5th grade was Mrs. Seaman, and 6th grade was the famous Mrs. Harris, for whom I had the utmost respect. Friends included Jim Hamilton, Jim Martin, Phil Tertuliano, Tina Segulin, Sherry and Sheila Mayes, Ruth Fagerburg (her dad was Dewey and a minister I think), Barbie Fisher, Alan who lived on Chapman Ave, and so many faces who don't have names anymore. I remember my first swat from Mr. Vinborg in 3rd grade; Jim Hamilton, of the mansion fame, flipped me off and then told Mrs. Inderlied when I responded in kind. I felt so mistreated, but it led to Jim and I becoming friends. I must know Bill Bruckner. I sledded down McGregor Hill, which was right across Terrace from where I lived, the Terrace Manor" apartments, and in better weather we played tackle football there, always avoiding the big rock and the trees that defined the endzones. I also played baseball at Forest Hills Park, always playing at the first field after walking on a short trail through the woods next to Lee hill. I had a big crush on Barbie Fisher (any relation?) to whom I gave a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day in 6th grade (Mrs. Harris), only to have my heart broken when I found them returned to my desk the next day. I remember spending a lot of time on the playground playing kickball, and on the other side (south) of the school there was a little space nestled between two building outcrops where we went down some steps and played dodgeball. I learned to swim at the YMCA on Lee, and went through the levels -- minnow, porpoise, shark, etc, and learned to do springboard diving there. We also swam at the Korb Center pool next to the back playground at Prospect. I remember going over at lunch to get 3 or 4 or 6 of those postage stamp burgers at Royal Castle: what a treat that was. We used to get a full rotisserie chicken from the Crystal BBQ -- remember the chickens turning in the window? -- and then pick up a big greasy bag of hot french fries from the deli (?) on the corner of Page and Euclid (south side); not exactly health food but man it was good! I hung out at Tobin Page and bought comic books every week for 10 and later 12 cents. We shopped at the A&P next to Shaw Lanes, where I learned to bowl. I spent a lot of time at that great library on Euclid, west of Windermere Rapid Station, I think. That library was a real sanctuary. My first dance was at the YMCA where we polished our "double-cluth" dance technique in Junior High. The elementary school and junior high at Kirk held the best times, but the good days of feeling safe came to a close quickly around the summer of '68. Many friends whose families could move certainly did move, and I would love to learn what became of them. Well, I have an awful lot more to say, but I will save it for another day. Best regards to all of you who got to live the good life for a while there. I took a drive through East Cleveland during Summer 2005, and was shocked at how few landmarks of our youth there were. And to you, Jim, I would definitely make the trip from California to see some of those dear friends with whom I spent so much time.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Tim,

Sorry I didn't publish your comments sooner. I am vacationing right now and Internet access is difficult.

Your memories bring up so many things to me as well. I remember playing kickball with you at recess. You were an awesome player and I always wanted to be as good as you.

If you could, please leave some words about what you are doing now and how you ended up in California.

Thanks,

J.D. Fisher

 
At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, My name is Paul Turnbull. Its like I cracked open a time capsule when I found your blog. I lived at 1888 Page Ave from 1954 till 1967 (second house down from Terrace on the left side) Went to Prospect, Kirk, and 1 year of Shaw before moving to Mentor. Went to school with some of the older brothers and sisters of your friends ie. Margaret Billington, Janice Swanhart, Kyle Skinner (Coach Skinner's son) Mack Harris (Mrs. Harris 6th grade teachers son) and I knew a Mike Ahren, maybe Tim's brother. Also remember getting my south end warmed by Principle Vinborgs "Board of Education" a few times. Visited East Cleveland with my wife,son,and daughter last summer to try and have them visualize what a great place we had the opportunity to grow up in. I'm sorry to say I've seen 3rd world cities in better shape. Thanks Jim, Hope to hear from you soon.
Paul L, Turnbull
pturnbull@msn.com

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to contact Jim Fisher to see if he has any other pictures.

I attended Prospect only in 1967 and 1968, then my family moved back to Cleveland. :(

I LOVED East Cleveland, then. Christopher Mates was my first boyfriend. I thought the picture that Jim posted was adorable. And Martha Swanhart was my best friend in the 4th Grade.

Please pass my email address on to Jim Fisher if you have it.

Sorry if I was a bother. I was just happy to see that someone else shared the good memories of Hastings Playground, Rockefeller Park, etc.

Judy Zamlen
FortuneJudy@aol.com

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger sarah said...

zI forgot to post my email address sallybrownlow@gmail.com
Elizabeth,Joan, David, Sandy, Sally we all went to Prospect,Kirk. Shaw and Sandy and Sally(Culver) worked at the Famous Donut Shop !(in the 60's) We lived rt up the street on 1838 Wymore>> I have been glued to your site today calling all my family>> So much fun to read and see your photographs of East Cleveland.Our Dad taught at Case for many years.
My sister used to baby sit the Billingtons kids.I went to dances at the Y>>love to hear any and mores stories !

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Bill Brucken said...

Hi again Jim, and hey Tim Ahern and Paul Turnbull.

Tim, you and I were in the same classes at Prospect Elementary. I had Mrs. Inderlied for 3rd, Mrs. Seaman for 4th, Mrs Peitzmeyer for 5th AND 6th. I don't think you were in the same 6th grade class though. You lived in the apartments at the corner of Terrace and Lee, and I lived one street over on Wymore. Our garage was on Lee near the Y. We used to play our 45's on my dad's juke box in the basement and practice harmonizing to the Mamas and Papas with our microphones and small amp. We used to sled down McGregor's hill across from your house and try to avoid the huge boulder!

Paul, you are a couple of years older than me, you probably graduated in '71 or so? I graduated from Mentor in '73. I remember that you had a Plain Dealer route, and I had a Cleveland Press and East Cleveland Leader route. You asked me to cover your route for you one time. I think I had to get up at 4:AM or something to deliver papers! I lived on Wymore next door to Pete Graham. I think he was your age. There was also Stu Schyler (drove a Toronado or a Riviera, lived next to Kirk Jr. High on Terrace), and Eugene and Ann Klodetsky who lived on Wymore. I think Eugene was your age.

Let me know if you know the whereabouts of any other EC classmates.

Bill Brucken
FordExec@aol.com

 
At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born in 64 at Booth Memorial my dad worked for CTS and my mom worked at the Crystal Resturant on Euclid. We lived by Nela Park on the side street where Fisher Foods was i cant remember the name.

I remember a lot of bus rides to Windermere and the other way to Severance which was really cool I belive it was the first mall in Cleveland. I remember eating at Manners a lot and Poor Bob's Subs.

very good memories of EC in my first 4 yrs of life. in '69 my folks split and got divorced my mom and me got out of EC and moved down the hill on Ivanhoe Rd.

Collinwood was a much safer neighborhood but i dont remember it being a better one.

My uncle painted the train that was on the front door of Jaye and Jaye my father used to call it Pappy Jaye's but i never remmber the sign saying that. he would take me in to to get a new Matchbox car every friday then he would take me across the street to Sportsmans and give me dimes to play the bowling machine yes i did say i was 4-5 yrs old different days i suppose, i couldnt imagine taking my 6 yr old to a bar now.
I can even remember him playing drums in there too just kind of
strange.

I did not go to school in EC i was too young but i do remember going to Shaw with other little kids so that must have been some sort of day care.

Thats a few of my memories of EC its really bittersweet to see it now but what is neat that a lot of the landmark buidings are still around so its very recognizible but sad but because it was once a very great community.

Tom

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Hi Jim,

I don't know if you remember me, but I do remember you. My name is Michael Cooper. We attended both Prospect and Kirk together. I don't recall when youe family left, but my mom stayed in EC and after retiring form the Air Force and the passing of my mother, I currently reside in our home on Elm Avenue. It was great to find your site (while I was looking for something else)and here the comments. I truly miss the old East Cleveland and struggle everyday with the idea of staying or leaving. Currently I choose to stay (at least for today) and try to make a difference and bring EC back to the way it used to be, at least as much as possible. My daughters are getting very tired of me today, telling them what we used to have here and pointing our faces and places on your site, some which I had all but forgotten. If you still don't recall me, I'll leave a couple of links that has a few pics. The pics are pretty much the same on either site so it really doesn't matter which one you go to.

Take care,

Coop
http://coopandkids.spaces.live.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/coop0819/

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Hey Coop,

I remember you too! Thanks for writing. Your daughters are beautiful.

Congratulations on your retirement from the Air Force. What are doing now?

We moved from Rosemont Rd. to Cleveland Heights in 1970. My mom said it was because there were too many discipline problems in the E.C. schools (she didn't know I was one of the worst ones!). I cried when they told me we were moving. I lived there for 13 years and had many friends, both black and white kids.

I went to Heights High, played on the basketball team with Lloyd Franklin, which went to State finals in 1975.

I admire the stand you're taking by staying in EC. Focus on the schools 'cause the key to everything is education. We got a decent one at Prospect and Kirk.

J.D. Fisher

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Joe Janson said...

Jim, Joe Janson, Shaw High class of '70. East Cleveland was a great place to grow up. I lived "down the hill". Corner of Ardenall and Allegheny. Went to Chambers. Have great memories of Shaw playground and pool. Shaw-Hayden Theatre and Marys Sweet Shop.Played little league, Kennedys and senior league, Toms Garage. Still have my old uniform.

 
At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim live in Hawaii now and was reading the comments.
Grew up in EC went to prospect kirk and Shaw. Graduated 1966.
Remember some of the names but all of the places.
Good old days.

Thanks for the memories.

Dan Musk

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Wren said...

Well, that's my twin sister Grace sitting in the front row - I am missing from the photo because I was in Mrs. Inderlied's class. (I thought she was lovely.) Yukiko, I always wanted to talk to you but was too shy.

I recall a boy named William who used to walk me home for lunch, run home, and then come back to walk me back to school... he was in Boy Scouts and I thought he looked great in the uniform. But he would never come inside no matter how many times my mother invited him. Decades later I realized that race must have been the issue. I didn't think at the time about him being "colored" (the only word I knew or had heard then).

I remember seeing the aftermath of the fire, and the construction behind the school which must have been the new building - we left before it was completed. And I remember the principal, who my little brother called "Mr. Bing-Boing"! My second grade teacher retired the year she taught me and I wish I could remember her name - she greatly encouraged my lifelong love of reading.

My family lived on Sheldon just a block from the elementary school. I remember the street full of trees and well kept lawns... neighbors were the Best, Gray and Marcus families. We moved to rural central Ohio in 1967 (quite a culture shock!) and I've never been back to EC. I prefer for it to exist unchanged as it does in my mind, with the houses all enormous and the playground the size of a football field.

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Wren,

Thanks for your reminiscences. Things in East Cleveland always seem bigger than they were 'cause we were little then!

Many of the black folks who lived in East Cleveland were some of the best people I've ever known. Of course there were some awful ones too and when they mixed it up with the same on the white side it got ugly for everyone.

Again thanks for your comment. Check back again to see if you get a response. Also, there are two other pages with pictures which are at the following links:

http://wazopia.blogspot.com/2006/04/forest-hills-park-east-cleveland-oh.html

http://wazopia.blogspot.com/2006/04/visit-to-some-old-neighborhoods-in.html

Enjoy!

Jim

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Liz said...

My grandpa was Joe Tobin. I remember being a very little girl and going into the drug store before he retired; he would always let me pick out a little "treasure". I have some very expired Nibot products in my medicine cabinet as a memento to my grams and gramps. My gramps was the most wonderful man I have ever met, and it made me smile to know that you learned a little bit of Yiddish working in his store.

 
At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Jim, and all of you. I am "Sunny", the fat kid from kindergarten to 5th grade at Prospect until we moved to Highland Heights, and then when I was 13, Panorama City, CA.

Teachers, in order, best as I can remember: K- Miss Casey? 1- Mrs. Hartland 2- Mrs. Visconty (for you wren aka Greer) 3- Mrs. Inderlied (I had such a crush on that lady, and I wanted her for third grade sooo bad, and I got her) 4- Miss Retei and last but not least, 5- Mr. Chaunce (the one and only time I got straight A's - the Cleveland Press gave us tickets to an Indians game!)

Yeah, EC has many great memories for me, especially since we moved before it got really bad.

Hard to know where to start here cuz I remember a lot of these names and people. I am Lithuanian and a couple of the names mentioned here too are Lithuanians, Brazaitis and Plodzinskus. I think I'll look down this list of replies for clues...

Well, Jim, you were in all of my classes, and you still look kinda the same, tall and lanky as I recall?

Ah yes, Mr. Donut with the big glass windows (?), Tobin Page drugs where I would buy smokes for my mom with a note, Royal Castle (a search of which led me to this blog) with it's Birch Beer in frosty mugs and table top jukeboxes. One summer they had a deal that I believe was french fries or Birch Beer for a nickel each - yum.

I also had a Cleveland Press route, twice. Once in EC and I remember delivering to the apartments north (I think) of Euclid and there was always the smell of onions cooking in the hallways, Italians I think.

I remember playing kickball on asphalt in the Prospect schoolyard, baseball on the asphalt behind Korb pool.

Paul Gleason lived 3 doors down from me, we were at 1884 Grasmere.

Across the street lived the neighborhood bully, Igor Rayjewski, and he would always pick on us, but if he went too far, I had an older brother that would literally go out and kick his ass, we loved that.

BTW, I'm pretty sure the spelling of the 5th grade teacher was Chaunce, not Chance, yes, no?

Jim. I too have been back to EC, twice in the last year, and whoa, there wasn't even a street sign for my old street, Grasmere, where it hits Terrace Road. And everything was sooo small compared to my memories.

To "mark", yes cabbage is a Lithuanian staple.

Ah yes Ghoulardi - and I see I wasn't the only one buying smokes for Mom...who worked for 18 years at Fisher Body on Coit I believe, she's still around as of now, 12/07.

Lenny Hill was one of my best friends back then, in fact, his sister Chris was my brothers girl friend for over 20 years and she still visits us occasionally. Lenny is in California here too somewhere. He got beat up really bad hitchhiking across the USA about 30 years ago, survived but wasn't the same after. He lived in one of the two houses on Terrace Road on the hill next to the Crystal Towers apartments.

Tim Ahern I remember you, we used to sled ride on the little hill across from your apartment building, and you too were in some of my classes...or maybe not, but in the year ahead of us.

Oh yeah, Fisher Foods too - gosh Jim did your family own all this Fisher stuff LOL ??

Severance Center Mall, yes I think it was the first, and it seemed like a long drive from EC, but as I come to find out through my recent visits, everything is much, much closer and smaller than I remember it.

Michael Cooper, and the William mentioned by "wren" aka Greer, I remember the first day you you guys each came into our classrooms because you were the first (I believe) black kids in our class. Michael looks familiar from the pix and I recall William as also a tall lanky kid. You guys seemed nice, we had no racism in our bones at that age...

Jim thanks for starting this blog, I as I'm sure many, have been able to return to a kindler gentler simpler time through this.

Does anyone remember the clapping out ceremony for the sixth graders at Prospect?? It is the only thing I really regret about leaving after 5th grade, I waited 6 years and didn't get to be clapped out!!

OK, my name was Sunny back then in a translation from my more difficult Lithuanian name Saulius, when we moved to California, I changed my nickname to a version of my middle name - Vince, which turned into Vinnie, and my friends sometimes refer to me as vindog, in the los angeles area - hence:

vindogla@msn.com

Cheers to you all, feel free to email me if you wish.

PS to Jim, it would be great to know the dates of these posts.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Sunny,

Thanks for your great post. You brought up many names I hadn't heard in a long time. We were in the same class with Mr. Chaunce and Miss Retei. They were both great teachers and really knew how to handle me (I was always in trouble until fifth grade).

My family didn't have any connection to any of the Fisher's you mentioned (too bad). My father worked as a cost analyst for commercial construction businesses. He would do estimates for things like five-mile long conveyor belts for mines or cranes that would lift Navy ships out of the water. My mom was the credit manager for Tremco. So we were working class, white collar folks. They are both alive and in retirement in Shaker Hts.

Check back now and then. Comments seem to come in spurts here. I'm not sure why the date features isn't working but the comments have come in over the last couple of years.

Sincerely,

Jim Fisher

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger Wren said...

Sunny/vindog, I remember you! I didn't realize we were in the same classes from first to fourth grades. In the third grade you and I spent a few warm afternoons just goofing around like kids do before boys and girls separate into armed camps. And I'd forgotten about the little sledding hill across from the apartment building... and Mrs. Visconti, how could I have forgotten her name. Thank you for remembering it and reminding me.
After reading this blog I went to Google maps and looked at EC from satellite photos ... found our old house and some landmarks but much else very changed. Does anyone remember what the large building was that used to face out onto Euclid between Sheldon and Prospect?

 
At 8:58 PM, OpenID dakess said...

After reading all of these comments, I had to respond. My name is Debby (Arn)& I too lived on the other side of the tracks in East Cleveland on Orinoco. Went to St. Phils for 8 years and then on to Shaw. Graduated in 69. I have many of the same wonderful memories that have been mentioned: Shaw Pool (where I worked as a checker, cashier and finally a lifeguard), Saturdays at the Shaw Hayden Theater, Manners Big Boys after dances and football games, Pizza from (I think) Angela Mia's and then we would walk to King Koles Pizza?? Some of these details are fuzzy. How much fun did we have sledding down the big hill in Forest Hills park. The Ice Rink was my home away from home with the O'Neils and Jack Oliphant and girls wearing hockey skates. It was safe most of the time to skate till closing and then walk home alone in the dark. Playing tennis by the fire station and chatting with the firemen. Shaw Lanes was great too. What about cakes from Hough Bakery, Bondis, Gray Drug Store and Scotts Dime Store. The old library on Hayden avenue too was a great place to grab a book an read.

We were able to go back to Shaw before they tore it down for a tour that was arranged by Achim Van Klavern and several of his friends. It was great seeing everything. Many things stil looked the same but there were changes too. Korb was just not the same with out Mrs. Parsh there to put the phone book between the slow dancers. Being in Catalina and a lifeguard made going underneath the old pool really special. It was wonderful growing up there and I would not change it for the world but I am glad that my family moved - first to Euclid and then to Willoughby Hills. My aunt owned Gilles Delicatessen on Hayden Ave. and she was held up, shot and beat up too many times. It was time to go. Thanks so much for posting this - it was great seeing some familiar names: Steve Spitas (OSPDA?), the Brass family, Billingtons, Mary Cala - Tommy's sister, Stu Schulyer and his car, etc. Thanks so much!! I will pass this on to anyone I know who will be interested.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Debby,

Great post! You reminded me of Shaw-Hayden theater. They used to play the organ at the theater and give out prizes from a treasure chest. I remember watching the movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, World". I loved it so much I sat through the second showing and then puked my guts out leaving the theater! Two showings equal about 6 hours of movie. Not too smart.

Please be sure to check out the two other links at the bottom of this post. It has many pictures of current day East Cleveland.

Jim

 
At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Angela said...

Hello Jim and to all of your childhood friends & classmates, I have enjoyed reading all of your childhood stories. You should publish them in a book. My name is Angela, I'm a black American born in 1962. I lived in the Cleveland (Kinsman/
Chagrin area) most of my life. I grew up visiting friends and family members who lived in East Cleveland during the 60's & 70's. I never new about the race riots, racism or the "white flight" during that time. I didn't even realize whites attended Shaw High School. I'm sorry that you all moved away. I wish somebody had taken a stand. Maybe that East Cleveland would still be a vital community today. It's like a war zone now. My husband and his family moved to East Cleveland in the late 60's. He told me about sledding down McGregor Hill, playing at Forest Hills Park. His family moved to Warrensville Heights during because they did not want him to go to Shaw for high school. That's funny to me because he is a black American. I guess we take flight sometimes too. Any way I hope you guys can get together for that reunion. If you need your event catered please contact me. God bless you all.

Angela
amaustin1@msn.com

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Angela,

Thanks for your comments. Many black families moved away too. I caught up with some of them while attending Kent State. It was good to see them and how we had moved on from the past.

I hope we do get together and we include everyone from those days. And I'd love to have you cater a big party for us!

Jim

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Dan Billington said...

Jim - What a blast reading this blog - I have never posted anything to a blog before so I hope this works - I'm Dan Billington, 5th born of the Billington's .... lived at 1923 Rosemont from the day I was born in '52 until after graduating from Shaw in '70. So many names/memories - My sister Margaret told me about your site - I'll do another entry later once I know this works.....

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Dan,

Thanks for checking in. Your reminiscences would be great to share. Enjoy!

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

East Cleveland fans, here are links to two other posts with pictures and comments of current day Forest Hills Park and East Cleveland.

Forest Hills Park use:
http://tinyurl.com/2zqr28

East Cleveland use:
http://tinyurl.com/2228hk

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Ooops, I forgot another one with more pictures of East Cleveland.

East Cleveland tour use:
http://tinyurl.com/yvmzgr

Jim

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Jim My name was Chris Franks. My brothers are John and Dave Franks. We lived next to Kirk between Lance and Barbie Fischer's house and Stu Schlyer. This has kicked up so many memories for me. The Billington's german shephard used to play in their back yard bouncing a bowling ball off the side of their garage. Bang, Bang, Bang. Mark Drefts had the greatest collection of comic books ever. (R)Ed Rose played trumpet in the bank with me. Sue Wild was my best friend. Remember the Talent Show? I sang a song with my two brothers - I can't carry a tune in a bucket!!!! I guess we were cute. The Jr.High football field was right behind our house, and beyond that the park. When we had to come home for dinner, my Mom use to ring a cow bell which could be heard for blocks! I still have that bell. Where else could one live in walking distance of two ice skating"rinks" (I count the park pond) Three swimming pools (the Y, HS, and NELA Park) and City Hall where you could have elevator races? I miss those days. Chris (Franks) Vogt tgovchris@gmail.com

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Chris,

Thanks for your comments. I remember Sue Wild. Her brother, Steven, was a great friend. They all had beautiful blond hair. I think the girls were Debbie, Sue and Bonnie (who was deaf). The last I saw of Steven was he was running a Spencer's Gifts shop at the Richmond Mall in the 80's. Never heard a thing since then. Whatever happened to them?

Jim

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger PbakerB said...

Hi all,

Peter Billington here from Rosemmont Rd (Shaw class 67) The memories are still strong after all these years..I still see on a regular basis Mike Wolfgram, Jack Renner, Dave Petruziello, Dan Mazzolini, Bobby Cala, Once a year Bob Simmons, Bobby Allen...
having played on the 66' undefeated football team..the memories of Shaw Stadium are still my best. Fall nights with a full moon and a large crowd..the great dances at Korb Center after the game..the 66' Lakewood game (39-0 Shaw) for the LEL championship
The Forest Hills ball parks where we would play 3 on 3 all day..had to reach 2nd base. Another memory The Kirk Carnival with the Cake Walk and wood canes as prizes?
Prospect with Mrs. Harris and the Moth collections..(Hi Steve Spithas) Jim..thanks for the memories...Pete

 
At 4:53 AM, Anonymous Angela said...

Jim, it's Angela again. I just stopped by to mention how I stumbled across your web blog. I was trying to locate a donut shop in East Cleveland (via internet), that my cousin had told me about. He said they have the BEST glazed donuts in Ohio! He did not know he name of the place though. During the summer of 2000 my husband, children and I returned home to Cleveland to visit our families, (we lived in Oklahoma from 1993 until Jan. 2007, one of our close friends took us to his favorite hang out to eat called "The Donut Shop". They are open 24 hours a day. They serve donuts all day long. They serve breakfast in the morning. The remainder of the day they serve polish boys, fish, chicken, and many different side dishes. The food was delicious! I could not wait to come back home so that I could eat there again. We did not come back to visit, but we moved back in Jan 2007. I missed Cleveland! This is my home and I love it! So I can relate to the stories here. When my cousin told me about the glaze donuts, I told him about "The Donut Shop". He did'nt think that it was the same place. I told him that it was on Euclid in East Cleveland. He said his place was on Lee Rd in East Cleveland. Well any way I tried my seach via the net first so that I could call them to find out if they were still in business. I did not have any luck with my search. One of the search phrases that I use was "donut shop in East Cleveland", and that brought me to your blog. I could not resist reading it because I'm am a history freak. I am especially interested in the history Greater Cleveland and the stories behind who built each section of the city, which group of people lived there first and so on. I love hearing it from real people. Any way, I took a look at the pictures that you posted and there it was. Your "Mr. Donut" is now "The Donut Shop" and it is the same place that my cousin told me about. I drove over there a couple of weeks ago, got some of those yummy glazed donuts, and drove around the neighborhood where you guys grew up. East Cleveland has changed. I pray that it will return to the great city it once was. You don't have to post this one. Take care.

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Hey Angela,

Thanks for coming back to both the blog and East Cleveland! I loved Mr. Donut. It's amazing that the restaurant is still in business (different name) after almost 50 years!

(The picture Angela is referring to is here:

http://tinyurl.com/3y3zku

Sorry it's backlit and looks poor. I'll get another when the sun is on the other side of the building.)

 
At 5:57 AM, OpenID graham14 said...

Hello,
My name is Graham Gaskill, I wasn't born until 1970 but lived on Rosemont for the first 6 years of my life. My father is William Gaskill, he was the city manager in East Cleveland. Tom Brazitis was an old family friend and I still have pics of him in our family albums. I left E. Cleveland in 1976 and Cleveland et al in 1986. I'm a proud Texan now. My father still lives in Shaker Heights and works in the private sector. Thanks for the blog about East Cleveland.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Hi Graham,

I lived directly across the street from you on Rosemont Rd. Your father was City Manager. I ran into your mom, Janet, many years later when she was working as communications manager at a health equipment company. We were a vendor working on a project and she was part of the client team. She looked at me and said, "Are you J.D. Fisher!" It was very funny. She told the people there how she would watch me and my sisters when my parents were out and how old this made her feel.

Thanks again for visiting.

 
At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, this is Margaret Billington (now Greenspan). I have to respond now, though I've been reading your blog for some weeks now since I first found it by googling "East Cleveland Leader". The last comment was from Graham Gaskill, who I babysat for many times, when he was just a toddler. Let's see if this goes through, and I'll write some more.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Margaret Greenspan said...

Hi Jim and thanks for a great blog. I'm Margaret Billington (now Greenspan), who along with Joe, Mike, Pete and Dan, grew up at 1923 Rosemont Rd. The last comment from Graham Gaskill really tickled me, since I babysat for him many times, after his mom, Jan, bought my parents house! So he also grew up at 1923. I wonder if he remembers me - I'll never forget him with his beautiful blond hair and blue eyes. Quite a handful he was! There are so many memories brought to life with this blog. I was reminded of our dear little friend, Paul Toohig, who heroically survived a leg amputation to come play basketball in our driveway with the other kids. He was so brave - I will never forget the moment when his big brother Tommy came to tell us that he had died of the cancer that took his leg. Rosemont Road had a great bunch of kids. Before the Hastings, Peggy Green lived in the corner house, and Janice Swanhart in the building on the corner of Marloes - Ann Horkey was my best friend, and she also died tragically at age 16. The Roses, the Warners, the Towners, Raymond Judkins, the Hulls, the Brasses, we were older than you, but you may remember we had some great games of kick the can on those warm summer nights. Thanks for the blog. Lets keep it going!

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Margaret,

Thanks for your posts. Rosemont was a wonderful street. You may have known my sister, Ann, who is two years older than me. She went to Shaw for a couple of years then finished at Heights High. She's having a good life after growing up so shy. She got her law degree and she and her husband have built a multi-million dollar business here in Cleveland. She deserves it after how much we picked on her growing up.

There is some wonderful news about the Shaw High Marching Band. They are going to Beijing to march in the 2008 Olympics! It is one of the best schools bands in the country.

Jim

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim, Bill Brucken here. I just read in the News Herald that Mr. Vinborg just died. 86 years old, and he's been living in Willowick.
I had no idea that he was still alive, let alone living this close. It would have been great to get his comments on your blog. I'm sure there were a few of us that he couldn't have forgotten! The obituary said he spent 34 years in the East Cleveland school system. I saw the inside of your office many times, Mr. Vinborg! Goodbye and God Bless!

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Bill,

Thanks for the report. I also was a special project of Mr. Vinborg but I was more intimidated by Mr. Whalen. Let's give a toast to a good guy.

Jim

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger Margaret Greenspan said...

Dear Jim,

Sorry it took so long to reply. I'm trying to remember you and your sister, but honestly, I don't. The age difference is pretty big - although I think your sister would be only 5 years younger than I am. I remember an older couple named Fisher who lived directly across from us. Mr. Fisher used to smoke cigars out on his front porch - are you related? Also, I remember the sisters who lived where the Brazitis's lived, before them - their names were Sally and Emily, and they both played violin so beautifully. I remember sitting on the lawn (Peggy Green's lawn) across the street and listening to them play, what I now think was the Bach double violin concerto. The Gaskill's lived down the street (I guess from your response, across the street from you), and then they bought our house - I think my parents moved in 1972 or 73 after all of us were grown. Then the Gaskill's got divorced, because I remember babysitting for Graham at his Dad's place in downtown Cleveland. My parent's were friends with them while he was City Manager, and very good friends with the Fagerburgs. My mom spent alot of time at the Well, and was very involved in the community at the time there was so much tension around the race issue. Do you know, the realtors would call our house to try to frighten us into selling our house, saying the value was going down, etc. My mom got so mad at those people!

I also remember Mr. Vinborg very well, all the little girls at Prospect had a crush on him. I also had Mrs. Harris for sixth grade. My 5th grade teacher was a Mr. Seifert, who was a great singer.

I'm glad your sister is doing well now, and I'm so very proud of the Shaw High Marching Band! I can't wait to see them at the Olympics. From the article in the PD which my mom sent me, it is the director of the band who made it all happen. God Bless him! I'm in New Jersey now, but whenever I get back to Cleveland, I drive down the old streets, past our house (now painted purple!), and last summer we saw the new Shaw and new Kirk, and went down to where the stadium was. Too bad they tore the beautiful old buildings down, but at least the kids have new schools. I hope things turn around in this country, that's what I'm working on.
Thanks again for your wonderful pictures, especially of Forest Hills Park. I also enjoyed the other pictures on your blog, you're a good photographer!

Margaret Billington Greenspan

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Margaret,

I'm not sure who is the other Fisher family. We moved to Rosemont Rd. in 1962 from Mayfair Road. Many of the houses have funny colors.

I remember the block-busting realtors. Someone in the neighborhood passed around a petition asking us to not to sell to blacks. My parents refused to sign it. Later, we sold our house to a mixed couple. They lived there for a long time and kept the home up nicely. It's still in good shape today.

One time as I walked home from Prospect Elementary I lost my report card. I returned to find it and sure enough the Fagerburg sisters had found it and were walking home reading it. I had really good grades but got a D in citizenship (i.e. behavior). I snatched it out of their hands and then had to walk home hearing them giggle at me!

I understand that Rachel is a top violinist and has played with the Boston Pops Orchestra. A friend of mine (Steve Begleiter) took a portrait of her and her four daughters, three of which play the strings! A very talented woman and a wonderful family.

Keep posting. We love reading your remembrances.

JD Fisher

 
At 2:34 AM, Blogger Dan said...

I'm learning things from my sister Marg from this blog I never knew...I had Mr Seifert in 5th grade at Prospect also [I'm a year behind Marg]but I never knew he was a great singer. I remember him for the great ongoing math puzzles he had us do - every day we had to represent a number, starting with 1 and going up to 2 the next day etc., by using the number 4 four times - i.e the number 1 is the square root of 4 minus the square root of 4 plus 4/4th's. I forget how far up we got thru the year but I do remember we all got stuck on 44....until someone [I like to remember it was me] quit thinking about "4 factorial" and "4 to the 4th power" etc. and said wait a minute - "44 plus 4 minus 4" - everyone laughed and said "of course!" - It was a great day. [I wonder if his class were in 2007 if we would have been doing such things - more likely drilling for standardized tests...] One day each week in his class we had current events day when students would get in front of the class and read and discuss newspaper clippings. I remember one such day in October [the year was 1962] when Debbie Deardon was reading a clipping in front of the class "...in effect, World War III has already been declared..." she read - It was the middle of the Cuban missile crisis.

The next year presented another scene involving Mr. Vinborg and the sixth grade teacher seemingly half the people on this blog will never forget - Mrs Harris - that is seared in my memory. It was a Friday afternoon - 2:30 pm, time to go to "Special Activities" which for me was Mrs. Jaffe's square dancing. We left class, headed downstairs to the basement past the boys john, down the hall on our way to the gym - to get there we had to pass through the auditorium. As we walked through, on our right up by the stage was Mr. Vinborg watching one of the few TV's in the building. The TV was on a big stand so he had to look up a bit - all we could see was his back and bald head staring at the TV - his right arm held his left elbow and his left hand was holding his chin - he didn't seem to know we were all filing past him. It was November 22, 1963 - he was watching the news about Kennedy being killed in Dallas. The word buzzed amongst us sixth-graders about what happened. I don't remember anything about that day's square dancing - I suppose it was like any other Friday afternoon - "heel and toe, heel and toe, slide, slide slide" Mrs. Jaffe would call out.... My memory picks up after school later that day - we boys were playing baseball on the asphalt playing diamond between Prospect and Shaw's Korb building. Me, Pat Mates, Stanley Maynard, Jimmy Spithas, Peter Graham, Larry Lester - maybe Igor Raejewski was there - and the rest of us - it was a pretty nice day for late November. I saw Mrs Harris leaving the building down at the north entrance to Prospect - she was in her usual attire - long overcoat over a blue-gray house dress covering her fairly large load - silver/blue hair - carrying a shopping bag with her school papers. She was walking home - she lived on the street just east of Shaw I believe. I returned my attention to our game for a bit then noticed that she had stopped and was just looking at us from afar - at that moment I had an emotional inkling - even though only 11 years old, of what was going on in her head: she was looking at this bunch of kids playing ball, and wondering how much of what had happened in the last few hours had penetrated our young minds. She wasn't mad or disgusted with us that we were playing ball - she was trying to reflect on the moment in history. I remember feeling a twinge of guilt.... After a minute or so she turned and slowly walked away. In later years I have thought much about her thoughts on that day. She knew that the bunch of us - her students - were going to enter a very different future as a result of the days events and wondered how we would handle it.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Chuck said...

Jim, this is a great blog! My name is Chuck Gray and I lived on E.142, down the street from the back entrance to Shaw Stadium. I came across an old box of my Shaw yearbooks, football programs and other East Cleveland "stuff", so I searched the internet for East Cleveland and Shaw High School and found your blog. My dad worked at CTS. My grandparents lived on Ardenall Ave (they moved there in 1920), and I have cousins who lived on Northfield Ave. I went to Chambers, Kirk and Shaw and would have been in the class of 1969, but we moved to Richmond Hts in 1968 after my junior year. I lived in Willoughby Hills for several years and now live in a small town in central NY.

So many of the names mentioned here are familiar and the places bring back some great memories. I remember a David Chamberlain - did his father teach at Case Western ? Shaw Hayden theater, shaw playground, the ice skating rink - spent many, many hours there. Living just down the street from Shaw Stadium, the Friday night football games were always something we looked forward to. Before I was old enough to go to the games, we could sit on our front porch and see the scoreboard and hear the PA announcer. Friday nights were always filled with excitement. Do you remember King and his Court (the 4 man fast pitch softball team) playing at Shaw Stadium?

I wondered what happened to people from the class of 1969 at Shaw that I lost touch with after we moved, and it's nice to see the names of a couple people I remember being in classes with - Margaret Billington and Debbie Arn.

The 50s and 60s were a good time to be a kid, and East Cleveland was a great place to grow up.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Chuck,

Welcome to our blog. Were you related to Gary Gray? Would he be a cousin?

I remember the King and his Court. That was a great game. I couldn't believe four people could beat an entire team.

Jim

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Chuck said...

Jim,

Not related to Gary Gray. There were a number of Gray families in East Cleveland, but I don't think we were related to any of them. It was my mother's side of the family that was from East Cleveland.

I really enjoy looking at your pictures. I was into photography some years ago, but it kind of dropped by the wayside as a hobby. Haven't done any real picture taking since the digital age took over.

Chuck

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to leave a comment here as I chuckled over a comment made by a Jim Spithas...he said he didn't move away to a poorly built slab house in Willowick or Eastlake. Unfortunately we did...after my grandmother died on Hastings Hill from a fall into the ravine, my Granddad sold Hilltop and moved to Fl. and my parents first moved to Willowick and then Eastlake (I just thought that was rather funny!)..in Eastlake we lived right on the lake which was very nice and unique, like Hilltop on Hastings Hill was. I understand the old house was divided into 4 apartments now and hope to be able to visit this summer while I am up there planning our 40th class reunion from North High in Eastlake. Any comments anyone has on Hilltop, Hastings Hill, off Terrace, would be appreciated!

 
At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, this is Donna Brucken again. Your blog is great! I check back every once and a while to see what's new. I was reluctant to leave my e-mail address before, however when I saw the response from Yukiko, I knew that I needed to post it. I have thought of her often and would love to have contact with her. Actually, I would like to connect with anyone that I knew then. My brother Bill was right when he said that it would be interesting to see what Mr. Vinborg's comments would have been if he had known about your blog. Logging on to this brings me back to "home". Back when things were innocent,somewhat safe,(until the flight), and really down-home genuine. Feelings like that get lost in my adult chaotic life. Others,that their research brings them to your site perhaps feel the same. Thank You! Donna Brucken My e-mail is sendtodonna@msn.com

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous David Stuart said...

Wow, this brings back the memories. I am David Stuart, 45, from Lakewood, Ohio.
We were born and raised in E. Cleveland, i went to Caledonia Elementary school from 1968-73, then we moved to the Coventry area.

My Dad worked at Hough Bakeries, Inc. on Lakeview Rd. at the main plant. He also worked at Physicians Ambulance on Wymore and Euclid.
He used to bring home donuts from Mr. Donut on Euclid or Jack's donuts too. Those are great memories. Dad passed away in March of 2007, but we still have the fond memories.

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,

My name is Brian and I am a "new age" East Clevelander. It is nice to see some of the comments about East Cleveland's past. It would have nice to be a part of your era. I am 26 and have lived in East Cleveland since the age of 4. My family moved to East Cleveland in the early 1980's. I went to Mayfair Elementary and Shaw High School. I like to read about East Cleveland's history. East Cleveland has gone through a lot of rough times, and I am glad to say that East Cleveland is going through a renaissance.

For those of you that are afraid to come through East Cleveland, I hope that your minds can be changed because you too were once a part of what we call EAST CLEVELAND. Times and people change, however, bad times/things can happen to the best of us.

Lastly, I want to wish the Shaw High School Marching Band much luck in Beijing. The Shaw High School Marching Band is the best!!!!

-Brian

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Brian,

Thanks for your post. I agree that former residents are still part of East Cleveland. I love zipping through its streets and seeing some of my old stomping grounds.

But, as you can see, this blog post has come down to mainly reminiscences about the past. There is not much concern about the future.

The late 1960's were a turbulent time in East Cleveland. There small riots or violent break-outs in the summertime, a huge turnover in residences because of block-busting by banks and real estate companies, and a flooded school system (we had over 60 students in my 5th grade class). This is what many former East Clevelanders, both black and white, have as their parting memories.

For the most part, the black and white students got along fine especially in the elementary and middle school levels. And in the neighborhoods everyone wanted things to work out. But again I believe that the economic and social forces had decided to segregate East Cleveland. White families left and it wasn't necessarily "white-flight". Many felt they were pushed out.

Our family ended up in Cleveland Heights, a community in some ways similar to East Cleveland. Cleveland Heights was supposed to be the next city to "tip" but the community was able to change the way real estate companies conducted business. The city never tipped and is now one of the most diverse in the country.

What the future holds for East Cleveland may be predicated on its ability to focus on education, promote diversity, getting tough on crime and electing public officials of integrity. This should support the Renaissance you speak of and bring the community back.

The Shaw High Band's upcoming trip to Beijing is a wonderful thing to build upon too. This will be a happy moment this summer for which all East Clevelanders and Shaw High alums can celebrate.

Jim

 
At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I wholeheartedly agree, that if the corruption stops at City Hall, East Cleveland will once again be a city of prominence. I did not know that a lot of the white families were pushed out of the city. I, as well as many others, thought that the white families moved out of the city due to black families moving in. Do you know why there was such an influx of African American families that came to East Cleveland in the
1960's forward?

As I stated previously, I wish I could have lived during your era. I would have liked to experience the many things that EC had to offer at that time. Now, one thing that we can relate on is what you know as Mr. Donut, and I know this business as being Peter Pan Donuts. The donuts are still the best!

-Brian

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Brian,

I think what happened in East Cleveland was the result of a perfect, though terrible, storm.

Let me try to explain if I can. First of all, in the mid-60's, East Cleveland had many apartments and homes around 40-50 years old. These apartments died first. The owners couldn't get the higher rental rates to maintain the buildings so they rented to blacks fleeing the violence in the Hough neighborhoods. The buildings rotted(see Elderwood Rd.), not because of blacks, but because of lack of capital to maintain them.

After the rental market collapsed the housing market was next. Realtors used block-busting tactics to scare white home owners out. It wasn't like, "oh my God, the Negroes are moving in next door. You gotta move now." It was more like, "oh my God, the house next to you just sold for 20% lower than it would a year ago. You gotta move now." The homes were so beautiful like my street Rosemont Rd. Every home was unique. No cookie-cutter houses anywhere.

The schools were the next to collapse from the storm. They were overrun by new families with lots of kids. There wasn't much planning in terms of integration in those days. This was the dawn of the "black power" movement when it was "cool to hate whitey". Many longtime East Cleveland residents were attacked and beaten without provocation. Some of us sure remember "beat honky day" at school.

I cried when my mom told us were moving. I didn't want to leave my friends who were both blacks and whites. My mom told me the reason we were moving was because of discipline problems in the schools (she didn't know I was a major troublemaker).

And that's how things went down in East Cleveland.

Today we all see the folly of these actions, from racism in any form, by any group, black or white. Both groups had their hateful, jealous, polarizing elements.

What is obvious to all intelligent people is that many blacks or African-Americans have performed and achieved top status in every field of endeavor. But so many more have been left behind. Wouldn't this have been prevented if only this awful storm hadn't engulfed East Cleveland? Instead of sinking into squalor couldn't the community have integrated and maintained its stature? And if so, what would East Cleveland be like today?

Well, Brian, that's my take. I don't have any answers, but I do have hope.

Hey, both of us love Mr. Donut. Can the world really be as far apart as it appears? Nah, I don't think so.

Jim

 
At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks so much for some of the background of East Cleveland. Ironically, I never really asked my parents why EC went from being predominately white, to predominately black. However, my parents did tell my brothers and I how at one time, the entire city of East Cleveland, not just the Forest Hills area, was an excellent place to reside. I wish East Cleveland could have been like or could be like Cleveland Heights because of the diversity.

Some people would probably say that I am crazy for this, but, I am proud to say that I am from East Cleveland, despite the visible decay. In most cases, doesn't the sun shine after the storm? If the city could get a government without corruption, the sun could shine brighter.

You stated, and I read, that you lived on Rosemont. Rosemont does have nice, huge, unique homes. A lot of those homes are still nicely maintained. My favorite street is Brewster because of the architecture, manicured lawns, and pride in homeownership.

Once again Jim, thanks for the information on East Cleveland's past. This information helped me to better understand where I (or we) come from.

-Brian

 
At 11:22 PM, Blogger bill cunningham said...

hi everyone my name is bill cunningham and i lived at 1818 burnette from 1966-1970. i rememberthe huber family next door the kids were tom , dick, carrie jeannie johnnie and billy. also my neighbors victor and richard burroughs. up the street by terrace was the currans, strykers, dellahantys lee ann baxter and the rogers family johnnie was my friend and jamie faruso. i went to prospect from k to 4th and was bussed in sept 69 to caledonia.i can remember all my7 teachers. mrs. hill in k, tigemyer in 1st, munkres in 2nd, brindza in 3rd ehresman in 4th. at caledonia 5th was mrs. thomas. would like to hear from anyone i will write more later

 
At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

Sunny here again, I have been occasionally reading and wanted to respond and update and add a few things.

First to bill cunningham, the very last poster, the mrs. hill you mentioned happens to be Lenny Hill's mother, she taught at Prospect.

Also, I jumped too fast in saying that Lenny was somehow not the same after his unfortunate accident, actually he fully recovered from his injuries and today works as an emergency room nurse in No. California.

wren/Greer I can vaguely remember the afternoons you mention, we had this huge tree in my front yard and we sat under it playing with toy cars and such is my recollection. As for the sledding hill, here is a little story about that. My grandfather worked for the railroad in Cleveland, he took the runners from an old sled and made a new sled, to the front he contructed this massive steering "sled" from heavy iron to make a big super sled. Well, we took that baby out for a run on that hill and wound up in the middle of Terrace Road which scared us half to death, cuz to us it was almost like the middle of Euclid Avenue.

One thing I don't see mentioned here is anything from kids who went to Christ the King Church school, one of my friends, Marius, lived up the hill from Grasmere and he went to CTK. The worst thing was he was always on vaction for any holiday the week before or the week after we public school kids.

My aunt to this day lives on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, what a beautiful community it is especially when compared with East Cleveland, literally just down the street. There was a sledding hill in Cleveland Heights, off of Cumberland if I recall with a big hill followed by a smaller hill that was really great.

I remember Rachel Fagerburg, I had a huge crush on her, glad she is doing well.

Anyone remember Nick Rubertino?

Jim, I may have class pictures from all the years at Prospect, if I can dig them up I'll scan them and send them to you so you can maybe post them here, might be fun.

Take care for now, Sunny/vindog.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Sunny,

Thanks for the post. Great memories!

I would love to see the fifth grade one with Mr. Chaunce. I can't find that one. I wonder if they didn't take a class picture because it was such a huge class after they combined them.

Jim

 
At 11:31 PM, Anonymous bill cunningham said...

hello everyone, thanks vindog for the mrs. hill info she was very nice and my parents have all my prospect pictures and the caledonia one. i remember mrs. retei in my first grade i think she yelled a lot. mrs. tigemyer was real nice.i remember nick rubentino he skated at shaw rink and was 2 years older than me. i think he lived on stanwood.
rachel fagerburg was friends with sandy reed and michael bolger. sandy reed i think was my first crush i still remember her blond hair and they skated at shaw rink, her brother carl was my friend and i remember being at their house when they moved.

michael bolger had the long "beatles" hair and my dad said i would never get to grow my hair like that. patrick was in my grade and they lived on page.

i skated at shaw from 4th and 5th which was 68-69 and 69-70 until we moved to new york in feb 1970. i remember taking skating lessons from a "mr. fontana". did anyone else?

i remember the petrocellos from hastings he was friends with older kids from burnette. the christ the king kids on burnette were the hubers, strickers, currans, and rogers. there was debbie dellahanty and kathy quinlan i think were ctk also. and lee ann baxter, she dated my cousin michael jones who lived at the corner of shawview and elm. his older brothers were chris (shaw 70) and don leo (benedictine 72)
on hastings there was a chinese family, hundy wong was in prospect with me.

does anyone remember rene rosie and albert rayoni from windermere and terrace? albert and rene were my friends i had a crush on rene also. i think i had a crush on half the girls at prospect.

victor and richard burroughs were my neighbors on burnette and i actually looked richard up in july 2005 and my 12 year old son and i spent the night at his house reliving east cleveland stories.

i took a lot of pictures the last 2 summers. my cousins lived at 1655 delmont and my grandparetns lived at 1204 carlyon.

i also had friends mark and mary ann lyman, their mom was a teacher at shaw from the 60's til the 90's.

they moved to oak road and i visited the parents in 2004. i live in oklohoma city now and my 3 sons and i return every july to cleveland.

i will write more later and my email is billc1818@cox.net.

thanks jim for having this site. it brings back a lot of memories.

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Dear East Clevelanders,

Recently Google Earth drove its Street View truck through East Cleveland and captured images of its streets and home. Using Goggle Earth you can see your old house and neighborhood. I can't believe of all the places they would image they chose EC!

Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/2tq8eb

Try it out!

Jim

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Barry_Downs@comcast.net said...

Jim, your blog is quickly developing into an institution. Congratulations. Sharing memories, resources, including photos, not to mention the networking, is a great idea, and more than a little nostalgic. I'm a Shaw '69 grad, and my father taught at Chambers (1960-70) and Shaw (1970-86), so I have lots of Chambers class pix, for example, to share individually.

You've also had input from some great guys I've known, like Dan Billington and Paul Turnbull. So now I'm inspired to participate.

I remember a little market between the Red Feather (later United Way) Agency on a hill above Euclid near Stanwood. When Hostess Twinkies jumped from 6-cents to 12-cents circa 1959, I recall running home to Page Ave to shake my piggy bank, but thinking better of it by the time I got home. And how about Wick Lincoln-Mercury, where the lot still stands empty - a great place to go look at shiny, big, new cars.

Recently, I saw that all three hotels on Euclid (out east near Noble, just west of SHS across Euclid, and a block west of Lee) were all still in business.

I'm in frequent contact with other SHS '69 alums including Rick Kosik and Tom Gest. Any other SHS '69ers out there?

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger sarah said...

Hi Barry Downs ... I think we all know each other >> do you remember any Culvers on Wymore ??? Sandy, Dave Joan, Liz, I am Sally

 
At 7:13 PM, Blogger Barry_Downs@comcast.net said...

The Culvers of Wymore, yes! Dave was a friend of my brother, Dave. Your father taught at CWRU - history, I think. And you made a play house in your back yard one year.

Wymore, between Euclid and Terrace, one block west of Lee Road, also boasted Louie Matson, a renowned bass with a voice like a refined foghorn.

In the 1950s, East Cleveland was still much as George Havens described it in his book about our town, "A Special Time, A Special Place: East Cleveland Remembered,” which was available directly from him for $15 - he resides in Bratenahl and Bozeman MT.

In the 1960s, East Cleveland was, paradoxically, a haven of calm surrounded by racial strife. Collinwood and Hough were both inflamed, but East Cleveland remained cool and in relative harmony.

This blog can attest to it, and I look forward to reading more of your memories, Sally.

 
At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Bill Brucken said...

Hi Jim,

Bill Brucken here. I started posting on your blog a couple of years ago. I’ve enjoyed sharing memories with several old East Clevelanders. On my first post I wrote:

“I hung out with Phil Tertulliano, Kim Skinner (his dad was the swim coach at Shaw), Jim Hamilton (they lived in a tudor mansion near Huron Road hospital - his dad was a surgeon there), Bob Lucas and Harry Deardon. I'd love to hear from any one of them, or from anyone who might know their whereabouts.”

I finally decided to search for some of my old classmates. I thought I’d bring you up on what I found.

The Hamiltons: Their dad was an orthopedic surgeon at Huron Road Hospital. They lived in a huge tudor mansion on the south side of Terrace close to the hospital. They sold it to developers who demolished the three mansions in that area and built apartment buildings there. The kids were all adopted by the Hamiltons. I really liked their parents – great people.

I haven’t been able to locate the parents. I don’t know if they are still living. They moved to the Carolinas several years ago.

Jean lives in Texas on a ranch near Houston. She is doing well and is happy. Dennis is in Kentucky (Lexington). He is Parks Director there. Peggy lives in Virginia. Jimmy was in law enforcement in Kentucky but got hurt and had to stop working. It was because of a back injury. I was shocked to find out that my old buddy Jimmy died last year. Sorry, no details.

It took me a few weeks to get over that news. No – I take that back. I’m still not over it. I decided to contact Kim Skinner. He knew Jimmy longer than I did.

I knew that the Skinners moved to Lakewood around 1969. Mr. Skinner was the swim coach at Shaw (Korb). I also knew that Mr. Skinner died in a car wreck in 1979. He was teaching Driver’s Ed., and they got hit head-on. Not his or the driver’s fault.

Oldest brother Kyle lives right near me. I’m in Thompson, and he lives in Madison. He works at Huron Road Hospital in the Engineering Dept. Younger brother Frank owns his own business as a hearing device distributor. Youngest sister Kelly also works at Huron Road Hospital in the X-Ray dept.

I was able to contact Frank for the details on his family, and I found Kim. Of all places, he is right down the street from me. I pass him at least twice a day, Kim and both of his parents – at the Fairview Park cemetery in Madison, Ohio. I made it a point to stop in and visit him.

Turns out that he went into the Army at an early age and served in Vietnam. He was a smoker, and he died in 2002, about a month after he learned he had mouth cancer, at the age of 47.

I’d like to find Phil Tertulliano, Bobby Lucas and Harry Deardon (Jeff’s older brother), but I’m afraid to look for anybody else! If anybody knows where they might be, let me know.

Bill Brucken
FordExec@aol.com

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi JIM My name is Jeff Conaway I was in your 3rd grade class. Ilived on Stanwood Ave right next to the new prospect school. some of the people that I hung around with were Nick Rubertino, Mike Bolger & John Rothis. But in EC everyone was friends. We did so many different things together. there was shaw pool, shaw iceskating,corb pool, shaw theater, little league, minner league baseball, I use to love the pickup football games that we played in front of shaw high school on Euclid Ave, there was bowling, the shaw high football & basketball games, the restaurants royal castle crystals manners mr donuts were all fun. the ability to take buses and the rapid down to the Indians games, the one thing is that all the kids went to the store at the end of my street on stanwood&euclid that had a lot of penny candy. EC was one of a kind to grow up in. Just so much to do and so many good friends and people. If anyone wants to contact me I am at bberton127@msn.com

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Jeff,

Great to hear from you! That makes only three people from the class to contact the blog. I hope others find it.

Thanks for your reminiscences. It brought more memories for me especially the football games in front of Shaw High.

Give us some more!

Jim

 
At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, This site brings back such good memories. My name is Paula Arnold(now Parker). I went to Chambers,Kirk, and Shaw. I graduated in 68, Had 2 older brothers Billy and Stephen. I live in St. Louis, MO and probably about 10 years ago I heard about the King and his court coming to St. Louis. It was always such a big deal when the came to East Cleveland. Times were so different then. I lived on Elm and it wasn't anything to walk up to the corner to buy groceries and cig with a note. Thanks for the memories. Paula

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger John Franks said...

Jim,
My name is John Franks and I have really enjoyed reading all of the entries on your site. I haven’t thought about East Cleveland very often in the last 39 years, and when I did, I usually remembered how bad it got in the late Sixties. Your site brought back a lot of good memories of both the East Cleveland itself, and the people who lived there when I was growing up.
My sister Chris told me about this site. There were four of us kids, Chris was the oldest, I was next, then my brothers Dave, and Doug was the youngest. We moved to East Cleveland from Euclid in 1960 into a great house at 14502 Terrace Rd. It was one house away from Kirk and we could climb over the fence in our backyard to get to the Kirk football field, and Forrest Hills Park beyond that. We spent most of our time in the field, or the park, and it like having the entire area for our backyard. My mother had a cow bell that she would ring when we had to come home. It was very loud and could be heard be heard for a long way.
I entered Prospect in the middle of 1st grade and continued thru Kirk and my freshman year at Shaw. In the summer of 1969 we moved to Chesterland and I finished high school at West Geauga. My memories of Prospect were great. I remember playing on the playground before school, at recess, and after lunch, more than I remember anything that went on inside the building. We would race all the way home, gulp down our lunch, and race all the way back, to have as much time on the play ground as possible. Kickball and Tag were the main activities, and they were games that anyone could play. One memory I haven’t seen mentioned on your site is the little store called Wards. I could get a pop and quite a bit of candy for a quarter, and when I had some money I usually stopped and spent it at Wards on my way home from school. My only bad memory of Prospect was Formal Dancing in sixth grade. I think it scarred me for life. I still hate to dance to this day. Otherwise I can’t imagine growing up in a better place.
I also spent a lot of time at the YMCA on Lee Rd. I was there several nights a week for swim team, and practically lived there on Saturdays. When there wasn’t any organized activity, we would just hang out and watch movies on TV and play bumper pool.
Swimming and band were the constants in my life at that time. I played the trumpet in the school bands at Prospect, Kirk, and Shaw. Marching band at Shaw was the best. Going to the football games, both home and away, was a lot of fun. I started on the Swim team at the Y, swam on the AAU team during junior high, and on the Shaw team in my freshman year of high school. I swam the 100 yd. butterfly in the varsity district meet that year. I wasn’t that good, but this was before Mark Spitz and no one like to swim butterfly, so I was able to qualify for the district meet. I didn’t know how good I had it until we moved and I found out that West Geauga High School didn’t even have a swimming pool!
If I can figure out how to do it, I am going to submit a picture of my 6th grade class at Prospect. Mrs. McKay was the teacher, and here are the names of the kids in the picture. I apologize if I mangle the spelling of anyone’s name, or put the wrong name on the wrong face. There are 3 faces I can’t put names to, here are some possibilities: Mary Ann Alten, Pat Overby, Nancy Sowards, Dwaine Murray, and Cheryl Smith. I hope some one can identify these 3 people.

1st row
Brad Main, Mike Perry, Ross Gray, Mark Drefs, unknown, Jim Gearity, unknown, Valerie Betley

2nd row
Renae Barr, Ricky Nero, John Franks, Tom Huber, Judy Kovatch, unknown, Beverly Lilley

3rd row
Karen Schade, Corrine Poots, Dave Farris, Chris Henry, Nancy Markus, Peter McCarthy, Bill Rhodes

4th row
Randy Scheuer, Mike Galambush, Sandra Howell, Claudia Lann, Gary Thompson, Danny Van Pelt, Pete Williams

In 1980 I moved to Seattle, Washington and have been here ever since. The Puget Sound area is a beautiful place with mild temperatures and stays green all year round. In the winter we suffer with snow a couple of times a year, but when it does snow, it only lasts a day or two. There are mountains within an hour drive to both the East and West of Seattle for anyone who wants to play in the snow. I work in a metal plating shop that does both aircraft and electronics parts. I am an ASNT Level 3 in magnetic particle and penetrant inspection, and use blacklights and fluorescent materials to inspect aircraft parts for cracks and flaws. Many of the parts I work on are landing gear parts that get assembled at Goodrich, formerly the Cleveland Pneumatics Company, back there in Cleveland, Ohio!
As I said at the beginning, I enjoy this site and hope many more people will write in and share their memories of East Cleveland, and where they are now.

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger Joe Dzeda said...

Wow! East Cleveland in the '60s. We never knew how fast or how much everything would change in a very few years. Our family lived at 1705 Northfield Avenue, right across the street from Jim Fisher's grandmother. Our house was the one on the east side of the street, right next to the Nickel Plate Railroad's tracks. On the same side of the street and next to us was Mrs. Lindsay's house, next to her lived the Simpsons (the father was a railroad engineer), and next to them (on the corner of Elderwood) was the ? family. Across the street lived Phyllis and Sal Petillo, then Jim Fisher's grandmother, and the Tyrone family (nearest the tracks). When the railroad eliminated the grade-level crossings in the 1920s, I think, they raised the tracks, built bridges over the streets, and demolished some houses that were too close to the tracks to remain there. Therefore our house became the one nearest the tracks. My aunt and uncle (the Okoneks) lived in the house next to the tracks on Strathmore Avenue, and we cousins would walk between our houses along the right-of-way for the railroad, behind the Ohio Bell Telephone building, the Board of Education building (which had built a railroad siding to receive coal deliveries to be taken to the nearby schools for heating), and a curious small builing owned by Lectroetch. We never knew what that company did. Elderwood, even then, was in a period of transition. A large and empty field, in which we kids used to play (behind the Flower Dell on Euclid Avenue) was eventually taken over by the automobile dealership next to the Flower Dell, and they sadly developed the empty field. Across the street was a very handsome pair of apartment buildings, near the corner of Elderwood and Strathmore, that (when I last saw them a few years ago) were derelict and empty wrecks. As I kid I worked for Art Bevan, who owned Bexly Electronics, located in a storefront shop on Euclid and Northfield, next to Hruby's music studios. Bexly Electronics sold audio equipment (called "hi-fi" in the 1950s) and operated a wired music service to compete with Muzak, called Magic Music. I used to make the 14" 3-3/4 inches-per-second tapes played on the large Magnecord tape players. You could see these through the shop windows onto Euclid Avenue. Art Bevan was one of the smartest men I ever met, and I'm in my mid-60s now. He was trained as a telephone man, and I used to enjoy perusing his old telco schematic diagram manuals. I was about 14 when I first worked (at $0.50 per hour) for Art. I attended Prospect Elementary School, Kirk Jr. High, and Shaw High until my parents moved to Cleveland Heights in 1961. A special arrangement with East Cleveland allowed me to graduate from Shaw, even though my family had moved to Cleveland Heights. I was in the 1961 graduating class of Shaw High School. We didn't realize it at the time, but Shaw High provided an education that was the current equivalent of most prep schools. My family attended St. Philomena's R.C. Church on Euclid, almost across from the old Windermere (and later Continental Art) Theatre. What memories this blog recalls for me! Thanks, Jim, for listening to my ramblings. I now live in New Haven, CT and can be reached at heckski@earthlink.net.
Joe Dzeda

 
At 5:07 PM, Blogger Diana said...

Hi Jim,
My name is Diana Zilius and I truly enjoy being able to get a glimps into the past through your blog. I attended Christ the King until (I think) 1972. I recognize many names found here in your blog and am touched by many memories made in East Cleveland. I lived up Hilsboro on Hilton Rd. and remember Mac the cop who was the crossing guard at Noble and Euclid entertaining us on our walk to school. The ravine--between Terrace and Caladonia--above Lenny Hill's house was a place of much fun and many serious moments. I have sweet memories of Jeff Deardon and his last summer in East Cleveland am glad to be reminded of them. Seeing the post from Michael Daull has rekindled many fond memories and an urge to be in touch with the many people of my past. Thanks for yor blog!
dianazilius@gmail.com

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger chris mates said...

hey jim! chris mates here. are you guys still posting to your blog? would love to hear from anyone from the good old days! rosemond@juno.com

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Chris,

Good to hear from you. Things have been hopping around here. Five posts in the last two days!

Please leave a recollection if you can.

Jim fisher

 
At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, Sunny/vindog here again. Well, my son was married last week and the family was all together again, perhaps for the last time, one never knows.

Anyway, had a chance to pull down some of my parents photo albums and lo and behold, Mr. Chaunce's 5th grade photo of the class from Prospect. I don't remember much about the classes being mixed or put together or whatever, but that photo is much the same as 1st thru 4th in terms of class size, definately not 30-35 kids.

Jim, you are standing proudly in a Boy Scouts of America uniform in that picture.

I will try to scan and send it along almost very soon if possible, but you know how it goes sometimes with family and life etc.

More from me later. BTW, I turned my older brother and sister on to this blog and encouraged them to participate since it is truly one of a kind, bravo, Jim.

Um, you were in the Scouts, right??

Vinnie

vindogla@msn.com
06/30/08

 
At 6:19 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Vinnie,

Thanks for the post. Yes, I was in Boy Scouts. Mr. Greathouse was our troop leader. We drove him nuts. The last time we went camping with him he blew up and went drinking. The next meeting the Boy Scout director came and made him apologize. It was all our fault.

JD Fisher

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting memories of people going to the various public schools, Prospect, Kirk, Shaw, etc.
When I first entered my undergraduate school, Oberlin, 40 miles west of E. Cleveland, the president was a man named Robert Carr. He had silver hair then, so he's much older than most, if not all, people posting here. He was AB, MA and Ph.D. from Harvard, but before that, he was a graduate of Shaw High School.
I have posted on one of Jim's other sites with the pictures of buildings on Euclid.
I was never a native of the place, but worked there for 12 years---mid 70s to 1987 at St. Philomena Church, Euclid at Eddy Road.
Are there any posters who went to the very large school the church operated? Partway through my stay at St. Philomena, the City of E. Cleveland decided to start a special school for special kids, ones with special abilities, special promise, and they rented the entire St. Philomena School for several years. The faculty was superb, the principal was a quiet woman who ruled "with an iron fist"! I have never seen such well-behaved children of any race, or any time period. It was a model of what education should be about. Somebody must have lost their nerve in the city's educ. dep't., as I don't think it existed more than about 7 years. Truly a shame. As wonderful as it must have been for those kids, they were so well educated, I would imagine they wound up at Benedictine, Ignatius, US, Hathaway Brown and places like that, rather than at Shaw.
Anyway, I have wonderful, vivid memories of my lengthy stay in E. Cleveland, and wouldn't trade it for all the "rice in China!"
David Dunkle
Mus. Dir., St. Philomena Church (1975-1987)

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
My sister told me that there was an East Clevelad blog about a year ago, and this must be it. I found it this morning by doing a google search for Jack's Donuts East Cleveland.
Looking at your Prospect class picture, it looked exactly like my class, of 1964-- and scrolling down to the names, there were a number of half-matches, siblings of some of my own classmates. I knew, or else knew of,Voelker Molish,Molish, Debby Van Pelt, Tim Marcovy, John Gleason, Jim Evans, Pat Mates, and Charles Seaman, the son of my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Seaman.
I'm sure you would have at least known of my younger brother, Peter McCarthy; he was in a scout troop with Mark Drefs; the troop leader was a man named John Spring. I ran into him a few years back when we were both teaching at Lakeland Community College. He was in Engineering, and went on to a position at Cleveland State.
My brother lived in New Hampshire and Maine, where he became a fisherman. He was drowned when his boat sank about 30 years ago.
I recall lots of names and places, and look forward to reading through more of the posted comments when I have the time, not now. I've just started an on-line course in Statistics and have a midterm coming up in a week.
With my best regards to all,
Jim McCarthy

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

Who remembers the middy, Mr. Carof, Ms. Cain, Foster's Ballroom, Windermere Lanes, Nela Park at Christmas, Mary's next to the Shaw-Hayden Theater (only 25 cents),Dick Fort, sledding at Forest Hills Park, Soul Patrol, Mulunesh Tennegashaw, the Schraeders, Viscis, Hoffman's Ice Cream Parlor on Euclid across from Rondini's, Webster's Standard Drugs (Page & Euclid), Rhythm Teens, the Hi-Lighters, girls Army/Navy basketball game, Ernie Coffey, Buddy Schultz, "South Pacific", "The Music Man" (I was Winthrop), Bill Blossom, Severance Hall, The Farmer's Market, Mr. Skinner's skin-diving lessons, Mr. McNeil, sugar cube Salk vaccines at the EC elementary schools, Kiwanis Club Talent Show (Donna got a 3rd), Rheinhold Friebertzhauser (sp?), East Cleveland day at Euclid Beach, OEFGR, May Queen, Valhalla, Koenig's, Dr. Molho, The Shaw Observer, Huron Road Hospital, Mrs. Lisse's Girl Scout Troop, Dorothy Fuldheim, Captain Penny & Mr. Green Jeans, the policeman at Shaw playground, Mr. Jing-a-Ling, the track above the Girl's Gym, Millionaire's Row (that became Funeral Homes Row), Canteen Council, and the East Cleveland Leader? Donna, Bob, and Bill Samson all went to Chambers, Kirk and Shaw (68, 70, 71) as did our parents Don and Helen (nee Heckert)(49, 50). Above is much of what we could remember of life in East Cleveland. If Bobby and his wife Bonnie (Kay)were here, I am sure the list would have been much longer; ironically, they are in Cleveland. Don and Helen (whose skin is wearing out) are now retired; Donna is in Arlington, VA; Bob and Bonnie in Lyndhurst, and Bill in Houston, TX.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Bill,

Wow! That's quite a list. Thanks.

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I am hoping that this goes through but I am a technological idiot. While on vacation and waiting to have knee surgery I was surfing the net and came across this blog. I found it so interesting. Many of the people mentioned (i.e. Margaret Billington) I remember although I am not sure that many would remember me. I was rather quiet back when I lived in East Cleveland although those who know me now would never believe that. My name is Dale Lanigan. I was born and raised in East Cleveland, went to Chambers Elementary School (anyone remember 6th grade teacher Stanton Downs - I could live to be 100 years old and never forget him), attended Kirk Junior High from 1963 - 1965 and Shaw High for about one year. I then went on to Cleveland Heights High for 2 1/2 years and finally graduated from Warrensville Heights High in 1969.

After graduation I worked for a number of years and then attended Cleveland State for a couple of years. I then moved to upstate New York and went to Elmira College from which I graduated in 1981 with a degree in Political Science. I then did masters work in Theological Studies at The Methodist Theological Scool in Delaware, Ohio. In 1985, I moved to Toledo and studied Educational Sociology at The University of Toledo. In 1988, I received my Doctorate and began working at U.T. a short while later. In 2000, I moved to Lourdes College near Toledo and am now a professor of Sociology & Justice Studies and Director of the Criminal Justice
Program at he school.

I have been married for twenty-nine years to my wife Carol and we have three grown children (a son and two daughters) and one grandson. Carol is a kindergarten teacher.

Although I have been away from Cleveland for a long time I still feel connected to it. My sister and brother still live there and we get back to see them and friends a couple of times a year. I have very fond memories of the East Cleveland that we grew up in. I can still taste the milk shakes from Mary's Sweet Shop and I remember so well playing football on the streets (our house was on Ardenall Avenue) until someone would call the cops. We spent our days playing ball on the fields and swimming at Shaw Pool. At night we would play in the Little Leagues (I was a good field, little hit 2B on the Fire Department team). My best friend was Mike Snyder and I listen to him now on a Cleveland radio station.

A year or so ago while doing some research I was on the Miami University site and I came across the mention of a Linda Scharschmidt Memorial Fund. I called the school and was told only that she passed away in
1995. I then found an obit online but I know little about what happened. Can anyone tell me more? I was so sorry to hear that she had passed. I had heard that she was a Doctor and had done well. I really liked her but was too shy to say so. I was out of her league.

I so much enjoyed reading the various entries on this blog and will now continue to come back to it to read more.

Dale

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Dale,

You did great! Thanks for your excellent post. Mike Snyder is a very popular radio host on WTAM-FM. Mike Trivisonno, a WTAM co-host, is also from East Cleveland.

I loved playing in Little Leagues too. I pitched for Rendlsham Insurance. I remember our coach Mr. Grey, got into it with the other team's coach and both sides got into a fight! And we think today is violent and the past was idyllic. Ha!

JD Fisher

 
At 8:10 AM, Blogger Barry_Downs@comcast.net said...

Dale, you brought up a couple of points I'd like to address. Linda Scharschmidt was an M.D. specialist who at one time lived in the apartments at Taylor & Mayfield on the Severance Center property, I was told by the same person who mentioned that she died of some fairly rare form of cancer. As her classmate, I recall Linda as being well-adjusted and outgoing, not to mention doing well in "Dr." Edith Seidman's chemistry classes, no doubt.

Thanks for mentioning my father, Stanton Downs. He left Chambers in 1970 to teach "physical science" at Shaw, retiring in 1988, and passed in 1991 from cancer. I have photos of his 1960s Chambers classes, any of which I'd be glad to share.

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, This is Jeff Conaway again. I went to a concert in Cain Park last night and before we drove around the old neighborhood.My brother Jack, my sister Bonni and I. We went by all of are old streets that we lived on Lakefront, Idlewood and Stanwood. We rode around E.C. for about one and half hours. Wow! A lot of stuff gone and alot of new things. Even know things were different it brought back so many good memmories. If you have any questions about the old neighbor let me know.

 
At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again. Dale Lanigan here. I sent a message in a couple of weeks ago but I suspect that I didn't do it well and it probably did not make it through. Thanks Barry for the info. I would love to see the pictures of your dad's Chambers classes. I was in his homeroom during the 62-63 school year. I remember him for his passion. Other teachers that I remember well include my favorite teacher at any level- Winifred C. Savage, my third grade teacher. I also remember fondly my first and second grade teacher at Mayfair - Mrs. Newcomer. Jim, I lived on Mayfair Avenue for a couple of years. We were on the same side of the street as the school, roughly ten houses down from it. Another that stands out in my memory is Marty Loftus at Kirk.

I wonder where a number of people that I knew ended up. Anybody remember (and I will probably misspell some last names) John Bevacqua, David Kovacs, Danny Trombley,and George and Darryl Allen? Also wonder what
happened to people that I remember but I doubt remember me - i.e. Karen Madsen and Margaret McCarthy.

So many of my best memories of East Cleveland involve Little League, which was so important to the community. We had some great coaches, especially Jim Gray who managed Don Fishers I believe and John Klott (I think that was his last name) who managed Koenigs. My dad was a very good manager also (Fire Dept.) Unfortunately. he died in 1976 as a result of brain injuries suffered in a fall a couple of years earlier. He died just a few months after the passing of my mother who suffered for years from chronic uremia.

More on Little League - I remember one game actually hitting a popup, that's all just a popup, against Buddy Schultz. I was so proud just to get the bat on the ball against him. He was awesome. I also remember playing on an all-star team that won a tournament in Garfield Heights. I am sure that I was on that team only because my dad was a good friend with Jim Gray who was the manager of the team. Jim Gray was a great manager.

I read with a great deal of interest the notes on growing up in East Cleveland. E.C. was an example of a great urban neighborhood/community, the type of which has died an unfortunate death over the past several decades. I do a great deal of research on the development and evolution of the American city and teach a class called "Urban Life and Development." I tell my students about East Cleveland, where you could walk to everything you needed. At a time when the average family now makes fourteen separate car trips per day, the students have a hard time relating to the E.C. neighborhood that I describe to them. Hayden Avenue and Euclid Avenue between Shaw and Superior had all the shops, stores, doctors offices, movie theatres and restaurants that we needed. I remember actually transporting food from the stores to the house via the shopping carts. Our doctor had his office above Mary's sweet shop. Between Hayden and Euclid we had all the recreational facilties that we could possibly use. We played ball on the streets and our parents watched from the porches, which were the center of life on our streets. People sat on their porches for hours each day. We ate on them and slept on them during the summer. We did not have air conditioning or even fans so we slept on the porch. Actually, we did have a fan. It was called the trains that went by several times a night. We didn't have much but we had a lot. We had a real community. People watched out for each other and the idea that "it takes a village to raise a child" was in practice in our neighborhood long before Hillary Clinton used that line.

Please keep the stories about East Cleveland coming. The older I get the more I like remembering the old days. I would love to hear what is going on with all of those who read this blog.

Dale

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Hi Dale,

Thanks for your post. I lived on Mayfair Rd. from 1957 to 1962 then we moved to Rosemont Rd. My dad grew up on Northfield Road right next to the railroad tracks.

I was a very little boy when we lived on Mayfair but I do remember a couple of things. There was a family named O'Malley across the street. The boy was named Sean and he played with my older sister often.

There was also a family further up the street. I can't remember the boy's name but we used to toss a little football up to the top porch to his grandfather. One toss bounced down the street and he got hit in the head by a car. It was pretty bad thing but that's all I remember.

Mayfair was such a skinny street and almost all the homes were duplexes. Our house backed up to the Pick'n'Pay lot. One day a man was teaching his girlfriend how to drive and she plowed right through the fence into my Dad's new Saab! Which reminds me, does anyone remember Ed Wolf Saab?

Jim

 
At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
We lived on Mayfair at the same time. I was only there though for two years, from 1957 to 1959. We lived downstairs in one of those duplexes. I am trying to remember the names of the streets. I want to say that the one up along the railroad tracks was Allegheny. If so, there was a narrow street that ran between Allegheny and Hayden and that street cut a number of streets such as Mayfair, Orinoco, Strathmore, Ardenall and Shaw in half. At one end of that street was the Fire Department and Shaw stadium. We lived on Mayfair close to where that street, whatever its name was, hit Mayfair. I remember playing with the Wolfgrams and with a kid who I think was a couple of years older than I was and lived on a small street right behind Mayfair. I want to say that his last name was Tartaglia, and I am probably butchering the spelling. That was about fifty years ago so it is really hard for me to remember all the details. Like you, I was very young when I lived on Mayfair. Sounds like you lived down near Hayden. Were you near the rapid station?

I remember going to elementary school with a kid named Robert Wolf. Wonder if his family owned the Saab dealership.

Dale

 
At 2:46 AM, Blogger Mike Galambush said...

Hello Jim and others.I tried to post a comment earlier and haven't seen it. I loved reading all these thoughts of E.C.
Mike Galambush
Prospect '66
Kirk '68
Shaw '72

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Mike,

I'm not sure why your comment didn't post but this one did!

Keep posting. Everyone loves the reminiscences.

My dad, who grew up in East Cleveland and then raised three children there until 1970, was near tears after reading all the posts. There was a lotta of luv for East Cleveland. It needs it now as well.

Jim

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger Mike Galambush said...

Thanks Jim for starting this fine discussion. I found it by googling my name, and was surprised to see your 3rd grade picture that looked so much like my 6th grade picture.
I had to read, laugh, cry, and slap my forehead in disbelief through much history before I found my name listed in John Frank's reply. I'm amazed at the power of the internet to link all these unlike souls to a common thread. I'm so glad I read this before the movie comes out!

I lived on Chapman Ave from 1955 till 1977. When I left EC I didn't know where to stop until I wound up in Cordova Alaska. For eight years I was logging and worked in a small sawmill. Since then I've been selling parts for a living at a marine repair shop.

I've been blessed witha wonderful wife for the last 25 yrs. and 2 children a daughter in college and a son in the coast guard.

I'm glad some others remembered Ward's Deli. Remember having to ask Mr Ward to open the cans? I also remember when Pic N Pay was first built across the street from there. Mr Ward said "he'd never shop there, his neighbor bought some catfood there and the cat died." Good ole Mr. Ward.

I remember Mr. Ramond J. Vinborg well. I can still visualize his signature. I wasn't nearly as worried about meeting him in his office as I was of being "taken up" by the "safeties" to Mrs Harris' room.

Since Mrs. Hill has been mentioned here, my only memory of her was seeing her drive her topless corvette with her fur coat on in rain, sleet, and snow. Nice folks.

Speaking of cool cars remember the Lann's Isetta? It only had one door that opened in the front. The steering wheel had to swing out of the way.

Speaking of cool cars, I always wondered why Mr.6'++Franks drove a Nash Metropolitan, while Mrs.5'?? drove a Country Squire wagon.

Mark Drefs, I remember your 007 attache, and you Johnny 7 OMA too! You don't still have your copy of "It's a Gas" by Afred E. Newman do you?

Speaking of Mark Drefs, I was never sure when to him at his word. I think it was in Mrs Allman's 5th grade that he was the new kid in school. He had moved from Alaska. When I told him about the YMCA, he said at the Y in Anchorage, they swam in a lake. I found out years later that to be true.
Also in class, we were all asked what our parents did for a living. He said his dad sold paper bags. I figured he had to be the poorest kid I knew, you could get paper bags for free at the A&P. Who was going to buy them?
Mark remember the 6th grade trip to the Terminal Tower? Seems like we both ended up with souvenir periscopes.

I loved Royal Castle. One of our biggest treats was when Prospect PTA had their clothing sale every fall. We got to have lunch at RC two days! We would be the first ones there, then the first back to the playground. That entitled us to go to "Mr Al's" office in the basement and get first choice of kickballs. Anyone else remember his big old air pump for inflating balls?
I recognize 2/3 of the names mentioned in previous posts and some of the others I feel like I should have known because we were doing the same things at the same times with the same friends.
I'd be glad to hear from any of you either through this blog or at
galambush@gci.net
Till later, Mike

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Mike,

Thanks for a great post. Your memory is extraordinary!

As for Mark Drefs, I think he was pulling your leg about Alaska. He was from Philadelphia and was a rabid Phillies fan.

His father sold industrial bags that held building materials. He had some great stories. One day while doing a sales demonstration the bag didn't drop into place and the material dumped all over the company's president!

Another time he picked up the morning newspaper and saw the story of the Silver Springs bridge collapse. He had just crossed that bridge a few hours before its collapse.

I'm trying to remember a couple people who lived on Chapman. I recall a tall kid named Skinner who was a bit of a bully. One time he nailed me in the face with an icy snow ball in front of that motel at Euclid and Lee. One day the following spring he walked behind me from school and kept shoving me in the back. I finally turned around and drilled him in the face, broke his glasses and everything. He went home crying and I went home relieved. Life lesson: face down the bullies.

Even though East Cleveland was small from a physical size standpoint, it had a big population. I lived in the Mayfair-Prospect area but there is also the other school areas like Caledonia and Chambers. I hardly knew anyone from there even after living in East Cleveland for 14 years.

Jim

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tripped across your blog...and wow...what memories it brings back. My name is Ed Blankenship, (class of 66, Shaw). I have only been back to East Cleveland once. After leaving the Marine Corps, (remember my friend Jim Rizzo, who gave his life while serving in the marine Corps), I settled in California wherein, I continue to reside. Owned my own business for the past twenty eight years and looking forward to retiring and playing golf in Palm Springs. Thanks for the memories.

 
At 8:09 AM, OpenID chardonmom said...

What a wonderful surprise to google and find all this info!! what memories...I didn't move to East Cleveland until 6th grade, but I know quite a few of the people you mention were in my 6th grade class...do you remember Mrs. Harris? Ewww she was such a meanie!! I lived two door up from Mister Donut and next door to Anne Klodetsky. Donna Brucken!! Boy there's a blast from the past...Donna I would love to her from you and anyone else that remember's me!! Does Cathy Greathouse ring a bell? I'm going to print all these wonderful stories for my scrapbook...and would love to have a copy of our class picture from the 6th grade..anyone have one? hope to hear from someone!!

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!! What a great surprise when I came across this site...but we need to figure out how we can all get hold of each other..and I'm all about a reunion!! I used to live at 1828 Wymore with my 3 brothers and sister. We lived across the streets from the Gearity's(think I spelled their name right) and next door to Ann and Helen Klodetsky. I also lived down the stree from Donna Brucken (Donna remember the Mini Marchers?)
We moved to EC when I was in the
6th grade and I had Mrs. Harris (scary woman) I don't want to remember how many times she called me a hillbilly in front of the class!! I remember Ellen Winters being forced to play the piano!! I remember Mike Smith harrasing me in class(LOL), Claudia Lann, Lana Puz,Gerry (can't remember her last name, she was a fabulous violin player)....Oh the memories are coming back..I went to Kirk, was in the band until I graduated from Shaw in 1972. I think I was the only white kid in the band then. We had such an awesome band!! What fun the football games were! I'd love to hear from someone...my email is cathyinkosovo@hotmail.com
let's all keep in touch!

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

ChardonMom,

Thanks for the post. I do remember the Greathouses. Mr. Greathouse was my Boy Scout Scoutmaster. Oh lord, did we drive him mad! He got so fed up with us once at Camp Beaumont that he totally lost it. Later the Boy Scout leaders made him apologize to us. We were so guilty. I do remember that he told us great campfire stories.

Jim

 
At 1:21 PM, OpenID chardonmom said...

LOL...I laughed so hard about the drinking part of the story for my dad...I've NEVER seen or smelled a drop of alcohol on his in his life....I think that must have been another campfire story!!LOL..But I do remember that being a trying trip to say the least..Do you remember Chuckie Taylor? He lived on Rosemont and was in the Boy Scouts, his mom was Ethel Taylor and was a teacher. I deliverd East Cleveland Leader and remember alot of the people you mentioned on Rosemont. Also there was a kid on Wymore named Steve who had a sister named Holly..do you remember who that was? I was so sad to hear they tour down Kirk and Shaw. I did make it back to Shaw for the tour before they tore it down..did you get any pics of that before they did it?

Cathy G

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Cathy,

I didn't say he was drinking but he did give us a pretty good, profanity-laced chewing out that made our jaws drop. The episode was at winter camp and we were in the cabins on bunk beds. We wouldn't shut up and go to sleep. He finally had to make us all stand up straight in front of our bunks for about a half hour until he didn't hear a peep out of us. He just wore us down on that one. During summer camp he told us this great fireball outta of the swamp story that scared the pants off of us. He was great but we were all really bad.

I remember Chucky Taylor. He was younger than me but a lot of fun to play with. We played football in his backyard all the time. I lived right across the street from him.

Holly may have been Holly Wild whose brother Steve was a good buddy of mine.

Jim

 
At 3:22 PM, OpenID chardonmom said...

LOL..oh yes, the ole fireball story...that sounds like my dad...he's still full of piss and vinegar! I remember living at beaumont in the summer...He was a great swearer when he was mad..still is!! My brother Mike said Holly's last name was Ferguson and her brother Steve was good friends with my brother Dan. Has anyone said they have any other pics...You should make a website for all our old photos...I have a few!! Thanks for answering all my comments quick...but I'm so excited to hears stories about one of my favorite times in my life...they just don't have cities like East Cleveland was back then!!

 
At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Ricki Simon said...

This may be the longest lived group of blog comments on the internet! But I thought I would add mine too if its not too late. I'm Ricki Simon, Shaw Class of '67. Funny that I've been thinking a lot about the 60's lately (partly due to my XM radio in my car which has an all 60's station). All these posts bring back so many other memories. I remember sledding down the hill at Forest Hills, walking to and from school everyday (I'm amazed when parents tell me how much they drive their kids around these days), eating breakfast or hamburgers at Royal Castle, learning to swim at the YWCA so I wouldn't be embarassed before I had to take swimming at Shaw, going to Canteen dances on Friday nights, learning a new dance every week (it seemed) after school, Euclid Beach (I still cry watching the videos I bought before they tore everything down), and so many more wonderful memories.

I have moved around a lot in my life (Oberlin, Chicago, New Mexico, Lyle Ill, New Jersey, and now Colorado) - but East Cleveland (as I remember it) will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks again for this reminder.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Dear East Clevelanders,

Halloween and Trick-or-Treat time is here. Wasn't that night the best in East Cleveland? The magical night was filled costumed ghosts, witches and goblins zipping across lawns along the narrow streets of Rosemont, Wymore, Marloes and Mayfair. With so many houses, so densely packed, a kid could practically fill an entire A&P grocery bag with candy.

Some of my memories: A car pulled up and a woman from the car held up a bag and yelled at us to come over and get more candy! We ran over and she grabbed our bags and took off! How awful! Another time a quirky, grandmother-like woman forgot that it was Halloween. When the kids started ringing the bell she panicked, went to her kitchen, grabbed an apple pie, cut it into slices and dumped the slices into the kids bags. What a hoot!

Anyone else have memories of Halloween in East Cleveland?

Jim

 
At 6:28 AM, OpenID chardonmom said...

I too have found memories of Halloween in East Cleveland! First of all I remembering it always being warm, never so cold as it is now!! And I remember having to come home and empty my bag and go out again!! I also recall that the Fisher's who lived on Terrace Rd, gave out the best treat for Halloween! Seems it had something to do with someone there working at Dan-Dee potatoe chip company...is that right?

I love your blog Jim!! Thanks for keeping it up!

Cathy Greathouse Del Vecchio, happyscraping@gmail.com

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Cathy,

Halloween was probably cold from time to time too but our mind's were focused on candy!

The Fisher's on Terrace Rd. were not related to us but I remember the DanDee trucks.

Jim

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Linda LaRiche Fowler said...

Hi, I was so excited to read all the comments from fellow East Clevelanders. My name is Linda Fowler, formally known as Linda LaRiche, SHS class of 1967. Ackim Van Klavern organizes a reunion every 5 years that welcomes ALL former students of SHS, even if you did not graduate from Shaw and moved to another community. It is a fantastic way to reconnect with old friends. If anyone is interested, please email me at Lantique39@Yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to give you Van's email address. Hi to Steve Spithos (OSPDA)! We missed not seeing you at the reunions! Thanks for organizing this website Jim and by the way, I just bought 2 old SHS Shuttles from the late 1930's. I think many of your parents and teachers are pictured in these pages. I found an old picture of our football coach (Mr. Loftus) and he was so good looking as a young man. A great find! Linda

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Arthur Copeland,MD said...

Hello Jim Fisher and to all. I remember Steve Spithas from Shaw High. He was in my German class with Herr Van Galen in 11th grade. Lia Spithas you can forward this comment to your father. His class mate Arthur Copeland became a Doctor. I now live in Houston and practice forensic medicine. I was enrolled in Prospect Grammar. I entered the School in Mrs. Linvalle's 4th grade class about 1960. I was also in Mrs. Struggles' 5th grade class in 1961 and Mrs. Harris's 6th grade class in 1962 or thereabouts. I remember the Crystal BBQ and Tobin's pharmacy. I also remember the Royal Castle hamburger place. I recently returned to East Cleveland for my mother's funeral in 2003. Wow! has it gone done hill . I hear it was the poorest city in all of Ohio. there had been financial mismanagment of the government,. I saw some signs of rebirth I think they are remodeling Kirk Junior high school. Prospect grammar still stands next to Shaw high school.I remember when the Principal, Mr. Vineborg had all the students remain after class for a snow ball incident, in which the students of Prospect threw snow balls at a visiting school bus. I remember when all students had to write 200 times or so not to do that. I remember when they had a "reader" or a "lector" give a class assembly on Homer's Iliad every week about the Siege at Troy. she would read aloud the story of the Iliad. I remember when they taught social dancingfor us 6th graders every Friday. it was a good time. best wishes to all
sincerely

Arthur R. Copeland,MD
arthurcopeland77054@yahoo.com

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Ken Seaman said...

This blog brings back many memories. I grew up on Strathmore in the 1950's and 1960's and attended Prospect, Kirk and Shaw. I see my brother Charles Seaman mentioned (in the picture and later in a post) as well as my mother, a teacher at Prospect. It is sad to say these both Charles and my mother have died, but I am glad to see mention of people and places that I have not seen in years, since I have lived outside of Ohio for more than 20 years. I would like to hear from my friends from East Cleveland.
Ken Seaman
lawyerkas@hotmail.com

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Linda LaRiche said...

To Ed Blankenship:
I just looked in the 1966 SHS Shuttle and your photo is not pictured. Marge (your sister?) was in my class (1967). Some of your classmates have attended our reunions: Grant Baxter, Nancy Barton, Linda Cray, Jeff Collingwood, Ellen Smith, to name a few. I also remember Jim Rizzo (I had a huge crush on him in high school); it was heartbreaking to hear of his death. My brother Tim graduated in 1963, along with cousin Joey Giacomin. They (along with Jim Hughes and Jeff Gould) had a band called the Sensations (originally called The Montclairs).

We lived on Wadena (off Euclid Avenue) not far from the East Cleveland border, near Lakeview Cemetery. We were one of the last white families to move. It was only after our house was broken into one night while we slept, that my older brothers and sister badgered my parents into selling the house. They really did not want to move. We loved our home and our neighbors (Bunkleys). Sadly, within a year, there was a fire in our old home and, even though it still stands, it is now a shack. A beautiful home with natural oak woodwork, pocket doors, high ceilings, stained glass windows, french doors, and so on.

All of our childhood memories are destroyed as well as our beautiful schools. It is very sad ride through East Cleveland now with so little to recognize.

I wanted to list of my class members that have passed away and hope that others will do the same, as we all wonder from time to time what happened to certain individuals. This is such a wonderful website and I hope that others will continue to contribute information and keep it going (Thanks so much Jim).

Deceased from the class of 1967: Gary Henderson, Lew Everly, Fred Hargrove, Kenneth Hargrove, Barb Egan, Susan Smith, Rich Valentine, Fonda Collins, Joanne Skully, Dan Wilson, Carl Fiorello, Deborah Dowery, Robert Chambers, Winifred Newman, Elaine Elder, Michael Gianinno, Celeste Jones, James Miller, Louis Patterson, James Reed, Gregory Guy, & Jacqueline Stuart.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of other 1967 members, please let us know.

Our class was the best, LEL champs, line dancing to the soul music (how about some cream in your Cofee?); 1 in 10,000, busing to the championship games, Rhythm Teens, Choir, Swimming Lessons in Korb pool, "Canteen" dances at the Y on Lee Road, Superior Elementary School, SLAM BOOKS (does anyone have one anymore?), hanging out after the dances at the McDonalds at Green & Mayfield, Manners, Nela Park, Brown bag full of candy for Halloween (out for HOURS), wearing a fake ponytail to class in the 7th grade, lunchtime movies at Kirk, the ugly gymsuits they made us wear, Shuttle signing, middies, and the signing of the middies during the last senior days. And, we will never forget our wonderful teachers (Mr. Fort (decesased), Mr. Hicks, Mr. Gamble (my homeroom teacher), Mrs. Prouty (those horrible aprons), Mr. Skinner (deceased), Mr. Frank (didn't he drive a corvette?),and Miss Blankenbuehler (a fabulous English teacher), and last but not least, our music teacher....Miss Honess.

Great, great memories. Black & white did not exist back then. Everyone in our class was friends. This website certainly helps spark lost memories.

Linda LaRiche (Lantique39@Yahoo.com)

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Jeff Bassett said...

What a great flashback to so many memories. My brother Dave Bassett told me about your blog this last summer when I was out in Calif. visiting him. He is class of 1967 of SHS, and I am 1971. Things certainly changed from my freshman to my senior year. It was very hard to avoid the day to day problems of being one of few white kids left. Our entire family misses the old neighborhood, and many of the things that made E.Cleve. unique.
We moved a few times within E.Cleve. I went to Rozelle, and Mayfair, and lived 2 houses away on Mayfair. The school system forced us to sell our duplex for the expansion to the school, and we moved to Terrace Rd. about 6 houses from Kirk. My brother was in the band, and new the Rose's, and The Brass's.
I also knew Lenny Hill, and used to help him with his paper route in Crystal Towers. He introduced me to Dave Nelson, a Cleveland Indian, and a Browns player. His name escapes me. Playing baseball in Christ The King parking lot with an occasional broken window from a power hitter was cause to leave the game abruptly.
Another friend of mine was Gary Robinson who lived on Burnette. His Dad was on the Price is Right when we were kids, and won many prizes. A few other people I still see is Chuck Carey, Dennis Kuhr, and Chuck Jenne, although I haven't seen him a few years.
Remember Jim Connell Chevrolet on Euclid with the roof top parking lot?
Jack's doughnuts was a favorite stop for me walking to Shaw after we moved to Allendale. My breakfast!
Mary's Sweet shop next to Shaw Hayden Theater where the penny candy was the best. You cold buy a soft drink in the lobby of the theater, and it was a dime, and dispensed into a cup, but you couldn't take it to your seat! I remember seeing one of the Beatles movies there, and it was a waste as all the girls were screeming the entire movie as if the real Beatles were there. You could'nt hear a word!
With my work, I still get to drive through E.Cleve., and whenever my brother is in town we go see what old sites we can.
Hough Bakery. Need I say more? How we all miss that place. One of the old bakers has his own shop on St Clair around 145th. and he makes their famous cakes. He will do some of the other pastries with a large enough order. It's called Archie's.
This is my first time blogging, so I hope it works. Thanks for all the memories you, and the other posters have provided.

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Jeff,

Thanks for your excellent post. Blogging is easy isn't it?

I believe the Browns football player who lived in Crystal Towers was Greg Pruitt.

Even though East Cleveland was small in geographical size there were many places there I never went to. Maybe once I made it over to Rozelle and a couple times to Chambers Elementary. My main digs were Prospect, Shaw-Hayden, Kirk and the park.

An amazing time, and an amazing place.

Jim

 
At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim,
I am working on a scrapbook about growing up in East Cleveland..and am looking for some photographs and or memoribilia to use. I have nothing...it was all left behind when we moved...long story...But if you would be kind enough to post this on your website. I'd be willing to buy yearbooks or photos or be happy with a color copy of anything...
happyscraping@hotmail.com thanks Jim...Cathy Greathouse Del Vecchio

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Tom Rittenburg said...

My family grew up on Hazel Road "up the hill." We lived there from 1960 to 1976 when my folks returned to California. My brother Charles and I passed through Caledonia, Kirk, He graduated from Shaw in '69 while I was transferred that same year to Litheran East in Cleveland Heights. Many of the names listed in this blog are so very familiar to us: Visci, Schraeder, Franks (Hey Chris!), Greathouse, Marcovy, Seaman, McCarthy, Van Pelt, Scharschmidt, Dearden, Molesch, etc.

I live in Ventura County California now and have tremendous difficulty in trying to describe to my children what an idyllic place EC was to grow up in (stories of the winters alone send them running). We had strong family and neighborhood ties, trust in each other, a sense of peace and contentment that passed from this world some time ago.

I should add that Vicky Wells ('71) has now twice run for Congress in southern Ohio, almost winning in 2006.

Let me close with a note of regret that all three of myschools have been eradicated. I know the new facilities will be modern and more in tune with the current needs of students, but the city lost something valuable when such heritage was destroyed. Besides, now that loose panel on the side door to the Tech building I used to get inside so that Chris Franks could sign my year book is gone.

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for my college room mate - Jan Hazlett Gaskill. Can you help?

 
At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Mike Daull here at my desk at GE Nela Park, East Cleveland. Great blog Jim.

This is a memory jog for Jeff Bassett. Fare Hooker, Ben Davis, and Ron Johnson were the Browns players living in the Crystal Towers apartments. My brother had them as Celeveland Press customers as well. Nice seeing your name here Jeff.

Mike Daull

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Jeff Bassett said...

Mike Daull. Refresh my memory. I recognize the name, but not how we knew each other?

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

Jeff,

We lived in the 3rd house from the top of the SW corner of Allandale and Terrace. You knew my brother John and I. We played softball quite a bit in the Christ The King school yard. I was your sister Debbie's age. Lenny Hill, John, and I use to come down to your place during the summer. I feel like I never left EC because I have been working in the mailroom/shipping at GE Nela Park for the last 30 years.

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Jeff Bassett said...

Mike, send me a picture of yourself to jaybee1013@aol.com. I'll get the year book out to find you. I'll mention you to Debbie next time I see her.

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Linda LaRiche said...

Just wanted to let you all know that the number of Shaw High classmates is growing on FACEBOOK.com ~ Join in....it is free to join and you can hook up with old classmates and instant message each other, post photos, etc. Please join and when you do, search Shaw High School East Cleveland, oh and see who you find. From the class of 1967 there are several: Ricki Simon, Patty Stevens, Andy Beal, Cindy Bernier Laeng, Ken Seaman, Bruce Bowers, Paul Darkovich, Pete Billington, Lori Mullen, and myself. The list continues to grow so we would be so happy for more people to get on and we can make sure the next reunion is a success. Don't forget, the next reunioin is in 2012 and it includes ALL classes!!!!!

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger TIBailey said...

Jim, I hope this brings back some present and former East Cleveland residence. I wouldn't trade my experience of growing up in EC for anything. Hope you can relate.

The Littlest Cardinals
A Class Act

By Tom Bailey

This story ends with Shaw High School winning the 1966 Lake Erie League Football Championship. Our season record of 9-0-1 placed us among the top teams of all time. The local paper (The East Cleveland Leader) proclaimed the team as The Undefeated, Undisputed L.E.L. Champions. The Team Shutout seven (7) of ten (10) opponents. The season came to a close with the Shaw High Cardinals a.k.a. The Executioners with a record of eight wins and one tie meeting Lakewood High’s Rangers who previously lost only one game to “undefeated Sandusky, Ohio’s third-ranked team.” This final season game would bestow on the winning team the league championship. The paper wrote, “Not since the World War II era, when the stadium’s seams bulged every weekend, has one game so completely captured the football public’s fancy.” They went on to say, “All the cards will be on the table tomorrow night and a crowd expected to exceed the 9,000 mark will be on hand to see which way they fall.” Lakewood sent 17 busloads of fans…and the beat goes on. (All newspaper quotes were ripped off from The East Cleveland Leader, Thursday, November 10, 1966, Edition, Volume No. XXIV- 45.) We came out slightly ahead with Shaw scoring 39 points to Lakewood’s 0. I, digress lets get started.

Moving to East Cleveland, Ohio in 1961, I was enrolled in the fifth grade of Rozelle Elementary School. Now Rozelle was less than five minutes from my house and was adjacent to Pattison Park, which provided, baseball fields, basketball and, tennis courts along with additional open space. This area was the proving ground where our athletic skills and characters were molded at an early age. The nucleus of our future junior high and high school teams would include former fifth and sixth grade “Rozellians” Bobby Allen, Tom Bailey, Fred Bizzell, Terry Boyd (McCurdy), Cortland Buggs, Sterlie Jones, and Bobby Stewart. We all grew-up aspiring to take our turn on center stage as players for the Shaw High Cardinals. Before we ever attended a game, we started off playing tackle football in the park, with and without equipment. Some kids were fully equipped while others honed their skills in bare feet. The have-nots faced off against helmets, shoulder pads and football cleats, without the least bit of hesitation. It wasn’t long before some of our fathers took an interest and gave us instruction in conditioning, running pass pattern and the like. I regarded, Terry’s dad, Henry McCurdy as my earliest coach, a great motivator and lifetime friend through high school and beyond. He was very instrumental in molding lives on and off the field.

Now there were other elementary schools throughout the community, which nurtured our childhood rivals and future teammates. Caledonia Elementary, Prospect Elementary, Mayfair Elementary, and Superior School mounted the task of developing, Tony Gunder, Joe Eckel, Scott Gray, Randy Mates, Dave and Terry O’Neil, Robin Peters, Buddy Schultz, Bill Swearinger, John Thomas, and Jim Wardle. The aforementioned were representative of our peer group advancing in the same grade at the same time. We had occasion to meet and compete via flag football leagues, little league and minor league baseball competition and through formal and informal basketball games.

Growing up in East Cleveland meant, Friday night was all about attending the Shaw games, eating our share of stadium pizza and watching the Shaw HI-Liters (precision dance team that performed at all football and some basketball games) and the Shaw High Cheerleaders. Momma didn’t raise no dummies!

I wasn’t privy to protocol for the other neighborhood elementary schools when it came to junior high send offs, but Rozelle held what was called a “clap out”. All grades from kindergarten, through fifth grade lined the main hallway and literally and figuratively clapped the sixth graders out of the building on our final day. At that time, the adulation of five to eleven year olds was just the beginning of our crowd-pleasing ways…and the crowd goes wild! Kirk Junior High get ready cause here we come.

Kirk Junior High School was the only public junior high in East Cleveland; hence it was a major training ground for numerous athletes and scholars. Its student body was comprised primarily of students from the five major elementary schools. Kirk afforded individuals from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to come together as a team and a class. This is where we were exposed to numerous sports opportunities and became proficient in the underlying fundamentals. I remember junior high football training ending with the Orange and Black game that pitted the 7th graders against the 8th graders. Generally, this was the first time that the 7th graders put on football (shoes) cleats. In this particular game, we selected our own shoes and suited up to do battle. As luck would have it I had the good fortune to play running back. Having learned the plays, I had several opportunities to carry the ball. According to friends and teammates I continually took the ball and broke into the clear bound for touchdown after touchdown only to fall a few steps later. I would come back to the huddle and complain about my shoes being too big and that had been my story to this day. Time for a reality check! At that point in time, I was not use to being hit, so every time I saw that I was going to be tackled, I closed my eyes and continued to run. Evidently I continued to out run the opposition, but football and life taught me that you can only go so far with your eyes closed!

We entered Kirk with full expectations of putting in our three years, graduating and moving on to Shaw. Although we had just arrived, we were always looking forward to the challenges of another day. Life had its own plans for shaping our lives. Our class, our team was in Kirk Junior High at the moment President Kennedy was assassinated. From our vantage point, assignations were part of our distant past; Abraham Lincoln was, generally, our only point of reference. It seemed as though time stood still. I’m sure some prayed, some cried. Did the words of our alma mater take the time to forge us into a cohesive unit? “Orange and Black with our song, our sons and daughters round ye throng. Fount of wisdom light and truth, thy kindly guide thy eager youth. Alma mater now to thee, we pledge anew our loyalty.” Following other chains of events we would learn that our class would not graduate from Kirk, we were now scheduled to be the first ninth grade class to enter Shaw High School. Shaw High School, get ready cause here we come.

The fall of ‘64 ushered in a new school year with preparations being implemented to welcome the littlest Cardinals to our freshman year. As high school students, we began to be more aware of the world around us. That awareness came full circle when the Vietnam War was brought to our front door. Individuals we watched on the gridiron were now being listed as casualties and MIA’s in the on going conflict.

In spite of ongoing events, we did what was necessary to make sure that stumbling blocks never became obstacles. Weeks before the rest of the student body arrived on campus the various teams (Varsity, JV and freshmen) began two (2) a day practice sessions. Sessions in August found us running, running and running some more. Our coaches stated that if we lost, our being out of shape would never be the cause. We ran numerous drills that pitted us any where from one on one, to facing an entire defensive unit. We generally lost five to ten pounds per day. Missed assignments in practice would find you running, doing pushup, sit-ups or lying face down in the dirt saying in unison “I’m lower than the fish in the bottom of the sea and or I’m lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut”. Ain’t it sweet? All running backs and receivers were continually subjected to running the Gauntlet. Trust me you don’t want to know!

To make a long story short, the first Shaw High freshman class went undefeated. Now you must take into account that all the victories were achieved without the help of two class members who embodied excellence in athletics. Bobby Allen and “Touchdown” Tony Gunder were seasoned athletes (pardon the pun) who were prepared to hit the ground running. Spring forward one year and you find many of the same players dressing for the Junior Varsity team and the Varsity squad. Prior to that season opener coaches drove home the concept that we had already beat our opponents the previous year. We (the JV team) responded by delivering another undefeated season.

Practice, practice, practice made for a world of difference between our opponents and us. You might reason, all teams were subjected to practice, which is true, but the teams we were able to field in the opposition roles against our first teams would have been starters on other teams. We all took pride in mirroring upcoming teams; on a number of occasions defensive starters found themselves back on their heels or chasing a second or third string running back or receiver. Eventually, quarterbacks were off limits to practice tackling, while the running backs were generally fair game. We all had roles to play which contributed to Shaw’s overall success.

Now as logic would have it this group of young men lived and played within a universe that could be replicated on a grand scale. Please understand that the Junior Varsity had very little success in the seasons, just, prior to our arrival, and the Varsity had its share of losses. The winning tradition was contagious and thus seeped into teammates who were, otherwise outstanding in their own right. Our Class Act was instrumental in creating circumstances, which made that Undefeated, Undisputed Championship season possible.
A special thanks to the numerous coaches who played their roles from grade school through twelfth. We honor your dedication. The Class of 68.


SHAW HIGH SCHOOL
1966 Lake Erie League
Football Champions

SEASON RECORD 9-0-1


Shaw 20 West 0 Shaw 21 Brush 6
Shaw 35 Midpark 0 Shaw 20 Shaker 0
Shaw 27 Collinwood 0 Shaw 24 Euclid 0
Shaw 14 Parma 0 Shaw 30 Valley Forge 12
Shaw 6 Cleve. Hts. 6 Shaw 39 Lakewood 0

VARSITY COACHES

Don Drebus – Head Coach Norm McVicker
Paul Burton Bill Konnert
Rudy Libertini Tom Callow

VARSITY SQUAD

Bob E. Allen Gerald Kidd
Bob L. Allen Jeff Knox
Allen Bailey Dave Laeng
Tom Bailey John Leibert
Andy Beal Randy Mates
Pete Billington Dan Mazzolini
Fred Bizzell Terry McCurdy
Gerald Brannon Dennis Montgomery
Ron Brown Dave O’Neil
Tom Brown Terry O’Neil
Rosalious Bunkley Bob Orwig
Bruce Bythway Robin Peters
Bob Cala Dave Petruziello
Dick Collier Rendell Rozier
Dale Davies Buddy Schultz
John DiBartolomeo Bob Simmons
Jerry Dodson John Smith
Jim Donovan Barry Steele
Joe Eckel Robert Stewart
Bob Fletcher John Thomas
Ken Forrestal James Wardle
Scott Gray Larry Wiggins
Tony Gunder Mike Wolfgram
Fred Hargrove Robert Brown, Mgr.
Wilbur Ingram Dennis Hammel, Mgr.
Otis Johnson Richard Pamer, Mgr.
Sterlie Jones John Kalan
James Rubertino, Mgr.

 
At 11:13 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Tom,

Thanks for this fantastic post. Though I was only 9 years old in 1966 I remember going to the games at Shaw Field. Of course we walked to the games...we lived next to Kirk Jr. High so it seemed like a long walk.

I know some people who posted here are upset that Kirk was torn down a few years ago. But I have to say that when I attended Kirk in 1969-70 it was pretty beat up inside. The exterior looked wonderful but inside it was becoming a rat hole. The students in East Cleveland need great educational facilities and old Kirk had to go.

Come back again,

J.D. Fisher

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Barry_Downs@comcast.net said...

Tom Bailey's narrative inspires the Mighty Cardinal deep inside me. In fact, after reading a few lines and skimming through the rest of his well-composed piece, I minimized the page, went to youtube.com and started some appropriate background music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XKGhG0W0LQ

Then I returned and started over reading Tom's valuable contribution, with the Main Theme from the movie "Where Eagles Dare". Whoa, what a rush.

We were and ARE the Mighty Cardinals, the Executioners, having the best in-your-face athletic teams for such a small (smallest in the LEL)school's teams, not to mention Shaw generating scholars: many going on to become doctors, academics and captains of industry.

Let me point out that, in a world on fire, with an unpopular war in Asia, racial and social strife in our land, and the accelerating deterioration of moral values around the world and in our culture, Shaw, and, on a larger scale, East Cleveland, were havens of relative harmony and tranquility.

Hopefully, Tom's thoughts will inspire us all to put together a few paragraphs and reach out to our fellow Cardinals with our memories through this blog. The words need not be profound or witty, but just letting us know you're out there.

On that note, I'll take a chance on my memory to write, here, the lyrics to the Shaw School Song, written by S. Robert Fraser, our director of music for so many years:

Sing with praise to old Shaw High School. Glorify her name.

Through the halls of school day victories, Shaw has won her name.

While at war with grim defeat, she learned to play the game.

Sing with praise to old Shaw High School. Glorify her name.

 
At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Michael Montgomery said...

Jim,

Thanks for this great link into the experiences we all remember from our years in East Cleveland. My name is Mike Montgomery—Shaw High class of 1966.

I am particularly grateful to Tom Bailey for sending me your post. I have fond memories of Tom’s family (brothers John and Ted, along with his cousin, Fran and their grandparents—the Bakers, and him mom, Ruth). They lived on Speedway Overlook, right around the corner from our home, on Carlyon Road.

I would also like to recognize the writings of Steve Spithas. His reflections of the demographic changes in East Cleveland were excellent.

Note: my posting is rather lengthy; however, I just got started and could hardly stop

First, I want to recall the wonderful memories that all of us have from our days in East Cleveland. But later, I also want to add to the conversation surrounding race relations. I hope you will find my perspectives to be helpful.

Among the wonderful memories I have of East Cleveland are:

•Koenig’s Sporting Goods store (located in the small shopping mall at Euclid and Superior)
•Little League and Pony League baseball teams. In Pony League, I played on the Edwards team in the early 1960’s. I recall the stars of our league at that time included Pat Visci and Robin Caputo (a great pitcher and catcher combo from that era). Of course, what sport was it for which Pat Visci did not excel?
•I recall ‘East Cleveland Day’ at Euclid Beach. That was always a great time. From a personal perspective, Edwards played the Fire Department Pony League team for the game-of-the-day at Euclid Beach in 1961. I came to bat as a pinch-hitter facing Pat Visci, who was pitching for Fire. I hit a double, and almost nothing else I ever did in sports until I played for the great Shaw High Cardinals varsity football team was ever as satisfying as that hit.
•Whippy’s ice cream stand near the intersection of Eddy Road at Pattison Park.
•Football, basketball and baseball games at Shaw High.
•Great high school sports STARS of my era included (and please forgive any misspelling of last names), the fabulous Melvin Carter, Pat Visci, Bruce Matte, Fred Klause, Bobby Allen, Bob Simmons, Ed ‘Bobcat’ Williams (basketball), Clayton Burroughs, Mike Malick, Madison Nimmons, Mike Petrozello, Buddy Shultz, Joe Jenkins, Van Tyus, Don Kennedy (baseball), Fred Rothaermel, Milt Bly, Billy Hampton (swimming), Benny Goodwin (a great shot-put and discus man), Henry Goodwin (track), David Ware (track),
•Shaw stadium on Friday nights
•The East Cleveland public library (an outstanding local library for any community)
•Dances at Korb Center.
•Rick Biagiola (drummer with the “Outsiders” who performed ‘Time Won’t Let Me”. Of course, Rick was from East Cleveland. He was in my (1960) class at Rozelle Elementary School
•Nela Florist. For years, they would get me out of hot water—long after I left home for college and my career—by delivering perfect flowers to my mother and grandmother on special days like Mother’s Day.
•Pete Patrone’s Tux shop on Euclid Avenue
•School plays of our day, such as ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and “Bye-Bye Birdie”
•Driving through Nela Park to enjoy Christmas lights
*Watching 'the King and His Court'--a four man professional softball team that took on full 9-10 man teams-at Shaw Stadium. The 'King' would pitch between his legs from second base.

A Brief History of Early Race Relations in East Cleveland:

I am certainly not presenting myself as an expert on the early history of race relations in East Cleveland; however, I have a perspective that may be helpful for this conversation. Suffice to say that East Cleveland, today, is not as wonderful as it was in 1966.

And, the reason had to do with a severe decline in the socio-economic condition of the community—rather than purely a reflection of race.

When my family moved into East Cleveland in the summer of 1959, we were among the first 4-5 black families to reside in the community. For us, our home at 1152Carlyon Road was the first home we owned.

Among the other families who moved into East Cleveland that year included (and these are the names of the kids who went to school with me), Marion Turner, Mike Wilson, Van Tyus, Parker Jones, Barbara Powell, Aaron and Charles Wheeler, Cornelius Smith and Linda Davidson. I am sure there may have been a few other black families from that year, but these are the people whom I recall.

Over the next several months, the Bailey-Baker, Redmond, Raby, Watts, Simmons, McCurdy, and Gibson families would soon join us.

The clear example of continuity that I recall from these early (black) families was that we all had extremely thoughtful, hard working parents. Indeed, our home-life was just like every other thoughtful, hard working parent from among our white friends.

My grandmother, for instance, who lived with us, was the first black women to graduate from Western Reserve University. Indeed, she worked for the General Accounting Office in downtown Cleveland.

Marion Turner’s dad (Dr. John Turner) was a professor of Social Work at Western Reserve, and went on to become Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill) in the 1980’s.

Sharon and Drew Raby’s dad was an officer in the US Navy. Tom Bailey’s grandfather was one of the hardest working men I knew. He worked for Fisher Body for nearly forty years. And Vera Jackson’s dad was a supervisor at his company, and had been an original member of the Canton Bulldogs professional football team.

In other words, we were just nice kids from nice families—without exception.

On the night we moved into our home on Carlyon Road, the windows were shot-out by our next door neighbor. And, there were taunts by some (kids and adults) as we went to school or to East Cleveland stores.

John Bailey and I were told—as we went to the Shaw --Hayden theatre one Saturday that ‘Negro kids were not welcomed’.

The tactic of ‘Block Busting’ began in earnest in the early 60’s whereby white families was ‘scared into selling their homes’—by disreputable real estate salespeople—for fear of ‘property values declining as Negro families moved in’; thus, the introduction of WHITE FLIGHT.

But, from 1959-1966, we also had wonderful white friends, and enjoyed a great education along with them. I am sure that I will miss many names by starting a list; however, these are some of the white students whom I recall to have been particularly supportive as we traveled into the uncharted waters of integration in the 1960’s: Pat Preston, Pat Visci, Lauren Visci, Jed Morrison, Mickey McNeil, Fred Rothaermel, Gary Bondi, Angelo Minardo, Dale Davies, Mike Wolfgram, Dick Frasier, Linda Leibert, Pete Nasvytis (who would come to Pattison Park and play basketball—as the only white kid on the court), Dale Davis, Beth Nicholson, Al Taddeo, Pat Taddeo, Ben Bagley, Sandra Carter, John Christie, Martha Hollister, Ralph Kelsey, Kathryn Krause, Gayle Posatire, Susan Riedel, Harvey Robertson, Lester Schafle, San Sansavera, Hank Kassigkeit, Barb Bradley, Martha Hollister.

The list of white students who were supportive of community integration is much larger, I am sure. But, forty + years after leaving East Cleveland, it is the aforementioned names that stick out to me. I am sure other black students could add to this list.

And, I know that many white students could add to this list of both black and white friends who stood out during these early days of integration.

It would be unnecessary and even impertinent for me list white students from the early to mid-sixties who exhibited hateful tendencies toward integration. Moreover, I don’t want to identify the names of black kids from the late 1960’s and 70's who were equally mean and did everything to wreck the promise of a wonderfully integrated community.

Rather, it is appropriate after all of these years to note some who stepped out of their ‘comfort zone’ and simply embraced these new (black) fellow students.

It may be that some of these students came to their point of acceptance after weighing their role on ‘the other side of the question’; while others may have walked into their new friendships with immediate acceptance. The important thing is that they came. And black kids from the early-to-mid-1960’s welcomed our new friends.

It should be remembered that times would soon become difficult, and challenges would quickly emerge to test the resolve of our new friendships. But the aforementioned students hung right in there with all of us.

During the fall of 1960—at Kirk Junior High School, all of us (black and white) were met at the end of a school day, with black effigies hanging from the trees in front of the school. At the time, there were fewer than fifty (50) black kids attending Kirk.

For the rest of my experience as Kirk, teachers and administrators lined the outside area at the end of each school-day to make sure there were no-such further incidents.

But, amidst all of these examples of hatred, black and white students, parents, school administrators and community leaders met and worked extremely hard to reduce tensions and create a nicely integrated community. Clearly, men and women like Dr. John Turner, Leonard Visci (Pat and Lauren’s dad), Henry McCurdy, Charles Williams, Leona Goins (my grandmother), Betty Barbee (my mother), Selman Gamble (one of East Cleveland’s first black teacher-and coaches), Coach Ted Garrison, Grant Apthorp (city manager), Francis Gibson (later East Cleveland’s first black recreation department director), and many others, joined hands in this effort.

In addition—as the months rolled by—black and white students simply began to get along, and we all loved our community and school. In fact, by 1966, it may be argued that East Cleveland was a model-integrated community.

Clearly, anyone who attended Kirk or Shaw during this period of time must recall that sports played a considerable role in bringing the races together. Shaw High School teams, for instance must have fielded the most integrated GREAT teams in the region. In other words, Shaw High teams were outstanding and integrated AT THE SAME TIME.

Can you imagine winning the way we did without names like Visci, Carter, Allen, Tyus, Simmons, Fisher, Rothaermel, Bly, Jenkins, Schultz, and many others?

I went on to play football at Bowling Green State University (until and injury finished my athletic career). I recall BGSU coaches and players offering kudos about the football techniques that Bob Simmons, Allen Bailey and I demonstrated; all three of us were products of the great Shaw High athletic program. Of course, this went straight back to the outstanding coaches from our Shaw High Years—led by men like Don Drebus, Norm McVicker, and Rudy Libertini.

And they were later joined by men like Selma Gamble and Ted Garrison; both of whom had been All Mid-American Conference football and basketball players, respectively.

I wonder how many of us have seen the film Remember the Titans, staring Denzel Washington, and thought of our own Shaw High teams of the mid-late sixties.

And, as the next few years rolled by, other sets of athletes (both black and white) continued the tradition of integrated excellence in sports. Names like Tony Gunder, Mike Petrozello, Ernie Jackson, Sterlie Jones, Early Jones, Terry McCurdy, Barry Steele, Tom Bailey, Garnett Young, Daryl Allen, Ralph Payton, Norman Patterson and Cortez Brown,

Also, we were receiving an outstanding education in the East Cleveland Public School System. Clearly, our studies—from elementary school, through Kirk Jr. High and completed at Shaw High, prepared us for the rigors of any post-high school job of university.

By 1966, therefore, East Cleveland’s racial (as well as socio-economic) demographics were stable and healthy. It was a wonderful time for all.

A Warning of Things to Come:

But, bubbling just below the surface was a dynamic that would go on to tear up the entire community. Across the nation, jobs were being lost, crime was rising, racial tensions were building and nerves were becoming frayed.

The quest to integrate, led by such leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been embraced by nearly all members of the black community, and was increasingly supported by thoughtful members of the white community.

But, the emergence of the black power movement, and the appeal of violence as a race-relations tactic was gathering steam. These were elements of dealing with the question of race that nearly all members of the East Cleveland community (at that time) rejected immediately. But riots in Watts, Newark, Detroit and elsewhere were attracting young men whose mission was clearly different.

The summer of 1966, for instance, witnessed race riots reaching the City of Cleveland. And, white families, while most having become used to—perhaps even happy with—the racial mix in East Cleveland, were becoming increasingly disturbed by circumstances that were emerging just next door (both literally and figuratively). Of course, East Cleveland is immediately adjacent to the City of Cleveland.

From a real estate purchasing perspective, more and more black families FROM THE CITY OF CLEVELAND—were becoming concerned about their own safety and well being. As a result, literally hundreds of black families began looking toward East Cleveland (and other near-in-suburbs) as ‘safe havens’ for their own families.

Most of these families were simply looking for a better life, and likely even wanted to fully embrace the notion of being part of a quality-integrated community.

But, as the numbers of black families began to swell among the ranks of people living in East Cleveland, white East Clevelander’s became increasingly concerned—and even disturbed.

As more black families moved in— more white families moved out.

Then, a phenomenon that continues to be studied by sociologists and demographers began to take place. The socio-economic stratification among many of the newer black families in East Cleveland (by the late 60’s and early 70’s) did not reflect the same characteristics as nearly all of the early black families who had settled into the community.

As the ‘third wave’ of black families began to enter East Cleveland and its school system, many of them brought along a set of interactive interests that were much more confrontational. Indeed, I recall numerous instances—as reported by my parents and other black families of that time—of young black students (boys and girls) using extremely mean language, picking fights (among themselves as well as with white students),and creating a clear atmosphere of distrust and dislike.

Indeed, a degree of ‘fear’ began to set-in among many of the black families in East Cleveland that their-own enjoyment of a safe, clean community replete with great schools and friendly neighbors was in jeopardy; this time, by less-well-off fellow members of the black community, whose mantra was much more confrontational than conversational.

And so it was, from the late 60’s and continuing through the 1970’s white families continued to leave East Cleveland in droves; however, their departure was joined by significant numbers of East Cleveland’s earliest black families as well.

It was a common reflection of these times among several black East Clevelander’s that ‘this was not was we signed-up for’. In fact, not since the windows in our home had been shot-out in 1959 (by a white man) had my family feared for their lives as much as they were experiencing when young black-ruffians and thugs patrolled the streets.

As the years went by, all of the worst results of a socio-economic transformation of a community took place in East Cleveland. Crime increased on an annually basis, residents with less disposable income were not taking proper care of their properties, homes that were once the pride of a neighborhood may, in many cases, be resided in by renters who did not bring with them the pride of home ownership, students (for various reasons) were not doing well in school; the reasons why, of course, are discussions that could be debated forever; property values plummeted; and the general feeling of a wonderful community was being destroyed before our very eyes.

My brother, Stephen, entered Kirk Jr. High School in 1969. He was a small young man, for his age, and extremely kind. This made him an easy target to bullies—this time among black students—on a daily basis. His walk to-and-from Kirk became a daily adventure in survival.

By 1970, we decided that Kirk and Shaw—were not the places for Stephen. Therefore, he was transferred to Lutheran East, and later St. Ignatius. He was extremely happy with the change, and so were we.

Stephen and his wife and children now live in Bedford Heights, and he almost never even drives through East Cleveland, as a result of his terrible memories of being harassed on an almost daily basis.

By the early 1980’s we had enough. Even though I had long since moved from East Cleveland, my mother and grandmother still remained, vowing to hang on to the home that they had wanted their entire lives. When my grandmother died in 1982, we decided that it was pass-time for my mother to move. Moreover, she was being threatened—on a regular basis—by passing groups of young people while sitting on her own front porch.

She still loved East Cleveland enough to be happy with her new surroundings in a senior citizens residence near First Presbyterian Church of East Cleveland. But, she never wondered out on her own again.

So, here we are in 2009 with an East Cleveland that not only doesn’t look like it was in 1966, but does not reflect the level of safety and community enjoyment that it once enjoyed.

To be fair, there are some positive stories that have come out of East Cleveland in the past few years. I think we are all proud of the Shaw High marching band that performed in China in 2008, and while some older homes have continued to be well maintained, some newer homes have been built as well.

In my lifetime, I have lived in four absolutely outstanding neighborhoods:

•An integrated working-class neighborhood in Cleveland (in the mid-1950’s)
•East Cleveland (in the mid-1960’s)
•A nearly all-white professional neighborhood in Ithaca, New York (early 1980’s)
•A nearly all-black professional neighborhood in North Carolina.(mid 1980s)

In each of those situations, there were degrees of commonality that were reflected in each of those communities: thoughtful and kind neighbors; excellent schools; safe communities; well-maintained homes and yards; wonderful recreational and commercial outlets; a welcoming attitude toward diverse visitors and neighbors.

I have not lived in the Greater Cleveland area for nearly forty years. But, a bit of irony was presented to me during a conversation with a real estate broker in 2006. That year, I was considering a return to the area, and asked a real estate broker to show me several homes that I had selected. Among them were some gorgeous homes in the Terrace Road, Forest Hills Park-area of East Cleveland.

These homes, by their photograph and description, would have been ‘untouchable dream homes’ for my family in the early 1960’s. But, given a good life, I was in a position to afford any of them.

The neighborhood I was considering was beautiful, and the homes were all immaculate. Moreover, I was pleasantly surprised that the prices were really not that bad—particularly compared to other parts of the country.

But the real estate broker said—“I think you would be much happier in another neighborhood. Please let me show you some homes in several other nice communities on the east side of Cleveland”.

I asked why, and she said—“it’s quite simple, East Cleveland used to be a lovely community in the 1960’s; however, currently I don’t think it offers the type of safety, quality of life, schools and friendliness that your family will want”. This, of course, is being said to a black man, who knows something about the point from which she is referring.

Thanks, Jim, for setting up your site. This has been a great opportunity for me to read everyone’s reflections, as well as share mine.

Mike Montgomery

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Mike,

Wow! That was an outstanding analysis of the forces behind the eventual troubles for East Cleveland. I learned many new things from it and especially appreciate your perspective as one of the earlier black families to integrate into East Cleveland.

We'd love to hear more from you and your brother. He attended Kirk about the same time as me.

Sorry it took so long to post your article. I was traveling this week and got to it this morning.

Jim

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger RickiLynn said...

I have just read Mike's post on race relations in East Cleveland and it brings back strong sad memories.

We moved to Rozelle Ave when I was 4 year old (Lester Schafel and his family were very close to my family). Later one of my closest friends was Barb Powell (I hope you are out there Barb). I once had a party and Barb didn't think she should come. If I recall - my Mom called her Mom and Barb did come but it was one of my first exposures to a dynamic that I didn't understand.

Then - years later - I remember my Dad telling us that it was too dangerous to walk home from Euclid Avenue at night anymore. He instilled an irrational fear in me that unfortunately remained and which I probably still have to some degree.

My Mom recently passed last Dec. She gave me so many postive values and strengths but I grew up with so many conflicting emotions.

Thanks Mike for your thoughts about those days. Also the positive memories - I had forgotten about Whippys!!

Ricki - 67'

 
At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shaw gang! This is Ralph Kelsey, SHS 66. It is really great hearing what everyone has to say. I will try to post my own recollections.

The reunions that Ackim Van Klavern (67) organizes are great. I have been to two and had a great time. Try to come. He and his old gang do lots of other stuff all the time.

I live in Athens, Ohio, currently teaching Computer Science, and still playing a little basketball.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger David said...

This is David Chamberlain, who lived up the street from you on Rosemont from 1967-'69.

I keep seeing my name in your writing, JD, and I finally found my way here. I was "WILFing" (What was I Looking For).

The last time I was there, the old Kirk Jr. High was in the process of being torn down. That was probably 2002. I got pix with nothing left standing but the center section with the tower.

The comments have gotten too long to read them all, so this might be a repeat, but one of my favorite memories of the walk back from school was Nana's Pizza... we could get a slice of pizza and a soda for 35 cents. I think I usually got Hillbilly Juice or Cactus Cooler to drink.

David Chamberlain
david_chamberlain2005@yahoo.com

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

David,

Thanks for checking in and posting your comment. This one little story has gotten an amazing number of comments.

Remember our gang, the blended whiskeys? 2 blacks, 2 whites? So funny to think back about that.

Too bad about Kirk Jr. High. It looked handsome from the outside but inside it was falling apart even when we were there! The kids in E.C. needed a new facility.

I hope you get a chance to read all the comments. They are really well thought out and bring back plenty of memories.

See ya on Facebook,

Jim

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi Jim! This is Jan Alvarez -I grew up on Vassar and Mt. Union, went to Superior, Kirk and Shaw. My mother, believe it or not, stayed right there on Mt. Union until her death in July 2005. Bill Brucken sent me your blog. So fun to read, what memories! Royal Castle, Tobin Page drugstore, Jack's Donuts, Lums at the corner of my street. What a fun place it was when I was kid, and such a shame what it's turned into. My high school years weren't very good there, but the younger years were great! If anyone here knows, I've always wondered what happened to Dean Hill & Elaine Psihountas (sp). They were so awesome in theater and I always wondered if it lead anywhere. I'm in touch still with some of my HS friends-Chris & Bev Banning, Kathy Peters, Theresa Keeling, Lois Adams, Bill Brucken, Rosie Danielson, Tanya Mullins - Janet Hardy passed a few years ago, as did Doug McDougal. Anyway, going t keep reading, this is a great blog!!

 
At 2:16 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi Jim! What a fun blog! Bill Brucken forwarded this to me - this is Jan Alvarez. I grew up on Vassar & Mt. Union, I left EC when I was 17, but my mom stayed on Mt. Union right up until she died in 2005. My HS years weren't good there, but as a kid, it was such a great place to grow up! Royal Castle, Lums on the corner of my street, Superior shopping center..I'm still in touch with some from HS - Rosie Danielson, Bill Brucken, Theresa Keeling, Lois Adams, Kathy Peters, Chris & Bev Banning, Marlea Ainger - Janet Hardy passed a few years ago, as did Doug McDougal. I talked to Mary Taddeo, Debbie Wetzel, Mike Martnick a few years ago - we rented a hall & had a little get-together. Going to keep reading, this is a great blog, I love it!

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi Jim, Loved the pics of Forest Hills Park!! It brought back so many memories of skating and sledding there, the time I went down the side of the big hill & only a tree stopped me from going out into Forest Hills Blvd. haha I was still through that neighborhood a lot until 2006 after my mom died, sold her house & haven't been able to bear to go back since. She took such good care of her house. Now the neighbor tells me the man who bought it rented it out, they wrecked it & there it sits, just another abandoned EC home. I would like to still see some of our neighbors, really nice people, but we talk on the phone, as I can't bear to see the house now. I'm in Lake County now, as many from EC are. No-one who didn't grow up there understands what it was like, so I'm really enjoying this walk down memory lane :) My email address is searayj310@aol.

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi - Jan Alvarez again. Just finished reading through all the comments. So many names I recognize! I remember Mike Galambush very well..tried to email the address he posted here, but it came back :) I saw Margaret Billington mention Ann Horkey-Margaret, you must know my sister Shirley-she was good friend with Ann also. When I was 9 or 10, my mother made me get rid of my puppy & we gave it to Ann. Selma Gamble, the guidance counselor at Shaw - I loved him!! I've thought of him often over the years. My father died in '70, & I'll never forget how supportive & kind Mr. Gamble was. Chris Mates, I had a crush on Tim. lol Barry Downs, he used to push my brother Rick in the bushes a lot. hahaha Mary Cala, Stu Schuyler, Tina Segulin, Ruth Fagerberg, Sue Wild, I was friends with all of them. Mike Bolger, I was good friends with his sister, Sharon. Nick Rubertino, I was good friends with John & Toni Rubertino. Ricky Nero & Mary Taddeo, I talked to Mary a few years ago, still together, married, after all these years. Cathy Greathouse, Ranae Barr. It was so nice seeing all these names & all these posts. A lot of the people that have posted would remember my brothers, Rick & Bob & my sister, Shirley. Rick passed away in 1994 at the age of 44. I'm going to keep checking back here for new posts, I'm thoroughly enjoying this! One note regarding the race relations, the black family next door to my mother, the Shaws, moved in when I was 10 years old, in 1964. The daughter, Toni, & I were best friends from day one, & still are to this day. My mom lived there until she died in 2005 & Toni & her father Albert took such good care of her, looked after her...I sat Toni in the front row with family at the funeral & introduced her to people as my sister, which raised some eyebrows lol but in my mind, she is my sister. The O'Neals 2 doors down from my mother's on Mt. Union who moved in around the same time, are as close as family. The reason for this, I believe, was that I and no-one in my family had any prejudice. I was friends with everyone, regardless of color. Sadly, it wasn't that way for all & prejudice & hatred destroyed what could have been. Some of the black kids were prejudiced & gave me a bad time & beat me up at Shaw, but I had just as many black friends. I did end up leaving school in 1970 without graduating when a group of black girls got me in the bathroom with a broken bottle & threatened to cut my face up. At that time, it was very confusing to me why someone would hate me so much based on nothing but the color of my skin. It is a shame that it had to be that way, when EC could have been & could still be a wonderful little community.
On another note, when I was cleaning out my mother's house, I was lugging stuff out to the treelawn, heart breaking, & I just sat down in the middle of the driveway, crying. A black girl I'd never seen before walking up the street stopped & said "hi, are you okay? Can I help you carry stuff out?" I thought that was awesome. Driving through there always made me so sad... I'm grateful to have grown up there & I wouldn't trade it for anything.

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi Jim, Jan Alvarez again - was just talking with my sister Shirley & she remembers when the National Guard was in - she said it was '65 or '66? I can't believe I don't remember one thing about that - it's a blank - I would've been 11 or 12, I certainly should remember it. She said my dad would go to Mr. Donut & get bags of donuts and cups of coffee & she would drive around with him passing out coffee & donuts to the NG guys. She even remembered one of the guardsmen's name - Oak Underwood. I'm going to have to wrack this old brain, I don't remember a thing about this!

 
At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm grateful to have grown up there & I wouldn't trade it for anything. this sums up how most people i know feel about east cleveland! chris mates

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi Chris, I agree! There were some really, really good times there. Is your brother Tim Mates? I knew him at Shaw.

 
At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!! I tripped over this blog accidentally and I'm just overwhelmed with memories. Hope that you are still keeping it going. This is the infamous Gianni Gianguzzo (now Bertolone), whose name was a nightmare for nearly every teacher I ever had at Prospect, Mayfair, Chambers, Kirk and Shaw. I'm a proud Cardinal, class of '71. So many names and places I remember. I have had the best time reading this blog. Sad to hear about the folks who are no longer living. Occasionally run into or hear about people from EC. Would love to hear from anyone who knew me! Still in the Cleveland area. Lived in EC until 1978, then Cleveland Hts until 2002 and now in Solon. I'll keep checking back to help me remember how it used to be :-)

Gianni/gbertoloneus@yahoo.com

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,
What a great website, it brought back a lot of neat memories. This is Corinne Marcovy - we were in class together from kindergarten to third grade (I think). I remember running into you at Kent State. I am still in contact with Donna VanPelt, she will enjoy this site, too. I lived on Stanwood, saw Jeff Conway responded, along with the Rubertino's, Rothaas', Debevec's, Cook's, Shade's. The store at the end of Stanwood was Pick and Pay and the little deli was Ward's Delicatessen. My house was bought up by the school system in 1970 and torn down, it now is the new board of education site. I went to Christ the King in 7th grade, then my family moved to Mayfield. My brother and sister both graduated from Shaw, Debbie in 1968 and Tim in 1970. Keep up the good work with the site, it is a nice remembrance. Oh and Donna Brucken and Yukiko Tani, it was really wonderful to read your comments.

 
At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi jan! yes my brother is tim. he lives out east, still in ohio. stopher1957@gmail.com is my email chris mates

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!
Donna VanPelt here! What a blast from the past!! Corry Marcovy sent this to me and I was amazed at all the memories it stirred up! It will take me awhile to get through all the blogs, but it is so much fun reading them! Thanks for the memories!

 
At 12:20 AM, Blogger Jan said...

Hi Chris! Will send you an email - I remember Tim very well. And Gianni!!! How are you?? I got together with some friends from high school today (Ron & Theresa Keeling, Lois Adams, Lynn "Pixie" Gibbs & Mike Rubertino) - when I got home I pulled out a yearbook I had from 1969 - I see Margaret Billington has posted on here - you were a senior, Margaret, and I was a freshman that year. We're hoping to get a bunch of people together to all meet up, & it looks like we may find a lot of you right here!

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Linda LaRiche said...

Hey Jim, My brother Tim LaRiche just called to let me know that Brian Wood, class of 1965 passed away and was pictured in the Plain Dealer obituaries Friday, 8-21. Linda LaRiche Fowler

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous June Boudreau Print said...

Barry, I went to Chambers and had your father for my homeroom and science teacher. He is the reason I teach 6th grade science now. He also was musically talented and wrote a sone I sang for the xmas program. I will always remember him.

June Boudreau print

 
At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Barry_Downs@comcast.net said...

To June Bordreau: June, I'm sure Barry - and his dad Stanton Downs - would be very proud from your post. I'm sorry to say that Barry died on October 5, 2009 after an acute illness. I've been his wife for the past ten years and I can't tell you how devastating this has been. Please feel free to post memories of him.

 
At 10:29 PM, Anonymous June Boudreau Print said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your husband Barry's passing. I did not know him at all, only his father. I can tell he was a special person. My sincerest sympathies go out to you.

 
At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean Marie,

So sorry to hear about Barry. Carol and I so enjoyed seeing the two of you close to a year ago. The afternoon that we spent touring Lourdes College and having lunch was a special day. Barry and I shared so many memories. I had such a great time. Our best to you. God bless!

Dale Lanigan

 
At 2:36 AM, Anonymous Dan said...

Jim - I was amazed when I tried looking up Kirk Jr. High on the web and just got a couple classmates.com hits, and your blog. That was it. Where did everybody go, indeed. I was a kid then too, and my family lived on Caledonia, right next to the elementary school, in front of the ravine that is so memorable to me. I used to get teased for being late to homeroom or class, even though I had a far shorter trip to and from home. It was great to be able to go home for lunch and watch King Leonardo cartoons or the Little Rascals, and then right after school the old Dark Shadows soap opera. We would go back to school and talk about things after lunch, since everyone was often watching the same shows. ( We only had three channels to choose from, after all, as you probably remember. ) I eventually went to Kirk Jr. High and was also in a club called "Gray-Y" that would sometimes have overnights at the YMCA. I was surprised to see Shaw and Kirk are no more. And it looks like our old house next to the Caledonia school might be gone too. I looked at the street using Google streetview camera and it was hard to tell. Looked like a lot of construction going on. Fences around the ravine on the Dresden side, too ! Ha. We didn't need no stinking fences. I smiled at the posted references to the old Royal Castle restaurant. On Euclid up towards Noble Rd. was also the J and J hobby shop, where we used to go to buy cards and candy and model kits for the Universal monsters we saw on Ghoulardi's TV show. I ran into the son of Big Chuck ( partner of Houlihan ) one day and he looked just like him ! We were both at the Chicago comic book convention, I think. That took me back. I used to buy my comics on Noble at Stonebreaker's drug store or Washington's. I remember when Fisher Foods changed from Fisher into Fisher-Fazio and then just plain Fazio. We actually had fresh milk delivered to our house by a guy in a truck from the "Hillside Dairy", also located on Noble, I think. There was a little door that opened to the driveway from our back door or kitchen area. You could get into the space inside from both directions, and so the milkman would leave the milk in there and we'd open up the door from our side and find bottles of it sometimes, waiting for us. Looking at the map, I'm surprised that I hadn't realized how close to the lake we were. I was young enough - that on my few trips to Euclid Park Amusement Park in the cars of older people - I guess I didn't notice. I recognized the name, over that way on the map, of Collinwood, because I remember we used to play them in sports rivalries. I've tried tracking down old friends from those days, but only found two. A girl that I used to have a crush on, that now lives not far from me in Chicago, was one of them. Ross Snyder, Steve Eva, Tom Quallman and Gary Davis, where are you now ? I called Sterling ( Stirling ? ) Wilson up one night and got his wife on the line. He was out. He had an unusual enough name that I was able to locate him on the web. I knew I had the right Sterling because she said he was the drummer I remembered. He had never left Cleveland, apparently. His wife asked if I wanted to leave a message but I told her that I wanted to surprise him. Then I misplaced the number. Thanx for the old pix. I still have dreams of the old days. I'll be back in Kirk remembering my early times there. The Washburn twins turned up in Hudson later, where we moved to from Cleveland, at the end of 7th grade. I don't think they remembered me, though. I ran into mark Paine and Ricky Kurshman at Bowling Green University. And Joanne Mauser too ! I saw Barb Kennedy years later at a party Gair Linhart was throwing. Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end....

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Debevec here. 1963 in Mrs Beasley's class. Had Mrs Brindza in 4th grade, then the totally amazing Mr. Whelan.

Jim, I truly appreciate this blog. I came across it while searching for background on a college essay I'm writing about innocence and race in the mid sixties. Hi Corinne! I've seen so many names here I remember from back then.

Let me tell a different story:
My parents did not move until after I graduated from Shaw in 1974. However, after 6th grade they sent me to St. Louis up in Cleveland Heights (a Catholic school, although I'm not Catholic.) I took the bus up Mayfield or walked. The school was a block away from Severance Mall, the kids were more upwardly mobile than down there on Stanwood Road, and I was lost for two years. I wasn't from their neighborhood and I wasn't from mine any more either.
In 9th grade I was sent back to Shaw. Remember when Mom and Dad made the decisions and you didn't question it? Kind of like that.
Shaw was about 90% black when I was a freshman and there were very few whites left by the time I graduated. Don Visci was one of them; his dad was still the head of the Board of Ed. My sister dated his brother Pat back in the day. I do wonder where he is now.
Anyway, I learned many things at Shaw, almost all of them good. I think very few things can compare to being such a minority. I will always be grateful to MS Shaheed, my American History teacher. She was Black Muslim and gave me a unique understanding of many events in our history. I also remember Ms Richey, the choir teacher. I still sing in choral groups wherever I live. And Ms Charnas, the drama teacher. She expected a lot from us, and when I was onstage in "The Raisin in the Sun" and working backstage in "Fiddler on the Roof," I experienced many memories that other folks from the neighborhood never had the opportunity to have.
Was it scary? Sometimes, yes. A teacher was shot in my junior year. There were fights.(but weren't there horrible fights at Shaw and Collinwood between whites when we were kids?) Contrary to some urban legends, there were not a mess of drugs or violence at the school. East Tech became our biggest rival, we had a heck of a marching band and an AAU swim team that taught neighborhood kids to swim and took them to Washington DC to compete.
Yes, there was racism. But by that time, it was pretty much over. If you didn't go looking for trouble, you didn't find it. I don't know if school test scores went down but I do know that I explored issues (like aparthied and the Holocaust and slave ships) that I never would have thought of before. I also have fond memories of playing Tonk for lunch money in the chemistry centrifuge room.
The real problem arose when I left for the Air Force after graduation! I hadn't been around that many white folks in a long time! But that's another story.

Pat Debevec Kauffman
oh_ms_ca_co@yahoo.com

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Loisadamskeeling said...

Jim Fisher?? Was you fathers' name Don and did he own a funace co.? Spithas---I know her family, Steve, Jim, and Patty. Father Gus.I grew up in East Cleveland as well. I went to Christ the King, then Shaw. My maiden name was Adams, My first is Lois

 
At 4:45 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Lois,

Thanks for visiting our blog.

I remember Fisher Furnace because they sponsored a Little League team. I played for Rendlesham Insurance.

I was not related to Don Fisher, though I got asked that often.

We would love to hear your comments and reminiscences about growing up in East Cleveland. Please post them when you can.

Thanks,

JIm

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Tony Sawyer, SHS 1964 said...

Hello SHS alumni,
This is a great blog! I saw many familiar names and descriptions of places that I remember, also pictures of Forest Hills park.
The last time I heard from anyone in my class was a reunion in the late 1980’s– I could not attend unfortunately – there were only 100 in my graduating class!
I was a midterm - last class - graduated in January 1964. I played sax in Rhythm Teens and with a small group of musicians from around Cleveland (most out of Cleve Hgts.) We played for dances at Korb Center, and dances at Holy Name, Heights High, bar mitzvahs, and parties. Remember when every 7th dance at Korb Center could be a twist?
Anyone remember Latin classes with Mr. Reynard and Mr. Perlik?
I was a nerd back then. Music, chemistry, and delivering the Cleveland Press were my passions. I lived on Oakhill Road (behind Hazel Rd.), up the hill from Terrace Rd. The Billington’s and then the Serota’s were our next door neighbors
Had chemistry class with Edith Seidman - great teacher. I had dyslexia– undiagnosed back then -- probably still do - so I was not good at taking tests. Elinore Dodge was always beating me at Calculus.
My friend Karl from Hazel Rd. and I played with our chemistry sets. We caused a lot of noise in our neighborhood – the cops always used to patrol our streets after July 4 and Halloween! The neighbors even threatened us! Karl and I reconnected in 1990’s, and we see him and his wife Lisa as often as we can. (They nominated my wife –a VP with 7500 systems engineers reporting to her - to be the guest speaker at the Andrews Osborne school graduation in 2008 – it was neat to see a woman who broke the glass ceiling and my opposite in temperament doing well and being a role model for young women.)
I remember loving the burgers and birch beer in the frosted mugs at RC; also the sauce at Manner's Big Boy. Swimming at Shaw pool, Shaw-Hayden Movie Theater.
Saw many of the racial changes going on, starting at Kirk in 1959-60.
I remember the paddling in shop classes, thin white belts, AAA shoes, sometimes called points, DA’s.
This blog mentions the Outsiders. I left a small dance group out of Heights High in 1963 ( we played at Korb sometimes) to play in the "big" time at the Dove Lounge near 116th and Harvard with a professional rock and roll band - Tom King and the Starfires. I was still at Shaw. A few months later I invited Jimmy Fox (he was 16 then, I was 17) to audition as the drummer when their drummer left. - Jimmy subsequently formed the James Gang in 1969 and played initially in Kent, OH, then went global --- I had lunch with him recently at Corky &Lenny's on Chagrin. He has some great memorabilia from the times when we played together and also has 5 gold albums on his wall! Jimmy invited me to a annual musician’s reunion in 2004 off of SOM Center road at a musician’s house. I saw guys there that I had not seen for 40 years! It was great to introduce my wife to a part of my life that she had no direct exposure to. It was amazing to hear Jim and his band mate Dale Peters jam with both older as well as younger musicians – one drummer who was 16 was impressive. I left the Starfires in 1964 to go to Carnegie Mellon in Pgh. The Starfires became the Outsiders in 1965, just after I left!
I graduated in 1968 with a BS in Chemical Engineering, (it was hard! I should have gone to Case (equally hard) but my folks did not want me to be tempted to play with Tom King, so they paid an exorbitant amount to let me go to CMU instead. I should be thankful to them for their sacrifices. I probably would have had a better time at OSU with their 5 year program and more homogeneous student body.) Got called by the Outsiders in 1966 to tour with the Outsiders after they cut “Time Won’t Let Me”, but the Vietnam draft kept me at school. I would have given anything for playing on tour! One song that we recorded was played on Ghoulardi in 1964!

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,

I happened upon your blog while doing a "what ever happened to..." Google search on Van Tyus, with whom I worked at a sales company, Karilon, in Cleveland when I was in college. The company sold cookware, china etc. for hope chests, through in-home demonstrations to post-high-school age girls. We had some great times. Van Tyus was one of the very best salesmen and a very fine human being. He had a nice yellow Jaguar that all of us thought was about as good as it could get. He was genuinely nice and humble even so. I haven't kept in touch with Van at all, but I think another guy we worked with, Tom Sawyer (Greenfield T. Sawyer), who lives in LA, has kept in touch if you ever want to track down Van.

If you get this, please let me know at eabrill@mindspring.com, since I'm unlikely to be at your blog in the future.

Eric Brill

P.S. I grew up in Broadview Heights, but got to know the whole Cleveland area very well from my job at Karilon.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger toni said...

Jim,I Was Going Throught Google And I Found This..My Family Lived On Stanwood Rd Right Accross From Prospect,Shaw High School..I Remeber Going To The Pool For Swimming,,My Father Was And East Cleveland Cop For 30yrs.I Miss The House i Grew Up In.I Thought That House Was Huge..I Lived At !852 Stanwood rd,,The Name Is Toni(Rubertino)Ramm.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Toni,

Thanks for your comment. I was friends with your brother Nick. He was a lot of fun. How's he doing?

Jim

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger toni said...

Jim, Hi! Toni Here Nick Is Liveing In Eastlake, Ohio Now.He Works For The City Of Eastlake,,I Just Love This Site It Brings Back So Many Memories..I Hope Some Pepole.Keep Posting Here..Has Anyone Found Bob Lucas Or Jeff Conaway,Rosemary Prindel..Please Let Me Know

 
At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Toni Louise How have you been. Jeff Conaway Here living in Mentor on the lake. Thosesure were the days to grow up in East Cleveland

 
At 6:56 PM, Anonymous John Thomas said...

Can't believe I just read all these memories of East Cleveland. Simply love growing up there. My mother taught at Caledonia and my father taught at Kirk. I was raised an East Clevelander and I loved every minute of it. Thanks for the memories, Jim!!!

John Thomas

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger Ruth said...

It's me, Ruth Bacon Phillips 1/11/11
I went to Rozelle, which is now gone, moved to the West Side after 8B.
I remember going around the block (we lived on Pontiac)on my tricycle and some of the kids on the corner of Lakefront and 131 called me the "Jap". It was right after WWII.
I remember Mr Corlette, I think it was science class at Kirk and he gave a test question that I never forgot: Why is a duck? answer: Yes. It was because of him I started to believe in evolution. Later, on, the West Side my neighbor showed me from the Bible that God created the Heavens and the Earth.
I remember Mr. Lange. I don't remember what he taught, but I did like him, he was very nice I thought.
I remember a little ditty from Kirk, which was a take off on the Ipana Toothpaste commercial: "Bucky bucky beaver, chasing after Seaver with his little cleaver, bucky bucky beaver. I don't remember was it Mr. or Mrs. Seaver, I thought it was a math teacher, but it is so long ago.
I remember Mario's Pizza was the best, it was on Hayden between Holyoak and 1st Ave. Tony's Butcher shop and A&P on Hayden.
We used to sleep on the front porch in the summer and played outside till way after dark.
My mom said we moved (1958) because there were 100 known perverts in the 1 square mile from us. When we left there were only 3 to 7 blacks at Kirk. I then went to Wilbur Wright JH and became friends with the few black students that went there. I didn't know what racism really was till I was in my late 30's.
I wish I could find my old friends, Kathy Bolt and Jeanne Ann Torok
Blessings to all

 
At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is John Wong, the son of Jack Wong. We were the Spithas' neighbor on Hastings Ave. from 1966to 1975. Wow, it has been so long ago! I remember Jack's Donuts where I could get an Ice Cube (a small chilled square of chocolate) for 3 cents. I also remember the outdoor ice skating ring (forgot the name). And who could forget the Royal Castle! Growing up eating traditional Chinese food, a hamburger there was absolute heaven! Any one from the Spithas family, please email me at johnwong1@verizon.net. My Dad would love to hear from you (by phone, not on-line). Thanks.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Jeff Bassett.
Jack's Doughnuts. They had the best doughnuts there, and I remember the candy "Ice Cubes" They are hard to find today, and they cost a little more than 3 cents now. The Outdoor ice skating rink was on Shaw Ave. and I think it was either called, or next to Carmon/ Bills?

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous bill cunningham said...

the name of the rink was shaw rink and i ice skated there in the 68-69 and 69-70 seasons.

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous bill cunningham said...

bill cunningham here again, to john wong i knew your sister hundy and i went to prospect and caledonia with her for k-5 until we moved to new york in february 1970.

i lived on the next street at 1818 burnette

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to all. It brings me great joy to read all the great memories you all have shared. I'm new to the east cleveland community. I just recently purchased 1923 rosemont. The community has a long way to go. But I love the idea of all the endless possibilties. My friends think I'm crazy, but I really believe east cleveland can one day offer wonderful memories for my children (don't have any yet) as it has for you. I love the architecture displayed in east cleveland. My house even has a library. And to top it off I was able to buy it cash. So let my friends laugh. I'm up for the challenge. First I will change my community then maybe the world!!!! Wish me luck! Your stories are my inspiration.

 
At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Dan Billington said...

Congrats to you who bought 1923 Rosemont - I grew up in that house from year zero to year 18 [1952-1970] w/ my folks and 4 siblings - we drive by the place every couple of years - great house. wonderful memories - maybe I can stop in and visit you?

Dan Billington

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Elliot said...

I am so happy that someone bought 1923 Rosemont, someone who has a dream to make a better world! I am Dan Billington's sister, Margaret, and I was moved to tears when I read your post- please let us know who you are so we can visit and share memories, and hopes for the future of East Cleveland, a truly great city to grow up in. We could share 20 years of pictures of the Billingtons at 1923 Rosemont Rd.
Again, thanks for letting us know our house is in good hands, and I wish you all the best. By the way, my Dad had those bookshelves built to hold his jazz collection on 78 RPMs. (The shelves on the right side) We played a lot of music in that room - Dad played saxaphone, a couple of us played piano, and Pete had a set of drums and he became a real pro. I'd love to hear more about you. Please stay in touch!

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Ross Brankatelli said...

Mr. Jim Fisher and other readers.
March 31, 2011
I am Ross Brankatelli, the City Engineer and Service Director. I am working with the East Cleveland Centennial 1911-2011 committee. We are trying to locate Bill Gaskill or anyone who may have information on the location of the time capsule we think is buried in the basement of East Cleveland City Hall.

If you know of anyone especially someone in their ninties that remembers anything about this time capsule or has an address or phone number for Bill Gaskill, please pass that along, thanks!

E.C. Service Dept = 216-681-2421
E-mail = rbrankatelli@eastcleveland.org

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger David Foley said...

Jim,

Although I don't know you personally, I was deply touched by the sincerity of your blog. I was born in 1966 but my mother was born in East Cleveland on Winward (Wynward?) Road. We have several relatives buried in the tiny East Cleveland Cemetary off Euclid Avenue, I believe. Our family has a history deeply rooted in East Cleveland and I would love to explore it someday.

I thought I had an amazing memory! I can almost feel what you are describing. I grew up in Garfield Heights, one of the places people escaped to in the 1950s, 60's, and early 70's. The homes in Garfield Heights were cookie-cutter, small, and very over-priced, not at all in keeping with the grand architecture of spectacular places like East Cleveland. I find myself longing to 'go home' to Garfield Heights but finding it increasingly uncomfortable to do so. I can empathize with many on your blog.

I hope a reunion materializes for you and your friends/loved ones. We should let time, distance, and in this case...circumstances keep us from the ones we cherish.

Thank you again for a spectacular read.
David

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey guys! i know im irrelevant here,but im am a 1997-present day resident of east cleveland.Even though i experienced EC during hell days i still had fun also. the donut shop you guys are talking about had its name changed to "peter pan's",and was recently closed down for fire and the owner didnt have insurance to rebuild. i also attended the YWCA everyday before and after skool when i attended prospect,and it was just converted to a church. i lived on Wymore Next to Page off of Euclid. i guess before i was even born they got rid of the hayden swimming pool.EC demolished original shaw high and rebuilt a new one about 4 years back (i liked the old shaw more).Over 40% of real estate in EC is foreclosed or abandoned. EC is very drug,gang,and corruption infested which is making it worse. they also rebuilt mayfair elementary. i wish i lived in EC during your era because my era consisted fights, delinquency, and corrupt authority. thanks for your stories i tried to relive them the best way could while reading them.

 
At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey guys! i know im irrelevant here,but im am a 1997-present day resident of east cleveland.Even though i experienced EC during hell days i still had fun also. the donut shop you guys are talking about had its name changed to "peter pan's",and was recently closed down for fire and the owner didnt have insurance to rebuild. i also attended the YWCA everyday before and after skool when i attended prospect,and it was just converted to a church. i lived on Wymore Next to Page off of Euclid. i guess before i was even born they got rid of the hayden swimming pool.EC demolished original shaw high and rebuilt a new one about 4 years back (i liked the old shaw more).Over 40% of real estate in EC is foreclosed or abandoned. EC is very drug,gang,and corruption infested which is making it worse. they also rebuilt mayfair elementary. i wish i lived in EC during your era because my era consisted fights, delinquency, and corrupt authority. thanks for your stories i tried to relive them the best way could while reading them.

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Bob L. Allen said...

Bob L. Allen Class of 67. I went to Mayfair, Kirk, Shaw and Ashland College now Ashland University. I lived on Northfield Ave (Northfield Road was out in Warrensville and Bedford). Did all everyone has talked about. Now living in Southern California. My brother Bill lives out in Chester Township. I hope to return to next reunion. Good Luck to all. Hi Steve Spithas.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Blog, thanks to all. So many memories and good friends. Thanks to Andy Beal for sending this site to us. I lived at 1371 Elwood, off Shaw ave near the fire station and tennis courts. Still married to Cindy Bernier (67) and living in NC. Looking forward to the reunion in 2012. David Laeng email davidlaeng@bellsouth.net

 
At 7:58 PM, Blogger martex16 said...

Jim, I'm a bit older. My name is Marty Pelz and I would have graduated from Shaw in 1969. In fact when people ask where went to school thats what I tell them. I went to Prospect and Superior elementry schools then Kirk and then Shaw for two years and like others have mentioned, when we moved it was culture shock. We moved to Cleve. Hts which isn't that far in distance, but in every other way possible it was different. I was lucky though. Nick Greene, Cecil Mounger and Eric Henkel all from EC moved too so we all hung around together. We never went to any thing Heights related unless they were playing Shaw. We would just hitch down Taylor to get back "home". No one that I have talked to over the years can explain the hold that East Cleveland has on us, I know I can't, but I certainly miss it...still

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

I received a couple of notes from
Ross Brankatelli, City Engineer and Service Director, regarding a time capsule, which was filled in 1961 and is scheduled to be opened this year. If anyone has information regarding its whereabouts, please contact him:

E.C. Service Dept = 216-681-2421
E-mail = rbrankatelli@eastcleveland.org

Also, you can read about the Time Capsule in the following two articles in the Plain Dealer:

http://jdfa.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/time.pdf

http://jdfa.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/time2.pdf

Let's help Rick find the capsule. Talk to your old EC friends and see if they know something. Won't it be great to see what's inside?

Jim

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Sorry, that's Ross, not Rick, from the East Cleveland City Admin.

 
At 7:23 AM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Does anyone have an address and/or phone number for Michael Benz, son of Fran Benz?

Fran was an editor for the East Cleveland Leader, her son Michael Benz accompanied her to a lot of the story-line sites.

We're still trying to track down the time capsule location.

Please send to:
Ross Brankatelli
City Engineer and Service Director
City of East Cleveland
E.C. Service Dept = 216-681-2421
E-mail = rbrankatelli@eastcleveland.org

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger j43t said...

Fran Benz didn't have a son named Michael. Her three sons were Bill, George and Robert.

 
At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Robert Dreifort said...

Jim:
My name is Robert Dreifort. I just discovered your blog while doing some research on East Cleveland history. I have read 20 of the 87 pages of comments and will read the rest soon.

I share many of the memories related by you and your responders. However, I have a slightly different perspective. I am several years older than you. I was at Prospect from 1945 to 1951, Kirk from 1952 to 1954 and Shaw from 1955 to 1958.

Our family lived on the corner of Shaw and Plymouth from 1940 until 1952. We were just a block North of Prospect and Shaw HS. We lived in a three family house and had to move for more space. We wanted to stay in the East Cleveland schools so in 1952 we moved to Nela View, which was in Cleveland Heights but still in the East Cleveland School system.

There were several Dreiforts in the East Cleveland schools. One family of my cousins lived on Hastings and another on Savannah.

When attending Western Reserve University in the early 60s, I did a research project for an Urban Sociology class. It involved interviewing residents of the census tract in East Cleveland adjacent to Glenville. I got to meet many of the new black residents of East Cleveland at that time. They were fine people, but unfortunately they scared the hell out of most of the white folks. At that time only the one census tract was predominantly black. I was very active in efforts to achieve racial integration rather then racial displacement. I again had the opportunity to observe the racial change in East Cleveland in 1968. That year I ran for state legislature in the district which included Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. Tom Braziatis was editor of the East Cleveland Leader at that time. I met him and he gave me a wonderful front page article. In spite of that, I didn't win. I did, however learn a lot about East Cleveland by walking every street knocking on doors and talking to people. By that time the black section of town was about 25% of the land area extending up to or past Superior. That would be about the time you were at Kirk and Shaw.

I am retired now and plan to write about my life growing up in East Cleveland during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. That is an interesting period. I don't think the change could be more dramatic than East Cleveland in 1940 compared with 1970. Since 1970 the trend has been downhill. Later this Summer, I will be taking some young cousins, who grew up in California on a tour of parts of Cleveland that were important to our family including East Cleveland. Unfortunately there is not much there that is the same as it was when their parents and I were growing up.

They say you can't go home. Our memory is that of a child. Things seemed bigger and better then. Thank heaven for our memories.

You can contact me at robert@dreifort.com. Our family history is at Dreifort.com.

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Halena said...

I am Helen Klodetsky(Petruziello) I have been trying to locate John Hicks that taught at Shaw when I was there and graduated 1967. Does anyone have any information on where his whereabouts are? PLease e-mail me if you do at luckydec@yahoo.com
Thank, and hello to all my Cardinals!

 
At 3:26 PM, Anonymous liz (penny holmes) hanna said...

Sadly left in 1968 and have watched from the suburbs as this once wonderful community has disintegrated into chaos. but my how the memories remain of halloween, friday night football, shaw pool and wonderful neighborhoods

 
At 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone -
Thank you for these poignant memories!

I taught at Rozelle Elem in the late 1980's. The lives of most of my kids were difficult and complex. I was young & naive enough to think I could change things for the better if I worked hard enough.

There were some parents who took good care of their kids & homes; some of the others still haunt me.

I just wanted you to know this old teacher still prays for your city & the people who live there.
Thanks for reading this & God bless!

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved Loved Loved growing up in East Cleveland!
Don't forget the Frosty Shop on Hayden Ave, Mary's Sweet Shop and wearing Middies at Shaw and after getting out of the Shaw Hayden show (which we paid 25 cents to get in) we would walk up to Jovanni's pizza shop on Euclid Avenue. Thanks for the article and the memories...Kathy Petrello (Kormos)

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to talk about some of the SOUNDS one could hear in East Cleveland fifty-some years ago, such as:

*Nickel Plate steam locomotives speeding freight trains through the city at 50 mph, totally killing the soundtrack of any television show you might have been watching.

*Hearing the roar coming from Shaw Stadium during the Collinwood game, and even hearing the crowd chanting "Mar-i-o, Mar-i-o" to encourage SHS's great kicker.

*The squeal of wheels on the CTS rapids as they turned in the loop at Windermere as they were put away after evening rush hour.

*Lying in bed on certain mornings and hearing the automatic fog horns blowing on Lake Erie (!) to warn ships.

*Hearing the sixth-graders being "clapped out" by all the younger students and teachers when the school year ended in June.

*Passing the Hruby Conservatory of Music and hearing the sounds of trumpets, violins, or clarinets coming from inside as another generation of musicians learned their art.

*The distinctive sound of a baseball bat hitting the street pavement on a summer's day as neighborhood kids played in front of their houses.

*The beautiful, first-rate music coming from the SHS Rhythm Teens; also the Sousa marches played by the Shaw Band as it passed along Euclid Avenue on Memorial Day.

*School kids singing the Kirk and Shaw Alma Maters with enthusiasm and pride.

*The worst sound of all: A 6th grade monitor or "safety" at Prospect threatening a younger, hapless miscreant with near-certain death when he said, "Kid, you're going up to see Woody!"

 
At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Robert Dreifort said...

Jim:

I enjoyed reading your East Cleveland Postings. I also attended East Cleveland schools. My time was earlier than yours. I attended Prospect School from 1945 to 1952, went on to Kirk and Shaw, graduating from Shaw in 1958. I lived in East Cleveland until 1963 and ran for State Legislature in 1968. I am writing about my East Cleveland experiences on my own blog eastclevelandhistory.blogspot.com.

I just posted a section dealing with my Prospect School experiences from Kindergarten to 4th grade. I will be adding posts to that site regularly. My time in East Cleveland extends from 1940 to 1968. I hope you enjoy reading about how things were in the old days.

Robert Dreifort
robert@dreifort.com

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Jim Fisher said...

Time Capsule Update:

On September 7th, Captain Dan Heglaw, a detective, myself and a hired contractor drilled 13 holes into the wall that was described by former Police Lieutenant Rocky Hall to be the burial site location of the 1961East Cleveland time capsule.

Your attached newspaper article purports that the time capsule was to be buried in the lobby, which was a much better spot.

I interviewed Rocky Hall a couple of times and he reiterated the same spot to me, so that where we drilled the 13 test holes.

After the holes were drilled, we used a probe, trying to find a cavity, but most of the holes were found to have dirt behind the brickwork.

We did find a cavity in a few of the holes and then inserted a very tiny snake video camera, but we did not find the time capsule.

For the last six months, I have spent a whole lot of time in research and exchanging E-mails and phone calls, but to no avail.

The biggest disappointment was that we never found the bronze plate marker, which would have clearly identified the burial location.

I chose the September 7th date, as I had hope to find the time capsule and would have brought it to your reunion as a surprise.

Essentially the quest is ended, except for one last phone call to a 96 year old retired Fire Chief Robert Harris in Florida.

Ross Brankatelli

 
At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Donna Brucken said...

Hi Jim and past classmates,

This Donna Brucken and I truly miss East Cleveland as it seems all of you do as well. I would need Jim's help on this, but I was thinking about an East Cleveland reunion! I know it would cost us,but it would be worth it. We could have dinner or lunch at one location and then have a tour bus take us through our childhood streets. homes and past memories.

My e-mail is sendtodonna@msn.com Let's see what we can do.

Jim, Please e-mail me with ideas, I didn't see a direct e-mail for you.

Another trip down memory lane for everyone, go to www wildernessdowntown.com and type in where you grew up. There a lot of windows that pop up. Don't close out any of them, they are a part of the video. There is a window that allows you to type. It can be left blank. Again, don't close it out or everything will stop. Wait until the video and song are over. This site works best on Google Chrome. It appears to not be supported on Internet Explorer. For me, I lived on Wymore and the back side of the house was on Lee Road, the video sometimes shows the front of the house and other times the back.
Good Luck!

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger jan said...

Hi Jim - this is Janice Alvarez - I think an East Cleveland reunion would be so much fun! I still drove to E. Cleve. frequently up until 6 years ago because my mom still lived there, believe it or not - but she passed 6 years ago and I haven't been back since.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger jan said...

Oh my gosh, I just saw the Mike Galumbush post!

Mike, this is Janice Alvarez, if you see this email me at sammiejanL40@aol.com!

 

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