Monday, February 21, 2011


I was reading the other day about Lorain considering bringing back the Shotgun Squad, due to the increase in crime, and it started me thinking about my encounters with what my mother referred to as the Eagle Cab Company.

I REALLY wanted a picture of one of the old blue-and-whites, but I couldn't find one anywhere-the black-and-gold livery didn't come in until after I left Lorain.
I had my run-ins with the LPD, nothing serious, the usual teenage party/minor misdemeanor sorta thing. Lorain cops were always guest stars in my ongoing personal melodrama, some good, some not-so-good, but never dull. As with any group of people, there were those who became lightweight famous (imfamous) for the way they did their jobs. I'm not gonna name names here....if you were there, you probably know who I'm talking about, anyhow.
I'll never forget, the night after a basketball game at Admiral King, when a bunch of us were hanging around in the parking lot, looking for something to jump off. A lone cruiser pulls into the lot, and over the loudspeaker comes the voice of perhaps the scariest of the bunch....
"This is Officer_________; you have thirty seconds to clear this area."
We cleared it in fifteen.
Lorain cops didn't play, back then-if you made them break a sweat, you might wind up making a side trip to St. Joe's. The above-described officer once pulled a round from his cartridge belt, and showed it to me....he said it was my eighteenth birthday present. With some of them, you were best served taking such things seriously.
By the same token, as I mentioned in a previous entry, one of the old bulls once corrected his rookie partner for being rude to me, which he certainly didn't have to do-I WAS tresspassing.
Even back then, I knew those folks were doing a job that someone had to do, and I certainly wasn't gonna, not without a big "S" on my chest.
Thanks, all of you. Cel, if you ever get to read this, glad you stuck it out all these years.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I no longer crawl pubs, so this entry is purely nostalgic. As far as I know, most of these places are gone, so these are not recommendations. An'hoo, these are the watering holes that left their marks on me as I developed in Steeltown (in no particular order)....

STONE'S- I started off shining shoes there with my brother, then graduated to having a tipple there occasionally. They sold Killian's Red beer, and had a kickin' jukebox, with everything from country to funk. Some of the clientele took exception to my presence, but they didn't make much of an issue of it.

THE ANGRY BULL- Live dancers and Colt 45 on this a great country, or what? The place had a reputation for rowdiness, and it occasionally lived up to it; I never had a problem, except for the time that dancer told her guy that Donald and me were tossing hints her way-fortunately for us, he decided we weren't worth shooting.

CZECH'S- a guilty pleasure, the sort of dive I'd visit just for sheer trip.

THE FOX INN- My friend's bands played there often in the Seventies, so there wentest I.

NINA'S- Very similar to Stone's, but with an IQ trivia machine at the bar, on which I blitzed off every other player's name one Saturday night.

SHIRLEY'S- Cheapest 151 and Coke (they used Paramount rum) on Broadway, and a jukebox packed with oldies....a quiet, laid-back drinkin' bar.

BUCK'S / LAMBDA TAVERN / CLUB 1504- Of course I knew it was a gay bar; how could I hang there for over fifteen years, and not know? As I told someone once, it was close to my lodgings (at one point, right across the street), the drinks were cheap, I knew the owners, and at least half the reguar clients, no one bothered me and, even if someone was looking for me and saw me go in, they probably wouldn't go in after me.

THE CAROUSEL- My friends and I spent much time and money in that place during the Seventies and Eighties; we were there when we heard Lennon had been shot. I used to write poetry in one of the booths.


Monday, February 14, 2011


The official name of the place is Lorain Municipal Pier, but I can't recall ever hearing it called that; it was always "Hot Waters".
The name comes from the fact that the hot water exhaust for the electric plant was there-the water never froze, and it steamed in the winter. The fishing was wonderful.

I wasn't into fishing, but I spent a lot of time there over the years, enjoying the proximity of the lake, watching the gulls wheel and dive endlessly, and talking to the people who were liable to be there no matter the hour, hauling in carp, white bass, sheephead, and the odd pike or walleye. I can't recall a time when the fishing was ever bad there, or when there weren't a bunch of people catching fish by the bucketful. Folks talking, laughing, kids playing and riding bikes, the cops rolling through every once in a while, just to keep an eye on things.
The power plant is gone, and I guess the water is no longer hot...I imagine that'd have some effect on the fishing. I haven't been there in over twenty years, but I can still smell that Lake Erie "fragrance", and hear the raucous squawking of the gulls overhead.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Here in Whitney, it's about 20-some degrees, with a very light dusting of snow, if any. I'm really glad not to be in Lorain right now.
I remember real winter there, like the Blizzard of '63, when we had to wait outside Boone Elementary in -20 degree weather, for the Principal to arrive. Our parents went ballistic, and school was closed the next day.
Winter's always cold there,
and I never thought much about fun in the snow, except maybe for sledding and snowball fights. We used to go to the Sanitarium on Route 58 to sled, with an occasional trip to James Day.
When I was older, I walked, hitched, and rode bikes through all kinds of and my friends were all over the place during the winter of '77-78, even though most everything was closed....the power of boredom, I guess.
We'll start getting warm again in a couple of weeks, whereas the NorthCoast will take at least another month, and probably more.
Hot coccoa, anyone?