I've made no secret of the fact that I spent a lot of the 70's high....a lot of the 80's, for that matter. Back then, almost every town had at least one store, usually referred to as a "head shop", that serviced the needs of those who got high, not with the drugs, but with what was called paraphenalia, which was legal for sale.
The best known of these in Lorain was the Stash Box, which started off by the tracks downtown, then moved to the corner of 8th and Broadway, which had been the site of another head shop, the Cosmic Boutique.
To be sure, I bought my share of papers, roach clips, bongs, and Power Hitters at the Box, but there was so much else there to be had....there were funky clothes, hats, vests and jackets, jewelry of all sorts, and even stash boxes....I bought my mother a beautiful engraved wood box from Poland, inlaid with silver wire, that she kept for years-I think my sister-in-law has it now.
When the new Utopia released their first album, RA, I bought my copy at the Stash Box, and played it all day, over and over. The first jewerly I bought for myself new I bought there, as well as a black Greek fisherman's hat that Mark Leach talked me out of.
I'd run into people I knew there, and Ron and Sly, the cats who ran the place, were cool-If you just wanted to browse, no problem.
In the very late 70's, Lorain enacted anti-paraphenalia laws, which spelled the end for the head shops, the Stash Box included.....these days, the building houses the Swiss-American Watch Repair Shop.