The Way It Was 50 Years Ago In Euclid

Editor’s note: The following news, sports, and other items were culled from the pages of a 1966 edition of the Euclid News-Journal, the city’s former weekly newspaper.

By John Sheridan

MARCH 10, 1966 …. When Jim Duffy, a Democratic candidate for the District 53 state representative’s post, sought access to the poll books listing all registered voters, he was rebuffed by the county Democratic Party, as well as Euclid City officials and the 32nd Ward Democratic organization in Cleveland.

Then he received a surprising offer -- from none other than George Voinovich, a potential Republican opponent in the November election if Duffy were to survive in his March primary.

“I told Jim that I’d be glad to lend him my set of poll books for the 32nd Ward,” announced Voinovich who was seeking – and eventually won – the same seat in the Ohio legislature. The only candidate in the GOP primary race, Voinovich was also the Republican leader in the 32nd Ward, which encompassed a large section of Collinwood.

Duffy, a former Euclid High football star, said he appreciated the offer to use Voinovich’s mailing list. “They just don’t make enough sets of poll books available for candidates,” he complained—adding that information about registered Democrats in Euclid was difficult to come by.

“I think that each candidate in a primary should have the same chance as any other for the use of the poll books,” Voinovich said. “This is a typical example of how the party bosses try to stack the cards in favor of – or against -- a particular candidate.”

(As things unfolded, Jim Duffy was beaten in his primary by Gerald Fuerst, while George Voinovich went on to beat Fuerst in the November election. That victory launched Voinovich’s impressive political career that included stints as Cuyahoga County Auditor, Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and as a U.S. senator. (He recently passed away recently at the age of 79.)

Other items in the March 10, 1966 issue of the News-Journal:

Mayor Kenneth J. Sims names Charles Wade, a 10-year veteran of Euclid City Council, to fill a vacancy on the Euclid Recreation Commission. Wade, a Meredith Ave. resident, is one of the three remaining Coalition Party members on City Council.

The sophomore theatrical group at Euclid High announces that it has selected “I Remember Mama” as its choice for the school’s spring play. Betty Grigonis won the role of “Mama,” while Dave Rebeck (“Papa”), Leslie Stratton (“Katrina”), and Janice Birr (“Dagmar”) also earned key roles.

The annual “Ice Frolics” extravaganza slated for the open-air Memorial Ice Arena got “snowed out” – disappointing a crowd of about 200 spectators. Euclid’s assistant recreation director, John Terango, explained that about 7 p.m. “the snow squalls were getting pretty bad…[so] we decided to cancel.” (No doubt, this experience contributed to the eventual decision to completely enclose the ice rink inside the C.E. Orr Arena.)

The Grant’s store at 22570 Lake Shore Blvd. advertised women’s briefs for 27 cents and seamless nylon stockings for 23 cents a pair.

Masiello’s Bridge Tavern on East 152nd Street advertised an “all you can eat” corned beef and cabbage dinner for just $1.25 as its St. Patrick’s Day special… And the Value City store on Shore Center Dr. offered bottles of aspirin for a mere 9 cents per bottle.

Two Euclid High matmen and one St. Joseph Viking survived the rugged district wrestling meet at Mayfield High, thus advancing to the state tournament in Columbus. Panther sophomore John Meros placed third in the 103-pound weight class to earn his ticket to St. John Arena on the Ohio State campus…. In the district consolation finals, Meros edged St. Joe’s Jim Roberts on a referee’s decision in overtime. Euclid junior Rich Piscopo also advanced to the state meet by placing second at 133 pounds.

For Coach John Storey’s Vikings, the lone state qualifier was 265-pound heavyweight Ron Tumbry, who won a district crown with a 3-0 decision over a wrestler from Ravenna.

The Euclid Panthers’ boys swim team qualified a six-man contingent to the state meet in Columbus – including its crack 400-yard medley relay team that established a new district meet record of 1:43.3. The foursome of Bob Henikman, Neal Wade, Mike VandeVeer, and Rich Preztak came within half a second of matching the state meet record.

Coach Vic Resch’s Euclid squad also produced four individual-event state qualifiers: George Carter in the 50-yard freestyle, Henikman in the 100 backstroke, VandeVeer in the 100 butterfly, and Ray Preztak in the 100 freestyle event. Coach Resch speculated that his Panther mermen – who were co-champions of the Lake Erie League –should be considered at least a “darkhorse” threat to win the state crown.

Bailey’s Wonder Mart at East 228th St. and Lake Shore Blvd. advertised ladies’ “Rodeo” dungarees for just $1.44 a pair during its “Sunday Only” sale – as well as vinyl suede jackets for $3.97.

It is hard to believe that a half-century has passed since the above items made news. To us Euclid old-timers, it sometimes seems like it all happened just yesterday.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 5:18 PM, 09.09.2016