Friday, December 14, 2018

We Need a Little Love This Christmas in our Home Town of Thunder Bay - City Fathers Please Consider This.......

A small Christmas post to encourage The City of Thunder Bay, formerly Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario to erect a huge Christmas Tree on the City Hall property as they used to do, "in the good ol' days".

The following 6 photos with thanks to their photographer back in about 1969 is a fabulous memory we once had when The Hydro Electric commission would erect a giant Christmas tree on our City Hall property.  This would be similar to what they do annually at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

This could easily be made into an annual event with Christmas carols and local entertainment.  This could also be done in a prominent spot in the Intercity Area or anywhere else where people would gather.  

Thanks to Gary Spence (Thunder Bay Memories) for helping me re-locate these photos.

Monday, August 6, 2018

More of the 1950's at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Race Track in our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur

It's difficult to believe that fully organized racing began here in our Lakehead cities as far back as the 1920s, but the Hotrods and Jalopies Generation in my mind started in 1952 with a race held in Murillo in August and the first race of the Lakehead Stock Car Racing assoc. started at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition in the late fall of 1952.
So as we start a brand new blog post months overdue, we have donated photos from Glen Kettering's album, Cindy Patton's album (Wally Prokosh's daughter) and Glenn McKinnon's photos.  Thanks to all those who have taken the time to donate photos for our use.  This fall and into winter we have numerous more photos and news clippings that I will share with you, both on early racing and Fort William and Port Arthur history.
To start off, the first photos are mementos of the very first Lakehead Stock Car Racing Association's program and race day which took place on October 6, 1952.

The first LSCRA program with thanks to Glen and Miriam Kettering
 This next piece is the 1952 Roster.  Do you recognize any of your friends or relatives that raced that first race?  Be sure to click on all the photos and brochures to view screen size.

The next two are Times Journal clippings of the historic event.  You can vividly see the old animal barns that were at the south end of the track in turn 1 & 2.

Here is an interesting photo of the #34 Kam Motors car driven by Onorio(Canary) Trevisan and Bill Chepil.  This then and now photo was taken from the original Kam Motors used car lot on Leith st facing towards the garage.  It is now a taxi business.
With much thanks to Glenn McKinnon we have this full color slide to share with you.  This is a circa 1956 photo taken from the Grandstand towards the judges stand and I believe during fair week.  The old wooden fence circling the track is visual as well as a few elevators along the waterfront.  The track would encircle what was also once the golf dome with is now gone as well.  Wouldn't it be great to build the track in its original place again.....not likely.

As I drove by Current River and Current River park the other day, I was remembering The Casino Dine and Dance which was just adjacent (south of) the Current River dam which eventually burned to the ground.  It was a favorite of my parents to have a nice dinner together and spend a night on the dance floor.  Oddly enough it was never a real Casino.  As you can see they even sponsored a stock car in about 1953.

I always like to show the close proximity of the track to where the Coliseum Building is today, and this one is no exception.  With thanks to Wally Prokosh's daughter Cindy Patton we have a number of new clippings and photos which will be brought out over the coming months.  In front and possibly in the last lap is #49 Conrad Trombelli just ahead of #87 Tony Massaro as they pass the gate and the Coliseum building.

The next photo is of Conrad Trombelli taking the checkered flag in front of a packed grandstand and off to the right, the mezzanine area which was the uncovered portion of the grandstand to the north.  Yours truly is somewhere in the crowd selling cokes to get into the races for free.

This is a a very interesting photo of my hero Barry Kettering with a seriously damaged #47 car circa 1953.  Barry's #47 cars were sponsored by Bud Heidrick.  One day when Bud was at the shop and Barry wasn't around, roller skates were welded to the top of his car.  Bud had told Barry that he would have to leave the roller skates on his car until he stopped rolling over.  Obviously Barry did, lost the roller skates and went on to much bigger and better things until his very sad and untimely death years later.  The red rectangle shows the roller skate on his car.

 Here's a typical photo clipping from our newspapers in the day.  We always had great racing coverage which made for record crowds on race days.
 Another clipping from Cindy Patton to enjoy.

In 1957 Barry and Glen Kettering had built a brand new car and was dubbed #57 for the year of change.  Here is Glen and Barry with their horseshoed 34 Ford coupe named Poopsie.  This car went on to numerous wins for the Kettering brothers.
 The last clip on this post is from Cindy as well.  It was a 1958 notification that Wally Prokosh, her dad was back in the lineup with a vengeance and would also see many successful race days at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition race track.
 Hope you enjoyed this post.  I've been busy working on my new hot rod project and recovering from some health issues, so if you liked this, let me know and I will get back on track on the blog and slow down somewhat on my Facebook page.  Thanks, Dave

Sunday, July 1, 2018