Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Untouchables Car Club - The Northern Ontario Timing Association - MEMORIES OF THE 1960's in our own home town....

As a past member of the Northern Ontario Timing Association, it is a pleasure to bring this post to everyone with tremendous thanks to Dennis Winko for the great article, Art Lee, and Gary Ager for the wonderful photos and information.    .....Dave
We ask that you PLEASE do not copy these photos to another blog or facebook page, as they are from a private collection. Thank You.

These are the club cards that were handed out to people that were assisted by members of the Untouchables and later the NOTA.

The following article in its entirety was written by my friend Dennis Winko, originally to be published in the "Old Cars" newspaper a number of years ago and never was.  Thanks Den for holding on to it all these years.  This is a "must read" not just for car enthusiasts but for anyone interested in local history.  Click on all pages and photos below (sometimes twice) for screen size enlargements..... We apologize that some print is fuzzy in some articles.  Put on your bifocals. 

           Above is Art Lee's Untouchables Car Club Jacket in the window of his Oldsmobile.
The following three 1963 pictures are of the "Untouchables Car Club" in a 1963 Winter Carnival parade.  The photos (thanks to Art Lee) were taken near the corner of Finlayson and Simpson Street across from the then original Gilbert's furniture store. 
This truck belongs to Brian Koski.

Above are some members of The Untouchables Car Club - left to right are Eddie Neimi, Joey Doles, Vic Amadeo, Terry Cuff, Ron MacDonald, Terry Christianson, Bobby Nichols, Jack Mallon, Wayne Cameron, Brian Koski and Ed Bottan.
NOTE - The Gilbert's Furniture store across the street.

In this photo left to right is Jack Mallon, Ken Hacio and Art Lee.  The '34 Ford on the float belongs to Ken Hacio.

     The photo on the left is how the property across the street in the above photos look today, actually just before "Music World Academy" took over the property from Gilbert's furniture.


The photo on the right (once posted already to HR&J) is a Lakehead Stock Car Club float with Albert Massaro's Popcorn Special showing the year (1963) of the carnival on the side.  This photo was taken a couple of blocks to the south of the ones above.


The three articles shown here are also well worth the lets you know pretty much what was going on in young guys minds back in the 1960's....oh!... and there were girls too!!
The article to the left is a bit fuzzy and a small portion is not shown to the right of it, but it still can be read.
I believe the title reads "Highway Drag-racing Is Illegal...But It Still Is Fun".

Front and Back of one of Brian Phillips' jackets.  This is the second edition jacket style......The club had a design contest and I actually won my jacket for the above logo design.  The jacket in the photos below were the first edition jackets.

     With special thanks to Gary "Peachy" Ager (that's the young guy in the bottom right hand corner) this picture turned up recently.  I have been searching for this photo for years and Gary's wife Margaret put it up on her face book page asking if anyone knew who all the guys were.  Well Margaret, we know most of them now....just a couple of last names are left out.
     Sadly, I missed the club photo above and this one as well (I was sick or something)....well, I wasn't the only one, as you can read below who was missing from the photo.
     This was taken at the Blue Swan Inn where most of our meetings were held when the EMO building on Waterloo and Victoria Ave. become too small.
     My jacket went missing during the years and Brian Phillips graciously donated one of his two jackets to me....Thanks Brian!!
Here is what the Blue Swan Inn looked like in the 1960's
Thanks to everyone that helped with this post, especially Den Winko, Art Lee and Gary Ager.   HR&J hopes that you enjoyed it..........Dave

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Clyde Ditmars - One of the Boys Who Started Their Engines at the CLE in 1953......

A little clipping in this past Thursday's newspaper brought back a ton of memories of the one and only Clyde Ditmars (Mr. Texaco)......Happy 80th Birthday Clyde (March 27, 2014) from all your old buddies and Stock Car fans from 1953 and later years.  Clyde was one of the Boys of the summer of the 1950's who started their engines at the old Canadian Lakehead Exhibition race track right here in our home town of Fort William, Ontario.  Their isn't a gearhead my age that would not remember guys like Clyde.....these jalopy jockeys brought us more entertainment as kids than any venue in our home town.  These were our movie stars, our idols....the guys that we admired most back in the early 1950's
There was no name printed on the ad, but who could not remember
 that face from the CLE days.....Happy Birthday Clyde Ditmars!

Picture of Clyde from a 1953 CLE racing program

Unfortunately you'd see Clyde upside down once in awhile......he did that to entertain us....Check out the Coliseum building in the background at the CLE which still stands today.

 Here's a close-up of Clyde's #77 Car upside down with a very cool checkerboard paint job.

Above and to the left and right are pages from the 1953/1954 program showing Clyde Ditmars right in the middle of all the action including two newspaper clippings from 1953 to the right.  Be sure to click on all the photos and clippings here once then twice to enlarge to screen size so that you may read them in detail.
It is totally amazing to read this 1953 article from the Port Arthur News Chonicle paper dated Aug 27, 1953.  It states that there were 5,500 fans taking in the races at the CLE grounds that day.  I don't remember any entertainment in our city in recent history that brought out that many fans for a single event.....and there, down near the bottom is Clyde's name in black and white........those were truly the good ol' days.

Clyde ran a Texaco Service Station in Kakabeka Falls for many years and hauled his jalopy numerous times from Kakabeka to the fairgrounds for the ever popular Wednesday night racing.  Here is a clipping from a 1959/60 Fort William Ontario phone book showing the garage.
.....and would you think that there would be a street named after the Ditmar's family in Kakabeka Falls today......see for yourself!

Finally one more thank you to living legends like Clyde Ditmars for the entertainment he and others gave us young guys and for the inspiration and determination to carry on a great sport be it on the track or not......once more, Happy Birthday Clyde!
Clyde now lives in Fort Frances Ontario and by all reports is doing quite well even after all the thrills and spills at the old CLE track.  Thanks to Clyde's friend and my old friend Glenn Carson for filling in some of the blanks, and thanks to those photographers who took all those incredible pictures back in the day, for us to enjoy now!
Now, before you go......Click on each of these following links, then come back.  In each of these links there are more stories about Clyde...check them out.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AN OLD BIRTHDAY PARTY & DIXIE CUPS.......right here in my home town....

Here's a post I've always wanted to do starting off with my 10th birthday photograph.  All the kids will be named....then I'll explain about the post.
This was taken in my back yard on my 10th birthday.
Left to right - Meyer Toole, Rick Joseph, with round glasses Randy Lang, with a bit of his head showing is Bobby Evens, the tall guy is Mitch Taddo, in front of him is Nancy Baker, the two little blonde girls in front are Sharon Harrison, and Laura Kellough, the red circled head is yours truly and to my left is Bruce Lees, the taller girl with straight hair is Darryl Wheatley and the far right is Kathryn Coppard. you can see in the next little "photo cutout" of the above photo is Rick Joseph and Randy Lang holding something I circled in yellow.  They are Dixie Cup lids with movie stars on the next thing you should read is the story on the collage below this photo.

The title says Dixie Cup lids were our link to Hollywood....Be sure to click once and twice on all the photos for enlargements.

Here is how the top of the lid looked from Kellough Bros. Dairy (Port Arthur-Fort William), and if you pealed off a little onion skin cover from the inside, it would reveal a movie star photo, and as noted in the collage above, you would bring 10 lids to Kellough's Dairy to receive an official movie star poster.  You could even purchase a viewer to see these lids in 3D.  This was a time when you couldn't go down to your five and dime store and buy a movie star poster....they weren't just around unless you knew someone in the Movie Theatre business here in Fort William and Port Arthur.
The poster would look exactly like the ones below.

BETTY GRABLE - the beautiful war time gal
with Million Dollar legs!
FRED MACMURRAY - who played the father
in the popular TV series "My Three Sons" in the

The next few photos are of Kellough Brothers Dairy where all this took place!
This is the first Kellough Brother's Dairy building located on the corner of Brunswick and Cummings street in Fort William, Ontario, Canada

This is the dairy where we fed the horses up until the mid 1950's.  They were the last known in-town business to deliver with horse and wagon.  Here the handsome uniformed drivers are showing off their new early 1950's Ford delivery trucks. 
Now....this is the place where we would cash in our Dixie Cup lids for the posters.  It was located on the North/West corner of Victoria Ave and Selkirk street.....kitty corner from my grade school St. Mary's.

 To the left is a typical Kellough Bros. Dairy book or magazine ad for Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario, and to the right is a half pint Kellough Bros bottle from my collection.  The half pint bottles were quite common in the 1950's, as the dairy's would sell white, chocolate and cherry milk in them and were distributed to and sold by corner stores around the Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario area.  Your home distribution with the same silk screen painted bottles were delivered via delivery trucks above in pint and quart bottles.  The bottle were always returned to the dairy for refund and refill.  Finally to the left is a typical milk lid.

This was one of their large refrigerated delivery trucks with a photo taken a bit earlier than the ones in the photo further above.  The truck looks like a Diamond T, but I'm not totally sure.

Finally...this is what the horse drawn delivery wagon looked like from Kellough's Dairy.  The horses were kept and looked after right behind the Kellough building shown in the truck photo above.  I fondly remember going to the dairy after school to feed the horses and of course picking up my movie star poster by handing in 10 Dixie Cup lids....but....I actually have 4 in my collection today that I was glad I didn't cash in.....THOSE WERE THE DAYS.
Hoped you liked the post....Dave