Those yearbook boosters of Lea CollegePublished 9:53am Friday, June 3, 2011
Column: Between the Corn Rows
Not long ago a Tribune reader brought in a copy of the 1971 Lea College yearbook, the Chronos. That word, incidentally, is Greek for time or year. With the book was this note: “I found this book after I moved. If you cannot use it; maybe the historical society could.”
I sure could use this rare book. It inspired the May 29 article about campus life and an upcoming June 5 article based on a Lea College graduation, plus this column. And based on my personal policy, any item given to me for possible use in the Tribune is either returned to the donor, or as clearly requested in this situation, passed along to the museum’s library.
Now, let’s get to the topic for this column. The last 10 pages of the 1971 Lea College Chronos yearbook are based on ads placed by local firms. Those are the folks who helped to make this book possible. With these ads are some rather interesting details regarding local life 40 years ago.
One of the ads was placed by Hultgren Sanitation Service. Their logical advertised motto or slogan was. “Our business is Picking Up.” The firm’s address was listed as 805 Bridge Ave. Today, the business with the name of Hultgren name no longer exists and the building at 805 Bridge Ave. looks like a private residence.
Four decades ago a very popular song has the words, “Leaving on a jet plane.” Those logical words were used as the theme for an ad placed by Four Seasons Travel Service on West Clark Street. Their location was described as the place with the blue front. Now, 40 years later, this place of business has a front with a different color.
One of the popular dining destinations in 1971 was the Skyline Supp’r Club and Starlight Lounge. The place with a seating capacity for 650 people was located near what was then the junction of U.S. Highways 16 and 69 and State Highway 13. This eating establishment no longer exists.
A once very popular recreational destination was Bob’s Lanes near the corner of Frank and S.E. Broadway Avenues. Albert Lea’s 24-lane bowling paradise was destroyed by fire on May 15, 1977.
One of those ads reminded me to look at the hair comb I never have to use that’s always in my left front pocket. It says, “Above all a good roof.” That was the motto once used by Hershey Roofing & Heating, 502 Adams Ave. And this motto was printed on all the combs the late Ray Hershey used to give away as an advertising gimmick.
One of the yearbook pages has three advertisements for firms that no longer exist. They are: Ben Franklin store in the Skyline Mall, DeSoto Creamery & Produce at 138 E. Pearl St. (this site is now part of the Freeborn County Government Center) and Wilson-Sinclair.
An ad sponsored by National Cooperatives had a rather interesting statistic. Four decades ago this firm had a large warehouse on East 14th Street. The ad said in part, “From Albert Lea’s eight-acre tire warehouse Co-op Tires are shipped to practically every state in the Union and Puerto Rico.” That’s a mighty big warehouse. (The National name was later changed to the present Universal Cooperatives.)
Back in 1971 one of Albert Lea’s major department stores, Wallace’s, was located at the corner of West Main Street and South Broadway Avenue. Their ad in Chronos was based on the part of this large store called the Attic.
Then there’s an ad I thought was rather confusing. It was for “Fashions for the Young & The Young at Heart.” Evidently this involved two local stores located downtown and the Skyline Mall. At this point I have a question. Which store was at what location.
Just for the heck of it, I counted the number of advertisers in this Lea College yearbook published 40 years ago. The answer is 41. Of that number, 20 are still a part of Albert Lea’s business life with their same name or another identity.
Ed Shannon’s column has been appearing in the Tribune every Friday since December 1984.