Christmas Cleveland style

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Christmas Cleveland style
Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, October 25, 2019 6:42 PM

I'm not a beer drinker, but I DO look forward to cases of this particular ale showing up in local stores:

You gotta love a company that uses a Lionel 512 gondola as a logo!  Wink

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, October 25, 2019 9:15 PM

How cool is that?

You know, this return to local craft breweries is a wonderful throwback to the old pre-Prohibition days when just about every big city neighborhood had it's own brewery.  Not a big Anheuser-Busch type, mind you, but small and catering to the needs of local bars and restaurants.  Prohibition killed them off of course, they just didn't have the capital to switch to other products like the big boys did.

As the song says, "Everything old is new again!"  

Looks like it's going to be a fun Christmas in Cleveland!

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Friday, October 25, 2019 9:32 PM

Bummer - no pic showing, just a little blue square...what is the brand?

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by Buckeye Riveter on Saturday, October 26, 2019 5:40 AM

Penny...Great Lakes Brewing is one of the best! We need a Great Lakes boxcar to be built. Have you ever dined at the brewery? The Christmas Ale goes well with Roast duck, spiced desserts, and ugly Christmas sweaters. Laugh

Celebrating 15 years on the CTT Forum. Smile, Wink & Grin

Buckeye Riveter............. OTTS Charter Member, a Roseyville Raider and a member of the CTT Forum since 2004..

Rogers Corners, OH, ELV 936 - Former home of the Baltimore, Ohio & Wabash RR

TCA 09-64284

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, October 26, 2019 5:46 PM

wrmcclellan

Bummer - no pic showing, just a little blue square...what is the brand?

 

Great Lakes Brewery Christmas Ale.  Let's see if this one shows up for you:

https://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/christmas-ale

Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly.  Wink

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, October 26, 2019 6:05 PM

Yum!

that looks like a dark, tasty ale. Perfect after a hard day of track laying,

and Gandy Dancing !

Paul

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Posted by wrmcclellan on Saturday, October 26, 2019 11:02 PM

That's fun! Thanks Becky!

Regards, Roy

            

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Posted by fifedog on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 7:29 AM

Now I'm thirsty.

Thanks. Sigh

 

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Posted by LL675 on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 5:35 PM
I spotted that in Walmart a couple years ago. Never did get any to try it.

Dave

It's a TOY, A child's PLAYTHING!!! (Woody  from Toy Story)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 8:42 PM

Hmm, I wonder if it's made it to the local Walmart here in Virginia?

I've got a mission now...

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:15 PM

The snow is flying and with "sleigh ride" stuck in my head it's time for a few quick pics!

Finished this layout yesterday.

Besides all the new figures I painted over the summer, like "Mr. Blue Kazoo" by the station flag in the pic above and these two air personnel in the photo below, I made a few improvements to the layout and vicinity.

Since I now have ground crew, I decided to land the Ju-52:

You can see it here in 2017 hanging from the ceiling which is where it's been for years:

It's 1:48 scale and while still small compared to the 1:32 54mm figures I'm using it's a better fit than an N(?) scale DC-3 I used in the past.  (Although with New Ray planes the scale is "fits in this size box".  Wink)

For some reason my MTH radar antenna runs poorly when it's hooked up to my layout's 14v power grid.  So, I decided to install a switch at the front corner of the airfield.  Unfortunately, this module is made on a sheet of foamcore board which is too light to hang onto while you're trying to hold it up with your head (or more acurately your ponytail) so you can connect wires underneath because if you lay it face down you'll damage the non-removable lighting but it doesn't matter anyways when a gust of wind knocks it off your head and breaks some in-series light bulbs so now you'll have to replace the runway lighting and returf the field.  Sad

Oh well.  I made lemonade!  Big Smile  The new string of lights has 15 more bulbs than the old one and with 3 coats of Tamiya clear blue acrylic they look better than their predecessors.  The airport needed another coat of grass anyways so I did that and the original lychen bushes by the admin building had decayed almost to dust, so I replaced them with loofah.

Down on the floor (the airport is on top of a dresser) I also decided to finally take the plunge and replace my mountain panels.  The originals were just green posterboard as you can see in this 2018 pic:

I washed my walls over the summer and they had to go.  The new ones are acrylic on illustration board.

Trust me, this is a painfully simple technique and quite frankly no one is more surprised than me that it worked!  Big Smile  All I did was cut out the board with a utility knife using the prior mountains as a template and then I went after them with craft paint.  I made streaks of my primary shade of green with a brush and then immediately hit them with water from the same brush over and over until I had a good blend.  The other colors I used were a light terra cotta and a sandstone color.

I allowed each "attempt" to dry before moving on.  (A nearby fan made that much faster than "sitting and watching paint dry".  Laugh)  I made each "layer" of hills darker working from top to bottom but when I put the first panel down near the layout I discovered all of it was too light.  So, I did several washes of water thinned green till I was happy with the look.

By the way, I was using Lionel Scenic Railway background panels as my model:

Thank you "Lionel Trains: Best Layouts & Store Displays" Kalmbach Publishing 2015 for providing the excellent photos I worked from!  Big Smile  Mine are not exact replicas, but they're A LOT better than green posterboard! BTW, this layout doubles for southeast asia in the summer so I didn't want any snowcaps.  Wink  Lower down I simply filled a paint cup with two shades of green, hacked off a bit of sponge, and went at it:

When the cup went empty I just swirled together some more paint.  If an area looked too dark, I added more light green.  It's fun and surprisingly effective!  Big Smile

A note of caution: I noticed that as these panels dried they tended to "cup" toward the front face so I flipped them and misted them with "wet water" on the back sides to help them shrink back the other way.  When dry the panels were flexible enough to straighten them.  I attached them to the wall with 3M Command Adhesive Poster Strips for easy removal.

Today I installed a small tree on a table in the room next door so the Standard Gauge layout is officially ready now too!

More to come!  Big Smile

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 6:51 PM

Here's the Standard Gauge layout I put together a couple of months ago:

Owing to occasional puddles down in the basement, I needed space in this room to move stuff to higher ground.  So, I cut down the layout to a simple oval and erected a tree in the corner where the boxes had been:

Back in Plasticville, I really wanted to bring back the viaduct this year:

It's a great place to show off a train or trolley.

So is a windowsill.  Big Smile

Betcha can't guess where this is headed...Wink

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, November 16, 2019 7:54 PM

I...am...just...stunned...

I'm in the presence of greatness!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, November 16, 2019 8:01 PM

Just to tantalize you...

Wink

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Posted by LL675 on Sunday, November 17, 2019 6:45 PM

dangit now I wanna go get our tree tomorrow! we cut ours at a local tree farm. We went to the same place for almost 20 years, old farmer had them, $10 for years. They would last a long time. We all like the tree and decorations, and the Mrs likes me in the living room playing with the trains instead of downstairs, so we would leave the tree up until it started to dry out. One year me made it to Easter....people give you funny looks when you have Christmas stuff that late. And I love the Ju-52. I have most of the WWll airplane models I built growing up hangind downstairs, but I don't think I'd be allowed to put screws in the living room cieling to hand a few 1/48 scale B-17s and a B-29, plus the escorts!

Dave

It's a TOY, A child's PLAYTHING!!! (Woody  from Toy Story)

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, November 17, 2019 7:27 PM

Aside from fighters the only other 1:48 model I had was the Enola Gay!  Big Smile  It's still hanging over the layout table downstairs and I had considered converting it into a passenger plane just like Boeing did.  But I couldn't find anywhere big enough to land the thing!  Laugh

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, November 18, 2019 8:22 AM

"Atomic Airlines!  Flying with us is a BLAST!"

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, November 18, 2019 5:30 PM

Flintlock76

"Atomic Airlines!  Flying with us is a BLAST!"

 

Laugh

By the way I went to my local Wal-Mart today and they had the Christmas Ale.  Cool, but it makes me wish those boxes really were full of 512 gondolas!  Wink

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, November 21, 2019 8:00 PM

I like to poke through local history archives at this time of year.  Here are a few fun pics I found in the Cleveland Memory Project Cleveland State University collection.

Train ride at Parmatown Mall 1979.  The mall was torn down in recent years and restructured into separated stores.

Higbee's indoor train ride:

"Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's 'Can-Do Special', a full-size replica of a 490 engine cab. Throttle starts activator under seat and moves along C&O right-of-way screen outside window make for perfect illusion of a train ride. Besides the youngsters blow a real train whistle and ring the locamotive's bell."--photo verso.

The 2 above photos are dated 1948.  Higbee's of course was the department store attached to the Cleveland Union Terminal owned by the VanSweringen brothers who in turn owned the C&O.

This has always been one of my favorites.  I wonder if that little guy got a train for Christmas?

Higbee's 1934.  The top 3 stores were Halle's, Higbees and The May Co.

Higbee's of course was made even more famous by a little 1983 film:

Ralphie's obsession!  Big Smile

Public Square 1949 with real streetcars.

Halle's had an attraction all their own:

This jolly fellow in green is Mr. Jingeling, Santa's "Keeper of the Keys".

I'd like to add one of those "Wish Books" to my collection!

That's just a commercial but he had a short holiday segment on the "Captain Penny" cartoon show during the season.

Cartoons, Stooges and Our Gang, a well balanced show!  Big Smile

This isn't Cleveland, Ohio, but it came up when I did a Google search of "Cleveland Christmas Windows" and is pretty neat.

It's on the Tennessee Valley Authority's website so I guess it's Cleveland, Tennessee.  https://www.tva.gov/About-TVA/Our-History/heritage/Merry-and-Bright

Ever wonder about that Lionel Reefer?

In Cleveland the U.S. rights to the formula were first put to use in the old Peerless Auto factory in 1933:

By Martin Linsey - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs divisionunder the digital ID hhh.oh1857.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4118898

One of these days I need to add one of those cars to my collection.

One more item.  Is this the hottest GG1 in the world?

Radium Limited, only special train of its type, today began handling “hot cargo” in the radiation laboratory at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Otto Glasser, famed Clinic medical physicist, installed the toy train to protect technicians handling radium compounds needed for treatment of cancer patients and for research work. The model equipment operating over a 21-foot right-of-way is identical to that sold for home railroads through-out the nation. It has been trimmed, however, to only the electric locomotive and a flat car for its special job. The flat car carries a lead-lined container. The “hot cargo” is radon, a radioactive gas produced by the basic supply of radium in the Clinic laboratory. Physicist draw off the gas from the radium, seal it in tiny glass tubes, place these tubes in brass or gold containers, and then measure the strength of the radiation thrown off. Unlike long-life radium, radon gas loses half of its power in less than four days. The radon “seeds” are not very active when the gas is first sealed, but hit their peak strength four hours later. That is why Dr. Glasser introduced the miniature train operated by remote control to transfer the radon gas to the measuring unit. Up until now, Bernard Tautkins, Clinic technician, and three associates have been placing the radon gas in thick, lead-lined containers, and carrying them by hand.The miniature train carrying its own lead-lined container will further eliminate the radiation danger for the technicians.Dr. Glasser said the model train installation was only in its pioneering stage . the locomotive is a small-scale model of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s GG-1 used on its electrified routs. Additional protection for workers handling all types of radioactive element may be provided later, he predicted, through automatic loading and unloading device for the flat car, and by a pneumatic tube to deliver the radon “sees “ to the hospital surgery." by Walter Lerch. -- from photo verso.+

I wonder if it's still there or has found it's way into some toxic waste dump?  Tongue Tied

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, November 25, 2019 6:24 PM

Teaser #2:

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, November 25, 2019 6:52 PM

Oh wow.  Christmas is comin' all right!

Which means we here at the Fortress Flintlock have some thinking to do.  Do we go for a new artificial tree to replace the PITA one we threw out last year, do we go for a live tree, or just go with the fiber-optic "Robo-Tree" that goes on the dining room table with the N gauge "Maine Potato Express" under it?

Decisions, decisions...

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Posted by phrankenstign on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:04 PM

I didn't know Higbee's was a real store.

I grew up in East Chicago, Indiana.  Occasionally, my dad used to take us shopping in the neighboring city of Hammond, Indiana.  Goldblatt's, a 4-story department store owned and run by the Goldblatt Brothers, was located there.  It was the biggest store in Hammond's downtown area.  The store occupied part of the north side (on Sibley Blvd.), the whole east side (on Hohman Ave.), and part of the south side (on Rimbach Ave.) of a city block there.  It showcased displays in the windows on those sides throughout the year.  Right after Thanksgiving Day, the store would unveil their Christmas displays which inevitably featured Lionel trains and other colorful and electric animated exhibits.  I'd heard Jean Shepherd, the author of the book "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" that the movie "A Christmas Story" was based on, had based the Higbee's Christmas window display on Goldblatt's showcases.  I thought Jean Shepherd had just made up the name Higbee's to avoid having to pay for permission to use the Goldblatt's name.

 

I found this site containing many pics of the 1960s Hammond downtown area during the 60s when I used to shop there.  It includes pics of Goldblatt's about 1/2 way down the page.

Here is another part of the same site with pics from Jean Shepherd's setting of the 1940s Hammond downtown area.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 2:30 PM

If I remember correctly, Hammond was Jean Shepherds home town, and the inspiration for the fictional "Hohman, Indiana" in his "In God We Trust..." book.

This is one of the few instances where I can't say the book is better than the movie, or vice versa.  They have their differences, but both complement each other perfectly.  

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 6:58 PM

Compare the photo above to the movie version:

Rumor has it Cleveland, and Higbee's in particular, were chosen as locations for 2 reasons.

#1, Cleveland's neighborhoods near the steel mills and downtown hadn't changed much by 1980.

#2 Higbee's was the only store the film makers contacted that would allow them to film at night on their actual sales floor.

You can ride the slide by the way:

https://castlenoel.com/exhibits/

Some vintage pics of Higbee's:

Higbee's had the Silver Grille restaurant where meals were served to kids on tiny wood stoves:

Can't find a pic of their toy department to save my life though.

The Higbee building today is a casino.

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Posted by Waynestrains on Thursday, November 28, 2019 9:44 AM
You are correct about Jean Sheperd. I was a big fan of his when he was on WOR New York radio. He told so many stories about his home town, especially during his Sat. nite live show from the Lamplighter in the village. Thought maybe you would remember. Wayne
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Posted by Postwar Paul on Thursday, November 28, 2019 2:51 PM

Wow !

Love those vintage pictures ! The days when train displays in department store windows were common, and part of the holidays. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving !

Paul

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, November 29, 2019 7:28 PM

Possibly the biggest thing in town during the holiday season was the tree in the Sterling-Linder department store.

On Thanksgiving Day after employees had eaten dinner an army of them came from home to help set up the tree.

The tree was trucked to the store and workers had to unbolt the doors to get it inside.

This 73 footer became one of them.

Is it just me, or does that truck look WAY too small?

Ummmm....it overhangs just a bit!  Tongue Tied

The photos above of cutting down the tree are undated but may have been of the final tree of 1967.

This one from 1954 had 2,400 ornaments, 1,200 pounds of tinsel and was 54 feet tall.

There weren't any lights on these trees as that would have been a serious fire risk.

But the ornaments on them were all hand-blown glass made in Germany and many were the size of bowling balls.

Couldn't find any pics of toy trains here but this one at least shows where the toys were.

At Christmas time kids could ride a small carousel there.

After talking with Santa, although probably not this particular Clevelander...

...you could visit with Francis the Talking Mule!

I couldn't find any pictures of what that looked like, but one description describes him as a "huge stuffed animal" and references his "flapping jaw" and "eyes, which rolled about in his head".

Alas, like many things and many great traditions Sterling-Linder closed and the store was razed before I was born.

Pretty amazing space.

Amazing loss.  Amazing tradition.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, November 30, 2019 7:38 AM

Wow, that was one spectacular Christmas tree!  And I have to admire the superb job they did with the decorations, especially the tinsel.

I never cared much for tinsel on a Christmas tree thoug, it always falls off and shorts out the train tracks under the tree!

Although it does look kinda cool if the room lights are off when it happens!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, December 2, 2019 12:27 PM

Woo-Hoo!

Went to my sister-in-law's place for Thanksgiving, and a good time was had by all.

Nex day, brother-in-law "Big B" and myself went to make a raid at Hennings Trains in Lansdale PA.  Guess what found me?  Give up?

http://www.lionel.com/products/new-york-ontario-western-conventional-4-6-0-camelback-253-6-28755/  

I didn't know I was even looking for something like this!  That's why I say "it found me."  Isn't that always the way with the best stuff?

Used, but as new, and at a great price.  "Big B" had a good time shootin' the breeze with the N gauge boys as well. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, December 2, 2019 5:51 PM

Don't you love it when that happens?  Wink

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