Cleveland Christmas History

A Christmas Story, directed by Bob Clark, was released a week before Thanksgiving in1983 with no great expectations, but has slowly grown into a Christmas cult classic. In fact, the movie would have never been made had Bob Clark’s 1982 raunchy teen comedy Porky’s not done so well. A Christmas Story’s success, however, is due in equal parts to the plot’s nostalgia (sometimes sickeningly sweet) and dark holiday humor making it feel both real and hyperbole simultaneously. Though set in the late 30’s or early 40’s the film so well captures the tropes of an American Christmas the film continues to age well.

Heavily based on the short fiction of Jean Shepard, many of the famous scenes come from anecdotes in Shepard’s collections In God We Trust, All Others Must Pay Cash and Wanda Hicky’s Night of Golden Memories. Shepard worked with Bob Clark and Leigh Brown to create the screen play. Shepard stars as the films narrator “adult Ralphie”.

After ending scouts to many cities, Bob Clark settled on Cleveland Ohio as the primary shooting location for the film. Clevelanders were so excited about the film many of them donated the use of their antique cars for the film.

Higbee’s Department Store, located in Downtown Cleveland until 1992, was one famous location for three important scenes. The opening scene were Ralphie first sees the BB gun in an elaborate window display of toys. The parade scene was shot outside Higbee’s in Public Square. Finally , the famous “visting Santa” scene inside Higbee’s were Ralphie and his little brother have a misadventure visiting Santa. Highbee’s was known for its elaborate Christmas decorating that catered to children, with a live Santa centerpiece, and actually kept some of the set, including the slide and used them for many years.

The exterior shots and some interior shots of the family’s home were done at a house in Tremont on Cleveland’s West Side. This house has been restored and turned into a museum honoring the film’s cult status and is open regularly for touring. The Chinese Restaurant where the family has duck for Christmas because the neighbor’s hound dogs ruined their turkey also still exists, in a more modern form, not far from the home.

Whether you have or have not seen this now classic film, its worth an annual rewatch cuddled up with the family on a cold night sometime before Christmas.

Hillard Ohio Art’s Council Local Filmmakers Festival September 29th 2018

Last year, they shared 15 great short films from local filmmakers with an enthusiastic audience and esteemed panel of judges. It was such a great experience, they are ready to do it again!

The festival wants only short films, between three and fifteen minutes. This gives us the opportunity to showcase more films from local filmmakers.  There are prizes for the top three best films. These are as selected by the panel of judges. Also there is the prize for the Audience Choice winner, where our viewers pick the best film.

The Hilliard Arts Council non-profit organization. Their goal is to enhance the cultural vitality of the city by inspiring, enlivening and educating citizens all through the magic of the arts.
Their work includes producing community theatrical productions throughout the year. This includes a larger musical in the summer, providing entertainment for the annual July 4th activities. They also put on a summer concert series.

Those Were The Days

Jody Victor: See how many of these events for this day, July 12, you can remember from history.

526 St Felix IV begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1290 Jews are expelled from England by order of King Edward I
1543 England’s King Henry VIII weds Catherine Parr (6th & last wife)
1690 Orangeman’s yearly celebration (The battle of the Orange) – Actually “Battle of the Boyne” ( 1 July 1690), when Protestant had victory in Ireland
1691 Battle of Aughrim (Aghrim) England, William III beats James II
1774 Citizens of Carlisle, Penn. pass a declaration of independence
1812 US forces led by Gen Hull invade Canada (War of 1812)
1817 First flower show held (Dannybrook, County Cork, Ireland)
1859 Paper bag manufacturing machine patented by William Goodale, Mass
1862 Congress authorizes Medal of Honor
1874 Ontario Agricultural College founded
1874 Start of Sherlock Holmes Adventure, “The Gloria Scott” (BG)
1876 Paul Henry discovers asteroid #164 Eva
1882 First ocean pier in US completed, Washington, DC
1900 114ø F (46ø C), Basin, Wyoming (state record)
1906 Alfred Dreyfus found innocent in France
1909 16th Amendment approved (power to tax incomes)
1910 J Helffrich discovers asteroid #701 Oriola
1912 First foreign feature film exhibited in US-“Queen Elizabeth”-NYC
1914 Babe Ruth makes his baseball debut, pitches for the Red Sox
1920 Lithuania & USSR sign peace treaty, Lithuuania becomes independent rep
1923 K Reinmuth discovers asteroids #997 Priska & #3682
1927 Babe Ruth hits 30th of 60 HRs
1928 First televised tennis match
1931 Cubs & Cards hit a record 23 doubles in a game (2nd game of DH)
1933 Congress passes 1st minimum wage law (33 per hour)
1934 US Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island abandoned
1946 Vance Dinges hits the only Phillie pinch hit inside-the-park HR
1948 First jets to fly across the Atlantic (6 RAF de Havilland Vampires)
1949 AL beats NL 11-7 in 16th All Star Game, NL makes a record 5 errors
1949 Baseball owners agree to erect warning paths before each fence
1949 LA Rams sign Norm Van Brocklin
1950 ILTF re-admit Germany & Japan in Davis Cup, Poland & Hungary withdraw
1951 Mob tries to keep black family from moving into all-white Cicero Ill
1951 NY Yankees Allie Reynolds no-hits Cleve Indians, 8-0
1954 Major League Baseball Players Assn founded
1955 NL beats AL 6-5 (12 innings) in 22nd All Star Game (Milwaukee)
1957 First President to fly in helicopter-Dwight Eisenhower
1960 Congo, Chad & Central African Republic declare independence
1960 Echo I, 1st passive satellite launched
1960 USSR’s Sputnik 5 launched with 2 dogs
1962 First time 2 manned crafts in space (USSR)
1962 Rolling Stones 1st performance (Marquee Club, London)
1966 26.70 cm (10.51″) of rainfall, Sandusky, Ohio (state record)
1966 Most rain fell in 1 day in Ohio, 10.5″ in Sandusky
1966 NL beats AL 2-1 (10 innings) in 37th All Star Game (Busch, St Louis)
1966 Race riot in Chicago
1966 US Treasury announces it will buy mutilated silver coins at silver
           bullion price at Philadelphia & Denver mints
1967 23 die in Newark race rebellion
1967 5th Mayor’s Trophy Game, Mets beat Yankees 4-0
1967 Blacks in Newark, riot, 26 killed, 1500 injured & over 1000 arrested
1970 Janis Joplin debuts in Kentucky
1971 Juan Corona, indicted for 25 murders
1975 Sao Tom‚ e Pr¡ncipe gains independence from Portugal (Nat’l Day)
1977 First free flight test of space shuttle Enterprise
1978 Sun Bank Building opens
1979 Kiribati (Gilbert & Ellice Is) gains independence from Britain
           “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey Park, causes fans to go wild &
           causes White Sox to forfeit 2nd game of a doubleheader to the Tigers
1982 FEMA promises survivors of a nuclear war will get their mail
1984 Geraldine Ferraro, NY became 1st woman major-party VP candidate
1985 Doctors discover a cancerous growth in Pres Reagan’s colon
1985 STS 51-F launch scrubbed at T -3s because of main engine shutdown
1987 Phillies Kent Tekulve pitches his 900th game in relief
1988 Margo Adams alleges Red Sox Wade Bogg’s “Delta Force” revenge plan
1988 USSR launches Phobos II for Martian orbit
1989 NY Yankee pitching great Ron Guidry retires (170-91 .651, 3.29 ERA)
1990 Chicago White Sox Melido Perez no-hits the Yankees 8-0 in a rain
           shortened 6 inning game at Yankee Stadium (7th no-hitter of 1990)

Jody Victor