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Issue Date: August 2005 Issue


Classic Cleveland

Do you crave cake from Hough Bakeries? Miss the cheap seats at Cleveland Municipal Stadium? Some of these things are gone forever. But some are still around. And -- happily -- some have been brought back to life just as they were about to take a permanent place in our collective nostalgia.
The Editors

Endangered
The Drive-in Restaurant

Before bucket seats and safety belts divided us, front seats were simultaneously big and cozy (because you could scoot right over). Whether you were interested in showing off your car or your girl, though, drive-ins like Kenny King's and Manner's Big Boy were the place to do it.

Biggest Threats: The advent of McDonalds. Also, in his book, "Car Hops and Curb Service," author Jim Heimann theorizes that the movie "American Graffiti" made drive-ins too alluring, drawing scads of pop-drinking teen-agers whose presence scared off older customers who actually ordered food.

Spotted: Swensons, with seven area locations centered around Akron, where a hamburger goes for just $1.35 and you can order old favorites like sloppy Joes and fried bologna. www.swensonsdriveins.com

Extinct
I Remember Farm Animals

For people living on the West Side of Cleveland in the '50s, farm animals were an unlikely, but very real part of our lives.

The Paper Rags man, who bought old junk, had an old wagon and an even older horse. The poor old nag would usually have on a silly hat and blinders. The fruit-and-vegetable man had a horse-drawn wagon, too. He made his way through neighborhoods, yelling STRAW – BER – RIES, WA – TER – MEL – ON, BLUE – BER – RIES, HON – EY – DEW. I can only remember him selling fruits with three or more syllables.

Then there was the man who came around with a pony and a boxy camera on a tripod. He carried all the necessary props for little cowboys — chaps, cowboy hat and, of course, a gun. Little kids, usually boys, could have their sepia-toned picture taken on the pony.

But the stockyards on West 65th provided us with some entertainment, too (as well as a ghastly odor when the wind blew just right). I used to watch the trucks pass by, my heart dipping at the sight of all those little snouts poking through the slats. Once in a while, a cow managed to escape his executioners and took off running down our street.

At that, all of us kids would yell the same thing: "Go cow, go!"

— Bonnie Mytnick

Revived
Hough Bakeries

"This is it," the customer says, finishing off a bite of white cake with snow-white frosting and pale pink roses.

"Absolutely." The cake, she confirms, is exactly like the ones that accompanied every birthday of her youth and even her wedding.

But it wasn't made at Hough Bakeries, which closed in 1992 after nearly a century in business. It was from Archie's Lakeshore Bakery, just east of Bratenahl, which opened in 1994. After working at Hough for 25 years, owner Archie Garner knew the recipes — and also knew there'd be a demand for those Hungarian Delights, coconut bars, petit fours and more.

Order cake anytime from Archie's by calling (216) 481-4188 or stop by on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., generally the only time they sell to walk-in customers.

Extinct
I Remember Partying in the Flats

It's not something everyone who was there can claim, but I vividly remember the thousands upon thousands of Clevelanders who flocked to the banks of the Cuyahoga River for the city's bicentennial celebration, during the Fourth of July holiday in 1996. It was the pinnacle of the Flats' popularity as a nighttime destination, with boats clogging the river and people milling shoulder-to-shoulder along Old River Road as if it were the French Quarter. A year after the Atlanta Braves and a year before the dreaded Florida Marlins, the Flats embodied the World Series-level of excitement that filled the "Comeback City." But as the '90s waned, so did the Flats. Fractured ownership sank the East Bank, while the West Bank forged on, albeit with much less fanfare than its mid-'90s heyday. But for those who were there those hot days during the summer of 1996, the Flats was a beacon — proof that great things could happen in Cleveland, because they already had.

— Jim Vickers

Endangered
The Drugstore Soda Fountain

They used to be called "druggists," not "pharmacists." And they worked at the dozens of drugstores throughout the area, from Masek's on West 73rd Street to Rukasin's in Cleveland Heights and from Hagedorn's in Old Brooklyn to Cy's in Rocky River. These days, tracking down a drugstore with an old-fashioned soda fountain is an even bigger challenge than finding a mom-and-pop pharmacy in a suburbia dominated by CVS and Walgreens chains.

Biggest Threats: The rise of prescription drugs after penicillin was discovered. Pharmacists used to scoop ice cream when they weren't busy packaging pills, making the soda fountain a lucrative side venture. When prescription drugs picked up, many drugstores began eliminating their fountains.

Spotted: Saywell's Drug Store, 160 N. Main St., Hudson, (330) 653-5411, where chocolate shakes are still the biggest seller.

Extinct
I Remember Penny Candy

Every Saturday, the kids on my block on Arcade Avenue in North Collinwood would go to the Saturday matinee at the Commodore Theatre at East 152nd Street and Lake Shore Boulevard. The Commodore offered a double feature and lots of cartoons, but mostly we ran around the place and drove Joe, the usher, crazy. It was something of a badge of honor to have Joe turn his flashlight on you and threaten to throw you out. He never followed through, however. If he had, every seat would be empty.

It was a magnificent way to while away the afternoon. But for me, the best part was the penny-candy scam. My mother would give my sister and me 37 cents each — a quarter for admission and the other 12 cents to buy two candy bars (they were a nickel at what we called the Across-the-Street Store on Arcade, but the theater inflated the price). We had a better idea. We would stop at Fran's, the candy store on East 156th, and buy a dozen pieces of the best Fran had to offer — wax lips and mustaches, licorice sticks and paper coated with tiny candy dots.

We took our small white paper bags jammed with the treats and hid them in our pockets as we entered the theater. And what Joe — and Mother — didn't know didn't hurt them. We learned the hard way, though, that wax lips are best displayed and not chewed.

— Richard Osborne

Endangered
The Phone Booth

Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent certainly would have a hard time finding a place to change into Superman nowadays — most of the accordion-door phone booths have either been removed or replaced by pedestal counterparts.

Biggest Threats: Lack of handicap accessibility, cell phones

Spotted: SOM Center Road (just south of state Route 422), Solon

Endangered
The Roller Rink

It was the place to be — the Rollercade on Dennison Avenue in Cleveland. Back then, you'd take off your penny loafers, put on your skates and groove to the waltzes and jitterbugs played by the organist. The really good skaters had fancy outfits, like the ones ice skaters wear. Everyone else came in street clothes. There are still kids who know the thrill of whizzing around a rink with a group of friends on a Saturday afternoon, but the days of taking lessons and learning dances such as the circle waltz are gone forever — just like the rinks that have turned out the lights and locked their doors.

Biggest Threats: An ever-growing number of activities and sports for children, outdoor skate parks, liability for patrons' physical injuries

Spotted: Brookpark Skateland, 13445 Brookpark Road, Brook Park, (216) 267-3966; United Skates of America Roller Skating Center, 30325 Palisades Parkway, Wickliffe, (440) 944-5300

Extinct
I Remember Corner Christmas Tree Lots

When I was a kid, Christmas was really special because it was way less commercialized. About the biggest sales push going was for Christmas trees. You could buy them on every other corner, at gas stations, beer joints and vacant lots.

Since we didn't have a car, my dad and I would pull a sled to the nearest lot and carefully scrutinize every tree. The man at the lot would thump the trunk on the ground to show us it was fresh and then he would say something like: "Well, just for you folks, 'cause I can see you're nice people, the price of this tree, just for tonight, is $4.50."

We would pull our beautiful tree home on the sled, confident that we had the best tree and had paid the lowest possible price.

— BM

Extinct
I Remember Concerts at the Richfield Coliseum

Throughout its 20 years of existence, there were Clevelanders who complained about The Coliseum's location just off Interstate 271 in Richfield. "Too far from downtown," whined politicians, business leaders and West Siders. But the rural location of "The Big House on the Prairie," as former WMMS-FM disc jockey Kid Leo called it, proved to be my ticket out of nearby Medina County to major concert events at the tender age of 16.

An arena located in the middle of nowhere, my parents reasoned, was far safer than anything in the big, bad city. Therefore, they allowed me to venture forth with my best friend, Pam, who was a year older than I and had what they deemed adequate highway driving experience, to check out our favorite rockers.

Some of the best moments of my life were spent cruising up I-271 North in Pam's black, four-door sedan with the radio blaring, primping and chattering excitedly about the big night ahead. Aerosmith, David Bowie, Rod Stewart — as the old advertising jingle proclaimed, you could really see 'em at The Coliseum!

— Lynne Thompson

Revived
Movies at Playhouse Square

It was so much more than a movie — the balcony, the velvet curtains, the sparkling lobby, and the wide staircase so elegant that just walking down it made a regular clod feel like Grace Kelly. You can have it all again this August at the Palace Theatre.

From Aug. 10 to Aug. 28, Playhouse Square is offering a run of nine features, including "An Affair to Remember," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "American Graffiti" and — so the kids can experience the splendor, too — "E.T." Old cartoons, short features and an organ recital precede all shows. Tickets are $5 at the door for adults and $4 for kids. Call (216) 241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.com  for more info.

Endangered
The Butcher Shop

They were on every corner. Today, there's no longer even a "Butcher" heading in the yellow pages. Sure, there are quite a few listings under "Retail-Meat," but most of those aren't the old-school butchers our parents and grandparents used to visit at least once a week. And trying to find a butcher in the 'burbs is virtually impossible. But before you romanticize yester-year, consider this memory offered by a woman whose older brother worked for a butcher shop half a century ago. "His boss told him, when you pick up ground meat, make sure you have water in your hand to make the meat weigh more."

Biggest Threats: Supermarket meat departments, lack of time to make multiple grocery shopping stops

Spotted: TJ Butcher Block & Deli, 14415 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, (216) 521-3303

Revived
Euclid Avenue's Arcades

Both the Old and Colonial arcades draw downtown lunchers like they used to draw pigeons before the holes in the ceiling were fixed, with options ranging from upscale (Vivo) to healthy (Octane Café) to ethnic (World Wraps) to cheap (a hot dog place.) True to their roots, the arcades are lined with independent niche retailers, from Colonial Coin & Stamp to the Brass Tack Shoe Repair (where you can also get keys made). But there are also plenty of reasons for suburban recluses to make the trip. The Colonial Arcade is known for its galleries, from ArtMetro to the Bancroft Gallery. It also boasts Cakes Plus, where the best brownies in the world are made (a map on the wall shows all the cities in the United States where their confections have been shipped). At the Old Arcade, we spotted a woman with a Nordstrom bag at Valentina's, the custom tailor known for duplicating any dress (or photo of a dress) brought in by patrons.

Extinct
I Remember Euclid Beach and Puritas Springs parks

When I was a kid growing up on the West Side of Cleveland, my entire world was within the boundaries of Downtown Cleveland and West 110th and Lorain. Nothing that mattered in life was outside those boundaries except Euclid Beach Park and Puritas Springs Park. The bus ride seemed interminably long for a kid anticipating a joyous day at an amusement park.

After what seemed like hours and hours and 10 bus transfers, the bus pulled up in front of Euclid Beach Park and there it was — the roller coaster, the bug, the flying turns, the spaceships! I almost tripped getting off the bus not wanting to waste one moment. What to ride first? The Fun House was always a good start and Laughing Sal welcomed everyone. We would ride the silver space ships, a rather calm, pleasant ride overlooking Lake Erie, then on to the Racing Derby. We were adventuresome enough to ride the Flying Turns, but not brave enough to ride the Thriller.

The ride that stands out most in my mind, though, was the Dodgems. Maybe because my dad didn't drive, he thought that was the most fun ride of all. Decades later, I can close my eyes and taste the taffy, hear the distinct amusement park sounds and see my dad laughing himself silly.

— BM

Endangered
The Shoe Repair Shop

Looking for someone to half-sole your favorite Florsheims or fix the broken heel on one of your prized Manolo Blahniks? Be prepared to wear out another pair of shoes conducting the search. The ingenious shoe repairman who can make any pair of salvageable hoofers look just-out-of-the-box new is disappearing from strip malls and downtown shopping districts.

Biggest Threats: Cheap shoes, high cost of repair materials and commercial space

Spotted: Coventry Shoe & Leather Repair, 2806 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights, (216) 932-1836; Hanna Shoe Repair, 2055 E. 14th St., (216) 696-6633 

Extinct
I Remember the Cheap Seats at Cleveland Municipal Stadium

Some would say I was fortunate to come into a small share of season tickets right behind home plate at The Jake. But, for me, nothing can compare with the general admission seats in the mid to late '80s at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where you could easily find a spot in the first row, prop your feet up and, banging the empty wooden seat next to you, help drum up one of the rallies that made us almost-contenders once or twice.

I was 13 years old back then and obsessed, even convincing my dad to not only take me to New York City to see the Indians play, but also book a room in the same hotel as the team. Too young to catch anyone's eye and too old to be cute, I made an awkward groupie. Imagine a 13-year-old chasing Mel Hall in the hotel lobby after a crushing loss at Yankee Stadium. "Mr. Hall, Mr. Hall, tough game, can I get your autograph?" He totally snubbed me. Then there was the time I found out Julio Franco's Westlake address and got someone to give me a ride to drop off a birthday card and a Grand Slam bar in his mailbox (he may have found that creepy).

But perhaps the oddest memory of all was the debut of pitcher Greg Swindell on Aug. 21, 1986. (I'd been keeping a scrapbook chronicling his rise through the minors, so this was pretty much the highlight of my summer.) On the mound for Boston was Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd and hopes were high that our rookie would teach that showboat a thing or two. Well, it turned out badly. As the score escalated against us, we fans turned on our team and began rooting for Boston, banging the seats and yelling, "Make it a football score." We almost did, losing 24 to 5.

— Colleen Mytnick

Endangered
The TV Repair Shop

Those who remember a time when buying a television was an event to be recorded in family history will still try to get the ol' boob tube fixed when it goes on the fritz instead of tossing it out with the trash. Unfortunately, the guys who do this sort of thing are becoming as difficult to find in our throwaway society as rabbit ears.

Biggest Threats: Inexpensive TVs, increasing repair labor rates

Spotted: Steve's TV & Electronics, 625 Golden Oak Parkway, Oakwood, (216) 475-7500. A full 95 percent of TVs are fixable, says owner Jim Gibson. The question is, is it economical? If it's a 13-inch or 19-inch TV, you're probably better off throwing it out and buying new, Gibson says. Same goes for VCRs.

Extinct
I Remember the Buddy Bell Fan Club

Teen girls who followed the hits and misses of the Cleveland Indians during the bleak "Major League" years of the 1970s didn't have much to cheer about. So we focused instead on the movie star looks sported by a starting line-up that included Tribe third baseman Buddy Bell. To us, he had it all: blond hair and a boyish smile that rivaled Robert Redford's, and athletic prowess that ultimately led to five American League All-Star Game appearances.

From 1973 to 1978, more than 500 of us joined the Buddy Bell Fan Club, presided over by then-Brook Park teen Sue Gharrity (today a member of the Cleveland Indians media relations department). We wore our Buddy Bell Fan Club buttons with pride, pasted Buddy Bell Fan Club bumper stickers on the back of the family auto and donned our Buddy Bell Fan Club T-shirts for Sunday afternoon double-headers followed by get-togethers with our hero at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

Like Bat Day and Ladies Night, fan clubs have pretty much disappeared from the pro sports scene. But the memory of the excitement and adulation we felt watching our favorite player in action linger.

— Linda Feagler

Endangered
Newspaper Delivery Boys

We're willing to bet there was more than one boy who financed his first car with the years of savings from his paper route. These days, though, it's adults 18 and over who deliver the Plain Dealer to your door.

Biggest Threats: Kids made great carriers, says Plain Dealer assistant circulation director Keye Daws. But, in 1992, the paper began requiring carriers to drive to a distribution center and pick up their papers. Why not kids 16 and over then? "I'm sure it was a liability issue," Daws says.

Spotted: You must only be 10 years old to deliver for Sun Newspapers. 

Extinct
I Remember Christmas Shopping Downtown

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, but the day after Thanksgiving was almost better when I was young. My mother and I would always go downtown to at least begin our Christmas shopping — as did the rest of Cleveland, or so it seemed.

The Christmas decorations in the windows of Higbees, May Co., Sterling Lindner and Halle's were elaborate wonderlands and kids would stand with their noses pressed against the glass, mesmerized by the animated characters dancing and gliding all over. We would walk east on Euclid Avenue, past the Nut House, where a fan blew the aroma of roasting cashews and pistachios out to the sidewalk.

After that, there were dime stores — Kresge's and Woolworth's, where my mother would let me pick out a figure for our manger scene each year. (Eventually, we had quite a crowd, featuring more than one baby Jesus.) The beauty of dime stores was that they had little mini stores within them. Kresge's had a butcher shop, a shoe-shine stand, a shoe repair shop and a pet department that sold birds, fish, mice and gerbils.

Maybe the best memory, though, is taking the elevator in Higbee's, Halle's or May Co. to the toy floor. When the doors opened, a wonderland of dolls and toys was before me, as I mentally composed my letter to Santa.

Then it would be time to decide where to eat. There were so many choices — a plethora of restaurants lining Euclid Avenue as well as the Forum Cafeteria on East Ninth, the Silver Grille at Higbee's and the Tea Room at Halle's.

We would do more shopping and then it was time to take the bus back home. We were so laden with our purchases and gift boxes (those were real gift boxes, not the collapsible kind like today) that we could hardly carry everything on the bus.

Years later when I took my own daughter downtown, times had changed. There was still excitement in the air and there were still magical scenes in Higbee's and May Co.'s windows, but the crowds had thinned. Sterling Lindner was long gone and, along with it, the wondrous, giant Christmas tree. The dime stores were history and the fine restaurants had been replaced with fast-food joints. She did, however, enjoy doing her Christmas shopping at the Twigbee Shop, something I didn't have.

Last Christmas season, determined to continue the "day-after-Thanksgiving-go-Downtown-to-shop" tradition, my husband and I took our granddaughter to Tower City. Our little Audrey saw magic too. She danced with the toy soldier and her eyes twinkled as she watched all of the characters dancing and gliding. We shopped and ate in the food court and had a wonderful day.

But, how I wish she could have seen the downtown of my youth, or even the downtown of her mother's youth. Our day began and ended in Tower City, because my downtown is no more.

— BM

Revived
Outdoor Shopping

Westgate Mall in Fairview Park is a microcosm of the trends in shopping. It was built in 1954 as an outdoor shopping center. Then, in 1969, it was enclosed to keep shoppers warm and dry. Now, there are plans to raise the roof, so to speak, as developers gear up to transform the center into an open-air center along the lines of Legacy Village and Crocker Park

This cycle of shopping got us wondering what's the next new thing? Twenty years from now, will we be nostalgic for malls with food courts?

Not exactly, says Patrice Duker, spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers. It sounds funny, she offers, but malls will get even bigger than the 800,000-square-foot average. And they'll be considered Omni Centers, places where the whole family can enjoy themselves, whether they like to shop or not. In addition to stores and movie theaters, they'll boast museums, day colleges, gyms and entertainment complexes. "They'll be more of a fun center than a shopping center," she says.

Endangered
The High Dive

In one terror-filled leap, you officially became one of the Big Kids. Those days are dwindling as city after city removed high dives from their public pools during the mid-'80s.

Biggest Threats: Insurance companies that charge higher premiums for what they perceive as a risky venture, coupled with our sue-happy, safety-oriented culture.

Spotted: The city of Independence has had a 3-meter dive since 1962. City officials considered removing it when they redid the pool four years ago, but "the kids like it and we've really had no accidents," says city recreation director Ed Kostyack. First-time divers (who must prove they can swim the width of the pool) inch across the board, but emerge triumphant from the water. "They get a smile on their face because they accomplished something," he says. Bay Village's public pool also has a 3-meter board.

How to Can Stuff Like Your Mother Did

Ask a 10-year-old, or even a 20-year-old, what a mason jar is, and you're likely to get a pretty blank stare. The quarter-inch-thick WagnerWare Magnalite pots and Kerr lids our mothers and grandmothers used are the stuff of specialty stores and eBay auctions.

Canning is a process with many steps, to be sure, but why, I wondered, has it fallen so out of use? My own mother, raised on a farm, knows how to can everything from peaches to pickles. And though I have memories of her and my grandmother laboriously peeling apples (the whole skin in one curlicue), I never really learned how to can. Why? I was about to find out.

"There's absolutely no way in &^%*!!" she roared when I suggested doing a little canning at our cottage during vacation. Nothing's in season, no dishwasher, flare up of arthritis, she's on vacation for God's sake … the list went on and on.

Perhaps my grandmother's ghost thwacked her over the head with an unearthly rolling pin; she called me back a few days later and grudgingly agreed to make some applesauce. It was much harder than I anticipated, and very time consuming, but the rewards are certainly as sweet as I remember.

"You know what ingredients have gone into it," explained my mom. "It's really flavorful — my tomatoes made the best chili, remember?"

Applesauce is one of the simplest foods to can (just make sure you follow the steps exactly!). Yields approximately one dozen pints.

1. Disinfect your jars in a tubful of hot water; set another kettle of water to boil, and put your lids in a small pot of boiling water.

2. Peel, core and quarter a peck of apples (approximately two grocery bags full).

3. Simmer the apples in their own juice at a medium heat (using a pot with the thickest bottom you can find).

4. When the apples start to break down, begin to add your sugar. Our moms knew to add to taste — you can start with a half-cup. It shouldn't take any more than three cups.

5. Add a little cinnamon if you'd like, but be careful! A little goes a long way.

6. Now the fun begins! Grab a jar from the hot water and set it upright in a pot.

7. Pour the kettle water around the edge of the jar's lip, then flip it over quickly so it's immersed in the water in the pot.

8. After a few seconds, pull the jar out of the water, use a funnel to fill your jar with applesauce, and pull a lid out of the boiling water with a pair of tongs.

9. Put the lid on quickly! Grab a ring and twist that sucker on as tightly as you can. Be sure to keep your jar upright — if the sauce gets in the way of the lid, it might not work.

10. Sit back and listen for the tiny sound of the tops popping. If any of your tops don't pop, get out a spoon; you're having applesauce for dinner!

— Amber Matheson

How to Quilt Like Your Mother Did

As a toddler I slept under a quilt designed and sewn just for me by my grandmother. Throughout my childhood the sewing machine was always whirring away; my mom shied away from quilts, but sewed just about anything else. She also wove baskets and owned a couple of looms. Craftwork was the norm, not an anomaly.

Recently I began to feel a great sense of nostalgia for my mother's and grandmother's abilities. So I coerced my mom into digging out her sewing machine and setting out with me on a great adventure in quilting. She was supposed to be the expert sewer; little did I know that quilt-making is a realm unto itself. Here, for your assistance, are three mistakes I made so you don't have to.

1. Don't choose a design far beyond your skills. We went with the mysterious bargello quilt, thanks to my quick scan of deceptively simple directions. Go with a simple nine-patch the first time around.

2. Don't pick just the pret-tiest colors and patterns. This may not sound like a mistake, but heed me now: As beautiful as each is individually, to-gether they can take on the ugly feel of a riot about to happen.

3. Don't trust your mother. Yeah, she's a natural at this type of stuff, and sure, she's worked with sewing machines for almost half a century, but this DOES NOT guarantee her ability to decipher quilting instructions.

In the end, patience, sewing ability and the unbreakable bond of mother and daughter prevailed. Our quilt is definitely ... colorful, and most importantly, we did it together.

If you're indulging your own childhood memories, my mother and I strongly recommend that you take an introductory class, offered at most local quilting shops. Here are a few places to check out: Hoops 'N' Hollers in North Olmsted (440-779-4700), Abigayle's Quilt-- ery in Olmsted Falls (440-235-7446), A Piece in Time in Akron (330-882-9626) and Parlour Quilts in Painesville (440-357-0055).

— AM

How to Cut Coupons Like Your Mother Did

Did you clip your coupons this morning? If so, you're in the majority. At least, according to the Coupon Council. But if you believe their claim that a whopping 77 percent of the U.S. population uses coupons, I've got a bridge I'll sell you really cheap.

When I think back to how my mother clipped coupons, I remember accordion en-velopes and divided folders, myriad leaflets and Betty Crocker points littering our house. Does anyone really do that anymore?

"Couponing these days is more of a lifestyle choice," says Giant Eagle spokesman Mike Bernstein. When both adults work, there's less time for the Zen of coupon clipping. "People are couponing when technology allows them to do it; for example, finding Internet coupons and scanning the Giant Eagle Advantage card." But, he says, "I don't think [the card] will ever replace the coupon; it serves a different role."

The Coupon Council also claims that September is National Coupon Clipping Month. So, with a month of prep time before you, we give you some tips for getting the most from your scissors.

1. Use that accordion envelope. You must organize!

2. Let your friends in on the newest trend: coupon swapping. If you don't like Bubbly-boo, maybe your best friend does.

3. Remember that it doesn't take that long if you're a savvy shopper; popular magazines are filled with useful coupons just begging to be used. A quick glance through those circulars you usually throw away could lead you to a gold mine.

4. Stack your savings: This can be a four-part deal, but it's vital to getting the most savings (the kind you can really brag to your mother about). Watch how we pay for our favorite shampoo, Bubbly-boo, hypothetically $7.95 per bottle.

a. After scanning the weekly newspaper inserts and circulars, we find that our local supermarket, Giant Eagle, is offering Bubbly-boo for $1 off this week with an Advantage card.

b. While leafing through our women's mag, we find a coupon for 99 cents off the price.

c. Giant Eagle automatically doubles any coupon up to 99 cents, so our coupon is really worth $1.98.

d. The manufacturer's rebate slip on the Bubbly-boo's packaging offers $2 cash-back if you mail in your receipt.

Ta da! We just got lustrous locks for $2.97! Look into your grocery store's rules about coupons; some stores will even triple coupons, and some feature coupon specials on certain days.

— AM

How To Tend Roses Like Your Mother Did

Any fool can plant a flat of impatiens. But cultivating a rose garden takes a little more patience, a trait not readily attributed to this generation. Rose sales have plummeted in recent years, says Beverly Holt, nursery manager at Pinehaven Garden Center and Greenhouse in Avon. "People are scared of them. They've heard there are so many problems that they don't want to take the time."

It's true, roses are beleaguered by powdery mildew, fungus and bugs. Even the so-called "disease-resistant" varieties get them. But Holt learned from the best how to enjoy a rose. Her mother, JoAnn Levitt, had a rose garden that she lovingly tended all summer. You can do it, too. Here's how.

1. Plant roses with a root stimulator, anything that contains vitamin B-9.

2. Fertilize with a product that contains a systemic insecticide once a month.

3. Water about once a week if you have clay soil, more if your soil is on the porous side. But don't over-water. If the soil is still wet and heavy, hold off.

4. Spray once a week with a product that prevents fungus and powdery mildew. This is a preventive measure. Don't wait till you see spots or mildew.

5. Unless you have a "self-cleaning" rose (ask when you buy it), dead-head the spent flowers to encourage regrowth.

6. In October, trim your roses to within eight or 12 inches off the ground (climbing roses, which bloom on old growth, are exempt). At the same time, form a small mound around the base of the plant, about four or five inches high.

7. Remove the hill in spring, after the last frost. If you don't, you'll rot the plant.

That is a lot of work, but Holt's mother, who has since passed away, did it happily, knowing the pay-off was huge. "She loved the roses so much," Holt says. "It was just fresh-cut flowers all summer long."

— CM

How to Make Swedish Meatballs Like Your Mother Did

Too late in life, I realized how important it was to cook with my grandmother. By the time I was ready, she was long past that stage of her life, and her Old-World recipes were locked inside her brain. Her legendary Swedish meatballs, made only for special occasions, will never grace another table in our household.

Relating this to a co-worker, she reminisced about her mother's Swedish meatballs, also a special occasion treat, also documented only inside her mother's head. We picked her brain to bring you this recipe, so use it and pass it on!

2 pounds ground round

l pound ground pork (my grandmother's addition)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

Mix ingredients well. Roll meatballs about the size of golf balls and place on a cookie sheet with sides. Bake meatballs at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Place meatballs in a pot with three or four jars of brown gravy and mushrooms. Heat thoroughly. Serve on noodles or with mashed potatoes.

— AM


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