Monday, August 12, 2013

The 1989 Cleveland National Air Show

Sadly, there will be no air show in Cleveland or many other places this year. But as luck would have it, I ran across a program from the 1989 Cleveland National Air Show in a pile of old magazines my dad left me.

September of 1989 wasn't that long ago (to me, anyway), but this thing seems really dated. In the summer of 1989 I was going to OSU at night and working construction in Columbus in the day. I don't remember going to this air show, but I may well have. Later that very month, I went back to fall classes at OSU and met my future wife at a card game in Taylor Tower.

There's something interesting on almost every page of the program, but I'll try to be sparing. Let's start with the front cover and then skip to the back cover.


1989 was the 60th anniversary of the National Air Races, which were mostly in Cleveland. The Air Races were a huge and extremely dangerous event. They were moved out of Cleveland in the late 40s after a P-51 went into a front yard in Berea and killed a young mother and her baby.  


The back cover sports an ad with a very recognizable logo. But unless you're over 30 years old and a native Clevelander, you're saying, "Who the hell is Kenny King and what does he have to do with KFC?"  Kenny King had the Cleveland KFC franchises but he sold other stuff like hamburgers right in the same restaurants. You would go to Kenny King's and you could get KFC, kind of like you can go to Target and get an Icee. (Except back then it was still called Kentucky Fried Chicken, because it was still socially acceptable to eat fried food. Finger lickin' good! - it's right on the bucket if you look closely.) The Kenny Kings all became regular KFC's well before I moved back to Cleveland in 2006.  

Now that I've gotten to looking through the program, there's too much for one post. So I'll just show two more ads. First...

MK Ferguson of Cleveland designed the plant that built the B-1B bomber. How about that? 

Last comes my favorite thing in the whole program: this little quarter-page ad:


Dr.Uonelli was a doctor in my hometown. His house really did look like the little drawing on the map - it was a regular house in a neighborhood, but with a long addition containing his office. I never met Uonelli, but I had a friend, Matt, who lived in his neighborhood and was taken up for some rides in the doc's airplane. Once I rode my bike over to Matt's house, and we cruised by the doc's house and knocked on his door. He wasn't home, but thirty years later I remember a little decal on his door that said, "Genitalia is NOT the national airline of Italy." Just the thing for an Italian flight doctor, I suppose. Where the hell would you buy something like that?    

Maybe next time I'll show some actual airplanes from the program.  


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