When Bob Walton, Toledo, recently spotted the Toledo Stoplight Festival posters advertising this Friday's (July 6) event, the background theme was a familiar one.
He told The Chronicle he has an enlargement of this very photo "framed and hanging on the north wall of my family room." It's not because Bob is that much attracted by the view of the stoplight at the corner of Broadway and High.
"The first car parked at the north curb as you look east is a blue 1951 Chevrolet fordor belonging to my dad, Austin E. (Hod) Walton, Bob said. "And that's him walking across High Street with his hat and overalls and back to you."
Bob Walton displays the enlargement of a postcard of downtown Toledo showing the stoplight and which captured his father and his father’s car. At right is the same view which was used as the background for the poster advertising the 3rd annual Toledo Stoplight festival to be held this Friday, July 6.
Bob says based upon the vehicle models, he believes the photo is from the late 1950s or very early 1960s. In examining the picture for the accompanying photo, Walton said the pickup truck toward which his father is walking resembles a City of Toledo vehicle in use at that time.
The photo used on the poster is from a postcard. It is likely from an assortment which used to be sold in the Toledo Rexall Drug Store - later Wilkinson's and Doyle's Family Pharmacy, visible at right.
Other "memories" in the view include the Toledo Post Office on the corner and Hugo's Sundries with the Coca-Cola sign at the left of the photo. The clock on the what was then the National Bank corner was a memorial by a Toledo family. (Bob and I don't agree on who donated the clock. A plaque mounted on the building told of the donors but it is too small in the photo to be read.)
Of the stoplight itself, Bob says it was painted silver and black.
He says shortly after it was first installed in 1949, a group of his friends and he had a bet on which of several somewhat notorious elderly drivers would run into the stoplight base first.
Bob says his pick won the bet.