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 Hammond Civic Center
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Paddy

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2008 :  18:01:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is the Civic Center still in use? I worked there when I was a kid, hawking food and Cokes. Sam Miller owned the concession rights and paid us a dime for every dollar's worth we sold. It wasn't much, but it was a big deal to a 13-year old.

One side benefit was seeing all of the productions from behind the scenes. When the circus was there, the lion and tiger cages were right next to the concession office. When the Grand Ole Opry visited, we were in the backstage area and saw all of the stars coming and going.

Another perk was after-hours access to the swimming pool. An older kid who worked for Sam, Ron Wilson, was the manager and had keys for all the doors. Having a huge swimming pool to ourselves was really living.

Edited by - Paddy on 04/24/2015 22:34:59

wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2008 :  12:32:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We haven't lived in NWI since 1975 and the last time I was in the Civic Center was for my Morton High graduation in June 1960, but I have heard from friends in the area that it still is open -- even the swimming pool. Tom J can tell us about his HHS class of 1967 having its 40th year reunion there last year.

I have been to one country music concert in my lifetime, at least that's all I can remember. And I remember that one only because of a couple pictures I found recently in Ken's Archives (attic). These were taken at one of those Grand Ole Opry concerts at the Hammond Civic Center that Paddy mentioned. This concert was in 1957 when I was 14. The poster in front of the stage advertises a coming concert with Red Foley on November 4. I know the top group is June Carter and her family. For the other picture, I know the fellow out front is one of the Opry stars, but I just cannot figure out who he is.

Take a look at the pictures on this link:

Civic Center Photos

Ken...
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2008 :  18:06:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ken,
I believe that gentleman is Hank Snow.
You can google his name, find a pic, probably to confirm my "belief".

quote:
Originally posted by wvcogs
[November 4. I know the top group is June Carter and her family. For the other picture, I know the fellow out front is one of the Opry stars, but I just cannot figure out who he is.

Take a look at the pictures on this link:

Civic Center Photos

Ken...

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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2008 :  21:04:33  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yep, Paddy, the Civic Center is still going strong. That's where my Hammond High 40th reunion was held in August of 2007.

You'll have to ask someone else about what event they have there these days, since I am away from the Region.

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!

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nitti

66 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2009 :  10:30:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom J

Yep, Paddy, the Civic Center is still going strong. That's where my Hammond High 40th reunion was held in August of 2007.

You'll have to ask someone else about what event they have there these days, since I am away from the Region.

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!



The Civic Center was where they had the circus. The only place I ever went to the Circus. Do they still have them anywhere other than in the big city venues?

I remember one particular cold windy sunday when another member of this forum and I decided that it wasn't that far to walk from the Civic Center to Hessville.(you could buy something with that bus fare...)

We made it as far as his grandparents house in Woodmar when we "ran out of gas". Thank goodness his parents were there to give us a ride the rest of the way home........
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duane

381 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2009 :  11:40:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember going to the Circus at the civic center. The elephants always impressed me the most. We used to come home with the toy birds (with feathers) that hung on a string from the end of a red stick. As you whirled them around, they would make a chirping sound.
Also the monkey that hung between two sticks and when you pushed the sticks together, he would swing around and upside down.

I now live in a town of about 80,000 and the circus comes to town every year. But I haven't gone since my kids were young and since they are deathly afraid of clowns we only went a couple of times. I never did get the clown thing either. I'm not afraid of them, but I never found them funny (even as a kid) and I just don't get their act.

I fear that circuses, at least as we knew them, are becoming a thing of the past. Every year when the circus comes, the paper is filled with letters from animal rights wackos lamenting how no one should attend. So the circus has fewer and fewer animal acts and has gone more to that Cirq du Soleil crap of contortionists, etc. Now talk about something scary!
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HassoBenSoba

USA
642 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2009 :  19:03:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nitti

quote:
Originally posted by Tom J

Yep, Paddy, the Civic Center is still going strong. That's where my Hammond High 40th reunion was held in August of 2007.

You'll have to ask someone else about what event they have there these days, since I am away from the Region.

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!



The Civic Center was where they had the circus. The only place I ever went to the Circus. Do they still have them anywhere other than in the big city venues?

I remember one particular cold windy sunday when another member of this forum and I decided that it wasn't that far to walk from the Civic Center to Hessville.(you could buy something with that bus fare...)

We made it as far as his grandparents house in Woodmar when we "ran out of gas". Thank goodness his parents were there to give us a ride the rest of the way home........


Nitti---

Oh, yeah...I remember that afternoon when we almost froze our butts off.

Overall, my family and I went to the circus ONE time only that I recall, about 1954. All I remember is sitting in the balcony and the host of the show, who was dressed like an Emmett Kelly-type hobo/clown, yelling to the audience: "IS EVERYBODY HAPPY?" a number of times. That's the sum total of my circus memories.

The guy who is now in charge of the Civic Center, Dave Innes (he's the guy who did the camera work for my Mel Blanc You Tube thing) recently told me about his daily duties there; I sat listening with a mix of horror and hilarity....the job is VERY demanding and the place itself is huge and technologically WAY behind the times. I told Dave his daily routine would make for a very funny reality show.

ALSO-- our uncle, Bill Rapchak (my dad's younger brother), is a member of the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame display at the Civic Center; he was a basketball star for Michigan State in the early 50's, I believe.

Larry
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tom w

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2009 :  20:33:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Larry;
There was a T v program called Super Circus. The star was Mary Hartline and the ringmaster was a comedian called Jerry Colona. His opening line to the audience was "IS EVERRRRRRYBODY HAPPY?" he had a round face and a black moustache. He rolled his eyes and people laughed. LOL. I remember seeing a couple of web pages for Mary Hartline. I only saw one circus at the Civic Center. I didn't go anywhere that they had monkeys after an episode that I had at the Hammond Humane Society when it was run by a nice lady named Betty Phelps. since that day I have been deathly afraid of monkeys even to this day. Tom W


Edited by - tom w on 12/31/2009 20:34:49
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2009 :  21:33:06  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tom w

Larry;
There was a T v program called Super Circus. The star was Mary Hartline and the ringmaster was a comedian called Jerry Colona. His opening line to the audience was "IS EVERRRRRRYBODY HAPPY?" he had a round face and a black moustache. He rolled his eyes and people laughed. LOL. I remember seeing a couple of web pages for Mary Hartline. I only saw one circus at the Civic Center. I didn't go anywhere that they had monkeys after an episode that I had at the Hammond Humane Society when it was run by a nice lady named Betty Phelps. since that day I have been deathly afraid of monkeys even to this day. Tom W





OK, Tom, I'll bite. What happened that made you become afraid of monkeys?

Tom
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BobK

431 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2010 :  00:13:21  Show Profile  Send BobK a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
My Dad was exercising on the treadmill at the Civic Center when he had his fatal heart attack.
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Jim Plummer

USA
317 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2010 :  09:04:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The ringmaster on Super Circus was Claude Kirchner and he also did voice overs on Marx toy commercials.
Wasn't it the Shrine Circus we saw at the Civic Center? The loud explosions with the clowns as they all piled out of their cars used to scare me.









quote:
Originally posted by tom w

Larry;
There was a T v program called Super Circus. The star was Mary Hartline and the ringmaster was a comedian called Jerry Colona. His opening line to the audience was "IS EVERRRRRRYBODY HAPPY?" he had a round face and a black moustache. He rolled his eyes and people laughed. LOL. I remember seeing a couple of web pages for Mary Hartline. I only saw one circus at the Civic Center. I didn't go anywhere that they had monkeys after an episode that I had at the Hammond Humane Society when it was run by a nice lady named Betty Phelps. since that day I have been deathly afraid of monkeys even to this day. Tom W



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tom w

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2010 :  10:26:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bob; So sorry. It had to be traumatic for the whole family. I lost my mom, dad, and brother all within six months.

Jim;
wasnt there more than one ringmaster?
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BobK

431 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2010 :  10:58:56  Show Profile  Send BobK a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Jim, yes it was the Shrine Circus.

Tom, thanks, it was quite a surprise. That was 11 years ago and my Mother passed a year ago.

Bob
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Jim Plummer

USA
317 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2010 :  08:48:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Only one ringmaster on Super Circus. I have several dvd's and one 16mm print of the show. However, there was another circus show on cbs saturday mornings called Big Top, I think that ringmaster had a moustache. I think that show came fromback east and was sponsored by seal-test ice cream.
Am I right in associating a pop corn sort of smell with the civic center??
quote:
Originally posted by tom w

Bob; So sorry. It had to be traumatic for the whole family. I lost my mom, dad, and brother all within six months.

Jim;
wasnt there more than one ringmaster?

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tom w

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2010 :  12:42:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jimbo; If you look up Jerry Colonna it says that the last year before Super Circus folded, it went to New York but Kirshner didn't go with. So Colonna was the ringmaster. I didn't watch that much but I remember both of them. Colonna was boring to me but in retrospect he was just making a living. Funny how tolerant we get as we mature. Tom W
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Jim Plummer

USA
317 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2010 :  07:34:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey you're right about Jerry Colonna being on Super Circus. I have him on some Bing Crosby and Bob Hope radio shows and I don't find him funny. I'm guessing my father was over his interest in Mary Heartline so we were watching something else by that time.
quote:
Originally posted by tom w

Jimbo; If you look up Jerry Colonna it says that the last year before Super Circus folded, it went to New York but Kirshner didn't go with. So Colonna was the ringmaster. I didn't watch that much but I remember both of them. Colonna was boring to me but in retrospect he was just making a living. Funny how tolerant we get as we mature. Tom W

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