The biggest news of January 1974 was the E. E. Root High School varsity basketball team finally won a game. The Bears rolled over Cuyahoga Hts. for the first win in a really long time. Coach Denny Kushlak hoped it would be, “the beginning of a new streak, a winning streak.” The win was such an overwhelming shock the Recorder reporter neglected to indicate the final score!

You could have your best shoes last and last because you could take them to a shoe repairman. Craftsman Nick Popa did the shoe repairs for North Royalton’s Myers Dry Cleaning. Mr. Popa repaired shoes, purses, boots, briefcases, saddles and bridles. Popa opened his own shop in Strongsville. He learned the profession from his papa who had a shoe repair business from 1926 until 1954.
Spring was just around the corner, an ad was posted for umpires for the upcoming recreational baseball league: 18 and up, no experience necessary.
In a March 27th letter to the editor, the NR Baseball Boosters refuted a claim that 10-12-year-old girls were being discriminated against. The Boosters explained that Baseball was the only summer athletic program open to girls. The Boosters further explained that they can only service those that are interested if there are enough coaches, etc. to work with the girls. The boosters encouraged folks who are interested, including those that criticize, to join in and play ball.
Royal View School performed the musical; “Tom Sawyer, American Boy,” by Mary Kay Strasek. The entire school pitched in for scenery, music, singing and dancing. The fifth graders gave a splendid performance and were rewarded with a standing ovation at the May 23rd Fine Arts Festival.
The Royalton Plaza Mini-Mall had an array of interesting shops. Village Pottery offered ceramic and pottery and serving items that were oven-to-table to dishwasher safe. The Yarnwinder specialized in needlecraft and sewing needs. The Old Towne Mall housed many interesting shops.
School had started by September 11 when the Recorder published pencil drawings done by Robert Phillips, a freshman at the high school. Robert drew the faculty of Albion School as an 8th grader. Mr. Matheny, the principal, is featured with a Board of Education.
October issues announced a slide show specifically showing the conditions of E.E. Root High School and Albion School, demonstrating the need for a new high school. The slide show was presented at the BOE meeting, as well as church groups, Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, Democratic Club, Royal Seniors and others. The object was to present as much information and to convince the voters of a need for a new high school.
The voters went to the polls in November. Finally, Finally, Finally issue #33 for the North Royalton Schools passed. One hundred picture slides are worth 200,000 words.
The Community Christmas Party was held at Carrie Cerino’s new Party Center. Santa came to Old Towne Mall with gifts for kids from 0 to age 10. The Jaycee wives sponsored a lunch with Santa. The North Royalton Baptist Church Choir presented the real reason for Christmas: A Christmas Cantata by John W. Peterson, has become a favorite of millions since its debut in 1958.
As always the Recorder urged everyone to support the business of North Royalton by shopping local for all their holiday needs.
In 1975, Russell Jaques, head football coach at Root High School, announced his resignation to accept a position as backfield coach at Bowling Green State University. A successor to Mr. Jaques was immediately sought.
June 11th Recorder reported that North Royalton had joined with Hinckley and Richfield in opposing a proposed federal prison. The prison, which was intended for first time male offenders of federal crimes, ages 18 – 25, was planned for a section of land on the boarder of Hinckley and Richfield; the Medina and Summit county line. In addition, the proposed minimum security prison designed to be like college type dorms would be right alongside Girl Scout Camps Hilaka and Julia Crowell. “According to Federal Bureau of Prison’s officials, the success rate of such proposals run 2 to 1 in favor of the government. Opinions of area residents on the proposed Federal Youth Center should be addressed to Federal, State, and Summit and Medina County officials.” There is no federal prison.
The North Royalton Chamber of Commerce and the Royalton Recorder moved to its current location at 13737 State Road. The little white block building was formerly the home of the Christian Science Reading room and a barber shop.
The North Royalton Police Club sponsored a single shot, Muzzle-Loading rifle contest. The contestants showed up in period costumes representing the muzzle- loading period. Costumes included trappers, settlers, and Native Americans with tomahawk. The muzzle-loaders were the weapons used during the 18th century to mid -19th century. Early battles in the Civil war also used muzzle-loaders.
The weekend of August 22, 23, and 24 was very busy in North Royalton.
The City Green was hosting a Bicentennial Celebration. 1976 was the bicentennial year but celebrations of all sorts began in ’75 the same year as the battle of Lexington and Concord. The folks dressed in period clothing demonstrated colonial ‘crafts’ that were a way of life two centuries ago. In addition to the demonstrations of early American life there was lots of food including 20th century hot dogs.
The Pyrotechnics Guild International Inc. held its convention and celebration at Root High School. A fabulous fireworks display filled the night sky just after dusk on August 23 concluding the convention.
Ground breaking for the new section of Root High School took place on August 24, construction began the next day. School would be starting within 10 days.
Open Pantry Food Mart sold four returnable quart bottles of 7-Up for $0.99 plus deposit; a nickel apiece. Other quart size locally bottled Cotton Club beverages were also available at the same price. Recycling was profitable. A Real half gallon of Real Borden’s ice cream was $0.79. Ahhhh, summer.
The October 29th Recorder reported that during his first three weeks as animal warden, George Karras chased and captured four horses, three steers and a bull that charged a local school bus. He rescued four cats, three raccoons, a dozen dogs, and a pony that was chomping the neighbor’s ripe apples. He also investigated five dog bites and cited animal owners who do not comply with city ordinances.
A search began for a new site for the North Royalton Branch of the County Library. The library was occupying a store front on Royalton Road and was in need of greater space to offer more reading materials, programs, and meeting rooms.
Santa Claus delivered the last issue of the 1975 Royalton Recorder, on Christmas Eve, December 24. “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
1976 – The Bicentennial year began with old-time caution. The new city councilmen baulk at the over-use of “emergency measures” by which many ordinances take effect without the hearings and three readings that the city charter calls for.
The Royalton High School Wrestlers grappled their way to a Cuyahoga Conference Championship.
March 24th issue reported that CEI sued the city over prolonged haggling over property sale for the transmission lines near York Road and the ball fields. CEI would pay $80,000 for the property appraised at $20,000. The city was previously warned by Common Pleas Court Judge Narha that if it did not act, the sale would enter into appropriations and the city would receive $20,000. Three councilmen, known as the “no-men” consistently blocked the sale. By April 14th Recorder reported the city took Judge Narha’s advice and sold for the 80K.
The April 28th issue reported on the hotly contested issue of waterlines. One half of Wallings Road had city water lines while the other half did not. A motion to install waterlines was again defeated. It needed a 75% or 5.25 affirmative vote that would be 6/1. One dissenting councilman stated, “Residents who wanted more water (need to) dig deeper wells.”
In May, Jim Yano and his wife Mary Ann open up the new Yano’s Tire and Service Center on Ridge and Tilby Road. Yano’s offers complete mechanical and tire service in a newly renovated, upcycled gas station. The Yanos took an eye sore and made one of the most attractive business establishments in North Royalton. “In appreciation of his remarkable renovation of an abandoned gas station, Jim Yano received an official welcome from City and Chamber officials on June 1.”
A bit of news dug from the Royalton Township minutes, 1818 to 1868, stated that in 1818, two men were installed as constables of the poor. Squatters and people who settled illegally without purchasing or renting land were hastily removed from the township and sent elsewhere or back to Cleveland. In 1834 fifteen families were removed. However, the township assessed a tax for a poor fund to help residents fallen on hard times.
The Bicentennial wagon train that left Blaine, WA, in June of 1975 drove through Royalton on its way to Philadelphia by July 4. The covered wagons of all types were of the style used by pioneers to move west. The Wagon train was pulled by horses, mules, or ponies. The wagoners collected signatures along the way to be kept in the National Archives as a tribute to the bicentennial.
Christ the Savior American Orthodox Church, 10000 State Road, with the large gold onion dome laid the cornerstone with a blessing on June 6, following Divine Liturgy.
Thanks to the hands of volunteer workers the sanitary facilities at the York Road recreational fields were ready for dedication on September 12. Even though the season had ended a baseball game between players from Royalton and the WJW All-Stars followed the dedication of the new comfort facilities.
In November one of North Royalton’s newest residents, number 86, linebacker Gerald Irons, of the Cleveland Browns gave an interview to NR High School seniors, Brad Lendon and Mike Jarosick, for the Recorder. Gerald Irons and his family moved into their Edgerton Road home in June, having been traded from the Raiders, and were settled in by training camp. Gerald and his wife Myrna were from Gary, Indiana where they met in high school. Gerald attended Maryland-Eastern Shore where he studied business. Irons received his Master’s in business from Chicago University. He stated that he didn’t want to be one “of the guys who were not prepared to do anything but play football.” Irons explained the difference in motivation for high school football vs. pro football. He said that football in the pros is less of a game and more a business, “If a player doesn’t produce, he and his family could suffer financially.” In his opinion, “motivation and self-discipline were critically important to success.” The Irons family liked living in North Royalton, he said his wife and two school sons, ages 5 and 2, liked living near the MetroPark where Gerald could run as part of his training.
The year ended with anticipation of a new post office to be built in 1977 on State Road just north of the junction of State and Royalton Roads.
North Royalton merchants wished everyone a Merry Christmas and reminded everyone to look no further than their home town for all their holiday needs.

Contributing Writer