Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gerald and Blanche bring you Channel Light Apartments

Today we have an unused 64-year-old postcard of a Florida real-estate venture known as Channel Light Apartments.

The "Genuine Kodachrome Reproduction" card, published and copyrighted by L.L. Cook Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shows the exterior of a cheery-looking, light-yellow apartment building, with a few people lounging out front.

The back of the postcard gives us the following pre-printed information:

2639 No. Ocean Blvd.
Pompano Beach, Florida
Highway A1A at Hillsboro Inlet. Private Ocean Beach.
Deep sea fishing fleet for your convenience nearby.
Gerald & Blanche Gelatt — Owners-Managers.

Underneath that, someone has typed "Boat At Your Disposal." I don't know how many promotional postcards Gerald and Blanche had, but it must have taken a long time to go through and type that onto all of them.

There are only a half-dozen references to Channel Light Apartments in the Fort Lauderdale News, all dating between 1952 and 1961. The June 1952 mention is the fictitious-name filing for the business venture. In a 1956 news item, Gerald Gelatt is referred to as "Jerry." And a 1961 advertisement lists the Gelatts and their business on a petition related to a potential Pompano Beach sewer project.

Gerald Gelatt served at least two terms on the area Zoning Board of Appeals, according to a 1968 newspaper brief. That might be related to the fact that, in 1964, Gelatt, then a member of the Hillsboro Shores Improvement Association, made a rezoning request to add docks north of Pompano Beach's fishing fleet to accommodate 16 boats. The article about this issue, in the January 27, 1964, issue of the Fort Lauderdale News, was headlined "Boat Report To Stir Tiff." (Well played, copy editor!)

Meanwhile, here's a fishing report from the August 16, 1947, edition of The Palm Beach Post that shows that Gerald and Blanche were both anglers and also that they moved from Iowa to Florida at some point in their lives.

As for their ultimate fates, I think this photograph from Blanche Isabel Stewart Gelatt's Find A Grave page is pretty conclusive evidence that he lived from 1904 to 1980 and was buried at sea, while she lived from 1906 to 1989 was was buried back in Iowa. (This grave is in Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington, Iowa.)

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