By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Nov 09, 2003 at 5:42 AM

{image1} Recently I was perusing a 1975 special edition of the Bugle American, the liberal free paper from a few decades ago, and although many of the articles were interesting, it was the advertisements that were most entertaining.

Not one but three ads for waterbed shops leaked through the pages. Land and Sky, 1653 N. Farwell Ave., claimed to be "Milwaukee's waterbed professionals for five years" and Groundwater, 1229 E. Brady St., was advertising a sale: For $269 you got a queen-sized water mattress, a wood frame, a liner and a heater. One Sweet Dream in Kenosha took out a half-page ad, complete with billowy, hand-drawn clouds all over it.

The music ads were equally as amusing. Dirty Jack's Record Rack, 1947 N. Farwell Ave., featured a drawing of a dirty man who must've been named Jack (Jack Covert is now the top man at the successful CEO-READ business books operation at Schwartz), and Good Vibes in Oshkosh boasts "we gots (yes, it says 'gots') tapes, tapestries, pipes, papers, posters, incense waterbeds and turquoise jewelry. Let me borrow a tag line from another business and ask, who could ask for anything more?

Advertised restaurants, all now defunct, include Munchies, 1943 N. Farwell Ave., Hungry Head Sandwich Shop, 720 W. Wisconsin Ave., Down To Earth ("serving real food in a mellow environment") and Fertile Earth in the Sidney-Hi building, formerly called Rare Dirt. The latter sounds about as appealing as the south side's modern day "Rusty Skillet."

My personal favorite is the full-page ad for ice bongs, taken out by Strickly Uppa Crust, a head shop on Brady Street. "Get fried, not burned" says the tagline on the -- surprise, surprise -- hand-drawn ad.

Joynt Adventure on Brady Street, which later became Tobacco Road and Changing Times (and today is occupied by Marlene's Touch of Class), also had a full-page ad with a Fabulous Furry Freakbrother's type cartoon showing how the bong evolved from prehistoric times to "present-day" 1975.

At first glance, the advertisement for an ointment called A-200 looks like it's for toothpaste, but at a closer glance, it's clear you wouldn't want to brush your teeth with this stuff. Especially after reading the copy, which promises, "Crabs on crotch, lice on head, one thing's sure to knock 'em dead!"

Apparently almost every Milwaukee independent business had some sort of reefer reference in their ads. Even The Clay Pot, a plant shop on the near South Side, has the word "pot" in all caps.

Surprisingly, there were very few ads for bars, but then again, who needed alcohol with so much weed around? Hanna's, 827 E. Locust St., advertised an upcoming Cheap Trick gig and penny beer night on Sundays.

Other businesses that longtime dwellers might remember -- or might not remember, depending on the number of brain cells that bit the dust during this everyone-seemed-to-be-inhaling era -- are Roots Natural Footwear, 2581 N. Downer Ave., The Leather Shop, 1316 E. Brady St. and Positive Note Music, 2224 N. Farwell Ave.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.