Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Passing of a Toledo Landmark

I was Eastbound on Airport Highway the other day and to my very great surprise I found myself arriving at Cleland's Outdoor World before I passed the good old Yoko Health Spa.  A bit odd, that.  Maybe my age was starting to show.  Anyway, I concluded my business at Cleland's, having discovered that Cleland's refuses to take reservations for their indoor pistol range, and that it is always first come, first served.  I therefore wish a pox on Cleland's and henceforth will take my business somewhere else.  Returning from whence I came, I was Westbound on Airport Highway when I came across conclusive evidence that the Yoko Health Spa is closed once and for all, and will never be under new management with new girls.

Yoko Health Spa
10095 Airport Highway
Monclova, OH 43542-9735

For those readers too young to remember the history of this venerable bastion of hedonism I shall relate the history of this establishment as I remember it.  Around the 1950s a long forgotten entrepreneur decided to open what was then called a motor hotel next to the Toledo Express Airport.  The motel was name the Airport Motel and was made up of a large private home and a host of small bungalows.  I recall there being eight or ten in a row running perpendicular to the highway.  This wasn't a large operation, but then Toledo Express wasn't a large operation either.  Along about the 1960s the place changed hands and became the Airport Motel and Massage.  Businessmen arriving in Toledo at the economic height of the auto industry could find a nice place to stay that was close to the airport, and having been cramped up in an airplane for several hours could get the nasty muscle cramps out of their back with a relaxing professional massage.  By the 1970s (1974) the place was looking just a little run down, the bungalows having been neglected since the 1950s and the rate per night was $20.  The rate did not include the services of the masseuse.  In the 1980s the place changed names (and likely hands) again and became the Airport Massage, then the Airport Tokyo Massage, and by the 1990s the owners settled on the Yoko Health Spa.  Putting it bluntly, the place became a brothel in the 1960s and stayed in business until 2010, about a fifty years stretch.  You know, maybe I'm just being somewhat naive, but it would seem to me that in 50 years the law enforcement authorities just down the road (the Ohio State Police) would have deduced that there was some hankypanky going on at the Yoko and the place would be busted.

I guess not, though.  It seems that there was only one way to close the Yoko spa.

End of the Road for Yoko

And that, as they say, is that.  Hark!  Off in the distance!  Do my ears deceive me or is it the delicate strains of the proverbial fat lady, closing out the show?

1 comment:

historymike said...

Heh - I too wondered about the close proximity of that "massage parlor" and the state police base nearby. Those joints are the worst kept crime secrets in the community, as every idiot knows that they are fronts for prostitution. Perhaps the police turn a blind eye because the "spas" at least keep the illegal activity behind closed doors.

Personally I take the libertarian position of simply decriminalizing drug use and prostitution provided that participants are adults and do not commit other crimes in the process. I am much more concerned about a thug jacking my big screen TV when I am at work than I am about some lonely old man getting a happy ending at the Yoko.