Tuesday, August 22, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: A Spaceship, Website and Gas Pump

JULY 21--  Spaceship to land at The Mill for its 88th birthday on July 25.  It is made by the same person who built the "World's Largest Covered Wagon" which used to be in Divernon, Illinois, but is now in Lincoln, Illinois, where the Mill is.

That guy is quite talented.  Got to love that roadside art.

JULY 22--  The Route 66 Association of Illinois launches a new website.  Hey, that is one of my two Rt 66 groups.

JULY 24--  World's Tallest Gas Pump in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, nears completion.  It is 66 feet tall (get it?) and in front of the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum.

Watch Out for Those UFOs.  --RoadDog

News From 66, July 2017: Two Reopenings and a Tearing Down

JULY 11--  Skippy's Route 66 Restaurant reopens after a fire in Leasburg, Misdsouri,  Great food.  We ate there once with the Missouri Route 66 Association.  Always glad to see a favorite reopen.

JULY 13--  Plan would demolish Oklahoma City's Classen Circle and replacing it with a Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store.  We never went there and don't remember it, but from an accompanying photograph it looks like a neat place.

JULY 15--  Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, will reopen in August.  It is now owned by the city and originally opened in 1931.  As I often said, it is so nice to have Bloomington-Normal interested in their Route 66 heritage...FINALLY.

Congrats Normal.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 21, 2017

Parking Downtown in DeKalb in 1917

From the July 12, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"A parking line on the north and south sides of Lincoln Highway from Second to Fourth street is being marked out today  by the city employees.  The men have been at work on the south side of the street marking out the space in which a car is privileged to park.

"This is done that the cars will not park within 15 feet of fire hydrants and also there shall be space left between the front end of the cars and the street car tracks to allow the passage of another vehicle."

Imagine that, already parking problems in DeKalb.

Parking Problems Even Back Then.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 18, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else-- Part 5: Rally-By-the-Lake, Parish Fest, Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive


Started the day off listening to Bob Stroud's annual salute to summer 40 years ago.  That would be the Summer of '77 for three hours.  He was playing the songs on the radio and in our record collections from August 13, 1977..  I will be listing the songs he played on my Down Da Road I Go blog later today.

Then, I did some yard work and drove the '85 Firebird over to Fox Lake's Lakefront Park on Nippersink Lake for the annual classic car and motorcycle show.  It really made my day to see another '67 Firebird.  I once had a '67 Firebird convertible and that is my favorite classic car.  Of course, mine was in very rough shape compared to the ones I've recently seen.

Then, we went to Parish Fest for St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg and enjoyed the food and one of our favorite bands, New Odyssey.

I left early so I could go over to Veterans Park in McHenry for the annual Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive commemoration of our Greatest Generation, the World War II veterans.  McHenry probably has the biggest celebration for this of any place in the United States.  And it is already good to give our World War II veterans their due.  We had about 17 of them there.

A Really Busy Day.  --RoadDog

Why Go Anywhere Else-- Part 4: Woodies, Tiki Bar, the Sunnyside Goodbye, Legion Picnic


We drove over to Famous Freddie's in Fox Lake (on Pistakee Lake) for the Woody boat show.  Woodies are the old wooden boats that were the norm for pleasure boating before the fiberglass boats of today.  They had two from 1951, the year Liz and I were born.  The oldest was 1937.  They were much smaller than today's boats.

We then stopped at the bar's tiki bar for a drink and to get our Chain Crawl passport book stamped and signed.

Then, we drove over to Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg to say goodbye as the funeral procession for Amy Siok drove by.

Next, we went over to the Fox Lake American Legion (on Nippersink Lake) for the annual Legion picnic for members.  We sat outside with the Usual Suspects and enjoyed the band Project X playing 70s classics.  Plus, there was all the free food and beer you wanted.

Great way to spend the afternoon.

Why We Stay Put During the Summer.  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 3: A Breakfast, Wake and Legion


On FP for coffee  and read the Tribune.  Then to the internet for these blogs.

Liz came downstairs and reminded me that yesterday we made arrangements to meet Kevin and Kelly at K.C.'s Cabin for breakfast.  I had completely forgotten about that.  Rushed out and met them and had that great omelet breakfast with enough left over for two more breakfasts.

We drove to Woodstock for Amy Siok's wake.  We'd never seen that many people at a person's wake and had to park several blocks away.  Drove around Woodstock square and stopped at Wendy's for their special 50 cent Frostee.

Then to the Legion where we got together with the Usual Suspects (including Kevin and Kelly).


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DeKalb Gets a New Standard Station in 1917

From the July 5, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago

"The Standard Oil Company's fueling station at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway is in the hands of the finishers at this time, and the building will probably be ready for occupancy in the course of the next ten days."

I believe this site is now where the park is located.

The Auto Is Here in 1917.  --RoadDog

Charlie Daniels' "Road Dogs"-- Part 2: "We're Road Dogs, Road Dogs"

Sure enjoyed listening to this song on Galax, Virginia's WBRF, 98.1 FM, Home of Classic Country.  Sure like the internet for that.  Plus, that great You Tube where I listened to the song many times.  If I ever had a radio show, this would definitely be one that I play.  After all, it has my name.

Anyway, the song is a tale of all the things that can go wrong when giving concerts out on the road.

Some of the words:

Pulling out of Woodstock heading down to Little Rock


We're Road Dogs, Road Dogs
Burning up the interstate
Hot and Wild Southern Style
That crowd in Memphis just won't wait
From midnight till dawn
We're rolling down the highway
Heading for another town
Road Dogs, Road Dogs
We sure get around.

Road Dogs is also the name of the album it was on and Charlie Daniels wrote most of the songs, including this one.  It was released in 2000.

Thanks, Charlie.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charlie Daniels' "Road Dogs"-- Part 1: That Great WBRF, 98.1 FM, Classic Country

I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations, WBRF 98.1 FM out of Galax, Virginia, which plays classic country.  I got into the station back when I was driving to North Carolina three times a year to visit my mom.  I'd pick it up a bit north of the Virginia line in West Virginia on I-77 and keep with it until through Virginia and into North Carolina, US-52 to Winston Salem and US-421/I-40 to Greensboro where I would lose it.

Absolutely great music, many of which I'd never heard before.

Now, I often listen to it while doing these blogs in the afternoon.  One really great thing about the internet.

Today, about 4:40 p.m., I heard this great song with my name in it called "Road Dogs."  i wasn't sure who sang it but it sounded like Charlie Daniels... and it was.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 2: Storms, Pints and Pitchers


We had rain off and on during the morning.  It was coming straight down and sure enjoyed sitting FP and that special smell rain brings.

In the afternoon, we got together with Kevin and Kelly at Bulldog Ale House in McHenry for their drink special of the day:  $2 for any draft pint that they have.  We had been there awhile back and when I heard the special, I ordered a Miller Lite and then learned that also applied to any craft or import beer.  

Well, sure wish I'd have known that before I got the Lite.  I love craft and import drafts, but not at $4-$6.  But, $2, now you're talking my price  We fully imbibed there.

I had wanted to go over to McHenry's Veteran Park for their Thursday night concert series, but just after we left, the rain came again, and this time as hard as I've ever seen it come down.  And, a favorite of mine, Mississippi Landslide was playing, but no concert for us.

We met Kevin and Kelly again at Sunnyside for some more drinks, and it was happy hour, so enjoyed the $5 draft pitchers.

Sure Like That Cheap Beer.  --RoadDog

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 1: The Civil War and Enjoying the House and Yard

Again, I get asked often why we don't really go away much during June to August.  Why go anywhere else when summer vacation is right here.  Between boating, when it is not flooding and all the outdoor festivals going on, I'd just as soon stay right here.


I dug up hostas for Kelly as I am changing the flower beds around.  Drove to Woodstock, Illinois, and saw the movie "Dunkirk" for a second time (one of those you need to see on a really big screen) and then did some research in the Woodstock Library (I love to do research) and met some McHenry Civil War Round Table people at Three Brothers Restaurant for dinner and went to the Round Table Meeting and heard about a real big Union scoundrel by the name of Ruben Hatch who was responsible for the overloading of the SS Sultana which blew up and killed at least 1200 returning Union prisoners.


Enjoyed the FP (Front Porch) Flats (Side patio) and OD (deck at various times.Did some yard work (another thing I really like to do).

So sad to find out that Glen Campbell had died.  (See my RoadDog's RoadLog Blog from last week.)

Went to the Legion.


N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 30: What About All Those People Visiting Fort Fisher?

There is no historical place in the world (and I REALLY like historical places) that I'd rather be at than Fort Fisher.  One of these winters I would like to come down and spent 1-2 weeks at Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach.

I have always wondered a bit about Fort Fisher's claim that they get 750,000 to 800,000 visitors a year (even with being closed on Mondays).  I thought that was a bit high for most any historical site (since most people do not get into history too much).  And, as much as I am into Fort Fisher's history, it definitely is not a Gettysburg-level engagement.

I was told that there is a counter up by the gate into the parking lot that counts vehicles.    They multiply each one by four, figuring there are that many people it..  But, very likely, a lot of them are coming to the Fort Fisher beach and looking for the site's bathrooms.


Friday, August 11, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: Skippy's, Classen Circle and Sprague's

JULY 11--  Skippy's Route 66 Restaurant in Leasburg, Missouri, reopens after a fire.  We met a lot of Missouri Route 66 Association folks there one time.  Glad to have it back.

JULY 13--  Plan would demolish Oklahoma City's Classen Circle so that a Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store can be built there.  I don't remember seeing it, but a picture accompanying the article makes it look like a neat place.  Too bad.

JULY 15--  Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, to reopen in August.  It was built in 1931 and is owned by the city.

I am so glad that Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, has finally figured out they need to push their Route 66 heritage.  Money to be made, you know.

For A Long Time They Didn't.  --RoadDog

Shipwreck Coast On Michigan's Upper Peninsula-- Part 4: About the Commode

The ships may be well preserved, but the cargoes are another story.  Crews of wrecked ships would salvage as much as they could.  Other cargo items were looted, many by divers over the last century.  It was not illegal then to bring back items that could be sold or used as souvenirs.  These were in the days before the modern divers credo "Take only pictures, leave only bubbles."

One funny story, though is the toilet and anchor from the barge Herman H. Hettler, which sank in 1926.  A local diver snatched these two items in the 1960s and proudly displayed them on his front yard until he retired to Texas 30 years later.

That's when Munising locals retrieved them (plucking flowers from the commode that the wife had planted) and re-sank them in the ship.  This explains why the toilet sits perfectly upright on the wreck.

Sounds Like An Interesting Place to Visit.  --RoadDog

Shipwreck Coast, Upper Peninsula, Michigan-- Part 3: The Tale of the Schooner Bermuda

One of the ships that sank on the Shipwreck  Coast was the 150-foot schooner Bermuda, which sank in 1870.  The ship had been docked safely in Marquette until its crew created too much drunken trouble and were promptly ordered by he sheriff to leave.

They dropped anchor by the Shipwreck Coast where their captain, Michael Finney went ashore to look for another saloon while the crew slept it off.  The ship filled with water, snapped its mooring lines and sank, drown three.

When Captain Finney came back, there were just two masts sticking up out of the water.

Mother Nature caused most of the shipwrecks here, but at the same time preserves the remains of its victims.  Lake Superior is cold most of the year which deters microbacteria that break down natural materials like white-oak hulls.  There is no salt either.