Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Indy Bound-- Part 2: Georgetown Road Access

Cruised into Indianapolis with no problems and thanks goodness for GPS and instructions as that involved several different roads coming in from the north as out usual Speedway exit of I-465 is open, but closed at Georgetown Road, where we turn on to get to the American Legion RV lot.  You have to have a Georgetown Access sticker on your vehicle to get on this road this year.

Speedway is doing a huge amount of urban renewal, which I for the most part consider for the better.  Just as long as it doesn't get too high-faluting like so much of Vegas is now.  I was completely confused, but John had accurate instructions and Paul got us to the Legion at 12:30 p.m. (most likely Central as I forgot to change the watch to Eastern.  Not a big fan of the Eastern Time Zone myself.  Everything is way too late.

No problems checking in at the Speedway American Legion Post 500 (good post number) and we were in the same place as last year and under trees.  Nice view of the Speedway across Georgetown Road and the famous Pagoda looming over that.  Best of all, electric hookup, but it comes at a price, $350 for four nights (we were only there for three, however).

Sure glad Paul was doing the backing in as it was not easy to do this with our behemoth.

The next 30 minutes were spent squaring it away and putting out the outside sitting and drinking area.

Indy At Last.  --RoadDog

Driving Your Car to Places to See Other Cars-- Part 4: Hudson Autos

Travelers from Chicago anxious to depart the Indiana Toll Road can access historic U.S. Route 20 from the Toll Road northwest of South bend.  US-20 varies from two to four lanes during the stretch and you cut through South Bend, the home of Notre Dame University and wanders east through Elkhart toward LaGrange.

Take Route 5 north to Shipshewana, a small town with Amish-Mennonite traditions like homemade meals, crafts (which they are only too happy to sell to you) and slow-moving horse-drawn buggies.

The spectacular Hudson Auto Museum features Hudson, Essex, Terraplane, Railton and Dover vehicles collected by Eldon and Esta Hostetler.  The Histetlers often accompany their most unusual cars to summertime concours and shows.  The museum is in an event center marked by a large red-and-white barn.  It launches its 2015 season on April 1st and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..

Contact the museum at 260-768-3021.

Beep Beep.  --RoadDog

Driving Your Car to Other Places to See Cars-- Part 3: Hostetler's Hudson Auto Museum in Indiana

Built for Comfort.

DESTINATION: Hostetler's Hudson Auto Museum, 760 S. Van Buren St., Shipshewana, Indiana.

TRAVEL TIME FROM CHICAGO:  2-plus hours, 135 miles.  And, you can cruise on the historic US Highway 20 for part of the way.

RECOMMENDED VEHICLE TYPE TO DRIVE THERE IN:  Cadillac or Buick, anything with a history of length and steel.  Like bluesman Willie Dixon would say, anything "built for comfort."


Why I Write All These Blogs

It was pretty well summed up in the May 23, 2015, Bizarro comic strip.

There is a cave man sitting on a rock, looking down at another man sitting cross-legged on the ground with a stone tablet, a sharp stone in hand and using a stone hammer to make marks on the tablet.

The sitting one says:  "But if you start writing everything down, these won't be prehistoric times anymore.  Are you willing to accept the responsibility?"

Of course, now with blogs and all the social media, a whole lot of history is getting written or photographed down.

But, anyway, I try to do my part.

Still Typin'.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Indy Bound-- Part 1: Good Breakfast, Bad Rest Area

  We drove to Sue and Paul's house in Long lake, Illinois, and I put my stuff on board their RV.  Paul's brother John arrived and we left for that big old race at 7:15 a.m..  We made a stop for gas at a Pilot station in Indiana along I-65.  I decided to have a go at a Wendy's breakfast (I didn't even know Wendy's served breakfast).  It is mighty good.

Along the way I saw a milk truck container with two cow statues on top and the words "We Got Milk & MOOORE.  Kind of liked that one.

We stopped to change drivers again at what probably has to rank as the rankest, worst rest area I've ever been to.  Certainly not a good reflection on the State of Indiana.  Sue had to navigate a series of potholes that make even those in Chicago after a long hard winter look small.

Then, the bathrooms were closed and they had some mighty smelly and gross port-a-potties lined up outside.  A lot of school kids were at the stop and their teachers were trying to get the girls to use those port-a-potties and those girls were surely grossed out.

Hey, Indiana, ya gotta clean 'em out once in awhile.  I had to go, so held my breath and tried not to look and managed to get out without gagging.

Not Exactly a Hoosier Welcome.  --RoadDog

Monday, May 25, 2015

Back Home From This Race in Indiana

Arrived back home here in Illinois earlier this afternoon and immediately had to take a shower and a nap as I was worn out, but sure had some time.

This was my fourth trip to the Indianapolis 500, that Carl Fisher track he developed to test cars back in their early days, even before he came up with the ideas for the Lincoln Highway, Dixie Highway and Miami Beach.

The old boy's legacy could not be in better hands and more loved by the thousands who were there this past weekend.  We pitched camp, well TV, at the American legion Post # 500 (good name) on Friday, and I saw lots of familiar faces.  Right next to us was an RV loaded with three generations of one family, some of whom had driven here from California and Utah.

Yes, the Indy 500 is good cause for a good party, but also an opportunity for families and friends to get together.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Driving to Indianapolis for This Race

Leaving tomorrow morning for the American Legion Speedway Post 500 (for some reason) where I will be staying in friends Sue and Paul's RV for the 4th year in a row.

The Legion Post is a great site as it is right across the street from the Speedway and we can see the top of the Pagoda from the campsite.  Sadly, this might be the last time there as the City of Speedway is buying all the property on our side of the street to turn it into some sort of a pedestrian place.  Hopefully, a close-to-the Speedway site will be provided to the Legion in exchange.

The city has done a great job with Speedway's main street which has become a big party area during the Indy 500.  This is especially so tomorrow night.

My guy Hinchcliffe won't be driving because of a really bad accident during trials, so not sure who I'll be pulling for.  I am actually, after four years of going to Indy, getting to know some of the drivers' names.

Helio Who?  Sorry Terri.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Driving Your Car to Places To See Other Cars-- Part 2: Corvettes

Continued From May 16th.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is still an attraction even though the striking Skydome is still closed for repairs from the sinkhole until June or July.

And, GM's Bowling Green factory, the exclusive maker of Corvettes, is across the street.

There are still enough displays to see and enthusiasts to talk to to make a trip here worthwhile  The new National Corvette Museum's Motorsports Park opened in April.

Add a day and check out the marvels at Mammoth Cave National Park, just 22 miles north of the museum (and sleep in a WigWam at the TeePee Motel in Cave City).

Worth a Trip.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- March 2015

MARCH 22ND--  Big Texan record holder Molly Schulyer returning in April.  She set the record by eating that famous 72-ounce steak and sides in less than five minutes.  She will be returning April 19th to defend her title.  She plans to eat three of the steaks in under an hour.

There are videos of her on You Tube and they are not for the squeamish.  She essentially bites and swallows with no or very little chewing.  Then plenty of washes.

To me, that sure isn't the way to enjoy a steak.  Surely no savoring.

MARCH 24TH--  The Sears Tower in Chicago was sold for $1.3 billion.  I refused to call it by that other name and won't call it by whatever its new name is.  I'd rather go out on that skyledge and jump up and down.

MARCH 25TH--  Pictures of what shape the Tropics sign is in at Lincoln, Illinois, are very disappointing.  How could a city that aware of its Route 66 heritage let something like this happen?  Maybe they should get an online effort started to save that.

MARCH 28TH--  In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Aztec Motel sign was taken down, the rest of the motel was torn down in 2011.  At this point it is not known what will happen to it but it might become a part of a Route 66 park.  The original Aztec Auto Court was built in 1933.

At least save part of the place.

Mother Roading It.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66-- March

MARCH 13TH--  Missouri State University is developing a mobile archive on Missouri's Route 66 motels.  And, I'm sure that would include my favorite, the Munger-Moss in Lebanon as well as the Wagon Wheel in Cuba and I sure would like to get a stay at the Boots Motel in Carthage.

MARCH 14TH--  Lebanon may rename Elm Street as Route 66.  Something I'd sure like to see.  What would you rather have, a 66 or an Elm?

MARCH 16TH--  Hundreds turn out for the Gary Turner memorial at Gay Parita Sinclair station west of Halltown, Missouri.  He was one special person, one who made the old road so much of a great place.  He'll be missed.

MARCH 18TH--  The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois, is having an online campaign to help finish its restoration.  They've come a long way from when we first saw it in 2002.  Hopefully it will be completed.

MARCH 20TH--  Albuquerque approved condotel plan for the old De Anza Motor Lodge.  If you can't save it as is, I'm always in favor of alternate use.

Roading it Down the Road.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66: Here's a Great Concert

From the April 6, 2015, KY3 News "Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will play at Springfield Route 66 festival."

The concert will take place at the Gillioz Theatre Friday, August 14th.  Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, famous for songs like "Fishon' in the Dark," "Mr. Bojangles" and their "Will the Circle be Unbroken" album will headline.
Special guest will be Pure Prairie League.  Their breakout album was their second one "Bustin' Out" with the hit song "Amy."  Plus they were famous for using Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover of the old cowpoke, Sad Luke.  Pure Prairie League was a major influence on the country rock genre.

I really like both of these groups and am a confirmed Prairie Dog as PPL fans call themselves.  I have always figured that if I ever become a disc jockey at a radio station and have my "Down Da Road" show, the PPL tune "Two Lane Highway" would be my theme song.

Might Even Be There.  --RoadDog

Monday, May 18, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- March: Some More Illinois

MARCH 12TH--  RIVIERA ROADHOUSE  in Gardner, Illinois.  This place burned down in 2010 and the well was improperly capped.  There is a person now who would like to see a hand pump installed there, but it would cost around $3,000.  And, it should have some sort of marker at the site.

Bob and Peggy Kraft operated it until 2008.

It broke my heart when I heard of the fire.  We still have never gone by the site since then, but are sure are glad we got to go to it and meet the Krafts.  Fantastic food and Bob liked to hold court in that basement bar.

A real loss for the road.

I Miss It.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66: March 2015: Illinois

These are taken from the Route 66 News blog site.  It includes lots of other items about Route 66, but these are some that interest me the most.


What's Happening with Shea's Route 66 Museum, Art's Motel and the Sale of the Ariston.

This was especially interesting to us here in Illinois, a part of the Mother road which is often overlooked.

ARISTON CAFE in Litchfield is for sale since October for $1.2 million and remains operating in the meantime.  I don't know, but that really a lot of money for a restaurant in a small town like that, even as great of a one as it is.  Let's hope whoever buys it continues with it as is.

BILL  SHEA'S ROUTE 66 MUSEUM in Springfield was closed in December 2013 after his death.  His son would like to sell the entire collection as a whole to one buyer.  The Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac has show interest in it, but it would have to be a donation.

Bill's son, Bill, Jr. was there at the museum most times I ever went there and I thought he was interested in keeping his dad's place going.  And, considering Bill's dislike of the Illinois Route 66 Association, a donation might not happen.

ART'S MOTEL in Farmerville had been restored and reopened after being closed for a long time and operated until the summer of 2011.  It is a 13 unit motel with restaurant on the premises.    Its sign we redone by the Illinois Route 66 Association.  If it is torn down, it is hoped that the sign will be saved.

This is one place I always wanted to stay and eat, but that perhaps will not happen now.


Two Midwest Towns Celebrating Their Orson Welles Connections

From the April 19, 2015, Chicago Tribune.  "Happy birthday, Orson Welles: Celebrations to mark famous centennials" by Mary Bergin.

"Two Midwest cities that are 45 miles apart declare the same legendary actor-writer-director as a native son and are giving him star treatment during this centennial year of his birth.

"Orson Welles, the mastermind behind the 1941 film "Citizen Kane" and 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

"Across the Illinois state line, Woodstock considers itself his adopted hometown because Welles lived there eight years while attending Todd School for Boys after his parents' divorce and his mother's death..

Both cities are having nearly month-long celebrations to honor him.

Screenings of "Citizen Kane" and "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942) will be shown at both towns.

Woodstock recently tore down the dorm where Welles lived and Marion Central Catholic High School now occupies the landing field used ofr planes for the school's boys.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kenosha, Wis.,-- Orson Welles Territory-- Part 2

Some planned events:

May 1-27-- Welles Trivia Crawl.  Discover historical facts and Kenosha Orson Welles connections at downtown businesses.

May 6th--  Kick off celebration

May 7th--  Orson Welles and FDR.

May 8th--  Public Craft Brewing Company will have the official release of itsOrson Welles inspired beer and the possibility of some of Welles' relatives showing up.

May 9th--  Downtown Kenosha Featuring "War of the Worlds."  Walk with the aliens.

May 15th--  "Citizen Kane" shown at Parkside University student center cinema with discussion.

May 24th--  "The Magnificent Ambersons" film screening near hisbirth home.

may 27--  Orson Welles Trivia Night.

May 30-31--  Orson Welles 100th Anniversary Memorial Walk.  Also, Aliens in the Outfield with the Kenosha Kingfish baseball team at historic Simmons Field, built in 1920.  Orson Welles-themed baseball.

'Nuff Said.  Scare Me to Death.  --RoadDog