Saturday, May 30, 2020

About Those Rosin Tables for Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg-- Part 1: The Old End-Of-The-Year Parties

As I said in the last post, since Illinois outside of Chicago, reopened its restaurants and bars yesterday for outside dining and drinking, I had told the owner of Sunnyside last Sunday that I had a couple rosin tables I was no longer using and that she could have them if she wanted.

She did, so a couple days ago I went into the spare garage bay (we have four bays) looking for those tables.

Now, let me tell you, we used to use those tables at our end-of-the-school-year parties back when we were teaching.  We'd have teachers from both Liz's school, Ellis Elementary and mine, Magee Middle School as well as other folks we knew come.

These were really big parties with as many as 100-140 people over the course of an afternoon and evening.  We'd go through as many as three kegs of beer, a pig roast and deep-fried turkeys.  We needed the table space.

But, we have not had an end-of-the-school-year party since 2006,that's 14 years.  And, I haven't cleaned out the garage since then.  And, I tend to gather things and not get rid of things, so you might just get an idea of what I encountered.

What Did I See?  --RoadMyGosh

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Well. At Least a Little Bit of a Return to Normalcy

Tomorrow, the restaurants and bars in our area (Northeast Illinois) reopen for outside eating and drinking.  I have not been in a bar or restaurant since March 17, St. Patrick's Day, when we went over the state line into Wisconsin for what ended up our last time in a bar (Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes).  Illinois had already closed all its restaurants and bars on the 16th, and Wisconsin was still open.  However, while we were there, we found out that Wisconsin was closing theirs in just a few hours.

It's going to feel strange here in Illinois.

Wisconsin opened their bars and restaurants to inside service about two weeks ago.  We have not gone as we're waiting to see if their is a jump in cases and deaths, but plan top go fairly soon.

On Sunday, I saw a vehicle parked in front of the Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg (about 4 miles away) where we had spent quite a bit of time back during normal times.  As a mater of fact, Sunnyside was the last bar in Illinois we had been to before the shut down.

I yelled inside and Amy, the owner, came out.  I told her this place looked familiar for some reason and so did she.  She was getting ready for Friday's opening (outside only).  I told her I had a couple rosin tables that I no longer use and that she could have them for her customers.  We used to have huge end-of-the-school-year teacher parties, but not since we retired.  Sometimes with 125+ people and a pig roast and several deep-fried turkeys.

Now, the only problem is that those tables are in my garage and you know how garages can get, especially with someone like me who is a King of Clutter.  Just ask anyone.

Anyway, I plan on finding those tables and bringing them to her today.

That Is, If I Can Find Them.  --RoadClutter

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Why I'm Here and Not in Indy Now-- Part 2: Thursdays It's American Legion, Main Street and a Band


The Indy 500 experience is everything I had hoped it would be and more.  It is now a 4-day drinking party.  When we first started going, Sue and Paul were still teaching, but got off Fridays and now that they are retired, we leave Thursday mornings and get to our RV spot at the American Legion, right across the road from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the race takes place around 1 or 2 in the afternoon.

After setup, we walk over to downtown Speedway (the track is in Speedway, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis).  There has been a lot of urban renewal to the downtown and it is turning into a fun destination on its own with lots of restaurants and bars.

It is best to go there on Thursday as it gets really crowded Friday and  Saturday.  We especially enjoy going to a craft beer place and sampling.  Plus, there is a new Irish bar which we went to just a couple hours after they opened for the first time.

We walk back to the RV, on the Speedway Post 500 American Legion grounds and cook out and have a few more drinks before walking across the lot to the Legion and enjoying a band.

You Sure Can't Beat the Convenience.  Right Across the Street From the Indy 500.  --RoadDog

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Why I'm Here and Not There in Indianapolis (Well, Speedway), Indiana-- Part 1

Normally, I would not be posting this weekend as I would not be home.  I would be in the state of Indiana getting ready for this big ol' car race Sunday.  And, that would be the Indy 500.  But, of course, there's that virus thing going around that got the race canceled until August 23 this summer...HOPEFULLY.

I have been going to this race yearly for the last eight or nine years.  Usually, this also involves being there for my birthday on the 24th, so Liz is happy this year that I am home for it, even though there is no where to go to celebrate it.

I have been going to the race with friends Sue and Paul and Paul's brother John.

I never thought I'd get interested in auto racing, but when they told me that they had an extra ticket and an RV, I decided to take them up on it and go.  I'd heard it was a good party and wanted to at least check it out once, and here was my chance.

I Took It.  I Went.  --RoadRace

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Dixie Highway Brought Paved Roads to the South-- Part 2: Carl Fisher, Man of Many Hats and the Dixie Highway.

The Dixie Highway began with an organizational meeting of 5,000 delegates in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on April 3, 1915.  There were representatives from some 100 towns in seven states:  Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

Four routes were mapped out for the new highway and all were completed by private landowners and local governments by 1927.

The Father of the Dixie Highway was Carl Fisher, the automobile, auto racing and real estate entrepreneur who had already spearheaded the nation's first intercontinental road, the Lincoln Highway, in 1913.  He became the first director of the Dixie Highway Association and he went through a lot to get the road off the ground, especially since it would be providing routes to a resort community he was developing in Florida called Miami Beach.  So, there was a definite method to his madness.

A photo of him accompanying the article is captioned:  "Carl Fisher made his name making auto parts, developing Miami Beach and helping create the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.

Miami Beach was incorporated on March 25, 1915.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Dixie Highway Brought Paved Roads to the South-- Part 1: Now, the Road Is In Danger of Disappearing

From the April 2, 2015, Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat by Gerald Ensley.

Today (April 2, 2015) marls the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Dixie Highway which linked the Midwest to the South for the first time.  It is significant to Tallahassee because it passed through the city.

Georgia Public Broadcasting will air a documentary Tuesday at 8 p.m..  In addition, the Florida State Library at the R.A. Gray Building plans to have a display of books about the Dixie Highway.  There is also a Dixie Highway page on Facebook which has numerous historic and current photographs.

The really sad thing about all this is that today in the 2020 coronavirus times, the fate of the Dixie Highway seems to be its elimination because the word Dixie reminds certain people of slavery and, as such, is offensive and has to be removed.

This has already taken place along several stretches of the road in Florida.

It Will Be Too Sad To Lose Such A Vital Link With History.  --RoadDixie

Monday, May 18, 2020

Along 66, April 2020: Please Don't Feed the Burros (On the Roadway) and Expensive Popcorn

APRIL 10--  The wonderful lil' town of Oatman, Arizona, home of the insistent burros, has put up signs asking folks to not feed the burros on the Route 66 roadway through town.  Feeding them is a danger to the animals, humans and people in their cars as the burros just don't care where they have to go or what they have to do to get that food (they are particularly fond of carrots)

To say the burros are a big tourist attraction is an understatement.  Today's burros are descendants of the ones used in the local area's gold mines.  And, believe me, they ARE insistent.

APRIL 13--  The Route 66  Movie Theatre in Webb City, Missouri, will be selling concessions during the coronavirus closure.

A large popcorn costs $6.75 and a large drink will set you back $4.58.  (Still kind of expensive if you ask me.)

The theater is located at 24 S. Main Street (Route 66).

Here Burro, Burro.  --RoadDog

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Birthplace of Route 66 Park in Springfield, Mo.-- Part 3: The Mosaic Wall and Red's Giant Hamburg Sign


The first phase of the park was dedicated in 2014  Officials still work to raise money for other projects planned and wanted for the park.

**  One part was already in existence as there was a long wall on the other side of the street from the park that has a lot of mosaics using colored tiles, one of which is a large "66."

As a matter of fact, the first time we were aware of the Birthplace Park and went looking for it, we missed it because we were looking at the mosaic wall.  It had to be there.  Where was it?  So, we back-tracked and sure enough, there it was across the street.

The mosaic wall was a project by local artist Christine Schilling and was completed with help from children of the community.  This was dedicated in September 2001 in time for Route 66's 75th anniversary.

I would however, like to see some landscaping above the wall as I remember that area being a bit scruffy.


**  A replica of the  locally famous "Red's Giant hamburg sign

**  Walking path and picnic tables

Looking for More Route 66 Stuff There,  --RoadDog

The Birthplace of Route 66 Park in Springfield, Mo.-- Part 2: It was a Woodruff-Avery Thing

The park celebrates the iconic Route 66, which was born just a few blocks away at the Colonial Hotel in Springfield, Missouri, when local businessman John T. Woodruff along with Cyurus Avery of Tulsa, Oklahoma proposed in 1926 the idea of a highway connecting Chicago and Los Angeles.

They had hoped for the name to be U.S. 60 (the major east-west U.S. highways were numbered with most important ones ending with a 0).  But, when they couldn't get it, settled on 66 as even having a better ring to it.  (Good choice.)

At a 1927 meeting in Tulsa, Woodruff was elected  the first president of the Route 66 Association.

And, the rest, as they say, was history.

That's How We Got Good Ol' Route 66.  --Road66

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Those Wild and Crazy Kids in Their Automobiles in Malta, Illinois in 1945

From the May 13, 2020, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1945. 75 Years Ago.

"Although every effort is being made to protect  the youngsters of Malta there seems to be considerable comment  about the reckless driving of youths in automobiles.

"The wild driving is not confined alone to crossing the railroad track but is also noted as  the drivers cut through yards and alleys, as well as on the main streets."

Those wild and crazy kids.  I thought there was gasoline rationing on at the time.  Malta is a small town just west of DeKalb on the Lincoln Highway.

Zoom, Zoom, V-Room!!  --RoadDog

The Birthplace of Route 66 Park in Springfield, Missouri-- Part 1

From the May 15, 2020, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader  "Little park pays tribute to Route 66 heritage" by Jan Peterson.

Places to go for a walk during this "CV" thing.  And, still keep your 6 feet you-know-what.  It's called "The Birthplace of Route 66" as Springfield likes to claim and probably so.  They have that big "Birthplace of Route 66" festival every summer (but perhaps not this year, you-know-what).

Well, this Ozarks park  is located right in Springfield, just a bit west of downtown on West College Street between Fort and Broadway avenues.

It is  free and open between sunrise and sunset.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Famous People Buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery,Ca.-- Part 3: Larry to Lone

Looking at this list, I'd say this cemetery is definitely one to visit when in the L.A. area.

Robert Young

Larry Fine  (Larry of the Three Stooges)

McLean Stevenson

Lon Chaney, Sr.

Ricky Nelson

Joe E. Brown

Clayton Moore  (The Lone Ranger)

Joan Blondell

Norma Shearer

Lee Van Cleef

Irving Thalberg

Aimee  Semple McPherson

Kenan Wynn

Paul Winfield


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Famous People Buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Ca.-- Part 2: W.C. to Ozzie

I guess this must be an A-List place.

Gene Autry

Steve Allen

W.C. Fields

Charles Laughton

Buster Keaton

Fay Ray

Gracie Allen

Carole Lombard

Mary Pickford

Ozzie Nelson

Harriet Nelson

Sam Cooke

James Arness

Dorothy Lamour

Robert Taylor

David O. Selznick

Forrest Tucker


Famous People Buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in California-- Part 1: Lucille Ball and Clark Gable

In the last post, I mentioned that Anita King was buried at this cemetery.  Whenever I find out where someone I am writing about was buried, I look up the cemetery to find out who else is buried there that I might have heard of in the past.

When I looked up this cemetery, WOW!!

A whole lot of famous people are buried there.  Here is a partial list.

From Ranker "Famous People Buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park."

Michael Jackson

Elizabeth Taylor

Lucille Ball

James Stewart

Clark Gable

Bette Davis

Humphrey Bogart

Jean Harlow

Stan Laurel


Rod Steiger

Sandra Dee

More.  --RoadStar

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Anita King-- Part 6: Later Years

Anita King appeared in fourteen films at Paramount while she was there, including four with major star Wallace Reid.  In 1918, she left and went to work for Triangle Film Corporation and other film companies.

She made her last film in 1919 and with rapid changes in the automotive technology plus new and more spectacular racing events, she faded from the public eye.  According to family members, she did not make "talkies" because she had too low of a voice from years of cigarette smoking.

Her first marriage was to James Stuart McKnight, a National Guard officer serving in Paris, France where they got married.  Her husband worked with future President Herbert Hoover  with American food relief work.

In the early 1930s, she married Thomas Morrison McKenna, a wealthy steel maker.  Widowed in the 1940s, she became part of the Hollywood elite, joining such others as Louis B. Mayer,  and William Goetz as owners of  thoroughbred horses.  In 1951, jockey Johnny Longden rode her colt Moonrush to victory in the Santa Anita Handicap.

She died of a heart attack in 1963 at her home in Hollywood and is buried  at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.  There are a lot of notable people buried there.

Quite a Life.  --RoadDog