Thursday, June 26, 2008

Adios, Montana

And we're not talking about Hannah.

I was sorry to see today in the Route 66 News that the pride and joy of Henry's Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois, died. Evidently of natural causes.

We were able to see her on several different occasions and she was one show-bit. People didn't bother her at all, and she was always happy to "autograph" items with her personalized nibble. We have sevral items.

We didn't get to see her this past Friday on the cruise up from the Chain of Rocks Bridge, but figured that with her health problems and advance rabbit age, that Rich Henry figured the crowd from the cruise might be too much.

I'm not sure what impact this will have on her presidential campaign, but hope it goes on.

Our Thoughts are With You, Rich. She Will be Missed, --RoadDog

Waylaid in Springfield, Illinois-- Route 66 Hotel and Convention Center

We've been in Springfield since this past Sunday and staying at the Route 66 Hotel right on the Mother Road. It was originally a Holiday Inn dating back to the 1950s and I believe someone told me at one time that it was the first Holiday Inn in Illinois.

It is located on 6th Street right where Adlai Stevenson Drive joins it. The Stevenson and Dirksen Parkway constituted the old Route 66 bypass around Springfield on the east side.

Great food at the restaurant, especially their breakfast horseshoes which are $5.95and pert near too much to eat. All their meals are reasonable and not much will cost more than $10, including dinners. Right now, they have a $6.95 buffet for lunch which includes a salad bar. At dinner, it costs $1.95 more. And, they are running a $1 a bottle of beer special. I can definitely live with that.

You get complimentary USA Today and Springfield's State Journal-Register at the desk in the morning along with coffee and Danish (something you usually don't see at hotels which have their own restaurants. Plus, you are in easy walking distance of Mel-O-Cream where you can get some really fine doughnuts.

625 East St. Joseph
800-707-8366 (Got to like the 66)

Writing This is Getting Me Powerfully Hungry. --RoadDog

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Back to the Double Six-- June 19th

We had last been on 66 back in April when we came down for the Sons of Confederate Veterans convention in Springfield, Illinois and then we to the Route 66 Association of Illinois' quarterly meeting at Scotty's in Hamel, Illinois.

With gas prices as they are, our jaunts on the old two-laners have been drastically limited this summer, so this is a treat.


We drive out to Woodstock, Illinois and take Illinois Highway 47 south to Dwight where we pick up Route 66. This avoids the Chicago hassle of traffic and big tolls, if you don't have a transponder. Plus, it is a lot of country driving, but not for long as the urban sprawl is lapping at the shoulders. But, at least for now, this is our preferred route to the route.

Gas was $4.16 to $4.20 in most towns, but was highest in Yorkville at $4.26.

Gas in Morris was $4!!! What a deal (I have been trained well). Usually, it is lower here, but I don't know about the truck stop by I-80 on the east side. For a second time, we stopped here for gas, but couldn't get it. Back in April, they had too many people waiting at the pumps, and today, there was no regular. However, most of the stations in town were at $4 as well.


At Dwight, we got onto Route 66 and decided to take the bypass alignment to Springfield (with the exception of Bloomington-Normal,where we get on I-55). You actually make pretty good time on the old four lane part of 66, and as we know, anything is better than driving the interstate.

In the past, we would have stopped at Smaterjax in Dwight, but that won't be as often anymore since they took down all that great automobile memorabilia, including that complete run of same number Illinois license plates from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Gas in Pontiac was $3.86!!!! They are usually the cheapest gas north of Springfield and well worth a fill-up.

The Drive Continues... --RoadDog

From a Motel

My first-ever post about the road and from on the road. One result of the lightning strike a few weeks ago is this here brand-spanking new laptop. In the past, there was no e-mail checking or even blogging unless the motel had a pc in the lobby, then, of course, you'd have to wait or watch your time if others were waiting for it.


As I said, we were jolted into the 21st century.

Liz learned how to use it right away. Other than my mom's laptop, I had never used a laptop before, but at least I found out from her that you could have a mouse added to it. That little finger screen at the bottom would take some getting used to. Long live the MOUSE.


Made it to Litchfield yesterday with fun and games at check in at the motel. Liz had made reservations a month ago when we finally definitely decided to come here for the Route 66 Festival. From all we were picking up, Litchfield didn't seem to be doing much with this yearly national event.

They had no record of our reservation and had we come a short time later, we wouldn't have had a room at all. As it was, the room is on the second floor and we requested the first, and just one queen-sized bed, not a good thing for people used to a king-size. Then, the pool wasn't open, something we were looking forward to using.

This motel was originally a Best Western on Route 66 and Liz and her parents stayed here often while driving from Chicago to visit family in Kansas City. We'd also stayed here a few times since our introduction to Route 66 back in 2002.

No Major Injuries This Morning and I Guess Walking Up Those Stairs is Good for You. --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Too Bad

It's too bad that the Lincoln Highway Association's conference is always scheduled for the week preceding the Route 66 Festival, ending on the Friday morning the other one kicks off.

That makes it difficult for those of us with dual memberships to participate in both.

However, this year, the fact that gas is so outrageous made the choice easy to make. The LHA is in Evanston, Wyoming and 66 is here in Illinois.

Actually last year, I already had reservations at the LHA conference in Fort Morgan, Colorado, but cancelled because of gas prices.

Should be, however, able to make the next two LHA conferences as they are at South Bend, Indiana, in 2009, and Dixon, Illinois, in 2010.

Doing My Road Thing. --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting Ready for Litchfield

We're getting ready for a road trip downstate, despite the outrageous gas prices.

This will be the annual Route 66 International Festival, which is held in a different city every year. Last year it was in Clinton, Oklahoma and Albuquerque before that. We went to the first two in Springfield, Illinois, as we were getting hooked on Route 66, and from there, old roads in general. We also attended the third one in Tulsa, which was a great one.

Actually, we could also be heading out west to Evanston, Wyoming, for the Lincoln Highway Association's 16th annual convention, but decided to stay closer to home with the gas prices as they are. We would have hit all the flooding in Iowa, so it's probably just as well we didn't.

Today, I compiled a list of NTN sites east of St. Louis, as we are thinking about perhaps driving over the old Chain of Rocks Bridge, always a fun thing to do. This will be something people will be doing Friday.

Can't Wait to Get Back on the Old Road. --RoadDog

Back to Webb's Service Station-- Part 2 Lincoln Highway

It was a big attraction in its day. Fifteen cents would get you a huge slice of pie baked fresh every day by Jenny and Ola, who got up early and averaged about 13 pies a day. People got very upset when they raised the price to 25 cents. Some customers would even call ahead and order pies.

Truckers were the best customers, but local farmers also made this a stop.

The restaurant had four tables and five bar stools. Larry Webb still has the bar and stools in his house.


The gas station first sold Hi-Speed Gasoline,then Pure, and later Sohio. Get this!! Gas fluctuated from 27 cents to 30 cents a gallon.

The whole place was open 16 hours a day, 7 days a week all year long, except the 7 cabins which were closed in the winter. The cabins rented for $4 single, $7 doubles when open. They also had electric and water hookups for campers.


The whole operation was located on a little more than an acre and one of Larry's jobs was to mow the grass with one of those old self-propelled reel type mowers. After Larry moved away, his dad bought a riding mower. Larry asked why his dad waited till he left to get a riding mower and was told, "I didn't need to. I had you."


In the 1950s, there was a lot of business for family-owned establishments. Between Webb's and the Indiana line, there were 7 gas stations. The arrival of the interstate put an end to it, however.

I'm Sure That's Why Parents Have Kids. --RoadDog

Monday, June 16, 2008

No More Sneaky Pete's

If you're planning on visiting Springfield, Illinois, along Route 66, and having a brew at Sneaky Pete's across from the Route 66 Association of Illinois' Hall of Fame member Curve Inn, forget it. Won't happen. Not there anymore.

It was located on South Sixth Street in Southern View south of Springfield, actually more of a suburb and just a few blocks from the world-famous Cozy Dog and Route 66 Hotel and Convention Center. It was housed in the former Southern View Motel which was also torn down.

The motel closed in 1999 and the whole business had been quickly deteriorating ever since and was an eyesore. This would be the best thing for it. The whole area is being quickly developed with a Super Wal-Mart already under construction.

Southern View was a hotbed of smoking after Springfield made smoking in bars and restaurants illegal two years ago. Of course, now the whole state is no smoking.

We never went to Sneaky Pete's, even though we saw it. It was a little too rough around the edges for even Liz and myself.

There is another old Route 66 bar about a quarter mile south of the Curve Inn called Sunset Inn. This place has been operating since the 1940s.

One has to worry a bit even about the old Curve Inn as it is on a corner, and YOU KNOW WHO is especially fond of corners for its stores. But, wait a minute, there already is a Walgreen's on the original site of the Cozy Dog, so perhaps it is safe since the Curve is only a few blocks away.

So, If It Is Pete You Seek, Look Elsewhere. --RoadDog

Offbeat Fun in Oatman, Az

The May 30th Arizona Republic in Phoenix had an article about "Offbeat fun in Oatman" by Roger Naylor that was quite enjoyable.

Part of it reads, "When not stopping traffic along Route 66 or fleecing veggies from visitors, Jellybean lives in the rugged mountains outside of town..." She is one of the "wild" burros bandoned by miners who make their home in the area and take full advantage of tourists.

"If the Grand Canyon qualifies as Arizona's reverent cathedral, consider Oatman the rickety carnival in the parking lot." I liked the wording.

Oatman is 28 miles saouthwest of Kingman and 8 miles from Sitgreaves Pass and attracts 500,000 visitors annually. The whole business district, and that's just about all there is, consists of a couple blocks along the historic Mother Road.


One of the more famous places in town is the Oatman Hotel which was constructed in 1902 and refurbished after a fire in 1924. In 1939, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their wedding night in Room 15 and returned several times after that.

Watch Where You Step in Oatman. --RoadDog

Hangar One in Danger

The National Trust for Historic Places has put Hangar One in Mountain View, California, on the list of 11 most endangered places.

Starting in 1933. the 785 foot long USS Macon was housed here before crashing into the Pacific. This is a fairly little-known aspect of Naval Aviation history.

It has been closed since 2002 due to PCB contamination after the Navy turned it over to NASA in 1994. The Navy is responsible for the PCB cleanup.

For full list of all eleven sites, see May 21st.

Flooding in Iowa Along the Lincoln Highway

Some of the road folks on their way to Evanston, Wyoming, for the 16th annual Lincoln Highway Association Convention are finding it difficult to travel through Iowa with all the roads being closed due to the horrific flooding.

I know there was some discussion amongst the people of the Illinois LHA about it and Brian Butko mentioned the Iowa problems in his Lincoln Highway News.

One major LH city in Iowa is Cedar Rapids which has been particularly hard hit by the Cedar River. This was the site of the 2006 LHA convention so it is a good thing it wasn't held here this year.

I didn't know this, but the Quaker Oats factory in Cedar Rapids is considered to be the largest cereal processing plant in the US, even bigger than the Kellogg's ones in Battle Creek, Michigan. This is where Quaker's oats and cereals like Life and Captain Crunch are made. This factory has been forced to close because of the flooding.

Also hoping there will be no damage to the famous Lincoln Highway bridge over the creek in Tama.

Hoping for the Best in Our Neighboring State. --RoadDog

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Webb's Service Station, Restaurant, and Tourist Cabins

OK, this is a bit older info, but interesting nonetheless.

The December 26, 2007 Van Wert Ohio Times Bulletin had an article about Webb's which was located at the corner of Lincoln Highway and Convoy-Heller Road north of Convoy. It was also once the intersection of US-30 and State Route 49.

It operated from 1946-1966 as Webb's Hi-Speed Service Station, Restaurant and Tourist Cabins. Larry Webb's parents and grandparents owned and operated it. The pumps and tourist cabins are gone, but the restaurant building is still there, but is now a private residence. The garage building also remains.

The business was originally started around 1931 by the Noah Poling family.

Larry's parents, Myron and Jenny Webb, and grandparents Harry and Ola Wherry bought it in 1946 and all four, as well as Larry and his sister Becky, lived in the restaurant building.

Back in the Days of Mom and Pop Operations.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Jolted into the 21st Century-- Part 2


For a while now, I have been thinking that with both Liz and myself being retired and both on the one computer a lot, that perhaps we should have a second personal computer in the basement. Since John was going to sell us a new computer and set it up for us, why not go ahead and get that second pc.

And, while we're at that, let's go ahead and get a laptop. The second pc and the laptop would be operated with a router. Yesterday, John spent several hours setting us up and was also able to keep all the stuff from the destroyed computer. I especially wanted to keep my favorites, which are quite extensive. I sure didn't want to have to start putting that together again.

I gave John a copy of Nick Freeth's "Route 66" book, as I had found, while straightening up the basement for the second computer, that I had two of them. I warned him to be careful as this was how we got hooked on old roads back in 2002. He sure helped us a lot.


While he was setting these up, I was trying to figure out how to take the VCR out of the under shelf and expandable mounted bracket of Margaritaville. This took quite awhile just to do that, but eventually I figured it out. I replaced it with a VCR/DVD combo, the very first DVD player we've had other than in the first computer. Like I said, I am not exactly what you'd call up-to-date.

I sure hope it works, but as of yet haven't turned it on. This means I have to read some directions. I HATE READING DIRECTIONS!!!!


When we moved Liz's mom into the nursing home last summer, we inherited her 25 inch TV. Until now, it has sat in the foyer by the front door while I tried to decide where to put it. Then there's that nasty directions thing again. Decided to move the TV in my study to the sunroom and put Frances' in the study.

Still working on that one.

These Are All Things I Was Planning on Doing, But, it Took a Bolt of Lightning to Get Me Motivated. Who Knows, Maybe I'll Figure Out How to Download Music and Photos Next. --The VERY 21st RoadDog

Jolted into the 21st Century Part 1

Haven't been blogging since this past Sunday due to what we believe to be a lightning strike on the house in a particularly nasty storm that took out our computer and messed up the water heater. A day later, we found out that the VCR in Margaritaville no longer worked, nor did a TV in the sunroom. A day later, we found out that one of the two garage door openers also was no longer working as well.

I guess we really should go around and check everything that operates with electricity.

We called our regular computer guy, John, to come out to see what was the matter with the computer. He works with Nerds on Site, what a great name. They come out to your place. He is actually two years older than us which is good as he knows that many fifty-somethings are not well versed in 'puterize and explains stuff in terms even we can understand.

The mother board was destroyed and he believed that most-likely, it was lightning as the culprit.

So, That's What it Takes. --RoadDog

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Snow's Cut Bridge-- Carolina Beach, NC

Growing up, this bridge always got my heart to racing. Crossing the high bridge always afforded the first glimpse of the ocean and that meant...CAROLINA BEACH, the place of my youth. This is also when it started smelling like the beach.

We'd have had our Paul's Famous Hot Dogs already and would drive through Monkey Junction and past the Tote-Em-In Zoo with the old elephant outside moving from one side to the other.

This is an impressive bridge, all concrete, and you seem to soar into the air.

It was built in 1961. I went over an older one for 9 years, but don't remember anything about it. Snow's Cut was THE bridge. Be still my heart. It is the only bridge serving Pleasure Island as the rest of the peninsula is now called after the construction of Snow's Cut as part of the Intercoastal Waterway linking the Cape Fear River with the sounds to the north.

Unfortunately, after the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota, NC has taken a look at its bridges and Snow's Cut got a 62 in a 1-100 scale. Bridges like Snow's Cut have a 50 year lifespan and there is no set replacement planned as of yet.

If they replace it, I want one JUST-LIKE the old one.

From the Aug. 27, 2007 Island Gazette.

Don't mess with My Memories. --RoadDog

Friday, June 6, 2008

Local Fight for the Boyd Continues

May 27th Philadelphia, Bulletin by Thom Nickles.

Philadelphia has a poor record of saving old buildings, but over 100 folks met amid shouts of "Save the Boyd! Save the Boyd" shouts at lunchtime outside the historic Boyd Theatre Thursday. Some wore black "Save the Boyd" tee-shirts and there was lots of media in attendance.

The Boyd is one of the last-surviving downtown movie palaces and considered to be an art deco masterpiece.

There were speakers and they pushed the fact that a restored Boyd would attract more first-rate Broadway plays and it would be good for tourism.

The Boyd was recently listed on the National Trust for Hisrtoric Preservation's eleven most threatened historic sites.

See May 30th blog entry.

Like They Said, "Save the Boyd." --RoadDog

Big Route 66 Doha, Qatar

The June 5th Gulf Times reports that a celebration took place to mark the US Independence Day a month early. It was hosted by the US embassy and held at the Ritz Carlton.

The event was highlighted by food and music themed onRoute 66.

A display of classic American cars from the collection of Sheikh Faisil bin Quassim al-Thani (wonder where he got the money for that!) and a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle collection from NBK.

Good Times on 66, Even in the Middle East. --RoadDog

Etchr66 on the Lincoln

A member of the American Road Forum, etchr66 recently took a trip on part of the Lincoln Highway and found it different from Route 66.

He said there were not as many famous spots, but did like the great old LH signs and posts as well as several old brick sections of the road in Ohio.

Ohio signage was excellent, but not so Indiana (of course, it's also excellent in Illinois which sets the mark for signage for its historical roads: 66, LH, and National).

He couldn't find much in the way of LH souvenirs and a lack of museums devoted to the road. I agree.


Red Caboose Motel-- Strausberg, Pa.
Dunkle's Gulf Station-- Bedford, Pa.
Flight 93 Memorial-- near Buckstown, Pa.
Great bridges in Pittsburgh
Teapot-- Chester, WV
NFL Hall of Fame-- Canton, Oh
Van Wert, Ohio
Studebaker Museum-- South Bend, In
Three blocks in Plainfield, Il where Rt 66 aligned.

He used Brian Butko's book and recommends it. We used it on our first drive across Iowa and found it to be an invaluable asset for the trip. It not only gives directions (very important because LH signage is rare) but also you get the background on things you're seeing.

Makes Me Want to Hit the Road (If I can AFFORD the GAS). --RoadDoh

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Driving the Old National Road

The May 20th Rushville Republican reports that the Indiana National Road Tour of antique automobiles will begin at the historic Pennsylvania Railroad Depot in Richmond, Indiana's Historic District on September 8th.

They will then continue along the Natinal Road and parade through Centreville and visit the Model T Museum. Then, they will go to Canal Days in Cambridge City and stop at the Knightsville town square. From there they will board the CK&S Railroad and ride to Carthage where they will stop for ice cream.

The drive is limited to 60 cars and you can find out more information at the Indiana National Road Association's website at Look under Pike News.

A Little Auto, A Little Rail. --RoadDog

"Forward, Forever, Forward"-- NIU and the Aftermath of the February Killings

About two weeks ago, my wife and I went back to Dekalb for the graduation of a friend and got there early looking for items about the Valentine's Day killings.

We went to Village Commons Bookstore and found they were giving away posters with the Huskie logo and the words from the school fight song, "Forward, Together, Forward." We were told a local civic organization had made them available to anyone who wanted them. We asked about magnetic ribbons for the cars and pins, but they said they could not sell them, only the University Bookstore at the center.

When we visited Dekalb, five days after the shootings, we encountered a VERY irate woman managing the University Bookstore who was incensed that, while she was closed along with the university, VCB remained open and was getting items in. (Actually VCB was making their own ribbons.) Evidently, she got her wish.

So, we went to the University Bookstore and were able to buy NIU ribbon pins, but all the magnetic ones were sold out. Someone had come in earlier and bought every last one they had, but they were on order.

A few days after the event, my wife Liz had designed a logo for the event that she was going to have Zazzle print, but, right before she placed the order, she was told that it was under copyright to the university so she couldn't print them.


I would like to see the artifacts collected put on both a rotating and a permanent display at a museum in Cole Hall since they are not going to tear it down. Cole Hall was where the shootings took place.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Down Da 66: Joliet 66 "On the Air"-- On the Road in Illinois-- Route 66 Summerfest in Rolla

Some New News About an Old Road

1. JOLIET 66 "ON THE AIR"-- Chicago's ABC 7 traffic and transportation reporter Roz Varon has selected Joliet, Illinois', Route 66 attractions as the first feature in her "One Tank Trips" segments to be broadcast this summer.

It will appear this Friday between 5-7 am, and will feature the Joliet Area Historical Museum, Rialto Square Theater, and the Rt 66 themed park on Broadway.

We'll take all the publicity we can get.

2. ON THE ROAD IN ILLINOIS-- At least 100 motorists will be taking part in the 19th annual Route 66 Association of Illinois motor tour this weekend.

Friday, they will be meeting at Scotty's in Hamel.

Saturday, it's across the Chain of Rocks Bridge near St. Louis and a dinner and induction ceremony at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois. Three will be inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame: the World's largest catsup bottle, Frank Sheets, and Paulina and Leroy Curtiss.

Sunday, the tour ends up at Wilmington.

Sounds like fun, but we won't be making it what with the gas prices the way they are and the fact we will be down that way for the Route 66 Festival in Litchfield a few weeks away.

3. ROUTE 66 SUMERFEST IN ROLLA-- 14th annual. Held every first weekend in June in this Missouri town. Originally started off to be for the downtown, but has grown to encompass the whole area. There will be a "Miss Route 66" competition, car show, food and entertainment.

We stopped there on our way to the Munger-Moss anniversary a few years ago and had a good time, especially with the rock band that featured a tuba. Interesting combination.

Who Says Nothing Happens on Old Roads? --RoadDog

NIU Archiving Darkest Hour-- Part 3

Last part of April 12th Chicago Tribune Article on the archiving of the horrible event on Feb. 14th.

The archiving of horrible events is fairly new, with people making their own memorials. According to Peter Wosh, "archivists have just begun to go out and gather these these types of memorials in the last decade. The huge memorials that sprung up around New York and online after the September 11, 2001, attacks jolted the field even further in that direction."

Archiving has also been made at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, and the Oklahoma City bombing site.

"It has moved the profession into taking a more proactive role in documenting tragedy instead of the traditional archival role of accepting things after the fact," said Wosh.

The NIU archives have a box with agrowing colection of internet items people have submitted including one NIU student speaking of "death sweeping through like a calloused fist" in a poem.

There is also a folder marked "The Ugly Side" which contains press releases from the Kansas church saying the killings were God's punishment for homosexuality."


In addition, there is also a collection of printed instant messages, with all the truncated words and misspellings.

One wrote "were u close?"

The friend answered "About 500 feet. I was comming out of my psyc class and i got a vm [voice message] about the shooting."

"hear anything?"

"then i wass walking annd saw people screaming cryinng and bleeding."


So far, the NIU archivists are keeping everything, whereas the ones at Virginia Tech had to be more selective because a dean limited the collection to 800 cubic feet, about the size of a large moving van.

Putting limits on something like this is not in the best interest if you ask me. Of course, it is hard to say how much use future historians will make of the material and it does cost to hold onto the items.

David Chapman, Texas A&M's archivist has had only two requests in the last ten years to see the 400 boxes of records from the bonfire collapse.

"NIU archives its darkest hour" by Steve Schmadeke.

This was an excellent article on a new form of history and archiving. I imagine it won't be long before universities begin offering degrees in this sort of history. --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Best "Tourist Traps"

Yahoo! Travel recently asked readers for their choices of "bonafide, no-holds-barred tourist traps that you love anyway." The top picks:

1. Cliff House, SF-- gorgeous views of the Pacific. Rebuilt in 1909 after the fire.

2. Fort Mackinac and Mackinac Island, Michigan-- A total tourist trap.

3. Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampeded, Pigeon Forge, Tn.

4. Wall Drug Store-- Wall, SD.

5. Mardi Gras World, New Orleans, La.

6. Hoover Dam-- Nevada-Az border

7. Sunset Celebration-- Mallory Square, Key West


Wisconsin Dells, Wi
Gatlinburg, Tn
Cave City, Kentucky
South of the Border, South Carolina

Give Me a Good Old Tourist Trap Any Day. Take My Dough. --RoadDog

Down Da 66: Watch Out for Crashing Planes-- Frank Kohlrus-- Spindle Wrap

Some New News About an Old Road.

1. WATCH OUT FOR CRASHING PLANES-- Well, not EXACTLY on 66, but by it. The April 29th Oklahoman reported that a plane crashed on the Will Rogers Turnpike, I-44, near the Miami exit. One person died in the fiery crash and authorities hadn't identified him.

However, family members said the pilot was Clair Tromsness, 74, who owned the Miami Missionary Tent Manufacturing Company. The plane was modeled on a WW II fighter plane.

2. FRANK KOHLRUS-- On April 30, Springfield State Journal Register columnist Dave Bukles did a story on Frank Kohlrus who owns the old station in Williamsville, Illinois. It used to be Die Cast Motors and sold a variety of miniature cars and Rt 66 souvenirs, and 25 cent pop.

He drove a tow truck in Springfield for 20 years and today is known for sharpening things.

His station has a half truck coming out the front with a "For Sale, Half Off" sign and a Betty Boop on the door. I like, but long for the Regular gas sign for 31.9 cents and ethyl for 34.9 cents by the pumps.

Don't we all wish.

3. SPINDLE WRAP-- From the site: "On Friday, May 2,2008, the Spindle was dismantled and removed from the Cermak Plaza parking lot where it had stood for 19 years. The Plaza management company gave no advance warning about plans."

They admitted that the Spindle had fallen into a "state of disrepair," but, "The spindle could not be ignored and whether people liked it or not, it was truly art in the most fundamental definition of the word."

"Within months, a Walgreen's will be in the Spindle's place."

No More Spindle to Kick Around.

Just Some News About an Old Road. --RoadDog

Monday, June 2, 2008

Down Da Road: El Paisano-- Artist of the Pike-- Nat. Road Yard Sale--

Some New News Along the Old Roads.

1. EL PAISANO-- in Marfa, Texas, which I wrote about in connection with the movies "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men" being filmed there, you will find the 1930, 60 room, Spanish colonial-style El Paisano Hotel. It also served as the backdrop for some scenes from the movie "Giant" and was beautifully restored in 2001.

Looks like a place to stay while looking for movie sites.

2. ARTIST OF THE PIKE-- The May 13th Uniontown Herald Standard reports that Roy W. Forquer, 63, has been named this year's Artist of the Pike. He is a resident of Washington, Pa., and mostly does historical paintings and portraits of historical figures from the French and Indian War to the Civil War. Congratulations Mr. Forquer.

I saw some of his paintings which are filled with detail. Quite impressive.

3. NATIONAL ROAD YARDSALE-- This past weekend, the 5th annual National Road Yard Sale took place all along the old pike from Baltimore to St. Louis. It is the brainchild of Patricia McDaniel of Dublin, Indiana and is always held the first weekend after Memorial Day. The Lincoln Highway has a similar Buy-Way sale in August, based on this one.

It has increased to the whole length of the road after starting off the first year just from Richmond to Knightston, Indiana.

She has traveled the whole route making sure things are in place.

Any one finding a cassette dubbing tape or boombox, get it for me.

Just Some New News from the Old Roads. --RoadDog

Sunday, June 1, 2008

NIU Archiving Its Darkest Hour-- Part 2

Continuing with the story.

It seems sad that this would be necessary at college campuses. However, I remember being at Northern my freshman year back in 1970 and going through the Kent State Riots. No students were killed, but quite a few injured and arrested. That was also a frightening time and I remember thinking that I was witnessing the end of the United States.

We took a trip to Dekalb five days later and were amazed by how many business signs all over campus and along Lincoln Highway were showing support.

From the article:

At Virginia Tech, librarians are still working on cataloging almost 100,000 items from the shooting rampage last year in which 33 students were killed. At Texas A & M hundreds of boxes of items have been collected from the unfortunate bonfire collapse that killed 12 students.

According to Cindy Ditzler, these artifacts "are an important record of how the community grieved and may be of future use to writers or researchers." They've gathered items left on campus and also collecting postings from Facebook, YouTube, text messages, e-mails, and instant messages. Online items are especially hard to collect as they are often erased and lost.

Hopefully everything will be gathered by summer and cataloged in a year.


Carpenters, groundskeepers and archivists gathered the on-campus items in a three hour period one March morning. Breakable items were wrapped in tissue; stuffed animals went into a freezer to prevent mold. Candles were placed in plastic bags with silica gel packets.

The sixteen -foot long sections of canvas signed by students, alumni, townspeople, families and friends were digitally photographed, rolled in layers with acid free tissue paper, wrapped in muslin cloth and stored in archival tubes. Liz and I signed one during our visit, and it was bitterly cold that day. Someone had left Sharpies out. We were on the eighth one, and there was very little space to sign even then. I don't know how many they ended up with, but this was a nice way to express your feelings.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Down Da 66: Wedding Bells at the Station-- Rock Cafe Fire-- Words for Pops-- It's Solar, Baby

New News About an Old Road.

1. WEDDING BELLS AT THE STATION-- Put on your best clothes for the wedding that will be taking place at a gas station in Odell, Illinois, June 8th. This is not your usual minimart station so prevalent these days, but a genuine relic from the the 1930s and on Route 66!!

In 2007, Jennifer O'Dowd and Thomas Kowaczek of Schaumburg, Illinois took a ride on 66 and fell in love with the Mother Road and will be cementing their lives and Route 66 this coming weekend. So, don't be surprised if you see gas attendants in tuxedos and bridal dresses out by the pumps. (From Route 66 News)

2. ROCK CAFE FIRE-- The cause has not been determined and doubtful that it will be. However, it has been classified as not suspicious. (From Route 66 News)

3. WORDS FOR POPS-- "And in Arcadia, there's Pops, not just a gas station or diner and doesn't just sell pop. It's a destination."

Looking forward to visiting there if we can afford the gas to take another end-to-end Route 66 drive. It wasn't built when we went through in 2006. A new, but great stop on the Mother Road. (From Norman (OK) Transcript)

4. IT'S SOLAR, BABY-- The new Ferris Wheel at the Santa Monica Pier is being called the World's First Solar-Powered Ferris Wheel. I hadn't read that in other accounts of it. Nice pictures of Wednesday's grand opening in the LA.Com site for May 30th. (FROM LA.COM and Santa Monica Mirror)

Who Says You Can't Teach an Old Road New Tricks. --RoadDog