Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eatin' Good in the Tarheel State-- Part 2

November Our State Magazine.

BANANA PUDDING-- Hill's Barbecue, Winston-Salem

FRIED CHICKEN-- Strickland Dail Dining and Catering, Snow Hill-- It may have been good, but the place was open when we drove to Greenville for the ECU game today, or even when we returned. I was hoping to check it out. Hard to believe they wouldn't be open on a Saturday and especially on game day with all those hungry Pirate fans driving to Dowdey-Ficklin Stadium.

COUNTRY HAM-- Jarrett House, Dillsboro

MACARONI AND CHEESE-- Simmons Soul Food, Charlotte

CORNBREAD-- Bunn's Barbecue, Windsor

SWEET POTATO PIE-- Bob's Barbecue, Creedmoor

Of all of the places listed, the only one I have eaten at is Grady's in Dudley, but I definitely like all these foods.

Gettin' Mighty Hungry. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eatin' Good in the Tarheel State

The November issue of North Carolina's Our State had an article on "Our Favorite Foods" by Bob Garner.

It listed a food and then a good place to eat it. Of course, in NC, declaring a "best Place" is tantamount to fighting words, especially when it comes to the subject of barbecue.

Anyway, here's a list:

COLLARDS-- Bum's Restaurant, Ayden

FRIED OKRA-- Miller's Restaurant, Mocksville

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS-- Old School Mill's Fresh House, Locust

BARBECUE-- Grady's Barbecue, Dudley (the only place on the list I have eaten at. Great bbq, but prices not listed on the menu board.)

COUNTRY-STYLE STEAK-- Riverside Restaurant, Hillsborough

Gettin' Hungry Typing This. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009-- Part 2

More from my drive to North Carolina.


The reason I endured the drive north of Columbus, Ohio, on I-275 was to visit David Wickline's 66 Roadhouse Bar and Grille which has now been open about seven months. I had read about it on the Yahoo Route 66 E-Mail Group.

David has now written two of the best books on Route 66: "Images of 66 Vols. 1 and 2. Both are loaded with pictures and captions of the road. I would suggest anyone taking a drive along the road should have at least Wickline's Vol. 1 and Jerry McClannahan's "E-Z Guide to Route 66."

The 66 Roadhouse is definitely not one of your cookie-cutter TGIFridays, Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebees. (However, I should add that it wouldn't be bad as a chain,) It is located at the end of a small strip mall of businesses and very close to the interstate.

His is a Route 66 enthusiast's nirvana. Anywhere you look, there are shields and pictures of the road.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

TRAFFIC JAMS-- I can attest to two really bad traffic jams that I encountered Thursday and Friday. The first was north of Columbus, Ohio, in I-270. Couldn't get on, couldn't get off and couldn't go anywhere.

That was bad, but the one on I-40 by Raleigh was even worse the next rush hour. I was pleased not to have any jams all the way from Winston-Salem to Durham, but then came Raleigh. Starting at RDU Airport and essentially to where US-70 cuts off by Clayton, it was sit and wait most of the time.

McRIBS-- Quite excited by this, but I saw they had them at Gibson City in Illinois and at the McDonald's west of Zanesville, Ohio. Unfortunately, I had already eaten both times. Evidently, McRibs are not all over the US, because those were the only ones that had them of the few places I drove by where I could see the advertising.

NO SNAPPY LUNCH-- Got off the superslab to go through Andy Griffith's hometown, the forerunner of Mayberry, Mt. Airy, North Carolina. The major goal was to get one of those really tasty porkchop sandwiches at Snappy Lunch on the main street next to Floyd's Barbershop. Andy Taylor mentioned going there for lunch on several episodes.

Parked behind the place in the municipal lot and went to it, only to find they closed at 1:14 on Friday. It was 2:15, so NO PORKCHOP SANDWICHES FOR THE DOG!!! So, remember, if you've got a hankerin' for one of those mouthwatering sandwiches, get there early.

I had to settle for Golden Corral. Oh well, I can think of worse places to eat my sorrows.

Some More to Come. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arrive in Goldsboro, NC

Arrived at Mom's house last night around 7 PM after two days on the road. I'll have to check how many miles I traveled, but am guessing around a thousand.


Remained around $2.60 all the way through Indiana and Ohio. About $2.80 in West Virginia, $2.95 on the Turnpike. Gas is always at least 20 cents more expensive in West Virginia. Guess it is a coal thing.

Always cheaper in Wytheville, Va., and that was $2.42. The trick is to fill up in Ohio and get across W. Va. before filling up. $2.50 to $2.62 coming across North Carolina.


At least it wasn't rain, but drizzle off and on all the way through Illinois and continuous through Indiana, the first day. Cleared up in Ohio, thankfully.Great weather all yesterday.


Illinois Highway 47 south from Woodstock to Champaign. I-74 east to Indianapolis. I-70 to Columbus and on to Zanesville on Wednesday. Thursday US-40 Zanesville to Cambridge. Then I-77 south to I-74 in NC.

US-52 from Mt. Airy to Winston-Salem. I-40 east to Raleigh and US-70 to Goldsboro.

Home for the Holidays. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Denison, Iowa, on the Lincoln Highway

Did some more research on the town which has much more than just Donna Reed.

Denison is also the childhood home of CLARENCE DUNCAN CHAMBERLIN (1893-1976), the second man to fly solo across the Atlantic and the first to carry passengers.

He was born in Denison at 1434 2nd Avenue South. This home is listed on the NRHP. His father was E. C. Chamberlin who owned a jewelry store. Clarence graduated from Denison High School and Iowa State University (also on Lincoln Highway) and then served in the Army Air Service in World War I.

In April 1927, along with Bert Acosta, he circled New York City for 51 hours and 11 minutes. he also made the first ship-to-shore flight from a vessel 120 miles out to sea. He made the second transatlantic flight behind Lindbergh, but flew farther to Germany.


The Crawford County Courthouse was built in 1904 in the Beaux Arts style.

The Yellow Smoke Park Bridge was built in 1945 and is a bow string pony truss pedestrian bridge located east of town off US-30.

The Park Motel is a well-preserved example of the pre-World War II highway motel and is located where 4th Ave. South goes from one way to two.

Next Time Through, I'll Need to Spend Some More Time Here. --RoadDog

Detroit's Woodward Avenue

The November 12, 2009 Shorpy site had a very detailed view of Detroit's Woodward Avenue where Fort Street joins it.

The Soldier and Sailors Monument is prominently featured along with lots of cars, street cars and pedestrians decked out in city finery. Every male who wasn't in uniform (the photo is circa 1917) wears a hat and suit. Ladies are in dresses and hats as well.

What I like about Shorpy is that you can enlarge the pictures for even closer inspection and it then becomes a real slice right out of history.

There are lots of signs. Some of them:

Hudson's Grows With Detroit
Detroit Creamery Milk Is Health Insurance
Golde Clothes $15
National Clothing $10 $15
Elmer's Suits Furs
Kelly Springfield Tires Made to Make Good
Detroit Opera House Bond's Save $10 Clothes
Henkels Flour Always the Best November 12, 2009 Woodward Avenue 1917

The comments are interesting as well, most saying how the same view today shows how a great US city has fallen.

And US-12 has a Terminus Near Here. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Down Da 66: Sunset Sign Glows Again-- Bridge in Danger--

News of the Road.

1. SUNSET SIGN GLOWS AGAIN-- The Missouri Route 66 Association reports that on November 14th the great old sign at the Sunset Motel in Villa Ridge, outside St. Louis, is once again is lighting the night time sky. Half of the money comes from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

Last year they did the same with the Donut Drive In sign in St. Louis, near Ted Drewe's.

2. BRIDGE IN DANGER-- It was also reported that Missouri is planning on "swift and complete demolition" of the historical bridge at Times Beach at the Route 66 State Park. It has been condemned as unsafe and instead of repairs, it will come down.

Here's hoping it won't because it will essentially isolate the great museum they have at the park and cut down attendance. Not to mention that this is a bridge that looks like a bridge, not the new ones we have today.

Hitting the Road Tomorrow

The outside Christmas lights and decorations are up so it is time to cruise on down to North Carolina to visit family for Thanksgiving.

Plans call for Il-47 to Champagne, then superslabbin' it to Columbus, Ohio, to get a bite to eat at David Wickline's Route 66 restaurant. Maybe hook up with him, talk old roads, and get him to sign the first "Images of 66."

Hope to hit a few NTN places as well.

Thursday, a drive on the National Road from Zanesville to Cambridge (my favorite stretch) and I-77 to I-40 and US-70 to Goldsboro. If not Thursday, then Friday. You never know where I'll get waylaid by something interesting.

After some great Carolina pit-cooked pulled pork bbq on Saturday, I hope to get out to the ECU-UAB game in Greenville Saturday.

I'll be gone about two weeks.

On the Road Again, Back on the Road Again. --RoadDog

NTN Cruising

This past Saturday, after leaving the Chicago 60s bands concert (New Colony Six, Cryan' Shames, Mauds and Shadows of Knight) at the Mt. Prospect Borders store by the late-great old Randhurst Mall, we went out NTN/Buzztime Cruising to new (to us) sites in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. By the way, the concert was part of the record release party of Bob Stroud's new Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 CD with songs like: Little Girl, Candles in the Wind, Summertime Blues, Gimme Gimme Good Lovin', Journey to the Center of the Mind, My Pledge of Love and six others.


Where the old Splinters Sports Bar was. Always thought that was a great name for a sports bar. As in sitting on the beach.

No TVs tuned to NTN, but they were happy to turn one on. No one else playing, but about ten people watching college games. Judging from monthly top ten, they have some players.

Really fine food. I had a 3.4 pound Grand Slam Burger and Liz a Monte Cristo which was almost as good as those at Bennigan's which are THE BEST.


NTN Sitefinder has it about two miles from actual location by the Kohls and Buffalo Grove Road. We drove quite a few miles looking for it, stopping for information and finally called the place.

Really nice looking place. However, no TVs tuned to NTN and when we asked a manager, he said they had the kickboxing sport coming on later that night (about FOUR HOURS later) and they weren't going to change any TVs. We thanked him and took our business elsewhere.


Another goof for NTN sitefinder, but only off a quarter mile, but it still involved some mileage. It is actually on Half Day Road and close to where US-45 and Il-21 split.

It is a Brew Pub and the ceiling in the bar is wooden beamed and three stories high. Again, no NTN on any TV. Don't you think that if a place would spend that much money on the game, they'd have it on at least one TV? However, they did have playmakers out on the bar.

Judging from the leader board, there is not much action. November 14th and only seven players listed on both games. Doubt they will keep it for much longer. Since I was driving, no beer for me even though I really like to try microbrews.

This brings our yearly total of new sites visited this year to 136 and all-time total to 852.

Cruisin' Down the Road and Playing NTN. --RoadDog

Monday, November 16, 2009

Linn-Hebron Cemetery, Illinois

Major Watson, a Revolutionary War veteran, is buried here.

It is located about two miles northwest of the town of Hebron in McHenry County, Illinois and just a few miles from the Wisconsin state line as well.

To get to it, take Illinois Highway 173 west of town, to Johnson Road, go north, and then to Hillside. Actually, I have kept my boat in a barn at a farm very close to the cemetery for the past four years.

Another interesting person buried here is Hebron resident Elmer Bigelow, who won a Medal of Honor in World War II, who died saving his ship. I will also have an entry in my history blog about him.

There is a 2002 website entry devoted to the cemetery with pictures taken just a short time after the place was seriously vandalized with much destruction done to the graves.

In 2007, a referendum was held by the township to cover expenses of the cemetery, estimated at $12,000 a year. The township took over after the cemetery association found itself unable to continue the upkeep. I didn't find out if it passed, but hopefully it did.

How I Get Waylaid. --RoadDog

Revolutionary War Veterans Buried in McHenry and Lake Counties, Illinois-- Part 3

To "Run the Gauntlet" was an Indian custom reserved for prisoners. In it, the prisoner was forced to run down two lines of facing Indians armed with war clubs and tomahawks who attempted to strike them.

I imagine that if you made it through, you were alllowed to live.

Sacketts Harbor is actually spelled Sackets Harbor, just one "t." And, it is located in the western part of the state on Lake Ontario. It was founded by land developed Augustus Sackett in 1801. I'm not sure how the second "t" was dropped. Main Street of town has many 19th century structures and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It has a protected harbor and was the site of shipbuilding. It was a strategic location and the US Army built fortifications for its protection. Two battles were fought here during the War of 1812. Major Watson was captured at one of these.

I will do an entry on my history blog about the battles.

Next, the Linn-Hebron Cemetery. --RoadDog

Revolutionary War Veterans Buried in Lake and McHenry Counties-- Part 2

A Major Watson was buried in McHenry County in the Linn-Hebron Cemetery, about two miles northwest of Hebron, Illinois, a town that features a water tower with a basketball painted on it honoring the 1952 squad that took the state championship, a real "Hoosiers" story in itself.

Major is the man's actual first name. Too bad he wasn't an officer. "I'd like you to meet Major Major Watson" would have been a good one. I could see that on the "MASH" TV show, Hawkeye would have loved it.

Major Watson was born in Sacketts Harbor, New York November 18th, 1739, so in just two days we'll be celebrating the 272nd anniversary of his birth. He died at age 100 on March 15, 1840, in Walworth County, Wisconsin, and was buried in Illinois. Hebron is just south of Walworth County.

He served under generals George Washington and Lafayette and was at the Battle of Monmouth.

he also served in the War of 1812 and fought at the Battle of Sacketts Harbor, his birthplace. I have to wonder what he thought about that? He was captured and spent time on a British prison ship before being released through the efforts of the president.

I came across some more information in the Tryon Family in America website at website by Wesley Tryon, that mentioned this Major Watson as having a Tryon relative who was his great grandson.

It came from a private conversation with an old woman from Woodstock, Illinois. Major Watson, as a young man, was captured by the Indians and held prisoner. At one point he was made to run the gauntlet and was later adopted by an Indian chief but escaped with the assistance of a fur trader.

He moved to Wisconsin with his daughter, Clarissa (Watson) Downs.

This man sure had an interesting life, and to have lived to be a hundred back then!!!

I'm definitely going to pay his grave a visit.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Revolutionary War Veterans Buried in Lake and McHenry Counties, Illinois-- Part 1

One of the reasons it takes me so long to do these blogs is that I get sidetracked all the time.

While looking up some extra information on William Wallace in the previous post, I came across a site for Revolutionary War veterans buried in Illinois. Considering that Illinois wasn't a state during the war or even a territory of the new country until after the war, you'd think that there would not be a lot of them buried here, but, there were.

This indicates that there was a major push westward of people moving to the frontier. As we know from history, there was. And many were veterans of the war.

We lived from 1974 to 1992 in Lake County and have been in McHenry County (just to the west, ever since. I had to check out those two counties, and, because of my interest in Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway, of course, I had to look into those counties as well.

I found one each buried in Lake and McHenry counties.

No Wonder. --RoadDog

Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery-- Part 5

I guess the next time I go to Springfield, I will have to go over to the cemetery and walk around to look for some of this history, and there sure is a lot of it, above and beyond the Lincoln connection.

SOLDIERS MONUMENT-- erected 1874 and dedicated to 40 officers and enlisted men killed in the Civil War.

JOHN T. STUART-- (1807-1885)-- one of Springfield's first lawyers. Lincoln studied law under him. Served in the Black Hawk War and roomed with Lincoln in Vandalia in 1834. Served two terms as state representative, three terms in US Congress and one term as state senator.

REED C. WADDELL-- (1860-1895)-- folk figure known as "Kid" Waddell, a professional con man with an international reputation. His greatest trick was the Gold Brick Swindle where he passed off bricks plated with gold as solid gold. He earned $250,000 off this over a ten year period.

In the 1890s, he was running this scam in Paris. Five years later, he got into a disagreement with a partner and was shot six times. His body was returned to Springfield. There is an article in Wikipedia about him and how the gold brick scheme worked.

WILLIAM S. WALLACE-- (1802-1867)-- Lincoln family doctor and Mart Todd Lincoln's brother-in-law. Lincoln's son Willie was named after him, William Wallace Lincoln.
Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery-- Part 4

Back to the Cemetery for some more interesting burials besides Abraham Lincoln.

STEPHEN T. LOGAN-- (1800-1880) Lincoln's second law partner.

JAMES T. MATTHEWS-- (1818-1890)-- one of Illinois' greatest orators and in early life a close friend of Lincoln. He was a groomsman at Lincoln's wedding. A very popular resident and his funeral in 1890 was said to have rivaled Lincoln's in size.

JOHN ALEXANDER McCLERNARD-- (1812-1900)-- Union major general who also served in the Black Hawk War. Was at Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Vicksburg.

JOHN McCONNELL-- (1824-1890)-- Union brigadier general and originally Colonel of the 5th Illinois Cavalry.

LOUIS MITCHELL-- (1878-1912)-- An associate of the Wright Brothers in the early days of flight. Killed in an air crash in Montgomery, Al., October 23, 1912.

OLD BELL TOWER-- remains of a stone chapel and cemetery office. In the wall is a granite slab upon which Lincoln's coffin rested before it went into the first burial vault.

Six Feet Under Springfield. --DaCoot

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bob Waldmire-- Part 7-- Life is a Long Song

Bob is writing a long farewell letter that will be published in next month's Route 66 Pulse. The Route 66 Alliance plans to put his 1972 VW van on permanent display at a planned Tulsa, Ok. museum. Money will also be given as scholarships to students and there will be an annual prize in his name.

Waldmire earned 2 cents a table for each one he cleaned at his father Ed's Cozy Dog restaurant. He saw cars from all over driving Route 66, which sparked his interest in the road. Then, on an 1962 family vacation, he got hooked on deserts. He found that he could support his nomadic ways with his intricate drawings. His style is described as R. Crumb.

He says he is ready to die and wants three songs played at his funeral: Jethro Tull's "Life is a Long Song," the Doors' Moonlight Ride" and Felix Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer's Night Dream." He will be cremated and the rest of his ashes placed in the family's farm cemetery, in the Pacific Ocean at the Santa Monica Pier, and the rest he wants friends to scatter along Route 66.

To a Man Who Lived Life Exactly As He Wanted. Farewell Ol' Spirit of 66. --RoadDog

Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery

Springfield, Illinois

KOREAN AND VIETNAM WAR MEMORIALS for the state of Illinois are also located in this cemetery.

ROBERT IRWIN-- (1808-1865)-- his is the oldest house still standing in the city.

NELLIE GRANT JONES-- (1855-1922)-- President US Grant's daughter who was married at the White House and lived in England. After her husband died, she remarried.

JOHN LLEWELLYN LEWIS-- (1880-1969)-- American Labor leader, president of the United Mine Workers of America 1920-1960. Founded the Congress of International Organizations in 1938. Organized the United Auto Workers and US Steel Workers. After a long strike in 1946, his UMWA negotiated the first health and retirement plan.

EDWARD BAKER LINCOLN-- (1846-1850) "EDDIE" Lincoln son who died of tuberculosis.

MARY TODD LINCOLN-- (1818-1882)

ROBERT TODD LINCOLN-- (1843-1926) the only son to live to adulthood. On US Grant's staff and at the surrender at Appomattox. President of Pullman
Car Company. Minister to Great Britain. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

THOMAS LINCOLN (1853-1871) "Tad" Died of tuberculosis

WILLIAM LINCOLN-- (1850-1862) "Willie" Lincoln's favorite son.

More Burials Coming. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bob Waldmire-- Part 6 "The Last Original Hippie"

I just noticed that the Tribune spelled Bob's last name differently and I looked it up. I have been spelling his last name wrong allthese years. Sorry about that Bob Waldmire. I guess it is sort of a Cutty Shark thing.

Bob has been holding court at his converted school bus. I loved this quote, "Even if I died ten years ago, I can't imagine having lived a fuller life." I don't know of anyone who has enjoyed what he did more than Bob. "I've been hearing from 66er friends and some people I've never heard of. ...It just brings tears to my eyes. If I'd known it was going to be this good, I'd have gotten sick a long time ago."

Most of the time, Bob was out of touch with people. He definitely was not a member of today's connected folk generation. I doubt that he ever had a cell phone or computer. Route 66ers would pass along word of "Bob sightings."

Pixar, in their "Cars" movie, based Fillmore, the Hippie VW Van voiced by George Carlin, on Bob Waldemire. Originally, the name was to be Waldmire, but when Bob found out it would be a toy at McDonald's, being a vegan, he declined.

President of our Illinois Route 66 Association, Cathie Stevanovich summed it up well when she said, "He's Like the last original hippie." If you ever met him, or saw the VW van, you'd have to agree.

From the November 5th Chicago Tribune.

That Bob, Sure Gonna Miss Him. The Road Just Won't Be the Same. --RoadDog

Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery-- Part 1

Sopringfield, Illinois' Oak Ridge Cemetery contains some other interesting burials beside Abraham Lincoln and his family.

GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) MOUND-- where 97 Union soldiers are buried

ISHAM NICHOLAS HAYNIE-- came to Illinois as a boy and worked on a farm to obtain funds to study law. he was a lieutenant in the 6th Illinois during the Mexican War. Afterwards a member of the state legislature.

During the Civil War, he was Colonel of the 48th Illinois and in 1862, became a brigadier general. Fought at Fort Donelson and Shiloh.

ARCHER G. HERNDON-- member of "Long Nine" with Lincoln. State senator in 1836 and founder of the Herndon family in Sangamon County.

WILLIAM H. HERNDON-- Lincoln's law partner.

ELIJAH "MR. SPRINGFIELD" Iles- (1796-1883) built the first log cabin store in Springfield. Invested in land and owned most of today's Springfield at one time. Civic leader and served in the Winnebago and Black Hawk wars. His house has been preserved and is open to the public.

And, I'm Just Beginning. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Florida's Overseas Highway

One of the new All American Highways is located in Florida, running the 127.5 mile stretch of the Florida Keys, ending in Key West. It carries US Route 1.

Much of it was built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad which was completed in 1912 and either heavily damaged or completely destroyed during the devastating Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.

It was sold to the State of Florida and the road completed in 1938. There are 38 bridges including the famous Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon which is actually 6.79 miles long, but upon completion was called the Eighth Wonder of the World.

In 1982, the 37 original bridges were replaced with wider ones, but the old ones left in place and used for recreational pursuits and fishing.

The whole area is part of Monroe County and locations are given by Mile Markers.

This is probably one of the harder stretches of road I've ever driven. It is the only road through the keys and heavily traveled so congestion is a problem. Then, there is the fantastic scenery. By the time we driven those 127 miles, I am ready for a rest when we arrive in Key West.

Deserving of the New Status. --RoadDog

Five New All-American Roads

The US Transportation Department has named five All-American Roads:

Florida Overseas Highway
Historical Route 66 in Arizona
Maine's Acadia All-American Road Trenton Extension
Harriet Tubman Underground Rail Road Byway in Maryland
Michigan Woodward Avenue (M-1) Automotive Heritage

The All-American Road designation possible under the National Scenic Trail Byways Program established by US Congress in 1991. There are only 31 roads at thiis level.

To become one, an extensive research is done on the road's archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. It must also exhibit characteristics of national significance and features that don't exist elsewhere.

From Leisure Group Travel.

Congratulations to These Five Roads. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's Official Now-- Western Terminus of Route 66

The Nov. 10th Santa Monica(Ca) Daily Press reported that the Santa Monica Pier has always been considered the unofficial end of Route 66, but now it is the official terminus according to the Route 66 Alliance.

Tomorrow is the road's 83rd anniversary, having been commissioned on November 11, 1926. At 9 AM, there will be a procession of 66 vintage vehicles and motorbikes from Santa Monica Blvd. and Lincoln Avenues to the pier.

At one time, there was a marker at Santa Monica Blvd. and Lincoln Avenue that was thought to be a movie prop. However, it mysteriously disappeared about 50 years ago.

In 1952, the road was dedicated to the memory of Will Rogers and a plaque placed at the park overlooking the pier and the Pacific Coast Highway.

We ended our cross-country Route 66 trip in 2006 at the park overlooking the Pacific and saw a beautiful sunset before driving down to the pier, parking on it and thinking, "Wow, we made it."

At Trail's End. --RoadDog

Monday, November 9, 2009

Two More Illinois Lincoln Highway Gazebos


The October 19th reported that the Lincoln Highway gazebo in Fulton opened and is one of 16 such information centers built or planned in the state. Fulton is at the far west end of the state along the Mississippi River.

One of the four informational panels reflects Fulton's Lincoln Highway heritage. It is located on the corner of 3rd Street and 10th Avenue, twp blocks from the famous windmill and Windmill Cultural Center.


The October 19th Lincoln Way Herald News reported that another gazebo had opened in front of Lincoln Way Central High School. It is similar to the one in Fulton and funded by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition. There is also an original 1928 Boy Scout Lincoln Highway marker there as well.

Marking and Informing the Old Lincoln Highway. --RoadDog

However, they say there are 20 gazebos plnned.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bob Waldmire-- Part 5-- "The Johnny Appleseed of Route 66"

Continuing with the Tribune article.

Colon cancer is claiming him and he might have just a month to live. But he hopes to hang on until November 22nd when he has his final art show at the Cozy Dog in Springfield, Illinois. I would like to be there, but will be in North Carolina with family for Thanksgiving. However, I am hoping to see him this coming week.

His father, Ed Waldmire is said to have perfected the hot dog on a stick at the Cozy Dog after seeing it while stationed in Texas, but that is another story. Only, don't ever call it a "corn dog" around the Cozy. It is a Cozy Dog as you'll soon learn.

Bob said he knew about the cancer ten years ago, but chose to go ahead with his life and ignore it. I doubt that he ever had insurance of any sort living the lifestyle that he did. When Liz and I saw him at the Cozy Dog this last September, something about him just didn't appear to be normal. Others were thinking the same thing. About a month ago, we found out the reason, but didn't say anything about it until the article in the Springfield paper came out last week.

Of course, there was also him saying at the time that he wanted to do one more Route 66 thing and that was to travel the road and locate the final resting spots of all the people who have put their mark on Route 66 over the years.

Goodbye to Route 66's Johnny Appleseed. --RoadDog

Bob Waldmire-- Part 4-- "The Johnny Appleseed of Route 66"

From November 5th Chicago Tribune, which devoted most of a page to Bob, including one of him holding court in that crowded converted school bus he lives in.

Above the picture, a quote from Route 66 author Michael Wallis: "I always called him the Johnny Appleseed of Route 66-- his footprints, his fingerprints are all over the road." Michael sure has a way with words, but that pretty well sums up Bob Waldmire.

"End of the road for Route 66 artist: 'Last original hippie' spent his years on the famed highway; now he's ready to say goodbye." by Steve Schmadeke.

Bob Waldmire spent decades traveling up and down Route 66 in his VW bus and selling his intricate, India-ink artwork which was sometimes colorized. This is how I'll always remember him, selling that unique art. You know when you see a Bob Waldmire piece of art. It definitely requires the old cheaters to come out as, man, that stuff's small and information packed.

I'd often wanted to have him do a RoadDog logo for me in his style, but I guess it won't ever happen now. I wanted a mid-size dog running down the road. However, he would always say that I needed to have a picture of one before he could put his imprint on it.

I finally found one, but after looking at it, he said that he was sure he had seen it before. It turned out to be from a Shelly Graham photo of a dog running down the Ribbon Road in Oklahoma.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway

The Oct. 13, 2008, Oklahoman reported that this 88-mile scenic byway through the Ozark Mountains in Adair, Cherokee, Delaware and Sequoyah counties in northeastern Oklahoma had become the state's 8th Scenic Byway.

It runs along US Highways 59 and 410 and State Highways 10, 51, 62, 82 and 110.

The Oklahoma Byways Program is a joint effort by the Cherokee Nation, ODOT and the University of Oklahoma. This new one shows the cultural, topographical, and historical features of this part of the state. (I know that I always thought there wasn't anything much to see in Oklahoma until I took my first drive through the state on Route 66 and this is one impressive state!)

Some of the locations along the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway are the Tahlonteeske Cherokee Courthouse Museum, Murrell Home, Cherokee heritage Center and Cherokee Natural Prison.

It joins the Osage Nation Heritage Trail, Wichita Mountains Byway, Cimarron Heritage Trail, Mountain Pass Scenic Byway, Mountains Gateway Scenic Byway and the Talimena Scenic Drive which is also a National Scenic Byway.

Another Great Drive. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Handsome Harry and Lana Turner

Like I said, I'd never heard this story, so went to good old Wikipedia to get some background.

John Stompanato, Johnny's father and owner of the barbershop, lived from 1890 to 1952. His son Johnny was born in 1925 and died April 4, 1958.

Johnny was also called "Handsome Harry" and "Johnny Stomp" and was quite the ladies man, but was known as being possessive and jealous. He once even pointed a gun at Sean Connery on a movie set.

Lana Turner's daughter Cheryl hear an argument between them getting serious and stabbed Stompanato to death. The courts ruled it justifiable homicide. The Stompanato family later sued Turner for $7 million.

So, go to Cobb's, have a drink, eat some food, and get into some history.

Johnny Stompanato is interred at Woodstock's Oakland Cemetery.

Quite a Story, Definitely ET Worthy. --RoadDog

D. C. Cobbs in Woodstock, Il.

Interesting story about a a party place in Woodstock that we have visited a couple times, but I didn't know this bit of history about the place.

It is just off the square and owned by Daniel Hart who just completed a one-year renovation during which an original interior wall was uncovered. This was the site of the famous Stompanato's Barber Shop.

Fifty years ago, the son of owner John became involved with actress Lana Turner and was stabbed to death by the Turner's 14-year-old daughter Cheryl. I'd never heard this story before. The restaurant has several pictures of Johnny Stompanato.

The walls will be left as they are. Also, the original window openings were found and original 1940s newspapers will be placed in them.

From the November 4th Northwest Herald "Renovation uncovers Woodstock History" by Chris Freeman.

Sex and Sin in the Wood. --RoadDog

Bob Waldmire-- Part 3

The Chicago Tribune today ran an article and excellent video on noted Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire, calling him an icon of the road, which he certainly is.

He reminds me of a person we used to know from Put-in-Bay, Ohio, Charlie Brown. He spent his summers out on the island and winters in the Keys and drove an old Volkswagen van as well. Didn't know if I should be sorry for him, or jealous. But, like Bob, he was one of those fortunate enough to be able to spend his life doing exactly what he wanted to do and when he wanted to do it.

Anyway, here is the place to see the video and article.,0,7220519.story

Hoping to get to see him next week.

We'll Sure Miss Bob. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Civil War Monument-- Woodstock, Illinois

Along with the Spring House and gazebo, the most noticeable structure in Woodstock's historical square is this monument, originally dedicated in 1909 in quite a celebration with 3,000 in attendance.

Yesterday, Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager rededicated it in front of about 25 people, including myself and wife Liz, on it's 100th anniversary. The grandson and great grandson of the monument's maker were also there and will be in charge of working on repairs once the $10,000 is raised.

There was a nice article in the Northwest Herald about it by Diana Sroka.

More on it at my Civil War Blog:

And the Weather Was Reasonable for This Time of the Year. --RoadDog

More to Northwest Illinois Than Galena- Part 2

Another place of interest in the area is the Mississippi Palisades State Park north of Savanna where the Apple River flows into the Mississippi offering wonderful views of the Mississippi River and valley.

To the north, in Hanover, is Rocky Waters Vineyard and Winery.

Ms. Souter suggest Harbor Cafe & Pizzeria in Fulton and Domenic and Maria's in Savanna.

I'd also like to recommend the drive from Freeport , Illinois, west to Dubuque, Iowa, along the US Grant Highway, US-20. Rolling hills and once you get to Elizabeth, you follow ridges with spectacular views into valleys. It just keeps getting better as you proceed. I count this as one of my most favorite drives anywhere in the country.

Anyone who thinks as Illinois as being flat will change their minds on this road.

Great Area to Visit. --RoadDog

A Drive Along Illinois Route 120

Some favorite places on Il-120 just east of Woodstock which is at the western terminus of the road.

These occur from where the road takes a 90 degree turn, probably five miles east of town.

THE PERFECT FARM-- right at the intersection, there is what I call the ideal farm. Wooden fences all over the place, a stone fence directly in front of the house, horses, perfectly-kept red wooden barns.

GOAT HILL-- right off the road, there is a hill with a lot of goats and goat toys. Always fun to see what they're up to. Has to be goat nirvana. If I were a goat, I'd want to be here.

LEANING SILO OF WOODSTOCK-- Old farm that is falling apart, just east of the LONE WOLF on north side of road. The wooden barn in sad shape and its silo leaning over more and more every year. Pisa may have the Tower, but we have the Silo. Hard to see when trees have leaves.

LONE WOLF-- a golf place that was featured in USA Today as one of the top miniature golf places in the US. They have a stone outcrop with a wolf statue on the top "howling at the moon."

SADLY, NO MORE OLD STONE FARMHOUSE-- A short distance from the LONE WOLF, there was a neat Italianate white stone farmhouse which had to date from the late 1800s which had been abandoned. There was a fire there recently and it has been torn down. You have to see the neat old stuff as soon as you can before they're gone.

MARIAN CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL-- Catholic school and playing in the second round of the state football playoffs. Built 1959 so celebrating 50th anniversary. 734 students

TRUCK IN THE SKY-- a short way from Marian is a truck repair place with a truck up on a pole.

Nice Drive And This Is Only About Five Miles. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bob Waldmire-- Part 2

Like I said in the last post, this past September, we spent several days in Springfield, Il., on our way back from the Missouri Motor Tour.

We got up with the couple from Australia who are some of the biggest fans of the road around at the Cozy Dog and they had arranged to meet with Bob.

At the time, we thought there was something definitely not right about him. He just wasn't the usual Bob. For one thing, his beard and hair was trimmed and he looked skinnier and a bit haggard as well.

Talked with him awhile as the place was closing. He siaid that one last thing he wanted to do was write the story of where famous Route 66 folks are buried. That made us wonder even more about his health.

Well. Sure Glad We Got a Chance to Meet Him. --RoadDog

Bob Waldmire

I'm very sad to learn what we expected back as far as this past September, and that is that Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire will not be with us much longer. We're thinking about paying a last visit to him in Springfield, Illinois, next week.

We did not know him personally, but have talked with him many times over the years.

I'll never forget the time we were at his stand at the Springfield, Illinois, Mother Road Festival a few years ago when he asked if we would watch his stuff. We figured he had to take a bathroom break or get a bite to eat. Like I said, we didn't know him that well.

For him to leave all his stuff with people he didn't know is just Bob's way. Well, we waited and waited and after awhile were wondering where he was. Some people came by to say Bob was walking around to other booths and enjoying the sights and sounds. Some way to run a business.

Finally, a guy who really knew Bob came by and we were able to leave him in charge.

That Bob!!

I was going to have him draw a RoadDog for me, but guess that won't happen now.

He is the "REAL SPIRIT of Route 66."

Glad We Got to Meet Him. --RoadDog

Old News, But... It's a Preservation Thing

Back on December 5, 2008, Hampton Hotels announced their list of 9 landmarks to be restored during 2009.

This is a wonderful thing that a corporation is doing, showing an interest in things past, something they have been doing for quite some time. This is their Save-a-Landmark campaign.

People were allowed to vote for 18 days between November 12 to Nov. 30th. They received 45,000 votes to elect the nine landmarks.


PORTLAND OBSERVATORY-- Portland, Maine-- built 1807 with grand views of the harbor
MAYOWOOD-- Rochester, Mn.-- estate from 1911 to 1938 founded by Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic.

NEON MUSEUM-- Las Vegas-- "collecting, preserving and exhibiting neon signs."
ROBERT FROST FARM-- Derry, NY-- many of his poems attributed to his Derry years where he lived 1901-1911.
TOWN OF MAYBERRY OLD CITY JAIL-- Mount Airy, NC (Andy Griffith's home town which he based the fictional TV Mayberry on)

RAIL DEPOT MUSEUM-- Troutdale, Oregon, 1907
WASHINGTON HOUSE-- Two Rivers, Wi.-- Ed Bennett's Ice Cream Parlor considered to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae.
HISTORIC ATLAS THEATER-- Cheyenne, Wy-- building there since 1887, converted to theater in 1908.

A Salute to Hampton Inns!! --RoadDog

More to Northwest Illinois Than Galena-- Part 1

The August 2nd Chicago Tribune Travel Section had an article by Janet Souter about other places you can go in northwestern Illinois besides the premier attraction, Galena.

Of course, Liz and I are very fond of Galena, having gone there for our honeymoon in 1973 and have been back many times since then. However, Ms. Souter is very correct when she says that "if you drive the back roads, you won't be sorry."

She wrote at length about the City of Fulton which is very proud of its Dutch heritage and on the Mississippi River with its 90 foot windmill, De Immigrant, standing tall and proud on the levee. It was built in the Netherlands and shipped to Fulton where Dutch craftsmen and masons rebuilt it. It is a working mill grinding grain.

Then, there's Heritage Canyon where you'll find a working 1840s village sitting in a 12 acre quarry. She goes into quite some detail on this attraction.

What she didn't mention was the fact that Fulton is on the Lincoln Highway, the nation's first transcontinental highway dating to 1913. Also, there is a wonderful old 1950s mom and pop motel called the Pines south of town as well.

In May Fulton celebrates its heritage with Dutch Days.

"After Galena, consider some back-road charms"

More to Come. --RoadDog

Illinois Route 120-- Part 2

Continuing with today's Il-120 looking at maps in the Illinois Digital Collection.

1922-- Still the only road in the area and now shown as all hard surface or oiled.

1924-- Now, there were many more roads in the Lake and McHenry counties area. This is the first time that the number 20 appears on the stretch as it is now called SBI-20 or Il-20.


A solid heavy line is now classified as PAVED: concrete, brick, or macadam (interesting that asphalt would not be listed.

A broken black line indicates improved roads: gravel, crushed stone or oiled dirt

There was even a single black line indicating "Unimportant Roads."

Roads under construction were also shown.


Il-20 (and they were using the road number inside the state outlines then, something I wish we could go back to instead of the generic squares we have now) is shown as going through the towns and villages of Waukegan, Wilson, Grays Lake, Hainesville, Volo, McHenry and Woodstock.

The road is paved Waukegan to Il-42, then shown as improved from Il-42 to Il-21. Then paved Il-21 to Volo. It is improved west of Volo for about 1.5 miles then under construction to just east of Woodstock.

Major Road Improvements Going On. --RoadDog

Monday, November 2, 2009

And, Speaking of Woodstock and Illinois Hwy. 120

I have been looking at the development of roads and highways in Lake and McHenry counties on the Illinois Digital Archives which has a series of Illinois road maps dating back to 1917. I find the easiest way to access it at the top of the Route 66 Association of Illinois site page. I love old maps, especially noting changes over the years.

Roads I'm particularly interested in are Il-120, Il. 173, US-20, US-12, Fairfield and Rollins roads. If I ever get around to figuring out how to get techno savvy (don't hold your breath), I'd like to feature these roads with pictures, information, and interesting places to visit.

Today, Illinois Highway 120, Il-120, runs from Waukegan to Woodstock. We drive it from west of McHenry when we go to Woodstock. One of the prettier drives anywhere.


From 1917 to 1922 it was shown and was the only marked route in the area.

1917-- TOWNS: Waukegan, Warrenton (today's Gurnee), Hainesville, Volo, McHenry and Woodstock. Listed only as a marked route, but nothing as far as to its name.

1921-- hard or oiled Waukegan to Volo. Dirt west of Volo through McHenry and mostly dirt to Woodstock.

On both maps, there were no other roads anywhere near this one.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Woodstock, Illinois

Tomorrow, I am going to the historic Woodstock Square for the rededication of the Union soldier monument. It was first dedicated November 3, 1909. This will also be a fundraising events because, after 100 years, repairs are necessary. It honors the 330 men from McHenry County who died during the war, almost a third from disease. (More in my Civil War Blog.)

Of course, this square, dating to the 1840s, is a real jewel. During the summer and fall, lots of events take place here. Then, Christmas time, the square is ablaze with lights.

Much of the movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray was filmed here. Ever since, they have had an annual Groundhog Day celebration lasting for a week.

Well Worth a Check Out. --RoadDog

Cruising North Carolina

Cathy Yerges had an article last year in the Articles-Heaven site called "Taking a Drive Through North Carolina" in which she gave a short account of various drives you can take in the western part of the state.

POTTERY ROAD SCENIC ROUTE-- 14 potteries on the route, 80 nearby (and I didn't know NC had that many potteries, must be good clay.

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY-- the famous. Visiting family in NC for Thanksgiving this year and might just take a run on it for a bit. No leaves so can see more.



BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG-- named for an old fiddle song, lots of twists and hairpin turns.




Makes You Want to Know More. --RoadDog