Saturday, July 31, 2010

USA's Ten Great Places for BBQ

July 16th USA Today.

Stephen Raichlen, chef and author of "Planet Barbecue! 309 Recipes, 60 Countries" shares his favorite places to sample the world of 'cue.

I've never been to any, but will probably stop at the one in North Carolina next time I'm through. Plus, it's right in the epicenter of Tarheel Country.


ABURIYA KINNOSUKE-- New York--a Japanese robatayaki bar (What?)

ALLEN & SON BARBECUE-- Chapel Hill, NC-- wood-smoked pork sandwiches. Carolina-style.

OKLAHOMA JOE'S-- Kansas City, Mo.--stands out in a city known for bbq.

COOPER'S OLD TIME PIT BAR-B-QUE-- Llano, Texas-- classic roadside barbecue.


SOOT BOOL JEEP-- Los Angeles-- Korean-style

CAMINO-- Oakland-- farm-to-table-style place

EAST COAST GRILL-- Cambridge, Mass.-- wood-burning grill. Grilled, blood-rare salmon steak.


POK POK-- Portland, Ore.-- best Thai street food this side of Bangkok.

DRESSING ROOM-- Westport, Conn.-- best wood-grilled hamburger in North America

AL FORNO-- Providence, RI-- birthplace of grilled pizza. Also, the Dirty Steak.

Some More BBQ Joints to Add to My List. --RoadDog

Friday, July 30, 2010

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 3

Back in June, we drove to Iowa and then to Missouri where we did some cruising on Route 66 through that state to Pacific, Missouri, where we checked in for the 2010 Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour on that Saturday and Sunday, June 12th and 13th.

Thia is our trip there. Right now, it is June 9th and we're in the Bridge City, Ottumwa, Iowa.

While waiting for Liz to get going (Big Surprise there), I took a ride east on the road, which was the original US-34. You can tell because of the two motels on the east edge of town (we stayed at the Stardust Motel). The old alignment of US-34 goes only a half mile east before it dead ends. You can see the new US-34 at the bottom of the hill. There must have been quite an incline back in the old days.

The Stardust Motel has seen better days, but still is alright even with probably the worst laid-out bathroom I've ever seen. It is small and the toilet and sink are directly across from each other with about a foot in between. No wi-fi, either.

The Royal Rest Motel is across the road and in pretty bad shape. I wasn't sure if it was open or not.

We talked with several people at the motel bar Benchwarmer's last night. One was in town working construction (as were most of the people staying at the motel). He was a fan of Route 66 and has a sixteen year-old-son who has a Mustang which has mechanical problems. He has his dog with him, a beagle/rat terrier mix who had door duty at the place.

On leaving for Lake of the Ozarks, the odometer read 338 miles for the trip so far.

Show Me Mo. --RoadDog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cars.com Top Ten Car Songs-- Part 3

And, now, their Top Four Car Songs, all of which I know.

4. LOW RIDER-- WAR-- With its distinctive bass line and singer's deep growl "this song begs to be blasted while cruising." You've got to love those hydraulically-altered classic cars. It's been covered and sampled many times. (A good way to rattle your brain in those jumping cars.)


3. FUN, FUN, FUN-- BEACH BOYS-- The list could have easily included three ot four Beach Boys songs, but they limited it to the most universal. "For many teens, car keys equal freedom." (Yeah, lots of fun till it breaks down or you go to the pump.)


2. PINK CADILLAC-- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-- Originally the "B" side to "Dancing in the Dark." Many Springsteen songs feature car imagery. (I couldn't afford one, even if it was pink.)


1. LITTLE RED CORVETTE-- PRINCE-- It "isn't the only song to equate a woman with a car, but it is probably one of the most blatantly sexual of those songs." (I never realized it. Guess I'll have to give it another listen. And, I might add, another vehicle I can't afford.)

Let's Get to Cruisin'. --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drinking Wine Out in Northwest Illinois

While out on our Mississippi River trip earlier this month, we found out about two new local wineries thanks to the Street Rod driving tour. We already knew about Galena Cellars which grow their grapes and bottle outside of the town.


ROCKY WATERS VINEYARD AND WINERY

The first new place is outside of the town of Hanover, about fifteen miles south of Galena. Rocky Waters Vineyard and Winery (2003 West Hanover Road) is where we met up with a lot of the street rods out on the tour. If there is really such a winery as a "perfect spot" to sample and drink your wine, this has to be the place. You have the view of a valley and hills off beyond as well as what could best be described as a north woods lodge with high ceilings and rough-hewn logs.

This is a place on our to-visit list as they were so busy we decided to leave. But, as the gov says, we'll be back.


MASSBACH RIDGE WINERY

It's listed as being in Elizabeth, Illinois, but it is really about eight miles out of town, closer to a cluster of buildings that goes by the name Massbach (8837 South Massbach Road). We really got lost going here, but there is signage if you go a different way (which we didn't).

We did stop here and did some tasting ($3) along with another couple who must have bought ten bottles. We bought a bottle of Elizabeth Wine with the grapiest grape taste ever. We also purchased a bottle of Blushing Pink which came the closest to our favorite wine, pink catawba.

Liz and I always like to give our business to small, local wineries whenever we come across them. We especially like the variety of flavors you can get.

Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me. --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cars.com Top 10 Car Songs-- Part 2

7. LET ME RIDE-- DR. DRE-- The lyrics definitely aren't g-rated "but that doesn't diminish its importance as a song about cars." (Never heard of it and with language like you usually hear in rap songs, doubt that I ever will. Plus, I'm sure he used the dreaded "N" word that I find offensive.)


6. DRIVE MY CAR-- BEATLES-- "How do you know you've made it? According to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it's when you can afford to hire a chauffeur. (From my favorite Beatles, the early Beatles.)


5. MUSTANG SALLY-- WILSON PICKETT-- "Pickett wasn't the first to record 'Mustang Sally,' but he's the one who put it on the map." (This has been recorded by many, many, many artists and I like all the versions I've heard. And, of course, one of my favorite all-time soul singers is the "Wicked" Pickett.)

Four More to Go. --RoadDog

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Red Barchetta

OK, I've just spent the last hour finding out about this song and the one by the Dead Milkmen. I gave both a listen.

RED BARCHETTA-- RUSH

I had never heard of it although I am somewhat familiar with Rush. I found out that I had the song on my "RUSH CHRONICLES" double cassette and on my "Rush The Spirit of Radio Greatest Hits 1974-1987" CD. I'm listening to it right now.

There were several videos on YouTube, plus, I found the lyrics on another site.

This is one really great song and I'm glad I finally got the opportunity to listen to it. That sure was a lot of words to remember to sing in one song. I wonder how Geddy Lee remembered all of them.

And, it is a long one clocking in at 6:14 and from the 1981 "Moving Pictures" album. The song takes place in a post-petroleum future where gasoline-powered sports cars are illegal. His uncle has kept one hidden and Geddy takes it out for a cruise only to be chased by future cars.

"Wind in my hair
Shifting and drifting
Mechanical music
Adrenaline surge"

I then had to find out what a Barchetti was. Never heard of one. It is an Italian sports car.

Warning, this song can cause speeding tickets. Do not play while driving. Oh well, I'd chance it. "Honest officer, I was only driving fast because of Rush."

I'll definitely be putting this on my cruising list. As a matter of fact I'm recording it on my "On the Road Again" cassette as I get ready for Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten on the Drive.

Thanks Cars.com.

VROOOM, VROOOMMMM!!! --RoadDog

Cars.com Top Ten Car Songs-- Part 1

From the July 24th Chicago Tribune Auto Mart section.

While looking for ads for a 2010 Ford Mustang (well, thinking about one anyway), I came across this article by Amanda Wegrzn "Top 10 car songs."

"Ever since radios started popping up in cars, music and car culture have been inextricably (Big Word!) linked, and everyone has a strong opinion about both. Feeling a bit nostalgic during the summer cruising season, we thought we'd play tribute to the top 10 classic songs written about cars."

No mention was made about how they arrived at this list, and I've never heard of three of them, and I consider myself somewhat of a car song nut and have made about ten cassette tapes with favorites.

Here is Cars.com's list and their comments:

10. RED BARCHETTA-- RUSH-- Lots of reckless driving mentioned but with new regulations about fuel efficiency, pollution and what-not "it's a scary future for any sports-car nut...."

9. I CAN'T DRIVE 55-- SAMMY HAGAR-- "Some musicians use their talent to rail against political injustice, war and poverty" but not Sammy Hagar.

8. BITCHIN' CAMARO-- DEAD MILKMEN-- Includes a two-minute dialog about going to the shore and watching a Doors cover band. "...we dare you to listen to the song and not want to do doughnuts on your neighbor's lawn." (Hey, you can do it on mine if you run over those lousy Japanese beetles.)

I'd never heard of #10 or #8. Reckon I'll have to go to You Tube and listen to these two songs.

Driving and Tunes Just Kinda Go Together. --RoadDog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Perhaps a Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

As summer winds down (hey, they're selling school supplies already and started even before the 4th of July), the July 11th Chicago Tribune had a list of trips by Jay Jones "Last blast" you can still fit into the waning days.

One has been on my list of "To-Dos" for a long time, and that is the Blue Ridge Parkway that links two national parks, the Shenandoah in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.

And, this year marks the 75th anniversary. It was a Depression-era project designed to bring jobs to the Appalachian Mountains.

"The 469-mile route twists around the mountain ridges and traverses dozens of bridges and several tunnels, providing breathtaking vistas all the while."

Places with names like Blowing Rock and Fancy Gap are having festivals to honor the 75th featuring everything from bluegrass, banjos to barbecue.

The official 75th anniversary celebration kicks off September 10th in and around Cumberland Knob where the building project started.

You can get information at www.blueridgeparkway75.org.

Maybe I'll Just Have to to a Little Drive. --RoadDog

Friday, July 23, 2010

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 2

I-88 joins I-80 and then on to Iowa. Still I-80 to Iowa City where we picked up US-218 to Mt. Pleasant where we got on US-34. Along US-218, we saw lots of barns with those neat designs on them.

Once heading west out of Mt. Pleasant on US-34 we saw lots of roads named after trees. One named Varnish Tree Road particularly was an interesting name. We also saw a sign for the American Gothic House made famous in the painting by Grant Wood. That would definitely be worth a trip some time. Maybe even have to find me a pitchfork and do a little posing. "I'm a farmer and I don't know how to speak in front of a roomful of people, much less 400,000." Who said that and where?

We got to the City of Bridges, Ottumwa, Iowa, and checked into the Stardust Motel along the original US-34 east of town. There is another small motel , the Royal Rest) across the road as well, definitely what you'd expect to find along the old US highways, motels at the far sides of any town.

Mostly construction workers stay at the Stardust Motel as the rooms are around $50 a night. The place is getting a bit run-down, but is still clean and there is a bar right on site. (AND, IT HAS NTN!!! even a better deal for us.)

We drove around town and way out west (about three miles) to another bar that has NTN. We then went back to the bar by the motel.

I wrote about these back in June on NTN Cruisin'.

MASH's Radar O'Reilly was from this town on the show. We always kid and say we're looking for Radar.

Never Have Seen Radar O'Reilly in Ottumwa, However. --RoadDog

July 1970 Cruising-- Part 2

Ready for some more memories back 40 years ago. Again, I'll give the name of the song, you tell who sang it. Answers are at the www.wdrv.com on-air site and at my http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot.com site.


TWO OF US
I'VE GOT A FEELING
MISSISSIPPI
MISSISSIPPI QUEEN
BALL OF CONFUSION

HI-DE-HO
CARRY ON
DHARMA FOR ONE/WOODEN SHIPS (not CSN)
RUN THROUGH THE JUNGLE
CECILIA

YOU BETTER THINK TWICE
MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME
OO YOU
RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE
THE WITCH

MAKE ME SMILE
MOONDANCE
FOR YOU BLUE
SPILL THE WINE
PROPER STRANGER

(LAY DOWN) CANDLES IN THE RAIN
THE LOVE YOU SAVE (This was #1 in Chicago July 4, 1970)

How Many Did You Guess Correctly? --RoadDog

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 1970 Cruising

OK, what were you driving and what were you listening to back in July during the Summer of 1970?

I was going to be a sophomore at Northern Illinois University and still living at home during the summer. My parents let my brother and I share a 1964 Chevy Bel Air. You can't believe the arguments over whose turn it was to put in gas.

Bob Stroud did a Time Warp back to July 4, 1970 on his Rock and Roll Roots show (Sundays 7 to 10 am on WDRV-FM 96.9 and 97.1 and streaming on www.wdrv.com). This was the second installment and there will be two more the first Sundays in August and September.

I go into Stroud's comments as well as my own on my Down Da Road I Go blog (http://downdaroadigo.blogspot.com), but for here, it is going to be Name That Group.

You can also see the play list for this one at the WDRV website, just click on Rock and Roll Roots.

These are all songs playing on the radio or in our RECORD collections back then.


Are You Ready
Get Ready
Hitchin' a Ride
Question
Gasoline Alley
Make It With You
Uncle John's Band
In the Summertime
Take Me to the Pilot
Tighter and Tighter

These were played in the first hour.

Second and Third Hours Tomorrow. --RoadDog

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 1

About Time to Finish This Up Since It Was About Seven Weeks Ago.

We left home June 8th and even thought about leaving a day later because of the rain predicted in Illinois and Iowa for all day, and it was raining this morning. At least I didn't have to get out and water the plants outside (I had also watered heavily last evening).

Odometer at 93,585. We arrived home June 13th after driving 1,224 miles.

It rained on us all the way through Illinois.

Stopped for lunch in Dekalb, Illinois, and ate at Tom & Jerry's which boasts about how great their gyros are. And, they are every bit as good as advertised, especially with a $5.99 special price right now.

Got gas at $2.75 in Dekalb, then got on I-88, the Ronald Reagan Tollway. Had to pay tolls twice for a total of $3.80 to drive from Dekalb to Dixon where the tollway stops, about 40 miles. That's about 10 cents a mile, a bit steep. It used to be half that until the state came up with their latest money-making scheme several years back to charge double if you don't have an EZ-Pass so you can zoom through the toll stations.

Normally, we don't have to pay this because we take the Lincoln Highway, but we were running way behind schedule due to the late start and wanted to get to Ottumwa, Iowa, where we wanted to continue our search for Radar O'Reilly.

On the Road. --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Class A Street Rods Natives 2010-- Part 5

I had never seen that statue before. We also took a ride to Lorado Taft Campus where potential teachers at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb have outdoors education classes with students. Liz spent quite a bit of time out here when she was at Northern. She especially recalls the songs "Benny & the Jets" by Elton John and "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, two songs the students played incessantly on their radios while they were out there.

It got so bad that she and other NIU students were trying to figure out how they could get into Oregon, the nearest town, and get some beer. I can hear it now, the kids drove us to drink!!

I never had a class out there, however.

Went into Oregon next and took some time to look at the court house, an impressive structure built in 1891. Two Civil War cannons are mounted in front, an 1864 six and a half inch Naval Parrott gun weighing 9,722 pounds and an 1846 Columbiad made in Boston, Massachusetts.

There is also a Soldiers' Monument built in 1911 by Lorado Taft, who also made the Black Hawk statue at Lowden State Park. It honors military personnel from the War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War and World War I.

An Impressive Array at the Courthouse. --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Class A Street Rods Natives 2010-- Part 4-- Why the Name?-- Chief Black Hawk

WHY THE NAME?

I'm calling this the Class A Street Rods Nativs because we'll be going to see the Class A Midwest League Clinton Lumber Kings on Thursday, "Class A." Then Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we'll be seeing pre-1949 street rods in and around Galena, Illinois. Later Sunday, we'll drive to Oregon, Illinois for their Oregon Trail Days festival at Lowden State Park along the Rock River where they will be celebrating Indian heritage.


THE CHIEF

When we were at Lowden Stae Park north of Oregon, we took a drive through it. They were setting up a lot on Indian teepees near the entrance for Oregon Trail Days (even though the real Oregon Trail was nowhere close to here, but the name Oregon). Drove a short twisting drive out to the Rock River and the huge statue of what people call Chief Black Hawk, although famous sculptor Lorado Taft made it to honor Native Americans.

I had just seen it for the first time a few weeks ago when we took the cruise aboard the Spirit of Oregon steamboat and had that great lunch buffet. I've lived this long in Illinois and never seen it. Go figure that out.

It is as impressive up on the bluff as it is from the river. It is 99 years old and definitely showing its age when you get up close to it. Taft made it out of concrete and up close you can see lots of cracks resulting from all those Illinois winters.

One of the reasons for the Oregon Trail Days is to raise money for restoration.

One Impressive Indian. --RoadDog

Monday, July 19, 2010

Number 900th NTN Site

We've been playing NTN way too much since the 1990s. I mean, way TOO MUCH.

Yesterday we visited our 900th new place. I doubt that any other NTN Buzztime Player has played at that many sites, especially anybody with the "corporation." Fortunately, I started keeping track of sites right away so have the whole number listed by state, when we visited and date.

Anytime we go traveling, we always make it a point to visit as many places as we can along the way.

The most recent trip was out to the Mississippi River, Iowa and Illinois. We went to five new NTN sites that we had never been to before. One was in Iowa and four in Illinois.

They were:

DUBUQUE , Iowa-- Courtside Pub
GALENA, Illinois-- The Flying Horse
MOUNT MORRIS-- Maggie's Idle Hour
LOVE'S PARK (by Rockford)-- Casey's Pub
Machesney Park-- B-Dub (Buffalo Wild Wings)

That makes a total of 42 new NTN sites for the year.

Playing this Dumb Game Way Too Much!! --RoadDog

Class A Street Rod Natives 2010-- Part 3-- Lincoln Highway to Clinton, Iowa

I got gas in Dixon and like when I was there for the Lincoln Highway Conference back in June, it was cheaper, at $2.62, so filled up.


LINCOLN HIGHWAY

In Dixon, we picked up the Lincoln Highway and took it all the way to Fulton then the new US-30 into Clinton, Iowa. We went to both sections of the railroad overpass west of Morrison so as to follow the original Lincoln. I had always suspected that the overpass was not a section of it. It's a good thing the bus didn't attempt to go on the west side of the overpass as we'd probably still be there. That is a tight turnaround at the deadend.

Again, like back in June, we had a bit of a wait in Morrison as there was road construction.


CLINTON

Came into town at the southern end and got on US-30, the old Lincoln. Drove past the Super 8 where we used to stay. Decided to stop at Bonnie's Bar for a couple drinks before checking in at the Best Western Frontier Inn where we have been staying the last several times in Clinton.

It is in a little valley west of the Lincoln along with a sports bar. We like this place because it is just a locals bar, even if it is big-rime Cubs Country. Even in Iowa, it is hard to get away from that team. They have a trip to Wrigley Field for $65, a real good deal from that distance (that's what we paid from Antioch, Illinois, which is only about fifty miles away).

Cheap draft beer ($1.50) in frosted mugs and free peanuts and popcorn at this place as well. Right up my alley. We were only going to have one, but stayed for three. We mentioned to the bartender that we were going to go to the Class A Midwest League Clinton Lumber Kings game and she gave us a pair of general admission tickets.

Now, that was mighty nice of her.

Checked into the Best Western and then left for dinner and the game.

Hungry for J&D's Steakhouse. --RoadDog

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just Got Back from a REAL Slice of America

We were gone three nights and four days on a great mini trip out to the Mississippi River.

Along the way, we drove along two great rivers, saw a Class A Midwest League baseball game, played NTN in five new places, saw Civil War history, drove on gravel roads and some just a tad better than that, saw some wonderful scenery (who says Illinois is flat) and found out about flathead catfish.

And here are some other things we did:

*** saw a parade
*** went to a community fair
*** spent two nights at a mom and pop motel
*** had the mom and pop motel experience

*** went to two wineries
*** one super liquor store
*** got lost on some back country roads, sort of

*** didn't see the Indians at the Oregon Trail Days
*** msde an unexpected trip to Rockford
*** saw more pre-1949 cars in one place than I've ever seen before

I'll Be Writing More About It Coming Up. --RoadDog

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Young Whippersnappers

Last night, after the Clinton Lumber King loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps, we went back to the Best Western for a night cap and to drown our sorrows as we had ANOTHER LOSS. For some reason, the Lumber Kings almost always lose when we see them. Perhaps we are just bad luck.

And, I don't have to worry about driving, especially in Clinton with its one way streets and meandering roads.

The hotel has a nice bar called Remingtons so an ice cold beer or two seemed in order.

When we came in, there were about five or six young folks in their very, very early twenties having lunch boxes (drinks) and playing some of "their" music on an ipod (?) hooked up to the deejay booth. Definitely not Liz or my favorite kind of music.

They were "worried" that they were being too boisterous, drinking too hard, and playing their music too loud (and they offered to play "old tunes" for us). Very nice young lads (who could just about be our grandkids).

But, hey guys, I was partying way back before your parents were even a gleam in your grand daddies' eyes. The groups and bands I have seen, the level of volume I played (hey, back in my thirties the next door neighbor kids would call the house to ask that I turn my music down).

Plus, I deejayed for for longer than you've been alive and had some great times doing that.

I don't think I'm ready to be put out to pasture, just yet (unless these drink prices keep getting too much higher).

Growing Older, But Not Up and Still Lovin' It. --RoadDog

Class A Street Rod Natives 2010-- Part 2-- On the Road Again

Fortunately, we had some much-needed rain Wednesday night, so I didn't have to water the yard plants. One thing good about fall, winter and spring trips is that I don't have to worry about watering except for the inside plants.

Drove out to Woodstock and took Il-47 to Il-176 and west to Marengo where we got on Il-23 south to where he ran into Il-72 and then west to Byron.

There are treed sections of this last road as well as two really neat small towns, Genoa and Stillman Valley, where one of the engagements of the Blackhawk War took place and several Americans were killed and are buried by a monument to them.


ROCK RIVER AND ILLINOIS HIGHWAY 2

By Byron, Il-72 heads north across the bridge into town and we pick up Il-2, which has no signage right now because of lots and lots and lots of construction. Be prepared to lose some time right now, but, the parts that are finished are going to make this one smooth ride so it will be worth it.

At the bridge, you arrive at the Rock River which comes down from Wisconsin past Rockford to Rock Island, Illinois, where it joins the Mississippi.


GREAT ILLINOIS DRIVES

Right now, I'd like to nominate Illinois Highway 2 (Il-2) for Great Illinois Drive status. You have the rolling hills, curves, tree canopies, one of the prettiest little towns you'll ever see, a giant statue, two state parks, and history.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, a river that is in sight for much of the way, and that would be the Rock River.

I think the state should institute a Great Illinois Drives program and using scenery, small town America and history, start a list of them.

I'd also like to nominate US-20 from Freeport to Dubuque, but especially from Elizabeth to Dubuque.

Until June, I had never been on Il-2 from Byron to Oregon.

Illinois, a Lot More Than You Might Think. --RoadDog

Class A Street Rod Natives 2010: Decision Made-- Day 1

As I sit here just a-typin' away with my own two fingers in Clinton, Iowa, I'd have to say the decision as to whether to go west to the Mississippi or stay around home has been made.

As I said before, there are three major objectives to this trip besides some great highway cruising: see the Clinton Lumber Kings play Class A baseball, see the 100-or-so pre-1949 street rods and maybe do some road tripping with them in Galena and seeing the Oregon Trail Days celebration with Native Americans on Sunday.

We also want to eat at two of our favorite place: J&D Steakhouse in Clinton and the Log Cabin in Galena. Plus, we have three new NTN sites to visit in Dubuque, Galena and Mount Morris.

We drove three great roads yesterday to get here. And, I was on these same three roads about three weeks ago: Il-72, Il-2 and the Lincoln Highway. All three of these are great drives.

Three weeks ago, I was involved with the annual Lincoln Highway Association conference in Dixon, Illinois.

On Our Way. --RoadDog

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2010 Lincoln Highway Conference-- Day 1-- Part 5

I last wrote about this on June 26th.


ESTHER SILVIUS

Esther Silvius, wife of Illinois Lincoln Highway Association President Wayne Silvius, was born on Lincoln Highway in Ashton, lived her childhood on the Lincoln Highway, went to school on the Lincoln Highway, snagged a Dixon guy and got him to move to Ashton where they still live. I guess you'd have to say the Lincoln runs deep within her soul. This, according to her husband in his welcoming speech.

Her husband Wayne was co-chair of the 2010 Conference along with Dekalb's Kay Shelton. Esther also put in a lot of work.

Congratulations to the whole committee for putting on a really great, informative and enjoyable five days.


MAYOR JIM BURKE

Dixon's Mayor, Jim Burke gave a welcome speech listing things that make the town such a great place. Among them is that it is President Ronald Reagan's Hometown and the Petunia Capital of the World (or was it the US, possibly Illinois). They have the beautiful Lowell Park where Reagan life guarded for seven years and a downtown that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is an ongoing effort to return the buildings there to there old look.

And, We Haven't "Et" Yet. --RoadDog

Bus Trip to Springfield, Illinois-- April 21st-- Route 66-- Part 2

There is a billboard for Funks Grove Sirip (spelled correctly in this case) on I-55 and another for the Dixie Truckers Home which has a prominent Route 66 shield on it. Sure is nice to see the old place has reclaimed its heritage after several years of ignoring and doing away with it.

I never could figure out why the second owners would try so hard to distance themselves from 66. Especially since adhering to it brings in customers who spend money. At least the new owners aren't so foolish.

There is also a billboard advertising the world's largest covered wagon at Lincoln, Illinois. Now, if that isn't the true Route 66 entrepreneurial spirit, I don't know what is. Lincoln has definitely acknowledged its Route 66 heritage, while nearby Bloomington-Normal ignores theirs.

Gas in Springfield was $2.82. We passed a pedestrian overpass with "Welcome to Springfield and a Route 66 shield on Jefferson Avenue.

Raise My Taxes??!! I Thought I Was Already Paying Enough. Hey, Blago Has to Keep Up His Appearance. --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Down Da 66: Diner Finds Home-- Tattoo Man-- Towanda Accident

Some New News About An Old Road.


1. DINER FINDS HOME-- There has been some discussion of the Yahoo Route 66 group saying that the Krafts, who still own the property the Riviera was on, have given to old diner that has been restored and sits behind their former restaurant to the City of Gardner. Now, the problem is moving it.

But, at least it will still be with us.


2. TATTOO MAN-- There was a great article and accompanying video from the Oklahoma City Oklahoman about our favorite black and blue kinda guy, Ron Jones. Old Ron has 86 tattoos on his body, 84 of which are about our good old Route 66.

I guess all that pain and expense should warrant some publicity. Congrats to you, Ron.


3. TOWANDA ACCIDENT-- Sad to hear that seven people were injured in a fireworks accident in Towanda, Illinois, on Route 66 north of Bloomington-Normal.

Definitely not a good way to celebrate the 4th.

Now, You Know. --RoadDog

A Quick Decision to Make

We had planned to hit the road this weekend and see a Class A baseball game in Clinton, Iowa, then attend a street rod show and cruise in Galena, Illinois, and then go to the Oregon Trail festival in Oregon, Illinois on Sunday.

However, I now see that two of my favorite local festivals are taking place this weekend: McHenry's Fiesta Days and Antioch's Taste of Antioch.

McHenry also has a huge parade on Sunday after and Art in the Park and street party on Saturday featuring bands and cheap beer, two of my favorite things. Plus, all the restaurants have specials.

Taste of Antioch features food of course, but also nightly entertainment in the band shell.

I like both festivals.

I'll have to make a decision today as to whether to hit the road or stay in the area.

What to Do, What to Do. --RoadDog

Bus Trip to Springfield, Illinois-- April 21st-- Route 66

I read that the IEA (Illinois Education Association) was having a mass rally in Springfield on April 21st to push for House Bill 174, to properly fund Illinois schools which aren't properly funded. I contacted my friend Terri and picked her up in Round Lake and drove to IEA local region headquarters in Libertyville where we boarded a bus.

We saw some videos on the way and also received a visor and rally towel.


THE TRIP THERE

It is always nice when someone else does the driving, giving me the opportunity to look along the roadsides better. Of course, much of this trip would be along side or on top of the Old Route 66. We're usually on it, so getting another prospective is great.

On I-55, I saw a White Fence Farm--World's Greatest Chicken billboard. I sure would like to get a chance to eat there some day. It is closed every time we visit. Another sign said Historic 66 Exit 268, which was S. Joliet Road, Illinois Highway 53 in Bolingbrook.

We stopped for a bathroom break at one of the prettiest rest stops I've ever been to between Pontiac and Chenoa near MM 190. Nice facilities, but it was on a picturesque stream with plenty of viewing areas, even a gazebo as well as picnic tables.

Someday, we might get a lunch to go in Pontiac, get on the interstate, and stop at this rest stop to eat. I think this stream might be the same one that I like so much south of Pontiac on Route 66.

Not There Yet. --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bus Trip to Wrigley Field-- Part 11-- Really the End, Part 2

I noticed that the underside of the upper deck roof had chicken wire on it. Supposedly to keep the pigeons from roosting, but perhaps to keep parts from falling on folks?

And speaking of birds, about the seventh inning, lots of seagulls arrived on and about the field.


GOING HOME

We left the stands for the bus in the 9th inning as we were told it would leave at a specific time. We didn't.

And a big reason was the old Village Idiot, who had not been arrested, but had fully availed himself of the Wrigleyville bars during his exile. And, he was still proud of that hard hiney of his and let folks on the sidewalk and bus see it again in all its pale wonder. So, butt-man makes us late. Somebody must be taking real-special care of the nut.

We drove north along Lake Shore Drive and thought the great Alliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah song, and past Lincoln Park Zoo. At some point, we probably got on the eastern terminus of US Highway 14, better known as Northwest Highway in Chicagoland.

We also saw the neat old "Z" Frank Chevrolet sign. The dealership has been gone for years and there is worry that some day it will come down or be destroyed. Look up Z Frank Chevrolet sign.

Gas prices in Chicago were mostly around $3.24, about 30 cents more than out by us.

Finally Got Home. --RoadDog

"Summer Cruising"-- Name That Tune-- Part 3

Like I said, this is actually name that group or performer and this is the last part.


25. SUMMER RAIN
26. SCHOOL'S OUT
27. HELLO MUDDAH, HELLO FADDUH
28. SUMMER IN THE CITY



29. SUMMER BREEZE
30. WIPE OUT
31. SUMMER ROMANCE
32. BEACH BABY



33. SATURDAY IN THE PARK
34. SUNNY DAYS
35. SUMMERTIME
36. PATIO LANTERNS


37. DO IT AGAIN


OK, I missed 31, 34 and 36.




25. Johnny Rivers
26. Alice Cooper-- Thanks for the name of our boat, and we added "Forever" when we retired.
27. Allan Sherman-- pretty funny comedy. Hey, Leonard Skinnerd got lost and they organized a search party.
28. Lovin' Spoonful



29. Isley Brothers-- also acceptable, Seals and Crofts
30. Surfaris
31. Rolling Stones (Not familiar with it)
32. First Class



33. Chicago
34. Lighthouse
35. Big Brother and the Holding Company (Alright, I said Janis, but I knew.)
36. Kim Mitchell (Who is this person? Never heard of them.)


37. Beach Boys

Now, You Have My Permission to Go Out and Cruise Your Little Heart Out. It's Summer!! --RoadDog

A Bus Trip to Wrigley Field-- Part 10-- Finally Going Home

Some Last Observations on that long-ago trip to Wrigley Field that resulted in a Cubs defeat at the hand of the Brewers. Had it not been the Cubs Milwaukee was playing, I would have been pulling for the True Blue Brew Crew as they're my third favorite Major League Baseball team. The Cubs are my second and Sox way out in first.

The bleacher seats were completely full and the one little section of bleacher family seats only half occupied. The lower deck was mostly full, but there were a lot of empty seats in the upper deck.


TRUE BLUE FANS AND A GOOD DEAL

I was surprised at the large number of Brewer fans in attendance. I guess they were getting back at the Cubbies. Every time the Cubs play there, it always sounds like a Cubs home game with all the fans there.

The Sequoit Lodge paid $5 for our tickets, plus a 60 cent Chicago rip-off tax. That puts the tax at nearly 13%. That gave the Lodge a pretty good profit. No wonder we were in the Bob Uecker nosebleed seats.

A fan was there wearing a USS Long Beach CGN-9 was sitting a couple rows in front of us. It was commissioned in 1961 as the first nuclear-powered surface ship in the US Navy and took part in the Vietnam War. It was all guided missiles except for a pair of guns added later. It was decommissioned in 1995 and presently in line to be recycled. I wonder if he served on it?

One last rip off, a Coke in a plastic "souvenir" glass went for $5.

Wait, Not Home YET!! --RoadDog

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Summer Cruising"-- Name That Tune-- Part 2

Nothing like cruisin' down that two lane road with your arm out the window and listening to some really fine summer-type songs.

Continuing with the Summer Name That Tune. Actually, this is Name That Performer. Song title above, answers below.


16. SUNNY AFTERNOON
17. SUMMERTIME (initials B.S.)
18. SPILL THE WINE
19. A SUMMER SONG



20. GOOD DAY SUNSHINE
21. YOU TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH
22. SUMMER SUN
23. BUS STOP


24. IN THE SUMMERTIME

I actually got all these right. Well actually, I said Peter and Gordon for #19.



16. Kinks
17. Billy Stewart
18. Eric Burdon and War
19. Chad and Jeremy (I can never get Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy straight.)


20. Beatles
21. Meatloaf
22. Jamestown Massacre
23. Hollies


24. Mungo Jerry

BAC-- Before Air Conditioners. --RoadDog

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Bus Trip to Wrigley Field-- Part 9-- The Village Idiot and Friends-- Brewer Fans

Just about finished now. This is still from April 15th and was the third Cub home game. Part 8 was July 1st.

He wasn't on the bus coming on the way to Wrigley, but somewhere we inherited the village idiot. Actually, he was, but Mr. Hyde didn't make an appearance until about the third inning. Between the beer on the bus and obviously large quantities in Wrigleyville, as the bars and area around the field are called, Mr. Hyde made his appearance.

He couldn't hve been prouder of his hiney and made sure it and undiepanties could be seen for every one's enjoyment. As if that was not enough, we got the full moon often, but not as much as the poor Brewer fans around us. They were special targets along with comments.

To their credit, they ignored him. However, one man who had come with his kids did get up and ask him to stop. At first, the village idiot apologized and sat down, but then friends razzed him on and he got up and started shouting at the guy and mooning.

At that time, security came and escorted him out. About that time, two lady village idiots in their early twenties started yelling at security and they got to leave also.

A real joke.


BREWER FANS

We were surrounded by Brewer fans where we sat because of the Bob Uecker factor ("Must be in the front row.") They were certainly enjoying themselves because they led most of the game.

They were reasonably polite compared to the Cub fans. I especially liked one Brewer fan who had a giant yellow foam fist with a spot for their drink to keep it cool. Now, that's real drinking, even if it was extremely expensive.

I'm Sure I'll Finish This Eventually. --RoadDog

Good 4th of July Celebration-- Part 8-- Day After Party-- Spring Grove Fireworks

Drove back to Fox Lake and had our annual Day After Party with Kevin and Kelly and some friends. We had been disappointed at their End-of-the-Year party back in early June as those alcoholics had finished off the keg.

However, yesterday, the crew hadn't and it was up to us to help put the keg out of its memory. It was quite the challenge, but after awhile we had that thing sputtering up suds and crying out "Beer Me." No drops were lost and we had no casualties other than Cozmo the dog who got really wrapped around the gazebo. After careful work, he was let loose.

There was a goodly amount of food and snacks that had to be finished off, but we fell down a bit here as we'd had that big burger at Mar's earlier. At least that's my excuse.


FIREWORKS, THIS TIME

We came back home after the clean pitchers. We were able to see the fireworks from Spring Grove very well from the driveway. At least we were able to see it after we couldn't really see much of Fox Lake's last night.

But, judging from the height of one of our neighbor's trees, we won't be able to see much in about five more years.

The skeeters were as bad as I ever remember them being. It was ooh, slap, ahh11, slap, slap, slap, ooh!! I hate those guys as much, if not more than those lousy Japanese beetles.

Three Days Down, One to Go. --RoadDog

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good 4th of July Celebration-- Part 7-- Wisconsin Again, Flea market, Mar's

I was still more than steamed about the problems of getting to see the parade in Spring Grove, but, I soon got over it, as usual.

We decided that since we were so close, NOW, to Wisconsin, a couple miles, we might as well head on up to Mar's Trading Post in Wilmot. This is one of our favorite places, dating back to when it was the Riverside Bar back in the 1980s.



FLEA MARKET

On the way, I saw a sign for the Wilmot Ski Lodge Flea Market and we took a detour. I've been wanting to go here for the last three years and this was a perfect opportunity. Free parking and paid a buck apiece to get in. We don't often go to flea markets, but I enjoy them as you never know what you're going to find. Just like those garage sales. Saw some interesting stuff, but proud to say I didn't buy "nothin'." We did meet a former student who was in both Liz and my classes back in Round Lake.


MARS TRADING POST INN

If you're looking for the perfect small town little Wisconsin tap and grill, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than Mar's (Marlene's). Of course, Wisconsin is the state that believes that every corner should have a bar on it.

It was a sad day for smokers, however, as the state has banned smoking in public establishments as of July 5th. Quite a few folks in there having one last drag before it's illegal. Liz certainly enjoyed it. "Smoke if you got 'em. Not no more."

We had their $1 quarter pound burger and chips special as well as $1 pints and $1.75 Bloody Mary's.

It is called Trading Post Inn because that is what it was back when it was built in the 1840s.

And,It's Still Early Afternoon. --RoadDog

Thinking of a Trip to Northwestern Illinois and Clinton, Iowa

I see that two events are taking place out in northwestern Illinois July 16th to 18th and just might take a mini vacation out to see them.

Oregon, Illinois, will be hosting their first Oregon Trail Days which will feature Native Americans and cowboys. When in town during the LHA Conference last month, we saw lots of Indian tee pees scattered around the town. Saturday and Sunday it will be held in Lowden Park where the giant statue of Chief Blackhawk is located. Friday, events will be in town where they will have country bands and a Johnny Cash impersonator.

Galena will have their annual Antique Town Rods Run and Car Show. Over 100 pre-1949 street rods will take a 100-mile drive through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world on Saturday and then have a car show on Sunday.

Liz and I had our honeymoon in Galena back in 1973, so the place is special to us.

Plus, we plan to do some NTNing and probably a stop at Clinton, Iowa, on the Lincoln Highway and perhaps a couple games Wednesday and Thursday at the Clinton Lumber Kings Class A Midwest League. Love that minor league b-ball.

Thinking about four days on the road at this point.

On the Road Again? --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good 4th of July Celebration-- Part 6-- July 4, 1970, No Parade For Us

Sunday, July 4th, started out with Bob Stroud doing a three hour show on his Rock and Roll Roots taking us back to what we were listening to on the radio and on our stereos back in 1970. Can you believe, 40 YEARS AGO?!!

Some songs he played:

Are You Ready-- Pacific Gas and Electric
Hitchin' a Ride-- Vanity Fare
Uncle John's Band-- Grateful Dead
Tighter and Tighter-- Alive and Kickin'
Mississippi Queen-- Mountain
Ball of Confusion-- Temptations

I will have the entire list with his and my comments later this month at http://downdaroadigo.blogspot.com.

Now, this was a great way to get into the proper 4th frame of mind.


YOU CAN"T GET THERE FROM HERE

We decided to do the village spirit thing and see the parade and go to the festival at Horse Fair Park here in hometown Spring Grove. However, I had forgotten the lengths to which the town goes through to essentially lock everything down so no one drives anywhere.

The parade starts at noon. At 11:40, the roads going north into town were blocked by police. That's ok, as the parade is close by. We then drove to Solon Mills, several miles away and tried another route only to be stopped by a cop up there.

I was a bit mad by now and wanted to forget about the whole thing, but Liz wanted to go so we tried one last approach which required quite a few miles out of our way, practically up to the Wisconsin line.

We were beginning to think we were going to make it this time and got all the way down to Horse Fair Park and then came upon a fire truck blocking the road. We were told the parade was to end there and the park closed, even though the parade was no where near there yet.

Greatly disappointed, we decided to go elsewhere. The village gets $5 a car to park with the proceeds going to help pay for the fireworks. They didn't get our donation, not money we would have spent at the festival.

I would call this going overboard on precaution to the extreme and it is not too likely that we'll go back next year. Four attempts and no success just doesn't work for me.

Come On Spring Grove Get a Clue. --RoadDog

Lincoln Highway Association Conference? What Conference?

That seemed to be the question posed by the Dixon telegraph and Sauk Valle newspapers serving Dixon, Illinois, in regards to last month's gathering of 150 or so Lincoln Highway folks in their town.

I checked some while I was there and also have kept an eye out on the internet since getting home, but there was very little mention. The Iowa LHA Motor Tour in August gets much more mention.

I only saw one article, a short one, on June 22nd saying that the conference was going on until Saturday and mentioning two events open to the public, the 3rd Annual Art and Photo Show and the Thursday Cruise Night at the Brandywine Restaurant.

You'd think an even to which Dixon is so closely related would get a little more publicity than that.

My friend Denny and I went to several local drinking establishments while there and no one knew anything about it.

I came across a pamphlet touting things to see in Dixon a while back and there was no mention of the Lincoln Highway in it.

Could Dixon be the Lincoln Highway counterpart of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, two towns on Route 66 which seriously overlook their connection to Route 66?

To me, old road tourism certainly can't hurt your town's economy. And Dixon sure has a lot to offer tourists what with its Ronald Reagan and Blackhawk War connections and river past.

Come On, Dixon, get With It. --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good 4th of July in the Area-- Part 5-- The Scare, No More Fireworks

The cop sitting out on the street was frightening. I have a rule about not leaving any place I've been drinking if there are police sitting in the parking lot or nearby. That's just not a smart thing to do.

In more than one occasion, I have been delayed because of it.


NO MORE FIREWORKS

Once home, I worked in the yard for awhile until it was time for the fireworks display over Fox Lake. Until the last several years, we had a great view of them from our deck and gazebo, but, unfortunately, the trees in the subdivision have mostly had 15-16 years to grow and now block most of the view.

We could see a little of it by standing out by the east side patio and looking through the branches of my golden raintree, but we will need to actually be there for future displays. That means no mo drinking for me as it will be way too much into COP TIME to do so.

Maybe we can talk the folks at the party places to let s stay over. Either way, we can take the boat out to view the fireworks, which is a great way to see them as they are launched from barges in the lake.

Until a few years ago, the fireworks were put on by the Mineola Hotel which dates back to the 1890s, but they dropped them after some problems.

Besides the fireworks, the anchor lights of several thousand boats sitting out on the lake is quite a scene, plus when they turn the navigation lights on to leave. Then, you have red, green and white lights going in all directions.

That Sure Was Nice to be Able to Watch the Fireworks from the House, But, Alas, No More. --RoadDog

Summer Cruisin"-- Name That Tune-- Part 1

Proper cruisin' music for those old roads.

What better way to cruise down the road during the summer than with some summer songs playing on the old cassette player in your car.

Back on the first weekend of summer, June 27th, Bob Stroud had his annual ode to the heat Summer show. Every song has something to do with something we might do during the BEST season around.

As an added bonus, Gayle gets to play a little name-that-tune (don't ever play her this game with 80s songs if you want to have a chance). Answers Below. I will give the first one as I've never heard of it before.

IT'S OK-- Beach Boys
SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE--
DANCING IN THE STREET--
RACING IN THE STREET--
SIDEWALK SURFIN'--



MISERLOU--
MR. BLUE SKY--
BLUE SKY--
GRAZING IN THE GRASS--
DAYDREAM--



HOT SUMMER DAY--
SUMMER NIGHTS--
HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME--
SUMMERTIME BLUES--
UNDER THE BOARDWALK--


At one time, when I was deejaying, I had a summer medley with six songs that I would play starting in the spring and during summer.


Answers Below in groups of five.



Beach Boys
Gordon Lightfoot
The Mamas and The Papas (I always thought it was just Mamas and Papas)
Bruce Springsteen
Jan and Dean





Dick Dale and His Deltones
Electric Light Orchestra
Allman Brothers
Hugh Masakela (also acceptable, Friends of Distinction)
Lovin' Spoonful




It's a Beautiful Day
Marianne Faithful
Sly & The Family Stone
Edde Cochran (also acceptable, Blue Cheer)
John Mellancamp (also acceptable, Drifters)

I missed: Racing in the Street, Hot Summer Day, Summer Nights. Bit it helps to hear the song. i was listening to the show.

There were 37 songs, so I will have more tomorrow. We've got some boating to get to, anyway.

Ans, A boating We Go. --WaterDog

Monday, July 5, 2010

Good 4th of July in the Area-- Part 3-- The Bars, The Parties

After the parade, we went into Main Street tap. Hey, it's tradition. A parade in Twin Lakes equals drinks at Main Street Tap. They had the great Bloody Mary, but without that glorious spear of goodies for $3 in a pint glass (a fifty cent saving, but I'd sure rather have the spear). It did come with a shrimp, though.

We then went to Donovan's Reef, our home base for NTN and played a three games and had two more pints.

FUN ON THE CHAIN

We drove back to Fox Lake, Illinois, and checked out their festival for awhile, then went to Kevin and Kelly's place on the lake for their party. We were first there and put a first attack on their keg. They have a direct view of the fireworks over the lake, but we had to leave as we had another party to go to at Rick and Chris' on the channel by Dino's Den.

Sat out at the Turkey Bar and had more drinks. We keep our boat at their place. Rick is famous for his fried turkey, but he was trying a new item which had turkey, duck and chicken in it that he had gotten from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It was mighty good.

By now, I had had enough to drink and with the cops cracking down, we decided to leave and weren't happy at all to find a cop sitting out on Rick's street to keep non residents out. We waited awhile and finally decided he wasn't going anywhere so went ahead and left.

I was relieved that he didn't follow.

That Was a BIT Frightening!! --RoadDog

Cruising With American Music

What better way to celebrate America's 234th birthday than by cruisin' down the old two-lane highway with some appropriate tunes playing on your cassette player. That's right, CASSETTE!!

Today's Ten at Ten on the Drive, www.wdrv.com had ten such songs. As a matter of fact, they're playing it again right now (both 10 am and 10 pm).

AMERICA-- Simon & Garfunkel--
4TH OF JULY-- Bruce Springsteen

VOLUNTEERS-- Jefferson Airplane
YOUNG AMERICANS-- David Bowie

US BLUES-- Grateful Dead
R.O.C.K IN THE USA-- John Mellancamp

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL-- Ray Charles
STAR SPANGLED BANNER-- Jimi Hendrix

GOD BLESS THE USA-- Lee Greenwood
ROCKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD-- Neil Young

Hey Neil, Remember What the Southern Man Said? --RoadDog

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Good 4th of July Times in the Area-- Part 2

We had a busy day traveling first to Twin lakes, Wisconsin, for their annual parade; small town America at its best, but for the first time, the parade did not go down Main Street after turning from Legion Drive.

This is because Main Street resembles what you'd expect to find in the Wild West as it is completely torn up and essentially dirt and rocks. It is expected to remain this way until some time in October. Plans call for a landscaped divider to be featured.

About six years ago, the same thing happened to US-12 which serves as the main street of the town of Cambridge, Wisconsin, a little southeast of Madison.

You can't park on it, but there are city lots nearby.

The parade was longer than usual, about 45 minutes, on a picture perfect day. Afterwards, people could visit the Libertyfest grounds at Lance Park for entertainment, rides, games and food before tonight's fireworks display.

As I said, Small Town America At Its Best. --RoadDog

Friday, July 2, 2010

Good 4th of July Times in the Area-- Part 1

Even though holidays are not all that HOLI-day for us retired folk, we still try to get out and have a good time.

TODAY

We boated over to McDonald's in Fox Lake, Illinois, one of only two McDonald's in the US where you can boat in to eat.

We later drove to Palatine where both Liz and I lived and went to good old Palatine High School (the original one). It is no longer a high school, but serves as the village hall, police department and park district which is nice because the much of the building is still standing.

We also drove by our old houses. I lived longer at the house on Anderson Drive, 7 years, than I lived anywhere while growing up. Dad got transferred around a lot.

We ate at the site of my first job, the old Burger King on Northwest Highway. It is now Photos Hot Dogs and quite a popular place. The original Burger King was torn down and an updated version built on the site. Then, that was torn down and a 50s place called Dexter's built. Now, Dexter's is Photos. We used to stop by often walking home from high school.


NEW ODYSSEY

We went over to the Palatine Jaycees Homefest by the old Palatine High School and saw one of the best showbands anywhere around, New Odyssey, which bills itself as "Three Guys and 30 Instruments." They play all 30 during the show and, besides singing and playing fantastically, have many "acts." You've got to see them.

A Great Kick-Off. --RoadDog

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Should Route 66 Be Recertified?

The US Highways Yahoo e-mail group has quite a discussion about whether or not Route 66 should be brought back or not. Some think so, others do not.

Some of their interesting comments:

It attracts people seeking nostalgia.

It's a historic highway and that's where its mystique comes from.

It is maintained by a coalition of private groups and it would be great if other roads besides Route 66, the national Road and Lincoln Highway could get something similar going. (I definitely agree with this. I'd like to see a Dixie Highway Association. I know that US-51 in Wisconsin is getting something going as well as US-6 and US-20.)

There is a push for the Old Jefferson Highway and the Powers Museum in Carthage promotes the Jefferson.

Route 66 is popular because it is decommissioned. It would not be popular if it was still in use.

66 is similar to other highways, but got popular because of all the hype.

The Discussion Will Continue. --RoadDog

A Bus Trip to Wrigley Field-- Part 8

Way back on April 15th, Liz and I took a bus trip to Chicago's Wrigley Field, the first time I've been there since probably the 80s. After they got lights and then permit parking in Wrigleyville, that was it for me.

I wrote down a lot about the game and maybe one day I'll finish writing about it.

The beer guy put on quite a show opening the pints. If there is anyway to open a can more violently, I'd sure like to know.

One of the folks on the bus had evidently been drinking quite heavily both onboard and in various area bars after we arrived and had purchased a large sombrero. Some of the other bus folk were having quite a good time putting peanut shells on the brim.

Retired flags fly on the foul poles on both left and right field. On the left field by us were #31 Jenkins, #10 Santo and #14 Banks as in Fergie, Ron and Ernie. The right field had #26 Williams, #23 Sandberg and #31 again. Why would Jenkins be on both poles? Later I saw a person with a Greg Maddox jersey with #31 on it. I forgot that both pitchers had #31 and that number was retired in both their honor.

The wind was blowing out briskly and even with near 90 degree temperatures, you didn't get hot. Of course, at Wrigley, when the wind is blowing out, that means home runs. The Cubs hit three and Milwaukee two, but Zambrano was ineffective (but didn't implode as often happens. The Cubs lost, but we had plenty of scoring.

Still NOT Finished. --RoadDog

Songs for Cruising Down the Road-- Part 3

Of course, to do good cruisin' you need a good car.

Bob Stroud gave us a good look at what he had available sitting in his used car lot back on May 30th. This is the last hour of his three hour show. Every song had something to do with cars.

He's willing to make a deal and talk with his boss to get you into that special car.

DRIVE MY CAR-- Beatles
FASTER-- George Harrison
G.T.O.-- Ronnie & the Daytonas
UNDER MY WHEELS-- Alice Cooper
UNEASY RIDER-- Chuck Daniels

I GET AROUND-- Beach Boys
TWO LANE HIGHWAY-- Pure Prairie League
THUNDER ROAD-- Bruce Springsteen
EXPRESSWAY TO YOUR HEART-- Soul Survivors
MERCEDES BENZ-- Goosecreek Symphony

OL' 55-- Eagles
DRAG CITY-- Jan and Dean
ROCKIN' DOWN THE HIGHWAY-- Doobie Brothers

Again, Bob's and my comments are in my June blogs at http://downdaroadigo.blogspot.com This blog is devoted to music and what I'm doing. I would usually just post something like this at this one, but considering the topic, I felt this would fit in well here.

A couple years ago, Bob Stroud did a show on Rock and Roll Routes which was a good one as well.

Put That Convertible Top Down and Let's Go. --RoadDog