Tuesday, November 30, 2010

T-Giving NC 2010-- Cruisin' Illinois-- A Football Game

After leaving McDonald's, I remembered that the Huskie-Ball State game was being aired on 670 AM, the Score, so tuned in hoping I'd be able to hear the whole game as I was driving away from Chicago. (I had even thought about driving to Muncie and seeing the game once I found out that was who we were playing, but got too late leaving to make it.)

Northern was leading 35-7 at half. Ball State scored two quick touchdowns right away, just like Toledo had done the game before this. I don't know what happens to our defense at half time. But the Huskies buckled down and went on to win 59-21.

We definitely have quite an offense this year. (I see in yesterday's paper that we ended up scoring the 11th most points this last season.)

It was great to hear the long-time voice of the Huskies, Bill Baker, all the way to Champaign, Illinois, where I lost the signal.

With this victory, Northern Illinois clinched the West Division of the Mid-American Conference and will meet the East Division winner December 3rd in Detroit to decide the champion.

Wrigley Field Hosts College Football Next. --RoadDog

Route 66 Bike Trail in Illinois

From the October 29th Bloomington (Il) Pantagraph.

McLean County in Illinois is slated to get $1.5 million for a stretch of bike trail to be built along the old Route 66. This will go to making a 4 mile stretch between County Road 29 in Towanda and Normal's Shelbourne Drive. The local share of the project will be #386,000.

The engineering report will be completed by 2011 and the whole project in place by 2012.

The Historic Route 66 Bike Trail will eventually run 370 miles from Chicago to the Missouri state line and run along the former roadway of Route 66 and Illinois Highway 4.

Part of it is completed between Towanda and Lexington. An additional 4.5 mile stretch southwest of Bloomington to Shirley opened a month ago.

Then You Can Drive It or Bike It. --RoadDog

Sunday, November 28, 2010

T-Giving NC 2010-- Cruisin' Illinois-- Oval Barns and a McRib

Still on Il-47, I saw another oval barn about a half mile west of the road that I had never seen before. There are another five oval barns along 47, more than I have seen on most roads. They have interesting architecture, but I have never been able to find out anything about them. I call them oval barns because of their shape and they have pre-formed bricks on the sides.

Gas, as usual along Il-47, is more expensive than anywhere else except West Virginia on my trips to North Carolina.

At Main Street, the Fisherman's Inn is for sale. At one time it was one of the premier places to eat in the western suburbs, but had gone down several years ago and closed. Blackberry Inn is still open and the Home of the Bellybuster sandwiches.

During commercial breaks on WXRT (which are very long), I would switch over to Chicago's 100.3, Rewind Radio, which was playing some great music.

I felt it necessary to stop at the McDonald's in Yorkville where we traditionally stop whenever on a trip. Of course, this being McRib time, it was also necessary that one be eaten.

Huskies Up Next. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 25, 2010

T-Giving NC 2010-- Part 1-- Proper Road Cruisin'

Day One November 20th

I was late getting off, not until about 10 am. Drove the usual avoid the Chicago hassle route to get around that town. I took Il-47 south all the way to I-74, stopping in Yorkville for a McRib meal at the usual McDonald's we stop at every trip. The meal was $4.49 (we're paying $4.99 in Fox Lake).

I listened to Wendy Rice's Saturday Morning Flashback on WXRT as she was spotlighting 1984. I particularly enjoyed "Do It Again" by the Kinks, "Something About You Baby" by Dave Edmunds and a cover of Van Halen's "Jump" by Aztec Camera. Who'd have thought of a slow version of "Jump."

The movie spotlighted was Ghostbusters. Like Bill said, "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!!" And who could forget that big mean ol' Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man?

Construction on Il-47 in Huntley is ongoing, but I have to take it to bypass Chicago. It wouldn't be bad at all if I didn't have to stop for EVERY stoplight. I was glad to see their Dairy Mart was able to survive. It is a town institution dating back to at least the 1950s and back when Huntley was a little-bitty farm town out in the middle of nowhere. Way before the outlet mall and Del Webb's Sun City development.

Huskies on the Air, Next. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Ready to Hit the Old Road

Leaving for North Carolina in a couple hours.

I just found out Northern Illinois is playing Ball State in Muncie, Indiana, this afternoon. Thinking about swinging through there to catch part of the game.

Looks like Il-47 to Forrest then east on US-24 to I-65 to Lebanon, Ind., and Indiana-32 to Muncie.

I wish I had known the Huskies were playing Ball State as I would have left much earlier.

On the Road Again, Almost. --RoadDog

Friday, November 19, 2010

NIU Homecoming 2010-- Part 10-- Footstompin' on the Lincoln Highway-- The Dekalb Footstompers

This band has been a long-time favorite of ours, dating back to the early 1970s. They got their big start at our favorite Dekalb bar, Andy's on Lincoln Highway. Andy's is still there and still has the same name.

Two other regional favorite bands, Howard and the White Boys and Mr. Myers also got there start there. But of all of them, our favorite is the Footstompers.

With a name like Footstompers, they have to be good...and they are. This is one band that really lives up to its name, but what would you expect from four guys playing a guitar, drums, accordion and tuba. And three of them are original back to 1973.

They play a lot of polkas, oom-pah music, oldies and they have a lot of their own "dirty songs" like "NIU Sorority Bitch," "Baby Face," "Vasectomy,"and "International Waltz."

They greeted the crowd, which was standing room only by their start at 5 pm, and said this was their 37th straight time playing for NIU's homecoming. Of course, they do a great version of the "NIU Fight Song" and we did it several times during the course of the show.

The place was swaying back and forth to be sure. And, it was generally an older crowd, many of whom said they'd been to about all of the Footstomper Homecoming Shows. Definitely a case of growing older, but not up.

It had sure been way too long since we were at this tradition, but we'll be back there again next year.

Good Partyin' With the 'Stompers. --RoadDog

Plans for US-20 Byway in New York State Announced

From the Nov. 18th Madison County (NY) Courier "Scenic Byway Unveils 2011 Plans."

The Route 20 Association of New York State held their 10th Annual Meeting and Dinner at the Colgate Inn.

Association President Dr. Ellen McHale announced the association's goals for the upcoming year.

*** A new website, road map and guide

*** Increased visibility

*** Work with the NYSDOT on installation of scenic byway signage

*** Assist in the soon-to-be built Route 20 Tourism Center in the town of Cherry Valley

** Adding to and enhancing the 16 scenic tours of US-20.

It's great to see an organization like this working hard to increase the visibility and public knowledge of one of our old roads like this. Too bad we don't have a similar organization here in Illinois.

Keep Up the Great Work. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cruising to Cheesehead Land

Liz and I took a ride up north of the border into Wisconsin today.

Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes had their buy one-get one free drink special. Buy that $2 pint, get one free. There is a new cook running the restaurant. We sure miss the one we had, especially on Thursdays when they had half price pizza.

The new guy is considerably more expensive, but today had the biggest, most delicious-looking reuben sandwich I had ever seen. With fries, it was $6.95. I may have to try one next time.

We had a pretty good NTN run with about eight top twenties, including a #1. Not bad considering all the perfect scores people were getting.

Afterwards, we drove over to Mar's Trading Post Inn in Wilmot. Part of the building dates to the 1840s, and if you're ever looking for that perfect small town Wisconsin bar/pub, this be the place.

Great prices as well. Pints were $1 and we had chicken strip sandwiches with chips for $1.

Eating and Drinking Cheap in Wisconsin. --RoadDog

Down da 66: Route 66 Motels

Some New News About an Old Road.


I'm glad to see efforts are being made to save two great old ROUTE 66 MOTELS>


1. DeANZA MOTOR LODGE-- Located at 4301 East Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico featuring a great old neon sign with southwest architecture for the units.

Tamara Portnoy is going to restore it to its former glory and is looking for old photos to help her. It is on the NRHP and she wants to restore it to its former glory.


2. TRIANGLE MOTEL-- In Amarillo, Texas. It would be great to see this motel back to its former glory in time for the 2011 Route 66 Festival. Alan McNeil paid $20,000 for it to save it from the wrecking ball. The Route 66 e-mail group set out to raise $3000 to help and needs another $700 to reach the goal.


3. MUNGER-MOSS MOTEL-- in Lebanon, Missouri. This one doesn't need saving because of the gracious Lehmans, but the classic old sign had seen wear and tear over the years and it really needed fixin'. It was turned back on recently in all its former glory.

Save Those Old Motels. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The World's Largest Yard Sale

From the August 23rd Time Magazine.

This outdoor garage sale/flea market runs through six states along US-127 from Hudson, Michigan, to Gadsden, Alabama.

The Lincoln Highway has been operating a similar event for several years now called the Lincoln Highway Buy Way, but this one, billed as The World's Largest Yard Sale, started 23 years ago and covers 675 miles for four hectic days starting the first Thursday of every August. (This could be a problem with those, like me, who'd like to also attend the Redneck Fishing Tournament.

This year, some of the places offering these must-have items are doing so because of the economy. They've lost their homes.

Some of the larger towns US-127 passes through:

Hudson. Mi.
Cincinnati, Oh.
Covington. Ky.
Frankfort, Ky.
Danville, Ky.
Jamestown, Tn.
Crossville, Tn
Chattanooga, Tn.
Gadsden, Al.

Ready, Set, Sell. --RoadDog

The Redneck Fishing Tournament-- Part 2

The boat that catches the most carp can take home hundreds of dollars and do their bit to save the ecosystem. A definite way to be environmentally correct and no doubt have a good time doing it. I'm not sure if they go by number caught or poundage in determining the winner.

I'm sure alcoholic beverages are all about, especially to those "wounded in action."

"A flying adult silver carp is like a sea-to-air missile." 'One of these nails you, it's like getting hit with a brick,' says Zach Nayden. As the interview on the boat was going on, one of the crew got whacked right in the face by a carp, bringing yells of, "That was awesome!"

Nets and bats are allowed, but not fishing poles.

This past August was the sixth annual competition and boats paid $50 to enter the two-day event.

You can go to http://redneckfishingtournament.com for some great video and information. Bath is southwest of Peoria and northwest of Springfield.

Guess I'll have to make Arrangements for This Drinking, er Competition Next Year. --RoadDog

A Timeline for Chicago's Kennedy Expressway-- Part 2-- President Kennedy

Continued from November 15th.

1955 City Council approves rerouting the northwest expressway to avoid razing St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

1956 North Siders protest the constant burning of wreckage from homes being leveled. Dump trucks continually feed burning fire at Belmont and Kedzie avenues.

Feb. 23, 1957 1,174 families and 202 individuals have been displaced to date.

Nov. 5, 1960 Construction on the Northwest Expressway completed.

Nov. 7, 1960 Henry Kararkiewicz, 42, an auto repairman, becomes the first drunken driver arrested on the new highway.

April 28, 1961 President Kennedy makes his first visit to Chicago since being elected. Hundreds of thousands meet his motorcade along the expressway.

Oct. 19, 1862 Motorists abandon cars and stand on hoods on the expressway, causing a massive traffic jam on Kennedy's second visit.

March 23, 1963 Kennedy in town to dedicate a new terminal at O'Hare Airport, his last Chicago visit. He caused a panic among police and Secret service when he orders the motorcade stopped on the expressway to shake hands with people at Cumberland Avenue.

November 22, 1963 President Kennedy assassinated.

November 29, 1963 The Northwest Expressway is renamed in Kennedy's honor.

From the November 5th Chicago Tribune

Definitely a Kennedy Thing. --RoadDog

Grant in Missouri

My Civil War blog entry for today was the second part of my August 24th entry about the marriage of Julia Dent and U.S. Grant in St. Louis and Grant's attempt at farming that didn't work out so well.

The article in the August 22nd St. Louis (Mo) Post-Dispatch also listed places in the St. Louis area associated with Grant, including the wedding site, Jefferson barracks, White Haven, St. Paul Cemetery, Grant's Farm, the 1904 World's Fair and others.

So, if you are both the Civil War Buff and a roadie like me, you can get the best of both world's in St. Louis on this eve of the 150th anniversary of the war and 84th anniversary of the Mother Road.

http://sawtheelephant.blogspot.com.

On the Civil War Road Again. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Redneck Fishing Tournament-- Part 1

I came across this story in the August 23rd Time Magazine. The article was mainly about the invasion of Asian carp on the Illinois River and efforts to keep them out of the Great Lakes, but it started with information about the Redneck Fishing Tournament held in bath, Illinois, along the river in July.

The event started in 2005 as a way to cut down on Asian carp, specifically solver carp, who have the habit of jumping out of the river whenever a motorized boat goes by.

Asian carp eat like crazy, can grow to more than 40 pounds and with all those bones, few Americans want to eat them. As such, their numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate.

In Bath, there is an eight mile long channel next to the Illinois called the Bath Chute. It is loaded with thousands of Asian silver carp. Once a year, hundreds of fishermen descend on the town with intentions of catching the carp, but without hook or tackle. The idea is to use a hand-held dip net and catch them in mid-flight.

This is not a task without danger as the fish are flying at a high velocity. Getting hit by one is not unlike getting hit with a hard line drive.

But, Yet They Come. --RoadDog

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gettin' My Travelin' Music Together

Sometime later this week, I figure to be out on the old road heading to North Carolina for the Thanksgiving holidays.

I'm not sure exactly which way I'll go, but am thinking of US-34 through Indiana then pick up US-33 in Ohio.

But, I have to also plan the music I will listen to when not tuned into local stations.

My Five Road CDs:

TILL THE LAST SHOT'S FIRED: The Definitive Greatest Hits of Trace Adkins

CHARLESTON, SC 1966-- Darius Rucker

MY KINDA PARTY-- Jason Aldean

THE BIG TO-DO-- Drive By Truckers

HITS ALIVE-- Brad Paisley

On the Road Again in a Country Sort-of Way--RoadDog

Results of the First-Ever Lincoln Highway vs. Route 66 IHSA Playoffs

Going into action in the Quarterfinals this last Saturday, Route 66 had a 6-2 lead over Lincoln Highway.

ROUTE 66 TEAMS

Joliet Catholic
Springfield
Pontiac
Staunton
Williamsville
Lexington

LINCOLN HIGHWAY TEAMS

Joliet Catholic
Morrison

Unfortunately all these teams lost.

So, the final score of the last man standing contest was 0-0, a tie.

Those of you pulling for Route 66 can claim that you were 6-2 going into this last round.

Lincoln Highway fans can claim they had fewer teams to start with, 10-18, and that the Lincoln won the only head-to-head competition when Lincoln Way North defeated Normal Community.

Better Luck Next Year. --RoadDog

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Iron Brigade Memorial Highway

I wrote about this highway in my Civil War blog: http://sawtheelephant.blogspot.com in today's entry.

This is the stretch of US Highway 12 running through Wisconsin.

A Great Drive Along a Civil War Road. --RoadDog

A Timeline for Chicago's Kennedy Expressway-- Part 1

From the November 5th Chicago Tribune.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Northwest Expressway, now called the Kennedy Expressway.

I have taken this road into Chicago many times, taking the Tri-State to the Edens Expressway and suffering and waiting through where the Edens joined the Kennedy at one of the classic bottlenecks of scary driving of all time.

1939 Cook County Board directs highway department to draw up plans for a northwest superhighway estimated to cost $40 million. I imagine this new road was to be based on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

1943 Plan Commission recommends construction of seven expressways costing $232 million.

1946 The northwest route is given top priority and expected to cost $77 million. This was to connect Orchard Field airport (now O'Hare) with the city which had just gotten the field from the US Army.

1946 Chicago officials announce they will start acquiring 72 pieces of property along the proposed northwest route. That sure would raise property values.

1954 Plans to extend the "L" (elevated trains) along land acquired for the northwest and southern (Dan Ryan) expressways.

Mote to Come. --RoadDog

Veterans Monuments in Chicago

The next time you're in Chicagoland and want to check out veteran memorials, the November 11th Chicago Tribune had an article by Ron Grossman "Honoring heroes: Often unnoticed, memorials pay tribute to veterans."

There are five photos as well.

See http://cootershistorything.blogspot.com for an entry on November 11th.

Thank a Veteran. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NIU Homecoming 2010-- Part 9-- Footstompin' on the Lincoln Highway

I would have liked to have stayed at Huskie Stadium to see the end of the game, but, if we wanted to find a seat at Lord Stanley's downtown on the Lincoln Highway, that we had best get there before the game ended.

Lord Stanley's used to be the Shamrock when we were there and for many years afterwards as well. But in the 80s, it changed to the new name and now includes a bar called The Annex. If you are a hockey fan, particularly the Blackhawks, this is your place to go. Of course, Liz and I are bandstand jumpers now, so that is ok for us.

Elegant Lord Stanley's ain't. If you're expecting BW3 or Chili's, don't go here. It is one of those stick-to-the-floor kind of places. But, if you're looking for a non-Yuppie kinda place, this be it. You will have a GOOD time.

Even though we've never had it, they are noted for their pizza and during the course of the show, we saw lots of them consumed.

Beer was $7 a pitcher.

All the parking places directly behind the place were already taken so we had to park a bit farther away. Every table was already occupied as was all seats at the bar, but we got lucky and just as we walked by, two people got up and left. Within seconds, we were seated at their stools.

What Luck!! --RoadDog

Homes Fell, the Kennedy Rose-- Part 2

Construction of the Kennedy cost $232.3 million and became a foundation for Mayor Daley's reputation as a master builder. Its connection with Orchard Field, now O'Hare Airport caused it to become one of the world's busiest.

The new road quickly became the road to work for thousands. The Kennedy also became the way Chicagoans left the cities as suburbs boomed.

From 1958 to 1964, more than 3/4s of the Chicagoland region's expressways were completed. The Kennedy was first envisioned by master city-builder Daniel Burnham in 1909. In the 1920s plans were drawn up for a major road to parallel the tracks of the Chicago and North Western tracks.

The Kennedy was also very innovative as it included two reversible lanes to carry extra traffic during rush hours.

Not only did Democrats support its construction, but also Republicans, a rare occasion in Illinois politics. It further benefited from congressional approval and presidential support of the interstate highway system. The federal government triple its monetary support for road construction and ended up paying 90% of the cost.

Next, a chronology of the Kennedy Expressway.

I've Driven This Road Many Times. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Route 66 Led World War II Doctor to Fontana, California-- Part 2

He bounced around military bases before serving in the Pacific Theater where he was a battle surgeon at Guadalcanal and Saipan. At Leyte Gulf in the Philippines he was on ships attacked by Zeroes and kamikazes.

he was in North Luzon when he was ordered home. He decided he didn't like the Chicago area so he took his footlocker, $300 and drove west on Route 66. He looked at a gynecology practice in Beverly Hills but decided he didn't like it.

He got back on 66 and drove east, stopping at San Bernardo and Fontana. He bought a place on Merrill Street, one block off Sierra and in 1953 built a home in Fontana where he lived with his wife Honey and children. Honey died in 1999 at age 86, and Max Goldstein still lives in the house.

He boasts that he once shot a hole-in-one on the 7th at Pebble Beach.

I Haven't Been Able to Find Any mention of Him Here in Fox Lake, Illinois. --RoadDog

Homes Fell, the Kennedy Rose-- Part 1

From the November 5th Chicago Tribune "Homes fell, the Kennedy rose' by Richard Wronski.

Fifty Years Ago, expressway changed the face of city. Chicago, that is.

Not everyone appreciates the construction of the Kennedy Expressway. Hundreds of homes were taken by the city, torn down and paved over. The Kennedy is an eight-lane marvel, 400 feet wide and 16 miles long.

At 11 am on November 6, 1960, Governor William Stratton, Mayor Richard J. daley and Cook County Boar President Dan Ryan officially opened the Northwest Expressway as it was then called. So, that's where we got the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Governor Stratton called it "the greatest highway in America." The Congress Street Expressway (now called the Eisenhower) had already opened a few weeks earlier.

Three years later, the Northwest Expressway became the Kennedy Expressway, a week after he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. During Kennedy's three visits to Chicago during his presidency, hundreds of thousands had lined the Northwest Expressway to watch his motorcades from O'Hare.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Unsolved Dekalb, Illinois Murder Case

From the November 7th Chicago Tribune "Disappearance oat NIU in 1970 echoes today" by Angie Leventis Lourgos and Becky Schlikerman.


With the news that a suspect is in custody for the disappearance/murder of NIU freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller who disappeared just two days before Liz and I went to Northern's Homecoming, comes this story about a girl disappeared October 2, 1970, while I was a sophomore at the school. I must admit that I had no recollections of it.

But the two stories are eerily similar.

NIU senior Donna Doll, 21, was last seen alive leaving her job at the school library October 2, 1970. She never returned to her rooming house on the Lincoln Highway. A major search was held and the body was found nine days later in a corn field a little more than a mile west of campus (and right off the Lincoln Highway, Illinois Highway 38).

The Keller case may come to a close, but the Doll one remains an unsolved one, surviving in two binders and a box full of documents at the Dekalb County sheriff's office. Pathologists determined that Doll had been suffocated with a pillow or plastic bag and there was a prime suspect but too little evidence.

Then, of course, there were the five murders at NIU on Valentine's Day 2008.

Sad Stories Along the Lincoln Highway. --RoadDog

The Traveling Cup: Travels of the Blackhawk's Stanley Cup-- Part 4

I was just reading that the World Soccer Cup is heavily guarded and no one but winners and heads of state get to touch it. Definitely not a People's Cup like the Stanley.

MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN-- Besides having one of the neatest names for a town (right out of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) and having Al Capone run an alcohol distribution network from there and you can tour the Tunnels of Moose Jaw that were used for the illegal operations. Troy Parchman took the Cup here.

WINDSOR, CANADA-- Located right across the river from Detroit and was the childhood home of Coach Joel Quenneville took it for two days. he also had it there another time when he marched with the Cup in Windsor's Canada Day parade.

HINSDALE, ILLINOIS-- Brent Sopel is from Saskatchewan, but lives in Hinsdale. His four kids ate cereal from the Cup and he drove it through town on an old tractor and renewed his wedding vows in front of it.

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA-- Known as the coldest city in Canada and nicknamed Winterpeg-- had a two-day celebration for Captain Jonathan Toews, the series MVP and Canadian Olympic star. he was greeted by 10,000 spectators and a lake was renamed after him.

And that is just some of the things that happened to the Stanley Cup this past summer. That cup that doesn't look much like a cup sure gets around.

I'd Like to Drink a Beer From It. --RoadDog

Route 66 Led World War II Doctor to Fontana, California-- Part 1

From the September 19th Redlands Daily Facts by Wesley G. Hughes.

The former chief of staff at St. Bernadine Hospital, Max Goldstein, celebrated his 100th birthday. In 1947, he took Route 66 to a new life in Fontana.

He grew up during the Depression in Canada and had a tough time of it. He graduated in 1935 from the University of Toronto and moved to Chicago for his internship and residency and after just two weeks on the job, earned the headline "Doctors Lose and Gangsters Win."

"Luigi Alterry, a lieutenant of Al Capone, 6 feet, 250 pounds, wearing a beautiful suit was stretched out on a gurney, and I'm taking bullets out of him," said Goldstein.

Four years later, he opened a medical practice in Fox Lake, Illinois. (Hey, that's where I live). He applied for citizenship and soon a notice to appear at Great Lakes, the Army headquarters, where he was appointed a lieutenant in the Medical Corps. (Actually, Great Lakes was Navy. Army would have been Fort Sheridan.)

More to Come. --RoadDog

Monday, November 8, 2010

NIU Homecoming 2010-- Part 8: Huskie Football 1983

After meeting Lou Wicks at the game, I got to thinking about that special team.

That 1983 Huskie team was one of our best ever. It kind of put Northern Illinois on the football radar with one of our first victories over a "Big Guy" school, Kansas.

Actually, looking at the games from 1983 remind me a lot of this year's 7-2 team.

Like this year's 4 of the first 5 games on the road, Northern opened with four straight road games, one of which was a loss to a Big Ten team, Wisconsin. Then we had three home games like this year.

The final record, with the win at the California Bowl was 10-2. It was also our last year in the Mid American Conference as we pursued bigger conferences.

The Season:

@ Kansas W 37-34
@ Wisconsin L 9-37
@ Kent State W 38-7
@ Ball State W 27-14
Western Michigan W 27-3
Eastern Michigan W 34-15
Bowling Green W 27-23
@ Miami W 17-0
@ Central Michigan L 14-30
Toledo W 26-10
Ohio W 41-17

CALIFORNIA BOWL vs. Cal State Fullerton W 20-13.

I still have a California Bowl Mug and pennant.

That Was Some Fun Year. Now, We Have That Team from Ohio Whose Name Can't be Mentioned. --RoadDog

Traveling Cup: The Travels of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-- Part 3

One thing I really like about the NHL's tradition of letting Cup winners take it out to their hometowns.

BUFFALO, NEW YORK-- The Hurricane Deck at Niagara Falls was renamed the Hurri-Kane Deck for Patrick Kane's visit and the Cup got wet from the falls. The next day, the Cup returned with Kane to Chicago and made an appearance with Jimmy Buffett, lucky Cup!! No parrots were injured.

MAPLE RIDGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA-- Cup goes wake-boarding with Andrew Ladd and Colin Fraser.

MORRISTOWN AND LIVINGSTON, NJ-- Went golfing with John Madden and Donald Trump. Got fired.

VANTAA, FINLAND-- Antti Niemi and Cup enjoyed a sauna.

I know of no other trophy that has such an interesting life.

It Seems Like They're Really Trying to Find New Ways to "Entertain" That Cup. --RoadDog

IHSA Playoffs: Lincoln Highway vs. Route 66

It was a really bad day for Lincoln Highway Saturday as the teams were 2-5. Route 66 did a lot better at 6-4.

Just two Lincoln Highway teams remain, Class 2A Morrison and Class 5A Joliet Catholic (also Route 66)

Route 66 has six reams remaining: Class 5A Joliet Catholic (also Lincoln) and Springfield, Class 4A Pontiac, Class 2A Staunton and Williamsville and Class 1A Lexington.

Going into the Quarterfinals Route 66 has a 6-2 edge.

Go Lincoln!! --RoadDog

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NIU Homecoming 2010-- Part 7-- Buffalo Stompin'-- California Bowl '83 MVP

As we were watching the game, I got to talking with the couple next to me. They were both NIU grads and he had played football at Northern and is now head coach at Tremont High School in Illinois.

I've been a Northern fan ever since going there and we got to talking about the past. He played on the 1983 Huskie squad that went 10-2, one of our best records ever, including a season-opener 37-34 victory over the University of Kansas, our first-ever victory over one of the big boys. We capped off the season with our first bowl victory.

Not only did Lou Wicks play on the squad, but he was the MVP of the California Bowl, running for 117 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.

That year, he ran for 1209 yards and averaged 5.7 yards a carry.

That's some Huskie royalty there. And, it was the year we defeated Toledo, quite a rare feat for the Huskies.

I Was Impressed. --RoadDog

IHSA Playoffs: Lincoln Highway Vs. Route 66/Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 12

There were no games for our teams last night. All play today.

i will have the updated standings on Monday since I don't blog on Sundays.

For those of you who are music fans, Bob Stroud is having his CD release show and party tomorrow, the 7th, of his new Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 12.

He will play all the songs from 7 to 10 am on the drive, 97.1 FM streaming live at www.wdrv.com. if you don't live in the Chicago area. After the show, he has the first record release party at the Borders in Oakbrook featuring many 60s Chicago bands like the Buckinghams, Cryan Shames, Mauds, Shadows of Knight and New Colony 6.

He has another show the following Saturday at the Borders in Schaumburg.

Worth a listen and even better yet, go to the show.

Great Chicago Sixties Music. --RoadDog

Friday, November 5, 2010

Traveling Cup, the Travels of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-- Part 2

A Diary from the Road.

Here are some high points from the travels of the Cup:

ORONO, ONTARIO-- About an hour north of Toronto. Bryan Bickell-- a lifejacket strapped on the Cup as it went fishing.

ROSEAU, MINNESOTA-- Less than ten miles from Canada, Dustin Byfuglien-- Cup and people went four-wheeling to the Canadian border.

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA-- Second-largest city in province. Colin Fraser-- Serenaded by bagpipes and escorted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Was Dudly Doo-Right there?

SEA BRIGHT, NJ-- Mike Haviland-- Along with 60 close friends took Cip to Sea Bright Beach on the Jersey Shore where it was mobbed by beachgoers.

TRENCIN and NOVA DUBNICA, SLOVAKIA-- Marian Hossa (from Trencin) and Tomas Kopeckey (from Nova Dubnica)-- Hossa ate pirogi and Kopecky had Slovakian soup out of the Cup. They took it to medieval Trencin Castle.

More to Come About This Roadin' Cip. --RoadDog

Round Two IHSA Playoffs, Lincoln Vs. 66 Begin Tonight

Those are going to be cold games tonight and tomorrow, but lots of cheering will be going on as all eight classes go back to the gridiron as we continue to see who comes out number one, and, in our case, whether Route 66 or the Lincoln Highway will have the last team standing at any level.

Right now, Route 66 leads 10-7. It has ten teams left compared to seven for the Lincoln. At the beginning last week, 66 led 18-10, so the lead has been cut down.

Lincoln Highway has the tiebreaker where one team beat a 66 team last week.

I'm pulling for the Lincoln Highway this year.

Go You Lincoln. Ra-Ra Ree, Kick 'em in the Knee. Ra-Ra Ras... --RoadDog

The Traveling Cup, Travels of the Blackhawk Stanley Cup-- Part 1

The October 10th Chicago Tribune had a whole page devoted to the travels of the Stanley Cup as various Blackhawk players, coaches and executives took it all over the world from Bolingbrook to Paris over this past summer.

I think it is neat that hockey allows winning players to take the cup out to the fans and towns of the world, so they can see it up close and personal-like. Just try seeing the Super Bowl or World Series trophies.

This past summer, the 35 pound trophy found itself on the road about 100 days. Each person got the cup for a day and sometimes two. Most took it to their hometown. It went to hospitals, police stations and a myriad of other places, including a sauna in Finland. In Paris, it went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and fishing and boating in Canada (but, it had a life preserver strapped on it).

The Tribune had a map of the US and Canada, showing the towns it visited (mostly Canada). It also visited seven places in the Chicago area: Bolingbrook, Chicago, Elmhurst, La Grange Park, Hinsdale, Lombard and Hoffman estates.

Overseas, it went to two places each in Finland, Slovakia and France and one in Sweden.

Now. That's Some Traveling. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And, Speaking of Pontiacs...--Part 1

Pontiacs are still my favorite cars even though they are no longer made. Like they used to boast, "We Build Excitement!"

I have owned five Pontiacs in my life.

Two were bought used and three new.


1967 TEMPEST

Tan color, six-cylinder and it would fly with its 6-cylinder overhead drive. Bought it used around 1975. I used this driving back and forth to NIU when I was getting my Master's degree and it would fly down those back roads.

My hippie college prof said one day that he was cruising down the road and saw this tan car way back and withing a few seconds, it was behind him, passed and was soon out of sight.

It looked just like a poor man's GTO. Of course, GTOs were made off this model.

Wish I Still Had It. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pontiacs Coming to Pontiac, Illinois

Just in time to observe, not celebrate, the demise of this great American automobile, the mayor of this Illinois Route 66 community between Joliet and Bloomington-Normal, announced that note Pontiac authority and collector Tim Dye is moving his museum to town.

Pontiac already has one of the biggest Route 66 museums and hall of fame on the fabled road. Plus, there is the war museum next to it. This past year, the International Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum opened, and then there are all those fantastic murals the Walldogs painted all over town.

Hey, the Walldogs are also related to the RoadDog, twice removed or was it three times.

Tim Dye has been collecting all things Pontiac for 30-plus years. He cites Pontiac's location on Route 66 (even though he now is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also on the Mother Road) and proximity to Chicago as big reasons for the move.

Among items he is bringing: 21 Pontiac automobiles, one of every Pontiac hood ornament ever made, and even a Pontiac horse buggy from before the company made automobiles.

Just One More Thing to Like About Illinois' Stretch of Route 66. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

IHSA Football Week 2: Lincoln Highway vs. Route 66

Right now Route 66 leads 10-7 with ten teams still playing compared to the Lincoln's seven.

However, last week, Route 66 had 18 compared to the Lincoln's 10.


ROUTE 66 REMAINING TEAMS

Class 7A

East St. Louis
Plainfield South (also on Lincoln)

CLASS 5A

Joliet Catholic
Springfield

CLASS 4A

Pontiac

CLASS 3A

Wilmington

CLASS 2A

Staunton
Williamsville
Carlinville

CLASS 1A

Lexington


LINCOLN HIGHWAY

CLASS 7A

Lincoln-Way East
Plainfield South (also on Route 66)

CLASS 6A

Geneva
Lincoln-Way North

CLASS 5A

Lincoln-Way West
Joliet Catholic (also on Route 66)

CLASS 2A

Morrison

I'll Have to Check to See If There Are Any Head-to-Head Matchups. --RoadDog

NIU Homecoming 2010-- Part 6-- Buffalo Stompin'

Great day for football while in the sun, but there were enough clouds to put a real chill in that hard blowing-wind.

We won't sit on the student side of the stadium as they never sit down, plus, most have those clapper things. At least there are more students at the game these days. There was a time back in the 80s and 90s when there weren't more than a few hundred. Some school spirit.

When I was a student at Northern, I rarely missed a home football or basketball game. You have to really back your school. Besides, we had a REAL good time in the stands with our smuggled in libations.

The team didn't seem to be relishing the day and stalled three straight times on drives and then our field goal kicker missed THREE STRAIGHT kicks. We finally scored, then they drove right down the field to tie it.

Another score for us and then they intercepted us and ran it in for a TD.

We did have a 17-14 lead at half.

Third quarter the Huskies came out firing on both defense and offense and shut down Buffalo after that. We left a little into the 4th quarter with NIU up 33-14. I would have liked to stay, but we wanted a seat in Lord Stanley's on Lincoln Highway in downtown Dekalb so we could see the Dekalb Footstompers. No NIU homecoming with be complete without seeing those guys.

Met an Interesting Person Sitting Next to Us. --RoadDog

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lincoln Highway vs. Route 66-- Week 1 Standings

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) 2010 Football playoffs for the first week have concluded. Out of 258 teams in eight classes, only 179 are still playing.

With our contest between the Lincoln Highway and Route 66, just 17 remain.


LINCOLN HIGHWAY

In Day 1, Friday, of the first round, one LH team, Dekalb, lost.

On Day 2, Batavia and Plainfield North lost.

Lincoln Highway was 4-1 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday for a 7-3 record.


ROUTE 66

In Day 1 action, Bolingbrook, Normal Community and Bloomington lost.

Saturday, Bloomington Central Catholic, Springfield sacred Heart Griffin, Plainfield North, Collinsville and Normal West Lost.

On Friday, Route 66 was 5-3 and Saturday 5-5 for a 10-8 record.

Lincoln Highway won the only head-to-head contest when Lincoln-Way North defeated Normal Community.

Route 66 still holds the lead 10-7. Remainingteams tomorrow.

Go You Lincoln. --RoadDog

NIU Homecoming 2010-- Part 5-- Gating Our Tail and Buffalo Stompin'

From October 26th entry. This past October 16th, Liz and I drove to Dekalb for NIU's homecoming. We used to go every year, but hadn't for the last ten years, something about those kids getting much to young (or is it that we're getting much too old). But as Jimmy B. says, "Growing Older, but Not Up."


GATING OUR TAIL

Or, is it tailgating? What good homecoming could not have tailgating. We hadn't brought any of those items along with us, but walked over to the new (well, five years old) Barsema Alumni Center and found each college had an alumni tent. We sought out the College of Education and were among the last ones in.

They had a nice spread of burgers (I think some kind of a vegetable burger) and brats as well as home-made tater chips. No alcoholic beverages though, but pop. We managed to survive.


BUFFALO STOMPIN'

We walked over to the stadium and bought tickets for the game for $25. Almost lost Liz walking up all those inclined walkways. We exited to the stands the first chance we got and found we were about twenty rows too low. But I figured Liz couldn't go any further so found a seat and watched the first three quarters of the game on a great sunny, but windy day.

It was expected that Northern would run all over Buffalo, but that sure was not the case in the first half.

More to Come. --RoadDog