Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's a Summer Thing: Cruisin' and Music-- Part 2

Continuing with Bob Stroud's summer songs:

ROCKAWAY BEACH-- RAMONES-- Do they wear their leather duds out to the beach?
SATURDAY IN THE PARK-- CHICAGO-- Always reminds me of summer school at the University of Georgia back in 1972.

SUMMER RAIN-- JOHNNY RIVERS-- Wow, a song he didn't cover!!
BACK TO THE ISLAND-- LEON RUSSELL-- Our old summer island was Put-In-Bay out in Lake Erie on South Bass Island with Pat Dailey and Mad Dog Adams.

SUNNY AFTERNOON-- KINKS-- Ray and Dave be cookin'.
HOT SUMMER NIGHTS-- MEATLOAF-- Another good summer song of the Loaf's is "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" which I sang so well with the bartender at the place across from Preservation Hall on Bourbon Street.

SURFIN' USA-- BEACH BOYS-- Surfin' and Summer? Who'd have figured. And that water is WAY TOO COLD!
BEACH BABY-- FIRST CLASS-- Can't get this one out of my head now.

DANCING IN THE STREET-- MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS-- Does anybody know how many places they were dancing?
SUMMER IN THE CITY-- LOVING SPOONFUL-- "Hot town, summer in the city."

If Gas Prices keep Dropping, I Might be Able to Afford to Drive Some Place. --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed

Well, actually, flown by over Grasslake.

Most Chain of Lakes boaters here in northeast Illinois know that we have a pair of nest bald eagles on the Chain between Grasslake and Nippersink Lake. Their huge nest is easily seen near the channel leading to Port of Blarney,

We have seen it and also think we saw the eagles in it.

However, this last Friday, while enjoying cocktails out on the deck of Gasoline Alley, on a bluff overlooking Grasslake,we saw a rather large bird flying south, and as it got closer we could see its white head and tail feathers. A bald eagle!!

And, we thought we had to go out to the Mississippi River in the winter to see bald eagles. Evidently not.

Just As Impressive, But Much Closer to Home. --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's a Summer Thing: Cruisin' and Music-- Part 1

This past Sunday, good old Bob Stroud, on his Rock and Roll Roots show on WDRV, the Drive in Chicago did his annual Summer Show, playing the songs that make the season so enjoyable (although I like fall just as well).

Unfortunately, I overslept and missed the first of the three hours, but he does have a set list, so I got those songs.

All comments are mine.

ALL SUMMER LONG-- BEACH BOYS-- The original Boys of Summer.
CRUISIN' MUSIC-- RASPBERRIES-- Not really familiar with this one.

A SUMMER SONG-- CHAD AND JEREMY-- Or was it by Peter and Gordon? Who can tell these two groups apart except their mothers.
UNDER THE BOARDWALK-- JOHN MELLANCAMP-- Singing about what is probably one of the most gross places in the world if you've ever smelled wet sand that receives no sunlight. And we're not even going to go into what people drop on the boardwalk that finds its way between the cracks.

REMEMBER (WALKIN' IN THE SAND)-- SHANGRI-LAS-- Love the start to this one.
CALIFORNIA SUN-- RIVIERAS-- Nothing like a good California song by a band out of Indiana.

In a Summer Mode. --RoadDog

Giant Slide on Route 66 in Illinois Offers Business Opportunity

From the June 23rd Chicago Tribune.

But, it will cost you a cool $175,00 and it just might be likely prove to be a big headache to move as it stands 50 feet tall and is 170 feet long. Right now it sits just off Route 66 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, just a hop, skip and a jump from Bill Shea's.

Businessman Dennis Herrington hopes the next owner will keep it where it is. It is considered a fair landmark along with state fair fries and has become synonymous with the fair and is often seen behind state governors.

It was one of 42 "Giant Slides" (there is also one at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds) built in the 1960s in the US, Australia and Canada, said Fred Pittroff, the slide's inventor, who said he built the Springfield one over a weekend in 1968. He operated it for five years and sold it to a family who ran it until they sold to Herrington in 1993.

This last owner says he gets between 25,000 to 30,000 people to ride those burlap bags down the slope for $3 a ride, or two for $5.

It's a Sliding Away I Go. --RoadDog

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ten Cruising Tips-- Part 2

6. Support Route 66 businesses, they need your money. And that would include any local business as your travel.

7. Save money on meals by having a big breakfast, making your own sandwiches (having a picnic at local parks or scenic areas). I've even been known to go to a fast food place, but take the food to a park. Then, there are the dollar value items at many fast food places. Fill a cooler with sodas.

8. Some convenience stores, gas stations and truck stops offer special bargain prices on soda.

9. Make sure your car has had the necessary maintenance and repairs.

10. Make sure the tires are properly inflated.

Just Some Ideas for the Road. --RoadDog

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 5

June 16th

Once at Union Station, we caught a CTA bus to Soldier Field for $2.25 and we also needed a 25 cent transfer. Passed the White Palace Grill, open 24 hours, which looked to be of interest. We also passed over a bridge built over a massive number of railroad tracks. This bridge featured columns with books in between. Gas in Chicago was at $4.55!!

Again, all that PT (Physical Training) outside Soldiers Field really brought back a flood of memories for me (which was why I wrote so much about them.) "I don't know, but I've been told...."

Once we got checked in and received our name cards, I went over to the the statue of a World War I American soldier. It was called "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" and was sculpted by E.M. Viquesney. Viquesney was an American sculptor (1876 to 1946) best-known for this sculpture, although this was not the only one. Between 1920 and 1940, some 140 versions of this work were placed in public places in 38 states.

Under this it read, "In memory of the sacrifices of our American men and women in the armed forces who serve in war and peace. Installed by 132nd Infantry (2nd Illinois) Garfield Park 1926 as a tribute to World War I soldiers. rededicated Soldiers Field 2003."

The soldier is running through some land with barbed wire strung by his feet, probably No-Man's Land.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Ten Cruising Tips-- Part 1

Mark Potter wrote these on the Yahoo Route 66 e-mail group a while back. These apply to both Route 66 and the interstates.

1. Travel in spoonfulls, 200-250 miles a day. (And, obviously, drive as much as you can on non-interstate roads. Don't allow the kids to watch DVDs the whole time. Let them look at the land as it goes by.)

2. Visit as many Route 66 attractions as possible (or any roadside attractions if on another road).

3. Buy gas in towns, preferably on 66. Gas is usually cheaper there than at off-ramps. Plus, you support Route 66 businesses.

4. Get your meals at mom-and-pop places. (Again, supporting 66 businesses, plus more of a chance to get regional food. Let's face it, you probably won't find horseshoe sandwiches on the menu at the local McDonald's.)

5. Stay at mom-and-pop motels which usually charge less and are comparable. (Just make sure it is a nice one. You can usually tell by looking at the grounds. If they are in good shape, the place is probably ok. A good idea also would be to ask to see the room. Plus, if the motel has chairs out on the porch, you can usually meet some interesting and friendly travelers.)

More to Come. --RoadDog

No Buyer for Route 66's Boots Motel

From the Yahoo Route 66 E-Mail Group.

There was a courthouse auction for the Boots Motel this past week in Carthage, Missouri, and as expected, the bank still owns the place. No other buyer came forward. The bank says it would like $150,00 for the place.

The city has the place marked as the centerpiece for a proposed historical development project, but that has not taken place yet.

The motel was built in 1939 by Arthur Boots at what was called the Crossroads of America, where US highways 66 and 71 intersected. It was one of the most modern motels in America, even featuring radios in every room.

Today, the place is in rough shape, after being rented for extended periods to low-income people. Supposedly, much has been stolen or destroyed.

Here's hoping that someone with some capital buys it and restores the place to its former art deco moderne glory. I've always admired the retro 30s-style chairs that were out by the office.

It Would Be a Shame to Lose The Place. --RoadDog

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 5: The Trouble with Drill Instructors

One last Drill Instructor story.

When we were camping out at the rifle range, I drew canteen duty where I had to bring my squad's canteens to the pump and fill them.

The pump was on the other side of where the drill instructors' tents were. It was hot and I was tired and decided not to walk the quarter mile it would take me to bypass them so I just walked right by. Plus, I had heard they were at a meeting.


Wrong!! No, they were in their tents and looking to inflict some agony when along comes good old me. Prime target in sight.

"Get Over Here Right Now!!"

Two of them began circling me, looking for that one thing they could use to persecute me. Fortunately, I was pretty-well squared away that day, but then one noticed my cover (hat) was not the prescribed two fingers above my eyebrow. This led to all kinds of in-your-face jawing.

Then, one says he is going to help my to remember in the future how that cover is supposed to sit upon my head. He takes my cover, reaches down, picks up a couple handfuls of dirt, and puts it in my cover.

OK, so I'm going to have a hat full of dirt placed on my head. I could live with that.

But, NO!!

Then, he takes a canteen that was half full, opens it, pours the water into the cover, mixes it up with the dirt and then places it back on my head. "Now you will remember how to wear your cover correctly."

"Yes, Sergeant Instructor!"

"And furthermore, I'd better not see that cover off your head for the rest of the day!!"

"Yes, Sergeant Instructor!!"

"What, I Can't Hear You!!"


The rest of the day wasn't very pleasurable as that mess started dripping down my face. But, at least at nightfall, I was able to remove the hat and I used a canteen to rinse the stuff off (there were no showers out at the rifle range, but at least I didn't have any hair so it could have been worse).

My own fault, though. My rule was to avoid DIs at all costs. I should not have walked by their area. Like the guy from "Apocalypse Now" said after the tiger scared him, "Don't get off the boat." "Don't go near the DIs."

I Should Have Known Better. Hey, That's a Beatles Song. --RoadDog

State Tidbits: Cruisin' with a History

From the American Profile Magazine. Each week they either have a list of state tidbits like these or a list of state happenings. They break them down by region and I'm in the Midwest.

NORTH DAKOTA-- BOBCAT CO. headquartered in West Fargo (pop. 14,940) started in 1947 when Edward Gideon "E.G." Melroe started the Melroe Machine Co. in Gwinner (pop. 717) to manufacture the Melroe Pickup, a combine attachment invented to pick up grain without losing kernels.

SOUTH DAKOTA-- The first baseball manager to win a World Series for both the National and American League was Sparky Anderson (who just died November 2010). He was born George Lee Anderson in 1934 in Bridgewater (pop. 607). He managed the National League's Cincinnati Reds to World Series championships in 1975 and 1976 and the Detroit Tigers in 1984.

ILLINOIS-- The world's first rust-prevention paint, Rust-Oleum, came into being after Captain Robert Ferguson observed that corrosion stopped spreading when raw fish oil spilled on his rusted metal decks.

Years of research led to a fish oil-based paint and the founding in 1921 of the Rust-Oleum Corp., headquartered in Vernon Hills (pop. 20,120). I lived in that community for a year back in the 1970s.

Just Some Interesting Facts to Look for the Next Time You're on the Road. --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 4: The Problem with DIs

No doubt about it. Drill Instructors were put on earth to make the lives of boots miserable.


By far, the meanest DI was one from the Philippines. Thankfully, he was in another platoon, so I rarely had to encounter him.

When we finally got a chance for liberty, we loaded onto buses headed for DC. One guy in this sergeant's platoon shot him the "bird" from the back of the bus as it pulled away.

This sergeant proceeded to take off running after the bus and caught up with it at a nearby stop sign. He boarded the bus, pulled the guy off and that was it for his liberty. Afterwards, he was real quiet about the whole thing, but very respectful to the sergeant.

He would not say anything about what happened, but I think it was probably something akin to what the sergeant did to Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman."

One more DI story to go.

Like I Said, Don't Mess with the DIs. --RoadDog

Ultimate Food Trails-- Part 2: Southwest Michigan

This trip takes you mostly along the Lake Michigan shore from Saugatuck to New Buffalo. Highways are colorful, the Blue Star and the Red Arrow, but the area is mostly referred to as the Fruit Belt. For many years, this has been a major destination for vacationers from the Chicago area.

The road trip is 125-miles long and occasionally goes inland to explore stuff there. They suggest at least two-days, but three is better. In the 1960s, an expressway drew folks away from the two-lane roads, but they survive.

The tour starts at Saugatuck, goes inland on Mi-89, back to the Blue Star Highway,south to St. Joseph and then the Red Arrow Highway with an inland trip on BrownTown Road, back to the shore, a trip east on US-12 and ending at New Buffalo by the Indiana border.

Places listed are the Sunrise Orchards Farm Market, Evergreen Lane Farm and Creamery, Fenn Valley Winery, Salt of the Earth, Carriage House at the Harbor, Sam's Sweet Corn, DeGrandchamp Farms, Caffe Tosi and the Round Barn Winery.

More place are Hickory Creek Winery, Luisa's Cafe and Harbert Swedish Bakery, Tabor Hill Winery, Froehlich's, Brewster Italian Cafe and Marina Grand Resort.

We've driven from Saugatuck to New Buffalo before, but didn't stop at these places. I am especially a big fan of wineries. You never know what kinds of wine they'll come up with.

Seen Any Wolverines? --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 3: Stay Away from the DIs

Here are a few drill instructor stories.

We were on a much-hated hike, which is really a forced march and one of the worst things I've ever had to do.

We're marching along and I'm thinking of how much trouble I'd get in if I somehow lost my rifle which was digging a hole in my shoulder, when we came across a big old mud puddle in the middle of the dirt road. I hated cleaning and shining my boots almost as much as I hated that rifle digging into my shoulder.

So, I decided to walk around the puddle.

I did, and from out of nowhere, this big old hand grabbed me by my knapsack, spun me around, and then I found myself face down in the mud in that puddle. Then there's this DI shouting at me about how Marines will go through anything to accomplish their mission.

I had to finish the rest of that hike soaked and muddy with dirty boots and still looking to ditch that M-14.

I've Got Two Other Stories About DIs. --RoadDog

Ultimate Food Trails: Wisconsin

In keeping with my entries of 50 food festivals in 50 states, the July-August issie of Midwest Living had a spread on Ultimate Food Trails. They went to the states of Wisconsin and Michigan and assembled two delectable trails where you go to breweries, pick fruit, eat cheese and lots of other foods.


Suggested length, three days.

Starting in Madison and head south on Wi-69 to Monroe, then west on Wi-11 to Potosi, then north on US-61 to Westby and Viroqua and then southeast on US-14 back to Madison.

Suggested stops are at the National Mustard Museum, Bloom Bake Shop, New Glarus Bakery, Rief's Meat Market, New Glarus Brewing Co., Glarner Stube, The Dining Room at 209 Main, Albany House B&B, National Historic Cheesemaking Center and Alp and Dale Cheese.

Continuing on to the Baumgartners, Brewster House Restaurant, Potosi Brewery, Carr Valley Cheese, Driftless Cafe, Viroqua Farmers Market, Trillium Cottage, Hidden Springs Creamery and Peck's Farm Market East.

The article has plenty of pictures and a map.

We have been to southwest Wisconsin many times and it is a beautiful area. Then, there's that great food. And, we have been to the Mustard Museum and Poupon U.

Well Worth Checking Out the Article. --RoadDog

State Tidbits from American Profile

From the American Profile Magazine.

IOWA-- In the late 1940s and 1950s, actress FRAN ALLISON was the human part of the popular TV show Kukla, Fran and Ollie. She was born in LaPorte City, (pop. 2,275). Hey, I remember watching that show.

MICHIGAN-- In 1902, Detroit native Louis J. Liggert persuaded 40 druggists to invest in the United Drug Co., a cooperative that later manufactured and distributed products to franchised stores (an early Walgreens, CVS). The stores and products were known as REXALL. I used to see these stores all over the place and bought many a comic book at the one in Mt. Olive, NC. Loved the logo.

MINNESOTA-- The world's largest employee-owned photography company is Lifetouch in the town of Eden Prairie (pop. 59,482). It began in 1936 when Bruce Reinecker and Eldon Rothgeb founded the National School Studios to take photos at one-room schoolhouses across the state.

If I've had to sit for one school photo, I've sat for almost too many to count, both as a student and then 33 years as a teacher.

Just Some Interesting Tidbits. --RoadDog

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cruisin' in McHenry

I was planning on going to the Green Street Cruise Night in McHenry this evening, but questionable weather and too long at Donovan's Reef derailed that plan.

It is called the largest cruise night in McHenry County, Illinois, starting June 6th and running to October 10th from 6 to 8:30 pm. Food, concessions and shopping are offered along with the regular stores in the area. About every other Monday, live music (always better than dead music) is on the docket

Plus, every cruise night spotlights a particular vehicle. Tonight was orphan makes (?) and next Monday is my favorites, Pony Cars (Mustangs, Firebirds, Camaros, Javelins, Challengers and Barracudas. August 22nd is Pontiac night.

This is also in conjunction with McHenry's 175th anniversary.

Also, next Monday, the Gambler Bar on Green Street has their $1 half-pound cheeseburgers and $1 bottles of domestics (their June special).

Old Cars = Fun! --RoadDog

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And a Happy Father's Day to Our Dads: Dad Songs

This day, I wish to thank two important fathers in Liz and my lives. That would be my dad Donald and Liz's dad Ambrose. My dad was born in 1928 and died at age 69 in 1997 and would have been 83 this year.

Liz's dad was born in 1911 and died in 1986 at age 75. He would have been 100 this July. Liz's parents got married later in life and didn't have her until late in life. My parents got married while they were in college and I was first born.

Here are some Dad songs to pop into the old cassette player before cruising today:

CAT'S IN THE CRADLE-- Harry Chapin
COME TO PAPA-- Bob Seger
DADDY, YOU'RE A FOOL TO CRY-- Rolling Stones
FUN FUN FUN-- Beach Boys-- Till daddy gets the car keys away, you know.

SUGAR DADDY-- Fleetwood Mac
MY FATHER'S EYES-- Eric Clapton
FATHER AND SON-- Cat Stevens
WALK LIKE A MAN-- Bruce Springsteen

These were from Bob Stroud's Friday Ten at Ten on WDRV in Chicago.

Of course, there are always the two great father-daughter dances: "Butterfly Kisses" and "Daddy's Little Girl."

Sure Miss You Guys. --A Grateful Son and Son-In-Law

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 2

Between my sophomore year at NIU and junior year at UGA, I boarded a plane to Washington, DC, and rook a bus to Quantico, Virginia, where I was introduced to the joys and wonders of military life.

This would be July 1971.

First thing the DI's questioned was how many in our platoon smoked. "Congratulations, you just quite.' And then we were ordered to breathe out that scuzzy civilian air and breathe in that good Marine Corps air.

Then, it was to the base barber and our Corps haircuts. Those guys had a great job as all they had to do was run the clippers over our heads. Everything came off. As my buddies and I were walking back to the barracks, the sun was behind us. On our shadows in front of us, we saw strange looking objects coming out of the sides of our heads. Turned out to be our ears!! We hadn't seen them for awhile in these times of longer hair.

Thus began the longest six weeks of my young life. I was completely "unmilitary" and it took me the first six weeks to get my Corps legs. After that, it started coming easier.

I developed a great dislike for our DIs and avoided them every chance I could. These guys were just there to make our lives miserable. I would even walk several miles out of my way just to avoid walking by one.

Lots of Memories Coming Back from Soldiers Field. --RoadDog

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hebron, Illinois-- Part 2: Where'd They Get the Name?

One of those first settlers, a Mrs. Tryon was instrumental in giving the township and village its name. Neighboring pioneer families would gather at her home Sundays afternoons and sing. One Sunday, after singing "Old Hebron" she suggested that Hebron would be a good name for the township. The name stuck.

I was unable to find the lyrics to this song, but there is a city of 160,000 in the West Bank under Palestinian control by that name. Hebron is located south, southwest of Jerusalem and is scared to both Jews and Arabs as the home and burial place of Abraham and, for Jews, it was King David's capital for seven years.

The 2000 census showed 1,038 in the Illinois Hebron. A lot of home construction was going on when the recession and home bust hit and has since stopped in its tracks. There is plenty of land in the area. Lots of farms like the 100+ year old one where we keep our boat.

Champions to Come. --RoadDog

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 1

Today, I took a trip with the Kellerhers to Soldiers Field, Chicago, home of Da Bears, and, today, the United States Marine Corps, to whom I have an affiliation, albeit short.

Back in 1971, 40 years ago this coming July, I spent six 'glorious" weeks doing basic training at Quantico, Virginia, for PLC, Platoon Leader Class. This was a way for the Marines to replete its officer corps due to losses in Vietnam.

I had a draft lottery number of 22, which meant that upon graduation from college, I was going to Vietnam one way or another. And that war was NEVER GOING TO END to my way of thinking. It had started while I was in junior high and had gone on all through my high school years.

Had I not gone on to college, which I needed to do in order to be a teacher, I would have gone to Vietnam. The war was continuing while in college, so sophomore year, I decided to check out my options. My first interest was the Navy, but my eyesight wasn't good enough, so then it became USMC and I was accepted.

I had to go for six weeks in the summer between sophomore and junior year and another six weeks between junior and senior year. When I graduated, I would be commissioned a second lieutenant and sent to six months of training and then on to Vietnam.

I figured that if I was going to have to go to Vietnam, I might as well go as an officer.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hebron, Illinois-- Part 1

This past Monday, I drove to Hebron, Illinois, to pick up our boat from storage.

Whenever I go there to pick up or drop off for the winter, I always have a meal at Kaitie's on the corner of Il-47 and Il-173. Great food and at reasonable prices and in an old place. If I remember correctly, the place was built around 1900 and for many years served as the town's drug store.

Being at the corner, it is a great place to watch traffic driving by. I was amazed at the large number of trucks driving through the intersection. Illinois Highway 173, is a major east-west route running along the Illinois-Wisconsin border. The other road, Highway 47, runs north-south from the Wisconsin border to the north, about two miles away, to just west of Champaign, Illinois.

Illinois 47 is the main road we use going to Route 66 in Dwight and when we drive to points east. This gets us around the Chicago hassle.

Both roads go through some of the richest farmland in the nation.

Omelets and Burgers at Kaitie's. --RoadDog

Happy Birthday Fodor's

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Fodor's travel guides. When Eugene Fodor published his first one, back in 1936, Hitler had not yet invaded Poland and the Spanish Civil War was underway.

Today, it is the largest English-language travel guide to places all over the world.

Back in the 1930s, traveler Eugene Fodor thought the available guidebooks were boring and uninspired. He went beyond the usual list of attractions and hotels and added information about the local people and culture as well as updating the information yearly.

The first one was on Europe.

A Trendsetter. --RoadDog

Ten Places Every Kid Should See

From Yahoo! Today.

Taking kids to places to see America's heritage and culture should be something every parent should strive for, and I'm not just talking Disney World or water parks.

10. Grand Canyon
9. National mall, Washington, DC
8. Redwood National Park, Ca.
7. Ellis Island, NYC
6. Niagara Falls

5. Yellowstone National Park
4. Colonial Williamsburg (and Jamestown nearby)
3. Craters of the Moon, Idaho
2. Independence Hall, Philadelphia
1. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

And, I'd like to add that DVDs for kids in the car should be limited, especially when not on interstates.

Take the Kids! --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Songs for the Road-- Part 3

Some more songs for the old two lane highways.

TRAFFIC JAM-- James Taylor (Almost a talking song)
PINK CADILLAC-- Bruce Springsteen
HITCHIN' A RIDE-- Vanity Fare
SEE THE USA IN YOUR CHEVROLET-- (OK, technically its a commercial, but what a song!! And it rhymes, too!)
HELEN WHEELS-- Paul McCartney-- (His attempt at writing a song like "Get Your Kicks on Route 66.)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN-- Canned Heat-- Sorry Willie!
THIS CAR OF MINE-- Beach Boys-- (One I wasn't that familiar with at all. I guess things like that happen.)
BACKSEAT OF MY CAR-- Paul McCartney-- (What you going to do back there, Sir Paul?)
RADAR LOVE-- Golden Earring

Ready to Drive, But Can't Afford It. --RoadDog

Monday, June 13, 2011

Songs for the Road-- Part 2

From Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Used Car Lot show. One time several years ago, he called it Rock and Roll Routes.

BABY DRIVER-- Simon & Garfunkel
FUN FUN FUN-- Beach Boys-- Until her daddy gets the keys away, anyway.
UNDER MY WHEELS-- Alice Cooper
TWO LANE HIGHWAY-- Pure Prairie League-- If I ever get around to getting my radio show, this will be the theme song.

OL' 55-- Eagles
MERCEDES BENZ-- Goosecreek Symphony-- From South Carolina and like this version better than Janis'.
ROAD RUNNER-- Jr. Walker & the All Stars

ROLL ON DOWN THE HIGHWAY-- Bachman-Turner Overdrive
DRAG CITY-- Jan and Dean
LAKE SHORE DRIVE-- Alliota, Haynes & Jeremiah What Chicago show about roads wouldn't have this nugget?

On the Road Again. --RoadDog

Fun at the Captain's: Band, Beer and Lake

More good times out on the chain without a boat. However, in just a couple hours, I'll be driving out to Hebron, Illinois, to pick up our boat, "School's Out...Forever." I had hoped to have it in the water by April, but the weather has just been too bad.

Friday, we went over to the Tank on Long Lake and sat outside enjoying those buck beers. they even have Bud Lite Lime for a buck. I am not a big Anheiser-Busch fan, but do like BLL.

Saturday was work around the house.

Sunday, we went over to St. Bede's in Ingleside for the Knights of Columbus breakfast: scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, potatoes, fruits, juice, coffee, biscuits and gravy and pancakes for $6.

Took a ride by the old Costello's/Baja Benny's which is still closed and for sale. Also went by the old Neptune's Cove/Jukebox Saturday Night (one of the first places I deejayed regularly at and where we used to see the country band Choyce). It has since been torn down and replaced with McMansions as has the old Last Resort next to it. All three of these places are on Fox Lake.

Later, we went to Captain's Quarters and sat outside overlooking Fox Lake and saw a band we'd never seen before, Average Joe. Figured with a name like that, they couldn't take themselves too seriously. They didn't and were extremely good. They even had a guy who would play the accordion every so often and they did a few Dropkick Murphys songs.

I bought two bottles of Old Style Beer which were done up like baseball bats with the Cubs logo on them. Like the bottle said, "Since 1902."

We'll definitely see them again.

Good Times Out on the Chain. --RoadDog

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Songs for the Road-- Part 1

May 29th, Bob Stroud did his Rock and Roll Roots Show on Chicago's Drive, 96.9 FM, on Used Car Lot in honor of the Indy 500 that day. He plays songs about cars and roads, just the thing for that cruise down an old two-laner.

MUSTANG SALLY-- Wilson Pickett
409-- Beach Boys
LITTLE GTO-- Ronny & the Daytonas

DEADMAN'S CURVE-- Jan and Dean
CRUISIN'-- Jefferson Starship
HOT ROD LINCOLN-- Commander Cody
VEHICLE-- Ides of March

DRIVER'S SEAT-- Sniff 'N Tears
DRIVE MY CAR-- Beatles
FASTER-- George Harrison

And there Are More Songs to Go. --RoadDog

Escaping the Blizzard-- Part 21: Just Killin' Time

February 8, 2011

Last blog entry for this trip.

Drove back to the Holiday Inn Express in Cape Coral, packed and checked out.

We went over and looked at one last condo. Looks like Canadian Al will have to wait for another time to get his little slice of paradise. At least it's a good excuse to come back again.

Went over to RC's and hung out by his pool and had some drinks. Dave came over.We headed out to the airport and hit Fort Myers' rush hour where we did anything but rush. We just stopped and waited, stopped and waited. Wonder how they cram so many stoplights into a stretch of road.

We needed to get gas for the rental cars to avoid that huge charge if they fill it up. All the gas stations were on the other side of the road, but finally found one.

Mark pulled into an Olive Garden to eat. How could he be so hungry after that big DQ meal four hours ago. Plus, we were running short on time. Settled on Burger King.

The car drop-off was easy and there was no line at the Spirit Airline check-in. Security was a breeze and the plane even left a little early.

Unfortunately, the snow and cold was still there awaiting our return in Chicago. Mark dropped Al and Frank off then gave me a ride home.

Great Fun While It Lasted. --RoadDog

Friday, June 10, 2011

Escaping the Blizzard-- Part 20: Wildlife Refuge and Ft. Myers Beach

February 8, 2011

As the hours wind down before it is time to go back to the cold...and SNOW!!!


We're still out on Sanubel Island. Canadian Al said he had never seen a live alligator (but plenty of moose, or is that mooses or moosies?), and we read that there was a wildlife refuge on the island and we had some time to kill.

Drove over to it and paid our $5 a carload to get in. There were more people than animals if you didn't count bird life and there were plenty of them. And, just about everyone had a camera. It was hard to see the birds when they were concentrated because of all the camera-toting folks.

Unfortunately, no 'gator for Al and no late, middle-aged cougars for Mark.

Well worth the five bucks to see, though.


Still had time before leaving the hotel (1 pm checkout), so went to Fort Myers Beach and walked around. Walked around looking at souvenir stores. Instead of the ubiquitous Wings stores we have in the south along the Atlantic, they have the ubiquitous Winds stores for souvenirs.

I went into the Top O' Mast Bar, one of those old beach beer joints right by the water. That's a great name for a beach place as well, right up there with Prince O' Whales in California.

We ended up eating a Dairy Queen, right by the beach.

Too Bad We Don't Leave Tomorrow Instead of Today. --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finding Rollins Road-- Part 5

Using state road maps.

In 1926, there was a town called Rollins north of Grayslake and Lake Villa. The current alignment of Rollins Road was not shown. Illinois Hwy 120 was not paved for a short stretch west of McHenry.

The town of Rollins was southwest of Il-83 and current East Rollins Road, about where Avon School is located today. There was no road shown between the town of Rollins and Ingleside on the 1927 map.

1928 map-- The town of Rollins was still shown. Il-120 shown in red, which meant it was paved. US highways shown for the first time. There was US-20 and US-12. US-12 at the time went from Palatine to Crystal Lake (today it goes from Palatine to Fox Lake, Spring Grove and Richmond, a more eastern alignment.

Today, there is no longer a town called Rollins, but if you type in Rollins, Illinois, into a search engine, it does come up.

Starting to See Spots Looking at These Maps. --RoadDog

Escaping the Blizzard-- Part 19: Last Day-- Sanibel Island and Lighthouse

February 8, 2011.

Last breakfast at the hotel: scrambled eggs and bacon. Hard to beat those Holiday Inn Express hot breakfasts. I was thinking about getting a bit of last-minute pool time, but it was too cool as a cold front came in last night. OK, I can live with 66 degrees in February.

We drove out to the rich folks enclave out at Sanibel Island and paid their $6 admission fee to cross the bridge. We went to the south end of the island and took a walk around Sanibel Island lighthouse, one of those steel skeletal affairs and quite impressive.

Walking along the beach, we saw dolphins frolicking in the shallows and a lot of pelicans. There were also lots of shells around.

I remembered that I had bought two Sanibel Island lighthouses at Ace when they had them on sale for $15 each.

Near the lighthouse, they had a sign for a sub watch site used during World War II to watch for German U-boats. A person would have thought they would have just used the lighthouse.

An artist was on the beach making a beautiful painting of the scene. I wouldn't have minded buying it, but don't really have anywhere to put it.

Still on Sanibel. --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

National Road Coloring Books

From the June 6th Belleville (Il) News-Democrat.

The National Road Association of Illinois has a new campaign to make children more aware of the importance and place in history of the National Road, the nation's first federally-funded highway.

They will be giving away free coloring books and will feature the groups new mascot, Ollie the Ox.

Children will be able to pick up a stage coach pass at the Collinsville Historical Museum and other locations along the road in Illinois. Each pass is good for one free coloring book.

Those wanting coloring books can also contact John Goldsmith at 618-664-9343 or the National Road Association of Illinois at 109 W. Main Street, PO Box 542, Greenville, Illinois, 62246.

In 1806, legislation to build the road from Cumberland, Maryland, was signed by President Jefferson. Today, the byway is often called "The Road That Built a Nation" as it took settlers out to the Old Northwest Territory from Ohio to Illinois.

The last segment completed was Illinois' 168-mile corridor from Marshall in the east to East St. Louis on the Mississippi River.

A good idea, but do kids today want coloring books when they have DVDs and all that other technological material to keep them entertained?

Go With It. --RoadDog

Escaping the Blizzard-- Part 18: Parrot Key and Big Game Bars

February 7, 2011


Later in the afternoon, we followed Dave to Parrot Bay and Big Game near Fort Myers Beach for a car show. You never want to follow Dave as he is oblivious to your situation behind him. There were several last-second turns where he would pop over a lane just before he turned. This made for some hairy situations, the last of which we lost him.

While Dave made his way around taking pictures, I availed myself of the two bars which are located right next to each other. Last night, Parrot Bay was the Packer bar and Big game the Steeler one.

Both are owned by the same folks. Happy hour was 99 cents for a 12-oz, $2 for 22-oz and $5 pitchers.

I talked with a couple wintering in Ft. Myers from nearby, at home, McHenry, Illinois. They live in an RV park and are very familiar with US-12.

Took a walk around the cars and saw one with a license plate "YNGRNME" which I had seen at the Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois, on several occasions. Turns out, Dave knows him and at one time they lived withing a couple blocks of each other back in Elmhurst, Il..

Afterwards, we went back to Dave's and sat out by the pool. Of course, that necessitated the playing of WII bowling. I think everyone down there is addicted to that game. They even got me to play, which I did poorly.

One More Day to Go. --RoadDog

Monday, June 6, 2011

How Do You Fun on the Chain Without a Boat?

Yesterday was a good one.

After listening to Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots salute to the Summer of 1971, the songs playing on your radio here in Chicago this date forty years ago, we drove to the Sequoit Lodge in downtown Antioch for the Sunday morning entertainment. Two dollar pints and really good music along with breakfast if you want it.

Where else you gonna get entertainment on a Sunday morning from 10 to noon?

Then, it was to Choppers, across the road from Channel Lake for quarter wings and $5.75 pitchers.

Next, on to Captain's Quarters, where we found the manager, Melanie, had moved in next door to us. Small world. However, the band didn't show up. A call to harbour Lounge told us the tiki bar on Bluff Lake was open, but no entertainment.

Another call to Castaways on Pistakee Lake and we found that Jim Seig was playing out on the deck. Spent the afternoon with him and had a ball, especially with the two buck Miller products.

One Day, Four Bars, Two Bands, 25 Miles. I Can Live With That. --RoadDog

Eat Your Way Across America: 50 States, 50 Festivals-- Part 10: Northeast/ Alaska & Hawaii

46. MILFORD PUMPKIN FESTIVAL-- MILFORD, NH, OCT. 7-9-- Linus never saw the Great Pumpkin fly through the air, but you can see the Great Chunker, a siz-ton air cannon, will be shooting squash more than 3,000 feet. You can make your own scarecrow, and, of course, carve and paint your own pumpkins.

47. BRIDGEVILLE APPLE-SCRAPPLE FESTIVAL-- BRIDGEVILLE, DEL., OCT 14-15-- Honors two state staples, the apple and the scrapple (a meatloaf-like pork product). Interesting contests like scrapple carving, scrapple chunking (pitching scrapple shot-put style) and a ladies skillet toss.

48. WELLFEET OYSTERFEST-- WELLFLEET. MASS., OCT 15-16-- Have local oysters raw, grilled, fried, baked or in stews. Also, there is an Oyster-Shuck-Off. Last year's champ shucked 24 in just over two minutes.

49. KODIAK CRAB FESTIVAL-- KODIAK, ALASKA, MAY 26-27-- Well, missed it. maybe next year All sorts of seafood to celebrate the end of winter.

50. KAUAI COCONIT FESTIVAL-- KAPAA, HAWAII, OCT 1-2-- Eat fish in coconut sauce. Eat haupia (traditional coconut milk-based dessert. Also, coconut bowling, ring-around-the-coconut and coconut checkers.

All These Festivals Done Got Me the Hongries. --RoadDog

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Good Time on the Chain, Even Without a Boat

This past Wednesday, Liz and I got some serious Chaining in, even without our boat which is still in the barn out in Hebron.

First, we went to DOCKER'S on Pistakee Lake and went out on the deck along with the good folks from my old schools: Magee Middle School and Round Lake Middle School, as they celebrated the end of the school year, something that, for some reason, no longer means all that much to me.

Great talking to so many of my old friends. Angie and Cathy were retiring and most of my other friends are within a few years of doing the same. Plus, there were many of the new teachers, now 6 to 9 year veterans.

Then, on to CASTAWAYS, on the other side of Pistakee Lake, where we sat out on the deck with the Kellerhers and Sue and Paul, enjoying the buck beers, 40 cent wings and Jim Seig entertaining.

Last stop was at the historical MINEOLA Hotel on Fox Lake where we had more buck beers.

Who Says You have to Have a Boat to Have a Good Time on the Chain? --RoadDog

Escaping the Blizzard-- Part 17: Beachin' and Grazin'

FEBRUARY 7th-- 2011

Another fine breakfast at the HIE: sausage links and cheese omelet.

We drove across the bridge to Fort Myers to go to a bank so Al could get proof of funds at Chase bank. (You pay to cross the bridge from Ft. Myers to Cape Coral, but not the other way. We all said that if this was Chicago, they'd be charging you both ways.) He wants to make a bid on one of the condos he's been looking at. Old Canadian Al goes Floridian?

While waiting word from the real estate agent, we drove to Fort Myers Beach where traffic, especially coming toward us was at a stand-still. We found out later that there had been a bomb scare. Traffic coming toward us was backed up for almost two miles because of it.

Drove farther south along the water to a state park at an inlet. For $2 apiece, we walked the shore. Saw a medium-sized dead turtle with propeller marks on its shell. Kind of sad.

Unfortunately, the agent called to say Al's deal had fallen through. Oh well, there are lots of other places available in the Cape Coral area where quite a building boom was going on when the housing market fell apart.

We drove south to Naples, then got on the interstate (I-75) and took it back to Fort Myers, where we did some grazing at the Golden Corral.

Back to the hotel and I wanted to sit out by the pool, but it was way too windy as a cold front was coming in (here, cold front means 50-60 degrees.

Going to Parrot Key. --RoadDog

Eat Your Way Across America: 50 states, 50 Festivals-- Part 9: The Northeast

42. TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN AND JERK FESTIVAL-- HARTFORD, CT., AUG. 6TH-- Island foods like curried goat, flying fish and jerk chicken. Listen to musicians from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica. Free salsa, calypso and soca lessons. tasteofthecaribbeanct. org.

43. PITTSTON TOMATO FESTIVAL-- PITTSTON, PA., AUG. 18-21-- Besides eating all sorts of tomato-based stuff, for $5, you can get into the monster Tomato Fight. For your bucks, you get all the stuff you want to throw, and, very importantly, goggles.

44. HARD CRAB DERBY-- CRISFIELD, MD., SEPT. 2-4-- Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. For $5, buy one, name it and race it. Winners go free. Losers get eaten.

45. NATIONAL BUFFALO WING FESTIVAL-- BUFFALO, NY., SEPT. 3-4-- Where the vaunted buffalo wings came from (and you thought it was part of a buffalo, not chicken. Last year, 71,000 people ate 500,000 wings with some 100 different sauces from salt and vinegar to coconut Caribbean. That's 33 tons of chicken. "Now, that's something to cluck about."

Of course, buffalo wings first were served at Buffalo's Anchor Inn.

One Last group of Festivals to Go. --RoadDog

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eat Your Way Across America; 50 States, 50 Festivals-- Part 8: The Northeast

All these great food festivals sure makes my hon-gry!!

38. GREAT CHOWDER COOK-OFF-- NEWPORT, RI, JUNE 4-- Prizes for best chowder in clam, seafood and creative.

39. VERMONT CHEESEMAKERS FESTIVAL-- SHELBURNE, VT., JULY 24-- More than 100 cheeses from 40 local creameries. Also artisan smoked meats, cider and breads. Sounds cheesey to me.

40 ATLANTIC CITY FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL-- ATLANTIC CITY, NJ, JULY 28-31-- Guy Fieri will be there so we can ask why he wears his sunglasses on the back of his head. Cheesesteak showdown and a gospel lunch withthe Neelys (?).

41. MAINE LOBSTER FESTIVAL-- ROCKLAND, ME., AUG. 3-7-- Lobster Lovers need to be here. More than 20,000 pounds to be served. Bad time to be a lobster in the eaters off the state.

Also, a lobster crate race. Contestants try to scramble across a string of partially submerged lobster crates without faslling into theocean. Lobster and codfish eating contests as well.

Love Those Maine Lobster Pounds. --RoadDog

Escaping from the Blizzard-- Part 16: Super Bowl on the Lanai

I've watched Super Bowls in many places, but this is the first time I watched it outside. I highly recommend it as an experience.

Dave's house opens to a screen enclosed pool area with a small bar, tables and loungers. In Florida, they call it a lanai. The first time I ever heard that term was on the TV show "The Golden Girls."

We all spread out for the game. Like I said before, unfortunately, most everyone was from Chicago and had that anti-Packer stance, but none as bad as Frank.

It wouldn't have hurt to have another Packer fan in the house. But, sitting outside made up for it. We had plenty of food and beer. No "shotters," though. We should have had them for TDs and sacks like I have at Margaritaville at home.

The Packers were extremely lucky in the game, scoring three TDs on Steeler turnovers. And, they ended up needing every break in order to win.

But, they DID win. Sorry Frank.

Looks like the Favre-era is Over. GO PACK!! --RoadDog

Blog Milestones

This blog, according to my blogger dashboard, now stands at 1.927 posts counting this one. It won't be too long, probably July or August, when I hit 2,000.

It started back in 2007 thanks to my niece Andrea who got it set up. At the time, i figured it could last just a short time, but possibly longer since I have kept a journal since 1977.

My big problem was two-fingered typing and whether I could type and think at the same time while searching for keys to victimize. I tend to wear the paint or whatever they have on the keys off with heavy striking.

This original blog has grown into four.

Cooter's History Thing-- 1621 posts
Down Da Road I Go-- 2061 posts
Saw the Elephant-- 1610 posts

I Gotta Find a Life. --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Escaping the Blizzard-- Part 15: Burrowing Owls

February 6th-- Super Bowl Sunday

We were having problem,s agreeing on where we wanted to watch the game. I wanted to see it in a Packer bar, but Frank absolutely despises the Packers, not so much because he is a Bears fan, but from when he was living in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the Packers were winning everything. I think he hates Packer fans more than he hates their team.

So, now we had a place to go see the game. We stopped at a liquor store and stocked up, then drove over to Dave's.

Dave met us outside and said we had to drive over a couple blocks and see the burrowing owls. There is an area next to his house that is marked off with yellow police tape. Burrowing owls are there, but we had never seen any. We had seen many other like areas all over Cape Coral, but never seen any owls. Were they a myth?

While walking his dogs, Dave had seen some a few blocks away and knew we wanted to see them.

We drove over there and parked right next to the owls, who stared at us, but didn't fly away or duck underground. Really mini-owls. They are on the endangered list and you could get huge fines if you disturb them.

Glad We Had the Opportunity to See Them. --RoadDog

Eat Your Way Acros America: 50 States, 50 Festivals-- Part 7: Out West

23. HATCH CHILE FESTIVAL-- HATCH, NM, SEPT. 3-4-- You can eat caramels, chips, burgers, enchiladas and even ice cream loaded with the stuff. Even a watermelon eating contest.

I even like the name of the town.

24. SPUD DAY-- SHELLEY, IDA., SEPT. 17-- Tug of war over a huge vat of mashed potatoes. Something potato in Idaho. Who'd have figured?

25. NORSK HOSTFEST-- MINOT, ND, SEPT. 27-OCT. 1-- Biggest North American Scandinavia festival with all things from that part of the world. You can try klub, ponnukokur and lutefisk.

26. ARIZONA TACO FESTIVAL-- SCOTTSDALE, AZ., OCT. 15-- Competition for best chicken, beef, pork and seafood categories. "Throwdowns" also for salsa and guacamole.

27. TERLINGUA INTERNATIONAL CHILI CHAMPIONSHIP-- TERLINGUA, TX., NOV. 5-- Texas takes its chili seriously. Described as the granddaddy of chili cookoffs. Only Texas red, a meat-based type with no beans or other fillers allowed. chili.otg/terlingua.html.

That Finished Off the Out West Festivals. --RoadDog