It just doesn't seem right to drive Route 66 through Broadwell, Illinois, and know that Ernie Edwards is not home. He's still alive, but living in a retirement home in Lincoln (so I've heard).
That was always a highlight of any cruise to stop and talk with him IF YOU HAD SOME SPARE TIME. We never got out of his place without spending at least an hour and even then, really didn't want to leave. Those stories, and we heard many of them more than once, were just too interesting. Plus, there was also Ernie's delivery and that ever-twinkle in his eyes.
You'd sit there wondering which stories were real and which weren't or how much was true.
Then, there was that ever-present chef's hat and his fondness of posing for pictures with ladies.
If there was ever an "Old Coot" on Route 66, it was Ernie. I remember one time sending an e-mail to Tom Teague and signing it "Old Coot," short for Cooter, a name I used from Cooter Brown's bar down in New Orleans. Tom replied that he only knew one Old Coot on Route 66 and that was Ernie.
I always regret that we didn't get interested in Route 66 until 2002 and missed meeting many of the icons of the road, but at least I got to know Ernie.
We drove through Broadwell on our way to Springfield back in April.
And It just Doesn't Seem Right. --RoadDog