Thursday, February 28, 2013

Port St. Joe Selects Engineers for Cape San Blas Move

From the Feb. 21, 2013, Gulf County (Fla) Star "City taps Preble Rish to manage lighthouse move" by Tim Croft.

Port St. Joe approved Preble Rish Engineers as project manager to move the Cape San Blas Lighthouse into the city at a planned bayfront park.

The physical move of the lighthouse still requires funding and bidding for services.

The final federal work conveying the lighthouse to the city should be in any day.  Once it is received, a six-month plan is in place.  Right now, one of the best options is to move the structures by barge which would save big money by reducing the distance to be moved and possibility of damage to the structure.

There is also the suggestion to move it by helicopter.

Maybe We Will Be Able to See It Next Winter.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Port St. Joe Awarded the Lighthouse

From the Jan. 3, 2013, Star.

The National Park Service awarded the town of Port St. Joe, Florida,  the Cape San Blas Lighthouse after turning down the submission of Gulf County.

In 2012, Hurricane Isaac took away 24-30 feet of beach front and waters are getting close to the keeper's cottages..  The grounds around the lighthouse once served as walking eagle tours and the USAF tested rockets near the site as recently as the early 1990s.

The St. Joseph Bay Historical Society began working on the restoration of the lighthouse, the keepers quarters and grounds 22 years ago.

Over the years, they have collected some $800,000 in funds, much of which went to restore one of the keeper's quarters.  The Air Force restored the other one.

After Seeing the Excellent Job Done on the New Site of the St. George Island Lighthouse, This Should be a Great Move.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gulf County Interested in Cape San Blas Lighthouse

From the Nov. 6, 2012, Gulf County (Fla) Star.

The Gulf County Board of Commissioners has put in a claim for the lighthouse and would like to move it to Salinas Park.

Nov. 15, 2012, Star.

The lighthouse is being moved back the 135 feet to allow Gulf County and the City of Port St. Joe to do something.  It is owned by nearby Eglin Air Force Base which has cut a new diagonal road to allow access to the lighthouse.


One Final Move for the Cape San Blas Lighthouse?

From the Oct. 11, 2012 Gulf County (Fl) Star by Tim Croft.

The US Air Force owns the Cape San Blas Lighthouse and its grounds and have closed the lighthouse to the public as they begin operations to move it back 135 feet.  They plan to move it back 135 more feet from the beach that was largely destroyed by Hurricane Isaac.

The Air Force has declared the property to be surplus and would like some agency to claim the lighthouse and keeper's houses, one of which is a museum and has been restored.

The estimated cost to move the lighthouse and outbuildings is $300,000.

Saving the Lighthouse.  --RoadDog

Monday, February 25, 2013

Save the Cape Blas Lighthouse

I came across this information from the Save the Lighthouse site.

The Cape San Blas Lighthouse is in danger of being lost again.  Between unrelenting beach erosion and storms have clobbered it often in the last 150 years.  The lighthouse keepers' cottages are very near to the waves now.  The lighthouse is just a short distance behind them.

The town of Port St. Joe has expressed an interest in moving the lighthouse and cottages, possibly to city property for a park.

The St, George Island lighthouse was also moved a few years back, but not until the structure was destroyed when it fell into the sea.  That required a lot of work.

Hopefully this one will be saved before it too falls into the sea.

Saving the Lighthouse...Again.  --RoadDog

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lost the Gas Guess, But Got My Chili and a Blizzard Beach Bash

I was really shocked to see that gas in the Fox Lake area was still $3.90.  Still way too exoensive, but any old port in a gas storm.

We did meet up with friends at Squaw Bar and got to sample 12 different chilis.  Now that is good eatin'.  And, I voted for favorite, but only could chose three.  I liked 'em all.

Then, went to Captain's Quarters for the Blizzard Beach Bash put on by the Fun on the Fox website and the Chain Crawl.  We got signed up for the 2013 Summer Chain Crawl and also signed a petition protesting the planned $30 Fox Waterway Commission sticker increase.  We already pay way too much for way too little.

Enjoyed the $2.50 Coronas and $2 cheeseburger and fries.

On the way home we listened to the cassette tape I'd made of Wendy Rice's Saturday Morning Flashback Show on WXRT from two weeks ago when she went back to 1968.  Perfect timing as she played the Beach Boy's "Do It Again."  If any song can get you in a Summer state of mind, that one sure can.

Then, the Steve Miller Band played "Living in the USA."  That part about "Somebody give me a cheeseburger" hit home after we'd had those $2 cheeseburgers.

Can Summer Be That Far Off?  --RoadDog

Playing That "Guess the Gas Price" Game

We're getting ready to head over to the Squaw Creek Bar in Ingleside, Illinois, in just a few minutes to participate in their Chili Cookoff as judges, well, I will be one.  Liz doesn't like chili.  And, like I said before, I've never met a chili I didn't like unless the peppers are of the super hot variety.

Then, they have a band starting at five.

On the way over, we'll be guessing what new shock the Big Oil GRBs have in store for us in Fox Lake.  What will the new HIGHER gas price be?

I'm saying we'll have hit the $4 mark.  Well, $3.99.9, but everyone knows that is really $3.99, not $4.  It was $3.90 on Wednesday when I topped off, something I do often when the gas keeps going up.They generally raise it ten to fifteen cents at a time.

The other thing that will happen is that I will again get mad at the GRBs who are wrecking the country to put a little more (well, a lot!) dough in their pockets by taking it out of mine.

I Hate "Dose" Guys!!  --RoadDog

If Visiting the Cape San Blas Lighthouse

The lighthouse and museum in the former keeper's house are open Wednesday to Saturday and it is run by the St. Joseph Historical Society.

The facility was used as a manned LORAN station until 1972and then was automated.  The Coast Guard deactivated it in 1996 and it deteriorated until the historical society took over.

But, Yet There's More.  --RoadDog

The Cape San Blas Lighthouse-- Part 4: The Skeleton

After recovering the pieces of the lighthouse from the wrecked ship, the new 98-foot tall facility was built 1500 feet from that troublesome shore.  However, by 1898, it was just 144 feet from the gulf.  Congress provided $20,000 to move it with a desired site 1.5 miles away, but they couldn't get the desired property so it remained where it was.

Yet another storm damaged the tower and left it standing in the water.  A decision was made to dismantle it and rebuild it on Block Island, but funds for that project ran out.  Then, they decided to move it farther north on the cape before the beach surprisingly started to build up again, so they just left it until a 1916 hurricane destroyed the new beach and they moved it a quarter mile from the shore to its present location.

That should have been the end of my blogging about the Cape San Blas Lighthouse, but no, there's more.

Talk About You Sea Problems.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 22, 2013

Listen Up Music Lovers: 1965 and 1974

Two items of interest to those of us who love oldies.

Right now, you can listen to the "Man of Beach Music," your Fessa John Hook do his Beach Music Yearly Countdown at his site   This week he is doing 1965, a good year for me.  Click below the picture to hear all three countdowns.  For those of you unfamiliar with Beach Music, listen to the current top 40.  Plus, for you blues folk, his Saturday Night Fish Fry is pretty good as well.

These are songs that were popular at various beach joints along the NC, SC and Ga. coast.  Some of the songs and artists you'll recognize, others not.

Some of the groups and performers: Four Tops, Drifters, Temptations, Supremes (Motown has always been big in Beach Music) Maxine Brown, Radiants, Fred Hughes, Embers, Jive Five, Uniques, Billy Stewart and Eddie Holland.

You can listen to it anytime until sometime next week.

Then tomorrow, Wendy Rice goes back to 1974 for her four-hour long Saturday Morning Flashback Show on WXRT in Chicago. .

Give It a Listen.  --RoadDog

The Cape San Blas, Florida, Lighthouse-- Part 3: One Tower Collapsed, Another Sank

During the war, the lighthouse keeper's house and wooden portion of it were burned.  It remained dark until after the war when it returned to operation July 23, 1865 after repairs and a new lens was installed.

By 1869, the beach in front of it had mostly disappeared and a jetty proposed, but inadequately funded and nothing much came of it.  The gulf continued to encroach until the base was in the water.  On July 3, 1882, surf caused the foundation to give way and the tower toppled into the sea.

In 1883, $35,000 was granted for an iron skeleton lighthouse to be fabricated in the North, loaded on a ship and taken to the cape where it would be put together.  Unfortunately, the ship carrying the parts sank off west Florida, but the tower salvaged.  Its 3rd Order Fresnel lens was lit in June 1885.  Between 1883 and 1885, a temporary light was placed on top of a tall pole to warn ships.

Now Working On the Fourth Lighthouse.  --RoadDog

The Cape San Blas, Florida, Lighthouse-- Part 2

When the trade in the bay fell off after the town of St. Joseph (Old Port Joe) was abandoned in 1847, it was decided to build a new one at the cape's elbow.  The first lighthouse was dismantled and the 85-foot tower rebuilt and completed in 1848.  Sadly, it collapsed during a bad gale Aug-23-24, 1851.  This storm also destroyed lighthouses at nearby Cape St. George and Dog Island.

Congress allocated $12,000 to rebuild it, but yellow fever outbreaks delayed its completion until 1855.  Ten months later, a hurricane struck and destroyed it, with one report stating, "a lagoon now occupies the site of the lighthouse."

The need was still there for another lighthouse, so in 1857, Congress allocated $20,000 for a third brick tower and this one was first lit in 1858.  Then came the Civil War and the lighthouse fell into Confederate hands.  The Confederate lighthouse supervisor determined that the isolated light would too easily be captured by patrolling Union gunboats and ordered the lens removed and hidden inland.

Time to maybe Forget About It.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Cape San Blas Lighthouse-- Part 1

From the Lighthouse Friends Site--  Part 1

Not only was there a saltworks on the cape, but also a lighthouse, and not the first one ever at the site, but third one during the Civil War and eventually a fourth one.

There have been four lighthouses on the southern part of the cape and even another one to the north early on.  Cape San Blas is the southernmost point on the Florida Panhandle and resembles an inverted and smaller Cape Cod.

In 1836, there were requests to Congress for not one, but two lighthouse on the cape.  One was to be on the northern point to mark the entrance to St. Joseph Bay.  A second one was to be built at the cape's elbow, the very southern part.  That second one was to mark treacherous shoals that extended several miles south.  But, due to monetary shortfalls, only the St. Joseph Bay Lighthouse was built.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Honey of a Whale

Today, I remembered to check out a small grocery store to see if they had some of that Tupelo Honey that I wrote so much about last week.  They didn't.  Just clover honey.  And since I've gotten a taste for such an item in my head, I will check out other stores.

Then, in yesterday's entry, I wrote that, according to the article, Mr. Carl Fisher was Miami Beach's first whale.  I have to admit, I did not know exactly was meant by the term whale.  So, I looked in some other sites and found out that whale is Las Vegas slang for high roller and big spender.

That is exactly what Carl Fisher was, and not just in Miami Beach, but early highways, car racing and some places in the northeast.

If Ever a Man Better Deserved That Name, I Can't Think of One Better Than Carl Fisher.  --RoadDog

What the Travel Forums Have to Say About Route 66

Well, one of then anyway.  This would be the Thorn Tree Travel Forum.

Someone wrote in asking for information about a planned drive on Route 66 in Illinois.

SOLOHOBO said "Nothing at all to see."  Suggests going to Starved Rock instead. (Obviously never driven it through Illinois.)

JACK IRONS said, "If you like small town USA, following it can be a great way to take it in."  (And, just the stretch from Joliet to Towanda nothing short of fantastic.)

Well, at least one smart one in the Thorn Tree.

Advise to You.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lincoln Highway's Carl Fisher and Miami Beach's First Whale

From Curbed Miami "Lincoln Highway Living Like Carl Fisher, Miami Beach's First Whale."

"Carl Fisher, the real estate speculator and automobile man, could easily claim the title of Miami Beach's first whale."

He started Indy 500, the Lincoln Highway and the Dixie Highway, which he had built to get people to his Miami Beach where he had speculated and was waiting to make big bucks.

He never thought small, but big, bigger and biggest.  He had a pet elephant named Rosie, a chain of luxury hotels across from Miami Beach, golf courses and a main street named Lincoln Road and had the Dixie Highway paved right up to the foot of the Collins Bridge to Miami Beach.

In 1927, he decided to replace his first Miami Beach house on the ocean with an even bigger one.  This new house was called "The Shadows" and had a big observation tower which he used to show people how wonderful his land was., a double grand staircase, 4 car garage, a pool and boathouse.    It was just a mere 21,000 square feet.

At one point, this man had over $100 million, but lost it all in the Great Depression.  He had to sell "The Shadows" and eventually died almost penniless in a small home in Miami Beach.

I was unable to find out if "The Shadows" still stands or what the writer meant  by calling Fisher a whale.

An Interesting person to Say the Least.  --RoadDog

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Kearney (Nebraska) Commercial Club

Back in 1913, the Kearney Commercial Club of Nebraska funded one of the Lincoln Highway's seedling miles, a 15-foot wide slab of concrete, eight inches thick. 

The mile-long tract went west on 24th Street to 30th Avenue.  They said it was broad enough for two loaded hayracks to passe ach other.

Kearney is also known as the Lincoln Highway's Midway City with 1,733 miles each way to San Francisco and New York City.

Of course, at the end of June, two convoys of vintage cars will be descending upon the city for the big 100th Anniversary Lincoln Highway birthday party.  I'm hoping to be there unless gas gets way TOO expensive.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's a Bird, No, A Plane, No, Chicago's Picasso

From the Jan. 15, 2013, Yahoo! Contributors Network "Chicago's Leading Lady, the Picasso Statue in Daley Center" by Patricia Batson.

It's 50-feet high and weighs162 tons, definitely one big lady.  The late Chicago columnist Mike Royko referred to it as that "big, homely metal thing."  Chicagoans have a love-hate relationship with it.  And, it was never officially named, but generally called "The Chicago Picasso" or "Picasso Statue."

I remember when it was unveiled and the look of horror on some peoples' faces and puzzlement on others.  Kind of like how the Deltas reacted when they saw Flounder's face during pledge selection on "Animal House."  I didn't like it at all, but it has kind of grown on me over the years.

It was a gift from Picasso and unveiled in 1967 at 50 West Washington Street.  Ever since, it has been a focal point of rallies and even has a small fountain and eternal flame beside it.  The water in the fountain was dyed red in 2010 to celebrate the Black Hawks winning the Stanley Cup.  Come Halloween, it is usually a bright orange.

The flame honors World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans.

It has been featured in several movies, including: "The Fugitive," "The Darn Knight" and "Blues Brothers."

What is it?  Most think it is a woman.  Others say it's a hound, eagle, aardvark and/or a baboon.

Sometimes it is seen wearing a half Cubs-half Sox hat when the two teams play.

Something to See in Chicago.  --RoadDog

Florida's Forgotten Coast: Cape San Blas/Indian Pass

From 101 Things to Do Along Florida's Forgotten Coast.

When traveling between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola, you can take either US-98, which we did, or scenic route C-30  This will get you along winding and scenic Cape San Blas Road and past Salinas Park with its dune-walkovers.  Also, there is the Cape San Blas Lighthouse.

You can stay at the Salt Works Cabins, eleven cabins that can be rented in two-day increments, weekly or monthly.  The article says it is the site of Confederate saltworks (hence the name of the cabins) destroyed by the Union in 1862).  So thoroughly was it destroyed that there are just a few bricks left of it, but they can be seen on site along with an "old pond from which water for the salt was drawn during the war."  There is a Harper's Weekly drawing of the destruction of it that shows a small pond between the saltworks and Gulf of Mexico.

A full month stay at the Salt Works Cabin can run from $70 to 1300 in off-season.

At the end of the road is the highly-rated St. Joseph Peninsula State Park which has been called the best beach in the United States.

Got Me Wanting to Go Back.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 15, 2013

WeWahitchka, Florida: Sweet As Tupelo Honey

From Wikipedia.

The population in 2000 was 1,722 and it was setting for the movie "Ulee's Gold" but I didn't see it.  Where the bees make the honey on those floating rafts or stilts are called "Bee Boxes."

Prior to the tupelo tree bloom, all earlier honeys are removed to avoid contamination by lesser grades.  Once the bloom is finished, the honey is again removed quickly before other types are added to the mix.

In May, there is a two-day Tupelo Honey Festival.

The name Wewahitchka comes from the Seminole language, meaning water eyes.  This refers to the two almost perfectly round lakes in the city which features a Lake Alice Park.

Dead Lakes offer great fresh water fishing.

More Than I Thought I'd Know, But Definitely On My To Do List Visit next Time We're In the Area.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sad Event Anniversary Today Along the Lincoln Highway in Illinois

It was five years ago today, Feb. 14, 2008, that Liz and I were shocked to hear that there had been mass murders at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, right on the Lincoln Highway (Il-38). 

I'm hoping the site of the killings, where five students died, Cole Hall, will be visited by those Lincoln Highway/old road enthusiasts during the Illinois LH Motor Tour in May and those on their way to the Lincoln Highway Centennial in Kearney, Nebraska, toward the end of June, will make a stop.

Cole Hall has been completely renovated and a fitting memorial made outside the buildings.

Today, there will be a memorial service at the site and wreaths will be laid.

A Sad Time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Living On Tupelo Time

Even more on this honey that I didn't know.

The Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle is the center for US tupelo honey production.  In a good year, producers can take in $1,000,000.

There is a restaurant called the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, NC. 

I'm thinking about checking out some local grocery stores or specialty places to see if they have it as I'm getting a hankering for some you-know-what.

Plus, you can order Tupelo Honey online from Smiley Apiaries.  You can get four 2-ounce Hex Jars for $12 or a better deal, 16-ounce Hex Jar for $8.50 (but I think they are sold out).

I'm Not a Big Honey Fan, But...   --RoadDog

Tupelo Trees

From Wikipedia.

There are around twelve different types of tupelo trees, many in North America, but also in Asia.  They are also known by the names black gum and pepperidge.  All are highly tolerant of wet soils and floods.  Indeed, two of the non-scientific names are water tupelo and swamp tupelo.

The one we're concerned with in Florida along the state's "Forgotten Coast" is the Nyssa ogeche which produces a very light, mild-tasting honey, considered by many as the best honey (and most expensive).  In this region of Florida, beekeepers keep beehives along river swamps on platforms or floats during tupelo bloom time in order to produce certified honey which commands high prices because of the flavor.

Gettin' An Urge for Some Honey, and Not Just ANY Honey.  --RoadDog

Van Morrison Sang About "Tupelo Honey"

From Wikipedia.

When I read about Wewahitchka producing tupelo honey, I'm thinking, "Hey, that is the name of a song I've heard."  It was.

It is also the name of Northern Irishman Van Morrison's fifth album, released in October 1971 that went to #27 on the Billboard charts and had two charted songs.  All songs except one were written in Woodstock, New York.

The title of the album was taken from a varietal honey produced from the honey of the tupelo tree that is found a lot in the southeastern United States.  It is regarded as the best honey anywhere.

The title track has a hymn-like title track and the other big hit was the R&B-flavored "Wild Nights."  Then there was that great John Mellancamp version of it.

In case you've forgotten "Tupelo Honey," you can check it out on You Tube.

Then, there is the chorus repeated many times in the song:

She's as sweet as tupelo honey
She's an angel of the first degree
She's as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee.

I never knew the song's Florida connection until now.

Great Song.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Florida's Forgotten Coast-- Part 4: Wewahitchka and Tupelo Honey

Next, take Highway 71 from Port St. Joe to Wewahitchka.  Commonly referred to as "Wewa" by locals, it is home to Dead Lakes and Tupelo Honey.  Dead Lakes is the place to go for camera buffs for its cypress trees.

Wewa folks have harvested Tupelo Honey from the swamps of the Apalachicola River basin for over a century.  This honey is generally regarded as the best in the world.  It is pure and does not granulate.  A Tupelo Festival is held each spring. 

Sweet As Honey.  --RoadDog

Monday, February 11, 2013

Florida's Forgotten Coast-- Part 3: Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe

Some more on the history of these two towns.

MEXICO BEACH--  The area began to grow in the 1930s after the completion of US-98.  In 1946, several business bought 1,850 acres along the beach for $65,000  with intentions of developing.  The town incorporated in 1966.

PORT ST. JOE-- (Originally called St. Joseph) Sometimes referred to as Florida's Lost City.  At one time the largest town in Florida, but essentially disappeared in the 1840s as a result of several factors, including a severe yellow fever epidemic and a particularly bad hurricane.  Another one was it lost its economic competition with nearby Apalachicola.  The population dropped from a high of 12,000 to 6,000 and by 1842, just 400 remained.

Interesting History.  --RoadDog

Florida's Forgotten Coast-- Part 2


This is the first Forgotten Coast town you reach when driving east from Panama City Beach.  Just 999 folks call it home year-round.  Of course, there are more during the summer.  Sugar-white sand and a "snowbird destination.  Several miles of unspoiled beached run parallel to US-98 and supposedly "no undertow" to worry about.  And, of course, there is fishing.


Downtown has "transformed itself into an 'old time' strolling, browsing and shopping area" with exceptional brickwork.

The Chamber sponsors an annual Scallop and Music Days every August.

St. Joseph (now Port St. Joe) was a boomtown in the 1830s and hosted the Florida Constitutional Convention in 1839.

And, it is great for birding.

Well Worth a Trip to This Area.  --RoadDog

Florida's Forgotten Coast-- Part 1: Our Trip

From the January Coast Line newspaper "101 Things To Do Along Florida's Forgotten Coast" by Chuck Spicer.

We spent two nights on this "Forgotten Coast" and will surely be back in the future for an extended stay.  We went to St. George Island.  Unfortunately, those two days, the weather was pretty bad, but we still enjoyed ourselves.  Before last December, I had never even heard of St. George Island, but had heard of nearby Apalachicola.

I figured to checkout the area since we would be driving north along Florida's west coast from the Tampa area to Panama City Beach.

We had gone to the two towns on the western part of the coast, Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe, looking for an NTN site in each town and had been impressed.

Florida's "Forgotten Coast" is located east of Panama City Beach once you get past Tyndall Air Force Beach and stretches to the crook of Florida where the coastline turns from north-south to east-west.  The beginning of the panhandle.

In the "Forgotten Coast" they like to say it's Florida like Florida used to be.

Ans, Somewhat, It Is.  --RoadDog

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicago's Monadnock Building: World's First Skyscraper

From the Yahoo! News Contributor Network by Michelle Burton.

Most people today walk right by it, but it was once the tallest building in the world.  Nearby Sears Tower (not that other name) became the tallest in 1974 and completely dwarfs the Monadnock Building which stands just 16 stories.

It was built in two phases with the first completed in 1891 and is unique today because of its weight-bearing masonry walls that are six feet thick at the base.  The southern part is built of the more common steel covered with terra cotta..

It was designed by noted Chicago architect John W. Root and stands at 53 W. Jackson Boulevard.  That would be Route 66!!!

The first time I became aware of this building was on a walking tour with Dave Clark who knows probably more than anyone about Chicago architecture and Route 66 in the city.  He offers tours and they are extremely informative if you can keep up with him.  You can contact him at his Windy City Road Warrior site.

Up In The Sky, It's a Monadnock.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 8, 2013

Don't Come to Chicago Looking for Capone's Lexington Hotel, Well, Sorta

From the Nov. 2, 2012, Chicago Tribune "The Lex rocks with style, amenities" by Sharon Stangenes.

Today, you'll find a free pinball machine and a 24-hour fitness center at the Lex, one of the South Loop's newest and most distinctive apartment buildings.  It has 296 units ranging in monthly rent from $1,549 for a 598 sq. ft. one bedroom to a 1552 sq. ft three bedroom penthouse for $3,244.

Only, this is not the original Lexington Hotel, headquarters of Al Capone, which was razed in 1995. The new Lex is on the former's site.

That hotel was built in 1892, to provide a place to stay for those coming to the 1893 World's Fair, the Columbian Exposition.    It was designed by Clinton Warren, who also designed the Congress Hotel.  Al Capone left the Metropole Hotel (one block south) in 1928 and took over the entire fifth floor as his headquarters for his various business interests.  Those entering the lobby would meet armed men.

Of course, in 1986, there had been that much-hyped Geraldo Rivera TV program for a look at Al Capone's vaults which turned up nothing.

Well, sometimes in historical research and search, that happens.

Anyway, It's Gone.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Driving the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts

From the Oct. 4, 2012, New York Times by Mark Vanhoenacker.

The Mohawk Trail straddles the Berkshire Mountains.  "Instead of endless straight miles, think countless, joyful curves, inviting side roads, mountain streams and, in the fall, crimson foliage...For America's highway-hungry soul, the Mohawk Trail is a slow food, low-mileage feast."  Pretty nice words about it.

Construction on it began in 1912 and it opened in 1914, a gravel road just 14 feet across.

It was a top honeymoon destination in the 1920s and today is part of Route 2.  Most people consider teh very best miles of the trail are between North Adams and Greenfield, about 37 miles.

For more information, there is the Mohawk Trail Association at

Looks Like Another Good One to Drive.  --RoadDog

US Highway 20

From the Oct. 15, 2012, Metro West Daily News "Route 20: A road through time" by Chris Bergeron of Milford Daily News.

Thirty-six-year-old Bryan Farr is a self-described "Road Geek."  In 2010, he drove all 3,365 miles of US Highway 20 from Boston's Kenmore Square to Newport, Oregon, and back again, and along the way "found America the way it used to be."

It is America's longest highway and Farr drove it mostly on rural roads.  He recently formed the US Route 20 Association with four other Route 20 enthusiasts and they have a website and Facebook page.

Parts of the road can be traced back to old Indian trails.  During the American Revolution, Henry Knox (the country's first secretary of War) transported cannons to Boston along the road.  In Illinois, it is called the U.S. Grant Highway as it goes through Grant's home town before the war, Galena.

A new book is coming out called "A Journey Through History Across America's Longest Highway" by B.T. Farr.

One of my favorite roads.  I've taken it across much of Illinois and Iowa.

Another Great Road.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Route 66 Project in Tulsa

From the Jan. 27, 2013, Tulsa World.

A $2.9 million Route 66 streetscape and rehabilitation project has begun at 11th and Yale streets in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

There will be a centennial clock and commemorative plaques around the intersection as well as a Route 66 shield on the pavement (always like those).

During this, traffic will be down to one lane in each die\rection until completion in September.

Beep, Beep.  --RoadDog

Atlanta Knows Its Route 66 Heritage: Art Project-- Part 2

The Atlanta Betterment Fund Board of Directors will select the top ten entries and then motorists will vote May 1 to Aug. 31 to select a top five.  You can vote at select Route 66 attractions in town or at the town's website,

The Top Five vote-getters will be displayed permanently at the Route 66 Park..

If you haven't submitted your $25 entry fee and application yet, it is too late as that was up until February 1st.

The top five will also be shown at the International Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois, September 27-29th this year.

It is too bad noted Route 66 artist Bob Waldemire is no longer with us.  I'd sure like to see his entry.  Plus, you have to wonder if the late Ernie Edwards might have pig-hipped his way in as well.

The Prime Pork from the Right Hip, You Know.  --RoadDog

Atlanta Knows Its Route 66 Heritage: Shield Art Project Planned-- Part 1

From the December 3, 2012, Lincoln (Ill) Courier "Atlanta project will redesign Rt. 66 shield" by Gatehouse News Service. 

Midway between Chicago and St. Louis, the little town of Atlanta, Illinois, knows how important its Route 66 heritage is, unlike  the bigger nearby cities of Bloomington-Normal.  Their little downtown is very Route 66-friendly and about to get even more so this summer.

They are running a "Rt. 66 Reinterpreted" art project, modeled on Chicago's famous Cows on Parade one.  Artists get to do their thing on a blank 2 x 2 foot wooden cut-out shield painted white.  The only thing they have to do is incorporate the text "Illinois, U.S. 66" somewhere on it.

Contestants have to be age 16 or older and they will take up to fifty entries.

The entries will be displayed May 1 to August 31st.

I'm Thinking.  Nope.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ten of America's Most Haunted Houses-- Part 3

8.  BORDEN HOUSE--  240 2nd Street, Fall River, Massachusetts.  Hey, Lizzie lived here.  What did you expect?

9. MYRTLES PLANTATION--  Saint Francisville, Louisiana.  Chloe, a slave woman had a relationship with her master and then killed his wife.

10.  CHAMBERS MANSION-- 2220 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, California.  Two nieces inherited one and was strangely cut in half. 

Boo!!  --Running Scared Dog.

Ten of America's Most Haunted Houses-- Part 2

4.  WHALEY HOUSE--  San Diego--  on the site where hangings were held.

5.  LaLAURIE HOUSE--  1140 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.  Noted for extreme cruelty to the couple's slaves.

6.  FRANKLIN CASTLE--  4308 Franklin Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio.  Creepy exterior and the reported site of many vicious murders.

7.  McPIKE MANSION--  Alton, Illinois (not too far off Route 66)  Alton claims to be the most haunted area in America.  This is one of them.

Like, Boo!!!  --ScaredyDog

Ten of America's Most Haunted Homes-- Part 1

From the October 16, 2012, Yahoo! Homes/Zillow by Erica Riggs.

A bit too late for Halloween, but might still scare you.

Creaking floors, inexplicable cold drafts and eerie sounds.  If that's your thing, here are ten places to check out.

1.  WINCHESTER HOUSE--  San Jose, California.  Something about the widow of William Winchester of rifle fame.

2.  GARDETTE-LaPRETE HOUSE--  716 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.  Site of one of the grisliest murders in the city's history.

3.  HAMPTON LILLIBRIDGE--  507 East St. Julian Street, Savannah, Georgia. It was moved to its current site, but in doing so, a crypt was discovered.

I'm Won't be Staying In Any of These.  --RoadDog (ScaredyDog)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Music for the Road: Kenny Chesney

I also brought along a three-pack of Kenny Chesney CDs.  Evidently these were his first three albums dating from 1994 and each of the next two years.  Of the three, his best by far was the first, In My Wildest Dreams  I was impressed that he cowrote on a lot of the songs.  This one will always remind me of driving around Miami Beach and to the Orange Bowl for the NIU-FSU game Jan. 1st.

Most every song was a good one.  I especially liked "High and Dry," "Whatever It Takes" and "Somebody's Callin'."  The title track, "In My Wildest Dreams" was written by one of my favorites, Aaron Tippin.

He cowrote a lot of the second CD, All I Need to Know.  It was not as good as his first album, the old sophomore jinx.  I did like "Fall in Love" and "The Bigger the Fool."

I noticed that he did not write any of the songs on the third one, Me and You.  I liked "Back Where I Come From" by Mac McAnally, who is closely associated with Jimmy Buffett.  Also, "Turn for the Worse" is great country with lyrics like "Left was home, right was wrong."

Catching Up With the Ches.  --RoadDog

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tin Can Tourists Trekking to Kearney

From the October 16, 2012, Kearney (Neb) by Mike Konz.

Don't be surprised to see vintage camper trailers and motor coaches around Kearney, Nebraska toward the end of June in 2013.  They're on their way to celebrate the Lincoln Highway's 100th anniversary June 30-July 1.

There will also be a Packard owners group and a Scandinavian car club.

Te Tin Can Tourist group has some 1000 members and so far, ten have signed up to bring their vehicle, but around 30 are expected,  They will be setting up "camp" at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds.  They will leave Haysville, Ohio, June 22, 2013, and make their way west.

The American Bus Association has designated the Lincoln Highway Centennial celebration as one of the Top 100 events of 2013.

It's Gonna Be a Hot Time in the Old Town.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 1, 2013

Funny Signs From Around the World-- Part 2

Safety Ladder: Use At Your Own Risk
Air Will Be Taken Out of Tires, License Plates Removed from Unauthorized Parkers
Sudden Gunfire
Caution Pedestrians Slippery When Wet


Funny Signs from Around the World-- Part 1

From Yahoo! Travel, Travel + Leisure, by Joshua Pramis.

Ever drive down a road and see a sign that made you chuckle.  Here are some:

Big Tree
Fresh Picked Candy Corn
The Optimist Club of Cape Fear
Eat Here Or We'll Both Starve
Caution: Free Range Children Playing
Going Out of Business (underneath it a sign saying "Now Hiring."

Got Some More.  --RoadDog