Thursday, December 31, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 13: "There's a Tear In My Beer"

Leaving Mt. Airy, WBRF Classic Country in Galax, Virginia, was playing one of my favorite songs, the Hank Williams and Hank Williams, Jr. song "There's a Tear in My Beer."  It doesn't get much better country than this song.

Passed over the Eng and Chang Bridge, named after the famous pre-Civil War Siamese twins featured by P.T. Barnum, who retired and raised families in Mt. Airy and whose sons fought for the Confederacy.

Shortly after getting onto I-77, a big red pickup truck passed me like I was standing still.  I had a big smile on my face a short while later to see him pulled over by a state trooper.

Kind of strange, but there were nothing but trucks going up the long grade into Virginia.  Usually there are at least some cars among them.

Listening to the Jason Blevins show on WBRF.  Stopped for gas at Wytheville and it had gone up 3 cents to $1.89 since I last went through there eight days earlier.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 12: Going Home, But My Snappy Lunch Fix

I left Goldsboro, N.C.,  on December 3 with the odometer on the '11 Malibu reading 40,640.

I was hoping the miss that Raleigh hassle I encountered on my way in.  A ways out of Raleigh, while searching on the radio, i came across a really good oldies station at 850 AM/104.7 FM WPTK simulcasting  They call themselves Just Right Radio and played the occasional Christmas song.  I'll keep it in mind for my next trip.

I did see a backup heading east on I-40 between Exits 298-303 because of construction.  Fortunately, westward moved along well.

No problems through the Raleigh-Durham strangler and easy cruise.  Much less traffic than the day before Thanksgiving on I-40.  Picked up  Classic Country 98.1 out of Galax, Virginia in Greensboro and listened to it until in West Virginia.

Stopped at good old Snappy Lunch in Mt. Airy, N.C., for their stupendous pork chop sandwich.  Cost $4.20 and a meal in itself.  Probably not very healthy for you, but you'll die with a smile on your face.  A definite for-sure stop for me.  The N.C. "Our State" magazine claims this to be "The State Sandwich."

On the way out of town, i passed the Andy Griffith Playhouse (in an old school) and the statue of Andy and Opie heading down to the fishin' hole both had Christmas stockings on their heads.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- November 2015: Shea's Mahan Gas Station Stays in Springfield

NOVEMBER 26--  There is a Cozy Dog commercial you need to check out at Route 66

NOVEMBER  27--  Edwardsville, Illinois, admits they are missing Route 66 opportunities.  But, if Bloomington-Normal can figure that out, anything is possible.

NOVEMBER 29--  Local businessman buys Shea's Mahan gas Station in Springfield, Illinois.  Jeff Fulgenzi, owner of Fulgenzi's Pizza & Pasta bought it and will move it to a site east of his restaurant at 1168 Sangamon Avenue.  The station dates back to the 1920s and was originally in Middletown, Illinois.

Looks like I will have somewhere to check out the next time I'm in town.  They are across from the Illinois State Fairgrounds and boast the World's Greatest Hamburger.


Monday, December 28, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 11: Just Hanging Around

November 26-December 3, 2015

The drive to Goldsboro, N.C. from Illinois took me 1030.2 miles.

The rest of the time there was spent with family.  My sister Julie had her 59th birthday (NOT HER 60th as she was quick to point out) on Thanksgiving day.  It was nice to get together with my nephew Alex and family from South Carolina and nephew Andy and family from Tennessee.  My brother Bob lives next door to Mom.

Our family is certainly spread all over with members also living in Georgia and Illinois.

I also was able to do some shopping in Goldsboro, including at two stores which are no longer very close to us, Target and K-Mart.  I always enjoy going to Berekely Mall and seeing the bear orchestra and singers doing their Christmas thing.  But, I sure miss the old Record Rack in downtown  where I used to spend a lot of time and money on Beach Music.

I also helped put up Mom's Christmas decorations on the front porch and put up Christmas flowes on family graves at Willowdale Cemetery.

And, of course, there was the buffet at McCall's with that great Eastern Carolina 'cue and Calabash shrimp.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Death of Towanda, Illinois' Bonnie Lou (Mary Kath): One of First Female Rock and Rollers

Earlier this month, Mary Kath, 91, died on December 8th.

She was born in Towanda, Illinois, (on Route 66 north of Bloomington-Normal)on October 27, 1924.  She had one hit song on the pop charts with "Daddy-O" (#14-1955) and several country hits.

She was one of the first female rock and rollers and one of the the first country stars to cross over to rock.  In addition, she was on radio in Cincinnati and Kansas City for many years.

I wrote about her in greater detail in my Down Da Road I Go blog today.

I'd never heard of her before

Interurban Railways in 1915

From the Sept. 15, 2015 DeKalb County/Sycamore, Illinois, MidWeek "Looking Back."

September 1915.

"Although the word Woodstock is a part of the name of that railroad, Woodstock-Sycamore Interurban Railway, it does not extend to Woodstock (in McHenry County) according to a statement of T.E. Ryan, the manager, who recently interviewed the citizens of Woodstock, the line is not likely to extend to that city--at least for some time, and instead effort will be made to extend it to Harvard."

Evidently the people of Woodstock didn't want it.  Interurbans were another way to get around back then, especially while automobiles were in their infancy and roads generally atrocious between towns.

Harvard is another town in McHenry County.


Friday, December 25, 2015

America's Ten Best Christmas Light Shows: Three in Tennessee

From America's Best & Top ten site.

And, they have information and pictures.

1.  Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland in West Knoxville and Bristol, Tennessee.  Waterparks.

2.  Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri  (Nov.1-Dec. 20)

3.  Oglebay Festival of Lights in Wheeling, West Virginia  (Nov. 4-Jan. 5)

4.  Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

5.  Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas  (Dec. 14-23)

6.  Magical Night of Lights in Lake Lanier, Georgia (Nov. 22-Dec.30)

7.  Holiday festival of Lights in Charleston, South Carolina  (Nov. 14-Jan. 14)

8.  Enchanted Garden of Lights in Chattanooga, Tennessee  (Nov. 21-Jan. 3)

9.  Louisville MEGA Cavern in Louisville, Kentucky.

10.  Southern Lights in Lexington, Kentucky  (Nov. 22-Dec. 30)


Thursday, December 24, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 10: Fun and Games in Raleigh

November 25, 2015

As I said before, traffic on I-40 heading east from Winston-Salem, N.C., was heavy, but moving along.  I even got past the usual traffic jam by the RDU Airport and into  the Raleigh area.

Maybe this highway travel the day before Thanksgiving isn't as bad as I thought.

But then I started seeing flashing signs saying to expect delays from Exits 290 to 309.  I saw that several times and sure enough when I got to Exit 290, traffic stopped.  We'd stop, go a few feet and stop again.  This was due to road construction and other highways dropping their traffic onto I-40.

I'm figuring it took almost an hour and a half to go eight or so miles.

I decided to get off at the Clayton Exit and finally was able to get rolling along for several miles until we hit the first traffic light and then there had to be at least a mile long back up.  But once through there, I was able to catch almost every one of their many stoplights on green so was able to get to US-70 and take it to Goldsboro.

Next year, I am going to avoid traveling the day before Thanksgiving.

Lesson learned.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

San Francisco's Cliff House in 1955

From the January 18, 2014, Shorpy "Cliff House: 1955.

In san Francisco.  There have been five incarnations in its history.

1855:  Built from lumber salvaged from shipwrecks.

1863:  Second Cliff House

1895:  The new one.  Survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

1907:  Burned, Rebuilt 1909.

2003:  restored to its 1909 appearance

It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


A New Highway System in 1925

From the Washington Post editorial dated April 25, 1925.

"The conference representing the highway commissioners of several States, who met in this city during the present week under the auspices of the Joint Board of State and Federal Highways, reached a wise decision when they agreed to create a group of interstate roads to be known as United States Highways...."

And, So it began.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 9: "Ain't Even There Yet..." Winston-Salem and I-40


As I mentioned,  as I approached Winston-Salem on US-52, traffic steadily increased until the time I could see the downtown buildings, we were creeping along.  I generally like to get off on US-421 and head eastward toward Greensboro and then get on I-40.

I got off on 421 and it was at a complete standstill.  Move forward a few feet and then wait before repeating the process.  And, I could see 421  was backed up way off in the distance so decided to get back on US-52 when I got up to the entrance ramp, but had to go back north for a ways before I got off and back on heading south to I-40.

At this point, I could only imagine how bad traffic on the always busy I-40 would be.  It is always busy, but I was beginning to see why they say not to travel on the interstates the day before Thanksgiving.  I hadn't thought of that.

Surprisingly, however, I-40 was busy, but traffic went right along mostly over the speed limit.  And, I kept right up with them out of fear of getting run over otherwise.


10 Safest and Most Peaceful Places in Wisconsin

From the August 5, 2015, Only In Your State "Here Are the 10 Safest and Most peaceful Places to Live in Wisconsin" by Laura Meli.

Taking a look north of the border from here.  And, she had reasons.

1.  Whitefish Bay
2.  Oconomowoc
3.  Port Washington
4.  Grafton
5.  Cedarburg

6.  Muskego
7.  Waunakee
8.  Mukwonago
9.  Lake Mills
10.  Menominee Falls

Here ye, here Ye, Calling All Cheeseheads!  --RoadDog

Monday, December 21, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- November 2015: World's Largest Catsup Bottle

NOVEMBER 20--  The World's Largest Catsup bottle has been sold in Colinsville, Illinois.  The 170-foot-tall water tower was part of the former Brooks Catsup factory and built in 1949.  It holds 100,000 gallons of water.  Brooks moved to Indiana.  It was listed on the NRHP in 2007.

NOVEMBER 20--  Jensen's Point in pacific, Missouri, was spruced up by volunteers.  Looking forward to its opening.  It sure looks neat from the ground.

NOVEMBER 21--  Part of Route 66 reopened in the Mojave Desert.  Twenty-one miles had been closed since flash flooding in September 2014.

Or Do You Say Ketchup?  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66-- November 2015: Bloomington, Illinois and Springfield, Missouri

NOVEMBER 11--  Online auction for Shea's Museum items in Springfield, Illinois, began today.  A sad day for Route 66.

NOVEMBER 12--  Bloomington, Illinois, received $250,000 spread over five years   "Officials in the Bloomington-Normal area acknowledged they were slow to embrace Route 66 tourism."  An understatement, but at least now they are doing things. for a Route 66 Museum

NOVEMBER 16--  Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois, is still on the market with asking price of $1.2 million, now dropped to $925,000.  It has been for sale since 2014 and the place won't close in the meantime.  Always try to eat in the main room.

NOVEMBER 18--  Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri, celebrates its 90th year with a New Year's Eve concert by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 8: Traffic, Traffic and More Traffic

November 25, 2015, Wednesday.

Traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike got heavier the further south I went, but at least there wasn't a backup at the last two toll areas ($2 each).  Upon entering Virginia, I made my usual stop at the Virginia Welcome Center for my Virginia peanut fix.  They have small samples of the best peanuts I've ever tasted.  The people there said the company does sell the peanuts at a couple places along I-77, but they don't at the welcome center.  They really should sell the peanuts at the center.

Traffic got heavier through the Virginia stretch.  Stopped at Wytheville, always the cheapest gas on the trip to North Carolina.  However, this time it was $1.86 and I had bought gas in Indiana for $1.66 yesterday.  But, of course, this was before the gouge this morning.  Still, I'm not complaining.  Gas below $2 is sure nice these days.

Of course, I tuned in to WBRF, Classic Country at 98.1 FM in Galax, Virginia, as soon as I got into range.  They play oldies country music and is a favorite station of mine.  I kept it on from about twenty miles in West Virginia to about Greensboro, N.C..

I usually stop for a bite to eat in Mt. Airy, N.C., but not this time.  I was now off I-77 and on US-52 heading to Winston-Salem.  Passed by the unique Pilot Mountain  (fictional town of Mount Pilot in the Andy Griffith Show).  I did notice that traffic continued to get heavier the closer I got to Winston-Salem (home of Wake Forest University).


Friday, December 18, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 7: Don't Travel the Day Before Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015, Wednesday

Decided to take my chances and drive straight through Columbus on I-70, despite it being morning rush hour.  Good decision, after the bad one on gas last night, as I went right through with no backups.  Got off at Exit 110 east of the city and took the road to US-33, about several miles.

US-33 was easy driving and got gas at Rockbridge, Ohio,  as planned and it was $1.85.  Drove past Athens, Ohio, the home of Ohio University and the team that trounced us so badly last night.  I was pleasant about it, though.

Picked up a station playing Country Legends at 101.5 FM somewhere between Ohio and West Virginia. Enjoyed it.  Oldies country, but not as old as the ones WBRF plays in Galax, Virginia.  They call themselves the Tri-State Station Big Buck Country.

Easy cruise through Charleston, West Virginia and onto the turnpike. I listened to Charleston's 107.3 FM, Tailgate Radio, a unique station that plays music that would be perfect for a football tailgate party, all upbeat songs from a variety of music types and a few oldies sprinkled in.

 I started seeing flashing signs for having my toll ready at the first tollbooth area.  I had never seen that before and soon found out.  It was a Chicago-style back up, stretching at least a quarter mile, but I lucked out into a lane that was moving along fast.  This was my first indication that perhaps the day before Thanksgiving was not a great day to be out on the interstates.

Gas along the West Virginia Turnpike was $2.23, the lowest I've ever seen it.  It was still higher than anywhere else on the trip.

The other two tollbooth areas ($2 each) were no problem, although I was sure expecting it by now.


N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 6: "Shoulda Filled Up Last Night"

November 24, 2015, Tuesday.

 Gas most of the way today had been in the $1.66 to $1.90 range, so much better than years past.  I could get used to living with it.  Along the way, somewhere in Ohio or Indiana, the odometer on the '11 Malibu passed 40,000, almost all highway miles, mostly to North Carolina and back.

I should mention that last night, I was thinking of filling the tank which was getting low.  Gas on my side of I-70 was $1.66.  Driving to the other side, I saw that it was $1.90.  For some reason it didn't dawn on me that there might be a gas gouge on.  Usually I figure that out right away, but not this time.  "I'll just fill up tomorrow in the daylight," I thought to myself.

November 25, 2015, Wednesday

Bright and early November 25th, I hit the road and now gas on my side of I-70 was also $1.90.  I coulda, shoulda I thought, so drove on to Dogwood Crossing in Rockridge, Ohio, between Logan and Lancaster,  on US-33, where I often fill up.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Iowa's Prairie School Trove-- Part 3: Seven Homes

While Wright was working on the hotel and bank project, a local physician asked him to design a home.  The Stockman House, completed in 1908, is Iowa's only Wright-designed Prairie Style home and open to the public on tours.  The house is Wright's take on middle class housing in "A Fireproof House for $5,000."

It is now on the National register of Historic Places, but it too was almost lost as plans were to tear it down for a church parking lot.  The city acquired it and moved it to its present location.

Another seven homes were designed by three other Wright protegees.  All are part of the Rock Crest-Rock Glen National Historic District.  All homes are private but you can do a walking tour of their exteriors.


Iowa's Prairie School Trove-- Part 2: Historic Park Inn

Mason City, Iowa, got its Frank Lloyd Wright connection when its leaders decided they wanted a hotel.  Attorney James Markley's daughters attended boarding school in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which had been designed by Wright.  he was so impressed that he recommended him for the project.

The combination City National Bank, Park Inn Hotel and law offices, done in Wright's classic Prairie School style opened in 1910.  It is the only remaining of the six hotels he designed and was the prototype of one of his most famous works, the long-gone Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

However, the bank fell on hard times in the 1920s, went out of business and became retail space.  The hotel struggled along until 1972 when it was divided into apartments.  It fell into such disrepair that it was put on a list of top ten most endangered properties in Iowa.

The nonprofit Wright on the Park Inc. took ownership and, after an $18.5 million renovation,reopened the whole thing in 2011.  There were detractors, but its reopening has led to a renaissance of downtown Mason City.

Hotel e\reservations are at a high level and you can take a walking tour of it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Iowa's Prairie School Trove-- Part 1: A Frank Lloyd Wright Connection in Mason City

From the March 29, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Katherine Rodeghier.

Before he was banished, Frank Lloyd Wright left his mark on Mason City.

Frank Lloyd Wright was asked never to return to Mason City, Iowa.  He had displeased the peole of this city by abandoning his wife and six children in a scandal around 1900.

But, before he left, he designed a hotel and a modest Prairie School home.  Now, Mason City has the only Wright-designed hotel in the world which is also quite a tourist attraction

Mason City is also the "River City" in "The Music Man", written by native Meredith Wilson.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 5: Huber Heights, Ohio

November 24, 2015, Tuesday.

Checked into the Days Inn in Huber heights and got the room for $52 including tax.  A good price these days for a clean and comfortable room.

I had seen a sign for a Skyline Chili as I got off I-70 and found the place in a shopping center right across from the hotel.  I got my Skyline Cincinnati chili fix.

I then went to the BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) and had to ask for the University of Ohio-Northern Illinois game to be put on.  I was a bit surprised as Huber heights is in Ohio.  But, Ohio is mostly an Ohio State (or perhaps University of Cincinnati) kind of a state.  I had had the same thing a couple years ago when NIU played Bowling Green (also an Ohio school) in the MAC Championship game.

Played some NTN while watching the game, but had to leave by half time as Northern was really playing horribly.  Back to the room and found out later that Ohio had beaten Northern.  had we won, we would have had a spot to play Bowling Green in the MAC Championship game.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Five Offbeat Realty Reality Checks-- Part 2: Floating Homes, Micro Apartments and American Versailles


Scattered around the Western U.S. in places like Seattle and Portland, Oregon are communities where the homes float on the water.  And these aren't houseboats which can move under their own power.  They are built to be moored and often can plug into the grid for electricity.

Home prices range from a few hundred thousand to millions.

Seattle has had floating homes at least since the 1930s.  At one point, there were an estimated several thousand floating homes there, but now that number is down to about 500.


Tiny apartments are not strange in big urban areas  where space is at a premium, but now in NYC there is a new trend to micro apartments.  In 2013, the city approved "My Micro NY," a 55-unit building with studios ranging from 250-square feet to the more roomy 370 square feet.

The building is under construction so no word on prices.


The french palace at Versailles is noted for its opulence, but Florida billionaire David Siegel and his wife Jackie will complete construction in 2015 pn the largest home in America, a 90,000-square-foot mega mansion which will be modeled on the French palace.

It has been under construction for 11 years, has 30 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms

Oh Well.  --RoadDog

Five Offbeat Realty Reality Checks-- Part 1: Millionaire Mouse and the $1 Million Parking Space

From the Jan. 4, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Michael Estrin.


  Mansions in the Golden Oak gated community in Lake Vista, Florida, start at $1.8 million and sell for as much as $7 million.  But, for that, you get perks such as door-to-door transportation to Disney World, extended park hours and, of course, park passes.

An even bigger feature is "Hidden Mickey" where you can incorporate Mickey into your house design and even shape your backyard pool into Mickey.


  In New York, even tiny studio apartments can rent for thousands of dollars and one bedroom apartments can easily go for seven figures.  Now, you can get a million dollar parking space.

They are about 200 square feet and comes with added features of some storage and an electric charging stations.and are part of a new 10-unit luxury development in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood.  These condos range from $8.7 million to $10.45 million.

The average parking spot in a New York garage is about $430 a month.

Mickey My Parking Spot.  --RoadDog


Saturday, December 12, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 4: To Huber Heights, Ohio

I found a good station playing Blues Music by Champaign, WFT, a public radio station.

Stopped in Crawfordsville (as usual) for gas at the Pilot station.  It was the cheapest I got on the whole trip, $1.66 ($1.65.9).  Less and less snow until there was none at all the other side of Indianapolis.  No problem driving through Indy, but a whole lot of trucks east of it on I-70

Stopped at the Ohio Welcome Center east of Richmond, to pock up hotel books to use those good coupons.

Clear sailing until I got near Englewood, Ohio and encountered a huge traffic jam.  Got off at Exit 29, to get my usual Skyline Chili fix, but it was wall-to-wall so got back on I-70.

Picked up my first Christmas Music stations out of Dayton, 106.5 FM which bills itself as Dayton's Christmas Station.  I must admit that I do like my Christmas music this time of the year.  I always look for these stations.

I got off at Exit 36 where I got a room at the Days Inn and paid just $52, including tax.  Good price these days and a nice room.


Sweet St. Louis Beckoning-- Part 5: Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate

Dan Abel worked with master candy-makers across the United States before opening his first Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate store in St. Louis in 1981.  Now, it is under second-generation owners and has two stores in St. Louis and seven more elsewhere in Missouri and Illinois.  It also franchises its concept.

Each store has its own kitchen and make their own chocolate with out artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or hydrogenated  oils.

Web site at  6740 Chippewa St.  (very near Ted Drewes).


Sweet St. Louis is Beckoning-- Part 4: Kakao Chocolate

"There is no Lucille Ball machines here," says Brian Pelletier, owner of Kakao Chocolate.  That was one really funny episode where Lucy and Ethel try to keep up with that chocolate candy conveyor belt.  Choclate-makers here take their time and turn out delicious chocolate by hand.  And, they don't add artificial flavors, preservatives, coloring or sweeteners.

Pelletier came into the chocolate-making business in a round-about way.  After spending twenty years in corporate America he had had enough.  A friend had some chocolate-making equipment she wanted to get rid of, so he took it in 2008.  Now, he has a store in St. Louis and two more inthe suburbs.  He says Sea Salt Caramels are his best-sellers

Kakao Chocolate at kakaochocolate.cpm with main store at 2301 S. Jefferson Ave. and also in Maplewood and Clayton.


Friday, December 11, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving-- Part 3: Tuning Into the Radio and Some Dangerous Christmas Presents


North of Morris, Illinois, I encountered some really heavy fog, so bad visibility was down to a matter of 10-20 feet.  It felt like I was in a strange planet, made even worse by the road construction.  At one point, I came across a red light that I didn't see until I was going through the intersection.  Sure glad there wasn't another car crossing at the time.

I was listening to 87.7 MeTV Radio at first.  No Ten at Ten on WDRV as they were doing  their semi-annual Classic Rock from A to Z.  Listened to Classic Rock WJEZ 98.9 FM from Morris to Dwight.  In between times, I was listening to a stowaway CD, Blake Shelton's Greatest Hits.  It had been in the CD player when I left.

The farther south I went, the less snow I encountered on the sides of the road and out in the fields.  The past Friday and into Saturday morning we had received the most November snow I had ever seen up by us along the Wisconsin line, 14.5 inches.  By the time I got to Gibson City it was largely gone.  They really lucked out.

At Gibson City, I passed their annual huge Christmas tree sitting out in the middle of their main street.  They have big blocks of concrete painted like presents to protect it from errant vehicles, so my recommendation is not to run into it.

A bit north of Gibson City, I changed over from CD to WGCY, 106.3, which plays Beautiful Music.  Had you told me I would ever enjoy listening to a Beautiful Music station when I was in my twenties and thirties I'd have told you that you were completely nuts.

But I Sure Enjoy Listening to This Station.  --RoadDog

Sweet St. Louis Is Beckoning-- Part 3: Ted Drewes, of Course

Ted Drewes Sr, opened his first store in Florida in 1929 and a year later came to St. Louis, selling his cold treats through the Depression.  he has had many offers to franchise his stands, but he and now his son, Ted Jr. refuse to in order to insure the quality of their product.

Ted Drewes didn't invent frozen custard; it began as a carnival treat at New York's Coney Island nearly 100 years ago.  Unlike ice cream, it contains eggs and has less air so it stays smooth and doesn't crystallize.  But, Ted Drewes uses a particular kind of honey, which they go through great lengths to keep under wraps.  They even go so far as to have their supplier remove the labels before shipping so that others can't find out what it is.

The main stand on Chippewa Street on Route 66 closes January 1 and reopens on Valentine's Day.  The stand sells balsam fir trees at Christmas time.  A second stand on Grand Boulevard is open summers only.  At 6726 Chippewa Street.


Sweet St. Louis is Beckoning-- Part 2: Frozen Custard (And We All Know Where That Is)

Hotel concierges in St. Louis often get the question, "Where is Ted Drewes?"  The frozen custard stand on historic Route 66 draws long lines of customers ordering cold treats and especially their signature concretes, so named for their thickness.  They like to demonstrate it by holding  a tub of the stuff upside down.  Not a drop plops out.  Chocolate is the most popular flavor, but there are many, many others.

Don't worry about those long lines as they move fast.  At peak times Ted Drewes had 37 employees working away  They often sell as many as 1,400 items in a night.  You can even have it shipped to you on dry ice.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sweet St. Louis Is Beckoning-- Part 1 Gooey Butter Cake

From the Jan. 4, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Katherine Rodeghier.

St. Louis is more than beer and baseball.  You know, Anheuser-Busch and Cardinals.

The city has a sugary side as well.


St. Louis's signature dessert that was created by accident.  One version of the story is that in the early 1940s, baker Johnny Hoffman set out to make a cake with a firm consistency like a pound cake, but also had other ingredients.  he was experimenting and came across it.

The dessert usually has a yellow cake base topped with a layer made of eggs, cream cheese and flavorings which is then dusted with confectioners sugar.  Gooeys are usually about an inch high and cut into squares and served at room temperature or warm

Ann & Allen Baking Company makes 76 varieties of the cake and sells them online  They also serve a selection of them at their Park Avenue Coffee shops in various locations around St. Louis.  Top sellers are Mom's Traditional, triple chocolate, turtle, red velvet and pumpkin.

I'd never heard of these before.  Maybe next time through town.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 2: First Day: Illinois Highway 47


Took my usual route to North Carolina, starting with Illinois Highway 47 in Woodstock and taking it all the way to near its southern terminus in Mahomet, Illinois.  I was surprised to make it through Huntley's Main Street Strangler, that horrible wait forever stoplight.

But, more than made up for that at a huge traffic jam and long wait south of Huntley at the 47-72 intersection south of Stark's Corner.

I was shocked to see gas at the Elburn BP station, usually the most expensive along Il-47, at $1,87.  Then, I had a long wait for a freight train in downtown Elburn, something that happens often.  Those trains that go through DeKalb, also go through here.

I am glad to report that the road construction headache through Yorkville is now completed and it's a fine and easy drive through there now.


Detroit's Majestic Building

From Buildings of

It was located at 1011 Woodward Avenue and designed by famous architect Daniel H. Burnham.  The Beaux Arts style building opened in 1896 and helped usher in Detroit's Skyscraper Age as the second one built.  The first one was 1890's Hammond Building.

It remained the most imposing structure until Burnham's 18-story Ford Building in 1909.

The Majestic Building stood 222-feet and was 14 stories high, the city's tallest until the Ford Building.  It was entirely faced with terra cotta and considered fireproof.

It was destroyed in 1962.  The 1001 Woodward Building, built in 1965, is ar its site now.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 1

I got back home in Spring Grove this past Friday after driving 2,073 miles from November 24 to December 4.


11-24  $1.66 in Crawfodsville, Indiana
11-25  $85 in Rockridge, Ohio
11-25  $1.86 in Wytheville, Virginia (the first time ever it wasn't the cheapest on the trip)
12-2  Goldsbori, N.C.  $$1.89
12-3  Wytheville, Va. $1.89
12-3  Rockridge, Ohio  $1.95
12-4  Mahomet, Illinois  $1.90
12-4  Dwight, Illinois  $1.85

As you can see, gas prices jumped considerably the second day of the trip, but I am not complaining.  This is the cheapest trip for gas in a long time.


News From Along Route 66-- November 2015

Again, all of these articles are taken from THE source for any and everything Route 66, Route 66 News.  See that site for pictures and more information.  I just write about the items I find of special interest.

NOVEMBER  8--  How to Make Your Community a Route 66 Destination Hot Spot was a talk given by Emily Priddy who pointed out the towns of Pontiac and Atlanta in Illinois, and Shamrock in Texas as ones that have done just that.

I agree with her.  Why not make some money off of being located on America's Road.  I doubt that any own has done more than the two Illinois ones (and now even Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, seem to have awakened from their long sleep in regards to Route 66).

NOVEMBER 10--  12 useful tips for traveling Route 66.  these were of interest to me:

**  Don't rush it.  Give it as much time as possible.  If necessary, even break it up into chunks and travel it a little bit at a time.  Those who do it in a matter of 4-5 days are missing a lot.

**  Try not to get advance reservations at hotels.  This is especially important because you never know what you will find that might detain you longer than you had planned.

**  Avoid chains of all sorts.  Check out the mom and pop motels and restaurants.

**  Keep a journal and take lots of pictures.  I highly recommend Dave Wickline's "Images of 66, Vol. 1" which has the pictures and information about each one.


News From Along Route 66-- November 2015: Miniatures

NOVEMBER 6--  There are more Route 66 miniatures from Willem Bor.

They include:

Mr. D'z Restaurant in Kingman, Az.
Texaco station in Glenrio, Texas
TeePee Curios in Tucumcari, N.N.

He hopes to sell his miniatures only to a Route 66 museum and would charge just the cost of materials and postage.

Other miniatures he has made:

Lucille's Service Station in Hydro, Oklahoma
Rich & Creamy in Joliet, Ill.

The Mill in Lincoln, Ill.
Cool Springs Camp in Oatman, Az.
Dairy King in Commerce, Ok.
Super Service Station in Alanreed, Texas
Diner in Twin Arrows near Winona, Az.
Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman, Az.


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Attack That Launched the U.S. Into World War II-- Part 2: Michigan Men at Pearl Harbor

ANDREW H. PALOVICH--  Norton Shores, died Jan. 14, 2007.

GRANT PLAYTER--  Hesperia, US Army Air Corps, stationed at Wheeler Field, died April 1979.

JOHN R. REBERG--  Muskegon, US Army Air Corps, Private 1st Class, died Oct. 22, 1998.

DADE SARTWELL--   Hesperia, US Army Air Corps, died Jan. 9, 1972.

The Attack That Launched the U.S. Into World War II-- Part 1: Michigan Men at Pearl Harbor

Every Dec. 7th, I devote all seven of my blogs to commemorating the events of that day.  See My Blog List.

From the Dec. 3, 2012 M Live site.

These men from Western Michigan were at Pearl Harbor that fateful day.

RAYMOND E. LUNDE--  Luddington, died 1987.

JOHN B. MINES--  Whitehall, died 1993.

ERNEST B. MORAN--  Luddington, US Navy, died Feb. 23, 1979.

WILLIAM A. OSBORNE--  Egelston Township, US Army, died June 18, 1997.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- November 2015: Route 66 in Illinois

Continued from previous post.

**  They suggest definitely trying the spam sandwich at the Palms Grill Cafe in Atlanta.  (So do Monty Python)

**  The Mill restaurant building in Lincoln contains a sign from the long-gone Pig-Hip restaurant in Broadwell.

**  The Mill will likely open in May 2016.

**  The Williamsville Historical Box car museum may be moving to an actual building.  I am hoping they keep the box car.

**  An early version of the Cozy Dog drive-In in Springfield was a Dairy Queen franchise.


News From Along Route 66-- November 2015: Pops and Illinois

NOVEMBER 4--  The new Pops store opened in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.  It is a 5,000 square foot restaurant/store north of OKC at 6447 Avondale Drive.  They sell 600 varieties of cold soda pop.  The other one is in Acadia.

The first one opened after we were last in Oklahoma and we look for ward to visiting either one in the coming years.

NOVEMBER 4--  There is now a Route 66 bicycle tourism packet available.  This is an excellent way to use those sections of the road which are no longer in use.

NOVEMBER 5--  There was a Route 66 in Illinois presentation at the recent meeting in Edwardsville, Illinois by Joe Sonderman and Cheryl Jett.  the two of them co-wrote a book.

Some of the things they had to say:

**  A 1942 explosion at the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant near Elwood killed 48 people.  Most of it is now part of the Midewin Tall Grass prairie and the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

**  Many people confuse the Joliet Correctional Center on Joliet with Statesville Prison.  The one in Joliet was used in the opening part of the movie "Blues Brothers."

**Sonderman originally thought Route 66 in Illinois was a boring stretch, but no longer.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Friday, December 4, 2015

Congratulations to the IHSA Illinois Winners in the 2015 Playoffs

These teams won the football championship games in their respective divisions last weekend in DeKalb at Huskie Stadium:

8A--  Loyola Academy--  Wilmette

7A--  Glenbard West--  Glen Ellyn

6A--  Montini--  Lombard

5A--  Nazareth Academy--  LaGrange

4A--  Phillips--  Chicago

3A--  McNamara--  Kankakee

2A--  Tri-Valley--  Downs

1A--  Arcola

Well Done!  --RoadDog

US-12 Manages to Pull Out a Tie With US-14 in the Illinois State Football Playoffs

I had mentioned back on November 21st that the three US-14 (Northwest Highway) teams had advanced to the Championship games in their respective divisions: Palatine in 8A, Cary-Grove in 7A and Crystal Lake South in 6A.  Palatine was also a US-12 (Rand Road) team as well since both highways go through that town.

However, all three teams lost their semi final games, making the outcome a tie between the tow roads since they all lost in the same round.

I was especially hoping for Palatine to go to the championship game and win it as I graduated from there.

Maybe next year.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Lincoln Highway-- Part 3: 1915 Motor Tour

The convoy went through Gettysburg, Greensburg, Lima, Ligonier, Clinton, Kearney, Salt Lake City and onto Sacramento as well as the cities and hamlets in between.  They filmed the whole way.

Arrival at its destination, San Francisco took place on August 25, and a couple cars were driven into the Pacific surf on Ocean Beach to mark the end of it.  (Photos of the beginning and end accompany the article.)  The hard drive had taken 102 days and generated around 10,000 feet of film.

What made the Lincoln Highway special was the extraordinary promotional flair of its backers.  The film was just one more aspect of that.

San Francisco was hosting a world's fair: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition that year.  The LHA film was shown from early September to the end of the fair on December 4.  They then took it on the road in reverse, playing to big crowds in the cities they had passed through going westward.


The Lincoln Highway-- Part 2: "Highway More in Aspiration Than In Reality"

The Lincoln Highway was formerly opened in a series of events along its path on October 31, 1913.  " was a highway more in aspiration than in reality."  It was essentially still the same in two years later when this convoy left New York.

Henry C. Ostermann was at the head of the convoy in a new Stutz touring car.  This man was into cross-country travel by auto and this was at least his sixth time to do so.  He brought along a motion picture camera.

In addition, he was vice president and field secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA), the organization that raised funds for the road's construction, chose the route and promoted its use.

Osterman and the LHA team were filming the trip from start to end as a publicity tool.  Advance notice was given to towns along the way which supplied money for the trip and crowds.  A big one was at the Lincoln memorial at Gettysburg National Cemetery and parades like the big one in South Bend, Indiana.


Monday, November 30, 2015

The Road Trip That Made the Modern American Highway Possible-- Part 1: The Lincoln Highway

From the Nov. 25, 2015, State by Brock Winstead.

On May 15, 1915, a small convoy of automobiles touched their rear tires into the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island, they then drove all the way to San Francisco.

Travel by the nation's roughly two million cars cross-country back then was along the Lincoln Highway and this was definitely not a highway as we envision them today.  It was made up of red, white and blue signs with a large "L."

In places it was little more than a dirt wagon track.  There were some bridges, but other times it meant fording streams and creeks.

The length of their trip cross country was 3,384 miles according to the 1915 official Lincoln Highway guide.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Around the U.S.-- Part 2 Oregon, West Virginia and Pennsylvania

OREGON--  Astoria:  Local officials are working to save a historic bigleaf maple tree.  The Daily Astorian reported that the 150-year-old tree developed a crack near the center of its dual trunk.

PENNSYLVANIA--  Philadelphia:  A car in northeast Philadelphia was hit when a weather instrument fell from the sky, prompting the bomb squad to respond.

WEST VIRGINIA--  Clarksburg:  The Division of Natural Resources estimates that more than 330,000 hunters will spend a total of $230 million in the state during the two-week buck firearms season, which began Monday.  The Exponent Telegram reported that motels throughout the north-central region of the state are already booked.

So, if you're driving through the state, be alert and don't try to stay in the north-central area.

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling!!  --RoadDog

Friday, November 27, 2015

Around the U.S.-- Part 1: Kentucky and Illinois

From the November 25, 2015, USA Today "State-By-State.

ILLINOIS--  Chicago:  A report by the American Highway Users Alliance ranked the Kennedy Expressway as the nation's No. 1 bottleneck, the Chicago Tribune reported.

I don't know, I'd like to nominate I-40 around the Raleigh-Durham area, especially after driving through it two days ago.

KENTUCKY--  Frankfort:  Cumberland, Benham and Lynch in Harlan County  were named the state's 13th Taril Town.  The Trail Town program is aimed at connecting communities to trail systems and developing them as tourist destinations.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

N.C. T-Giving 2015-- Part 1: Tunes

Getting ready to leave for North Carolina in a few minutes.  Besides tuning into local stations on my way(98.9 WJEZ in Pontiac, Illinois, 107.3 Charleston, West Virginia Tailgate Radio, and 98.1 FM in Galax, Va. Classic Country) I also have several CDs.

This trip's batch:

UK Jive--  Kinks

Buck Owens Greatest Hots

Life on a Rock--  Kenny Chesney

ACM Awards Zineoak  2 discs: Super Stars and Rising Stars

Sounds of the Seventies--  3 discs, 55 songs, many I don't know.  All from 1977.

Cruisin' and Groovin'.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 23, 2015

Descendants Recreate Anita King's 1915 Lincoln Highway Trek-- Part 3: Kissell Kars

Anita King drove a Kissel Kar -cylinder, big touring model convertible on her trip.  These cars were popular in those days, driven by such famous folk as Amelia Earhart, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Fatty Arbuckle and Al Jolson.  About 35,000 were made between 1906 and 1931 at Kissel Car Company in Hartford, Wisconsin.  Only about 150 survive today, including the 25 in the Wisconsin Auto Museum in Hartford.

King used publicity from this trip to start a shelter for runaway girls in Hollywood.

A photo accompanied the article of Anita King in her Kissel Kar.  On the side of it is a banner reading: "Anita King The Paramount Girl with Messages from the Mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco to the Mayor of New York."


Descendants Recreate Actress King's 1915 Lincoln Highway Trek-- Part 2: Mud Everywhere

Anita King had raced cars before her movie career so she was no newcomer to automobiles.

On her trek, she got lost for three days in the Nevada desert between Wadsworth and Fallon, a distance of just 31 miles.  Rains would turn the Lincoln Highway into quagmires.  One day she spent shoveling mud from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m..  That day she would dig her car out and then get stuck another fifty feet away.

She started her trip on September 1, averaging 30 miles per hour.  She arrived at New York City's Knickerbocker Hotel on October 19 where a party was held in her honor.

The nieces expect their trip to take seven days.

Obviously, the Lincoln Highway Is In Much Better Shape These Days.  --RoadDog

Descendants Recreate Actress King's 1915 Lincoln Highway Trek-- Part 1: Silent Film Star

From the September 6, 2015, TribLive by Craig Smith.

Silent film star Anita King in 1915 became the first woman to attempt to drive the 3,400 mile transcontinental trip alone.  She took along with her a 6-shooter revolver, aviator's hat and goggles.  It took her 49 days in her Kissel Kar.

Now, her great-grand nieces Lucianne Boardman, Aleta Wilke and Heather Pancratz will retrace her San Francisco-New York City route.  On Saturday they drove from Valporaiso, Indiana, to Letrobe where they will spend the night.

Anita King was born Anna Kappen in Michigan City, Indiana, in 1884 and was orphaned at age 16.  This left her and her eight siblings to fare for themselves.  They relocated to Chicago and she found work on the stage under the name Anita King.  Actress Lillian Russell encouraged her to try motion pictures so she went to Hollywood and landed roles in at least 19 silent films, some directed by Cecil B. DeMille.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

News from Along Route 66: October 2015

From the Route 66 news site.

OCTOBER 23--  More Route 66 adventures in a 1959 Cadillac.  These movies were taken 1994-1995 at Hackberry General Store in Arizona and feature good old Bob Waldmire.

OCTOBER 24--  Bison reintroduced at Midewin Prairie near Joliet, Illinois.  Bringing it all back.

OCTOBER 29--  A look inside Bob Waldmire's bus in Pontiac, Illinois.  We never saw the bus, but sure saw that old VW van of his often.

 Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is 50 years old.  Always impressive and we hope to go up in it eventually but you have to get tickets way ahead of time.

OCTOBER 31--  A group wants to remove Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas.  They call themselves Erase Marsh Madness because Marsh, the creator, has been sued for multiple counts of sexual abuse of underage boys.  Regardless, I would hate to gave the site removed.  Perhaps take his name off it.

The new 5,000 square-foot Pops store has opened at 6447 Avondale in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, just north of Oklahoma City.  It features 600 different varieties of pop, or do you call it soft drinks.  The first one is in Acadia.  Just another place to see on the road.


News From Along Route 66-- October 2015

OCTOBER 16--  The historic Belvidere Motel complex is up for sale in Litchfield, Illinois.  It consists of a house,, cafe, gas station and motel.  Cost is $250,000 if you want to buy it.  On NRHP and the single family residence is described as well-maintained.

Built in 1935 by European immigrants Albina and Vincenzo Cerolla.  In the 1940s and 1950s it was a popular stop.  The cafe was the Cheers of its time.  The restaurant remained open until several years ago when it moved to another location.

It is a neat looking place which I always drive by when I'm in Litchfield.  I did get the chance to eat at the restaurant before it closed.

OCTOBER 17--  The Gasconade River bridge has been placed on the Missouri improvement list after being closed.  By Hazelgreen, Missouri.  And, it is a bridge that looks like abridge.

OCTOBER 20--  Lebanon, Missouri, will hold the groundbreaking Thursday for its Route 66 park.  I'm looking forward to seeing the Nelson Dream Fountain recreation.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

All US-12, US-14 Teams Advance to Championship Games

Today's semi final results are in and all three teams are still in it and will play for the championship next weekend.

Remaining for US-12 (Rand Road) is Palatine 8-A

Remaining for US-14 (Northwest Highway) is Palatine 8-A, Cary Grove (Cary) 7-A and Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake) 6-A

Palatine has both highways going through it..

It could still end up in a tie.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 7: A Blowout

Still halftime and the band did a medley of Wizard of Oz tunes.  Then they had a representative of the Wounded Warriors come out and speak.  Everyone in the stands was on their feet, cheering and clapping for him and his wife.

The 2005 Northwestern National Champion LaCrosse team was honored.

We were quite interested in watching that floating camera moving around the field.  It was supported by hydraulic lifts at the corners of the field.  Lind of like one of those steel jaw drop games you see.

I always enjoy looking at the huge Wildcats name by the Northwestern locker room.  The letters are spelled out with a green hedge, but are surrounded by white, red and purple mums.

There was a big group of Iowa fans sitting in front of us and they had a ball in the second half.  It was a massacre.  Northwestern never scored again and the Hawkeyes ran the score up to 40-10 and walked away with their sixth consecutive victory.  Northwestern had its first loss.  One Wildcat fan sitting by us said he hoped they weren't going to have a repeat of two years ago when they started off 5-0 and ended up 5-7.

The stands started emptying of Northwestern fans part way through the fourth.  The Iowa fans were having a great time.  Whenever they scored, they all stood and all these little black and gold flutterers would be thrown up into the air.  That was quite impressive.

Congratulations Iowa.  --RoadDog

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Iowa-Northwestern Football Game-- Part 6: The 1995 Season

Iowa held sway in the early going, building up a 16-0 lead.  And Northwestern was undefeated going into the game?  One of those victories had been in the first game against nationally ranked Stanford.  However, with seven minutes left, the Wildcats woke up and at half the score was 16-10.

We spent the half time thinking Northwestern would make it a game.

At half time they introduced the 1995 Northwestern football team, which had been picked for tenth in the Big Ten, last place at the time)  However, the defeated #9 Notre Dame 17-15 and then, even more remarkable, defeated long-time nemesis #7 Michigan 19-13.  I remember this last game well as Liz and I were in Milwaukee for a friend's wedding shower and the game was just something I had to watch and was soon joined by most of the guys in attendance.

The Wildcats went to the Rose Bowl for the first time in many, many, many years.  unfortunately, it resulted in a Northwestern loss, but the key thing was that they had made it.

Their coach back then was Gary Barnett who ushered in Northwestern becoming a winner.  All the team members who had made it to this game were introduced.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 5: Homecoming

This was Northwestern's Homecoming game.  The Class of 38 was honored and two of its members in attendance were 100.  I imagine the combined alumni classes turned over a check for $63 million.  It must be nice to have so many rich alumni.  NIU could only dream about this kind of a gift.  (Last year the classes gave $100 million!)

Lots of purple (Northwestern's color) in the stadium but I would say just about as much black and yellow (Iowa's colors).

There was a race on the field between three Buffalo Wild Wing sauces: sweet, blazing and medium, which everyone enjoyed.  Medium won.

With all those Iowa teams around us, it would have been nice had the Northwestern players had a better game, but that didn't much happen.  At one point the Wildcats had 11 straight  incompletions.

In the first half, Iowa score the first three times with a field goal and two touchdowns (the PAT for one was wide) and led 16-0 and we had some very loud Iowa Hawkeye fans around us.In the second, Northwestern woke up and score a TD and field goal and were down 16-10 at half.  Then, we got to yell a bit and were looking forward to the second half and a Wildcat victory, perhaps.


Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 4: Backing the Team

One thing I enjoyed is that they have somehow miked the Northwestern Band so it is easy to hear now that they are on our side of the field down at the south end.  Bob's season tickets are towards the north end.  They used to be across the field from us and easy to hear.  It is always better to hear a band than canned music.

Like college and high school students in most games I've been to lately,students remain standing the whole game, something I don't like.  Hey, I paid for a seat and would like to use it.

As i said, there were lots of Iowa Hawkeye fans in the stadium and Bob's tickets are near the visitors section.  We were fairly well surrounded, especially right in front of us.  The Iowa fans always stand on third down, but remain seated fairly well after that.

Third and Ten!!  --RoadDog

Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 3: Northwestern's Losing Streak

Yesterday, I mentioned Northern Illinois breaking Northwestern's losing streak in the past.  This game took place in 1982.  Liz and I were at the game and stuck around and greatly enjoyed the stand-off between the police and Northwestern students over the goal post at the south end of the field after the game.

Of course, the students stormed the field art the final whistle and decided that the way to celebrate would be to take down the goal post.  Around ten police officers tried to stop them and at first there was a stand-off, but gradually the students inched closer (and there were thousands of them).  You could see the cops looking at each other and finally must have decided it was in their best interest to leave and they withdrew.

The students attacked the goal post and initially had difficulty in bringing it down.  Some climbed up onto the poles and it began to shake back and forth and finally came down.  The students then paraded it around the field and then it left the stadium for parts unknown.

We Northern fans were standing and applauding them.  If anyone knows about losing better than us back then, I'd sure like to know who it was.

Actually, Northwestern had set the NCAA FBS record for a losing streak the game before us, having lost 34 games in a row from 1979 to 1982.  That record still stands.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Northwestern-Iowa Game-- Part 2: Long Time Between Championships

October 17, 2015.

We had our first frost of the season this morning and it was more than a bit chilly on the way to Arlington Hts., but the sun came out and we ended up with a perfect day for football.

I was wearing the only Northwestern sweatshirt I have, which is one from the 1995 Rose Bowl that they played in  Of course, that game is always played on New Year's Day so it was the 1995 Northwestern football team and they were celebrating the 20th anniversary of it.  So, i was right with it.  Looking across the field from our seats, i saw that Northwestern had won Big Ten (11, 12,13,14) Championships in '03, '26, '30, 31, and '36, and then not until that glorious '95.  Then again in '96 and 2000.  So, there was a rather long run of non championships from 1936 to 1995.

I pull for Northwestern against any and all teams except Northern Illinois.  We were at the game last year in Ryan Field (the old Dyche Stadium) when NIU finally beat Northwestern for the first time ever and that was sure a good game.  NIU actually broke Northwestern's long losing streak back some time ago.


Northwestern-Iowa Game, Oct. 17, 2015-- Part 1: Iowa Fans All Over the Place

Drove to Bob's house in Arlington, Heights, Illinois, and Marilyn treated me to a great breakfast, then Bob drove to Evanston.  We normally park a few blocks west of Green Bay Road and walk over to Ryan Field for the game. This time we had to park about five blocks farther away, so there had to be quite a crowd for the game, perhaps a sellout.

I always enjoy walking by these old houses with their fantastic landscaping, especially when the trees are beginning to turn.  We started seeing lots and lots of black and gold colors everywhere and it soon became clear that the Iowa fans were here in force.

It was a big game as both Northwestern and Iowa were undefeated.  And, they were everywhere and more than a little boisterous.  We encountered much longer lines to get in the stadium as well, but fortunately they moved along quickly.

Before the game, a fan who had had season tickets for Northwestern football games for 78 years was honored.  Now there is a fan, one who had to go through all these many really bad years of Wildcat football.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Northwest Highway Continues Lead Over Rand Road

There are still three teams representing US-14 (Northwest Highway) remaining going into the semifinals this weekend.

8A--  Palatine

7A--  Cary Grove (Cary)

6A--  Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake)

US-12 (Rand Road) still has one team, 8A Palatine which is also in Route 14.

The best US-12 can hope for is is a tie.


Lincoln Highway Wins Showdown

In Round 4, all five remaining Route 66 teams lost.

Two teams remain for Lincoln Highway:  Waubonsie (Aurora) and Lincoln Way West (New Lennox)

We'll see how far they can go in the semifinals this coming weekend.

Congratulations to Lincoln Highway for winning the 2015 IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- October 2015: Route 66 News Turns Ten!!

These reports are usually a month old for the news.

OCTOBER 9--  The absolute best and most complete source of news you can possibly find about out historic road, Route 66 News, turned ten years old.  This is the source of the stories in this blog.  Congratulations Ron Warnick on a job well done.

OCTOBER 10--  A hearing signals that the Mojave Trails Monument is likely.  It is Route 66 in the Mojave desert.

OCTOBER 11--  Grand opening for the Cucamonga Service Station is set for Wednesday  The striking yellow former gas station is reopening as a museum.  Just one more really neat old gas station to see on the road.  Cucamonga, California.

OCTOBER 12--  A series of auctions have been going on at Bill Shea's former gas station/museum in Springfield, Illinois.  Bill died at age 91 in 2013.  A 1952 Airstream Cruiser trailer went for $6,000.  I sure hate to have all of the collection auctioned off like this..


The Towers of Topsail-- Part 3: Seven of the Eight Towers Remain

The missiles tested at Topsail island ranged from 3 to 13 feet in length and were constructed and test on site along the 26-mile stretch of the island.

The Assembly Building, now maintained by the Historical Society of Topsail, is home to the Missiles and More Museum, which had numerous artifacts from the missile testing.  The control tower which is shorter from the other towers, sits in a direct line from the Assembly Building and the launch pad (by the Jolly Roger Motel).  the bombproof observation room now serves at the motel's basement.

The towers were centered on "concrete slabs supported on creosoted piles driven to a minimum depth of 20 feet and 15 tons of bearing.

Seven of the original eight towers still remain, although a few have been merged into beachfront homes and are hard to recognize.  Three of the "Tower" residences are private, but Tower 5 is a short-term rental offered through Ward Realty.  So, you have the opportunity to spend a night in a piece of history.

The Missiles and More Museum and Tower 2, considered to be the most original of the emaining towers are both on the National register of Historic Places.


Friday, November 13, 2015

The Towers of Topsail-- Part 2: Operation Bumblebee, U.S. Missile Program 1946-1948

The Navy referred to Topsail Island as a "sand spit."  But on this area, some 200 missiles were crafted and tested from 1946-1948.  There were no inhabitants on the island then other than military personnel.  It was strictly off limits and top secret to the general public.

Finally in March 1947, the Navy announced what it was doing on Topsail Island, but failed to mention that the tests had already been ongoing for months.

Eight observation towers located along the island were used for tracking the missiles.  They housed advanced photography and radar.

Operation Bumblebee included the development and testing of the Navy's first supersonic guided missiles and the ramjet engine, the basis of today's jet aircraft and warheads, including the Terrier, tartar and Talos missile systems.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Towers of Topsail-- Part 1: U.S. Army's Camp Davis During World War II

From the 2015-2016 Coaster Magazine.

These mysterious towers are located along Topsail Island, North Carolina and are a great conversation piece for first-time visitors.  Even long-time residents often are not sure.  Perhaps they were World War II U-boat spotting towers (as many Allied merchant ships were sunk off the North Carolina Coast in the Battle of the Atlantic).  maybe they were used to spot whales?

Topsail island was separate from the mainland until the 1940s, only reachable by the few locals who knew how to make their way through the marsh at low tide.

These towers played a huge role in the history of the United States military.

It was the U.S. Army that first came to the Topsail area.  In the space of six months during World War II, the government constructed Camp Davis nearby on the mainland at Holly Ridge.  Troops training and based there could conduct artillery training in the remote area.

At the end of the war, much of the base was dismantled and the troops transferred.

It did not take long for the U.S. Navy to take note of the island's possibility and they put it to use.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In Honor of the Veterans: Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Ill.-- Part 2

"The Big red One", so-called for the red numeral that has adorned its shoulder patch since 1918-- was the first permanent division in the regular army and often the first unit to deploy and engage the enemy.

A highlight of the museum is the interactive Omaha Beach display which has a "you are there" quality that combines the element of surprise with the telling of this important World War II battle, leaving viewers hushed and moved.  Omaha Beach was part of D-Day.

Outside the museum is the Tank Park, the area's most complete collection of tanks and artillery pieces dating back to World War I to desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Visitors can touch, climb on and learn about the eleven tanks on display.  Tank Park also includes an armored personnel carrier and four artillery pieces.

The park is open year round from 9 a.m. to sundown.  Museum hours currently are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday until Dec. 31.  It is closed all of January.  Admission to the museum is free, but parking is $5.

Thanks Veterans.  --RoadDog

In Honor of the Veterans: First Division Museum in Wheaton, Illinois-- Part 1

From the November 6, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Of Thee We Sing."

The 500-acre Cantigny Park in Wheaton was the estate of Robert R. McCormick, Chicago Tribune publisher and a World War I veteran of the First Division-- the "Big Red One"-- which today is the First Division of the U.S. Army.

He named his estate for Cantigny, France, the village that was the site of the Battle of Cantigny, where McCormick saw action as a soldier.

In addition to the Colonel's home, formal gardens and a golf course, Cantigny is home to the First Division Museum.  Inside its 10,000-square-foot-space are interactive and experimental exhibits that follow the exploits of his army division from World War I through to more recent conflicts.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 8: A "Groundhog Day" Connection

October 25, 2015

Walked around Woodstock Square on an absolutely gorgeous day along with a lot of others.  Stopped at the Thoughtfulness Shoppe, a place I should know better than to enter.  Way too many things  to trap me into buying in there, but in I go and out I come with something.  We went downstairs and enjoyed looking at the miniature Halloween and Christmas villages.

Next, we walked over to the Benton Street Tap and watched  some football games.  The Bears had a bye week today, so no DaBears for us.  This is a small bar featuring high tin ceilings.  Even better, from noon to 3 p.m., they had Happy Hour $1 bottles, something we could definitely live with.

Afterwards, walked back to the square (a block away) and sat out on a bench near the Union Civil War monument featured in the snowball fight in the "Groundhog Day" movie.  We were also near the gazebo shown several times, including the outside dance scene.

Last stop in town was at Wayne's Lanes on Il-120.  This is where the bowling scenes were filmed and Bill Murray and the two others were outside of it when they began their chase by the cops.  This is where Bill asked one, "Are you going to throw up here or in the car?"  The guy replied, "I think...both."


News From Along the Lincoln Highway: Abraham Lincoln Memroial on I-80 to be Restored

From the Sept. 8, 2015, Caspar (Wyoming) Star Tribune by Lillian Schrock.

The Abraham Lincoln memorial is east of Laramie and has been taken to Lander for restoration.  Harsh Wyoming weather has left oxidation on the bronze statue's causing it to turn black in spots.

The thirty foot granite pedestal will remain.

The pedestal and statue were created by Robert Russin in the 1950s and his ashes are interred at its base.

This was originally on top of Sherman Summit, the highest point on the Lincoln Highway at 8,878 feet but moved to its current site after I-80 was built.

This is the second time that the 12 1/2 foot bust of Lincoln has been taken down.  The cost of restoration will be $30,000 and will be paid by state funds.


Monday, November 9, 2015

IHSA Northwest Highway (US-14)-Rand Road (US-12) Standings

After the second round, there are three US-14 teams remaining versus one for US-12.  Since that one is Palatine which is on both roads, the worst US-14, Northwest Highway can do is tie.


8A  Palatine

7A  Cary Grove (Cary)

6A  Crytsal Lake


 8A  Palatine

Going to the 3rd Round.  --RoadDog

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Standings After Second Round

The results for last weekend are in.  Lincoln Highway continues to lead Route 66, although that lead has decreased from 10-6 to 6-4.

This contest is last man standing.  The road with the most teams still playing art the end wins.


8A  Waubonsie (Aurora)

7A  Batavia

6A  DeKalb
Lincoln Way North (Frankfort)

5A  Joliet Catholic
Lincoln Way West  (Frankfort)


7A  Normal Community

6A  Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)

5A  Joliet Catholic

3A  Central Catholic (Bloomington)

Getting Closer.  --RoadDog

Saturday, November 7, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 7: Woodstock, Illinois


Sadly, no Sycamore Pumpkin Festival parade for us.  We'll have to get there earlier next year.

But, now we had the opportunity to visit that wonderful old Woodstock Square dating from the 1850s. And, after how crummy yesterday's weather was, we had a beautiful day to for it and no Bear game as it is a bye week.

Woodstock square is one of my favorite places anywhere.  Liz's mother lived on it for awhile in an assisted living unit and I often told her she needed to stick around until I needed it.  You can get along there even without a car.  There are numerous restaurants, a movie theater, an opera house for concerts and plays, an old courthouse and lots of bars by it.  Not to mention the original brick streets and that wonderful old square featuring a spring house, gazebo and Union Civil War monument.

There is always something going on in that square, not to mention how pretty it is, especially when the trees are blooming or changing colors.

I like to just go sit on a bench and just people watch.


News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- Preserving Omaha's Brick Road-- Part 3

Grand Island and Kearney were the first Nebraska cities to complete "seedling miles" of concrete to demonstrate the advantages of paved roads.

Bricks were still a popular paving selection.  They were easy to build, reasonably smooth and very durable.

The stretch of brick road by Omaha was part of the 3,500 miles of the Lincoln Highway connecting New York City and San Francisco.  When these three miles opened, bands payed and a 1,000 railroad tie bonfire was donated by the Union Pacific Railroad.

Last week, the Douglas County Board decided to close the stretch of brick because of wear and tear over the years.  It still carries a large amount of traffic, including people traveling the Lincoln Highway.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway--Preserving Omaha's Brick Road-- Part 2

Continued from October 24th.

The brick stretch of road by Omaha was laid just 49 years after the Union Pacific Railroad pounded the Golden Spike at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869 for the first transcontinental railroad.

Lincoln Highway advocate and automobile executive Carl Fisher, who made his money with auto headlamps, and Henry B. Joy, founder of the Packard Automobile Company spearheaded the move to have the first transcontinental road, the Lincoln Highway, built.

They didn't ask the government for money or engineering help.  Instead, they marketed it.  The Lincoln Highway was built by whatever means were available--  volunteers and donations.  Originally, about 90% of it was little more than graded pasture.  Only a few sections had gravel, asphalt, concrete.

And, of course, there were brick sections, including the one by Omaha.


News From Along Route 66-- October 2015: New Mexico's Singing Route 66 Road

OCTOBER 4--  Carol Krohn, wife of Windy City Road warrior David Clark, died at age 56.  David is noted for his walking tour of Chicago's Route 66 and architecture.  He is also author of the book "Exploring Route 66 in Chicagoland.  I have been on several walking tours with him.  He and his wife met due to Route 66.

OCTOBER 4--  Former president of Frankoma Pottery in Oklahoma Joniese Frank died at age 77.  She was the daughter of the founder and president and CEO for nearly 26 years.  We were lucky enough to get to visit the place while it was still open.

OCTOBER 5--  Flash flood washes out part of Route 66 near Ludlow, California.  Always strange driving this desert stretch.

OCTOBER 6--  New Mexico has announced that they will not be maintaining Route 66's Singing Road.  I haven't been on it, but would like to.  Hopefully it will still be there in 2017 when we next get out that way.  Liz and I are hoping to cruise Route 66 when we are 66.


66 Things to See on Illinois' Route 66-- Part 13: Bill Shea's

64.  JUNGLE JIM'S CAFE,  Springfield.  I haven't yet eaten here, but passed it many times.  It is on my list of things to do.

65.  RED CARPET CORRIDOR,  Joliet to Towanda (Towanda is north of Bloomington-Normal).   A group of towns get together to offer a great weekend experience in May of each year.

66.  BILL SHEA'S, Springfield.  Now closed and in the process of being auctioned off.  This is too bad because it was one great place with lots of auto and Route 66 related stuff.  Of course, best of all, Bill Sillinoihea was often there and he alone was worth the visit.  The stories he could tell. I remember sitting with him and Tom Teague on our first Route 66 experience in 2002.

Lots to See in Illinois.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 6: Sliders, But No Parade

Picked up Liz at the Baymont Hotel.  As crummy as yesterday was, today was the opposite.  Sunny with warming temperatures, a perfect day for a parade and Sycamore's (the city directly north of DeKalb and county seat) has one of the largest ones in the state, the annual Pumpkin Festival parade, capping the week-long party.

We had hoped to see it from Fat Boys on Main Street, but found out last night that it was closed.

Drove around campus and showed Liz where her old dorm, Douglas Hall, used to be and were surprised to see the Village Commons Bookstore open so went in and looked around at souvenirs but didn't buy anything.

Stopped at White Castle on Sycamore Road for our breakfast of sliders, as usual.  Can't watch a parade on an empty stomach you know.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, you really need to get into Sycamore a couple hours earlier than we did if you want to find a place to park.  We got there about thirty minutes before the parade started and it was wait in huge backups of vehicles the whole way.

When we somehow got east of town we decided just to leave and go to Woodstock, Illinois, and look around the famous Woodstock square.  Drove Il-64 east to Il.-47 and then north.  Unfortunately that meant driving through the Huntley Backup.  There are a lot off stoplights and we sure caught most of them red, including the Main Street Strangler.


Bridge and Culvert Work in DeKalb County 100 Years Ago

From the Nov. 3, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."


Work on 100 bridges and culverts in DeKalb County is being completed for the year.  "All of these structures are of uniform construction, of reinforced concrete, with wings, and with widths and spans to conform to local considerations.  None of them are of less than 20 feet roadway.

"Plans were drawn by Superintendent of Highways Miller, and are according to the most approved methods of construction.

"These bridges and culverts will endure, with practically no repairs, at least through this generation, and probably much longer."

Wonder if any still remain in their 1915 shape?

Building 'Em to Last.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 5: The Day After, Looking and Buying.


Woke up and had the very so-so continental breakfast at the Baymont and then proceeded to ride around campus.  I drove by Lincoln Hall and saw where Liz's old dorm, Douglas Hall, once stood until this year.  It has now been torn down for a planned straight through drive through campus from east to west end.  I miss Douglas, and Liz especially so, but I'd say the new "Drive" is going to look good when completed.

Then drove out by Greek Row north of campus.  Very dead out there at 8:30 a.m. for some reason.  Went by the old Delta Dig house on Greenbrier, now a home for students.

Then drove out to Sycamore Road and went to Lowe's and Wal-Mart.  I bought NIU souvenirs at Wal-Mart which has a nice collection of stuff, though prices aren't always marked.

Went to the Target across the street.  Now that they closed the store in McHenry, Illinois, I rarely get to go to one of these.  Bought several CDs there.  I was sad to see that the Barnes & Nobles book store by it is now closed.  Even though it was a Big Box store, I liked it.

On the way back to the Batmont, I drove through the old neighborhood east of campus, where the first Delta Sig house was located on Augusta.  We always thought we'd like to live in this area if we could find teaching jobs in DeKalb or the area.  The trees get a golden hue in the fall and are quite impressive.

Then, it was a ride by Altgeld Hall, "The Castle on the Hill" and the Lagoon, my two favorite places on campus.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: International Route 66 Mother Road Festival

SEPTEMBER 30TH--  The 14th annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Illinois, reports attendance up substantially.  A record 2,135 cars registered for the Friday night cruise to downtown (always impressive), and there were 1,100 cars registered for judging.

Always a Big Deal and Lots of Fun.  --RoadDog

News from Along Route 66: September 2015: Story Behind the Kingman Water Tanks

SEPTEMBER 27--  The story behind the water tank towers in Kingman, Arizona with their striking Route 66 shields and Welcome to Kingman signs had an article in the Kingman Daily Miner.  A photograph accompanied it.

** Used for railroad locomotives and more than 100 years old.

**  Once had the sign "1,000 Miles of Shoreline" referring to Mohave County's proximity to the Colorado River.

**  Slated to be torn down in 1986 as they were rusty and leaking.

**  Kingman resident Betty McBreyer led citizen effort to save them.

**  Collected more than 1,000 signatures to preserve them.  Taped them into a long roll and unrolled it across the city council's chambers to the mayor's desk.

Sure Glad They Saved Them.  Impressive.  --RoadDog

66 Things to See on Illinois' Route 66-- Part 12: Henry's Rabbits

Continued from October 20, 2015.

58.  HENRY'S RABBIT RANCH,  Staunton.  Rich Henry's place.  First time we went there, we got lost and stopped for information.  We were told we couldn't miss it, "just look for the camels."  Of course, I was a bit confused about this as I couldn't think of any reason we'd find camels in Central Illinois.  When we got there, we saw the two camels on two of the old Campbell's Express trucks.

59.  BLUE CARPET CORRIDOR, from Chatham (south of Springfield) to Collinsville.  This stretch is getting in on Route 66 heritage and tourism with their version of the Red Carpet Corridor from Joliet south to Towanda.

60.  WATT BROTHERS PHARMACY,  Springfield.

61.  BEER NUGGETS,  Bloomington.  Got to love those Beer Nuggets.  Good with, well, beer.

62.  BUNYON'S HOT DOG MAN, Atlanta. One of those "Muffler Men" holding a giant hot dog.  Atlanta has done a whole lot with its Route 66 Heritage.


Monday, November 2, 2015

IHSA US-14 vs. US-12 Standings Going Into Second Round

Going into the first round, US-14 teams held a 7-4 advantage.  Their advantage is now 5-2.


8A--  Palatine

7A--  Cary Grove (Cary)

6A--  Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake)

5A--  Marian Central  (Woodstock)


8A--  Palatine

4A--  Richmond-Burton (Richmond)

Good Luck in Round 2.  --RoadDog

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Standings After First Round

The first Round of games for the 2015 IHSA Football Championship in eight classes has ended.  Going into the second round, Lincoln Highway takes a 10-5 lead.  They had been down17-15 going into the first round.


7A--   Normal Community

6A--    Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)

5A --  Joliet Catholic

3A--  Central Catholic (Bloomington)


8A--  Waubonsie (Aurora)

7A--  Batavia
Lincoln Way East (Frankfort)

6A--  DeKalb
Lincoln Way North (Frankfort)
Kaneland (Maple Park)

5A--  Joliet Catholic
Lincoln Way West

3A--  Newman Central Catholic (Sterling)

Good Luck to All teams in the Second.  --RoadDog

Saturday, October 31, 2015

DeKalb for Homecoming 2015-- Part 4: Huskies Win and Footstompers Play

Like I said, Lord Stanley's was already near standing-room only at 4 p.m. and the Footstompers didn't start until 6.  Most were watching the Huskie game on the big screen.  Lord Stanley's televises all NIU games shown on ESPN3.

Northern was cruising along with a 35-0 lead at half time.  Then, they had another score in the third and led 42-0 before Eastern Michigan broke loose for a 21 point run to come within 42-21.  I was glad of the lead, but all of a sudden we had no offense and they were running through our defense as if it wasn't there at all.  I don't mind telling you that I started to worry just a bit.

Northern finally got moving and scored and the defense came through as well for a 49-21 win. The line on the game was Huskies by 28.  Good call.

Guitarist Dave of the Footstompers came through and we told him we were there for yet another homecoming and that we had seen them at Andy's for their first one in 1973.  I was surprised when he called Liz by name.  She told me afterwards that they were on Facebook together.

The place really started filling up with older alums now and the DeKalb Footstompers opened with the "Huskie Fight Song" (We spell Huskies that way) and everyone pretty-well went nuts and sang at the top of their voices.

It's Another NIU Homecoming Tradition.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 30, 2015

DeKalb for Homecoming 2015-- Part 3: Lord Stanley's

Entering Lord Stanley's, I found out where everyone was.  The place was already packed.  A lot of alumni were already there, many claiming tables for friends as seating is limited for a Footstompers show.

Lord Stanley's advertises itself as "Hockey Bar USA."  This is a Blackhawk Bar to be sure.  There are pennants, banners and other Blackhawk stuff all over the place as well as other hockey teams.  We even considered going to this place during the last Stanley Cup Run.  Being there would have to be an experience.

Even the name, Lord Stanley, comes from the Championship Cup.  They use a caricature of Stanley Laurel from the old Laurel and Hardy team as well.  Drink prices are very reasonable and they have great pizza.  And, even better, the Blackhawks had a game tonight.

This place puts the dive in dive bar.  Believe me, nothing is elegant.  But it is fun.

Back when we were students, it was called The Shamrock and later Daddy-O's Shamrock.  At one time it had an upper level that was open, but has been closed ever since a college student fell off it and died.

Good Time at Stanley's.  --RoadDog

Thursday, October 29, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 2

Dropped Liz off at Lord Stanley's, our destination for the DeKalb Footstompers and went looking for a parking place.  Finally found one across Lincoln Highway (Il-38), south of main street.    I got stopped by a fast-moving freight train.  These really come roaring through DeKalb very often, at least three or rimes an hour.  Our saying is, "Imagine that?  A train in DeKalb."

I looked across Lincoln Highway when I got to the intersection and saw that Andy's and McCabe's as usual, were shut up tight.  Back when we were in school, my fraternity and a few others were the first college students to start hanging out in Andy's.  This was our place.  The "cooler" fraternities and sororities most often hung out next door in McCabe's.

One guy owns both places now, but only opens when he feels like it, which is rare.  Sure wish he'd sell them and somebody else opens them.

I also went into Chilton Sporting Goods, another holdover from our days at NIU as students (1969-1973).

Lincoln Highway was abandoned as far as people, but I soon found out where most were.

Gonna Have a Good Time.  --RoadDog

IHSA Route 12-Route 14 Showdown 2015

I also run a contest between the high school teams located along US-12 (Rand Road) and US-14 (Northwest Highway) in Northwest Suburban Chicago.  These two roads are special to me as I lived in Palatine for 11 years and have now lived in Spring Grove for 22.  Palatine has both roads going through it and US-12 is the main road through Spring Grove.

US-14 Teams


Fremd (Palatine) (5-4)
Palatine  (7-2)  (I went to both of these schools, but graduated from Palatine)
Barrington  (8-1)


Cary Grove (8-1)  (Cary)


Prairie Ridge (8-1)  (Crystal Lake)
Crystal Lake South (5-4)


Marion Central (Woodstock)



Fremd (5-4)  (Palatine)
Palatine (7-2)


Wauconda (5-4)


Richmond-Burton (Richmond)  (This is where kids from our subdivision go to school.)

Friday Night Lights!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time for IHSA Route 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown Again: The Lincoln Highway Teams

Games begin Friday.  *  Means the school is in both Route 66 and Lincoln Highway.


*Plainfield South (5-4)
Waubonsie (Aurora) (5-4)
West Aurora (5-4)


Batavia (8-1)
Lincoln Way East (Frankfort) (7-2)
St. Charles North (7-2)
*Plainfield North  (6-3)


DeKalb (7-2)
Lincoln Way North (Frankfort) 9-0)
Kaneland (Maple Park) (6-3)


*Joliet Catholic (8-1)
Lincoln Way West (7-2)


Dixon (6-3)


Newman Central Catholic (Sterling)  (8-1)

A total of 14 teams.  Winner is last man standing.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Time for the IHSA Annual Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Playoffs Again: Route 66 Teams

Games start Friday.

These are the Route 66 Teams:  (Records)


Plainfield South  (5-4)
Edwardsville  (9-0)
Bolingbrook  (5-4)


Normal Community  (8-1)
Plainfield North  (6-3)


Chatham (Glenwood)  (5-4)
Sacred Heart- Griffin (Springfield)  (9-0)
Normal (Community West)  (6-3)


Joliet Catholic  (8-1)
Normal University  (6-3)


Pontiac  (7-2)


Central Catholic (Bloomington)  (8-1)
Wilmington  (9-0)
Williamsville  (5-4)
Carlinville  (7-2)


Mt. Olive  (5-4)

Sixteen total teams.

Lincoln Highway Tomorrow.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 26, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming-- Part 1: Making a Score or Two

Saturday, we drove to DeKalb, Illinois, for Northern Illinois' Homecoming game with Eastern Michigan.  It was a beautiful drive there with lots of fall tree color.  Passed several of the very popular fall festival farms and stands which, despite fairly crummy weather (threat of rain and occasional drizzle as well as major wind) they had people visiting.  Of course, northern Illinois is a big pumpkin-producing area of the #1 pumpkin-producing state.

Checked into the Baymont on Lincoln Highway, parked, and walked over to the alumni tailgating and tent area by the Barsema Alumni Center.  They had a band playing and every School had tents with swag.  We loaded up at the School of Education and Alumni tents.  In the past, all tents offered free food, but this year you could only get food at one tent, hosted by Fatty's.  And all items cost $5.

Looked at the University Store inside the Barsema Center but didn't buy anything.  Enjoyed the NIU Marching Huskie Band and remarks by the president and athletic director.

We had been thinking about buying tickets to see the game, but decided not to because of the inclement weather.  Took the bus over to the west side of the stadium and then watched the first part of the game until NIU scored on some steps by an apartment complex south of Huskie Stadium, which turned fifty years old this year.  Northern scored while we were there and the cannon went off.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: Tow Meets Mater-- Goodbye Bill Shea's

SEPTEMBER 22--  Larry the Cable Guy meets the real Tow Mater, the 1951 rusty International boom truck his character was based on in the movie "Cars."  It is owned by Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas.  He signed the glove box.

Tow, meet Matter.  Git ;'Er Done.

SEPTEMBER 22--  The Springfield (Illinois) Journal-Register was running a list of 66 Things to See on Route 66 from July to September 22nd.  You can see the entire list at Route 66 News for this date.  And some say there is not much to see on Route 66 in Illinois.  There were some I hadn't even heard of and a lot were left off the list.  Interesting nonetheless.

SEPTEMBER 26--  Shea's Gas Station Museum soon will be auctioned.  There are a lot of interesting comments on Route 66 News for this day.

I am really sad to see it go.  This was Bill Shea's legacy to the road he loved.  Too bad one place couldn't buy it and keep it as a museum open to the public.  Very sad that Bill's family chose not to keep it going.

We are sure glad we got to visit the place often and had many long talks with Mr. Shea.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Partying On Lincoln Highway Today

Today we drive to DeKalb, Illinois, for NIU's Homecoming.  Illinois Route 38 goes by within a few hundred yards of Huskie Stadium where the game takes place.  Our hotel is also on the Lincoln Highway.

After the game, we will be going to Lord Stanley's in downtown DeKalb which is also on the Lincoln Highway.  We will be seeing the DeKalb Footstompers performing their annual homecoming show, something they've been doing since Homecoming 1973.

So, we'll be doing our Lincoln Crawl today.  Sadly, when we were students at Northern from 1969 to 1973, Lincoln Highway was just another road to us.  We had no idea as to its significance.

Doing the Crawl.  --RoadDog

News From Along the Lincoln Highway: Preserving Omaha's 3-mile Brick Lincoln Highway-- Part 1

From the Oct. 17, 2015, Kearney (Neb) Hub "Old highway is worth preserving" by Mike Konz.

Mr. Konz praises modern road building and compares it to a symphony with all the many parts operating together.  He then mentions the remarkable stretches of modern roads like I-70 through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (I'll vouch for that), the Needles Highway in South Dakota and the 1,000 mile long Alaskan Highway.

"The 3-mile stretch of brick street in West Omaha-- Old Lincoln Highway-- is evidence that, unlike today's orchestrated approach to road building, how they did things at the dawn of vehicular travel was more like an old-fashioned jam session among jazz musicians."

This 3-mile brick road is the longest  remnant of the country's first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway which "was a jam session of salesmanship, public enthusiasm and good old American hard work."


Friday, October 23, 2015

Sycamore Road (Illinois Highway 23) Goes Four-Lane 75 Years Ago

From the October 20, 2015, Sycamore, Ill. MidWeek "Looking Back"

DeKalb County, Oct. 1940, 75 years ago.

"Evidence that the four-lane highway between Sycamore and DeKalb is in the process was shown by a report given at a meeting of the Sycamore city council.  It reported that a survey of the road was being made and a request for the use of Sycamore's storm sewers at Fair Street and DeKalb Avenue at the city limits was made."

Today, this stretch of road between DeKalb and Sycamore is extremely built up and has a real lot of stoplights and congestion.  Expect delays.


Talking About Bad Roads 100 Years Ago: "Justifiable Cussation"

From the Oct. 14, 2015, Sycamore, Illinois, MidWeek "Looking Back."

From Oct. 1915.  DeKalb County, Illinois.

"When the final day of reckoning comes Jehovah will have to suspend judgment on a lot of people who have traveled over that north and south road through Pierce Township.  All the cuss words in the category of cussdom could not do justice, and the verdict will be "justifiable cussation" if we don't miss our guess.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

100 Years Ago: Don't Fire Your Cop Or Pay the Consequences

From the Oct. 20, 2015, Sycamore, Illinois, MidWeek "Looking Back."  These are stories from the newspaper from back then.

1915, 100 years ago:  P.A. Quarnstrong, mayor of Genoa, appeared before Justice Z.B. Mitchell in Sycamore on Thursday morning, on the charge of operating his automobile without a state license.  The complaint was made by E.C. Duval, formerly a policeman of Genoa, but who failed to be reappointed.

Mayor Quarnstrong admitted technical violation of the law, but explained that rather than buy needed parts at a cost of some $75 he had not been using his automobile, but on the day on which he was charged with violating the law, he took it out for a short time on an urgent run into the country.

Unfortunately I did not find how the judge ruled, but this clearly looked like a case of Duval getting back at his former boss.  I am figuring that the mayor didn't get a license for the car (unless the one in question was his drivers license if they had them back in 1915) because it wasn't running.

You Know What They Say About Payback.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Military Convoy Completes Re-enactment on the Bankhead Highway Last Saturday

From the October 17, 2015, San Diego (Cal.) Union-Tribune "Vintage military vehicles reenact 1920 convoy" by Maureen Magee.

A U.S. Army convoy of vintage vehicles concluded a 3,400 mile trip from the White House to Balboa Park in San Diego this past Saturday.  The original one was to promote the need for a reliable road for commerce and military transportation across the United states.  An earlier one had taken place on the Lincoln Highway, but this one took the southern route.

The 2015 convoy consisted of restored Jeeps, trucks and motorcycles.  They reached the Cabrillo National Monument after a one month journey and followed the country's second transcontinental road, the Bankhead Highway.  They followed the old road as much as possible.

Back in 1920, this road was still under construction.  It took the original convoy 116 days to do it.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

66 Things to See on Illinois' Route 66-- Part 11: World's Largest Catsup Bottle

53.  WILLIAMSVILLE RAILCAR MUSEUM--  Finding a new use for an old railroad car.  You'd be surprised about how much they have been able to cram in there.

54.  MEMORY LANE--  Lexington.  They have taken their abandoned original Route 66 on the north side of town and converted it into a pleasant drive into the past.  However, it is closed to vehicle traffic most of the time so if you ever find it open, cruise it.

55.  WORLD'S LARGEST CATSUP BOTTLE--  Collinsville.  Or, do you say ketchup?  You've heard of the world's largest ball of twine, well we've got this big catsup water tower.

56.  WALLDOG MURALS--  Lincoln.  When these guys paint, wow!!  Ya Gotta See It to believe it.  Old-timey all the way.

57.  MAID-RITE SANDWICH SHOP--  Springfield.  Love those loose meat sandwiches, but you might need a spoon to pick up the overflow.  This one is a real old one also.


Monday, October 19, 2015

News from Along the Lincoln Highway: DeKalb's Winged Ear of Corn to Be Moved

From the October 17, 2015, Dekalb (Il.) Daily Chronicle by Brittany Keeperman.

A marker showing the DeKalb Brand of Corn was placed at Memorial Park on September 16 of this year.  Memorial Park is located at First Street and Lincoln Highway.  However, the park district started getting comments from veterans organizations that this park should stay focused on veterans.

So, the park district will move the winged corn marker to DeKalb Square Park at 4th Street and Lincoln Highway.

You have probably seen the DeKalb Corn signs along roadways where new corn crops are shown.

Memroial Park and DeKalb square are parts of a major renovation plan being carried out along DeKalb's Main Street which is the Lincoln Highway.

And, Liz and I really did buy our winged DeKalb Corn sign that is hanging in the garage.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015

SEPTEMBER 16TH--  The Maucoupin County Corthouse in Illinois has finished its north-stair renovations.It is part of $200,000 being spent on the Million Dollar Courthouse which was built in 1870.  It is located on the 1926-1934 alignment of Route 66.  This is quite an impressive structure and a million dollars back then was a real lot of money.

SEPTEMBER 20TH--  The restored neon sign was installed at a Kingman, Arizona, auto dealership.  "OK Used Cars" was reinstalled at Dunton Motor Dream machines on Route 66.  The place is located at 119 E. Andy Devine Drive.  The OK Used Car brand was established by Chevrolet in the 1920s.

Two more signs are being restored in town: Hotel Beale's cocktail lounge and Brandin' Iron Motel.

Love those old signs.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Open House Chicago This Weekend-- Part 3

Another area with buildings open for touring is in the Edgewater neighborhood, along Lake Michigan north of downtown.

Berger Park Cultural Center (Downey House), 1906
Berger Park North Mansion (Gunder House), 1910
Edgewater Beach Apartments, 1928  (All that remains of the storied Edgewater Beach Hotel complex.)
Episcopal Church of the Atonement, 1890
Riviera Motor Sales Company Building, 1925
Sacred Heart Schools, Driehaus Center (Conway House), 1906
St. Ita Roman Catholic Church, 1927

Again, if in the Chicago area, a good time to visit these structures, or plan ahead for next year.  Just bring lots and lots and lots of money for parking.

Parking Blues.  --RoadDog