Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Fall of Saigon 40 Years Ago

I sure did a lot of TV watching these days as that war that I thought would never end (I figured we'd still be there) was actually coming to an end.  I did a lot of discussing about it with my classes (as I was teaching at the time).

And, this is a war I very nearly served in as my draft lottery number was 22.  That meant you went to Vietnam or Canada.  I would have much more been willing to go to Vietnam if I thought we were actually trying to win the war.  I didn't think we were trying to win. When at war, you do everything and anything you can to win it as fast as possible.  We weren't.

I even joined the USMC Platoon Leaders Class figuring I'd have to go sand if I did, I'd go as an officer.

Fortunately, the war ended before that came to pass.




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Traffic Jams, "Stuck on the Island Again, Wracks

APRIL 26, 2015:

Decided to drive out to Tybee Island to check it out since I'd only been to it once and Liz never had.  This proved to be a mistake, with a perfect day at the beach weatherwise, evidently most everyone from miles around were going there.  The 12 miles took almost and hour and a half.

People there said this was not the usual case and that normally, this kind of a traffic jam only occurred on the 4th of July.

Then, just try to find a parking place either at the $2 an hour public parking or up and down the streets.  Wasn't happening.  As bad as it was on the way in, even worse attempting to leave.  At least coming in there were times we got all the way up to 10 mph.  Leaving it was mostly a parking lot.  It took us about 45 minutes to go 1/8 of a mile.

We backtracked back to the island and got a room.  As our buddy "MadDog" Adams would say, "Stuck On the Island Again."  We had a good time with lots and lots of stranded folks.

By the way, I read an article in a local paper about "wracks" which are mats of dead marsh grass which sometimes cause problems along the Savannah River.

--RoadDog

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Just Watched the NYK Remus Cruise By

From the sixth floor of the Holiday Inn Express here in Savannah, we just saw the NYK Remus going down the Savannah River heading for the Atlantic Ocean.  It was huge.  Rated as a container ship, it was built in 2009, Panamanian flagged and 286 meters long and 32 meters wide.  It was loaded with railroad containers stacked almost as high as the top of the superstructure.

Looking up information, it arrived here in Savannah yesterday at 1:30 p.m. and left dock today at 9 a.m..

It is owned by the Nippon Yusen Kaisha Corporation, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, based in Tokyo.

Kind of neat to see it and then look it up.

--RoadDog

Me and the Luggage Cart, or, the Luggage Cart and I?

I got to know this luggage rack at the Holiday Inn Express in Savannah quite well yesterday.  The hotel is located right downtown by the river and had valet parking, so we had to unload the things we needed to bring in so used the cart as otherwise it would have been several trips.

We  checked in and got our room on the 7th floor.  So up the elevator we went. This was slow because one of the two elevators was broken.  It was supposed to have a balcony room, but this one didn't have one.  We mentioned the lack of a balcony on our way out and they put us one floor lower (which had a balcony).

So, I had to get the cart again and go up the elevator (another long wait).  Only we accidentally got off on the sixth floor, walked into the room and saw  someone must have stolen our luggage.  But then we remembered we had to go to the 7th floor.  Another really long wait to go up that floor.

Loaded the cart and then had another really long wait to go down to the 6th floor.  We were finally in the correct room, but then there was another long wait to take the luggage cart back down to the lobby.

I saw the cart later and it sat there mocking me.

My New Best Friend, That Hard to Move Luggage Cart.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why It Takes So Long to Go On a Trip

Leaving home for a trip is most often later than I desire or want.

And there are a lot of reasons for that.  Many of them my fault, but a few someone else's (who shall go nameless.

One of my biggest problems is that I don't start packing until maybe an hour before I go.  Another reason is chores I need to do around the house, especially watering my inside plants (at anytime) or outside plants during the warmer months.  I have a LOT of inside and outside plants.

Since I don't start packing until shortly before I head out, this usually means that I will have to stop along the way at some point whenever it dawns on me that I left something behind, or I need that something (often a toothbrush or deodorant).

(Shows you are never too old to learn something, I just found out I never knew how to spell deodorant.  All these years I have been spelling it deoderant, but spell check just showed that as incorrect.  Oh, I see, odor as in, remove "de" odor.  Makes sense.   Well, I'll be Niagra Falls.)

Then, there is my other half as far as delays, but at least she plans (even a list) and packs in advance.

What Do You Mean I'm Running Behind Time?  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

San Francisco's Lincoln Park: Western Terminus of the Lincoln Highway

From the Nov. 3, 2014, Shorpy blog "Land's End: 1925.

1925 "overland at Land's End and Lincoln Park golf course.  Latest entry of the Shorpy Showcase of Extinct Automobiles.

Comment Overland and Willys joined and became Willys eventually.  Chrysler gets the former Overland.

From Wikipedia.

Lincoln Park, 100 acres,  was dedicated to Abraham Lincoln in 1909 and at one time was a cemetery.  It served as the western terminus of the 1913 Lincoln Highway, America's first coast-to-coast highway.  The original western terminus marker was located at the north end of the plaza and fountain in front of the Legion of Honor.

Today, a replica and interpretive plaque is located at the southwest corner of the plaza next to a bus stop.  It was placed there in 2002 by the reactivated Lincoln Highway Association at its 10th annual convention.

--RoadDog

Monday, April 20, 2015

Listening to a New Chicago Radio Station

From the March 20, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Radio vet named program director at MeTV FM" by Robert Channick.

MeTV FM launched its oldies pop music format earlier this month at 87.7 FM, all the way at the end of the dial, said they had hired Chicago radio veteran Mark Zander as its program director.  He has been at Chicago stations WLUP-FM 97.9 and rocker WCKG-FM 105.9.

The station will have an eclectic mix of 60s, 70s and 80s music for the Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting which also owns classic TV network MeTV and WCIU-Channel 26.  two great oldies TV stations.  It is their first foray into radio.

Their web site does not apparently have streaming, but hopefully soon.  We pick it up fine here in Spring grove.  Saturday, we listened to it as they played disco after disco song.  I found out that they fo all disco Saturdays from 8-midnight, so get your dancing shoes out.

We listened yesterday as well and it sure is a great mix of oldies songs, just right for Boomer folks like us.

--RoadDog

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Did My Part for Record Store Day

I just got back from The Vinyl Frontier record store in McHenry, Illinois, with my booty:  four albums and one CD.  I saw pictures of people lined up before the 8 a.m. opening and crowds.  There were about 12 people in there when I arrived around 2 p.m..  It made for lots of fun getting down the narrow aisles.

The CD was UK Jive by the Kinks (1989). $5.99

The albums:

IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER--  Buckinghams  No date on it, but judging by the hair and outfits, I'd have to say the mid-60s. Columbia Records  $3

WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN--  Percy Sledge.  Even more appropriate with his death this past week.  Album cover featuring a white girl.  No date, but I know it is around 1966.Atlantic Records  $4

THE NASHVILLE SOUND--  Various artists.  Design Records.  How can you go wrong with Carl Belew, Patsy Cline, Ferlin Husky, Rocky Bill Ford and Hank Locklin?  $3

WILD & CRAZY HITS--  Various Artists. 18 songs.  ERA Records.  Like a K-Tel album. $3

Mr. Custer--  Larry Verne
Alley-Oop--  Hollywood Argyles
Running Bear--  Johnny Preston
The Birds and the Bees--  Jewel Akens
Yakety Yak--  Coasters
Wooly Bully--  Sam the Sham
And Others.

Did My Part.  Now to Break Out the Old Turntable.  --RoadDog

Chicago's Macy's Clocks Get Paint Job

From the April 16, 2015, Chicago Tribune "'It was time'" Macy's clocks get paint job" by Meredith Rodriguez.

The two iconic cast bronze clocks that are high above the sidewalk at Macy's (the old Marshall Field's) store on Chicago's famed State Street have gotten a long overdue makeover.  The Roman numeral numbers for te hours had gotten so faded they were hard to see.  Now, they aren't.

They are located at the corner of Washington and State and Randolph and State and this is the first makeover in decades.

The clocks are each well over one hundred years old and became famous in 1945 when Norman Rockwell painted a Saturday Evening Post cover of a repairman setting the time according to his pocket watch.

In 2009, the clocks were rewired for a GPS system.  Now, four times a day, satellite technology assures that the wooden hands sweeping across the 46-inch-wide face are on the right numbers.

I must admit, i wasn't too happy when Macy's bought Marshall Fields, but have to admit that they have done a great job keeping those things that made the downtown store special.

You Can Set Your Watch By It.  --RoadDog

Al Capone's Miami Beach Home Being Restored-- Part 2

PRISON AND RETURN:  Charged and convicted of tax evasion in 1931, Capone was sentenced to eleven years in prison, much of it at Alcatraz.  released in 1939 and spent rest of his life at this mansion.

CAPONE'S END:  Capone contracted syphilis as a young man and never had it treated.  As he got older, dementia set in.  He suffered a cardiac arrest at the house on Jan. 25, 1947 and died at age 48.

MANSION RESTORATION:  MB America says the mansion was falling apart when it was purchased.  The new owner hopes to cash in on on the Capone mystique and rent it out to commercial, video and movie shoots.

"Meet My Little Friend."  --RoadDog

Al Capone's Miami Beach Mansion Being Restored-- Part 1

From the March 20, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Al Capone's restored mansion gets new life" by Curt Anderson, AP.

He bought it in 1928 for a warm getaway and consists of three houses and overlooks Biscayne Bay.It was bought by Marco Bruzzi for $8 million and has had an additional $1.75 million in renovations.  They are keeping as many 1920s touches as possible.

FAMILY LIFE:  Deidre Marie Capone, Capone's grandniece, learned to ride a bike and swim there and remembers him as "Uncle Al" who wore an apron when cooking.

ESCAPING CHICAGO WINTERS:  Capone paid $40,000 for it in 1928 and spent time there during the winter.  Protected by a seven foot high wall and a heavy gate.  Capone loved to hit the local nightclubs and racetracks.

ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE:  Capone had an alibi for the Feb. 14, 1929, killings.  He was in Miami Beach at the house.

--RoadDog

Friday, April 17, 2015

60 Years, Billions Served Anniversary This Week: McDonald's

From the April 15, 2015, Chicago Tribune.

Or is it billions and billions served?

Sixty years ago, on April 15, 1955, a 52-year-old former piano player and salesman from Oak Park opened a hamburger stand in Des Plaines, Illinois.  His name was Ray Kroc, and what's today known around the world as McDonald's was off and running.

Burgers cost 15 cents, cheeseburgers 19 cents, and fries a dime with milk shakes 20 cents.  Kroc racked up $366.12 in business that first day (equivalent to $3,206.58 today).  By 1958, the chain reportedly had sold its 100 millionth burger.

And, as us Route 66ers know, Kroc's wasn't the first McDonald's restaurant.  That was in Southern California and run by the brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald, whose operation impressed Kroc when he sold them their milkshake machines.

Seizing upon the potential he saw in franchising nationally, Kroc grew the business at a torrid pace, eventually buying out their stake (the McDonald brothers) in 1961.

The Oak Brook-based McDonald's today has more than 36,000 locations spread over more than 100 countries serving 69 million customers daily.

There is a recreation of that original McDonald's in Des Plaines at the original site by US-12 and US-45.  It doesn't sell anything, but is a museum.  there is an operating McDonald's right across the street.

Getting My MCD's Fix.  --RoadDog


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Music Alert! RSD This Saturday

I was very happy to come across this news last week.  I had forgotten about it, but this is one of my favorite days.  RSD is Record Store Day!!

This is day for us oldsters and a surprising number of young folks.  This is a day to make sure you get to your local mom and pop record store and talk with like-minded folk and do your treasure hunting through those old albums and CDs.

I already have plans to go to Track One Vintage Stereo in nearby Antioch, Illinois, and my usual music store, The Vinyl Frontier in McHenry.

At one time it was National Record Store day, but they are having it in another 10-15 countries as well.

--Like I Need Some More Records and CDs.  Oh Well!!  --RoadDog

America's Most Thrilling Roads-- Part 5: Rattlesnake Grade

21.  CA-36--  California between I-5 and US-101.

22.  OR-3--  Oregon.  Rattlesnake Grade between Flora, Oregon, and Anatone, Washington.

23.  DENALI HIGHWAY--  Alaska.  Al-8, 135 miles and is closed for half the year.  Watch the date.

24.  ROAD TO HANA--  Hawaii

--RoadDog

America's Most Thrilling Roads-- Part 4: Longest Straight Highway in U.S.

You can go to the site for photos and more information.

16.  MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY--  Colorado  US-550

17.  WHITE RIM TRAIL--  Utah.  Part of a 107 mile long loop.

18..  WHITE RIM TRAIL--  Utah.  Longest stretch of straight highway in the U.S..  Goes through the Bonneville Salt Flats.  How many planes could you land on it.

19.  ANGELES CREST HIGHWAY--  California.  66 miles from Flintridge to Wrightwood.

20.  CA-280--  California  10:30 to 3:30--  something about speed

--RoadDog


America's Most Thrilling Roads-- Part 3: US-12 and US-212 Out West

11.  STATE ROUTE 76-- Missouri  Willow Springs at the Oklahoma state line across the Ozarks.  Maybe I'll check it out our next 66 trip.)

12.  TWISTED SISTERS, Texas  100 miles through Texas Hill Country.

13.  TEXAS TOLLWAY 130--  41 miles long.  Opened last October with 85 mph speed limit.  With a $6.75 toll, not many cars.  How fast can you go?

14.  US 212--  Montana.  Spans four states with many, many elevation extremes.  From Yellowstone across Montana.  A spur of my US-12.

15.  US-12--  Idaho.  Lolo Pass  (Hey, US-12 is my road.)

--RoadDog

Who Sang It Better: Blues Brothers or Sam and Dave?

WNCT 1070 AM, Beach, Boogie & Blues out of Greenville, N.C. (Home of East Carolina University) is having another of their "Who Sang It Better" contests.  This time out, it is two of my favorite groups, Sam and Dave versus the Blues Brothers singing their versions of "Soul Man."

Right now, Sam and Dave (who I voted for) are up with 66% of the vote.

You can vote at their site and listen at www.beachboogieblues.com.

John Moore is on right now, (5:30 to 9 a.m. EDST) always a fun way to wake up and get going in the morning.

--RoadDog


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

America's Most Thrilling Roads-- Part 2: Chicago's Lower Wacker Drive

Continued from April 12th.

6.  NATCHEZ TRACE--  Mississippi and Tennessee.   444 miles.

7.  CHEVOHALA SKYWAY--  Tennessee and North Carolina.  Best for motorcycles.  43 unbelievable miles.  Try it if you dare.

8.  TAIL OF THE DRAGON--  North Carolina.  11 miles, US-29.  Prepare for 318 turns.  Almost every corner is fun.

9.  LA RUTA PANORAMICA, PUERTO RICO--  By mayaguez.  many, many switchbacks.

10.  LOWER WACKER DRIVE, CHICAGO--  2.2 miles  Might be the most dangerous on the list.  It is the setting for many Hollywood movies and "deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."  Seen in "Batman Begins" and "Blue Brothers.  Renovations the last few years have removed many of the abundant pillars and obstructions, however.

--RoadDog

News on 66, March 2015-- Part 1: Another Illinois Festival

The news stories are taken from the Route 66

MARCH 5TH:  El Garces is now open for tours.  It is the former Harvey House in Needles, California.  The $5 cost will go toward the structure's maintenance.  It opened in 1908 and is quite an impressive place.  It was fenced off and in bad shape when we saw it in 2006.

MARCH 10TH:  Illinois has a new Route 66 Motor festival.  The Red Carpet Corridor Fest is already held yearly at the end of May from Joliet to Towanda.  This June, they will also have the new Blue Corridor Corridor Festival featuring the southern part of Route 66 from Chatham (south of Springfield) to Collinsville.

Always a good idea to have a Route 66 Festival.

Good Times for All.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Route 66 News for February 2015: Death of Mr. "C." in Missouri

FEBRUARY 21ST:  Route 66 Sodas owner Scott Cameron has died at age 76... Not only did he make that great Route 66 Route Beer, but also ran Mr. C.'s Route Post in Lebanon, Missouri.  This was a really fine souvenir place and in true tourist trap classification.

I didn't know this, but he also a ran an organization whose goal was to recover royalties for blues musicians and was a friend to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.  I would have loved to talk with him about that.

Here's hoping that someone keeps the place open and continues making that pop in those glass bottles.

FEBRUARY 23RD:  The Best Western Route 66 Program is paying dividends in increased travel and knowledge about the road.  Plus, it is helping their room rentals.  Hitching your company (or town) to Route 66 can never hurt you.

Do You hear that, Bloomington-Normal?  I also have never understood why any place on the old Route 66 wouldn't have a shield up or sign announcing it.

FEBRUARY 25TH:  There are two developmental proposals for the long-closed De Anza Motel in Albuquerque.  One is for it to be a boutique motel and the other is for a motel/condo effort.

I'll take either one.  Anything is better than losing it altogether.

--RoadDog

Route 66 News for February 2015-- Part 2: Kansas Route 66

FEBRUARY 12TH:  Webb City, Mo.  Residents donated money to preserved a 1920s gas station a block off Route 66.  Every gas station, motel and restaurant saved, especially old ones like this, is a good, good thing.

FEBRUARY 14TH:  Tower Motel in Santa Rosa, N.M. has been closed to overnight visitors.  It may reopen for long-term guests.  This is partly due to water leakage and a drop in guests.  Bad news for the motel.  This usually indicates the beginning of the end if not THE END.

FEBRUARY 17TH:  There are a series of photos of the intake water tower at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.  Just another reason it takes us close to 20-30 minutes whenever we cross the bridge during motor tours.

FEBRUARY 19TH:  Part of that massive stretch of Route 66 in Kansas has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.  This would be 2.1 miles of road north of Baxter Springs.  And, you'd think I could drive through Kansas on Route 66 without getting lost.

--RoadDog

Sad Day: 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Assassination

One hundred and fifty years ago today, at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., with the Civil War essentially over and with all the pressures associated with it waning, President Abraham Lincoln took a night off and attended one of his favorite past times, the theater.

Ahead, he had the equally daunting task of reuniting the country, something that was sure to be difficult what with the so-called Black Republicans calling for the South's blood, retribution and punishment.  I am sure Lincoln would have found a way to keep them in line.

Sadly, John Wilkes Booth,  strong in the belief that he was striking a blow for the South,  saw otherwise and that never came to pass.

Reconstruction definitely would have been different had it not been for this night.

I'm sure the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library in Springfield will be having some sort of commemoration.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Route 66 News for February 2015-- Part 1: Wigwamming It 50 Years Later

These are taken from Route 66 News blog site.  These are some that interest me the most.  For the complete story and photos, go to the site.

FEBRUARY 9TH:  Back for a second honeymoon. On Feb. 12, 1955, Roy and Rosemary Avila spent their honeymoon night ar rhe Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino, California.  They enjoyed it so much, they came back.

FEBRUARY  11TH:  The Gasconade Bridge near Hazelgreen in Missouri was closed indefinitely The bridge is 90 years old and showing its age.  Hopefully they will work on it as it is one of those bridges that looks like a bridge.

FEBRUARY 11TH:  The former rose Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma is now connected with the One Hope Ministry.  At least it remains and wasn't torn down.

ALSO, POPS in Arcadia, Oklahoma, is opening a second place north of OKC.  We haven't yet been to the first one and look forward to doing that.  Now we can double our fun like that chewing gum.

ALSO:  A California U.S. Senator is proposing the Mojave Trails national Monument which will include the Old Route 66 from west of needles to west of Ludlow.  Hey. more recognition!!

--RoadDogging It

It's Their Whole World-- Part 2: Dog Got Smarts, Human Not So Much

Even the dogs are getting into it.  From the DOGS OF C-KENNEL comic strip by Mick and Mason Mastroianni.

First frame:  A human is looking at the Siberian husky chewing on the tennis ball with great joy.  Human says, "Isn't it cute how he becomes so fixated on that thing?"

Second frame:  "It's like it's his whole world!"  As the husky continues to chew.

Third frame:  The human turns around and takes out his smart phone.  Another dog in the kennel says to a third dog, "It's like it's his whole world."

I Think the Dog Has Something.  --RoadDog

It's Their Whole World-- Part 1

If you're like me, nothing is worse than going into a restaurant or bar and seeing just about everyone with eyes glued on their smart phones.  I've seen families of four sitting at a table and the kids both on theirs, then look over to their parents and guess what they are doing?

This is a really sad state of affairs in the world.

This past Sunday, the Chicago Tribune had two comic strips that got a chuckle or two from me.

TAKE IT FROM THE TINKERSONS by Bill Bettwy

We see five frames where a family of four is seated on and by a sofa.  You'd think perhaps watching TV,until you see everyone has a mobile device except the Dad, who has a remote.  The Mom and two kids never move.  The last frame has a fellow office worker asking the Dad "Did you do anything over the weekend?"  The Dad replies, "I spent time with the family."

Yeah, Right.  --RoadDog


Sunday, April 12, 2015

About Those Lincoln Highway Tornadoes in Illinois

From the April 10, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Tornadoes slice a path across northern Illinois" by Tony Briscoe and Peter Nickeas.

"50-mile trail of destruction left in wake; at least one dead."

A tornado was also spotted at Ashton.A violent storm system through off one or more tornadoes  Damage was reported on either side of Interstate 39 near Rochelle, Illinois.  The tiny hamlet of Fairdale between Rochelle and Rockford was hit particularly hard and described "as pretty well destroyed."  Reports of several tornadoes were also reported in the Woodstock area

Just before 7 p.m., a tornado collapsed the roof of a Crest Foods warehouse in Franklin Grove (headquarters of the Lincoln Highway).  A short time later, Grubsteakers Restaurant near intersection of Ill-252 (old US-51) and 64 in Rochelle, was hit with about a dozen people inside.  They had to be pulled from the rubble.  the place was described as "pretty much leveled."

Ashton, Franklin Grove and Rochelle are all on the old Lincoln Highway, Il-38 in this area.

--RoadDog

Easter Trip Back to Our Past-- Part 5: Sliders and Wauconda

Shopping done, it was time to eat.  Since Photos was closed, we stopped across the street from Half Price Books at the White Castle.  As usual, we both ordered deal #1: 4 Sliders, fries and drink for $5.19.  Hard to beat Sliders when on a trip back to the past.  The taste brings back the memories by itself.

Then, back to US-12, Rand Road, and heading home.  We took Old Rand Road through Wauconda.  The current US-12 is actually a bypass, but the original is still marked through this town and Lake Zurich as Old Rand.  Remember, the 1926 US Highway system was cobbled together using paved main streets in towns as part of the improved road.  Stretches in between were then paved.

Downtown Wauconda now has n Irish Pub at Middleton on Main, in an old 1880s hotel with one of the most interesting bars you'll find anywhere. Wauconda was at one time a summer resort area for Chicagoans who would take the train.  It is on Bangs Lake.

Just north of downtown is the site of two beaches that used to be major spots for teens in high school back in the 60s and early 70s.

--RoadDog

America's Most Thrilling Roads-- Part 1

From Men's Journal

These are stretches of road that push vehicles and drivers to their limits.

1.  MAINE'S ROUTE 1--  From Brunswick to Ellsworth.  Also AIRLINE ROAD, Route 9 from Bangor to Baring, 50 miles.

2.  KANCAMAGUS HIGHWAY--  New Hampshire.  34 miles along Route 112, called "The Kane."

3.  SMUGGLER'S NOTCH--  Vermont.  More often referred to as "The Notch."  Jerico to Stowe.  Vermont Highways 15 and 108.  38 miles.

4.  THE CHAMPLAIN LOOP--  New York.  50 miles to Vermont.

5.  SKYLINE DRIVE--  Virginia.  105 miles through Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

--RoadDog

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tornadoes Hit Illinois Along the Lincoln Highway in Illinois

This past Thursday, April 9th, was quite a stormy one here in northern Illinois with widespread storms, the most lightning I've ever seen and winds here in McHenry County.  In Johnsburg, Illinois, we had two tornado warnings issued on TV as well as the sirens.  I've never seen the sky so black.

But, we got off easy as a stretch of Illinois located south of Rockford had tornadoes touch down.  I believe I heard that there were several deaths.  The small town of Fairdale near Rochelle was essentially wiped out. damage was done in Rochelle, Franklin Grove and Ashton.  A restaurant north of Rochelle was flattened, but the 12 prople inside survived.

We lost our cable and internet service Until earlier this afternoon as this area is served by our MediaCom.

I've seen pictures of the devastation and it is severe.

--RoadDog


Thursday, April 9, 2015

World's Longest Highways-- Part 2

I-90, UNITED STATES--  4,991 K  Longest U.S. interstate.

PAN-AMERICAN HIGHWAY, 18 COUNTRIES--  47,958 K.  Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuawa, Argentina.

401 MacDONALD CARTIER FREEWAY, CANADA--  818 K.  Toronto and is the busiest highway in North America as well as one of the widest as well.

ROUTE 6, GAR HIGHWAY, UNITED STATES--  5,158 K.  Named for the the Civil War Union veterans association, the Grand Army of the Republic.  Goes through 14 states.

HIGHWAY 1, AUSTRALIA--  14,500 K.  Covers most every inhabited part of Australia.  More than one million travel some stretch of it every day.

--RoadDog


World's Longest Highways-- Part 1

From the March 30, 2015, Calgary (Canada) Sun.

I-80, UNITED STATES--  4,686 kilometers.  Closely follows the historic Lincoln Highway.

TRANS-SIBERIAN HIGHWAY--  RUSSIA--  11,000 kilometers

TRANS-CANADIAN HIGHWAY--  CANADA--  8,030 K.  Connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

I-10 KATY FREEWAY, UNITED STATES--   1,415 K
Not the longest bu quite possibly the widest, 26 lanes across in some points.

AUTOBAHN, GERMANY 12,845 K--  No speed limit, but advisory speed limit is 130 KPH.

--RoadDog

Easter Trip back to Our Past-- Part 4: Should Know Better Than Go Into Half-Price Books

The Burger King site is now a Photo's Hot Dogs place.  We would have eaten there had it nor been closed for Easter.  We turned off Northwest Highway near Palatine Plaza where I had given Liz my high school ring December 15, 1967, as she did her family laundry at the laundromat.  The store is still there, but no longer is a laundromat.

We then drove to the house her parents rented while waiting for their new home to be completed on Boynton Drive.  This is where she was living when I met her a month earlier.  We then drove by Winston Park Junior High School where I went 7th and 8th grades.

Next was my old house at 1102 East Anderson Drive, across from St. Thomas School.  Then, we crossed Palatine Road and drove by her house at 44 Patricia Lane.

Lastly, we drove back through Winston Park out the back way past Jane Addams School and out to US-12 (Rand Road).  If I am in the area, I must always stop at Half Price Books there near Dundee Road to spend money on stuff I don't need: books and CDs.  I bought a War of 1812 Navy book and a double CD "Reet Petite" by Jackie Wilson.

The '03 Malibu CD player was actually nice enough to work, so listened to one of the CDs  the rest of the day.  That Jackie Wilson could really sing, as Van Morrison would say.

--RoadDog

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Trip Back to Our Past-- Part 3: Burger King

Going west on US-14, Northwest Highway, we passed the old Dairy Queen and Topps Big Boy Restaurant (with the Big Boy statue) although it is the Route 14 Cafe now.

The main building for us along this stretch is the old Burger King.  This is where I got my first job in 1967 after I turned 16.  I was paid $1 an hour at first and all the Whoppers I could eat (I invented the triple burger, triple cheese Whopper).  I worked here from summer 1967 until the summer of 1970, when my family moved to Atlanta when Dad was transferred.

The first building I worked at was the original Burger King design with dining area added.  It was torn down a year after I started working there and a more modern structure built.

Back then, a Whopper was 49 cents.  You could get a Whopper, fries and small drink for 94 cents.  With large drink it was 98 cents (tax included).

Those of us working there may not have been paid a lot, but we made up with it by having fun.  We worked hard though, during rush hours and prided ourselves on getting customers out within a minute after they placed their order.  After cleanup, it was time for fun, unless one of the bosses, Jerry, was there.  But, it was ok if Mr. G or Bobby (the other two owners) were there.

Liz and I ate there quite often when I wasn't working.  As a matter of fact, the place was so much fun, you'd usually find several off work employees there at any given time.  It was our hangout.

I Sure Enjoyed My Time There.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Trip Back to Our Past-- Part 2: Restaurants

We continued on past Arlington Racetrack and the first McDonald's I ever ate at across from it.  Back then you either ate in your car or on benches around the store.  Burgers were just 15 cents.

Them, we entered Palatine.  I always regard Palatine as my hometown as I spent more time living here while growing up than any other place.  We lived there from 7th grade to after freshman year in college.

We passed the former site of a Mr. Donut near the intersection of Palatine and Northwest Highway (it is still a donut place but with a different, non Dunkin Donuts name).

Also, right at the intersection of the two roads was the former site of a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant which was torn down for a Hob Nob Restaurant which was torn down for a Walgreen's (imagine that). We also passed the former Dairy Queen store and Topp's Big Boy.

There is also the great Palatine Park District and right by it, the Palatine High School we attended.  The school has since moved to another part of Palatine.

--RoadDog

Easter Trip Back To Our Past-- Part 1: A Cemetery and Chicago's Northwest Suburbs

April 5th, Easter, was a beautiful day around here, so Liz and I decided to take a drive back to Chicago's Northwest Suburbs, where we met back in 1967 and take a look around.

We drove the heavily stoplighted, many, many photo-enforced lights and battled traffic US-12, (Rand Road) to Arlington Heights and went to Memory Gardens Cemetery where her parents are buried.

On docket was some cleanup around the marker and put fresh flowers and a U.S. flag in the vase.  Her father Amby was a major in World War II, where he met her mother while stationed in Kansas in the ordnance department.  he was from Green Bay, Wisconsin, so the war enabled them to meet.

We then drove Euclid through Arlington Heights, past the old (no-longer used) Arlington High School, which was a big nemesis of us when we were at Palatine High School.  They beat us all the time.  But, we had the last laugh, Palatine High School still exists.

Once on US-14 (Northwest Highway), we drove through familiar area to palatine.  We passed the site of what was at one time a Cock Robin restaurant featuring the great burgers and the Million In One Shakes.  Liz said they used to be called Prince Castle when they were in Chicago.

--RoadDog

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Grove, Illinois, Perhaps Is a College Town

And, all this time, I thought it was only a pro sports village at least as far as folks watching and backing collegiate teams at local watering holes.

Saturday, we went to the American Legion in Fox Lake, just down the road from Spring Grove on US-12.  We watched the Neil Rose Band play rockin' blues from 3 to 6.  The last hour, all TVs were tuned into the Duke-Michigan State and folks were dancing, singing and watching.  Good game at first.

After the band quit (where you going to get a band playing in the afternoon), we drove the five miles back to Spring Grove and stopped at Antonio's to see if Kelly and Cathy were there.  Kelly is a huge Michigan State fan so figured it would be fun to watch the second half with him.  

I was wearing my Duke shirt and hat, but actually was pulling for the Spartans as I like both teams.

Cathy was there, but Kelly was at home watching the game.  He came up at the end of the game, all sad and down after that route.

Meanwhile, i had gotten into a discussion with another patron about college and pro basketball.  I know a lot, but nothing compared to this guy.

Then, the Wisconsin-Kentucky game came on.  Every TV in the place was tuned to it and the jukebox turned off.  Most everyone was watching and cheering the Badgers on to a victory.  And what a game it was.  One of the best ever and the Badgers WON!!

So, sometimes at least, Spring Grovers like college sports.

--RoadDog

Historic Bars Barcket-- Part 6

ROUND TWO

Tootsie's beat Dresden
Safe House beat Salty Dawg
Gangway beat Hanover Tavern
Holler House beat Tycoon's

Corner Club beat Monkey Bar
Backroom Bar beat Carousel
Old Talbott Tavern beat Silver Bar
Mint Bar beat Bourbon and Branch


ROUND THREE

Tootsie's beat Safe House
Holler House beat Gangway Bar
Corner Club beat Backroom Bar
Mint Bar beat Old Talbott Bar


ROUND FOUR

Holler House beat Tootsie's (I was sure it would be a loss for H.H..)
Corner Club beat Mint Bar

AND, THE WINNER IS:

Don't know yet, championship tonight.  It is:

Holler House of Milwaukee vs. The Corner Club of Moscow, Idaho

And, you can vote.  Go to Preservation Blog.

Hollerin' for the Holler.  --RoadDog

Wondering Why All These Brackets

I was wondering why we have all these brackets all of a sudden.  Oh yes, something about that b-ball "thang" going on right now.

Saturday we had both a good game and a bad game.

Michigan State-Duke was a bad game after the first ten minutes.  Complete blow-out.  Even if I like a team (I actually liked both), I want a close game.  That was anything but close.

But, I couldn't have been happier with the outcome of the second game.

Tonight's the big night, the Championship: Duke vs. Wisconsin.  I'm a big fan of both, but hoping regardless, that this be a close game.

--RoadDog

Historic Bar Bracket-- Part 5

From Preservation Blog.

ROUND ONE WINNERS  See previous entries last week for full names and locations.

Dresden
Tootsie's
Salty Dawg
Safe House

Hanover Tavern
Gangway
Holler House
Tycoon's

Corner Club
Monkey Bar
Backroom Bar
Carousel

Silver Bar
Old Talbott Ravern
Mint Bar
Bourbon and Branch

To Visit All of These Historic Bars Would be Quite a Road Trip.  --RoadDog



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Military Madness Bracket-- Part 5: The Final Four

They have it down to the Final Four.

It will be Saving Private Ryan vs.Full Metal Jacket

Patton vs. The Longest Day

I pick Saving Private Ryan and the Longest Day.

For champion, I'm going with Saving Private Ryan.

--RoadMovieDog

Military Madness Bracket-- Part 4

Hey, wasn't that a line from a Graham Nash song?

THE CLASSICS

Dr. Strangelove*
In Harm's Way

The Dirty Dozen*
To hell and Back

The Great Escape*
The Guns of Navaronne

The Bridge on the River Kwai*
Mister Roberts

The Sand Pebbles*
The Caine Mutiny

Lawrence of Arabia*
Sergeant York

All Quiet on the Western Front*
Twelve O'Clock High

Sands of Iwo Jima
The Longest Day*

Now, Pick Your Movie.  --RoadDog




Military Madness Bracket-- Part 3

FROM DUKE TO MAVERICK

Apocalypse Now*
The Green berets

Patton*
The Big Red One

MASH*
Midway

Top Gun*
Where Eagles Dare

Stripes*
A Bridge Too Far

The deer Hunter*
Das Boot

Kelly's Heroes*
Catch 22

Tora! Tora! Tora!*
First Blood

One More to Go.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 3, 2015

100th Anniversary of the Dixie Highway Today-- Part 1

From the Tallahassee (Fla) Democrat "Dixie Highway brought paved roads to the South" by Gerald Ensley.

Today marks the 100 anniversary of the creation of the Dixie Highway, linking the Midwest to the South for the first time by improved roads.

Georgia Public Broadcasting TV will air a documentary on the Dixie Highway on Tuesday at 8 p.m.  In Florida, there is a display on the road at the State Library at the R.A. Gray Building.

Today is the 100th anniversary because on this date an organizational meeting of 5,000 delegates convened in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 3, 1915.  It drew representatives from 100 towns in seven states: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

And, then there was this man named Carl Fisher.

--RoadDog

Military Movie Madness-- Part 2

Continuing with the military movie bracket.

VIETNAM AND BEYOND

Full Metal Jacket
Hamburger Hill*

Platoon
Heartbreak Ridge*

Glory*
Crimson Tide

A Few Good Men
Casualties of War*

Forest Gump*
Last of the Mohicans

Braveheart*
GI Jane

Good Morning Vietnam*
The Hunt for Red October

Born on the Fourth of July*
Aliens

Two More to Come.  RoadDog

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Yet Another Bracket: Military Movie Madness-- Part 1

From the March 23, 2015, Marine Corps Times "Military Movie Madness: 64 films.  One bracket.  You decide who wins.

OK, I know this is not actually roads, but I would like to get it in before the NCAA Tournament ends.

*  I voted for this one.

MODERN MARVELS BRACKET

Saving Private Ryan*
men of Honor

Black Hawk Down*
Lone Survivor

Zero Dark Thirty*
Tropic Thunder

Inglourious Basterds
Letters From Iwo Jima*

Fury
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World*

American Sniper
Jarhead*

300
Three Kings*

Starship Troopers*
We Were Soldiers

Vietnam and Beyond Up Next.  --RoadDog

2015 Eagle Update, April 2nd

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA  NORTH FORT MYERS:  Ozzie (father) is still being cared for after his near death experience.  Harriet (mother) is still fighting off a pair of intruder bald eagle.  E-6, the eaglet is busy exploring his surround area after fledging.  He spent quite a while on the ground over the weekend and encountered horses and a human.

BERRY COLLEGE GEORGIA.  The two eaglets are growing fast and dealing with their huge talons which make movement difficult at this stage.

ALCOA: BETTENDORF, IOWA:  Still on the nest, but hatching should take place by next week.  One egg.

DECORAH, IOWA:  The third egg hatched this morning.  Now have three eaglets in the heavy head bandido stage.  They have big trouble holding their heads up.  The bonking has begun.

--RoadDog

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Eight Chicagoland Sites Recognizing Notable Women-- Part 3

NOTABLE WOMEN IN GRACELAND CEMETERY

Graceland Cemetery in Chiocago is often cited as being the final resting place of "great men" like mayors, merchants, artists and activists, but several prominent women.

they include Marion Mahony Griffin, one of the first female architects and a key contributor to Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School; dancer and choreographer Ruth Page; Kate Warne, the first female detective in the U.S.; Eleanor "Cissy" Medil Patterson, journalist and one of the first women to run a major newspaper in America; and philanthropists Bertha and Nancy "Nellie" Fowler McCormick.

NOTABLE WOMEN IN FOREST HOME CEMETERY

With May day approaching, it is a good time to consider radical women who are buried at the former German Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park.  They include anarchist Emma Goldman; Raya Dunayevskaya, onetime secretary for Leon Trotsky; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and founder of the American Civil Liberties Union; and Lucy Parsons, widow of Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons and a leading radical writer in her own right.

You can also visit the grave of modern-dance pioneer Doris Humphry.

Famous Women.  --RoadDog