Thursday, June 30, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to N.C.-- Part 6: Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The 100th Anniversary Bottle of Vodka

June 30, 2016, Monday

I showed Liz where we sit for the races, which isn't too far from the museum and way, way up high.    I tell you, those steps are real killers on the old knees.

I wanted to show here where we park the motor home at the Speedway American Legion Post 500, but now the intersection of Georgetown Road (where it is located) and Crawfordsville Road is now closed.  I decided to drive east and then north.  I was expecting a road running parallel to the speedway on the east side and right by it like Georgetown, but it wasn't.

And, the area east of the speedway is definitely run-down.  We ended up quite a ways north of the speedway before we found a way to get to Georgetown Road and Liz got to see the Legion, which is closed Mondays and Tuesday.

We got back on Crawfordsville Road heading west to  the bypass, but stopped on the way at a Kroger grocery store.  I had heard from a person at the gift store that Kroger were selling bottles of the Fuzzy's Premium Vodka 100th Running of the Indy 500 bottles.  I had wanted one on race day, but couldn't find where they were selling the bottles at the track.

That day they were selling for $40.  I got my bottle today for $24.

Good Deal and a Real Neat Bottle.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

News From Along Route 66, May-June 2016: Civil War Project in Illinois, Jensen's Point Reopens

Taken from the Route 66 News site.

MAY 29--  Class project to identify Civil War tombstones in Odell County, Illinois.  A teacher-led project called Operation Gravestone has identified seven veterans graves.  I will write about this tomorrow in my Saw the Elephant Civil War Blog.  Always great to get the kids involved.

JUNE 4--  Jensen's Point, near Pacific, Missouri, reopened.  Now, if I can just make it up all those stairs for that great view.  Do they have an elevator?

JUNE 5--  So what really happened to the Blue Swallow Motel's former owner?  Ted F. Jones was a prominent eastern New Mexico rancher and owned the iconic motel in Tucumcari, N.M. for much of the 1940s and 1950s.  It was thought that he and his wife died in a plane crash.  And the mystery deepens.

--RoadDog

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to N.C.-- Part 5: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway "Too Loud!"

We got off the bypass at Crawfordsville Road and took it to the track.  This area has been worked on a lot and today is quite a beautiful drive to the speedway.   We took route this the first several years to get to the Speedway 500 American Legion on Georgetown Road.

Liz had never been to the speedway before and I wanted her to see where we sat, what we saw and where the Legion is located.

We drove under the track up to the museum and went inside.  We didn't go into the museum itself because of time and Liz wouldn't be much interested in it.  But, I wanted to look at the gift shop and found a 100th Running shot glass and bought it.  It is way too crowded during race weekend.  Then I went to one of my favorite places, the gift store selling everything for big discounts and bought a couple hats and flags.

Liz sat outside while I was in the latter and she got to hear some of the cars running the interior tracks.  Her only comment was that they were too loud.  I guess she wouldn't want to go with us for an Indy 500.

--RoadDog

Monday, June 27, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to N.C.-- Part 4: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

June 20, 2016, Monday.

I figured that since we would be driving by Speedway, a suburb of Indianapolis, and the home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, that I might as well take Liz over to it so she could see where I have been over Memorial Day these last five years.

Definitely was strange not to have the usual crowds that gather for the running of the Indy 500.

I had been to the Speedway several years before I started going to the races with the Bremmers and had toured the museum and taken a bus ride around the track.  I'll have to do this again now that it means more to me.

I was not a fan of any kind of racing, but, now, with five Indy 500s under my belt, I am becoming a race fan, at least for Indy cars.  Thanks a lot Paul and Sue (it is their motor home that we use).

--RoadDog

Looking Back to 1915: Roadwork on Sycamore High Pike in Illinois

From the September 9, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"The Sycamore highway commission started this Tuesday the work of widening the high pike just east of the city for which improvement here has been a strong demand since automobile traffic has increased so rapidly.

"About 2,100 feet extending from the turn just east of the city limits to a point 220 feet east of the bridge furthest east, will be widened so that at least two vehicle can pass easily."

The Impact of the Automobile.  --RoadDog

Friday, June 24, 2016

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Reporter Finishes Walk in OKC

MAY 25:  Briana Bailey of the Oklahoman took a walk along the Route 66 alignments in Oklahoma City.  Among the things she found:

**  The Carlyle Motel sign is gone, with parts sold all over the country.

**  Route 66 had many paths through OKC.  Some are marked by Historic Route 66 signs.

**  She found several motels from 66 still operating and two no longer there.

You can read all of her reports at the Oklahoman website.

--RoadDog


Guide Books to Help Segregation-Era Blacks Travel-- Part 2

Today, the Hayes Motel is called the New Aster Motel and it still looks the same architecturally.

Black travelers knew they could spend a night there in their trip along Route 66 because of the publication called "The Negro Motorist Green Book.  The Hayes Motel was among the 224 Los Angeles hotels, barbershops, beauty salons, taverns, restaurants, motels and other places deemed friendly to blacks.

This is a part of Route 66 lore you rarely hear about, but a black family was refused service at a whole lot of places back then.

Los Angeles officials and the Getty Conservation Institute are hoping to lay the groundwork for the rehabilitation and protection of significant historic structures that catered to blacks from that sad era of American history.

Some Green Book places are still standing.

There is a large collection of Green Books from the various u\years it was published in the collection at the New York Public Library.

--RoadDog

Guide Books for Segregation-Era Blacks Traveling Across the Country-- Part 1

From the May 17, 2016, Los Angeles Times "This guidebook helped African Americans find a hotel along segregation-era Route 66" by Louise Sahagun.

A picture of the Hayes Motel shortly after it opened south of downtown  L.A. in 1947 accompanies tye article.  It was then sleek, modern and clean.  Sadly, that is not the case now.  Signs about the current property read "No Drugs.  No prostitution.  No Loitering, No trespassing."

Lily Ho now runs the old motor court in a distressed neighborhood at the corner of Wadsworth Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard.

The Hayes Motel back when it opened was a place where blacks could find a room.

So Sad What Has Happened to the Old Motel.  --RoadDg

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 3: Road Woes With Trucks

June 20, 2016, Monday.

Another good hot breakfast at the Clarion in the morning and then on the road, I-70, heading east.  We're cruising along at the posted 70 mph.  Then, we come upon a group of around seven trucks.  I  always speed up when I see a bunch of trucks grouped together, knowing that one is going to try to pass the others.

I don't know why, but when a truck passes me in my car, he whizzes by very fast.  But, when they pass another truck, it is done very slowly.  Very, very slowly.  It is like that trucker decorum or courtesy calls for a slow pass so as not to upstage the passee.  And, I am sure they know that this slow pass-by is making the motorists lining up behind him a little unhappy.

Well, that truck pulled over into the left lane and it was off to the races we went at 55-60 mph.  And, he decided to pass ALL of the trucks.  We have now been behind the guy for around 15 miles and are in Indiana, just past Richmond, and I see an opening to the truck's right and floor it to pass him on that side.

Only to encounter a car with its right turn blinker on going about 25 mph.  Foiled again.  And then, the cars behind the truck wouldn't let me back into the left lane.

No Wonder My hair  Is Turning Gray.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 2: No Porkchop Sandwiches for Us

June 19th.  We stopped in Mt. Airy, N.C., on our way home this past Sunday.  Unfortunately, Snappy Lunch (and those great porkchop sandwiches) was closed on Sundays.  We did enjoy walking around the main street and looking at all the Mayberry (Mt. Airy served as its inspiration as this was where Andy Griffith grew up).  This town knows how to cash in on the ongoing popularity of this timeless TV show.

Gas at Wytheville (still $2.04) and more traffic going from there through West Virginia than usual.

We got a room at the Clarion in Englewood, Ohio, and went to Bolt's to watch the final NBA game.  Everyone in there was pulling for Cleveland for some reason.  We noticed a BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) across the street and went there to play some NTN and watch the game.

This place was packed and really loud with most everyone cheering for the Cavaliers.  We saw the end of the game at the Clarion bar.

We were pulling for Golden State, but it is always good when a Midwest team wins it all.  We are not LeBron fans and I was surprised that the Cavalier fans accepted him back after that Miami stunt he pulled.

--RoadDog

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 1: Eating Chili and 'Cue

I had just been down to North Carolina five weeks ago, but I had to return to the state last week.  It was under very sad conditions.

On the way down, on  June 13, we stopped at Englewood, Ohio, for my Cincinnati Chili fix at Skyline Chili.  We then drove through Columbus and got a room at the Comfort Inn and went to Thirsty Turtle where we watched the NBA Championship game which Cleveland won to get to 2-3 in the best-of-seven series.  Being in Ohio, the crowd was quite into pulling for the Cavaliers.

The next day we got gas at Wytheville, Virginia was $2.04. by far the best price on the trip.  Stopped near Clayton, N.C. at the White Swan and had their bbq.  Mighty good.  Love my Carolina 'cue, especially Eastern-style.

Checked into the Best Western Plus in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

--RoadDog

Monday, June 20, 2016

Our Concrete Rivers

No, no one has been dumping concrete into our rivers, but anyone with youngsters (15-25 years) knows what I am talking about.

Sometimes, the corn liquor, tuned in by some amazing sun graphics,

Personally, I miss the old steel girder bridges.  At least they looked like bridges.

--RoadDog


Saturday, June 18, 2016

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Normal, Illinois, Buys Route 66 Gas Station

MAY 16--  There was a video of the Cruisers Route 66 Cafe in Williams, Arizona.  The Grand Canyon Brewing Company is by it.

MAY 17--  Normal, Illinois, buys the Sprague Super Service station.  gain, I am so happy that the Bloomington-Normal area has finally become aware of its 66 heritage.

MAY 18--  The "This Place Matters" picture was taken at the Meramec River Bridge in Missouri.

--RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Gasconade River Bridge Saved

MAY 11--  MoDot will repair and reconstruct the closed Gasconade River Bridge by Hazelgreen, Missouri.  It is estimated to cost $5.4 million and work scheduled to start in 2018.

Glad to hear it,.  That was one very determined group of people trying to save it.

MAY 13--  Springfield, Missouri, is seeing a boom in its hotel business.  You think Route 66 might have something to do with that?

--RoadDog

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gas Comes Down in N.C., Evidently Goes Up in Illinois

When we got to Goldsboro, N.C., gas was $2.20.  Yesterday, it dropped to $2.06.

I received notice from Thornton's Gas that I had 10 cents off a gallon this weekend.  That usually means gas is up at least ten cents.  That would put gas at at $2.90 back home in northeasterngas Illinois.

Only in Illinois.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Looking Back to 1915: Wreckless Driving Even Back Then

From the September 9, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1915:  "Sometime Wednesday night in Sycamore, some person with what end in view cannot be imagined, drove an automobile over the curb on Somonauk street in which the Congregational church is located and also on the sidewalk along the block just west of the Great Western tracks on the north side of West State Street.

"The marks of the wheels on the walks and the turf alongside indicate the fellow was at least nearly sober, else he couldn't have driven so straight.

"No damage of consequence resulted."

Twasn't Me.  --RoadDog

Friday, June 10, 2016

Looking Back to 1915: Dayton Car Driven in County

From the Sept. 15, 2015, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"The Dayton car was driven on Saturday through the south part of the county (DeKalb County).  James Dayton, Misses Josie Dayton, Ella and Edna Davis took the trip."

And, they never write about me when I drive through or to DeKalb County.

I Am Offended.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1915: Not Really the Woodstock-Sycamore Interurban Railway

From the Sept. 9, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

"Although the word Woodstock is part of the name of that railroad, the Woodstock-Sycamore Interurban railway does not extend to Woodstock 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 Havana."

Havana, Illinois, is a city about 100 miles southwest of Sycamore.  I wasn't sure where it was so had to look it up.

--RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago Being Sold

MAY 10--  The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago has been sold, but the ownership will stay in the family  The restaurant and ownership have been in the Berghoff family for 116 years now, opening in 1898 by Herman Joseph Berghoff, a German immigrant.

The brother of present owner Carlyn Berghoff, is buying it.

Well, I won't get fooled again by this ploy.  When Carlyn bought it some years ago, she announced, in effect, that she was closing the place and turning it into something else and this set off a months-long pilgrimage by many folks, including myself on two occasions, to visit it one last time and buy souvenirs.  Let's just say, this was REALLY GOOD for business.

MAY 10--  Volunteers are needed for a photo shoot at the Meramec River Bridge this weekend, near Eureka,  Missouri, and the Route 66  Missouri State Park.  The shoot is for the National Trust for Historic Places "This Place Matters" campaign.  There seem to be problems with Missouri's Route 66 bridges.

MAY 11--  The Chelsea, Oklahoma pedestrian tunnel which recently opened and has Route 66 murals along its length, has already been vandalized.  Sorry to hear that.

Fool Me Once, Shame on You.  It Won't Happen Twice.  --RoadDog

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Looking Back: Avoiding Another Auto, Hit a Telephone Pole in 1916

From the June 1, 1916,, Midweek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Guy Stanton of DeKalb, driving an automobile with a party near the Fred Love farm between DeKalb and Sycamore, on Sunday evening, found it necessary to collide with another automobile, or with a telephone post, and he chose the latter.

"His machine was damaged to a large amount, but nobody was injured."

--RoadDog


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

An Interesting Telegram About Route 66 from 1926

POSTAL TELEGRAPH- COMMERCIAL CABLE-- TELEGRAM

Springfield, Missouri April 30 1926

Bureau of Public Roads

Care Thomas M. McDonald Washington DC

Regarding Chicago Los Angeles Road--  If California, Arizona, New Mexico and Illinois will accept Sixty Six instead of sixty we are inclined to agree with this change.

We prefer sixty six to sixty two.

Avery.Picouier

4 pm

And, So it Was.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Jensen's Point Reopening and Illinois Bike Trail

From the Route 66 News site.

MAY 6--  A formal celebration was held for the new California monuments recently designated national monuments in the state.  This includes the Mojave Trails National Monument which includes Route 66.

MAY 7--  The Jensen's Point grand reopening is set for May 30 at 2 p.m. in Pacific, Missouri.  It was built in 1939 by the CCC.  Now, if I can just get up all those steps I'm sure the view will be worth it.

MAY 9-  McLean County in Illinois is seeking an expansion of its Route 66 Bicycle Trail.  They want to complete seven miles of the trail outside the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area.  they propose 4 more miles between Towanda and Lexington and 3.25 miles south of Shirley toward Funk's Grove and eventually want it across the whole county.  They have already scheduled work on 2.5 miles north of Towanda.

I look forward to one day there being a bike trail across all of Route 66.

And, it sure is good to see that Mclean County, and especially Bloomington-Normal is finally becoming aware of its Route 66 heritage.

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 13: The "Yard of Bricks"

35.  THE "YARD OF BRICKS" AS WE KNOW IT WAS CREATED IN 1961.In October 1961, the remaining bricks on the front straightaway were covered with asphalt.  A 36-inch strip of the original bricks was kept intact at the start/finish line, where it remains today as the fabled "Yard of Bricks."

36.  ALTHOUGH IT HAD BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, THE "SNAKEPIT" REALLY GOT ROWDY IN THE '60S.

This goes back to the very early years.  The grandstand were mostly located around turn one.  If you didn't have a grandstand ticket, you then ended up in the infield.  There was drinking and shenanigans by teenagers in the 50s, but it really got "nasty" during the Vietnam War-era.

39.  THE CURRENT HALL OF FAME WENT UP IN '76.

The collection outgrew the original building.  I can sure relate to that.

SnakeBit Again.  --RoadSnake

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 12: The 1926 Pagoda Was Replaced

Here is where I start skipping some of the facts.

30.  NOTHING ON THE TRACK THAT STANDS TODAY EXISTED WHEN TOM CARNEGIE BEGAN HIS RUN.

The oldest building that still stands at the IMS is the Clarian Emergency Medical Center which opened in 1956.

31.  THE ORIGINAL HALL OF FAME MUSEUM WAS AT THE CORNER OF 16TH AND GEORGETOWN.

It was a single-story brick building.  Ground was broken in 1955 and it opened in '56.

32.  THE 1926 PAGODA WAS REPLACED WITH THE BOXY "MASTER CONTROL TOWER" IN 1956.

The tower would stand until the end of the century.

33.  THE PIT WALL ARRIVED IN '56, TOO.

And new rules required cars to be pushed out of the garage and onto the track before being started.

--RoadDog

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 11: The Long P.A. Career of Tom Carnegie

23.  AN EXPLOSION AND FIRE DESTROYED SEVERAL GARAGES IN 1941.

On race day morning, some last minute welding sparked a blast and fire that took out a bank of garages and George Barringer's ride, a Miller that had qualified 15th.

24.  TOM CARNEGIE BECAME THE IMS P.A. ANNOUNCER IN 1946.He'd hold that job for the next 60 years.

25.  IN '46, INDY HAD ZERO TV STATIONS.

And, only five radio stations.

26.  THE SINGLE LAP THAT YEAR WAS HELD BY RALPH HEPBURN.

Carnegie told fans that Hepburn had turned in 134.449 mph.

27.  CARNEGIE WOULD CALL 61 INDY RACES DURING HIS TENURE.

Plus 12 Brickyard 400s and six F1 races (the U.S. grand Prix), before he retired after the 2006 race.

What, No radio?--RoadDog


500 Facts About Indy 500-- Part 10: The 3.2 Million Bricks Are Still There, Just Covered By Asphalt Except at the Starting/Finish Line

19.  THE GOLF COURSE WENT IN IN 1929.

Initially the 27-hole course had nine holes inside the track.

20.  THE STARTING FLAG WAS RED UNTIL 1930.

A green flag replaced a red one to start the 38 drivers on the 500 mile journey.  Today, a red flag means a race has been stopped or suspended due to unsafe conditions.

21.  FLAGS WERE USED TO SIGNAL CAUTION ALL AROUND THE TRACK UNTIL 1935.

That's when lights went in to signal drivers, yellow and green side-by-side at various locations around the oval.

22.  THE 3.2 MILLION BRICKS THAT ORIGINALLY COVERED IMS WERE PAVED OVER GRADUALLY.

The Speedway's website says, "Asphalt gradually was added to various sections of the brick surface, with patches added to rougher sections of the turns in 1936 and all turns being completely paved with asphalt except for the middle portion of the front straightaway."

Brick Me.  --RoadDog


500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 9: The Pagoda Appeared In 1913

16.  SIXTY-SIX AUTO RACES-- AND AN AIRSHOW-- WERE HELD IN 1910.

The bricks worked well, and cars began hitting speeds well over 100 mph.  Orville and Wilbur Wright turned up at the National Aviation Meet June 13-18, 1910, an airshow that saw Walter Brookins set an altitude records on June 14 1910.  I looked him up and found that record altitude to be 4,380 feet.  He has an interesting story as well.

THE TRACK ITSELF, AND TOM CARNEGIE, TOO

17.  AN EARLY VERSION OF THE "WIND AND WHEEL" LOGO APPEARED AS EARLY AS THE SPEEDWAY'S FIRST MOTORIZED EVENT.

The tickets for the August 1909 motorcycle and auto races feature a graphic with a central tire flanked by two outstretched wings.  The letters "IMS" are superimposed on the picture.  I saw one of the oldies logos pennants with several IMS logos and they sure didn't change much from the earliest one.

18.  THE PAGODA FIRST APPEARED IN 1913.

The original four-tiered pagoda was razed by fire in 1925 to make room for the new pagoda, which was moved back from the track a considerable distance as speeds increased.

That Pagoda Sure Gives the Track a Distinctive Flare.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 6, 2016

Seventy-Second Anniversary of D-Day Today

Another day that I mark every year.  I have my flags out to honor those brave men who charged ashore at Normandy and changed the course of the war.

The "D" in D-Day actually just stands for the word "Day."  Every amphibious assault during the war, including North Africa and the Pacific had their own "D-Day.

A Pleasure to Honor the Greatest Generation.


500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 8: Mayhem in Early Races

11.  THE FIRST ENGINE-POWERED VEHICLES RACING ON THE TRACK AT IMS: MOTORCYCLES.

Two days of racing were planned for August 14-15, 1909, but track conditions deteriorated so rapidly that the event was called off after seven races on day one.

12.  THE EARLIEST GATE ADMISSION TICKETS COST 50 CENTS EACH.

And, kids got in for just 25 cents.  We paid $205 for out catwalk seats between turns one and two on May 29th.

13.  THE FIRST AUTO RACES AT THE SPEEDWAY WERE ABSOLUTE MAYHEM.

Driver Wilfred Bourque and mechanic Harry Holcomb were killed in the 300-mile Prest-O-Lite Race (the name of Carl Fisher's company) on August 19, 1909.  Charlie Merz's car blew a tire and flipped.  The crash claimed his mechanic Claude Kellum and spectators Howard Homer Jolliff and James West.

In the early days, drivers were required to take their mechanics along with them for the ride.

For an interesting account of the mayhem involved with the first Indy 500 race in 1911, see the Smithsonian magazine."One Hundred Years of the Indy 500" article.

15.  THE "BRICKYARD" WAS BORN IN THE FALL OF 1909.

3.2 million ten-pound bricks were laid, the last one being a solid-gold block in a special ceremony.

--RoadHem


500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 7: First Race Was a Balloon Race

7.  THE TRACK'S BEEN AROUND LONGER THAN MANY OF AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS SPORTING VENUES.

The track was finished in 1909, making it older than Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914) and the Rose Bowl (1922).  The original Yankee Stadium was built in 1923.

8.  THE FIRST RACE AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY OCCURRED IN THE AIR.

The track was the launching point for a balloon race on June 5, 1909 that saw a helium-lifted craft called Universal City winning by landing nearly 400 miles away in Alabama after a day in the sky.

9.  40,000 PEOPLE SHOWED UP FOR THAT BALLOON RACE.

10.  THE TRACK ORIGINALLY HAD ZERO BRICKS ON ITS SURFACE.

Compacted limestone, gravel and a lovely-sounding goop called "taroid" covered the 2.5 mile track.  By all accounts from back then, the surface was absolutely awful.

--RoadTaroid.


500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 6: A Railroad Station and Built By Mules

4.  A RAILWAY STATION ONCE STOOD NEAR WHERE THE "SPEEDWAY" GAS STATION IS NOW LOCATED.

The railroad tracks went in sometime around 1870.  A lot of people didn't own an automobile yet and they'd come by train from downtown to see the races.

5.  THE ORIGINAL DESIGN INCLUDED A ROAD COURSE.

Much like the track today, Fisher's initial plans called for an oval with a secondary road-style course that ran through the infield area.  The original three-mile oval was reduced to current size, two and a half miles) and the road course was scrapped to make room for seating.

6.  300 MULES HELPED BUILD THE TRACK.

Along with 500 men, animal power and steamrollers created the surface.

--RoadDog

Saturday, June 4, 2016

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 5: Fisher Bought the Farm

2.  JAMES ALLISON ORIGINALLY MADE HIS LIVING FROM COUPONS AND FOUNTAIN PENS.

The "coupons" the Allison Co. made were essentially legal tender at coal mining company stores at the turn of the 20th century.  The business expanded by printing tickets and vouchers, but James split to found a company that manufactured his invention, the Allison Perfection Fountain Pen.

The original coupon company had an address that would have put it near the corner of Georgia and Capitol.

3.  THE TRACK WAS ONCE A FARM.

The investors purchased the 328 acre Pressly farm for $72,000 in 1908.  The land was level, which fit Fisher's vision perfectly.

--RoadDog


500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part4: Carl Fisher's Baby

THE BIRTH OF IMS: BEFORE THE 500

1.  FISHER WAS THE FIRST OF THE "FOUR FATHERS."

Carl Fisher, a partner in the Prest-O-Lite auto head lamp company, got the idea for a track in Indy in 1905.  Indy was a manufacturing hub in the early days of the auto industry, and Fisher envisioned a proving grounds where cars might be able to attain the unheard speeds of 125 mph and more.

Fisher also sold cars, and racing them was a terrific sales tool.  Fisher convinced James Allison, Arthur Newby and Frank Wheeler to invest in the land for the Speedway.

--RoadDog


Thursday, June 2, 2016

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 3: Just the Facts That Interest Me

And, don't worry, I have no plan to type in all 500 facts.  I am just going to be doing the ones I find of interest.  But, there are still a lot of them.  I'll probably get it down to maybe 200-250, maybe less.

Plus, I am writing about seven secret Indy 500 remnants in my Cooter's History Thing Blog.

--RoadDog

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 2: A Lot of Help

"This story, told the way we choose to tell it, would not have been possible without Nora Spitznogle's charming 100-day countdown to the 100th 500 on www.nuvo.net or the reporting provided over the years by Lori Lovely.  Interviews with folks from Jim Nabors to A.J. Foyt, culled from our personal archives of material broadcast on WIBC several years ago, also provided some first-person accounts of what happened at Indy.

"Lastly, a huge thank you must be extended to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and historian Donald Davidson.  From providing info, tidbits and fact checks, the track and Mr. Davidson really helped make this thing as robust as we could make it for a landmark event as big as the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

"Ladies and gentlemen -- start your engines. >>>"

--One Huge Undertaking.  --RoadDog

500 Facts About the Indy 500-- Part 1: One Huge Undertaking In Itself

From the may 25, 2016, Indianapolis NUVO Newspaper "500 facts About the Indy 500.

"Facts, stats and recaps you can use to impress your friends before the 100th running of the Indy 500.

"Here's the problem with any undertaking that purports to include as much material as we've tried to wedge into these pages (17 pages unless I missed my count): something will always be missing.

"Your favorite factoid or bit o' trivia may have been passed by as we assembled this behemoth of a list. When you think about it, we could have built 500 Facts around just one race if we'd wanted to, but we tried to give an overview of the size and scope of the Indy 500 -- and the drama and danger too."

One Big Undertaking!!  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Laurel Kane To Be Inducted Into Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame

Taken from the Route 66 News Site which has more information and pictures and many more entries.  I just take the ones of interest to me.

MAY 2--  Laurel Kane of Afton Station in Oklahoma will be inducted into the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.  A well-deserved honor for a woman who did so much for the old road.  We were able to meet and talk with her on several occasions.

MAY 2--  Trailer for "Missouri Maze" film released, about Route 66 through the Ozarks in that state.  A lot of the trailer featured video of John's Modern Cabins, a favorite stop we make whenever in Missouri.  It just sums up what we're losing.

MAY 3--  The Route 66 Car Museum will be opening next month in Springfield, Missouri, at 1624 W. College Street (Route 66).  It will include a 1926 Hudson used in the 1939 movie "The Grapes of Wrath" among others.  Admission is $15.  We can never have too many museums along the route.

MAY 3--  A reporter is walking the length of Oklahoma City's Route 66 alignment.  Brianna Bailey of the Oklahoman is walking a mile a day and taking pictures and writing about what she see.  You can read her daily reports.  She wrote about motels that are in bad shape.

--RoadDog

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Indy 500, 2016-- Part 2: Shaking, Rattling and Rolling Down I-65 in Indiana: "Hell Is Real" and We're Driving It!!

May 26, 2016, Thursday

I had read yesterday that all hotel rooms in Indianapolis had been sold out by March and that people were staying a hundred miles away.  We also heard on the way down that the race was a complete sell-out for the first time ever with an expected 350,000 fans in attendance.  Usually,there are around 250,000.

Well, we have out tickets and will have to exert a walk of about 100 yards to the race track from the American legion grounds.  Tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

There was, of course, lots of construction areas, many with no construction going on at all as usual.  However, Indiana really needs to improve I-65.  It is one big pothole and a motor home is not the thing you want to be in when dealing with them.  My brain was essentially rattled.

There was a big sign saying "Hell is Real."

I Know, I Am In a Motor Home Bouncing and rattling Along on I-65.  --RoadDog

Indy 500, 2016-- Part 1: Why Not Stay Another Day?

MAY 26, 2016, Thursday

Drove over to Round Lake and met Sue and Paul at their house.  Paul's brother John then arrived.  We packed our stuff into the motor home and then we were off for Indianapolis.  This is my 5th time and Sue and Paul's 16th.

Normally we go there on Friday, but decided to add one more day, Thursday since the parking at the Legion covers Thursday to Monday or Friday to Monday.  Why not stay another day.  We had some discussion on it last year and took a vote.  It ended up 3-1 with all the guys voting for the extra day.

We had to stop at the Round Lake Beach jewel store on the way out to get silver, well, plastic, ware.  And, I had bought a case of Lite yesterday, but left it in the truck because of the rain, and there it still sat the whole weekend.

Out of sight, out of mind, you know.

Clear sailing on the Tri-State to I-65 in Indiana.

--RoadDog