Thursday, May 25, 2017

80 To 57 To 90/94 To 55?

No, these numbers are not a song by the group Chicago.

Consult an atlas for Chicago area roads or one of your aps for this one.  Especially considering how crazy our weather has been of late:

80 to 57 to 90/94 to 55.

Yep, our temps are sure jumping around.

Wait a Minute, We Also Have A US-12 and US-14!!  Oh No!!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Illinois' Red Carpet Corridor Festival-- Part 7: Bob Waldmire


Bob Waldmire, Route 66's artist and resident hippy, was often at events along the Mother Road, selling his wares and, of course, talking with all his friends.  And, he sure had a lot of them.

We'll never forget the time in Springfield, Illinois, during the festival when we stopped by this minibus and were talking with Bob.  He asked us if we would watch his stuff for a bit and we agreed.  We'd met him before, but he didn't really know us, but he was willing to let us watch his stuff.

We figured he needed to go to the bathroom and agreed.  How long could that take?  He left and we manned his spot for several minutes.  Then several more minutes, then a whole bunch of more minutes.  Where is Bob?  Still more time elapsed and after thirty minutes, a friend of his came by and we told him what was happening.

The friend said Bob was walking around the other booths at the festival.  We were sure happy when the friend agreed to watch Bob's stuff so we were out of there.

What Ya Gonna Do With That Bob.  --RoadDog.

Illinois Red Carpet Corridor Festival-- Part 6: Pontiac and Bob Waldmire, the Ultimate Hippy


From Odell, we drove the rest of the way to tonight's destination, Pontiac, the City of Murals and Museums.  Along the way, we passed the famous Meramec Caverns barn and the Log Cabin restaurant.  That barn is looking worse for wear and we hope we don't lose it like we did the one in Hamel.

When we got to Pontiac, we first went to Thornton's as we were almost to red light area on the gas gauge so had to fill up.

Then, it was to Pontiac's downtown where it is hard to look anywhere and not see a mural, museum or those neat little painted cars.  We parked by a mural and walked into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum and looked around a bit before paying my 2017 dues to the Illinois Association.

I was glad when the museum got Bob Waldmire's Volkswagen minibus.  We had seen it so many times at various Route 66 gatherings along the way.  This minibus was the reason for Fillmore in the movie "Cars."  And everything about Fillmore was Bob Waldmire who was the very epitome of a Hippy.  I never knew whether to feel sorry for him or jealous of him.  To live life exactly the way you want to live it.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: The Riviera Fire in 2010

APRIL 23--  The Streetcar Diner was also a target of the Riviera Roadhouse fire in 2010.  It was suspicious from the start and Liz and I were sure it was arson.  But we never heard anything about the cause after the fire.

This is the first time we heard that it definitely was arson as gasoline was used and another, thankfully unsuccessful fire was attempted in the diner.

They know who did the arson, the Riviera's last owner.  At this point it appears they don't know where he is, but I hope he is caught and serves serious time.

The former trolley car was converted into a restaurant in Gardner in the 1930s and later moved to out behind the Riviera where it was restored by the Illinois Route 66 Association.  It has now been moved to Gardner's park which features the famous two-cell jail.

It was so sad to drive by the now empty and cleared site of the Riviera during the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Festival two weekends ago.  We had not been by it since before the fire as it was too painful.  We were happy to have the chance to have a root beer float in the diner and liked the marker to the Krafts outside of it.

Great Memories of the Riviera.  --RoadDog

Monday, May 22, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Bill Shea's Reopening As Route 66-Themed Auto Repair Shop

All these articles are taken from Ron Warnick's Route 66 News site, your place for any and all-things Route 66.  He has photos, videos and goes into much more detail than I do.  Plus, I don't write about all his posts.  I pick the articles I am most interested in.

APRIL 22--  Bill Shea's Route 66 Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is returning.  However, now it will be a themed auto repair shop.

Randy Pickett and Jake Niewold are the new owners and will take care of your classic car needs.  They plan to reopen this summer and will  feature old cars and Route 66 memorabilia.

Bill Shea died at age 91 in December 2013.  The contents of his museum were auctioned off in November 2015.

Last year, when we drove by it coming into Springfield, it really tore us up seeing the building standing there vacant and forlorn.  There were many great memories of sitting out in front of the Mahan's Station on the museum property and talking with Bill Shea, his son and Tom Teague.  We had really been hoping his family would continue with his museum and keep all that accumulated memorabilia.

Glad To See Something Else Going In There.  --RoadDog

The Victory Highway-- Part 2: Mostly Became U.S. 40

Washingtion D.C., was dropped from the route and it was relocated to run west from Baltimore to Cumberland, Maryland.  At Cumberland it picked up the old National Road to Vandalia, Illinois, which was already a part of the National Old Trails Road.

It follwed this road until near Fulton, Missouri and then took a different route to Jefferson City and Kansas City then west to Denver over the Golden Belt Highway.  next it went to Salt Lake City to the Wendover Cutoff and into Nevada.

Crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains into California, to Sacramento and finally to San Francisco.

When numbered highways came into being in 1926, most of the Victory Highway was supplanted by U.S. 40.  The association renamed itself the U.S. Highway 40 Association in 1938.

A Road By Any Other Name.  --RoadDog

The Victory Highway-- Part 1: To Honor America's World War I Deaths

From Wikipedia.

Back on May 18th, I wrote about a Shorpy photograph showing a truck used for signage on the Victory Highway.  This was a highway I'd never heard of before.

It was an auto trail across the United States between New York City and San Francisco.  Immediately, I thought of the Lincoln Highway, which ran  between the same two cities.

The road was created by the Victory Highway Association, which organized in 1921 to locate and mark a transcontinental highway across the country to honor those Americans who died in World War I.  They had plans to have a series of Victory Eagles to mark the route, but only six were ever made.  One of them is at the University of Kansas (the road went through that state).

It 1922, the association determined to run their road from New York City southwest to Camden N.J., Philadelphia Wilmington, Delaware, Baltimore and then Washington, D.C..


Friday, May 19, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Illinois Route 66 Legislative Bills

APRIL 19--  Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is on a road trip to promote support for his Route 66 bills for an Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission and its being made a National Historic Trail.  Representative Avery Bourne is also sponsoring the bill.  I'd vote for them.

APRIL 20--  Joplin, Missouri is going to have "Fiddlers On the Route" musical festival June 30-July 1 at Landreth Park.  A featured band will be the Road Crew.

They sure have a neat logo for the event.


News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Illinois Restaurants

APRIL 18--  The old, long-closed Tropics building in Lincoln, Illinois, was torn down to be replaced by a McDonald's (at least it is not a Walgreen's).

The restaurant opened in 1950 and closed for good in 2004.  At least we got the opportunity to eat there and watch a Bears game one Sunday.

At least the impressive  sign will be put up again (and I understand it will be at the new McDonald's or somewhere close to it.

APRIL 19--  The famous and historical sign at Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, Illinois, has been taken down temporarily for a few weeks and slated to be reinstalled by early June.  It has been there for 71 years and is showing the wear and tear of northern Illinois weather.

This was done by a $17,000 matching grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.  The company restoring it is the same one that did the Munger-Moss Motel's famous sign in Lebanon, Missouri.

The restaurant opened in 1946.


San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts

In the last post, there was a truck involved with the signing of the Victory Highway in California parked out in front of the this San Francisco structure.

The Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 as part of the Panama-Pacific International Expedition celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal.  It was not planned as a permanent structure and made of non-durable material.

But, it was so loved by everyone that it wasn't torn down.  Over the years it deteriorated badly.  The original was near ruin in 1964 and demolished.  However, it was replaced with an exact replica made of concrete and steel.

It was quite impressive in the 1921 photograph.

Glad We Still Have It.  --RoadDog

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Signing the Victory Highway: 1921

From the March 17, 2016, Shorpy Photos.

You can go to the site and see the picture.

"We are signing the Victory Highway, San Francisco to New York."

San Francisco, circa 1921, "White motor truck at Palace of Fine Arts--California State Automobile Association."

A project from the early days of long-distance motor travel, when auto clubs took the lead in establishing and marking routes between cities and across the country.

A sign on the truck reads: "California State Automobile Ass'n"  There is also a picture of Yosmite Valley, California painted on it and the words "We Are Signing."


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Illinois' Red Carped Corridor 2017-- Part 5: Gardner to Odell


Still in Gardner

They had a big car show going on in the downtown area (which isn't very big).  We took a quick look and then went into Vino's where they had 66-cent pulled pork sliders.  We ordered four, figuring we would have to order some more, but when we got them, we were only able to finish one apiece (well, I did another half a piece).  They were huge.

We stopped at the Dwight Ambler-Beckler gas station which had a big crowd, lots of old cars and the Texaco Man as well.  Sure glad the town got around to saving this place as it is a neat old gas station.  When we first saw it in 2002, on our first Route 66 trip, it was looking bad and looked even worse the next several years.

Then, we went to the Odell Standard Oil station where we met a group of motorcyclists flying a French flag (or maybe Belgium).  Those European folks sure love our road.

Next Stop, Pontiac.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival 2017-- Part 4: Gardner


Next stop was Gardner, Illinois, where we stopped for the first time since leaving Joliet.  We had a taste for a root beer float served at the famous Trolley Diner Car which is now located next to the equally famous two-cell jail in the park downtown.  The Diner Car used to be behind the Riviera, but was moved after the fire.  Sadly, the last owner had also tried to start a fire in it at the same time he burned down the Riviera.

A couple from the Lions Club were inside and making up the root beer floats.  Cost was a donation.  We had been in the Diner Car several times at the Riviera, but had never had a seat and eaten something.  We talked with a couple doing the Red Carpet Corridor from St. Louis.

There is a marker outside the Diner Car for Bob and Peggy Kraft and the old Riviera.

We then went to inspect the two-cell jail and its top-of-the-line bathroom facilities.  Glad I didn't need to use the bathroom at this point.

Root Beerin' Down 66.  --RoadDog

Root Saluting Creedence Clearwater Revival-- Part 2: "Traveling Band"

STAND--  Sly & the Family Stone
STAND TALL--  Burton Cummings


WITHOUT YOU--  Badfinger
EVERYBODY'S TALKIN'--  Harry Nilsson
SHE'S NOT THERE--  Santana
SHOW BIZ KIDS--  Steely Dan


RAMBLIN' MAN--  Bob Seger
UPTIGHT--  Stevie Wonder
SHOW ME THE WAY--  Peter Frampton

BUS STOP--  Hollies


DREAM WEAVER--  Gary Wright
PHONOGRAPH--  Ringo Starr
BABY I LOVE YOU--  Ronettes


Now, I sure enjoyed those Creedence songs.

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Well, Take Me Back Down Where Cool Water Flow, Yeh."  (Answer Below),  --RoadDog

YOU'RE DRINKING TOO MUCH COFFEE WHEN:  You just completed another sweater... and you don't know how to knit.

"Green River"

Monday, May 15, 2017

Illinois' Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor-- Part 3: Braidwood to the Old Riviera

In Braidwood, we got stopped by police as a lot of people were crossing the road between the Polk-A-Dot Drive-In and where they were having their festival grounds.  We didn't stop.

Driving into Gardner, it was very sad to see the site of the old Riviera.  You'd never have known there was a building there.  This is the first time we'd driven by it since the fire.  We always thought it was suspicious and just this past few weeks we read in the Route 66 News that it had been arson and by the last owner, as we expected.

We are sure glad we got the opportunity to go there a lot.  What a unique place with the kitchen upstairs, restaurant and bar downstairs and the dumbwaiter.  And then... those super high toilets.  As they had a wooden plaque "Al Capone Passed Gas Here in 1932."  Great food and fun people, and, of course, Bob Kraft, the luckiest man in the world, holding court behind the bar.

He was "The Luckiest Man in the World" because he could get dressed, go downstairs, drink in his bar, eat in his bar, and go upstairs at the end of the day and sleep.  And he never had to go outside and never had a drivers license.

We Sure Miss Him and Peggy and the Riviera.  --RoadDog

Root Saluting Creedence Clearwater Revival-- Part 1 "Suzie Q"

On April 23, 2017, Bob Stroud on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, had a Roots Salute on his Rock and Roll Roots show in the morning to my favorite all-time band, Creedence Clearwater Revival in honor of the upcoming birthdays of bassist Stu Cook (April 25, 1945) and drummer Doug Clifford (April 24,1945).

Here are the songs he played on the show:


IN DREAMS--  Roy Orbison
GYPSY WOMAN--  Brian Hyland
GIMME GOOD LOVIN'--  Spencer Davis Group
GETTIN' TOGETHER--  Tommy James & the Shondells


OUT OF TIME--  Rolling Stones


I'M DOWN--  Beatles
GAME OF LOVE--  Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Left A Good Job In The City, Workin' For The Man Every Night And Day."   Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Proud Mary"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Sad Mother's Day for Me

Last Mother's Day I was in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and with Mom as well as my brother and sister.  This was the first time in many years that all three of her children were with her.  She was sure excited and happy.

Little did we know at the time that that was to be her last Mother's Day.  She died unexpectedly in June.

Just not going to be the same again.

On the way down to her funeral, we were listening to a C.W. McCall greatest hits CD and the song "Roses for Mama" came on.  It hit me hard.

Enjoy Your Moms While You Can.

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Route 66 Bills in Congress

APRIL 11--  There is a fundraiser going on to build a huge Route 66 map to be made entirely of New Mexico license plates to be located near Edgewood, New Mexico.  They have raised $5,500 so far and the map will be 40 feet long and 12 feet high.  That'sa Big Map.

APRIL 15--  There are Route 66 bills in Congress.  One is to name the Mother Road as a National Historic Trail and the other is to set up a Route 66 100th Anniversary Commission.  That anniversary is coming up sooner than you'd think.

APRIL 16--  The Old Station in Williamsville, Illinois, has a new owner.  We sure enjoyed stopping there back when it was open with all those eccentric items and those neat car models.

Any Thing That Was Closed And Reopens Is A Good Thing.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Lexington's Kelly's On 66

APRIL 7, 2017:  The former Filling Station restaurant on Route 66 in Lexington, Illinois, will be reopening in July as Kelly's On 66.  It closed in 2011 and is at 905 1/2 West Main Street, right across from the famous neon sign directing Route 66 motorists to downtown Lexington.

We ate there once before when it was The Filling Station and often remarked as we drove by that we wished it would reopen.  We were in Lexington this past Sunday during the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival and it has the new name up, but not open.

Looking Forward to its Reopening.  --RoadDog

Thursday, May 11, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Route 66 On Illinois Endangered List

And, speaking of Most Endangered Places in the last two posts, Route 66 made the Landmarks Illinois list.

APRIL 6--  Route 66 is listed among the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois by Landmarks Illinois in their annual list.  This is not because of preservation and interest of the Mother Road in the state, but, it needs to be permanently designated as a National Historic Trail.

Unfortunately, many historic motels and restaurants have been shuttered or torn down.

Some other endangered Illinois sites:

Singer Pavilion in Chicago
Ryan's Round Barn in Henry County
McKee House in Lombard
Norway Temperance Hall in Norway
Federal Historic Tax Credit
O'Hara Rotunda Building at O'Hara Airport in Chicago
James R. Thompson Center in Chicago


30th Anniversary of NTHP's "11 Most Endangered Places"-- Part 2

4.  Little Rock Central High School--  Arkansas.  Once the largest high school in the U.S..  Focal point of the Civil Rights Movement.

5.  Cathedral of St. Vibian--  Los Angeles

6.  Governor's island National Monument--  New York City.  Military base.

7.  Angel Island Immigration Station--  San Francisco.  "The Ellis Island of the West."

8.  Travelers' Rest--  Montana  The only archaeologically verified Lewis & Clark campsite.

9.  President's Cottage--  Washington, D.C.

10.  Nine Mile Canyon--  Utah.  Ute and Fremont Indians

11.  Statler Hilton Hotel--  Dallas


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today Is the 30th Anniversary of the NTHP's "11 Most Endangered Places"-- Part 2

The first one came out in 1988 and this has proven to be a great way to make Americans aware of examples of American architecture and cultural heritage that are on the brink of destruction or irreparable damage.

Some of the places have been lost, but others have made remarkable recoveries.

here is a list of eleven success stories in the last 30 years.

1.  Antietam National Battlefield Park--  It was on the first list in 1988 and today is considered one of the best-preserved battlefields from the Civil War.

2.  Penn School--  South Carolina  This school for black children was established in 1862.

3.  Historic Boston theaters

Congratulations National Trust for Historic Preservation!!  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Illinois Route 66's Red Carpet Corridor Festival-- Part 2: To Wilmington

MAY 6, 2017

We left downtown Joliet, past the Rialto Theatre and then encountered one of the biggest-ever potholes that I ever had seen, unfortunately at a jarring speed.  I figured we'd get a flat for sure, but didn't.

It had been a lot of years since we had driven down this stretch of Route 66 from Joliet to Dwight, Illinois.  It is four lane for much of the stretch, we always reminds me of what it must have been like driving the old four lane 66, before the interstates came.

We passed Mr. B's on 66 near Preston, but it appears the place is closed.  We had eaten there once before.  Also went past the two racetracks.

We went past the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and the Midewin Nature Preserve (both formerly of the huge Joliet Arsenal.  Midewin was sponsoring trips out to see its bison herd, but we didn't stop.

Always great to see the Gemini Giant standing tall and proud at the old Launching Pad Restaurant in Wilmington.  Sadly, the restaurant has been closed for a long time.  We did see some picture-taking by the muffler man/space man.

That old truck on the hill is rusting away still.  Always something that reminds us of Route 66.

Going Back Into history.  --RoadDog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Illinois' Route 66 Red Corridor Festival-- Part 1: To Joliet

We decided on Friday to get ourselves back to the Mother Road and enjoy the festival.

MAY 6, 2017

We got off at 10 a.m.. with the odometer on the '03 Malibu at 137,999 miles as we backed out of the driveway.  We have never had a car make it over 100,000 miles.

Took Il-120 to Il-47 and then south to a bit past Yorkville where we picked up US-52 into Joliet to begin our festival.  We saw a lot of standing water and new ponds around Woodstock and even more on 52 to Joliet.  The last two weeks have been ones with lots and lots of rain.

At several intersections along the way there were people standing by the roads with placards telling motorists to be aware of motorcyclists.

We have not been to Joliet and that stretch of Route 66 to Dwight, Illinois, in a long time so we were interested in what changes there might be.

This year, the Red Corridor Festival was giving out mini-buttons for all the stops.

We went to the Joliet Area Historical Museum which had free admission for the event and received our first, and as it turned out, only button and I stabbed myself a couple times trying to get it on my tee-shirt (which was a 2011 Missouri Route 66 Motor Tour one (I couldn't find my other 66 shirts).  It featured the Jake and Elwood Blues Brothers statues.

We toured the Lincoln Highway, Route 66 and Joliet Sports Hall of Fame exhibits before leaving.

Good To be Back On Da Road.  --RoadDog

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Going to Illinois' Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival Today

In a couple hours, Liz and I will be heading out for the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival.  This will be today and tomorrow, may 6 and 7 and will stretch from Joliet to Towanda (just north of Bloomington-Normal).

Every town along the way has things planned for it, some more than others.

The Joliet Area Historical Museum has free admission .  Then there are the towns of Elwood, Wilmington, Braidwood, Godley and Braceville.  Gardner will feature 66 cent pork sliders served from the Diner by the two-cell jail in the downtown park.

This is the stretch where we rarely go as usually we take Illinois Highway 47 to Dwight where we pick up the Mother Road.

Dwight and Odell will be featuring their old gas stations and the Texaco man.  Pontiac will have a concert by the Route 66 Concert Band.

We plan on spending tonight in Pontiac and then driving to Towanda on Sunday, hitting all spots along the way.

Looking forward to visiting the old Filling Station restaurant in Lexington and then the car show and Best Damn Garage in Towanda Sunday.

Route 66in' It All the Way.  --RoadDog

Friday, May 5, 2017

Trip Advisor's Most Popular State Attractions-- Part 5: National D-Day Memorial

TENNESSEE--  Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
TEXAS--  Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Theatre, Dallas

UTAH--  Observation Point in Zion National Park
VERMONT--  Smugglers' Notch State Park, Stowe

VIRGINIA--  National D-Day Memorial, Bedford
WASHINGTON--  Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

WEST VIRGINIA--  New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville
WISCONSIN-- Basilica of St. Josephat, Milwaukee

WYOMING--  Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park

June 6, 1944.  --RoadDog

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trip Advisor's Most Popular State Destinations--Part 4: Gettysburg

NEW YORK--  Central Park, New York City
NORTH CAROLINA--  Blue Ridge Parkway--

NORTH DAKOTA--  Fargo Theatre, Fargo
OHIO--  Portsmouth Floodwall Murals

OKLAHOMA--  Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
OREGON--  Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Yachats

PENNSYLVANIA--  Gettysburg National Military Park
RHODE ISLAND--  Ocean Drive, Newport

SOUTH CAROLINA--  Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort
SOUTH DAKOTA--  Loop Road in Badlands National Park

Pickett's Charge.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Make It a Garden Trip

From the Spring National Trust for Preservation magazine "Gardens At National Trust Historic Sites Provide a Breath of Fresh Air."

They listed and wrote about four of them.  I am quite the person for flower gardens.

1.  LYNDHURST--  Tarrytown, New York   On the Hudson River.

2.  THE SHADOWS--  New Iberia, Louisiana  Former plantation.  Concentrates on shade plants.

3.  BELLE GROVE--  Middleton, Virginia

4.  BRUCEMORE--  Cedar Rapids, Iowa

So, Next Time Traveling, Stop and Smell the Roses.

Route 66 Sites Suffer in Missouri Flooding

I am very sorry to find out that many of Route 66's best sites in Missouri have suffered so badly in the flooding that took place (and still is) because of the torrential rains there this last week.

I was excited to read about the little town of Devil's Elbow and special bar Elbow Inn making the NRHP list last week, now, according to a county official there, "Devil's Elbow is gone."  The worst flood ever in that place.

Plus, the Gasconade River was over the Gasconade Bridge near Lebanon.  We were at that bridge last April in an effort to save the bridge from being torn down.  It was saved, but hopefully now it won't be flooded away.

Sad Times in Missouri.  --RoadDog

Trip Advisor's Most Popular State Attractions-- Part 3 Kancamagus Highway

MICHIGAN--  Guardian Building, Detroit
MINNESOTA--  North Shore Scenic Drive, Duluth

MISSISSIPPI--  USS Cairo Museum, Vicksburg
MISSOURI--  Gateway Arch, St, Louis

MONTANA--  Going-To-The-Sun Road, Glacial National Park
NEBRASKA--  Great Platte River Road Archway, Kearney

NEVADA--  Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas
NEW HAMPSHIRE--  Kancamagus Highway

NEW JERSEY--  Ocean City Boardwalk
NEW MEXICO--  White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo

Under the Boardwalk.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: The El Vado Motel to reopen

These items are taken from the Route 66 News site.  This site has a lot more things in it, but I just choose the ones I am most interested in and have comments about them.  Plus, there is a lot more information and pictures.  If you want to know ANYTHING about Route 66, go to this site.

APRIL 2--  El Vado Motel work begins in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and hope to have it finished by August 1.  It will be reopening as a boutique motel.  Ponderosa Brewing is to open a tap room on premises and there will be food pods, 21 motel rooms and retail spaces.

This is an $18 million project and $3 million has come from the city.

Daniel Murphy opened the El Vado Auto Court Motel on Route 66 in 1937.  It was listed on the NRHP in 1993 and closed in 2005.

Always great when an old and neat-looking structure is re-purposed and svaed.

Albuquerque putting its money where its mouth is!

Congratulations to All.  --RoadDoh

Trip Advisor's Most Popular State Attractions-- Part 2: "The Bean"

HAWAII--  Na Pali Coast, Kauai
IDAHO--  Craters of the Moon National Monument, Arco

ILLINOIS--  Cloud gate "The Bean", Chicago
INDIANA--  Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis

IOWA--  Grotto of the Redemption, West Bend
KANSAS--  Massachusetts Street, Lawrence

KENTUCKY--  Floodwall Murals, Paducah
LOUISIANA--  St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

MAINE--  Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth
MARYLAND--  Fort McHenry National Monument, Baltimore

Seeing Star-Spangled Banners.  --RoadDog

Trip Advisor's Most Popular Tourist Destinations-- Part 1: Red Rock Scenic Byway

From the May 24, 2014, Parade Magazine "The Most Popular Tourist Attractions in All 50 States, According to Trip Advisor" by Vi-an Nguyen.

Trip Advisor used their "Trip Advisor Popularity Index" including quality, quantity and recency of reviews.  Some spots that you'd expect to make the list, didn't make it like Disneyland or the Statue of Liberty.

ALABAMA--  USS Alabama, Mobile
ALASKA--  Anan Wildlife Observatory, Wrangell

ARIZONA--  Red Rock Scenic Byway
ARKANSAS-- William Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock

CALIFORNIA--  Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1, Los Angeles to Carmel.
COLORADO--  Trail Ridge Road,  Estes Park

CONNECTICUT--  Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan
WASHINGTON D.C.--  Lincoln Memorial/Reflecting Pond

FLORIDA--  Stetson Mansion, DeLand
GEORGIA--  Mickve Israel Temple, Savannah


Monday, May 1, 2017

Record Store Day-- Part 3: Made It To the Vinyl Frontier

After the discussion group meeting, I drove back to McHenry, Illinois, and the line was gone from outside the Vinyl Frontier, so parked and went inside.  There were about 25 people inside, and with the narrowness of the aisles, that made for some difficulty walking around and browsing, you know, flipping through the albums.

The owner said this was the best-ever Record Store Day crowd ever with a big smile on his face.  As usual, there were kids and teenagers in there, something that is a good thing for me to see.  It seems that everything I like gets taken away from me.

I did my flipping through the albums and bought three:

The Super Groups Atco Records with songs by Cream, Bee Gees, Rascals, Buffalo Springfield, Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly (1969)

Smash Sounds, Atco Records, with songs by the Capitols, Sonny & Cher, Arthur Conley, Otis Redding and others.  (1967

Beau Brummels From the Vaults   Rhino Records (1982)

I also bought a CD, Harry Nilsson Anthology.

So, I Did My Part for Record Store Day (Even Though I Really Don't Need Any More Albums).  --RoadDog

Looking Back to Route 66: Victorville, California

From the October 12 San Bernardino (California) Sun.  Not sure what year.

Victorville is really two towns.  One the new, bix box store and plenty of traffic.

The old one was founded by Jacob Nash Victor in 1885.  The Santa Fe Railroad used the names of employees for its western waterstops.  Mr. Victor was a supervisor.  In 1909, the growing town was renamed Victorville to avoid confusion with Victor, Colorado.

In 1926, Route 66 came through town and much activity developed along 7th Street.

One place, The Red Rooster, was a popular roadhouse and had a small part in the film "The Jazz Singer" with Neil Diamond.  It was forced to close because of loss of business after I-15 was built.  Today it is a Route 66 museum.  They have a nine-foot metal sign of a hula girl and became known as Hulaville.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Reopening of the Mill in Lincoln!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017, will be quite the day in Lincoln, Illinois, as it will mark the opening of the Mill after many years of work and effort by many groups.

I remember seeing it on our first Route 66 trip back in 2002 and being sad that it had fallen upon such hard times.  I mean, it was looking bad.  Then it continued to get worse.

But finally, the city realized what an excellent piece of history they had and it has since been restored and will open as a museum.

Wish we could be there, but we are planning on doing the Red Carpet Corridor weekend May 6-7 and will probably get to Lincoln to check it out on our way to Springfield.

Happy Days Be Here Again.  --RoadMill

Budget Vegas-- Getting That Gambling Bang for Your Buck-- Part 3

7.  Check out museums.  two of note are the Neon Museum and Mob Museum.  At least you're not losing money gambling.

8.  Also, there are a lot of street performers.

9.  Avoid steakhouses and buffet bonanzas.  Go to delis and local restaurants.  And, definitely, positively, In-N-Out Burgers.

10.  Take the bus on Route 109.  It is $2 a ride or $20 for three days.

11.  Get out of town.  Some neat places to visit are the Valley of Fire State Park and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  Also Mount Charleston.

Lucky Seven-Eleven.  --RoadDog

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Budget Vegas, Getting the Bang for Your Gambling Buck-- Part 2

3.  Las Vegas Boulevard has the most expensive rooms.  Stay at a non-casino hotel.

4.  Off strip casinos have the best deals.

5.  Experience Fremont Street.  Its rooms, restaurants, gambling tables, etc. are less expensive.

6.  Tickets to the big shows are expensive and often sold out.  However, you can use Tix 4 Tonight booths, which open at 10 a.m., to get better deals.


News From Along Route 66, March 2017: Illinois Travel Ads Feature Route 66 Sites

MARCH 27--  Illinois touts Route 66 to young people in its new "Up for Amazing" TV campaign.  The series aims at Gen X and Millennials and Route 66 sites are prominent in two of the thirty second ads.

These ads are shown in 13 Midwestern markets through July.  The Route 66 shield at the Illinois Route 66 Museum in Pontiac is one of the shots as are quite a few in Chicago.

In case your're wondering, Gen X were born in the mid-60s to early 1980s.  Millennials are born from the 1980s to 2000.

I always get a kick out of that Route 66 shield.  That is sure impressive.

We also need to keep young people interested in the old roads.  I look around at Route 66 gatherings and sure are a lot of us oldsters.

MARCH 30--  Meteor City Trading Post may have a savior.  Michael and Joann Brown, from Indiana plan to restore and reopen it.  It closed in 2012 and was ransacked.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Budget Vegas, Getting the Gambling Bang for Your Buck-- Part 1

From the April 22, 2014, Yahoo! Travel, Compass  "Budget Las Vegas:  How to save on Sin City fun" by Christy Karras.

Las Vegas increasingly caters to the high rollers and rich.  (A big reason why I don't care if I ever go back.)

Her brother oversees hotel casino pools and says you should avoid the pools of ones hosting big, late-night pool parties as chlorine can only do so much.

Here are some tips if you still want to go:

1.  Avoid weekends, big sporting events like the Super Bowl and big conventions.  Crowds and prices of everything go way up.

2.  Gamble early in the morning when table minimums are lower  Most of the upscale casinos now how minimum $25 bets now at other times.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Record Store Day-- Part 2: No Vinyl Frontier, But Barnes & Noble

I decided to stop at the Vinyl Revolution on my way to the McHenry Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting in Crystal Lake and left early.  Unfortunately, the line was already around the corner and the place wasn't yet open.  And, I really hate lines.

I hate lines, so continued on my way to Crystal Lake.  I was running early, so stopped at McDonald's for a breakfast biscuit and then went to the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Northwest Highway (US-14) and bought a Blue  & Gray magazine featuring the Battle of Bentonville and the Russian Navy and World War II magazine featuring the Sullivan Brothers.

One thing that does my heart good is seeing all the vinyl records they now sell.  Sadly, though, they are all in the $20+ range, more than I like to pay.  I went through Barnes & Nobles's sale CDs, but didn't buy any.

Then, it was on to Panera Bread for the discussion group.  Today's topic was April 1865.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Record Store Day, April 22, 2017-- Part 1: McHenry's Vinyl Revolution Record Store

This is a day I look forward to every year as it does my heart good to see there are still a few of us out there who still like our old vinyl albums (although I must admit I like CDs better and play them way more often).  There is just something about flipping through albums and looking for that special treasure.  Who knows if you're going to find it or not?  It's a real treasure hunt.

And, I almost forgot about it until I was listening to Chicago's WXRT, 93.1 FM, and they mentioned it.  Sure glad they did.  I was going through some e-mail alerts for the blogs in preparation for driving to Crystal Lake, Illinois, for the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting about events of April 1865.  WXRT, starting at noon and going to midnight, also played nothing but vinyl albums in honor of the Record Store Day.

That means, I will drive right by my local mom and pop record store, The Vinyl Revolution, in McHenry, Illinois.  I even left early to go to the discussion group, only to find the store not opening until 9 a.m., and the line already stretching along the sidewalk and around the corner.

I decided to stop in on my return.

No Record Store For Me!!!  --RoadDog

Friday, April 21, 2017

News From Along Route 66, March 2017: A New Museum for Pontiac

MARCH 19--  Chuck Berry died in St. Louis at age 90.  A real big reason we still have rock and roll.

MARCH 22--  Ruby Street Bridge in Joliet, Illinois, will be undergoing months of repairs.  It is a classic bridge, built in 1935, rehabilitated in 1972 and 2011.  It is 400 feet long and crosses the Des Plaines River.

A real pretty bridge.

MARCH 24--  Pontiac, Illinois, to get a new museum.  It will be the Basketball Museum of Illinois which has gotten the green light in town and will open late 2017 or 2018.  It will cover all things basketball in the state.  And that will no doubt include Herbron, Illinois, whose small high school shocked everyone back in the early 1950s when they won the state championship.

It will be in a closed K-Mart store and will be operated by the Illinois Basket ball Coaches Association  Plans call for it to be next door to a planned Route 66 Museum of Transportation.

This will bring the total number of museums in Pontiac to seven.

Truly a museum and mural city.


About Goldsboro, N.C.-- Part 2: A Railroad Town and Sherman Target

There is a picture of the Kiwanis Miniature Train that operates Saturdays and Sundays from April to September in Herman Park from 1 to 5 p.m..  Herman Park is across Jackson Street from where my family lived from the 1920s.  I used to ride that train a lot as a kid.

Even though there are no longer passenger train service to Goldsboro, there are still a lot of railroad tracks that have to be crossed, many still used for freight trains.

"Goldsboro's a railroad town, built on the tracks between Wilmington and Raleigh, named after Matthew Goldsborough, a railroad man.  During the Civil War, Sherman had Goldsboro in mind when he burned through the South, hoping to get ahold of bustling tracks,  He did."

People in Goldsboro loved these tracks, but hated them as well.  One April night 91 years ago, a group of unnamed people got fed up with the dirty, noisy trains coming through the center of town, causing fires and sooting up everything and went out in the darkness and pulled the tracks up and stacked them in a neat pile in Center Street.  They even have a DeRailebration Ceremony in honor of it.

The train company sued the city, which just went ahead and paid it.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

About Goldsboro, N.C.-- Part 1: It's a Railroad Thing

From the July 2016 Our State Magazine (North Carolina) by Eleanor Spicer Rice.

"Wherever you go in this Wayne County city, you'll find yourself crossing railroad tracks."

Very true.  of course, a big reason for Goldsboro's existence involved railroads.  It made the city a target for General Sherman's Army during the Civil War when it was also part of the important Wilmington and Weldon Railroad which kept Lee's Army supplied.

Goldsboro is my home city, where I was born back 65 years ago.  So, it is special to me.  My family has lived there since around 1900 and up until the end of last year, were in the same house since the 1920s.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Cruisin' Cassette Tape "20 Great Oldies-- Vol. 12": "Don't Make Me Over"

The number after the artist is the highest the song got on Billboard's Hot 100 and then the year it was out.


1.  DON'T MAKE ME OVER--  Dionne Warwick    #21   1963
2.  WATERMELON MAN--  Mongo Santamaria     #10    1963
3.  IT'S GONNA WORK OUT FINE--   Ike & Tina Turner     #14    1961

4.  EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART--  Gladys Knight & the Pips    #6    1961
6.  SOUL TWIST--  King Curtis     #17    1962
7.  TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT--  Shirelles      #39   1960

8.  FUNNY--  Maxine Brown     #25   1961
9.  MOON RIVER--  Jerry Butler      #11    1961
10.  CRY TO ME--  Betty Harris      #23   1963

Name That Tune (from the above songs:  "Dream-Maker, You Old Heart-Breaker."   Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Moon River"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" Has a Mention of Route 66-- Part 2

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" by Mighty Mo Rodgers.

I was casually listening to this song on The Surf 94.9 FM out of Myrtle Beach South Carolina when I heard mention of Route 66.  My ears perked up, of course.

Continuing with the song lyrics:

"I took a bus trip back in time

Route 66 when it was the main line

I saw teepees and motels, design like events.

And then I saw that place where we once spent,

But nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

When you took out the good parts and leave the misery.

But, if I had to do it again, you know I'd do it with you,

It was dumb like sin, yeah."

The video on You Tube has pictures of a US-66 shield as well as a Wigwam Motel.

Well Worth Listening To.  --RoadDog

A Cruising Cassette Tape "20 Great Oldies- Vol. 12: "He Will Break Your Heart"

Sure enjoy getting out in the old '85 Firebird and popping a cassette tape into the player and this is one great pre-recorded tape, featuring some songs I know about and others not so well.

The number after the artist is the highest it got on the Billboard Hot 100


1. ANY DAY NOW--  Chuck Jackson   #23  1962
2.  YOU'LL LOSE A GOOD THING--  Barbara Lynn    #8  1962
3.  HE WILL BREAK YOUR HEART--  Jerry Butler    #7   1960

4.  POOR FOOL--  Ike & Tina Turner    #38  1962
5.  MAMA SAID--  Shirelles    #4  1961  
6.  IF YOU NEED ME--  Wilson Pickett    #64   1963
7.  STEAL AWAY--  Jimmy Hughes    #17   1964

8.  ALL IN MY MIND--  Maxine Brown    #19    1960
9.  SNAP YOUR FINGERS--  Joe Henderson      #8    1962
10.  LETTER FULL OF TEARS--  Gladys Knight & the Pips     #19   1962

This is some really fine R&B/Soul Music, even if I do say so.

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Met A Little Boy Named Billy Joe And Then I Almost Lost My Mind."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Mama Said"

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" Song by Mighty Mo Rodgers Mentions Route 66

This song was getting some play on Beach Music stations, especially on the Surf, 94.9 FM WVCO out of North Myrtle Beach, S.C..

I was listening to it when I heard the singer, Mighty Mo Rodgers, mention Route 66.

Here are some of the lyrics:

"I don't drink. I just smoke.  I don't gamble no more.  And I don't use no toke.

All I wanna do is be with you. Smoke some cigarettes and have some java brew.

Make it black and strong, that's what I need.

Cause when I think of love, don't you know what I bleed?

I bleed blues, and rhythm and rock 'n roll

All that funky stuff that shakes up my soul."

As you can guess, this is a blues song and a really good one.  He then goes into what he said about Route 66 and a certain motel we all love.

Give It a Listen on You Tube.

I'll write his account of a trip on 66 in the next post, tomorrow.

Bring On the Coffee and 66.  --RoadDog

Some News From Route 66-- Part 2: Slow Drags on the Route, "More Corporate Blandness, Less Mom and Pop Character"

**  The Slow Drags are a 6-piece alternative country band from Portland, Oregon, and are traveling the western United States, much of it on good old Route 66.

On May 10th, they stayed at "this cool old motor court last night called the Apache Motel" in Prescott, Arizona.  "It will soon go the way of the Do-Do bird as it is being sold and then torn down.  It's the wave of the future, more corporate blandness, less mom and pop character."

They essentially traveled Route 66 from California through to Arizona.  "We got to see some of the old billboards, hotels, gas stations and shops in Williams and Flagstaff.  It's pretty amazing to think of all the people that have traversed the route over the years, especially during the dust bowl.:"

Welcome to the Road.  --RoadDog

Some News From Route 66-- Part 1: Sprague Super Service and Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum

I found these items in some old notes.  Not sure what year they are from, though.

**  May 6:  WJBC AM, Voice of McLean County says the Sprague Super Service station has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

**  May 9:  The Pontiac Daily Leader says the elevator work will begin at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum and the Pontiac War Museum.  The west entrance will be the main entrance for the next three weeks.

Pontiac, Museum City Now.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 14, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Thank Goodness Sycamore's State Street Is So Wide

From the January 25, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Citizens of Sycamore driving automobiles and the merchants as well as the city officials are thankful at this time that state Street is wider than the average smaller city thoroughfare.

"Because of the heavy snow, and the impossibility of the department of public works to remove it as rapidly as it falls, there is considerable piles on the sides of the road."

Must have Been a Lot of Snow.  --RoadDog

Route 1 Really is a Super Highway-- Part 3: Road of Many Names in Buck County

Route 1 is rarely called Route 1.

In Middleton, it is the Lincoln Highway.

In Bensalem it is Roosevelt Boulevard.

In Pennsylvania, it is County Line Road, Township Line Road, State Road, the Media Bypass, Baltimore Pike and Kenneth Oxford Bypass.

In New Rochelle, New York, it is Main Street.

Along the east coast, it is called Caribou Road, Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway, Biscayne Boulevard, Augusta Highway, Broadway, Dixie Freeway, Atlantic Highway and Boston Post Road.

Name Me a Name.  --RoadDog

Thursday, April 13, 2017

About Last Weekend: Steak 'N Shake and Bands

Just hanging around town as it were.

APRIL 7, FRIDAY--  Went to Crystal Lake and had breakfast at Steak 'N Shake in McHenry. Did some shopping and went to the Legion in Fox Lake.

APRIL 8, SATURDAY--  Breakfast buffet at St. John the Baptist in Johnsburg and presentation on Charles Lindbergh at the McHenry Area Historical Society meeting at the McHenry Savings Bank.  Shopping afterwards and yardwork and sure enjoyed the 70 degrees temperature.

Went to Sunnyside and saw several sports games on TV and watched the Central Stone Rollers band for a set.

APRIL 9, SUNDAY--  Did my usual radio shows and then yardwork, Steak 'N Shake for lunch and Jim Sieg's jam session at Sunnyside.

Plenty   to Do Around Here.  --RoadDog

N.C. January 2017-- Part 8: Radioing My Way Through N. Carolina

Continued friom March 17.  Perhaps I will get there at some time.

January 13, 2017, Friday.

I am driving through the western part of N.C., now, listening to the Classic Country station, windows down and enjoying 77 degree temperatures..

This is my fifth drive to and from North Carolina since May because of my mother's death, so I am getting quite used to the drive.  As I get east of Greensboro, I lose WBRF and switch to 850 AM out of Raleigh, which plays a mix of oldies like our MeTV Radio back in the Chicago area.

I was to meet my nephew Andy's plane from Nashville at RDU and then drive him to Topsail Beach  We drove I-40 to US-17 outside of Wilmington and took it most of the way to the beach.  We got to Hamstead at 4:40 p.m. and the traffic going both ways was almost Raleigh Rush Hour bad.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

News From Along Route 66, March 2017: A "Sirip" Shortage and The Mill

MARCH 12--  Warmer weather decreases sap harvest at Funks Grove Maple Sirip.  Oh NO!!  No Sirup for me!!!  How will I eat my flapjacks?

MARCH 14--  The 66 Drive-In movie theater in Carthage, Missouri, has had a change of owners.  As long as it stays open that's ok with me.

MARCH 15--  New fundraiser launched for The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois.  It is slated to reopen as a museum on April 29.  The new fundraiser is through Crowdrise Funraise.  They hope to get between $3500 and $5,000.

Still Thinking of Going There.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Route 1 Really Is a Super Highway-- Part 2

US Highway 1 was originally known as the Atlantic Highway and started out as a rough wagon road.  US-1 was created piecemeal from existing roads, much the same as all early numbered U.S. highways.

There is a 40-foot wide stretch of the road built in the mid-1800s between Buberry and Neshaming creeks.  Parts of it is known as the Byberry Pike, Benesalem Pike and Lincoln Highway.  It became a limited access highway in 1921, lengthened in 1932 and rebuilt in 1971.


Route 1 Is Really a Super Highway-- Part 1

From the Buck's County Courier Times by Brian Scheid.

Us Route 1 is very congested in Bucks County (near Philadelphia).  You can go from Canada to Key West, Florida, on this road.

The original path of US-1 in Bucks County can be traced all the way back to 1793

The northern part of it goes through New York City with a population of 8.2 million to Littleton, Maine, with a population of 971.

It hugs the east coast and passes through nearly every major coastal city.  It has twists and turns and sometimes is just a two-lane highway and at others a four lane expressway.

Bucks County has 14 miles of US-1/


Monday, April 10, 2017

News From Along Route 66, March 2017: Route 66 Thief and Radiator Springs

MARCH 10--  Woman stole $313,000 in Petrified Forest National Park entrance fees.  She will serve one year and repay the money.  She did this between 2010 and 2016 when she was responsible for accounting the entrance fees.  Like I'm sure she'll pay the money back.

MARCH 11--  Radiator Springs cast will make an appearance in "Cars 3."  Hope it's not just a brief one.  I liked those townie cars.  The more Radiator, the better, I always say.

The Route 66 News site also has a link to the movie characters and places real life and people that were their basis.


News From Along Route 66, March 2017: Illinois Route 66 Goes Big in England

MARCH 8--  Exporting the buzz of Route 66 to England, the Outside Collective Group has made a big Route 66 mural in the side of The Hat and Feathers Pub on the corner of Clerkenwell and Goswell roads in London.  The mural measures in at 52-feet high.

Route 66 places featured on it are Illinois' Paul Bunyan statue in Atlanta,  a gas pump from the Soulsby gas station in Mt. Olive, the Brooks Catsup bottle in Collinsville, the Cozy Dog Drive-In mascot in Springfield, the Chicago Theatre marque in Chicago and an Illinois Route 66 shield.

Impressed Me.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 7, 2017

About Last Weekend: B-Ball, Beer and Bands

MARCH 31ST:  We went to Riverside Pub on the Fox River at Burton's Bridge (Ill-176) for lunch and then found four other places too crowded to go to and ended up at Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg.

APRIL 1ST:  Actually got some yardwork done before going to the Fox Lake American Legion where we saw the duo Honeymooners from 3 to 6 p.m..  Where else ya gonna get entertainment on a Saturday afternoon on April Fool's Day?

Sunnyside Tavern was a madhouse and we ended up at half-Times where we watched Gonzaga win in their Final Four game.  Came home and watched Carolina win a close one in Margaritaville while listening to the Ultimate Jukebox.  The two Final Four contests today were some great games.

APRIL 2ND:  Listened to Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots on WDRV.  he played "Look Through Any Window" by the Hollies.  This was either the first or second 45 I ever bought.  The other one was "Any Way You Want It" by the Dave Clark Five.  Those two songs sure bring back lots of memories.

We then went to Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg where we saw the Blackhawks lose and then, at 4, Stevie G put on a solo performance of mellow rock.

Good Times All the Time Around Here.  --RoadDog

PCB 2017: Finally Arrive Home: Eagle Nest, Gas Gouge, Getting Colder

MARCH 2, 2017

From Terre Haute to I-74, we get on Indiana Highway 63, which is four land the whole way.  We got gas at the Pilot Station on Indiana 63 and I-74 exit.for $2.20.  Took the usual I-74 west past Champaign-Urbana to Illinois Highway 47 at Mahomet and then north to Woodstock.

We noticed that gas prices had also increased in Illinois from two weeks ago.  Must be the pre-summer driving season gas gouge that Big Oil and the GRBs like to do on an annual basis.

I have always wanted to get something to eat at the Eagle Nest Restaurant in Forrest, Illinois, and this was the time to do it.  The food was good and reasonable.  I always like to eat at places I drive by so often and this is one of them.

The rest of the trip home, the temperature on the odometer continued to drop until it got to 32 degrees and we began seeing traces of snow.  This is a big drop from yesterday's travel where the temperatures were as high as 78 degrees.

We got home after having driven 2,178 miles.

Love To Travel, But Just As Good To get Home.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1917: Not Enough Dodge Cars

From the January 25, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"A representative of the Williamson Motor Company who deals in Dodge automobiles was here yesterday and says that the motor car dealers and makers are feeling the car shortage as badly as any other interest.

"The production of the factories is so large and the demand for the machines so great, while facilities for moving the machines in freight cars are so small that the flow of cars from factory to consumer is badly choked."

The growing popularity of the automobile.

The Problem Is Not the Factories, It is Getting the Cars to the Customers.  --RoadDog

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PCB 2017: Through Indiana

We crossed the Ohio River at Henderson and now ere in Evansville, a city that sure has a lot of stoplights on its stretch of US-41.  And they continue way north to the I-64 interchange.  This is a town (along with Terre Haute) which could really use a bypass.  But, one of these days I would like to spend some time looking at things around town.

But, once through the Evansville area, it is clear cruising, other than an occasional stoplight the whole way (except, of course, Terre Haute) until we got off at I-74.  I had hoped to get gas in Terre Haute, home of Indiana State University, but it was $2.34 to $2.36, a bit higher than what we had been paying.  We were getting mighty low on gas by the time we got to I-74.


News From Along Route 66, March 2017: Westport Lodge reopens As Enlight Inn in Joplin

MARCH 5--  Westport Lodge in Joplin, Missouri is to hold a grand reopening on March 6th.  .  It is now the Enlight Inn, a wellness center, motel and cafe.

The Westport Lodge was built in 1947 and located at North Main and Fountain Street.

It is the last motor court in Joplin.

Always glad to see a neat old place repurposed as opposed to being torn down.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

News From Along Route 66, March 2017: The Holbrook, Arizona, Wigwam Motel

These news items are taken from the Route 66 News site, which goes into much more extensive detail.  I just write about the ones of special interest to me.

MARCH 4--  There was deep background on the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona.

**  Closed for almost seven years  (1980-1987)

**  Had problems getting people to stay in it when it opened in 1950 because of competition from the many other motel;s and hotels in Holbrook.

But I doubt any of them could be more unique.

We were disappointed that we arrived in Holbrook way too early to stay there during our 2006 drive across all of Route 66.  The same thing happened to us at the one in California.


News From Along Route 66, March 2017: Section of 66 Closed in the Mojave Desert

MARCH 2--   A section of Route 66 in the Mojave Desert just east of Amboy will be closed until until mid-September for bridge construction.

Two new bridges are to be built as well as road improvement.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Increased Bus Service Because of the War

From the January 11, 2017, MidWeek "looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"The Charter Coach Company today was issued a temporary certificate by the Illinois Commerce Commission to operate motor bus service until May 20, 1942, between DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa, Marengo, Woodstock, McHenry, Volo, Round Lake,  Grays Lake and Waukegan."

Bus service will become even more important because of wartime shortages and gasoline rationing.

These towns were in DeKalb, McHenry and Lake counties in northeastern Illinois.


Looking Back to 1942: Route 64 To Be Widened

From the January 11, 2017. MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Sycamore highway enthusiasts are in an optimistic mood today.  They think it is highly possible that Route 64 might be widened from Chicago to the Mississippi as a war measure."

Moving Troops and Supplies.  --RoadDog

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gasoline Goodies: Downtown Pilot Mountain, N.C.

From the October 2015 Our State Magazine by Susan Stafford.

A 6,400 square foot museum in downtown Pilot Mountain, North Carolina features one man's passion for everything petroleum.

Pilot Mountain is just south of Mt. Airy, N.C., which served as the basis for Andy Griffith's Mayberry.  They would often go over to Mount Pilot on the show.  Pilot Mountain is named for a very interesting mountain as well.

Some really great photos accompany the article as well.

This is the collection of Thornton Beroth, whose father was the Amoco distributor in nearby Winston-Salem. and also had the Amoco-branded Four brothers Food Stores.

The Pilot collection is one of te largest if not THE largest petroleum collections in the country.

Maybe If You Go You Might See Good Ol' Barn and Andy Come Over From Mayberry.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1917: Save Your Nickels, Buy a Car

From the January 11, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Gus Kirchner, proprietor of Kirchener's Drug Store buys a Ford with 7,230 Buffalo nickels.   January 1, 1916, Mr. Kirchener started saving Buffalo nickels.  Every Buffalo nickel that was presented at the store was saved.  In one year's time he collected 7,568.  With 7,230 he bought a Ford roadster.

This car will be used for delivery purposes."


Saturday, April 1, 2017

I'd Go Out On My Harley...But

From the February 8, 2017, Pickles comic strip.

1.  Earl is sitting on a park bench with his friend and says:  "Today's the kind of day when I feel like just hopping on my Harley and take off."

2.  Then he continues:  "If my wife would let me."

3.  "And I had a Harley."

4.  "And my hemorrhoids weren't killing me."

Not me.  I'm going out on my Harlet right now.  April You-Know-What.

Well, With Me, As Much As I'd Love to Go Out On a Motorcycle, I'm Too Scared of Them to Do It.  --RoadDog

PCB 2017: It's All About the Bradford Pear Trees Blooming

The Pennyrile Parkway is limited access the whole way through the state and an easy ride.  I am still amazed that it was built as a tollway, with the promise that once it was paid off, the tolls would be dropped.  And, they REALLY did!!

The Bradford pear trees were blooming all along the road, and especially in and around Madisonville.  This town could be named the Bradford Pear Capital of the United States.  There are no prettier blooming trees anywhere, even the cherry trees.  There is a Bradford Pear Lane in the city.  I don't know if the numbers of these trees in this town were accidental or if they were planted on purpose.  Either way, it is a striking view.

If I lived there I'd push for a Bradford Pear Festival this time of the year.

Bradford pear trees are among my favorite.  Those gorgeous blooms in the spring and then they are generally the very last trees to lose their leaves in the fall and turn that beautiful russet red color.

Once you get to Henderson, Kentucky, at the northern end of the Pennyrile Parkway, you lose the limited access and hit some stoplights in a commercial district before crossing the Ohio River into Evansville, Indiana.

Bradford Pear Tree Capital of the United States  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1966: Illinois Highway 23 Completed Between Sycamore and Genoa

From the December 28, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"After months of detour problems Route 23 between Sycamore and Genoa was opened for traffic this morning.  Grades have been lowered, the highway shoulders are broad and curves are gentler.

"Just south of Genoa where the highway crossed the Illinois Central tracks a newer and wider viaduct has been constructed."

This is a part of Illinois Highway 23 which i have written a lot about with its stretch between Sycamore and DeKalb being turned into a super four lane highway in 1941 (including the last post).  This is the route we now use to get from home to DeKalb for NIU activities so as to avoid the Huntley Horror.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: The New DeKalb-Sycamore Road

From the December 28, 2016, MidWeek (Dekalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Now that the 'closed' signs have been removed from both ends of the new DeKalb-Sycamore road some details of changes that have come to pass along its right of way are noticeable.

"Many have not noted that fact that a gateway is missing at Hopkins Park.  The wide central entrance to DeKalb's park has been done away with.  The gateway pillars have been removed and a curbing built across the former approach.

"Replacing the center entrance are two entrances, one at the north and the other at the south ends of the park."


Thursday, March 30, 2017

News From Along Route 66, February 2017: The Gasconade Bridge

FEBRUARY 24--  Missouri is going to build a new bridge next to the Gasconade Bridge which is really good news.  We were at the Save-the-Bridge rally last April.

However, Route 66ers have to find an organization or entity to take over the running of the old bridge or the state might go back and decide to remove it.

Sure Glad That It Appears, Anyway, That the Old Bridge Will Remain.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

News From Along Route 66, February 2017: Lots Going On In Illinois

These stories are taken from the Route 66 News site which goes into much greater detail, has pictures, and also covers a lot more Route 66 items.  I just write about the ones of particular interest to me.

FEBRUARY 16--  The Tropics sign in Lincoln, Illinois, may get erected near its original site by next year.  If not there, I would say put it up by the welcome center or even the Mill.

FEBRUARY 17--  The Sprague Super service Station in Normal, Illinois, will likely reopen in May.  Looking forward to visiting it.  And again, I am really happy seeing Bloomington-Normal starting to embrace their Route 66 heritage.

FEBRUARY 24--  The Mill grand opening is set for April 29, 2017, in Lincoln, Illinois.  There will be a parade and all sorts of other things going on around it.

Lincoln is another town doing all that it can for its Route 66 heritage and is to be commended.

Lots Going On in Illinois.  --RoadIll

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PCB 2017: Returning Home, Kentucky's Pennyrile Parkway

MARCH 2, 2017  Thursday.

We were taking a way home that we haven't driven in awhile.  This way we can go without passing through (l)ouisville.  There is no excuse for what they did with that Confederate statue.  I will continue to stay out of this place.

We took I-24 the short distance into Kentucky and then got on the Pennyrile Parkway.  This is always amazing in that, unlike Illinois, when the Pennyrile Parkway was established as a toll road, it was understood that it would cease to be a toll road once it was paid for.  In 1992, it was paid for and the toll booths removed.  That would NEVER happen in Illinois!!

The Pennyrile Parkway was the original name, but now the name of Kentucky's 51st governor, Edward T. Breathitt.  I was uinable to find out how it came to be called Pennyrile, though there is a state park by that name.

The Pennyrile Parkway runs alongside and on the US-41 and near the northern end is signed as I-69.


Monday, March 27, 2017

PCB 2017: Clarksville, Tn., for the Night

As said, traffic was mighty heavy essentially the whole way to Clarksville.  Some people must commute this distance every work day.  At least it never came to a complete stop.

We got a room at the Baymont Hotel, off I-24.

We then drove around looking for a place to have a relaxing drink and perhaps engage in conversation with some locals.  We found a place called Overtime nearby and pulled in for that cocktail.  This is a sports bar and we saw East Carolina defeat Connecticut in a late season basketball game as well as part of the Blackhawks hockey game.

One guy in there was originally from Chicago and happy to see us in out Blackhawk gear.  We talked with a guy from Charlotte, North Carolina, in town on business.  he said he would be going to Panama City Beach next week on another business trip and we told him about the Driftwood Lodge where we had just spent 13 days.  He liked the idea of a smaller mom and pop place and said he'd look into it.

Good Night's Sleep After a Long Drive.  --RpadDog

Friday, March 24, 2017

PCB 2017: On to "Last Train From Clarksville," Tennessee

Traffic was heavy, but at least moving along all the 30-40 miles to Clarksville, Tennessee.

We've often joked about whether or not this Clarksville was the one the Monkees were singing about in their big hit "Last Train to Clarksville," their first hit that went all the way to #1 in the fall of 1966.

I looked the song up in Wikipedia and found it was written by the famed team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (Boyce and Hart) and, although many people think the name Clarksville comes from this Tennessee town because of its nearness to the huge Fort Campbell complex, home of the 101st Airborne, writer Bobby Hart says it isn't.

I always thought Clarksville was in California, myself.  I looked up towns with the name Clarksville and found there are quite a few.  A short list of them:  Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Arkansas, Ohio, Texas, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana and Illinois.

Must be another of those "Simpsons" Springfield things.

Last Train to RoadDog.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 23, 2017

PCB 2017: The Horror That Is Nashville Traffic

MARCH 1, 2017

We had left Panama City Beach earlier this morning, driven through Alabama and now in Tennessee, approaching the horror that is the Nashville traffic, and at rush hour.  Not a good thing.

Surprisingly, no major tie-ups as we were going opposite rush hour, although big backups on the other side of I-65 going south out of town.  We went past the area where no matter what lane you're in, you're in the wrong lane, and still no big backups.

That all changed when we got to the I-24 exit off I-65, heading northwest.  We then had a major slowdown, but at least no complete stops.

Just Love That Nashville Traffic.  --RoadPanic

OK, Got Pretty Green This Past Weekend-- Part 2


After listening to Rock and Roll Roots, featuring Neil Young's Harvest album which was released today, in 1972.  We went to Sunnyside in Johns O'Burg for the ticket draw and found that they still had food from Friday left over.

We were still planning to go over to the Polish Legion (PLAV) in McHenry for their $10 all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage, but a couple bought in corned beef and cabbage soup as well as mini reubens so ended up staying there.  I's never hear of corned beef and cabbage soup and it is REALLY tasty.  Watched two games of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Then we went over to Kevin and Kelly's Lakeside Pub on Fox Lake and had some of Kelly's home made Irish Red beer and Irish Stout while watching the NCAA Tournament.

A Good Ol' Green B-Ball Time.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fox Lake/Grant Township Hist. Society-- Part 3: Dog 'N Suds, Lovin' What We Do

Your carhops here do not start off as carhops.  Before going outside, they have to learn how to operate everything inside and have to know the menu inside and out.  Just as important, they have to be people friendly.

They evidently just opened for the new season within the last couple days (it is right down the street from the historical society's museum).  But, I've already had my Coney Dog as they were at the Fox Lake Business Expo a few Saturdays back.

Every Saturday, they have a classic car show and about every two weeks they have entertainment, which really brings out a big crowd.

Roy Miller finished by saying, "We really love what we do."

And, of course, there is that great root beer, Charcoburgers and Coney dogs.

That Is Very Obvious.  --RoadHotDog

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fox Lake/Grant Township Hist. Society:-- Part 2: Dog 'N Suds

Of course, coming in as late as I did, I missed quite a bit of it.

The third generation of Roy Miller's  family, his son, is now running the place.  There is also a fourth generation in training.  It is so great when a family can pass a business down like this.

And, they are always looking to improve upon what they have and sell.

Several years back, they replaced the ordering system for the cars.  When the original system was put in, all wires were run through garden hose.  When they dug for the new system, they found that all the garden hoses were as pliable and in good shape as they were back when installed in 1966.

The Dog 'N Suds is about as 1950s-1960s retro as you can get.  You pull into a parking space and order on a system and a carhop brings it to you.  Very "Happy Daysish."  To me, a great Retro night is to go to Dog 'N Suds for dinner, order an extra large cup of root beer and drive over to the McHenry Outdoor Theater, about ten miles away.

Give Me a Coney Dog.  --RoadDog

Monday, March 20, 2017

OK, Got Pretty Green This Past Weekend-- Part 1

It is not all the time that you get two full weekends to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but we did this year, so liz and I took advantage of it.


This being the ACTUAL day, we got our green finery on and went over to Sunnyside Tap in Johns O'burg which had a day-long free buffet sitting out as well as specials on Irish drinks.  I had several of the Guinness Blondes, a light colored beer which is quite good.  In addition, Dana from the band Six Strings Down came in and put on an Irish show.

We had been planning on going over to the Fox Lake American Legion which was serving $8.50 plates of corned beef and cabbage, but we deemed better not to go.


I went to the presentation on Miller's Dog 'N Suds in Ingleside at the Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Society (see this week's posts).

We met Kevin and Kelly and another friend at Stucky's in Johns O'Burg for pitchers and corned beef and cabbage.  I intended to order one of these plates until I learned they had a reuben calzone.  Never had one so that's what I got.  As good as I figured it to be.

Then we thoroughly enjoyed the music of Whitey O'Day, a noted local musician who is famous for his Irish shows.  He often plays at the Irish Mill in the area, your ultimate, but way too crowded place for celebrating that Irish thing.  .We had a REAL GOOD TIME with lots o' singin' and pitchers..

Drink Tongue and All.  --RoadO'Dog

Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Association Meeting: Ingleside's Don 'N Suds

The meeting was at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.  Almost didn't make it to this.  I woke up at 4:30 a.m. This morning and couldn't get back to sleep, but did get back to sleep at 7:30, but woke up at 10 (the meeting began at 9:30).  Dressed rapidly and drove to Ingleside (they raised gas in Fox Lake from $2.18 o $2.38 yesterday).  I then got stuck my a malfunctioning railroad crossing gate and had to back track.

But I finally got there.

Roy Miller, who owns the Ingleside Dog 'N Suds was giving a presentation on his place.  His parents bought it and opened in 1967, so this is the 50th anniversary  of family ownership.  At one time there were several hundred Dog 'N Suds, but now just seven.  And, we have three of them right here in the LakeCounty/McHenry County area:  Ingleside, Grayslake and Richmond.

Good Old Charburgers!!  --RoadDog

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Gettin' Our Irish On-- Part 2: Some Irish Music

For many years I deejayed the St. Patrick's parade party at George's Cedar Inn in Lake Villa, Illinois.  I played lots of Irish music and made a lot of cassette tapes to cover it.  Generally, it was straight Irish music during the parade and the first hour or so after it.  Then, I would play oldies and Irish music.

This morning, I am playing one of those tapes.

This is Side One of my St. Paddy's Party #2 cassette tape:

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling/My Wild Irish Rose--  DeKalb Footstompers
Footstompers Irish Medley (including the Notre Dame, Chicago Bears and NIU fight songs)

The Orange and the Green

Danny Boy--   Dennis Day
McNamara's Band--  Dennis Day
Clancy Lowered the Boom--  Dennis Day

Sweet Betsy from Pike
Scarce O-Tatties
Take Her Up to Monto

Wild Rover/Whiskey in a Jar
Big Strong Man
MacAlpines Fuzilliers

Mick McGuire
March Medley
Gentleman Soldier

Loch Lomond

Some Good Irish Music Here, Even If I Do Say So.  --RoadDog

Getting Our Irish On-- Part 1

I'm sitting here right now on a gloomy, overcast, day after St. Patrick's Day.

For what we did for St. Patrick's Day last weekend, go to my Down Da Road I Go Blog.  We had a fish fry, two parades, a band and lots o' bars.

Yesterday, we went to Sunnyside Tap in Johnsburg where we had an Irish buffet set out all day and later Six Strings Down came in to perform.  Lots o' green beer, Guinness and folks dressed in green, including Mark O'Green, the biggest leprechaun ye ever did see.

Today, we're thinking of going to the huge outside (heated) tent over at Woodstock Square where five bars are having a joint St. Patrick's Day celebration.  Then, it will be back to Johnsburg where Stucky's is having noted Irish singer Whitey O'Day.

Sure Is Nice to Have St. Patrick's Day Yesterday, On a Friday, As That Gives Us Two Weekends to Celebrate It.  --RoadDog

Got My Civil War On in the Last Ten Days

I always enjoy meeting up with like-minded folks and talking Civil War.  This is the main reason I got into history.  On March 9th, I drove over to Grayslake, Illinois, for the meeting of the Lake County Civil War Round Table and heard a talk on Confederate flags.  Fortunately, certain people did not hear about it or no doubt they would have been there protesting this glorification of slavery as they like to say.

Then, this past Tuesday, March 14, I drove into McHenry, Illinois, for the meeting of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table and a talk on McHenry County in the Civil War.

Getting My Civil War On. --RoadDog

Friday, March 17, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 7: WBRF and 77 Degrees

JANUARY 13, 2017

I got gas at Wytheville, Virginia, always the cheapest along the way (West Virginia, on the other hand, is usually about as expensive as Illinois, so I fill up in Ohio to make it through West Virginia's high prices).  It was $2.10 a gallon.

The rain that fell while on the West Virginia Turnpike was now over and a dry run through Virginia and no problem on that eight mile decline going into North Carolina.

I, of course, was now tuned into WBRF Classic Country broadcasting out of Galax, Virginia.  They play a whole lot of songs that I have never heard of before.  I listen to it the last ten miles in West Virginia, all the way through Virginia and to Greensboro, North Carolina.

Driving through North Carolina, the temperature gauge on the odometer kept rising until it registered 77 degrees.  I will definitely take 77 degrees in January.


News From Along Route 66, February 2017: Bizarre Foods and Art's Motel

FEBRUARY 13TH--  The Route 66 episode on "Bizarre Foods" on the Travel Channel aired Feb. 21, Tuesday, at 8 pm.  Wish I had seen it.

FEBRUARY 15TH--  Art's Motel in Farmersville, Illinois, has reopened after being closed for six years. They have eleven rooms and charge just $50 a night, niot a bad price for a slice of Americana.

 There are no plans to reopen the restaurant but the new owners are willing to lease it.

Art McAnamey opened it in 1937 so celebrating its 80th year this year.

Figure we'll have to stay there this summer (before it closes again).

Always Wanted to Do That.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 16, 2017

News From Along Route 66, February 2017: Tips for Tourism Success-- Part 2

Two small towns and their emphasis on Route 66 come to mind:  Atlanta and Pontiac, Illinois.

The Atlanta Clock Tower came from the high school and was placed in a structure by the library (itself an interesting building).  They are having tourists wind it.

Palms Grill.  At first they wanted it just as a non-working replica, but now it is one of the best places to eat along the old road.

They also moved the Paul Bunyan muffler man statue to main street.

Then, there is Pontiac with all their murals, museums and that wonderful old courthouse in the town square.

Two Cities to Emulate.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Silent Cop," "Silent Policeman"-- Part 3: "An Outdated Device"

Today's traffic round-abouts serve a similar purpose.  And, we are sure getting a lot of them around here.

Don't run over the silent cop.

Also called a "silent policeman."

It was used most recently in Australia and taken out of the Sydney streets in 2002 as "an outdated device."  Motorcyclists were particularly unhappy with them.  Wonder why?

According to Wikipedia, they were also referred to as "sleeping policeman" or "traffic dome."  they are usually painted yellow.  They are about 16 inches wide and five inches tall, usually painted yellow.

So, Now You and I Know.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Silent Cop," "Silent Policeman"-- Part 2: Most Recently Used in Australia

From the Macquarie Dictionary.

This traffic device was used in the U.S. during the early days of autoists, but dropped.  It was most recently used in Australia.

A circular steel plate about 60 cm in diameter with a pattern of steel projections on top, set in the center of the road at an intersection where there are no traffic lights.  This encourages traffic to keep to the left.  (Remember, Australia where they drive on the other side of the road.)

I've Never seen One.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, February 2017: Tips for Route 66 Tourism Success-- Part 1

FEBRUARY 12, 2017  How to parley Route 66 heritage into tourism dollars, which undoubtedly will continue to grow as we approach the 100th anniversary of the Mother Road.

**  Don't just preserve it, use it to generate tourism dollars.

**  Anything dating to the road's golden days, 1940s to 1960s, should be restored, renovated or some other use found for it.

**  Having festivals is good for the economy.

I am glad that Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, have finally figured out they have a nice bit of Route 66 heritage and I probably won't always drive around them on I-55.


Monday, March 13, 2017

"Silent Cop," "Silent Policeman"-- Part 1: A Small Hemispherical Traffic Marker

OK, so I looked it up.

Silent Cop--  a small hemispherical traffic marker at an intersection back in the early days of driving.


Looking Back to 1916: "A Policeman Was Run Down"

From the Decemeber14, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"A policeman was run down by a street car on the main business street yesterday morning and sent spinning.  This is not as terrible as it sounds at first for the policeman was not Sid Rowe, or Stanley Goukaas, or Chief Riddell.

"It was the "silent cop" which was recently placed at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway for the guidance of autoists and it was a bit too close to the car track with the result that the car (street car) hit it.

"Damage: one small flag."

I must admit that before the last two blog entries, I had never heard of "silent policemen" or "silent cops."

Must Be Some Kind Of An Obstacle.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 10, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Need a "Silent Policeman"

From the December 14, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"An effort is being made to have one of the 'silent policemen' stationed at the dangerous corner of First and Locust streets.  Although the streets are rather narrow the competing of autoists to observe the right of the road would be a good thing for traffic.

OK, What Is a Silent Policeman?  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, February 2017: Calf Fries

These are taken from the Route 66 News Blog, which has an entry pretty much every day and a lot more information than what I give.  I just write about the ones of special interest to me.

FEBRUARY 1:  The Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" will feature Route 66 places on a show in its 9th season.  It will include calf fries at Clanton and Rocky Mountain oysters at the Big Texan.  I tried them at Big Texan.  Tastes like chicken.

FEBRUARY 5:  Readers vote Nat King Cole as recording the best version of "Get Your kicks on Route 66."  #2 was by the Rolling Stones, #3 by Chuck Berry, #4 by DePeche Mode, #5 by John Mayer and #6 by Asleep At the Wheel.

Others receiving votes were Glenn Frey, Manhattan Transfer, Pied Pipers, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como.

Personally, I think Asleep At the Wheel blows them all away.

FEBRUARY 9:   Congressman introduces bill to make Route 66 a National Historic Trail.  This by U.S. rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill).  Who says those Republicans are all bad?


Thursday, March 9, 2017

PCB 2017: Confusion in Montgomery, 'Cue in Cullman

As I mentioned in the last post, we got confused as to which way we were to go.  Did we take Southern Expressway Stoplights to I-65 or go to I-85 and then west to I-65.  It came up too fast to make a decision and we were unable to get over to head to I-85 so proceeded into Montgomery, hoping we weren't going to have to go through a bad area.

Turned out, it was a very pleasant drive until right before we got to the I-65 entrance ramp.

Traffic of I-65 was heavy all the way to Birmingham, I mean, VERY heavy.  Then, though it was about 2 in Birmingham had traffic as bad as a rush hour.

It was then that we started hitting a lot of rain.  It poured.  I was driving along looking for a place to get off and eat and saw a sign for a place called Sonny's BBQ in Cullman, Alabama, so got off.

It is about a mile from the interstate and well worth it.  They feature pulled pork and, as they say, "We'll serve no swine before its time."  Mighty tasty.

We'll Be Back.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

PCB 2017: Part 2: Return Trip to Alabama

Returning from Panama City Beach, Florida, we again took Fla. Highway 79 to the border.  Eventually it will be four lanes all the way south from I-10 and the major route to PCB, no doubt.

At the Alabama border, the road becomes Alabama Highway 167 and we take that to Troy, and through all those many, many, many (and real long) stoplights of Enterprise.  Once in Troy, we picked up US-321 to Montgomery where we got confused by signage showing the way to I-65 and I-85.

Getting to I-65 involves going on what they call Southern Expressway which has more stoplights than anywhere I have ever seen.  And, as soon as there is one car waiting to cross the road, we all stop.  Believe me, you don't want to go on this road.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Over the Moon: Austin's Moonlight Towers-- Part 3: The Zilker Holiday Tree

**  17:  The number of Moonlight Towers that still exist.  Fifteen still stand and two are in storage.

In 2014, the Austin City Council passed a resolution authorizing an ongoing $3.9 million project to repair, restore and maintain the towers, which are managed by Austin Energy.

**  3,159:  Colored lights adorn the city's most iconic Moonlight Tower in Zilker Metropolitan Park each December when it is converted into Zilker Park Holiday Tree.

The structure was disassembled for repairs last April and reinstalled after four months of work.

**  6:  carbon arc lamps were originally fitted to each tower, giving off a blue-white light that reached 3,000 feet in diameter.

While they were commonly referred to as "moonlight towers" by the 1930s, the towers' lunar connection was referenced as early as 1894.

Gi Ahead, Moon Me.  --RoadMoon

Monday, March 6, 2017

Over the Moon: Austin's Moonlight Towers-- Part 2

A map accompanies the article showing the locations of the remaining towers.  One is in Zilker Metropolitan Parn, two south of the river and most of the rest around downtown Austin and East Austin.

$2.50:  was the daily salary of Austin's first "tower trimmer" in the years after the tower was built.  The trimmer would ascend all 31 original towers each day to maintain and replace the arc light lamps' carbon rods.

Good Work If You Don't Fall.  --RoadFall

Over the Moon: Austin's Moonlight Towers-- Part 1

From the Winter 2017 Preservation Magazine  of the National Trust for Historic Preservation by Katharine Keane.

The city of Austin, Texas, has long been associated with its 19th century Moonlight Towers, a precursor of modern-day streetlights, only much more impressive.  Many U.S. cities had them, but only those in Austin remain.


HEIGHT:  Roughly 160 feet

WEIGHT:  About 5,000 pounds

MATERIAL:  Rust-proof wrought iron made by the Star Iron Company

CONSTRCTED:  1894-1895


Saturday, March 4, 2017

In Case You're Wondering About (l)ouisville-- The Shame

In the last post, I spelled that city's name (l)ouisville.  And, there is a reason for that.

It is because of their shame and the great disgrace they recently did to men from that city who cast their lot with the Confederacy during the Civil War.  As such, they will now be lower case.

A memorial was dedicated in 1895 and had to be removed because some people found it offensive, the slavery thing as we have heard and heard.  The memorial was taken down by the city and the university.  But, at least the city of Brandenburg, Kentucky, had the decency to accept it and it now stands there.

Because of the great dishonor louisville did to my heritage, it is not likely that I will be going there to visit, other than to drive through it.  I may even stop eating those "Hot Browns."  And, I really like them.

And, louisville charged a toll to drive across the river from Indiana.  It was $2 if you have I-Pass, (which we don't) and $4 if not (and you pay a bill by mail as there are no toll booths).  I am thinking of paying $2 and sending the other $2  to the SCV and UDC.

The Shame and Dishonor of louisville.  --RoadDog

PCB 2017: Got Home

We arrived home about 6 p.m. on March 2nd after driving 2,178 miles over the last couple weeks.  We left February 15th.

Going down, we took Illinois-47 to I-74 to Indianapolis and then I-65 south (l)ouisville to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, the first day.  The second day it was I-65 through Nashville, Birmingham and Montgomery.  Then US-231 to Ala-167 to the Florida state line and Fla.-79 to Panama City Beach.


Looking Back to 1941: Governor Green Dedicated the New DeKalb-Sycamore Super Highway

From the Nov,23, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Governor Green did not open the new DeKalb-Sycamore road the other day.  He dedicated it.  Reason for that clarifying statement is that several people have asked whether the road was done.

"Some are yet refraining from driving on it because of the signs "'closed.'  Work is yet going on.  Today crews were busy near DeKalb.  For several days a curbing has been in the process of construction at the extreme DeKalb end, including the curve into Fourth Street near the high school."

Still, A Big Deal.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 3, 2017

Warm in PCB, But Warm At Home Too

A big reason to go to Florida during the winter is to catch some warm weather.  All that winter cold in northern Illinois starts to wear on you come February.

And, it was quite warm and sunny in Panama City Beach these last two weeks (we ended up staying 13 nights).  And, other than two days of a whole lot of rain, it was usually nice and sunny.  Usually a bit cool in the early morning, but getting into the upper 60s to mid 70s by afternoon.

Sadly, however, it was also pretty warm back home in Illinois, with temps in the 50s-60s range much of the time.  Hey, could have stayed home for that.  But, we did have this little old thing called a beach and the Gulf of Mexico about 200 feet from the front door of our cabana room.

Oh Well.  Tough Job But Somebody's Got To Do It.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1941: A "Humorous" Accident in Sycamore

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"A minor traffic trouble was experienced in Sycamore yesterday afternoon in the middle of the block on Elm Street between Maple and Somonauk Streets.  It was not serious, but funny.

"Dirt being hauled away from the scene of construction work at the corner of Maple and Elm fell out of a truck in a nice pile in the street.  It couldn't have happened any better if measurements had been taken beforehand as the pile landed in the center of the paving right where cars were parked on both sides of the narrow street.

"Men shoveled back into the truck as quickly as they could while motorists eased by all grinning at the accident."

Close, Real Close.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1916: How to Put In a Cement Road in the Cold

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Pronger & Fletcher, the paving contractors, who have been at work on the cement paving, are hard at work on the cement road next to the steel company's plant on Locust Street.

"In order that the new cement may be protected from the frost, several loads of straw have been hauled and scattered over the cement laid."


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Street Car Problems Due to Weather

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The street cars running into the city had some little difficulty yesterday and last night on account of the weather conditions.  The rails were somewhat slippery and the getaway and stops were somewhat difficult.

"The rails were kept cleaned off today, however, and after one or two trips this morning the cars were coming in and leaving nearly in schedule time."

Not sure what city this was, but probably DeKalb.

Weather Problems.  --RoadDog

Decided to Stay Two More Days

After a lot of discussion (well, not), we decided to remain two more days in Panama City Beach and were able to get our room for the same.

You can take the boy from the beach, but not if  he can help it.

We still have places to go and enjoy ourselves, and food to eat, you know.  Drinks to consume.  Sun to soak and so on.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

News From Along Route 66, January 2017: A Mill, a Song and a Commercial

JANUARY 18--  The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois, is set to reopen as a museum in April.  I'm looking forward to going inside it.  We've seen it often from the outside.

JANUARY 23--  Bob Seger released a tribute song to the late Glenn Frey called "Glenn Song."  A video accompanies it and shows both the long-haired and short-haired Glenn.  That guy was some sort of entertainer.

JANUARY 28--  Route 66 made the Super Bowl commercials in an appearance for Mercedes Benz, featuring "Born to be Wild" and Peter Fonda.  These tough bikers get blocked into their bar in this commercial by the Coen brothers.  As Peter drives off, he flashes the peace sign and drives by a Route 66 sign.


Monday, February 27, 2017

PCB 2017: Got Beads? Sure Did

I got my fill of Cajun, zydeco and Louisiana music Saturday at Jo-El Sonnier's show and enjoyed a muffeletta sandwich as we'll.  Mighty good eating and music.

Then Aaron Tippin got on stage, now with a white beard to go with his big mustache.  That guy has a whole lot of energy and was all over the stage singing his hits.  And, he put together a kid's bike while singing one of his songs.  He did this back when I saw his show at the Kenosha County (Wis.) Fair and said he has now put together over a thousand at his shows.  He then turns it over to Toys for Tots.

Next, we had the Mardi Gras parade that went by the motel we are staying at and we made quite the haul in beads.  Last, we had another fireworks show over the City Pier.

Bead Me.  RoadDog

Saturday, February 25, 2017

PCB 2017: Mardi Gras Today

February 25th, Saturday.

Well, actually, it kicked off yesterday with a kid's parade, concert and fireworks down at Pier Park.  We had a very nice view of the fireworks display from our motel.

In just a little bit, I will be walking over to Pier Park for concerts by Cajun singer Jo-El Sonnier and one of my favorite country singers, Aaron Tippin and then back to the motel for the parade which passes right by us and then another fireworks show on the City Pier.

Getting My Mardi Gras On.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 24, 2017

News From Along Route 66, January 2017: Negro Motorist Green Book, Willem Bor, McDonald's

JANUARY 17--  The Route 66 Alliance is working on a Negro Motorist Green Book website project.  Long overdue.

JANUARY 19--  Route 66 artist Willem Bor dies in the Netherlands.  This man could really recreate those great long-gone Route 66 icons.

JANUARY 20--  "The Founder" movie released about McDonald's founder Ray Kroc.  There was a lot about the McDonald brothers who started it and gave Ray the idea in San Bernardino, California, on Route 66.  I wish someone would rebuild the original one on the site.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

PCB 2017: We've Had Our Rain, But Hopefully Gone Now: Time to Mardi Gras

Thursday February 23rd.

Sitting out at a picnic table right nor.  Temps in the 70s but overcast and windy.  Listening to some Cajun music as the hotels are having a Mardi Gras party this afternoon with food and a dj/karaoke guy.

It started raining Tuesday afternoon and pretty much went through until about noon yesterday/  Ot's all gone and right now we have sun, a light breeze and probably a 77 degree temperature.  I can live with that.

But, one big reason for coming to Florida in the winter is to get away from the cold and snow of Chocago.  But, i hear the temps in Chicago have been on the 60s since this past weekend.  Kind of defeats the purpose, you know.

Well, its been in the 70s here.

Sittin' here looking at the Gulf of Mexico about 200 feet away.

Getting My Beach On.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making a Scene in North Carolina-- Part 2

DUPONT STATE FOREST--  The Hunger Games, The Last of the Mohicans

DURHAM ATHLETIC PARK--  Bull Durham  with Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

CHIMNEY ROCK--  The Last of the Mohicans

WILMINGTON--  Blue Velvet, "Dawson's Creek" (TV), "Sleepy Hollow" TV, We're the Millers and "One Tree Hill" ."

BILTMORE ESTATE--  "Hannibal" TV, Richie Rich, Patch Adams, Forrest Gump, My Fellow Americans and Mr. Destiny.

Lights, Camera, Action.  --RoadDog

Monday, February 20, 2017

PCB 2017: "We're Leaving Next Sunday, Better Start Packing Now

Sunday, February 19th.

I just had to chuckle.  A couple from St. Louis just checked into their room a few doors down from us.

Then, they started moving their stuff in for their one week stay.  They came down the slope once, twice, three times, four times, five times and a bunch more.  And, I thought we traveled heavy with Liz.  Guess I won't be thinking that anymore.

Just now, the guy, probably in his 60s, walked by and I overheard him talking to himself and saying, "We're leaving next Sunday, guess I'd better start packing now."

Temperature is 79 degrees with sun shining brightly.

Couldn't help but chuckle.

At the Beach.  --RoadDog