Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hangin' Out at the Vinita (Ok) American Legion

Last night we got a room at the Vinita, Oklahoma, Holiday Inn Express so we could walk across the road (which is just several hundred yards off Route 66) and have a drink or two, three, four, at the American Legion.

We've stayed here before and for the same reason.  After a long day's drive, we like to unwind with a few and really love it when we can find a place withing walking distance of our motel.

Friendly people and a whole lot of country music being played.  $2 mugs of beer and we were able to get them to put the Cubs playoff game on the TV.  (But, they only have one TV in the place.)  Big crowd in the place, but we were the only ones watching.  For you Cub fans who think the whole world revolves around your beloved, tain't so.

We heard a WHOLE lot of COUNTRY MUSIC.  For some reason, you hear a whole lot of country music in Oklahoma bars.  We had a lot the night before at Cue and Brew in Stroud after we ate at the Rock Cafe.  Especially a whole lot of George Strait, but surprisingly nothing by Oklahoma boy Toby Keith.

I had to go to the jukebox to check out one group that was played a lot, the Turnpike Troubadours.  I will have to get a CD by them  That is an excellent band.

If It's Oklahoma, It Must Be Country.  --RoadDog

Been Enjoying Don Williams CDs on Trip

I have a double disc Don Williams CD featuring his biggest songs, that we have been listening to a whole lot on the trip so far.  Something about cruising through the Missouri (Missoura) Ozarks and red soil of Oklahoma with his songs just makes a trip on Route 66 all that much better.

"Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good" and "I Believe In You."

What a voice.  How laid back can you get?

Sure Going to Miss Him.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Welcome to Carthage (New Lowell Davis Project)

Yesterday morning we were at Boots Court Motel in Carthage and when we were leaving for that day's drive on 66 we saw a bunch of people out by the street busily working away on something.  It turned out to be Lowell Davis' (Red Oak II and noted folk artist) "Welcome to Carthage, Missoura, Home of Friendly Folks" sign, a project we were told had been 13 years in the making.

Pixie and Debbie at the Boots had been happy to allow him to put up the sign next to the motel and they had gotten the sign, which is painted on wood slats up as well as a metal replica of that wonderful courthouse on top.

The next part of the project will involve placing a 1950s cop car behind the sign, waiting to pull over folks going too fast on Route 66/Jefferson Highway.

We got to meet  Lowell Davis and Ron Hart.

So, beware of Carthage's new Speedtrap."

Don't Speed Past the Boots inCarthage!!  --RoadDog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 4: 1972, Two Passport Stamps, a Band and Cubs Lose


Enjoyed going back to 1972 with Johnny Mars on WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback.  Brought back a lot of memories for that college year.

We had planned on going to NIU's Homecoming today, but with the wind and rain, decided not to go.

We did, however, get Chain Crawl passport stamps at two more places.  The Chain Crawl ends next Saturday with a party, so we're cutting it close.  Unfortunately we won't be able to attend as we'll be out of town.

We first went to Diamond Deli on US-12 in Fox Lake for the first stamp.  Then we went to the Aquarium on Nippersink Lake for the second one.  This is the Home of the Aquarium Club which you can join if you swallow or munch a minnow.

Next, we met Glen and Barb, two of our Usual Suspect friends, at the American Legion in Fox Lake to see the Neil Rose Blues Band play from 3 to 6 p.m..  We really like entertainment in the afternoon or early evening.  They call themselves a blues band, but they were really playing oldies songs.

Next, we went to Sunnyside and watched the Cubs blow a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning to lose 6-3.  Ouch!!


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 3: Zebra Mussels (They're Back!), Boat, I Pass My ID Test, and Cubs Game


Took the boat over to the mechanic to get it winterized.  I found quite a group  of zebra mussels on the engine area, something we haven't had for a long time.  They must be making a comeback.

Then drove over to McHenry and went to Wal-Mart and Meijer.  I actually got carded to buy a bottle of pumpkin spice wine at one of those tasting spots.  Fortunately, at age 66, I was able to pass muster.

We met the Usual Suspects at the American Legion in Fox Lake and sure enjoyed watching the Cubs win the first game of their playoffs against the Washington Nationals.  A whole lot of celebrating going on there, including me playing "Go Cubs Go."


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 2: Broken Oar, All In, Riverside and Sunnyside


We left Herman's Low Life and drove the short distance to Broken Oar on the Fox River and enjoyed their Thursday $1 pint drafts and got a passport stamp on our Chain Crawl book.  The usual Thursday Texas Hold-Em crowd rolled in.

Then, we went to All In off the Fox River and Ill-176 in Burton's Bridge and had a drink.  They aren't in the Chain Crawl, but we really like this place and stop in whenever we're in the area (just like Herman's Low Life).  They have a very good $1.50 burger special on Thursdays and $1.50 pints of PBR everyday.  Talked with a couple who had been in Las Vegas for their 50th anniversary and returned just five hours before the murders.

Then to Riverside Pub for another Chain Crawl stamp and $5 pitchers.  It is in Burton's Bridge, but on the other side of the river.

Last stop was at Sunnyside.

Five Bars, One Day, Two Passport Stamps.

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 1: Boat Out and Herman's Low Life Bar


Always a sad day when we pull the boat out of the water, but something that has to be done because winter's approaching fast and we'll be gone much of the next two weeks.  Liz powered the boat up on the trailer at the American Legion and I took it home.

Because of the crummy weather this year, too wet and cool in the spring, the deluge in July that closed the Chain of Lakes for three weeks because of the flooding and then the extreme hot and cold weeks, we only got out in the boat 20 times.  We always shoot for at least 40.

We then went southward to Barrington Shores, Illinois, on the Fox River and went to Herman's Low Life Bar, a small dive bar that we especially love and just wish it was closer as we would sure go there much more often. It dates to the 1920s, owned by the same family, and hasn't changed very much from back when the Chicago suburbs were really out in the boonies.

We had a half price frozen pizza with a Chain Crawl coupon.  Herman's is also home for the Hot Cop Porn.  Their menu is on a sign and uses movable letters and everyone kept changing the letters from hot popcorn to hot cop porn so they got tired of changing it back and just left it.  Kind of a tradition now.

And, we always find folks to talk to when we're there.

Always a good place to talk with people you don't know.  A real neighborhood "Cheers" sort of place.  They have two trees that died and a wood sculptor has turned one into a giant Herman's Low Life beer bottle and the other one into a giant fish jumping out of the water.

Another name for the place is Herman's Rest-A-While Bar.

I've Got Friends in Low Places.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Along 66, September 2017: Goodbye Don Williams

From the Route 66 News Site.

SEPTEMBER 8--  There is a clue in the Country Classic Cars fire in Staunton, Illinois.  One of the five cars in the center of the the warehouse caught fire and that started it.  The owners have plans to rebuild.  Good news as that is a favorite place to salivated.

SEPTEMBER 9--  Don Williams RIP.  Age 78.  A huge country performer from the late 1970s to early 1980s.  His 1978 "Tulsa Time" went to #1 on the country charts.

"I left Oklahoma drivin' in a Pontiac
Just About to lose my mind
I was goin' to Arizona, maybe out to California
Where all the people love so fine."

And exactly what road would take from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to California?


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

About That Weekend-- Part 4: Radio, Bars, Da Bears


As usual, I listen to Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots on WDRV from 7 to 10 a.m., and record Terri Hemmert's Breakfast With the Beatles from 8 to 10 a.m. on Chicago's WXRT.

Another really HOT day.  We went to Hickory Lodge in McCullom Lake and watched the Bears actually win a game.  Sure enjoyed those $5 pitchers of beer and the $5 small pizza (75 cent toppings).

Finished up at Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg.


About That Weekend-- Part 3: A Wake and A HOT Party


Drove to Crystal Lake for the meeting of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group at the Panera Bread Company.  Today's topic was Civil War innovations.  I had a list of all naval innovations (see my Running the Blockade Blog for the list).

Came home then Liz and I went to Terry Spizzirri's wake in Wauconda.  Our weekends in the area will be a lot less fun now that we won't be able to see him.  He was quite the performer, good at music across the horizons as he liked to describe it.  Talked with his nephew Gregg who performed with him.

We came home and then went to Kenny's house in Richmond for a party.  Great food and Mitch performed an acoustic show, but, man was it hot.

Came home and watched TV (and stayed in the air conditioned house)  Watched Georgia win and Iowa lose.


Monday, October 9, 2017

About That Weekend-- Part 2: Goodbye Terry Spizzirri


Hot, REAL HOT.  I even was chased in off the deck by the hot.  With the coming of fall, Bob Stroud did Fall Songs on his Ten at Ten show on WDRV including:  "September" by EWF, ""Time of the Season" by Zombies and "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds.

I said my goodbyes to various internet sites to Terry Spizzirri, one of out favorite local performers we've been seeing for 40 years.  We will sure miss him.  He died last Sunday.  No more Half Garlic, Half Celtic.  He sure could do the Irish drinking songs.

Came home and sat out in the gazebo for awhile before going over to the Fox Lake American Legion and meeting up with "The Usual Suspects."


Sunday, October 8, 2017

About That Weekend-- Part 1: Enjoying the Yard and a Concert


Enjoyed a whole lot of places outside the house.  That includes FP (Front Porch, OD (On Deck), the Flats (east side) and the gazebo.  The gazebo is screened in, but somehow two big old bumblebees had found their way in.  I got a paper towel, caught them and released them outside.  They sure make a buzz when caught which feels really weird through the towel.  I, however, didn't get stung.

We drove to McHenry and went to the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV) for a couple drinks before walking over to Veterans Park where we saw a concert by the local band, the Mississippi Stranglers.  Very good band, but WAY TOO MUCH jamming.


Poor Mr. Spickerman, His Car Stolen

From the February 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Andrew Spickerman of Malta has just purchased a new Ford car, and in fact had just been taught how to successfully operate the machine.

"Yesterday morning early someone came along, tired of walking, and knowing that Mr. Spickerman had a new car, broke into the barn and started out with the car.  Neighbors heard the car leaving the barn, but did not pay any attention to it until later when the alarm was spread."

Those Lousy Car Thieves Strike Again.  --RoadDidn'tDoIt

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Beware Car Thieves Back in 1917: The Cops Have Eyes On You

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Sheriff James Scott was over from Sycamore on a little business and incidentally told of the capture the forepart of this week of several car thieves.

"Sheriff Scott says that at this time he has twelve prisoners, and may have some more before long as he has the room for them, and there are a  number of people that the authorities are watching rather closely and unless they change their ways will be taken into custody."

Back Then, Too.  Cahnge Your Ways, Mr. Bad Guy.  --RoadDog

Jumping Bobs in 1917

From the Feb. 1, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Several times today it has been noticed that kids jumping bobs, which of course is winter's delight, have caused more than one motorist to use the emergency brake and stop inside a short distance.

"The youngsters would be riding one sleigh and another would pass going the other way and they would jump off and start after the other one, oftentimes running directly in front of the approaching auto.

"Parents should warn their boys  to be careful of this practice, as many of the cars in use here in this city are heavy and would break bones in a boy's arm or leg very easily should they happen to fall while crossing in front of them."

Something else for the erstwhile autoist to watch out for.

Careful Boys.  --RoadDog

What Happens to Old Fire Horses in 1917

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Dan and Pete, two of the old fire horses recently sold by the city were seen on the streets this afternoon.

"The old horses do not look as sleek as when they were on the wagons but a second glance were recognizable."

No doubt replaced by a fire truck.

Sorry Horsee.  But Better Than the Glue Factory.    --RoadDog

Friday, October 6, 2017

Buying Them Motorcycles in 1917

From the May 21, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Sawyer & Sons have been extra busy the past few days selling motorcycles.  Saturday, Elmer Reese bought the four-cylinder Henderson machine and is the first owner of a four-cylinder Henderson in DeKalb.

"The day before George Bacon of Kingston purchased an Indian.  Yesterday Paul O'Shatto of Sandwich came up here and took home one of the Excelsior machines and the east end men says that business gives the promise of being good every day this week."

Sounds Like the Beginning of a Biker Gang to Me.  --RoadVroom

Building Roads in DeKalb Co. in 1917

From the May 24, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Pronger & Fletcher, which firm completed the paving job here last year and went from DeKalb to Sandwich on a $15,000 job, has just been awarded another contract by the Sandwich Board of Local Improvements.

"The new contract is for additional work started on streets there and the firm's bid, which was the lowest, was $13,639.63.  Work will be started on the new contract in about two to three weeks or as soon as the Franklin Grove work is completed."

Franklin Grove would likely be involving the Lincoln Highway.

The Good Roads Movement strikes again.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Along 66, September 2017: Museum Club Closes, Military Convoy on 66

From the Route 66 News Site.  These are just some of the entries and in shortened version. Just the ones of special interest to me.  If you want to see all of the entries, go to the site.

SEPTEMBER 5--  Museum Club in Flagstaff, Arizona closes abruptly.  It has been there since 1931.  The sign says that no memorabilia (and they sure have a lot of memorabilia) is being sold.  Closed 9-4-17.  

Too bad, a mighty fun place.

SEPTEMBER 7--  Antique military vehicle convoy on Route 66 begins September 16 and goes from Chicago to Santa Monica.

September 16 from Chicago to Pontiac.  Sept. 17 Atlanta to Springfield.  Sept.18 rest day in Springfield

Today, Oct. 4, supposed to arrive in Santa Monica.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Along 66, September 2017: The Duncan Manor, Towanda. Illinois

SEPTEMBER 2--  The White Dog restaurant near Clinton, Oklahoma.  The food is good and there is quite a view.  Maybe we'll have to stop by there when we do Route 66 when we're 66 this month.

SEPTEMBER 3--  An update on the Duncan manor near Towanda, Illinois.  It is on the list of Ten Most Endangered Places in the state.

David and Randi Howell purchased the 1860s property in 2014.

William Duncan, a breeder of shorthorn cattle, moved to Illinois from Clark County, Kentucky in 1863 and bought 300 acres near Towanda.  Between 1866 and 1870 he had Duncan manor built.  He died in 1876.

The place is currently in really bad shape when the Howells bought it.  It is open Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Someplace Else to Check Out. --RoadDog

Monday, October 2, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 36: "Battle Acre" and Encroachment of the Atlantic Ocean


There was a proposal to remove part of "The Rocks" in the last several years, which would have essentially reopened the Civil War's New Inlet, but it seems to have failed.  As much as I would have liked to see the waterway back to its Civil War appearance, I was against the proposal.

From "The Rocks" and Battery Buchanan, I drove back to Fort Fisher and stopped at "Battle Acre."  This is the site of the fort's headquarters and the Confederate monument and the first Fort Fisher Museum before the current one was built in the 1960s.  (There are also plans to build a newer and bigger museum and visitors center.)

Hopefully, certain people won't demand and have the Confederate statue removed.  You know who I am talking about.

This was the first land set aside for the fort.  At one time it was feared that "Battle Acre" would be lost to the encroachment of the Atlantic Ocean.  The ocean was many hundred yards east back during the Civil War, but after the coquina beds out in the water were removed to provide a base for US-421 in the 1920s-1930s, the ocean really came in and washed away and covered a large part of the fort.


Along 66--Part 2: New Places on 66

The Mill Museum--  Lincoln
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield
Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, Litchfield


Jensen's Point, Pacific
Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba
The Four Way, Cuba
Boots Motel, Carthage

These are all places we want to visit on our Route 66 trip later this month.

Anxiously Awaiting.  --RoadDog

Along 66, June, 2017: "New" Places On 66 Since 2006 "Post-Cars) Era

From the Route 66 News Site.

Route 66 has spawned many new places along its length since 2006, the "Post-Cars" movie era.  That movie did a lot to increase knowledge of our old road among the general public.  The list covered all states, but I will do just the ones in Illinois, and some of the ones in Missouri.

They include places built-from-scratch like Pops in Oklahoma or places that had been closed or moribund like the Palms Grill Cafe in Atlanta, Illinois.


Pontiac-Oakland Museum, Pontiac
Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta
Colaw Rooming House, Atlanta  (Didn't know about this one)

Sprague Super Service Station, Normal
Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, Bllomington

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Along 66, July 30, 2017: Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame 1017 Inductees

From the Route 66 News.

JULY 30--  The Class of 2017 for the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame has been announced:

JUBELT'S BAKERY  AND RESTAURANT--  Litchfield, Illinois.  Its roots can be traced back to 1922.  We have eaten there before.  We like it right up there with the Ariston.

COZY INN/MARIO'S PIZZA--  Pontiac, Illinois.  Julie and Jerry Causer.  Dates to the 1930s-1940s.   Definitely a place to check out the next time we're in town.

PATRICK "PAT" McELROY--  Owned Pat's Standard Service station in Dwight, Illinois.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: The Oklahoma and DeKalb Sidewalk Highways

From tRoute 66 News site.

AUGUST 31--  Preservationists will approach the county to preserve the Sidewalk Highway.  Also known as the Ribbon Road in Ottawa County, Missouri.

Today, it is mostly covered with gravel.

It was a nine-feet wide state highway built in 1922.

Preservationists do not want to compromise its unique character

It was not improved and upgraded until now because it is mostly used by farmers.

But definitely an interesting bit of highway to drive on, if you can see it.

I also found out that Illinois has its own Sidewalk Highway and it is the stretch of Illinois State Highway 23 between DeKalb and Waterman.  Maybe we'll have to drive it next weekend when we're in DeKalb for NIU's Homecoming.

--It's a Narrow Pave for Me.  --RoadDog

Along 66, August 2017: World's Largest Belt Buckle in Uranus

From the Route 66 News Site.

AUGUST 27--  Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, has 167 Route 66-related tattoos.  Man, that's some commitment to the road!!  Just one of the characters of the Main Street of America that make it so interesting.  If he hasn't already, eventually he will run out of places to get tattooed (well, at least places he can show.

AUGUST 30--  Guinness certifies the largest belt buckle in the world in Uranus, Missouri, near St. Roberts.  Has the words Route 66 and the shield on it.  Kind of a strange place, that Uranus, but interesting.

AUGUST 30--  President Trump to speak in Springfield, Missouri, because of Route 66.  Glad he knows about the importance of the Mother Road.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Entitled To Be Peeved" in 1917

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"John McCann of the news stand is feeling just a trifle peeved today owing to the fact that someone stole his bicycle last night and has yet been unable to locate the guilty party or the wheel.

"McCann says that he would not have blamed a man for running away with a roll of money, but when it comes to stealing bicycles especially from such a business as his, he thinks he is entitled to be peeved."


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Man Passes Out On Lincoln Highway in 1917

From the May 17, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"residents on West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb spied a man lying in the grass last night about 6:30 and immediately sent in a call for the ambulance wagon, thinking the man might have been injured.

"It was found that the victim was one of booze and not an accident and he had curled around a tree alongside the road to rest for a time.  He was well under the influence of liquor and it was necessary to lift him into the wagon in order to get him back into town."

Drunks in 1917?  Really?

Was He A Northern Student?  --RoadDrunk

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Blacktopping in DeKalb in 1942

No word has been received from the federal government concerning proposed blacktopping work which will be rushed to completion in DeKalb if permission is granted by the government.

"Application for permission to blacktop Roosevelt Street, Garden Road, Garden Street, North 13th Street and South Sixth Street was made some time ago.

"It was sent to Springfield where it was approved by the state highway department and then sent to Chicago where it was approved by the Public Roads Administration and then sent to Washington.  It was thought that word would be received by the latter part of this week, either accepting or rejecting the application, but nothing has been heard up to today."

Quite a bit of red tape to go through to blacktop roads in World War II.

--One Blacktop, Two Blacktop.  --RoadDog

Monday, September 25, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 35: US-421

US Highway 421 has always been a favorite of mine, primarily because this is the road you drive to get from Wilmington (and all that horrible traffic and those pesky photo-enforced stoplights) to Carolina Beach to Fort Fisher.

From Wikipedia.

I.S. Route 41 is a spur road of U.S.- 21 and 941 miles long running from Michigan City, Indiana, (U.S. 20) to its southern terminus at "The Rocks" in North Carolina.  I have driven the whole road from one terminus to the other.  It goes through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, a real short distance in Virginia and North Carolina.

Big cities it goes through are Indianapolis, Lexington, Frankfort and Richmond, Kentucky and Boone, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina.

The stretch between Madison, Indiana, on the Ohio River and Richmond, Kentucky, is as beautiful driving as you'll ever do.  Then there is some real serious mountain driving through the rest of Kentucky.

Once you get to "The Rocks" at the southern terminus, there is a sign saying "End U.S. 421."  On the other side of that sign is a sign saying "Begin U.S. 421."

421in' It.  --RoadDog

News Along 66, August 2017: Grants and Spindles

AUGUST 24--  The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announced its 2017 cost-share grants which came to a total of $98,137 with that going to seven projects.
Tropics neon sign, Lincoln, Illinois--  $25,500
Wilder's neon sign, Joplin, Missouri--  $24,100
Trucking on Route 66 in Missouri oral history project-- $5,697
Texas Rt 66 property online database--  $18,668
Online educational guide to Route 66 in California--  $6,484
Route 66 Bridge Assessment and Prioritization Project Chicago to Santa Monica--  $6,484
Women of the Mother Road documentary film--  $25,000

AUGUST 26--  Spindles from the Route 66 bridge in Carthage, , Missouri, can be bought starting September 22.  One hundred limestone spindles will be sold by Vision Carthage during the Artwalk event downtown.

Own a Piece of the 66.  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A "Crying Need" for Street Signs in DeKalb in 1917

From the August 28, 2017 MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The crying need for street signs in a progressive, hustling city like DeKalb was forcibly brought to the attention of the councilmen last night by Alderman Jacobson.

"He said the lack of signs at street corners was one of the first and most powerful impressions to prejudice a stranger unfavorably and the condition was one that the authorities of a self-respecting town ought to lose no time in changing."

We Know Where We Are,.  Why Should You?  --RoadDog

Near Bad Accident With Train in 1917

From the August 26, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"H. Bannister of Sycamore Road, driving his Buick yesterday afternoon onto tracks at Fourth Street in DeKalb, had the narrowest of escapes from being struck by a train.  He backed off the track at the sound of the engine but for some reason the auto balked and stood stock still so close to the passing train that rthe yellow paint on the railroad coaches was scraped off onto his front tires.

"Spectators of the incident held their breaths while the long train rolled past almost atop the auto and its driver."

And, those trains fly through DeKalb still.

Real Close Call.  --RoadDog

Along 66, August 2017: Own a Building, Take Care of a Camp

AUGUST 23--  For Sale on Route 66.  Formerly Jerry's Liquors.  Building built in 1907.  Such a deal at $60,000 in Galena, Kansas, at 203 Main Street  It originally was a bottling company in the late 1800s.

Own a piece of the Route!!

AUGUST 24--  Missouri to retain the Gasconade Bridge near Hazel Green until 2018.  The Gasconade River Bridge Guardians are expected to take it over.

One of my favorite Route 66 bridges.

AUGUST 24--  Looking for a job on Route 66?  The Cool Springs Camp needs a newcaretaker.  Neat building, neat scenery, who could ask for more?  Between Oatman and Kingman, Arizona.

Own It, Work It.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 21, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 34: The "Begin U.S.-421" Sign


Well, I'm at the very southern terminus of US Highway (Route)-421.  There is a parking area and boat launch there by "The Rocks" and Battery Buchanan.  And, I really like the "Begin I.S. 421" sign.  On the other side, it has a "End U.S.-421 sign.  I wish all highway termini would have these signs.

Unfortunately, it doesn't say where or how far the northern terminus is.   That would have been even neater if they did have it.

Of course, US-421 is the one we would get on by Wilmington and take it to Carolina Beach, North Carolina, where I spent lots of time growing up.  It is also the bridge over Snow's Cut, where you got that wonderful first-glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean, meaning "You have ARRIVED at the Beach.  Oh Boy, Oh Boy!!"

And, of course, from there you drive through Kure Beach to FORT FISHER!!  So you know how important this stretch of road is to me.

The Road to Paradise.  --RoadDog

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 33: South Past the Hermit To "The Rocks"


I took US-421 (and I've driven from its northern terminus in Michigan City, Indiana, by Lake Michigan, all the way to the end of it, which is just a short distance south of Fort Fisher) from Fort Fisher to "The Rocks," which is at the end of federal Point.  "The Rocks" is a man-made dam in effect built to close New Inlet in the 1870s.  It extends for several miles out to some islands.  I've written about it before, just click "The Rocks" label.

Along the way, I passed by the Fort Fisher State Beach, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry.

By the aquarium is the World War II bunker where the Fort Fisher Hermit lived for many years.  Our family never went to Carolina Beach without visiting this strange man.  He could tell some great stories.

"The Rocks"  has been a family favorite for as many years as I remember.  We used to do a lot of crabbing and fishing there.  They have some huge blue crabs there.  I took a walk out onto for a distance.  "The Rocks" were constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1870s to close off New Inlet entrance to the Cape Fear River, which Fort Fisher had protected during the Civil War.

I also walked onto the remains of the Civil War's Battery Buchanan, which was apart of the Fort Fisher defenses and where the garrison finally surrendered to the overwhelming Union forces January 15, 1865, just 152 years earlier.

It most closely resembles a sand dune now.

It's a Hermit's Life for Me.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: Festivals, Eclipses and the Red Cedar Inn

AUGUST 16--  Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri, set an attendance record with 53,000.  Love those Route 66 festivals, but we need more of them.

AUGUST  20--  The Red Cedar Inn in Pacific, Missouri, to become a museum and visitors center.  It opened in 1932.  This is a place I wish we had gotten a chance to eat at, but it closed soon after our first trip through the area.  Definitely will be on out list of places to visit when we drive Route 66 end-to-end in October.

AUGUUST  22--  Total eclipse of the sun in Pacific, Cuba, Sullivan, Bourbon, Stanton , Eureka and St. Clair.  Hundreds had shown up in St. Clair two days before the eclipse.

That would be the place to watch the total eclipse--  on Route 66!!  Too bad we didn't drive down as we sure didn't have anything here to see in northern Illinois.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: Neon Signs in Tulsa


Tulsa may encourage neon signs along its stretch of Route 66.  It will be a neon sign overlay district, similar to the one in Albuquerque.  They will make it easier to put up the signs and provide incentives for businesses.

The biggest problem is the expense.

But, you can't go wrong with neon.  Mighty "purty."


Avalon Theatre in McLean, Texas, torn down.  the art deco place has been long-closed.  Dated to the 1920s-1930s.  I don't remember seeing it.


Ryburn Place in Normal, Illinois, opens  Better known as the Sprague Super service station.  So glad Bloomington-Normal has finally awakened to their Route 66 heritage.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Hey, Gov.!! Dare You To Drive Illinois Highway 64 in 1967

From the August 9, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"Although Governor Kernor has not yet accepted Sycamore Mayor Harold Johnson's invitation to visit the city and to take a ride on bumpy highway 64 east and west of the city, some patching was done on the highway's west entrance of Sycamore."

What, Potholes Even Back Then?  --RoadDog

Regional Pizza in the United States

Here is a list of regional pizza styles, other than Quad City style in the United States.

Chicago style

Detroit style

New York Style

St. Louis Style

Bar pizza

California style

Grandma pizza--  Long Island

Greek--  northeast

New Haven--  Connecticut

Sicilian--  NE, metro Detroit, Portland, Oregon

Tomato Pies--  New England and Philadelphia

Old Forge-- Old Forge, Lackawanna County, Pa.

Of course, I much, much prefer the Chicago style pizza, but I have to admit to being a bit prejudiced for some reason.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Still Talking About Pizza: Quad City-Style Pizza

While researching Happy Joe's, I came across this style of pizza.

From Wikipedia.

We've often been to the Quad-Cities, comprising Rock Island and Moline in Illinois and Bettendorf and Davenport in Iowa.  These cities straddle the Mississippi River as it runs east-west through that area.

And, they have their own unique style of pizza.  Its crust consists of a generous amount of malt syrup which gives it a nutty taste, a spicy sauce and fennel-based crumbled sausage.

The pizza dough rests in a refrigerator for 24-28 hours and then it is placed at room temperature for another 2-3 hours.  Once the pizza is cooked, it is cut into 1 1/2 inch strips using kitchen shears.

Wikipedia credits Frank's Pizzeria for creating this pizza in 1955.  They have a Frank's Pizzeria listed in Silvis, Iowa.  In the Quad-Cities area, there are some 25 places serving it, including Sports Fans in Bettendorf where we have played NTN.

There are two places in Chicago serving Quad City-Style pizza, both called Roots.

Guess We'll Have to Try It the Next Time We're There.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 14, 2017

While On the Subject of Pizza: Shakey's Pizza

In the last post, i mentioned eating at Happy Joe's in Galena.  Its founder, Lawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty, had worked at Sharkey's Pizza.

We used to stop often at Shakey's Pizza places here in the Midwest (especially Wisconsin) back in the 70s to 80s, but I don't remember seeing any for a long time.  There was one, I think, at Fondulac, Wisconsin.

Well, back to Wikipedia for some more research.

Shakey's Pizza began in 1954 when Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson and Ed Plummer opened the first restaurant in Sacramento, California.  "Shakey" Johnson's nickname came from nerve damage he suffered after a bout of malaria in World War II.

Shakey played Dixieland jazz piano and decided to entertain his customers and hired the original Silver Dollar Jazz Band for $10 and all the beer and pizza they could drink and eat.

Today, there are about 500 Shakeys globally, with about 60 here in the U.S., mostly located in the West.

Sure Wish We Could Get Them Back.
 Here In the Midwest.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

To Galena for Our 44th Anniversary-- Part 5: Stuffin' It at Happy Joe's


Sat outside the motel room in the morning, then went on the internet to post some pre-written blog entries, but had to get a new password.  I had been "asked" to make it more concern several months ago and did as I was told, but forgot to write the new one down for the trip, so had to change it again.  I am definitely one you'd call "password challenged."

We went to Happy Joe's a restaurant a little bit north of the motel and had their lunch pizza, pasta and salad bar buffet for $9 (Senior price), including pop.  Good deal and great selection.

Happy Joe's  from Wikipedia.

Based in Bettendorf, Iowa, one of the Quad Cities between Illinois and Iowa.founded in 1972 by Lawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty, a former Shakey's Pizza manager.  Today there are 61 Happy Joes, mostly in the Midwest, but one in Arizona.

We ate at this Happy Joe's in Galena a long time ago.

And, We'll be Back.  --RoadDog

Another 9-11 Flag Raising at the Oasis on Bluff Lake

Liz told me that she had read on FaceBook that they were going to have a flag raising ceremony for 9/11 at the Oasis Bar and restaurant on Bluff Lake in Antioch, Illinois.  members of the Antioch Fire department were there and raised the large U.S. flag up to the top of the flagpole and then lowered it to half mast (as they did at the McHenry commemoration at Veterans Park.

I did not even know they had the flag pole, which was a really big one.

I'd say we did our bit to honor those who died 16 years ago.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9-11 Commemoration McHenry, Illinois-- Part 2: The Saga of Joe Torrillo

The police chief and fire chief of McHenry both got up and spoke of people who were there in New York City that day.

The fire chief spoke of Joe Torrillo who was a 25-year-old lieutenant in the New York Fire Department that day.  He is now retired on disability from injuries sustained that day, but very lucky to be alive as he was in the first tower to collapse at the World Trade Center.

He was in Engine Co. #10, across from the World Trade Center and involved in rescue operations when the first tower collapsed at 9:58, ET.  He was buried alive and had a fractured skull, broken ribs, broken arm, crushed spine and had heavy internal bleeding.  Somehow he survived and was taken outside to a boat in the Hudson River.  When the second tower came down, he was buried again.

The chorus then sand several songs and a 21-gun salute was fired as well as the fire bell rung.

A very moving ceremony.

Something never to Forget.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fire and Police Commemoration of 9-11 Today in McHenry, Illinois-- Part 1

I was able to get to Veterans Park in McHenry for the 9-11 Observance. this morning.  There was a good-sized crowd, probably about 150 counting fire and police personnel.  I brought along my police American flag.  this is the one where the red has been removed so just blue and white stripes and one big blue stripe.  I figured this was a good way to thank our police.

The mayor spoke first and then we had a flag that had flown at NYFD Station #10 across from where the World Trade Center stood which was raised to the top of the pole and then lowered to half mast.  I do not believe it was the flag that was flying there that day, however.

Then, the McHenry High School chorus sang the "Star-Spangled Banner."

All seven of my blogs today are on 9-11.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: Travel Advisory, The Nimblewell Nomad and the Fire

AUGUST 7--  A closer look at the NAACP's Missouri travel advisory.  It warns about possible discrimination and attacks against minorities because of recent legislation making discrimination lawsuits harder to win.

A clear case of grasping at straws by a racist group.  Well, at least it wasn't about discrimination against Confederate monuments.

AUGUST 8--  M.J. Eberhart, 78, walking the length of Route 66.  he calls himself The Nimblewill  Nomad.  Going East to West.  And I can just make it across the bar to my stool.  Today, September 9, if all is going well, he should be in Edmond, Oklahoma.

AUGUST 9--  Fire ravages Country Classic cars near Staunton, Illinois.  Did a job on the main building which had around 100-150 cars in it.  The business opened about 20 years ago.

They had some neat cars, but a lot that really, really, really needed to be restored.

Beware Travelers!!  The NAACP Is Looking Out for You.  --RoadDog

Jukin' Oldies and 1969 on the Radio

I came across a really good radio station on the internet called "Jukin' Oldies:  The World's Greatest Oldies."  Just type in Jukin' Oldies on your Yahoo! search.  It's apparently a 24-hour station with different deejays hosting segments, including one of my favorites, 'Fessa John Hook, doing all those great Beach Music songs.

I'm listening to it right now.

Also, another good one here in the Chicago area is MeTV FM, 87.7 FM which plays quite a mic of well-known and lesser known songs from the 1950s to 1980s.  When we're in the car and I don't have a cassette playing, this is what we listen to around home.  It also streams on Comcast Xfinity and can be heard on 87.7 FM.

Just one drawback that I've seen so far is that they don't run the names of the songs and artists.  Believe me, they dig deep down for their songs and this is needed.

Starting at 8 a.m. Central, WXRT, 93.1 FM in Chicago goes to 1969 for three hours on its Saturday Morning Flashback Show.  It streams at

Of course, Sunday, we have Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots (60s-70s) Show on Chicago's WDRV from 7 to 10 a.m..  Also Terri Hemmert's Breakfast With the Beatles from 8 to 10 a.m., on Chicago's WXRT and at 9 p.m. Tom Marker's Bluesbreakers on the same station.

All Times Central.  --RoadDog

Friday, September 8, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 32: Taking My Leave of Fort Fisher

Like I said, some time in the future, I would really love to spend a week or more at Fort Fisher.  I can also enjoy the bars of Carolina Beach, like the Silver Dollar and Fat Pelican and get into Wilmington, despite all the traffic and those pesky photo-enforced lights.  And then, there is Oakdale Cemetery where so many persons connected to Fort Fisher, like Whiting, Greenhow, Maffitt and Reilly, are buried.

Plus, all that seafood and other history.

Like I said, wow, Fort Fisher.

Love That Place  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 7, 2017

To Galena for Our 44th Anniversary-- Part 4: VFW and Gold Room, But No Blue Nun or Cork & Cask


We first went to the VFW, which is open to the public.  They have $1.50 Busch Light 12 ounce drafts, a good price these days and especially in a tourist spot like Galena.  We talked with several people.  It is a friendly bar.

We then went to the Gold Room, a short distance from the VFW and they have $2 cans of domestics everyday.  Also a friendly place.

When we left, we were going to go to a liquor store named Cork & Cask out north of town and close by where the old Palace Motel (now Ramada) used to be and buy some beer and a bottle of Blue Nun wine. A bottle of Blue Nun wine was given to us by Liz's father when we left DeKalb after the reception and it has been the drink we like to celebrate our anniversary with ever since.

The Cork & Cask, for a little liquor store, always had a good selection and even always had Blue Nun.  We were saddened to find the Subway deli store open, but the liquor store closed.  It had been there ever since 1973.  (We found out later that it had closed a year ago.)

We ended up going to Wal-Mart and buying a case of beer and some cheese and cold cuts for our meal.

Back to Grant Hills Motel and we sat out and feasted and drank a few.

A Cheap Date.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wishing for a Speedy Recovery to Our Friend Lulu

Liz had noticed that Lulu had not been posting much to her Facebook page and we found out she had a really bad fall and cracked her head.

She has had surgery and is in the hospital.

She is one of our most favorite gals on Route 66.

Get Well, Lulu.  --RoadDog

News From 66, August 2017: Out in the Desert and Illinois Musician Museum

AUGUST 1--  More bridges were washed out in California between Essex and Amboy because of July storms.

AUGUST 2--  Joliet is lukewarm to planned Route 66 The Road to Rock Museum.  This planned museum pays homage to to Illinois musicians.  Some of the Illinois artists to be presented are REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Biddy Guy, Smashing Pumpkins, Kanye West (well), King's X (never  heard of them), Blues Brothers, Tom Morello.

Well, if this museum comes to be, I hope they will also feature our great 1960s bands like New Colony Six, the Flock, Cryan' Shames, Buckinghams and Shadows of Knight.  Also all the Blues artists that made their name in Chicago like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thanks A Lot Mediacom

No posts today because Mediacom broke down this morning.  If you're with this internet provider,   Good Luck!

This why there were no posts on any of my blogs today.


Monday, September 4, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 31: Fort Fisher's Impact On Me

Maybe I'll get through this trip by the end of the year.  Not saying I run a little bit behind, but....


Spending a lot of time at Fort Fisher is a great thing for me.  Like I said, this is my favorite historical place anywhere and a big reason why I spent 33 years teaching, am interested big-time in history, and, of course, these blogs.

I haven't spent this much time at Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach since back in the 1980s, when I also thought seriously of resigning from my teaching job and working at the Blockade Runner Museum in Carolina Beach.  Glad I didn't though as the place closed a year later.  And, i don't think I could ever get Liz to move to North Carolina.

I am thinking of going to the 153rd anniversary of Fort Fisher's fall this coming January and spending a week in and around Carolina Beach.  I'd also like to take a tour of Wilmington, North Carolina's World War II sites.  Wilbur Jones is a foremost authority on that era in Wilmington and pushing to get the city named as a World War II City.

And, of course, Fort Fisher was used for anti-aircraft training during World War II.  Sadly, several of the fort's traverses were flattened to make a landing strip for the planes pulling the targets.  Too bad they couldn't have put the airstrip further north or south.

That Fort Hooked Me.  --RoadFisher

The Problem With Trains in 1917: An Acid Car Steaming

From the July 26, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 years Ago.

"Yesterday forenoon a long freight train rolled through DeKalb (imagine a train going through DeKalb) and an acid car near the middle of the train was seen to be steaming rather alarmingly.  Officer Rowe spied the matter and telegraphed to the railroad headquarters concerning the matter.

"The train dispatcher stopped the train in Maple Park (about ten miles away) and the car was given attention.  Railroad men of the local yards say that this is the first time they have experienced such a thing as that."

Could Have been a Major Problem.  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 2, 2017

To Galena for Our 44th Anniversary-- Part 3: The Town That Time Forgot

We got our room (the same one we had back in early June), unloaded the car for a two night stay (we will stay at the Ramada Inn on Friday, the anniversary of our marriage.  It is built on the site of the old Palace Motel where we spent our honeymoon back in 1973).

We have two bars in downtown Galena which we always make a special effort to visit when we're in town.  They are the VFW and the Gold Room.  Both are on Main Street.

Galena is truly the town that time forgot.  What you see today is what the inhabitants saw back in the 1850s.  At one time Galena rivaled Chicago in size and importance because of all of the locally mined lead, called Galena Lead.  When that petered out in the 1850s, people started moving away, but with no increase in population, there were no new buildings constructed, and, even more important, none were torn down.


Putting In An Asphalt Shoulder in 1942 (Could This be the Lincoln Highway?)

From the June 21, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"An asphalt shoulder three feet in width on each side of the Kane and DeKalb counties is to be constructed this summer, highway officials announced today.

"Th road is to be given considerable attention by the construction crews as when the work is completed within a short time, it will be one of the best in this vicinity and used extensively by tourists."

I am not sure if this refers to just one road or all the roads.  However, since the Lincoln Highway goes through both counties, perhaps this is the road receiving the three-foot-wide asphalt shoulders.


Emperor Franz Joseph in DeKalb, Illinois

Well, statue of the emperor actually.

There was a picture in the June 21, 2017, MidWeek newspaper, serving DeKalb County, Illinois, "Looking back" column of the statue of Emperor Franz Joseph.

he caption reads:  "Cottonville School. later the George Riebock home, at the corner of First Street and Rich Road, with the Emperor Franz Joseph statue in the yard.  The statue currently resides at the Nehring house on North First Street."

I remember passing the statue many times while a student at Northern Illinois University and returning for visits.  I always wondered why there was a statue out front of the house, but several years ago noticed that it was no longer there.  I did not know the house was formerly a school.

I'll have to go see where it is now that I know its location.

Of course, a really good question would be how the statue of an Austrian emperor came to be in DeKalb, Illinois?


Friday, September 1, 2017

Running Stop Signs in DeKalb, Illinois, in 1942

From the June 7, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Chief of Police Ben Peck of DeKalb has issued a warning that unless the practice of running the stop signs at Fourth Street and the Lincoln Highway is halted immediately arrests will be made and fines will be assessed.

"Even though a train is passing, there are to be no left or right turns until the train has passed and the green light is on.  People who do not want to cross the tracks have been going through the red light and turning, but this practice is to be halted."

I'm thinking stop signs should be the stoplight at the intersection.  And, believe me, Lincoln Highway is busy enough that running through a light is not a really safe thing to do.  Even today, lots and lots and lots of trains roar through DeKalb.

Idiots Even Back Then.  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Marking the Parking Spaces in Sycamore in 1942

From the July 12, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Using considerable yellow and white paint, the city of Sycamore (Illinois) street department has been busy the last two days marking off crossing, safety and parking zones in the downtown section.  In addition to right and left hand turn boundaries, where permitted, also are marked out.

"The no parking zones are being painted a 'loud' yellow that no one can mistake them for parking spaces, and the crossing stripes also have been made prominent."

Even With a War On, Watch Where You Park Your Car.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: Dedication, Grand Opening and Williams

JULY 26--  The Front Street Bridge in Galena, Kansas has its official dedication.   Neat bridge.

JULY 28--  Grand Opening of the Sprague Super Service station set for August 12, in Normal, Illinois.

JULY 28--  Old Smoky's Restaurant building in Williams, Arizona, has been torn down.  It had stood for more than 70 years, but the restaurant continues to operate at 125 W. Route 66.

Maybe we will have to stop there when we do Route 66 this year when we're 66.

66 on 66.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

To Galena for Our 44th-- Part 2: Staying at the Grant Hills Motel


We got a room for two nights at the Grant Hills Motel, south of Galena.  This motel was built in the 1950s and is a true mom and pop motel, the kind we like.  The rooms are really kept us as are the grounds and they have a swimming pool.  They advertise the lowest rates in Galena, with rooms starting at $79 a night.  That is a good price for Galena in the summer as that is high season for tourism.

We especially like the chairs and tables set up outside the rooms (all on just one level)  This is a great place to have evening cocktails and talk with other travelers at the end of a hard day of driving and sight seeing.

Back when we got married 44 years ago, we spent a few nights at the Palace Motel, north of Galena.  It was also a mom and pop motel.  Back on August 25-26, 1973, we were going to be getting to the motel in the early morning hours and they left a note on the office door to the honeymoon couple that we were in Room 7 and it was open and the keys in it.  You know, that sort of a mom and pop place.

We used to go back and, of course, stay at the Palace.  But sadly, it was sold and torn down.  A new hotel was constructed in the site and today it is the Ramada Inn.

Love Those Mom and Pop Motels.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 28, 2017

To Galena for Our 44th-- Part 1: Married in DeKalb, Honeymoon in Galena


August 25 is our 44th wedding anniversary.  We got married in DeKalb, Illinois, at the Newman Center (Northern Illinois University) on Saturday by Father Dan Hermes and then had the reception at the Holiday Inn on Lincoln Highway (Il-38), now the Red Roof Inn, and then drove to Galena, Illinois, for our honeymoon.  believe me, i was beat by the time we got to the motel at 2:30 a.m..

We had a week scheduled for the honeymoon, but that was cut very close by my getting a teaching job in Round Lake, Illinois, the day before the marriage and school started Wednesday.

Talk about a lot of stuff happening in just a few days.  We're still married and I taught in Round Lake for 33 years.

We did not leave Spring Grove very early as I was catching up on these blogs and had to water plants.

We took the usual way out to Galena: Illinois highways 120, 47, 176, 23 and to U.S.-20 and west to Galena.  U.S.-20 through Illinois is named the U.S. Grant Highway because of the general's (and president) living in Galena before and after the Civil War.


Friday, August 25, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: David Hutson and His Neon Signs

JULY 25--  The man behind many Route 66 neon sign restorations had his story on KSDK in St. Louis.  David Hutson of Neon Time in St. Charles, Missouri, has done a lot for Missouri Route 66 signage.

He work a lot with the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program which has cost/share grants.

Some of the neon signs he has restored:

Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon, Mo.
Donut Drive-In in St. Louis
Former Skylark Motel in St. Clair, Mo.
Crestwood Bowl in Crestwood, Mo.
Luna Cafe in Mitchell, Illinois
Boots Court in Carthage, Mo.
Sunset Motel in Villa Ridge, Mo.
"Vic" Suhling (Gas for Less) in Litchfield, Il.
Greystone Heights Modern Cabins near Springfield, Mo.
Del Rhea's Chicken basket in Illinois

David Hutson, Lighting Up the Night, One At a Time.  --RoadDog

News From 66, July 2017: A California Bridge and North Side

JULY 17--  A fence is being installed at the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena to stop suicide attempts.  It is a ten foot high mesh barricade.  there have been at least two suicides so far this year and 150 since 1919.

In 1930 it earned the name "Suicide Bridge."  This bridge was an architecturally challenging project to build and has a striking design.

One of the most beautiful bridges I've ever seen, but I imagine the fence will take away from its beauty.

JULY 19--  The North Side of Springfield, Illinois, is getting closer to becoming a TIF district with tax break incentives.  This is along Peoria Road.  The Illinois State Fair is here, but the area was hurt by the 2013 closing of Bill Shea's Rt. 66 museum.

I Sure Miss Bill Shea and All his Neat Stuff (Or as his wife would say, "That man never throws anything away.")  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 24, 2017

About Last Weekend-- Part 2: Dogs, Crawl, Captain's and Soda


We dove over to The Roost of 59, which on Sundays has 99 cent Chicago-style hot dogs.  Great deal.  We then went to the Oasis, on Bluff Lake to see Terry and Greg Spizzirri playing out on the deck.  They are among our very favorite musicians.  Sadly, they weren't there and we were told that Terry had to be taken to the hospital last night.  Sure sad to hear that.

We had a drink there, and then decided to get some Chain Crawl passport stamps, so went to Boyd's Hideout on Petite Lake (well, across the street from it) and had a drink and then to 'Cuda's on Grasslake Road for another.

We decided to take a shot at going to Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake.  We used to go here all the time, but it has gotten way too crowded.  We were shocked to actually get seats at the outside bar and one of our favorite bands, Soda, was playing so stayed for two sets.

Oh Well, Just because One Thing Doesn't Work Out, You have Alternatives on the Chain of Lakes.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

About Last Weekend-- Part 1: A-Boating We Go and the Legion


I took the boat out for a cruise on Fox Lake.  It is so very sad to see the grand old lady of the lake, the beautiful Mineola Hotel, slowly deteriorating.  I'm sure it won't be standing much longer.

Met the Usual Suspects at the Legion on Nippersink Lake.  Sat out in the gazebo after I got home.


Sometimes things don't work out the way you plan them, even here in Vacationland, the Chain of Lakes in Illinois.

I went out for another cruise in the boat on Fox Lake.  We usually don't go out on the weekends, but we lost so much boating time during the flood, that we went out, but got in by noon as that is when it really starts getting crowded.

We were planning to go to Cabana's on Pistakee Lake for their band and cookout in the afternoon, but a friend was there and called to say it was way too crowded.  Neither Liz or I care much for crowds, so we didn't go.  We then went over to the Spring Grove Fire Department Steak Fry, but the band wasn't going to start for a couple more hours, there was a long line of people waiting to get served and beer was $4.  We left.

Then we drove over to the American Legion on Nippersink Lake for the SAL gun raffle.  We had food and a band playing.

Came back home and enjoyed the gazebo again.

Why Go Anywhere Else?  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: A Spaceship, Website and Gas Pump

JULY 21--  Spaceship to land at The Mill for its 88th birthday on July 25.  It is made by the same person who built the "World's Largest Covered Wagon" which used to be in Divernon, Illinois, but is now in Lincoln, Illinois, where the Mill is.

That guy is quite talented.  Got to love that roadside art.

JULY 22--  The Route 66 Association of Illinois launches a new website.  Hey, that is one of my two Rt 66 groups.

JULY 24--  World's Tallest Gas Pump in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, nears completion.  It is 66 feet tall (get it?) and in front of the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum.

Watch Out for Those UFOs.  --RoadDog

News From 66, July 2017: Two Reopenings and a Tearing Down

JULY 11--  Skippy's Route 66 Restaurant reopens after a fire in Leasburg, Misdsouri,  Great food.  We ate there once with the Missouri Route 66 Association.  Always glad to see a favorite reopen.

JULY 13--  Plan would demolish Oklahoma City's Classen Circle and replacing it with a Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store.  We never went there and don't remember it, but from an accompanying photograph it looks like a neat place.

JULY 15--  Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, will reopen in August.  It is now owned by the city and originally opened in 1931.  As I often said, it is so nice to have Bloomington-Normal interested in their Route 66 heritage...FINALLY.

Congrats Normal.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 21, 2017

Parking Downtown in DeKalb in 1917

From the July 12, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"A parking line on the north and south sides of Lincoln Highway from Second to Fourth street is being marked out today  by the city employees.  The men have been at work on the south side of the street marking out the space in which a car is privileged to park.

"This is done that the cars will not park within 15 feet of fire hydrants and also there shall be space left between the front end of the cars and the street car tracks to allow the passage of another vehicle."

Imagine that, already parking problems in DeKalb.

Parking Problems Even Back Then.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 18, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else-- Part 5: Rally-By-the-Lake, Parish Fest, Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive


Started the day off listening to Bob Stroud's annual salute to summer 40 years ago.  That would be the Summer of '77 for three hours.  He was playing the songs on the radio and in our record collections from August 13, 1977..  I will be listing the songs he played on my Down Da Road I Go blog later today.

Then, I did some yard work and drove the '85 Firebird over to Fox Lake's Lakefront Park on Nippersink Lake for the annual classic car and motorcycle show.  It really made my day to see another '67 Firebird.  I once had a '67 Firebird convertible and that is my favorite classic car.  Of course, mine was in very rough shape compared to the ones I've recently seen.

Then, we went to Parish Fest for St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg and enjoyed the food and one of our favorite bands, New Odyssey.

I left early so I could go over to Veterans Park in McHenry for the annual Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive commemoration of our Greatest Generation, the World War II veterans.  McHenry probably has the biggest celebration for this of any place in the United States.  And it is already good to give our World War II veterans their due.  We had about 17 of them there.

A Really Busy Day.  --RoadDog

Why Go Anywhere Else-- Part 4: Woodies, Tiki Bar, the Sunnyside Goodbye, Legion Picnic


We drove over to Famous Freddie's in Fox Lake (on Pistakee Lake) for the Woody boat show.  Woodies are the old wooden boats that were the norm for pleasure boating before the fiberglass boats of today.  They had two from 1951, the year Liz and I were born.  The oldest was 1937.  They were much smaller than today's boats.

We then stopped at the bar's tiki bar for a drink and to get our Chain Crawl passport book stamped and signed.

Then, we drove over to Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg to say goodbye as the funeral procession for Amy Siok drove by.

Next, we went over to the Fox Lake American Legion (on Nippersink Lake) for the annual Legion picnic for members.  We sat outside with the Usual Suspects and enjoyed the band Project X playing 70s classics.  Plus, there was all the free food and beer you wanted.

Great way to spend the afternoon.

Why We Stay Put During the Summer.  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 3: A Breakfast At KC's, Wake and Legion


On FP for coffee  and read the Tribune.  Then to the internet for these blogs.

Liz came downstairs and reminded me that yesterday we made arrangements to meet Kevin and Kelly at K.C.'s Cabin for breakfast.  I had completely forgotten about that.  Rushed out and met them and had that great omelet breakfast with enough left over for two more breakfasts.

We drove to Woodstock for Amy Siok's wake.  We'd never seen that many people at a person's wake and had to park several blocks away.  Drove around Woodstock square and stopped at Wendy's for their special 50 cent Frostee.

Then to the Legion where we got together with the Usual Suspects (including Kevin and Kelly).


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DeKalb Gets a New Standard Station in 1917

From the July 5, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago

"The Standard Oil Company's fueling station at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway is in the hands of the finishers at this time, and the building will probably be ready for occupancy in the course of the next ten days."

I believe this site is now where the park is located.

The Auto Is Here in 1917.  --RoadDog

Charlie Daniels' "Road Dogs"-- Part 2: "We're Road Dogs, Road Dogs"

Sure enjoyed listening to this song on Galax, Virginia's WBRF, 98.1 FM, Home of Classic Country.  Sure like the internet for that.  Plus, that great You Tube where I listened to the song many times.  If I ever had a radio show, this would definitely be one that I play.  After all, it has my name.

Anyway, the song is a tale of all the things that can go wrong when giving concerts out on the road.

Some of the words:

Pulling out of Woodstock heading down to Little Rock


We're Road Dogs, Road Dogs
Burning up the interstate
Hot and Wild Southern Style
That crowd in Memphis just won't wait
From midnight till dawn
We're rolling down the highway
Heading for another town
Road Dogs, Road Dogs
We sure get around.

Road Dogs is also the name of the album it was on and Charlie Daniels wrote most of the songs, including this one.  It was released in 2000.

Thanks, Charlie.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charlie Daniels' "Road Dogs"-- Part 1: That Great WBRF, 98.1 FM, Classic Country

I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations, WBRF 98.1 FM out of Galax, Virginia, which plays classic country.  I got into the station back when I was driving to North Carolina three times a year to visit my mom.  I'd pick it up a bit north of the Virginia line in West Virginia on I-77 and keep with it until through Virginia and into North Carolina, US-52 to Winston Salem and US-421/I-40 to Greensboro where I would lose it.

Absolutely great music, many of which I'd never heard before.

Now, I often listen to it while doing these blogs in the afternoon.  One really great thing about the internet.

Today, about 4:40 p.m., I heard this great song with my name in it called "Road Dogs."  i wasn't sure who sang it but it sounded like Charlie Daniels... and it was.

Hey, That's My Name.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 2: Storms, Pints and Pitchers


We had rain off and on during the morning.  It was coming straight down and sure enjoyed sitting FP and that special smell rain brings.

In the afternoon, we got together with Kevin and Kelly at Bulldog Ale House in McHenry for their drink special of the day:  $2 for any draft pint that they have.  We had been there awhile back and when I heard the special, I ordered a Miller Lite and then learned that also applied to any craft or import beer.  

Well, sure wish I'd have known that before I got the Lite.  I love craft and import drafts, but not at $4-$6.  But, $2, now you're talking my price  We fully imbibed there.

I had wanted to go over to McHenry's Veteran Park for their Thursday night concert series, but just after we left, the rain came again, and this time as hard as I've ever seen it come down.  And, a favorite of mine, Mississippi Landslide was playing, but no concert for us.

We met Kevin and Kelly again at Sunnyside for some more drinks, and it was happy hour, so enjoyed the $5 draft pitchers.

Sure Like That Cheap Beer.  --RoadDog

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 1: The Civil War and Enjoying the House and Yard

Again, I get asked often why we don't really go away much during June to August.  Why go anywhere else when summer vacation is right here.  Between boating, when it is not flooding and all the outdoor festivals going on, I'd just as soon stay right here.


I dug up hostas for Kelly as I am changing the flower beds around.  Drove to Woodstock, Illinois, and saw the movie "Dunkirk" for a second time (one of those you need to see on a really big screen) and then did some research in the Woodstock Library (I love to do research) and met some McHenry Civil War Round Table people at Three Brothers Restaurant for dinner and went to the Round Table Meeting and heard about a real big Union scoundrel by the name of Ruben Hatch who was responsible for the overloading of the SS Sultana which blew up and killed at least 1200 returning Union prisoners.


Enjoyed the FP (Front Porch) Flats (Side patio) and OD (deck at various times.Did some yard work (another thing I really like to do).

So sad to find out that Glen Campbell had died.  (See my RoadDog's RoadLog Blog from last week.)

Went to the Legion.


N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 30: What About All Those People Visiting Fort Fisher?

There is no historical place in the world (and I REALLY like historical places) that I'd rather be at than Fort Fisher.  One of these winters I would like to come down and spent 1-2 weeks at Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach.

I have always wondered a bit about Fort Fisher's claim that they get 750,000 to 800,000 visitors a year (even with being closed on Mondays).  I thought that was a bit high for most any historical site (since most people do not get into history too much).  And, as much as I am into Fort Fisher's history, it definitely is not a Gettysburg-level engagement.

I was told that there is a counter up by the gate into the parking lot that counts vehicles.    They multiply each one by four, figuring there are that many people it..  But, very likely, a lot of them are coming to the Fort Fisher beach and looking for the site's bathrooms.


Friday, August 11, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: Skippy's, Classen Circle and Sprague's

JULY 11--  Skippy's Route 66 Restaurant in Leasburg, Missouri, reopens after a fire.  We met a lot of Missouri Route 66 Association folks there one time.  Glad to have it back.

JULY 13--  Plan would demolish Oklahoma City's Classen Circle so that a Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store can be built there.  I don't remember seeing it, but a picture accompanying the article makes it look like a neat place.  Too bad.

JULY 15--  Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, to reopen in August.  It was built in 1931 and is owned by the city.

I am so glad that Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, has finally figured out they need to push their Route 66 heritage.  Money to be made, you know.

For A Long Time They Didn't.  --RoadDog

Shipwreck Coast On Michigan's Upper Peninsula-- Part 4: About the Commode

The ships may be well preserved, but the cargoes are another story.  Crews of wrecked ships would salvage as much as they could.  Other cargo items were looted, many by divers over the last century.  It was not illegal then to bring back items that could be sold or used as souvenirs.  These were in the days before the modern divers credo "Take only pictures, leave only bubbles."

One funny story, though is the toilet and anchor from the barge Herman H. Hettler, which sank in 1926.  A local diver snatched these two items in the 1960s and proudly displayed them on his front yard until he retired to Texas 30 years later.

That's when Munising locals retrieved them (plucking flowers from the commode that the wife had planted) and re-sank them in the ship.  This explains why the toilet sits perfectly upright on the wreck.

Sounds Like An Interesting Place to Visit.  --RoadDog

Shipwreck Coast, Upper Peninsula, Michigan-- Part 3: The Tale of the Schooner Bermuda

One of the ships that sank on the Shipwreck  Coast was the 150-foot schooner Bermuda, which sank in 1870.  The ship had been docked safely in Marquette until its crew created too much drunken trouble and were promptly ordered by he sheriff to leave.

They dropped anchor by the Shipwreck Coast where their captain, Michael Finney went ashore to look for another saloon while the crew slept it off.  The ship filled with water, snapped its mooring lines and sank, drown three.

When Captain Finney came back, there were just two masts sticking up out of the water.

Mother Nature caused most of the shipwrecks here, but at the same time preserves the remains of its victims.  Lake Superior is cold most of the year which deters microbacteria that break down natural materials like white-oak hulls.  There is no salt either.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Shipwreck Coast, Michigan's Upper Peninsula-- Part 2: A Major Artery

As sad as the wrecks and deaths in this stretch of coast, one good thing is that many of the wrecks are very accessible.  Masts of some still protrude above the water a century after they sank.  The remains of others are even on shore and those fully sunk can be seen from a glass-bottom boat.

Plus, the surroundings include Michigan's magnificent Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


This stretch of the Great Lakes was a major thoroughfare for cargo ships hauling iron ore from Michigan's Marquette mines to Cleveland, Chicago and beyond.  Other ships carried passengers and pine.  Then there were also fresh water buccaneers eager to take the cargoes of the other ships.


What Is the Difference Between a "Street" and an "Avenue"?

From the December 2014 Smithsonian  "Ask Smithsonian."

Seth R. Digel  of Smethport, Pennsylvania, asked the question.

ANSWER;  A street is  a basic paved traffic link within an urban area; an avenue was originally grander, wider and often lined with trees or other flora.

But the distinction has eroded over time, as when, for example, real estate developers indiscriminately call new roads "avenues" to make a more grandiose impression.

Nancy Post, curator of the National Postal Museum.

Now You Know.  --AvenueDog  (So Much More Grandiose, Don't You Know.)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: Fanning Outpost to Reopen, Front Street Bridge Reopens

JULY 8--  The Fanning 66 Outpost near Cuba, Missouri, soon will reopen later this summer.  Local businessman Ryan Thompson, owner of Route 66 Mercantile is buying it.

The Outpost opened in 2007 and closed just recently due to lack of business.  It was one of our favorite stops when we were in the area.

Mr. Thompson also plans on getting back the title of World's Largest Rocker after losing it to Casey, Illinois.

JULY 8--  The restoration of Front Street Bridge in Galena, Kansas is completed with a July 22 dedication planned.  That is a neat bridge.  We always know we're out west when we cross it going into Kansas.


Monday, August 7, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 29: Spending Time At What Is Left of the Fort

The markers along the fort walk have been repaired (they had gotten into bad shape) and new ones erected.  Many of these give the human side of the battle and life at the fort.

Today was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures so I took a nice, slow walk around the little that remains of the fort.  Most of it, including most all of the old seafront of the fort and much of the land face are under water as the Atlantic Ocean has come in a lot, especially after the coquina beds offshore were removed in the 1930s to construct US-421.  With that barrier gone, the ocean came in quickly.

And, part of the land face mounds and traverses was leveled both for US-421 and for a landing strip when Fort Fisher was used by soldiers from nearby Camp Davis during World War II for anti-aircraft training.  Planes, often flown by members of the WAC (Women's Army Corps), towed targets offshore.

Ahh.  Fort Fisher and I have All Day If I Want to Spend Here.  Normally I Am With People and Can't Stay As Long As I Like.  --RoadDog

Shipwreck Coast, Michigan Upper Peninsula-- Part 1:

From the July 30, 2017, Chicago Tribune "Sunken Treasures" by Chris McNamara.

Kind of sounds like a place you might find in a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.

Of course, shipwrecks were my second favorite thing when  I was growing up (after Fort Fisher and the Civil War).  I even thought about taking up diving and looking for shipwrecks (and especially sunken treasure).

This article immediately caught my eye.

The Shipwreck Coast is a stretch of shallow waters at the southern end of Lake Superior by Michigan's Upper Peninsula that is littered with the wrecks of hundreds of doomed vessels.  Sean Levy of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum estimates that out of 600 Lake Superior shipwrecks, a third are clustered here between Munsing and Paradise, Michigan, where the museum sits on Whitefish Point.

Wasn't this the area where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank?

Well, I might like to go shipwreck hunting here, but not really.  That water is way too cold.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 28: Fort Fisher Medals, the Colonel's Lady and the Mine

Fort Fisher has a temporary exhibit on the many Medals of Honor troops and sailors received at Fort Fisher.  There is  a permanent one on Colonel Lamb's "Cottage" located a mile north of the fort.  He lived here with his wife Daisy and family.  This exhibit includes two beautiful chairs taken from the stricken blockade runner Kate.

The museum also still has the the Confederate torpedo (mine) which washed up on the shore of the Cape Fear River back in the 1960s.  I remember this torpedo from the first Fort Fisher Museum which was located at Battle Acre in a 40 by 40-foot shed.

The man told me that they had some 100 descendants this past weekend at the friends of Fort Fisher annual meeting and descendants reunion this past Saturday at Carolina Beach Courtyard by Marriott.  This marked the 152nd anniversary of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher.

I really would have liked to have been there, especially since I was only about 50 miles away, but I had other things to do.

I am hoping to be able to attend the 153rd anniversary this coming January.


News From Along 66, July 2017: Rhea's, Red's and Russell

JULY 7--  The restored Rhea's Chicken basket neon sign is dedicated in Willowbrook, Illinois.  Always like to see restored neon.

JULY 5--  There is a film portrait of Harvey Russell of the Mediocre Music Makers of Erick, Oklahoma.  One of the characters who make Route 66 so much fun  A hum,an Tow tater?  The Wildest Guy on 66?

JULY 7--  A replica of Red's Giant Hamburg sign will soon break ground.  It will be at a new restaurant.  David Campbell, owner of Buckingham's regional bbq chain is opening the restaurant at 2301 Sunshine Street.  It is not in the original location site and larger than the original, which by all accounts was fairly small.

Red's closed in 1984.

What is he calling the new place.  Probably Buckingham's.  You've got to see that great video"Red's" by the Morrells.  Cheesy 70s at  its best.


Beyond Route 66: Ten More Road Trips-- Part 2: Coastlines, Castles and Mountains


Longest coastal route in the world.  Spans entire length of Ireland,  1553 miles  2-4 weeks.  Enormous cliffs, incredible beaches.


Hohe Tauren National Park.  Austria's highest mountain Grossglockner and its glacier, the Pasterze.

Thirty miles of high alpine road with 36 bends while climbing 2,504 metres.  Maybe one to avoid if you're scared of heights.

8.  ROMANTIC ROAD (GERMANY)  Like a fairy tale.  217 miles with some of the prettiest towns and castles in Germany.  Created after World War II to encourage tourism back to Bavaria.  Basically, it is a drive through a Disney movie.


186 miles in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Three days.


Seattle to San Diego.  621 miles.  You know.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beyond Route 66: Ten More Road Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List-- Part 1

From the May 19, 2016 BT.  According to Conor Meary from Holiday Motors.

1.  LONDON TO EDINBURGH--  The English capital to Scotland:  Oxford, Cotswalds, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.  (400 miles)

2.  US ROUTE 61--  Minnesota to Louisiana.  Blues and Jazz.  (683 miles)

3.  HANA HIGHWAY (HAWAII)--  One day trip along the northern coast of the island.  59 bridges.

4.  CAUSEWAY COASTAL ROUTE (NORTHERN IRELAND)--  Great views, unforgettable scenery.  Should take 4-9 days:  Giant's Causeway, Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

5.  ROUTE 1 (ICELAND)--  Ring Road around the island.  Glaciers, mountains glaciers and wild coasts:  Skogafoss Waterfall and Jokulsarlon Lagoon.  (ten days to two weeks)

For Those of Us Ready to Branch Out.  --RoadDog

Santa Rosa Creek Road Throws You Plenty of Curves

From the May 18, 2016, Tribune by Stephen H. Provost.

Working on a book due out next year, "A History of U.S. Highway 99 In California."

A picture of the old Grapevine Grade accompanied the article, a part of the oldest version of the road, the Old Ridge Road.


N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 27: Hanging Out At the Fort and the Whitworth Gun


I had a nice talk with the person there about the restored Whitworth rifled cannon.  The last time I saw it a couple years ago it was in poor condition and didn't look much like a vaunted cannon because of its five-mile distance and accuracy.  You can now see the inscription on it which says that it was captured at Fort Fisher.

It was one of Colonel Lamb's "Pets," part of a battery that would go up and down the beach to force off blockaders getting in too close while pursuing blockade runners or after ones that had run aground.  They were very effective guns.

Getting this gun was a real great deal for Fort Fisher as it was a mighty good blockader deterrent. I think they got it on more or less permanent loan from the Washington Navy Yard.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 26: To Fort Fisher


I drove over to th Carolina Beach Hardees for their delicious porkchop and gravy biscuit combo.  Those are REALLY good.  Several years ago when I was there, I had to tell them that they had the North Carolina state flag flying upside down.  I received another compliment from the person at the front desk for the Packers upset of the Cowboys on Sunday.

I told the desk clerk that the heater in the room wasn't working and they had someone up to the room within 30 minutes to fix it.

Drove to Fort Fisher and was the only visitor there for awhile.  Pleasure Island, as they now call Federal Point Peninsula from Snow's Cut, where the Intercoastal Waterway crosses over from the Cape Fear River to Masonboro Sound, to the tip of it is now essentially an island, is not overly busy during the winter, unless, of course, they are having the anniversary of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher January 15.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

News From 66, July 2017: Bajada Hill, Tropics, Boots and David Kammer

JULY 1--  Conchiti Pueblo block access to Bajada Hill, Route 66's famous zig-zag road.  They are doing it to prevent further abuse from visitors.  A neat old postcard accompanied the entry.  Not sure if I support them or not.

JULY 1--  Restoration of the Tropics sign begins by the Ace Sign Company of Springfield, Illinois.  I look forward to seeing the sign up by where it used to be located in Lincoln, Illinois.

JULY 3--  New Mexico Route 66 historian David Kammer died.

JULY 3--  Restoration of the Boots Court architectural neon to begin soon.  I hope they have it finished by the time we make our Route 66 When We're 66 trip this September.


News From 66, June 2017: New Places on 66-- Part 2: Illinois and Missouri


Pontiac--  Oakland Museum
Normal--  Sprague's Super Service station  It is so great that Bloomington-Normalhave finally arrived at the decision that Route 66 heritage is good for business.
Bloomington--  Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center
McLean--  McLean Depot Train Shop
Atlanta--  Palms Grill Cafe, Colaw Rooming House
Lincoln--  The Mill  Museum
Springfield--  Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Litchfield--  Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center


Pacific--  Jensen's Point
Cuba--  Wagon Wheel Motel, The Four Way
Carthage--  Boots Motel

A comment mentioned Wrink's in Lebanon.

And those are just some in the first two states the road crossed.


News From 66, June 2017: New Places on 66-- Part 1

These are based on entries in the Route 66 News blog.  I just pick the ones of special interest to me.  The site has many more articles on a daily basis along with photos and much more in depth coverage.  Well worth checking it out.


Route 66 has spawned many new places.  These are some of the ones that have opened in the post-"Cars" movie in 2006 and include built-from-scratch places like Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma or revived places that had been closed or "moribund" like the Palms Grill in Atlanta, Illinois.

I will just do my two favorite states.


Monday, July 31, 2017

66 News, June 2017: Europe and Wrink's

JUNE 28--  The Belgium Route 66 Association launches website and Facebook pages.  It has a short history of the road and is written in English.  As I have said in the past, I think foreigners, particularly Europeans have a better appreciation of our road than many Americans.

JUNE  29--  More is written about the reopening of Wrink's Market in Lebanon, Missouri.  And featuring those famous fresh-made sandwiches.  Looking forward to visiting here soon.  I sure missed it the last couple times through Lebanon.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Some Good Music to Listen to This Weekend

If you like music like I do, these are some great radio shows to listen to this weekend.  All shows stream at and

WDRV, 97.1 FM

Friday, July 28

Ten at Ten with Bob Stroud on Canadian Rockers from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m..

Sunday, July 30

Rock and Roll Roots with Bob Stroud from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m..  Music from the sixties and seventies.

WXRT, 93.1 FM

Saturday, July 29

Saturday Morning Flashback with Johnny Mars to the year 1971 from 8 to 11 a.m..

Sunday, July 30

Breakfast With the Beatles with Terri Hemmert from 8 to 10 a.m..

Bluesbreakers with Tom Marker from 9 to 10 p.m.

And, I just got back from seeing "Dunkirk."  All I can say is "WOW!!"  That was some show.  If you haven't already seen it, get out to the theater.

Get Your Listen (And Watch) On.  --RoadDog

Tastin' & Fiestin'-- Part 4: A Parade and a Storm


Out on the FB (Front Porch) for breakfast, coffee and the Chicago Tribune.  Then listened to and recorded Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots program on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, the Drive.  Since the drummers of the Yardbirds and Young Rascals have birthdays coming up, he featured the music of those two bands.  They are two of my favorites from the sixties.

We went to McHenry for the Fiesta Days parade, one of the biggest parades in Illinois.  We had quite a walk after parking as the parade also draws a real lot of people.  It was a hot and muggy day, with threat of rain.

We went to the PLAV, Polish Legion of American Veterans, and waited for the parade to begin and slaked our thirst.  Liz decided to stay in the cool PLAV, but I walked the half block down to Veterans Park and watched it.  They even had the McHenry High School Marching Band.  Bands are my favorite part of any parade.

About 20 minutes into the parade, we started getting occasional raindrops which increased in intensity so I went back to the PLAV, arriving just as a downpour began.  This turned into a hail storm.  Sure glad I came back when I did.  It let up and I went back outside and the parade surprisingly was still going.  I watched a little until it started to rain again.  I did this about two more times.

We drove to Half-Times in Johnsburg, where they were having a grand opening party for their new addition.  Hard to beat the $1 draft pints and $4 beef sandwiches with fries.  Last stop was at Sunnyside.

At least I Stayed Dry.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tastin' and Fiestin'-- Part 3: Five Bars, Three Bands, One Art


We drove to McHenry, Illinois, for their annual Fiesta Days Art in the Park and Street Party.  We call the street party the annual Drunkathon as there sure is a lot of drinking and one of the few times you can have an alcoholic drink on the street and not get arrested in Illinois.  Cops are there, but just keep an eye on things.

First stop was Chain O' Lakes Brewery.  We had decided to go to several places on the Chain Crawl passport book and have it signed.  The Chain Crawl involves about 40 places on or near the Fox River and Chain of Lakes where you get a  passport book stamped.  At the end of the season we have a big party and the more stamps you have the better your chances of winning prizes.

Chain O' Lakes Brewery is a craft brewery with $5 beers.  I don't much like $5 beers.  Too expensive for my blood.  But, I do like different beers.  We went outside to the biergarten and watched a band play.

Walked through Veterans Park and looked at the crafts vendors booths.  Didn't buy anythng, but sure wanted to.

Then, I went to the Vinyl Frontier and bought some CDs and afterwards met Liz at Corkscrew Pointe where she had gotten another passport stamp.  They had big buckets of rumrunners for $4.  Another passport stamp place, After the Fox, wasn't going to open until 5 p.m., after the street party closed.

Sat outside the Town Tap and had a beer and then i went back out to the street and saw two bands playing classic rock.

Last stop in McHenry was at the PLAV, Polish Legion of American Veterans, to cool off and enjoy their $1 drafts.

Then we drove to Half-Times in Johnsburg where they were having a delebration for the opening of their new addition with $1 draft pints and food specials.  A band was setting up, but we left before they began.  Last stop on the way home was Sunnyside Tap also in Johnsburg.

A Goof Time, But Too Much.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

News Along 66, June 2017: Blogs and Illinois 66

JUNE 22--  McLean County, Illinois,  to extend Route 66 Bicycle Trail another 3.25 miles from Shirley to =Funks Grove.  The current trail runs from Towanda to Bloomington-Normal.  It will be nearly 19 miles in its entirety and is expected to be completed by 2019.

Always glad to see the bicycle paths extended and even better, B-N had become aware of its Route 66 heritage.  We may have to go there on our next trip.

JUNE 25--  A new blog about Route 66 "Never Quite Lost" blog.  Subtitle "The Road Goes On Forever  There will be new post every several months.

I Sure Wish I Only Posted Every Few Months.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tastin' and Fiestin'-- Part 2: Sales and More Rain, No "Rainmaker"


Every morning I spend time out on FP  (Front Porch) having coffee, breakfast and reading the Chicago Tribune.  Enjoying the yard, which is now at peak color for the summer and listening to the birds sing.  To me, that is as good as it gets.

I went to McHenry to check out the yard nurseries and found that there were now sales going on at Wal-Mart and Home Depot so took advantage of that and bought more flowers, which I don't need.

We had planned on going to Antioch's Taste of Summer tonight to see the country band Suburban Cowboys, but with forecasts and threatening skies, decided not to.  Glad we didn't go as we had torrential rains.  Still something we don't need with all the flooding.

We went to the Legion and met the Usual Suspects (our friends) for 50-50.  We didn't win, but at least stayed dry.  It was hard to see going home with how hard the rain was coming down.

Enjoyed Margaritaville, our downstairs bar and the Ultimate Jukebox (300 CDs).  The Legion's digital jukebox didn't have it, but  the Ultimate Jukebox did, the Cryan' Shames' "Rainmaker," a very appropriate song these days.

"Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day."  --RoadDog

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tasting and Fiestin' Last Weekend-- Part 1: Pirates and the Neverlies

Flood or no Flood, at least the boat still floats.


I had to go see "Pirate's of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" in Round Lake Beach one more time.  This is the kind of movie that  needs to be seen on the big screen and with that surround sound.  A 70-inch screen is good, but just doesn't cut it.

I bought an outside bench and shepherd's hook for the yard at Big Lots for half off.  Checked on the boat which still is floating, but up way, way high.  The water isn't going down too much as we keep getting rain, something we don't need.  Plus, it was so hot and muggy, I even broke down and turned on the Dakota's air conditioner.  Something I don't often do.

Drove to Antioch for their annual Taste of Summer Festival and saw the Neverly Brothers do rock and roll from the 50s and 60s.  They are a three-piece band with guitar, stand up base and stand up drums.  What a show, but left earlier than we would have liked as the mosquitoes were voracious, a little side effect of all this rain and flooding.

I Tell You, This Rain Is a Gift That Just Keeps On Giving.  --RoadDog

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Busy Weekend, Even if the Chain of Lakes is Flooded-- Part 2: Fiesta or Taste?

Saturday is when our choice gets really difficult.  Two local towns are both having their big summer festivals.  McHenry has their Fiesta Days and Antioch continues with its Taste of Summer.

Antioch has a lineup of three of the top bands in the local area:  American English and their salute to the Beatles in the afternoon and then Modern Day Romeos and Hi-Infidelity.  That and all sorts of great food.  Every food vendor also has a $1.25 taste as well as some great food.

McHenry has their Art in the Park with 100-125 craft booths at Veterans Park and they close off Riverside Drive between Pearl Street and 120.  There are bands and lots and lots of beer.  We always call it McHenry's Drunkathon.

Sunday, Mchenry has their Fiesta Days parade at 1, one of the biggest in Illinois outside of Chicago.  Antioch has the band 7th Heaven, anothere top local band.

No Boat, But Anyway.  Like I Said, Decisions To Be Made.  --RoadDog

A Busy Weekend in the Works, Despite the Flooding-- Part 1

Again, even with the Chain of Lakes and Fox River at record flooding, this is a busy weekend for us.  And, there will be NO BOATING, obviously as the Chain is not expected to get back to normal for several more weeks.

Yesterday, is saw the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" for the second time.  This is a movie best seen on the really big screen.  Then we went to Antioch, Illinois, and saw the Neverly Brothers, a three piece band with upright base and standup drums, playing music from the 50s and 60s and giving quite a history lesson.  This is part of Antioch's four-day Taste of Summer Festival.

Today it will probably be back in Antioch to see the Suburban Cowboys playing today's country music.

I should also mention that we have a big country party this weekend in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin,called Country Thunder, about 14 miles away.  Main acts:  July 20--  Billy Currington, July 21--   Keith Urban and Restless Heart, July 22--  Thomas Rhett,  July 23--  Jason Aldean, Big & Rich and Tracy Lawrence.

--Decisions, Decisions.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 20, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 25: A Whole Day For Fort Fisher


Looking out at the ocean from my fifth floor room and couldn't help thinking that had this been 152 years earlier, I would have seen Union transports and warships sitting out a little ways as well as Union troops fortifying lines in case General Braxton Bragg would get up the courage to attack them.

He hadn't come to Fort Fisher's aid when it really counted and the fate of the fort and the South's last open major port and a center for  blockade running hung in the balance two days earlier, so why would he do it now?

Fort Fisher fell January 15, 1865.

The Union soldiers who captured the fort landed about where I was right now.

Of course, to my way of thinking, the war was already lost by late 1864, so saving more men's lives would  be a good thing.

But, Anyway.  I have a full day to spend at Fort Fisher and the Carolina Beach area.

OH BOY.  My Favorite Place In the World.  --RoadFisher

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 24: Some Packer Nirvana and a War

And, I really considered starting an eighth blog on World War I.  I am really glad I didn't as I have WAY TOO MANY blogs right now, with seven.

Throughout the day, I had lots of people tell me what a great game that Green Bay Packer-Dallas Cowboy game was yesterday.  Though most said they were pulling for the Cowboys.  I wore my Packer hat today which was causing the remarks.   Go PACK!!  Regardless of who you were pulling for, you have to admit that that was one of the best-ever football games.

Th presentation was given by Dr. Jan Davidson of the Cape Fear Museum and she was very knowledgeable on World War One and had a lot of pictures of items the museum had relating to the war.

I wrote a lot about the presentation in my Cooter's History Thing blog which is where I am writing about World War I, or, as the British refer to it, the First World War.  You can read more about the presentation at Cooter's History Thing Blog.  Hit the Wilmington NC label.

She said that Fort Caswell, a Civil War fort, was actually used as a military base and that there is a World War I Memorial in front of the New Hanover High School.  There was a lot of shipbuilding going on in Wilmington during the war and that most Wilmington men volunteered.  Blacks also served.