Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, April 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

I decided to stop in on my return.

No Record Store For Me!!!  --RoadDog

Friday, April 21, 2017

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

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

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

A real pretty bridge.

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

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

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

Truly a museum and mural city.


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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, April 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

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


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

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

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

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

"Moon River"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" by Mighty Mo Rodgers.

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

Continuing with the song lyrics:

"I took a bus trip back in time

Route 66 when it was the main line

I saw teepees and motels, design like events.

And then I saw that place where we once spent,

But nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

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

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

It was dumb like sin, yeah."

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

Well Worth Listening To.  --RoadDog

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

"Mama Said"

Monday, April 17, 2017

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

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

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

Here are some of the lyrics:

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

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

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

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

I bleed blues, and rhythm and rock 'n roll

All that funky stuff that shakes up my soul."

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

Give It a Listen on You Tube.

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

Bring On the Coffee and 66.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the Road.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

Pontiac, Museum City Now.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 14, 2017

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

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

1942, 75 Years Ago.

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

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

Must have Been a Lot of Snow.  --RoadDog

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

Route 1 is rarely called Route 1.

In Middleton, it is the Lincoln Highway.

In Bensalem it is Roosevelt Boulevard.

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

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

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

Name Me a Name.  --RoadDog

Thursday, April 13, 2017

About Last Weekend: Steak 'N Shake and Bands

Just hanging around town as it were.

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

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

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

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

Plenty   to Do Around Here.  --RoadDog

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

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

January 13, 2017, Friday.

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

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

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


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

Still Thinking of Going There.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Route 1 Really Is a Super Highway-- Part 2

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

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


Route 1 Is Really a Super Highway-- Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

Bucks County has 14 miles of US-1/


Monday, April 10, 2017

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Impressed Me.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 7, 2017

About Last Weekend: B-Ball, Beer and Bands

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

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

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

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

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

Good Times All the Time Around Here.  --RoadDog

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

MARCH 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

We got home after having driven 2,178 miles.

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

Looking Back to 1917: Not Enough Dodge Cars

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

1917, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

The growing popularity of the automobile.

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

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PCB 2017: Through Indiana

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

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


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

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

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

It is the last motor court in Joplin.

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


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

But I doubt any of them could be more unique.

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


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

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

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


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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

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

1942, 75 Years Ago.

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

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

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


Looking Back to 1942: Route 64 To Be Widened

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

1942, 75 Years Ago.

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

Moving Troops and Supplies.  --RoadDog

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gasoline Goodies: Downtown Pilot Mountain, N.C.

From the October 2015 Our State Magazine by Susan Stafford.

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

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

Some really great photos accompany the article as well.

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

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

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

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

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

1917, 100 Years Ago.

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

This car will be used for delivery purposes."


Saturday, April 1, 2017

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

From the February 8, 2017, Pickles comic strip.

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

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

3.  "And I had a Harley."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bradford Pear Tree Capital of the United States  --RoadDog

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

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

1966, 50 Years Ago.

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

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

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


Friday, March 31, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: The New DeKalb-Sycamore Road

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

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

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

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


Thursday, March 30, 2017

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lots Going On in Illinois.  --RoadIll

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PCB 2017: Returning Home, Kentucky's Pennyrile Parkway

MARCH 2, 2017  Thursday.

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

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

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

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


Monday, March 27, 2017

PCB 2017: Clarksville, Tn., for the Night

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Must be another of those "Simpsons" Springfield things.

Last Train to RoadDog.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 23, 2017

PCB 2017: The Horror That Is Nashville Traffic

MARCH 1, 2017

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

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

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

Just Love That Nashville Traffic.  --RoadPanic

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


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

That Is Very Obvious.  --RoadHotDog

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Give Me a Coney Dog.  --RoadDog

Monday, March 20, 2017

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Drink Tongue and All.  --RoadO'Dog

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

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

But I finally got there.

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

Good Old Charburgers!!  --RoadDog

Saturday, March 18, 2017

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

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

This morning, I am playing one of those tapes.

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

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

The Orange and the Green

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

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

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

Mick McGuire
March Medley
Gentleman Soldier

Loch Lomond

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

Getting Our Irish On-- Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

Got My Civil War On in the Last Ten Days

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

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

Getting My Civil War On. --RoadDog

Friday, March 17, 2017

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

JANUARY 13, 2017

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Always Wanted to Do That.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Cities to Emulate.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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

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

Don't run over the silent cop.

Also called a "silent policeman."

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

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

So, Now You and I Know.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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

From the Macquarie Dictionary.

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

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

I've Never seen One.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

**  Having festivals is good for the economy.

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


Monday, March 13, 2017

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

OK, so I looked it up.

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


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

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

1916, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

"Damage: one small flag."

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

Must Be Some Kind Of An Obstacle.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 10, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Need a "Silent Policeman"

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

1916, 100 Years Ago.

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

OK, What Is a Silent Policeman?  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, February 2017: Calf Fries

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, March 9, 2017

PCB 2017: Confusion in Montgomery, 'Cue in Cullman

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

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

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

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

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

We'll Be Back.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

PCB 2017: Part 2: Return Trip to Alabama

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

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

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


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gi Ahead, Moon Me.  --RoadMoon

Monday, March 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HEIGHT:  Roughly 160 feet

WEIGHT:  About 5,000 pounds

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

CONSTRCTED:  1894-1895


Saturday, March 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Shame and Dishonor of louisville.  --RoadDog

PCB 2017: Got Home

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

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


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

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

1941, 75 Years Ago.

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

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

Still, A Big Deal.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 3, 2017

Warm in PCB, But Warm At Home Too

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

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

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

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

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

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

1941, 75 Years Ago.

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

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

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

Close, Real Close.  --RoadDog

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

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

1916, 100 Years Ago.

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

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


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Street Car Problems Due to Weather

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

1916, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

Not sure what city this was, but probably DeKalb.

Weather Problems.  --RoadDog

Decided to Stay Two More Days

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

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

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


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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

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

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

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


Monday, February 27, 2017

PCB 2017: Got Beads? Sure Did

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

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

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

Bead Me.  RoadDog

Saturday, February 25, 2017

PCB 2017: Mardi Gras Today

February 25th, Saturday.

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

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

Getting My Mardi Gras On.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 24, 2017

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

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

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

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


Thursday, February 23, 2017

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

Thursday February 23rd.

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

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

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

Well, its been in the 70s here.

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

Getting My Beach On.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making a Scene in North Carolina-- Part 2

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

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

CHIMNEY ROCK--  The Last of the Mohicans

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

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

Lights, Camera, Action.  --RoadDog

Monday, February 20, 2017

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

Sunday, February 19th.

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

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

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

Temperature is 79 degrees with sun shining brightly.

Couldn't help but chuckle.

At the Beach.  --RoadDog

Sunday, February 19, 2017

PCB 2017: Got Beads? We Made It to St. Andrews Mardi Gras

Yesterday, we were expecting to be unable to see the Mardi Gras parade in St. Andrews (a part of Panama City now), but the extremely heavy traffic made it at one point to be unlikely, but we actually found a parking spot by a church near the beginning of the parade and got to see it after all.

Even though we weren't actively trying to get beads, we still managed to accumulate more than a few strands, some of which hit me in the face or head.  You have to be on constant lookout as the various Krewe floats come by.

Afterwards, we went to a  real dive bar, Joe's Corner, near the bridge for their world famous wings and then to Christo's on the east end of Panama City and lastly to Donovan's Reef across from the motel.

Bead My Face.  --RoadDog

Saturday, February 18, 2017

PCB 2017: Mardi Gras Parade Today in St. Andrews, Florida

Shortly, we will be heading over to Panama City, Florida, for their 20th annual Mardi Gras parade and celebration.

Beads Anybody?  RoadDog

Friday, February 17, 2017

Making a Scene in N.C.-- Part 1

From the March 2014, Our State Magazine.

The issue was devoted to movies and North Carolina.  Here is a partial list of some of the sites in the state where movie scenes were shot:

RODANTHE--  Nights in Rodanthe with Richard Gere and Diane Lane.

LAKE LURE--  Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY--  Speedway, Stroker Ace, Days of Thunder and Talladega Nights.

CHEOAH DAM--  The Fugitive with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones

SOUTHPORT--    Safe Haven, Under the Dome, I kNow What You Did Last Summer, Crimes of the Heart


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: DeKalb-Sycamore Super Highway Finished

From the November 23, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The big two-city jubilee over the completion of the super-highway between Sycamore and DeKalb came to its culmination yesterday afternoon with the public luncheon at the Fargo Hotel in the county seat (Sycamore) at which the capacity of the spacious dining room was taxed by attendance."

That New Road a Real Big Deal.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1916: Fire Station Sport

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

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The fire station boys are having a little sport these days.  They have an old automobile out in back of the station and are trying to rig up a car that will do ten or better, but whether they will succeed or not, remains to be seen.

"The engine goes one way as easily as another, and in order that the radiator will hold water they filled it to the brim."

An "Old Car" Back in the Early Days.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

9th Anniversary of the NIU Shootings

Nine years ago, five students at Northern Illinois University were murdered in their classroom by a deranged maniac.  Another 17 were wounded.

A big shock to the country and especially Liz and myself as we graduated from there in 1973.

Not Forgetting.

N.C. January 2017-- Part 6: It's a Peanut Thing, You Wouldn't Understand

JANUARY 13, 2017

Of course, it is absolutely necessary for me to stop every time I enter Virginia (after passing through that long tunnel) at the southbound Virginia Welcome Center to use the facilities and, more importantly, to get my sample of Virginia peanuts.  Those are the best peanuts, and I come from a state that has pretty good peanuts as well, North Carolina.

Sadly, it is just a real small little cup of them, but wow, what a taste!

I have often asked them to start selling the nuts there, but they say that state law does not allow for anything to be sold at Virginia Welcome Centers.  Too bad as I would sure buy me some of those goobers.

Love Those Peanuts.  --RoadDog

Monday, February 13, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 5: Cruising in the Dark and Some Fog in W. Va.


I don't know, traveling on Friday, January 13th, perhaps not a lucky thing.

Had biscuits and gravy in the lobby, much better than you usually get at Super 8.  The clerk said they get a whole lot of repeat guests because of the cleanliness and price of the rooms.

Left at 6:15 and it was still dark outside for the 30 miles on I-70 to I-77 at Cambridge.  I left early as I was going to pick up my nephew Andy at Raleigh-Durham Airport.  Still somewhat dark until half way to Marietta, Ohio, on the Ohio River.

At least the pavement was dry, but I did pass quite a few snow plow trucks parked along the sides of the I-77.

Clear drive to Charleston, West Virginia, but after that it was drizzle off and on as well as heavy fog (at times I couldn't see more than 300-400 feet in front of me).  Paid my three $2 tolls to use the West Virginia Turnpike.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Top Ten Facts-- "Groundhog Day" Movie-- Part 3: Now a Military Slang Term

7.  The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club claims that their Phil os 130 years old (verage life span for a groundhog is seven years).  According to them, the reason for Phil's longevity is due to the good loving of his partner Phyllis and a generous supply of groundhog stew.

8.  There is a recipe for groundhog stew.

9.  In Iraq,  "Groundhog Day" has become American military slang for any day during a tour of duty.

10.  Disney made a movie comedy called "Monday Monday" where a kid has to relive his first day in high school day after day until he gets it right.

Copy Cat?  --RoadDog

Friday, February 10, 2017

Top Ten Facts-- "Groundhog Day" Movie-- Part 2: Seer of Seers

4.  When Director Ramis would tell Bill Murray about upcoming scenes, Murray would interrupt him and say, "Just tell me -- good Phil or bad Phil?"

5.  The Tip-Top Cafe was a set created for the movie.  There is no Tip-Top Cafe in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

6.  The real groundhog's name is "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Pronosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.  This is the name given him by the "Punxsutawney Groundhog Club" back in 1887.

"Don't Drive Mad."  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Top Ten Facts About the Movie "Groundhog Day"-- Part 1: Phil Tom Hanks

From the January 31, 2008, Movie Moron "Top 10 Facts--  Groundhog Day."

1.  The original script had Bill Murray repeating the same day for 10,000 years, keeping track by reading a new page in a book each day.  In the actual movie, it is estimated that he spent around ten years in Punxsutawney.

2.  Tom Hanks was the first choice for the lead role, but Harold Ramis thought he was "too nice" for the part.  Tori Amos was considered for the role played by Andie MacDowell.

3.  The movie's screenwriter got the idea of the repeating days while reading about immortals in "Interview With the Vampire."

Do You Have Deja Vu?  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1916: Working the Roads in DeKalb County, Illinois

From the November 23, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Monsday was a big day at Carlton (Illinois).  Some forty teams and forty shovelers gathered there for the big job of unloading fifteen carloads of gravel and placing same on the road.  The Northwestern railroad gave the gravel to be placed on the road running east from Carlton as far as the new concrete road.

"This gives a good road the entire distance from Waterman to Carlton.

The farmers will now have less difficulty getting their products to a convenient railroad.  The work was almost entirely donated by public spirited people.

Imagine Railroads Helping Roadbuilding.  Kind of Backfired.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Historic Bankhead Highway

From the September 6, 2016,  Sr=tar-Telegram (Texas)  "Bankhead: 100th anniversary celebration of transcontinental road nears."  By Lance Winter.

This highway came about because of the Bankhead Bill introduced by Senator John H. Bankhead of Alabama.

The road was not to be the nation's first all-weather one connecting the east and west coasts.  That road was the Lincoln Highway.  But the Lincoln couldn't be used year-round because of the western mountains made it impassable.

The Bankhead Highway too the route across the southern part of the country.

Mush remains of the Bankhead Highway, but it often goes by other names.  However, the towns of Aledo, Willow Park and Weatherford still call it the Bankhead Highway on their street signs.  US-80, US-67 and Texas Highway 1 have replaced the olf Bankhead.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Made It to Groundhog Day in Woodstock, Illinois-- Part 3: On to the Library


After finishing the meal, I drove over to the library where they had a room set up with all sorts of scrapbooks and collections of items dealing with the making of the movie.  This was the first time I had done this over a Groundhog Days Festival.

They had location shots used for sites in the film, including an area where they were originally thinking about having Gobler's Knob, before deciding to have it in the square. I looked through a lot of scrap books and found that they even had menus with prices made up for the Tip Top cafe.

A woman there talked with me.  She was part owner of the building where the Tip-Top Cafe was in the film.  She also owned the building next door which was an embroidery shop.  She said that one day Bill Murray came in and ordered two really large throws which her shop made.


Looking Back to 1941: The Governor To Attend Dedication of DeKalb-Sycamore Road

From the November 16, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"For the second time in the past few months Governor Dwight H. Green will be a guest in DeKalb.  The governor, accompanied by other state officials, to come here tomorrow morning to take part in the dedication of the DeKalb-Sycamore section of State Route 23."


Looking Back to 1916: Working Conditions of Road Crews

From the November 16, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The paving men employed on the state aid road work out south of town, we are informed, did not strike on being unable to get their pay, but decided to pass up the job on account of the conditions that prevailed.

"The sleeping quarters were such that the workers could not stand it, and they decided to take a chance on getting other work to do that would be some better.  Naturally when the men quit the contractor had to wire to Chicago for more men and thus held up their pay for a day or two until matters could be straightened out."


Monday, February 6, 2017

Made It To Groundhog Day in Woodstock, Illinois-- Part 2: Stuffing My Face At the Tip-Top Cafe

FEBRUARY 2, 2017

Even neater, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the filming of "Groundhog Day" which was released in 1993.  So, the crew and cast were in town about this time.

After the movie, I walked across the street to Taqueria La Placitia, a Mexican restaurant now, but in 1992, the empty store was turned into "Punxsutawney's" Tip-Top Cafe.  This site played quite a major role in the movie and was where Phil started falling in love with Rita.

That scene where he was stuffing his mouth with breakfast pastries, chugging coffee from the carafe and smoking has to be one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

As I said, it is now a Mexican restaurant where I have eaten several times over the last few years.  I always try to eat in the exact spot where the table they were sitting at is located and was able to do so today.  This is a big connection of mine with the movie.  Instead of breakfast items, though, I was stuffing my mouth with a Mexican steak torta.


News From Along Route 66, January 2017: From Fires to Burros to Bridges

These are from the Route 66 News site. They have just about one thing on the old road every day along with pictures and much more information.  I just do the ones of particular interest to me, especially anything about Illinois, where I live.

JANUARY 3--  There was damage to the Parkview Pub in Bloomington, Illinois, but they hope to be reopened by the summer.  The fire took place in October and was so bad, they had to demolish what was left.  They will rebuild.  It is on the 1930-1940 Route 66 alignment and was open since 1928.  It was reportedly the oldest restaurant still located on the same spot.

JANUARY 4--  Illinois Route 66 motorcycle license plates have gone on sale.

JANUARY 5--  There is the question of what should be done with Oatman's burros.  There are just too many.  Hopefully, though, they will retain their presence.  That is something real different.

JANUARY 5--  The fate of the Gasconade Bridge near Lebanon, Missouri, was the dominant topic in a meeting.

Let's hope  they choose to save it on its site.

--Save a Horse, Ride a Burro.  RoadDog


Going Back to 1968-- Part 4: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"

FIRE--  Crazy World of Arthur Brown
LIVING IN THE U.S.A.--  Steve Miller Band
GOIN' BACK--  Byrds     Hey, that's what we're doing.

REMEMBER A DAY--  Pink Floyd

FIVE TO ONE--  Doors

I GOT THE FEELIN'--  James Brown
HUSH--  Deep Purple
LOVE STORY--  Randy Newman

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF YOUR MIND--  Amboy Dukes   You know, that group with Ted Nugent.
BEND ME, SHAPE ME--  American Breed
TIGHTEN UP--   Archie Bell & the Drells

CROWN OF CREATION--  Jefferson Airplane
MAGIC CARPET RIDE--  Steppenwolf   This one received a whole lot of play on the jukebox in the Senior Lounge at Palatine High School.  Always reminds me of it when I hear it.

Name That Tune (from the above):  "I Like to Dream, Yes, Yes, Right Between the Sound Machine."  --RoadDog

"Magic Carpet Ride"  Hey, I'm back at Senior Lounge.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Going Back to 1968-- Part 3: "Street Fighting Man"

In 1968, I was a junior and senior at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois.  Also, I was sports editor of the Cutlass, the school newspaper.  That fall,  I "gave" myself the job of covering our Pirates football team.  The two previous years we had only won a couple games, but in my senior year, we went 7-2 and messed up a lot of other schools' homecomings along the way by winning.  They had chosen us to play for homecoming so they could win.  They didn't.

STREET FIGHTING MAN---  Rolling Stones

CLOUD NINE--  Temptations
I PUT A SPELL ON YOU--  Creedence Clearwater Revival

GROOVIN' IS EASY--  Electric Flag
I THANK YOU--  Sam and Dave

Name That Tune (from the above): "Childhood Part of My Life, It Wasn't Very Pretty."  --RoadDog

"Cloud Nine"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Going Back to 1968-- Part 2: "Dance to the Music"

DO IT AGAIN--  Beach Boys

DANCE TO THE MUSIC--  Sly & the Family Stone

SPACE ODDITY--  David Bowie

IN MY OWN DREAM--  Paul Butterfield Blues Band
ON THE WAY HOME--  Buffalo Springfield

Name That Tune (from the above):  "Ground Control to Major Tom."  --RoadDog

"Space Oddity"

Friday, February 3, 2017

Groundhog Day Festivities Continue in Woodstock

Tonight, there will be the Groundhog Day Dinner Dance at the Moose Lodge in Woodstock, just off the Square.  This is where the dance/bachelor auction took place.


**  From 10 to 4, there will be bowling at Wayne's Lanes, where the bowling alley, glass half empty, getting in the car scenes were shot.

**  Jim May, a famous local storyteller will have his Groundhog Tales at the bank just off the Square at 10 a.m..

**  The movie "Groundhog Day" will be shown at the Woodstock Theatre, where the "Bronco Billy" scene was filmed.

**  Non to 1:15  Chili Cookoff at the Moose Lodge.

**  Site manager for the Movie Bob Hudgins will lead a walking tour of various places around the Square that were in the movie.

**  Afterwards, he will have a discussion.

**  Bags Tournament at Outman's Red Iton Tavern.

There will be more things taking place on Sunday.

Come On Down.  --RoadDog

Going Back to 1968-- Part 1: "Back in the USSR"

On January 21st, 2017, as I was driving back home from North Carolina, I got far enough into the Chicagoland area that, while looking for a new radio station to listen to, I came up with one of my favorites, WXRT, 93.1 FM and caught the last three songs of Wendy Rice's Saturday Morning Flashback which went to that great high school year (Palatine High School) for me, 1968.

I looked up the playlist and it was so good, I decided to list them all.


ITCHYCOO PARK--  Small Faces
LEGEND OF A MIND--  Moody Blues

MONTERREY--  Animals
SSE SAW--  Aretha Franklin

Name That Tune (from above songs):  "(What Did You Do There?)  I Got High."  --RoadDog

"Itchycoo Park"

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Not to Forget, AMC "Groundhog Day" Marathon today.

You have until midnight to watch the "Groundhog Day" movie on AMC.


Made It To Groundhog Day in Woodstock, Illinois-- Part 1

February 2, 2017, Thursday.

Well, I didn't make it for Woodstock Willie's prognostication as I decided I didn't want to stand around in the cold, and it was a biting cold today.

I understand that both Punxsutawney Phil and Woodstock Willie saw their shadows so that means we will have six more weeks of winter.  Oh well.

Corky Siegel did play at the gazebo, featured in the dancing scene and crowd scenes in the movie.  There was also a polka band.

Woodstock Willie, a real groundhog, did not cooperate and urinated all over the mayor of Woodstock and master of ceremonies.  So, it was a matter of six more weeks and a mighty relief I guess.

I saw the movie "Groundhog Day" on the big screen at the Woodstock Theatre in the Harold Ramis Auditorium.  With free tickets and today actually being Groundhog Day, it was a full house.  And, you could tell that many of the people had seen the movie on more than one previous occasion.

There was lots of laughing, mouthing the words and huge cheers whenever the theater was shown.  The theater was shown when they first arrived in "Punxsutawney" and in the Bronco Billy/French maid scenes.  Nothing like seeing it on the big screen.


Well, It's Groundhog Day...Again-- Part 2; To Prognosticate or Not

In a few minutes I might be heading out the door for Woodstock, about 18 miles away, where Woodstock Willie will be making his prognostication at 7:07 a.m..

Chicago musician Corky Siegel (Siegel-Schwall Band) is scheduled to play before Willie gets pulled out.  In the past, there has also been a polka-oompah band.

But, it is 11 degrees right now and supposed to drop some more with a bit of a wind.  I am not sure that I want to go stand out in it.  So I might not go for the prognostication.

Afterwards, the Moose Lodge in Woodstock (where the dance/auction was held in the movie) is hosting a breakfast, but I am thinking of breakfast at Papa G's on the Square (which was considered for the Tip-Top Cafe at one time before it ended up at another place across the Square).

That, of course, if I go for the prognostication.

Bob Hudgins, who was largely responsible for the movie being filmed in Woodstock, will lead a walk to movie filming sites at 9 a.m..  Then at 10 a.m., there will be a showing of the movie itself at the Woodstock Theatre in the Harold Ramis Theater.  That is free.  Harold Ramis was the director and co-wrote the story.

If, I don't go for the prognostication, I will go for the movie and afterwards eat at the Mexican restaurant which is where  the Tip-Top Cafe was in the movie.  I always try to sit in the nook where they sat.

Make Me a Movie Star.  --RoadDog

Well, It's Groundhog Day...Again-- Part 1: Woodstock Willie

That's right.  Happens every February 2nd,when we get an animal, in this case a groundhog, get pulled out of his/her burrow and unhappily report as to whether they saw their shadow or not.  Not the high point in my day if I were one of the little fellers.

Of course, there is the most famous one, Punxsutawney Phil, out in Pennsylvania.  But, I do my figuring on one who is much closer to home here in Spring Grove, Illinois, and that would be Woodstock Willie.  He does his thing out on the famous Woodstock Square.

The question is, will there be six more weeks of winter or not and that all depends upon whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow.  No shadow and it will be a short winter, shadow and we go the bitter six weeks.

Woodstock, Illinois, and that square are famous for being in that 1993 film "Groundhog Day" starring Cub fan Bill Murray.

Ever since the movie, Woodstock has had a several-day-long celebration and this year is no different.

Not Again!!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 4: Through to Zanesville, Ohio

January 12, 2017.

Clear run on I-70 to Columbus.  Stopped in Englewood, Ohio, at mm 29, for my usual Skyline Chili fix.  I am getting to be a regular at  this place.  Still strange there is no road construction there like it was for many years.  I was beginning it was going to be a forever project.

I had no problem driving through Columbus either.  Of course, it was late in the rush hour.

Drove to Zanesville, Ohio, and stopped at the Super 8 Motel west of town where I have stayed many times.


N.C. January 2017-- Part 3: Gas and Indianapolis Rush Hour

JANUARY 12, 2017

Listened to the usual Illinois radio stations while cruising.  That would be METV-FM (oldies) until Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten (1973) began on WDRV, then WJEZ in Pontiac (classic oldies) and WGCY in Gibson City (beautiful music).  Then I found a classic country station out of Champaign.  I like a variety when traveling.

The temperature never got above 32 degrees until I got to I-74, near Champaign, Illinois.  Nicest thing about that was that there was no longer all that slop from melting ice the trucks were putting onto the windshield.

Gas at the usual Crawfordsville, Indiana, stop was $2.25, but I did see it at $1.96 at one place east on Indianapolis.  Usually gas stood at around $2.20 most of the trip.

Leaving home as late as I did, plus losing the hour going into the Eastern Time Zone meant I would be hitting the Indianapolis rush hour right at its peak, but, I went right through.  there was heavy traffic, but now stopping.  As a matter of fact, I found that if I went the 50-55 speed limit, I'd get run over.


News From Along Route 66, December 2016: Sprague Super Service and Blue Swallow Motel

These are taken from the Route 66 News site, your first stop for any and all info about the old road that you might want.  It has much more information and pictures/videos.  I just write about the entries I am particularly  interested in and have some thing to say.

DECEMBER 28--  The Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, is set to reopen in April 2017, partly as a Route 66 Visitors Center and a gift shop.  The city spent $600,000 to buy it from Terri Ryburn, who bought it ten years ago but was unable to do much with it.

It was built in 1931 on Route 66 by William Sprague.

It is a beautiful old station and very unique in architecture.  Terri Ryburn will run the gift shop and live upstairs for $120 a year.

I have been upset about Bloomington-Normal's lack of interest in its Route 66 heritage ever since we got into the road back in 2002, but it would appear at long last, these two cities are doing something about it.

DECEMBER 29--  Videos taken with Lillian Redman at the Blue swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, taken by Anthony Reichardt in the mid 1990s.

We have stayed there, but considerably after Mrs. Redman's time.  One of those Route 66ers I sure wish we could have met.  At one time, when I saw that the old motel was for sale for around $150,000, i even considered buying it, but figured it would be too much work in my retirement years.

Maybe It's About Time We Quit Taking the Interstate Around Bloomington-Normal and Start Going Through It.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

News From Along Route 66, December 2016:

DECEMBER 26--  The facade of the Donut Drive-In in St. Louis gets a facelift to look as it once did.  It is located at 6525 Chippewa St.  (Route 66).  Real good donuts.

DECEMBER 27--  Two Edwardsville, Illinois, business on Route 66 are going to switch places:  Afterwards Books and Bailey Cakes.

One originally was the Hotz House Tourist Inn on Route 66.  The other place was built in 1898 and later became the Hi-Way Tavern.

They are located at 454 and 451 Vandalia Street.

Never stopped at either, but will try to now.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wendy Rice Taking Us Back to 1982 Right Now on WXRT, Chicago

Wendy Rice is back to 1982 right now on Chicago's WXRT, 93.1 FM for her Saturday Morning Flashback, running from 8 a.m. to noon, CST.  It streams at www.wxrt.com.

So far, she's played:

MEXICAN RADIO--  Wall of Voo Doo

HELP ME ANGEL--  Steve Winwood
ME AND THE BOYS--  Bonnie Raitt

I DON'T CARE ANYMORE--  Phil Collins

Give it a listen.

Name That Tune (from the above):  "Get Up, Get Up, Get Up, Get Up."  --RoadDog

"Sexual Healing"

N.C. January 2017-- Part 2: A Really Great Ten at Ten-- 1973

JANUARY 12, 2017

Whenever I'm traveling, I absolutely have to have my tunes.  Something about those tires on the pavement and sound just make the trip so much more fun.  I alternate between local radio stations and CDs I bring along with me.

Because of the late start, I was able to listen to Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten on WDRV, 97.1 FM out of Chicago.  It is simulcast also on 96.9 FM, which is how we listen to it to the north of Chicago.  Once you get a bit further south, we switch to 97.1 FM.

Today, he was back to 1973, and even if I do say so, I couldn't have picked a better Ten.  Can you name the performers?  Answers below.




Needless to say, I was cruising along and doing a lot of singing.

Name That Tune (from the above):  "Wash Away My Troubles, Wash Away My Pain."  --RoadDog

Performers:  1.  Doobie Brothers, 2.  Paul McCartney & Wings,  3.  Three Dog Night,  4.  Greg Allman,  5.  Uriah Heep,  6.  Stories,  7.  Rick Derringer,  8.  Brownsville Station,  9.  David Essex,  10.  Billy Paul.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Here Are Five North Carolina Twists on the Classic Deviled Egg

From the March 2014 Our State Magazine "Updating a Classic: The Deviled Egg" by Wendy Perry.

If you're like me, you really love your deviled eggs.  Ever notice how these are always the first to go at a potluck or buffet?

BREAKFAST DEVILED EGG--  Crisp bacon and mashed potatoes.

CAROLINA COAST DEVILED EGG--  Blue Crab and roasted corn.

SASSY HABANARO DEVILED EGG--  Habanero bread-and-butter pickles by N.C.-based Miss Jenny's Pickles.  I kind of doubt I'd try one of these.  I accidentally got ahold of a habanero once in a stuffed olive and hope to never do that again.

PIMENTO CHEESE DEVILED EGG--  Pick up your pimento cheese from Conrad & Hinkle in Lexington.  I LOVE my pimento cheese.

TEXAS PETE DEVILED EGG--  Using Winston-Salem's Texas Pete sauce.  Now, you'd think with a name like Texas, this is where it would be made, wouldn't you?

Devilishly Good, Ya'll.  --RoadDog

Thursday, January 26, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 1: Snow and Ice

JANUARY 12, 2017, Thursday

I was hoping to leave by 6 a.m., and was up, but the weather last night did not cooperate.  All of yesterday's rain and last night's had turned to ice and had a slight covering of snow on top of it.  Thus making for very treacherous driving.  I decided to wait for the sun and warmer temperatures to help.

Went on the internet and posted to all my blogs and then loaded the '11 Malibu much more carefully because of all the things I left behind during my December trip to North Carolina.

I did have a really hard time scraping the ice off the truck windows, but eventually got it clear enough to move it so I could back the Malibu out of the garage.

I had no slippery roads until I got to Yorkville and did some sliding to get into the Hardee's parking lots, then nearly did a header myself walking into the place.  Once back on Illinois Highway 47, it got real sloppy with all the slush the trucks were splashing up.   The wipers were not doing a good job keeping the mess off the windshield.

I stopped at the gas station east of Sauneman, Illinois, and took a hard knee walking in on what appeared to be water but was actually ice.  Just the thing for a 65-year-old knee.

Not the Best Driving Day.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

North Carolina's Sweet Spot: Sweet Potatoes

From the November 2016 Our State Magazine "The Sweet Spot" by Lynn Wells.

The photographs of the concoctions can sure make you hungry.

North Carolina ranks #1 in sweet potato production in the United States.  Here are four dishes in honor of the state's vegetable:

Sweet Potato Casserole Pie  (with a buttery, crunchy topping).

Kale and Sweet Potato Salad  (Well, I don't know about the kale.)

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Baked Sweet Potato Orange Cups

Recipes accompany the article.

Don't Look at the Photos.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

There Is No More Carlton, Illinois (That I Can Find)

I have mentioned this town in several blog entries this month involving road building in 1916.  However, there are no sites dealing with this town in DeKalb County.

I did come across the name of a Carlton School (historical), but that is about all.

If anyone knows if it still exists, please contact me.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: DeKalb's Annual Road Day

From the November 16, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"DeKalb's annual road day, which was conducted yesterday out at Carlton, was without a doubt as big a success as any previous affairs of like nature, and those in charge of the affair at both ends of the line are indeed pleased with the results attained.

"DeKalb shovelers started out from here yesterday morning at seven o'clock and the last auto load returned sometime late last evening, tired, but satisfied that they had again helped in doing work that would be of direct benefit to DeKalb as a city.

"The shovelers were met at Carlton by 52 teams moving as much as possible, and from all reports the work was accomplished in fine shape."

-Hopefully, they Got Their Meal At Afton Centre, Not Carlton.  --RoadDog

Looking Back to 1916: Taxi Cab Service in DeKalb

From the November 16, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Terry Redmond announced that he has arrangements all completed to start up his taxicab service in the city of DeKalb tomorrow.

"Terry recently purchased one of the newest Studebaker cars for use in this work and which has been fitted up in the best manner possible for the work."

Hey...TAXI!!  --RoadDog

Sunday, January 22, 2017

That Great Driving Song: The "I-95 Song"

Check it out on You Tube.  Also called the "I-95 As____ Song."

Someone dedicated this to the presidential election between the Hillary and the Donald.

Actually, this is what you politely say when someone cuts you off.

Jimmy Buffett does a great rendition of it.

"Were you born an as_____  Or did you work on it your whole life?  Either way it worked out fine 'cause you're an as_____ tonight."

Also, a great song when you get mad at certain motorists when you're driving your car.  Sing this and avoid getting mad.

Why Not Get Drunk and Sing This Song?  --RoadDog

Friday, January 20, 2017

Afton, Illinois (DeKalb County)

Supposedly, the name was taken from an early settler's love of the song "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton."

The town was organized in 1854.

They sent some 81 men into Union service during the Civil War, out of a population of 516.  Six of them did not come home.

I will write about the town's Civil War experience in my Saw the Elephant Civil War Blog.

The town is also called Afton Center and is south of DeKalb on Illinois Highway 23.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Looking Back to 1966: Getting Roads Ready for Winter

From the November 9, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"Crushed gravel and a sealer coat have recently been placed on various streets in Malta in preparation for winter weather."

Bad Even Back Then.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

News From Along Route 66, December 2016: Gasconade Bridge and Arizona Plates

DECEMBER 16--  Continuing with options for the Gasconade River Bridge.

**  Demolish old bridge but build one in the same style (truss-style bridge)  Cost:  $5.51 million.

**  Build a totally new bridge between the current one and the I-44 bridge.  Cost: $4.12 million.

** New bridge on the other side of I-44.  Cost:  $5.82.  This would cause a 6-mile detour for Route 66 drivers.

Personally, I like the refurbish the current bridge for cars and small trucks.

DECEMBER 18--  Arizona unveils its new Route 66 license plates.

Hey, I want One.  --RoadDog

It's a Driving Thing: Exit Strategy

From the August 23, 2016, Lockhorns comic strip.

The Lockhorns are driving in their car.  Mrs. Lockhorn is looking disgusted at Mr. Lockhorn and says to him: "How many off-ramps do you plan to miss before you get an exit strategy."


Thursday, January 12, 2017

News From Along Route 66, December 2016: Want a Christmas Tree With That Concrete and the Gasconade Bridge

DECEMBER 14--  Ted Dewes Frozen Custard's other business.  For one month during the holiday season, they sell Christmas trees and other greenery.  They have been doing this since 1950 while they are closed for the winter.  Fresh foliage instead of a concrete, you know.

DECEMBER 16--  MoDOT lays out options for the Gasconade River bridge at a public hearing in Lebanon, Missouri.

**  Refurbish the bridge for cars and regular-sized trucks.  Cost $4.4 million.

**  Demolish the old bridge and build a new one.  Cost:  $4.3 million.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Feeding the Road Guys

From the November 16, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Because Carlton has only a few of the fair sex residing there, the Afton Centre Ladies Aid Society is to serve the dinner next Monday for the road workers will be in Carlton for the day at the Afton Centre church.  Many people do not understand that the Carlton and Afton Centre are five miles apart.

"The women of Afton Centre want to make it clear to te men that there will be no dinner at Carlton, instead it will be in the next town."

Afton Center is an unincorporated town six miles south of DeKalb, Illinois.  At first I thought they were talking about the town of Ashton, Illinois,I was unable to find any reference to a town of Carlton.