Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DeKalb Gets a New Standard Station in 1917

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

1917, 100 Years Ago

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

The Auto is Here.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

Some of the words:

Pulling out of Woodstock heading down to Little Rock


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

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

Thanks, Charlie.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, August 14, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

Sure Like That Cheap Beer.  --RoadDog

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

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


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


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

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

Went to the Legion.


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

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

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

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


Friday, August 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds Like An Interesting Place to Visit.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

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

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

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


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


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

From the December 2014 Smithsonian  "Ask Smithsonian."

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

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

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

Nancy Post, curator of the National Postal Museum.

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, August 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Shipwreck Coast, Michigan Upper Peninsula-- Part 1:

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

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

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

This article immediately caught my eye.

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

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

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


Saturday, August 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Red's closed in 1984.

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


Seattle to San Diego.  621 miles.  You know.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santa Rosa Creek Road Throws You Plenty of Curves

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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


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

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

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


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

A comment mentioned Wrink's in Lebanon.

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


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

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


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

I will just do my two favorite states.


Monday, July 31, 2017

66 News, June 2017: Europe and Wrink's

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

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


Friday, July 28, 2017

Some Good Music to Listen to This Weekend

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

WDRV, 97.1 FM

Friday, July 28

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

Sunday, July 30

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

WXRT, 93.1 FM

Saturday, July 29

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

Sunday, July 30

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

At least I Stayed Dry.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 27, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Goof Time, But Too Much.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

News Along 66, June 2017: Blogs and Illinois 66

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

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

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


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

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

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Decisions, Decisions.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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


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

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

Fort Fisher fell January 15, 1865.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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


North Carolina's Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry

Located by the "Rocks" at the end of US-421.  This really saves a long drive (and going through those horribly congested and photo-enforced stoplights in Wilmington) and costs just $5 a car.  What a deal!!

It is about a 30-minute, 4 mile ferry ride across the mouth of the Cape Fear River and connects Pleasure Island/Federal Point and Southport.

Service began in 1965 and is used a lot by tourists to the area.

Two boats run at a time during the summer, one from each terminus.

Each year they carry 185,000 vehicles and 500,000 passengers.


North Carolina's "Rocks"

North Carolina's "Rocks" at the southern terminus of US-421  (and there is a sign saying that by the parking lot, also the other side says it is the beginning of US-421, kind of neat, i wish all roads would do that.)

U.S.-421 ends at a parking lot and from there you can launch a small boat and it is a popular fishing and crabbing spot.

This is referred to as the Swash Defense Dam and built back in the 1870s by the Army Corps of Engineers to close New Inlet, a very popular place for blockade-runners to run in and out of the Cape Fear River during the Civil War.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Even With Flooding, We'll Wait It Out Having a Good Time

We have two major festivals going on this week here in northeast Illinois in Lake and McHenry counties.

I wish they would find a way, though, to have it on two separate weekends, but, no, they never will.

McHenry, Illinois, has their annual Fiesta Days.  This Saturday we have Art in the Park, where all sorts of sellers offer their wares in Veterans Park.  At the same time, they close off Riverside Drive by Illinois Highway 120.  Then, we have bands out in the street and all sorts of partying in the afternoon.

This Thursday, Antioch, Illinois, has its annual Taste of Summer which features all sorts of food, a carnival and bands every night Thursday and Friday and throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.

Well, If You Can't Go Boating,  Drown Your Sorrows.  --RoadDog

Flooding Here in the Chain of Lakes Area in Illinois

Last Wednesday morning, in the wee hours, we had a torrential downpour here in the Chain of Lakes area in northeast Illinois by the Wisconsin state line.  We got anywhere from five to eight inches in about four hours and then had a couple of other big storms come through.

We had some flooding in our subdivision, which is about two miles from the Fox River, but that was just runoff.  The water in the retention pond behind our house got up to about 2/3 capacity, but has dropped down since then, though there is still some in it.

That was bad enough, but southern Wisconsin also got hammered and their water all ran off southward in the Fox River which has caused much flooding here.  Kind of strange as the water is rising, even though we have't had rain but one time for a short bit since then.

We are worried about our boat, which is still in the water in a channel off of Fox Lake, along with a lot of other boats.  The boat is riding up high and we're hoping that the pier will hold, and especially the posts.  Thankfully, boats float, but there is a question of where they might go should they come loose.

The water has finally stopped rising and is going down very slowly.

Hey, Anybody Seen My Boat?  --RoadDog

Monday, July 17, 2017

North Carolina's 100 Counties, 100 Things to Do (Well, Six of Them Anyway)

From the May 25, 2014, Raleigh (NC) News & Observer "Best Kept Secrets:  100 N.C, Counties, 100 things to try" by Richard Stradling.

Being a native North Carolinian, this immediately was of interest, but unfortunately I was unable to find the last 94 counties, so will have to suffice with these first six:

1.  Pender County--   Lanes Ferry Dock and Grill in Rocky Point

2.  Columbus County-- The Riverwalk in Fair Bluff

3.  Bladen County--  Jones Lake State Park,  Carolina bays.

4.  Sampson County--  Sampson County History Museum in Clinton

5.  Brunswick County--  Kindred Spirit Mailbox in Sunset Beach.  People write down their thoughts and leave them in the box.

6.  New Hanover County--  Casey's Buffet in Wilmington.  I've eaten there.


Friday, July 14, 2017

News From Along 66, June 2017: Farms, Book and Movie

JUNE 12--  The old Gillett Farm on the top of Elkhart Hill in Elkhart, Illinois, will be auctioned off.  It is sure hard to miss Elkhart Hill as it is the highest ground between Chicago and St. Louis.

John Dean Gillett was called the "Cattle King of the World" back in 1860.  he was a friend of Abraham Lincoln.

I imagine he made quite a bit of money supplying beef to the Union armies during the Civil War.

JUNE 14--  There is a new book out called "The 1928 Bunion Derby" by James R. Powell.  It is about the 3,423 mile Trans-American Footrace between Los Angeles and New York City.  But, those of us Route 66 fans knew that.

JUNE 16--  Movie Review on "Cars 3."  "Represents a return to the emotional core of the original 2006 film."

I saw it yesterday and sure did enjoy it.  Sadly, our local theater is pulling it after just three weeks, so it must not have done all that well.


13 Must-See Sights on Route 66-- Part 4: Theaters, Rabbits, Ghosts, Wigwams and Piers

9.  KiMo Theater--  Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Built 1927.  designed to reflect the Indian/Hispanic and Anglo cultures.

10.  Jack Rabbit Trading Post--  Joseph City, Arizona.  You know, all those "Here It Is" signs.  Or is it "Hare It Is?"

11.  Ghost Town of Calico--  north of Daggett, California.  What is left of an 1881 mining town.  OK, this one I had never heard of before.

12.  Wigwam Village Motel--  Rialto, California.  There is also one in Holbrook, Arizona, on Route 66.

13.  Santa Monica Pier--  Not exactly on Route 66, but close and makes for a good end-of destination.  Built 1908.

She suggests Drew Knowles' "Route 66 Adventure Handbook" for reading.

Obviously, I Love My Lists.  --RoadDog

13 Must-See Sights on Route 66-- Part 3: U-Drop, Caddies and Blue Swallow

6.  U-Drop Inn--  Shamrock, Texas.  Art Deco wonder, once a Conoco station.

7.  Cadillac Ranch--  Amarillo, Texas. All those Caddies.

8.  Blue Swallow Motel--  Tucumcari, New Mexico. Opened in the 1940s.  Also in Tucumcari, the souvenir store shaped like a teepee and the sombrero-shaped restaurant.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

13 Must-See Sights on 66-- Part 2: Drive-In, Old Riverton Store and Pops

3.  66 Drive-In Theater--  Carthage, Missouri.  Opened in 1949.

4.  Nelson's Old Riverton Store--  Riverton, Kansas.  Opened in 1925 as the Williams Store and for a long time was the Eisler Brothers Store.  My wife told me a few days ago that it had been torn down.  Bad news.

CORRECTION.  It was not torn down.  Liz misread the article about buildings across the street being torn down and not Nelson's.  Thanks LuLu for pointing that out to Liz.

5.  Pops--  Arcadia, Oklahoma.  Has 700 flavors of pop, or do you call it soda pop or soda?  Its 66-foot tall neon soda bottle is a real looker.  This wasn't there when we last went through there in 2006.  Looking forward to seeing it this fall.

Maybe have a Sodee Pop or Two.  RoadDog

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 23: World War I Presentation

A real nice room, as always at a Marriott (just usually considerably more than I want to pay, but $67 is a good price).

Drove over to Food Lion for a bite to eat and then I attended the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society's meeting at their museum next to the Carolina Beach Town Hall (in the old Blockade Runner Museum museum).  They took the old picnic area of the B-R Museum and put walls up and now have a museum.  The picnic area was either modeled after the Wilmington slave auction center before the Civil War or was a real one.  I have never been able to get clear on this.

The newspaper had said the presentation tonight at the museum was going to be Wilmington during World War II, something I am very interested in and have written a lot about it in my World War II blog, Tattooed On Your Soul.  However, the talk was not on World War II.

They are preparing an exhibit to mark the centennial of the United States entry into World War I and to go along with it, tonight's talk and slide show was on Wilmington, North Carolina, during that war.

That was alright, though, because I am interested in anything to do with history.

Little Old History Me.  --RoadDog

13 Must-See Route 66 Sites-- Part 1: Big Ketchup and Caverns

From readers Digest "13 Must-See Sights You Can Only See On Route 66" by Claire Nowak.

I always enjoy seeing when other people have a list of what to see on Route 66, especially when it is a place I've seen.

1.  World's Largest Ketchup Bottle--  Collinsville, Illinois.  Built in 1949 and actually a water tower 70 feet tall.  Wants some fries with your catsup (or is it ketchup?).

2.  Meramec Caverns--  Stanton, Missouri.  Opened as a tourist attraction in 1935 and did a lot of advertising along Route 66 and other roads on those barns, especially famous for putting bumper stickers on every car that visited.  I was SO disappointed when we visited that they didn't have any free bumper stickers in 2004, or even ones I could buy for that matter.

For some reason, I always have a hard time spelling Meramec Caverns.

No Bumper Sticker For Me, I Guess.  --RoadDog

News Along 66, June 2017: Wrinks Market in Lebanon, Mo., Reopens

These stories are taken from the Route 66 News site, which has a lot more stories and a lot more information.  I just pick ones of particular interest to me.

JUNE 11, 2017--  The granddaughter of Mr. Wrinkle, Katie Hapner, and her step-sister Sarah Carney reopened it and are trying to make it look as near as they can to the original.  It is quite near that wonderful Munger-Moss Motel, east  of town.

Glenn "Wrink" Wrinkle opened the place in 1950 and kept it going until his death at age 82 in 2005.  His son Terry Wrinkle reopened it in 2007, but closed in 2009.  Cowboy D.C. Decker reopened it in 2011 as a country emporium, but that too closed.  (I really enjoyed Decker's place.)  And, there were several other places in it that also didn't make it.

If the girls are going to make it look like the old Wrinks, it will have to be junky.  That place was packed, but what made it a great place to visit and buy was, of course, "Wrink."  We were fortunate and got to talk with him on several occasions before his death.  he would really "hold court."

It always bothered me to drive by it and see it sitting there vacant.  Happy days are here again.

A Real Bit of 66 Here.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 10, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 22: Fort Fisher and a Motel

I  returned to the car and popped the Bee Gees' "One" CD into the player and then cruised south on US-421, through Kure Beach, keeping an eye open for a mom and pop motel, but didn't find any likely candidates, plus, I wanted to be closer to the Silver Dollar saloon and other Carolina Beach bars.

Drove to Fort Fisher which is always closed on Mondays.  I sure wish I had been able to get to this fort a couple days ago when they had the 152nd anniversary of its capture.

Back to Carolina Beach and looking for mom and pop motels, but no luck.  I remembered seeing that the Courtyard by Marriott, which had been the host hotel for Saturday's Friends of Fort Fisher and descendants reunion in the morning, had had a $69 special rate so thought I'd give it a go.  When the clerk told me it would be $67 plus tax, it was a done deal.  I had my room.

And, it is in just a few blocks of the Silver Dollar.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 21: Tallking CDs, DJs and You Tube


Walked along the top of the sand dune berm and looked at the ocean on a pretty good day, weatherwise, for January.

I then took a walk along the front row of stores (and bars) and decided to check out a souvenir store.  I was impressed.  They had a huge collection of beach-related Christmas ornaments (but I avoided buying any, but I sure wanted to).  I did spend some time going through a big collection of used CDs which I, of course, had to thumb through all of them.

I bought five CDs and found out the owner, who was tending store, was a deejay and he was selling his CDs while recording You Tube download songs on his laptop which he will now use in his shows.

I agree that You Tube is one of the best sources of music anywhere.  I use it when I am doing my once a month WLS Top 40 list on my Down Da Road I Go Blog.  The other weeks, I post the Top Ten and generally know those songs, but when I get to numbers 21-40, there are always several (sometimes a lot) of songs that I don't know, so its to You Tube I go.  Only once or twice have I been unable to find a particular song.

He also told me about a place he hangs out at when not at the store or deejaying.  It is the Fat Pelican on US-421 in Carolina Beach.  I'll have to check it out.  He also spends time at my favorite Carolina Beach bar, the Silver Dollar Saloon.

Two things I really enjoy doing (well three things) and they are hanging around with knowledgeable music people, Civil War people and road people.


Friday, July 7, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 20: Carolina Beach Has Up-scaled But Still Retains Some Honky-Tonk


Well, if I can't find a motel, I'll go to the Boardwalk of Carolina Beach.

I parked right by it, something that is fairly impossible to do during the summer when the crowds are there.  Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Carolina Beach was a worn-out beach town, but not anymore.  It is booming, and unfortunately. extremely crowded with big resort hotels like Marriott and Best western.

But, one good thing is that it still maintains a bit of its old honky-tonk atmosphere.

Parking is also free in the winter and will cost you during the high season.

I walked around.  I was glad to see my old hangout, The Silver Dollar Saloon still in business.  It was open, but I walked on by.  I'll be back.

I went along the ocean front.  Sadly, you can no longer see the ocean from the buildings along it as there is a huge berm between them and the water.  You can walk along the top of the berm as it has walkways and places to sit and get down to the ocean.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 19: Snow's Cut, Federal Point and Mom and Pop Motel Search


Snow's Cut made Federal Point, called Confederate Point during the Civil War for some reason, was made into an island essentially when Snow's Cut was made to connect the Cape Fear River with Masonboro Sound as part of the Intercoastal Waterway.  Now brochures refer to the area as Pleasure Island.

I figured I'd stop by the Carolina Beach Town Hall and get some brochures and look at the Civil War dioramas, but it was closed.  Oh yes, MLK Day.  The town hall is in the building where once one of my favorite places in the world was located, The Blockade Runner Museum, which operated until the 1980s.  At one time I seriously considered quitting teaching and working there.  Fortunately I didn't as it closed.

I drove around Carolina Beach looking for a mom and pop motel to stay in, but found many closed for the season and a couple were open, but the office closed and no one around.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Red, White & Blues Roots Salute to the U.S.-- Part 3: "Knights in White Satin"

Finishing up Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Salute to the Red, White & Blue on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM. from July 2, 2017.


PLEASE PLEASE ME--  Beatles   This week, 65 years ago, John lennon met Paul McCartney.
HONEY DON'T--  Beatles   And 7-7 (July 7) Ringo Turns 77.  That's a lot of sevens.
TWENTY FLIGHT ROCK--  Eddie Cochran  When John Lennon found that Paul McCartney knew and could play this song, a band was born.

REDNECK FRIEND--  Jackson Browne
SILVER, BLUE & GOLD--  Bad Company

RED SHOES--  Elvis Costello

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "We Skipped The Light Fandango."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"A Whiter Shade of Pale"

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Drive's Fours of July-- Part 2: "Ramble On"


Rock and a Hard Place
Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Little T & A


Under Pressure  (with David Bowie)
Radio GaGa
Bohemian Rhapsody
Bicycle Race


Over the Hills and Far Away
Ramble On
Hot Dog

Still the Fours.  --RoadDog

The Drive's Fours of July-- Part 1: "Cheap Sunglasses"

Chicago's Classic Rock station, WDRV, 97.1 FM is running Fours of July in honor of the Fourth of July.  They play four straight songs by a classic rock group.

It streams at

Here are some played the past couple hours:


Cheap Sunglasses
Pearl Necklace
Just Got Paid


Hotel California
Witchy Woman
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Those Shoes


Head Games
Cold As Ice
Dirty White Boy

Give It a Listen. Happy Fourt.   --RoadDog

Monday, July 3, 2017

News From Along 66, June 2017: Repairing the Boots Court Motel's Neon

These stories come from the Route 66 News site.  I only pick the ones I am most interested in andI only write a little of what is said.  For the whole article and photos, go to the website.

JUNE 1--  Fire destroys building inside Joliet Corrections Center.  A juvenile was charged with arson.

And he should be careful about the ghost of John Belushi getting him from trying to mess up one of his most famous scenes.

JUNE 6--  Fundraising is going on to repair the Boots Court Motel's severely hail-damaged neon.  We are looking forward to staying there the next time we're in Carthage, Missouri.

JUNE 7--  The Lebanon-LaClede County Route 66 Association launched a new website.  Check it out at

One of our very favorite Route 66 counties.


Red, White & Blue Roots Salute to the U.S.-- Part 2: "White Bird"

YES IT IS--  Beatles   Please don't wear red tonight.
DEAR PRUDENCE--  Beatles    OK, It was from the "White Album."
FOR YOU BLUE--  Beatles     Bob Stroud managed to get a trio of Beatles songs in with these.

I WANT YOU--  Bob Dylan
I WANT YOU TO WANT ME--  Cheap Trick

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD--  Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
WHITE BIRD--  It's a Beautiful Day
CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION--  Tommy James & the Shondells

RED HOUSE--  Jimi Hendrix
WHITE LIES, BLUE EYES--  Bullett    Hey, we got two for one with this one.

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Whose That I See Walkin' In These Woods?"  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Little Red Riding Hood"

Red, White & Blue Roots Salute to the U.S.-- Part 1: "Red Rubber Ball"

This past Sunday, Bob Stroud did a Rock and Roll Roots Salute to the Red, White & Blue of the United States.  Every so often, he would play three straight songs with the words red, white and blue (in that order.)  Kind of good for getting in the mood for tomorrow.

The other songs can put you into a summer picnic mood as well.

WHITE RABBIT--  Jefferson Airplane
JACKIE BLUE--  Ozark Mountain Daredevils

I GET AROUND--  Beach Boys


SANDY (4TH OF JULY ASBURY PARK)--  Bruce Springsteen
UP ON THE ROOF--  Drifters

BLACK AND WHITE--  Three Dog Night
BABY BLUE--  Badfinger

Name That Tune (from above songs):  "Together We Can Learn To Read And Write."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Black and White"

Sunday, July 2, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 18: BBQ, Seafood and Carolina Beach


I had seen a Carolina BBQ buffet place on the road in Wilmington on several occasions, but had never stopped for one reason or another.  It is called The Carolina BBQ and Sea Food restaurant and it is at good as it gets, everything I expected and very reasonable at $6.49 for seniors.

It is across from beautiful Hugh McRae Park   Blacks want the name changed because of Hugh McRae's white supremacist past even though he donated it to the city.  Here's hoping they don't change the name, but that will probably happen.

Fully full, I continued to US-421 and Carolina Beach, going over that wonderful Snow's Cut Bridge.  From the top of it you can see the ocean and Masonboro Sound, something that over the years, and my family has been coming to Carolina Beach since I was a baby, always have me a great thrill.  "We're here at the BEACH now!!"

My grandparents owned a cottage on the Southern Extension of Carolina Beach until it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Hazel in 1954.  After that, we'd rent a great aunt's cottage right behind it all the way  into the 70s.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 17: Closing Up the Condo


Sunrise at the beach, but not as pretty as the last ones.

It is Martin Luther King day so I probably won't be able to pay the Topsail Beach water and garbage bill at the town hall.  I had forgotten about the holiday.

I saw that the NBA is looking to shorten their games, just as the NFL and MLB have done because ratings have dropped.  The biggest reason for the drop is millennials.  I can tell you, try to catch one not staring and playing with their "Idge" phones.  Another problem, especially in college football, is in the near constant stream of commercials and all those commercial timeouts.

Bob, Andy and I went back to the condo to move a few things out and raid the fridge  We were happy to see that all the condo garbage cans (and we had used everybody's) had been emptied and the huge pile of junk out by the street was gone.  Thanks Topsail Beach garbage men.

We went out to the beach one last time.  I am sure going to miss Mom's condo at Topsail Arms.  It was always a very relaxing place to go.  Bob and Andy drove back to Goldsboro.

On the way out of Topsail Beach, I stopped at the town hall, and as expected, it was closed.  The place we had consigned items to was also closed so I wasn't able to drop that off either.

Drove to Wilmington on the ever busy US-17 and then U.S.-17 Business to College Avenue.  How those roads can handle so much traffic is anybody's guess.  I really hate driving anywhere near or through Wilmington, which also has lots and lots of photo-enforced stoplights.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Gettin' Ready for 4th of July

Yesterday we finally got the boat in the water and it is tied up to the pier over at Rick's channel in Fox Lake.  Today, if no rain, we are going out for a ride this afternoon and then to "Cuda's on Grasslake Road for $2 craft beers and then to the Grove in Spring Grove to sit out in the biergarten and listen to a band.  last stop, hopefully, will be the Legion.

Tomorrow, we will go to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, for the parade and Bloody Marys at Main Street and then Donovan's.  During teh afternoon, we will go to a party at John and Sherry's in Johnsburg and then to Sunnyside.

At night, it is to the Fox Lake Legion we go on Nippersink Lake to watch the Chain of Lakes fireworks display.

Of course, U.S. flags will be up, including the Bennington '76 flag we bought back during the bicentennial.

To a Great Country.  --RoadDog

Thursday, June 29, 2017

News From Along 66, May 2017: Hail Damage in Carthage and Markers in Tulsa

MAY 29--  The Boots Court and Route 66 Drive-In theater in Carthage, Missouri both suffered significant damage to their neon signage in a recent hail storm.

MAY 30--  Tulsa will add 25 markers near Route 66 sites.  Love those markers.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

News From Route 66, May 2017: Neon Signs, "Cars 3", Elbow Inn and the Gemini

MAY 21--  University of New Mexico professors have saved hundreds of drawings of old neon signs.  Love those neon signs.  Sort of just says Route 66, you know.

MAY 22--  Songs that will be on the new movie "Cars 3" soundtrack were released and will include two by Brad Paisley and four covers.  Gary Clark, Jr. and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys will also be on it.  Looks like I'll have to buy it.

MAY 25-- Elbow Inn in Devil's Elbow, Missouri, is to partially reopen on Friday, May 26.  Good news.

MAY 27--  Tourists are putting stickers on Wilmington's Gemini Giant  It is located at the old Launching Pad Restaurant which has been closed since 2013.  Not sure if this is a bad or good thing.

Where's My Sticker?  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 16: A Game of the Ages


And, the Packers were really pounding on Dallas which was surprising as the Cowboys are considered to be one of the best two NFL teams, them and the New England Patriots.  I used to feel sorry for the Patriots before the Brady era as the first time they went to the Super Bowl, they got blown out by Da Bears back in Super Bowl XX.  The second time they went, the Packers beat them.  But, not no more as they say.

I am not a Dallas fan, going back to the days they were always beating Da Bears.  But, here were Da Pack whupping up in Dallas and lots of Packer fans here in North Carolina really, really enjoying themselves.   I wouldn't have had more fun had I been back in home area watching at a bar.

We had to leave before the game was over and went back to the motel past a lot of cops sitting alongside the road.  Watched the end of the game in my room and it was one of the best games ever.  Dallas came back and it went down to the very end with the Packers winning!!

We also watched most of the Chiefs-Steelers playoff game which was another close one.

Some Really Good Football Today.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 26, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 15: Green Bay Packer Fans in Surf City, N.C.!!


I took a walk over to the Missiles & More Museum in Topsail Beach, but it was closed (what isn't closed here in January?).  I found Bob and Andy eating at a deli place that was lucky.  Walked back to the Jolly Roger Pier and bought a Pender County newspaper and found out that the Home Port restaurant/Bar had moved to Hamstead on U.S. Highway 17.  This was the last bar in Topsail Beach and I had been planning on going to it while here, but found it was closed.

We went to Surf City to the Shuckin' Shack in Surf City to see the Green Packer and Dallas Cowboys playoff game.    I figured that since we were in the South there would be a lot of Cowboy fans.  I was wrong.  The place was packed with Packer fans, all wearing Green bay gear and cheering along.  It was like watching a Packer or Bears game back home.  One guy even had one of those giant cheesehead wedge hats.

Packer Me.  --RoadDog

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Good-Timin' It Here Last Weekend-- Part 2: Great Music, Boats, Bars, Band, Deluge, a Cubs Jersey and a Snow Shovel


Saturday Morning Flashback on WXRT was on 1968 for four hours.  Makes me smile.

It took me two tries, but I finally got the boat back in the driveway.  Mike, my mechanic, wasn't at his place when I first went to get the boat.  I did stop at a new place that recently opened on Grasslake Road called Bon Voyage and had a really good omelet.  For many years it was Skanda House, but had been closed for around four years.

Came home and then went back and successfully picked up the boat.  This is when Mike asked if I knew that I had a snow shovel  in the back of the boat.  Of course, Mike.  With how fast Chicago area weather can change, you just never  know.  Well, actually, I was using it to help prop up the mooring cover to keep water from accumulating during our really rainy May.

We went to Fox Lake's Lake Front Park off US-12 by Beer Can bridge to see the New Invaders play all that great 1960s music, especially the British Invasion (hence the name).  Great show and good crowd, but then the deluge came.  Fortunately we left as the first rain drops fell and were at the Legion across Nippersink Lake when it really started storming.  Had our cocktails and stayed dry.


Paul McCartney's 75th birthday, overshooting 64 by 11 years now.  Featured on both Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots on WDRV and Terri Hemmert's Breakfast With the Beatles show on WXRT.  Then WDRV played all the Beatles songs from A to Z.

We went over to Hickory Lodge in McCullum Lake for their pizza and beer special, but their pizza oven was broken so settled for some other good food.  The Cubs game was on and watched it.  Shortly before we were going to leave, the bartender asked if we were going to be there at the end of the game.  We said no.

We then found out that if the Cubs win (and they were way ahead), anyone who was there by the fifth inning would be entered to win a Kris Bryant jersey,  Since there were only two others there at the time we decided to stick around.  With two tickets, we won.  But the jersey was too big for Liz and this White Sox fan "inherited it."

I sure heard about it from my Sox friends when we got over to Sunnyside.  But, I pointed out to them that I WAS wearing my Sox hat, to go along with that Cubs jersey.

Well, A Fun Weekend, Even With the Jersey.  --RoadDog

Friday, June 23, 2017

Good-Timin' It Here Last Weekend-- Part 1: Bar-Hoppin' 'N Fish Fryin'

Again, people often ask us why, if we are retired like we are, why we don't go on vacations often during the summer.  Well, we sure have a lot to do around here.


Took the boat key and plug over to Mike.  We always forget to put them in when we bring them in to summerize the boat.  It's a tradition.  And, no plug = boat sinks.  I bought flowers at Ace and Menard's in Antioch.

Did some yardwork and went to Half-Times to check out their newly opened addition (and enjoy the $1 pints).  Met a couple from where I used to deejay back in 1983, Neptune's Cove on Fox Lake  (I wrote about them in my Down Da Road I Go Blog last week.)

Closed up the day at Sunnyside.


More yardwork and we went to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, a big tourist town about 20 miles away from us.  We had the delicious fish fry at Popeye's on Geneva Lake with that great (but semi-blocked during the summer by the outside umbrellas) view.

We then stopped at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wis., for happy hour (all drinks half price) and then went to The Grove in Spring Grove, Illinois and ran into old friends, Bob and Tracy, and talked with them inside and went outside to watch the entertainer on an absolutely perfect night.

Eating and Drinking.  --RoadDog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 14: We Finish the Condo and Missile Launch Pad


Another colorful sunrise.  I even watched David Jeremiah on TV delivering his sermon, something that Mom watched religiously every Sunday morning before she went to Sunday School and church.

Drove over to the condo, but they were still asleep.  Bought a copy of one of my favorite newspapers, the Wilmington Star-News at the post office, the only place at Topsail beach you can buy it during the winter months.  Like I said, Topsail Beach is ultra dead during the winter.  (Almost like the time we spent an extra three days out on Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, you could go batty here in the winter.)

We went to the condo and finished clearing out everything and loaded the trailer which Julie and Ed were going to take stuff back to Savannah and they left.  We had quite a pile of junk sitting out by the road as well.

I went back to the motel and sat out on the patio which was the launching pad for the U.S. missile program which took place on Topsail Island after World War II.  Enjoyed the view  on a very pleasant day in January and read the paper which had quite a few pictures of the events out at Fort Fisher yesterday.  Boy, I sure wish I had been able to go.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Always A Good Time On the Chain of Lakes-- Part 2: Big Party Thursdays

Thursdays are the real big day as far as weekly festivals around here.  The two closest towns, McHenry and Antioch, to us both have great times going on.


This one is held at Veterans Park at the huge gazebo every Thursday from June to the end of September.  It starts with the City band during June then has a lot of great local and regional bands after that, including New Odyssey, (3 Guys, 30 Instruments in August).


It started last weekend and goes to the middle of August and is held at the bandshell behind Main Street.

This one is probably our favorite one of all, but unfortunately it only goes to the middle of August instead of September.

It is too bad that these two festivals take place on the same night as we often have to make a choice.

Plus, this weekend, a nearby town of Wauconda is having there Waucondafest.  Most every town in the area has a festival during the course of the summer.

Good Times In The Area.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

News From 66, May, 2017: Cabooses, Books and Signs

MAY 18--  Want to stay in a caboose on your 66 drive?   You can stay in a Burlington Northern Railway 1954 caboose at the KOA Campground in Eureka, Missouri.  Also, there are cabooses at the Canyon Motel and RV Park in Williams, Arizona.

Stay in a teepee, stay in a caboose.

MAY 19--  Drew Knowles' 5th Edition of his "The Route 66 Adventure Handbook" has just come out.  A great book, Drew.

MAY 20--  They hope to have the Tropics neon sign up by the spring of 2018 in Lincoln, Illinois.  It will be in the parking lot of the new McDonald's which is on the site of the old Tropics restaurant.

Sounds like a good excuse for a 66 party.

That Is One Neat Old Sign.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 19, 2017

Always A Good Time In the Chain of Lakes Area, Especially Summertime-- Part 1

We have lots of weekly concerts in the area as well as a huge classic car show throughout the summertime.  There is just something great about being outside and listening to a band in the summer.

Here are some of the weekly events we have:

MONDAYS--  GREEN STREET CRUISE NIGHT in McHenry, Illinois.  Every Monday features a different vehicle.  Last Monday was Corvettes and today jeeps, trucks and motorcycles.  I am looking forward to July 10 with Ford Mustangs, July 31 with Camaros, August 21 with pony cars and September 25 with Pontiac.



WOODSTOCK CITY BAND in the bandstand/gazebo in Woodstock Square.

LINDENHURST LIVE MUSIC IN THE PARK at the pavilion in Lindenhurst and the Lehman Mansion.

More Fun to Come.  --RoadDog

Saturday, June 17, 2017

"Cars 3" Released Yesterday and a Retro Night To See It

I am definitely looking forward to seeing it.  Here's hoping it is better than "Cars 2."  It was ok, but got too far away from Route 66.

When I heard way back when that there was going to be a movie about Route 66, I was really happy, but not when I discovered it was to be animated and, even worse, would feature cars instead of people.  However, after seeing it I became a big fan of animated movies.  They have come a long way since the old Disney ones.

I saw the first one three times and even twice for the second one.  I'll see the new one at least twice.  Once will be in a theater and the second time will be at our McHenry Outdoor theater.  Before seeing it at the outdoor theater i will go to our local Dog 'N Suds for Charburgers and some of that great root beer.

This Is What I Call a Real Retro Trip.  --RoadDog

News Along 66, May 2017: Murals, Tornadoes and Women on 66

MAY 16--  There are five new murals in Miami, Oklahoma and the public was invited to do some of the painting.  I was not real impressed with the murals that I saw.

MAY 17--  One person killed and much damage from a tornado in Elk City, Oklahoma.  It seems that tornadoes have a particular fondness for Route 66 towns.  Also snow and thunderstorms.

MAY 17--  Missouri State University in Springfield got a grant of $2,500 for its "Women on the Mother Road in Missouri.  This is collecting oral histories and a picture of Ramona of the Munger-Moss accompanied the article.

Love That Ramona.  --RoadDog

News From Along 66, May 2017: Red Carpet Corridor and Lebanon 66 Festival

MAY 6-7--  The 2017 Illinois Red Carpet Corridor Festival  The Alban family shot an hour-long video of their experiences during it.  They also had problems finding pins from each town as well.  Those pins were quite popular or they just didn't have enough for the big crowds collecting them.

I enjoyed watching this as we must have been close together when they were doing the festival.

MAY 14--  The Lebanon Route 66 Festival in Lebanon, Missouri, is set to return in June after a seven year break.  There will be a concert and gathering at that great old Munger-Moss Motel.

It is taking place this weekend, June 16-17.

Wish I was There.  --RoadDog

Thursday, June 15, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 13: Moving-- Moving-- Eat


We picked up a trailer at Holly Ridge to take stuff over to a consignment shop.  The beds and especially the sofas weren't much fun at all.  Thankfully, Mom's Liftavator sure came in handy.  It was an all-day affair.  By the time we finished, the upper and second level were almost completely cleared out.

Talked with the people buying the condo and we are getting close to closing on it.  that was a relief as I sure am happy to be saving the real estate fees.  They are friends of another couple who own a condo in the complex.

We went over to Shuckum Shack in Surf City.  Good food after a long and hard day's moving.  I had eaten there before and really like their shrimpburgers.  Think a slider piled high with fresh shrimp.  There were two of them and fries for $10 and I couldn't eat the second one I was so full.  Poor Andy had mighty poor pickings as he doesn't like anything fish or sea.

Shuckum Shack is a small chain along the Atlantic coast.

Back to the condo for a bit and then back to the Jolly Roger Motel for NFL games and conversation.

Beginning to See the End.  --RoadDog

News From Along 66, May 2017: The Shaffer Spring Goldfish Bowl

MAY 8--  A history of the Shaffer Spring Goldfish Bowl in Arizona.  Located between Kingman and Oatman, the bowl is fed by a natural spring.  During the WPA construction of the "Gold Road Section" from Gold Road Mine to Kingman there was a water shortage.

A man named Shaffer found water seeping out of the rocks.

Goldfish, snails and plants were kept in it to keep algae from growing.

The bowl has frozen over or dried up on occasion, but someone always restocked.

There are 31 steps up to it and no banisters.   You can find it after MM 31 heading to Oatman and those burros.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hey, It's Flag Day

Hope you have one or more United States flags flying today as it is June 14th.  This became a day to fly the flag by President Harry Truman signing a bill making it a day to observe.

The flag stands for the United States, the greatest country ever to be on earth.

So Proud and Happy To Be In the United States.  --RoadDog

N.C. January 2017-- Part 12: Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, But Didn't


As I mentioned in the last entry about this trip yesterday, I would have really have loved to be down at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach today as there were big doings going on about Fort Fisher.  This is the 152nd anniversary of the 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher.

I have been wanting to go for years, but Liz's birthday is January 10 and since dad died, I have been going to North Carolina to visit Mom for Thanksgiving.  To come back from N.C. in early December and then turn around and go back six weeks later was just too much.  (It is 1050 miles to Goldsboro and another 100 to Carolina Beach.)

This morning, the Friends of Fort fisher, to which I belong, was having their annual meeting and descendants reunion at the Marriott at Carolina Beach with Chris Fonvielle, author and Fort Fisher expert speaking.

Then, there were all sorts of things going on at Fort Fisher, about four miles away.  There were re-enactors, cannon firing, kids activities and talks by Rod Gragg who wrote the first book on Fort Fisher "Confederate Goliath" and Richard Triebe who wrote a novel about blockade running, got hooked on the fort, and then wrote two books on Fort Fisher's history and garrison and captured soldiers sent to the Union's infamous Elmira Prison (referred to as "Hellmira").

As much as I wanted to go, I had lots to do at Mom's condo.  And since I inherited it, I don't think the others would appreciate it if I took off for Fort Fisher.

But, I Really Would Have Loved To Go.  Perhaps Next Year.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 11: Jolly Roger Motel and Fort Fisher Anniversary


This was a day to move stuff.  I mean, move lots and lots and lots of stuff.  I tell you, 65-year-old bones and muscles might be just a bit past prime operation.

Bob, Andy and I are staying at the Jolly Roger Motel, next to the Jolly Roger Pier in Topsail Beach, N.C.

Topsail Island, where Topsail Beach is located, got its name from the topsails of pirate ships which used to wait behind the barrier island for  unsuspecting merchant ships to pass by.  Captain Jack would appreciate this.

Great view of the ocean and a real pretty sunrise this morning.  Temperature yesterday was in the 70s all the way through North Carolina, but today 50 degrees is forecast.  Several fishermen were staying at the motel and there was one on the shore fishing and no one was up on the pier.

I sure know where I'd much rather be today, and that is at Fort Fisher down at Kure Beach, about fifty miles away as you drive a car, but maybe 25 by water.  This weekend is the 152nd anniversary of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher during the Civil War.  This is the battle which resulted in the fort's capture and there were all sorts of things going on there.

Fort Fisher Is MY Civil War Site and the Reason I Got Into History.  --RoadDog

News From Along 66, May 2017: Devil's Elbow to Rebuild and Bloomington Gets a Clue

MAY 6--  Devil's Elbow residents determined to rebuild.  Good for them.  Much too pretty an area to abandon.

MAY 7--    Route 66 visitors center in Bloomington, Illinois, sees a fifty percent increase in attendance to 27,173 with its Cruisin' With  Lincoln on 66.

They have come from 50 countries and 45 states.

They estimate that this increase in visitation brings $861,155 in spending to the community.

It is sure nice that Bloomington and Normal have FINALLY figured out that they should do something with  their Route 66 heritage.

About Time B-N.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 12, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 10: Getting Movers Together


My sister Julie and her boyfriend Ed were coming from Savannah and we met them  at the El Coreal Mexican restaurant in Surf City which Bob had suggested.  It is right by a favorite place of mine called Shuckin' Shack.  El Coreal is quite a popular place as it was packed.

This was the first time I'd met Ed and it was very difficult to talk with him because of how loud everyone was talking.  When we were able to hear, he has quite a few things in common with me, including a love of history and he was a deejay.

We went back to the condo in Topsail Beach and did some more furniture moving.


News From Along 66, May, 2017: Devil's Elbow, Funks Grove and Kingman

MAY 2--  A county official declared "Devil's Elbow is gione."  Flooding went over the deck of the famous bridge and hit the roof of the Elbow Inn.  One house in the town came loose and crashed into another one.

Here's hoping for a recovery.  This is one of our favorite places along 66.

MAY 4--  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited Funks Grove Maple Sirip during a small business tour.  Hope he got some of that sirip.

MAY 4--  A neon sign returned to Kingman, Arizona's Route 66 for the first time in 70 years.  It was taken down in the late 1940s.  It reads "Entering El Trovatore Unincorporated.

The Route 66 Association of Kingman neon restoration accomplished it.


News From Along Rt. 66, May, 2017: Flooding in Devil's Elbow and the Mill Reopens

MAY 1--  Devil's Elbow, Missouri, was ravaged by flooding.  residents were ordered to evacuate  The Big Piney River by early Sunday morning had already exceeded its record flooding by four feet and the water was still rising.

In Waynesville, water threatened the historic Roubidoux Bridge.  The Gasconade River overflowed the deck of the Gasconade Bridge.

This flooding was made even sadder in that the Devil's Bridge area had just been listed on the NRHP.

MAY 1--  The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois, reopened Saturday after being closed 21 years since 1996.  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was there.  It is now a museum and Route 66 welcome center with lots of memorabilia from the Mill and Hallie's on the Square, which is now closed, but used to serve a lot of the Mill's recipes.

The Mill is at 7385 Washington Street and is open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

We're sure looking forward to visiting it the next time we're in the area.  I didn't know that Hallie's was closed, but at least we got to eat there.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

News From Route 66, April 2017: Devil's Elbow Added To NRHP

APRIL 29--  This was kind of sad news, though, in regards to the massive flooding that took place of the area a few days later.

The Devil's Elbow Historic District and Piney Bend Cabins were added to the National register of Historic Places (NRHP).  Devil's Elbow, Missouri.

Also, the Piney Beach, the Piney Beach Cabin, Miller's Market/Post Office, McCoy's Store/Hotel, Elbow Inn (the former Munger-Moss Sandwich Shop), site of the Devil's Elbow Cafe, Hiawatha Lodge, Graham's Camp, Devil's Elbow Bridge and Route 66.

In the 1940s, Missouri referred to this area as "one of the Seven Beauty Spots of Missouri."

The Piney Beach Cabins, at 12810 Tank Road, just off Old Route 66 is sometimes listed as being in the towns of Hooker, Devil's Elbow or St. Robert, Missouri.  It has seven Ozark stone cabins and an office and was constructed in 1952.

And Then Came the Floods.  --RoadDog

News From Route 66, April 2017: Lincoln Mystery Solved

These articles are taken from the Route 66 News site, a clearing house of all things Route 66 news.  It has many more news accounts.  I just take the ones I am most interested in to write about here.  Check the site out.

APRIL 28--  Front Street bridge in Galena, Kansas will be closed until July for repairs.  It is better known to Route 66ers as the Galena Viaduct.  The bridge was in serious need of repairs.

APRIL 29--  The Mosaic Church will now operate the South Pasadena Rialto Theatre.  It is always good to find a new use for a neat old building.  Much better than tearing it down.

APRIL 30--  The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois, plays a role in solving an Abraham Lincoln mystery.  It reopened this weekend.  Lincoln was rumored to have practiced law at the Lincoln Christian Church in the late 1850s after the courthouse burned down and the church was used.


Friday, June 9, 2017

A High School Joyride in 1917?

From the May 10, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Paul Greeley and Kirk McAllister of Waterman, borrowed a fellow student's Ford after school Wednesday afternoon and took Irene Gilchrist and Elizabeth Heey for a little spin.

"SAs they were going downhill near the Frost farm south of town, part of the steering apparatus gave way and the car went into a ditch and turned turtle."

There was no mention of injuries and I doubt in 1917 that they had seatbelts.  Were they boy and girl friends?  Did the student who owned the car know they were "borrowing"it?  Were they driving fast and dangerously as teenagers often do?  Were they joyriding?

I doubt that many high school students were driving cars to school back then (not like today).  So what gives with the student having a car at school?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know.  --RoadDog

Thursday, June 8, 2017

N.C. January 2017-- Part 9: Andy and Arrival at Topsail Beach

JANUARY 13, 2017, Friday

I picked up my nephew Andy at Raleigh-Durham Airport (he had flown in from Nashville to help clear out Mom's condo at Topsail Beach, N.C., the purpose of my trip).  We did some catching up the rest of the way as we rarely get to see each other.

  Well, we talked when he wasn't on his "Idge Phone."  He is of that generation, you know.

No problems driving through Raleigh as I had anticipated.  Raleigh is notorious for traffic.  Took I-40 to US-17 near Wilmington, N.C., and then north.  I couldn't believe how much traffic there was during rush hour in little Hamstead.  We had a long wait just to turn across the southbound lanes to get gas.

We met my brother Bob at Mom's condo and began moving items from the main and upper levels to the lower level.

Sure was hoping we wouldn't get any heavy rain in the next few days because of the possibility of getting several inches of water in the lower level.  Flooding is something you don't want to happen while collecting stuff to take to the consignment shop in Holly Ridge in the lower level.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

19 Bucket List Regional Fast Food Chains-- Part 2: Skyline Chili

Golden Crust--  New York City

Sheetz--  Pennsylvania**

Skyline Chili--  Ohio**  Love my Cincy Chili!!!

Runza--  Midwest

Pal's Sudden Service--  Virginia

Danny & Clyde's--  Louisiana

Harold's Chicken Shack--  Upper Midwest, Great lakes

Winstead's--  Missouri

Xi'an Famous Foods--  New York City

Burgerville--  Pacific Northwest

What!!  NO IN-N-OUT BURGER????  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

19 Bucket List Regional Fast Food Chains to Try Before You Die-- Part 1: Culver's

From the April 12, 2016, "First We Feast."

**. Places I've eaten.

Waffle House--  South **

Whataburger--  Texas  **

Bojangles--  Mid-Atlantic  **

Friendly's--  Northeast

Biscuitville--  N.C. and Virginia**

Taco Time--  Pacific Northwest

Culver's--  Midwest**  Of course, these are all over the place now.

The Habit--  California

Iceberg Drive Inn--  West

First We Feast.--  RoadDog

Monday, June 5, 2017

100 Years of Bankhead Highway History Last Year

From the April 6, 2016, Weatherford (Texas) Democrat "Celebrating 100 years of highway history."

A vintage car convoy will leave April 23 and drive the Bankhead Highway.  The cars are 1920s-1960s American vehicles.  Drivers will dress in appropriate period clothing.

The Bankhead Highway Centennial Celebration is organized by the North Texas Chapter of Antique American Independent Automobile Association.

Aledo will be the first stop, then Weatherford, Milsap and Mineral Wells.

The Bankhead Highway came into being in 1916 as part of the Federal Highway Aid and Highway Act.  U.S. Senator John Hollis Bankhead, of Birmingham, Alabama, was "instrumental" in introducing and passing legislation for it.

It was the first highway to connect the District of Columbia and San Diego, the southern version of the Lincoln Highway.

'Soon it was a very heavily traveled road.  At one point, it is estimated that one-third of the nation's traffic traveled on it.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Taking a Ride on the Lincoln Highway Today

In a short time, Liz and I will be heading out to our second favorite old road, the Lincoln Highway and driving a stretch of it.

Thinking of having lunch in Franklin Grove and visiting the National Headquarters of the Lincoln Highway.  It's been a while since we've been there.


Illinois' Rt. 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival-- Part 9: Bob's Bus Home


Also parked behind the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac is Bob Waldmire's converted bus home.  This we had never seen while Bob was alive, but is where he held "court" in his final weeks.  The museum now has it.

It is every bit as crammed with stuff as was his minibus.  We walked through it and talked with Cathy Stevanovich, the president of the Illinois Route 66 Association who was manning it.  She said the association is working hard on find an inside place to keep the bus as the Illinois weather is posing a problem.

They thought they had a place in Pontiac, but it fell through.

Everything inside the bus is just sitting out the way Bob left it.  Sadly, Cathy said that items have disappeared as people go through it.


Illinois' Rt. 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival-- Part 8: Best Route 66 Mural

We went outside to the back of the museum to view what probably is the very best mural of Route 66 on the back of the building and it is sure a big one.  It is prominently featured in the State of Illinois' tourism 30-second commercials when it has the red '67 Firebird convertible driving at fast speed past it.

However, since the mural is in a small parking lot it is not likely that the great old car (I had a '67 blue Firebird convertible) was going real fast when it passed it.

Sure wish that '67 was still there.

We found out later at Bull's Place that a friend of the manager owns that car.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: Why Carlinville, Illinois, Has So many sears Homes

APRIL 28--The sears homes in Carlinville are in an area known as the Sears Addition in Carlinville.  Elgin, Illinois, has the most sears homes with more than 210.  However, Carlinville has the highest concentration of contiguous Sears homes with more than 150 in a 12-block neighborhood.

Sears homes were offered by the Sears-Roebuck stores.  You could order it and the home would be delivered to your local train station and you'd move the kit to your home site and build it.

My brother lives in a Sears home in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

In 1917, the Standard Oil Company needed coal as a part of the process for converting crude oil into gasoline.  The company bought land which included the Carlinville Mine.  To attract miners, they purchased more than 192 kit homes from sears and had them built in Carlinville, Wood River and Schiper.  One hundred and fifty-six went to Carlinville by train.

These kit homes cost as little as $1,100 and contained as many as 12,000 pieces and a 75 page instruction booklet.  Standard Oil stopped ordering the kits in 1940.

Of the Sears homes, 152 of the original 156 in the Standard Addition still stand.  Three burned down and one was moved.

Always Interested in Sears Homes.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

News From Along Route 66, April 2017: A Route 66 Wedding and the Mill

APRIL 24--  There was a wedding of two really big names in the Route 66 family at the Arcadia Route 66 Neon Fest at Jim Ross' house near Arcadia.  Jim Ross married Shellee Graham and Michael Wallis officiated.

Both Jim Ross and Shelle Graham are authors.  Jim wrote the "Oklahoma Route 66" guidebook and Shellee is famous for her photographs and book on the Coral Court Motel in St. Louis.

APRIL 27--  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and state Representative Tim Butler were to attend The Mill's grand opening in Lincoln, Illinois.  It is good to have a governor and state folks interested in Route 66.  We are looking forward to stopping at the Mill later this summer.

Wedding Bells Did Ring.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day 2017: Remembering Our Troops

From the May 29, 2017, Chicago Tribune political cartoon by Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News.

A picture of a cemetery with a mass of gravestones.  All have U.S. flags and each one has a different name on it:

Irish American
English American
Mexican American
German American
African American
Scottish American
Native American
Italian American
Iraqi American
French American
Chinese American
Puerto Rican American
Cuban American
Greek American
Japan American

And, so forth.

Pretty-well sums it up, even if I could do without the country classification and just say "American."

We're All Americans.

Monday, May 29, 2017

On This Memorial Day 2017: Just Got Back From the Indy 500

I just got back a couple hours ago from Indianapolis, Indiana, where they held one of the biggest salutes in the country in honor of our veterans.  And, that would be the Indy 500.

A large part of the opening ceremonies are devoted to our military.  And, then, there is always the flyover by military planes.

This year, it was a B-52 bomber.  That thing is massive.

Thank You  U.S. service Men and Women, Past and Present.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

80 To 57 To 90/94 To 55? Chicago Roads or Weather?

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

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

80 to 57 to 90/94 to 55.  All interstates.

Yep, our temps are sure jumping around.

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Memories of the Riviera.  --RoadDog

Monday, May 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Road By Any Other Name.  --RoadDog

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

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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