Monday, September 25, 2017

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


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

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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

421in' It.  --RoadDog

News Along 66, August 2017: Grants and Spindles


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

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

Own a Piece of the 66.  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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


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

1917, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

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


Near Bad Accident With Train in 1917


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

1917, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

And, those trains fly through DeKalb still.

Real Close Call.  --RoadDog

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


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

Own a piece of the Route!!

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

One of my favorite Route 66 bridges.

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

Own It, Work It.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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


JANUARY 17, 2017, TUESDAY

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

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

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

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

The Road to Paradise.  --RoadDog

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


JANUARY 17, TUESDAY

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

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

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

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

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

It most closely resembles a sand dune now.

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


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

--RoadDog

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: Neon Signs in Tulsa


AUGUST 12--

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

The biggest problem is the expense.

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


AUGUST 13--

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

AUGUST 15--

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

--RaodDog

Monday, September 18, 2017

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


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

1967, 50 Years Ago.

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

What, Potholes Even Back Then?  --RoadDog

Regional Pizza in the United States


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

Chicago style

Detroit style

New York Style

St. Louis Style

Bar pizza

California style

Grandma pizza--  Long Island

Greek--  northeast

New Haven--  Connecticut

Sicilian--  NE, metro Detroit, Portland, Oregon

Tomato Pies--  New England and Philadelphia

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

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

--RoadDog

Friday, September 15, 2017

Still Talking About Pizza: Quad City-Style Pizza


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

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, September 14, 2017

While On the Subject of Pizza: Shakey's Pizza


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

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

Well, back to Wikipedia for some more research.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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

AUGUST 24, THURSDAY

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

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

Happy Joe's  from Wikipedia.

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

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

And, We'll be Back.  --RoadDog


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

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

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

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


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

A very moving ceremony.

Something never to Forget.


Monday, September 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, September 9, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Jukin' Oldies and 1969 on the Radio

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

I'm listening to it right now.

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

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

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

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

All Times Central.  --RoadDog

Friday, September 8, 2017

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

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

Plus, all that seafood and other history.

Like I said, wow, Fort Fisher.

Love That Place  --RoadDog


Thursday, September 7, 2017

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

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Cheap Date.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wishing for a Speedy Recovery to Our Friend Lulu

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

She has had surgery and is in the hospital.

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

Get Well, Lulu.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

--RoadDog

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thanks A Lot Mediacom

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

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

RoadDog

Monday, September 4, 2017

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

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

JANUARY 17, TUESDAY

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

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

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

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

That Fort Hooked Me.  --RoadFisher




The Problem With Trains in 1917: An Acid Car Steaming

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

1917, 100 years Ago.

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

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

Could Have been a Major Problem.  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

--RoadDog

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

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

1942, 75 Years Ago.

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

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

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

--RoadDog

Emperor Franz Joseph in DeKalb, Illinois

Well, statue of the emperor actually.

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

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

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

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

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

--RoadDog

Friday, September 1, 2017

Running Stop Signs in DeKalb, Illinois, in 1942

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

1942, 75 Years Ago.

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

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

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

Idiots Even Back Then.  --RoadDog