Saturday, December 8, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: About That Illinois Northern Border

From Wikipedia.

During the discussion to admit Illinois as a state, the northern border was moved twice.  The original provisions of the Northwest Ordinance said the border would be straight across from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.  This would have left Illinois with no shoreline on Lake Michigan.

However, Indiana had successfully been granted a ten-mile  northern extension of its boundary to provide it with usable lakefront.  The original bill for statehood, submitted to Congress on January 23, 1818, had a northern border at the same latitude as Indiana's, ten miles north of the southernmost extremity of Lake Michigan.

But Illinois Territory delegate, Nathaniel Pope, wanted more.  He lobbied to have it moved even further north.  When the final bill passed Congress, the northern Illinois border was 51 miles north of the Indiana northern border.  This added 8,500 square miles to Illinois, including the lead mining region by Galena.

More importantly, it added nearly 50 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  Pope envisioned a canal that would connect the Great Lakes to the Mississippi.

And, of course, there was that future city called Chicago.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Bell Rings for Pearl Harbor Survivor Survivor Lt. Jim Downing

From October 13, 2018, KOAA News 5 NBC.

Lt. Jim Downing was honored at the annual USS West Virginia reunion at Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday.

They honored those who died December 7, 1941, and everyone who has died since then.  This year, sadly, it also rang for Jim Downing.  He died unexpectedly this past year.

The reunion was attended by 8 sailors from the ship as well as 50 others.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

George H.W. Bush in World War II: "Skin"

From Wikipedia.

As we continue to lose so many World War II veterans to age.

As one of the youngest naval aviators, George Bush was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 51 (VT-51) as the photographic officer.  The following year, his squadron was based on the light aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51.

While aboard, he received the nickname "Skin" because of his lanky physique.  During this time, his air group took part in one of the largest air battles of WW II in the Pacific, the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

After his promotion to lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, 1944, the USS San Jacinto began operations against the Japanese-held Bonin Islands.


Chicago, Wisconsin?-- Part 2: It Was a Slave-Free Thing

That was the way the Illinois Territory was regarded when it was to become a state.

But, then national politics got involved.

Keeping the balance between slave and free states became paramount to both the North and South sections.  Mississippi entered the Union as a slave state in 1817.  The North needed another free state and Illinois seemed to be the likely candidate.

At the time, many of the settlers in the southern part of the state were from Kentucky and Tennessee, slave states..  They tended to support Illinois being a slave state.  But, if Illinois had a port on Lake Michigan, it would develop ties with the north.  Northerners would begin moving to the northern part of Illinois.

So, when Congress voted for statehood for Illinois in 1818, a resolution was attached to move the boundary fifty miles northward.  Wisconsin, of course, was not a state at the time, nor would it have enough residents to become a state until 1848, when it joined the Union.  People there weren't happy, but couldn't do anything about it.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Chicago Was Almost In Wisconsin-- Part 1: Northwest Ordinance

From November 30, 2015, Wisconsin Public Radio  "Chicago, Wisconsin? How the Windy City Almost Ended Up In the Badger State" by Erika Janik.

Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818,  But, while doing so, some 8,500 square miles of territory that had been allotted to Wisconsin did not become a part of Wisconsin.  This covered the whole northern part of what is today Illinois.

In the late 1700s American statesmen drew up plans of how new states would join the Union and a map was made.  This was called the Northwest Ordinance.  One of the men who drew it up was Nathan Dane, a Massachusetts attorney, for whom Wisconsin's Dane County, envisioned a straight line from the southern tip of Lake Michigan straight out to the Mississippi River.

North of it would be Wisconsin.  South of it would be Illinois.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: Did You Know, It Was Almost Chicago, Wisconsin?

Chicago very nearly wasn't in Illinois.  It was originally supposed to be in Wisconsin.  But things happened back 200 years ago as Illinois was about to become a state and the area from the southern tip of Lake Michigan to the present Wisconsin-Illinois border came to be in Illinois.

It would be weird typing this from Spring Grove, Wisconsin.

Well, we might have to do this anyway as it appears to be the only was to get rid of Madigan.  Let him be Wisconsin's problem.

More On This Later.  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Today Marks the 60th Anniversary of the Our Lady of the Angels Fire in Chicago

A very sad day in Chicago and the whole country.

A fire at this Catholic school resulted in the deaths of 95 people, 92 of them children and 3 were nuns.  The school was kindergarten through 8th grade.

If you ever had a fire drill while you were in school, that was a result of this fire.

The ruins of the school were torn down in 1959 and a new Our Lady of Angels School opened by the old one in 1960.  But decline in enrollment caused it to close after the class of 1999 graduated.

A Sad Day.

Along 66, Oct. 2018: Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission

OCTOBER 24--  Nominees sought for Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.

This summer, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission bill into law.

A panel is now looking for 3 people to fill available sears on the commission and one to lead it.  People can nominate themselves.

State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) introduced the bill and shepherded it through the General Assembly.

Eight members of the commission will be selected by the Senate and House majority and minority leaders.

The Route 66 Centennial will be celebrated in 2026 as the road came into being, as well as the new numbered highway system in the United States, in November 11, 1926.

Sadly, Route 66 lost one of its biggest fans when Governor Rauner was not reelected in November.

Hey, I'd like to be on the commission, but John Weiss definitely should be.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: Motels, Museums and Shields

OCTOBER 5--   DeAnza Motor Lodge scheduled to reopen in April.  In Albuquerque, New Mexico.

So far, it has been a $9 million project to renovate.

Built in 1939.  At  4301 Central NE.  Albuquerque will be glad it was saved.

OCTOBER 16--  Decades of Wheels opens in Baxter Springs, Kansas.  They had some pretty good bands opening for them:  Grand Funk Railroad and John Kay (of Steppenwolf).  Always good to have another museum on Route 66.

OCTOBER 19--  A huge Route 66 shield has been painted on the road (you know which one) in front of Gay Parita in Paris Springs, Missouri.

Hey, bigger is better.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

IHSA 2018 State Champions Classes 5A to 8A


Joliet Catholic   9-4   They started the playoffs at 5-4.  Very few teams win it starting with that record.


Cary-Grove   (Cary)  14-0


Nazareth  Academy (LaGrange Park)   12-1


Loyola Academy  (Wilmette)   10-3

Congratulations Teams.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

IHSA 2018 State Champions: Classes 1A to 4A

It started dive weeks ago with 256 teams in eight classes, 1A to 8A.  With one being the smallest schools and eight the bigger ones.


Forreston  11-2


Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 13-0


Monticelle   13-0


Immacualte Conception  (Elmhurst)  13-0


Monday, November 26, 2018

Lincoln Highway and Route 66 Play To A Tie in IHSA Tournament

Lincoln Highway went into the Championship games with a 2-1 lead, but St. Charles North lost.  Both teams had Joliet Catholic which won the Class 5A Championship.  As such,  the Route 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown is ruled a tie for 2018.

Remember, Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway both go through Joliet.

Of interest, Joliet Catholic was in the playoffs and rounds after that for many years, but the last several years, they have hit upon hard times.  They started the 256 team tournament with a 5-4 season record.  Very few teams have overcome that record to win it all.

And, Joliet Catholic Did Just That.  --RoadDog

Friday, November 23, 2018

IHSA Football Championships, Classes 5A to 8A

These teams play for the Illinois state championship in Saturday:


Montini   (Lombard)  12-1  vs.  Joliet Catholic  9-4


Cary Grove    (Cary)  13-0  Vs.  Crete-Monee   (Crete)  10-3


Nazareth Academy  (LaGrange Park)  12-1  Vs.  St. Charles North   10-3


Brother Rice  (Chicago)  13-0   Vs.  Loyola Academy  (Wilmette)  10-3

Good Luck Teams!!  --RoadDog

IHSA Football Championships Begin Today-- Part 1: Classes 1A to Class 4A

Shortly the eight IHSA Illinois Football championship games begin in Champaign at the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium.

Today Classes 1A through 4A play.  Tomorrow, the larger schools, 5A to 8A  play.


Forreston   11-2 vs. Camp Point  12-1


Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (Gibson City) 13-0  vs. Maroa-Forsyth  (Maroa)  13-0


Byron  13-0 vs Monticello  13-0


Immaculate Conception  (Elmhurst)  13-0  vs.  Bishop McNamara  (Kankakee)  12-1

Good Luck Teams!!

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 5: To the Bookstore For NIU Gear

Si, we're not going to the game, but didn't want to go to downtown DeKalb and start having cocktails this early, so we drove Lucinda Road (which really, really needs to be repaved) west to the Village Commons shopping center.  It opened back when we were students at NIU, 1970.

It had the Village Commons Bookstore when we used to get royally ripped off for textbooks.  Believe me, no one told me (or warned me) about how much those books cost.  It was a HUGE culture shock.  But, it also has all sorts of NIU clothing, so, since we are in  to that sort of thing, it is a good stop.  And, they have a free parking lot.

The other place selling clothing (and those expensive textbooks) by campus is the University Center.  I have to wonder in this age of digital if students still by hard copy books or pay to download (or even better free downloads)?  The big problem with the University Center Bookstore is there is no free parking by it.

Saw some interesting stuff, but nothing that we HAD to Have.  I always stock up on old Northern Star student newspapers at VCB, though.  I find out what is going on on campus.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 4: The Lagoon and the "Mighty Kish"

Ok, so we puppied out of going to the game, but still plenty to do around campus for us alums.

We  drone east on Lincoln Highway to our favorite part of campus, the Lagoon.  This was formed back when DeKalb leaders were trying to get a college in the city in the 1890s.  It is right by the "Mighty Kish," as we call the Kishwaukee River, which is actually more of a stream or creek.

The story has it that DeKalb leaders damned up the Kish and had the dam broken when state people were in town to select a college site so it looked like the Kishwaukee had a strong flow, which it doesn't have during the summer.  (The headwaters of the Kishwaukee River are in Woodstock, Illinois, and we always drive by it on Illinois Highway 47 when we go to DeKalb.)

Well, they did get that college after all that work.

The Lagoon is close to the hill (actually more of a rise) and there is the oldest building on campus, Altgeld Hall.  It is called "The Castle" because that is what it looks like.  Back in the 70s there was talk of tearing of down and I am sure glad they didn't as it is a beautiful building, complete with gargoyles on the top.

But, No Igor.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Lincoln Highway Holds a 2-1 Lead Over Route 66 in 2018 IHSA Showdown

Going into the championship weekend starting this Friday and continuing this Saturday, Lincoln Highway has a 2-1 lead over Route 66.

Last weekend these Lincoln Highway teams lost:  Lincoln Way East, Batavia and Sterling,   This Route 66 team lost:  Carlinville.

Remaining teams:



St. Charles North


Joliet Catholic



Joliet Catholic

Both Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway go through Joliet which is why Joliet Catholic is listed on both roads.

Good Luck Teams.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 19, 2018

US-14 (Northwest Highway) Wins Showdown

This past Saturday, the last remaining US-12 (Rand Road) team in the IHSA football playoffs lost and the last remaining US-14 team, Cary-Grove won.

This gives US-14 (Northwest Highway) the Showdown Championship.  Back 5 weeks ago US-12 started with five teams in the playoffs.  US-14 had nine teams.

Since the first US-14-US-12 Showdown in 2013, US-14 leads 4-1-1.

The next game will be Saturday in Champaign, Illinois, at the University of Illinois.

Go Cary-Grove!!  --RoadDog

Good Thing It Was a Flivver

From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"A tourist, while driving across the railroad tracks at Fourth Street this noon. lost a wheel, and was held up for some time.

"A gang of strong fellows standing nearby picked up the flivver so that the wheel could be  placed again and then pushed the car clear of the tracks. There is one advantage of a flivver, it can be handles easily by a couple strong men in an accident like that."


Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Problem With Fire Plugs in 1918

From the October 17, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"It is noticed of late that local automobile owners are forgetting the appeal of the  fire marshal here some time ago, as well as the city ordnance relative to the parking of cars near fire hydrants.

"Day after day, local people, who know better, are seen parking cars directly in front of a fire plug on Lincoln Highway and should the department have occasion to connect onto the plug the car would have to be removed several feet."


Thursday, November 15, 2018

IHSA US-12 vs US-14 Playoff: It's a Tie Going Into the 4th Round

US-14 team that lost last weekend:  Maine South.

US-14 (Northwest Highway) remaining team:


Cary Grove

US-12 (Rand Road) remaining team:



Like I Said, It's a Tie.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Rt. 66 Showdown 2018: Route 66

There are now still 32 teams remaining in the eight classes in the Illinois High School Playoffs.

These Route 66 teams lost last weekend:  Edwardsville, East St. Louis, Normal West and Williamsville.

Remaining teams:


Joliet Catholic



So, Lincoln Highway leads 5-2.

Both roads share Joliet Catholic since both roads go through Joliet.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown 2018: Lincoln Highway

There are now just 32 teams remaining from the 256  who started.

Lincoln Highway teams losing in the last round:  Sterling Newman and Aurora Christian.

Teams remaining:


Lincoln Way East


St. Charles North


Joliet Catholic

Lincoln Highway has 5 teams remaining.  Tomorrow we will see how many Route 66 teams are still in the Showdown.


Monday, November 12, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 3: The Problem With Night Football

October 13,  Saturday.

Well, at least it was football during the day.  To me, that is when football should be played, even if we puppy out at cold days.  (Nor do I like to see games in the rain.)  I don't like the fact that all high school games being played on Friday nights.  When we went to Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois, all our games were on Saturdays and I sure would like to see high school games returning to then.

Plus, even worse, all of NIU's games in November are at night.  Let's see, night football in DeKalb, Illinois?  Might there be a chance that it will be c-o-l-d!!!  You betcha.  No way I am going to sit out in the cold like that, plus, the games are generally shown on TV.  I'll sit home and watch it.

The Mid-American Conference, which Northern is in, has a contract with ESPN for these games which is the only way we can get on national TV.  It's good to be on national TV, but it hurts the football experience because of the severe cold temps here in the upper Midwest where all of the teams are located.

The TV crews are always sure to keep the shots tight so you don't see how few people are in the stands.

Of they want the MAC on TV and it has to be at night during the week, then put us on in September.  Let the Sun Belt have the November night games.  It is warmer in the South, after all.

Shivering All the Way.  --RoadBurr

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 2: Motels and A No Go

Continued from October 23, 2018.  Click on the NIU Homecoming label below to see the first entry.


We checked into the Red Roof Inn on Lincoln Highway.  We had our wedding rehearsal dinner at this place back on August 25, 1973 after being married at the Newman Center at NIU.  At that time it was a Holiday Inn and later a Best Western.

Back in the earlier days when we came to DeKalb for NIU Homecomings we stayed at the Motel 6, jut to the east of the Red Roof Inn.  Unfortunately, it was allowed to run down and closed while it was a Travel Inn several years back and it is still vacant.

We were thinking of going to the football game as we had arrived in time, but too late to do any of the pre-Homecoming partying.  Plus, it was quite cold with a stiff wind blowing.  Neither Liz or myself is too keen on sitting outside in cold, windy weather.

So, we decided not to go to the game.  We figured we could watch it in one of the college bars like Lord Stanley's.

A Bunch of Puppies.  --RoadPup

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day Ceremony At Fox Lake Train Station

In just a little while I'll be going over to the Fox Lake train station where the American Legion and VFW are having a commemoration of the end of World War I, Armistice Day, which took place 100 years ago today.  My two grandfathers were in the war, one in the Army and the other in the Merchant Marine.

Also, today is Veterans Day.

The Armistice was only temporary and peace did not completely come until the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.

November 11 is a national holiday in France as well as other Allied countries.  In some countries, Armistice Day coincides with Remembrance Day or Veterans Day.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

"You Cannot Exaggerate About the Marines"

Today being the 243rd birthday of the USMC, a few words to sum them up are in order.

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines.  They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth -- and the amusing thing is that they are."

Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

Friday, November 9, 2018

2018 IHSA Rand Road Vs. Northwest Highway Showdown

The following US-12 (Rand Road) teams lost last Saturday:  Hersey and Lake Zurich.

That leaves just Richmond-Burton in Class 4A.

The following US-14 (Northwest Highway) teams lost last Saturday:  Barrington, Hersey, Maine West, Ptairie Ridge and Crystal lake South.

This leaves just Maine South in Class 8A and Cary Grove in Class 6A.

US-14 has a 2-1 lead.


From 256 to 128 to 64

It kind of sounds like a Chicago song, but these are teams who started in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) football playoffs two weeks ago and remain today.

Just 64 remain and after tomorrow, that number will be whittled down to 32.

Good luck to all the remaining teams.

And, in the Lincoln Highway versus Route 66 Showdown, Lincoln Highway keeps a slim 7-6 lead over Route 66.

In the US-14 (Northwest Highway) versus US-12 (Rand Road), two roads that go through our area, US-14 has a 2-1 lead.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

2018 IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown: Round 3

These Route 66 high schools lost last weekend:

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Chatham-Glenwood, Pontiac.

These Route 66 high schools are still in the hunt.




East St. Louis


Normal West


Joliet Catholic



There are six Route 66 teams remaining.

Route 66 is losing to Lincoln Highway 7-6  going into the third round this weekend.

Mighty Close.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

2018 IHSA Lincoln Highway-Rt 66 Showdown-- Round 3

Round 2 concluded last weekend.

These Lincoln Highway teams lost:  West Aurora, Lincoln Way West, Kaneland,

These teams remain:


Lincoln Way East


St. Charles North


Joliet Catholic




Aurora Christian

Lincoln Highway has 7 teams remaining and leads Route 66 by 7-6.

Tomorrow, the Remaining Route 66 Teams.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 5, 2018

Along 66, Sept. 2018: Who's That Guy Standing On the Corner?

SEPTEMBER 28--  The Standin' On the Corner statue in Winslow, Arizona, is marking its 20th anniversary.  To put it mildly, it is an oft-photographed piece of work.  Who knows how many selfies have been taken there.  Money well spent for the town

Of course, the "Standin' On the Corner" was taken from the Eagles' song "Take It Easy."

The statue was sculpted by Ronald Adamson of Libby, Montana and it is not of one of the song's co-writers and singer of the song, Glenn Frey, as most think.  (Nor is it of the other writer, Jackson Browne.)

Well, you know the words, but I'll write them down anyway:  "Well, I'm standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, (Add 'Right on Route 66' here) such a fine sight to see, it's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me."

Words Ingrained In My Head.  --RoadCorner

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: New Oklahoma 66 Guide and the Black Experience

SEPTEMBER 21--  There is a new Oklahoma Route 66 Guide available.  It is put out by the Oklahoma Tourism Bureau.  More than 120 Route 66 attractions are highlighted.

And, i thought they already had a very good 66 guide.  Every state should have a guide and lots of signage for Route 66.

SEPTEMBER 22--  A new marker in Bloomington, Illinois, tells of Miller Park's role in the era of segregation.  The Blacks-Only beaches here were in very bad shape.

Again, the Black Route 66 Experience is an underwritten segment of our road;s history and I am so glad that more is being written about it.

So You Thought Segregation Was Only a Southern Thing.  --RoadDog

IHSA US-14 vs. US-12 Showdown 2018

U.S. 12 (Rand Road) teams that lost in the first round:  Fremd (Palatine), Wauconda.

Teams remaining:


Hersey (Arlington Heights)
Lake Zurich



U.S. 14 (Northwest Highway) teams that lost on the first round:    Fremd (Palatine),  Woodstock North

Teams remaining:


Maine South


Hersey (Arlington Heights)
Maine West  (Des Plaines)


Prairie Ridge  (Crystal Lake)
Crystal Lake South

U.S. 14 (Northwest Highway) leads U.S. 12 (Rand Road)  7 to 3.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

2018 IHSA Route 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown: Round 2

These Route 66 teams lost in the first round:  Plainfied South, Bolingbrook, Normal Community, Springfield, Bloomington, Dwight, Wilmington, Staunton.

These Route 66 teams won:




East St. Louis


Normal West
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin


Joliet Catholic






2018 IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown-- Round 2

These Lincoln Highway schools lost in the first round:  Plainfield South, St, Charles East, Lincoln Way Central, DeKalb, Rochelle, Dixon, Providence Catholic, Frankfort.

Lincoln Highway Winners in the first round:


Lincoln Way West
St. Charles North




Joliet Catholic


Sterling Newman


Aurora Christian

Lincoln Highway  has 11 teams remaining.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Like Boo, Five More Places to Scare You Around Chicagoland-- Part 2: Realm of Terror



Also get Massacre and Freak Show 3D.  Another 10,000 square feet to scare you.


Round Lake Beach

A very dedicated "Scare Staff."



Come for the scares, stay for the rides.  One or the other likely to scare you.



Located in the home of the former Elgin Casket Company.  Really.



A Two-Fer with Basement of the Dead and Shattered Haunted House.

Mighty Scared.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 29, 2018

Like Boo Time Around Chicagoland-- Part 1: House of Torment

From the October 12, 2018, Chicago Tribune  "Haunted Houses."

Being a listing of Top Haunted Houses Around Town.


Zion   You can even get buried alive.


Melrose Park  In a warehouse with two parts to fright.


Crest Hill  Long-time haunted house  Red and white checkered clown room.


Morton Grove   Slenderman, Dead By Dawn


Lockport   Take a shuttle ride to it.  For an extra $99 you can have someone be a personal target for whole tour.

Prices for these:  $20 to $50.

Not Cheap Getting Scared These Days.  --RoadBoo

Friday, October 26, 2018

2018 IHSA Football Playoffs-- Part 1: US-12 (Rand Road) vs. US-14 (Northwest Highway)

Along with the Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Matchup, I also do another one between two important roads on Chicago's northwest area.



Fremd (Palatine)  (5-4)


Hersey  (Arlington Heights)  (8-1)
Lake Zurich   (6-3)


Wauconda  5-4


Richmond-Burton  (Richmond and Spring Grove)  8-1



Barrington  (6-3)
Maine South  (Des Plaines)


Hersey  (Arlington Hts)  (8-1)
Maine West  (Des Plaines)  8-1)


Cary-Grove  (Cary)  6-3
Prairie Ridge  (Crystal Lake)  7-2
Crystal Lake South  (5-4)


Woodstock North   (5-4)

So, US-14 leads 9-5 at this point.

This showdown started in 2013.    The record stands as US-14 (Northwest Highway) 3  US-12  (Rand Road) 1 and one tie.

Good Luck to Both Roads. --RoadDog

Thursday, October 25, 2018

2018 IHSA Football Playoffs: The Lincoln Highway

These are the teams from high schools in the playoffs located along the Lincoln Highway in Illinois.


Plainfield South (7-2)
St. Charles East  (5-4)
Lincoln Way East  (9-0)
West Aurora  (8-1)


Lincoln Way West  (7-2)
Lincoln Way Central  (8-3)
Batavia  (9-0)
DeKalb  (8-1)
St. Charles North  (6-3)


Rochelle  (5-4)
Sterling  (8-1)
Joliet Catholic  (5-4)


Dixon  (6-3)


Sterling-Newman  (8-1)


Aurora Christian  (6-3)

Lincoln Highway has 19 teams in the playoffs.

Good Luck Lincoln Highway.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

256 Teams, 8 Champions, 8 Champions, 5 Weeks: IHSA Playoffs Begin: Route 66

A fun time of the year begins this Friday, the Illinois High School Association begins its five week countdown to a grand champion in 8 classes.

Every year, I have my own playoffs between Lincoln Highway and Route 66.  I have been doing it since 2012 when Lincoln Highway won.  Overall since then Lincoln Highway leads 4-2.  Final winner is last team standing.

These are the Route 66 teams:


Plainfield South (7-2)
Edwardsville   (^-3)
Bolingbrook  (7-2)


East St. Louis  (7-2)
Normal Community  (8-1)


Normal West  (8-1)
Springfield  (6-3)
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin  (7-2)
Chatham-Glenwood  (8-2)
Bloomington  (7-2)


Joliet Catholic  (5-4)


Pontiac  (8-1)


Dwight (6-3)
Wilmington  (6-3)
Carlinville  (9-0)
Williamsville  (8-1)


Staunton  (5-4)

Route 66 has 17 teams in the playoffs.

Good Luck Route 66   --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 1: Plank Road and Ill. Highway 23


We have been to most homecomings for Northern Illinois since graduating.  Occasionally, however, not for the game and due to a late start from home, we did not see the game.

Woke up late to the first frost f the season.

When we finally got underway, we drove the old way to DeKalb, Il-47 through Huntley to Plank Road to Il. 23.  We used to go through Sycamore on 23, but now use the new Peace Road as a Sycamore bypass to 23 south of Sycamore.  (We drove the old way because right now there is all the road construction on Il-176 to Marengo and on Il-23 south of there.  We started taking this to avoid the horrendous traffic mess that is Huntley, Illinois.)

Plank Road was built in 1850, and, as the name implied was made of wooden planks to make travel easier.  This was a long plank road.  There were toll booths along it.  Now, of course, it is paved.

Illinois Highway 23 between Sycamore and DeKalb was one of the first paved roads in Illinois and was finished as a two lane in 1917.  It became a four-lane super highway in 1941, just as World War II was about to begin.  Today it is an extremely congested, stoplighted highway.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: Black Experience on 66 and a New Oklahoma Travel Guide

SEPTEMBER 21--  There is a new Oklahoma Route 66 guide put out by the state tourism department.  It highlights more than 120 state attractions along the road.

I thought the old one was very good myself, but look forward to seeing a new one.

SEPTEMBER 22--  A new marker in Bloomington, Illinois, tells of the city's parks being segregated.against Blacks during the Jim Crow era.  This took place at Miller Park.  Negroes had very bad conditions where they were able to go.

A part of Route 66's history that needs to be told.  It was a great road for Whites, but not so great for Blacks.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: Cucamonga and Parkview

SEPTEMBER 8--   Cucamonga Service Station gets government award for preservation.  In Rancho Cucamonga, California.  One of the prettiest of the old gas stations.

SEPTEMBER 17--  The rebuilt Parkview Inn in Bloomington, Illinois, may reopen in November.

It was destroyed by fire two years ago.  It opened in 1928 and was on the 1930-1940 Route 66 alignment on Morris Avenue.

Never eaten there but will look for it the next time through.  Since the Bloomington-Normal area has finally accepted its Route 66 heritage, we will now drive through it instead of taking I-55 around it.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Cruisin' Tunes, 1973-- Part 3: "Sail On Sailor"

I AM THE SLIME--  Frank Zappa
SAIL ON SAILOR--  Beach Boys

DO THE STRAND--  Roxy Music
IF YOU WANT TO GET TO HEAVEN--  Ozark Mountain Daredevils

DANCING DAYS--  Led Zeppelin
DRIFT AWAY--  Dobie Gray
JUST ONE VICTORY--  Todd Rundgren


Name That Tune (from the above songs):  :"I Never Read It In A Book, I Never Saw It In A Show."    Answer below.  --RoadDog

"If You Want To Get To Heaven"

Cruisin' Tunes 1973-- Part 2: "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo"

Music to pop that old cassette into the car player and cruise down the road.  Wait, my car doesn't have a cassette player.  NO FAIR!!!

LOST WAGES--  Steely Dan
MY LOVE--  Paul McCartney & Wings

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT--  Bruce Springsteen
READY OR NOT--  Jackson Browne

GIVE ME THREE STEPS--  Lynyrd Skynyrd
LET'S GET IT ON--  Marvin Gaye

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "I Was Cutting the Rug Down At A Place Called The Jug."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Give Me Three Steps"

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cruisin' 1973 Tunes-- Part 1: "LaGrange"

WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback  September 22, 2018.

From 9 to noon at 93.1 FM.

MIND GAMES--  John Lennon
MONEY--  Pink Floyd
SHA BA DA DU MA--  Steve Miller Band

STIR IT UP--  Bob Marley

ANGIE--  Rolling Stones   This one always reminds me of dtiving back and forth between Des Plaines and Round Lake for my first year teaching job.

CHINA GROVE--  Doobie Brothers   This one reminds me of driving out to Galena, Illinois, for out honeymoon.
HIGHER GROUND--  Stevie Wonder

Name That Tine (from the above songs):  "With No Loving In Out Souls, And No Money In Our Coats."  Answer below.  --RoadDog


Trip to "Cheesehead Land"-- Part 5: Wisconsin Politics and Brewer Fever


Enjoyed the breakfast at the Baymont.  Lots of news on the Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.  Seems strange to me that these women would all of a sudden have recollections of way past things like this at this time.  Such a coincidence isn't a coincidence.

And, Wisconsin politics are every bit as low as those in Illinois.  All that mudslinging.

And everyone has Brewer Fever right now with this run at the NL Central pennant.

Our Chevy dealer had told us that the battery  in the '11 Malibu was really low a few months back.  Evidently they were right as the car died and needed a jump.  Thank goodness Glenn was there as he really knows his car stuff.

Jumped the car and left it on the whole trip home.  As usual, we encountered some traffic jams around Milwaukee.

Then Liz drove the Malibu to Ray Chevrolet and I followed in the truck.  We dropped the Malibu off and went over to the Squaw Bar and sure had a great time as the Bears destroyed Tampa Bay.  Both the Cubs and Brewers won so will have a one-game playoff tomorrow to determine the NL Central winner.

Go Cubs.  If Not, I Can Take the True Blue Brew Crew.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Trip to "Cheesehead Land"-- Part 4: The Wedding


We left the Brown Baer Bar and went to the Osthoff for cocktail hour with open bar and lots of hors d'oeuvres passed around when you could flag one of the fast-moving waiters down.

Again, a proud Wisconsin beer in tap, Spotted Cow from New Glarus.  Sat with Kevin and Kelly.who were glad to be nearing the end if the wedding.

Much relief.  Now they can have fun.

As is the new custom, there was no greeting line as we entered the ballroom (something I don't miss)   They do a lot of weddings and events at the Osthoff and their people keep everything moving along expertly (if not expensively).

However, another new custom seems that the newlyweds do not walk around to tables to thank people for coming.  We never had any words with them at all.  I don't much care for this.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Trip to "Cheesehead Land"-- Part 3: A Wedding and the Brown Baer

September 18, 2018, Saturday

Saturday there wasn't much to do until the wedding which took place outside at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake.  I did find out that the area is famous for its Road America Race Course, located between Plymouth and Elkhart Lake.  And, they have Indy Car racing so one of these days I might go there for a race.

Today was quite chilly, but the wedding was held outside anyway by the gazebo.  Beautiful scenery, but still quite cool and uncomfortable.  We had two hours to kill before the reception.

Glen, Barb, Julie, Liz and I went to a local bar/pub called Brown Baer  (Baer is the name of one of the owners) which is eye-catching in the fact that it must have a hundred beer taps outside it.  A real nice bar.  At one time it was a blacksmith shop.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Trip "Cheesehead Land"-- Part 2: Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

September 28, 2018

We stayed at the Baymont Hotel in Plymouth because we were in Wisconsin for the marriage of Tim and Jordan, the son of Kevin and Kelly (Usual Suspects) , good friends of ours,  Unfortunately, the Osthoff Resort on Rlkhart Lake, where the wedding and reception took place is a whole lot more money than we care to pay, so we saved about a third of the price but had to drive eight miles to the Ostoff.

Today, we were at the wedding rehearsal dinner.  With some difficulty, we found the Ostoff (which is in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, even though it is a huge place).  We had a pizza buffet and I must admit this to be some of the best and most unique pizzas I ever had.  Plus, they had Spotted Cow Beer, from New Glarus, Wisconsin, in a keg.

Got together with other friends Barb and Glenn from the Usual Suspects and talked with Kevin and Kelly.

We didn't stay long as I was more than a bit tired from all that traffic driving earlier.


A Trip To "Cheesehead Land"-- Part 1: Traffic, Traffic and More Traffic


We drove to Wisconsin today, taking smaller roads up into Wisconsin to avoid the ridiculous tolls in Illinois, on I-94.  Then it was on that road to Milwaukee.  Most of the time we had road construction as a huge project us underway on this heavily traveled road between Milwaukee and Chicago.  At several points we had huge traffic jams.

We arrived in Milwaukee at 3 and found that its rush hour was well underway and encountered two more major jams.  To say that this was not much of a fun drive would be an understatement.  Then, we took I-43 north and soon encountered another traffic jam.

We were sure glad to get to Wis.-57 which we took to the Baymont Hotel in Plymouth where we stayed he next two nights.

Sure Not Much Of A Fun Drive.  --RoadDog

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Along Lincoln Highway, June 2018: Saving the L.H. Bridge

From the June 18, 2018, Channel 9 KCRG News (Iowa),  "Our Town Tama-Toledo:  Preserving the Lincoln Highway bridge."

A group of devoted people in Tama and Toledo are vowing not to lose it.  Townspeople have collected money and put lettering on the bridge.

Construction on the bridge started in 1915 and it is the only one left in the country with the Lincoln Highway letters on its sides.  It was built by Paul Kingsley from Strawberry Point, Iowa.

Traffic is hurting the old bridge, especially trucks.  The state has suggested tearing it out in favor of a newer bridge.

A park has been created by it and foreign travelers visit it,


Friday, October 12, 2018

Along Lincoln Highway, May 2018: Tama Lincoln Highway Festival

From the May 18, 2018, Tama (Iowa) News-Herald and Toledo Chronicle  "Tama Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival underway today."  John Speer.

It will continue for two days and is the 34th annual festival, featuring a carnival, parade and music.

A bit late for this year's festival, but will happen again next year in May so mark your calendars.  Of course, the centerpiece of this festival is that wonderful bridge.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: Underpass Cafe in Missouri

SEPTEMBER 11--  The restoration of the Underpass Cafe near Phillipsburg, Missouri, is continuing.

The long-closed property has been cleared  It was named after the low-clearance Frisco Railroad bridge over Route 66.

A sign telling its story will be erected as well.

A prefabricated gas station opened on the site in 1941 and a concrete block restaurant was added in 1950.


A Runaway Horse in DeKalb in 1918

From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back"

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"A farmer's horse hitched to a single buggy became frightened at a puffing engine lst night while waiting to get  across Seventh Street in DeKalb and when the gates were raised, the animal started on a gallop and became unmanageable.

"Fortunately, the North Seventh Street  thoroughfare was not a busy one at that time of the accident and the runaway horse had the entire street to himself."

Fun and Games With Horses.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: Illinois Rock and Roll Museum Fundraiser On Oct. 11

I usually run these Along 66 posts a month behind time, but in the case of something happening like this, I put it up earlier.

SEPTEMBER 29--   On October 11, the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum in Joliet will host a fundraiser.  They have a spot for the museum picked out and are currently negotiating with the owners and hope to be open sometime in 2019.

The fundraiser will be at  the Jacob Henry Mansion at 20 S. Eastern Avenue.  Tickets are $50 VIP and $25.  Ronnie Rice (of the New Colony Six) and Skip Griparis (one man show) will perform.

Illinois acts include Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Buddy Guy and Smashing Pumpkins to name a few.

Looking Forward To This New Museum.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 8, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: Rails to Trails Project Involves the Sidewalk Highway

These items are taken from the Route 66 News site.  I only pick the ones that are of most interest to me.  The site has an article everyday, so if you want to know what is going on along the Mother Road, check it out.


Officials in Miami, Oklahoma, will use to Rails to Trails to rehabilitate the 9-foot-wide section of Route 66 between Miami and Afton.

The eight mile stretch will be turned into a walking, biking and hiking trail.

The Sidewalk Highway, Ribbon Road was built in 1922 and made narrow so that it could cover more mileage.

Always love driving this road.


Along 66, August 2018: Lebanon, Missouri's Rt. 66 Signs


Lebanon, Missouri, is set to double its number of Route 66 signage in town.  They plan on adding 24 signs.

In addition, the town will be adding Route 66 banners along the alignments.

You can never have too much Route 66 signage.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: 2018 Cost-Share Grants Announced

AUGUST 30--  The 2018 cost-share grants for Route 66 sites have been announced.  seven grants totaling $87,000 were given.

Since 2001, 146 have been given for a total of $2.17 million.

This year:

**  Painted Desert Trading Post in Holbrook, Az  $20,000
**  Risk reduction study for historic Route 66 bridges.  Univ. of Texas- El Paso$13,181

**  Pemco Gas Station  Tulsa, Ok.  $13,061
**  Threatt Dilling Station in Luther, Ok.  $5,000

**  Route 66 Gasconade Bridge at Hazelgreen, Missouti  $6,000
**  Ariston Cafe neon sign and window accent restoration in Litchfield, Illinois  $10,250

**  Route 66 Green Book sites National Register nominations  $20,000

Great To See This.  --RoadDog

Along 66, August 2018: Illinois Governor Brauner a Big 66 Fan

These stories are taken from the Route 66 News site on the internet.  I only take the stories of most interest to me and there are a lot of others, so if you want to know anything about what is going on along our favorite road, this is your go-to place.

AUGUST 29  Illinois Bruce Rauner led a parade of hundreds of motorcycles to four Route 66 sites to celebrate Illinois' Bicentennial.

**  Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington

**  Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac

**  Kelly's On 66 Restaurant in Lexington

**  The Mill in Lincoln

They started in Shorewood (near Joliet) and ended at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield where they had a barbecue.

It benefited the Chicago Honor Flight Association.

I do not always agree with the governor (but sure back him in the Madigan Wars), but it is hard to not like a governor who loves his motorcycle and Route 66.

Go Gov.!  --RoadGuv

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: Blue Swallow Motel For Sale

AUGUST 28    The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, is up for sale.  Kevin and Nancy Mueller have had it fir eight years and are of the opinion it is now time to pass the torch.  They said they will continue operations as usual until it is sold.

They listed it at $1.2 million.  If I recall, when they bought it the price was around $150,000.

The motel was built in 1939 by W.A. Huggins.  It is one of the best-preserved motor courts in Route 66 with original attached garages, stucco walls and that 1950s eye-catcher of a neon sign.  It was put on the NRHP in 1993.

Lillian Redman owned it for more than forty years and her kindness to travelers was legendary.  Dale and Hilda Bakke bought it in the late 1990s.

We were fortunate enough to stay there one night; a real experience.  When it was last for sale I even thought about buying it but then decided it would be too much work.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Question of Chilli or Chili?

In case you were wondering about the spelling of chilli in the last post, this spelling is native to Springfield and credited to the Joe Bockelman who started the Dew Chilli Parlors.

Like Cincinnati, , Springfield has a long-time reputation for its chili and calls itself the "Chilli Capital of the World."

I have had Springfield's chilli before and its ok, but nowhere as good as the Cincy Chili.


Along 66, August 2018: Dew Chilli in Springfield, Ill. Closes

AUGUST 25--  Dew Chilli Parlor in Springfield, Illinois, located a short distance off Route 66 is closing because of traffic and parking issues, but don't worry, they have two other locations in the city that remain open.

The one that is closing is at 1216 S. Fifth Street and has been there since 1954.  the other two locations are at 2312 Wabash Avenue (the 1926-1930 Route 66 alignment) and 301 N. Grand Ave. West.  A third Dew Chilli will be opening at 2690 S. Dirksen Parkway in October --  another Route 66 alignment.

Joe Bockelmann served his first bowl of chilli in 1909 while operating out of his house on Sixth Street (Rt 66) He was evicted from it and relocated to the South Fifth Street location that is closing in 1954 and ran it until his death in 1975.

We'll have to check one of these places out our next trip to Springfield as I have never heard of them.  I am familiar with some of the chilli places.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cruising to 1967: "A Whiter Shade of Pale"

On today's Ten at Ten on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, Bob Stroud went to that special high school year of mine, 1967.

ITCHYCOO PARK--  Small Faces
PURPLE HAZE--  Jimi Hendrix

DANDELION--  Rolling Stones

KENTUCKY WOMAN--  Neil Diamond
I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER--  Stevie Wonder

In case you're wondering, the #1 song this date in 1967 was "The Letter" by the Box Tops.  The #1 selling album was "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely hearts Club Band" and the #1 movie at the box office  was "Bonnie and Clyde."

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky."    Answer below:  RoadDog

"Purple Haze"

Along 66, August 2018: Update on the Gasconade Bridge in Missouri

AUGUST 24--  The Gasconade River Bridge Guardians have issued a progress report:

The bridge, now closed, is in Hazelgreen, Missouri, not far east from Lebanon.

**  Have raised $7,760 so far.  Needed to get a $6,000 Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program grant.

**  They have contacted an engineer for a feasibility report.

**  Negotiations are ongoing with the Missouri IDOT for a year-to-year lease.

**  They are looking into insurance.

We were fortunate to get to drive across this bridge several times before it was closed for safety reasons.  It is a beautiful bridge and we really hope it can be saved.


Along 66, August 2018: Route 66 Icons and Cyrus Avery

AUGUST 19--  A Spanish director makes a documentary about living Route 66 icons.  Her name is Ana Ramon Rubic and the title of it is "Almost Ghosts."

Some of the Route 66ers featured are Harley Russell of the Sandhills Curiosity Shoppe in Erick, Oklahoma, Lowell Davis of Carthage, Missouri and Angelo Delgadillo of Seligman, Arizona.

It was filmed in March 2018.

Always a good thing to get them on film as they won't be with us forever.  We have met the last two.

AUGUST 20--  A rare photo of the "Father of Route 66" Cyrus Avery has been unveiled at the Historical Society of Missouri.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Me and the Cubs

Two things about the Chicago Cubs and myself.

1.  I have been keeping a journal since 1978 and in April 1981, I noted in it after an early season trip to Wrigley Field that I couldn't drink at Wrigley Field any more.

They HAD RAISED the price of beer to $1.50!!!!  How much does it cost now?

2.  Liz and I used to go to Chicago at least once or twice a month.  Even more often during the baseball season.  But when the Cubs got their lighting and Chicago put sticker-only parking around Wrigley Field and then expanded it to anywhere in Chicago that attracted people, that was it for us.

We now have been to Chicago about three times since 1988.

Oh Well.  --RoadDog

Good Ol' Neighborhood Fun At the Ball Park-- Part 8: So, Who's #1?

1.  FENWAY PARK  (Red Sox)  Here's what they say:

They renamed Yawkey Way, but the streetfest outside the park before games is a must-attend party and gives Fenway a slight edge over Wrigley's neighborhood bar scene.

Italian sausage, lobster rolls, live music, beer -- it's all good.

If only the Cubs were able to replicate it on Sheffield and Waveland.

Still Don't Agree.  --RoadCub

Friday, September 28, 2018

Good Ol' Neighborhood Fun At the Ball Park-- Part 7: The Top Two

O.K., here are the best two places according to the article.

2.  WRIGLEY FIELD  (Cubs)   What!!  How could this be?  Bordering on sacrilege.

I will write the whole thing for Wrigley.

The Big Three --  Murphy's, Cubby Bear and Bernie's -- have more competition than in the old days.  None of the new joints can match their tradition.

Nisei Lounge remains a bro-free alternative alternative.  Rooftops are still popular, but the "cool factor" left when the Cubs gobbled up the neighborhood.  Gallagher Way (formerly The Park at Wrigley) is ok for the kids.

Something Isn't Right Here. The #1 Must Be Something Else.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Good Ol' Neighborhood Fun at the Ball Park-- Part 5: Gaslamp District

Of course, you always hear so  much about Chicago's Wrigley Field and you might have noticed it hasn't been listed yet.  So it is somewhere in the Top Five.

Let's see.

5.  AT&T PARK--  (Giants)--  The neighborhood around it has blossomed.  Mo-Mo's.

4.  SUNTRUST PARK--  (Braves)  The Battery Atlanta.   Traffic can be a problem.

3.  PETCO PARK--  (Padres)  Opened 2004.  Gaslamp District

Well, That Leaves Two Ball Parks.  One Must Be Wrigley.  --RoadDog

Good Ol' Neighborhood Fun At the Ballpark-- Part 4: The River Boat Park

Sadly, prices at almost all places near these ballparks reflect the unbelievably high prices inside the park, unless you tailgate.

12.  GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK--  (Reds)  Hotels nearby.  Looks like a river boat.

11.  PROGRESSIVE FIELD--  (Indians)   East 4th Street is such a happening place at happy hour that the Indians start early season night games at 6:10.  Is that the old Flats?

10.  ORIOLES PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS--  Inner harbor.  Hopefully the city won't begin taking down statues there as well.

9.  PNC PARK--  (Pittsburgh)  Restaurants right near it.

8.  COORS FIELD--  (Rockies)  LoDo

7.  TARGET FIELD--  (Twins)    North Loop area.

6.  SAFECO FIELD--    (Mariners)   30-minute walk from Seattle's Pike Place Market.  Game-day buzz especially strong on sunny days.  Sunny days in Seattle?

Remember Back In the Days When We All Knew All of the Names of the Ball Parks?  --RoadDog

Good Ol' Neighborhood Fun At the Ballpark-- Part 3: Where Does Your Team Rank?

Now that the regular season is almost over, playoffs begin next week, I figured I best finish this which I started back on July 19, 2018.  If you want to see the first two posts, just click the MLB label below.

18.  CITIZENS PARK--  (Phillies)  Xfinity Live is a sports and entertainment venue across the street.

17.   COMERCIA PARK--  (Tigers)  The ballpark is a centerpiece of Detroit's amazing revitalization.  Lots going on around it.

16.  NATIONALS PARK--  (Or Walgreens as Liz calls them)  Poor subway scheduling causes some fans to have to leave early on lengthy night games.

15.  ROGERS CENTRE--  (Blue Jays)  CN Tower overhead, Toronto Harbourfront  Also nearby Hockey Hall of Fame.  Hockey in Canada?  Go figure.

14.  CHASE FIELD--  (Diamondbacks, I had to look this one up as the article didn't give any clues)  A solar shade pavilion at left field entrance.  That should have been a clue.

13.  BUSCH STADIUM--   (Cardinals)  Ballpark Village features a 34,000-square-foot bar and restaurant, but the rest of it is ho-hum.  And, then there are those pesky Cardinal fans.

Play Ball!!!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: National Trust for Historic Preservation Route 66 Tour Ends


The National Trust for Historic Preservation's month-long Preserve Route 66 trip to drive up Congressional support to declare Route 66 a National Historic Trail has ended.

They collected more than 58,000 signatures, made 232 stops and spent 50,400 minutes on the Mother Road.

More Stats for the trip:

**  Used 380 songs on Spotify playlist

**  Collected 35 postcards, 22 magnets, 8 cacti and 4 figurines.   These figures seem rather modest for a souvenir haul..  I can do that by myself in just the state of Illinois.

**  Highest temp was 113 degrees   Lowest was 52 degrees

**  There were several dozen stories about the tour in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: My Thoughts on 'The Capital of Route 66', Make Mine Pontiac, Illinois

I sure would have to say that there sure were a lot of cities Texas and west.  Somebody stuffing the ballot box?

And, I must say I like all of these cities.  If it is on Route 66, I am going to like it.

I'd like to nominate St. Louis for the bridges, especially Chain of Rocks and that delightful drive along the alignment that includes Ted Drewe's.  However, after what they did with the Confederate statue, they's never get my vote.  I have a personal boycott going on for that city.

But, I'd sure like to put Pontiac, Illinois, up for "Capital of Route 66.  There is no city on the old road more in tune with its heritage.  It has become "The City of Murals" and, even better, the City of Museums."  Plus, there is that beautiful courthouse.

My Vote, Anyway.  --RoadDog

Along 66, August 2018: Readers Vote Tulsa as 'Capital of Route 66'

AUGUST 14--  Of the 320 votes cast on the Route 66 News site, 194 were for Tulsa, Oklahoma.  After all, it was the home of the Father of Route 66, Cyrus Avery, and major proponent of the new road.  And, it is one of the largest cities along the road.

And, it has really embraced its Route 66 heritage in the last 15 years and it goes without saying, it is the home of one Michael Wallis.

Springfield, Missouri, was the runner up but was beaten by a 4-1 margin.

3rd Place was Tucumcari, N.M., and 4th was  Seligman, Az..

No other city was in the double digits.

Others receiving votes were Carthage, Mo., Galena, Ks., Clinton, Ok., Shamrock, Tx., Amarillo, Tx, Adrian, Tx., Albuquerque, N.M., Gallup, N.M., Flagstaff, Az., Williams, Az., Amboy, Cal. and Santa Monica, Cal..

One person voted for none, saying there IS NO CAPITAL of Route 66.  It is the sum of its parts.

I Agree.  --RoadDog

Monday, September 24, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: Pacific, Mo. and H.B. 801

AUGUST 13--  The City of Pacific, Missouri is looking for an architect for its Red Cedar Inn which they will be transforming into a history and welcome center.

I look forward to its opening.  I may not ever have had the chance to eat there, but would like to go inside it.

AUGUST 17--  There is some wonder about what will happen to the alternate alignments of Route 66 under House Bill 801.

I would imagine they'd be covered as well.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: David Kane Dies, Afton Station

From the Route 66 News site.

AUGUST 10--  Afton Station owner David Kane, 74, died in an accident.  His wife, laurel Kane died in 2016.  Afton, Oklahoma.

The two of them took a run-down gas station and renovated it into quite a credit to the Mother Road.  Laurel ran the station for many years and David had allowed the station to continue running as long as it didn't lose money.  hard to say what will happen now.  Afton sure needs to do something about keeping it open as that town is in really bad shape.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Small Illinois Towns Offering Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 4: Olney's Gone 'Full Squirrel'

Casey is literally building reasons to attract tourists, Olney, population 8,000, is spending a massive amount of time and effort to ensure that their claim to fame does not fade away.

Olney's white squirrels at one point numbered close to 1,000, most of which descended from two initial white squirrels that were brought to town decades ago.  Olney has gone Full Squirrel and have the white squirrels on their police cars, the Chamber of Commerce building and other town displays of the little critters.

Of course, making an accurate count of any kind of squirrels is more than a little bit difficult.

And, if you hurt one of the little varmints or hit one with your car, it is going to be very costly.  There are even major restrictions on the activities of outdoor cats, their main predator.

Those White Bushy-Tailed Rats.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Small Illinois Towns Offer Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 3: Casey, "Big Things, Small Town"

Jim Bolin built the large things to get people to come to Casey.  Deb Bohannon says Casey gets about $30,000 a year in local hotel/motel tax revenue and that nine shops have opened in town in just the last two years and that they generally count at least 150 cars every day as tourist come to see the big things.

And, Casey is still building.  there's a giant teeter-totter, as well as a giant spoon, key and a barbershop pole.

The goal is to secure six more Guinness World Records by this fall.

Casey now has taken the slogan "Big Things, Small Town."


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Problem With This New World's Largest Rocker: It's Not on 66

The World's largest Rocker is now in Casey, Illinois, but until it was built, honors for the largest went to the Fannon Outpost on good old Route 66 just west of Cuba, Missouri.  To Liz and myself, that remains the largest rocker.  We don't cotton to young upstarts.

It is still there and proudly carries on the tradition of Route 66 tourist traps which would have something to draw attention and attract folks to stop in and spend money.

Plus, the new Fannon Outpost has some of the best specialty popcorn anywhere.

Last year, on Liz and my 66 on 66 tour (we were both age 66) we stopped at Rich Henry's Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois, and were talking with him when another couple came in who were driving Route 66 for the first time.  They had "idge" phones and were confused when the phone app said the largest rocker was in Casey, Illinois.  This is the first we had heard of the one in Casey.  We told the other couple about the 66 one in Fannon, Missouri.

Only 66, You Know.  --RoadDog

Cruisin' Back to 1968: "Sympathy For the Devil"

From the September 14, 2018, WDRV, 97.1 FM, Ten at Ten by Bob Stroud.

Ten songs from 1968, a good high school year for me.

WICHITA LINEMAN--  Glen Campbell

SON OF A PREACHER MAN--  Dusty Springfield


Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "I Know I Need A Small Vacation But It Don't Look Like Rain." Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Wichita Lineman"

Small Illinois Towns Offer Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 2: Casey

Small towns generally have fewer attractions than big cities, but increasingly Americans want to go there for vacation.  But, families need a reason to stop.  More Americans are choosing road trips.

Casey resident "big things" creator Jim Bolin had this in mind when he began building his creations.  he now holds eight Guinness World Records.  You can climb into his world's largest mailbox and get a great view of Casey's Main Street (and even send real letters).

He also has the World's Largest Rocking Chair at 56 feet, 1 inch, the World's Largest Golf Tee at 30 feet, 9 inches and the world's Biggest thing that started all of these huge objects, the World's Largest Wind Chime, standing 42 feet tall.

He has other really big, but not record-breaking things as well.  Casey also has a No. 2 pencil and a bird cage which can hold several visitors.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Small Illinois Towns Offering Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 1: The Economic Impact of Kitsch

From he July 29, 2018, Chicago Tribune  "Offbeat attractions bring small towns big notoriety" by Samantha Bomkamp.

There are no fancy waterparks or beaches in Casey, Illinois.  As a matter of fact, it is pretty far from anything.  But, if you want to see things big, this small town, population 2,700, does have some large things to see.  One is the world's largest mail box and hat is just one thing they have which is the "biggest."  Since the first one was built ten years ago, these giant items have sparked a lot of business on Main Street.

Casey is just one of a handful of small one-stoplight towns in central and southern Illinois which have adopted quirky claims to fame.

An hour's drive south of Casey, tiny Olney has white squirrels -- a genetic oddity.  Then, Metropolis, at the southern tip of Illinois,  hangs on to its title as the "Hometown of Superman" and they have been doing that for 40 years.

These oddities help bring the tourists and there is a definite economic impact.

Call it the Economic Impact of Kitsch.  --RoadDog

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum: Six Decades of Beachcombong

From the January 18, 2016, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus  "Artifacts taken from beach are highlights of collection"  AP

**  Nellie Myrtle Pridgen 'didn't throw anything away.'

A wooden carriage from a Civil War cannon is at the front of an old store.  Not far away are century old bottles, a World War I helmet, a toothy shark's jaw and door knobs washed up from a shipwreck.

The cluttered assortment of the rare, the old and the roughed up was gathered over six decades by Nellie Myrtle Pridgen.  There is so much stuff packed on the shelves inside that, "You can look at a shelf ten times and come back and find something different," says Dorothy Hope.

But, this is a museum without a sign out front and no regular hours.

There are problems especially with parking and plans are underway to turn it into the Old Nags Head Cultural Preservation Center.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Problem With Horses in 1918

From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"A farmer's horse hitched to a single buggy became frightened by a puffing engine last night while waiting ro get across Seventh Street in DeKalb and when the gates were raised the animal started on a gallop and became unmanageable.

"Fortunately, the North Seventh thoroughfare was not a busy one at the time of the accident and the runaway horse had the entire street to himself."

No Harm Done Here.  --RoadDog

Friday, September 14, 2018

North Carolina's "The Rocks"

"The Rocks", built below Fort Fisher in the late 19th century is a long rock jetty built from Fort Fisher's Battery Buchanan to aid navigation by stopping the shoaling of the Cape Fear River from sand coming in through what used to be known as New Inlet.  New Inlet was a major entrance and exit for blockade runners during the Civil War.

It was finished in 1881 and created a huge lagoon behind it now known as "The Basin."  Today, "The Basin" is part of the Zeke's Island component of the North Carolina National Estuary Research Reserve.

The southern tip of New Hanover County (Wilmington) became an island when Snow's Cut was dredged between the Cape Fear River and the sound in 1925. A canal that connects it with Masonboro Sound is now part of the Intercoastal Waterway.

The Cut was named for Major William A. Snow , Chief Engineer for the Wilmington District.

I imagine that now, because of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence, the "Rocks" are underwater with all the flooding and surges.  They were already in bad shape before this, but I imagine much worse now.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cumberland Gap-- Part 2: Was US-25 E

In the 20th Century, US Highway 25 E crossed Cumberland Gap until it was rerouted as a tunnel under the gap in 1996.  They then recreated the Wilderness Road.

It now takes four and a half hours to drive from Winston-Salem, N.C. now, but back then it took several weeks.

The author hiked  the Wilderness Road Trail from the Daniel Boone Exhibit Area on the Virginia side of the gap.  Some places to visit are Gap Cave and Cudjo's Cave.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cumberland Gap Was Daniel Boone's Route to the West

From the April 11, 2018, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal by Walt Links.

From 1912-1915, the DAR placed markers from North Carolina to Kentucky to designate Daniel Boone's 1769 road.  Bison first traveled the road searching for grazing and salt licks.  They were followed by the Cherokee and Shawnee Indians.

In 1750, Thomas Walker was the first recorded white man to follow it.  Daniel Boone made his first trip over it in 1769 and in 1779 he began to blaze and widen it.

It was later named the Wilderness Road and an estimated 300,000 Americans crossed the Cumberland Gap between 1790 and 1810 heading west.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Remnant of 9/11 in Tinley Park, Illinois-- Part 1

From the September 11, 2016, Chicago Tribune  "Remnant from 9/11 attacks to get salute" by Mike Nolan.

For the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a steel beam from one of the World Trade Center towers that is displayed outside a Tinley Park fire station will get some long-overdue recognition.

Village firefighters retrieved the 6-foot-long, 1,000 pound beam and brought it to Tinley Park in time for the 10th anniversary commemoration.  However, those passing the village's public safety building might not be aware of the beam since there is no marker of any sort to connect it to the event.

It is partially perched on some rocks on the building's north side, on 173rd Place just  west of Oak Park Avenue.  Plans call for it to be removed to a more permanent setting in or near Zabrocki Plaza, less than a block to the east.

This will be continued in today's Cooter's History Thing blog.  You can click on it to the right of this.

Monday, September 10, 2018

America's Top Ten Most Beautiful, Least-Traveled Roads-- Part 3: U.S. Route 2

You can go to the site to find out more.


State Route 90003  "Colonial Parkway"


U.S. Route  65  The Great River Road


U.S. Route 212.  Usually closed by snow during the winter.  Leads to Yellowstone National Park.


U.S. Route 2


State Route 32   "River Road"


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Busy Day Today and Tomorrow

In a little while I will be driving to Antioch, Illinois, to see the Lincoln Funeral Railroad Car.  This is not the original one that transported his body back to Springfield, but a faithful recreation that was made for the sesquicentennial of his death back in 2015.  I understand that after this, it goes to a private collector so last chance to see it.

This afternoon Liz and I will drive to DeKalb, Illinois, and attend the NIU President's Reception at the Barsema Alumni Center where we will hear talks by her and athletic folks as well as a synopsis on the NIU-Utah game tonight.  We are invited because of our scholarship to the education department.

Then, we have nice seats for the game.

Tomorrow we will be hurrying back home as Johnsburg has its annual Saufen Und Spiel celebration to honor its German heritage with the parade, bands and even an oom-pah one and German food.  We will watch the parade from Sunnyside Tap.

Too Much Fun.  --RoadDog

America's Top Ten Most Beautiful, Least-Traveled Roads-- Part 2: US-201, US-160 and California 139

Continued from September 4, 2018.


U.S. Route 201  The "Old Canada Road."


U.S. Route 160  Runs through the Navajo Nation.


State Route 139 in northeastern California.


Friday, September 7, 2018

That Gas Station on First and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb Finally Opens

From the July 18, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back"

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Saturday night was the occasion of the opening of the new Ford sales and service station at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway and the Fordson tractor demonstration which was held there was largely attended during the evening.

"The Fordson was not exactly demonstrated but was on exhibition at the new garage and attracted no little attention.

They had originally expected it to open by fall 1917, so this is considerably late.  Perhaps shorgaes because of the war?

Fordson Tractors?  New One On Me.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: So That's What John's Modern Cabins Looked Like

AUGUST 6--  A vintage photo of John's Modern Cabins has surfaced.  Route 66 postcard collector and author Jon Sonderman has unearthed a long-forgotten photo of the place

It was taken in August 1966 and there is also a rare photo of Vernelle's Motel from the same period.

We hardly ever drive by John's Modern Cabins without stopping to see how much worse it looks.  It is so sad, but, thanks to Roamin' Rich and the group, this past June it looked better than we've seen it ever.

But, to me that picture looks like it was run-down even when it was operating.

This is the only-known picture of the place while it was an operating business.

It was originally known as Bill and Bess' Placing dating to 1931.  The previous oldest-known photo was taken by Quinta Scott in 1979, years after the place closed and the death of its owner.

There Have To Be Other Pictures Out There.  Thanks Jon.  --RoadDog

Along 66, August 2018: New Use for Hi-Way Tavern and the Kum & Go Scare

These are taken from the Route 66 News site which has a lot more articles, pictures and information.  I just pick out the ones I am most interested in.  If you are a Route 66 fan, this site is the best one out there for keeping up with what is happening.

AUGUST 3--  A florist will take over the Hi-Way Tavern building in Edwardsville, Illinois, and it will be remodeled into Krupp Florist.

The bar was opened by Sicilian Frank and Dora Catalano in 1934.  They advertised "Good Cheer With Good Beer."

Always great when an old building is put to new use rather than torn down.  However, I don't remember ever seeing it.

AUGUST 3--  Kum & Go won't p[ave over all of the original Route 66 section after all.  Their first plans really drew the wrath of many.  This is in Springfield, Missouri, and we were fortunate to find this back in 2017 when Liz and I took our 66 on 66 Road Trip.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Illinois Plans for Route 66's 100th Birthday

From the August 1, 2018, NBC Chicago.

Governor Bruce Brauner signed legislation Tuesday creating the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission for the Mother Road's anniversary.

Illinois was the first state to have the entire stretch of road entirely paved.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

America's Top Ten Most Beautiful, Least-Traveled Roads-- Part 1: Ice Road Truckers and America's Loneliest Road

From the March 22, 2018, Daily Mail  (U.K.)"The roads less traveled:  America's top ten most beautiful and least-driven routes mapped out by state" by Sadie Whitelocks.

Lots of really pretty pictures accompany the list.  She used Geotab, GPS tracking and traffic count to come up with the list.


State Route 11.  240 miles between service stations at one point.  A handful of small towns.  Much of this traveled by the "Ice Road Truckers."

2.  UTAH

U.S. Route 50.  The stretch in Utah is dubbed "America's Loneliest Road."   3,000 miles overall from Maryland to California.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Songs For the Working Man on Labor Day 2018: "Takin' Care of Business"

This being a very rainy Labor Day here in the Midwest, here are ten songs for it.

Listeners of Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, the Drive, have been calling the shots of the Ten at Ten special the station runs at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. for the whole month of August.

Valerie Lorusso of Yorkville had these ten songs for "Working For a Living" on August 30, 2018.

WORKIN' FOR A LIVIN'--  Huey Lewis & the News

DIRTY WORK--  Steely Dan

BANG THE DRUM ALL DAY--  Todd Rundgren
DRAGGIN' THE LINE--  Tommy James

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "And I've Been Working Like A Dog."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"A Hard Day's Night"

Along 66, July 2018: Art's Motel Sign in Farmersville, Illinois Taken Down

JULY 25--  Art's Motel sign in Farmersville, Illinois, is taken down.  The neon sign was dismantled but will be preserved by a sign company  and it will go to a history-themed bar in Springfield.  (I'm thinking Motorheads which we went to on the Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour back in June.)

Sadly, the fate of the motel is uncertain.

Ace Sign Company in Springfield has a museum of signs and they will acquire the north-facing sign.  The south-facing sign will go to the beergarten of Motorheads in Springfield.

Art McAnamey founded Arts's Motel and Restaurant in 1937.  It was damaged by a fire in 1952.  McAnamey died in 1957 and his sons Elmer and Joe  kept it running for years after that.

Kris Jain briefly reopened it in 2017 after it had been closed for six years, but the restaurant remained closed.

I was always hoping to get a chance to stay in this motel and eat at the restaurant, but it doesn't appear that is going to happen.


Along 66, July 2018: El Pueblo Motel May Become Code Talkers Museum

JULY 31, 2018

The El Pueblo Motel in Flagstaff, Arizona, may become the Code Talkers Museum.  It was built  in 1937 at 3120 East Historic Route 66.

It has a Code Talkers connection as well.  The owner recruited Navajo to be United States Marine Corps Code Talkers.

Always great when you can preserve an old structure and use it for something new as in this case.

The Code Talkers definitely deserve to have their own museum.

Here's Hoping This Is A Go.  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Albuqueque's El Vado Motel Has Grand Reopening

JULY 22--  El Vado Motel's Grand Reopening in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Took place July 20.  It has become an $18 million redevelopment with a 22-room boutique motel, events center, shops, restaurants and a pub.

Irish immigrant Daniel Murphy opened the El Vado Auto Court Motel in 1937.  I was listed on the NRHP in 1993.  Closed in late 2005 and its future was in jeopardy as the new owner wanted to bulldoze it.

The city seized the property a few years later.

It has a neat old neon sign.  Always happy to see an old motel saved as we continue to lose so many.


Along 66, July 2018: Bel Air Drive In Sign Removed

JULY 20--

Sign removed from the long-closed Bel Aire Drive In Theater in Mitchell, Illinois.  Workers removed the decaying sign on July 19.  The two-sided sign halves were transported to Chicago and North Dakota.  The sign was located at 1117 E. Chain of Rocks Road, Route 66.

All other evidence of the theater is long-gone.  The sign removal took place 30 years after it closed for business.  The Bel-Air Drive-In opened in the  mid-1950s as a single screen and in the 1970s, a second screen was built.  It closed in 1987.

UPDATE:  Half of the sign went to a sign collector in Hanover Park.  The other half went to a man in North Dakota.

We've been seeing the sign since we started cruising Route 66 in 2002.  We feel fortunate to have seen it this past June.

One Less Neat Thing to See On the Old Road.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 31, 2018

Auto Accident on Sycamore Road in 1918

From the August 1, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"There was a little auto mishap on the Sycamore Road yesterday when C.W. Iskowich passed between the Concidine taxi and an out of town car.

"The fender of the local man's National tipped the hub of the taxi sending it off on a tangent into the ditch.    Fortunately the ground was level and the damage to the car was trifling."

The Sycamore Road is the DeKalb-Sycamore Road, Illinois Highway 23.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: The Biggest Branding Iron and Joliet Prison

These are taken from the Route 66 News site which had daily posts and a lot more.  I just write about ones of particular interest to me.

JULY 18--  The Milburn-Price Culture Museum in Vega, Texas, now boasts "The World's Largest Branding Iron" on the ground in front of the place.  It is 22 feet long and weighs 3,000 pounds.

I'd sure like to see a cowboy pick that up.

JULY 19--  Joliet, Illinois, sets the times of its tours of the old prison.  They are expected to begin in early August.  Visitors will be transported from the Joliet Area History Museum to the prison and back.

Hopefully no one will have to stay there.

Always Like Big Things.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Overgrown Lot Cleanup in DeKalb in 1943

From the July 25, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"City crews started the annual summer task of ridding the parkings and vacant lots about DeKalb of weeds.  The crew made a tour along the Lincoln Highway and those parkings not cared for by the owners of the property adjacent, are given attention.

"There are several vacant lots around DeKalb which annually grow up with weeds, and as the owners are out of town residents, the city is compelled to do the work."

Not quite sure what they mean by parkings in this case.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Gillette Mansion, Springfield, Mo., U.S. Congress

JULY 15--  Couple buy the historic Gillette Mansion in Elkhart, Illinois.  Lincoln stayed here.  Let's hope they open it for public tours.

JULY 16--  Original section of Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri, to be paved over after a convenience store chain buys the land.  It is the Kim & Go chain.

Let's hope they see the error of their ways and incorporate in their store.

JULY 17--  U.S. House passes Route 66 Centennial Bill.

Here we go getting ready for the big 100 for our favorite road.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Blue Whale Owners and Caretakers Enter Okla. 66 Hall of Fame

JULY 13--  Owners, caretakers of the Blue Whale named to Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.  Hugh and Zelda Davis and son Blaine Davis.

The 80-foot long concrete structure was built in the early 1970s at a spring-fed pond near Catoosa as a surprise for Zelda.

It was part of a larger complex including  the A.R.K. and Arrowhead Trading Post.

Well-deserved and something we love to visit.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Green Book and Joliet Prison

JULY 9--  Researcher of Negro Motorist Green Book lands a publicity deal.  Candacy Taylor has a deal with Abrams Books.

This is a story that needs to be told.  Back when Blacks had to be careful and were not allowed in places.

JULY 10--  Joliet, Illinois, may use $50,000 for old prison which is set to reopen this month.  This is a city allocation.  This is the prison in the "Blues Brothers" movie.

Tours are being offered for $20.


Six Route 66 Illinois Bicentennial Oddities

Just bragging a little here, but there are six Route 66 places listed in the 20 Oddities in Illinois you should visit.

I just wrote about one, the Launching Pad Drive-In and Gemini Giant.

The other five are in:

two in Lincoln

For loyal 66ers, these "Oddities" should be easy to guess.

Plus, the Friendship Shoe Fence is in Cornell, not too far off Route 66 near Pontiac.  We plan on checking it our the next time we're down that way.  Of course, Route 66 has numerous shoe trees, and there is that one tree south of Pontiac that has been receiving Christmas decorations and will soon be a year-round Christmas tree.

We So Proud.  --Road66

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities-- Part 5: Gemini Giant

Wilmington, 810 East Baltimore Street

The space race was at fever pitch in the mid 60s when the former owners of a diner on Route 66 changed the name of their eatery to Launching Pad Drive-In and got one of the huge muffler men statues and changed him into a space suit with helmet holding a rocket which they put in their parking lot to draw people into their place.

The Launching Pad's new co-owner, Tully Garrett, said, "They bought him for one reason only:  So people would get out of their cars, take pictures and smell the hamburgers."

The 30-foot tall statue is one of hundreds of fiberglass "Muffler men" who once lined roadways, cradling car mufflers and assorted props in their brawny arms.

The recently reopened Launching Pad doesn't sell burgers as of yet, but it's a great place to grab a cup of coffee, chat with people and load up on Route 66 stuff.

So glad the place has finally reopened after being closed for many years.  A definite stop on your Route 66 trip.


Did You Hear the One About the '64 Mustang?-- Part 2

 Continued from August 19, 2018.

Well, after countless discussions, Tom got to work on restoring the skylight blue sports car that had sat in his garage for 27 years.  And then, he learned that their car might be something special.

It might, in fact, be the very first Mustang ever sold.

And, you know, those '64 Mustangs were cool cars to begin with...but, the very first one!!!

Ford Motor Company has now confirmed that their car was the very first one ever sold.  And, this weekend, the car is on display in Detroit as the company celebrates the sale of its 10 millionth Mustang.  (None, however, ever owned by me.)

Not only did Gail and Tom Wise hang on to their Mustang all these years, but they also kept all the original paperwork.  By one estimate, that makes their old blue car worth as much as $450,000.

Well, Good Thing They Held Onto That Old Worthless Piece of Junk.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 20, 2018

Near Death Experience in DeKalb Involving A Street Car And An Old Guy in 1918

From the August 8, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The carelessness of an aged resident last night at the Fourth street corner, caused many people waiting for the six o'clock street car to turn their heads.  The aged resident was walking along at a brisk pace, and probably due ro the fact that a train was passing on the North Western at the same time, did not hear the street car.

"The man walked directly into path of the electric car and had not the motor man had his car under control and able to stop at once the man would have been injured.  Many people waiting for the car at this corner, turned their heads at the time, not caring to see the accident."

This would have taken place in DeKalb, Illinois, at the corner of Fourth Street and the Lincoln Highway.

Definitely Not Gawkers.  --EoadDog

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Score One for Us Pack Rats: Did You Hear the One About the '64 Mustang Convertible? -- Part 1

From the August 15, 2018, Chicago Sun-Times  "The joy of being first with a '64 Mustang"  Editorials.

A Park Ridge, Illinois, couple, Gail and Tom Wise debated for years whether to junk their old Ford Mustang convertible.  Gail had bought it in 1964 from a Ford dealer on Cicero Avenue so that she could get to her first job.  It then became the family's car, but stopped running after fifteen years (1979) and then, just sat in their garage.

Gail wanted to free up space in her garage.  Tom wanted to restore the car some day.

Hey, 1964, wasn't that the first year they made Mustangs?

Sounds Familiar, Doesn't It.  --RoadDog

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities-- Part 4: World's Tallest Man


Alton, 2810 College Avenue

See how you measure up to this life-sized statue of the tallest man, Alton native Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was less than an inch shy of 9 feet when he died in 1940.

Known as Alton's "Gentle Giant,"  Wadlow was born a century ago with a pituitary gland disorder that caused his imposing growth.  By age five, he was already 5.5 feet tall.  The local movie theater reserved a special place for him:  one seat to sit in and four more for his long limbs.

Near the statue is a bronze cast of another chair, this one designed for his extraordinary frame.

Learn more about the city's beloved ambassador in a Wadlow exhibit across the street at the Alton Museum of History and Art.

I Want Him On My Basketball Team.  Take That LeBron!!  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Well, It's Another One of Those Too Much To Do Days Around Here

Decisions must be made today as again, there are too many places we'd like to be and not enough time to do it.

Choppers, off Channel lake in Antioch is having their annual Chopperfest with a pig roast and bands out on the deck.

The Ingleside Dog 'N Suds, yep, one of those old root beet places, is having a classic car show and an Elvis impersonator.  (We have three of the only remaining seven Dog 'N Suds withing a 25-mile radius of us.)

McHenry's Peterson Park is hosting the annual Blooze, Brews and BBQ festival.  Headliner tonight is one of our favorite bands, the Blooze Brothers, who do, of course, the Blues Brothers.  There will be two other Blues bands as well.

Most likely, we will go to the Spring Grove Fire Department annual Steak Fry at Horsefair Park.

I Just Hate When There Are More Things To Do Than Time To Them.  --RoadDog

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities: The Boeing 727 From "U.S. Marshals" Movie

I hadn't heard of any of these first three oddities.


Belknap, 6724 North U.S. Highway 45

There's a piece of Hollywood in southern Illinois, but you'll have to venture fifty feet underwater to see it.  The ill-fated Boeing 727 that crashed in the 1998 film "U.S. Marshals" was laid to rest in Mermet Springs, a spring-fed limestone quarry that draws around 6,000 scuba divers a year.

There are also planes, a train and automobiles as attractions at the site in the more than 8 acres of water. (Hey, there was a movie about them too.)  Also you can see paddlefish (one real strange-looking fish), bass and albino catfish there.

So, you don't scuba.  Well for $25 you can get a 25-minute shallow dive with an instructor or for $50 get this dive and a full day's access to the quarry and snorkle equipment.

The Plane, The Plane.  --

Friday, August 17, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities-- Part 2: Shoes, Shoes and More Shoes

2.  FRIENDSHIP SHOE FENCE--  Cornell, 24503 N. 1050 East Road.

Sandals, loafers, pumps, baby booties--  dozens of pairs of shoes run alongside the Donze farm ion Livingston County Highway 28.

People are encouraged to take or leave shoes, or, just look.

The fence is the idea of Gale Donze who saw one while in New Zealand.  She also now has coffee mugs and purses, but the shoes remain the star attraction

Gale said one offering of a pair of child's ice skates came with a note saying that they had once belonged to future hockey star Bobby Hull.

That should put the Shoe fence not too far off Route 66 since it runs through Livingston County.

I've seen a few shoe trees along Route 66.

Wow, Bobby Hull's Child Skates.  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial Bucket List, 20 Must-See Oddities-- Part 1

From the August 12, 2018, Chicago Tribune Lori "Bicentennial Bucket List" by Rackl.

Offbeat, quirky and even downright weird.

1.  KASKASKIA DRAGON  Vandalia, 2024 Progress West Drive.  Illinois' second capital.  The town's unofficial mascot shoots flames out of its snoot.  The fifty-foot long creature is not far from Kaskaskia Supply and Rental, a hardware store owned by Walt Barenfanger.

One of his employees built it about 25 years ago.  A local propane distributor bestowed it with fire-breathing capabilities.

But, it will cost you a dollar to buy a token at the liquor store across the street or at the Supply store.  The show lasts about ten seconds or so.

I Thought I Thaw A Dragon.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Going Back to 1971-- Part 3: Won't Get Fooled Again"

SHANTY--  Jonathan Edwards   Getting that good buzz on, you know.
I'M 18--  Alice Cooper
BERTHA--  Grateful Dead

MOVE OVER--  Janis Joplin

MERCY, MERCY ME--  Marvin Gaye
BABY BLUE--  Badfinger

CROSSEYED MARY--  Jethro Tull  As in Heavy Metal Grammy
IMAGINE--  John Lennon

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

11 SIGNS YOU'RE A GEEK:  (from March 2018 Wassup Magazine)  You have a monitor tan.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Going Back to 1971-- Part 2: "Statesboro Blues"

47 Years Ago.

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN--  Led Zeppelin   Do You Ever Get Tired of Hearing This One?

SPANISH HARLEM--  Aretha Franklin
LIFE ON MARS--  David Bowie

STATESBORO BLUES--  Allman Brothers
BROWN SUGAR--  Rolling Stones

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "There's A Lady Who's Sure That All That Glitters Is Gold."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Stairway to Heaven"

Illinois Marks Its Bicentennial With Cake and Passport Program-- Part 2

The new Illinois Bicentennial Passport program encourages people to get their passport stamped at 56 spots until November 30.  Collect enough passports stamps and you're entitled to prizes.  (For example:  Get 35 stamps and you get a mule-pulled ride aboard an 1840s-style canal boat on the I&M Canal.)

You can pick up a passport at any one of the 56 passport stops, most of which are clustered in the I & M Canal and Looking For Lincoln National Heritage areas.  They include the newly remodeled Springfield Governor's Mansion and the Field Museum.

Free slices of Eli's Cheesecake will be served around the state on August 26, when the first Illinois Constitution was adopted two hundred years ago (but none in Chicago).

Party It Up Illinois.  Happy 200th.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Illinois Marks Bicentennial With Cake and Passport Program-- Part 1

From the August 5, 2018, Chicago Tribune by Lori Rachel.

"Free cheesecake, a passport program and special programming in August are some of the ways the state is ramping up Illinois' bicentennial celebration."

Every weekend in August, 80 museums, historical sites and architectural gems in different parts of the state will waive entry fees through an initiative called Doors Open Illinois.

The program kicked off last weekend, but this weekend moves to central Illinois August 11-12, then western Illinois August 18-19 and Chicago and northeast Illinois August 25-26.

Some of the sites participating in Illinois are Vandalia (the state's second capital), the Old State House in Springfield and the prehistoric Cahokia Mounds near St. Louis.

See Illinois Before It Goes Broke.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why Go Anywhere Else? -- Part 3: Front Porch, Gazebo, Stucky's, Sunnyside and Margaritaville


The yard is at what I consider peak color for the year.  Daylillies, purple cone flowers, tall phlox, black-eyed Susans, hostas and a few wild daisies are still in prime bloom. And, I have hundreds of each.

Sat out FP (front porch) and gazebo and enjoying the day and flowers.

Went to Stucky's in Johnsburg and met Kevin and Kelly and enjoyed the $1 burger special (add cheese and lettuce, tomato and onion for another $1).  Includes home-made chips.  Plus, they have $1.50 draft pints today.

Went to Sunnyside and enjoyed the happy hour $5 pitchers.  Ran into a lot of people who used to work at Antonio's in Spring Grove.  Came home and enjoyed Margaritaville.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Why Go Anywhere Else? --Part 2: Civil War, Two Decks and Two Performers


Mostly worked in the yard.  We did go to the Fox Lake American Legion on Nippersink Lake and met the Usual Suspects.  We didn't win the 50-50.


Went to Crystal Lake, Illinois, for the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting at Panera Bread.  This month's topic was Civil War Industry.

When I returned, Liz and I went to Thirsty Turtle in Antioch on Channel Lake and sat out on the deck from 1 p.m. to 4 listening to Robert Boegart "Old Hippy Bob" as he played a lot of that old, great music and, in honor of what would have been Steve Goodman's 70th birthday, lots of his songs.  Goodman wrote "City of New Orleans", "You Never Even Called Me By Your Name",  "Go Cubs Go" the song Cubs fans sing after wins as they break out those "W" flags, and many others.

We then went over to  the nearby Choppers and sat out on their deck by the channel and listened to Remedy Acoustic.

Two Decks, Two Entertainers, Lots of Fun..  --RoadDog