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?

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

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 1: Two Bars, A Festival and A Band

People often ask Liz and me wanting to know why we don't go on vacations in July and August.  Well, being retired, we can go anytime we want.  And, there is so much to do around here in the northeastern part of Illinois and the southeastern area of Wisconsin.

There is always boating on the Chain of Lakes (though because of mechanical problems we haven't had the boat out yet, but maybe by next week).

And, there are festivals and lots of bands playing.  This was one of our weekends:


We went to Thirsty Turtle in Antioch, Illinois, overlooking Channel Lake to get a Chain Crawl passport stamp and then to the Limerick in downtown.

Then, we went to Antioch's weekly It's Summer concert and saw the band 28 Days

Why Go Anywhere Else?  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Going Back to 1971-- Part 1: "Proud Mary"

From the August 4, 2018, Saturday Morning Flashback, 1971, WXRT, 93.1 FM.  Johnny Mars.

This was a college year for me, split between sophomore year at NIU and junior year at UGA.

WALK AWAY--  James Gang
PROUD MARY--  Ike and Tina Turner    I still don't know how those dresses stayed on the gals.

SMILE AWAY--  Paul McCartney   He could smell your feet a mile away.
LEVON--  Elton John
I JUST WANT TO CELEBRATE--  Rare Earth   Sure said it a few times.

CALDONIA--  Muddy Waters
WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW--  Carole King     She wrote the song.

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Into This House We're Born, Into This World We're Thrown."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Riders On the Storm"

The Bottle-Shaped Car and Speeding

From the July 25, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918 and 1943, 100 and 75 Years Ago.

1918:  "An auto, the body in the form of a bottle, was on DeKalb streets advertising a Milwaukee beverage.  The car passed on to other cities west later in the day."

Being a Milwaukee beverage, I have to wonder what kind of beverage it was and if they handed out free samples?  Must have been the forerunner of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

1943:  "Sheriff  A; Deisz has no respect for a speeding motorist at any time and especially now.  While driving on the Sycamore road a machine passed his going to fast a speed for safety and Sheriff Deisz set out in pursuit, arresting the man a few minutes later."

Never A Good Idea To Pass A Cop While Speeding.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: St. Louis Arch and Sign Thefts

These are taken from the Route 66 News blog.  I only take the posts of the most interest to me.  There are a lot more stories and pictures as well as much more information.  Check it out.

JULY 4--  Renovated Gateway Arch Museum in St. Louis reopens to the public.

Too bad that I won't be going there for awhile as I have a boycott against St. Louis for removing the Confederate statue.

It was a $380 million renovation which also includes a major renovation of the grounds around the Arch.

JULY 8--  There has been a rash of  Route 66 sign thefts in Kansas, and that is just a 13 mile stretch.  So far, nine have been stolen, causing much nuisance and inconvenience, not to mention the cost of replacing them.

I really hate it when signage is not there.


Along 66, July 2018: U.S. House Abvances Route 66 Centennial Bill

JULY 3--

The bill to make Route 66 a National Historic Trail gets all the big news, but a second Route 66 bill is quietly advancing.  The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act has gone through committee in the House of Representatives.  Now, it will be voted upon by the entire House.

U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) is cosponsor of it.

The bill calls for:

1.  Creating a 19-member commission to recommend activities for the 100th anniversary of the road in 2026.

2.  Directs the commission to host a conference on the U.S. numbering of highway for its 100th anniversary

3.  Direct the Department of Transportation, in connection with the eight states through which Route 66 passes through to develop plans.

In addition, last month, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Historic Trail Bill.  The Senate is now scheduled to consider it.

Personally, I see no way it won't pass that unanimously as well.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Stolen Autos in 1918

From the February 21, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Kit Carson of Waterman was arrested at his place of business there by Chicago detectives on a charge of buying stolen automobiles, and is now in custody in Chicago.

"The detectives had been on the trail of the cats for some time past and after investigating conditions at Waterman arrested the man who and also seized four cars that are alleged to  have been stolen."

A real Bad Boy From 1918.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Cruisin' Down the Road and Listening to Tunes

Nothing like cruising down the open road (two lane preferably) and out in the countryside, never knowing what is around the next bend or is that down down the road.

Window down, arm out the window, maybe left hand clasping the roof, right hand on the steering wheel and some great tunes blasting (loudly)out the radio, via stations, cassettes or CDs.

And, we have a treat coming up here in Chicago in a few hours.  WXRT, 93.1 FM will visit 1971 from 9 to noon, CDST.  Johnny Mars will host.  Always a real trip back in time and 1971 was a pretty good college year for me between NIU and UGA with a summer stop for six weeks at Quantico, Virginia.

Then, maybe, on Sunday, Bob Stroud will continue his 40th anniversary of the Summer of 1977 on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM.  He will either do it this Sunday or next Sunday as he usually doesn't let us know in advance.  Even if it is the following Sunday, he will do his Rock and Roll Roots show which features just music from the 1960s and 1970s.  His show runs 7 to 10 a.m. CDST

Both shows stream live at and

Give 'Em A Listern.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 3, 2018

More Snow Woes in 1918

From the February 21, 2018, MidWeek   "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Motormen White and McCann of the DeKalb-Sycamore Interurban traction company lines have been off duty for a few days on account of illness.

"They were on duty much of the time when the cars were tied up in the snow banks and contracted heavy colds which got the upper hand of them."

Lots of Snow in the Winter of 1918.  --RoadDog

Too Much Snow in 1918 in DeKalb County

From the February 14, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"In Fairdale, automobile drivers have discarded their cars and are learning to be contented with the slower modes of bob-sleigh and cutter travel."

What, No Snowbobiles?.  --RoadSnow

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Touring 66 and Those Bands

JULY 2--  The National Trust for Historic Preservation began their Route 66 tour today.  Five young Route 66 people are on a one month long trip to get publicity to get Congress to designate the Mother Road as a National Historic Trail.

It began in Chicago and will end in Los Angeles, California,  August 3.  They will be in Illinois July 105 and Missouri July 6-10.

My word to you youngsters, be careful.  Route 66 is VERY addictive.

JULY  3--  Decades of Wheels in Baxter Springs, Kansas will have an opening set for mid-October with a series of concerts with some pretty big 60s and 70s bands including Steppenwolf and Grand Funk.  John Kay will take stage October 14, and Grand Funk (or do you say Railroad?) will headline October 12.

Born to be What?  --RoadWild

Along 66, June 2018: Hey, Tropics Sign and Joliet Prison

JUNE 25--  The Tropics sign is relit in Lincoln, Illinois!!!  Can't wait to see it.

JUNE 26--  National Trust for Historic Preservation places Route 66 on it endangered list.  This is the second time for this.  This is mostly because of problems getting the National Historic Trail classification..  It must be passed by the Senate and signed by the president.

I'm not too worried about this as Route 66 will continue with or without the classification.  But, it would be better to have it and Route 66 deserves it.  That was/is one important road in our country's history.

JUNE 28--  The old Joliet Prison event will have a Blue Brothers tribute band  and Dan Ackroyd has been invited to attend.

It will be held in August and will feature the Blooze Brothers and two other bands.

Go Straight to Jail.  Do Not Pass Go.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Along Lincoln Highway, May, 2018: Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival

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

It is a two-day festival held at that beautiful old bridge.

It is the 34th Annual Lincoln Highway Bridge festival.

It will feature a carnival, a parade and music.

What A Way to Celebrate.  Might be A Bit Too Late, Now.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Removing the Snow in 1918

From the February 21, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The city authorities have had a force of men again at work at the task of removing the snow from the street corners and other places along the highway.

"The officials fear that when the thaw hits the unusually large amount of snow, that there will be many basements flooded, and other damage done, if it is allowed to remain.  The snow is being hauled away to spots where there will be no danger of destroying property when it starts to melt."

An unusually large amount of snow in the winter 1918.  And, removing it evidently by hand.

Monday, July 30, 2018

About Those Red, White and Blue Lincoln Highway Globes

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"According to the Lincoln Highway official bulletin the highway in DeKalb has been illuminated with a double row of boulevard lamps with special red, white and blue globes.

"These lights have been discontinued on account of the situation."

Not Sure What This Was About.  --RoadDog

Friday, July 27, 2018

Work Continues on the Fisk-Ellwood Garage in DeKalb in 1918

From the January 31, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The rood work for the new Ellwood-Fisk garage at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway was begun and if the weather man does not interfere to any great extent, this phase of the construction work will be pushed at a rapid rate.

"The large beams are hauled up into place by means of derrick and the carpenters quickly fasten them, and tack on other pieces."

This garage was supposed to have been finished in the fall of 1917.  Possibly delays getting materials because of World War I.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Trucks Now Being Used in Businesses in 1918

From the April 18, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"According to the Sycamore papers, Tibbitts, Inc. Coal and Lumber Company of Sycamore have a new delivery truck for use now, the body being especially constructed for their requirements by the DeKalb Wagon company."

More Horses Out of Work.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Man Reports Marmon Breakdown in 1918

From the July 18, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"A traveling man came to the police station in DeKalb this morning and reported to the officers there that his big Marmon car was in a ditch out near the Greek farm with a broken wheel and that he was waiting for a service truck from Chicago to take care of his machine.

"His visit to the station was to notify them of his whereabouts so they would not be compelled to look up his licence number and otherwise put themselves to any inconvenience."

Wasn't That Nice of Him.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Along 66, June 2018: A Neon Sign Park and the Ariston

JULY 21--  A Route 66 neon sign park is planned for Tulsa for late 2019.  It will be small and located on the southwest side of the Avery Centennial Plaza, also known as the Historic 11th Street Bridge.

Can never have too many neon signs.

JULY 23--  Ariston Cage likely to have new owners by mid-July.  Marty and Karri Steffens, who own the Maverick Steak & Spirits have bought it.

Nick and Denise Adams, current owners, last day will be June 30.  Pete Adams founded the famous place in 1924 in Carlinville, Illinois and it located to Litchfield in 1935.

Here's hoping the Ariston will continue as before.  One of the best places to eat on 66, but it has been closed a whole lot the last several years.

To Old Things.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 23, 2018

Along 66, June 2018: An Illinois Bicentennial Coin and New Classic Car Museum in Wilmington

JUNE 18--  The official Illinois Bicentennial Coin design will feature Route 66 and was designed by Hayden Schumer, 21, from Chatham, Illinois.  It will cost $45 and be shipped around August 1.

Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.

JUNE 20--  A classic car museum will be opening soon in Wilmington, Illinois.  It will be called Midwest Classics on 66 and is set to open in July in the old Ben Franklin building.  Owners Jeff Hubrick and Mike Bell will sell and buy the cars.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Can You Guess Who These Tribute Bands Cover?-- Part 5: Have A Cigar


Avenge 7X
White Pony
What's Our Age Again
Hybrid Theory
St. Jimmy


The Chain
Beggar's Banquet
Doors of Chicago
Have A Cigar


Avenge Sevenfold
Blink 182
Green Day

Fleetwood Mac
Rolling Stones
Pink Floyd

I Got A Lot, But Not All of Them.  --RoadDoggone

Can You Guess Who These Tribute Bands Cover-- Part 4: Pearl

Answers below.


Midnight Hour
Jak Crowes
Calling Baton Rouhe
Petty Cash  (Cover two performers)


Woodstock Generation / Summer of Love
Who's Next


Lonesome Highway
Flip Flop Dave
Jason Stone


Allman Brothers
Black Crowes
Garth Brooks
Tom Petty and Johnny Cash

Songs from Woodstock
Janis Joplin

Bob Dylan
Jimmy Buffett
Elvis Presley

Which Stage, Which Stage?  --RoadDog

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Can You Guess Who These Tribute Bands Cover? --Part 3: No Shirt, No Shoes

These are bands playing at the Tribute Island Festival at Simmons Island in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this weekend.

I'll give you the name of the tribute band, you guess the name of who they cover.  The stage name will give hints.


Legends of CMA Country Stage

Miranda Church
Gone Country
Smokin' Gunz
No Shirt, No Shoes

Legends of Monsters of Rock Stage

Kings of the Nighttime World
Diver Down

Legends of Henry Maier Fest Grounds Stage

Karen Hart & the Pretenders
Dream Police
Night Train
Bad Medicine


Miranda Lambert / Eric Church
Like Bryant / Keith Urban
Gary Alan & More
Kenny Chesney

Van Halen

Cheap Police
Guns N' Roses
Bon Jovi


Can You Guess Who These Tribute Bands Cover? -- Part 2: Ten

And, there sure is a variety of music genres represented in these tribute bands.  Again, I will give you the name of the tribute band.  You guess whose music they cover.  Answers below.  The stage name might give you a hint.

Legends of Lollapalooza Stage

Smells Like Grohl
Big Bang Baby

Legends of Ozzfest Stage

Hellbilly Deluxe
Juda Rising
Hand of Doom
Blizzard of Ozz


Alice in Chains
Foo Fighters
Stone Temple Pilots
Pearl Jam

Rob Zombie
'Judas Priest
Black Sabbath
Ozzy Osbourne

How'd You Do?  --RoadDog

Can You Guess Who These Tribute Bands Pay Tribute To?-- Part 1: Kashmir

In the last post, I mentioned the huge group of tribute bands who are playing this weekend in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the tribute Island Music Festival.  Sadly, it had been raining in northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin most of yesterday and forecast today as well.

I got a kick out of looking at the names of the tribute bands and seeing who they cover.  Let's see how you do.  I'll give you the name of the tribute band and later, who they cover.


Too Bad Company
Jagged Little Pill
Ready Freddies


Bad Company
Led Zeppelin
Alanis Morrissette


Friday, July 20, 2018

Way Too Much Going On Around Here This Weekend

These are the kinds of weekends I really dislike as there is way too much going on around here in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.

Up in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, we have Country Thunder with all those big performers.  That goes from tonight, Friday, to Sunday.  Then in Kenosha, Wisconsin, we have Tribute Island at Simmons Island on Lake Michigan with some 50 tribute bands playing Friday to Sunday.

Then, in McHenry, Illinois, we have Fiesta Days with its Art in the Park and street parties tomorrow.  Liz and I call it Drunk In the Park.  There are several bands playing on the streets.  Also, Antioch, Illinois, has Taste of Summer with food and bands every night, Friday to Sunday.

We Need to do a better job at scheduling all these events.  We'd like to go to all of them, but can't.

Let's Spread 'Em Out Some More.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Good Ol' Ballpark Neighborhoods-- Part 2: A Car Is Required For Pre-Game Food

Continuing with worst to best neighborhoods around MLB ballparks.

24.  CITI FIELD--    (Mets)  If you're in to mufflers and airplane exhaust, you'll love the area around Citi Field.

23.  YANKEE STADIUM--  Hearing "The Bronx" might frighten some, but there is appeal outside it.

22.  GLOBE LIFE PARK--  (Rangers)  A car is required to reach pregame food.

21.  GUARANTEED RATE FIELD--  (White Sox)  Since Comiskey Park is my favorite field (well, the old one anyway), I'll write the whole thing they wrote.

Remember when former Governor Jim Thompson (did not go to prison) vowed to save McCuddy's and buy the first round?  Well, we do.

The classic Sox fan hangout was knocked down when old Comiskey Park and never replaced.  Your best bet is a short drive to Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar, over there  at 31st and Morgan.

20.  DODGER STADIUM--  One of the few major league ballparks where no tailgating is allowed.

19.  MILLER PARK--  (Brewers)  There is nothing within distance of the parking lots., but the traditional pregame tailgating parties are epic.  No kidding about those tailgate parties.

It Is Still Comiskey Park To Me.  --RoadSox

Good Ol' Ballpark Neighborhood Fun-- Part 1: Nothing In Walking Distance

From the July 19, 2018, Chicago Tribune "Neighborhood fun."  By Mark Gonzales, Paul Sullivan, Phil Rogers, Colleen Kane, Phil Thompson, Teddy Greenstein and Tim Bannon.

Earlier this year they ranked the Major League Baseball parks themselves, but what about the neighborhoods around them?  Well, these guys came up with a list going worst to best.  They say a little more about each than I write.

See where your favorite ballpark ranks.

30.  TROPICANA FIELD--  (Devil Rays)  Too far from downtown

29.  MARLINS PARK--  (Miami)   Forget about tailgating here.

28.  KAUFFMAN STADIUM--   (Royals)  Nothing in walking distance.

27.  ANGEL STADIUM--  Few stadiums feel more suburban -- and not in a nice, quaint way.

26.  OAKLAND COLISEUM--  (A's)  The Coliseum is easy to hate, but at least an experience.

25.  MINUTE MAID PARK--  (Astros)  The B.U.S. and Home Plate Bar and Grill across the street  are the only places to wait out traffic.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Just Some Road Stuff of Interest: The Ferry and the Relic

**  The Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry will be raising vehicle rates on August 15 to take the ferry across the Cape Fear River between those two points.  This is the first increase in 15 years.

And, the price goes from $5 to $7.  That is not a bad price for a great twenty minute trip on the water across an area where blockade runners, Confederate and Union warships traversed during the Civil War.  And, that is not to mention the three or four hours you save if you go up the river and cross at Wilmington, N.C. (and that Wilmington traffic and photo-enforced stoplights).

**  For you Route 66ers, there is a piece of the USS Arizona coming to the Amarillo War Museum in Texas.  This, of course, is the famous battleship sunk at Pearl harbor in the attack December 7, 1941 attack.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Big Red" Returns to Route 66

From the June 6, 2018, LaClede County (Mo.) Record by Gary Sosniecki.

Janet McAllister stopped driving "Big Red" -- her red 1973 Cadillac El Dorado convertible -- in the Lebanon Christmas parade several years ago.  She knew that her late husband, Dr, Jack McAllister would like to have her drive it in parades, "But, I couldn't see over the hood."

However, Janet and "Big Red" will be in the 2018 Lebanon Route 66 Festival.

The festival was Saturday, June 16.  We would have liked to have been in Lebanon for it, but we had already been there earlier in June for three days.

Her late husband had been quite the classic car collector, mostly convertibles, owning "a dozen or tow."

But after his death, the others were sold off.  Someone else will be driving "Big Red."  Remember, Janet can't see over the hood.

Go "Big Red.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 16, 2018

R.I.P. Rick Selle

A good friend of mine from the old Puppet Bar days has passed on.  Rick Selle died at age 64, on July 12 after a short illness.

He used to be quite the partier.  One time his boat, a small fishing skiff, sank while tied to a pier at the Puppet Bar.  I was deejaying and kept telling him his boat was sinking, but he wouldn't believe me.  When we finally went outside to look at it, the boat was about 2/3 submerged and there were a whole lot of empty beer cans floating by it.

He was also very interested in anything dealing with history and had quite a collection of old stuff in his basement.

The last time we saw him and his wife was on an Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour when I recognized a sign with "R.A.S. Concrete" on the side of a truck.

We'll Sure Miss You Rick.  --RoadDog

Along 66, June 2018: An Arch and a Motorhead

JUNE 13--  There is a new welcome arch in Kingman, Arizona.  I love arches.

JUNE 14--  Route 66 Motorheads bar in Springfield, Illinois, has been offered a sales tax rebate of up to $250,000 for being annexed to Springfield.  This is to help offset the cost of a $48,000 waterline to the city.

The new place is at 600 Toronto Road, south of Springfield and used to be a Stuckey's.

The bar opened Friday and they hope to have the restaurant serving food next month.  We dropped in for a drink or two on Saturday during the Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour.  Definitely a place 66ers will want to see.

The place has an auto racing theme and Route 66 memorabilia, including Bill Shea's entrance to his former museum.

There is also a Bel-Air Motel sign, a Springfield Tops Big Boy sign and Art's Motel sign from Farmersville.

This Is One Really Good Place.  --RoadDog

Saturday, July 14, 2018

And What About That New Gas Station in DeKalb in 1918?

From the July 11, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The new garage at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway to be use as a Ford service station and garage, is rapidly nearing completion, inside and out and should be ready for occupancy within the next few weeks."

This building was started in the fall of 1917 and still isn't finished.  I would imagine labor and material shortages because of World War I was the reason for the long delay in its completion.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Picking Up the Ford Cars in Chicago in 1918

From the April 18, 2018, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Perry Fisk, Charles Broughton and several others went to Chicago this morning to drive out a number of new Ford cars for delivery to customers here,

"The boys expect to get back here some time during the late afternoon."

Perry Fisk was one of the owners of that gas station at First Street and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb that was seeming to take forever to finish.  He also must have owned the Ford dealership.

A Rich Man--RoadDog

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Along 66, June 2018: June 8-10 Lots Going On Along Illinois Route 66

JUNE 8-19  Illinois was the site of a whole lot of 66in'.  Edwardsville had their annual Route 66 Festival which attracted thousands.  We went by it on both the 8th and 9th.

There was also the Blue Carpet Corridor Festival held between Edwardsville and Litchfield and Carlinville.  Several towns had events going on during the day of June 9.

Plus, we had the Illinois Route 66 Association annual motor tour where we crossed the Chain of Rocks Bridge twice, going both west and then east.  Then we had lots of interesting stops and ended up in Springfield for the banquet.

The next day we drove from Springfield to the Launching Pad in Wilmington.

Lots of Fun in Illinois.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cruisin' Back in 1970: "Deja-Vu"

July 10, Tuesday, Bob Stroud went back to 1970 on his Ten at Ten program on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, the Drive.

1970 was a great college year for me at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

INDIANA WANTS ME--  T. Dean Taylor
NO MATTER WHAT--  Badfinger
DOMINO--  Van Morrison

HEY HEY WHAT CAN I DO--  Led Zeppelin
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND--  Gordon Lightfoot

DEJA-VU--  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
UP AROUND THE BEND--  Creedence Clearwater Revival

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "When You're Weary, Feeling Small."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Bridge Over Troubled Waters"   And it sure felt like we were passing over troubled waters back then.

Along 66, June 2018: The House Passes the Route 66 National Historic Trail Bill

JUNE 5--  The House of Representatives approved the Route 66 National Historic Trail Act.  It now goes to the Senate.  It is HR 801 and was introduced by Darin LaHood (R-Ill) in Feb. 2017.  Eventually it had 21 co-sponsors, including ones from all eight states through which our road goes.

It amends the National Trails System Act.

Anything helps.

JUNE 6--  Illinois launches the Route 66 motorcycle plate program.  Now you bikers can proudly sport the look.

Riding the Bike.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Along 66, June 2018: It's All About the Tropics, Man

JUNE 5--  The folks relighting the old Tropics sign in Lincoln, Illinois, this month on June 24 are encouraging celebrants to come in tropical attire.

McDonald's, where the sign is located now, is on the site of the old Tropics Restaurant and will be offering a special at $1.66 for a cheeseburger and small fries all day.  Commemorative tee shirts are for sale.

Vince Schwenoha traveled to California during World War II and drew inspiration  for his new restaurant, the Tropics, from the palm trees.  he designed the iconic neon sign in 1950.

Lew and Bev Johnson ran it for the  decades and then it went through many closings and openings after it was bypassed by I-55.  It closed for good in 2003.  In 2006 the Tropics Restaurant was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Association's Hall of Fame

The sign was eventually taken down and placed in a city-owned field where it rapidly decayed.  In June 2016, Ace Sign Co. of Springfield, Illinois received it and began redoing it for $70,000.

Sure Glad We Got A Chance To Go To the Tropics in 2003.  --RoadTrops

Monday, July 9, 2018

Along 66, June 2018: Illinois Bicentennial Coin and Galena, Kansas

These stories are taken from the Route 66 News site which has pictures and more information as well as many other articles.  I just pick out the ones of most interest to me.

JUNE 3--  Route 66 included in possible Illinois Bicentenial coin.  (It was included and shows the highway running its route through the state.)  These coins are available for $45.

Glad to be included.

JUNE 3--  Galena, Kansas, to redevelop more of its downtown.   It is definitely something they need to do as much of it is run-down.  In 2006, 4 Woman on the Route opened and proved to be quite popular, especially with the real Tow Mater, the truck that inspired the character in the movie "Cars."  The place is now known as Cars of the Route.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Lincoln Highway Assoc. and Chicago Motor Club Go Through DeKalb in 1939

From the April 18, 2018, MidWeek "Looking Back."

July 26, 1939

Photograph of a group of people gathering and watching cars from the Lincoln Highway Association and Chicago Motor Club pass by the DeKalb, Illinois, post office.

The cars are going west on Lincoln Highway.  The gas station that I have been writing about so much while under construction in 1917 and 1918 has its pumps and a sign for Standard Service and gas for what appears to be 7 cents is also in the photo.

A Very Interesting Photograph.  --RoadDog

Friday, July 6, 2018

John's Modern Cabins

This is almost always a stop for us when we drive through the area.  It is just so sad seeing it falling apart like it is.  That is, if I can find it.

I've even walked around the cabins on occasion, but carefully watching for unfriendly snakes and such.  Oh yes, skeeters.

The cabins were originally built in 1931 as Bill and Bess' Place.  John Dausch bought it in 1951 and changed the name to...guess.  He closed it after the death of his wife in the 1960s and it was abandoned after his death in 1971.

And then, nature started its reclamation project.


Along 66, June 2018: A New Book and Help for John's Modern Cabins

JUNE 1--  There is a new book out "Route 66: Then and Now" by Joe Sonderman.  I always love before and after shots.  And, especially of my favorite road, you know.

JUNE 2--  The Painted Desert Trading Post and John's Modern Cabins get some TLC.

Twelve volunteers got to work on the forlorn John's Cabins site, removing overgrown vegetation and shoring up the lone remaining cabin still standing.  The cabin has new interior studs, a chemical was sprayed on the exterior walls, tree branches were trimmed and I heard some poison ivy was encountered and some folks now know what poison ivy looks like.

Roamin' Rich had a big hand in this.

The last time we were there in October 2017, we didn't even dare to cross the road over to it because it was so overgrown.  It is not any more.

More help is planned for the site.

Hoping This Will Keep It There a Bit Longer.  Thanks Roamin Rich!!--RoadDog

Will That Garage Ever Get Finished in DeKalb in 1918?

From the May 9, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The work on the First street garage being erected by E.P. Elwood and Perry Fisk is progressing at a rapid rate at the present tie and the building will soon be ready for the interior finishes.

"The floors have been laid, and Swanson brothers electrical contractors have had a force of men at work on inside wiring."

Remember, this garage was supposed to be finished in early fall of 1917.  If you want to follow the many posts I've made about this garage at the corner of the Lincoln Highway and First Street, click on the gas Stations label below.

Taking a Long While, A Real Long While.  --RoadDog

A Big Horse Sale in DeKalb in 1918

From the May 2, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Last week's horse sale was one of the best the city has seen in several months, and the unusual large crowd of buyers and sellers on the street was evidence of the fact.

"In the evening there was a total of five carloads, about 95 animals, shipped to Chicago markets."

Less Need for Horses As Cars Ascend.

Wondering If That Was For Resale or Food?  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Along 66, May 2018: Lipton Tea Takes Over Pontiac, Illinois

MAY 26  Lipton Tea Company is taking over Pontiac, Illinois June 8-10 as part of the National Ice Tea Day.  They will be unveiling a mural and renaming Route 66 "The Lipton Highway."

In addition, they are launching their "Refreshingly Road Trippin" program.

There will be free tea to visitors.

In collaboration with Trip Advisor they are also having "2018s Route 66 Road Trip Gems."  This would be great places to eat and visit along Route 66.

Their list:

Bernardo's II Restaurant in Pontiac, Illinois
Le Roy's--  Monrovia, California
Big Texan Steak House--  Amarillo, Tx.
Britten Leaning Water Tower--  Groom, Tx.

Cozy Dog Drive-In--  Springfield, Illinois
Jiggs Smokehouse--  Clinton, Ok.
Meramec Caverns--  Stanton, Mo.
Old Riverton Store--  Riverton, Ks.

Ollie's Station Restaurant--  Tulsa
Singing Road--  Tijeras, N.M.
The Chili Parlor--  Springfield, Illinois
Westside Lilo's Cafe--  Seligman, Arizona

We stopped at Pontiac on the last day of the Illinois Route 66 Association's Motor Tour and they not only had free Lipton's Ice Tea but Bernardo's also had a huge assortment of finger foods like burgers, hot dogs and other items.

Ate and Drank My Fill.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

I'd Like to Nominate Steve Goodman's "The City of New Orleans" for Great American 4th of July Song

This being the 4th of July today, I got to wondering if there is a Great American 4th of July song of the more current variety,  I mean, one that is not "The Star-Spangled Banner,"  "America the Beautiful" or "God Bless America."

And, there are those songs.  As a matter of fact, yesterday the Drive, 97.1 FM in Chicago played a Ten at Ten which covered some of those songs.  I'll eventually put those ten in my Cooter's History Thing blog later.

But, I'm listening to Steve Goodman Mix on You Tube right now, and after listening to "The City of New Orleans" I'd have to say Steve Goodman pretty well sums up what America's all about in this song.

"Don't You Know Me, I'm Your Native Son."  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Historic Tropics Sign Illuminated in Lincoln

From the June 24, 2018, Springfield (Illinois) State Journal Register by Natalie Morris.

It shone for the first time in fifteen years with a ceremonial relighting on June 24.

Lew and Bev Johnson ran the Tropics restaurant from 1953 to 1957 and sold it.  It closed for good in 2003.  Ace Sign Company in Springfield, Illinois, took it this past spring and refurbished the sign for $70,000, replacing the original electric system, some rusted panels and then repainted it,.

The sign weighs 4,200 pounds  The site of the restaurant is now a McDonald's, but they allowed the sign to be put up on their property.

Vince Shwenoha opened the Tropics in 1950.  The name and decor along with the sign came from the time he spent in California while serving in World War II.

The sign was removed from the site in 2014 and it was taken out of storage last year.  They are still some $3,000 short of the $70,000 for the repaired sign.

That Is One Really Pretty Old Sign.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 2, 2018

Along 66, May 2018: A Giant Gas Pump In Sapulpa

MAY 23--  The Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum dedicated a 66-foot tall gas pump in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
Something else to see on Route 66.  The way i look at it, the more things of this nature, the better.


Along 66, May 2018: Did Mary Cotter Or Didn't She?

These are taken from the Route 66 News site which had many more entries, more information and pictures.  Well worth checking out.  I just pick the ones of the most interest to me.

MAY 23--  Did Mary Cotter fabricate her role as a Fred Harvey Company architect?

She claimed that she built the restaurant buildings for Fred Harvey along the Santa Fe Railroad as well as the structure at the Grand Canyon National Park and the La Posada in Winslow, Arizona.  Fred Shaw has written a book on this subject  "False Architect:  The Mary Cotter Hoax."  She had no architectural training.

It Sounds Like She Didn't Design The Buildings.  --  RoadDog