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--  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--  A car is required to reach pregame food.

21.  GUARANTEED RATE FIELD--  Since Comiskey Park is mt 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--  There is nothing within distance of the parking lots., but the traditional pregame tailgating parties are epic.

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--  Too far from downtown

29.  MARLINS PARK--  Forget about tailgating here.

28.  KAUFFMAN STADIUM--  Nothing in walking distance.

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

26.  OAKLAND COLISEUM--  The Coliseum is easy to hate, but at least an experience.

25.  MINUTE MAID PARK--  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

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Clabber Girl Baking Powder and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

From Wikipedia.

Clabber Girl is a baking powder manufactured by Hulman & Company.  The name clabber comes from a word meaning sour milk  In the early 1800s, people mixed clabber with pearl ash, soda, cream of tartar and some other ingredients to produce baking soda.

The first baking powder produced by the Hulman Company was called "Milk Brand," but in 1899, it was changed to "Clabber Brand."  In 1923, the company changed the name to "Clabber Girl."

According to the company, the girl shown of the front of the cans dates back to to its 1899 debut.  No one knows if the artist who created the image used a model or made it up.

The Hulman Company also owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar, the sanctioning body for American open-wheel racing.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Clabber Girl and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

From Clabber Hirl Corporate History.

A Timeline:

Early 1800s:  Hulman Brothers Mercantile, Hanover, Germany.

1850:Francis and Herman form Hulman & Terre Haute, Indiana.

1899:  Started making Clabber Baking Powder.

1930:  Anton "Tony" Hulman Jr. startes a nationwide sales campaign to promote Clabber Girl Baking Powder.

1945:  Tony Hulman purchases the Indianapolis Moto Speedwayas a venue for promoting Clabber Girl.

1996:  Tony Hulman-George creates the IndyCar Series

--Bake me A Biscuit!!  --RoadClab

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Most Iconic Indy 500 Foods-- Part 5: The St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

One bite into a St. Elmo Steakhouse shrimp cocktail and you will feel the fire of 33 open-wheel race cars blowing past the Indianapolis 500 starting line.

Overloaded with horseradish, it's the restaurants most notorious dish.  Hawk while you sweat out the appetizer.

Nationally known as St. Elmo and located at 127 S. Illinois Street.

Many Indy 500 drivers, IndyCar team owners and celebrities pack the place throughout the Month of May.

Get the BURN!!!  --RoadDog

The Most Iconic Indy 500 Foods-- Part 4: Biscuits and Gravy and Clabber Girl

Before Tony Hulman purchased the track in 1945 and brought it back to life, he was marketing the heck out of his family's Clabber Girl baking powder company in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Sales skyrocketed, which meant money to purchase and rebuild the track.

Biscuits and gravy are usually on the track's Month of May breakfast menu.  Lots of people camping around the track for Indy 500 make biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

Eat your Clabber Girl biscuits.

One of My Favorite Breakfasts.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wizard of Oz Theme Park Reopening in June

From the April 19, 1918, park announcement.

The Wizard of Oz Theme Park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina will be open in June for a limited one hour tour.

It is a trip to the Land of Oz.

The park originally opened in 1970 and drew 400,000 visitors.  It closed in the 1980s.

Tours will cost $25 and will take place every Friday in June and on Saturday, June 30.

It is by the North Carolina-Tennessee border near Virginia.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Most Iconic Indy 500 Foods-- Part 3: Breaded Tenderloin Sandwiches

Where there are Hoosiers, there are breaded tenderloins, and the most Hoosiers gathered in one place is at the Indianapolis 500.  The signature Indiana pork sandwich dates to the state's German roots, but the meat isn't exactly a schnitzel or cutlet.

Proper tenderloins are cut from the loin and pounded or cubed to tenderize the meat.  Some are thick, but many are ultra-thin, platter-sized discs that dwarf their hamburger buns.  The meat's breading should never trump the pork's flavor or become soggy before the last bite.

Condiments are few.  Ask for lettuce and tomato at your own risk.

Sorry, Must Have Stuff On Mine.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 25, 2018

Most Iconic Indy 500 Foods-- Part 2: Mom Unser's Chili

Drivers Al, Bobby and Jerry Unswer are Indy 500 legends, but so was their mom thanks to her chili parties.

"Every April, Mom would gather her big pots and pans, and sacks of green chilies, packed them in coolers and loaded the camper of the pick-up to make the 1,250-mile journey (from her home in Albuquerque, N.M.) to Indianapolis.

Mary Unser's famous chili and tequila bash started when she asked track firefighters, safety crews and mechanics if they wanted to try her chili.

It was full of pork, tomatoes, onions and hot chilies.  She served it from the mid-1960s until her death in 1975.

Chili and Racin'.  --RoadDog

A Coal Company Gets Motorized in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The firm of Mosher & Embree has made the initial step in the motorizing of its business, a step deemed necessary on the part of the owners.

"The coal business as well as the lumber business is such that every savings possible must be made, and Mosher & Embree were quick to realize the savings possible through the use of motor trucks for delivery."

More Horse Out Of Jobs.  --RoadDog

Friday, June 22, 2018

Lincoln, Illinois' Mill to Host Activities for Tropics Relighting

From the June 19, 2018, Route 66 News.

Along with all the hoopla surrounding the relighting of the Tropics sign in Lincoln, Illinois, another of Lincoln's iconic Route 66 places will also be open and hosting many things in conjunction with it.

From 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Mill, now a museum, will be open.

Route 66 Roadie Rod Ferguson of Hot Rod Travels will be featured as a guest presenter and will have a display of celebrity autographs that he has collected.  One of those is that of Jerry Muren, the last living of the "Wizard of Oz" munchkins who died May 24 of this year.  He also has one from Adam West, TV's "Batman."

Also, he has autographs by Ernie Edwards of the Pighip and Bob Waldmire.

The Mill Museum has an extensive Tropics collection including an original dining table and chairs and rare Tropics documents like menus, postcards, matchbooks and photographs.

We were just at The Mill on June 10 as part of the Illinois Route 66 Association's Motor Tour and they also have a big collection of PigHip, Ernie Edwards items along with, of course, The Mill.  We did find out that Haley's downtown was no longer open, but you can still get The Mill's famous schnitzel sandwiches at a bar nearby across from the old gas station.

Lincoln, a Town That Knows Its Route 66 Heritage.  --RoadDog

Most Iconic Foods of the Indy 500-- Part 1: Mom Unser's Chili

From the May 25, 2018, Indianapolis Star by Liz Biro.

Indy 500 fans will eat around 20,000 pounds of fries on race day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Eating food is a major part of the experience.  And, this is considering that you are allowed to bring food and drinks (alcohol included) into the race track.

That is just food bought at the track.

This past running of the race, No. 102, the places serving food actually gave out of burgers and hot dogs, at least in our area.

Here are some foods closely associated with the race.  Mom Unser's Chili, Breaded Tenderloin Sandwiches, Biscuits and Gravy, St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail, Root Beer and Onion Rings and more.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Tropics Sign To Be Relit This Sunday

I know that I usually am a month behind on my Along 66  blog entries, but I will move this and the next blog up to present as they are very special to me.

From the June 17 Route 66 News.

The Tropics sign is returning to Lincoln, Illinois.  Ace Sign Company out of Springfield, Illinois, returned the sign on Friday, June 15 to its original home.  Workers put it up, but it no longer will mark the Tropics Restaurant, but will be in the parking lot of the McDonald's which now sits on the site.

There will be a relighting ceremony on Sunday, June 24.

The Tropics Restaurant had been closed for years and the building was torn down in 2017.

We just missed it being put back up as we were on the Illinois Route 66 Association Motor Tour over the weekend of June 9-10 and drove through Lincoln.

We are glad that we hot to eat and watch a Bears game at the original restaurant and were sad every time we drove by the long-closed place.

There is a good picture of the sign at the Route 66 News site as well as more information.

So Glad We Will Get That Sign Back.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Along 66, May 2018: Red Cedar Inn and Fender's River Road Resort

MAY 14--  The Red Cedar Inn building in Pacific, Missouri, was bought by the city in 2017 for $290,000.  It was built in 1932 and abruptly closed in 2005.

We had driven by it several times when it was open and still a restaurant and had planned to stop in for a bite.  But, it closed before we got a chance to do it.  Goes to show that you should always stop by places when you can.

Plans are to open  it as a visitors center/Route 66 museum.

MAY 18--  Someone has made a video about Fender's River Road Resort in Needles, California.  It is right on the Colorado River.  When we went all the way out west on Route 66 in 2006, we drove by this place and next time we plan to stop for the night.

Looking Forward to the Red Cedar Inn.  --RoadDog

Along 66, May 2018: Illinois Route 66 Bike Way in McLean County

MAY 9--  Route 66 Bikeway in Illinois gets grant for extension.  McLean County received a $1.92 million grant from IDOT to extend the present bike path along old Route 66 by 1.1 miles.

It will eventually be 16.5 miles from Towanda in the north, through Bloomington-Normal south to Shirley and Funks Grove.

So glad that Bloomington-Normal and McLean County is FINALLY taking advantage of their Route 66 heritage.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Wall That Heals, Vietnam Veterans Memorial-- Part 4

The Wall Replica

The replica Wall is three-fourths scale and 375 feet in length.  It stands 7.5 feet tall at its tallest  point at the apex.  Visitors experience The Wall rising above them as they walk toward the apex.

The wall replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite and its 140 numbered panels are supported by an aluminum frame.

Machine engraving of the 58,000 names along with modern LED lighting provide readability of The Wall day and night.

Names are arranged in order of date of casualty and alphabetically on each day, beginning in the center.for the earliest deaths.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Wall That Heals, Vietnam Veterans Memorial-- Part 3: By the Numbers

22 years, 9 months:  Average age of service members on the Wall

15:  Age of the youngest service member on the Wall

400,000+:  Items left at the wall  (and there were a lot left while it was in McHenry

31:  Sets of brothers on the Wall

3:  Sets of fathers and sons on the Wall

246:  Most casualty deaths for one day.  January 31, 1968  The Tet Offensive

The Wall That Heals, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall-- Part 2: By the Numbers

Here are some numbers from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica Wall in McHenry, Illinois over Memorial Day weekend:

58,318:  Names on the Wall

1,500+:  Service members unaccounted for from the Vietnam War

8:  Women on the Wall

375 feet:  Length of the Wall That Heals

600:  Cities The Wall That Heals has visited

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Wall That Heals, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica, Comes to McHenry, Illinois-- Part 1

When I returned from the Indy 500 race on May 28, we got back in time for us to go over to McHenry Township Park by the Moose Lodge and see the wall.  I was hoping to get there in time as I've seen this replica wall before and it is a real moving experience.

The Vietnam War was a major part of my growing up.  It started when I was in 7th grade and went clear through my graduating from college in 1973.  I thought we'd still be fighting it as there was no end in sight and the U.S. did not appear to be doing what was needed to end it.

And, of course, there was the draft.  I came really close to having to go.  I would have had I been called.

I've seen the real wall in Washington, D.C., as well as a replica of it in McHenry many years ago at the VFW.  All times, I said to myself that I wouldn't get broken up.  All times that did not happen.

This Is One Really Moving Experience.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Lots Happening On Route 66 in Illinois and Missouri Last Weekend and This One

Last week, Liz and I went to Lebanon, Missouri and stayed at the Munger-Moss Motel for three days.  We hit all the Route 66 places from Pacific to there.  Lebanon and LaClede County have a really great booklet out that has every Route 66 place on it (and there are a lot).

We were out that way because of the Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10.  The Munger Moss and Lebanon are having their own Route 66 celebration tonight and Saturday.  Tonight, the party will be at the Munger-Moss and Saturday it will be downtown.

Last Saturday was the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet festival with a lot of towns between Litchfield and Edwardsville participating, as well as Edwardsville's 21st annual Route 66 Festival.  Also, the annual Illinois Route 66 Association Motor Tour took place, with a double crossing of the old Chain of Rocks Bridge as a highlight.

And, the Tropics sign in Lincoln, Illinois, will be turned on this month!!!

Sure Wish We Could Have Gone to the Munger-Moss/Lebanon Parties.  RoadDog

Thursday, June 14, 2018

States That Joined the Union During the Civil War

Since today is U.S. Flag Day, there were three states that joined the United States during the war years, causing stars to be added to the union.

1859-1861--  33 stars when Oregon joined

1861-1863--  34 stars when Kansas joined

1863-1865--  35 stars when West Virginia joined

Wikipedia has Nevada joining October 31, 1864


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Indy 500's Carb Day: Blues Traveler and Train

The cost to attend Carb Day is $30 and I think that is quite reasonable for all that you get, especially the concert at the end.

This year, we saw Blues Traveler opening for Train.  I knew a few songs Train has done, but listened a lot before I went to You Tube and found that I heard another couple songs.  I don't listen much to today's music anymore, or even music from the 2000s.

Train is an excellent group and I even am looking for a CD of their music.

Blues Traveler is an good band that I was familiar with, but they jam too much.  I figure that with a name like "Blues" that is to be expected.


Indy 500's Carb Day-- Part 3: Indy Lights Freedom 100 Race and the Pit Stop Challenge

The Indy 500 practice runs for an hour starting at 11 a.m..  Lots of stops are made to work on details and toward the end, they cars are actually racing.

At 12:30 p.m., we have the Indy Lights Freedom 100 Race, involving smaller Indy cars driven by young drivers who want to be Indy car drivers.  This involves 40 laps around the track.

Along with the running of the Indy cars one final time before the race (they don't practice on the Saturday before race day) there is also the Pit Stop Challenge.  This event was added in 1977.  Crews go through a full pit stop in practice and competition for the big race.

They work on the actual cars with the actual drivers who roar into the pit stop.  This, however, gets a bit boring after awhile so we usually go back to the RV for a bit, before returning for the concert.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Indy 500's Carb Day-- Part 2: The "Shake Down"

But, the Indy 500 is steeped in tradition so even though no Indy cars had a carburetor since 1963, the name continues.

Carburetion Day was held on randomly selected  days the week before the big race.  It was not open to the public until the mid-1950s.

In 1969, it was held on Thursday and continued intl 2005 when it was moved to Friday.

Carb Day dives teams and drivers the opportunity to "shake down" their cars and make sure it is mechanically sound.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Indy 500's Carb Day-- Part 1: When a Carb is Not a Carb

From the May 25, 2018, Indianapolis Star "Why it's called Carb Day when Indy cars don't use carburetors" by Dawn Mitchell.

Carb Day at the Indy 500 is on the Friday before the race and is not about loading up on pasta, well perhaps the carbs in those beers.  It is actually about the race cars, but has grown into something a whole lot bigger.

We've been to the last  three Carb Days, now that the folks I go with are retired from teaching.  And, we had to overcome the objection of one person, but she now loves it.  This is a fun-filled day, costs $30 and is worth every bit of it in my estimation.

But, you do know that those race cars that will be tooling around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday in the Indy 500 do not have carburetors anymore.

More On That In the Next Post.  --RoadCarb

Sunday, June 10, 2018

2018 Route 66 Trip: Just Got Back

We just hot back a few minutes ago from a trip on Route 66 from Dwight, Illinois, to Lebanon Missouri.

The trip covered 1,156 miles, three cities and three motels:  Route 66 Hotel in Springfield, Illinois, Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon,  Missouri and Super 8 in Pontoon Beach, Illinois.  The last two days included the Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour.

We saw a lot of stuff we'd seen before as well as many things that were new.

We ate and drank lots and lots.

I had  no posts over the last six days as we had really big problems with our laptops.

Major Fun for Us.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 4, 2018

Along 66, May 2018: Illinois' Red Carpet Corridor and Lebanon's Murals

MAY 5--  The Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival was held this Saturday.  The event covers a 90 mile stretch of the famous road from Joliet to Towanda (by Bloomington-Normal).  This year it is to be just one day instead of Sat-Sun..

And, they promise to have more collectibles in each town.  You get a collectible in each town.  Last year we went on it and by Sunday, every place we went was out of them.

MAY 8--  The Nelson family unveiled the latest mural in Lebanon, Missouri.  It is in Boswell Park and this mural shows the long-gone Nelson Tavern and Nelson's Dream Village Motel.

We'll be seeing it this week while staying at the Munger-Moss Motel.


"Unaccountable" Car Fire in DeKalb in 1918

From the May 16, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"William Van Artsdale of Malta came to DeKalb and left his auto standing on the Lincoln Highway, opposite the Princess theater.  When ready to return home, the car caught fire in some unaccountable way and an alarm was turned in from Box 21, which when received at the electric plant, necessitated the blowing of the whistle.

"The fire boys had little to do as the flames were subdued by bystanders and small fire extinguishers in short order."

The Fun of Driving Those Old Cars.  German Spies? --RoadDog

Sunday, June 3, 2018

They'll Never Finish That Garage

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The work at the First street (and Lincoln Highway) garage being erected by E,P. Ellwood and Perry Fisk is progressing at a rapid rate at the present time, and the building will soon be ready for the interior finishers.

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

I have been writing about this garage being built since they began building it in the summer of 1917.


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Paige Cars Get New Showroom in DeKalb in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The firm of Noren & Johnson, selling the Paige Cras, which has been operating in the Corkins basement, will move in the next few days to the vacant building at 446 East Lincoln Highway next to the laundry.

"The new rooms will give the auto sellers a better office and display room and make it much more convenient for the handling of cars.  The east Lincoln Highway place has been operated by Mr. Jackman, as a wind mill repair shop.

Buying Those Paige Cars.  --RoadDog

A Street Car-Ford Accident in 1918

From the May 23, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The DeKalb-Sycamore electric car and a Fort car belonging to A. Montinson, living south of DeKalb, came together this morning at Seventh street, or rather the Ford ran into the street car broadside, the impression of the radiator being plainly visible in the middle of the street car.

"The 'Henry' was badly damaged, while considerable paint was removed from the street car, but otherwise not a great deal of damage was reported."

I imagine "Henry" must refer to Henry Ford.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Along 66, May 2018: A Motel and Murals

These are taken from the Route 66 News site, which has more information and pictures.  I just pick the stories of most interest to me, but if you want to know what is going on anywhere along 66, check out that site.

MAY 1--  The new owners pledge to restore the Hill Top Motel in Kingman, Arizona.  The place has a neat looking sign.  Always glad to have an old motel brought back.

MAY 2--  Miami, Oklahoma, adds five murals to its downtown.

Well, If I can Ever Learn How to Pronounce Miami, Oklahoma-Style.  --RoadDog

Rough Railroad Crossing a Hundred Years Ago in DeKalb

From the May 30, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Aho.

"Automobile drivers of DeKalb and the community are cautioned about the dangers of driving over the Seventh Street crossing, until such time as the proper repairs are made there.

"A crossing plank for one of the side tracks crossing has become loose and one end is protruding about four to six inches above the remainder of the crossover.  Driving over the crossing rapidly and not seeing this obstruction might cause a serious accident."

What!!  Rough Railroad Crossings a Hundred Years Ago!!  Who'd a Thunk It.  --RoadDog

Historic National Road Yard Sale Is Underway: US-40

From the May 26, 2018, Indy Star "Yardsales for miles coming next week" by Jason Truitt Richmond Indiana Palladium.

Runs Wednesday to Sunday and will mark its 15th anniversary.  Founder and chair Patricia McDonald came up with the idea to celebrate the bicentennial of the authorization of the National Road, the country's first highway built with federal funds.

The first year, 2003, the yard sale stretched just from Richmond to Knightstown along US-40, the numbered road that replaced it in 1926, in Indiana.  The very next year, it stretched all the way across Indiana to Terre Haute.  The third year it really took off and went from Baltimore to St. Louis.

In just three years, it went from 37 miles to more than 800.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Along 66, April 2018: The Mill and The Cop

These stories taken from the Route 66 News site which goes into greater detail and even has pictures.  I only write about the ones I am most interested in.

APRIL 30--  Recollections of the early days of The Mill.  Four people who were there when the Blue Mill opened in Lincoln, Illinois, had their stories told in a 2007 interview by Geoff Ladd.  Included are the stories of Robert and Norma McAfee.

Looking forward to seeing the newly reopened, well, a year ago, Mill while on the Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour two weekends from now.

APRIL 30--  Longtime Illinois state trooper Chester Henry died at age 86.  He served 1957-1984 out of the Illinois State Police District 6 headquartered in the art deco building that looked like a pistol when viewed from above in Pontiac, Illinois.

He wrote  a book, "Route 66, My Home Away From Home" and was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame in 1993.

Sure Will Be Nice When They Find A Way to Do Something With That Building.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Along 66, April 2018: Blue Whale Vandalized and 92nd Birthday of 66

APRIL 28--  Vandalism at the Blue Whale by Catoosa, Oklahoma.  Evidently, nothing was done to the whale itself but picnic tables were thrown into the water.  Security cameras will now be put in place for when no one is there.

The Blue Whale dates to 1972 and was built by Hugh Davis and is a must-see for anyone traveling on Route 66.

APRIL 29--  Route 66 birthday party set for Monday in Springfield, Missouri, as they say, "The Birthplace of Route 66."

It will be the 92nd anniversary of our favorite highway.  The commemoration will be held downtown where the number 66 was received in 1926.

But, Why the Whale?  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Along 66, April 2018: An Endangered List and New Baseball Team

APRIL 27--  The Nite Spot Cafe in Fairmont City, Illinois, is on the Landmarks Illinois Annual Most-Endangered list.  The town is located outside St. Louis.  It has a neat-looking neon sign.

APRIL 28--  The Joplin, Missouri, baseball team's new logo contains Route 66.  They play at Joe Becker Stadium and the name 66ers was proposed, but the name "Miners" was selected, but Route 66 will be appearing in the team's logo.

The team plays in the Independent Southwest League.  They had a MLB minor league team called the Joplin Miners from 1902 to 1954.  Mickey Mantle played there.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Running the Cars-- Part 1: On the Road

I just got back from my annual trip to Indianapolis where I spent my time from Thursday to today.  For someone who didn't use to like any kind of car racing, I am essentially hooked on it now.


My 67th birthday.

Up early and packed then went on the internet to post to all blogs.  I head previously written out the entries.

Went to Sue and Paul's house at 9:30 a.m. and put my stuff aboard their RV and then we were off.  We took Rollins Road to Grand Avenue and stopped for our breakfast of champions, sliders from White Castle, well, actually a lot of sliders as in a 30-pack Crave Case.

We ate on the way south on the Tri-State Tollway, and past Great America with all those roller coasters.

Thanks I-65, Not Nearly So Jaw-Shattering!!  --RoadDog

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Along Lincoln Highway, April 2018: A Diner Gets a New Home

From the April 13, 2018, Trib Live  "1938 Diner moved to new home at Lincoln Highway museum" Jeff Himler.

It was a three mile move to the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum.

A tourist cabin that was at Routes 259 and 30 in Ligonier Township was also moved to the museum.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Along 66, April 2018: Catsup Bottles, Tumbleweeds and Trail of Tears

APRIL 23--  The World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival is coming to an end in Collinsville, Illinois.  I always like a festival, but never got to be at this one.  Guess I won't now.

APRIL 24-- Tumbleweeds invade the Route 66 town of Victorville, California.  They were described as very sticky and there were sure a lot of them that piled up by houses.  I had seen video on TV news in a bar, but didn't know that was Route 66.

APRIL 25--  The Trail of Tears Memorial in Missouri reopened.  Marie Rydberg is behind its rebirth.  Larry Baggett made it.  It honors the Cherokee forced removal to Oklahoma.

We had watched the place deteriorate over the years but it is so nice to see its back.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Anita King-- Part 3: Her Cross-Country Drive in 1915

In 1915, she decided to put her automobile driving experience to the test and become the first woman to drive alone across the United States..  She had the backing of her studio boss Jesse L. Lasky and his newly formed Paramount Pictures.

They got Kissel Motor Company to provide a car that was fitted out with Firestone Tires.

The whole undertaking was dubbed "The Paramount Girl" and amidst a lot of publicity, she left Paramount Studio in Hollywood on August 25, 1915.  The Los Angeles Times reported her only companions would be a rifle and six-shooter.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Anita King-- Part 2: Quite a Woman For Her Time

In 1908 she moved to the West Coast where she developed a fascination for fast cars after working as a model in a California auto show.  She learned to drive in the early 1910s and began competing in auto races.  She had an accident in a race in Phoenix and gave up racing.

The Hollywood film industry was growing fast at this time and she returned to acting and took her stage name of Anita King.

She began getting small roles with Jesse L. Lasky's Feature Play Company under director Cecil B. DeMille which led to her getting supporting roles in comedy films.


Anita King and Her Kissell Kar: 1915 49-Day Drive from Hollywood to New York City

Back in 2015, I wrote about Kissell Kars and this woman.  I had done further research in Wikipedia on Anita King.

August 14, 1884 -- June 10, 1963

American stunt driver, actress and thoroughbred racehorse owner.  In 1915, she made an unaccompanied 49-day auto drive from Hollywood to New York City

Born Anna Keppen to German immigrants in Michigan City, Indiana.  Her father committed suicide when she was 12 and her mother died two years later.  She was an impoverished orphan along with her siblings.

In her late teens she moved to Chicago.  There, the attractive girl found employment doing modeling and acting minor parts in the theater.

Kind of an Amelia Earhart.  --RoadDog

Along 66, April 2018: Roadies and Volunteers Needed Also a Sculpture

APRIL 20--  The National Trust for Historical Preservation is seeking roadies for a major cross-country campaign to preserve Route 66.  And, they will pay you to do it.   Shoot, I'd do it for free but you have to be tech savvy, which I ain't.

APRIL 22--  A Route 66 sculpture has been created by Riverton High School students in Kansas.  It is twenty feet tall and features Kansas 66.

Now, if I just could keep getting lost in traffic circle.

APRIL 23--  Hundreds of volunteers are needed to help clean up the Joliet Prison in Illinois  Between 200-300 skilled tradesmen are needed as well.  The prison is 160 years old and quite a striking structure.

Wonder if they need an unskilled person like me?

Will Work For Free.  --RoadDog

Friday, May 18, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 18: A Mardi Gras Parade in Panama City


Unfortunately, whenever the clouds rolled in, it got considerably cooler.

Drove to Panama City for the St. Andrews annual Mardi Gras parade.  St. Andrews was the original settlement here.  We got there just before the parade started at noon and parked near where we were last year which is near the start of the parade.  This makes it easier to leave for us as we are headed out while others are still watching it.  Avoids the traffic jam.

They had around 30 floats and lots and lots of beads, of course.  We ended up with quite a bead collection, even though we were standing back from the curb and weren't really trying to catch them.  Those at the curb and begging for beads were making quite a haul and some had twenty or more layers of beads.

We always love the pageantry and fun.  The people on the floats are dressed alike in colorful garb and there are quite a few people walking in the parade.

Besides the Warm, we are here for the two Mardi Gras celebrations today and next Saturday in Panama City Beach when the parade goes right by our motel, Driftwood Lodge.

Oh, Give Me Some Beads Where The Buffalo  Roam.  --RoadDog

Since the writing about this trip is taking so long, to see all of the posts, click on the PCB 2018 label below this.

In the Mood For Some Cruising Music, 1969: "Proud Mary"

I recorded this on my cassette recorder and plan to pop it into my '85 Firebird tape deck and do some cruising if I can afford the gas which reached $3.20 around here today.  Dadgum Big Oil GRBs!!

Bob Stroud does a show featuring ten songs from a year or of a particular subject on his show on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM and streaming at  It plays M-F at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m..

On May 17, he went to the year 1969, a particularly good one for me as I graduated from Palatine High School and had my freshman year at Northern Illinois University.

QUESTIONS 67 & 68--  Chicago

COUNTRY HONK--  Rolling Stones
EVERYBODY'S TALKIN'--  Harry Nilsson
HELPLESSLY HOPING--  Crosby, Stills & Nash

PROUD MARY--  Creedence Clearwater Revival
EASY TO BE HARD--  Three Dog Night

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Virgil Kane Is My Name And I Served On The Danville Train."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

Along 66, April 2018: The Mill and Olde Keg Meet the Bunion Derby

APRIL  17--  The Olde Keg building in Joliet, Illinois, is set to become a Mexican restaurant with a new name, Catrina's Mexican  The Olde Keg has been long-closed.

The building opened in 1897 and from that year to 1908 was the Horvath Cafe.  From 1908 to 1964, it was Jermaine's Tavern.  The last 29 years it was open it was The Keg.

We've driven by it, but didn't know it wasn't open.

APRIL 17--  This marks the first anniversary of The Mill's reopening in Lincoln, Illinois.  Ceremonies will be held April 29.  Sure glad Lincoln saved this relic of 66.  When we first saw it in 2002, it was looking quite bad.

Lincoln deserves credit, though.  I doubt that any town in the U.S. does more with its Route 66 heritage.

APRIL 19--  Oklahoma is marking the 90th anniversary of the Bunion Derby which took place in 1928 with a running race from Los Angeles to New York City, along Route 66 from L.A. to Chicago.  Two points for anyone who knows who won it?

Run, Run, Don't You Know.  --Andy Payne

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Warm Here We Come--Part 17: How 'Bout Them Indians?


Alas, we're in Florida and it was considerably cool this morning.  Could have stayed home and had this.  But still 30 degrees warmer.  

While getting ready to go out to eat, a lady walked by and saw my White Sox shirt and hat and she said she was a Cleveland Indians fan and madder than all get out about them dropping the Indian logo after this season.  She said she was buying as much stuff as she could with Chief Wahoo on it.

I told her that I would have pulled for the Indians in the 2016 World Series, but not with the Chicago Cubs playing in it.  Anybody else in the National League and I would have been for Cleveland.  After all, I AM an American league fan and besides, the Indians are in our division.

Went over to Burger King for their two breakfast sandwiches for $4 deal.  Real good.  Bought some stuff from Dollar Tree and got a King Cake from Winn-Dixie.  It is not Mardi Gras without King Cake!!

Cool though it was this morning, it warmed up enough by noon that I could enjoy shorts and tee shirt.  Makes me much happier.

A Happy Dog is Better.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

US-421 Yard Sale

Harlan (Ky) Daily Enterprise.

A bit late on this one, but I came across this news about a U.S.-421 Yard Sale that was held May 4-5.  Evidently this is not the first year for it as it lists the first weekend in May for the event.

Several places were listed as having yard sales around Harlan, but there were no listings of places elsewhere in Kentucky.

US-421 runs 941 miles from Michigan City, Indiana, by Lake Michigan to Fort Fisher (by Wilmington, N.C.) by the Atlantic Ocean.

I have driven the whole route.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Illinois' 200th, 20 Sporting Events To See-- Part 11: The United Center


Seeing the current Bulls and Blackhawks playing at the "Madhouse on Madison" is thrilling, but sometimes infuriating, depending upon how the two teams are playing.  The 90s were especially fun for Da Bulls (6 NBA Championships) and from 2010 to 2016 Da Hawks won three Stanley Cups.

But, no trip to Chicago's Near West Side is complete without visits to the statuers of Blackhawk greats Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita as well as Bulls great Michael Jordan.

You'll find the Hull and Mikita statues outside the center (hey, hockey is cold, you know).  Michael is inside in an atrium.

Chicago Greats.  --RoadDog

Monday, May 14, 2018

Illinois' 200th, 20 Sporting Events To See-- Part 10: A Ski and A Race

18.  NORGE SKI CLUB, Fox River Grove

See where Olympic athletes Michael Glasder, Kevin Bickner and Casey Larson cut theuir teeth ski jumping here at this northwest suburban club.  It was founded by Norwegians in 1905 and said to be the country's oldest continuously operating ski club.

It offers five hills for training and a monstrous one with views of Chicago.


Claiming to have the best clay track in the Midwest, this venue celebrates 55 years of stock car racing in 2018.  Races run Fridays and Saturdays from mid-April to September.

Friday nights they cap it off with a demolition derby.

Sixty miles west of downtown Chicago.  It was highlighted in the 2012 movie "At Any Price."  It was set in Iowa but filmed in the DeKalb County area.


Illinois' 200th, 20 Sporting Events-- Part 9: Da Bears Training and Crosstown Double Headers

16.   CHICAGO BEARS TRAINING CAMP,  Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais

A sixty mile trip south of Chicago to watch da Bears train for a few weeks before the start of the football season.  Free tickets.  Lots of family activities, and, of course, Bear warching.  But, sadly, no more sulking Jays anymore.

17.  CROSSTOWN DOUBLEHEADERS, Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park (I don't call it by the other name), Chicago.

Usually at least once during the season, there is a Cubs home day game and a White Sox night game, or vice versa.

See the one play then the other.  Liz and I have done this several times.

One time we did this with the Cubs in the afternoon then drove to Milwaukee for the Sox game versus the Brewers.

Hey, with the interleague play in MLB now, the two teams play each other in-town for two series, one at Wrigley and one at Comiskey.  As a matter of fact, they just had one this past weekend.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Along 66, April 2018: Get Those Grants, Watch the Neon and a Mill

APRIL 12--  The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announces its 2018 grant season.  It is cost-share and applications are taken through May 10 (too late now, sorry).  Since 2001 there have been 139 cost-share grants totaling $5.5 million.  That Wilder's Steakhouse sign in Joplin, Missouri, is one of the grants.

APRIL 15--  The Wilder's rooftop sign glows again for the first time in 25 years.  The relighting ceremony was April 14.  Lots of clapping and cheering in the video.  Now, if they are open for business, perhaps next time through, you know.

APRIL 17--  The anniversary of The Mill's Reopening to be observed April 29.  That would be The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois, and it is the first anniversary of its reopening.

When we first saw it in 2002, it was in very sad shape and looked ready to fall down.  The good folks in Lincoln sure know how to take care of their Route 66 heritage.


Illinois' 200th, 20 Sport Events-- Part 8: Horses and Running


A fire destroyed this beautiful track in 1980, but it arose again.  Lavishly landscaped grounds, rebuilt track and stately new grandstand..

The track made history as the first thoroughbred course to have a million-dollar purse.  This year that race is August 11 for the 36th running of the Arlington Million.  But there is racing all summer long.

15.  CHICAGO MARATHON,  Grant Park, Chicago

Some 45,000 runners pounding the pavement each October in Chicago.  Lots of spectators clapping and clanging cowbells.   26.2 flat-and-fast miles.  Or, help as a volunteer.

This year the race is on October 7.

Not hardly.  --RoadJogger

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Illinois' 200th, Sporting Events-- Part 7: Ground Squirrels, Old-Time Baseball and V-Ball

12.  ROCK SPRINGS GROUND SQUIRRELS,  Rock Springs Conservation Area, Decatur.

Step back to the mid-1800s to see baseball as it was back then.  The Rock Springs Ground Squirrels are one of several vintage baseball teams that use the old-school ways with underhand pitching, gloveless fielders and uniforms of long-sleeved cotton shirts, bibs and dungarees.

Bunting, stealing bases and swearing are forbidden.

Ground Squirrel games are April 28, June 30, August 25 and September 22.

13.  BEACH VOLLEYBALL,  North Avenue Beach, Chicago.  Another reason to hand out at the beach.  Competition goes from fun to fierce.  The Midwesr's largest adult beach volleyball tournament, Volleywood, takes place July 15.  The AVP Gold Series Championship is August 30 to Sept. 2.


Along 66, April 2018: Murals, Fires and a Neon Relighting

APRIL 8--  Windstorm flattens Route 66 mural in Lexington, Illinois.  Hope they get it back up again before teh red Carpet Corridor Festival in May.

APRIL 8--  Rooftop neon sign on Wilder's Steakhouse in Joplin, Missouri,  relighting set for April 14.  The Missouri Route 66 Association is having a meeting there earlier that day.  I've seen postcards of the interior of the place and have always wanted to eat there.

Of course, give me more NEON!!

APRIL 9--  Wildfire forces the evacuation of Winona, Arizona.  Well, it must be there.  Since it is mentioned in that famous song, we were looking forward to seeing it.  When we drove out to the end of Route 66 in 2006, we saw a sign for Winona and never did see it.

Will the Real Winona Please Stand Up?  --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Illinois' 200th, Sports Experiences-- Part 6: Da Sports Museum and Da Wolves and Da Ice Hogs

10.  CHICAGO SPORTS MUSEUM,  Water Tower Place, Chicago

On the seventh floor of the Mag Mile Mall.  See an extensive collection of 2016 Cubs World Series memorabilia, including Addison Russell's Game 6 grand slam and Grandpa Rossi's Game 7 catching gear.

There are interactive exhibits.  Admission is free if you eat at Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch restaurant next door.

11.  CHICAGO WOLVES,  Allstate Arena, Rosemont.

There is nothing minor league about the award-winning pregame show for the Chicago Wolves in their American Hockey League (AHL) games.

The AHL is the only minor league of the NHL (but sadly the Wolves are not the Chicago Blackhawks minor league team.

Of you want to see the Chicago affiliate, they are in nearby Rockford, Illinois, and they are called the Ice Hogs.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Illinois' 200th-- Part 5: A Canoe and an Orange Krush

8.  DES PALINES RIVER CANOE MARATHON--  Paddlers go either 18.5-mile course or a shorter 5.25-mile one.  Started in 1958.  Last year, nearly 800 paddlers from 10 states took part in canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

Begins in Libertyville and ends in Mount Prospect.

This year's event May 20.

9.  FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL, State Farm center and memorial Stadium in Champaign

Get that good old Big 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 school spirit.  The State Farm center has an intense student section in basketball called the Orange Krush.

A sea of orange and trademark cheers.


Illinois' 200th, 20 Sporting Events-- Part 4: 16-Inch Softball and Car Racing

Illinois is celebrating its bicentennial of statehood this year.

6.  SIXTEEN-INCH SOFTBALL--  Park District of Forest Park, Forest Park.

Softball began in Chicago in the 19th century at the now defunct Farragut Boat Club.  Much of the world now plays 12-inch softball, local leagues keep the 16-inch tradition alive.  It is played without a glove.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the No Glove Nationals tournament (July 26-29) in Forest Park which is also the home of the 16 Inch Softball Hall of Fame.


Near St. Louis. Originally Gateway International Raceway and started as a quarter-mile long drag strip.  Since expanded to a 1.25 oval track for Indy Car and NASCAR racing.

More than 60,000 fans line it for those races.


Along 66, April 2018: Tropics Sign, Pulaski Brochure and a Prison

APRIL 6--  The relighting of that neat Tropics sign is set for June 24 in Lincoln, Illinois. The original tropics has been torn down and there is a McDonald's there now, but the sign will be in the McDonald's parking lot.

That is a neat sign so really glad it will be back.

APRIL 6--  The newly revised Explore Pulaski County, Missouri brochure has a section on additional and obscure Route 66 alignments, including 66 points of interest and 10 detours.

Of course, I would have to say Missouri Route 66 is my favorite of all eight states.

APRIL 7--  The old, 160 year old Joliet Prison may reopen by August.

That  is a neat old prison.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Illinois' 200th Bicentennial, Sporting Events-- Part 3: Race to Mackinac

4.  RACE TO MACKINAC--  Navy Pier, Chicago, start.  This race started  in 1898 with just five boats, but now attracts 300+.  From Chicago to Michigan's Mackinac Island.  Put on by the Chicago Yacht Club.  This year July 21.  Parade of boats sails past Navy Pier on the way to the start at the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse.

5.  THE CHICAGO FIRE--  Toyota Park, Bridgeview,  If you like soccer, this is for you.  Arguably the most intense of all Chicago fans sit in the north end bleachers., the so-called Section 8 fans.  That name comes from when the team played at Soldier Field.  Today, they are in sections 116-118 at the new park.


Illinois' Bicentennial, Sports-- Part 2: Bears-Packer Game

2.  BEARS-PACKER GAME.  .  Of course.  Once a year at Soldier Field  In 196 games (two a year with one in Green Bay, the score stands Packers 96  Bears 94  They also tied six times.  One great rivalry.  As Wisconsin's Happy Schnaaps Combo says in their great song "The Bears Still Suck,"  "As far as football rivalries, we're both #1!!"

Plus, if you go to Spring Grove, Illinois, there is a bar at Wilmot Road and Illinois Highway 173 called K.C.'s Cabin where a Packer fan was giving the Bears fans a hard time during one particularly bad Bear beating and after being warned to stop, was duct taped to the stop sign.

3.  CHICAGO GOLF CLUB in Wheaton.  Considered by many as the Midwest's Augusta National.  An exclusive , private club since the late 19th century.  Some debate if it is the country's first 18-hole course (or if it is at nearby Downers Grove.  This year, the Senior Women's Open takes place July 12-15).


Friday, May 4, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: 20 Essential Sports Experiences-- Part 1: Rockford Peaches

From the March 4, 2018, Chicago Tribune "Bicentennial Bucket List:  20 essential sports experiences in Illinois"  by Lori Rackl and Tim Bannon.

This is part of a Bicentennial List of 200 things every Illinoisan and visitor to do to commemorate out state's 200th birthday this year.


Beyer Stadium, Rockford.

Penny Marshall's 1992 film, "A League of Their Own" was about the Rockford Peaches, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League team formed during World War II by Phil Wrigley of the Cubs and chewing gum fame.

The Peaches played at this stadium from 1943 to 1954 and won several league championships along the way.

The stadium has been renovated and the Rockford Starfires, women's baseball team, formed in 2012.  Admission to home games is free with a non-perishable item.  Midway Village also has a display on the Rockford Peaches.

This is the 75th anniversary of the Rockford Peaches and the city plans special events May 30 and June  1-3.

Also, there are other women's professional teams with two in Chicago, the WNBA's Chicago Fire and the Chicago Red Stars soccer team.


Along 66, April 2018: Of Restaurants and Motels

These are taken from the Route 66 News site, which has an entry for every day and often more than one.  Plus the site has pictures and a lot more information.  I just pick the stories in which I have the most interest.

APRIL 3--  Eat-Rite Diner in St. Louis reopens April 5.  Unfortunately, though, I won't be visiting it or any other Route 66 site in St. Louis for awhile as they desecrated that Confederate statue in Forest Park.  I have a boycott, if you will, going on for that city.

APRIL 4--  The Parkview Inn in Bloomington, Illinois, is being rebuilt beginning next week.  It was destroyed by a fire in 2016.  We've never been to it before.

APRIL 5--  The De Anza Motor Lodge sign in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been taken down for restoration.  It is one of many steps being taken to rehabilitate the long-closed motel into a boutique motel.

APRIL 5--  The El Vado Motel is getting closer to reopening in Albuquerque.

Always Happy To See Old Motels Reopening.  --RoadDog

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Along 66, March-April 2018: Motels and the Black Experience

MARCH 31--  Route 66 Motels may help solve chronic housing shortages in some localities.  Two mentioned are the Sundowner Motel and the Luna Lodge.  Both were once seedy, but have been converted into affordable housing options.  But, they definitely have to have standards for the people who get the chance to live in them.

APRIL 2--  The Negro Motorist Green Book has inspired a photography book  "Reclaiming the Mother Road"  by Ashley E. Osborne which follows the travels of two black women on Route 66.


Along 66, March 2018: Neon Park and Sister Jean

MARCH 28--  Update on the Route 66 Neon Park in St. Roberts, Missouri.  They are hoping to have three refurbished signs up and shining by Spring 2019.

MARCH 30--  On the Road with Sister Jean.  With Loyola University in Chicago going to the Final Four for the first time in 55 years and the whole of the Chicago being all fired up about it, the CBS affiliate  sent a team on the road to San Antonio.  They have a cutout poster of Sister Jean and are photographing her at stops along the way.

One stop was at Lincoln, Illinois, where they shot her by the giant Lincoln in a wagon.  They also showed The Mill and an interview with Geoffrey Ladd.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Kewpee Hamburgs-- Part 6: Five Left

The original Flint location became Bill Thomas' Halo Burger.  Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, as a child eating at Kewpee got the inspiration for his burgers from the Kewpee burgers.  He founded Wendy's in 1969.

Early Slogans:

"Mity Nice Hamburgers"

"Your Grandpappy Are Here."

"We Cater To All Folks"

"Hamburg Pickle On Top!  Makes Your Heart Go Flippity-Flop!""

There are only five Kewpes remaining:

**  Lansing, Michigan

**  Racine Wisconsin

**  Lima, Ohio, has three of them:  Downtown, West and East


Kewpee Hamburgs-- Part 5: Beer Offered After Prohibition

From Wikipedia.

Kewpee Hamburgs was established in Flint, Michigan, in 1923 under the name Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs.  (I still have not come across the reason for calling it "Hotel.")  They took the name after the popular Kewpee dolls.  They were the first fast food places with curbside service and to use drive-thru windows.

The current headquarters of the chain is in Lima, Ohio.

After Prohibition was repealed, some locations added real beer to their popular root beer.

By 1929, there were 200 locations.  At its peak before World War II, there were 400 Kewpee Hamburgs.

Get Your Hamburg  --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Kewpee Hamburgs-- Part 4: Kewpee in Lima, Ohio

From the Kewpee Hamburgers site.

This one is about the Kewpee Hamburgs in Lima, Ohio.

The chain used and still uses the kewpee doll as a symbol.

In 1928 Hoyt F. "Stub" Wilson and his wife Julia M. "June" Wilson built the first Kewpee in Lima, Ohio.  A sign touted 10 cent bottles of beer and 5 cent hamburgers.  (Beer at a fast food joint?  Very interesting.)

In 1939 they built another Kewpee structure and it was one of the first buildings in Lima with central air conditioning.  They had a drive-thru window.

In 1972. they built the Allentown Road store.

In 1980 the Bellefontaine location opened and was the largest of the Lima stores, able to seat 180 customers at once.

The web site had interesting pictures of the different stores.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Kewpee Burgers-- Part 3: Some More Information

**  Once there were more than 400 Kewpee hamburger sites by 1940.

**  There is also a Kewpee Doll Museum.

**  There is a Kewpee restaurant in Racine, Wisconsin, at 520 Wisconsin Avenue.  Looks like I'll have to go there now.

**  **  Some of the Kewpees shut down during World War II because of meat rationing.

**  There is one in Lima, Ohio.

**  Wendy's founder Dave Thomas was a big fan of Kewpee Hamburgs and when he started his restaurant he replicated the Kewpee square hamburg.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Kewpee Hamburgers-- Part 2: Five Remaining Kewpees (One in Racine, Wisconsin)


**  The Kewpee hamburger chain started in Flint, Michigan, and evolved into what is now known as Halo Burger.  Under recent new ownership and starting top expand into southeast Michigan.

**  Why was the word "hotels" used in the name?  I'd like to know that as well.

**  The area around Rochester, NY, refers to the sandwich as hamburgs and hot dogs as hots.

**  Racine, Wisconsin, has one of the five remaining Kewpees.

My question.  Might Red's Giant Hamburg, a famous Route 66 restaurant, since torn-down, have been influenced by Kewpee Hamburg?  It too is regarded as one of the first places with a drive-thru window.