Monday, December 31, 2018

Autoists, Beware of the Lincoln Highway-First Street Intersection in DeKalb in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The corner of First Street and the Lincoln Highway is a traffic treacherous at this time inasmuch as the new building there obstructs the view of Lincoln Highway east, to which motorists have become accustomed.

"At this rime the contractors at work on the new garage have large piles of materials near the corner, and this further adds to the danger, and it behooves all autoists to approach this corner slowly to avoid accidents of all kinds."

Autoists, It Behooves You.  --RoadDog

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Along 66, November 2018: National Route 66 Historic Trail

National Route 66 Historic Trail legislation was introduced in the U.S. senate by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jim Inhofe (R-Ok).

The  U.S. House of representative advance similar legislation earlier this year.

The bill is designated S 3609 Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act.

Let's all hope it goes through the Senate, though I can't see any reason why it wouldn't.


An Auto-Street Car Encounter in DeKalb in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"As F.M. Rowan was backing his car onto West Lincoln Highway yesterday morning the street car came along at about the same time.

"The engine of the auto died, and as the rails were rather slippery, the street car could not be stopped.  The two cars came together but with little force, as a result the damage to the automobile was slight.  The running board was  damaged to some extent as the street car  edged it from the track."

A Street Car Collision Not Too Likely These Days.  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Along 66, November 2018: Lincoln Law Office Open for Business Again

November 27--  Tourism center opens in building housing the former Lincoln law office in Springfield, Illinois.

This is a project by the Springfield Tourism Bureau which sure pushes it Lincoln heritage.

It is in the 1840 3-story Tinsley Dry Goods building.  The Lincoln Law Office was closed three years ago for a $1 million renovation and would have been finished much sooner except for the state's budget impasse between Speaker of the House Madigan and Gov. Brauner.

It is located on the southeast corner of the Old Capitol Plaza.

Glad to have it open again.  Now if someone would just reopen Norb Andy's by the current state capitol building.


Along 66, November 2018: Plans Moving Ahead for the Red Cedar Inn in Pacific, Mo.

NOVEMBER 25-- Pacific, Missouri, moves forward with Red Cedar Inn project.  They are turning the former restaurant into a history and visitors center.  A contract with an architect was approved November 6.

Plans call for it to be a visitors center, regional museum and a venue with a Route 66 roadside park complex.

The Red cedar Inn was built in 1932 by the Smith brothers.  It is on the NRHP and closed abruptly in 2005.

One of my major disappointments was not going to it in the few years after 2002 that I knew about it before it closed.

Looking forward to going inside even if it is not to eat.  It is a neat-looking place on the outside.


Friday, December 28, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 11: Of Trains and Bars On the Lincoln Crawl

Even though we were early, we still had to park on the other side of the railroad tracks in downtown DeKalb.  This means you might likely have a wait for a train to go by.  Lots and lots of trains run through DeKalb.  And they run through REAL FAST.  I mean, real fast.

You don't try to beat the train, either on foot or in a car.  We had to wait for a train to go by.  We always laugh at each other and say, "Imagine that.  A train going through DeKalb."  If we didn't hear a train, we'd think we were in the wrong town.

We went in through the back door of Lord Stanley's, our new place to go in downtown DeKalb.  Of course, it is on the Lincoln Highway.

Back when we were in school, this place was Daddy-O's Shamrock.  Not too far west of it, on the corner of 1st and Lincoln Highway was Otto's (called the Uprising when we were at Northern).  That has now been torn down and a nice-looking apartment building built in its place.

Just to the east, and across the Lincoln Highway stands Andy's and McCabes, two other college watering holes.

Dodging Trains and Drinking Beer On the Lincoln Crawl.  --RoadDog

Thursday, December 27, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 10: The Old Frat House and the Lincoln Crawl Downtown.


From the Lagoon, we drove east into a residential/student housing area, past the original Delta Sig (Delta Sigma Phi) house on 242 Augusta.  This was the house the fraternity was in when I pledged and had Hell Weekend before becoming an active.  It was kind of a dump then and continues to be although now it is student housing.  But, it was Our House.  The next year we moved out to Greek Row on Greenbrier.

Lots of beautiful big old trees along Augusta Avenue which are turning brilliant hues of gold this time of the year.

Now we were downtown DeKalb and drove around it a bit.  The main street running east-west through it is Illinois Highway 38, but at one time was the Lincoln Highway.  All addresses are still Lincoln Highway and the road is also called that.

Back in the day, we used to do the Lincoln Crawl, where we would hit lots of bars downtown like Andy's, McCabes, the Shamrock, Uprising, Candle Light and Sullivans.  There were others, but I don't remember them.

I don't know.  Just something about college and drinking.

We never knew it was the Lincoln Crawl because of the nation's oldest transcontinental highway.

Those Were the Days.  --RoadDog

Along 66, Nov. 2018: A Turkey Thief On the Loose

November 24--  The metal turkey marking Illinois Route 66's famous "Turkey Tracks" has been stolen.

This stretch of the road dates to the 1920s, and at one point after it was laid, some wild turkeys crossed it, leaving their mark for posterity with 34 tracks.

These are near Nilwood, Illinois.

Sometime before or on November 11, the metal turkey was stolen from what is now known as Donaldson Road.  This stretch was built between 1926 and 1930.

The site is marked well now, but, when we first saw it in 2002, it was hard to find and I must admit, we were more than a little disappointed with it.  But, well, it's Route 66 history.

Return the TURKEY Or Get Broasted or Deep-Fried You Turkey Snatcher!!  --RoadDog

No Respect on the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb in 1918

From the November 28, 2018, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The automobiles of the city of DeKalb have little or no respect for the traffic post at the corner of Fourth and the Lincoln Highway.  Some of the drivers  here in town tear around the corner at Fourth, going north, and traveling at the rate of 35 or 40 miles an hour.

"There are a few drivers who believe that the post was put there for a purpose, and that of keeping the traffic going the right way and use it for such."

Respect That Post!!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Near Street Car-Auto Accident in 1918

From the November 28, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Motormen on street  cars operating in and out of DeKalb are getting so they have less respect than ever for motorists, due to the chances that are taken every day with the street cars.  Last night, for instance, when the cars were a little late, a DeKalb man coming east  on the highway cut in ahead of the car at the Normal bridge, and narrowly missed being hit.

"The fender of the auto and the street car brushed and had the incident happened a couple of seconds later there would have been a serious accident.  The bridge is narrow and motorists who chance it with the street car are taking a big chance, and should use a little common sense in the matter."

Dumb Auto Drivers in 1918.  --RoadDumb

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Woman Knows Her Auto Mechanics in 1918

From the September 26, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"A couple of ladies, traveling by flivver,  were compelled to stop over here the other day for gas and oil and incidentally a few repairs.  The best part  of the latter incident was the fact that the women were independent of any auto expert when they discovered the flivver didn't fliv.

"Instead of becoming frustrated and running about looking for a mechanic the young lady in an unconcerned manner, took a hairpin from her hair, raised the hood of the car and in a moment 'Henry' was going at a rapid rate."

Flivver?  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Along the Lincoln Highway, July 2018: Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco

Continued from the last post.

There were Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco barns in twenty-two states (mostly in the Midwest).  Farmers who had the ads placed on their barns were modestly compensated by the Wheeling, West Virginia, based tobacco company.

They employed painters.  One of whom was Harley Warrick of Ohio who estimates he painted 20,000 barns over his long career.  Hus retirement marked the end of the Mail Pouch barn-painting era.

One of the remaining Mail Pouch signs is in Marshall County, Indiana.  Her family has owned the farm, six miles east of Plymouth, since 1890.    She readily acknowledged that the barn was in bad shape and she was debating options of what to do with it.

On Tuesday, July 17, she found a 7 by 21-foot section of the barn gone.

Sign Stealers On the Loose.  --RoadDog

Friday, December 21, 2018

Along the Lincoln Highway, 2018: Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco

JULY 18  In Marshall County, Indiana, an old Mail Pouch barn advertising mural was stolen.    It was seven tall and twenty-four feet long.  It was located just off Lincoln Highway near Gumwood.

Also in July, a massive tornado ripped through Marshalltown, Iowa, causing much damage.

JULY 21--  Many decades ago, the Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco Company began an advertising campaign placing their message on the sides of barns in rural areas.   Between 1891 and 1962 they were put up, urging chewers to "Treat Yourself To The Best."

They featured bold white lettering, with the brand name in yellow that stood in contrast with the red or black barn siding..


Thursday, December 20, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 9: Lincoln and Douglas Halls, the Lagoon, Castle and Gus Goose

October 13, 2018

We drove around campus, past where Douglas Hall once stood.  It has been torn down to straighten Lucinda Avenue.  Liz lived in it for a year and a half.  Nearby stands Lincoln Hall, where I lived freshman year on the 3rd floor of C Wing, Home of the Keggers.  Earlier this fall we had noticed it was quite dark and found out today that it is closed and on the list to also be torn down.  I hope not.  Hey, that's my history.

Next, we drove along Lincoln Highway (Illinois Highway-38) eastward to the Lagoon.   We both consider the Lagoon area and Altgeld Hall, the original building of the school, as the most beautiful spot on campus.  It is water surrounded by walkways, landscaping and bridges.  Plus, in the last ten years, the original entryway to the school was rebuilt and is a stunner.

Near the road going by the Lagoon is named Castle Drive as Altgeld Hall looks like a castle.  There is even a stone with an inscription to Gus Goose, a favorite goose of the Lagoon who was cantankerous and you hadn't lived until you had been "goosed" by Gus Goose.  He especially liked doing it to the coeds.  After you were "goosed" he was friendly, especially if you had  food for him.  The inscription names him William the Goose, but no one I knew ever called him anything but Gus.

Sadly, he was found dead one day back in the 1970s under suspicious circumstances.  You can search "Death of William Goose" to find out the particulars.

Sad to Lose the Goose.  --RoadGoose

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 8: Greek Row


Next, we drove out to Greek Row, north of campus.  I lived out here for sophomore year at the Delta Sigma Phi house at 814 Greenbrier.  It is still there, but now just student housing.  I sure had a great time at that house.

Many of the fraternities and sororities from when I was a student are still  out there and a few still in the same house.  Sadly, my Delta Sigs broke up the next year, when I was at Georgia.  There was a really strong Delta Sigma Phi chapter back in the late 1980s, but they got in trouble and were removed from campus.

Oh well!!

Sadly, Northern no longer has a homecoming parade, nor do the Greeks have house decks or floats.  I guess students are now too busy staring at their cell phones.  Plus, there was a surprisingly large number of students walking around out there as opposed to being out at Huskie Stadium for the game.  Several fraternities were actually having parties out on Greek Row instead of out there pulling for the team.

As John Belushi would say, "Where's the old Delta spirit?"

Sad.  Very Sad.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Along 66, November 2018: Say Hello to the Sod Poodles in Amarillo

NOVEMBER 14--  The Minor League AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres has picked Sod Poodles as the new name of the Amarillo baseball team.  Sod Poodles is another name for prairie dogs (I was wondering).

Other names in the final selection were Boot Scooters, Bronc Busters and Jerky & the Long Haulers.

The home opener at the new stadium in downtown Amarillo will be April 8 against the Midland Rock Hounds

This is an interesting name, but I don't think the name Sod Poodles will strike much fear into opponents.  But, I must commend the minor league teams for interesting names, including my own favorite Clinton Lumber Kings.

Some other interesting names:

Batavia Muck Dogs
Hartford Yard Goats
Montgomery Biscuits
Richmond Flying Squirrels
Toledo Mudhens
Akron Rubber Ducks
Wichita Wingnuts
Savanah Bananas
Lehigh Valley Ironpipes
Albuquerque Isotopes  (Isn't that the name of Homer Simpson's Springfield team?)


Monday, December 17, 2018

Along 66, November 2018: The Painted Desert Trading Post and Sirloin Stockade

These are taken from the Route 66 News site, your ultimate source for all things Route 66.  I just select the items of most interest to me.

NOVEMBER 12--  Volunteers have been at work on the long-abandoned Painted Desert Trading Post in Arizona.  Volunteers jacked up the corners which were sagging so badly it threatened the building.

Always great to have any kind of preservation done, even if it is just to keep the structure standing until it can permanently be saved.

NOVEMBER 16--  The Sirloin Stockade in Rolla, Missouri, has reopened, nine months after it was devastated by a fire.

In February, the structure, located near the city's west side traffic circle, was declared a total loss.  Then it had an almost 100% tear down.

Sirloin Stockade has about eighty locations in the United States and was founded in 1966 in Oklahoma City. Many of the restaurants feature a large fiberglass steer.

The one in Rolla is the only Sirloin Stockade on Route 66.

We have often driven past there and often thought of stopping in, but never did.  Next time in Rolla, we will be stopping.


Friday, December 14, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 7: Rick's and Smoke Signals


Rick's was the place to get together off campus (just a block) and within easy walking distance of Grant, Douglas, Stephenson and Grant dorms.  The place was practically standing room only and you'd be lucky to find a table.

When they moved over to the Village Commons Center at Annie Glidden and Lucinda roads I figured they would do even better business.  A whole lot closer to the dorms and three times the size.  But it just wasn't the same.  The huge crowds never materialized.

But they had great pizza and food.

Meals at Smoke Signals aren't cheap, but they sure are good and there is a lot of it.. Liz had a burger and I had the pulled pork.  We came no where finishing the huge and delicious portions.  The wait staff couldn't have been friendlier and even the owner, Chef Roy came around to see how the food was.

All I can say is, "We'll be back."   (And we were so full we couldn't even order any of the naked nuggets at Pizza Pro's later that night.)

Eatin' Good At the Old College Stompin' Grounds.  --RoadDog

Thursday, December 13, 2018

NIU Homecoming 2018-- Part 6: Smoke Signals BBQ and the Old Rick's

October 13, Saturday

Continued from November 23.

We looked around the Village Commons Bookstore, but didn't find any NIU items we had to have.  So took a walk around the other stores in the center.

We were getting a bit hungry about now and found a place called Smoke Signals BBQ.  (Partly because they were grilling right outside near the street.  Something about that aroma wafting does it every time.)  The place is evidently a new venture.

It is located where Rick's used to be in the 1970s.  That was a pizza place that sold Italian beef and hot dogs as well.  When I got to Northern in 1969, it was located in a small shopping center out by Lincoln Highway (Illinois Highway 38) which goes right through DeKalb.  When I was a student, I never knew about that old historical road.  As a matter of fact, I didn't know about it until I learned about Route 66 in 2002.


Along 66, November 2018: Work On the Painted Desert Tradong Post

These articles about Route 66 are taken from the Route 66 News site, the best place to go when you're looking for what is going on on our favorite road.

The site has an entry for most every day and pictures.  I just pick the stories of most interest to me.

NOVEMBER 12--  Work has been done on the Painted Desert Trading Post in Arizona.  Volunteers have jacked up the corners which were starting to sag.  The building was in danger of collapsing.

Hopefully now it will be ok until some serious preservation work can be done and use found for it again.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: Gasconade River Bridge Makes Peril List in Missouri

OCTOBER 28--  The Gasconade River Bridge made the Missouri Places in Peril list for 2018.

It is now closed and is near Hazelgreen.

The three-span through truss bridge was fabricated by the Illinois Steel Company in Chicago between 1922 and 1924.

It is one of the few bridges dating to the 1920s and even predates Route 66.

It is a beautiful bridge and I sure hop it gets saved.  We went to a bug save the bridge get-together at the bridge several years ago.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: The Sapulpa Bridge and "Dottie" Hanson

OCTOBER 25--  Sapulpa, Oklahoma, forces a 90-day deadline to repair Rock Creek Bridge.

It has an erosion problem going on on the east side.  If not cleared up, the bridge will be closed permanently.  But the town is sure they can comply.

Neat old bridge.

OCTOBER 29--  Death of a woman who worked at two Route 66 icons in Arizona.  Dorthy "Dottie" Ann hatch Hanson, 83, died.

She worked at the Wig Wam Hotel and the Jack Rabbit Trading Post.

She might have been there when we visited in 2006.


Two Accidents In One Night in DeKalb in 1918

From the September 12, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Two automobile accidents occurred last night although neither one amounted to much.

"A gentleman from Aurora giving his name as Wetmore was looking for a cigar store and crashed into the Burlington-Lincoln Highway marker on Fourth street with some force, and the spring on his car was damaged and a hole made in the marker.

"Nate Woods collided with the Homer McDole car during the evening and this was also a soght accident and both cars were soon on their way."


Monday, December 10, 2018

What Is A Flivver?

In several earlier blog entries, I mentioned flivvers.  Most recently in November I wrote about one that had a near accident in DeKalb in 1918.  (Click on the Flivvers laabel below.)

Just what is a flivver?

According to the Dictionary site, a flivver is  a slang word referring to an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old.

Driving My '85 Firebird Flivver.  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: About That Illinois Northern Border

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, December 7, 2018

Bell Rings for Pearl Harbor Survivor Survivor Lt. Jim Downing

From October 13, 2018, KOAA News 5 NBC.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 6, 2018

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

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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


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

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

But, then national politics got involved.

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

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

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


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, December 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

More On This Later.  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 1, 2018

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

A very sad day in Chicago and the whole country.

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

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

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

A Sad Day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, November 30, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: Motels, Museums and Shields

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, bigger is better.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

IHSA 2018 State Champions Classes 5A to 8A


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


Cary-Grove   (Cary)  14-0


Nazareth  Academy (LaGrange Park)   12-1


Loyola Academy  (Wilmette)   10-3

Congratulations Teams.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

IHSA 2018 State Champions: Classes 1A to 4A

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


Forreston  11-2


Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 13-0


Monticelle   13-0


Immacualte Conception  (Elmhurst)  13-0


Monday, November 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

And, Joliet Catholic Did Just That.  --RoadDog

Friday, November 23, 2018

IHSA Football Championships, Classes 5A to 8A

These teams play for the Illinois state championship in Saturday:


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


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


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


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

Good Luck Teams!!  --RoadDog

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

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

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


Forreston   11-2 vs. Camp Point  12-1


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


Byron  13-0 vs Monticello  13-0


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

Good Luck Teams!!

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


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

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

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

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


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, No Igor.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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

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

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

Remaining teams:



St. Charles North


Joliet Catholic



Joliet Catholic

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

Good Luck Teams.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 19, 2018

US-14 (Northwest Highway) Wins Showdown

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

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

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

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

Go Cary-Grove!!  --RoadDog

Good Thing It Was a Flivver

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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


Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Problem With Fire Plugs in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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


Thursday, November 15, 2018

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

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

US-14 (Northwest Highway) remaining team:


Cary Grove

US-12 (Rand Road) remaining team:



Like I Said, It's a Tie.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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

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

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

Remaining teams:


Joliet Catholic



So, Lincoln Highway leads 5-2.

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


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown 2018: Lincoln Highway

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

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

Teams remaining:


Lincoln Way East


St. Charles North


Joliet Catholic

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


Monday, November 12, 2018

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

October 13,  Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

Shivering All the Way.  --RoadBurr

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

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


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

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

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

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

A Bunch of Puppies.  --RoadPup

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day Ceremony At Fox Lake Train Station

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

Also, today is Veterans Day.

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

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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

"You Cannot Exaggerate About the Marines"

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

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

Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

Friday, November 9, 2018

2018 IHSA Rand Road Vs. Northwest Highway Showdown

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

That leaves just Richmond-Burton in Class 4A.

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

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

US-14 has a 2-1 lead.


From 256 to 128 to 64

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

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

Good luck to all the remaining teams.

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

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


Thursday, November 8, 2018

2018 IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown: Round 3

These Route 66 high schools lost last weekend:

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

These Route 66 high schools are still in the hunt.




East St. Louis


Normal West


Joliet Catholic



There are six Route 66 teams remaining.

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

Mighty Close.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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

Round 2 concluded last weekend.

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

These teams remain:


Lincoln Way East


St. Charles North


Joliet Catholic




Aurora Christian

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

Tomorrow, the Remaining Route 66 Teams.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Words Ingrained In My Head.  --RoadCorner

Saturday, November 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

IHSA US-14 vs. US-12 Showdown 2018

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

Teams remaining:


Hersey (Arlington Heights)
Lake Zurich



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

Teams remaining:


Maine South


Hersey (Arlington Heights)
Maine West  (Des Plaines)


Prairie Ridge  (Crystal Lake)
Crystal Lake South

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


Thursday, November 1, 2018

2018 IHSA Route 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown: Round 2

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

These Route 66 teams won:




East St. Louis


Normal West
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin


Joliet Catholic






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

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

Lincoln Highway Winners in the first round:


Lincoln Way West
St. Charles North




Joliet Catholic


Sterling Newman


Aurora Christian

Lincoln Highway  has 11 teams remaining.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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



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


Round Lake Beach

A very dedicated "Scare Staff."



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



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



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

Mighty Scared.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 29, 2018

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

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

Being a listing of Top Haunted Houses Around Town.


Zion   You can even get buried alive.


Melrose Park  In a warehouse with two parts to fright.


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


Morton Grove   Slenderman, Dead By Dawn


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

Prices for these:  $20 to $50.

Not Cheap Getting Scared These Days.  --RoadBoo

Friday, October 26, 2018

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

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



Fremd (Palatine)  (5-4)


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


Wauconda  5-4


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



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


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


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


Woodstock North   (5-4)

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

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

Good Luck to Both Roads. --RoadDog

Thursday, October 25, 2018

2018 IHSA Football Playoffs: The Lincoln Highway

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


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


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


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


Dixon  (6-3)


Sterling-Newman  (8-1)


Aurora Christian  (6-3)

Lincoln Highway has 19 teams in the playoffs.

Good Luck Lincoln Highway.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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

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

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

These are the Route 66 teams:


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


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


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


Joliet Catholic  (5-4)


Pontiac  (8-1)


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


Staunton  (5-4)

Route 66 has 17 teams in the playoffs.

Good Luck Route 66   --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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


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

Woke up late to the first frost f the season.

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

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

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


Monday, October 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: Cucamonga and Parkview

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

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

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

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


Friday, October 19, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

"If You Want To Get To Heaven"

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Give Me Three Steps"

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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

WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback  September 22, 2018.

From 9 to noon at 93.1 FM.

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

STIR IT UP--  Bob Marley

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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


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

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

Much relief.  Now they can have fun.

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

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


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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

September 18, 2018, Saturday

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

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

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


Monday, October 15, 2018

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

September 28, 2018

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Sure Not Much Of A Fun Drive.  --RoadDog

Saturday, October 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, October 12, 2018

Along Lincoln Highway, May 2018: Tama Lincoln Highway Festival

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

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

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


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Along 66, September 2018: Underpass Cafe in Missouri

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

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

A sign telling its story will be erected as well.

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


A Runaway Horse in DeKalb in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

Fun and Games With Horses.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Looking Forward To This New Museum.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 8, 2018

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

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


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

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

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

Always love driving this road.


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


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

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

You can never have too much Route 66 signage.


Friday, October 5, 2018

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

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

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

This year:

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

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

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

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

Great To See This.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

**  Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington

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

**  Kelly's On 66 Restaurant in Lexington

**  The Mill in Lincoln

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

It benefited the Chicago Honor Flight Association.

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

Go Gov.!  --RoadGuv

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Along 66, August 2018: Blue Swallow Motel For Sale

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Question of Chilli or Chili?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cruising to 1967: "A Whiter Shade of Pale"

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

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

DANDELION--  Rolling Stones

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

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

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

"Purple Haze"

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

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

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

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

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

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

**  They are looking into insurance.

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


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

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

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

It was filmed in March 2018.

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

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


Monday, October 1, 2018

Me and the Cubs

Two things about the Chicago Cubs and myself.

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

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

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

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

Oh Well.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

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

Still Don't Agree.  --RoadCub

Friday, September 28, 2018

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

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

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

I will write the whole thing for Wrigley.

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

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

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

Thursday, September 27, 2018

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

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

Let's see.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.  COORS FIELD--  (Rockies)  LoDo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Play Ball!!!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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


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

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

More Stats for the trip:

**  Used 380 songs on Spotify playlist

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

**  Highest temp was 113 degrees   Lowest was 52 degrees

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


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

My Vote, Anyway.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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

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

No other city was in the double digits.

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

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

I Agree.  --RoadDog

Monday, September 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

I would imagine they'd be covered as well.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

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

From the Route 66 News site.

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

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


Friday, September 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Those White Bushy-Tailed Rats.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Only 66, You Know.  --RoadDog

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

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

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

WICHITA LINEMAN--  Glen Campbell

SON OF A PREACHER MAN--  Dusty Springfield


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

"Wichita Lineman"

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call it the Economic Impact of Kitsch.  --RoadDog

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum: Six Decades of Beachcombong

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Problem With Horses in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

No Harm Done Here.  --RoadDog

Friday, September 14, 2018

North Carolina's "The Rocks"

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, September 13, 2018

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cumberland Gap Was Daniel Boone's Route to the West

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

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

You can go to the site to find out more.


State Route 90003  "Colonial Parkway"


U.S. Route  65  The Great River Road


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


U.S. Route 2


State Route 32   "River Road"


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Busy Day Today and Tomorrow

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

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

Then, we have nice seats for the game.

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

Too Much Fun.  --RoadDog

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

Continued from September 4, 2018.


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


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


State Route 139 in northeastern California.


Friday, September 7, 2018

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

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

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

Fordson Tractors?  New One On Me.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Illinois Plans for Route 66's 100th Birthday

From the August 1, 2018, NBC Chicago.

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

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


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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

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

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


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

2.  UTAH

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


Monday, September 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

DIRTY WORK--  Steely Dan

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

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

"A Hard Day's Night"