Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How I Cured Those April Winter Blues Last Weekend: Record Store Day, Chain Crawl Signup


As I said last week, this April has been one of the coldest, most miserable ever around here.

However, I found ways last weekend to overcome it.

SATURDAY, APRIL 21

Record Store Day today.  I went to not one, but two mom and pop record stores in McHenry, Illinois.  I bought five albums and 5 CDs at my regular place, The Vinyl Frontier Records.  And, we now have a second place called Siren Records where I bought two more CDs.

Then, I had a great Chicago-style double dog and fries at Tommy's in McHenry.  Hey, a good hot dog always brings a smile to my face.

Went home and then Liz and I went to the Squaw Bar in Ingleside to sign up for the 2018 Chain Crawl.  We do this mostly by boat.  So if you are doing this, can boating season be far off?

What April?  And, I'm Not Finished Yet.  --RoadDog

Shorpy's Got Those Neat Old Car Pictures


From Shorpy, the old picture internet site.

Just type in the capitalized words in your search.

9-28-14:  GRANT SIX: 1920--  touring car

9-25-14:  BLAZING BUICK: 1922

9-24-14--  JACKED UP: 1919:  Studebaker with an interesting way to work its undercarriage.

9-10-14--  SELF SERVICE: 1920--  Washington, D.C. gas station in 1920 showing a man filling his car with gas.  Self-service back then?

9-9-14--  FILTERED GASOLINE: 1920--  Another shot of the above.

For those of you who dig old cars and stuff.

Fill 'Er Up.  --RoadDog

Monday, April 23, 2018

Along 66, March 2018: Shamrock Court Motel in Sullivan For Sale


MARCH 23--  The Shamrock Court Motel in Sullivan, Missouri, is for sale.  The family who owns it is asking $125,000 for it, but that price is negotiable.

The Weiland family has owned it for 60 years.  It is in good shape, but has been unoccupied for decades.  They have owned it since 1953.  In the late 1970s it was converted into efficiency apartments.

It was built in 1945, 1947 or 1948 and has ten rooms, covers 2,400 feet and on a 43,560 foot lot.

It is made of Ozark stone.

David Wickline's  "Images of 66 Vol. 2"  says it is on Route 66 at Shamrock Street entering Sullivan from the west.  "This early motor court has a simply beautiful indigenous Ozark hand-cut stone and brick faced exterior that has certainly stood the test of time.  No sign remains advertising the building that uis located on the south of old 66."

I keep thinking it would be so great to own something on Route 66 like this, but alas, I'm getting too old and it sure would be a lot of work.  I thought seriously about buying the Blue swallow when it wa sup for sale.

--RoadDog

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Record Store Day Today


Well, hopefully this horrible winter April we've been having is at an end.  This is the second coldest April ever recorded in the Chicago area.  Hopefully we will get rid of all the snow by the end of the weekend.  No Global Warming here at all.

But, to get your minds off this rotten weather, today, Saturday April 21, across the United States is Record Store Day.  This is a day to go to your local mom and pop independent record store and flip through those vinyl albums (one of my favorite all-time fun things to do).

If you don't know where your local store is, you can go to the site and find the closest.

I'll be going over to The Vinyl Frontier Records in McHenry in a little while.

No Downloading Here Today.  --RoadDog

Shagging On the Strand Spring Safari 2018


I am listening to the Surf, 94.9 FM out of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, right now and heard them announce that April 20 to April 29 is the annual Spring Safari S.O.S..  This means there will be lots of Beach Music being played in town over this period.

The Shag (not the English word) is South Carolina's State Dance, a slow form of the bop.  And, of course that Beach Music is some of the greatest music anywhere around (in my humble opinion).

One of these days I sure hope to get there for it.  Not to dance the Shag, but to klisten to that great music and sip plenty of ice cold beer.

--RoadShag

Kids Skitching On Their Sleds in 1943


From the January 10, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"The alertness of an auto driver during the forenoon averted a serious accident when boys on sleds were coasting on Center Street in Sycamore.  The driver of the machine was able to swerve his machine and thus narrowly missed the youngsters.

"The matter was reported to the police and Chief George Meier states that unless the coasters stay out of the street during this icy weather, it will be necessary to confiscate some sleds.  The kids are again hitching their sleds to autos unbeknownst to the driver, and this also is a dangerous practice.

Those Crazy Kids.  --RoadDog

McHenry's Windhill Pancake Parlor-- Part 3: The Garbage Omelet


For those who don't care to attempt the Challenge, there is the Garbage Omelet.for $12.

A Garbage Omelet includes bacon, ham, sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and three cheeses.

It is made with three AA fresh eggs and a choice of two:  hash, 2 small pancakes, petite waffle, fruit, orange slices.

I Might Be Able to Handle That.  --RoadDog


Thursday, April 19, 2018

McHenry's Windhill Pancake Parlor-- Part 2: "The Iron Man Challenge"


In 1986, it was bought by Sharon and Dave Hunt who operated it with their children for seventeen years before selling it to one of their children who runs the place today.

They have a train counter at a bar in the back that can seat fourteen people.  Your food and drink order is delivered by a model train.

They have "The Iron Man Challenge."

It is a 12-egg omelet with mushrooms, onions, cheese that is covered with chili and more cheese and an unhealthy portion of American fries (sliced potatoes) and two biscuits.

If you can finish it in one hour, your cost is $1.99 (to cover tax).  You get a tee-shirt announcing your "accomplishment" and your name goes on a plaque.  You pay $25 if you fail.  So far there have been twenty winners in 188 attempts.

I'd Like To See It, But Know I Could Never Finish It.  --RoadDog

McHenry's Windhill Pancake Parlor-- Part 1: Was a Hitching Post, Then a Filling Station


McHenry, Illinois.

Located by the Fox River Bridge on Illinois Highway 120.  Features lots of antiques and items from local attractions and movies year-round and in a Victorian setting.  They really decorate for holidays and you should go there for Halloween and Christmas.  For Halloween it takes 27 people 124 man-hours to put all the stuff up.

Menus are in old hardbound magazines.

In 1890, the site was a hitching post for the hotel across the street (where the Foxhole Bar and Grill is located today).  In 1893, a two-story building was erected on the site.  In 1934, Warren Holly opened Holly's Filling Station and Ice House which operated on the site until 1974.

In 1976, it opened as a pancake house.

--RoadDog


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Along 66, March 2018: Belgium Radio/TV Tour This Summer


MARCH 18:  A Belgium TV and radio crew is traveling Route 66 this summer.  VRT Radio.  It will have a production music format.

They will start July 30 and finish August 20 in Santa Monica.

Sorry to see they will be staying in just one classic Route 66 motel, the El Rancho in Gallup, New Mexico.

--RoadDog

Along 66, March 2018: The Threatt Gas Station and Midpoint Cafe


From the Route 66 News site.

MARCH 14--  Land dispute may hold up restoration of Threatt Filling Station near Luther, Oklahoma.  The people restoring it want it to be a visitors center and museum.

It was built in 1916 and was one of the few black-owned businesses along Route 66.  It operated until the early 1960s.  Then it became a home.

One of the few places black motorists could use.  Just for this fact alone it should be reopened and turned into a  museum about the black experience on Route 66.

MARCH  15--  Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas, reopens with new owners on March 28.  neat place, but how do they know they are at the midpoint of Route 66?

--RoadDog

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

22 Words That Have Different Meanings in Chicago-- Part 5: The "L"


First, what it means everywhere else.

18.  THE COACH--  The head person on a team who calls the plays.  In Chicago, it means Mike Ditka, also sometimes called Da Coach.

19.  PARKING METER--  Where you pay for parking.  In Chicago, it is what the mayor sells to buy some stuff.  You can take out a second mortgage to pay for it now.

20.  THE "L"--  The 12th letter of the alphabet.  In Chicago, what you take to get around downtown.

21.  ST. PATRICK'S DAY--  March 17.  In Chicago, it is a day of drunken debauchery where the river gets dyed green.  People have green tongues for several days afterwards.

22.  THE SECOND CITY--  Chicago.  In Chicago, it means New York.

--RoadDog

Monday, April 16, 2018

22 Words That a Different Meaning in Chicago-- Part 4: The Taste


First, what it means everywhere else.

13.  FIELDS--  Open area of grass.  In Chicago, it was the old Marshall Fields store, now Macy's.

14.  THE TASTE--  Experiencing something's flavor.  In Chicago, it is experiencing new tastes, and smells at the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park.

15.  BOOT--  Type of shoe.  In Chicago, Your car can get one if you owe too many parking tickets.  Can't go nowhere with a boot on your tire.

16.  SUMMER--  Hot weather.  In Chicago, three to four months of extreme humidity.

17.  HILLSIDE STRANGLER--  Two 70s-era Los Angeles killers.  In Chicago, it is a poorly designed expressway merge in the western suburbs.

--RoadDog

22 Words That Have a Different Meaning in Chicago-- Part 3: The Beach


First, what it means everywhere else.

8.  DIBS--  Claiming something that's yours.  In Chicago it is a parking space saved by you because you dug it out of the snow.  You mark it with old chairs or some other piece of furniture.  Fights can occur if people disregard your "dibs."

9.  DRAKE--  Guy who hates Chris Brown.  (Not sure what this about>)  In Chicago it is a fancy, expensive hotel.

10.  THE BEACH--  A tropical sandy beach with blue waves coming ashore.    In Chicago it is a sandy beach by a REALLY COLD Lake Michigan.  OK for sunning, not too much fun for swimmin'.  No kidding, that water is C-O-L-D!!!!

11.  THE CELL--  Place for prisoners.  In Chicago, it was the name of the stadium where the White Sox play.  Now named something else, but still called Comiskey Park by most fans.  I still call it that.  And, it is still the Sears Tower and will still be the John Hancock whenever its name gets changed.

12.  THE BEAN--  Food that makes you fart.  Chicago--  Art in Grant Park.

--RoadDog

Friday, April 13, 2018

22 Words That Have a Different Meaning in Chicago-- Part 2: Hot Dogs


4.  OCTOBER--    To most it means Fall, but around here it is the month that has two weeks which are not too hot or too cold and where fans drink away the sadness of another failed Cubs and Sox season.

5. PIZZA--  You know.  But in Chicago it means deep-dish.

6.  HOT DOG--  Wiener, bun, ketchup to most, but in Chicago it means wiener, bun (poppy seed), onions, relish, tomatoes, pickle, peppers, celery salt and mustard.  ABSOLUTELY NO KETCHUP OR CATSUP!!!  We can't emphasize that enough.

7.  SOLDIER--  Military, but in Chicago it is where the Chicago Bears play, as in Soldier Field.  Da Bears sometimes play good, but mostly bad.

--RoadDog

Thursday, April 12, 2018

22 Words That Have a Different Meaning in Chicago-- Part 1: LSD


From the March 26, 2018 Buzz Feed by Kristin Chirico.

First the meaning else where.  Then the meaning in Chicago.

1.  LSD--  A mind blowing drug, but in Chicago it stands for Lake Shore Drive along the Lake Michigan waterfront.  From that song by Alliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah.

2.  SNOW DAY--  Elsewhere, it means that school is canceled and cars crash.  In Chicago it means that cars might not even start because of the cold, or, because of the snow, you might not be able to find them if parked outside or, if in a  garage, you can't get it out through the snow drift.

3.  APRIL--   Elsewhere it means spring.  But in Chicago it means it is still winter and all those flowers who stupidly push up are killed.

--RoadDog

Along Lincoln Highway, March 2018: The Serro Diner-- Part 2



In 1990, the diner was acquired by the Senator John Heinz History Center who donated it to the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in 2003.  The restoration of the diner was completed in 2013.

Eventually the diner will become part of five Lincoln Highway artifacts including a tourist cabin, filling station, Packard vehicle and a historic neon sign at an exhibit in the new wing of the Lincoln Highway Experience.

It is planned that this will be open to the public by late May.

--RoadDog

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Along Lincoln Highway, March 2018: Serro Diner in Pennsylvania


From the March 26, 2018, TribLive  "Historic diner moving from Latrobe postponed" Shirley McMartin.

The 1938 Serro's Diner has been restored with plans of moving it to the Lincoln Highway Experience, Route 30 East near Kingston Dam in Unity.

The 11.5 foot by 45-foot diner was opened in 1038 by the brothers Lou and J.C. Serro of Hermineie and operated at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Irwin exit until 1958 when it was moved to Youngwood and renamed the Willow Diner.

--RoadDog

Along 66, March 2018: A Bridge, Motel Sign and a Trail


MARCH 5--  The Desert Sands Motel sign in Albuquerque has been taken down.

MARCH 7--  The Trail of Tears Memorial in Missouri is slated to reopen April 22.  This is also Eart Day.  Time set is 1 p.m.

The intricate structures were created by Larry Baggett.  He died in 2013 and it had deteriorated alarmingly since then.  Marie Rydberg bought it in 2016 and with a lot of help, has restored it.

We went by it back in October and it already was looking much better.  Thanks Marie.

MARCH 13--  MoDot is looking for new owners for the Gasconade River bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri.

Anyone Wanna Buy a Bridge?  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Along 66, March 2018: Motels and a Pump


These stories are taken from the Route 66 News site.  I just write about the ones of most interest to me.  The site has stories for just about every day and a lot more detail.

FEBRUARY 28--  The signs at the Paradise Motel in Tucumcari have been removed.  The motel has been long abandoned and has had two fires in the last six months.  The signs will be restored, but sadly, placed in a private collection.

Well, at least they will still be around.

MARCH 1--  The El Vado Motel restoration is nearly done in Albuquerque.  It will be a 22-room boutique motel which will also have food pods and retail stores.

MARCH 4--  An old  pump was stolen from the historic gas station in Miami, Oklahoma.  This place is located near the beginning of the Ribbon 66.

Bring Back My Pump!!  --RoadDog

Knights of Columbus to Build on the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Regardless of the fact that many people have thought that the Knights of Columbus in DeKalb were not intending to build their new home on Lincoln Highway when today it was learned that bids are now received for the new home of the knights.

"According to present plans, which have been accepted by the building committee of the local council that the building will be of brick construction, three stories and a basement and fitted out n every respect with every convenience."

There is a Knights of Columbus building at 1336 East Lincoln Highway built about 1920 in DeKalb which probably is this building.  I did find another Knights of Columbus building listed at 134 1/2 Lincoln Highway.

--RoadDog

DeKalb's Lincoln Inn Expands Food Service in 1918


From the March 21, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"In addition to ice cream service, the Lincoln Inn has now added light lunches and is now in shape to serve sandwiches, coffee, pie, etc., and the coffee is real honest to goodness coffee.

"The new feature was added during the last few days, a room at the rear of the dining room having been fitted up as a kitchen and it is almost certain that the new wrinkle will prove popular with patrons of the Inn."

We went to the Lincoln Inn in downtown DeKalb last month and asked if the one mentioned 100 years ago and this one were the same, but the people there didn't know.  They are/were both on the Lincoln Highway, of course.

--RoadDog

Monday, April 9, 2018

Car-Chasing Dog Gets His in 1918


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"A large collie dog belonging to someone in the City of DeKalb turned up missing today all of the account of the fact that the animal had the most annoying habit of chasing cars and automobiles.

"The street cars, of course, are unable to turn out for the dog, and yesterday the animal in its chase after the car, remained on the track about a second too long, and today he is in dog heaven."

Sorry 'Bout That Doggie.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 6, 2018

Lincoln Highway Is Again Route 30 in Illinois in 1943 (Well, Alternate U.S. 30)


From the April 4, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"The Lincoln Highway is again Route 30, signs designating the famous route as Alternate U.S. 30 being erected during the past few days.  For years the Lincoln Highway through Illinois carried the official designation of U.S. 30.

"A few days ago, during a revamping of the highway system in the state, the number 30 was given to the former Route 71 and the Lincoln Highway was given the designation of U.S. Route 330.

"A few months ago, Governor Dwight H. Green announced that he had issued an order designating the Lincoln Highway in Illinois as Alternate U.S. 30 and signs to that effect are now being erected."

Today, the stretch of the old Lincoln Highway through DeKalb County is Illinois Highway 38.

--RoadDog

That DeKalb Garage on the Lincoln Highway Still Not Open in 1918


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Work on the Ellwood-Fisk garage at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway was resumed and it is hoped by the contractors and the owners that no interruptions will follow.

"The work has been delayed to some extent on account of lack of material, and then cold weather stopped progress, and today the sound of the hammer and saw was again heard coming from that direction."

World War I was going on and much was diverted to war production which may have caused some of the material shortages.  I have been writing about this gas station for a long time and it was originally hoped that it would be finished by the end of 1917.

--RoadDelay

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Illinois' 200th Anniversary-- Part 4: Black Hawk and Lewis & Clark


This year marks the State of Illinois' 200th anniversary of being in the United States.  It joined in December, 1818.

These are historical places every Illinoisan should visit at least once.

16.  CHESS RECORDS--  Chicago--  2120 S. Michigan Avenue.  Where Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones and many others made music history.

17.  PILSEN MURALS--  Chicago--  These murals have been up fifty years.  Also, the neighborhood is still primarily Hispanic.

18.  BLACK HAWK STATE HISTORIC SITE--  Rock Island--  The sauk and Fox Indians.  Black Hawk led a failed attempt to reoccupy lands his people had lost to whites.  This led to the brief Black Hawk War of 1832.

19.  LEWIS AND CLARK--  Downstate near St. Louis--  Hartford, Illinois--  Reconstruction of Camp Dubois where Corps of Discovery spent the winter 1803-1804, preparing for their epic trip.

20.  ILLINOIS CENTENNIAL MONUMENT-- Chicago-- Put up on 100th anniversary of statehood in 1918 in Logan Park.  Depicts Native Americans, explorers, farmers and laborers.

--RoadIllinosDog

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Illinois' 200th Anniversary, 20 Places to Visit-- Part 3: Galena


11.  WATER TOWER--  Chicago.  A survivor of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire.  On Michigan Avenue.

12.  GALENA--  "The town that history forgot."  Looks the same as when U.S. Grant lived there in the 1850s.

13.  LINCOLN'S NEW SALEM--  Near Springfield.  Civilian Conservation Corps reconstruction of where Lincoln lived and worked when he came to Illinois in the 1830s.

14.  HAROLD WASHINGTON LIBRARY--  Chicago.  Seventy miles of bookshelves with lots of history, including its namesake, Chicago's first black mayor.

15.  OLD STATE CAPITOL--  Springfield--Meticulous reconstruction where Lincoln delivered his "House Divided" speech and where his body lay in state after his assassination.  Barack Obama used it for backdrop to announcement for his presidential bid.

--RoadDog

Illinois' 200th Anniversary, 20 Sites to Visit-- Part 2: Route 66 and I&MCanal


6.  ROUTE 66--  Well, all of us 66ers knew about the Illinois stretch, Chicago to East St. Louis.

7.  FORT DE CHARTRES--  Near Prairie du Rocher.  One of a series of French-built forts before handing country east of the Mississippi over to English.  The powder magazine is believed to be the oldest standing building in the state.

8.  I&M CANAL--  LaSalle, a crucial link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.  Hand-dug in teh 1800s.

9.  NAUVOO--  Mississippi River occupied by Joseph Smith and the Mormons before being driven out.

10.  LOVEJOY HOMESTEAD--  Part of the Underground Railway in Princeton.

--RoadDog

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Illinois 200th Anniversary, 20 Historic Sites: Kaskaskia and Pullman


From the December 3, 2017, Chicago Tribune  "Because it's the bicentennial:  200 things every Illinoisan should do -- or see, eat or drink -- at least once."  by Lori Racki.

History: 20 Things to do in Illinois

1.  KASKASKIA--  the first, short-lived state capital by the Mississippi River.

2.  CAHOKIA MOUNDS--  In Collinsville, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, largest pre-Columbian metropolis north of Mexico.

3.  NAPER SETTLEMENT--  In Naperville  What life in Illinois was like pre-plumbing.

4.  PULLMAN--  Chicago's Far South Side.  Pullman Historic District.  One of the country's most famous and controversial company towns  The bloody strike here led to the federal government declaring Labor Day a holiday.

5.  HULL HOUSE--  Where countless immigrants received a helping hand in Chicago.

Lots of History In This State.  --RoadDog

Monday, April 2, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 16: Donovan's Reef and Natty Light


Drove from Pompano Joe's to the Driftwood Lodge parking lot across the street and next to Donovan's Reef, our favorite bar in Panama City Beach.  We will go there every night while we are in town.  Being right across the street (Front Beach Road) we can walk to and from it.  No messing with the police here.  Just watch out for cars when crossing.

Lisa, one of the bartenders from last year, recognized us and welcomed us back.  That is one great memory, I'll tell you.  She bought us a welcome back drink and we settled in at the bar.

She even remembered our drink of choice in the place, Natty Light draft pints.  Natty Light is short for Natural Light, a Busch product that is quite popular and cheap in Florida.  The case of beer we bought earlier was Natty Light.

--RoadDog

Warm Here We Come-- Part 15: No Shuckums, But Pompano Joe's


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2

No Shuckums, so over to Pier Park we go and a stop at another favorite place, Pompano's Joe's.  It used to be Reggae J's.  They have a real nice happy hour 2-5 with $2 draft pints and several really good food specials.  Plus, it is right across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and has great views.

There is always a good crowd at the bar and several heard us talk about not finding Patches earlier today.  They said they go there all the time, but it is hard to find.  They gave us instructions as to how to get to the place.  Sounds like we drove by it at least twice.  We'll make another attempt to find it tomorrow coming back from the Mardi Gras parade at St. Andrew's.

We got a huge tuna dip plate for $6 which filled both of us up.

--RoadDog