Thursday, July 19, 2018

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


Continuing with worst to best neighborhoods around MLB ballparks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19.  MILLER PARK--  There is nothing within distance of the parking lots., but the traditional pregame tailgating parties are epic.

It Is Still Comiskey Park To Me.  --RoadSox


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


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

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

See where your favorite ballpark ranks.

30.  TROPICANA FIELD--  Too far from downtown

29.  MARLINS PARK--  Forget about tailgating here.

28.  KAUFFMAN STADIUM--  Nothing in walking distance.

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

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

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

--RoadDogBall

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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


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

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

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

--RoadDoh

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Big Red" Returns to Route 66


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

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

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

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

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

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

Go "Big Red.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 16, 2018

R.I.P. Rick Selle


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

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

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

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

We'll Sure Miss You Rick.  --RoadDog

Along 66, June 2018: An Arch and a Motorhead


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

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

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

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

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

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

This Is One Really Good Place.  --RoadDog

Saturday, July 14, 2018

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


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

--RoadDog

Friday, July 13, 2018

Picking Up the Ford Cars in Chicago in 1918


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

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

A Rich Man--RoadDog


Thursday, July 12, 2018

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


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

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

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

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

Lots of Fun in Illinois.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cruisin' Back in 1970: "Deja-Vu"


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

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

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

EVERYBODY PLAYS THE FOOL--  Main Ingredient
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER--  Simon & Garfunkel
HEY HEY WHAT CAN I DO--  Led Zeppelin
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND--  Gordon Lightfoot

DEJA-VU--  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
DIDN'T I (BLOW YOUR MIND THIS TIME)--  Delfonics
UP AROUND THE BEND--  Creedence Clearwater Revival

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



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

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


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

It amends the National Trails System Act.

Anything helps.

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

Riding the Bike.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 9, 2018

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


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

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

Glad to be included.

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

--RoadDog

Saturday, July 7, 2018

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


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

July 26, 1939

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

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

A Very Interesting Photograph.  --RoadDog

Friday, July 6, 2018

John's Modern Cabins


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

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

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

And then, nature started its reclamation project.

--RoadDog

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


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

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

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

Roamin' Rich had a big hand in this.

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

More help is planned for the site.

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

Will That Garage Ever Get Finished in DeKalb in 1918?


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

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

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

A Big Horse Sale in DeKalb in 1918


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

Less Need for Horses As Cars Ascend.

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

Thursday, July 5, 2018

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


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

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

There will be free tea to visitors.

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

Their list:

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

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

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

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

Ate and Drank My Fill.  --RoadDog




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

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


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Historic Tropics Sign Illuminated in Lincoln


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

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

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

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

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

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

That Is One Really Pretty Old Sign.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 2, 2018

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


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

--RoadDog


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


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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Clabber Girl Baking Powder and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway


From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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

--RoadDog