Friday, August 31, 2018

Auto Accident on Sycamore Road in 1918

From the August 1, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"There was a little auto mishap on the Sycamore Road yesterday when C.W. Iskowich passed between the Concidine taxi and an out of town car.

"The fender of the local man's National tipped the hub of the taxi sending it off on a tangent into the ditch.    Fortunately the ground was level and the damage to the car was trifling."

The Sycamore Road is the DeKalb-Sycamore Road, Illinois Highway 23.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: The Biggest Branding Iron and Joliet Prison

These are taken from the Route 66 News site which had daily posts and a lot more.  I just write about ones of particular interest to me.

JULY 18--  The Milburn-Price Culture Museum in Vega, Texas, now boasts "The World's Largest Branding Iron" on the ground in front of the place.  It is 22 feet long and weighs 3,000 pounds.

I'd sure like to see a cowboy pick that up.

JULY 19--  Joliet, Illinois, sets the times of its tours of the old prison.  They are expected to begin in early August.  Visitors will be transported from the Joliet Area History Museum to the prison and back.

Hopefully no one will have to stay there.

Always Like Big Things.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Overgrown Lot Cleanup in DeKalb in 1943

From the July 25, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"City crews started the annual summer task of ridding the parkings and vacant lots about DeKalb of weeds.  The crew made a tour along the Lincoln Highway and those parkings not cared for by the owners of the property adjacent, are given attention.

"There are several vacant lots around DeKalb which annually grow up with weeds, and as the owners are out of town residents, the city is compelled to do the work."

Not quite sure what they mean by parkings in this case.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Gillette Mansion, Springfield, Mo., U.S. Congress

JULY 15--  Couple buy the historic Gillette Mansion in Elkhart, Illinois.  Lincoln stayed here.  Let's hope they open it for public tours.

JULY 16--  Original section of Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri, to be paved over after a convenience store chain buys the land.  It is the Kim & Go chain.

Let's hope they see the error of their ways and incorporate in their store.

JULY 17--  U.S. House passes Route 66 Centennial Bill.

Here we go getting ready for the big 100 for our favorite road.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Blue Whale Owners and Caretakers Enter Okla. 66 Hall of Fame

JULY 13--  Owners, caretakers of the Blue Whale named to Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.  Hugh and Zelda Davis and son Blaine Davis.

The 80-foot long concrete structure was built in the early 1970s at a spring-fed pond near Catoosa as a surprise for Zelda.

It was part of a larger complex including  the A.R.K. and Arrowhead Trading Post.

Well-deserved and something we love to visit.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Green Book and Joliet Prison

JULY 9--  Researcher of Negro Motorist Green Book lands a publicity deal.  Candacy Taylor has a deal with Abrams Books.

This is a story that needs to be told.  Back when Blacks had to be careful and were not allowed in places.

JULY 10--  Joliet, Illinois, may use $50,000 for old prison which is set to reopen this month.  This is a city allocation.  This is the prison in the "Blues Brothers" movie.

Tours are being offered for $20.


Six Route 66 Illinois Bicentennial Oddities

Just bragging a little here, but there are six Route 66 places listed in the 20 Oddities in Illinois you should visit.

I just wrote about one, the Launching Pad Drive-In and Gemini Giant.

The other five are in:

two in Lincoln

For loyal 66ers, these "Oddities" should be easy to guess.

Plus, the Friendship Shoe Fence is in Cornell, not too far off Route 66 near Pontiac.  We plan on checking it our the next time we're down that way.  Of course, Route 66 has numerous shoe trees, and there is that one tree south of Pontiac that has been receiving Christmas decorations and will soon be a year-round Christmas tree.

We So Proud.  --Road66

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities-- Part 5: Gemini Giant

Wilmington, 810 East Baltimore Street

The space race was at fever pitch in the mid 60s when the former owners of a diner on Route 66 changed the name of their eatery to Launching Pad Drive-In and got one of the huge muffler men statues and changed him into a space suit with helmet holding a rocket which they put in their parking lot to draw people into their place.

The Launching Pad's new co-owner, Tully Garrett, said, "They bought him for one reason only:  So people would get out of their cars, take pictures and smell the hamburgers."

The 30-foot tall statue is one of hundreds of fiberglass "Muffler men" who once lined roadways, cradling car mufflers and assorted props in their brawny arms.

The recently reopened Launching Pad doesn't sell burgers as of yet, but it's a great place to grab a cup of coffee, chat with people and load up on Route 66 stuff.

So glad the place has finally reopened after being closed for many years.  A definite stop on your Route 66 trip.


Did You Hear the One About the '64 Mustang?-- Part 2

 Continued from August 19, 2018.

Well, after countless discussions, Tom got to work on restoring the skylight blue sports car that had sat in his garage for 27 years.  And then, he learned that their car might be something special.

It might, in fact, be the very first Mustang ever sold.

And, you know, those '64 Mustangs were cool cars to begin with...but, the very first one!!!

Ford Motor Company has now confirmed that their car was the very first one ever sold.  And, this weekend, the car is on display in Detroit as the company celebrates the sale of its 10 millionth Mustang.  (None, however, ever owned by me.)

Not only did Gail and Tom Wise hang on to their Mustang all these years, but they also kept all the original paperwork.  By one estimate, that makes their old blue car worth as much as $450,000.

Well, Good Thing They Held Onto That Old Worthless Piece of Junk.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 20, 2018

Near Death Experience in DeKalb Involving A Street Car And An Old Guy in 1918

From the August 8, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"The carelessness of an aged resident last night at the Fourth street corner, caused many people waiting for the six o'clock street car to turn their heads.  The aged resident was walking along at a brisk pace, and probably due ro the fact that a train was passing on the North Western at the same time, did not hear the street car.

"The man walked directly into path of the electric car and had not the motor man had his car under control and able to stop at once the man would have been injured.  Many people waiting for the car at this corner, turned their heads at the time, not caring to see the accident."

This would have taken place in DeKalb, Illinois, at the corner of Fourth Street and the Lincoln Highway.

Definitely Not Gawkers.  --EoadDog

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Score One for Us Pack Rats: Did You Hear the One About the '64 Mustang Convertible? -- Part 1

From the August 15, 2018, Chicago Sun-Times  "The joy of being first with a '64 Mustang"  Editorials.

A Park Ridge, Illinois, couple, Gail and Tom Wise debated for years whether to junk their old Ford Mustang convertible.  Gail had bought it in 1964 from a Ford dealer on Cicero Avenue so that she could get to her first job.  It then became the family's car, but stopped running after fifteen years (1979) and then, just sat in their garage.

Gail wanted to free up space in her garage.  Tom wanted to restore the car some day.

Hey, 1964, wasn't that the first year they made Mustangs?

Sounds Familiar, Doesn't It.  --RoadDog

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities-- Part 4: World's Tallest Man


Alton, 2810 College Avenue

See how you measure up to this life-sized statue of the tallest man, Alton native Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was less than an inch shy of 9 feet when he died in 1940.

Known as Alton's "Gentle Giant,"  Wadlow was born a century ago with a pituitary gland disorder that caused his imposing growth.  By age five, he was already 5.5 feet tall.  The local movie theater reserved a special place for him:  one seat to sit in and four more for his long limbs.

Near the statue is a bronze cast of another chair, this one designed for his extraordinary frame.

Learn more about the city's beloved ambassador in a Wadlow exhibit across the street at the Alton Museum of History and Art.

I Want Him On My Basketball Team.  Take That LeBron!!  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Well, It's Another One of Those Too Much To Do Days Around Here

Decisions must be made today as again, there are too many places we'd like to be and not enough time to do it.

Choppers, off Channel lake in Antioch is having their annual Chopperfest with a pig roast and bands out on the deck.

The Ingleside Dog 'N Suds, yep, one of those old root beet places, is having a classic car show and an Elvis impersonator.  (We have three of the only remaining seven Dog 'N Suds withing a 25-mile radius of us.)

McHenry's Peterson Park is hosting the annual Blooze, Brews and BBQ festival.  Headliner tonight is one of our favorite bands, the Blooze Brothers, who do, of course, the Blues Brothers.  There will be two other Blues bands as well.

Most likely, we will go to the Spring Grove Fire Department annual Steak Fry at Horsefair Park.

I Just Hate When There Are More Things To Do Than Time To Them.  --RoadDog

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities: The Boeing 727 From "U.S. Marshals" Movie

I hadn't heard of any of these first three oddities.


Belknap, 6724 North U.S. Highway 45

There's a piece of Hollywood in southern Illinois, but you'll have to venture fifty feet underwater to see it.  The ill-fated Boeing 727 that crashed in the 1998 film "U.S. Marshals" was laid to rest in Mermet Springs, a spring-fed limestone quarry that draws around 6,000 scuba divers a year.

There are also planes, a train and automobiles as attractions at the site in the more than 8 acres of water. (Hey, there was a movie about them too.)  Also you can see paddlefish (one real strange-looking fish), bass and albino catfish there.

So, you don't scuba.  Well for $25 you can get a 25-minute shallow dive with an instructor or for $50 get this dive and a full day's access to the quarry and snorkle equipment.

The Plane, The Plane.  --

Friday, August 17, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial, 20 Oddities-- Part 2: Shoes, Shoes and More Shoes

2.  FRIENDSHIP SHOE FENCE--  Cornell, 24503 N. 1050 East Road.

Sandals, loafers, pumps, baby booties--  dozens of pairs of shoes run alongside the Donze farm ion Livingston County Highway 28.

People are encouraged to take or leave shoes, or, just look.

The fence is the idea of Gale Donze who saw one while in New Zealand.  She also now has coffee mugs and purses, but the shoes remain the star attraction

Gale said one offering of a pair of child's ice skates came with a note saying that they had once belonged to future hockey star Bobby Hull.

That should put the Shoe fence not too far off Route 66 since it runs through Livingston County.

I've seen a few shoe trees along Route 66.

Wow, Bobby Hull's Child Skates.  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial Bucket List, 20 Must-See Oddities-- Part 1

From the August 12, 2018, Chicago Tribune Lori "Bicentennial Bucket List" by Rackl.

Offbeat, quirky and even downright weird.

1.  KASKASKIA DRAGON  Vandalia, 2024 Progress West Drive.  Illinois' second capital.  The town's unofficial mascot shoots flames out of its snoot.  The fifty-foot long creature is not far from Kaskaskia Supply and Rental, a hardware store owned by Walt Barenfanger.

One of his employees built it about 25 years ago.  A local propane distributor bestowed it with fire-breathing capabilities.

But, it will cost you a dollar to buy a token at the liquor store across the street or at the Supply store.  The show lasts about ten seconds or so.

I Thought I Thaw A Dragon.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Going Back to 1971-- Part 3: Won't Get Fooled Again"

SHANTY--  Jonathan Edwards   Getting that good buzz on, you know.
I'M 18--  Alice Cooper
BERTHA--  Grateful Dead

MOVE OVER--  Janis Joplin

MERCY, MERCY ME--  Marvin Gaye
BABY BLUE--  Badfinger

CROSSEYED MARY--  Jethro Tull  As in Heavy Metal Grammy
IMAGINE--  John Lennon

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

11 SIGNS YOU'RE A GEEK:  (from March 2018 Wassup Magazine)  You have a monitor tan.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Going Back to 1971-- Part 2: "Statesboro Blues"

47 Years Ago.

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN--  Led Zeppelin   Do You Ever Get Tired of Hearing This One?

SPANISH HARLEM--  Aretha Franklin
LIFE ON MARS--  David Bowie

STATESBORO BLUES--  Allman Brothers
BROWN SUGAR--  Rolling Stones

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "There's A Lady Who's Sure That All That Glitters Is Gold."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog

"Stairway to Heaven"

Illinois Marks Its Bicentennial With Cake and Passport Program-- Part 2

The new Illinois Bicentennial Passport program encourages people to get their passport stamped at 56 spots until November 30.  Collect enough passports stamps and you're entitled to prizes.  (For example:  Get 35 stamps and you get a mule-pulled ride aboard an 1840s-style canal boat on the I&M Canal.)

You can pick up a passport at any one of the 56 passport stops, most of which are clustered in the I & M Canal and Looking For Lincoln National Heritage areas.  They include the newly remodeled Springfield Governor's Mansion and the Field Museum.

Free slices of Eli's Cheesecake will be served around the state on August 26, when the first Illinois Constitution was adopted two hundred years ago (but none in Chicago).

Party It Up Illinois.  Happy 200th.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Illinois Marks Bicentennial With Cake and Passport Program-- Part 1

From the August 5, 2018, Chicago Tribune by Lori Rachel.

"Free cheesecake, a passport program and special programming in August are some of the ways the state is ramping up Illinois' bicentennial celebration."

Every weekend in August, 80 museums, historical sites and architectural gems in different parts of the state will waive entry fees through an initiative called Doors Open Illinois.

The program kicked off last weekend, but this weekend moves to central Illinois August 11-12, then western Illinois August 18-19 and Chicago and northeast Illinois August 25-26.

Some of the sites participating in Illinois are Vandalia (the state's second capital), the Old State House in Springfield and the prehistoric Cahokia Mounds near St. Louis.

See Illinois Before It Goes Broke.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why Go Anywhere Else? -- Part 3: Front Porch, Gazebo, Stucky's, Sunnyside and Margaritaville


The yard is at what I consider peak color for the year.  Daylillies, purple cone flowers, tall phlox, black-eyed Susans, hostas and a few wild daisies are still in prime bloom. And, I have hundreds of each.

Sat out FP (front porch) and gazebo and enjoying the day and flowers.

Went to Stucky's in Johnsburg and met Kevin and Kelly and enjoyed the $1 burger special (add cheese and lettuce, tomato and onion for another $1).  Includes home-made chips.  Plus, they have $1.50 draft pints today.

Went to Sunnyside and enjoyed the happy hour $5 pitchers.  Ran into a lot of people who used to work at Antonio's in Spring Grove.  Came home and enjoyed Margaritaville.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Why Go Anywhere Else? --Part 2: Civil War, Two Decks and Two Performers


Mostly worked in the yard.  We did go to the Fox Lake American Legion on Nippersink Lake and met the Usual Suspects.  We didn't win the 50-50.


Went to Crystal Lake, Illinois, for the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting at Panera Bread.  This month's topic was Civil War Industry.

When I returned, Liz and I went to Thirsty Turtle in Antioch on Channel Lake and sat out on the deck from 1 p.m. to 4 listening to Robert Boegart "Old Hippy Bob" as he played a lot of that old, great music and, in honor of what would have been Steve Goodman's 70th birthday, lots of his songs.  Goodman wrote "City of New Orleans", "You Never Even Called Me By Your Name",  "Go Cubs Go" the song Cubs fans sing after wins as they break out those "W" flags, and many others.

We then went over to  the nearby Choppers and sat out on their deck by the channel and listened to Remedy Acoustic.

Two Decks, Two Entertainers, Lots of Fun..  --RoadDog

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

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

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

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


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

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

Why Go Anywhere Else?  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Riders On the Storm"

The Bottle-Shaped Car and Speeding

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

1918 and 1943, 100 and 75 Years Ago.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

I really hate it when signage is not there.


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

JULY 3--

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

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

The bill calls for:

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, August 6, 2018

Stolen Autos in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

A real Bad Boy From 1918.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Cruisin' Down the Road and Listening to Tunes

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

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

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

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

Both shows stream live at and

Give 'Em A Listern.  --RoadDog

Friday, August 3, 2018

More Snow Woes in 1918

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

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

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

Too Much Snow in 1918 in DeKalb County

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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

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

What, No Snowbobiles?.  --RoadSnow

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Along 66, July 2018: Touring 66 and Those Bands

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

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

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

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

Born to be What?  --RoadWild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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

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

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

It is the 34th Annual Lincoln Highway Bridge festival.

It will feature a carnival, a parade and music.

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