Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Along 66, June 2019: Afton Station and Dixie Truckers Home


JUNE 14--  Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma, will be auctioned off on June 29.  Also, the remaining contents will go under the gavel.  The auction is at 10 a.m..

Laurel Kane, 69, ran it for nearly 15 years and died  in January 2016.  She commuted from Tulsa, a good little drive.  She also had a "Ramblings of a Route 66 Business" blog and estimated that they had 7,000 visitors a year, coming from 15 countries.

Her husband, David Kane, 74, died in August 2018.

Here's hoping that someone will buy it and continue its operation.  Afton, sadly enough, needs all the help they can get.

JUNE 16--   The grandchildren of the Dixie Truckers Home in McLean, Illinois, pay a visit.  Two grandchildren, Steve Jordan and Cathy Greeneberg were the two.

John and Viola Geske opened what is now called the Dixie Travel Plaza.  The original Dixie burned down on June 28, 1965.  Within 12 hours they were pumping gas and serving sandwiches again.

A Regular Stop for Us.  --RoadDog



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Along 66, June 2019: Talking Big Jack Rabbit


JUNE 13--  The Big Jack Rabbit  from the Jack Rabbit Trading Post near Joseph City, Arizona, has been restored. It is 34-years-old and new coat of paint has been put on the fiberglass structure.  Also repaired were the steps up to the saddle.

All this is to honor the 79th anniversary of the esteemed place.

It is an oft-photographed thing, second only to the "Here It Is" billboard.

James Taylor built the Jack Rabbit Trading Post on Route 66 in 1949.  Glen Blansett bought it in 1967 and passed it on to his son and daughter-in-law who sold it to their daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Tony Jaquer.

That Wascally Wabbit!!  --RoadRab



Monday, July 29, 2019

Along 66, June 2019: Save the Gasconade Bridge and Muffler Man Reunited With Arms and Axe


JUNE 11--  The Gasconade River Bridge Guardians issued an "urgent call to action."  The bridge is located near Hazelgren, Missouri.  According to the MoDOT the bridge is imminent danger of demolition unless a new owned can be found by the spring of 2020.

Hopefully, a new owner will be found as it is a beautiful bridge.  We were able to see it in June on the east bound lanes of I-44.  You can't see it west bound.

JUNE 12--  Restoration is complete on the muffler man lumberjack in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It lost its arms and axe at the May Cafe on Central Avenue which was Route 66.

Love Those Muffler Men.  --RoadDog

Friday, July 26, 2019

Along 66, June 2019: A Neon Sign Relit and 66 Passport


From Route 66 News blog site.

JUNE 9--  The historic neon sign at Fender's River Road Resort in Needles, California, has been relit.

JUNE 11-  The Mother Road Route 66 Passport is now available along Route 66.  This is from the folks who developed the Route 66 navigation app.  You can get 29 stamps and there are also pages for autographs and for you to write notes.

There are maps by Joyce Harbin Colego.  Jim Hinckley and Drew Brees also worked on it.

People always love those passport stamps and they are popular on the Illinois Route 66 Association Motor Tours.   Good idea.

Stamp Me.  --RoadStamp



In Honor of Man On the Moon, the Music of 1969-- Part 3: "Down On the Corner"


Who knows, perhaps you were listening to one of these very songs as Neil Armstrong made that historic step.

FEELING ALRIGHT--  Joe Cocker
SEA OF JOY--  Blind Faith
EVIL WAYS--  Santana

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN--  Led Zeppelin
I WANT YOU BACK--  Jackson 5
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE--  Plastic Ono Band

WHIPPING POST--  Allman Brothers
I CAN'T GET NEXT TO YOU--  Temptations
SPACE ODDITY--  David Bowie

RED HOUSE--  Jimi Hendrix
LAY LADY LAY--  Bob Dylan
SALTY DOG--  Procul Harum

DOWN ON THE CORNER--  Creedence Clearwater Revival
VENUS--  Shocking Blue
GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVIN'--  Crazy Elephant

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Ground Control To Major Tom."  Answer below.  --RoadDog


"Space Oddity"


Thursday, July 25, 2019

In Honor of Man on the Moon, the Music of 1969-- Part 2: "That's The Way Love Is"


Besides the Moon, there was that little bitty concert show out in New York.

DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS--  Chicago
VICTORIA--  Kinks
THE NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN--  Band

UNDONE--  Guess Who
LONG TIME GONE--  Crosby, Stills & Nash
MONKEY MAN--  Rolling Stones

THAT'S THE WAY LOVE IS--  Marvin Gaye
SOMETHING IN THE AIR TONIGHT--  Thunderclap Newman
VOLUNTEERS--  Jefferson Airplane

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "As I Was Walking Down The Street One Day."  Answer below.  --RoadDog


"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is"

In Honor of Man on the Moon, the Music of 1969-- Part 1


In honor of those historic footsteps on July 20, 1969, Chicago's WXRT, 93.1 FM, devoted their whole Saturday Morning Flashback show to that year.  These were the songs we were listening to all those FIFTY years ago.

Richard Milne hosted the show.

HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME--  Sly & the Family Stone
BORN ON THE BAYOU--  Creedence Clearwater Revival
HOT SUMMER DAY--  It's A Beautiful Day

SPACE COWBOY--  Steve Miller Band
A NEW DAY YESTERDAY--  Jethro Tull
WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT--  Who

IT'S YOUR THING--  Isley Brothers
TOUCH ME--  Doors
OH WELL--  Fleetwood Mac

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "End Of Spring And Here She Comes Back, Hi, Hi, Hi. Hi."    Answer below.  --RoadDog


"Hot Fun In the Summertime"

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Listenin' to My Music on the Trip-- Part 1: Illinois


Cruising down the road I have to have my music which I get from either the free airwaves or CD.

Leaving home, we listened to WDRV's Ten at Ten, first on 96.9 FM, which we get in the northern part of Chicagoland and then on 97.1 FM for the rest of the area.

On June 10, when we left, Ten at Ten was to 1979:

SARA--  Fleetwood Mac
DON'T BRING ME DOWN--  ELO
SOUTH BOUND SUAREZ--  Led Zeppelin

EVERY TIME I THINK OF YOU--  Babys
YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT--  Raydio
GOLD--  John Stewart
SHOT DOWN IN FLAMES--  AC/DC

CRUEL TO BE KIND--  Nick Lowe
LOVE IS THE ANSWER--  England Dan and John Ford Coley
LIFE DURING WARTIME--  Talking Heads

So we got taken back forty years at the start of the trip.

For the rest of Illinois, we listened to MeTV FM, 87.7, WJEZ FM out of Pontiac and WGCY out of Gibson City.

Cruisin' and Tunin'.  --RoadDog

Monday, July 22, 2019

Got My Food Craves On Our Trip to N.C.


I have certain places that are must-eat on my trips to North Carolina.  Here is a list of ones I ate at this month on our trip to the family reunion.

JULY 10--  Skyline Chili in Engelwood, Ohio

JULY 11--  Golden Corral in Burlington, N.C.

JULY  12--  Hardee's    (We don't have any around us.)

JULY  13--  McCall's BBQ at the family reunion

JULY  15--  Paul's Famous Hot Dogs in Rocky Point, N.C. and Britt's Donuts in Carolina Beach, N.C.  Lazy Pirate Carolina Beach.

JULY 16--  Hardee's in Carolina Beach, Britt's Donuts and Hoplite's in Carolina Beach

JULY 17--  Snappy Lunch (pork chop sandwiches) in Mt. Airy, N.C.  (Home of Andy Griffith)

Mighty Good Eating in the Neighborhood.  --RoadFood

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Back Home Again and the Party's Just Starting


Of course, living here in northeastern Illinois is really a why go anywhere else situation during the summer and fall months.  There is always something going on.  Bars often have bands, deejays and karaoke and then there are all those town events.

For example, this week we have Fiesta Days in McHenry and Antioch's annual Taste of Summer going on.    Sadly, they always both do it at the same time.  I sure wish they would do it on different weekends.

Today in McHenry, they have what is called Art in the Park with around one hundred crafters set up in Veterans Park.  But, most call it Drunk in the Park as all the bars in the area, and there are a lot of them, are selling $2 drafts (at one time it was 50 cent drafts) and there are bands on the street which is blocked  off.  And, you can carry the beer anywhere in the outside.

Tomorrow they have one of the largest parades in the area.

Antioch has lots of food offerings as well as bands today and tomorrow:  Rosie & the Rivets, Hair Band Night and Suburban Cowboys today.

Plus, Aging Teen Rock stars are playing at Choppers Bar and Grill west of Antioch on Illinois Highway 173.

Way Too Much To Do (In the Heat Today).  --RoadDog

Friday, July 19, 2019

Just Got Back from North Carolina


The reason there hasn't been any posts these last nine days is because we were on a trip to North Carolina for a family reunion.  This is the first one on my side of the family and organized by my sister Julie and cousin Debbie.

We left Wednesday, July 10 and drove 1,27.8 miles to Goldsboro, where we had the reunion on Saturday, July 13.  On Monday, July 15, Liz and I drove to Carolina Beach where we spent two days.

We left Wednesday, July 17 and got home yesterday afternoon.  In total, we drove 2,365.2 miles.

Love traveling, but even love getting back home more.

Good Being Home.  --RoadDog

Along 66, June 2019: Big Green Guy and "Chuggin' On Down 66" Song


JUNE 8--  The restoration of the Gemini Giant muffler man at the Launching Pad Restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois, has been completed.  Way to go BGG  (Big Green Guy).

JUNE 9--  "Chuggin' On Down 66" by Smiley Burnette was a song from 1954.  Near the end of the song he went through a list of Route 66 name-checks:  Chicago, St. Louis, Springfield, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Tucumcari, Albuquerque, Winslow, Flagstaff, Barstow and Los Angeles.

It was the "B" side of "Mucho Gusto."  It clocks in at 2:25 and is on a 78 rpm.

he is best known for his role as the the Hooterville Cannonball engineer Charlie Pratt on TV's "Petticoat Junction."

Where Uncle Joe Was Movin' Kind Of Slow, You Know.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Along 66, June 2019: A Neon Sign and A Visitors Center


These are taken from the Route 66 News blog.  That blog has many more posts and goes into much longer detail.  I just pick the ones of most interest to me.

JUNE 1--   The restored Fender's River Road Resort sign is to be relighted June 8 in Needles, California.

JUNE 7--  New Mexico has awarded $2 million for a Route 66 visitors center in Albuquerque.

You Can Never have Too Many Visitors Centers, Museums or Neon Signs In My Book.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: Springfield, Illinois, Looking to Push Route 66


MAY  28--  Springfield, Illinois is seeking a better plan to take advantage of its Route 66 heritage.  Well, I'll start right off with the fact that they should never have let Bill Shea's go like that.  That was a huge loss.

Part of this improvement plan involves:

1.  Improvements along Peoria Road  (Route 66)

2.  Establishing a Living Legends program. Among them Ron Metzger of the Route 66 Motorheads Bar and Grill (we got to meet him this past June)  Jeff Fulgenzi of Fulgenzi's Pizza & Pasta and Michael Higgins of Maldancer's restaurant.

I would also include the people at Ace Sign Co. who have done so  much for Springfield's neon signs.

3. Develop an inventory of Springfield Route 66 assets, including a possible site for neon signs like the Sonrise Donuts one.

All For These Plans.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: A Muffler man and a Mill Anniversary.


MAY 27--  A muffler man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is to be restored of its lost arms and axe.  A windstorm blew them away five years ago.  It is on the city's east side and by a popular Vietnamese restaurant.

I always loves my muffler men.

MAY  30--  The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois, will mark its 90th anniversary June 7-9.  It opened in 1929 and has now been a museum for the last three years.  This celebration coincides with the Illinois Route 66 Association's annual motor tour.

The tour's Hall of Fame banquet will be held June 8 at the American Legion hall in Lincoln.

There are three passport stops in Lincoln at the World's Largest Covered Wagon, the restored Tropics neon sign, and, of course, The Mill.  There will be a talk by Dave Clark.

--RoadDog

Along 66, May 2019: A Motel Done Gone and One Flattened By Tornado


MAY 24--  The closed Wishing Well Motor Inn in Springfield, Missouri, is slated for demolition.  It is deemed no longer habitable and a nuisance.

It is located at 3550 W. Chestnut Expressway.

I always hate to see an old motel torn down, but when they get that far gone it has to be done, but I hope they at least save the sign.

MAY 24--  The Budget Inn Motel on Route 66 in El Reno, Oklahoma, was flattened by a tornado.  At least a dozen trailers at a nearby trailer court were also destroyed.

Oklahoma 66, Tornado Alley.  --RoadDog


Along 66, May 2019: Own a Historic Bar and Help the Joliet Correctional Center


MAY 19--  Historic Chubby's Bar and Grille in Atlanta, Illinois, is for sale as the owners want to retire.  It is located at 111 Southeast Vine Street.  Asking price is $79,000.

It is located near the Palms Grill Cafe and the muffler man from Henry's Drive In in Cicero, Illinois.  (The one holding the hot dog.)  There is a great mural painted on the side of the building.

I have driven by the place many times and thought the mural was for a long-closed place, but evidently not so.  So, if you've always wanted to own a bar and restaurant, now's your chance.

MAY 21--  The Joliet Correctional Center needs $10 million to stabilize six key structures.

Hey, For Jake Blues.  --RoadDog

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: Lowell Davis and Steak 'N Shake


MAY 15--  Lowell Davis' Fox Fore Farm near Carthage. Missouri, is up for sale.  This is not his Red Oak II.  He is a noted folk artist from Carthage.

We were lucky enough to be staying at the Boots Motel when he came over and put up his Welcome to Carthage folk art display by the Boots.  We met him and had a nice talk.  Another one of those special people who make our Mother Road so great.

MAY  18--  This is very alarming news to me.  Outlook grim for the Steak 'N Shake restaurant chain which was founded in 1934 by Gus Bell on Route 66 in Normal, Illinois.  They have 600 locations mostly in the Midwest.  Famous for their steakburgers and shakes.

The problem stems from operating loses. and customer traffic is down.  They also have low prices and lots of coupons.

One Springfield, Missouri, operator resisted efforts to remodel the look of his place built in 1962 and it is a real eye catcher now.

Sure Hope We Don't Lose Our Steak 'N Shakes.  (We Have One in Nearby McHenry, Illinois.)  --RoadDog

Friday, July 5, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: Trying to Save a Motel and the Gemini Giant


MAY 14--  Lurvey Court Motel in Springfield, Missouri, received a reprieve from the wrecking ball earlier this month and volunteers cleared brush from around the long-closed and endangered motel.

The volunteers hope that now that decision-makers can get a better look, perhaps they will allow it to stand.
The motel has been long-closed.

Of course, I'd like to see it saved, but only if a reuse can be found for it.

MAY  15--  The Launching Pad Drive-In  in Wilmington, Illinois, began restoration of the famed Gemini Giant statue.  The 28-foot tall muffler/astronaut guy is fifty years old and draws a lot of gawking.  Who needs a muffler if you can have a rocket?

--RoadGemini

Along 66, May 2019: A Springfield Chilli Place Bites It


MAY 13--  The original Dew Chili Parlor in Springfield, Illinois is to be auctioned off.  It is a regional chilli chain.  It opened in 1909, but there are three others in Springfield which will continue business.

The other Dew Chilli loactions are at 2312 Wabash Avenue (1926-1930 Route 66), 301 North Grand Avenue West and 2690 Dirksen Parkway.  I had never heard of this chain before, but will check one of them out the next time in town.

Like Cincinnati, Springfield is known as a "hotbed for chili."  Only, instead of Cincy Chili, in Springfield chili is spelled chilli with a double "L."

Springfield calls itself the "Chilli Capital of the World" because the good folks of Springfield eat more chilli per capita than anywhere else.

I have had Springfield Chilli from another place and was not overly impressed.  I found it to be adequate, but way too greasy.

I'll Give It Another Shot.  --RoadDog

Thursday, July 4, 2019

It's a Spring Grove 4th of July


Well I missed the parade.  Spring Grove closes off all roads up to six or seven miles from the parade route 30 minutes before the parade.  This is ridiculous to close all roads that and that far in advance.  I took a nap and woke up at 11:30 am.

Spent the day doing bush trimming and flower bed weeding and cutting down spent daisies.  Then went to Sunnyside and enjoyed sloppy joes and we had a real good time with the juke box.  Who needs no stinkin' karaoke?    Lots of singing.

Came home and just sat outside FP  (Front Porch) where I had my breakfast and lunch today while reading the Chicago Tribune.  Few things better in my mind than doing that.  One of my real fun things to do.

Sitting out there watching neighborhood fireworks and booms as well as big booms all over the place must have been a little like what the men at D-Day heard.  Wearing my U.S. eagle shirt and getting lots of compliments all day.  Also my USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) cap in honor of Mark's father who served on the ship during WW II.

Happy 4th of July.  --RoadDog



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Act and the Midwest Classics Museum


MAY 8--  The governor signed the Oklahoma Route 66 centennial legislation into law.  It is called the Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission Act.  This commission will "plan, coordinate and implement programs and special events in honor of the road's 100th birthday in 2026.

It sounds like every Route 66 state will have commissions and lots of good times on the Mother Road in seven years.

MAY  13--  The Midwest Classics in 66 car museum in Wilmington, Illinois, abruptly closed last week after being open less than a year.

Always hate it when something about 66 closes, especially a museum.

But the Road Goes On.  --RoadDog

All Those Neat Old Cars


From the Stucky's Bar and Grille, Johnsburg, Illinois, 2019 calendar "Days Gone By."

Every month has one of those neat old cars in a pretty scene.  A pleasure to look upon at any time.  Unfortunately, they don't give the location of where the photo was taken.

DECEMBER--  1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Bel Air

JANUARY--  1948  Mercury Convertible  in front of an old movie theater named State.

FEBRUARY--  1958 Ford Custom 300  in front of an old gas station.  Gas listed at 67.9 on Texaco pump

MARCH--  1957 Chevrolet Suburban in front of Shelton Inn and Blondie's Restaurant.  (Shelton, Washington)

APRIL--  1933 Cadillac LaSalle

MAY--  1956 Packard Executive  in front of Ashley's "Home of the .50 cent Burger   Roller Skate Service or Dine Inside.

JUNE--  1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille  with Mt. Ranier, Washington, in the distance.

Can't Wait to See the Rest of the Months.  --RoadDog





Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A "Flivver" Accident in 1918


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

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Two flivvers, one coming from the north and the other from the south, met at the corner of Fourth street and due to the fact that neither machine was going at a fast rate but little damage was done.

"The drivers were each confidant that the other fellow was going to stop when reaching the post, but instead, both kept going and the two cars met head-on.  The fellows backed away, gave their cars the once over, laughed about the incident and were soon on their way again."

--RoadDog

Monday, July 1, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: Illinois RnR and the Giant


These are taken from the Route 66 News site.

MAY 6--  The site has been announced for the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66 in downtown Joliet.  It will be in a three-story building at 9 West Cass Street that dates back to the 1920s and it is near the Joliet Area History Museum.

Illinois is home to many famous bands, including Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Buddy Guy, Smashing Pumpkins and the Blues Brothers. (George Harrison of the Beatles also visited his sister in Benton.)  And, then there are all those great Chicago bands of the 1960s like the Crying Shames, New Colony Six, Shadows of Knight and Buckinghams.

You can never have too may museums.

MAY 7--  The Buck Atom Space Cowboy dedication will be in Tulsa on May 11.  He is a 21-foot fiberglass muffler man.  Mary Beth Babcock has converted a former gas station at 1347 E. 11th Street (Route 66).

More Giants, We Need More Giants.  --RoadDog

Twin Lakes, Main Street, 4th of July Parade, Donovan's, Yard Work and Sunnyside


SATURDAY, JUNE 29

FP (Front Porch) as usual.  We drove to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and had a brew at Main Street Tap and then watched the parade.  This is something we do most years.  Afterwards, we went to Touch of Class and then Donovan's.  Kind of a new record for us going there three straight days.

Came home and did real sweaty yardwork with 90 degree temps and no breeze.

Then, we went to Sunnyside Tap.

SUNDAY, JUNE 30

Brats at Sunnyside Tap and Jim Sieg and Stucky's Customer Appreciation Day.

--RoadFun

Lake Geneva, a Fish Fry and Bars


FRIDAY, JUNE 28

This time of year, I enjoy having breakfast and coffee out on the FP (Front Porch).  very relaxing.  We had another rain, seems like every day we have rain.

Drove across the border into Wisconsin to Lake Geneva.  This is a big tourist area, mostly flatlanders from Illinois.  Parking was at a premium, though they "only charge" $2 an hour (as compared to Chicago's $10+ hour fees).

We had our favorite area fish fry at Popeye's (not the fried chicken chain) across from the beautiful Riviera Docks and Geneva Lake.  For $15 you get all the fried and broiled fish, potato pancakes, seasoned fries, hush puppies and cole slaw you want.  Even better, we had a $20 off coupon.

Then, we stopped at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and after that to Sunnyside Tap in Johnsburg, Illinois.

--RoadFish