The Shamrock Court Motel in Sullivan, Missouri. It can be yours for $125,000. Lots of possibilities. Actually, now you're too late. Missouri's Roamin' Rich bought it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 2: Flowers, Sunnyside, Indy 500, Car Show, Moose, Donovan's, Fish Hatchery and Ribs


Bought flowers for half price at Jewel.  Flowers are sure expensive nowadays, but half price makes it better.  Went to Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg and enjoyed the $1.50 pints special today.


Sue and Paul came by and we worked on getting a spot at the Legion in Speedway for next year.  Discovered quite a few cicadas in the yard.  Bought some more sale glowers at the Jewel in Volo.

Frank and I went to the car show at the Moose Lodge in McHenry, but because of rain, only a few there.  Lord forbid their babies getting wet.  I went to Saylor Mick's in Spring Grove for trivia.


Went to Donovan's in Twin Lakes for trivia, then to the Spring Grove Fish Hatchery for a final meeting before our Father's Day Fish extravaganza.

Had a full slab of ribs meal at Half-Times in Johnsburg and went to Sunnyside.


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Why Go Anywhere Else? Living Around Here Is Like Living at a Resort Area

People ask me why I don't travel a lot during the summer.  I like to go away for a few short 2-4 day trips, but usually prefer to stay home.  There is always something to do.

Here is a list of things I did the first week back from the Indy 500 race.


John Fogerty's 79th birthday and Bob Stroud featured ten of his solo and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs.  My favorite all-time group.

Met a group of the Usual Suspects at Half-Times in Johnsburg, Illinois, for pizza and talking about good times in the past that we had.


The cicadas are definitely now here.  Went to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, for trivia and happy hour prices.



Drove to McHenry, Illinois, and met Tom and Frank at the Legion for a couple drinks and then to the concert in Veterans Park featuring Kevin Purcell & the Nightburners.


I was supposed to drive out to Clinton, Iowa, for a couple days with Mark, but he had back problems and had to go to the hospital by ambulance.  Went to Sunnyside in Johnsburg.  Met Kevin and Kelly, Barb and Glen at the Fox Lake American Legion for 50-50.



Went to the Fox Lake Legion and saw the band Tony & the Affects doing all oldies songs in the afternoon.  Then to Magic Moon in Spring Grove and was glad to see my buddy Frank was back working there after some health problems.


Bob Stroud played his annual tribute to Summers Past.  He played songs from fifty years ago, June 2, 1974 for three hours on his Rock and Roll Roots show in Chicago's WDRV, the Drive.  I am posting the song list on my Down da Road I Go blog.  These are songs that were on the radio and in your record collection for this date fifty years ago.

Drove to McHenry and had a bloody mary at the Polish Legion, went to Millersaylor Park and saw the duo Anderlik & Church with the Fox River in the background.  Then to the McHenry Legion for post-concert libations and then to Saylor Mick's in Spring Grove for a $4 bloody mary and $7 Italian beef sandwich with fries.

Like I Said.  Good Times in the Area.  --RoadParty

Monday, June 17, 2024

Wilmington's Gemini Giant-- Part 6

The day after Holly Barker's announcement, Ryan Jandura started a GoFundMe.  Jandura remembered taking trips to Wilmington to fish or visit antique shops with his grandparents as a kid and seeing  the "giant, enormous figure  that towered over the road."

It felt "larger than life," he said.  When the 44-year-old moved to Wilmington as an adult, he frequently passed the Gemini Giant on drives with his wife and helped make jewelry to sell at the restaurant's gift store.

"He became a part of my life," he said.

Donations from hundreds of people poured in.  One person said the Gemini Giant brings so much charm to our little part of the universe," and another said they're planning to travel Route 66 in April for their 50th wedding anniversary trip and hope to see the astronaut.  A local Veterans of Foreign Wars post also helped with fundraising.


Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wilmington's Gemini Giant-- Part 5: 'Then It Will Be Destroyed'

So when Holly Barker, owner of the Gemini Giant and the now-closed Launching Pad restaurant, posted February 24 on X that she was auctioning the giant off and its trademark rights, the Wilmington community sprang into action.

She said she wanted at least $100,000 for the statue.

"I want this junk trinket off my property," said Barker, who still owns the restaurant.  "If this is sabotaged in any way and the Gemini Giant doesn't sell, then it will be destroyed."

I had such hopes back when Holly Barker and her boyfriend bought the Launching Pad and statue.  They seemed very committed to reopening the place and assuring that the Giant would remain.  But that Holly is sure not the one we have as of this year.  Something seems to have snapped.

No real Route 66er would ever say anything like that.  Liz and I ate at the Launching Pad once and had great food and all that great Route 66 ambiance.  And, of course, that magnificent muffler man.  About the worst thing we could say was that the Launching Pad and the Polka Dot Drive-In in nearby Braidwood were too close to each other.  You couldn't eat at one and then again at the other going either way.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Wilmington's Gemini Giant-- Part 4: Now Only About 200 survive

In general, Joel Baker says there have been ebbs and flows with the statues popularity.  Largely due to a negative sentiment  toward the statues that popped up during Lady Bird Johnson's Beautification Project, they fell out of favor by the 1980s.

But, a decade later, their resurgence began, a trend that has continued.

"Towns want the giants back, and they want neon back," he said.  "They want all that nostalgia from the 60's back that people were working so hard to get rid of-- now we all love it."

At their peak in the 1960s and early 1970s, there were as many as 500 across the country Baker said. Only about 200 are left today, including 10 or so in Illinois, making them a hot commodity for private collectors.


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Wilmington's Gemini Giant-- Part 3

Back in late March and early April I wrote about how the famed Muffler Man called the Gemini Giant was able to be saved for the City of Wilmington, Illinois.  This is the rest of the article.

Businesses along Route 66 needed a way to stand out among the competition, and many bought the large, fiberglass statues for advertising.

These statues included lumberjacks, cowboys and eventually became roadside attractions in themselves.  They later earned the nickname "Muffler Men" from the founders of the travel website, who had seen some of the statues holding mufflers.

A former owner of the Wilmington, Illinois, restaurant The Dairy Delight, later renamed it The Launching Pad, bought the Gemini Giant in 1965, where it remained, said Joe Baker, founder of American Giants, a company dedicated to finding the statues and sharing their stories.

It has become one of the most  famous and photographed Muffler Men, he said, and last remaining spaceman statue.


Monday, June 10, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 27: The Mighty 8th Air Force and Home

April 9, Tuesday

Last day in Savannah, but I didn't leave until late in the afternoon so we took a ride over to the nearby National Museum of the Mighty 8th in Pooler, Georgia.

This museum tells the story of this Army Air Force group which had a major role in the downfall of Germany through its bombing missions during World War II.

This is a museum you could spend days in (planning on a return to it next trip to Savannah).  Lots of interactive exhibits and movies.  At one point you actually get to experience a bombing mission.

This is especially poignant now as we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

We met Julie there and had lunch at Miss Sophie's, located on premises. Great food at very reasonable prices.

As we neared my return flight I was sure hoping things would not go like my trip to Savannah and I'm happy to report that everything went smoothly and we got to Milwaukee.

I'll definitely fly again.


Saturday, June 8, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 26: Savannah's History


Next, we walked across the yard to the Savannah History Museum which showcases the city's history from1733 to the present.

It is located in the old Central of Georgia passenger shed whose construction began in the 1850s and was completed in the 1870s.  It is home to more than 10,000artifacts including Johnny Mercer's Oscar and Grammy awards and the bench made famous by Forrest Gump sitting on it in the movie of the same name.

Of course, there is a lot to do with Savannah during the American Revolution and the Battle of Savannah in which the British defeated attacking American/French forces and resulted in the death of Casimir Pulaski.   And, of course, Savannah's role in the Civil War.

Also on the grounds is the rebuilt British fortifications at Spring Hill.

After leaving Savannah, I went with Julie as she made her rounds feeding various feral cat colonies around Pooler.


Friday, June 7, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 25: The Cat and the Trains

Daisy them kitten was doing much better this morning.  Only she didn't look much like a Daisy.  She looked more like something else.  Julie said she looked like one of hose little creatures in the "Star Wars" movie and she sure did look like an Ewok.  That became her new name.

Today was our trip to Savannah to see some of Julie's favorite stuff.  History.  Well, Ed and I liked it anyway.

First stop was the Georgia State Railroad Museum.  It was formerly called the Roundhouse Railroad Museum and still called that by many, including Ed.  It is located at the Central of Georgia Railway site and is the most complete antebellum train site.

Probably the most striking aspect of the place is the partial round house and operating turntable, machine shop as well as all sorts of other railroad related things. Also lots of engines and railroad cars.


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 24: Church, Breakfast, Mansion and Kitten


I went with Ed and my sister Julie to their church.  It is one of the new kinds of churches with a rock band backing the choir and quite informal.

Afterwards we went to Henry's for breakfast.

Later in the afternoon, we took a short drive to Bluffton, South Carolina, where my nephew is building quite a home for his family.  Everything in it is first rate.  As such he is in better housing than either of his uncles or even his mom.  He runs his own construction company doing a lot of work around the upscale Bluffton area (not far from Hilton Head, S.C.).

We stopped back by Pooler Paws (or Cat House as Julie and Ed refer to it.)

I found a little kitten who was orphaned and had been put into a cage with another mama cat.  She was cowering and really taking a beating from the other kittens when they were playing.  We ended up taking her back to Julie's house.  That was one happy kitten to be taken out of there.  Her name was Daisy.

Very tempting.


Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 23: Saying Goodbye to Olaf, Final Four and a Wellness-Check


A couple came over and adopted Olaf the kitten which took the temptation away from me.  Sorry Julie.

I sure enjoyed watching the NCAA Men's Final Four games today, but Ed doesn't care about college basketball and Julie only cares about the University of Georgia Bulldogs football.  But, she toughed it out and watched.

The Purdue (who I was pulling for)- NC State game was close in the first half, then a blowout for the Boilermakers.  And, Alabama (who'd have ever figured Alabama in a college basketball Final Four) game with UConn was really close until the last five minutes.  Then UConn blew them out.

During the games I received a phone call from my home town police department saying that my neighbors had requested a well-being check and they had to break my side garage door down.  I was not upset at all.  It is good my neighbors keep an eye on me since I now live alone and because of my age, 72.

--Old RoadDog

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 22: Julie's Old House and a Low Country Boil

We then drove over to the house Julie lived in with her kids and ex-husband in Richmond Hills.  She lived within a few miles of Fort McAllister but only went there a very few times.  She is not much of a history buff.  It was sitting vacant when an upstairs pipe broke and flooded the whole place and led to a lot of damage, but the new owners are rebuilding it.

The traffic on I-95 was horrible coming back.

We had a Low Country Boil for dinner from a local place, Wood's Seafood.  If you're ever in Georgia or South Carolina and have the opportunity to have one of these, go for it.  It consists of sea food, sausage,  potatoes and corn on the cob.  Good eating.

And, a great price.  It is more than you can eat at one meal so leftovers and costs just $11.

Good Eating in the Neighborhood.  --RoadLowCountry

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 21: Fort McAllister


Olaf (the kitten) somehow ended up sleeping with me.  Went to Julie's Cat House, Pooler Paws, and did some cleanup work.

Then, Ed and I got away and headed to Richmond Hill, Georgia, which is south of Savannah.

Our aim today was to visit Confederate Fort McAllister which is now under the direction of the Georgia Sate Parks and has a good museum with a very informative short film about the fort.  The fort itself is an earthen fort much like Fort Fisher but much smaller.

Fort McAllister is the southern-most of the forts that guarded Savannah during the war.  It was attacked by Union ships seven different times during the war, with several of the attacks being from Union monitors.  Every time there were minimal casualties and damage done to it.

The fort finally fell when General Sherman arrived culminating his famed March to the sea.


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Just Got Back from Indy

I got back from the Indy 500 race yesterday.  And, of course, found it necessary to take a nap when I got home as all that fun can sure wear an old fart down.  We had our usual good time even though the American Legion Post 500, where we've been staying in the RV since 2014 messed up our reservations.

We found another campground about 7 miles away at another race track.  Fortunately some friends had extra parking tickets close by the Legion so we had a close-in parking spot.

Despite the rain delay on Sunday, this was the best race I've seen sine I first started going to The Greatest Spectacle in Racing in 2012.

I'll start writing about this trip when I finish April's trip to Savannah.


Thursday, May 23, 2024

Savannah Bound-- Part 20: Records, Huc-A-Poos and a Steak


Yesterday was Ed and my history day.  Today was our music day.  Like I said, a brother from another mother.  Thanks Julie.

We drove into Savannah, listening to an oldies station and quizzing each other on song names and performers.  First stop was sat a mom and pop style record/CD store called  Rody's.  I bought two CDs, one by Delbert McClinton and one by James Hunter Six.

Then, we drove out to Wilmington Island, near Tybee Island and went to Coastal Records where Ed bought an old Beatles LP.

When I found out we were near Tybee Island, I mentioned it and wanted to know if a great dive diner called Huc-A-Poos was still there and the owner said it sure was and was as good as ever.  Liz and I had finally found it after looking all over Tybee and it was worth the search.  They feature extremely rustic seating and some of the best giant slices of ubique pizza I'd ever had.

Ed had never been there before but will definitely come back.

Returned home and Julie introduced me to a tabby kitten named Olaf who was quite a character.  I believe one of her goals was to get me to go home with a kitten.  Tempted.

They grilled a steak and we watched the Iowa women's basketball game in the Final Four of that tournament and they will go to the championship game against South Carolina.

These days, everywhere you go it's Caitlyn Clarke.