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.


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?


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."