Thursday, April 27, 2017

Budget Vegas, Getting the Bang for Your Gambling Buck-- Part 2

3.  Las Vegas Boulevard has the most expensive rooms.  Stay at a non-casino hotel.

4.  Off strip casinos have the best deals.

5.  Experience Fremont Street.  Its rooms, restaurants, gambling tables, etc. are less expensive.

6.  Tickets to the big shows are expensive and often sold out.  However, you can use Tix 4 Tonight booths, which open at 10 a.m., to get better deals.

--RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, March 2017: Illinois Travel Ads Feature Route 66 Sites

MARCH 27--  Illinois touts Route 66 to young people in its new "Up for Amazing" TV campaign.  The series aims at Gen X and Millennials and Route 66 sites are prominent in two of the thirty second ads.

These ads are shown in 13 Midwestern markets through July.  The Route 66 shield at the Illinois Route 66 Museum in Pontiac is one of the shots as are quite a few in Chicago.

In case your're wondering, Gen X were born in the mid-60s to early 1980s.  Millennials are born from the 1980s to 2000.

I always get a kick out of that Route 66 shield.  That is sure impressive.

We also need to keep young people interested in the old roads.  I look around at Route 66 gatherings and sure are a lot of us oldsters.

MARCH 30--  Meteor City Trading Post may have a savior.  Michael and Joann Brown, from Indiana plan to restore and reopen it.  It closed in 2012 and was ransacked.

--RoadDog

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Budget Vegas, Getting the Gambling Bang for Your Buck-- Part 1

From the April 22, 2014, Yahoo! Travel, Compass  "Budget Las Vegas:  How to save on Sin City fun" by Christy Karras.

Las Vegas increasingly caters to the high rollers and rich.  (A big reason why I don't care if I ever go back.)

Her brother oversees hotel casino pools and says you should avoid the pools of ones hosting big, late-night pool parties as chlorine can only do so much.

Here are some tips if you still want to go:

1.  Avoid weekends, big sporting events like the Super Bowl and big conventions.  Crowds and prices of everything go way up.

2.  Gamble early in the morning when table minimums are lower  Most of the upscale casinos now how minimum $25 bets now at other times.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Record Store Day-- Part 2: No Vinyl Frontier, But Barnes & Noble

I decided to stop at the Vinyl Revolution on my way to the McHenry Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting in Crystal Lake and left early.  Unfortunately, the line was already around the corner and the place wasn't yet open.  And, I really hate lines.

I hate lines, so continued on my way to Crystal Lake.  I was running early, so stopped at McDonald's for a breakfast biscuit and then went to the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Northwest Highway (US-14) and bought a Blue  & Gray magazine featuring the Battle of Bentonville and the Russian Navy and World War II magazine featuring the Sullivan Brothers.

One thing that does my heart good is seeing all the vinyl records they now sell.  Sadly, though, they are all in the $20+ range, more than I like to pay.  I went through Barnes & Nobles's sale CDs, but didn't buy any.

Then, it was on to Panera Bread for the discussion group.  Today's topic was April 1865.

--RoadDog

Monday, April 24, 2017

Record Store Day, April 22, 2017-- Part 1: McHenry's Vinyl Revolution Record Store

This is a day I look forward to every year as it does my heart good to see there are still a few of us out there who still like our old vinyl albums (although I must admit I like CDs better and play them way more often).  There is just something about flipping through albums and looking for that special treasure.  Who knows if you're going to find it or not?  It's a real treasure hunt.

And, I almost forgot about it until I was listening to Chicago's WXRT, 93.1 FM, and they mentioned it.  Sure glad they did.  I was going through some e-mail alerts for the blogs in preparation for driving to Crystal Lake, Illinois, for the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting about events of April 1865.  WXRT, starting at noon and going to midnight, also played nothing but vinyl albums in honor of the Record Store Day.

That means, I will drive right by my local mom and pop record store, The Vinyl Revolution, in McHenry, Illinois.  I even left early to go to the discussion group, only to find the store not opening until 9 a.m., and the line already stretching along the sidewalk and around the corner.

I decided to stop in on my return.

No Record Store For Me!!!  --RoadDog

Friday, April 21, 2017

News From Along Route 66, March 2017: A New Museum for Pontiac

MARCH 19--  Chuck Berry died in St. Louis at age 90.  A real big reason we still have rock and roll.

MARCH 22--  Ruby Street Bridge in Joliet, Illinois, will be undergoing months of repairs.  It is a classic bridge, built in 1935, rehabilitated in 1972 and 2011.  It is 400 feet long and crosses the Des Plaines River.

A real pretty bridge.

MARCH 24--  Pontiac, Illinois, to get a new museum.  It will be the Basketball Museum of Illinois which has gotten the green light in town and will open late 2017 or 2018.  It will cover all things basketball in the state.  And that will no doubt include Herbron, Illinois, whose small high school shocked everyone back in the early 1950s when they won the state championship.

It will be in a closed K-Mart store and will be operated by the Illinois Basket ball Coaches Association  Plans call for it to be next door to a planned Route 66 Museum of Transportation.

This will bring the total number of museums in Pontiac to seven.

Truly a museum and mural city.

--RoadDog

About Goldsboro, N.C.-- Part 2: A Railroad Town and Sherman Target

There is a picture of the Kiwanis Miniature Train that operates Saturdays and Sundays from April to September in Herman Park from 1 to 5 p.m..  Herman Park is across Jackson Street from where my family lived from the 1920s.  I used to ride that train a lot as a kid.

Even though there are no longer passenger train service to Goldsboro, there are still a lot of railroad tracks that have to be crossed, many still used for freight trains.

"Goldsboro's a railroad town, built on the tracks between Wilmington and Raleigh, named after Matthew Goldsborough, a railroad man.  During the Civil War, Sherman had Goldsboro in mind when he burned through the South, hoping to get ahold of bustling tracks,  He did."

People in Goldsboro loved these tracks, but hated them as well.  One April night 91 years ago, a group of unnamed people got fed up with the dirty, noisy trains coming through the center of town, causing fires and sooting up everything and went out in the darkness and pulled the tracks up and stacked them in a neat pile in Center Street.  They even have a DeRailebration Ceremony in honor of it.

The train company sued the city, which just went ahead and paid it.

--RoadDog

Thursday, April 20, 2017

About Goldsboro, N.C.-- Part 1: It's a Railroad Thing

From the July 2016 Our State Magazine (North Carolina) by Eleanor Spicer Rice.

"Wherever you go in this Wayne County city, you'll find yourself crossing railroad tracks."

Very true.  of course, a big reason for Goldsboro's existence involved railroads.  It made the city a target for General Sherman's Army during the Civil War when it was also part of the important Wilmington and Weldon Railroad which kept Lee's Army supplied.

Goldsboro is my home city, where I was born back 65 years ago.  So, it is special to me.  My family has lived there since around 1900 and up until the end of last year, were in the same house since the 1920s.

--RoadGold

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Cruisin' Cassette Tape "20 Great Oldies-- Vol. 12: "Don't Make Me Over"


The number after the artist is the highest the song got on Billboard's Hot 100 and then the year it was out.

SIDE 2

1.  DON'T MAKE ME OVER--  Dionne Warwick    #21   1963
2.  WATERMELON MAN--  Mongo Santamaria     #10    1963
3.  IT'S GONNA WORK OUT FINE--   Ike & Tina Turner     #14    1961

4.  EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART--  Gladys Knight & the Pips    #6    1961
5.  I SOLD MY HEART TO THE JUNKMAN--    No rank
6.  SOUL TWIST--  King Curtis     #17    1962
7.  TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT--  Shirelles      #39   1960

8.  FUNNY--  Maxine Brown     #25   1961
9.  MOON RIVER--  Jerry Butler      #11    1961
10.  CRY TO ME--  Betty Harris      #23   1963

Name That Tune (from the above songs:  "Dream-Maker, You Old Heart-Breaker."   Answer Below.  --RoadDog



"Moon River"


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" Has a Mention of Route 66-- Part 2

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" by Mighty Mo Rodgers.

I was casually listening to this song on The Surf 94.9 FM out of Myrtle Beach South Carolina when I heard mention of Route 66.  My ears perked up, of course.

Continuing with the song lyrics:

"I took a bus trip back in time

Route 66 when it was the main line

I saw teepees and motels, design like events.

And then I saw that place where we once spent,

But nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

When you took out the good parts and leave the misery.

But, if I had to do it again, you know I'd do it with you,

It was dumb like sin, yeah."

The video on You Tube has pictures of a US-66 shield as well as a Wigwam Motel.

Well Worth Listening To.  --RoadDog

A Cruising Cassette Tape "20 Great Oldies- Vol. 12: "He Will Break Your Heart"

Sure enjoy getting out in the old '85 Firebird and popping a cassette tape into the player and this is one great pre-recorded tape, featuring some songs I know about and others not so well.

The number after the artist is the highest it got on the Billboard Hot 100

SIDE ONE:

1. ANY DAY NOW--  Chuck Jackson   #23  1962
2.  YOU'LL LOSE A GOOD THING--  Barbara Lynn    #8  1962
3.  HE WILL BREAK YOUR HEART--  Jerry Butler    #7   1960

4.  POOR FOOL--  Ike & Tina Turner    #38  1962
5.  MAMA SAID--  Shirelles    #4  1961  
6.  IF YOU NEED ME--  Wilson Pickett    #64   1963
7.  STEAL AWAY--  Jimmy Hughes    #17   1964

8.  ALL IN MY MIND--  Maxine Brown    #19    1960
9.  SNAP YOUR FINGERS--  Joe Henderson      #8    1962
10.  LETTER FULL OF TEARS--  Gladys Knight & the Pips     #19   1962

This is some really fine R&B/Soul Music, even if I do say so.

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Met A Little Boy Named Billy Joe And Then I Almost Lost My Mind."  Answer Below.  --RoadDog



"Mama Said"


Monday, April 17, 2017

"Black Coffee and Cigarettes" Song by Mighty Mo Rodgers Mentions Route 66

This song was getting some play on Beach Music stations, especially on the Surf, 94.9 FM WVCO out of North Myrtle Beach, S.C..

I was listening to it when I heard the singer, Mighty Mo Rodgers, mention Route 66.

Here are some of the lyrics:

"I don't drink. I just smoke.  I don't gamble no more.  And I don't use no toke.

All I wanna do is be with you. Smoke some cigarettes and have some java brew.

Make it black and strong, that's what I need.

Cause when I think of love, don't you know what I bleed?

I bleed blues, and rhythm and rock 'n roll

All that funky stuff that shakes up my soul."


As you can guess, this is a blues song and a really good one.  He then goes into what he said about Route 66 and a certain motel we all love.

Give It a Listen on You Tube.

I'll write his account of a trip on 66 in the next post, tomorrow.

Bring On the Coffee and 66.  --RoadDog

Some News From Route 66-- Part 2: Slow Drags on the Route, "More Corporate Blandness, Less Mom and Pop Character"

**  The Slow Drags are a 6-piece alternative country band from Portland, Oregon, and are traveling the western United States, much of it on good old Route 66.

On May 10th, they stayed at "this cool old motor court last night called the Apache Motel" in Prescott, Arizona.  "It will soon go the way of the Do-Do bird as it is being sold and then torn down.  It's the wave of the future, more corporate blandness, less mom and pop character."

They essentially traveled Route 66 from California through to Arizona.  "We got to see some of the old billboards, hotels, gas stations and shops in Williams and Flagstaff.  It's pretty amazing to think of all the people that have traversed the route over the years, especially during the dust bowl.:"

Welcome to the Road.  --RoadDog

Some News From Route 66-- Part 1: Sprague Super Service and Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum

I found these items in some old notes.  Not sure what year they are from, though.

**  May 6:  WJBC AM, Voice of McLean County says the Sprague Super Service station has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

**  May 9:  The Pontiac Daily Leader says the elevator work will begin at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum and the Pontiac War Museum.  The west entrance will be the main entrance for the next three weeks.

Pontiac, Museum City Now.  --RoadDog

Friday, April 14, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: Thank Goodness Sycamore's State Street Is So Wide

From the January 25, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Citizens of Sycamore driving automobiles and the merchants as well as the city officials are thankful at this time that state Street is wider than the average smaller city thoroughfare.

"Because of the heavy snow, and the impossibility of the department of public works to remove it as rapidly as it falls, there is considerable piles on the sides of the road."

Must have Been a Lot of Snow.  --RoadDog