Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back Home Again

I returned home last night after 15 days on the road and visiting with family most of the time.

March 16th-- On the road and arrived in Cincinnati. Got my chili and dose of live and NTN trivia. (Il-47, I-74)

March 17th-- Denny and I do St. Patrick proud. More chili, Mt. Adams, even bars (three of which were Irish) and plenty o' suds.

March 18th-- On the road to Carolina, arriving in Goldsboro late at night. (Ohio -32, US-23, US-52, I-64, I-77, West Virginia Turnpike, I-77, US-52, I-40, US-70)

March 20th-- 145th Anniversary Re-enactment of the Battle of Bentonville, March 19-21, 1865.

March 21-23rd-- Topsail Beach (US-40, US-17, NC-50)

March 28th-- Driving in the rain to Cookeville, Tn. NTNin' and Tournamentin' in Bristol, Va. and Knoxville, Tn. (US-70, I-40, US-52, I-77, I-81, I-40)

March 29th-- Cookeville Depot, great old sign. Chocolate Uglies and White House, Tn. Family.

March 30th-- Home. LST-325 Memorial, Evansville, Imdiana. (Tn-76, US-41, Ind. 63, I-74, Il-47)

Great Trip, But, As Always, Great to Be Home. Especially with Temps in the 70s!! --RoadDog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting My Sugar Rush at Britt's Donuts

One regular institution to be found at Carolina Beach, NC, is a place dating back to 1939 and serving up just one thing, some of the most mouth-watering doughnuts you'll find anywhere in the US.

I know my farthest-back memories of the beach include this place that has withstood Hurricanes Hazel and Fran and kept coming back for more.

I missed it this trip as it opens weekends-only at the end of this month and begins seven day operations Memorial Day to Labor Day. But, if I'm back this summer or next fall, I'm there for sure. What brought Britt's to mind was an article in the July 2009 Our State magazine about it. I am using information from it.

H. L. Britt opened the place in 1939. Today's owners, Bobby and Maxine Nivens worked there in the50s before buying the place in 1974 and operating it ever since. With all this constant change (and fast) in the world today, the original (and top secret recipe) remains the same.

More Mouth-Watering On the Way. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lincoln Logs: Tama Bridge-- Illinois Mural

Some New News About an Old Road'

1. TAMA BRIDGE-- The March 24th 42 N Observations blog had pictures of the famous Lincoln Highway Bridge in Tama, Iowa (with the name spelled out on the sides). The first was taken in the year it was built in 1915 and shows a dirt road. The second is taken this year.

Currently, a US-30 bypass is under construction which will take the bridge off the main road as well as the famous 1937 King Tower Cafe which had a filling station, garage, wrecker service, cafe and 18 cabins.

I'm sure, however, the bypass will eliminate a lot of excessive traffic and make the drive along this stretch of the old Lincoln much more pleasurable.

2. ILLINOIS MURAL-- Channel 13 NBC News in Rockford, Illinois, reported on March 22nd that the new Lincoln Highway mural in Oregon, Illinois, was unveiled. It features striking views of the Rock River and the 48 foot tall Blackhawk statue.

It is one of the 40 planned for the 179 mile Lincoln Highway through the state. Towns they are in are either along the original route or along the Lincoln Highway Corridor, which is the case of the city of Oregon.

These are sponsored by the Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway.

Always Something Happening Along the Lincoln. --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On the Road-- March 16th-- Part 4


Very full of 3-way chili and a Coney Dog, I drove across the busy, busy Montgomery Road, to the Buffalo Wild Wings, referred to by some as B-Dub, or us old-timers as BW3 (for when it stood for Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck).

Lots of people there, but managed to find a parking spot and walked in. Inquired at the front as to where the upstairs was and got a quizzical look from the hostess, who said they never had an upstairs.

But, there was another B-Dub up the road which did. Perhaps this was the place I was looking for? Must be since Denny surely wasn't there, not was there any live trivia.

The manager was nice enough to get the address which turned out to be six miles to the north. Put it into GPS just to be sure. Lots and lots of stoplights along Montgomery which turns out to be a major thoroughfare in the Cincinnati area. It used to be the 3-C Highway, connecting Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati diagonally across Ohio.


It was right where Denny had said it was, just north of I-275 had I gotten off at the first exit past I-71. And, this one had an upstairs that had a live trivia going on.

Joined Denny and three others playing a very organized live trivia with regular answer sheets and you had to turn in answers to each question individually. This was a pretty smart bunch who knew stuff I couldn't dream of knowing.

One Long Day Comes to An End. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Road-- March 16th-- Part 3


You can get your official Cincinnati chili all the way from 3-way to 5-way. It costs about an extra 20 cents for each increase and I do recommend the 5-way. When the waitress learned I was out of town, she suggested the 3-way which I ordered.

A 3-way comes with spaghetti, chili and an almost obscene amount of cheese, a regular gob full. A 4-way comes with the first three, plus finely chopped raw onions. The 5-way has the first four, plus red beans (at least that is the way its served at Skyline).

Who would have thought about putting chili on spaghetti, but it sure works. The cheese starts melting right away and by the time you're half way through is almost completely melted.


In addition, you can order a Coney Dog. This comes with chili and cheese as well.

Cheese for both items comes finely graded and the grill guys literally put hand fulls on.

I'm not sure if all Skylines do this, but the one I ate at prepared the food right in front of the seating counter so you got to watch real food maestros at work.

Mighty Good Eatin' Indeed. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On the Road-- March 16th-- Part 2

I hooked up with I-275. the interstate bypass around Cincinnati right away. I put the address in of the Buffalo Wild Wings where I was to meet Denny and his friends to play some live trivia into the GPS.

It was quite different from the instructions he gave me, which had me getting off at the exit after I-75. I got off and didn't find it so took a round-about route following Nancy (what we call the GPS voice) and ended up back on 275 to I-71 and quite aways south on that.

Got off on Montgomery Road and found the B-Dub (Buffalo Wild Wings), but right across from it was a Skyline Chili, so got waylaid.

When in Cincinnati, you really owe it to yourself to have some chili at one of the many places that offer it. The two you most likely will come across are two chains selling the stuff, Skyline or Gold Star. In addition, there are several other places that haven't expanded their numbers.

You will want to order anything between a 3-way to a 5-way chili.

What Way the Chili Up Next. --RoadDog

Friday, March 19, 2010

On the Road-- March 16th-- Part 1

Left home at 9 am, and drove out to Woodstock where I picked up Il-47 and took it all the way south to Mahomet, Illinois, where I picked up I-74 and took it to Cincinnati.

Gas along Il-47 ran $2.70 to $3.00 most of the way, but was around $2.62 in Gibson City. Stopped as usual in Yorkville, Illinois, for a bathroom break and bite to eat at the McDonald's north of downtown. This is getting to be a regular stop for us. Once past Yorkville, the traffic and congestion is pretty much over except for Morris. Every year, it takes longer to drive this stretch, but anything is better than doing the Chicago Hassle.

Gas Purchases:

BP in Morris, Illinois $2.80 $27.11
Crawfordsville, Indiana $2.60 $22.88

Crawfordsville is usually cheaper than most places along I-74 in Indiana.

Once in Indianapolis, I took I-465 around to the southeast and continued on I-74 to Cincy. I hit Indianapolis at rush hour, but had no delays despite construction, try doing that through the Chicago hassle.

Next, Fun and Games in Cincinnati. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hey, I Stayed There!! Sleeping in a Tee Pee

The March 11th Shorpy site of old pictures featured a July 1940 picture of the Wigwam Village #2 in Cave City, Kentucky. It was taken by Marion Post of the Resettlement Administration.

Alongside the main tee pee, there are stools and log chairs evidently for sale. The main tee pee has the word "EAT" over the door and the pumps out front are selling Standard Oil products. Two have Crown gasoline and there is also a Crown Extra (must be premium). There is also a sign advertising Brown's ice cream.

Four smaller tee pees are in the picture as well. The sign above the pumps reads "Eat and Sleep in a Wigwam" and it is an approved AAA Court.

Several years ago, a group of us stayed here during an American Road Magazine Midwest spring trip. It was quite an experience and I'd sure do it again. I especially liked the public area where we had bonfires and a bbq. I didn't like the fact that the county is dry, so I had to rely on the generosity of others.

Next Time I Bring My Own With Me. --RoadDog

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Cruising Music

One big reason I bring a couple new CDs with me is to listen to is to imprint that album on the trip. These are songs that will always remind me of my travels.

I generally listen to a CD, then start pressing seek on the radio. Getting local stations is all part of any good cruise. That provides lots of flavor, plus, you never know when you might hear about something good.

Last night, I was listening to WNCT to Steve Hardy's show and heard about the Daffodil Festival in Fremont, NC, on March 27th, something I'd like to see.

CDs on my listening list for this trip:





Cruisin' and Tunin'. --RoadDog

Hittin' The Road Again

We just got back home on the 3rd of this month, but I'm out again starting tomorrow for a trip to North Carolina, stopping tomorrow nigh and Wednesday in Cincinnati to see how those folks celebrate SP's Day.

This weekend, I'm going to a huge Civil War re-enactment of the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina. Around 3,500 re-enactors are expected so it should be quite the spectacle.

I'll also be going to the beach again, this time at Topsail Beach.

Got to get as many travels in as I can before some folks get the price of gas too high again.

Wonder Who That Might Be. --RoadDog

Quest for Warmth 2010-- Part 11-- Music to Hit the Road With

This past trip, I brought along several CDs to listen to as we tooled down the roads.

BUFFETT HOTEL-- JIMMY BUFFETT-- No trip to the beach is complete without a little Buffett. Just seems so right. We especially liked: Nobody from Nowhere, Big Top, Summerzcool (not Summer School) and JB's take on today's world, A Lot to Drink About. We sure do have a lot to drink about after listening to this one.

RENTACROWD-- LEN PRICE 3-- I have Little Steven to thank for knowing about this group. He plays a lot of their songs on his Underground Garage Show on the radio. For anyone who thinks rock and roll of the garage and sixties variety is dead and gone, you've got to give a listen to this CD. Just one great track after another.

STARTIN' WITH ME-- JAKE OWEN-- A new country performer with lots of good old country. We wondered if he is related to Randy Owen of the group Alabama since they did a duo on "You Can Thank Dixie," but Wikipedia said they weren't. "Yee Haw" yourself!!

JERSEY BOYS-- ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING-- How do you beat the Four seasons while cruising down the road? That just makes the drive that much better.

Crusin' and Tunin' Down Da Road. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quest for the Warm-- Part 10-- Joe's-- B-Dub

Just couldn't believe all the folks coming in for the wings at Joe's. We had them last year and they were mighty good. Unfortunately, after Po' Folks, we were just too full to have anything else.

We were playing two NTN Buzztime boards and saw one of our home bars, Hello Folks come up with Paintr and gave a call. The next game, we saw the main place, Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin on the board and called there as well. Always a big hoot to see one of our home bases on the board when we're on the road.

Geocas was playing and talked with him. We got five boards between Liz and myself and were joined by a local who goes by the logo Hippie and challenged Donovan's. They beat us once on a "Seen It" game, where, judging by ALL THE PERFECT scores, a lot of people, including Geocas, had already seen it. We beat the home guys the next two games.

We then drove back past the Driftwood to Pier Park and played NTN at B-Dub (Buffalo Wild Wings) or BW3 as the oldtomers call it. No rankings, but we did bring the laptop in and had the fast-stuff so got a look at our e-mails. I even posted to this blog from there (see February 24th). I've never posted from a non-house sort of place before.

Am I Entering the 2000s? --RoadDog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quest for Warmth-- Part 9-- Just Beachin'

February 23rd we caught some rays OD and went to Bahama Bob's and Donovan's at night. See post for March 2nd for the live trivia.

FEBRUARY 24TH-- Really Crummy Weather

Overcast, windy and lots of cold in it. A definite day to leave the beach and go to some places we wanted to visit, but weren't ready to give up a day at the beach.


Drove across the bridge and along US-98 to Po' Folks, a favorite of ours. There used to be a lot of them in Tennessee, but no more, so we were happy to find this one last year. They offer a chicken dinner with two sides for $3.99, a really good price. I had that and Liz got her favorite chicken-fried steak. We splurged and had a $2.99 Mississippi Mud Pie which came ala mode.


We then went to Joe's Corner Pub which is near the bridge on US-98. Last year we had a really hard time finding it until the bartenders at Buffalo Wild Wings told us where it was and said they had the best wings on the beach (how about that?). You can't see the sign driving west, which was why we didn't see it.

THE F-ING GUY. We spend a lot of time in bars, so are quite familiar with the F word. But, there was a guy in Joe's that used the word more than anyone we've ever heard. Probably every sixth word was the F word used as an adjective, a guy really in bad need of a thesaurus. Sometimes it was every other word. It got to be a joke as we tried to keep count.

We Had a Really Great F-ing Time. Oops! Bad Influence. --RoadDog

Quest for Warmth 2010-- Part 8-- 'Laxin' at the Beach

February 22nd.

Had quite the big rain storm with regular rolls of thunder and plenty of lightning in the early morning hours. Looked like it was going to really mess up the rays for the day, so I made plans to go over to the movie theaters by Pier Park and see a movie I have been wanting to see since I first heard of its debut, "Crazy Heart" starring Jeff Bridges and a definite favorite to win best actor Oscar.

For some reason, no theaters in our area back home had shown it. So, here was my chance.

It cost $7 and was every bit as good as I thought it would be. Bridges definitely deserves the Oscar. And, besides, I really like country music so got plenty of that.


By the time I got out of the theater, the sun was out, so went back to the Driftwood and caught some rays OD.

We took a ride later in the afternoon to the east and saw a pretty sunset at the Barefoot Beach Club and enjoyed $2 Miller Chills. Looked at their menu after seeing one couple get an order of hot smoked tuna nachos and ordered it. It was every bit as good as it looked. However, we misjudged the amount of dip and finished the nachos way before the dip, which was partially hidden under the chips. We had to ask for more chips which they were happy to oblige. Pretty well filled us up for $7.99.

Then stopped at local favorite Shuckums which has been operating since the 1960s. The place can best be described as rustic or primitive. Delicious-looking serving of many types of oysters, but, unfortunately, I can no longer eat those ever since I got ahold of a bad one.

Back to the room and watched several great old black and white movies on TCM: Five Graves to Cairo, Fighting Sullivans and It Happened One Night. I had never seen any of these and the last one was hilarious. No wonder it won so many Oscars. We don't get this channel on our cable, but perhaps we need to.

Rain's Not Gonna Stop Us from Having Fun at the Beach. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Quick Trip on Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 2


SPRINGFIELD-- Happy to see a new place will be opening in the old GEORGE RANKS, next to the great old car wash sign where Route 66 turns east. It has been closed several years, but will sure be great to belly up for drinks in the Orange Round Bar on Route 66 again.

Plus, we had to see for ourselves, so drove by it and, NORB ANDY'S is again open. I feel a horseshoe coming on.

BROADWELL-- a truck was parked at Ernie's. Perhaps a son trying to get him and Fran to move to Lincoln? I doubt that will happen. Ernie can be "stubborn" when he wants to be.

LINCOLN-- the Abraham Lincoln sitting in a wagon and reading a book has been moved from across from the old Tropics and is nearer to the Lincoln visitors center.

LINCOLN INN-- after many years of continued dilapidation, it appears this Route 66 motel is getting a new lease on life as it is now part of the Best Western chain. It already looks better as we drove by. It's within walking distance of a great little bar at the Logan Lanes Bowling Alley.

TROPICS-- still there, but is there a CVS or Walgreen's in its future? At least save the sign.

ATLANTA-- The stupid water tower is still there. But this town deserves credit as being in the forefront of recognizing its Route 66 heritage along with Dwight, Pontiac and Lincoln and others.

Short, But Sweet. --RoadDog

A Qucik Trip on Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 1

Coming back from the Florida Panhandle, we cruised Route 66 in Illinois from Staunton to Litchfield, and then from Springfield to Dwight.

Some items of note along the way.

EAST ST. LOUIS-- still sad

DOWNSTATE MERAMEC CAVERN SIGN-- looks like it is about finished. Much of the back is down and the roof in shambles. Doubt that it will be remaining much longer and appears to be too gone to save. I'd say the only thing holding it up is the paint from the sign.

RICH HENRY'S RABBIT RANCH-- Staunton. Always great talking 66 and visiting with Rich. Got to meet the "replacement" for Montana who can also "autograph" postcards when in the mood. Rich has had to spend quite a bit of money on rabbit health issues.

FARMERSVILLE-- It appears Art's Motel restaurant is open again.

COZY DOG-- Springfield-- Had to get the old Cozy Fix (which is better, the Cozies or fries?) Talked with Becky of Becky's Barn and her husband and Sue Waldmire. Becky was sticking up on Bob Waldmire and Route 66 stuff for this coming driving season and planning a snack bar along the brick section of the original 66.

We talked a lot about Bob.

To Be Continued. --RoadDog

Quest for Warmth-- Part 7-- A Full Day at the Beach

Finally at the beach!! I got up in the morning and drove over to the All-American Diner, about a mile away and had their breakfast buffet for $7.39. There weren't a lot of items, but they were very good, especially the bacon which was done perfectly to my liking, very crisp.

Caught rays outside on what turned out to be the best day of the whole week. I walked over to the Donovan's mini-mart and bought two snack dinners of that great Chester's Chicken (2 pieces of white or dark meat and two potato wedges for $3.29 and $2.89). Absolutely delicious.

We ate out on the deck with the Gulf of Mexico just past the dunes. There are several feral cats that hang around the motel and they felt this was also an invitation to din-din as well and got as close as they could. We got meowed at, but they didn't get fed. The motel asks that we not feed them, but good old Lar does.


Afterwards, we walked across the street to Calypso where a large contingent Canadians were watching the USA-Canada Olympic hockey game and being boisterous. This is where they tried to confuse the girl from Argentina. (see Feb. 22nd post)

We later went to Donovan's which was much less crowded and quieter, which we needed after last night's party.

Loving It!! --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Take a Family Vacation Back to 1956-- Part 2

Some items of interest from the earlier post.

The two families left home in two cars at 4 am, on August 4, 1956. This was in the days before citizen band radio and cell phones, so any communicating along the way was done by hand signals and flashing lights (I would also assume by horn). The men did the driving and planning and mothers food preparation for the many picnics they had along the way.

I wish the one father would have written down prices, however.

In Hill City, SD, they rented a double cabin at the Pine Rest Motel which still exists today. If you rented one of these double cabins today, it would cost you $160 to $200.

By Rapid City, they went to two attractions which are also still there, Reptile Garden and Dinosaur Park. Both are still there. They watched a rattlesnake being milked at the first place.

Dinosaur Park was built in 1936 as WPA Project #960 and was added to the NRHP in 1990.

Well Worth the Trip Back to Look at This Site.

Take a Family Vacation Back to 1956-- Part 1

The Hub Pages site had a very interesting posting about the families of two brothers who took a trip out to South Dakota from Wisconsin back in August 1956. They took many black and white photos as well as one brother kept a journal of the trip. Photos and journal are included in the entry along with updated videos.

I found this to be a real slice of the Great American Roadtrip "See the USA in Your ______."

You can find it at wttp://

Well worth a look. I believe they were posted by a Peggy W.

Take a Trip Back, Way Back. --RoadDog

Some More on the Buckhorn Baths Motel in Mesa, Az.-- Part 3

The March 3rd East Valley Tribune had some more on the motel.

The Buckhorn Baths Motel sits on ten acres of land featuring palms, gardens and Spanish-style bungalows.

The first business on the site, a gas station, opened in 1926, on US-60, the Apache Trail. In the 1930s, the owners discovered a mineral well on the property and built Roman-style bathhouses and guesthouses.

In the 1940s, the New York Giants brought spring training to the area and it has since become the center for Major League Baseball spring training in the Cactus League.

I also found pictures of another interesting motel called the Kiva Lodge which is in Mesa. I read that it is within 1.9 miles of where the Chicago Cubs hold their spring training at Hohokam Field.

Got the Yearning to Go There. --RoadDog

Some More on the Buckhorn Baths Motel, Mesa, Az-- Part 2.

Roadside had this to say about the Buckhorn.

The Buckhorn Mineral Baths at the motel catered to the New York (later San Francisco) Giants for 25 years. manager Leo Durocher especially liked the place. It 1952, the team presented a silver tray to the place and it is still in the museum.

It opened in 1939 and drew people suffering from arthritis and similar ailments for its famous odorless water infused with potassium, silica, magnesium and iron. The old-style motel featured kitchenettes and covered car ports.

Owner Ted Sliger was a noted taxidermist and sportsman and accumulated a huge collection of stuffed animals which were featured in the lobby and a museum on site.

Unfortunately, the museum and motel are now closed and have been for about ten years which puts it in harm's way as Mesa continues to sprawl.

A Place I'd Like to See and Especially Stay In Some Time. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mesa's Buckhorn Baths Motel-- Part 1

March 8th ABC News 15, Arizona.

Better not let 103 year-old Alice Sliger hear you say her motel which she has operated for almost 70 years is on its last legs. "I don't think we're endangered at all. I just think we're waiting for the right person to see the great possibilities here."

The Society for Commercial Architecture has placed the Buckhorn on its list of most endangered roadside sites. The main danger right now comes from the city's eastward growth.

It is located on Main Street and Recker Road.

In 2005, it was placed on the NRHP and in 2007 included in Arizona's most endangered historic places.

The local historical society is trying to work out a deal with the city to preserve the motel and use some of its ten acres for a world class little league baseball complex. Many celebrities and baseball players have frequented the place in the past.

Alice Sliger and her husband Ted opened the place and it was in business for 70 years. Mrs. Sliger claims that her place was partially the reason Major League Baseball started the Cactus League for spring training in Arizona.

I'll Have to Do Some More Research on It. --RoadDog

California's Main Squeeze-- Part 2

Joe Bono is in his 70s and remembers citrus groves stretching in all directions around Fontana. His family farmed 200 acres and in 1936, his mother opened a roadside restaurant and deli with an orange stand on Route 66, now Foothill Boulevard.

Fontana was known for its grapefruit, but Joe bought crates of oranges to squeeze at the stand, one of six along this stretch of 66. They stayed open late at night to take care of tourists trying to avoid the heat of the day.

However, the coming of the freeways doomed most of the Route 66 businesses. Joe took over the restaurant after his mother died. In 2007, word came that the stand was to be destroyed, but it has since been restored, but still sits unused with one of those "Giant Oranges" outside of it.

According to David Wickline's Images of 66, Vol. 1 (2006), Bono's Italian Restaurant and Deli (1952-1999) at 15395 Foothill Blvd. started as the Bono Family Fruit Stand and Groves in 1936 selling grapes, lemons and oranges. It is currently not open and owned by Joe Bono who plans to reopen it, but planned widening of the road would destroy the building.

Go Big Orange. --RoadDog

Monday, March 8, 2010

While on the Subject-- the Dixie Cup Water Tower

Roadside America says that 2 miles from Bondurant's Pharmacy is a Dixie Cup water tower. The Dixie Cup company located in Lexington in 1958 and built it. The plant is now owned by Georgia-Pacific Corporation who had plans to tear it down, but the city fortunately won't allow them to do so.

It is off Mercer Road between Greendale and Georgetown Road and can be seen from Route 4. I see that the company also had a similar water tower at its Easton, Pa., plant back in the 1920s.

Love Those Giant Objects. --RoadDog

Bondurant's Pharmacy

In the last post, I mentioned Bondurant's Pharmacy in Lexington, Kentucky, which looks like a giant mortar and pestle and I had never heard of it. I had to look it up. There is a Wikipedia article and a home site for the place.

Unfortunately, neither gives a lot of information.

i sometimes go through there going to or coming back from North Carolina, and will have to check it out sometime as this is just the kind of stuff I am interested in.

It is listed as being along Highway 60 and Village Drive and Versailles Road. Oddly enough, it wasn't built back in the 20s or 30s as I would have imagined, but in 1974.

It was named after Joe Bondurant who got the idea after visiting Las Vegas. The main part of the building, the mortar, is based on the Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket.

The mortar stands 30 feet tall with the pestle going up another 10. It is 32 feet in diameter and there are two drive-through windows. The R and A in the name form the pharmacist RX on the outside.

Something I Gotta See. --RoadDog

California's Main Squeeze-- Part 1

From the March 3rd Los Angeles Times "California's Main Squeeze" by Martha Groves.

At one time, there were numerous orange-shaped stands along California's Highway 99 touting the state's eminence as the king of citrus (I always thought it was Florida). Most, unfortunately, are no longer there.

Eleven years ago, Mel Haynes bought one. There are only six known "oranges" remaining and are listed in the Society for Commercial Archeology's Top Ten Most Endangered Roadside Places. Most have since been moved and none sell juice any longer.

One entrepreneur, Frank Pohl had more than a dozen "Giant Orange" stands in the 1920s. Only the ones in Dixon and San Jose remain.

His stands are classified as examples of programatic architecture where they are constructed in the form of objects (new word for me). Other examples would be Randy's Donuts in Ingleside, the Tail o' the Pup hot dog stand in LA, Bondurant's Pharmacy in Lexington, Ky, that resembles a pestle and mortar and the Longaberger Company's basket shaped headquarters in Newark, Ohio.

More Orange Stuff to Come. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quest for Warmth-- Part 6-- Hitting the Bars

February 20th. Pineapple Willies, Time Out, Donovan's, Bahama Bob's, Donovan's.

We drove to Pineapple Willie's down by Thomas Drive. They bill themselves as being one of the oldest eating and drinking establishments in Panama City Beach. We saw that they still had NTN and wanted to play it, but again, it wasn't on any TV, so we left. We had the same problem last year. We definitely don't know why they keep the game if you can't play it.

We drove the really long way east along Thomas Drive to where it hooks north and found Time Out, which is attached to a gas station. A good crowd in there, but we were the only ones playing NTN (usually the situation when we travel and a big problem with dear old Buzz Time).

Played several games then decided to get back to the Driftwood and took the Middle Beach Road back which was much faster. Time Out is about eight miles from where we stay.


Walked across the road to Donovan's and met Gary, the Mayor (so-called because he is there most nights of the week). Not surprisingly, he didn't remember us at first, but later he did. Donovan's was getting ready for karaoke.

After a bit, we decided to go next door to Bahama Bob's at the Calypso Beach bar. Here it was at 9 and they were closing the bar. Not what you call a happening place in that case. As I said before, they had NTN Buzztime last year, but were reluctant to play it.

Went back to Donovan's which was packed by then. We like this place because you get all sorts of people in here. There are oldsters like us and the mayor and his group as well as quite a few younger twenty-somethings, locals and snowbirds, You can hear anything on the jukebox from rap and hip hop to oldies and country.

About the only problem is the smoke. Lots of cigarette smoking going on, but the doors are usually open so it is tolerable.

Good to Be Back. --RoadDog

Quest for Warmth-- Part 6-- Hanging Out at the Beach


We couldn't help but notice that as bad as our winter was, theirs was just as bad by their standards. The temperature usually only got into the fifties and most of the time, there was lots of cold in the wind. Everyone we talked to who were locals are had been snowbirding it for many years, said it was the coldest winter they'd ever had. One guy said it was the coldest in twenty years.

It remained cold for the whole time we were there, but, it was still 20-30 degrees warmer than it was back home and we did have a lot of sun. It wasn't too bad if you had a wind block.

February 20th-- Saturday

Moved into our room, 161, a few doors down from where we were last year. Larry was there. We got to know him quite well last year. He didn't recognize us at first, but eventually the memory came back.

A couple from northern Alabama were down for the weekend to find warmth as well and we got to know them quite well.

After several trips to the car, we were in and I was able to catch a few hours of rays before it cooled off too much. They were saying this was the best day down here in a month.

Finally Here. --RoadDog

Down Da 66: Sherman, Illinois-- Cops on 66-- More Cops on 66

Down Da Road-- Some New Stuff About an Old Road.

1. SHERMAN, ILLINOIS-- There was considerable conversation last month about the town of Sherman's plans for an intersection along old Route 66 where it was believed that it might destroy what remains of a rest stop north of town. It was completely overgrown back in the early 1990s when Tom Teague discovered it.

Once IDOT cleared it off, old tables, a well and pump were found. It is now called the Route 66 Memorial Rest Area. There really isn't much to it.

It was finally determined that the proposed work would not destroy the park, which is good news.

2. COPS ON 66-- Wikipedia has a write up on the old District 6 Illinois State Polioce headquarters south of Pontiac on the old Route 66. It was used from 1941 to 2003 and listed on the NRHP in 2007. The building is famous for its pistol shape when viewed from the air and was built in the Art Moderne style featuring sleek, streamlined curved corners and structural glass bricks.

We drove by it this past Wednesday and it still stands. Hopefully, some new use will be found for it, perhaps the Wall Dog Museum. The longer it stands unoccupied, the more its chances of going by the way.

3. MORE COPS ON 66-- The March 23, 2008 Bloomington (Il) Pantagraph reported that Livingston County was allowed to buy the old building in #2 for $10. The state then agreed to give the county $1 million to restore it, but so far the state has not come up with the money.

Looks Like a Job for the Route 66 Association of Illinois' Preservation Committee. --RoadDog

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quest for Warmth-- Part 5-- Made It to the Beach

From De Funiak Springs, we drove US-331 the rest of the way until we goy to US-98, the coast road here in Florida's panhandle. We took it southeasterly until we got to the Driftwood Lodge in Panama City Beach where we stayed for the next week.


We had found this place by accident last year when we were again attempting to escape Al Gore's Global Warming. We were looking for a place that had NTN called Calypso and saw there was a bar called Donovan's Reef (the same name as our favorite watering hole back home). Looking across the street, we saw a smaller mom and pop type motel in between two of those mega condo buildings that are being built all over the beaches these days.

We are confirmed mom and pop moteler folks since our days on Route 66 and the other old roads. Not only is this classic mom and pop, consisting of a two story motel up top and a one story row of cabana rooms right by the water. And, the price was just over $55.

These are the things we look for when on the road.

So, now, we had NTN, two bars, da beach, and a friendly group of folks all within walking distance. A perfect place for us.

Last year, we started with one night, expanded to two more and finally ended up staying six. This year, we just got the room for seven straight days.

RoadDog Nirvana. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quest for Warmth-- Part 4-- Florida or Bust

If anything, this breakfast was even better than yesterday at the Days Inn where we even had sausage along with the eggs. Cruised I-65 for awhile, before getting off on Alabama Hwy 97 a short distance to US-331 which we took all the way to the coast.

We went through a town called Florama which I thought was a dumb name until I realized it was right on the Florida-Alabama border. Neat name. Stopped at a Hardee's there with intentions of eating, but the place was way too busy with a long line. Too bad because we could have eaten out behind it with a great view of a large lake.


Entered Florida here and took a ride around a small town called De Funiak Springs, one of those old Florida towns you'd find so often before the Orlando Disney Thing opened. There is a big park located on the shores.

Just south of I-10, we came across a Whattaburger restaurant and stopped. That is one huge burger, and if you get a whole meal, it is a bit too much. We should have split one. But, we did get to eat OUTSIDE in a bright sun and probably upper fifties.

So, We Finally Made It to the Sun. --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Catching Rolls at Lambert's Cafe

I don't suggest doing this at home, and, am not sure I'm going to do this again, but Monday, March 1st, we ate lunch at the Lambert's in Foley, Alabama. Last night, March 2nd, we ate at the original one in Sikeston, Missouri, after driving up from Mobile, Alabama.

We had to be "rolled" out this last time. Are we ever full!! If you leave a Lambert's (there are three of them, the other being south of Springfield, Missouri, on the way to Branson) hungry, it is your own fault.

The portions are HUGE to start with. Then there are those rolls which you have to catch if you want one "Hot Buns and Throwed Rolls" as the roll guy in Foley was saying. And, on top of that is the "Pass Arounds" where folks bring heaping pots and pans of black-eyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes, fried potatoes and onions, and fried okra and plop them on your plate.

Both days, we left with overflowing containers of leftovers. And, both times they had the gall to ask if we wanted dessert!

Called my Buddy Cajun back in Illinois both times. He was the first one to tell us about Lambert's.

Don't Think I'll Do That Again. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Doing the Trivia Thing

Figuring to get my last days in playing NTN as a Players Plus member before I go to visitor status for awhile.

Unfortunately, Calypso's, across the road from the Driftwood Lodge where we stayed, has dropped NTN Buzztime. I'm not surprised because last year it was never on and the bartenders were highly reluctant to put it on even one of the many TVs in the place.

However, while in the Panama City Beach/Panama City area, we did play at Joe's Corner Pub, B-Dub and Time Out. And, we also visited a local hot spot called Pineapple Willie's which supposedly has it, but again, no one knew about it.


But, this is a bit of a wonderment, even though Calypso (the bar area is called Bahama Bob's) dropped NTN, it has a very successful live trivia contest held every Tuesday and a sign outside over the entrance telling about it.

Liz and I played as team, but the two of us couldn't beat the other teams which had six to ten members, several of which who kept suspiciously looking down at something in their hands that their fingers were punching something into. Hmmmnn. Makes you wonder.

They had three rounds and then a round of the winners to determine who would play a team from the local community college on Thursday.

We went to that as well, but just played along. Calypso beat the college.

Too Old to Go Clubbin', Not Too Old to Go Trivian'. --RoadDog

Enjoyed the Olympics

I must admit Liz and I aren't really big Olympic fans, and had we been at home for the Olympics, we probably wouldn't have watched anything except the opening ceremony and parade of nations.

However, since we are on vacation and tend to spend a lot of time sitting in local bars. (No idea how this comes to be.) The different events were on and in between talking with locals and snowbirds, I can't help but watch the TVs.

We got to see a LOT of the Olympics and were particularly impressed with the couples figure skating contests. How they can do those things and not wipe out and fall is beyond me. I especially liked the costumed event.

Here's to a great job, Vancouver!! Liz and I visited there on our trip to Washington state and found it to be one of the cleanest and nicest big cities we have ever seen. Hopefully, they will keep the Olympic Torch burning. That was an impressive structure.

We even watched the hockey games, something we never do during the NHL season. Knew it would come down to the US NHL players vs. the Canadian NHL players. Exciting anyway.

Do It Again. --RoadDog