Saturday, June 30, 2012

Getting Ready for Fourth of July

With this extended Fourth of July celebratio, going from today until next weekend because of the actual date occurring on Wednesday, we are getting ready to drive to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, for their annual Libertyfest parade and festival at their lakefront park.  That means drinks at Main Street Tap before and after the parade and, of course, Donovan's Reef.  Perhaps a stop at the Tiki Bar on the way home.

From 7 to 11 PM, it's a band at Captain's.

Tomorrow, the band at Captain's after Bob Stroud's trip back to July 1, 1972 for three hours on his Rock and Roll Roots Show on WDRV from 7 to 10.

Wednesday is the parade and festivities at Horse Fair Park here in Spring Grove, Illinois, bands and fireworks which we can see from our front porch.

Then, next Saturday is the Fox Lake 4th of July celebration with parade, goings on at the Lakefront Park and fireworks on the lake later that night/

Nothing Like a Good Old-Fashioned Fourth of July.  --RoaDog

Thursday, June 28, 2012

OK, So We Weren't By Boat: The McHenry Dam

Yesterday, I had to go into McHenry, Illinois, for my annual physical.  Since we were already in the area, afterwards, we drove over to the McHenry Dam State Park to kill some time until Joey B's opened by Burton's Bridge.

This is a great little park with a great view of the dam which always has white water cascading over it every time we've seen it, even during the last several weeks on our downriver boating expeditions.  But, we are in the midst of quite a sustained drought, and there is no water going over the dam, not even a trickle.  Water is about eight inches below the top of the dam upriver.

Lots of fishermen frequent the park, and one told me that there was still water coming over the dam Monday.  Even so, we sat out by a picnic table and enjoyed the view of the dry dam.

Next, the Homewrecket at Joey B's.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bradbury Rode With Slow Company: Never Got Driver's License-- Part 2

JACK KEROUAC--  The author of "On the Road" drove rarely and hesitantly, once saying he didn't "know how to drive, just typewrite."  He also didn't know much about punctuation.

VLADIMIR NABOKAV--  The nondriver wrote "Lolita" in which a key character was fatally struck by a car.

ERICH VON STROHEIM--  When he played the chaffeur in the film "Sunset Boulevard," he was only pretending to drive.  The car was actually being towed.

ELIZABETH BISHOP--  The famous poet bought at least two cars, but didn't learn how to drive wither one.

ALBERT EINSTEIN--  Who says he was a genius.  He didn't even know how to drive.

I'm adding JOE WALSH of the James Gang and Eagles and solo, who in that one song wrote that he had a Mazzeratti but didn't drive it.  Well, actually he didn't drive it because he lost his license, but he did have a chaffeur to drive him around.

Bradbury Rode With Slow Company: Never Got Driver's License-- Part 1

From the June 7th Chicago Tribune by Mark Jacob.

Waukegan-born author Ray Bradbury died June 5th, but one nonaccomplishment is noteworthy: He never got a driver's license.  Here are sone other nondrivers who did pretty well.

STUDS TERKEL--  Took the bus to radio job at WFMT-FM.

MAE WEST--  Drove a car only once when her father tried and failed to teach her to drive.  She once said, "I did enjoy, every once in a while, buying a nice car for someone else to drive me around in."  Must be nice to be rich.

WOODROW WILSON--  The 28th president didn't drive, but did enjoy riding in a car to relax.

FRANK PHILLIPS--  This one is especially surprising.  The founder f Phillips Petroleum, you know, Phillips 66, made billions of dollars from car travel.  He once declared "I'm a thinking machine.  I don't have time to drive."  As rich as he got, he could hire someone to drive him around.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Day Downriver on the Chain Crawl-- Part 1

June 5th, we went downriver on the Fox to Algonquin, Illinois, with Kevin and Kelly in our quest to get passport stamps for the 2012 Chain Crawl.  They drove their boat, so it was even better for me as I just got to relax and go along for the ride.

They have a house on the Chain and picked us up at the Legion and we hightailed it downriver, through McHenry and to the locks at the McHenry Dam.  You don't want to go on the river part of the Chain on a weekend or holiday because of how rough the Fox River gets and the horrendous waits at the lock, which can just accomodate four boats at a time going through each way.  And with some of the bigger GRB boats, maybe only two.

Going on a Tuesday as it was, there were no boats ahead of us and we were the only ones through.  We noticed a mile marker at the lock for the first time that read 99, meaning that there was another 99 miles of the Fox River before it joins the Illinois River.

An even bigger hassle at the lock is who gets to grab ahold of the slimy ropes hanging down into it to hold your boat in place, one good reason be the captain because that gets you an exempt.  Those ropes are really nasty.

We then cruised straight through to Algonquin, as far south as you can go on the Fox River part of the Chain of Lakes because of the dam located there (no locks).  We used to regularly go the distance until we found that we weren't welcome at Port Edwards, the last place to visit on the river.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Back on the Road with "Route 66"-- Part 2

All four seasons of the show are now on DVD.  Essentially, it was two guys in hot car going across the country.  they are going to meet many interesting people and get into all sorts of situation along the way.

George Maharis left acting in 1993 and is now an impressionist painter.  He said the series was first shot on the road across the country which was a grind for actors and crew working seven days a week, 16-17 hours  a day.  They made 32 shows a season back then as well.

The show was budgeted for $100,000 an episode, but he doesn't know how often they met that goal.  he left near the end of the third season and was replaced by Glenn Corbett.

Maybe I'll Have to Get the Set and Watch It.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 25, 2012

Four Days, Five Bars, Boating, One Festival, Three Bands and One Karaoke

We don't hit the road as much as we used to because of the horendous gas prices.  I can afford it, but just don't like to make those GRBs any richer than I have to.  Of course, it is not like we don't live in a great place even without venturing far away.

Since this past Thursday:

THURSDAY --  After boating (mostly a boat-float, we drove up to Antioch, Illinois, and had wings on the deck at the Sequiot Lodge and walked over to the bandshell for the R-Gang concert on the It's Thursday series.  We've seen them several time at Captain's and they are one of the best soul bands around. 

FRIDAY -- Another day of boating, this time with breakfast at the local McDonald's (you can boat to it) and then cruising Pistakee Lake, Nippersink Lake and Fox Lake.   Then, met the Usual Suspects at Stormy Monday on Fox Lake and later sang "The Weight" by the Band at the American legion on Nippersink Lake.  Then, Cajun and I did a blistering version of David Allan Coe's "You Never Even Call Me By My Name," you know, "The Perfect Country and Western Song."

SATURDAY--  After yardwork and a memorial for friend George Larsen who died, we went to the Route 12 Bar and Grill on US-Highway 12 and had a great time with Terry Spizzirri and his nephew Gregg playing on keyboards.

SUNDAY--  Bob Stroud did his annual Summer Songs show.  After yardwork, we went to Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake and sat out at the outside bar and watched one of our favorite local bands, Soda put on an unbelievably deep show of music ranging from the 60s to present.

With This Much Fun at Home, Why Go Somewhere Else.  --RoadDog

Back on the Road with "Route 66"-- Part 1

From the May 24th Chicago Tribune by Susan King.

Growing up, my family only had one TV back then and we got to watch what the parents wanted to watch, which unfortunately was not "Route 66."  I don't know if I would have even then as to me, back then, Route 66 was just another road, not what it is to me now.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Corvette that Tod and Buzz drove was not red and white. It was blue and white.

George Maharis, now 83, played the handsome and hot-headed Buzz.  Martin Milner (who was at a Route 66 festival in Springfield, Illinois a few years ago) played Tod.

The show featured some big name guest stars like Buster Keaton and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. along with newcomers like Robert Redford and William Shatner.  then, there was also that "silky, jazzy theme song from nelson Riddle.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Victorville Continues to Thrive

From the May 12, 2010, Pasadena (Ca) Star News by Claudia Heller.

The town was named after railroad construction supervisor Jacob Nash Victor and the place really blossomed with the coming of good old Route 66.  Garages, cafes, motels and gas stations were built.  One famous lodging was the New Corral Hotel.  The Trails Restaurant , a Route 66 icon opened in 1952 and was demolished in 2001.

The California Route 66 Museum is located in town.

Then, there is a place I ate at called Emma Jean's on the eastern edge of Victorville, the home of the Brian Burger and today called the Holland Burger.   It appeared in the movie "Kill Bill 2."

That Was One Great Burger!!  --RoadDog

Friday, June 22, 2012

Driving the Lincoln Highway

From the June 10th Chicago Tribune by Jay Jones.

Featuring the 179 Illinois miles of the 3,400 mile road.

Always nice to see some of our old roads getting press and this one was nearly a full page in the Tribune Travel Section.  Not much new news to roadies, but there sure are a lot of folks not bitten by the bug yet, so we'll take what we can get. 

Four nice pics as well, including that neat one of the Lincoln Highway sign in Franklin Grove, Illinois, with distances to New York (999), Chicago (93), Clinton, Iowa (53) and Frisco (2390).  Much was deservedly about our excellent Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition which has done such a great job "bringing" the road to others, especially with they series of 10X20 foot murals (which will have 36 when the project is finished in time for the 2013 centennial).

Sights to see in Illinois:

Cass Street Bridge in Joliet
Blakeley House in Plainfield
Auto camp shelter in Aurora
Lincoln Highway Association HQ in Franklin Grove

There is also a sidebar on the LH is northwest Indiana where author Cynthia Ogorek was interviewed and a paragraph about that great Teibel's Family Restaurant, noted for their chicken dinners (originally selling for 50 cents, but now $14.95).

Oh, Give Me a Lincoln. --RoadDog

Thursday, June 21, 2012

If It's Thursday, "It's Thursday" in Antioch, Illinois

Just got back from Antioch where we attended our first "It's Thursday" concert featuring one of our favorite bands called R. Gang.  If you love soul/Motown music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, this is a band to check out.  We see then fairly regularly at Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake.

They even have choreography to the songs, especially the Motown ones that just adds to the show.  Musically and vocally, they have it down.  The only negative thing I have to say about  them is that they did several extended jams in the hour and a half which could have been better served by doing more songs.  But, I have to admit, I am no fan of jams.  (I love the album songs by the Grateful Dead but hated the one live show I saw them play.  Hey, play the song and then get on with another one.)

Where else you going to get to hear a band for free on a Thursday evening.  And, we had just perfect weather for an outdoor concert after three days of blistering heat and high winds.

We were even able to get some boating in before the concert.

Indeed, Good Times in the Area.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Back, At Least for Awhile

Still fighting those folks at Blogspot who took my seven blogs partially off line for some reason.  All they said was that Blogspot no longer supports my browser, but NOT WHY, which would be extremely helpful.  It seems to be a ploy to get me onto their Chrome thing.

I've been out of the blog biz for a little over a month now and greatly enjoying it.  All this new-found time is great, especially now that boating and festival season has arrived.

That's too bad as they have a fantastic service,  I just wish that Yahoo could have come up with a good one, but their effort comes no where near to this.

This was the second time they did it to me. 

Oh Well.  I guess if you get a service for free, you can be too demanding.