Saturday, October 31, 2015

DeKalb for Homecoming 2015-- Part 4: Huskies Win and Footstompers Play

Like I said, Lord Stanley's was already near standing-room only at 4 p.m. and the Footstompers didn't start until 6.  Most were watching the Huskie game on the big screen.  Lord Stanley's televises all NIU games shown on ESPN3.

Northern was cruising along with a 35-0 lead at half time.  Then, they had another score in the third and led 42-0 before Eastern Michigan broke loose for a 21 point run to come within 42-21.  I was glad of the lead, but all of a sudden we had no offense and they were running through our defense as if it wasn't there at all.  I don't mind telling you that I started to worry just a bit.

Northern finally got moving and scored and the defense came through as well for a 49-21 win. The line on the game was Huskies by 28.  Good call.

Guitarist Dave of the Footstompers came through and we told him we were there for yet another homecoming and that we had seen them at Andy's for their first one in 1973.  I was surprised when he called Liz by name.  She told me afterwards that they were on Facebook together.

The place really started filling up with older alums now and the DeKalb Footstompers opened with the "Huskie Fight Song" (We spell Huskies that way) and everyone pretty-well went nuts and sang at the top of their voices.

It's Another NIU Homecoming Tradition.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 30, 2015

DeKalb for Homecoming 2015-- Part 3: Lord Stanley's

Entering Lord Stanley's, I found out where everyone was.  The place was already packed.  A lot of alumni were already there, many claiming tables for friends as seating is limited for a Footstompers show.

Lord Stanley's advertises itself as "Hockey Bar USA."  This is a Blackhawk Bar to be sure.  There are pennants, banners and other Blackhawk stuff all over the place as well as other hockey teams.  We even considered going to this place during the last Stanley Cup Run.  Being there would have to be an experience.

Even the name, Lord Stanley, comes from the Championship Cup.  They use a caricature of Stanley Laurel from the old Laurel and Hardy team as well.  Drink prices are very reasonable and they have great pizza.  And, even better, the Blackhawks had a game tonight.

This place puts the dive in dive bar.  Believe me, nothing is elegant.  But it is fun.

Back when we were students, it was called The Shamrock and later Daddy-O's Shamrock.  At one time it had an upper level that was open, but has been closed ever since a college student fell off it and died.

Good Time at Stanley's.  --RoadDog

Thursday, October 29, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 2

Dropped Liz off at Lord Stanley's, our destination for the DeKalb Footstompers and went looking for a parking place.  Finally found one across Lincoln Highway (Il-38), south of main street.    I got stopped by a fast-moving freight train.  These really come roaring through DeKalb very often, at least three or rimes an hour.  Our saying is, "Imagine that?  A train in DeKalb."

I looked across Lincoln Highway when I got to the intersection and saw that Andy's and McCabe's as usual, were shut up tight.  Back when we were in school, my fraternity and a few others were the first college students to start hanging out in Andy's.  This was our place.  The "cooler" fraternities and sororities most often hung out next door in McCabe's.

One guy owns both places now, but only opens when he feels like it, which is rare.  Sure wish he'd sell them and somebody else opens them.

I also went into Chilton Sporting Goods, another holdover from our days at NIU as students (1969-1973).

Lincoln Highway was abandoned as far as people, but I soon found out where most were.

Gonna Have a Good Time.  --RoadDog

IHSA Route 12-Route 14 Showdown 2015

I also run a contest between the high school teams located along US-12 (Rand Road) and US-14 (Northwest Highway) in Northwest Suburban Chicago.  These two roads are special to me as I lived in Palatine for 11 years and have now lived in Spring Grove for 22.  Palatine has both roads going through it and US-12 is the main road through Spring Grove.

US-14 Teams


Fremd (Palatine) (5-4)
Palatine  (7-2)  (I went to both of these schools, but graduated from Palatine)
Barrington  (8-1)


Cary Grove (8-1)  (Cary)


Prairie Ridge (8-1)  (Crystal Lake)
Crystal Lake South (5-4)


Marion Central (Woodstock)



Fremd (5-4)  (Palatine)
Palatine (7-2)


Wauconda (5-4)


Richmond-Burton (Richmond)  (This is where kids from our subdivision go to school.)

Friday Night Lights!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time for IHSA Route 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown Again: The Lincoln Highway Teams

Games begin Friday.  *  Means the school is in both Route 66 and Lincoln Highway.


*Plainfield South (5-4)
Waubonsie (Aurora) (5-4)
West Aurora (5-4)


Batavia (8-1)
Lincoln Way East (Frankfort) (7-2)
St. Charles North (7-2)
*Plainfield North  (6-3)


DeKalb (7-2)
Lincoln Way North (Frankfort) 9-0)
Kaneland (Maple Park) (6-3)


*Joliet Catholic (8-1)
Lincoln Way West (7-2)


Dixon (6-3)


Newman Central Catholic (Sterling)  (8-1)

A total of 14 teams.  Winner is last man standing.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Time for the IHSA Annual Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Playoffs Again: Route 66 Teams

Games start Friday.

These are the Route 66 Teams:  (Records)


Plainfield South  (5-4)
Edwardsville  (9-0)
Bolingbrook  (5-4)


Normal Community  (8-1)
Plainfield North  (6-3)


Chatham (Glenwood)  (5-4)
Sacred Heart- Griffin (Springfield)  (9-0)
Normal (Community West)  (6-3)


Joliet Catholic  (8-1)
Normal University  (6-3)


Pontiac  (7-2)


Central Catholic (Bloomington)  (8-1)
Wilmington  (9-0)
Williamsville  (5-4)
Carlinville  (7-2)


Mt. Olive  (5-4)

Sixteen total teams.

Lincoln Highway Tomorrow.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 26, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming-- Part 1: Making a Score or Two

Saturday, we drove to DeKalb, Illinois, for Northern Illinois' Homecoming game with Eastern Michigan.  It was a beautiful drive there with lots of fall tree color.  Passed several of the very popular fall festival farms and stands which, despite fairly crummy weather (threat of rain and occasional drizzle as well as major wind) they had people visiting.  Of course, northern Illinois is a big pumpkin-producing area of the #1 pumpkin-producing state.

Checked into the Baymont on Lincoln Highway, parked, and walked over to the alumni tailgating and tent area by the Barsema Alumni Center.  They had a band playing and every School had tents with swag.  We loaded up at the School of Education and Alumni tents.  In the past, all tents offered free food, but this year you could only get food at one tent, hosted by Fatty's.  And all items cost $5.

Looked at the University Store inside the Barsema Center but didn't buy anything.  Enjoyed the NIU Marching Huskie Band and remarks by the president and athletic director.

We had been thinking about buying tickets to see the game, but decided not to because of the inclement weather.  Took the bus over to the west side of the stadium and then watched the first part of the game until NIU scored on some steps by an apartment complex south of Huskie Stadium, which turned fifty years old this year.  Northern scored while we were there and the cannon went off.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: Tow Meets Mater-- Goodbye Bill Shea's

SEPTEMBER 22--  Larry the Cable Guy meets the real Tow Mater, the 1951 rusty International boom truck his character was based on in the movie "Cars."  It is owned by Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas.  He signed the glove box.

Tow, meet Matter.  Git ;'Er Done.

SEPTEMBER 22--  The Springfield (Illinois) Journal-Register was running a list of 66 Things to See on Route 66 from July to September 22nd.  You can see the entire list at Route 66 News for this date.  And some say there is not much to see on Route 66 in Illinois.  There were some I hadn't even heard of and a lot were left off the list.  Interesting nonetheless.

SEPTEMBER 26--  Shea's Gas Station Museum soon will be auctioned.  There are a lot of interesting comments on Route 66 News for this day.

I am really sad to see it go.  This was Bill Shea's legacy to the road he loved.  Too bad one place couldn't buy it and keep it as a museum open to the public.  Very sad that Bill's family chose not to keep it going.

We are sure glad we got to visit the place often and had many long talks with Mr. Shea.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Partying On Lincoln Highway Today

Today we drive to DeKalb, Illinois, for NIU's Homecoming.  Illinois Route 38 goes by within a few hundred yards of Huskie Stadium where the game takes place.  Our hotel is also on the Lincoln Highway.

After the game, we will be going to Lord Stanley's in downtown DeKalb which is also on the Lincoln Highway.  We will be seeing the DeKalb Footstompers performing their annual homecoming show, something they've been doing since Homecoming 1973.

So, we'll be doing our Lincoln Crawl today.  Sadly, when we were students at Northern from 1969 to 1973, Lincoln Highway was just another road to us.  We had no idea as to its significance.

Doing the Crawl.  --RoadDog

News From Along the Lincoln Highway: Preserving Omaha's 3-mile Brick Lincoln Highway-- Part 1

From the Oct. 17, 2015, Kearney (Neb) Hub "Old highway is worth preserving" by Mike Konz.

Mr. Konz praises modern road building and compares it to a symphony with all the many parts operating together.  He then mentions the remarkable stretches of modern roads like I-70 through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (I'll vouch for that), the Needles Highway in South Dakota and the 1,000 mile long Alaskan Highway.

"The 3-mile stretch of brick street in West Omaha-- Old Lincoln Highway-- is evidence that, unlike today's orchestrated approach to road building, how they did things at the dawn of vehicular travel was more like an old-fashioned jam session among jazz musicians."

This 3-mile brick road is the longest  remnant of the country's first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway which "was a jam session of salesmanship, public enthusiasm and good old American hard work."


Friday, October 23, 2015

Sycamore Road (Illinois Highway 23) Goes Four-Lane 75 Years Ago

From the October 20, 2015, Sycamore, Ill. MidWeek "Looking Back"

DeKalb County, Oct. 1940, 75 years ago.

"Evidence that the four-lane highway between Sycamore and DeKalb is in the process was shown by a report given at a meeting of the Sycamore city council.  It reported that a survey of the road was being made and a request for the use of Sycamore's storm sewers at Fair Street and DeKalb Avenue at the city limits was made."

Today, this stretch of road between DeKalb and Sycamore is extremely built up and has a real lot of stoplights and congestion.  Expect delays.


Talking About Bad Roads 100 Years Ago: "Justifiable Cussation"

From the Oct. 14, 2015, Sycamore, Illinois, MidWeek "Looking Back."

From Oct. 1915.  DeKalb County, Illinois.

"When the final day of reckoning comes Jehovah will have to suspend judgment on a lot of people who have traveled over that north and south road through Pierce Township.  All the cuss words in the category of cussdom could not do justice, and the verdict will be "justifiable cussation" if we don't miss our guess.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

100 Years Ago: Don't Fire Your Cop Or Pay the Consequences

From the Oct. 20, 2015, Sycamore, Illinois, MidWeek "Looking Back."  These are stories from the newspaper from back then.

1915, 100 years ago:  P.A. Quarnstrong, mayor of Genoa, appeared before Justice Z.B. Mitchell in Sycamore on Thursday morning, on the charge of operating his automobile without a state license.  The complaint was made by E.C. Duval, formerly a policeman of Genoa, but who failed to be reappointed.

Mayor Quarnstrong admitted technical violation of the law, but explained that rather than buy needed parts at a cost of some $75 he had not been using his automobile, but on the day on which he was charged with violating the law, he took it out for a short time on an urgent run into the country.

Unfortunately I did not find how the judge ruled, but this clearly looked like a case of Duval getting back at his former boss.  I am figuring that the mayor didn't get a license for the car (unless the one in question was his drivers license if they had them back in 1915) because it wasn't running.

You Know What They Say About Payback.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Military Convoy Completes Re-enactment on the Bankhead Highway Last Saturday

From the October 17, 2015, San Diego (Cal.) Union-Tribune "Vintage military vehicles reenact 1920 convoy" by Maureen Magee.

A U.S. Army convoy of vintage vehicles concluded a 3,400 mile trip from the White House to Balboa Park in San Diego this past Saturday.  The original one was to promote the need for a reliable road for commerce and military transportation across the United states.  An earlier one had taken place on the Lincoln Highway, but this one took the southern route.

The 2015 convoy consisted of restored Jeeps, trucks and motorcycles.  They reached the Cabrillo National Monument after a one month journey and followed the country's second transcontinental road, the Bankhead Highway.  They followed the old road as much as possible.

Back in 1920, this road was still under construction.  It took the original convoy 116 days to do it.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

66 Things to See on Illinois' Route 66-- Part 11: World's Largest Catsup Bottle

53.  WILLIAMSVILLE RAILCAR MUSEUM--  Finding a new use for an old railroad car.  You'd be surprised about how much they have been able to cram in there.

54.  MEMORY LANE--  Lexington.  They have taken their abandoned original Route 66 on the north side of town and converted it into a pleasant drive into the past.  However, it is closed to vehicle traffic most of the time so if you ever find it open, cruise it.

55.  WORLD'S LARGEST CATSUP BOTTLE--  Collinsville.  Or, do you say ketchup?  You've heard of the world's largest ball of twine, well we've got this big catsup water tower.

56.  WALLDOG MURALS--  Lincoln.  When these guys paint, wow!!  Ya Gotta See It to believe it.  Old-timey all the way.

57.  MAID-RITE SANDWICH SHOP--  Springfield.  Love those loose meat sandwiches, but you might need a spoon to pick up the overflow.  This one is a real old one also.


Monday, October 19, 2015

News from Along the Lincoln Highway: DeKalb's Winged Ear of Corn to Be Moved

From the October 17, 2015, Dekalb (Il.) Daily Chronicle by Brittany Keeperman.

A marker showing the DeKalb Brand of Corn was placed at Memorial Park on September 16 of this year.  Memorial Park is located at First Street and Lincoln Highway.  However, the park district started getting comments from veterans organizations that this park should stay focused on veterans.

So, the park district will move the winged corn marker to DeKalb Square Park at 4th Street and Lincoln Highway.

You have probably seen the DeKalb Corn signs along roadways where new corn crops are shown.

Memroial Park and DeKalb square are parts of a major renovation plan being carried out along DeKalb's Main Street which is the Lincoln Highway.

And, Liz and I really did buy our winged DeKalb Corn sign that is hanging in the garage.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015

SEPTEMBER 16TH--  The Maucoupin County Corthouse in Illinois has finished its north-stair renovations.It is part of $200,000 being spent on the Million Dollar Courthouse which was built in 1870.  It is located on the 1926-1934 alignment of Route 66.  This is quite an impressive structure and a million dollars back then was a real lot of money.

SEPTEMBER 20TH--  The restored neon sign was installed at a Kingman, Arizona, auto dealership.  "OK Used Cars" was reinstalled at Dunton Motor Dream machines on Route 66.  The place is located at 119 E. Andy Devine Drive.  The OK Used Car brand was established by Chevrolet in the 1920s.

Two more signs are being restored in town: Hotel Beale's cocktail lounge and Brandin' Iron Motel.

Love those old signs.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Open House Chicago This Weekend-- Part 3

Another area with buildings open for touring is in the Edgewater neighborhood, along Lake Michigan north of downtown.

Berger Park Cultural Center (Downey House), 1906
Berger Park North Mansion (Gunder House), 1910
Edgewater Beach Apartments, 1928  (All that remains of the storied Edgewater Beach Hotel complex.)
Episcopal Church of the Atonement, 1890
Riviera Motor Sales Company Building, 1925
Sacred Heart Schools, Driehaus Center (Conway House), 1906
St. Ita Roman Catholic Church, 1927

Again, if in the Chicago area, a good time to visit these structures, or plan ahead for next year.  Just bring lots and lots and lots of money for parking.

Parking Blues.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 16, 2015

Open House This Weekend in Chicago-- Part 2: Downtown

Some of the buildings and date built that will be open the next two days in the downtown area:

Continental Illinois Bank Building, 1924
Aon Center (Standard Oil skyscraper) 1972
Berghoff Restaurant, 1872
Blackstone Renaissance Hotel, 1910
Oriental Theatre, 1926
Railway Exchange Building, 1904
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 1893
Chicago Temple, 1924
Columbia Yacht Club, 1892
Congress Plaza Hotel, 1893
Blackstone Theatre, 1910

And these are just some of them.


Open House Chicago This Weekend-- Part 1: 200 Buildings Have Access Across Chicago

From the Chicago Tribune.

It is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 200 buildings across Chicago-- no tickets required.

This is the 5th annual Open House Chicago.

You can also get mobile-friendly info at

This is put on by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Sites are located:

West neighborhoods
Southwest neighborhoods
South neighborhoods
Far south neighborhoods
Near north neighborhoods
Far north neighborhoods

Well, I'll be in Evanston tomorrow, but won't go on the tour as I will be at the Northwestern-Iowa game.


66 Things to See on Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 10: No More Ernie or Pig Hip

48.  FUNK'S GROVE MAPLE SIRUP--  Funk's Grove.  Best "sirup" ever.  And, really, really  good on vanilla ice cream as we found out last year.  Get there early as they sell out quickly after its tapped.

49.  THE MILL RESTAURANT--  Lincoln.  Sure glad to see it is being restored.  Lincoln is another town that pushes its Route 66 heritage.

50.  PIG HIP RESTAURANT--  Broadwell.  And so sad that Ernie and the restaurant are both gone now.  We spent many hours listening to his stories.

51.  AMBLER-BECKER GAS STATION--  Dwight.  It was looking kind of bad when we first saw itilliin 2002, but now looking good and the Dwight welcome center during summer months.

52.  DIE CAST AUTO SALES--  Williamsville.  Sadly, I think this place is still closed.  It has been closed for many years, but had a great collection of metal classic cars (but no 1967 Firebirds, unfortunately).  In an old 1930s gas station and still standing the last time we went through town last year.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: Bob Waldmire and Denny's

SEPTEMBER 13--  Book review on "Waldmire"  Some interesting things from the new booklet.  "Bob Waldmire loved Denny's restaurant because they were open 24 hours and allowed him to use a booth during the wee hours to work on his drawings."

SEPTEMBER 15--  A View from Above Route 66.  Mike and Casey Lynch took a drone and shot an aerial view of Route 66 in California, Arizona and New Mexico.  It is a 14-minute video and these are some of the things on it:  WigWam in San Bernardino and the Bottle Tree Ranch.


66 Route 66 Things to See in Illinois-- Part 9: The Infamous "Turkey Tracks"

43.  TURKEY TRACKS ON PAVEMENT--  I'll never forget looking for them and being somewhat underwhelmed with what we found on our first Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour.  At least they are now marked.

44.  ARCADE MUSEUM--  Atlanta.  Must be a new one, something we'll check out the next time  in town after eating at the Palms.

45.  ORIGINAL SECTION--  Southwest of Lake Springfield.  Kind of looks like a boat launch ramp.  Original four lanes.

46.  DEILKE'S KUSTOM CHOPPERS--  Broadwell.  described as a Mantique emporium.  Another place we'll have to see.  Broadwell was where Ernie Edwards' Pig Hip was located.

47.  ATLANTA PUBLIC LIBRARY--  Plus, the clock tower in front of it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

66 Route 66 Things to See in Illinois-- Part 8: Chicken Joints

38.  CHICAGO AREA CHICKEN JOINTS.  That would be Del Rhea's Chicken basket and White Fence Farm in the suburbs.  We've eaten at Del Rhea's and the chicken is good, but always miss getting to eat at the other place.

39.  CROSSROADS DINER in Mt. Olive.  We visited there on an Illinois Motor Tour, but have yet to eat there.

40.  CRUISIN' WITH LINCOLN ON 66 VISITORS CENTER--  Bloomington-Normal.  Located in the McLean County Museum of History.  Perhaps B-N has finally realized it has a Route 66 heritage.  We haven't visited it yet, but will the next time instead of driving around the towns on I-55.  It's about time.

41.  WHIRL-A-WHIP in Girard.  The old ice cream stands.

42.  J.H. HAWES GRAIN ELEVATOR--  Atlanta.  What put Illinois on the map, our agriculture.  An old one.  We've seen it but never toured, yet.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

66 Route 66 Things to See in Illinois-- Part 7: Gemini Giant

33.  GEMINI GIANT AND LAUNCHING PAD RESTAURANT--  Wilmington.  Can't miss the big guy, a former muffler man, only now holding a rocket.  We have eaten there, but I understand it is closed now.

34.  ROUTE 66 MOTHER ROAD INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL--  Started back in 2002 and held every year since.  Our first big Route 66 event.

35.  ADVERTISING MURALS IN ATLANTA--  First time through, I was looking for the establishments advertised.  I eventually figured out that they were no longer in business.

36.  LUCCA GRILL--  Bloomington.  never heard of it, but is on our to visit list now.  Established 1936 and noted for Italian food.  Claim to have had the first pizza in Central Illinois.  Usually if we are in Bloomington-Normal, we go to McGuire's.

37.  DOUBLE H BAR--  Sherman.  Never been to it, but will now


66 Route 66 Things to See in Illinois-- Part 6: The Dixie

28.  DIXIE TRAVEL PLAZA--  McLean.  Looking modern after rebuilt from fire.  At least the new owners now have a respect for its Route 66 heritage, not like the previous ones who bought it from the original owners.  Who'd have expected a place named Dixie this far north.

29.  MURALS IN DOWNTOWN PONTIAC--  Sure are a lot of them made over a few days by the WallDogs.  And, then there are all those museums.

30.  ELKHART HILL--  Sticks out high above surroundings.  You can't miss it standing tall above surrounding prairie.  Northeast of Springfield.

31.  SMILEY FACE WATER TOWER--  Atlanta.  Always makes me grimace.  I hate Smiley Faces, anywhere, anyhow.  Yuck!!

32.  ARISTON CAFE--  Litchfield.  They even have cheaters for those of us who have a hard time reading the menus.  Try to eat in the original room, not the banquet one.


Monday, October 12, 2015

66 Route 66 Things to See in Illinois-- Part 5: Hall of Fame and Museum

23.  Illinois State Fair in Springfield--  Right on old Route 66 and not far north of the old Bill Shea's.

24.  Coliseum Ballroom in Benld.

25.  Palms Cafe in Atlanta.  Rebuilt in the same site and a real trip back.  Just another thing Atlanta does for its 66 heritage.

26.  Sky View Drive In--  Litchfield.  I understand it is up for sale.  Never had the opportunity yet to see a movie there.

27.  Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac.  Another town that really goes with its Route 66 heritage, thanks a lot to Betty Estes.  And to think I was upset when the new owners of the Dixie kicked this out of their place in McLean.  Couldn't have worked out better for the Route 66 Association of Illinois.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Nine Hidden Locations in Illinois-- Part 2

5.  CHAMPAGNE SALON:  Chicago.  R.M. Champagne, high-end drinking.

6.  HISTORICAL HOTEL TOUR:  Chicago.  Go behind the scenes at the Intercontinental Hotel which was once an athletic club.

7.  CHICAGO SPEAKEASY BAR:  Chicago.  Room 13 is in the alleyway next to the Old Chicago Inn.  But, you need to know the password to enter.

8.  ALFRED CALDWELL LILLY POOL:  Chicago.  In Lincoln Park.


I wish there had not been so many Chicago sites listed.

Password "Let Me In."  --RoadDog

Nine Hidden Locations in Illinois-- Part 1

From Smart travel Tips.

Go to site to get pictures and more information.

1.  CAVE-IN-ROCK:  on the Ohio River.

2.  HAZEL DELL BAKERY:  in Greenup.

3.  BOTTOMS UP BAR & GRILL:  Carbondale.  $3 Wednesday night fried chicken special.  $1.25 beer.  Bet the college students like it.

4.  UNDERGROUND ROAD:  2.5 miles beneath Millenium Park and Art Institute in Chicago.

Heading for Some Fried Chicken.  --RoadDog

Building the Ultimate Baseball Stadium from Wrigley and Comiskey-- Part 3

BEER--  Comiskey.  regardless, all are way over-priced.  Lines usually shorter at Comiskey.

CONCOURSES--  Comsikey  "Navigating through the Wrigley Field concourse after a game is like playing bumper pool in a closet."

DUGOUTS--  Comsikey.  A little more space and better seating and views.

CLUBHOUSES--  Comiskey.  Sox got their $3.2 million home clubhouse renovation first. Visiting clubs claim Wrigley's are the most cramped in the majors.

RESTROOMS--  Comiskey.  Especially after the 2015 opening-day restroom mess at Wrigley.

FOOD--  Comiskey.  Both are over-priced, but Comsikey way ahead.

STATUES--  Split decision.  Wrigley: Harry Caray, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams.  Comiskey Park has a sculpture of scenes from the 2005 World Series Championship as well as statues of Minnie Minoso, Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Building the Ultimate Baseball Stadium from Wrigley and Comsikey-- Part 2

UPPER DECK--  Wrigley.  Comiskey's Upper deck is very destested by Sox fans.  Too high to enjoy the game.

MUSIC--  Comiskey.  Nothing compares to "Na Na, hey, hey"  The new organists carries on nancy Faust's tradition and ear for the game.

TRANSPORTATION--  Comiskey.  Although both are sreved by public transportation.

PARKING--  Comsikey.

GREENERY--  Wrigley.  Hey, IVY!!!

VIDEO BOARDS--  Wrigley.  Now.  Comiskey's are much too small.

CENTER-FIELD SCOREBOARD--  Wrigley.  But here I would almost call a tie.  Nothing like Bill Veeck's exploding scoreboard.  But then there's that great old sign at Wrigley, a throw-back to another era.

OUTFIELD WALLS--  Wrigley.  Well, IVY!!!

SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD--  Wrigley.  Wrigleyville is a party destination even when the Cubs aren't playing and have every imaginable kind of bar.  Just one bar across from Comiskey, but some good ones in nearby Bridgeport.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Building the Ultimate Baseball Stadium from the Best of Wrigley and Comiskey-- Part 1

From the July 10, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Central Park: Building the ultimate baseball stadium frpm the best of Wrigley and the Cell."

As folks in these here parts get real excited about tonight.  Of course, I still refer to Sox Park as Comiskey.  I don't use the new name.  If you took the best of both, you'd have one "wunnerful' park.

BULLPENS:  Wrigley.  Right on sidelines, but in 2016, moving them under the bleachers to make room for new seats.

PRESS BOX:  Wrigley.  Comiskey is the most-hated press box i the majors.  Way out of the way.

BACKDROP:  Wrigley. Just too much.

FOUL TERRITORY:  Comiskey.  Much more room so safer.

TURF:  Comiskey.  Roger Bossard, but he designed and oversaw new field at Wrigley in 2008.  He has been involved with the construction of 12 major-league fields.

BLEACHERS:  What d'ya think?

GRANDSTANDS:  Comiskey.  At Wrigley folks stand and get in your way.


66 Things on Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 4:

17.  THE CHILI PARLOR--  Springfield  Joe Roger's Original Recipe.  I've had chili there.  Central Illinois likes to claim as being the chilli capitol of the world, but, unfortunately, can't hold a candle to Cincy Chili.

18.  AUBURN BRICK ROAD--  Always love those brick roads, anytime, anywhere.

19.  *PRAIRIE RESTORATION SITE--  Montgomery County  Letting mother nature do your gardening.

20.  ILLINOIS STATE CAPITOL--  Springfield.  That is one impressive building.


22.  SOULSBY SERVICE STATION--  Mt. Olive.  Another one of Illinois' great old gas stations.  We were finally able to go inside on an Illinois Motor Tour.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015

SEPTEMBER 7TH--  Albuquerque has installed new directional tourism signs inspired by the Route 66 shield and a roadrunner, the New Mexico state bird.  However, looking at it in the picture, it appears to more a person.

SEPTEMBER 7TH--  "Route 66" TV show co-star Martin Milner died at age 83.  he was also in "Adam-12" and "Emergency!"  On "Route 66" he played the role of Tod Stiles.  We got to see him at one of the early Route 66 International Mother Road Festivals in Springfield, Illinois.

SEPTEMBER 9TH--  The long-closed Tri-County Truck Stop soon will reopen as an auction house in Villa Ridge, Missouri.  It closed in 2006 and was at one time the famous Diamonds Restaurant.  We were fortunate enough to get to eat there before it closed.  Great food even if it was getting a bit long in the tooth.  Always good to see something reopen, even if something else in use.  Better than tearing it down.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Eight Chicago Restaurants to Celebrate Oktoberfest

From the September 23, 2015, Chicago Tribune "8 German restaurants to celebrate the season" by various writers.

Each restaurant has a run-down on their offerings.

THE RADLER--  2375 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

PROST!--  2566 N. Lincoln Avenue

LASCHET'S INN--  2119 W. Irving Park Road

RESE'S BIERSTUBE--  2034 W. Irving Park Road

HOFBRAUHAUS CHICAGO--  5500 Park Place, Rosemont, Illinois (By O'Hare Airport)

BERGHOFF--  17 W. Adams St.  (Route 66ers should know this one.)

EDELWEIS--  7550 W. Irving Park Road

CHICAGO BRAUHAUS--  4732 N. Lincoln Avenue

Three of them are located on Irving Park Road.  Must be Germantown.

Schnitzel Me.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 5, 2015

66 Things on Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 3:The Curve Inn

11.  ABRAHAM COVERED WAGON in Lincoln.  Here is a town that is very proud of its Route 66 heritage and always adding to it.  Acquired from the town of Divernon.

12.  *BUNKER HILL ABRAHAM LINCOLN MONUMENT in Bunker Hill.  I'd never heard of this town in Macoupin County, but will have to check it out and see its 1904 statue.

13.  THE CURVE INN in Springfield.  This is a favorite place for us with lots of great food and drink specials and Friday afternoon bands out in the beer garden.  If you are looking for an authentic Route 66 Road House, this be the place.  But it does get a bit rough in the wee hours, but we are not there.

14.  INTERNATIONAL MOTHER ROAD FESTIVAL in Springfield.  Not to miss the Friday car cruise on Route 66 with as many as 2000 classics and sports cars.  Six square blocks around the Old State Capitol are blocked off and the classics parked along them.  Lots of entertainment.

15.  STATUES IN BENLD, ELKHARDT, GILLESPIE, SHERMAN--  Plus the car statues in Pontiac.

16.  DOC'S SODA FOUNTAIN in Girard.  Here's where to go for the old-time sody fountain experience.


66 Things on Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 2: Cozy Dog

5.  RAY'S ROUTE 66 FAMILY DINER--  Sherman.  Driven past it many times, but have yet to stop.  On my to-do list.

6.  COZY DOG DRIVE-IN--  Springfield.  Which is better, Cozy Dogs or the fries?

7.  MACOUPIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE, Carlinville  "The Million Dollar Courthouse" and it looks it.  And that was a million bucks back around 1900.

8.  THE INN OF THE LAMPLIGHTER--  Former motel south of Springfield by Lake Springfield.  Now permanent housing and not open to the public.  But we were able to go inside once during an Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour.  Impressive, especially the tile at the bottom of the indoor pool.

9.  BOB WALDMIRE'S SCHOOL BUS--  Pontiac.  In back of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum.  The artist of Route 66 and arguably the soul of the road.  I never knew whether to pity is life style or be jealous of it.


66 Things On Route 66 in Illinois-- Part 1: Mother Jones

To see the entire list, go to the Route 66 News blog site or the Springfield, Illinois, State Journal-Register.  Be forewarned the the newspaper only allows a certain number of views a month on their site.

This was done as a lead up to the 14th annual Route 66 International Mother Road Festival which took place at the end of last month.

I have been following it as views were allowed so didn't see the whole thing.  But, for any of us Route 66 fans, it is a neat list. Proud to say we have seen most of them.  (*= haven't seen)

1.  ART'S  MOTEL AND RESTAURANT, Farmersville.  We've seen it many times but never stayed or ate. It was closed the last time we saw it.

2.  MOTHER JONES MONUMENT, Mt. Olive.  On her grave.  Union organizers who wanted to be buried with "her" miners.

3.  POSTVILLE COURTHOUSE in Lincoln.  Frontier court house where Abraham Lincoln practiced law on his circuit.

4.  COWS IN THE CORN**  A statue featuring a cow in the corn with a 66 for a nose in Lincoln.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- September 2015: National L-H Award to South Tama Elementary

From the September 14, 2015, Tama (Iowa) News Herald "National Lincoln Highway award to South Tama Elementary."

The 2015 National Lincoln Highway Association Award goes to the school's fifth graders, who as 4th graders researched and read stories about the famous road (which passes through their town, and, of course, has that wonderful bridge).

A $50 donation was made to the school and matched by principal Ben Adams.  Teacher Darla Cory directed the class project.  For the crafts and art section of the project, the students made a banner depicting the town's Lincoln Highway bridge.  It is currently at the Tama County Administration building in Toledo.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: The Mickey and the Bob

SEPTEMBER 1--   A new mural has been placed at Joplin. Missouri's historic Joe Becker Stadium featuring Joe Becker and Mickey Mantle.  Joe Becker played just 40 games with the Cleveland Indians, but achieved his fame as a pitching coach for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, Cubs and cardinals.  Who was also business manager of the Joplin Miners who played at the stadium.

Mickey Mantle his .383 and 26 home runs for the Miners, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, in 1950.  He grew up in nearby Commerce, Oklahoma, where he, at age 15, was playing for the  semi-pro Baxter Springs team.

I love my minor league baseball.

SEPTEMBER 3--  A short 28 page booklet has been published on the life of Bob Waldmire by Bill Crook titled "Waldmire: An Artist's Life on Route 66."  Bob Waldmire, who was really the Spirit of Route 66, died in 2009.  I never knew whether to pity or be jealous of his lifestyle.

I remember once at the Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Illinois, when we happened to be out by his VW bus looking at his stuff when he asked if we'd watch the place for a short while.  We figured he had to go to the bathroom, so said yes.  Now, we knew who he was, but I'm sure he didn't know us, but he left us in charge.  And then was gone for a really long time.  We just looked at one another, wondering where Bob was.

Finally a friend of his came by and asked where Bob was.  We said we didn't know and explained the situation.  The friend said he'd take over and we glad to leave.

I mean, Bob would have no way of knowing who we were.  We found out later he was looking at other exhibits and booths.

Definitely One of a Kind.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 2, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- 2015: Upgrade at Donner Summit

From the September 10, 2015, Tahoe City Sierra Sun.

A $10 million grant has been given to upgrade the Old Highway 40 (Lincoln Highway) at Donner Summit.  It will improve an 8.5 mile stretch of road.

The road was originally built to facilitate pioneer emigrants seeking a passage over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1844.  The pass has also been a part of the California Trail, the first transcontinental railroad, Lincoln Highway (later US Highway 40 and finally Donner Pass Road.

The stretch also includes the famous Rainbow Bridge.


News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- September 2015: About Those Ohio License Plates

From the September 10, 2015, Bucyrus (Ohio) Telegraph-Forum.

Those special license plates I mentioned at the end of last month will feature the red, white & blue Lincoln Highway logo and they have been awarded to the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway organization.  They will include the words "America's First Coast-to-Coast Road."

The initial order requires 150 requests in order to produce it.  There was a September 30th deadline.

Hoping Denny got his request in.


News From Along Route 66-- August 2015: Route 66 Calendar and Trees

AUGUST 23--  The huge Route 66 shield mural on the back of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac is featured on the cover of the National Geographic 2016 Route 66 calendar.

Other sites featured in the calendar: Blue Swallow Motel, Snow Cap Drive-In, Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Hackberry General Store, Munger-Moss Motel,Cool Springs Camp, Seligman Sundies, Henry's Rabbit Ranch and the Route 66 Restaurant in Santa Rosa, N.M.

You can get it from National Geographic for $14.95.  Then you can know the date and enjoy looking at the same time.

AUGUST 27--  There will be tree-planting in Galena, Kansas.  Much needed.


News From Along Route 66-- August 2015: Festivals and Unsafe Roads

Items taken from the Route 66 News site.

AUGUST 17--  23,000 attended the 5th annual Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri.  More and more Route 66 towns are having Route 66 Festivals.  It's good for publicity and bring in tourists.

AUGUST 19--  From the Bloomington (Il.) Pantagraph  Route 66 near Towanda reopens after being closed for five days due to a collapse of the roadway.  A 14-by5-foot section collapsed.  The material under it was found to be unstable.  Work will also be done across all lanes of I-55 near the spot.

Keep 'em rolling, but safely.

AUGUST 21--  A look at the off-limits Route 66 in McCook, Illinois.  This would be the part of the old Joliet Road that passed really near to a quarry.  This look was done by a drone and you can really see the necessity for closing this section.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- August 2015

AUGUST 10--  The Tee Pee Drive In, long closed, goes up for sale again.  The owners want $275,000 for it.

AUGUST 14--  The Lebanon, Missouri, Park Board has approved funds for the new Route 66 park.  They have allocated approximately $400,000 for it.  It will be located in Boswell park and will consist of kiosks, a Route 66 walking trail and a reproduction of the famous fountain that once was at Dream Village.  There will also be three murals.

Just one more reason to go to Lebanon.  I always wanted to see the Dream Village fountain.  I wonder how much Ramona had to do with this?

A SCOTTISH ROUTE 66?--  The UK Guardian reports about a new road in Scotland called the North Coast 500 which is a 500-mile driving route skirting the north coast from Inverness to the Kyle of Lochalsh on the west coast.  They hope it becomes Scotland's Route 66.  We can never have too much Route 66, even if it is in another country.