Monday, November 30, 2015

The Road Trip That Made the Modern American Highway Possible-- Part 1: The Lincoln Highway

From the Nov. 25, 2015, State by Brock Winstead.

On May 15, 1915, a small convoy of automobiles touched their rear tires into the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island, they then drove all the way to San Francisco.

Travel by the nation's roughly two million cars cross-country back then was along the Lincoln Highway and this was definitely not a highway as we envision them today.  It was made up of red, white and blue signs with a large "L."

In places it was little more than a dirt wagon track.  There were some bridges, but other times it meant fording streams and creeks.

The length of their trip cross country was 3,384 miles according to the 1915 official Lincoln Highway guide.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Around the U.S.-- Part 2 Oregon, West Virginia and Pennsylvania

OREGON--  Astoria:  Local officials are working to save a historic bigleaf maple tree.  The Daily Astorian reported that the 150-year-old tree developed a crack near the center of its dual trunk.

PENNSYLVANIA--  Philadelphia:  A car in northeast Philadelphia was hit when a weather instrument fell from the sky, prompting the bomb squad to respond.

WEST VIRGINIA--  Clarksburg:  The Division of Natural Resources estimates that more than 330,000 hunters will spend a total of $230 million in the state during the two-week buck firearms season, which began Monday.  The Exponent Telegram reported that motels throughout the north-central region of the state are already booked.

So, if you're driving through the state, be alert and don't try to stay in the north-central area.

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling!!  --RoadDog

Friday, November 27, 2015

Around the U.S.-- Part 1: Kentucky and Illinois

From the November 25, 2015, USA Today "State-By-State.

ILLINOIS--  Chicago:  A report by the American Highway Users Alliance ranked the Kennedy Expressway as the nation's No. 1 bottleneck, the Chicago Tribune reported.

I don't know, I'd like to nominate I-40 around the Raleigh-Durham area, especially after driving through it two days ago.

KENTUCKY--  Frankfort:  Cumberland, Benham and Lynch in Harlan County  were named the state's 13th Taril Town.  The Trail Town program is aimed at connecting communities to trail systems and developing them as tourist destinations.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

N.C. T-Giving 2015-- Part 1: Tunes

Getting ready to leave for North Carolina in a few minutes.  Besides tuning into local stations on my way(98.9 WJEZ in Pontiac, Illinois, 107.3 Charleston, West Virginia Tailgate Radio, and 98.1 FM in Galax, Va. Classic Country) I also have several CDs.

This trip's batch:

UK Jive--  Kinks

Buck Owens Greatest Hots

Life on a Rock--  Kenny Chesney

ACM Awards Zineoak  2 discs: Super Stars and Rising Stars

Sounds of the Seventies--  3 discs, 55 songs, many I don't know.  All from 1977.

Cruisin' and Groovin'.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 23, 2015

Descendants Recreate Anita King's 1915 Lincoln Highway Trek-- Part 3: Kissell Kars

Anita King drove a Kissel Kar -cylinder, big touring model convertible on her trip.  These cars were popular in those days, driven by such famous folk as Amelia Earhart, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Fatty Arbuckle and Al Jolson.  About 35,000 were made between 1906 and 1931 at Kissel Car Company in Hartford, Wisconsin.  Only about 150 survive today, including the 25 in the Wisconsin Auto Museum in Hartford.

King used publicity from this trip to start a shelter for runaway girls in Hollywood.

A photo accompanied the article of Anita King in her Kissel Kar.  On the side of it is a banner reading: "Anita King The Paramount Girl with Messages from the Mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco to the Mayor of New York."


Descendants Recreate Actress King's 1915 Lincoln Highway Trek-- Part 2: Mud Everywhere

Anita King had raced cars before her movie career so she was no newcomer to automobiles.

On her trek, she got lost for three days in the Nevada desert between Wadsworth and Fallon, a distance of just 31 miles.  Rains would turn the Lincoln Highway into quagmires.  One day she spent shoveling mud from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m..  That day she would dig her car out and then get stuck another fifty feet away.

She started her trip on September 1, averaging 30 miles per hour.  She arrived at New York City's Knickerbocker Hotel on October 19 where a party was held in her honor.

The nieces expect their trip to take seven days.

Obviously, the Lincoln Highway Is In Much Better Shape These Days.  --RoadDog

Descendants Recreate Actress King's 1915 Lincoln Highway Trek-- Part 1: Silent Film Star

From the September 6, 2015, TribLive by Craig Smith.

Silent film star Anita King in 1915 became the first woman to attempt to drive the 3,400 mile transcontinental trip alone.  She took along with her a 6-shooter revolver, aviator's hat and goggles.  It took her 49 days in her Kissel Kar.

Now, her great-grand nieces Lucianne Boardman, Aleta Wilke and Heather Pancratz will retrace her San Francisco-New York City route.  On Saturday they drove from Valporaiso, Indiana, to Letrobe where they will spend the night.

Anita King was born Anna Kappen in Michigan City, Indiana, in 1884 and was orphaned at age 16.  This left her and her eight siblings to fare for themselves.  They relocated to Chicago and she found work on the stage under the name Anita King.  Actress Lillian Russell encouraged her to try motion pictures so she went to Hollywood and landed roles in at least 19 silent films, some directed by Cecil B. DeMille.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

News from Along Route 66: October 2015

From the Route 66 news site.

OCTOBER 23--  More Route 66 adventures in a 1959 Cadillac.  These movies were taken 1994-1995 at Hackberry General Store in Arizona and feature good old Bob Waldmire.

OCTOBER 24--  Bison reintroduced at Midewin Prairie near Joliet, Illinois.  Bringing it all back.

OCTOBER 29--  A look inside Bob Waldmire's bus in Pontiac, Illinois.  We never saw the bus, but sure saw that old VW van of his often.

 Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is 50 years old.  Always impressive and we hope to go up in it eventually but you have to get tickets way ahead of time.

OCTOBER 31--  A group wants to remove Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas.  They call themselves Erase Marsh Madness because Marsh, the creator, has been sued for multiple counts of sexual abuse of underage boys.  Regardless, I would hate to gave the site removed.  Perhaps take his name off it.

The new 5,000 square-foot Pops store has opened at 6447 Avondale in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, just north of Oklahoma City.  It features 600 different varieties of pop, or do you call it soft drinks.  The first one is in Acadia.  Just another place to see on the road.


News From Along Route 66-- October 2015

OCTOBER 16--  The historic Belvidere Motel complex is up for sale in Litchfield, Illinois.  It consists of a house,, cafe, gas station and motel.  Cost is $250,000 if you want to buy it.  On NRHP and the single family residence is described as well-maintained.

Built in 1935 by European immigrants Albina and Vincenzo Cerolla.  In the 1940s and 1950s it was a popular stop.  The cafe was the Cheers of its time.  The restaurant remained open until several years ago when it moved to another location.

It is a neat looking place which I always drive by when I'm in Litchfield.  I did get the chance to eat at the restaurant before it closed.

OCTOBER 17--  The Gasconade River bridge has been placed on the Missouri improvement list after being closed.  By Hazelgreen, Missouri.  And, it is a bridge that looks like abridge.

OCTOBER 20--  Lebanon, Missouri, will hold the groundbreaking Thursday for its Route 66 park.  I'm looking forward to seeing the Nelson Dream Fountain recreation.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

All US-12, US-14 Teams Advance to Championship Games

Today's semi final results are in and all three teams are still in it and will play for the championship next weekend.

Remaining for US-12 (Rand Road) is Palatine 8-A

Remaining for US-14 (Northwest Highway) is Palatine 8-A, Cary Grove (Cary) 7-A and Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake) 6-A

Palatine has both highways going through it..

It could still end up in a tie.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 7: A Blowout

Still halftime and the band did a medley of Wizard of Oz tunes.  Then they had a representative of the Wounded Warriors come out and speak.  Everyone in the stands was on their feet, cheering and clapping for him and his wife.

The 2005 Northwestern National Champion LaCrosse team was honored.

We were quite interested in watching that floating camera moving around the field.  It was supported by hydraulic lifts at the corners of the field.  Lind of like one of those steel jaw drop games you see.

I always enjoy looking at the huge Wildcats name by the Northwestern locker room.  The letters are spelled out with a green hedge, but are surrounded by white, red and purple mums.

There was a big group of Iowa fans sitting in front of us and they had a ball in the second half.  It was a massacre.  Northwestern never scored again and the Hawkeyes ran the score up to 40-10 and walked away with their sixth consecutive victory.  Northwestern had its first loss.  One Wildcat fan sitting by us said he hoped they weren't going to have a repeat of two years ago when they started off 5-0 and ended up 5-7.

The stands started emptying of Northwestern fans part way through the fourth.  The Iowa fans were having a great time.  Whenever they scored, they all stood and all these little black and gold flutterers would be thrown up into the air.  That was quite impressive.

Congratulations Iowa.  --RoadDog

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Iowa-Northwestern Football Game-- Part 6: The 1995 Season

Iowa held sway in the early going, building up a 16-0 lead.  And Northwestern was undefeated going into the game?  One of those victories had been in the first game against nationally ranked Stanford.  However, with seven minutes left, the Wildcats woke up and at half the score was 16-10.

We spent the half time thinking Northwestern would make it a game.

At half time they introduced the 1995 Northwestern football team, which had been picked for tenth in the Big Ten, last place at the time)  However, the defeated #9 Notre Dame 17-15 and then, even more remarkable, defeated long-time nemesis #7 Michigan 19-13.  I remember this last game well as Liz and I were in Milwaukee for a friend's wedding shower and the game was just something I had to watch and was soon joined by most of the guys in attendance.

The Wildcats went to the Rose Bowl for the first time in many, many, many years.  unfortunately, it resulted in a Northwestern loss, but the key thing was that they had made it.

Their coach back then was Gary Barnett who ushered in Northwestern becoming a winner.  All the team members who had made it to this game were introduced.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 5: Homecoming

This was Northwestern's Homecoming game.  The Class of 38 was honored and two of its members in attendance were 100.  I imagine the combined alumni classes turned over a check for $63 million.  It must be nice to have so many rich alumni.  NIU could only dream about this kind of a gift.  (Last year the classes gave $100 million!)

Lots of purple (Northwestern's color) in the stadium but I would say just about as much black and yellow (Iowa's colors).

There was a race on the field between three Buffalo Wild Wing sauces: sweet, blazing and medium, which everyone enjoyed.  Medium won.

With all those Iowa teams around us, it would have been nice had the Northwestern players had a better game, but that didn't much happen.  At one point the Wildcats had 11 straight  incompletions.

In the first half, Iowa score the first three times with a field goal and two touchdowns (the PAT for one was wide) and led 16-0 and we had some very loud Iowa Hawkeye fans around us.In the second, Northwestern woke up and score a TD and field goal and were down 16-10 at half.  Then, we got to yell a bit and were looking forward to the second half and a Wildcat victory, perhaps.


Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 4: Backing the Team

One thing I enjoyed is that they have somehow miked the Northwestern Band so it is easy to hear now that they are on our side of the field down at the south end.  Bob's season tickets are towards the north end.  They used to be across the field from us and easy to hear.  It is always better to hear a band than canned music.

Like college and high school students in most games I've been to lately,students remain standing the whole game, something I don't like.  Hey, I paid for a seat and would like to use it.

As i said, there were lots of Iowa Hawkeye fans in the stadium and Bob's tickets are near the visitors section.  We were fairly well surrounded, especially right in front of us.  The Iowa fans always stand on third down, but remain seated fairly well after that.

Third and Ten!!  --RoadDog

Northwestern-Iowa Football Game-- Part 3: Northwestern's Losing Streak

Yesterday, I mentioned Northern Illinois breaking Northwestern's losing streak in the past.  This game took place in 1982.  Liz and I were at the game and stuck around and greatly enjoyed the stand-off between the police and Northwestern students over the goal post at the south end of the field after the game.

Of course, the students stormed the field art the final whistle and decided that the way to celebrate would be to take down the goal post.  Around ten police officers tried to stop them and at first there was a stand-off, but gradually the students inched closer (and there were thousands of them).  You could see the cops looking at each other and finally must have decided it was in their best interest to leave and they withdrew.

The students attacked the goal post and initially had difficulty in bringing it down.  Some climbed up onto the poles and it began to shake back and forth and finally came down.  The students then paraded it around the field and then it left the stadium for parts unknown.

We Northern fans were standing and applauding them.  If anyone knows about losing better than us back then, I'd sure like to know who it was.

Actually, Northwestern had set the NCAA FBS record for a losing streak the game before us, having lost 34 games in a row from 1979 to 1982.  That record still stands.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Northwestern-Iowa Game-- Part 2: Long Time Between Championships

October 17, 2015.

We had our first frost of the season this morning and it was more than a bit chilly on the way to Arlington Hts., but the sun came out and we ended up with a perfect day for football.

I was wearing the only Northwestern sweatshirt I have, which is one from the 1995 Rose Bowl that they played in  Of course, that game is always played on New Year's Day so it was the 1995 Northwestern football team and they were celebrating the 20th anniversary of it.  So, i was right with it.  Looking across the field from our seats, i saw that Northwestern had won Big Ten (11, 12,13,14) Championships in '03, '26, '30, 31, and '36, and then not until that glorious '95.  Then again in '96 and 2000.  So, there was a rather long run of non championships from 1936 to 1995.

I pull for Northwestern against any and all teams except Northern Illinois.  We were at the game last year in Ryan Field (the old Dyche Stadium) when NIU finally beat Northwestern for the first time ever and that was sure a good game.  NIU actually broke Northwestern's long losing streak back some time ago.


Northwestern-Iowa Game, Oct. 17, 2015-- Part 1: Iowa Fans All Over the Place

Drove to Bob's house in Arlington, Heights, Illinois, and Marilyn treated me to a great breakfast, then Bob drove to Evanston.  We normally park a few blocks west of Green Bay Road and walk over to Ryan Field for the game. This time we had to park about five blocks farther away, so there had to be quite a crowd for the game, perhaps a sellout.

I always enjoy walking by these old houses with their fantastic landscaping, especially when the trees are beginning to turn.  We started seeing lots and lots of black and gold colors everywhere and it soon became clear that the Iowa fans were here in force.

It was a big game as both Northwestern and Iowa were undefeated.  And, they were everywhere and more than a little boisterous.  We encountered much longer lines to get in the stadium as well, but fortunately they moved along quickly.

Before the game, a fan who had had season tickets for Northwestern football games for 78 years was honored.  Now there is a fan, one who had to go through all these many really bad years of Wildcat football.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Northwest Highway Continues Lead Over Rand Road

There are still three teams representing US-14 (Northwest Highway) remaining going into the semifinals this weekend.

8A--  Palatine

7A--  Cary Grove (Cary)

6A--  Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake)

US-12 (Rand Road) still has one team, 8A Palatine which is also in Route 14.

The best US-12 can hope for is is a tie.


Lincoln Highway Wins Showdown

In Round 4, all five remaining Route 66 teams lost.

Two teams remain for Lincoln Highway:  Waubonsie (Aurora) and Lincoln Way West (New Lennox)

We'll see how far they can go in the semifinals this coming weekend.

Congratulations to Lincoln Highway for winning the 2015 IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- October 2015: Route 66 News Turns Ten!!

These reports are usually a month old for the news.

OCTOBER 9--  The absolute best and most complete source of news you can possibly find about out historic road, Route 66 News, turned ten years old.  This is the source of the stories in this blog.  Congratulations Ron Warnick on a job well done.

OCTOBER 10--  A hearing signals that the Mojave Trails Monument is likely.  It is Route 66 in the Mojave desert.

OCTOBER 11--  Grand opening for the Cucamonga Service Station is set for Wednesday  The striking yellow former gas station is reopening as a museum.  Just one more really neat old gas station to see on the road.  Cucamonga, California.

OCTOBER 12--  A series of auctions have been going on at Bill Shea's former gas station/museum in Springfield, Illinois.  Bill died at age 91 in 2013.  A 1952 Airstream Cruiser trailer went for $6,000.  I sure hate to have all of the collection auctioned off like this..


The Towers of Topsail-- Part 3: Seven of the Eight Towers Remain

The missiles tested at Topsail island ranged from 3 to 13 feet in length and were constructed and test on site along the 26-mile stretch of the island.

The Assembly Building, now maintained by the Historical Society of Topsail, is home to the Missiles and More Museum, which had numerous artifacts from the missile testing.  The control tower which is shorter from the other towers, sits in a direct line from the Assembly Building and the launch pad (by the Jolly Roger Motel).  the bombproof observation room now serves at the motel's basement.

The towers were centered on "concrete slabs supported on creosoted piles driven to a minimum depth of 20 feet and 15 tons of bearing.

Seven of the original eight towers still remain, although a few have been merged into beachfront homes and are hard to recognize.  Three of the "Tower" residences are private, but Tower 5 is a short-term rental offered through Ward Realty.  So, you have the opportunity to spend a night in a piece of history.

The Missiles and More Museum and Tower 2, considered to be the most original of the emaining towers are both on the National register of Historic Places.


Friday, November 13, 2015

The Towers of Topsail-- Part 2: Operation Bumblebee, U.S. Missile Program 1946-1948

The Navy referred to Topsail Island as a "sand spit."  But on this area, some 200 missiles were crafted and tested from 1946-1948.  There were no inhabitants on the island then other than military personnel.  It was strictly off limits and top secret to the general public.

Finally in March 1947, the Navy announced what it was doing on Topsail Island, but failed to mention that the tests had already been ongoing for months.

Eight observation towers located along the island were used for tracking the missiles.  They housed advanced photography and radar.

Operation Bumblebee included the development and testing of the Navy's first supersonic guided missiles and the ramjet engine, the basis of today's jet aircraft and warheads, including the Terrier, tartar and Talos missile systems.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Towers of Topsail-- Part 1: U.S. Army's Camp Davis During World War II

From the 2015-2016 Coaster Magazine.

These mysterious towers are located along Topsail Island, North Carolina and are a great conversation piece for first-time visitors.  Even long-time residents often are not sure.  Perhaps they were World War II U-boat spotting towers (as many Allied merchant ships were sunk off the North Carolina Coast in the Battle of the Atlantic).  maybe they were used to spot whales?

Topsail island was separate from the mainland until the 1940s, only reachable by the few locals who knew how to make their way through the marsh at low tide.

These towers played a huge role in the history of the United States military.

It was the U.S. Army that first came to the Topsail area.  In the space of six months during World War II, the government constructed Camp Davis nearby on the mainland at Holly Ridge.  Troops training and based there could conduct artillery training in the remote area.

At the end of the war, much of the base was dismantled and the troops transferred.

It did not take long for the U.S. Navy to take note of the island's possibility and they put it to use.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In Honor of the Veterans: Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Ill.-- Part 2

"The Big red One", so-called for the red numeral that has adorned its shoulder patch since 1918-- was the first permanent division in the regular army and often the first unit to deploy and engage the enemy.

A highlight of the museum is the interactive Omaha Beach display which has a "you are there" quality that combines the element of surprise with the telling of this important World War II battle, leaving viewers hushed and moved.  Omaha Beach was part of D-Day.

Outside the museum is the Tank Park, the area's most complete collection of tanks and artillery pieces dating back to World War I to desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Visitors can touch, climb on and learn about the eleven tanks on display.  Tank Park also includes an armored personnel carrier and four artillery pieces.

The park is open year round from 9 a.m. to sundown.  Museum hours currently are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday until Dec. 31.  It is closed all of January.  Admission to the museum is free, but parking is $5.

Thanks Veterans.  --RoadDog

In Honor of the Veterans: First Division Museum in Wheaton, Illinois-- Part 1

From the November 6, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Of Thee We Sing."

The 500-acre Cantigny Park in Wheaton was the estate of Robert R. McCormick, Chicago Tribune publisher and a World War I veteran of the First Division-- the "Big Red One"-- which today is the First Division of the U.S. Army.

He named his estate for Cantigny, France, the village that was the site of the Battle of Cantigny, where McCormick saw action as a soldier.

In addition to the Colonel's home, formal gardens and a golf course, Cantigny is home to the First Division Museum.  Inside its 10,000-square-foot-space are interactive and experimental exhibits that follow the exploits of his army division from World War I through to more recent conflicts.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 8: A "Groundhog Day" Connection

October 25, 2015

Walked around Woodstock Square on an absolutely gorgeous day along with a lot of others.  Stopped at the Thoughtfulness Shoppe, a place I should know better than to enter.  Way too many things  to trap me into buying in there, but in I go and out I come with something.  We went downstairs and enjoyed looking at the miniature Halloween and Christmas villages.

Next, we walked over to the Benton Street Tap and watched  some football games.  The Bears had a bye week today, so no DaBears for us.  This is a small bar featuring high tin ceilings.  Even better, from noon to 3 p.m., they had Happy Hour $1 bottles, something we could definitely live with.

Afterwards, walked back to the square (a block away) and sat out on a bench near the Union Civil War monument featured in the snowball fight in the "Groundhog Day" movie.  We were also near the gazebo shown several times, including the outside dance scene.

Last stop in town was at Wayne's Lanes on Il-120.  This is where the bowling scenes were filmed and Bill Murray and the two others were outside of it when they began their chase by the cops.  This is where Bill asked one, "Are you going to throw up here or in the car?"  The guy replied, "I think...both."


News From Along the Lincoln Highway: Abraham Lincoln Memroial on I-80 to be Restored

From the Sept. 8, 2015, Caspar (Wyoming) Star Tribune by Lillian Schrock.

The Abraham Lincoln memorial is east of Laramie and has been taken to Lander for restoration.  Harsh Wyoming weather has left oxidation on the bronze statue's causing it to turn black in spots.

The thirty foot granite pedestal will remain.

The pedestal and statue were created by Robert Russin in the 1950s and his ashes are interred at its base.

This was originally on top of Sherman Summit, the highest point on the Lincoln Highway at 8,878 feet but moved to its current site after I-80 was built.

This is the second time that the 12 1/2 foot bust of Lincoln has been taken down.  The cost of restoration will be $30,000 and will be paid by state funds.


Monday, November 9, 2015

IHSA Northwest Highway (US-14)-Rand Road (US-12) Standings

After the second round, there are three US-14 teams remaining versus one for US-12.  Since that one is Palatine which is on both roads, the worst US-14, Northwest Highway can do is tie.


8A  Palatine

7A  Cary Grove (Cary)

6A  Crytsal Lake


 8A  Palatine

Going to the 3rd Round.  --RoadDog

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Standings After Second Round

The results for last weekend are in.  Lincoln Highway continues to lead Route 66, although that lead has decreased from 10-6 to 6-4.

This contest is last man standing.  The road with the most teams still playing art the end wins.


8A  Waubonsie (Aurora)

7A  Batavia

6A  DeKalb
Lincoln Way North (Frankfort)

5A  Joliet Catholic
Lincoln Way West  (Frankfort)


7A  Normal Community

6A  Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)

5A  Joliet Catholic

3A  Central Catholic (Bloomington)

Getting Closer.  --RoadDog

Saturday, November 7, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 7: Woodstock, Illinois


Sadly, no Sycamore Pumpkin Festival parade for us.  We'll have to get there earlier next year.

But, now we had the opportunity to visit that wonderful old Woodstock Square dating from the 1850s. And, after how crummy yesterday's weather was, we had a beautiful day to for it and no Bear game as it is a bye week.

Woodstock square is one of my favorite places anywhere.  Liz's mother lived on it for awhile in an assisted living unit and I often told her she needed to stick around until I needed it.  You can get along there even without a car.  There are numerous restaurants, a movie theater, an opera house for concerts and plays, an old courthouse and lots of bars by it.  Not to mention the original brick streets and that wonderful old square featuring a spring house, gazebo and Union Civil War monument.

There is always something going on in that square, not to mention how pretty it is, especially when the trees are blooming or changing colors.

I like to just go sit on a bench and just people watch.


News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- Preserving Omaha's Brick Road-- Part 3

Grand Island and Kearney were the first Nebraska cities to complete "seedling miles" of concrete to demonstrate the advantages of paved roads.

Bricks were still a popular paving selection.  They were easy to build, reasonably smooth and very durable.

The stretch of brick road by Omaha was part of the 3,500 miles of the Lincoln Highway connecting New York City and San Francisco.  When these three miles opened, bands payed and a 1,000 railroad tie bonfire was donated by the Union Pacific Railroad.

Last week, the Douglas County Board decided to close the stretch of brick because of wear and tear over the years.  It still carries a large amount of traffic, including people traveling the Lincoln Highway.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway--Preserving Omaha's Brick Road-- Part 2

Continued from October 24th.

The brick stretch of road by Omaha was laid just 49 years after the Union Pacific Railroad pounded the Golden Spike at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869 for the first transcontinental railroad.

Lincoln Highway advocate and automobile executive Carl Fisher, who made his money with auto headlamps, and Henry B. Joy, founder of the Packard Automobile Company spearheaded the move to have the first transcontinental road, the Lincoln Highway, built.

They didn't ask the government for money or engineering help.  Instead, they marketed it.  The Lincoln Highway was built by whatever means were available--  volunteers and donations.  Originally, about 90% of it was little more than graded pasture.  Only a few sections had gravel, asphalt, concrete.

And, of course, there were brick sections, including the one by Omaha.


News From Along Route 66-- October 2015: New Mexico's Singing Route 66 Road

OCTOBER 4--  Carol Krohn, wife of Windy City Road warrior David Clark, died at age 56.  David is noted for his walking tour of Chicago's Route 66 and architecture.  He is also author of the book "Exploring Route 66 in Chicagoland.  I have been on several walking tours with him.  He and his wife met due to Route 66.

OCTOBER 4--  Former president of Frankoma Pottery in Oklahoma Joniese Frank died at age 77.  She was the daughter of the founder and president and CEO for nearly 26 years.  We were lucky enough to get to visit the place while it was still open.

OCTOBER 5--  Flash flood washes out part of Route 66 near Ludlow, California.  Always strange driving this desert stretch.

OCTOBER 6--  New Mexico has announced that they will not be maintaining Route 66's Singing Road.  I haven't been on it, but would like to.  Hopefully it will still be there in 2017 when we next get out that way.  Liz and I are hoping to cruise Route 66 when we are 66.


66 Things to See on Illinois' Route 66-- Part 13: Bill Shea's

64.  JUNGLE JIM'S CAFE,  Springfield.  I haven't yet eaten here, but passed it many times.  It is on my list of things to do.

65.  RED CARPET CORRIDOR,  Joliet to Towanda (Towanda is north of Bloomington-Normal).   A group of towns get together to offer a great weekend experience in May of each year.

66.  BILL SHEA'S, Springfield.  Now closed and in the process of being auctioned off.  This is too bad because it was one great place with lots of auto and Route 66 related stuff.  Of course, best of all, Bill Sillinoihea was often there and he alone was worth the visit.  The stories he could tell. I remember sitting with him and Tom Teague on our first Route 66 experience in 2002.

Lots to See in Illinois.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 6: Sliders, But No Parade

Picked up Liz at the Baymont Hotel.  As crummy as yesterday was, today was the opposite.  Sunny with warming temperatures, a perfect day for a parade and Sycamore's (the city directly north of DeKalb and county seat) has one of the largest ones in the state, the annual Pumpkin Festival parade, capping the week-long party.

We had hoped to see it from Fat Boys on Main Street, but found out last night that it was closed.

Drove around campus and showed Liz where her old dorm, Douglas Hall, used to be and were surprised to see the Village Commons Bookstore open so went in and looked around at souvenirs but didn't buy anything.

Stopped at White Castle on Sycamore Road for our breakfast of sliders, as usual.  Can't watch a parade on an empty stomach you know.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, you really need to get into Sycamore a couple hours earlier than we did if you want to find a place to park.  We got there about thirty minutes before the parade started and it was wait in huge backups of vehicles the whole way.

When we somehow got east of town we decided just to leave and go to Woodstock, Illinois, and look around the famous Woodstock square.  Drove Il-64 east to Il.-47 and then north.  Unfortunately that meant driving through the Huntley Backup.  There are a lot off stoplights and we sure caught most of them red, including the Main Street Strangler.


Bridge and Culvert Work in DeKalb County 100 Years Ago

From the Nov. 3, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."


Work on 100 bridges and culverts in DeKalb County is being completed for the year.  "All of these structures are of uniform construction, of reinforced concrete, with wings, and with widths and spans to conform to local considerations.  None of them are of less than 20 feet roadway.

"Plans were drawn by Superintendent of Highways Miller, and are according to the most approved methods of construction.

"These bridges and culverts will endure, with practically no repairs, at least through this generation, and probably much longer."

Wonder if any still remain in their 1915 shape?

Building 'Em to Last.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

DeKalb for NIU Homecoming 2015-- Part 5: The Day After, Looking and Buying.


Woke up and had the very so-so continental breakfast at the Baymont and then proceeded to ride around campus.  I drove by Lincoln Hall and saw where Liz's old dorm, Douglas Hall, once stood until this year.  It has now been torn down for a planned straight through drive through campus from east to west end.  I miss Douglas, and Liz especially so, but I'd say the new "Drive" is going to look good when completed.

Then drove out by Greek Row north of campus.  Very dead out there at 8:30 a.m. for some reason.  Went by the old Delta Dig house on Greenbrier, now a home for students.

Then drove out to Sycamore Road and went to Lowe's and Wal-Mart.  I bought NIU souvenirs at Wal-Mart which has a nice collection of stuff, though prices aren't always marked.

Went to the Target across the street.  Now that they closed the store in McHenry, Illinois, I rarely get to go to one of these.  Bought several CDs there.  I was sad to see that the Barnes & Nobles book store by it is now closed.  Even though it was a Big Box store, I liked it.

On the way back to the Batmont, I drove through the old neighborhood east of campus, where the first Delta Sig house was located on Augusta.  We always thought we'd like to live in this area if we could find teaching jobs in DeKalb or the area.  The trees get a golden hue in the fall and are quite impressive.

Then, it was a ride by Altgeld Hall, "The Castle on the Hill" and the Lagoon, my two favorite places on campus.


News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: International Route 66 Mother Road Festival

SEPTEMBER 30TH--  The 14th annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Illinois, reports attendance up substantially.  A record 2,135 cars registered for the Friday night cruise to downtown (always impressive), and there were 1,100 cars registered for judging.

Always a Big Deal and Lots of Fun.  --RoadDog

News from Along Route 66: September 2015: Story Behind the Kingman Water Tanks

SEPTEMBER 27--  The story behind the water tank towers in Kingman, Arizona with their striking Route 66 shields and Welcome to Kingman signs had an article in the Kingman Daily Miner.  A photograph accompanied it.

** Used for railroad locomotives and more than 100 years old.

**  Once had the sign "1,000 Miles of Shoreline" referring to Mohave County's proximity to the Colorado River.

**  Slated to be torn down in 1986 as they were rusty and leaking.

**  Kingman resident Betty McBreyer led citizen effort to save them.

**  Collected more than 1,000 signatures to preserve them.  Taped them into a long roll and unrolled it across the city council's chambers to the mayor's desk.

Sure Glad They Saved Them.  Impressive.  --RoadDog

66 Things to See on Illinois' Route 66-- Part 12: Henry's Rabbits

Continued from October 20, 2015.

58.  HENRY'S RABBIT RANCH,  Staunton.  Rich Henry's place.  First time we went there, we got lost and stopped for information.  We were told we couldn't miss it, "just look for the camels."  Of course, I was a bit confused about this as I couldn't think of any reason we'd find camels in Central Illinois.  When we got there, we saw the two camels on two of the old Campbell's Express trucks.

59.  BLUE CARPET CORRIDOR, from Chatham (south of Springfield) to Collinsville.  This stretch is getting in on Route 66 heritage and tourism with their version of the Red Carpet Corridor from Joliet south to Towanda.

60.  WATT BROTHERS PHARMACY,  Springfield.

61.  BEER NUGGETS,  Bloomington.  Got to love those Beer Nuggets.  Good with, well, beer.

62.  BUNYON'S HOT DOG MAN, Atlanta. One of those "Muffler Men" holding a giant hot dog.  Atlanta has done a whole lot with its Route 66 Heritage.


Monday, November 2, 2015

IHSA US-14 vs. US-12 Standings Going Into Second Round

Going into the first round, US-14 teams held a 7-4 advantage.  Their advantage is now 5-2.


8A--  Palatine

7A--  Cary Grove (Cary)

6A--  Prairie Ridge (Crystal Lake)

5A--  Marian Central  (Woodstock)


8A--  Palatine

4A--  Richmond-Burton (Richmond)

Good Luck in Round 2.  --RoadDog

IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Standings After First Round

The first Round of games for the 2015 IHSA Football Championship in eight classes has ended.  Going into the second round, Lincoln Highway takes a 10-5 lead.  They had been down17-15 going into the first round.


7A--   Normal Community

6A--    Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)

5A --  Joliet Catholic

3A--  Central Catholic (Bloomington)


8A--  Waubonsie (Aurora)

7A--  Batavia
Lincoln Way East (Frankfort)

6A--  DeKalb
Lincoln Way North (Frankfort)
Kaneland (Maple Park)

5A--  Joliet Catholic
Lincoln Way West

3A--  Newman Central Catholic (Sterling)

Good Luck to All teams in the Second.  --RoadDog