Friday, September 28, 2018
O.K., here are the best two places according to the article.
2. WRIGLEY FIELD (Cubs) What!! How could this be? Bordering on sacrilege.
I will write the whole thing for Wrigley.
The Big Three -- Murphy's, Cubby Bear and Bernie's -- have more competition than in the old days. None of the new joints can match their tradition.
Nisei Lounge remains a bro-free alternative alternative. Rooftops are still popular, but the "cool factor" left when the Cubs gobbled up the neighborhood. Gallagher Way (formerly The Park at Wrigley) is ok for the kids.
Something Isn't Right Here. The #1 Must Be Something Else. --RoadDog
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Of course, you always hear so much about Chicago's Wrigley Field and you might have noticed it hasn't been listed yet. So it is somewhere in the Top Five.
5. AT&T PARK-- (Giants)-- The neighborhood around it has blossomed. Mo-Mo's.
4. SUNTRUST PARK-- (Braves) The Battery Atlanta. Traffic can be a problem.
3. PETCO PARK-- (Padres) Opened 2004. Gaslamp District
Well, That Leaves Two Ball Parks. One Must Be Wrigley. --RoadDog
Sadly, prices at almost all places near these ballparks reflect the unbelievably high prices inside the park, unless you tailgate.
12. GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK-- (Reds) Hotels nearby. Looks like a river boat.
11. PROGRESSIVE FIELD-- (Indians) East 4th Street is such a happening place at happy hour that the Indians start early season night games at 6:10. Is that the old Flats?
10. ORIOLES PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS-- Inner harbor. Hopefully the city won't begin taking down statues there as well.
9. PNC PARK-- (Pittsburgh) Restaurants right near it.
8. COORS FIELD-- (Rockies) LoDo
7. TARGET FIELD-- (Twins) North Loop area.
6. SAFECO FIELD-- (Mariners) 30-minute walk from Seattle's Pike Place Market. Game-day buzz especially strong on sunny days. Sunny days in Seattle?
Remember Back In the Days When We All Knew All of the Names of the Ball Parks? --RoadDog
Now that the regular season is almost over, playoffs begin next week, I figured I best finish this which I started back on July 19, 2018. If you want to see the first two posts, just click the MLB label below.
18. CITIZENS PARK-- (Phillies) Xfinity Live is a sports and entertainment venue across the street.
17. COMERCIA PARK-- (Tigers) The ballpark is a centerpiece of Detroit's amazing revitalization. Lots going on around it.
16. NATIONALS PARK-- (Or Walgreens as Liz calls them) Poor subway scheduling causes some fans to have to leave early on lengthy night games.
15. ROGERS CENTRE-- (Blue Jays) CN Tower overhead, Toronto Harbourfront Also nearby Hockey Hall of Fame. Hockey in Canada? Go figure.
14. CHASE FIELD-- (Diamondbacks, I had to look this one up as the article didn't give any clues) A solar shade pavilion at left field entrance. That should have been a clue.
13. BUSCH STADIUM-- (Cardinals) Ballpark Village features a 34,000-square-foot bar and restaurant, but the rest of it is ho-hum. And, then there are those pesky Cardinal fans.
Play Ball!!! --RoadDog
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
The National Trust for Historic Preservation's month-long Preserve Route 66 trip to drive up Congressional support to declare Route 66 a National Historic Trail has ended.
They collected more than 58,000 signatures, made 232 stops and spent 50,400 minutes on the Mother Road.
More Stats for the trip:
** Used 380 songs on Spotify playlist
** Collected 35 postcards, 22 magnets, 8 cacti and 4 figurines. These figures seem rather modest for a souvenir haul.. I can do that by myself in just the state of Illinois.
** Highest temp was 113 degrees Lowest was 52 degrees
** There were several dozen stories about the tour in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
I sure would have to say that there sure were a lot of cities Texas and west. Somebody stuffing the ballot box?
And, I must say I like all of these cities. If it is on Route 66, I am going to like it.
I'd like to nominate St. Louis for the bridges, especially Chain of Rocks and that delightful drive along the alignment that includes Ted Drewe's. However, after what they did with the Confederate statue, they's never get my vote. I have a personal boycott going on for that city.
But, I'd sure like to put Pontiac, Illinois, up for "Capital of Route 66. There is no city on the old road more in tune with its heritage. It has become "The City of Murals" and, even better, the City of Museums." Plus, there is that beautiful courthouse.
My Vote, Anyway. --RoadDog
AUGUST 14-- Of the 320 votes cast on the Route 66 News site, 194 were for Tulsa, Oklahoma. After all, it was the home of the Father of Route 66, Cyrus Avery, and major proponent of the new road. And, it is one of the largest cities along the road.
And, it has really embraced its Route 66 heritage in the last 15 years and it goes without saying, it is the home of one Michael Wallis.
Springfield, Missouri, was the runner up but was beaten by a 4-1 margin.
3rd Place was Tucumcari, N.M., and 4th was Seligman, Az..
No other city was in the double digits.
Others receiving votes were Carthage, Mo., Galena, Ks., Clinton, Ok., Shamrock, Tx., Amarillo, Tx, Adrian, Tx., Albuquerque, N.M., Gallup, N.M., Flagstaff, Az., Williams, Az., Amboy, Cal. and Santa Monica, Cal..
One person voted for none, saying there IS NO CAPITAL of Route 66. It is the sum of its parts.
I Agree. --RoadDog
Monday, September 24, 2018
AUGUST 13-- The City of Pacific, Missouri is looking for an architect for its Red Cedar Inn which they will be transforming into a history and welcome center.
I look forward to its opening. I may not ever have had the chance to eat there, but would like to go inside it.
AUGUST 17-- There is some wonder about what will happen to the alternate alignments of Route 66 under House Bill 801.
I would imagine they'd be covered as well.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
From the Route 66 News site.
AUGUST 10-- Afton Station owner David Kane, 74, died in an accident. His wife, laurel Kane died in 2016. Afton, Oklahoma.
The two of them took a run-down gas station and renovated it into quite a credit to the Mother Road. Laurel ran the station for many years and David had allowed the station to continue running as long as it didn't lose money. hard to say what will happen now. Afton sure needs to do something about keeping it open as that town is in really bad shape.
Friday, September 21, 2018
Small Illinois Towns Offering Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 4: Olney's Gone 'Full Squirrel'
Casey is literally building reasons to attract tourists, Olney, population 8,000, is spending a massive amount of time and effort to ensure that their claim to fame does not fade away.
Olney's white squirrels at one point numbered close to 1,000, most of which descended from two initial white squirrels that were brought to town decades ago. Olney has gone Full Squirrel and have the white squirrels on their police cars, the Chamber of Commerce building and other town displays of the little critters.
Of course, making an accurate count of any kind of squirrels is more than a little bit difficult.
And, if you hurt one of the little varmints or hit one with your car, it is going to be very costly. There are even major restrictions on the activities of outdoor cats, their main predator.
Those White Bushy-Tailed Rats. --RoadDog
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Small Illinois Towns Offer Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 3: Casey, "Big Things, Small Town"
Jim Bolin built the large things to get people to come to Casey. Deb Bohannon says Casey gets about $30,000 a year in local hotel/motel tax revenue and that nine shops have opened in town in just the last two years and that they generally count at least 150 cars every day as tourist come to see the big things.
And, Casey is still building. there's a giant teeter-totter, as well as a giant spoon, key and a barbershop pole.
The goal is to secure six more Guinness World Records by this fall.
Casey now has taken the slogan "Big Things, Small Town."
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
The World's largest Rocker is now in Casey, Illinois, but until it was built, honors for the largest went to the Fannon Outpost on good old Route 66 just west of Cuba, Missouri. To Liz and myself, that remains the largest rocker. We don't cotton to young upstarts.
It is still there and proudly carries on the tradition of Route 66 tourist traps which would have something to draw attention and attract folks to stop in and spend money.
Plus, the new Fannon Outpost has some of the best specialty popcorn anywhere.
Last year, on Liz and my 66 on 66 tour (we were both age 66) we stopped at Rich Henry's Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois, and were talking with him when another couple came in who were driving Route 66 for the first time. They had "idge" phones and were confused when the phone app said the largest rocker was in Casey, Illinois. This is the first we had heard of the one in Casey. We told the other couple about the 66 one in Fannon, Missouri.
Only 66, You Know. --RoadDog
From the September 14, 2018, WDRV, 97.1 FM, Ten at Ten by Bob Stroud.
Ten songs from 1968, a good high school year for me.
LOVE STREET-- Doors
PEOPLE GOT TO BE FREE-- Rascals
WICHITA LINEMAN-- Glen Campbell
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL-- Rolling Stones
CRY LIKE A BABY-- Box Tops
CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC-- Jimi Hendrix
SON OF A PREACHER MAN-- Dusty Springfield
LADY MADONNA-- Beatles
HURDY GURDY MAN-- Donovan
MAGIC BUS-- Who
Name That Tune (from the above songs): "I Know I Need A Small Vacation But It Don't Look Like Rain." Answer below. --RoadDog
Small towns generally have fewer attractions than big cities, but increasingly Americans want to go there for vacation. But, families need a reason to stop. More Americans are choosing road trips.
Casey resident "big things" creator Jim Bolin had this in mind when he began building his creations. he now holds eight Guinness World Records. You can climb into his world's largest mailbox and get a great view of Casey's Main Street (and even send real letters).
He also has the World's Largest Rocking Chair at 56 feet, 1 inch, the World's Largest Golf Tee at 30 feet, 9 inches and the world's Biggest thing that started all of these huge objects, the World's Largest Wind Chime, standing 42 feet tall.
He has other really big, but not record-breaking things as well. Casey also has a No. 2 pencil and a bird cage which can hold several visitors.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Small Illinois Towns Offering Offbeat Attractions for Tourism-- Part 1: The Economic Impact of Kitsch
From he July 29, 2018, Chicago Tribune "Offbeat attractions bring small towns big notoriety" by Samantha Bomkamp.
There are no fancy waterparks or beaches in Casey, Illinois. As a matter of fact, it is pretty far from anything. But, if you want to see things big, this small town, population 2,700, does have some large things to see. One is the world's largest mail box and hat is just one thing they have which is the "biggest." Since the first one was built ten years ago, these giant items have sparked a lot of business on Main Street.
Casey is just one of a handful of small one-stoplight towns in central and southern Illinois which have adopted quirky claims to fame.
An hour's drive south of Casey, tiny Olney has white squirrels -- a genetic oddity. Then, Metropolis, at the southern tip of Illinois, hangs on to its title as the "Hometown of Superman" and they have been doing that for 40 years.
These oddities help bring the tourists and there is a definite economic impact.
Call it the Economic Impact of Kitsch. --RoadDog
Monday, September 17, 2018
From the January 18, 2016, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus "Artifacts taken from beach are highlights of collection" AP
** Nellie Myrtle Pridgen 'didn't throw anything away.'
A wooden carriage from a Civil War cannon is at the front of an old store. Not far away are century old bottles, a World War I helmet, a toothy shark's jaw and door knobs washed up from a shipwreck.
The cluttered assortment of the rare, the old and the roughed up was gathered over six decades by Nellie Myrtle Pridgen. There is so much stuff packed on the shelves inside that, "You can look at a shelf ten times and come back and find something different," says Dorothy Hope.
But, this is a museum without a sign out front and no regular hours.
There are problems especially with parking and plans are underway to turn it into the Old Nags Head Cultural Preservation Center.
Saturday, September 15, 2018
From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek "Looking Back."
1918, 100 Years Ago.
"A farmer's horse hitched to a single buggy became frightened by a puffing engine last night while waiting ro get across Seventh Street in DeKalb and when the gates were raised the animal started on a gallop and became unmanageable.
"Fortunately, the North Seventh thoroughfare was not a busy one at the time of the accident and the runaway horse had the entire street to himself."
No Harm Done Here. --RoadDog
Friday, September 14, 2018
"The Rocks", built below Fort Fisher in the late 19th century is a long rock jetty built from Fort Fisher's Battery Buchanan to aid navigation by stopping the shoaling of the Cape Fear River from sand coming in through what used to be known as New Inlet. New Inlet was a major entrance and exit for blockade runners during the Civil War.
It was finished in 1881 and created a huge lagoon behind it now known as "The Basin." Today, "The Basin" is part of the Zeke's Island component of the North Carolina National Estuary Research Reserve.
The southern tip of New Hanover County (Wilmington) became an island when Snow's Cut was dredged between the Cape Fear River and the sound in 1925. A canal that connects it with Masonboro Sound is now part of the Intercoastal Waterway.
The Cut was named for Major William A. Snow , Chief Engineer for the Wilmington District.
I imagine that now, because of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence, the "Rocks" are underwater with all the flooding and surges. They were already in bad shape before this, but I imagine much worse now.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
In the 20th Century, US Highway 25 E crossed Cumberland Gap until it was rerouted as a tunnel under the gap in 1996. They then recreated the Wilderness Road.
It now takes four and a half hours to drive from Winston-Salem, N.C. now, but back then it took several weeks.
The author hiked the Wilderness Road Trail from the Daniel Boone Exhibit Area on the Virginia side of the gap. Some places to visit are Gap Cave and Cudjo's Cave.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
From the April 11, 2018, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal by Walt Links.
From 1912-1915, the DAR placed markers from North Carolina to Kentucky to designate Daniel Boone's 1769 road. Bison first traveled the road searching for grazing and salt licks. They were followed by the Cherokee and Shawnee Indians.
In 1750, Thomas Walker was the first recorded white man to follow it. Daniel Boone made his first trip over it in 1769 and in 1779 he began to blaze and widen it.
It was later named the Wilderness Road and an estimated 300,000 Americans crossed the Cumberland Gap between 1790 and 1810 heading west.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
From the September 11, 2016, Chicago Tribune "Remnant from 9/11 attacks to get salute" by Mike Nolan.
For the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a steel beam from one of the World Trade Center towers that is displayed outside a Tinley Park fire station will get some long-overdue recognition.
Village firefighters retrieved the 6-foot-long, 1,000 pound beam and brought it to Tinley Park in time for the 10th anniversary commemoration. However, those passing the village's public safety building might not be aware of the beam since there is no marker of any sort to connect it to the event.
It is partially perched on some rocks on the building's north side, on 173rd Place just west of Oak Park Avenue. Plans call for it to be removed to a more permanent setting in or near Zabrocki Plaza, less than a block to the east.
This will be continued in today's Cooter's History Thing blog. You can click on it to the right of this.
Monday, September 10, 2018
You can go to the site to find out more.
State Route 90003 "Colonial Parkway"
U.S. Route 65 The Great River Road
U.S. Route 212. Usually closed by snow during the winter. Leads to Yellowstone National Park.
9. NEW HAMPSHIRE
U.S. Route 2
State Route 32 "River Road"
Saturday, September 8, 2018
In a little while I will be driving to Antioch, Illinois, to see the Lincoln Funeral Railroad Car. This is not the original one that transported his body back to Springfield, but a faithful recreation that was made for the sesquicentennial of his death back in 2015. I understand that after this, it goes to a private collector so last chance to see it.
This afternoon Liz and I will drive to DeKalb, Illinois, and attend the NIU President's Reception at the Barsema Alumni Center where we will hear talks by her and athletic folks as well as a synopsis on the NIU-Utah game tonight. We are invited because of our scholarship to the education department.
Then, we have nice seats for the game.
Tomorrow we will be hurrying back home as Johnsburg has its annual Saufen Und Spiel celebration to honor its German heritage with the parade, bands and even an oom-pah one and German food. We will watch the parade from Sunnyside Tap.
Too Much Fun. --RoadDog
Continued from September 4, 2018.
U.S. Route 201 The "Old Canada Road."
U.S. Route 160 Runs through the Navajo Nation.
State Route 139 in northeastern California.
Friday, September 7, 2018
From the July 18, 2018, MidWeek "Looking Back"
1918, 100 Years Ago.
"Saturday night was the occasion of the opening of the new Ford sales and service station at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway and the Fordson tractor demonstration which was held there was largely attended during the evening.
"The Fordson was not exactly demonstrated but was on exhibition at the new garage and attracted no little attention.
They had originally expected it to open by fall 1917, so this is considerably late. Perhaps shorgaes because of the war?
Fordson Tractors? New One On Me. --RoadDog
Thursday, September 6, 2018
AUGUST 6-- A vintage photo of John's Modern Cabins has surfaced. Route 66 postcard collector and author Jon Sonderman has unearthed a long-forgotten photo of the place
It was taken in August 1966 and there is also a rare photo of Vernelle's Motel from the same period.
We hardly ever drive by John's Modern Cabins without stopping to see how much worse it looks. It is so sad, but, thanks to Roamin' Rich and the group, this past June it looked better than we've seen it ever.
But, to me that picture looks like it was run-down even when it was operating.
This is the only-known picture of the place while it was an operating business.
It was originally known as Bill and Bess' Placing dating to 1931. The previous oldest-known photo was taken by Quinta Scott in 1979, years after the place closed and the death of its owner.
There Have To Be Other Pictures Out There. Thanks Jon. --RoadDog
These are taken from the Route 66 News site which has a lot more articles, pictures and information. I just pick out the ones I am most interested in. If you are a Route 66 fan, this site is the best one out there for keeping up with what is happening.
AUGUST 3-- A florist will take over the Hi-Way Tavern building in Edwardsville, Illinois, and it will be remodeled into Krupp Florist.
The bar was opened by Sicilian Frank and Dora Catalano in 1934. They advertised "Good Cheer With Good Beer."
Always great when an old building is put to new use rather than torn down. However, I don't remember ever seeing it.
AUGUST 3-- Kum & Go won't p[ave over all of the original Route 66 section after all. Their first plans really drew the wrath of many. This is in Springfield, Missouri, and we were fortunate to find this back in 2017 when Liz and I took our 66 on 66 Road Trip.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
From the August 1, 2018, NBC Chicago.
Governor Bruce Brauner signed legislation Tuesday creating the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission for the Mother Road's anniversary.
Illinois was the first state to have the entire stretch of road entirely paved.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
America's Top Ten Most Beautiful, Least-Traveled Roads-- Part 1: Ice Road Truckers and America's Loneliest Road
From the March 22, 2018, Daily Mail (U.K.)"The roads less traveled: America's top ten most beautiful and least-driven routes mapped out by state" by Sadie Whitelocks.
Lots of really pretty pictures accompany the list. She used Geotab, GPS tracking and traffic count to come up with the list.
State Route 11. 240 miles between service stations at one point. A handful of small towns. Much of this traveled by the "Ice Road Truckers."
U.S. Route 50. The stretch in Utah is dubbed "America's Loneliest Road." 3,000 miles overall from Maryland to California.
Monday, September 3, 2018
This being a very rainy Labor Day here in the Midwest, here are ten songs for it.
Listeners of Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, the Drive, have been calling the shots of the Ten at Ten special the station runs at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. for the whole month of August.
Valerie Lorusso of Yorkville had these ten songs for "Working For a Living" on August 30, 2018.
WORKIN' FOR A LIVIN'-- Huey Lewis & the News
WORKING MAN-- Rush
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT-- Beatles
TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS-- BTO
DIRTY WORK-- Steely Dan
BLUE COLLAR MAN-- Styx
WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND-- Loverboy
BANG THE DRUM ALL DAY-- Todd Rundgren
MONEY FOR NOTHING-- Dire Straits
DRAGGIN' THE LINE-- Tommy James
Name That Tune (from the above songs): "And I've Been Working Like A Dog." Answer below. --RoadDog
"A Hard Day's Night"
JULY 25-- Art's Motel sign in Farmersville, Illinois, is taken down. The neon sign was dismantled but will be preserved by a sign company and it will go to a history-themed bar in Springfield. (I'm thinking Motorheads which we went to on the Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour back in June.)
Sadly, the fate of the motel is uncertain.
Ace Sign Company in Springfield has a museum of signs and they will acquire the north-facing sign. The south-facing sign will go to the beergarten of Motorheads in Springfield.
Art McAnamey founded Arts's Motel and Restaurant in 1937. It was damaged by a fire in 1952. McAnamey died in 1957 and his sons Elmer and Joe kept it running for years after that.
Kris Jain briefly reopened it in 2017 after it had been closed for six years, but the restaurant remained closed.
I was always hoping to get a chance to stay in this motel and eat at the restaurant, but it doesn't appear that is going to happen.
JULY 31, 2018
The El Pueblo Motel in Flagstaff, Arizona, may become the Code Talkers Museum. It was built in 1937 at 3120 East Historic Route 66.
It has a Code Talkers connection as well. The owner recruited Navajo to be United States Marine Corps Code Talkers.
Always great when you can preserve an old structure and use it for something new as in this case.
The Code Talkers definitely deserve to have their own museum.
Here's Hoping This Is A Go. --RoadDog
Saturday, September 1, 2018
JULY 22-- El Vado Motel's Grand Reopening in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Took place July 20. It has become an $18 million redevelopment with a 22-room boutique motel, events center, shops, restaurants and a pub.
Irish immigrant Daniel Murphy opened the El Vado Auto Court Motel in 1937. I was listed on the NRHP in 1993. Closed in late 2005 and its future was in jeopardy as the new owner wanted to bulldoze it.
The city seized the property a few years later.
It has a neat old neon sign. Always happy to see an old motel saved as we continue to lose so many.
Sign removed from the long-closed Bel Aire Drive In Theater in Mitchell, Illinois. Workers removed the decaying sign on July 19. The two-sided sign halves were transported to Chicago and North Dakota. The sign was located at 1117 E. Chain of Rocks Road, Route 66.
All other evidence of the theater is long-gone. The sign removal took place 30 years after it closed for business. The Bel-Air Drive-In opened in the mid-1950s as a single screen and in the 1970s, a second screen was built. It closed in 1987.
UPDATE: Half of the sign went to a sign collector in Hanover Park. The other half went to a man in North Dakota.
We've been seeing the sign since we started cruising Route 66 in 2002. We feel fortunate to have seen it this past June.
One Less Neat Thing to See On the Old Road. --RoadDog