Thursday, February 28, 2019

So Long Bob Lehman of the Munger-Moss

I just heard that Bob Lehman, owner of the Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri, died.

Another of the wonderful Route 66 folk who are no longer with us.

But, Liz and I were able to meet with and talk with him many times over our Route 66 days so we are thankful for that.

Our condolences to his wife Ramona.

Along 66, January 2019: "Roamin' Rich" and How To Avoid Crime on 66

JANUARY 27--  "Roamin' Rich" Dinkela, becomes Missouri Route 66 Association's new president, replacing long-time President Tommy Pike.   Many thanks to Mr. Pike for the job he did.

"Roamin' Rich" as he calls himself is a social-media Route 66 activist who is very involved with the whole road, especially, of course, the Missouri stretch.

He is quite the get-up-and-go sort of guy.

JANUARY 29--  How to avoid crime on Route 66.  Along with the great fun you'll have cruising the Mother Road, there is also, unfortunately, the possibility of bad things happening to travelers.

Ron Warnick, whose Route 66 News these items are taken from, acknowledges this and prepared a list of helpful suggestions to keep your trip "fun."

**  Keep everything locked up as much as possible.

**  Stay aware of your surroundings.

**  Don't engage in risky behavior.

**  Nighttime is not the right time.  Be extra careful.

**  Smaller towns are better as far as safety, but still beware.

**  Carry non-lethal defensive weapons.

Thanks Ron.  More details at his site for this date.

Timely Information.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Get Your Kicks, Illinois'10 Must-See Route 66 Attractions-- Part 2

6.  Sprague Super Service, Normal

7.  Funk's Grove, Shirley

8.  Downtown Atlanta

9.  Ariston Cafe, Litchfield

10.  World's Largest Catsup Bottle, Collinsville

And, Many More Than That.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Get Your Kicks, Illinois' 10 Must-See Rt. 66 Attractions-- Part 1

From the February 10, 2019, Chicago Sun-Times  "Get your kicks:  Illinois' 10 must-see Route 66 roadside attractions" by Ryan Smith.

Pictures and more information accompany the article.  I'm just listing them.

1.  Art Institute, Chicago

2.  Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket, Dell Rh Willowbrook

3.  Gemini Giant, Wilmington

4.  Standard Oil Station, Odell

5.  Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac


Along 66: January 2019: Golden Spur and Marshfield

From the Route 66 News site.

JANUARY 24--  Easter Seals of Southern California purchased the closed Golden Spur restaurant in Glendora and say they'll repurpose the place.  It has a neat neon sign and was open for over one hundred years.

However, the building has been remodeled so many times over the years that it has lost its historical significance.

They will either have to save it or donate it.

Better than nothing.

JANUARY 25--  Details of the new Route 66 park in Marshfield, Missouri given.  It is on the former Route 66 through town.

While they're at it, I hope they put up better signage.  We got lost looking for the Hubble.


Monday, February 25, 2019

2017 Indy 500-- Part 5: Back to O'Reilly's

As I said in the last post, Main Street in the town of Speedway is having a major urban renaissance and new places are opening and many efforts are being made at improving the street , sidewalks and buildings.

It was so crowded inside O'Relly's that we had to sit outside in the sidewalk eating area where we saw a guy gilt painting Tullamore Dew and Paddy Irish Whiskey signs onto the windows, surely the signs of a new place opening.  But, how long ago did it open?  Also put up a THE MACALLAN--  The Malt.

We talked to the hostess who said the place had been open for three to four hours.  So, we were first-nighters, well, afternooners.  Well, we sure felt honored.


Friday, February 22, 2019

2017 Indy 500-- Part 4: Major Urban Renewal on Speedway's Main Street and Plans for Georgetown Road

Continued from January 22, 2019.


We stopped at a new place on Speedway's Main Street called O'Reilly's Irish Pub & Restaurant.  It was very crowded.

New places are opening all over Main Street.  The first couple years I went along with Paul, Sue and John, I must admit Speedway's Main Street was considerably down at the tooth.  But, not any more.  Speedway is cashing in on the race track as well it should.  They are trying to turn Main Street into an Indianapolis destination year round, not just during races.

This is urban renewal on a large scale.

At one time Georgetown Road was also targeted for redevelopment as well.  Everything along this road, which is next to the Speedway on the west side, was supposed to to be torn down.

This would include the American Legion Post 500 where we stay in the RV.  The post was offered a large section of land on Main Street in trade, but turned it down.

But. planners met much opposition. and so far everything remains as it was.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Road Cruising Back to 1968: "Mrs. Robinson"

Monday, Bob Stroud went back to 1968 on his Ten at Ten show on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM, the Drive.  Well, this was a great high school year for me at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois.  That and working at the local Burger King for $1 an hour but all the Whoppers I could eat.  I see that soon, minimum wage in Illinois will be up to $15.  I missed my time.

Anyway, these songs sure took me back.  Perhaps you as well.

LIGHT MY FIRE--  Jose Feliciano
BLACKBIRD--  Beatles

CRIMSON AND CLOVER--  Tommy James & the Shondells
LITTLE WING--  Jimi Hendrix
I PUT A SPELL ON  YOU--  Creedence Clearwater Revival

MAGIC CARPET RIDE--  Steppenwolf
MRS. ROBINSON--  Simon & Garfunkel

For a good song, while on this topic, Go to YouTube and listen to "1968" by the Turnpike Troubadours.

Name That Tune  (from the above songs):  "You Better Stop The Things That You're Doing."  Answer below.   --RoadDog

"I Put A Spell On You"

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Needing My Music, The U.S. Coast to Coast Cities: "The Night Chicago Died"

From Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten City to City on WDRV FM, 97.1, the Drive.

On this slip-sliding day of a really crummy winter so far (the Groundhog lied!!), these were refreshing and with thoughts of getting my old '85 Firebird redone this spring for some happy cruising.

Going for a road trip.

City to City

PLEASE COME TO BOSTON--  Dave Loggins  (Kenny's brother)
LA GRANGE--  ZZ Top    Refers to La Grange, Texas
THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED--  Paper Lace    The East Side of Chicago would be kinda wet, though.

ALLENTOWN--  Billy Joel
MEMPHIS--  Johnny Rivers

OH, ATLANTA--  Little Feat
GALVESTON--  Glen Campbell

The shows plays again at 10 pm CST, tonight at

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "They Got A Place Down Kentucky Right Near Ohio."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Oh, Atlanta"

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Along 66, Jan. 2019: Galena, Kansas, and Jensen's Point

JANUARY 15--  Man vows to reopen 1939 Texaco station in Galena, Kansas.  The station is located at 6th and Main Street.  Aaron Perry is the man.

Glad to see something else being restored in Galena.

JANUARY 19--  Book review of "Jensen Point:  Story and Reminisce" by Wayne Winchester.

He bought Jensen's Point in 1991 and fence it off to keep vandals out as much as possible, but always planned on reopening it to the public in the future.

This is a 90-page book with lots and lots of photos.

I was named for  botanist Lars Peter Jensen the director of Shaw Arboretum in Gray Summit, Missouri who died at age 71 in 1941, two years after Jensen's Point opened.

I'd sure like to go to the top of it sometime.  That view has to be something else.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Charles W. Nash (General Motors)-- Part 2: A Poor Beginning

From Wikipedia.

Charles Nash was born into a poor farming family in Cortland, Illinois, in DeKalb County, on what became the Lincoln Highway, now Illinois Highway 38, on January 28, 1864.

His parents separated when he was six and he was abandoned.  As a result of a court order, he worked as a farmhand in Michigan as an indentured servant under an agreement that was to last until he was 21.  He had only three months of schooling a year during this time.

At age 12 he ran away and became a farmhand, first in Grand Blanc, Michigan,  for $8 a month.  Then for Alexander McFarland in Mount Morris, Michigan, for $12 a month.  On McFarland's farm,  he learned the carpentry trade.  While there, he formed the Adams & Nash concern to press hay.

He also met his future wife, Jessie Halleck, and married her on April 23, 1884.  Due to her poor health, the couple moved to Flint, Michigan,  in 1890, where he was hired by William C. Durant of the Flint Road Cart Company, which later became the Durant-Dort Carriage Company.  And we know where it went from here.

A very poor beginning.

William C. Durant, I've Heard the Name Somewhere.  --RoadDog

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Charles W. Nash (General Motors) Born On a Farm in DeKalb County

From the February 13, 2019, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1944, 75 Years Ago.

"A story appearing in a New York paper telling of the 80th birthday of Charles W. Nash, former president of the General Motors and Nash Motors and founder-chairman of  the Nash Kelvinator Corporation, is of special interest in this locality.

"His birthday was celebrated January 28 at Los Angeles.  Mr. and Mrs. Nash will celebrate their 60th anniversary in April.

"He started his career building wagons and carriages and later entered the automobile industry.  In 1912 he headed the General Motors and in 1937, along with G.W. Mason negotiated the Nash-Kelvinator merger.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Along 66, Jan. 2019: Rockwood Court's Restaurant Opens, No Basketball Museum in Pontiac

JANUARY 11--  Rockwood Court in Springfield, Missouri has reopened its restaurant and the remaining part will be reopening as apartments and a motel.  The restaurant is called Big Foot Subs.

It was purchased by Dannie Wright in July 2018.

If this is the place I am thinking about, the buildings are clad in that wonderful giraffe stone.  We ate at the previous restaurant several years back and the food was good.  The owners showed us the inside of one of the rooms and it was disgusting.

I see she was just granted a liquor license to sell beer at her store.  It used to be Tubby's Diner.

JANUARY 12--  The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association is ending their pursuit of having their Basketball Museum of Illinois in Pontiac, Illinois.  They fell short on their fundraising.  They were trying to open in the vacant K-Mart building on the old four-lane Route 66 bypass.

Too bad.  One more museum for the City of Museums would be fine with me.

You Can Never Have Too Many Museums.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Along 66, Jan. 2019: U.S. Congress Fails to Act and the Gasconade Bridge

JANUARY  5--  Congress failed to pass two Route 66-related bills.  One was the Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act and the other was the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act.

I am not clear as to why these would not easily pass.  Seems to be a win-win situation to me.

JANUARY 8--  The Gasconade River Bridge Guardians (Missouri) have collected enough donations to help pay for an engineer study of the bridge.  This may help to find a new owner.

So happy we were able to cross it several times before it was closed.

Guess Congress Was Too Busy Fighting the Shutdown.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Along 66, Jan. 2019: Pops Satellite Store in OKC Closes

Most every one of the Along 66 posts are taken from the Route 66 News site.  If you want to know what is going on along our favorite road, this is the place to seek that information.  There are many more posts and much longer ones.  I just pick out the ones of most interest to me.

JANUARY 3--  The Pops satellite store in Oklahoma City closed just before Christmas.  It was located at 6447 Avondale drive in the Nichols Hills section of OKC.

The original one, in nearby Arcadia, Ok., opened three years ago and is still open.  Liz and I were able to stop by it and enjoy some great food and wash it down with pop (soda pop) on our 66 on 66 tour a couple years ago.

This "Pops" is what Route 66 always was and always will be about.

Lovin' That Pops.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Along 66, Dec. 2018: Great News!! Waylon's Ku-Ku Reopens

DECEMBER 31--  I was very happy to find out that Waylan's Ku-Ku restaurant in Miami, Oklahoma, has reopened.

Owner Gene Waylon closed it in July of this year and reopened it just before Christmas.  gene is 75 years old.  Patrons at the reopening had waits as long as thirty minutes.

This store is the last of a chain of Ku-Ku restaurants that once numbered about 200.

Always a stop for us when in town.  Friendly workers and always friendly patrons, and, of course, Gene is a real treat to talk to.


Along 66, Dec. 2018: High Winds Tear Off One of the MIll's Blades

DECEMBER 30--   High winds break off one of the blades of the Mill's windmill in Lincoln, Illinois.  They are raising money to restore it.

The Mill is now a museum and looking really good thanks to a lot of hard work.  The sails and outside of the museum were restored by John Weiss and the Preservation Crew of the Illinois Route 66 Association.

The Mill originally opened in 1929 and reopened as a museum in 2017.

This is where you can find artifacts from Lincoln's Tropics Restaurant as well as Ernie Edwards' Pig Hip in nearby Broadwell.


Along 66, December 2018: Springfield, Illinois Pushing Route 66

News from Along Route 66.

DECEMBER 23--  Springfield, Illinois, is developing a larger plan for 66 tourism.  The recent purchase of the Sonrise Donut sign is part of it.  They are doing this with an eye toward the 2026 Centennial Celebration of the Mother Road.

The sign is being restored by Ace Sign Co. of Springfield.

I'm thinking they probably have enough old signs by now that they might be able to open a museum of their own.

Of course, the city missed out greatly when they didn't acquire Bill Shea's place, but the opening of Motorheads, south of town is a step in the right direction.


Monday, February 11, 2019

The Groundhog Day House-- Part 1: "The Finest Residence"

It still stands and as of right now, you spend the night in it, perhaps "Bill's room.  It is a Bed & Breakfast at one time called the Royal Victorian B&B, but possibly now the Cherry Tree Inn B&B.  In the movie it was the Cherry Street Inn.  Located in picturesque Woodstock, Illinois, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago in McHenry County.

I was killing some time in the Woodstock Library waiting for the Chili Cookoff to begin.over at the Moose Lodge (where the Groundhog Day dance and bachelor auction was held in the movie).

The library has a particularly good section on local history and someone had hone through the Woodstock newspaper and made a huge group of oversized scrapbooks.  I was looking through one from 1900 and from the Saturday, July 14, 1900, paper, I saw a line drawing of a very familiar house.  It was none other than the famed "Groundhog Day House" where Bill Murray "stayed" during the filming.

It is a magnificent house then as it is now.

The headlines read:  "AN IDEAL RESIDENCE THE HOME OF ATTORNEY C.P. BARNES IN THE CITY.  It Is Now Completed -- The Finest Residence, Most Picturesque Site and Pleasantest Surroundings In Illinois.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Groundhog Day 2019-- Part 5: The Groundhog Day House

I also found a 1900 newspaper with a story about Uriah Cottle who was the second permanent settler in McHenry County who was born in present-day West Virginia in 1800, moved to LaPorte County, Indiana, and came from there to McHenry County in 1834.  I will write about him in my Cooter's History Thing blog next week.

Also, in another book, I found a picture of Fred Hatch from Spring Grove in McHenry County who is given credit as having invented the first silo to be used in agriculture back in the 1880s.  The present owner of Fred's farm is a good friend of mine.

But, the most interesting thing I found was from the July 14, 1900, Woodstock newspaper about a new house which had been built in town in an article titles "An Ideal Residence:  The House of Attorney C.P. Barnes In This City."  A line drawing of the home accompanied it and this is the place that served as the B&B that Bill Murray stayed in for the movie "Groundhog Day."   I had to think this was very appropriate.  This home is now open as a real B&B and that sure would be a fun place to spend the night.

The interior scenes of the movie were filmed on a sound stage in nearby Crystal Lake,  but exterior and Bill looking out the window down the street were from the house.

I will write about the house next week in this blog.

An Interesting Trip To the Library.  --RoadDog

Groundhog Day 2019-- Part 4: Killing Time In the Library

And, if you ever want some really tasty bakery goods, Swiss Maid Bakery is a real good place to stop by and partake.  There is also one in nearby Harvard, Illinois.

There wasn't anything going on until noon when they were having the chili cookoff at the Woodstock Moose Lodge (where the Groundhog Dance, Phil's piano debut and bachelor auction took place in the movie).  With time to kill, I drove the short distance to the Woodstock Library, where my McHenry County Civil War Round Table meets.

I have always loved libraries and this is a very good one.  I read today's Chicago Tribune and Northwest Herald in the newspaper/magazine room, complete with a burning fireplace.  I then did some research on McHenry County history, something I like to do while there.

I found a list of War of 1812 veterans buried in Marengo Cemetery.  I was surprised to find so many buried there since McHenry wasn't a county and Illinois was a territory during that war.  A lot of them moved here, possibly with land grants for their service which was offered to many back then.

I will be listing these men in my Not So Forgotten: War of 1812 blog next week.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Groundhog Day 2019-- Part 3: Taking a Walk By

Little did I know at the time, but this chance encounter with Steve Tobolowski was the highlight of my trip to Woodstock.

I took a walk around the Woodstock Square which did a stand-in for Gobbler's Nob in the movie.  I walked by the site of the bank heist and then by the bar where they drank to World Peace and where Phil got locked up in the Old Courthouse building.

Then by where Phil grabbed the groundhog and went on their "joyride" to oblivion.  I was sad to find that the used book place closed.  Then walked by the Opera House, which was the Pennsylvanian Hotel in the movie.  Eventually I went by the place where my mother-in-law was in assisted living and then I went to rhe Swiss Maid Bakery and got a cinnamon bun.

During the filming of the movie, one day Bill Murray went into this place and bought them out.  Then he went around the people viewing the filming and started giving the sweets away.

Then, on to the library.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Groundhog Day 2019-- Part 2: No Movie, But Did Get Needle Nose Ned

It was amazing how many scenes in the movie were filmed in Woodstock, and especially Woodstock Square,  which dates to the 1850s.

Anyway, I was walking over to the Woodstock Theatre which was having a free showing of the film in the Harold Ramis Theatre (named after the movie's director).  In the movie, the TV van drove by it, always eliciting lots of cheers from the audience,  It was also where Bill Murray did his Bronco Billy/Clint Eastwood imitation was his date dressed like a French maid.

Alas, they had no more tickets left.  Too bad.  As I was leaving, however, who should I see coming across the street from the Old Man's Alley, but Steve Tobolowski, who portrayed Ned Ryerson, the insurance salesman and former high school classmate of Bill Murray's, who, in my opinion kind of "stole the show."  Bill Murray referred to him in the movie as "A giant leech got me."

There were several folks milling around outside the theater, disappointed for not getting to see the movie, but this made up for it.  Cries of "Ned" and "Bing, Bing, Bing" went up and people started requesting to buy insurance, any kind of insurance, and old Needle Nose Ned played right along.  This turned out to be my "Groundhog" highlight of the day, though I didn't know it at the time.

He was going to talk about the movie and things at the Opera House later in the afternoon and this was the main reason I was in Woodstock.  He rarely is there.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Groundhog Day 2019-- Part 1: Watch That First Step, It's a Doozy!"


I was awake at 7:07 AM, when Woodstock Willie (a real groundhog) made his remaining winter prognostication, but I wasn't there.  I was at home.  But here in Spring Grove, 17 miles from Woodstock, there was no sun, so I imagined it was the same there.  If the groundhog does not see his shadow that means it will be a short and mild winter.

And after last week's p.v. and all that big-time cold, I would have to say we would be very happy for it.  Well, we'd be happy anytime for a short winter.  About the only folks around here who love winter are the snowmobilers and skiers.

I left home at 7:45 and drove to Woodstock, figuring to grab breakfast at Burger King and go out to the Woodstock Square.  Unfortunately, the Burger King on Il-47 had run out of most food items.  So went to the Square and surprisingly in short order, found a parking spot nearby.

I walked by the Old Man's Alley (where he died), the Old Man's Corner, where he begged from Phil Connors (Bill Murray).  This is also Ned Ryerson's corner where he encountered Phil.  Then past the Tip Top Cafe site and the mudpuddle "Watch that first step.  It's a doozy!"

And a Doozy It Was.  -- RoadDog

Friday, February 1, 2019

It's Groundhog Day ... Again-- Part 4: Meet Ned Ryerson and Take A Walking Tour

10:00 AM to 4 PM   Groundhog Bowling at the bowling lanes featured in the movie.

Noon to 1 PM:  Groundhog Chili Cookoff at Woodstock Moose  (No, not groundhog meat.)

1 PM  Rotary Club Bags Tournament at Ortmann's Red Iron Tavern.

1:30   Walking Tour of movie sites.

3-4:  Meet Ned Ryerson   Opera House.  Actor Steve Tobolowski.

6 to 10:  Groundhog Day Pub Crawl.

Too Much Fun.  --RoadDog

It's Groundhog Day ... Again-- Part 3: Will Winter Be Over Soon Or Continue Another Six Weeks?


It doesn't happen often, but this year, Groundhog Day is actually on Saturday.

And, this is the busiest day.

And, believe me when I say that after this past week, we really can't wait for winter to be OVER!!

7:07 AM   Woodstock Willie the Groundhog, makes his prognostication for the rest of winter from Woodstock Square.  This year featuring Steve Tobolowski, the actor who played Ned Ryerson, the insurance salesman in the movie.  A polka band will also be playing.

"Be sure to wear you booties, cuz it's cold out there."

7:30 to 9:  Official breakfast at Moose Lodge.  $15.

8 to noon:  Groundhog wood carving

8 to noon  Woodstock Opera House and Old Court House tours.

10:00     Storytelling with Jim May at the Home State Bank.

10:00  Movie showing in the theater that was in the movie.


It's Groundhog Day ... Again-- Part 2: Today's Dinner Dance and Groundhogology



Dinner Dance at the Woodstock Moose Lodge.  This is where the dance and bachelor auction took place in the movie.

$20 for both buffet dinner and the dance.  Eating from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, Dancing 8 to midnight.

Also, Doug Elliott will give a presentation on everything you ever wanted to know about groundhogs at the Woodstock Opera House at 8 PM.