Friday, June 28, 2019

Now That Was One Really Good Weekend-- Part 3: A Day After Party 12 Days Later


Enjoyed listening to (and recording on cassette) Bob Stroud's annual Rock and Roll Roots Salute to Summer.  Three hours of songs guaranteed to get you into that special summer mode.  See this week's earlier posts for the songs.

Well, we're definitely hoping we get a summer and that the monsoon season eventually ends.  We're getting rain every day almost.

We went to Kevin and Kelly's place on Fox Lake for our usual Day After Party, only this time we were having it 12 days later.  We always had a End-of-the-School-Year Party when we were still teaching.  After our last one, Kevin and Kelly starting having their own (they are both teachers as well) and they carry on the tradition very well.

They had their end of the year party June 11, but then they had to leave the next day  for a wedding in Louisiana and we left for the Lebanon (Mo.) Route 66 Festival.  Fortunately, they have a refrigerator dedicated to keg storage (Kelly makes her own beer) so they stored the beer keg in there.

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to finish off that keg.  So, we sat out by the lake with several others,  snacked to our hearts' content, had Italian beef sandwiches and when it started to rain, we adjourned to their downstairs bar.

Mission COMPLETE!!!!   We finished off that keg.  Then had to scrounge for various bottles and cans of the stuff.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

One Really Good Weekend-- Part 2: The Civil War, CDs, Sliders and a Bar Crawl on a Hay Wagon


Drove to Crystal Lake, Illinois, for the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting at Panera Bread, this month's topic "The Union Navy at Vicksburg."   This Navy is my favorite aspect of the war.  I talked about Porter's run past  Vicksburg with his fleet and his attack on Port Gibson.

Afterwards, I went to two of my favorite places:  Half-Price Books and White Castle in Algonquin and took care of my book and CD needs as well as got my Slider fix.

Later in the afternoon, I went on the Sunnyside Tavern's bar crawl hay ride to places in Johnsburg.  Going bar to bar in a hay wagon is something I don't think I've ever done before.  We started with food at Sunnyside and then rode the hay wagon over to Stucky's and Raymond Bowl.  Then to Half-Times and then to Oak Park Lounge and Cabana's on Pistakee Lake.

Oak Park Lounge has been open since the 1890s and still looks about the same.  They had a fundraiser for the Johnsburg 4th of July fireworks which will be taking place there and had a pig roast and band.  We returned to Sunnyside and enjoyed a great soul band, Peter & the Versatiles.

Now, This Is How To Spend a Day.  --  RoadDog

One Really Great Weekend-- Part 1: Eatin' Well in the Neighborhood

The biggest problem about leaving this area during the summer is that you miss so many things that happen.  This past weekend was an example.


I was out checking local stores for sales on garden plants, always a fun thing for me even if I really don't need anymore plants.  I can't help myself.

Then, we had the annual Spring Grove Fish Hatchery Fish Boil at Horse Fair Park.  Fitzgerald's in Genoa City, Wis., provides the Door County-style fish boil along with chicken and, for an extra $3, some of the best ribs you'll ever eat.  The cost came to $20 a ticket with money going to the fish hatchery which has been turned into a great park and catch-and-release fishing spot.

There was a really good band playing as well.

Then we went to the Fox Lake American Legion to meet up with friends and enjoy the 50-50 raffle.

Why Go Anywhere Else?  --RoadFish

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sizzling Summer Songs for That Road Trip-- Part 3: "Saturday In the Park"

HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME--  Sly & the Family Stone

SUMMER IN THE CITY--  Lovin' Spoonful
SUMMER RAIN--  Johnny Rivers

SUMMERTIME--  Billy Stewart
C'MON DOWN TO MY BOAT--  Every Mother's Son


In the Mood for a Cruise Right Now, But I just got back.

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "Back Of My Neck Getting Dirty And Gritty."   Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Summer In the City"

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Along 66, May 2019: Launching Pad Grand Opening and Ariston Lights

These come from the Route 66 News blog site which has a lot more stories and extended coverage.  I just pick the ones of most interest to me.

MAY 4--  The Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois, had their grand reopening Friday, though they have been open for several weeks now.  Holly Barker and Tully Garrett bought the long-closed place in 2017.

They plan to get married under the Gemini Giant on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on July 21.

MAY 5--  At 8:10 p.m., the Ariston neon sign and window accent lights were flipped on.  The Ariston opened in Litchfield, Illinois, in 1935.

So glad to have both the Launching Pad and Ariston open again with determined owners.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Sizzling Summer Songs for That Road Trip-- Part 2: "Summertime Blues"

Nothing like rolling the window down, putting an arm out  the window, other hand on the wheel with songs blaring from the radio.  Here are some more summer songs for summer cruising.

RACING IN THE STREET--  Bruce Springsteen

BEACH BABY--  First Class

CRUISIN' MUSIC--  Raspberries
SUMMER BREEZE--  Isley Brothers


Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "She Feels Good, She Knows She's Looking Fine."  Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Good Day Sunshine"

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Here Are Some Sizzling Summer Songs to Kick It Off This Weekend-- Part 1: "Sidewalk Surfin' "

Summer.  A Perfect Time To Hit the Road.  (And, of course, you need your tunes.)

Even those this has been a lousy spring/summer so far.  Shoot, our furnace regularly kicks on every day until yesterday.  And then the rain or near-constant threat of rain for what seems to be every single day.

Even so, we are officially into summer now that we have passed June 21.  And that means, Bob Stroud used his Rock and Roll Roots program on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM to welcome it with nothing but three hours of summer songs.  It's a tradition.  And, for those of you who missed it, it is rebroadcast tonight from 7 to 10 p.m..  And it streams at

But, here are the songs he played to get you into the mood:

DANCING IN THE STREET--  Martha & the Vandellas
STREET FIGHTIN' MAN--  Rolling Stones

BUS STOP--  Hollies
HOT SUMMER DAY--  It's A Beautiful Day
SPILL THE WINE--  Eric Burdon & War

SUMMER SUN--  Jamestown Massacre
LITTLE HONDA--  Beach Boys

Name That Tune (from the above songs):  "All That Summer We Enjoyed It Wind And Rain And Shine."   Answer below.  --RoadDog

"Bus Stop"

Saturday, June 22, 2019

This Blackhawk Fan Was Pulling for the Blues in Stanley Cup


We were shocked to see the parking lot at the Route 66 Hotel and Conference center in Springfield, Illinois, full, and when we went to get a room, found out they were all sold out.  We've never had a problem getting a room in Springfield before.  We heard that there was a big horse show and golf tournament going on.

We did get the last room at the Motel 6 just a bit south of Springfield on Toronto Road.  Then, we went to get our Cozy Dog fix and to Curve Inn to see the first part of the St. Louis Blues-Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Championship Game 7.  Watched the first period there, with several Blues fans.

We are both Chicago Blackhawk fans, but pulling for the Blues for several reasons:

 #1.  If the Hawks aren't in, pull for someone from the Midwest.

#2.  No one wants anyone from Boston or New England winning anything else.

#3.  The Blues had never won a Stanley Cup.

We saw the last two periods and Blues win at Motorheads on 66, a new bar and grill on Toronto Road in an old Stuckey's.  This place was jammed with Blues fans and everyone was really having a great time.

We Went Right Along.  --RoadDog

Friday, June 21, 2019

Just Got Back from Route 66 in the Ozarks

Liz and I returned home this past Wednesday from an eight day cruise of 1,100 miles through Illinois and Missouri.  The object was to attend  the Lebanon, Missouri, Route 66 Festival, and, of course, a 4-day stay at the Munger-Moss Motel and visit with Ramona Lehman.

We stayed in three historic motels:  Munger-Moss, Wagon Wheel in Cuba and the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center in Springfield.

Friday we had a block party on the east end of Lebanon with a classic car show at Munger-Moss and entertainment at Wrink's.  Saturday was the classic car parade (and Ramona was the grand marshal), a band and the dedication of the sole remaining tourist cabin from Camp Joy.

We also enjoyed partying at the Curve Inn, George Ranks and Motorheads in Springfield, the VFW and American Legion in Lebanon, Elbow Inn in Devil's Elbow and Rock Fair and East Office in Cuba.

We interacted with tourists from Germany, Japan and the Czech Republic.

Always a Great Time Out on Ol' 66.  --RoadDog

Along 66, April/May 2019: The Parkview and Ariston in Illinois

I get these news items from the Route 66 News blog site.  This has much more on each event that I write about as well as pictures and video.  Also, the site covers a lot more things on Route 66.  I just pick out the ones of most interest to me.

APRIL 30--  The Parkview Inn in Bloomington, Illinois, reopened May 1.  It has been completely rebuilt after a fire in 2016.

MAY 1--  The restored Ariston Cafe sign has been reinstalled in Litchfield, Illinois.  It is over the entrance and includes the name of the place and Budweiser.  It will be relit May 4.

Nick and Demi Adam owned the place from 1966 to 2018.  His father, Nick Adam, owned it for 42 years before that.

New owners are Will and Michelle Law and Marty and Kara Steffens.

It is located at 413 N. Old Rt. 66.

So glad to see the place up and running again.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Along 66, April 2019: Dedication of Massive Sculpture in Tulsa

APRIL 29--  The dedication of the massive  70 feet long and 30 feet high Route 66 Rising sculpture in Tulsa will be May 20.  It is really something to see and cost $650,000.

It will be attended by the grandchildren of Cyrus Avery, the "Father of Route 66" whose efforts led to the famous road.   The sculpture is located at Admiral Boulevard and Mingo Road.  The traffic circle here is on the site of Avery's motel.

This is an oft-overlooked alignment of Route 66 which also has Hank's Hamburgers.

Always Room for Another Sculpture.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Route 66 Roadies Heading to Lebanon, Missouri for 66 Festival This Weekend

From Lebanon 66 Organization.  Gary Sosniecki.

"Celebrating Cap Joy" is this year's theme as the sole remaining cabin has been restored and will be dedicated at Boswell Park.

This is the 12th annual festival since 2001.

Friday the party will be at Route 66 businesses on the east side of town and Saturday at Boswell Park, downtown.  All events are free and open to the public.

Camp Joy was one of Lebanon's first tourist courts, founded by the Spears family in 1927.

Friday, the celebration is called the Route 66 Block Party.  Festivities will be around Wrink's Market and the Munger-Moss Motel.  There will also be a cruise-in according to Munger-Moss Motel owner Ramona Lehman.   Phat Mike and the Bartenders will play.

Saturday there will be a parade and the Bucket Band from Kansas will perform.

Sounds Like A Lot of Fun.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Along 66, April 2019: Ozark Trail Obelisk Cleaned in Oklahoma

APRIL 28--  The Ozark Trail obelisk near Stroud, Oklahoma, has been cleaned of graffiti.  It marks a crossroad and was painted over.

The Ozark Trail went from St. Louis to El Paso, Texas, or Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was used from 1913 to 1925.  Much of it became Route 66.

There are four obelisks in Texas:  Tulia, Tampico, Dimitt and Wellington..  Also Langston, Oklahoma and Lake Arthur in New Mexico,


Along 66, April 2019: The Jack Rabbit and the Mill

These articles are taken from the Route 66 News site which has many more articles and goes into greater detail.  I just pick the ones of most interest to me.

APRIL 27--  The Jack Rabbit Trading Post will host its 70th birthday in July.

A Route 66 classic tourist trap with all the trappings.

APRIL 27--  Volunteers replaced the broken blade on The Mill in Lincoln, Illinois.  It had come down during high winds back in December.  The Mill opened in 1929 and has been a museum for the last several years.

When we first saw it back in 2002, it was looking very bad.  So happy it was saved.


40th Anniversary Summer '79 and Another Band


Concluding a busy weekend.

This morning Bob Stroud had the first part of his annual salute to a summer 40 years ago.  This one being 1979.  I always look forward to this, the first Sunday of June, July, August and September.  He played music on your radio or record collection on June 2, 1979. I have the complete list in this month's Down Da Road I Go blog, but here are some of the songs he played:

WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES--  Doobie Brothers

SULTANS OF SWING--  Dire Straits
FIRE--  Pointer Sisters

We went to Stucky's and met up with Glenn and Barb and sat out on the deck and enjoyed Force of Nature, which includes Uncle Will.

Great Time This Weekend.  --RoadDog

Monday, June 10, 2019

Another Legion, a Band and a Storm This Weekend


This ended up as quite a busy day.

We left from the McHenry American Legion and drove over to the Fox Lake American Legion where they were having their monthly afternoon entertainment that they have every first Saturday in conjunction with POWW Wrestling.

One of our favorite entertainers, Joe Kadlec, was playing and he puts on a great show with lots of interaction with the crowd.  While we were there, a huge storm rolled in and visibility on Nippersink Lake dropped to zero for a short time.  The $1.75 domestic pints didn't hurt a bit, either.


Tastes, Bars, Legions and Bands This Weekend-- Part 3: June 1st


Glenn and Barb had never been to the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV), one of our favorite places in McHenry, so we went over there.  Boy, their Polish sausage and cabbage rolls for $2 sure were tempting, but there was, sadly, just no room for any more food between Liz and myself.

The PLAV had a fire several years ago (we were there when it started) and the place has since been rebuilt.  Always friendly folks there.  Glenn and  Barb will be back.

Our next, and last stop was at the McHenry American Legion, on Riverside Drive.  The place is usually closed and in near danger of going under.  The last time it was really used was when the PLAV was being rebuilt and they used the American Legion building in the meantime.

However, now, a new group is trying to get the Legion going again and will have it now open to the public and have the video gambling machines.  Here's hoping they'll do well.  Shoot, the way our Legion is doing in Fox Lake, I might have to transfer my SAL membership to McHenry.


Tastes, Bars, Beer and Bands This Weekend-- Part 2

I was writing about this before I stopped to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.


We met Barb and Glenn at Corkscrew Pointe on Riverside Drive which gets its name because it is beside the Fox River.    They always have $2 domestic pints and Liz and I ordered their offering for the McHenry's Taste of Summer, Mini Italian subs and Mini Italian beef sandwiches.  Well, neither one of them qualified as mini.  They were big.  Thank goodness we only got one apiece to split, but even then, we were kind of full when we left which had a serious impact on how much we were able to sample at other places.

But, what a deal for $2 each and they were high quality.  We even had green peppers and cheese for the Italian beef.

Next stop was the Foxhole Tap & Pizzeria in an old 1880s hotel at the corner of Riverside Drive and Illinois Route 120, right by the bridge.  This meant that we passed up goodies at Bimbo's and Little Chef Restaurant.

But, we were up for the Foxhole offerings and Liz and I split one each of BLT pizza slices, Bruschetta, BBQ riblets and Summer Sangria.

By the time we left there, there just was no more room for any other "tastes."

Way Too Full.  --Roadloggedtoofull

Sunday, June 9, 2019

14 Facts About D-Day That Most People Don't Know-- Part 2

There is more information and pictures in the Newsweek article.

8.  Omaha Beach could have been worse.  (Very interesting article here.)

9.   The theater of battle was fifty miles wide.

10.  A dress rehearsal for D-Day was a complete disaster.

11.  Ike was frequently overcome with emotion when speaking about D-Day.

12.  Atrocities were widespread on both sides on D-Day.

13.  D-Day was followed by a two-month stalemate.

14.  "Star Trek's" original "Scotty" was wounded that day.   Canadian James Doohan.

Interesting reading as well.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

14 Facts About D-Day That Most People Don't Know-- Part 1

From the New York Daily News

1.  The Allies were greatly helped by Hitler sleeping in.

2.  The weather forecast played a decisive role in D-Day's success.

3.  Overall German commander Irvin Rommel was at home in Germany celebrating his wife's birthday.

4.  Secret code words from the invasion mysteriously appeared in a crossword puzzle in advance of the invasion.

5.  Ted Roosevelt, Jr. was the only general in the initial wave.  (Son of former President Roosevelt)

6.  Two medics risked their lives to heroically provide care.

7.  Faced with the impossible, Rangers at Pointe-Du-Hoc were the first to complete their mission on D-Day.

75 Years Ago, D-Day: A Turning Point in the War


The total Allied losses at Normandy were estimated to be at least 4,413, and total Allied deaths  in the Battle of Normandy,  which dragged on until August , topped 226,000.

But, thanks in part  to the massive influx of troops and equipment, D-Day marked a decisive turning point  in the war.  Less than a year later, on May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender.

You can read all fifteen facts in this blog and my June 6-8 Civil War and Civil War Navy blogs.

Friday, June 7, 2019

75 Years Ago, D-Day: 156,000 Stormed the Beaches


In wave after wave of  thousands of landing ships, more than 156,00 Allied  infantrymen stormed five beaches.  Facing them were 50,000 Germans.  Stormy seas made the landings incredibly difficult, with many regiments coming ashore far from their target destinations.

At Omaha Beach, only two of  the amphibious tanks even made it to land on their own power (three were later transported to the beach).  At Utah Beach, the American troops included 14 Comanche "Code-talkers" who relayed critical tactical messages  in their Native American tongue.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

75 Years Ago, D-Day: The Early Paratrooper Attack


The D-Day invasion began in the pre-dawn hours of June 6, when thousands of paratroopers began landing inland from Utah and Sword beaches in an attempt to cut off exits and destroy bridges to delay German reinforcements.

American paratroopers suffered high casualties at the Utah beach sites, some drowning from their heavy equipment in flooded marshland.  Others were killed on their way down.  The British and Canadian paratroopers met less resistance at Sword beach and quickly took two bridges.

75 Years Ago, D-Day: Weather Was a Key Factor


Troops and supplies were in place by May, but bad weather delayed the launch date of the invasion.  On June 5, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in charge of Operation Overlord, decided that the invasion would take place the next day, in part because the  weather was still rough and the German planes were grounded.

That same day, British bombers dropped 5,000 tons of bombs on German defenses along the Normandy coast to cripple their defenses before the invasion.

75 Years Ago: D-Day, Operation Overlord

I will be writing about this event in all my blogs over the next three posts.

From the History site:"D-Day:  Facts on the epic 1944 invasion that changed the course of WW II" by Dave Roos.


Allied leaders Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill knew from the start of the war that a massive invasion of mainland Europe would be critical to relieve pressure on the Soviet Army fighting the Germans on the Eastern Front.

It was initially called "Operation Sledgehammer" called for an Allied invasion of ports in northwest France as early as 1943, but Roosevelt and Churchill decided to invade North Africa first and then invade Europe through Italy.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tastes, Beer, Dog 'N Suds, Bands This Weekend-- Part 1

Half way decent weather for a change.


Went to our dentist in Round Lake Beach and drove around the old neighborhood.  We lived in RLB from 1975 to 1992.    It is sad to see how bad our old house looks these days.

We ate lunch at one of the last remaining Dog 'N Suds in Ingleside.  We had the special, two Charcoburgers for $3 and washed it down with a mug of frosty root beer.  Now that is old school as it was delivered by the car hop.


I was able to do yard work for a change and made quite the dent on limbs from the mountain ash, apple tree and Bradford pear.  Unfortunately, I lost my wrist watch during it and will have to buy a new one as I am getting tired of looking at my wrist.

Ate dinner at Brit's Street in Spring Grove, Illinois, and met Barb and Glen at Half-Times in Johnsburg and sat out on their deck overlooking the volley ball nets.  Is it possible that summer has arrived?


Met Glenn and Barb again, this time at Corkscrew Pointe in McHenry Illinois  for the annual Taste of Summer.  Twenty bars and restaurants on Riverside Drive (by the Fox River) and along Green Street have sample offerings between $1 and $3.

This is always a major party.

Food and Beer, How Do You Go Wrong With That?--  RoadDog

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Bring Your Appetite and Drinking Shoes: 2019 McHenry (Illinois) Taste of Summer Is Today

Last night we got together with some friends who told us about this annual event taking place today.  I am sure glad they told us as this is one event I always like to attend.  I didn't know it was today.

What it is is twenty places downtown that all offer different "tastes" for $1 to $2.  We have never made it through all twenty, usually about eight and only if we split each offering.

Some examples:

FOXHOLE:  BLT slices, Bruschetta, BBQ Riblets, Summer Sangria

BIMBO'S:  Country Rigatoni and Moscow Mules

LITTLE CHEF:  Homemade Chicken Salad Mini Croissant, Biscuits & Gravy, Homemade Mac & Cheese

CORKSCREW POINTE:  Mini Italian Subs and Italian Beef Sandwiches

AFTER THE FOX:  Mini Shrimp Cocktail

POLISH LEGION:  Polish Sausage and Cabbage Rolls

Mighty Good Eatin' and Fun.  --RoadFeast

Along 66, April 2019: Vacuum Cleaners and Oldest

APRIL 24--  The Vacuum Cleaner Museum in St. James, Missouri, is going to close this Friday because of lack of attendance.  They have a vast collection of vacuum cleaners dating from the early 1900s.  The collection was started by Tom Gasko.  Reckon I am part of the problem as I didn't visit it.


APRIL  26--  Casper's Diner in Springfield, Missouri is not exactly on Route 66 but claims to be the oldest operating p[lace on Route 66.  It is 110 years old and on 601 W. Walnut Street.

Ron Warnick says Ike's Chili in Tulsa opened in 1908. It is cluttered and has a top-secret chili recipe. Sycamore Inn, Rancho Cucamonga (always love that name), California is on Foothill Boulevard (Route 66) and has been open since 1848.

I'll have to check out Casper's and Ike's.


Along 66, April 2019: Welcome Launching Pad and An Old Motel Seen Better Days

APRIL 22--  The Launching Pad Drive-In's grand reopening weekend is set for May 3 which coincides with the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival.  It is located in Wilmington (featuring, of course, the Gemini Giant).  The Red Carpet Corridor festival runs through the towns of Joliet south to Towanda, right outside Bloomington-Normal.

New owners are Tully Garrett and Holly Barker.  I get the idea that they may feature Carolina 'cue.  That would be REALLY GREAT!!

APRIL 23--  Lurvey Courts Motel in Springfield, Missouri may be demolished soon.  It has long been vacant and is covered in graffiti.  Actually, quite an eyesore where you can see it (much is covered with overgrowth.