Monday, September 30, 2019

Just Hanging 'Round Here-- Part 3: A Fish Fry, High School Footbal Game, Legion, Historical Society Meeting, Memorial Party and the Sunnyside


Liz and I went to the Mayor's Fish Fry in Fox Lake at Lakefront Park (which used to be Skipper Bud's where we bought our 4 Winns boat in 1990).  AUCE dish and fixins' for $10 as part of the Fox Lake Fishing Derby tomorrow.  Met Frank and Lianne there.

I dropped Liz off at the Fox Lake American Legion and I drove to nearby Johnsburg High School where they were having a game against Marengo.  Johnsburg lost 33-0.  Then I went to the Legion and met up witj Liz and Kevin and Kelly.


I went to the Fox Lake Historical Society meeting in Ingleside where we heard a presentation on model trains.  Very interesting but sure glad I never got hooked on them as I got hooked on too many things as it is.  
In the afternoon, we drove over to Richmond, Illinois, where Ken Reid's children were having a memorial party for him.  That Kenny was quite a character and one of those that wherever he is, that is where the part is.  Sure miss him.  Later to Sunnyside Tavern.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Just Hangin' Around Here-- Part 2: Donovan's, The Grove, PLAV, Legion and Concert


Cocktails at Donovan's Reef in Wisconsin and Cocktails and steak at The Grove in Spring Grove, Illinois.  (We're right on the Wisconsin-Illinois border.)  Came home and watched Part 4 of Ken Burns' "Country Music" on PBS.  I am a big country music fan.  Part of the show tonight was on Johnny Cash.  I have a Johnny Cash story that I will write about in my Down Da Road blog later.


Liz and I drove to McHenry and had the $1 slider special at the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV).  They are much bigger than White Castle sliders.  For a total of $6, Liz and I were quite full with two sliders apiece and an order of sweet potato fries.  Now, that's real eatin' cheap in the neighborhood.

We then walked over to the McHenry American Legion and enjoyed $2 Miller Lite aluminum cans and lots of friendly folks.  Walked over to Veterans Park and saw the band Sweet T, then back to the Legion for the King of Clubs drawing and they had karaoke.


Just Hangin' Around Here: Gas Gouge, FP, More Expensive, Classic Cars, '67 Firebirds


Sure been having problems with the internet of late and it is getting very difficult to get on and do these blogs.
Still sitting out FP (Front Porch) most mornings until it gets too cold.    We sure had a gas gouge here in northeast Illinois with gas up to $3.06 in McHenry!!!

A lot of unhappy patrons at Half-Times in Johnsburg as they raised all prices up.  The Tuesday 14-inch pizza, $1 toppings went up from $9 to $12 and the $1 14 ounce draft beers are now $2 for 20 ounces.  Still a good deal.

Drove over to the McHenry Mosse Lodge for  their classic car show and saw a '67 red Firebird convertible.  I am a big, well, huge Firebird fan, especially since I once had a '67 Firebird convertible. Went by Sunnyside Tavern on the way home.

Enjoyed watching the Ken Burns "Country Music" series as I am a big country music fan.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Along 66, August 2019: Red's Giant Hamburg Opens Again in Springfield, Missouri

AUGUST 4--   A new version of Red's Hamburg opens Monday, August 5 in Springfield, Missouri.  This is decades after the original closed.  This new one boasts 700 pictures of Route 66 and Red's and it will have a replica of the famous Red's Hamburg  sign.

The original Red's was torn down in 1997 after Red died.

The new Red's is at 2301 W. Sunshine Street, two miles south of the nearest Route 66 alignment, but well-worth the extra drive for you purists.

Red and Julia Chaney opened the original one in 1947 on Route 66 in a former gas station.  It was originally to be called Red's Giant Hamburgers, but Red misjudged the sign and could only get the word "Hamburg" on it.

They only used beef from their local cattle farm.  Red's also became somewhat famous as being the location of the first food drive-through service in a restaurant.  A popular sandwich of theirs was called the Sooper Redburg which was topped with bacon and ham.

Red's closed in 1984 after the Chaneys retired.

Springfield has a replica of the sign in its Route 66 Roadside Park west of downtown.  A local band called the Morells has a song about the place called "Red's" featuring a video of them playing in the place.  Check it out on You-Tube.

Well, We Definitely Know Where We'll Be Eating Next Trip to Springfield.  Of Course, There Is also That Great Old Steak 'N Shake and Lambert's Also.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Along 66, August 2019: The Windy City Road Warrior and the Gasconade Bridge

These are from the Route 66 Mews site which is your best source for anything going on along the Mother Road.  Ron Warnick has daily postings along with pictures and much more information.  I just pick the stories of most interest to me.

AUGUST 2--  David G. Clark, "The Windy City Road Warrior" has extensive knowledge, and I do mean real extensive knowledge, on Route 66 in Chicago is writing his memoir which you can access in serial form.

He has written "Zeno's Motel and Paradox on Route 66" and ""Exploring Route 66 in Chicago."

He also offers some really interesting walking tours of Route 66 and Chicago architecture, but be forewarned, I don't know many folks who can walk faster than him.

AUGUST 3--  The new Gasconade River Bridge has opened and that has reconnected Route 66 as you had to take I-44 around it ever since the original Gasconade Bridge closed.  That was 8-9 miles.  The Missouri Department of Transportation spent $4 million on the new one and this one opened for traffic August 3.

There is still a big question as to what is to happen to the old bridge.

I'm Hoping It Will Remain.  --RoadBridge

Along 66, July 2019: The Wall and the Eating Place

JULY 30--  The Arizona Route 66 Association was given $10,000 to finish the "Standin' On the Corner" wall in Winslow.  "Take It Easy" there Glenn.  A great song by that great group, the Eagles.

JULY 31--  The renovation of the Red Cedar Inn in Pacific, Missouri, may take two years.  The old restaurant is to be converted into visitors center/museum.  When we first did Route 66 in Missouri, we saw the place and put it on our list of places to eat, but by the time we got back, it was closed.  So, now we'll look toward at least going into the building.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Along 66, July 2019: Grants and Punishment on the Mother Road

JULY 25--  The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announces final cost-sharing grants.

Since 2001, they have awarded $2.27 million to 152 propositions for cost-sharing activities.  It is unlikely that Congress will renew it.  Too bad as that money was put to good use.

JULY 29--  The Beacon Car Wash has come up with a novel way of punishment for a teen's flag theft.  The Beacon Car and Pet Wash in Pacific, Missouri, noted for their reuse of the Old Beacon Motel sign on its premises.

The station has three huge U.S. flags and one was stolen by a 19-year-old who said he "accidentally" stole it.  He was caught and punishment will be handing out 150 small U.S. flags to customers and apologizing to each one.

That teenager might just think about the embarrassment the next time he "accidentally" steals something.  Hard to believe that in this day and age, some parents would be willing to have their son punished like that.  Good for them.

Hey Sonny, How 'Bout a Flag?  --RoadFlag

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Along 66, July 2019: Two Neon Signs Reinstalled in Albuquerque

JULY 19:  Two neon signs were reinstalled along Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The De Anza Motor Lodge is a restored new hotel, apartments, businesses, restaurants.  It was built in 1939 by Charles Wallace, a Zuni trader and Indian art collector.

A reproduction of the original Monterey Motel sign has been relit.  It is near the El Vado Motel.

It was opened in 1946 as the Davis Court and was renamed Monterey Court by 1954.  For a long time it was known as the Monterey Non-Smokers Motel.

Give Me That Old Time Neon.  --RoadDog

Friday, September 20, 2019

Young Boys Flipping Automobiles in 1918

From the December 26, 2018,  MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Complaints in number are coming in to the police station, of young boys who are flipping automobiles down town and else where.  The jumping onto cars is very annoying to motorists who are not responsible if children are hurt, and who yet would be blamed.

"Boys seen committing the offense hereafter will be prosecuted, says the department."

I'm not sure what exactly "flipping automobiles" was all about.  Did that mean jumping onto a moving car or actually turning them over.  I'm thinking perhaps jumping onto them.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Along 66, July 2019: Crossroads, Specialty Plates and an Anniversary

JULY 17--  Crossroads Diner in Mt. Olive, Illinois, closed earlier this year.  It was built in 1953 at the intersection of  Route 66 and Illinois Highway 138.

There is no explanation as to why it closed and I believe it is in the Illinois Route 66 Association's Hall of Fame.

I don't remember ever eating there, however.  Maybe it was my fault.

JULY 18--  License -plate program earns $231,000 for the Arizona Route 66 Association.  These are what are known as specialty plates.  And, I'm sure that money will be put to good use.

JULY 24--  The New Mexico Route 66 Association is having a 30th anniversary party this Saturday at the Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post west of Albuquerque.

Love Those Route 66 State Associations.  --RoadDog

Along 66, July 2019: On Horseshoes

JULY 15--  How About a Horseshoe Trail in Illinois.  It seems that places all over have been going crazy with the ideas of Trails.  A road trip that involves several to many similar places in an area.  I mean, there are Bourbon Trails and BBQ Trails.

This one involves that Central Illinois gastronomic goodie called Horseshoes.  For those of you who don't know, a horseshoe is a thick-sliced toasted piece of bread loaded with various meats and covered with fries smothered in cheese sauces.

Credit for its creation goes to the LeLand Hotel in Springfield, Illinois, right down the street from the Illinois State Capitol.

A smaller version is called a Ponyshoe--  Get It!!  (I had to ask the first time we had one at Norb Andy's.  There are also breakfast horseshoes with hash browns instead of cheese sauce and gravy.

Writer to the Illinois Times newspaper Tony Leone is proposing this.

You Go, Tony.  Sign Me Up!  --RoadShoe

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


**  Last week, I would have liked going to a commemoration of 9-11 somewhere in the local area.  After considerable looking in the internet, I did see that McHenry, Illinois, about ten miles away, had an event at Veterans Park, but couldn't find a time.  Come on, McHenry, you need to better publicize these events like this.

**  Also, I was listening to a cassette tape I had made of WVCO, 94.9, the Surf, out of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and saw the date on it.  It was June 28, 2001.  The terrorists would probably already have been in the United States and taking pilot lessons on that date.

**  I put up my U.S. flags (well, one was already up).  One is out by the mailbox, another is in the front flower bed and a third is actually a U.S. shield with an eagle on it which is hanging from the front porch eaves.

**  But, sadly, the date just about snuck up on me as I didn't remember it until our McHenry County Civil War Round Table president asked for a moment of silence at Tuesday's (September 10) meeting.

Not Forgetting.  --RoadDog

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 5: Johnsburg's Saufen und Spiel


The first weekend after Labor Day in Johnsburg, Illinois, about four miles south of us in Spring grove, is the annual Saufen und Spiel.  Saufen means to drink and spiel means games.  It is kind of an Oktoberfest celebration by different name.  Johnsburg and Spring Grove were settled by many German immigrants so it is a heritage thing.

Saturday is Banjo Beer Night, featuring three bands and lots of beer.

Sunday is the big day, with a parade, oompah/polka band inside, a regular band outside and a cow drop where you can make some money depending upon which square the cow lets loose.  This year we didn't make it over to Sunnyside where we usually watch the parade because of rain drizzle earlier.

Liz didn't want to go to it when we drove to the Johnsburg Community Club grounds so I dropped her off at Sunnyside Tavern and went the short distance to the grounds and parked.  The band Epics was playing outside and doing classic rock from the 80s and doing it very well.  About half of the Sunnyside regulars were over here as well as some of my Fox Lake Sons of the American Legion.

The highlight was definitely the performance by Milwaukee's Glockenspiel group which is essentially a recreation of a German Black Forest clock scene with people drinking, working, making music and doing German dances like Chevy Chase in "European Vacation."  Go to You Tube and type in "Glockenspiel Germanfest to see it.  Be prepared to spend about 17 enjoyable minutes.

Afterwards I went back to Sunnyside where I found a couple large farm tractors parked outside.  Johnsburg and Spring Grove still have a lot of farms.

It was a mighty fun day.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 4: 1973, Wild Turkeys, Pops' 96th and Joe


Enjoyed WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback to 1973.  Three hours from that mighty busy year for me between graduating from college, getting a teaching job, my first apartment and married.

We went to the Fox Lake American Legion to help celebrate Pop's 96th birthday.  He is called Pops as a stand-in for all of us who have lost their farmers.  His son Ken is one day younger than me.  Afterwards, we stayed for three hours as had a great time with Joe Kadlek playing the guitar and goofing around.

Going over there, we twice had to stop due to flocks of wild turkeys on Sunset Road between Johnsburg Road and US-12.  I guess we live out in the country.

Anybody seen Those Illinois Route 66 Turkey Tracks?  --RoadTurkey

Friday, September 13, 2019

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 3: Magee Teachers and a High School Football Game


I drove Liz home and then drove to the Bristol 45 Diner in Bristol Wisconsin, where I got together with former Magee Middle School teach Bob for breakfast.  We made plans to go to a Northwestern University football game later this fall.  Got gas in Bristol for the lowest I've seen around here, $2.48.

Later that night I went to the Johnsburg Skyhawk-Rochelle high school football game at Johnsburg High.  It was an absolute beautiful night for a football game.  During the fall, if the weather cooperates, there are few places I'd rather be than at a high school football game.  You get all the fun of a college or pro game without all the hassles and prices.

Johnsburg High is two miles directly south of our house, but kids from out subdivision go to Richmond-Burton High School (as does a WHOLE LOT of my money, about $3300 a year).  We hang out a lot in Johnsburg theses days.  But I will pull for Johnsburg and game they play except Richmond-Burton.  Have to pull for my money.

As a matter of fact, I am about to leave for Richmond-Burton High School for the big rivalry game with Johnsburg.

Johnsburg beat Rochelle (which is west of DeKalb, Illinois).

Football Tonight.  --RoadBall

Thursday, September 12, 2019

9-11 Disease Deaths Grow

Continued from my Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy blog today.  It started in my Saw the Elephant: Civil War blog today.

**  One FBI agent was reported killed on September 11, 2001.  As of this August, the FBI reports a death toll of 15 from cancers linked to toxic exposure in the subsequent investigation and cleanup.

Some 90,000 people have reported exposure to toxic chemicals--  asbestos, burning jet fuel, burning computer parts, pulverized concrete and a myriad of other substances.

Significantly higher rates of blood cancers, and now kidney cancer are being diagnosed among First Responders.

"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)?"-- Part 7

This was supposed to have been posted yesterday, but we lost internet connection.  Every year, now, I remember 9-11 in all my blogs.

This song sums it all up for me, well, and also Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue."


And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love.

Where were you  when the world stopped turning on that September day?


Like I said, pretty well sums it up for me.

For the complete song, see my seven blog posts from yesterday and today.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 2: A Football Time With Da Bears and Packers Rivalry

Recounting a week in the life.


As usual, enjoyed the FP and OD and fed the chipmunks.

We went to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin,  where we got a room behind the bar where we spent the night.  That way we could watch Da Bears and Da Pack open the NFL season at Soldier Field and not have to worry about driving home.

There was a lot of hoopla and the highlight was when the 1985, Super Bowl XX Bears came out on the field before the game.  That had the Bears fans in the bar standing and cheering.  But, Donovan's is just about three miles north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border, so that means the crowd is going to be about half Bear and half Packer.  There is a bar about ten miles from Donovan's which is called the Packer Inn.  Plus, Donovan's is about six miles from K.C.'s Cabin where a Packer fan was once duct taped to the stop sign.

Well, at least the Bears were able to score a field goal after that horrendous double-doink ended our season last year.  That was the offensive highlight for us.  Our defense played well, other than that four play Packer TD drive.  We lost 10-3.

However, both Liz and I got flagged.  During Bears and Packers games, the bars has "Flags."  On entering, you sign a ticker and every time there is a flag on the field, a ticket is drawn and that person gets to drink for free until the next flag and another ticker drawn.  However, you are guaranteed one drink, so as often happens there is another quick file and another ticket drawn.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Why Go Anywhere Else?-- Part 1: Pizza, Gyros, Bars and Movies

I often get asked why we don't go off on vacation during the summer.  Why should I go elsewhere when there is so much to do around here (and for a lot cheaper than those summer prices).

This past week:


Lots of bands playing in bars in the Chain of Lakes area because of Labor Day, but we instead got together with Kevin and Kelly at J's in Ingleside, Illinois, for half price pizza (BLT) and $1.50 draft pints.  We also played NTN trivia and placed three times in the top twenty places in the country.


Movie Day.  I saw "Angel Has Fallen" and "Hobbs & Shaw" for $5 each at the Fox Lake Theatre.  Also had a gyro dinner at Billy's in Spring Grove.


Went to Sunnyside Tavern in Johnsburg for a drink, picked up Rocky and drove to the McHenry American Legion for the afternoon.  Returned to Sunnyside.

Why Go Anywhere Else?  --RoadDog

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bear Down Chicago Bears

If you come to Chicago or its environs around this time of the year, there is the possibility that you just might hear this song, especially if you get around a bar or sports gathering.  And, even though things did not go well for us last night, it is still one great (and easy to sing) fight song.  We lost 10-3.

It is none other than "Bear Down, Chicago Bears."

The fight song was introduced in 1941 and written by Jerry Downs, who was actually Al Hoffman, who also wrote  many other songs, including "Mairzy Doats."  This was during the early stages of Da Bears' "Monsters of the Midway" era.    It was also the year Da Bears defeated  the Washington Redskins in a resounding 73-0 in the league championship game.

Hoffman, however, has little connection with Chicago or the Bears.  He was born in Russia in 1902 and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1908 and lived in Seattle until he moved to New York City in the 1920s and got into song writing.  He wrote songs for Disney's original "Cinderella" cartoon, including "Bibbidi, Bobbidi Boo" and "The Work Song."

At home games, a version recorded in 1993 by Bill Archer and the Big Bear Band is played every time Da Bears score.

When our old Usual Suspects are together at the Squaw Bar in Ingleside, Illinois, we sing this song whenever the Bears win, which hasn't been often lately until last year.

So Bear Down Chicago Bears.  --RoadBear


Thursday, September 5, 2019

The 1919 U.S. Army Transcontinental Convoy-- Part 1: Test Equipment and Find Out State of U.S. Roads

From the August 12, 2019, Clinton, Iowa, Chamber of Commerce news release.

The 2019 MVPA is covering much the same roadage that the 1919 one did.

In 1919, the U.S. Army decided to  plan and execute  a motor convoy of various vehicles across the country, mostly on the newly formed Lincoln Highway (it was no where close to being paved all the way).

They started at the White House in Washington, D.C. and ended in Lincoln Park in San Francisco.  They covered some 3,200 miles in 62 days.  It was the first  motor transport convoy to ever attempt that.

The Convoy had the following objectives:

1.  Put the equipment through  as grueling of a trial as could be devised.

2.  Study how the varying road conditions affected each branch of the service.

3.  A transcontinental recruiting drive for the Army.

4.  Demonstrate the need for good rads.

5.  And the unwritten  objective was  to say "Thanks" to the American people for their support during WW I.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

2019 MVPA Transcontinental Convoy-- Part 3: The 1919 Convoy and Thanks to Our Veterans

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) Convoy welcomes the public to witness this historic trip across the United States by coming out to meet it at the various stops and/or just enjoy it as it passes by.  We sure did enjoy part of it that we saw while driving on the Lincoln Highway in Clinton, Iowa.

As the Convoy passes through the cities and towns of the Lincoln Highway, the MVPA intends, with the cooperation of the Lincoln Highway Association, to draw attention to this early road system.

Additionally, the MVPA will present both the historical significance of the original 1919 Convoy and the historical significance of  the military vehicles present  on the 2019 Convoy.  Finally, as the 2019 Convoy passes through the many towns along the route, the MVPA will take every opportunity to also say "thanks" yo out veterans in a most patriotic way.

Sure Glad We Got to see Some of It.  --RoadVoy

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

2019 MVPA Transcontinental Convoy-- Part 2: That's A Long Way

The convoy will follow the original Lincoln Highway as much as possible.  The old road crosses all of or part of eleven states going to San Francisco and the convoy will be joining it at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  The route begins in the lowlands of  of the eastern seaboard,  traverses the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, travels the lush farmlands of the Midwest, crosses the high plains,  dips into the Great Salt Lake Basin in Utah, crosses the Nevada Desert, climbs the Sierra Nevada and descends into Lake Tahoe, and ends up in the splendor of California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

This is a convoy of historic military vehicles of all eras, from World War II to current.  The vehicle roster making the trip includes cargo trucks, through to Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycles, staff cars, jeeps,  to later model  M913 5-ton cargo trucks.  The Convoys' many daily stopping spots include many of the same ones used by the historic 1919 Convoy.


Monday, September 2, 2019

About That 2019 MPVA Transcontinental Motor Convoy-- Part 1

From the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) site.

The MVPA will be conducting a 100th anniversary convoy across the United States in 2019 with as many as 90 military vehicles  retracing the original 1919  U.S. Army  Transcontinental Convoy route- much of it along the famed Lincoln Highway.

It will launch from Washington, D.C. on 11 August and arrive in San Francisco, CA. some 37 days later on September 14.  One of the highlights of it will be departing  from the MVPA 44th Annual International Convention in York, PA on August 10.

We are expecting over 50 historic vehicles to make the entire 3,200 mile run with over fifty others joining for parts of it.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Some of the Upcoming MVPA Stops in 2019 Motor Convoy

They were in Clinton, Iowa, on August 22 and are following the Lincoln Highway, as did the 1919 U.S. Army Convoy.

AUGUST 31--  Laramie, Wyoming

September 2--  Rowling, Wyoming

September 5--  Tooele, Utah

September 9--  Austin, Nevada

September 12--  Fallon, Nevada

September 14--  Stockton, California

September 15--  USS Hornet Museum   Alameda, California    End of the convoy.


MVPA 2019 Transcontinental Motor Convoy Stops At Clinton, Iowa

I wish I had seen this ahead of time instead of today.  We went to Clinton, Iowa, arriving on August 22 and caught the tail end of the convoy as it headed out west of the city.

From the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce.  News release from August 12, 2019.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association will be conducting a transcontinental motor convoy that will be stopping in Clinton, IA,  on August 22.

They will be parked up on the riverfront between the Clinton Riverview Pool and the NelsonCorp Baseball Field from 2p-3:30p.

Come check out as many as 70 historic military vehicles as they retrace  the route of the original 1919 U.S. Army's Transcontinental Motor Convoy.

Like I Said, I Wish I Had Seen This Ahead Of Time.  I Sure Would Have Been There In Time.  --RoadDog