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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Alex Burr - hester_nec

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Everything posted by Alex Burr - hester_nec

  1. Speaking of cold war and other interesting sites during WWII the govm't built watch towers all along the east coast These towers stood somewhere between 50 and 75 feet in height and were manned primarily by civilian volunteers, according to one web site I found on the subject I think most all have been demolished by now but as kids, in the '50s we had great fun climbing the towers and pretending we were on the lookout for Russian subs. During the '50s these towers were replaced and placed somewhat inland by wooden towers about 25 or 30 feet high. These were also manned by voluteers and known as the Ground Observer Corps and used mostly to cover gaps in our radar coverage watching for enemy airplanes. I did a stint for a time around 1952, 1953. Someone in their madness put our tower right beside the Maine Turnpike - some times it was a bit difficult to tell the sound of an airplane and an 18-wheeler going down the pike. When we heard an aircraft we phoned a central station (ours was in Manchester, NH) and reported "Aircraft Flash" and so on. Interesting time to say the least. It wasn't like today - you'd never get off the phone reporting aircraft today there are so many in the air. I also remember the "duck and cover" drills in school - later when I went in the military and sat thru a few motion pictures of atomic blasts and their effect on buildings the thought occured to me that "duck and cover" was just a quick way to get down on the floor because you were going to wind up there with most of the building on top of you anyway. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  2. Talk about bringing back memories. Back in the late 40's, early 50's, long before interstates, we would drive from southern Maine out to the Dayton, OH, area to visit friends and relatives. Maine Turnpike to Kittery, U S 1 thru NH, down the Newburyport Turnpike (2-lanes and still is today - or at least it was) into Boston. Then it was U S 20 to Sturbridge, MA to Route 15 down to Hartford, CT and the Berlin Turnpike to the Merritt Parkway into New York. We took 22 west out of New York thru Easton and Allentown to Harrisburg where we picked up that wonder of the ages (at least to a 12 year old) the Pennsy - the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I waited most of the day to see this wonder and knowing Dad would "let the old girl romp" to see what that 12 year old 1937 Chrysler would do - he never got much over 75 then would drop back to 60 saying "that's fast enough". We spent the night in New Stanton - a far, far cry from todays New Stanton. Just a sleeply little cross-road. And you know - it took us 12 hours to New Stanton - I've driven it over the interstates in recent years - and it STILL takes 12 hours!!! And if you take a motel it's hard to get to sleep with all the big trucks rumbling thru. We went somehow or other over to U S 40 to Dayton. I've driven the Interstate in PA that replaced 22 - but what I can see of it these days bears no resemblance nor can I find anything I remember from those far away days - same with 40 and I've driven that from Wheeling to Indianapolis in recent years. Just a dim memory some 60 years later. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  3. Another great transcontinental trip book is "By Motor to the Golden Gate" - an account of a cross-country jaunt in 1915 from New York City to San Francisco. This trip, also, went across New York on what would later be U S 20, or close to it. Oh, the participants in this trip - Alice Beadleston, Edwin Post and, believe it or not, Edwins mother, Emily Post. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  4. Using what is now U S 20 across New York was quite common for Transcontinental drives. Hudson, in 1916 used that route coming to New York from San Francisco - and again going back to Frisco. Ditto the 1920 (or 1921) transcontinental Essex mail run with 2 cars coming east and 2 headed west. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  5. I had several blue books, along with AAA guides from 1940 or so back and even some ALA green cover books from the 20's and 30's. As Keep says the most common are the northeast - in my experience the hardest to find were for the southeast. I did find some, but it took me a while. I've since passed my collection on to another roady whom I know will enjoy them. I also didn't buy for collectable - but to be used and used they were!!!!! Especially around this area hunting out old U S 51 and 61 early routings. Most of my stuff was in well used condition when I got them - it didn't matter to me because as I say I bought them to use. An interesting aside was one time I bought just the map that usually goes with the book - I forget what year it was for but it had the names that were assigned in the early days - like Dixie Highway, Mississippi Valley Route and so on. It appeared to fit one of the tour books I had - I'm pretty sure it was one of the blue books. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  6. I get the same info as Road Scholar, Hudsonly Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  7. I echo everyone's greetings. We have a white Christmas in Memphis - tho it came upon a day late!!!! The natives are near panic but we only got around an inch - at least in my back yard. If Memphis gets 2 inches it's a disaster of epic proportions!!!! Being from the great ice box state of Maine an inch to me is a dusting. When the roads get icy it's a hoot to watch drivers trying to cope with it - I got smart early in life. I just stay home until the ice melts. When the dachsund disappears in the back year, I'll start worrying. Everybody have a safe, prosperous and peaceful New Year Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  8. I loved the outfits - the styles of the day. Long skirts for the ladies and short pants and knee stockings for the lads. Time, and styles, have sure changed over the years. I have a repro copy of a 1903 Sears catalog - could buy everything from clothes to guns to houses back then. The clothing styles are really something to see. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  9. No problems in Memphis - yet!! Hudsonly, Alex B Memphis, TN
  10. What Dave said, Denny - great book review. You could make a living writing book reviews. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  11. Found this tid bit in the Memphis, TN, news section on the internet this morning. Not sure just how this relates - it appears that 1937 was the year that U S 51 was finished all the way. 75 years ago: 1937 Jackson, Miss. — Detour signs will be torn down in Mississippi tomorrow on Highway 51 — the Great Lakes, via Memphis. To the Gulf Coast route — and Governor White and a 60-car caravan will blaze a trail for tourists to Mississippi's "American Riviera." Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  12. As a transplanted yankee redneck I will wish everybody Happy Holidays and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! There - I've said those dreaded non-politically correct two words and I'm not one bit sorry!!! Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  13. I also love reading your blog. Your posts about the concrete spurred my memory.a bit. Back in Maine where I used to live near Route 1 the simply paved over the old concrete road. I remember a friend of mine who worked for the water company telling me they hated to have to dig up the old concrete roadbed. Everything went fine thru the asphalt; when they got to the concrete he told me it was like trying to hammer thru solid granite. They made them old roads to last back in the day. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  14. Which 1986 MC model did you have? SC, LS or SS? I can't remember which model I had - but I'm thinking the LS. Had the removeable glass roof - I had the panels out once. Would never buy one of those again - to much worry about the glass panels getting broken and then what do you do if your in a hurricane 500 miles from a garage!!!! Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  15. Was stationed at the Chatham Coast Guard station back in the 70's. Most of these scenes are familiar to me. Thanks for the memory trip. Alex Burr
  16. Knightfan - only 4 things in this world worth spit; Older whiskey, younger wimmen, faster cars (Monte Carlo???), and more money. You got those and you wake up breathing in the morning you got it all. I had a Monte - 1986 model. Had a 305 that turned out to have a few goodies done to it somewhere along the line. Fellow I sold it to told me with the modifications done to the engine he had it tested out to around 200 hp. But what do I know. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  17. Again, I think the 1916 Hudson west to east thence east to west in 10 days probably followed some of the route you've traced out. The Hudson run was from Frisco to New York and back. Some of, particularly thru New York to Chicago most likely followed what eventually became U S 20. Great report - I like reports that put the reader in the passenger seat (however, if you get stuck somewhere I ain't digging!!!! Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  18. I'm old enough to remember when some of those early tourist courts were new!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or nearly so. Still, a world of difference between the late '40's/early 50's when my folks took me and my sister to Ohio from Maine to visit friends and relatives in the Dayton, OH, area several times. Dad was adamant - we were on the road out of southern Maine by 6am - no arguments!!! 12 hours later we stopped at a motel of sorts in New Stanton, PA for the night after a trip down that wonder of wonders (at least to a 10 year old) - the Pennsylvania Turnpike (had 7 tunnels back then). New Stanton, today, is a long, long way from what it was back in those days. And you want to know something - it still takes 12 hours to get New Stanton traveling on the interstates!!!! Thanks for the report and the great pictures. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  19. Great trip report and great pictures. Your pictures immediately took me back nearly 65 years to October 1947 when I lived thru the big fires in southern Maine. It was a scary time and tho much destroyed, a lot was saved simply by a wind shift. Some people were stubborn and refused to leave their homes - if they stayed they saved the house with no more than a garden hose and if the water pressure failed there were buckets of water and a broom. 65 years later it's a vivid memory and reports such as your road trip bring it back, vividly and emotionally. Perhaps on the upside it was exciting for a 10 year old to see the fire trucks rumbling thru town and big tractor trailer tankers hauling water to the fire lines - no fire bombing airplanes or choppers in those far away days. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  20. Contrary to popular rumor I was not around to vote for Teddy Roosevelt. However, consider the following: I was born when the DC-3 was just becoming THE passenger airplane and I saw man walk on the moon; I listened to Jack Armstrong, Terry and the Pirates, etc on radio and got to see moving images on a screen called TV; I grew up in the era BIS (before Interstates) and I've seen the great mess called the interstate highway system grow to what it is today: I have seen 13 presidents - 1 died in office, 1 was assassinated, 1 was forced to resign - and the current is black, something that was unthinkable in the era I grew up in: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; I got to see Halley's comet - as did my dad (tho he didn't remember it being only a year old); I have seen small towns wither and die - many due to the interstate highway system; I have seen the mom & pop stores buried under the conglomerate stores; I have seen the corner grocer adding up the bill for groceries on the bag to computers running (or is that ruining) our lives; I have seen this country slowly dying as all great nations must - my kids don't have life as good as I did and my grandkids won't have the life style I had growing up: I have seen a time when it was safe for the kids to play outside all day (after school) and into the early evening when we caught fireflys; I've married and divorced twice - and my first ex-wife has left this earth. I have seen much in the 75 years I've been running around agitating people, most of it good (maybe), but much not so good. The way things are today I'm not really sure I'd like to stick around for the next 75 years, thank you. But to all that wished me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY I thank you and wish all of you well and safe travels. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  21. Really enjoy your road trip reports - if your server ever ups and dies on you I got your road trips back 5 or so years in a Denny G folder in my email. PIctures are great too. Also great is the chance to get to sit down and talk roadie over a cup of coffee off and on when you're in Memphis. Safe Travels. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  22. Thanks for the info, guys. I really should check this forum when I post a request for something. Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
  23. In 2014 my car club, the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club, in hosting it's annual International meet at the French Lick Springs resort - @ $139 a night. Add taxes to that and I would suspect thier restaurant food prices are in line with the room rate. A lot expensive for us po' folk!!!! Somebody had to have a moment of insanity to book us there. So, my question for all you rolling roadies out there what other accomodations might be available, say in a 25 mile circle (closer would be better), that offer accomodations in the $50 to $100 range, maybe $75 to $110 would be better to search for. I'd also like to know about reasonable eating places - we just held our 2012 meet in Gettysburg at a Wyndham hotel at $139 a night. Even tho I had a room-share $80 (including taxes - daily) a night was close to the edge for me. Word got out quick that we didn't have to buy $15 hamburgers at the hotel resturant - if you're ever in Gettysburg have your meals at the Gettysburg Family Resturant - great food at prices under $15. I've checked out a couple places within 25 or 30 miles, rates in those venues run $55 to $140 - it looks like to me all these motels are trying to keep up with French Lick. I will be eternally greateful for any information you may be able to provide. Thank you Hudsonly, Alex Burr Memphis, TN
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