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

Starfire

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About Starfire

  • Rank
    Day Tripper
  • Birthday 12/30/1941

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Weimar, Texas
  • Interests
    Restoring vintage automobiles (we have a total of eight at present), collecting maps, road atlases, and recordings from the 1940's through the early 1970's. And of course re-visiting all the great old two lane highways that stretch across America.
  1. Anyone know how well the old Chain of Rocks bridge may be fairing with the current flood. That old gal has survived many floods but sooner or later the rip-rap around the supports in the river is going to play out and the old girl will go into the river. I don't guess anyone would dispute the fact a bridge with a curve in the middle of it was not the best idea, but I'd sure hate to see it go down.
  2. The good or sad fact, depending upon one's viewpoint, is if your present vehicle is getting 25-30 mpg there is no possible way to save enough on fuel cost to justify buying something new that may get 5-10 more miles per gallon unless gasoline costs get into the $6-$7 per gallon range. Owning all the vehicles I have outright, a new anything would have to almost be producing fuel for me to justify forking out $20,000 to $40,000 cash for something marginally more fuel efficient. If one has a lousy 15 mpg vehicle they could easily drive seven years on what it would cost to buy a newer more efficient vehicle, assuming a typical annual number of miles. That's why I don't cringe when I fire up one of my 1950's or 1960's gas hog cars to go for a weekend trip. (nothing like taking a 1950s-60s car down the old two lanes... ) It is a fact that rising fuel costs are or will affect virtually everything we buy. It is also a fact inflation could start running rampant, but that is a political type subject best cussed or discussed in other forums.
  3. We are all concerned about rising fuel prices, but even with a roughly $1.30 per gallon difference in the price of gasoline verses last year it's still not the end of the world. Do the math! If you do a 500 mile round trip now it will only cost you around $40 more this year than last if your vehicle averages 20-21 mpg. Yeah, $40 is $40 but unless you are on a really tight fixed income there are probably a lot of frivolous things that can be cutout in order to keep on the road. As I sit typing this, I can think of roughly $100 in frivolous monthly expenditures I can certainly live without. If I can figure out a way to legally cut the IRS out, I can add around 8,000 miles per month to the driving budget.....
  4. Like most or all of the "named trails" the OST was not a Federal effort. I've got to eat a bit of crow here. For a nine year period Texas Highway 27, which the OST followed going West from San Antonio, was designated as U.S. 290 according to TxDot. In 1935 U.S. 290's route changed dramatically linking to U.S. 90 in Houston and running Westward through Austin, Fredericksburg, and Junction then to an intersection with U.S. 80 some fifteen or so miles East of Van Horn, Texas. Jim
  5. Jeff, I'm presently working on organizing photos along the OST from Columbus, Texas to Seguin, Texas. Have far too many to just upload without reducing down to the more important. The small communities along that stretch of the OST have done such a great job in saving so many things along the route it's hard not to get too many photos. Jim
  6. Starfire

    Artifacts To Go To Winners On The Hypotenuse Trail

    Yup, people in rural America are still genuine and usually most eager to strike up a conversation with a passing stranger. And as you know, it is very, very unlikely anyone would get mugged. Unlike "City" people most who live in rural America are not glued to their TV. We don't have the time for one thing, though we might have access to 500 channels via Satellite. For another we still have meaningful conversations with the folks sitting at the table next to us in the local diners. The conversations will be about the weather, the last sale at the auction barn, how the fishing was last weekend, a mountain lion being seen roaming the area, and sometimes about how the rest of the world is going to hell. Out here in the boonies we can still leave home without locking the doors and walk around outside at mid-night without fear of somebody jumping us in the dark. On the other hand, if you are lurking around in the dark at mid-night on someone's property uninvited you might just go home in a body bag, if the dogs don't run you off first. Believe it or not, from time to time we still have problems with cattle rustling and horse theft right here in the 21st Century. So if your not a cattle rustler or horse thief, Y'all come see us, you'll be glad you did!
  7. Starfire

    Artifacts To Go To Winners On The Hypotenuse Trail

    What you seem to have discovered that once one gets away from the major metropolitan areas America is still alive and well and some of the photos you have already posted proves it. But, don't let that lull you or anyone into thinking things are as they were fifty years ago even in rural America. We live over 80 miles from any major population center in a county almost as large as Rhode Island, but with only 25 or so thousand people, and we still have drug problems which of course creates petty theft and burglary problems. While our problems are small compared to a New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Houston, or Dallas, rural America is no longer fully insulated from some of the same problems as it once was. Jim
  8. Starfire

    Road Celebraton Events

    I should have made my question a bit more clear. Being a vintage car nut as well as a two lane highway nut I view the preservation of the old two lanes as being directly related to people touring them. Many "motoring" hobbyist, whether automobile, RV, or motorcyclist have club events which include touring a specific route as a group. The Route 66 Fun Run has taken that idea to a different level in making it a multiple community related thing rather than a club related thing. I see this same concept as being something to save the old roads through a general public awareness. In a way I was more or less hoping to find some among the participants here having an interest in the partaking of such events. More particularly as one who lives on the OST I would like to develop a public interest in the OST as has developed with Route 66. As some can attest there are many great things to see and do along the OST. Many quite historical in nature others of more modern times. The OST is rather unique among the old two lane highways as there are still many, many miles of the original alignment remaining in daily use in various parts of the country. I some cases even the original pavement is still in use. It would be a mistake to let this historic resource go by the wayside and I see an annual touring event or events for the public in general along the OST as one way of saving what remains before the Urban Planners and highway engineers make a total mess out of it as has happened with so many of our two lane treasures. Jim
  9. Anybody seen a Toddle House or Dobbs House recently? They were both parts of airline catering companies and were quite common around the major cities of the country in the 1960s and 1970s. There was also a string of diners call "The Pit." They were appropriately named as they were all the "pits." A bit like about half the Waffle Houses. Burger Chef? I remember those but weren't they purchased by Burger King back in the 1970s? Dang, almost forgot about Minnie Pearl's Fried Chicken. Nice places, but as I recall the major investors and Minnie got all crosswise with one another and the whole thing blew up. Sambo's.....remember the big racial flap over the story of "Little Black Sambo" that put them out of business? I think the original Sambo's is still in business in the L.A. area. Glad to see Hardees is still around I always thought they were a notch above the other burger chains.
  10. Thought it would be neat to revive this thread. Bob's Big Boy and other "Big Boy" restaurants have obviously shrunken to near oblivion. It was a peculiar approach to franchising with each franchise store having the same floor plan, same basic sign. Well not exactly the same. The sign was setup for a three letter name so if your name was Mortimer you'd have to find anther name to use. In Texas the Big Boy Restaurants were known as "Kips Big Boy." No one knows if there really ever was anyone named KIP. I think they are all gone now. Then there was the Nickerson Farms combination of a Stuckey's, I-HOP, and gas station. Neat looking places but as I recall the chain died in it's first ten years. Know where there are buildings just sitting, but haven't seen an operational one for years. If you are in Oklahoma or the Northern portions of Texas there is a neat chain of stores named Braums. One of the last "fast food" operations where you get a shake or malt made the old fashioned way with real ice cream. But then what should you expect? Braum's is the largest dairy operation in the State of Oklahoma. Braums stores are a bit unique being part fast food operation, part convenience store where you can buy milk, eggs, bread, ice cream, etc.; but no alcohol. It's strictly an old fashioned family store. Haven't seen anyone mention the old "Tastee Freeze" drive-up places. Pretty much a no frills basic burgers and malts from soft serve ice cream operation. And is Hardies still alive anywhere? Seems they tried a comeback several years ago and then died again.
  11. Starfire

    Farewell To The Diner

    Let's hope for all that enjoy this diner it will be able to make it with the new owner. So many times a place like this closes for a few weeks or months and re-opens only to shortly close again forever. It's really hard to re-establish a business once it has closed. As for the time it will take for someone to "snatch" up the property, given how things are today economically I wouldn't get into a panic about someone snatching it up and putting a bulldozer to it. I know of a property at a prime intersection which was a barely five year old Super K-Mart when K-Mart declared bankruptcy. It was among the stores that were closed. Everybody figured various chain retailers would snatch it up, but now around 8 years later it's still sitting there with no occupant. Something to think about......... Forty years from now our grandchildren will probably be lamenting the closure of a Burger King, McDonald's, or Starbucks because a classy neon lit diner just opened in the next block. I hope I live long enough to see it happening........
  12. Starfire

    042108 Eureka Springs & Hot Springs, Ar On The Hypotenuse Trail

    Yeah, but are they wearing shoes?
  13. Starfire

    Toyota Recalls

    Is it possible this recall is directly related to the 2007 Anheuser-Bush recall of potentially defective Bud Lite cans........
  14. Starfire

    041808 Along The Gulf Coast On The Hypotenuse

    And I though I was cheap.............
  15. Starfire

    The Final Push Is On!

    I'm trading the lawn tractor in on four sheep. (not a real well accepted idea in cattle country, sheep that is) We keep about 6 acres around the house mowed and I think the sheep will do quite nicely........ When you live 9 miles from civilization as we do it's a no brainer to minimize trips to town, we've always been compelled to keep the trips down to two or three a week. Just takes a bit of planning ahead and buying what you need for several days at a time.
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