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


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Posts posted by RoadDog

  1. In case anyone gives up on the songs, you can find the complete list at




    Go to the left side an click on Rock and Roll Roots and pick May 27.


    By the way, while visiting the site, I saw that June 1, 1967 was the release of the Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album and the Drive will feature it tomorrow. Also Bob Stroud is going to do a Sgt. Pepper's" Time Warp on Sunday from 7 to 10 AM.


    Just thought you might want to know.


    Keep Rockin' Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  2. Great account of this fun day. You didn't mention the near catastrophe with the beagle. All I can say is that Denny's Vette has great brakes.


    I'm up for a Hot Brown again. When gas prices come down, I plan to take another drive through this area and hit some more bourbon places. I couldn't believe the $45 and $56 prices for a fifth of bourbon at Heaven Hill. A bit too much for me. Hell, I can't even hardly afford gas anymore.

  3. One of my favorite Chicago stations is Wdrv, the Drive, 97.1 FM, which plays classic rock. Their midday guy is Bob Stroud. He does a great Sunday special called Rock and Roll Roots from 7 to 10 AM. He always has a theme. By the way, the station streams live on the internet so you might want to give a listen.


    This past Sunday's theme was Used Car Lot. Along with some great old car commercials, including "see the USA in your ______" there was some great music.


    Hot Rod _____

    M________-Chuck Berry

    Little Old Lady from ______

    Low _____

    Back Seat of My Car- Paul McCartney

    Uneasy _____

    Ol' ____- Eagles

    Gasoline ____

    Custom Machine- Beach Boys

    ______ to Your Heart

    ______ Sally

    Cadillac- New ______ Six

    Drive My ____- Beatles

    _______ Wants Me (Lord I Can't Go Back There)

    Lake ___ Drive

    Crosstown _____

    Baby _____-Simon & Garfunkel

    _____ City- Jan & Dean

    ______ Benz- Goosecreek Symphony

    Radar ____- Golden ______

    Fun ___ ____- Beach Boys

    Get Your ___ __ ___ ____

    Let it ____ BTO

    Little ____- Ronny & the Daytonas

    Let Me Be Your Car- Rod Stewart

    No ______ Place to Go

    In the ____ Seat- Sniff & Tears

    Cruisin'- Jefferson Starship

    Vehicle- ____ of ______

    Mercury Blues- Steve Miller Band

    Little _____ Rip Chords

    Chevy ___

    Rockin' Down the _____- Doobie Brothers

    Shut ____- Beach Boys

    Sweet _______- CCR

    Take the _____- Marshall _______

    Traffic ___- James Taylor

    Going _____- Who


    As you can see, that was an excellent show for us road folk. How many can you guess?


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  4. DR. ROBERT F. BETZ 1923-2007


    Friend of Illinois Prairies


    Dr. Robert F. Betz, of Clarendon Hills, died April 5, 2007. Throughout his life, he had a passion for prairies. When he found out in 1975 that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia was looking for ideas as to what to do with the thousands of acres it owned, Dr. Betz immediately had an idea. That same year, 10 acres were cultivated into a prairie. Today, the Robert F. Betz Prairie has grown to bearly 1200 acres and is home to hundreds of native prairie plants.


    He was born and raised in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood and graduated from De La Salle High School. He attended IIT but left to fight in WWII. He graduated from IIT after the war and became a professor at Northeastern University in 1961 where he taught biology until his retirement in 1991.


    No doubt, his efforts and success with prairies has led to IDOT making prairies along Illinois highways as well as Midewin Tallgrass Pririe on the site of the old Joliet Arsenal on Route 66.

  5. WGN-TV is running a special segment every Thursday on the 9 PM news, CDT, where reporter Julian Crews( good name) takes a cruise to some interesting Illinois site. So far, he's been to Springfield, Route 66, and last week to Peoria. This Thursday, he goes to the Quad Cities.


    I imagine, people can get WGN all over the country, but you can also go to




    and click on cruising Illinois off to the right side. They have all the shows archived as well as segments they didn't air. You can also get an extensive list of must-have road songs for the trip.


    There is a spot for comments and suggestions. I've been pushing for a segment on the Lincoln Highway.


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  6. The Chicago Tribune ran an article "A Look at Arizona, from A to Z" by Gary A. Warner on May 6th. Thought you might find some of the results interesting. Each one had a paragraph.


    A- Apache

    B- Ballooning

    C- Colorado Rover

    D- Davis-Monthan- boneyard facility where military sends its old aircraft- 4200 there now

    E- Earp- as in Wyatt and OK

    F- Flagstaff

    G- Glendale- Cactus League baseball

    H- Hubbell Trading Post- looks like it did back when

    I- Interstates- recommend getting off I-40 to go on Rt 66

    J- Jack Rabbit Trading Post- great old Route 66 tourist trap

    K- Kartchner Caverns- 200,000 years old- discovered 1974- kept secret until 1988

    L- Lowell Observatory- Pluto, the ex- discovered here in 1930

    M- Mesas

    N- North Rim- of guess what?

    O- Oatman- where else to feed the burros and see gunfights and one hell of a ride

    P- Pizzeria Blanco- NY Times calls it pizza nirvana

    Q- Quartzsite- rockhunting, rock shows, chili cookoff, bluegrass festival

    R- Rafting----WHAT, no Route 66!!!!

    S- Skywalk- wwhheeee!!!!

    T- Trains- Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Grand Canyon Railroad

    U- Unit, Big- guess they had a hard time coming up with this one

    V- Valley Ho Hotel- retro cool, built 1946, $500 a night- don't think I'll be staying

    W- Window Rock- administrative center for the Navajo Nation

    X- X-Diamond Ranch- low-key dude ranch

    Y- Yavapai County- home of Arcosanti- architecture-ecology experiment to create alternative living places

    Z- Zagat- pollsters who rated Pizzeria Blanco


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  7. WARREN AVIS- 1915-2007


    Founded Avis Rent A Car


    Warren Avis died April 24, 2007 at the age of 92 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was a decorated Army Air Corps bomber pilot during WWII.


    He said he had gotten the idea of the car rental business while still a pilot and he often found that he couldn't find ground transportation once he arrived in airports. In 1946, he started Avis Rent A Car at airports in Miami and Ypsilanti, Michigan, with an investment of $85,000, two employees and fewer than 200 cars. It grew to be the nation's largest car rental company until it was overtaken by Hertz. He sold his interest in the company in 1954 for $8 million.


    He stayed busy in the years after it. He headed Avis Enterprises, Avis Sports, and there is still a Ford dealership in Southfield, Mi., that bears his name.


    So, the next time you're in an airport and rent a car, you have Warren Avis to thank.

  8. Sorry to hear of Skip's passing. His Missouri Route 66 tour book made our trip across the state that much more enjoyable.




    Here's Skip's obit as received from Tommy and Glenda Pike of Springfield, MO....Bliss

    C.H. Skip Curtis


    Skip Curtis died April 21, 2007, of cancer at the age of 63 at Old No.3.


    Skip was born November 22, 1943, in Springfield, Missouri, the son of EC and Eula Mae (Sence) Curtis. He attended Drury University and Missouri State University in Springfield, and Washington University in St. Louis.





    Owner of the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia in Elizabethtown, Ky.


    One of the stops on our recent Dixie Tour was this excellent museum in Elizabethtown. This traces the whole history of Coke and its advertising and is well worth the $5 admission. We were saddened to hear that the founder and owner had just died on April 4, 2007, just one year after seeing his dreams come to be at the museum. He was 79.


    He was a native of Hardin County and a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as a pilot during the Korean War.


    He was the owner of Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Elizabethtown.

  9. The Gilroy, Ca., Dispatch reports that a stretch of 115 Deodar cedar trees and 20 oaks along a 1.39 mile stretch of the Hecker Pass Highway has been ok'd by the California State Historical Resources Commission to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Of course, listing won't prevent demolition, but it will make it more difficult.


    These trees were planted on National Arbor Days in 1930 and 1931. Twenty-four were saved last year when a debate was held about the widening of the road to accomodate hundreds of new homes being built in the area. Four are still in danger.


    I'm not sure where Gilroy is, but I always really enjoy driving along a stretch of road with trees on either side and especially when they form a natural canopy.



    Article title (also a photo from the air) "Heckler Trees Deserve Historical Designation, Commission" by Serdar Tumgoren



    Keep up the Good Work, Gilroy!!! --RoadDog



    I arrived at the Wigwam Village on Friday and went into the office/gift shop to get my room, er, teepee. I was a bit taken aback when the clerk said it would be one hundred eighty for the two nights. Hey, that's a bit too classy for me. I said, "What?" and we eventually determined that she meant $100.80. That was better.


    Kent and Mary Sue Sandersen were there already and had occupied the local pavillion in the name and honor of the American Road. They had a fire going in the bbq and the table laid out with the fixins for a mini feast. It was at this time I found out that the county was dry and I had not a drop with me. I had to see for myself, and a drive around convinced me it was true. I did get some snacks and some, sorry Baby Boomer Bob, some double banana Moon Pies!! He is of the opinion that to eat anything other than the chocolate Moon Pie ranks on the verge of sacrilege. At this time, I was hoping that someone would be there a little more prepared than I.


    When I returned, Denny Gibson, Bob and Susan Reynolds, and some folks in a wonderful old Corvair were there. Of course, they would be Jennifer and Pat Bremer.


    I was glad to see that the Wigwam Village had a full house on both nights. People must really want to spend a night in those teepees. Last fall, on our end-to-end Route 66 trip, my wife and I had arrived too early to stop at the other two. I was looking forward to this.


    Good ol' Denny had brought along his personal preference in the bourbon category and I was able to avail myself of some of its contents. We feasted on an ample supply of Ballpark franks and burgers with some great chow-chow sauce. Denny had also brought along some of that great American elixir called Moxie from Cincinnati. He had the original, cream soda, orange cream, and blue cream. I'd heard of this before, but never had any. Denny warned that some of us might not care for it, but it tasted mighty good to me. He also had some Christian Moerlein minibrew beers with him. Good stuff as well.


    Day 2, the cruise, will be coming up.


    Keep on Down that two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  11. Appreciate your efforts on the newletter. Always look forward to reading it.


    We had the opportunity a few years back of stopping in Van Wert, Ohio, at the Balyeat's, or Baly- eats as I first thought it was pronounced. That is some classic sign. Loved that "Young Fried Chicken."


    Great food.


    We had quite a character for a waitress. She had been there since almost the end of WWII and had come over as a war bride. Quite a lady!! I can't remember her name though. Imagining doing that job for that long.


    I must admit that, at the time, I had no idea of what a control hotel was. I thought it might have something to do with speed.

  12. April 17th marked the 100th anniversary of Lowell Park in Dixon. It has also just recently been placed on the National register of Historic Places.


    It has 200 picturesque acres along the Rock River. Ronald Reagan had one of his early jobs there as a lifeguard.


    How it came to be a park is quite an interesting history.


    On February 29, 1860, Charles Russell Lowell of Burlington, Iowa, bought the north half for $875 and the south half for $500. He had been the valecdictorian of Harvard's class of 1854. At the time, he was local treasurer of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad. He intended to build a home there, but the coming of the Civil War disrupted his plans. He entered in the Union army, eventually rising to the rank of general.


    In 1863, he married Josephine Shaw, the sister of Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the ill-fated all-black 54th Massacusetts which was featured in the movie "Glory." Unfortunately, he was killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek on Oct. 20, 1864. His daughter Carlotta was born six weeks later.


    His wife Josephine was very involved in parks and kept the land, even though she continued to live in New York City. She died in 1905. Carlotta offered the land to Dixon if they would turn it into a park. The city council at first turned it down, citing its distance from town and cost of upkeep. But citizens lobbied and changed their minds.


    Carlotta had the famed park and landscape architect brothers, Frederick Law and John Olmsted, prepare a report for development. These two men designed the grounds around the US Capitol and White House as well as New York's Central Park.


    In 1907, the city accepted the land and began improvements. On August 21st, the grand opening was held with many Dixon businesses closing shop. Around 6000 people picnicked in the new park.


    Dixon is planning on having another big to-do this coming August 21st.


    From the Sauk Valley News "Rooted in History: Lowell Park's founders left a legacy for Dixon" by Malinda Osborne.


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  13. The Iowa Department of Transportation has started a new site that features state auto trails, those roads before numbers were applied in 1926.


    They claim that Iowa had the nation's first auto trail, the 1911 Great White Way from Council Bluffs to Davenport that went through Atlantic and Des Moines.


    The site also talks about various other trails such as the Dragoon Trail, the path the 1835 Dragoons, the US's first mounted infantry unit, took through Iowa. Historicall routes are broken down by counties. Plus, there are historical Iowa highway maps from 1914 to 1925.


    Another section is on Iowa's National Historic Trails which includes the Mormon Pioneer and Lewis and Clark.


    Then there are 8 state scenic byways and 2 national ones.


    You can check it out at www.iowadot.gov


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  14. The March LifeTimes newspaper of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois company featured a pagelong article on the National Road and especially the route in Illinois. It was written by Bill Keefe. It gave a general history of the road, then put its focus on that part in Illinois. Unfortunately, I was not able to come across the URL for it, but it is an interesting read.


    It said that it originated as a Native American trail and later, part of it became Braddock's Road.


    US Congress passed a law on March 26, 1806, authorizing the initial stretch between Baltimore and Wheeling, Va. (now WV), and named it the Cumberland Road. Actual construction began in 1811 and the road became known as the National Pike. Its construction continued gradually westward and by the 1820s it was commonly known as National Road.


    By the 1820s, the Federal government began turning over responsibility for finished sections to state governments. (The same thing happened with the US highway system in 1926.) Travel along the road was heavy. It became the way west for thousands of Americans


    Work in Illinois began in 1830 and was completed to Vandalia, the capital of Illinois in 1839. Communities grew along its route. The coming of the railroads essentially caused "America's highway" to become a "ghost road."


    The advent of the automobile starting in the 1890s caused highway construction and maintenance to come into focus again. In 1926, the National Road became a part of US-40. Then, I-70 isolated many of the communities again. Historic Preservation that came about with the US Bicentennial in 1976 brought about a new renaissance.


    Today, the 22 communities located along the 164-mile long corridor in Illinois are involved in a coordinated effort to make this stretch a must-cruise point of interest. All along it, the state has placed signage that enables a traveller to make the trip, even without a map.


    The National Road Association of Illinois, NRAI, is a non-profit group working to preserve, protect, and promote the road. It is based in Toledo, Il., but a move to Collinsville in spring is planned.


    For more info:




    or contact by phone at 1-888-268-0042.



    Robert C. Beatty 1930-2007


    You can call him the man that made growing up so much better for kids. He was a man who got to live out a boy's childhood dreams. He made his life's business out of selling ice cream and going to the circus.


    For some 60 years he was "Bob the Ice Cream Man" to children growing up on Chicago's North Side. He died April 7th.


    He started selling ice cream around his home in Chicago's Albany Park at age 14. Over the years, he expanded from pushcarts, to three-wheeled bicycles, motorized carts, and finally, in 1973, his first full-sized ice cream truck.


    He considered himself a traditionalist and refused to use prerecorded music, instead, relying on had-operated bells.


    His son said that Mr. Beatty, "partook freely of his inventory. A section of the truck's freezer was set aside for his lunch and other personal uses. We were always finding half-eaten ice cream bars in there."


    In the 1980s, he owned a store called "Simply Ice Cream" on Sheridan Road, and since 1989, he and his family operated lakefront concessions in Evanston.


    As a youngster, he spent several years working in a circus, a love he never lost. He was a longtime member of the Circus Fans Association of America.


    He was buried in his white uniform, with an old-fashioned change-maker, filled with coins and strapped to his side.

  16. This past weekend, I drove to Joliet, cruising the Lincoln for part of the way. Unfortunately, there is a huge building boom going on in this area as Chicago continues its expansion in all directions. There is much road construction and traffic all the way from Plainfield to Joliet. I did see one interesting business that only sells Corvettes in Plainfield along the way and will have to get back to check it out.


    I was to man the Lincoln Highway table at the MARC (Model A Restorers Club) annual convention. About 360 people attended despite the unseasonable cool weather (it snowed three days earlier). I counted about 40 various Model As in the parling lot. This year's theme was "Meet Me at the Crossroads" which certainly fits Joliet. Not only does the Lincoln run through it, but also Route 66, US-52, and US-6. Also, I-80 and I-55 serve the area and that is not even mentioning the railroads and canals.


    I followed a Model A into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn by I-80. I found our Lincoln Highway table down a long hall near the hospitality room. Illinois LH President Wayne Silvius had been at the table the day before and had left two boxes of LHA Forums, key chains, and pens.


    During the course of the day, I talked to about 25 people. They had the opportunity to take self-guided tours along 66 and the Lincoln Highway. I told them that both roads are very well marked in Illinois, some of the best signage anywhere.


    Some of the conversations:


    One man said he'd had a Model A as a youth and had gotten back into them in 1985.


    A couple from Joliet talked about the city's huge growth and the downtown renaissance. Not only the old Rialto Theater, but the new museum which features the Lincoln Highway and Route 66, as well as downtown murals and lots of sculpture.


    One man said that he and a group of Model Aers had recently toured a section of LH.


    I gave Forums to two men from Maple Park (on LH east of Dekalb) and St. Charles. They were unaware of the organization and seemed interested.


    Another Model A owner said his vehicle had originally been owned by a person in Grand Rapids, Iowa. He had owned it since 1974 and had driven it from his home in Princeton, NJ, to Grand Rapids. A real Lincoln Highway Model A.


    A man from Plainfield, Il., said he could hit a gold ball from his house to the LH. He likes to drive the old farm roads, a fast disappearing commodity around Joliet. He didn't know about the unpaved stretch of the Lincoln by Ashton, Il., and will check it out this summer.


    I can tell you one thing. I don't know how Wayne got those boxes all the way to the table, but those Forums were HEAVY!!!!


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog


    This day in automotive history- April 18th, 1906- The fire resulting from the San Francisco Earthquake destroyed the production facilties of the new Sunset Auto Company. Production never resumed.

  17. While visiting my mother in North Carolina, I happened to read her DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) March-April magazine, The American Spirit, and in its supplement, came across a seven page spread on California's historic highways and byways.


    Two were featured on each page and included every California DAR District. Each one had a picture and accompanying article.



    1. Freeman's Crossing Bridge- 1921- reinforced concrete open spandrel arch bridge

    2. Johnson's Cutoff- 1852- became part of the Lincoln Highway

    3. Redwood Highway- 400 miles from SF to Oregon

    4. Route 21- defunct north-south highway in SF Bay area

    5. Golden State Highway- Ca-99- connect cities in San Joaquin Valley

    6. Pancheco Pass- used by Spanish

    7. El Camino Real- linked 21 Spanish missions

    8. Cahuenga Pass- US-101- Hollywood Freeway

    9. Pacific Coast Highway-

    10. The Mother Road

    11. Madonna of the Trail- four famous Cal. trails meet at this intersection-Anza Trail,Old Emigrant

    Trail, Colorado Trail, and Old Trails Route

    12. Mormon Battalion on El Camino Real

    13. Vincent Thomas Bridge- 1,500 foot long bridge over LA Harbor

    14. De Anza Trail- 1774-1776- safe overland route for settlers from Arizona


    I e-mailed the DAR in California and received a reply from the State Regent, Anne Donahue. I thanked her for creating this article. She said she didn't belong to any highway associations, but is very interested in old highways in her state. Their state theme this year is "Light the Path" and this goes along well with it. The magazine editor worked with chapters all over the state to come up with it.


    I tried to find a link to downlad the article, but couldn't. If you get the chance to read the article, by all means, do it.


    It is great to see other organizations showing interest in the old roads.


    In the same magazine, I saw that the Arizona DAR had restored and rededicated the Madonna of the Trail in Springerville.


    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  18. Keep the Show- Now I remember the Thing. Not too easy on the eyes.


    Roadmaven- Look forward to seeing that Corvair of yours on the 28th. Personally, I have nothing against them and wouldn't mind having one myself. I like their looks.


    You're right about the numbers. I imagine they don't include antique cars in the statistics. It would be very interesting to see those numbers.


    Keep on Down that Dixie Highway in the Great State of Kentucky. --RoadDog

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