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

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I don't see an introductions forum, so I guess this one will do... I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. My friends call me Ax. I'm a Retired Hippie Guitar Player living on U.S. Highway 101 in good old Humboldt County, California, in the heart of Redwood Country.

 

Last night I was searching Google for a photo of the Little House at the Ellwood Mansion in DeKalb, Illinois and came across this forum. Unfortunately, I never found the photo of the Little House I was looking for. I saw it last month so I know it's on the Internet somewhere, but I didn't copy it when I had the chance. Oh well...

 

After 20 some odd years on the road with various bands, I have been on just about every highway in America. I have a few favorites, such as U.S. Highway 101 and a few others. But the one dearest to my heart is U.S. Highway 66, particularly in Arizona. I used to be an avid cross country bicyclist, and have ridden all of it except the section between Kingman, Arizona and Needles, California.

 

I also have an affinity for U.S. Highway 89. I have not ridden the entire highway, but I have covered some of the more interesting sections, such as the parts that pass through Utah's Color Country and Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say hello. So you know...

 

Hello! :P

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I can't help with the picture but can answer your "Hello" with a Welcome.

 

I didn't think it possible to retire from either guitar playing or hippydom. Are you sure you're not just fooling yourself? :D

 

I admire anyone who has ridden a bicycle farther than the corner carry-out and look forward to more posts.

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I didn't think it possible to retire from either guitar playing or hippydom. Are you sure you're not just fooling yourself? :D

Well, there you go bein' logical and all... :P

 

Yeah, you're probably right. I still play guitar, and I of course still believe in freedom, first and foremost. But ever since I "retired" I work just as hard, if not more so at times, doing volunteer work. The thing is though, the rewards of doing that sort of thing far outrweigh any paycheck! I have found I get a much better "warm fuzzy" from helping someone than I ever did by entertaining them. Although I do still feel the need to crank it up and let the neighbors know I still live next door now and then.

 

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Edited by Axel Slingerland

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A hearty welcome aboard to you! Glad to have you with us, and I'm looking forward to hearing your road stories....you must have a number of them!

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You like road stories, eh? Well, you're right. I do have lots of 'em. I traveled for over 3\5th's of my life, and because I spent summers with my Grandparents every year when I was a kid, you could just about say I grew up in National Parks because they were both National Park Service Rangers. My Grandmother was a Naturalist and my Grandfather was a Law Enforcement Ranger. (Aka a "Pine Pig"...) So as a result of all that I've got road stories about hikes, bicycle trips, car trips, train trips, bus trips, plane trips, hitch-hiking trips, you name it. But after 25 years of being on the road with bands, some of my best stories come from being in bands.

 

So here's one for ya that ties into the "Road" theme. (I don't want to break any rules here, I'm a new member...) We had been playing a series of end of the season parties at the various employee recreation halls in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and we were on our way back to California. As usual on the last Sunday of the month, I called our agent to see what our schedule was going to be for the next month.

 

He told me what it would be and I wrote it all down, got the addresses and phone numbers of all the clubs, etc. Then he asked me if I wanted to do a show in Reno for a private party on our way back to San Francisco. I asked him what the deal was because were spend a lot of time in Nevada, and I didn't want to do a 30 week run at that particular time. Those gigs were great when you were tired and needed a break from the road but still needed to work, but they paid less than weekly or one night gigs.

 

He said it was for some casino owner's wife, and he didn't know what the occasion was, but it paid double our normal fee. And it was half the normal show, just two hours. I couldn't pass that up so I said ok. We get there and go to do a sound check and since this casino was right on Interstate 80, the CB radios from trucks gave us a lot of trouble. It was right out the front door of the club, maybe an 1/8th of mile away, and the CB signals (aka Radio Frequency Interference, or RFI) were really strong. Every time a trucker would say something on his CB, it would blast out of the PA.

 

Our soundman tried his best to get rid of it, but couldn't do it. The owner of the club said he was used to it because it happens all the time and not to worry about it. We were too picky about the sound for that so we kept trying to figure out a way to block the signals. We came to the conclusion that it was because of our wireless transmitters for the guitars picking up the radio signals, so we decided not use them that night, and used regular guitar cords instead. Which is a pain, I hate tripping over guitar cords and being tied to one spot on the stage. I like to walk around freely. But if a truck with really powerful CB signal came by, it was really loud. So we did that and didn't hear the CB signals anymore so we thought it was going to work fine and got ready for the party.

 

All the way through the show I didn't hear a single CB. So I thought the cord thing had actually worked. We had done our entire show and it came to the last song. We always played a song called "Home In My Hand" by Foghat for the last song of the show which is a song about a guy hitchhiking across country, his "home" being his backpack.

 

Towards the end of the song there is a part where the guitar player in Foghat lets the guitar feedback and make all these screechy sounds for a few seconds, then the drummer hits the last few notes and it ends with the "big rock and roll ending". It has a false ending in it before it actually ends, and that makes it easy to add a jam to the song without messing it up, which is why we always liked to play it last. The crowds like that sort of thing.

 

So were up on stage and we've played most of the song, I'm standing there in front of my amp playing the screechy feedback part, and all of a sudden this really loud "BREAK 1-9 FOR A WESTBOUND" comes booming out of the PA. The drummer plays the last notes and we end the song. The crowd loved it. We were all cracking up laughing.

 

The only RFI that happened all night came at the most perfect time. It fit in perfectly with the song, and the crowd thought it was part of the show. :P

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Welcome to the forum.

 

I'll bet you really have the stories to tell like the above one. Why were you interested in the place in Dekalb, Illinois? That is where I went to college. Great town right there on Lincoln Highway. We used to do what we called the Lincoln Crawl from bar to bar.

 

One of my wife and my favorite performers is Pat Dailey from out at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and he says there are a lot of stories in those lines on his face. Imagine you could relate to that.

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Well, I claim DeKalb as my hometown quite often, even though it actually isn't. I'm from Malta, which is about 6 miles west of DeKalb on Illinois SR 38. But very few people have ever heard of Malta, and DeKalb is more widely known.

 

The reason I was looking for that photo was I wanted to make a joke. A friend of mine just bought a house in southern California and posted on our forum that he had done some strange painting thing to one of the rooms. So I made a joke and said "Well, I guess that means your Cable is hooked up now. You've been watching HGTV again." So then he says that is one of the few channels him and his wife watch a lot.

 

He said he had picked up a lot of money saving tips on there. I guess if I had just spent $500,000.00 on a house I would watch it too. Then he said "Wait until you see what the dog house is going to look like." So I was going to post the picture of the Little House and say "I can imagine..." If you've ever seen it, the Little House isn't exactly your run of the mill kid's playhouse. It's a beautiful Victorian house, albeit a bit on the small side. I really wish I could remember where I saw it last month...

 

And yes, as I was telling Jennifer, I do have a lot of stories. (Some of which I won't mention here, there bein' Ladies present and all...) I have traveled a lot. And I do have some of those lines on my face too.

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And yes, as I was telling Jennifer, I do have a lot of stories. (Some of which I won't mention here, there bein' Ladies present and all...) I have traveled a lot. And I do have some of those lines on my face too.

 

Thanks for the previous story...that was very cool! Keep 'em coming!

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Welcome to AMERICAN ROAD! We're glad to have you on the Forum. I, too, enjoyed your story and look forward to many more.

 

Dream well and drive safely on the AMERICAN ROAD!

Best,

Becky Repp

General Manager

American Road Magazine

becky@americanroadmagazine.com

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Well, I claim DeKalb as my hometown quite often, even though it actually isn't. I'm from Malta, which is about 6 miles west of DeKalb on Illinois SR 38. But very few people have ever heard of Malta, and DeKalb is more widely known.

 

I'm very familiar with Malta, home of Illinois' first seedling mile for the Lincoln Highway and home of the mighty Kishwaukee College.

 

Probably be out by Dekalb this weekend.

 

Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

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