Showing posts from August, 2013

Day Three of Joliet Trip

On Saturday morning we fortified ourselves with big (an understatement) breakfasts at the Old Fashioned Pancake House on W. Jefferson Street in Joliet. Theirs may have been the largest menu I've ever seen. Then we returned to the Joliet Area Museum to pick up picturess and do some more visiting. We met two couples from France touring Route 66 for yet another time and had a great visit and photo op. In this photo from left to right is Joe Sonderman, me, Sylvie Toullec, and her husband Freddy Vanhees. On our way back south, we made several stops along the old road to look, admire, take pictures, and just steep ourselves in the history. Dwight is an especially charming town, with a wonderful old railroad station (an Amtrak stop), now the home of the Dwight Historical Society, the stately buildings of the former Keeley Institute, and a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed bank. At the edge of town is the Ambler-Becker Texaco Station, a must-see where it was fun to take pictures on the

Day Two of Joliet Trip

The  Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center on Ottawa Street was indeed ready and welcoming when we arrived there shortly after 10 am on Friday. At the admissions and gift counter was Elaine Stonich, who I had talked to the previous weekend at the Route 66 Association of Illinois' annual picnic. And Heather Bigeck, Exhibits and Collections Manager for the museum, was waiting for us with picture files that she knew would interest us. And interest us they did. We acquired some wonderful images with permission to use them in our new book. Heather came to the museum with experience and interest in Native American culture (an interest of mine as well), but in her six years in Joliet has learned its history. She was great! Of course we toured the museum while we were there - very nicely done. The museum portion is contained within the former Ottawa Street Methodist Church building, with the newer building addition functioning as the Route 66 Welcome Center and gift

Day One of Joliet Trip

Joliet was our destination this past weekend for a couple days of research, acquiring photos, driving some stretches of historic Route 66, and generally schmoozing with fellow Route 66 and history aficionados. Joe Sonderman and I are working on "Route 66 in Illinois," our collaboration for Arcadia Publishing. We signed the contract earlier this summer with the goal of release next May. Since my two earlier Route 66 books for Arcadia covered two stretches of the Illinois road, namely that of Madison County and of the Springfield (capital city) area, and Chicago Route 66 expert David Clark covered that city in his Arcadia book, Joe and I determined from the start that our new book would not "recycle" material from the other three books. This would be a fresh look at the history and heritage of the route through Illinois with as many unpublished and utterly amazing vintage photos as we could ferret out up and down the state.We also agreed that as long as we were ment