Showing posts from October, 2013

A little bit of Lincoln Highway in the rain

Last Wednesday through Friday I was in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin to get together with cousins and to visit the graves of my parents and other relatives. While in that general area, I thought I'd like to drive some of the Illinois stretch of the Lincoln Highway. The one day of the three without rain was Wednesday, which was filled by my travel north and my visit to the cemetery. Thursday was devoted to getting together with cousins at various locations, and it rained most of the day. On Friday, the weather wasn't good either. A heavy rainstorm was approaching the Rockford area (where I stayed) from the west, so I headed east. From I-39, I took the Lincoln Highway/Route 38. The first small town on my mini-adventure was Creston. Small, but interesting! The Village of Creston - population 600 - is a rural community with some active businesses in its tiny downtown. Grain trucks and farm equipment were on the move and the hair salon in a wonderful old building was op

We can't stay out of Springfield

After three days in Springfield, Illinois, for the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival, we intrepid researchers - Joe Sonderman and I - headed back north again the very next day to the Lincoln Library on Seventh Street to immerse ourselves (again) in the wonderful Sangamon Valley Collection. Our first research trip for "Route 66 in Illinois" was on a bone-chilling, snowy day back in January. Since then, Joe and I have traveled up and down Route 66 throughout Illinois to ferret out amazing and intriguing vintage photos. We have made numerous trips to and through Springfield. The capitol is a great historic city in which I've had the privilege of living twice. Sometimes, memories from my childhood there combine with a historic image and I really want to just walk into one of those photo scenes...for just a little while, anyway.  I'm particularly intrigued with the Springfield of the 1920s and early 1930s, the Springfield that Route 66 first traversed when it

Festival-Is-Over Day, also known as Sunday

Sunday, the last day of the 2013 International Mother Road Route 66 Festival in Springfield, turned out to be a relaxing day. By the last day of a festival, you've usually already caught up with friends, made most of your book sales, and eaten way too much festival food. We started the day with a great breakfast at Jungle Jim's Cafe on Peoria Road. This classic diner is decorated with speedway memorabilia. Four of us enjoyed good food, service, and conversation. Jungle Jim's Cafe on Peoria Road. (Joe Sonderman photo.) From there it was back downtown to finish off the festival. The crowd was much smaller on Sunday and the event was in serious danger of imploding by the middle of the afternoon. The Illinois Travel Expo officially closed at 2:00 pm and we were soon packed and on our way. On the way home, another visit to Weezy's Route 66 Bar and Grill in Hamel was in order for a late lunch. Or was that early supper? Original Tourist Haven sign inside Weezy'

Busy, fun Saturday at International Mother Road Route 66 Festival in Springfield, IL

This was the third year fellow author Joe Sonderman and I attended the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois, as "itinerant Route 66 book mongers," to quote a Route 66 friend's clever comment.  Kudos to Bill Kelly and Stacy Conn of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway organization for terrific planning and execution of the Illinois Travel Expo. And many thanks to them for taking Joe and me under their wing as we work on our new book, "Route 66 in Illinois," and in so doing help to promote Route 66 in the great state of Illinois - where the road began. The layout this year for the Illinois Travel Expo was great and we contributed some 'eye candy' to the intersection of Washington and Fifth Streets as Joe parked his '57 Chevy Bel Air next to our booth. The car would prove to be a magnet for a number of diverse photo vignettes during the weekend.  Our booth at the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival. (Joe Son

One car in a sea of 2,250

Friday morning found my fellow author Joe Sonderman and I headed for Springfield, Illinois, for the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival. We planned to take our time driving up the older alignment, shunning the interstate for the day. To my delight, Joe decided to drive his '57 Chevy Bel Air and had spent a couple evenings polishing, putting on new tires, and all the other things one might do to a classic car before taking it out on the road.  With our book stock and show equipment stowed in the trunk, we took off. First stop - Weezy's (the former Tourist Haven roadhouse, established in the 1930s) in Hamel. There, members of a car club were just getting ready to leave. We parked alongside some of the other classic cars and here's the lineup. (Joe's is the tropical turquoise.) Lunch was great  with good food and good service. Owners Karen Wiesemeyer and Coleman Weissman do a great job. From Hamel we headed north on Route 66 and from the Worden Wye we took t