Route 66 events:  the Festival of All Saints at Our Lady of Pompeii


A saint’s feast day?  Just another excuse for a party, if you’re Italian.  But all the saints??  That’s a BI-I-I-I-IG party.  Heck, it’s a festival.  And now that Indian summer is upon us, we’ll take this excuse to remember warmer days recently past – and catch you up on a few things we did this summer.  In this case, Joe was the party guy, so we’ll let him tell it.  Take it away, Joe!

 
Benvenuto!  If you are familiar with our blog site, you know that Maria has been posting up a storm.  However, it’s been some time since I’ve written a piece for the blog.  It’s not that I haven’t been working on all things Route 66.  In fact, I am the Special Guest Editor for two special Route 66 issues of the Illinois Geographical Society’s Illinois Geographer – to be published this fall and winter – and that’s kept both of us busy from July through September.  The issues will have the dual themes of preservation and tourism and will have articles and book reviews from geographers, historians, preservationists, and road enthusiasts.  Meanwhile, Maria went to the Illinois History Conference in Springfield and chaired a Route 66 panel of historians and preservationists (more on that later).  But I digress:  that’s not today’s topic.  As we often do on the route, we return to fun and food!

Unless otherwise noted, photos in this post are copyright 2014 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, photos in this post are copyright 2014 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

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Route 66 events:  Halloween Week events at Cigars & Stripes in Berwyn!


Ronnie Lottz, the happy proprietor of one of our favorite barbecue places – Cigars & Stripes BBQ Lounge in Berwyn, IL – likes to have fun most of the year. At Halloween, however, he pulls out all the stops.  Once again this year, Ronnie is hosting Halloween Week.  If you plan to trick or treat on Route 66 in Chicagoland, make sure you stop by his beer, ’cue and cigar emporium at some point next week.  With a week-long spooktacular that will last through dinnertime on All Saints Day (for those late risers with truly monstrous hangovers from the night before), there’ll be plenty of opportunity to check out the events if you visit or live in the area.  Address and phone are listed at the bottom of this post.

The boo-dacious bash starts at noon on Sunday, October 26, 2014 and runs through 6pm Sunday, October 26, 2014.  On Sunday the 26th, Ronnie kicks off the week with the Chicago Bears football game on the big screen and Bloody Mary specials all day long, followed by whatever specials he has on the smoker and the latest episode of The Walking Dead at 8pm.  Nothing like spooky group appointment TV to get the blood going!

Halloween jack-o-lantern 1 Continue reading

Route 66 Song Of The Week:  Dawg Days, plus coming events


Yes indeedy, fellow roadies, the long weekend of the dog days is gone.  August with its humid but confusing weather this year is defunct, only a sleepy memory.  We’ll celebrate that yet with our Song Of The Week below, but for now let’s take a moment to remember what a great weekend it was with the Chicago Jazz Festival on tap!  Buoyed with a little of that leftover energy, we thought we’d update you on what’s ahead in the near future and then throw in an appropriate song, too.

To start, we have two Route 66 car shows coming up in September in Illinois.  First: The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is this coming weekend, Saturday Sept. 6th, from 10am to 4pm along Ogden Avenue in Berwyn.  It’ll be held between Oak Park Avenue on the west end and Ridgeland Avenue on the east.  Admission is free, but there’s a registration fee for cars that will be exhibited; registrants can get their cars lined up starting at 7am.  Food vendors and live music will be on site, and parking is wherever you can get it, but try the municipal garage on Oak Park Avenue, a few blocks north of Ogden Avenue.  Please DO remember to bring a few dollars for the Berwyn Route 66 Museum’s artifact restoration fund; no doubt museum director Jon fey will have the kitty set up at his usual tent.

Second:  The International Mother Road Festival is at the end of the month, starting at 5pm Friday the 26th through Sunday the 28th, in downtown Springfield, IL.  Admission is free, but there’s a registration fee for cars that will be exhibited.  Food vendors and live music will be on site, and parking will be available in the garage on 7th Street at Washington Street, next to the DoubleTree President Abraham Lincoln Springfield Hotel, or wherever else you can find it in a public lot (the streets nearby will be taken over by the fest all weekend long).

The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue

The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue  (Photo courtesy Berwyn DevCorp)

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Route 66 Song Of The Week:  OMG, it’s Cadillac Ranch & Berwyn Rt.66 Car Show news!


Well, blush – we’re just overwhelmed by all the attention we’ve gotten lately!  This could turn a gal’s head, fellas.  Thanks heaps to Hertz NeverLost’s Tweet and mention of me, complete with a pix from last year’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, in their “Route 66 Road Trips” blog post and on their Twitter feed.  With this year’s car show coming up soon on Sept. 6th (the weekend after next), we here are getting in the carmania mood.  Come to think of it, this just seems to be a day for all things automotive.

Which just happens to be timely, because our fellow 66 blogger, Ron Warnick of Route 66 News, just passed along a Hertz NeverLost Tweet about Texas Monthly’s recent article on Amarillo’s famous Cadillac Ranch.  If you’ve never seen it, the Cadillac Ranch is a kind of linear vehicular Stonehenge and celebration of automobilia, smack in the middle of a field just off Route 66, that is both a pop-art installation by the 1970s artists’ collective known as Ant Farm and a form of performance art, in that it invites participatory graffiti from its visitors.  The 10 Cadillacs are all of tail-fin vintage, had to be relocated once due to the city’s expansion, and the whole thing is 40 years old now.  Whoa.

Cadillac Ranch - distance shot (via Wikipedia)

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Route 66 scoop:  WOW, new Burr Ridge historical mural features Rt 66, Lyonsville, Flagg Creek, more


A new historical mural for Flagg Creek Heritage Society is being painted on the sides of the society’s home and museum, which ought to improve the cinder-block building’s appearance no end.  Chicago artist John Howard is hard at work on the mural even as you read this, executing the work on three sides of the building (for now, the back end and part of the north side will simply remain blank, painted with a pale yellow base coat).  Howard began the work on July 1 and says he expects the work to be done by Labor Day, if not the end of August.  FCHS has tentatively scheduled a dedication ceremony for Sunday afternoon, October 5th between 2 pm and 4 pm.  More details on that later as they become available.

The historical society’s home is in Walker Park at 7425 S. Wolf Road, part of the Pleasant Dale Park District in Burr Ridge, just south of Joliet Road/Historic Route 66.  Actually, the museum building is tucked in between the basketball courts and a children’s playground at the northern end of the field house’s north parking lot.  Previously, if you didn’t know exactly where to find the museum – which, to be fair, looked like a storage hut or a cement garage – you might have easily missed it, given that the field house (better known as the rec center) has two parking lots, one on either side, and Walker Park is huge for a suburban park (check out the area on Google Maps satellite view here).

Just a couple of regular guys:  muralist John Howard (L) and our own Joe Kubal  (Photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

Just a couple of regular guys:  muralist John Howard (L), at work on the wall, and our own Joe Kubal pose before the untitled mural.  (Photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

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Route 66 road trip, part 2:  maple sirup, Towanda’s historic trail and Lexington’s Memory Lane


Hello again, fellow roadies!  Welcome back for part 2 of last weekend’s road trip to the greater Bloomington-Normal area in Central Illinois that brought me, Joe and Keith in search of a picnic and maple sirup, among other things.  The great irony of that statement is that we didn’t go into either Bloomington or Normal last weekend:  instead, we focused on Funks Grove to the south of B-N and then hit Towanda and Lexington on the way back.  And as you may have noticed in our last post, yours truly took plenty of pretty pictures.

Let’s take a look at a local map first, so that you can get your bearings.  Going from northeast to southwest (westbound), Lexington and Towanda come first on Route 66, then Normal, then Bloomington, and then Shirley and Funks Grove.  The next town over is Atlanta, where there has been significant preservation and renovation, but we’ll save that for another trip (ditto Bloomington-Normal and Shirley).  If you look at the map below, Lexington is the first crescent-shaped bend on I-55 in the top right of the map, and Towanda is next flattened-crescent bend before you hit Normal.  Funks Grove is toward the lower left, just above U.S. Route 136, at the oval light green patch that represents the Thaddeus Stubblefield Grove Nature Preserve and the other preserves of the ancient trees that make up the entire grove.  Atlanta is the last shallow crescent on I-55 near the bottom of the map.

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