Route 66 events:  the Dog Days of Summer car-lover’s schedule

They don’t call August the dog days without cause:  it’s so hot that you pant and don’t want to do much, other than maybe listen to that great tune by the same name by Leigh ‘Lil Queenie’ Harris on her album Polychrome Junction.  By now, all of you are thanking your stars that your A/C still works.  Up here in northeastern Illinois, we haven’t had that awful a summer, generally speaking – but we have had a few outrageous days in the high-90-degree range and one 100-degree day (ouch).  Today was another one of those scorchers; even cruising with the top down doesn’t make you feel better midday.  But in the evening … ahhh, what a difference!

Joe, Keith and I are looking forward to A/C and a road trip this coming Sunday, August 25th, for the next screening of our documentary film Remembering Jewish Lawndale, a spin-off project that resulted from all the research we did on that neighborhood for our upcoming Route 66 book.  The screening will be for the Jewish Genealogical Society and will be held at Beth Israel Synagogue, 3601 Dempster in Skokie.  We’ll have a short introduction at 1:30 p.m., show the film at 2 p.m., then do a Q&A session with Dr. Irving Cutler, one of the people interviewed in the film.

erwyn Route 66 Car Show on Ogden Avenue

Hey, Route 66 roadies:  The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue is coming up soon on September 7th this year – be there, or be square!  Photo courtesy of Berwyn DevCorp.

Last night was the last of Berwyn’s official car cruises of the summer.  You’d think they’d have one more scheduled for the first week of September, considering that the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show will be on Saturday, September  7th (my birthday – yaaaaaay!), starting about 11 a.m.  Fun in the sun, custom cars, bikes and trucks, tasty food, The Crown Vics providing music, and hotrod flamethrowing demonstrations.  Can’t wait!  All the pretty vehicles will be lined up along both sides of Ogden Avenue between Ridgeland and Oak Park Avenues.  But no, no car cruise that week.  How did you guys manage that oversight?  Not too late to change your minds, you know.  Also not too late to register your car for the show.

That’s also the same weekend that the EAA’s B-17 warbird, the Aluminum Overcast, will be visiting Lewis University Airport and giving plane rides to those lucky enough to afford a ticket (we told you about that a few weeks ago, remember?).  There’s still time to sign up.

Santa Fe Speedway exhibit at Flagg Creek Heritage Society Museum, Burr Ridge, IL  Photo copyright 2013 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved

The new Santa Fe Speedway exhibit will be on through the end of the year at Flagg Creek Heritage Society Museum in Burr Ridge, IL.   Photo copyright 2013 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved

The automotive minded don’t have to wait for the car show, however, to find something fun to do on Route 66: there’s a neat exhibit at the Flagg Creek Heritage Society Museum about the old Santa Fe Speedway, which used to be at 91st Street and Wolf Road in Willow Springs, just a few miles south of Route 66.  That exhibit, which has been ongoing for the last two months, will be up through the autumn to the end of the year.  The museum is located less than a mile south of Joliet Road/Route 66 on the grounds of the Pleasant Dale Park District at 7425 S. Wolf Rd., Burr Ridge, IL.  It’s open 2-4 p.m. the first Sunday of every month through October and from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on most Mondays all year, but they’ll open up just for you if you want to make a special visit outside of regular hours.  Call Alice at 708-839-9616 for further information.

This is the corner where the marker remembering Santa Fe Speedway will be dedicated in October.  Photo copyright 2013 by M.R. Traska

Yes, it’s a subdivision where Santa Fe Speedway used to be.  This is the corner where the marker commemorating the track will be dedicated in October.   Photo copyright 2013 by M.R. Traska

Incidentally, a stone marker commemorating Santa Fe Speedway has been laid on the SW corner of 91st Street and Wolf Road, right in front of that housing development that stands where the track used to be.  It’s been inscribed with the track’s old logo and a history of the raceway.  The marker will be dedicated at a ceremony on Sunday, October 13th at 2:30 p.m.  Check the Willow Springs website after about September 15th for further information.

And on the evening of Tuesday, September 17th at 7 p.m., Keith and I will be giving a presentation on “Route 66 in Lyonsville” for the Flagg Creek Heritage Society.  It’ll be at the Pleasant Dale Park Recreation Center, which is in that same park where the society’s museum is, 7425 S. Wolf Rd., Burr Ridge, IL.  Don’t miss us!  (We’ll remind you again later.) ;D

Until next time,


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