Route 66 song of the week video plus Berwyn car show update, miscellany, Santa Fe Speedway

Okay, we’ve been telling you for weeks now that the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show and the EAA’s B-17 visit to Lewis University Airport are this coming weekend, along with Quarry Days in Hodgkins.   And Saturday evening in Hodgkins is the last car cruise of the summer.  So:  in honor of all that car culture, it only seems fair that this week’s Route 66 song of the week video is composer and arranger Nelson Riddle’s theme from the Route 66 TV show – in this case, supporting a video parade of classic cars, with emphasis on (wait for it) Corvettes.  I love that guy; he was so good with arrangements, but also that’s a damned fine theme.  Our thanks to Tom Bower for posting this clip on YouTube.

You know, even though The Crown Vics (now there’s a car name) will be performing at the car show again this year, I don’t think I’d ever heard them play Bobby Troup’s “Route 66” until last year.  Gotta say, neither Chuck Berry nor the Rolling Stones nor any of the blues artists who play the tune have anything to worry about (they won’t be outshone by the Vics’ version).  But hey, the boys were having fun in the sun, as they should have been.  Be sure to catch them again this year.  No doubt they’ll be parked back in front of Ogden Top and Trim again.  Still, this other version, filmed in (no lie!) a Tiki bar in Brookfield is much slicker, and the atmosphere is so much more ’60s.

BTW, the Vics will have competition in one of the area’s hottest young kid bands, Wireless Soul.  Cool name.  But considering how young these kids are (their repertoire is, like, three or four times older than they are), one has to wonder what happens if their voices start to change during the performance …  ooops.

Of course, Joe, Keith and I will be wandering around the car show, too, showing off our smiles and pitching this blog.  We’ll probably be at the Berwyn Route 66 Museum tent and/or the one next door for the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway folks, so come say hi (and DO make a donation to the museum fund, please).  If you see us circulating and you read the blog, do let us know how you like it.  We love feedback!

Meanwhile, we have information from our research colleague Jackson Hartley at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.  He saw our last post about the Peabody horse farm, aka Arrow Brook Farm, and informed us that the oval track seen in the aerial photo was not a walking track.  Rather – and I don’t know why this should surprise us – given that Jack and his friends raised thoroughbred racehorses, this was a one-eighth mile timing track that allowed the owners to time their horses’ runs just as they might in training at a racetrack.  Jackson points out that one reason for  the horse farm “was to give Jack and his friends a chance to time their horses without outside observers” being able to see how the horses’ performed.  Nice catch, Jackson.  Thanks for the clarification.

Route 66 (diagonal) runs through Romeoville-Lockport area, circa 1939.  Davey Road is the horizontal line at the top, Bluff Road the line in the middle.  Easily visible is the large oval walking track for the horses.  The Peabody house is in the trees at the northeast end of the pond north of bluff Road.  Photo from the Illinois Aerial Survey.

Route 66 (diagonal) runs through Romeoville-Lockport area, circa 1939.  Davey Road is the horizontal line at the top, Bluff Road the line in the middle.  The Peabodys’ Arrow Brook Farm stretched from Davey road all the way south to the river on the east side of Joliet Road; they trained and boarded thoroughbred racehorses there.  But what we called a walking track for the racehorses last week turns out to be a one-eighth mile timing track to measure the horses’ speed.

Did we mention, BTW, that Lewis University Airport in Romeoville (its airport code is LOT) offers Phillips 66 aviation fuel to its clientele?  Appropriate!  Someday, we’ll tell you all about Phillips gas and the Route 66 connection (but not today).

Finally, when we last wrote about the former Santa Fe Speedway – now a suburban subdivision – we mentioned that there would soon be a rock (yes, you read right) commemorating the auto racetrack installed at the SW corner of Wolf Road and 91st Street in Willow Springs.  Well, it’s there now.  Joe took some photos of it, as you can see below.  The racetrack’s logo emblem is etched on one side and a brief history of the track is on the back.  It’s quite big enough that you won’t trip over it (unless you’re purposely not looking), but you will have to walk right up to it to read the inscriptions.

The front of the stone marker bears the Santa Fe Speedway logo.  Photo copyright 2013 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

The front of the stone marker at 91st and Wolf Road bears Santa Fe Speedway’s logo.  A brief history of the track is inscribed on the reverse side; it was written by auto racing aficionado and racing historian Stan Kalwasinski.  Photo copyright 2013 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

And that’s all we have time for today.  Come back and read us, folks!

Until next time,



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