Route 66 calendar update:  Rivet Motors’ land jet takes off, car shows, cruise nights & more


Hello again, fellow roadies!  Well, we didn’t expect to be updating the calendar again so soon, but there have been more events added – and one change.  As you may already know if you tried to attend (as we did), the Romeoville Route 66 Car and Bike Show a few weekends ago was postponed due to the rainy weather.  Wow, there’s been so much of that here lately that Chicago is beginning to look like Seattle.  We’re waiting to see if Showcase Classics, the organizer, will reschedule the Romeoville show within the foreseeable future, most likely at Romeoville High School again.  Watch this blog for further details.

Also:  Did you know that the irrepressible actor and motorcycle fan William Shatner (yeah, that William Shatner, the one from the original Star Trek TV series and films, The Practice, Boston Legal, etc.) will begin a cross-country tour on June 23rd down the length of Route 66 on a new vehicle dubbed the Rivet One ‘land jet’?  Yes, indeed:  it’s a kind of streamlined, steampunk-style trike, with a detachable cockpit cover for bad weather.  Very different from anything he seemed to have piloted/helmed for the Star Trek franchise!

Apparently, all the futuristic stuff is under the hood this time.  The three-wheeled bike, which has some serious power (a V8 engine) between the driver and the front wheel, was designed by the folks at Rivet Motors – with input from Shatner – and American Wrench, an Aurora, IL-based custom motorcycle firm.   American Wrench has built bikes for others, including rock singers (e.g., Creed) and the guys on the Chopper cable TV program.  American Wrench is, in turn, owned by Illinois Auto Electric Co. (founded 1915), for which American Wrench’s Kevin Sirotek is VP of marketing and a fourth-generation stakeholder (that tells us it’s probably a family firm).  Their shop is located in an industrial area near IL 59 and Liberty Street, only a few blocks from Aurora’s Fox Valley shopping center.

Rivet Motors land jet, made in Aurora, IL  for a Route 66 road trip with William Shatner (no, seriously).

Rivet Motors land jet, made in Aurora, IL for a Route 66 road trip to be undertaken by William Shatner (no, seriously). (Illustration courtesy of Rivet Motors and American Wrench)

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Route 66 events:  ‘Ghostbusters’ at Joliet’s Rialto Square Theatre


“I Ain’t Afraid a’ No Ghosts”
— Joseph D. Kubal *

 
What do ghosts and the Rialto Square Theatre have to do with Route 66?  Everything!  The famous Rialto Square at 102 N. Chicago St. in Joliet, IL is a well-known Route 66 ‘haunt’ and, supposedly, the building is haunted.  On Saturday, March 7, 2015, I set out to see if ghosts could really be found there.

You see, I have an open mind about such things and do believe that not everything can be proven with the science we currently have available.  Over the years, I have had several unexplained occurrences happen to me and my family.  it’s just the Eastern European gypsy blood in me, and I’m more susceptible to believing in the supernatural.  But ask around, and you may be surprised to learn that lots of folks have had unusual things happen to them over the years.  Often, people just don’t talk about those events openly, as they don’t want to be thought crazy, illogical, or as a “kook” by non-believers.

Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet, IL - blog (MRTraska)

The Rialto, the jewel of Joliet  (photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

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Route 66 update:  local St. Pat’s and St. Joseph’s festivities


Greetings, fellow travelers!  Have you thawed out yet?  Good!  Those of you who have been following this blog for a few years know that we usually remind you about the March holidays (no, we don’t mean March Madness, even though I am an NCAA hoops fan).  I refer, of course, to St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day celebrations in and around Chicago.  St. Casimir’s Day, also known as Casimir Pulaski Day and the 178th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Chicago, happened last week on March 4th.  But the big celebrations are really St. Pat’s and St. Joe’s.  Happy namesday in advance to all you Pats and Joes out there!

Most of you locals probably already know that Chicago’s main St. Patrick’s Day stuff will happen this coming Saturday, starting with 9 a.m. Mass at Old St. Pat’s Church on Desplaines and Adams Streets, followed by a traditional Irish breakfast in the church hall (individual tickets are $30 per person), for which reservations are required.  There will be Celtic music and dancing during the breakfast, if you really need that.

Old St. Patrick's Church (photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

Old St. Patrick’s Church (photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved)

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