Hello again, fellow roadies! Have you shaken off the dust of winter yet? It’s Memorial Day weekend, when the Route 66 cruising season here in Illinois begins in earnest, and we have an updated events calendar for you below. Bring out those convertibles and dust off those bikes, because it’s time to hit the road! Even if you only warm up locally to start. Which can be fun. Just remember to buckle up wherever you go, because the Smokies will be out in force this weekend on all the major highways across the nation, making sure you use your seat belts and handing out stiff fines if you don’t. Better safe than sorry, right? Right.
Okay, this is the part all you classic and custom car owners have been waiting for: the winners’ list from last weekend’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show. This was the biggest car show in Berwyn EVER, thousands of visitors with more than 600 cars on exhibit. WOW.
I can tell you right off the bat that we have some repeat winners from last year; but before I get to that let me mention one thing that truly warmed my heart. There was finally an era-appropriate car to celebrate U.S. Route 66’s original birthday (November 11, 1926), and the judges even gave it a special award. Mike Home of Chicago won the Terrific ‘T’ award for his nicely preserved 1927 Ford Model T. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! And now I’m annoyed that I somehow missed seeing it in the crowd.
Oh my, so much fun at the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show on Saturday the 7th – and even more this year than last, probably because we made a decision not to take 200 or 300 shots of all the cars. That actually gave us more opportunity to look around and enjoy things! ;D
But seriously: optimizing all those photos last year took forever, and we’re still working on the book manuscript, so we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and got picky about what we shot. Alas, our third had to babysit his daughter (better luck next year, Keith), but Joe and I made a complete day of it. It was a busy day, too, given that we started off in Hodgkins at Quarry Days and visited with the folks at the new Hodgkins Historical Society Museum on Kane Street. It’s in the former village hall and firehouse. Saturday at Quarry Days was the museum’s debut and open house. The staff hadn’t quite managed to get the entire collection on display in time, but based on what was on display, it’s going to be beautiful when it’s all up and running. Thanks to Sue Cappa for giving us a tour and to Mayor Cummings for posing for us.
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.
Unexpectedly, this week’s posts seem to be almost entirely car oriented. I know: many of you think this unsurprising, considering we’re talking about Route 66, one of the all-time best road trips in America. And yet, there are so many more stories about what’s on the route that we write about car stuff a lot less often than you’d think. This week proved to be different; so, in honor of all those car fans who should be thrilled at this turn of events, this week’s Route 66 Song of the Week is by guitarist and singer John Mayer. It’s the version that was used in that animated Disney-Pixar film Cars a few years ago that also made mention of Route 66.