Monthly Archives: December 2008

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2009…

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Losing an old friend…

Saturday was a melancholy day for me. The RCA Dome/Hoosier Dome was imploded at 9:36am. Opened in just 1983, it seemed like a lot of money wasted. But, it was the smallest stadium in the NFL and in today’s sports business, you need arenas and stadiums with all the latest bells & whistles to compete. With the possibility of the Indianapolis Colts moving to Los Angeles, the leaders of Indianapolis chose to break ground on a state of the art stadium in 2005 complete with a retractable roof.

I remember well when the Hoosier Dome was under construction. I took a greater interest in it due to the fact that my dad worked there during its construction, doing plumbing work.

 The dome was never the most architecturally pleasing structure to look at with it’s putty colored exterior and white inflated roof, and it didn’t do much to enhance the Indianapolis skyline. I could imagine anyone flying into or out of Indianapolis saw it as a big bandage while looking down at it.

But, it held a lot of events there over it’s 25 year run. I recall my own events I watched there: 

–The 1984 Olympic basketball team game

–My first Colts game when they played the St. Louis Cardinals who had Neil Lomax at quarterback

— My high school football team won back to back state football championships there with some guy named Jeff George at quarterback

–Watching the IU basketball team practice there in 1987 on their way to the NCAA Championship

–Watching my old grade school through high school chum Jeff George suit up for the Colts in the early 1990’s

–Seeing Rev. Billy Graham there ten years ago

–Watching a Speedway High School football game there on a Saturday morning a couple of year ago

–And the last time I was in there on February 5, 2007 during the Colts Super Bowl victory celebration

Make no mistake, the new Lucas Oil Stadium is a thing of beauty, as you can see.

 And I’m sure over the next 25 years I’ll have some memories to report then as well. But anytime we are forced to “move on”, you can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for what you must leave behind. So long, old friend.


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Roadside USA: Route 66 and Beyond

Just in time to use with those Amazon gift cards you’ll get for Christmas comes a new offering from seasoned photographers & authors Jim Ross & Shellee Graham.

Roadside USA: Route 66 and Beyond is a 64 page book consisting of 30 detachable postcards of various roadside images from Route 66 and other historic highways across the U.S. Available in January 2009, it promises to whet your roadtrip appetite with images of classic cars, motels, and plenty of neon.


This will be another “must have” for your roadside collection on your bookshelf. Having known both Jim & Shellee for close to ten years now, they both possess an attention to detail and pursuit of exellence that makes anything they touch turn to gold. I have no doubt this will be more of the same.

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Gene Barker…No, Bob Autry….You decide!

Every Christmas season when radio stations turn on their Christmas play lists during the weekend, I hear umpteen times throughout the holiday season Gene Autry’s singing of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.  I look forward every Christmas to hearing all the classic Christmas songs from the days before I was around…Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, Autry, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, and my favorites from the Vince Guiraldi Trio. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that when I’d hear Autry sing Rudolph, something just clicked: “Wow….That’s Bob Barker singing!” The more I heard it, the more I pictured Bob singing into the little skinny microphone he held on “The Price is Right”. I did several Google searches to see if I was the only one hearing this, and apparently I was as there was not one entry on Google mentioning the eerie likeness. After I brought up this finding to Jennifer, she began to hear it as well. So I guess at least I’m not alone in what I’m hearing!

So here we go…..Here’s a clip of Autry’s tune from You Tube. Click on the video, and “scroll on down” to the picture of Bob below it and tell me that isn’t Bob! 

So, what do you think??? And here’s audio of Bob himself so you can get both videos going at the same time to judge side by side:


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A little holiday cheer…

Usually when I’m on YouTube looking for a particular video, I’ll find a related video off to the side of what I’m watching that’s worth a look. It’s been a while back that I was looking for some video…can’t remember what it was…and off to the side I found an interesting video titled “Linus sings The Police”. It had a screen capture of Linus from Peanuts holding a piece of paper and saying something. Out of curiosity, I clicked it on and almost died laughing. It’s one of the better editing jobs I’ve seen, and whoever put this together, a tip of the hat to them. The holiday part is that the video is from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, but has Linus singing as Sting on “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”.  Turn the speakers up & have a good laugh!

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Thanksgiving on Route 66….

What started out as a 4 day weekend trip to Georgia turned out to be a 3 1/2 day trip on Route 66 to Oklahoma. We had planned on heading to an area of Georgia about an hour southeast of Atlanta to check out filming locations for “My Cousin Vinny”, filmed down there in the early 1990’s. However, the forecast for the weekend included some rain, so we decided Thursday afternoon to head west to Route 66 instead.

We arrived in St. James, Missouri that evening and spent the night at Finn’s Motel. A basic, older motel with basic amineties.

Friday we resumed our cruise on 66 through Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. We had a fine dinner at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger in Miami, Oklahama.

After having a fine burger at Waylan’s, we continued our journey west, and found our overnight stop at the Skyliner Motel in Stroud, Oklahoma. This is a simple, 10 room mom & pop motel that had a swell neon sign to gaze at.

Saturday we journeyed a little further west and had breakfast at the fairly new Pops gas station & cafe in Arcadia, Oklahoma. This place is a must stop on your next 66 journey. They’ve got over 400 different pops of all varieties. The 66 foot tall soda bottle next to Route 66 is quite the sight to behold, and even more impressive at night.

Leaving Pops, we made our way into Oklahoma City, but didn’t do much other than turn around, as it was time to make our way back east. We stopped back in Arcadia at the restored Round Barn.

East of Arcadia, we stopped at John Hargrove’s OK County 66, a tribute to Route 66. We spent a good hour there talking with John and marveling at his display of home made Route 66 icons.

We had read about John’s place in Jerry McClanahan’s EZ Guide to Route 66. I HIGHLY encourage you to drop by & have John show you around.

We then stopped in Chandler, OK for a visit at the new Route 66/Chandler Interpretive Center, housed in the old Armory Building.

Leaving Chandler, we continued east on 66 and stopped in the Red Fork area of Tulsa at Ollies Station Restaurant for an early dinner.

With the sun quickly sinking after dinner, we moved on with some four hours of drive time ahead of us. Unfortunately for a furry four-legged creature (I think it was a cat), it met its fate with our car somewhere on 66 between Narcissa and Miami. It was at full stride, it was dark, and by the time it came into the view of the headlights, it was too late. So late that I didn’t even have time to react and hit the brakes. RIP, little fella. 😦

When we got to Joplin, we jumped on I-44 so we could make it to Springfield, which we did. Our motel of choice in Springfield is the Rest Haven Court, and it’s still the bargain as it’s been since my first stay there in 1997. Plus, the neon is pristine, as you can tell.

Sunday morning we awoke to snow showers and 33 degrees. Hardly reassuring elements to travel 450 miles home. It was like that most of the day and we didn’t encounter anything wheel gripping. Although it was dreary, we still were able to visit some old & new relics along 66.

We rolled into St. Louis after taking the original Manchester Road alignment from the west end of St. Louis. We then jumped on I-70…where our trip essentially ended…for the tedious 3 1/2 hour trip back home. More pics are here on my Flickr site. Some aren’t tagged yet, but that’ll be coming shortly.


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