Trying to decide whether to stay in Lebanon one more day or go to Cuba because of the threat of storms all day. Went to the office and had coffee and talked with Ramona and Jess McEntire. This is one of my favorite things to do every morning we stay at the Munger-Moss. Always a good conversation and usually with other Route 66 folks. While there, we had one of the worst downpours I've ever seen.
At the Munger-Moss, the office is at the lowest point on the property and it wasn't long before we were manning the sandbag brigade by the two doors as water was starting to come in.
Decided to go to Cuba and drove Route 66 to St. Robert. It rained, drizzled and cleared up the whole way. Stopped at Chester's in St. Robert, on the north side of I-44. If you like fried chicken, this is definitely a place you want to go. Delicious. Then we did Highway Z, the four lane highway through Hooker Cut, as I said, my favorite Route 66 place.
In Cuba, we had to wait for another downpour before getting a room at the Wagon Wheel Motel. Frisco's is closed on Mondays. but Rock Fair, just off 66 wasn't and we had a good time with the locals there as well as at the East Office Pub, near the Wagon Wheel.
Big storm this morning. Encountered the big group of motorcyclists from Germany on the way out to California on Route 66 in the Munger-Moss lobby. We had also seen them at the Motel 6 in Springfield, Illinois, Thursday morning.
At 10 a.m., we had a classic car parade go by the Munger-Moss with Ramona Lehman as the grand marshal and looking all spry with the tiara and spray of roses. We then went to Bosley Park for the dedication of the Camp Joy tourist cabin and there was a ceremony.
Spent time talking with the good folks at the Missouri Route 66 Association's booth and also talked with Smokey of Smokey and the Bandit fame. Enjoyed the music from the Bucket Band who played oldies.
Afterwards we went to the VFW for a barbecue, then to the American Legion and back to the Munger-Moss Motel.
Drove over to Hardee's for breakfast then went to Wal-Mart and bought CDs.
Back to the room for awhile and then to the LaClede County Route 66 Museum and enjoyed the Willem Bohr miniatures and other artifacts and momentos of the road. This is a really good museum. I also went into the library which takes up the rest of the old K-Mart building and spent some time researching.
Stopped at Wrink's, now Vintage Cowgirl at Wrink's and they are doing a very good lunch business. I tried one of their fried bologna sandwiches, chips and drink for $5. I'd never had one before and it is a good one.
Liz and I went to the American Legion on the west end of town and had a few brews then back to the Munger-Moss where we encountered problems getting in with all those old cars out front. A local Springfield TV station was broadcasting live out there. This was the block party celebration for the Lebanon Route 66 Festival. A band was playing at Wrink's
One of the vendor booths was the Route 66 Association of Missouri and I had a nice talk with Bob Gehl, membership chairman and I reupped my dues for four more years. Great organization.
Right now I am doing the homework assigned me last night at McHenry Library (Illinois). And that was having to listen to the entire "Abbey Road" album" by you-know-who. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this album's release this year.
And, what better way to find out about it than by having the "Fessa tell you about each and every song on it. He went into great detail and did it with plenty of video. I doubt that anyone, even Terri Hemmert (and she REALLY KNOWS A LOT) knows more about the Beatles than Professor Moptop.
Plus, I am greatly enjoying my 12 ounce bottle of Cheerwine, the taste of North Carolina. Yesterday, while shopping at our Spring Grove (Illinois) Jewel store I was fairly shocked to see a four pack of bottles for sale ($4). That is much more than the usual $2.50 I like to spend for a 12-pack of pop. But, the fact you can only rarely find it here in northern Illinois made me pay that price. (I really stock up on the stuff when I'm in N.C..)
Sure made my day.
So, here I sit, typing away with my own two little fingers, drinking the good stuff and doing my homework. I figured I had left homework behind when I got out of college, but evidently not so.
We took I-55 to I-270 to Missouri and a traditional stop at the welcome center at the border. Then 270 to I-44 to Sullivan and stop for lunch of those great tacos at Jack-In-the-Box, or Jack's as they're now called. We really like those tacos.
Then Route 66 to Fanning Outpost, home of the giant rocker west of Cuba and gourmet popcorn. I-44 around Rolla. Then a drive by John's Modern Cabins and the Trail of Tears.
Of course, my favorite place on Route 66, Hooker Cut and a stop for a beer at the Elbow Inn and Devil's Elbow, Missouri.
Checked into the Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri , and talked with Ramona. We will sure be missing Bob this year as he died a few months ago. We found that our usual liquor store was gone as was Senor Pepper's. But the VFW was still there and we had a great time three.
Drove the usual way on Illinois Highway 47 to Dwight. Then drove Route 66 to Chenoa and then to I-55 for the rest of the day to Springfield, Illinois. First time ever that we were unable to get a room at the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center which was booked for a horse show and golf tournament in town. Also, no room at the nearby Comfort Inn.
We went south to Toronto Road and got the last room at the Motel 6 and then back for our Cozy Dog fix. Watched the first part of the Stanley Cup Game 7 contest between the St, Louis Blues and Boston Bruins. Springfield is 100 miles from St. Louis and about half and half St. Louis and Chicago fans. We saw the rest of the game at Motorheads on Route 66 on Toronto Road. The place was packed with Blues fans.
We pulled for the Blues (even though we are Blackhawk fans) because they Midwest and no one wants to see another Boston/New England team win anything.
Born Noel Scott Engel in England. Performed with the group Walker Brothers (though none of them was a Walker, it was their stage names). They first had success in England and had a number of top ten albums and singles.
Their biggest hits were "Make It Easy On Yourself' (#16-1965) and ""The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" (#13-1966).
I'm listening to the Walker Brothers and Scott Walker solo on You Tube right now. What a voice!!
Every summer Bob Stroud goes back 40 years and plays the songs from that summer and date that were on the radio and in your record collections. It is a real trip back. He does it on his Rock and Roll Roots show Sundays from 7 to 10 a.m. on Chicago's WDRV, 97.1 FM. It streams.
He will do it in 4 parts, the first Sunday of June, July, August and September, so there are three more to go.
Theses are the songs he played June 2.
WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES-- Doobie Brohrs
D.J.-- David Bowie
ROCK AND ROLL FANTASY-- Bad Company
GIVE ME SOME WATER-- Eddie Money
AIN'T THAT A SHAME-- Cheap Trick
JUST THE SAME WAY-- Journey
REMOTE CONTROL-- Tubes
CRAZY LOVE-- Poco
CHUCK E.'S IN LOVE-- Rikki Lee Jones
The crowd beyond the security barriers loved the planes but loved the veterans even more. Whenever their images came up on the bug screen, the people cheered loudly.
"What happened to me is not important. I'm not a hero. I served with men who were," said Les Hammond, 94, who landed at Juno Beach with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. "I'm very lucky I'm a survivor."
President Trump read a prayer that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered in a radio address on June 6, 1944, extolling the "mighty endeavor" Allied troops were engaged in.
British Prime Minister Theresa May read a letter written by Captain Norman Skinner of the Royal Army service Corps to his wife Gladys, on June 3, 1944, a few days before the invasion. he was killed the day after D-Day.
"Although I would give anything to be back with you, I have not yet had any wish at all to back down from the job we have to do," he wrote.
French President Emmanuel Macron read from a letter sent by a young resistance fighter, Henri Fertet, before he was executed at the age of 16.
"I am going to die for my country. I want France to be free and the French to be happy."
The ceremony ended with singer Sheridan Smith performing the wartime hit "We'll Meet Again," as many of the veterans sang along.
Then WW II Spitfire and Hurricane fighter plans, modern-day Typhoons and the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows aerobatic unit swooped over the dignitaries and crows of spectators.
D-Day saw more than 150,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy in northwest France on June 6, 1944, carried by 7,000 ships and boats. The Battle of Normandy, codenamed Operation Overlord, was a turning point in the war and helped bring about Nazi Germany's defeat in May 1945.
Wednesday's ceremony brought together presidents, prime ministers and other representatives of more than a dozen countries that fought with the Allies in Normandy.
The leader of the country that was the enemy in the invasion in 1944, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also attended -- a symbol of Europe's postwar reconciliation and transformation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who attended the 70th anniversary commemorations in France has not been invited. Russia (then the Soviet Union) was not involved in D-Day but was instrumental in defeating the Germans on the Eastern Front.
The ceremony sought to take people back in time, with world leaders reading the words of participants in the event.
Mixing history lesson, entertainment and remembrance, the ceremony in Portsmouth was a large-scale spectacle involving troops, dancers and martial bands, culminating in a military fly-past. But even with all that as well as an array of world leaders, the real stars of the show were the the elderly veterans who said they were surprised by all the attention. They said they were just doing their jobs.
"I was just a small part in a very big machine," said John Jenkins, 99, a veteran from Portsmouth, who received a standing ovation as he addressed the event.
"You never forget your comrades because we were all in it together," he said. "It is right that the courage and sacrifice of so many is being honored 75 years on. We must never forget."
The event, which kicked off two days of D-Day anniversary observances, paid tribute to the troops who shaped history during the dangerous mission to reach beachheads and fight in German-occupied France.
Queen Elizabeth II went on to say: "The heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten. It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country -- indeed the whole free world -- that I say to you all, thank you."
Several hundred World War II veterans attended the ceremony in Portsmouth, the English port city from where many of the troops embarked for Normandy on June 5, 1944.
Many will recreate the journey. with less danger and more comfort, by crossing the Channel by ship to Normandy overnight. They will attend commemorations Thursday in Bayeux, the first major town liberated by Allied troops after D-Day.
From the June 6, 2019, Chicago Tribune by Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless, AP.
Queen Elizabeth II and world leaders, including President Trump gathered Wednesday on the south coast of England to honor the troops who risked and sacrificed their lives 75 years ago on D-Day. It was a triumphant turning point of World War II
Across the English Channel, Allied paratroopers dropped into northwestern France, scaled cliffs by Normandy beaches and charged ashore this day.
It is exceedingly sad that the number of veterans who were there and who fought in the war is dwindling so fast. Several hundred men who took part in D-Day were there. All are now in their nineties. The Queen herself is now 93 years old and a member of that Greatest Generation.
She served as an army mechanic during the war and said that when she attended the 60th anniversary event many thought it might be the last time it was held "But the wartime generation -- my generation -- is resilient," she said.
The yard is ablaze with color right now. The wild tall phlox are all blooming purple. The irises are purple and yellow. Hundreds of daisies are white. The creeping phlox is lavender and dianthus are blooming as well as some other perennials that I don't know the name. The ajuga is purple as well.
Sadly, my mountain ash succumbed to ash borers and fell over so I have been cutting it up. My burning bushes are just starting to leaf out and I will have to really trim the boxwoods and azaleas back because of winter kill. That polar vortex really did a number on my yard.
I am still working on limbs from the apple tree and Bradford pear. It is hard to keep up with the grass. Between all the rain and cool temperatures, it is grass nirvana. The sunburst honeylocusts are all golden right now as well.
There were seven former Indy winners running as well as six rookies.
It would be hard to explain the sound of 33 of those engines starting up at once. Then they do three laps, the first one three across and then, the Green Flag. Go!! Everyone stands for the beginning of the race and nothing like seeing then come roaring around Turn 1. The fun has started.
It seemed that they were trying to get at least half the race in as fast as possible to keep ahead of rain if it should come. Speeds were high, but no one was taking big chances so only one yellow flag when a car's engine froze up. There were real high speeds. The only problems were in the pits where injuries and crashes took place.
For much of the race, it was pole sitter Simon Pagenaud versus Ed Carpenter. At lap 178 there was a five car accident and the red flag came out. The race restarted with ten laps to go and then it was the most excitable racing you could imagine with a regular battle between Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi for first.
Pagenaud won. Just a few years ago he was almost out of racing.
We went back to the RV for cocktails and then into the Legion for awhile. John left to start his drive back to Arizona. For the second year in a row, Sue, Paul and I were too tired to watch the replay of the race. Our excuse was that we had had too much fun already. And, we're sticking to it.
Not Only Did I Not Get Wet Today, But I Also Got A Bit of a Sunburn. --RoadDog
Everyone was keeping a weather eye out west, lest we have heavy rain and mess up the race. This was talked about ever since we got there on Thursday, whether or not there would even be a race and what would happen if it was canceled Sunday.
As it turned out, it didn't rain.
This race is probably the biggest Memorial Day commemoration in the United States. It is devoted to those veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country. We had a four helicopter flyover and another flyover by two WW II planes and a jet and another plane while Kelly Clarkson was singing the "Star-Spangled Banner." No ONE took a knee.
Blackhawk favorite, Jim Cornelison sang "Back Home Again in Indiana." He sings the "Star-Spangled Banner" for home games. This is his third year in a row doing it so I'd say he has now taken the place of Jim Nabors singing it.
"Lady and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines." Pippa Mann was among the 33 who raced.
A PLETHORA OF TIDBITS: When actor Clint Eastwood ran for mayor of Carmel, California, in 1986, a major issue was ice cream. Town leaders had banned the sale of ice cream cones, incensing Eastwood and his supporters. They won and overturned the ordinance.
The big day arrives and the question on everyone's mind is RAIN. We were supposed to get fairly-well deluged. Folks looking at weather predictions and chance of rain increased throughout the day and were especially high around race time.
Woke up at 6 a.m. to the sound of two big booms and then heard the p.a. announcer talking but couldn't make it out because of echoing, but I did hear the word "radar" at one point. They then played some songs, starting off with CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain." Appropriate choice.
Looking outside the RV, I could see we had received no rain over the night, but there were some worrisome clouds. We heard that to our north they had gotten hit hard.
We had breakfast and packed for the race, everyone with rain gear. Then made the walk to the race track (across the street, but quite a way around to our gate. As usual, huge crowds. The stairs going up to the South Vista catwalk as usual got me part way up and I had to sit down so that my knees wouldn't buckle.
The usual crowd up there in our seating area, the same ones who have been coming all these years including the couple from Texas who I always sit by. We greeted each other like old friends, which we are, if only very temporarily.