Archive for the ‘News’ Category

All Our Children, Part One

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Jolie and Missy

Jolie and Missy posing at the fireplace, shortly after we moved into our Adams Street condo.

Carol and I had gone on wonderful (and expensive) vacations every year from 1984-1988–trips that were really above our means. With our finances dwindled, we knew we would be more home bound for some time. Carol had always wanted to have a dog so we felt we had no excuse standing in our way. In early November 1988 we adopted a six-week-old blonde bundle of love. We named her Missy. The pet store worker told us that she was a “Miniature Schnauzer Mix.” But as the photo here shows, it would soon become obvious that she was neither miniature nor a Schnauzer.

However, mutual unconditional love soon made her lineage a moot point. What also became obvious quickly is that we had absolutely no idea how to train or manage a dog. After a few failed attempts at winging it, we decided to buy a book on dog training. This did not work either–no matter how many times we left the book on the floor, Missy showed no interest in reading it. (more…)

Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps – Saturdays in March 2015

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Four special 2-hour walking tours of places in Chicago’s Loop that are part of the Lincoln Legacy

Pullman Building

Pullman Building

Abraham Lincoln visited Chicago repeatedly during a 13-year span from 1847 to 1860, and his funeral train came through the city in 1865. Tad Lincoln died here, Mary attempted suicide here, and Robert Todd Lincoln became a lawyer and practiced law here. These tours will visit many sites important to the Lincoln legacy in Chicago.

Tour Highlights:

    Lake Street, That Great Street. Saturday March 7, 10:06 a.m. Meet at James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street. We visit sites including the Wigwam, where Lincoln was nominated for President in 1860; the Tremont House, Abe’s favorite Hotel; and Crosby’s Opera House where Robert Todd Lincoln’s first law office was located.
    A Noisy, Dreary Place. Saturday March 14, 10:06 a.m. Meet on the steps of the Art Institute, Adams and Michigan. We visit sites including the Pullman Building (pictured above) where Robert Todd Lincoln worked and the Clifton House where Mary, Robert, and Tad lived and where Tad died in 1871.
    Insane Woman Walking. Saturday March 21, 10:06 a.m. Meet at Daley Plaza, Clark and Washington. Starting at the site of pre- and post-fire Cook County Courthouse, where Lincoln practiced law and where his coffin was visited by mourners, and where Mary Todd was declared insane. Ending at the site where Mary attempted suicide.
    A Mighty Good Road. Saturday March 28, 10:06 a.m. Meet at the Great Hall of Union Station. Sites include location of pre-fire Union Depot where Lincoln’s Funeral Train departed for Springfield and location of the Van Buren (LaSalle) Station, where the Rock Island Line headed west to cross the Mississippi for the first time in 1856 (thanks to Lincoln).

Reservations required. To register, send an email to tour guide David Clark at: . Or call 312-432-1284.
Each tour will start at 10:06 a.m. (66 minutes after 9 a.m.)! All participants in the tour will pay a discounted price less than 66% of the regular $25.00 per person cost—that is only $15.00 per guest for a 2-hour adventure.

Tours subject to cancellation if fewer than SIX reservations are received by the Friday before each tour.

Tour Participants receive a 10% discount off of The Roads That Lead to Lincoln. To receive the book discount, the book must be ordered at the time of tour reservation.

Your Chicago: Route 66 Starting Point, CBS 2 Chicago

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

…this segment with news anchor Kate Sullivan appeared on the CBS 2 Chicago 10 p.m. newscast on September 30th, 2011. It can be seen, along with its accompanying text, at the Web page.

If this video makes you hungry for more, please contact me for a tour, a presentation to your library/museum/social group, or to buy a book or postcard! or call me at 312-432-1284! Get your kicks with me on Route 66!

Another Promo for CBS 2 9/30 Route 66 Your Chicago Segment

Friday, September 30th, 2011

… this time I speak! I was asked the question why people come to Chicago from all around the world for their 66 adventure and I said, “It is the adventure of a lifetime that they’ve been looking forward to.” Enjoy!

Promo for CBS 2 Your Chicago Route 66 Segment

Friday, September 30th, 2011

as it appeared on the 9/29/11 newscast with anchor Kate Sullivan. Yours truly is the large guy in the Route 66 Aloha Shirt!

More on the IDOT-Vulcan Materials Settlement concerning Joliet Road

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

$40M settles Joliet Road closure dispute :: The SouthtownStar :: News


A company that produces construction materials will pay $40 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation after a 12-year legal dispute about a section of Joliet Road in McCook.

Vulcan Materials Co. does not admit liability in the settlement, which was reached after three weeks of negotiation, IDOT said Tuesday.

The one-mile stretch of Joliet Road from 55th Street to East Avenue was closed in May 1998 because the road was substantially damaged and unsafe for vehicular traffic. The one-mile stretch runs through the middle of two Vulcan open pit quarry mines, one to the north and one to the south.

IDOT experts concluded the roadway was destabilized from years of mining by Vulcan and any attempts to repair and reopen Joliet Road would require frequent and expensive maintenance, including lane closures, IDOT said. Vulcan at the time would not agree to state-requested mining setbacks and land contributions necessary to implement repair options.

The lawsuit was filed by the state in 2001. Vulcan has ceased mining activities in the two quarries and has announced plans to fill and develop the north quarry.

IDOT and Vulcan Settle Joliet Road Lawsuit

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Quoting from a press release and announcement through the PRNewswire:

Vulcan Materials Company today announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed against the Company by the State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).  IDOT will receive a total of $40 million in full and final settlement of the lawsuit.  

Under terms of the settlement, IDOT will receive $20 million within 10 days. The remaining $20 million will be paid as Vulcan receives funds from its insurers, with the full amount to be paid no later than nine months from the date of the settlement.  While Vulcan believes that the settlement is covered by insurance policies and is taking appropriate actions to facilitate recovery from its insurers, the ultimate amount and timing of such recoveries cannot be predicted with certainty.

More information about how this section of Joliet Road is important to Route 66 is available in two recent blog post on this website, click here or here to see those earlier blog posts.

Al’s #1 Beef opens on Route 66

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Als Beef Adams Street Chicago

Als #1 Italian Beef, 601 W. Adams (Westbound Route 66), Chicago

A famous Chicago eatery now has a new location on Adams Street (westbound Route 66). Als #1 Italian Beef invented the beef sandwich back in 1938 in Chicagos Little Italy neighborhood. Their sandwich started as a way to stretch scarce beef during the Great Depression, slicing it thinly and serving it with au jus gravy and a choice of hot or sweet peppers on a large roll. Their business began as delivery only, catering to the needs of workers at nearby hospitals and businesses. For years, their only location remained in Little Italy at 1079 W. Taylor Street. The menu expanded over time to include Italian and Polish Sausage, Chicago-style hot dogs, and their famous hand-cut French fries. New ownership began franchising Als in 1999, and the restaurant at Adams and Jefferson Streets is one of their newest.

Als Italian Beef at night

Als #1 Italian Beef at night

The building now occupied by Al’s Italian Beef on Adams Street was previously the location of restaurants named Angelo’s and West Loop Cafe. It is located near Union Station and an easy walk from Sears Willis Tower. The new Adams location features a fanciful giant soft drink cup over the entrance. I believe the largest drink on the menu comes in a somewhat smaller cup

For more information on Al’s Italian Beef, check out their website at