Eric on The Road

Journeys into the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten - by Eric Model

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dem Bums (On The Media/WNYC)

From On The Media/WNYC:

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the last game played by the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Journalists Michael Shapiro, Neil J. Sullivan and Len Shapiro reflect on the days when Dem Bums left Brooklyn and headed west.

All aboard! Former Canadiens greats have fond memories of riding the rails (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

By Red Fisher

"The Neville car sits there among the old, iron horses, looking tired and almost forlorn at the Canadian Railway Museum. Several Montreal streetcars from the long-ago past are there, as well. You can be sure that oldtimers will remember the open-air car, once bright and golden when it rumbled along Park Ave., but now marked ever-so-slightly with age".

"Ah, the Neville: what stories it could tell. It was as if the voices still could be heard when I visited it recently along with Henri Richard, Phil Goyette and Dollard St. Laurent when the great Canadiens teams of the 1950s travelled on it to several of the NHL's Original Six cities. Réjean Houle was another visitor".

NHL fails to break ice in London (

From The CanWest News Service:

by Peter O'Neil

'What games?' Londoner asks as Stanley Cup champs invade England.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Down East, By the Pint or the Vat (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

An odyssey up the coast features beer, blueberry pie and a 32 year old mule.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Postcard fans wish they were in Perryville (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Maureen Milford, USA TODAY
PERRYVILLE, Md. — Gordon Pfeiffer of Wilmington, Del., has made the pilgrimage to the converted automobile showroom four times. Lewis Baer of Penngrove, Calif., said he's flown out several times. David Bower of Philadelphia makes a road trip every two years.

What brings these folks to a quiet stretch of U.S. 40 in Perryville, Md., is Mary L. Martin Ltd. Antique Postcards. All three men are deltiologists — postcard collectors — and Mary L. Martin Ltd. is a legend among enthusiasts.

"Any postcard collector that is vacationing in the area or has relatives near here come by," said Bower, who was spending a recent day off at Mary L. Martin Ltd., browsing through vintage postcards of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. "It's like going to a museum."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Passing: William Wirtz, Blackhawks Owner (CP)

From The Canadian Press through

The Canadian Press
9/26/2007 8:48:41 AM

CHICAGO - William Wirtz, the longtime owner of the Chicago Blackhawks notorious for driving a hard bargain, died Wednesday at age 77.

The family, led by Arthur Wirtz, purchased the Chicago Blackhawks in 1954. In 1966, William Wirtz became team president.

Wirtz was chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Hockey League for 18 years and helped negotiate the merger of the NHL and the World Hockey Association in the late 1970's.

Together with Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Wirtz helped back the construction of the United Center, which replaced the Chicago Stadium, the long-time home for Blackhawks.

But since moving there 12 years ago, the Blackhawks have made just four playoff appearances _ only two since 1997. The Blackhawks haven't played in the Stanley Cup finals in 15 years. As a result, the Blackhawks _ one of the six original NHL teams _ average about 12,700 fans per game in an arena that seats 20,500.

Wirtz' stewardship of the Blackhawks was long questioned, with the criticism becoming more vociferous in recent years. Many fans blamed him for allowing too many good players to leave over the years, and for his refusal to televise most home games.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

50 Years Ago

1957 - This time of year.

Sputnik, Little Rock, West Side Story and the Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Feasting on Montreal's Charms (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Erica Johnston
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 23, 2007;

A Return to the Pleasures, Guilty or Not, of a Bilingual City

Canadian Thanksgiving 101 (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

Pumpkin and Turkey, Maple Leaf Style

Little house, big flip (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

By Rebecca Dube
September 21, 2007

After some creative renovations, Toronto's tiniest home is back on the market and poised to make its owner a tidy profit.

Time for a Change in Indiana (NPR)

From NPR News:

Weekend Edition Saturday
September 22, 2007

Indiana has two times zones: eastern time, for eighty counties in the east of the state, and central time, for twelve other counties. This week the Dept. of Transportation announced that part of the state's southwest can switch to eastern time when daylight saving ends.

Keeping America Humming (CBS News)

From CBS News:

By Bill Geist
CBS Sunday Morning

One Woman's Crusade To Promote The Humble Kazoo.

Fans in a Froth for the Mug in Which Bernie Brewer Bathed (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Vincent M. Mallozzi
Published: September 23, 2007

Todd Achtner, a lifelong Brewers fan, is leading an online charge to bring back the beer barrel, mug and chalet belonging to Bernie Brewer. They were a fixture at County Stadium but did not move with the team to Miller Park in 2001.

“It’s a tradition that fans love and want back at the ballpark,” said Achtner, a 27-year-old security guard from Appleton, Wis. “Bernie Brewer’s old routine was one of the best home run celebrations ever.”

Hit the Road for a Scenic Autumn Drive (AP)

From The Associated Press through

By Beth J. Harpaz, AP

Watch the cranberry harvest in Massachusetts, view elk in Colorado or drive the 2,000-mile Great River Road along the Mississippi River.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ken Burns' rush to capture voices of a fading generation in 'The War' (USA Today)

From USA Today

Filmmaker Ken Burns felt "urgency," and some criticism, as he documented the stories of WWII veterans shown on the PBS Series "The War".

Same Name, Two Very Different Cities (NPR)

From NPR News:

As NPR's Day to Day prepares for its three-day visit to Kansas City, Alex Chadwick poses the question, "Am I in Kansas or in Missouri?" Turns out, a little of both ... and the two are different.

Trillin Embraces His Midwest Roots (NPR News)

From NPR News:

Ahead of three days of special broadcasts from historic Union Station in Kansas City, Mo., NPR's Alex Chadwick finds out what to expect from humorist and author Calvin Trillin.

Trillin, a native son of Kansas City, has lived for many years in New York City, but likes to think he keeps in touch with his Midwest roots.

New Mexico: Chile Hot Spot (NPR News)

From NPR News:

In New Mexico — the largest producer of chiles in the United States — the spicy peppers are more than just a crop: They're a culture, a way of life. And this time of year, the aroma of roasting chiles permeates the air throughout the state.

Canadian clubs drink in riches as loonie rises (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

By Pat Hickey:

The soaring Canadian dollar - which is actually a sinking U.S. dollar - is a bonanza for George Gillett Jr. and the other owners of Canadian NHL teams.

For Canadian owners, the situation is a boon because they no longer pay exorbitant exchange rates. In 2001-02, the team's payroll was about $41 million U.S. but, with a dollar around
65 cents, it cost the Habs more than $57 million Canadian with the exchange.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Long Haul (

From - Times Colonist (Victoria):

by Jim Gibson,

There's lots to see on a cross-country drive -- if you slow down long enough to savour it.

All aboard: W.Va. couples leisure, scenic routes (AP)

From The Associated Press through

There are five scenic railroads, one offering three trains and routes.

New Pocast Posting: Music of America - Guitar Flat Picking Championships & More at Walnut Valley

For more than 30 years, Walnut Valley, Kansas has been the scene for an annual family event that features four stages with eight contests, at least 14 workshops and more. Larry Junker talks to us from Walnut Valley about its origins and traditions.

New Podcast Posting: Labor Day Rememberance: Walter Reuther, 20th Century Labor Giant

Walter Reuther would have turned 100 years old on September 1, 2007.
He was President of the United Auto Workers during the mid 20th century. But he was much more. His life represented the life and times of millions in the labor movement.

As we remember Walter Reuther on the occasion of his 100th birthday anniversary, we see just how different times are today.


New Podcast Posting: A Must Do List for Sports Fans

In 2004 Jim Gorant, an editor at Sports Illustrated Magazine, realized there were a lot of big-time, elemental sports events that he’d never been to. So he spent one year traveling to the 10 greatest sports events, or at least the 10 that topped his list and wrote a book about the experience.

The book is called ”Fanatic: 10 Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die”


$1 Cdn = $1 US (CBC News)

From CBC News:

The Canadian dollar reached parity with the U.S. greenback on Thursday for the first time in almost 31 years, capping a spectacular run that has seen it rise 62 per cent since 2002.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

High School Football Teams Reflect Changes in Rural Life (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Joe Spring
Published: September 12, 2007

The impact of changing demographics and farming technology in this region is apparent in the student body and, on Friday nights, on the football field.

Braves Cheered On by Truly Brave Hospice Fans (NPR)

From NPR News:

Weekend Edition Saturday, September 15, 2007

Atlanta Braves players, coaches have developed a special relationship with the patients at a nearby hospice.

Landmark Cafe Carlyle to Reopen (NPR)

From NPR News:

by Scott Simon, Weekend Edition Saturday

September 15, 2007 · The legendary Carlyle Café, which has played host to Elaine Stritch, Judy Collins and even Woody Allen, will have its grand reopening Sept. 18. Its first engagement will be with the equally legendary Eartha Kitt. Kitt talks about performing at the Manhattan lounge.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th: What’s Changed? (WNYC)

From WNYC:

Brian Lehrer Show

Six years after the attacks, the mood is not as mournful, but there are many palpable changes in how we live our lives. We look at the local response to emergencies, the difference in our image abroad and the new political rhetoric and why it matters.

Exploring Ithaca & New York's Finger Lakes (AP)

From The Associated Press through

I went to college in New York's Finger Lakes Region (Hobart College in Geneva, NY).

It is a beautiful part of the world that as Garrison Keillor likes to say "that time forgot and the decades cannot improve".

So when the Assocaited Press writes about the area, I like to share ot with you. But please don't tell toom many others. Let it be our little secret.

"...The Finger Lakes are so named for the 11 long, slender bodies of water that divide the region from north to south, making any east-west journey a time-consuming operation. ..."

"...The landscape was formed 2 million years ago, when a series of glacial advances and retreats scooped out north-south river valleys to form the deep basins that became the lakes. That left the east-west streams nowhere to go but down, down, down, creating dramatic gorges and waterfalls..."

"Virtually forgotten by the rest of the country, and a bit down at the heels, many of these towns or their heritage-minded residents have preserved handsome specimens of 19th-century architecture, from the classical lines of Federal and Greek Revival styles to ornate Victorian confections. The imposing mansions are a reminder of the region's wealth and importance during the heyday of the Erie Canal, when the farmland south of Lake Ontario was some of the most productive in the nation...."

Monday, September 10, 2007

'We are still a living people' (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

September 8, 2007

Northern B.C. museum preserves history while showcasing the works of young artisans.

Robinson, Gainey to have numbers retired (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette (

The Canadiens will honour two more of their greats this season as they continue preparations for the club's centennial celebration in 2009. In the coming months, the organization will retire the No. 19 of Larry Robinson and the No. 23 of general manager Bob Gainey.

Ghost Roads of Nebraska (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Gary Anthes, September 2, 2007; Page P01

In Abandoned America, Signs of Life Appear on the Other Side of the Lens

In Vermont, the Leaves Are Falling And the Chicken Pies Are Calling (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Carol McCabe, September 9, 2007; Page P01

Even as old-time box socials and Grange picnics have faded from much of rural America, the chicken pie supper, a culinary tradition peculiar to Vermont, has endured. Recently the suppers have grown in popularity, becoming destinations for fall leaf peepers.

Longest, and Possibly Coolest, A Train Still a-Thrumming at 75 (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Manny Fernandez
Published: September 10, 2007

It was the city’s first ride, too — 171,267 passengers rode it that September day in 1932, its first day of operation. The line, then called the Eighth Avenue subway, spanned only 12 miles and 28 stations, from the top of Manhattan to the bottom.

Some 75 years later, the A line stretches farther than it did back then, literally and culturally.

Over the years, the A line has become less of a train and more of an icon, a symbol of the nearly 500,000 varied and eclectic New Yorkers and others it carries through the city daily.

As Change Nears, Coney Islanders Keep Dreaming (NPR)

From NPR News:

As developers plan changes to New York's Coney Island, the park's stalwarts are getting nostalgic.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Passing: Max McNab, Longtime NHLer as Player & Exec.

From Associated Press - through

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Max McNab, who won the Stanley Cup as a player with the Detroit Red Wings in 1950 and later served as the general manager of two NHL teams in a nearly 50-year hockey career, has died. He was 83.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Lynx finale spells end of AAA in Canada (CP)

Canadian Press through

Canadian Press
9/3/2007 6:46:41 PM

OTTAWA (CP) - A final, solitary nail was slammed into the coffin of triple-A baseball in Canada when the Ottawa Lynx played what was all but certainly their last game Monday.

A century of elite minor-league ball in Canadian cities ended with hundreds of fans leaping onto the field while a wary security guard sat on home plate to protect it from illicit souvenir-seekers.

Children and 30-somethings alike sprinted around the bases at Lynx Stadium in a final salute to the game that left town - just like it has left Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Montreal.

Canadian "Lumberjills" (

From the

Women keep the tradition alive - a photo essay.

"Nova Scotia Cool"(Chicago Tribune)

From The Chicago Tribune:

A Chicago travel writer travels to The Maritimes: "In this land of lobsters, lighthouses, dreamy drives and Titanic memories, just step aside for the moose",0,777311.story

Beyond The Mall (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

21 Notable Locals on Their Favorite Places to Take Out-of-Town Guests.

The Day After the Big College Football Upset

Just when you're about to give up on spectator sports, you get seduced again.

That happened to me this past weekend when I went to my computer and read that Division I-AA Appalachian State College had beaten the great University of Michigan in a stadium full of more than 100,000 Michigan fans in Ann Arbor.

Wasn't this supposed to be one of those evil revenue games that small schools schedule with larger ones ? You know, those games where the little school gets clobbered badly but goes home with some money in the bank for another day?

Well it didn't work out that way - at last one early September Saturday in the Midwest.

But according to today's New York Times, Appalachian State’s stunning upset of Michigan was not as great a shock to those who have followed the I-AA team.

Meanwhile in Michigan, questions are being asked.

Something to think about on Labo(u)r Day

Having a good long weekend ? Trying to squeeze in as much as you can before Summer is but a memory ? Here too.

But in the midst of all the activity perhaps it is appropriate that we pause to contemplate why we have the day off.

More than the "Unofficial End of Summer" and the Jerry Lewis Telethon, there is a reason for the holiday.

Many sacrificed dearly - some with their lives to gain rights that most these days take for granted. Justice did not always come according to notions of common sense or fairness.

Just something to think about.

Gotta go before I burn the food on the grill.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Music Is Thriving Again In New Orleans (CBS News)

From CBS News:

How The Tipitina Foundation decided to use music to make music, enlisting the aid of local musicians and celebrity performers to raise money to buy instruments for New Orleans' struggling schools.

Kit Carson: Hero Or Villain? (CBS News)

From CBS News:

Recalling The Legacy Of A Fabled Explorer, Who Helped Open The West — And Decimated The Navajo.

Like Many Before It, Drive-In Near Buffalo Reaches ‘The End’ (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Ken Belson
Published: September 2, 2007

Cable TV and online DVD ordering have contributed to the eclipse of theaters like the Buffalo Drive-In.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Frugal Road Trip (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Matt Gross,

After 11,000 miles and 26 states, the Frugal Traveler columnist tries to coax his Volvo across the finish line.

Also see: So Many Roads, So Many Suggestions -

Best-Laid Plans -

Banjo Master Riley Baugus Looks to Old Times (NPR News)

From NPR News:

by Noah Adams

Using homemade banjos, the former welder plays tunes from the Scots-Irish who settled and farmed in the southern Appalachians.