Eric on The Road

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vincent Domenico, Inventor of Rice-A-Roni (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Saul Hansell
Published: October 23, 2007

DeDomenico and his brothers invented their signature product in 1958 after watching a sister-in-law mix a can of Swanson’s chicken broth with rice and vermicelli.

Passing: Peg Bracken - Author of "I Hate to Cook" (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Margalit Fox
Published: October 23, 2007

She parlayed her irreverent wit — and her passionate dislike of a traditional womanly duty — into a subversive best seller.

Beacons Beckon (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By John Deiner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On a Md. Lighthouse Tour, You Can See The State in a Flash

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Indians Fan Still Going Strong at 92 (NPR)

From NPR News:

by M.L. Schultze
October 18, 2007, All Things Considered

About a fan who has been rooting on the hometown Cleveland team for 9 decades and who can recall seeing the likes of Trsi Speaker, Ty Cobb and Bob Feller in action.

Passing: Teresa Brewer, 1950's era pop-singer

"The little girl with the big voice" .

Passing: Deborah Kerr, Hollywood Actress (NPR)

Best remembered for a kiss from Here to Eternity and for her role in the King & I.

Plantation Dig Reveals Maryland Town's Painful Past (NPR)

From NPR News:

by John Ydste
Weekend Edition, October 20, 2007

On Maryland's Eastern Shore, archeology students are slowly unearthing the details of slave life on Wye House Farm.

The Town Maytag Left Behind (CBS News)

From CBS News (CBS Sunday Morning):

Last year the Whirlpool Corporation bought the Maytag Corporation and decided to shut down the Newton, Iowa factory which has employed residents for one hundred years. It hasn't been easy one those who live there.

New Podcast Posting: A Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Canada comes in October. It is tied to the harvest season, not the start of Christmas shopping.

In a "Conversation on the Road", we spoke with Larry Blondell of Kitchener, Ontario. He gave us some insight about Thanksgiving north of the border. He also shared his hometown Thanksgiving event - A Thanksgiving Parade, part of an Oktoberfest.

New Podcast Posting: Burgoo

Burgoo is a stew like specialty originating from the hills of Kentucky. It can also be found and Indiana and around Illinois.

In a "Conversation on the Road" we speak with William Hulslander from Utica, Illinois. We learn from him a bit about burgoo generally, and specifically about the version of burgoo the serve up there as part of their annual Burgoo Festival.

Heard on the Radio: Mountain Moonshine Festival

Moonshine smuggling has a history in the hills of northeast Georgia. Rooted in Prohibition the stories of the "Trippers" and the "Revenuers" are the stuff that legends are made out of. In fact, Bet you didn't know that NASCAR was born out of moonshine smuggling.

You can hear about this hostory and a festival in Dawson County, Georgia that honors this past in a "Hidden America" segment on XM Radio's "Left Jab". If you missed the program on XM Channel 167 Saturday at 1 pm and Sunday at 11 am, it can be heard at the Left Jab website - just go to archives:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joe Torre's Departure

I'm sad but I'm relieved.

Once a loyal Yankee fan as a kid, I've had mixed feelings over these past few years.

Don't much like the modern day Yankees, but had to respect and admire Joe Torre and his classy team. Bernie Williams, Jeter, Tito, O'Neil, Mariano, Petite - hard to hate them. It was especially hard to hate Joe Torre.

I'm sad to see it end for him in the Bronx.

But I'm so glad - let's see what they become now. They might win, but they've lost alot of class in the clubhouse.

As to the corporate suites that class his long been gone.

Oh, it's so much easier to root against the Yanks than it was yesterday.

The Rocket Reaches 500 (Montreal Gazette)

No not Roger Clemens.

It's the original and by my mind the only Rocket - THE Rocket - Maurice Richard.

It was fifty years ago today (October 19, 1957) that the Babe Ruth of hockey scored his 500th career goal.

That occasion and the greatness of Maurice Richard are recalled at Habsinsideout from the Montreal Gazette.

Enshrining the Rockies as the Unofficial Team of Wide-Open Spaces (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Kirk Johnson
October 18, 2007

The Colorado Rockies may be based in Denver.

But through the magic of radio they are also the home team five hours away - in Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as well.

For a long time it was not this way, but the late-season surge that put the Rockies into teh World Series for the first time is likely to consolidate such a regional grip - making the Rockies the unofficial team of wide open spaces and strengthening Denver's position as the interior West's professional sports capital.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bridge's Private Ownership Raises Concerns (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

by Monica Davies
Published October 12, 2007

An ordinary four lane bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario is the busiest commercial border thoroughfare in North America - carrying one -thiord of all road trade - over $122 billion per year.

It is owned neither by the cities, the province/state or nations on the either side. Nor by any commission. Rather it is privately owned by one man.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Making it to the Finish Line (NY Times)

Is it one of those days when you need to put things into perspective ? Check this out from the Sports Section of the New York Times. We shouldn't need such wake up calls, but a wake up call it sure is:

By Joshua Robinson
Published October 12, 2007

Marathon Fixture Battles Against Cancer as Race Nears

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Parks Canada Admits Pain of Expropriations (


Charles Mandel , CanWest News Service

250 families lost homes to make way for Kouchibouguac

In Red Sox Nation, It’s Still Fun to Kick Yanks (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Joe Lapointe
Published: October 11, 2007

BOSTON, Oct. 10 — In New York, where the baseball season ended earlier this week, there is a lot of Yankees angst in the air. In New England, in Red Sox Nation, baseball continues amid joy and gloating. On Wednesday, a journey by car from one place to the other provides a sampling of the voices from each camp.

Nothing says fall like pumpkin-chucking; events grow in popularity (USA Today)

By The Associated Press

What can you do with pumpkins? The list is not all that long. You can make pumpkin pies and breads, carve jack o'lanterns or use them to decorate your front porch.

Or you can send them hurling into the autumn sky at 400 mph with a 30,000-pound cannon.

It's pumpkin-chucking season!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Leif Erikson Day (Wikipedia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Leif Erikson Day is a United States observance occurring on October 9. It honors Leif Ericksom, who led the first Eurpoeans known to have set foot on North American soil. In 1964, Congress authorized and requested the President to create the observance through an annual proclamation. Lyndon B. Johnson and each President since have done so. Presidents have used the proclamation to praise the contributions of Americans of Nordic descent generally and the spirit of discovery.

In addition to the federal observance, some U.S. states officially commemorate Leif Erikson Day, particularly in the Upper Midwest, where large numbers of immigrants from the Nordic countries settled. In 1930, Wisconsin became the first state to officially adopt this holiday, thanks to efforts by the Norwegian-American initiator, Rasmus B. Anderson. A year later Minnesota followed suit.

In 1963, the U.S. Representative from Duluth, John Blatnik, introduced a bill to observe it nationwide. The following year Congress adopted this unanimously.
October 9 is not associated with any particular event in Leif Erikson's life. The date was chosen because the ship Restauration coming from Stavanger, Norway, arrived in New York Harbor on October 9, 1825 at the start of the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.

Old-Timers at Home on the Driving Range (NPR)

From NPR News:

by Stephanie Marudas

Weekend Edition Sunday, October 7, 2007 · Henry Stone's been running the driving range in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park for decades. He's one of the last surviving members of a mostly black golf club called the Long Knockers.

Season by the Cubs Recalls a Fan's Song (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

by Billy Altman
October 7, 2007

Set to a Chicago-centric bluesy Bo Diddley beat, the infectious “Go Cubs Go” took off for Cubs fans this season — much the way it did in 1984.

Babe and Josh Together, on Canvas (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Harvey Araton
October 7, 2007

Commemorating a hypotheical relationship between the hitting titans of their time.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Laundromat site of Thanksgiving meal (CBC News)

From CBC News (From 2000):

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Hundreds of Edmonton residents spent their Thanksgiving in a laundromat on Monday but they were feasting instead of folding.

The Milbourne Maytag 'Just Like Home' Laundromat served up its traditional turkey supper.

Shirley Tripp owns the laundromat and, with the help of family and friends, cooks and serves the meal. She says anyone who is hungry or lonely is welcome to stop by.

Tripp says she has everything she needs and this is her way of giving something back to the community.

"I think the best thing about doing all this is how you feel inside," says Tripp. "You just feel really good."

Fergy Jr. a chip off old block (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

by JACK TODD, The Gazette

For the first time, the younger Ferguson is beginning a season as GM of the Leafs without the support, advice or understanding of the man who might have been the prototype power forward in the National Hockey League, the tough guy whose loyalty to team and teammates was unsurpassed. John Ferguson Sr. died July 14 at age 68.

John Ferguson Jr. will go on, sustained by the lessons imparted from the days when his father was winning five Stanley Cups in eight seasons with the Canadiens and he himself was getting sticks of Wrigley's gum from Habs equipment manager Eddie Palchak.

It's a powerful legacy - and it has to be.

The Citroën Expedition (


Kelly-Anne Riess, Special to The Leader-Post

1934 half-track AC6G Citrons were used in the infamous Bedaux Canadian Sub-Arctic expedition and one of them is stored at the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Puck drops on hockey-tourism season (CP)

From The Canadian Press through

by Dean Bennett
The Canadian Press
October 3, 2007 at 11:13 AM EDT

Sports tour operators are scoring with fans who want to see their teams play on the road

North America's Original Thanksgiving - It's in Canada

The first and original Thanksgiving comes from Canada.

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Canada. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving to have taken place in North America. Other settlers arrived and continued these ceremonies. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their Native-Canadian neighbours.

After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763 handing over Canada to the British, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.During the American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal (United Empire Loyalists) to Great Britain were exiled from the United States and came to Canada. They brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada.

There are a few similarities between the two Thanksgivings such as the cornucopia and the pumpkin pie. But, unlike the US holiday, Thanksgiving in Canada is a much more muted event.

In the USA the holiday is almost as important as Christmas for families getting together for the holiday. In Canada, this is not the case.

Eventually in 1879, the Canadian Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday in Canada.

Over the years many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October. After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.Finally, on January 31st, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed..."A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."The first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 5, 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness. Before then, thanksgiving days were observed beginning in 1799 but did not occur every year. Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year.

The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed year to year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In the early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary. After the First World War it was for Armistice Day and more recently and including today it has been a day of general thanksgiving.

Backgrounder from wikipedia &

Water buffalo come home to S.C.'s Middleton Place (AP)

From The Associated Press through USA Today:

By Bruce Smith, Associated Press Writer

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The story of the first water buffalo in the United States is a little-known tale of a Southern rice plantation, Yankee barbecue and New York's Central Park Zoo. Now, 150 years later, the beasts are back, this time as part of a historical exhibit.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Podcast Posting: Music of America - Celebrating the Singing Cowboy

In his time Gene Autry was the real thing. To those who know he remains big.
Known as “the Singing Cowboy”, he made his mark in records, film, radio and television.

This September (2007) he would have turned 100.

To mark the occasion, folks at the Gene Autry Museum in Gene Autry, Oklahoma celebrated the man and the culture he represented in a big way.

Mary Schutz of the Gene Autry Museum speaks with us about Gene Autry, his legend, and the way they are celebrating his life this year. She also tells about the museum and even the town named after him.


New Podcast Posting: Must See TV Over the Years

Prof. Robert Thompson, professor of Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, is an author of six books and a leading authority on the impact of television on popular culture.

He speaks with us about a series of television shows celebrating milestone anniversaries and their impact on television and on our society - they range from Bachelor Father to Thirty Something and a lot in between.


Heard on the Radio: Roadkill Cook-off

Several years ago, when the state of West Virginia made it legal to take home - and use - animals killed by cars, the Roadkill Cookoff in Marlinton was born.

Hear about the event and what some chefs cook up there at archives at

Richard Russo's Small-Town America (NPR)

From NPR News:

Morning Edition,
October 1, 2007 ·

Author Richard Russo knows small towns well. He writes about them and grew up in one — Gloversville, in upstate New York. The town was named for the local industry, but by the time he lived there, much of the glove manufacturing work was being done in Asia and Europe.

For Russo, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Empire Falls, seeing the town change in such a big way influenced the way he saw the world and how he writes. In his latest book, Bridge of Sighs, what happens in a small town changes the lives of two men in very different ways.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Vintage Lighthouse Heads for Solid Ground (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Katie Zezima
Published: October 3, 2007

Threatened by eroding cliffs at its original site, the Sankaty Head Lighthouse on Nantucket Island has been lifted from its site to be to a new base 405 feet away, next to a golf course.

Appreciation of Yastrzemski’s Feat Grows With Each Season (AP)

The Associated Press through

BOSTON, Sept. 17 (AP) — Carl Yastrzemski said he did not know he had made history by hiting for the Triple Crown in the 1967 "Impossible Dream" year until he read about it in the newspaper the next day.

Remembering A Ramblin' Man (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

About the Hank Williams Trail in Alabama (

Monday, October 01, 2007

Burlington, Vt.: Finding Renewal in a Waterfront Renaissance (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Marialisa Calta
Published: September 30, 2007

Burlington — which, with about 39,000 residents, is Vermont's largest city — is rediscovering an asset long hidden in plain sight: Lake Champlain.

Street Food Carts Vie for Vendy Awards in New York (NPR)

From NPR News:

By Margot Adler

In New York, the annual Vendy Awards recognize the city's best street food.

Update: Vegan Dosa Cart Crowned Street-Food Champion