Eric on The Road

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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A new wave of stormwatchers (BC Province)

From The BC Province via

by Hans Tammemagi,
Published: Thursday, November 27, 2008

More and more people are visiting the Tofino area on the west coast side of Vancouver Island with one sole purpose: to watch storms.

Vanishing Barns Signal a Changing Iowa (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: September 6, 2008

The barn, a building whose purpose shifted, then faded away, tells a story of how farming has changed markedly.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Journeys into Beer: Brewmasters Share Tips Of The Beer-Making Trade

From NPR News:

Talk of the Nation
May, 2008

In a Science Friday program originally broadcast in May, 2008, Wisconsin's best brewmasters y shared their beer-making secrets and explained why Wisconsin's resources and heritage make it a brewing hotspot.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Do You Have A Favorite Road Trip Rest Stop? (NPR)

From NPR News:

Talk of Nation
November 26, 2008

From deluxe state welcoming centers to road-side shacks, rest stops are an essential part of any long car trip. With many families taking to the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday, Talk of the Nation wants to know: What's your favorite rest stop?

Joanna Dowling is the founder of

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In a Spirit of Gratitude & Thanks...

Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring

Bing Crosby - "Counting Your Blessings"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Being Thankful at Thanksgiving

In a strange way, this year's series of tough times (from high gas prices during the summer to our financial crisis) has made one even more sensitive to the ways that we are blessed. Somehow, you dig in and dig down. We'll make it through. In the meantime, we gather and express our gratitude for the good things - family, health, the opportunity to make things better.

Nationally, though challenged, we are grateful for the new opportunities a watershed election has brought. We wish our President-elect and our nation well.

Happy Thanksgiving, and may you similraly be guided by an authentic sense of thanks (and enjoy the turkey and football).

Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving features that always manage to put us in the right mood for the day:

* Bob Edwards' Thanksgiving Fantasy Feast (NPR)
Getting ready for Thanksgiving and don't know what to make ?For every Thanksgiving from 1993 until he left NPR a couple of years back, through the miracle of audio editing, Morning Edition host Bob Edwards would create an annual tradition that brought together the creme de la creme of cookery for a fantasy holiday feast. Here is celebrity chef potluck sampling from 2003 featuring Julia Child, Maida Heatter, Paul Prudhomme and Wolfgang Puck -- and one would-be party crasher.This link includes a pair of recipes from the invited gourmet guests -- and a link to the party crasher's recipe.

* Charles Kuralt on Thanksgiving In Prairie, Mississippi (You Tube/CBS News)
From You Tube - Originally from CBS News:Charles Kuralt tells the story of the homecoming of 9 children of Alex and Mary Chandler for parents' 50th wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving in 1978. The family remembers the old sharecropper's cabin and lifestyle. From humble beginnings, now all 9 children are college grads.Watch it and be thankful.

*Susan Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Tradition (NPR)
From NPR News:Here's another Thanksgiving tradition, courtesy of NPR.Every year since 1971, NPR's Susan Stamberg has managed to sneak on the air her mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish. She's sprinkled it into dialogue from movies, tricked celebrities into reading it and even had it put to music. The Thanksgiving tradition continues. Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Recipe:

World-class hiking at Mont Orford (Ottawa Citizen)

From The Ottawa Citizen via

by Daniel Drolet , The Ottawa Citizen

Views -- and there are plenty -- are spectacular, largely due to the fact that Mount Orford stands generally isolated from surrounding mountains. On a clear day, looking west you can see all the way to Montreal. Looking south, Vermont's Green Mountains rise and fall in the distance. Sherbrooke and the Appalachians are off to the east; only to the north is the topography gentler.

Bob Edwards remembers Studs Terkel (Sirius-XM)

From Sirius-XM Radio:

The Bob Edwards Show
November 3, 2008

A special tribute to Studs Terkel by Bob Edwards. Bob travelled to Chicago and the home of 93 year old Louis "Studs" Terkel to reminisce about Terkel's career as a writer, broadcaster, oral historian and story teller.

Terkel won a Pulitzer Prize for The Good War: An Oral History of World War II (The New Press; originally aired July 29, 2005).

Studs Terkel passed away on October 31, 2008. He was 96 years old.

For more information on Studs visit

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Putting into Words A Struggle To Feel American (NPR)

From NPR News:

Morning Edition

During this week of Thanksgiving — the most American of holidays — NPR is spending time thinking about what it means to become an American. The answers come from three noted authors — Junot Diaz, Jhumpa Lahiri and Joseph O'Neill — who've written about newcomers to the United States.

Echoes of Yesteryear Not Far From Baltimore (NY Times)

From the New York Times:

Published: November 23, 2008

The town grew up as a trading post along America’s first trade arteries, and in the early days of the roads Frederick was as far west as you could go without worrying about highwaymen and battles between colonials and Native Americans.

Today, the town maintains a yesteryear atmosphere. In its 50-block downtown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has preserved hundreds of Federal, Greek Revival, Georgian and Romanesque buildings and homes. Carroll Creek, a narrow waterway bisecting downtown and lined with open-air cafes and a pedestrian park, adds a European flair: as the night air grows chilly, young couples snuggle along the creek over cups of coffee.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Washington's American history museum reopens after renovation (AP)

From The Associated Press via USA Today:

By Brett Zongker, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — George and Martha Washington, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and other costumed characters greeted thousands of visitors Friday as the National Museum of American History reopened after a two-year, $85 million renovation.

Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State and retired Army general, read President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address to a crowd of at least 200 people on the museum's steps before the doors opened.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Obama bounce (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:


President-Elect Barack Obama has promised to bring change to Washington, D.C. The city's tourism industry thinks he'll bring visitors too

Downtown 'Deadmonton' no more (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

November 1, 2008

For years, only tumbleweeds stuck around Edmonton's central core after office hours. But the oil and gas boom has brought big bucks and a creative surge to the area — transforming 104 Street into a hub for locals serious about play.

Passing: Irving Brecher, 94, Comedy-Script Writer

From The New York Times:

Published: November 19, 2008

Irving Brecher, who wrote vaudeville sketches for Milton Berle, jokes for Henny Youngman, comedies for the Marx Brothers, a television series for Jackie Gleason and screenplays for movie musicals including "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Bye Bye Birdie" died on November 17 in Los Angeles. He was 94.

Within the tribe of Hollywood gag writers, Mr. Brecher (pronounced BRECK-er) was a literary lion, a reflexive offerer of reactive jokes, a relisher of puns, a connoisseur of often topical, arch repartee. He once angered the film producer Daryl Zanuck, telling him the movie he had just made hadn’t been released; it had escaped.

“If I were any drier, I’d be drowning,” he had Groucho Marx saying, stuck in the rain in the 1939 film "At The Circus".

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Podcast Posting: The International Tongue Twister Contest

“Unique New York”. “Seashells by the seashore”. These are but a few of the phrases asked of the gathering competitors at the Logic Puzzle Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin who are out to say as many tongue twisters as they can.

In this Conversation on the Road, we speak with Judith Schutz about this fun event that includes a peack of pickled peppers in the winner’s purse.


New Yorkers trying to save historic Tin Pan Alley (AP)

From The Associated Press via US Today:

By Verena Dobnik, Associated Press Writer

A group of New Yorkers is fighting to save Tin Pan Alley, the half-dozen row houses where iconic American songs were born.
The four-story, 19th-century buildings on Manhattan's West 28th Street were home to publishers of some of the catchiest American tunes and lyrics — from God Bless America and Take Me Out To The Ballgame to Give My Regards to Broadway.

The music of Irving Berlin, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, George M. Cohan and other greats was born on Tin Pan Alley.

The buildings were put up for sale earlier this fall for $44 million, with plans to replace them with a high-rise. The construction plan fell through amid the turmoil in the economy, but the possibility of losing the historic block hastened efforts to push for landmark status for Tin Pan Alley.

Remembrance Day

We apologize because we did not remember in a timely fashion.

We honour those who have sacrificed their lives for us.

If, like me, you could not be at a commemoration in Canada or for US Veterans Day, he is a 2 part video of a Victoria, BC Remembrance Day parade (2007):

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Depression-Era Anthem For Our Times (NPR)

From NPR News:

Weekend Edition Saturday
November 15, 2008

"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" directly confronted the hardship of the Great Depression.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Passing: Seattle Bids Tuba Man a Sad Goodbye

From The New York Times:

Published: November 13, 2008

More than 1,000 people turned out for a memorial service on Wednesday night near Qwest Field. Large men wore their favorite team’s jersey — the Seahawks, the Mariners, the departed Sonics or the Washington Huskies — and many held their wives’ hands and cried. The president of the Seattle Mariners, Chuck Armstrong, spoke through tears when he read a line he said his son had written: “It was just impossible to be sad while he was playing that tuba.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Passing: Herb Score

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"Indians broadcaster Herb Score was Cleveland baseball"
by Bud Shaw, Plain Dealer Columnist


Monday, November 10, 2008

Hockey Hall Inductees

Congratulations to Glenn Anderson, Igor Larianov, Ed Chynoweth, Mike Emerick, Ray Scaniello, and Neil Stevens on being enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Passing: John Leonard, Sunday Morning Critic (UPI)

From United Press International:

NEW YORK, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- John Leonard, an author, critic and former editor of "The New York Times Book Review," has died of lung cancer at the age of 69 in New York.

Leonard, who wrote about books, movies, television and politics, also also appeared for many years on "CBS Sunday Morning" and National Public Radio.

Golf Hall of Fame says 'Shanks' to Bob Hope (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Steve DiMeglio

Beginning on November 8 and running through 2009, the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., pays tribute to Hope's passion for golf in the exhibit Bob Hope: Shanks for the Memory, with the largest collection of Hope memorabilia placed in public display. It features sets designed to reflect locations significant in Hope's life, a sampling of his 54 honorary degrees and costumes from his TV shows.

Studs Terkel: Looking For A Human Voice (NPR)

From NPR News:

Morning Edition
November 7, 2008

The oral historian, who died last week, was recorded in a StoryCorps trailer parked in his driveway.

Remembering Gracie Allen's White House Run (NPR)

From NPR News:

by Joe Richman (Radio Diaries)
All Things Considered
November 4, 2008

In 1940, the United States was just emerging from the shadow of the Great Depression and war loomed in Europe.

Into these serious times stepped Gracie Allen, part of the popular comic duo Burns and Allen, who launched a campaign for president.

Allen's Surprise Party began as a publicity stunt, but during a whistle-stop tour across the country the campaign took on a life of its own.

Stick Follows Carboard Box Into Toy Hall Of Fame (NPR)

From NPR News:

Morning Edition
November 7, 2008

The National Toy Hall of Fame this year is honoring the baby doll, the skateboard and the lowly stick. Of course, you might be able to employ it as a magic wand, a scepter or a jousting sword. In choosing the stick, toy experts found virtue in its versatility, natural ingredients, no cost and its appeal to the imagination. In 2005, the cardboard box was inducted into the hall.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

For Many Abroad, an Ideal Renewed (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: November 5, 2008

GAZA — From far away, this is how it looks: There is a country out there where tens of millions of white Christians, voting freely, select as their leader a black man of modest origin, the son of a Muslim. There is a place on Earth — call it America — where such a thing happens.

Even where the United States is held in special contempt, like here in this benighted Palestinian coastal strip, the “glorious epic of Barack Obama,” as the leftist French editor Jean Daniel calls it, makes America — the idea as much as the actual place — stand again, perhaps only fleetingly, for limitless possibility.

“It allows us all to dream a little,” said Oswaldo Calvo, 58, a Venezuelan political activist in Caracas, in a comment echoed to correspondents of The New York Times on four continents in the days leading up to the election.

Tristram Hunt, a British historian, put it this way: Mr. Obama “brings the narrative that everyone wants to return to — that America is the land of extraordinary opportunity and possibility, where miracles happen.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New President: 'It is very hard – very hard to believe' (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

From The Globe and Mail
November 5, 2008

HARLEM, NEW YORK — Edward Castleberry slouches in his wheelchair and gently shakes his head, struggling to come to grips with history's improbable course.

Almost six decades ago, in 1952, he braved the bigotry of his native Birmingham, Ala., ignoring the threat of violence to cast his first vote in a U.S. presidential election. He can still recall walking to the ballot booth in the 16th Street Baptist Church, the same building where a racially motivated bombing later killed four young girls, emblemizing the country's civil-rights struggle.

“We had a hard time voting down there,” acknowledged Mr. Castleberry, 80, a former radio disc jockey who played host to shows in Philadelphia, Miami and Cincinnati before moving to New York 20 years ago. “We had our own section, our own schools.”

Yesterday, as he thumbed through a scrapbook in his Spartan room at the Greater Harlem Nursing Home, displaying photographs of himself with Lionel Richie, Billie Dee Williams, Sidney Poitier and other artists, he still seemed incredulous at the notion that America could elect Barack Obama, a black man. And that he would be alive to witness it.

“It is very hard – very hard to believe,” he said. “I thought I'd never see it. And if I did, it would be years off.”

After 20 years, 'Mystic Pizza' still draws visitors to Connecticut (APAfter 20 years, 'Mystic Pizza' still draws visitors to Connecticut (USA Today)

From USA Today:

The chamber still receives calls from people who "frame" their trip around Mystic Pizza, Cunningham says. "People ask, 'Was Mystic Pizza really filmed here?' People are still asking about that."

The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism has created a "Mystic Pizza 20th Anniversary Movie Trail" pamphlet, which maps a dozen sites from the movie.

New England Flower Show folds after 137 years (AP)

From The Associated Press via USA Today:

The society has been beset with problems this year. It lost money on the show, and had to borrow heavily to pay bills.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Passing: Studs Terkel

From The Chicago Tribune:

Chicago literary legend died on Halloween in his North Side home at 96.


"WHY STUDS TERKEL MATTERED: He gave voice to the voiceless",0,2482597.story

Studs Terkel Photo Gallery:,0,1420434.photogallery

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

"Luminary for the little man: He was walking anthology of all things Chicago",studs-terkel-dies-103108.article

"Studs Talk Chicago to stop and think",mcnamee-studs-terkel-appreciation-103108.article