Eric on The Road

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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The New Orleans JazzFest is also a festival of food (WNYC/PRI)

From The Takeaway:

April 30, 2009

In New Orleans, the city's famed Jazz & Heritage Festival is underway. And of course, most people go for the music. But there's another side to JazzFest: the food. The Takeaway is joined by Kathy Gunst, a food writer and radio producer who did some digging into Louisiana's favorite dishes, from gumbo to jambalaya to ya ka mein.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Podcast Posting: Journeys into Hockey - The Legend & Legacy of Bill Barilko

On April 21, 1951, Bill Barilko scored a seventh game overtime goal against the Montreal Canadiens to give the Toronto Maple Leafs their seventh Stanley Cup.

Four months later, Barilko disappeared while returning from a fishing trip in northern Ontario. The remains of Bill Barilko and his fishing partner were found at the site their plane went down eleven years after they first disappeared.

The hero and the mystery of Bill Barilko have made him a national phenomena. A photograph of him scoring the Cup winning goal is the most requested image at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

We speak with author and hockey historian Kevin Shea about Bill Barilko - about the man and about just what makes him so important to so many all these years later.


Remembering GM At Its Zenith (in song) (NPR)

From NPR News:

All Things Considered
April 27, 2009

GM is ingrained in American popular. Songs about its cars ranged from "(In My) Merry Oldsmobile" to "Little GTO" and "Little Red Corvette." In its heyday, GM sponsored Route 66 a show that celebrated its coolest car, the Corvette.

New Podcast Posting: Going on the Road with a Purpose: Heritage Travel, Inc.

A new online community is being launched this Spring via Heritage Travel, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This new community is being designed as a catalyst to capture and harness passion for experiences and places alive with heritage, history and culture. It’s intended for those who want to do more than just go on “get-away” vacations – travel with a purpose, explore the world, connect with people who interests. It can redefine the meaning of “Travel.”

We speak with Heritage Travel, Inc. CEO John Williams about this community and how it is part of an evolution (ourselves included) in how we think of community and how we go about making community in the 21st century.

For more on Heritage Travel Inc., see:

Blogs, Twitter, Facebook - What Do You Use ?

We are about storytelling, information, entertainment and community.

How that is accomplished can be an interesting question by itself.

How do you prefer to make community these days - media speaking ? By radio, internet radio, podcasts, mp3, blogs, twitter or facebook ?

We're interested in where you are and where you are going.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Passing: Bea Arthur, Star of Stage & Two TV Comedies (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 25, 2009

Bea Arthur, who used her husky voice, commanding stature and flair for the comic jab to create two of the most endearing battle-axes in television history, Maude Findlay in the groundbreaking situation comedy “Maude” and Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls,” died Saturday at her home in Los Angeles. She was coy about her age, and sources give various dates for her birth, but a family spokesman, Dan Watt, said in an e-mail message she was 86.

Ms. Arthur received 11 Emmy Award nominations, winning twice — in 1977 for “Maude” and in 1988 for “The Golden Girls.”

She was a seasoned and accomplished theater actress and singer before she became a television star and a celebrity in midcareer, and she won a Tony Award in 1966 for playing Angela Lansbury's best friend, the drunken actress Vera Charles, in “Mame.”

From Bat Boy to Red Sox Fan, a Tip of the Cap to No. 100 (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 23, 2009

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — “Hi ya, young fella.”

Babe Ruth greeted Arthur Giddon as he did most 13-year-olds, even those in uniform. Giddon chatted with the Babe for a moment but tore himself away because he had a job to do. It was 1922, and as a Boston Braves bat boy, Giddon had to break out the bats, polish some spikes and otherwise outfit his players for that afternoon’s game at Braves Field.

Eighty-seven years later, Giddon reprised his role for his now-beloved Red Sox — as a special 100th birthday present, serving as the team’s honorary bat boy prior to the game against the rival Yankeess. The same hands that delivered bats to Billy Southworth and softened Rube Marquard’s glove did the same for Kevin Youkilis and Jon Lester.

In Hartford, Fans Still Harbor Hope for N.H.L. Team (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 25, 2009

Another year has passed without the Whalers in Hartford, running the total to 12 years without an N.H.L. team in Connecticut. But the Hartford Whalers Booster Club,as ferocious as Gordie Howe, is not shutting down. It has 54 members. Not long ago, it had only 13.

On the Path of Walker Evans (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 24, 2009

Few guidebooks navigate the highways that stretch from Birmingham to Selma, and it can seem as if little has changed since Mr. Evans photographed the area in 1936.

Also see accompanying slide show:

Northern Exposure: Hiking the North Country Trail (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 24, 2009

Andrew Skurka, a legend of long-distance backpacking, spent six months in 2004 walking west from New York thousands of miles to the trail’s terminus in North Dakota.

At 4,600 miles in length, the North Country National Scenic Trail bisects a large part of the continent, slicing through seven states — from glacier-scoured landscapes in Adirondack Park to prairies on the Great Plains — and snaking a distance twice as long as the Appalachian Trail.

“If you want to see a huge cross-section of the U.S.A., the North Country is it,” said Mr. Skurka, a 27-year-old who has hiked the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, as well as a transcontinental trek he completed in 2005 that included the entire North Country Trail.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

National parks get facelifts as stimulus funds arrive (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Andrea Stone

National parks are getting $750 million in federal economic stimulus money to chip into a to-do list that includes repairing historic buildings, constructing trails and increasing renewable energy use from Independence Hall in Philadelphia to Yosemite in California.

"This is probably the most significant investment made in more than a generation," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in an interview before the Earth Day announcement.

More than 750 projects in 48 states are expected to create 30,000 to 40,000 jobs starting this summer. That includes 15,000 jobs in a proposed 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps.

Learn the art of whiskey-making on Kentucky's Bourbon Trail (USA Today)


Kentuckians like to brag about their whiskey, and distillery tours along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail let them show off the craft of turning grains and a few other ingredients into fine whiskey in an age-old process.

Spelling Of Lake's Name Was All Wet (NPR)

From NPR News:

All Things Considered
April 20, 2009

There's a three-mile long lake in central Massachusetts that has a Native American name that stretches for 45 letters.

Nowadays most people call it Webster Lake. But the cumbersome pronunciation of its traditional name was the subject of "The Lake Song," a 1954 novelty item by Ethel Merman and Ray Bolger.

Sadly, in 2003, two local signs erected in Webster, Mass., got the spelling of the name wrong. That's being corrected.

Booing U.S. anthem gives Montreal a bad name (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

April 22, 2009

Montrealers like to think of themselves as fair, classy people but there’s nothing classy about the disgraceful conduct of the fans at the Bell Centre who booed the singing of the United States national anthem prior to Monday’s game between the Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

It’s not the first time the U.S. anthem has been booed. I first time I heard boos during the anthem was earlier in this decade and, at that time, the jeers might have been motivated by a tragic incident in Afghanistan, where four Canadian soldiers were killed and several others injured when they were mistakenly fired on by a U.S. fighter plane.

When the Canadiens met the Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2004, there was a growing resentment over the way the U.S. military handled the incident and the boos in Montreal resulted in retaliatory boos for O Canada in the U.S. cities.

The Canadiens ran a taped message from Jean Béliveau, who urged fans to respect the anthems.

There is no excuse for the current booing. It is a simple matter of bad manners.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ottawa ready with world's largest tulip festival (CanWest News Service)

From The CanWest News Service:

By Rick Cropp and Barbara Braidwood

The annual Canadian Tulip Festival (1-800-66-TULIP; courtesy of the Dutch who gave Canada gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs in 1945. They were given in appreciation of the safe haven given to their Royal Family and to commemorate Canada's role in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War.

The festival takes place from May 1 to 18 and now, in what is billed as the largest tulip festival in the world, there more than three million tulips blooming throughout the Capital Region.

Guidebook lists baseball landmarks by state (USA Today)

From USA Today:

A new and updated edition of Roadside Baseball is out for all those who want to turn their love of the game into a road trip.

The $16.95 paperback from Santa Monica Press is organized by state so you can easily find the landmarks and trivia closest to home or your favorite teams by region.

Included in the book are the Buckminster Hotel in Boston, where the Black Sox planned their fix of the 1919 World Series; the original Little League field and museum in Williamsport, Pa.; the birthplace of Jackie Robinson in Cairo, Ga.; Mickey Mantle sites in Oklahoma; and the Joe DiMaggio exhibit in the Martinez Museum in Martinez, Calif., DiMaggio's hometown.

Follow a historic train trip on Twitter (USA Today)

From USA Today via A.P.:

Steam Locomotive No. 844, which was Union Pacific Railroad's last steam locomotive, is on a 32-day four-state tour from Roseville, Calif., to Ogden, Utah. Dispatches about the journey are being posted to Twitter.

The tour started April 11 and continues through May 12, when it arrives in Utah to help mark the 140th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike. The Golden Spike was driven on May 10, 1869, in Utah to connect the Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines in the nation's first transcontinental railroad.

Four Corners misses mark by 2.5 miles (USA Today)

From USA Today via AP:

Tourists who want to put a hand or foot in each of four states at the Four Corners area are apparently off the mark — by about 2.5 miles.

According to readings by the National Geodetic Survey, the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of where it should be.

3 Voices Resonate in the Age of Video (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 18, 2009

John Madden’s everyman appeal, Harry Kalas’s love of fans, and Bob Sheppard’s velvet tone distinguish the three broadcasters from their colleagues.

Passing: Harry Kalas (Philadelphia Inquirer)

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

By Michael Vitez and St. John Barned-Smith
Inquirer Staff Writers
April 19, 2009

"The sun swept down the third-base line and by 8 a.m. shined on Harry Kalas' casket, warming the skin and spirits of Phillies fans who came by the thousands to pay respects to their beloved Hall of Fame broadcaster. Many wept as they passed by the casket, placed just behind home plate in Citizens Bank Park and topped with four dozen red roses. Fans kissed it, touched it with their Phillies caps or fingertips, or held their hats over their hearts and just said goodbye in their own special way...."

Also see:

Passing: Mark Fidrych, Baseball’s Beloved ‘Bird’

From The New York Times:

Published: April 13, 2009

DETROIT — Mark Fidrych, the golden-haired, eccentric pitcher known as the Bird, who became a rookie phenomenon for the Detroit Tigers in 1976 and later saw his career cut short by injury, died on April 13. He was 54.

During the summer of the nation’s bicentennial, Fidrych (pronounced FID-rich), then 21, electrified the baseball world.
“He was the most charismatic player we had during my time with the Tigers,” said Ernie Harwell, the veteran announcer, who began broadcasting Tigers games in 1960. “I didn’t see anybody else who was as much of a character as he was."

Fridych's record in 1976 was 19-9, with an earned run average of 2.34, the best in major league baseball, and 97 strikeouts. His 24 complete games were the year’s best in the American League.

Passing: Les Keiter, Announcer Who Recreated Giants Games (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 15, 2009

Les Keiter, who spent 50 years as a sportscaster but was best remembered for his three imaginative summers in a Manhattan radio studio recreating San Francisco Giants baseball games for abandoned fans from the Polo Grounds years, died April 14 in Kailua, Hawaii. He was 89.

A Retreat for Roosevelt and More Recent Arrivals (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

April 16, 2009

He came for the water but fell in love with the land. Franklin Delano Roosevelt first traveled to the piney woods of western Georgia in 1924, seeking to treat his polio with the curative powers of the mineral-rich springs at the Meriwether Inn at Warm Springs.

Two years later, Roosevelt bought the hotel and 1,200 acres and converted it into a polio treatment center. In 1932, running for president in the depths of the Great Depression, he built a refuge a mile away that would become known as the Little White House. He died there on April 12, 1945, during his fourth term, on what one report called a pleasant spring day.

We've Been "On the Road"

Just returned home from a visit to Florida. Unfortuantely, most was on I-95 and roads parallel to it.

We saw all too many McDonald's, Burger Kings, Holiday Inns and Home Depot stores.

We also got to go "off the beaten path", visit some interesting places and meet some very nice people.

All of it has reaffirmed for us the value and merit of these efforts.

We look forward to sharing some of our experiences on the road with you.

In the meantime, we'll be playing catch up with you for the ten days we did not talk with you here. It was good to go away - but it's good to be home - our physical home and my home here with you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The cradle of Canada (CanWest News Service)

From The CanWest News Service -


Travelling through the past along the Annapolis Valley and over to Halifax: Last year, Quebec City enthusiastically celebrated the founding of the city four centuries before. Incredibly, four years earlier, Canada hardly noted its own 400th birthday. In 1604, French explorers established a settlement from which Canada grew; the English started the future United States at Jamestown only in 1607. But the Rest of Canada ignored the Frenchmen's jump on the competition.

In Oregon, An Outdoor Mecca Where Adults Play Nice (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: April 9, 2009

“Hood River has this nice mix of people with traditional approaches and people with broader perspectives,” said Matt Swihart, a co-owner of the Double Mountain brewpub. “It’s a fun place that way.”

Pensacola: "A laid-back beach with a small-town atmosphere" (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Kitty Bean Yancey

Prices tend to be reasonable in Pensacola, which this year is celebrating the 450th anniversary of its founding by Spanish explorers.....Famed for miles of white beaches, sport-fishing, the nation's first Naval Air Station and the precision-flying Blue Angels, the historic city and its barrier-island stretches of sand offer a calmer alternative to more developed, shopping center-packed, high-rise condo beach towns on the stretch of coast in Northwest Florida and Southwest Alabama dubbed the "Redneck Riviera."

Newport mansion offers tour from a servant's perspective (USA Today)

Via USA Today:

By Eric Tucker
Associated Press Writer

Previously closed doors to closets and service hallways at The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I., have been opened for a new audio tour that makes the city's most glamorous and popular Gilded Age mansion more historically accurate and relevant.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

One man's quest to see Missouri, mile by mile (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

From The St. Louis Post-Dispatch via

By Tom Uhlenbrock
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

John Robinson's goal is to drive every state-maintained road in Missouri, which accounts for about 32,000 miles. It sounds farfetched until you hear that he already has covered 91% of the total and estimates he may make his goal by the summer of 2010.

New Podcast Postings

Chuck Brown's Go-Go Music, Ottawa's BeaverTails and a talk with legendary hockey broadcaster, author & historian Brian McFarlane are the topics of new podcasts that have been posted at

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Selling Cars, and Hope, at a Chevy Dealer (NY Times)

From the New York Times:

Published: April 7, 2009

Miami Car Dealer Is Upbeat, but Admits Something Has Changed

Friday, April 03, 2009

GM's Role In American Life (NPR)

From NPR News:

All Things Considered
April 2, 2009

General Motors has been a part of American culture for 100 years. In some ways, it is American culture. Jamie Kitman, New York Bureau Chief for Automobile magazine, discusses the role GM has played in shaping American life.

Have a blast at Albuquerque's new nuclear museum (US Today)

From USA Today:

By Jayne Clark

The former National Atomic Museum reopens Saturday as the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in spacious new digs.

The Evolution of Citi Field (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

The Mets new stadium is modeled after Ebbets Field, the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Times's Jay Schreiber explores the Brooklyn connection to the team from Queens.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Portland's Quality of Life - For Visitors Too

"How to Have A Blast on a Budget in Portland"

From The Associated Press via USA Today:

By Joseph B. Frazier
Associated Press Writer

There is plenty to do that is free or surprisingly cheap compared to more glittery money pits, and Oregon has no sales tax.

Also see: Portland, Portland Style: Touring by Bicycle (NY Times)

New Soccer Team Stokes Seattle’s Passion (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: March 31, 2009

Even in a city that has supported professional football, baseball and basketball teams for decades, many people say that something else is at work in the instant passion for the Sounders. They say it reflects the region’s well-established affection for soccer but also its conviction that it is not quite like the rest of America. When Seattle cheers the Sounders, it cheers its civic image.

Passing: Herman Franks Coach & Manager of Baseball's Giants in NY & SF (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: March 31, 2009

Herman Franks, who managed the San Francisco Giants to four consecutive second-place finishes in the 1960s but who was also remembered in connection with an elaborate sign-stealing scheme during the NY Giants' dramatic 1951 pennant victory in their Polo Grounds years, died on March 30 at his home in Salt Lake City. He was 95.