Eric on The Road

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

Saturday, August 29, 2009

St. John's is as colourful as the people who live there (CanWest News Service)

From the CanWest News Service:

By Elaine O'Connor, Canwest News Service

St. John's is Canada's oldest city -- named Sao Joao by the Portuguese in 1519 and annexed by the British in 1583-- and Newfoundland its youngest province.

Two for the Road (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Barbara Ireland

With limited time, a tight budget, and a minivan as overnight lodging, a couple make their way across the country, fulfilling a dream for both.

With accompanying slide show.

Travelling, without being a tourist (Financial Post)

From The Financial Post via

Canada is full of unexpected places, a point highlighted in a new advertising campaign for the Canadian Tourism Commission, entitled "Locals Know."

Passing: Pop Songwriter, Ellie Greenwich (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 26, 2009

Collaborated with Phil Spector, Jeff Barry and others to create a greatest-hits list of 1960s teenage pop songs like “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Hanky Panky” and “Leader of the Pack,” she died on Wednesday (August 26) in Manhattan, at age 68.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Art to Make You Laugh (and Cry) (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 27, 2009

There is a particularly Philadelphian brand of hardy, low-budget, do-it-yourself, do-it-for-love creativeness evident in art and art spaces across the city.

Accompanying video

State fairs are in a fair state (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Chris Gray Faust, USA TODAY

The lingering recession has forced fair organizers around the country to seek new sponsors, adjust their ticket discounting and marketing, and beg concessionaires to hold their prices.

Santa Fe celebrates 400 years (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Jayne Clark, USA TODAY

On Labor Day weekend, the city kicks off 16 months of 400th-anniversary events with Viva! Santa Fe.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Buffalo Celebrates its Wings (USA Today)

Via USA Today:

The upstate New York city along the Niagara Frontier hosts the National Buffalo Wing Festival, this year on Sept. 5-6.

Last year's wing fest drew over 78,000 people for events that include professional eating contests and sauce competitions. Wings are offered in an endless variety of flavors with sauces ranging from mild to suicidal, and there's even an event in which contestants bob for wings in a pool of blue cheese.

New Podcast Posting: Remembering Reggie Fleming

Reg Fleming passed away on July 11, 2009.

He was a professionally hockey player whose career spanned from the Montreal Canadiens in the late 1950’s through the Kenosha Flyers and Hammond Cardinals in 1978. In between he was best known for his years with the Chicago Black Hawks (where he won a Stanley Cup), New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.

His reputation was as an aggressive and combative player, who played defense and forward. He also was known as a great teammate. He left his mark where ever he played.

Reg Fleming continues to leave his mark even after his passing. Fleming had been in declining health for a few years. A series of heart attacks and a stroke left him partly paralyzed and confined to rehabilitation facilities near Chicago. His oldest son, Chris, frequently made videos of his father in these last years and uploaded them on YouTube. (Vol 1)

In this conversation, we speak with Chris Fleming and with John Halligan, longtime Public Relations Director of the New York Rangers who knew Reggie Fleming during his years in New York.

It’s a talk about hockey, but about a lot more too.

Also see a great remembrance at

The conversation can be heard @

Passing: Edward M. Kennedy

Senator Kennedy was at or near the center of much of American history in the latter part of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st.

Boston Globe:
Liberal lion of the Senate, symbol of family dynasty succumbs to brain cancer

Ted Kennedy played a leading role in perhaps the greatest political drama of the 20th century - the dawning of the New Frontier and the soul-crushing assassinations that followed - but he will be remembered by history for his legislative achievements in health care, education, civil rights, and immigration.

Fulfilling a nation’s promise

"My mother & Kennedy"
How the senator touched the life of one man's family.

Washington Post:

Colleagues, Friends Mourn 'Patriarch' of the Senate

Multi-media presentation: Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) was the last of an American political dynasty, rising to prominence alongside his brothers John and Robert. He served more than four decades in the Senate and led a life rife with triumph and tragedy. Vincent Bzdek is author of 'The Kennedy Legacy' and narrator.

NY Times:

Excerpts of speeches:

Interactive presentation:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Podcast Posting: The Tunnels of Moose Jaw

In the early 1900s, most of the larger buildings in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan were heated by steam. The engineers who maintained the coal-fired boilers in the basements arranged for the creation of an elaborate network of tunnels linking them so that they could move themselves and their equipment from building to building without facing the harsh winter weather.

At about the same time, numerous Chinese immigrants who arrived in Moose Jaw to work for what were, by Canadian standards, very low wages, adopted the tunnel system as living quarters and workplaces which were both inexpensive and sheltered from a sometimes hostile populace.

During Prohibition Moose Jaw became a center for distribution of bootleg liquor, both domestically and to the United States via the Soo Line Railroad to Chicago, earning the town the nickname “Little Chicago”. Illegal enterprises such as speakeasies, casinos, and brothels sprang up within the concealment and shelter of the tunnels. Moose Jaw folklore states that Al Capone himself was resident for some time, to oversee operations and/or to hide out from law enforcement.

Over time, the tunnels fell into disuse and many were filled in or blocked off by new construction. However, an elaborate tourist attraction featuring live actors and animatronics has been created within what remains of the system, featuring tours illustrating the stories of the Chinese immigrants and bootlegging, and attracting over 100,000 visitors per year.

We speak with Kelly Carty from Moose Jaw about the history of the tunnels and how they are njow helping spark a revival in town.

For more, see:

You can hear the podcast interview on The Tunnels of Moose Jaw @

Find the Lost Villages flooded by the Seaway (Ottawa Citizen)

From The Ottawa Citizen:

By Janice Kennedy, The Ottawa Citizen

Fifty years ago this summer, the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened. It also flooded six villages and three hamlets forcing 6,500 to leave their homes...Today the lost villages are at the bottom of a picturesque lake dotted with island reminders of the lands underneath...You can go by car, giving yourself a fleeting and insulated look at attractive vistas. Or you can cycle the parkway, since it has generous bike space and is, in fact, part of the 650-kilometre Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence.

Also catch our podcast on the Lost Villages @

Monday, August 24, 2009

Travelers get crafty on the road (USA Today)

Through USA

"..They're beading necklaces in Wilmington, N.C., painting mugs in St. Augustine, Fla., and making candles in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains..."

New Podcast Posting: Where They throw Rolls at Those Dining

Lambert’s Cafe is known as “Home of the Throwed Rolls”. Though it is distinguished from other restaurants by its policy of providing large 32 oz.. drinks, a list of side items that are passed around to all customers, and free refills on nearly all entrees, it is most famous for throwing their homemade dinner rolls to the customers.

We speak with Jerry Johnson from Sikeston, Missouri about the roll-throwing tradition, and how Lamberts has pleased customers from its early days on Main Street in Sikeston until today – where Lamberts touts three locations (Ozark, Missouri and Foley, Alabama) and brings loyal customers from far away.

For more on Lambert’s Cafe:

Heard on the Radio: McGillis' Olde Ale House Turns 150

McGillin’s Olde Ale House threw open its doors the year Lincoln was elected president. That’s shortly after the Liberty Bell cracked and long before ground was broken for Philadelphia City Hall. The beer taps have been flowing since 1860 - making it the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia. It has outlasted Strawbridge’s, the Civil War and even Prohibition.

We introduced the gang at Left Jab to Christopher Mullins, Jr, a third generation of the second family to run the place. He talks with Mark Walsh and Dave Zirin about McGillis' history and how they are celebrating their 150th birthday.

If you missed the interview live on SIRIUS-XM (Sunday nights at about 8:45 pm), you can catch it as a podcast @

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Podcast Posting: "The World’s Biggest Cupcake"

You may have recently seen the picture on the internet – that of JodiLee Knops celebrating the setting of the Guinness record for the world’s largest cupcake at Mall of America in Minneapolis on Saturday July 18, 2009. It weighed in at nearly 151 pounds, including 15 pounds of fudge filling and 60 pounds of yellow icing. It was one foot tall and two feet wide.

We speak with JodiLee about just how and why she did it.

You can see that picture of JodiLee celebrating at:

BTW, it appears this record was short lived. We read on that a new record was ceritifed by The Guinness folks just a month later – this one a 1,224-pound triple vanilla cupcake with pink frosting. You can read about it at

We, nonetheless, hop you’ll listen to and enjoy our interviews with the the title holder.


"Taking the Great American Roadtrip" (Smithsonian Magazine)

Ftom Smithsonoan Magazine

By Paul Theroux
Smithsonian magazine, September 2009

In the spirit of Kerouac and Steinbeck, a celebrated travel writer fulfills a childhood fantasy: to drive across his native land.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Podcast Posting: In Search of the Canadian Road

Suprisingly, it seems that little had ever been written about the Canadian road. That is, until Peter Unwin wrote his new book called Hard Surface (Key Porter; 2009).

In what is described as the first full-length examination of the Canadian road, Hard Surface takes the reader on a ride suggesting that the value of the Canadian road is not the transportation of goods and services, but rather the quest for one’s self, and the urge to spread ones stories across a “vast and complex land”.

Peter Unwin joins us for this “Journey into Canada”.

A video reading from Hard Surface by Peter Unwin may be found at:

The podcast can be found at

At 70, Yaz still takes the cake (Boston Globe)


By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Staff / August 22, 2009

It just doesn’t compute. He was still getting around on Ron Guidry’s fastball a couple of years ago, wasn’t he?

Guess not.

Seventy years ago today, baby Carl Yastrzemski was born in Southampton on Long Island.

Friday, August 21, 2009

10 great places to find true Americana (USA Today)

From USA Today:

"In an increasingly techno-world, there are still places and events that remain rooted in the heart and soul of the American past. Author Gary McKechnie searched for such Americana for the recent National Geographic book USA 101: A Guide to America's Iconic Places, Events and Festivals. He shares favorites with Larry Olmsted for USA TODAY".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Podcast Posting: The Nebraska Town Where Glenn Miller Honed His Skills

Andela Taylor joins us in this “Journey into Nebraska”. Andela is the economic developer in Cambridge, Nebraska - a south central Nebraska community that lies along Highways 6 and 34, the old DLD [Detroit-Lincoln-Denver] Highway.

She and her mother, B-n-B owner Gloria Hilton, have been at the forefront of a local effort to celebrate the big band music of Glenn Miller, who played with the Tommy Watkins [he was a Cambridge native] Orchestra in the second floor ballroom downtown known as Thorndike Hall.

The ballroom is listed as one of Heritage Nebraska’s Fading Places and a move is afoot to restore the space. Watkins was credited with finding the young aspiring musician [Miller] in Denver and helping him hone his skills in a Nebraska community.

Miller later moved on to California and started his own band.


To those old enough, Diefenbunker a scary place (Ottawa Citizen)

From The Ottawa Citizen via

By Dave Brown
The Ottawa Citizen

Most of us never think about it, but we're casualties of war. If one thinks the Cold War, from the 1950s through the '80s, didn't leave scars, a tour of the Diefenbunker in Carp, Ontario may change many mind.

Where Boats Are as Plentiful as Lobsters (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 21, 2009

Brooklin, Me., where E. B. White once lived, is also home to wooden-boat builders who produce anything from dinghies to lobster boats to yachts.

With accompanying slide show

Debate still rages over new N.J. national park (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Rick Hampson

The battle over the Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson, authorized by legislation signed by President Obama this spring, reflects two competing views of how to run national parks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Podcast Posting: The Worlds’ Only Lifesize Chocolate Moose

Home-made chocoalte is a New England tradition in places like Route 1 in Scarborough, Maine.

Len Libby has been a regional fixture since the 1920’s. But since 1997, Len Libby has become a destination ofr something else as well.

There, at their retail store, one can have the experience of coming across
Lenny, the World’s Only Life-size Chocolate Moose, all 1700 pounds of him in chocolate.

We speak with Maureen Hemond from Len Libby about Lenny and other Len Libby traditions.


Passing: Don Hewitt

Don Hewitt, the CBS Newsman who invented “60 Minutes” and produced the popular newsmagazine for 36 years, died Wednesday. He was 86.

He died of pancreatic cancer at his Bridgehampton home, CBS said. His death came month after that of fellow CBS legend Walter Cronkite.

Hewitt joined CBS News in television’s infancy in 1948, and produced the first televised presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960.

Journeys into New Jersey: The story behind the original Blue Star Drive

Via New Jersey Newsroom:

If you travel through the seemingly endless sprawl along Route 22, near Watchung, you'll come across a sign announcing "The Blue Star Shopping Center." To most the sign merely distinguishes it from similar retail counterparts to be found up and down the road and around the state.

But to others the "Blue Star" has meaning.

Taking The Great American Road Trip, Google-Style (NPR)

From NPR News:

Marc Horowitz and Pete Baldes wanted to embark on the timeless American tradition of a cross-country road trip, but these days even the cheapest ways of traveling have become a bit of a luxury. That's not stopping these two from seeing the country, even though they're not leaving home to do it.

Horowitz and Baldes are riding the roads through Google Maps' street view feature, virtually moving east while stopping to check out spots en route. They both "left" Horowitz's home in Los Angeles on Aug. 13 — where Horowitz is spending the trip — and will be "arriving" Sunday at Baldes' house in Richmond, Va. — where Baldes is encamped.

New Podcast Posting: Don Messer’s Jubilee

Don Messer would have been 100 this year.

To those not from Canada or too young to remember, Don Messer may not mean much. But in his time and place Don Messer was the real deal.

Across the country, tens of thousands sat by their radios three times a week, 1939-58, listening to ‘Don Messer and His Islanders’ broadcast from Charlottetown, PEI on CBC Radio. With the advent of television, Messer moved seamlessly across to the new medium, bringing his audience with him. Thousands more watched ‘Don Messer’s Jubilee’ weekly, 1956-69, produced by CBC Television in Halifax, NS. When the program was cancelled, there was a national uproar; thirty-five years later, some people miss it still.

We speak with Tony Bull from New Brunswick, where they are remembering Don Messer – the man and his legacy this Summer.


New Podcast Posting: A Running of the Bulls in Alberta

I had seen the video from Spain and Mexico of Bulls running after folks. But a running of bulls in Canada ?

In fact, there is such an event annually in Strathmore, Alberta, which hosts Canada’s third largest rodeo. Strathmore is the first Canadian city to run the bulls.

For $20 (yes, you pay!), you can don a red shirt and run a track with a rampaging bull behind you.

Strathmore’s Heritage Days is also home of the finals for the “World Professional Chuckwagon Association” as well Canada’s third largest rodeo.

Carolyn Charles speaks with us about it all from Strathmore. I’m curious just how many bulls there are. Also does anyone ever get seriously hurt ? And finally, just who would pay to potentially be gorged by a bull ?


Airport observation decks are a dying breed (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Harriet Baskas

A lot of the new amenities being introduced at airports these days are all about making travelers forget that they're even in an airport. But there's one amenity many travelers crave that's all about being at the airport: the observation deck.
But instead of multiplying — so we can be reminded of the joys (yes, joys) of flying — airport observation decks have been going away.

"Drives of a Lifetime" (National Geographic Traveler)

From National Geographic Traveler:

"Sometimes it's the journey, sometimes it's the destination—and sometimes, it's both. National Geographic Traveler has scoured the globe for the world's most beautiful, interesting, and off-beat road trips".

Greyhound Buses to Roll on English Roads (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 19, 2009

FirstGroup, the large British bus and train company that bought Greyhound’s parent company in 2007, said Wednesday (August 19) that Greyhound buses would start service between London and two coastal towns beginning Sept. 14. The company plans to add more routes next year.

“Greyhound has been an icon of American life, carrying millions of people across the U.S.A. and Canada,” the chief executive of FirstGroup, Moir Lockhead, said in a statement. Since 2007, “we have hoped to bring this famous brand across the Atlantic.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Podcast Posting: A Running of the Bulls in Alberta

I had seen the video from Spain and Mexico of Bulls running after folks. But a running of bulls in Canada ?

In fact, there is such an event annually in Strathmore, Alberta, which hosts Canada’s third largest rodeo. Strathmore is the first Canadian city to run the bulls.

For $20 (yes, you pay!), you can don a red shirt and run a track with a rampaging bull behind you.

Strathmore’s Heritage Days is also home of the finals for the “World Professional Chuckwagon Association” as well Canada’s third largest rodeo.

Carolyn Charles speaks with us about it all from Strathmore. I’m curious just how many bulls there are. Also does anyone ever get seriously hurt ? And finally, just who would pay to potentially be gorged by a bull ?


New Podcast Posting: Branch Rickey’s Effort To Save Baseball from Itself

July 27, 2009 marks 50 years since the founding of the Continental Baseball League.

If that does not mean much, it’s not suprising. In fact, the Continental League never played a game.

But the story behind the rise and demise of the Continental League remains a fascinating one these many years later.

We speak with author Michael Shaprio about his book, “Bottom of the Ninth – Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself”. It is a strong historical record that resonates today. A big-time “what if” can not be ignored.


For Winter Games in Vancouver, Ice Isn’t So Easy (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 16, 2009

Icemeisters face challenges in getting the ice just right in an area at sea- level elevation with high humidity.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hockey Viewing, circa 1963 (via

With a big thanks to Dave Stubbs who does so much outstanding work at - a site from the Montreal Gazette:

"Thanks to Kevin van Steendelaar for the work to upload this on his site. Three nice National Film Board videos worth your time, and then some...."

"...And do NOT miss Un jeu si simple, another wonderful NFB documentary, this one in French by Gilles Groulx in 1964. It's a remarkable piece, and the footage of the day is breathtaking. Thanks to Inside/Out reader Patrick for directing us to it...."

"....It's truly worth the half hour to watch it...."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Asheville, N.C., Has a Song at Its Heart (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Christina Talcott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Asheville, music is everywhere. From church bells and buskers to pipe organs and drum circles, the city pulses with soundtracks as different as the experiences it has to offer.

Songs Without Borders (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 16, 2009

Getting to the heart of Mexican Los Angeles via the narcocorrido, the “rap of modern Mexico,” as it moves through this sprawling, multilayered city.

With accompanying slide show.

A province's hopes riding on the Canada Line (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

By Ian Bailey
Vancouver — From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Last updated on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 09:41PM EDT

Vancouver, Richmond residents are weighing the benefits of rail link between city and airport.

Passing: Teeder Kennedy (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

David Shoalts
Port Colborne, Ont. — Globe and Mail Update
Last updated on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009

When Ted (Teeder) Kennedy was the best player for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the years following the Second World War, sports heroes were portrayed as unassuming gods, quiet and reserved off the ice but merciless competitors once the puck was dropped.

The sporting legend was fictional as often as not but, his contemporaries say, not in Mr. Kennedy’s case.

He was the embodiment of an era when hockey players were expected to give all they had to the team without concern for the size of their paycheque or endorsement opportunities.

The quintessential Leaf died yesterday morning in a nursing home in his hometown of Port Colborne, Ont., of congestive heart failure. He was 83.

“He was the Leafs,” said Bob Haggert, who was hired by Mr. Day as an assistant trainer in 1954 and watched Mr. Kennedy closely in his last two seasons with the Leafs. “He was Conn Smythe, he was Hap Day, he was that era all rolled into one.


LEAFS TV (via You Tube):


Friday, August 14, 2009

Keeping Alive Memories That Bedevil Him (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 13, 2009

Albert Perdeck, who still has nightmarish flashbacks to World War II, works to preserve V-J Day in the public’s mind.

"...You’ve seen these Al Perdecks all your life — sipping early-morning coffee, say, with buddies at McDonald’s — but less so now. Stocky, not tall, with shock-white hair and a Norman Mailer look of pugnacity. Wearing shorts, dark socks and a boxy baseball cap embroidered with the name of the ship on which he served. You’ve seen him....."

"....You’ve seen these men, these men who would never talk about it. But now, in the embrace of their own, they did, sometimes with sobs. One of them recalled killing an enemy soldier who was little more than a boy...."

“Last year, 2008, there was no mention of this on the news,” reads his handwritten note to The New York Times. “I am requesting to have the day remembered by your in-depth reporting.”

Find that reporting @
with accompanying slide show - and thank you, Mr. Perdeck - for then and now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Passing: Les Paul

From the New York Times:

Published: August 13, 2009

Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist and inventor whose solid-body electric guitar and recording studio innovations changed the course of 20th-century popular music, died on August 13, 2009 in White Plains, N.Y. He was 94.

From NPR News:

Les Paul with Chet Atkins (Birth of the Blues):

The Long Weekend: Tomato Festival in Pittston, Pa. (Washington Post)

From The Washington Post:

By Brian Yarvin
July 27, 2009

For lovers of Italian American food, especially those who remember what that cuisine was like a couple of generations ago, Pittston and the surrounding Wyoming Valley are a sort of Brigadoon, bending over backward to preserve culinary traditions that have otherwise been discarded. In the valley, red sauce is a passion, not an anachronism. Simple pasta, vegetable and tomato-sauce dishes, poverty-driven foods such as braised tripe and stewed chopped pig heart, and basic pleasures such as spaghetti with meatballs still thrive.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Top 5 B.C. foods (CanWest News Service)

From The CanWset News Service:

By Cheryl Chan, Canwest News Service

Eric Pateman of Edible B.C., Canada's largest culinary tourism operator, shares his suggestions of regional favouritres.

Passing: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

From The Boston Globe:

By Bryan Marquard
Globe Staff / August 11, 2009

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who planted the seeds for the Special Olympics when she launched Camp Shriver on the lawn of her Maryland home, and then with force of will and the clout of her family name spread her vision of lifting the developmentally disabled "into the sunlight of useful living," died on August 11.

Editorial: Eunice Shriver: Transformative, on her own terms -

CENTERVILLE - Before the doors opened for Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s wake, the line of mourners curled around the church entrance and stretched clear across the parking lot. Midway down, a group of adults from Cape Abilities, a service organization for people with disabilities, clutched bunches of flowers. One of them, Mike Rhodes, held a card they had all signed.

“You taught us to stand tall,” said Rhodes, 25, reading the inscription. “She did. She [stood] tall for all of us and loved us.’’

From The Washington Post:

Shriver, a pencil-thin woman with a big, toothy smile, was well known for her willingness to get close to those she was trying to help -- joining children in their games, listening to and encouraging them, talking to their parents.

"I think that really the only way you change people's attitudes or behavior is to work with them," she told an interviewer. "Not write papers or serve on committees. Who's going to work with the child to change him -- with the juvenile delinquent and the retarded? Who's going to teach them to swim? To catch a ball? You have to work with the person. It's quite simple, actually."

New York Times:

“When the full judgment of the Kennedy legacy is made — including J.F.K.’s Peace Corps and Alliance for Progress, Robert Kennedy’s passion for civil rights and Ted Kennedy’s efforts on health care, workplace reform and refugees — the changes wrought by Eunice Shriver may well be seen as the most consequential,” U.S. News & World Report said in its cover story of Nov. 15, 1993.

Edward Kennedy said in an interview in October 2007: “You talk about an agent of change — she is it. If the test is what you’re doing that’s been helpful for humanity, you’d be hard pressed to find another member of the family who’s done more.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Passing: Widow of Mickey Mantle (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

August 11, 2009

Merlyn Mantle, the widow of the Hall of Fame Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle, died Monday at a hospice facility in Plano, Tex. She was 77. A family spokesman, Marty Appel, said the cause was Alzheimer’s disease.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Heard on the Radio: Where Glen Miller Honed His Skills in Nebraska

Andela Taylor is the economic developer in this south central Nebraska community that lies along Highways 6 and 34, the old DLD [Detroit-Lincoln-Denver] Highway. Each year she and her mother, B-n-B owner Gloria Hilton, organize an event as they celebrate the big band music of Glenn Miller who played with the Tommy Watkins [he was a Cambridge native] Orchestra in the second floor ballroom downtown known as Thorndike Hall. The ballroom is listed as one of Heritage Nebraska’s Fading Places and a move is afoot to restore the space. Watkins was credited with finding the young aspiring musician [Miller] in Denver and helping him hone his skills in a Nebraska community. Miller later moved on to California and started his own band.

Andela Taylor joined us on Left Jab in a "Journey Into Nebraska" to introduce us to this unique story.

If you missed it live on the radio, you can ctach it as a podcast at:

Put your best (and biggest) foot forward at the Red Wing Shoe Museum (USA Today)

From US Today:

By Rebecca Heslin, USA TODAY

The Red Wing Shoe Co. has moved its 16-foot-tall, size 638 1/2-D boot inside its new Shoe Museum in Red Wing, Minn.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Rockwell's "Four Freedoms" on NBC Nightly News

Kevin Rivoli, author of “In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America” (Howard Book, 2008), had his book excerpted by NBC's Brian Williams

Check out our podcast interview with Kevin about the book last Fall @

Alaska deals celebrate 50 years of statehood (USA Today)

From USA

By Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY

Visitors can celebrate Alaska's golden anniversary of statehood by mining a lode of deals. Promos and special attractions also aim to goose tourism in hard times. "It's a challenge" to lure tourists to a far-away destination, says Ron Peck, president of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. For more deals, visit, compiled in honor of the 50th anniversary. A sampling can be found at teh USA Today article:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Philadelphia ale house toasts 150 years in business (USA Today)

Via USA Today:

McGillin's Olde Ale House began celebrating its sesquicentennial this week, cementing its status as the oldest continuously operated tavern in Philadelphia and one of the oldest in the nation.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Telluride Thinks Out of the Box (Smithsonian Magazine)

From The Smithsonian Magazine:

By Antonya Nelson
August, 2009

A fiction writer cherishes her mountain town's anti-commercialism, as epitomized by the local swap stop, a regional landmark

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wisconsin's Mustard Museum on the move (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Judy Keen

MOUNT HOREB, Wis. — For the final time, people will gather here Saturday on two closed-off blocks of Main Street to celebrate National Mustard Day. There will be free hotdogs with mustard — there's a $10 surcharge for those who dare to request ketchup — mustard painting and music by the Poupon U Accordion Band.

Mustard Day and its host, the Mustard Museum, are relocating 18 miles away to Middleton this fall. The move will leave a gap on Main Street and reroute the tour buses that bring visitors to the Mustard Museum and its gift shop. The move is stirring debate about how small towns can effectively compete for tourist dollars.

Where Time Is the Opponent (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: August 1, 2009

Centennial Field in Burlington, Vt. is older than Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, but without $7 million in renovations it will probably lose its minor-league team.

Stadium or Spectacle? (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

By Jim Luttrell
August 2, 2009

The majority of new stadiums that have sprung up around the majors have a retro feel, but the experience on game day is clearly 21st century. Some of the most frequent unsolicited comments on the Bats blog are along the lines of, “I wish they’d turn down the music” or, “Stop telling me when to clap!”