Eric on The Road

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New England's best fall foliage activities (Boston Globe)

From The Boston Globe:

By Elizabeth Gehrman of the Boston Globe Magazine

Top actvities in the region during the Fall.

John Brown's Day of Reckoning (Smithsonian Magazine)

From Smithsonian Magazine:

By Fergus M. Bordewich
Smithsonian Magazine, October 2009

The abolitionist's bloody raid on a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry 150 years ago set the stage for the Civil War

"America's Best Idea" (PBS)

From PBS:

Ken Burns' film on the National Park Service: The National Parks: America's Best Idea is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. As such, it follows in the tradition of Burns's exploration of other American inventions, such as baseball and jazz.

In Vancouver, Budget Hotels With a Back Story (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

There are at least a half-dozen Vancouver hotels, both small and large, whose low prices mask upscale services, quirky backstories or noble missions. With the 2010 Winter Olympics just around the corner, they’re all filling up quickly, but even when the curling and hockey fans have come and gone, these budget gems will still be the best deals in town.

Ontario textile museum is vibrant and surprising (Ottawa Citizen)

From The Ottawa Citizen via

By Kristin Goff
The Ottawa Citizen

For more than 120 years the mills in Almonte, Ontario churned out everything from wool and cashmere to material for First World War uniforms and fine suits.

Opera makes a comeback on Bourbon Street (USA Today)

Through USA Today:

NEW ORLEANS — Bourbon Street— where Dixieland jazz competes with karaoke bars, rock 'n' roll cover bands and strip club jukeboxes — is also one of the first places in America where opera was heard.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heard on the Radio: The Great American Beer Festival

Heard on the Radio: The Great American Beer Festival
This "Journey into Beer" on Left Jab profiled what is consider the granddaddy of beer events.

Our guest to talk about it was Julia Herz, Director of the Craft Beer Program for the Boulder, Colorado based Brewers Association (BA). She is a recognized beer judge in the BJCP program, an award winning homebrewer of over 17 years, and a Certified Cicerone™.

The Great American Beer Festival holds the Guinness World Record for most beers tapped in one location 1,884 beers on tap (2008) - now expected to be over 21,000. More than 408 U.S. breweries will be found on the festival floor. Also featuring live music and Beer Garden and Food Marketplace. In the cooking demonstration area one can learn to cook with beer and pair beer style with a particular food.

For more on the festival go to

For the SIRIUS-XM interview, go to, access archives and go to "Hidden America".

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quebec woods are alive with art (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

The Gazette

Annual exhibition showcases international sculpture and turns a walk in the forest into something magical

Vermont's Long Trail winds the length of the state (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

The Gazette

It's the oldest long-distance hiking route in North America, and it's still a destination for hikes short or long, easy or hard.

New Podcast Posting: Journeys into Hockey - Mike Emrick

It can easily be argued that Mike “Doc” Emrick is hockey’s preeminent play-by-play announcer.

Lead play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Devils, as well as the lead announcer for NHL national telecasts on both NBC and Versus, Emrick is recipient of many honors – foremost among them Among the many awards he has received is the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award in 2004 and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

We speak with Doc Emrick who and what has informed and influenced his career, his thoughts about hcokey these days and the upcoming season which includes an Olympic Hockey competition.


Blaze a trail to fall foliage getaways (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Laura Bly, USA TODAY

When Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore polled his Twitter followers this week on their favorite leaf-peeping destinations, the responses ranged from predictable (the Blue Ridge Parkway) to offbeat (I-95 in New Jersey).

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (USA Today)

From USA Today:

Avast, ye mateys! Saturday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day the perfect time to roam like a rebel.


New Podcast Posting: Senator Hartland Molson

My first introduction to Senator Hartland Molson was as a viewer of Montreal Canadiens’ hockey games. There he was sitting behind the Canadiens’ bench in the old Montreal Forum – honored as an elder statesmen of sorts. Little did I know of the totality of this man’s story.

And what a story it is.

Hartland de Monarville Molson (May 29, 1907 – September 28, 2002) was an Anglo-Quebecer statesman, Canadian Senator and a member of the prominent Molson family of brewers. That’s the thumbnail. There is so much more.

We speak with Karen Molson, who has written a candid and enlightening book about Senator Molson – Hartland de Montarville Molson: Man of Honour - Firefly Books

The book is a portrait of the man often called the Canadian establishment’s quintessential figure.

Hartland Molson’s life spanned almost a century that included two world wars, Prohibition, the Depression, major political upheaval, and massive social and industrial change. Born in 1907 to great wealth and privilege, he used his numerous talents wisely and lived his life with integrity.

Kathy English of the Globe and Mail wrote Karen Molson’s work”…As much a tale of Canada through the 20th century as it is of the Molson…” .


Life in the Slow Lane: Navigating the Erie Canal (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: September 18, 2009

A family spends three days on a houseboat, gliding by the farms and small towns of upstate New York, at five miles an hour.

Accompnaying slide show.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Podcast Posting: In Pursuit of Elusive American Landscapes

Vanishing America, In Search of Our Elusive Landcapes – Counterpoint (October 1, 2008), author James Conaway has written a mixture of travelogue and personal narrative. Conaway’s essays offer a depiction of his journeys between Washington, D.C., and Big Sur, California. In it he tries to understand what has become of the places, people, and traditions that were once so precious but have now been irreparably changed.

In this conversation, we speak with James Conaway of his pursuit, what he saw in various places and taken together what it might all mean.


New Podcast Posting: A Gershwin Sings the Music of Gershwin

Alexis Gershwin is the niece of Ira & George Gershwin. She grew up around the Gershwin family and its music.

Alexis is a long-time vocalist, but it was not until recently that she recorded the music of the Gershwins.

We speak with Alexis Gershwin about her new CD, “Gershwin Sings Gershwin”, what it means to her and why now.


Ernie Harwell's Farewell

From The Detroit News:

By Bob Wojnowski

They began to stand, section by section, row by row, unsure whether to clap and cheer or simply watch and listen. And then Ernie Harwell walked out of the tunnel and onto the bright diamond, a bounce still in his step, and as the ovation grew, the answer was clear.

Yes, it was a time to cheer and cherish, because this was not a sad twist at the end of a good story. This was about the connection between life and death, between people of all ages, between a familiar voice and a vast, appreciative audience.

Harwell, 91, is better at greetings than farewells, so he didn't fully say goodbye Wednesday night, even as he battles an incurable cancer. In the middle of the third inning, the beloved former Tigers broadcaster took the microphone and thanked the Tigers and the fans, and if there was a somber undertone, he cut through it quickly.

"It's a wonderful night for me," Harwell said as the Tigers players stood outside their dugout, watching with everyone else. "I really feel lucky to be here, and I want to thank you for the warm welcome."

Also: By Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press:

"Detroit has seen Hall of Fame athletes in every sport and colorful superstars and brilliant coaches and some excellent sportscasters. But there has never been anybody like Ernie Harwell. Nobody ever performed at such a high level for so long, while staying impossibly down-to-earth. Harwell never big-timed anybody. The mere idea of it is inconceivable".

"Ernie Harwell might never get back to another game. We might never hear his voice again. But Tigers fans -- and those of us lucky enough to know him -- will hear it until we die. We can only hope we handle our final days with as much grace as the classiest broadcaster anybody ever heard".

Last Murray’s restaurant in Montreal will remain shuttered (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

By Cheryl Cornacchia
Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Although many had been hoping for a comeback, it appears the city’s last Murray’s Restaurant, in Town of Mount Royal, will not reopen.

Facing bankruptcy, owners of the landmark restaurant in the Lucerne Shopping Mall have applied to a Quebec court for creditor protection.

The chain, which got its start in the 1920s, once served diners in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

You can share you Murray's memories through The Gazette.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Passing: Mary Travers


Mary Travers, one-third of the hugely popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has died.

The band's publicist, Heather Lylis, says Travers died at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut on Wednesday (Sept. 15, 2009). She was 72 and had battled leukemia for several years.>1=28102&

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Texas, Seeing the West as It Was (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: September 13, 2009

The untamed West in all its cranky, craggy, dusty, arid majesty seems to have been frozen in time at Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Kitsch museum to open online (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY

The Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch website will have photos of her extensive collection and solicit contributions for its "kitschenette"...

Dueling Visions of the Old South (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: September 13, 2009

The gap between how two Charleston, SC area plantations present themselves to the world represents a clash between two predominant approaches to historic-site tourism: There are the earnest PBS-documentarian-style preservationists, who want the visitor to absorb the echoes of the past in the empty hallways and faded, original wallpapers; then there are the restorers, who want to more directly and aggressively try to transport their visitors back in time, so they can ooh and aah at the antiques, artwork and silver.

Hit the trails: Four road trips for fall (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Jayne Clark, USA TODAY

The number of themed U.S. driving itineraries is growing, targeting everyone from bluegrass fans winding down Virginia's Crooked Road to cheese heads nibbling their way along Vermont's Cheese Trail.

North Carolina has a Barbecue Trail. Oregon touts a Fruit Loop in the fertile Hood River Valley. Connecticut promotes an Art Trail. In southeastern Arizona, the Salsa Trail is king. New Mexico will launch a Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail this fall.

These routes typically are organized by tourism bureaus hoping to drive traffic to off-the-beaten-path spots. On their own, the small towns and hidden byways might not rate as a destination, but as part of a larger journey they offer big rewards.

RCMP Musical Ride Centre (Ottawa Citizen)

From The Ottawa Citizen via

By Kristin Goff, Citizen Special

A Musical Ride into Rockcliffe - a visit to the horses at the RCMP Musical Ride Centre then continued along the Ottawa River checking out bits of odd history and had lunch at a well-hidden restaurant on the water.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Remembering 9-11 & those who perished as well as those who acted so bravely.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friends, Colleagues Remember Walter Cronkite (NPR)

From NPR News:

by David Folkenflik
NPR News

CBS honored Walter Cronkite on Wednesday with a memorial service at Lincoln Center. The event included presentations by President Obama, former President Clinton, NBC's Tom Brokaw and others.

Passing: Army Archerd, Hollywood Columnist for Variety (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: September 9, 2009

Army Archerd, whose mannerly reporting on Hollywood executives and movie stars was a fixture in Variety, the entertainment trade newspaper, for more than 50 years, died on Tuesday (Sepetmber 8, 2009) in Los Angeles. He was 87.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Heard on the Radio: Fun Days

A "Journeys into Hidden America" segment on SIRIUS-XM's "Left Jab" featured Dr. Joel Goodman of The HUMOR Project who spoke about the project and "Fun Days". Fun Days are staged during the week immediately following Labor Day.

According to Dr. Goodman:

"In a world filled with downsizing, rightsizing and shaftsizing, we need humor to reaffirm our humanity and sanity".

You can catch our interview with Joel Goodman about the 32nd annual Fun Days, and the HUMOR Project at

Blowing the Pixie Dust Off Disney’s Archives (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: September 8, 2009

GLENDALE, Calif. — For the last 50 years, inside an unmarked warehouse here, a historic movie prop has rested in a deep, deep sleep. Last month a Walt Disney Company archivist awakened it.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Winslow Homer’s Maine (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

“There is no place like it in America because no where else can you see a great American artist’s inspiration take shape and observe the actual views that he enriches and preserves. At no other single spot can you see 15 or 16 views that inspired great paintings.”

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Heard on The Radio: Huey Long Day

August 30 is Huey Long Day in Louisiana.

Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (August 30, 1893 - September 10, 1935), nicknamed The Kingfish, served as the Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935. A Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies.

Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934, with the motto "Every Man a King," proposing new wealth redistribution measures in the form of a net asset tax on corporations and individuals to curb the poverty and crime resulting from the Great Depression. To stimulate the economy, Long advocated federal spending on public works, public education, old-age pensions and other social programs. He was an ardent critic of the Federal Reserve System's policies to reduce lending. Charismatic and immensely popular for his social reform programs and willingness to take forceful action, Long was accused by his opponents of dictatorial tendencies for his near-total control of the state government.

At the height of his popularity, Long was shot on September 8, 1935, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. He died two days later at the age of 42.

Russell Long Mosely is an attorney in Baton Rouge. He is a native Louisianan, and the Great-Grandson of Huey Long. He is also Grandson of U.S. Senator Russell Long, was Huey Long's son, who followed in his father's political footsteps.

This "Journey into Hidden America" segment of SIRIUS-XM's "Left Jab" involved a discussion about the Long Legacy (There is a Long Legacy Project -

If you missed the interview live in SIRIUS-XM's "Left Jab" (Sunday Nites - SIRIUS-146/XM-167 between 7-9 pm - Our segment runs @ about 8:50 pm), you can still catch it as an archived podcast @