Eric on The Road

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Being Thankful at Thanksgiving

In a strange way, the continuing economic crisis (yes they tell us that their recession is over - whoever the "they" are - we are still smarting!) 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.

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:

In a Spirit of Gratitude & Thanks...

Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring

Bing Crosby - "Counting Your Blessings"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thanksgiving Reflection

This came to us via our friend Sylvia Allen ( We wanted to share it with you.

More Than A Day

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.

By Karl Fuchs

Happy Thanksgiving !

Beacons to light sky above seven New Jersey Revolutionary War signal fires sites (NJNewsroom)


Now here's a really cool event for Thanksgiving Eve.

Celebrate "Evacuation Day" with the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and history community activists on Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at seven sites in New Jersey where xenon light displays will reach into the sky to provide a modern day reenactment of the signal fires that burned 226 years ago to celebrate the evacuation of New York City by the defeated British army.

The beacon sites, which will actually stretch 108 miles from Princeton to Beacon, N.Y., closely replicate signal locations used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NPR's Carl Kasell Leaving Newscasts (NPR)

From National Public Radio:

By Mark Memmott
November 23, 2009

Carl Kasell, who has been on the air with NPR since 1975 and has brought listeners the news of joyous events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and tragedies such as the 9/11 attacks in 2001, is planning to give his final newscast on Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. ET.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Manhattan Pickle Emporium Still Has Juice (NPR)

From NPR News:

by Sarah Reynolds

"What good is a steak or a hot dog without pickles? Everybody has their own taste. I like half sours, my mother loves sours" - Len Zurling, customer

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Colonial Williamsburg brews up an 18th century-style coffeehouse (USA Today)


Free coffee, tea and hot chocolate inspired by 18th-century recipes will be served in demitasse cups at R. Charlton's. Costumed re-enactors will discuss with visitors how the consumption of these drinks related to colonial society, hospitality and political issues of the day, including trade and taxes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Passing: Carl Ballantine, Slapstick Magician & Castmember on McHale's Navy (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: November 11, 2009

Carl Ballantine, an inveterate quipmeister whose stand-up comedy persona, an incompetent magician known as the Amazing Ballantine or Ballantine the Great, predated and influenced the antic characters of Steve Martin and others, died on Nov. 3 at his home in Hollywood. He was 92.

Over the course of a six-decade career, Mr. Ballantine became familiar to audiences as a comic actor, especially after landing the role of the scheming, profiteering seaman Lester Gruber on the television series “McHale’s Navy” in 1962.

Passing: Al Cervi, Hall of Fame N.B.A. Player-Coach (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: November 10, 2009

Al Cervi, a tenacious backcourt player in the early years of professional basketball and later a Hall of Fame coach who led the Syracuse Nationals to the 1955 N.B.A. championship, died Monday (November 9, 2009) in Rochester. He was 92 and lived in Brighton, N.Y.

Saving New Orleans Culture, One Sandwich at a Time (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: November 10, 2009

Some say the po-boy, the signature sandwich of New Orleans, is imperiled. The New York Times reports about a party New Orleans is staging for the po’ boy, the city’s signature sandwich

There is an accompanying slide show as well @

Remember to Remember

Yes, life is hectic - especially these days. But here's hoping you can find the time today to pause to pause and contemplate just what today (Remembrance Day/Veterans Day) is all about. And, if you know a Veteran, perhaps you can make their day - and your's with a word of thanks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lou Lamorello Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (Boston Globe)

From the Boston Globe:

An appreciation by Kevin Paul Dupont.

Sesame Street at 40

From PBS:

Clips and more as folks celebrate Sesame Street over the years.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Andy Williams: Hitting the High Notes (CBS)

From CBS Sunday Morning:

The Legendary Songsmith Is Still Entertaining Audiences in His 80s, With No Signs of Slowing Down;contentBody

2010 Olympic torch run ignites the spirit of youth in the North (Vancouver Sun)

From the Vancouver Sun via

By Shelley Fralic, Vancouver Sun
November 7, 2009

Just when you think that your country's future is in peril, what with all that global warming and, you know, the Toronto Maple Leafs, there comes a sign that all is not lost.

Community on edge of Arctic Ocean shuts down in anticipation

A Historic River Town Where the West Began (NY Times)

From the New York Times:

Published: November 6, 2009

As the birthplace of governors, senators and even a vice president, Marietta has had a historic impact on its state and nation that transcends its small size.

With an accompanying slide show

20 Picture-Perfect Towns (Forbes via

From Forbes via

By Rob Baedeker for Forbes

From the natural setting to the architecture,towns finalists in Forbes' civic-beauty pageant.>1=24000

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Say It Ain't So - Mickey Mouse To Become Less A Mr. Nice Guy after Makeover ? (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

New York Times
Published: November 4, 2009

For decades, the Walt Disney Company has largely kept Mickey Mouse frozen under glass, fearful that even the tiniest tinkering might tarnish the brand and upend his $5 billion or so in annual merchandise sales. One false move and Disney could have New Coke on its hands.

Now, however, concerned that Mickey has become more of a corporate symbol than a beloved character for recent generations of young people, Disney is taking the risky step of re-imagining him for the future.

Yanks Win Series for 27th Time

Congratulations to the New York Yankees for winning a World Series title - this one at their new Yankee Stadium. Hideki Matsui was selected Series MVP in their win over the defending baseball champs, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hats off to all - including the vanquished. It's not easy to get back to the Series after winning it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

New Podcast Posting: A Cultural History of Maurice Richard

As any hockey fan knows, Maurice Richard was the highest-scoring NHL player of his era, the first to achieve the feat of fifty goals in fifty games. In his eighteen years with the Montreal Canadiens, Richard’s determination, intensity, and will to win drew fans and admirers. But Richard was revered as much for what he represented off the ice.

“The Rocket” (before Rod Laver and Roger Clemens) inspired poems, novels. short stories, biographies, songs, movies, plays, kids’ books and comic strips. His face adorned clothing, toys, household goods, hockey equipment, and ads from cars to soups. Streets, parks, and public squares bore his name, and boasted his statute. With an influence that extended beyond his playing years, he became a symbol in Quebec and a hero across Canada (and beyond).

We speak with cultural historian Benoit Melancon whose book, The Rocket: A Cultural History of Maurice Richard (Greystone Books, 2009) exhaustively and uniquely chronicles the Maurice Richard – the man and the myth.

Of the book NPR’s “Only A Game” said, “…“open-minded folks will be intrigued by Malencon’s exploration of the ways in which people attribute all sorts of cultural significance to the accomplishments and personalities of champions like Richard”.


New Podcast Posting: Journeys into Beer - A Look at Some Oktoberfest Beers

Say Oktoberfest, and you likely think of Munich and beer.

Understandable, but you can also think beer and North America. The explosion in brewing over the past few years mean a number of new quality options for beer lovers.

We spend this month examining some of the quality Oktoberfest beers to be found.

There are conversations on three interesting offerings: Left Hand (Colorado), Summit (Minnesota), and Flying Dog (Maryland).


Monday, November 02, 2009

New Podcast Posting: Lincoln Highway the Way It Was: Tiny stretch of bricks keeps Omaha suburb alive

Folks doing business in historic downtown Elkhorn know that they are in the midst of a much larger city, having been annexed by the City of Omaha a couple years ago. But they still have their brick streets in the mingle of quaint restaurants and shops as well as one of the most pristine remnants of the old Lincoln Highway – in the original brick and narrow lanes. It has sparked a neighborhood revival.

Leona Anderson of Little Scandinavia from Elkhorn joins us to talk about it in this “Journey into Nebraska”.

New Podcast Posting: Curt Smith on Ernie Harwell

At World Series time we get to thinking about great teams and World Series games of the past. We also start to think of some of the great Voices of the Game, whether from radio or television.

In this Journey into Baseball, we speak with write, lecturer and historian on the topic of “Voice of the Game”, Curt Smith, about the great Ernie Harwell.

Ernie Harwell was not just the Voice of the Detroit Tigers, but was also a radio fixture on CBS radio (along with Ned Martin) for some playoff classics – the broadcasts as well as the action on the field.