Eric on The Road

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009's Last Farewells

As a year and decade pass, we pause to remember and pay homage one last time to some of those folks (and things) we remembered as they passed this year.

A Happy New Year to all. May it be a year of health, happiness and prosperity:

* Andrew Wyeth
* The Rocky Mountain News
* Shea Stadium
* Irving R. Levine, NBC Newsman
* Lou Saban, Football Coach
* John Hope Franklin, Scholar of African-American History
* Johnny Blanchard, Yanks' 1960's Super-Sub
* George Kell, Longtime Tiger Player & Broadcaster
* Gray Rocks Inn
* Jack Lawrence, Writer of Hot Songs ("If, I Didn't Care")
* Jimmy Boyd, Child Singer ("I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus")
* Howard Zeiff, "Spicy Meatball" Ad Man
* Hank Locklin
* Alf Pike, 1940 NY Ranger Cup Winner
* Colleen Howe
* Paul Harvey
* Bea Arthur
* Harry Kalas
* Mark Fridrych
* Les Keiper
* Herman Franks
* Saturn/Pontiac
* Les Keiter, NY Voice who re-created Giant Baseball games
* Clint Smith, Last living member of 1940 NY Ranger Stanley Cup Winner
* Dominic DiMaggio
* Irving D. Chais, Manhattan Doll Surgeon
* Analog TV
* Dusty Rhodes
* John J. Houghtaling, the inventor of the Magic Fingers vibrating bed
* Paul Haney, Voice of NASA
* 208 Year Old Hancock,Vermont Schoolhouse
* Ed McMahon
* Farrah Fawcett
* Michael Jackson
* Kodachrome
* Gale Storm
* Karl Malden
* Paul Hemphill, Chronicler of South
* Reggie Fleming
* "The Radio Station of the New York Times"
* Walter Cronkite
* Marlyn Mantle
* Eunice Shriver Kennedy
* Les Paul
* Teeder Kennedy
* Don Hewitt
* Edward M. Kennedy
* Ellie Greenwich, Songwriter ("Leader of the Pack")
* Army Archerd
* Mary Traverse
* Murray's Restaurants
* Fred Cusick
* Ben Ali, Ben's Chili Bowl
* Al Martino
* Larry Jansen, NY Giants 1951 pitcher
* Soupy Sales
* Jack Nelson, LA Times
* Bill Chadwick
* Henry Marks, Montreal Taylors
* Lou Jacobi
* Al Cervi, Hall of Fame NBA player & coach
* Carl Ballantine, Slapstick Magician & Castmember on McHale's Navy
* Tommy Henrich
* "As The World Turns"
* Lake Champlain Bridge
* Roy Disney
* Connie Hines, Mister Ed Actress
* Karl Kassels' last NPR newscast

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Carl Kassel's Last Newscast on NPR

After 30 years, the last news braodcast ocurred on December 30, 2009 at the 11 am newscast (EST):

New Mexico exhibit honors Navajo Code Talkers (Gallup Independent)

Via USA Today:

By Bernie Dotson, Gallup Independent

GALLUP, N.M. — The largest and most comprehensive exhibition on the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II will be on display at the Gallup Cultural Center through Jan. 29.

Part of the Southwest Inaugural 2009 Tour of "Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes," the exhibit traces the story of the famed U.S. Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers. It begins with the original pilot group of 29 volunteers, who in 1942 developed and tested the original Navajo Code. Proven fast and accurate, the Marine Corps recruited nearly 400 more Navajos who utilized the code, sending and receiving encrypted messages throughout the Pacific island hopping campaign. The ingenuity of the Navajo Code Talkers baffled Japanese cryptographers and greatly helped in the effort to win the war in the South Pacific.Of the original Code Talkers, about a handful are still living, most in Arizona and New Mexico.

The Ice Rink That Changed Boston Hockey (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: December 29, 2009

On Matthews Arena, which opened in 1910 and was known until 1982 as the Boston Arena, is the oldest indoor hockey arena still in use.

100 Years of Glacier National Park (USA Today)

Via USA Today:

By Dan Elliott, Associated Press Writer

Glacier became a national park on May 11, 1910. The centennial commemoration, which is already underway, includes a rededication ceremony on May 11 and an array of concerts, movies, art exhibits, history conferences and other events.

Also See:

Glacier National Park:

Glacier National Park Centennial:

Waterton Lakes National Park:

Montana State Historical Society Museum:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tough Times Test the Bonds Between a Town and Its Railroad (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: December 26, 2009

The question facing this part of Montana, as tough economic times have stressed farming and railroading alike, is which future — the macro or the micro — to believe in and fight for.

“If this railroad goes down, Denton will dry up and blow away,” Dennis Ayers, 38, said as he eased engine No. 1809 — an Eisenhower-era relic, like Central’s five other engines, all refurbished from the scrap yard — into the shop building on a recent afternoon.

Passing: Lake Champlain Bridge (VPR-NY Times)

The Lake Champlain Bridge, between Chimney Point, Vt., and Crown Point, N.Y., was closed Oct. 16 for being unsafe. Demolition is Monday.

From the New York Times:

Published: December 23, 2009

Losing the bridge has, in many ways, been like losing a treasured member of the community, and residents are dealing with stages of grief: shock and disbelief have morphed into misery, anger and bleakness as winter has set in.


VPR Feature recalling when the bridge opened:

From New Deal to New Hard Times, Eleanor Endures (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: December 24, 2009

Dozens of New Deal “resettlement” communities dotted the country: the Penderlea Homestead Farms in North Carolina; the Phoenix Homesteads in Arizona; the Dyess Colony in Arkansas, where Johnny Cash grew up. And here: on fertile West Virginia land beside the Kanawha River, a community named after Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the New Deal.

Over the years, these New Deal towns have been praised as a sound response to paralyzing poverty and criticized as flawed, communism-tinted social experiments. But in this hard time, as half-built subdivisions stand as ghostly testaments to economic failure, a place like Eleanor reflects a government action that worked, and works.,west%20virginia&st=cse

Michigan launches culinary tourism campaign (via USA Today)

Via (AP):

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan is launching an effort to promote culinary tourism and encourage local offerings on restaurant menus.
Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Don Koivisto said he hopes the program will help increase sales and profitability for Michigan's specialty crop producers, and promote Michigan as a destination for culinary travel experiences.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

All the best to you and those dear to you.

Two of our favorites: (Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Dave Seville & the Chipmunks) (I'll Be Home For Christmas - Frank Sinatra)

Passing: Connie Hines,‘Mister Ed’ Actress

From the AP through the NY Times:

Ms. Hines played Carol, Wilbur’s patient and long-suffering wife - playing a supporting role to a talking horse on the television show/

She died on December 18 at her Los Angeles home at age 79.

Passing: Roy Disney (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: December 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Roy E. Disney, who helped revitalize the famed animation division of the company founded by his uncle, Walt Disney, and who at times publicly feuded with top Disney executives, died on Wednesday in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 79.

Passing: As The World Turns - Proctor & Gamble's Last TV Soap Opera (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: December 8, 2009

Procter & Gamble, the company that invented the soap opera and gave the genre its name, is no longer in the soap opera business.

CBS announced on December 8 that it was canceling “As the World Turns,” the 54-year-old soap that is the last daytime serial owned by Procter & Gamble. The show chronicled generations of characters in fictional Oakdale, Ill., as they survived love and loss, but they couldn’t survive the harsh realities of modern television, where scripted dramas have become too expensive to justify dwindling ratings the world turns&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1261646770-zZMRBIuS/3ePFiDhbalFNA

Monday, December 07, 2009

'It's a Wonderful Life' in Jimmy Stewart's hometown (USA Today)

Through USA Today:

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) — If you're a fan of the classic Christmas movie It's a Wonderful Life, consider a visit to the hometown of Jimmy Stewart, who starred in the film as George Bailey.

Indiana, Pa., 55 miles east of Pittsburgh, has a Jimmy Stewart Boulevard, a Jimmy Stewart Museum, a Jimmy Stewart statue outside the courthouse and even a local airport named for him.

NY Times' Stu Hackel on Canadiens 100th Birthday (NY Times)

"...If you didn’t see the Canadiens’ 100th-anniversary celebration on Friday night, you missed something special. It started with their former legendary equipment manager Eddie Palchack dumping a couple of buckets of pucks on the ice…

…and many of the greatest in Habs history skating out for a short pregame warm-up. Even Ken Dryden, who hadn’t put on goalie pads since his last game in 1979, when Montreal beat the Rangers for the Stanley Cup, took shots. The hourlong ceremony, with words from Serge Savard, Patrick Roy, Guy Lafleur, Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau, is worth seeing and it is on CBC’s Web site (video). Plus, there are some great interviews from former Canadiens on Habs Inside/Out (the Dryden interviews on CBC and Habs Inside/Out are especially illuminating, of course).

In a night full of surprises, the Habs retired the numbers of their oldest alumni, Emile “Butch” Bouchard, a defenseman and captain in the post-World War II era and his teammate, another former captain, Elmer Lach, the center of the famous Punch Line with Rocket Richard and Toe Blake:

When he retired in 1954, Lach was the leading scorer in N.H.L. history, and that should have been reason enough for the Habs to celebrate his career long ago. Even the team that leads the world in ceremonies somehow missed that one until now.

While critics may have felt the Canadiens overdid the whole anniversary thing for the last 15 months, there’s no denying that every ceremony was exceptionally well planned and executed and this one ranks with the closing of the Forum in 1996 as the best. And it inspired the home team to play one of their better games of the season.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Montreal Canadiens Turn 100

It was december 4, 1909 that the Montreal Canadiens played their first game.

A century later the team is marking the occasion tonight as they play their Centenray game at home against the Boston Bruins.

Canadiens are not much to write home about these days - seemingly in a perpetual rebuilding mode. It's been over 16 years since their last Stanley Cup.

But at least for afew minutes tonight that will all be forgotten as the past meets the present at the Bell Centre.

The excellent Dave Stubbs called this video to our attention:

There's more, cortesy of Mr. Stubbs, at: especially this look form Dick Irvin:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Passing: Tommy Henrich, Yankee Great

Published: December 1, 2009

Tommy Henrich, the right fielder known as Old Reliable who helped propel the Yankees to seven World Series championships, died on Tuesday December 1 in Dayton, Ohio. He was 96.

Playing with the Yankees for 11 seasons, Henrich proved a timely hitter, an outstanding defensive player and a leader who epitomized the image of the classy Yankee who was nearly always a winner.

He was part of a celebrated outfield, teaming up with Joe DiMaggio in center and Charlie Keller in left. Making his debut under Manager Joe McCarthy and concluding his career with Casey Stengel’s powerful postwar clubs, he played on Yankee teams that won eight pennants.