Eric on The Road

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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oil Spill: A Farewell to the Gulf Coast's Lifestyle? (PRI)

From PRI:

Mike Tidwell, author of "Bayou Farewell," talks to about the oil spill's collateral damage: the Gulf Coast's unique way of life.

Lest We Forget (CBS News)

From CBS News:

By Bil Geist
CBS Sunday Morning

When the Van Doren brothers returned from World War II they volunteered to place flags on Veteran’s graves near their home in Clyde, Ohio. They had no idea this would become a tradition carried out by Van Dorens for years to come. More than 60 years later, under the command of Wayne Van Doren - who was just 7 years old when he began placing flags with his dad and uncle - three generations of the Van Doren family will put flags on more than 1200 Veteran’s graves in six cemeteries near Clyde this Memorial Day. It is a task they consider a privilege and a Memorial Day ritual they plan to continue for many years to come.

One Hundred Faces Of War Gives Soldiers A Voice (NPR)

From NPR News:

By Margot Adler
Weekend Edition Sunday

From his small studio in Amherst, Mass., painter Matthew Mitchell felt disconnected from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He watched the news about them ebb and flow in the pages of newspapers. Sometimes the stories disappeared altogether.

"The big danger that we have is that we can forget about war," Mitchell says. He decided to keep that from happening.

His project, titled 100 Faces of War Experience, is deceptively simple. He's painting 100 portraits of people who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's intended "to be a true look into something, not to be loaded with previously conceived prejudice."

So far, he's finished 33 paintings and says the process has taken on a much more powerful reality than he realized it would.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Jersey's Confederate Burial Ground

A Journey into New Jersey:

On Finns Point National Cemetery, a military cemetery used in the American Civil War for Union and Confederate soldiers who died while at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge is 73 Years Old Today (Smithsonioan)

From Smithsonian Magazine:

Seventy-three years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened California’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Go to this link to see archival footage of the parade of cars and other celebrants took to the new bridge on opening ceremony.

Backroads and small inns of Tremblant (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

By Rochelle Lash, Special to The Gazette
May 20, 2010

The entrepreneurs of La Route des Soleils in the Laurentians want you to know that there is more than one Mont Tremblant.

You probably are familiar with Mont Tremblant, Intrawest's resort with big-time golf and snow sports, luxe lodging, enviable après-ski and shopping, with a glimmer of glamour when movie stars like Catherine Zeta-Jones breeze through.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. However, Tremblant in 2010 embraces many neighbouring communities and tiny artisan-style businesses.

Read more:

Read more:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Passing: Art Linkletter


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Art Linkletter, who hosted the popular TV shows "People Are Funny" and "House Party" in the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was 97.

"Art Linkletter's House Party," one of television's longest-running variety shows, debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS-TV from 1952 to 1969.

Though it had many features, the best known was the daily interviews with schoolchildren.

The down-to-earth charm of Linkletter's broadcast persona seemed to be mirrored by his private life with his wife of more than a half-century, Lois. They had five children, whom he wrote about in his books and called the "Links.">1=28103

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Despite Leak, Louisiana Is Still Devoted to Oil (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: May 22, 2010

MORGAN CITY, La. — In some parts of the country, the sight of oil drifting toward the Louisiana coast, oozing into the fragile marshlands and bringing large parts of the state’s economy to a halt, has prompted calls to stop offshore drilling indefinitely, if not altogether.

Here, in the middle of things, those calls are few. Here, in fact, the unfolding disaster is not even prompting a reconsideration of the 75th annual Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival.

“All systems are go,” said Lee Delaune, the festival’s director, sitting in his cluttered office in a historic house known as Cypress Manor. “We will honor the two industries as we always do,” Mr. Delaune said. “More so probably in grand style, because it’s our diamond jubilee.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Historic Shaker building in Ohio faces demolition (Cincinnati Enquirer)

From The Cincinnati Enquirer (via USA Today):

Today, there's not much time left for the 166-year-old building, which will soon come down for a $3 million fitness and community center for Otterbein Retirement Living Communities, owner of the 1,600 acres of the old Shaker village that once spanned 4,500 acres.

There's virtually no hope of saving this link to the Union villagers who imported the first Merino sheep from Italy, first bred the Poland China pig, invented clothespins and created evaporated milk, among other innovations. Perhaps for that, it is a bitter experience for Shaker admirers to see Bethany Hall go.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Creating More $ for Your Community in a Time of Less through Your Community Narratives, Media & Economic Development

They're gathering in Oklahoma City for the annual Main Street conference from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Wish I could be there myself. It's a great event and a great place to exchange ideas.

To those at the conference, and those like myself who are there in spirit and virtually (how our world has changed!), here's another idea perhaps worthy of consideration and discussion.

At this time in which communities are being forced to do more with less, there are hidden assets to be tapped into. Your community has its community narrative and community stories, and these narratives can mean money.

In this media world, what distinguishes you, and provides for a sense of place can be leveraged as never before as a dymanic tool for economic development.

Your community has a smart community narrative.

These stories and narratives can be at once informative and entertaining. They can also provide an important catalyst to bring in needed monies - and what community wouldn't like that.

"Journeys into Hidden America" has been in the business of storytelling and smart community narratives for almost 25 years. These days these we can be found in places such as SIRIUS-XM Radio,; and As importantly, these narratives are used "smartly" in the form of "public-private partnerships" - where communities get to promote their narratives and create business through a unique "radio-based multi-media platform" - highlighted by regular features on SIRIUS-XM Radio complimented by blogs, podcats, social media and more.

We're soon to unveil an exciting podcast/powerpoint describing what we can do for you and your community. We hope you'll get a look at it when it's available at
(It's currently accessible as a podcast @

In the menatime, if you're interested in more on how we can help your community make the most of its storties, contact at Eric Model at (201) 694-5933 or

Passing: Ernie Harwell

From The Detroit Free Press:


Ernie Harwell, the acclaimed Tigers broadcaster whose eloquence and kindness made him a beloved Michigan institution, died Tuesday night (May 4) after a nearly yearlong bout with cancer. He was 92.

More from The Free Press:

From The Detroit News: