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Story Circle

Fly in a Vintage B-17 Bomber!

Our thanks to historian and author, Joseph D. Kubal for submitting the following article.

By Joseph D. Kubal

As a child, I always relished the thought of flying a bombing run over Nazi Germany during World War II in a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” The imagined target often was the infamous ball bearing factory used to fuel the Nazi war machine. This childhood fantasy was a direct result of watching the popular 12 O’Clock High television series. The series was unusual in its use of actual WWII film footage during many of the episodes. Now, children and adults alike will have the opportunity of a lifetime when a genuine Flying Fortress comes to town this summer.

The Bates Sisters on Route 66

Our thanks to our Association Recording Secretary, Emmy Bates, for writing up this travelogue of a trip she took with her sister, Debbie, along the Mother Road in April, 2012. Enjoy this firsthand account of their trip!

My sister, Debbie, and I decided that we’d like to take a road trip and since we are members of the association, maybe it would be fun to learn more about The Road. We planned to drive from Illinois to California, with a few side trips. I did some homework by looking on the internet (reading blogs), reading books, and talking to people in the association. Making a list of “must sees” and things that interested me, we were ready to go. Good reference books are by John Weiss (for Illinois) and Jerry McClanahan. Just remember that things have changed since Jerry’s book was written. Some places are no longer there.

Joliet, IL Route 66 Detour

Our Preservation Chairman, John Weiss, has provided us with the following travel advice for Route 66 travelers through Joliet, IL:

Starting on Monday July 9th the Ruby Street bridge in Joliet will be closed for four months. This bridge is Route 66. The official detour for those heading South will cause Route 66 travelers to completely bypass Joliet. Joliet tourism will do all they can to properly guide, with signage, Route 66 tourists to the Route 66 Welcome Center. The directions are extremely easy.

Vic's Pizza T-shirts!

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Photo courtesy Johnny Lucchesi

Clever slogan, huh?
It's courtesy of John Miller.

Get yours at Association Business Member, Vic's Pizza
2025 Peoria Road Springfield, IL
(217) 522-2464

Seeking Information for the Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration

We were recently contacted by Arlyn Booth, Map Coordinator of the Illinois State Library requesting Route 66 information. Can you help her gather the information she seeks?

Update: Arlyn Booth is no longer with the Illinois State Library. Please contact them, nonetheless, as they will direct your email to the appropriate party.

Pontiac's Pre-War Festival Entertainment Lineup

Our thanks to Ellie Alexander of Pontiac Tourism for providing details about this weekends planned festivities as the community celebrates its 175th birthday.

Downtown Pontiac will be a busy place this weekend. Starting on Friday evening, June 29th, as the City begins to celebrate its 175th Birthday, the City Band will be performing Pre-War music at the Yost House. On Saturday, June 30 the occasion will be the Pre-War Festival, an event that will focus on transportation and entertainment prior to 1942. We’ve invited antique cars, high-wheeler bicycles, classic motorcycles, classic trucks, and as a special treat - a fly-over by three airplanes from the era is scheduled for 11:00 AM.

Betty Estes, Pontiac's First Tourism Director, Passes Away

We are saddened to share the news that Betty Estes, Pontiac, Illinois' first tourism director has passed away.

Here's a quote for the Pontiac Daily Leader:

Pontiac lost its greatest cheerleader with the passing of Elizabeth “Betty” Estes, the city’s first tourism director, on Wednesday. She was 81.

“Betty loved Pontiac and she loved being involved in everything that made the city better,” said City Administrator Bob Karls late Wednesday afternoon.

“She has a long history of service to the community she loved and was a visionary to what tourism could be,” he said. “But beyond that she was just a very special lady and her presence will be missed.”

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket Celebrating 66th Anniversary!

Our thanks to Patrick Rhea from Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket and John Weiss for making this information about this very special anniversary available for us to share!

Route 66 Hall of Famer, Del Rhea's Chicken Basket, in Willowbrook, IL, is celebrating their 66th year in business this July.

In celebration of this monumental anniversary, Del Rhea's Chicken Basket will be hosting many different types of entertainment throughout the month of July.

Call Del Rhea's Chicken Basket for additional information - 630-325-0780.

Some of their featured events and specials will be:

Two New Items Available to Demonstrate Your Route 66 Spirit!

We're proud to announce two new items are available for purchase through our Association to demonstrate your '66 pride:

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A Funk's Grove Midpoint Commemorative Pin - In honor of the official declaring of Funk's Grove as the midpoint of Route 66 in Illinois, Diaz Sign Art, in Pontiac, IL was commissioned to create this striking commemorative pin.

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A T-shirt adorned with an original Bob Waldmire design - This work of art was created in 1989 by artist, icon and friend of Route 66, Bob Waldmire, exclusively for our Association. It now is emblazoned upon a black T-shirt (made of American-grown cotton and made in the USA) which will be available in sizes Small through 4XL.

Former Snuffy’s Resurrects as the Steak N Egger on Route 66

Our thanks to Chicago-based journalist, Maria R. Traska for submitting the following article:

By Maria R. Traska

A fixture of Route 66 in suburban Chicago has risen again. The former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill on Joliet Road in McCook, IL has been gutted, renovated and revived as the Steak N Egger on Route 66. And not a moment too soon. The Route 66 landmark had been closed since late 2010 and hadn’t been open 24/7 for some time. Despite the efforts of the former operators, the place had aged badly and gotten somewhat grubby. The turnaround began last September 15, when the property was bought by new owners.

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Got Content?


EditorWe welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!

Submit it here

Send us your change of address to:
Membership
110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL, 61764
or use our handy contact form

Learning to use our calendar puts the fun and adventure of Route 66 at your fingertips. It's easy to discover the when, what and where of events along the road.

Here's How!

Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.