Southern Nights

Was it possible for a person to be in an insipid mood? Well, that’s where I am today.

The battle of the household budget is not going to interest anyone. Even though, I’d like to discuss the ever-increasing price of dog treats with you.

Today, everything is overshadowed by the passing of Glen Campbell. It’s fitting that “Southern Nights” plays on in my head–after hearing it on the radio.

I was a Glen Campbell fan.  Being a Vietnam-era vet, the song “Galveston,” with its lyrics about homesickness, spoke to me at the time.

Thanks to the man from Delight, Arkansas who gave us memories of warm Southern nights.

Words & Music By C. Berry

Growing up, like most teens, I took for granted local music legends–Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina Turner, Miles Davis.  Didn’t every city have their own musical treasures?

Miles Davis trumpeted jazz and was kind of blue

The area wasn’t always kind to him in return

Ike and Tina Turner Revue–somewhere every weekend

The mountain was high and the valley so low

On vinyl records by The Beach Boys, Beatles, Rolling Stones

Many other artists borr0wed fame freely

Chuck Berry gave back tenfold

Early in the morning, he gave warning

Don’t step on my blue suede shoes

Words and music by C. Berry

After all these years

We’re still Reelin’ and a Rockin’

Mother Road

Brick-paved section of Rt. 66, near Auburn, Illinois.  Exploring by-ways, old links to the past are a passions of mine.

North Broad Street, became Rt. 66, as it left the city limits.  The pavement was narrow–one car had to drop off on the shoulder to pass.  A highway designed for the Model T Ford era.  Cars got bigger, faster, motorists demanded better highways.

The 1926–1930 alignment of the Mother Road wound through the central part of the county where I grew up.  Parts of it were narrow–seemed to follow property lines.  Two boys–who shall remain nameless, enjoyed driving to Springfield around the ninety degree corners in their fifties-era, Corvette sports car.  They weren’t the Rt. 66 television show guys–but tried to act like it.

Hope I’m alive and in good health in 2026 to enjoy  the Rt. 66 centennial celebration.  There’s pending legislation to fund the celebration–“The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act”–HR 66, sponsored by Rodney Davis, Rep. from Illinois.  The purpose is to preserve what’s left of the old highway.  The expressway, and later alignments bypassed most of the county–except for a little bit of the southeast corner.

–Image, Jim Grey, https://www.hemmings.com/newsletter/–

 

 

Desolation Roads

Small town values

Houses with

Plastic covered

Drafty windows

Temporary fixes

To quell winter’s cold

Strange-named burbs

Far away from fake tans

Full of people

With weathered

Wrinkled skin

Happy for a while

Till the pendulum swung

Nothing better came along

They either moved on or stayed

A story already told

Along desolation roads

 

War Comes to Middle America

A hometown Life magazine picture taken in the summer of 1942 by legendary photographer Alfred Eisenstadt.  Loehr Drug Store, Brown Shoe Store, and the St. George Hotel were still there when I grew up.  The shoe store had a fluoroscope–later outlawed as being unsafe.  The courthouse in the background looks the same today.  Parking is less chaotic today.  Traffic flows in a circle around the town square–which is to the right.  This was along the first routing of US Hwy. 66.