Day 2: September 23, 2006
Cars, Cars, Cars.
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Springfield, IL Springfield, IL Springfield, IL Just like the Friday night of my first festival in 2003, there were tornado, hail, and rain warnings being announced last night. But, this year the cruise did take place. I didn't see it, however, since my hotel is not downtown and I talked myself out of going. A crowded area didn't seem like a good place to be driving my car and I figured that taking a cab or bus might be foolish in light of the dire weather forecasts. Instead, I walked down to the Cozy Dog for Dinner. I was nearing the tail of my second and final "dog" when Jim Conkle & Michael Wallace walked in. I finished my meal, chatted a bit with Jim & Michael, and headed back to the Route 66 Hotel & Conference Center.

It stayed dry for my walk and a good while longer but, eventually, the skies did open. By morning, the deluge was over and, although the ground was still wet, other motel guests were getting their cars ready to take downtown.

Springfield, IL I had intended to return to the Cozy Dog for breakfast but, when I learned that buses run by the motel just once an hour, decided against it. Instead, I caught the 8:47 and, for a buck, was in downtown Springfield a little after 9:00.

Springfield, IL Springfield, IL Most of last night's festivities, other than the cruise, had been called off. Vendor booths and stages for performers had all been tore down to prevent damage. Many of the vendors were bringing things back to life as, all around them, cars were parked and polished.

Springfield, IL Springfield, IL Springfield, IL I wanted to make sure I got in a visit to the new Lincoln museum so I headed that direction. But I also had breakfast on my mind. I spotted the Tea Thyme and, after looking around for the Machismo Patrol, slipped inside. Now that I was actually inside a "tea room" I threw caution to the wind and ordered quiche. I know what you're thinking but, until you've tried it, it's really not fair to knock sitting in the front window of a tea room, sipping coffee from a dainty cup, and eating quiche while guys are parking muscle cars in front of you. Both quiche & coffee were excellent but I don't think the little doily thing on the table could soak up even half of one of those cups let alone an overturned mug.

Lincoln Library & Museum, Springfield, IL Lincoln Library & Museum, Springfield, IL Lincoln Library & Museum, Springfield, IL Then it was past more cars and into the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum where photos are permitted in only a few areas. Things start rather slowly with static displays of Abe's early life but get to rolling as the 1860 election approaches. From there on, the museum is more experience than exhibit. While walking past walls filled with some of the vicious political cartoons of the day, you also listen to some quite unfriendly comments on Lincoln and his policies. As you approach a Lincoln mannequin preparing to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, you are surrounded by voices and video images presenting various argument for and against the proclamation. With multiple screens and some fairly high-tech effects (Ever been kicked by a horse?), "Lincoln's Eyes" gives a compelling overview of the man and his world. I believe it was at Gettysburg that I saw an "electric map" of the Civil War. Rolling numbers counted the dead while small lights indicated the battles and changing front lines of the war. Here a modern video does something similar but much more effectively. Watching the Confederate controlled area grow and shrink and be clearly split by Sherman's march is pretty awesome.

I know that scholars can really benefit from the large research library here but the interactive and multi-media displays of the museum were enough for non-scholarly me. My feedback: Highly recommended. Great communication. Would do it again.

Lincoln Home, Springfield, IL Lincoln Home, Springfield, IL Lincoln Home, Springfield, IL Lincoln Home, Springfield, IL Lincoln Home, Springfield, IL My next stop was Lincoln's home; The only house he ever owned. On the way I got a glimpse of the Illinois capitol and, surprise, more cars. Ranger Robin was our guide and could answer just about every question given. Many of the home's furnishings have been restored including the mirror where Abe probably shaved for the last time before going off to Washington to grow a beard and run the country.

Old Capitol, Springfield, IL Old Capitol, Springfield, IL Old Capitol, Springfield, IL Old Capitol, Springfield, IL Old Capitol, Springfield, IL I saw a few more cars on my walk to the old (1839-1876) capitol building. Springfield's "all Lincoln, all the time" view of history continues here. Apparently Abraham Lincoln single handedly ran the State of Illinois and the City of Springfield until he became president.

Springfield, IL Springfield, IL Springfield, IL And now for some shopping. I bought a copy of "Pig-Hips" on Route 66" from Ernie Edwards and a couple of small pocket notebooks from Bob Waldmire. The one I got in 2004 at Tulsa is just about filled with cryptic notes. From Michael Wallace, it was "The Art of Cars". This was the third time I'd run into Jim Conkle this weekend (Chain of Rocks Bridge & Cozy Dog) but the first time I actually snapped a picture. Of course, it's no coincidence that it also includes Michael signing Sue Waldmire's copy of the Cars book. I don't know who the future roadie is who is looking on but maybe he'll be spotted driving through Seligman in a few years..

Roadies at the Alamo, Springfield, IL Roadies at the Alamo, Springfield, IL I finished my shopping and headed, a bit belatedly, to the Alamo where a couple of roadies were rumored to be meeting. It turned out to be more than a couple. There's Liz & Don, Lulu, Brenda, Ron, someone whose name I failed to learn, and another Ron. The standing Ron is Ron Jones who displays a growing number of Route 66 icons as tattoos. Kip & Carl get their own picture and Quinn & Natalie were safely hanging on the other side of the room. Kent & Mary Sue also stopped in for awhile.

Grass Roots, Springfield, IL Grass Roots, Springfield, IL Danny and the Juniors Friday night shows were canceled due to weather and the Grass Roots didn't fair much better. Travel problems prevented the planned 5:30 show and but the 8:00 show in jeopardy. I missed the start so don't know if the current lineup is a three piece or if one "root" was still in transit. That also means that I don't know if the weak performance was from a partial band doing their best in adversity or if that's the best the current outfit can do.

Springfield, IL Springfield, IL I didn't spend a lot of time on the Grass Roots but grabbed a cab back to the motel. Earlier in the day, someone had mentioned a place called The Curve that was near the motel and on an old Sixty-Six alignment. When the cabby also mentioned it, I decided that a visit was in order. This is a real roadhouse sort of place that has been there by some name or another since 1932. It's also one of the few places in Springfield when the new smoking ban doesn't apply. That's the context in which the cabby had mentioned it but I did not get the reason why they are exempt. After a Stag and a sandwich, it was time for bed.

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