Helping You Be Contemporary in a Traditional Way

There are many historical figures in basketball. Clearly Michael Jordan, Lebron James come to mind in the contemporary era. Dr. J, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson are said to have contributed to changing the game. Then there are legends like Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabar (I know I have left […]

Thoroughbred horse racing has it’s Triple Crown each Spring – from the Kentucky Derby to Maryland’s Preakness Stakes (named after a community in New Jersey where it was first staged) to New York’s Belmont. As we turn the calendar from July to August, we now find ourselves in the midst of another triple crown – […]

There is a doughnut shop and bakery in Clare, Michigan that has been in constant operation since 1896. This foundation business was within weeks of closing when the members of the Clare Police Department came to the rescue. All of them. That’s right, all nine members of the local police department banded together to save […]

I know, it probably was not really where baseball was first invented, baseball historians are now telling us. I don’t care. I still love Cooperstown. It’s such a picturesque place, the little village in upstate New York nestled next to Ostego Lake. It’s home to The Farmers’ Museum, the Fenimore Art Museum, Glimmerglass Opera, and […]

For a long time, folks were led to believe that Louis Armstrong was born on the Fourth of July (July 4, 1900), mainly because that was the date that Satchmo himself invoked. Although he died in 1971, it was not until the mid-1980s that his true birth date of August 4, 1901 was discovered by […]

He was a giant of American industry. And though not without controversy, Henry Ford is withour argument one of those who had a profound impact on American life and culture. This weekend near Detroit they observed the 150th birthday of Henry Ford. The Henry and Clara Ford estate at Fair Lane, which has been shuttered […]

It’s our kind of story, one of character & local customs. An example of a place revering their unique qualities – what makes them special – what we like to call a smart community narrative. Here the place is New Orleans and the story is one of resilience, determination and community. A year ago, a […]

Count me among the converted. I always enjoyed watching Betty White. I most enjoyed her on Mary Tyler Moore as Sue Ann Nivens, but have known her in variety of other roles. Recently, a great fuss has been made about Betty White, and for the most part I thought it was overblown. But a funny […]

It came from England, but to me it was one of those All-American (Canadian) songs of vacation time in the early 1960’s – often trips to Canada. “Stranger on the Shore” was written clarinetist Acker Bilk for his then young daughter. He first named the tune “Jenny” after her, but was later changed when used […]

Where has the time gone ? When we first started at this Journeys Into stuff (We called it Weekends on the Road back then), the Gilroy Garlic Festival was a relatively new and quirky addition to the growing number of festivals and food events around. Now, years later, it is one of the most popular […]

Saw a news note that Cowboys Stadium, home and monument to Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys, is to be re-named AT&T Stadium. Corporate naming of sports venues is by now something all too common. As much as I still mourn the demise of the Montreal Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens, Boston Garden and Chicago Stadium, […]

Wally Stanowski recalls to the Toronto Star his glory years for playing in the National Hockey League in the 1940s. At 92, Stanowski is the oldest living Maple Leaf and last link to their Stanley Cup wins in 1942 and 1945. Hetalks of those cup years, thegame today, and, as the headline proclaims, “Why he […]

We’re past the point of being tired of it all. Ticket prices that are out of reach for a family like ours, the constant commercial hype, the catering to a corporate clientele, and an increasing chasm between haves and have nots (just get a look at the lower bowl at Yankee Stadium). Then, there is […]

“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything” – Charles Kuralt, On the Road with Charles Kuralt “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust This article was first published […]

Wild ponies swam from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in Virginia on Wednesday, July 24. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company hosts the event, now in its 88th year, to raise money for new equipment. The “Saltwater Cowboys” rounded up the ponies on horseback the weekend before the swim. The New York Times ran an interesting […]

“Come along. Come and see. There are sites in this country and people in this country to vanish any gloom you ever may feel, and to fill you instead with wonder. Every road is as good as a promise and the promises all will be kept. And do not worry about getting lost. I have […]

A rush hour tie-up, a long-distance drive over Thanksgiving weekend, a pot-hole infested road. These driving conditions have frequently been described as “hell” by frustrated drivers and travelers. But if you really want an authentic trip to Hell, there is a town in Michigan for you. Hell is an unincorporated community in Livingston County Michigan […]

Last week we shared with you a unique Bed & Breakfast Inn in the midst of San Francisco Bay. Since many folks, myself included, do not necessarily have the budget to just hop on a plane to California and then boat out to a luxury Inn, we provide an East Coast counterpart. This lighthouse is […]

Once Patriots Day was an obscure local holiday. Unfortunately, the Boston Marathon bombers changed all that. For better or worse, most folks now know about Patriots Day. There are a number of other less known local holidays. Confederate Memorial Day or Jefferson Davis’ Birthday are two examples. So is July 24 in Utah. Pioneer Day […]

The name might not have meant much to you, but if you are of a certain age and lived in a certain time and place, the voice is one you would recognize. The New York Times reports that Page Morton Black, voice of the famous Chock Full ‘O Nuts coffee commercials has died at age […]

Growing up, I wished could be like those folks on TV, travelling to those cool places, meeting unique people, and reporting on interesting stories across the land. Years later, you have the opportunity that I did not. You can actually go and experience the places and events we introduce you to at Journeys Into, whether […]

…is finding something you never expected to come across. For all the planning and preparations one makes, the best part of a trip to me is the unexpected conversation, the unplanned rendez-vous with a sunset or a surprising gem of history and culture that one can all of a sudden encounter along the way. Our […]

She was brash. She was controversial. But without argument, she has to be considered an American Original – one of a kind – an integral part of the 20th cenury American scene. Helen Thomas, a wire service correspondent and columnist whose sharp questions from the front row of the White House press room challenged and […]

It’s not what it sounds like. The Triple XXX Restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana is not only a family-friendly place, it has been revered by adults and kids alike for generations. In fact, it is the oldest drive-in restaurant in Indiana. Even without its unique name, this restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana would be legendary. Famous for […]

The Annual Louisiana State Fiddle Championship is being held at Northwestern State University today (Saturday, July 20), at 1 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The Fiddle Championship is part of the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival. There is a non-championship class for those 12 and under, 13-18 and 60 above and a championship class for those 21 […]

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. So reads the creed on the side the James Farley U.S. Post Office Building in New York. At Lake Geneva, Wisconsin an additional obstacle is posed to those delivering the mail – the lake. […]

It’s so hot around here. Yes, it’s Summer but even for Summer it’s becoming a bit much. I’ve had ice cream, and lemonade. I’ve sought comfort in the ocean waves. I’ve even hunkered down in a dark air conditioned room. They have all helped to some degree. But now, it’s time for something else – […]

Somehow, it does not get tired. After more than three decades, they are still gathering yearly in Key West to honor the life and legacy of Ernest Hemingway. And each time, they go through an elaborate competition to crown a Hemingway look-a-like. The “they” is the Hemingway Look-Alike Society, and they will assemble once again […]

There are many bed and breakfast inns in and around San Francisco. But few are as unique as the one we describe here. East Brother Lighthouse, or more accurately a Light Station, is a restored California Victorian Lighthouse Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Inn perched atop an island in the strait that separates San Francisco and […]

There’s a race against the clock taking place at a U.S. Library of Congress facility near Washington, DC. At stake is American history, culture and heritage through its television programs from what is described by many as its Golden Days. The Washington Post reports that an effort is underway to convert old videotapes into digital […]

That terrible ghost train accident in Quebec has changed so much – not just for the families and communities affected, but to the nation as a whole, as well. For example, towns used to go out of their way to bring tracks to town. Now, reports the Montreal Gazette, they see them as a threat […]

It’s time for baseball’s All-Star Game. I am paying more attention this year’s game because it is being staged nearby. Moreover, it resounds as I, like many, have recalled the last time the game was played in Flushing, Queens – 1964 in a new Shea Stadium (now long demolished) just next door to the 1964 […]

“Synergistic opportunities” is a term we often hear these days from media and marketing types touting the advent of multi-media platforms. To be honest, there are times we are not quite sure what they are talking about. And, this is from someone touting a radio-based multi-media platform dedicated to the offbeat, off the beaten path, […]

Surfers wait for a pefect wave. Some folks on vacation adapt their schedules in order to take in a perfect sunrise or sunset. And, of course there is the rite of passage in search of “perfect mate”. We recently saw an article touting 27 top Main Streets. This leads us to contemplate just what […]

Ever heard of Benedictine ? Not the drink. Well, I had not either (nor it seems have most folks) until I heard a feature on the radio today. Benedictine is a combination of cream cheese, cucumber and onion. It’s been on the scene in Kentucky (especially Louisville) since Jennie Benedict, a famous Louisville caterer, invented […]

It’s all so clear in my head -as if it were yesterday. I was at day camp. I can recall the arts and crafts, that wet humidity of a summer’s hot day, the chlorine of the indoor pool stinging my eyes, and the ballgame as background to the various activities. Yes, it seems like yesterday. […]

We go to Freemont, Michigan, home of Gerber Baby Foods – where they stage the National Baby Food Festival each July. In a classic Conversations on the Road podcast from 2007, Sherry Heisse of Freemont spoke with us about the event and what to us is its highlight activity – the Baby Food Cookoff. It’s […]

It’s hazy, hot and humid where we are. But there is little time for one to be lazy – except when we pause to listen to this summer classic: [youtube=] This article was first published on

I can only imagine what might be involved in cooking and serving up the 15,000 hot dogs avaialble free for anyone that wants one wants one (along with a free soda) in Luverne, Minnesota for their annual Hot Dog Days. Local merchants have been at it since the early 1960’s. In its 51st year, the […]

It was interesting to learn the other day that many of America’s most famous natural places formed into National Parks underwent that change after by appreciated for their geological values – places like Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite Glacier. Less appreciated, until now, have been the grasslands, which also once supported great bio-diversity. Today grasslands found […]

At this posting, the scenes from Lac Magentic are heartbreaking. So are the numbers two were dead, perhaps 60 missing. Scores of buildings are gone and the loss of property totals in the multi-millions of dollars. Moreover, folks are just beginning to appreciate what the ghost train explosion did to the area’s archives and historical […]

It’s pretty hot where we are. Makes one long for a cold drink – perhaps to wash down the sandwich we just purchased – no matter what you might call it. Here is a circa 1960’s ad for Molson Canadian beer featuring Guy Lomardo and His Royal Canadians. Salut ! [youtube=] This article was first […]

We recently visited a beach area in Southern New Jersey that hosts many vacationers from the Philadelphia area. It got my kids (and me for that matter) thining about the terms we use to describe certain foods – in this case sandwiches. These sandwiches to which we speak consist of a long roll of Italian […]

How many chicken and egg puns can you come up with ? More than afew, I bet. And, chances are they probably have been invoked before – especially in Wayne, Nebraska, home of the Wayne Chicken Show taking place this weekend. I’ll spare you the “wit” (or pain). Instead I’ll impart some actual information about […]

Words cannot describe the emotions stirred by images of last week’s “Ghost Train” explosion at Lac Megantic in Eastern Quebec. Our sympathies go to the families of those lost in this tragedy, to their neighbors and to the entire community (as well as those who visit the region and feel the physical loss of a place special to them). This […]

Finally. It seems that scientists are now getting around to saying what we here have known in our gut for a long time. Nostalgia is a good thing. According to an article in the Science Section of the New York Times, nostalgia was first thought to be a “neurological disease of essentially demonic cause,” but […]

It’s been a while since the last passenger train stopped running to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia in 1960. In fact, the tracks are gone too (since 1989) after a last freight train came through town in 1986 (It got stuck in the snow). But that history of trains from another time does not stop the station […]

It’s 40 years since the premier of the film, Cabaret. To mark the occasion Joel Grey, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, recently donated a straw boater hat he wore in the movie. It will be on display starting July 16 at the American History Museum of the Smithsonian. This article was […]

originally posted at the Wise Economy Workshop, Sometimes the universe just seems to be on the same page for once. This post from the Michigan Main Street Center has been circulating the Twittersphere the last couple of days, an indication of how much this post resonated with people in community economic development. Here’s the […]

Taking place Sunday, July 7, 2013, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on the grounds of American Legion Post 365 (1022 Vandalia on Route 159) in Collinsville, Illinois. For more on the festival: For more on the world’s largest catsup bottle itself: [youtube=] This article was first published on

The essence of America lies not in the headlined heroes…but in the everyday folks who live and die unknown, yet leave their dreams as legacies. Alan Lomax, 1940 This article was first published on

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway. The New York Times recently joined the fray with a price in the Sunday Travel Section. They decsribed it as “all but hidden in plain sight, accessible only to those who seek it out”, quite different from when it first was launched as the country’s […]

Paul Smith, a jazz pianist who accompanied singers like Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr. and Rosemary Clooney but who was best known for his long association, both on record and on concert stages worldwide, with Ella Fitzgerald, died on June 29, 2013 in Torrance, Calif, reported the New York Times. He was 91. […]

It’s hot around here – the dog days of Summer are upon us. A swim in the pool, perhaps a lemonade, a beer. How about a bit of music for the season ? [youtube=] This article was first published on

I first heard of Tatanka some 22 years ago during the epic movie “Dances with Wolves”. These many years later the I pay attention when I see the word. So it is no surprise that White Cloud’s Birthday and Tatanka Festival in Jamestown, North Dakota caught my attention. Tatanka is Sioux language for Buffalo. Mahpiya […]

Just a couple of weeks ago, Alberta experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding described by the provincial government as the worst in the province’s history. Four people were confirmed dead as a direct result of the flooding and over 100,000 people were displaced throughout the region. Some 2,200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) troops were deployed to […]

We’ve seen so many articles marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg that we have started to numb from them all. But this one, <a href=" the Washington Post, interested us enough to want to share it with you. In Gettysburg, Pa., Rob Gibson keeps a photographic tradition alive by using period accurate […]

Most American communities celebrate the Fourth of July with a traditional parade, fireworks, and perhaps a hot dog roast, flea market and carnival. But some towns around the United States have discovered more offbeat, independent, ways of showing their patriotic spirit. For example, in George, Washington reports NBC News, celebrations include baking the world’s largest […]

…but we are not new to blogging. In fact, we have been at it since 2007. And, over that time we have occasionally had some good things to say. This fact dawned on me as I sought some archival materials to mark the Fourth of July. There are podcasts as well as blog entries that […]

As this blog is previewed, most of you doing the reading are the ones who suggested I create a blog in the first place. But over time, I hope that others stop in. If that should happen, I think it only right that there be some words describing the chap who is at the controls […]

Here’s another “while we were away” story – this time it includes me too. As I write, we on the U.S. East Coast find ourselves stuck in a humid and muggy air mass which brings a constant threat of a thunderstorm and severe downpours (It flooded here yesterday). This pattern started about a week ago while […]

These days it’s everywhere you go.  At the Mall, on the roads, in our music, movies, politics, sports and business. It’s life with “an edge”. We all know what it is and when we see it. As best as I could decipher from a short and totally unscientific effort at research, this notion of an […]