I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates
to catch up.
Home | Columns |
Photos | Books
| Biography | Links
Octogenarians take long, winding road
By Barry Schrader.................................November
Most people in their 80s know it's
time to stay home and enjoy life in a rocking chair, but no one
told Lavoy and Ginger Gliddon that; they still take long motor
trips around the country.
That includes a coast-to-coast drive on the old Lincoln Highway.
In April, they drove up to Maine, then down to Times Square in
New York City, turning west until they reached San Francisco
at the western terminus of the highway first constructed in 1913.
They accomplished this in 10 days, which is not an easy trip
at any age.
Ginger kept a daily journal of what
they saw on the road that spanned 3,384 miles. They tried to
follow the original route as closely as possible, but found some
parts abandoned or rebuilt using other roads. Of course they
traversed the most famous mile of all - the "seedling mile"
near Malta where the roadbed was paved for the first time.
Lavoy Gliddon photographed his wife, Ginger, next to the western
terminus marker of the Lincoln Highway in a San Francisco park.
A historical marker at Kishwaukee College explains that feat.
By the way, Phyllis Cunningham of Malta once gave me a brick
from that original roadway with the provenance to prove it was
genuine. It is now on loan in an exhibit at the Duarte Garage
& Lincoln Highway Museum in Livermore, Calif. Thanks for
the donation, Phyllis.
I must digress a bit to explain something about Lavoy's background.
He is in the middle of three generations of pharmacists, starting
with his father and two uncles. He bought the old Edgar Baldwin
drugstore in Genoa from Bob Wilcox, who owned it only four years.
Beneath that building was a bowling alley that was before my
time (now under Hill's Tap). But aren't some of those pinsetters
still alive in Genoa today? Wilcox had torn out the soda fountain
where I once bought my Cokes after school with my school chums,
Bob Campbell and Dave Guse. My Base Line Road buddy, Paul Buzzell,
always had to rush right home to do chores, so he missed hanging
Before moving to the Genoa area in fifth grade I had frequented
Alford Schultz's drug emporium in Waterman where my cousin, Paul
Joranlien, and I would sit and read Uncle Scrooge comic books
off the shelf while sipping "Dead Man's" Cokes, the
special concoction dispensed by Alford with a squirt from every
flavor behind the bar. And they cost double - 10 cents instead
of a nickel.
But I am getting off topic here. I just need to mention the Gliddons
built a new drugstore next door to the original one on Genoa's
Main Street and were there from 1959-1994. But both businesses
are gone now, victims of the big pharmacy chains that snaked
across the country, killing off the mom and pop stores.
I wish I could detail the encounters reported in her diary -
now part of a scrapbook - but you can ask Ginger about it. You
can find the Gliddons often visiting Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement
Center in DeKalb, where Lavoy's 102-year-old mother, Mavis Bell,
resides. So with those genes in him, this retired pharmacist
has many more miles to go before he sleeps.
After reaching the Golden Gate they chose to head south to visit
their pharmacist son (third generation in the business) in Long
Beach, then headed home through the Great American Desert. Must
be about ready for a new set of tires on their 2008 Honda.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115