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Barry Schrader
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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.

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Octogenarians take long, winding road

By Barry Schrader.................................November 22, 2011

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. (Photo provided)


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 out there.
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.

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or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115