Tag Archives: driving

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, PA


Jim Thorpe competing in the Stockholm Olympics, 1912

Jim Thorpe is considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern times. After winning gold in both the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, King Gustav V of Sweden said to Thorpe, “You sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.”

Thorpe was a collegiate All-American, NFL All-Pro & charter member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, and played baseball with three different MLB teams. He also played for a traveling professional basketball team.


Jim Thorpe Olympic statue near Jim Thorpe, PA

When in Pennsylvania for hockey, we traveled through Jim Thorpe, PA. Originally founded as Mauch Chunk, the community made a deal with Jim Thorpe’s widow in 1953. After Thorpe’s funeral in Shawnee, OK, city officials of Mauch Chunk bought his remains from his third wife, and Thorpe’s body was shipped to Pennsylvania without the rest of the family’s knowledge.


Jim Thorpe’s tomb

I had mixed feelings about the monument to Thorpe in Penn. On one hand, the tribute, if a bit dated and weather-worn, was well done and seemed sincere. On the other hand, it was hard to get past the fact that Thorpe has become a road side attraction. Of all the turn-offs I’ve taken traveling, this one was as surreal as any.


Thorpe’s football statue at the turnout/monument

Upon receiving Thorpe’s body, the communities of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk merged and were renamed Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. His tomb was built on a mound of dirt from his native Oklahoma and from the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, where he earned international fame.

In 2010, son Jack Thorpe sued in Federal Court to have his father’s remains returned to Oklahoma. After several court rulings favoring both sides, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 refused to hear the case, effectively ending the suit and leaving Thorpe’s remains in Pennsylvania. Jack Thorpe died in 2011.


Reading Royals

Santander Arena
Reading, Pennsylvania


Reading Royals Logo

While in Pennsylvania, we caught an ECHL game in Reading, with the Royals facing the Railers of Worcester, Mass.
Santander, is a nice rink, and I bought a pair of tickets online while riding into PA. Technology has its advantages, until someone hacks your information.


Reading Royals take on Worcester Railers

It wasn’t the Royals best night, as the Railers scored twice in the final five minutes to take a 3-1 lead. Worcester would then add an empty netter, for the 4-1 win.


He shoots! He scored!

Two highlights for the Royals: Matt Wilkins skated in his 100th game, and Jack Riley made his professional debut.
A highlight for the Curator: Jack Randolph, the Duluth native, and former University of Nebraska Omaha player, was now skating for the Worcester Railers.
Author’s highlight: I received a phone call today from a representative of Royal Hockey. He wanted to know how the experience was in Reading, whether I liked the seats, etc. I do not think I have ever had a hockey team call me up before, to see if I had a good time. I assume that they would like me to buy upcoming playoff tickets, but I was never asked to do so. A pretty impressive tactic from the Reading Royals.

And yes, we had a great time.


Railers logo added for the Curator


Engine #8


Fasbender Medical Clinic

The Fasbender Clinic building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1957. It is located along Pine Street in Hastings, Minnesota. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is currently a Edward Jones financial office.

The Fasbender Clinic is known for its copper roof, which wraps around the building, and extends almost to the ground in several places.


Yuengling Brewery

Pottsville, PA

Yuengling Brewery is the oldest brewery in the U.S., having started operation in 1829. We visited the Pennsylvanian brewery prior to hockey in Allentown.

Two of Yuengling’s beers were introduced in 1829, and are still produced today: Lord Chesterfield Ale, & the Porter.

The location for the brewery was perfect for a couple of reasons: The brewers originally received their water for the brewing process from a natural spring that came out of the hill behind the main brew house. The second was that the hills provided the perfect location for caves to be dug into the hillside. The caves were used for the cool storage of barrels & barrels of freshly brewed beer.

Prohibition brought many inevitable changes to Yuengling, including the production of near beer, and the still manufactured Yuengling Ice Cream.

The brewery’s Rathskellar was built in 1936. The original tasting room is still there behind the gate.

The mural in the photo was painted by the resident artist. The painter, in a moment of early self portrait, painted himself into the mural. He is located behind the pipe. I’ve never been a big selfie guy. The stained glass was installed very early on. The windows from above were letting too much light through, and the beams were blinding the workers when they bounced off the original copper boilers. The stained glass was added to diffuse the sunlight.

The work shop! No tour is complete, without a walk through the work shop area. I could have spent much more time there, but the beer tasting was calling.

We were told that bottling beer only happens one day a week at this brewery. Most beer goes out in cans from the Pottsville brewery. A great tour of the iconic eastern brewery. Yuengling, is still the king of beers, in this neck of the woods.


America on Wheels Museum

Allentown, PA

We were in town for hockey, but that never stopped us from checking out a new museum. “America on Wheels” is not a huge collection, but the $10 admission is well worth it, and the museum is a good way to kill a couple of hours before puck drop.

There are several exhibits, including “Guy’s Garage” above. A cool example of a late 1930’s to early 1940’s mechanic’s shop.

The view looking down from up in the grandstands.

Camping season is almost upon us.

This 1958 Hillegass V8 Chevrolet sprint car was an early, if not the first, Chevrolet to run against the Offys in Pennsylvania. The #22 ran at Williams Grove in 1958.

1929 Willys-Knight, Model 66B. Powered by a 255 cu in straight six, coupled to a three speed manual transmission.

A few of the paintings at “America on Wheels”


Going on down to Yasgur’s Farm…

Near Bethel, New York:

The Curator and I took a trip over to Woodstock between chasing hockey pucks. The museum at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was closed on the day we arrived, but that did not keep us from searching out historical markers, and the like.

We found the Yasgur family home. Max Yasgur, a local dairy farmer, leased out one of his fields for the concert. He received plenty of threats for doing so, including calls to “burn him out” and cries to boycott his milk. Yasgur held to his principles, scolding neighbors for charging concert goers for water.

32 musical acts performed in front of over 400,000 people from August 15-18, 1969. Organizers of the festival told Bethel authorities that they expected 50,000 to show up.

The stage was down in the lower left of the above photo, and the entire hillside was filled with spectators.

The museum and art center seem to be first rate, although it was a cursory glance. Even though that was closed, the trip was still a fun drive through the Catskills and music history.


The Jimi Hendrix set list from Woodstock’s final day