A Blog Along The Lincoln Highway

All of this is about a public TV project about one of America’s great roads, and we’re hoping you might enjoy reading about some of our behind-the-scenes work. I’m Rick Sebak, and I write most of the tales. Bob Lubomski is our cameraman. And Glenn Syska has been traveling with us recently. He made the video blog entries in 2008. Back in 2007, Jarrett Buba did all that. A RIDE ALONG THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY first aired on PBS on October 29, 2008 at 8 PM. Check with your local PBS station to find out about repeat broadcasts. Or go for the DVD at www.shopwqed.org.

A Blog Along The Lincoln Highway header image 2

Marching orders, changing plans, and sour-cream-raisin pie.

June 13th, 2008 ·

When we meet in the lobby of the Burke at 8:30 am, Pitter is behind the front desk. Her real name is Pat, but she’s been “Pitter” since she was two. Tiny in stature, powerful in personality, she is giving Glenn our marching orders for the day. She has booked us an early appointment at Carroll Glass. “Here are the directions. They are expecting you. We’ll keep your bags till you get back. And you can keep one of the rooms for late check out if you’d like.” dsc09980.jpgShe knows all about our broken rear side-window, and she feels we’ll be back on the road by noon.

We love these helpful Iowa folks.

Carroll Glass is in the industrial corner of town in an old building but with a slick set of glass offices inside next to the shop. The attractive woman who’s the only one working this morning says immediately that they don’t have the replacement. No one in town does. She’s called all the possibilities, but she can have it waiting for us in Omaha or in Sioux City, depending on whether we intend to go south toward Omaha (the route where many of the roads are flooded and we may be delayed) or north toward Sioux City (another route where many of the roads are flooded and we may be detoured and lost before lunch.)

We opt for Omaha, and before we leave the glass company, we hear that Route 30 is open as far as Omaha, so we can continue on down the Lincoln Highway. We grab a bite of breakfast, make a quick stop at Walgreen’s (I haven’t even mentioned that Glenn’s eyes have been all red and itchy for two days now, maybe some sort of allergy, and his father, a pharmacist, has recommended a new eye juice that Glenn might want to try), we gather our belongings at the Burke, say goodbye to Pitter, and get back on the road.

My plans had been to be in Woodbine, Iowa, this morning, getting some shots of the coffee-shop-in-an-old-gas-station known as Brick Street Station in its morning glory as a great spot for coffee and a piece of pie. And we were also supposed to meet a local woman named Linda whose sister had put together a Lincoln Highway history display in another old local gas station. But our plans were discarded back in Carroll.

dsc09984.jpgThen when I talk with Marshall Scichilone (who owns and runs the Brick Street Station,) I ask if we could just stop to say hello, but we won’t shoot anything. Just a quick social visit. We have to be in Omaha by 1:00 pm. He says, Of course stop by.

Woodbine is a beautiful little town with many brick streets, including a long brick-paved stretch of “Lincoln Way,” and we fell in love with it when we stopped by last August. (read Post 14) That’s when we met Marshall, a fellow Pittsburgher, but his Brick Street Station was already closed for the day.

It’s good to see him again. A local historian named Lou is there too, and she says she’ll be happy to help if we want to do something about Woodbine. We’re chatting when a local reporter (actually Nikki Davis is managing editor of the Woodbine paper) and a photographer arrive, and we all think we’ll have a slice of pie. dsc09986.jpgThere’s a sour-cream-raisin pie that looks so good I have to try it. Bob and Glenn try it too. We all agree it’s smooth and chewy and world-class. “It’s an Iowa specialty,” says someone. It may be the reason why everyone is so friendly in this state.

And we figure out that maybe we could stop back here for a couple of hours on Monday the 23rd on our way home. It’s worth a try. We don’t get out of there till 1:00, and it’s still an hour drive to Omaha. We’re going to be a bit late for our appointment at the glass place.

Tags: Road Diary

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