Archive for March, 2012


March 19, 2012

Pet ParadeLe Grange, Illinois© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Le Grange, Illinois

The Pet Parade in La Grange, Ill., which takes place on Route 20, has been putting paws on the pavement since 1946. Categories for participants (from the official registration form) include:

• Dogs & Pals: “You and your dog walking!”

• Pets & Pals: “You and your pet that is not a dog or a stuffed animal or just come in costume!”

• Pals on Wheels: “All of our friends on wheels! Bring your bikes, skateboards, scooters or rollerblades!”

The parade clearly welcomes diversity – a nice reflection on Route 20 itself in this part of the state, where the road is also known as La Grange Road, Mannheim Road, Highway 12, and Route 45.


Git Western!

March 5, 2012
Helen DavisBurns, Oregon© jan albers | all rights reserved

© jan albers | all rights reserved

Helen Davis
Burns, Oregon

“Either of you named Jan?” A short, sturdy woman bounded out of the Harney County Historical Society building and headed to a station wagon parked in the small lot in front.

I got out of the car and acknowledged I was indeed Jan. “Good. I’m Helen,” she said. “Git your stuff and come with me. Take everything you need – we’re getting lunch and heading for the BLM.”

Helen Davis commandeered us with her energy and strength over the next 10 hours. Neatly dressed in a white blouse, a bow tie under her pleasant but determined face, wearing a lavender polyester pantsuit, she looked like a high school counselor and spoke like a woman of the West.

“Your letter came to the Historical Center. They tossed it to me and wondered if I’d like to follow it up. It intrigued me. I even looked to see where Highway 20 ends – found it in an old book, ending at the Naval Yards in Boston.”

She drove with purpose, outlining the places we would see that day: the Bureau of Land Management to meet Mark Armstrong; the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, to talk with Gary Ivey; the lava beds; the round barn erected by Peter French, once the area’s most successful rancher (until he was shot dead); the P Ranch and the Diamond Hotel.

But her first stop was the supermarket, where she went in for our lunches. Scanning my notes on Route 20, I could find none of the places she mentioned. Were they on the highway? Maybe she knew something I didn’t.


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