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My wife, Gwynne, loves all things Lincoln: biographies, Mary Lincoln and their family drama, and Lincoln-era politics, so first thing in the morning we were waiting for the Lincoln Museum to open to get as much time with Lincoln as possible. There was also the Lincoln tomb and Lincoln home, easily more than a day’s worth of Lincolnabilia, but she only got maybe two hours of looking around, a cause of great disappointment but we had two-thousand more miles to go. However, she quickly snapped out of it because like most people, if there’s something giant, we want to see it, so we hurried to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois, paradoxically from the world’s largest horseradish maker, Brooks.
Choosing a place to have lunch was easy; the famous Cozy Dog Drive-In, home of the perfect corn dog. I hadn't eaten a corn dog since I was a kid, and they taste just like I remember. The day was beautiful, finally no rain, though it was still humid for a West Coast person. Gwynne was especially intrigued by the Pink Elephant Antique Mall with it's sideshow quality of décor and she took lots of pictures, but nothing in the many display areas interested me and I'm the antiquie in our family.
We wanted to make an experience out of our Mississippi River crossing from Illinois into Missouri and the Chain of Rocks bridge from the old Route 66 was perfect because it is now only open to foot traffic now. We didn’t see more than a half-dozen other people on its mile length. Midway, I decided to call the guy working on the Gas gauge of my 1958 Corvette to see how he was doing. When I told him where I was, his voice lit up and he commiserated in my lack of driving my car. Old Car Guys are like that.
We ended up the day in St. Louis, Missouri. Our online guide enthusiastically recommended Ted Drewes for frozen custard, and Gwynne was all in. It was super crowded but they were amazingly efficient with four windows chugging through the lines of customers. While there we had the magical experience of talking to our first Old Car Guy on the trip about his 1957 Chevy 150 he was driving Route 66 in; “Harry” was painted over the driver’s door that that's what I called him. It made me jealous.
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