Old Town Scottsdale Walking Tour

Old Town Scottsdale Walking Tour

There were few buildings in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, when the Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1909. By the 1930s, a blacksmith shop, bank, and a pool hall that doubled as silent movie theater were among the buildings that had sprung up as the city that served the agricultural community experienced a boom. Today many of the old buildings still stand in Old Town Scottsdale but now serve tourists. Read more

Muffler Men: Still Standing Tall on Route 66

Muffler Men: Still Standing Tall on Route 66

For years I worked just down the street from the Gemini Giant that stands on the edge of the Launching Pad parking lot. I frequently ate lunch at the Launching Pad, a now-closed fast-food diner on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois, but I never thought about the history of the oversize figure. It turns out he’s one of many Muffler Men, 14- to 25-foot tall fiberglass advertising icons produced by International Fiberglass in Venice, California, from 1962 to 1972. The Gemini Giant was repainted to fit the Launching Pad space theme, the space helmet was added and a rocket placed in his hands.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Hashknife Pony Express: Keeping History Alive

Hashknife Pony Express: Keeping History Alive

Dressed in traditional cowboy gear, they sit astride their horses at the ready. At 8 a.m. the Hashknife Pony Express riders are off, galloping from the Holbrook, Arizona, Post Office down the 200 mile trail, handing the mailbag off rider to rider. By 4:45 p.m. the mail makes it to Payson and by noon two days later it reaches Scottsdale, its final destination. Then the celebration begins.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more