ARRIVE: 4:01PM 15.43 MILES IN 5 HOURS AND 41 MINUTES (GROSS)
AVG SPEED: 2.72 M. P. H.
Thanks to all who participated in day one.
STEP OFF EVENT, LYNWOOD VILLAGE HALL: 9:00AM-9:45 AM:
About 30-40 people attended. Beautiful weather for start. Art Schweitzer, LHA, set up displays of LH photos in parking lot. Bob Lukens presented me with a dozen T-shirts reading "Mad Mac's March" above a large Lincoln Highway emblem. Those will be the uniform for the duration, compliments of the Chicago Southland Convention and Tourism Bureau. Thanks Bob for great coordination for the entire step off event. What a professional job! Much milling about with friends, family, etc. Rush down to state line with news photographer (NW Indiana Times?) in a hurry to take pics at line signs. Returned. Bob Lukens presided over time for remarks at Village Hall. Welcomed to Village by Lynwood Village Trustee Irv Nicholson (sp?). Carl Jacobson, LHA State Director also spoke followed by me. I dedicated the march to a friend of mine, the late Robert C. Talaber, an IDOT Highway Maintainer from the Alsip yard who was killed in an on the job accident in 1994 and asked that drivers "Give 'Em A Brake" and slow down and stay on the alert in road work zones. Backdrop for speakers included a map of the highway, and two signs, a LH Historic Route Sign and a monsterous IDOT "GIVE" EM A BRAKE / SLOW DOWN sign on easels. My fiancé, her daughter Megan and I rode in a convertible 1974 blue Cadillac Eldorado to State Line.
STEP OFF AT STATE LINE: Chaotic but lots of fun. Last minute arrival of CLTV news reporter Michelle (Last Name unrecalled, but tape will show) threw off schedule. Long interviews of me and Ruth Frantz as well as others. Cameramen from Star/Southtown (?) and one or two other reporters also taking photos. Finally at about 10:20-10:30a, Megan, the nine-year old daughter of my fiancé blew a whistle to start short March along to Sauk Trail Road. To much amusement of all who attended, Star/Southtown (?) photographer stops me just short of Sauk Trail where a Lincoln Highway Historic Route sign was bent over almost to the ground as a result of a run-off the road type crash. I asked Ed Potash, the only other IDOT person in the group to be sure to report the downed sign when he gets in to work on Tuesday morning. LHA member Ralph Hinkel plays marching music on loud speaker from van. Finally, about 10:30, I waved my cap and headed off down Sauk Trail. Followed and intercepted by CLTV reporter and cameraman (Kevin). They stayed with me for about an hour. I am 20-25 minutes behind schedule, but laughing all the way.
10:45 a: Stopped at entrance to Moose Lodge on Sauk Trail to wait for frozen water bottles to be delivered. (Left back at Village Hall).
11:15a: White SUV pulls up to me just east of ILL 394. Mayor of Steger, Louis Sherman and his wife were checking up on me since I was running late. Mayor wished us all well and good luck to me.
12:45a: Chicago Heights PD squad pulls up just east of ILL 1 and out pops Chicago Heights Mayor Angelo A. Ciambrone, who was out looking for me since I was running late. Mayor said he was going to drive on ahead and meet me at the City Line and march the appx. three miles border-to-border through the Heights. Joined by ILHC Board member Cynthia Ogorek, LHA Indiana Director Pete Youngman and Ed Potash of IDOT District One for parts of trek. Got walking history lesson from Mayor C. He also presented me with two copies of a book on local history I believe authored by ILHC Board member Dominick Candeloro. I proposed we march down sidewalk, but Mayor C would have none of that. He said more or less something to the effect of "This is about the highway, not the sidewalks. You and I will march down the street." He had the squad car follow us and block off the right lane of Chicago Road and US 30. Mayor C is a "hands on" type municipal executive, I can tell ya. When he spotted a cap for a water shut off pipe laying in the road, he stopped and put it back over the hole. We stopped for pictures at the Arche Fountain at US 30. Shortly thereafter he spotted some tree limb debris in the gutter of US 30 and again he ran over and picked it up and threw it off the highway; Ed P. and I joined in. Finally, he also spotted and began to try to remove a "high star" type counting machine bolted into the right Westbound lane of US 30 somewhere west of IL 1. He's quick, but I managed to stop him before he began trying to take it up an examine it. I explained to him that it was probably one of our traffic volume and classification counters and how it operated, etc. (NOTE TO STEVE SICILIANO / JIM STELLA: Maybe you should check our counting location records with Bruce at Gewalt. I did not see any other high stars anywhere along the route. Perhaps this one was a recount deal or he has an MIA counter out on US 30).
1:50p; Arrive at Western Avenue border of the Heights and bid farewell to Mayor C. At that point, squad car from the Village of Olympia Fields took over escort duties and again blocked right lane. Squad followed me to Governor's Highway border with Matteson. At Matteson border, a small fleet of Matteson squad cars and a van/paddy wagon took over the escort function.
2:45p: At about Kostner Avenue, Matteson Mayor Mark Stricker, his wife Charlotte and the police shift supervisor and I believe the Village Clerk met me. Mayor Stricker presented me with a "key" pin to the Village and read a proclamation declaring the month of September "Mad Mac's March Month" in the Village of Matteson. The police escort in Matteson ran like a VIP motorcade down US 30. They skipped ahead and blocked intersections so that I, Cynthia, Pete and Ed, could walk through on some red lights. (Yikes that got a little scary, but it sure allowed me to make up for lost time.) On the bridge over I-57, as Ed and I were walking along and were about to transfer to the shoulder, Ed all of a sudden whirled around. If thought he'd tripped and gone down. He hadn't, but had spotted a $20 bill on the pavement! He gave it to the police escort to keep in case anyone reported it lost. Eventually the officer convinced him to take it back. I found one penny on the whole route and Ed grabs a twenty out of the deal!
3:00pm At Central Avenue, met the John and Regina McDonald family of Matteson, who had attended the step off event after reading about it in the papers that morning. Presented flower by one of the McDonald children. Also, Mayor and Mrs. Stricker and his wife were there and took photos.
4:01p. Ed and I arrive at Will - Cook County Line at Harlem Avenue. I am one-minute off my schedule.
LATER: Drove Ed back to his car, went home and put up feet. One large blister on left foot, but I have the drill on that and am treating it. Feet sore as hell, but otherwise am fine. Day off and proper treatment of blister should present no problem.
THAT'S IT FOLKS. IT WAS QUITE A DAY. AGAIN, THANKS TO ALL THE HARD WORK BY EVERYONE INVOLVED.
FOR THOSE WHO WERE THERE, PLEASE E-MAIL ME CORRECTIONS OF NAMES AND FILL IN THE BLANKS ON ANYTHING I LEFT OUT.
Next day's walk. Last day's walk.
Tom McAvoy (Mad Mac)
Home: 9130 West 89th Street Tele: 708-599-2815
Hickory Hills, IL 60457-1208 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Work: IDOT, District One, Programming Bureau Tele: 847-705-4386
201 West Center Court Fax: 847-705-4666
Schaumburg, IL 60196-1096 e-mail: McAvoyTJ@nt.dot.state.il.us
You can no longer participate, with Tom, on his walk across Illinois but his "march along" schedule shall remain here, for the time being. The first seventeen thumbnails are individual links to different snapshots on the three photo pages.
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