Posts Tagged ‘PBS show’

Planning your Lincoln Highway road trip

October 30, 2008

The Lincoln Highway can be a great idea for a road trip: its length makes it close to much of the county, you can drive as little/much as you want, and even remote sections are never far from an Interstate for a quick return trip or a family who need modern amenities. I’ve never driven it non-stop from coast-to-coast but have driven most of it in every state. The adventures are still endless — as PBS producer Rick Sebak said on his road trip this summer, “We could do this for the rest of our lives!” That’s his picture of Green River, Wyoming.

Our kids have been along on most of the trips and will be with us again next summer as we head from Pittsburgh west to the Pacific Ocean. There was a time when 5 of us could fit on one bed — not by choice but when a motel’s double rooms were full! Now they’re nearing driving age, and though none are roadside devotees, they’re more excited about the trips than we are. The trick is to keep it fun for them too.

Along with old-fashioned car games, they bring along their favorite electronics. We mix in some familiar restaurants along with lots of cafes and diners (advertising draws them to fast food but they always remark how good diner food tastes). We ask them each to keep small trip diaries to help them (and us!) remember where they’ve been, stayed, and eaten. We visit bookstores and toy stores along with cool old attractions like Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, Nebraska. Next trip we may visit a skatepark and snowboarding hill. We also stay in a cool variety of rooms, from tourist cabins to chains (we like Quality Inn) to wacky places like the Wigwam Villages. We see a lot of the country and its people, who have been overwhelmingly friendly.

About that trip next summer — my Lincoln Highway Companion will be published in Spring 2009 and we’ll be using it ourselves to drive the road and do some signings. This book was meant to coincide with Sebak’s A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway but our schedules got out of sync. The publisher is finishing the design now but here’s the first peak at the cover. It will list many cool places to visit, eat, and sleep, but if you want info now, check my Greetings from the Lincoln Highway book, or the Lincoln Highway Association site, or old posts on this blog.

PBS Lincoln Highway DVD available for pre-order

October 27, 2008

It won’t ship till after the show airs nationally, but A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway DVD is available for pre-order from PBS.

The DVD includes 5 extra segments as listed on the back cover below plus we’ll have more information about them later this week. Above is a screen shot from the end of the program; note the cover has changed slightly since the program was finished, as seen in these images provided by producer Rick Sebak.

Lots of organizing, editing for highway video

September 9, 2008

Producing a video is a lot like the books I write — the research is the fun part. The real work is organizing mounds of info into a concise, coherent story for a broad audience. When I visited producer Rick Sebak, he sat next to the tapes for his PBS Lincoln Highway documentary: 99 of them at 40 minutes each! I count 66 hours of raw material that needs boiled down to a 56-minute show. What’s more daunting: that 65/66ths will not be used, or that he still has to watch and consider that material?

Above, Rick reviews the opening sequence and is about to cut the scene with the blue car — too similar to other road shots. Computers let him drag and drop segments of video like magnets on a refrigerator, then editor Kevin Conrad will perform the final splices (all digital of course). We also visited Paula Zetter, who designed the postcards.

I saw about 2/3 of the video and it’s great fun — very colorful and covering a wide variety of people and places. There’s a little from every state on the Lincoln Highway. Along with some basic history, there are markers and monuments, some food stops, and many attractions. Notable landmarks are sprinkled throughout the show too. Intrigued? Tune in Oct 29 at 8 pm AND announcing — repeating Halloween night at 10 pm. These two airings will also be broadcast on PBS-HD, likely the only HD broadcasts of it.

One more note — with a parallel genesis, my Lincoln Highway Companion book will include many of the same highlights when released in the Spring. Rick is just one of dozens of people who contributed their recommendations of places to visit along the route.

Picking top 5 Lincoln Highway sites not so easy

August 29, 2008

In response to our story about PBS producer Rick Sebak filming at the Shoe House, good friend Jess asked what were the top 5 Lincoln Highway sites in PA mentioned by LHA director Mindy Crawford? Glad you asked!

1. Grandview Point, site of Ship Hotel, between Bedford and Ligonier
2. The Shoe House, York
3. Dunkle’s Gulf, Bedford
4. Lincoln Motor Court, Mann’s Choice
5. Poquessing Creek Bridge, near Langhorne
6. Dutch Haven, Lancaster

Yep, six! Mindy said couldn’t bear to leave out any of them.

If I had to cut one, it would be Grandview Point, even though I’m writing a book about it and the Ship Hotel there (due out Spring 2010). But if I could replace it, I’d go for Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum between Chambersburg and Gettysburg — Rick is not as enthusiastic about it, but for me it’s a rare throwback to  old-time museum and candy shops. And I’d plead to group two in Bedford and add the Coffee Pot to Dunkle’s since it’s just down West Pitt Street.

When Rick filmed me in Pittsburgh, he asked me about my top 5 around the city. Hmm, I think they were:
1. Lincoln bronze statue, Wilkinsburg
2. Peppi’s Diner, Wilkinsburg/Pittsburgh line
3. Gulf building, art deco skyscraper, downtown
4. Manchester Bridge abutment, North Side, next to Heinz Field
5. Yellow brick road, Glenfield

OK Jess, you have two weeks — can you see them all? Maybe we’d better just make a lunch run to Peppi’s!

How about the top 5 must-see LH sites in the US? Dunkle’s must be one, and maybe the nearby Lincoln Motor Court too. It’s tough but I can pick three more (two of them also very close to each other in the Midwest). Send your top 5 and we’ll gather them into a post next week.