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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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TSPR's Emily Boyer
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The summer travel season is in full swing. Festivals over the weekend in Macomb and Galesburg showcased planes, trains and automobiles. Buckle up for the ride.

About a dozen single-engine airplanes landed and took off at the Macomb Airport for the city's Heritage's Days' Fly-in. The RV-7 kit plane (center) took Jeff Diewold of Burlington six years to build. Diewold said there's nothing that compares to flying. "There's a reason the movies always show aerial views," Diewold said. "It's beautiful."

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Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer
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Bob McDowell of Keokuk with his Maule plane. It’s a bush plane, with short landing and takeoff capabilities ideal for the back country where runaways are uncommon.

McDowell was artistically inspired by his tail dragger plane to have a decal made depicting a dragon landing or "dragging ass" for the rear of the plane. McDowell plans to fly to Alaska soon for a month long trip.

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Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer
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Pilot Jim Winters flying a four-seater Cessna around Macomb. "People sit in their offices and I've got the best view in town," Winters said.

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Credit TSPR's Rich Egger
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The Leviathan is a full-size, fully functioning replica of a steam locomotive from the 1860s. “It was the original locomotive that built the country. They built 35,000 of them, which was a lot of locomotives,” said David Kloke of Elgin, IL, who built the replica with friends.

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Credit TSPR's Rich Egger
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Kloke said he is now raising money to build a replica of the Abraham Lincoln funeral car. Next year he would like to use the Leviathan to pull the replica along the route Lincoln’s funeral train traveled. It left Washington D.C. on April 21, 1865. He was buried in Springfield, IL, on May 4, 1865.

Model trains were displayed at Carl Sandburg College during Railroad Days in Galesburg. William Steinkraus (left) of Bloomington said the hobby has come a long way since he started 40 years ago. “You can take engines and cars off the shelf that are just fantastic and they’re ready to run.”

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Credit TSPR's Rich Egger
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Mike Deberg (center), also of Bloomington, said the display is 50 inches off the floor. “Most standards are 40 inches off the ground, which means most people end up looking down onto the trains and it’s hard to see all the detail. We wanted to build it up a little higher so more people could see it at eye level.”

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Credit TSPR's Frannie Smith
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Gary Daniel of Peoria enjoys showing off his car. He drives a 1954 Chevy COE otherwise known as the Chick Magnet.

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Credit TSPR's Frannie Smith
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Daniel's favorite part of the Chick Magnet is the decal on the glove department door that's dedicated to his wife.

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Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer
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Old Chevy's, Fords and other classics filled the inner ring of Macomb's courthouse square. The annual classic car show for Heritage Day's is proof you don't have to be young to play with cars just young at heart.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.
Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.