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Cyclist re-creates trek of 37 years ago October 29, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events.
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Joe Bowen in the spring of 1968 traveled in his bicycle all over the United States after his discharge from the military. Now 62 and retired, Bowen is riding over the same path again.

This week, he rolled into Claremore, Okla., on Route 66. He again toured the Will Rogers Memorial and saw J.M. Davis’ arms collection. Some of the things he saw nearly four decades ago, such as the Mason Hotel and Long’s Wax Museum, are gone.

Most of Bowen’s memories of Claremore were pleasant. One at a bean supper wasn’t:

“Seems to me I was almost through (telling my stories), when this guy came in and said he had an important announcement to make and ask for the microphone.

“He said,

Route 66 remains a road of commerce (and more) October 28, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.
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For proof, check out this success story in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. It could give the word “development” a good name because of this interesting angle (I’ve emphasized the particularly interesting parts):

“When we started planning the project, we basically thought there was no there there from Pasadena to Palm Springs,” said Colm Macken, of Forest City, one of the Victoria Gardens developers. “Out in the suburban sprawl, there was something missing.”

What planners thought was missing was not only retail development but a central gathering place — a Rancho Cucamonga downtown. The idea wasn’t for Victoria Gardens to be another mall, but a lifestyle center where residents could congregate and spend time, even when they’re not shopping.

Some residents are hesitant to call the 1.3 million-square-foot project a city center. But the city is celebrating the economic progress with a fireworks display this evening and anniversary festivities through the weekend. The city and developers said they believe there is much to celebrate because Victoria Gardens — with its city grid system and landscaped sidewalks — has claimed that downtown title.

“It’s not downtown in the urban sense but it’s a town’s downtown,” said Linda Daniels, the city’s redevelopment director. “Whether it’s weekday or weekend nights, you see couples strolling. People don’t go there just to shop.”

So not only is Victoria Gardens a financial success, but it’s also given the area a sense of community.

Remembering Meeker’s October 28, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.
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The San Bernardino County Sun published an excellent story about the history of Meeker’s along Route 66 at Cajon Pass, Calif. Alas, what was left of Meeker’s was bulldozed several years ago.

The story didn’t have a photo, but I found one here

A sad image October 28, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events.
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I initially was reluctant to post this story from Waynesville, Mo. But this, especially the heartbreaking photo that accompanies the story, reminds us that historic Route 66 sometimes has become a road of anguish.

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