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Newspaper finds Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire May 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Movies, People.
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As many people familiar with the Mother Road know, you can't set an appointment to meet Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire. You simply go to where he's kinda sorta scheduled to be and you hope to run into him.

Dave Bakke of the Springfield Journal-Register lucked out and found Waldmire when he was back in his hometown of Springfield, Ill.

The VW minibus named Fillmore in the "Cars" movie was supposed to be named Waldmire. Bob Waldmire is an unapologetic hippie and drives an old VW minbus all over Route 66. But Bob Waldmire refused to give Pixar permission to use his name. I already asked him about it a couple weeks ago, but the Springfield reporter asked him why.

"I am an ethical vegetarian," Bob explained. "After they sent me a letter asking for my permission, another local artist friend of mine, Bill Crook, mentioned to me that the movie toys are probably going be sold in Happy Meals at McDonald's. That made up my mind real quick. I couldn't have them selling a bus with my name at a McDonald's if I'm an ethical vegetarian."

The movie does have a deal to distribute toys though McDonald's, by the way. Bob made Pixar/Disney a counteroffer that would have funneled a small portion of movie proceeds to a charity of Bob's choice in exchange for the use of his name. The company rejected that out of hand. That is why you will be watching Fillmore instead of Waldmire.

It's a good story, with stories about Michael Wallis, Dawn Welch and other people and places that inspired Pixar for its "Cars" movie.

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