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More reports from Oklahoma 66 meetings September 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Highways, Photographs.
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Required public hearings about designating Oklahoma’s Route 66 a national scenic byway are working their way across the state, and reports from newspapers are coming with them.

The Associated Press has an article.

The Sapulpa Daily Herald has one.

And the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City attended a hearing in Edmond:

“More neon,” Marilyn Emde said.

Mel Norton said he’d like to see it rebuilt with a mind toward his fellow bicyclists.

“I’ve biked down Route 66 before, and I’d like to do it again, but it needs to be in better shape,” he said.

Bikers come from all around the world to travel Route 66 in Oklahoma, but the state of the road is squandering their good will, Norton said.

Some hesitated to give their suggestions, fearing them too extravagant, but Carter-Burgess representative Lynne Marie Whately said this is the time to think of the best.

“There are many pots of money out there,” she said. “This is the ‘dream big’ part.”

The most popular request was for more signage and to preserve what could be saved of the old Route 66.

Andrews said preservation was a goal, but that it has to be balanced with safety.

Emde, by the way, is executive director of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association.

And I’m presuming the cyclist is referring to western Oklahoma’s portion of Route 66 being in worse condition. Parts of the road west of El Reno are admittedly primitive, mainly because they were built in the 1930s. However, I’m not real keen on replacing original, historic roadbed. And neither is the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

“Route 66″ radio show coming to KMOX September 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Radio.
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A Saturday night music show, titled “Route 66,” soon will air on St. Louis’ flagship radio station, KMOX-AM.

This was initially reported on the STLmedia.net rumor site Tuesday. KMOX account executive Randy Raley confirmed it in an e-mail Wednesday and added that he’s “thrilled” to host the show.

Here’s the announcement in a news release that Raley sent:

Route 66, the iconic highway memorialized in song, winds across the United States, through St. Louis, down through Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico and beyond.

KMOX, the iconic radio station established in 1925, blasts its 50,000 watt signal across the vast stretch of Route 66.

Now KMOX debuts a new Saturday night show titled “ROUTE 66 .” ROUTE 66 is hosted by St. Louis radio veteran Randy Raley.

ROUTE 66 on KMOX is a hip, retro slice of life, featuring the music heard on AM radios in the Chevys, Buicks, and Fords driving across this exciting American Highway. On ROUTE 66, you’ll also hear historic moments from the huge KMOX audio vault. ROUTE 66 returns radio to its American roots.

So whether you’re out on the road this Saturday night, or relaxing at home, please enjoy ROUTE 66 on KMOX.

The release provides a sampling of music that will be heard on the “Route 66″ show — Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge, Righteous Brothers, Bobby Darin, Chuck Berry, Frank Sinatra, Temptations, The Byrds, Martha and the Vandellas, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, The Platters, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. So the music skews from the 1950s to about the mid-1960s, when AM radio ruled the roost and Route 66 was still a certified U.S. highway.

And the vintage news clips sound like a nice touch.

There’s no word yet when the show will debut. Many broadcasts will be partly pre-empted by St. Louis Blues games during hockey season, but the “Route 66″ show still ought to get some air time unless the team is on the West Coast.

KMOX can be heard on the Internet here. KMOX’s clear-channel signal also can be heard in 43 states and several foreign countries after sundown. I can attest to hearing the “Mighty MOX” loud and clear in Florida and south Texas at night.

So if you’re east of the Rockies, chances are good that you will be able to turn your radio to the 1120 AM frequency and hear Raley’s show on Saturday night.

UPDATE: I e-mailed Raley some questions to get more details on the show.

Time slot for “Route 66″ is 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Central time on Saturdays. The debut is tentatively set for Oct. 14, unless ESPN “bumps” the Oklahoma-Missouri football game to that time slot.

As for whose idea it was for the show …

The idea came from our GM, Dave Ervin, who thought that we needed to freshen up what we were doing on Sat. night. I don’t think he wanted to syndicate anything and decided away from the “Snake Oil” selling programs.

KMOX is iconic and so is Route 66. KMOX reaches about 85% of the road from Chicago to the mountains of California. There is just a certain mystique about the road and we wanted to come up with a name that symbolizes and represents in a few words the music and feel of what we are doing. We wanted to capture what it must have been like to travel that road circa 1956-1965 and what was going on at that time culturally. [...]

I grew up on a farm and really dug the old powerhouse AM giants … WLS, KAAY, WLAC and, of course, KMOX. I have been in the business for over thirty years, doing a number of different formats, but my first love were the guys who could tell stories and make you laugh over the intro of a song. I have extensive work in oldies but the show won’t really be about me. We have production pieces, old commercials and drops that will blow your mind. Our imaging guy has kept everything over the last fifty years. We plan on doing requests, high school shout-outs and all of the stuff that the “boss jocks” used to do.

I am very pumped about it.

Standin’ on a Corner Festival more than just a party September 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music, Towns.
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The Arizona Republic published an excellent preview about this weekend’s Standin’ on a Corner Festival in the Route 66 town of Winslow, Ariz.

Unless you’ve not heard pop radio in the past 30-some years, you know that Winslow’s claim to fame is being mentioned in the Eagles‘ hit song, “Take It Easy,” co-written by Jackson Browne.

The Republic’s article contains a few interesting tidbits:

  • Proceeds from the festival go into Standin’ on a Corner Foundation, which works to revitalize Winslow’s downtown. The foundation springboarded from the La Posada Foundation, which saved that town’s marvelous Harvey House.
  • After tense moments in recent years, the Standin’ on a Corner Park is open to tourists again. A building, on which a mural depicted a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look an easy-going drifter, was destroyed by fire in 2004. The mural survived the blaze, but city officials were concerned the wall could collapse. It’s been shored up now, and the site of the destroyed building will eventually be turned into a park.
  • The Eagles have never performed at the festival, but they have indeed visited the Standin’ on a Corner Park. They’ve come late at night, to avoid a big hubbub. Also, “when Jackson Browne played in Window Rock a few years ago, he mentioned stopping at the park at three in the morning to avoid the crowds.”

Rental-car business opens in old gas station September 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Preservation.
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The Journal Record reports that an old Phillips 66 cottage-style gas station at 602 S. Elgin in Tulsa recently opened in its new configuration — as an Avis rental-car business.

The station, built about 1932, was part of an older alignment of Route 66 through downtown. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Local developer Michael Sager acquired the property and used a Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program cost-share grant to help renovate the building.

The other old-style Phillips 66 station in town is here, on Admiral Boulevard.

Still riding September 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bicycling, People, Road trips.
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The Daily Oklahoman caught up with Laddie Williams, who’s cycling east across the country to raise money for the families of nine firefighters who died in a furniture store fire in Charleston, S.C. He was in Oklahoma City on Monday, and had raised $6,000 to $7,000 so far.

Williams’ site is here; information on how to donate is here.

Green Parrot Tavern’s demise is imminent September 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Towns.
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Longtime readers Dan and Cyndy Imming, who are relocating from Las Vegas to Route 66 in Galena, Kan., have informed me that the Green Parrot Tavern in Galena will be torn down Thursday.

The building, which is more than 100 years old, became structurally unsafe when a sinkhole unexpectedly opened up behind the property in August 2006, causing part of the building to fall into the hole. The sinkhole was caused by a collapsing underground mine that was abandoned many years ago. The town is peppered with such mines.

The Immings sent me these photos of the demolition preparations around the building on Tuesday:

You can see in the second photo how badly damaged the building is, even before it was torn down.

The Immings said this about the razing operation:

The plan is to drill holes through the masonry walls, marked by the little white crosses on the side of the building, run a cable through the holes and connect the cable loop to the giant backhoe pictured. As you might guess, the backhoe will then begin pulling the cable tighter and tighter until the first floor wall is pulled out far enough for the second floor walls to collapse inward. At least that is the plan.

In the photo above, the Immings say it is the first of more than 300 test holes that are being drilled. The idea is to find the most dangerous undermined spots and fill them with coal ash and water. It’s estimated it will take up to $60 million to rectify Galena’s problem mines.

It’s a shame the Green Parrot is coming down. But the residents of Galena may look back in future years and say that the historic tavern’s demise provided the impetus to do something about the long-ignored mines. Galena didn’t want to become another Picher, Okla., that is being abandoned because of undermining.

Good choice September 25, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Publications.
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The residents of Pulaski County, Mo., were asked to choose the cover of its tourism bureau’s brochure. According to the Waynesville Daily Guide, the cover that spotlighted Route 66 won by a 2-to-1 margin.

You can see the cover image here, which will undergo some minor revisions before going to press.

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