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Snow cone February 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Movies, People.
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Rick Shalander of Whites Creek, Tenn., who’s been building his own version of one of the cabins from the Cozy Cone Motel in the movie “Cars,” sent me this photo:

Incidentally, the title of Shalander’s e-mail was “Snow cone.” :)

It’s a nice likeness of a Cozy Cone cabin. Here’s another photo for reference:

Fire destroys historic Albuquerque saloon February 28, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Theaters.
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The Golden West Saloon, which was built on Albuquerque’s Central Avenue in 1929, was destroyed by fire Thursday, reports the Albuquerque Journal.

The fire also damaged the historic El Rey Theater next door, but the owner is optimistic it will reopen next weekend.

The owner made a appeal to the community to revive the saloon, according to KOB-TV:

Kathy Zimmer, who owns the building with her mother, says she learned of the fire through a television news report. Zimmer called the damage to the building, which was built by her grandfather, devastating.

“We’re not going to be able to do anything with this building by ourselves,” said Zimmer.  “We’re gonna need the community’s help.”

“If anybody cares, we’re gonna have to pitch in like a community, an old fashioned community, or it’s gone,” she added.

Hot-rod ambassador Boyd Coddington dies February 28, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Television, Vehicles.
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Boyd Coddington, star of the “American Hot Rod” TV show and hot-rod ambassador, died at age 63 on Tuesday morning.

The cause of death wasn’t disclosed. However, Edmunds.com revealed that Coddington had been hospitalized since January after a fall at his home.

Obituaries by the New York Times and Popular Hot Rodding provide a good overall glimpse of the man.

Coddington had at least one link to Route 66 and arguably more.

First, he was inducted into the Route 66 Wall of Fame, which is associated with the Historic Arizona Route 66 Association Cruising Hall of Fame and the Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino, Calif. He also was inducted into the National Rod and Custom Car Hall of Fame and Museum, an hour from Tulsa.

Second, Coddington was in Tulsa less than a year ago to oversee the attempted salvaging of a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that was buried in a concrete vault for 50 years. Alas, the car was inundated by water because of flaws in the vault and essentially ruined. The Belvedere was taken to a New Jersey rust-removal firm in November; there have been no updates about the car since.

Condolences can be expressed here at Coddington’s Web site.

UPDATE: Correction made regarding the Route 66 Wall of Fame.

UPDATE2: Mike Callens of Teepee Curios in Tucumcari, N.M., sent me this photo of Coddington, in the white shirt, next to the unearthed Belvedere last year in Tulsa.

Route 66 town tries to grant a final wish February 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, People, Restaurants.
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Shirley Trueman greeted customers for a decade at the Bagdad Cafe on Route 66 in Newberry Springs, Calif., while her husband Bud was a chef there. The restaurant became internationally famous because of a 1988 German film by the same name.

Now, the Desert Dispatch in nearby Barstow is reporting that Trueman is dying of cancer, and that restaurant owner Andrea Pruett and other Newberry Springs locals are trying to raise money so Trueman can fly out to visit her kids and grandchildren in Missouri for a final time.

Bud quit his job two months ago to care for her. Pruett spends as much time with her as possible and keeps phone calls short at the restaurant in case Bud calls and needs help. Last weekend, the Bagdad Cafe held a car wash and raised $149 for Shirley. Pruett said the community has helped but raising money in Newberry Springs is difficult.

“It’s a poor community,” she said. “We haven’t really gotten anywhere near what we need.”

I sent an e-mail to the reporter to see whether there’s an address to send donations. I’ll update this story if I get that information.

UPDATE: The Dispatch reporter has passed along a mailing address where donations can be sent:

The Bagdad Cafe
P.O. 37
Newberry Springs, CA 92365

More publicity for retro motel chain February 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Preservation.
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YourHub.com, a weekly publication for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain news, has published an article about the fledgling Smalltown America chain in Centennial, Colo., that seeks to restore vintage motels along Route 66.

The article rehashes a lot of what was already reported in Route 66 News, but adds a number of photos plus comments by New Mexico Route 66 supporter Johnnie Meier and yours truly.

And if more publicity means more revenue for the first property, Motel Safari in Tucumcari, N.M., under the Smalltown America umbrella, the faster that other vintage motels will be acquired and refurbished.

Get out the vote February 26, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, People.
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Rich Henry of Henry’s Rabbit Ranch on Route 66 in Staunton, Ill., has entered a photo of him and his favorite pet rabbit, Montana, to the United States Humane Society’s Spay Day USA online photo contest.

I just voted myself. You go here, and have to click on the voting button twice for a window to come up (must’ve been designed by Diebold). You then have to register your e-mail address, apparently to keep the Chicago-style voting down.

Voting ends March 7. Montana is way behind in the voting, but I figured a plug on this site would help a bit with a comeback bid. A list of prizes is here.

Montana has been the welcome ambassador at Henry’s for years. Montana’s getting a little old and recently underwent abdominal surgery, but seems to be doing fine in recent weeks.

Montana does tricks, too. You can see her in action at about the 3:17 mark of this video:

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