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Grooving with the King March 31, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Here’s a slightly different version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66″ by Nat King Cole, a decade after he hit the charts with it. This is off King’s all-jazz “After Midnight” album in 1956. This take on “Route 66″ also features excellent playing by Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet John Collins on guitar.

In this sound file with a still photo, you’ll have to sit through “It’s Only a Paper Moon” before “Route 66″ begins. But I don’t think you’ll mind a bit.

Second thoughts March 30, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Movies.
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According to the information with the video, this is a student film shot at Dry Creek Station on old Route 66 east of Barstow, Calif. It’s not an earth-shattering story, but it serves to show the value of slowing down and thinking about things — a Mother Road attribute if there ever was one.

Incidentally, it’s fairly obvious from its design that Dry Creek Station was a former member of mostly vanished Whiting Bros. chain.

Two guitar heroes March 30, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Here on this version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” you get not one, but two talented guitar-slingers in Popa Chubby (the bald, portly one) and Arthur Neilson.

Great stuff.

Photographer’s work inspires preservation March 30, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Photographs, Preservation, Road trips.
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There’s an excellent article in the Daily Oklahoman about Larry Nance, a photographer based in El Reno, and the impact he’s making with local preservationists.

It’s advisable to read the whole thing. But the gist is that Nance as a child suffered from epilepsy, and was unable to stay at Route 66 landmarks such as the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Ariz., during family vacations because problems with his seizures.

Nance was cured of his epilepsy in his early teens. As an adult, he opened a photography business in El Reno. In 2005, he rekindled his interest in Route 66 and decided to cruise the road westward in his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He finally got to stay at the Wigwam Motel, and along the way he documented the Mother Road with his camera.

Back at home, his images made an impression on the local movers and shakers:

Nance has shown his work to El Reno’s Main Street Inc., and city officials who have embarked on a preservation plan. His pictures are helping planners brainstorm and see what projects are possible. Seeing what has worked out-of-state is important, he said.

“If I don’t share this with the next generation, it will be lost,” Nance said.

Codie Lee Finnigan, tourism director of the El Reno Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Nance’s photography is important to the city.

“It’s my guess that he will be heavily involved in the future plans for Route 66 in El Reno,” Finnigan said. “El Reno is really just getting on that path.”

Nance said his next plan is for a Route 66 trip to Chicago, so that more pictures can reach more preservation committees. He said he thinks a revitalization of Route 66 in Oklahoma is attainable.

“We have to strive to get it restored with as much authenticity as possible,” Nance said. “That is one of my missions. I would like to bring back that nostalgia.”

Godspeed, Mr. Nance.

A “Cars” mural March 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art.
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Vern Hestand III of Bear Mountain Woodworx created a mural inspired by the “Cars” movie, complete with three-dimensional touches (check out the power lines and Route 66 sign).

The mural obviously is inside a private residence, but he made a video of it so you can see it. Here’s the original proposal for the mural. You can see more of Hestand’s artwork here.

The music for the video is “Real Gone” by Sheryl Crow and “Route 66″ by John Mayer, both from the “Cars” soundtrack.

Visitors center sought at Tulsa transportation park March 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions.
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The blog for RedFork Main Street reports that the Southwest Tulsa Chamber of Commerce is applying for a cost-share grant to build a visitors center for the Route 66 transportation theme park under construction.

The chamber is filling out an application to the National Scenic Byways program for the grant.

Dittman said he and other Chamber members are working on an application for a federal Scenic Byways grant that would fund 80 percent of the estimated $330,000 cost of converting the bottom floor of the two-story “Chamber house” on Southwest Boulevard to a visitors’ center complete with rest rooms, interpretive materials, and information about local businesses and attractions.

The deadline for submitting the grant application is Monday. The grant is expected to be awarded by December, Dittman said.

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