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Horse-racing track in Moriarty approved May 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Sports, Towns.
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The New Mexico Racing Commission today approved the move of the Downs at Albuquerque from the New Mexico state fairgrounds to the Route 66 town of Moriarty, N.M., about 40 miles east, reports KRQE-TV.

Planned is a 500-acre, $65 million facility at Highway 41 and Interstate 40. That is very close to Highway 333, aka Route 66.

Previous reports indicate that the track could hold races as soon as 2009.

Book review: “Route 66 in St. Louis” May 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, History, Photographs.
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In addition to guidebooks devoted to all 2,400 miles of Route 66, a bunch of volumes have been published that are more narrowly focused by geography. Individual books have been devoted to the Mother Road in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and California, in addition to the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago.

However, a publishers had long ignored the Mother Road’s third-largest city, St. Louis. The big reason, I suspect, is the Gateway City contains a baffling maze of bypasses and realignments. By my count, there are at least eight different ways in which to travel Route 66 in St. Louis.

That publishing drought has been ended with “Route 66 in St. Louis” (128 pages, $19.99), part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. Sorting out St. Louis is Joe Sonderman, a longtime Route 66 enthusiast who’s lived in the region all his life and has written several other regionally flavored books (“St. Louis 365,” “St. Louis People 365″ and “St. Louis World’s Far 365″).

The other thing Sonderman has is his 5,000-strong postcard collection, some of which he put to use in “Route 66 in St. Louis.” Many of those images — along with photos from the Missouri Department of Transportation archives — have never before been published.

Among the rare, vintage images:

  • An interior view from 1946 of one of the rooms at the 66 Auto Court, including an embroidered “66” on the bedspread.
  • Nelson’s Cafe, part of the Park Plaza Court complex, complete with a Sealtest Ice Cream neon sign on its roof.
  • The long-gone Haliner’s Cafe and Cabins, which is now the site of the sprawling Maritz complex west of the city.
  • Several 1950s images of Lindbergh Boulevard and Manchester Road, with the latter showing a Tydol gas station in the background.
  • And my favorite: a curve of Route 66 west of town that shows billboards touting the Red Cedar Inn, Park Plaza Courts, Manhattan Coffee, the Diamonds Restaurant, and the Mayfair and Lennox hotels.

Sonderman not only covers St. Louis proper, but devotes chapters to the metro-east in Illinois and nearby Franklin County in Missouri. The latter provides readers a lot of interesting vintage photos from Meramec Caverns in the bargain.

The many photographic gems Sonderman has unearthed, along with his compact writing, make this book well worth the money.

Sonderman reportedly is working on another book about Route 66 in St. Louis. Until a much-needed, turn-by-turn guidebook of Route 66 in St. Louis is published, Sonderman’s volume will suffice quite nicely.


(NOTE: Busted link to book was fixed.)

A glimpse of a 1948 road trip May 26, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, People, Preservation, Road trips.

Here’s an explanation for this amazing YouTube video:

In 1948, the Osborn family loaded up their vehicle and headed for West Virginia. Their starting point was Redlands, CA. The film was shot in 1948 with an 8mm movie camera. Back in those days, Route 66 was one of the major west-east routes, thus the theme song, even though the family does travel on other routes besides Route 66. The film was in cans until 2005 when I had it digitalized in order to preserve it and provide a means for distributing the film to other members of the Osborn family.

Wonderful stuff. I hope there’s more vintage Osborn family footage ready to be posted

Music is “Route 66,” by Nat King Cole, naturally.

Barstow museum to mark eighth anniversary May 26, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Events, Motels, Motorcycles, Publications, Restaurants, Vehicles.
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The Barstow Route 66 Mother Road Museum in Barstow, Calif., will mark its eighth anniversary with a special event on Saturday, June 14, reports the Desert Dispatch.

There will be a car and motorcycle show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. A registration form for those wanting to participate is here.

One of the giveaways will be a night at the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, Calif. A number of artists and authors also will be there, including Phil Yeh of the “Dinosaurs Across Route 66″ comic book.

And Albert Okura of Juan Pollo restaurants, who owns the Route 66 town of Amboy, Calif., will supply the food.

Memorial Day tribute May 26, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in People.

Here are the soldiers from Route 66 towns who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • Staff Sgt. Oscar D. Vargas-Medina, died May 1, 2004
  • 1st Sgt. Edward Smith, died April 5, 2003
  • Sgt. Ivory L. Phipps, died March 17, 2004
  • Pfc. Torry D. Harris, died July 13, 2004
  • Sgt. Sirlou C. Cuaresma, died June 21, 2006
  • Cmdr. Adrian Basil Szwec, died April 12, 2004
  • Machinist’s Mate Fireman Apprentice Bryant L. Davis, died Nov. 7, 2001
  • Master Sgt. Wilberto Sabalu Jr., died May 6, 2007
  • Sgt. Eric A. Lill, died July 6, 2007
  • Pfc. Omar E. Torres, died Aug. 22, 2007
  • Cpl. Albert Britton, died Feb. 20, 2008
  • Pfc. Howard A. Jones Jr., died May 18, 2008


  • Spc. John R. Sullivan, died Nov. 15, 2003


  • Sgt. Pedro J. Colon, died Feb. 19, 2007


  • Lance Cpl. Raymond J. Holzhauer, died March 15, 2007


  • Staff Sgt. Daniel G. Gresham, died Feb. 24, 2005
  • Spc. Francis M. Trussel Jr., died May 26, 2007


  • Spc. Jessica L. Cawvey, died Oct. 6, 2004


  • Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, died March 21, 2003
  • 1st Lt. Debra A. Banaszak, died Oct. 28, 2005


  • Spc. Jacob C. Palmatier, died Feb. 24, 2005


  • Staff Sgt. Gary R. Harper Jr., died Oct. 9, 2005


  • Spc. Jeremiah D. Costello, died June 2, 2007


  • Pfc. Ryan C. Garbs, died Feb. 18, 2007

Granite City

  • Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Christopher Dostie, died Dec. 30, 2005
  • Sgt. Steven P. Mennemeyer, died Aug. 9, 2006


  • Pvt. Lavena L. Johnson, died July 19, 2005

St. Louis

  • Maj. William F. Hecker III, died Jan. 5, 2006
  • Sgt. Amanda N. Pinson, died March 16, 2006
  • Pfc. James F. Costello III, died April 11, 2006
  • Lance Cpl. Leon Lance Deraps, died May 6, 2006
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Walsh, died Sept. 4, 2006
  • Cpl. Jacob R. Fleisher, died Nov. 24, 2004
  • Spc. Christopher M. Katzenberger, died Aug. 9, 2005
  • Maj. Gloria D. Davis, died Dec. 12, 2006
  • Lance Cpl. Matthew W. Clark, died Dec. 14, 2006
  • Sgt. Milton A. Gist Jr., died Jan. 30, 2007
  • Sgt. Brandon L. Wallace, died April 14, 2007
  • Lt. Daniel P. Riordan, died June 23, 2007


  • Spc. Peter J. Navarro, died Dec. 13, 2005


  • Cpl. Riley E. Baker, died June 22, 2006


  • Corp. James E. Summers III, died May 28, 2007


  • Sgt. Lawrence Parrish, died Oct. 7, 2006


  • Spc. Michael C. Campbell, died May 19, 2004


  • Pfc. Jesse Alan Givens, died May 1, 2003
  • Sgt. Timothy J. Sutton, died July 11, 2005
  • Sgt. 1st Class Randall L. Lamberson, died April 10, 2006
  • Spc. Jessy G. Pollard, died Aug. 22, 2007
  • Staff Sgt. Ronald C. Blystone, died April 23, 2008


  • Master Sgt. Thomas A. Wallsmith, died Oct. 26, 2005


  • Sgt. Philip J. Svitak, died March 4, 2002


  • Pvt. Dustin L. Kreider, died March 21, 2004


  • Civilian Fern L. Holland, died March 9, 2004
  • Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton, died Jan. 22, 2006


  • Sgt. Justin Noyes, died July 2, 2006


  • Staff Sgt. John G. Doles, died Sept. 30, 2005


  • Pvt. Jason M. Ward, died Oct. 22, 2003
  • Spc. James E. Marshall, died May 5, 2004
  • Lance Cpl. Jordan D. Winkler, died Nov. 26, 2004
  • Cpl. Nathaniel T. Hammond, died Nov. 8, 2004
  • Cpl. Jared M. Shoemaker, died Sept. 4, 2006
  • Cpl. Derek A. Stanley, died June 5, 2006
  • Pfc. Jaron D. Holliday, died Aug. 4, 2007


  • Cpl. Jeremy D. Allbaugh, died July 5, 2007


  • Pfc. David J. Martin, died Oct. 31, 2005

Oklahoma City

  • Spc. Sonny Gene Sampler, died July 8, 2004
  • Sgt. Carl W. Lee, died Nov. 28, 2004
  • Cpl. Jeffry A. Rogers, died Nov. 16, 2005
  • Staff Sgt. Lance M. Chase, died Jan. 23, 2006
  • Chief Warrant Officer Lawrence S. Colton, died April 11, 2004
  • Sgt. Danton K. Seitsinger, died Jan. 29, 2004
  • Lance Cpl. Trevor A. Roberts, died March 24, 2007
  • Sgt. Ryan M. Wood, died June 21, 2007
  • Spc. Derek A. Calhoun, died June 23, 2007
  • Staff Sgt. William D. Scates, died Aug. 11, 2007


  • Capt. Eric Bruce Das, died April 7, 2003
  • Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, died March 23, 2003
  • Spc. Taylor J. Burk, died Jan. 26, 2005
  • Staff Sgt. Tommy Ike Folks Jr., died Oct. 19, 2005
  • Chief Warrant Officer Miles P. Henderson, died Nov. 6, 2006
  • Pfc. Troy D. Cooper, died Dec. 3, 2006

Las Vegas

  • Lance Cpl. Shane P. Harris, died Sept. 3, 2006

Santa Fe

  • Lance Cpl. Jonathan Walter Grant, died May 11, 2005


  • Pfc. Christopher Ramos, died April 5, 2004
  • Pfc. Christopher S. Adlesperger, died Dec. 9, 2004
  • Spc. Jeremy E. Christensen, died Nov. 27, 2004
  • Spc. Christopher A. Merville, died Oct. 12, 2004
  • Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer, died Aug. 7, 2002
  • Spc. Eric Vizcaino, died Nov. 21, 2006
  • Tech Sgt. Scott E. Duffman, died Feb. 18, 2007
  • Spc. Clifford A. Spohn III, died April 9, 2007
  • Maj. Douglas Zembiec, died May 10, 2007
  • Sgt. James C. Akin, died June 3, 2007
  • Capt. Thomas J. Casey, died Jan. 3, 2008

Los Lunas

  • Sgt. Joel A. Dahl, died June 23, 2007


  • 1st Lt. Tamara Long Archuleta, died March 23, 2003


  • Spc. Damien M. Montoya, died July 9, 2006


  • Sgt. Christopher N. Gonzalez, died May 14, 2007


  • Lance Cpl. Marty G. Mortenson, died April 20, 2005
  • Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson, died Sept. 15, 2003


  • Hospitalman Joshua McIntosh, died June 26, 2003
  • Staff Sgt. William T. Latham, died June 18, 2003
  • Spc. Coty J. Phelps, died May 17, 2007


  • Sgt. 1st Class James F. Hayes, died Nov. 6, 2005
  • Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Phillip Daugherty, died July 6, 2007


  • Lance Cpl. William J. Wiscowiche, died March 30, 2004


  • Sgt. James K. Healy, died Jan. 7, 2008

San Bernardino

  • Cpl. Sean R. Grilley, died Oct. 16, 2003
  • Cpl. Nicanor Alvarez, died Aug. 21, 2004
  • Spc. Timothy D. Watkins, died Oct. 15, 2005
  • Pfc. Alex Oceguera, died Oct. 31, 2006


  • Staff Sgt. Jorge A. Molina Bautista, died May 23, 2004
  • Spc. Luis D. Santos, died June 8, 2006
  • Spc. Victor A. Garcia, died July 1, 2007


  • Pfc. Leroy Harris-Kelly, died April 20, 2004


  • Sgt. Kyle A. Colnot, died April 22, 2006


  • Sgt. Bryan A. Brewster, died May 5, 2006
  • Lance Corp. Fontana S. Tamayo, died Dec. 21, 2006


  • Spc. Elias Elias, died Dec. 23, 2006
  • Lance Corp. Blake H. Howey, died Feb. 18, 2007
  • Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McFall, died May 28, 2007


  • Lance Cpl. Raul Mercado, died Jan. 7, 2006

Rancho Cucamonga

  • Capt. Mark C. Paine, died Oct. 15, 2006
  • Sgt. Lawrence J. Carter, died Dec. 29, 2006


  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Cesar O. Baez, died June 15, 2005
  • Sgt. Shaker T. Guy, died Oct. 29, 2005
  • Spc. Sergio Gudino, died Dec. 25, 2005


  • Lance Cpl. Sergio H. Escobar, died Oct. 8, 2005
  • Spc. Adam J. Rosema, died March 14, 2007
  • Lance Cpl. Rogelio A. Ramirez, died Aug. 26, 2007


  • Sgt. James E. Craig, died Jan. 28, 2008

Los Angeles

  • Staff Sgt. Juan de Dios Garcia-Arana, April 30, 2005
  • Staff Sgt. Eddie E. Menyweather, died Nov. 23, 2003
  • Lance Cpl. Benjamin R. Gonzalez, died May 29, 2004
  • Staff Sgt. Abraham D. Penamedina, died April 27, 2004
  • Sgt. 1st Class John Winston, Marshall, died April 8, 2003
  • Pfc. Francisco Abraham Martinez-Flores, died March 27, 2003
  • Cpl. Jorge Alonso Gonzalez, died March 23, 2003
  • Lance Cpl. Victor R. Lu, died Nov. 13, 2004
  • Sgt. Trinidad R. Martinezluis, died Nov. 28, 2004
  • Lance Cpl. Luis A. Figueroa, died Nov. 18, 2004
  • Spc. Omead H. Razani, died Aug. 27, 2004
  • Sgt. Edgar E. Lopez, died Aug. 28, 2004
  • Sgt. 1st Class Joselito O. Villanueva, Sept. 27, 2004
  • Lance Cpl. Felipe D. Sandoval-Flores, died April 2, 2006
  • Lance Cpl. Salvador Guerrero, died June 9, 2006
  • Cpl. Roberto Abad, died Aug. 6, 2004
  • Pfc. Geoffrey Perez, died Aug. 15, 2004
  • Lance Cpl. Veashna Muy, died June 23, 2005
  • Cpl. Carlos Pineda, died June 24, 2005
  • Lance Cpl. Dion M. Whitley, died June 15, 2005
  • Sgt. Milton M. Monzon Jr., died July 24, 2005
  • Sgt. Alejandro Carrillo, died Jan. 30, 2007
  • Spc. Christopher D. Young, died March 2, 2007
  • Spc. Romel Catalan, died June 2, 2007
  • Staff Sgt. Greg P. Gagarin, died June 3, 2007
  • Sgt. Robert T. Ayres III, died Sept. 29, 2007
  • Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Curreri, died Oct. 27, 2007

(Sources: CNN.com, icasualties.org)

POPS doubles Arcadia’s sales-tax revenue May 24, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Towns.
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I can’t say that I’m surprised by this story from the Edmond (Okla.) Sun:

The most recent Oklahoma Tax Commission figures indicates that Arcadia’s sales tax revenue has doubled since POPS opened there last August. [...]

August to January sales tax revenue is $123,365 compared to $59,137 for those months of the previous calendar year. Murrell said the 2006 opening of the Windmill Shops also is generating business.

As a visual landmark on west Arcadia’s Route 66, POPS offers a gas station, restaurant and retail. Thousands of soda pop bottles accentuate the business owned by Aubrey McClendon, chairman and owner of Chesapeake Energy.

December was the only month for Arcadia to decline in sales tax revenue. But Murrell and POPS General Manager Marty Doepke blame the decrease in sales to December’s severe ice storm that caused power outages in Arcadia for five to eight days.

The story goes on to describe how Arcadia has become a boom town in general.

I knew that POPS would become a big windfall for the town’s coffers. It’s busy all the time, especially on weekends. Owner Aubrey McClendon‘s gamble appears to have paid off big.

It’s mostly inevitable that Arcadia has become a residential hot spot. Nearby Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City, is now so big it’s practically a metropolis in itself. Those wanting more a quiet, small-town feel will be heading east on Route 66 to Arcadia.

Route 66 winery wins top award May 24, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Food.
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Summerside Vineyards and Winery, right on Route 66 in Vinita, Okla., won the coveted Double Gold award at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in New York earlier this month, reports the High Plains Journal.

Summerside’s big winner was its cream sherry.

“We’ve always known this was a special wine,” said Marsha Butler, Summerside Vineyards and Winery owner. “Not only has it won many awards, but we often find ourselves having to maintain a waiting list due to its popularity. It is a sweet, end-of-meal treat.”

With the legendary Sherry maker Dr. Roy Mitchell as a mentor, Summerside’s Sherry solera system started in 2001. The system is designed to yield a consistent product from year to year. Comprised of several groups of barrels, each barrel is filled almost full to allow the wine to oxidize and only a small amount of the “liquid gold” is bottled each year.

An older Sherry can be intriguing, complex, and packed with years’ worth of individuality. But don’t overlook the smooth nutty palate and sublime lingering finish. Pour Summerside’s sweet Cream Sherry on the small side, and serve with soft, mature cheeses, fresh fruit and desserts.

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