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“The Magic in Springfield” October 31, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions.
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Here’s a video called “The Magic in Springfield / Route 66,” as in Springfield, Ill.

It was produced by McKenzie Wagner Inc., a marketing consultant based in Champaign, Ill. It’s a well-produced clip, albeit misleading in spots. Several of the Route 66 attractions shown aren’t in Springfield, but in other towns — a few of them several hours’ drive away.

Autographed “Route 66″ DVDs for sale on eBay October 30, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Television.
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I’ve been alerted that there’s a set of “Route 66: Season One, Volume One” DVDs, autographed by co-star George Maharis, for sale on eBay.

The publicist for Maharis and the “Route 66″ re-release alerted me to this, so the autograph is on the level.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the Friends of Ivanhoe Elementary School group in Los Angeles. The price starts at $9.99. The auction ends Nov. 8.

La Posada chef readies cookbook October 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Food, Restaurants.
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John Sharpe, chef/owner of the acclaimed Turquoise Room restaurant attached to the historic La Posada hotel in Winslow, Ariz., recently announced that the cookbook he’s been working on will be hitting bookstores next month.

The book launching will be at the historic La Posada at 3 p.m. Nov. 16. Please RSVP your intention to attend by e-mailing [email protected] by Friday; the event will be limited to the first 200 people. Those lucky few will receive free tastes of some of Sharpe’s dishes.

You can also place your order for the $40 book here. The first 1,000 orders will be signed, and Sharpe says customers should receive the book before Thanksgiving.

More about the book from Sharpe’s announcement:

It is a hardcover with a dust jacket, 9” x 12”, with full color photographs of the restaurant’s signature dishes and of the hotel. Recipes for more than 70 of your favorite dishes grace the book’s pages: the Signature Soup; the Corn Maiden; the Arizona Eggs; my Holiday Scotch Eggs; the Stuffed Squash Blossoms; Beef Machaca; Churro Lamb Posole; Green Chile Lamb; the Chocolate Soufflé; the Bread Pudding. They are all in there.

Included in the book is a history of the hotel, its restoration, the local food history, and information about the ingredients I use in my daily cooking. I have also included the stories of the Fred Harvey Company, the Santa Fe Railway, and how Patricia and I came to Winslow to build this restaurant where we could settle down and serve our guests a meal to remember.

The book shines with fabulous photos taken by Christopher Marchetti, whose keen eye through the lens can only be topped by his inimitable personality, his humor, and most of all his friendship. The book’s design, by David Jenney, is amazing. His care and attention to the details made us all try harder to create a better book for all to enjoy. Editor Claudine Randazzo’s patience with my words commends her to sainthood. Lulu Santamaria, who brought us all together in the first place, made this truly a locally produced book, as we all live within 100 miles of one another.

“Route 66 Railway” book is out October 29, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, History, Photographs, Railroad.
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Railroad buff Elrond Lawrence long-gestating book about Route 66 and its historical relationship with Santa Fe/BNSF, “Route 66 Railway” (176 pages, $49.50, Los Angeles Historical Railroad Foundation) is now being shipped.
An article in the Salinas Californian, Lawrence tells about how and why the book came about:

“My goal was to recall the days when crossing the Southwest was an adventure,” Lawrence said. “I try to convey the mythic qualities of that road and the railroad, far from the bland interstates.”

Lawrence was a boy of 5 when he first saw the diners and mom-and-pop motels strung along Route 66.

Route 66 Railway cover

"Route 66 Railway" cover

His eyes widened as he gazed at Santa Fe Railway freight cars, their tops scraping a dry and darkening sky as they swayed into view.

A supple streamliner – perhaps it was the mythical Super Chief itself – flew by, clickity-clacking under a bright moon.

“My dad loved trains,” Lawrence said. “He’d take my mom and me on trips from our home in Fontana (outside Los Angeles) to Barstow.”

“Route 66 Railway” is published by the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation. The 176-page book contains about 250 photos, many of them shot by Lawrence.

For more about the book, go to Lawrence’s site here.

Mustang tour will break record October 28, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Road trips, Vehicles.
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The Mustangs Across America tour, which will trace part of Route 66, isn’t for another six months, but it has already broken the event’s record for most cars that will be participating.

According to TheMustangNews.com, 345 cars have already been signed up for the mid-April tour. That breaks the record of 334 cars in 2004. The 2009 tour marks the 45th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.

Records have also been broken in the amount of foreign participants who have signed up for the 2009 Mustangs Across America 45th Anniversary Drive. This year attendees are coming from over 10 countries including Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Over 75 registered parties are coming from abroad for the Mustangs Across America 45th Anniversary Drive, which is an all time record for the event.

Mustang enthusiasts from all over the United States are also well represented with participants from over 38 of the 50 states including even Alaska. Mustangs of nearly all vintages and model designations will be participating in the caravan road trip, representing the breed from 1964 through 2009 and beyond.

“To have so many people planning to make this historic Mustang drive with us in 2009 is a humbling testament to the Mustang spirit”, says event coordinator Sam Haymart. “Despite the gloom and doom of our economic news in the past year, the enthusiasm of the open road and desire to be a part of this event has risen above it all”.

Registration for the event is open until April 5 by going to its Web site. Here’s the schedule:

  • Friday, April 10: Kick-off and Welcome Reception – Las Vegas
  • Saturday, April 11: Las Vegas to Holbrook, Ariz.
  • Sunday, April 12: Holbrook, Ariz., to Santa Rosa, N.M.
  • Monday, April 13: Santa Rosa, N.M., to Mustang, Okla.
  • Tuesday, April 14: Mustang, Okal., to Shreveport/Bossier City, La.
  • Wednesday, April 15: Shreveport/Bossier City, La., to Birmingham, Ala.
  • Thursday – Sunday, April 16-19: Attend the MCA 45th Mustang Anniversary Celebration (Separate Registration Required with Mustang Club of America Event)
  • Sunday, April 19: Mustangs Across America Dinner Banquet

Here’s a video from the 2004 tour:

Converting a skeptic October 28, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Road trips.
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David Landsel of the New York Post wasn’t planning on driving Route 66 between Albuquerque and Flagstaff, Ariz., and had regarded driving the old road as “unnecessary and hardship.”

But he did, and is now kicking himself for not spending more time in Gallup, N.M., and eating at (and staying overnight) at La Posada in Winslow, Ariz.

Landsel also has photos from his trip.

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