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A road trip on Deuteronomy April 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Religion, Road trips.
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Here’s the latest from “Route 66: A Road Trip through the Bible.” This one is about the book of Deuteronomy.

I know a lot of red-eye travelers who wish there really was a Starbucks coffee cup that big.

Standin’ on a Corner marks 10th year April 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Music, Towns.
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The Standin’ on a Corner Park on Route 66 in Winslow, Ariz., is marking its 10th year, reports Cronkite News Service.

Winslow was forever put on the map by two verses (“Well I was standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see / It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me”) from a Jackson Browne-Glenn Frey song, “Take It Easy,” which became a big hit for The Eagles in 1972.

… [B]usiness owners noticed people posing for pictures on random street corners. Eventually they decided to capitalize on Winslow’s fame.

Standin’ on the Corner Park opened in September 1999, featuring artist Ron Adamson’s bronze statue of a man and his guitar and a mural by painter John Pugh depicting a young woman in a red flatbed Ford.

Since then, plenty of tourists have slowed down to take a look — and to spend some money while they’re here.

“There’s no doubt, 10 years later, that has been a great draw for people to come to Winslow,” Hall said. “Some people will venture to say it’s put Winslow back on the map.”

The tourists are a significant source of income for the city, which has around 10,000 residents. Hall said there’s no way of knowing exactly how many tourists pull into town, but the evidence is on the corner.

“I’ve seen people 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “I mean 4 o’clock in the morning — they’re out there taking pictures. They happen to be driving down the freeway.”

The influx of tourists has enabled the city to refurbish an old trading post as the Chamber of Commerce and visitor center. The city also plans to update its downtown with new landscaping, a large Route 66 shield and an outdoor amphitheater.

Winslow also hosts an annual Standin’ on a Corner Park Festival each September.

Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that Winslow took so long in putting up a monument. I’m sure folks were pulling off Interstate 40, looking for that corner, many years before 1999.

Slow down, folks April 26, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways, Motorcycles, Road trips.
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The Mojave Daily News, based in Bullhead City, Ariz., reports that four motorcycle accidents with injuries were reported on the road to the Route 66 town of Oatman, Ariz., on Friday during the Laughlin River Run.

The roads to Oatman are a twisting and turning bunch, and it’s guaranteed that excessive speed or inattentiveness were factors in the mishaps. In one crash, police say the motorcyclist was doing 70 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Slow down and enjoy the ride, folks. It’s safer, and you’ll be able to better take in the beautiful scenery in the Black Mountains.

“Route 66″ in space April 26, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Someone has posted orchestra leader Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra’s version of “Route 66″ from the 1960s TV show by the same name.

That’s the instrumental originally composed by Nelson Riddle, not the more-famous song written by Bobby Troup.

I swear, Vaughn’s version sounds like a variation of the “Star Trek” theme — especially with the female backing vocals.

Why’d they name it that? April 26, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, Businesses, Highways, History.
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The Daily Oklahoman has a list of bridges, roads, buildings and other things that were named after prominent Sooners. Here’s the ones that are relevant to Route 66:

Interstate-40 Business — “Roger Miller Memorial Highway” — 1994: Between State Highway 30 in Erick and I-40 (Exit 11). Miller was a singer and songwriter. [Editor's note: This stretch is part of old Route 66.]

U.S. 69 — “Jean Pierre Chouteau Highway” — 1947: Across Oklahoma. Chouteau was founder of the first permanent white settlement in Oklahoma, in 1796, located at the present town of Salina. [U.S. 69 follows old 66 from the Kansas state line to Vinita.]

SH 66 — “Admiral Joe ‘Jocko’ Clark Trailways” — 1984: Between Bushyhead and White Oak, Rogers and Craig counties. Clark was a military hero in World War II and the highest ranking officer of Indian ancestry in the history of the United States armed forces. He is a member of the Cherokee Hall of Fame.

SH 66 — “Clem McSpadden Highway” — 1985: Between Claremore and Bushy-head. McSpadden, shown at right, was a rancher, state senator 1955 to 1964 and 1965 to 1972, then U.S. representative 1973 and 1974.

Hedlund Motor Company Building, Elk City. Built in 1918 and home for the dealership.

McDougal Filling Station. East of Vinita. Built around 1940 by Grace and George McDougal as a gas station along the famous Route 66.

Like coffee with chocolate April 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Food, Restaurants.
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Marcia Wilson (left) of Route 66 Fudge Shop and Mary Miller of Java.net joined forces.

Marcia Wilson (left) of Route 66 Fudge Shop and Mary Miller of Java.net joined forces.

Longtime readers probably remember the opening of Marcia Wilson’s Route 66 Fudge Shop in Cuba, Mo. This was a store that sold a line of candy bars to help maintain the town’s famous murals.

There’s good news and bad news about the fudge shop. The bad news is Wilson had to close her storefront and become a home-based business because of back problems. The good news is that Wilson’s chocolates still will be sold in Cuba, this time at Java.net Books and Gifts.

According to the news release:

It is a partnership that serves both their needs. Wilson has a local outlet for her chocolates, and Miller has added another delicious offering for her customers when they come into the bookstore for lunch, WiFi, or a specialty cup of java.

Miller remarked, “I am always looking for something new for Java.net. Chocolates go well with the coffee drinks and make a good dessert after a customer’s lunch. Marcia’s chocolate Baby Cakes and chocolate covered strawberries are a favorite.” [...]

Miller plans to add more Route 66 memorabilia to her offerings so that she has more that interests the Route 66 traveler and people wanting souvenirs of the route.

Java.net is at 418 N. Franklin in Cuba, about five blocks north of the Mother Road.

(Photo courtesy of Jane Reed)

‘A highway for vagabonds’ April 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Events, Photographs.
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The Windsor (Ont.) Star has an interesting feature about photographer Sandi Wheaton, whose black-and-white photos of Route 66 in California’s Mojave Desert will be on display beginning May 2 at Deborah Friesen Architect’s studio in Toronto.

Wheaton’s interest was piqued five years ago when she was blowing through a lonely and forsaken stretch of Route 66 at Amboy, Calif., on her way east when she spotted a For Sale sign posted at a boarded up Roy’s Cafe.

What made her stop was not because this cafe was for sale, but the whole town, lock, stock and barrel. Of course, Wheaton had no intentions of being that buyer, but the notion of hawking an entire community piqued her interest, so much so that she went about documenting it in photographs. [...]

When talking with Wheaton at Elias Deli, and she spreads out images across the table of derelict gas stations, vacant and crumbling brick buildings, cracked pavement and abandoned cars, garnering the attention of others in the diner, you begin to understand her curiosity.

A photograph of a 1961 Buick with its sweeping front end catches everyone’s attention. The 43-year-old photographer smiles graciously at the compliments, especially from a man at a nearby table who tells her he owned a car like that. She captured that picture in 2004, but went back there a few months ago. It’s still there, but the roof is dented in.

Here’s an interesting part of Wheaton’s exhibit:

In an effort to capture that ambience about the place, Wheaton chose to produce an exhibit that is completely analogue or non-digital.

“My idea was that the building of the Interstate making this stretch of Route 66 obsolete echoes digital photography making many films, in particular my beloved Kodak infrared film, also obsolete,” she said.

The whole thing is worth reading. A photo of Roy’s by Wheaton can be seen here.

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