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Building roads September 26, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Television, Vehicles.
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Check out this footage of a new television ad for GMC trucks, especially around the 0:06 mark:

(Hat tip: Johnny “Moo-Moo” Miller)

Cozy dogs and Ted Drewes September 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, Events, Food.
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You can’t do much better than this. Cozy dogs from the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, Ill., and frozen custard from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis will be among the fare served at the St. Louis Route 66 Festival next weekend at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, reports the Suburban Journals.

Both eateries are Route 66 icons. The Cozy Dog has been operating on Springfield’s Sixth Street (aka Route 66) since 1949, and Ted Drewes stand on Chippewa Street (aka Route 66) has been there since 1941, although the business dates to 1929. Both have had prominent politicians and celebrities pay visits.

Barbecue will be served at the festival, too. The festival area will be on the Missouri side of the bridge, which once carried Route 66 over the Mississippi River.

Also, Norma Bolin will sign copies of her “The Route 66 St. Louis Cookbook,” which includes dozens of recipes from restaurants in the St. Louis area and the Route 66 corridor in the Midwest.

Steve McQueen’s Oklahoma connection September 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motorcycles, Movies, Museums.
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I always wondered how Route 66 Vintage Iron in Miami, Okla., managed to acquire one of movie star Steve McQueen’s motorcycles. McQueen’s bio has him in Missouri, Indiana and California, but not the Sooner State.

NWAOnline answers the question:

McQueen, who starred in films like “The Magnificent Seven,” “Hell is for Heroes” and “Bullitt,” had no connection with Miami. But concert and boxing promoter Tony Holden did.

“He’s from here originally, and when he started collecting motorcycles, he just wanted to do something neat for Miami,” says Chris Martin, curator of Route 66 Vintage Iron. The museum, which opened in May 2006, has since grown to include a retail building next door filled with collectibles, logo merchandise and biker leather.

The motorcycle that McQueen owned was a 1971 Husqvarna.

By the way, Route 66 Vintage Iron reports that this year — its third — was its best-ever for the number of visitors.

Marking the symbolic end of the road September 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, People.
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On my Twitter account, I stumbled onto Dan Rice’s 66 to Cali business, which is an apparel shack on the Santa Monica Pier — the symbolic western end of Route 66.

Rice sells American-made T-shirts with a Route 66 theme on them. The 66 to Cali store opened on the pier in July. Stangely enough, apparently there had never been a Route 66-related business on the pier before.

Based on his Web page, Rice is relishing every minute of it:

Although the demand has been enormous for shirts, as a fellow Route 66 fan and traveler, Dan also remembers what this is all about:  You!  The Route 66 Roadie!  Therefore, Dan feels the personal responsibility as the guy at the end of the road to provide a suitable, celebratory end and a welcoming friend at the end of your 2,448 mile Route 66 journey.  That’s why you can often find him and his girlfriend Jessica at the pier greeting arriving guests until well after midnight.

With God to guide him and his new friends surrounding him, Dan looks at the Pacific surf, and the California sunsets each night with the full knowledge that he is the most blessed Route 66 “roadie” to be found anywhere along America’s Main Street.  So come down and see him.  Buy a shirt.  And like so many before you, celebrate the end of the road, and the beginning of the dream!  Dan thanks you for your business!

I guess there are worse things than hanging out on the ocean every day. ;)

66 to Cali is open from noon to 8 p.m. seven days a week on the pier.

Another look at Afton Station September 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Gas stations.
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Wow. This is the second video about Afton Station in Afton, Okla., in recent days. This video was created by Ron McCoy, a Route 66 aficionado in Tulsa and a friend of co-owner Laurel Kane.

Another festival weekend September 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bicycling, Events, Motorcycles, Music, Towns.
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After a number of Route 66 festivals last weekend, including the Route 66 Rendezvous, this coming weekend is also shaping up to be a busy weekend for Mother Roaders.

The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival and Car Show is returning for its eighth edition in Springfield, Ill. And, despite a poor economy, signs are good that it will be a well-attended event, reports the State Journal-Register.

Organizers say 618 cars have registered to participate in this year’s car show — about 200 more than pre-registered last year.

And that’s not counting the car owners who just show up. Some years, the number of cars doubles by the event weekend, said Kim Rosendahl, director of tourism for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s looking really good,” Rosendahl said. “We were actually surprised, with the tough economy right now, to have such great numbers on our pre-registrations.”

Organizers expect roughly 80,000 car enthusiasts from across the country to attend the event, which kicks off Friday and ends Sunday. The tourism bureau estimates the weekend event will inject $1.5 million to $2 million into the local economy.

The Springfield festival began as a supporting event for the Steinbeck Route 66 Awards banquet. The festival was such a success that the city decided to hold it every year.

Meanwhile, Winslow, Ariz., is hosting its annual Standin’ on a Corner Festival, which is named after two famous lines in the Eagles hit, “Take It Easy.” AzJournal.com has a preview of the event, which has moved twice in its 11 years because of its growth.

The weekend also includes The Mother Road Ride, a two-day fundraising bicycle ride from Tulsa to Oklahoma City for the Oklahoma Chapter of National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Route 66 Hoot & Scoot and Poker Run in Sayre, Okla., on Saturday.

More about NAU’s Route 66 exhibit September 24, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, History, Web sites.
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JackCentral.com, a student-run site of The Lumberjack newspaper in Flagstaff, Ariz., contains a more detailed look at the “Route 66 in Arizona: Don’t Forget Winona!” exhibit at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library.

The exhibit debuted the week of the recent Route 66 Festival in Flagstaff and will remain on display through July 2010.

The pictures on the wall of the exhibit start from the road’s easternmost point in Arizona and end at the Arizona-California border, and they include a picture of Topock, Ariz., which was all but shut down to make way for the new Interstate 40.

The pieces of memorabilia include old road signs, clothing, books and a piece of the pavement dating back to 1937.

Phil Scandura, an aerospace engineer with Honeywell, constructed a $1,000 diorama of Seligman, Ariz., one of the towns credited with the revival of interest in Route 66.

Scandura said he was intrigued by the town’s relationship with the road, which inspired him to create the diorama.

The Web site associated with the exhibit is terrific, containing video and audio narratives, before-and-after photos of Route 66 sites, a Google interactive map of Arizona Route 66, and history of the road.

The Route 66 exhibit was the brainchild of Cline archivist Sean Evans, who deserves a ton of accolades for it.

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