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Route 66 in miniature January 31, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Businesses, Gas stations.

Willem Bor of the Netherlands is a big Route 66 fan, and has decided to make models of landmarks along the Mother Road. The models are in 1/25 scale.

Here’s one of Lucille’s near Hydro, Okla.:

Here’s one of the 66 Super Service Station near Alanreed, Texas:

These amazingly intricate and accurate models are not for sale. Bor says he’s doing them for his own amusement.

Bor is finishing a model of the Little Juarez diner in the ghost town of Glenrio, Texas. If you know any history about that diner, please explain in the comments portion of this post.

Each model, he said, is made of painted balsa wood and cardboard.

Possible future projects include the Blue Swallow Motel of Tucumcari, N.M.; the 66 Diner in Albuquerque; the Nelson Tavern and old water tower Nelson Dream Village water fountain in Lebanon, Mo.

Hosea and the harlot January 31, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Religion.
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Here’s the latest entry of “Route 66: A Road Trip through the Bible.” It’s the book of Hosea, and it features a character named Gomer — and not Gomer Pyle.

Book about U.S. 89 published January 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Highways, History, Photographs, Web sites.
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We at Route 66 News concentrate on news concerning the Mother Road, but occasionally pay attention to developments about other historic two-lane highways.

So it is with interest that we take note of a new photo-and-essay book by Ann Torrence titled “U.S. Highway 89: The Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks” (Sagebrush Press, 160 pages, $29.95). Historic U.S. 89 runs 1,600 miles from the Mexico border in Arizona to the Canadian border in Montana.

New West has a review of the book:

U.S. Highway 89 makes for an enchanting journey, celebrating natural beauty alongside neon roadside kitsch.  In the epilogue, Torrence writes, “When I began photographing the Highway 89 project, I thought my subject would be the exquisite beauty of its seven national parks.  Gradually…I fell in love with the small towns in between my supposed destinations.  I wasn’t interested in photographing a nostalgic West that no longer existed; I wanted to show how the people I met were reinventing their Western lifestyles to retain their heritage as change encroached on their communities.”

It sounds like something I need to put on my reading list.

Torrence keeps a blog here, including a section about U.S. 89 here.

Grants property nominated as historic site January 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, History, Preservation.
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Charlie’s Radiator Service, a business that was established in the 1940s on Route 66 in Grants, N.M., was nominated as a state historic site, reported the Cibola County Beacon.

The designation would make it eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

On the west end of Grants, Charles Diaz opened Charley’s Automotive Service in 1943. The business later became Charley’s Radiator Service when Diaz began specializing in radiator repair.

It is located at 1308-1310 West Santa Fe Avenue. Two of the buildings were commercial enterprises, Charley’s Automotive Service and the Star Café. The extended family utilized the remaining buildings for residential purposes.

Diaz’s maternal grandfather, Joseph Capelli, an Italian-born stonemason partnered with Diaz in constructing five buildings on the site. In the early 1940’s, their use of pumice-block materials was innovative. Pumice block has sufficient compressive strength for building construction. In addition to better insulating qualities, it has less weight than cement block.

A photo of the Charlie’s Radiator Shop can be seen here and here.

The long-closed business has been issued an “abatement of nuisance” resolution by the city. However, according to the newspaper, the property’s owner, Joseph Diaz, is seeking help from a number of agencies, including the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, to restore and revitalize the building.

The city said it would have no objection to the historic-site nomination.

Hello from Switzerland January 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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It’s just a couple of guys with guitars, playing Bobby Troup’s “Route 66.” But it’s a good performance.

Notes from the road January 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Books, Bridges, Motels, Motorcycles, Movies, Museums, Signs, Theaters, Towns, Weather.

If you’re traveling the Mother Road this week, you may have to make other plans for the midsection.

As this map from the National Weather Service shows, the Route 66 corridor is under a winter storm warning all the way from about Springfield, Mo., to Gallup, N.M. — much of it freezing rain.

Authorities closed Interstate 40 and secondary highways in the Texas Panhandle early Thursday afternoon. I-40 from the Texas border to Tucumcari, N.M., also is closed. And power outages are expected to be widespread in Oklahoma later in the day because of freezing rain.

We at Route 66 News headquarters have a wood stove and a gas water heater, so we’ll be fine even without electricity.

— I’ve been informed that the long-closed Pony Soldier Motel in Tucumcari, N.M., was torn down a few weeks ago. Here’s an op-ed written by one of the former owners, was published in the Quay County Sun.

— Jim Hinckley, a roadie and author based in Kingman, Ariz., announced the forthcoming publication of his new book, “Ghost Towns of the Southwest,” in stores in March. A few Route 66 towns are featured. Hinckley is working on a book exclusively about ghost towns on the Mother Road.

— The historic Uptown Theatre in Rolla, Mo., is endangered by a proposal to build an alumni center for the local university. A resident is circulating an online petition to protest the decision. If you want to sign it, go here. (Hat tip to Ace Jackalope.)

— The trade paperback of Michael Zadoorian’s acclaimed Route 66-based novel, “The Leisure Seeker,” will be in stores Feb. 9. The book has been optioned for film, and Zaadorian told me the script is being shopped to prospective actors.

— According to the Kingman Daily Miner, independent filmmaker Kirk Slack recently donated a 1966 Sears motorcycle to the Powerhouse Visitors Center in Kingman, Ariz., which has a large Route 66 display. Slack is working on a Route 66 documentary for Out West Family Films.

— The next round of Preserve America grants has started, and the deadline to submit them is Feb. 12. These grants are especially for towns and tourist centers wanting help to create their own multimedia attractions (iPhone apps, podcasts, GPS tours, etc.). More information is here.

— The Suburban Journals posted a fascinating article about city logos in the St. Louis area. Among them is Madison, Ill., which features the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge that once carried Route 66 over the Mississippi River. You can see the seal at the top of this document here.

— Check out this garage owned by Roger Sanzenbacher of Orland Park, Ill., where he re-created the huge mural seen at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac on one of the walls.

Rally ’round the bridge January 27, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, Preservation.
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Here’s a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article today about efforts by the Route 66 Association of Missouri and other preservation groups to prevent the razing of the historic Route 66 Bridge at Route 66 State Park near Eureka.

[...] Joe Sonderman of Hazelwood, a local traffic reporter and author of three books on Route 66, said the aging span is one of the last historic links to old Route 66 through the western reaches of St. Louis County.

“We have been working to try to preserve the bridge, to do what we can to make sure that all other avenues are exhausted before they demolish it,” said Sonderman, who hopes someone can buy time until the money is found to repair the bridge. “Once you tear that thing down, it’s gone.”

Sonderman hopes public outcry will save the bridge before another piece of old Route 66 vanishes.

“If you drive it, you understand,” Sonderman said. “It only takes one trip to realize it’s more than just blacktop. It’s history you can touch.”

Good article, but I think one of the angles being overlooked is that the closing and possible destruction of the bridge really hurts the state park. The bridge’s closing puts the park’s offices at a dead end, and the rest of the park can be accessed only through a circuitous route of frontage roads and Interstate 44. I’m wondering whether the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is angry at MoDOT for this.

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