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Video from Arizona’s Historic Route 66 dedication May 29, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Highways, History.
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On a weekend when Angel Delgadillo’s story is being featured by the Associated Press comes this video from 1987 that was just posted on YouTube.

It’s a report by KTSP-TV in Phoenix on the official dedication of Historic Route 66 in Arizona from Seligman to Topock. You’ll see a glimpse of Angel’s now-deceased brother Juan, plus the beginnings of what became the Arizona Route 66 Fun Run.

Commenting on the festivities, the reporter said: “Old Route 66 in Seligman probably never saw this much traffic at any one time, and it might never quite seem like this again.”

He was wrong on both counts.

Report from the Frankoma Pottery auction May 29, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.
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Antique Trader posted a report about the recent closeout auction of the Frankoma Pottery factory along old Route 66 near Sapulpa, Okla.

According to Colonel Robert Hawks, of Robert Hawks Auction Co., there were 382 registered bidders at the live onsite auction. A total of 472 lots were offered at the auction, including pottery, fixtures, and equipment.

“Most people in attendance wanted a piece of history to go home with them,” Hawks said. “The top two types of items that sold were sets of Texas pottery, which sold at $500 to $600 a set, and Route 66 pottery that sold for $400.”

There were many unglazed items that were sold in lots for people to finish themselves. The 1,800 original moulds and the Frankoma name were not included in the sale. They are available for private sale through the Robert Hawks Auction Co.

The rest of the story delves into Frankoma’s history, which dates to 1933. The report indicates that the company started to go downhill after it was impacted by a second fire in 1983, which eventually forced the sale of the business to a series of owners during the last two decades.

Associated Press features Angel Delgadillo May 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in People.
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The Associated Press is featuring 84-year-old Angel “Guardian Angel of Route 66″ Delgadillo of Seligman, Ariz., for a story that is slated to appear in newspapers on Sunday.

Check your daily newspaper tomorrow morning for the article. In the meantime, you can read the entire article here, along with several photos, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s online edition.

(Disclosure: AP reporter Pauline Arrillaga interviewed me for the article, but it apparently wound up on the cutting-room floor. However, my spouse Emily Priddy, aka Redforkhippie, was quoted.)

Here’s an excerpt:

Telling this tale has become his life’s work, and he does it without prompting. How he was born right on Route 66 back when Seligman was a railroad town ferrying explorers West. How he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a barber, opening his own shop and pool hall along Route 66. How he was a witness to history: the Dust Bowl migration, the transport of equipment during World War II.

And how he saw it all change on Sept. 22, 1978 — the day Interstate 40 replaced Route 66 as the main thoroughfare through northern Arizona.

“Can you imagine how it was?” says Delgadillo, whose eyes widen as if recounting this for the very first time. “Golly Moses. At first it was so sad, and then I got so angry. Everybody just forgot about us.”

Anyway, I commend it to your attention. Delgadillo’s passion and hospitality have inspired a great many people, and he deserves this attention.

The AP also is supposed to post a video that goes with the story. I’ll post it here as soon as I get it.

Manhattan Transfer’s original version of “Route 66″ May 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music, Road trips.
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Here is the Manhattan Transfer‘s original 1981 studio recording of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66.”

The maker of the video superimposed footage of the group performing the song, along with vintage film of Route 66 scenes.

The video is nicely done. The cars going into a ditch, however, may be more kicks than a Route 66 traveler had in mind. And the brief scene from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is about 450 miles too far north.

Joplin tornado, continued May 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Weather.
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The death toll from Sunday’s tornado in Joplin, Mo., has risen to 139 as of Saturday morning, according to the Joplin Globe.

(Incidentally, the Globe’s coverage of the disaster has been stellar, even though a substantial number of staffers have been directly affected, including a copy editor who was killed in the storm.)

A memorial service on Sunday in Joplin will feature Gov. Jay Nixon and President Obama. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Taylor Performing Arts Center at Missouri Southern State University, and the public is invited. Two pastors who will lead the event saw their churches destroyed by the storm.

Gov. Nixon also announced Sunday will be an official state day of prayer and remembrance for the Joplin. Both the U.S. flag and the one for Missouri will fly at half-mast on government buildings in Missouri.

— One of the most harrowing and inspiring stories from the tornado came from Kevin Kikta, an emergency room doctor at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, which took a direct hit from the storm. KMOV-TV in St. Louis got the story.

— This interactive graphic from the Los Angeles Times shows the before-and-after satellite photos of the area around Joplin High School.

— Here’s a sign that rebuilding already has started in Joplin.

— Local officials have reiterated that cash to established relief charities is most needed for recovery efforts now. That would mean the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. And the Joplin Tornado Recovery page on Facebook continues to be invaluable.

— Finally, here’s a remarkable story from The Windsor Star in Canada. A pair of local bikers on a Route 66 vacation just missed the Joplin tornado by about 10 minutes. Here’s where the story gets freaky:

But a day and a half before entering Joplin, Pascoe said he and Reaume met a group of Christian bikers in Illinois, whose blessing stuck with him.

“He said it right in the wording,” Pascoe said of the rider who blessed the pair. “‘If there’s anything down the road that’s really catastrophic or terrifying for these guys, make it so they leave 15 minutes early or 15 minutes later so they miss it.'” [...]

Pascoe, who said he’s spiritual but not religious, said the experience left him rattled. “Goosebumps three feet tall …. We need to be debriefed about a miracle.”

UPDATE: Joplin’s death toll from the tornado had risen to 142 as of Saturday afternoon, reported the Globe.

— This thoughtful New York Times story asks whether something has gone wrong, after hundreds died from tornadoes in Missouri and Alabama this spring. I submit it’s difficult to keep the death toll low when an extraordinarily powerful F5 tornado strikes a densely populated area, such as it did with Joplin and Tuscaloosa. Experts also should ask themselves what they did right.

UPDATE 5/29/2011: The Joplin Globe’s collection of stories of those who survived the tornado is just staggering.

— Joplin has issued rules for debris removal. I can guarantee that 10 feet of space in front of the curb isn’t going to be enough for some neighborhoods.

— A site called RebuildJoplin.org has been launched today to help tornado victims or direct people who want to help.

— Here’s a report from AP about the memorial service, which included speeches by Gov. Jay Nixon and President Obama.

Behind the scenes at “Route 66: A Road Trip Through the Bible” May 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Religion.
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KING-TV in Seattle has put together a good video about His Place Community Church in Burlington, Wash., and its “Route 66: A Road Trip through the Bible” video segments, which in a somewhat irreverent way is covering all 66 books of the Bible.

As the video explains, a portion of the footage was shot on Route 66. My experienced eye can tell you that the background shots were in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, especially in the hamlet of Amboy.

You can peruse these videos at the His Place Community Church’s YouTube channel.

Groundbreaking for Admiral Twin rebuilding is next month May 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Preservation, Theaters.
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The owner of the Admiral Twin Drive-In theater in Tulsa has set a date in June for an official groundbreaking to rebuild the double screen that was destroyed in a fire in September, reported the Tulsa World.

The ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, and the public is invited to attend, owner Blake Smith said. The theater is slated tentatively to reopen in mid-August.

At least one Twitter account in Tulsa reported seeing work being done on the site earlier this week.

Smith wanted to reopen by July 4, but says he was unable to do so because of red tape:

Everything from zoning issues and safety code concerns to replacing the burned-up electrical system and fabricating steel for the new tower have delayed the opening date to August. [...]

Plans call for not only the building of a two-sided steel screen tower, but also the construction of a new concession stand as well as bathrooms, with heating and air conditioning in the latter for the first time since the Admiral Twin opened in 1951.

The cost of construction and repairs has been estimated at $400,000 at the site where scenes of the Tulsa-based film “The Outsiders” was shot, located north of Interstate 244 at 7355 E. Easton St.

Smith said that with the opening date pushed back, he’s inclined to keep the drive-in open later than ever this year.

Tulsa residents, Route 66ers, and drive-in theater fans donated more than $30,000 to help the rebuild.

The drive-in initially opened in 1951, and the second screen was built a year later. Even as the number of drive-ins in the United States dropped over the decades, the Admiral Twin continued to show first-run movies. The Admiral Twin sits very close to the Admiral Place alignment of Route 66 in Tulsa.

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