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Touring Route 66 in a ’66 Chevelle October 31, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Road trips, Vehicles.
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Cole Quinnell was going to display his beautifully renovated 1966 Chevelle at the Flex-a-lite booth at SEMA and compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, both in the Las Vegas area.

Quinnell and photographer Robert McGaffin decided to take much of old Route 66 on the trip from Detroit to Vegas. They posted these two videos en route: one from Spencer, Mo.; and the other from Oatman, Ariz.

Quinnell also wrote several posts about the Route 66 trip on his blog.

Post office at Devil’s Elbow likely will remain open October 30, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.
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The post office in the historic Sheldon’s Market near Route 66 in Devil’s Elbow, Mo., probably will stay open, reported the Waynesville Daily Guide.

The U.S. Postal Service, facing severe financial problems, is considering the closure of hundreds of small post offices across the country. Dozens of residents crowded into Sheldon’s on Friday to hear a USPS official talk about options for the post office there:

USPS manger of post office operations Michael Darling announced to the crowd that the post office would remain open with shortened hours, in part to the USPS’ Post Plan.

Post Plan for Devil’s Elbow means reduced hours of operation where people can actually engage in counter service inside the store. Patrons will still have access to their P.O. boxes as long as the store is open. [...]

One representative from the Route 66 Association of Missouri expressed concern that the new hours would prevent tourists from sending mail from the location and cause revenue loss.

Darling said he didn’t know if consideration was given to the issue of tourism, but “those things existed long before we got to this point.” He did reassure the crowd that if business grows, normal hours may be reconsidered.

Proposed hours for the post office will be noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting in January at the earliest. Hours on Saturdays would stay unchanged.

Tonya Pike, who attended the meeting, said keeping the Sheldon’s post office open isn’t set in stone. She urged that readers print and fill out this survey form, choose Option 1, and mail it ASAP to the area’s postmaster.

She said foreigners who travel Route 66 could have sway in the final decision, and result in more-extended hours for the post office at Sheldon’s. Pike instructed:

At the bottom, where it says, “Additional Comments”, please make a brief statement that you do not want to see operations at Devils Elbow altered, that it provides a special experience for Route 66 travelers and that reducing its hours could potentially limit that experience.

The mailing address is:

Melissa Vest
Postmaster, Stockton
406 East Street
Stockton, MO 65785-9998
USA

Sheldon’s, previously known as Miller’s Market, was built in 1954. It’s rock-throwing distance from old Route 66 through Devil’s Elbow.

UPDATE 11/1/2012: The Daily Guide has posted this update about the Route 66 Association of Missouri’s efforts to keep the post office open.

“Mother Road” October 30, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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J.D. Strait, a buddy of musician Kirk Baldwin, liked this song so much, he decided to shoot a video of it for him.

Strait wrote: “Kirk to this day still travels New Mexico 333 (which is the old original portion of Old Route 66 just east of Albuquerque) to go to most of his gigs!”

The song can be downloaded for 99 cents here.

Former Route 66 motel will be used for AIDS patient housing October 29, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Preservation.
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The closed Sleepy Hollow Motor Court along Route 66 in Albuquerque soon will be converted into transitional housing for those afflicted by the AIDS virus, according to KRQE-TV in Albuquerque.

The station said:

The $1.5 million project is scheduled to be wrapped up by August 2013.

Representatives from the New Mexico AIDS Services say in taking over the property, a lot of care will have to be taken for the renovation and construction of the facility. In the end, the old rooms will be turned into ten housing units. The tenants will have on-site supportive services as well as a common house where people living there can meet up.

The New Mexico Business Weekly reported that New Mexico AIDS Services bought the property about five years ago, but couldn’t go ahead with the conversion because of the Sleepy Hollow’s historic status. But the city came up with a Housing and Urban Development grant, plus help from the Mortgage Finance Authority and the MAC AIDS Fund, helped start construction.

A vintage postcard from the 66postcards.com collection shows the motel during its heyday:

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and other historical preservationists have long supported the adaptive reuse of old Route 66 motels — especially in a city such as Albuquerque, where there is a relative overabundance of such properties.

New welcome sign dedicated in Miami, Okla. October 29, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Signs.
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City officials in Miami, Okla., on Monday dedicated a new Route 66-themed gateway sign on the south edge of downtown, according to KSNF and KODE-TV in Joplin, Mo.

“We think it’s something Miami will be known for. It’s a landmark,” states Larry Eller, Miami Risk Coordinator.

It’s a large, high profile change on Main Street, not easy to ignore.

“It’s a very inviting sign encouraging people to get off Steve Owens and come to downtown Miami, shop, eat,” states Eller.

The gateway sign is a rough replica of one in the early 20th century that spanned Central and C streets in Miami, before it was removed during the 1930s. The new, 40-foot-wide sign spanning Main Street just north of Steve Owens Boulevard (map here).

According to earlier reports, the gateway sign was paid in part with a $120,000 grant from the Oklahoma Scenic Byways Program, along with $20,000 in city funds and $10,000 from the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

(Photos via the City of Miami)

New Mexico Route 66 Museum sets opening for June October 29, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Museums.
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The Tucumcari City Commission last week unanimously approved the lease at its convention center for the New Mexico Route 66 Museum.

With that, organizers have set a grand opening during the Wheels on 66 event in Tucumcari on June 6-9, according to a news release today.

[T]he museum has begun work on its website and marketing side, with help from Tactical Magic on logos and other brand identity items. Tactical Magic and Trace Hallowell have been instrumental in our branding strategy so far, as well as some of the work they’ve already done on the road, from 66 Icons to multiple projects in Seligman, Ariz., like Angels’ Barber Shop and the Snow Cap.

Over the coming months, the museum’s website will continue to change, make improvements and add functionality with new information like its newest sponsorship opportunities from the Neon Trail Level to the Route 66 Shield Level, which includes museum passes and more. [...]

The museum will begin in phases, with the interior space and gift shop to be completed first, which we hope to share with the world during Wheels On 66. The second phase will then concentrate on the exterior with more signage, lighting, landscaping and other unique features.

The museum aims to show New Mexico’s Route 66 heritage “from Glenrio to Gallup.”

Nearby Santa Rosa, N.M., also seeks to land a Route 66 museum in its historic Ilfeld Warehouse near downtown. But the city’s sudden and severe financial problems this summer due to a $1.2 million gross-receipts tax appeal makes that unlikely for the near future.

UPDATE 10/30/2012: The current print edition of the Guadalupe County Communicator reports that an Ohio man wants to turn the Ilfeld Warehouse in Santa Rosa into a new National Museum of the American Southwest.

Jon Vinton Gallegos, who has family roots in the area, is starting The Gallegos Institute as a nonprofit group with the goal to eventually establish the museum in the Ilfeld.

The warehouse also has been targeted as a Route 66 museum, but the building still awaits funding for renovations. The city’s precarious financial condition makes such a prospect uncertain.

Scenes from the Balloon Fiesta October 28, 2012

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events.
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Visit New Mexico posted this time-lapse video from the recently completed Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The 2013 event is set for Oct. 5-13. The Fiesta already is taking reservations for RVs.

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