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Pontiac will dedicate trees to two late roadies May 31, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, People.
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Downtown Pontiac, Ill., will dedicate trees tomorrow to two deceased Route 66 fans, Betty Estes and Lenore Weiss, at 11 a.m. during a car-cruise event, according to a news release from Pontiac Tourism.

The “Get Your Kicks on Route 66″ cruise will be in their honor. At 11, the Rev. David Sabel of St. Mary’s Parish will bless two new trees and dedicate them to the memory of Estes and Weiss.

From the news release:

Betty Estes


Betty Estes was Pontiac’s first tourism director and one of the leading spirits in the creation of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway. Over the years Betty was honored with a number of awards, including the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year. She has been given the President’s Award by the Route 66 Association of Illinois, and with her husband, Dal, was instrumental in the creation of the Livingston County War Museum.

Lenore Weiss co-wrote several books about Route 66 with her husband, John.  She was very active in Illinois Route 66 preservation projects and inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame.

Lenore Weiss


Betty and Lenore were great friends who shared a love for the Mother Road.  Both women were victims of cancer, and the “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” Car Show, which will begin the evening of May 31 and continue all day June 1, will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the show to the American Cancer Society – Relay for Life in memory of these two civic-minded women.

A Betty Estes Community Scholarship winner also will be announced Saturday night at the Chautauqua Park pavilion before the Vermillion Players’ performance of “At the Hop.” Before the announcement, a brief tribute to Estes and Weiss will be presented.

British name Route 66 as favorite U.S. road trip May 31, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Road trips.
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Many news releases from motel chains are self-serving and not terribly useful. But this one from Motel 6 is notable for what it says and providing numbers to support its material.

According to a story posted on Breaking Travel News:

Route 66 is the most popular U.S road trip for British travellers this year according to booking data from US Motel chain, Motel 6, as British holidaymakers take to the open road to explore famous sites such as The Metro Diner and Meteor city.

The 2450 mile long scenic route, famous for towns such as Amarillo and Santa Monica and seen in popular movies such as “It Came From Outer Space” has seen up to 25% more visits this year than its closest competitor, the Pacific Coast Highway, cementing it as the UK’s most popular road trip. In fact, Motel 6 locations situated along Route 66 have already had almost 3000 bookings since the start of 2013 compared to less than 2100 for the PCH.

The numbers for Route 66 are pretty amazing, when you think about it. First, that is for just one lodging chain. It doesn’t take into account Hampton Inns, Marriott, Hilton, Super 8, etc.

Second, a sizable number of Route 66 travelers will choose the plethora of historic motels along the highway. It wouldn’t surprise if a third to half of the overnight stays on the Mother Road occur in mom-and-pop lodgings. I’d like to know whether the Pacific Coast Highway would skew to mom-and-pops at that percentage as well.

The story also makes one wonder what the numbers are for travelers from other foreign countries, such as France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, etc.

A close shave May 30, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, People.
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If you’re very lucky (and happen to be a guy), Angel Delgadillo might have time to give you a shave at his barbershop on Route 66 in Seligman, Ariz.

“The Angel of Route 66″ is more known for greeting tourists and selling tons of Route 66-related souvenirs at his gift shop. But, at one time, being a barber was how he pretty much made his living.

Students provide ideas for Route 66 in Albuquerque May 29, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Towns.
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University of New Mexico students provided some ideas to the City of Albuquerque on how to dress up its stretch of Route 66, reported KOB-TV.

Students came up with renderings and designs to help the city rehabilitate parts of Central Ave. Some ideas include creating walkways over I-25, adding more parks and open-air markets along Central.

The idea is to create spaces that bring people together, just like the Route 66 of the 1950’s.

The students are part of the City Lab class, where the city gave the class free space downtown in exchange of picking the students’ brains. According to a recent university press release about the class:

Stu­dents cur­rently tak­ing a stu­dio course at City­Lab are look­ing at Rt. 66 using a study on walk­a­ble blocks – an assess­ment of what is a com­fort­able walk­ing dis­tance, and adapt­ing that to Albuquerque.

Exploring the old Bridgeport alignment of Route 66 May 29, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Bridges, Road trips.
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Rich Dinkela shot this video of him trying to access both sides of an old bridge in Bridgeport, Okla., that once spanned the South Canadian River and carried Route 66 until the mid-1930s. The bridge is long-gone; the only thing left are the bridge supports.

I’ve explored the north portion of the bridge. I wouldn’t try to go to it without a high-clearance or four-wheel drive vehicle, because most of the road leading to it is dirt. I got there in a low-clearance subcompact car, and am not sure to this day how I did.

Publisher will take mobile bookstore down Route 66 May 28, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Events, Road trips.
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A major book publisher, Penguin Group USA, will drive a mobile bookstore on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California this fall, according to a news release today.

The mobile bookstore — basically a tricked-out moving truck — will make several appearances at book events this year. This is the one most relevant to the Mother Road:

In October, in conjunction with the National Steinbeck Center’s kickoff of the 75th Anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck ‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath, (published by Penguin), the Penguin Book Truck will travel West on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California, following the route of the fictional Joad Family and stopping at numerous museums, universities and historical sites along the way.

The Penguin Book Truck and Pushcart will stock books from all Penguin Group imprints and include a wide selection of titles by authors ranging from Patricia Cornwell to John Green , Elizabeth Gilbert to Khaled Hosseini , Nate Silver to Sylvia Day as well as Penguin Classics. The selection will also be customized for individual events. [...]

Featuring Penguin’s iconic orange logo the Penguin Book Truck is 27 feet long with 96 linear feet of bookshelves on both sides. The truck is LED lit for nighttime events, has awnings to protect shoppers from the elements, and cafe tables and chairs where browsers can sit and authors can sign books.

The Penguin book truck can be followed on FacebookTwitter, and its website.

The original Fabulous Thunderbirds May 28, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Before the Fabulous Thunderbirds formed in Texas in the 1970s, there was another Fabulous Thunderbirds rock band out of New Mexico during the mid-1960s.

According to one well-researched online source, the Thunderbirds’ version of Bobby Troup’s song was released in 1965 on Red Feather Records in Albuquerque:

More from Popsike.com:

Legend has it that Jimmie Vaughn chose the name for his band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, from a very obscure album he had come across in his youth. I would have to assume that this it. Anyway, these Thunderbirds are comprised of Ricky Abeita, lead guitar, vocal and band leader; Willam Carl Johnson – rhythm guitar and vocal; Mike Jiron, bass; and Herman Lucero, drums. All were between the ages of 15 and 17 when this album was cut. Here’s what the liner notes say about them:

“HERE THEY ARE..the four American Indian boys who have combined their talents to form one of the country’s most interesting and exciting rock ‘n’ roll groups..called THE THUNDERBIRDS.. Red Feather Records takes great pride in presenting this new and unusual group..We know you will enjoy this album and hope you agree that these..the first Americans..are well on their way to becoming first in American..in rock ‘n’ roll music.”

The Thunderbirds were from the Isleta Pueblo village, 13 miles from Albuqueque.

I also found it interesting the band excised Kingman from the original lyrics in favor of Seligman, Ariz.

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