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A visit to Cuba Fest October 24, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, People.
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Frank Kocevar, the former co-owner of Historic Seligman Sundries, took his video camera to Cuba Fest this month in Cuba, Missouri, and chatted to a few folks there.

There might be a few folks you recognize.

In case you missed it, Kocevar and his wife Lynn recently sold Historic Seligman Sundries in Seligman, Arizona, to a couple from nearby Flagstaff, Arizona. Frank had said at the time he wanted to do a little more traveling on the Mother Road, and it appears he’s doing so.

British photographer to open Route 66 show October 20, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Events, Photographs, Road trips.
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If you’re a reader who lives in the United Kingdom (and my host reports there is a substantial number) and are itching to experience Route 66, an upcoming photography exhibition might whet your appetite even more.

Martin Smith, a British fine-arts photographer, will open a show Tuesday at the Hertford Theatre in Hertford, England, featuring images from his trip on Route 66 last year.

The show opens Oct. 21 and ends Nov. 15. Hertford less than an hour north of London.

More about the show:

Route 66 once epitomised the American dream. The route took in eight states and 2500 miles as it linked Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west. Christened the “Mother Road” it has legendary status in popular music and film.

As interstate highways became established the road fell into decay as the towns it linked were bypassed. But today the spirit of Route 66 lives on. The people and places encountered along the journey make this the greatest road trip of them all.

Through a series of captivating images photographed over ten years Martin Smith has documented Route 66 during several journeys covering its length and breadth. A series of these images depicting the road, its old diners, gas stations and restored neon signs will be shown in this exhibition in Hertford, 20 miles north of London.

Martin will be available at selected times to meet visitors and discuss the stories behind the exhibits.

Those selected times where the photographer will be around are from 6:45 pm to 9:15 p.m. Oct. 24 (before a Fairport Convention concert at the theater), from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 5 and from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 13.

The theater’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday except for performance days, when hours are extended to 7:45 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the show, you can see many of Smith’s Route 66 photographs here.

(Images courtesy of Martin Smith)

A semblance of the Route 66 Rendezvous October 18, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Towns, Vehicles.
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This video by AmericaJR.com at the recently completed Rendezvous Back to Route 66 car show at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, California, is illuminating.

In short, this year’s event — presented by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce — is an effort to keep a smaller version of the Route 66 Rendezvous alive. The original Rendezvous once drew more than 600,000 people on a typical weekend, but it was canceled after the 2012 show in the wake of the City of San Bernardino’s bankruptcy and the gutting of the San Bernardino Convention and Tourism Bureau.

One takeaway from the video is attendees are itching to take their classic cars back to San Bernardino’s streets — and Route 66. But chamber president Judi Penman made it pretty clear that’s not going to happen soon for a variety of reasons.

In the wake of the Rendezvous’ cancellation, the nearby city of Ontario, California, has hosted the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion. However, Ontario never was on Route 66, and the event sits a good distance away from the Mother Road. So appropriating the Route 66 name seems, at the least, disingenuous.

(Image from the 2012 Route 66 Rendezvous by Thom Trafford via Flickr)

Route 66 photo exhibit opens in Tulsa on Friday September 30, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Events, Photographs, Road trips.
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An exhibit by photographer Jessica Harvey, “Mother Road,” opens Friday at the Hardesty Arts Center in downtown Tulsa, with noted “Route 66: The Mother Road” author and Route 66 Alliance co-founder Michael Wallis speaking during the exhibition’s opening.

According to a news release from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, Wallis mentored Harvey for her two-month solo journey on Route 66. “Mother Road” will be on display at the Hardesty Arts Center through Nov. 23. “Mother Road” also includes artifacts and stories.

More photos from the exhibit:

More about the event:

Mother Road is a project derived from the history and myths that come from traveling Route 66, which illustrates journeys – both personal and shared – through road trips, driving and discovery.  Harvey displays artifacts and photographs from her own Route 66 odyssey, and invites the public to explore her studio at AHHA where they may offer their own personal artifacts and record individual stories and memories.  This shared project aims to reveal how a diverse group of people collectively feel about travel, Americana, and the culture of the great American road trip. Harvey’s solo road trip along Route 66 began in early September and will conclude at the end of the month, when she returns to Tulsa.

Wallis’ remarks will be at 7 p.m. Friday. The opening reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. that day.

Harvey also will host a slide show at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6.

You also can see many of Harvey’s images at her tumblr account.

On a related note, the Hardesty Arts Center and the Woody Guthrie Center are hosting the Mother Road Film Festival during October. Matinee films will be screened at the Woody Guthrie Center, 102 E. Mathew B. Brady St. Screenings are curated by artist Harvey and include:

  • “No More Road Trips” by Rick Prelinger, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5. It will be narrarated by Wallis.
  • “Tulsa: Finding 66″ by Ed Taylor, 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. Panel discussion will follow with Ed Taylor and Tulsa Community College broadcast journalism students.

Screenings are free with admission to the Woody Guthrie Center.

(Images courtesy of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa)

A look back at the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival September 25, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music, Towns.
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The folks in Springfield, Missouri, already are publicizing next year’s Birthplace of Route 66 Festival — scheduled for Aug. 7-8 — by showing a few of the highlights of the festival last month.

That includes a performance of “Chicken Train” by some local legends, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Birthplace of Route 66 Festival from SGF CityView on Vimeo.

Roger Miller Festival moving from downtown Erick September 24, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music.
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The annual Roger Miller Festival is moving from its longtime downtown location in his adopted hometown of Erick, Oklahoma, to the Lost Creek Arena west of town on old Route 66, according to a news release from the venue.

The event — which will feature lots of live music, including Roger Miller’s son, Dean Miller — is set for Oct. 25. The festival also is getting aid and cooperation from nearby towns, including the Route 66 communities of Sayre, Oklahoma, and Shamrock, Texas.

More from the release:

Kicking off the day’s festivities is a new tradition bound to heat up old rivalries and start new ones, with the first-ever Oklahoma-vs-Texas “King of the Road Classic Car and Truck Show.” Winners in various classes will be awarded a unique 1st place prize: A custom-made, personalized Roger Miller “King of the Road” jacket. Show entries will be placed in categories such as the “Baddest Pick-Up Truck” class for the toughest, strongest and best looking trucks.

Festival goers will enjoy live music, savory food from an excellent vendor lineup and shopping with the local arts and crafts booths. Inclement weather will not hinder festivities with activities held inside the enclosed arena, excluding the car and truck show. [...]

Guests may bring chairs and camp out all weekend. Additional detailed information and tickets sales will be announced soon. Fans can keep up with the festival on www.rogermillerfest.com and Facebook.

The Lost Creek Arena hosted the inaugural Buckin Wild Music Festival in July, and drew 3,000 people. I suspect the city fathers in Erick saw those numbers and decided they could do a lot better than in downtown, where space and parking are a bit lacking.

Plus the venue’s owner, Brian Austin, has connections to the music industry and publicists — no small thing if you’re organizing what essentially is a music festival.

And in case you’re not familiar with Roger Miller, here’s a short bio:

Country music singer and songwriter legend Roger Miller came from humble beginnings on a farm near Erick, but rose to stardom in the country music world in the 1960s until his untimely death in 1992. With such legendary hits as “King of the Road” and “Dang Me,” Roger made a name for himself as an original. He also wrote #1 Hits such as “Invitation to the Blues” for other artists including Ray Price. He penned the hit Broadway musical, “Big River,” which earned seven Tony Awards in 1985. Roger Miller was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995. His iconic music was recognized with 11 Grammy Awards during his lifetime.

(Illustration of Roger Miller via Klaus Hiltscher via Flickr)

Class of 2014 for Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame announced September 13, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Events, Museums, People, Route 66 Associations.
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Author Marian Clark of Tulsa and the late J.M. Davis of Claremore will be inducted Oct. 18 into the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, according to a release from the Oklahoma Route 66 Association.

The ceremony is slated for 2 p.m. and will be free to the public. A plaque for each winner will be placed on the Wall of Honor at the museum. An association panel selects two winners — one living and one dead — from a list of nominations every two years.

Marian Clark

Clark is most famous for writing cookbooks, using recipes from Route 66 restaurants or facsimiles of dishes from long-gone eateries, including “The Route 66 Cookbook” and “Hogs on 66.”

Clark is a native of the Texas Panhandle but has lived in Tulsa for more than 30 years. She resides a few blocks from the Mother Road, which kindled her interest in the highway.

Davis managed the Mason Hotel in Claremore, but became famous internationally for his enormous gun and arms collection and the museum that eventually was built to house it, the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum that opened on Route 66 in Claremore in 1969. Davis died in 1973 and was buried on the museum grounds.

The ceremony next month also will mark the 25th anniversary of the nonprofit Oklahoma Route 66 Association, which aims to “promote, enhance, perpetuate, encourage the development of tourism, economic opportunities, and historic resources and landmarks along Oklahoma’s section of Route 66.”

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