Thursday, September 3, 2015

Off My Rocker

You can just imagine my surprise when we were driving past the pecan company about 2 miles down Route 66 from Afton Station and glanced to the side to see a giant rocking chair!   Ok, it's not quite as big as the one at the Fanning Outpost, but it's BIG!   Ron M. was with me, but declined my wish for him to climb up on the chair so I could get some perspective on it's size.  (Frankly, I don't blame him!)
 We had a visit from the Mayor of Afton today, a rare occurrence.  We had the chance to ask him some questions we've been  harboring for a while, such as where-oh-where are those "Welcome to Afton" signs that he ordered over 2  years ago.   He said that it's taken all this time to deal with state regulations but now all he needs is for the city maintenance crew to have time to do the deed.  We invited him to our Clean Up Day on Sept. 12 but he's not sure if he can come.
                               Mayor Billy Mack Harrison

We had a busy morning followed by a rather quiet afternoon.  Our guests came from Hamilton OH, Spring Mill FL, Mesquite NV, Ogden UT, Tulsa OK, and Enid OK.
Some of our visitors examining the beautiful cars.
These guys, from Hamilton, Ohio and Spring Hill, Florida arrived on motorcycles.  They started out early enough that the could ride for quite a while before being hit with the intense heat that came later in the day.
We were also visited by these two very personable fellows who are following Route 66 from their homes in Mesquite, Nevada and Ogden, Utah.  We really enjoyed their company and conversation.  Good thing they don't have a home arrival date cast in stone, because it took all of  yesterday for them just to go approximately 60 miles!   They're doing it right!
From closer to home came this couple from Tulsa.   They've "done" Route 66 to the west out of Tulsa and today they're going east.  He's originally from Albany, NY.  They're doing Route 66 in small increments, too.  Today, they planned to go from their home in Tulsa just as far as Miami but intend to see everything they can find along the way.

Check out this neat flyer that Ron M. designed to publicize the Clean Up Day!   Thank you, Ron!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pretty Little Girls

I can't resist a cute baby, so I was in Heaven when these two came in.  Little Evelyn just turned two and tiny Alyssa is a mere three months old.   Precious little girls.    They arrived at Afton Station with their mother Martha who was accompanying her friend Jose, whom we had been waiting to meet.  Jose is the Programs Director for our local Tulsa Equality Center and is seeking "props" for a big meeting they are having in a couple of weeks.  The theme is Route 66, so Jose had no problem at all choosing some items from the Station.
This young couple from Manchester, England is traversing Route 66.   This is their first trip to the United States.  It's exciting that they chose the Mother Road for their initiation to our country.  They will see how we live out here in the middle rather than just spending time in NY or LA and never seeing anything in between as many folks do..  I approve!
Two brothers and their wives from Evansville, Indiana took to the road two days ago with three weeks to make it to the end of 66 in Santa Monica, then making a quick turn around to get back east.  Sounds just about perfect to me1

Other visitors came from Richmond VA, LaCrosse WI, Houston TX, and Ketchum OK.  Things are slowing down now on Route 66, but there are still plenty of folks out there hoping to find enough shops and museums open to justify their trip.   For this reason, I fight to keep open as many days a week as possible.  I will have to alter that a bit in the next couple of weeks while we have personnel either on vacation or in need of medical attention.  We're doing our best to always be there for all the fine folks who are having the time of their lives on Route 66.   They generally say that the best part of their trip is meeting the people along  the way, so we want to be available to meet and be met.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Once Upon A Time

On the way home from Afton Station tonight, cruising down the usual stretch of Route 66, I told Ron M. that it was a fairy tale kind of day.   I'm not completely sure what that means, but it was just a feeling.  Perhaps it goes something like this. . .
They came from far away lands.  This lovely young couple came from Glasgow, Scotland, hoping to find the secrets of middle America.  Finn MacCool would be proud of their adventuring spirit.
 Neighbors to the north, these folks from Ontario, Canada is having a wonderful fairy tale vacation!

 The power of friendship -- two couples, one from Midland, Michigan and one from England, met a few years ago on a cruise ship and have been traveling together every year ever since. Speaking of fairy tales,  I wonder if the British couple has taught the American couple about  Tattercoats.

These travelers, along with some from Leesburg VA and Myrtle Beach, SC are today's Afton Station fairy tale. They are on fairy tale vacations, but they seldom realize that my work at the Station is the fairy tale in my own life.   It's something I've wanted since childhood.  That I have achieved it is the stuff that fairy tales are made of    Like all good fairy tales, everyone lived happily ever after.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Glub Glub

We were called and warned that the drive to Afton this morning might be a challenge, with heavy rain, heavy wind, and hail.  We lucked out, however, and our trip there was a bit soggy but uneventful.  Not so when we  got there, however.  For the first time, we had a minor a flood in the main room, not the car showrooms which are regularly drenched, but "my" room, with all the Route 66 paraphernalia.  This has never happened before, but David and Marly, who were there working in the work room, said that at the height of the storm the wind was blowing rain right through the window frames.  Yikes!  It wasn't terribly serious, but Ron M. had to drive to the nearest dollar store and purchase a pile of cheap towels for the clean up, then was his usual helpful self in sopping up the mess.   The back rooms could be cleaned  up with our new Shop Vac.

I was convinced that we wouldn't have a single guest all day, but again I was wrong.   We had 7 visitors after the skies had partially cleared and we were so glad we were there to greet them.   One was a man from Grove, OK on business.
These two handsome guys were from Madrid, Spain.
Following behind them was this couple from London, England
Then came this couple from Lexington, Kentucky.   They were taking a day off from a lake vacation, whereas the Spanish and British folks were in the midst of full Route 66 trips.  The weather didn't seem to phase any of them, and I'm glad of that.

Looks like we'll be open tomorrow as well as the entire weekend, so come on over and visit!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Magazine Day

What's a Magazine Day?  At Afton Station, t's  a day when the crowds aren't exactly beating down the door so there's plenty of time to pare down those piles of unread magazines we keep on hand for slow moments.

Our reading was happily interrupted today by 19 visitors, and oh, how glad were we to see them.  They came from Tyler TX, Batesville AR, Antioch CA, Lake Havasu AR, Noel MO, Walker LA, Hammond LA, Springfield LA, and Barcelona, Spain.
This gentleman is from Tyler, Texas.
This couple is from Lake Havasu, Arizona.

I didn't even take many photos today.  I would have taken a picture of the four handsome young people from Barcelona, Spain but I accidentally let them slip past me.  And now I'm tired  Sorry for the brief blog, but just think of it this way - now you have more time to read magazines.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Blame the French. . .

. . .  the Spanish, the Italian,  the Japanese, the Czech, the Norwegian.  The languages, not the people. . Those and dozens of other languages often make my days at Afton Station  fun but very frustrating as well.   Today I was thinking about the traveling folks from so many foreign lands who have visited in the past 12 years and the languages they speak.   Such beautiful people deserve more than just a friendly smile and a few rudimentary words in their tongues, but frustration overcomes me when I want so badly to be able to converse with them about their lives, their countries, and most of all, their Route 66 observations.  Although much can be "said" with body language and laughs and smiles, in most cases in-depth exchanges can't be accomplished.   Blame the Americans.  In nearly every case, the folks from other countries have been exposed to English enough that they can at least say a few words here and there.  We Americans, on the other hand, are comparatively uneducated in other languages.   I know a wee bit of French.  I can count to ten in Japanese.  I know how to use Google Translator.  That's about it for me.

Of course, even without language there is something that brings us together -- both the travelers and those of us who mind the stores along the way.  It is the spirit of Route 66 that bonds us together, why a young Chinese man ends  his visit with a smile, why an Italian honeymoon couple wants selfies of us, why an older Norwegian woman leafs through a copy of Images to find a photo that illustrates a question she wants answered.  Where there is a will, there's a way.   Even so, I wish I could speak about 30 languages.  That should be enough to get me through a season at  Afton Station.

Today's visitors included folks from several towns in Norway, Derby England, the Ukraine, and Tokyo Japan, as well as those from Arvada CO, Canewood CO,  Granbury TX, Liberty MO, Witchita KS, Culbert OK, Langley OK, Oglesby OK and Bentonville AR.
    The Norwegians (with a couple of Swedes) came in a group on Harleys with a chase vehicle.  By the time they arrived at the Station they had driven through hard rain.    Still perfectly  cheerful and unfazed by their dampness, they took turns signing our wall.
Below are folks are from Colorado and Texas who are cruising Route 66 in their cool Corvettes,
Here, with Ron M., is Toshi Goto, president of the Japanese Route 66 Association.
 He visited for about an hour this afternoon, and what an interesting fellow  he is.   He's in the states for a month and spending some time getting to know as many people along the Route as possible.  He said he has about 80 folks in his association at home and plans to bring a group next summer.  Having lived in Japan for two years, I was too embarrassed to tell him about my Japanese being confined to the numbers from 1 to 10.   :-(

A good day. . . and more tomorrow!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

An Everyday Day

It was Gray Camaro Day at Afton Station today.   First, a couple stopped in on their way back from picking up this gray 2010 Camaro which he bought for his 15-year-old son.  (Lucky son!)  Great folks from Independence, MO with a healthy interest in Route 66

 Next, these two ladies in another gray Camaro drove in.  They're from Casa Grande, AZ and are also "doing" Route 66.
This is hardly a Camaro, but certainly a comfortable ride for this fellow from the Basque country of Spain.

 That he spoke no English wasn't in any way a detriment to his enjoying his Chicago-to-LA adventure.
And this foursome from Lodz, Poland were just as happy, also going all the way on 66.

We have been having some personnel difficulties of late and are hoping they will be solved soon.   Until then, it's possible that we could be closed on an occasional weekday.    For this reason, if you're making a trip especially to see us.  I strongly suggest you call ahead.  Call 918-284-3829 a day or two ahead or, on the day of your planned visit,  try 918-257-4044.   For now, we are still open 7 days a week, but  we will be cutting back to a fall schedule in a month or two.    We'd love to have you come for a visit ASAP!