After my tummy fill-up I drove through Commerce, still fully intending to make it to Joplin. But in Commerce, I just had to veer a few blocks off Route 66 and take a look at Allen's Filling Station, recently opened as a Route 66 tourist stop and gift shop. It's an old Conoco station built into the side of another building, which makes it quite unique. It wasn't open, but I took a picture.
And, as long as I was in Commerce, I also just had to drive a couple of more blocks to a site I've visited numerous times in the past.... Mickey Mantle's boyhood home. I'm a huge Yankee fan, and so are many of the friends who come to visit me, so I always make it a stop on my tour. It sits in a very modest neighborhood and, frankly, isn't that well taken care of. Here's the house, the barn that young Mickey used as a target for batting practice, and the sign that explains both. Never open to the public, it's just a drive-by.
(What I did at this point is the subject of the next entry.)
I made it as far as Baxter Springs, Kansas before I realized I needed to turn around in order to be back at David's house by 3 p.m. I said I'd stop because I had a Christmas gift for his son. So, I spent a few moments in Baxter Springs, long enough to take pictures of the old Phillips Station that is now open as a museum by my friend Carolyn Pendleton, and a stone mural on the side of the bank that I like because it includes a prominent Route 66 shield.
After that, it was back to David's, and then the long drive home to Tulsa. For many reasons, I'm glad I took the time to make this journey. Of ccurse, any time spent on Route 66 is fine with me!