Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In International News. . .

Let me see . . .yesterday I left off saying I'd give updates on my international guests today. Well, there's plenty to tell! Shall we begin with Manu, the French man on stilts? Prepare for a rather lengthy tale.

After he left Afton Station on Sunday, he headed for Trudy and Frank's awesome motel in Chelsea (Chelsea Motor Inn). I went home, assured that they'd have a great evening there, and as it turned out, they did. But I didn't find that out until the next day. On Monday, Ron M. and I reserved a room for Manu and Patrice at a motel on Route 66 in Tulsa. Then, as planned, we drove to the Blue Whale in Catoosa to meet up with them and "lead" them into Tulsa, since we were pretty sure he wouldn't want to stilt-walk in the rain in our fair city, where all the roads are torn up while being repaired. We waited quite a long time and they never arrived, so we left a note with Blaine Davis at the Blue Whale telling them what motel to go to, how to get there, and asking them to call me when they got the note. (BTW, we translated the note into French, for their ease in understanding.)

We heard nothing after that whatsoever until yesterday (Tues.) However, we did hear via the TV news that there was a shooting Mon. night at the very motel where we had put the Frenchmen up for the night! Uh oh, I said to myself -- actually I probably said something more salty! I knew that Manu wasn't involved, because the news reports (which, incidentally were all over the TV) said that police had shot a man accused of robbery and possibly murder who was holed up there, and whom they'd had surveillance on for many days. My worry then, however, was that Manu would be upset and think we put them up in a really crappy motel, whereas it was only a semi-crappy motel. LOL! (They needed to be as close to the eastern edge of Tulsa as possible, and this was the first choice.)

When I got to Afton Station yesterday morning, there was a phone message from Manu. They loved the fact that they got to witness the shooting and the police activity and all the news coverage! In fact, Manu used the words "incredible" and "a memorable adventure" in describing the incident. The way I see it, they got a little taste of the Wild West right here in Oklahoma. I breathed a sigh of relief!

I last heard from Manu and Patrice yesterday, but I presume they went on to Stroud, where they planned to spend last night. I'll keep you informed, or you can go to Manu's website at:
il court l’échassier Landais » DIRECTION SANTA MONICA. You can also watch a video, taken by Josh on his cell phone camera, at YouTube - Manu Cuadra on Stilts on Route 66.

Now, about yesterday at Afton Station, another extremely busy and fulfilling day. Altogether we had 56 visitors, which is pretty amazing for a Tuesday. The focal point of the day was a visit from the Czeck Route 66 Association, but more on in a moment.

Other guests came from Sterling IL, Millstadt IL, Fairland OK, Pawhuska OK, Gresham OR, Salina KS, Fayetteville AR, Oklahoma City OK, Rimrock AZ, Monett MO, Albuquerque NM, and Houston TX.

The folks from Millstadt, IL arrived in this very cool custom rig with trailer.
The three couples from Gresham, OR came all the way across the country in a caravan of three custom vehicles, this eggplant truck being one of them.
The folks from Salina, KS had two very cute kids. Here, the little boy was mesmerized by my animated diorama from the "Cars" movie. Here, the kids learned how to press pennies.

The Czeck Route 66 Association arrived very late after visiting with the ladies at 4 Women On The Route then taking the Sidewalk Highway to get to Afton. Betty W. had to leave before they arrived, but Ron M., Tattoo Man, and I waited it out until almost 5 p.m., and it was well worth the wait. What a nice group of folks! Zdenek, the leader, had this van which was all decked out for the trip.


The rest of the folks followed along in cars or (mostly) on motorcycles. There were 25 of them altogether, and they seemed to be enjoying their trip very much. They set up cameras, as they're making a documentary about the first ever Czech Route 66 Tour. So, Route 66 and Afton Station will be brought to the attention of another European country, which is good for us, good for the Road, and good for the people of Czechoslovakia. Read more at: ABOUT - První ceské informacní stránky Route 66

Checking out the merchandise

Photographing the front of the Station and Tattoo's car


Ken Riches said...

Love the stilt man :o)

How excellent to get 56 visitors on a Tuesday.

Dave McLane said...

I posted the following on Manu's blog:

I have a friend in Hackberry, AZ which is the last town of any size on Route 66 before Kingman, AZ. The Hackberry General Store is a stopping point for many tours coming from Europe, when I was there a few weeks ago there was a tour from Denmark.

Once you cross the Colorado and leave Needles, AZ, there's a long stretch which loops south of I-40 and there's almost nothing until you get to Ludlow which is back on I-40.

If possible, I'd like to meet up with you, provide assistance if needs be and do a story for Open.Salon. You already have my e-mail: my tel is 928-427-4714 but my French is long gone ... so e-mail is probably better.