Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rent a COW to ride?

What's wrong with this picture? :-)

Shouldn't it say "Rent a COW to Ride"? These cows came down to see us as we passed the horse pasture on Route 66 just outside of Tulsa. Ron M. and I were on our way to Afton this morning and snapped this pic. I don't think they were particularly interested in being ridden.

It was another encouraging day at Afton Station, with seven visitors. Although our visitor count won't equal that of last February, it wasn't terrible considering the unbelievably bad weather all month. Today, some folks came from Bernice OK, Joplin MO, Kansas City MO and Grove, OK. One gentleman brought in an interesting metal coin from a Studebaker/Pierce Arrow dealer, probably from the 30s, but I couldn't identify it. Another arrived in a very slick '68 Corvair convertible. I sold lots of merchandise today, and that always a little icing on the cake.

Our friend Josh from Fayetteville, AR came and brought some more of his wife's fabulous hand-made soap, this time sporting really nice Route 66 labeling. I plan to sell them and I feel sure they'll be popular items at Afton Station. And they smell so goooood! They make the whole Station smell less like 75 years of stale grease and more like a spice shop.... nice!

We put out the '65 Chevy convertible today, in order to shamelessly attract people to the Station. It worked pretty well, but we also had a lot of folks stop to look at the car but then drive on without coming in. Ron took this picture of the slick interior.

Then he wandered down the street and took this photo of the backs of a couple of Afton's less picturesque buildings, or what's left of them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"OMG, I'm in Oklahoma!"

Every now and then a person will have one of those "aha" moments (or perhaps they're called "OMG" moments in the digital age). I happen to have them quite frequently, and this morning was one such moment. There I was, driving down Old 66 somewhere between Chelsea and Vinita, on the same route I travel multiple times each week, and suddenly the "aha" bonked me so hard on the head that I stopped the car dead in its tracks (which, by the way, is no big deal, traffic-wise, on Old 66 at 7 a.m.).

I looked around me. Dry, dead winter pasture land, no particularly spectacular terraine, nothing much really. But, here I was! I was in Oklahoma! Yes, I really truly was! Even after almost 10 years here, I still get crazy chills when I realize that I'm no longer stuck in southern Connecticut, that THIS is a place where not every little piece of land has been built on, improved, haggled over, paved, "artistically" landscaped, infused with auto emissions, and then scoffed at if not aesthetically perfect. No, this stretch of Route 66 is a whole lot of nothing, unless of course you happen to like big skies that you can actually see, wide open spaces, and the aura of distant drumbeats of long-vanished Plains Indians. I'm one of those who happens to think that this is just the most wonderful place on earth, and yes, I still have to pull to a stop in the middle of the road sometimes and pinch myself to realize that I'm actually here. Oklahoma needs to put me on a billboard, because if I'm not it's biggest fan, I don't know who is. And Route 66? How can I not worship the road that got me here?

I pulled into Afton Station at 9:30, right at opening time instead of my usual 45 minutes early. I took my time getting here this morning, savoring all those "aha" moments. There's the all-too-familiar chill in the air and I'm shivering in front of the space heater until the big heater renders this big room manageable. I see from the guest book that David had some people from Waukesha, Wisconsin stop in yesterday. I hope I have a few visitors today.

I'm home now. As the morning wore on, Tattoo Man arrived sporting his new and very elaborate tattoo tribute to Bob Waldmire. Betty followed closely behind. And then we had visitors! Yes, visitors! The first was a man and son from Anderson MO, his other son from Bartlesville, OK, and son's friend from Grove, OK. Later, a family of four that just moved to Miami, OK from Warner Robbins, GA came to visit. They're spending the weekend exploring their new home state, concentrating on Route 66. I loaded them up with guide books to help with their travels. Another visitor was a man who's visited before, a fellow postcard collector from Seneca, MO who traded me some great little leather datebooks for a handful of postcards. Another gentleman, Johnny from the Afton Public Works Dept. (actually, I think he IS the Afton Public Works Dept.) came in to bring me a great old 1931 magazine he found. It has some beautiful car ads in it, including a Packard ad, and some interesting editorials about coming out of a depression which have some relevance for today's economic conditions. It turned out to be a great day!

Here's one of today's visitors. I thought her name, LaStarza, was interesting, and she was a sweet little girl.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Possibly the greatest bargain of all time!

Yesterday, while waiting for visitors to Afton Station who never came, we were thumbing through some reading matter that had been left there. In a magazine called Details, there was an article about the current popularity of necklaces for men. There was a picture of some of these necklaces, and they ranged in price from $1,385 for a Gucci number to $100 for a safety pin on a chain. Ok, we said, we can do better than this. Why shouldn't a humble Route 66 tourist trap inside of an old gas station enter the world of men's fashions? We can DO this!

We drilled holes in some of our nice shiny pressed pennies, found some sturdy and semi-decorative cord and VOILA! The first and only official Route 66 Afton Station Squashed Penny Necklace for Men! (And for women too, incidentally.)

So why spend a ton of money on a bauble? You, too, can feel comfortable in the world of the metrosexual with one of these beauties.... and at the rock bottom bargain price of $1.50 per necklace! [However, if the demand for these necklaces begins to cause a traffic jam in Afton, we ask that you park on the edge of town, walk in, and please form a line courteously at the door.]

(This is, of course, tongue in cheek. However, I will have the squashed penny necklaces for sale to visitors at Afton Station this season. They're actually kind of neat.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ok, enough of this!

I refuse to get discouraged by the lack of visitors to Afton Station lately. For a while, I worried and fretted and couldn't understand it. But the other day I looked back at my blog posts for exactly this time last year and realized that the dearth of travelers must be due to the weather. Last year at this time, I had daffodils up and blooming in my yard, and we were walking around with short sleeves. This year, everything is still brown, it's downright cold, and now they're talking about a bit of snow again tonight. No wonder nobody is traveling! So far, I've had exactly half the number of visitors as this time last year. I still feel, however, that we'll have a record-breaking year as soon as the weather breaks.

Oh, by the way, we had NO visitors today... again! Ron M. and I sat around all day and finally went home at around 1:30. The place is so clean and organized now that there isn't even that much to keep us busy. Well, not quite.... I guess we could have waxed the floors or something, but I guess we were just lazy.

I tried another new place in Tulsa for breakfast this morning. The Corner Cafe has been a long-time fixture at the corner of Route 66 and Peoria Ave., but they just opened a new branch near Ron M.'s house, so I stopped there on the way to pick him up. I was enticed by their newly installed neon. I'm a sucker for nice neon!

Breakfast was ok. It's hard to wreck eggs. The atmosphere is typical diner/cafe and so is the menu. Very basic. There's a "liar's table" in the corner, the gathering place for about a half dozen elderly men in ball caps. I was the only other customer at 6 a.m. I'll try it again some time, but there are other spots I enjoy more, I think.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm sitting alone....

Here's the short essay I mentioned yesterday. I wrote it about 8 years ago when we had just bought Afton Station and were still in the process of restoring it.

I'm sitting alone in a rundown, long-vacant D-X gas station alongside of old Route 66 in Oklahoma. Outside, semis, freight trains, and the mufflerless pickups of local boys compete for dominance of my eardrums. The unrelenting sun smashes through the abundance of plate glass, and it could be broiling in here if not for the ceiling fans which mix it up enough to turn the air from enemy to something my lungs will accept. Across the street, a steady stream of medicated humanity shuffles listlessly on another afternoon outing from the mental day care center around the corner, looking neither left nor right, just straight ahead.

Flies, which long ago learned to avoid flypaper, buzz around my head, particularly enjoying my sweaty neck. A scorpion came to visit earlier, but I smashed it with the phone book then stood on the phone book for a few minutes just to make sure. Now there's a yellow mush of former scorpion over by the door.

I moved here from back east last year. In my suburban town the average home price was over a million dollars. All the women were young and thin and all the men rode trains to Wall Street. For 29 years I was held hostage there, dreaming of some tiny, battered town where I could sit in a gas station and squash the occasional scorpion. It was my Oklahoma dream, my Route 66 dream. I love this hot, dusty, noisy place. I am at one with the flies, and some day the scorpions and I will no doubt find a middle ground, too. There is peace here amid the cacaphony, warmth amid the loneliness, potential peeking from behind hopelessness, beauty in the peeling paint, history in the rafters. This is where I belong, where I have always belonged. One day I will make this old D-X station a tourist mecca where I can show off my love for the old road. Some day I will restore this place. But for now, this place is restoring me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunshine and Roses

The crisp, sunny morning , coupled with the fact that David put the crowd-pleasing '65 Chevy Super Sport convertible out in front of the Station, elevated my hopes that today would be blessed with lots of travelers to keep me busy. It's been such a long, dry spell at Afton Station. Surely it will end soon.

I've been spending the morning shuffling through some old notebooks I had here at the Station and found some of my writings from quite a while back. Tomorrow, since I won't have much to report, I'll post a short essay I wrote when I first came to Afton.

Well, there has been an abundance of visitors today, but not the tourist kind. Tattoo Man was first to arrive, followed closely by a woman from town who stops in every now and then. She's quite the chatterer, so she was still regaling us with stories of her family when Betty arrived. Then Betty's son Harold stopped in and no sooner had he arrived than an elderly gentleman from town (son of the people who once owned the defunct Palmer Hotel across the street) appeared. He had seen Harold's hay truck parked in our driveway and asked him if he'd assist him in moving a few bales of hay. This was becoming Old Home Week at Afton Station. David remained all day too, working on cleaning up his workroom. Near the end of the day, a trucker from Chicago came in to look at the cars. There seems to be an abundance of truckers visiting this year so far.
Tattoo, Mary Margaret, and Betty
I found a new place for breakfast this morning in Claremore. I didn't stop, but will do so later in the week. It was never open for breakfast before, but it looks like a great little mom 'n pop type cafe. This pic was taken without flash, in the dark. Please excuse.Betty brought me these roses for my birthday, which is tomorrow. Pretty, aren't they?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Soap and such

The day at Afton Station was both good and bad. The good parts: Ron M. came with me, friend Josh Bowen from Fayetteville, AR stopped by and stayed for most of the day, and Betty, whom I haven't seen for a week, was able to stop by for a while. The bad parts: Cold rain falling all day and only three legitimate visitors. They were from Eucha, OK and came specifically to see the '58 Packard Hawk. The gentleman used to have one, and since they're very rare he came to see ours. I'm not saying that their visit was a bad thing. It was great to have them. It's just that we all would have enjoyed seeing more people on the road today.

Josh, who has visited several times before, brought four bars of the soap that his wife makes. They smell absolutely divine and are beautifully crafted and packaged. Today he brought Lavender, Orange-Clove, Pomegranate, and a cute Honey scented bar impressed with little bees. I have asked her to create some Route 66 soap that I can sell at Afton Station. Her soaps are truly well-crafted, made with natural ingredients, and are, well, just really neat.

Josh is about as much of a wanderer I am. It's good to know someone else who would rather be behind the wheel of his car than anywhere else. His visits to Afton Station are always welcomed.

Ron M. brought me a container of the chicken and noodles he made last night, so I'm off to enjoy it now.... and to watch the Olympics, of course.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


When the fog folds itself around my car, making me feel like I'm maneuvering inside a giant cotton ball, driving becomes somewhat claustrophobic, but nonetheless kind of fun. I'm naturally claustrophobic, as shown by my reluctance to fly, my need for natural light in every room of my home, and insistence that I take my treatments in the only room with windows in my dialysis unit. Today, heavy fog shrouded me, my car, and everything else as I drove down Route 66 to Afton. In a way, the fog is good. It proves that it's getting warmer. It's the first day in months that I haven't dreaded shivering through taking out the flags and signs. David brought me a more efficient space heater, but I'm not sure I'll need it today. Even so, I'm rooting for some sun.

Right after opening I had a visitor, a trucker from Dunkirk, NY. He was driving an 18-wheeler flatbed with nothing on the truck except a motorcycle. I told him he really needed to get a smaller and more efficient bike carrier. :-) Actually, he was just returning home empty. I'm sorry to say, he's the first and last visitor I had today. True, it wasn't a very pretty day, but it's a weekend so I expected to be busier.

David and his son Patrick arrived almost immediately after I opened up, and they stayed until 2 p.m. We made some pressed penny necklaces, and of course Patrick "needed" some popcorn from the new machine. David took Patrick out and showed him how to drive the tractor. Not bad for a 4-year-old!
I had a call from the owner of Route 66 Vintage Iron in Miami. They're sponsoring a poker run for the Red Cross on May 1 and asked us to be one of the stops. Indeed we will! We love to host folks on poker runs. Fun!

I stopped for breakfast at Clanton's again this morning, but didn't have the giant omelet this time. I sat right next to one of their photo walls, and managed to snap these two photos of the "old" Clanton's. Remember, it's the oldest family-owned restaurant on Route 66 -- one year older than the Mother Road itself. I was surprised to see that the old "EAT" sign has been there for so long.

My homebound trip was through several small downpours but mostly just drizzle. More of same tomorrow, I'm afraid. I hope it doesn't keep the visitors away again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The British are Coming!

I don't even like to tell you about a beautiful warm, sunny day at Afton Station (the first one this season) when Ron M. and I sat there all day WITHOUT A SINGLE VISITOR! I don't believe that's ever happened before. However, I found this on a British travel site shortly after I got home, so it cheered me up and gave me hope that travelers will start pouring in the door soon.

Route 66 is a 'favourite' among Brits
Brits taking a holiday in the US continue to choose to travel along Route 66, according to the United States Travel Association (USTA).Stella Clery-Ackland, UK representative for the USTA and, said many holidaymakers are taking advantage of numerous fly-drive packages and coach tours dedicated to the route, adding the people can rent a Harley motorbike or an open-topped Cadillac to travel along the road."Some visitors will take in Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma, which will give them a taste of the history and pop culture of this famous road," she noted.

So, what did we do today? Well, Ron mopped the floor, I cleaned windowsills and the bathroom, and we talked and read and I did some writing. I took a picture of the old popcorn machine, which I plan to put on Craig's List now that we have a new, smaller one. Since it's the only photo I have for today, here it is. Anybody want this old movie theater machine? I'm willing to deal, but you must pick it up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday. . .

I don't know if it was named after me, or if it means we can eat all the rich, caloric foods we want today. Anyway, I try not to celebrate it. :-)

On the way to Afton this morning I stopped at a new little diner in Chelsea called the Prairie Rose. (Topix puts it in their "Fine Dining" category, but, well. . . that's an incredible miscategorization.). The omelet was marginal but the price was right. [By the way, for those who think my cholesterol must be sky high with all the eggs I consume. . . no. Kidney patients have to keep their albumen and protein levels up, so I'm encouraged to eat all the eggs I can put away.] Anyway, the waitress, one other customer at the counter, and I were the only people there. Lady Antebellum was blasting from the sound system, adding to the small town diner atmosphere, although not necessarily in a good way. Then as I was departing, leaving behind half the omelet, the music changed. Hotel California! One of my favorites! If I hear that song once a year, it haunts me for months.

I see from the Afton Station guest book that there were two visitors yesterday, a couple from Victor, New York. Apparently David was here to let them in. I didn't have any visitors today until after noon, when two gentlemen showed up. One has been there before, a collector of antique motorcycles from Miami, OK. During this visit, like the last time he was there, I tried to talk him into making a motorcycle museum in the building next to the Station. That would be so wonderful, to have another tourist attraction in our sad little town. He brought with him a friend from Tulsa who enjoyed the old cars and bought a small pile of merchandise.

I spent the rest of the day doing some writing. I really feel that tourism will start to pick up as soon as the super-cold weather breaks. That should happen soon. Today was another cold one, with a downright frigid wind chill. I wore my coat most of the day inside the Station. Spring, please PLEASE hurry up!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow, sun, and a horse

I almost turned around and headed back home at 7:30 this morning. I'd picked up Ron M. and was heading for Afton when the snow started coming down in near-blizzard quantities. I freaked out a little, but Ron convinced me to keep going, and after a few minutes the snow had stopped. It was pretty weird. By the time we'd driven the 80 miles from Tulsa to Afton, even the memory of snow had faded. It remained very cold all day, though.

The best way to combat a frigid atmosphere is to do some work, so we set about to clean out my "junk" cabinet, a bigger job than it may seem. I have this great antique cabinet that was a catch-all for anything that came into the Station that had no immediate use. But I was sorely in need of a place to put my stock inventory, so while I organized things Ron did the heavy lifting, and we threw away or stored tons of stuff. I should have taken a "before" photo but didn't. Here's the "after". Now I can see what I have, what I need to order, etc.
We weren't heavy on the visitors today, but we did have a very pleasant family of four stop in. A husband and wife from Grove, Oklahoma were with their two daughters, one who had flown in from Boulder, Colorado and one who had flown in from Asbury, New Jersey, to help their parents make a move. They were taking a little break today for a short Route 66 trip.

There was an odd passer-by today, and I managed to snap a quick photo of him/her. Someone, so bundled up against the cold that it was impossible to tell if it was man or woman, trotted past on a horse, heavily-laden with full saddlebags, thus indicating a long trip and not just an afternoon jaunt. I wish we'd been able to catch the pair before they got away so we could find out where they had come from and where they were going. I recently recall a woman who had announced an upcoming cross-Route 66 trip on horseback, but I believe that's happening this summer. So the mystery remains.

Finally, another good idea from Ron. . . I'm frequently asked about "the funny thing" on the steering wheel of one of the Packards, so recently I asked David for the correct answer -- the throttle. However, I keep forgetting it despite being asked at least once a week. Today, Ron suggested (tongue in cheek) this remedy for my poor memory, learned recently from the behavior of a certain quasi-political entity who got a lot of publicity for her use of the memory method. I've heard it called the Wasilla Teleprompter. It works for me (although she DOESN'T!) :-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Short, Sweet, and Unphotographed

I'm short on time tonight, and not much happened at Afton Station today anyway, so it'll only take you a few minutes to read this and then you can go back to watching the Olympics. (Wasn't last night's opening ceremony great!)

Thank goodness both Betty and Tattoo were there today to keep me company, because we were pretty short on drop-in visitors again. Early in the day, a trucker from Seymour, Indiana stopped and was dazzled by the '58 Packard (which looks like a Studebaker). Later in the day, a couple from Chillicothe, Missouri heading for Dallas stopped for a while. And that's all, folks! I do hope tomorrow will be better. I'm not sure if people roam the roads on Valentine's Day or stay home and cuddle with their honeys. I guess we'll find out!

The good news of the day is that my badge maker probably isn't broken after all. I complained to the company and they sent me new button parts. Now it seems to work fine, so I guess the problem was in the parts and not the machine itself. I'm sure you're all thrilled to hear this. (Ha ha!)

Ok, I'm done for today.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Major Twiddling of Thumbs

Yeah, Ron M. and I had plenty of time to twiddle our thumbs today at Afton Station. Seems not too many people were cruising the Mother Road on this chilly, cloudy day. Our entire visitor roster consisted of one -- yes, ONE -- visitor, a truck driver who said he passes the Station frequently but finally had time to stop today. He was from Alton, Illinois.

The boredom was broken briefly by a visit from David, who brought two gifts. One is the divided tray I asked him to buy for me. I've been madly making and stockpiling small stickers to sell when "the season" begins. This new tray will keep them divided and will help to keep little hands from shuffling them.
David also bought a new popcorn machine for the Station. It will replace the old, big one. It can sit on the small fridge and free up a bit of space for more displays. We tested the new one, and it works just fine. Anybody want to buy an old popcorn machine? It's for sale. And if you're in the neighborhood, come on in for a bag of freshly popped corn!

Ron cleaned and slightly rearranged the counter area, and it sure looks nice now. What did I do? Not much! I was just a lazybones today. Waiting for visitors who never came was my main activity.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's that???

That yellow spot you see over the mirror in the above photo is the rising sun! Yes, the sun! It's been a while since we've seen it around here, and it's nice that it hung around all day. It's still really cold, but that's ok. Seeing the sun fixes everything.

I celebrated the sunshine with another one of those "I'm Never Eating One Of These Again" omelets at Clanton's in Vinita. They're huge and awesome and rich and they leave me groggy all morning. I'm never going to eat one again. No, really. Well, maybe. While there, I got a wad of their business cards from the owner so I can hand them out at Afton Station. See? It was a business call!

Today was extremely long and boring at the Station. There were three visitors, two guys from Neosho, MO who were very interested in the cars, then another guy who just wandered in. I think he was lost. Although he did look around a bit, he didn't seem very interested in much of anything other than how to get to Grove. David was there working all day, so I did have someone to talk to, and that was nice. I really can't wait until the tourists start arriving.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Sunday... in Afton

Just call me impressed by the number of visitors at Afton Station this weekend when I was anticipating, basically, none! This is undeniably not traveling weather, and yet folks are out and about. I've been open for 25 minutes at this writing and have already greeted 5 visitors. A couple from Dallas, Texas on their way home from Missouri were at the door when I arrived. Right on their heels were a grandma and grandpa from Summit, Arkansas with their 4-year-old grandson. I held my breath through their whole visit. The little boy, clearly hyperactive to the max, ran around screaming the entire time. Attempts by grandparents to calm him were met with some good doses of kicking and biting. Whoa! Fortunately, Afton Station was still intact when they left. Not sure about the grandpa, however.

Tattoo Man surprised me by arriving around 10:30 with his new partially-finished Bob Waldmire tattoo. It will be completed next week and he asked me not to post a photo until I can show the finished product. It's very nice!

Tattoo left around 1 p.m. We had two more visitors when he was here, a couple from Big Cabin, Oklahoma. Soon after Tattoo left, Betty W. arrived, stayed with me for a while, and helped me close up when I decided to close 45 minutes early. Since it's Super Bowl Sunday I suspect people will be hunkering down in front of the TV all afternoon. I probably won't, but I might record it so I can watch the ads later. We're expecting more snow tomorrow (maybe 4-8 inches.... GRRRR!). With luck, it won't be around to keep me away from Afton on Tuesday.

David put higher output bulbs in the gas pumps, so now they are well-lighted during the day as well as the night.

Ron M. took this reflection pic yesterday. In it, you can see the new yard flag made by Betty B. and available at Afton Station. It's very well-made, just like all of her merchandise.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mud bar?

Big news in Afton! A bar and grill has opened up in a building that once held another bar and grill but had been closed for several years. It ain't much to look at, but for the first time in quite a few years there's a place to get a sandwich and beer in beautiful downtown Afton. The parking lot, however, makes visiting the establishment a bit dicey, unless you're wearing your hip boots. I'd like to think that they'll be correcting this flaw, but this is, after all, Afton.
Presumably, their signature drink will be a Mudslide. . .

The other good news is that it was a busy day at Afton Station today, much busier than I had anticipated. We had a total of 9 visitors, all of them locals. It was the kind of day when local folks, having been pent up by recent unpleasant weather, wanted to get out and stretch their legs, I guess. Visitors stopped in from Langley, Bartlesville, Afton, and Grove, Oklahoma. Our friends Ron Warnick and Emily Priddy from Tulsa drove up and stayed for an hour or two. Ron M. was with me today. Betty B. met us at the door when we first arrived this morning and brought with her another treasure trove of very, very neat things she crafted herself. If you are in the area, you MUST stop by Afton Station and check out the cool stuff Betty makes. Because she searches the whole country for fabric, she uses some uniquely patterened Route 66 material that you won't see anywhere else to make tote bags and other items. She also works with old license plates and unusual "found" items. Everything is Route 66-related. Come check it out!

We arrived this morning to find the remains of our snow "Mr. Bill" -- just a pretzel mouth, one grape eye, and two plastic knife arms. R.I.P. Mr. Bill!

Last week I said I'd keep you up to date on the progress of the Extreme Makeover home that was being built just off Route 66 in Tulsa. Well, it was finished on Wednesday and the family moved in on Thursday. I never got close enough to take photos during the building project, but we drove past this morning and snapped this photo of the finished product. Remember, this home was built, decorated, furnished, and landscaped in a bit less than ONE WEEK, even after great delays caused by the weather. I still find that remarkable. Over the course of the week, we were able to hear some "inside info" on how the whole project works and I know that much of the planning for the build is done far in advance, but that doesn't alter the fact that the actual construction is honestly done in 6 1/2 days. There were thousands of volunteers involved in the project, and some auxiliary charity events were held in conjunction with it. Interesting. Here's the house. It's very nice.

I'll be in Afton again tomorrow, hoping it will be as busy and varied as today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I didn't go to Afton Station this morning because some important things came up here in Tulsa. This is the last time I'll allow this to happen, but I decided it was a good day to get some somewhat urgent things done at home since it's another ugly rainy day which is probably not very traveler-friendly anyway.

I found this strange video on the internet. It's the song "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" sung in Esperanto. If you've never heard of Esperanto, it's defined in Wikipedia as "the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto, the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887. The word esperanto means "one who hopes" in the language itself. Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy to learn and politically neutral language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding."

In other words, it's a language that isn't really spoken by anyone, but it's there in case we need it. :-) Obviously, someone learned enough of it to translate this song. I'm posting it here just because I think it's kind of bizarre.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mr. Bill

It has been brought to my attention that Ron's snowman (featured in yesterday's blog post) bears a resemblance to Mr. Bill. So I made the comparison myself, and I'm convinced. I think it's the expression in the eyes and flailing arms. . . a combination of fear and amusement.
In further snowman news, I am proud to report that he was featured on the 6 a.m. news/weather report this morning on KJRH-TV, our local NBC affiliate. I sent them the photo, and they chose to show it on the air. Unfortunately, however, they completely ignored the fact that it was on Route 66. That's a shame, because I sent it in to get a little publicity for the Mother Road. Well, at least the shield was prominent in the on-air picture.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

At last! Back to Afton!

After what has seemed like a very long time, I was back at Afton Station full time today. It wasn't the most beautiful day (cold and kind of dark), but that didn't stop three visitors from stopping in. Ron M. was with me, Betty stopped in for a while, and David dropped in, too. There was also a trucker from Fond du Lac WI, a man from Seneca OK, and another gentleman from Miami OK. The man from Miami has a Model T of his own which he's restoring. The trucker has traveled all of Route 66, both for business and pleasure. One of David's winter projects has been to restore the end pieces for the corners of the roof. They're ready to go on as soon as the weather clears a bit. Gee, it was so good to get back in the swing again.

Ron M. made a snowman (a very small one) to celebrate our return to Afton.
Ron is proud of his snowman, which has eyes of grapes and a mouth of pretzel
Ron kissed his snowman. This, I cannot explain. :-)

By the end of the day, the snowman was still standing, but sans eyes and mouth. The temperature went into the 40s, and that's sure death for tiny snowmen.