Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Spirit of 66

Here's an article published by City Watch of Los Angeles. It says a lot about the camaradie of folks along Route 66 and what we're willing and eager to do to make our visiting travelers feel welcome and secure.

The photo in the article is mine, and Afton Station is mentioned.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Column: Part II

The column (see Aug. 28 post) has been embellished. Need I say more?

Phil had his second cast removed last week. Here's what he did with it. He's so creative! See July 30th post to see his first one.

There's much excitment being generated about Saturday's Afton Route 66 Clean Up Day! People from town are starting to sign up, and I even had a call from a couple in Sand Springs, OK who have no ties to Afton or Route 66 who want to sign up to work. They heard about it from the article in the Tulsa World on Sunday and thought it was a worthy cause. This just may turn into a really big deal! I hope so! I'm still not sure if I need to get 10 hot dogs or 100 to serve for lunch, but it looks like it will be somewhere in between, on the high side. The more the merrier!

The towns employees are also getting involved. Looks like the "WELCOME TO. . ." signs on either side of town will finally get their "AFTON" back. We noticed this one, ready to be bolted back together, as we came into town from the west this morning. Later, we heard that the one on the east side of town is also being worked on. Additionally, we saw people weed whacking on some of the vacant lots in town today. Things are starting early. I'm thrilled.

We didn't have a ton of travelers today, but it was busy anyway, with lots going on in regard to the clean up project. Our visitors came from Freeport TX, Warsaw Poland, Fairland, OK, and 200 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan gentleman works on the pipeline. Sounds like an interesting way of life. The young couple from Warsaw, Poland was having their first experience in the U.S.A. They will be visiting all of Route 66, plus Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and San Francisco. We also had drop-in visits from Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones and Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker. Betty W. spent some time with us, too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ironic Ionic?

Is Afton going Greek? This column is the latest addition to Route 66 as it passes through the town. It joins the 8-burner commercial stove and the pink bathtub, both of which have littered the street for months. The column is Ionic, it's ironic (since it has appeared just prior to Clean Up Day), and since it's on Route 66, I guess you could call it iconic, too. You never know what might show up along the side of the road in Afton, Oklahoma.

Today was Robin's birthday, so we celebrated with a little chocolate cake and one balloon. :-) Our Afton Station birthdays tend to be a little lame because we keep getting sidetracked when visitors come through the door. Today, however, we had some quiet time in which to congratulate Robin.
There was a really nice article about me and my postcard collecting habit in today's Tulsa World. If you'd like to see it, go to I think it's good, but I'd like to hear other opinions. There were other things I would have liked to have said, but I talked the ear off the poor reporter as it was. Here's the guy who did the article, Jason Ashley Wright. He was a joy to meet and talk to. Nice guy and good writer. And thanks to Ron M. for "nominating" me when Jason put out a call for "interesting" people to interview. Ron is not only a good friend, but also a crack publicity agent. LOL! (P.S. I'm not that interesting.)

Today's visitors came from near and far. . . mostly near. In fact, everyone came from Oklahoma -- Grove, Spavinaw, Afton, Moore -- except for one young man on a motorcycle, from Miyazaki, Japan. I think the overseas travel season is winding down now, but there is still a lot of traffic in August and September, so we're still open 7 days a week.

Pastor Ted came by to talk about the Clean Up Day. He's keeping up his work toward the event despite serious illness, and I must say he's a committed and dedicated man. I wish him well with his medical complications and hope he'll be strong enough to participate fully on Saturday.

I think I'll close with this morning's sunrise.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


First of all, to all my East Coast friends: If you're reading this, you apparently have power, thus you must be ok. Hang in there. Better yet, hang on to something for dear life. Don't let the wind and water get 'ya. Here in Oklahoma, we're sitting this one out for a change. But you can be sure we're thinking about you.

The morning at Afton Station was a bit slow, so Ron M. took it upon himself to scrub the bathroom floor. I don't know what I'd do with that guy! Thanks, Ron!

Yesterday (when I wasn't in Afton) Pastor Ted, the man who is coordinating the work assignments for Clean Up Day, brought in this beautiful creation. It's a sign-up sheet for those who plan to attend the event. We need everyone who plans to work that day to sign up in advance so we know how much food to buy. The board also includes photos of some of the most "needy" places in town, those which really need our muscle power. Two problems, however. Pastor Ted is quite ill and in and out of the hospital on an almost daily basis. I do hope he rallies and can continue his good work. Secondly. . . we need more signatures! So far, there are only those of us who work at the Station. I'm hoping the town folks will begin to come in and put their names on the line. We have room for 138 volunteers!

We had 22 visitors today, and most of them were somewhat local. The World's Largest Calf Fry Festival is being held in Vinita today, so many of our guests came from there. As I have mentioned before, calf fries are. . . well. . . the testicles of baby cows. Their removal turns a bull into a steer, but they also make for fine eating! Some people I know won't even consider partaking of them (ahem. . . Ron M.), but I find them very tasty, and so do the people who came to Afton Station today, all of whom stood in long lines to get a plate of the delicacies and enjoyed them thoroughly.

Our 22 visitors came from Ft. Worth TX, Drexel MO, Osawatamie KS, Huntsville AL, and Grove, Talala, Quapaw, Leonard, Bernice, Miami, Tulsa, and Watts, OK. This couple from Huntsville, Alabama won the Distance Award today. They're going the whole Route on this trip. I absolutely love his t-shirt, which he bought at Eisler Brothers in Riverton, KS. I think it's the nicest Route 66 t-shirt I've ever seen.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't Forget!

One week from tomorrow, Saturday, September 3, is Afton Route 66 Cleanup Day! Plans are going well. We have most of the food arranged, and one man in town has managed, despite a rather serious illness, to contact property owners on Route 66 to get permission to come on their land and remove debris and overgrown brush. One burned out house has already been razed and the remains are being hauled away. A citizen with a brush hog has volunteered his services to clear land. So far, the town seems to be behind the effort.

Remember, we will start at 7 a.m. with coffee and donuts at Afton Station. At noon, there will be hot dogs and side dishes (bring one!) for lunch. Water and other drinks will be available all day at the Station. All of this is free for those who pitch in and work. You must sign up prior to the day, if possible, at the Station. If you're from out of town, just let me know here on the blog if you plan to come and that will be good enough for me. Also, let me know what kind of work you'd like to perform on that day. I'll put you on the list. Hope to see you next Saturday!

Disclaimer: Although it's mighty cute, this is not the Afton Cleanup Day shirt. We don't have one. I stole this one from Google Images. :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Day in the Life. . .

What is my day at Afton Station really like? Some of you might enjoy a chronicle of a "typical" day (although no days are really typical!). Others will think this is "booorrrr-ing". That's ok, too. Just move on to another blog, because I'm going to go ahead and attempt this. Here we go, minute by minute. . .

8:55 -- Arrive at Afton Station
9:00 -- Kids from Cleora Middle School come in and ask me to contribute to their yearbook fund by buying an ad. I did.
9:20 -- Put out flags, open back showrooms, check figures from yesterday
9:45 -- Call from daughter Sarah. She made it home to Chicago just fine (albeit a bit late) yesterday.
9:55 -- Rehung pictures in restroom which were displaced when Marly installed the new cabinet in there. Cabinet is a really great addition to the bathroom.
10:00 -- Turned on A/C. Tried to do without it today, but it got way too hot and stuffy.
10:20 -- Wrote some checks for purchases.
10:30 -- Start to read morning newspaper. Phil arrives to see if he can help. I said yes, of course.
10:35 -- Man from Pryor, OK arrives on a bicycle. He said he drives his car to a different small town every time he has a day off, then bikes around the town. Neat idea!
11:00 -- Friend Jon Edwards arrives to retrieve some information he forgot when he was in Afton on Tuesday. Nice to see him again.
11:30 -- Betty Wheatley arrives to visit for the morning
11:40 -- The couple below, from Barcelona Spain, arrives. Here's the great story of the day: All of us on our Route 66 Yahoo email list were asked yesterday by fellow shop owner, Rich Henry of Henry's Rabbit Ranch on Route 66 in Illinois, to look for a young couple from Spain driving a white SUV. Rich had accidentally shortchanged them by $10 when they visited his place, so he sent out the online alert and asked if any other shopkeepers met them along the way, would we please give them a $10 bill, and he would reimburse us later. Welllllll..... 4 Women on the Route up in Galena, KS was visited by them late yesterday and gave them the $10. But when they came in here, I immediately asked them if they were the people who were owed $10. They laughed and laughed. Seems that every place they'd stopped since yesterday morning were wanting to give them the money! Because of the language barrier, they didn't quite understand why this was happening, but they concluded that Route 66 people are the nicest and most honest people in the world! What a nice human interest story, and what a great thing Rich Henry did by making sure the young Spaniards wouldn't be cheated in Route 66, even if unintentionally. 11:50 -- Visits from man on motorcycle from Banner Springs, KS.
12:00 -- Two handsome young men, one from Milano, Italy and one from Strassbourg, France, traveling together, arrive.
12:30 - 2:30 (approx.) -- Various visitors from Fort Cortez CO, Ripley OK, and Quebec City, Canada. The three Quebec folks were on motorcycles and intended to travel the full length of Route 66. When there were no guests, Phil and I chat about this and that. Phil gives tours of the car showrooms.
2:30 -- Called the Mayor of Afton to talk about details of the upcoming Clean Up Route 66 Day.
2:45 -- I finally get around to eating two crackers and some dip.
3:00 -- Phil decides to stay late to see if any more visitors come. I head for home.
4:35 -- I arrive home to Tulsa and start working on this blog post.

There you have it. Hope you enjoyed my day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mostly Aussies

Slow day, short blog post. It's daughter Sarah's last night here and I'd rather hang with her than type. I know you'll understand. But, I won't go without at least a short resume of the day.

Here are 4 photos from a group of 19 Australians who visited today. As with most Aussie tourists, they were driving rented Mustangs. Their leader, however, has his cool old Caddie. As with every single Aussie I've ever met, they were super, happy, friendly people.

We also had a mere four other visitors, who came from Cincinnati OH, Tahlequah OK, and Afton. Tomorrow I predict I'll have a lot to report, so don't give up on me.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Day, No Time

Very busy day, not much time. Our day included visits from 33 visitors. They were from Orlando FL, seven Japanese men on motorcycles, Kansas City MO, Freehold NJ, Justin TX, Melbourne Australia, and Broken Arrow, Tulsa, Inola, Edmond, Choctaw, Strang, and Cleora, OK.
Here's my daughter Sarah having a little dance with Tripper the Route 66 Penguin!

Here are some of our Japanese motorcycle group.

Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones stopped by to have a photo session with Kelly Ludwig from Kansas City, some of which took place out on the street.

The Japanese tour group got their kicks from taking photos of Tattoo Man, too!

The gentleman holding the Route 66 sign is celebrating his 66th birthday on the Mother Road! His friends came along to celebrate with him.
Mike Hollowell from Tulsa came to proudly show off his '51 GMC truck, which he plans to keep "as-is" rather than restoring it. I agree completely! The innards, however, are in great working order. I LOVE this truck!

Wonderful day!


Since I can't seem to shrink Ron's slide show of the Waldmire mural, just go to: to see the whole thing.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sarah and Other Delights

Every day is a good day when my daughter Sarah is visiting from Chicago. That's happening now. She came for a few days and I'm sharing her with her father. Today she spent the day at Afton Station with me, and it was a lot of fun, as usual. It wasn't a very busy day, but it was a good one.

We had visits from Tattoo Man (back from Tucumcari where he got his 99th tattoo), Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker, Phil, and Robin. Ron M. drove up to Afton with us this morning and was his usual helpful self. Phil and Robin restocked the drink fridge, a stubborn job involving a lot of heavy lifting, which I hate. I found out yesterday that Marly has managed to procure a donation of lots of hot dogs and bottled water for Clean Up Day from the little convenience store in town. I have the greatest people around me at Afton Station. I feel so blessed!

Our visitors today came from Owensboro KY, Choctaw OK, Baxter Springs KS, Miami OK, Christchurch New Zealand, and Florence Italy.

Here are a couple of photos of my dear Sarah at the Station today. Of course she had to try on the wooden shoes. Did I mention that she's a little nutty?Here, she's calmly reading a magazine, pretending she's not nutty, I guess. There's Tattoo Man in the background.

Here's a better photo of the Waldmire mural. Ron M. is putting together a slide show of each individual quadrant of the masterpiece, so when that's done you'll be able to see it close-up.

Ron M. also made this bio of Bob to be displayed with the mural.

I'll be back tomorrow with further Route 66 adventures.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Progress On All Fronts

It was a big day at Afton Station today because there was great progress on two ongoing projects. Early this morning David, Marly and I met with Ottawa County Commissioner Earls to talk about the placement of the granite monument which will demark the beginning of the historic 9-foot "Ribbon Road" a mile from Afton Station. We've been waiting forever (like 2 years) to get a final OK from Oklahoma DOT, and now that we have the proper permission we can proceed. The Commissioner delighted us by saying that his men (shown in photo in neon shirts) will do the installation of the monument and will turn the land around it, which is now a tangle of weeds, into a parklike setting. They'll also make a parking area and install a fence. The work will commence in less than two weeks! We are excited! David will go and pick up the monument (about 300 miles away) as soon as the work starts. YIPPEE!
Here's the site as it is now. Check out the original pavement in the foreground, which the crew promised not to touch or alter in any way. Stay tuned to see the site in a month or so, when it's a done deal.

Meanwhile, Marly and Ron M. hung the big Waldmire mural today. It looks absolutely spectacular up there on the wall. It's 4' by 8', so it was no small feat to get it up there and attached to a concrete wall. Here's Marly admiring his work. I'll post a better photo of the actual mural after the weekend.
Oh yes, and we also had visitors today! There were 17 of them, from Muncie IN, Grove OK, Bologna Italy, Ft. Worth TX, Lodi OH, Timpson TX, Pierce City MO, Fuscaldo Italy, and Santa Cruz, CA. This couple was returning from California, where the Italian gentleman was sworn in as a U.S. citizen! Big congratulations to him! His fiancee is from California, and they were taking a little Route 66 cruise so she could show him "the heart of America".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cooling Off

Not the weather. Me. I think I need a little break from rushing through blog posts in the little time I have between getting home from Afton and going to bed. So, for one day only (I hope), I'm going to post a short, probably boring recap of my day. After all, you're probably tired of hearing me run on and on anyway. Right?

To show the possible origin of the mellowness I feel this evening, here's a picture of this morning's sunrise. How could anyone view something that lovely and not go through the day feeling laid back and just happy to be alive?

I held down the Afton Station fort myself today, but it wasn't a strain because most of the morning was slow, with things getting busier as the day went on. Altogether, I met 18 folks -- from Washington MO, Oreville CA, Branson MO, San Francisco CA, Vinita OK, Oakland CA, and Grove OK, and Verona Italy.

Pastor Wynn from the local Baptist church, whom I'm helping to organizing the upcoming Sept. 3 Afton Route 66 Clean Up Day, came in to collect a check that was dropped off with me. We now have more than $500 with which to purchase supplies (paint, tools, garbage bags, etc.) and food for the volunteers that day. Pastor Wynn is a real mover and shaker. Yesterday, he arranged (not all that easily) to have a burned out house on the edge of town razed. There was a certain amount of red tape involved in getting the permission to destroy it, but he got it done! Since it was one of the first things one saw when entering Afton on Route 66 from the west, this is a great first effort to beautify the town. This remaining pile of rubble will be removed and buried tomorrow.

Love those puffy little Oklahoma clouds in the photo, too.

Well ok, maybe I rambled on more than I'd indicated, but I'm done now. See you tomorrow or Thursday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ma and The Auto

Since I'm not in Afton today, here's a little entertainment for your viewing pleasure. It's really quite charming!

Thanks to Greg Hasman, who posted it earlier.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coincidentally. . .

This was a day of coincidences all the way around, but the most amazing one was this. To preface, we have very few visitors from the African continent. VERY few. So, today one of our first visitors was a gentleman from Ruetenburg, S. Africa. Not five minutes after he arrived, a family from Windhoek, Namibia came through the door. There was no prior contact between these folks until they met at Afton Station. Then, not much later, a man from Tunis, Tunisia arrived. He, too, had no relationship with the earlier visitors. Unbelievable! Must have been African Day at Afton Station!

Here is the family from Namibia and, on the far left, the traveler from S. Africa. Wish the fellow from Tunis had arrived by the time this picture was taken.The African invasion was the mere tip of the iceberg. It was a wildly busy day, with 51 visitors from all over the place. They were from Paris France, Milan Italy, Prairie Grove AR, Kansas City MO, Arizona City AZ, and Vinita, Monkey Island, Stillwater, Miami, and Bixby, OK. Here, the solo traveler from Arizona gets her kicks by sitting in the DeSoto.And then, toward the end of the day, the rumble of motorcycles heralded the approach of a large group. In roared 20 motorcycle tourists from all over France, being led by a man representing "All Ways on Wheels", a French tour company. They were awfully nice folks, and the good news is that another group from "All Ways on Wheels" will visit Afton Station tomorrow! Here are some of the French folks taking a good look at the cars.

Remember that retro TV set from the '50s or '60s that sat on the sidewalk across the street from Afton Station for over a year? Well, we now own it! Long story. Just know that we didn't steal it, pilfer it, or attain it in any illegal way. And we didn't pay a cent for it! It needs a good cleaning and waxing, but then it will sit in one of our showrooms to bring back some memories.

Today, Ron M. and I cleared a space on one wall where the Waldmire mural will be hung. If all goes well, Phil and Marly will hang it tomorrow. I can't wait!!!!


Here are the two photos missing from yesterday's post. Ron M. managed to retrieve them from my SD Memory card. He's a genius! This is the tower in Tulsa with the man who climbed up three days ago, and for all I know, is still there. The sunrise in the background was lovely.
This is the daughter, and her husband, of the runner who participated in the 1928 Transcontinental Footrace on Route 66.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Afton Children's Museum

No, we haven't changed our focus, but you'd hardly know it by the number of neighborhood kids that have been visiting Afton Station the last few days. It's turned out to be quite the town hangout among the middle school set. They're all very nice kids, and some of them have already indicated that they'd like to sign up to work on Clean Up Day. I think they're all just getting bored, since summer vacation doesn't end until next week. We enjoy having them, however, and they ask good questions.

On the way to pick up Ron M. on our drive up to Afton this morning, I stopped to check out the man who climbed a radio tower here in Tulsa two days ago and won't come down. According to all I've heard and read, he's not suicidal, just in a mental state that makes him want to get away from it all. When I got to the tower, the sun was rising gloriously in the background, however due to a camera malfunction I don't have a photo to show you at this time. I haven't heard the news since I got home, so I'm not sure if he's come down from his perch yet.

This is Robert Madison Henson. He was a competitor in the Route 66 International Transcontinental Footrace held in 1928 by promoter C.C. Pyle to celebrate and publicize the opening of Route 66. Unfortunately illness brought about by eating a lemon caused him to find it necessary to drop out of the race west of Tulsa, but making it from Los Angeles to Tulsa was no mean feat in those days of inadequate footwear and lousy accomodations and food. Why am I telling you this? Because I had the honor of meeting his daughter today, as she and her husband came for a visit to Afton Station. They live in Claremore, but never knew much about the race until starting to hear a lot about Andy Payne, the eventual winner from Foyil, OK. It was most interesting to hear what her father told her about the race. The photo above is from my official program from the race. (Yes, I have one..... brag, brag!) I'll provide a photo of Mr. Henson's daughter if I find a way to restore my photos.

Other visitors today, not counting all the neighborhood kids, came from Tulsa OK, Tucson AZ, Joplin MO, Grove OK, Austin TX, Seneca KS, and Schagen, the Netherlands. Weatherwise, it was an absolutely glorious day. We didn't turn on the air conditioner all day and were entirely comfortable.

Check out this commercial, taken at Afton Station in March, by the Brother Company. It's one of a series of ads with Route 66 themes. This one features Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones.

Here are the two photos mentioned above. Ron M. managed to retrieve them for me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Typical" Day

If there's any such thing as a "typical" day at Afton Station, I guess this could be one of them. Not too busy, not too quiet. Lots of nice people. Lots of interesting stories. Twenty-two of them in all, 7 from overseas and 15 from right here in the USA. Some visits from friends, too. Ron M. was there, and both Phil and Marly dropped in for a while as well. Ted Wynn, who is the mover and shaker behind the upcoming Sept. 3rd "Afton Clean Up Day" stopped in to talk about plans for the big day. He's doing a ton of work toward the goal, and I'm sure hoping that many Aftonites come out for the day!

Several kids from town dropped in, too. These three little boys spent a good bit of the afternoon with us. Earlier, four other kids came in, used the penny pincher machine, and hung out for a while. School starts next week, so kids are using their last few free hours visiting us. I'm honored!
Guests were from Rome Italy, Graz Austria, Joplin MO, Richland MO, Pittsburgh KS, Sapulpa OK, Mansfield TX, Yukon OK, and Ocala FL.

Here are the young folks from Rome, Italy enjoying the DeSoto.
This gentlemen, shown here with his wife, is the president of the Tulsa Chapter of the Vintage Automobile Club of America. They came to make preliminary plans for the club's visit in October.
And so went the day. It was the kind of day, like so many, that make me remember how very happy I am to be fulfilling my lifelong dream of working with and helping travelers on Route 66. A "typical" day at Afton Station is nothing short of wonderful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You know you're from Afton if. . .

As you know, I'm a newcomer to Afton, having only known about the town for the last 12 years. However, recently I was invited to join a Facebook group in which Afton "old timers" are finishing the sentence "You know you're from Afton if. . .". There have been almost 100 replies in less than a day, and I'm enjoying every one of them. It's quite the window into the Afton of gentler, sweeter, and livelier times. It's bittersweet. On one hand, it warms my heart to hear about the vitality of the town that's now a shadow of its former self. On the other hand, it saddens me to find out what's been lost along the way.

I'm sure many of the recollections could apply to any tiny town in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Having never lived in such a town, I am charmed by what I'm reading. YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM AFTON IF. . .

". . .you competed in the Egg toss contest at the Afton Day celebration."

". . .as a kid you played in the Victors old hay barn in town."

". . .if you know the sound that peacocks make." (This refers to the peacocks that lived at Buffalo Ranch, the Route 66 tourist trap on the outskirts of Afton.)

". . .you remember the egg farm on the east side of town and the trash/junk yard/ shooting range on the west end of town."

". . .if you know where the dive "cliffs" are/were. More like juming off cliffs or scaling down to the bottom until you can crawl into the water.... to us."

". . . if you loved to ride the stuffed horse at Buffalo Ranch."

". . .you've helped run cattle back in the fence on your way to school."

". . .remember the "joints" on either side of town where "liquor-by-the-wink" was served."

". . .you get locked in the meat locker a Bassett's (Grocery) by one of the Twins while your Mom is shopping. Wasn't so funny when Tom found me."

". . .you know you are from afton if you do something 5 miles out in the country and your father already knows what you did before you get home!!! "

". . .you know what Dairy Ranch is and you miss Betty's Cherry Limeades..........or you know what a Rocketburger is........or if you were late for school because you had cows out and you had to get them back in.........or if you were late for school because of a train......" (The Dairy Ranch was also known as "Betty's Place", referring to "our" Betty W. who is my dear friend and spends a lot of time at Afton Station now that she's retired. It's amazing how many recollections involved Betty and her drive in!)

". . .Hair Teezers was the place to be on a Saturday morning...Sandy always did my granny's hair and I would love sittin there listenin to all the ladies gossip...I usually got all the awesome inside scoop there!!"

". . .the co-op had the best Grapette pop. My wonderful dad dumped his wheat and got me a pop!"

". . . leg wrestling in your living room floor, or possum hunting (seriously) were some of the things you did for entertainment with the guys you dated."

". . . if you was at a friends house and thier parents would whip you if you needed it. And when you got home you knew what was coming. We didn't have the problems with kids like we do today."

I'll stop now, but there are vastly more I could post here. Hope you've enjoyed a peek into a small town just as much as I have.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It Has Arrived!

It's been a while since I stopped on my way to Afton to photograph a sunrise. This one was worth the stop however. The sun was hiding behind what looks like an exploding cloud. Very pretty and very majestic!!

We had one of the slowest mornings ever at the Station. By 1 p.m. we'd seen no visitors whatsoever. Odd, since the 100+ temps have calmed down little and the morning was actually beautiful. Phil was with me today and we had a good chance to talk and get to know each other better. He's such a valuable volunteer.

At around 1 p.m. some people started to arrive. Here are two fine looking young men from Italy who are cruising all of Route 66. There were also visitors from Salina KS, Jay OK, and Chicago IL. Phil volunteered to stay another hour or two after I left at 3 p.m. He just called to say that he greeted several other folks after I left, including some more Italian folks. The Italians have been out in full force the last week or so. It's nice to know that Route 66 is becoming very popular in that fine country!

Last week I hinted that I was awaiting delivery of something very special which was large and being sent by a shipping company. Today, it arrived at David's house (where, for convenience, I had it sent) and he brought it over to the Station.

Steve Rider, my friend and fellow postcard collector, has sent me this treasure -- an 8' x 4' mural hand painted by Bob Waldmire!! It was once part of George Rook's collection, and Steve obtained it from a collector in Connecticut. It's a big and beautiful and, of course, extraordinary map of Route 66 complete with all the little touches that make it a true Waldmire. I am so, so thrilled by this and I can't thank Steve enough.

We removed the box but have left on the bubble wrap until we can affix it to a wall. But first we have to find a perfect place for it, on a wall that's big enough to contain it and where visitors can see it and photograph it with ease. However, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of it with the bubble wrap still on it. So, here's a peek , although it does it no justice. As soon as we unwrap it, I'll post much better pictures.