Thursday, September 29, 2011
I arrived at Afton Station very early today -- 8 a.m. to be exact. Most of "the gang" was here at some point during the day. Ron M. was not, since he had a dental appointment. However Marly, Phil, Betty, and Tattoo Man all stopped in. Phil is polishing the '36 Packard to within an inch of it's life. It looks WONDERFUL! Tattoo Man had a wreck in one of his PT Cruisers and since it was totaled, he's shopping for something new. Never fear, Tattoo was not hurt at all.
Visitors today came from Higginsville MO, Blacksburg VA, Huntsville AR, LaPlaya TX, Springfield MO, Oslo Norway, and Miami, OK.
This is Larry from the Miami (OK) Convention and Visitors Bureau. He came in to pick up some trip guides that were left with me, and in return he left a whole box of his town's guidebook and several other pieces of literature. What a nice guy, with the perfect personality to meet and greet visitors to Miami.
I think that visits from travelers may be starting to wind down a little bit. I hate not having more visitors, but to be honest, I do look forward to taking a day off now and then to do some local exploring. I'll stay open 7 days a week until the end of October, then may cut back on hours.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
It was a very quiet day at Afton Station. Tattoo Man came in early to pick up the camera he'd forgotten on Saturday and I took the opportunity to photograph his newest tattoo of the sign at the about-to-be-restored Boots Motel in Carthage, MO.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
It was a serendipitous day at Afton Station. Ron M. was with me again as was Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones, and the 29 visitors started to arrive almost as soon as we did. This pup named Gabby from Oklahoma City is doing a short OK Route 66 trip accompanied by his person, a very nice man. Although Gabby is obviously good at posing for pictures, he wasn't as serene as a visitor. He got so overly excited that eventually his owner had to take him back to the car. Cute doggie!
This fellow from Cape Town, South Africa is traversing Route 66 on his motorcycle -- very distinguished gentleman with a lot of thoughtful commentary on his journey thus far.
Friend and photographer Michael Scruggs dropped in with his mandolin and his banjo. He tried to encourage me to play, but I failed miserably. There are a few photos of me trying out my musical non-talent, but the pictures of me are as bad as my playing so you won't be seeing them. Michael also regaled us with stories about his job, as "pastor" at a walk-in wedding chapel down the road in Miami, OK. I think I've decided what my next job should be!
Other visitors came from Aukland, New Zealand, Ava MO, Kansas City MO, Ft. Scott KS, Pleasanton KS, Granby MO, Allen TX, Joplin MO, and Carl Junction MO. The expected group from the Czech Republic never arrived. I wonder what happened to them???
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Phil and Robin arrived. Robin helped us greet visitors for several hours while Phil stayed in the back and spit polished a motorcycle. And then. . .. . . our friend Kathy Anderson came for a visit from Edmond, OK and brought with her another batch of t-shirts and sweatshirts for us to sell.
These shirts are hard to keep in stock. The price is right ($22 for heavy sweatshirts and $10 for nice tshirts). And then. . .. . . this little boy from Afton brought his mom and sister over from their home just a few blocks away to hang out for a while. And then. . .. . . repeat visitors Bill and son Chandler dropped in. They're such great guests that this is the second time I've featured them with a photo here on the blog. And then. . .
. . . David brought back two of the cars that were in a parade today. There are three more that haven't been returned yet, so the showrooms looked a little bare today. And then. . .
. . . Betty W. came and sat with us for a while. And then. . .
. . . several more travelers came to visit. They were from Prairie Grove AR, Lincoln AR, and Broken Arrow, OK. And then. . .
. . . on the way out of town we drove down to the Afton Town Hall to see how the voting was going. Voting? On Saturday? Yes, the Cherokee Tribe is re-voting for Tribal Chief today after a recent much-disputed election that was too close to call. With so many Cherokees (and other tribes) present in Oklahoma, choosing their leaders is a big deal. Today was voting day, and I look forward to finding out the results. And then. . .
. . . we drove down to the Ribbon Road (9 Ft. Highway) to check on the word that the county is dumping gravel all over it. The word was true. They are. I'm just sick about it, but will speak to the OK State Historic Preservation officer early next week.
Whew, I'm tired. Time to rest for a few hours before leaving for Afton again tomorrow morning.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
We had other visitors too, of course. They came from Palestine TX, Battle Creek MI, Owenton KY, Horse Creek OK, and Dunlop Ayrshire Scotland. Here are the folks from Palestine. They'll be ending their Route 66 trip in Oklahoma City and doing the western half another time.Phil is about to begin on the large billboards he's painting for Afton Station. I must go and make him some font stencils. See you on Saturday!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
"I read your blog first thing in the mornings before I start my day at work. My husband and I have only traveled Route 66 once, but what a trip! I love the nostalgia that the Mother Road presents and love reading your blog as to what goes on daily in a real Route 66 town and the many visitors you have. I think here is the true spirit of America, the small towns and its' people. I appreciate your traveling as far as you do each day to Afton Station, allowing the roadies of Route 66 a glimpse of the Mother Road."
This one gave me a big smile since it comes from Saudi Arabia. Nobody should dare think that love of Route 66 isn't an international disease!
"I found your blog through a link on Ron McCoy's Antique & Collecting newsletter. I live in Saudi Arabia, and there's not much to do so I check my favorite blogs daily. My father went to school briefly in Afton, and my parents live in the very NE corner of Oklahoma now. I want to visit your museum next summer when I visit them."
I'll publish more of these thoughts as they come in. Thanks to all. See you tomorrow!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Next came a couple from Henderson, Tennessee. We first noticed the desert water bag on the front of their car. Upon chatting with them, we found out that they've been on the road for 6 1/2 weeks and are heading home. He's had the water bag since the '60s and they actually used in in the desert on this trip!
After greeting a few more guests -- from Moore, Vinita, and Broken Arrow, OK -- we decided to close up early and do some investigation. It seems that a visitor yesterday informed us that Mickey Mantle's boyhood home in Commerce (about 20 miles from Afton) had been moved and was sitting on blocks near the center of the town. He even showed us pictures of the house in its new location. We were a little dumbfounded because we hadn't heard a thing about this major development. So. . . off we went to Commerce to see what we could find out.
We found the house on blocks right where the visitor had told us it was. It didn't look quite right, so we proceeded to the place where Mickey's house has always stood. It's still there! I'm not sure how the gentleman's signals got crossed, but he said a person in Commerce gave him the information. I'm so glad we checked.
Here's the house on blocks. . .
. . .and here's Mickey's house at 319 S. Quincy St. It could use a little uplift, but at least it still sits where it belongs. . . for now, at least. If anyone has heard anything about this, please let us know.For quite some time, I've wondered who are the folks who are regular (daily or almost daily) readers of this blog. No special reason, just curiosity. So, if you'd drop me an email (LaurelRK66@aol.com) or put a comment right here on the blog telling me who you are and why you're interested in our daily hijinx at the Station, I'd sure appreciate it!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
We did, however, stop long enough to celebrate the birthdays of Betty W. and Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones (or what's left of him after several weeks of a rigid diet). We had smily-face cookies instead of cake this time, and NO singing was done. Happy Birthday to these two awesome folks!
Here's a picture of the painting I mentioned on Tuesday, done by Jon Edwards and presented to me as a gift. It's an awfully nice painting from an extremely talented friend.
Among our 17 visitors today were these lovely folks hailing from New Brunswick, Canada. Although they're driving Route 66 on this trip, they told us about their several LONG walking trips in France and Spain, 600 miles each. I suggested they try walking Route 66 some day. I know they'd enjoy it and have absolutely no problem doing it.
Another group of jolly Aussies came in toward the end of the day. They're from Sydney and, like every Australian I've ever met, were having a great time and exuding friendly smiles. Other folks came from Knoxville TN, Mineral Wells TX, Nampa ID, Tulsa OK, and Bozman MD, fine folks all!
This is NOT one of today's visitors, thank goodness! Instead he is our first Halloween decoration, provided by Robin and Phil. I hope he doesn't scare too many people away! BOO!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The Ribbon Road Monument! It's here! It's in the ground! All one thousand pounds of it! There's still a lot to be done on the site, but I'm feeling I can breathe a little easier now that we have full cooperation from the town and the county, and Marly was successful in bringing it "home" in one piece from the stone yard on the other side of the state. This morning when I arrived in Afton at 8:30 a.m., the county guys were already hard at work installing the monument and leveling land for the parking area. The site should be finished (or almost) within a week or two.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pappy Litch Park
More details later!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
New buildings at WTC site
It was a fairly ordinary day at the Station. Ron M. was with me, and we had just 13 guests. They came from Logan OH, Jerseyville IL, Tucumcari NM, Springfield IL, Lansing IL, Jacksonville FL, and Vinita, OK.
These two folks from Tucumcari, NM were quite interesting. He has a large collection of vintage cars which can be seen in a big fenced-in area in the city. He said that if anyone wants to view his collection, go to the Blue Swallow Motel. His place is on a side street directly across from the Blue Swallow.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Guest of honor today was my friend and extreme Route 66 collector Steve Rider from Albany, NY. He flew in to attend the Missouri Motor Tour, but left it for the morning in order to drive down to Afton for a visit, his first since quite a few years ago when we were still restoring the Station. He got to see the finished product, and also the Bob Waldmire mural he gave me recently. So very good to see Steve!
In my ongoing attempt to photograph all honeymoon couples who visit, here are two lovebirds from Brussels, Belgium. She's actually from Italy, but they'll be living their married life in Brussels. Congratulations to these cute kids!
Here's Don Wagner and his companion. Don wrote and photographed the lovely book entitled Route 66: The Oklahoma Experience, which I'll be selling at Afton Station beginning tomorrow. It's a bargain at $16 because it's filled with great pictures of important places on the Mother Road in our state. He also wrote a book called Route 66: The Tulsa Experience, a companion to the Oklahoma book.
Along with these folks, we also had visits from travelers from League City TX, Bartlesville OK, Ventura CA, Paris France, Billings MT, San Diego CA, Urbana IL, Joplin MO, Gotheberg Sweden, and Hanover Germany.
Here's the first peek at the monument that will be guiding the way to the Sidewalk Highway as soon as it's in the ground. Marly drove to the other side of the state to pick it up yesterday and brought it "home" successfully. It's still strapped down in the trailer and will remain there until it's time to put it in the ground. Please note that it says "Erected 2010". That reflects the ridiculously long time it took to get permission to erect it! But. . . better late than never!The Golden Driller, that 76 ft. tall statue of an oil field worker that stands in Tulsa, has been turned into a Scotsman for the upcoming Scottish Games. The world's largest kilt (or so they think) has been added to the statue. Ron M. and I snapped this pic on the way to Afton early this morning. (That's a boatload of tartan plaid! Glad I wasn't the seamstress!)
Thursday, September 8, 2011
To most people, this will look like a boring photo of scraped earth. To others (such as me) it is nothing short of wonderful. This is the site of the upcoming installation of the Sidewalk Highway monument that we've been awaiting for close to two years. It's been held up by red tape, but today the guys from Ottawa County started to prepare the land, and Marly has driven across the state (350 miles) to pick up the monument and drive it back to Afton tomorrow. Ottawa Co. says we should have it planted in the ground in less than a week! The entire site won't be done by then however, since the OK Dept. of Transportation is responsible for some elements, and they're notoriously slow. But we should soon be ready to have a big celebration and I, for one, can't wait!
When I left Afton Station this afternoon, Phil was still there with a room full of visitors. He called me about an hour later, when I was about half way home, and said he still had people coming in the door. He's awfully nice to hang in there when I have to leave to drive back to Tulsa.
The domestic visitors came from Greeley CO, Yulee FL, and Claremore, Drumright, Tulsa, and Afton, OK.
Afton "old timer", 86-year-old Melvin Berks, stops in every now and then and always has some great stories to tell. Today's offering was actually rather shocking. I knew that Afton Station once served as a bus station for the town, but I didn't know that one of it's functions was the place where young pregnant girls from all over the state would come in order to pay visits to a well-known abortion doctor who lived nearby. The girls (often as many as 5 a day) would take the bus to Afton and then be transported via taxi to the doctor's office. Melvin's mother happened to be the taxi driver. Interesting, indeed.Melvin also told me that a small stretch of original Route 66 near the Sidewalk Highway used to go across his land, very close to his house. Vestiges of it are still visible there. In order to make his driveway, he broke up a stretch of it, and the pieces of concrete were used to face a couple of buildings in town. The old post office building is one of them.
Say goodbye to the little building on the curve at Dead Man's Corner, also known as 5 Mile Corner by Afton residents. It was once Chubby's Bar and later a flea market. The two country boys who now own it plan to tear down what's left of it. A plaque in the floor indicates it was built in 1948. They have lived in the house behind it for months, with no electricity or running water until just a week ago. They intend to improve the look of the land, but I'm sorry to see the old building fall.
- I'm the owner of Afton Station, in Afton Oklahoma, a small private Route 66 memorabilia and antique car museum housed in a restored filling station. We are visited daily by both domestic and foreign travelers who are exploring the charms of old Route 66. Their stories will be told here (and maybe a little bit of other stuff, too.) Since I live 80 miles from Afton Station, a straight shot on Route 66, you'll probably hear a lot about the Mother Road, too.
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