Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Different Sort of Day

                                 Early sunrise in Tulsa.  Follow the sunrise and you'll be in Afton.

This is the first day I've been alone at Afton Station for ages.   Since I still can't walk worth a darn, Robin opened up for me and will close when I leave this afternoon.  Ron M. is out of town, and I haven't had many guests yet this morning -- kind of like the old days, and I'm not sure I like it.  I've managed to get a lot done, however -- cleaned up my desk, made 25 new magnets, tossed out a lot of unneeded mess.  I'm a little wistful because so many of my Route 66 friends are in Kingman, AZ at the annual Route 66 Festival.  This year, it was just too far for me to go with dialysis to be scheduled and my ongoing mobility problem.  I know everyone is having a wonderful time.  We always do.

But. . .the super good news is that daughter Sarah and her new friend John are arriving here on Saturday! More than anything in my life, I look forward to Sarah's visits.  They'll be here for about a week.  Yippee!

I haven't reported on the state of Afton lately, and the news isn't particularly good.  Buildings continue to rot and fall down.  The grain co-op is being torn down.  A couple of businesses have closed.  Good news is that the new BBQ place seems to be doing well.   The "Welcome to Afton" signs promised a couple of months ago still haven't been erected.  If only Afton could see what some other small towns have done to take advantage of Route 66 and run with it.  Very frustrating!
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The morning has been slow, with only 8 visitors so far.  This is very different from the past two days when Robin and Sue were working and they had visitors from 9 foreign countries and 12 states.
Our first guests were this family of 6 from Teaneck, New Jersey doing Oklahoma Route 66 on their way to Texas.  Another couple from Branson, MO was just passing through and came in to see the cars.  A couple of motorcycles passed slowly but didn't come in.  Finally, a bike did stop, a gentleman from Miami, OK who has been here before and wanted a second look at the antique cars.  He had lots of stories to tell.   A few people stopped in for reasons unrelated to Route 66 -- asking for directions, bringing a poster advertising a local theatrical performance, etc.

Toward the end of the day, this lovely couple -- he from France, she from Geneva, Switzerland, came in on their three week Route 66 vacation.
Finally, a grandma and grandpa from Mexico, MO, with grandson in tow, came in because the little one likes old cars.  This morning they'd been to visit TowMater in Galena, KS and he was ready for more.  On their way out, they stopped to take a photo at the pumps, and I snapped this out the window as I sat at my desk.

In all, it was a very different day, but ended up being quite satisfying.


4 comments:

Ed Klein said...

We were JUST talking about you at the fest here and telling everyone they have to check out your place as it is something to truly check out. I will be with Mr. Jones tomorrow while he gets his 'Front Street Garage' tattoo and will send pics!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know those folks from Teaneck. Me and the Dad went to high school together. We talk quite a bit but I reckon its been some ten years since I've seen him.

~JP~ said...

Perhaps appealing to the greater Route 66 community might be something that could help get things in Afton rolling again. I know that the Annual Route 66 Fest happens in Kingman, but maybe having it in other locations that need the boost in morale, economy and need for a bit of time in the spotlight would be something to consider. Having the big annual events like that in smaller areas could really give a place the motivation it needs to really get back on it's feet.

I don't often get to visit Afton station, but it is one of my favorite stops along the way to points west when I get the chance to ride the old route on a weekend and I would love to see a lace like Afton get a big boost in revitalization efforts!

phoenix grs said...

Immigration consultant for Australia There were also visitors from Crystal River, Florida and Miami and Tulsa.