Friday, September 23, 2016

Laurel Richards Kane, 1946-2016

In January 2016, we lost Laurel R. Kane, beloved operator of the visitor's center at Afton Station. 

Visitors to Afton Station from around the world would find, and later seek out, a welcome and a smile from Laurel. Her vast knowledge of the "Mother Road," her kind nature and quick wit endeared her to those who stopped by Afton Station, making her a Route 66 celebrity. "Oh, we love our visitors," Laurel was known to say. Since opening Afton Station, Laurel reckoned she greeted over 7,000 visitors a year. 

Here is her obituary as published in the Tulsa World, from February 14, 2016. 

For more information about Afton Station, including operating hours and contact information, please visit the Afton Station website,

- The Kane Family

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Winter Doings

Learning a new computer.    Keeping medical appointments.   Cleaning my office.  Reorganizing after Christmas. . . On and on and on.... and yet not enough time or material to craft a very exciting blog post.  On the other hand I don't want to lose readers who may have given up on me, thinking I've disappeared into a mole hole or flown away on the wings of a giant hawk.  Nothing at all so romantic,  I'm right here where I have always been.

On Saturday I finally got away to drive up to Afton and check on the Station.   It is just fine.   Earlier in the week, Robin had opened up for a group of three men who were visiting from Texas.  They were in Oklahoma for the Chili Bowl Nationals (midget cars) so I was honored that they wanted to take one day off from the races to drive up to Afton to see the Packards.  Robin took this photo.  I'm sorry I missed them.
Last week Ron M. and I drove down to the Brady neighborhood of downtown Tulsa to see a very remarkable art installation there.  It is truly breathtaking!   Read about it here.
The Unbearable Absence of Landscapes is a statewide knitting project to unite communities and draw attention to our diminishing landscapes. In partnership with Oklahoma artist Romy Owens, the project was constructed by independent knitters, knitting circles, and outreach groups to create a single large “blanket” covering the facade of 108|Contemporary’s gallery. Inspired by our current screen-based culture and the sprawl of urbanization, the pixilated landscape represents the physical absence as well as our digital obsession and disconnect with nature. From a distance, the installation appears to be an abstracted image of a prairie landscape, in essence making the gallery a part of the skyline.
– If unraveled, the yarn would stretch over 160 miles
– Over 10,000 hours were spent knitting and seaming, and another 50 hours to install it on the building
– It covers more than 3,200 square feet of the facade

I have always had a very inclusive attitude toward art.  It doesn't have to be just paint or plaster or stone.  Anything can be art, even knitting yarn.  This is an amazing example.  

From time to time, local high school students ask to have their senior pictures taken at the Station.   Robin's granddaughter posed for some great ones this month.   She is a beautiful lady with a beautiful car.

A few more weeks and we will be opening up Afton Station on a regular basis.  Until then, remember that we are able to open for groups if you let us know in advance.   918-284-3829.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Learning to Love (or at least like) Vacation

Is there something wrong with me?  I'm not sure I like having all this free time.  I long to go back to Afton, if for no other reason just to check up on things at the Station.  I know everything is fine there because I have enough people who would tell me if there was a problem, but I still miss it.

My new computer is beautiful but frustrating.  When I stare it with defiance in my eyes, it stares back and tells me that I'm just a dolt who is either too dumb or too old to keep up with technology.  Despite it sitting there on my desk exuding the willingness to make my life easier, clearly we maintain an adversarial relationship. But I am catching on more and more now.  In a few weeks I'm sure I'll look back at these times and realize that my cyber nervousness was just a phase.  After all, yesterday I only had to call Ron M. once to hysterically report my inability to recover my files using Carbonite.
And speaking of Ron M. . . .   my praise of that wonderful man is long overdue.   In case you haven't noticed, I use him for so many things and he never complains.  Now that I'm mainly in a wheelchair, he hauls my groceries and other heavy thing, he boosts my wheelchair in and out of my car,  he listens to my countless complaints, and he is my most faithful and constant volunteer at Afton Station. All this, and in exchange I feed him an occasional meal that that's just about all.  I have become hooked on his wisdom and gentle ability to make things seem not as bad as they really are.  Thanks, Ron!

I was going to attach pictures of both Ron and my new computer, but I can't figure out how to do that. I guess I'll have to call Ron.   :-)