Before I tell you about my day at Afton Station, I want to post two pictures. One is from a postcard of Afton in the 1950s. The other I took today as I was leaving to come home.
There's not much to say. It's what happens in so many towns as a result of being bypassed by the interstate. If you love old roads and small towns as I do, you will have a tear in your eye.
Now, for happier thoughts. Although my drive to Afton this morning was under a huge and very dark cloud, by the time I arrived I'd seen only a few drops of rain and the sky was already beginning to lighten up. By noon the sun was out and it was a lovely day.
I purposely arrived about an hour early because we had the floors cleaned and the windows washed yesterday when I wasn't there, and I knew I'd need some time to put things back in place. I was right, and it took about an hour to stick signs back on the windows, rearrange some heavy stuff, and make the Station look like the Station again. It was worth it, however. The place gleams! I've been told it took 6 hours to remove all the old wax from the floors, and I'm sure it took a long time to get the ick off of the huge windows, too. This afternoon I scrubbed the bathroom, so the place is cleaner than it's been in years. Here's a picture of my clean floor. :-)
The visitors didn't wait for my official opening time, either. By 10 (the posted opening time), I'd already greeted a couple from Edinburg, Scotland, a couple from Alabama, and two guys from Tucumcari NM driving a very gorgeous customized red 1955 International Harvester panel truck. One of the guys is the Tucumcari postmaster, and he showed me his signature on the Ken Turmel postmark art on my wall.
Ron Jones just couldn't stay away, so he came down from Bartlesville and hung out for most of the afternoon. He swept the area in front of the Station, so even the outside is clean now. Thanks, Ron!
Later in the afternoon I had a visit from Marianne from the Netherlands, folks from Kansas City, and David and Celia, a young couple from France (Bretagne). The couple immediately recognized the "bones" of the Citroen 2CV (Deux Chevaux) which now resides in our work room. About 95% of American visitors mistake it for a Volkswagen bug. It's next in line for restoration, I think.
David and Celia with a car (well, part of a car) from their homeland.
There were 19 visitors today, and most of them lingered for quite a while, so I'd call this a very GOOD day!
Laurel, what a pleasure to find your journal! I'm a "roadie," and I've done all of Route 66 in Illinois, and part of Missouri. My husband Ken and I are planning on taking 3 weeks in 2010 and doing the whole thing, Chicago to Santa Monica. I've read that there is plenty of old road still open in Oklahoma, so I'm looking forward to that.
One of my most recent adventures was seeing John's Modern Cabins outside of Rolla, Missouri. They are in a terrible state, and I don't know how long they'll last, or if they will be preserved. :(
All my best, and see ya on the Road!
Hi. I've just finished reading every blog on this page and am sorry I missed your little town when I was in OK last. The name of the town is so familiar, yet I don't recall being on Old 66 on any of our trips through there. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the blogs and seeing the pictures. Now I'm off to figure out how to install QuickTime so i can see those panoramic pictures you recommended.
Hi again....it's so much fun reading your journal. It's making us want to take another trip down the "old" 66. I've done it twice and every time I do, it gets better! Thanks again for some fun reading! Sue
Sue, Becky, and Beth.... thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting. I hope I can some day meet each of you at Afton Station. I hope you'll all keep in contact with me and if I can be of any help with planning future Route 66 trips, I'd be happy to do so. (Becky - Yes, John's Modern Cabins are on the way out, I'm afraid. Some friends of mine did their best to save them, but the rerouting of the interstate has contributed to their demise, as well as just the ravages of time. You can see a website about them and the story of the attempts to preserve them at: www.jmcnews.com/)
Laurel, actually it was me (Beth) who mentioned John's Modern Cabins. You can read my entry about our visit there, although the link to pictures now contains vacation photos.
See ya on the Road...soon!
The historic Route 66 PostmarkArt has many signatures from famous individuals, and unfortunately some of these great folks have since passed away, but the Tucumcari Postmaster's signature was never on Ken Turmel's Route 66 PostmarkArt.
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