Saturday, January 31, 2009
On the trail of the dead chickens
Thursday, January 29, 2009
How I spent my '50s summer vacation
Should you prefer to have spent your Fabulous '50s vacation in St. Petersburg FL, you might have rented one of these amazing efficiencies at the Holiday Row Motel. I'm just a little curious, however, about those two ladies and the inflatable swan.....
This architecture is truly awesome and made me wonder if by good fortune it may have been preserved, so I did a little research. Of course not! Here's the new replacement at 17000 Gulf Boulevard, the Redington Beach Resort. Damn!
I have so many more of these windows into the past that I could go on for weeks and weeks. But I think it's time to get back to Route 66 matters, so I promise no more of this for a while (unless you beg -- LOL!). Besides, I have a long day of errands to run.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Decorating Disasters or Gorgeous Nostalgia?
The first album I extracted from the shelf is my Fifties Interiors collection, which consists mainly of old postcards of motel rooms from the 50s and very early 60s, a time I call the "Age of Orange and Turquoise". Whether you consider them actual decorating disasters or simply examples of the changes in decorating styles in the past 50+ years, these images are pretty jolting to the old eyeballs. Have a look.
Granted, I was a kid in those days, but I don't recall everyone having appalling taste back then. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I have hundreds of postcards of '50s interiors that are just as bad or worse than these. (And frankly, I'd love to have a room decorated like any one of these today... wouldn't you?) Have fun!
PS - I think the freezing rain has stopped coming down for now. Let's hope.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The Afton of Old
The trained buffalo eventually killed Larue, which probably didn't come as a shock to many people, since Olson always said you could train a buffalo but never tame it. My dear friend Betty Wheatley ran Dairy Ranch at Buffalo Ranch for 40+ years, and is a wealth of information and great stories about the tourist stop, one of the most famous on Route 66.
I have a lot more postcards that I could show here, but I'll save them for other icy days in the future.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Tinker Tom and Leroy
It was another good day at Afton Station, with a total of 9 visitors on a gloomy, cloudy day. My first visitors were two 80+ year old friends from Missouri. Leroy is a retired school teacher and his friend Tom is blind. Since he was my first blind visitor to Afton Station, I was fascinated by his ability to "feel" a car's year and model. Amazing! I made a squashed penny for him and he was wonderfully thrilled to feel the pattern with his fingers. These two guys were intelligent, funny, and had some great stories to tell. They now hold a very high place on my Favorite Visitors list. Leroy, the sighted gentleman, has lived within a mile of Route 66 all his life and knows it like the back of his hand. He does a lot of solo travel with a tape recorder and has been all across Route 66 and to Alaska, camping by the side of the road most of the time. Every Sunday he and "Tinker" Tom take to the road and look for new and different places to explore. You could tell they were the best of friends. Tom and Leroy stayed for hours, alternating between sitting and talking and going to the car showroom for another dose of vintage beauty. I am now madly in love with two 80-year-old men! Visitors like these make it all SO worthwhile!
Two guys with a big Haulmark trailer stopped by on their way to pick up a car. They own a custom restoration shop near Oklahoma City. Judging by their immaculate truck and trailer and their matching company uniforms, I'm guessing their resto business is a class act.
A family of five from Drexel, MO stopped on the way to visit family in Afton. The three little kids insisted on smashing some pennies. It's fun to see kids get a big kick out of that machine because, when you come right down to it, there's not much at the Station to appeal to kids. I need to think of some more kid-friendly attractions.
In December of '07 we had a devastating ice storm that completely paralyzed Tulsa and surrounding areas, permanently changing the landscape due to the vast number of fallen trees and leaving much of the city with no power for up to 10 days. I was lucky to never lose power, but I did have one "interesting" incident. I had just put the car in the garage (not an attached garage) to keep it from having trees fall on it. I was just getting out of the car when a very large tree fell across the garage door, trapping me in the garage. Fortunately, I had my cell phone, but I had no phone numbers programmed into it and the only number I had memorized was Ron's, all the way across town. I called him and he called my next door neighbor, who rounded up enough neighborhood men to come and trim and move the tree away from the door enough so that I could squeeze my way out. Kind of scary!
Why am I telling this story today? Because tomorrow we're expecting another bad ice storm, and I'm nervous. I can survive just fine, even without electricity, but I MUST get to my dialysis treatments, and my driveway is steep and pretty unnavigable (and unwalkable) with a coat of ice on it. So, I hope the weather prognosticators are wrong, wrong, WRONG this time!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I'm picking up Ron M. at the airport tonight after his 2 weeks in Southern California and a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. I hope he has a coat with him, because he's going to have a big shock when he walks out of the airport into our 20-degree air.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A little Afton Station -- A lot of other stuff
From Adair I drove through Pryor (a larger town, home of Country Fever and Rocklahoma, two of the nation's largest summer outdoor music festivals) and on across the bridge over Lake Hudson to Salina. I'd never been to Salina and frankly had never even heard of it, but I was enchanted at first sight. Salina looks like an old western town -- because it IS, not because some antiquey-minded people decided to make it look that way. It's not prosperous, and there aren't a lot of retail places. The storefronts are either empty or hold farm stores, auto parts stores, and the like. Here's the old hotel, which seems to be a well-kept B&B right now. Since the town is directly on the small lake, I'm sure the B&B does well.
From there, I headed back through Adair and then to Route 28A toward Foyil. I took a little 2-mile detour to check out the Blue Coyote Winery belonging to the daughter of one of my dialysis nurses. I knew it was closed but I wanted to see what it looked like. It's way out in the boonies, but the tasting room looks like a place I'd like to visit this summer when it's open. Since I was on the road anyway, I stopped briefly to snap a picture of Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park. I've been there many times and it's not one of my favorite Route 66 sites (considered so, although it's 4 miles off Route 66), but knowing that some folks who read this blog have never seen it, I felt it my duty to visit again. As usual, I was the only person there.
You can read about Ed Galloway's project here. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9058. I have a certain respect for the passion that made the man devote so much of his life to making the world's largest concrete totem pole, but he was also a spectacular woodworker, and I wish there were more examples of that talent at his park. The small concrete building that houses some of his woodcraft projects, particularly a large number of violins, was closed today.
Now, about that newspaper article I mentioned before.... Remember what I told you about Picher, OK and it's problems with lead contamination and tornadoes? http://aftonstationblog-laurel.blogspot.com/2009/01/sadness-at-tar-creek.html.Well, a front page article in the Tulsa World today indicates this bizarre turn of events: As quickly as the remaining residents are being removed from Picher and relocated, their homes are being occupied by other families with children within the age of highest danger from the contamination. And the interesting part (although I guess not unexpected, considering....) is that our government is paying for both! Huh? Just read all about it here: http://tinyurl.com/d99zw7.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
New Yorker Magazine
I've read the New Yorker Magazine since I was a kid, and I've subscribed continuously since May of 1968. Since that time, I've saved every cover from every issue. I have also purchased some earlier covers in antique shops, Ebay, etc. I love the magazine dearly. I don't always have time to read every single article, but I never fail to check out all of the cartoons. The process by which the New Yorker selects weekly cartoons is complicated and precise. A panel looks at every cartoon submitted and then the group makes the selections based on a rating system. Nothing is chosen indiscriminately at the New Yorker, not even the cartoons.
Every once in a while, a cartoon makes me laugh out loud. It doesn't happen often. Generally I just smile or chuckle. But this one, from the current issue, cracks me up every time I see it. And since I have absolutely nothing else of consequence to talk about today, I want to share it with you. Does anyone else think it's as funny as I do?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
President of the United States
Yes, we did!
Monday, January 19, 2009
My trip report
Shortly after checking into the motel, I got a call from my daughter and her family. They were stuck in Pontiac, Illinois, and wouldn't make it to St. Louis that night. They have a new Subaru, and the gas cap door was frozen shut so they couldn't get gas. They had to wait until morning when the dealership opened. I was SO disappointed! (Turns out that it's apparently a common problem with Subaru Foresters, which isn't good if you live in frigid Chicago. The dealer told them that a recall is expected.)
I grabbed a salad and went back to the motel for the night. Sarah, Matt, and Cody arrived around noon on Saturday. Two items on our agenda were to visit the Arch and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (another Route 66 landmark AND home of the yummiest ice cream on the Route). On the way to the Arch, we stopped at Broadway Oyster House, where Sarah and I were able to partake of our favorite food -- oysters on the half shell. We also shared a bucket of steamed crawfish. The guys ate more ordinary fare.
Finally, I stopped at the World's Largest Rocking Chair in the tiny town of Fanning, MO. This is fairly new, so it's the first time I've seen the 42'4" tourist attraction. The chair is almost larger than the town -- quite impressive if you like large stuff, which I do. http://rwarn17588.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/worlds-largest-rocking-chair-set-up-in-missouri/ From there, it was a straight shot home on the evil interstate. The End.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Sunset Over Computer
Thursday, January 15, 2009
St. Louis bound
I haven't been to St. Louis for quite a few years. I've actually been IN St. Louis a lot, but it's always just passing through on my way from Tulsa to somewhere else. I do look forward to tomorrow's drive there, since I'll be making some of it on Route 66 and hope to stop (time permitting) to see a few friends along the way.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The much-photographed Country Court sign outside of Chelsea. The motel itself is now just a tangle of vines, weeds, and lumber.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I love Oklahoma! So there!
Marly arrived (with his new beard!) and did a great wax job on my car, despite it being very cold in the garage. He's a trooper! After he finished and Tattoo Man had left, we chatted for a while.
But get this! We had TEN visitors today! Families from Locust Grove, Vinita, and Grove OK came for cold-weather visits. We also had a long visit from an artist and photographer from Miami named Michael Scruggs, who showed us his portfolio of some of his works. Marly and I were thrilled by what we saw. Michael's business is called Scruggs Off The Route, and some of his work can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/7tozp9. Most of his work consists of b&w Route 66 photos colorized using ink, an update of old-fashioned postcard colorization. He gave me some samples of his work, for which I'm very thankful. He'll be back.