Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Kansas in February
I wanted to show Sarah the Dalton Defenders Museum, a small museum devoted to telling the story of the notorious Dalton Gang of bank robbers. Read about it here. It's mighty interesting reading. Dalton Defenders Museum, Coffeyville, Kansas Unfortunately, the museum was closed, so after a look around town, we left Coffeyville and headed toward Independence. Here's the gang, having seen better days. :-)Independence, KS is one of my favorite small towns anywhere! At one time, I actually got real estate brochures and considered moving into one of the big Victorian homes there. The prices were right, but I'm glad I changed my mind, since I wouldn't have had a single friend in the town. When I visited before, Independence had a great little old-fashioned department store downtown that was still open for business, and that was one of the things that charmed me. Alas, on this visit we found the building unoccupied. Another WalMart-inspired casualty, no doubt. Independence still has a great city park and a neat little zoo.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
On Tuesday, we drove up to Afton Station, where Sarah took scads of pictures, mostly of the cars. Here's just one.
Meanwhile, I realized I never reported on activity at Afton Station last Sunday. I had my first five visitors within the first half hour after opening. They were from Pleasanton CA, Webb City MO, and Pryor OK. After that, there was a long dry spell until Betty came in and stayed with me for an hour or so. She brought me a wonderful birthday present -- a pound of Amish butter and a pound of fantastic locally-made sausage.
Later, I had a visit from a fellow from Grove who stops in often to chat. For the remainder of the day, I just watched the slow emptying of one of the storefronts of the building across the street, which had been rented out as a potential flea market that never materialized. It's hard to believe that so much... excuse me... junk could be stored in one little space. I also had a nice long phone conversation with my friend Mike from AZ, who was calling to offer an answer (which was correct) to my answering machine quiz.
Today, Sarah and I plan to take a ride up to Coffeyville, Kansas. Why? Because it's there! Looks like rain, though.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Contest Results, etc.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
A slow day for us, a little contest for you
Thursday, February 19, 2009
A flower by any other name...
What is the difference between daffodils and narcissus?
None. The two words are synonyms. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils, just as ilex is for hollies. Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus, and its use is recommended by the ADS at all times other than in scientific writing.
What is a jonquil?
In some parts of the country any yellow daffodil is called a jonquil, usually incorrectly. As a rule, but not always, jonquil species and hybrids are characterized by several yellow flowers, strong scent, and rounded foliage. The hybrids are confined to Division 7 and the term "jonquil" should be applied only to daffodils in Division 7 or species in Division 13 known to belong to the jonquil group.
Here's a jonquil from Division 7, just for comparison. See the rounded leaves and more than one bloom per stalk. That's what causes it to be called a jonquil, although it's still a daffodil. :-)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In further media news (totally non-Afton Station related!), I had my DVR installed yesterday. Now I feel just a little less backward in the matter of "newfangled technology"
That is all.
Monday, February 16, 2009
A little more about Bassett's
I'm a little bit obsessed about finding a way to keep Bassett's Grocery alive. I appreciate Ron Warnick featuring it on his blog today, http://rwarn17588.wordpress.com/, because he gets many times more hits than I get here.
It just seems that Bassett's could be a very viable business if a few things were to happen. For one, it would need to be advertised as a Route 66 attraction. It's one of the oldest -- if not THE oldest -- continuously operating groceries on all of Route 66. It's never really taken advantage of the tourist trade. There's never even been a Route 66 shield on the exterior, and those of us with business on the Route know that tourists, particularly foreign tourists, are very much attracted to that shield. Word of mouth and inclusion in Route 66 guidebooks would also help. Secondly, here are a couple of things I didn't mention in yesterday's post. The store comes with a viable and active video/DVD rental business. It also has a full butcher shop in the back. From listening to the wishes and wants of tourists who come to Afton Station, we know that one thing many of them are seeking is a place to sit down and have a sandwich, or even stand up and have one! Tommy never made sandwiches at Bassett's, although he did sell fresh sliced deli meat and bread. But I think a couple of tables and a small sandwich-making operation would be a big attraction. Look how well Wrink's Market (Lebanon, MO) and Eisler Bros. (Riverton, KS) do by just offering sandwiches.
Well, that's enough from me on this subject. I just really want to see something happen over there. The town of Afton needs it!
Ad from an early '50s newspaper
Sunday, February 15, 2009
R.I.P. Bassett's Grocery
It's hard to describe how sad this makes me. I've even surprised myself by this reaction. I don't want to be the only business in town! I mourn for what was once a vital, thriving community and now is sinking into ghost town status. I mourn for the beautiful historic building that houses Bassett's (built in 1911 for the Pierce Harvey Buggy Co.). I fear it will fall into the "wrong" hands and be razed, the fate of so many other buildings in town. I mourn for the few folks who still live here who can't make the trip to a distant town to buy groceries. I mourn for Route 66 travelers who, a few years from now, will never know the quaint charms of a small town grocery.
Bassett's is up for sale or lease -- the whole building and contents of the grocery store. The rather large building includes space for two other storefronts and apartments above. Tommy also said he'd lease all the grocery equipment and fixtures to anyone who is interested in running it as a grocery store again. I'm hopeful, but not particularly optimistic, that some energetic preservation-minded person will take a chance on this piece of Route 66 history. I don't wanna be the only gal in town!!!
Despite all of this, it was an exceptionally good day at Afton Station. Ron M. was with me, and Betty stopped in for a while. We had 17 visitors, coming from Minnesota, Arkansas, and Missouri, and from Claremore, Stillwater, Tahlequah, and Vinita Oklahoma. As usual, they all had their stories to tell, but for once I'm not really in the mood to tell them.
To close on a more upbeat note...
I love flowers that bloom year round! Here are my pansies, planted last fall and looking even better than they did before winter came. Look closely and you can see that my daffodils are about to flower, too. Hurry up, Spring!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Rootie Tattootie..... and more
I'm writing this at noon. Ron Jones has just left, and there have only been two visitors so far, a very nice couple from Sioux City, IA who are traveling from Springfield, MO to as far as they can get on Route 66 in 10 days. I put out some candy in honor of Valentine's Day, but I suspect I'll be taking it home with me after the weekend if business doesn't pick up a bit.
Two more guests have just come in, a couple working their way back to Kansas City from Tulsa. They said they've managed to get their 10-year-old granddaughter interested in taking a Route 66 trip with them. Always good to hear!
Just before closing, two guys from Tulsa came in with two small children. While the guys checked out the cars, the little ones were happy to hang with the toy gas pump we have there for kids, as well as the pressed penny machine. One of the guys, in his 20s I'd say, is a big Route 66 fan and knows a lot about every aspect of it. I get very excited when a younger person shows that kind of enthusiasm. Most of my guests are a bit on the old side, so it's great to know that there are a few of the younger generation ready to carry the Mother Road torch.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
On a far more serious note, our state was hit by a number of devastating tornadoes last night. The last I heard, there were 8 deaths, countless injuries, and many homes and businesses completely destroyed. I've checked with those I know who live in the area of the tornadoes (one of whom is a regular reader of this blog) and have been assured that they're all ok. I'm very thankful for that. Here in Tulsa, we had a lot of rain, a bit of wind, but not much else. We were the lucky ones.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
This must be Oklahoma
This is a generic picture. It was not taken here, so no worries. However, a tornado did touch down this afternoon in Edmond, near Oklahoma City. This isn't supposed to start until April. We're still in Ice Storm season. :-(
Jan and Vital / Henry and Joseph
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I wasted a little time driving around Claremore this morning after treating myself to a mushroom omelet at Eggbert's. It's not the greatest food in the world, but the way to win my heart is for a waitperson to know me after only two visits, to know that I want the fruit cup instead of the potatoes (which are a no-no for kidney patients), and to remember that the fruit cup should contain no melon (another no-no). That happens at Eggbert's, so I like it and recommend it.
My hunger satisfied, I drove around Claremore a bit, since it was still early. Here's the Belvidere Mansion, two blocks off Route 66. It's said to be haunted, and is now home to a Luncheon/Tea Room. I've never been inside, but I love haunted places. Must go some time!
Unlike yesterday, absolutely nothing happened at Afton all morning. I took advantage of the opportunity to clean off the top of the filing cabinet which has become the catch-all for everything that defies sorting, filing, or tossing out. When I finished, the filing cabinet top returned to what it's supposed to be -- a tiny library of roadie books for the public to use. Everything else is sorted and will be put in folders in the cabinet itself. Aah, much better. This week I'll be buying hanging file folders.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Motorcycles, Abstinence, and a King Midget
We barely had time to begin the day when six people on three motorcycles roared in. They were from Grove and were taking advantage of the 70-degree (albeit cloudy) day. They were nice folks, but they weren't the only bikers to show up. The next group of three motorcycles chose not to come in. They parked in our driveway for a while and had a cigarette, then just as we thought they might be coming in, they cruised on down the road. Oh well.
A fellow dropped in pulling a car trailer on which sat a 1958 King Midget. I'd never heard of the tiny car, but it was very cute. This guy had driven from Texas to Springfield, MO to pick it up. It turns out that his first car was a King Midget, and he just couldn't resist buying this one on Ebay for nostalgic reasons and to add to his collection of 20-some vintage vehicles. Note the hood ornament, which is a crown. Crown > King. Get it? You learn something new every day, and you can learn about the King Midget here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Midget
We had several other visitors to round out what turned out to be a busy and varied day. The time flew by, and I can only hope that tomorrow will be the same.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Thursday This and That
On the way home, I stopped at the site of the Meadow Gold sign reconstruction. (This is the part about Route 66.) The underpinnings are all in place, ready for the actual neon letters to go up. The base is finished and cleaned up. I understand it will be ready for a dedication ceremony in a matter of weeks.
This afternoon Ron and I went to see the movie "Milk". Besides championing a cause of which I'm entirely and steadfastly supportive, the film itself was incredible. It made me an emotional wreck, a condition from which I'm just now recovering. Sean Penn, an actor I've frankly never paid much attention to in the past, delivered a portrayal which, as far as I'm concerned, damn well better get him an Oscar. I can't think of a thing wrong with his interpretation of the role of Harvey Milk. I remarked to Ron that when the fight for equal rights for gays was taking place in the larger cities in the U.S., I was almost completely insulated from it, living in a suburb and raising my small child. I'm sorry about that. I would have been out there on the front lines, I think. I highly recommend this movie to everyone, regardless of how you feel about the issue of gay rights.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Spavinaw is also the site of Spavinaw Dam, the reservoir which supplies water to the City of Tulsa. It was a gloomy day, and the dam isn't very exciting to look at, but here's the best shot we could get of it.
Off we went, passing through Jay, to Grove. In Grove, we had a very pleasant visit with the ladies at the Grand Lake Association, which is akin to a Chamber of Commerce for the whole Grand Lake region. They have a beautiful building and several walls of brochures for travelers. When I admired their array of brochures, they said I could have as many as I wanted (in multiples) of any that interested me, so I ended up with two boxes and one bag of literature to supply my brochure racks at Afton Station for a long time to come.
On through Wyandotte to Miami, where we had a quick lunch at Waylan's KuKu Burger (a good Route 66 iconic burger joint) and then to Betty's house for a short visit. Betty seems to be getting better and better whenever I see her. I'm so glad!
Getting bored yet? It's almost over. After Miami, we took another swing through Welch, still trying to find a house Betty has told me about and which I've mentioned here before. I'm still not sure if we found it, but when we do, you'll be the first to know. It's the house where Johnny Cash wrote some of his songs.
It was a long trip back to Tulsa after Welch, but it was a pretty road and the sun had finally decided to emerge. We got home at 6, with my car running on fumes. I sometimes wonder why I get such a huge kick out of being behind the wheel of my car. The longer the trip, the happier I am. I don't even have to go anywhere special, as long as I'm movin' on down the road. Today was one of those days, and I thank Ron for putting up with me -- although I think he had a good time, too.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A long and (sometimes) winding road
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Super (Bowl) Day at Afton Station
Although I had a good day at Afton Station with seven visitors, I don't really have much to say, nor do I have photos to document anything. The most interesting couple to arrive today were clearly having a knock-down-drag-out fight before coming in. They were from Kansas City, near the end of a long trip from California. He came in first and made a comment, something about his wife yelling at him in the car. He signed the guest book and then went in the back to see the cars. She waited until he had been inside for about 10 minutes before she came in. She walked right to the Guest Book and crossed out her husband's first name and put hers in instead. Very strange. When he came out from the showroom, they didn't speak at all. Both bought several items (each with their separate cash), and left. Must have been some battle! LOL! He's planning a trip across Route 66 on his Harley this summer ... solo. That's probably for the best.
Otherwise, we had another couple (who DID seem to like one another), and coincidentally they were traveling in the opposite direction from the first couple, having left Kansas City on their way to California. They didn't even realize they were on Route 66, but when I told them of it's charms, they bought a guidebook and decided to follow it as much as they could. Score!
The final visitors were a family of three who lived locally and were out for a Sunday drive.
The best part of the day happened when Betty arrived. It was so good to see her out and about. She's looking much better and feeling a bit better, too. It's encouraging to see her doing some driving her car with only one available eye. That really made my day!
And that's about it for today...
They just finished the National Anthem. All that pomp and patriotism can still bring a little tear to my eye.