Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bottom of the barrel?

There's nothing like a touch of ennui to fire up one's appreciation of the little things. Not that I'm actually bored with my life -- and here I'm referring to the four "Afton days" each week -- but I find myself delving further and further into observing the smaller things, the heretofore unnoticed things, along my path. I've commented on and photographed sunrises ad nauseum. I've remarked about multiple cloud formations. I created an entire blog about roadkill and litter. I've even resorted to a discourse on soybeans! I ask myself, hasn't the bottom of the barrel been adequately scraped by now?

Never! The barrel bottom will not be reached nor scraped until I've described every blade of grass and every wildflower along Route 66 between Afton and Tulsa. [I trust that the clanking sound I'm hearing isn't the sound of my loyal readers signing off after hearing that declaration!] After all, when all else has been unrelentingly picked over, there are still the people. Although the 160-miles I drive back and forth are my life, the people I meet at Afton Station are my lifeblood. Phil, the guy running from the Pacific to the Atlantic for a cancer charity. The 70+-year-old gentleman run-walking across all 2400+ miles of Route 66 to raise senior awareness of the need for exercise. The lady from Alaska, fearlessly driving her rig on an endless path through most of the 50 states by herself, doing glass art along the way. The pack of adventurous New Zealanders who shipped their motorcycles here in order to run Route 66. Jacson, my new Brazilian friend who has taken literally thousands of photos of what has become his beloved Mother Road and sent many of them to me. The young German man on a bicycle, whose packs were so heavy that he could barely keep the bike upright. I could go on and on.

So, forgive me the admission of a touch of ennui every now and then. It passes quickly, and keeps me on my toes. You can't get rid of me that easily.

Today at Afton Station began with a bang at 9:15 (good thing I got there early!) with four people from France (Loudeac) on motorcycles, four from Shawnee, KS and two from Grove, OK all arriving at once. The French folks presented me with an Eiffel Tower key chain. Merci! [Did I say something about being bored?] After that, there was a lull, at which time I cleaned up the bags of junk under my desk and either threw out or "repurposed" all of it. Once the lull ended, I enjoyed chatting with a fellow from Carl Junction, MO, a retired art teacher who owns four Packards. Then came a couple from Maysville, KY and a building restorer from Johnson Hollow, OK who remembers buying gas at our station when he was a kid. He showed me photos of one of the Oklahoma Centennial Ranches he's restoring. At the end of the day, four more folks arrived, two from Seymour, MO and two from Luther, OK. It was a very good, NOT boring day!

The Road Crew is coming! Here's the group that will be pickin' and playin' at Afton Station on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. They're from Nashville. Joe Loesch, the leader, is an author as well as a musician, with several Route 66 childrens' books published. I can't wait to meet them and hear their music, but I'd hate for them to have to play for an audience of one or two, so if you're in the area, please consider coming over to Afton and join the fun. It's free. Random photos du jour: Anyone how what these are. I saw them on a truck today and thought they were terribly interesting looking, I have no idea of their function. Anyone have an idea? By the way, they're huge.

Here's possibly the least original neon sign in America. But hey, any neon is better than no neon at all, right? This one is at a donut shop in Catoosa.


Ken Riches said...

I say the tip of the iceberg :o)

Beth said...

Well, you know what Nutwood's motto is...! I think people become bored because they don't open their minds to the wonders and possibilities around them. Perhaps your drive becomes somewhat of a routine, but you never know what you're going to see along the way, and at Afton, you never know who you're going to meet!

Those big things on the truck look like some sort of gear to me, with the teeth on the edges. I hope someone really knows, because I'm curious now, too!

Hugs, Beth

DennyG said...

I encourage anyone who can to check out the Road Crew when they stop by. I saw these guys at the Clinton festival and picked up their Route 66 themed CD there. I later bought another copy as a gift for some friends starting out on their first full length 66 drive. It's a great soundtrack for driving (or wishing you were driving) the Road.