Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just when I thought it couldn't get better...

. . . it did! I thought the announcement of winning the "Route 66 Business of the Year" award this morning would be the best thing that would happen to me today, but then I met Lee Hunnicut. Toward the end of the day at Afton Station, an elderly gentleman walked in and quietly announced that he used to own Afton Station (then called the Eagle Service Station) in the 1950s, and furthermore just happened to have a handful of pictures of the Station! Omigosh, my dream come true! There were lots of other folks at the Station at the time, so we didn't get to talk for long, but Mr. Hunnicut is going to make copies of the pictures for me, and he promised to come back soon so we can sit down and he can tell me all about the heyday of the Eagle Station. I am SO excited! He knew about us because he saw the "Discover Oklahoma" TV show last night!

Lee Hunnicut and his wife

The rest of the day at the Station was pretty darn good, too. The five women from Arkansas with whom I've been corresponding in regard to their Route 66 trip arrived today, all decked out in matching pink t-shirts sporting the legend "Sister Chicks on Route 66" and overshirts sporting pink poodles! They're having a ball on their second Route 66 trip (the first one being in Arizona), although they're having SO much fun that they've already decided to extend their trip by an extra day. A very delightful group! The Sister Chicks

But that's not even close to everyone who visited today. Here's Christian, a gentleman from Switzerland who is traveling all of Route 66 on his bicycle. He seemed a little tired, but who can blame him? He anticipates 3 1/2 months for the trip, but his biggest problems have been finding the less traveled alignments so he doesn't have to compete with the semis and and other speedier and bigger vehicles day after day.Christian from Switzerland

Eight (count 'em. . .eight) folks from Marseilles, France who are all traveling tandem in two vans really brightened my morning with their chatter, their extreme friendliness, and their purchases! My goodness, they practically cleaned me out of merchandise (I'm NOT complaining!) and even put substantial cash in the donation box. Plus, the one lady who spoke English gave me an impromptu French lesson. I have been meaning to write down a few useful phrases in the various languages of those who visit Afton Station . . you know, stuff like "The bathroom is over there", and "Please go back and look at the cars", and other important phrases. This lovely woman took care of French for me, and even wrote it all down.

Altogether there were about 40 visitors today, not counting Betty, who stopped in for a while and was kind enough to help me close up. Other than those already mentioned above, they came from Cabot AR, Mt. Clemens MI, Madison WI, La Mesa CA, Lake Lotawana MO, Foyil OK, Pinehurst NC, and Mellorud, Sweden.

If anyone is interested in the doings at the Route 66 Festival in Flagstaff that was held over the weekend, I suggest you check Ron Warnick's blog for details. Arizona Route 66 Association wins top award « Route 66 News It sounds like it was a very productive weekend, and the selection of Joplin, MO for next year's Festival is a good one.


Ken Riches said...

How cool to meet one of the previous owners.

Beth said...

Wow, I hope you get to talk to him at length! What a treasure trove of information!

Trevor Hilton said...

Meeting one of the previous owners. That's cool!

You should get some pictures of him and get him to write down some stories for you! Those would make an interesting addition to your exhibits!

Laurel said...


I just got the one picture of him that I took yesterday and put on the blog, but when he comes back with copies of those pictures, I plan to quiz him about the old days at the Station. I can't wait!