Sunday, January 31, 2010
I NEED Spring!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Where the cold front's sweepin' down the plain
And the piles of sleet,
Beneath your feet
Follow right behind the freezing rain.
We know we belong to the land
But it could use some more salt and sand
That's why we say.....
WHOA! We're sliding the other way.....
YIKES! We're ...only sayin'
You're slick as snot SNOWklahoma
I'm sorry to say that it's a perfect description of Oklahoma today. Right now we're having a virtual blizzard, which is doing a fine job of covering up the 1/2 inch of ice and the 1/2 inch of sleet beneath it. Everything is at a standstill, including me. I spent an hour this morning first melting then scraping that 1/2 inch off the windows of my car. I couldn't go anywhere, I just wanted to get ahead of things.
There will be no Afton Station tomorrow, and unless a miracle occurs, no Afton Station on Sunday either. So instead, here's a photo of what I'm seeing out my front door in Tulsa right now. Just lovely.... NOT!
From what I can tell by reading their Facebook page, apparently the Extreme Makeover project I told you about yesterday is going ahead today despite the inclimate weather. I'm sure they have a schedule they have to stick to as closely as possible. It will be interesting to see today's report.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Extremes in Tulsa
The bus that brings the "stars" to the site.
People gathering at the house to be demolished.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Mondrian Buffalo Butt and other things
Frank Phillips' home is now a museum and also has tours.
The train station is very nicely restored.
Bartlesville is apparently having one of those community art projects, the likes of which my mascot Tripper the Penguin was born in Tulsa. In the case of Bartlesville though, the giant artfully-painted creatures are bison! I managed to snap a photo of this guy from the rear -- a tribute to the work of the artist Mondrian.
Monday, January 25, 2010
St. Louis, Part II
I took this picture before all the fog had left my lens. I like the look.
Sarah and Matt
There were some interactive displays featuring green technology. Here's Sarah on a stationary bike in front of a green screen that makes her look like she's biking through the park.
Since we're all lovers of anything googie, kitchy, or big we then sought out the "World's Largest Amoco Sign". Yes, it was big. We lamented the fact that Ted Drewes isn't open in January, so we squelched our disappointment by eating lots of oysters (raw) and some alligator (cooked) for lunch at the Broadway Oyster House, a great historic spot near Busch Stadium. We also took a ride around town and into Forest Park, a large city park that was the site of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exhibition). We did a little Route 66ing, and I managed to snap this pic of the famous Eat-Rite Diner.
Indian Harvest Trading Post
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Trip Report -- St. Louis
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Off to Saint Louis
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
If you wish to contribute your old bowling ball to what I suspect is intended to be an ever-growing heap, the contact information is below.Here's Jimmy Kimmel's interview with the builder from late last year. This is great! The builder even mentions Route 66!
YouTube - Jimmy Kimmel - Bowling Balls For Peace
And here is further explanation from the Tulsa World.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There are two great googie signs in Choteau, obviously crafted by the same sign maker. Unfortunately, they are both in bad shape, but still worth a photo or two.
Having wasted (no, not wasted. . . enjoyed) many hours on the road, I headed for home after that. I have to start getting ready for my weekend trip to St. Louis to meet my daughter and son-in-law for fun, awesome Italian fare on The Hill, and maybe a museum or two.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Just a few blocks away, there's "Ladybug's", a clothing boutique that began it's life as a firehouse. This is an excellent example of reuse of a building. It's charming, and the old fireman's pole is still in place. Just a thought.
Down the road in Claremore, I finally got around to taking a photo of "Spirits of Route 66", a liquor store. I've always loved the clever name. Hey, any way to give Route 66 a little publicity, right?
It was a great but not busy day at Afton Station, at least not busy in terms of numbers of visitors. When I arrived, before the place warmed up, I warmed myself up by doing a little manual labor (ugh!). I dusted and Windexed the display cases, then I actually mopped the floor. I'm lazy so I usually leave that task to dear Ron M., but he wasn't with me today and I couldn't stand the muddy footprints for another minute. Shortly after I finished, Betty Baumann came by with yet another batch of cute things she made for me to sell. My favorites are a pair of oversized "fuzzy dice" made from some cool Route 66 fabric. They'd look great hanging from somebody's vintage vehicle at a car show. Betty stayed for a while so we had a nice chat.
Later in the day, Josh Bowen from Fayetteville, AR stopped by and stayed for a couple of hours. He was a visitor once before (See Sept. 17, '09 entry), a very Route 66-savvy young man whom I hope will visit often. He loves to take Sunday drives, so I told him he'd have to make us his destination as often as possible. He brought me a gift. . . a beautiful and beautifully-scented bar of soap made by his wife. She has quite a soap business going. You can see her work at www.luxuryfalls.etsy.com. Please check it out. It's unique! The bar Josh gave me is Chocolate Mint. Oh, yum! Thanks, Josh.
My only other visitor today was a man from Toronto, Canada who is in the area for a few weeks on business. He had a look at the cars, but didn't stay too long. I also had a call from someone who scheduled us as a destination for a Vintage Chevy cruise in mid-October. Love those early bookings!
My drive home was sunny and clear, quite a departure from the foggy ride to Afton this morning.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Well, it's about time!
I got very nervous when I read an article in the Tulsa World this morning that indicated that the Craig County Courthouse in Vinita (OK) was in danger of being demolished. I had confused the county courthouse with the city municipal building, which I like very much. It's on Route 66 and when we pass it on the way to Afton, Ron and I often comment on how nice it is. Well, some research tells me now that I had the wrong building slated for demolition, and I presume this one will continue to stand. But, since I took a couple of pictures of it on our way to Afton today, I might as well publish them here anyway.
The frieze above the doorway is interesting -- two oil derricks paying homage to the town's contribution to the turn-of-the century oil boom.
Don't forget -- If you have a little money burning a hole in your pocket, even if it's just a couple of dollars, you can probably find no better place for it than the American Red Cross as they struggle to help those poor folks in Haiti. Making this happen is easiest by just going to www.whitehouse.gov. They'll take you directly to the Red Cross.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Back to Afton tomorrow
Monday, January 11, 2010
Tales of Afton Past
Although I was quite emotional while I watched the DVD, I managed to jot down a few things that I felt were important, or interesting, or just amusing. From what was said, most of the people interviewed were born between 1905 and 1912, so many of the recollections were pre-Route 66 days. There were numerous references to how busy and vital Afton once was, primarily because of the large number of trains that stopped there -- about 20 in a 24-hour period. Many buildings had rooms on their second floors where railroad workers could "flop".
There was talk of several livery stables, and how many people would come in from the country in their buggies. A five-mile trip to Afton to shop was considered a big deal, an all-day excursion. The largest celebration of the year was held on the 4th of July, when people came from all around to party all day and night.Fourth of July in Afton
Every Saturday night, all the stores remained open until midnight because the "country people" would come in to stock up on necesssities and to eat at one of the numerous cafes in town.Cross Mercantile
One woman told of coming to Afton from the country when she was very young and finding the granite pillar in front of the bank to be the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. Old bank building - note pillar
One extraordinary fact that surprised me was reference to the "town pump" which stood in the middle of the intersection of "66 and Main". Wow, that blew me away!
Around election time, the men of Afton (but not the women, since they couldn't vote) would gather in town and many fights would break out between the opposing factions. One woman described Afton as a "shoot 'em up" town. Another described it as the "hay center of the world", which might be a bit of hyperbole, but I'm sure that at the time the citizens believed it.
There was only one black family in town, and the gentleman whose name was Uncle Joe was in charge of uprighting the outhouses which were frequently tipped over by exuberant teen age boys.
There was oh, so much more that I can relate here. If there's a way I can post the entire CD, I will do that. In the meantime, I must say that one woman said "I can't think of this becoming a ghost town", and another said "There's just no town pride any more." I'm afraid that, sadly, I must agree.
On a different note, I noticed when passing the Blue Whale yesterday on my way home from Afton, that he was encased in a frozen pond. I couldn't stop to take a photo because of a car riding my back bumper. Fortunately, however, Brad Nickson (who is a great photographer) went out there this morning and took this picture of the frozen fishie. Thanks, Brad!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
What does frostbite feel like?
Oh my gosh, VISITORS! And not just any visitors, but a family of four from Brisbane, Australia! Lovely family -- my first visitors of the decade! They're in a rented motorhome and have been struggling to find trailer parks open. They're heading to Denver to ski at Steamboat, which is why they're traveling here in this weather when it's beautiful summer back home.
MORE visitors! A couple from Lucerne, Minnesota came through the door and remarked that it was warm in here. Of course they did -- they're from Minnesota! When they left home yesterday it was -22 there. They're heading for Arizona's warmth.
Finally, Betty arrived and it was so good to see her after several weeks. Furthermore, she brought me the most wonderful thing -- a CD of old Afton. I think it was probably made in the '70s and is pretty crudely filmed, but it's a narrated "tour" of the town, with commentary by some of the old timers who remember which buildings held which businesses and what buildings occupied the numerous empty lots that came later. If I can find a way to put it on YouTube, I'll make it available to everyone. It's a treasure for sure. Thank you so much, dear Betty!
I left around 12:45 when I acknowledged that the temperature was never going to come up to a comfortable level. I'm writing this from home now. The trip home was sunny and pretty, and the temperature continued to rise as I approached Tulsa, but not until after I passed many fields full of shivering cows and horses.