Sunday, May 30, 2010

Time to take photos? No way!

This was an insanely busy day at Afton Station, so I really didn't even remember to take any photos. However, Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones brought along a wonderful photo of himself taken by Darleen Bitter two years ago when Tattoo was in Amboy, CA. I love her use of color on the black-and-white photo. This is also a perfect occasion to feature Ron on this blog, since besides being a loyal volunteer at the Station, he is a Purple Heart veteran of the Viet Nam war and deserves great honor and thanks on this Memorial Day, as do all veterans of all wars.

And now, while I still have strength in my fingers to type, here's the scoop on this madly busy day. Our visitors (all 62 of them) came from:

Colombia, South America
Bern, Switzerland
Bindslen, Denmark
Cypress, TX
Pine Bluff, AR
Mountain Home, AR
Owasso, OK
Shreveport, LA
Norman, OK
Guthrie, OK
Athens, AL
Chanute, KS
Edwardsville, IL
Sand Springs, OK
Del City, OK
Nowata, OK
Broken Arrow, OK
Miami, OK

Very early in the day, as I was opening up a group of 30 on motorcycles from Norway and Sweden roared up to the door. They weren't expected, but were very welcome. Their tour leader tells me that he plans to bring quite a few other tours to Afton Station this summer. Great news!

Route 66 email group friends Mike and Wendy from Shreveport, LA came bearing gifts. Mike is thinning out his Route 66 collection and donated some nice ash trays and a wall plaque to the Station.

Two very cute young women from Norway were driving Route 66 after having just graduated from Berkeley College in CA. They were lost when they wandered in to Afton Station, but were glad they found their way there nonetheless.

An older gentleman from Cypress, TX used to work at Afton Station back when it was the Eagle Service Station in the 70s! It's always fun to find out about the former life of this old place.

Toward the end of the day, three separate pressed penny collectors arrived at just about the same time. Just a coincidence, but it was pretty funny. There was an actual lineup at the machine!

Whew. . . I must stop now. I left the Station about a half hour late and now I plan to veg for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A new cart and an old bag

Afton Station was the recipient of two great donations recently. Last week, we were given this great old push cart! It's a beautiful thing, and it will hold tons and tons of cold drinks, ice cream, or anything else we wish to chill in quantity. It looks pretty nifty sitting outside of the Station, too!
And then today, Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker brought me a vintage radiator cooler bag! I've wanted one of these for ages. This one is in great shape and I plan to display it on the wall in the front room unless David co-opts it for the new showroom.
Two old bags and Dean

Nice day at Afton Station today. Ron M. came with me, and Betty W. stopped by briefly. Betty B. came and brought a whole tray of delicious deviled eggs because, as she observed, "What's Memorial Day weekend without deviled eggs?" She has a valid point there. LOL!

Other visitors were from White Wright TX, McAlester OK, Mesquite TX, Gravette AR, Bern Switzerland, St. Louis MO, Pryor OK, Wood Lake CA, Newton KS, and Afton OK. There were 28 in total. Michael Wheat, my Facebook Friend from Pryor, OK dropped in with his wife. There were several motorcycle tourists on this most perfect motorcycle day. The family from White Wright, TX were on a mission to take their son to St. Louis to meet his "online girlfriend" for the first time. Hope that went well!

Crazy Legs dropped in to give me the aforementioned water bag. We all sat outdoors for a while to enjoy the breeze. I didn't turn on the a/c today because it wasn't unbearably hot, as had been predicted.
P.S. Yesterday, after I left, Marly stayed on and greeted 14 more visitors. They came from Toronto Canada, Holland, Oklahoma City OK, Los Angeles CA, New York City, Pennsylvania, and Wichita, KS. Thanks so much, Marly!

Friday, May 28, 2010

And the holiday weekend begins. . .

I drove up to Afton Station today after dialysis, something I rarely do, but I just couldn't stay away. When I arrived at 1 p.m. there was a group of 9 motorcycles waiting outside. They were friends from Bartlesville, OK and Goodland, KS heading for Eureka Springs, AR. Shortly thereafter a couple from Muskogee, OK and a man from Huntsville, AR stopped by. Marly came later, and I left after not quite two hours. Short visit, but I'm glad I did it.

Back again tomorrow.... and Sunday. I'm up for a busy, exciting weekend.

May you all have a delicious Memorial Day weekend. I'll be back tomorrow to blog about things.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This is the kind of day. . .

. . . that makes me wish I had loads and loads of time to blog about all the interesting people we met at Afton Station today. Unfortunately, as things go, it seems that the busier the day at the Station, the less time and energy I have in the evening to write about it. So please bear with me while I write somewhat hurriedly about a day that actually deserves rich and elegant language.

First the facts: Yesterday, Marly was at Afton Station all day and hosted 26 visitors from (according to his notes) Holland, St. Petersburg FL, Illinois, Tulsa OK, Kingman AZ, Los Angeles CA, Ontario Canada, and Sherman, TX. A big day for him to be all alone at the Station. I'm eternally grateful for his constant help!

Today, Ron M., Tattoo Man, Marly, and I met and greeted a whopping 36 people! They came from Evergreen CO, Sidney MT, Berlin Germany, Newport Beach CA, Davenport IA, San Jose CA, Belfast Northern Ireland, Kingman AZ, France, Albuquerque NM, Pasadena CA, and Afton, Miami, and Broken Arrow, OK. Betty W. also stopped by with some beautiful roses!

Among that auspicious crowd was Bill Wright, the former Mayor of Afton (in the 1970s) who had some interesting stories to tell, Jim Hinckley, author friend from Kingman, AZ who is traveling and doing research for his upcoming book about the ghost towns on Route 66, a 90-year-old man from Albuquerque, NM who is back in town for his Afton High School reunion, a professional photographer from Newport Beach, CA who spent a great deal of time photographing every nook and cranny of the Station and (almost!) every nook and cranny of Tattoo Man's tattooed body, our first visitors from Belfast, N. Ireland, a group of 8 folks from various parts of France on motorcycles and a car, postcard collectors from Berlin, Germany, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. It seemed like today everyone had a story to tell, and there were NO stories that weren't interesting.

Here are a few photos:
Photographer Linda Berman from California talking to Tattoo Man

This gentleman from San Jose, CA sat in the Model A. Thanks to Marly and Ron M., we put three cars outside today and I believe this helped attract many of our guests.

The man from San Jose arrived in this groooovy VW Bus. I want it!

I worked on getting in the patriotic Memorial Day spirit. Gorgeous roses provided by Betty W.And to top it all off, a snake attempted to escape from the snake box, creating pandemonium and mayhem. (Just kidding. . . he's rubber.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

For the Birds

Afton has a lot of birds. At least there are always plenty of them around Afton Station, causing me to wonder if they live in the old Pierce-Harvey Buggy building across the street. The windows are broken out, and sometimes we see birds flying in and out of there. There aren't many trees in the neighborhood, but there are always birds taking advantage of our "perpetual puddle" (which we call Lake Afton) for taking a drink or a bath. They also seem to derive pleasure from pooping on our gas pumps. When the town finally repairs the broken culvert that's causing the puddle, will the birds leave? I hope not!

Frankly, I'm wasting time this morning. I've already had my first visitors, a lovely couple from Appleton, Wisconsin who are doing the Route. I should use this time to dust the showcases, rearrange and restock merchandise, and do something about the disgustingly grungy floor. But those who know me know that I tend to be a lazy bum, so I think I'll just do a couple of crossword puzzles until the next guests arrive.

It was another relatively slow day. It was also the first day with doors closed and A/C on, which always gives me an isolated feeling. I'd much rather have the door open so I can hear the birds (and the trains!) But the temperature is in the upper 80s, so open doors aren't an option.

I ended up having only 8 visitors today. They were from Appleton WI, Heperia CA, Baxter Springs KS, and Mantua OH. The Californians were using the wonderful EZ66 Guide which, as one of it's features, lists all the "giants" along Route 66. They were excited about seeing Tripper, who has been suffering in his little corner from some neglect lately. He was thrilled to get a little attention today.

Gordo, the Photographer, was here on Sunday and stayed at my house on Sunday night. He and his friend Larry are heading west on Route 66 on their motorcycles. As I was leaving early Monday morning (pre-dawn) I snapped this pic of Gordon's rig. It's not much of a picture, but it shows his large trailer and cooler setup.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Take a seat?

Just another colorful addition to the Afton landscape. Anybody need a three-legged yellow chair? If so, I know where to find one, and get it absolutely free! :-)

My voice is fine this morning, and so far Afton Station has been a lot less crazy than yesterday. Then again, it's only 10:15. I've had four visitors so far.

I came disturbingly close, not once but TWICE, to hitting deer on the way to Afton today. One was east of Vinita and one was west of Vinita. Both ran out in front of my car, but not so close that I couldn't stop. It must be mating season. There are a ton of terrapins crossing the road now too, so extra caution is required.

I'm home now and rushing, since Gordo the Photographer and his friend are due here soon. Gordo is taking his 3rd Route 66 trip this year, and his art cards are selling well.

Today was the antithesis of yesterday at the Station. There were only 10 visitors all day, and they originated from Edwardsville and Naperville, IL and McAlester, Grove, and Chelsea, OK. Very quiet and relaxing, with some good conversation with interesting folks.

Betty came for a visit and brought some lovely roses, as well as the copy of an email from a relative of hers who is an expert in genealogy. Betty had asked her to trace my mother's family (name of Brown) to see if Betty and I might be related, since she comes from Browns, too. Well, her relative found SO much about my family, things I'd never been able to find myself. I'm so grateful. More about this tomorrow.

I took this quick pic of the Little Tin Barn on Route 66 in Chelsea this morning. A neat place to buy metal art, junk, and treasures of all kinds.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scratchy Throat

Today, I talked too much. Am I complaining? Not on your life! In order to talk too much, it's necessary to have an audience, and Afton Station certainly provided that today. Thank god for my trusted sidekicks, Ron M. and Marly, because the visitors just kept arriving all day and the guys were an enormous help. But now I'm tired and losing my voice. However, if every day at Afton Station could be like today, I'd gladly suffer long term laryngitis.

Here goes. . . the guest list of 60 visitors read as follows:

Prim AR, Cary NC, LaMar MO, Nevada MO, Fredrikstad Norway, Langley OK, Joplin MO, Muskogee OK, Osnabruk Germany, Tulsa OK, Miami OK, Scappoose OR, Owasso OK, Naperville IL, Eureka Springs AR, and Stillwater OK.

On top of all those fine folks, we also had a group of 20 driving an attractive lineup of Mustangs, cruisers from the SW Missouri "Stang Gang". They came from various towns in Missouri but I didn't take note of all of them. When they left Afton Station, they were heading to Clanton's in Vinita for lunch.
The Mustang folks were posing for a group photo, and I couldn't resist taking this group photo from another perspective!
Furthermore, a group of 6 folks from TX, IL, GA, and MO came together in Afton for a family reunion and were all from the Dawson clan who owned the big hotel in town way back when. All had either grown up in Afton or had vacationed here in the summer, and none had been back to Afton for many years, so some were in shock about its deterioration. Here is the hotel in its heyday. The building no longer exists.
Here are a couple of members of the Dawson family looking at photos of old Afton on, of all places, our bathroom walls.

The corn in "my" field is getting tall. It'll be knee high LONG before the 4th of July!

I expect tomorrow to be another full day, so I'm going to gargle some salt water and head for an early bedtime.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Busy Day and Special Guest

Beginning with this lovely sunrise after a night of tornado warnings and heavy thunderstorms, this was an all-around great day at Afton Station. It was busy, and I always appreciate that. I also had a very special visitor who helped to make the day pleasant.

My guest was Joe Paul, who is my dialysis technician and does such a phenomenal job of taking care of me during my 3-day-a-week treatments. He and his family visited briefly one day last year, but today Joe took his whole day off in order to drive up to Afton and sit in on my day, just to see for himself all the craziness that I'm always telling him about. We were having such fun that we decided to leave an hour later than usual, which is why this blog entry is being posted a little later.
There were 24 visitors today, which is a healthy number for a weekday in May. They traveled to Afton from Lantana TX, Corpus Christi TX, Adelaide Australia, Wheatland MO, Fairmont IN, Stewartsville MO, Muskego WI, Benton IL, Melbourne Australia, Hamburg Germany, St. Louis MO, and Grove OK. It was a mixed bag. Only one motorcycle today, which is unusual on such a pretty day. The driver was from Germany but spoke near perfect English. He's enjoying his cruise across the U.S. The people from Wisconsin were hunting "roadside" antiques, and from what they said, they have a very large collection of authentic Route 66 signage and other memorabilia. The guys from down the road in Grove OK came in to ask for a stack of my brochures to be handed out during a big (estimated attendance:2000) wake board tournament to be held this weekend at their resort on the lake. They were quite interested in urging folks who are attending their event to visit other sites in the area. I like this a lot!
The super '57 Chevy golf cart made another appearance at Afton Station today so that Marly could install the new stainless steel steering wheel. It caught quite a lot of attention, as usual.

Marly and Kenny were here working very hard all day. Construction of the new showroom out back should begin within a few days. Today, they were clearing the spot where the pad will be poured.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interesting Afton Day

Burning propane, guests from far-away places, an enlightened piece of graffiti, and blackberries -- these were the highlights of a dramatic day at Afton Station -- or at least as dramatic as it tends to get around here.

First of all, there were 14 guests. They came from Chesnee SC, Inman SC, Richmond VA, Cushing OK, Grove OK, Zapata TX, Bartlesville OK, Bonn Germany, Alfter Germany, Moholh Sweden, and Johannesburg, South Africa. There were quite a few motorcycle visitors today, undoubtedly due to the absolutely gorgeous weather. All of our foreign visitors today were launching out on full Route 66 trips. We were thrilled to greet this adorable and vivacious young couple from Johannesburg, South Africa, who told us how they've been saving for years for this once-in-a-lifetime trip on motorcycles they rented in Chicago. They appeared to be having a wonderful time. I believe they're only the 2nd people from S. Africa we've ever greeted.

This is a neat 1936 Harley ridden here a fellow from Bartlesville, OK out for a pleasant spin.

Afton Station was a hive of activity today, with Marly, David, and Kenny working in the back (getting ready to pour the foundation for the new showroom!), and me in the company of Ron M., Tattoo Man, and Betty B. for all or parts of the day. Betty B. brought some more of those awesome blackberries and a sample of her boyfriend's smoked pork. Yum! Meanwhile, a burnoff of propane from a railroad car resulted in an "eternal flame" which burned all day across the street from the Station and will probably burn for several more days. And, on the way out of town, I was pleased to see this graffiti on a fence in town, perhaps a signal of open-mindedness having descended upon little Afton.
On the way home, Ron M. and I decided that this was one of those really good days.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An Apple Butter Kind of Day

On a foggy, rainy day, it feels pretty good when someone walks in and gives you three big jars of apple butter. It's also kind of weird, but I'm not complaining! There's never a dull moment at Afton Station on Route 66, you know.
The visitors in question were a delightful couple from Quarryville, PA who are traveling Route 66 in a late model 2-seater Mercedes, so when they told us they were carrying 3 cases of apple butter with them, we couldn't really figure out where on earth they stashed them in the car. The reason they had them? Simple. They love apple butter and never leave home without a large supply of it. The husband slipped out the door mid-conversation and came back moments later with three big jars which he insisted I keep! It's made in the town where they live, and it truly IS marvelous. I gave one jar to Marly, who was there with me, but I was eager to taste it as soon as I got home. Yum! If the gift givers happen to be reading this, thank you so, so much!

There were other visitors too, of course. I opened a bit early this morning, and following me in the door moments later was "Joanie the Cruiser" from Clarksville, IN. She's an occasional visitor when she passes by on her annual solo Route 66 trips. She stayed until about noon and then moved on to Stroud and Tucumcari. There was also a couple from Burbank, CA who are doing some, but not all, of Route 66, and more local folks from Commerce, Grove, Wyandot, and Vinita, OK. I didn't expect big crowds today in view of the weather, although the sun finally broke through the fog and clouds by mid-afternoon.

Tattoo Man stopped by for a while, as did Betty W. Betty's dear friends Reuben and Colleen stopped by and bought some onions. Marly stuck around for most of the day and helped me in many ways, as usual. . . mostly helping me to maintain my sanity. It was a somewhat stressful weekend, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Here's "my" field this morning in the rain and fog. Won't be long before the crop will be so tall that I won't be able to get decent photos of it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pardon me while I catch my breath

Gee, today was kind of weird. As predicted, the nasty weather kept a lot of travelers from traveling, but it didn't stop all of the Afton Station "regulars" from dropping in. It was fun! Ron M. rode to Afton with me, and shortly after we arrived Tattoo Man, Betty W., Betty B., and Marly arrived. A bit later, Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker drove up. And everybody except Betty W. stayed all day. Party time! Betty B. brought a delicious rhubarb cobbler (haven't had rhubarb since I moved to OK, and now I remember how much I missed it!) and some perfectly gorgeous blackberries.

Ten guests included folks from Fredonia KS, Claremont CA, Bresco IL, Disney OK, and Budapest, Hungary. Since we have very few travelers from Hungary, it was a pleasure to see this handsome young couple enjoying the Route 66 experience. The fellow from Claremont, CA (on Route 66) was interested in locating a 1909 Hupmobile like his grandfather had, and I think I was able to help him with a few leads.

I've become a produce salesperson. David left 100 lb. of vidalia onions at the Station for me to sell. They're a fundraiser for the Shriner's Children's Hospital. Drop by Afton tomorrow and get 'em while they last!
John from the Town of Afton Public Works brought me another gem that he found right here in town. It's a church fan with a D-X advertisement and "The Ten Commandments for Safe Driving" on the back. He knows I'm happy to receive any D-X or Afton memorabilia.Here's the giant pinwheel that Ron M. bought for the OPEN sign!
I should also mention that Marly had ten visitors yesterday (Friday). They were from England, Wichita KS, and Schnectady, NY. I'm so grateful to Marly for staying open on the days I can't be at the Station, but since he can't be there every day, I continue to suggest a call a couple of days in advance if you plan to visit on a Mon., Wed., or Fri. 918-382-9465

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The morning drive wasn't too bad, considering the tornado sirens were going off and there was an extraordinary amount of wind when I left the house. I waited until the wind died down a bit, then made a run for it. (It turns out that what were called "straightline winds about 80 mph" when I left the house were later labeled as tornadoes! More on that later.) Apparently I left just at the right moment, because my drive to Afton was relatively unaffected, and I didn't see any wind damage (although I left at 5:30 a.m. so it was still dark).

The Birds and the Bees: Marly was at Afton Station when I arrived at 8 a.m. He told me that after I left on Tuesday he remained a while and was enlisted in the bee removal effort. The beekeeper came dressed in his whole bee suit, but needed Marly to help remove the sign they were on so that he could catch those that were underneath. He instructed Marly that the bees wouldn't hurt him if he didn't make any quick movements and if he kept his eyes open only a small slit. He did so, and although the bees were bombarding and crashing into him, he wasn't stung. There were twice as many bees under the sign as there were above it, but the beekeeper was very efficient in gathering them in boxes and returning them to his hives.

Marly also showed his efficiency in the matter of birds today. When a poor little bird flew into the door of the Station this morning, Marly was there to fix the problem. He trapped the bird in one corner, then "shooed" him toward the door. It worked. I don't know what we'd do around there without Marly!

We were short on visitors today (not unexpectedly, due to the weather) but long on activity. Tattoo Man and Betty W. were there for a while, and David, Marly, and another helper were here all day and busy as bees. (Groan!) Some yard trimming got done, as well as some extermination. Marly was busy polishing the trim on my boat, and waxing the cars in the showroom was being done. It was a hive of activity. (More Groan!)

We had 6 visitors today. The first couple, from Locust Grove, OK were tailor-made for Afton Station. She's a big Route 66 fan, and he collects D-X gas memorabilia! Needless to say, they both enjoyed their visit. Here they are.Another couple, from Warren, OH were from the National Packard Museum there, so you can imagine how much they appreciated our little Packard island in the middle of Oklahoma, too. He has a Packard himself, and they're both on the Board of the museum. Our final two visitors were in the area on business but decided to take a break and visit us. She was from Fayetteville, AR and he from Jenks, OK.

Here are a few pictures of the Tulsa tornado this morning.Video Tornadoes Confirmed In Sapulpa, Broken Arrow, OnetaNewsChannel 8. It came within 1/2 mile of Ron M.'s house. Thank goodness he is just fine.

Here's "my" field this afternoon. The rain is encouraging growth!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weather Report: Warm and Swarm-y

First, I wish to let everyone know that I'm indeed safe and unharmed, as are all others I know, after the outbreak of tornadoes which hit Oklahoma last night. Although, sadly, five people lost their lives in the storms, here in Tulsa we were spared. Nothing significant occurred in Afton either.

Today at Afton Station things were relatively calm, both in weather and activity. We had 11 visitors who came from New Stanton PA, Montreal Quebec, Riverton KS, North Olmstead OH, Vinita OK, and Ramona OK. Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker came for a visit and brought a buzzer for the snake cage that he presented to me a few weeks ago. Shortly after he arrived, his mother walked through the door. It was nice to meet her for the first time. Marly was here working on the trim for my boat, a '57 Herter Flying Fish. Ron M. was with me today and brought a new whirligig for the sign. It's red, white, blue, and huge! I'll take a picture another day. Betty W. also stopped in for a while.

The real fun began in the afternoon when Marly, who was gazing out the window at the time, suddenly got an amazed/horrified look on his face. Bees! Sure enough, across the street, an entire large swarm of bees had made its temporary home on the rental sign at Forklift Man's place. It's amazing how fascinating a swarm of bees can be! We spent the better part of the afternoon watching their moving and shifting from afar.
As we were leaving, we drove across the street and viewed them more closely from the safety of the car -- close enough to get a decent photo but far enough away so as not to harm or disturb them. Looks like another closed business in Afton. The little laundromat behind Afton Station is locked up and seems to have been abandoned. One more down. :-(

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pretty picture

I'm not in Afton today. I'm at home getting all stressed out about the tornado watch that's been posted for later this afternoon. Sometimes I think I'll never be a true Okie. I've been here for 10 years now and I still get more nervous about the T-word than any of the natives I know. Furthermore, due to an error made at dialysis this morning, I can't drink or eat much of anything until Wednesday morning, so I can't even appease my nerves with food or beverage. So, I guess I'll just show you this nice photo that Ron M. took on Saturday. You can see how the new DX sign looks with the building in the background.That's all for today.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lots 'o bikes

Mother's Day flowers from Betty W. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all mothers!

I'll probably overuse the word "nice" again, but it's descriptive of every person who visited Afton Station today. All were on best Mother's Day behavior and all seemed to be having relaxing, enjoyable days. Also, it seemed like everyone was looking for a place to eat. Afton sure could use a diner!

Thirty-seven visitors came from Manchester MD, Streetsboro OH, Aurora OH, Ossseo MN, Naples FL, Groveport OH, DesMoines IA, Oscola MO, Woodstock IL, and Watts, Tulsa, and Nowata, OK.

I was alone today, so not many photos were taken. Some folks who arrived at the Station yesterday after I'd closed and couldn't let them in because I'd already set the alarms came back today, and I was so pleased. They're from Manchester, MD and have gone across the country in their little Smart car. They stayed in Baxter Springs last night and drove all the way back to visit Afton Station this morning. Also, early this morning I was visited by five folks from Watts, OK out for a Mother's Day drive in the country.

I had some cleanup to do this morning as I didn't get to straighten up after the Studebaker people left. I did the tidying up early and everything was looking good again before the tourists started arriving. We now have a new "giveaway" thanks to Ron M., who yesterday brought a big box of dog biscuits for our visiting canines. So be sure to bring your pups when you come to visit!

Two extremely nice truckers, driving tandem from Ohio, stopped. They both lived pretty close to where I grew up near Cleveland, and one of them was even familiar with the street on which I was born! Both are Cleveland Indians fans, too. Yay!

Two bikers from Tulsa dropped in on their way home from a Moto Guzzi gathering and campout in Missouri. Beautiful Italian bikes!A couple from Florida in a big motorhome bought a ton of stuff. Can't complain about that! An antiquing couple stopped by while cruising around looking for flea markets and antique shops. A lady from Woodstock, IL stopped, too. She's traveling solo the entire length of Route 66. Kudos to her!

And then, at the end of the day, 15 motorcycles pulled into the Station, very unexpectedly but VERY welcome! It was the Des Moines IA chapter of the HOG group, returning from a multi-day cruise. What a fun bunch of guys! Here are some of their bikes.

Finally, here are some goats attacking a pickup. I just had to stop and watch the goats line up for chances to mount the front end of the truck. It was funny!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Speed Blogging

I just got home, very late, tired. Therefore, I'll post a few comments and pictures here and elaborate on them tomorrow or Monday. It was a GIANT day at Afton Station, with 64 visitors, including 35 in the Ozark Studebaker Club that arrived at 4 p.m. We were the last stop on their Route 66 tour, in which they were giving prizes for the Studebakers that got the best gas mileage on the trip. Here are a couple of pictures; no explanations required. Just a lot of great cars.

Other visitors were from Pittsburgh KS, Minneapolis MN, Echusa Australia, Seymour IN, Nashville TN, Niagara Falls Canada, Dunkirk NY, Dusseldorf Germany, Olathe KS, Wales UK, and Miami, Tulsa, Wyandot and Duncan, OK.

This gentleman from France, who now lives in Canada, used to be a Citroen mechanic in France! He was astonished that we had one and he happily posed for this picture!

This woman's father worked for the D-X company. She was thrilled to see all the D-X memorabilia we had, and wanted her photo taken in our D-X jacket for her father.These kids from Wyandot, OK got guidance from their father and grandfather about pressing pennies.

Good night, and thanks to Betty W. for bringing me a beautiful wildflower bouquet (Indian Paintbrush and Clover) and to Ron M. for helping today in a million different ways and for being the photographer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sign Raising Day!

Just about everything that happened at Afton Station today happened in the morning. It was a big day because the long-awaited raising of the vintage DX sign took place at last! David, Marly, Johnny, and Fork Lift Man (whose name I'm afraid I don't know) were involved with the project, with help from PJ, a visitor who just happened to be at the Station during the fun. As for myself, I was both the Official Photographer and the Official Stress Case. Any time the combination of heavy stuff, tall ladders, pulleys, electricity, and people I care about all come together in one place, the Official Stress Case snaps into action. I stood by and watched most of the time. I was relieved for a bit by a visit from two great guys from Ontario, Canada who arrived on motorcycles in the middle of the procedure and managed to divert my attention from the fellows outside trying not to break bones or electrocute themselves.

So, here are some photos of the whole event.

On the trailer
Preparing the pedestal
1 - 2 - 3 Hoist!

PJ, my visitor who was enlisted to hold one rope. If he hadn't been there, it would have been my job. Thank you, PJ!
Fork Lift Man and his fork lift got in on the action
David connects the lights. Marly holds the ladder. They are not internal lights, but instead are old-fashioned spotlights. Can't wait to see it in the dark.

Just as the sign was being hoisted into place, an elderly gentleman from Afton walked up and, with emotion in his voice said, "I never thought I'd see this again. The last time I saw a DX sign at this Station was way back in the mid-60s when this was quite a town". That alone was enough to make it all worthwhile.

After it was all done, David and Marly power-washed David's RV.

Here's "my" field today. The plants are growing!