Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Almost Festival Time

It's obvious that the International Tri-State Route 66 Festival is near (this weekend, in fact) because Route 66 friends from all over the world are migrating to the Joplin, MO area where it's being held this year. Several such friends came to Afton Station today. I'll be seeing the rest of them over the weekend.

I met Denny Gibson from Cincinnati, OH at Clanton's for breakfast this morning. The smile was for the sausage omelet, I think.

After an hour of catching up there, we proceeded to the Station, where Denny stayed for a while and we had a good visit. It was his first time at Afton Station. Hard to imagine that.
Later in the day, Mike and Sharon Ward from Mesa, AZ stopped by and we chatted for a couple of hours. The last time they were there, we were just a card table and folding chair in a not-yet-restored mess of an abandoned gas station. It's always so good to know that at least once a year a group of like-minded friends (perhaps better described as Route 66 fanatics) are able to get together somewhere in this country, and it always seems like no time has passed at all between visits.
Mike and Sharon

During the middle of the day, there was the usual assortment of travelers from here and there. They came from Hutchinson KS, Austin TX, Grove OK, W. Dundee IL, Monkey Island OK, Syracuse NY, and Japan. The three men from Japan are caviar buyers, at Grand Lake to buy the rare paddlefish roe which is harvested there by the OK Dept. of Wildlife.

I had a very strange, almost surreal experience this afternoon when a couple arrived (I won't say where they came from), and while the husband went into the showroom to look at the cars, the wife spent ten minutes telling me what a "boring" and "disappointing" place Route 66 is. They got as far as Afton, having started in Chicago, and were going to turn back as soon as they left the Station because, with the exception of one or two places, they found the Mother Road to be nothing more than a succession of "boring" small towns with absolutely nothing to see whatsoever. If I hadn't been certain that she was just having a bad day (or perhaps that she was just ornery by nature) it would have completely bummed out my day. However, after getting past the rudeness of her walking into a Route 66 museum and telling the proprietor that she has committed her life to a terrible thing, I came to realize that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and I wasn't going to let it get me down. The rest of the day was way too good to let her spoil it.

I wasn't in Afton, as you may remember, either Sunday or Monday. Marly took over on those days, with some help from Tattoo Man, and they had quite an array of visitors. Wish I'd been there! On Sunday, the 50 visitors came from Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Zealand, Utah, Kansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Alabama, Australia, Georgia, and England. On Monday, 20 visitors came from Baxter Springs KS, Scottsdale AZ, France, Afton OK, Sloam Springs AR, Topeka KS, and North Carolina. Thanks so much, guys!!!

The heavy rain yesterday revived "Lake Afton" in our side driveway. The birds have their birdbath back!


Trevor Hilton said...

I'll bet that woman would drive through the Ozarks and say there's nothing but a bunch of trees to look at. Or would go through the Smithsonian and say there's nothing but a bunch of old junk to look at.
Oh well.

I hope you weren't affected by our Monsoon. Going home, Route 66 just east of Arcadia was closed due to flooding. I had to take an alternate route, and had to drive through hub-deep water going that way.

Laurel said...

Glad you weren't affected by the big rains, Trevor! Will you be coming to the Tri-State Festival?