Sunday, June 20, 2010

Incredible Weekend!

Wow, what a weekend at a Route 66 Festival! Oh, I always have fun at these, but this one was special. Since I just got home from the three-day event, and since my daughter arrives tomorrow for a week, I'm going to have very little time for blogging about much of anything for a while, but I don't want to pass up the opportunity to show you a few photos.

On Friday, I worked at Afton Station for the afternoon before heading for the Downstream Casino in Quapaw where the Festival was taking place. Before I knew it, friends who were also heading for the Festival were walking in the door at record speed, just like Thursday. The party got an early start right there at Afton Station.
Barb Pfister, LaSandra Nickson, Brad Nickson, Jim Ross, Shellee Graham, Fred Zander, and Lulu Bagdon on the floor

When I finally left for the Downstream around 4, I had a leisurely drive of about 30 miles in order to get there. I was thrilled with my room at the hotel, which is an elegant highrise (about 10 floors, I believe, overlooking the spot where three Route 66 states converge -- Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.) Here's the view from my 5th floor room.

Having no interest in gambling, I never did see the casino, which I have heard is large and also lovely.

Friday night's gathering of well over 100 Route 66 fans was a party next to the beautiful hotel pool. I managed to find myself a seat at the bar and, despite not drinking a drop of alcoholic beverage all night (wasn't in the mood) I managed to have one of the best times I've ever had at a party, and ended up closing the bar at around 11:30 when they started turning off the lights and "inviting" the last 5 of us to hit the road. Here are my bar-closing cohorts.Gordo Radford, Lyn Bagdon, Croc Lyle, Ace Jackalope (whose name is actually Greg)

Saturday morning dawned early with the breakfast exclusively for Yahoo EGroup members at 7 a.m. Aphoto of most of the group can be viewed at Denny Gibson's site at I'm there somewhere, peeking out from behind, which is where I belong! I was quite excited about being presented wonderful old framed Route 66 maps by Mike Ward at the breakfast, one of which has a reference to the Eagle Service Station in Afton on the back. That is now Afton Station, of course. Way cool, and thank you, Mike! Here's another photo from Denny.

In the afternoon, it was all about booths set up by vendors, Route 66 associations, authors, artists, and various exhibitors. I spent most of the afternoon gabbing with friends and sitting in at some booths while folks took breaks or went to lunch. It was another great opportunity to hang out with friends. I also got a Native American Flute lesson from friend Larry Kinsey, who is actually very good at it and, knowing I was going to be bringing my flute, toted along four or five of his own. I managed to produce a half decent scale, and that's about it. I'm hopeless. But thanks to Larry for giving it a try.

Flute lesson from Larry

Chatting with Marian Clark and Michael Wallis

Ron M., moi, Akii (from Japan, comes to the Festival every year, and has written several books about Route 66) and Marian

Last night was the big Will Rogers banquet, at which awards are awarded, speeches are delivered, and dinner is consumed. Like every other year in every other venue, it was a joyous gathering of friends. I'm running out of steam, so I'm going to urge you to go to Ron Warnick's excellent review of the event, along with the list of award winners. Congrats to one and all!

I got up this morning early (again!) and headed for Afton Station since I had some folks coming to visit on their way home from the Festival. That's an understatement! The entire day consisted of friends dropping it. . . party time once again! Here are some photos. . .
Joe Sonderman, Joy Avery, Robert Schulz, Jim Conkle

Being the Master of Ceremonies, Jim Conkle always wears his tuxedo to the Will Rogers Banquet, and of course gets teased about looking like my penguin. Wish he'd had the tux on for this photo

Jerry McClanahan, last night's big winner of the coveted Will Rogers Award, the highest honor Route 66 bestows. Artist, author of the iconic EZ66 Guide, and my friend.

Two authors: Ron M's friend Jack Fitzgerald with Jerry McClanahan

And to top it all off, all day today solar powered cars passed by Afton Station on their yearly "race". I'll talk more about that in another post. They're sure fun to watch!

Oops, forgot to give the daily roundup of guests:

Friends: Tattoo Man and Roz (Bartlesville OK), Dave Emerson and son (Kansas City), Drew Knowles (Texas), Joe Sonderman (St.Louis), Joy Avery (Tulsa), Jim Conkle (Phelan CA), Robert Schulz (Illinois), Ron McCoy (Tulsa OK), Jack Fitzgerald (Palm Springs CA),Brad and LaSandra Nickson (Tulsa OK), Jim Ross (Arcadia OK), Shellee Graham (Arcadia OK), Bob Swengroh (Arkansas), Dave Willman and daughter Lindsey (Denver CO), Jerry McClanahan (Chandler OK), . . .

. . . and 21 other NEW friends, from Toronto, Canada, Vinita OK, Joplin MO, Afton OK (newlyweds... got married yesterday!), Eau Claire WI, Johannesburg South Africa, Waterloo IA, Dramier Norway, and Lincoln, NE. Wow!


DennyG said...

The link that Laurel has posted (.../breakfast.jpg) is to the full sized 2.7 MB version. It was added after someone reported difficulty getting to it through another route. There is a more reasonable sized version here:
This is the one I link to from my own site. Anyone is welcome to either but, unless you have a need, you may not want to wait for the larger one to download. The smaller version will be available as long as the website exists. The larger one will probably be taken down at some time.

Laurel said...

Thanks for that clarification, Denny. I knew I posted the 2.7 MB image, but it didn't take that long for me to download it, so I assumed it wouldn't take others to do so. At any rate, it's a great shot of our ragtag little band of fanatics, don't 'ya think? Thanks for taking the pic in all that heat and chaos!

Trevor Hilton said...

That was my first E-Group event. I was glad to finally put some faces with some names.

Ken Riches said...

Glad you had such an awesome weekend.