Monday, May 9, 2011

Betty Baumann

Betty Baumann, the very nice lady who made all those beautiful hand crafted items we sell at Afton Station, died, along with her boyfriend, in a motorcycle accident last night. I'm quite shaken by this, having just heard about it on the news program I was watching during dialysis this morning. She and Jim, her boyfriend, loved to ride their Harley and spent many weekends touring the back roads. This is such a tragedy. Besides being a lovely person, she was an incredibly gifted seamstress and craftswoman. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this at a later time.

Lately, I've missed out on several great Route 66 gatherings, most of which take place on weekends when I don't like to leave Afton Station, even though I have capable, trustworthy, and usually-available help. I believe in the philosophy that an owner/manager should be on site every moment, if possible. There are a few exceptions to this, such as a couple of short trips I'll be taking soon, but for the most part, I won't go anywhere during our "open" hours.

I missed two great events this past week. One was the Blue Tie Affair and the Blue Whale on Route 66 in Catoosa, held to raise funds for restoration of our beloved Whale. It was an evening, al fresco dinner party and from what I've heard it was extraordinarily fun. In that case, I didn't go because I was afraid it would be a long night, and I had to get up the next morning around 4 a.m. for dialysis. (I'm not as young as I used to be!) Then, this past weekend, Pontiac IL held a tribute to Bob Waldmire during the Red Carpet Corridor event, and among other things, attendees were each allowed to paint a bit of a large mural as a tribute to Bob. That, too, sounded like a lot of fun, and it would have been nice to visit with some of my Route 66 friends from around the country. Alas, when I made my choice to commit myself to Afton Station, I knew I'd be limited in my ability to travel. I'm not complaining. Sometimes I'm just wistful.

Yesterday I was interviewed by a writer and researcher from Albuquerque, NM named David Dunaway. David King Dunaway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia He's doing some oral history research and was interested in me as an example of someone who hasn't had a business on Route 66 for a very long time (although 10 years seems like a long time to me, it's peanuts compared to folks like Angel Delgadillo and others). He's a fantastic interviewer and the hour went very quickly. I took one of his books that I own and he autographed it for me. The interview took place at the McBirney Mansion in Tulsa, a huge mansion left over from Tulsa's "Oil Boom" days, and which is now used as a very elegant hotel/ bed and breakfast. The only problem was lack of air conditioning on a very warm afternoon. All in all, it was a good experience. McBirney Mansion - Tulsa, Oklahoma


Susan Yates said...

Dear Laurel,
I am sorry for the loss of your friend Betty. You have written about her so many times here on your blog it seems as though I'd met her. I can only imagine how much you and your Afton Station crew will miss her. Thank goodness for all those photos that will help you remember your happy times with her.

Trevor Hilton said...

John 11:
25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

I hope Betty Baumann and her boyfriend are cruising the Golden Highways in Heaven, now.

Anonymous said...


I am sorry for your loss. I miss her so much already. She was an incredible lady, and will be deeply missed.
Terri Musser

Anonymous said...

Such sad news. Betty was a sweetheart. If there is consolation to be had, surely it can be found in the thought that she slipped away while enjoying a pretty day with her arms wrapped around someone she loved.

Lulu said...

I am so sorry about this. I gasped and my hand went to my mouth.
She was a part of Afton Station just as much as you are!
Big hugs to you,

Laurel said...

As you know, there are two Bettys who are friends of Afton Station and spend time with us. I had an indication that some of you were confused by who perished in the tragic accident on Sunday. It was Betty B., not Betty W. Betty W., the former proprietor of Dairy Ranch at Buffalo Ranch, is still very much alive. We are all mourning the loss of Betty B., however.


DennyG said...

What a roller coaster ride your emotions must have had today. "Shaken", "wistful", and "a good experience" are three dramatically different directions. They're all pulling at you, no doubt, but maybe they can balance each other a bit, too.

Susan Yates said...

I did understand that Betty B. was the talented lady who made the unique handcrafted Route 66 things for you to sell at the Station. I imagine it might become increasingly difficult for you to let those items go as the remaining inventory dwindles, but I hope it brings you joy to think of things that Betty made traveling home with visitors from all over the world. Susan

Ken Riches said...

sorry to hear of the passing of your friend. Hugs.