Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The Spirit of 66
The photo in the article is mine, and Afton Station is mentioned.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Column: Part II
Phil had his second cast removed last week. Here's what he did with it. He's so creative! See July 30th post to see his first one.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Is Afton going Greek? This column is the latest addition to Route 66 as it passes through the town. It joins the 8-burner commercial stove and the pink bathtub, both of which have littered the street for months. The column is Ionic, it's ironic (since it has appeared just prior to Clean Up Day), and since it's on Route 66, I guess you could call it iconic, too. You never know what might show up along the side of the road in Afton, Oklahoma.
Today was Robin's birthday, so we celebrated with a little chocolate cake and one balloon. :-) Our Afton Station birthdays tend to be a little lame because we keep getting sidetracked when visitors come through the door. Today, however, we had some quiet time in which to congratulate Robin.
There was a really nice article about me and my postcard collecting habit in today's Tulsa World. If you'd like to see it, go to http://tinyurl.com/LaurelTulsaWorld. I think it's good, but I'd like to hear other opinions. There were other things I would have liked to have said, but I talked the ear off the poor reporter as it was. Here's the guy who did the article, Jason Ashley Wright. He was a joy to meet and talk to. Nice guy and good writer. And thanks to Ron M. for "nominating" me when Jason put out a call for "interesting" people to interview. Ron is not only a good friend, but also a crack publicity agent. LOL! (P.S. I'm not that interesting.)
Today's visitors came from near and far. . . mostly near. In fact, everyone came from Oklahoma -- Grove, Spavinaw, Afton, Moore -- except for one young man on a motorcycle, from Miyazaki, Japan. I think the overseas travel season is winding down now, but there is still a lot of traffic in August and September, so we're still open 7 days a week.
Pastor Ted came by to talk about the Clean Up Day. He's keeping up his work toward the event despite serious illness, and I must say he's a committed and dedicated man. I wish him well with his medical complications and hope he'll be strong enough to participate fully on Saturday.
I think I'll close with this morning's sunrise.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
The morning at Afton Station was a bit slow, so Ron M. took it upon himself to scrub the bathroom floor. I don't know what I'd do with that guy! Thanks, Ron!
Yesterday (when I wasn't in Afton) Pastor Ted, the man who is coordinating the work assignments for Clean Up Day, brought in this beautiful creation. It's a sign-up sheet for those who plan to attend the event. We need everyone who plans to work that day to sign up in advance so we know how much food to buy. The board also includes photos of some of the most "needy" places in town, those which really need our muscle power. Two problems, however. Pastor Ted is quite ill and in and out of the hospital on an almost daily basis. I do hope he rallies and can continue his good work. Secondly. . . we need more signatures! So far, there are only those of us who work at the Station. I'm hoping the town folks will begin to come in and put their names on the line. We have room for 138 volunteers!
Friday, August 26, 2011
Remember, we will start at 7 a.m. with coffee and donuts at Afton Station. At noon, there will be hot dogs and side dishes (bring one!) for lunch. Water and other drinks will be available all day at the Station. All of this is free for those who pitch in and work. You must sign up prior to the day, if possible, at the Station. If you're from out of town, just let me know here on the blog if you plan to come and that will be good enough for me. Also, let me know what kind of work you'd like to perform on that day. I'll put you on the list. Hope to see you next Saturday!
Disclaimer: Although it's mighty cute, this is not the Afton Cleanup Day shirt. We don't have one. I stole this one from Google Images. :-)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
A Day in the Life. . .
What is my day at Afton Station really like? Some of you might enjoy a chronicle of a "typical" day (although no days are really typical!). Others will think this is "booorrrr-ing". That's ok, too. Just move on to another blog, because I'm going to go ahead and attempt this. Here we go, minute by minute. . .
8:55 -- Arrive at Afton Station
9:00 -- Kids from Cleora Middle School come in and ask me to contribute to their yearbook fund by buying an ad. I did.
9:20 -- Put out flags, open back showrooms, check figures from yesterday
9:45 -- Call from daughter Sarah. She made it home to Chicago just fine (albeit a bit late) yesterday.
9:55 -- Rehung pictures in restroom which were displaced when Marly installed the new cabinet in there. Cabinet is a really great addition to the bathroom.
10:00 -- Turned on A/C. Tried to do without it today, but it got way too hot and stuffy.
10:20 -- Wrote some checks for purchases.
10:30 -- Start to read morning newspaper. Phil arrives to see if he can help. I said yes, of course.
10:35 -- Man from Pryor, OK arrives on a bicycle. He said he drives his car to a different small town every time he has a day off, then bikes around the town. Neat idea!
11:00 -- Friend Jon Edwards arrives to retrieve some information he forgot when he was in Afton on Tuesday. Nice to see him again.
11:30 -- Betty Wheatley arrives to visit for the morning
11:40 -- The couple below, from Barcelona Spain, arrives. Here's the great story of the day: All of us on our Route 66 Yahoo email list were asked yesterday by fellow shop owner, Rich Henry of Henry's Rabbit Ranch on Route 66 in Illinois, to look for a young couple from Spain driving a white SUV. Rich had accidentally shortchanged them by $10 when they visited his place, so he sent out the online alert and asked if any other shopkeepers met them along the way, would we please give them a $10 bill, and he would reimburse us later. Welllllll..... 4 Women on the Route up in Galena, KS was visited by them late yesterday and gave them the $10. But when they came in here, I immediately asked them if they were the people who were owed $10. They laughed and laughed. Seems that every place they'd stopped since yesterday morning were wanting to give them the money! Because of the language barrier, they didn't quite understand why this was happening, but they concluded that Route 66 people are the nicest and most honest people in the world! What a nice human interest story, and what a great thing Rich Henry did by making sure the young Spaniards wouldn't be cheated in Route 66, even if unintentionally. 11:50 -- Visits from man on motorcycle from Banner Springs, KS.
12:00 -- Two handsome young men, one from Milano, Italy and one from Strassbourg, France, traveling together, arrive.
12:30 - 2:30 (approx.) -- Various visitors from Fort Cortez CO, Ripley OK, and Quebec City, Canada. The three Quebec folks were on motorcycles and intended to travel the full length of Route 66. When there were no guests, Phil and I chat about this and that. Phil gives tours of the car showrooms.
2:30 -- Called the Mayor of Afton to talk about details of the upcoming Clean Up Route 66 Day.
2:45 -- I finally get around to eating two crackers and some dip.
3:00 -- Phil decides to stay late to see if any more visitors come. I head for home.
4:35 -- I arrive home to Tulsa and start working on this blog post.
There you have it. Hope you enjoyed my day.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Here are 4 photos from a group of 19 Australians who visited today. As with most Aussie tourists, they were driving rented Mustangs. Their leader, however, has his cool old Caddie. As with every single Aussie I've ever met, they were super, happy, friendly people.
We also had a mere four other visitors, who came from Cincinnati OH, Tahlequah OK, and Afton. Tomorrow I predict I'll have a lot to report, so don't give up on me.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Big Day, No Time
Here's my daughter Sarah having a little dance with Tripper the Route 66 Penguin!
Here are some of our Japanese motorcycle group.
Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones stopped by to have a photo session with Kelly Ludwig from Kansas City, some of which took place out on the street.
The Japanese tour group got their kicks from taking photos of Tattoo Man, too!
The gentleman holding the Route 66 sign is celebrating his 66th birthday on the Mother Road! His friends came along to celebrate with him.
Mike Hollowell from Tulsa came to proudly show off his '51 GMC truck, which he plans to keep "as-is" rather than restoring it. I agree completely! The innards, however, are in great working order. I LOVE this truck!
Since I can't seem to shrink Ron's slide show of the Waldmire mural, just go to: http://www.kizoa.com/slideshow/d1903285k5238528o1/waldmire-mural to see the whole thing.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Sarah and Other Delights
Here's a better photo of the Waldmire mural. Ron M. is putting together a slide show of each individual quadrant of the masterpiece, so when that's done you'll be able to see it close-up.
Ron M. also made this bio of Bob to be displayed with the mural.
I'll be back tomorrow with further Route 66 adventures.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Progress On All Fronts
Here's the site as it is now. Check out the original pavement in the foreground, which the crew promised not to touch or alter in any way. Stay tuned to see the site in a month or so, when it's a done deal.
Meanwhile, Marly and Ron M. hung the big Waldmire mural today. It looks absolutely spectacular up there on the wall. It's 4' by 8', so it was no small feat to get it up there and attached to a concrete wall. Here's Marly admiring his work. I'll post a better photo of the actual mural after the weekend.
Oh yes, and we also had visitors today! There were 17 of them, from Muncie IN, Grove OK, Bologna Italy, Ft. Worth TX, Lodi OH, Timpson TX, Pierce City MO, Fuscaldo Italy, and Santa Cruz, CA. This couple was returning from California, where the Italian gentleman was sworn in as a U.S. citizen! Big congratulations to him! His fiancee is from California, and they were taking a little Route 66 cruise so she could show him "the heart of America".
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I held down the Afton Station fort myself today, but it wasn't a strain because most of the morning was slow, with things getting busier as the day went on. Altogether, I met 18 folks -- from Washington MO, Oreville CA, Branson MO, San Francisco CA, Vinita OK, Oakland CA, and Grove OK, and Verona Italy.
Pastor Wynn from the local Baptist church, whom I'm helping to organizing the upcoming Sept. 3 Afton Route 66 Clean Up Day, came in to collect a check that was dropped off with me. We now have more than $500 with which to purchase supplies (paint, tools, garbage bags, etc.) and food for the volunteers that day. Pastor Wynn is a real mover and shaker. Yesterday, he arranged (not all that easily) to have a burned out house on the edge of town razed. There was a certain amount of red tape involved in getting the permission to destroy it, but he got it done! Since it was one of the first things one saw when entering Afton on Route 66 from the west, this is a great first effort to beautify the town. This remaining pile of rubble will be removed and buried tomorrow.Love those puffy little Oklahoma clouds in the photo, too.
Well ok, maybe I rambled on more than I'd indicated, but I'm done now. See you tomorrow or Thursday.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Ma and The Auto
Thanks to Greg Hasman, who posted it earlier.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Coincidentally. . .
Remember that retro TV set from the '50s or '60s that sat on the sidewalk across the street from Afton Station for over a year? Well, we now own it! Long story. Just know that we didn't steal it, pilfer it, or attain it in any illegal way. And we didn't pay a cent for it! It needs a good cleaning and waxing, but then it will sit in one of our showrooms to bring back some memories.
Today, Ron M. and I cleared a space on one wall where the Waldmire mural will be hung. If all goes well, Phil and Marly will hang it tomorrow. I can't wait!!!!
Here are the two photos missing from yesterday's post. Ron M. managed to retrieve them from my SD Memory card. He's a genius! This is the tower in Tulsa with the man who climbed up three days ago, and for all I know, is still there. The sunrise in the background was lovely.
This is the daughter, and her husband, of the runner who participated in the 1928 Transcontinental Footrace on Route 66.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Afton Children's Museum
On the way to pick up Ron M. on our drive up to Afton this morning, I stopped to check out the man who climbed a radio tower here in Tulsa two days ago and won't come down. According to all I've heard and read, he's not suicidal, just in a mental state that makes him want to get away from it all. When I got to the tower, the sun was rising gloriously in the background, however due to a camera malfunction I don't have a photo to show you at this time. I haven't heard the news since I got home, so I'm not sure if he's come down from his perch yet.
This is Robert Madison Henson. He was a competitor in the Route 66 International Transcontinental Footrace held in 1928 by promoter C.C. Pyle to celebrate and publicize the opening of Route 66. Unfortunately illness brought about by eating a lemon caused him to find it necessary to drop out of the race west of Tulsa, but making it from Los Angeles to Tulsa was no mean feat in those days of inadequate footwear and lousy accomodations and food. Why am I telling you this? Because I had the honor of meeting his daughter today, as she and her husband came for a visit to Afton Station. They live in Claremore, but never knew much about the race until starting to hear a lot about Andy Payne, the eventual winner from Foyil, OK. It was most interesting to hear what her father told her about the race. The photo above is from my official program from the race. (Yes, I have one..... brag, brag!) I'll provide a photo of Mr. Henson's daughter if I find a way to restore my photos.
Other visitors today, not counting all the neighborhood kids, came from Tulsa OK, Tucson AZ, Joplin MO, Grove OK, Austin TX, Seneca KS, and Schagen, the Netherlands. Weatherwise, it was an absolutely glorious day. We didn't turn on the air conditioner all day and were entirely comfortable.
Check out this commercial, taken at Afton Station in March, by the Brother Company. It's one of a series of ads with Route 66 themes. This one features Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones.
Here are the two photos mentioned above. Ron M. managed to retrieve them for me.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Several kids from town dropped in, too. These three little boys spent a good bit of the afternoon with us. Earlier, four other kids came in, used the penny pincher machine, and hung out for a while. School starts next week, so kids are using their last few free hours visiting us. I'm honored!
Guests were from Rome Italy, Graz Austria, Joplin MO, Richland MO, Pittsburgh KS, Sapulpa OK, Mansfield TX, Yukon OK, and Ocala FL.
Here are the young folks from Rome, Italy enjoying the DeSoto.
This gentlemen, shown here with his wife, is the president of the Tulsa Chapter of the Vintage Automobile Club of America. They came to make preliminary plans for the club's visit in October.
And so went the day. It was the kind of day, like so many, that make me remember how very happy I am to be fulfilling my lifelong dream of working with and helping travelers on Route 66. A "typical" day at Afton Station is nothing short of wonderful.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
You know you're from Afton if. . .
". . .you remember the egg farm on the east side of town and the trash/junk yard/ shooting range on the west end of town."
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
It Has Arrived!
We had one of the slowest mornings ever at the Station. By 1 p.m. we'd seen no visitors whatsoever. Odd, since the 100+ temps have calmed down little and the morning was actually beautiful. Phil was with me today and we had a good chance to talk and get to know each other better. He's such a valuable volunteer.
At around 1 p.m. some people started to arrive. Here are two fine looking young men from Italy who are cruising all of Route 66. There were also visitors from Salina KS, Jay OK, and Chicago IL. Phil volunteered to stay another hour or two after I left at 3 p.m. He just called to say that he greeted several other folks after I left, including some more Italian folks. The Italians have been out in full force the last week or so. It's nice to know that Route 66 is becoming very popular in that fine country!
Last week I hinted that I was awaiting delivery of something very special which was large and being sent by a shipping company. Today, it arrived at David's house (where, for convenience, I had it sent) and he brought it over to the Station.
Steve Rider, my friend and fellow postcard collector, has sent me this treasure -- an 8' x 4' mural hand painted by Bob Waldmire!! It was once part of George Rook's collection, and Steve obtained it from a collector in Connecticut. It's a big and beautiful and, of course, extraordinary map of Route 66 complete with all the little touches that make it a true Waldmire. I am so, so thrilled by this and I can't thank Steve enough.
We removed the box but have left on the bubble wrap until we can affix it to a wall. But first we have to find a perfect place for it, on a wall that's big enough to contain it and where visitors can see it and photograph it with ease. However, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of it with the bubble wrap still on it. So, here's a peek , although it does it no justice. As soon as we unwrap it, I'll post much better pictures.