Sunday, December 16, 2012

Another single-family day... this time, Aussies!

Just when you think you're going to sit around Afton Station all Sunday without a single visitor, an absolutely delightful family from Brisbane, Australia comes through the door and brightens an otherwise boring day.  Like all Aussies, this father, mother, and two young sons were full of enthusiasm for their full Route 66 trip.  They started in California, spent 5 days at Disneyland (one of them free, "on the house", from John Lassiter himself!), and  have made their way as far as Oklahoma.  Upon finishing the Route 66 portion of their adventure, they will spend two weeks in New York City, a great way to have the kids spend their summer vacation.  We really enjoyed meeting the family.  Unfortunately, after they left we had no further visitors, so Ron M. and I left about a half hour early.  We did have a short visit from Betty, our only other break from the tedium of the day.   

Progress is being made on the newest building going up around the corner from Afton Station.  We still don't know what it will be used for, but we're very curious!
Newtown, CT is just a few miles from our former lake house.   The horrible events there have hit close to home.  It's a beautiful small peaceful Connecticut town, full of colonial-era buildings and lovely homes.  It isn't a place where one would expect such violence.  Then again, none of us are immune to such an event, are we?   I add my condolences to those of millions of others in this country and others.  Just plain sad.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We sure know how to have fun.....

Today was our staff Christmas party at Afton Station.  It's hard to tell from this photo that we're having a rollicking good time.  Well, "rollicking" might be an exaggeration.  LOL!   We're not very good at throwing a party, I'm afraid.  By the time I got around to taking this photo, Betty and Tattoo had already left.  We were going to order pizza, but the closest pizza place let us know that they don't start making it until 2 p.m., and by that time most of us had to be thinking about closing up and going home.  Betty brought a delicious rhubarb pie and Robin brought a fantastic pineapple upside down cake and some cookies, so we had sweets for lunch.  Then, since three folks have recently bought new smart phones, the rest of the afternoon consisted of  trying to figure out how to program them.  Fun, fun, fun!  No party hats, or caroling, or even doing much of anything at all, but that never stopped us from having some fun. 

We had five visitors today, all members of the same family from Cleora, OK, a mother, father, and three kids.   The whole family was fascinated by the pressed penny machine, and they also had a nice tour of the old cars.    
For those who read an earlier blog post where I showed a photo of the old Afton Jail, you might be interested to know that my friend Perry Knight, a true historian of the town of Afton, called me today to tell me the location of the jail.  It was behind Bassett's Grocery, right across the street from Afton Station.  Unfortunately, there is nothing left of the building, but Perry said it was basically used as a holding place until the prisoner could be transported to Miami, which had (has) a real jail.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Brown Car

My beloved Brown Car is growing up.  He's a toddler now, celebrating his 2nd birthday this week, and he's proved to me what others had only told me - Subarus are the bomb!   I drive the heck out of my cars, and Brown Car has faithfully carried me over 80,000 miles with no problems and only oil changes and regular checkups to keep him on the road.    That's over 40,000 miles per year!   
I bought the Subaru because others had told me how reliable it would be in ice and snow.  Since it came into my life, we've had NO ice and snow!  I'm not complaining about that!  He is my home away from home, and I feel more comfortable behind the wheel of this wonderful vehicle than anywhere else.   Happy Birthday, Brown Car!

On a related note, Tulsa, Oklahoma has the lowest gas prices in the country.  They just made the announcement on the news.   I paid $2.83 this morning.  Brown Car gets about 28 miles to the gallon.  Not bad, I think.

I recently obtained this photo of the Afton City Jail.  I have no idea where it was, or whether the building still exists.  I don't know the identity of the people in the picture.   I also don't know if Afton has a jail now, but I doubt it.   I believe criminals are taken to the Ottawa Co. jail in Miami.  If anyone has any information about this, please let me know.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christian from Germany

It is cold and gloomy today, with predictions of temperatures in the 20s and teens tomorrow.  Winter is finally here.  Afton Station was very quiet today, with a total of only five visitors.  This couple came all the way from London, England.  When asked why they decided to travel Route 66 in December, they explained that they travel in the U.S. a lot, and always choose December, feeling that it's the best time to avoid crowds.  They're not wrong about that!  They're an interesting couple indeed.
Two local boys came in to have a look at the cars.  One of them has visited before and this time he brought a friend who hadn't had the pleasure.

Our final visitor was a repeater, a wonderful man named Christian from Germany.   He has been living in the Boston area (Quincy, MA) for several years and enjoys exploring Route 66 in his free time.  He last visited Afton Station on Mar. 25 of this year, at which time he was photographing his Mercedes in front of various Route 66 sites.  We were so happy that he came back for a second visit, and he spent about an hour sitting and chatting with Ron M. and me.  His excellent photos can be seen at  [This is now the correct URL for the site.]

Ron M., Tattoo, and Betty were all at the Station today, too.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Visitors! And Signs!

Back to Afton after a full week off!   It felt good, and I felt a whole lot more energized once I got there than I do when I'm home during the week.   I really need the activity to keep me sharp.  The day began when Ron M. and I were driving through Chelsea on the way to Afton on Route 66 and saw two brand new painted billboards there!   These are beautifully rendered and the "Welcome to Chelsea" one is such a great way for little Chelsea to jump feet first into taking advantage of its placement directly on the Mother Road. Illustrations on the sign are of various Chelsea landmarks, as well as the totem poles in Foyil.  The other  sign is on the fence next to the wonderful Chelsea Motor Inn, and will surely draw more folks into the immaculate little 6-room lodging.  Both signs are very professionally designed and can't be missed when traveling west-to-east through town.   I only wish they were as visible to those traveling east-to-west, because that's the direction most travelers take.  Nevertheless, they're great!

 Upon arriving in Afton, we noticed this sign on the old livery stable/world's largest matchbook collection building across the street from Afton Station.  We understand that a flea market is about to move in there, and we're very pleased to have another establishment in town that will interest tourists.  I don't know when it will be open for business.
Frankly, I didn't expect this to be a busy day at Afton Station.  In fact, I was so pessimistic that I brought along my Christmas cards to address while there.  Well, I was wrong, and barely had time to do any addressing.   The morning started out the moment we pulled in, with the arrival of David bringing back a car he'd taken out yesterday.  Later, Robin, Phil, and Marly all dropped in.  But we also had 8 travelers come for a visit, and they were from Rogers AR, South Padre Island TX, and Grove, Edmond, and Allen, OK.  None of them were embarking on a full Route 66 trip, but all were exploring the general area and some were gearing up for longer trips in better weather.  Not bad for a gloomy winterlike day in December!   Furthermore, we'll be in Afton again tomorrow to greet even more intrepid wanderers!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boots Photo

Last weekend, friend Jim Buck visited Afton Station and told me he had a wonderful photo of the old Boots Drive-In on Route 66 in Carthage, MO.   I have had this postcard for some time, but had never seen the amazing real black-and-white photo he came up with.  I'm thrilled that he shared it with me!  Thank you, Jim.  Hope you don't mind if I share it with my readers.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Motels of Missouri

Since I played hooky today and didn't go to Afton, I thought I'd bring your attention to a great article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  It talks about several old motels which have been restored of late in the state of Missouri.   Its a wonderful article and testimonial to those folks who have jumped in and invested large amounts of time and money to bring back the gems of the Mother Road.  I'm privileged to have stayed in three of the motels mentioned, and I am honored to know several of their owners.  I know I sounded down and discouraged in yesterday's post, but this article brought me hope and brightened my day.

This is a long article, but worth reading.
  New owners of two of the vintage motels on Route 66 in Missouri are doing their best to see that traffic keeps on trucking on the legendary highway.The Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba is in tip-top shape after a complete renovation under Connie Echols, who bought the rundown motel in 2009 and has lovingly restored each of the stone cottages.
“It was horrible,” Echols said of the motel, which was built in 1935 and is the oldest continuously operating tourist court on the historic highway. “It had the original wiring and plumbing.”On the far western side of the state, the Boots Motel in Carthage last spring opened the completed wing of a restoration project that will return the motel to what the first motorists found.“We want to make it as authentic a motoring experience from 1949 as we can make it,” said Deborah Harvey, one of two sisters who bought the Boots, which once was scheduled to be torn down for a Walgreens. “We want to make the rooms as though you’re stepping back in time.
A four-night tour of the Mother Road included stays at the Wagon Wheel and Boots, as well as the Rail Haven in Springfield, where Route 66 got its name, and the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, where the iconic neon sign has been repaired and relighted.Route 66 ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, a total of 2,448 miles, including 317 miles in Missouri from downtown St. Louis to the Kansas state line west of Joplin.The highway was named officially in April 30, 1926, at a meeting in Springfield and served as one of the nation’s chief east-west arteries until it was removed from the U.S. highway system in 1985, replaced by interstates. Interstate 44 through Missouri now follows much of the route from St. Louis to Springfield.But by then, its romantic status as a roadway to the West, and a pathway to adventure, had been recognized in song and on TV. “Get your kicks on Route 66” was the mantra of the faithful who refused to let the highway fade away.Today, states such as Missouri and Illinois have erected “Historic Route 66” signs along bypassed sections of the highway, and tourists come from the world over to drive its twisting two lanes and visit the Mom ’n Pop motels and roadside attractions that still line its route.
“It’s the best way to see America, end to end,” said Echols, owner of the Wagon Wheel. “Overseas, it’s a prestige thing to ride 66, especially on a motorcycle.“In summer, a third, maybe closer to a half, of my business is from overseas. One night last summer, we had 11 rooms rented from 10 different countries. Half of them didn’t speak English.”Followers of the Mother Road know the important stops, and the people they’ll find there.“I rented 36 rooms to travelers from Australia two weeks ago,” said Ramona Lehman, who owns the Munger Moss. “Last year, I had a group from the Union of South Africa.”They come to stay in the motel, and to visit with Ramona and her husband, Bob, and hear their stories of life on the road.“I make sure I’m here when we have big groups,” Ramona said. “I had a guy from Brazil come in and he said, ‘Are you Ramona?’ He reached over to touch me and said, ‘You are real!’
“There’s something about the people who travel on Route 66. They fall in love with our country, and our road. It puts goose bumps on me.”
Connie Echols owned a florist shop on Route 66 in Cuba, but long had admired the Wagon Wheel, which included a gas station, café and motel. “I always thought it was a cool place,” she said of the fieldstone buildings.When the owners died, she bought it from their son and began the arduous restoration, which had to conform to the motel’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.Today, the old café houses the motel office and Connie’s Shoppe, which sells women’s accessories and souvenirs, and the 19 rental rooms are stylishly decorated, with modern amenities.“I know what I like when I travel — white linens, good beds and clean, up-to-date bathrooms,” Echols said. “We did keep the original doors and windows and saved the hardwood floors that we could.”Room 22 is a suite with a queen bed, table and chairs and flat-screen TV in the front room. A jetted tub, shower, small refrigerator, microwave and granite-topped vanity are in the back room.The motel has become a popular base for exploring Cuba, which is making an impressive bid as a tourist destination. The town has decorated its buildings with 12 murals and is home to wineries and restaurants including Missouri Hick Barbeque, Frisco’s Grill and Pub and Cuba Bakery and Deli.“There were a few times I could have quit in the middle of it,” Echols said of her labor of love, “but I’ve never been a quitter.”Rooms at the Wagon Wheel range from $55 for a single to $110 for the suites. Visit or call 1-573-885-3411.
Deborah Harvey of Decatur, Ga., and her sister, Priscilla Bledsaw of Decatur, Ill., are devoted roadies who were making the trek from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2006 when they came upon the closed Boots Motel at the intersection of Route 66 and Highway 71 in Carthage.“We were driving along and kept saying how fun it would be to own a hotel on Route 66 and wave at all the people going by,” said Harvey, who is 62 and a historic preservation consultant.Five years later, the two were the proud owners of the motel built by Arthur Boots in 1939. The original had a gas station and eight rooms with carports. A back annex of five rooms with an underground garage was added in 1946.The back building was the first to be restored, opening last May. The sisters combed the flea markets and used furniture shops in Carthage for antique chenille bedspreads and period furniture to decorate each room, many of which maintain their original wood floors and tiled bathrooms.There are no TVs, but each room has a radio to fulfill Arthur Boots’ promise of “a radio in every room.”Future plans include removing a gabled roof that was added later, spoiling the Streamline Moderne architecture of the main building, and replacing the green neon that decorated the exterior.The sisters figure it will take up to five years to have the Boots back to original condition, but it’s already drawing international visitors.“We got a couple of motorcyclists from Tahiti, and we’ve had people from nearly every European country,” Harvey said. “This is our first year, but we’re making enough money to pay the bills.”And they’ve already achieved one of their important goals.“In the evening, we sit out front and wave to passers-by,” Harvey said. “People will stop by and tell us stories about staying at the Boots.”Rates for a single are $66 and for a double $71, as in Highway 71. Visit or call 1-417-310-2989. 
Springfield bills itself as the “Birthplace of Route 66,” and the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven is a good place to stay while exploring the city’s attractions.The original Rail Haven built by brothers Elwyn and Lawrence Lippman in 1938 had eight sandstone cottages with adjoining garages and a rail fence. By the time the motel became a founding member of the new Best Western chain in 1951, it had 28 rooms.Today, that total is up to 98 and the original eight cottages have become part of a modern strip motel with all the expected amenities. Antique gas pumps, vintage signs and a pair of 1955 and 1956 Fords decorate the grounds, paying homage to its link to the historic highway.“Nothing’s been torn down here,” said Tonya Pike, a Route 66 historian who helps in marketing the motel. “We’re considered a classic example of how a cottage court becomes a strip motel.“There are other hotels out there as old as we are, but we’re the only one that’s a founding member of a national chain and still part of that chain.”A brochure in the motel office describes other Route 66 highlights in Springfield, including the Rest Haven Court, Shrine Mosque, Gillioz Theatre and the first Steak ’n Shake in Missouri, which has its original black-and-white sign and offers curb service.Rates start at $79.99. Visit or call 1-800-304-0021.
Change may be coming to yet another landmark motel on Historic Route 66.
Ramona and Bob Lehman, who have owned the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon for 41 years, have listed it for sale.The hotel has 44 rooms and 17 two-room efficiencies. Some of the rooms are decorated with themes, including Room 18, which is dedicated to the dearly departed Coral Court Motel, the infamous no-tell-motel that was torn down and replaced by a subdivision in south St. Louis County.Room 18 is decorated in pink and black, Ramona said. “I also call it my bordello room.”Although Ramona and Bob, like their motel, are in good shape, they both are in their mid-70s and looking for a new lifestyle.“I won’t sell it just to anybody,” Ramona said. “I want somebody who loves Route 66 to take it over. It’s part of our heritage. We’ve got to keep it alive for our kids.”Rates are $48 for a single, and $55 for a double. Visit, or call 1-417-532-3111.
Tom Uhlenbrock writes travel stories for the state of Missouri.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not much new here. . . well, almost

Welcome to December. . .  start of the long, lonely winter in Afton, OK.   Even though Robin only had one visitor yesterday, we were lucky to have greeted six today.  All were reasonably local, and all but one were men.   After a very quiet morning visiting with guys from Miami, Tulsa, and Owasso, OK and Baxter Springs, Kansas we were almost ready to go home when old friends Jim and Becky Buck (also from Tulsa) dropped in to chat for a while.  Jim and Becky used to own a very neat Route 66 store in Sapulpa, OK which I enjoyed visiting, but they closed it a few years ago due to lack of business.  After a day like today, I can sympathize.  December and January are rather dismal at Afton Station, or have been in the past.  I can't imagine this will be any different.  We'll be open only on weekends for the rest of the winter, so plan accordingly.  I will absolutely miss being there four days a week, but it's a waste of gas and utilities to open up on days when nobody comes to visit.

Today I had the company of Ron M., Tattoo Man, and Marly to keep me sane.  There was also the steady pounding from around the corner where a new building is going up.  We don't know what it's going to be, since this is the first time we saw it, but we hear it will be public housing for people placed there by the county.  We shall see.  Of course, we wish that it would be some sort of retail establishment, but it seems that is not to be.  
The state of our Main Street is rather pathetic, as you can see here.  Hard to believe that this street was once lined with booming commerce enjoyed by a vital populace.   Oh, how I wish I'd won the lottery. . .

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fabulous Fisheye

Last week I wrote about a couple from Wichita, KS who stopped in and who were very engaging visitors.  While Cindy (the wife) and I were visiting, Jim (the husband) was taking photos of the cars and the Station with his fisheye lens.   Here are some of the results which he sent me.  I thought they were exceptionally creative.

He also sent me the URL for  his website, which also contains more intriguing images. Check it out  Thanks so much, Mr. Science!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Mixed Bag

Morning:  So quiet and devoid of visitors that Ron M. and I were able to catch up with the reading of a gigantic pile of magazines and catalogs which have accumulated on the table at Afton Station.

Noon:   Betty W. came for a visit and it was a very pleasant way to break the maddening silence of the morning.

Afternoon:  Travelers arrive!  Not many (6), but truly great ones!   First came three women on motorcycles from the Women in the Wind group from Tulsa.  We've met several of these ladies before, and they're always fun to talk to.

Next came this gentleman from Salem, Oregon traveling with his adorable pup Piney.  Bruce is working in Kansas for the moment, but his home is in Oregon.   He was out and about today, learning a little bit about Oklahoma Route 66.  I sensed that he'll be doing a lot more of it soon!
 Finally, an energetic and charming couple from Midland, Michigan  helped us close our day.  Bud loved the cars and spent some quality time with them. Rosemary and I yakked and yakked for a very long time, and I enjoyed every word of it.  By the time they left, I felt like Rosemary was an old friend.  They're veteran travelers and are soon to visit N. Dakota, the last state left on their "been to" list.  For this week, they're staying in a condo at Grand Lake.
It's hard to believe that I won't be back to Afton until next Saturday.  Unless, of course, I just can't stay away......

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Barbecue and Bella

Well, although we were short on visitors on my first day back to Afton Station since last Saturday, we weren't short on interesting happenings.  "We" refers to those "regulars" who stopped by today -- Ron M., Betty, Tattoo, Robin, Phil, and Michael Scruggs.

Betty brought her little Corgi puppy, Bella, for a visit.  Bella managed to entertain us for several hours.  She's got the usual puppy energy, but once she got used to all of us she calmed down and was a perfect little lady.
As you can see from the above photo, I'm still experiencing problems with my camera.  In fact, the male half of this nice couple (below) from Wichita, KS who came to visit today made a valiant attempt to fix the settings for me, but like those who have tried before him, he was not successful.  Cindy and Jim were doing a little Oklahoma Route 66 exploration over the holiday weekend, and Cindy is going to send me photos of some Packards once driven early in the 20th century by her grandfather.  I can't wait to see them!
Our only other real travelers were two guys (father and son) from Oklahoma City, OK.  They, too, had a great interest in Packards.  They said they'd be back.  

 Toward the end of the day, we had a delightful (and delicious) surprise.  Sandy Reynolds, who is working on getting the new barbecue place open just down the road, walked in with a full plate of samples from their very first day of firing up the barbecue.  They won't be open for about a month, but today they were hosting some of their friends during the OSU/OU football game and testing out the deliciousness of the barbecue and side dishes.  She was kind enough to come down and let me have a taste, too.  Well..... if I get a vote, it's an enthusiastic thumbs up!!  The pulled pork was incredibly tender, the brisket flavorful, and the potato salad and sides just the way I like them.  Oh dear, I'm not sure it's a good thing to have this bastion of yumminess right down the road.  Although it will be fantastic for our visitors to have a good eatery in Afton, it could be my downfall.  Yikes!   Stay tuned for my announcement of a grand opening of this barbecue and beer place.
 Tattoo got a new tattoo and asked me to put a photo of it  here.  It's the Palm Grill in Atlanta, IL, just across the street from the Muffler Man giant eating a hot dog on Route 66 in the center of town.
 Unlike today, yesterday was a busy one at Afton Station.  Robin and Phil were holding down the fort, and they met and greeted 18 visitors from afar, including three separate groups from Colorado and a young honeymoon couple from England.  Wish I'd been there.   I will be there again tomorrow, though, and I'm hoping to catch some of the folks passing through Afton on their way home from Thanksgiving visits.  See you then!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving at the Freeway

In an attempt to keep a little tradition going for another year, a few of my Tulsa friends and I decided to have our Thanksgiving "feast" at a local diner.  You may recall that we did that two years ago and ended up with a very unsatisfactory meal but with a lot to laugh about in the following years.  This year, I chose the Freeway Cafe at 4th and Sheridan for several reasons:   I have a friend who highly recommended it, the comments on their website are nearly 100% positive, and I went there for two "test meals" recently.  Although those meals were breakfast, I felt sure that if the quality of their Turkey Day offerings were as good as their breakfasts, we'd be just fine.   Also, they are known to have a wonderful, friendly staff.   All those things turned out to be absolutely accurate.

We arrived around 1 p.m. and the place was buzzing with guests, but we managed to get a good table immediately.  The place isn't at all fancy, unless you want to count the life-sized Elvis in the corner.  Everyone seemed to be in a good mood and came from all walks of life.   The large family of the owners, whom I believe to be Lebanese, were crowded around a table near us and seemed to be having a ball interacting with all the patrons.

The turkey was very tasty and fresh, and I even got a good bit of dark meat, which is my preference.  The mashed potatoes were the real thing and the gravy was great.  There was also cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, stuffing (which, in general, I don't like and this was no exception), soup, salad, and home made rolls.  All this came at a hefty price of $6.99 (with a bit extra if you got pumpkin pie). What a bargain! Our waitress was a sweetheart, hovering over our table as if she didn't have about 20 other tables to attend to.  Upon seeing me having trouble with my camera, she even offered to give it to her son at a nearby table to see if he could repair it.  He couldn't, but he tried.  On top of all this, the people-watching was excellent!
 Ron M., Theresa (Deanna's daughter) and Deanna.   (Theresa, who was the youngster in the group at 40-something, said that she had a great time with "all you senior citizens".  Don't know exactly how to take that.  I do know that an elderly gentleman whom we believe to be the owner of the place spent a lot of time flirting with her!)
In the middle is Joe, who didn't get in the other picture.

After dinner Ron, Joe and I took a ride all over downtown Tulsa.  We were all astounded by the progress that's being made there, a huge revitalization effort that seems to be working.  There are new condos, tons of new restaurants and bars, streetscaping, a new park called Guthrie Green (named for Woody Guthrie), and, of course, in the last couple of years the opening of a professional baseball stadium for the Tulsa Drillers and the huge BOK Center, an indoor arena that since opening consistently get listed in the Top 10 most lucrative and well-attended venues in the United States.  During the holiday season, there is an outdoor ice skating rink and the "tallest Christmas tree in the state" next to the arena.  I'm sure proud of my adopted town!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks. Giving.

I've noticed that several of my Facebook friends have spent the last month expressing, one per day, what they're thankful for this year as we run up to Thanksgiving.  That's fine, but I've decided to save my "thanks list"  and do it all at once on the blog.  As I was organizing my list this morning, I realized that I have so many things for which to give thanks that I've had to categorize and add subsets!   So, lets get started....

On this day, Thursday, November 22, 2012, I am thankful for. . .

My beautiful daughter, Sarah - always No. 1
      . . . Sarah's foot surgeon, who has helped her through her first medical challenge, and who gave her a perfectly repaired right foot.

      . . . Sarah's continued optimism during a tough time in her life

The Dialysis machine, which keeps me alive
        . . . and the wonderful people who treat me at my dialysis facility
      . . . especially Joe, who is the best!

My deceased parents, who somehow instilled in me the ability to be optimistic and upbeat under just about any situation.
Financial security, which allows me to live well and donate to a number of favorite charities.

My friend Ron and his recuperation earlier this year from life-threatening illness
Tulsa, Oklahoma - best place I've ever lived!
Route 66  

Afton Station, the manifestation of my love of Route 66 and my refuge from boredom
      . . .  my incredible Afton Station volunteers, all of whom have become dear friends -- Marly, Phil, Robin,       Tattoo, Betty, Ron M.

The President of the United States
The Internet, which has changed my life in so many ways
      . . . including the hundreds of friends I've made on line 
      . . . Facebook, because it's fun
      . . . the Route 66 Yahoo eGroup


Our local Unitarian Church, which has the courage to offer Sunday services for atheists.  

 Coffee Mate Fat-Free Original, which is my substitute for milk.  Milk was my favorite food until it was eliminated from my kidney diet.   Coffee Mate is an excellent substitute.
My education, which allows me to win a game of Words With Friends occasionally and do a New York    
Times Crossword quickly

The cease fire in the Middle East, tentative yet still holding at this hour
Oysters, beef tongue, liverwurst, dim sum, sushi, and fresh corn on the cob

Margarita popsicles
Hair spray, toilet paper, and toothpaste


Sirius XM Radio

My Nook

All of my dear friends everywhere!

As I continue, I realize that this could go on forever.   There is so much GOOD in this world.   Today is a time to remember all of that good.  Please do so.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Just a little of this and that today. . .

I was getting tired of people criticizing Mrs. Petraeus's hairdo and calling it "old fashioned", especially after I figured out that I have the very same hairdo!   So, this morning I changed my "do".    I just got back from the hairdresser, and now I look like an old, fat lady trying not to look like Mrs. Petraeus.  Oh well, I tried!
My friend Gordon Radford (aka Gordo, who is a professional photographer) has updated and completely redone his website, and now if you go there you can view and/or purchase the beautiful photos he's taken, many of them on Route 66.  I've always loved his work because of his use of enhanced colors and particularly dramatic sky and cloud formations.  Please take a look at:  Gordo is now offering prints in various sizes as well as greeting cards and mugs carrying his images, and has set up a 25% discount at checkout if you provide the code word LAUREL.  This discount is good until December 24, so consider Christmas giving when you visit the site.
I hope everyone was able to watch Part 1 of  THE DUST BOWL last night (on PBS).   It was excellent, as are all works by Ken Burns.  Most of us who call ourselves Route 66 fanatics are familiar with that period of history and the Mother Road's impact on the time, and this documentary enhances and expands our understanding of what Burns describes as a "decade long national man-made environmental catastrophe"  through use of both images and first person interviews.  Have a box of Kleenex handy for the second half of Part 1.   Part 2 will be shown tonight (Monday), so tune in for the conclusion.
George Higgins has asked me to remind you that it's time to plan next summer's motorcycle tour of Route 66, and to consider joining his Mother Road Ride Rally which will occur from June 8-16, 2013.  Read about it at the Rally's website at:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

As Winter Approaches. . .

It seemed strange to get back to Afton Station after six whole days.   As it turns out, the first thing Ron M. and I found out upon arriving there was that not much had happened while we were gone.  There were minimal numbers of visitors, and all of them were local.  Long-distance traveling has apparently faded for the season, so we'll be going to "Open-only-on-Fri.-Sat.-and Sun." for the winter.  
Our visitors today came from Miami OK, Garden City KS, Carthage MO, and Baxter Springs KS.  This couple from Carthage was on a geocaching expedition, but prior to looking for our cache, they came in for a look at our cars.  I believe they were glad they did!
Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker came for a visit, and he took the opportunity to show his ability to turn his feet 180 degrees backwards to one of our local drop-in friends, Scott from Afton.  Dean was on his way to a quick draw shootout in Owasso, OK.   (Sorry for the quality of this photo.  My camera has been having issues with sunlight lately.)
It must be winter!   Tripper is ready for cold weather, with his scarf, mittens, and Santa hat.   Since flipper mittens are hard to come by in Oklahoma, I had to stitch up a pair out of an old Indian blanket last night.  Tripper has lived in our climate for so long now that he's lost his ability to withstand cold temps.  I think this outfit should take care of the problem. 
Christmas is coming quickly to Afton Station.  Here's our little Christmas tree, decorated with the neat fabric Route 66 ornaments fashioned by my friend Susan Yates.  They're available at the Station for $12 each!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Lost Photos

Ron M. was kind enough to take my SD card home and try it in his computer, where it worked perfectly.  I have no idea why mine rejected it.  Anyway, here are a few of the photos I took on Tuesday on my little jaunt west down Route 66.  
 Graffiti on the remains of the old Bell building in West Tulsa.
Midway Trailer Court sign on Southwest Blvd. in West Tulsa.  "Kitchenettes"!
While passing through Sapulpa, I was stopped by three cars of the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway going across the road.   
A portion of the Shoe Tree near Stroud
 I love the red shoe!