Thursday, May 31, 2012

When The Lights Go Out

The lights went out in Afton today.  We had some bad weather last night that may or may not have messed up the power pole behind Bassett's building.  At least that's where the electric company trucks went.  The lights were only out for a little over an hour, but during that time, so many things went through my mind.

1 ) What about the tourists who can't go into the windowless second showroom?
2)  What if the lights come back on after I leave and I've forgotten to turn all the switches to 'off' before I go home?
3)  What about the fridge that I should have defrosted ages ago and now has enough ice built up in it that it will flood the place if it melts?
4)  What if someone is trying to call on the land line that works on a charger, thus is useless?
5)  Will this knock out the security system?

I barely had time to process all those worries when the lights came on again!  Yippee!

Marly and Phil were around in the morning but soon left to do their own thing.  I'm still here, and my guests so far have been a Studebaker-loving trucker from El Dorado, IL and a couple from Neosho, MO doing Oklahoma Route 66 on a two-day trip.

My magical mystery Nikon is behaving badly again.  Thus, apologies to the folks from Carthage, MO and those from Clayton, IN who came in during the afternoon and of whom I snapped photos.  I'm being careful now and checking the card immediately after taking a photo to make sure it's there.  These two were absolutely there, and yet when got home, they weren't!  It's a new SD card, too.  I'm so frustrated.

Just as I was leaving (and Phil was hanging in there for another hour), some lovely folks from Kennebunk, ME.  We get very few visitors from Maine.  As the visitor reminded me, there aren't that many people IN Maine!  

Two photos I took today did come out.  Here are the new t-shirts we're selling at the Station.  The white one is long sleeved and the black one is short sleeved.   They're well made and very cool, in my humble opinion.  Click to enlarge pics to see details.  Come and get 'em!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Joy of the Internet

 Not infrequently, I hear folks complain about the Internet.  Many of their complaints are valid, and so are some of mine.   However, when I contemplate what my computer has added to my life in these past 20 years, the joy far, FAR outweighs the problems.   Number One on that list of joys is the actual huge number of people from all over the world that I've met online, then later have been privileged to meet face-to-face.  For example, back in my Prodigy days, my Postcard Collecting group had yearly conventions in various cities.  After a couple of  years, I remember counting up the number of people I'd first met online and then later in person.  The number was well over 100.  Now, so many years later, I'm sure the number has tripled or quadrupled.  Many of those folks have become my friends, quite a few have become good friends, and one in particular, Ron M., has become a "bestie".  But instead of extolling the wonderfulness of Ron M. in this post (since I hope he already knows it!), I'll go on to introduce you to my newest "up close and personal" friends.   

I've been reading the blogs of Ken and Beth Riches for a number of years.  It didn't take long to figure out that they are a bright, articulate, and fun-loving couple.   They share my views on politics and religion, and the icing on the cake is that they're Route 66 fans!   I was excited to find out that they were coming west on Route 66 from their home in Indiana this summer, and yesterday turned out to be the day they visited Afton Station.  I wasn't wrong in my assessment of Beth and Ken.  Lovely folks with the sense of adventure I share.   
 Here they are with Ron M.
Watching in awe as Tattoo Man performs his striptease.  Or perhaps I should call it his "Tattoo Tease".  He stopped in on his way back from getting his 110th or 111th . . . or oh heck, I've lost count again. . . tattoo in Joplin.  

The fun with Beth and Ken wasn't over when we left Afton Station in the afternoon, however.  Ron M. and I met up with them again at one of my favorite restaurants in Tulsa that evening and enjoyed some good food, good beer and wine, and excellent conversation (although a Wine Dinner being held in the same room where we ate made the place a bit chaotic and very noisy!)  

Both Ken and Beth are blogging their trip, so check out their wonderful photos and comments at: and

In other news, we had quite an array of visitors to Afton Station yesterday (24) although it didn't beat the number Robin handled the day before (38).  We've certainly had some good numbers this May, and we have every reason to believe they will increase as the summer wears on.   Our visitors today came from Seattle WA, Santa Clara CA, Neosho MO, Dandridge TN, Dallas TX, Scotts Valley CA, South Bend IN, Bremen Germany, Hamar Norway, and Grove, Neosho, Oklahoma City and Strang, OK.  Many arrived near the end of the day, so things got a little crazy, but we managed (I hope!) to greet everybody with a smile.  Marly was around to add his smile to ours.  Robin and Phil were each there for a while as well.  
Our new friends from Hamar, Norway studying the Route 66 map.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I'm anticipating a great day at Afton Station today, but a late one.  Don't hold your breath for a blog post tonight, if in fact you ever hold your breath for one, which I seriously doubt.  I'll report tomorrow, of course.

Meanwhile, I can tell you that Marly greeted a number of visitors yesterday, including a group of two professors and ten students from Eastern CT State University.  Wish I'd been there, since I lived not far from that university in Connecticut.  Sometimes it's so disappointing to miss those I really want to meet.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Quickie

 After a reasonably quiet Sunday at Afton Station, we actually got to close up and leave at a reasonable hour this afternoon.  Therefore, I thought I'd have plenty of time to write a blog that would be a little bit meatier than just a list of the origins of my guests.  But immediately after I stepped over my threshold, I got a call from the man who is making the new Route 66 t-shirts I ordered a few weeks ago to sell at the Station. He's coming through Tulsa shortly and wants to deliver them to me.  This is a mixed blessing.  I can't wait to get the shirts, but I was sure hoping for a very quiet evening at home.  Also, I have to make this another quick blog post. 

A mere 12 visitors managed to pull themselves away from the lakes and rivers on this gorgeous (but hot) Memorial Day Sunday in Oklahoma to take a ride on the Mother Road.  They came from Fairdealing MO, Amato AZ, Miami OK, Peoria AZ, Grove OK, and Wichita KS.  Only the gentleman from Amato, AZ is planning a full 8-state Route 66 trip.  Others were doing parts of it, or were just checking out the local charms of our Road.  Dennis, our friend from Pittsburgh, KS also dropped in for a bit.  Ron M. was with me and Marly, Betty, and Robin all were there today, too.  

I forgot to take photos today, so on the way out of the driveway Ron  M. snapped this pic of our "neighbors", the shaved ice shack and the new building made from two joined truck trailers.   It's just amazing to me that on a 90-degree Memorial Day weekend near a lake, the shaved ice people remained closed all day.  They could have sold a ton of the cold, refreshing snack!  As for the gray "truck" building, eventually it is supposed to be a restaurant.  I do wish they'd hurry up and finish it.   We so badly need a good cafe in this town!  But things move very slowly in Afton, Oklahoma.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ron M. is back!

The best news of this Memorial Day weekend for me is that Ron M. is finally back from his tour of China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Alaska, and Vancouver and came with me to Afton Station today.    He brought me salmon jerky!  Yum!  So great to have you back!

The day started out slowly then the pace picked up close to the time we wanted to close (but then, what else is new?).  As a result, we headed for home a full hour late and now I find myself rushing again to post to the blog. 

Our visitors came from Claremore, Tulsa and Nowata OK, Los Angeles CA, Lawrence KS, Irving TX, and Houston TX.  

My friend Susan made four awesome Route 66 fabric-covered Christmas balls, and no sooner did I put them on our little Christmas tree than a woman came in and bought one!  I think they're going to be a big hit at $12 each, and I hope I can talk Susan into making a few more for me.   Since she reads this blog faithfully, she now knows my  hopes.  :-)
This little girl came in with her parents from Kansas.   It's not unusual for little boys to be enamored of the cars, but this little girl was actually extremely excited to see the vintage vehicles.... until she met Tripper the Penguin and suddenly her attention was diverted as she made a new friend. 
Here's another group of motorcycle riders who stopped in while following the Passport route.  They came in and very much enjoyed what we had to offer inside.   They're from Tulsa, and sure chose a pretty day to wander around the state!
 This one is for Betty.   Her friend Randy (Randi?) Collins and her fiancee came in to see her, but they were disappointed to know that Betty wasn't around today!    Randy is the granddaughter of those wonderful Tiptons, Reuben and Colleen.   I'm so sorry they couldn't connect with Betty at the Station.
Well, that's about all I can coax out of my poor tired typing fingers for tonight.   I'll be back in Afton tomorrow, of course, and hope to have a big bunch of excitement to report then.  Meanwhile, continue to enjoy whatever activities your doing on this holiday weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Love Letter

Taylor Hanson of the rock band Hanson is, along with his brothers, a native of Tulsa.  He wrote this love letter to Tulsa which was published on the Huffington Post today.  Although I'm not a lifelong resident of Tulsa, so much of what he says about my adopted city resonates with me.  Because Tulsa is humble, many people have no idea what a truly wonderful town this is!   Here are some excerpts. . .

Dear Tulsa,   

As I sit perched upon a soft rolling hill of green, I am reminded of the patchwork of memories that we have made together. I have seen many mountains and oceans, but your rugged land holds my heart.  In my early years, we shared some of my best memories on long summer days. . . .

Though our age difference is vast, I have never cared what others say about our romance. I am the dust and, though the gusty winds carry me far and wide, I still find warmth and friendship against your open sky. We are not followers neither of us, and I think that is one reason why we have always been a good pair, no matter our differences . . . .

When I look at you I am enthralled and reminded of our lifelong chemistry. You have never been vain, but you have many things to boast about. You could take credit for the westward expansion of America at the turn of the 20th century, but you never ado. You could claim accolades for the array of creative artists and thinkers who have their roots on your ground: Leon Russell, Roy Clark, Garth Brooks, J.J. Cale, Woody Guthrie, Will Rogers, The Gap Band, Dwight Twilley... and Hanson. But you are too humble to bring attention to yourself. Many of your streets are lined with the iconic architecture of Wright, Goff and Pelli.

The Mother Road is one of your closest friends, but you don't name drop.

I love your humble nature -- you taught me a lot-- and I am still learning. As I have gone out into the world year after year to spread my music, which was birthed and cultivated with you at my side. I know that I still bring a bit of our deep connection with me. You are the patchwork of contradictions I hope I would be if I ever can claim a birthday beyond 100 years. A rabble-rouser and a gentleman, a cowboy and a businessman, an artist and a pragmatist.

I guess I have said a lot of things in this little note to you, my oldest friend and one of my first loves, but the simple message is this: I would not want to take a trip into any chapter of life without you in the story. 


You can read the whole letter at:   The comments that follow the letter are worth reading, too.  It's so easy to love Tulsa!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Am SO Spoiled!

When I arrived at Afton Station this morning, both Phil and Marly were there and had opened up for me.  But shortly thereafter, both had to leave for different reasons, and I was all alone.  That's nothing unusual, except that it's been weeks since I've been alone in my own place.  It sounded like a chance for a nice restful day. . .  until people started to arrive in droves!   What a day!

Phil came back after a few hours, but by that time I'd greeted 25 travelers, and when I left this evening I'd greeted 37.  Phil decided to stay an hour or two later to see if we could get the number up to 45.  It was a spectacular day.

My first visitors were folks from San Antonio, TX in two beautiful vintage Corvettes followed by a friend driving a "sag wagon."   Take a look at these beauties.  The first is a '60 and the next is a '65.  It's amazing how the style has changed in just 5 years.   

Shortly thereafter, a couple from Great Britain came in, and as is my usual routine, I asked them in what part of the country they resided.  They answered that they lived in a small village in the country, in the region of Birmingham.   While they were in the showroom looking at cars, another couple from England came in.  I asked them the same question and they answered "a small village in the country near Birmingham"!  I love coincidences like that.   It turns out that their home towns are just a few miles from one another.  They didn't know each other, but they do now!  

Here's one of those couples flanking the other.  Lovely people, all of whom are traveling Route 66 from east to west.  I wonder if they'll find each other again later as they move across the country.
 I got to meet Richard and Gail Talley of the iconic Route 66 Motel Safari in Tucumcari, NM.  They surprised me with a visit late in the afternoon on their quick Route 66 trip, a getaway before the really busy season begins at their historic motel.  (Check out all the great recommendations at  I was so glad to meet them.  Judging from their warm personalities, they are clearly cut out to be in the hospitality industry.  I wish them a great trip and a very successful season at their place. [Richard's sling has something to do with a horse and a fence. . .]
    And now, for the rest of the story. . .  Further visits were from travelers from Talala OK, Lawrence KS, Sadler TX, Lee's Summit MO, Edgerton KS, Centerton KS, Paola KS, Okawvivlle IL, and Kansas OK.  There were about as many bikers as car drivers, and nearly every visitor was in the midst of a full (and jealous-making) trip across Route 66.  I managed to refrain from stowing away in their cars or jumping on their bikes and forcing them to take me along.  It wasn't easy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What the. . .?

Gordo, I was only joking when I said that taking a picture of you might break my camera.  I didn't mean it. Really!  Nevertheless, apparently my camera is broken.  Either that or something very mysterious is occurring with the SD card.  I took three photos at Afton Station yesterday and, as I always do, I took a quick look at them immediately after taking them, just to make sure they were ok.  They were.  Then, this morning when I went to transfer them to my computer, they were gone!  Yes, GONE!  I am mystified.  I just took a couple more pictures to test things.  Everything seems fine.  So, no photos from the Station for yesterday.  And big apologies to the lovely couple from Australia, and the two enthusiastic and attractive ladies from Denton, TX, all of whom I had hoped to picture on this blog.  Just let me say that I'm sick of breaking everything I touch.

Meanwhile, yesterday at Afton Station was quite nice.  The aforementioned Gordo came back for a second visit in three days.  He met up at the Station with another Valkyrie-riding guy (from N. Vernon, IN) and they were off on  their bikes to parts West.   The two had never met before, other than chatting on a Valkyrie website.   I think they're going to  have fun, though.

Other visitors were from Brookville IN, Dallas IL, Paris AR, and Salt Lake City UT.  There were 13 altogether, and it was a very nice, calm day.  At 3 p.m., I left Phil to mind the store while I fetched Ron M. from the airport as he returned from his almost-four-week world tour. (GREAT to have him home again!)  Phil called at 6 p.m. from the Station.  He was still there and still greeting visitors!   Oh my!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Once again. . .

. . . I just got home, way too late to settle into writing about my day at Afton Station.  So, check back tomorrow.  Thanks.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Hope You Have a Comfortable Chair

It's going to be a long ride, I'm afraid.  Yesterday (Sunday) at Afton Station was an eclectic mix of fun, surprises, craziness, and just a touch of disappointment.  By the time I closed up and drove the 85 miles home, I was pretty beat!

I left home at 6 a.m. and arrived at Afton Station at 7:30 because we were anticipating the early arrival of folks who are filming the PBS TV show Globe Trekker, a British based show which also airs in the U.S., although I've never seen it.   Marly and Phil both watch it and say it's extraordinary.   They're doing a segment on Route 66 which will air here in the U.S. in about a year.  
Marly was at the Station even before I got there, getting a couple of the old cars ready to be filmed as they drove down the road.  Phil came shortly thereafter.  David arrived just before the film folks got there, in time to drive one of the cars for them. The reason the film company chose Afton Station for the majority of the program is that the advance production people met Phil one day when I wasn't at the Station and it was he who related the charms of Route 66, the cars and -- of course -- Afton Station to the folks.   He told them that they needed to give some publicity to the Route 66 aspects of Station as well as the cars. 

As it turned out, it was all about the cars.  They didn't do any filming inside the Station whatsoever, and that put me in a bum mood for a while.  Although I'm sure they will emphasize Route 66, mostly they just had David and Marly driving cars up and down the road, over and over again.  They even had Marly drive the '55 Packard all the way to Chelsea (35 mi.), filming the entire time.  The film crew couldn't have been nicer, and I am thrilled that they chose us for an episode of the show, but I still wish they'd come in to see what we had to offer inside. 

Once that excitement was over, the day was wonderful.  We had 25 visitors altogether.  The surprise of the day was when my friend Gordo Radford from Washington, Missouri drove up on his gorgeous vintage Valkyrie bike.  He's the photographer who creates those beautiful and artistic Route 66 postcards which I sell at the Station.  It's always nice to see  him, and I'll be seeing him again tomorrow when he comes through Afton in the other direction. 
  Riding along with Gordo, although they'd just met for the first time at his last stopping place, was one of, --  if not THE -- most engaging, beautiful people who has ever come to visit.   His name is Yan Wang and he's from Tiang Su, China.   Marly and I were both charmed by Yan's friendliness, totally unbridled enthusiasm for Route 66 (and life in general), and his eagerness to be friends, not just acquaintances.  Here he is with Marly.  I wish he could have stayed much longer!
These visitors were also simply great folks!   They're from Garland, TX and are doing a portion of Route 66 which they missed on previous trips.  More infectious enthusiasm.
 Our other visitors came from Plymouth MI, Fairview OK, Joplin MO, Venice Italy, Moline IL,  Santa Fe NM, and Carmel CA.   Another great surprise was a visit from one of the people who works at my dialysis unit, a very cool lady named Jeannie.  She brought her husband Ronny whom I'd not met before. They were spending the weekend at Grand Lake and decided to drive over to Afton.   Yes!

My friend Susan Yates, who made the popular weighted Route 66 coasters which I sell at the Station, has come up with another useful product with a Route 66 theme.  During a chat with her, I mentioned that some folks I know have persistent lower back problems.   The other day, on my front porch was a box containing 4 "heating pillows" with Route 66 fabric covers.  They're filled with field corn (not the popping type) and are heated in the microwave.  Well, of course we had to give one of them a try.   None of us had a back ache, but Phil had a little headache, so we applied it to his head.   That pad continued to emanate a moist heat for a full half hour!   Very impressive!   Check out Phil and his new "hat".
 I left Afton an hour later than usual because folks continued to come through the door.  In fact, Marly was still putting away the cars when I left. He sure did yeoman's duty yesterday!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

There's no way. . .

. . . I can do justice to an extraordinary day like today if I have to rush through a blog post.  I got home late and I'm very, very tired.  Therefore, please come back tomorrow afternoon for a full explanation of this complex day at Afton Station.   See you then!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

About once a year. . .

. . . I reserve the right to be in a bad mood.   In nearly every case, the mood dissolves about midday, and that's what happened again today.  Slow days at Afton Station tend to freak me out, and after a pretty good opening, things slowed down and I retreated into my grouchy mood.  Later in the afternoon, however, things came back to life and I ended the day quite happy.

I think what bothers me more than anything is watching cars go by and drivers never even glancing left or right, especially cars with out-of-state license plates.  Someone suggested I put a huge pointing finger on a sign across the street saying "Free Car Museum Over There" or some such.  Maybe I will.  Meanwhile, I can only figure that people who drive through a little towns without bothering to check out their surroundings aren't my kind of people anyway.  

So, on to the good stuff.  Our first visitors were four people from Miami, OK who were out for a nice bike ride and were participating in the Oklahoma Passport Run, so there were lots of photos taken.

Shortly after, these two guys from Tulsa rode up on Harleys.  They, too, are participating in the Passport Run, as we are one of the 20 places from all over the state which everyone is required to visit.  I have a feeling we'll be meeting lots of nice people as a result of this activity, since it just started but will run until the end of November.
This couple from Cape Town, South Africa were the next visitors.  We have very few South African visitors, so to have two couples visit in one month is exciting.   I asked them what precipitated their trip, and they said that they did a part of Route 66 out west several years ago and hope to eventually do the whole thing
Other visitors today were from Berlin, Germany and Vinita and Bartlesville, OK.   Tomorrow will be busier, I think. We're starting the day very early with a film crew from the Globe Trekkers PBS show  coming to do a piece on the cars.   Marly will be around to help, as he was today.   I'm looking forward to another film experience.  They're always interesting.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I sure know how to pick 'em (NOT!)

Although every day on Route 66 is a good day in my opinion, when I want to show off Afton Station to friends, I always hope that it will be one of those amazing days, packed with visitors from all over the world, interesting people with interesting stories.

Thus, I was anticipating all of that when I invited a Tulsa friend up to Afton to spend the day at the Station yesterday.  As it turned out, it was one of the most slow and boring days we've had in months.  We had a mere 8 visitors, and they were:

1)  the three guys who came to put waterproofing in one of the outbuildings,
2)  a local girl who comes in every few days asking for a free pop,
3)  a woman who was clearly on some mind-altering substance, asking if we could pump gas for her, and unable to comprehend that our pumps are vintage and it's been 30 - 40 years since they were operable,
4)  two nice young ladies from Springfield, MO who came just to find our geocache, and had to be talked into staying to see the cars and,
5) thankfully, Dennis from Pittsburgh, KS, a super nice guy who stops in every now and then, and whom I encouraged to sit and stay a while.  He was definitely one of the bright spots of the day.

The other bright spots were visits from Phil (who opened and closed for me again), Robin, Tattoo Man, and Betty.  

After closing, my Tulsa friend and I drove up to Joplin for dinner.  However, I took the opportunity to give him some Mother Road lessons, thus it took over two hours to drive 50 miles.  I showed him our new monument, we drove the Sidewalk Highway, I showed  him the Motorcycle Museum and Coleman Theater in Miami, the Mickey Mantle house and statue in Commerce, we drove through Picher and Cardin, I showed him the visitors' center in Baxter Springs KS, the Rainbow Bridge and Eisler Bros. in Riverton KS, we stopped to say a few words to Melba at 4 Women on the Route in Galena KS, and finally got to Joplin in time for a remarkably delicious meal at Mythos, a great Greek restaurant there.  He said he enjoyed the day very much.  I hope he meant it.  
Every time I drive up to Commerce, I'm more and more disappointed in the condition of Mickey Mantle's Boyhood Home.  I don't know the reason that it has been so neglected recently, but only hope that there are people in town who have restoration plans for it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Too Late To Write

 Since I was actually having a social life this evening, I got home just now and too late for a blog post.  Tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Bit of Afton History

A man I don't know named Rodney Dillinger posted a few pictures of old Afton on our Afton Facebook page.  I found three among them that I don't already have.  I hope Mr. Dillinger doesn't mind that I post them here.  The quality isn't good, but they're just so interesting.
   The "other" D-X station on Route 66 south of town  
 Yes, little Afton once had a hospital.  It's now a mental health clinic.
And this is the interior of the railroad roundhouse.  I'm so glad to have finally found a photo of this.  It was a very important part of Afton's history, as it employed a great number of people.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Can't Complain

No, I certainly can't.  There's absolutely no question that the unseasonably warm weather has increased the number of travelers on Route 66 this year.  We're showing numbers of visitors more like those we expect in June or July.  They're coming from everywhere, both in the U.S. and abroad.   For example, today our visitors came from Manchester WA, Birmingham AL, Dallas TX, Piqua OH, and Broken Arrow, Collinsville, and Oklahoma City, OK.  From other countries, they were from Ontario Canada, E. London South Africa, and Essex, England.  A very nice assortment, don't you think?

I know I always say the same thing, day after day.  Those who visited with us were all cheerful, interesting, and fun.  Believe me, I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true.  There's something about people in the midst of their Route 66 travels, whether it's a day trip or a three-month odyssey -- Route 66 grasps them just as it does those of us who work on Route 66 every day.  Some say there's a 9th state on Route 66 -- a State of Mind.
So, what more can I say about this most recent group of  Afton Station visitors?  I can't complain.  Not in the slightest!

I only took one photo of a visitor today, this gentleman from Manchester, Washington who couldn't resist the call of antique cars, despite his wife preferring to remain in the car.   He had a wonderful time and will be back in less than a year.  

 Robin and Phil are arrowhead hunters.  Yesterday they brought in their collection of slightly broken ones and I decided maybe it would be fun to try to sell them for them.  They're not sure yet if they want to sell any of their vast collection of perfect ones, but I can't help but think that these artifacts might interest foreign travelers who love any souvenirs of Native American life and the American West.  We shall see.

There was a lovely sunrise today, with the fiery ball emerging just as I arrived at my favorite stretch of Route 66.  Enjoy.
 I also happened to pass one of Tulsa's small art deco gems as I was leaving the city prior to sunrise this morning.  Here's the Tulsa Little Theater Building, just off Route 66.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maybe. . . Maybe Not

Today's Mother's Day weather couldn't have been more beautiful.  If every day of the year was exactly like this Oklahoma May day, I'd be a happy girl!   All the visitors to Afton Station seemed to be in good weather moods, too.  

One group of travelers has left me with a big question mark,  however.   Three great guys from the Netherlands dropped in on their Route 66 adventure.  We had a very nice visit and they enjoyed the cars.  They all spoke  near perfect English.   After leaving, I looked at the guest book and saw that one of them had written his name, Marco Borsato, then "I'm a famous Dutch singer and I love the USA!"  Hmm. . . I almost couldn't wait to get home to Google him.   Indeed, there is a famous Dutch singer named Marco Borsato.  But the photos online don't quite look like any of the three guys who visited.  I'm left with a maybe/maybe not dilemma.   Frankly, I think it was a joke.  I liked these guys a lot anyway.  (And Marco, if you see this, tell me the truth!)
We had our first visitors from the Republic of Belarus, at least the first in several years.   The two men in this photo are in the U.S. on a business seminar and are staying with the lady in the picture and her grandson, also pictured.  She has been showing them all the sights in the area, and from the list of where they've been, I think they're extremely lucky to have her as their hostess, as they've really covered all the important sites in northeast Oklahoma, including several Route 66 attractions, of course.  
 In all, we  had 18 visitors today, and the remainder were from Claremore OK, Springdale AR, Pawhuska OK, Zena OK, Grove OK, and Paris, France.

I'm getting a little worried about the sweet pup who has now spent a second day at Afton Station.  He's the best behaved dog I've ever met, and it seems he just needs love.  He's well fed, has collar with no identification, and shows no signs of having been abused.  He loves just sitting at our feet and being close to humans.  I'm hoping he belongs to someone in town who cares for him at night.   If he continues to hang around, I guess I'll put up some posters or contact Town Hall.    Meanwhile, if I were in the market for a dog, he'd be my first choice.
 I had help today from Phil and Tattoo Man.  I thank them profusely because on this pretty day I'm sure there were other things they could have been doing.

I hope all you mothers who are reading this have had a great day with your families.  My daughter Sarah just called me and we had a nice chat.  I wish she was here, but I feel tremendously lucky that she surprised me with a visit last weekend!
               The road home

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dogs and Birds and Tourists. . . oh My!

Another crazy and busy day at Afton Station!   Phil opened again for me, alleviating the crazy rush when people are there even before I arrive..  Shortly after we opened, Robin arrived with her daughter Tammy who is visiting from Madison, Alabama.  She's a very sweet and pretty lady and since she'll be around all week, I hope I have a chance to visit with her again.
Next came one of our uninvited visitors. . . this very sleepy little dog named ????  Although he wore a collar and a flea collar, he had no identification.  Clearly, all he wanted was a little attention, some love, and a place to catch some ZZZZs.  He was so gentle and obedient that we became quite taken with him.  He stayed all day.  Then, when we weren't watching, he disappeared!   (I hope so anyway... we did check around before closing up, in case he was sleeping under a car or something).  He was such a nice dog that I almost wished I could keep him.    

Our next uninvited visitor was far more active and problematic.  A starling flew in the door. . . and didn't immediately fly out -- although he certainly was trying.... and judging by the number of times he crashed into the windows, I'm sure he had a major headache by the time he finally found the door.  Poor bird!

We also had a visit from Michael  from Eagle Point, OR, a guy who spends a lot of time traveling from Tucumcari NM to Pontiac IL, spreading cheer and good Route 66 feelings.  He's visited us before.  He sleeps in his car and simply travels the Mother Road for his own enjoyment.  His wife, who doesn't travel with him, makes some lovely handbags and wallets from Route 66 fabric, so I bought one of each (all I could afford) to sell at the Station.  

I also bought a pile of t-shirts from one of my other vendors, a very nice fellow named Greg Gazak from Zak's  on Route 66 in Missouri.   I won't have them for sale for a few weeks, but I liked the designs, and so did the people who were visiting the Station at the time, whom I polled.  

Here are a couple from Bordeaux, France who were thrilled and excited that we have a Citroen Deux Cheveau in our car collection.   Despite speaking very little English, I was able to communicate with them using my vast knowledge of French (NOT!). 
 And then there were these two young ladies from Charlotte, NC who began their Route 66 trip at Afton Station!  Oh, what fun they are going to have along the way.  They're just the kind of enthusiastic guests I really enjoy.  They're heading for California but they only have 10 days, so they'll need to move right along.
 Our other visitors came from Riverside CA, Eufaula OK, Yorba Linda CA, Broken Arrow OK, and Mt. Juliet TN.  There were 16 visitors when I left, but Phil was staying on for a while, so that number may increase.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Little Melting Pot

What a lovely international day, with visitors from several countries.  A couple of  friends dropped by, too.  Among our 18 visitors today were. . . .

. . . yet another joyful, smiling, interesting couple from the Brisbane area in Australia.. . . .
. . . this delightful father and son from Germany.   The son spoke perfect English (and, by the way, was ridiculously handsome!), and the father is just now learning English but doing a great job of it.  He did say he was having a bit of trouble understanding "Okie", but then who doesn't?  They came on motorcycles.
. . .  this couple from Wales, although I mistook him for an Aussie because of that hat, and because he greeted us with "G'day".  They were fun!
     . . . these two from near Medford, Oregon who clearly were enjoying their trip. . .
. . .  and others from Forsythe MO, Kansas City MO, New Orleans LA,  and Munich Germany (three guys on motorcycles), and Welwyth Garden City, near London, England.

Frequent visitor Jon Edwards from Tahlequah, OK dropped by, on his motorcycle as usual.  He just rescued a '50s era Packard from the crusher and he brought a photo of it.   It's unbelievable that someone would crush such a lovely car in such great condition!  It runs and he'll be restoring it soon.

Friend Brenda from Akron, OH also stopped by on her way home from a trip in which she visited with several folks along the Mother Road.  This very afternoon, she had lunch with Tattoo Man at the famous Hank's Hamburgers on Route 66 in Tulsa.
 And speaking of food and Tulsa, there's a new,  unique eatery on Route 66 (11th St.) in Tulsa, so I stopped to take a photo this morning.   Lola's, formerly in another area of Tulsa,  has moved into an Airstream trailer and will be serving all kinds of interesting fare.   It was closed when I was there today, but later in the day she sets up tables, chairs, and colorful umbrellas in front.   I can't wait to try it, as I liked Lola's offerings at her old place.
 I think that's all for now, except to thank Phil for helping with the meeting and greeting again today.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Volunteer Praise

First, I must say a word about my volunteers Phil and Marly, who have been such a huge help to me since Ron M. has been on vacation.  Every day, as I drive up to the Station after the 85-mile drive from Tulsa, I see the flags flying and all the lights on -- everything ready to go!  I don't think that even they realizes how good that makes me feel, since opening up in the morning is kind of complex, especially if I'm alone and there are already visitors at the door.  He also usually comes and closes for me, too.  Between Phil and the wonderful Marly, I'm getting spoiled.  I'm such a lucky lady!

Today we had 11 visitors, many of them very interesting.   This couple from Germany are doing Route 66 in a rented RV, and in kind of a rush.  They had to be talked into staying long enough to tour our two showrooms, but once the agreed to do so, they were amazed by the cars.
A new family from Micronesia has moved into the little house in front of the old former Rest Haven Motel, within sight of Afton Station.  Today, the father and his very cute son stopped in to meet us.  Nice folks!
 Other visitors included a die hard squashed penny collector from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  He has over 3,500 pressed pennies in his collection and has impressive knowledge about the hobby.  Two women, one from Tulsa OK and the other from Ft. Myers, FL mistook us for the "other" nearby car museum, but enjoyed our cars very much and weren't sorry about the error.     Finally, visitors from Altoona PA, Rogersville MO, and Grove OK visited.

I took this photo on the way to Afton today.  I dunno why, but I just like it.  
I added a Translation gadget to my blog.  It works for me.  Let me know if anyone has trouble accessing it. It's up there on the top right.  Thanks!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Abbreviated Again

Another abbreviated posting here, as I continue to enjoy my daughter's company.  She leaves early tomorrow morning.  Boo hoo!   We will go out for one more dinner this evening, though.
Another quiet day at Afton Station, with only 10 visitors.  It was an extremely hot day, too!  Betty started off the day by bringing me these gorgeous roses from her garden. 

Our visitors came from Spring TX, Zurich Switzerland, and Stillwater, Sand Springs, and Oologah, OK.

This couple from Switzerland has spent two years doing Route 66 research for this trip.  They are traveling Route 66 for 66 days, as this is their 66th birth year, and they plan to wind up at the Grand Canyon, where they met 33 years ago.  He seemed to know everything about Route 66, including recent openings and closings that even some locals don't know.  Amazing!
This couple from Oologah, OK was our last visitor of the day, after which Sarah and I closed up and headed for home.  
 Oh yeah, here's Sarah during one of our down times in the morning catching up on the news.