Saturday, December 28, 2013

Early Morning Surprise

On our drive up to Afton, which we thought was going to be just a quick look-in to make sure everything was tied down and winterized there, I had a call from some folks who were waiting outside of the Station hoping to get in for a tour. Since we were only about 20 minutes away when we got the call, I put the pedal to the metal (don't tell the OHP) and got there before they got tired of waiting.  What a nice surprise... visitors!

I was very glad we caught them when we did.  They're pulling a travel trailer and heading down to the Rio Grande Valley for the rest of the winter and said they hadn't visited Afton Station in about 6 years.  They own a '49 Packard and are active in Packard and antique vehicle groups in their home town of Petersburg, IL.   Furthermore, they introduced us to their pups, Wolfie and Isabella, two sweet, calm, huggable little angels.
Robin dropped in for a few minutes while we were still there and let me know that yesterday there were only two visitors and both were local.    After the Illinois couple left, Ron M. and I proceeded on our way to Grove.  Now I wonder if, had we stayed, we would have had more visitors later in the day. Oh well, no way to predict that.  It was a lovely day and right now the temperature in Tulsa is 63 degrees. Can't beat that for a mid-winter day!  On our trip to Grove, we checked out the Windham complex on Monkey Island, right on the water, where many of our Afton Station visitors stay in time share condos when they're in the area.  It seems like a nice spot.  Too bad it's not right on Route 66 though.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bored? Who, me?

Thankfully, I'll be driving up to Afton Station tomorrow, although just for a while and not all day.  I don't do well when I'm not on the road -- mostly Route 66, but any road will do at this point.  Ron M. and I will be at the Station tomorrow around 10 a.m. for perhaps an hour at most.   Robin opened up today but had few visitors.  Tomorrow's weather is supposed to be ideal, sunny and in the 60s.  Ah, nice!

I'm practicing with the camera on my new iPhone5s, and so far I find it, like every aspect of the phone, to be excellent.  I took a couple of photos just now, and here they are. This is a hand painted Route 66 stabile that I was given some years ago.  (A stabile is like a mobile in that it has moving parts, but it is grounded as opposed to hanging.)
This one is going to take some explaining.  It was given to me years ago and is one of my prized possessions, although I had mislaid it until today when I found it while cleaning my office.   It's a zebra leg thermometer.  Yes, it's a real zebra leg and hoof, fur and all, taxidermied, with a thermometer nailed to the front.  It's pretty creepy but a wonderful conversation starter.  I have no idea why it was made or by whom.  My apologies to all animal lovers and wildlife preservationists.
So, that's what I do when I'm bored.  I think this little phone takes some really great pictures, don't you?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

66 on Ice

I took a little ride on Tulsa Route 66 this morning thinking I'd be able to take some interesting photos of the ice which is encrusting everything in sight after yesterday's ice storm.  I wasn't successful, for two reasons.  For one thing, my camera doesn't seem to enjoy bringing out the true beauty of icicles.  Secondly, there aren't very many trees along Tulsa Route 66!  I never really noticed before.  I had to drive through the gate of the University of Tulsa in order to snap a semi-decent picture.  This is the spot where the Metro Diner once stood and, like most Route 66 fanatics, I wasn't happy when they tore it down just to produce a "green quadrangle" surrounded by student apartments.  But they do have lots of trees, and all of them were covered with frozen beauty.  It's just that my camera didn't really catch it.
A big limb crashed down across the street from me last night, but otherwise there's no particularly serious damage in my 'hood.  However, since the temperature hasn't risen above freezing for several days, the ice remains on branches, wires, and roofs, leaving Tulsans to move gingerly beneath the creaking and sagging.  I'll be glad when the dripping starts.

Cheers!  Enjoy these few days before Christmas, and I hope it will be a happy and stress-free time for you all!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Long Goodbye

That is the title of an Editorial in Sunday's Tulsa World newspaper.  It made me sad.   I found out that I missed what I feel is an important date in the life of Route 66.   On November 26th, the Route 66 town of Picher, OK ceased to exist as an incorporated municipality.

I have had a very emotional interest in Picher, as well as its sister town Cardin, ever since I moved to Oklahoma and learned that the two towns had been named the biggest (read worst) Superfund sites in the U.S.  The lead and zinc mining that had brought amazing prosperity to the towns in the '30s and '40s eventually dangerously polluted the land, water, and air in the region.   Afton is in the same county and, although not affected as greatly as the other two towns, still has a somewhat dangerous level of pollutants in its air, so I have a personal interest in the whole sad story.  But mostly, I feel so badly for the citizens of Picher and Cardin who were forced to move from their longtime homes.

You can read about the closing of the towns here:

I have written about the plight of Picher several times here on the blog, and you can find the posts at:
January 9, 2009
November 6, 2009
January 25, 2011
An abandoned home with a pile of contaminated chat from the mines in the background

RIP Picher, Oklahoma
RIP Cardin, Oklahoma

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thinking Hiatus

I think that after this post (and perhaps another one which I already have lined up for tomorrow), I'm going to take a little hiatus -- probably just a week or two -- from this blog so I can make sense of the massive number of tasks I have to get done before Christmas and New Years.  Gifts must be wrapped, gifts must be mailed (soon!), a couple of gifts still need to be made, food arranged, purchased, and cooked for a party after Christmas, and I just signed on to proofread a friend's manuscript which must go to the publisher in the next week or so.   Eek!

Furthermore, Afton Station today yielded exactly ZERO visitors; so there's nothing to talk about!   We stuck it out until a little after 1:30, but I have finally convinced myself that it's all over for 2013.   I might show up there occasionally when weather permits and when I have a bad case of Afton separation anxiety, but for all intents and purposes we're closed until February.   If I do decide to open once in a while, you'll be the first to know. And, as usual, if you plan to come through Afton or if you have house guests who might like to visit the Station, just give me a call and I'll try to arrange to open for you.   918-382-9465.

There were signs that Santa was lurking around last night.  He left  hats here and there.  Ho ho ho!
Crazy Lady got one.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One is the loneliest number

And that, my friends, is the number of visitors we had at Afton Station today.  I can't really blame people for not coming out on such an ugly day -- very cold, very damp, very dark, very windy.  Ron M. and I sat around and caught up on our reading until 1:30, then gave up and started for home.   Our one visitor was a local citizen who had lost a packet of important papers yesterday on his walk home from the post office and just stopped in to see if we might have found it.  Hardly a Route 66 traveler.   Robin came in and hung out for about an hour, but otherwise we saw nobody.

On the way out of town, we stopped to take a photo of the bridge which we feel is the same one I talked about in yesterday's blog post.   Seventy-six years has changed it, of course, but it appears that the lay of the land is accurate, and it's the only bridge of such size within 3 miles of Afton to the north.  It has recently been completely restructured.
We plan to go back to Afton tomorrow, and I have high hopes for the day.  The sun has already begun to shine and the prediction is for temperatures in the '50s.   So c'mon, folks,  have mercy on us and stop in for a visit.  Please!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Road Building

I couldn't resist an Ebay purchase recently.   The writing pasted on the back, from a Chicago newspaper, is dated 5-31-36 and says:
Above photo shows WPA workers near Afton, Okla. carrying rock in buckets to a highway overpass under construction three miles away.  Upon completion the contractors were notified that the $1,500 of federal money allotted for the project that was not used should be used on the job in some way, and the contractors had the men carry rock in above manner and placed on the finished embankment, until the required WPA hours were completed.
I think this must be the bridge north of Afton (at Buffalo Ranch) which carried Route 66.  It's the only large bridge in the area, other than the Interstate bridge which wasn't built until the 1950s.  The bridge in the photo, if I'm correct is, coincidentally, being rebuilt right now.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Perkins, Yale, and Stillwater

Ron M. and I took a little jaunt today, away from Route 66.   The main destination was a visit to Ron's cousin in Stillwater, home of Oklahoma State University and the world-famous Eskimo Joe's, but first we stopped briefly in Perkins, OK to look for an old DX gas station which a recent visitor to Afton Station was helping to restore.
We weren't entirely sure we'd found the right place, but when I got home I checked the blog post for the day that fellow visited us, and it confirmed that it was indeed the very same really neat '50 style station he'd told us about.  More about the station is available at the Cimarron Starlite Cruisers website at:  Unfortunately, the building wasn't open, however we were able to drive around the rest of what appears to be the local historical society's "campus" consisting of a number of restored or reproduced buildings from the town's history.
This church is an example of one of the beautiful restorations.
After visiting Cousin Mary for a while, we headed out to find somewhere to eat lunch.  That was accomplished easily when we found a spot specializing in steak and a big salad bar.   Once over-filled, we headed toward home, a trek which took us through several small towns, one of them being Yale, birthplace of Jim Thorpe, world famous athlete known for his feats of athleticism in the 1912 Olympics as well as being a standout in professional football, basketball, and baseball.  There's more to the story than that, so check out Jim Thorpe's bio in Wikipedia.  It's interesting.  Here's the modest home of his birth in Yale.
It was nice getting away for a while today.  On Saturday I should get back to Afton Station - finally - so I'll be there to report on my first trip back in 10 days!  Robin will open tomorrow and the rest of us will be there for the weekend.  Meanwhile, here's a shot of my house in the semi-darkness with my meager (but very tasteful, I think   LOL) Christmas decoration.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It just feels wrong. . .

. . . when I don't go to Afton, thus I have nothing particularly relevant to report here on the blog.  I feel I'm going to lose my readers if I miss an entire week of blogging.  Then again, maybe you all need a break from my babbling.  Since I've stayed home for the entire weekend, minus a few "driving around town" trips just to shake me out of the doldrums, I really have nothing much to talk about.

For those who may be traveling Route 66 right now, I can tell you that the roads in and around Tulsa are pretty clear, so come ahead and enjoy our beautiful town.  The main roads are fine and the secondary roads are passable but slightly slippery (except in my Subaru, which seems to be able to easily conquer any road condition.).   It's still extremely cold, however, so if you're visiting Tulsa I hope you brought a warm coat!

Since no blog entry is worth its salt without a photo, here's one of  my house.  Snow is so rare around here that I seldom get to snap a pic of my 1915 bungalow with a bit of snow on and around it.  This is the best I could do this time.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Let It (Not) Snow

You may recall from previous years that I become a total grinch when it comes to the subject of snow.  Snow is evil.  Snow is Mother Nature's punishment for the sins of man.  Snow serves no immediate purpose that rain can't serve just as well.  Anyway, that's my humble opinion and has always been and always will be.  

And since we've had a little snow here in Oklahoma, there is a fine chance that Afton Station won't be open tomorrow.  The road conditions aren't ideal for an 85-mile drive, the temperatures tomorrow are supposed to range from 5 to20 degrees, and there's enough snow on the ground to make me stubborn about walking around in it.  Furthermore, I seriously doubt there will be many, if any, travelers out there this weekend.  (In the case that there are, please call me early (918-382-9465) so that I can find someone who lives closer to open up for you.)

I apologize for my grinchiness.  I really just want to hibernate.  I hope you understand.  And if you are roaming around this weekend, please be cautious on the roads.

Monday, December 2, 2013

More Than Just Five Moons

The Executive Director of the Tulsa Historical Society wrote to thank me for posting the blog a few days ago entitled Five Moons, about the ballerina statues on the lawn of the Society.  I am going to post her note here for those who may be interested, when coming through Tulsa on your Route 66 trip, in seeing a beautiful mansion filled with wonderful exhibits which would appeal to folks from all over the world, not just Tulsans.
 Michelle Place said...
Laurel, Thank you for your lovely comments about the FIVE MOONS that are the showcase of the Vintage Gardens at the Tulsa Historical Society. There are also a number of artifacts that are artfully displayed throughout the Garden. I hope that the viewers will also take some time to travel up the cobblestone drive between the two mansions and visit the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum. We have eight annually rotating galleries that tell the fabulous stories of Tulsa, the citizens and events. We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 4 (closed on Holidays) - Michelle Place, THS Executive Director

Sunday, December 1, 2013



 Pecans, that is! 

 Much of our day at Afton Station today was "hurry up and wait".  We were reminded that this isn't the summer tourist season any more, and visitors were few and far between.  One way Ron used his free time was to take a walk around town, and during his walk he came upon some pecan trees that were shedding their bounty so he helped himself.  Shelling pecans isn't easy, but Ron managed to use some of David's pliers to crack them and we had a little midday snack.  Doesn't he look serious about his work?
When we weren't nutcracking, we were visited by just a few people.  Betty W. and Michael Scruggs each dropped in for a little while.  We also had a visit from a gentleman from Tulsa who was just beginning to find his way around Route 66.  We armed him with both of our free Oklahoma Route 66 booklets and reminded him that there was plenty of the Mother Road to explore right in his own back yard.

A couple from Camdenton, MO (Lake of the Ozarks area) also came by on their way home from a month long trip to California and Arizona.  What fine, interesting folks they were!  They have a large ranch where they raise cattle and horses, and that life always interests me.
Since I was asking her questions about life on the ranch, she gave me this photo of her bottle feeding one of the calves.  I must share it with  you because it's such a cute picture.  They were a great couple!
Well, we won't be open again until Friday, when Robin will be minding the store.  I'll be back in Afton on Saturday and Sunday.  Perhaps now that the Thanksgiving family weekend is over there will be more people on the road looking for interesting places to visit.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Back in the Saddle

After almost a week away, I was back at Afton Station today and very glad to be there.   Thanksgiving was nice -- dinner at a ridiculously crowded restaurant and a nice ride in the country afterwards -- but for me it's always nice to get back to routine.  My routine, for the winter, will consist of only driving up to Afton on weekends, but that leaves me more time to tend to my own chores at home.

There was another pretty sunrise today.
I picked Ron M. up and we headed to Afton.  The morning was cold, but by afternoon it was feeling a little bit like spring.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the same.  We had 9 visitors (not counting Robin and Scott, who both dropped in for a while).   Those visitors were mostly local types who were out for a refreshing drive on their holiday weekend.    They came from Kansas City KS, and Jay, Bluejacket, Bartlesville, and Miami, OK.  We really enjoyed this couple from Kansas City, who seemed to be having a ball on their long weekend exploration of Oklahoma Route 66.  Can you tell they're having fun?   :-)
Ron M. and I were actually pretty satisfied with the nine folks who came to visit.  Frankly, I was expecting a lot fewer than that.   However, on the last day of November I spent a little time at the calculator and discovered that we had almost 1/3 more visitors than last November, and they spent almost double what visitors spent at Afton Station in November of last year.  Maybe this "Shop Local" thing is catching on!!

We'll be open again tomorrow, so come for a visit please!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

918 Coffee -- A Plug

I'm back again.  Same day, new post.  But I can't pass up the chance to plug a new venture on Route 66 (11th St.) in Tulsa, and this morning I visited a spot that deserves to be praised.   It's called 918 Coffee, and it's been open for about a month although this is the first morning I've had free to pay a visit.   Housed in an old mechanic's garage called George Tunes, a complete transformation has turned the greasy old building into a sleek spot for sittin' and sippin'.
It's quite large for a coffee house, but it's size doesn't mean it's not cozy, warm, and quiet, which is what many people like in the morning when they just want to sit and be left alone.  I felt like I'd joined the youthful generation as I sat there poking at my new iPhone5, since all the other patrons were deeply mesmerized by their electronic devices, too.

The coffee I chose, a mocha with skim, was delightful, just right in every way, the cranberry muffin was above average, and the nice lady behind the counter was very accommodating and cheerful.  There are both tables and nooks with upholstered furniture, the lighting is restful, and even the parking and access was easy.  This is strictly a local endeavor, so of course I recommend you give it a try before you give up and head for  Starbucks.  I think you'll be as happy as I was!

918 Coffee, 2446 E. 11th St., Tulsa.  Open from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.


I'm awake early this morning even though I don't have to be.  Its 6:30 a.m. and I've already been to the grocery store to pick up some odds and ends.  Those who use Facebook know that many folks have taken part in a meme that suggests you post one thing you're thankful for each day in the month preceding Thanksgiving.  I haven't done that but I've enjoyed reading the daily posts of others.   However, my trip to the grocery store this morning made me assess my own everyday thankfulness for the extreme (and almost too extreme) bounty that is available to those of us who are fortunate enough to live in this nation of plenty.   And then I was reminded to be grateful that I'm one of the fortunate people who can walk through a grocery store, plucking things off shelves here and there, without worrying about whether I have enough food stamps to cover my purchases, or whether my credit card is going to be denied again.  Those of us who are blessed with plenty need to be profoundly thankful for that which we have, and we need to be willing to share the bounty with others less fortunate.
 I doubt this is coming as great news to any of my readers here, but it can't  hurt to be reminded that just about every urban and rural area in America has some sort of Food Bank that takes care of the heavy lifting of getting meals out to low income families.  There are numerous ways to help, from volunteering to deliver food on Thanksgiving Day, to dropping off a turkey,  to sending a check.  All are equally  helpful.  When I sit at what I presume will be a bountiful Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, I hope I can rest assured that I've done my part to provide for others, too.  I am, without question, one of the lucky ones.  I don't want to forget that.  Ever!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Five Moons

I'm at home today after dialysis because it isn't worth driving up to Afton for such a short day.  I put a note on the door of the Station and I hope to be forgiven by anyone who arrived to find the lights out and the door locked.  Today is a pretty ugly day for traveling anyway.  There's been no precipitation here, but the temperature is in the 20s and it's windy and gloomy.  Stay home, and come to Afton again next week when we'll be open and, I hope, thriving!

Although it's a little bit off Route 66, I feel the need to call your attention to one of the most beautiful bronze sculptures I've seen in a long time.  It's on the grounds of the Tulsa Historical Society and it's called "Five Moons".  The Five Moons are five Native American ballerinas from Oklahoma who achieved international prominence during the 20th century. They are Yvonne ChouteauRosella HightowerMoscelyne Larkin, and sisters Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief.  They are portrayed, individually, in a variety of graceful poses.  It is such an honor to have five world renowned ballerinas from our state! 

The sculpture was installed in 2007, and sometimes I don't think that enough publicity was given to the tremendous work of art, a tribute to Native Americans who have achieved in the Arts.  I daresay that few Route 66 travelers have gone the extra mile off Route 66 to view it, but it is well worth the trip.   It is on S. Peoria Avenue south of 21st St.  

Since the installation consists of five separate statues, it's a bit hard to photograph, but you can get the idea from these.  So, make a note of this for the next time your Route 66 trip brings you through Tulsa.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Not bad at all. . . In fact, very good

I had a major attack of pessimism as Ron M. and I drove to Afton this morning.  It was cold -- very cold -- and damp and dark and not at all the kind of day when one can anticipate a great number of cheerful Route 66 travelers to come for a visit.  As it turned out, there weren't a lot, but they were good ones!
My friend Karen (left) from Owasso, OK, whom I have gotten to know because we're both patients at the same dialysis unit, came for her first visit to Afton Station, and she brought with her husband J.R., her sister-in-law, and their adorable puppy, Cootie.  The pup is less than 3 months old, looks like a child's stuffed animal, and was perfectly well-behaved.  What a nice surprise to see them at the door.
This woman is in the area for the 8th Annual Route 66 Marathon which will be run in Tulsa tomorrow.  She's from New York City and this will be the 43rd state in which she's run a marathon!  I believe she said that altogether she's run in 47 marathons and, although she's not a fast runner, she enjoys looking around, learning about new cities, and taking lots of photos.  The Route 66 Marathon is run near my house every year, and several years ago our '50 Studebaker was the pace car, with David, Ron M., and I having a ball leading the crowd of thousands.
This gentleman from Johannesburg, South Africa stopped in on a partial Route 66 trip while checking out America for the first time.  I think he likes it!    Two other visitors came from Salt Lake City, Utah and Claremore, OK, both first time visitors.

We always have our share of "drive bys" (also known as scoot 'n shooters), people who don't get out of their cars and come in to the Station for a visit but instead take a photo from across the street then drive away.   Nancy Mueller, who owns the famous Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari, NM, has begun to snap photos of the drive-bys there and post them on Facebook.  I've decided to start the same practice, and post the photos here.  Today I caught my first scoot 'n shooter with my camera.  Here she is!  If you should happen to see yourself here, just know that we understand you not wanting to get out of the car on such a bitterly cold day, and perhaps you were in a hurry, but we really would have enjoyed meeting you!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vacation, Day 1

How did I celebrate my first day of so-called "vacation" from Afton Station?   By cleaning my office, of course.  Not terribly exciting, but very necessary.   Ron M. came over and helped with some of the heavy lifting.  Now I only have some sorting and filing to do, and then I'll be ready for the window guys to come in and mess it all up again.  I'm getting new windows in nearly all of the house . .  19 windows in all -- all solid wood to go with the covenants of the historic district in which I live.  I predict my own insanity before the job is done.
At least I had this beautiful tree in my front yard to look at all day.  It kept me from being totally depressed about spending my free day with piles of mess all around me.

Do you remember Manu, the French gentleman who visited us a few years ago while crossing the U.S. on stilts?
His photo appeared on Facebook yesterday as he walked through Atlanta, Illinois.  It brought back memories of one of the most interesting, unusual, and friendly visitors we've ever hosted at Afton Station. I hope some day he'll come back and amaze those on Route 66 who weren't able to meet him the first time.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bounce Back

Well, well, well.   Talk about bouncing back from a week of having long days nearly devoid of visitors!  Afton Station was really hopping today, and it's good to know that Route 66 is still moving and shaking.  It was a perfect way to celebrate our last day before Winter Hours go into effect.

There were 16 visitors today, plus Robin and Betty both stopped in for a while.  Robin is getting used to her brand new bicycle, which she'll be storing at the Station so she can access it and pedal around town any time she wants.

This couple, from Vancouver, Washington, was on one of the most interesting adventures we've logged yet.  They're traveling no less than1,200 miles for a dental appointment at their dentist's office which happens to be in Mexico!  I guess when you like a certain dentist, you'll follow him just about anywhere!  Anyway, they're traveling Route 66 for some of the trip, so we were happy to greet these charming folks.
This couple drove up from Broken Arrow, OK.  They're pursuing another segment of a Route 66 trip which they are doing in stages.
This beautiful lady from Arkena, Ontario Canada was visiting with her husband, but her hubby spent so much time in the car showrooms that she and I had plenty of time to get acquainted while she waited.  They are also traveling parts of Route 66 on a vacation.
This gentleman visited twice today.  About an hour after he left the first time, he returned with his father and his son.  They are all collectors.  This gentleman collects old signage, and his father said he collects "everything".  He used to come to Afton often when frequent auctions were held there, but hasn't stepped foot in Afton for a while.

Other visitors came from O'Fallon MO, Rose OK, Wichita KS, Augusta KS, Bartlesville OK, and Seneca MO.

I may not be back here until next weekend, although I'm pretty sure I'll find things to babble about between now and then.  So stop back occasionally to see if there's a new post.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Decision Made!

After another very slow day at Afton Station, and after finding out Robin's day yesterday was even slower, I've decided to switch to my Winter Schedule beginning today.  That means that we'll only be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from now thru the winter, with potential openings by appointment on other days.   I'd need a call at least a day in advance if you wish to visit on the other days of the week.  Call 918-382-9465 or 918-284-3829.

We  had a mere four visitors today, a very nice couple from Bella Vista, Arkansas, transplanted from Wisconsin for their retirement years, and this couple from Lunenburg, Massachusetts.  They were doing a bit of Route 66 exploration on their way to his sister's home in Kansas City.
Ron M. and our friend Joe were both with me at the Station today, so we did have some fun and laughs.
But to be honest, the most exciting part of the day was when Joe got his finger caught in a plastic water bottle.  A bit of surgery (on the bottle) and his finger finally worked its way out.  (Joe, I told you I wouldn't let this go unmentioned... ha ha).

We took a different road home, through Big Cabin, Adair, Pryor, and Choteau.  It was nice to see some different scenery for a change, and we stopped at the Amish Cheese House in Choteau so Joe could buy a pie.  Ron got a photo of the giant Indian in Big Cabin, but since it was taken on the run, it didn't come out well.  In all, it was a pretty good day despite the paucity of visitors.   Tomorrow is supposed to be a springlike day, so it would be a great day for a ride on Route 66.  Please come visit!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A True Packard Woman

11:00 a.m. - Alone, with no visitors in sight, I spent the morning thus far sniffling my way through the latest issue of the Cormorant, the monthly publication of the Packard Owners Club.  Sniffling because I realized how much I missed the camaradarie of that group, particularly at our national convention. I haven't been to one in a lot of years. This summer the meet was held in Detroit, so there was a visit to the crumbling Packard plant which always brings tears to my eyes.   Also, the convention was attended by Margaret Dunning, who celebrated her 103rd birthday driving her 1930 Packard, as she does every day, but this time she had the excitement of taking it to the Indy Speedway and driving it at 70 mph.  She has owned the Packard since it was new. While at the convention, she was also allowed to take her turn at  piloting a riverboat down the Detroit River.  Now THAT is a true Packard woman!!

12 noon -   Police cars are speeding through town at about 80 mph, so something must be going on.  Otherwise, there's nothing but the hum of the heater to break the silence. This reminds me of the "old days" when I'd sit here all day with no visitors, looking out the window and counting passing trucks.   I'm cold. I've cleaned my desk and made a few price signs.  I've read two magazines.  I brought sushi for lunch, however, so all is not lost.
 1:00 p.m. -  Finally, some visitors, a wonderful couple from Gothenburg, Sweden.  They're traveling Route 66 during a lull in his business trip.  He works for Volvo in Gothenburg (of course!) and is test driving a 2014 model on this trip.   Good looking car, from what I could see of it.
Shortly thereafter, Betty came for a short visit and we had a good chat.   Two guys from Oklahoma City also came in and took a look at the cars.  One of them had been here before and wanted to show his friend.  After all that, I went back to staring out the window until it was time to head home. 
One thing I can see from the Station is this window in the 2nd floor of the building across the way.   Kind of spooky, don't you think?