Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter in Afton

Happy Easter!  Memories of childhood -- mom, grandma, and me in our Easter bonnets, white gloves, and the gardenia corsages that dad bought us every year.  Big leg-of-lamb dinner at Aunt Alice and Uncle Durrell's penthouse apartment, Easter eggs hidden and found, big basket of chocolate and jellybeans, and a drive through the countryide around northern Ohio until sundown.

Oh, how different my Easters are now, and yet for the most part almost as satisfying.  I am very much at peace with my Easter Sundays at Afton Station, especially one like this, which yielded a full 19 visitors!

I was alone today, which made it a little difficult to deal with people when they showed up  in multiples, but I managed to reacclimate myself to bigger crowds fairly quickly after a winter of ones and twos.  I am, emphatically, NOT complaining!

My first guests were a couple from Omaha, Nebraska who were planning to drive Route 66 in Oklahoma on  this trip and were particularly interested in visiting Picher, the abandoned, polluted town I've talked about so often here on the blog.  I told them they won't be able to not be moved by the sight of the remains of this sad little town.

Next, a group of three men on motorcycles arrived.   They're from K & N Motorcycles in Tulsa and they've visited Afton Station before.  Last year they visited prior to setting up the Passport Tour, for which we were a stopping spot.  It was such a great way to get new visitors to Route 66 and the Station that I was thrilled to find out that they have planned to have us be a passport stop again in 2014 when the tour will be entirely on Oklahoma Route 66.  
These two attractive young women from a suburb of Tokyo, Japan are brave enough to explore all of Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. with very little English but a lot of spunk and enthusiasm.  They were so excited about the pressed penny machine that they never stopped giggling as they used it.  It's just fun to see younger people, especially from the far reaches of the world, who clearly are appreciative of our beloved Road!

 Here are Butch Barnes and his sister (oh dear, I can't remember her name!) who were very special guests because they grew up in Afton!  I wish I'd had more time to hear some of Butch's stories of the old days, but there were quite a few people coming in so it became prohibitive.  The one story he did tell me was so interesting!   When he was a boy, each year a few days before Christmas the town threw live turkeys from the top of a 3-story building and whoever caught the birds got to keep them, kill them, and make holiday dinners from them.  When Butch was 15, as he was diving for the turkey an older and much larger man shoved him so hard that he went through a ground-floor window and cut his neck so badly that he ended up in the hospital with 98 stitches!   From that year on, there were no more turkey throws!   Instead, there was a drawing each year for frozen turkeys from Bassett's Grocery!
The rest of the visitors came from Fredonia WI, Dallas TX, Anna TX, and Tulsa, Vinita, and Grove, OK.  It was indeed a very Happy Easter at Afton Station!

Footnotes:   I came within about a foot of hitting a deer on my way to Afton.  He ran out in front of my car in the dusk of morning, but it was his timing and not mine that spared him

The two ladies visiting from Dallas stayed at the Desert Hills Motel on Route 66 in Tulsa last night.  They gave it a very favorable report, which isn't usually the case.  They stayed in one of the rooms near the office, which we've heard are the ones which have been most recently revamped, and they saw no evidence of the "shady characters" that others have reported on the premises.  So, just sayin'. . .

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Roar of Motorcycles

I never thought I'd learn to love the sound of a big line of bikers roaring past Afton Station.  Clearly, I'd rather they stopped there, but just knowing they're out on the road, testing the first day of what appears to be spring, was good enough for me today.  After a nasty and endless winter, followed by a drive to Afton this morning in blinding rain, it was such a joy for the sun to come out to bathe those intrepid bikers in its rays.  However, as I said, very few of them stopped at the Station, and I can kind of understand that.  Who wants to dismount and come into a building when  you can be feeling the warm wind in your hair?

We had visitors today, but until later in the afternoon, they were all the car-driving variety.  There was this friendly guy from Fairland, OK who just moved back to the area from Rhode Island.  We  had a good conversation about old movies, and he provided me with the URL for a website where I can watch lots of them.  Then, he was kind enough to call back later in the day to tell me he'd given me the incorrect website, and to correct it for me.  Nice guy!

Other visitors were a man from Pekin, IL who was heading back home after a business trip and chose Route 66 as his path.   He was behind schedule, which is common (or absolutely normal) for those who are captured by the Mother Road spirit.   The next visitors were a couple from Milwaukee, WI who were going from Chicago to Flagstaff and they, too, chose Route 66.   Then a gentleman from Claremore arrived to see the cars and ask if we had any Studebaker parts for sale.  He's restoring one himself.

Finally, near the very end of the day, we had our first bikers!   Five folks from the Motorcycle Museum in Miami (OK) drove over for a visit.   They are excited about the change in the weather, too.  They'll be having a booth at next weekend's Antique Sign and Advertising Show too, so we'll see more of them soon. Here are two of them inspecting the Thunderbird that's being raffled off later this summer.  
Big news!   Our new signs came back from the printer.  The old ones, which Marly spent so much time painting, fell to the ravages of the wind and weather.  This time, we had them  printed on metal and should stand up to the elements a lot better.   Nice, aren't they?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Special Sunrise, Special Day

The sunrise was nothing short of magnificent today.  You should have seen me chasing it with my car.  It took a while to find a good place to photograph it, and it was rising so fast that I was afraid I'd miss it.  Finally, just east of Claremore, I pulled off the road with squealing tires and got this shot.  Not bad, if you like telephone poles in your pictures.  I think, in this case, it's fine.

There were 8 visitors to Afton Station today, better than either day of the weekend.  Surely it had something to do with this being the first "springlike" day, with temperatures rising into the low 70s.  Finally!!  These folks from Ainsworth, Iowa were returning from their winter home in Texas and decided to do a portion of Route 66.

These two, from Ft. Pierce, Florida just like to get in the car and drive, always on the secondary roads and not on the interstates.  This time, they're doing Route 66.  They are a couple after my own heart!
 Another couple, from Grand Rapids, Minnesota came in during the later part of the day and I wasn't able to talk to them as much as I'd liked because I was so busy gabbing with Mark Potter, a surprise guest from Lawton, OK.  Mark has been a hard core Route 66 fan and postcard collector, so I've gotten to know him over the years.  He's a very nice guy with a great collection.   I was excited to see him and get a big Mother Road hug from him, but I forgot to snap his picture.  Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker also stopped in today, as did Betty.   I spent a good part of the day getting things ready for the booth we're having at the Buffalo Run Casino Antique and Memorabilia show.  I had forgotten how much is required to make sure a booth is properly set up.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Short Line

The long line of visitors at the door of Afton Station has been a short line lately.  I don't think the current lack of travelers foreshadows a slow season to come. And, I don't think we've done anything personally to make people stay away in droves.  I blame all of these quiet days on the abominable weather.  Now, after a few more days of rain to come, we should be getting more into the warmer days which are far more inviting to Route 66 explorers.  At least, I have my fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, we had a grand total of 4 visitors today.  Two were guys from Bentonville, Arkansas (the home of WalMart) and, as would be expected, they were home office WalMart employees, as is just about every citizen of Bentonville.  They were on their way home from a field service call and decided to stop.  We also had a very enjoyable visit from a couple from Ft. Worth, Texas who had the misfortune to schedule a Grand Lake holiday week during a week when there wasn't a single day decent enough for water sports.  So, they went roaming and found themselves on Route 66 -- and what a fortunate find!   They didn't actually realize they were on the Mother Road until Ron M. and I gave them a handful of propaganda... er, literature... and sent them off to Clanton's in Vinita for lunch.  We also directed them to the 9 ft. Highway, which is always a good place to start.   They are collectors of Grahams (the car, not the cracker), and Bill, the husband, was very enthusiastic about our collection of Packards.  All the while, Polly (the wife) and I had a lengthy discussion of our interest in cooking.   It was a fun visit.

There isn't much more to say about today, except we've been invited to have a booth at the upcoming -- April 5th and 6th -- Retro Signs Antique Advertising Show and Sale at Buffalo Run Casino.  This is an exciting opportunity and we are doing our best to get the booth manned (or womaned) on those days, since we're all busy that weekend.  We WILL make it happen,  however, so if you plan to attend the show, look for us!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Thoughts of Spring, but When?

Ron M. and I intrepidly plowed through the snow this morning. . .  and by snow, I mean about twenty -- that's twenty flakes, not twenty inches.  For a much-warned-about-by-meteorologists event, it was a total dud.  However, I did get to snap the first ever photo of Afton Station with a little snow on the roof.
 The meager precipitation soon tapered off, and in fact we drove home in mostly sunshine.  Lets hope that's the beginning and end of winter weather in Oklahoma this year.

At the Station, we had 5 visitors today.   There was a couple from Pawnee, OK and a man from Afton, as well as this lovely and spirited mother and daughter from Waukegan, WI who are spending the daughter's spring break by driving Route 66.  Rocky (the mother) and her husband live on a farm, where among other livestock, they have a small herd of buffalo!  Hallye, the daughter, is a student at Northwestern University in Chicago.  I loved the interaction between these two because it reminded me of my relationship with my own daughter.  Hallye even lives in the same town as my daughter, Sarah.  How 'bout that!  This duo had a car full of guidebooks and they're trying to see everything that time permits.  They enjoyed meeting Gary Turner yesterday!   I have no doubt that their Mother Road trip will be fun filled and successful.
In our spare time (and again there was plenty of it) we took the winter mittens and scarf off of Tripper the Penguin and decked him out in his Easter finery.  I supplied a hat and Robin supplied some flowers.  You must understand that Tripper is a boy penguin, but he had no reluctance whatsoever to allow us to dress him this way.  We are wondering if he might carry an underlying tendency toward transvestitism.   :-)
And while we were at it, Ron put rabbit ears on our do-rag model.   Yes, we're nuts, so get over it.
 On a more serious note, our wonderful volunteer Ron Jones, the Route 66 Tattoo Man, is in the hospital.  He had emergency surgery on Friday night for a ruptured intestine as a result of diverticulitis which led to infection.  He'll be resting in the hospital for another half a week or so, but he's doing ok.  What a shame that this had to happen just after he took possession of his new "baby", the Stallion trike.   Hopefully, he'll be well in time to take advantage of the spring weather to come.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I have to admit...

. . .  that there isn't much to say about today.   Ron M. and I had another day nearly devoid of visitors to Afton Station.  I'm sure the absence of travelers was weather related (ugly again!), although Robin did greet eight visitors yesterday, which isn't bad.  Today, the grand total was two, the extraordinarily pleasant people pictured below.   They're from Big Cabin, OK which is about 25 miles from Afton.  They were just killing some time on a day which wasn't good for much of anything, and I was pleased that they decided to spend their time with us, since they had been here once before and enjoyed it.   She was reluctant to have her picture taken, and I can't imagine why.  She looks fine to me!
 That's all that  happened at the Station today, but I did take a couple of "bonus" photos in Tulsa this morning before picking up Ron M.  Here's the Tulsa Monument Co., on Route 66 (11th St.), built in 1936 in a style that, although not strictly Art Deco by definition, is close enough to be considered so in this town of many, many art deco masterpieces.   This was strictly a drive-by photo, so I'll try to capture a better one at another time.
 The drizzle on the windshield of my car made the street lights look like giant sparklers this morning!  I love it!   Unfortunately, the drizzle continued for the entire day.   We've just about made up for the drought conditions of the past  year, so now how about if we get a couple of dry days.  That won't be tomorrow, however.  They just announced that more rain (and possibly a flake or two of snow) will be the order of the day tomorrow.  Ugh!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Springless Spring

Good grief!  What happened to spring?   Today's gloomy day offered up servings of frigid temperatures, rain, sleet, and even a few flakes of snow.   I know it's nothing compared to conditions on the East Coast, but it sure doesn't help the flow of traffic at Afton Station.  Ron M. and I spent most of the morning flipping through magazines, reading the newspaper, and trying to figure out how to get some snail mail to Jay Leno. Later, Betty stopped and brought Ron a massage pad with the hopes that it will alleviate his back problems.  Nice of her!   Then Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker stopped by on his way home from another western shoot out competition (he came in 8th in the Senior division... congrats, Dean!), followed by Scott, our friend from town.

The great surprise of the day was Tattoo driving up in the brand new Stallion which he picked up just moments before at the Nutting Custom Trikes just 2 miles from Afton Station.  What a gorgeous ride!   His wife Roz was following in the family car, but she'll be sharing the ride with Tattoo when he doesn't have an extra car to take home.   Here he is on his beautiful new vehicle -- possibly the first known photo of our Tat Man without a single tattoo showing!   :-)
 Our only legitimate visitors today were these two very cool guys from Grand Forks, North Dakota.  They were delivering a new small RV from Indiana to Las Vegas, and doing as much as possible of the trip on Route 66.  I really liked these guys... they had great senses of humor and an appreciation of what we're doing for Route 66 here.   I hope they find their way back here some day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reflections, and then some

This is the first time I've been alone at the Station this season without much hope of seeing lots of visitors.  I could consider that this is going to be a boring day, or I could deem it a beautiful opportunity to do some writing and reflecting.   So, I've decided to reflect.  Someone may eventually show up to relieve my boredom, but until such time I hope you'll indulge my random thoughts.

I've had a charmed life, no doubt better than I deserve.  I wonder if most people feel that way about themselves, and I hope they do.  I had fabulous parents -- a crazy mother who made my life fun and a down-to-earth dad whose work ethic and extreme intelligence pulled him up from very little to great heights.  Both were loving and caring to their only child, and I won't argue that I wasn't a little bit spoiled.

School was good.  I was never bullied and I wasn't one myself.  I slid through on my enjoyment of learning.  I married the day after college graduation to wonderful David, a marriage that lasted for 32 happy years and produced Sarah, our beautiful daughter who inherited her dad's horse sense and my joy of life.   When my marriage finally ran its course, I moved to Oklahoma, a place I've come to love dearly.  There have been bumps in the road -- a couple of life-threatening illnesses and the divorce itself -- but I've come through those a wiser, happier person.  

Route 66 has had a great deal to do with this story. Even though it has been in my life since early trips with my parents, it entered again with a vengeance when David and I bought Afton Station and I became the primary custodian of the dream.  On days like this, when others might go bonkers with ennui, I consider it a golden opportunity to think about the past, present, and future.  At age 67, I know I had better think fast about the future, but by no means do I dread it.  As I gaze around at all the great "stuff" that makes up my Route 66 life and then think about all the dear friends I've made who share my Mother Road obsession, I can't help but think that my future will be just fine!
I'm alone no longer.  Four groups of visitors have come to call and the day turned out to be anything but boring.  There was this young family, with cute baby Taylor, from Midwest City, OK.  He's a Purple Heart veteran and both are big time Route 66 fans who have visited most of the iconic spots on the Road.
Two guys from Rogers, Arkansas drove over just to see the car collection. Shortly thereafter, three more guys came to see the cars.  When they left, they were going off to check out the 9-foot highway.  A grandma and grandpa from  Haskell, OK came in with their grandson.   Although the boy is young, his granddad has already given him a 1941 Ford, and he knows how to drive it!

My final visitors were two men from Lowell, Massachusetts who are taking a photo tour of Route 66.  They both have incredible photographic equipment, and although they say they're just amateurs, the website belonging to one of them, Rich Perry, reveals quite the expert hand in the craft.

By now you know that I had a fine day.  It began with the pretty sunrise (above) observed on my way to Afton.   Even the minor roadblock (below) wasn't a problem, since almost no one travels Route 66 at that hour of the morning.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Foggy Dew

 That's the perfect old Irish song to describe this St. Patrick's Day in our part of Oklahoma!   It was foggy, foggy dew all day, not to mention the chilly wind that blew all day as well.   Unfortunately, the wind only blew in two visitors today, and they were there waiting when Ron M. and I pulled up at 9:15 this morning.  The fellow on the left is from Quilcene, Oregon and he was visiting his friend (right) from Jay, Oklahoma.  They seemed very well versed in vintage cars, and it's always fun to talk to people who show that kind of interest.
Our only other visitor was Betty, who stopped in after church.  Here's our beautiful Betty sitting and contemplating something... probably how to stay warm while hurrying to her car.  Yes, it really was a nasty weather day, but we were warmed by visits from Betty and the two super nice visitors early in the morning.
 I hope you've all had a cheery St. Patrick's Day.   The stage is set up just down the road from my house, a yearly St. Paddy's Day street fair to take place this evening, as is the custom every year.  Somehow, I think it may not be as well-attended as usual due to the weather.  As for me, I'll be most  happy to listen to the music while in bed snuggled under my comfy duvet!

I'll close with the lyrics to Foggy Dew.  Unfortunately, in Oklahoma the weather never experienced the part where the "...sudden sun kiss'd the cold, cruel mist, Into dancing show'rs of diamond dew..."   Nope, no sun here today!

Oh, a wan cloud was drawn o'er the dim weeping dawn
As to Shannon's side I return'd at last,
And the heart in my breast for the girl I lov'd best
Was beating, ah, beating, how loud and fast!
While the doubts and the fears of the long aching years
Seem'd mingling their voices with the moaning flood:
Till full in my path, like a wild water wraith,
My true love's shadow lamenting stood.

But the sudden sun kiss'd the cold, cruel mist
Into dancing show'rs of diamond dew,
And the dark flowing stream laugh'd back to his beam,
And the lark soared aloft in the blue;
While no phantom of night but a form of delight
Ran with arms outspread to her darling boy,
And the girl I love best on my wild throbbing breast
Hid her thousand treasures with cry of joy.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Burlesque Blogue

Much occurring today at Afton Station... full of fun and variety.   First of all, I believe I told you last week about photographer Michael Scruggs using some of the vintage cars as "props" for a series of photos of burlesque girls.  He brought them to show us this afternoon, and here are two of them.  I'll share more another time.  This post is going to be photo-rich anyway.

Next, lets talk about the T-bird that was left here a few months ago with the expectation that folks would see it and buy chances for when it's auctioned off  in September.  We haven't had much luck selling tickets, since we were closed for much of the winter, so today we decided to put it outside to attract attention.  We only sold one ticket, but we'll try again tomorrow.
Next, a hearty "welcome back" to Tommy Bassett, friend and former owner of Bassett's Grocery across the street. He's finally out of the hospital after being confined there for 5 weeks with serious burns.  Great to see you back, Tommy!
And finally. . . what we're actually here for -- the visitors!   We had plenty today!   There were 10, plus the 18 members of the Southern Missouri 'Stang Gang, who came in a convoy of good looking Mustangs, both old and new.  Here are  some of the folks. . .
. . . and  here are a few of their cars, parked both in front of the Station and across the street.  We enjoy the visits from these folks and they must enjoy us too, since they come back each year.  This year, they participated in the Joplin (MO) St. Patrick's Day parade this morning before cruising to Afton.
 The other visitors came from Tyler TX, and Tulsa, Vinita, and Afton, OK.  The couple from Afton, David and Lisa, are our new Afton neighbors.  They recently moved into the original house that is on the old Acme Motel site.  The motel, except for one cabin, is gone now, but David and Lisa said they are already working on restoring the remaining cabin.  We were so pleased to hear that news!  The gentleman from Tulsa is beginning the second leg of a two year Route 66 trip, this time from his home to Chicago, having done the Tulsa to Los Angeles leg last year.   The father and two sons from Tyler TX were in town for their great grandmother's birthday and decided to check out a little of Route 66 while they're here.

It was a wonderful day, filled with the variety that we all appreciate!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


It's a good thing we didn't have any visitors to Afton Station in the early part of the day because Ron M. and I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out what's going on with my camera.  We finally narrowed it down to a problem with my SD Card Reader, not the camera.   So on the way home we stopped at Radio Shack and got another one which works like a charm. Whew!  And lucky you!  You won't have to listen to me bitch about cameras any more!

There were only 6 visitors today,  not counting a person bringing brochures for a local event and a politician politicking.   A couple from Miami, OK were the first to arrive.  Although they've lived just 15 miles away forever, they'd never had the chance to drop in to the Station.  They were glad they finally did!

A young woman and her two little boys came next.  They're from Vinita, OK, 15 miles in the other direction, and they'd never been to the Station either.  The little boys, a 7 years old and a 2 years old, were very sweet, personable, and well-behaved.   They derived great joy from the penny pressing machine.  Here they are!

 Our final visitor was a woman from Ft. Worth, TX on a Route 66 geocaching expedition which will take her from Amarillo, TX to southern Missouri.   She visited with us for quite a while, then toured the showrooms, found her cache, and went on her way.

Robin worked yesterday and had 12 visitors, some from England and Italy.   Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker also stopped by to deliver a box of goodies relating to a discussion we'd had with him last weekend.  Without giving away what we plan to do with them (you'll see when we get it all done), I can say that the box contained a number of mannequin heads and masks.    Ron M. just had to try a couple of them on, although I don't really know why. How creepy is this???!!!

Thanks, Dean.  Ron M., I think I like your regular face a lot better!     I'm outta here!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Camera Day

 The new Canon A1300 arrived last night and I used it today.  As you will see, I still have a lot to learn.  I sure wish they'd put instructions in books now instead of on CDs.  I'd love to be able to just flip a page to find out what I need to know instead of digging into the 187-page online "book".  In any case, there are a number of glitches to be worked out, but I'm getting there.  The moniker "point and shoot" seems a bit ironic in this case.

It was slow at Afton Station again today, giving me lots of time to fool with the camera and talk to Marly, who stayed for a couple of hours.  There were six visitors.   This family is from Plano, Texas, and the lady on the left (whom I believe to be the mother or mother/in/law) is visiting from the Philippines.
The only other visitors were two folks traveling together, one from Vinita OK, and one from Sapulpa, OK.   They are moving to the Grand Lake area and are exploring the towns in the region.

Here's the first photo I took on the new camera.  It's Marly, relaxing with his coffee and donut holes.
I did a little experimentation with the Canon.   This was taken with the fish eye feature.  I really don't know, however, why it came out so dark and why I can't seem to put it into my usual site to lighten it up.
There is also a color enhancement feature, which I tried here.  The postcards look even brighter than they actually are.  
 Ok, back to the drawing board.  I'm sure that by now  you're tired of hearing my camera woes.  I hope to have it right before Thursday!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

You picked a fine time. . .

. . . to fail me, Camera!   The new one didn't arrive yesterday, and the old one is still giving me fits.  And of course this was the day when ladies from a newly-organized burlesque group came for a photo shoot!  My photographer friend Michael Scruggs has been contracted to photograph the group, and today two of the ladies came to pose with the old cars.  I tried to take a couple of pictures of them, but they came out impossibly blurred.  Never fear, however.  Michael has promised to send me some of his professional ones to post here at a later time.  
Meanwhile, earlier in the day the camera worked perfectly.  Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker came for a visit on his way home from one of his quick draw shootouts in Tulsa.  His hat, complete with fake eagle feathers made out of turkey feathers, was so lovely that Ron M. wanted to model it, too.  
A chilly rain fell all day, and the temperature continued to fall all day as well.  For this reason, I'm not the slightest bit surprised that we only had two actual travelers drop in.  The husband and wife from Omaha, Nebraska are making their way across Route 66 with the intention of finishing at the California terminus of the Mother Road.  Good for them, even though they fully realized that they'd probably been better off if they'd waited a week or two before setting out.

Betty and Robin both came by today, too.   Happy First Day of Daylight Savings Time!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

We got a late start driving home from Afton tonight, and of course there's also the matter of changing all the clocks and getting less sleep in the morning, thus wanting to wind down and go to bed early tonight, so (here comes the big excuse!), this will be a short, quick post.  

It was actually a very good day at Afton Station, although we waited all day for the Mustang group to show up.  When I got home, I looked at my calendar and (my bad!) it isn't until next Saturday!  Sometimes I can be a complete idiot!

But anyway, we had 15 visitors today, which is excellent for this early in the season.  They came from Wichita KS, Galena KS, Miami OK, Grove OK, Aberdeen SD, Springfield MO, and Peoria IL.    The folks from the very nice Galena Museum (KS) came to pick up some of my brochures to distribute to those heading our way.  So nice of them!   Glenda, Tommy, and Tonya Pike drove down from Springfield, MO to pick up some of the Oklahoma Route 66 Trip Guides to distribute in Illinois.  It was fun catching up with all these folks and finding out what's going on with other state Route 66 associations.   All the other visitors were on actual Route 66 trips, several of them taking the full Chicago to Los Angeles trek.  Good for them!

Here's Tonya Pike pressing some pennies which she intends to turn into rings.  This sounds like a great experiment.  
David obtained an original hubcap (of sorts) from the 1917 Packard Motor Home we have on display.  It's solid brass, very heavy, and it says Pickwick Auto Stages on it.  I'm guessing that "auto stages" is what they called anything that was similar to a motor home back then, since it wasn't all that many years since stage coaches were carrying groups of people across the country.
Here's the motor home, minus the hub covering.  They do exist on two of the four wheels.
Tom Bassett cut a hole in the front of his family's store (since 1922) and put in an overhead garage door.  He now stores vehicles in the former store.   I hate to see the old buggy factory building (built  in 1911) defaced in this way, but at least it hasn't been torn down!