Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ah, Oklahoma weather.... again

As I write this, we are under some sort of extreme, just-short-of-tornado weather warnings on TV.   By the time I finish, the sun will probably be shining.  Just another day in beautiful downtown Oklahoma.  But seriously, we here in Tulsa have been very lucky when it comes to disturbing weather.  It's raining and blowing so hard right now that my front porch is getting cleaned... something I was going to do myself tomorrow.  No problems and no damage here, but apparently some  tornadic activity not far from Tulsa.

We felt a bit sorry for those visitors who came to visit Afton Station via motorcycle today because, since they were all heading west, they all would be meeting head-on with the ugly "front" somewhere along the way, since bad weather always follows Route 66 from southwest to northeast.  A group from France and a group from South Africa all arrived around the same time and took temporary shelter under our portico.
 Folks from Liffre and Ploubalay, France
Gentlemen from S. Africa

All these folks were a little wet, but in fine spirits.   Ron M. took these photos of the flags on the French bikes and the GPS on the S. African bikes.   Love the way the GPS program points out our location with a little cartoon biker!

Other soggy visitors today came from Bilina MO, St. Charles MO, Mooresville IN, Lowerhult New Zealand, Sydney Australia, and Narcissa and Monkey Island, OK.   Marly and Tatoo Man spent a good part of the day with us, too. The folks from St. Charles MO were Dean and Vicky Kennedy, Route 66 friends who are traveling the Route with Vicky's mother and father.  Nice to see them!

I was right!  The sun is now out and it's a beautiful, calm evening!   I'm glad the wall-to-wall weather reports on TV have given way to regular programming.  Now I can watch the National Spelling Bee this evening, one of my favorites!  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Old Friend, New Friends

It was once again a wild and wooley day at Afton Station, with most traffic happening in the early  morning and near closing time.   There were 29 visitors, and for the most part I was handling the crowds alone, although Tattoo Man and Betty stopped by in the middle of the day.

Tattoo wanted me to post a photo of his brand new tattoo of the neon sign at the Crestwood Bowl in Crestwood, MO.  It seems like it would hurt be be tattooed on the neck, but he said it was just fine.  I can't remember what number it is, but it's now well over 100.
I was just getting to know some new friends, Steve and Cathy from the SACS66 Antiques and Collectibles shop up in Baxter Springs, KS when an old friend, Jerry McClanahan surprised me with his visit.  He was on  his way up to Joliet, IL to attend a festival.   Steve and Cathy haven't had their shop for very long, but I've heard good things about it from those who have visited.  When in Baxter, be sure to stop by.  Jerry (McJerry) is known by just about everyone.  He's a marvelous Route 66 artist and probably one of the most knowledgeable experts on Route 66 (if not THE most knowledgeable), having written the acclaimed EZ66 Guide to Route 66, considered the "bible" for all who are attempting a Mother Road trip.   It's always great to see my old friend Jerry!
McJerry in the middle, Steve and Cathy are the bookends

Around the same time as all that activity, a teacher from Krebs, OK came to do some research prior to teaching a unit on Route 66 to her 4th Graders.   We made a few suggestions based on what we know other teachers to have done under the same circumstances.  Love to have  kids learn about Route 66 while they're still young!

This couple from Vancouver Island, Canada also stopped in.  He's a collector of vintage British cars, including a '57 Morris Minor, a '64 Land Rover, and a '79 Triumph TR7.
Four friends who always travel together, from San Diego, CA and Cambria, CA are doing a Route 66 trip.  We had a nice chat and the lady on the right, Pam Chapman, interviewed me for her Focused Feeling blog (  Very nice folks, also with an interest in our old cars.
 Other visitors included a young couple from Hamburg, Germany on a motorbike.  They had been through a bit of rain this morning, but continued on undaunted.  There was also the sister-in-law of one of my dialysis friends, a geocacher from Lexington, KY, and other fine folks from Seattle WA, Brazelton GA, Raleigh NC, Rochester IN, and Langley OK.

Monday, May 27, 2013

How's this for a list. . .

Summit, NJ
Chicago, IL
London, England
Tiger, OR
Glendale, AZ
Las Cruces, NM
Pittsburgh, PA
Salvador, Brazil
Greenwood, IN
Shelbyville, IN
Chanute, KS
Wichita, KS
Independence, KS
Robertsville, AL
Madison, WI
Hubbard, OH
Tega Cay, SC
Siloam Springs, AR
Bartlesville, OK
Vinita, OK
Catoosa, OK
Kansas, OK
Coweta, OK
Grove, OK

Yep, people come from all over to drive Route 66, and yesterday at Afton Station proved it.  We  had 56 visitors from the above places, and it was a steady parade of smiling faces all day.    Let  me tell you about some of them. . .
 These two weren't far from home (Grove, OK) but they both grew up in Afton, knew each other in high school, but didn't marry until four years ago.   I didn't want them to leave!  You know how much I enjoy hearing about Afton prior to my arrival there, and they had fascinating stories.   I hope they will accept my invitation to come back any time armed with more stories and pictures!
 These folks from OR / NM / AZ helped to deplete my t-shirt supply.  They're friends and relatives who all got together to do a Route 66 trip.
Meet another group of friends who met to "do" Route 66.  They're from NJ / IL / London, England and they're having a great time on the road.

When a group of folks pulled in with some gorgeous Chryslers, I thought it was a car club.  It turned out to be the self-described York family, a whole family devoted to restoring '33 Chryslers! Have a look. . .

One very interesting visitor was a young woman named Karla who is on a mission to record the whereabouts of all the giant fiberglass penguins that graced the streets of Tulsa in 2003.   There were over 100 of them, and she's going to all lengths to find and photograph every one of them, even thought some of them are in other states now!   The photo I took with her and Tripper didn't come out, so if you're into penguin matters, check out

Needless to say, it was an extraordinary day at the Station.   Thanks so much, Ron M., for being there.  I couldn't have handled those crowds myself, since I like to make sure each and every person gets at least a welcome greeting.  Robin will be minding the store today, and she's very good at handling crowds, so stop in if you're in the area.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The more wonderful the day. . .

. . . the more tired I become!   And this evening I am VERY tired.   Today was incredibly busy and I met so many great people.  But Ron M. and I handled the crowds (56 visitors... all individual, no big groups) by ourselves and got back to Tulsa late and beat! I intend to tell you all about our day and show you some great pictures but I'm going to wait until tomorrow when I have lots more free time.

Two things, however -- Karla, can you please send me a copy of your photo of you with the penguin?   The one we took of you didn't come out.  (My fault, not the camera's)   I don't want to miss showing it and telling folks about your project.

Secondly. . . I just want to mention the importance of Memorial Day as a time not just to picnic and play, but also a day to take a moment to remember those who are no longer with us.  It's a holiday of so much more importance than we ordinarily give it.   Slow down and remember.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Never a Dull Moment

Never a dull moment at Afton Station!   These two young ladies from Berlin, Germany, accompanied by Robin, are going through our huge number of quarters from the penny pinching machine in search of the new National Park quarters.   They managed to find $6 worth of them before moving on down Route 66.  They had collected all the state quarters during this trip and were moving on to the more difficult to find ones.  Such a great idea for adding a new dimension to their Route 66 adventure.
 But  that was just the tip of the iceberg on this day which brought 33 visitors to our door.    These two friends are from Brunswick, Ohio and were in the area to attend a funeral.   The lady on the left is 87 years young, and I'm not kidding about the "young"!   I only hope I'm that spry and aware when I get that age.  Actually, I'm not that spry and aware NOW!    Furthermore, she has a 94-year-old boyfriend.   She's traveled Route 66 many years ago and I'm sure she has some interesting stories to tell.
Two gentlemen on the left from the Antique Auto Club of American (Tulsa Chapter) came in to check out our place as a potential stop on their summer tour.  We passed with flying colors and will be visited by them on June 29.  They loved the cars.  The two people on the right are from Paris, France and are traveling all of Route 66.

Other visitors came from Baxter Springs KS, Lafayette IN, Broken Arrow OK, Marvel AR, Sarasota FL, Scott City KS, Hutchinson KS, Erie PA, and Vinita and Miami, OK. 

Tattoo Man stopped by on his way to get another tattoo (of course!) and gave Robin a ride on his new toy.  He learned a lesson on his way to the Station, though.  If you leave a bag of Fritos on the back seat of the bike, they will fly off and never be seen again!   Poor Tattoo!
Ron M. and I left Afton slightly late due to late visitors, but we aren't complaining about that!  We thoroughly enjoyed all of today's travelers.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Young Roadies, Afton Style

The highlight of my day at Afton Station was a visit from five young boys from Afton who, having been freed from school for the summer, wandered in to see what the Station was all about.  The oldest, Jacob, just happens to be a big Packard fan, and he enjoyed showing his little brothers, his cousin, and a friend the charms of that automobile.   By the time they left, all the guys were completely enticed by the beauty of the old cars.  And what polite, courteous, and well-spoken fellows they are!
Here are Jacob, Dylan, Nate, Noah, and Luke.   They returned later in the morning with a gift for me, a fun squeeze toy they purchased across the street at the flea market.  I hope they come to visit again soon.

There were others, of course.  These four motorbike riders from Cognac and Bordeaux, France greeted us when Ron M. and I arrived this morning.  (Why am I having a sudden craving for French wine?) They're enjoying their ride. That's David's behemoth motorcoach in the background.  Marly spent all day washing it.
From Modesto, California came this couple. . .
 . . . and these two from London, England.
What fun these guys were!   Three are from London, England and the chap on the right is from Alexandria, Virginia.  They are all related by marriage and they appeared to be having a marvelous time.  Second from right is the gent they call their "Supreme Leader", although I'm not entirely sure why.  They bought a couple of copies of the EZ66 Guide to enhance their trip.  I'm not sure it needed much enhancement, however!

There were also visitors from Tulsa and Bartlesville, OK and Robin and Betty both stopped in, too.  Robin brought fresh eggs from the farm of a friend.  Yum!   Betty brought a beautiful peony from her yard.  Friends are so wonderful!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Morning After

The sun rises on a new, hopeful day in the State of Oklahoma.
As everyone knows by now, yesterday was quite a day for our state.   So sad, all those lost lives and lost homes in Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb, not far from Route 66.  The news has not only dominated the press and the media, but has also occupied the  hearts and minds of all who live in beautiful Oklahoma.  We have tornadoes.  This cannot be ignored or denied.   Sadly, it is a part of life here, a part I'm not sure I'll ever get used to.  But it happens, and I'm sure those Moore citizens are already thinking about rebuilding their lives.  I've learned that Okies are like that.  Furthermore, people from all over the state are rushing to help, because  that's what Okies do.  Our congressional legislators are a weak link in this rush to be of help to the unfortunate citizens, but hopefully they will finally understand the importance of putting human lives above politics.

Meanwhile, it was pretty quiet on this mostly dark and gloomy day in Afton.  We had 11 visitors, then I left about an hour early because weather reports relayed to me via text message from Ron M., who was at home watching news reports, indicated that there could be more storms coming our way.  I drove home in rather hard rain, but fortunately there was little wind and no hail whatsoever.  I'm home now and things are calming down nicely.
These two gentlemen are from Inverness and Glasgow, Scotland.  They're cruising Route 66, and I'm such a fan of the Scottish brogue that I would have liked them to stay at Afton Station forever, just talking to me.  Love these guys!
The British Isles were also represented today by this couple from Sheffield, England.  They plan to traverse all of Route 66 on their Harleys, and so far seem undaunted by the weather.  I hope they escape the worst and have many sunny days ahead.

We also had visitors from Versailles, Illinois (truckers who have been past Afton Station before but just today finally had time to come in), a family from Branson, Missouri and a couple from Grove, Oklahoma.   Marly was with me for several hours and Betty stopped in shortly before we decided to have our early closing.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Storm Coming

On a background of  TV reports about an extremely severe tornado-filled storm working its way up Route 66 through many Route 66 towns such as Edmond, Luther, Arcadia and Chandler, I'll try to get through this blog before it gets close to Tulsa.  I have to admit, I'm frightened when this happens.  Thus, another short, sweet posting here.  Excuse any typos as a result of my nervous fingers.

We started the day with four Australian bikers who were in a hurry to make it to their next stop.  Soon after that, the anticipated group of 16 from the Valley Antique Car Club of Russellville, Arkansas arrived on the last day of their weekend cruise.  They've visited before, and they're always an interesting group.
 The owner of this car is a huge fan of Packards!   He just didn't drive one of his today.
 A very nice lady named Evelyn arranged this tour, and I had a great chat with her while others were drooling over the cars in the showrooms..
Two trailers arrived at once, this little teardrop (with the motto on the back "I Go Where I'm Towed To"), from Salem, Indiana. . .
 . . . and this congenial couple from Collinsville, Oklahoma with their much larger RV, coming back from a weekend on the lake.
The three folks on the left are visiting from Beijing, China.  The man on the right is from Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Since they all arrived at approximately the same time, I photographed them together, not realizing that the Wisconsin gentleman had a wife in the car who simply didn't come in in time for the photo.  The Chinese contingent is traversing all of Route 66 and taking huge numbers of photos.  Many of those photos were taken in and around Afton Station.  The Wisconsin fellow and his wife are also planning to end their road trip in Santa Monica.   Yayyy for all of them!
Other visitors today came from Olathe, KS, Little Rock AR, and Eufala, OK.   

Now, please excuse me while I continue to keep an eye on the TV screen, which will eventually tell me if I have to go to my basement with a mattress over my head.  I love Oklahoma, but not this part. . .

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bikes 'n Vettes 'n Aussies... Oh My!

I'm pleased to announce another wonderful, busy day at the Station!  There were folks waiting at the door when we got there, and folks who left when we left.   Busy, busy, busy all day with 39 visitors.  It was so great to have Phil back from California.  He was gone for three months and we missed him.  He spent a little time with us today but later went home to rest from his long drive.  Ron M. was with me as usual, and Robin stopped by, too.

Visitors who were at the door when Ron and I arrived were four guys on bicycles who call themselves ROMEO -- Retired Old Men Eating Out.   Since they're pedaling across the country, one really could not think of these ripped and athletic guys as "old".  One of them was on a recumbent bike.
 Here are a couple of them choosing decals for their bikes.  They're doing Route 66 in two stages, the first having been pedaled last summer.  Here are two of the four choosing decals for their bikes.
A couple from Queensland, Australia also came early.  Here is the wife signing the guest book as I yap, yap, yap as usual.  
 Two couples, one from Discovery Bay, CA and one from Eagle Point OR were next.  Here's the fellow from Cali finding a spot to sign the door as his wife stood by.   We were actually surprised that he found a small space, but he persisted and found a tiny bit at the bottom.  We admired his perseverance!
Another California/Oregon duo arrived a bit later -- two old college friends traveling together.  On the left, Bill from Eugene OR, and on the right Jim from Pleasanton CA.  We really enjoyed their visit. . .
 . . . and they certainly enjoyed the cars, particularly the DeSoto.
 A group from the Central Oklahoma Corvette Club is on an exploratory cruise of the Grand Lake area and we are honored to be one of their stops, for the 2nd year in a row.   Here I am giving them a little welcome talk before letting them loose in the auto showrooms.
It's always nice to a have the parking lot filled with beautiful 'Vettes!
Another very interesting and pleasant lady came and stayed for a good bit of the afternoon.  She's from Speculator, NY  and is in the area speculating on buying a home here to be closer to her kids who are in Springfield, MO and Stillwater, OK.   I hope she makes the decision to move here, because she'd make a good neighbor!
 Other visitors came from Seminole OK, Wichita KS, Baxter Springs KS, and Ketchum, OK.   Tomorrow we are anticipating bad, or even severe, weather, so it will be interesting to see how the day goes.  We do plan to go to Afton, but not sure if we'll be able to stay.  Tune in ....

Friday, May 17, 2013

Yesterday's Blog Today

I just wish I had more time to devote to this blog post because yesterday was so wonderful at Afton Station. I'm running late again, but I have a lot of photos from  yesterday, so I'll show them with little fanfare.  Although the bus tour from the Green Bay area of Wisconsin came near the end of the day, I want to tell you about it first.   This very plain "kneeling" bus pulled up exactly on time at 4:20, and 58 lovely senior citizens piled out and entered the Station with big smiles on their faces.  They're on a 13-day tour that will take them the full length of Route 66.
They shopped and looked at the cars and asked lots of good questions.  Thank goodness Ron M. was there to help out.  
Tattoo also stopped by and found it a great time to show off his new ride!
Our 26 other visitors (oh yeah, it was a BUSY day!) came from the Austrian Tyrol, Gold Coast Australia, New Zealand, Manchester England, Belfast Ireland, Mulhouse France, Springfield MO, Kansas City MO, Olathe KS, Wichita KS, Greenfield IN, and Afton and Miami, OK.  
This son from Wichita, KS brought his parents who are visiting from Belfast, Northern Ireland.   They are here to see their grandson graduate but are also lucky enough to be able to take a short Route 66 jaunt as well.
From our favorite other hemisphere came these two guys, one from New Zealand and one from Australia.  They are self-proclaimed "car guys"!
And this couple, our first visitors of the day, hail from the Tyrol, Austria.
How about these handsome guys from Manchester, England?
Three ladies from Springfield, MO.   The two on the ends have visited before and came back to show their friend (middle) the wonders of Route 66.   The two repeat visitors are also postcard collectors, and I have such an affinity for those who share this obsession with me.
Our last visitors of the day, two gentlemen from Kansas City, MO were intrigued by the cars and the whole mystique of Route 66.  They stayed for a long time and one of them even interviewed me on video.   Felt like such a star!   They came with these two cute pups, Tima and Stella.

One of the most interesting events of the day was when traffic was stopped in the middle of Afton to allow room for absolutely the longest "Oversize Load" we've ever seen.  Check it out.  The load stretches to as far as you can see in the photo, even beyond the light pole on the left.  Impressive!  I just wonder how they made that corner in Vinita!  
I arrived home very late last night (about 3 hours later than usual) so I'm a bit weary today, but life goes on and I'll be back in Afton in the morning.   Hope to see some of you then!