Sunday, February 23, 2014


Life affords us so many gifts in so many ways.  Today was a gift of a day for me.  Ron M. and I drove up to Afton to spend a little time there, but we didn't get there 'til late, around 11 a.m. because we decided to take our time for a change. Little did I know that he had planned a birthday party for me there!  (Yeah, tomorrow is the actual day, but please... I'm way too old to be celebrating these things!)  At any rate, I was pleased that the Afton Station "gang" wanted to either 1) celebrate my advancing years or 2) make fun of my advancing years.  Turned out it was a little of both.  :-)

Betty made an absolutely delicious strawberry cake -- pink, of course, because for Betty, everything is pink!  Tasted delicious!  Love the little cars and Route 66 sign that decorated it, too!   Besides Ron M. and Betty, Marly, Robin, and Tattoo participated in the cake eating.  I got some nice gifts and cute cards and a fun time was had by all!  

In the few hours we were at the Station, we also had 18 visitors of the traveling sort!  The visit from one couple was especially exciting.  Read to the end to find out why.

Tattoo Man arrived on his Stallion trike (his Chevy still hasn't been shipped back from Las Vegas) and it drew the attention of a visitor from Kentucky immediately on his arrival.
This couple got the distance award for the day, having come from Apple Valley, MN.  Escaping Minnesota weather?  You guessed it!
Other guests came from Peculiar MO, Lancaster KY, Loma Linda MO, Darien KS, and Wyandot, Afton, and Tulsa, OK.  The couple below, from Loma Linda, MO were the special guests I mentioned before because they came with a huge surprise for me.   After their first visit to Afton Station she, Maureen Dennis, wrote a letter to the editor of SPIRIT, the onboard magazine of Southwest Airlines, in which she was very complimentary about their Route 66 trip and especially their visit to Afton Station!   The magazine published it in their December 2013 issue, and furthermore, they featured her letter, printing it in large font above all the other letters.  Wow, I was just blown away!   How nice of these relative strangers to do such a thing! They certainly aren't strangers any more!   
Below is a scan of the article, the best I could do.  Enlarge so you can actually read it.
One more thing.... On the way to Afton this morning we passed by the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore as usual, but this time we noticed a bunch of people dressed as cowboys standing in a straight line outside the museum.  What was this all about?   I drove into the parking lot because I'm just naturally curious, and who should we see in the lineup but our own Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker.  He shouted that they were there for a 21-gun salute followed by a shoot-out.  Apparently they're part of a reenacting group.  We couldn't stay, but Ron snapped this photo from a distance.  Dean is 2nd from left, facing the camera (naturally....ha ha...)
And that was my lovely day!   I'm staying home today, so the Station will be closed.  I'm still contemplating the date when we'll return to a regular schedule.  I'll let you all know when the decision is made.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Long Day....Long, Long Day.... Wonderful Day!

Long and wonderful, and I have so much to report, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  I'm exhausted and the window installers just left moments ago and I need to chill.  Please come back tomorrow for the scoop.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Old and Beautiful

They just don't make print advertisements like they used to, at least in my opinion.  Although this doesn't have anything to do with Route 66, it does have to do with old gas brands, which is of interest to me because Afton Station is, as you know, in an old gas station.   So, when I saw these ads posted by someone on the Route 66 Yahoo group, I just had to pass them along here.  The drawings always seem so much more appealing than today's photo ads.  There are a lot of them to see at this site:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Call Me Amazed!

I suppose I should have guessed it.  The first lovely day after a miserable 6 weeks or so of cold, snowy, icy winter weather would, I now admit, be tempting to those who wanted to get out and enjoy fresh air, sun, and relative warmth.  But I had no idea that so many people would show up at the door of Afton Station!  After all, I had only agreed to open for a church group from Tulsa which had made an appointment for a visit about a month ago.  I was very excited that they were coming but I never imagined that 14 other people would be traveling, too.  What a very pleasant surprise!

Here are some of the 15 visitors from the Eastland Baptist Church in Tulsa.  There were more women when their outing began, but all but one of them chose to hang back in Vinita after their lunch at Clanton's and go shopping at the many collectibles stores there.  One intrepid lady decided to check out tour vintage cars instead.  I admire her!
Other folks started coming almost as soon as we arrived.  Ron M. was with me and Marly had come in earlier so he'd turned up the heat in advance.  Bless you, Marly!  (By the way, the newly polished floors looked even better in person than in the pics I posted recently!)
Our first visitors (above) couldn't have been a better way to start our first day back after the long winter.  The two couples from Burlington, KS were great fun!   The gentlemen, Terry and Harry, are business rivals in Burlington because they both own auto body shops, and yet they are best friends in their personal lives.  They frequently travel together and, along with their wives, were having so much fun that I threatened to go along with them on the remainder of their 4-day Route 66 tour.
This couple from Neosho, Missouri had no idea that they were on Route 66 when they walked through our door.  They were hoping to attend an auction in Afton had the wrong day of the week.  I'm glad they made the error because I certainly enjoyed meeting these two, and introducing them to our beloved Mother Road.

Our other visitors came from Ottawa KS, Hawk Point MO, Joplin MO,  Nowata OK, and Grove, OK.   Also, Betty came and kept us company for a couple of pleasant hours and Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker from Riverton, KS stopped in briefly, too.   Wow, it was such a great day!

Anticipating that tomorrow might also be busy, I have asked Robin to work so I can take another day off to deal with things at home here in Tulsa. So, if you plan to take a little Route 66 jaunt tomorrow (predicted to be another lovely day), feel free to come and say hello.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Floor

If you had seen the floor before yesterday you'd understand why I'm so pleased with what was done to it by Robin and Marly that I'm devoting a whole blog post to photos.  Well, also because I don't have much else to talk about.....

So.... behold.... the first time Afton Station has had a shiny floor for over a  year!
And here's Marly, who's spent two days on the project.....
Finally, here's the dreaded donation box, which Marly put together when he wasn't working on the floor.  I just have to put a sign on it and then it will be ready to go.  I guess that means that Saturday will be our first day of requesting a $2 donation.
I hope some of you can come by on Saturday.  I'm still not sure if we'll be there on Sunday, but we'll definitely be open all day Saturday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We're In The Book!

I'm pleased to report that Afton Station has been included in a beautiful new "coffee table" book entitled Car Collections of Oklahoma: Timeless Automobiles and the Obsessed Oklahomans Who Collect Them.  Author/Photographer Ann Sherman has spent several years traveling and  photographing many of the magnificent vintage auto collections within Oklahoma, and although an incredible 76 of them are featured in the book, Ann tells us that they represent barely the tip of the iceberg in this state.  I don't know if Oklahomans have a unique obsession or if it is common in other state as well, but the collections which are featured in this book are quite amazing.  Here are two of the four pages dedicated to Afton Station.
We are proud to be included in this fine volume.  To order one of your own, go to .

I drove up to Afton to check on things on Saturday, and everything is being well taken care of..  Marly  has been working on cars there for a couple of weeks, so he's been keeping watch.   Thank you, Marly.  In addition, he and Robin are going to strip the black-and-white linoleum floor in the main room and clean and wax it this week.  Those of  you who visited recently probably recall what a mess it had become after a full year of travelers. Soon, it will shine again!

On Saturday, we are having a visit from our first tour group of the year, a church group from Tulsa.  I'm so looking forward to it!  It's supposed to be a beautiful day. Although the group isn't coming until the afternoon, we'll be open all day, so come ahead if you're looking for something to do.  Remember, we are (sadly) going to be charging $2 per person to view the vintage car collection from now on.  Children are free, and there is no charge to roam around the main room.  The charge is just for the car showrooms, and will help defray the heavy costs of keeping Afton Station open 7 days a week for most of the year.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Incredibly Random Thoughts on a Winter Morning

Winter leaves so much time to think.  Good or bad, I find myself sitting in the house this morning with myriad thoughts running through my head, often several at the same time.  As much as I miss my time at Afton Station, I value this free time as an opportunity to expand my field of vision and come up with some new insights and ideas of my own.  Here are some of the thoughts floating in my head right now;  some will be put to use, some will simply remain interesting possibilities, and some will touch me.   Very few have anything to do with Route 66, but that can wait until warmer days.

Actually, my first revelation IS about Route 66 and Afton Station.  My partner (ex-husband David) and I have come to an agreement about charging a small fee to see the antique vehicles at the Station.  It will be a voluntary (for tax purposes, you know) $2 per person (kids free).  It will not apply to the Route 66 room where I sell things, but just for a visit to the two showrooms where the cars sit.  I'm not thrilled about this, since we've prided ourselves on being a FREE attraction for 10 years, but all the heating/cooling/gasoline/security bills cause me to lose a tremendous amount of money every month, so it has become a necessity. I just hope the $2 fee will not be a burden to anyone.  And remember, it's optional.
I just read an article about research being done on a tiny artificial kidney the size of a coffee cup which, some time in the future, will replace the big, bulky kidney dialysis machines and will free so many of us from the need to alter our lives by sitting for dialysis three times a week for at least 3-4 hours each treatment.  Unfortunately, it will be quite a few years before this happens, but what a wonderful thing it will be!!!!  I hope I live to see this miracle.  It will change so many lives.

Also on the subject of dialysis.... since so many of  my fellow patients acquired their kidney failure as a result of diabetes, I now know more people with missing limbs than I've ever known in the past.  Through these friendships, I've learned that a person with a missing limb is... well... just a person with a missing limb.  No big deal, except of course to the person him or herself.  For this reason, I found that this little video which moved me to tears, and I'd like to share it with you.

Finally, vis a vis a report from one of today's local TV weatherpersons, if snow is falling but melts before it hits the ground, shouldn't that called RAIN?  Just askin'....