Friday, May 2, 2014

Life is Like That

Often when I have the most about which to tell you, I have the least amount of time to post.  Life is just like that, I guess.  Yesterday was a wonderful day for Route 66, both at Afton Station and at the Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK in the evening.  I believe I'll reverse things and start with the Blue Whale.

I'm sure nearly all of you are familiar with the great kitchy landmark and one of the most photographed sites on Route 66, the Blue Whale of Catoosa.  I'd give you the whole history of the icon, but it's available online here.  ://   Each year, the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce and the advocacy group called The Fins of the Blue Whale hold a fundraiser called the Blue Tie Affair.  I went this year, as did Ron M., LaSandra and Brad Nickson, Marian and Ken Clark, and Rick and Patty Schmigle.  It's held outdoors under a tent, a band plays, there's a silent auction, and great food is served by the folks at Molly's Landing just down the road.  The filet mignons, cooked outside, were superb, cooked to order, and served with baked potatoes, salad, and bread pudding.  Yum!  Had a great time catching up with friends and enjoying the nice weather.  Here are some photos.

 The band playing in the mouth of the whale!

 The staff from Molly's Landing working hard on food preparation.
 Kids from the National Honor Society at the high school were our servers.  They were GREAT!
 Brad, Rick, and Patty.  Rick was responsible for getting blue bow ties for each of us.  Aren't we cute?

Marian, moi, and Ron.   Because of my own error, Ken and LaSandra didn't get in a picture.

A panorama of the table setup.

For the first time, I got to see the plaque which was mounted above the window of the gift shop which I donated in the name of Friends of Afton Station.

Now about yesterday at the Station. . .

It wasn't a terribly busy day, but we had some interesting visitors among the eight who came to see  us. This young gentleman is an architectural historian from Sacramento, California who is measuring, photographing,  and assessing all the bridges along Route 66 for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.  This is to be sure every historic bridge is catalogued and if repairs need to be made, they can be made in the exact image of the old bridges.  Sounds like a very good project to me.

Here's a couple from Cambridge, England.  He's here as a freelance motoring writer and she has accompanied him on this Route 66 trip.  Obviously, he was most interested in our car showrooms, and had a lot of interesting information about English automobiles.
And now for a couple from Pisarzocoise (I think...), Poland.  We don't have many Polish visitors, so this fine couple was a treat!  He spoke perfect English, too!
A couple from Tampa, Florida and a local gentleman named Melvin Birks rounded out the day.  Melvin is about to turn 90 years old, but is still going strong.  He's a Model T collector and he came to tell us about a Model T group from Arkansas who will be visiting Afton Station in July.  

Yesterday was a long but great day!  See you this weekend at Afton Station.


Susan Yates said...

Enjoyed your report of the Blue Tie Affair. Spiffy bow ties. A tent?! La-di-da. Tres chic. We sat out in the open at the First Annual Blue Tie Affair (and sadly, the only one I've attended--so far).

So nice to hear that Melvin Birks is still going strong. You introduced him to us in a post three or four years ago. I was so fascinated by the video of Mr. Birks being interviewed by his grandson while making biscuits, talking about how he learned to make biscuits, and describing how he and his brother lived on their own in a boxcar during the Depression(real Boxcar Children!), that I looked for and watched the other videos of the Birks family history and several of Mr. Birks' guided tour of Afton. Thinking about them now, I think it's time to watch them again.

Laurel said...

Susan - Yes, the weather held out and we had a good time. There seemed to be quite a few vacant seats, so you would have been very welcome to come. I had no idea what to expect when I got there, thinking it might be a real mob scene, but it really wasn't. It was casual and relaxing.

Funny you should mention Melvin Birks and the biscuits, because every time I see the man, my very first thought is "Melvin Birks Makes Biscuits"! I even mentioned that to Ron after Melvin left. He's a really sweet guy who, even at his age, is full of pep and full of ideas.

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