Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sunny Day, Chasin' the Blues Away....

Good day at Afton Station in slightly-less-than-beautiful Afton, Oklahoma, where Route 66 runs right through town and the ghosts of those who used to live on her can be heard muttering about why it didn't survive in better shape than it is.  But, who knows. As a newcomer (14 years), I really shouldn't speak on this issue, but it sure would be nice if some of the people who have property on it NOW would think about a little clean up.

But I digress. . .

I'd rather tell you about my day at the Station and some of the lovely travelers who brightened my day.   They came from Queensland Australia, Melbourne Australia, Waterloo IA, Selma AL, Louisiana, Arkansas, Orange Co. CA,  Apple Valley MI, Rockville MD, Middletown OH, Bilboa Spain, and Memphis TN.

All the way from Queensland, Australia. . .
. . . and from Melbourne, Australia.
This native French couple is now living in Rockville, Maryland.
Nadina Medlin (right) has visited before (from Tennessee) but this time brought her step daughter and step granddaughter, on an all-girl exploration of Route 66.  Granddaughter is an adorable, loveable kid.  I wanted to keep her!   Since I had to leave for home shortly after they arrived, I do hope to meet with Nadina on a future trip.

Ron M. was busy today, so Robin helped me open and Rann helped me close.  It's lovely to have such nice volunteers.   Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones also came to spend some time today.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Throw Your Shoes

This Speedbup Cartoon which appeared today's Tulsa World reminded me to ask if you have visited our very own Oklahoma Route 66 Shoe Tree, east of Stroud.   The first tree fell several years ago, but a new one is sprouting shoes faster than the other one ever did.   You can find it on the south side of Route 66
Help fill our iconic tree.  No, they're not for the birds!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

International Day

Our record at Afton Station for visitors from the most countries in one day was surely broken today as we happily greeted folks from Argentina, Switzerland, Hungary, England, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey.  I couldn't stop smiling, and my smile was a replacement for my inability to speak any of those languages. There was a lot of communication by laughs and smiles at the Station today!   This international onslaught speaks well for the blooming popularity of Route 66 around the world.

There were, of course, plenty of folks from the good old USA who stopped in today as well. They came from Warrenton MO, Broken Arrow OK, Muskogee OK, Stringtown OK, Council Grove KS, Wichita KS, Pea Ridge AR, Knoxville IL, Gentsville MO, Anchorage AK, Grove OK, Pensacola FL, Columbus OH, Macon GA, Trucker MO, and Zena, OK.  Linda K, an old friend of Betty's, happened to come in while Betty was visiting, and they had a long chat about friends in common and about the old days in Afton.
Out for a spin on their motorcycle were this couple from Broken Arrow and Muskogee, OK.
There's nothing that could prevent these folks from Buenos Aries, Argentina from having a wonderful trip across the country.
From Pensacola, Florida came this adventurous family.

I accidentally left my SIM card at home today so the photos were taken with my cell phone.   I would love to have taken many more, but things got quite crazy in the afternoon and I found I didn't have enough hands for all the tasks that needed doing, even with Ron M. and Betty helping out liberally.  I hope I have the strength to get through this super busy summer.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I Wonder

I wonder, as I sit here in a stifling room awaiting the a/c repair man on a 100+ degree evening, if the heat will make me a better writer.   Some of the great writers of the past are seen, sleeves rolled up, sweating over an old typewriter which we are to believe put out some of the finest literature of our time.    This is not likely to happen to me.  I just want it fixed before I go to bed tonight, and I don't expect that my suffering (ha!) will improve my storytelling and plunge me into a whirlwind of creativity.   So, all that being said, here's another chapter in the life of a Route 66 museum owner.

It wasn't a crowded day at Afton Station, probably due to the crippling heat.  I'm sure that many found it more interesting to sit home in the refrigerated air or hit a beach or water park somewhere.  However we did meet and greet 20 souls, and here they are:
Folks from Fayetteville, Arkansas examining the cars in the post-war showroom.
A couple from San Sebastian, Spain checking out the '90 TC Maserati.
A couple from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma brightened the Station with their colorful shirts.
Sisters from Vandalia and Elkins Arkansas peruse the guidebooks.
And finally a happy and energetic couple from Ft. Worth, Texas.

Others came from Kansas City MO and Ozark AR.

Today is Ron M.'s birthday.  Send him good wishes.  He's such a fine and caring guy.   Wouldn't make it without him.  At the moment, however, I wish he knew how to fix air conditioners.   :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Old Friends and New

Surprise visits from some old Route 66 friends are always a great way to brighten the day.  When they're mixed with new folks who are visiting Route 66 for the first time, it gets even better.

When a van pulled up with signatures adorning every inch of it, we knew it was time for Jim Conkle to arrive.  This long time advocate of all things 66 is on another mission now, the Save Route 66 initiative which hopes to create a Mojave Trails National Monument in California which will protect and preserve a 103-mile stretch of the Mother Road.   He was accompanied by three other advocates, one being Mrs. California Route 66 (complete with tiara and sash!) and the aforementioned very visible van.
 Ron M. and I were invited to sign the van.   Further information about this mission can be found at
Our dear friend Jane Dippel also stopped by on her most recent Route trip, this time to Tucumcari, NM.  She was traveling with another Route 66 fan, Dan Oberle.

 A family from Rio de Janeiro Brazil found fascination in signing the wall of the work room.
A couple of big families visited.  These as from Durant, Oklahoma. . .
. . . and another from Pryor, Oklahoma.
To complete today's roster of 37 travelers, we visited with those from Houston TX, Leslie MI, Victorville CA, Springfield MO, Ft. Atkinson WI,  and Tulsa OK.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Family Day

T'was a day for families and kids at Afton Station on this hot Sunday.  Here are some of them. . .
A happy family all  the way from Adelaide, Australia.  What wonderful memories those little girls will have!
A little closer to home was this family from Villa Park, Illinois, traversing Route 66.
A big family traveling Route 66 to Albuquerque for a wedding of the two ladies front row left.
Dad and daughter from Cincinnati, Ohio heading for Phoenix where the daughter just accepted a new job as a special needs teacher.
Husband and wife from New Port Richie, Florida, retired and taking the slow lane..
And finally, I don't know if these two gals are related or just friends, but I know for sure that they're having a great time on the road.  They're from Dallas, Texas.

And that, my friends, is everyone I met today.  The weekend is over, so it's time to take a deep breath and prepare for the week ahead.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


We at Afton Station are constantly impressed by the endurance of some of our guests.  This young man from Beijing, China for example, is pedaling his way across Route 66. He's been on the road for 29 days with 13 left to go, traveling west to east.  It was 100 degrees out there today, but it didn't keep him from being upbeat, enthusiastic, and smiling.
He was so impressive that I'm giving  him two photos.  
Two groups of Aussies, strangers until they met at the Station, posed for this group photo.  It's always fun to have fellow countrymen meet and exchange their Route 66 thoughts.  Both are from Brisbane in Queensland.
Those brave enough to confront the stifling  heat head on were this gentleman from Barcelona, Spain. . .
 . . .and these two guys from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Others came from Kansas City MO. . .
 . . .Montreal, Canada. . .
 and Parsons, Kansas,
Marly came to wash David's behemoth of an RV. . . until the hose split, putting the mission to an abrupt end.
The dear Tiptons, Reuben and Colleen, farmers from Afton, for another year supplied us with fresh corn, immediately off the stalk and shucked.  Beautiful corn from beautiful people.  I just ate three ears. . .  I am a  happy girl!

Ron M. and Joe Meeks were with me to help out today, and drop-ins included Betty,  Tattoo Man, Crazy Legs, and Michael Scruggs, all stopped in for a while, too.

It has been a long time since I've been in the right place at the right time to photograph a pretty sunrise.  I found one today in Tulsa while heading to pick up Ron M.  A very relaxing sky.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


How many times did I say "Welcome!" today?   A lot.  The more the better. And all the hot, tired travelers who came through Afton Station's doors today deserved a big welcome, some cool air, and a bottle of cold water.

They came from Sydney Australia, Sussex England, Wichita Falls TX, Yuba City CA, Beaumont TX, Papeete Tahiti, Oceanside CA, Joplin MO, Ft. Lee NJ, and Cushing and Vinita, OK.

These are our first visitors from Tahiti.  They were with their two children, who seemed to disappear when it was picture-taking time.
Mom and daughter from Sydney, Australia were having fun on their cross-country adventure.
Check out these three cute boys.  They are vacationing on nearby Grand Lake.  The lady in pink is Grandma, and she admits to being a bit exhaused after a week with these three energetic guys!
Another family, from Yuba City, California, was enchanted by the penny pincher.
Chico the Dog was happy for some cool air, as  was his family from Beaumont, Texas..  
And finally, here's a large group of French citizens who visited yesterday when Robin was minding the store.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Betty and Robin to the Rescue

It was an amazing day at Afton Station, and I'm not sure I know what I would have done without my two sidekicks, Betty and Robin.   Since Ron M. is out of town for a couple of days, I had asked Robin to open and close for me and help me get my wheelchair into the building.   As usual, she was there waiting for me when I arrived.   After she left to go back home, I sat for almost two hours with no visitors whatsoever.  Finally, Betty came in after church to visit for a while, and moments after she got there people started flooding the place!  There was so much activity that I could never have handled it myself, but Betty jumped into Ron's usual position and escorted folks into the showrooms while I tended to the front room..

It turned out to be International Day at Afton Station.   Visitors came from Sweden, China, S. Korea, England, Denmark, and Switzerland, along with travelers from Independence KS, and Tulsa and Miami, OK. At the same time as all those were filling the Station and lined up to buy items, a lovely lady from Waterloo, Iowa stopped in to interview me for a national postcard collector's magazine. Since she was just passing through, it was necessary to give the interview right then, which I did.   And. . . that's not all!   Another friend came in because I'd asked her to give me some information about having some signs made.   All these people were there at the same time!   Honestly, they were!   I managed to give the interview,  order a sign,  greet a whole lot of people who didn't speak my language, and sell some souvenirs all at the same time.  Call me Wonder Woman!

At the end of the day, Betty and I were recuperating from the onslaught when Robin came back, right on time, to close for me and get the wheelchair loaded again.  I am so very grateful to both of those wonderful women for what they did today.  I couldn't have handled it alone.

Here are some photos.  Wish I had more, but no time. . .
 S. Korea

Aussies, Photographers, and Everybody Else

It was quite the mob scene at Afton Station yesterday (Saturday).Our 90+ visitors included a group of Australians led by our Tour Guide favorite Dale Butel, a group of photographers led by another favorite, Brad Nickson, and then just everybody else who took advantage of a good day to travel.  Ron M. and I handled the crowds alone, but I have to admit that it wasn't easy!  

Guests came from Ada MO, Monroe LA, Joplin MO, Orange County CA, Phoenix AZ, Colorado Springs CO, Louisville KY, Baltimore MD,and Ada, Bartlesville, Oklahoma City, Sulpher, Calvin, and Paul's Valley, OK.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words (or so they say), and because I don't have many words left in me this morning , please enjoy these.
The Aussie crew
. . . and some more Aussies. . .
A lovely family that has traveled all over the world as  missionaries but are now  settled in W. Lafayette, IN. . .
Bikers from Joplin, Missouri . . .
. . .and this fine lady from Orange Co., Colorado with four-footed travel companion Chris. . .
I can't let one of his tours come and go without grabbing a picture of the awesome Dale, tour guide extraordinare!
A couple from Monroe, Louisiana.  They LOVE muscle cars.
A most interesting lady from Louisville, Kentucky who has been on the road by herself since April, and the adventures she experienced could fill a book (and should!)
A happy family from Calvin, Oklahoma. . .
A frequent visitor from Grove, OK stopped by with his latest Highway  Patrol car.  Sharp!

Well, I'm about to get back on the road again for another fun-filled Sunday on  Route 66 at Afton Station.    I'll report back later.