Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pretty Little Girls

I can't resist a cute baby, so I was in Heaven when these two came in.  Little Evelyn just turned two and tiny Alyssa is a mere three months old.   Precious little girls.    They arrived at Afton Station with their mother Martha who was accompanying her friend Jose, whom we had been waiting to meet.  Jose is the Programs Director for our local Tulsa Equality Center and is seeking "props" for a big meeting they are having in a couple of weeks.  The theme is Route 66, so Jose had no problem at all choosing some items from the Station.
This young couple from Manchester, England is traversing Route 66.   This is their first trip to the United States.  It's exciting that they chose the Mother Road for their initiation to our country.  They will see how we live out here in the middle rather than just spending time in NY or LA and never seeing anything in between as many folks do..  I approve!
Two brothers and their wives from Evansville, Indiana took to the road two days ago with three weeks to make it to the end of 66 in Santa Monica, then making a quick turn around to get back east.  Sounds just about perfect to me1

Other visitors came from Richmond VA, LaCrosse WI, Houston TX, and Ketchum OK.  Things are slowing down now on Route 66, but there are still plenty of folks out there hoping to find enough shops and museums open to justify their trip.   For this reason, I fight to keep open as many days a week as possible.  I will have to alter that a bit in the next couple of weeks while we have personnel either on vacation or in need of medical attention.  We're doing our best to always be there for all the fine folks who are having the time of their lives on Route 66.   They generally say that the best part of their trip is meeting the people along  the way, so we want to be available to meet and be met.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Once Upon A Time

On the way home from Afton Station tonight, cruising down the usual stretch of Route 66, I told Ron M. that it was a fairy tale kind of day.   I'm not completely sure what that means, but it was just a feeling.  Perhaps it goes something like this. . .
They came from far away lands.  This lovely young couple came from Glasgow, Scotland, hoping to find the secrets of middle America.  Finn MacCool would be proud of their adventuring spirit.
 Neighbors to the north, these folks from Ontario, Canada is having a wonderful fairy tale vacation!

 The power of friendship -- two couples, one from Midland, Michigan and one from England, met a few years ago on a cruise ship and have been traveling together every year ever since. Speaking of fairy tales,  I wonder if the British couple has taught the American couple about  Tattercoats.

These travelers, along with some from Leesburg VA and Myrtle Beach, SC are today's Afton Station fairy tale. They are on fairy tale vacations, but they seldom realize that my work at the Station is the fairy tale in my own life.   It's something I've wanted since childhood.  That I have achieved it is the stuff that fairy tales are made of    Like all good fairy tales, everyone lived happily ever after.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Glub Glub

We were called and warned that the drive to Afton this morning might be a challenge, with heavy rain, heavy wind, and hail.  We lucked out, however, and our trip there was a bit soggy but uneventful.  Not so when we  got there, however.  For the first time, we had a minor a flood in the main room, not the car showrooms which are regularly drenched, but "my" room, with all the Route 66 paraphernalia.  This has never happened before, but David and Marly, who were there working in the work room, said that at the height of the storm the wind was blowing rain right through the window frames.  Yikes!  It wasn't terribly serious, but Ron M. had to drive to the nearest dollar store and purchase a pile of cheap towels for the clean up, then was his usual helpful self in sopping up the mess.   The back rooms could be cleaned  up with our new Shop Vac.

I was convinced that we wouldn't have a single guest all day, but again I was wrong.   We had 7 visitors after the skies had partially cleared and we were so glad we were there to greet them.   One was a man from Grove, OK on business.
These two handsome guys were from Madrid, Spain.
Following behind them was this couple from London, England
Then came this couple from Lexington, Kentucky.   They were taking a day off from a lake vacation, whereas the Spanish and British folks were in the midst of full Route 66 trips.  The weather didn't seem to phase any of them, and I'm glad of that.

Looks like we'll be open tomorrow as well as the entire weekend, so come on over and visit!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Magazine Day

What's a Magazine Day?  At Afton Station, t's  a day when the crowds aren't exactly beating down the door so there's plenty of time to pare down those piles of unread magazines we keep on hand for slow moments.

Our reading was happily interrupted today by 19 visitors, and oh, how glad were we to see them.  They came from Tyler TX, Batesville AR, Antioch CA, Lake Havasu AR, Noel MO, Walker LA, Hammond LA, Springfield LA, and Barcelona, Spain.
This gentleman is from Tyler, Texas.
This couple is from Lake Havasu, Arizona.

I didn't even take many photos today.  I would have taken a picture of the four handsome young people from Barcelona, Spain but I accidentally let them slip past me.  And now I'm tired  Sorry for the brief blog, but just think of it this way - now you have more time to read magazines.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Blame the French. . .

. . .  the Spanish, the Italian,  the Japanese, the Czech, the Norwegian.  The languages, not the people. . Those and dozens of other languages often make my days at Afton Station  fun but very frustrating as well.   Today I was thinking about the traveling folks from so many foreign lands who have visited in the past 12 years and the languages they speak.   Such beautiful people deserve more than just a friendly smile and a few rudimentary words in their tongues, but frustration overcomes me when I want so badly to be able to converse with them about their lives, their countries, and most of all, their Route 66 observations.  Although much can be "said" with body language and laughs and smiles, in most cases in-depth exchanges can't be accomplished.   Blame the Americans.  In nearly every case, the folks from other countries have been exposed to English enough that they can at least say a few words here and there.  We Americans, on the other hand, are comparatively uneducated in other languages.   I know a wee bit of French.  I can count to ten in Japanese.  I know how to use Google Translator.  That's about it for me.

Of course, even without language there is something that brings us together -- both the travelers and those of us who mind the stores along the way.  It is the spirit of Route 66 that bonds us together, why a young Chinese man ends  his visit with a smile, why an Italian honeymoon couple wants selfies of us, why an older Norwegian woman leafs through a copy of Images to find a photo that illustrates a question she wants answered.  Where there is a will, there's a way.   Even so, I wish I could speak about 30 languages.  That should be enough to get me through a season at  Afton Station.

Today's visitors included folks from several towns in Norway, Derby England, the Ukraine, and Tokyo Japan, as well as those from Arvada CO, Canewood CO,  Granbury TX, Liberty MO, Witchita KS, Culbert OK, Langley OK, Oglesby OK and Bentonville AR.
    The Norwegians (with a couple of Swedes) came in a group on Harleys with a chase vehicle.  By the time they arrived at the Station they had driven through hard rain.    Still perfectly  cheerful and unfazed by their dampness, they took turns signing our wall.
Below are folks are from Colorado and Texas who are cruising Route 66 in their cool Corvettes,
Here, with Ron M., is Toshi Goto, president of the Japanese Route 66 Association.
 He visited for about an hour this afternoon, and what an interesting fellow  he is.   He's in the states for a month and spending some time getting to know as many people along the Route as possible.  He said he has about 80 folks in his association at home and plans to bring a group next summer.  Having lived in Japan for two years, I was too embarrassed to tell him about my Japanese being confined to the numbers from 1 to 10.   :-(

A good day. . . and more tomorrow!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

An Everyday Day

It was Gray Camaro Day at Afton Station today.   First, a couple stopped in on their way back from picking up this gray 2010 Camaro which he bought for his 15-year-old son.  (Lucky son!)  Great folks from Independence, MO with a healthy interest in Route 66

 Next, these two ladies in another gray Camaro drove in.  They're from Casa Grande, AZ and are also "doing" Route 66.
This is hardly a Camaro, but certainly a comfortable ride for this fellow from the Basque country of Spain.

 That he spoke no English wasn't in any way a detriment to his enjoying his Chicago-to-LA adventure.
And this foursome from Lodz, Poland were just as happy, also going all the way on 66.

We have been having some personnel difficulties of late and are hoping they will be solved soon.   Until then, it's possible that we could be closed on an occasional weekday.    For this reason, if you're making a trip especially to see us.  I strongly suggest you call ahead.  Call 918-284-3829 a day or two ahead or, on the day of your planned visit,  try 918-257-4044.   For now, we are still open 7 days a week, but  we will be cutting back to a fall schedule in a month or two.    We'd love to have you come for a visit ASAP!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hello From

Postcards, both new and old, generally have a picture along with the words "Hello From....". In the 125+ years that postcards have been a popular way of communicating, I'm pretty sure there are "Welcome From" postcards from every big city, small hamlet, national park, and foreign country in the world.   Today was a "Welcome From" day at Afton Station, with folks from everywhere.

For example. . .
. . . these three ladies, from Vancouver British Columbia, Salina KS, and New Zealand studied a Blue Swallow pamphlet.  What better way to bring nations together than to share stories about an iconic Route 66 mom 'n pop motels?
And how about this group?  They're from Russia, the Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. The Russian couple has been to Afton before and on their last visit we made the acquaintance of their cute puppy Chili.

 Meet this big family from Jennings, Oklahoma.  Their little boy was so well-behaved that I gave him all the beanie babies which we weren't able to sell at the Garage Sale.   I believe that made him a happy little guy.
You've met Tiffany and James before.   They're some of the most ardent Route 66 fans around.  On their way home from the Route 66 festival in Springfield, MO today, they stopped by to say hello again.  Their knowledge of Route 66 is already amazing and they continue to learn.
Father and son from Chicago came by to admire the car collection.  Dad is making sure that his son understands the beauty of true vintage vehicles.   
These two retirees from Aurora, IL are enjoying their free time by taking an unhurried trip down Route 66. Sigh.  I'm jealous.

Others came from Elk City OK, Peoria OK, Evanston IL, Denton TX, Richmond KY, Oslo Norway, Salina KS, and Sycamore KS.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Do-It-Yourself Blog Post

Add these up :
  A very slow computer
  Many photos
  Extreme exhaustion

That's what I'm faced with tonight as I sit here trying to make sense of the chicken scratchings (also known as notes) I made today at this gloriously busy day at Afton Station.   Even with the help of Ron M. and Joe Meeks, I never really got it completely together.  I need help from YOU, too!  Thanks to a wonderfully well-attended poker run using the Station as one of the stops for the participants, and lots of others taking advantage of one of the first non-broiling days of the summer, we were swamped.   Oh, also, to add to the fun, there was no water in Afton today.   Twenty-six hours with no water whatsoever due to a main break out in the country.  We couldn't offer our beautiful clean restrooms to the crowd of visitors.   (The water came back on at 2 p.m. today, shortly before we left.)

Ok, enough complaining.  Instead, I'll dump these photos  here, mostly without captions, and ask Ron or Joe to let me know if they can add captions to those which I've been unable to identify. Also, if you visited the Station today and find your photo here, please let me know and I'll caption that, too.  I know I'm being lazy but I.... AM..... TIRED!

 The committee overseeing the poker run, which was participated in by almost 100 people in classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles, etc.

 Gorgeous '37 Ford woodie

 His 22-year-old daughter, serving in the military in Korea at the moment, is a Packard fan!  Wow, most interesting.  I can't wait to meet her when she comes home.
President and V.P. of Corvette Cruisers from Carthage, MO.  Their club is planning a visit to Afton Station soon.
 Paris, France
 Melbourne, Australia
 Lyon, France

Visitors today came from Chicago IL, Houston TX, Carthage MO, Alma AR, Champagne IL.  Paris France, Melbourne Australia, Lyon France,  Springdale AR, Denver CO, Bella Vista AR, and Langley, Monkey Island, Wyandot, Coweta, and Tulsa, OK.  At last count, we  had  between 50 and 60 visitors, but we know we missed a lot of them.

What a great group!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

One Hundred Six Degrees of Separation

That's how many degrees it takes to "separate" visitors from Afton Station.  We were cool inside, of course, but just getting in the building through the blistering 106-degree  heat seemed like a chore.  Our attendance was low, but an early morning group helped to make it a great day anyway.

Our early morning visitors were a group of German tourists guided by Wolfgan Werz  (below).  They were full of smiles and laughter and they certainly liked what we had to show them.  Thank you to all of them for brightening our hot, steamy day. They are on their way to Santa Monica now.

 The rest of the day was achingly slow, but our expectations weren't too high.   An intrepid couple from Choteau, Oklahoma visited, as did a gentleman from Jacksonville, Florida and the owner of this very gorgeous newly restored vintage vehicle.

 Here is the promised photo of Afton Reamy from Crowley, Texas.   She visited on Friday but we had a struggle getting her photo on the blog.  But here she is now, and what a beauty she is.  I'm so happy that she's proud of her name Afton.  I wonder if she knows that Afton itself was named for a little girl, Afton Ayres, the daughter of one of the founders of the city before the turn of the century when it was still in Indian Territory.

Here's the banner that our cars earned at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Pensacola Dam yesterday.I like it!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Here's What's Happening

Another jam packed day of fun at Afton Station.  Why have I only done this for the last 13 year  I wish I'd had the pleasure of working here all my life. .
Doesn't this look like true love?  These honeymooners, Karola and Guille, are from Madrid, Spain (him) and Poland (her).  They met in school in Madrid and got married just last weekend!

 Also from Spain (Barcelona) are these two  More beautiful people.
From here at home came this family from O'Fallon, MO.  The older boy did all the research for the Route 66 trip.  I think he knows more that I do about the Mother Road!
And our only four footed visitor today was Rebound, a rescue dog with his parents from Claremore, OK.  Wow. what a well-trained canine!   Since he lives nearby, we hope to see more of him.
As we were leaving, David and Marly returned with two of the cars that had spent the day being background for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Pensacola Dam, the dam which created Grand Lake.. I had been wanting a photo with these two in front of the Station.  This isn't much of a picture, but it's the best I could do in a rush.

Special note to Afton Reamy:  I have seen the great photo of you at my museum, Afton Station, and was told by my employee that you would love to see your photo on my blog.  I just want you to know that I'm working on it, but having trouble transferring it to the blog.   You will see it here soon!   So sorry I missed meeting the girl with the beautiful name when you were here!