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My heart belongs to my Mother (Road) March 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, People, Web sites.
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Flea of the One Good Thing blog writes about her love of Route 66:

I've been waiting impatiently for the kids to get old enough to dump them off, kicking and sobbing, at summer camp for two full weeks, weeks that I can spend driving endlessly west and cooing over cheap roadside attractions and makeshift shacks with old women behind rotted counters selling jam and grapes on what are now frontage roads.

"Mommy! Please come get me! I hate it here and I want to come home!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, kids! Mommy's in Galena, Kansas. I'll see you in 12 days, probably."

It's just that Route 66 gives me so much happiness, and never ever stops.

There's much more, including recollections of Funks Grove Maple Sirup in Illinois, singing  kitchen staffers at a hotel restaurant in Tulsa, and the overwrought sounds of Kate Smith singing at Meramec Caverns in Missouri. (And yes, Flea's experience in the caverns hilariously matched our own.)

As other bloggers say, read the whole thing. 

A place to cruise in for a beer March 30, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.

The $20: Lush Ladies blog on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site weighs in about the Cruisin' Rte 66 bar at 7895 Watson Road (old Route 66). It used to be known as George's Route 66 Bar and Grill, but it's best-known for the big neon martini glass at the front of the building (which, regrettably, I can't seem to find any photos of it).

Maybe Fred Friction and his dearly departed Frederick's Music Lounge can find a new home here. 

Gallup rotosphere will be restored March 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Businesses, Preservation.

The Gallup Independent has the photo above with the following information:

Star Light: Hinckley Signs employees Danny Ellis, Gilbert Mexican, Dan Rudisill and Tamend Brown dismantle the star-shaped sphere after removing it from the top of the Downtown Plaza sign Monday in Gallup. The old sign, which is motorized and lit with neon lights, is being shipped to Albuquerque to be restored and is schedule to be completed in June. [Photo by Jeff Jones/Independent]

This sign is called a rotosphere, which is festooned with neon and rotates. There's another one on Route 66 at the Moriarty, N.M., at the El Comedor restaurant. When restored, the Gallup rotosphere should look like the picture below. The Downtown Plaza is a block off of Route 66, and when this rotosphere is fixed, it should be easily visible.
The El Comedor and eight other neon signs on New Mexico's Route 66 were restored by this fabulous program.

A critique of the Destination ABQ plan March 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions.
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Guest blogger Don Pizzolato gives his opinion of the Albuquerque Destination Master Plan to the Duke City Fix. He deserves kudos for reading all 114 pages of it.

You can download the plan here. He initially was critical of it, but now says it is sound overall.

Two items of interest:

Nob Hill: “Rich in Route 66 lore and is a great collection of boutique shops and dining.” “Solid local constituency.” “Doesn’t provide a reason to get on an airplane to Albuquerque but it will enrich the visitor experience.”

Route 66 (Central Avenue): “An interesting attraction that has limited appeal and fails to show off the best of what Albuquerque has to share with visitors.” “May, in fact, serve to perpetuate a negative image of the destination by channeling visitors to parts of the city that have not seen adequate reinvestment.”

To the last part: Feh. If I travel down Route 66, I want to see America in all its beauty — and warts. If you just like seeing landscape that's clean and antiseptic, you're not a very interesting person. As for "limited appeal," let's see whether that opinion still holds after Pixar's "Cars" movie comes out.

It's also worth reading the comments about Pizzolato's post.

French “Cars” movie poster March 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.

Actuacine.net has posted the French version of the Pixar "Cars" movie poster. I've posted it here, but I'd go to the Web site to see it in its enlarged version. In it, you can see the Route 66 shield and the town of Radiator Springs in the distance on the right.

An entertainment option March 29, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Music.
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This is a brief item from the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat:

Lewis & Clark (College) will offer its annual Variety Show at 7:30 p.m. April 7 and 3 p.m. April 8 on the Hatheway Stage. The show will feature a tribute to Route 66. The concert choir and Limited Edition will perform, as well as the Jazz Band and guest artists. Veterans are admitted free of charge; all other tickets are $10, $5 for students….

Scuttlebutt from the road March 28, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways, Motels.
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  • Ken Turmel of Postmarkart fame reports that the Oklahoma highway department has begun replacing Oklahoma Highway 66 signs. New signs are being erected to celebrate the state's centennial next year. The new sign is pictured above.
  • Scott Piotrowski reports that the Evergreen Motel in Duarte, Calif., has been torn down, apparently with little warning.
  • And those who seek lodging along Route 66 in Vega, Texas, while the Vega Motel is closed indefinitely can use the once-maligned Bonanza Motel. Linda Drake of the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce reports that the Bonanza has new owners who've cleaned the place up, made repairs and are excited about operating a business on the Mother Road. Here's an old postcard image of the Bonanza. 
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