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Tropics restaurant continues to languish January 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Restaurants.
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This story in the Lincoln (Ill.) Courier tells about a situation that’s common even in prosperous towns along the Mother Road — a business district that is indeed busy, but still has a lot of vacancies.

One of those vacancies is The Tropics restaurant:

Tropics co-owner Tami Goodrich of Lincoln said last week she and two brothers continue to look for a tenant or buyer since the famed restaurant on Old Route 66 at Woodlawn Road closed a few years ago.

There have been inquiries, but …

Here’s a nice photo of The Tropics’ cool neon sign. Here are images of a 1960 menu from the restaurant.

Part of the problem, the article reports, is that many of the empty properties aren’t easily adaptable for reuse. So they sit.

Postcard display returns by popular demand January 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, History, Web sites.
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The Albuquerque library system had a traveling exhibit of vintage postcards that displayed varying times in the city’s history. That, of course, included images from Route 66.

The exhibit ran from April 2005 to last December. However, there was enough continued interest that the postcards will be on display again through March 24 at the Special Collection Library, at Central Avenue and Edith Boulevard NE, reported the Albuquerque Tribune.

If you can’t make it to the Duke City, you can browse these postcards online. The collection is broken up into several categories, including Alvarado Hotel, Old Town, Downtown, Tijeras Canyon and Route 66.

A Riverwalk — in Grants January 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Restaurants, Towns.
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The Gallup (N.M.) Independent has an interesting story about Riverwalk in the nearby Route 66 town of Grants, N.M.

San Antonio has the best-known Riverwalk; it appears Grants decided to have one of its own.

The Riverwalk in Grants is a greenbelt along the Rio San Jose that in the midst of a three-stage development. It contains sculptures, a playground, benches, a gazebo and an amphitheatre on one end. Just off the Riverwalk on Route 66 is the Uranium Cafe.

It sounds like the sleepy little town is doing a good job taking advantage of its natural assets.

A new Route 66 song January 25, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.

Here’s a video of a new song, “Route 66,” by the Jimmy: Damm Suess Band. It’s self-deprecating and rocking at the same time. The singing’s not great, but the guitar riffs are aces. The song is from the San Diego band’s album, “Summer Time Fun.”

The video was definitely shot on 66, but I’m not sure where. I’m thinking Glenrio at the Texas-New Mexico border in one scene, and central New Mexico in another.

Blu-ray Disc of “Cars” coming this summer January 25, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.
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Buena Vista announced in early January the coming releases of a bunch of special Blu-ray Discs specially made for HDTVs. Among the coming Blu-ray releases is “Cars” this summer.

For the uninitiated, Blu-ray discs contain a lot more data than standard DVDs or even HD-DVDs, making them ideal for the burgeoning high-definition television market. The picture and sound are reportedly awesome, but it’ll cost you — it’s hard to find a Blu-ray player for less than $1,000. Here are the FAQs on Blu-ray.

The news release at the Disney Blu-ray site doesn’t have a firm date for “Cars” that I could find, other than Summer ’07. The Upcoming Pixar blog reports that the release date for Blu-ray “Cars” will be June 5. Either way, we know it’s definitely coming after months of speculation.

That just adds to the speculation, however, of a special two-DVD version of “Cars,” along with a lot more extras, being rolled out about the same time. Stay tuned.

Abe Lincoln wagon moved to Lincoln January 24, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Preservation.

I think it’s time to describe Geoff Ladd as A Guy Who Gets Things Done.

First, the Logan County tourism director fended off a very likely demolition of The Mill along Route 66 in Lincoln, Ill., eventually will rehab it and convert it into a tourism center.

Now, according to today’s Lincoln Courier, Ladd has secured the Giant Abe Lincoln in a Giant Covered Wagon from Divernon, Ill., and moved it to Lincoln.

Getting the wagon was accelerated by a donation from Larry Van Bibber.

“I saw it and I saw they were trying to raise money for it,” Van Bibber said, “and I wanted to do it. I am happy to be in the position to make the donation. I know it will benefit the people of Lincoln and Logan County.”

Van Bibber expects the wagon, which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, to draw tourists through Route 66 promotions and events.

“God has blessed me in my finances and I feel like giving back to my community,” said Van Bibber, who has also given more than $43,000 to The Oasis senior center.

The fiberglass Abraham Lincoln is 12 foot in length (seated) and weighs 350 pounds. Abe is seated on the front of a wagon that hand-built of oak. The wagon is 24 feet tall, 12 feet wide, 40 feet long and weighs 5 tons. The front wheels are 10 feet tall and the back wheels are 12 feet tall.

According to the article, the Abe and wagon will be at Woodlawn Road and Route 66. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the wagon sometime next week.

UPDATE: The Bloomington Pantagraph also has a story, along with photos.

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