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Oscars says no to YouTube and “Our Town” February 28, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Movies, Music, Television.
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I was hoping by now to have a video clip of James Taylor and Randy Newman performing their Oscar-nominated song, “Our Town,” from the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars,” at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Variety reports that the Academy has banned YouTube from allowing any video clips from the Oscars telecast because it wants to “manage the value of our telecast and our brand.”

So the performance “Our Town” — and its remarkably moving and compact story of many Route 66 towns that were bypassed by the interstate — will remain unavailable for those who missed the telecast.

There is no chance the show will be rebroadcast. Nor does the Oscars offer its annual awards event on DVD. So I’m not sure what it’s trying to protect. This action against YouTube certainly does no promotional favors for the “Cars” soundtrack, or Route 66, for that matter.

But in the meantime, you can hear the original “Our Town” here:

You can also view the scene in which “Our Town” was featured:

And if the Oscars’ performance eventually shows up somewhere, we’ll let you know about it. And if you have an Mp4 or other format of the performance, shoot me an e-mail to let me know.

Surprise on 66 February 28, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Events, People, Vehicles.
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Now this is a surprise party.

Vaughn Veit of Minnesota was set to mark his 66th birthday on Route 66 in Victorville, Calif. What he didn’t know was that his wife had set up a surprise party, with about 200 friends traveling from Minnesota, at the California Route 66 Museum, reported the Victorville Daily Press.

As Veit made his way through the crowd, he encountered surprise after surprise – best friends, sisters and about eight employees from his company.

“No wonder you weren’t answering the phone,” he said with a smile and laugh as he put his arm around some of his workers. They were supposed to be at a conference in Phoenix, but that was just a cover so they could get to Victorville.

Museum president Chick Kirk said the birthday party was an unprecedented event for the museum, but they were happy to do it. They invited “car clubbers” from the area to bring their autos for a small car show, and for Veit that may have been the best gift of all.

“He says it was worth it ‘big time,’ ” Chryse reported. “He really liked the cars.”

His wife’s gift to him was a 1941 Chevrolet, purchased from an Idaho seller on eBay.

The Daily Press also has video of the event. The video was on the fritz earlier; it may be working now.

Joplin barbershop designated a historic landmark February 28, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, History, Preservation.
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Dale’s Ole 66 Barber Shop, at Utica Street and Euclid Avenue in Joplin, Mo., was designated a historical landmark by the Joplin Historic Preservation Commission, reports the Joplin Globe.

The city will put up a sign outside the shop denoting its status. Any further changes planned for the building must be approved by the commission.

The shop has been vacant for about a year since a tenant moved out, Holly said, but business partners Stana Walker and Tammy Martin plan to reopen it in early March as a full-service salon.

Dale Holly, owner of the barbershop, told the Globe that the building was built in 1928 or ’29 as a Shamrock gas station. The gas station closed in 1959; Holly bought the building and converted it into a barbershop in 1962 until he retired three years ago.

(Photo courtesy of Route 66 TV Online.)

UFO over New Mexico February 28, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Ghosts and Mysteries.

Jerry Lentz was traveling in New Mexico when he saw this:

Here’s what he said:

I was at a rest area and I heard a trucker shouting to his friend to look up.

It might be space debris, shooting stars or Military Vehicles, but it was so cool to see it! […]

We watched them for about 4 minutes, but I only got them on video for a second. To my eyes, they were Silver and seemed like long thin rods that shimmered along their sides. Vapor trails were left behind them briefly.

I’m betting on military aircraft. You have Fort Bliss and the White Sands Missile Range in the southern part of the state. But I’m sure the paranormalists will have a field day with that video.

Route 66 group conducting membership drive February 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Preservation, Route 66 Associations.
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Geoff Ladd of the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County wants to get going in restoration efforts for The Mill in Lincoln, Ill., and other Route 66 projects.

To do this, he and his group are conducting a membership drive, according to a news release. Individual memberships are $15 a year, and business memberships are $25 annually. It includes a newsletter, invitations to group meetings, updates on projects, vending opportunities at events and advertising possibilities in publications.

All proceeds from memberships and donations to the organization go towards the restoration and promotion projects for Logan County’s Route 66.

“There is a lot of work to be done as far as restoring The Mill, as well as other pressing projects in need of our attention, such as The Tropics, the Texaco Station in Elkhart and the Route 66 Ghost Bridge in Lincoln,” Ladd said.

If you’re interested in joining the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County or donating to it, you can call (217) 732-8687, e-mail [email protected], or mail a check to:

Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

My check to the foundation is going out today. Is yours?

Filling Station marks 25 years February 27, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Restaurants.

The Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph recounts the history of The Filling Station, just off Route 66 in Lexington, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The restaurant has been a strong Route 66 supporter for years and has its legions of fans. The Filling Station also is listed in the Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide, published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation.

But I didn’t know how The Filling Station rose from relatively humble beginnings to become an economic force in the community.

The restaurant had five workers when it opened. Now, it’s home to 19 full- and part-time employees, Riisberg said.

The Filling Station added a delivery service about 15 years ago after some elderly customers couldn’t make it into the restaurant on a snowy day.

About six years ago, the restaurant added Outback Pizza. The name is a reference to Riisberg’s husband’s background. Ove Riisberg, co-owner of the restaurant, was born in Denmark, but he lived in Australia for a number of years.

And three years ago, the restaurant expanded its eating area and kitchen to meet growing demand. The Filling Station originally seated 46 people; after the addition of a new smoking room, it seats 75, said Ove Riisberg.

I’ve never been to the Filling Station. But the picture with the article of the bourbon chocolate chip pie is enough incentive for me to go.

Jealous over Joplin? February 26, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Music, Television, Towns.
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Hank Billings’ column today in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, often filled with interesting historical tidbits, struck me as a bit of unseemly whining.

He makes the dubious claim that “Does Joplin have a better press agent than Springfield or what?” by citing just two examples:

  1. A “Beverly Hillbillies” television episode in which Granny and Jed crosses a busy New York City street. Jed says: “Doggies, this is as big as downtown Springfield!” Granny adds: “Or even Joplin.”
  2. That Bobby Troup’s classic song “Route 66″ quotes “Joplin, Missouri” instead of “Springfield, Missouri” as one of the listed cities. “He could have written — he SHOULD have written — ‘Springfield, Missouri,'” Billings wrote. “The two cities have the same number of syllables in their name. More significantly, Springfield is the birthplace of the 66 title that inspired Troup’s song.”

On point No. 1, Billings notes that Springfield’s population has always been bigger than Joplin’s, which is true. However, Billings ignores the fact that Granny always was a bit addled, so it’s hard to take her pronouncements seriously.

As for Troup, I always figured that he chose “Joplin” over “Springfield” for his song simply because it sounds better. That brings us back to the “Beverly Hillbillies.” The scriptwriters chose Joplin for Granny’s punchline because it’s punchier.

After Billings gets that off his chest, he does a good job reviewing each town’s history. But considering that Springfield is one of the fastest-growing and dynamic towns in Missouri, you’d think he’d come up with a better strawman to knock down.

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