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Rough winter for Arizona December 28, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Weather.
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The winter season’s hardly begun, and it’s already been a rough one for some folks in northern Arizona.

In the Route 66 town of Kingman, barely a week after an unusual snowstorm struck there, high winds caused power outages and structural damage, reports the Kingman Daily Miner.

To top it off, temperatures also plummeted. That caused icing on Interstate 40 and led to numerous accidents.

Meanwhile, in Flagstaff, the fire marshall urged the owners of flat-roofed buildings to remove snow from them after several businesses’ roofs collapsed, reported the Arizona Daily Sun. The roofs were weighed down by accumulated ice and snow.

Book of top 100 hamburgers includes Route 66 restaurants December 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Food, Movies, Restaurants.
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Longtime readers may remember George Motz and his 2005 documentary, “Hamburger America,” where he searched for the eight best hamburger joints in the United States.

Motz now has a book by the same title, except he’s expanded his “best-of” list to 100 restaurants.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Bobcat Bite and its signature green-chile cheeseburger in Santa Fe, N.M., made the cut. The Bobcat, on an old alignment of Route 66, was also featured in the original film.

Motz confirmed to me in an e-mail that several other Route 66 restaurants made it into the top 100. They are:

In case you’re wondering about all of the El Reno restaurants, it’s because that city is the virtual home of the onion burger. All of those eateries excel at that delectible dish.

In case your favorite Mother Road burger place was left off, Motz says he’s planning to add another 50 restaurants in a future edition of the book, slated for 2010.

You can follow Motz’s culinary adventures at his blog.

Oklahoma wants to tout Route 66 for Hollywood December 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.
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The Daily Oklahoman reports that the Oklahoma Film and Music Commission is putting together a database for filmmakers looking for movie-shoot locations — including the Mother Road.

The database, which will include photographs and contact information, is expected to go live in the spring. In the meantime, the Film and Music Office is busy getting location photos and information to make it easier for those in the film industry to shoot in Oklahoma. […]

The database allows producers to log into the system, thumb through locations or props and then correspond with staff at the Film and Music Office, said Julie Porter, deputy director […].

“The main draw is the Western landscapes in far western Oklahoma, the panoramic sunsets and Route 66,” Simpson said. […]

Companies filming in Oklahoma can earn a state rebate of 15 percent of production expenses, not to exceed $5 million, if they’re employing Oklahomans.

A somewhat similar tax-credit approach is working well for New Mexico, which has seen a bunch of movie shoots in recent years (including part of the Oscar-winning “No Country for Old Men”).

Reel Scout is the company working on the database. With Oklahoma’s widely varied topography and old-fashioned small towns, the Sooner State should be a good fit for many film productions.

Tri-state Route 66 marathon race announced December 26, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Sports.
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A new Route 66 marathon footrace that will include the states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri was announced by the Joplin Visitors and Convention Bureau today.

The inaugural Route 66 Mother Road Marathon, set for Oct. 3, will begin in Miami, Okla., go east through Route 66 in Kansas and end at Seventh Street at Joplin Memorial Hall in downtown Joplin, Mo.

According to the Joplin bureau, other “special events” will be planned during the week of the marathon.

The Joplin Globe also reports that a half-marathon will be in June during the city’s Boomtown Days.

Prospective participants or volunteers should go to a sign-up form here.

UPDATE: The Globe filed an updated story. First, the marathon will be a qualifier for prestigious marathons in Boston and New York City. Also, David Knudson of the National Historic Route 66 Federation is quoted extensively.

My only concern is it might be still too warm for a marathon. Eighty- and even 90-degree days are still common in Oklahoma in October. Organizers had better start it early in the morning — before sunrise, even.

UPDATE2: Try as I might, I could not find a course on Google Maps from Miami, Okla., to downtown Joplin that’s less than 29 miles. Since a certified marathon race cannot go more than 26.2 miles, the organizers have a problem. Starting the race in nearby Commerce, Okla., or ending it in west Joplin near Schifferdecker Park would get it down to 26.2. But not in its current proposed format.

Best-of DVD set of “Route 66″ coming December 26, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Television.
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TVShowsOnDVD.com has interesting news about new DVDs coming for the original “Route 66″ television show:

— It appears Infinity/Roxbury is going back to releasing half-seasons of the series, starting with Season 3 on Feb. 10. However, there’s another listing of “Season 3, Volume 1″ listed for release June 23. I’ll try to clear the confusion as soon as I hear back from Roxbury’s publicist.

—  Infinity/Roxbury also is releasing on Feb. 10 a two-disc “Route 66 — Producer’s Picks” that features 11 acclaimed episodes. The episodes are:

  • “Play It Glissando” (co-starring Jack Lord, Barbara Bostock)
  • “Eleven, the Hard Way (Walter Matthau)
  • “First Class Mouliak” (Robert Redford, Martin Balsam)
  • “The Strengthening Angels” (Suzanne Pleshette, Harry Townes)
  • “Birdcage on My Foot” (Robert Duvall, Diana Millay)
  • “And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon” (James Caan, Martin Sheen)
  • “You Never Had it so Good” (Peter Graves, Patricia Barry)
  • “Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing” (Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr.)
  • “Poor Little Kangaroo Rat” (Leslie Nielsen, Ronny Howard)
  • “Soda Pop and Paper Flags” (Alan Alda, Tom Bosley, Joseph Campanella)
  • “A Cage in Search of a Bird” (Stefanie Powers, Dan Duryea)

I’ve read in other “Route 66″ sites that those episodes are well-loved. For those who want to see choice cuts of the drama, starring George Maharis and Martin Milner, without having to slog through entire seasons, “Producer’s Picks” looks like an excellent option. The inexpensive $19.98 suggested retail price is good enticement, too.

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