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“Route 66″ producer dies May 30, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Television.
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Mort Abrahams, a producer for the “Route 66″ television show during the 1960s, died of natural causes at age 93 at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., reported the Hollywood Reporter.

Abrahams was reportedly the show’s producer in 1962-63. According to the IMDB.com, he produced the acclaimed episode, “Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing,” in which classic horror-film stars Lon Chaney Jr., Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff made prominent appearances.

He also produced the TV shows “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Kraft Suspense Theatre” and “G.E. Theatre.” He was a producer or writer for a number of films, including “Doctor Dolittle” (1967), “Planet of the Apes” (1968), “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1969) and “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970).

Notes from the road May 29, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Events, History, People, Restaurants, Television, Towns.
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We learned Thursday that longtime roadie Jeff Meyer, aka the Route 66 Roadologist, is in the hospital after having health problems earlier in the week, and he is undergoing tests.

Meyer has been exploring Route 66 for more than two decades, is a founding member of the Illinois Route 66 Association, and was given the prestigious Steinbeck Award during the annual national Route 66 banquet a few years ago.

If you’d like to send him a note or get-well card, you can mail it to:

Jeff Meyer
Bed 31, ICU
Northwest Community Hospital
800 West Central Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

  • The Rock Cafe in Stroud, Okla., is having its first day as a full-service restaurant Friday after it was nearly destroyed by a fire a year ago. KOTV in Tulsa is televising a live feed from the historic Route 66 restaurant that morning.
  • Susan Croce Kelly, co-author of the seminal 1990 book “Route 66: The Road and Its People,” is planning to write a book about Cyrus Avery, the “Father of Route 66.” Kelly has been in contact with Tulsa resident Joy Avery, Cyrus’ granddaughter, about the project.
  • Flagstaff Live! compiled an overview of that city’s barbecue restaurants, including two on Route 66 — The Smokehouse and Big John’s Texas BBQ.
  • According to the Twitter account of POPS in Arcadia, Okla., an NBC television crew was at the convenience store/restaurant on Wednesday to film a segment for “The Great American Road Trip.” It will air in July.
  • The Viva Cuba blog of Cuba, Mo., has a story about local fourth-graders and their Missouri history projects. One of the students, Desiree, dedicated her project to Fran Eickhoff, who was a longtime Route 66 booster and was the girl’s grandmother.
  • Here’s a preview from the Joplin Globe about Galena Days in Galena, Kan., next weekend.

Route 66 Pulse update May 28, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Publications.
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Bob “Crocodile” Lile and I have been exchanging e-mails about the resurrection of the Route 66 Pulse newspaper, which ceased publication in August 2008 after nearly two years of steep financial losses.

As sales manager, he provided a few details about the efforts to revive the newspaper:

  • Printing of the first issue of the revived Pulse will be in early June, with distribution in mid-June. Printing originally was scheduled for mid-May.
  • The Pulse is not taking subscriptions at this time, but hopes to do so by the August/September issue.
  • The print run will be 50,000 copies, and be distributed at Route 66-related museums, tourism centers and businesses.
  • Advertisers in the premiere issue will be eligible for discounted rates in future issues. Deadline for ads is Friday. Those interested should call 806-658-4796 or 806-664-3089 or e-mail blile(at)route66pulse(dot)com.

Expansion of El Garces project tentatively approved May 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Highways, Motels, Preservation, Railroad.
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The expansion of a parcel map for the El Garces rehabilitation project in Needles, Calif., was approved by the city’s planning department, reported the Needles Desert Star.

El Garces is a long-abandoned Harvey House that Alan Affeldt, the savior of La Posada in Winslow, Ariz., is working to restore. El Garces, when it is restored, will have a hotel and restaurant.

The intent of acquiring the vacant parcel is to preclude El Garces from being blocked from view and to utilize the property for parking and a green area. […]

To those Route 66 preservationists who voiced opposition to turning a portion of the historic highway into a parking lot (one block of Front Street) he responded it was necessary in order to provide the required number of parking spaces for the facility. […]

Other citizens spoke in support of the project, emphasizing the positive impact a new hotel, restaurant, transportation and visitors’ center may have on the economy of Needles.

FYI, the Front Street part is an older alignment of Route 66 that gerrymanders around the park and El Garces. Broadway is the newer, more-traveled alignment of Route 66 through Needles.

I guess I’m a little more pragmatic. I have no problem sacrificing a tiny fraction of an obscure alignment through town to save a magnificent Harvey House that predates the road. When El Garces reopens, I’ll be happy to stay there.

In the Mother Road mood May 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants, Road trips, Signs.
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Here’s a good video from a YouTube poster from Norway.

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