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“Cars” Web site gets a tune-up June 28, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.

“Cars,” the hit Disney-Pixar movie from 2006 that takes place prominently on Route 66, recently gave its Web site an extensive face-lift.

(Warning: The site will almost certainly require a high-speed Internet connection.)

Above is a screen shot of the site. The new “Cars” site features lots of goodies, including streaming of three excellent short films starring Mater. The site contains games, an interactive “Create a Car” feature, new “Cars” products for sale, interactive features on each “Cars” character, and more.

I especially liked the extensive production notes from the film, which brim with information about Pixar’s research into Route 66.

For more about “Cars” and its Route 66 connections, go here.

It may seem curious to revamp the Web site of a three-year-old movie. However, interest in “Cars” toys and other products remains high, and the sequel, “Cars 2,” is barely two years away from hitting theaters. Don’t be surprised to see the site undergo more renovations in the coming months as production on the new film proceeds.

(Hat tip: Pixar Planet)

Tribute to a king June 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Music, People.
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Emily read this Tulsa World article after Michael Jackson’s death on Friday. The key passage:

Hours after learning of Jackson’s death, Paul Yeakey, a Tulsa artist, spray-painted a mural of Jackson on a wall outside a liquor store at 9347 E. 11th St.

Eleventh Street in Tulsa is Route 66. She went to the Mad Dog Liquors building on that street, and this was what she found:

This old road June 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Preservation.
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This is a section of a very old alignment of Route 66 that goes through Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona. It was the Mother Road until 1961.

An information kiosk right off the park’s main road tells about Route 66 through there. But veteran roadies, guided by the no-longer-used telephone poles, can see the slightly raised roadbed if they look closely, even though it’s been covered over by desert vegetation.

A good day to tour Land of Lincoln June 27, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Events, Preservation, Railroad, Route 66 Associations.
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If you live in northern Illinois or are driving through it on Sunday, you’re going to have the chance of seeing some unusual things on the Mother Road.

The historic railroad depot of Braidwood, Ill., will be moved from its current spot at Illinois 53 (aka Route 66) and Illinois 113 to Main and Center streets in town. According to the Joliet Herald News, the move will begin at 6 a.m. Sunday and probably will last at least a couple of hours.

The depot is being moved because a nearby grocer, Berkot’s Super Foods, wants the property for parking. The 1882 depot’s new home will be near city hall.

Also, in Pontiac, Ill., on Sunday, the Walldogs will be finishing the murals they’re painting at various spots around the city, including a Route 66-themed mural. Also, several murals will be located on Route 66. That includes a Rodino Square mural, of which the Pontiac Daily Leader has a story.

And a British couple went to Pontiac to check out the murals after reading about the event in a newsletter by the Illinois Route 66 Association.

Mural-painting begins in Pontiac June 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Events, Towns.
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The painting of several murals by volunteer Walldogs artists in the Route 66 town of Pontiac, Ill., began Wednesday, reports the Pontiac Daily Leader.

One of the murals will feature a Route 66 theme, on the wall of DeLongs’ Casual Dining at 201 N. Mill St.

The Walldogs should be done with the murals by Sunday. Here are the murals they are painting. Some of them are quite ornate.

Route 66 Alliance endorses plug-in vehicle project June 25, 2009

Posted by Ron Warnick in Publications, Vehicles.

In the middle of this story from the Santa Monica (Calif.) Daily Press about the Green Roadway Project, which seeks to eventually bring green-powered infrastructure across the United States to recharge electric vehicles, is this:

The Route 66 Alliance, which promotes and preserves the historic roadway that terminates in Santa Monica, announced its endorsement of the project.

“This project will blend a historic route with new technology,” said alliance Chairman Jim Conkle. “We can start with Route 66 but end with every road and highway in the world.

“Route 66 has many names — Mother Road, Main Street America, Will Rogers Highway,” Conkle continued. “We’d like to add one more — the Electric Highway. Everyone along the road is excited about it.”

It should be noted that the newest issue of the Alliance-affliliated Route 66 Pulse newspaper is being partly underwritten by David Myers, founder of The Wildlands Conservancy, and the Pulse contains articles about green energy. Although Conkle to my knowledge has always been supportive of alternative energy, it’s also easy to see Myers having some sway in the Alliance’s endorsement.

UPDATE: This message from Conkle in an e-mail came shortly after the above was posted:

This relationship came about from my doing research for the Mother Road National Monument and offering a hand rather then asking for a handout. We now have a new partnership as well as access to these new technologies. [...]

As this project moves forward we will be making contact with a number of you as potential locations for the system. We, the Route 66 Community, are going to be given the ‘first right of refusal’ to get involved with The Green Roadway project. I can see this system set up at motels, diners, museums, stores, etc all along the road. Creating jobs and income as well as offering the service of charging for the electric vehicles of tomorrow.

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