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It’s all gute December 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips, Television.
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Globe Reisefilme, based in Germany, has been posting videos on YouTube from Route 66.

Here’s one about the town of Seligman, Ariz., and native son Angel Delgadillo. Even with the clip’s language barrier, it’s pretty cool:

More Globe Reisefilme videos can be found here.

Tucumcari will host video kiosks about Route 66 history December 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, History.
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The Tucumcari Convention Center will host a couple of video kiosks that will show DVDs about the Route 66 history of Tucumcari, N.M., and the surrounding area, according to the Quay County Sun.

The community development office and the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce began working with a graphic design company Janice St. Marie in Santa Fe to make the kiosk system.

Yvette Fazekas, community development projects coordinator said the kiosks, along with a brochure, will highlight the attractions and sites along Route 66 from Cuervo to the state line.

“The DVD will feature local photos highlighting Route 66 past-to-present,” Fazekas said. “We are working with a local company for the photos.”

Powers said several of the photos have reminded him of Tucumcari when he was growing up. He said there are photos of several businesses which are no longer on Route 66.

“So far several pictures have been submitted. The problem is trying to narrow down the ones we want to use,” Powers said. “So many photos of places long forgotten. It makes you feel happy and a bit sad to see them again.”

Powers said one of the photos was of the Flying M Ranch Motel, which featured a neon sign with wings that flapped.

“It’s one of those sights you’ll never forget,” Powers said, “though now that business is no longer there. The only way people will know about it is if we show and remind them.”

The kiosk system will be paid for with a $52,000 grant awarded last year by the state’s Scenic Byways program.

Christmas Eve at the Wagon Wheel Motel December 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Motels, Preservation, Weather.

I finally had the chance to stay overnight at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Mo., and am glad I did.

This historic Route 66 motel has been transformed from a diamond in the rough into a gleaming jewel, thanks to the ongoing renovation efforts by new owner Connie Echols.

I noted the Wagon Wheel lacked a presence on YouTube, so I decided to rectify that by shooting video during our stay there. The fact it occurred on Christmas Eve during a pretty snowstorm was a bonus.

A few notes:

  • The desk you see in the latter part of the video is the original used by longtime Wagon Wheel Motel owners Harold and Pauline Armstrong. Wagon Wheel memorabilia is displayed on it, and the desk holds a guestbook for overnight travelers to sign.
  • Music in the video is “Song of Assisi,” by Marc Gunn.
  • The Wagon Wheel offers 10 guest rooms, with at least six to be added sometime in 2011. At least one of the newly renovated rooms will be handicap-accessible.
  • The Connie’s Shoppe gift shop housed in what was a long-closed diner on the property will sell Wagon Wheel Motel souvenirs by summer tourism season.
  • What a difference a year makes: Echols has owned the motel barely a year, and in many online travel sites it has shot to No. 1 for recommended lodging in the Cuba area.

(Thanks to Connie Echols and Jane Reed)

Longtime owner of Edmond restaurant dies December 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Restaurants.
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Bessie “Cleo” Noe Lamson, longtime co-owner of the now-defunct Wide-A-Wake Cafe on Route 66 in Edmond, Okla., died at age 102 on Monday, according to an obituary in the Edmond Sun.

Lamson and her husband Crawford owned the Wide-A-Wake for about 50 years until they retired. The restaurant was open 24 hours a day, a rarity during that era.

Even though the restaurant has been gone for many years, it remains in the memories of many Oklahomans and older Route 66 travelers. The Wide-A-Wake even was the subject of a book, “Tales of the Wide-A-Wake Cafe,” by Curt Munson.

A painting of the restaurant can be seen here.

Lamson was born in Sunset, Texas. In addition to several daughters and grandchildren, she is survived by 12 great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Baggerley Funeral Home, 930 S. Broadway in Edmond. Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Gracelawn Cemetery in Edmond (map here).

At the Donut Drive-In December 28, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants, Signs.
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I happened to be driving through St. Louis on a snowy Christmas Eve, and stopped to check out the restored neon sign and the delectable products at Donut Drive-In.

Thumbs up December 27, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Maps, Television.
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Television host Carson Daly tells about one of his favorite videos:

A taste of the past? December 27, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Food, People, Restaurants.
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I stumbled onto this video today, posted by Casey Smalley.

The description of the video:

Here you can place an order for a 18 oz. bottle of my family’s barbecue sauce that my grandpa, Ed Smalley, made popular through his days running the Okie Steakhouse, the world famous Rock Cafe [my emphasis — Ed.] along Route 66, and Smalley’s Restaurant. This barbecue sauce is one of a kind and sure to make a great compliment to most anything you eat. Try a bottle at the super low price of $5 bucks! ! ONLY IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. !

Smalley also has a site for ordering the sauce here.

Sure enough, current Rock Cafe owner Dawn Welch talks about Smalley on her “Dollars to Donuts” site:

Needless to say, a lot of history went down within those four walls before I got involved in the early 1990s (for more historical information about Stroud and the Rock, see page viii). I took over from owner Ed Smalley, who bought the Rock for sentimental reasons—not only did he work at the Rock when he was a boy, but he also left for war from the Cafe and fell in love with and married a Rock Cafe waitress. Ed couldn’t bear to see the Rock torn down or mishandled, so he bought it and sat on it for a decade, opening it up for special occasions and Route 66 events.

And an Internet search turned up a site for the Okie Steakhouse website, which also is hawking the sauce:

The Okie Steak House on Route 66 in downtown Stroud, Oklahoma, was owned and operated by my dad, Ed Smalley, in the early 70’s. Even though the restaurant was called a steakhouse, Dad became well known for his barbecue, especially his ribs. His sauce was also a crowd favorite, and one of his goals was to someday bottle it. Dad died five years ago before his goal was reached. In 2010, my mom and I decided we would bottle the sauce.

If I acquire this sauce, I’ll report back on it. And if anyone else tries this BBQ sauce, let me know how it is.

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