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Health nuts February 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Religion.
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Looks like one of the Thessalonians needs a spotter, and the other has a case of OCD.

This is the latest edition of “Route 66: A Road Trip through the Bible.” This video chapter concentrates on the first book of Thessalonians.

A few inside details from “Cars 2″ February 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Restaurants, Vehicles.

Author Michael Wallis, who voiced the Sheriff of Radiator Springs in Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” and served as the film’s Route 66 consultant, recently completed voicework on the sequel “Cars 2.”

Although he hasn’t seen a final edit of the film slated for theaters June 24, he revealed a few tidbits about it:

— Wallis is “almost positive” the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs will be featured in the beginning and likely at the end. Most of the plot takes place overseas, where Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater inadvertently become involved in a spy caper. Roadies were concerned that Radiator Springs wouldn’t be shown at all in the new film.

— Many of the roles in the first film will be vastly reduced in “Cars 2,” including Wallis’ own Sheriff character. A bunch of new characters will be introduced, which almost certainly will set off a new multimillion-dollar frenzy of buying “Cars” memorabilia.

— Wallis confirmed the first film’s Doc Hudson character, portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman, was retired for “Cars 2″ in the wake of Newman’s death in 2008. However, Fillmore will reappear in the new film, despite the death of comedian George Carlin the same year. Wallis said Pixar found an actor whose voice sounds almost exactly like Carlin’s.

— For the eventual release of “Cars 2″ on DVD and Blu-ray, Pixar is producing a short documentary about the impact the original “Cars” made on the real-life Route 66. Production will begin in the coming weeks, Wallis said.

“(Director) John Lasseter continues to be surprised by the impact ‘Cars’ has had on the road,” Wallis said. “It delights him.”

Wallis says he’s lobbying to have the Pixar documentary crew visit 4 Women on the Route in Galena, Kan., which displays the original 1951 International boom truck that inspired Mater; and the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Okla., owned by Dawn Welch, who inspired Sally Carrera.

(Image from “Cars 2″ courtesy of Pixar)

For a really big meal … February 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants.
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Folks may laugh at restaurant gimmicks like this … until they remember the Big Texan Steak Ranch‘s 72-ounce steak challenge has helped keep it in the public eye for more than 40 years.

This restaurant is Cookin’ From Scratch, near Route 66 in Doolittle, Mo. It boasts of a 66-ounce challenge, which is this:

The challenge consists of a 66oz burger on a 1.25 lb homemade bun, topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, & pickles. Along with the giant burger comes 1.5 lbs of french fries. Challengers have 66 minutes to finish the delicious feast. Winners receive the meal free, a T-shirt, their picture on the Wall of Fame, and a framed certificate proclaiming their victory.

The 66-ounce challenge stood undefeated until this dude vanquished it on his second try:

Shake-up at the Route 66 Festival February 26, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, People.

A committee that oversees the June 9-12 International Route 66 Festival in Amarillo, Texas, recently took the responsibility for organizing the festival and its awards night away from longtime Route 66 enthusiast Jim Conkle.

In the wake of that move, Conkle has vowed to hold another Route 66 festival in Joplin, Mo., the following weekend. Conkle says his festival would include the Will Rogers Awards and Route 66 Summit.

Bob “Crocodile” Lile, a member of the Amarillo committee, was reluctant to talk about the move. However, he provided e-mails from various sources with the festival for background.

The 13-member committee includes representatives of the Old Texas Route 66 Association, the Sixth Street Route 66 Association of Amarillo, roadies, and the City of Amarillo. Without delving into he-said-they-said minutiae, the primary reasons Conkle was relieved of his duties seem to be declining attendance and revenues and organizational mistakes, such as setting dates for the Amarillo festival that conflict with the popular Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour.

In light of that, it’s understandable that the committee decided to go another direction. But Conkle says he was kept “in the dark” — no one consulted with him about changes sought. He said in an e-mail if he’d been clued in beforehand, he would have stayed on to help the Amarillo festival.

Conkle has vowed to organize his own Route 66 festival and banquet in Joplin, Mo., on June 16-19 — a week after the Amarillo event.

Although it’s not clear on the event Web site, Amarillo organizers say they’re still planning for awards during their banquet. In an e-mail, Lile said there “probably” would be awards, “but not as many as last year.” (Ten awards were given during the 2010 banquet.) Lile was reluctant to say much until the committee makes a final decision.

An e-mail, however, makes it clear that for now, “Will Rogers” will not be part of the event’s name, because the committee will not use it without the Rogers family’s approval or blessing.

Conkle says he controls the Will Rogers Awards and the Route 66 Summit and has permission to use Cyrus Avery and Bob Waldmire’s names on the awards. But it was my understanding the fledgling Route 66 Alliance would undertake much of the festival’s organization. Since Conkle was removed as an Alliance officer during a reorganization a few months ago, his claim to the Will Rogers event and Summit seems dubious.

Regardless, I am skeptical about how successful another national festival and awards event would be. Most roadies likely will feel indifferent to it at best and hostile at worst, and many have already planned their vacations for the summer. It’s hard to imagine the Joplin festival drawing much of a crowd.

In the end, one has to ask: “What’s best for Route 66?”

Perhaps Amarillo committee members could have handled Conkle’s dismissal better. But there seems little doubt they have the long-term health of the festival in mind. They want it to be viable again so Route 66 fans will keep coming. It’s difficult to fault them for that.

I have known Conkle for years and love him like a father, but his quest to create another festival and awards event seems spiteful. Advancing the cause of Route 66 and its preservation should be the goal. Instead, this seems to be retaliation, and little else. If Conkle truly has the welfare of Route 66 in mind, he needs to drop this idea and move in a more constructive direction for the Mother Road.

Angel on their shoulders February 25, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels.
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Here’s a lodging option near Luther, Okla., if you’re traveling Route 66 — Angel’s Way Guest Ranch.

If you’re the immediate family of a police officer who died in the line of duty, you get to stay overnight for free. The video explains why:

Angel’s Way Guest Ranch is three miles north of Luther, off Route 66.

Bill would cut funding to Claremore museums February 25, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Museums.
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A bill working its way through the Oklahoma Legislature would cut funding to the Will Rogers Memorial Museums and the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum along Route 66 in Claremore, Okla., reported the Claremore Daily Progress.

State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Tuttle) proposes phasing out funding to those museums so money can be devoted to more crucial areas, such as schools and roads. Because of the recession, the state of Oklahoma is dealing with an estimated $400 million deficit.

The newspaper points out a somewhat thorny problem with Osborn’s proposal:

But the Will Rogers Memorial and the J.M. Davis Museum are special in that both were founded by generous donations by benefactors — the Rogers family and J.M. Davis — with agreements that the state would maintain them. (my emphasis) […]

The extensive collections in the museums do cost money for upkeep. As state institutions, both are free to the public with donation boxes available. […]

“The J.M. Davis and the Will Rogers museums are the only two public museums not under the Oklahoma History Center and the reason is, both of the museums were created by the state legislature and signed into law by the governor because both of these museums are so unique in what they do,” said Wayne McCombs, Director of the J.M. Davis. “The land for both museums was given to the state.” […]

Should funding be lost, it is likely the J.M. Davis Gun and Historical Museum could close. If the state reneges on its commitment, the heirs would be free to sell the guns, which are worth a fortune.

Obviously, most Oklahomans would not want these museums to close — especially the one devoted to Will Rogers, who arguably remains the state’s most famous citizen even 75 years after his death.

But it’s almost impossible to refute that schools and roads are more critical to a state’s citizens than museums.

Here’s an idea: Hasn’t anyone considered whether the Will Rogers Museums and J.M. Davis Museum could be operated better and more profitably in private hands? That’s especially the case for the J.M. Davis Museum, which has been besieged by problems with theft, neglect and mismanagement in recent years.

I’m not saying privatization is an answer. But it shouldn’t be quickly dismissed, either.

The bill number is HB 1667.

Antiques TV show coming to Albuquerque February 24, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Television.
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The “Treasure Hunters Roadshow” syndicated television show is coming to Albuquerque on March 1-4 for filming along Route 66 in the city, according to a press release today.

Albuquerque residents are invited to bring their rare collectibles and antiques to the Inn at Rio Rancho for evaluation by antique experts from 9 am to 6 pm each day. Producers seek to showcase highly unique items in the program and encourage collectors to visit and show off their prized possessions. […]

Currently scheduled for inclusion in the Albuquerque show are the Turquoise Museum, 66 Diner and a profile of a Route 66 memorabilia collector. Local residents will also be stars of the Albuquerque episode as they share interesting information about their prized collections and prove that behind every treasure there is a story.

Hopefully, residents will bring some of their own Route 66 memorabilia for the show. Given that town’s rich history, maybe some long-buried treasures from the Mother Road will be unveiled.

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