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Good support for bras on the ceiling April 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Motorcycles, Restaurants.

This report in the Pulaski County Daily contains some off-kilter banter between officials at a Pulaski County (Mo.) Tourism Board meeting a few days ago.

Officials were talking about how area restaurants could draw visitors from far away, instead of just locals. The discussion turned to an old business along an old alignment of Route 66 in Devil’s Elbow, Mo.

Board member Todd Bailey had another idea: the Elbow Inn biker bar in Devil’s Elbow, which he called an “absolutely huge” attraction for people stopping in on Route 66 tours that could become even bigger with marketing.

“I am surprised by the wild hoodlum place out at the Elbow Inn,” Bailey said. “I ate there for the first time, what, three four weeks ago, and have since taken folks from St. Louis and from the Lebanon hospital down there. They have fallen in love with that. They are like, ‘Are you crazy? Has anybody ever got kicked out of the Elbow Inn, and if they did, what did they do?’ That’s the big thing: They are going back there and telling everybody about it.” […]

Board member Jackie Farris said she’s never been to the Elbow Inn, prompting an enthusiastic response by Bailey.

“You’ve never been there? You have to go there!” Bailey said. “It is an experience, and once you experience it, you’ll be able to put it on to somebody and say it with enthusiasm… ‘It is worth your time to come down from St. Louis, go to the Elbow Inn, spend the night at one of our hotels, get up in the morning, and slather yourself back to St. Louis.’” […]

Rick Morris, a retired sergeant major in the Army’s military police corps, said law enforcement personnel visiting the Elbow Inn include the head of the Army’s criminal investigation division, or CID.

“The provost marshal general of the Army, her bra is in that Elbow Inn, just so you know,” Morris said.

That’s Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire, the Army’s first female provost marshal general and head of CID.

Responding to board member questions, Morris explained that there are bras hanging from the ceiling of the Elbow Inn.

“It is a huge attraction, and I don’t think it is in a negative way,” Bailey said. “It is just an experience and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.” […]

Bailey said the bras in the Elbow Inn could be key to a marketing campaign.

“Can we market for them? Somewhere in Columbia if you did an advertisement of, ‘Come on down, but ladies bring an extra brassiere, because you’re going to need it,’” Bailey said. “People are going to say, ‘What in the world is going on with this place down here?’ … Whoever thought of it, wow, it is just fantastic.”

The newspaper also reported that despite the Elbow Inn being a biker bar, it’s owned by a retired cop, and area records indicate the tavern doesn’t generate more police calls than any other drinking establishment.

But getting back to the bras on the ceiling … it calls to mind what “Route 66: The Mother Road” author Michael Wallis has said: If you want to succeed in the long term on the Mother Road, you need a gimmick to draw in the tourists.

The Elbow Inn indeed boasts a memorable gimmick — and good barbecue, too.

UPDATE 5/3/2011: I received an e-mail statement today from Rick Morris that he wished to retract his public statement about Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire, and added: “I completely misspoke and what was said was false…” That part of the excerpt from the Pulaski County Daily has been stricken.

Monkeys on the road April 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Animals, Highways.
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Many of you have seen a variety of critters on the roads you travel. But I’m betting monkeys is not one of them.

This is National Highway 66 in India, which is that country’s Route 66. It’s between Puducherry and Krishnagiri (map here). Skip ahead to 1:40 of the video to get a closer look at the wildlife on this highway.

I bet the scenes of roadkill are particularly unpleasant.

Jazz it up April 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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This is Julie Ponce, who’s a bassist and bandleader in Chicago, taking a trip on the Mother Road.

Historic rooftop sign will be relighted April 29, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Preservation, Signs, Theaters.
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The historic rooftop sign on the Highland Theatre in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles will be relighted at 7 p.m. May 17, according to a news release from the North Figueroa Association.

The sign contains 502 light bulbs. Its restoration was paid for by donations and a cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

The relighting ceremony will take place at the Old LA Farmers Market, at Marmion Way and Avenue 57 (one block west of North Figueroa Street and near the Highland Park Metro Rail Gold Line station).

From the news release:

The Highland Theatre was designed in 1924 by noted theatre architect Lewis “L.A.” Smith.  Its grand opening, attended by actress Norma Shearer, took place on March 5, 1925.

Originally a single-screen theatre, the Highland Theatre sat 1,432 patrons. Today, it is a triplex. North Figueroa Street was once dotted with movie theatres. The Highland is the only one remaining. The theatre was declared a City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 1991.

The theatre’s sign is one of only two large incandescent-bulb signs still in use along Route 66 in Los Angeles. Its preservation is, therefore, important not only for Highland Park, but for the whole of Los Angeles. The 502 exposed incandescent light bulbs spell out “Highland” in green and “Theatre” in white.

The North Figueroa corridor was part of historic Route 66 from 1931 to 1934 and again from 1936 to 1960. In 1940, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, a designated National Scenic Byway, opened paralleling North Figueroa Street just to the south and became the official Route 66 alignment into Los Angeles.

Later this year, the nearby Manning’s Coffee Store sign will be relighted as well. The North Figueroa neighborhood also is the site of the Chicken Boy mascot that once graced the rooftop of a downtown Los Angeles restaurant, also on an old alignment of Route 66.

Pontiacs arriving in Pontiac in early May April 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Museums, Preservation, Vehicles.
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Oklahoma resident Tim Dye’s collection of vintage Pontiac vehicles is set to arrive the morning of May 5 at the new Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum and Resource Center in Pontiac, Ill., according to a news release today from Pontiac Tourism.

One semi-load of cars that will be displayed at the museum at 205 N. Mill St. in Pontiac is scheduled to show up between 9 and 10 a.m. that day. A second semi-load of vehicles will be placed in a storage facility until construction on the museum is finished.

From the news release:

The museum, which will open on July 23, 2011, will house classic autos, dealer artifacts, Pontiac dealer signs, antique auto accessories, and a vast collection of printed materials, including dealer training books, service manuals, advertisements, and automobile reference books.

Thursday, July 21, will kick off the opening weekend festivities for the museum, and will feature a presentation given by Dye at the Chautauqua Park Pavilion on the history of the Pontiac car line and a community picnic in the park.   Friday night will offer a sneak preview of the new museum, with live entertainment and light snacks.  Tickets for the Friday night are $20 per person.

On Saturday, the opening ceremonies will begin outside the museum at 11 a.m.  At noon, the doors will open to the public and the museum will remain open until Midnight.  Extended hours are planned for Sunday.

The event adds to an already-busy week for Pontiac, when it’s one of the hosts for the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival on May 7-8. Also, a huge Route 66 map that serves as a tribute to late Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire will be painted that weekend on a downtown Pontiac building.

Schifferdecker Park in 1959 April 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, History, Movies.

Ace Jackalope, one of our favorite bloggers, posted this neat little find on YouTube — footage of Schifferdecker Park’s amusement park in 1959.

Schifferdecker Park is on the west side of Joplin, Mo., and has always been next to Route 66.

Ace explains the video:

Tinker Town was a children’s amusement park in the SE corner of Schifferdecker Park, Joplin, Missouri. As such, Tinker Town bordered Route 66, which was still official at the time.

According to information furnished by the Joplin Museum Complex, Tinker Town was established in the late 1940s by Harrison and Alice Anderson. The attraction featured kiddie-sized versions of a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, airplane ride, boat ride and a small car ride. The museum’s information mentions that a miniature train run by Ed Gilbert “ran through the park.” Given that the train in this film only runs on a short oval, I do not know if it is the train to which the information refers. It is clearly lettered “Tinker Town.”

The 8 mm film was shot by Ace’s father in 1959. It was eventually transferred to VHS videotape, then recently was digitized.

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