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Where was this photo taken? June 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, People, Photographs.

Today, I received this email from Lt. John Bayer of the U.S. Navy:

I’m seeking help identifying where the attached family photo was taken.  This was photographed during a family road trip from Cleveland to CA in 1929.  Presumed to be along Route 66.

The people in the photo are identified as Bayer’s uncle and great-grandmother. The year the photo was taken, Route 66 would have been only three years old.

Judging by the landscape, I’m betting it’s in Arizona — perhaps near the Grand Canyon or the Two Guns area. If anyone else has a better idea, don’t hesitate to comment.

Website aims to help market Route 66 merchandise June 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses, Events, Web sites.
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Carolyn Hasenfratz, a website developer in the St. Louis region and a friend to Route 66 for at least a decade, has launched a Sell66Stuff.com site to help businesses market their products along Route 66.

Here’s a video about the service:

According to the news release about the site’s official launch:

Listings in the directory for retailers, wholesalers and event promoters who want to sell products on Route 66 are free of charge, and can include a photo and a link back to the business web site. Paid ad space is also available on Sell66Stuff.com. […]

“I knew there were many calendars available online for events on Route 66, but none that were designed specifically to make it easy for vendors to find suitable exhibition opportunities that attract Route 66 enthusiasts and those who enjoy historic highways, Americana and car culture. On the drive home, I thought about creating such an events directory and adding to it a section for retailers and a section for wholesalers so that anyone trying to sell products on Route 66 can find the right outlets for their merchandise. Many retailers on Route 66 report that one-third to one-half of their customers are from outside the United States. That creates a great opportunity for business people in our country to expose their products to a wider audience.”

Sell66Stuff.com is also designed to help stores find interesting merchandise to help diversify and differentiate their offerings. “I’ve been told that travelers on Route 66 have complained about seeing the same merchandise in the same several stores they initially encounter, and that causes them to stop less frequently as they proceed down the road. That is very unfortunate, because Route 66 is a magnet for creative people. There are entrepreneurs, artists and craftspeople busy creating unique merchandise that could find more buyers if it was available in the right places.”

Because they often contain gift shops, lodging and dining establishments are encouraged to join the directory. The inclusion of restaurants opens up opportunities to those who sell food and drink, not just special Route 66 themed products, but any food and drink that restaurants need for the tourists who stop in. Also, “even though they don’t always sell “Stuff”, I’m allowing performing artists to participate, because so many of the dining and drinking establishments that are good candidates for the directory also hire live entertainment,” says Carolyn.

The site’s menu includes pages for wholesalers, exhibitors, events, advertising, a newsletter, and other website links.

The site also contains an add for Hasenfratz’s rubber art stamps, which are an excellent product.

“Home to You” June 26, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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A road song from the Peasall Sisters, for those who are returning home:

Daughter of Lucille Hamons dies June 25, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in People.
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Cheryl Nowka, daughter of the late Lucille “Mother of the Mother Road” Hamons of Lucille’s in Hydro, Okla., died at age 63 over the weekend, according to an obituary in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to posts on the Route 66 yahoogroup, Nowka had been ill for some time and spent her final days in a hospice.

Although she lived in Las Vegas for 30 years and wasn’t as well known as her famed mother, Nowka still played a prime role on Route 66.

She was one of the first to harness the Internet for the Mother Road. She developed 66-related websites, including one for Lucille’s and her mother. She also was one of the first members of the Route 66 e-group, which now numbers more than 2,000 from around the world.

At a time when her mother was in danger of losing her business because of the high expense of removing underground gas tanks from the property, Nowka self-published a history book about Lucille’s and used the proceeds to pay for the remediation.

Nowka also made sure a caretaker checked on her aging mother before her death in 2000. And she also made certain Lucille’s would be preserved as a landmark by its new owner. Lucille’s no longer operates, but it was restored, and still stands today.

A portion of the obituary reads:

“Cheryl was a cowgirl who barrel raced, rode a bull, as well as jockeying race horses, a musician who could play the piano and French horn … a singer, a dancer, a poet and an artist …”

She is survived by her husband Paul and two sons, Kevin and Jason.

Services will be privately held by Affordable Cremation and Burial Service of Las Vegas.

Book review: “Get Your Pics on Route 66″ June 25, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, History.
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Joe Sonderman has written at least four books through Arcadia Publishing using his massive collection of vintage postcards from Route 66. Alas, those books come in black-and-white, preventing readers from seeing the postcards’ vivid colors.

That problem has been rectified with a beautiful new book, “Get Your Pics on Route 66″ (160 pages, softcover, full color, Anniversary Publishing).

What’s unusual is this volume is being produced by an Italian publisher.

Subtitled “Postcards from America’s Mother Road,” this book contains about 400 postcards from Sonderman’s collection.

I’ve seen a great many of the postcards in this book. Even so, a few jewels stood out:

  • A scene at the Peach Springs Trading Post in Peach Springs, Ariz., where American Indian swastikas are prominent. The photo obviously was taken before World War II.
  • A darkly humorous cartoon from Rimmy’s tavern in Winslow, Ariz., that portrays the owner keeping a graveyard for salesmen.
  • A beautiful black-and-white photograph of the neon-lit glow of the art deco Grande Courts motel at night in Amarillo.
  • An apparent image of Mad magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman (or his doppelganger) pitching the Elite Courts of Amarillo.
  • The 66 Chicken & Steaks restaurant in Tulsa, which advertised chicken for “66 cents to go.”
  • A charmingly rustic log cabin at Log City Camp near Carthage, Mo.
  • A 1966 photo of a maze of freeways being constructed in St. Louis.

Each postcard is given a brief but informative description by Sonderman, including whether the landmark still exists today.

The author also includes histories of Route 66 nationwide and in each state it traverses. Anniversary Books editor Paolo Battaglia also writes a forward for the book, praising Route 66 as “an American legend.”

An inside look at Joe Sonderman's new, full-color postcards book.

But it’s those colorful postcards that catch the eye and fire the imagination about the Mother Road’s past. You’ll enjoy simply flipping through the book and marvel how the road’s architecture was seemingly so distinctive way back when. You’ll also wonder why more modern-day postcards don’t have the saturated color that these do.


(The book can be ordered from Anniversary Publishing for $35, plus $5 shipping. You also can order an autographed copy for $35 direct from Sonderman; email  him at stlrt66(at)aol (dot)com.)

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