Yeh, who created a comic book about Route 66 several years ago, started the mural last year but was slowed by a stroke. Due to partial paralysis, he painted left-handed until he recovered enough to paint right-handed again.
The newspaper described the mural:
The museum’s 12-foot-by-100-foot south wall illustrates San Bernardino’s history, its landmarks and inspirational people of the city, including favorite sons and celebrities with ties to the city.
The Earp family; Gen. George Patton, who used San Bernardino’s California Hotel as his headquarters while he trained soldiers in the desert; Pinky Brier, the first woman flight instructor in America; author Ray Bradbury; Xerox inventor and San Bernardino High School grad Chester Carlson; Dorothy Ingraham, the first African-American teacher in San Bernardino County; Silver Star recipient Chase Ash; animatronics pioneer Garner Holt (with a dinosaur); the rockers who performed at the Swing Auditorium – Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. And of course, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, who made their first U.S. appearance in 1964 at the Swing.
The north side, which is the same size, depicts cities – focusing on those in San Bernardino County – that line Route 66. Motorcycles, train cars and trucks, some of them bearing the names of sponsors, line the route as it passes through familiar towns and cities on its way from the Santa Monica Pier, the Route 66 culmination.
Yeh also says he hopes to restore the original McDonald brothers’ offices on the back part of the museum into a gift shop with works by local artists.
The McDonald’s Museum, located on an old alignment of 66, is owned by Albert Okura, owner of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain in Southern California. Okura also owns the Route 66 town of Amboy, Calif. There, he is slowly restoring the Roy’s restaurant and motel.