Friday night marked an official relighting ceremony of the Boots Motel‘s refurbished neon sign in Carthage, Mo. The event also revealed who made a donation of $2,500 months ago to restore the sign.
That person was Ron Jones of Bartlesville, Okla. Jones is better known as “Tattoo Man” due to his more than 100 tattoos of Route 66 landmarks on his body. A plaque to memorialize Jones’ late father will installed on the sign’s pole at a later date.
From the news release:
A brass plaque to memorialize Ron’s deceased father did not arrive in time for the ceremony, but a temporary sign with the correct wording was placed on the sign post. Ron’s contribution to help the Boots owners return the historic Court to its condition circa 1949 was greatly appreciated and follows the recent removal of the pitch roof and the restoration of the flat roof that made the structure so unique. A presentation of the matching grant for this project by the National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Grant program will take place at the Boots on Monday, July 29th.
Attendees for the sign lighting included Route 66 Roadies Jim Michalec (Route 66 Advertiser), Tommy, Glenda and Tonya Pike (Missouri Route 66 Association), Ron and Barbara Hart (Route 66 Chamber of Commerce), Wendi Douglas (Carthage CVB director) and Boots co-owner Debye Harvey and Boots manager Deb DelRio.
Work has now begun on the original 1939 building with the preparation of the first four rooms for restoration, and Route 66 travelers are welcome to tour this preservation work-in-progress.