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Route 66 News

Reporter finishes walk on Oklahoma City’s Route 66

Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City

Brianna Bailey, a reporter for The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City, recently embarked on a walking journey of Route 66 in that city for a story and a series of blog posts.

She finished recently, and the last story is here.

Some takeaways:

— We learn the beloved Carlyle Motel sign was purchased by Donald Halpern, of Columbus, Ohio, in 2013. He later sold parts of it to collectors — to the chagrin of many Route 66 preservationists. The Carlyle Motel owners still are there; they sold the sign after it was damaged in a hailstorm and deemed it “too expensive” to repair.

— The varying alignments of Route 66 in Oklahoma City make it difficult to follow. State Sen. David Holt led an effort to install more directional signs in the city — sparked in part by Paul McCartney’s visit in 2008. Holt, however, remains frustrated about how the metro area doesn’t pay the Mother Road more attention.

— Taft Stadium’s green neon sign was saved by Billboard Museum Association Inc., based in nearby Bethany, Oklahoma. The fledgling museum — which hasn’t opened yet — also saved the beloved Rio Siesta Motel sign from Clinton, Oklahoma.

— Bailey found two no-longer-operating motels off Route 66 — the Matlyn Court and Suntide Inn.

— Oklahoma Route 66 historian Jim Ross, interviewed near the foot of the historic Lake Overholser Bridge, thinks tourism on Route 66 will continue to increase. He said this years ago, and I’m glad to see his mind hasn’t changed.

(Video image capture of Brianna Bailey walking Route 66 in Oklahoma City near the Capitol)

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