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Route 66 News

Visits with Lillian Redman at the Blue Swallow Motel

Anthony Reichardt recently uploaded several more videos from Route 66 trips he took in the early to mid-1990s in a 1959 Cadillac.

The highlight video of this bunch is several visits with Lillian Redman, longtime owner of the iconic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. It’s the most extensive video I’ve seen of her.

Reichardt’s videos are a treasure because it gives a historical record of Route 66 of more than 20 years ago — shortly after the publication of Michael Wallis’ best-selling “Route 66: The Mother Road” and before the rapid rise of the internet. It also documents people and places that sometimes no longer exist.

The Blue Swallow video’s postscript is also chock-full of historical memorabilia from the motel. Disclosure: Reichardt used one photo I shot earlier this year.

Redman died in 1999, but the Blue Swallow Motel remains alive and well.

The second video is of two visits to Joe and Aggie’s Cafe in Holbrook, Arizona. It includes rare footage of the original co-owner, Aggie Montano.

Reichardt gets a local history lesson about the Motaurant, which now is the Butterfield Stage Co. Steak House.

Joe and Aggie’s remains open on Route 66 and still is family owned.

The last video of this bunch is Reichardt’s three visits during the mid-1990s with Mary Saavedra, a longtime volunteer at the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Shop in Grants, New Mexico.

The thrift stoire isn’t overly notable on a historical basis, but Reichardt obviously enjoyed talking to the warm and hospitable Saavedra each time he was there.

The thrift shop left the former gas station on Route 66 by 1997. Saavedra died at age 80 in 2011.

If you haven’t seen Reichardt’s other Route 66 videos, you’re highly encouraged to check them out here at his YouTube channel.

(Screen-capture image of Lillian Redman from Anthony Reichardt video)

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