A friend of the late Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire has published a 28-page booklet, “Waldmire: An Artist’s Life On Route 66.”
“Waldmire” includes reproductions of some of Waldmire’s art, some of Crook’s art, including a sketch of Waldmire done about a month before he died and a few photographs.
Crook explains that the project began when he was contacted about Waldmire’s life by an Arizona filmmaker and the Illinois State Museum. He began with a short essay about Waldmire’s impact and expanded it from there.
Waldmire’s influence on the Mother Road can be found in many places — mainly through his artwork on murals, postcards and prints. He also once owned the now-popular Hackberry General Store in Hackberry, Arizona. His father founded the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, which prominently features Waldmire’s art.
Waldmire also served as the indirect inspiration to the Fillmore VW minibus character in the Disney-Pixar “Cars” films. He nixed compensation for the character because Waldmire — a vegetarian — didn’t want his likeness to be in toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals.
Waldmire died of abdominal cancer in 2009.
The book can be ordered for $6, plus postage, by contacting him via e-mail at bill.h.crook(at)gmail(dot)com or by mail at 1821 Cherry Road, Springfield, IL 62704.
(Image of Bob Waldmire via cobalt123 via Flickr)