The New Mexico Route 66 Association will mark its 30th birthday from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Enchanted Trails RV Park and Trading Post in west Albuquerque.
The association will provide pizza, salad and soft drinks as part of the celebration. All are welcome, and one also can bring desserts to share.
The New Mexico group isn’t the oldest state Route 66 association. That honor goes to Arizona, which started in 1987. A whole bunch followed in 1989, including New Mexico, Illinois, Oklahoma and Missouri.
Longtime New Mexico Route 66 Association member Alan Carlson sent me some items from the association’s early days. Bob Audette, who died in 2012 at age 85, was a key member of getting the association going in New Mexico.
In 2006, Audette received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a previously “unsung hero” for Route 66 advocacy at the annual Will Rogers Awards Evening.
A 2006 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Audette:
“I’ve got a poem, if I could remember it, it goes something like this:“‘Route 66 is like being part of the countryside and it should always be forever saved and signed for you and all to see.’
“I’m not a poet, but I just happened to write that one.”
And here’s a flier from 1988 that advertised Route 66 gatherings in Tijeras, New Mexico, that served as a precursor of the association. The flier was designed by Ross Ward, the builder of Tinkertown.
The association will have its regular meeting at Enchanted Trails from 10 a.m. to noon. Saturday. Members and non-members are welcome.
That’s when the association will elect a new president. Melissa Lea Beasley’s three-year term is ending, and she’s moving to Arizona. But she will remain as president through November, when elections are held.
(Images courtesy of Alan Carlson)