The Oklahoma Route 66 Association a few days ago sent out an email asking for nominations — one living and one deceased — for the upcoming Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame inductions, held every two years.
The Hall of Fame ceremony will be June 20 at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton.
Here is the information needed for Hall of Fame nominations:
- Full name of the nominee (state if living or deceased);
- Biography of the nominee (nominee must live or have lived in Oklahoma);
- Nominee’s contributions to Route 66;
- The reason you feel this nominee deserves this award;
- Be prepared to furnish a portrait-style picture of the nominee;
- More than one person may be nominated;
- Include name, address, and phone number in case the judges need clarification on information submitted.
The deadline for nominations is April 15. The association is asking for nominations to be mailed to its office at P.O. Box 446 Chandler, OK 74834 or email to [email protected]
Past inductees are Michael Wallis, Don Mullenix, Jack and Gladys Cutberth, Lucille Hamons, Kent Ruth, Jim Ross, Cyrus Avery, Dr. Walter Mason, Wanda Queenan, Lyle Overman, Kathy Anderson, Luther Robison, Marion Davidson, Lucy Stansberry, J.M. Davis, Marian Clark, Melvena Heisch, Laurel Kane, Hugh and Zelta Davis, and Blaine Davis.
Nominees that immediately came to mind were Dawn Welch, longtime owner of the Rock Cafe in Stroud; and artist and researcher Jerry McClanahan, who resided in Texas but set up a shop and welcome center in Chandler about a dozen years ago.
But the nominees that came to mind the other day were Harley and Annabelle Russell of Erick. They entertained Route 66 travelers as the Mediocre Music Makers at their Sandhills Curiosity Shop in Erick for at least 10 years until Annabelle died of cancer in 2014. Harley has carried on as a solo act but has publicly stated he may retire soon.
The nomination of Harley & Annabelle would satisfy the requirements of having both a living and deceased nominee, and inducting both at the same time would seem appropriate.
The Russells were terrific ambassadors of Route 66 and Oklahoma, and many travelers have said meeting them was a highlight — if not THE highlight — of their journey on the Mother Road.
What do you think? It’s a suggestion, and I wouldn’t object if someone else picks up the ball and runs with this idea.
(Image of Harley and Annabelle Russell in Erick, Oklahoma, via Facebook)