Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on Route 66 in Tulsa threw the switch on its new neon signs Wednesday evening during an event broadcast live on the internet because of the coronavirus pandemic.
About 300 people tuned in on Facebook Live to watch the ceremony, which included honky-tonk music from Jacob Tovar and a documentary about the making of the signs. Tulsa remains under a safer-at-home order because of the virus.
The video broadcast can be seen below. The documentary begins with about 44 minutes left in the broadcast. The lighting of the neon occurs with about 11 minutes left.
Here’s a photo from the Tulsa Route 66 Commission after the sign was lighted:
Here’s another by Buck and Angel:
Another by Danny O’Connor, owner of the Outsiders House Museum in Tulsa:
And from Buck Atom’s itself:
The event included a short speech from Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who also heads the tourism office for Oklahoma, and master of ceremonies and Buck Atom’s owner Mary Beth Babcock.
Michael Wallis, author of “Route 66: The Mother Road” and the voice of the Sheriff of Radiator Springs in the 2006 animated hit “Cars,” passed along this quote for the event:
“The Mother Road Signs — especially neon signs — are the language of Route 66. They are glowing symbols of who we were and who we are. They connect travelers to their journey. Starting with the birth of the highway in the 1920s, dazzling neon has always been the beacon showing us the way. The siren glow of candy-colored bands of neon lures us off the road and helps find where to eat, sleep, shop, and gas up. Neon illuminates history by telling us stories. Thankfully, neon signage has been rediscovered and is making a comeback in Tulsa and up and down the timeworn lanes of Route 66. Just like Mother Road, neon is forever.”
Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66 made a big splash last spring when it commissioned and dedicated a new Muffler Man statue in the shape of a space cowboy, aka Buck Atom.