From Ghosts to Outlaws and maybe a bit of both! Weâ€™ve got the stories told by your favorite Route 66 Roadies
Features & Contents
The Big Palooza Give-Away
Enter to Win a Kindle Fire, and Lots of Other Great Prizes! Legend at the Pump by Rich Dinkela
Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Dave Alexander & Kathy Weiser
A Tale of Two Cities From Glenrio, TX to Endee, NM by Jim Hinckley
Cruzinâ€™ with Kramden
Jessee James - Truth & Legend
Illinois Executive Mansion
by John Springs
by Jim Hinckley
by Joe Sonderman
by Dave Alexander & Kathy Weiser
Dana House - Susan Lawrence Dana Unusual movement? by Dave Alexander & Kathy Weiser
The Springfield Theatre Center
Joe Neville, a Different Kind of Performance
by Rich Dinkela
Outside front cover photo courtesy of Jim Hinckley http://Route66Chronicles.blogspot.com Outside back cover by John Springs John@66TheMotherRoad.com
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How to Reach the ROUTE 66 ASSOCIATIONS California Historic Route 66 Association 16825 S. D St., Victorville, CA 92323 CAHistoricRT66@aol.com http://www.route66ca.org Arizona Route 66 Association PO Box 66, Kingman, AZ 86402 928.753.5001 email@example.com www.azrt66.com New Mexico Route 66 Association 14305 Central Ave. NW Albuquerque, New Mexico 87121 505.831.6317 www.rt66nm.org Old Route 66 Association of Texas PO Box 66 McLean, TX 79057 806.373.7576 or 806.779.2225 www.mockturtlepress.com/Texas Trewblue@centramedia.com Oklahoma Route 66 Association, Inc. PO Box 446 Chandler, OK 74834 www.Oklahomaroute66.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Kansas Historic Route 66 Association PO Box 66 Baxter Springs, KS 66713 620.856.2385 http://www.ixks.com/alynn/index.htm
Route 66 Association of Missouri PO Box 8117 St. Louis, MO 63156 www.missouri66.org Illinois Route 66 Association Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum 110 W. Howard St. Pontiac, IL 61764 email@example.com www.il66assoc.org Canadian Route 66 Association PO Box 81123 Burnaby, BC V5HK2 604.434.1818 firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com www.route66.ca
National Historic Route 66 Federation PO Box 1848, Dept. WS Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352 909.336.6131 www.national66.com
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Images ÂŠ www.rt66pix.com
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HIDDEN BEAUTY OF ROUTE 66 It’s too bad many people who TRAVEL the Mother Road don’t really SEE it. You only get glimpses through a windshield. Photographer Frank Gifford shares three favorite--and very different--stopping points, all featured in individual galleries on his web site, rt66pix.com. CHAIN OF ROCKS BRIDGE NEAR ST. LOUIS MO It’s impossible to explore most major bridges because of traffic. But that’s not a problem here. This 1929 steel veteran that carried Route 66 over the Mississippi is now a hike-andbike trail. You can go out around dawn, get enveloped in a fog bank, have a picnic, and stay all day. Every few steps the view changes...and new photo opportunities present themselves. Here, rusting metal with fading and peeling paint is coated in moisture. This shot captures all that, plus dynamic tension. And this bridge has a 22-degree bend in the middle. Another gallery image shows it barely visible through fog--exactly what drivers encountered for decades. MONTOYA NM If you drive through this near-ghost town at noon, colors are washed out. But a magical transformation takes place every sunrise and sunset. At 4300 feet (1300 m) elevation, the light is like a movie set. This image of a long-abandoned gas station and beer joint is from sunset in January 2012. (Drinking and driving used to be legal on Route 66!) Vandals contributed the bullet holes. A close-up image in the gallery shows one bullet still lodged in the adobe wall. POPS, ARCADIA OK Route 66 is so much more than just an historic road. It’s being reinvented and refreshed every day. Pops opened in 2007 and it’s already an icon. Several gallery images taken inside show sunlight illuminating soda bottles along steeply-pitched windows. And outside there’s the uniquely wonderful 66-foot tall sign. I like to include people in photographs, and these kids were out there jumping. Maybe next trip I’ll finally have dinner at Pops--I’ve always been too busy with photographs that were screaming “Take Me!”
Images © www.rt66pix.com March / April 2012
The Kindle Fire c
And so could any number of wond 66 businesses, and f
Win 1 of 3 motel stays (One night for 2 people) - Globetrotter Motel - Wigwam Motel - Wagon Wheel Motel
4 passes to Meramec Caverns 4 passes to Grand Canyon Caverns
~ Grand Prize ~ A Kindle Fire!
Numerous Gift Packages and Gift Cards
Autographed copies of our Road’s most noted and beloved authors
Autographed CD The Road Crew
Send an email to: Event@66TheMotherRoad.com.
How to enter:
That’s it. You’re entered!
(Your email will NOT be shared or sold). The drawing will be held at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, MO, during Cuba Fest - October 20-21, 2012. Winner need not be present for the drawing. Each email entrant will be assigned a number. Numbers will be drawn and matched to the email. One email per person. Duplicates will be eliminated. All winners will be placed back into the drawing for a chance to win the Kindle Fire.
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Harley & Annabelle Living Legends in Erick, OK
could be yours!
derful items donated by our Route friends of Route 66.
More prizes being added weekly!
Participating Sponsors: www.GlobetrotterLodge.com www.WagonWheel66Cuba.com www.WigwamMotel.com www.AmericasCave.com www.GrandCanyonCaverns.com www.Route66LastStopShop.com www.SeligmanSundries.com http://dolphinecho.com/ http://houseportraitsbypete.com/
www.66RoutePost.com http://harleyandannabelle.blogspot.com/ www.HenrysRoute66.com http://Route66Chronicles.blogspot.com www.McJerry66.com www.66maps.com/home.html www.shelleegraham.com www.66Postcards.com www.roadcrew66.com
Mr. C’s Soda’s Mediocre Music Makers Globetrotter Lodge Croc Lile Wagon Wheel Mote Jim Hinckley Henry’s Rabbit Ranch Wigwam Motel Jerry McClanahan Joe Lesch & The Road Crew Meramec Caverns Jim Ross Grand Canyon Caverns Shellee Graham The Last Stop Shop on Route 66 Joe Sonderman Catamaran Echo, Key West, Florida Historic Seligman Sundries Dolphins, Snorkeling, Champaign sunset cruise House Portraits By Pete
Don’t miss your chance to win! Email now! Event@66TheMotherRoad.com Winners will be notified via email. No substitutions for prizes. No cash exchange in lieu of prizes. No cash refunds for portions of unusued certificates. Room prizes will be subject to the establishments availability. Gift packages will determined by establishments product availability. One email per person; duplicates will be eliminated. We will use all emails to notify participants when each issue of 66 The Mother Road is published. No other correspondence will be issued unless you initiate the exchange. If you choose to opt out, please send an email to info@66TheMotherRoad.com and your email will be removed from the bi-monthy notifications - you will still be entered in the raffle. Transportation to any location is the sole responsibility of the entrant.
March / April 2012
Legend at the Pump By Rich Dinkela
In the midst of the heavy traffic we lovingly refer to as
“Original 66”, lies a small, lonely gas station. This little gem is nestled in tightly between the transition of urban sprawl and modern day congestion on Manchester Road in Kirkwood, Missouri. Trog’s Station is owned and operated by Dick Trog, a fellow that’s been jockeying pumps in this area since he was 11 years old. To be more precise, Dick started in 1951 working for his father, George Trog, who operated several stations within a few blocks of this location. Most knowledgeable roadies know that in 1932, Lindbergh and Kirkwood Road replaced Manchester Road as mainline Route 66. Even though the original alignment lost the designation in 1932, it was labeled Truck 66 for many years, meaning businesses along this stretch still saw their fair share of exposure to travelers moving across the region. Dick Trog operates this old-school style, full-service gas station, employing an approach strikingly reminiscent of how most service stations operated in the 1950’s. The number one distinction between his station and modern day “convenience” stores is he pumps the gasoline for you. Just like in the old days, as you drive up to the station, you hear off in the not-too-far distance the old familiar “DING – DING” from the driveway bell. This summons Dick so he can come out, greet you warmly with a smile and say, “Good Afternoon”. He then asks ‘how can he help you?’ You tell him to “Fill’er up”. His attire is neat and tidy, shirt tucked in, pressed, and as white as snow. “Dick,” embroidered on his name tag completes the uniform. Although his facilities are somewhat dated, they are extremely clean and in good order. It is incredibly evident that old-school methods of offering quality services are well preserved in Mr. Trog’s operations. In addition to full service at the pump, he will also check your oil and tires too. The station is also equipped to do minor repairs, state inspections, and oil changes. Dick Trog owns the property right where the station is located; near where his father had operated two stations of his own. The first was a Texaco located west of Bypass 66 at Lindbergh and Manchester where Lou Fusz Dodge is currently located; the operation was there only briefly from 1950 to 1951. A more modern, larger intersection in the works forced his father to abandon the Texaco and move his business to the second location; a Mobil on the southwest corner of Dickson and Manchester, now serving as a parking lot for a neighboring business.
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This is where Dick first started filling tanks at the age of 11. He recalls pumping lots of fuel into the over-the-road trucks that would come by. He talks about how the readout dials on the old pumps would only go to a limited amount, and then would roll over and start at zero before the tank was full. Dick would write on his hand how many times the dial rolled over in order to keep an accurate tally of how much fuel was dispensed; these old pumps did not have the automatic handles we are used to today. A rock was kept handy to wedge into the pump handle, so he could watch closely to make sure he didn’t make a mess. Dick’s time here at the Mobil Station was only temporary. In 1963, his father moved the operation a final time to where it is now located at 10456 Manchester Road. In 1963, they leased the current station, and then Dick purchased it in 1984 after the property owner died. The original station, complete with one service bay was constructed in 1937. Sometime in the 1950’s the second service bay was added to the building. Phillips 66 leased this site as a 24-hour training center in the 1950’s up until the early 1960’s before the Trogs took over the location. Prim and proper station attendants would flood approaching cars with services such as pumping fuel, checking oil, cleaning windshields, sweeping floors, and anything else the traveler’s automobile required. “It was like watching a bunch of bees,” Dick mentioned while describing the sight. According to Dick, the dinging of the bell at all hours of the day would attract some of the neighbors to come down and get involved in the late night action in the garage. In 1998 Dick was forced to remove the Phillips 66 signs from his establishment. Petroleum companies over the decades became less interested in supporting independent dealers. They are more interested in operating franchised convenience stores. Unfortunately, this circumstance has dealt a heavy blow to small gas stations along Route 66 and other Blue Line Highways. As the trend in consumer spending transcends more to the convenience of using bank or credit cards, business slowly dies off for the independent dealer. He’s not bitter about the withdrawal of the Phillips name on his station. He keeps chugging along against the odds. I asked him if he would be open to getting a classic Phillips sign installed on the remaining pole out in front of his property. He seemed enthusiastic somewhat, but then stated that
he thought the City of Kirkwood probably would not allow it because of current ordinances. Even though the Phillips signs are absent from this small scene of yesterday, you can still find plenty of nostalgia around Trog’s Station. A refrigerated cooler Dick’s father purchased in 1954 is still in use at the station. Plenty of trinkets and photos of yesterday grace the walls both inside the counter area and the service bays. Old hubcaps and parts displays are around. But please bear in mind, this isn’t a museum. Remember, this is still an operable full-service gas station. Imagine for a moment as you are sitting in your car at the pump island with your windows rolled down, and you notice something you haven’t heard in a long time, the whirling and churning of the old gas pump dispensing fuel. This is an authentic old style gas station, probably one of the oldest in operation today on all of Route 66. The opportunity to experience service at an old authentic gas pump is available here. Dick still runs Trog’s Station during normal business hours of 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM during the week and on Saturday 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM, but has been unable to take on larger
tasks that he used to. At the moment, he is recuperating from back surgery, but is still manning that pump island. His services have been offered to motorists since 1951, so why not stop and pay him a visit and say, “fill’er up.” If you decide to purchase fuel or services, he accepts all forms of payment: Cash, Check, or Credit Card. We are all familiar with the likes of people such as Lucille Hammons, Bill Shea, and Russell Soulsby. We get to read about them and visit the exterior carcasses of what was once a thriving operation. I, for one, can appreciate and pay homage to this individual who has made himself available to the traveling public for the last 60 years. An opportunity to experience what is nearly extinct on our Mother Road remains here for the moment at Trog’s Station. 10456 Manchester Rd , Saint Louis , MO 63122 314-822-1560
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Vachel Lindsay Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight Like many historic cities, and especially one that was called home to Abraham Lincoln for years, Springfield, Illinois continues to play host to a number of unearthly spirits.
It is portentous, and a thing of state; that here at midnight in our little town; a mourning figure walks, and will not rest; near the old courthouse pacing up and down.
for the Secret Service.
Over the years, the legends have persisted as tourists and staff members report uncomfortable feelings, phantom footsteps, whispers, muffled The Ghost of Abraham Lincoln voices, and weeping. Along with our former president, Oakridge Cemetery also has reports that While there are a number of spirits who are said the apparitions of a small boy and a mysterious to haunt this historic town, the most famous is woman in a flowing red cape have been seen on that of Abraham Lincoln himself. According to the property. over a century of legends, Abraham Lincoln continues to lurk around his tomb, now a state Lincoln has also been reported to have been historic site in Springfield. seen walking the streets surrounding Springfield’s original courthouse, as well as the hallways of his Sightings of the former president have been former home. Others have reported seeing the told almost since the day his body arrived in ghost of Mary Lincoln at their old home located at Springfield in on May 3, 1865. After lying in state 413 South Eighth Street. Having a long-standing at the capitol for a night, the body was placed reputation as being haunted, reports range from in a receiving vault at Oak Ridge Cemetery. In apparitions of a woman to toys moving of their December Lincoln’s remains were removed to own accord. Most people believe that the house is a temporary vault not far from a new proposed haunted by Mary. Maintained by the national Park memorial site. In 1871, three years after laborers Service today, staff deny any reports of paranormal had begun constructing the permanent tomb, the activity. Today the Lincoln home is the centerpiece body of Lincoln and those of the three youngest of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Restored of his sons were placed in crypts in the to its 1860s appearance, it stands in the midst of a unfinished structure. four block historic neighborhood which the National Park Service also restored. The construction of the permanent tomb lasted for years and it was at this time that the first The most interesting haunting surrounding Lincoln sightings of a spectral Abraham Lincoln were is the phantom funeral train. Said to be seen during reported as he wondered near the crypt. Others the month of April on the anniversary of Lincoln’s death, the ghostly train is said to ride those very would report hearing the sounds of crying and same tracks that bore his body to Springfield in footsteps near the site. 1865. Reports indicate that this ghostly funeral In 1874, upon completion of the memorial, procession is actually two trains, with the first Lincoln’s remains were interred in a marble steam engine pulling several cars draped in black, sarcophagus in the center of a chamber known adorned with black streamers, and playing the as the “catacombs,” or burial room. In 1876, sounds of mournful music. The second train is said however, after several Chicago criminals broke to pull a flatcar that carries Lincoln’s coffin. into the tomb, intending to kidnap the corpse Unfortunately, the train is said to never reach its and hold it for ransom. However, the attempt final destination. failed as one of the men in the gang was a spy Story contributed by Dave Alexander and Kathy Weiser Read more at www.LegendsOfAmerica.com
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A Tale of Two Cities From Glenrio, TX to Endee, NM Straddling the New Mexico and Texas state lines, on the most famous highway in America, there are two fast fading little towns that together encapsulate more than a century of American societal evolution. One was once a prosperous, progressive little farming community, the other a raucous product of the western frontier that never seemed to be able to fully adapt to the modern era. One suffered from an identity crisis of sorts. Sometimes the post office was in Texas and sometimes it was in New Mexico. The other languished in the shadow of its confused neighbor. Even though it was on the Main Street of America, its primary customers seemed to be the neighbors who wandered in from Deaf Smith County, a dry county. The post office in Endee, founded as a supply center for area ranches, including the sprawling ND Ranch established by John and George Day in 1882, opened in 1886. The post office closed in 1955, three years after completion of a realignment of Route 66 that bypassed the community. Resultant of its remote location, Endee retained vestiges of the frontier era well into the early 20th century. The Santa Fe New Mexican, May 2, 1906, reported that with the arrest of John Fife and Tom Darlington in Endee by mounted police, a major cattle-rustling ring had been “broken up.” The Evening Observer, June 30, 1909, reported, “The anti saloon campaign at Endee, N.M. came to a close last night when a band of masked men, mounted and armed, rode their horses through the doors of a saloon and shot up the place until the mirrors and glassware were completely destroyed.” Ranching, the railroad, and traffic on Route 66 after 1926, first on the south side of the tracks, and then later on the north side, served as the economic underpinnings for the community but they proved anemic and the dusty little town withered on the vine like a tomato plant under the broiling summer sun. The population peaked in about 1940 at 100 and in 1946 services available to the traveler, as noted by Jack Rittenhouse in A Guide Book to Highway 66, consisted of a gas station, garage, grocery store, and a “scant” handful of cabins. In the late summer of 1947, the state of New Mexico initiated extensive repair and upgrades to the timber bridges on Route 66 immediately west of town. Today, those sturdy old bridges, and the dusty, empty gravel road that was once the Main Street of America, leave the traveler with a sense of having entered another time. 12
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Glenrio March / April 2012
Endee The tattered, weather worn remnants and ruins among the wind twisted trees that dominate the knoll along the pre 1952 alignment Route of 66 and the old rail bed of the CRI & P railroad stand in mute testimony of better times in Endee. Only a small building next to the ruins of the service station with â€œModern Restroomsâ€? emblazoned on the side offers a comedic interlude to the somber setting. Dependant on the date of the map, Glenrio appears as in either New Mexico or Texas, but it is actually in the latter astride the border in northwestern Deaf Smith County. The origins of this community date to the surveying and division of the surrounding area into farms in 1905 and the establishment of a siding by the Chicago, Rock Island & Gulf Railway, and a depot under the name Rock Island, in 1906. The shipping of agricultural products at reasonable cost made possible with establishment of the depot and rail yard served as the cornerstones for economic development of the progressive little community. During the teens opportunities for diversification of the economic base arrived in the form of dust and mud covered automobiles traveling to points east and west, north and south on the Ozark Trails Highway, a precursor to U.S. 66, and other rutted dirt tracks passed off as highways By the late teens, the business district included the Glenrio Hotel, a land office, hardware store, grocery store, several cafes, and service stations. It even had a weekly newspaper, the Glenrio Tribune published from 1910 to 1934. The droughts of the late 1920s and early 1930s, and the collapse of agricultural prices during this
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period, led to increased dependence of traffic on Route 66 for economic sustenance of the hardy folks who called Glenrio home. Its proximity to the state line led the state of Texas to build a “welcome center” here in the late 1930s, a facility that reportedly appeared in scenes of the 1940 movie, Grapes of Wrath. An article in The Amarillo Daily News, November 15, 1946, about this welcome center provides a snapshot of the inception of the travel boom that began in the post war era. “The State Highway Department’s information bureau located at the Texas-New Mexico line on U.S. 66 at Glenrio furnished 288 cars with maps of Texas and places of interest. Among the cars stopping for information were 65 from California, 25 from Illinois, 11 from Indiana, 24 from Michigan, and 13 from Missouri. Three cars from Canada and one from the Canal Zone also stopped for information.” As it turns out, this was the beginning of the end in Glenrio’s suspension of service, and removal of rails led to the razing of the depot in 1955. With the completion of I-40 in 1975 that resulted in the bypass of Glenrio, the town entered a period of rapid decline. In 2000, the population was five. Glenrio was dead. But as with its Main Street, a road signed with two sixes from Chicago to Santa Monica, that pronouncement proved to be a bit premature. Glenrio, now considered a ghost town, remains as one
Jim Hinckley in Glenrio March / April 2012
of the most popular photographic stops for travelers on Route 66. Seventeen buildings comprising the entire business district of the town, and the four-lane roadbed of Route 66 received recognition of their historic significance with inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The site most often photographed is the Texas Longhorn Motel and Café once promoted with a sign that read “First Stop in Texas” on one side and “Last Stop in Texas” on the other. Before establishing this facility in 1950, Homer and Margaret Ehresman, opened the State Line Bar on the New Mexico side of the state line in 1934. As an interesting historic curiosity, Margaret ran the post office from this location and an early photo shows this building with “Post Office Glenrio N.M.” over the door. In 1946, for reasons unknown, the Ehresman’s relocated their business five miles west to Endee. In 1950, spurred by persistent rumors that Endee was about to be severed from its tenuous life line with a realignment of Route 66, they returned and opened the Longhorn. The majority of remaining structures in Glenrio are from the period 1930 to 1960. In addition to the Texas Longhorn Café and Motel, the Little Juarez Diner built in a manner to imitate the popular Valentine Diner’s, and the adobe constructed service station at the west end of town. While Glenrio basks in its new found notoriety, Endee fades away in obscurity, marooned on a dusty little track where deer and wildlife outnumber passing cars. Just as a century ago, the little New Mexico frontier town continues to languish in the shadow of its Texas neighbor. Photos provided courtesy of Jim Hinckley. Books by this author include: Ghost Towns of Route 66, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Backroads of Arizona, Route 66 Backroads, and The Big Book of Car Culture (bronze medal winner at the International Automotive Media Awards) Books by Jim Hinckley are also available at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon.com, and Hastings Boooks & Music. Visit Jim’s web site to learn how to obtain autographed copies of his books, and to view a list of establishments along the Route where his books may be purchased. http://route66chronicles.blogspot.com/p/ autographed-books-by-jim-hinckley.html
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Route 66, Endee, NM
Route 66 Glenrio, Tx
Endee March / April 2012
By John Springs
s winter turns to spring and my thoughts of holiday/vacation planning begin to germinate, I must confess I’m a bit bummed out. Last year I was able to travel The Mother Road whenever the bank account and Judy said ‘GO’. Now I have a full time job, and share the consternation that author and friend Jim Hinckley experiences – work gets in the way of good living way too much! Still, this summer promises a couple of good little road trips. First, there is The FUN RUN (May 1-4) which starts in Seligman, AZ and heads west to the Colorado River. We’ll be meeting up with Dale Butel and his [Route 66 Tours] tour group from Australia in Williams, AZ and play the weekend by ear. Next on the agenda is the Victorville Route 66 International Festival (August 9-12). As always, people travel from around the world to attend these festivals, and I’m sure this one will be no exception. Rounding out the summer for us will be the 23rd Annual Stater Bros Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino (September 13-16). And if you love classic cars, this is the event to attend! Then, there is a much anticipated trip to Cuba Fest 2012 in Cuba, MO (October 20-21). There are many reasons we chose this as one of our trips this year. The fact that we truly love Cuba and the hometown atmosphere is a major reason. Add the fact that Jim Hinckley will be unveiling his ROUTE 66 ENCYCLOPEDIA. And that Joe Sonderman, Rich Dinkela, and hopefully many more roadies will show up just makes this a ‘can’t miss’ event for us. There are lots of other things happening on the road this year, and we’d attend them all if we could. For a more comprehensive list of events, go to www.66TheMotherRoad.com and click on the Event calendar. If you’d like your event listed, simply email Calendar@66TheMotherRoad.com. We’ll be happy to add it. Our BIG PALOOZA World-Wide Give-Away will take place during Cuba Fest 2012 at The Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba sometime October 20th. We have a good head start in collecting items to be given away – see pages 6 and 7 in this issue for details of the entire BIG PALOOZA Give-Away, including links to all who have donated prizes. The list continues to grow as word gets out and I call businesses on The Road. Emails will be collected solely for distribution of the magazine. The only email people will receive from us will be every other month when the new issue of the magazine is uploaded. We will neither sell nor share email addresses, and you can opt out simply enough. The BIG PALOOZA Give-Away also offers exposure to businesses that donate a prize, no matter how big or small via a hyper-link to their site from the magazine. Businesses can reach me at John@66themotherroad.com for details or to donate. The grand prize will be a Kindle Fire!!! Stay tuned for more updates. Check our Facebook page at 66TheMotherRoad (all one word) for regular updates. We are also VERY proud to announce that our magazine is being read in 67 countries now and that page views are better than we ever could have expected – even though we did not know what to expect. THANK YOU for your continued support!!
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From the s r e t t o l B e Crim Syracuse Herald, January 29, 1928 – dateline Wildorado, TX – “Wildorado, Texas, the most plundered town in the United States has an itching trigger finger. The Wildorado State Bank has been robbed eight times in the last three years and the general store next door has been visited by bandits so frequently that its proprietors have lost count of the number of times they have looked down revolver muzzles. Mrs. W.E. O’Neal, wife of the Wildorado State Bank president, acts as cashier of the institution and has been on the ground during most of the holdups. Mrs. O’Neal is the woman who crossed swords with Jose Alvardo, famous gunman and state officer of Oklahoma, whom Governor Johnson recently took under his wing but who was found guilty of robbery since then and sentenced to eight years in the penitentiary. Mrs. O’Neal identified Alvardo as the bandit who called her “sister” when the Wildorado bank was robbed last spring and who again warned, “Be careful what you say, sister” when she appeared at Alvardo’s requisition hearing in Oklahoma City. The last robbery of the bank occurred when two youths armed to the teeth entered the building. Sharp-shooting citizens of the town had gathered quickly and captured one of the bandits. They were forced to release him, however, when his partner threatened to kill O’Neal, the bank president. The bandits got only $100 in cash, all the bank dares keep on hand at one time. One of the men participating in the attempted capture of these bandits was the night watchman who killed one robber and wounded another in a recent gun battle during an attempt to rob the Wildorado Grain and Mercantile store. “How does it feel to be stuck up?” Mrs. O’Neal was asked after the last bit of banditry. “It has happened so many times we are getting used to it,” he replied.”
The Hutchinson News, March 13, 1923 – dateline Wichita – “Basil Quilliam, Wichita grocer, who is said by local police to be a member of the Edie Adams notorious bandit gang, pleaded guilty in federal court here today to charge of conspiracy to rob the Rose Hill State Bank, Butler County, Kansas, November 10, 1921. Quilliam was arrested several weeks ago here and detectives found $19,000 in liberty bonds in his possession, they stated, which Quilliam said today was part of Halltown, MO. Bank robbery.”
U.P- August, 1954 – “William Jack Faulkner, 25, an admitted ex-convict wanted by Chicago authorities in connection with the murder of Frank Randolph, July 22, has been arraigned before the U.S. Commissioner here (Flagstaff, Arizona) and was held in jail today. The suspect, after arraignment, was turned over to postal authorities charged with passing and attempting to pass a stolen postal money order. Winslow Chief of Police, Andrew C. Jones said he had taken the prisoner from Winslow jail to Flagstaff for the arraignment, and on return had received a telegram from the chief of detectives in Chicago that a warrant for Faulkner’s arrest on murder charges had been air mailed to Jones. Jones said he would forward it to Flagstaff Postal Inspector Leo Lampert. Faulkner, who was pursued through two counties by nearly 30 officers in a wild three hour chase along U.S. Route 66 Tuesday night, meekly surrendered to officers at a roadblock.”
United Press – “An automobile crash at Jericho, Texas has killed a Waterbury, Conn. Couple. The victims were identified as Salvatore Stefanelli and his wife, Lucy of 2518 East Main Street. Their car and a truck collided on Route 66.”
Articles provided from the archives of Jim Hinckley.
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This album (first in a series) includes 21 new heartfelt country songs written about Route 66. Sung by Jess McEntire, along with Special Guest, Loretta Lynn, and a duet with Danny Shirley of “Confederate Railroad.” Purchase this CD and help fund more billboards to raise awareness and promote tourism on Route 66.
Visit www.MotherRoadMusic.com to find out how you can win a custom, personalized Loretta Lynn signature guitar.
“I am proud to announce that ProjectRoute66.com, Inc., and The Route 66 Chamber Of Commerce have teamed up to place our first billboard promoting tourism on Route 66 in Hurricane Mills,Tn., home of the country music legend Loretta Lynn. The billboard is located at exit 143 off I-40 half way between Memphis and Nashville next to the Pilot Truck Stop.” Bill Hamilton
March / April 2012
Truth and Legend
have produced the real Jesse in person!
By Joe Sonderman
ruth and legend mix freely in the Missouri Ozarks, where brutal outlaw Jesse James was romanticized by some as a kind of Robin Hood, forced into a life of crime by the treacherous Yankees. Rumors persist to this day that that “Dirty Little Coward” Robert Ford did not kill James in 1882 as the outlaw straightened a picture at his home in St. Joseph. Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Missouri claims to have once been a James Gang hideout, and the cavern’s owner once claimed to
Along Old Route 66 and Interstate 44 the billboards and barns urge travelers to “See Jesse James Hideout” at Meramec Caverns, a mixture of tourist trap and natural wonder since Lester Dill took opened it as a show cave in 1933. Dill was a promotional genius, credited with inventing the bumper sticker. With no time to build an entrance before opening day, Dill billed the Caverns as the “World’s Only Drive-In Cave.” During the Cold War era, he promoted the caverns as the world’s largest atomic bomb shelter. Guests were given a card allowing admission if the bombs fell! But those stunts paled in comparison to the time he brought “Jesse James” to the cave. During the Civil War, the caverns were known as Salt Petre Cave. “Saltpeter” or potassium nitrate, was a critical component in gunpowder and obtained from bat droppings. The Union set up a saltpeter plant in the cave, which was destroyed by William Quantrill’s rebel raiders. Jesse James did ride with the brutal Quantrill, and the legend says he became familiar with the cave at that time. We now flash forward to the 1940s, when Dill discovered some rusty relics in the cave. He quickly claimed the rusty old strongboxes and other artifacts could be linked to the notorious outlaw. Dill promoted a story that James once used a secret passage hand underground river to escape a posse after a train robbery at Gads Hill, Missouri in 1874. Dill said a formation with a flat top was “Loot Rock,” where the gang divided their ill-gotten gains.
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By 1948, Dill’s son-in-law, Rudy Turilli had taken over promotion of the cave. He read with excitement as the newspapers trumpeted that a 102-year-old Lawton, Oklahoma man using the name J. Frank Dalton claimed he was the famous bad man. Dalton said the man killed on that day in April, 1882 was actually two-bit outlaw Charlie Bigelow. Sensing a publicity gold mine, Turilli rushed to bring Dalton to Meramec Caverns, where he would spend the next two years. Dalton showed old wounds he claimed verified that he was Jesse James and told tale after tale from the outlaw’s life, with varying degrees of accuracy. Turilli paraded a string of elderly men, some of whom were old gang members, who backed the story. On March 10, 1950, Turilli brought J. Frank Dalton to the Franklin County, Missouri courthouse petitioning to have the alleged outlaw’s name changed to Jesse Woodson James. Meramec Caverns was in the headlines around the world. Dalton snapped at photographers and an old six shooter was placed in his feeble hands. The judge ruled that if Dalton was Jesse James, he had never changed his name to begin with. He added, “If he is Jesse James, what he claims to be, then my suggestion would be that he retreat to his rendezvous and ask the good God above to forgive him.” Dalton left Stanton shortly afterwards and died in 1951 at Granbury, Texas three weeks shy of his 104th birthday. But Rudy Turilli wasn’t finished. In 1964, he opened the “Jesse James Museum” on Route 66 at Stanton, showcasing wax figures, photos and artifacts to present his March / April 2012
case to tourists just before they were directed to the well stocked gift shop. In 1967, he published a book outlining his “evidence” and pledging $10,000 to anyone who could prove that J. Frank Dalton was not the real Jesse James. After he repeated the offer on national television, the daughter-in-law of Jesse James came forward. Stella James produced family records she said proved otherwise. She sued when Turilli refused to pay up. The case was heard once again at Union, Missouri in 1971. The jury ordered Turilli to pay the $10,000. In 1995, the legends were supposedly laid to rest when the body buried under the name Jesse James in a Kearney, Missouri cemetery was exhumed. DNA evidence pointed to a 99.7% probability that the body was that of Jesse James. That didn’t satisfy everyone. A used car salesman and James enthusiast named Bud Hardcastle won a court order to exhume Dalton’s remains, but the wrong body was removed! Rudy Turilli’s grandson, Les Turilli now runs Meramec Caverns and about 150,000 people tour the cave each year. Every one hears straight faced guides freely mix truth and legend about Jesse James.
Story and photos contributed by Joe Sonderman. Please visit his website at www.66postcards.com.
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Donate $25.00 and receive a Take A Trip On Route 66 Wristband and a chance to win a Custom Limited Edition Route 66 Electric Guitar signed by Loretta Lynn... Drawing will be held May 12th 2012 - winner will be posted on www.MotherRoadMusic.com. This custom guitar is 100% hand made in the USA. This is one of ten guitars in the shape of the Route 66 Sign and proudly display the map of the 8 states on the back. Profits from donations will be donated to the non-profit organization Project Route 66.Com, Inc. to help fund a billboard in Nashville,Tn. promoting tourism on Route 66 - Help Preserve A Part Of Our American History! For complete details, please visit www.MotherRoadMusic.com
* Deadline to enter is May 1st 2012 (Must be 18 years or older to win)
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Illinois Executive Mansion even Presidents, including Lincoln, have S been received here. Three levels are open to the public including four formal parlors; a state dining room; ballroom; four bedrooms, including the Lincoln bedroom; and a library handcrafted from Native American Black Walnut. Built in 1855, this is the third oldest continuously occupied Governor’s Mansion in the country, having served as the official residence of Illinois’ Governors and their families since Governor Joel Matteson first took up residence. Over the years, the magnificent home has been witness to many of the major events in the state’s history, none so trying perhaps as the Civil War. During the Civil War, the mansion was called home to Governor Richard Yates and his family. Today, the mansion is said to continue to play host to Yates’ wife, Catherine. Mrs. Yates allegedly makes her presence known in a variety of ways, including tampering with electronics and smoke alarms. The upstairs bedroom where her portrait hangs is said to be the most active room in the house. On one occasion Mrs. Yates was credited with trapping an Illinois State Trooper in an elevator for four hours. The Illinois Executive Mansion is open to the public during certain hours and days of the week. Three levels can be viewed which include four formal parlors, a state dining room, ballroom, the library, and four bedrooms, including the Lincoln bedroom. The mansion is located at 5th and Jackson.
Story contributed by Dave Alexander and Kathy Weiser of Legends of America. Please visit their website to read more. www.LegendsofAmerica.com
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GHOST TOWNS of ROUTE 66 By Jim Hinckley Photography by Kerrick James
ISBN-13: 978-0-7603-3843-8 Hardcover • 160 pages 151 color & 21 b/w photos, 1 map $25.00 US • $28.00 CAN
Explore the beauty and nostalgia of these abandoned communities along America’s favorite highway! Ghost towns lie all along the Mother Road. The quintessential boom-and-bust highway of the American West, Route 66 once hosted a thriving array of boom towns built around oil mines, railroad stops, cattle ranches, resorts, stagecoach stops, and gold mines. Join Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley as he tours more than 25 ghost towns, rich in stories and history, complemented by gorgeous sepia-tone and color photography by Kerrick James. Also includes directions and travel tips for your ghost-town explorations along Route 66!
For trade sales, please contact: Brenda Lunsman, Sales Representative firstname.lastname@example.org • 612-344-8179
You can find Ghost Towns of Route 66 and our other Jim Hinckley books in fine bookstores, online booksellers, or www.voyageurpress.com.
To order a signed copy of Ghost Towns of Route 66, please e-mail Jim Hinckley: JimHinckley@Yahoo.com email@example.com
Voyageur Press is an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group • 400 First Ave. N., Suite 300 • Minneapolis, MN 55401
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Dana House and constructed by renowned architect, Designed Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902, this house is reported to still play host to its original owner. Designed for Springfield socialite, Susan Lawrence Dana, she was said to have thrown lavish parties in her home as well as being a major contributor and volunteer to charitable causes in the city. Shortly after the home was finished, several family deaths caused Dana to turn to metaphysical and mystical religious groups for comfort. Before long, she became one of the city’s leaders in the Spiritualist movement that swept across American around the turn of the century. Her parties took a different turn with her involvement in the movement and soon her home became a Spiritualist center where séances were common and large parties of occultists gathered.
Springfield Theatre Center 1951, the SpringBuiltfieldinTheatre Center hosted performances at 101 East Lawrence through 2004 when they relocated to the Hoogland Center for the Arts in downtown Springfield. In addition to numerous wonderful performances throughout the years, the place is said to have been haunted for most of its existence. On May 13, 1955, an actor Named Joe Neville left the theater after a dress rehearsal then committed suicide once he returned home. Apparently, during an audit at the company where he worked, it was found that substantial funds had been misappropriated and a fellow employee fingered Joe. Said to have been an eccentric and unfriendly fellow, he loved the theater and at the time he killed himself, he was scheduled to play his first lead role. After his death, the theater group simply replaced him and the show went on.
Finally, when a cousin who had lived with her for many years died, Susan was left alone in her Wright-designed house. A short time later, about 1928, Susan moved to more modest, less costly quarters. Declared incompetent by the courts in 1942, she was admitted to a local hospital, where she died in 1946. Her personal effects were inventoried in 1942 and auctioned at a public sale in July 1943. Her Frank Lloyd Wright House was sold the following year. Maintained today by the State of Illinois, management denies any paranormal activity. However, there have been dozens of reports by other staff and visitors of object which move of their own accord and the sounds of unseen people speaking in different parts of the house. The Dana House is located at 301 East Lawrence in Springfield, Illinois.
Dana House and Springfield Theatre Center courtesy of Dave Alexander & Kathy Weiser. To read more, go to www.LegendsOfAmerica.com
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But, apparently, that wasn’t the end of Joe. Returning to the theater after his death, his disposition evidently was as nasty as ever. Almost immediately strange and inexplicable events began to occur. While some of these are seemingly harmless, such as lights turning on and off on their own, doors opened by unseen hands, and several who have reportedly seen Joe’s filmy apparition; other antics of Joe’s are down right dangerous. On one occasion when two men were building a set, one of the men voiced his skepticism about the ghost. The next thing they knew, the saw started up by itself, several sheets of plywood fell to the floor, and a standing ladder was seemingly pushed over by unseen hands. The tampering with stage sets is the most often occurrence, but other smaller happenings occur such as items moving of their own accord, missing costumes, and the permeating smell of Noxzema wafting through the air, despite the fact that the cream was long ago banned in the theater. On one occasion a girl reported having her hand held by an invisible escort while she was crossing a room. The Springfield Theatre Center continues performances at their new home in the Hoogland Center for the Arts after leaving the building on East Lawrence in 2004.
www.Route66Tours.com.au dbutel@Route66Tours.com.au March / April 2012
See How They Roll! By Rich Dinkela
Triumph, Honda, Suzuki, Harley Davidson, and Kawasaki. All of these are major manufacturers in the world of motorcycles today. Let’s not forget about some the lesser known brands or manufacturers no longer in production such as Maico, Ducati, Vincent, BSA, Moto Guzzi, and Munch. All of these and more from around the world have been corralled into a common arena known as Kiernan Cycles and the Kickstart Café located on Route 66 in the city of St. Louis. Kiernan Cycles is a newer breed of businesses on Route 66 located just several blocks west from the famed Eat-Rite Diner in St. Louis, MO. The attraction within the facility is that everything is unique or vintage, and everything is available for purchase. Anyone touring Route 66 can find something that captures the heart at Michael Kiernan’s shop. A first time visit to the shop will leave you dragging your jaw in amazement when you see the rare and nostalgic items stacked from floor to ceiling. There’s a menagerie of classic motorcycles from around the world, foreign and domestic cars and advertising. A retro clad diner inside the main showroom serves fresh, hand-crafted gourmet coffee. And, as if that wasn’t enough to captivate your interests, there’s even a bi-plane suspended in a flight- like stance looming large from the ceiling. You’ll always see something new or appealing because items are sold from a revolving inventory of consignments. The shop’s owner, Michael Kiernan has been stateside for the last 20 years. Originally from Sydney Australia, the passion Michael has for his products and patrons is demonstrated in nearly anything you
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can see or touch. He holds a special zeal for European bikes and automobiles, and his crew offers a full-service shop for repairs, restoration, or customization. Michael has also held bike shows, movie nights, and even weddings at his facility. You don’t have to be a motorcycle enthusiast to appreciate what awaits you here. If you find enjoyment in unique or vintage items varied from transportation and old advertising you will find making a stop here is well worth your time. After all, you can grab a great cup of Mississippi Mud coffee that is created right here in St. Louis. I can’t stress enough that this is not your stereotypical “biker hangout” full of gruff characters and outlaws. In fact Michael has created sort of a motorcycle boutique dedicated to people all over the world that have a fascination for transportation in general. If you are looking for souvenirs or merchandise they offer shirts, hats, postcards, and photos in the Kickstart Café. If you take a liking to any of the quality consignments and decide to purchase, Kiernan’s can ship your item anywhere in the world.
Michael is hosting a Motorcycle Show on April 14th, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Michael invites everyone to come out. Kiernan’s Cycles and the Kickstart Café are located at 3537 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, MO, 63103. Phone number is 314-772-5758. www.MichaelsMotorcycles.com
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Crawford County Historical Society & Museum Cuba, Missouri
An extensive collection housed on 3 floors
Enjoy talks on the Underground Railroad, Civil War, American Indians and much more!
Geneology information from 1829-1960
Make Arrangements for a customized tour
Admission Free - Donations Gladly Accepted www.CrawfordCountyMOHistory.org
308 N. Smith Cuba, MO 65453
Check the website for current hours
Call for Tours 573.885.6099
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This album (first in a series) includes 21 new heartfelt country songs written about Route 66. Sung by Jess McEntire, along with Special Guest, Loretta Lynn, and a duet with Danny Shirley of â€œConfederate Railroad.â€? Purchase this CD and help fund more billboards to raise awareness and promote tourism on Route 66.
www.WigwamMotel.com WigwamMotel@GMail.com March / April 2012
Chandler, Oklahoma 1920â€™s Gas Station Remnant The rear of the Station was used to hide counterfeit money and the people that printed it.