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A 21st century perspective on an old friend

What a Summer Celebration! Photos from the Route 66 International, 2012 Victorville festival inside!

Entry deadline quickly approaching! Check inside to see how you might win one of many wonderful prizes! Drawing to be held at Cuba Fest 2012,


October 20-21, 2012 You don’t want to miss this!

September / October 2012



fEST! A B U c 21 AT 0 2 ER out! oCTOB s s G i N I m W t ’ A dR - Don


Enter N

Check out Pages 6-7 to find out how you can win a Kindle Fire and many other wonderful prizes - including a Gift Basket from Kingman, AZ you have to see to believe (Page 8)!


That’s The Highway, Part 2 by Cort Stevens


New Feature Real Estate Lisings


Route 66 Victorville International Festival Photos


About Town The Sunflower State by Jim Hinckley


Detour by Jim Hinckley


The Fabric of the Road DePew, OK by Frank Gifford


July / August 2012


January / February March/ April May/ June


Materials Due

December 4 December 11

February 8 February 15

April 10 April 17

CONTACT US Judy Springs Publisher John Springs Advertising Manager 760.834.1495 Beverly Maxfield Contributing Editor/Copy Writer

Please note: When submitting materials to this magazine for publication, it is understood and agreed you have full legal rights to its content. In the event any litigation ensues, advertiser agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Magazine from all claims (whether valid or invalid), sits, judgements, proceedings, losses, damages, costs and expenses, of any nature whatsoever (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) for which the Magazine may become liable by reason of Magazine’s publication of Advertiser’s advertising.

How to Reach the ROUTE 66 ASSOCIATIONS California Historic Route 66 Association 16825 S. D St., Victorville, CA 92323 Arizona Route 66 Association PO Box 66, Kingman, AZ 86402 928.753.5001 New Mexico Route 66 Association 14305 Central Ave. NW Albuquerque, New Mexico 87121 505.831.6317 Old Route 66 Association of Texas PO Box 66 McLean, TX 79057 806.373.7576 or 806.779.2225 Oklahoma Route 66 Association, Inc. PO Box 446 Chandler, OK 74834 or Kansas Historic Route 66 Association PO Box 66 Baxter Springs, KS 66713 620.856.2385 Route 66 Association of Missouri PO Box 8117 St. Louis, MO 63156 Illinois Route 66 Association Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum 110 W. Howard St. Pontiac, IL 61764 Canadian Route 66 Association PO Box 81123 Burnaby, BC V5HK2 604.434.1818, or National Historic Route 66 Federation PO Box 1848, Dept. WS Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352 909.336.6131

July / August 2012


Unique Road . . . Unique Tees

Images Š


July / August 2012

Life is a Blur on Route 66 The Mother Road is better with the windows down - or perhaps, no windows at all. Photographer Frank Gifford has added a new gallery to with more than 100 Mother Road images that celebrate the open road through artistic blur.

The Joy Ride

Grandpa’s 60 year old Ford is the coolest thing around for these young guys! Those old cars were so different and so much more interesting. You can really hear the engine and muffler, too, with the windows rolled down ... especially when grandpa takes off! For one weekend night, they are young superheros starring in their own action movie. The adults are merely spectators. Look at them just standing around gawking!

Motorcycle Cruise The Turnpike gets the trucks - and Route 66 gets the motorcycles. That works out just fine for everybody! This couple is westbound into a June sunset northeast of Oklahoma City on a stretch that has an extremely high ration of bikes to cars. Panning the camera to follow this couple at 55 mph (90 km) produced the artistic blur in the trees. Lots of shots didn’t work, but this one did!

Crusin’ 66 Style Question: Veronica or Betty? Answer: YES! They’d both love to cruise in your unique retro-ride without windows or a roof, and just a little bitty chopped windshield. You can barely hear each other over the wind and muffler noise, but you’re sitting so close together it doesn’t matter. Friday night in a small town is a time for crusing. You’re young, full of promise and life is good. Then, tomorrow you and your friends are going to a big car show in Route 66 downtown! All three images were taken this past year in Springfield, IL, Luther, OK, and Sapulpa, OK, respectively. They’re in a gallery on called “Cruisin’ 66-Style.”

Images © July / August 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:

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.


July / August 2012

Harley & Annabelle Living Legends in Erick, OK

could be yours!

derful items donated by our Route friends of Route 66.








Participating Sponsors:

Check out Page 8 to see what’s included in the Gift Basket donated by the town of Kingman, Arizona to the Big Palooza Give-Away! 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 Roger Naylor Grand Canyon Caverns Shellee Graham Frank Gifford The Last Stop Shop on Route 66 Joe Sonderman Catamaran Echo, Key West, Florida Historic Seligman Sudries Dolphins, Snorkeling, Champaign sunset cruise House Portraits By Pete

Don’t miss your chance to win! Email now!

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 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.

July / August 2012


An expense-paid weekend in Kingman, AZ and souvenirs from your wonderful stay to take home!* From its inception the foundational precept of 66 The Mother Road was to provide the places that make Route 66 the last bastion of mom and pop enterprise with an international marketing platform. Development of the Big Palooza contest took this ideal to a new level as it blends promotion for the small businesses and attractions along the legendary highway with an opportunity for fans of the double six to experience the best these places have to offer. Through the dedicated efforts of Carol Young and Kristi Turman the City of Kingman saw in the contest an opportunity to introduce the world to the most overlooked destination on Route 66, to share a few of the places that make it special, and to welcome visitors with hospitality and a big smile. The resultant prize package ensures the lucky winner will have an expense paid weekend in Kingman as well as souvenirs to remember their stay. The basket includes: two nights lodging at the historic El Trovatore Motel, free passes for four to all of the museums in Kingman, two $20.00 certificates from Dora’s Beale Street Deli, a $50.00 certificate from the world famous Dambar, and a $30.00 gift card from Sonic. Other prizes include two bottles of wine fro Desert D’ Oro Winery, a gift certificate from Calico’s Restaurants, a Kingman turquoise necklace, a framed print from award winning photographer J.C. Amberlyn, a pound of coffee and gift certificate from Beale Street Brews, coffee mugs, post cards, and other souvenirs. Do you need another reason to register for the Big Palooza? Is there a community that would like to take the Kingman challenge and offer visitors a free weekend? *Wine included in the gift basket - Must be 21 to win this prize, and shipping address must be within the Continental US.

Send an email to: and these wonderful prizes might be yours!


July / August 2012

July / August 2012


El Trovatore


Out with the old, in with the new!

Now open featuring newly re-decorated theme rooms! Kingman, AZ was home to Andy Devine whose namesake El Trovatore is located on - Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66). Notable icons such as Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean were all guests in the past. Staying here gives the guest the ultimate route 66 experience, including the recently restored historic 100 foot high neon tower sign and neon marqee lit nightly.

Photos courtesy of Jim Hinckley. Post Card courtesy Joe Sonderman.

El Trovatore Motel Sam & Monica Frisher, Owners 1440 E. Andy Devine Avenue Kingman, AZ 86401 928-753-6520 Read more as seen in Route 66 News:, and Jim Hinckley’s blog: 10

July / August 2012

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 • 612-344-8179

You can find Ghost Towns of Route 66 and our other Jim Hinckley books in fine bookstores, online booksellers, or

To order a signed copy of Ghost Towns of Route 66, please e-mail Jim Hinckley:

Voyageur Press is an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group • 400 First Ave. N., Suite 300 • Minneapolis, MN 55401

July / August 2012


Part 2 in a continuing series

interest of the family, but he supported his older siblings in the decision.


A couple weeks after the service, the oldest sibling started the long process of sorting through his Mom’s things in the house. One day, he grabbed a box, placed it in the Caprice, and drove to the business. He knew volunteers from the state Route 66 association would be there that day, so he figured he’d have some time to go through the contents of the box. When he arrived at the business, the volunteers were there … already greeting some visitors.

The service for their Mom was well-attended, as they expected. The state museum’s auditorium served as the backdrop, and people agreed that it worked well and was appropriate for the life being celebrated. Even after the service was done, people lingered for a few hours … conversing and reminiscing. A few days after the service, the oldest son decided to keep the business … for now. He took it off the market, and told the state Route 66 association that he would accept their assistance in running the business for a while. His sister adjusted her schedule to help out 3 days per week, more than her older brother thought she would. The youngest sibling, however, returned to Nashville and his job at WSM. He still wasn’t convinced that keeping the business was in the best 12

July / August 2012

He left the box in the Caprice and went to chat with the visitors. After they left, he retrieved the box from the Caprice, went into his office, and closed the door. As he started pulling things from the box, he came across an envelope. Curious, he turned the envelope over and found the words “PLEASE READ” written in his Mom’s handwriting. He opened the envelope, pulled out a letter

and started reading. “To my oldest son,” the letter began. “If you’re reading this, I’m guessing I’m dead, though if I am, I don’t know how long I’ve been gone. Maybe a few days, maybe a few weeks, months or even years. But, somehow, I don’t think too much time has transpired because I know you’ll want to start going through all of the stuff I’ve saved over the years, including this box. Which, of course, is why I’ve addressed this letter to you.” At this point, he paused and looked up from the letter. He glanced around his office … the very one that his father had occupied for so many years. The very office where so many decisions were made. The very office where so many Route 66 travelers and enthusiasts had stopped in for a “quick” chat. He returned to the letter. “I know that my death will force you to decide whether or not to keep the business. I think you already know my feelings on this, but I wanted to let you know that whatever you decide will be OK. Perhaps you’ve already sold it, but if you haven’t, I do hope you will keep it. Yes, the business was your father’s dream, and yes, I wasn’t too thrilled about it. But, I knew it was a love of his … and I wanted him to be happy. Turns out, though, it was my dream, too. And, I have a hunch that it is your dream, too, whether or not you admit it, much like myself.” He chuckled. He knew his Mom was correct. He continued reading: “Do you remember when they poured the concrete and we brought you with us? You kept wanting to touch that concrete. But, while I secretly wanted you to put your mark in it, I knew your father wanted the sidewalk to be pristine to welcome

people. So, I kept telling you to keep away from it.” Ah, yes, how well he remembered that. The letter continued: “Route 66 is not about the places or things alongside its pavement. The people make Route 66 what it is. Remember that, and the loss of landmarks along Route 66 will not be as painful as you might think.” His mother had written more, but he couldn’t read more right now. He re-folded the letter, placed it in the envelope, and placed the envelope on the desk. He glanced around the office again and picked up the phone. ‘A couple of quick calls,’ he thought, ‘and I’ll be able to do it.’ AN IDEA “Sure … I can be at the business a bit more for 2 weeks,” his sister replied to her brother’s query. “But, where will you be?” He wanted to tell her what he was planning, but he didn’t want to jinx it. Instead, he avoided her question. “Good. The volunteers from the state Route 66 Association are willing to help, so you won’t be there all by yourself, and I know they will be able to watch the place if you need to be somewhere else any given day.” “OK….” His sister’s voice trailed off. She wanted to ask her question again, but she knew from the tone of his voice, her brother was not going to tell her where he was going - at least not right now. Though, she had a hunch what he wanted to do. “Cool,” he said. “I will be in touch when I know more. Everything OK for you all?” “Yes,” she answered, glancing at her watch. “But, I have to go pick up the kids right now. I will talk to you later, OK?” “Sounds good,” he said. They both hung up. While she frantically prepared to go pick up the kids, her brother sat back in the desk chair in the Continued on Page 14

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business’s office and sighed. He glanced at the envelope on the desk, but wasn’t in the mood right now to read the rest of his Mom’s letter. Instead, he glanced around the office again, stood up and walked out to the main room of the business where the volunteers were talking with some visitors. He listened intently as the visitors recounted what they had seen so far along Route 66. He was amazed at their enthusiasm and knowledge, and told them so. They, of course, knew of his parents, and offered their condolences on the recent death of his Mom. He thanked them and quickly reminded them that “life goes on”, as does Route 66.

anyone wanted to join him?

Once the visitors left, he told the volunteers he had to go out for a bit, but would be back later. He gathered a few things from the office, including his Mom’s letter, and drove off in the Caprice. As he headed home to start making further plans, he wondered if he was crazy to even consider doing this. He also wondered if he should take the Caprice, or rent a newer car, or borrow an older car. He wondered what all he should do to prepare. Should he contact people? Should he see if

nity as his mind kept racing about all sorts of different possibilities and scenarios. Almost instinctively, he grabbed the envelope with his Mom’s letter, took the letter out, unfolded it, started skimming it, and just about froze when he came to these words, near the end of the letter: “Your father and I kept money saved for a number of years,” his Mom had written. “While we obviously expect you kids to divvy it up equally, I have a specific thought on how you should

July / August 2012

He was still in a daze of unanswered questions and concerns when the Caprice turned into the driveway. He knew he had plenty of time to make decisions, but he also knew the sooner he made those decisions, the better he’d feel about the idea. Yet, he was actually excited about the endeavor. After all, it is what his parents had talked about doing for years and never completely accomplished. It is something he had always dreamt about, but never really thought of as a genuine possibility - until now. He sat in the Caprice for what seemed an eter-

spend at least part of your inheritance, and I think you already know what that is.” He didn’t need to keep reading; he knew what that thought was … and had already set plans into motion. Now, he had to follow through. A RETURN The ringing of the land line/house phone startled him awake. As he glanced around the living room from his vantage point on the couch, he wondered who on earth would be calling the house phone. Since his Mom’s death and memorial service, the house phone had not rung. People knew that the best way to reach him was his cell phone, which he picked up off the coffee table and noticed three missed calls - all from his sister. “Hello, sis,” he said into the phone, which had only rang three times. “How’d you know it was me?” she asked, a bit surprised. “I see I missed a few calls from you on my cell phone, and nobody really calls the house phone anymore,” he explained. “Sorry I missed your calls. I guess I dozed off while watching “Wheel Of Fortune”…. Anyway, since you called the house phone, what’s the matter?” “Oh, um, well, if you have been sleeping you don’t have the radio on, do you?” “No….why?” “He’s not on the air.” He didn’t need to play 20 questions with his sister to know what she meant. She obviously was listening to WSM, and their younger brother must not be broadcasting his show. “Well, maybe he took the night off.” “They haven’t said so.” “Did you try calling him?” “Yes, but like you, I got no answer.” “So, maybe he took the night off to sleep.” He knew right away that was the wrong thing to say. His sister didn’t say a word, so he continued: “Look, I’m sure he is OK. Someone at the station would’ve called one of us if...” his voice trailed off. He was rudely interrupted by the ringing of the door bell. During the brief moment of shocking silence, he had time to think to himself, ‘First the house phone and now the house door bell. Wonder what’s next.’ He didn’t have to wait long to find out. His sister, still on the other end of the

phone, broke the deafening emptiness: “Well, who is at your door?” “I don’t know,” he said as he quickly glanced out the window towards the garage. Sometimes, when he has left the garage door open, people will stop by asking if the Caprice is for sale, but the glance out the window told him that probably wasn’t the case, since he had remembered to close the garage door. “So, go answer the door!” his sister commanded. “Maybe it’s someone traveling Route 66 who wanted to see you, but stopped at the house since you’re not at the business.” “Maybe.” He was skeptical of that, but went along with his sister’s idea since he couldn’t explain it otherwise. Though, he thought it might be someone from the state Route 66 Association, offering to help him start planning his adventure already, but he wasn’t going to verbalize that for his sister since his plans were secret thus far. He walked towards the front door, flipping on the porch light just in case. “Um, I’m going to have to call you back,” he told his sister once he got to the door to peer out the window. “It’s no mystery where he is anymore.” “He’s THERE?” “Yep. One of us will call you back. Talk to you later, sis. Bye.” He quickly hung up the phone and opened the front door. “Hi!” his younger brother announced. “Hi, everything OK? Are you still working at WSM? What are you doing HERE?” While he peppered his younger sibling with questions, he ushered him inside and closed the door. He was thrilled to see his brother “back home”, but was a bit concerned. RESEARCH AND A TEST A couple days later, he still wasn’t sure exactly why his younger brother had returned home. His brother had told him that he still works for WSM, that everything is OK, and that he “just had to be home”, though he never explained WHY. And, perhaps, that is what bothered him the most — that his younger brother couldn’t explain this sudden “need” to be home. It was eerily similar

July / August 2012


to how he couldn’t explain his need to be in the “big city” of Nashville when he left the small town life behind years ago. But, this time, he couldn’t wait for his younger brother to figure it out. He had to do what he needed to do. So, he contacted several people to start gathering information — people his parents knew in Illinois (Becky at Becky’s Barn; Rich at Henry’s Ra66it Ranch), Missouri (Gary in Paris Springs), Kansas (Carolyn at the visitor’s center; Melba at 4 Women On The Route), Oklahoma (Laurel at Afton Station), Texas (Fran at the MidPoint Cafe), Arizona (Jim Hinckley in Kingman), and California (Debra at the Barstow museum; Paul at the Victorville museum) - among others. The morning of the fifth day, while he was checking Email to see if anyone else had replied to him, his brother interrupted him: “Mind if I borrow the Caprice today?” “But, you HATE that Caprice,” came the stunned response. “I know.” “Then why?” “Because I want to explore some stretches of Route 66 today, and that car seems to be the best car for the drive.” He couldn’t argue that point; his younger brother was correct, of course. But, he still had some reservations. Instead of voicing those, with something else entirely in mind he asked: “How long are you going to be here?” A quizzical look engulfed his brother’s face. “I don’t really know.” “How about a ballpark figure?” “Probably about a month. I was told to take as much time as I needed away from WSM; my job will always be there. Besides, it gives them a chance to have some different people at the mic for a while.” “OK….” He scratched his forehead a bit, trying to figure out what to say next. This latest revelation made him wonder if his brother was thinking about doing the same thing he was, but he didn’t want to reveal his plans. So, instead, he countered: “Tell you what. Why don’t you come with me to the business today and greet visitors? Then, we can talk about exploring Route 66 another day.” This clearly was not what his brother wanted, but his young sibling quickly realized the use of the Caprice was not going to be granted. For a split second, he saw his Dad standing in front of him


July / August 2012

instead of his older brother. “OK, sounds good.” He left to finish getting ready to go, albeit to a different destination than he had hoped. Left alone again at the computer to finish checking Email, the oldest sibling instinctively picked up the phone and dialed his sister’s number. “You are planning to be at the business today, right?” “Yep, of course.” “Good. I think it is about time we have a chat with the ‘come back home kid’.” He described to their sister what had just taken place. She agreed. He hung up the phone, shut down the computer, grabbed his keys, and called out to his younger brother that he was ready to go. As his brother met him at the door, he tossed the Caprice’s keys at him saying, “Here, drive to the business today.” “But...” “I’m not giving you total permission, here. It will ALWAYS be MY Caprice. Today, it’s just a drive to the business.” It was just a drive to the business, literally; but, for the eldest sibling, not figuratively…. ... To be continued. Next installment, November / December issue. Photo used at start of story courtesy of http://www.USA.Gov.

Don’t forget to stop at the Historic Seligman Sundries on your travels through Seligman!

Thunder Roadhouse Cafe Welcome to, the most comprehensive website for bikers and other adventurers traveling Route 66.

C E D / V O N S T AR T S E R U Commercial and Residential EAT F Real Estate Listings NEW Real Estate listings shown in 66 The Mother Road will be seen across the United States and in 83 countries around the world!

Contact John Springs

July / August 2012


Route 66 International Festival

Jerry McClanahan

Another GREAT event enters into the record books! — Victorville, 2012 —

Car Show Melba Rigg, 4 Women on the Route, Galena, Kansas

Dan & Jessica Rice, 66 to Cali, Santa Monica, CA Dan is the President of the California Rt 66 Association

Beauty Pagent


July / August 2012

Joe Sonderman Wolfgang and Anja Werz, German Route 66 Association

Zednek & Ava Jurasek Zednek is President of the Czech Route 66 Association Michael & Suzanne Wallis

Photos courtesy of Judy Hinckley Half Track

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19 20

July / August 2012

Mark your Calendar

October 20-21 Cuba, Missouri Visit Route 66 Cuba Fest 2012 to see what there is to see: apple butter making, Route 66 authors and artists, chili-cookoff, music, crafts, activities, street performances, a visit from Santa Claus, Taste of Cuba, trolley mural tours, trolley cemetery tours, chair-i-table auction, craft beer & wine tent, oh my, oh my ... Share our FB page so everyone can see what there is to see.

For more information, and/or to register for a booth, go to Facebook:


Stene’s Southern Kitchen Welcome to Stene’s Southern Kitchen, family owned and operated offering good service and cooking done the old fashion way. Simple food cooked with love and care at a reasonable price. We do catering for parties and accept phone orders. Open 6 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Anyone traveling Route 66 knows there’s a plethora of Corn dogs, ice cream, and milk shakes along the trail. But Stene’s is a down-home, home-cooking restaurant with the most amazing foods served out of that small kitchen! Located across from the Wigwam Motel on Foothill and Pepper, Stene’s is Rialto’s best kept secret - and 66 The Mother Road is letting that secret out of the bag! “MaMa Stene’ MaMa Stene...ohh how I love your cookin.Came here after a visit to Hangar24 MaaN’ I had a serious appetite when I got here.. I ended up ordering the baked chicken bedded on some rice with some gravy on top and my sides were mac and cheese and some potatoe salad.. Ohh dear MaMa everything was awesome!!..No complaints here Big MaMa!!.Everything was Hot n fresh and affordable..”

883 E Foothill Blvd l Rialto, CA 92376 l (909) 879-8101 Business Hours: Sun 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Tues 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Weds 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Thurs 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Fri 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Sat 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

July / August 2012


Kansas has a unique association with US 66. That historic highway traverses just over thirteen miles in the Sunflower State, the shortest distance of any of the eight states through which the highway passes. It is also the only state bypassed entirely when the interstate highway system replaced that highway. As a result, only in Kansas can you drive Route 66 from border to border and not encounter an interstate highway. The double six sweeps into Kansas with little fanfare; first, there is the dusty State Line Bar nestled in a gritty area once dominated by mining related enterprises such as the Eagle-Picher Mining and Smelting Company. This last operating link to the glory days of the mining boom in Galena suspended operations in June of 1980. The plants closure marked the final chapter in a long and colorful company history that included serving as the catalyst for a bloody labor dispute that catapulted Kansas Governor Alf Landon into the national political spotlights and the position of Republican presidential candidate running against incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1935, the United Mine Workers president, John L. Lewis, called for a labor strike. The employees of the Eagle-Picher smelter heeded the call, walked off the job, and blocked the company’s gates that fronted Route 66.


July / August 2012

The Jim Hinckley Studio features the finest images from award winning author and photographer Jim Hinckley and his wife, Judy, who specialize in the American southwest as well as Route 66. Be sure to visit Jim’s Prints collection at

This was during the depths of the Great Depression and so the company turned to non-union miners and mill workers in the area of nearby Joplin to fill the void and break the strike. The striking miners blocked the highway itself and pelted cars of workers when they left the plant to return to Missouri. Route 66 traffic was detoured, deputies attempted to protect those who made the decision to risk running the gauntlet, and the violence escalated transforming Galena into a war zone. Governor Landon declared martial law and dispatched the National Guard in an effort to quell the tide of anarchy. Still intermittent violence and labor disputes continued. The climax of the unrest came on April 11, 1937 with four thousand pick handle wielding miners in a demonstration that escalated into gunfire, which left nine men dead in front of the headquarters for the International Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers Union. That dark chapter seems oddly out of place today, as there is serenity along the old road as it crosses the tracks of the railroad over a viaduct listed on the National Register of Historic Places supported by concrete posts that appear as ancient as petrified logs. Then, with a sharp ninety degree bend at an intersection dominated by a row of empty brick buildings that may have origins predating Route 66, an abandoned twostory frame house of similar vintage, and the now classic 4 Women on the Route, the highway swings into Galena.

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However, before the exploration of this tattered old mining town with an unquenchable spirit can begin a stop must be made at 4 Women on the Route, an unlikely destination for travelers from throughout the world. The initial impression is that this is simply another restored service station, this time one representing the Kan-O-Tex franchise. This is merely a front for a gift shop and snack bar where Melba, the self-proclaimed Mouth of the South, reigns supreme. As an added bonus, that battered old tow truck out front served as the inspiration for the creation of the Mater character in the animated film Cars. Galena has a long and very colorful history that begins shortly before the advent of the American Civil War. However, it was the discovery of a chunk of pure lead ore during the digging of well that transformed the sleepy little town and the surrounding area. Within a few very short years, Galena (named for a type of lead ore) was a mining boomtown at the center of a tri-state district that represented the largest lead producing area on earth. The population of the city, and the community of Empire that abutted it, had mushroomed to more than 10,000. Galena today is far too big for consideration as a true ghost town. Still, it is but a shadow of what it was during the peak years bracketing World War I. Numerous structures and fine homes survive as tangible links to those glory days. Relocated to its current site in 1984 (319 W. 7th Street), the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway Depot houses the Galena Mining Museum, a facility that tells the story of those survivors. Midway between Galena and Baxter Springs is Riverton, a wide spot in the road associated with a power plant since 1914, and the Riverton Store, originally the Eisler Brothers Grocery, on Route 66 that dates to 1925. The delightful old store that also serves as a deli retains much of its original fixtures and architectural elements including the decorative pressed tin ceiling. West of Riverton, Route 66 is signed as Beasley Road before it makes a sharp southerly turn on to 50th Street, which becomes Willow Street in Baxter Springs. Cradled in that curve is the graceful Rainbow Bridge (the last of three Marsh Arch Bridges that carried Route 66 traffic in Kansas) over Brush Creek. Dating to 1923 the refurbished bridge is now utilized as a one way crossing of this creek as a bypass was built immediately to the east. The graceful span frames lush woodlands and is a favored photo stop for Route 66 enthusiasts. Baxter Springs, like Galena, is far to big to be considered a ghost town and yet it is a far cry from the mining boomtown of the World War I era, the prosperous shipping point for cattle during the 1870s, or the world acclaimed resort center of the late 1880s. Here a sense of history is almost palpable. On this site along the Spring River, John Baxter, an imposing giant who purportedly stood six-foot, seven-inches, established an inn on the military road that connected Fort Leavenworth with Fort Gibson in the Indian Territories shortly before the advent of the Civil War. During this conflict, in 1863, the First Kansas Colored Infantry built a fort at Baxter Springs. An assault on this fort by the now legendary Confederate guerillas led by William Quantrill in October of that year was the first act in an unfolding tragedy. Repulsed at the fort, Quantrill turned his forces north and decimated a cavalry unit under command of General James Blunt. The slaughter known today as the Baxter Springs Massacre is one of twelve Civil War sites in the city and surrounding area that constitute a self-driving tour. 24

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ATTRACTIONS OF NOTE in this city include the Route 66 Visitor Center housed in a refurbished Philips 66 service station built in 1930 at the intersection of 10th Street and Military Avenue. The 23,000 square foot Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum in a park like setting is also an attraction for the list of “must see” stops in Kansas. Baxter Springs may seem an unlikely place to be associated with baseball legends but since the dawn of the 20th century, this sport has been a passion for the folks here. Mining companies formed teams that competed throughout the tri-state mining district and in the early 1950s; the local Lions Club provided the funds for construction of one of the finest Little League parks in the nation. The town even sported a minor league team, the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids, during the late 1930s and 1940s. One of the teams’ star players was a kid from a mining town south of Baxter Springs on Route 66, Commerce, Oklahoma. His prowess garnered national attention for the Whiz Kids. It also landed the boy from Commerce, Mickey Mantle, a contract with the New York Yankees. If the exploration of Baxter Springs and the surrounding area has sparked a healthy appetite the Café on the Route at the corner of 11th Street and Military Avenue should be your next stop. Housed in a bank built in the 1870s, and robbed by Jesse James in 1876, this little café specializes in French cuisine. If something a little more basic pleases the palette, there is the Red Ball café at 539 West 5th Street. Dating to the 1950s this little time capsule is a favorite of locals and the exploring traveling. On the outskirts of town, the modern era in the form of a Walmart shatters the illusion of time travel that is a journey along Route 66 in the Sunflower State. Then, in what seems like an instant, a sign looming large welcomes you to the Sooner State, Oklahoma.

Be sure to visit Jim’s Blog at www. Photos courtesy of Jim and Judy Hinckley.

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By Jim Hinckley

Hualapai Mountain Park During the months of summer that most folks choose for their adventure on the double six, the old road in western Arizona becomes a ribbon of broiling asphalt under the unrelenting desert sun. And yet just twelve miles south of Kingman there is an oasis, a forested island in a sea of desert where fine dining in a rustic setting, and cold drinks savored on a veranda cooled by pine scented breezes are the reward for making the scenic detour from legendary Route 66. The voyage of discovery to this often overlooked wonderland begins with a turn south onto Hualapai Mountain Road at the legendary Dambar. Soon the flotsam of modern roadside America – fast food restaurants, strip malls, mini marts, and suburbia western style – gives way to a narrow two-lane road that climbs higher and higher into the mountains with every twist and turn (wait until you see the views on your return trip). The stark desert gives way to scrub oak and chaparral which is in turn replaced by pines. The towering peaks and spires of stone framed by breathtaking skies of blue or wreathed in storm clouds stand in stark contrast to the green of the forest dotted with white aspen that wrap around their flanks. Then, at the end of a particularly steep grade, the wonders of Hualapai Mountain Park with its beautiful visitor center, pine shaded picnic area with stone event center built by the Civilian Con26

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servation Corps and looming peaks as a backdrop abruptly appears much like a heat induced delusion. A day pass for use of the parks facilities, including an extensive trail system that provides access to the peaks as well as numerous historic sites, such as the Silver Bell mine, is $5.00. A left turn around the park provides access to the Hualapai Mountain Resort (http://hmresort. net/); the modern incarnation of the original complex built in the 1930s and destroyed by fire in the 1980s. The resort consists of a delightful restaurant with large picture window that provides a stunning view of the mountains, and on occasion, the herds of elk that pass by, a motel, RV park, small store (no gasoline available), and lounge. With the exception of winter months when snow drifts frame the parking lot, the veranda is a favored place for dining or sipping a cool drink under the pines. Hualapai Mountain Park offers another treat in the form of cabins that range from bare bones basic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corp during the Great Depression to basic modern units. Camp sites are also available but during the months of summer fire restrictions are often in place. For the truly adventuresome with a sturdy four wheel drive vehicle, you can continue the journey beyond the pavement and the parking lot at the Hualapai Mountain Lodge to a remote campground, Wild Cow, and then down the other side of the mountains. Eventually, after a few white knuckle encounters with narrow, rock strewn roads suspended high above what appears to be bottomless chasms, and the ruins of the Borriana Mine complex, you will arrive at Yucca on the post 1952 alignment of Route 66

now overlaid by I-40. Hualapai Mountain Road to the park and lodge is paved and well maintained. However, during the months of winter ice can be an issue, especially during early morning hours or in the evening. Seldom is the road closed for more than one day resultant of snow.

View from on High

There is a very nice RV Park at the lodge and the county park. However, the road is narrow in places and several segments present very steep grades. Regardless of vehicle driven, pay attention to engine temperature on the way up, and don’t ride the brakes on the way down. There are no automotive services on the mountain so plan accordingly.

Crooked Trail

The hiking trails are well marked and maintained, and provide access to breathtaking vistas as well as rare desert treasures such as small streams, dependant on season. The trails range from moderate to difficult resultant of grades and elevation. Always keep in mind that this is Arizona and that means rattlesnakes are considered residents— so if you’re hiking during the months of summer pay attention, watch where you put your hands. Another critter that calls these beautiful and rugged mountains home is the seldom seen mountain lion.

Ray of Sunshine

Hualapai Mountain Park, Hualapai Mountain Resort, and the raw beauty of the Hualapai Mountains, are more than a desert rarity. Together they constitute one of the most exciting Route 66 detours you can make. So, the next time you’re motoring west, and that desert sun seems unrelenting … Bones of the Earth

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The Fabric of the Road

Depew, Oklahoma

ings. It happened so early because it was so easy. And in late 1928, Depew was literally on the “wrong side of the tracks.” You’ve got to pull off Route 66 now to get there. It’s a hard turn onto original late 1920’s concrete — the “ka-thump, ka-thump” kind. You round a curve, and there on a gentle rise is Depew.

By Frank Gifford Halfway between two of the Mother Road’s brightest attractions, a piece of its early history has been fading away — ignored for 84 years until this summer when an effort began — by an inquiry to ODOT, to establish that Depew is the first entire town bypassed on all of Route 66. Pops is an hour west, the Blue Whale an hour east. And, in the deep shadow of all that colorful fun on the road is a hard lesson in life off the road — called Depew, Oklahoma. It’s the first town entirely bypassed on Route 66 in Oklahoma. It was the mid-1920’s when the little farm and oilfield town put in a loop of new concrete pavement. Folks in Depew figured the highway department would connect brand new US 66 to it despite its ridiculous U-shape and a pair of railroad crossings. And, they were right! It was a win-win. Depew got business from the new highway. Drivers got a convenient stop about half way between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. And the rump highway department got a stretch of pavement already in place. It was a stroke of genius while it lasted. But, even by the standards of those days, it was slapped together. Then as now, a straight line wins and a bypass was a cinch for engineers. This one cut the distance by more than half, eliminating four unnecessary turns plus two railroad cross28

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The grocery store closed a couple months back. There’s a little restaurant, a post office, a spray-yourself car wash, and old brick buildings with murals on the front. Time to park the car and walk around to really see things. The painted chipboard mural on that 1912 building is beginning to weather. That pretty redhead girl is trapped in the era of

“Big Hair.” She could be middle-aged now. The painted butterfly-and-flower fantasy on a piee of glass — it’s peeling away. You can see through it. There’s a whole bunch of “what used to be” back there: a weedy lot with debris that used to be a roof. That building is just a facade — gone except for the front. And then you realize — that’s what this is, really. On building after building, fronts are mostly what’s left. Chipboard murals cover space where display windows used to gleam. You peer through cracks and see daylight, weeds and scrap lumber. Not only a road, but a Century has bypassed this town. This is now DePew, Oklahoma. The first town completely bypassed on the Mother Road in Oklahoma, confirmed a few weeks ago by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. It happened in late 1928, two years after the numbered U.S. highway system was created. The State of Oklahoma was only 21 years old and just starting to lay down pavement when Depew’s homegrown stretch of Route 66 was eliminated.

the Great Depression, Dust Bowl and that awful bypass. Now, some of those buildings aren’t even shells anymore. Just boarded up fronts. Then, just down Main Street comes a well maintained 1920’s gas station made of stone and concrete. Two-pump islands indicate it must have been a busy place. The outside island has space for only a single pump. It would have been one of those tall early ones. Depew had three gas stations in its Route 66 prime, and this is the only survivor. A 1920’s gas station is unusual enough these days. But, this one has some special history — it’s a tangible

We know it had to happen. But the timing was both a blessing and a curse. It was 1928, and as early as that was, and as many businesses that were affected, there could have been many more displaced had the inevitable happened any later. Oklahoma’s relationship with Route 66 is unique. The two are intertwined, inseparable. The Depression and Dust Bowl eras were local news year after year. All those buildings of deep red Oklahoma brick — put up near the top of the business cycle, the Tulsa oil boom, and the great highway — Route 66. But lurking just ahead were

victim of that first bypassing. The first of all the thousands that were shuttered leaving behind countless signs for Skelly, D-X, Gargoyle Mobiloil, Marfak Lubrication and friendly Philcheck Service. July / August 2012


Publisher’s Note: Taken from the home page of the Depew, Oklahoma website: Welcome to the Town of Depew, Oklahoma’s website. Thanks for stopping by. We are on historic U.S. Route 66 about 45 miles west of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

But a pypass cannot possibly erase our memory of things past. Still standing proud is Lucille’s. The Mother of the Mother Road. The 1927 gas station 135 miles west of here, cut off by a fence from life-giving highway traffic. Lucille may be gone, but her spirit is as alive as she once was. Depew lived by the road, and it withers by the road. The town may have been devistated, but it’s not forgotten, and hasn’t given up the fight. It’s fighting the same as Seligman, AZ has had to fight - like Radiator Springs did in the movie “Cars.” They are all chapters of the same story. It’s part of the fabric that makes up Route 66 today. It’s why people are in love with the road. It’s a chance to stand where generations stood before and connect with the past as well as the present. Depew may have been the earliest town to be bypassed, and it may consist of more “memory” than morter, but it’s still very much a part of the Route 66 community today.

Depew has a population of about 500. Great schools, and very friendly people. The town is on the move! After years of what many would consider neglect, the town is in the process of a renovation project! Old buildings are in the process of being “freshened” up! New parking spot stripes have been painted! Curbs have been painted and handicap parking spots included. The great thing about this is that this is being done by volunteers who care deeply about this town and it’s history. The “Friends of Depew” association is bringing the town back!! So, come on in, look around the site….but we would really like to see you come visit us !! ************ Donations accepted via credit card and Paypal. You can visit the website, and make a contribution to Depew’s restoration fund via:

Article and photos provided by Frank Gifford. Visit


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Boots Motel — Carthage, MO. Boots Motel Receives Federal Grant by Ron Hart The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announced ten cost-share grants totaling more than $103,000 awarded to ten Route 66 businesses, according to a news release published July 4th from the National Park Service. The historic Boots Motel in Carthage, Mo. will receive a $12,000. matching grant to remove the pitched roof that was added to the original structure in 1978. The Motel, built in 1939, gained new owners last year and reopened to overnight travelers in May after a decade-long hiatus. According to the NPS, “The grant project will return the property to its historic appearance by removing a deteriorated pitched roof installed in the late 1970s. Once the original roof is restored, the flat roof will be sealed from the elements and the Boots will become eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places." Boots co-owner Deborah Harvey commented that “Before any work is done on the roof, the State of Missouri has to complete the Section 106 Review and approve the project. So, we cannot remove any of the roof until that is done - and that will take between thirty and fortyfive days.” Since it’s soft opening in May, a “Raze the Roof” fundraising effort has been underway and contributions are being made by both Route 66 visitors and local

residents to help restore the classic original artdeco “Moderne” style of the original Boots Motel and replace the flat roof underneath so further restoration work may continue. Once the roof is back to it’s original condition, the Boots can apply for a listing on the National Register for Historic Places and then be able to qualify for additional grants. The $12,000. matching grant from the Route 66 Corridor Grant Program to remove the pitched roof has a time limit though, and if the motel cannot raise the other half by next April, the grant offer is rescinded. A little over six hundred dollars has been raised do far, If you or someone you know would like to help, a contribution may be made to the Boots Motel Roof Fund, c/o Southwest Missouri Bank, 300 W. 3rd., Carthage, MO. 64836 or use the PayPal Fundrazer Link on the “Save the Boots” Facebook page. You may also make a contribution in person if you live in or near Carthage. A “Boots Benefactors” page will be added to the website soon to recognize those who have helped, and if the money comes in sooner, rather than later, the roof razing party will be scheduled for Sat., Oct. 26th and volunteers are welcome.

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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

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 “Confederate Railroad.� Purchase this CD and help fund more billboards to raise awareness and promote tourism on Route 66. July / August 2012




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