Please note: We have made every attempt throughout this magazine to make links active to websites and emails for your convenience. May/June 2011 66TheMotherRoad.com
QR Codes Cut to the Chase by Judy Springs
Everyone is familiar with those UPC Codes (Universal Product Codes) found on almost all consumer packaging. Even though they were an idea conceived back in 1932, they were first introduced and commercially used in 1966. An ambitious project conducted by a small group of students headed by Wallace Flint at the Harvard Univesity Graduate School of Business Administration, proposed that customers select desired merchandise from a catalog by removing corresponding punched cards supplied. By 1970, the Universal Grocer Products Identification Code (or UGPIC) was compiled and written by the Logicon Inc. after it became obvious an industry standard for the new code implementation was needed.
UPC scanner was installed at Marsh’s Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, ringing up the price on the first scanned product ever - a packet of Wrigley’s gum.
The first use of barcodes was to label railroad cars, and went on to be commercially successful when used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. That’s them beep-beep-beeping while you watch the register log your purchases. Interest in their use has spread to incorporate many other business tasks that are generically referred to as Auto ID Data Capture (AIDC).
QR Codes have become more useful than a standard barcode because they can store (and digitally present) increased data including URL links, geo coordinates and text. The most important feature of these codes is that they replace the need for chunky and awkward handheld scanners to access the information. Now, your simple smartphone APP(lication) will allow you to scan the QR Code and receive your information from wherever the code is linked… in seconds.
In June of 1974, history was made when the first
Today’s 21st Century innovation emerging from this technology comes the use of the QR Code (Quick Response), a natural extension of the UPC code with a modern twist. A QR Code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code usually consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern positioned on a white background, although there are some more decorated versions available. The information encoded can be text, URL links, or other data.
You may have noticed these decorative QR Codes positioned on magazine advertisements, on rack cards, web pages, in airports, maybe even on someone’s t-shirt. Once it is scanned by a smart phone, the code can provide unlimited information depending on where the code is linked. You may find yourself comparison shopping for a product by perusing a website, or several sites in seconds.
How Will You Use Your QR Code?
For starters, practically every business and many individuals today have a website that includes the address, phone number, perhaps a map to the location, and usually a list of products and product information offered. If you’ve produced a business card, a rack card, brochure, magazine or newspaper ad, and you add a QR Code to it, anyone with a smart phone and the barcode reader app can simply scan the code and go directly to your website for all the information listed there. They can access quick directions to your location with their phone’s GPS system. Promotional information, or even a discount coupon can be accessed and taken at the register from the customer’s smart phone. Real estate agents have started using QR Codes on advertising and sale boards; retailers are using them on product packaging and in-store signage to expand product details for the customer; business cards can expand information by heading you right to their website. Usages can be infinite, and more creative ideas will be expanded and implemented as time goes on. QR Codes are also taking off in social media and mobile areas as well. Long Beach, Washington is the first Northwest city to use bar codes as a tour guide strategy for visitors. The bar codes have been placed at 29 various landmarks and tourist sites around the area for travelers to scan with their smart phones and obtain information on various points of interest. This incorporation of technology and tourism could just be the ticket for getting the younger crowd more interested in historical facts through interactive media. The city currently provides the self-guided tour plotted out along an 8.5 mile path of coastal beauty
and hopes to integrate audio, video and slide shows into QR codes soon. Consumers now expect immediate access to what’s relevant in their lives, and QR Codes are making that ‘instant gratification’ possible. They are so easy to use, so versatile, and provide instant value to individuals and businesses alike. This technology will play a huge role in future mobile strategies for print sales, information access and promos. The idea of digitally connecting consumers of paper-based content to the Internet is a powerful and progressive concept.
Welcome to your future!
by John Springs
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!
by John Springs
I’d like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to help us make this magazine a great tool. Our mission is to help small businesses on Route 66 get recognized and not only survive, but thrive! If you, or someone you know could benefit from the recognition, let us know. We will always be on the lookout for feature stories. Roadies, you’re in the “front line.” You have stories to tell, and businesses to salute. Along the route, I’m sure there is something that stood out and “spoke” to you. Tell us. Let us tell the world. Route 66 will thank you! Museums across the road – big and small - we’d love to hear from you! You house such an interesting collection of materials that none of them are to be missed. We want to promote awareness of as many museums and attractions as possible. Our goal is to help everyone get recognition – world-wide. If we can make this magazine an “interactive” project, Route 66 will be the primary beneficiary. We also welcome letters to the editor. Please keep these letters pertinent to the ideals and philosophy of the magazine. We are not a political forum, but rather a forward- and positive-thinking publication with a goal of preservation, protection and enhancement of our Historic Highway!
ROUTE 66 HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM Where Past, Present and Future Meet
by Beverly Maxfield
It started in McLean, Illinois, as just a small display within a hallway, occupying one wall and a couple of showcases before moving to its current home, a historic building from the late 1800s located in Pontiac, Illinois. That was June, 2004, not too long ago. To visit today— just a few years later— one can’t help but be filled with a sense of awe and wonder—how did it all come together and grow so quickly, becoming one of the most must-see landmarks along the road. “We have around 20,000 visitors, literally, from all over the world,” says Pontiac Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander. “The idea for the Route 66 museum started with former tourism director, Betty Estes,” Ellie remembered. “She was a very forward thinker and saw the possibilities with the old City Hall/Firehouse building.” The structure was in shambles and had been used as a storage area for odds and ends. “Betty and the Route 66 Association of Illinois met and negotiated with the city about how we could
implement this museum. A beginning that was a blessing for all of us… and it keeps on growing,” she recalled. “Now look, people from all over are visiting every day of the week year round, with our busiest time May through October.” The museum boasts exciting, moving, and educational exhibits, including the mesmerizing collection of photographs by the celebrated photographer, Michael Campanelli. “We had the added blessing about two years ago when we established our virtual tour exhibit of 166 photos carefully selected from a group of 1,100 shots taken during Michael’s 8-day Route 66 trip back in 2002, “she said. Visitors can experience and be captivated by the inspired Campanelli collection, his interpretation of all things romantic, beautiful, whimsical and motivational along the Mother Road. “Michael had his photo exhibit in various locations and got tired of moving it from here to there all the time. One day he approached us about securing a permanent home for the exhibition. He had just six weeks left to display at his last location, so that just gave us six weeks to make room to accommodate it,” Ellie laughed. “We had to do something fast, so we fashioned part of the old jailhouse as the Campanelli exhibit location, actually leaving up the jail cell bars, the latrines and sinks… building a few partition walls. So that’s how we exhibit the photos.”
Museums, Murals, Merchants & More!
Opening July, 2011! The Pontiac ~ Oakland Automobile Museum & Resource Center ~ Free Admission!
FREE Visitors Guide!
For information on attractions, tours, or retail space available in Downtown Pontiac, contact:
www.VisitPontiac.org 800-835-2055 • 815-844-5847 • visitpontiac.org Campanelli, who lives in Oregon, returns to travel the Route at least six times a year taking more and more pictures of this area he loves. Ellie added: “He finally got a digital camera, but really prefers his good old reliable 35mm film camera to capture most of his images.” This spring marks a particularly important time for all Route 66 devotees with the coming of the Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8. “We have ninety miles of Route 66 communities participating,” Ellie said, “starting in Jolliet, Illinois, all the way south to Towanda. Each community has their own festival and event as part of the overall Red Carpet event. Some communities have garage sales, some offer live entertainment, everyone contributes with something different and fun; we always do it together the first weekend of every May.” This year marks a special tribute during the event with a dedication to the memory of the colorful, free-thinking, free-wheeling Route 66 artist, Bob Waldmire, who passed away from cancer in December, 2009. Many treasure his Route 66 artwork and the memory of the modified vehicles
he owned through the years, including an orange 1972 VW Microbus that was the inspiration for “Fillmore”, a character in the animated movie, “Cars.” Waldmire was based near Springfield, and lived out the last years of his life in a converted school bus when he wasn’t traveling up and down Route 66 and all about the country. Both the school bus and VW bus have been secured by the museum and are now on permanent display. “We had commissioned Bob to do a mural before we had any of the murals that we have today,” Ellie recalled. “One time Bob was in town and talked to us about doing a large mural of the entire Route 66 from Chicago all the way to California. We, of course, were very excited about the prospect. We selected this one particular wall that we thought would be perfect for the mural, so Bob checked it out, paced it out and believe it or not, it came out to be 66 feet!,” she enthused. “Well, it was like the skies had opened and the heavens sang at that moment. Bob was so excited; we all knew from that moment it was meant to be… he knew he had to do this mural. Well, if you knew Bob, you know he never did
anything in a hurry, so a year had gone by, then a half a year went by,” Ellie reflected. “He would come into town and say ‘yeah, I’m gonna do that, I’m gonna get that goin’.” Unfortunately, Waldmire became ill before he actually sketched out the Route 66 mural. “He called the City Administrator about a month or so before his death and said that he wasn’t going to be able to do the mural because of his illness, however, he did offer to sketch it out and asked if it would be okay for his friends to do the painting for him. So it would be his sketch, he’d have them paint it and we would find a way to get it onto the building.” Everyone, especially Waldmire, was excited by the prospect of the entire Route 66 coming to life at a site across the street from the museum. “This was the last piece of commissioned artwork that he did before his death,” Ellie said. “We worked with our local sign painters, Diaz Sign Art and other muralists, the folks responsible for the 20 murals we currently have all around town. Pontiac hosted the Walldog Festival in 2009, an
event where artists gathered from around the world to create together the magnificent murals that now decorate the City. “But,” Ellie mentioned, “during that event we saved the 66-foot wall because, after all, it was Bob’s wall… it only could be. In December of that year Bob had passed, but we did have that sketched out mural to share with the world.” After he had completed the sketching, it was turned over to the Diaz family, a local sign painter. The original sketch was stretched out and projected on sequential panels that make up the mural, and will be mounted on the building following the festival. “On our Red Carpet Corridor Weekend, all of this wonderful mural artwork will be up on the wall and anyone who comes by to celebrate can paint a section and help make it come to life,” Ellie explained. “Each painter will be presented with a special commemorative button to take home as a keepsake.” The buttons will feature a picture of Bob and the message, “I did it for Bob.” Volunteer painters and visitors will apply the carefully selected hues utilizing the fingerpainting technique to give it a watercolor feel, “just the way he would have wanted it,” Ellie smiled. “Several of Bob’s relatives from Springfield, Illinois
will also be on hand to celebrate the occasion. We will have a dedication at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the family will be the first ones to start the painting. Then we will open his bus to the public for tours,” the first time anyone can have a peek into Bob Waldmire’s unique and private world. Postcards and other forms of artwork will be available for sale that weekend, with contributions by a number of local artists and muralists. “The Red Carpet Corridor Festival is devoted to the arts— and mostly to Bob,” Ellie smiled. The future looks bright and endless down the road at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Ellie mentioned a new exhibit underway that will focus on Bob’s complete life story named, “Bob and Me.” “We want people to understand through this exhibit the connection between Route 66 and Bob. Pictures, various memorabilia, and story boards outside where we have his bus will be on display.” The tourism group is also spearheading a new Pontiac automobile museum that will be opening in July. “There are collectors out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Tim and Penny Dye, who have the largest collection of Pontiac memorabilia anywhere. They have it all, the cars, the signs with Chief Pontiac, the famous Indian our city is named after,” Ellie explained. The Dye collection features about 20 cars complete with their original owner’s manuals. “He is a 30-year collector with a home that looks like a museum. They have two
big buildings on their property filled with everything ‘Pontiac’. After a visit to Pontiac, Illinois, Tim and Penny knew they needed to make the City the permanent home for their astounding collection. Ellie said: “After visiting the Route 66 Museum, Tim thought ‘Wow, this is where I need to be with this.’ We excitedly got started with the museum this past summer, and plan to open July 21 through 24 with a celebration. I invite anybody to come by and try to stump Tim Dye on any Pontiac trivia—he’s a walking encyclopedia.” For anyone planning a trip to take in the sights of Route 66, or for those just passing through with one destination in mind, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum. “I believe we are the only Route 66 museum offering free admission,” Ellie said. “We are open seven days a week and are staffed by volunteers from The Route 66 Association of Illinois.” The team always knew how important it was to have a museum like this in Pontiac, Illinois. “Who knows what’s next,” Ellie said, “We are blessed every year with some new attraction that just happens to come our way.” The team at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum is excitedly celebrating the past, saluting the present, and forward marching towards the future. Go team! l
SAVE THE DATE May 7 & 8 Saturday/Sunday
Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival. 90 miles of community events from Jolliet to Towanda.
May 7 Saturday
Bob Waldmire Mural Painting. Meet Bob’s relatives from Springfield who will be on hand to kick off the event.
Pontiac Automobile Museum Opening featuring the largest collection of Pontiac memorabilia anywhere, provided by collector, Tim Dye.
MISSOURI CIVIL WAR ON ROUTE 66 Contributing Writer: Jane S. Reed, Cuba, MO People usually don’t think of Route 66 in conjunction with the Civil War, but as the U.S. commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Cuba, Missouri, known as the “Route 66 Mural City” can boast a Civil War attraction. As part of its outdoor mural project, Viva Cuba, a community betterment organization, commissioned 12 outdoor murals along the Route 66 corridor. One of these is actually a series of Civil War scenes of the Battle of Pilot Knob that began in Pilot Knob. Missouri when Confederate General Sterling Price attacked Fort Davidson, under the charge of Union General Thomas Ewing. When the clever Union soldiers snuck out of the Fort under cover of darkness rather than surrender, the chase was on. After blowing up the fort so that ammunition and supplies that were left behind would not fall into Confederate hands, Union troops ﬂed cross-country. The Confederates chased the Union soldiers across the Huzzah River near Steelville, Missouri to Leasburg, Missouri where the Union soldiers planned on escaping by train. However, Confederate troops burned train tracks in the nearby towns of Bourbon and Cuba, thus trapping the soldiers in Leasburg. With Confederate troops bearing down on them, the Union soldiers once more thought that the end was near. Leasburg and Bourbon are also Route 66 towns that have played their roles in the Civil War. Then Union troops from Rolla arrived to save the day, and the troops were able to get to Rolla, Missouri and safety. It is said that the grateful troops danced and sang, “Rally round the Flag Boys” when the rescuing troops arrived. Photos provided by courtesy of Jane S. Reed
It is the Battle of Pilot Knob and the following events that the Viva Cuba organization hired Oregon artist Don Gray to depict in its series of Civil War murals on Buchanan Street, just off Route 66 in Cuba.
These striking murals are a great attraction for Route 66 travelers to visit during the 2011 Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Americaâ€™s Civil War. The Crawford County Historical Society Museum in Cuba is located on N. Smith Street off Route 66 and can provide more information on the Civil War and Route 66. www.CrawfordMoMuseum.com
This summer get your history and your kicks on Route 66.
In the mural on the right, notice the Union soldier with a red band on his hat. Follow the link below to find out how a 15 year old Eagle Scout got himself painted into the mural! www.cubamomurals.com/wordpress/2010/11/ the-soldier-with-the-red-band-on-his-hat
4 WOMEN ON THE ROUTE To the Four Women on the Route at the north end of Main Street in Galena, Kansas, being relegated to the background by a 1951 International Boom Truck is just fine by them. Taking center stage is “Tow Tater”, the inspiration for “Tow Mater” in the Pixar movie Cars, and soon to be released – June 24 – Cars 2. The old Kan-O-Tex service station was purchased in 2006 by four women (hence the name): Melba Rigg, Renee Charles, Judy Courtney, and Betty Courtney. They have worked tirelessly to restore the luster-ofold, and now sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, Route 66 and Car’s items, including several made by local craftspeople and artists. They also cater to groups (with a day’s notice): hamburgers or hot dogs, chips and a drink for a set fee; and they offer free morning coffee and some doughnuts or fruit. Restoration projects in town are very much at the forefront, and a future in-depth article will be written. Meanwhile, Melba tells us her philosophy for a successful business: “… do your best to keep your word, and never say something you can’t back up…”.
119 North Main Street Galena, Kansas 66739 620.783.1366 Open Monday - Saturday 8am - 5pm Grill open 11am - 3pm May/June 2011
A Ride Back in Time ... ...at the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum by Beverly Maxfield
The iron is hot in downtown Miami, Oklahoma… Vintage Iron, that is. Route 66 travelers all year long can hardly wait to arrive and take a magic ride through the portals of the past. Many are surprised to find a complete country-style gas station with all the fixtures, and a one-of-a-kind display of bikes that led the greatest daredevil riders and jumpers in our history to epic world records: Evel Knievel and his son Robbie, even the elusive Johnny “Cowboy” Hall. It’s all here… they’re all here in spirit, and intact, within the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum. Chris Martin, manager of the museum and gift shop went into partnership with the owner, Tony Holden and opened the museum in May, 2006. “Tony is a boxing promoter, does a lot of entertainment promoting, concerts and things like that. So he came to me with the idea to open this business and oversee it,” Martin said. “We had obtained the Steve McQueen collection back in 2005 at a Las Vegas auction. So we started with that, started out small with just one building and one small room. Now we’ve got two buildings and lots of big plans.” The museum is always changing and rearranging their exhibits, and constantly on the lookout for famed bikes to keep it fresh and interesting for their repeat customers. “So right now, we are selling our Steve McQueen collection and moving onto new exhibits. We’re going to auction on May 14th and selling his motorcycle, personal trophies, a trunk and some furniture he had,” Martin explained. May/June 2011 66TheMotherRoad.com 21
Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men passed away in 1980 from cancer. The star of “Bullitt”, “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The Sand Pebbles” and “The Towering Inferno”, was known the world over for his fast motorcycles and faster cars that led him through his fast-paced way of life. “We’ll be heading to Carmel, CA for the Bonham and Butterfields Collectors’ Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia auction taking place that weekend,” he said. The sale of this amazing collection, that has been the talk of Route 66 for several years, will not only make room for new exhibits and creative ideas, but a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to charities that are special to the museum, including Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), and F.A.I.T.H. Riders, a Christian motorcycle ministry. “We’ll be replacing the McQueen collection with something pretty exciting. We’re focusing right now on getting our Evel Knieval collection display completed that will take up three pretty good sized rooms,” Martin continued. Evel Knieval dazzled the world throughout the 70s with his daredevil, death-defying jumps and stunts clad in superhero-style capes and riding gear, taking ﬂight on incredible cycles including the historic Harley XR-750. Knieval passed away in 2007 and left behind a legacy that lives on in part at the Route 66 Vintage Iron Museum. “We are working right now on our Daredevil Hall of Fame Room, so we are collecting a lot of stuff from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, the era of the great riders. We are obtaining a lot of donations that enable us to keep going out there and buying new things to keep it interesting,” he said. The museum proudly features legendary Johnny “Cowboy” Hall’s 1972 Yamaha World Record jump bike, “that’s the bike 66TheMotherRoad.com May/June 2011 22
he rode to set 3 world records back in the mid 70s,” he explains. “His stuff is hard to find out there. He just disappeared out of the limelight after making a name for himself and went back into ranching. He was setting all these records, but didn’t get nearly the attention with his 650 bike that Evel Knievel did.” They have also acquired some of Knievel’s son, Robbie’s memorabilia. “He’s probably made more jumps than Evel has so far,” Martin added. The museum has contacted around 12 other daredevil riders from that era and plan to obtain even more for their ever-changing displays to wow the crowds. “We are hoping to have it all done shortly after we return from the Carmel auction. Our Daredevil Hall of Fame will be one room towards the front of the museum. It will literally be a walk back in time.” And speaking of back in time, the 50’s-style gas station is really something not to miss. “It is a full-scale replica of a small-town gas station like you would have seen around our area back then,” he said. “The pump actually dates back to the 20s or 30s, and
was used all the way into the 50s. We’ve got the old telephone too.” It’s so realistic, and gives you such a sense of the past; you can’t help but wonder for a moment if you could place a collect phone call to Ralph and Alice Kramden. “There’s a lot to see, that’s for sure,” Martin enthused. “Our 2,000 square-foot gift shop offers visitors a wide selection of everything from collector Tshirts, DVDs, vintage signs, clothing and Route 66 items. Our admission here is free, and we appreciate any donations folks would like to make.” Visitors also enjoy the replica board track with a Harley Davidson motorcycle that rides along it. “It’s an exact copy of a track that was used around 1910 through the 1920s,” he said. It’s pretty good sized and takes up a big part the room, so it’s a lot of fun.” All of the remodeling activity currently taking place is the most they have executed since the 2006 opening. “So we’ll have it all completed in June and ready for our friends that pass through along the road,” Martin said.
We’ll check in with Chris Martin again next issue (July/August) to find out what else the museum has acquired for you, how the reorganization is going, and get all the details on the Steve McQueen collection sale at Bonham and Butterfields’ auction on May 14th in Carmel, CA. Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum 128 S. Main St. Miami, OK 74354 66VintageIron@Cableone.net www.Route66VintageIron.com 918.542.6170 May/June 2011
ROUTE 66 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL June 9-12 Make your reservations now and join the fun at the 2011 Route 66 International Festival in Amarillo, Texas, June 9-12. You can be certain there will be lots of Texas hospitality served up for your enjoyment. Known for doing everything in a large way, this festival is no exception. Don’t miss the largest Classic Car – Truck and Cycle Show, the big “blow out” Banquet & 85th Route 66 Birthday Party at the Galleries at Sunset Center, as well as the huge sounds of the “Texas Crossroads” and “The Road Crew” bands! You won’t want to miss a thing so visit the website at www.amarillo2011.homestead.com for tickets and event listings. You can also contact: Bob “Croc” Lile at CrocodileLile@Live.com or call him at 806.664.3089 or David Rushing at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 806.256.2501
by Beverly Maxfield
The years have taken a harsh toll on many of the legendary buildings and signs that reside along the road in a sad, yet still welcoming shadow of their former selves. Faded by the sun, struck and punished by the winds and rain, they all seem to be lying in wait for a fresh forecast… a new wind of change to surface and blow some luck their way. Some of the businesses endure, yet barely function; the neon signs have rusty names and messages that are hardly visible and obsolete in this time and place. You may remember that favorite hotel when you were a kid in the backseat of the family car, heading off to some special getaway place that could only accessed by The Road. The diner is still there, but the sign dangles by one or two rusted nails, the motel windows are boarded up and the façade boasts a renovation circa 1974. Enough said. There are many tales to be told by these ghosts of the past… ghosts that can prove that there is life after death, as the winds of change are poised and building momentum, ready to lead to a real mother of a reinvention, renovation and revitalization of the near-bygone motels, gas stations, post offices, legendary billboard and neon signs… even entire towns along Route 66. The winds of change are led by Richard Talley, a semi-retired businessman who spent most of his career in the hotel industry at the Marriott Company.
“I was with the Marriott Company for 20 years,” Mr. Talley began, “and when it was time to move on, well, my wife and I were too young to retire, so we turned our attention to Route 66 and renovating the historic buildings and businesses that made it a legend back in the day.” Talley was inspired and filled with visionary motivation upon purchasing and beginning the renovation of the Safari Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, about 175 miles east of Albuquerque. The historic, 23-room motel, built in 1959, is currently being transformed back to its original greatness, offering accommodations with a host of modern amenities including upscale, high thread-count bed linens, and the vintage touches of restored Philco TVs, and period furnishings… combining to suit the standards of any weary traveler seeking the authentic retro experience.
about the passion for the rich history of Route 66 and the people and businesses that breathed life into the Road,” Talley continued. “It takes a certain individual that understands and appreciates the history that’s here, that still lies in the buildings that sit in disrepair. You need that rare passion to be able to devote time and money to breathe life back into these historic towns.”
“It’s exciting to watch this wonderful old hotel slowly emerge back to its former glory,” he says. “It’s so important to keep it vintage, and keep it true to the spirit of Route 66.” Talley tells us a hotel stay, by the way, is appropriately priced at $66 per night.
The company would guide the re-establishment of a chamber of commerce, of the city government, “we will work with the people and help lay a steady and stable foundation so their renovated town can grow, prosper and sustain themselves,” he said. “Smalltown America would oversee the projects from start to finish. Our ultimate goal is to renovate from one end of Route 66 to the other.”
Talley takes his work, his dreams along the road very seriously. He is currently heading up Smalltown America, an organization dedicated to renovating and restoring motels and businesses, and bringing commerce back to towns that are just a blink away from extinction. “It’s all
Talley added: “Take Tucumcari, for instance, 50 years ago there was just a gas station and a motel… and here we are today, all of these years later, and there’s still a gas station and a motel. With Smalltown America, we are aiming to become an umbrella company overseeing the small towns along the road that we renovate. We’d work not only with the businesses, but with the infrastructure of the entire towns.”
Talley going these great;
was quick to add, “You aren’t to make millions undertaking projects, but the rewards are creating new communities for
people to live, work and be proud of along the historic route. It takes a unique commitment, and luckily, there seems to be more and more people these days that do have an interest in preservation.” With the recession of recent years, the projects are slow to implement, but Talley has persevered, having taken possession of the Safari right when it hit. “It slowed our progress, but not our passion,” he emphasized. “It’s harder to renovate motel properties that have less than 15 rooms financially, so we are first targeting larger properties and returning them to their original state, keeping with the overall look, theme and feel. Why create a franchise motel chain
when you can restore something that is part of what makes America great? Revitalize history for the future, for all the memories to come.” Talley promises that all of the properties they restore will offer a quality stay and that all-American “Route 66” experience; and for those coming from other countries, that is really something special. “Not one inch of the structure will be left untouched by the renovation when we are finished,” he said with pride. “I see so much potential in so many of the old structures.” Along with the MainStreet Organization and the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce, Talley is also on a quest to restore a number of the time-honored gas stations in the area. Volunteers
are currently painting and repurposing the structures to return them to the distinct look and character of the bygone glory days of Route 66. His project idea was implemented during the restoration of an old gas station that sat near the town’s chamber of commerce building. Talley thought it would be interesting to paint it to look like the old Whiting Brothers station back in the day. After getting permission from the station’s owner to undertake the restoration, the group went right to work transforming it with a slick paint job and signage depicting the Whiting Brothers original logo. Talley said the ultimate goal is to renovate all of the old gas stations in town. The Safari Motel opened its first renovated group of
rooms last February to rave reviews. Rumor has it the legendary Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri may be the next in line. Talley says, “We’ll wait and see.” “We live here at the Safari; we see motorcycles, cars with families going by all the time. I feel I couldn’t be any luckier, living on Route 66 in a historic 1950s motel… you can’t get any more of an ‘American Dream’ than that.” l
GlobetrotterLodge2010@hotmail.com May/June 2011
Terry Lea Smith-Kafides ... With Eyes On the Road
ueen of the Road Those that have traveled, or just dream of taking the journey from Chicago to LA, can appreciate the stories shared by any authority on the subject… and what better authority than the actual “Queen of the Road” herself, Terry Lea Smith-Kafides, the National Route 66 Ambassador. She and her husband also serve as Officers on the Board for the California Historic Route 66 Association, as Secretary and Trustee, respectively. With all the scenic splendor, the welcoming hotels and eateries on a scale from funky to fabulous, along with the magic of all the people that live, work and play along the way; it is all the little nuances that merge, converge and combine to create the mystique that is the Mother Road. In spite of serious health issues along the road of life, Terry keeps her eyes squarely on The Mother Road, tirelessly devoting her time and infusing her passion for the people and places across the golden miles. A mother of four, a grandmother of three, and a 14-year cancer survivor, Terry was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a town as far from Route 66 as you can get on this continent without ending up in the middle of the Atlantic. “I was six years old when we moved out to California, and I first travelled the route when I was really young, not knowing at the time about Route
66 and it’s significance,” she recalled. What initially directed Terry’s attention to Route 66 and its rich history years later was a mention her daughter made to her about a Route 66 pageant taking place in Barstow, California. Terry’s interest was peaked since she loves pageants and has participated in many, including the Ms. America 2011 pageant that was held this year in Anaheim. “My daughter mentioned a Route 66 pageant in Barstow—for ladies my age,”she laughed, “‘so I came back with ‘what’s that supposed to mean’, and she said ‘for you old ladies.’” Terry investigated and went on to compete in the pageant and was ﬂoored when she won. “That was the start of it with me and Route 66, that pageant got my interest going, and I really wanted to find out more about it.” She has made the complete trip six times in one year and warmly recalls the many kindnesses she and her family were extended by the people along the way. Terry made it clear, what makes Route 66 so magical is the people, not just the places. “The people along the route are just awesome, the most hometown, bring you in, family type of people I’ve ever met in my life,” she recalled. “One experience that stands out happened in Oatman, Nevada,” the town along the route that proudly bills itself as a true throwback to the Old West… ‘The living ghost town’ in-
California by Beverly Maxfield habited by groups of friendly burros that roam about the town, descendants of the companion burros that assisted and accompanied miners during the Gold Rush. They say if you slow your car down in Oatman, you are bound to get a burro sticking their head through your window looking for a handout. “I explained to my daughter the burros are like dogs, they just come right up to you. She couldn’t believe how they were everywhere around town,” she continued. “I have been there a few times – and it was either the second or third time I was there, they were having this event. People were saying, ‘oh hi Terry, you’re back again’ and my daughter couldn’t believe I was so well known there by everyone. After all, that’s what I do, I visit all these little towns, and that’s how they know me,” she said. “My daughter, said, ‘mom this is so embarrassing!’” It wasn’t long after the embarrassment dissipated and she got used to the life of a Mother Road celebrity. Terry also remembers a two-week trip from Santa Monica to Oatman, with what was to be a quick stop off at Williams, Nevada. “We got to Williams in the morning, so we went inside a shop to drop off a few brochures, and we overheard someone talking about the parade they were having later that day. My husband noticed that someone came in and said ‘there’s a car out front and the back of the window says, National Route 66 Ambassador’. It was at that moment that Terry realized this probably was not going to be a quick trip to drop off brochures. “I have it displayed on the back; it covers up my whole back window. The person was so excited and said, ‘she’s here in town!’ I found myself becoming a little embarrassed by this reaction, and just kind of looked the other way when my husband then blurts out, “she’s right here.” So, from that moment on, we got ready for the
“Life is not the breath you take, but the moments that take your breath away.” photo opps to come, so I got my crown and sash and posed with the council people over here,” she said. The chamber and council members came by and talked Terry into staying for their parade and to sit alongside their grand marshal who was leading the parade in a horse and buggy. “The parade wasn’t scheduled until 6 that night,” she remembered, “so they put me up in a hotel and took me all around town. It was great. We were browsing in a shop and a tall guy with a big old cowboy hat came up to me, cracking jokes and all. I was so surprised to find out after talking to this guy for about an hour, that he was the grand marshal… and the mayor of Williams. We had been talking all that time and I had no idea,” Terry laughed. “He was cracking so many jokes, and asked me if I knew how he got to be mayor? I said ‘no sir,’ and he said I shot the dog next to me. I said, you know how I got my title? I pulled a Tanya Harding on the pageant girl next to me. He laughed and said you are going to fit in around here just fine. It was a wonderful experience and they were kind enough to invite me back the next month for their next pageant and car show, it was a three-day event,” she said.
Williams. This isn’t the way they usually conduct the pageants. I didn’t know what to expect. They came out on stage and started talking about everything I did and said in the thirty years of pageants we have never had an ambassador, anyone who has done as much as you have, she said, you are now my National Ambassador for Route 66. That was a moment. I
Terry keeps a journal of all her experiences and is currently starting a book. I was the first Ambassador to do everything on my own. She was surprised to receive her distinction at the end of the pageant. “They told me, you need to take off your crown and sash now, and I thought, did I do something wrong? I thought, I had maybe offended the Mayor of
Along with her many accolades and awards, Terry recently received the Governor and First Lady award earlier this year for her volunteer work, being one of 300 to receive the award, signed by Arnold Swarzenegger and Maria Shriver. Even with her recent diagnosis of the rare disease Dystonia, Terry is a tireless volunteer and helpmate to many, along with her
duties travelling to Route 66 events. Her passion is giving her free time to help others. “Dystonia is a disorder that causes muscles to spasm and contract involuntarily. It’s like Parkinson’s Disease and is very painful,” she explains. Treatment of this newly discovered afﬂiction includes botox injections to freeze the muscles and brain stimulation. Our Ambassador for the Mother Road is an amazing woman who has conquered disease, raised a wonderful and supportive family, volunteered for those in need, participated in pageants, and touched so many lives along the Route.
National Route 66 Ambassador Terry Lea Smith-Kafides was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. One thing leads to another. Right now I’m helping Texas do their first Route 66 pageant, the Will Rodgers event in Shamrock, Texas in July,” she stated proudly.
“Life makes me tick and I live life to the fullest every day,” she proudly says. “Life is not the breath you take but the moments that take your breath away.” l
To learn more about the disease Dystonia, and to donate towards treatment advancements and a cure, please sign on to the American Dystonia Society Website.Your kind donation would be appreciated. www.Dystonia-Foundation.org
September 15-18, 2011 Downtown San Bernardino, CA
California’s Hottest Cruisin’ Classic Car Show
EVENT PRODUCED BY
Pre-Registration: $70 Per Vehicle Registration is open to vehicles from 1900-1974. Any year Corvette. Limited to 1,700 entries
Pre-Registration ends August 1, 2011 • 4-day Reserved Parking With Assigned Space • Participant Credentials • Official Event T-Shirt • Commemorative License Plate
To The Public For More Information
• Cruisin’ Awards • Contest: Neon Light, Poker Run, Open Header, Model Car • Celebrities & Legendary Guests • Entertainment & Music • Hundreds of Vendors
Call: 909.388.2934 Or Go To: www.ROUTE-66.org Event Sponsored By:
www.WigwamMotel.com WigwamMotel@GMail.com 33
Send us your photos!
The back cover of this magazine is dedicated to the non-professional photographers traveling Route 66, who never cease to amaze us with their keen eye for detail, and their ability to take any subject matter and turn it into a work of art. Submit your photo and tell us a little bit about you: who you are, how we can contact you (phone & email), where you live, where the photo was taken, and why this photo was special to you. You can upload the photo and your story on our website, or send an email to Info@66TheMotherRoad.com. Photos must be under 10Megs, or contact Judy@66TheMotherRoad.com for upload instructions. We will not alter your photo, but do reserve the right to adjust it’s size to fit the cover. All photos must be the sole ownership of the submitter, with clear legal rights to the image.
The photo on the back cover of this issue was taken in 2007 by “yours truly,” Judy Springs. John and I were near DePew, Oklahoma, during our 23 day road trip across Route 66 and you can tell it was raining. It had been raining for 17 straight days! I love the solitary feeling of this photograph, and the fact that you can see the light shining through at the end of the road. It spoke to me then, and continues to speak to me now. 35 May/June 2011 66TheMotherRoad.com