Route 66 and The Rise of Pop Culture

May 23, 2012

Rocket Motel by Jay Fleming

Chappell House will be hosting the art exhibit ROUTE 66 AND THE RISE OF POP CULTURE on June 9th from Noon to 6pm. The exhibit will feature many Route 66 inspired paintings as well as photography by artist Jay Fleming. All are welcomed to the event which is free of charge and will feature jazz and refreshments. Chappel House is located near the corner of Dunn and Washington just yards from Old Route 66 at 4560 Washington Street, Florissant, Missouri.

Fleming will also be signing copies of a book of Route 66 inspired works. The exhibit runs through July 1, 2012.

Lile Art Gallery has New Location in Amarillo, Texas

May 4, 2012
LILE ART GALLERY (owned and operated by Route 66 enthusiast Crocodile Lile), has moved from Sunset Center Art Galleries to Old Route 66 in Amarillo, the new address is:  2719 SW 6th Avenue in the Historic San Jacinto District.  The new location is just one half block west of Georgia Street on the south side between the 6th Street Antique Mall & Amarillo’s Route 66 Store & directly across the street from the Amarillo Coin Exchange.  Lile is looking forward to meeting Route 66 tour groups as well as individuals, families and local shoppers. 
Artists represented:  World Renowned Sculptor LINCOLN FOX; Muralist/Photo-Realism painter DOUG QUARLES; Pastel Painter SHARON QUARLES; Watercolorist PETE MORRIS; BOB WALDMIRE’S Route 66 Prints; Photographers JIM HINKLEY & GORDON RADFORD.  LILE is an Abstract Colorist Painter and is known internationally for his Route 66 X-Ray Giclee Prints & Cadillac Ranch Collages, his work is in collections in Australia, Japan, Europe and several states. 
Lile began his art career in 1968 under the tutelage of DORD FITZ and studied with Fitz until his death in 1989.  Workshops attended include:  Famed Sculptor LOUISE NEVELSON, Painters ELAINE DEKOONING, MACK STEWART, ROBERT DASH, NICK KRUSHINICK, HEDDA STERNE & LAWRENCE CALCAGNO.
In addition to Fine Art, Lile Art Gallery will also handle Route 66 Jewelry, ‘Buffalo Road’ Conchos & Snaps for the discriminating biker, TAW Promotion’s Route 66 Caps & Tee Shirts, Route 66 Chambray Shirts as well as other Route 66 Merchandise.      

ROUTE 66 … An adventure for the whole family

April 5, 2012

People come from around the world to experience the thrill of traveling the most famous of all highways, Route 66.

On June 8-9-10, the Route 66 Association of Illinois will provide to you an opportunity that others can only dream of.

The Illinois motor tour of Route 66 is a once a year opportunity to experience life in the slow lane. You can virtually step back in time. Visit people and places that the song. “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”, was written about. The cruise is available to any kind of vehicle of any year. The tour begins at the Missouri border on the Mississippi river and ends at the delightful town of Elwood, Illinois. That is just south of Joliet, Illinois. These towns are famous for Jake and Elwood, the “Blues Brothers”.

Friday June 8th is the start of this adventure. It begins in Edwardsville, Illinois. This town will welcome you and show you how to party, dance, sing and eat. After registration on Friday night we will get together for a short drive to the Luna Café for the second grand relighting of the old neon sign, which was just restored. Sunday June 10th the tour will end with a fantastic thank you party. Live foot stomping music, great food and more fun. Your final ride home will be very pleasant as you reminisce about all that you did, along with remembering all the people and places you visited.

You will long remember this weekend tour of Route 66. For information and registration… contact;

Jerry Law – 314-440-0040 or Email –
Marty Blitstein – 708-444-1312 or Email –
You can print out a application for the motor tour at

The historic Mother Road is expecting you!

Route 66 Association of Missouri Invites You to Annual Motor Tour

April 2, 2012

The Route 66 Association of Missouri is heading “Westward Ho!” on its  23rd Annual Motor tour. This year’s tour will be held September 7th, 8th, and 9th., starting east of Carlinville, IL and ending in Lebanon, MO. Tour registration begins on Friday, September 7, at 4:00 p.m. at the Magnuson Grand Hotel, located just off I-55 at Exit 60 (Carlinville exit) east of Carlinville, MO, where a block of rooms has been reserved for tour goers. Registration will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hotel. Also, on Saturday night, there will be lots of activities, including a car show and complimentary Hors D’oeuvres for tour goers to enjoy. More information on activities will be available at registration.

On Saturday, September 8, tour registration will resume at 7:45 a.m., and the tour will depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Magnuson Grand Hotel. Tour goers will be provided a pamphlet at registration containing recommended but in no way mandatory stops between Carlinville and Lebanon. This will give you the opportunity to select your own stops and proceed at your own pace. Additional details on what to see on the way will be included in your Motor Tour Agenda Folder available at registration. In addition, tour goers will have the opportunity to cross the Chain of Rocks Bridge, at a cost of $5.00 (you must pay in cash at the bridge to cross). If you want to cross the Bridge, you must be at the Illinois entrance to the Bridge by 11:30 a.m. Tour goers will proceed from the Magnuson Grand Hotel, through St. Louis (passing Ted Drewes) to the Meramec Caverns Motel at Meramec Caverns (aka Jesse James’ hideout), located 3 miles south of Stanton, MO on CR W. We have arranged for a block of rooms to be held at the Meramec Caverns Motel, and Saturday night’s dinner will be held at the Caverns, where tour goers can chew the fat about the days events.

On Sunday there will be a nondenominational worship service at 8:00 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., tour goers will leave Meramec Caverns and proceed to Waynesville (recommended stops will be included in the pamphlet). Here we will tour the Pulaski County Historical Society Museum and possibly other locations, and otherwise congregate to proceed, caravan style, to D. C. Decker’s Cowboy Emporium, located in the former Wrink’s Market in Lebanon. There we will end the tour in true cowboy style with a chuck wagon lunch featuring cowboy stew and biscuits. The Caravan to Decker’s will commence from Waynesville at 12:00 p.m., and we will have lunch at Deckers at 1:30 p.m.

Additional information on any planned stops or activities along the way will be made available at registration. For more information contact Kip Welborn at (314-776-7385),, Jane Dippel at 314-843-7132,, or visit our website (where you will find a registration form you can download) at Here’s hoping that you can join us on our trek Westward Ho! on Route 66!

Travelin’ Main Street USA, the Dream of His Life

March 26, 2012

The following account was submitted by Bob Swengrosh.

“Last week I had the privilege to be the driver for Gary Turner, caretaker of Gay Parita, Sinclair Station on a Whirl-Wind trip out West on the Mother Road to the border town of Glenrio, Texas.

On a short trip two months ago, we motored west to Tulsa, OK. On that drive, special stops were standouts for Gary, Eisler Brothers – Scott Nelson, Marsh Arch Bridge – Dean Walker, Visitor Center, Café on the Route, Angles on the Route – Baxter Springs, the Coleman Theatre Tour, the Sidewalk Highway, the always special stop at Afton Station – Laurel Kane, Totem Pole Park, Molly’s (the new bridge entrance) and the Blue Whale – Gary wanted to go skinny dipping (I was glad it was to cold) I want to Thank everyone for the warm welcome that we received.

So this trip started west of Tulsa on both the 1926 and later Route in Sapulpa passing the closed Frankoma Pottery, with the drive on the Ozark Trail, Gary told a number of stories about when he was a young back seat driver in his parents’  ’50 Chevrolet going west on Route 66 to California. We stopped to walk around the wonderful old gas station in Depew, it is sad that most road warriors miss this town. In Stroud at the Rock Café, Dawn Welch had a nice talk with Gary, then on to a warm welcome by McJerry at his gallery and home in Chandler, we took the time to site seeing in Chandler, then on to the great motor cycles at Seaba Station with the 1920′s restroom building, this is a must stop.

On the drive down the private Portland Concrete west of Deep Fork we found one of Rich Dinkela painted Route 66 shields, a stop at Johns Oklahoma County 66 east of Arcadia should not be missed, the Round Barn was closed, but Pop’s was busy with customers. Gary knew how Lucille must have felt when the super highway passed her by. We toured the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, then on to the “WOW” stop – the Sand hill’s Curiosity Shop, Harley and Annabelle put on a show for Gary, it was a great stop.

Entering the State of Texas, we found rain and heavy fog, we did stop in Shamrock to view the complete town, because of the weather we motored slowly to Amarillo to meet up with Bob Lile and have dinner with Rich Dinkela – Bob Lile hospitality was over the top, Thank You Bob. Bob got into the Tahoe and the three of us motored west on to Vega for a tour of the town, Adrain was next and Fran Houser was at the Midpoint Café, Gary enjoyed talking to her and looking at her gift shop. Our next stop was the ghost town of Glenrio, TX and GlenRio, NM. I had the joy to once again talk to Roxann Travis; she has had a hard life being the only one living in the ghost town of Glenrio. She is now working at the new welcome center on I-40 west bound in New Mexico. The stories that she can tell about her ghost town.

On the return trip east, we stopped in Groom, I took special interest in the old Phillips 66 gas station that Jack and Bettye West owned. The gas station and the Golden Spread motel across the street were in the movie “Leap of Faith” with Steve Martin. Our next stop was Mclean, Texas for a wonderful dinner at the “Red River Steak House”. Gary enjoyed talking to “WILL” and his mom and dad. The Red Mud, Bar-B-Q sauce is to die for.

Now, back to my opening statement “Whirl Wind Trip” around Amarillo, the wind was blowing about fifty miles per hour – plus – we drove thru two dust storms so bad we could not even see the front of the Tahoe hood; this was a true “Grapes of Wrath” experience.

I was able to return Gary back to his beloved wife in one piece, he was tired, but he enjoyed every minute of the trip. I took pictures of Gary all along the way and will be putting together a photo album for him. As Gary always states: ” Travelin’ Main Street USA, the Dream of His Life.

Fit and Healthy on Route 66: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

February 13, 2012
Deer at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Photo by Mark Stauter.

On February 12, 2012 a meeting of the Route 66 Association of Missouri Publication Committee was held in Kirkwood, MO. In the past after these meetings I have headed to nearby Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center for a hike after the meeting. On this occasion, Mark Stauter joined me. There are three trails to choose from. First we took the 0.70 mi Broken Ridge Trail then we switched over to the 1.20 mi Hickory Ridge Trail. Both trails are paved with asphalt. This makes for easy footing in dry weather but do be careful if conditions are at all wet or icy because there are steep hils and the asphalt could get slippery.

The trails are short, but hilly enough to give you a decent workout. Despite the close proximity of interstate highways and homes, there is a lot of wildlife to see. We saw deer, chipmunks and many birds including tufted titmice and robins. There was such an abundance of robins in one area that the sound of them rustling through leaves to look for food was quite striking. Not a rare sight by any means, but a delight! I’m not certain but I may have seen some dark-eyed juncos. We definitely heard woodpeckers. If you happen to come here when the visitor center is open, it has excellent exhibits and you can borrow binoculars for birdwatching.

For directions and more information, go to Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

More photos on Carolyn’s Facebook page

Reach for the Stars on Route 66

February 9, 2012

Reach for the Stars on Route 66!  is Youth Services for Oklahoma County’s annual fundraising gala, benefiting youth and families. Funds raised in the silent and live auction help provide services to homeless teens. Our event theme this year revolves around Route 66 and we would appreciate donations for the auction or décor, such as gift certificates for food or lodging, tickets to attractions, or other travel-related experiences or items along or pertaining to The Mother Road. Donors will receive an official acknowledgement letter from our 501(c)3 non-profit noting the donation is tax-deductible. Donation information must be received by April 4 and the item(s) by April 13. Also, tickets are available for $150 each if you’ll be in OKC on April 20. For more information, contact Cass Hayes at (405)235-7537 or Thank you for helping us Change Young Lives!

Donor Letter

Donor Form

More information about the event

Fit and Healthy on Route 66: Onondaga Cave State Park

February 8, 2012
Oak Ridge Trail at Onondaga Cave State Park

Oak Ridge Trail at Onondaga Cave State Park

On a recent Saturday, there was a meeting of the Route 66 Association of Missouri Motor Tour Committee at Skippy’s in Leasburg, MO. My friend Mark Reed tagged along so we could go on a hike after the meeting at Onondaga Cave State Park, about 7 miles down the road from Skippy’s. It had rained earlier in the day, but by the time of our hike there was only a light mist still falling – it felt delightful on my face! It’s usually so dry in the winter that the moist environment made me feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

Moss Covered Rock

Moss Covered Rock

During the winter season, there are no cave tours and we had the park almost to ourselves. I had hiked the Deer Run Trail on a previous visit so this time I chose the 3 mile Oak Ridge Trail for our hike. During wet weather, there are many small temporary waterfalls along the trail so for most of the hike the only sounds were the gentle trickle of water and occasional twitter of small birds. The trail is on rocky and hilly terrain so there was little mud to contend with and there were only a couple of spots where footing was questionable. We were astonished by the beauty of the abundant lichens, mosses and ferns – it was like walking in a giant terrarium!

A highlight of our day was reaching a ridge with an open glade covered with copper-colored grasses. We enjoyed the subtle colors of the winter landscape and views of the surrounding hills. Eventually we reached a connector trail to the Deer Run Trail and since we both had some life left in our legs we decided to do part of that trail as well. There is a letterbox on the Deer Run Trail that I had found on a previous visit in 2010. I had my letterboxing journal and stamp with me so I logged another find for that box. If you want to find out about letterboxing and get clues to find that box, go to After wrapping up our hike we looked for and found another quick drive-by letterbox in Bourbon.

Here are some more photos from our hike.

2012 NPS Route 66 Cost-Share Grant season is now open!

January 19, 2012

From Kaisa Barthuli, Program Manager Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program:

“The National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is now receiving applications for the 2012 Cost-Share Grant season. Applications may be submitted to the program office now through Friday, April 6, 2012.

Additional information and application materials can be found at:

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the program office to
discuss eligibility requirements and project ideas prior to submitting an

Thank you for your support in spreading the word about this grant
opportunity, and helping to preserve the legacy of historic Route 66. We
look forward to seeing more excellent projects get underway this year!”

Kansas Historic Route 66 Byway receives state designation

November 30, 2011

The Kansas portion of the original Route 66, located in Cherokee County, has been designated as a Kansas Historic Byway. With this addition, Route 66 becomes the eleventh Kansas byway to receive official designation from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“The designation of Kansas Historic Route 66 will emphasize the important significance of the route in this area for visitors and local residents, encouraging them to drive the route and explore the communities along it,” said Scott Shields, Kansas State Byways Coordinator.

An historic byway must have resources that are historically significant, be numerous, visible and have a setting or character that is complementary to the resources. “We are excited to add Historic Route 66 to the Kansas Byway collection. The route designation provides travelers a chance to view the relationship between the history of the original highway and the landscape and structures that define the area, in a combined effort to promote tourism and economic development, while exploring the natural and cultural importance of the byway communities,” Shields said.

The 13.2 miles of Kansas Historic Route 66 includes paved state, city and county roads, beginning at the Kansas-Missouri state line and following the original Route 66 route through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.

The byway offers opportunities for visitors to enjoy a variety of experiences to “get their own kicks” while driving the original Kansas portion of Route 66, found in the “Ozark Plateau” or Southeast corner of the state. There are museums, collections, murals and ghost writing that tell the local history of life along the route. A traveler can drive over many of the original structures of “The Mother Road,” including the only remaining Marsh Arch Bridge on Route 66, or explore the mining and railroad history of the area. Visitors can have a picture taken with the tow truck that was the inspiration for the character “Mater” from the “Cars” movie or discover Schimerhorn Park and the Southeast Kansas Nature Center south of Galena. They can learn of the importance of hydroelectricity in Riverton or enjoy a stop at the Eisler Brother’s Store, the location of a 1920′s Route 66 gas station. The stories of Baxter Springs include Native American history, early battles of the Civil War, a frontier cattle town and baseball. There are tours offered throughout the year and many dining and lodging facilities available for travelers as well as locations that offer Route 66 memorabilia for sale.

The state designation will result in the placement of Kansas Byway route markers along the byway, the creation of a promotional brochure and inclusion on the Kansas Scenic Byway Facebook page, The byway will have a page on the website, a place on the National Scenic Byways website, and the byway will be eligible to apply for National Scenic Byway grants to enhance the route for visitors. With this state designation, Kansas Historic Route 66 will join several other states who’s portion of Route 66 carries the designation of an All American Road, a National Scenic Byway or a state byway including Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Renee Charles of Galena and Marla Larison of Baxter Springs are Co-Chairs of the Kansas Historic Route 66 Byway Planning Committee. They submitted the byway application and developed the Corridor Management Plan along with numerous others from the area that are also members of the planning committee.

The Kansas Byways program identifies scenic and historic routes in the state and preserves, enhances and promotes the routes through a cooperative grassroots partnership. For additional information, contact Shields at (785) 296-4149, or Sue Stringer, Kansas Byways Public Involvement Liaison at (785) 296-8669 or


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