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Route 66Route 66LEGENDARY ROUTE 66

Personal Stories From the Mother Road

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Personal Stories:

1960 ThunderbirdI have used Route 66 most of my life and still do. I was born on one end of it and now live on the other end of it. I've been on it several times a year except when I was in the U.S. Navy and am still finding interesting things on or close to the Mother Road. I remember ol' Chief Yellowhorse, I think it was, in Arizona. He had a stand by Route 66 and we shared a fire water or two a couple of times on my trips. He also had some great stories, like when he said the cavalry never messed with his relatives in what he called their civil war. I remember in the 60's, he had Burma Shave-like signs saying things like, "Good Injun 250 feet up road" and after his stand, "Go back missed good Indian by 500 ft." I hear when he died several years ago, he had a big funeral, as a lot of 66'ers went to see him off to the great father and his stand in the sky, or happy hunting ground, or whatever, Yes I have some good memories on the road and I really like sharing a brew or two with an oldie and their stories of the good ol', but tough days. This ship is Salyn Yo-Ho,Yo-Ho!

P.S. I'm dying shortly myself and still have my 1960 T-Bird Cruiser. I am planning one more trip from pier to pier, so if'n ya see a 60 silver gray T-bird on Route 66, say hello it's me on my last trip down our Mother Road.

-- G. Thompson, California, October, 2008

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I just had to write you after reading your accounts of travels on Highway 66. I literally grew up on Highway 66. My father pastored a church on Highway 66 in Chelsea, Oklahoma. I worked at two service stations and a new car agency on Highway 66 while attending high school. I wish I could have met with you at Chelsea and given you the grand tour. Of all the towns along this great road, I think none is more typical of what it is all about than this little northeastern Oklahoma town. To name a few of the interesting sites during my growing up years, the George Goosman garage and bus station where Mr. Goosman took the picture of every young man or woman who left for service in WWII. He had all their pictures displayed on the walls of the waiting room. This place was truly a slice of Americana. On the 4th of July Mr. Goosman would don a tall stove pipe hat and drive his vintage Diamond-T fire truck in the parade playing his calyape made from dozens of automobile horns. Or, a trip up the main street of Chelsea paved with Coffeeville bricks almost to the high school at the top of the hill. The most interesting and reminiscent of what Highway 66 is all about was the Gaino service station along side the Pig-in-Pen diner. Talk about right out of a movie set, they were both constructed of porcelinized steel in a white and red motif. The diner had its neon sign and trimmings while the service station had the large flying red horse out front. It was a proud day for me at fourteen years of age when they got tired of me bootlegging work at the service station and made me get a social security card and gave me a uniform and I went to work. I lived the saga of Highway 66 for the next 5 years when I left for the navy never to return except for visits. That was 48 years ago next month. Alas, all those sites are gone now, except for the little brick "mission" my father and uncles built. I know many people have many memories of Highway 66 but I think I could write a book about mine just in Chelsea alone. My fantasy is to acquire a 1957 T-Bird and travel the length of 66 and end up in Chelsea at my 50th class reunion. you guessed it I am of the class of '57.

 

- Don Jones, December, 2005

 

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My Favorite Route 66 Story

By Laurie Eve Loftin

VW BusMy family was traveling two-lane Route 66 in our 1968 Volkswagen bus, with my dad at the wheel. We were second in a long line of cars—in front of us, a pickup truck hauling a full cattle trailer, and behind us a very impatient man in a fancy convertible with the top down.

This guy was weaving and ducking, honking and gesturing, trying to either force us off the road or pass both us and the trailer combo, but becoming increasingly frustrated by all the no-passing zones on those wonderful scenic hills and curves.

Just as we could begin to see a level, straight area where it would be easy to pass, my dad also had a good view into the trailer ahead, and he could tell that one of the animals was raising its tail, and about to let loose and relieve itself. 

 

 

We weren't going to reach the passing zone before the little incident would take place, so Dad slowed down.

This further irked the convertible driver, who didn't bother to check for a reason for the slowdown, or wait for the legal passing zone, but promptly passed us, sliding into our lane just in time to get the shower of his life.

Lesson? Is something going too slowly for you? There might be a good reason.

Copyright Laurie Eve Loftin, 2005

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Route 66 Postcard Coloring BookI lived in Ashfork [Arizona] in the 50"s an again in the early 60 's with my parents. They, along with my uncle, both had service stations there. My parents also built and operated two diners, one of which, was located beside Theroux's Garage and the second was at the end of town by the old highway garage. We had some overnight trailer hookups, and some very interesting people stopped by for eats an rest, including Elvis, Red Foley, Alan Ladd, Audey Murphy, etc. Back then, people were very friendly. When we were about to open our station, our stock did not arrive on time so the other owners in town brought enough for us to open on time. When we lived there most all businesses were open an thriving -- movie theater, curio stores, restaurants, the Harvey House was partially open, 66 Hotel, Zettler's Market, Judge Slamon's Variety Store, etc. Saturday trips to Prescott or Williams were always looked forward to. Once a year we went to Phoenix. Trips to Oak Creek Canyon to swim and picnic and go to Jerome to poke around. Although most everyone we knew are gone some still live there, and I am going to go back and visit. We are thinking of retiring to the area someday Lots of fond memories remain. Anyone remembering Floyd or Hariette McElroy or Fred and Dorothy Fegely would like to hear from you: pmcelroy@columbus.rr.com - Phillip McElroy, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, September, 2005

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When I ran across your site and began to laugh. I was laughing because about 49 years ago my parents and I travel from Chicago to Los Angeles along Route 66. We kept seeing "Two Guns" sign showing how far to go. When we reached the destination our car kept on going thinking we must have missed the turnoff or something. I looked in out the back window and saw the gas station. My parents are long gone but we still remembered that day and how we laughed. Thanks for the memory. - Kenneth L. Vadovsky, July, 2005

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Hi folks, in 1957 my father moved our family from upstate New York to Prescott, Arizona. We drove the entire length of Route 66 we saw every stop that you hear in the song "Route 66," there was an old prospector who had a little store and road side zoo, I think it was in New Mexico . This old guy still had his donkey, his covered wagon, and some other animals. There was a box next to his front door and it had a sign painted on it, that said, baby rattlers. When we opened the lid there were four plastic baby rattles laying in a bed of straw. This old guy was colorful, happy, and funny. Every time we made the trip back to New York, we would stop at his store and road side zoo, just to say hi. Thanks for the memories, V. Myra Parrott, June, 2005

Editor's Note: Anyone have an idea about where this place is or was? Here are a couple of our ideas:

 

Frontier Museum on Route 66 east of Albuquerque, New Mexico

What was left of the old Frontier Museum east of Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2004.

 

Two Guns Arizona Zoo

Remains of Two Guns Zoo, December, 2004, Kathy Weiser

 

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I have lived in St. Louis, St. Louis County, and Franklin County all my life. I traveled Route 66 many times a month before I 44. I remember Holiday Hill Amusement Park on Natural Bridge, a row of houses at 7500 North Broadway that were torn down years ago, The Diamonds on Route 66 when you couldn't get a seat, Skullys Motel on Route 66 where we stopped every Saturday to eat and my 37 yr. old daughter took her first steps, and the Twin Bridges on Route 66. You brought back a lot of memories. Oh yes, Coral Courts in St. Louis County and the Knotty Pine in St. Louis County - by the hour, by the day or by the week! Those two places with Reputation! Thank You, Sharon, January, 2005

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Do you have an interesting story of the Mother Road, or know an interesting person that we should feature? Maybe it's you! Just zap us an email. See yourself on Legendary Route 66! We're also planning on starting a new page for your photographs of Route 66. Email your stories and photographs, we'd love to see them!

 

 

Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma

The Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma is one of  the most photographed

 sites on the Mother Road. Kathy Weiser, May, 2004

 

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