For Sale – Historic Valentine’s Diner Car in Winslow on Route 66

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on For Sale – Historic Valentine’s Diner Car in Winslow on Route 66
Aug 102011


I have spoken with the current owner of the Diner Car in Winslow AZ and she followed up with this Email to me:

Hi Ed,

Our diner is an authentic 1946 Valentine Diner, masters model, floor-plan #3.

It has to remain in its original location, and retains most of its original features, such as the lockbox (you can see features on Kansas State Historical Society’s website/Valentine Diners). We are in the process of renovation.

Any interested parties can contact us regarding our progress. The pictures attached were taken before work was begun. We are also in the process of getting it on the National Register of Historical Places, which will lower the property taxes and draw nationwide attention to the diner.

As is, we are asking $85,000, which includes the property (about 1/12 acre), located right on historic Rt. 66 and across from the famous La Posada Hotel. As more work is done, the price will increase. Please feel free to spread the word! Thanks so much for your assistance.


Her Email contact is and please do not overwhelm her with Email other than those who are interested in purchasing – as this was a concern she had with me reaching out to everyone.

This is ONE block away from the ‘Standing on the Corner’ park and the gift shop and there is plans to open up an old fashion soda shop across the street from the park – and RIGHT across the street from this diner car is the La Posada Hotel – which is ALWAYS packed.

As we all know – these diners are a RARE find along the route and I do expect this to be picked up by someone who truly loves the route and is looking to own a VERY important piece of it’s history…

Historic Route 66 Passport honored with Governor’s Tourism Awards

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Historic Route 66 Passport honored with Governor’s Tourism Awards
Aug 092011

The Historic Route 66 Passport was recently awarded the prestigious Governor’s Tourism Award during the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Phoenix. For about a year, the passport has been available for fans of the historic landmark at the Williams-Forest Service Visitors Center. Route 66 communities from throughout the state are featured in the promotional tool, including Williams.

The passports are available for free at participating visitor’s centers along Route 66, and for those traveling on the Mother Road can have their passport stamped at each location along the Route. Acquiring all Route 66 stamps qualifies participants for a prize.

Besides having their passports stamped in various Route 66 communities, coupons may also be added to the passports, which can be slipped inside the pages to help draw visitors to particular area businesses.

Williams Main Street Coordinator Sue Atkinson said the passports have been very popular and it has been difficult to keep up with the demand.

Mary Barbee, visitor’s use assistant at the Williams Visitors Center agreed with Atkinson and said the public has had a positive response to the passports.

“They are really liking them,” she said. “We went through them like that.”

The Arizona Historic Route 66 Passport, spearheaded by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona (Association) on behalf of the Route 66 communities, received the distinguished Cooperative Marketing Award at a luncheon, which recognized 10 individuals and organizations for their best practices, accomplishments, and contributions to the Arizona tourism industry.

The Cooperative Marketing Award is presented to the project that best exemplifies creative partnerships to develop and execute a cooperative marketing initiative. The criteria used by the panel of judges to select the winner included demonstrating an exceptional effort, innovation, uniqueness, effective use of resources, measurable results, and its overall contribution to the tourism industry of Arizona.

According to the Association’s press release, The Historic Route 66 Passport is the first joint marketing effort between all the communities across Arizona’s stretch of Route 66. The Association said while the overall goal for the Passport Program is to increase visitation to the Route 66 communities, attractions, and businesses across northern Arizona, a major objective has been to demonstrate the power of working together.

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, founded in 1987 to preserve, protect, and promote Arizona’s Route 66, oversees the Passport Program, however, according to the Association’s press release, it was the financial contributions of so many that made this project a reality.

All communities across the Route were represented in this marketing tool thanks to a grant from the Arizona Office of Tourism, and generous contributions from the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, Hualapai Tourism, the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, Kingman Chamber of Commerce, Flagstaff Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Winslow Chamber of Commerce, Williams’ Main Street Association, and the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce.

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Grant Awards – 2011

 Arizona, Daily, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma  Comments Off on Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Grant Awards – 2011
Aug 092011

Below is a liting of the (10) properties / businesses who were awarded Preservation Grants. PLEASE keep in mind these places do not get this money upfront – it is a ‘cost share program’ which means they need to spend a dollar to get a dollar. So, they still need help!! Either you can donate your dollars and/or time. They get a ‘cost per hour’ charge for every hour of work from volunteers – which turn into dollars they get from these grants. Check with the local proerty to see how you can help!!


Project: Route 66 Motel Sign and Roof Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $10,319 NPS, $10,319 match

The Route 66 Motel has been a welcoming stop on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona for more than 50 years. Its towering red and yellow neon sign remains a beacon in the night for travelers stopping to photograph the sign, stay the night, or visit the Route 66 gift shop. Built in 1963 as the “Pony Soldier”, the motel is a two-story, brick building with decorative, extruded mortar joints.
An aging electrical system has caused many portions of the sign to stop working, and the flat roof on the motel building needs repair. Grant funds will assist with these priority preservation needs, so it can continue to serve as an important Route 66 landmark in Kingman.


Project: Ariston Cafe Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $10,000 NPS, $10,000 match

The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois opened in 1935 and has been continuously operated by the Adam family ever since. A standing tradition for locals and travelers alike, the cafe offers favorites such as toasted ravioli and homemade red velvet cake. With its distinctive curved parapet, finely crafted brickwork, and its original Art Deco-style dining booths, this beloved Litchfield landmark was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. In 2008, a preservation plan was prepared for the cafe, and rehabilitation work has been ongoing since. Grant funds will assist with the current phase of the project, which will focus on structural repairs to the exterior brickwork.

Project: Dell Rhea Chicken Basket Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $7,000 NPS, $7,000 match

Dell Rhea Chicken Basket has its origins in the 1930’s as a lunch counter attached to a service station in Hinsdale, Illinois. Oral tradition has it that two local farm women offered to reveal their excellent fried chicken recipe to the owner if he would promise to buy their chickens. The recipe was so good, that by 1946, the service station was closed and the new Chicken Basket was born. Built adjacent to the lunch counter site, the building reflects the nononsense,
utilitarian, commercial style of the post-war years. After being bypassed by the Interstate in 1962, the business fell on hard times. The Dell Rhea family purchased the Chicken Basket in 1963, and through savvy marketing and its famous fried chicken recipe, the business flourishes today. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Grant funds will assist with much needed structural repairs to the exterior brick walls.

Project: Luna Cafe Neon Sign Restoration
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $11,000 NPS, $11,000 match

The Luna Cafe in Mitchell, Illinois was built in 1926, the same year Route 66 was commissioned as a highway. With over 85 years of continuous service, the Luna has reportedly had many famous visitors including Al Capone, Elvis Presley, Hank
Williams Sr., and Ike & Tina Turner. Local memory recalls it serving variously as a Route 66 cafe, piano bar, boarding house, brothel, upscale restaurant, and meeting spot for gangsters. The neon sign with its iconic ruby red cherries lit up the night for over 40 years before going dark in the 1990s.The Missouri and Illinois Route 66 Associations are partnering with the owner of the Luna to oversee the restoration of the sign. Grant funds will assist with this effort.

Project: Sprague Super Service Window Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $10,000 NPS, $10,000 match

In 1931, William W. Sprague built a two-story, Tudor Revival style building on Route 66 in Normal, Illinois to meet the
burgeoning demands of automobilists. Although Sprague opened the business during the Great Depression, he could count on travelers and local residents who needed food, gasoline, and car repair to stay in business. By providing on-site housing in the upstairs portion of the building for himself and a gas station attendant, he could readily meet the needs of his customers while lowering his housing costs. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, the current owner is restoring the building for use as a visitor center. Following a preservation plan prepared in 2009, a new roof and ADA accessible bathrooms have been installed. Grant funds will now assist with rehabilitation of the historic, wood frame windows.


Project: Meramec River Bridge Historic Structures Report
Recipient: Landmarks Association of St. Louis
Amount: $15,000 NPS, $30,000 match
Constructed in 1931-1932, the Meramec River Bridge is a 1,009’-long, three-span, steel deck truss and girder structure located near Eureka in the Missouri Route 66 State Park. The bridge carried Route 66 traffic until it was bypassed by I-44 in the 1960’s. Today it serves as a centerpiece of the Route 66 State
Park, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Now closed to traffic and under threat of demolition due to its deteriorated condition, it has been listed on Missouri Preservation’s Most Endangered Historic Places list for two years in a row. As part of a larger master planning effort, grant funds will assist with the preparation of a Historic Structures Report to evaluate preservation options and rehabilitation costs for the bridge.

Project: Sunset Motel Entrance and Exit Signs Restoration
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $7,100 NPS, $7,100 match

The Sunset Motel was built just after World War II in the “Hi-Way Hills Subdivision” of Villa Ridge, Missouri. Built in a distinctive Vshape, it had a twin-sister property known as the Pin Oak Motel just two miles west on Route 66. The motel featured a spacious lawn and central garden, a circular driveway around the rear of the property, and front and back entrances to each room. Since 1971, the property has been owned by the same family, and is currently operating on a weekly rental basis. Restoration was begun in 2009 to replace the roof, repoint exterior brick work, restore the interior floors, and return the neon sign to operating condition. Grant funds will assist with restoration of the damaged
and missing neon Entrance and Exit signs.

Project: Wagon Wheel Motel Roof Replacement
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $17,500 NPS, $17,500 match
Built in 1935 in Cuba, Missouri, the Wagon Wheel Motel, known originally as the Wagon Wheel Cabins, is a rare example of the transition in roadside lodging from individual tourist cabins to attached units. A well known local mason built the motel using local stone that farmers brought to him. While stone was a common building material for motels in Missouri, the Tudor Revival styling was not. Today, the motel is still locally owned and operated, and is the earliest tourist court on Route 66 in Missouri that still accommodates nightly travelers. Ongoing restoration work has included porch and soffit repairs, window repair, floor refinishing, and heating/cooling improvements. Grant funds will assist with roof replacement on two of the motel units.


Project: Arcadia Round Barn Siding Restoration
Recipient: Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society
Amount: $21,000 NPS, $21,000 match
The Round Barn has stood sentinel in Arcadia, Oklahoma, since 1898. During construction, boards were soaked in water to make them pliable enough to bend into the round shape of the barn.
The barn was used variously to house stock and hay, but it is the dances on the second floor of the barn that people remember most. In 1914, Oklahoma County obtained a right-of-way and built a crude dirt road between the barn and the railroad tracks. In 1926, this unpaved road was designated U.S. Highway 66, part of the new national highway system. The barn has been a landmark on the route ever since and today serves as Route 66 and local history museum. The barn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Grant funds will assist with much needed repair of rotted siding boards and trim.

Project: Firestone Station Restoration
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $25,000 NPS, $25,000 match
In July, 1929, the Bristow, Oklahoma Daily Record reported that
Firestone had purchased lots on Route 66 for the purpose of constructing a building that “will be one of the most modern in the state”. The store opened in May, 1930, and included an Art Deco design with six large service bays, a wash bay, an office and sales area with large display windows. The station prospered through the 1950’s, relying on its premier location and national brand recognition, as well as is distinctiveness as a full service station. Now under extensive and meticulous restoration for use as an auto body shop, grant funds will assist with site improvements including the exterior lights, sign, and concrete driveway repairs.

3 Acres Commercial Land – Route 66 – Winslow AZ

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on 3 Acres Commercial Land – Route 66 – Winslow AZ
Aug 032011

Found this on CraigsList of all places:

Historic Minnetonka Trading Post on Old Route 66.

Previously a trading post, post office, gas station, feed store, rodeo/roping arena, and more, Minnetonka Trading Post Winslow and the surrounding areas for the last several decades. Originally built nearly a century ago, the building’s 2500 sqaure foot interior was gutted and a new roof has been installed.

The location is ideal for anyone looking for a business that will attract local customers, Route 66 buffs, Interstate 40 travelers, and Navajo/Hopi commuters on State Highway 87. The three acres for sale sit at the intersection of all three byways.

The main trading post building, with its unique petrified wood façade, includes A LIGHTED 50 x 15 BILLBOARD located off of I-40 that is in the renewal stage, and a well. There are three outbuildings in back. The large billboard sits on the back part of the acreage along Interstate 40.

At the intersection of Old Route 66 Interstate 40 and State Highway 87 RIGHT OFF THE EXIT.101 E. Route 66, Winslow, AZ 86047


Quick Sale! $100,000 – Make an offer!

(928) 377-9190

Click HERE for the post and some pictures.

Winslow revitalization plan highlights sleepy town’s Route 66 roots

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Winslow revitalization plan highlights sleepy town’s Route 66 roots
Aug 022011

WINSLOW – Some Winslow residents and business owners are trying to transform their community into a tourist destination, hoping to lure drivers off neighboring highways.

The revitalization efforts are part of a federal- and state-funded $10 million renaissance project to be completed by 2015 that aims to rejuvenate the town’s tourism industry, said Bob Hall, Winslow Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The northeastern Arizona town was once a bustling rural community that benefited from the foot traffic generated by those driving on Route 66, which cuts through the town. But the community has faltered since neighboring Interstate 40 was completed in the 1980s, offering drivers a faster option – one that circumvents the community.

“Everybody talked about how Winslow used to be. But that’s not the case anymore,” Hall said. “We feel like it’s our turn. We see more of a future.”

Recently, Hall led a group of about 20 people on a tour through Winslow, four hours northeast of Phoenix, population about 10,000. Stops along the tour included the Standin’ on the Corner Park, a homage to the Eagles’ 1973 hit song “Take It Easy,” which references the town’s intersection of Kinsley Avenue and Second Street, and the recently restored La Posada Hotel.

Most were members of the Route 66 Association of Arizona, founded in 1987 to promote tourism along Arizona’s Route 66 corridor. They wanted to see if Winslow’s efforts could work in their communities.

Hall pointed out the improvements: new Route 66 benches, road repavements and plans to expand Standin’ on the Corner Park offerings, including a new outdoor stage.

Built by local volunteers, the park is a popular tourist photo spot that opened in 1999, Hall said.

“They promised to embrace their Route 66 roots,” said Sharlene Fouser, Route 66 Association of Arizona president. “And they’re delivering.”

Hard times
Signs of economic struggle remain throughout Winslow.

A former taqueria’s windows are boarded, inked with graffiti. The Winslow Theater’s marquee reads, “For sale.”

About one in five local residents lacks a high-school diploma and unemployment is 14.4 percent, according to the latest census data.

“There’s not enough here in Winslow. We need more business and jobs,” said mail carrier Arlin Rogers, 49, a father of three. “We spend our money raising our kids here, but they have to go somewhere else to work.”

Winslow wasn’t always this way. A clipping from a 1960s local newspaper ad promotes a Jackson Five concert there. The boys’ grandfather lived in the area.

A black-and-white photograph of nearly 300 kids riding bikes in a Fourth of July parade hangs in the town’s one-room museum.

This was before I-40 stole much of Route 66’s traffic, crushing Winslow’s economy.

“You could’ve rolled a bowling ball through town and not hit anything,” said 83-year-old Marie LaMar, who has lived in Winslow nearly her entire life.

She said Winslow is in a new era, which began in the 1990s when a couple of outsiders, including Hall, moved into town.

Hall arrived in Winslow in 1991, about the same time the Standin’ on the Corner Park was being built. He was a caretaker. Doctors said his patient had a year to live. The patient lived another eight years. By then, Hall had fallen in love with Winslow.

“It was a new life for me,” he said.Winslow is united, that’s what I fell in love with. And there’s a history.”

Mormon leader Brigham Young sent settlers in the 1800s to colonize the area, which later became a railroad town. Hall estimated that a third of workers in town today work in the railroad industry.

Allan Affeldt, an artist from Orange County, Calif., said he moved to Winslow in 1997 with his wife, Tina Mion, to turn an abandoned structure into La Posada Hotel.

“In the O.C., I was living behind the orange curtain and grew tired of that,” Affeldt said. Winslow has rough edges, but it’s the real world.”

But he said Winslow had given up and locals were skeptical. The idea of tourism in Winslow seemed far-fetched. But La Posada’s and the park’s success changed their minds.

Even Disney and Pixar took notice.
Executives stayed at La Posada to research the 2006 digitally animated feature film “Cars,” a story of a talking automobile that finds meaning in a Route 66 town, Affeldt said. Winslow residents are acknowledged in the film’s credits.

Today the 48-room hotel is 85 percent occupied year-round, Affeldt said. And dozens of tourists take photographs at the park daily, Hall said.

“We couldn’t have done better if we hired someone from Madison Avenue,” LaMar said.

‘Change the mind-set’
Winslow real-estate agent Lawrence Kenna, 51, said he noticed the renovation of La Posada Hotel on a drive home from work in 2000. But during the same drive he passed a gas station with a sign stating, “God hates Winslow.”

“I told my mom, ‘Either I want to make a difference or I want to move,’ ” Kenna said.

The third-generation Winslow native stayed.

That same week, he bought the gas-station property and got rid of the sign. A beauty parlor will open before year’s end where the gas station once operated.

The store’s owner, Marcia Garnett, said she’s trying to convince locals that they don’t have to go to Phoenix for a quality spa experience.

“You have to change the mindset,” she said.

Since purchasing the first property, Kenna purchased six additional lots along Winslow’s Route 66 corridor.

Now, they are souvenir shops, boutiques and a cafe. An outdoor garden stands where an abandoned bar once existed. Kenna said some of the stores’ architecture reflects Winslow’s diversity. The building’s Native American bricks were restored with plaster in a Mexican style. The decorative Christian crucifix is built of wood from a Western ranch.

The outdoor garden is a popular spot for tourists and locals, particularly during Winslow Summer Nights, which are held biweekly and feature local entertainment, Kenna said.

During these events, LaMar and a group of female volunteers from the Winslow Harvey Girls promote Winslow history.

They’re named after Fred Harvey, who founded a group of restaurants called Harvey Houses along the Southwest, including Winslow, starting in the late 1880s.

They provide free tours and presentations of Winslow landmarks, including La Posada Hotel, and of the historic Route 66 to keep the region’s history alive.

And LaMar said they end meetings with a quote from Margaret Mead, the Philadelphia-born anthropologist: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.”

“Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

by Kevin Cirilli – The Arizona Republic

Route 66? Why not just take the Interstate?? – The Video!

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Route 66? Why not just take the Interstate?? – The Video!
May 312011

I had the opportunity to speak in front of 900 attendees at Ignite Phoenix 10 in Scottsdale. Click HERE to watch the video!

The premise is you get 5 minutes, 20 slides, and speak without cue cards, a teleprompter, or anything to rely on. Just your memory. The slides are timed at 15 second intervals, and you do not know when your 15 seconds are up – so timing is everything! I was first on stage out of 18 presenters – so I did what anyone would have done – prayed, took a deep breath, and headed out to the stage!

The presentation was to get 2 messages across: 1) Route 66 is still there! 2) here is a SMALL part of what you will see on Route 66 – so get out there!!

I was approached by SO MANY attendees afterwards telling me how they have traveled it in the past, or about the people and places they have met, or how they now want to travel it, or simply – they didn’t know it was still drivable! My point got across!

Now, it is hard to remember everything when you are standing in front of a packed auditorium, alone on the stage with only your slides behind you, and your mouth and brain racing to see which one gets the point out first!

As you can see, a few times the mouth won over the brain, and a few things got jumbled – so don’t hold it against me!

I truly want to thank David Schwartz for providing me most of the pictures for the slides – they served their purpose better than I expected – and only help me getting my presentation to the next level.

As I said in the last few seconds – ‘I hope to see you on the road!’

Route 66? Why not just take the Interstate?? – Photos from Ignite Phoenix 10

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Route 66? Why not just take the Interstate?? – Photos from Ignite Phoenix 10
May 222011

Imagine presenting close to 900 people the thing you truly believe in…
Imagine being first on stage – without any teleprompter, cue cards, nothing! Just you and the audience!
Ignite Phoenix allowed me to speak of my passion – Route 66!

Below are a few pics taken before and during my presentation. The video will be available shortly – and I will post it.
Thanks to all of those who came – to those who had postitive TWEETS about my presentation – and to all of those who came up to me afterwards talking about Route 66!!


Twitter posts about the presentation:

lakeeler Lauren
Aw, @route_66_world, making me nostalgic for road trips. #IgnitePhx

ProsserArch Prosser Architects
#ignitephx @route_66_world taking us on the road again

impromptuguru Jill Schiefelbein
#ignitephx Get your kicks @Route_66_World

victormoreno Victor Moreno
#ignitephx the passion @route_66_world has for roadside travel and it’s timeless charm is palpable, I’m smiling 🙂

MackDuncan MackDuncan
Get your kicks on @Route_66_World #ignitephx

prestoniscrazy Preston Smith
@route_66_world – feeling emotion about my 85 year old grandparents!

halfacat Roger Williams
Opening of @route_66_world killing it at #ignitephx 10

CorineMGreen Corine
@Route_66_World Very interesting, thank you! #ignitephx

amyheisler Amy Heisler
Fantastic stories and photos! @Route_66_World. Thx for sharing! #ignitephx

AlexBerger Alex Berger
Euros and others come to visit and explore @route_66_world reminds us to visit our local route 66 stretch/not take it for granted.

aussieheather aussieheather
I’m ready to travel on Route 66! Great presentation @route_66_world

RCWClady Teresa Lewis
The mother road as Steinbeck calls it – Route 66. @Route_66_World. Great job. #Ignitephx

ASUCaseyThomas Casey Thomas
Road trip! @route_66_world proud AZ is part of the greatest road in USA #ignitephx

dustpars Dusty Parsons
Celebrating Americana and @route_66_world! #ignitephoenix

RideNowPwrsprts RideNow Powersports
@route_66_world is giving a great presentation at #ignitephx about traveling along route 66. Great places to ride!

prestoniscrazy Preston Smith
@wifeofninja @route_66_world just say we should stay at a wigwam in Holbrook.

FowleLanguage Zach Fowle
.@Route_66_World says the mother road isn’t abandoned at all. Stay at old hotels, fill up at rickety gas stations, smell roses. #ignitephx

jackalert Jack Smith
great opening! “@halfacat: Opening of @route_66_world killing it at #ignitephx 10”

briankranz Brian Kranz
Awesome presentation, @Route_66_World! I wanna take a road trip on Route 66 now.

brandxtshirts Brand X T-Shirts
I wanna travel #route66 on a vespa @route_66_world #ignitephx

susanbaier Susan Baier
#ignitephx Great job @route_66_world

Intelliclean Intelliclean
@route_66_world go AZ and Da Route 66!!!!!

Get your dining kicks on Route 66

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Get your dining kicks on Route 66
May 042011

Before Interstate 40 pulled tourists and businesses away from downtowns across northern Arizona, the “Mother Road” was the main route for travelers headed from Chicago to California.

Dozens of hotels, tchotchke shops and, of course, restaurants popped up to serve them. A few still survive.

1. Grand Canyon Cafe, Flagstaff, 1941

Even though Grand Canyon Cafe offers a full slate of American and Chinese dishes, customers walking in after dark may find it hard to resist ordering the chop suey. That’s what the neon sign encourages. The words “Chop Suey” glow at the bottom of a big, curved, lighted arrow that lures diners inside.

The Grand Canyon Cafe is swaddled in an ethereal wreath of neon, a beautiful display. For connoisseurs of such places, neon is gospel.

The Grand Canyon Cafe has been in the Wong family since 1947. Fred Wong started working there as a kid, eventually buying it from his father and uncles in 1980. The classic look of the counter-and-booths interior, combined with a homey clutter of creaking shelves and an arboretum’s worth of house plants, has made the cafe a popular venue for filmmakers.

Most recently, the BBC shot scenes here for a movie called “Nuclear Race,” and country music star Rodney Crowell filmed a music video.

Details: 110 E. Route 66. 928-774-2252.

2. Joe & Aggie’s Cafe, Holbrook, 1943

No one ever gets lost at Joe & Aggie’s Cafe because there’s a giant map painted on the side of the building and, on it, a big star marking the spot for Holbrook.

The mural of Route 66, and the nearby Wigwam Motel, have become popular photo ops for travelers of the historic highway,. The small eatery was opened in 1943 by Tom Smithson, who called it the Cactus Cafe.

Joe and Aggie Montano bought the joint in 1945; it has been in the family ever since, dishing up a blend of Mexican and American cuisine. The chiles rellenos are menu standouts.

Cases and shelves of Route 66 souvenirs fill the front of the restaurant. The connection with the Mother Road remains strong as more and more people seek out the small-town experience away from the cookie-cutter sameness of interstate off-ramps.

Joe & Aggie’s Cafe is thanked in the credits of the Pixar movie “Cars” as one of the inspirations along Route 66.

Details: 120 W. Hopi Drive. 866-486-0021,

3. Rod’s Steak House, Williams, 1946

Anytime you see a neon-lit steer on the roof of a restaurant, it’s a pretty safe bet that tofu isn’t on the menu.

While Rodney Graves was running a tavern in Williams before World War II, he had a notion that a steakhouse might do well in the little burg. How right he was.

In 1946, he opened Rod’s Steak House on Route 66. In the postwar boom, Americans streamed West on the Mother Road, and it seemed no one could resist a cow on the roof.

Lawrence and Stella Sanchez purchased Rod’s Steak House in 1985. Lawrence had washed dishes at Rod’s as a teenager and then returned to work as manager and head chef. Aware of the steak house’s storied history, Lawrence and Stella have made some updates. But the steer-shaped menu – now a registered trademark – is the same one Rod used to open the eatery.

Many of the same recipes are used, including Rod’s Special, a sugar-dipped charred steak.

Details: 301 E. Route 66. 928-635-2671,

4. Miz Zip’s, Flagstaff, 1952

“Easy as pie” is one of the most perplexing idioms of the English language.

There’s nothing easy about preparing pie. Maybe that’s what makes homemade pie with a flaky crust and rich flavors so memorable and what has kept customers flocking to Miz Zip’s for all these decades.

The little Route 66 diner opened in 1952. By 1964, it was a popular truck stop, and a girl named Judy, fresh out of high school, started working there. It’s where she met, and eventually married, the owner’s son, Craig Leonard.

Craig and Judy bought Miz Zip’s in 1991 and continued the diner’s tasty traditions, such as butchering their own meat and making everything from scratch, including those luscious pies.

Colleen Schutte was the pie maker for Miz Zip’s for 36 years. When she retired in the mid-’90s, Judy Leonard took over the job, producing about a dozen each day.

Details: 2924 E. Route 66. 928-526-0104.

5. Snow Cap Drive-In, Seligman, 1953

Juan Delgadillo built the Snow Cap Drive-In from scrap lumber he gathered while working for the railroad.

The little place opened in 1953 and quickly earned a wacky reputation because of Juan’s interaction with the customers. Juan’s freewheeling gags – like “accidentally” squirting patrons with mustard that was actually colored string and offering comically undersize and oversize servings – delighted families for decades.

When Interstate 40 opened, Route 66 was decommissioned. Seligman, like many towns suddenly bypassed by the flow of traffic, struggled to survive. In 1987, Juan, his brother Angel and other local business owners formed the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.

They lobbied the state to designate Route 66 a historic highway. Within months, the state had agreed and began posting promotional signage. Soon, organizations sprang up in other states, and a wave of Route 66 nostalgia was under way.

Today, Seligman is regarded as the birthplace of Historic Route 66, and the Snow Cap has become a mecca for those traveling the Mother Road.

Juan Delgadillo died in 2004, but the same off-kilter humor is carried on by his kids. And just because the Delgadillos are quick with a gag doesn’t mean they don’t know how to cook. The juicy burgers stack up against any in the state.

Details: 301 E. Route 66. 928-422-3291.

Roger Naylor – The Republic

Route 66: Why not just take the Interstate?

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Route 66: Why not just take the Interstate?
Apr 292011

Ed Klein and Route 66 World has been chosen to be one of 18 presenters to speak at Ignite Phoenix 10 – May 20, 2011 @ 6:30-9:30 PM
Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

18 Presenters
20 Slides
5 Minutes

I have an opportunity of a life time! I will present to 850 audience members about Route 66 and all the wonders, history, and glory it has to offer its travelers.

If you are in the Scottsdale / Phoenix area – and are interested in going – tickets go on sale Sat. April 30th at 10am and they will go fast!

Presenters have 5 minutes to talk about their passions, their interests, and things they are very knowledgeable about – and mine, of course, is Route 66!

If you cannot attend – there will be a LIVE streaming video the night of the event – and if you are not near a computer on May 20th, I will post the YouTube video a few days after the event is completed.

Keep an eye on the Ignite Phoenix website by clicking HERE.

A special thank you to my friend, and fellow Route 66 ‘roadie’ David Schwartz for his use of his fantastic photographs of Route 66 for my presentation!

Signage plan complete for city parks

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Signage plan complete for city parks
Mar 092011

WILLIAMS – The Williams Parks and Recreation Commission recently completed a signage plan for all parks and recreation signs throughout the city of Williams.

Carol Glassburn, chair of the Williams Parks and Rec Commission, said the purpose of the new plan is to create uniformity.

“Most of our signs are very, very old,” she said. “The one at Cureton Park had to come down.”

Due to a lack of city funding, Glassburn said the project will be implemented over the long term. She said materials used to build the signs and the style of the new signs will reflect the overall style of Williams. The signage system will be implemented in phases with locations prioritized by need.

Signs located along main corridors such as Railroad Avenue, Grand Canyon Boulevard and Route 66 will feature rock columns with a wood sign hung in between.

“It incorporates the new theme or logo or branding that the city has – the Best of Route 66,” Glassburn said.

The plan also includes new park interior regulation signage for Buckskinner Park and Santa Fe Dam that includes camping, fire and fireworks regulations.

Glassburn said Kelly Stewart, a Williams High School student, designed the sign prohibiting fireworks.

“What our goal is, is to try to get Santa Fe done by the spring, if funds allow,” Glassburn said. “Because of the fire danger.”

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