Irish fundraising farmers start tractor trek Route 66 from LA to Chicago

 Daily  Comments Off on Irish fundraising farmers start tractor trek Route 66 from LA to Chicago
Oct 012012
 





Five men and a vintage tractor named Betsy will today begin a trek along Route 66 in the US in a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society.

The group is led by retired sheep farmer Kevin Curran from Waterville, Co Kerry, and includes several farmers. He began fundraising for cancer research in 2010 after his wife Eileen, who had named the tractor, died from cancer.

The group accompanying Betsy, a 1963 Fordson Dexta, will leave Los Angeles today and travel 2,500 miles east to Chicago. Mr Curran estimated it would take 15 days, assuming there were no major setbacks along the way.

Because tractors are not allowed on part of the route, Betsy will travel on a trailer for 15 per cent of the journey.

Betsy’s support team includes Maurice Fitzgerald, Frank Meara, Ogie Moran and Mark Walsh.

Mr Curran’s previous fundraising tractor runs with Betsy included Malin Head to Mizen Head, the Ring of Kerry to Dingle, and Mizen Head to Carnsore Point, but this is the first time they have left Ireland.

The tractor was shipped to the US in July and arrived with little time to spare. The team has been contacted by many Irish people living in the States who have offered support and spare parts, should Betsy flounder on the unfamiliar roads.

Mr Curran said the group had chosen the Irish Cancer Society “as each one of us on the team has been touched by cancer either directly or indirectly and we want the funds raised to go to fund cancer research so that future patients have better outcomes”.

Irish Cancer Society chief executive John McCormack said he was thrilled that the charity had been chosen by the fundraisers.

“Kevin and his team have taken on this fundraiser for the last three years raising significant money for the Irish Cancer Society and to see him take this fundraiser across the Atlantic shows a huge amount of creativity and passion for the cause,” Mr McCormack said.

ALISON HEALY – Irishtimes.com

Truck convoy raises awareness of historic Route 66

 California, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Truck convoy raises awareness of historic Route 66
Sep 162012
 





SAN BERNARDINO — Route 66 is more than just classic cars and motorcycles.

For decades, the historic highway served as an integral part of the nation’s transportation system.

And in an effort to raise that awareness, the Historical Society of Trucks sponsored a 40-truck convoy that traveled from Illinois along the old Route 66 Highway to the Rendezvous.

On Saturday, the society completed its inaugural Historic Highway Convey by joining the third day festivities of the 23rd Annual Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.
“We picked this destination because the event memorialized our Historic Route 66,” said Bill Johnson, executive director of the society.

The national organization, which aims to preserve the history of trucks as well as the trucking industry, began its trek in Illinois on Sept. 6 and drove more than 3,000 miles.

It began with 30 classic trucks in Morris, Illinois, and on Saturday morning they made their final stop of the tour, picking up 10 more vehicles in Barstow.

By 9:30 a.m., the convoy, which stretched about half a mile, were traveling down Old Cajon Boulevard, the original Route 66.

Ken Lund, of San Bernardino, worked with the society’s organizers to bring others from the local chapter to join the final leg of the jaunt.

Lund drove his 1953 GMC half-ton pickup truck but said the local chapter has models dating to 1916 as well as more modern models. A bulk of the trucks come from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

“It was interesting to see how far away some of these trucks came from,” he said about Saturday’s ride.

Lund was joined by Richard McNamara, 62, who rode into the festivities in his 1946 Mack tow truck.

“It was a lot of fun,” the Riverside resident said about the short road trip.

McNamara’s truck, of the faded orange paint coat is covered in rust, was once used by the American Automobile Club of Southern California. A faded image of the logo is still visible on the side of the truck.

It was used by Highland based company called Bell’s Garage and Tow Service. But for years, it sat in someone’s yard unused. In fact, it hadn’t been registered since the 1970s, he said.

“I just fell in love with it. It had my name on it – Mark,” he said. “These are rare to find on the West Coast, the models were made in New York”, McNamara said.

John Vannatta, current president of the society was among those who road the whole portion of the trip.

“It was it was great everybody has a bucket list, its something you always wanted to do,” he said.

Along the way, the convoy made nine stops different stops at local Travel Centers of America. It was then the public could meet the drivers, or for members to come out and support. The largest turnout was at the Albuquerque, New Mexico stop.

There were even portions of the cross country trip that the convoy was joined by other truck enthusiasts, he said.

Vannatta said it was a big commitment to drive across the country. He commended those who took part in the trip adding that they probably spent around $1,500 on fuel.

Aside from being able to commit about two weeks, most of truckers spent between $7,000 and $8,000 on the excursion.

“The idea of doing it was fun,” Vannatta says. “A lot of people always want to do this, here (was my) chance.”

Liset Marquez – The Sun

Last Day: Route 66 Rendezvous begins by giving thanks in San Bernardino

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Sep 162012
 





Nice way to start the last day of the event…

SAN BERNARDINO — Car enthusiasts at the Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous started the last day of festivities by giving thanks during a church service in downtown’s Court Street Square.

Preacher Ralph Provost, of Christian Rods & Customs, addressed a small crowd of attendees at 9 a.m. during the nondenominational service. Music was also provided during the service.

“We’re car enthusiasts that love the Lord. We do church services, hot rod church,” said Provost.

“Sometimes we call our cars a pulpit on wheels,” Provost continued. When people see our cars, “that kind of opens the door to share our testimony of Christ.”

By mid-morning, vendors were already setting up their booths and prepping for the crowds. Hot weather is forecast again today. The National Weather Service anticipates a high of 92 degrees today in San Bernardino, with a slight southwest wind.

The Rendezvous shuts down at 4 p.m. today.

Vehicle check-in for the Sunday classic car cruise began at 8 a.m., with the cruise beginning at 10 a.m. through downtown streets. Car owners can get a half-off, Sunday-only registration for $40, according to event organizers.

The Parade of Champions cruise started at 11 a.m. today. The burnout contest will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Fifth Street and Arrowhead Avenue.

The band Cold Duck takes the stage from noon to 2 p.m. at Court Street Square.

By Andrew Edwards – The Sun

The people on Route 66 in Western California

 California, Daily  Comments Off on The people on Route 66 in Western California
Sep 092012
 




Rachel Pabon
Co-manager of Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain

Rachel Pabon, a manager at Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain, talks about how the business has been at its South Pasadena location for 97 years, predating the Mother Road.

The business opened its doors in 1915 and became a popular rest stop on the westernmost end of Route 66 in the 1930s.

Pabon, a manager of the business since 2005, said a lot of customers still use the pharmacy.

“We get people from every state. On the weekends, it’s hard to even get a seat. On Saturdays we’re completely full, with people waiting in line for old-fashioned ice cream. We’ve even had to double our outdoor seating,” she said.

The business, which has been featured on the Travel Channel, has recently started a Facebook page.




Wigwam Motel, San Bernardino

Co-owner Ramila Patel holds a U.S. map created from old license plates from each state while inside the Wigwam Motel’s lobby in San Bernardino. The motel is a classic Route 66 destination.

The Patel Family
The Patel family – husband and wife Jack and Ramila Patel, with sons, Kumar and Manoj – purchased the iconic Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino in 2003.

The Wigwam has stood for more than half a century as a monument to all that is unique – outlandish, wonderful, quaint and quirky – about the Mother Road.

“The whole essence of the culture of Route 66 is people are seeking the real America – the way it used to be,” said Kumar Patel.

Even during extensive renovations, the family did not close the business, but welcomed travelers while work gradually progressed.

The “village” of 20 concrete tepee cabins is now on the federal list of historic places.

This year’s Route 66 Rendezvous T-shirt design features the Wigwam Motel tepees.





Joe Bono is the owner of Bono’s Restaurant and Deli, which is located along Route 66’s Foothill Boulevard in Fontana. Bono’s Restaurant has been closed for several years and faces the threat of partial demolishment due to the city’s proposal to widen Foothill Boulevard.

Joe Bono
Owner, Bono’s Italian Restaurant and Orange Stand, Foothill Boulevard, a.k.a Route 66, Fontana

Bono, 81, uncle of the late entertainer Sonny Bono, owns iconic Bono’s Italian Restaurant in Fontana, started by his mother, Frances, on Route 66 in 1936.

A retired lawyer, Bono took over the restaurant and deli business after his mother died in the 1990s.

“I like to go out and talk to people who come here, because they are from all over the world,” said Bono, who has been instrumental in keeping Route 66 culture alive.

The restaurant, which has been closed since 2004, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

He has ongoing issues with the city regarding the widening of Foothill Boulevard in front of his property.






The Saga Motor Hotel is a Route 66 destination in Pasadena. The hotel has been a setting for film crews, including a recent episode of “CSI” and a variety of commercials.

Lori Bluemel and Melody McKinney
Co-managers of the historic Saga Motor Hotel in Pasadena

The Saga Motor Hotel, the rambling terra cotta-colored motel on Colorado Boulevard, a.k.a Route 66, is the quintessential “Welcome to California” to those arriving from other states or countries, according to manager Lori Bluemel.

The timeless motel, surrounded by lush, tropical landscaping, is an original along Route 66.

Because the Rose Parade passes by the motel, reservations are already being taken for New Year’s Eve 2012.

Busloads of international visitors also arrive from time to time, Bluemel said.

The motel has been the setting for film crews, including a recent episode of “CSI” and a variety of commercials.

Thunderstorm microburst rips roof off historic Needles movie theater

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Sep 052012
 


This is a blow to Needles. The marquee was restored a few years ago and the hope was to bring the theater back where it would start showing movies again as it was the only theater in town.

A microburst from a wicked desert thunderstorm Tuesday ripped the roof off the old Needles movie theater and damaged several other building in the tiny town.

Larry Ford, who worked at the theater in the 1950s and helps maintain the historic building, said the owner does not have insurance.

“He said he couldn’t get insurance,” Ford said. “Ripped the roof clean off.”

The building is an old Masonic Temple, built in 1929 on Broadway street in downtown Needles. The heat-generated storm hit Needles about 5:30 p.m. The winds were so strong that the raindrops were being blown sideways.

“It looked like a hurricane,” said Patti Morgan, who owns a four-plex next door to the movie theater. “It was going in all different directions.”

Phil Willon – Los Angeles Times

For Sale – Historic Carty’s Camp on Route 66 in Needles CA

 California, Daily  Comments Off on For Sale – Historic Carty’s Camp on Route 66 in Needles CA
Sep 042012
 


The historic Carty’s Camp Shell gas station is for sale in Needles CA. The station was built around 1925 and pretty much most of the existing structure is still there and intact. There are a few additions which were put on over it’s earlier years to house the owner and their family back in the day.

The station has been modified with a new overhang and taller upright which held the big gas sign when it was open.

This was the building which brought me into Needles. It was a call from Linda Fitzpatrick who asked for some help / ideas on how to get this station back to it’s former glory. Linda has been the biggest cheerleader behind the restoration of the gas station, but the only ‘hurdle‘ has been it’s current owner. If a new owner can be found, the support behind any preservation efforts would be bigger than you know.


There is a ‘rush’ to find a buyer as the town is having problems with the owner. He does not want to do anything with the building, but there are so many folks who see the potential.

You can contact Linda by Emailing her at llfitz@npgcable.com as she is a real estate broker and has all the information on the property.

This would be a GREAT little tourist stop along the route as Needles really is the ‘first town of the last state’ on Route 66. It is also RIGHT next to the 66 Motel sign which someone just restored (can’t think of the guy’s name right now!!) which, as we know, has thousands of folks stop and take pictures of.

Also, it is located within miles of both Laughlin and Bullhead City, which both have millions of visitors a year.

If you ever wanted to own a piece of Route 66 history – this might be your time!

Get Your (RV) Kicks on Route 66!

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Get Your (RV) Kicks on Route 66!
Sep 012012
 


This article was written for RV Life Magazine. We think of driving the route in either a car, motorcycle, or even groups on a tour bus, but the RV community makes up a good portion of Route 66 travelers…

Route 66 (aka The Mother Road) helped shape the history of America. Commissioned in 1926, it was the first highway to link Chicago to Los Angeles crossing eight states along it’s path. Route 66 became America’s highway and the ultimate road trip.

Sadly it is no longer necessary for cross-country travel and has been replaced by interstates with no stoplights and no special places, just a way to cover ground in a hurry. But as the movie Cars taught us; the real joy of traveling is to slow down, take the road less traveled and enjoy those special places (think Radiator Springs).

Cinematographer John Holod’s newest RV Adventure video captures the essence of the Route 66 experience in the soon to be releasedRoute 66 RV Adventure: Exploring the Mother Road”. As John points out, Route 66 is special, it crosses the rivers, plains, mountains and deserts of eight states. Come along for the over 2,000 mile ride as we explore it’s drive-inns, gas stations, museums, kitschy roadside attractions and most importantly, it’s people.”

Americana at it’s finest! Today, visitors come from all over the globe to travel what some call the most magical road in the world.” The video is scheduled for release September of this year, but you can catch a sneak peak by clicking HERE! Anything that contains the words “RV” and “adventure” is for me. Looking forward to the video and traveling more of Route 66 during future RVing adventures!

Grant May Help Preserve Allure of Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Grant May Help Preserve Allure of Route 66
Aug 312012
 



This article is from the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT and is one of many programs helping preserve and keeping Route 66 alive. The goal is to get ALL stretches of Route 66 in all eight states under this program!

Route 66 is America’s Mother Road. . . and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s $152,300 grant recently awarded to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) will fund the preparation of a corridor management plan (CMP) that ultimately may help preserve the history and nostalgia of the 153 miles of historic Route 66 within the BLM California Desert District that extends from Needles to Barstow, California.

Designated a national highway in 1926, U.S. Route 66 extends 2,448 miles across 8 states and 3 time zones from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, California. The “Mother Road” essentially consists of connecting many existing roads, with some new road construction to complete a continuous route. The road was immortalized by Bobby Troupe’s song “Get Your Kicks On Route 66.

Upon completion of the CMP, the BLM will submit a nomination to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation for consideration to designate the California segment of Route 66 a National Scenic Byway. Currently portions of Route 66 in Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oklahoma have National Scenic Byway designation. The BLM worked closely with the California Historic Route 66 Association and California Preservation Foundation to develop the grant proposal.

The CMP also will provide travel information to domestic and international visitors about the intrinsic values of the history, culture, and natural landscapes, as well as recreational opportunities available along the corridor. The CMP will include a comprehensive interpretive, tourism and marketing strategy to enhance heritage tourism opportunities in an effort to promote and provide economic benefits to communities and local businesses.

“We have an incredible opportunity to work with stakeholders and communities along Route 66 to preserve and promote the history California’s portion of Route 66,” said Jim Kenna, BLM California State Director. “We want to inspire new generations of explorers who will revive the nostalgia and adventures of bygone days as they experience, learn about and care for our beloved Mother Road.”

The BLM will oversee preparation of the CMP and solicit extensive participation from local, county, state and federal stakeholders and partners to collaborate in the development of the CMP, including six Native American Tribes. NSBP funding supports projects that manage and protect these roads and improve visitor facilities. The California Legislature designated California Route 66 as “Historic Highway Route 66″ by statute in 1991.

For more information regarding the grant or the preparation of the Corridor Management Plan contact Danella George at (760) 808-5877.

Route 66 Rendezvous isn’t going anywhere

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Route 66 Rendezvous isn’t going anywhere
Aug 262012
 

 



I find the article interesting only because while they are stating the rendezvous WILL take place – BUT they are still asking for donations. Also, I feel if this years event fails – it might be the last time this takes place….

The 23rd Annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is taking place in downtown San Bernardino from Sept. 13-16. That is a fact. And, in an effort to provide some background information and clear up any misconceptions, here are more facts regarding the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Route 66 Rendezvous.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is solely owned and operated by the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau, a non-profit 501c(6) corporation, with major support from our partnerships with the city of San Bernardino, the county of San Bernardino and our event sponsors, particularly our title sponsor, Stater Bros. Markets. The first Rendezvous was held in 1990 in Devore with the collaboration from the Over the Hill Gang. The event has grown each year and now attracts over 500,000 spectators during the four-day extravaganza.

Established in 1989, the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau’s main mission is to serve as the marketing arm of the city by promoting travel and tourism opportunities.

Initial funding for the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau was provided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of San Bernardino, whereby the SBCVB would receive 20 percent of the TLT (Transient Lodging Tax) collected by the city. As the economy became depressed, over the years that percentage has decreased and for the past three years the majority of our funding came through the Economic Development Agency.

In order to produce the annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous all of the funds received from our sponsors, vendors, and car participants are used to pay the costs of the event, with an annual shortfall covered by the SBCVB. With the elimination of the Economic Development Agency and the subsequent loss of funding, coupled with the city’s current fiscal situation, there are no longer any funds available to subsidize any future losses on the Rendezvous.

While the 2012 Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous will take place in downtown San Bernardino this September, we are asking for the support of local businesses and individuals to help us cover the loss of funding and in-kind support from the city, as well as to help us continue to move forward in planning for next year’s Rendezvous.

Donations made will be allocated exclusively for the operational expenses of keeping the Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.

Donations can be made on the www.route-66.org website by clicking on the different dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making the donor a “Friend of the Rendezvous” as bronze, silver, gold, super or ultimate cruiser. There is also an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401.

Or, businesses can become “Business Friends of the Rendezvous.” For a $2,500 or $1,500 donation, businesses will receive a large banner to display at their business, hundreds of billboard images on the large electronic sign on the 10 Freeway near the 215 Freeway junction and the San Manuel electronic billboard on the 215 Freeway near the Second Street exit.

Wayne Austin is president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and wrote this article.

Route 66 Rendezvous in jeopardy without funds; organizers call on public’s help

 California  Comments Off on Route 66 Rendezvous in jeopardy without funds; organizers call on public’s help
Aug 172012
 


SAN BERNARDINO – Without $36,000 in donations from the community, there will be no Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous this year, the event’s producer said Thursday, citing the city’s bankruptcy as the reason for the shortfall threatening the city’s signature event.

Wayne Austin, president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau – producers of the Rendezvous – said that organizers have raised $34,000 of $70,000 needed to put on the 22-year-old event. But another $36,000 is needed to make up the difference the Rendezvous would normally get from the city.

That has Austin seeking help from the community.

“Due to the bankruptcy of San Bernardino, we need your help,” Austin said, adding that he is expecting people to step up and help out.

“It is important to keep this major event within the city of San Bernardino, and we are asking business owners, city and county officials and the public to invest in this classic car show. We value your support.”

The annual Rendezvous, set this year for Sept. 13 through 16 in downtown, attracts about 500,000 spectators, where cars are the stars, along with music, entertainment, sponsor displays, legendary guests, contests and commercial exhibitors. It brings about $40 million to the city.

Typically, the Rendezvous is paid for by car participants, sponsors and vendors.
Total costs for the four-day car show extravaganza range between $520,000 and $550,000, according to Austin.

Of that, in year’s past, the city’s share has been $140,000 in in-kind services such as security, trash collection and traffic control.

But because of the city’s filing for bankruptcy, the city was restricted by what it could provide.

“We simply had no capacity to help any more, given our budget and the bankruptcy,” Mayor Pat Morris said.

That left the producer with the bill for the free event, including the costs of tents, insurance, electrical, private security and special events staff expenses.

“This year, they can only provide $70,000 in in-kind services and then send me a bill,” Austin said.

Still, Morris and others say they’re confident the money would come from a community that loves the event.

“We did put the cry out for donations, and already people are responding,” Morris said. “We will produce a wonderul Rendezvous.”

Austin, too, was seeing a response.

“I am feeling a lot of love so far,” Austin said.

Morris said the event comes at a time when the city deperately needs a celebration – the city filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 1.

“We’ll take a moment out, have a good time for a few days. This is a boon for our city,” Morris said.

Jack Brown, chairman and CEO of San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. Markets, touted the value of the event, which his company has sponsored for 15 years.

“Hopefully, this Rendezvous will bring a revival to downtown San Bernardino,” Brown said. “We invest more than $600,000 in the Rendezvous as title sponsor and have more than 300 of our people as volunteers – vendors and suppliers. This is a very important financial commitment for the car owners, as well,” Brown said.

Brown said making the event happen is pivotal at a time when the city is suffering.

“I think this terrific community will step in to help in this time of financial crisis for the city,” Brown said. “Our benefit comes from having a really nice weekend for people – that’s why I always insist it be free admission.”

Austin said he is working with the city, and police will still be there, but the visitors bureau is paying for it.

Austin is putting a promotional package together for area businesses and looking at $1,500 and $2,500 levels as Business Friends of the Rendezvous.

The package would provide a 5-foot-by-10-foot banner that busnesses can hang inside or outside their building. At the $2,500 level, the banner package also offers select spots for “thank you’s” acknowledging businesses that are Friends of the Rendezvous.

Denny Shorett, president and CEO of Crown Printers – which is providing the banners – said he is glad to help the Rendezvous.

“We’re pleased that in spite of the troubles San Bernardino is having, the Rendezvous will go on. It will be good for businesses to come forward and show their support,” Shorett said.

Donations can be made through the Rendezvous website, www.Route-66.org by clicking on the dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making you a Friend of the Rendezvous as Bronze, Silver, Gold, Super or Ultimate Cruiser.

Tony Canul, owner of Molly’s Cafe in downtown San Bernardino, on Wednesday presented Austin with a check for $1,200 to keep the Rendezvous in the city’s downtown streets.

“All the money we receive in donations will be used to replace what we no longer will get from the city,” Austin said. “That is the reality.”

There has been an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401. Checks are payable to “Friends of the Rendezvous.”

Michel Nolan, The (San Bernardino County) Sun