‘On the Eleventh day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’

 Daily  Comments Off on ‘On the Eleventh day of Christmas, Route 66 gave to me…’
Dec 222011

The ‘shock’on the Mother Road…

This even came without a warning – and changed the way we felt about the Mother Road after it left it…

The tornado which hit Joplin back in June was a surprise to all.
Now, one would ask me – ‘WHAT does this have to do with a Christmas List?!?’ The thing is: Even though the tornado did not directly hit the route itself, it beat the hell out of a major Route 66 town. And what followed was what one would expect: So many different people coming together and not only get through the storm, but help cleaning up and rebuilding.

The following is the story I posted back in June when we were making our trip from Chicago to Scottsdale, and we took a few stops along the way to stop in on the route – Joplin was actually one town we would not miss – no matter what:

We woke up to a nice sunny day and started over to Joplin. Unless you visited it – you can not understand the devistation these folks have faced… The damage was just south of Route 66 in Joplin, but you can see damage for miles with signs blown out, shingles tore off, limbs blown around…

We decided the best way we could help out Joplin was fill up a cart and donate the food to the food drive they were having… how can you not after seeing all of the destruction…

Seeing this is the season for giving – I have heard of so many folks doing what they can to help Joplin. Richard Talley (Motel Safari fame) lead up a drive to raise money for Joplin’s victims – as well as SO MANY OTHER FOLKS who took donations (at the International Festival in Amarillo), those who dontaed directly to different charities, and those who posted information on their own websites…

The very best thing anyone can do for Joplin is simply shop there, sleep there, get gas there, spend your money there. At the smaller, local places. The ‘mom and pop’ places pay more into the community than national chains. So think about that when you stop in for 10 minutes or the day.
We made sure we bought a shopping cart full of canned goods for charity from a small local grocery store. We bought gas from a local gas station, and even ate at a local restaurant when we passed through. It goes a long way.

So, in my eyes, it does make sense to put this on the list for 2011 – because even though it was bad, it could have been much worse. The tornado could have simply went north a mile or so and went east right down Route 66 – and then not only would we have had the same amount of damage and loss of lives – we truly would have forever lost a part of our past, and the future of Route 66 in Joplin.

13 Miles of Route 66 in Kansas now is ‘Historic Byway’

 Daily, Kansas  Comments Off on 13 Miles of Route 66 in Kansas now is ‘Historic Byway’
Nov 302011

Note: When I talked to a few folks in Kansas who are involved with the route a few months ago – they mentioned this was one of the things they were really focusing their efforts on… and it seemed to pay off!! Congrats on this! It takes the route through Kansas to a whole new level!

The state has designated 13 miles of Route 66 in southern Kansas as a Kansas Historic Byway.

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced the designation Tuesday for the route, which runs through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs in Cherokee County before reaching the Oklahoma border.

Scott Shields, a coordinator for the Kansas State Byways program, says the designation encourages visitors and state residents to drive the route and explore communities along the way.

The original Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles and was a major pathway for those who migrated west and later for tourists.

Historic Route 66 passes briefly through the State of Kansas on its was between Joplin, Missouri and Miami, Oklahoma. Though Kansas has the shortest stretch of the popular old route between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, the 13 miles of Route 66 in Kansas are among the best preserved and have many attractions.

©2011 The Republic

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition hits Joplin MO

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition hits Joplin MO
Oct 202011

Note: We stopped in Joplin literally 10 days after the tornado hit, and as I mentioned before – it looked like an atomic bomb hit the south-west part of the town. I could never have imagined the destuction and one could not stand there and feel sorrow and helplessness. Even though this does not directly effect Route 66 (which was literally saved without too much if any damage) it helps a town which is a major town on the route – and one which needs to be rebuilt and proper for future generations as well as future traverlers.

JOPLIN, MO – Today, executives with ABC’s Emmy-award winning reality TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition announced that the show’s upcoming build in Joplin will be preceded by a community-wide pep rally on October 4. The event was held on Tuesday, October 4, at Calvary Baptist Church (600 E. 50th Street in Joplin).

The pep rally provided an opportunity for thousands in the community to come together and share in the excitement surrounding the program’s upcoming build and shoot in Joplin. The Joplin build will be one of the largest in the history of the wildly popular program. Led by Southwest Missouri home builder Sam Clifton, president of Millstone Custom Homes, the October Joplin project will build seven homes in seven days for families who suffered losses in the May tornado that destroyed much of the city. The weeklong Extreme build will begin in Joplin on October 19.

“Thousands of people in Joplin and from across the country have contacted us to donate, volunteer and support this massive effort to help rebuild Joplin,” Clifton said. “We are so grateful to Pastor Brad Gray and the generous members of Calvary Baptist Church, for their generous support so we can all get together and share in the excitement leading up to the actual build.”

Organizers also recently announced that the episode featuring the Joplin build will be featured, as the show’s historic 200th episode. Reaching 200 episodes is a major milestone in television, achieved by only those programs that stand the test of time. The emmy-award winning Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is now entering its ninth season on ABC.

To volunteer, donate, or learn more about the project, visit: http://www.joplinextrememakeover.com or http://www.joinextreme.com/joplin.

So far, more than fifty area businesses already have committed to supporting the Joplin EMHE project. A list of these companies and links to more information can be found at: http://www.joinextreme.com/supporters/joplinsponsors

Clifton is the 2010 Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield Builder Member of the Year. Millstone Custom Homes is also a member of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Missouri in Joplin. This is Clifton’s second time to lead a build for the popular ABC television program. In 2009, Millstone Custom Homes successfully led a southwest Missouri build project for that provided a new home for the Hampton family in Ash Grove, Missouri.

Our (partial) Route 66 trip – Day 2

 Daily, Missouri, Texas  Comments Off on Our (partial) Route 66 trip – Day 2
Jun 232011

We woke up to a nice sunny day and started over to Joplin. Unless you visited it – you can not understand the devistation these folks have faced… The damage was just south of Route 66 in Joplin, but you can see damage for miles with signs blown out, shingles tore off, limbs blown around…

We decided the best way we could help out Joplin was fill up a cart and donate the food to the food drive they were having… how can you not after seeing all of the destruction…

We drove pretty much thru Oklahoma and ended up in Shamrock TX – and was fortunate enough to grab a picture of the U Drop Inn all lit up. Now it was time to call it a night….

More tomorrow…

Our (partial) Route 66 trip – Day 1

 Daily, Illinois, Missouri, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Our (partial) Route 66 trip – Day 1
Jun 222011

The mission was to get from Chicago to Scottsdale as fast as possible – with minimal stops. Now – add in the fact we follow Route 66 for 85% of the drive – there are several people and places I have to / want to see, and 1800 miles is tough on just about anyone – ‘as fast as possible’ turned into ‘whenever we get there….’

I started our trip by making a quick stop over to the Sprauge Super Station in Normal IL to say ‘hi’ to Terry Ryburn and check on her progress with the station.

She updated me and we walked around the property for 20 minutes as she was pointing out what still had to be done. She mentioned the Route 66 Association of Illinois were coming out in Aug to do some interior work – if you want to help them / her in Aug – contact them association – I am sure they would love for you to stop out! If you want to help by sending a few dollars to further her progress – click HERE for more information.

After I said my ‘good-byes’ – we headed south. Now – I will almost NEVER travel throughout the southern part of Illinois on the route without stopping in and seeing Rich Henry at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch! Although he was closed and he was running around bar-b-queing he took 15 minutes and spoke to Juliana about the property, Big Red and Montana. She enjoyed the time and thought Rich was nothing but a ‘sweet man’.

So, for the first time of all the times I have been at Rich’s place, I hoped on the Giant Rabbit and took a picture!

We continued our way thru St. Louis and stopped the night in Springfield MO. We wanted to stop short of Joplin so we can tour it in the daytime.

Low and behold – we listening to air raid sirens and the hotel asked everyone to gather in a conference room for the fear of possible approaching tornados.

All was good – for the time and we decided to turn in and in the morning drive the 60 minutes to Joplin to check out the damage.
More on that tomorrow…

Compelling article with ‘Before and After’ pics of Joplin after the Tornado.

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Compelling article with ‘Before and After’ pics of Joplin after the Tornado.
Jun 022011

I stumbled upon this site from England and it is the best one – by far – to show the ‘Before and After’ pics of the devistation of the tornado that hit Joplin, MO.

Reports have it although close to 1/3 of the town was hit – not too much damage was done to houses and buildings along Route 66 – but at the same time – it still leaves you in disbelief on the amount of fractured lives is still remaining.

Most folks who have never been through or even affected by a tornado cannot imagine the destruction one of these could bring, and the damage it can leave behind.

Click HERE for the article.

Carthage group organizing to preserve Route 66 motel

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Carthage group organizing to preserve Route 66 motel
Apr 302011

The Boots Motel is for sale, and a Carthage group is looking for a way to preserve the iconic building on Route 66.

A group met recently at the Carthage Chamber of Commerce to discuss whether there is interest in trying to ensure the building remains a Carthage landmark.

“It was pretty much unanimous that they want to see more preservation along Route 66 in Carthage. Since the Boots is for sale, it would be the first target,” said Wendi Douglas, executive director of the Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The initial meeting on Friday was organized by Lora Phelps, a vice president at UMB Bank.

“A lot of people feel the Boots should be preserved and that it could be utilized as a way to bring more people to Carthage,” she said. “We wanted to get a group together, and now we’re discussing ideas and exploring our options.”

By Susan Redden – Globe Staff Writer The Joplin Globe

Census numbers show decline in some SE Kansas towns

 Daily, Kansas  Comments Off on Census numbers show decline in some SE Kansas towns
Mar 032011

The newly released Census numbers show some Southeast Kansas communities have seen a decrease in population. Baxter Springs is one of those communities.
KOAM and FOX 14’s Zach Fletcher spoke to the Chamber of Commerce President, who says the numbers are a wake-up call.

Kansas counties in the KOAM viewing area all saw a decline in population except for Crawford County, which saw an increase of 1.64 %. The city with the biggest decrease in population in Cherokee County is Baxter Springs. It lost more than 450 people since the 2000 census. Those are numbers that shock Baxter Chamber of Commerce President Charlene Hunley.

Baxter has really seemed to grow in the last five years, tremendously. So I was surprised that the growth has gone the opposite direction.” says Hunley.
Hunley says some people are packing up and moving to the outskirts of Baxter, creating subdivisions outside the city limits.
She says even with the decrease in population, businesses are still coming to Baxter Springs.

“New restaurants that have come into town, we’ve got various other businesses. They may be small, but a small business or a large business is wonderful.” adds Hunley

Hunley says revitalization of the historic downtown area helps bring businesses to Baxter Springs.

Even though the census numbers are down business owner Richard Sanell isn’t discouraged.

“I want to keep a watchful eye of course to make sure we’re still intriguing individuals to make the step. They’ve lived in Joplin for four or five years to give Baxter Springs a thought to move into.” says Sanell

Richard Sanell, owner of cafe on the route says he’s actually seen an increase in business.

“The longer you’re at a place, especially a restaurant the more you get to know the community you grow a reputation. Lets look at Chicken Mary’s and Chicken Annie’s.” adds Sanell

Hunley says in order to make Baxter Springs, grow it will take a community effort.

“I think that’s going to be our main goal is to get our number up and get people in here that want to live in Baxter.” says Hunley.

And with those goals the City of Baxter tries to get people back on Old Route 66.

Joplin Route 66 Swap Meet 11th Annual

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Joplin Route 66 Swap Meet 11th Annual
Jan 262011

Joplin MO is very excited about its new and permanent venue for the meet, the Tri State Drive-In Theater has plenty of vendor, and parking area, it is on an 30 acre lot, with a close by area for additional parking if needed. The vendor area is a good flat area and firm ground.

They have had a lot of vendors wanting us to do a fall meet, so with this new place, they can do it, details about it are coming soon.

Meet Starts at 7am Each Day – Free to the Public Free Parking

Automotive Swap Meet from Model T Ford to BIG Block/Hot Rod Parts

800 Vendor Spaces Available – Car Corral – 24-Hour Guards
There will be a full concession stand (No vendor concession sales)

Setup available Thursday the 2nd

All vendors must have 80% auto related merchandise.

200+ Vendors / 8,000 Buyers expected

Date and Time:
Fri Jun 3, 2011 – Sat Jun 4, 2011
7:00 am – 4:00 pm (CDT)

Tri State Drive-In Theater
200 South Tri State Road
Joplin, Missouri 64801
United States

Clich HERE