Sep 122011
 



Rich Talley (Motel Safari fame!) sent me a few new pictures of what the Phillips 66 gas station on Route 66 in Tucumcari NM now looks like.

The owner (Junior) told me while we were working he wanted ‘to have a place to hang out with friends, family, and travelers who were driving Route 66′ and get it looking like it should – instead of the old run down place we saw when I first showed up – and I think he did a FANTASTIC job bringing his vision to life!

Junior rotates one or two classic cars in and out of the property so what you might see this week – might look differenet next week!









Please make sure you stop buy – check the place out – and say ‘HEY!’ if he is around…. I am sure he would really appreciate it!

For the video of us doing most of the restoration work – click HERE to watch it!

Sep 072011
 



A ‘quick’ video thrown together of us doing restoration / painting work at the old Phillips 66 Gas Station in Tucumcari NM – right on Route 66!

It was HOT!! I cannot tell you after 8 plus hours in the sun – one wants to simply give up and call it a day – but most of us stuck around to get as much done as possible.

There are gas pumps now at the site (which I do not have video of) so next time you are in Tucumcari, stop by and check out the ‘handy work’ of the locals, business owners, and guys like me who drove 10 hours to ‘lend a helping hand’.

Click HERE to see the video.

Jun 292011
 



We left Scottsdale at 6 pm (PST) and started to drive – a LONG drive all night until 6am (MST) when we pulled up to the Motel Safari! Rich Talley – owner of the Motel Safari – had to go to California to meet with some business owners – and while he ‘missed’ the heat – I think we did a pretty good job getting this completed!







The project was a Phillips 66 gas station. I spent about 7 of the 8 hours on the ladder… the legs were sore when I finally climbed off of it!







Mural work done by the legendary Doug Quarles! Doug has been a mountain of ideas and work behind bringing Tucumcari back to a ‘must see’ stop while traveling the route!







Bob and Tom (local business owners – project managers / volunteers – GREAT guys) cooling off in the shade for a bit. It was around 104 degrees – not a cloud in the sky – HOT! Bob was the project manager and Tom somehow spent WAY TOO much time on the scolding hot roof painting the overhangs – my hat goes off to him!







Junior is the owner of the gas station – here he is posing with his ‘Phillips 66 truck’ which will be parked on in front of the property to match the decor. He has a collection of old restored cars he will ‘rotate’ a car out every other weekend so there is a fresh ‘photo op’ for travelers.







Juliana and Doug posing in front of the finished ‘mural’. We toured the town looking at some of the murals he had already painted – quite impressive!






We painted for about 8 hours straight with very few stops. Dehydration set in as well as sunburn, doughnut cramps (not always a bad thing!) and a lot of laughter and hard work!

There was MUCH more work done than the pictures show – it is hard to run around and snap photos when everyone has a paint brush in their hand!

A local reporter came out to take pics and get some information for a story for the local newspaper – he will email me the article which I will put up as well.

I have seen video of the gas station a day after we left and when the gas pumps get installed and all the little details are finished – I will post an updated picture.

Even thought we drove for a total of 23 hours to and from to help paint – I would do it again!

Tucumcari is a town rewriting the rules on how these smaller towns on Route 66 should embrace the route and the travelers and visitors.

Tucumcari will always be a destination on all of my future trips….

Jun 272011
 



OK – back to the ‘trip’ – we just came back from another trip to Tucumcari – and I did not have time to post.









Came into Tucumcari NM and headed straight to the Motel Safari to meet up with Rich and Gail Talley.









The Three ‘not so’ wise men! – Rich took us over to his buddy Dan’s place where we looked at a lot of old antique cars. Dan is a good man! Glad to have met him!









Rich with Juliana in front of one of Dan’s many classic cars….









Me with the ‘movers and shakers’ of Tucumcari – these folks are getting thing accomplished all throughtout town – and I am now honored to call them my friends! We talked a good part of the night about Route 66 and what has been done and what needs to be done to preserve and grow it.





The next morning, we headed out of town and pretty much went straight to Scottsdale, except to stop at the Continental Divide shop to get ice cream and water….






Overall – it was a quick, productive, and well received trip. As I said earlier in this post – we just came back from Tucumcari (10 hour drive ONE way BTW) and I will post restoration pics tomorrow….

Jun 242011
 



Woke up and was eager to stop back over at the U Drop Inn and see it in the daytime.
We went inside and spoke with a lady (man, I forgot her name!) and she went over the restoration process with me and told me while it was great the government funds helped with the restoration, the government told them they could not run the diner / kitchen for 10 years after the project was complete. They have (fortunately) 2 more years to go before they can ‘open shop’ in the diner.

Overall, I was impressed with the building.



Juliana waiting for service – she might have to wait a bit!







The Philips 66 Gas Station in McLean TX.







The fantastic ‘Leaning Water Tower’ in Britten TX.







We stopped at the Cross in Groom TX again. 10,000,000 visitors a year visit this place – did you hear that Groom TX?!?







Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo TX – Met a woman from Germany here. Juliana was able to use her German on her, and she told me she was looking forward to meeting Rich Henry at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch. I gave her my card and told her to tell Rich she could get a free gift!!! (Sorry Rich!)





Juliana spray painting for the first time – very little room to spray paint your name! These cars are covered!






We stopped in Tucumcari in the afternoon, this is a whole ‘nother post for another day – seeing we are BACK in Tucumcari this weekend doing preservation work…

May 112011
 



City and Chamber of Commerce officials are coordinating three community beautification projects in an effort to promote Tucumcari.

“It takes all of us to make our town beautiful,” Cathy Estrada, the city’s code enforcement officer said.

This year’s cleanup has three projects organized by Estrada, Carole Keith and Tucumcari MainStreet.

Estrada said she will run the cleanup at the fitness course next to the Quay Apartments. Tucumcari MainStreet will be painting another gas station on West Route 66 by the Paradise Motel and Keith will organize the cleaning of Dunn Park.

“This is the sixth year I have been a part of the cleanup,” Estrada said. “It has come a long way since its start.”

Estrada said the community’s increased involvement helps make the clean up a success every year.

“In the beginning it was my family and I operating the entire cleanup,” Estrada said. “Thanks to the increasing volunteers every year, we get more done.”

City Manager Bobbye Rose said the cleanup benefits the city’s economic development and tourism.

“These projects help to increase the community’s pride in their city,” Rose said.

Estrada said the city receives state and federal funding for the cleanup projects. She said local sponsorship has been a large part of the cleanup’s success.

“We have 25 local sponsors this year,” Estrada said. “I am so thankful for all they donate to the cleanup. We would not have come as far as we have if not for our local business support.”

Estrada said the three projects will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. She said the volunteers will meet at the fitness course to be divided into groups for the projects.

“We need the community to come out and help with these projects,” Estrada said. “It cannot be the responsibility of a certain group to make Tucumcari beautiful.”

Thomas Garcia – Quay County Sun

May 022011
 



The status of the Charlie’s Radiator Shop property has done a complete about-face.
An old sign still hangs on one of the outside doors at the old radiator shop.

In 18 months it has gone from scheduled demolition to guaranteed renovation.

The City of Grants notified property owner Joe Diaz in 2009 that the buildings would be leveled. Walter Jaramillo, City of Grants’ councilman, urged the Grants MainStreet Project to explore other options.

The owner grew up on the property, which included the family home, during the 1930s and ‘40s, said Randy Hoffman, MainStreet Project manager.

“It was the only place between Gallup and Albuquerque along Route 66 to get auto repairs,” pointed out Jaramillo. “And the Star Diner next door used to be where the miners would buy their lunches. The bus that took workers to the mines stopped at that diner.”

The Diaz buildings were some of the first pumice-block structures in the state, according to Jaramillo. John Murphy, New Mexico State Cultural Properties’ committee member agreed.

“The three pumice-block buildings, part of the modest commercial complex, represent the ambitions and domestic life of Charlie Diaz, a Grants’ and U.S. Highway 66 entrepreneur,” said Murphy.

The property owner collaborated with the Grants’ MainStreet Project on the state’s historic designation application. And the site was officially recognized as an historic cultural property in February 2010.

That designation allowed Diaz to pursue applying for renovation grants. Last month the owner was awarded a $30,000 National Park Service grant. Along with the owner’s $42,500 donation, the total renovation will equal $72,500, according to Hoffman.

“I am very happy and excited about the rehabilitation project,” Hoffman said. “There was $90,000 available for Route 66 projects and the Diaz property got one-third of this year’s money.”

The site is significant because it is one of only two remaining automotive enterprises still remaining on Route 66, explained Hoffman. The highway was built in the early decades of the twentieth century to connect Chicago, Ill., with Los Angeles, Calif., according to transportation historians.

Both Jaramillo and Hoffman expressed appreciation for Elmo Baca’s assistance with the grant application process. Baca is a New Mexico MainStreet associate with the special projects’ division.

The original garage will become an automotive museum and also offer community groups meeting space. Renovations to the Star Café structure will convert the interior into a Route 66 memorabilia gift shop. “It will have all kinds of things for people to buy such as tee shirts, posters, mugs, shot glasses – pretty much anything that bears a Historic Route 66 design,” explained Hoffman.

Renovations are scheduled to begin once the funds are received, which should be within the next few months.

“I’m glad they are finally making some progress on that property. It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad to hear the good news,” said Mayor Joe Murrietta.

The grant application included, “This project proposes to perform stabilization and preservation work on Charlie’s Automotive Service, a property on the west end of Grants that once served Route 66 traffic,” Hoffman said. “This renovation will not cost the city one dollar but it will generate economic development through tourism,” he concluded.

The property is being considered for National Historic Trust designation, said Jaramillo. “The historic designation will attract more visitors to Grants. The site could be a gathering place for antique car enthusiasts and for vintage car shows,” said the councilman.

By Rosanne Boyett – Beacon Staff Writer

Mar 162011
 



For much of the early twentieth century, Route 66 was the way most people got to California. After its creation in 1926, it was the way west for migrants escaping the Dust Bowl, hoping to find work in California’s fields and factories. After World War II and the beginning of America’s new car culture, it carried vacationers who wanted to tour The West, visit a new-fangled attraction called Disneyland or see the Pacific Ocean.

In 1985, it was removed from the United States highway system, replaced by wider, more modern Interstate Highway, but in those six decades it gained a status few strips of asphalt enjoy, passing into the fabric of our culture. It was the backdrop for John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, the topic of a song by Bobby Troup and the backdrop for a 1960s television show. Steinbeck called it the Mother Road – and the name stuck.

In California, Route 66 ran from the Arizona border near Needles, through Barstow, across San Bernardino County, into Pasadena and south into Los Angeles, a distance of about 270 miles. Today, drivers making the same journey travel on I-40, I-15 and I-10.

If you’ve strolled along Route 66 in Williams, Arizona or cruised the neons along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, don’t expect to find anything comparable in California. In the east, the Interstate often bypassed towns along the Mother Road, leading them to inevitable decline. Further west, fueled by dreams of growth and funded by state money earmarked for redevelopment, San Bernardino and Los Angeles County’s civic leaders all but obliterated the old Route 66 landmarks and today, you’ll find Route 66 signs outnumber the sights.

If you want to focus on exactly where every square inch of asphalt ran and when it ran there, following tortuous routes to drive on as much of it as possible, this guide may not be for you. However, the highway department has conscientiously signposted every possible exit from I-40 that leads to a section of Historic Route 66 and the California Route 66 Preservation Association has a mile-by-mile guide and some nice historic photos to go along with it. And if you want to know all the details of where Route 66 went in Los Angeles County, experts say Scott R. Piotrowski’s Finding the End of the Mother Road is the definitive resource.

By Betsy Malloy, About.com Guide

Feb 262011
 



Are you hungry for savory burgers seared on the grill, or freshly-scrambled eggs slathered in sweet tangy ketchup? The roadside diners of Historic Route 66 are just the place to satisfy your cravings.

If you are in the Land of Lincoln, come to the city where this byway begins its iconic westward trek — Chicago! Located right at the eastern start of the byway, Lou Mitchell’s Diner is an 85-year-old veteran of the highway .Their generous breakfast is surely a Chicago staple. Or drive the byway southwest past Bloomington, Illinois and try the Palm’s Grill Cafe in Atlanta, Illinois. You can’t miss the giant “Hot Dog Man” across the street. Originally opened in 1934, this café still bears a neon sign that diners once flipped on to signal approaching Greyhound buses that prospective passengers were eating inside. Before you leave, take a minute to imagine a Greyhound bus screeching to a stop, ready to take you on a journey across the country on one of our nation’s oldest highways.

Heading through northeastern Oklahoma? Stop at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger, a local favorite in the town of Miami. The last remaining restaurant from an old Midwestern fast-food chain, Ku-Ku Burger is familiar to Route 66 enthusiasts for its hand-made burgers and its giant yellow fiberglass cuckoo bird, a Route 66 landmark. Soak up the ‘60s vibe and don’t forget to snap a picture of one of America’s oldest novelty restaurants.

Stop in New Mexico for a taste of Mexico at Joseph’s Bar and Grill, a Route 66 veteran that has been serving homemade Mexican food for over 50 years. Originally founded as La Fiesta by Jose Campos in 1956, the restaurant is now run by his son, and keeps locals and travelers alike coming back for the locally grown chiles, delicious enchiladas, and Southwestern atmosphere. This family-owned restaurant is a great place to spice up your Historic Route 66 tour. Joseph’s Bar and Grill is located at 1775 Historic Route 66 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

In Arizona, start off with a hot plate of Splatter Platter or Swirl of Squirrel at the Route 66 Roadkill Café, located in the town of Seligman, Arizona. Known for their burgers and their whimsical slogan (“You kill it and we grill it”), this fun-filled and family-friendly restaurant will keep you laughing. (Just to be clear, they don’t actually serve roadkill. Or squirrel.) After you eat, keep your eye on the ball with a game of pool before heading out for further adventures on the All-American Road segment of Historic Route 66.

Jan 112011
 

Hello Mr. Klein,

Thank for contacting me regarding the Gas Station Painting Project. We did not realize there would be similar projects taking place, but it is nice knowing about your commitment to Route 66 as well. A number of us, here in Tucumcari, have put up the $ out of our own pockets, and many, many hours of our time thus far. Doug Quarles, a local artist, has donated some of his time for the project as well. We have nearly completed 3 old gas stations, as the article indicated. There are at least 20 more along the route here in Tucumcari.

We have nearly 6.6 miles of Route 66 going through Tucumcari, and there were a lot of filling stations back in the grand days, most now abandoned and unsightly. We have spent about $900 just on paint just for 2 of the gas stations and the owner of the Texaco Station paid for that project in total. We hope to come across more owners willing to do that, but so far, no others. In fact we are seeking funding, donations, grants, etc, to help and your offer is certainly welcome. If you would not mind, please visit our website, www.tucumcarinm.com we have a Paypal donation link. Of course, volunteer painters are always welcome when the time arrives. Your group will be recognized for your contribution.

I have attached a few pictures of the 3 stations that you may view the progress. Also, there is a Route 66 Chamber of Commerce recently formed, the website is http://route66chamberofcommerce.homestead.com/index.html .

We just joined that Chamber. It would seem we all have a common goal.
Thanks again

Bob Beaulieu

Chamber DirectorI am fortunate to be contacted by Bob and will do what I can to help him as well as other location throughout Route 66 to keep projects going. This is what this website is all about.

A few dollars go farther than you think, so donate what you can – big or small – but please donate…

Thank you!