Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's On Route 66: That Old Belvedere, 11 Most Endangered, Motels


Some Stuff Happening Along the "Mother Road".

1. Yesterday, there were a lot of pictures of the 1957 PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE in Tulsa, Ok, on the the Yahoo Most-Viewed Photos site. Today, there are a lot of the car as it now looks, covered with rust and dirt. I don't think they'll be getting a full $75,000 out of it. It looked as if it was covered with a tarp and that water had gotten in. Folks are mighty disappointed. Oh, well, that was a neat idea.

2. There will be a new series of novels set along Route 66 during the Depression, The author is Dorothy Garlock. Of course, this is where Route 66 got its name "Mother Road" from John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath."

3. NEW MEXICO places a five mile segment of the original 1926 alignment and the Santa Fe Armory on the State Register of Cultural Properties. The segment is between Bernalillo and Algodones. It was replaced a short time after 1926 by an east-west route through Moriarty and Albuquerque which went through the Tijeres Canyon.

The Santa Fe Armory was also added. During WWII, every New Mexico soldier was inducted into service at this facility.

4. MORE ON MOTELS- this time from Glasgow, Scotland, UK- People all over the world know about our Route 66. Sometimes I think they're more into it than Americans. I know far too many friends who would rather go to a Chucky Cheese (even those without kids) than get off the superslab (what we call interstates).

Of course, all of Route 66 was recently placed on a world preservation group's most endangered list and this past week, the US National Trust for Historic Preservation listed 11 endangered places in the US, and Route 66 motels was on that.

A quote from the Reuters article. Motels "are endangered species which evoke the glory days of a route that once symbolized America's embrace of the auto age and travel across its vast expanse." I couldn't have put it better.

The article talked about the Motel Reno which caught fire about 20 years ago and, today, is abandoned and dilapidated with smashed windows and a very tough-looking bunch of people hanging around it. A very common line from townspeople is that these places used to be very busy as well as other town businesses until the interstates came and the people didn't. This was one of the points that the animated film "Cars" was trying to make last summer.

The article came accompanied by pictures of the brilliant neon signs of the Western Motel west of Oklahoma City and the Carlyle Motel which is nearby.

"Old motels evoke past glory of the 'Mother Road'" by Ed Stoddard, June 14.

Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

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