Saturday, October 3, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- September 2015: The Mickey and the Bob

SEPTEMBER 1--   A new mural has been placed at Joplin. Missouri's historic Joe Becker Stadium featuring Joe Becker and Mickey Mantle.  Joe Becker played just 40 games with the Cleveland Indians, but achieved his fame as a pitching coach for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, Cubs and cardinals.  Who was also business manager of the Joplin Miners who played at the stadium.

Mickey Mantle his .383 and 26 home runs for the Miners, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, in 1950.  He grew up in nearby Commerce, Oklahoma, where he, at age 15, was playing for the  semi-pro Baxter Springs team.

I love my minor league baseball.

SEPTEMBER 3--  A short 28 page booklet has been published on the life of Bob Waldmire by Bill Crook titled "Waldmire: An Artist's Life on Route 66."  Bob Waldmire, who was really the Spirit of Route 66, died in 2009.  I never knew whether to pity or be jealous of his lifestyle.

I remember once at the Mother Road Festival in Springfield, Illinois, when we happened to be out by his VW bus looking at his stuff when he asked if we'd watch the place for a short while.  We figured he had to go to the bathroom, so said yes.  Now, we knew who he was, but I'm sure he didn't know us, but he left us in charge.  And then was gone for a really long time.  We just looked at one another, wondering where Bob was.

Finally a friend of his came by and asked where Bob was.  We said we didn't know and explained the situation.  The friend said he'd take over and we glad to leave.

I mean, Bob would have no way of knowing who we were.  We found out later he was looking at other exhibits and booths.

Definitely One of a Kind.  --RoadDog

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