Archive for the ‘Oklahoma’ Category

During my Route 66 trip in 2008, I shot about five hours of video and edited it into this five-minute film, which won second place at the First Person Impressions national film competition.  See how many sights you can name!

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1472915&dest=-1]


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Worth noting are two service stations along the way.  Lucille’s, between Hydro and Weatherford. Oklahoma, is one of the earliest forms of gas stations, with the owner’s house literally over the pumps below.  Lucille Hamond, who died in 2000, lived here for decades, raised her family in the house and operated small tourist cabins adjacent.

In Alanreed, Texas, a vintage “Super 66” service station sits beside the road, with pumps available to drivers on two sides. 

I rather enjoyed this bit of Spanish tile deco in the middle of nowhere.

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On the Texas-Oklahoma border, the small border town of Texola exists, population one or two.  Maybe three. 

A neat little ghost town, it still contains some ruins of bars, stores, and best of all, a provencial one-room jailhouse

A chained, barking dog across the street was still menacing enough to keep me from exploring.  Other than that, there’s not a lot else to be seen there.

One bar may occasionally operate.

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Portland Concrete

Oklahoma 66 Southwest of Oklahoma City contains some vintage stretches of the original Portland concrete.  We Italians love concrete, so naturally I was memorized.  I like the feel of concrete under tires better than asphalt, and the weeds growing through the expansion cracks simply add charm.

Also of note:  The original concrete pour contained curbs on either side of the road, assuring proper drainage.

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Catoosa, Oklahoma, just north of Tulsa, is home to the Catoosa Blue Whale.  Built in the 70’s, it was a fixture in a local swimming hole that closed in the mid-1980’s. 

It now sits in a park that looks like an old, closed swimming hole

The whale is still in pretty good shape, even if the old snack bar is not.  Fishing is now popular from the whale.

Tulsa has a fascinating array of old motels and auto shops.  66 follows the Ozark Trail just southwest, which is particularly windy, and continues on to Oklahoma City.

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If you could see where some motels are located, you’d understand why they didn’t survive.  There’s nothing in many towns to visit. 

I’m amazed to see shredded spring mattresses and old furniture still in place in many tourist cabins.  I wish I had the time to poke around a little further.

Almost every small town we’ve been through has at least one old motel, though like the Sunrise or Boots motels, most are apartments rather than abandoned wrecks.  Some still have the neon signs in various states of repair.  Even among those that don’t, it’s easy to see that something used to be an old 66 motor court simply by the layout. 

Better that, I suppose, than destruction, but sad to think that 66 will never be the motel mecca that it once was.

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Meatloaf is the Thursday special at Clanton’s Cafe in Vinita, OK – a town where traffic still stops for passing freight trains. 

Unfortunately, cream rather than fruit pies were on the menu.  I missed blackberry cobbler by one day.

After the meatloaf, however, I’d be hard pressed to smash pie into my mouth.  Delicious.

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