Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mueller family this morning. I received word that Boomer passed away last evening after a very short illness.
Having had a dog that was more family than pet, a faithful friend that weathered all manner of storms for more than sixteen years, I can understand the depth of their loss. Still, Boomer was special. In his short association with the Route 66 community he became a celebrity that captured the very essence of the old road.
His friendly, welcoming demeanor at the Blue Swallow Motel won him a legion of international friends and fans. To be honest, even though Kevin and Nancy have transformed this venerable old motel with sweat, paint, refurbished neon, and an honest, heartfelt love for Route 66 and the people who travel it, it will be difficult to ever see the Blue Swallow the same way again.
Boomer, and Bessie, were as much a part of the team as Kevin and Nancy. With the loss of Boomer, the team is now one short.
I have a few other Route 66 related items to share this morning. However, even though they are exciting developments there is a pall over all things Route 66 this morning.
The 2014 Route 66 International Festival continues to develop into something with incredible potential for the Route 66 community, and something truly special for all who attend. Lets start with a Bob Waldmire related update.
Bob was a regular at TNT Engineering, the former Ford dealership on Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66). One of his famous murals graces a wall there and a selection of his work is located in the original showroom.
Now, arrangements are being made with Buz Waldmire for a special exhibit of Bob’s work to be displayed at TNT during the festival. This will really enhance the event and ensure that the entire historic district will be full of treasures for our visitors.
Arrangements are also being made to utilize the former Chevrolet (and Edsel) dealership next to Mr. D’z for a display of historically significant alternative energy vehicles. The first vehicle that has been committed for the exhibit is an ultra rare 1902 Studebaker electric designed by Thomas Edsison.
How rare is this car, you may ask. Well estimates from the Studebaker museum and automotive historians place the number of vehicles produced in 1902 as twenty. This is car number three.
In the morning, Josh Noble, the tourism director, Steve and Mike Wagner, and I will have a conference call with Michael Wallis and Rick Freeland of the Route 66 Alliance, the sanctioning body for the festival. That will kick development into high gear.
Next, on the list a special addition. With the theme of Kingman as the crossroads of the past and future, in addition to asking for participation from owners of alternative energy vehicles of the past and present, there will be an exhibition of work by western and Native American artists. To ensure this exhibit is world class, the organizers are enlisting the assistance of Bob Bell, a native son, editor at True West magazine, and highly acclaimed artist.
One more note, if your interested in promoting your business through advertisement or sponsorship of the festival, please drop me a note. A package is currently under development.