5.11.2009

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

I want to take some of you down memory lane to an Oklahoma town called Elk City. I know most of you have never been to Elk City, Oklahoma but in this charming town is the National Route 66 Museum. I am from the very end of the baby boomer generation so this museum brought back some very fond memories for me. I thought I would share it with you. Do you remember the Historic Route 66? It was a 2 lane highway that began in Chicago, Illinois and ended in Santa Monica, California. I have fond memories of many places along this highway. This museum is a tribute to this highway and the people who traveled it.

Every state that this highway went through was showcased at this museum. I remember traveling on 2 week long vacations as a family. Many of these vacations were much like National Lampoon's Vacation. We would load up in our car and head out on the open road. Wherever we got tired of driving we would then hunt for a motel (hopefully with a swimming pool. Many times we would wake up and realize that the motel that had looked okay in the nighttime wasn't so nice in the morning. Because of these experiences I now make sure to stop in daylight anywhere I am going to sleep.


I remember crossing bridges like this many times. We loved to play a game on especially longs ones and see who could hold their breath all the way across.There were some years when we would camp out all along the way. We had one of those campers that go on the back of a pickup. I can remember sleeping out on picnic tables under the stars and swimming in rivers and creeks. I thought this camper was so cute. It was very efficient and was small enough to be pulled by a car.

Do you remember when the parts on a car were almost artistic? Even the hubcaps were beautiful.

Did you ever get to ride in a pink Cadillac convertible? I always thought these were cool looking cars. How fun it must have been for the owners to ride down the road with the top down. There wasn't air conditioning in cars back then (at least in any of the old cars we drove) The only music came from an AM radio.

There were many Harley Davidson motorcycles that travelled up and down this highway.

Do you remember when steering wheels looked like this?
The museum had so many exhibits and they did such a good job of trying to portray many of the types of vehicles that were driven up and down this highway over the years.

I thought these were really cool looking but I am not sure I would want to travel so far on a motorcycle.
They had a really cool exhibit where you could sit in the back seat of a car and watch an old Drive In movie. I remember going to drive ins as I grew up. It was such a treat and it is sad that there are almost none in existence any more.

Do you remember the scary movies that showed back in the black and white era? Movies like The Blob, and Tarantula, and The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Those were the days. I remember being so scared by those movies. They were so predictable yet still so scary. I still love to watch old movies especially the old romantic comedies.
Remember when most fire departments were volunteer? The fire whistle or bell would go off and every person who could, grabbed gear and jumped on the truck. They still do it that way in many small towns. In fact they still do it that way here in Seymour.


This old fire truck served Elk City for many years.

I remember riding in cars like the one below. Cars back in those days had a lot of cool factor. The engines were huge and powerful. Back then it wasn't unusual to have a speedometer that went up to 140 mph. That is probably one of the good changes that has happened. No one ever even considered buckling their seat belts. In fact those were tucked down into the crevice of the car seat. Oh my, how things have changed.

Hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane. Come back next week and I will share a bit more of this very awesome museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.
Debbie

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8 comments:

Loretta said...

I sure did enjoy this post! So many of the things you spoke about like drive-ins(we still have one here)volunteer fire depts (we have them here too), cars with no air conditioning, campers, huge steering wheels in cars, and no seat belts were all a part of my childhood. I have never driven on Rte 66 but if I ever do I will certainly stop at that museum! Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Loretta

ClassyChassy said...

Fun to see all of your pictures - the steering wheel sure brought back memories - things that were so common, and now are replaced by modern stuff! Thanks for the great post!

Linda said...

This is such a charming drive down memory lane. Several of the things you mention, such as slightly seedy motels and movies such as The Blob, I'd read about in Bill Bryson's autobiography, 'The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid', about growing up in Des Moines in the 1950's. If you haven't read it I thoroughly recommend it - it's very funny, but also poignant.

roy/elisabeth dean said...

I'm not sure I will EVER get to the Route 66 Museum ( I would LOVE to go) so thank you for sharing it!
Have a wonderful day Debbie~
♥,Lilly

KaysWay said...

I loved the old Route 66. When I was a kid, my family would travel from the Los Angeles, CA area to Joplin, MO every year and we made those trips on Route 66. We made this trip every summer to go visit my aunt. I remember thinking how boring this highway was when I was a kid, but now I look back and think how interesting it was and how I wish it was still there. I know there are parts of it that are still in tact, but most of it is gone. Those were the good old days.

Kay

bettyl said...

What a nostalgia trip! I do indeed remember the cars and things from the '50's and '60's!

mbkatc230 said...

I just love this post! That little camper - I think it's adorable. There is a couple who live around the corner that have one that they are restoring, it's even that same fabulous fifties aqua blue! Thanks for the trip. Kathy

Cathrine TingBling (Tingberg) said...

I really like route 66 and went on it earlier this year. I also lived in Texas for about a year and my boyfriend is still there...took a lot of photos and some of them are on my blog too.
Really nice to have a look at your blog. Cathrine