May 26, 2008

Route 66 museum celebrates eight years

By Helen Bendure
Desert Dispatch

The Route 66 Mother Road Museum is busy preparing to celebrate their eight years of service to this area. This special event will be Saturday, June 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are no admission or parking fees.

The museum is at 681 North First Ave., from West Main Street, take First Avenue north and then take the first turn right after crossing the bridge over the railroad tracks.

Most years they have held their anniversary on a Saturday about mid-June in the museum and the area surrounding historic Casa del Desierto, Barstow’s Harvey House. The grand opening was July 4, 2000. But with July 4 activities already planned and some miles apart, the day was not a very good one for another important event. Future museum anniversaries were held at an earlier date.

Most years, a very popular car show has been presented, and it will be this year also. It is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The show is open to all vehicles regardless of year including stock, classic, un-restored, motorcycles and hot rods. Pre-registration is $15. Beginning June 9, the fee will be increased to $20. The first 75 entries will receive goody bags plus a free regular car wash from Sparkle Car Wash. At least 10 special trophy awards designed and hand crafted by Eddie Cordova will be presented to winners. Vendors will display motor merchandise for sale.

The museum always has interesting displays and history items and a exceptionally fine gift shop so make it a point to visit there.

There is to be a super raffle with lots of prizes. One prize is a certificate to “Sleep in a Wigwam” in Rialto, (a favorite among travelers). The committee will work until the last moment to gather more prizes and surprises. If you have items for the raffle or goody bags items to give, please contact Debra Hodkin through the museum.

DJ Kev Dog will be returning to announce and play those popular 1950s, oldies and hotrod tunes to the delight of everyone.

Route 66 has added spots to feature noted personalities who wish to show support to Route 66 and the museum here. Look for noted artists Phil Yeh of the comic book “Dinosaurs Across Route 66” and cartoonist Phil Ortiz of The Simpsons. Joe de Kehoe will be present with his book, “The Silence and the Sun” published in 2007. The book is well researched, visually effective with dozens of pictures giving historical account of people, places and events on old Route 66 in Eastern Mojave Desert. There will be book signing.

Albert Chura of the Route 66 town of Amboy will have food available. Manoj Patel of the famous “Wigwams in Rialto” will be on hand. Expect lots of vendors— for food, gifts and displays for your enjoyment.

Debra Hodkin, Museum Curator and Manager, said, “It will be a fun family affair!”

And she is looking for volunteers to help with the celebration. Let her know if you will help.

The Mother Road 66 Museum is open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 255-1890 for information during open hours or leave a message or check the Web site

Event flyers and vendor applications ($25, each) may be downloaded from the Web site. And the WARM (railroad museum) is also free and “next door” — another good place to visit.

And do mark your calendars for the 2008 Route 66 Museum anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.