Saturday, January 21, 2017

Erick, Oklahoma

Friend and Route 66 traveling partner, Chip,
 giving Lil Dude a hand in front of the
Welcome to Eric sign.
A few miles down Route 66 from Sayre, Oklahoma is the small town of Erick, home to the Roger Miller Museum and the famous Sandhills Curio Shop. Lil Dude was traveling Route 66 and stopped in for a visit.

The Roger Miller Museum is dedicated to the life and career of Erick's native son, entertainer Roger Miller. The hours open are not many (Wed - Sat 10:00 - 5:00 and Sunday 1:00 - 5:00) so don't be like Lil Dude and expect it to be open on a Monday or Tuesday. Since he was just passing through and was there on a Monday, he had to be content with trying to look through the window!

The Sandhills Curio Shop is not to be missed if you are traveling Route 66. After driving down the Mother Road for awhile, the auto museums, historic motels, rusty gas pumps, throwback burger joints, and tchotchke shops start to blur together. The nostalgia can feel a bit canned and inauthentic, but then you happen upon Sandhills Curiosity Shop, owned by a true and proud redneck hoarder named Harley. The shop is filled with antique signs, whiskey bottles, ashtrays, tambourines, and guitars interspersed with tourist photos and nothing is for sale. Harley has been entertaining Route 66 travelers for over 30 years. With his late wife Annabelle, they formed The Mediocre Music Makers and gave many a traveler a memory that will last a long time.

If you happen to find yourself near Erick, Oklahoma traveling Interstate 40 and its mind-numbing miles of nothing but concrete, give yourself a break and a treat. Lil Dude says stop at Erick for a while and see what there is to see!

Sandhills Curiosity Shop

Harley & Annabelle took a shine to Lil Dude!

The Mediocre Music Makers & Lil Dude in
front of their Sandhills Curiosity Shop

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Courthouse - Sayre, Oklahoma

Built in 1911, the Beckham County Courthouse along Route 66 in Sayre, Oklahoma is one of the few courthouses in the state that is topped by a large dome. The tallest building in Sayre, the courthouse has been the center of civic and legal activity for over 100 years and remains a landmark in the town of 4,000 people.

For many years, Sayre fed and fueled the steady stream of people exploring the country in automobiles on the east-west Mother Road. In the 1930s and 1940s, the town built and maintained a public library, a hospital, a forty-acre city park, a golf course, swimming pool, baseball and softball fields, a racetrack, and rodeo grounds, mostly due to the business income from Route 66 travelers.

The distinctive design of the courthouse was the reason it was featured in the final cut of John Ford’s movie, The Grapes of Wrath. Most people think it is the capitol in OKC that is in the movie, but this is it.

A distinctive feature on the grounds is a sharply-dressed bison standing in front of the courthouse. The statue was created by the artist Bill Cothran and is titled "Spirit of the West." It was added to the courthouse grounds in 2007.