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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Keep the Show on the Road!

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About Keep the Show on the Road!

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    King of the Road

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  1. I have wondered for at least twenty years (I am slow to resolve these questions) whether there could be a special book, publication or web site just for mom and pop motels that was sort of a review and guide. There may be one, but my original idea was that it be distributed at the registration desk, or even in the room, free. Then those inclined to favor those unique places of character and personal attention would know where to stop next. I suppose mom and pop restaurants could be featured as well. The mom and pop places would pay for advertising and naturally promote the distribution and awareness because each gained when all handed them out. You see that model sometimes in the antique business. So there is a way to fund retirement.....but I am too long retired to want to start now!!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  2. MGA, Terrific! Yes KFI was another beacon in the night! And a station in SLC. Who today can imagine the satisfaction of pulling in one of those "old friends" from your home town while somewhere on the road in the great American "outback" at night. Those old AM stations were as American as apple pie, and brightened many a dark road. Heck if you bought your car in So Cal or the Bay Area, KFI or KGO was labeled right on a push button. But you actually had to turn a knob to tune in most stations. No one today realizes the hardships!!! And while Rick was looking for the pool, I was asking Dad for a quarter Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  3. Gees, my memories of the Mom and Pop travel business of the late 40's and the 50's come back. We never saw a pool, but I remember the two headed calf in the store window just down the street from the motel in Garberville, California. And I not only remember Magic Fingers, but rooms that featured pay radio. Drop your two bits in the radio and you could listen to an hour of the news on AM. No FM in those days. KGO in San Francisco was a 50,000 watt station. At sundown local stations had to shut down, so 810 on the dial could be heard in Oregon, Washington, etc. It was our connection to home! And even stations in Tijuana came in loud and clear on the road. Microwave, refrigerator, TV......HA. Vending machines, hot breakfast, all night front desk, sundries in case you forgot your razor,.... HA HA. Pillow top mattress, shampoo, hair dryer, air conditioning, mints on your pillow, cookies, etc, etc..... HA HA HA. Yap, the good old days. Dave
  4. Rick, Terrific description of your experiences, and they brought back similar reflections. Your descriptions are worth saving. The era of the Mom and Pop is obviously over, and your description of the transition is valuable. I try to explain to my grandchildren the differences between a travel experience where individuals were the driving force rather than corporations. Is it better now? It sure is. The bed I sleep in, and the room I enjoy in even a moderately priced motel is twice as nice as in most Mom and Pop places. Who sleeps today on a mattress laid on a wire spring base metal bed frame, or watches black widows crawl in and out of the ceiling lamp fixture? Of course they were not all that bad, but your description of stopping at several and sometimes making a desperate choice is true. Older is not better, but different, and more varied, less predictable, and much more personal. But what is personal is also variable, while what is corporate is standardized. And I miss the 25 cent a ride Magic Fingers Vibrating Beds....:) I better explain Magic Fingers. The company produced a vibrating motor that attached to the aforementioned bed frame, and placed a coin machine on the night stand. You put your quarter in the slot, pushed down the lever, and got five minutes of relaxing vibration. Just the thing for the weary road traveler! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  5. Rick, Great image and it brings to mind my early days. I thought getting old would take longer! But I sure recall the days in the late 40's through the 60's when neon ruled. As a kid, and before I got my license in the mid 1950's, I'm not sure that those fancy signs attracted my parents when we were on road trips. I suspect they figured if the place had a fancy sign, it would cost too much! What I recall most was that Mom wanted it to be clean and quiet, and my sister and I wanted a grassy play area. Many of the places were along railroad tracks, so it wasn't easy to find quiet. I don't know why motels snuggled up to the tracks, unless the land was cheaper, and of course the roads tended to follow along railroads. I have a few shots of motels in the early 60's after I started taking movies and stills. And Dad was something of an early adopter with slides. But when a single photo cost the equivalent of a few dollars in today's money, you didn't take a lot of pictures of motel signs!! It was an entirely different business model because motels were mom and pop affairs. There was no such thing as today's cookie cutter chain motels. Each night was an adventure to find a good place to stay, and part of the fun of travel. With today's consistent look alike, clean and well appointed motels I bet I could be blindfolded and still locate everything on the property.....even if I might scare a few people with the mask. Thanks for the great photos....I really appreciate them! Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  6. Ah my young friend….figural bottles must be bottles that are in the shape of figures….most probably female humans, but also deer, dogs, cats, and other figures. My wife did small sculptures in plastic clay and called them figural art so I am an authority!!! I imagine business may have been a bit slow. Don’t all motels still have open parking garages between the rooms….when did that design go away? Time flies….but when I was a kid, that was the basic design. Early era....Indeed!! Who conducted the survey to determine 1 in 7 passing cars was on illegal business? It must have been a doctoral study based on survey forms filled out at local bars…..I love it. Aside from my snark, great photos and terrific dialog. This is the stuff of real road tripping!! Great stuff. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  7. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Trains, Stamps, & Road Trips

    Impressive! I don't personally know anyone else who got a photo on a stamp, but this kind of puts you up there with George Washington!! Dave
  8. Rick, Brings to mind a couple of lines from a favorite song: But there's nothing so lonesome, so morbid or drear Than to stand in a bar, of a pub with no beer Great image and story. I believe many women don't fully appreciate sagebrush, old buildings, and remote roads.....but then I may be wrong. John and Alice Ridge of Yellowstone Trail fame seem to share a common love of the old road. And while I have not actually asked Becky, she might be another. My wife is not a member of the club, but she is willing to let me rave on. Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
  9. Rick, I have been inattentive to my disadvantage! Your photos and description are superb! A place I didn’t know existed! Of course 1975 is practically yesterday when viewed from my chronologically advanced years, but the photos and story are pure gold. The days when I reasonably expected to visit these places are past, so I depend on younger eyes and pens keyboards to tell the stories for me and others to enjoy!! Thanks! Great job! Now when is the book? Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  10. This is like a feast of recollection and reflection, with a big dose of fine writing. I recall that motel….it was probably 10- 15 years ago and Sheila and I were following the Pony Express route. We didn’t stop. The post below gives a bit of the history of the motel. It still had cars in front based on the 1999 Google Earth image. You could have owned a piece of Nevada history, a motel, and RV park for just $225,000. Guess no one wanted to!! http://www.exploreforums.com/topic/3150-schellbourne-station-motel-rv-park/ Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  11. Keep the Show on the Road!

    New touring vehicle

    Hutch, Sometimes we buy vehicles to comfort ourselves, or our egos. But the best buys are those that expand our horizons, and enable us to do things we would not, or could not, do before. Your Big Red is a good example of the latter. Congratulations! Eastern Oregon where I believe you live has terrific places to go, and a little early snowfall can really add to the beauty. You don’t need this advice, but I learned the hard way that a capable 4 wheel rig can also get you into big trouble if you are inclined to off road solo in the winter. So have a great time, and keep us up to date on your adventures. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  12. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    Becky, Great to see you chime in! We all appreciate your enormous contribution to the joys of traveling the American Road! Dave
  13. Keep the Show on the Road!

    New touring vehicle

    Hutch, OH THE JOY!! I recall my days with my Toyota Land Cruiser. Of course it more often than not got me into places I had no business going with a wife and 2 year old. But truthfully, your photos practically brought tears to an old man's eyes. I wish you many more happy trails ahead!!! Dave Keep the Show on the Road!!
  14. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    MGA707, I looked through the archives and found these photos from 2007, 11 years ago. I put them into a panoramas where that helps. I remember reading about the woman who danced there, Marta Becket. I think there was one of her performances the day we passed by. A lost opportunity!!! She was a spry 82 in 2007, and passed away at 92 last year. Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
  15. Keep the Show on the Road!

    Amargosa Hotel and Opera House, Death Valley Jct. CA

    MGA707, Love it!!! And great photos, I recall stopping (not staying) there maybe 10-15 years ago. Maybe I have some images in the “archives.” I think the woman was still putting on her one woman shows. What a shame we didn’t stay, but maybe it was not even open. But the place is unmistakable. Are the peacocks still around? Dave
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