Sunday, August 28, 2016

How an Author Gets her Kicks on “Route 66” by Connie Vines

Having lived a great deal of my adult life in the Inland Empire, were the
famous Route 66 runs right through my backyard. One lazy Saturday morning I decided to set out and see what I could find on a brief stint down the historic road from Rancho Cucamonga to San Bernardino (I’ll save the drive to Santa Monica for a future post). The people I met and the stories I heard in these short four hours of my morning about the people and families that have built their lives on this road, are stories I’d like to share with you. While so much of the history has died in the commercialization of the area (I can’t help but think about the movie “Cars”) here are the spotlights that I saw from the stretch of Route 66 that starts in Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA and ends at the city of San Bernardino.

Everyone one recognizes The McDonald restaurant logo, but did you know that there is a museum, too?

In 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald’s Barbecue Restaurant in San Bernardino, California, at 14th st. and E st. They had a staff of 20 carhops and a 25 item menu that included barbecue ribs, beef, and pork sandwiches. They soon became the #1 teen hangout in the San Bernardino.

In October of 1948, the brothers took the plunge (against the advice of all their customers) and closed their successful restaurant, terminated all their carhops, reduced their menu to cheeseburgers, hamburgers, milkshakes, and fountain sodas, and reorganized their kitchen in order to specialize in speed of service, simplicity of menu, and low prices. Their revolutionary thinking forever changed the restaurant industry.

This 1,718 seat auditorium was built in 1928 and is a perfect example of the architecture and style of the time. It is a beautiful building, even better when it’s lit up at night, that has been renovated on the inside to become a modern theater that is still in use today.  Link to the events.


The approach of the mighty sprawl of metropolitan L.A. doesn't mean the ride's over. Just past San Bernardino, as the cityscape takes over, this kid-friendly motel is the best of the three remaining "wigwam" motels that appeared in the '30s, '40s, and '50s. And even if you ignore their infamous sign ("Do it in a teepee"), it's worth stopping for a night. Each concrete room is well kept up and faces a palm-dotted lawn with a pool. The drive continues to the Wigwam Motel, which is one of the most well know landmarks on this part of Route 66.

While I do not plan on every bit of research I found on my adventure, I can capture the ‘flavor’ of the experience.  Historical, Contemporary, YA cookbook?  An author is always game for a new writing adventure.

Happy Reading,


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