I am coming to you from a cold evening here in my hometown of Chambers Arizona. I have been thinking of writing a story about my life for a few days now. So I grabbed my Big Chief tablet and a pencil and thought I'd write it down for you. I love my tablet and pencil unfortunately I'm in an isolated area where the only sources of light I have are the sun or at night a kerosene lamp. Oh those things are a pain got to be careful not to "smoke the globe" my mom gets mad when that's done. Speaking of my mom and dad I love them dearly. Their names were Mr. Dotch Winsor and his wife my mom Alberta. They were really good people all the people that passed by here and occasionally they went to see really liked them. There are lots of stories i've heard over the years. Sometimes my memory gets a little foggy after all I am eighty years old as I write this. I spent the first part of my life here in the isolated desert living a pretty simple life including no electricity and modern things. I never even got a chance to go to school the closest one was a long ways away. So my writing may not be the best I learned all I could from every one that came to see me and my family. I had a really close pet growing up and still have him today. I call him "Jack Rabbit" he's a bunch of company to me during the quiet days and nights I spend here. There once was a very nice road that ran right by me for many years. It had a big sign nearby me that had Route 66 on it. I guess it was a big road that ran along ways. People that stopped by to visit me talked about places called California, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. They told me stories of gold, canyons, and teepee motels just to name a few. I never got a chance to go to many of these places. My family and I stayed very busy with visits by all the travellers passing through. So they became very important to me. One trip I have some fond memories of I made was to something called an ocean in a state I had only heard of and read about California. We had family there and went to see them a few times. It took a long time to get there. But those were good times I saw plenty of those Route 66 signs along the way. However as I got older I noticed people quit coming to see me very often and the road that used to be busy was pretty quiet and I found out the people in government had built a new thing called an interstate. I didn't know what that was and honestly didn't want to. It took most of my friends away. As time went on and I got old I started to fail in my health like many my age their skin gets brittle, bones get frail and many other ailments happen. I very thankful the past few years there are people stopping by to see me more often. A few at first then a couple of years back I had a visit from my doctors they came in droves with all sorts of medical supplies and doctor equipment. I thought "house calls" were a thing of the past but I guess not. They even brought an ambulance with them it was red and black with official looking stickers on it. Thank goodness I didn't have to ride in it they just stayed here for several days and doctored on me. I feel much better now. They said they would make another house call in a year that time is almost here. I am getting tired and hungry and need to feed Jack before I go to bed. I'm keep my ear open to hear the medical team coming very soon to check on me. Till we talk again have a great night.
From a bridge's perspectiveRead Now
My story of 96 years young,
I appreciate you taking some time out of you day to read my story. I have been around for a long time. How long you ask 96 years. Yeah I know I am old but not pushed off by everyone. My story begins back in 1923 when my parents decided to have me. Their names were Mr. Riley and Mrs. Bailey. They spent a lot of time planning my life and success they wanted me to hang around a long time. I am lucky to have had them as parents. Their attention to the small things in my foundation as an infant were done with my best interest at heart. During my early days I had the opportunity to see the "roaring" times of my great county I was born into the United States of America. As I aged I built friendships and admiration for my homeplace. It was deep in the Ozarks of Missouri at the Gasconade River. I lived near beautiful thickets of trees, babbling(sometimes gushing) waters, wildlife, and naturally many fish. These things often provided me peace and solace during my days. I've gotten a chance to meet many people during my life. People such as Presidents, governors, senators, congress members, many Americans and foreigners. These people all passed by and some even stopped to say hello and admire where I lived after all it's so beautiful here. Im very lucky to have spent my life so far in "God's country" the Ozarks. I'm thankful that some of my friends and relatives help to launch a road nearby they named it something very special "Route 66". This road was heavily travelled for years bringing the people above to see me. As time went by I saw may good thing and unfortunately some bad. The river sometimes got out of it's banks, wrecks happened to some of my friends in coming to see me. I really care about these people and my home place so I've fought hard through the years to hold on. The famous Route 66 I loved so much because of it I met and saw all these things and people. Has fallen into disrepair and has been replaced with something called an "interstate" I have no idea what that is but I don't like it! I no longer get to see my friends I have grown to love so much. Looks like up on the hillside I see cars and trucks passing so fast it's hard to tell. Maybe that's the "interstate". I hope not because as fast as the people travel on it how can they enjoy the beautiful countryside? About the time I give up and get lonely I hear noise and a roar from around the bend in Route 66 and I see some of my friends some old and some new coming to see me. There are many of these friends I've known for years and some only a short time. I am thankful for each and every one of them. There is one vehicle driven by a young man that always sticks out because it's so different. Thanks for asking what it looks like. It's red and black with all sorts of stickers, and words all over it, and for some reason people have signed their names on it. Maybe I can sign my name on it one day? When all my friends come down to see me they often are silent and kinda somber some of them pull out a phone or camera and take pictures of me this always make me feel good. I guess this means I still mean something to some people. There are times they have gatherings and have speeches about me and even at feverish pitches when they come for a visit. Some of them look pretty important they have special brightly colored vests and hard hats on. Maybe as may bones get old and brittle and my health is failing those are the medial team and support system coming in to try to help me make it to the 100 year mark. I've always wanted to make it on that Smucker's Jar and hear Al on the Today show talk about me. I'm really hopeful this will happen! Looks like there are many people that still care about an old soul like me. Stay tuned for more fireside chats from old Gasconade by the way my closest friends call me Gas.
After joining The Route 66 Association Of Missouri in late 2018. The meeting was scheduled for elections for many positions including President and secretary. After research and getting my nerve up I decided to attend the meeting and help get Roamin Rich and Judy Wallmark elected to their positions. That Thursday I did not know how my life would change! In meeting Rich for the first time and spending some time talking with him and knowing him from YouTube I knew he was the right person to cast my vote for President. Judy I had seen on social media some and heard many good things about. So the pre dinner was held locally and it was unforgettable the way I was welcomed into the "Rodie" family. Same applied to the numerous people I met at the association meeting. Myself and many others were really pleased with the outcome of the election. Rich and Judy will represent Route 66 not just in Missouri but throughout it. As the pictures above show a smile there are lots of reasons seen in them. I have inherited an amazing caring crazy family. The second pic is Ramona the owner of the Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon Missouri. Now my Route 66 Grandmother. I just love her and that's what the route is to me and many others. Love, family, preservation, and Americana. Let's work together and take Route 66 into the next century. Mark
First Route 66 JourneyRead Now
My first adult Route 66 journey happened in October and November of 2018. After discovering my "boyhood" connection to the route from family vacations. I decided to take the plunge and leave Louisville and embark on an epic trip. I ended up at 8900 miles of driving including many states all the way to Washington State and large parts of California. I concentrated on National Parks primarily. Those are always favorites of mine. We are blessed to have these at our use. With the eventual plans of starting a trip on Route 66. I had done extensive research on the road keep in mind I said road. I finally made it to the pier at Santa Monica California to start my trip. It's usually considered the "end" of Route 66 for me it was the start. I proceeded the next day to begin my trip quickly discovering it was an adventure. Each relic from the past, stop I made, and person I met made me quickly change my mind. It's not a trip it's a journey or adventure. Unlike any I had ever or will go on again unless it's Route 66. I was doing the journey solo with two small dogs and plenty of camera equipment. What I realized is each stop I was making friends and needed to clean out space in my F-150 for them to come along. This has changed my life in so many ways I have a hard time not getting emotional at times. Stay tuned for more of our adventures as we travel down Route 66 more. Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments.
Mark A. Norman
Just a middle aged guy bringing you my view on Route 66 and the stories and people along it.