Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bill Shea's Route 66

Bill Shea is the owner of a Route 66 Gas station museum and a veteran of Utah Beach, WWII . What makes his place so great is that he is the original owner of this former Marathon Station, he's a real treat to talk with. Bill started his business in 1946 as a Texaco dealer, just down the road from where he presently is located. He showed me all around his collection which includes things like, his Texaco uniform from the way back, much gasoline paraphernalia, a fantastic collection of images of his family and Springfield happenings over the years, set up for easy viewing in an old parts catalog rack. The list goes on, many gas pumps from gravity fed to a rare double headed analog pump. Vintage cash registers, old phone booths, a classic, perfectly working water fountain, antique vending machines... interesting items everywhere you look! Bill even has a second gas station. It was the first style to be constructed of metal. Bill and his family saved it from destruction by moving it down 66 a bit. Make sure that you have plenty of time for your visit, the collection is vast and Bill is willing to tell you all about it! You can find Bill at 2075 Peoria Rd, Springfield, IL 62702. He's closed on Sunday and Monday and when the State Fair is on.

Illinois Route 66

Last week after finishing a commercial photo job in Indianpolis that I P.A.'ed on, I had the opportunity to head on over to ole' Route 66 to make some more images for my route 66 website and up coming photo exhibit. I arrived in Springfield, Il. just a bit too late to hit up the Cozy Dog Drive In, which is a great little 66 restaurant on it's second generation of the Waldmire Family. They serve up hot dogs on a stick, all bundled up and fried in their special batter. Now I'm not much of a hot dog eater, but these things are down right delicious. Besides, it's Route 66 you gotta stay true to the eats! Well, maybe I'll see them nextime!

Picked up some Mothership Witt, since they have it in Illinois and headed back to the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center for the night. BTW, the're the best lodging I've been able to find on 66 in Springfield, let me know if you've found better. It's an old school Holiday Inn, too bad they don't still have the grand marquis. Drank down a few wits and off to sleep to hurry the morning adventure.

Up at 5 am, it was easy, it was 6 at home! Out the door for the last bit of civil twilight. Headed south on I55, off at Chatham Rd. and came into Springfield from the original path of 66. The first shot that revealed it's self to me was at the corner of 2nd and Capitol. The Capitol Building all warmed up by the breaking sun. So I grabbed a few shots before heading off to meet Bill Shea.