Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Adventures Continue -- parallel to Route 66

Choosing our route: No, we didn't choose our way because of Route 66; we discovered that part of it later Neither of us knew much about either way of going, but I did know that I had some distant cousins in Claremore, Oklahoma and in Albuquerque, New Mexico - (Genealogy Joys for another blog post). Since a southern route would pass (or bypass) directly those two cities, Sr. Mary Karen graciously humored me, and we chose that route. Packing the car, and not fitting everything in that we had hoped to -- an adventure best left untouched!
The remains of a good meal

The first inkling of our proximity to Rte 66 might better be called a misadventure. An Interstate Rest Stop, gasoline and McDonald's, served as a too-late reminder that we were hungry and might need gas. Since the next Rest Stop was probably about a tank of gas away, we took the first exit and found ourselves in Chandler, Oklahoma. Unlike what we find in Wisconsin, there were no gas stations or fast food places near the exit and we had to drive almost all the way through the little town before we found either fuel or food. The result was a very nice lunch and visit with the owner of a small home-grown "Donute and Coffee" shop.

The Thai owner is pictured here in front of the shop. We were a bit past the usual breakfast time and business was a little slack. So he left his grandson in charge and came into the convenient little dining area to see if our meal was ok and to bring us a receipt (hand-written, after his grandson found the receipt book for him).

He had noticed our Wisconsin license plate and was wondering where Wisconsin was  -- "maybe not too far up the road?" since we had arrived by car. It took a little while to explain the distance we had come, but his face just lit up when he caught how far away it was. Then he told us that he was from Thailand and has been in this county with his family for nine years. He is trying to make a good life for them here, and he is always trying to learn more about this country and to improve his English. One of the ways he does that, he says, is to take time to chat with his customers as often as he can. He took the above picture for us and after much talking and gesturing (on our part) he understood that we also wanted to have his picture. You can see how he beamed and how proud he is of his little business. For me, this was one of the nicest wrong turns I ever took!

Up next: Continuing along Route 66

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