The World’s Fair Cornucopia

The World’s Fair Cornucopia

Who serves the best ice cream on Route 66? Is it Foster's Freeze in Barstow? Perhaps Delgadillo's Snow Cap in Seligman? Or maybe, the Dairy Queen in Ludlow? The answer is highly subjective, if not completely elusive ... The only point that ice cream historians agree upon is where the portable, edible container known as the "ice cream cone" originated: the future Route 66 town of St. Louis, Missouri. The place was the 1904 World's Fair, and although Italo Marchiony applied for a patent on a split-cone mold prior to this event, he…continue reading →
The Definition of Good Barbecue

The Definition of Good Barbecue

With the advent of television networks devoted to foods and programs geared toward “cooking it yourself,” today’s backyard chefs consider themselves masters of the so-called “barbecue arts.” Unfortunately, clothed in their “Kiss the Cook” aprons—with tongs in hand and battery-powered temperature probe at the ready—they are ill-prepared when it comes to duplicating real barbecue cooking. You see, contrary to popular belief, barbecue isn’t simply a matter of dousing a bag full of charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid, lighting a match, and then searing a slab of meat on a metal grill suspended above…continue reading →
Ghost of the Vanishing Hitchhiker

Ghost of the Vanishing Hitchhiker

Route 66 is no stranger to roadside apparitions. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the spirit of La Llorona, the weeping woman, is said to wander along a draining ditch called the Arroyo, searching for her lost children (who she murdered). At the end of Menual Boulevard in the foothills, visitors often hear sounds of screaming and dragged bodies. Legend has it that an old man once lived in the caves at the top of the hill who had a penchant for prostitutes and murder. He haunts the roadside, walking and swinging a lantern with…continue reading →
Highway 66 Gasoline Revisited

Highway 66 Gasoline Revisited

Combine the mileage driven on routes like Highway 66 to those traveled on the major interstates and you'll discover that road-trippers rack up over 2.5 trillion per annum! To maintain this statistic, the U.S. motoring market consumes 146 billion gallons of gas every year. With so much refined petroleum being bought and then pumped into the tanks of cars, one might conclude that the Highway 66 motorist is entitled to a quantity discount. Unfortunately, today’s road trip enthusiast has no such influence. The prices at the pumps are outrageous and continue to climb.…continue reading →
Route 66 Water Bags Were Cool

Route 66 Water Bags Were Cool

For Route 66 travelers trekking across the continent during the twenties and thirties, transportation by car was rife with problems. Tires went flat regularly, if they didn't blow out! Engines threw rods, transmissions seized, and crankcases cracked. Mechanical components were prone to fail. But, nothing inspired more dread than a plume of steam billowing from a hot radiator. There was a good reason: radiators of the era were delicate contrivances. Most were underrated for their applications. They were quick to overheat in traffic, during hot weather, and on steep inclines. The most inefficient…continue reading →
Texas Gives Birth to the Drive‐in

Texas Gives Birth to the Drive‐in

People in their cars are so lazy that they don't want to get out of them to eat! The proclamation still rings as true today as it did when candy and tobacco mogul Jesse Granville Kirby first uttered the words in 1921. At the time, he was trying to interest Rueben Wright Jackson, a Dallas, Texas physician to invest in a new type of roadside restaurant, one based upon a revolutionary new format that would one day form the basis all “fast food” stands. Kirby's idea was simple: patrons would drive up in…continue reading →