Day 3: June 21, 2008
The Awards
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Saturday is the festival's big day and cool cars were out in force. The orange nose just visible at the left of the first photograph belongs to a new Dodge Challenger. Yeah, it's got a hemi in it but my personal favorites were the 1954 Kaiser Darrin and the 1962 Nash Metropolitan.

A Lightning McQueen copy showed up to go with the Tow Mater original.

I almost missed Big Foot's car crushing exhibition and just caught the last couple of passes from a distance.

With the "Beatles" performing on Friday, who else but Elvis (Kavan) on Saturday?

This is a scientific sampling of archivists, authors, and associations. The subjects, painstakingly selected because they had a clear spot around them when I walked by and the picture didn't come out too blurry, are Ron McCoy, Laurel Kane, Mike Ward, David & Carol Clark, Michael Wallis, Kansas, and Missouri. That's Don "Road Dog" Hatch giving Michael advice on his next book.

The Waldmire siblings, Bob & Sue, and a sincere statement of support that should be obvious but typically isn't.

At the Will Rogers Award Banquet, there was a minor scheduling problem with the food that required Master of Ceremonies Jim Conkle to talk a bit longer than planned. Fortunately, Jim was up to the task. There was also a problem with licensing for the bar that was planned but everyone got through just fine on water and iced tea.

MC Conkle & keynote speaker Michael Wallis.

And then came the awards. Four Women on the Route received the brand new New Business of the Year Award and the Founders Award was given to author, speaker, & guide David Clark. Ron Warnick earned Person of the Year for his excellent Route 66 News website and wife Emily handily covered the news while Ron was on stage. Nick & Demi Adam picked up the Business of the Year award for the Ariston Cafe. Another new award this year is the Wallis 66 Award with the recipient selected solely by Michael. This seems a good way to continue to honor Michael while allowing him to honor others. In his description of the award, he used the words talent, energy, and passion and those certainly apply to the first Wallis 66 award winner, Emily Priddy.

Joy Avery presented the award named after her grandfather to Trailnet for their preservation work with the Chain of Rocks Bridge and a well deserved Life Time Achievement Award was given to Tommy & Glenda Pike of Missouri.

Of course the big award at the Will Rogers Award Banquet is something called the Will Rogers Award. Belgian Swa Frantzen was seriously surprised when his name was called. Swa essentially pioneered Route 66 on the web with his Historic 66 website. The site has been "on the air" since 1994 and provided the turn by turn instructions that I followed on my first trip in 1999.

A whole lot of milling about, congratulations, and general chatter followed the awards ceremony. Bill & Aida, the couple who stumbled upon Thursday night's gathering, attended the banquet and got to experience Dean Walker in action. Reality will eventually sink in for Swa but it may take awhile.

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