Celebrating a Route 66 Icon

by Jessica on October 27, 2011

Standing on an original strip of Route 66

One by one, the great icons of "the most famous road in America" are falling into disrepair and fading from memory.  Were it not for the artistic talent and rugged spirit of Bob Waldmire, these locations might be forgotten completely.

!972 VW Minibus

Meandering along Route 66 with no specific destination in mind, Waldmire made his living drawing American spirit infused artwork of the restaurants and hotels that lined the Mother Road.   When Waldmire's road finally came to an end in 2009, his iconic VW minibus came to rest at the Route 66 museum in Pontiac, Illinois where we were able to see it firsthand.

See the Resemblance?

Even the kids, who had been mostly dragged kicking and screaming into the museum, were impressed by the 1972 VW minibus.  After all, it was the inspiration for the VW character Fillmore, voiced by George Carlin in the movie Cars.  That one tidbit turned the pea yellow Junker from a stodgy museum relic to a relative superstar in the mind of a small boy. 

Thanks for the inspiration Mr Waldmire

Standing next to the old jalopy you couldn't help but catch a whiff of Waldmire's wandering spirit along with the musty well worn smell of the van.  Along with that smell, was a feeling of contemplation and bemusement, and just a little bit of inspiration.  Here is a reminder of a fellow human who lived life to the fullest, with no regrets and no regard for the artificial boundaries of society.  May we all be a little bit like Bob Waldmire, with our own proverbial VW bus that leads to roads we pave ourselves and end in a life with no regret.

~Photo of Fillimore Courtesy of Pixar, Photo of Bob Waldmire Courtesy of www.bobwaldmire.com~

~This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby


Lisa October 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Definitely a man with an inspiratiomal story!  But what I really want to know is if you taught the boys to sing "I get my kicks on Route 66"??

Laurel October 28, 2011 at 2:14 am

Looks like a fun nostalgic day trip.

Steve October 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

I've only driven the CA/AZ portion of the road, but everytime you see the road sign on the side of the road, you're almost forced to sing that song (Depeche Mode version for me). 
I actually didn't know the Cars tidbit. That might just help my girls to understand the significance of the road (instead of it just being that annoying road that Dad always sings on).

Sonja October 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I love that he preserved a little bit of history that might otherwise have been forgotten.  Thanks for sharing.

Nicole at Arrows Sent Forth October 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

When I saw your post title, I thought what a fun idea for a trip since my son is OBSESSED with Cars right now. I totally need to get him to this museum. Love the inspiration you took away from it, too.

Mom Fashion World October 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Wow, thank you for posting Route 66!
My son is crazy over about this especially when he saw these pictures!
He recognized Filmore and some of the Disney Cars characters!

Barbara October 30, 2011 at 1:49 am

As soon as I saw your blog title I immediately thought of Cars.  It must be that we watch that movie too much!

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