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Two more States my wife, Gwynne, and I have never visited before, Kansas & Oklahoma, were on the route, and we anticipated them great excitement. We were in Kansas only 13 miles but it still counts. Oklahoma, on the other hand, has over 300 miles of the original Route 66, it’s still officially named “Route 66,” and some of it is the original surface, the old asphalt having disintegrated into gravel; luckily it was only a short way because the car was bouncing around crazily, and we got to see an old restored Conoco station posted, “We Fix Flying Saucers.”
You have to be suspicious of art; it's one of those activities that is entirely subjective so people without ideas or talent can legitimately claim that the dreck they're creating is “art,” but just because some art is weird, doesn't make it phony. While driving Route 66, there's a lot of so-called Folk Art types; people who make what is clearly art but not what you're used to. In fact, I've come to appreciate this kind of art over all other because most of it is totally sincere and committed, and 3-dimensional, like the giant concrete structures of Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park in Foyil, Oklahoma. That's where the World's largest Concrete Totem Pole resides.
“They don’t make swim parks like this anymore,” I said after seeing the famous Blue Whale of Catoosa swimming hole. The giant whale, painted blue, was built in the 1970s by an amateur, and is constructed of iron, chicken wire and concrete, unfinished on the inside. The slide and diving platform are horrifically unsafe and the lake is now emphatically posted “No Swimming,” but I guarantee both Gwynne & I would have loved the place when we were kids, and stepping on a nail was no big thing.
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