Day 16: August 9, 2012
Well done, Scotty!
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I spent last night at the Saga Motor Hotel so start off the day with a picture of the sign from last night. The Saga was built in 1957 and has been rather well maintained. It's even reasonably priced given that it's right on Historic Route 66 in Pasadena which is also the route of the Rose Bowl Parade. My room is here.

I'd arranged for a tour with Scott Piotrowski who knows as much about the west end of Sixty-Six as Dave Clark knows about the east end. He emailed me an itinerary outline last night and this morning picked me up at the Saga to start through it.

This mile marker, just down the road from the Saga, predates US-66 by a couple of decades. It's the last survivor of a road marking project from around the start of the twentieth century. Read more about it here.

This building is just a skosh off of Sixty-Six but Scott included in because it's a really cool building. I'm including it to show how some Cincinnatian's retire. This is known as the Gamble House. David Berry Gamble, son of the co-founder of Procter & Gamble, had this built in 1908 as his retirement. He had retired in 1895 and had spent much of the time since in Pasadena with his wife Mary. This not only got them out of dreary hotels but meant they didn't really have to slum around Cincinnati much anymore.

This assortment of Route 66 landmarks includes one that's well known outside of the road fan community. With the sun almost directly behind him, it wasn't a good time to photograph Chicken Boy but I did get a slightly better shot and he does have his own website.

During the last year, Scott has headed up a series of eleven walking tours that covered the westernmost sixty-six miles of Route 66 six miles at a time. Walking lets you see things that are blurs or invisible when rolling past in a car or even on a motorcycle. One of those things was an imprint in the concrete pavement of the Fair Oaks Avenue to the Arroyo Seco Parkway. The generally accepted date for the parkway's opening is December 30, 1940. The date pressed into the concrete is November 29, 1940. Show time was rapidly approaching when this ramp was poured.

Scott showed me lots of landmarks and I took lots of pictures and not all of them were crappy. These are but I'm using them anyway. The first one is of the marker at 7th and Broadway where US-66 originally ended. The second one is of Clifton's Cafeteria at the same intersection. It's obvious why I'm using the 7th & Broadway shot. I'm using the Clifton's shot because it's the only place where I knew something Scott didn't. It's a news item rather than a history item so maybe Scott the historian shouldn't be expected to know it but you have to take your points where you can get them. The cafeteria opened in 1935 and is currently undergoing an extensive restoration. During the restoration, workmen discovered a neon light that was boarded over in 1949 but never disconnected. An LA Times article talks about the light here.

Taking our lunch break where a Stroh's sign was hanging was pure coincidence. Taking it where there were 72 taps was not. At Mohawk Bend, I had something from Eagle Rock Brewery and I can't recall what Scott had. We split a pizza. I'll readily admit that beer can make me a little drowsy but I don't think I was quite as sleepy as it looks in the picture. But it's the only picture we have and at least Scott looks awake.

The tour continued after lunch and at one point Scott asked if I cared if he stopped by Staples for some supplies. The parking lot we turned into did indeed have a Staples but it also had one of every street light ever used by Los Angeles. A nice idea that kind of sets this Staples lot apart from the others.

I snapped more photos of theaters, restaurants, motels, and other landmarks that Scott identified as he continued showing me around his chosen road in his adopted city. The four Figueroa Street Tunnels were not actually the last thing he showed me but seem a good way to end the page.

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