The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 27, 2013

Galena becoming ‘Cars’ mecca

GALENA, Kan. — It’s official: Galena is becoming a mecca for fans of Pixar’s “Cars” movies.

Last week, a second rusty tow truck that is a replica of the Tow Mater character from the movie settled into its new home on the parking lot at Cars on the Route at the intersection of Old Route 66 and Main Street.

This one looks exactly like the movie character.

“This is just the first addition of many ‘Cars’ related vehicles,” Doug Gatewood, a consultant for developers Brian Jordan and Roger Hines, said Friday morning.

In coming months, a Hudson Hornet that closely resembles the movie’s “Doc Hudson,” a police car that closely resembles “Sheriff” and a fire truck that closely resembles “Red” also will take their place on the lot.

Rain didn’t keep a steady stream of visitors from across the nation and the world from stopping at the former filling station to buy merchandise, eat lunch and hear stories from Melba Riggs, who bills herself as a Route 66 expert.

“At any given time, you can see cars from all across the U.S. and the world here in Galena,” Gatewood said. “We used to think of Route 66 as the Mother Road, our own nation’s road, but it’s truly the world’s road. People get such excitement out of it.”

Several visitors Friday bought “Cars” themed toys for their children, and some waited for the rain to let up so they could take photos of the two trucks.

“We’re doing the whole route,” said Joe Baker, who with his wife, Sarah, and son, Adam, traveled from London, England along Route 66. They spent Friday morning at Joplin’s Museum Complex before crossing the line into Kansas.

“Adam’s a huge fan of ‘Cars’ and has been wanting to do this ever since he saw the movie,” Baker said.

After Adam got a photo of the two trucks — one a 1951 International Boom Truck 170 Series that was director John Lasseter’s inspiration for Tow Mater, and the most recent a 1957 Chevrolet renovated to look exactly like Tow Mater — family members added their names to the Cars on the Route visitor’s book.

In the last week, the book also collected signatures from as far away as Hungary, Mexico, Canada, Norway and West Germany, and from American tourists from Illinois, California, Ohio and Virginia, Riggs pointed out.

Baker noted he was caught between sadness and pleasure at what he has seen on Route 66 because many towns are all but abandoned and buildings are crumbling, but Galena wasn’t among them.

“It’s brilliant,” he said.

Gatewood credited investments by developers Hines and Jordan with helping save Galena from the fate of  fictitious Radiator Springs, the home of the characters in “Cars.”

“It has really been beneficial to the entire community. A rising tide does float all ships,” he said. “It used to be that in downtown Galena, you had a choice of parking spaces at noon. Now, you have to look for a space. But it is well worth the search.”

Visitor numbers

Melba Riggs said she sees about 1,000 American visitors a year from her vantage point on Route 66, and between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors from Europe and other continents.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter