Mother Road Travel Guide
Visits Newberry Springs
Dave Emerson with his Mother Road truck at the Bagdad Café.
October 1, 2013
Not much to recommend in Newberry to Route 66 visitors.
Dave Emerson, Founder, President, and C.E.O. of Mother Road -
A Route 66 Travel Guide made a stop in Newberry Springs on Thursday, September 26, 2013,
while passing through along (what else) Route 66.
Emerson's annual publication is the Route 66 traveler's bible.
This year's slick edition comprises over 430-pages and lists almost every worthy site to consider
while traveling the Mother Road.
The Blotter had an opportunity to meet with Emerson
for over two hours and gain some of his insight about tourism and promoting Route 66.
His colorful travel guide, that sells for $19.66, is loaded
with maps, photographs, stories, descriptions, and advertisements as Route 66 travels
through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Each state has its own section, including Yellow Pages.
The back of the book has a White Pages directory that covers the entire book for a cross
reference if someone is unfamiliar in what state something is located.
The 2013 publication has about 10 short paragraphs about the
Newberry Springs area that includes lava tubes, the Pisgah Crater, Schuilling Cave,
and local water. Half of the paragraphs give a background on the Bagdad Café.
Dave Emerson points to different celebrities illustrated in
his van's replica of the 2009 mural titled "Joplin, Missouri-Rt. 66" by artist Anthony Benton Gude,
grandson of Thomas Hart Benton, famed Missouri muralist. The much larger original is on
display at the Joplin City Hall.
Kelly's Market (Chevron/Subway) has a nice, colorful 1/6-page
display advertisement but that is it for Newberry Springs. Emerson stated
that the Bagdad Café is not currently eligible to place an advertisement in
his publication because he will only accept ads for places that he can recommend
to his readers.
He doesn't recommend the Bagdad because of bad service he has received.
If he would not return as a repeat customer to a business, he doesn't want to recommend it
by allowing a paid advertisement and having his readers lose confidence in his publication.
After all, it is a travel guide.
Emerson hopes to revisit the Bagdad Café in the future
to reevaluate his past experience. His directory does suggest that readers visit
the Bagdad Café for "an earful of Route 66 nostalgia, memorable photos and perhaps
a few autographs."
As it was about noon when Emerson met with a couple of
Community Alliance's bloggers adjacent the Bagdad; lunch was at the Newberry
Springs Service Center where Emerson seemed to enjoy the staff, service, and a
Cheeseburger with extra trimmings.
The Community Alliance has informed Emerson of Sandra Brittian's
historical home alongside of Route 66 that serves as a residence, real estate office, museum,
and the Chamber of Commerce' office and information site. Emerson hopes to visit and
meet with Brittian in the near future for consideration of the site in future editions.
Barstow, in the Mother Road travel guide, is stated to be
California's most famous Route 66 town; and the guide has numerous Barstow advertisements.
The publication is sold at both museums at the Harvey House, Best Western,
the Barstow Station's larger gift shop, and many other locations throughout the city.
Emerson has his publication based in Shawnee, Kansas;
however, he has recently moved his family to Silver Lakes (Helendale, CA) to
be closer to his greatest share of advertisers along the last 160 miles of the Mother
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