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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Bit of Winslow History

Tuesday March 4, 2014 Quality Inn Suite 202 Winslow, Arizona 4 PM CST

Lazy, cloudy day. Slept until 9 am, did the laundry and that wandered down into the historic distract which isn’t very extensive and which we explored somewhat last year. The Indian and WHS Bulldog are repeats in the photo library. Went to the Old Times museum which is quite small and isn’t very extensive. The two ladies in charge, one Native,one white were discussing Pineapple Upside Down cake. I told them I hadn’t had it in years but just made it with my Mom’s recipe in the cast iron frying pan and it was delicious.  As I was looking around I heard Bill chatting with them and they were sharing cole slaw dressing recipes with him!  LOL

There are some Hopi pots and beadwork. A lot of info on the airport to which such famous people as Lindbergh, on his honeymoon and headed for California, Amelia Earhart,who, I think, flew into any available airport in the world and Wiley Post and Will Rogers aviated. And, of course, the Santa Fe Railroad and the Harvey Houses that were located at the depot. They weren’t there at the same time, not sure what happened to the original, but La Posada was built in 1929 on the site of the original round house, which was replaced by a larger one outside the West side of town.

I have read The Harvey Girls and don’t recall any mention of a renegade rustling waitress. It was interesting to see the beautiful California Poppy dishes used on the Train, as well as the wildlife inspired table service designed by Elizabeth Colter for La Posada—her favorite of the Harvey Houses that she designed for the Santa Fe. The red glass tableware was used only in private rooms in the hotel.

When the railroad cut back on its hotels due to lack of passenger traffic on the trains, La Posada was closed in the ‘50’s and left to decay. It was to be demolished but townsfolk grouped together to try to save it and it was purchased by an outfit that gutted it and converted it to office space. It was vacated again in time and a couple came along to buy it in the 1990’s and since then they have been renovating it and attempting to return it to its original grandeur.

Before leaving the museum we got talking about sewing our own clothes and those of our children and how our mothers had done the same for us. We also talked about the roundhouse and the closing of them, including the one in WRJ when the steam engines were replaced by diesel. The ladies talked about the oil canal where the old oil was thrown out. We laughed about it turning into a tar pit like Le Brea in California. That led to discussion of traffic and California which led one lady to mention a freeway accident in front of the Getty. It amazes me the topics we cover with the people with whom we chat. Eventually, having ascertained that we were dressed well enough to eat at La Posada—and after bemoaning the lack of appropriate dress anywhere in the US these days-lol—we were off.


We ate in the Turquoise Room which is La Posada’s dining room that faces the platform and passing trains. Unfortunately, they are freights and not passenger trains. How I wish we ,as a country ,would return to train travel—it is so wonderful. Bill had a lamb and linguine dish with a pilsner and I had the carnittas with a glass of Pinot Noir. Everything was beautifully presented and was delicious.

As we drove through the pretty decrepit small town it was hard not to realize that it was once booming with a population employed by the Santa Fe, had a very busy airport with three airlines utilizing it, was an important  town on the Mother Road and had a bustling influx of train travelers who stayed and ate at La Posada. Now, all of that is gone and the streets are quiet even at lunchtime on a weekday. People probably work in Flagstaff with a few still employed at La Posada and the freight yard. I guess the hotel does a good business—I overheard a call of a traveler due to arrive in Winslow wanting a king bed room for the night. Only two left and the man connected them to the restaurant for dinner reservations tonight.

Terrific to see green and flowering trees and shrubs along the streets. The gardens are beginning to come into it at the Hotel. Spring is really coming to Arizona. In honor of today’s Mardi Gras celebrations back in Louisiana I wore my Fleur de Lis earrings in Mardi Gras blue, green and purple that I bought back in New Iberia weeks ago.

I close today’s photo album with a traditional Hopi Prayer of Elders to the Great Spirit. Don’t need to be Hopi to agree with its words.Bill went down to the bar to have a beer and cigarette and talk with the timber guys. They were awaiting tires for one of their cranes and were leaving today. The tires came, but without inner tubes so, not being available in Holbrook, the company had to go to Flagstaff. Won’t have them until tomorrow. I, in the meantime, am going to have a chocolate silk and read Billy the Kid until NCIS. Tomorrow ? Kingman? of somewhere between there and Flagstaff? But definitely somewhere west of here. Goodnight KandB

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