A 3-part interview, featuring the popular U-Drop Inn (Conoco Tower Station), a 1936 service station and café constructed in 1936 with a very unique art deco style for the Texas panhandle region. The architectural style of the U-Drop Inn would later serve as an inspiration for Romone’s automotive body and paint shop in the animated Cars movie.
Join Route 66 Podcast host Anthony Arno as he speaks with Crystal Hermesmeyer (Shamrock EDC Director), 87 year old Hazel Jannsen (U-Drop Inn ambassador), and Baldo de Leon (U-Drop Inn café entrepreneur).
Crystal Hermesmeyer (Shamrock EDC Director)
- Early history of Shamrock, TX
- Local attractions: Blarney Stone, Water Tower, US Hwy 83
- U-Drop Inn name origin
- Newspaper Account: Name selected for Highway Cafe
- Architectural style of U-Drop Inn
- Newspaper Account: Much Praise to Shamrock Architect
- Pixar visits U-drop Inn and inspires Cars movie
- Local appreciation of the U-Drop Inn
- Chamber Office resources for Route 66 traveler
Hazel Jannsen (U-Drop Inn Ambassador)
- What has made Hazel so popular with Route 66 travelers?
- Earliest memory of Route 66
- Origin of Huggin’ Hazel nickname
- Professional career – reflecting back
- U-Drop Inn hires Hazel as an ambassador
- What is so special about U-Drop Inn?
- Shamrock Information Center at the U-Drop Inn
- A typical day at the U-Drop Inn for Hazel
- What’s next on Hazel’s bucket list?
Newspaper Account: U-Drop Inn to Offer Public Finest in Foods and 24 hour Service
Baldo de Leon (U-Drop Inn café entrepreneur)
- Moving to Shamrock as a child and parents opening a local restaurant
- Full circle moment: Parents passed on U-Drop Inn Café opportunity 25 years earlier
- Early history of Café and Elvis association
- Newspaper Account: That’s an Awful lot of Coffee, Mr. Nunn
- Café Inventory upon arrival
- First walk through behind the counter and kitchen area
- Updating the café menu
- The infamous Elvis Booth and San Dollar Motel on ‘66
- Earliest conversations about revitalizing the café and ideas
- Opening Day memories
- Most popular item on the menu
- You don’t know what you don’t know in operation the café
- Understanding the Route 66 community
Thank you to Route 66 Podcast & Scholarship supporters!
- MidPoint Cafe, Adrian, TX – Featuring both their Ugly Crust Pie and one of the most popular photo ops along Route 66, located exactly halfway between Chicago and Santa Monica in Adrian, Texas.
- Gilligan’s Route 66 Tours featuring tours of Route 66 in Ford Mustang convertibles, stays at historic Route 66 motels, and daily breakfast.
- Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Joseph City, AZ – Probably one of the most iconic curio shops along Route 66, the famous Here It Is billboard and fiberglass jackrabbit in front of the store is reason enough to stop…. and say hello to Cindy and Antonio.
- Jeff Buschell, Illinois
- Reed Coles – Nebraska
- Jim Crabtree – California
- Route 66 author and photographer – Shellee Graham and also my guest on Episode # 10 where she talks about her book, Tales from the Coral Court Motel.
- Kristin Haakenson – Washington
- Rich Havlik – Minnesota
- Mary Nicholson – Pennsylvania
- Brian Sawyer – Indiana
- Evan Stern – New York
- Charli Beeton
- Jim Rensen
Please consider supporting both The Route 66 Podcast and Scholarship Program through Patreon.