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Once Upon A Time…..

November 19, 2012

in a town far far away on a Main Street in America stood a structure engineered by a simple man whose dream was to bring home an architecture of hope found in a country he discovered during his deployment to England during WWI.

This Rock building erected with five dollars worth of Route 66 blasted native sandstone would become a beacon for generations of American history.

Roy wanted the look and feel of the English pubs that provided him comfort in a strange country during a time of war. With each rock laid by hand, the building took shape and began to take breathe. Opening its doors to the public in 1939 during a time when WWII was underway, it was a breathe of fresh air to service men during their journey to and from a war that would shape Americas greatest generation of men.

And from there….. the fable just begins…. as this place was to become an iconic stop for thousands as they moved down the ribbon of road leading them to the next state of being.

It has taken 20 years for me to weave this quilt of fables that blanket and protect the Rock from the cold that befalls so many Route 66 establishments. The tales of the past are so important to the success of this business.

The significance toward historic preservation is such an important topic for this country. We are young. We so often discard our history with such ease with fantastic implosions and erect inferior new structures.

The Hotel Abraham Lincoln implosion.

Older countries look at us with wonderment and disdain. As much as I am a wanderer, I’m forever tied to my family history and I carry them with me. My people came from very hard times and never acquired an estate. I do hold on to a parcel of land that dates back to the Land Run on my mother’s side. It’s important to me. My past. Possibly My Future.

It’s important to me to find a person/corporation that desires to continue allowing the Rock Cafe  to breathe life. Continue telling its history. Continue inspiring.

  • 40’s WWII – The Rock was a Greyhound bus stop that guaranteed service men food even during a blackout by serving stew or chili from a black kettle on the fireplace.

  • 50’s Golden Age – Post war America when baby boomers took vacations with their family’s headed down Route 66 in classic American cars. The Rock gave many baby boomers a rest stop and memorable family meal.

Jerry is the most famous Baby Boomer artist on the Road. His images depict his experiences and others of his era.

  • 60’s Rock and Roll – A style of music that would take the world by storm and move even more musicians up and down the famed road and create “sock hops” .These famous bands often stopping at the Rock while on tour and the teens of the area  often “sock hopped”  in the parking lot.

  • 70’s Heyday of Truckers – Romanticized as Knights of the Road and modern day Cowboys these men found solace from the road at the Rock Cafe during a time when it was necessary to be open 24 hours a day.

  • 80’s Sudden Death to Main Street America –  A direct result of industrialized America and bypassing of smaller highways. The cafe was no stranger to this death; closing its doors in 1983. It suffered for almost 10 years.

  • 90’s Rebirth – America’s artists  find their way back to the Mother Road for self discovery and find a platform to showcase an easier time and expose it to a World moving too fast. The Rock survives certain death and is given a second chance by being recognized and documented in books, documentaries, movies, newspapers, television shows, and more.

  • 00’s Economic Fall – Many Americans search for answers often looking for comfort food and less expensive vacations. The cafe becomes a part of history with the help of Hollywood and survives a fire to provide a new genre of people from the suburban and socialite scene.

What happens if America continues to mask the importance of our nations historic structures? What happens if we abandon business when they seem to erode as society moves in other directions?

The Rock Cafe is a business that is more then 70 years old and carries on the traditions set forth by Roy Rieves, a man of character, during a time that shaped American history. People will always be able to connect to the traditions of the Rock Cafe. Comfort food and memories to be made.

What happens if the Rock Cafe becomes nothing but a memory? For the sake of our future generations, lets hope this question is never answered.

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