Recklein Auditorium Gets Facelift in July, 2017

Recklein Auditorium gets a new look in July, 2017


The City of Cuba invited Viva Cuba, Cuba’s community beautification group, to submit ideas on completing the exterior renovation of Recklein Auditorium.  A committee formed, and after three months of exchanging ideas, committee members submitted their vision to the city council.

The Plan

The group wanted to salute the history of the 1922 Recklein Auditorium, originally built as a high school auditorium. 

Viva Cuba members contacted Missouri artist Ray Harvey. Harvey created a plan utilizing a trompe l’oeil look. Trompe l’oeil gives the illusion  of the eye perceiving painted detail as a three-dimensional object. Workers covered the original windows at some point. The painting restores them.


The 1930s Phillips 66 Station on Route 66 fuels Cuba, MO’s history

At the end of the blog, feel free to leave personal reminiscences, forgotten years, or any information that adds to our knowledge. Often it’s the comments that make the facts “come alive.”

Cuba, MO Phillips 66 Gas Station.

L-R Ralph Wirz, Ervin Hendrickson, Homer Carr, and Paul T. Carr stand proudly in front of the successful business on the corner of Route 66. The station was a Mobil gas station at this time although the P for Phillips is still in place on the chimney. Paul T. Carr built the station in 1932 when the coming of Route 66 increased a mobile America’s need for fuel.

History of the Phillips 66 Station

The Paul T. Carr Years

Let’s go back to the history of Paul T. Carr’s Phillips 66 station that opened in 1932 to see how the station has added to Cuba, MO’s history at the 4-Way intersection.

Locals have long called the location “the four way,” because of the four stop signs that marked the busy intersection. Today, a modern traffic light serves that purpose.

Over the years, the little station on the corner of Highway 19 and Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri, became obsolete and sat empty as a quaint afterthought of grander times. Often, people would speculate what the P on the chimney stood for. Some thought the P was the initial of the original owner, Paul T. Carr. Others thought maybe it was for the Pontiac cars that he sold there.

The Station’s Beginnings and its Builder 1932-1960s

It was at the 4-way intersection, where the Midway Cafe & Garage were already doing business on the opposite corner, where visionary Paul T. Carr stepped onto the scene to build his gas station in 1932. He recognized the needs of the Route 66 traveler on the new highway that would span 8 states.

Longtime Cuba businessman Bob Coffman first met Paul Carr in 1958. Since Carr and Coffman were both active in the Masonic Lodge, they rode together to several Masonic activities in St. Louis. “That’s when he related to me how he came to have the gas station,” said Coffman. “Paul was working for Roy Earls in a garage where the Midway building is located (The Midway has since been torn down). Carr’s wife had passed away, leaving a young daughter Jeanne to raise. Since this was in the middle of the great depression, there wasn’t much money for anything but the barest necessities.”

However, Carr did not let adverse conditions stop him. He purchased the lot at the corner of Highway 19 and Route 66 in the center of Cuba.


The eyes of the world are on us; Let’s keep it clean!

May 7, 2016 32nd Annual Cuba, MO Trash Bash. Details Below!


Heidi Glaus and Channel 5’s KSDK Filmed “Route 66 Rocker” April 1, 2008

Cranes lift Route 66 Rocker

On April 1, 2008, the Route 66 Rocker Chair was hoisted by two cranes to its rockers.

When Carolyn Sanazaro got a call early on April Fool’s day 2008 from someone saying she was Heidi Glaus from Channel 5 and that she wanted to come to film the raising of The Route 66 Rocker, she thought it was an April Fool’s Joke. Sanazaro and her husband Dan own the Route 66 Fanning US66 Outpost & General Store, 4 miles west of Cuba, and they were planning to set Dan’s brainchild, The Route 66 Rocker in place that day.

Sanazaro told her that she sounded like Tara Brewer, their friend and insurance agent. Sanazaro said, “Is this an April Fool’s joke?” Glaus had mentioned the giant rocker early on Channel 5’s Today Show, and the Sanazaros had calls from friends about it. Sanazaro thought one of their friends was playing a joke on them by impersonating Glaus. Glaus assured her that she was Heidi Glaus, and she was from Channel 5.


From World’s Largest to the Route 66 Red Rocker!

Route 66 Red Rocker

From Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair to the Route 66 Red Rocker (still the largest on Route 66), the Red Rocker is even an attraction at night.

Update: As of February, 2017, the Route 66 Outpost General Store is closed and the building and premises are For Sale. However, visitors are still stopping to get a photo of the Route 66 Red Rocker. 

In the fall of 2015, the Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning/Cuba MO lost its designation of World’s Largest Rocking Chair (2008-2016) to a new rocker in Casey, Illinois. Owner Dan Sanazaro didn’t let this phase him. As he was expanding  the Fanning US66 General Store and Archery Range as well as the Fanning Feed Store and grounds, he decided it was time for the Route 66 rocker to have a new look. After all, it is the 90th Anniversary of Route 66. Time to celebrate!

Sanazaro hired Brown & Son Painting for one of its more unusual commissions, which would be completed in December 2015. The Rocker was going red! Adam Brown and his assistant Jeff Williams met the challenge, and today the rocker has a new energy. Some think it is Cardinal red, one lady’s granddaughter thought it was painted red for Christmas, and fans of Sammy Hagar says it reminds them of the Red Rocker. Owner Dan Sanazaro says it reminds him of a much smaller red rocker that used to be between the towns of Cuba and Steelville, MO. But he would be happy to have Sammy Hagar join a list of other celebrities to visit and be photographed at the rocker.

The Painting…

Brown & Son paints the Route 66 Red Rocker on Dec. 11, 2015

Adam Brown and his assistant Jeff Williams were caught “red handed” painting the rocker on December 11, 2015.

Painting the Route 66 Red RockerDecember 2015

Adam Brown & Jeff Williams used a variety of ladders to paint the rocker.

Red ladders used on the Route 66 Red Rocker

One of the ladders used for the painting was red too.

The end caps of the Route 66 Red Rocker are still silver.

Jeff Williams takes off the masking from the end caps of the Route 66 Red Rocker.

December 11, 2015 finishing detail on the Route 66 Rocker's paint job

Brown & Williams finish the details on the paint job.

The Route 66 Red Rocker now has its own identity on Route 66.

The public had their own ideas about the rocker being painted red, but most seemed to like its red energy and weren’t concerned about it losing its Guinness title.

The Photos…

The Route 66 Red Rocker is a photo opportunity even at night.

Travelers even stop at night to take photos of the famed rocker.

Thousands of travelers & locals stopped to take photos of the World’s Largest Rocking Chair. Lit at night, it’s still a photo op. Now that the Rocking Chair is transformed to the Route 66 Red Rocker, they can all return for a new & unique photo.

Spyder bikes with the Route 66 Red Rocker

This group of Spyder Riders returned for a new photo of their colorful bikes with the Route 66 Red Rocker.

Read this blog for more details and photos of the Rocker’s history.

Route 66 has been good to Cuba, Missouri. Happy 90th Anniversary to the Mother Road.

Route 66 brought development to Cuba, Missouri. It continues to bring travelers from all over the world.

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