Does the Route 66 World’s Largest Rocking Chair Rock?

World's Largest Rocking Chair Cuba MO

When people hear about the Fanning 66  Outpost’s Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair, they often ask if it rocks.

The answer is that for safety reasons the Route 66 rocking chair does not rock. At 26,500 pounds, can you imagine having that giant piece of furniture rock on your foot?

But…

On August 18, 2008, a serendipitous happening occurred. Radio host Frank Murphy and his wife were in Cuba visiting his wife’s cousin Tom Fleming. As they were leaving Cuba on the way to Branson, after seeing a sign, they decided to stop at the Fanning US 66 Outpost General Store to see the rocker.

On the day that the Murphys were there, the welder Joe Medwick who had built the rocker, was cutting the welds and a group of men were going to push the rocker so that it would rock.

Why?

For the chair to be designated the Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair, it had to rock at least once as part of the documentation involved in the Guinness application. As soon as this was documented, Medwick would re-weld the rocker into place and the rocking chair would rock no more.  So to actually see the rocking chair rock was a rare moment.

And Tennesseean Frank Murphy just happened to be there with his video camera. In additon to being a radio host, Murphy also writes a blog about his travels and other activities. He was probably already writing the rocker blog in his head as the event was being video taped. You can see Murphy’s video on You Tube here.

We are glad that Murphy and his wife are part of the rocker’s history and shared their video.

The 42’1″ rocker was designed by John Bland of Cuba, built by Joe Medwick, and the brainchild or the Fanning Outpost’s owner Danny Sanazaro. It was lifted to its base with two cranes on April 1, 2008. KSDK of St. Louis was there. You can see the video on the Outpost website.

William Tell never saw anything like this…

Another in Viva Cuba’s 2010 series about other attractions in Cuba, Missouri to combine with a trip to see the murals…

The Outpost

The Fanning Outpost General Store has expanded to include the indoor archery range.

William Tell was a legendary Swiss folk hero who was forced to shoot an apple from his son’s head with a crossbow.  Later, Rossini composed the William Tell Overture. The finale provided background music for the popular Lone Ranger TV program.

William Tell would either fit right in or be amazed at the Archery Center at the  Fanning US 66 Outpost General Store. The center started with an outdoor range and a small area of the store dedicated to bows. Now, there is a full service Bowtech Archry Pro Shop with both sales and service. The archery shop and has two trained technicians available seven days a week. The technicians also book private archery lessons.

The indoor archery range is popular and often tourists will find their way there to observe the action.

The indoor archery range is popular and often tourists  find their way there to observe the action.

The well-appointed archery shop offers sales and service. The staff is available to answer questions.

The well-appointed archery shop offers sales and service.

After the indoor range was built, Dan and Carolyn Sanazaro improved the center with the introduction of the Techno Tunnel, a special room with a computer-assisted range where only blunt tips are shot at the special screen that displays animals in a natural habitat. It is similar to a big video game. I once ask an archer if shooting in the tunnel was as fun as it looked. Oh, yeah,” was his enthusiastic answer. The computer range is so popular that it is a good idea to make a reservation.

UPDATE to the UPDATE:

The Sanazaros continue to update the archery range and the Fanning US 66 General Store by expanding the archery shop and ranges, adding the Feed Store next door to the complex, and hosting community events. Check their website for more information.

Fanning Archery Pro Shop & Ranges

The Sanazaros continue to upgrade all facets of the business including the archery pro shop and ranges.

The Techno Tunnel has proved successful with Outpost customers.

The Techno Tunnel has proved successful with Outpost customers.

According to owner Dan Sanazaro, both men and woman from ages 6 to 90 take advantage of the various ranges. In 2010, the Archery Center is expanding with another range.

In September the Iron Buck Archery Tournament is a popular event at the center.  Visit the Outpost’s website for details or call 573-885-1474. The Outpost is located at 5957 Hwy. ZZ (Old Hwy. 66) Cuba, MO. It is abut 4 miles west of Cuba, Missouri on Rt. 66 and just off I-44 Exit 203

Dan and Carolyn Sanazaro work hard at the General Store, Archery Range, and Taxidermy Shop. Here they hold their Guinness Certificate for the World's Largest Rocking Chair, an attraction that anchors the various businesses.

Dan and Carolyn Sanazaro work hard at the General Store, Archery Range, and Taxidermy Shop. Here they hold their Guinness Certificate for the World’s Largest Rocking Chair, an attraction that anchors the various businesses.

The Fanning Outpost is a great stop for Route 66 travelers.

The Fanning Outpost is a great stop for Route 66 travelers.

Also read, “Just because it looked pretty….”

Viva Cuba encourages visitors to Cuba to research individual attractions on their own to see if they meet their needs and schedule.

 

Chair-i-table Auction Preview: It’s a girly chair…

In the next few weeks, we will be previewing chairs that will be offered in Viva Cuba’s Saturday, May 8 auction at Java.net, 418 N. Franklin (Hwy. 19) .  At the end of March, we will list them all on the Viva Cuba website.Fairy Garden Auction Chair Cuba MOJudy Koski designed this chair that says “girl” loudly and clearly.  The pink trim accents the fairies dancing and playing among the flowers. It is  appropriately titled “Fariy Garden.” Before the design was created, we thought it might make a good time out chair, but little girls are going to find it too attractive for that purpose.

The Chair-i-table auction is an annual fundraiser to raise money for mural maintenance and other beautification projects. It is always held the day before Mother’s Day.

We love seeing what the artists/designers have done with their “re-purposed” chairs when they come in each year.

Some chairs will be bid on during a silent auction while others will be offered at the live auction portion of the event.

Come by Java.net to see the chairs, have some java or lunch, and visit with friends.

Chair-i-table auction flyer 2010 Cuba MO

Don’t trash Cuba!

Despite local beautification, some still litter.

Despite local beautification, some still litter.

Be a hero–don’t trash Cuba!

Viva Cuba’s monthly meeting was yesterday, and members discussed the spring Trash Bash. At some point, the group realized that litter is an ongoing  problem and maybe education–especially of the young– is a key element. Maybe it is a good idea to teach the kids not to litter, and they can educate the adults.

An article in the Cuba Free Press reported a contest for kids as part of a state No MOre Trash! campaign.  It had to do with decorating a trashcan with anti-litter slogans.  The contest is to raise awareness about Missouri’s litter problem and to discourage littering. The article contained facts about littering.

*Trash hurts wildlife when they get tangled in it. Some litter like cigarette butts poison wildlife.

*MoDOT spends $5 million each year cleaning litter from the roadsides

*The Department of Conservation spends almost $1 million a year to clean litter from conservation areas and other department locations.

*Littering is illegal with a fine of up to $1000 and a year in jail

In Cuba, with all the good things that we have going for us, litter is still a problem. As a runner/walker around town, I see a lot of litter up close. When Viva Cuba has a bus tour coming in or a special event, we have to pick up litter around the murals and remove soda cans from planters. At times we have to do it more than once because the littermeisters seem to come right behind us throwing trash on the streets.

I saw an ironic situation the other day. A vehicle with an American flag went by and then some trash came flying out the window. It seemed ironic to me that one who professes to love the country doesn’t see anything wrong with trashing it. I like to think this is the exception rather than the rule.

People like to blame a lot of things on young people, but there are a lot of adults in Cuba who litter: coffee and soda cups, wrappers, fast food containers, liquor bottles. Some people clean out their cars by throwing everything on the streets and in parking lots. And we’ve all seen cigarette butts where the ash trays were dumped out on the street or parking lot. Have you ever noticed the litter after a football game or a track event? Let someone else pick up the trash. The littermeisters’ kids see them litter and figure it must be ok.

Use it and then throw it on the ground.

Some think use it and then throw it on the ground.

Viva Cuba can have trash pick up days, and organizations and 4-H groups can help. The city can have extra trash pickups. Businesses can keep their outside premises clean. All those things are important, but those things alone won’t stem the tide of litter in Cuba.

A number one way a Cuba citizen can help beautify Cuba is by not throwing trash in public areas. The littermeisters have the potential to be the real heroes in this story.

They can help beautify Cuba by not throwing trash in public areas. That is a form of public art that won’t cost anything.

Put it in a trashcan or take it home.  Don’t trash Cuba.

Litter, litter everywhere.  Is that a trash can?

Litter, litter everywhere. Is that a trash can?

Trash bags

Some throw it down, some pick it up.

Updates from Cuba, Missouri Route 66 Mural City…videos, murals, magazines, and more

AMELIA EARHART DVD amelia Cuba MO

Finally, after looking for the Amelia DVD about flyer Amelia Earhart for awhile, my husband ran across it at Mace’s Grocery and brought it home. It was an enjoyable movie that dealt with Earhart’s (Hilary Swank) conflict between her marketing duties to fund her aviation projects and her desire to spend her time flying and breaking new ground in the aviation world. Her relationship with her husband the publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere) seemed to present some conflicts as well. Of course,the movie led up to the final flight thats outcome is still a mystery.

After I watch an historical movie, I always wonder how much is fact and how much is fiction.  One of our readers on our Cuba MO Murals Facebook Fan Page referred us to a couple of posts on The Institute for Aviation History that deal with the facts of the movie to help answer that question.

The important fact remains that the movie reminds us that Amelia Earhart was a courageous woman who was a pioneer in aviation history. I recommend that you rent or borrow the movie. Use that as a basis to do some reading about her accomplishments.  Then drive by Viva Cuba’s Amelia mural and take a new look at a legend.

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ROUTE 66 CORRIDOR PLAN MEETING

Several displays highlighted landmarks along Rt. 66 in Crawford County.

Several displays highlighted landmarks along Rt. 66 in Crawford County.

Last Thursday  Great Rivers Associates conducted a well-organized meeting in Cuba about the Rt. 66 Corridor Assessment. The corridor is the highway and anything that can be seen from it. The Great Rivers  speakers explained that the assessment is to help Route 66 in Missouri become a National Scenic Highway as it is in Oklahoma and Illinois and other Rt. 66 states. This will make  National Highway Funds and Grants more accessible to Route 66 towns. The corridor assessment plan does not contain zoning plans. Chris Case of the Cuba Free Press was present and an in-depth CFP article is in the works. Watch for it.

The Rt. 66 Corridor display shows more landmarks along the road in Missouri.

The Rt. 66 Corridor display shows more landmarks along the road in Missouri.

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MISSOURI LIFE MAGAZINE

Janet McLain's chair from a past auction took a lot of hands-on work to create.

Janet McLain's chair from a past auction took a lot of hands-on work to create.

Missouri Life Magazine‘s Sarah Reed contacted Viva Cuba that our May 8 Chair-i-table Auction was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the April/May issue. We’re always happy about a little promotion in this quality magazine. Java.net Books & Gifts will host the event again this year. We’re looking forward for a new crop of artists’ creations in May. I talked to Missouri artist Ray Harvey yesterday, He  painted the Bette Davis and History at the 4-Way murals. He was in town to scope out a commission on the Victorian Manor new construction. He is planning a chair for this year’s auction.

Save the date May 8 for this Viva Cuba fundraiser to raise money for mural maintenance and other beautification projects in Cuba, Missouri.

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VISITING ARTIST VISITS STEIGER’S ART CLASS

Mural artist Shelly Smith Steiger is teaching high school art at Cuba High School. Thursday, visiting artist Jennifer Van Winkle presents a workshop to Steiger’s class. The workshop involves extending aspects of recycled clothing using braiding and knotting. After a 10-15 minute presentation onVan Winkle’s artwork and her collaborative project through East Central College’s Visiting Artist Program, the students will create their own projects. Van Winkle studied at the Chicago Institute of Art. Steiger was the artist on the Apple, Amelia,River, and Millworks murals.  She was assisted by Julie Brand on the Amelia, River, and Millworks murals.

Artist and teacher Steiger does maintenance work on the Amelia mural during the summer.

Artist and teacher Steiger does maintenance work on the Amelia mural during the summer.

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A ROUTE 66 VIDEO–A LITTLE RETRO TO GET YOU THROUGH THE DAY

Here is a retro video put together by Eric Paul Johnson using the “Route 66″ song version by the Nat King Cole trio. It was  pointed out to us by Ron Warnick of the Route 66 news blog, a great site for all things Route 66. Enjoy the nostalgia if you grew up in the heyday of Rt. 66–or wish you had.

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Visit Viva Cuba at Cuba MO Murals on Facebook or Twitter or our main website.

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