Route 66 landmark Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair celebrates second birthday…

The World's Largest Rocking Chair is now lit at night.

The World’s Largest Rocking Chair is now lit at night.

April 1, Fanning, MO: On April 1, 2008 two cranes lifted the World’s Largest Rocking Chair onto the rockers that welder Joe Medwick had already put in place. Medwick then welded the chair onto the rockers. Channel 5′s  Heidi Glaus and her videographer were on hand to film the rocker raising and to interview owners Dan and Carolyn Sanazaro and their kids. When Glaus called Carolyn early that morning to say that they would be coming to Fanning to film the rocker raising, Carolyn thought it was some of her friends playing an April Fool’s Joke on her.

Channel 5 camera man filmed welder Joe Medwick as he welded the rocker into place.

Channel 5′s cameraman filmed welder Joe Medwick as he welded the rocker into place.

You can read about it in the Cuba Free Press article “Channel 5 films rocker raising.” Or you can see a snippet of video here. Another article “Giant Rocker  constructed at Fanning” tells how three men, Dan Sanazaro, John Bland, and Joe Medwick teamed up to produce the rocker.

Hieidi Glaus of Channel 5 poses for a photo with the Sanazaro kids who got to stay home from school on the day the rocker was raised on Route 66.

Hieidi Glaus of Channel 5 poses for a photo with the Sanazaro kids who got to stay home from school on the day the rocker was raised on Route 66.

In 2009, the Guinness organization officially designated the rocker as the World’s Largest Rocking chair.”  It was in preparation for the Guinness application that  Medwick cut the welds to the rocker so that it could be filmed rocking for the application process. The official dimensions are 42’1″ tall,  20’3″ wide, and 27,500 lbs.

UPDATE:  The Guinness Organization now features the Fanning Rocker in its hardback version of its records.

In the two years since the Rocker was lifted into place next to the  Fanning US 66 Outpost General Store as a roudside attraction to bring in customers, a Rt. 66 mural by John Bland has been added to the outside of the building, the Archery Range is a thriving business, as is the Taxidermy Center. Travelers stop for a photo and enjoy everything that the store has to offer.

Day or night, The Outpost is an attractive addition to Route 66.

Day or night, The Outpost is an attractive addition to Route 66.

When Viva Cuba members meet groups for mural tours, a stop of the rocker is often a requested  part of the itinerary.

The Rocker has taken its place in community events.

On August, there is a Lift to the Rocker Day when a lift raises people to the seat of the rocker to have their photos taken.

In September, archers gather for the Iron Buck Archery Tournament.

In the spring, it is the destination JOG,inc.’s 4-mile Route 66 Race to the Rocker. In 2010, 433 racers ran to the Rocker for the annual group photo.  In 2012, the race takes place on Saturday, March 31, to raise money for local chairities.

Local students study the rocker during Missouri History Days, and teachers report the rocker is a popular topic for discussion.

The Fanning Community and Cuba, MO, just 4-miles from the rocker, are proud of the rocker’s place in local history. Citizens love showing off the rocker and the well-run businesses next to it. Danny and Carolyn Sanazaro have had a lot of fun and worked hard at their business.

Viva Cuba salutes their work and wishes the Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair a happy 2nd birthday.

John Bland, Joe Medwick, and Danny Sanazaro stood together the day the rocker was raised on Route 66.

John Bland, Joe Medwick, and Danny Sanazaro stood together the day the rocker was raised on Route 66.

The  latest award given to the Rocker:

Missouri's Best Offbeat Attraction goes to...

The Route 66 Rocker received the Best Off Beat Attraction Award from Rural Missouri.

To contact the Sanazaros at the Fanning US 66 Outpost General Store and check hours call 573-885-1474, email f660@misn.com, or visit the website at www.fanning66outpost.com. Visit their website for updated event information.

To see an update on the Ourpost as an Archery Center, go here. Also read “20 Things to Do in Cuba, Missouri…”

Comic Rock n’ Roll Review to perform in Sullivan, MO…

The Sullivan Performing Arts Center welcomes the Van-Dells for a rock n roll good time.

The Sullivan Performing Arts Center welcomes the Van-Dells for a rock n roll good time.

Viva Cuba received notice this week from Laura Friz, a member of the Sullivan, MO Patrons of the Arts. The Van-Dells, a fun rock n’ roll review will perform songs from the 50s and 60s on Saturday, April 10 at 7:00 pm. Their act has been described as “The Three Stooges Set to Music,” according to the flyer.  The Sullivan Performiing Arts Theater is located on the campus of the Sullivan High School on Vine Street.

Before the show, participate in hula hoop, bubble gum blowing, twist, or costume contests. The audience is encouraged to drive their classic cars, so the parking lot may be an attraction as well.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You can buy them in Sullivan at the First State Community Bank, Coldwell Banker-Reeves, Sullivan Chamber of Commerce, or online at sullivanpatrons.org.

Support our friends from the west and attend the Van-Dells performance. Save $5 by getting your tickets early. And remember–no smoking in the boys’ room.

Mural tattoos and Mural City Brew available for spring fundraising…

Mural Tattoos and Mural City Brew Take Public Art to New Level…

Cuba, MO “Route 66 Mural City”: In an effort to fundraise for a summer season of mural maintenance and other beautification projects, Viva Cuba has partnered with Tattoos Worldwide for mural-themed tattoos. The 1873 train replica is also available for the railroad lover in the form of the Choo Choo tattoo. A portion of the profits for each tattoo goes to the Viva Cuba beautification organization.

Show your love with customized public art.

Show your love with customized public art.

According to Taz Remark of the tattoo design studio, “Tattoos are not just for bikers and military personnel anymore.  Professional people and the young at heart have embraced the idea of body art.”

According to a Viva Cuba volunteer, “It is so appropriate that an organization known for its beautification projects is raising funds by promoting body art. Now you can take murals with you.  Tourists can have a lasting, wearable souvenir.

I <3 viva cuba

Your favorite public art can become body art and support your favorite organization.

Tattoos Worldwide created templates of each piece of public art that can be customized to the wearer’s preferences such as the one below. Licensed artists from Tattoos Worldwide can do the work, or your local tattoo parlor can download the designs under a special licensing agreement.

In a licensing arrangement with the World’s Largest Rocking Chair located in Fanning, MO, 4 miles west of Cuba. Viva Cuba is proud to announce a rocking deal on a customized Rocker tattoo with details on the Viva Cuba website.

The Rock My World Tattoo should be popular with Route 66 travelers.

The Rock My World Tattoo should be popular with Route 66 travelers.

One last product in Viva Cuba’s spring fundraiser line is Mural City Brew, a new offering that will feature a new mural image on the bottle of limited edition ale for twelve months until all 12 mural images have been used. The decorative ales will be for sale in local Cuba watering holes, liquor stores, and at the Fanning 66 Outpost General Store. There will be a 12 pack of the limited edition ales offered in time for the Christmas gift-giving season. The ale is produced by an unlicensed bootleg operation.

The limited edition Mural City Brew will soon be available at local watering holes.

The limited edition Mural City Brew will soon be available at local watering holes and liquor stores.

Call Viva Cuba for an appointment for a tattoo or to be placed on the waiting list for Mural Brew: 1-800-APRIL FOOLS!

Cuba, MO mural artist teaches a new generation…

Another in a series of Viva Cuba’s mural artist updates for 2010…

Artist Michelle “Shelly” Smith Steiger’s life has come full circle in many ways.  A hometown girl, she graduated from Cuba High School in 1986 when Camille Ogden was her art teacher. Now, she holds the position that Camille Ogden held as the CHS art teacher. In between those years, study, a career in art, and raising a family intervened,

Camille 2002jpg

Steiger attended Mineral Area College with an emphasis on commercial art, and the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, where she majored in Art Education. After graduation, she specialized in residential art commissions in Arkansas and Missouri. She also married and had two daughters. Steiger then moved with her husband and daughters back to Cuba.

In 2001, she began talks with Jim and Jill Barnett about an outdoor mural to commemorate Peoples Bank’s 100th anniversary. In her research on outdoor murals, she ran across the work of Michelle Loughery of British Columbia, Canada and struck up an Internet correspondence with the Canadian artist. This would be the beginning of a  new direction for her career.

In 2001, Michelle Loughery came to Cuba with her teenaged daughter to paint the Model T/A.J. Barnett mural.  Steiger assisted and began to learn painting of outdoor murals.

Smith would go on to complete the Apple/Barrel mural on her own. When she was finished, she didn’t like the faces of the people in the mural, so she re-painted all of them, showing the progress of her technique.

Steiger used care on the mural faces.

Steiger used care on the mural faces..

Michelle Loughery returned to Cuba with an assistant Sara Lindsay to paint the Gold Star Boys mural, and Steiger once again assisted and continued her informal apprenticeship

Steiger was the premier artist who worked on the Amelia Earhart mural. Another local artist Julie Balogh Brand assisted her, thus Steiger became the teacher instead of the student.

Steiger and Balogh Brand also partnered on the Millworks/Robert Judson mural. South St. Louis artist Julie Nixon Krovicka painted the figure of her father Francis Nixon in the mural.

Steiger and Balogh Brand worked together on the River mural, which depicted a vintage river scene. Steiger has worked on six of Viva Cuba’s murals, more than any other artist.

Stieger worked on five of Viva Cuba's 12 outdoor murals.

Stieger worked on six of Viva Cuba’s 12 outdoor murals.

After Steiger’s daughters were in school, she decided to apply for a teaching position at Cuba High School, her alma mater. Today, she focuses on her students’ work and progress during the school year.  She is mentoring and instructing a new generation of artists and creatives, including her daughter Kate who is interested in fashion design.

Today, students look to Steiger for mentoring and instruction.

Today, students look to Steiger for mentoring and instruction.

Last summer, Steiger supervised  extensive mural maintenance for Viva Cuba.  In the past, she has created some outstanding pieces for Viva Cuba’s Chair-i-table Auction, which is held in May on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

Steiger does maintenance work on Amelia Earhart mural during the summer.

Steiger does maintenance work on Amelia Earhart mural during the summer.

Currently, she is discussing a historical mural with a local business so there may be a new Steiger mural in the future.

Steiger is a valued resource to Viva Cuba, and she has touched the community with her teaching and artistic depictions of Cuba’s history.

This Steiger work hangs in her classroom as an example for student projects.

This Steiger work hangs in her classroom as an example for student projects.

Steiger's students' work hangs outside her classroom.

Steiger’s students’ work hangs outside her classroom.

To see all the murals that Steiger worked on, visit the Viva Cuba homepage.

Art and music treat at Cuba MO’s Cuba Lakes Golf Course Clubhouse…

Ex-hometowners unite for Art Show and Music at Cuba Lakes Golf Course in Cuba, MO…

Art, music, and the beautiful Cuba Lakes Club House set the scene for a good time.

Art, music, and the beautiful Cuba Lakes Club House set the scene for a good time.

Go for golf and a bite to eat. Stay for the art, drinks, and an evening of music.

Friday, April 16  8-11 pm

Remember this date at Cuba Lakes!

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