Glide into more Chair-i-table Auction offerings…

The Annual Viva Cuba Chair-i-table Auction will be held the evening of the Route 66 Mural City Party on May 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Cuba, Missouri. Periodically, we will showcase some of this year’s artist designed furnture. These creations will be sold at silent auction on May 14.


Vintage glider artist designed

This restored vintage glider design was inspired by the artist's Hungarian grandmother's hand embroidery.

Julie Balogh Brand, a professional ceramic artist and painter who works from her studio in Cuba, Missouri, used her Hungarian grandmother’s hand embroidery, which is based on traditional Hungarian folk patterns, to inspire her design for this vintage glider, which is appropriately called Gypsy Glider.

The vintage glider was sandblasted, sprayed with a highly durable autobody paint, and decoratively painted with acrylics, and, finally, sprayed with clear coat sealant. Jim Montgomery Autobody completed the restoration portion of the project.

According to Brand, “There are floral raised areas on the glider which I wanted to work with and since it was vintage, it seemed to call for something nostalgic.”  The nostalgic aspect brought Brand’s grandmother’s handwork to mind and helped her create the design.

Floral details create a nostalgic garden glider.

Floral details on the Gypsy Glider creates a nostalgic garden piece.


Mary Marx, a recreational painter from St. Louis City, created two pieces for this year’s auction.

The first piece Nature’s Kaleidoscope, a wooden stool, bursts with its colorful glory. “Its circular shape lends itself well to the design and colors I’ve chosen, inspired by nature’s beauty, stained, glass effects, and quilt block designs,” states Marx in an email sent to Viva Cuba.

Nature's Kaleidoscope stool

Nature, stained glass, and quilt block designs create a kaleidoscope of bright colors.

Marx’s second piece is called Tea for Two. The design is painted on  what the artist says is a “very proper tea table.” “The design is all about a proper tea–or as proper as one wishes,” Marx said.

Tea for Two table Viva Cuba auction

This small table would be an eye catching occasional table or a perfect "tea table" for a little girl.

To see all the Chair-i-table Auction artist furniture attend the Route 66 Mural City Party event on Saturday, May 14. The ticket admits two people for the dinner and includes music, beer, wine, setups, and a chance to win $10,000. Only 300 tickets are sold. Over half are already sold.

The event is a good way to have fun with friends and family and support Viva Cuba’s Mural Project.

For more Chair-i-table Auction offerings visit “2011 Chair-i-table Auction breaks with tradition…”

For   “More information on the Route 66 Mural City Party on May 14,” read here. Over 1/2 of the tickets for the event have sold. Be sure to get yours soon. They sell out, and no one will be admitted the evening of the event without a ticket.



Route 66 Race to the Rocker fever strikes Cuba, Missouri

Cuba, Missouri Route 66 Race to the Rocker Banner 2011

The banner is up.

JOG,inc, the sponsoring organization for the 3rd Annual Route 66 Race to the Rocker, maintains a thermometer on their website that has monitored registrations edging up to their goal of 650 for this year’s race. Today, the top blew off the thermometer at 681, and more registrations are still arriving for the Saturday, March 26 race. Some home towners are coming in from out of state.

The first race had 150 runners and participants received a white Race to the Rocker t-shirt. I remember a motivation for running the race was “You might be able to run next year’s race, but you will never be able to run the first one again.” So right.

The second year there were about 450 runners. The shirt with the large rocking chair on it was grey.

This year there will probably be between 700-800 runners.  The t-shirt is yellow.

Race mania has hit Cuba. Early in the morning and late in the evening, people are on the streets of Cuba, running, walking, “getting ready.” Conversations abound on whether people are ready, or not ready, for the race.

The team concept of racers has taken off, and groups have formed.

The Route 66 course has been cleaned.

In preparation, runners are running from Cuba to the Rocker –and, in some cases, back.

Viva Cuba’s sock monkey has a new pair of red running shorts.

Cuba, Missouri Viva Cuba Sock Monkey

The sock monkey has new red running shorts, but he must be running with no shoes.

Signs are around town that reflect race mania. Even the Methodists recognize the race with their quote on their sign.

Cuba, Missouri Methodist  Route 66 Race to the Rocker sign

The Methodists on Route 66 share a few words of inspiration with the runners and walkers.

Road closure sign for the Route 66 Race to the Rocker

Signs remind drivers that West Route 66 will be closed for on race morning.

Finding parking on Saturday, will be a little little like Jesus feeding the multitudes with bread and loaves. Be patient. Be kind. Be careful.

The Methodists will be ringing their church bell for the racers to gather at the start line 10 minutes before the race. When the bell tolls, we in Cuba hope it tolls for you. We’ve got the fever.

In the spirit of full disclosure, after picking up this year’s race packet, I will have my 3rd Route 66 Race to the Rocker t-shirt.  I ‘ve got the fever.

Hwy. 19 and Route 66 Race to the Rocker sign Cuba, Missouri

This sign announces the race and Friday night's spaghetti dinner.




Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri gets ready for company

Route 66 Trash Pickup by JOG,inc. Cuba, Missouri

JOG, inc. members and 4-H Volunteers came together to help get the Race route ready and looking good.

When company comes, you pick up the clutter and make everything look bright. Old Route 66 between historic uptown Cuba, Missouri and the Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair at Fanning needed a little cleanup before company comes next weekend. Some of Cuba’s organizations decided to unite for a little home town beautification and give the 4-mile stretch of road a some TLC before the Route 66 Race to the Rocker on March 26.

On Saturday, March 19  JOG, inc. members, 4-H volunteers, and others came together to help pick up trash along both sides of the Route 66 Race to the Rocker Route.  MoDOT would later come along to pick up the bright yellow bags and other debris piled along the road.

JOG,inc. volunteers also passed out information flyers explaining the both lanes of Route 66 would close for the race. A recent Cuba Free Press article explains the road closure. JOG,inc. members hope that local residents will trade a little inconvenience on race day for a cleaner highway near their homes. Last year, JOG, inc. adopted a long stretch of the race route under the state’s Adopt-A-Highway Program.

Cuba, MIssouri JOG,inc. members with Adopt-A-HIghway sign Cuba, MIsosuri

JOG,inc. adopted the race route in 2010 under MoDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program.

With waves and honks from passing motorists, the bags filled with a variety of trash as the morning wore on. Starting a little after 9:00 am, it was close to 12:00 when the groups reached the landmark of the large rocking chair and knew that their work was done. After a look around the Fanning Outpost US 66 General Store and a cold Route 66 rootbeer, they headed back to town. Now they were left to work out the twinges from a morning’s work and get ready for the 4-mile run on March 26.

Some updates on the Race-related activities…and more photos of volunteers

Four-H members and their families are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Recklein Auditorium on Friday evening starting at 5:00 until 8:00. During this time, there will also be a race expo with local businesses/organizations on site, and racers can pick up their packets before the Saturday registration. Packets can also be picked up Saturday morning before 8:30.

Jeff Bouse of Hayes Shoe Store will be at the Friday evening expo and the Saturday registration collecting gently used shoes for the Soles 4Souls organization in Tennessee that helps the shoes get to those who need them. Some of this year’s shoes might go to earthquake victims in Japan. So clean up shoes in good condition and donate them at the race expo or registration on Saturday.

Pre-registrations have reached the 650 goal with more coming in each day. We will have a lalapalooza of a group photo under the rocker this year.

Cuba, MIssouri young volunteer works along Route 66

Accompanied by her mother, this young volunteer helped pick up Route 66. Mom couldn't convince her to give up the artificial flowers that she found along the road.

Cuba, MIssouri Volunteers in safety vest strike out along Route 66

The group donned safety vests, gathered trash bags, and began their hunt for the finest trash that Route 66 had to offer.

Trash pickup along Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri

Leaders and 4-H members became involved in the pickup as a service project.

Cuba, Missouri Adopt-A-Street Program

After the group activity, George Reed picked up trash along Route 66 in Cuba as part of Viva Cuba's Adopt-A-Street program.


For more on Viva Cuba Adopt-A-Street program

For more information on the race:

Race to the Rocker Flyer 2011 Cuba, MIssouri

Getting your green on in Cuba, Misssouri on Route 66

Fanning, Missouri Guinness World's Largest Rocking Chair

Even the Fanning US66 World's Largest Rocking Chair turns green for St. Pat's Day.

As we approach the dawn of another St. Patrick’s Day in Cuba, Missouri and its environs, a rolling green fog makes its way  down Route 66 and covers some of our landmarks. Our Route 66 attractions, the murals, that 42′ rocking chair, the Historic Wagon Wheel Motel, and the Viva Cuba Garden are all “going green.”


Cuba, Missouri Green Wagon Wheel Motel

The Historic Landmark Wagon Wheel gets its green on for St. Patrick's Day.

The same thing happened last year as you can see in this blog post that shows the Viva Cuba Garden wearing the green.

Some times you just have to go with the flow.  Put on your green and take another tour down Route 66. Go to your favorite eatery for some corn beef and cabbage, and enjoy one of our more colorful holidays.


Cuba, Missouri Prosperity Corner Corner Mural on St. Patrick's Day

The Hayes Shoe Store mural is no exception to the "gettin' green" phenom.


Cuba, Missouri Murals takes video on the road…

St. Genevieve Main Street Conference 2011

The group enjoyed Viva Cuba’s video presentation at the Main Street Conference.

Viva Cuba members spoke at the Missouri Main Street Connection Quarterly Workshop in St. Genevieve, Missouri on March 8. Conference organizers asked that we present information on our Route 66 Mural Project: how it was started, implemented, and impacted the town. The conference is part of the Missouri Main Street  Connection.

With a handout outlining our mural experience and a video that shows the town in action, we  drove off down the highway on a rainy Tuesday morning.

We posted the Viva Cuba Mural Project video on You Tube so that conference attendees could access it for members of their groups who were not at the conferences. Viva Cuba also gets calls from reporters and groups in other towns who are interested in the project. This video gives them a reference point to get information.  The video is longer than what you usually see on You Tube, but it gives an overall view of the different aspects of the Viva Cuba mural project.

Conference organizers promoted the conference as being for “anyone interested in learning about commercial district revitalization and improving the economic health and vitality of the community.”

Our video about the mural project was well received at the conference, and we are always ready to talk about Cuba. Crystal Narr, a representative from Main Street Chillicothe, also spoke about their mural program.

After our video, Viva Cuba Mural Project chairperson Jill Barnett spoke about the impact of the murals on Cuba, and then answered questions from the crowd.

All in all, it was fun to spread Cuba’s story with other towns in Missouri. Viva Cuba!

Main Street Conference 2011 Jill Barnett

Viva Cuba’s Jill Barnet, mural project chairperson, answered questions after the video presentation.

Read “20 Things to Do in Cuba, Missouri…”

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