Cuba, the small town with big ideas, features its own Christmas print

A Route 66 Missouri gift idea waiting for you…

Viva Cuba, the beautification group that commissioned Cuba’s murals, had long been wanting a piece of artwork with a Christmas scene. It didn’t seem right for a full-time mural. They discussed alternatives with Missouri artist Ray Harvey who was known for such scenes. Harvey had previously painted the Bette Davis and Phillips 66 murals for Viva Cuba. After about three years of discussion and several months of preparation, the print titled Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri was introduced at Cuba Fest 2012, and it enjoyed brisk sales. Artist Harvey was at Cuba Fest to sign prints and talk to people as he also put on a carving demonstration of some whimsical pumpkins. This particular artwork is a $20 print that is available to all Cubans, past and present. It will fit in a stock 18 X 24 frame, so it doesn’t require custom framing. Viva Cuba is happy to offer this print that is accessible to all Cubans on a more personal level than a mural would be.

The Process:

1. Harvey met with Viva Cuba several times about how much could be included (not nearly as much as they wanted.

Artist Ray Harvey discussing the details of the print with Viva Cuba members.

Harvey spent several sessions working out the details with Viva Cuba members.

2. Local pilot Don McGinnis flew Harvey over Cuba for a “birds eye view.”

Route 66:West Washington Cuba MO

A bird’s eye view of Cuba showing W. Washington/Route 66.

3. Harvey photographed landmarks from the ground.

Harvey photographing the vintage Route 66 station

Harvey photographing the vintage Route 66 station in Cuba, MO. The station has been at the corner since the 1930s.

4. Harvey painted and tweaked details for Viva Cuba members. The painting was delivered.

Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri painting was delivered.

The original painting was delivered. It will be on display in People’s Bank prior to Christmas. Note how Harvey could provide the mini-murals in the print. The Frisco train 1522 chugs by in the background. The water tower with its crown of lights from the 60s  glow in their detail.

5. The digital image was made from the painting to create the prints. They can be purchased for $20 at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank or Spirals Gallery. At this time, a limited number of signed copies are available.  Or you can go online to order the print for a small $7.00 shipping fee for domestic orders. The prints are shipped in a cardboard shipping tube.

Framed Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print

The print will be fit in a stock 18 X 24 frame or you can have it customed framed to fit your decor and tastes.

6. The print was introduced at Cuba Fest 2012 to brisk sales. Artist Ray Harvey was available to sign prints and meet with those interested in the print. Could that be…

Santa and Ray Harvey at Cuba Fest 2012

Santa dropped by to discuss the print with the artist. He had a rare weekend off before gearing up for the Christmas season.  Santa approved and bought some prints for the elves and reindeer. Even they like to get Christmas gifts.

With its Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print, Cuba continues its reputation as a small town with big ideas.

 For more information on the artist, visit


Trolleys, trolleys, trolleys at Route 66 Cuba Fest 2012

Trolley in Kinder Cemetery

Trolley styles have varied over the years, but the tours are always entertaining and informative.

“Clang, clang, clang” went the trolley

“Ding, ding, ding” went the bell

“Zing, zing, zing” went my heartstrings

It was time for a Cuba Fest tour, I could tell

“Chug, chug, chug” went the motor

“Bump, bump, bump” went the brake

“Thump, thump, thump” went my heartstrings

I smiled for I knew it was the tour I would take

Our apologies to “The Trolley Song,” but you get the idea. It’s trolley time at Cuba Fest 2012 on October 20-21. We never know exactly what trolley will roll down School Street to stop in front of the Catholic Church where the trolley loads and unloads, but our driver Esther is always on board and ready to speed us up if we get off schedule.

Esther driving in Cuba, Missouri

Esther has been our driver every year. She drives the trolleys from St. Louis in time for the tours. She stays overnight to drive on Sunday. By now, she knows as much about our history as we do.

The tours are free, but you need to get a ticket to hold your spot on the tour. There are three different colors of tickets circulating at once. To save time, be prompt with the trolley pulls up. Be careful when loading and unloading.

Trolley in front of the Catholic Church in Cuba, Missouri

The trolley loads and unloads in front of the Catholic Church. Be sure to get your “free” trolley ticket to hold your spot and keep things moving smoothly.

Please, turn off your cell phones as narrators will be sharing information, and we want everyone to be able to hear.

Saturday from 11:00-3:30 

Saturday October 20 is the day for narrated Mural Tours

You will travel the mural route to hear the story behind each mural. Why did Bette Davis’s male companion chase a young reporter down the street? Which businessman faked his disappearance?

Trolley rolling down Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri

Part of the trolley tour is down Cuba’s Historic Route 66.

Sunday  11:00-3:30

Sunday is the day for the Cemetery Tours as they travel to Kinder Cemetery on the west edge of town, where citizens from Cuba’s past (in costume) greet and board the trolley to tell their story. The “Tales from the Past” Tour shares a little local history and provides entertainment as well. These tours are popular, and seating is limited so take the tour sooner rather than later.

On your way to Kinder Cemetery, a citizen from the past William Recklein will share his story, and you will find out why he gifted the town the Recklein Commons area. Other characters on the tour are Allyne Glassey Earls, the owner of Midway Motel and Restaurant for many years. Ray Maxfield, a WWII glider pilot also has a story to tell. Local history teacher Gary Durbin will be portraying this character. Sam and Mary Vitali ran the Fanning Store for years. Sam use to hang the mail out for passing trains. Sam’s character will be portrayed by Bruce Campbell, Sam’s grandson. John Bayless will play the role of his father Sam Bayless who was the Superintendent of Cuba School in the 30s & 40s. There is a story that involves a cow with this one. Be ready for these stories and a few surprises.

Tales from the Past Cemetery Tour Kinder Cemetery Cuba, MO

Our characters from the past come to tell you their story. A few still have “issues.”

Cemetery Tours at Kinder Cemetery

Sometimes the characters are a married couple and that can provide an extra spark to the story.

However, if there is a real burial at the cemetery that day, we may revert to mural tours until the services are concluded.

We have a passion for our small town and look forward to seeing you. So when you hear the ding, ding, it’s “All aboard.”

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Because of the congestion (and the little girl who brought her meowing kitten on board one year),  we ask that you not bring pets aboard the trolley.

Kinder Cemetery Tour 2012

The trolley heads back to Cuba Fest for another tour group.

Viva Cuba Chair-i-table Auction at Cuba Fest 2012

Viva Cuba's Chair-i-table Auction banner

This is the first year that Viva Cuba’s annual Chair-i-table Auction will be held in the fall at Cuba Fest rather the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

Viva Cuba’s annual Chair-i-table Auction, which features furniture by local artists and crafts people, has become an expected event. However, this year the event will not be the Saturday before Mother’s Day as it has been since the first auction. The auction has been moved to the first day of Cuba Fest on Saturday, October 20. Viva Cuba members have discussed this idea for a few years, but this seemed to be the year to make the transition and to see how the event is received at its new time and place.

Silent bidding for the custom designed furniture takes place from 9:00 am-2:00 pm on Smith Street in the Recklein Commons area as a Cuba Fest Event. At 2:00 pm, the bids will play out until someone walks away with the winning bid for his or her piece of furniture. While you are watching your bids, taste some of the chili from the Chili Cook-off to see who will be the new Chili Chef for 2012.

If you would like to take a look at some of this year’s offerings, they are displayed at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank. They are on display in the bank lobby. Let the bidding begin! Funds are used by Viva Cuba for mural maintenance and repair.

Here’s a preview of what you will see.

Mad About Plaid by Joyce Stewart

This antique chair with a wide seat would be a substantial addition to a den or living space. The modern plaid with the vintage chair is an unexpected update that makes this chair a winner.

Mad about Plaid Chair

Joyce Stewart’s skillful upholstery work makes this chair pop.

Shimmer by Merry Cloer

Merry Cloer of  Spirals Gallery & Studio on Route 66 is known for her mosaic work. She has transformed this simple chair into a bright and sparkling addition to your–as the chair says–Love, Home, Family. Visit Spirals to see more of Merry’s work and that of other area artists.

Shimmer Mosaic Chair by Merry Cloer of Spirals Gallery on Route 66

Shining with love and family, this one-of-a-kind chair will brighten any corner.

Redbird Rookie by Marge Fleming

Marge Fleming’s little cardinal rockers have become a staple of the auction, and this one does not disappoint. The talking Fredbird might tell you what he thinks of the Cardinal’s chances for the series. Put your little rookie in this chair for a little Cardinal time.

Redbird Rookie Cardinals Chair

With the Cardinals getting ready to rock the playoffs, your little tyke might enjoy this chair, which is accompanied by a talking Fredbird.

Aurora Borealis by Pat Cookson

Pat Cookson’s classic black chair is the perfect canvas for Pat’s outstanding textile skills. Like the night sky, the black chair surrounds the rich colors of Pat’s work. See more of her skills at the Two Pats Gallery blog. This award winning textile artist knows her way around a needle.If you love the needle arts, visit her gallery outside of Cuba, which is open to the public by appointment.

Aurora Borealis Chair by Pat Cookson

Some decorators say that a black piece of furniture or accessory gives a room a touch of elegance.

Show-Me the Dogwood by Julie Brand

This antique sled is such a treat with its aged wood that artist Julie Brand wanted a subtle decoration that would not overwhelm its integrity. With the much loved blooms and branches of the Dogwood, she has succeeded in showcasing Missouri’s state tree and creating a standout piece. Pile the sled with gifts at Christmas time or use it as a coffee table year round. It’s all good. Julie Brand and another local artist Shelly Steiger have painted the River, Millworks, and Amelia Earhart murals. Her primary passion is ceramic pottery, which can be viewed by appointment at her rural Cuba studio. Visit this blog for more information and  for examples of pottery by this versatile artist.

Branches and Dogwood sled by Julie Brand

This sled makes a winter accent piece and a year round addition to your house. I think it says “coffee table.”

 Wild Acorn by Kathleen Fleming Mead

Kathleen Fleming Mead is a hometowner who has moved to the city but left a bit of her heart behind in Cuba. She has re-caned this oak chair and added some seasonal acorns. It’s a lasting reminder of the spreading oak and all that it creates.

Wild Acorns Oak Chair

A classic, caned-oak chair is a mainstay for many homes.

Two pieces of Americana: You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream and Ben Davis Apples by Marge Fleming

These matching striped ice cream chairs evoke a time when dates might have shared a sundae or soda down at the town’s drug store. Put them with a small table to create your own memories.

Ice Cream chairs

The “We all scream for ice cream” chairs are a classic design that evoke memories of times past.

The Ben Davis Apple chair is another piece of Americana. If you know a collector of all things apple, this is the chair for them. Ben Davis apples were classic, dependable producers and an appropriate theme for a community where “Apple was King” at one time.

Ben Davis Apple Chair

Nothing says Americana like an apple does.

Artist Ray Harvey- UPDATE

There is one piece that is still missing. Mural artist Ray Harvey has a sandblasted vintage glider that he is still creating. We do not know what theme or subject he has decided to use for his glider, but from past pieces by Harvey, we are sure that it will be worth the wait. Harvey will be at Cuba Fest from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm to sign copies of Viva Cuba’s new print “Christmas Over Route 66: Cuba, Missouri,” which will be introduced at Cuba Fest. Harvey also painted the Bette Davis mural and the Phillips 66 station murals in Cuba. To see more of his work go here and visit Due to a knee injury, Harvey will not complete the glider for Cuba Fest. However, he will still be there to sign Christmas prints. The glider will be advertised and offered for auction at a later time. 

Drop by the Peoples Hwy 19 Bank to see these pieces. Place a bid and add to the buzz. Visit Cuba Fest for the many activities of this outstanding community event. It’s all a win-win. Visit Route 66 Cuba Fest 2012 on Facebook.

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