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The two RV Gypsies drove on Route 66 in Tulsa, OK
October 13, 2022

Below: Buck Atom's Cosmic Curios - 1347 E 11th Street, Tulsa, OK 74120. It is a gift shop celebrating the magic of Route 66 The Mother Road. Buck Atom's Cosmic Curios is open daily. The shop's owner, Mary Beth Babcock, also operates a Route-66-themed Air-B-NB behind the store, if you need a place to park your spaceship in Tulsa for a few days, but the two RV Gypsies did not stay there of course.

Buck Atom's Cosmic Curios logo

Buck Atom's Cosmic Curios shop

STANDING OVER ROUTE 66 IN Tulsa Oklahoma is a 21-foot tall space cowboy roadside attraction. The giant cowboy welcomes visitors to Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66, a gift shop selling a variety of souvenirs, clothing, neon signs, and other memorabilia dedicated to the mystique of America’s Mother Road. The rocket was crafted by local Tulsa artist, Chris Wollard.

Buck Atom is a unique twist on the legacy of “muffler men” that dot the Route 66 landscape. In the days before the US Interstate Highway System was built, Route 66 was one of the primary roads for taking American travelers across the Southwest. The route passed directly through the main streets of cities and towns, and restaurants, motels, drive-ins, and shops often placed large neon signs or roadside attractions outside their businesses to draw in motorists. Even gas stations and autobody shops needed to stand out — which led to the creation of “muffler men,” giant statues of, oftentimes, burly men dressed as lumberjacks and cowboys (all of which the two RV Gypsies have photographed in the past). Thousands of “muffler men” statues were produced in the 1960s and 1970s.

21-foot tall space cowboy sign Buck Atom 21-foot tall space cowboy
Robot Lilliput
Karen Duquette and Robot Lilliput


Karen Duquette and a fancy dresssed chef

Buckss 66 Cosmic Rurios sign

Below: Two Great Murals - the second one is a dog training business

route 66 mural   dog training business mural
great signs on the Hamburge joint sign for howdy Burger

Below: It looks like Lee Duquette parked the car in the middle of the road. But Wait - Not Really - That IS the proper parking spot. The big space near the sidewalk is for bikes.

The Two RV Gypsies Toad

Tulsa and USA flags

Below: Signs for the Expo Square and a big blinking "Thank You Tulsa" sign. The Complex is used for a variety of entertainment and educational events in such venues as Expo Center, Pavilion, Livestock Facility and Exchange Center.

Expo Square Thank You Tulsa sign

Below: The Golden Driller is a 75-foot-tall, 43,500-pound statue of an oil worker, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was built from a steel frame, covered with concrete and plaster. It is said to be the 5th-tallest statue in the United States.

History: It was originally built in 1953 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth for the International Petroleum Exposition. Six years later, it was temporarily erected again for the 1959 show. Due to the positive attention it attracted, the company donated the statue to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority which had it anatomically redesigned and permanently installed in front of the Tulsa Expo Center for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition. The statue's right hand rests on an oil derrick which had been moved from a depleted oil field in Seminole, Oklahoma.

An inscription at the base of the statue reads: "The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God's abundance a better life for mankind."

In 1979, the Golden Driller was adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature as the state monument.

As part of an online promotional contest sponsored by Kimberly-Clark in October 2006, the Golden Driller was named the grand prize as a top ten "quirkiest destination" in the United States, winning its nominator a $90,000 international vacation for two.

The Golden Driller plaque

Below: Lee and Karen Duquette are dwarfed by the size of The Golden Driller (described above).

Lee Duquette and The Golden Driller Karen Duquette and The Golden Driller
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