Rock Cafe Fire May 20, 2008

My daughter, Alexis, who is the family photographer has a very good eye and is good at understanding when a picture needs to be taken and also is good under stressful situations understood the importance of taking this picture. I was numb and thought about taking some pictures or video but could not move. Fred is the standing in the town gazebo watching the fire. I stood much further away and far from people for obvious reasons.

This is a second picture she took and was taken after the roof fell in. We recieved a phone call from a friend around 11:20 pm and almost did not answer because we didn’t know the number and it was late and we had just gotten in bed. It was later than usual because the family was excited about the next day because it was the last day of school.  Fred and Alexis were rushing me and Paul to get into the car because they wanted to get there fast. Paul and I were not able to kick into gear as fast; and I didn’t know what could be done when I got there. Fred was speeding up there and I told him to slow down because he was driving badly which is unusual for him. He is drives like an old man normally. He didn’t even drive that fast when I was in labor with Paul. When we arrived it was evident the fire was fully enflamed.  We all sat helpless and watched for 3 hours as it burned out of control. The roof is a mop and tar flat top and when it fell in was like fuel for the fire. I was very proud of our fire fighters and equipment that fought the fire. I prayed the Rock walls would remain and had it not been for the ladder truck(a piece of equipment that had been thought unnessary to some in Stroud) certainly was a blessing! I had called Beverly, a best friend and faithful manager, and she immediatly drove to town with her family. For those that don’t know, Bev and I share all our family issues and our children all help at the Rock Cafe. If it weren’t for these two family’s the Rock would not be as popular today as it is. Once I saw Bev who was crying uncontrollably, we were inconsolable. I only made three phone calls that evening one to Bev, one to my Food salesman(Joel), and one to Emily better known to us as Fuzzy.

Around 3:30am, the fire was under as much control as possible. We began talking with the Fire Marshall, Jeremy, and we tryed to help put together any reason for the fire. After much discussion, we all decided to meet in the morning to continue the investigation.

4 Responses to “Rock Cafe Fire May 20, 2008”

  1. redforkhippie Says:

    That first shot of Fred in the gazebo is incredible. Alexis has an amazing eye.

    I’m honored to have been on the short list that night. I’m just sorry I was stuck in a train station 450 miles away. It’s hard to send a hug through a cell phone….

  2. Lyn Martin Says:

    I still can’t believe it when I see it. When I first heard and saw it I was totally numb; I can’t begin to imagine how you must have felt. Agnes Brewer was heart broken; the Rock was her first job out of high school. I wanted to call or contact you but I was afraid I would lose it. You have been in my prayers every day.

    My aunt and uncle from Norman who used to love to come up to eat there have sent you this message: (I told them you plan to rebuild) “Dawn’s motto should be ROCK ON!”

  3. susette stickel-rufer Says:


    My son and I visited last year on our wonderful Route 66 journey from
    Chicago to Santa Monica. We felt privledged to have had a chance to
    stop at such as wonderful historic site on the Route and have fantastic
    food, too!!!

    Maybe you need to design a “rebuilding the rock” t-shirt which could
    be an additional fund raiser for those of us who live too far away to come in person to help.

  4. Rich Says:

    I drove Route 66 – Chicago to Santa Monica last May/June. The Rock Cafe was on my list of stops. Unfortunately I was 4 days late. Fortunately you are rebuilding and when I drive Route 66 again next year (it’s addictive – it keeps calling you) you can bet I’m stopping by for some great food and people.

    Thanks for keeping Route 66 alive!

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