2009 Full of Promise & Hope

New Years Eve on the Main Street of America!!

New Years Eve on the Main Street of America!!

As revelers across Route 66 have done for years and years, Stroud has a NYC style celebraton where they close down their 4 block stretch of this famed road where at Midnight a ball drop of a mess of wrapped chrismas lights with little to no organization falls from the sky elevated up by the local Fire Truck!  There is no other way then this to ring in a New Year!! So much so that several local familys and their out of town friends are sure not to miss. This year my best friend’s family joined us as did Fred’s local best friend. It was fun except that we had some Teenie Drama that won’t ever be forgotten. Hence the red faced Alexis that missed out on her first New Years Kiss due to an average teenie miscommunication! Something that will surely haunt her every year from here. I’m happy she bravely posed for this picture at a moment when she felt like it was the end of her world.  Besides that small snag, What a Year its shaping up to be!!


I know so many have sent cards and such to express concern and support for the Rock Cafe progress. Many have contacted me and wanted an update on this blog! As of my last blog, (laughing) a big blow to the project happened when I realized that although I appreciated the quickness to the stabilization of the building upon the first few days. The construction company was not as good a fit for this project as I originally thought. The Rock Cafe has always been about unexpected superior quality at an affordable price provided by individuals willing to share their life and experience with liberties to intergrate their talents and very fabric of who they are into the work they are providing. In most cases, that was food and service. It was my dream to have that type of work in the rebuilding process. Therefore, I set out interviewing individuals in hopes to find this person or group of persons!! I went into sort of a introvert type of personality during these weeks because it was difficult for my family, banker, friends, over-concerned individuals(Jerry Murfin), and press to understand what I was trying to achieve. Its difficult to even write about. By any means  Idid not want to trash this construction firm who had been there when I needed them. At any rate, I would make phone calls on Mondays and meet with people throughout the week and got alot of No’s, Maybe’s, and Yes’s but could not find that special person until a lead finally paid off.  A historic preservationist, David Burke of davidshistoricpreservation.vpweb.com, was recommended and I hesitated on calling because of his title “Historic Preservation”. I felt he may be out of my price range. Once I contacted him a match was made! David and his wife, Linda, had an immediate impression on me and my children and I knew we had our team leader!


David and Linda are from Perry, Oklahoma and know all to well about the exciting life in a small town. They restore antiques and have some amazing stories about this venture. They both are activists for preservation and lead lifes that will be shared throughout the rest of the Rock Cafe history. They are now a part of this building and its lore forever more. As far as my working relationship with him, its been a typical adventure as is my style. We work side by side making decisions on how to progress with the building. He keeps me informed as to his way of doing the restoration but always asks for my opinions and concerns. He even lets me and the kidos help around. Mainly, I sweep!! And the kids have done very little but have been there very importantly standing.  David even came to the job with his own wooden handled straw broom!! The only kind one needs to work on this site. Everyone knows how I love straw brooms! He has made some great discoveries in the history of this building and we will be sharing those with you as we progress. David has a friend he works with by the name of  Terry! We also found a friend of both of ours through different avenues-mine being local friend and his being fellow antique dealer-his name is Mark!! These 3 men,David-Terry-Mark, should be sent thank yous and salutations as well because they are going to be responsible for literally breathing new life & soul into this historic structure! They work together like family & friends not holding anyone more important than the other and recognizing that my family is their family and visitors who stop are shown around as if they are also decision makers and family as well!!


Terry is a skilled carpenter who works on new construction while David is the preservationist. Terry knows all the newest products and is a big help in finding ways of doing things. He is a family man who is always talking about his wife and children!! We love that and I know he’s a great dad because he is great with my kids. He teases Alexis alot and always tries to get her out of doing some of the heavy lifting I ask her to do. (of course, she owes him a few batches of cookies for this)  He is also always getting Paul to help him and teaching him how to use the tools. Not to mention, keeping tabs on where Paul is at! You know that is his responsibility as construction manager! Just kidding! But this lets you know that the same feel you received for food & service is also taking place in the reconstruction!

Mark, well what can you say about him. He seems to be 7 ft tall and has what seems to be 6ft long dreadlocks! Mark is a friend of mine from the Rock Cafe. We both migrated back to our family roots in Lincoln County from far off worlds. Myself from the adventures across the globe on cruise ships and he from the fast lane in Los Angeles. His father is jazz producer, Miles Grayson. So its easy to understand his laid back Rasta Man attitude. Some Route 66’s may remember his mother, owner of PJ’s BBQ. Mark isn’t the sort of character one expects to be in Lincoln County and that makes him a perfect fit for the Rock Cafe and our family friend. He is married to Carol and she is also great. I thank her for thinking of me and sending me gifts from time to time. Mark is a wealth of knowledge so much so I sometimes question his grand stories but only in a joking manner. Its always the same story never judge a person on what you think someone should look like and always leave your heart open to all sorts of personalitys because one never knows when true friendship will be discovered and what that person may look like!

This team is working with my local suppliers therefore, my electrician, my heat & air guy, and who could forget the plumber are all getting to help in this process. The most famous and seen on site everyday and making decisions and suggestions alongside the 3 of us is local, Jerry Murfin. Most will know him and those who don’t have not been to the Rock more than once. He is a permanent fixture and invalued friend. We will save his story for his own blog entry!

Again your support is greatly appreciated and I can see light at the end of the tunnell! If anyone cares to venture out; gawkers are welcome and if you see one of these three men don’t hesitate to thank them and ask any question of them. They love it! They work Monday – Friday on site and do so almost as long as the Rock was open during regular business hours. I will leave you with a poem I discovered the last few days from The Route 66 Hip Pocket Trip! Poems by Joel Nash

The Rock Cafe

It’s a family affair

at the Rock Cafe

in Stroud, Oklahoma


and daughter

cooking and

running the place

and today the

little daughter

of daughter

was there, too.

Mr. and Mrs.

came in for lunch


being the master plumber and

restorer of magic cars

including a baby blue convertible

right at home

in front of the Rock

but before dawn

on this day

he had to put down

their dying dog

Mrs. had red teary eyes

Mr. was a little choked up, too

but he said

“You kno, I was raised on a farm.

I know how to do these things.”

When you walk in the front door

of  The Rock Cafe

you join the family

12 Responses to “2009 Full of Promise & Hope”

  1. Rock Cafe update « Route 66 News Says:

    […] In short, she now has a contractor that’s going full speed ahead in getting the cafe rebuilt to her standards. You can read about it here. […]

  2. Victoria and Mitch Says:

    The Cafe is looking great! I cant wait till its done! You can count on me being there when it is done, maybe even before.
    Soooo….Mitch and Victoria say hi!!!! 😀
    Hopefully see you soon!

  3. Territory Mom Says:

    Thanks for the update. You are an inspiration for anyone (like me) who wants a Route 66 business. It looks like you have some great help. My sister and I love your blog. As soon as you open again we’re coming over for an alligator burger. I’ll eat yours but no one elses. Good luck!!

  4. Linda Burke Says:

    Thanks for the wonderful things you said about David and his great help. For those of you who haven’t met Dawn, her dedication and love for the Rock Cafe and for Route 66 are inspiring. Her children pitch in and work as hard as Dawn does. Her husband had doubts at first but now he is so proud of the feat Dawn is pulling off.
    David’s website has a series of photos showing the progress of the Rock Cafe. He updates it every weekend. If you’d like to see the stages that the Rock Cafe is going through, feel free to watch the progress at: davidshistoricpreservation.com.
    Thanks, Dawn, for everything.

  5. Linda Burke Says:

    P.S. Can’t wait to try the alligator burger!

  6. Shelley Nunley Says:

    Hi Dawn,

    I am Terry’s wife, Shelley. Thank you for the kind things you said about him. You have him pegged… he is a wonderful father and husband. He is a hard worker and does it all for me and our three beautiful children. I am very proud of him and proud of the work that David, Terry and Mark are doing on the Rock Cafe. I am looking forward to coming to Stroud and seeing first hand the wonderful job they are doing on the cafe. I hope that I’ll be able to meet you in person since I’ve heard so much about you.

    Shelley Nunley

  7. Fred Says:

    Things are looking great. Looking forward to breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Rock this summer!!!! Keep on keepin on………….:)

  8. mom Says:

    Since you were a little girl I always thought you were special and was always so proud of you! Your acomplishments, track, cruise ships, motherhood, getting the Rock Cafe on the historic preservation all by yourself. Many have told you you cant, but you did it! We have to remember the lost great Rt 66 landmarks on paper. Thanks to your “can do” attitude, the Rock Cafe will rise again! You are amazing!

  9. Dries Bessels Says:

    Good to see you got things going again after what must have been heartbraking!

    We will stop by in may this year when we will do the entire route by motorcycle. If we can bring you anything from Holland let me know!


  10. Howie Says:

    Keep up the great work! The New Beetle group is again planning to stop by on the way to Roswell this summer. Looking forward to seeing you again, Dawn.


  11. Allan Says:

    Hi guys I hope you will be open whaen we come by this May. We would love to meet you. We saw you cafe on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Loooking so much to see the new cafe. Just look for 4 PT Cruisers from Oregon. I’m very much into the cars movie also and collect as many as i can.

    See you in May, Allan

  12. William Says:

    Saw you on diners, drive-ins and dives. Wanted to know more about Dawn and the cafe. An attractive lady that can do more than boil water.
    Saw the news of the fire and the rebuild, why not invite Guy to the re-opening?

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