Along Route 66, in a small town called Paris Springs, there is what appears to be just another small old time gas station. A historic Route 66 sign reads “Gay Parita” and it certainly appears worth a stop to take a few pictures.
We did exactly that yesterday afternoon and by the time we left, we came away with much more than pictures. Lena “Mom” Turner came out to greet us and we sat for a while in the shade, Enjoying the beautiful Ozark breeze, Mom and I talked about a whole bunch of things, from Route 66 tours to her children, and I realized that there was nowhere else I would rather be at that moment. This is what America has lost as time keeps moving forward. This is what travelers from all over the world come to find on the Mother Road.
Eventually, Gary Turner came out for a talk and then he and Jay disappeared in the office for a while. He autographed a wonderful photo of the station for us and offered some tips on where to visit next (see his hand drawn map below!). We spent just over an hour with these wonderful people and when it was time to leave, I felt happy. If we were to find nothing else of interest on America’s Main Street, it would be fine by me. Our visit to the Gay Parita will be one of the thousands this year but to us, it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Thank you, Gary & Mom, for the wonderful memory!