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A stop on Route 66: Buck Atoms Cosmic Curios

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 20:12:29-04

For whatever reason, Route 66 has always been fascinating to people around the world.

11th Street in Tulsa is the footprint of Route 66.

Business owners along that stretch are making sure that their storefronts are giving the thousands of people that travel it every year, a reason to stop.

There's been a renewed interest in one of Oklahoma's biggest tourist attractions and the portion that includes Tulsa is right out front.

"The momentum right now is hot for Route 66 in Tulsa," Buck Atoms Cosmic Curios owner Mary Beth Babcock

Babcock has put her degree in retail merchandising to work all over town, but the lure of Route 66 pulled her to this stretch of 11th Street, right along the Mother Road.

"It's like a family it's really neat and everyone supports each other," Babcock said.

Mary Beth's Buck Atoms Cosmic Curios is in this old Pemco Gas Station, which is just down from the newly restored, Meadow gold sign.

She sells all things Tulsa and Oklahoma related. She reminds those that stop in that the famous roadway was the only way to get from the West to the East in America way back then.

Many Tulsans and plenty of Americans want to travel Route 66 and see all the oddities that sit alongside it, but business owners like Mary Beth can't believe the people from all over the world make the trek every day.

"The first group that we had was 26 people from the Czech Republic," Babcock said. "There were 10  people on motorcycles and then five more cars all came down Route 66 in Tulsa.

"I just met the Japan President of the Route 66 Association the other day," Babcock said.

One Tulsa couple celebrated their 14th anniversary on Route 66.

In fact, they've seen the entire stretch.

Took them several years and some vacation time but say it was worth it.

"There are a lot of Route 66 attractions in Tulsa which you can spend a whole day finding them," Tulsan Brian Morrison said.

Tulsa city leaders support Route 66 too.

They recently gave Babcock a permit to put up a 20-foot Buck Atoms' statue right outside her shop.

Think the muffler man, but dressed as Buck Atoms.

He'll be right next to the store and definitely another roadside attraction that'll bring more visitors and dollars to our community.

Half of the money needed for the statue of Buck Atoms has been raised.

If you're interested in helping, check out the Route 66 Buck Atom's GoFundMe page.

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