FOYIL, Okla. (KFOR) — More than a half-century since Route 66 bypassed Andy Payne Boulevard, almost 60 years since old Floyd Shaffer closed the place for good, Kean Isaacs reached back into his own family history to save this place before it fell through the widening cracks of aging highway concrete.
“After doing some research about Route 66,” he says, “I discovered that it was really important.”
His great-grandfather owned a grocery store two doors down the street.
Kean’s dad used to wander in to buy candy from a counter along the wall.
“It was low enough for kids to see what was there,” points out Isaacs. “Then there was a counter here with cigarettes for sale.”
Kean himself remembers the building but not the business.
“I never remember it as a working filling station, but I’ve known this my whole life.”
Over the years he watched it fade and sag.
Saving it became important as he saw world travelers stop here to take pictures.
He says, “It’s very rare, when I’m working here, that someone doesn’t stop by.”
He found a company in Missouri that still sold tin siding in the shape of bricks.
“A company that’s been around for 100 years,” he offers.
Isaacs shored up the roof and worked his way down, replacing what the termites ate and putting on a new back porch to make a real rest stop out of it.
Kean says, “It’s going to be a Route 66 rest stop and information center.”
The interior is next.
Kean wants to put the place back just like his dad remembered, candy counter and all.
As the parade of travelers continues, traffic is starting to pull off a little more.
One of the last of the original Texaco filling stations now has new life as a shiny, new relic along the original Mother Road.
Kean’s goal is to finish his project completely by 2023, the 100th anniversary of Route 66.
For more information on the project, visit the Facebook page.
‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.