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Wed, Aug. 21

Route 66: Waldmire exhibit visiting Kingman

Bob Waldmire next to his 1972 Volkswagen Microbus. (Courtesy)

Bob Waldmire next to his 1972 Volkswagen Microbus. (Courtesy)

KINGMAN - Bob Waldmire never met a person he didn't like.

That's how Buz Waldmire, Bob's brother, describes him. Since Bob's passing in 2009, Buz and his son have taken over Bob's work and continue to release his art, maps and postcards to all the people drawn to Bob's work over the years.

Their next stop will be at the Route 66 International Festival in Kingman.

"My brother was a roving artist looking for his niche for many years," said Buz. "He started working in one city, then moved state to state to expand his market."

More often than not, Bob would end up creating drawings as gifts rather than selling them. Bob maintained hundreds of pen pals with people he met along Mother Road over the years.

"After you sat down with him and talked for a little while, he had a fan for life."

One of Bob's bigger works was a massive map of Route 66 from Santa Monica Pier to Chicago. He began working on the map in 1987 and, after four years and three trips along Route 66 in his Volkswagen, he finished the map and printed it in 1992.

The map will be available to see at the festival this weekend.

Bob Waldmire is a 2004 John Steinbeck Award winner for his contributions to preserving Route 66. His orange 1972 Volkswagen Microbus was also the inspiration for the character "Fillmore" from Pixar's "Cars."

The Bob Waldmire Art exhibition will be at the TNT Auto Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Saturday and will feature art Bob created over the years he traveled along Route 66.

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