Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Midland Hotel, Santa Rosa, NM

In my last post I showed a picture of Santa Rosa taken where Highway Route 66 intersected with Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. A former resident left a comment saying she didn't remember this hotel which was on the northeast corner of that intersection.

I started to leave a comment in return but it began to be so long that I decided to make it a post.

We moved to Santa Rosa from Clayton when I was not yet three years old. (My sister Vicki tells me it was March of 1960). When we arrived we lived in this hotel while my parents looked for a home for us. They eventually found our house on Fourth Street where we lived twice. Once as tenants and the second time as owners.

We had rented the house on Fourth Street for a year or two when the owner sold it to The Walker family. At that time we were forced to move and ended up in a bizarre apartment located in the rafter of The Texaco Warehouse.

The Texaco Warehouse sat right behind the Midland Hotel which was on the south side of the building and the rail road depot and train tracks were on the north side. It was filled with barrels of oil with an office or two in the front. I don't remember what was on the north side but I'm sure it was loading dock for trucks, however I know what was on the south side of the building.

Beginning with a screened in porch inside which was a door. You would open the door into what, at my young age of about five, seemed like an endless dark scary staircase that led up to the front door of our apartment.

Past the screened in porch was a long loading dock with a railroad spur next to that. I never in my entire life saw a rail car on that spur but I lived in fear that a train would one day come barreling down that spur and run over me.

Once when I was about five or six years old I was playing out on the that dock and I saw a car drive up to the back of the hotel. One of the passengers, a young man, jumped out and ran up the back fire escape and entered through an open door on the second floor of the hotel. He was only in there for a few minutes and then he ran back down the stairs and jumped back in the car. A few minuted later the hotel was in flames. It burned down and was never repaired and reopened.

I have no idea whether the young man I saw had any connection to the fire, but I remember it all the same. I also have no idea whether or not the hotel burnt down to the ground or how long the ruins might have sat there before being cleared away.

At the age of seven (1964) we still lived in that apartment. I got my very first kiss from a boy out on that dock. His name was Guy Don Bueford (sp?). His brother was courting my sister and they had come over for a visit. Guy Don died very young in a car accident when I was in high school.

Looking back now, it seems so odd to me that we lived in that warehouse. I have many other memories of that place but I'll save those stories for my Bare Naked Me blog.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Santa Rosa in the 60's

In just a little over two months I'll be back home for a couple of weeks. Although this is a "riding" vacation we'll use my old home town as our base station (so to speak). This is how the town looked about the time we moved there. On the left is an old hotel that we lived in for a while until my parents found a home for us. Just down from that was the cafe and bar my dad bought. I have some very faint memories of that place but then again I was only about three years old.

But this was Route 66 at its best. Back when tourist roamed up and down the road looking for a diner or a "motor court" complete with attached garage. How many of you know what I'm talking about?