We pulled into the parking lot a few minutes before 7:00, weary from travel, yet excited for this novel experience: spending the night in an official Route 66 motel. Dawn, the owner, greeted us with a smile, explaining the ins and outs of our stay. Her black lab (I forget his name) served as mascot, reveling in attention received in the form of pats and belly rubs!
Our room was located at the south end of the property, the last room in a string of fourteen. Opening the door with and “old school” key, we stepped in the spacious room, and stepped back in time. “Look! A rotary phone! Does it work?” Picking up the receiver and positioning it to my ear, I heard that familiar dial tone. It was music to my ears! On a nearby table lay prayer of sorts from former owner Lillian Redman:
In ancient times, there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within our Gates.” Because this motel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money-making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.
May this room and motel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be as comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.
May the business that brought you this way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.
We are all travelers. From “birth till death,” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those you know and love best.
Sincerely yours, Lillian Redman (owner of the Blue Swallow Motel from 1958-1998)
Hungry, we headed to a supermarket nearby to retrieve necessary provisions. After parking the car in our own private garage (Each room had one!), an outdoor bistro set became our dining room. Forgetting to purchase plates or forks, our neighbors directed us to a common kitchen area fully stocked with paper products, utensils and condiments. It was a bit chilly as the sun was setting, but we noticed that many fellow occupants were following suit, enjoying the fresh desert air before retiring inside.
Our heads hit the fluffy pillows, and, as the stars began to twinkle in the sky, our bodies were embraced by blissful slumber. The next morning found us rising refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to explore!
Coffee, hot tea and light breakfast snacks were provided in the office, along with friendly conversation and dog attention. It was April 2021, everyone there needed a break from negative rhetoric, so congeniality was at a premium.
But it’s probably always that way at the Blue Swallow Hotel.
An informative video about the Blue Swallow Motel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibis0I7g5TE.