Slide Show: Charles Phoenix Salutes Wigwam Motel On Route 66


More than 400 lovers of roadside architecture, puppets, and marshmallow s’mores made the trek to the Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino this weekend for Charles Phoenix’s Wigwam Pow Wow. The historian/entertainer invited vintage trailers and tail-finned cars, cowboy singers, and the Bob Baker Marionettes to join him and motel owner Kumar Patel for a daylong salute to the Route 66 icon marking its 65th anniversary. Guests donned their midcentury finest to mingle among the high style trailers from Funky Junk Farms, and shopped in impromptu boutiques set up inside the cone-shaped motel rooms before they settled down for Phoenix’s vacation slide show of tourists across America. The show ended with a visit to vintage San Bernardino, where he showed slides of his new friends there who continue running very old businesses that sell costumes and novelties, art supplies, and sausages in the former railroad town. The evening ended with an impromptu sing-along as organist Adriene Biondo performed standards on the motel lawn just inches away from Route 66. As she played, the migrants continued to roll, the beatniks drifted, and the big rigs raced along the Main Street of America.