Bob Waldmire loved Route 66. He spent his days traveling the "Mother Road" promoting it, befriending the people of the road, and capturing it in his unique and colorful artwork. Sadly Bob, this gentle soul of Route 66 who touched people the world over, passed away in December 2009. He will be missed greatly, but he left behind a legacy of artwork, and stories, and wonderful memories. Bob loved Cool Springs and had planned on painting a mural for Ned's other restored station in Topock/Golden Shores; a mural that was completed in Bob's memory by artist Annie Wildbear.
Annie Wildbear's Tribute to Bob Waldmire at the Topock Station
Bob Waldmire and Cool Springs
Ned Leuchtner, like Bob was, is deeply passionate about the history and preservation of Route 66.
As Ned explains it, "For a few years , I had been planning on Bob Waldmire painting a mural at the other station we restored in Topock/Golden Shores. I met with Bob at the Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Ill in September 2009. He was planning on meeting me in January in Topock to begin and complete the mural..."
Bob Waldmire at Cool Springs
Bob Waldmire & Ned Leuchtner in Springfield, IL
Ned continues, "He called in the end of October and said that he was terminally ill and was not going to be able to do the mural."
"He did want to paint an image of how he wanted the mural to look. He completed that painting for me just before his passing in December."
Artist Annie Wildbear completed the mural in Topock based on Bob's original painting - and it now can be seen along Route 66 - a lasting testament to a gentle kind man who made Route 66 his entire life.