On my travels I routinely drive down Route 66 – love the bar-b-que at Devils Elbow and the scenic drive along the way, to include the Munger Moss Motel. I know enough about Route 66 to know the Munger Moss Motel is steep in history, originally it was a barbecue place located on the Big Piney River at Devil’s Elbow, MO but when the 4-lane road opened up, and business at the Munger Moss Barbecue died the owners started looking for a suitable place to relocate to and moved down the road to Lebanon, MO. Full history at www.mungermoss.com/index.html
The Munger Moss Motel is more than just a roadside establishment, it is a living legacy to all that was and is Route 66. My question arises from the neon sign that glows to signal to visitors along the route. After years of smiling at the old neon sign as I drive by – I noticed something the other day. The sign has a marquee, the old school kind where you place the plastic letters to spell out words of wisdom. The sign says TELEPHONES and REFRIDGERATED????
Of all the things that could be advertised on the marquee that is what they thought would woo patrons through the door? Let’s ponder the first line – TELEPHONES – I understand the need to be able to reach out and touch someone or be touched by someone but in a time where almost everyone has cell phones I can’t see someone saying, “boy I sure am tired, we need to pull over and rest for the night, look that hotel has free Wi-Fi, that one has an indoor pool & happy hour – WAIT, let’s look no further the Munger Moss has telephones – we are home!!”
What about REFRIDERATED – I haven’t figured out if they mean refrigerators or air conditioning. “Ma, pull over now – that motel is refrigerated!”
I think the draw would be the history itself, the tale of the Mother Road, the pop culture, the scenic route. There MUST be a story as to why they chose those two words “TELEPHONES and REFRIGERATED” – I’m sure it is something historic, maybe the Munger Moss was the first motel to have telephones and “refrigerated” in the rooms. Whatever the reason – next time you find yourself on Route 66 in Missouri tired from the long haul – check out the Munger Moss Motel, stay in the Route 66 room, take a dip in the pool to cool down and relax, enjoy the antique toy truck collection in the office, say hello to owners Bob and Ramona. Take in the history and listen to the stories of fellow road travelers and most of all “get your kicks on Route 66.”