‘Route 66 Mural’ dedicated

By Tova Fruchtman: Quay County Sun

Jim Oliver came to see his John Deer cutter on the side of the Lowe’s building. Bill Rouse came to see his horses.

Muralists Doug and Sharon Quarles used photos from around Tucumcari to paint the images in the Route 66 Mural. About one year after Doug began painting the grocery store wall on the historic highway, a dedication ceremony
Thursday invited the community to honor the work.

There was a sense of pride in the air, as residents admired the mural, a work that encompassed aspects of their own lives.

Oliver knows it’s his cutter in the mural, because one wheel is black, and one is white, not the regular yellow.

“He’s got the wheels exactly as they were,” he said.
But Oliver said he didn’t just come to see his cutter.

“I think it’s quite a neat deal,” he said. “It’s beautiful, they did a great job.”

He, like many other Tucumcari residents who attended said, the mural should be a tourist attraction.

Perhaps, even more people will come to see the mural since the dedication. Notice of the event made the news in Amarillo and Albuquerque.

During Thursday’s dedication ceremony, about 70 people of all ages gathered on the side of Lowe’s to watch.
Mayor Mary Mayfield and Chamber of Commerce Board President Will Cantrell both spoke about the importance of the mural to the community.

They praised the mural, not only for capturing Tucumcari history, but for attracting tourists to the city.

Shana Harmon performed to songs from her compact disc, including one called the “Heart of 66.”

Doug and Sharon Quarles thanked everyone for attending and supporting them. Sharon pointed out, that when Doug paints murals he often puts unique items in them, like snakes or bugs, that a person may not notice at first.

“We encourage everyone to get up and take a very close look, because there is a uniqueness,” she said.
A ribbon cutting, the release of birds and cake for all completed the event.