Couple travels historic route


April 16, 2013

A retired Michigan man traveling Route 66 stopped to enjoy a spaghetti dinner supporting the Tucumcari Rattlers class of 2016.

QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia

Mel and Charlotte Townsend of Sterling Heights, Mich., decided to attend a spaghetti dinner benefiting the Tucumcari High School Class of 2016 when they saw a sign advertising the event while driving on Route 66 in Tucumcari.

Meeting and mingling with the locals as we travel Historic Route 66 makes the trip all that much better, said Mel Townsend, of Sterling Heights, Mich.

Townsend, a retired journalist, said he is traveling Route 66 with his wife Charlotte and was in Tucumcari Friday night following a detour to Clovis.

"You can't come all this way and not visit the Norman Petty Studio," Townsend said. "Buddy Holly recorded there and I've even bought some of his CDs to enjoy on the rest of the trip."

The THS Class of 2016 was holding a fundraiser with parents and students serving the public a spaghetti meal.

Townsend said they got turned around and had traveled north on First Street where they noticed a marquee sign advertising the meal.

"My wife and I used to be a part of those activities all the time with our children and grandchildren," Townsend said.

Townsend said it gave him a chance to have a meal, meet the locals but most importantly support a town along the way. He said he likes to visit the hometown restaurants and stores.

"Everybody is hurting," Townsend said. "The small towns which add so much to the allure of Route 66 will all be gone if we don't support them."

It was a surprise when he came in for the meal, with the purpose of wanting to support our children, said Veronica Marez.

Marez said they began setting up for the meal at 1 p.m., which meant the students were loosing an afternoon though it was for a good cause.

"It's nice to see there are people out there who want to help, even more so when they stop and make the time to help a complete group of strangers," Marez said.


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