A wonderful gift!

PHOTO: Paul and Sandi Taylor of Route 66 Magazine

Route 66 Magazine is
labor of love, thing of beauty

By Chuck Woodbury
editor, Out West

Excerpted from editor Chuck Woodbury's Roadside Journal of Issue 46, Spring, 1999

Paul and Sandi Taylor started Route 66 Magazine about six years ago while living in the Nevada boomtown of Laughlin along the Colorado River. Nearly three years ago, they packed their bags and moved to Williams, a 7,000-foot hamlet in the Ponderosa Pines along old Route 66 west of Flagstaff.

They operate now out of a downtown store on old Route 66. Their magazine office occupies the back third. The store offers the classiest collection of Route 66 merchandise I've seen along the Mother Road. Next April, they'll move next door into a 7,500-square-foot space that will include not only the magazine's office and store, but a diner and theater (update from Oct. 2000: They're not there yet)

Route 66 Magazine is a work of art. It's printed on fancy, coated stock, with lots of color photos and entertaining stories. Talent-packed Mother Road Author Bob Moore is now the editor, but Paul is the brains behind the format and the exquisite design of each issue. Sandi takes care of the business and circulation side of the magazine and heads up the store operation -- a big job. She and Paul put in long hours. They both love what they do.

Anyone who ever traveled the Mother Road or who plans to travel it, or who loves the romance of Route 66 or any road, will love the magazine. I won't even try to explain it, but will pass on the address so you can take a look for yourself. About 35,000 copies are on newsstands, so you might check around.

The Route 66 retail store is fabulous. Paul and Sandi sell everything Route 66 -- books, audio tapes, refrigerator magnets, lamps, hats, tee-shirts, neckties, jackets, rugs, stenciled golf balls, playing cards, pens, key chains, clocks, shampoo, road signs -- you name it. And there is related material -- reproduction radios, Burma Shave products and original road signs, and evenDesert Water Bags. They do not sell any tacky stuff -- no fuzzy jackalopes from Taiwan, for example.

Paul said that about three-quarters of their customers are Europeans, who are nuts about Route 66. Paul and Sandi were profiled recently on Japanese TV, and soon afterward the Japanese started parading in.

Paul and I go back about eight years. We ran into each other once at Quartzsite, Ariz., chatted for perhaps two minutes, and that was it. But we have become great phone friends ever since and call each other often for advice, to share information or to catch up on each other's lives. I treasure his friendship.

Bob Moore moved to Williams a year ago to become the editor of the magazine. Bob is a long-time Out West subscriber, and the editor and publisher of the late Mother Road Journal, a tabloid inspired by Out West that he published for several years in the early '90s. He has since written "Route 66: A Guidebook to the Mother Road," a wonderful mile-by-mile guide to the old highway.

So in Williams I felt right at home. It was not easy to leave.

Here's how to get a subscription to Route 66 Magazine or the store's catalog. The catalog is free and the quarterly magazine $14 a year from Route 66 Magazine, 326 West Route 66, Williams, AZ 86046. The phone is (520) 635-4322. The e-mail address is info@route66magazine.com.

©2007 by Out West Newspaper