Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 113: Good Food on the 'Mother Road'

April 24th, 2015

A 75-year-old Nelva Menzel, longtime waitress at the Dixie Trucker’s Home, is seen here in late 1981. By this time she had already put in 32-plus years at the Route 66 landmark in the Village of McLean, located some 15 miles south of Bloomington. In October 1980 she met Ronald Reagan, whose campaign bus stopped at the Dixie. Another time she waited on bandleader Guy Lombardo and his entire orchestra, and she frequently served shackled prisoners being transferred by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Nelva passed away on March 24, 1989, at the age of 82. The new “Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66” Visitors Center, located on the ground level of the McLean County Museum of History, opens this Saturday, April 25, at 10:00 a.m. As your ticket to the Mother Road, the new center will offer information on Route 66 sites, restaurants, parks, and attractions. We hope to see you there!

Bill Kemp


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