Tulsa School Teacher Honors Route 66 Icon With Art Car

Wednesday, June 23rd 2010, 5:06 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Why would someone take an almost new car and use spray paint and a brush to decorate it?

That's exactly what News On 6 Reporter Rick Wells asked a Tulsa school teacher and Route 66 roadie who has dubbed her art car, "Bobby McGee."

"I started with something simple that I thought I could execute, because I never worked with spray paint before," Emily Priddy said.

Priddy said once you get over the fairytale of trade-in value on your car, it becomes easy to do what you want.

"The flower is in a Volkswagen Beetle vase but the new Beetles have the hardware built into the dashboard," she said.

So she had to rig it up. She's got colorful curtains in the windows, dashboard cartoons, lots of peace signs and rainbows.

She's hand lettered a Grateful Dead lyric and a quote from the book "Illusions" on each side, but a recognizable piece for Route 66 regulars is her painting of Bob Waldmire in his Microbus.

"He grew up on Route 66," Priddy said. "His love affair started as a kid."

Bob Waldmire cruised the road in his VW Bus creating posters and postcards. He was as much an icon as the places he drew and many of his postcards are available at Route 66 stops. When he died last year, Emily decided to put him on her car so he could cruise the road with her.

"They stay on until the rain washes them off or the car needs washed or whatever," she said.

She's pained the hatchback with chalkboard paint attached a box of chalk and encourages leaving messages.

Emily is just getting started and has plenty of more things to add. By the way, she calls her car "Bobby McGee", because of Janis Joplin's psychedelic, hand painted Porsche from the 60's.

To check out Bob Waldmire's art, click here.