One Pacific businesswoman envisions a row of vintage vehicles painted on a wall to commemorate the opening of Route 66 in Pacific, but she says it will take the entire community to make it happen.
Nancy Omer, who operates Omer & Associates accounting service, attended the July 9 Pacific Tourism Commission meeting to discuss the project.
Omer said the project, if the community comes together, will include a mural on the retaining wall on the north side of Route 66 (Osage Street) between First and Second streets.
“That is on Route 66 and it’s a perfect spot for a mural,” she said.
The idea is in the beginning stages and would conclude with the painting of the wall after MoDOT completes its paving and sidewalk work along Route 66 in Pacific in 2020.
Omer said she had discussed the idea of a Route 66 mural with the three owners of properties above the retaining wall, the Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce president and the mayor, and everyone is on board with the idea.
“The way I see it, this is an art project, a history project and a community project,” she said. “The finished mural would be a row of cars, trucks and motorcycles from the 1930s and 1940s, when Route 66 was moving toward the west because that’s what Route 66 did.”
The public would be invited to submit photos of the vehicles they would like to see in the row of vehicles. A committee would select the vehicles and determine the kind of muralists to do the painting.
Omer spearheaded a program in April 2012 for citizens to line Osage with American flags to salute the return of fallen soldier Jeffrey White.
“It was a wonderful turnout to see everyone out there and those flags all in a row,” she said. “It was a huge community effort and that’s what the mural project will have to be.”
Following the White reception, the Pacific Lions Club started a program to display the U.S. flags from the street-light standards on Osage on patriotic holidays. The program later was adopted by the city.
Omer requested that the tourism commission include the painting of the mural in a future budget. The cost would include the design, painting and lighting from above to illuminate the image.
“It’s a long-term project,” she said. “But I hope people will start thinking about it.”