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Preview video featuring Harley Russell of the Sandhills Curiosity Shop located along Route 66 in Erick, Oklahoma - Affectionately known as The Redneck Capital of the World! Click the podcast player below to hear our complete interview.


PictureHarley Russell outside the Sandhills Curiosity Shop
There I was out on Route 66 having just ended my interview at the Roger Miller Museum in Erick, Oklahoma. I scanned the main strip to see what else this tiny town had to offer and it turned out to be more than I had ever imagined.

A couple of blocks down the street I saw a sign. Then another and another and, well you get the idea. There were lots of signs plastered all over an old brick building. I thought to myself - self, you better investigate all those funky signs. So, I rolled through the lone stoplight in town and threw on the parking brake, got out and started snooping around while snapping photos. I soon learned that I had unwittingly stumbled upon the Sandhills Curiosity Shop, Home of Harley & Annabelle, the Mediocre Music Makers located in The Redneck Capital of the World - It's Insanity at its finest!

If you reread that last sentence and let it sink in, it will begin to make perfect sense as you listen to this episode of the Passport Podcast. In this show, I cross paths with Harley Russell, one of the true to life characters living a rich life along the remnants of America's Main Street.

Enjoy, as you hear Harley share his story of how life's path led him back to his hometown after journeying as a honky-tonk musician.  Harley tells of how fate brought him the love of his life, Annabelle. Together they tried to make a go of it in a town time seemed to forget. When their antiques weren't selling, they sold musical instruments and for a time even sought to sell health foods to weary travelers, but without much luck.

Until one day, as they practiced playing guitar, a tour group from the United Kingdom happened by and joined them to create a rollicking party. Those UK tourists had such a fun time; they left a pile of cash tips on the table, and that's when Harley's idea light bulb lit up!

It's a dang gum good story about how Harley brings gobs of fun energy, a generous spirit and warm hospitality to this small stretch of the Mother Road. Welcoming everyone into his inner sanctuary, Harley enthusiastically lets visitors take as many photos as they want, he throws in a few surprises and then performs his music to everyone's delight.

The Sandhills Curiosity Shop is a roadside attraction like none other I have ever seen. Apparently, many Americans miss out on Harley's antics, but International travelers have heard all about him after having been featured across European media as a must-see Route 66 attraction.

I always hope and even expect to meet interesting people on any given road trip and Harley is now one of my favorites.  I think you'll agree and understand why that's the case after you give a listen to Episode 12: Insanity at its Finest. Enjoy!

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Comments

Delvin Harbour
08/09/2016 7:23pm

Awesome podcast Keith! Have stopped by the Sandhills Curiosity Shop several times. Harley is one of a kind. Yeeeee Haaawwww!!

Reply
Keith Breitbach
08/09/2016 9:12pm

Hi Delvin, Thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed the podcast and I agree with you - Harley is one of a kind!

Reply
09/05/2016 5:10pm

Awesome shop! I love those vintage finds. I would love to drop by when I visit there. Do you hold events regularly there? I think a random party sounds fun. We enjoyed reading your post. Thank you very much for sharing.

Reply
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Ed Purcell
08/09/2016 11:42pm

Great podcast... Harley is a wonderful and humble guy... he and the lovely Annabelle were very kind to us, and were the highlight of our Route 66 trip in 2012...

Reply
Keith Breitbach
08/10/2016 11:55am

Thanks for your message, Ed! Glad you enjoyed the podcast and had the good fortune to experience the Harley & Annabelle's Sandhills Curiosity Shop.

Reply
Chris F.
08/18/2016 6:35pm

Harley has a big heart and a raucous sense of humor. Definitely worth the drive over from ANYWHERE!

Reply
09/05/2016 1:27am

Interesting! That's a lot of cool knick-knacks! I wish I'd be able to visit that place! You had a lot of fun and experience while traversing the famous Route 66. Here's to more places to visit and more things to experience!

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12/19/2016 5:08am

Someone says garbage but I think it is pretty cool when every thing reminds you of something!

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