Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Foyil, Oklahoma: Andrew Payne Statue

In 1928, C.C. Pyle - better known as Red Grange's agent - decided to put on a long, long race. How long? Los Angeles to New York, which added up to 3,400 miles when a non-direct route was used.

The runners followed Route 66 to Chicago, and then turned toward New York - which is why there are extra miles. The race didn't work out particularly well - conditions were difficult, financial problems stuck with Pyle. But someone had to win it, and Andy Payne was that man. It took 84 days to run the distance. It at least was worth it for the winner, who took home $25,000. Payne paid off the mortgage with the money.

Payne was from Foyil, Oklahoma, and he was mobbed when he came through his hometown during the race. Route 66 goes right through Foyil.

The town pays tribute to Payne with this statue, located in a park located along Route 66. Be careful of the mud when you walk up to the statue.

It's a happy ending for Payne, who was the Clerk of the Oklahoma Supreme Court for six terms.

Here's the story on film:

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