Bob Waldmire (April 19, 1945–December 16, 2009) was an American artist who is well known for his artwork of U.S. Route 66. Being the son of Ed Waldmire Jr., he is often associated with the Cozy Dog Drive In restaurant in Springfield, Illinois (on U.S. Route 66), where the elder Waldmire (along with his friend Don Strand) created the corn dog.

One of Waldmire’s modified vehicles, an orange 1972 Volkswagen Microbus, was the inspiration for the character “Fillmore” from the animated motion picture Cars.

Waldmire was a well-known snowbird, spending his winter months in Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains in a self-sufficient home of his own design. During the summer, he traveled the country, but based himself in his native Central Illinois, living in a converted Chevrolet school bus near Springfield.

In 2004, Bob Waldmire was given the John Steinbeck Award because of his contributions to the preservation of Route 66.

On December 16, 2009, Waldmire died from cancer.

10 comments on “About
  1. ilene hertzfeld jones says:

    I’m so saddened to hear of bob’s passing today! there i was about to send a friend his way, when i read the news. Thanks to you & your new website people can admire his artwork and the extraordinary man he was, for some time to come.
    I was an old girlfriend of sorts who met him in1974 in gainesville fla.I made him a patchwork pillow he adored. He visited me in philly in 76 or 77 and sent me pixes & news thru the yrs. I drove in his VW van several times, & remmeber how SLOW he drove (lol).
    unfortunately about 14 yrs ago i was supposed to visit him while i was in arizona.
    i got held up in phoenix and coudlnt make it and he was so extremely dissapointed he said he never wanted to see me again. I know he was just upset…I planned and hooped to surprise him someday out there-wouldve sooner but I lived in ky at the time. I tried to email him via other websites but never was able to get thru,
    just wondering if he left any notes for me or posters etc. before he passed or perhaps the pillow.i hope his family and everyone is doing ok with the loss.
    GOOD LUCK and best wishes with your website.
    love &peace, ilene hertzfeld jones -he knew me as ilene hertzfeld.

  2. Leon Troyer says:

    85th Anniversary Route 66Tribute Album CD release 11-11-11, available for review and purchase at http://www.leonthecommonman.com/ “THE COMMON MANS HIGHWAY”…Booking for upcoming Anniv. Year, shows and events

  3. RON JONES---Route 66 Tattoo Man says:

    Bob was a dear friend of mine. There will never be another one like him. The Route 66 community lost a good one when he passed on Dec. 16, 2009. I will never forget the feeling that I felt when I heard the news. Take care Bob and Travel Well.

  4. Will Brassfield says:

    I had the chance to meet Bob once several years ago. I live in Miami, Oklahoma, and early one morning, in the middle of the summer I saw his van parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot on the far end near the street. I thought knocking on the window, but because of the early hour (the sun was just about to rise) and all of the curtains were shut , I thought he might be still be asleep and how rude it might be if I woke him.

  5. sebastian espina says:

    hi, my name is Sebastian im from Argentina and last year during our vacactions we visit the US and the restaurant together with my girfriend .
    we have been honored to met Bob’s brother at the Cozy dog restaurant and we were told about this wonderfull life story.
    i just want to give thanks for the nice moments we spent with you.

    regards from Argentina!

  6. Gary Freitag says:

    My Mother who passed back late last August ran the Quick Print Printing Company on North Street in Springfield. Bob always came in and did business with them (and always had time to sit and chat for an hour or two). My Mother amassed much of his Artwork as it was printed there in shop. Bob even did an original piece of Moms shop and wrote a historical at the bottom. Now that Mom has passed, I have graciously inherited Bobs Legacy he left with my Mother. I remember the stories she would pass on to me and always with a smile! Bob enjoyed life, people and what was then (and still is in the hearts of many Americans today) Americana down Route 66. God Bless Bob!

  7. AJ Legault says:

    I met Bob while working at the Kingman Chamber of Commerce in the late 90’s. Bob brought in postcards and artwork for retail sale. Through work and social gatherings, I got to know Bob quite well.
    Bob was a fascination to me. He wove a terrific story, starting with his dad inventing the corndog while in the Air Force. On my many visits to his Hackberry store, I never seen Bob dressed in more that a saggy pair of shorts. He was always ready to visit, and was loved by all the visitors he encountered.
    He could communicate with everyone, and was his own entity. I was horrified when he told me he was going to sell the store, and move to the mountains to ‘find a woman’. I did not want us to lose this treasure of Route 66.
    I have often wondered how Bob has been, and what his move to southern arizona had brought. I was saddened today to learn of his passing nearly 5 years ago.
    Bob was a ‘spirit’ in every sense of the word. I wish more people (myself included) would learn from the messages and lessons he freely offered. He was a peaceful man, an artistic man, and a man that Mother Earth loved dearly as he cared for her so much.
    Thank You Bob….

  8. Cheryl Agoston says:

    I was thinking about Bob today, wondering if Bob the Environmentalist would appreciate the irony: leaving such a small footprint on the earth, but such a yawning gap in people’s hearts.

    My children and I met Bob in our travels, when we dropped into his Hackberry General Store. We kept in touch between Toronto and Arizona, and the chance encounter grew into a genuine friendship.

    Bob had such an open, generous spirit, freely sharing his knowledge, values, talents, opinions, curiosity. He spent time with you, looked you in the eye, told you stories, made peanut brittle and sent it to you in the mail, taught you how to cook a potato in a solar oven and carry a snake on the end of a stick.

    He was not immune to the troubles of life but he taught by example how to find what’s important, and how to live life on one’s own terms. I miss him.

7 Pings/Trackbacks for "About"
  1. […] In case you’re new to the site, here’s more about Bob Waldmire. […]

  2. […] A Bob Waldmire art exhibit will be held in conjunction with a Volkswagen Crossroads Car Show. For new readers, […]

  3. […] is that I was glad to locate another Disney Cars character: Filmore! It was based on the life of Bob Waldmire, a Route 66 travelling artist and cartographer, on whom the character was based. Bob died in 2009 […]

  4. […] artwork of Bob Waldmire, the famed and beloved Route 66 artist who died of cancer in 2009, is featured in a current show […]

  5. […] to 4 p.m. the second Saturday of each month. There, you can buy limited-edition Mill T-shirts and Bob Waldmire […]

  6. […] The inaugural Route 66 Kiwanis Art Fair in Romeoville, Illinois, on Aug. 22 will include a tribute to late Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire. […]

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