In looking at our Route 66 tourist trade opportunities, I’m wondering about a couple of ways to improve our visitor-welcome.

On a hot, sunny afternoon, if you pose for a picture with your arm around Abe Lincoln at the McLean County museum, you will get the hot seat! There’s no shade, and it’s a metal bench. There are two small, potted decorative trees, but they’re at the side. Perhaps a larger tree placed to provide afternoon shade would make our tourists' photo ops a bit happier.

And there’s this: a few months ago I had out-of-town adult visitors on a Sunday afternoon. They wanted to visit our museum, art center and David Davis home. Well, we saw a lot of Bloomington — but the only thing we saw of those three centers was the outside of the buildings. Closed on Sundays!

We could have gone to the zoo or the children’s museum, but no one was interested--no kids in our group. I didn’t think of the Prairie Aviation Museum--it’s open Sundays. And now we have Ryburn Place in Normal.

I suspect there could also be a lot of Route 66 tourists who would like to visit these centers on a Sunday. Although the Davis mansion must follow state policy, McLean County’s museum launched an “open-Sunday” trial balloon this summer, with some success. I hope they continue.

Increasing comfort and convenience should help our growing “Cruisin’ with Lincoln” tourist trade grow even faster. We have a lot to offer.

Barbara Findley Stuart, Normal 

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