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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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