The Breakfast Club
An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Association


The Knife & Fork

Breakfast Club Visits Seligman, Lilo's West Side


8 May 04
by Warren McIlvoy

Among it's many attributes, the Breakfast Club has been somewhat flexible in it's "set" schedule. The May event was originally slated for Tucson, Ryan but I had a conflict in that I had to be in Laughlin beginning on Friday afternoon. That would make Tucson a bit awkward. I inquired of the event committee about an alternate for Tucson and with their overwhelming support, I changed the scheduled May event from Tucson, to Seligman. It is about 90 miles and fifty minutes from Bullhead City so an 0800 departure would give us plenty of time for the flight.

At about 0700 we summoned the hotel shuttle from the Flamingo Hotel and arrived at the "private" (GA) side of the airport. For those not familiar with the Bullhead City airport, the GA side was once the "hub" of activity for the airport. But some years back, Mojave County, in conjunction with the Laughlin folks, constructed a much longer and wider runway that would accommodate charter jets. Along with the new runway, a new terminal building with added facilities that will eventually replace the now decaying private aviation facilities that are down the hill from the new runway. The folks at
Sun Western Flyers (the new FBO) said that the move up the hill is imminent but that they have been hearing this for almost a year. The county is planning to convert the lower airport facilities into all commercial development. There is currently a Home Depot occupying the south portion of the old runway.

Following the long uphill taxi, we did an intersection take-off on runway 34 with a right turn-out to the east for Union Pass near the north end of the Black Mountains. Union Pass is where the highway from Kingman cuts through the mountains. We cleared the ridge line with room to spare as we leveled off at our cruise altitude of 7500'. As Kingman is only about 40 miles from Bullhead City, I could clearly see the valley ahead of us where Kingman is located. Our direct course to Seligman takes us over Kingman and just a tad south of the airport. Since the Kingman airport and the airport at Seligman are only a few hundred feet apart in elevation, I got the altimeter setting from Kingman to use at our destination. By this time, I could hear other Breakfast Club folks on the airwaves arriving from the south and I passed this information along to them.   A 5-8 knot tailwind was going to shorten the 50 minute flight a tad and we were going to arrive will in front of the usual 0900 arrival format.

With 22
Breakfast Club aircraft zeroing-in on the Seligman Airport, the traffic pattern was busier than a swarm of angry bees attacking a bear in search of honey.  I was in the first wave of two or three aircraft to arrive so I got one of the choice parking slots near the airport gate. With this many aircraft, triple parking was the name of the game. Before the last of the arrivals was in the pattern, the first wave of Breakfast Club folks started the 4 block trek to Lilo's West Side Café. The short hike was really a non-event as it presented an opportunity to chat with a number of folks in attendance.

Seligman and Lilo's in particular, is quickly becoming a favorite destination for the
"$100 Dollar Hamburger" crowd. Seligman is not that far away and the food is good which are all the ingredients that are required to garner the distinctive title of a $100 Dollar Hamburger destination. The 35 Breakfast Club folks took-up about half of the available restaurant seating with us being broken-up into groups of 4-8 to a table that presented an opportunity to share some conversation with some of the Breakfast Club folks. Talking and eating (not necessarily in that order) with other flying friends; it does not get any better than that.

I ran across a web sit called "The Road Wanderer" ( that details some history of the many towns that dotted the famous Route 66. Below are some excerpts form one of his articles.

Seligman, Arizona is a Route 66 town all the way. This delightful town retains all the flavor of the old road. A trip down Route 66 in Seligman is a trip back in time to the days when Route 66 was the Main Street of America. Founded in 1895 after the completion of the "Peavine" Railroad (see Ash Fork) the railroad camp known as Prescott Junction officially became Seligman and was an important railroad stop along the line. Seligman embraced Route 66 wholeheartedly upon its arrival in the late 1920's. The railroad and tourist traffic from Route 66 became Seligman's main source of economic security. In the late 1970's Seligman was bypassed by the Interstate and the Santa Fe Railroad ceased its operations in the town in 1985. Many old towns with similar histories would have faded away once they were bypassed, but not Seligman

As I drove down Route 66, evidence of the glory days of the old road could be seen all along the main street. Motels such as the Aztec across the street from the famous Snow Cap, with its quirky tongue and cheek menu, cafes such as the Copper Cart and 66 Road Kill, and numerous Route 66 gift shops were all survivors of the Mother Road. To me, Seligman seemed to preserve the best of the fun days of Route 66. I had to get out of my car and explore Seligman on foot. There is so much to see in Seligman. I must have looked like a regular tourist as I went up and down the street taking pictures for this web site.

In 1953, working on a shoestring budget, Juan Delgadillo built the Snow Cap Drive-In from scrap lumber. Fifty years later his small Route 66 business is known worldwide. Yes it has great food, but perhaps the real reason the Snow Cap has become a Route 66 Icon is Juan himself. He has become the Route 66 Clown and loves to make people laugh. People come here to see Juan Delgadillo and to laugh with him as he amuses the Snow Cap customer with his off-the-wall antics. For Juan the customer is all-important and he promotes Route 66 one person at a time. Life is to be enjoyed and Juan enjoys it to the fullest. Let him pass some of this enjoyment on to you.

As I walked up the street I stopped at the Route 66 Gift Shop. I was hoping to find some more refrigerator magnets, post cards and trinkets of the Mother Road for my collection. As I was browsing among the cool memorabilia, a rear door to the shop opened and an older gentleman entered. Though I had never met him before, he looked strangely familiar. We made our introductions and it was then that I realized who he was. Angel Delgadillo! I was in the presence of a Route 66 legend. I mentioned reading his interview in Michael Wallis's book. Angel then indicated a row of books on the counter, "I think I'm mentioned somewhere in every one of those books," he said smiling. "I must have given over 200 interviews in my day." I flipped open one of the Route 66 books and saw Angel's picture over the caption, Mayor of Route 66. "Well, that's what they call me in that book," he laughed. As we talked about Route 66 I could see the genuine love of the old road reflected in his eyes. (The first time I met Angel Delgadillo ~ March 2001)

When Interstate 40 bypassed the small Route 66 town of Seligman life changed for the Delgadillos forever. Seligman was in danger of becoming just another Route 66 ghost town. Angel Delgadillo, the town's barber, saw his town fading fast. Seligman was becoming a relic of another era and it made Angel angry.

How could life on the highway just bypass them like that? The hopes and dreams of hard working Route 66 people not just in Seligman, but all up and down the Mother Road was in jeopardy. Angel had to do something. It never ceases to amaze me how one person can make all the difference in the world. Angel was that one person and he made a big difference.

I don't think even Angel realized the impact he would have on Route 66 when he helped start the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. He brought attention to the plight of Route 66 and was instrumental in starting the Arizona Fun Run. His Route 66 Gift Shop is a Mecca to Route 66 enthusiasts from all over the world today. The spirit of the Mother Road can be found in Angel's eyes as he tells the history of Route 66 to eager travelers. Thanks to the efforts of Angel and others like him the Mother Road will not be forgotten but live again for generations to come. Honored as one of Arizona's Culture keepers, I think Angel's philosophy of life can be summed up by something he once said:

"Arizona, the state where I was born, has been my home all my life. Seventy-six years. And like any other state in America, it is the land of the free; where opportunities are not limited, where we the people, if we choose, can make the difference."

The old pool hall is located on the original alignment of Route 66 through Seligman, before it was moved a block north to its present location. Across the street from the railroad tracks and just down the block from the old Seligman Railroad Depot and Harvey House, this was an ideal location for this gaming establishment. Angel Delgadillo's father owned and operated the Seligman Pool Hall during the early years of Route 66. If these walls could talk, what wondrous stories they could tell of those wild old days. Seligman was alive with the hustle and bustle of travelers from both the Railroad and Route 66.


A few of the Breakfast Club folks were going to wander around town a bit before heading back to the airport. I elected to go directly back to the airport with a small group. The short hike would assist in working-off some of the dietary indiscretions of the morning's meal. In reflecting back on the Road Wanderer's story, I can not help but wonder about the allure of this small piece of Arizona geography. Is it because I was here as a child of 9 years while returning from a California vacation in the early 50's? Or is it because when this historic place was in it's heyday in the 50's and 60's, I was a teenager and young adult and Route 66 really was the "Mother Road" and the "Main Street of America"?  I am not really sure what it is about this place but with all good intentions, I will be back.

The Seligman Gang

  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 4544X, BC-1& 1.5
  • Joe Stockwell and Ed McMahan in 843CD, BC-33 & 22
  • Garrett Dauphars in Cherokee 1841H
  • Lance Thomas in C-182 3180R
  • Mert Bean and Stuart Simon in Mooney 5882Q
  • Brian Briggerman in Mooney 7037V
  • Larry Jensen in RV 146J
  • Glen Saffell in Mooney 7077V
  • Whitney White in Mooney 3483X
  • Jim Belding in Cherokee 8958C
  • Wayne & Belinda Evans in Cherokee 4205T
  • Cliff Hudsun and Jean Soltee in Bonanza 7236A
  • Bert & Dee Davis in Warrior 44806
  • Roger Whitter in 706CD, BC-122
  • Paul Wright in Tiger 25ER
  • Don Downin in 6874W, BC-10
  • Gary Selvy in Grummen 9852U
  • Keith Althoff and Barbara Lemen in Bonanza 375RB
  • Richard Azimov, Jordan Ross, Paul Fortune, and Richard Spiegel in 6864Q, BC-2,3, and 201
  • Jerry & Nancy Grout and Les & Pam black in Bonanza 2862W
  • Jon & Judy Miller in 7173A

I wish to extend a big
Breakfast Club welcome to the many new faces that were with us on this event. Thanks for coming and I hope to see you all on the next event.

What's Next?

The June
Breakfast Club event will see us going to an old, familiar, but never a primary destination, Payson. In consideration of the hot afternoon temperatures that make summer flying in Arizona a tad unpleasant, the event committee felt that a close-in destination would mitigate the rough air ride back home. July will follow that idea by going to Marana Northwest Regional and Sky Rider Café. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.

Click on the Seligman link to view photos of this fly-in event.