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Howdy and who's ready for a change of pace from gripping times and then slip back to something more halcyon? Thus here goes another time travel piece, but this time we'll be going back to a little over fifty years worth. What prompts this latest special diary comes from the inspiration of some of our engaging Daily Kos community's comments over the past two or so months. Most of what I write or yammer on about covers the beat of the Colorado Plateau, whose turf is penetrated by Route 66, the aptly named Mother Road of America. I don't know if any of you out there are interested to know this, but one of my favorite eras given my lifetime tends to run the gambit from the mid-1940s and well in the 1960s. That being said, if there is any narrative, as stories told by others, I am eager to listen to, it's anyone who has ever lived or visited the American Southwest during this funky and casual period of modernity. Of course, so many of us, as baby boomers, remember traveling Route 66; at least passing through some of North America's desert terrain here and there punctuated by impressive chasms and rising laccolith landforms (mountain-like, though nonetheless volcanic in origin. (But not me, because I didn't come out West to live in this part of the country until late 1969. . .bummer!)

Anyway, for today I thought a diary on this celebrated road might interest some of you and that's what we're going to experience (vicariously) given this historical narrative: a trip through time on a very memorable road. Feel free to dress accordingly for this tour. I mean, colorful apparel, cat-eye sunglasses, straw hats, Bermuda shorts and penny loafers and maybe a dab of Brylcreem for the lads and a dab of Evening in Paris behind the ears for the lasses. I think you'll fit right in.

Prologue: A stretch of Route 66 cuts through the I-40 corridor where some of the Southwest’s most scenic country spreads out on either side. It’s a celebrated road in America boasting a necklace of famous towns and places along the way, starting from Chicago. Commonly called the Mother Road, Route 66 totals 2,451 miles (3,945 km), ending in Santa Monica, California (at U. S. Route 101). The dates of its heyday ran from 1926 to 1964. Also known as the Will Rogers Highway, and named after the famous humorist, Route 66 was literally the Main Street of America. Road signs posted in 1927 listed the following state addresses – Chicago, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The route even had its own song, written by Bobby Troup and originally recorded by the Nat King Cole Trio in 1946. The song was even featured on the equally famous “Route 66” television show in the 1960s. It’s one of those lyrical and jazzy songs that, once it gets into your head, keeps playing.

Over the decades Route 66 was subject to many improvements. These improvements not only included resurfacing portions of the roadbed, but also changing the routing and overall length. The improvements were intended to detour travelers around major congestion areas. For example, moving the western endpoint farther west from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

The other famous historical note about this highway was how ’66’ served as a major route for migrants headed east from, especially, Oklahoma during the dust bowl saga of the 1930s. The famed movie Grapes Of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, features this road and the restive people who plied it, all looking for work and headed to the proverbial and of milk and honey, California.

(Continues after the fold.)

The Mother Road: Possibly America’s most famous road, and despite its historical significance, Route 66 boosted the economy to business owners. It was certainly iconic in many ways. Not too long after the 1970s the country’s highway system literally headed off in a new direction. People preferred super highways, abandoning the two-way road network wherever these higher-speed thruways laid down their pavement. In time, the common designate ’66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985. The decision was based on an existing Interstate Highway System (I-40). Sectors of Route 66 were bypassed through some of the states (Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona), while at the same time these portions were designated under a National Scenic Byway and given the appropriate new name, Historic Route 66. Many people simply called it the Mother Road of America. In California, some of the route’s sectors were designated State Route 66, while other sectors bear the more common Historic Route 66 designate.

Quick. . .can you name the characters, the TV series, and hum the theme song all-in-one? Oh, and one more piece of trivia: Who was the most famous artist who sang the song?

Historical Background: Long before there was a Route 66, or even a transcontinental interstate highway system, roads in the Western territory basically followed towns and places where railroads laid their tracks. These routs trace their origins to trailblazers, like Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822 - 1893). The young and aspiring lieutenant had many years of experience in the West, first with the U. S. Navy in California, then with the famed scout, Kit Carson, along with John C. Frémont. At the time of his latest assignment by the War Department, Beale was a Naval officer in the service of the U. S. Army Topographical Corps. In 1857, he was ordered to build a government-funded wagon road across the 35th Parallel. This course would eventually become the third transcontinental crossing for the railroad, in this case, the route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, now the Santa Fe line. That sector of tracks was laid between 1882 and 1883.

Before embarking on this assignment, he first had to survey the route. Beale followed a portion of the earlier pathway of Francis Xavier Aubry (1824 - 1854). He was also widely known as the legendary Skimmer of the Plains for making the fastest trip from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Among his many daring adventures Aubry once covered portions of the Old Spanish Trail that led to California. In 1853, he had driven some thirty-five hundred sheep from Santa Fe to San Francisco by way of Fort Yuma and Los Angeles. On the return home, he planned to find a route for the second transcontinental railroad crossing that was superior to the already planned route by way of the Gila, in southern Arizona. He did so, he thought, with part of the way across present-day Peach Springs, Arizona, then to Flagstaff and points east. Parts of this trail were also used by the Spaniards centuries earlier which established a basis for the Old Spanish Trail’s heading into California. Alas, Aubry, upon presenting his evidence to Richard Weightman, the then editor of an Albuquerque newspaper who supported the Gila route. He was also New Mexico’s delegate to Congress who vehemently disagreed with Aubry’s conclusions. When the two later met, upon chance, in an Albuquerque saloon, and some say it was in Santa Fe, an argument broke out and ended in a duel. Weightman stabbed Aubry with a Bowie knife. He escaped penalty by pleading self-defense and was acquitted. In time, the 32nd Parallel was approved for the second crossing. Still, Aubry ended up having a well defined escarpment, the Aubry Cliffs, named after him, lining part of the way between Seligman and Peach Springs, Arizona.

Meanwhile, Beale, who was aware of the Old Spanish Trail route, and possibly influenced to some degree by Aubry’s earlier reports, began his surveys. The young and innovative lieutenant decided using camels were a better replacement for mules. He insisted these exotic desert pack animals could easily do the job. First, he would plot a route from Fort Smith, Arkansas through the Oklahoma Indian Territory, then to Fort Defiance (near present-day New Mexico and the Arizona border), and connect to Fort Mohave on the Colorado River, thence into California. From Fort Defiance to the Colorado River it was an exacting 1,000 mile journey, for which he employed twenty-five dromedary and bactrian camels (and by some historical accounts the number goes as high as twenty-nine). However, he used standard mules to pull the heavy wagons. Because the camels did not understand any commands in English, Beale hired Hi-Jolly (real name, "Hadji Ali") as the camel driver, who knew the only language camels understand: Arabic.


Note: Lieutenant Beale obviously did his homework by selecting camels over mules and horses; at least for the role the camels played in this important undertaking. For instance, a horse needs 8 to 12 gallons (30 to 45 liters) of water at least two to three times a day while trekking in the desert. A camel, however, can go ten to twelve days without water! Horses, like mules, also require special food whereas camels can digest almost any desert vegetation. Neither do horses or mules perform well in extreme heat or cold. Another factor is that a horse can tote 170 to 250 pounds and walk 30 to 40 miles a day with stops and watering. Mules did better, though not nearly as good as camels. Camels tested over several days with increasing loads carried up to 1,256 pounds and covered 40 to 45 miles in a day, also at a continuous speed! They required only a day to rest thereafter. Usually, they carried a more comfortable 600 to 800 pounds load, and for several days. Thus the enlightened and innovative-minded lieutenant knew camels were the more superior animal for the trek, and mules and horses would therefore have it much easier.
On August 27, 1857, Beale and his survey team of fifty men left Fort Defiance on horses, accompanied by about one hundred and fifty Mexican wooly sheep (slaughtered along the way for fresh meat and thereby not spare any time for hunting). They reached the Colorado River in late fall (1857). He roughly followed Lt. Amiel Whipple’s earlier route that headed west across the Arizona territory through the Flagstaff area, then further west and a little north through Peach Springs and Truxton Wash, then toward the Kingman-Oatman area, finally ending on the banks of the Colorado River. Along the way, his reputation preceded him, for he became a celebrity everywhere he went. He even sometimes dressed the part by wearing apparel (his own fashioned turban headdress) similar to what people wore in North African desert country while riding camels. For instance, people in Flagstaff, Ash Fork, Seligman and Kingman, Arizona stood and cheered him on, even though most thought he was an oddity. However, in the end he proved himself right: camels were more sturdy than mules in the harsh desert country he surveyed. The route became known as the Beale Wagon Road in the latter part of the Twentieth Century and lasted until the early part of the Twenty-First century.

Additionally, from Fort Tejon, California on the other side of the Colorado River, in 1857 and 1858 Lt. Beale made several trips across both Arizona and California improving and building his route. Parts of the famous route are still visible in many places throughout central Arizona. Route 66 also parallels the old wagon road.

From Primitive To Paved Highway: The wagon route that would eventually become ’66 was covered by three main highways. The Lone Star Route laid its paved bed through St. Louis (on its way to Chicago and Cameron, Louisiana). In time, Route 66 would cut off mileage and take a shorter route through Bloomington, Illinois instead of Peoria. Thus the National Old Trails Road (as the route was formerly called) ran from St. Louis to Los Angeles. However, the road followed the main route of the Ozark Trails system which ended just south of Las Vegas, New Mexico, some 60 miles (96 km) north of Santa Fe. It was later decided to make a shorter route by following the Postal Highway between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas. Afterward, the National Old Trails Road’s foundation led all the way to Los Angeles. The shorter route between Chicago and Los Angeles was at last completed. The official numerical designation “66” was applied to the route in the summer of 1926. It became one of America’s primary east-west arteries. Until then major rural and urban communities along its course were not connected. Indeed, most smaller towns had no previous access to a major national thoroughfare.

Marking Route 66’s Birthplace: Although Chicago is the official start of Route 66, Springfield, Missouri gets the nod for its birthplace on April 30, 1926. It was here that government officials first proposed the name of the east-west highway. A placard commemorating this historic event still stands in Park Central Square.

Although not completely paved until twelve years later, ’66 was endorsed as a national highway system in 1927, its proposed numerical designate was “60.” Arguments soon erupted and delegates involved in the matter went to the table and argued their varying points. In the end, they settled on the double digit designation (which at the time was one of the few numbers that wasn’t already assigned to a roadway). It was also thought “66” was easier to remember, and pleasant to say and hear. Certainly, the composer of the eventual famous song and lyrics thought so.

The Latest And Most Popular Route In America: After World War I ended, people were on the move. This period marked the second greatest emigration of a population increase after the Nineteenth Century’s Manifest Destiny Out West inducement. Route 66 was a timely thoroughfare for Americans. Traffic exponentially increased due chiefly to the geography and terrain the route vectored through. Arguably, ’66 tracks through some of the most scenic country in America, at least by the West’s standards. Much of its network also passed through plain and flat scenery. Nevertheless, the overall topography proved a boon as a viable truck route. Even crossing the desert the route tended to remain straight and level until higher elevations starting in New Mexico, near Albuquerque.

Migrants headed west from Arkansas and Oklahoma during the 1930s used ’66 as the main route, because of the myriad communities, small and large, that created a mesh of locales between the blowing dust and the shimmering ocean at the other end of the country. These so-called Arkies and Okies sought work in the agricultural fields and orchards in California, but not all of them could make the trip in one journey. Indeed, some never made it all the way to that promising state of work and security for those who found it. Instead, the communities they passed through were like temporary or permanent havens, depending on who found what work and where. This, the Great Depression, was a time of great change, chance, and for those who outlasted these difficult years, a new opportunity to live and thrive in a new country whose geography and topography, along with a typically arid climate, was far different compared to where these excursions began.

Easily, the most renowned novel and movie defining the Great Depression Era:

Although the entire route was paved by 1938, there were places along the way that were perilous. Route 66 then became known as Bloody 66 and scores of people lost their lives because of dangerous curves and sheer drop-offs. For instance, one section of the highway just outside Oatman, Arizona through the Black Mountains was notorious for its hairpin turns. It was also the steepest portion. Its sector remained until 1953, though it is still open to traffic today as the Oatman Highway. Not just the scenery, as nature’s landforms, made parts of Route 66 memorable, but also the architecture of buildings along the way. Art deco design was common along the route as well pseudo-streamlined vehicles of this era. Quaint drive-up eateries, decorative gas stations, and so-called doo-wop motels, most with colorful murals, added to both the ambience and traveler’s comfort, especially in more remote desert stretches. The now famous and smaller towns generated a certain atmosphere that was ideal for the times. Traveling on the route was also slower compared to modern day four-lane highways. Perhaps it was the slowing down, and the unhurried pulse of a nation and its people driving across this part of America that makes Route 66 so outstanding as a nostalgic memory. The animation feature, CARS, by Pixar, is the latest attempt by movie makers to resurrect interest in the somewhat backroad ambience and nostalgia of Route 66.

An idyllic portrayal (but more truth than fictional nostalgia):

Times Certainly Were A-Changing: By the time of World War II, Route 66 was more than a road for vacation travel or migration from the Midwest to the West. It was deemed a necessary route for war-related industries in California; namely, a favored route for moving military equipment. Indeed, the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos (New Mexico) was key to the military operation and the precedence ’66 served. There were also a number of Army forts and Air Force bases strung along the route. After the war years, Route 66 became an even more popular vacation highway. This is especially the case where it passes through some of the classic scenic country in the Southwest. Tourism since the early 1950s was on the rise and has boomed ever since.

Matching tourism’s quest for scenic desert terrain usually accented by plateaus, mesas and buttes, were enterprises there to supply the people’s needs. Hotels, modern gas stations and auto repair shops, curio shops, many of them dedicated to Native American art and craft, frozen custard stands, even drive-up outdoor movies all cropped up along Route 66. Smaller towns, like Gallup, Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, Seligman and Kingman all stood to gain from the hoards of travelers. Larger metropolises, like Albuquerque, practically doubled in size, both population increase and land expanse. People not only traveled through Route 66 country, but they also moved to select places. Land was cheap and work was plentiful. It was also, for the most part, wide open territory, and at times dusty. Yet the weather was mostly cooperative, meaning clement. By the early 1960s fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s anchored into the landscape and places to eat, sleep and fill up the gas tank were much shorter in distance than ever before.

Despite these attributes of the Mother Road, the changes during these years were also accelerating. Slow America gradually turned into a faster breed of people wanting to see and do more, but in less time. Route 66 was not only experiencing its constant changes of artificial attractions, but also people restless for faster roads. State highway engineers were right on top of it and sought more direct routes between cities and towns. Traffic had also increased to the point something had to be done to ease the problem. Illinois led the way when it began widening Route 66 to four lanes through most of its territory. From Chicago to just east of St. Louis travelers found the four lanes a convenience and wanted more of the same. Bypasses were eventually built around most of the towns, and by the mid-1950s Missouri had upgraded parts of Route 66 to four-lane thoroughfares. These wider roads became the precursors of super highways, or freeways as they were then called.

In truth, Route 66 was dying as a former slower highway. Travelers wanted faster four-lane roads to get from one point to another. They soon got what they wanted: an Interstate Highway System by which all else changed.

The Interstate System: In 1919, Dwight D. Eisenhower was influenced by his experiences as a younger Army officer crossing the country in a convoy on the Lincoln Highway which was the first thoroughfare across America. Later, as the 34th President of the United States, he was responsible for inaugurating the Interstate Highway System as authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. Also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, on June 29 the bill was signed. Helping to influence his decision to commence building this vast network of connected interstate highways, Eisenhower, who was backed by the country’s automobile manufactures, was impressed by the German Autobahn system. He envisioned a need for building the highways as a means to shoring up America’s national defense system. Not only would travelers benefit from the highways, but the network would provide key ground transport routes for military troops and supplies and equipment across the country as based on a potential of foreign invasion. Long-bed Army trucks transporting missiles and a vast array of military vehicles was not an uncommon scene along parts of Route 66.

Ike's actions were about to erase a slow road and nostalgia for a super highway system. Just think: all these seeming backwater places were about to go by the wayside:

The Almost Total Eclipse Of An Historical Route: What began to happen across America was new routes that shortened older routes, or most of them did. The usual blacktop twin pavements, like Route 66, were replaced by faster four-lane highways. The Mother Road was replaced by a mother of a superhighway nexus, and for a time, history was bypassed. Former routes favored by Americans over the decades were completely abandoned. By the 1960s, Route 66 and all its businesses were in the throes of slow death. Business owners either closed their doors and moved away, or somehow managed to cling to their lifestyles and locations and barely get by, hoping and waiting for someone to exit the Interstate and support a dying industry that catered to travel. (The aforementioned CARS depicts this very theme.)

One of Pixar's best. . .wouldn't you agree?

A New LIfe For An Old Highway: In time, Americans, some of them, realized what was missing in modern travel. Even though the Interstate system spawned its own feeder industries, such as hotels, motels, restaurants, gas stations, along with a variety of curio shops, Route 66’s appeal to the masses returned, at least to some degree. Today, parts of Route 66’s most famous stretches are alive and well and continue to see an increase in visitors, especially foreigners. Places, like Gallup, Flagstaff, Williams and Seligman are high profile sectors of ’66 that have rebounded, mainly because of nostalgia and interest by some travelers to take the backroads for a change of pace and scenery. Other cities in other states claim the same advantage. The Mother Road is back in such sectors. Much of its former ambience and architecture style is alive and well. Route 66 is also popular for vintage car buffs. Except for the presence of modern day microwave towers, and all the electronic gadgetry that depends on its network, one hardly notices modernization in view of the restoration along preserved portions of ’66. Besides, the Interstate is close by, though still far enough way to preserve some of the nostalgia ’66 is famous for, including the admiration beyond America's borders this road network draws.

As a side note, and given my former ecotourism enterprise, as well as working for Yavapai College (Prescott, Arizona) and Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff), I used to cover the Grand Canyon "West" beat, and this town, Seligman, between Flagstaff and Kingman, is still one of Rt. 66's most famous stretches (even over the likes of Winslow and Williams). So, I'd share some photos of this colorful town that preserves the heart and spirit of the Mother Road. Of course, I suggest for those who want to see more of this road stretching through the south side of the Coconino Plateau that begins in this sector, west of Williams exit I-40 and slow down and enjoy the view and a bit of history. Beyond Seligman is Peach Springs, the tribal seat of the Hualapai Reservation, then Valentine farther down the road (also an historic motif), thence toward Kingman, where the legendary Andy Devine was raised. It's wide-open country all the way, but there's no need to do the pedal-to-the-metal thing.

Here's one place where you want to stop and treat yourself to an ice cream cone and other calorie-prone delectables (ah well, it's a vacation, right?):

Can you name the make of this car???

Miscellaneous (A Political Ploy And Musing): When Route 66 was first laid out in 1926, people knew it would go through the capital of New Mexico and indeed it did. Historically, Santa Fe was always dubbed the place at the end of the Great Plains, dusty and downtrodden as its adobe appearance was when first discovered by Colonel Kearney’s Army of the West in June, 1846. Route 66 in this sector followed the Old Pecos Trail from Santa Rosa through Dilia, Romeroville and Pecos, then to Santa Fe. From Santa Fe its route headed over La Bajada Hill and down into the lower elevations of Albuquerque. The routing was aligned and constructed this way and it was supposed to remain a permanent pathway. However, that’s not the way things worked out for the old Mother Road. It turns out the change was made over a political squabble centered on a governor (Hannett) who lost his reelection bid. Blaming his fellow state politicians, he promised to have the last say in the matter, which he soon did. He rerouted Route 66 to Albuquerque, instead, which altogether bypassed the capitol city. To do so he had to build a road through the untouched landscape that proved formidable due to the brush and terrain chosen for Route 66’s alternate routing. The new route cut off some 90 miles of driving distance between Santa Rosa and Albuquerque. Indeed, the outgoing governor’s new route was a better route from an engineer's standpoint; a more direct route that cut out some treacherous road conditions. This pathway would also be followed by the modern Interstate in decades to come.

Back then, of course, the so-called Duke City was on the Route 66 map and no one complained about the trickery of politics that, for a change, worked to an advantage for this sector of the Land of Enchantment:

And so, DKos community, we come to the end of another trail, another armchair tour or special supplement. There will be other scenic places to tour and more supplemental topics to read and think about, so stay tuned for a continuation in this series.

As always, your thoughtful commentaries are welcomed.

Rich
http://www.nmstarg.com/...
http://www.grandcanyon.org/...

P. S. I can't resist having you folks listen to one of the most famous versions and recordings of the Route 66 theme song. You'll find it at this URL: http://youtu.be/... For the original television theme song, try this URL: http://youtu.be/...

(Incidentally, if you didn't get the answer to the question I posed earlier, the song was written by Bobby Troup, in 1946. The original two actors on the television series were George Maharis and Martin Milner, respectively Buz Murdock and Tod Stiles. Later, Glen Corbett replaced Maharis and the show remained popular as ever.)

FYI: For a list of all diaries posted to date, please see the growing inventory by clicking on my profile or by dialing in this URL: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Also, if commenting on an older diary, please send me an email to my profile account. That way I am sure to notice it and respond. Gracias.

Note: Under the "Fair Use" protocol, which is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, photographs, pictures and illustrations, including maps (that are not my own personal property), posted in my diaries provide for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in use of another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. Ergo, the diary posts are strictly for an educational purpose and are transformative (using an image in a broader story or educational presentation with text). In short, my diaries are promoting an educational presentation intended only to help Daily Kos community members learn more about the many topics my diaries feature.

Originally posted to History for Kossacks on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm getting my kicks... (13+ / 0-)

    .. since I live pretty close to Route 66!

    Another great diary, Rich!

    Keep up the great work. The DKos community sure does appreciate it.

    Reuse and commonality are the keys to a robust and profitable space program.

    by The NM STAR Group on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:40:56 PM PDT

  •  I used to really love the spur (17+ / 0-)

    going north out of Gallup...

    until the highway department got tired of replacing stolen signs and, in 2003, renamed it US 491, The Highway Formerly Known as

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:45:20 PM PDT

  •  Great read! (13+ / 0-)

    I've grown up in this state and still live near Route 66.  The majority of my family lived in Albuquerque (I grew up in Taos cuz Dad worked there) so we were in ABQ at least once a month if not twice.

    We took a road trip to the World's Fair in NYC in 1965 but left Taos and cut up through Kansas.  On the way home, however, Dad caught Route 66 in Springfield, IL (I had a cousin living there who we visited) and home we came.  I'll never forget that drive - I was 12.

    Thanks for helping me relive that wonderful memory.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:02:35 PM PDT

    •  and you are most welcomed. . . (8+ / 0-)

      Raggedy Ann, for this diary. Actually, I really had a blast writing it. Traveled this route, parts of it, when I was driving the Elderhostel students ka-razy with my antics, and of course those old fossil heads loved to sing and hardly a tour went by that someone didn't break out with the words Nat King Cole immortalized. If you were lucky enough to have traveled the route in, say, the 50s or 60s, I'd say WOW! That's impressive because America seemed so much better in those days, at least in some ways. Anyway, thanks for posting your memories with all of us in the DKos community. I was hoping to sang a comment or two or three along the lines of what you wrote, because that was my intent all along when drafting this piece.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:27:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My older brothers (6+ / 0-)

        lived in CA (Ventura & Lompoc).  Beginning in 1962, we drove out to CA once a year (either summer or winter break - dad was an educator) to see them and drove on Route 66, of course.  

        My son currently lives in Flagstaff, AZ and I drive out to see him three or four times a year.  I am on that "drive" a lot.  I live east of ABQ and drove to ABQ for work everyday for 17 years, down that route.  I live it and have great memories.

        Thanks so much!

        being mindful and keepin' it real

        by Raggedy Ann on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:40:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Flagstaff, eh? (6+ / 0-)

          A few years ago when I was living there we had 5 and 1/2 feet of snow in about 5 days. I had enough snow to last a lifetime, because I shoveled too much. So I am back in the Burqy where I belong (but missing the snow, because we're drier than a dinosaur's bone). Anyway, I am envious for that drive in '62 when the Mother Road was still intact. Then along came the Motherless I-40! At least Flag preserves a bit of '66, as does Williams, but mostly its Seligman and that Grand Canyon 'West' country a bit down the road. Thanks for posting the added comment, Raggedy Ann. Anyone who can commute all that way for 17 years. . .no wonder you're mindful and keepin' it real.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:47:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I, too, grew up in NM - not on Route 66, but close (5+ / 0-)

      enough. Mom had sisters in CA and OH, so by the time I was 7 or so I'd traveled all of Route 66.

      Fast forward 60 years: my grandson's (age 3) favorite movie is "Cars" and I think I've seen it at least 2 times/month since I came to CA in August. Anyone who has traveled Route 66 would no doubt enjoy the movie as much as I have. Every time I see it, I see a previously unseen scene (when you view a movie regularly, you don't have to pay close attention EVERY time) that evokes memories of my travels on Route 66. Back in the 80's I traveled regularly between Los Angeles and Albuquerque and I pulled off I-40 at Seligman for refreshments. Route 66 still exists for quite a few miles, iirc, around Seligman. Brought back lots of memories.

      I remember many trips as a teen with my mom, brother and sister from NM to Los Angeles. If we were traveling in the heat of the day, mom would pull up at the movie theatre in one of the border towns (Yuma, Blythe, Needles) and we'd all unload. I still remember how wonderful those air-conditioned theatres felt after broiling in an un-air-conditioned car for many hours. Movies and stopping in Indio for a date shake were the highlights of the trip!

      The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

      by Hanging Up My Tusks on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:51:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for the memories. . . (6+ / 0-)

        and something tells me you could easily write a diary about your travels for the rest of us to enjoy. Hope so. And I take it you hit the Snow Cone shack (the really colorful and somewhat gaudy establishment run by the two brothers (though when I was there the last time the dear old dad was still alive and having fun poking fun at the customers. . .the same way the brothers still do. I think that establishment is now on the tour bus circuit, because I hear it's difficult to get served when there's two or three tour buses that pulled into town, just for the sake of a delicious snow cone, a shake, and maybe a brownie or something. Anyway, thanks for posting your wonderful comments, 'Tusks (and why'd you even hang up your tusks in the first place???) I also think you were another one of those lucky folks that got to drive the Mother Road when it the only real link between here, in the Burqy, and LA. And CARS is one of my favorite shows. . .I've only watched it a few times and now I can hardly wait for CARS II to come out as a freebie torrent. I think Pixar is the best at what they do (and that's coming from a guy who never really liked animation until Toy Story captured me. . .all three of 'em.

        Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

        by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:13:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rich, thanks for your nice comments. Maybe some (9+ / 0-)

          day I will write a diary about my travels. I grew up making the trek either to Ohio or to CA to see relatives. Loved road trips and took a couple of big ones with my kiddos that we still talk about.

          Hung up my tusks because after 40+ years of being a registered Republican I got tired of banging my head against the wall trying to move that party to a more friendly position on social issues. Of course, back in the day they weren't spending like crazy on unfunded wars and such, so my frugal nature wasn't so offended by the fiscal conservatism. Anyhow, I got on the Obama wagon in 2006 and changed my registration in late 2007 so I could caucus (KS) for him in 2008. That was one wild and wooly, not to mention exhilarating, night!

          BTW, my daughter says Cars II isn't nearly as much fun as the original (which I find to be sweet as well as the sentimental drive down memory lane). Maybe your mileage will vary.

          The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

          by Hanging Up My Tusks on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:44:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you are old enough to remember when (4+ / 0-)

        some long parts of the uncompleted I-40 in AZ were still 3 lanes (yes children, three lanes!),  and another part went right through downtown Winslow. Early '70s iirc.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:55:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Early family vacation pixs. (8+ / 0-)

    Came upon the film and TV crew of the early Route 66 series.

    Filming Route 66

    Filming Route 66

    I love nature, science and my dogs.

    by Polly Syllabic on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:07:30 PM PDT

    •  thanks for the pic. . . (4+ / 0-)

      Polly Syllabic. . .and is that your 'Vette or maybe your '57 Cadillac behind same (I think it's a '57)??? And wow, what a funky truck, that. Where, by the way, did you take these pics? (P. S. Love your handle about loving nature, science and dogs. You're my kind of people, only my life is ENTIRELY owned by my cat, Millie the Kid. . .

      /Users/richholtzin/Desktop/Millie.png

      If I did this right, the picture should show if you click on it. You tell me!

      Anyway, thanks for posting the pics and I am envious if you were there during the filming of that most excellent series. (It can be downloaded for free via torrent, I believe.)

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:34:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That Vette was used in the series. The stars and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        broths, RiveroftheWest, SilentBrook

        crew were grabbing sandwiches at the hot dog stand on location. I was only 10 or 12 years old, so I don't know where on Route 66 we were.

        Millie the Kid is a no-show.

        I love nature, science and my dogs.

        by Polly Syllabic on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:44:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the Cadillac is more likely older, maybe '54? (6+ / 0-)

        The stretch of Historic 66 between just west of Santa Rosa and Santa Fe runs about 3 miles from my house. It's so quiet out here at night that I can hear the big trucks,   US 84 (2 lane blacktop, but right up to Federal specs) near where it crosses the Pecos River.  This is the shortcut if you coming out of west TX on I-40 and want to grab I-25 north towards Denver, without crossing the mountain twice.  Saves 175 miles to bypass ABQ and Santa Fe.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:23:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for the feedback. . . (3+ / 0-)

          '54 caddy sounds about right. Wasn't sure and I'll bet on your bet that's what it is. I took that short cut, and so do friends of mine, who live in Little Elm (Texas) when they visit their parents, in Denver. Didn't realize it was such a huge savings on miles, though. Anyway, thanks for the posting of another informative comment. I'm beginning to think most of the DKos community knows more about the Rt 66 subject matter than me. Ah well, that's what the community is all about, sharing and support, right?

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:46:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I also have a fantasy of time-traveling (6+ / 0-)

    to the fall of 1952, hopping into my brand-new two-tone '53 Studebaker Starliner coupe in Chicago and heading down 66 to the Santa Monica Pier.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:26:54 PM PDT

    •  now that's a car. . . (6+ / 0-)

      and then some. Like this, right?

      https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/...

      I loved those cars and never owned one. Thanks for posting your comment, milkbone, and may this dream come true some day. If only, huh?

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 02:38:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, yeah. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        broths, Polly Syllabic, SilentBrook

        I think that's the first of the Raymond Loewy-designed models.

        Actually, my idea of heaven (which I don't believe in in any form, but with which I amuse myself with in the same sense that I amuse myself with daydreaming about winning the Powerball lottery) involves being able to travel in time like that.

        Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

        by milkbone on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:14:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for the secondary. . . (4+ / 0-)

          comment, milkbone, and now I get to do some research. . .I am not up on car designers but Wiki, the site, will fill me in on who Raymond Loewy is. Thanks. And I think when we all stop dreaming, it's time to leave. Dreaming's good. Sometimes the dream and fantasy is better than the real thing.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:20:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I might be mistaken, but I think (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, milkbone, SilentBrook

        that's a '55 and yes,  Lowey-designed.  There is an intermediate model between the classic early Stude'  bullet-nose look and the Starliner.  Can't remember the model name,  but my step-father had one, a '53, iirc.  (a "President"?)  OK, I Googled,  and it was a '52 Champion.  And yes, the Starliner was a '53 and OH MY! gorgeous sheetmetal indeed.  Glad I went to see.

        I did drive one of those Starliners later on in '65 one time. A rather beat but still hot V8, later model than that '53.  There's a whole story about whose car it was and why i was driving it,  but that's going to have to wait right now.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:14:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  make sure the Stude' has the Overdrive option (5+ / 0-)

      My stepfather had one of those '53s in 1955.  3-on-the-tree and the OD a cable pull below the left dash.  I don't know if the V-8 option was available on those, his had the 6.  He also had a '41 Ford genuine woody wagon,  and a '48 Renault 4CV.   Parked permanently out back was the '31 Model B Ford Pickup that he took my Mom in on a honeymoon trip to Florida from Manhattan in '51.  I got to stay home with Granny while I had the measles.

      By late '63 he had managed to drag the family right out to the end of 66 to a rented house in Santa Monica.   I had just graduated HS and had gotten to California,  which was a big deal in those days; the mythic Promised Land. I did a VERY heady 7 years of dream times before escaping to New Mexico in '71, where I still am.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:44:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary brought back (8+ / 0-)

    a lot of memories.My Grandfather was an inveterate shunpiker. My Mom and I lived with her parents and we moved a few times, driving along the Mother Road. He loved it and even when he was older and there was I-15 to take from Vegas (where we ended up) to L.A. he would take the older roads.

    I love that you mentioned Cars. We were just down at Disneyland last month and visited the new Cars Land. The homages to Route 66 are everywhere!

    On the ground...

    To signs along the "road"...

    But the side of the "curio shop" was a jackpot!

    The whole area is like walking into the movie, especially at night. I highly recommend it. Both the movie and the Land brought back many memories of driving through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:25:52 PM PDT

    •  a most appreciative comment. . . (4+ / 0-)

      Purple Priestess. . .and wow. . .what great pics. I haven't heard of that Cars Land place, but will definitely put it on my "2-do-and-see" list one of these days. I loved that show. In fact, I am going to watch it 'rat now, again, because my own diary, along with yours and all the comments, put me in the right mood to watch it. Paul Newman's my favorite character in that story. And I thank you so very, very much for sharing your stories with the rest of us. . .and the pictures. You are another fortunate DKos community member who lived a slice of heaven on the Mother Road when she was the Mother of all roads in this country.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks to you (6+ / 0-)

        for jogging my memories. I had some great times on that road... and one scary one. My Mom was driving in Texas and we ended up being in a terrifying rain storm. I'm talking sideways rain battering our car! Mom would have pulled over to let Popeye drive but the storm was too wild. So she drove with a death grip on the steering wheel of that old Studebaker! Obviously we made it out OK but it was pretty frightening for all of us.

        You definitely need to put Cars Land on your list. The spotlight ride there is the Radiator Springs Racers and it's a blast! I have a video I need to get edited and uploaded but it still doesn't get across the amazing-ness of this ride! Here are a few more pics to compare to the film:

        This is the ride - that's my family in the back seat....

        Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

        by Purple Priestess on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:42:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  your latest comments. . . (3+ / 0-)

          and honestly, you guys are too, too much. What fun! I'd say this diary is coming back to me in spades. And, yes, the Cars Land is on my list. I'd even go to California just to see the place for myself. And now we can all see you sitting in the back seat, right side, in the pretty blue car with the big smile. And when you get the video edited, post it here, then contact me via my profile's email, so I can know (and not miss seeing it). That Texas story is very credible, because it's true what they say about Texas: Everything's big, and when the monster storms are on the move, folks best not mess about. Thanks so much for sharing with us once more, these obvious and delightful memories you're reliving, Purpose Priestess!

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:02:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you liked "Cars" that much (as I did too)... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladywithafan

        ...you'll want to know that the deep, gravelly voice for the sheriff was Michael Wallis, author of "Route 66: The Mother Road", among other books, and an Oklahoma treasure.  My understanding is that he and several Pixar folks took a trek down the Mother Road for inspiration before making the movie.

        "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

        by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:59:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this (7+ / 0-)

    I first rode that highway in 1955 as my father pulled a 36-ft house trailer with a 55 Chevy sedan from Minneapolis to the Promised Land. Trailer brakes went out in the mountains west of Needles and we all had a roller-coaster ride for many miles until he could get it stopped.

    I lived most of my life within a mile of Route 66 (Foothill Boulevard) in the San Gabriel Valley at several locations.

    I re-created part of the '55 trip - Needles to Barstow - in 2005 to see what it had been like.

    Some things just get embedded in memory ...

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:46:55 PM PDT

    •  oh what fun. . . (5+ / 0-)

      hitching my wagon to memories. . .even the hair-raising brakes out incident! And what a time to have done it. . .in 1955! Wow! If you care to share any more memories with the rest of us, Clem Yeobright. . .we're all ears and eyes and anticipation. Meanwhile, thanks for posting your comments about what has to be (in my book) the best years of the last century!

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:57:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah geez ... lemme see .... (8+ / 0-)

        We had 20 acres northeast of Minneapolis, but Daddy was a skilled machinist and worked for the railroad.... He hated the snow (it was Mom's country) and one Sunday we went into Minneapolis to buy an L.A. Times so he could look in the classifieds ... My brother (11) and I (nearly 9) discovered 8 pages of color comics and 7 TV channels and concluded California would be heaven. Dad decided he would be able to get a job in California and set things underway ... We were 4 kids and Mom was 4 months pregnant ...

        Farm sold, trailer bought, we hit the road. I think we joined 66 in Oklahoma but I remember finding a laundromat in Tucumcari NM so at least we were on 66 by then.  The entire week was a fantasy adventure for an 8-year-old kid ... It was June and NM and AZ were wicked hot ... and especially Needles! I think we ate in a restaurant once; otherwise, Mom bought bread and boloney and peanut butter and cereal for our meals ...

        After the trailer brakes cooled (I remember pregnant Mom going around the mountain ahead of the car to signal oncoming traffic to slow down) we headed into California. We went all the way into L.A. and Dad had to go around a block 6 or 8 times while one or another of us - probably me - went to a bathroom in a gas station, and then we went back to a trailer park in Monrovia.

        Within two weeks Dad was working - at Aerojet in Azusa - and we had moved into a new house in Glendora, less than a mile from Foothill Boulevard (but in the county). Dad and the neighbors got together and for 8 weeks built a garage every weekend till everyone had one, then Dad build a redwood fence around our yard - a fence that stands today! But that's another story, isn't it?

        By 1959 when we visited cousins in Houston, the Santa Monica/San Bernadino Freeway/I-10 went all the way across country and everything had changed.

        Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

        by Clem Yeobright on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:35:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  now THAT's a diary. . . (5+ / 0-)

          and you can easily continue on from here if you wanted to. A very good story, besides. I mean, just think: no 4 letter words; nothing being blown up; no drug deals going down. Geesh, yourself, Clem Y. . .you're a diarist and some of us just love these old time basic stories. Anyone who starts talking the Southwest in the 50s and mentions the Mother Road. . .I am sticking. Thank you so much for sharing this story. And just think: no Ollie or Sven stuff even came up. I mean, your mom being born in that Sweden or Germany comes to America country where she's from! Which railroad, by the way? Your dad's employer. Most of my family lived and died working for the Reading and Pennsylvania railroad. Sometimes I think I should've done that, too, instead of being a philosophy prof type and such. HA!

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:56:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great Northern ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            broths, RiveroftheWest, ceebee7

            and thanks.

            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

            by Clem Yeobright on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:00:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll dial it up on Google Images. . . (3+ / 0-)

              and check it out. No, wait; I recall. When I was flying for Frontier the Great Northern came into that part of the state (Billings and Great Falls. And some of the places I flew, like Fargo and Glacier (near there). . .I do recall the trains (with the orange and black color, methinks.

              Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

              by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:12:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Rich, I didn't even know I knew that LOL (4+ / 0-)

                It just popped out!

                Ya know, my grandchildren and even my kids find those stories extremely boring ... I took my grandchildren (14, 12, and 9) to Philadelphia last fall ... "Who wants to see the Liberty Bell?" "What's that?" "Not me" "That's okay, I'll pass" ... I 'forced' them into Independence Hall and after we had come out from seeing THE copy of the D of I read publicly on July 6 and Geo. Washington's personal copy of the Constitution, the oldest took me aside and said "Grampa, if this whole week is going to be like this, please take me home."  Okey-doke. "Who wants to see Ben Franklin's grave? It's 3 blocks away." "No thanks ... no thanks ... not me."

                Anyway, I have one brother - the foetus! - who is into genealogy and he and I talk about these times.

                Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                by Clem Yeobright on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:28:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  wasup with the youngsters. . . (3+ / 0-)

                  these days. . .not wanting to delve into history, not wanting to get into the future. . .just stay focused on the cyber stuff. Anyway, 'ole Ben's probably one of the best Statesmen this country has ever had. . .and  now that I think about it I never saw his grave, either. Anyway, I love history and I think this Rt 66 diary gave me a big kick researching it and it came out of the blue. Wasn't even planning on such a diary. Glad you and other DKos community folks are enjoying it, too.

                  Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                  by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:38:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ironically, my parents are buried above I-10 (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiveroftheWest

                    in Covina Hills. I can't help but honor my dad, and very happily I got to tell him that the night before he died. I formally thanked him for bringing us to California, and that makes my life a lot easier 20 years later.

                    I'm sure glad you got the inspiration for this! Thank you.

                    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                    by Clem Yeobright on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:49:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  my inspiration. . . (3+ / 0-)

                      comes from comments and commentators, like you. Thank you and all the rest of this wonderful DKos community for the support. Your story about your dad. . .very touching. I'm envious. I never met mine. Anyway, I take it you're still living in your beloved California. No more Mother Road out there, huh?

                      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:46:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I have never understood why Rt 66 went up (3+ / 0-)

    into the mountains to Oatman. Even today that is a seriously winding road. It just makes more sense to take the longer but easier route that I40 takes south of Kingman today. Was Oatman a mining town? Ok, now I remember seeing mining equipment in that area. Maybe that's why it took that route because Oatman was the only settlement between Kingman and the Colorado.

    "Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall" - President Obama, January 20, 2013

    by savano66 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:02:19 PM PDT

    •  Oatmen. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      savano66

      still highly recommended to see. . .where the burros still come into town every day, bumming carrots and such, jamming up the traffic, but who cares? I mean, it's really a rustic place that needs to be seen. And Clark Gable got married to Carol Lombard in that town. Argo, I think it is, was the gold mine in that area (but I could be thinking of Idaho Springs, Colorado. Anyway, it's a hairy but scenic drive and I think to answer your question, savan066, the reason had something to do with the mining, but a shorter route compared to having to go around that mountain country. I"ll have to check on this. Anyway, thanks for posting this comment, too.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Dad, his siblings and my Grandparents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    took this route from Tulsa to southern California in 1934 where my Grandpa had a job lined up on a citrus ranch. My Dad told me it took about 12 days to make the journey.

    "Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall" - President Obama, January 20, 2013

    by savano66 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:11:55 PM PDT

    •  12 days! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      savano66

      can't say much about the dismal economy in those days, but that long to get where they were going. . .a slice of heaven; a slow-mo drive across some of America's greatest scenery. Thank you so much for this shared memory. What fun and thank all of you for your support for this diary. Really.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My dad dropped out of high school, (4+ / 0-)

        loaded himself and his parents into a car and left Missouri for Southern California in about 1921. My mother's family left Albuquerque in the mid-'20s for the same destination... TRULY the same destination; they moved into the house across the street from where Dad's family lived.

        They married in 1933 when my mom reached 18, and he drove her to Missouri to meet the rest of the family.  Imagine what that drive was like back then! I'm not sure, though, how much of it was via Route 66.

        •  your nostalgic comments. . . (3+ / 0-)

          make me real envious, though in a good sense. What a trip that was and look at the harvested memories that continue to reward you, RiveroftheWest. And what building years, those post war times, for people to begin the second great wave, as an exodus to the West (the first, of course, being post Civil War years). Thank you, as always, for interesting comments and a chance for the rest of us to tagalong in the wake of your memory field.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:41:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Loved the diary but as an observation (0+ / 0-)

    You just finished watching Cars..didn't you.

    I am oooooooooooon to you.  I get nostalgic everytime I see this movie

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:21:06 PM PDT

    •  yep, just finished watching CARS. . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      broths, RiveroftheWest, Vetwife

      last evening, and every time I watch that movie I get something new, like an impression that stirs something good in the way of feelings. I think the love story theme is what came to me the most, including the great friendship between two entirely different characters in that wondrous narrative and you know who I mean. Thank you so much for posting your comment and sending this fun video to all the rest of us, Vetwife. (Rich, former submariner, United States Navy! and served six years in its service.)

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:39:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was so thrilled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, RiveroftheWest

    I was so thrilled the first time I drove on Route 66.  I came from NYC and Route 66 had a mystique apart from the fact it was nowhere near NYC.  

    However, my husband grew up in St. Louis and traveled all across MO.  He used to point out "old 66" vs "new 66.

    It's good to see people still remember when driving across the country really was an adventure.  

    •  that word you used. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, BroadwayBaby1

      "mystique," is probably the best adjective to describe the Mother Road, because so many of us felt something epic inside when driving on the road, even today when only parts of '66 are preserved in select towns, like Flagstaff or Seligman. Thank you so much for posting your fab comments, BroadwayBaby1. We are history and history is us. When it comes to reliving some of the best aspects of history, then all the better. I still think America in the '50s and '60s and the Mother Road brings joy to a lot of us. Thanks for posting your comments.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! What a great diary.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Clem Yeobright

    I was just thinking today, about what a great trip it would be to travel route 66, at least through the Southwest....and here comes this dairy, not only will I rec it, I will hot list it!

    Great info, and background,.....nice job!

    " We're all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can."................Will Rogers

    by tvdude on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:43:06 PM PDT

    •  the triggering of memories. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      by my posting this diary. . .what a delight, tvdude, for me, as well as the rest of the DKos community. And check out that synchronicity with you thinking about the Mother Road and then the diary appears. Hey, maybe you had something to do with my thinking about launching it? Stranger things have happened before, you know. Anyway, I am very glad you enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun to write and research. Thanks for posting your comment.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:34:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Route 66 Museum in Pontiac, Illinois (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Clem Yeobright

    has a huge mural on the back wall, and a place where you can drive your car up to it for photos.  
    Route 66
    My husband and I enjoyed our visit to the museum.  They had all kinds of memorabilia, including the converted school bus that was the home of the late Robert Waldmire, an artist who spent his life traveling Route 66 making drawings of the sights along the way.  I bought a a collection of Waldmire postcards that included scenes I recall from my childhood, such as the Pig Hip Restaurant in Broadwell, Illinois, and the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis.

    Fox News is to the truth as a flaming bag of dog shit is to a packed lunch. --MinistryOfTruth

    by snazzzybird on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:46:54 PM PDT

    •  Is that were the bus ended up? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, snazzzybird

      It was sad to lose Bob Waldmire. Did you know the VW hippie van in Cars was originally going to be called Waldmire? He finally refused them permission to use his name because he had objections over their agreement with McDonalds to sell crappy food to children with toys from the movie.

      •  Yes, the bus is parked behind the museum (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        Tourists can't go inside it, but most of the interior is visible thru the windows and doors.  

        I didn't know that, about the van in Cars!  That's my 3-year-old grandson's favorite movie.

        Fox News is to the truth as a flaming bag of dog shit is to a packed lunch. --MinistryOfTruth

        by snazzzybird on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:27:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Found an article. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          I remembered the local news article about it.

          http://www.sj-r.com/...

          I met him when he came to a screening I arranged of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" I didn't really know who he was at the time, other than as a local artist and lefty. Cool guy.

          •  thanks, again. . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            for contributing to this diary. An "ethical vegetarian" indeed (I am the same, only it's more the case of a vegan). And how about that bit of strangeness. . .knowing someone as one thing, yet turning out to be an entirely other person, as a background. Yea Bob! (I've saved this URL to send to a few folks I know will enjoy reading it. They actually had something to do with that exceptionally fine documentary, "Who Killed The Electric Car?" (which, of course, most of us know who those culprits were, right?).

            Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

            by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:23:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  mine, too. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          favorite movie, snazzybird. From what I understand, everyone of those characters, especially Maynard, were drawn from real life. I mean, go figure. . .there was so much reality to that show and Pixar's typical morality theme is more than admirable. Their films (and other companies like Pixar) are likely the last bastion for delivering such wholesome humanity themes, that is, given the typical and steady diet of violence in movies and television. Go Pixar! Anyway, thanks for posting your comments. Your grandson has great taste in movies, by the way.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:28:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  more kudus. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        for Bob Waldmire. I admire his stance on the McDonalads thing, even to the point he was willing to omit his name from the CARS movie for the sake of defending his view on junk food and Micky D's. That sort of thing takes immense character. Thanks for posting this comment, as well, Willinois. You have added richly to the diary given this other facet of Rt 66 and its fascinating history.

        Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

        by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:25:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  maybe you can do me a favor. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      and drive my car to this museum (I don't do long road trips anymore), take the same picture, only putting my Toyota in the view, and then I'll have another slice of Rt 66 to gloat over? Well, it was just a silly idea, but I sure thank you for sending this comment and photo. I never even heard of this museum until you and other folks mentioned it. . .all because of Robert Waldmire. What a wonderful Daily Kos community we have, huh? Oh, and the "Pig Hip Restaurant" that you mentioned: now there's a name one can never forget. What the heck is 'pig hip' anyway?  Also love the "Old Chain of Rocks Bridge" name. How singular.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:30:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You left out John Frontage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, RiveroftheWest

    Great diary!
    I grew up along Route 66 and enjoy meeting travelers passing through along the famous mother road.

    One small part you left out is that the Illinois and Missouri portions of what would eventually become Route 66 were first established by John Frontage, the great pathfinder, surveyor and trailblazer of the Northwest Territory. His role in history is little known, partly as an intentional effort to deny him credit for his accomplishments, so it's understandable that you didn't mention him. His legacy still lives on in the Frontage Roads seen along 66 and many other highways.

    https://www.facebook.com/...

    •  thanks for the reminder. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      but I didn't leave Mr. Frontage out of the original draft's research. I was trying, for a change, to keep this diary missive a bit shorter, because there is SO much more to the RT. 66 story, and obviously you already know it. I will check out the FB site you just sent, Willinois and I thank you very much for posting the comment and the added history lesson. If you want to tell and share more on this subject matter, please do. It will get read by the many others who (so I'm told) like to read Daily Kos commentaries, such as yours. By the way, John F, truly ranks about the greatest trailblazers. I believe Hampton Sides' in his "Blood and Thunder" mentions as much. But the likes of Kit Carson, Joe Walker, Jedidiah Smith and some few others tends to get the lion's share of historical press. Still, John was quite the man given his role and it is good you were thoughtful enough to pass the comments along to the community (about the John).

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:19:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Clem Yeobright

    We came across the country on Route 66 when I was a kid. It was our own Grapes of Wrath. As a matter of fact, my dad referred to us as the Italian Joads. Our 1940 Plymouth made the trip: "Buzzy." It was a coupe, so my dad tore out the inside of the back area to make a seat. The car was stuffed with clothes and my parents and 3 kids.

    I remember my dad mentioning three towns on the way (he probably yakked a lot about a thousand towns but these are the only ones I recall): Columbus, Ohio, El Paso, Texas, and Kingman, Arizona. I remember how cold it was in parts of the country.

    Our destination was Los Angeles. Another memory, this one vivid because we were going to our new home on La Brea Ave. in L.A.: We saw all the palm trees and knew we were good ol' SoCal.

    Another good, thoughtful diary!

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:17:50 PM PDT

  •  When I was 17 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    busted for weed in Omaha Nebraska, only longhair hippie in town.  That winter, the temperature hit  -16 degrees, six feet of snow on the ground, and I ran away from home in a $50, '55 Chevy, and picked up Route 66 at Oklahoma City.  Next stop, LA, and from there to Haight-Ashbury, 1967.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:33:29 PM PDT

    •  another blast from the past. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      your telling comment, 6412093! And fun! And a '55 Chevy, no less. One of my very favorites (I had a '57 for a time). But most importantly you were there when it was still a happening Mother Road and a happening time in America, with or without that 'ass-grass-or-gas' theme. Remember that? Thanks for posting your memories. I trust you're still living the dream only a bit older.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:11:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  During the winter (0+ / 0-)

        the only escape from Nebraska was to the south, (too much snow thru western Nebraska, Wyoming, etc) and after 1000 miles straight west on Highway 66, that  '55 Chevy got me all the way to Newport Beach  until the drive shaft fell off.

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:39:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One of my favorite vacations was quite a few years (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, SilentBrook

    ago.  I took two weeks off (a long time for me back then) and drove part of Route 66 in OK, TX, NM, then branched off into the mountains and went up to Denver too.

    I had no plan and no hotel reservations.  Just went where I wanted and stayed in what was available.  One of the loosest and most fun vacations ever. Saw lots of little towns and met interesting people.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:14:16 PM PDT

    •  you just hit on the Zen secret. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, YucatanMan

      of traveling, YucatanMan. . .being in the moment; expect nothing; having no attachments, and just "being." Thanks for this posting. It tells the kind of story lots of folks remember about the Mother Road's ambience and persuasion for those who took time to travel the route.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:08:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shout out to the diarist, thank you! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, bartcopfan, milkbone

    I live ON Route 66 in Los Angeles on famed Sunset Blvd. Yes, I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille.

    Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot. -xxdr zombiexx

    by DontTaseMeBro on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:30:17 PM PDT

    •  Wow! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      the first person to make this claim, as far as I know. Send some pics why don't you? Then I can get you that photo shop with Mr. DeMille. (Which cemetery is he buried in, by the way?) And thanks for posting your comment, Dont'TaseMeBro. (Really like your tag line, by the way. Indeed!

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:05:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great, rich, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    I was able to answer some of the questions and you otherwise gave answers to some I didn't know, but I couldn't guess the make of the pink car. What is it? I'm leaning toward Mercury but can't guess model. It does look familiar but I was probably an infant or todler when it came out. Help. Thanks.

    I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by dannyboy1 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 04:06:44 AM PDT

    •  name of that handsome Yank tank. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, dannyboy1

      do you remember the unique Edsel? Well, that'd be it, dannyboy1. But you got all the others right, so why not treat yourself to a banana split and a root bear, charge it to my account (on account I don't have any money), and I am glad you enjoyed the diary. I had a lot of fun digging this one up out of my memory banks (and some research added to make sure I wasn't just dreaming). As always, thanks for posting your comments and support.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 05:57:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I fantasize riding the Yamaha on whatever parts of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        Route 66 are left. I'm trying to talk my bro into joining me. I've been a bit absent from reading and commenting on some of your entries. Had to post a couple myself. With tuition assistance getting suspended for soldiers, I felt compelled to write about it. And, of course, since that kind of puts the  job in jeopardy, I've been a bit distracted. I do want to go back to your other series though. They are a joy to escape to. Be well, Rich.

        I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

        by dannyboy1 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:26:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Born and raised along Route 66 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, SilentBrook

    I was born in one of the small towns along the Missouri part.  After my parents moved to the big city, we always traveled it back to the hometown, visiting family and the farm.

    I loved all the neon signs along the way for the restaurants and mom & pop motels along the way.  Some the of signs are still there.

    Diamonds Restaurant was a very big attraction outside St. Louis.

    World's Largest Restaurant!

    My dad worked at Meramec Caverns when in high school, my great-grandparents were friends with the owner.

    Meramec Caverns

    It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:24:01 AM PDT

    •  your comments. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      Betty Pinson, are appreciated. Like so many others in our community, the diary has tripped some rather pleasant memories for you, as well. I once visited those caverns (in Meramec Valley, I believe). Quite large, and something like many thousands of rooms, or some such. Karst solution limestone caves, like that, are fairly common in your neck of the woods. Anyway, you just mentioned something I hadn't thought of. . .the neon signs and glitz and glitter routine. I know we have a lot of that out here in the West country where Rt 66 thread its way, but I guess now that you mention it maybe the entire theme of lights and glitter was all along the Mother Road. Thanks for posting your comments.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:30:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for such a great diary! (3+ / 0-)

        I always wondered about the significance of the camel as an icon for Route 66.  Now I know!  There used to be a trucking company called Campbell 66 Express that used the camel in their logo - "Humpin' to Please"

        Campbell 66 Express

        Those trucks were a fixture on 66 when I was a kid.

        There are also some great motels and restaurants along the Route 66 route in the St. Louis area, a few still there.  I also used to travel a lot to Springfield and Joplin in my work with the railroad (the tracks ran parallel to 66).  There are still quite a few remnants in Springfield, too.

        Oh, and some of the accidents on that highway!   There were some dangerous curves and hills.  My grandfather talked about one curve (I think on the old road near Stanton, MO) where he and his buddies used to go for kicks when they were kids. They would get some beer and sit on a hill overlooking this curve on a Saturday night and watch people have accidents.  

        When they rebuilt and rerouted the Missouri part in the late 50's, early 60's, it was a much, much safer road.  

        It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:53:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember the Campbell 66 trucks, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, SilentBrook

          hadn't made the connection to the Beale tour until you spoonfed it to me!

          Damn!  You never know what you're going to learn around here--thanks!  :-)

          "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

          by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:09:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Beale. . . (3+ / 0-)

            he sure proved 'em wrong. Those camels were still around in parts of the Mojave as late as the 1950s. Then in the ignorance of the U.S. Army and War Department they were all shot on sight. And here those beasts of burden could do more, go longer, eat less, drink less, and the Beale campaign had proved itself absolutely right given the matter of camels vs. mules. Early on into his caravans, he and his men got into the role, at least he did, and dressed the part. . .looking like the sheik of Arabia as he passed through towns that watched the odd show, some doubtful he could pull it off, but most, I think, supportive of his efforts. I have traveled many miles on the Beale Wagon Road, in and around Flagstaff. There are even occasional monuments marking the places where he surveyed.

            Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

            by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:46:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  from what I've been hearing. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          from so many others in the DKos community, Betty Pinson, I'm also learning new twists to the old Mother Road story. And, yes, those camel signs are still found here and there. That bit about your grand daddy and his friends hanging out and watching accidents on dangerous curvy roads. . .I could see their reaction every time someone bit the dust (and I trust not fatalities. . .just car incidents). The Santa Fe out this way still follows parts of Rt 66, but for the most part the old road's gone and the new highway system. . .well, what's there really to love about super highways other than people just get where they're going faster (and some that don't make it because they are so fast). Thanks for posting another bit of history about this epic road that somehow refuses to just go away. Long live "CARS" to keep us all plugged into its history (and Pixar's movie rendition, of course).

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:51:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll have to watch CARS (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            I didn't realize Route 66 was part of the story.

            Yes, grandpa and his friends always went to help people who had accidents on 66, most were just running off the road, not making the curve.  At that age, he was well on his way to becoming an ace auto mechanic.  Growing up near 66 turned lots of the young men in town into "gear heads".  He and some of his friends ended up owning gas stations, auto repair shops and car dealerships in the area.

            Grandpa said the many of the curves along old 66 weren't banked properly, if at all, so it was difficult to stay on the road unless you really slowed down.

            It was such a busy road back then, so many people traveling from out of state who weren't familiar with driving it.

            I'm glad so many people are active in preserving the history of old 66.

            It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

            by Betty Pinson on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:48:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  active is right. . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              and I think part of the reason why the Mother Road remains what she is is because it was a slower time in America: slow roads, slow folks, and slowing down to enjoy life a bit more than the frenetic pace of today. Something like that. Check back and let me know what you think of the Cars movie. One of the reasons why I loved watching it, well, beside the fact it's a Pixar marvel, like all their other films. . .is because of the Rt 66 theme. Turns out this film had more older people watching it and guess who they were and why they were interested...that's right: Rt 66 and getting their memory kicks. Oh, and your grand daddy was right: it was the poor banking on some of road-curves that caused the problems of staying on the roads. Today I think most of that has been fixed, except people still drive way too damn fast for their own good. No wonder I like my bicycle so much (though not as much as I love my cat)!

              Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

              by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 01:45:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Same in Oklahoma. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest
    In California, some of the route’s sectors were designated State Route 66
    There are also passages labeled "X66" where the "X" depends on the locale.  For example, Watson Road in southwest St. Louis is MO State Highway 366.

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:26:43 AM PDT

    •  appreciate the feedback. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, bartcopfan

      about the "X" in 66. I was never sure of the significance, but I am now. And that means '366' there in sw. St Louis is still Rt 66, only with a different number designate, I take it. Thanks for posting the additional comment, bartcophan.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:32:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gotta mention some good Route 66 Museums! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        If you're ever in STL, the Missouri Museum of Transportation (again, in SW STL County) includes a futuristic car owned by Bobby Darin and an Art Deco cottage--glass brick and all--from the old Coral Courts "no-tell" motel on Watson Road (formerly US 66).

        Oklahoma (where I am) has very nice musuems in Clinton, Elk City (both in western OK), and now Chandler (~45 min east of OKC) in the surprisingly-beautiful WPA-built sandstone National Guard Armory building.  

        The one in Clinton, OK is mostly about the highway itself, with each room covering the history of a separate decade of the highway's history (w/ time-appropriate music in the background.  The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK is more about local history, but includes displays about the highway.  The newest one in Chandler, OK is very innovative:  one sits on a series of "beds" (as though you're in some roadside motel) and watches short videos about various aspects of the highway.

        There's another Route 66 musuem in Tucumcari, NM I'm dying to visit, but haven't yet.  Maybe my next trip!?

        "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

        by bartcopfan on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:53:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  did you get all that, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bartcopfan, RiveroftheWest

          DKos community folks? bartcopfan just gave us all some great ideas for nostalgic vacation time back to the Mother Road. I had no idea there was so many of these places around, but apparently your contribution, as well as others who have commented on the diary, are certainly in the know. And very much appreciated. I have all these places bookmarked just in case I get to urge to visit some of these places and stop the diary writing marathon for a change. Again, thank you for the added research. This makes me feel we are all involved in the writing and research of this diary that seems to have a post life given all the wonderful commentaries and feedback and added info to this diary's contents. Sine qua non, all of you!

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 10:52:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Drafted in 1969, I did AIT at Fort Ord California. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, RiveroftheWest

    I had the good luck of being stationed there for about 9 months, before my inevitable trip to Viet Nam.
    I came back to Dallas, loaded up my 68 Roadrunner, got my new bride (married 2 months before I received my draft notice) and drove from Dallas to Seaside, Calif. If I had known then what I know now, I would have photographed every thing along the way. What a great trip it was. From Amarillo, thru New Mexico, Arizona and lots of California. All on Route 66.
    I'll never forget it.
     

    •  likely. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      you hit the Mother Road when she was about to peak and transform into the ravages of the 21st Century, starting with the superhighways. Still, '66 had a lot of used milage and I don't think it became the tourista mecca and stuff it is today. Anyway, thank you for sharing the memories, cabinetman1. That was my era, as well, the Vnam time, but I did most of my deep under the water, or stationed at Gtmo.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 01:40:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember from my trip on the Mother Road (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    some 20 years ago, that a section in AZ was part of US 666 (the sixth spur off 66).  

    •  that section. . . . (2+ / 0-)

      would likely be in Gallup. 666 used to run north toward Shiprock and beyond but the superstitions of people and their numbers, or maybe it's just plain 'ole religion that does it, had the State change the number to something, well, less toxic. Guess what? The crazed drunks still crash routinely, either killing or injuring others, and somehow manage to be unscathed, or many of them do. Go figure! Thanks for posting your comment. Glad, too, that the diary released one of your hidden memories, too. Seems to have happened to quite a lot of people since I posted this diary yesterday.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 01:38:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, great diary! Haven't even (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    taken the time to read it all yet, since I wanted to get this comment in asap... (Late to thread as usual)...  Re the song, haven't seen this in comments yet, but scrolled quite quickly for my first pass...  "Route 66" was written by Bobby Troup, covered by many artists, from Nat King Cole to Rolling Stones.  I believe Nad King Cole's version was probably most popular.   Stones' version came much later, on one of their first albums.  I imagine Mel Torme had a version at some point.

    I was born in Kansas City, MO, but we came to CA in 1956... Route 40 was largely done by then, but not sure...  We came straight west.

    I'd imagine Route 66 was originally designed so as to avoid having to build a highway thru/over the Rockies and the Sierras.

    Now I get to go back and spend delicious time with the entire diary and other comments.

    Thanks again.

    Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by ceebee7 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 03:48:04 PM PDT

    •  OK, now I see answers already provided... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      Oh well...

      Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by ceebee7 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 04:13:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you know your stuff. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      ceebee7, and thanks for posting. I mean, you know the music, you've drove the road, and the very reason to dip that far south and head across the desert country was to end in Southern California. . .and not the cold, high route over the Rockies and Sierras. I know I'm a bit biased about who did the greatest version of the song, but there were rocking others, including the Stones, and Chuck Berry, and I like 'em all; have them all, on YouTube. It's just that lilt in Cole's version that gets me feeling a bit more nostalgic. Hope you enjoy the rest of the diary.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 05:17:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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