Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Following route 66...

Following Route 66 is fascinating. Sometimes this 2-lane road is swallowed up by the 4-lang interstate highway and disappears for a while. Often it runs next to it and shows signs of little use - grass breaking through the tarmac, tumble weed blowing across the road. Sometimes it leads off into a "business loop" to small roadside communities. It often follows the line of telegraph poles and/or the railroad tracks.

roadside signs, now, as back in the 50s, try to lure you to stop your car and buy petrol, "kachina dolls", "American Indian blankets", burritos...

The buldings along the roadside are often diners, petrol stations, shops. Some have disappeared totally. In some cases the signage remains, such as a restaurant in Santa Rosa, or the Longhorn Ranch sign , standing high and rusting on its tall poles.

Other buildings have bene well preserved such as the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari. On the other hand the Jones' Motor Co. Texaco garage and car repair workshop has completely changed its function to survive. It's now Kelly's Brew Publ. It's been turned into a restaurant and micro brewery with patio heaters next to the vintage pumps on the forecourt. You can have a coffee or sip a beer out there, watching the Route 66 traffic and the sunset deep pink on the Sandia Peak mountains.

3 comments:

Debbie Prigg said...

Hi Linda! Tom and I have now worked out how to read your blog and post comments. You can expect the usual abuse from Tom I'm sure, but I'll say that we are 'missing you already', (to use an americanism!) Route 66 sounds a bit neglected despite it's notoriety. i hope it's giving you lots of inspiration for your work. we can't wait to see the fruits of your labour on your return. With thoughts and prayers coming your way, Deb x

Tom Beeson said...

Hello, surprised , surprise, with Debs's help I managed to negotiate all the form filling bits to say hello.

Desperately trying to think of all the places mentioned in the song . . . . . “through Saint Louis, Joplin, Missouri, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, New Mexico, Arizona, Winona, San Bernardino”. Don’t seem to recall Albuquerque being mentioned but I have forgotten a few names. The mental image is very Steinbeck, ‘Mother Road’ always something of the ephemeral journeys.

Just to celebrate and get some atmosphere subjecting everyone in the office to the music of Stephan Grossman.

Have a really great time and hope you managed to get what you want, plenty of really brilliant visuals. Have a safe trip and very best wishes. Tom

Linda said...

Yes, bits of Route 66 are neglected - I suppose it is a road that doesn't officially exist, well not as Route 66 anymore. Large parts are very obvious though!

I'm mainly listening to country music on the radio, but have got a CD with me with 32 different versions of the song you mention, Tom, including one that's in Swedish!
Linda