Get Your Kicks . . .
The other evening I was in our place not far off of The Mother Road outside of Ash Fork Arizona, flipping through our fifteen or so channels (we actually have an antenna.) Imagine my surprise when I saw on the screen, on one of the HD channels no less, video of downtown Seligman. What I was seeing was the final episode of a British series Billy Connolly’s Route 66, which aired in 2011 in the UK. I haven’t seen the preceding three (I think it’s three) episodes, but if you like Route 66, you will like this series. (Okay, I’m assuming they’re all good like the last one, I know.) He interviewed Angel Delgado in the Delgado’s gift store (“Arizona’s Favorite Gift Store” it says on the sign.) Angel was there when the Okies were pouring West, and he was there in September 1974 when all business in town died. At about three in the afternoon. I won’t spoil the rest of the interview for you, but it is true, as I had heard, that the general attitude displayed by the cars in Disney’s Cars toward the 66 and the people along it is an accurate reflection of Angel Delgado when, after ten years, he pressured the State (and anyone else) to establish Historic Route 66. As you can see, he succeeded, which is why he is known as “The Godfather of Historic Route 66.” It’s a journey that is a destination in itself, and every time I drive along it these days I notice new business and signs of renewed life and pride in the highway. In Seligman today I saw a busload of Japanese folks on the sidewalk, with one man using what looked like a “Red Cam” digital video camera. I think that perhaps another documentary is in the works. Japanese, English, German, Australian, people from virtually everywhere are developing a yen to travel the historic highway. Wow, huh?
And if I’ve planted in you an interest in Billy Connolly’s documentary about the old road, you can see episode one by clicking here.