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Making new memories November 27, 2008

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Preservation.
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During a workshop about how to best update a 16-year-old revitalization plan for Route 66 in New Mexico, someone brought up interesting comments (as reported by the Mountain View Telegraph):

Whether people still get their kicks driving down Old Route 66 is the question asked by some people who attended a workshop sponsored by the New Mexico Route 66 Association.

“There will come a day when no one remembers those family trips anymore. They’re not old enough to have driven that highway, or have gone on a family trip on it, so it doesn’t have the emotional connection,” said Cyndie Tidwell.

Tidwell is a contractor hired by the association to complete an update of a corridor management and economic revitalization plan originally developed in 1992 by Anita Miller. [...]

“We just can’t assume that future generations will understand,” Tidwell said.

There might be some readers offended by Tidwell’s comments, and maybe she was simply trying to get people to think out of the box. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about for years.

I wasn’t around in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Mother Road’s heyday before the interstate highway system began to dismantle it. But I see enough vestiges of that era that I can imagine it — which is why historical preservation is important.

And old Route 66 is so different from any other road anyway, with its oddball characters and gimmicky businesses.

I guess what I’m trying to say that I and many other roadies are too young to remember the old days when gas was 15 cents a gallon and U.S. 66 was still a certified federal highway. But the old road is making happy memories for us now. Old 66 is vibrant and relevant. That’s is why I drive it regularly. And that’s why Route 66 News exists.

Comments»

1. T. Morris - November 27, 2008

I don’t think anyone should underestimate the impact that the movie CARS had on interest in the Mother Road. My 5 & 8 year-old sons are the ones who urged me to find out more information on how to visit Route 66. And in the process, I invited my parents to go along. So we have a chance for 3 generations to experience the journey. One generation may be reminiscing. But the rest of us will be creating all new memories of how Route 66 operates today.
Of all the possible vacation choices there are, the fact that so many people choose Route 66 is testament to its continuing allure. And no way all those travelers are “old-timers” looking for the good ol’ days. It’s just as relevant today as it was in its heyday.

2. Trevor Hilton - November 28, 2008

I take my two children on Route 66 drives regularly. I take them as I visit sites. If I share my love of The Road with them, hopefully, they’ll grow up with it, too.


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