Wednesday, June 12

The Main Street of America

Have you gotten your kicks on Route 66?

We did!

Route 66 was established on Nov. 11, 1926. (Road signs erected the following year.) The highway became one of the most famous roads in America and ran through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Covering a total of 2,448 miles, it was recognized in pop culture by many books as well as a hit song and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. Sadly, Route 66 declined in popularity with the completion of Interstate 40 in 1984.

I don't know if Phoebe has ever taken the highway that is best (since she lives in Pennsylvania) but she hit three towns on this trip - although only one (Gallup, N.M.) is mentioned in the song.

The (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 lyrics read as a mini-travelogue as you head west: Chicago, Ill., St. Louis, Mo., Joplin, Mo., Oklahoma City, Okla., Amarillo, Texas, Gallup, N.M., Flagstaff, Ariz., Winona, Ariz., Kingman, Ariz., Barstow, Calif., San Bernardino, Calif., and Los Angeles, Calif.

(Winona is out of sequence with the rest of the cities because the author of the song, Bobby Troup, needed a word that rhymed with "Arizona.")

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

It winds from Chicago to LA,
More than 2,000 miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Now you go through Saint Louie
Joplin, Missouri,
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona.
(Don't forget Winona,)
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip:
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Did you know, of the eight states through which the actual route passes, only Kansas and its cities (Route 66 spends just 11 miles inside Kansas' southeast corner) are not mentioned by the song?

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