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.