Route 66 News

The darker side of Route 66

The Autry Museum in Los Angeles recently uploaded a few more videos of interviews with longtime residents of Route 66. The museum is preparing for its “Route 66: The Road and the Romance” exhibit that starts June 8.

But there’s nothing particularly romantic about these clips. As a good museum should, these delve into the darker aspects of the Mother Road.

First, Angel Delgadillo, known as the Guardian Angel of 66, explains why Route 66 also was known as “Bloody 66.”

Bloody 66 – Angel Delgadillo from Autry Media on Vimeo.

Then Dennis Casebier, former director of the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association, talks about those — especially unethical mechanics — who took advantage of vulnerable travelers.

Taken Advantage Of – Dennis Casebier from Autry Media on Vimeo.

Finally, Delbert Trew, founder of the Old Route 66 Association of Texas, said a study revealed travelers on Route 66 were notably poorer than the ones who traveled Route 83 in the Texas Panhandle.

A Difference in the People – Delbert Trew from Autry Media on Vimeo.

A few may grouse at these videos that place Route 66 in a less-than-ideal light. However, these interview subjects were longtime eyewitnesses to the good and bad of Route 66. It’s commendable and proper the Autry Museum is examining the less-savory aspects of the Mother Road, in addition to its rosy nostalgia and recent renaissance.

One thought on “The darker side of Route 66

  1. Phelony Jones

    I do recall the days of the roadside predators. It was a real problem then and probably is now, except that autos are far more reliable than they were once. Truly, if you weak and not aggressive with them, they would win. There was no greater feeling of helplessness than a roadside breakdown and few passers-by. The upside was that people were more willing to help you out because all the crazies hadn’t taken to hitch-hiking until well into the ’60s.

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