(Photo: Desert Hills Motel in Tulsa, Oklahoma)
There are many things in American history that have been preserved over the years, whether in museums, monuments, roadside historical markers, or by other means. However, Route 66, and the stories that go along with it, seems to be a little different.
There are abandoned motels, old neon signs, diners, gas stations, roadside attractions dotting the path of The Mother Road, reminding us of days gone by. There are also dozens of books about it, but they can only tell part of the story. Luckily, most states have historical societies, as well as museums with countless artifacts, including old signage, gas pumps, vintage cars, and even postcards showing part of the past. There is even a bill currently in congress to designate Route 66 a historical trail, and deservedly so. It’s still very much a part of American culture today, as it was over 50 years ago.
Angel Delgadillo started a one-man crusade to save Route 66, back in 1987, and it spread like wildfire. Today, there are probably just as many people traveling the Mother Road, as there was back in its heyday. The mom & pop diners that are still around are thriving, many of the vintage motels are doing well, historic buildings are being protected, and people are coming from all parts of the globe to get their kicks. Keeping this part of American culture alive for future generations should be a priority..not just for those that respect and appreciate it, but for everyone.
There are many ways you can help preserve this iconic highway. There is a list of associations dedicated to preserving this important piece of history, but they can’t do it all by themselves. The National Historic Route 66 Federation has a good list of resources and links to each state’s official site. Please have a look, and do what you can to help keep history alive. You can visit the site here.
Until the next post, keep gettin’ your kicks!