By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
When I was a child, I vaguely recall a television program called “Route 66” that first aired in 1960. Since I was limited to one television program, the show did not totally capture my attention like “Lassie” and “The Wonderful World of Disney” did, but the characters, named Buz, who was later replaced by a character named Linc] and Tod, drove on the now Historic Route 66 in a Corvette convertible. I imagined that this sports car was red, but since we the program was in black and white in those years, I could not be sure [According to Wikipedia, the Stingray was light blue throughout the first season]. Maybe the romantic notion of freedom I associated with a red Corvette, which is why in my mind’s color version of the program, the car was red.
It was the “Route 66 Theme” song that caught my ear when my parents started watching the program. It was composed by a man named Nelson Riddle, whom I thought in my child’s mind, had a funny name. It was a catchy, jazzy sort of song, and I liked it. Years later, I realized those old “Route 66” episodes reminded me of Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road. The notion of freedom, searching for one’s self and meaning were as apparent in Kerouac’s work as in “Route 66” story lines. We know now that the 1960’s were a tumultuous decade in U.S. history. “Route 66” foreshadowed that restlessness in its lead male characters and the seductive draw of the open road.
For several years I have wanted to travel on Route 66, for I too love road trips, and eschew airplane travel whenever possible. Tomorrow morning we leave for Chicago to commence getting our kicks on Route 66. While we have time this summer only to travel as far as St. Louis, maybe eventually we can drive Route 66 all the way to L.A. As Buz and Tod learned, endless possibilities exist within the small communities and people who inhabit them.
Ciao for now.