Friday, February 01, 2013

Chief Pontiac vs. Route 66 Hipsters

February 1, 2013
   Thanks to the astute car guys on this site, I think we have nailed the car in the photo I posted this morning. And speaking of Pontiacs, Dan The Man Harsberger emailed me these puppies:

Love these old drawings of cars, with the stretched and exaggerated lengths, which, of course, led to even more ridiculous stretching in the sixties and was brilliantly parodied by Bruce McCall in National Lampoon when he did a series of satirical car ads for a car he called The Bulgemobile. Too rich.

And, although Jack Kerouac sued the producers of the TV show Route 66 (two guys on the road in a cool car having adventures, come on!) it's interesting to note that for all the roads Jack and Neal traveled in their crisscrossing of the U.S. they never really "do" Route 66. Jack rides the bus back east from his 1947 trip to the West Coast, and, although he mentions going through "Salome (where she danced)" and Wickenburg, he cuts to Flagstaff in his narrative, then tacks on "Clifftown" which I assume he poached off a map from Clifton, Arizona which is many miles to the south of Flag. Jack drew a map of his journey (which I found online) and he writes down Prescott as well, which would be an odd route, although not impossible. He could have come across from LA to Blythe, then Salome, Aguila, Wickenburg, then the back way to Prescott thru Yarnell Hill and Peeple's Valley, Kirkland and into Prescott the back way, or more accurately, the old way (since I-17 was decades away). But anyway, for all his travels Jack only mentions Route 66 one time in the entire book and it's in this paragraph about downtown Los Angeles:

"Wild negroes with bop caps and goatees came laughing by; then long-haired brokedown hipsters straight off Route 66 from New York. . ."

Quite prescient really (long-haired hipsters in 1947-49!). Hippies anyone?

"When I closed my eyes all I could see was the road unwinding into me."
—Jack Kerouac, "On The Road"