Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Follow the Oil

May 8, 2013
 Been studying old photos of Route 66. Thanks to the NAU archives and Sean Evans.

I was struck by how in the old photos there was so much oil in the driveways of the gas stations and on the highway as well. Makes you realize how much cars have improved in almost every arena. I think my favorite new development is the CD player and the radio stays on after you shut the vehicle off and will not turn off until the door opens. This answers the old complaint that your fave songs starts playing as you pull in the driveway and you have to leave the car running to continue listening. Ah, it's the little things.

   Remember when some sections of the old Route 66 were concrete and would have seams every fifty feet, or so, creating a train track rhythm-of-the-rails effect. Also, when the concrete started to crumble, it made for some ugly driving. Took this off a photo near Flag of a Whiting Bros. gas station. It actually shows one of their long patented signs at left and I need to extrapolate it out. Haven't found any photos of the old WB signs. I even went to college with Bill Whiting at U of A, but he has nothing.

"People in flight along 66. And the concrete road shone like a mirror under the sun, and in the distance the heat made it seem that there were pools of water in the road."
—John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"