Monday, September 02, 2013

Standin' On A Corner, In Winslow, Arizona

September 2, 2013
  Got up this morning at La Posada Resort, and, after asking a couple locals where the best place to eat breakfast is, we walked around Winslow, arriving in due time at the now legendary and much hyped spot:

The statue in Winslow for Jackson Browne and his song lyric, "Standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona . ."

It's amazing to me that a song lyric in a modest hit would become an iconic symbol for an entire town. Especially since, according to Jackson Browne, the song writer of the mythic song "Take It Easy", the girl who slowed down to take a look at him, wasn't in Winslow, but in Flagstaff at a Der Wienerschnitzel and she wasn't driving a flatbed Ford, she was in a Toyota.

Now, when you mention this to the guy at the drugstore across the street from the "corner," he has a little different spin on it: "Yeah, Jackson was hanging out here in Winslow at this place. It used to be a drugstore in those days, and he hitched over to Flagstaff and saw the girl in the Toyota, then he told Glenn Frye about it and Glenn changed it to a flatbed Ford in Winslow."

  Not sure I buy that either.

  But here's the astounding part, to me: that "girl" in the Toyota is probably a grandmother by now. Does she have a clue what immortality she achieved by slowing down and looking at a short, semi-cute, hippie hitch-hiker in downtown Flagstaff? Probably not. But a friend of mine who grew up in Winslow and is married to a federal judge, adamantly proclaims, "I was the girl in the flatbed Ford." I'm sure she's not alone in that claim, but on some level she's probably right. A glancing semi-encounter with a gypsy song-writer on old Route 66 gets elevated to epic myth in a popular song. We can all relate to that fantasy road trip narrative on some level and stake a claim to it.

  Oh, and we had breakfast at the Falcon Cafe where all the locals eat.

"So open up, I'm climbin' in. . ."
—Jackson Browne