About Route 66

Why Route 66?

The artist formerly known as route 66, first travelled the famed "Mother Road" from the east coast to the west coast way back in 1962. Drove by Chicago and kept on going. Entertainment back then included reading the consecutive Burma Shave signs with white lettering on red background placed by the side of the road. (See Frank Rowsome Jr.'s book The Verse by the Side of the Road). The last year for new Burma Shave signs was the next year, 1963.

We were drinking from the canvas water bag on the grill (the water was kept cool through the desert via slight evaporation from air flow) and playing license plate bingo. John Kennedy was president and landing on the moon was seven years in the future. It was just before The Beatles, four years before Captain Kirk, and nearly twenty years before the IBM PC was introduced in 1981. Chubby Checker's The Twist was on the radio. Elvis Presley had not left the building. The first of the James Bond movies, Dr. No, was in the theatres. Fear of nuclear war came to a head with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Environmentalist Rachel Carson's landmark book about humankind's impact on nature, Silent Spring, was published. The most trusted man in America, Walter Cronkite, hosted the CBS evening news.

At the end of the road we landed in suburban Los Angeles. Someone once said if you remember the sixties you weren't there. The artist was there and remembers those days (vaguely). The start of the 70s found the artist moving on beyond the end of the road to San Diego. At the same time Route 66 was being replaced by interstate highways.

Alright, enough of the history lesson. We now fast forward to the 21st century. Now in his sixth decade, the artist is not yet over-the-hill as he travels the back roads of America!

Contact: tafkar {at} backroadsplanet.com